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I am a low-level teacher with an amateur passion for the advancement of modern society. My specialty is physics but all forms of the advancement of knowledge are something I consider extremely important.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cosmological Recycling #3

So what can we piece together from all of this stuff. There is a somewhat uniform temperature across the entire universe (the CMBR), and as far as distant stars are concerned they are moving away rather rapidly (redshift). This leads us to believe that at some point in time everything was much closer together at a much higher temperature. How close? So close that the entire universe would exist as a "singularity" (a single point in space). How much of a higher temperature? So hot that even electrons could not stay attached to atoms, even hotter still that the parts that make up a neutron or a proton, known as quarks, could not stay together, and everything sort of floated around in a "soup". You can see an example of inflation below.

When scientists refer to this period of time, very shortly after this "singularity" began to expand (this is what's known as the big bang), it is called "inflation", or the very rapid expansion of all the material we see around us today, everything. The most important evidence of this occurring was detailed here.


Let's now discuss some of the problems with this theory of how everything began. Probably the most visible and least solvable problem is the existence of "dark matter" and "dark energy" now they didnt give this stuff these names because they are evil, just that they are impossible for us to see directly. If we can't see it, then how do we know it exists? Imgaine you are looking at our solar system, with the sun in the middle and 8 planets (I know it should be 9, astronomers are a crazy bunch) revolving around it in harmony like normal. Now imagine you cant see the sun, you still see all these planets orbiting around the sun, but you cant see the big thing in the middle that is causing them to orbit that way. That is the idea behind dark matter, although not as specific as that. Looking for actual dark matter is much more difficult, since you can only rely on what you know should be there, instead of what actually is.

Dark energy works in much the same way. Since every star we look at is redshifted in some manner, and the further away it is the more redshifted it looks there is evidence that instead of slowing down (as you might expect at the end of a large explosion) all these stars are actually moving faster. Thus there must be some kind of extra energy, dubbed "dark energy" with a negative pressure. To understand what I mean by negative pressure think about being in an airplane cabin. If someone were to open one of the airplane doors while in flight all of the easily breathable air would escape, since the air is so thin while you are flying. Then we say the air inside the cabin is pressurized, and presents a positive pressure to the outside, it is trying to force its way out. Conversely the air outisde has a negative pressure, it is trying to suck up all of the air from the inside. The same is true for this "dark energy" as it causes the universes' expansion to accelerate.

Next time ill talk further on what people believe dark energy and dark matter to be, and why understanding these forces we cannot see may be the most important step to understanding the formation of our universe.

37 comments:

  1. amazing to see how far humanity has come...

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  2. This takes me back to when I took astronomy. Is there a chance you can get a bigger picture than the on you posted?

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  3. very interesting blog at all

    i'm actually thinking about study physics but i've heard that it is very hard

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  4. Wow, I'm glad I stumbled across this blog. Really interesting stuff here, I'll be sure to check back for more of the same.

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  5. wow, that's very interesting. I never really thought about how the universe was created.

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  6. interesting post!

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  7. Thats rather interesting o.o

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  8. I can literally feel the wheels in my brains turning when Im reading this blog.

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  9. I love layman science stuff. I love the creativity and skill involved with expressing really complicated ideas to us plebeians. Consider me an avid follower of your blog.

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  10. I read Michiu Kaku's book, and although he is usually regarded as a 'pop scientist', it still got me really interested in the subject. I'll definitely be following, awesome blog!

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  11. I love science info charts


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  12. This is very interesting. I like this kind of info. Following!

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  13. Modified gravity models seem a little more Occam-like.

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  14. supposedly if all the space between matter was taken away, everything on the earth would be the size of a sugar cube

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  15. Great post man. There's really alot to comprehend here though. Makes my brain hurt

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  16. dude ur smart, i think ill stick with my movies over @ http://entertainvent.blogspot.com/

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  17. bro earth is only 6,000 years old!


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  18. wow, very interesting blog. nice work man

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  19. Very interesting, like you (I assume) I have an interest in physics, yet I have fallen behind in my passion and neglected acquiring any knowledge in the field past high school. Definitely looking forward to more.

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  20. Wow, this stuffs way past me. Well done blog post, makes my posts look like childs play over @ http://extremespooks.blogspot.com/

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  21. These are the topics I'm interest in. MOAR

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  22. My mind was blown when I first read about dark matter/energy. There are so many things we don't understand it's unreal...

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  23. mind = moderately blown

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  24. Interesting blog, keep up the good work!

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  25. I remember learning about this back in highschool lol, interesting stuff :3


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  26. We watched a documentary about this in one of my classes, interesting stuff! Follow me back if you want some workout tips!

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  27. I love stuff like this.

    I like your blog, I'll be following.

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  28. Very very VERY informative. I shall look forward to joining this blog as I messed around a lot in science class when I was younger.

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  29. I love this kinda stuff.

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  30. If you are Particle man, at what point do you fight triangle man ?
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  31. So clever and amazing to think about!! Supporting, keep up the great work! :)

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