Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Big Bang

Anti-matter is matter: An unfortunate term that is confounding the consciousness of astrophysicists…

Note: I classified this post under “Lucubration Today” category. The notion was Not generated in a dream, but you may read as the description of a dream story.

You have matter that our tools are designed to capture and measure. Like duality in philosophy, astrophysicists cannot view the universe standing right unless you find an opposite to anything, either matter or concept.

Since the scientists refrain from using spirit and soul in their scientific vocabulary, matter must have an anti-matter. And here comes the problem.

The scientists had to coin the term Anti-Matter, instead of counter matter, which must be a matter, but how to define it and characterize it in order to make sense?

Until the astrophysicists remember that anti-matter is matter, all the cosmology theories are heading to a wall.

Somehow, scientists must start figuring out an attribute to anti-matter so that they begin to figure out what to capture and how to measure anti-matter.

Here is a hypothesis:

If there was a Big bang, why assume that it was the one and only Big Bang?

Isn’t it more fruitful and rational to conceive of a universe that was created several time, within cyclical periods?

The theory is that after a Big bang, matter and anti-matter are created, and a battle of annihilation immediately start for dominion of a universe of matter or anti-matter.

Why not postulate that we have two parallel universes: Matter and anti-matter universes?

In our universe, matter annihilated anti-matter, and the reverse occurred in the anti-matter universe.

For example, the astrophysicists cannot yet fathom why our universe is expanding so quickly, at high acceleration.

They still cannot fathom where are all the majority of matter in our universe to account for their theories.

How about our universe of matter is converging toward the universe of anti-matter for another titanic battle?

Where could be the partition line of dominion?

Or is it a belt of Black Holes?

Most probably, our local Black Holes are the universes of anti-matters within our universe of matter.

The Black Hole of anti-matter attracts all the matters in its vicinity, until there are no more enough anti-matter and the Black Hole explodes into galaxies of matters.

Instead of conceiving our universe as the center, a habit inherited from centuries of considering ourselves as the center of the universe, it is logical to view the anti-matter as in the center (a belt of Black Holes, and our universe swirling around it and being captured by the anti-matter universe.

Consequently, our universe is expanding “inward” toward the belt of anti-matter Black Holes.

And, unless we start giving the anti-matter the remaining lacking mass in our universe, the cosmology theories will remain untenable.

Well, for our glue of boson giving mass to our matter, why not consider a counter boson to glue the anti-matter particles?

Let us postulate this:

Anti-matter is a mirror image of matter, enjoying all the physical characteristics of the matter universe.

One corny question to agree on: “Does the anti matter universe has anti-human species creatures?” But not as violent and cruel?

The Void exists, and is mighty powerful: Called Black Force

There is this constant tag of war between the Void and the relentless tendency of particles to filling the Void. It is this interaction that set particles in motion.

The greater the void, the more perturbed are the particles. Within an atom, the void, proportionally to the tiny particles, is vaster than the macro universe. Quantum mechanics states: “You cannot measure accurately and simultaneously the location and the moment (time) of a particle in an atom”  Basically any measuring instrument, however non intrusiveness it is, will disturb the environment in an atom…

Particles in motion are what create Time and Space.

Time and Space and tightly connected within a constraint that physicists agree on: The speed of light (300,000 km per second) must remain constant and invariant, regardless of the source, the intensity of the source, its direction, how matters behave…

Consequently, Time and Space are not immutable: They vary, change, transform, deform… The physicists conceptualize space as a net. A heavy object forms a dish-shaped hole in the space network. A lighter object that comes close to the vicinity of the heavier object would rotate in a trajectory around the edge of the dish: The heavier the object, the deeper is the trajectory around the edge of the dish…Gravity force is thus explained as the particular trajectory established by the two objects in the Space-Time reference.

Locally, within a galaxy, the Void exerts its power within the constraint of constant speed of the light.

Outside the galaxy, the void has a much higher force that set galaxies expanding, away from one another in the universe, at increased acceleration rates. This evidence is called the Universe Expansion.

