Astronomy

What does it mean for space to expand?

What does it mean for space to expand?


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In this YT video Michelle Thaller says The Big Bang wasn't an explosion but an expansion and as such there's no empty center where the explosion would've been.

To explain expansion she uses the analogies of surface of a balloon being blown up and stretching a rubber sheet.

But isn't it true that any shape, be it having an edge (the sheet) or a balloon/sphere, would have a point that isn't expanding?… the center of an expanding 2D rectangle, a sphere or cube, etc?

Is it more accurate to say that it's not like a sheet or balloon but that either every point in space is expanding three dimensionally, or, that space is actually not expanding, because it doesn't exist, and that what we call 'space expanding' is actually cosmic entities traveling in uncoordinated directions?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veQtF3_2tOE


When we talk about the expansion of the Universe, we're really saying that space is being created between all matter. Let me explain.

Imagine setting up a grid that keeps track of all points in space. "Expansion" just means that the distances between objects on the grid are getting larger. In essence, more space is being created between the objects. Below is a gif I've made to demonstrate this:

A more useful way to describe this is to say the grid is expanding - that space itself, as a coordinate system, is growing. As an analogy, imagine are walking your dog. Suddenly, the ground begins expanding between you. You and your dog will separated and continue receding away from each other. So the same thing is happening with our universe.

The grid is in fact growing, and objects are being swept away with it. A consequence of this is that they can recede away from each other faster than light; while objects are indeed limited in how fast they can move through space, there is no limit as to how fast space can be created between them.

Now that we've gotten the core concepts down, I'll introduce one more bit of terminology. The "scale factor of the Universe" refers to how much the Universe has expanded, compared to now. For example, if in a billion years the scale factor is 3, that means that every object in the Universe is 3 times farther from each other compared to now. If the scale factor 700 million years ago was 0.8, then everything was closer by a factor of 0.8 at that time. By definition, the scale factor is 1 right now.

So, if the Universe is expanding now, we'd expect it to be smaller as we look further back in time - i.e. the scale factor would be less. General relativity predicts the scale factor to be zero at 13.8 billion years ago. This would mean that every object would be zero times its current distance from us - in other words, there would be no space.

If you think a Universe without space is impossible, you're correct. We apparently have a contradiction. In GR, you can't have a spacetime with zero space.

Our modern physical theories work fine up a few fractions of a second after the moment of contradiction, and our observations do agree with the idea of an extremely dense early universe. However, our theories break down as we try to model the Universe at earlier and earlier times, until they no longer prove accurate, preventing us from explaining the most interesting moment.

This is why the moment of the Big Bang is one of the biggest mysteries in cosmology. Theories like quantum gravity have arisen to try to explain the conditions near the Big Bang, but none are sufficient as of now.


5 Extraordinary Sites for Space and Astronomy Fans

If you are fascinated by space, then these sites will help you explore the cosmos like never before and help you learn more about it.

Space is fascinating. If you have a casual interest in the great beyond or are a regular intergalactic explorer, these sites will give you a taste of space like never before.

There's something indescribable about why space exploration captivates us the way it does. Maybe it's the allure of the unknown. Maybe it's about finding alien life and knowing we aren't alone. It all boils down to expanding our understanding of the ways of the universe. Some people capture it through incredible documentaries about space. Others make websites that celebrate the cosmos in ways you never expected.


What’s Causing The Universe To Expand?

If still you don’t know that we live in an expanding Universe, then I’m clearly not doing my job.

And so once more, with feeling… the Universe is expanding. But that certainly doesn’t answer all the questions that go along with the it.

Like what’s the Universe expanding into? Which we did in another video, which I’ll list at the end of this episode. You might also want to know why is the Universe expanding? What’s making this happen? Did it give up its gym membership? Did it sign up for the gallon of ice cream of the month club? Has it completely embraced the blerch?

