Tag Archives: Penrose

A mysterious new shape seems to say something fundamental about the nature of the universe. Can we understand its message?

Plato set out to explain everything with five perfect shapes. His theory died centuries ago. But in 2013 a shape called the amplituhedron burst upon the science scene. Physicists find it performs a miracle. But they don’t know how. The answer may hold a deep truth physics can sense but can’t quite find. Understanding the […]

What Made the Big Bang Big? What Made the Big Bang Bang? A radical rethinking of our understanding of the universe

Two weeks ago we took a look at a question from systems engineer Muralidharan Thiyagarajan. Referring to the observation that space everywhere is expanding, he asks: ‘What creates the space?’ My answer is: At the Planck level (named for German physicist Max Planck who first described it) where space is made of incredibly tiny quanta, […]

Hawking’s Missing Black-Hole Radiation

There are billions of black holes in our universe. Maybe gazillions. Stephen Hawking says they give off a strange kind of radiation. So we should see them, right? Here’s a cosmological Catch-22. To set the scene, the Albert Einstein Institute says: ‘If, in our universe’s fiery youth, “mini black holes” of very little mass had […]

Ideas Live!

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 […]

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 […]

Lemaitre, Penrose and the Original Order of the Universe

Life is all about order. Life forms use energy to organize themselves. Their often-exquisite order is created at the expense of disorder which they dump somewhere else. The net effect is always a decrease in total order of the universe. It’s basic physics (the Second Law of Thermodynamics, if you care). The Second Law says […]

Staying Sane

Knowing how the universe began leads inexorably to the question: Why did it begin? So I’m writing Volume two. Would I be sweating this if I had known that it could drive me crazy? First to go there was American critic, poet and author extraordinaire Edgar Allan Poe. Always borderline-unstable, having penned Eureka, a prose […]