There are cases where two galaxies are close to one another, for example our Milky Way and the larger Andromeda. Our galaxy is attracted within the edge of the dish of Andromeda. However, the set of this couple of galaxies is expanding in the universe, away from the other galaxies…

Eventually, and inevitably, a large void, a Black Hole is created.

In the environ of a Black Hole, there is no light: Light is absorbed as it approaches the Hole, and the notion of Time-Space is irrelevant.  There is total darkness, total silence, and nothing that can be used as point of reference.

A Black Hole is a total void that attracts all the particles, converging to fill this huge void.

Once this vacuum is filled and matter concentrates, the Black Hole reaches a state of high energy and explodes in a Big Bang, ejecting particles back into the universe, and expanding galaxies rush to fill the void of the nascent Black Hole, and the cycle resumes…

Every Black Hole is a potential universe in the making. Every universe is a potential creators of a Black Hole.

We had our Big Bang. And many other Big Bangs are taking place in this vast universe

The vastest monuments on earth can be reduced to a grain of matter, matter that was constituted by the Bosons of Higgs.

The Void Exists, and is mighty powerful.

Note: How can the notion that “gravity is explained by the particular trajectory of two bodies” account for the fact that there is a neutral zone where gravity effects are nullified?

And Higgs enshrined a modern material God. The tiniest of all: The Boson

Last week, particle and nuclear physicists “discovered” that the theoretical notion of the particle boson, labelled the boson of Higgs does exist.  The British Higgs theorized in 1965 that this boson must exist if matters should gain any weight…the missing link to a cohesive theory for the creation of a universe…Higgs is jubilant that the discovery was conclusive while still alive…

After thousands of trials bombarding elementary particles of protons and neutrons and…5 bosons, the tiniest of all particles, materialized in a flickering fraction of a one millionth of a second, invisible to human eyes and other sensory organs.

And the new God turned out to be the smallest, the tiniest of all, and still the most invisible even to the most modern equipment in technologies, and still permeating everything, every particle…

And the new God turned out not to be One, but zillion of Gods, mostly identical though, zillion in every particle in the universe…

And the new God turned out to have some physical weight, physical gravity…And without Him nothing could have amassed any weight…And no Gravity, and no universe could have existed…

And it turned out that all He had to do is to show up for less than one millionth of a second after this mythical Big Bang for everything to take form and exist…to happen, to get bigger, to expand, shrink at incredible speed

And we thought that we are from dust and shall return to dust. Wrong! We are from bosons and shall return to bosons…

Mankind created a God to be far larger than the universe, far more powerful…Political scientists said the ancient God should had to be that powerful, liberal capitalists said so, multinational financial corporations said so, superpower imperialist political strategists said so, Einstein relativity theory said so, all the religions said so…

And it turned out that this ancient God was not that big, not so abstract, and hate to survive more than one millionth of second on His own, free from attachment to other particles…

What happened to this God who appeared to Charlton Heston Moses, who took all his time spelling the 10 Commandments to a flabbergasted Moses who finally fell asleep and went into deep coma?

Heston Moses died and was reincarnated into “Heston Higgs”…old in the picture, as it should be. Prophet Higgs has been screaming in the wilderness for over four decades on this British Desert: “God appeared to my mind. He is in my mathematical nuclear equation. God said: Call me Boson. Find me this Boson. I miss Him. Get in touch with this damned Boson…And for God sake, call Him Boson, not Boson of Higgs…Cannot stand blasphemy…”

The new God is a Heisenberg quantum particle that “cannot be seen and heard simultaneously…” (see note)

Trust the physicists, this highly religious sect, for searching for the absolute and the eternal God. They still believe in the Big Bang, another myth that acquired consensus certainty in this exclusive club.  As if the universe should be created “instantly” and with a Big Bang for it to make any sense…

All other scientific fields, natural and social, believe that development and creation is a time-consuming process…Not to nuclear and particle physicists: Everything must happen instantly and in no time…

Trust the physicists to claim that nothing would have materialized without the existence of this boson after the one millionth of a second of the Big Bang…In every second, many stars and galaxies disintegrate, emitting zillion of bosons, and still, the universe could not have existed if the boson failed to intervene and materialize right after the Big Bang

