“The Standard Model as it stands cannot possibly be right because it cannot predict why the universe exists,” said Gerald Gabrielse, the Board of Trustees Professor of Physics at Northwestern University. The Standard Model describes the seventeen known fundamental particles and their interactions, and provides us with a detailed set of predictions for how each of them should behave and interact. The model is a mathematical picture of reality, and no laboratory experiments yet performed have contradicted it. “We should be very careful about making assumptions that we’re getting closer to solving the mystery, but I do have considerable hope that we’re getting closer at this level of precision,” Gabrielse added.
Is the universe we see – stars, moons, planets, clusters of galaxies – a small, accidental tip of an infinite cosmic iceberg? During the epoch of inflation, thought to have been triggered by the phase transition that marked the end of the grand unification at approximately 10^−36 seconds after the Big Bang, the accelerating expansion of space was far more dramatic than in today’s universe. Inflation lasted for only 10^-32 seconds, but the universe expanded at an absolutely staggering rate, increasing in size by a factor of 10^26. During this period, no objects – even two elementary particles – remained close enough to one another for long enough to interact. (more…)
The Joy of Why Podcast , new from Quanta magazine: noted mathematician and author Steven Strogatz focus on the ideas and discoveries of leading scientists and mathematicians. In this episode, the Nobel Prize-winning Harvard biochemist Jack Szostak reveals that “a key molecule implicated in the origin of life is now thought to be cyanide. If that’s correct,” Strogatz observes, “how ironic that a molecule so deadly today may have been so vital at the beginning.” The episode with theoretical physicist Sean Carroll suggests “that something strange is happening in the bedrock of reality: Space and time are somehow emerging from something even more fundamental, something ineffable and quantum mechanical at its heart.”
“The Galaxy Report” brings you news of space and science that has the capacity to provide clues to the mystery of our existence and adds a much needed cosmic perspective in our current Anthropocene Epoch. Today’s stories range from the Black Hole in Our Backyard to New Force Fields in the Universe to Einstein’s Relativity Might Have More to Do With the Way Our Brains Evolved, and much more.
New research has shown that future gravitational wave detections from space will be capable of finding new fundamental fields and potentially shed new light on unexplained aspects of the Universe. There are four known fundamental interactions or forces in the Universe: gravitation, electromagnetism, the weak interaction, and the strong interaction. (more…)
“The Galaxy Report” brings you news of space and science that has the capacity to provide clues to the mystery of our existence and adds a much needed cosmic perspective in our current Anthropocene Epoch. Today’s stories range from Future Gravitational Wave Detectors in Space Could Solve Mysteries of the Universe to Rare ‘Upside-down Stars’ to Dark-Matter Asteroids, and more.