Although cosmic inflation is well known for resolving some important mysteries about the structure and evolution of the universe, other very different theories can also explain these mysteries. In some of these theories, the state of the universe preceding the Big Bang – the so-called primordial universe – was contracting instead of expanding, and the Big Bang was thus a part of a Big Bounce.
Maxwell Moe, astrophysicist, NASA Einstein Fellow, University of Arizona. Max can be found two nights a week probing the mysteries of the Universe at the Kitt Peak National Observatory.
In 2018, astronomers discovered “a ringside seat into beautiful and dangerous physics. This is the first such system to be discovered in our own galaxy,” explains Joseph Callingham of the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) about a star system like none seen before in our galaxy. “We never expected to find such a system in our own backyard.”
The first “theory” of the dark cosmos was embodied in the Greek god of darkness, Erebus, one of the primordial deities born out of Chaos, the primeval void, foreshadowing the contemporary, emerging reality of the dark side of our universe. Enter Nobel-Prize Laurate, physicist Sir Roger Penrose, and his Erebon field theory, a novel explanation of dark matter that suggests that the Big Bang was not the origin of our universe. Despite ongoing searches, no signs of a dark matter particle have turned up.
“This primitive star surprises us for its high lithium content, and its possible relation to the primordial lithium formed in the Big Bang,” notes David Aguado, a researcher with team at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of Cambridge that have detected lithium in one of the oldest most primitive stars in our galaxy. This discovery, which could give crucial information about the creation of atomic nuclei (“nucleosynthesis”) in the Big Bang, was made at the VLT, at the Paranal Observatory of ESO in Chile.
When antimatter and matter meet, they annihilate, and the result is light and nothing else. Given equal amounts of matter and antimatter, nothing would remain once the reaction was completed. As long as we don’t know why more matter exists than antimatter, we can’t know why the building blocks of anything else exist, either. This is one of the biggest unsolved problems in physics, says Jens Oluf Andersen at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. (more…)