Dark Energy

Category archives for Dark Energy

“Much later, when I discussed the problem with Einstein, he remarked that the introduction of the cosmological term was the biggest blunder he ever made in his life. But this “blunder,” rejected by Einstein, is still sometimes used by cosmologists even today, and the cosmological constant denoted by the Greek letter Λ rears its ugly…

“Scientific discovery and scientific knowledge have been achieved only by those who have gone in pursuit of it without any practical purpose whatsoever in view.” -Max Planck Tomorrow morning, at 8 AM my time, the press conference that cosmologists have spent the past decade waiting for will finally happen, and the Planck satellite — the…

How Big is Our Observable Universe?

“The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes When General Relativity supplanted Newton’s work as our theory of how gravity works in the Universe, it didn’t just change how we view how masses attract, it gave us a new understanding of what the questions where…

“Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it.” – Samuel Johnson I have a six-sided die. I’m going to roll it ten times, and record each roll. And when I’m done, I’m going to have an incredibly rare, bet-you-can’t-reproduce-it result!…

What we learn just by being here

“Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others.” -Timothy Leary Here we are, on planet Earth, the product of generations of civilization-building, maybe four-billion years of evolution on our world, around 13.7 billion years into the existence of our…

The Universe Beyond Our Reach

“People hear the happy story, but the truth is they could all disappear in the blink of an eye. The threats just keep coming.” -Todd Steiner It’s taken generations of scientists, examining the night sky for millennia, to comprehend the full size and scope of what’s out there in the Universe. Out beyond the planets and…

Messier Monday: Bode’s Galaxy, M81

“When you look at the stars and the galaxy, you feel that you are not just from any particular piece of land, but from the solar system.” -Kalpana Chawla Welcome to this week’s Messier Monday, where I pick a new object out of the original catalogue of 110 “faint fuzzies” designed to help comet-hunters avoid…

“Other than the laws of physics, rules have never really worked out for me.” -Craig Ferguson Earlier this week, evidence was presented measuring a very rare decay rate — albeit not incredibly precisely — which point towards the Standard Model being it as far as new particles accessible to colliders (such as the LHC) go.…

Where do Type Ia Supernovae come from?

“You have to have a canon so the next generation can come along and explode it.” -Henry Louis Gates When it comes to stars, their fates are very well known. Every single star that’s massive enough to fuse hydrogen into helium in its core will someday run out of fuel and die. The very brightest…

The Halloween Horror of the Dark Universe!

“A cosmic mystery of immense proportions, once seemingly on the verge of solution, has deepened and left astronomers and astrophysicists more baffled than ever. The crux … is that the vast majority of the mass of the universe seems to be missing.” -William J. Broad Despite the wondrous, luminous sights of the night sky, we’ve…