Cosmology and astrophysics
Loop quantum gravity Loop quantum gravity (LQG) is a theory that attempts to describe the quantum properties of gravity. It is also a theory of quantum space and quantum time, because, according to general relativity, the geometry of spacetime is a manifestation of gravity. LQG is an attempt to merge and adapt standard quantum mechanics and standard general relativity.
The cores of black holes may not hold points of infinite density as currently thought, but portals to elsewhere in the universe, theoretical physicists say. A black hole possesses a gravitational field so powerful that not even light can escape. A black hole generally forms after a star dies in a titanic explosion known as a supernova, which crushes the remaining core into dense lumps. Black Hole Cores May Not Be Infinitely Dense
Hi, and welcome to my site “Of Particular Significance”. If you are an interested layperson, whether you have very little knowledge of science or quite a lot already, this website is mainly intended for you — although as you’ll see, it has a number of scientists among its readers. It’s still young and growing, so check back often for new material. You’ll see there’s a blog with up-to-date comments, but most of the web-pages are permanent or semi-permanent articles. New? Start Here
On Tuesday, scientists announced promising signs in the data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva of the existence of the Higgs boson. Why one Higgs boson will not be enough | Lawrence Krauss | Science
The Accelerating Universe and Dark Energy Might Be Illusions In 1929, cosmologists discovered that the universe is expanding that space-time, the fabric of the cosmos, is stretching.
Astrophysical ambulance-chasers everywhere got a bit excited this week, and why wouldn’t they? Dark Matter: Just Fine, Thanks | Cosmic Variance
Does This Ontological Commitment Make Me Look Fat? | Cosmic Variance 3:am magazine (yes, that’s what it’s called) has a very good interview with Craig Callender, philosopher of physics at UC San Diego and a charter member of the small club of people who think professionally about the nature of time. The whole thing is worth reading, so naturally I am going to be completely unfair and nitpick about the one tiny part that mentions my name.
Floating Gyroscopes Vindicate Einstein | Wired Science Four superconducting pingpong balls floating in space have just confirmed two key predictions of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, physicists announced in a press conference Wednesday. “We have completed this landmark experiment testing Einstein’s universe, and Einstein survives,” said physicist Francis Everitt of Stanford University, the principal investigator on NASA’s Gravity Probe B mission. The probe, which launched in 2004, was designed to test the effect Earth’s gravity has on the space-time around it.
Sep. 30, 2011 — The Bolshoi supercomputer simulation, the most accurate and detailed large cosmological simulation run to date, gives physicists and astronomers a powerful new tool for understanding such cosmic mysteries as galaxy formation, dark matter, and dark energy. The simulation traces the evolution of the large-scale structure of the universe, including the evolution and distribution of the dark matter halos in which galaxies coalesced and grew. Initial studies show good agreement between the simulation's predictions and astronomers' observations. "In one sense, you might think the initial results are a little boring, because they basically show that our standard cosmological model works," said Joel Primack, distinguished professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Scientists release most accurate simulation of the universe to date
Read full article Continue reading page |1|2|3 A theory of reality beyond Einstein's universe is taking shape – and a mysterious cosmic signal could soon fill in the blanks IT WASN'T so long ago we thought space and time were the absolute and unchanging scaffolding of the universe. Beyond space-time: Welcome to phase space - space - 08 August 2011
The universe is littered with the weird and wonderful and GRB 060614 could turn out to be one of the weirdest and most wonderful of them all. GRB 060614, which we’ll call Ralph to smooth things along, was a gamma-ray burst with some very puzzling properties detected by Nasa’s Swift satellite on June 14, 2006. Gamma-ray bursts are the most powerful explosions in the universe. They usually come in two flavours: long bursts, which are normally caused by the sudden release of energy that occurs when a collapsing star forms a black hole in a massive supernova event, and short bursts, which occur when two neutron stars – the superdense remains of dead stars – collide. A glimpse of the (almost) impossible... | CosmOnline
What existed before the big bang? What is the nature of time? Is our universe one of many? On the big questions science cannot (yet?) What Happened Before the Big Bang? The New Philosophy of Cosmology - Technology
Sean Carroll: Distant time and the hint of a multiverse
A Step-by-Step Guide to Cosmology’s Best-Kept Secret | Degrees of Freedom How far is each of these galaxies? Appearances may deceive. In my previous post, I described the little-known and somewhat counterintuitive idea that objects in the distant universe appear larger and larger the farther they are, in a reversal of the usual rules of perspective. I called it the cosmic magnifying lens. As promised, I will now explain the physics behind it.
The Beginning of the Universe and the Limit of Knowledge – Starts With A Bang “Despite its name, the big bang theory is not really a theory of a bang at all. It is really only a theory of the aftermath of a bang.” -Alan Guth So you finally understand it.
'A Universe From Nothing' by Lawrence Krauss, AAI 2009
A Lenticular Galaxy Reveals Spinning Black Holes | Stars In the heart of MCG-6-30-15, a galaxy 130 million light-years away, there is a hole. It’s as big around as the orbit of Mars. Into this hole stars and star stuff are always falling—a lot of stuff, the equivalent of a hundred million suns so far. From this hole nothing escapes, not even light. It is perfectly black, like the mouth of a long tunnel.