Edwin Hubble, the astronomer made famous by being named after a space telescope, provided the definitive evidence that the Universe was expanding. Observing distant galaxies, he observed they were fleeing outwards, in fact he was able to come up with calculations to show just how fast they were moving away from us.

Or to be more precise, he was able to show how fast all the galaxies are moving away from each other. Which was your question! Just like a minute ago! See you’re just as smart as Hubble!

So up until about 15 years ago, the only answer was momentum. The idea was that the Universe received all the energy it needed for its expansion in the first few moments after the Big Bang.

Imagine the beginning of the Universe, BOOM, like an explosion from a gun. And all the rest of the expansion is the Universe coasting outwards. For the longest time, astronomers were trying to figure out what this momentum would mean for the future of the Universe.

The Hubble Space Telescope image of the inner regions of the lensing cluster Abell 1689 that is 2.2 billion light?years away. Light from distant background galaxies is bent by the concentrated dark matter in the cluster (shown in the blue overlay) to produce the plethora of arcs and arclets that were in turn used to constrain dark energy. Image courtesy of NASA?ESA, Jullo (JPL), Natarajan (Yale), Kneib (LAM)

Would the mutual gravity of all the objects in the Universe cause it to slow to a halt at some point in the distant future, or maybe even collapse in on itself, leading to a Big Crunch? Or just clump up in piles and stay on the couch all summer because it’s maybe a little lazy and isn’t ready to start going back to the gym yet?

In 1999, astronomers discovered something completely unexpected… dark energy. As they were doing their observations to figure out exactly how the Universe would coast to a stop, they discovered that it’s actually speeding up. It’s as if that bullet is actually a rocket and it’s accelerating.

Now it appears that the Universe will not only expand forever, but the speed of its expansion will continue to accelerate faster and faster. So what’s causing this expansion? Currently, we believe it’s mostly momentum left over from the Big Bang, and the force of dark energy will be accelerating this expansion. Forever.

How do you feel about a rapidly accelerating expanding Universe? Tell us in the comments below.

And if you like what you see, come check out our Patreon page and find out how you can get these videos early while helping us bring you more great content!


CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy — At a time of growing diffidence toward some new scientific discoveries, the one and only Vatican institution that does scientific research recently launched a campaign to promote dialogue between faith and science.

It's the Vatican Observatory, located on the grounds of the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, a medieval town in Alban Hills 15 miles southeast of Rome.

The director, Brother Guy Consolmagno, is giving this reporter a guided tour of the grounds. We drive along a cypress-lined road, admiring majestic gardens and olive groves nestled near the remains of a palace of the Roman Emperor Domitian, before reaching a field with farmworkers and animals.

"This is the end that has the papal farm, so you can see the cows the papal milk comes from," Consolmagno says as he points out the working farm that provides the pope at the Vatican with vegetable and dairy products.

(Pope Francis, known for his frugality and habit of not taking vacations, decided not to use the papal summer villa, which he considers too luxurious. But he ordered the estate become a museum open to the public.)

For most of its history, the Catholic Church rejected scientific findings that conflicted with its doctrine. During the Inquisition, it even persecuted scientists such as Galileo Galilei.

In the Middle Ages, it became apparent that the Julian calendar, named for Julius Caesar and established in 46 B.C., had accumulated numerous errors. But it wasn't until 1582 that the Vatican Observatory was born with the reform of the Gregorian calendar (named for Pope Gregory XIII) that, based on observation of the stars, established fixed dates for religious festivities.

Consolmagno takes pains to rebut the anti-science image of the Catholic Church. He cites the 19th century Italian priest Angelo Secchi as a pioneer in astronomy and the 20th century Belgian priest Georges Lemaître, known as "father of the Big Bang theory," which holds that the universe began in a cataclysmic explosion of a small, primeval superatom.

Run by Jesuits, the Observatory moved to this bucolic setting in the 1930s, when light pollution in Rome obstructed celestial observation.