The new God is not even physics: He is still a philosophy of the sub atomic universe…He always was a concept to hold together our scattered brain, yearning for the Absolute and the Eternal

Note: Heisenberg restriction in the sub atomic universe was that no particle can be exactly located and timed simultaneously: If we focus on exactly measuring the location of a particle, then time is a statistics and vice versa.  Why? Any measuring instrument is bound to disturb the current state of any particle in the sub atomic world…

I have studied nuclear and atomic physics. I have studied relativity and quantum physics…I loved all these courses, except quantum.  I kept wondering: If we cannot measure exactly and simultaneous many parameters in the sub atomic universe then, why call it physics?

May be since I have taken quantum mechanics technology has advanced in such a way not to disturb particles in the sub atomic universe…May be the quantum convoluted equations are easier to compute by computer…May be Quantum mechanics can be inducted into the world of Physics…

And you have hundreds of theoretical physicists trying hard to discover a mathematical equation that would unify relativity and quantum physics…Why? Math is an abstract field by excellence, but when you intend on purpose to applying it in physics then you have got to be able to measure, test, and validate the equation…How can this be done in the subatomic universe?

Is Cosmology a substitute religion? What’s so scientific about the creation of the universe?

The famous crippled physicist Stephen Hawkins offered a paradigm shift “The Big Bang” as to how the universe was created. The theoretical framework of the BB model rely on:

First: The concept of Space-Time is not the location of phenomenon, but it is a phenomena.  Space-Time is a dynamic entity, so that the expansion of the universe is not a matter of material displacement, but mainly the dilatation of space…

Second: Black Holes are apprehended thanks to this notion of Space-Time: As a dense star explodes in supernovas, the Space is so dense that nothing can escape.  This dense space may transform to Time and vice versa, revolving around this “singularity” of End of Time. 

Third: Before the Big Bang, a monstrous force had packed all the particles and matters in such a small Space that no void was permitted.  Sort of the notion of space was made relevant after the Big Bang, and much later the notion of Time…

Consider these premises and tell what is so scientific about the creation of the universe that is an accepted consensus among cosmologists:

One: The experience of the “creation of the universe” is not reproducible. Thus, there are no possibility to infer, verify, and validate from repeated observations…

Two: The observer is part of the “system” and the conditions of objective and unbiased (neutral) observer is not applicable…

Three: The initial conditions are not available.  For example, we cannot conceive of what was anterior to universe and what is external to the system..

Four: the kinds of energy potentials before the Big bang are not known, and may not be compatible with the system of energies witnessed and tested on earth…There is a consensus among cosmologists that the types of high-energies involved in Black Holes are not the same as experienced on earth and they have no clear idea of these energies.  In that case, if energy system is unknown and out the window, then on what scientific basis is cosmology based on?

Five: Even the state of the “final object” is partial since the vast universe is not observed completely and may not be possible…

Six: The mass of the universe is unknown

Seven: The reconciliation between general relativity and quantum mechanics is still not resolved

Eight: Leon Lederman, Nobel Prize, has lauded the boson of Higgs, the smallest particle ever discovered on earth, and recently thought to be experienced in a millionth of a second before disappearing, as the “Particle-God”. If the boson is so flicker and cannot be seriously studied experimentally, what of the other high-energy particles that are available near the Black Holes and totally unknown to cosmologists?

With all these basic shortcomings, cosmologists want us to believe that it is a science because measurements are extremely precise and the mathematics are solid…

The irony is that several conjectures are proposed and heralded as very convincing and mightily solid, such as:

One: The Big Band is firmly established…

Two: The expansion of the universe or the galaxies are diverging at great accelerations…

Three:  The abundance of chemical elements in the universe accord well with the “predictive” guidelines of nuclear physics scenario of the Big Bang…

Four: The content of the cosmos evolved with time, a situation that cannot be conceived of if the universe was static and eternal…

Five: Fossil rays behave exactly as “expected”…

Six: The diffuseness of photons from all directions confirms the “finger prints” left by the intense heat generated immediately after the Big Bang…

Other conjectures expose the theory that there are many universes.  I tend to like this proposition: If we focus on studying our Milky Way galaxy instead of trying to figuring out how the vast voids among galaxies could be overcome to explaining gravity…

So what if the giant galaxy Andromeda will eventually “digest” our galaxy? Earth will have desintegrated and disappeared long time ago…May we focus on how the Milky Way behaves and how it is affecting our sun and the planets around the sun?

