“Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.” –Robert Frost Depending on … Read moreFor destruction ice is also great and would suffice
“One sees qualities at a distance and defects at close range.” –Victor Hugo A couple of weeks ago we took a look at the most distant galaxy (so far) in the known Universe, a galaxy so far away that it takes exclusively infrared observations from our most power space telescopes (Hubble and Spitzer) in order … Read moreWhat does the Universe look like as seen from its most distant galaxy?
“Because dark energy makes up about 70 percent of the content of the universe, it dominates over the matter content. That means dark energy will govern expansion and, ultimately, determine the fate of the universe.” –Eric Linder It’s been a while since we’ve spoken about dark energy, and we were just talking about Einstein’s greatest … Read moreWhat is dark energy?
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” –Albert Einstein Back when Einstein first proposed his theory of General Relativity, his revolutionary picture of the Universe was met with a mix of curiosity, awe, and intense skepticism. It isn’t every day that your most cherished of all physical theories — the … Read more"Einstein's Greatest Blunder" was REALLY a blunder!
“The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be. Our feeblest contemplations of the Cosmos stir us—there is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation, as if a distant memory, or falling from a height. We know we are approaching the greatest of mysteries.” –Carl … Read moreWhat Makes Up The Universe?
“Orbiting Earth in spaceship, I saw how beautiful our planet is. People, let us preserve and increase beauty, not destroy it!” –Yuri Gagarin Fifty-two years ago today, the first human being left Earth, and we began our journey into outer space. But back in 1961, we didn’t really know how far outer space stretched, or … Read moreInflation, Dark Energy, and the Physics of Spacetime
“A cosmic mystery of immense proportions, once seemingly on the verge of solution, has deepened and left astronomers and astrophysicists more baffled than ever. The crux… is that the vast majority of the mass of the universe seems to be missing.” –William J. Broad Three classic observations — the Hubble expansion of the Universe, the … Read moreWhat Matters about Dark Matter?
“Much later, when I discussed the problem with Einstein, he remarked that the introduction of the cosmological term was the biggest blunder he ever made in his life. But this “blunder,” rejected by Einstein, is still sometimes used by cosmologists even today, and the cosmological constant denoted by the Greek letter Λ rears its ugly … Read moreWhat The Entire Universe Is Made Of, Thanks to Planck!
“The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size.” –Oliver Wendell Holmes When General Relativity supplanted Newton’s work as our theory of how gravity works in the Universe, it didn’t just change how we view how masses attract, it gave us a new understanding of what the questions where … Read moreHow Big is Our Observable Universe?
“Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it.” – Samuel Johnson I have a six-sided die. I’m going to roll it ten times, and record each roll. And when I’m done, I’m going to have an incredibly rare, bet-you-can’t-reproduce-it result! … Read moreThe Last Refuge of a Science-Denying Scoundrel