“It is undeniable that we are profoundly puzzled, especially when it comes to the first fraction of a second that followed the Big Bang,” wrote theoretical physicist Dan Hooper, author of The Edge of Time in an email to The Daily Galaxy–Great Discoveries Channel. “I have no doubt that these earliest moments hold incredible secrets, but our universe holds its secrets closely. It is up to us to coax those secrets from its grip, transforming them from mystery into discovery.”
“If space is truly infinite,” observes Dan Hooper, head of the Theoretical Astrophysics Group at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, in At the Edge of Time, “the implications are staggering. Within an infinite expanse of space, it would be hard to see any reason why there would not be an infinite number of galaxies, stars, and planets, and even an infinite number of intelligent or conscious beings, scattered throughout this limitless volume. That is the thing about infinity: it takes things that are otherwise very unlikely and makes them all inevitable.”
Editor, Jackie Faherty, astrophysicist, Senior Scientist with AMNH. Jackie was formerly a NASA Hubble Fellow at the Carnegie Institution for Science. Aside from a love of scientific research, she is a passionate educator and can often be found giving public lectures in the Hayden Planetarium. Her research team has won multiple grants from NASA, NSF, and the Heising Simons foundation to support projects focused on characterising planet-like objects. She has also co-founded the popular citizen science project entitled Backyard Worlds: Planet 9 which invites the general public to help scan the solar neighbourhood for previously missed cold worlds. A Google Scholar, Faherty has over 100 peer reviewed articles in astrophysical journals and has been an invited speaker at universities and conferences across the globe. Jackie received the 2020 Vera Rubin Early Career Prize from the American Astronomical Society, an award that recognises scientists who have made an impact in the field of dynamical astronomy and the 2021 Robert H Goddard Award for science accomplishments.
“The fate of black holes in a quantum theory of gravity is, in my view, the most important problem in theoretical physics,” said Jorge Pullin, the Horace Hearne professor of theoretical physics at LSU.
Today’s stories include Five Numbers that could Reveal the Secrets of the Universe to We Might Already Speak the Same Language As ET, and much more.
The discovery of black holes was the first collision of quantum gravity with general relativity. In 2019, astrophysicists at Ontario’s Western University found evidence for the direct formation of black holes that do not need to emerge from a star remnant. The production of black holes in the early universe, formed from massive seeds aided by gravitational fields soon after the Big Bang, provide scientists with an explanation for what appeared to be the anomaly of extremely massive black holes at a very early stage in the history of our universe.
It has been said that Newton gave us answers; Stephen Hawking gave us questions. A trio of physicists appear one step closer to resolving the black-hole information paradox, one of the most intriguing physics mysteries of our time.