If all the current religions start to complicate their belief system on how the universe was created, as cosmologists are doing, I am pretty sure no one will feel confident enough to killing his neighbor on the premise that he doesn’t believe the same way I believe the universe was created…

If the western civilization make the effort of gathering the hundreds imaginative and poetic stories of how the universe was created from the minority verbal cultures, we might have a chance of appreciating the genius of mankind mind in confirming that he is basically a delusional specie…

Frequently resisting the conventional paradigms is the way to optimism in a better future.  Resisting the status quo is creating another future more adapted to our wishes, emotions, and fears…The more social values change the more capable we are in finding similarities between mankind and the animal kingdom, and the more we appreciate differences in positions and opinions among civilizations and cultures…  

Note: Post inspired from an article by Aurelien Barrau in the French monthly “Le Monde Diplomatique” # 695

How astrophysicists view the universe: What is Anti-matter?

Astrophysicists love to invent new terminologies for every theory they put forward on “how the universe functions or how it was created or behaves”.  You might discover that many of these views were explained since antiquity by scholars and “philosophers”. I will give a few samples and then offer my version that might bring a consensus of the various lucubrations.

For example:

The universe is Ekpyrotic: A pair of universes collided.

The universe has White Holes that spit out matters

The universe has Dark energy: If you regularly observe an unstable object then, it will never decay (The Zeno effect in quantum mechanics).  Thus, the universe is forced back to a false vacuum.

The universe is in fact a simulated one or a Matrix universe.

The sky is a wall with an image of its stars and galaxies: The universe is a Hologram.

There are multi-universes of an infinite numbers of universes called Black Hole Babies.

There is an objective reality of space but physical possibilities do not collapse into a single occurrence.  Thus, for every decision we make a new world is born. This is labelled Many-World Interpretation.

If the universe is infinitely old then, temperature will be uniform everywhere in space.  We end up in a starless sky.  This theory is called Heat Death.

We can compose sets of constants and equations combining relativity and quantum mechanics theories to creating the Theory of Everything.

The universe can be formulated in M-Theory, an extension of String theory.

Let me contribute my own version.  Suppose there was a Big Bang and that matter and anti-matters competed to forming the universe.  They say that matter won the final battle.  Anyway, we could as well said, by convention, that anti-matter won and it would not have changed the reality.

I say, after the Big Bang (since mankind insists that the universe must be created for power sake), two universes were created on each side of the two hemispheres on the location of the Big Bang.  Our side is the universe of matter and the other side the anti-matter.

The hologram phenomenon can be interpreted as matter and anti-matter still “fighting it out” on the separation wall or region between the two universes.  The energy ignited on this wall (that is not necessary a smooth one but can be invading the territory of the two hemisphere) show images of the sky (as if we are watching a fluorescent screen).

Black Holes in our universe are centers of Baby universes.  The entrances to Black Holes spew matters and attract anti-matter.  White Holes could be the counterpart in the other universe, spewing anti-matter and retaining matters. It is probable that the antimatter universe is witnessed from our universe.

Many astrophysicists concur that the universe is expanding.  What about the theory that in this period, more Super Novas are exploding in our universe than in the antimatter universe, and thus, the matter energy released are conquering more territories in the other universe?  Would in another periods, more supernovas in the antimatter universe explode and our universe will shrink?

Since the universe is constantly active, there is no chance for the temperature of the universe to reaching steady-state, and thus, experience a “skyless sky”, no matter how old or timeless is the universe.

As for the Theory of Everything, it is a game played by fanatic rationalists who want to believe that the universe still revolves around mankind, especially man on earth.  The Theory of Everything should not affect the convinient natural laws governing our reality, but it might heat up philosophical concepts in matters of relativity, not just in the scientific fields, but expand into morality and ethics. 