One domed building in the papal gardens houses a huge telescope dating from 1891. It's called Carte du Ciel — map of the sky — and it stands under a curved ceiling that slides open. Consolmagno says, "It was one of about 18 identical telescopes that were set up around the world to photograph the sky, and every national observatory was given its own piece of sky to photograph." He adds, it was "one of the first international projects of astronomy."

A native of Detroit, Consolmagno studied physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, volunteered with the Peace Corps in Africa and taught physics before becoming a Jesuit brother in his 40s. He has been at the Observatory for three decades. His passion for astronomy started with a childhood love of science fiction.

"I love the kind of science fiction that gives you that sense of wonder, that reminds you at the end of the day why we dream of being able to go into space," Consolmagno says.

A passionate Star Wars fan, he tells this reporter proudly, "even Obi-Wan Kenobi came to visit" the Observatory, pointing to the signature of actor Alec Guinness, who played the role in the original movie trilogy, in a visitor's book from 1958.

Top scientists teach at the Observatory's summer school. And scientists and space industry leaders have come for a United Nations-sponsored conference on the ethics and peaceful uses of outer space. It cooperates with NASA on several space missions and it operates a modern telescope in partnership with the University of Arizona.

"But where we still need to work is with the rest of the world," says the Observatory director, "the people in the pews, especially nowadays. There are too many people in the pews who think you have to choose between science and faith."

To reach those people, the Observatory recently launched a new website and podcasts exploring issues such as meteorites hitting the Earth or how to live on the moon.

And an online store sells merch — hoodies, caps, tote bags and posters of the Milky Way.

In just a few months, says the director, visitors to the website have doubled.

As to how the faith-versus-science culture wars can be resolved, Consolmagno says what's most important is that he wears a collar — he is a devoutly religious person who also considers himself an "orthodox scientist." "That fact alone shatters the stereotypes," he says.

Another American at the Observatory shattering stereotypes is Brother Robert Macke, curator of the collection of meteorites — rocks formed in the early days of the solar system.

Holding a dark rock a few inches long, he says it was formed 4.5 billion years ago — providing clues on how the solar system was formed.

"In order to understand the natural world," he says, "you have to study the natural world. You cannot just simply close your eyes and ignore it or pretend that it is other than it is. You have to study it and you have to come to appreciate it."

Consolmagno — asked how the study of the stars interacts with his faith — says astronomy doesn't provide answers to theological questions, and scripture doesn't explain science. "But the astronomy is the place where I interact with the Creator of the universe, where God sets up the puzzles and we have a lot of fun solving them together," the director says.

And he believes the recent dark period of the pandemic has weakened the arguments of those who are skeptical of science.

"Because people can see science in action, science doesn't have all the answers," he says. "And yet science is still with all of its mistakes and with all of its stumbling is still better than no science."


If the Universe Is Expanding, What Does It Expand Into?

The universe doesn't have to be expanding into anything in order to expand. I know that sounds ridiculous, so let me give you a different example that is easier to understand.

Imagine that you have a line that goes on forever. On that line, you have a mark every inch. There are an infinite number of inches. Now move each marker so that they are separated by two inches. The whole pattern has expanded. It still goes to infinity, but the markers are further apart. The pattern has expanded, but the length is still infinite.

Now a new example: Suppose you have a long piece of rubber, going all the way to infinity. (That piece of rubber represents the universe.) The rubber has marks on it every inch. Now stretch the rubber, until the markers are two inches apart. It still goes to infinity—but it has expanded.

Physicists think of "space" not as emptiness, but similar to a piece of rubber. (But they don't call it rubber they call it the "vacuum." "Particles," in physics, are just vibrations of the vacuum.) The vacuum can expand, just like the piece of rubber. But because it goes all the way to infinity, it doesn't need more space. A clever way to say it is that "there's lots of room at infinity". (That's clever, but it doesn't really explain anything.)

Now here is something new that might confuse you, or might help. In the standard physics theory, the galaxies are all getting farther apart that is the expansion of the universe. Yet in the way the theory describes it (I mean in General Relativity Theory), none of the galaxies are actually moving. All that is happening is that the amount of space (vacuum) in between them is increasing.

