In a previous post I talked about the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), a large telescope being built in Chile which will spend 90% of its time surveying most of the sky a total of 1000 times over a 10 year period (in the remaining 10% it will revisit areas of specific interest). In this… Continue reading Surveying the Cosmos – Part II
The discovery of dark energy
The is a now an expanded and updated version of this post available at: https://explainingscience.org/2020/12/10/dark-energy-an-unexpected-finding/ The Expansion of the Universe Astronomers have known since the late 1920’s that the Universe is expanding. By this we mean that distances between objects which are not bound together by another force, such as gravity, increase over time.… Continue reading The discovery of dark energy
Jim Peebles winner of the Noble Prize 2019
I was interested to hear that Jim Peebles, at the age of 84, has won a half share of the 2019 Noble Prize for physics for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology. Jim Peebles (1935-) Image from Wikimedia commons In the early 1960s Peebles and his colleague Robert Dicke had predicted the existence of the microwave… Continue reading Jim Peebles winner of the Noble Prize 2019
The anthropic principle.
In his 1988 book 'A Brief History of Time' the British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawkins (1942-2018) stated: 'The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron. ... The… Continue reading The anthropic principle.
In this post I'll talk about Nicolas Copernicus (1473 - 1543) and the heliocentric theory. The move away from the prevailing Earth-centred theory of the Universe to the heliocentric theory represents one of the greatest advances in astronomy ever made. Nicolas Copernicus - Image from Wikimedia Commons Background - the need for a better theory… Continue reading Copernicus