In any theory, there is an exception to be resolved; once that exception is resolved, another exception pops up.  And the cycle continue until there are one too many exception to revise the entire theory.

We live in an objective reality, and the more mankind disturb nature and the universe for million of observation every day, the more the reality changes and is transformed:  Requiring natural laws to be revisited for transformations relevant to changing objective reality.

Neutrinos are elementary particles hypothesized a couple of days to having no mass.  Neutrinos easily cross matters and the atomic core at the speed of light.  Yes, neutrinos are allocated three “flavors” or types:  neutrino-electron, neutrino-muon, and neutrino-tau (guess relating to the kinds of nuclear reactions emitting the neutrinos).  The short story is that a team of scientists announced on Mai 31, 2010 that they observed neutrino-muon oscillating (mutating) into neutrino-tau type.

Why this big fuss? Now that physicists believe that, after 80 years of experimentation, they observed one neutrino flavor mutates into another flavor then, neutrino should have a mass.  Again, why this fuss?  Physicists feel now more confident to explaining how we ended up living in a world of matter instead of anti-matter. The theory of the Big Bang would like us to believe that a universal fight of annihilation “for existence” between these two types of matters ended up with matter as victor (in our world).  So, why this fuss?  Apparently, if neutrinos have masses (infinitesimally small) then they contributed in this universal struggle for matter winning the battle!

Hold on a second.  This is not the end of the wonderful story.  There is a laboratory close to Rome called Gran Sasso, 1,400 meters below ground to shelter its rooms from cosmic rays.  In Geneva, and exactly 732 kilometers from Gran Sasso, there is this monster of nuclear accelerator of particles, 22 kilometers long, used by a European conglomerate CERN.  In CERN, protons were accelerated on a graphite target; the collision produced all kinds of particles at huge quantities.  Among these elemental particles we have neutrinos-muon by the trillions that reached Gran Sasso within 2.3 millisecond.  Of all the neutrinos-muon, a SINGLE neutrino-tau was detected (caught hand in the bag).

So much investment to proving a theory of the Big Bang that may also greatly interest superpower military complexes anxious to mass kill mankind while preserving the materials.   In the meanwhile, millions are dying of hunger, thirst, and common diseases every day for lack of a wretched single dollar to survive.  Just another point of view.

Note:  An Austrian physicist hypothesized the existence of neutrinos in 1930.  Neutrinos were detected 30 years later.  Every second, each square centimeter is bombarded by 65 billion neutrinos from stars and a variety of nuclear reactions.

Black hole: Generator of galaxies

David Elbaz, astrophysicist at Saclay and using the two huge telescopes on earth and also Hubble, guided his telescopes to a lonely star HE 0450-2958 that is far away from any galaxy.  This star is brighter a thousand billion folds than our solar system and is 3 billion light-year away.  This is a quasar star.

The most recent theory in cosmology describes how galaxies and light were formed.  The process is as follow:

You have a most dense black hole (imagine earth reduced to the size of a thimble) that absorbs all kinds of matters, gazes, and light. The matters are circling and revolving around the black hole at high rotating speed and ejecting plasma (gluon) from the two magnetic poles.  The jets of plasma reach distances surpassing 22 thousand light-year and at speed over thousands km/s.

This phenomenon of jets from a quasar star spewing plasma into space creates young stars that ultimately form a galaxy. In a sense, a galaxy is fundamentally circling a black hole that it created. Thus, black holes are the origin of the universe and light; though its initial function is to absorb whatever matters and light come close to it gravitational pull.

If it took 13.7 billion years for our current earth to exist, dating from a supposed Big Bang; and if it took 11.2 billion years for life to start on earth; and if that required 9 billion years for the birth of the solar system and 1.7 billion years to form our Milky Way galaxy, then you have an idea how long it takes a quasar star to create a galaxy.

Yes, for 100 million years after the Big Bang the universe was in the Age of total Darkness before the first galaxy was created.