No, you will not learn this in school, or even in college (unless you have an extraordinary professor). It is usually taught in graduate school, when you are earning a Ph.D. degree. At that point the language you will encounter is this: "In the Big Bang Theory, all galaxies have fixed coordinates. (That means they are not moving.) The 'expansion' is described by the 'metric tensor,' which describes the distances between those fixed coordinates. In the Big Bang Theory, it is the metric tensor which is changing that represents the expansion of the universe, even though the galaxies aren't moving. The recent discovery of accelerated expansion means that the rate of expansion is increasing."

Maybe you've read about the curvature of space. Put a black hole between two unmoving objects, and the distance between them will suddenly increase—even though they haven't moved. So "distance" is not as simple as people thought. It was Einstein who came up with the remarkable idea that "space" (that is, vacuum) is flexible it can curve and stretch.

I expect you will find this to be very confusing. That's not a bad sign it is a good one. When you learn new things that are completely different than you ever imagined, then "confusion" is the first step.


Get away from the city

It turns out that all the light from our buildings and street lamps lights up the night sky, much like sunlight does, making it harder to see the really good stuff. You’ll find that you see more from your local park than your backyard, and more again from somewhere like Kings Park.

Here in WA, beaches can be particularly good places to go. Not only is there soft sand to lie on, but facing out towards the ocean gives you a clear horizon, uninterrupted by hills and trees, meaning you can see more.

But by far your best option is to get away from the city altogether. Once you’re out in the hills or up or down the coast, you’ll start to get much less light from humans, and much more from the rest of the universe. The further you get, the more you’ll see.


8 Comments

I have a question. Taking into consideration fractals (eg. the atom, the solar system, and galaxies) why is it you think the universe is expanding at all? everything seems to revolve around a central core. The galaxies if rotating along with us then only 2 things can be happening. Either the galaxies are far (toward the outer edge) or near (along the inner edges) and therefore as we rotate along with them we are either approaching them or we have passed them and moving away from them. This would easily explain your red shift. Lets take for example Jupiter. in the night sky as our orbit approaches the orbit of jupiter the red shift will change as will the shift change as our orbit passes juipter and instead of approaching jupiter we are now moving away and thus shifted more towards the red. unfortunatelly the millions or billions of years it would take for the actual shift to change (in a galaxy) would be hard to actually observe. so again back to my question. How is it you know the universes is actually expanding.

@Jason
A.
We say the Universe is expanding because in every direction we look, the stars and galaxies are in red shift (the normal wavelength of light has been stretched on it’s journey to us). This measurement of the amount of red shift is not linear to the measurement of the Galaxies distance. This applies on a Universal basis.
Matter does have a habbit of ‘clumping’ together through gravity and it would be true to say that Andromeda, our nearest Galaxy is actually moving toward us. Though it will take billions of years before our Galaxies collide. On a Galactic level Andromeda is closing in on us, but on a Universal scale, Galaxies in all directions are red-shifted and moving away from us in all directions.
We know the Earth is not in the centre of the Universe and that we inhabit an outer spiral arm of the Milky Way Galaxy we can say that this expansion is not just local to our area of space but a Universal event.
We can explain how all Galaxies in general are expanging away from each other with the notion that it is the ‘space’ between each Galaxy that is expanding.
Hope that helps.
Q.
What I find fascinating is that no two objects can move away from each other faster than the speed of light. However THREE objects can. Object 1 can only move away from it’s neighbouring Object 2 at light speed, and Object 3 can move away from it’s neighbour Object 2 at light speed.
The result is Object 1 can not ‘see’ Object 3 as light speed is insufficient to traverse the distance of expansion beyond the rate of separation of bodies 1 and 3. Thus we have an apparent ‘edge’ to the Universe.
If we were standing at the very edge of what Hubble can visibly show us – How much further could we look?
The mind boggles.
To briefly go mad, we could state that Object 3 can communicate with Object 2 via light communication and Object 2 can communicate with Object 1 via light, BUT Object 3 can’t communicate directly with Object 1 as the expansion is greater than light speed (unless the information was relayed via Object 2. )
Bonkers!
I love this show!

