Tag Archives: astronomy

Go Jets Go!

How about those jets! Jets in space are hot in science news these days. They are hot because they are a huge problem. How huge? Try thinking of a billion times a billion miles. Let’s start small. Archerfish find breakfast using water jets. Their jets are longer than their body size. How they shoot their […]

A Small Problem

In recent posts we’ve touched upon the sorry state of physics. ‘Sorry state’ is not just my view; many physicists and science writers see this the same way. Physics has now all but lost experimental contact with the real world. What went wrong? How can we fix it? And why should we care? What went […]

Thinking the Unthinkable: How Big Is the Universe?

It’s a question many ponder. We know the universe is big. But is it finite or infinite? And why does this matter? It’s 1584. Dominican friar and Neapolitan philosopher Giordano Bruno publishes De l’infinito universo et Mondi. He argues that God, being infinite, would create an infinite universe. He has no evidence to back his […]

Does Physics Matter?

In previous posts I’ve quoted leading physicists as saying fundamental physics is in trouble. But why should you care how well (or how badly) physics goes? Here’s short answer #1: It supports a lot of paychecks. How this works may not be obvious so let me illustrate. In the late 1600s Isaac Newton kicked off […]

Is the Beginning Physics or Religion?

The universe’s first few minutes are well-understood, or so it seems. A wealth of evidence tells physicists that, after one minute (some 13,780,000,000 years ago), it was very hot and rapidly cooling, very dense and rapidly expanding, a condition known as the Big Bang. Yet most physicists are curiously incurious about how it got to […]

ULAS J1120+0641 : Voice from the Deep

  For most people, what they hear or see speaks to the here and now. But for astronomers, a telescope looking at deep space captures a message from the past because it shows a picture that took time to travel at the speed of light. Thus they measure distances in light years – in other […]

Dark Matter = Black Holes?

News from the Planck satellite is almost 14 billion years old. It’s coded in cold photons from the Big Flash, let loose about 380,000 years after the universe began and stretched as space expanded while they winged their way. The photons reaching Planck bear the same message as those seen by COBE and WMAP but […]