the universe, being relatively small

the universe, being relatively small

I stumbled across a piece of beauty today… the universe, being relatively small, can’t seem to contain all my ideas, often, I think it’s far too small to fit both of us what we need is a multiverse full of quantum possibility and unloaded dice with infinite sides ready to be rolled what we need is myriad universei ready to grow or shrink to fill the needs of the people (no matter how small and petty they are) i like you quite a bit, so maybe we can have abutting universes with similar laws of gravity. I’d like to be close enough to drop by for cribbage and tea but far enough to keep the boundaries straight work with me here, it’s not easy being God. –Stephan Anstey I have always been fascinated by the idea of multiverses. So...

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Lost in the vastness of space

Lost in the vastness of space

Tonight I co-gave the opening address at the Templeton Foundation supported Q3 conference on Cosmology and Theology. It was perhaps the most nerve wracking talk I’ve ever given. While I am a Christian, I must admit to being terrified of conservative Christians. I’ve just realized I can’t count the number of churches who have made me feel rejected because I spend my days studying our universe. At the same time, I’ve lost count of the number of scientists and skeptics who’ve claimed I can’t possibly be a real scientist or a real skeptic if I believe in God. Over the years, I’ve learned how to speak safely around scientists, and I’ve learned when to speak unsafely, but the Christians – they’ve continued...

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Two Views on Gravity Part 2: Geometry

Two Views on Gravity Part 2: Geometry

Sometimes analogies just feel right. For instance, “as hard to find as a needle in a hay stack” is often a good way to describe trying to find a needed quote in a half-remembered book. The mental image and the actual task just fit. In physics, I sometimes feel like the hardest part is finding the perfect analogy that will make it possible for everyone in the class to visualize the concept I’m trying to explain. In the case of gravity, Einstein kindly provided the needed analogy. He said the way we need to think of gravity is as a divot in the 4-dimensional space-time reality, where orbiting objects simply roll around the inside of the well, like bicylcists racing around the sides of a velodrome. Ok, so maybe that analogy is a bit more...

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Do we really need Dark Matter and Dark Energy?

Do we really need Dark Matter and Dark Energy?

I’m still here, but it’s an exam week, so I bring you another guest blogger, Ethan Siegel, who knows way more about dark matter than I probably ever will (a theorist even!). Enjoy his guest post! This is Ethan from Starts With A Bang! over here at Pamela’s blog, Star Stryder. I was pretty pleased that she came across a couple of press releases and actually thought of me… so let’s have at it! First off, what do the press releases say? Dr HongSheng Zhao, of the University’s School of Physics and Astronomy, has shown that the puzzling dark matter and its counterpart dark energy may be more closely linked than was previously thought. … Dr Zhao reports that, “Dark energy has already revealed its presence by masking as...

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Dark Energy is Real

Dark Energy is Real

This is apparently the post I wasn’t supposed to publish. I wrote it yesterday, and had it somehow utterly disappear from my HD after a crash. I then was writing it in wordpress and had Firefox crash on it before the first auto save… In a really cool press release that I got yesterday but couldn’t share (silly embargoes), it was announced that observations of distant galaxies support the idea that Dark Energy is most likely a real force or field that we don’t yet understand (as opposed to it being a side effect of us not understanding gravity – it looks like we really do understand gravity). (image left of galaxy spectra from VIRMOS) Now, at first look, this doesn’t sound that specific our exciting. In fact, the vagueness of...

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1 Void a 2nd Universe Makes?

Ok, so New Scientist is just not making my brain happy this week. I decided to forage around their website  to see what was there (one of their editors, Maggie McKee, is a friendly soul I worked with at Astronomy and I wanted to see what’s she’s up to now a days). While Maggie has been writing a whole series of nice, interesting, valid pieces, I found another cosmology based story that just hurt. Some background… Many cosmologists believe our universe is one of many parallel or branching universes.  These universe’s, if these theories are right, are boiling and seething side-by-side, and (if these theories are correct) these parallel multiverses may periodically merge like two soap bubbles meeting in the wind. It may, if these...

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