Question
What do you mean by “Universe is expanding?”
Does it mean only going away from each other.
Or Does it mean more matter is added to the Universe?
If yes, from where is it coming?
Pls reply in such a manner that any layman can understand.
P.J.LAKHAPATE
[email protected]

Would love to follow you all on Twitter, but the search feature on Twitter has been out of commission for some time, and nowhere on your ‘contact us’ page do you mention your Twitter ID’s.
Perhaps you could include that in an upcoming show?
Thanks,
H

Regarding the question “Will the Sidereal Day and the Solar Day ever be the same?” the answer should have been yes. The Sidereal Day can have the same length as the Solar Day. If the earth rotates at a certain speed so that it takes 2 years for a complete revolution then the solar day should be equal to the sidereal day.

What is it with scientist and thier deal with dark matter and dark energy. There is somthing they think they cant explain and they decide to just give it a label that they invent. What if the universe is much older than people think. We can only see the matter in this universe that still gives off some type of radation. What about all the existing matter that is no longer giving off this radation? is it dark matter? In a sense yes but it does not fit into the description that is currently given or does it? Is the fabeld dark matter just dead stars and pllanets?
And what about this dark energy? Dark energy sounds like an over active imagination at work. I mean dark energy would be energy that has already been used, since it can not be created or destroyed according to conservation then the energy would just either become heat or actually become matter so why have these people invented dark matter and dark energy?

I have a question. Taking into consideration fractals (eg. the atom, the solar system, and galaxies) why is it you think the universe is expanding at all? everything seems to revolve around a central core. The galaxies if rotating along with us then only 2 things can be happening. Either the galaxies are far (toward the outer edge) or near (along the inner edges) and therefore as we rotate along with them we are either approaching them or we have passed them and moving away from them. This would easily explain your red shift. Lets take for example Jupiter. in the night sky as our orbit approaches the orbit of jupiter the red shift will change as will the shift change as our orbit passes juipter and instead of approaching jupiter we are now moving away and thus shifted more towards the red. unfortunatelly the millions or billions of years it would take for the actual shift to change (in a galaxy) would be hard to actually observe. so again back to my question. How is it you know the universes is actually expanding.
# Sci-Fi Si Says:
November 10th, 2008 at 4:28 pm
@Jason
A.
We say the Universe is expanding because in every direction we look, the stars and galaxies are in red shift (the normal wavelength of light has been stretched on it’s journey to us). This measurement of the amount of red shift is not linear to the measurement of the Galaxies distance. This applies on a Universal basis.
Matter does have a habbit of ‘clumping’ together through gravity and it would be true to say that Andromeda, our nearest Galaxy is actually moving toward us. Though it will take billions of years before our Galaxies collide. On a Galactic level Andromeda is closing in on us, but on a Universal scale, Galaxies in all directions are red-shifted and moving away from us in all directions.
We know the Earth is not in the centre of the Universe and that we inhabit an outer spiral arm of the Milky Way Galaxy we can say that this expansion is not just local to our area of space but a Universal event.
We can explain how all Galaxies in general are expanging away from each other with the notion that it is the ‘space’ between each Galaxy that is expanding.
Hope that helps.
Q.
What I find fascinating is that no two objects can move away from each other faster than the speed of light. However THREE objects can. Object 1 can only move away from it’s neighbouring Object 2 at light speed, and Object 3 can move away from it’s neighbour Object 2 at light speed.
The result is Object 1 can not ‘see’ Object 3 as light speed is insufficient to traverse the distance of expansion beyond the rate of separation of bodies 1 and 3. Thus we have an apparent ‘edge’ to the Universe.
If we were standing at the very edge of what Hubble can visibly show us – How much further could we look?
The mind boggles.
To briefly go mad, we could state that Object 3 can communicate with Object 2 via light communication and Object 2 can communicate with Object 1 via light, BUT Object 3 can’t communicate directly with Object 1 as the expansion is greater than light speed (unless the information was relayed via Object 2. )