I have two questions:

First, if as we are told the universe is expanding fast, then black holes are also shifting away.  To where are black holes moving?  What is attracting black holes? Are there anti-matter black holes?

Second, if universe is formed of matters then how mankind created moralities and ethics?

How have you been “existing”? (Jan. 25, 2010)

            The main philosophy of the last century was called “Existentialism” that Jean Paul Sartre (1905-1980) disseminated after WWII with the cooperation of Simone de Beauvoir who published “The second sex”.  What differentiated Sartre’s existentialism from Kierkegaard, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Heidegger is that Christianity is no longer a crutch to lean on for processing the concept to its final outcome.

            In that philosophy, man and woman have no innate “nature” to fall back on.  They just have to create themselves, their “natures” (their “essence”).  The feeling of alienation is that mankind was created without his will and yet, he is condemned to be free for taking responsibility of his actions knowing that there are no eternal values or norms for guidance and directions.  The individual has to create his set of values and his nature from actions among choices, even default choices.

            That Sartre’s existentialism allied to Marxist movement (Sartre never accepted to be a member of a political party) is part of this century struggle for enjoying the freedom that we never asked for; but “man is condemned to be free” in taking responsibility of his actions simply because he is created to be conscious of his existence and his death: mankind is not “in itself” but “for itself” and an individual relies on his existence to be whatever he might otherwise be “his nature”.

            For example, Stephen Hawkins, this crippled astrophysicist, grabbed the question of his interest (nature) “How the universe was created”.  That Hawkins offered the Big bang theory is irrelevant to the universe or to everyday man is important philosophically.  What is most important is that Hawkins must have enjoyed “the meaning of his life”.  The Big Bang proposition may be accompanied by all kinds of mathematical formulas it does not make it more believable than a childish storytelling in Bibles that are so funny to kids.  For example, why just one Big Bang? Is it because God must be one and only one?  Anyway, how many of us seriously engaged on his journey for discovering the meaning of his life existence?

            Current nuclear physicists are fundamentally pre-Socratic in their quest for the elemental matters; they want to be able to offer a satisfactory explanation of “what is matter?” This problem is thus a vital part of their “life’s philosophy”, the “essence” or an answer to the question “what is my nature”?

            Existentialism was the source of modern style in writings called the “absurd”.  For example, when you show the lack of coherence or meaning in life, then the reader or audience is forced to cultivate his “own meaning” of the story.

            Things have changed.  The world can be felt as reduced to a Town Square; instant audio-visual communications around the world is discouraging people to move out and investigate “his universe”.  The Renaissance man had to travel on horses for long distances to educate his curiosity and talents.

            Arne Naess disseminated the eco-philosophy which stated that western paradigm line of thinking is taking the wrong direction for a sustainable earth: Man is not in the upper chain of evolution and he has no right to destroy the other living creatures for his perceived universe.

            The new wave of occultism, New Age, alternative lifestyle, mysticism, spiritualism, healing, astrology, clairvoyance, and telepathy are consequences of collecting mass “coincidental” happenings among the billion of people and which are relayed instantly on the Internet.  These coincidences can be explained rationally, especially if we believe in the power of the subconscious for erratic behaviors.

            The worst part is that millions are still brandishing old Books or Bibles claiming every word for “truth”; as if we are in the Dark Ages.  Sciences and technologies have done serious empirical attempts to answering most of the dialectical problems in philosophy such as how the universe was started, how knowledge developed and progressed.  What is outside the realm of sciences is in the domain of faith which should not be confounded with religious philosophical belief systems.

            The “meaning of life” is not a solution: it is the trip, the journey to answering a single definite bothering question, a question that interest you mostly among hundreds of other pretty much non answerable questions.  This trip means working toward a resolution to the question “What is my nature?”  It is hard work, relentless, and tricky journey but nothing has meaning if we don’t feel the obstacles and hardships.

A short history of nearly everything , Part 3

Astronomy and cosmology

 Around 1930, Vesto Slipher was taking spectrographic readings of distant stars at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona and discovered signs of a Doppler shift toward red, which meant that the stars were moving away.  Annie Jump Cannon, known as one of the Computers in the 1920’s at Harvard and who was studying photographic plates of stars and making computation, devised a system of stellar classifications still in use today. 

