Edge of the Universe: A Voyage to the Cosmic Horizon and Beyond

Edge of the Universe: A Voyage to the Cosmic Horizon and Beyond

Paul Halpern

Language: English

Pages: 240

ISBN: 0470636246

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

An accessible look at the mysteries that lurk at the edge of the known universe and beyond.  The observable universe, the part we can see with telescopes, is incredibly vast. Yet recent theories suggest that there is far more to the universe than what our instruments record--in fact, it could be infinite. Colossal flows of galaxies, large empty regions called voids, and other unexplained phenomena offer clues that our own "bubble universe" could be part of a greater realm called the multiverse. How big is the observable universe? What it is made of? What lies beyond it? Was there a time before the Big Bang? Could space have unseen dimensions? In this book, physicist and science writer Paul Halpern explains what we know--and what we hope to soon find out--about our extraordinary cosmos.

  • Explains what we know about the Big Bang, the accelerating universe, dark energy, dark flow, and dark matter to examine some of the theories about the content of the universe and why its edge is getting farther away from us faster
  • Explores the idea that the observable universe could be a hologram and that everything that happens within it might be written on its edge
  • Written by physicist and popular science writer Paul Halpern, whose other books include Collider: The Search for the World's Smallest Particles, and What's Science Ever Done For Us: What the Simpsons Can Teach Us About Physics, Robots, Life, and the Universe

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Theoretical Physics Laughlin, Greg Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL) Layzer, David Leavitt, Henrietta Leigh, R. G. Lematre, Georges Levels I - IV universes Li, Miao light gamma-ray bursts light-years properties of Varying Speed of Light (VSL) Linde, Andrei “Living in a Void” (Clifton, Ferreira, Land) Local Group long-lived neutral kaon Longo, Michael Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) luminosity Magellanic Clouds magnetic axion telescope (magnetic haloscope) Magueijo,.

Data WMAP has collected. Each of these—the three-year report released in March 2006, the five-year report released in March 2008, and the seven-year report released in March 2010—offered eye-opening revelations about the nature of the cosmos. Each has provided stronger bounds on the geometry and content of the universe and has revealed increasingly detailed information about its primal development. A long-standing debate in cosmology has been the precise age of the universe. Before WMAP, the.

These are commonly known as potential wells. When a field rolls down a potential, its potential energy converts to other forms of energy, similar to a skier speeding up as he or she descends. If the field reaches a well, what happens next depends on whether quantum randomness comes into play. Classical and quantum physics treat potential wells very differently. While in classical physics, a field with insufficient energy cannot escape a well’s bounding walls, quantum physics allows tunneling.

Cosmological constant is attractive in its simplicity. Modifying general relativity to include that term requires a mere tweak of its equations. Once that term is included, the speeding up of cosmic expansion follows mathematically. Cosmologists now refer to the cosmological constant as part of a concordance model matching known astronomical data. Why, though, is the cosmological constant the precise value that it is—small, but nonzero? Why isn’t it bigger or, alternatively, just zero? The.

Planck carries a telescope with a 1.5-meter (approximately 5-foot) mirror. The mirror collects microwave radiation and channels it to two ultrasensitive detectors, called the Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) and High Frequency Instrument (HFI). These instruments, in tandem, cover a wide range of frequencies prominent in the CMB. While the LFI has twenty-two radio receivers tuned to four different-frequency channels, the HFI has fifty-two bolometric detectors that work by targeting the radiation.

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