#
I have a question. Taking into consideration fractals (eg. the atom, the solar system, and galaxies) why is it you think the universe is expanding at all? everything seems to revolve around a central core. The galaxies if rotating along with us then only 2 things can be happening. Either the galaxies are far (toward the outer edge) or near (along the inner edges) and therefore as we rotate along with them we are either approaching them or we have passed them and moving away from them. This would easily explain your red shift. Lets take for example Jupiter. in the night sky as our orbit approaches the orbit of jupiter the red shift will change as will the shift change as our orbit passes juipter and instead of approaching jupiter we are now moving away and thus shifted more towards the red. unfortunatelly the millions or billions of years it would take for the actual shift to change (in a galaxy) would be hard to actually observe. so again back to my question. How is it you know the universes is actually expanding.
# Sci-Fi Si Says:
November 10th, 2008 at 4:28 pm
@Jason
A.
We say the Universe is expanding because in every direction we look, the stars and galaxies are in red shift (the normal wavelength of light has been stretched on it’s journey to us). This measurement of the amount of red shift is not linear to the measurement of the Galaxies distance. This applies on a Universal basis.
Matter does have a habbit of ‘clumping’ together through gravity and it would be true to say that Andromeda, our nearest Galaxy is actually moving toward us. Though it will take billions of years before our Galaxies collide. On a Galactic level Andromeda is closing in on us, but on a Universal scale, Galaxies in all directions are red-shifted and moving away from us in all directions.
We know the Earth is not in the centre of the Universe and that we inhabit an outer spiral arm of the Milky Way Galaxy we can say that this expansion is not just local to our area of space but a Universal event.
We can explain how all Galaxies in general are expanging away from each other with the notion that it is the ‘space’ between each Galaxy that is expanding.
Hope that helps.
Q.
What I find fascinating is that no two objects can move away from each other faster than the speed of light. However THREE objects can. Object 1 can only move away from it’s neighbouring Object 2 at light speed, and Object 3 can move away from it’s neighbour Object 2 at light speed.
The result is Object 1 can not ‘see’ Object 3 as light speed is insufficient to traverse the distance of expansion beyond the rate of separation of bodies 1 and 3. Thus we have an apparent ‘edge’ to the Universe.
If we were standing at the very edge of what Hubble can visibly show us – How much further could we look?
The mind boggles.
To briefly go mad, we could state that Object 3 can communicate with Object 2 via light communication and Object 2 can communicate with Object 1 via light, BUT Object 3 can’t communicate directly with Object 1 as the expansion is greater than light speed (unless the information was relayed via Object 2. )


Astronomy Branches

As already mentioned, astronomy is divided into two branches: astronomy of observation and theoretical astronomy.

Observation astronomy focuses on acquiring information and analyzing data using the basic physical principles. Theoretical astronomy is oriented to the development of analytical computer models to describe objects and astronomical phenomena.

The two fields of astronomy complement each other, so that theoretical astronomy is responsible for seeking an explanation for the results of astronomy observation.

Also, observational astronomy is used to confirm the results given by theoretical astronomy (Physics, 2015).

Beginning astronomers have contributed many important astronomical discoveries. In this way, astronomy is considered one of the few sciences where beginning scientists can play an active and important role, especially in the discovery and observation of transient phenomena (Daily, 2016).

Observation astronomy

Observation astronomy is the field of astronomy that focuses on the direct study of stars, planets, galaxies and any type of celestial body of the universe.

For this field, astronomy uses the telescope, however, the first astronomers observed the celestial bodies without any help.

The modern constellations were conceived by the first astronomers from the observation of the night sky. In this way, five planets of the solar system were identified (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) and the modern constellations were proposed.