Another Computer at Harvard, Henrietta Swan Leavitt, noticed that a type of star as a Cepheid such as the Pole Star pulsated with a regular rhythm because they are dying giant red star.  Leavitt realized that by comparing the relative magnitude of Cepheids at different points in the sky you could work out where they were in relations to each other in relative distances.  

Edwin Hubble began to measure selected points in space and showed in 1923 that M31 was a galaxy at least 900,000 light years away. Hubble inferred in 1930 that galaxies are moving away from us in all directions and that the further away the faster they were moving.  Stephen Hawking said if the universe was static it would collapse in upon itself and would have made the whole intolerably hot.  It was the Belgian priest-scholar Georges Lemaitre who suggested that the universe began as a geometrical point, a “primeval atom”, which burst into glory and had been moving apart ever since. 

In 1965, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson spent a year trying to shut out a persistent background noise when trying to make use of a large communication antenna owned by Bell Laboratory in New Jersey.  They phoned Robert Dicke at Princeton who was pursuing an idea suggested by George Gamow, a Russian astrophysicist, in the 1940s that if you looked deep enough into space you should find some cosmic background radiation in the form of microwaves reaching Earth originating from the Big Bang.

In 1934 the journal Physical Review published a concise abstract of a presentation that was conducted by Fritz Zwicky and Walter Baade.  Bade was responsible for most of the mathematical sweeping up.  This abstract provided the first reference to supernovae as neutron stars where all the other matters, even electrons, collapsed to the sort of densities found in the core of atoms; no light would penetrate that neutron star or Black Hole star.  A spoonful of its mass would weight 90 billion kilograms.  Very few supernovas explode but when they do then they release enormous amount of energy and matters that keep our universe alive and warm.  

Cosmic rays are theorized to be consequences of the explosions of supernovas.  Robert Oppenheimer got all the credit five years later.  Now, if supernovae exploded at a distance less than 500 light years, then Earth is a goner; fortunately, in our near galaxies not a star is at least ten times bigger than our sun to form supernovae.  In 1987, Saul Perlmutter at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory used charge-coupled devices, like an excellent digital camera, and wrote a sophisticated program so that the powerful computer would systematically search for supernovas through the thousands of pictures. 

Reverend Robert Evans in Australia searches the sky every night using a 16-inch telescope hunting for supernovae and he managed to locate 36 supernovas as of 2003.  How we recognize supernovae?  It is a black star and when we notice light in this dark location then we know a supernova has exploded.  Suppose that you spay salt randomly on 1500 black tables and then you add an extra grain; this is how Robert Evans has the knack of discovering supernovae.

It was Fred Hoyle who coined the term Big Bang in 1952 to express his exasperation of this theory because he favored a steady-state theory.  Hoyle realized that if stars imploded, such as supernovas, they would liberate huge amount of heat in the range of 100 million degrees which favor the formation of heavy elements from carbon onward in a process known as nucleo-synthesis.  His theory explained the existence of heavy elements, at least on Earth, since Big Bangs only releases the lighter elements only.  One of Hoyle’s collaborators W.A. Fowler received a Nobel Prize for this discovery.

Frank Drake, a professor at Cornell, worked out in 1960 an equation designed to calculate the chances of advanced life existing in the cosmos.  There might be millions of intelligent life forms in the cosmos but there are no ways of communicating with them because if any one of these advanced species, say 200 light years away, detects a signal from Earth then it would be looking at humans during the time of the American Revolution with horses and white wigs.

How Earth got to exists? Reginald Daly in the 1940s offered this explanation: about 4.6 billion years ago, 99.99% of the dust and gases swirling wildly in the universe went to making the Sun.  Out of the leftover materials the planets started to assemble in endless random permutations.  In just 200 million years the Earth was essentially formed.  An object the size of mars crashed into Earth and formed the companion Moon from the crust of Earth, thus the fact that there are no heavy elements on the Moon that constitute the core of Earth. 

