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Latest Big Bang Stories

2008-03-11 09:50:00

The universe as we currently know it is made up of three dimensions of space and one of time, but researchers in the Department of Physics and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech are exploring the possibility of an extra dimension. Sounds like an episode from the "Twilight Zone." Almost, but not quite; according to John Simonetti, associate professor of physics in the College of Science and Michael Kavic, graduate student and one of the investigators on the...

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2008-03-07 17:40:00

NASA released this week five years of data collected by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) that refines our understanding of the universe and its development. It is a treasure trove of information, including at least three major findings:"¢New evidence that a sea of cosmic neutrinos permeates the universe"¢Clear evidence the first stars took more than a half-billion years to create a cosmic fog"¢Tight new constraints on the burst of expansion in the universe's...

2008-02-13 15:56:22

At last month's Cosmology Meets Condensed Matter conference in London, it emerged that space-time could be simulated in the lab using strange, unique substances known as "superfluids", which flow without resistance and can even climb up the walls of jars. The equations governing the particles inside the superfluids are similar to those that represent the early universe, said Ray Rivers at Imperial College London. "We hope that we can use these to check things in the lab that frankly we don't...

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2008-01-28 12:40:54

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Ancient light absorbed by neutral hydrogen atoms could be used to test certain predictions of string theory, say cosmologists at the University of Illinois. Making the measurements, however, would require a gigantic array of radio telescopes to be built on Earth, in space or on the moon. String theory "“ a theory whose fundamental building blocks are tiny one-dimensional filaments called strings "“ is the leading contender for a "theory of everything." Such...

2008-01-25 06:48:37

A distant galaxy cluster has turned into a giant particle accelerator, spinning electrons over vast distances at high speeds. Scientists discovered this phenomenon by observing highly energetic X-rays emanating from the Ophiuchus cluster of galaxies. The European Space Agency's orbiting gamma-ray observatory Integral detected the X-rays, which are too energetic to originate from the inert gas in the cluster and must instead come from accelerated particles....

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2008-01-10 11:00:51

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has revealed a never-before-seen optical alignment in space: a pair of glowing rings, one nestled inside the other like a bull's-eye pattern. The double-ring pattern is caused by the complex bending of light from two distant galaxies strung directly behind a foreground massive galaxy, like three beads on a string. More than just a novelty, this very rare phenomenon can offer insight into dark matter, dark energy, the nature of distant galaxies, and even the...

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2007-12-17 12:05:00

With its powerful detectors, Integral has performed the most-sensitive all-sky survey ever, finding expected clumpy areas at large scales in our local universe. Scientists working with ground-based telescopes have found the same local clumps, while looking for sources of cosmic showers. Integral performed the survey in the hard X-ray band of the electromagnetic spectrum. Although it wasn't the first such survey, Integral's strength lies in the fact that it is unbiased towards sources that are...

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2007-05-24 09:50:00

When Dutch astronomer Willem de Sitter proposed a static model of the universe in the early 1900s, he was some 3 trillion years ahead of his time. Now, physicists Lawrence Krauss from Case Western Reserve University and Robert J. Scherrer from Vanderbilt University predict that trillions of years into the future, the information that currently allows us to understand how the universe expands will have disappeared over the visible horizon. What remains will be "an island universe" made from...

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2007-04-26 05:16:39

If you've ever wondered about the ultimate fate of the universe, Lawrence Krauss and Robert Scherrer have some good news - sort of. In a paper published online on April 25 in the journal Physical Review D, the two physicists show that matter as we know it will remain as the universe expands at an ever-increasing clip. That is, the current status quo between matter and its alter ego, radiation, will continue as the newly discovered force of dark energy pushes the universe apart. "Diamonds may...

2007-04-02 15:35:21

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Using relic radiation from the birth of the universe, astrophysicists at the University of Illinois have proposed a new way of measuring the fine-structure constant in the past, and comparing it with today. By focusing on the absorption of the cosmic microwave background by atoms of neutral hydrogen, the researchers say, they could measure the fine-structure constant during the "dark ages," the time after the Big Bang before the first stars formed, when the universe...


Latest Big Bang Reference Libraries

Cosmology
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Image Caption: The Hubble Extreme Deep Field (XDF) was completed in September 2012 and shows the farthest galaxies ever photographed by humans. Each speck of light in the photo is an individual galaxy, some of them as old as 13.2 billion years; the observable universe is estimated to contain more than 200 billion galaxies. Credit: NASA/Wikipedia What is Cosmology? I once commented to an acquaintance that I was fascinated by the field of Cosmology, and mused that if I had more time, I...

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2004-10-19 04:45:44

Large-Scale Structure of the Cosmos -- Stars are organised into galaxies which in turn appear to form clusters and superclusters, separated by voids. Prior to 1989 it was commonly assumed that the superclusters were the largest structures in existence, and that they were distributed more-or-less uniformly throughout the universe in every direction. However, in 1989, Margaret Geller and John Huchra discovered the "Great Wall", a sheet of galaxies more than 500 million light years long...

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2004-10-19 04:45:44

Cosmology -- area of science that aims at a comprehensive theory of the structure and evolution of the entire physical universe. Modern Cosmological Theories Present models of the universe hold two fundamental premises: the cosmological principle and the dominant role of gravitation. Derived by Hubble, the cosmological principle holds that if a large enough sample of galaxies is considered, the universe looks the same from all positions and in all directions in space. The second point...

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2004-10-19 04:45:42

Redshift -- Redshift is the phenomenon that the frequency of light when observed, under certain circumstances, can be lower than the frequency of light when it was emitted at the source. This usually occurs when the source moves away from the observer, as in the Doppler effect. More specifically, the term redshift is used for the observation that the spectrum of light emitted by distant galaxies is shifted to lower frequencies (towards the red end of the spectrum, hence the name) when...

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2004-10-19 04:45:42

Quasar -- A quasar (from quasi-stellar radio source) is an astronomical object that looks like a star in optical telescopes (i.e. it is a point source), but has a very high redshift. The general consensus is that this high redshift is cosmological, the result of Hubble's law and that their redshift indicates that they are typically very distant from Earth; we observe them as they were several billions of years ago. Since we can see them despite their distance, they must emit more...

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Word of the Day
tesla
  • The unit of magnetic flux density in the International System of Units, equal to the magnitude of the magnetic field vector necessary to produce a force of one newton on a charge of one coulomb moving perpendicular to the direction of the magnetic field vector with a velocity of one meter per second. It is equivalent to one weber per square meter.
This word is named for Nikola Tesla, the inventor, engineer, and futurist.