Modern telescopes (reflectors and refractors) were invented to reveal in greater detail what could be found with the naked eye (California, 2002).

Theoretical Astronomy

Theoretical astronomy is the branch of astronomy that allows to analyze the way in which the systems have evolved.

Unlike many other fields of science, astronomers can not observe any system completely from the moment it is born to the one that dies. The origin of planets, stars and galaxies dates back to millions (even billions) of years ago.

Therefore, astronomers must rely on photographs of celestial bodies in different evolutionary states to determine how they were formed, evolved, and died.

In this way, theoretical astronomy tends to mingle with observation, as it takes data from it to create simulations.


How to expand and simplify brackets

In order to expand and simplify brackets:

There are three ways to expand and simplify brackets as covered below:

Expand the brackets to give the following expression:

Remember: expressions with two terms like 5x + 7 are known as binomials.

2 Expand and simplify with two or more brackets.

Expand the brackets to give the following expression:

Remember: expressions with three terms like x 2 + 4x − 5 are known as trinomials.

An expression that contains more than two terms and includes variables and coefficients is called a polynomial.

3 Expand and simplify with surds.


Cosmology

This web page contains a collection of articles written by me, and published in Sky and Telescope magazine, Astronomy magazine, and others. Virtually all of the questions that you may have about cosmology can be answered by reading one or another of these essays. I will eventually provide links to these essays so you can easily read these basic articles in cosmology. Meanwhile, several of my blog essays cover these topics too!

Patterns in the Void:Why nothing is important, is now out-of-print and explained some of the exciting, and troubling, aspects of modern cosmology.

My new book Exploring Quantum Space explains why space is far more mysterious than being just a container of things.

Popular Science Articles (1983 – 2007):

These essays were originally published as feature articles in magazines and newspapers between 1984 and 2007 and are a bit out of date by now, so I have updated them as new blog essays to make them more readable and current!

If you are interested in learning more about various aspects of Big Bang theory that have to do with the conditions in the universe just ‘before’ and just after the Big Bang.

If you want to learn more about how physicists and astronomers are beginning to view the concept of a vacuum

  1. The Decay of the False Vacuum (Astronomy, November 1983)
  2. Does Space Have More Than 3 Dimensions?( Astronomy, November 1984)
  3. Space-Time : The Final Frontier ( Sky and Telescope, February 1996)
  4. What if String Theory is Wrong (Astronomy, February 2007)

If you want to learn more about the so-called cosmological constant introduced originally by Albert Einstein as a ‘fudge factor’ to make the universe non- expanding.

Here are two essays about what it means for the universe to expand, and how many educators and text book authors continue to get the description of it wrong

  1. The Cosmological Redshift Explained (Sky and Telescope, February 1993)
  2. The Big Bang was NOT a Fireworks Display!! (Washington Post newspaper, ‘Horizon’ Section, May 14, 1997)
  • Where in the universe did the Big Bang happen?
  • What facts disprove the Big Bang theory?
  • How can an infinite universe have a beginning in time?
  • What exactly is a sub-atomic particles structure like?
  • Is the empty space inside particles the same kind as there is inside atoms?
  • Do other dimensions exist?
  • Does the physical vacuum produce a pressure that can be measured?
  • What prevents densities higher than the Planck Limit from happening?
  • How much of a charge excess would be needed in the universe to produce detectable non-gravitational motions?
  • Does anyone really understand general relativity well enough to have an intuitive grasp of the universe?
  • How do you really know that general relativity stops working inside black holes?
  • Can you go faster than the speed of light by altering space in some way?
  • What are the 󈧎 dimensions’ that physicists are always talking about?
  • What is the simplest evidence that there are more than 4 dimensions?
  • Is there a ‘smallest possible size’ to space beyond which it cannot be further divided?
  • How do you reconcile quantum mechanics with general relativity?
  • Are there alternatives to General Relativity?