When Earth was about one third of its present size, its atmosphere was leaden with noxious gases like carbon dioxide, nitrogen, methane and sulfur. The carbon dioxide formed a greenhouse effect that prevented Earth from freezing because the Sun was still significantly dimmer and could not heat Earth efficiently.  Comets, meteorites and other galactic debris pelted Earth for a long while creating water to fill the oceans.

 Physics, the quantification of Earth, and the Universe

The physicist Michio Kaku said: “In some sense, gravity does not exist; what moves the planets and stars is the distortion of space and time.”  Gravity is not a force but a byproduct of the warping of space-time, the “ultimate sagging mattress”.  This new understanding of the universe that time is an intrinsic dimension as space was offered by Albert Einstein through his Special Theory of Relativity.

Among other principles, Einstein realized that matter is energy that can be released under specific conditions so that energy is defined as the product of mass and the square of the speed of light c = 300,000 km/s.  In his attempt to unify classical and relativity laws, Einstein offered later on his General Theory of Relativity and introduced a constant in the formula to account a stable Universe; Einstein declared that this constant was “the blunder of his life” but scientists are now trying to calculate this constant because the universe is not only expanding but the galaxies are accelerating their flight away from the Milky Way.

In 1684, Edmond Halley, a superb scientist in his own right and in many disciplines and the inventor of the deep-sea diving bell, visited Isaac Newton at Cambridge and asked him what is the shape of the planetary paths and the cause of these specific courses.  Newton replied that it would be an ellipse and that he did the calculation but could not retrieve his papers.  The world had to wait another two years before Newton produced his masterwork: “Mathematical Principles of natural Philosophy” or better known as the “Principia”. 

Newton set the three laws of motion and that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.  His formula stated that force is proportional to the product of the masses and inversely proportional to the square of their corresponding distances.  The constant of gravity was introduced but would wait for Henri Cavendish to calculate it.  It is to be noted that Newton was more serious in alchemy and religion than in anything else, most of his life.

Henry Cavendish was born from a dukes families and was the most gifted English scientist of his age; he was shy to a degree bordering on disease since he would not meet with anyone and, when he visited the weekly scientific soirees of the naturalist Sir Joseph Banks, guests were advised not to look him straight in the face or address him directly.  Cavendish turned his palace into a large laboratory and experimented with electricity, heat, gravity, gases, and anything related to matter.  He was the first to isolate hydrogen, combine it with oxygen to form water.  Since he barely published his works many of his discoveries had to wait a century for someone else to re-discover the wheel. 

For example, Cavendish anticipated the law of the conservation of energy, Ohm’s law, Dalton’s law of partial pressures, Richter’s law of reciprocal proportions, Charles’ law of gases, and the principles of electric conductivity; he also foreshadowed the work of Kelvin on the effect of tidal friction on slowing the rotation of the earth, and the effect of local atmospheric cooling, and on and on.  He used to experiment on himself as many scientists of his century did, such as Benjamin Franklin, Pilate de Rozier, and Lavoisier.  

In 1797, at the age of 67, Cavendish assembled John Michell’s apparatus that contained two 350-pound lead balls, which were suspended beside two smaller spheres. The idea was to measure the gravitational deflection of the smaller spheres by the larger ones to calculate the gravitational constant of Newton. 

Cavendish took up position in an adjoining room and made his observations with a telescope aimed through a peephole.  He evaluated Earth weight to around 13 billion pounds, a difference of 1% of today’s estimate and an estimate that Newton made 110 years ago without experimentation.  John Michell was a country parson who also perceived the wavelike nature of earthquakes, envisioned the possibility of black holes, and conducted experiments in magnetism and making telescopes; Michell died before he could use his apparatus which was delivered to Cavendish.

The 18th century was feverish in measuring Earth, its shape, dimensions, volumes, mass, latitude and longitude, distance from the sun and planets and they came close to the present measurement except its mass and had to wait till 1953 for Clair Patterson (a male geologist) to estimate it to 4,550 million years using lead isotopes in rocks that were created through heating.




November 2022

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