big bang

Category archives for big bang

“Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven, Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.” –Longfellow The cosmic microwave background is a thing of beauty, as not only does its uniform, cold temperature reveal a hot, dense past that began with the hot Big Bang, but its fluctuations reveal a pattern…

“Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.” –Terry Pratchett If you want, you can imagine back in the Universe to a time before it looked anything like ours did. Before there…

“It followed from the special theory of relativity that mass and energy are both but different manifestations of the same thing — a somewhat unfamiliar conception for the average mind.” –Albert Einstein In physics, we’re always on that quest for the next frontier: the next order of magnitude higher in energy, the next order of magnitude closer…

“We like to admit to only that which already glows, although it is nobler to support brightness before it glows, not afterwards.” –Dejan Stojanovic When we look back to greater and greater distances in the Universe, we’re looking back to earlier and earlier times as well. At some point, we can see far enough back…

The Two Big Bangs (Synopsis)

“These theories were based on the hypothesis that all the matter in the universe was created in one big bang at a particular time in the remote past.” -Fred Hoyle It’s making headlines everywhere we go: the recent paper stating that quantum equations prove that there is no Big Bang. Is that even possible? Honestly, it…

Cosmology in the 21st Century (Synopsis)

“Every generation of physicists solves some old puzzles and finds some new ones.” –Dr. Kendrick Smith A century ago, no one could have envisioned the Universe we have today. From a Universe governed by Newton’s and Maxwell’s laws, consisting only of the Milky Way and the objects within, who could have imagined the new forces,…

The Big Bang by Balloon (Synopsis)

If you want to map the entire sky — whether you’re looking in the visible, ultraviolet, infrared or microwave, your best bet is to go to space. Only high above the Earth’s atmosphere can you map out the entire sky, with your vision unobscured by anything terrestrial. But that costs hundreds of millions of dollars…

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” -Albert Einstein And yet, this is a very good reason! We need things to happen in stages: you can’t form human beings before you form planets (that would be bad); you can’t form stars before you form atoms (also bad); you can’t form…

“I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can’t see from the center.” –Kurt Vonnegut The Universe is expanding and cooling, with all but a few of the closest galaxies receding from our view. In fact,…

The status of the Universe: 2015 (Synopsis)

“People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.” -James A. Baldwin We’ve come a long way since we first started watching the night skies. Even just a century ago, we thought our Universe was governed by Newtonian gravity and consisted only of our Milky Way and the stars inside. In the past…