What exactly happened when the universe was born? What happened at the Big Bang? is the title of last summer’s popular science exhibition sponsored by six leading British universities and the Royal Society in London. Amid much fascinating information, the exhibition’s answer was: We don’t know. Yet, as Science Seen’s readers will recall, that answer […]
Tag Archives: Lemaitre
The universe has an arithmetic of its own that answers a deep question about the nature of math.
Here’s a burning question behind the facade of math: Is math a property of the universe that we discover (a view philosophy calls realism); or is math an invention of our minds (fictionalism)? If “our” math is a property of the universe then we may get it right or wrong but we can’t change it; […]
Out of this world: Are the laws of physics different in other parts of the universe?
Inflationary theories say the laws of physics should be different in other parts of the universe. Some have claimed to have observed evidence of variation. Now, in a high-precision study using a giant telescope (Arecibo; it’s the one James Bond and Natalya Simonova discover in GoldenEye), scientists observed no variation. But the universe may be […]
Twin mysteries: A ghostly fundamental particle and a physicist who disappeared after saying its antiparticle may not exist
Twin mysteries arose around 1937 when Italian theoretical physicist Ettore Majorana suggested neutrinos are their own antiparticles. Soon afterward he took the night ferry from Palermo to Napoli and vanished, leaving us to ask: What happened to him; and was he right? The Standard Model has a place for every known elementary particle. It says […]
Physics has long been confused about the concept of ‘now’. New insights show that it is fundamental.
A sense of Now is the universal human experience. Yet modern physics cannot handle the concept of the present moment. Indeed relativity—our great theory of space and time—insisted on embedding it within a time dimension and then crossbreeding this dimension with three space dimensions to make spacetime. This was a blunder. It blocks progress. Physics […]
If There Are 9 Space Dimensions Why Do We See 3?
Why does our universe have three space dimensions? As if that question is not tough enough, string theory says that it has nine. So why do we see three? Some say there will never be an explanation, that it is just a “brute fact”. Others say this is one of the ultimate questions and that […]
What’s In a Metric? More Than You Might Think
For more than a hundred years a metric has been seen as a good thing. Turns out it’s not; indeed it’s definitely bad. First, what’s a metric? That gets complicated; it’s an assumed property of space. It’s like a ruler science uses to make measurements of many kinds, like lengths of lines (both straight and […]
A Foundation for Building Real Physics (At Last)
Physics has two great theories, general relativity and quantum mechanics. Each does very well in its domain. That is nice but plainly isn’t real. Each is fundamentally at odds with the other. And neither of them works at all with the conditions that existed when the universe began. How can we find a single theory […]
Philosophy involves the study of ideas. Yet some (like Stephen Hawking) say philosophy is dead. Others (such as Neil deGrasse Tyson) say philosophy may be alive but its ideas have no use in physics. Both of these exemplars hold the degree of Doctor of Philosophy so they should know. But so do I and I […]