Tuesday, 6 September 2011

How long until the Big Bang is fact?

I mean, evolution is fact now, right? When we're in school, we're taught that evolution happened. Not that it 'might have happened' or that it 'probably happened'. It did happen. Like the grass is green and we breathe air.

We know that evolution is fact because of science, right? So how long before we can say 'the big bang is fact' because of science? Religious people can still say that God created the big bang or whatever, but the truth is that the earth was not created in 7 days 3000 years ago, seeing as it's most definitely at least 13.7 million years old...

If you look at research done by the COBE and with the Hubble Space Telescope, it's fascinating, because they really are on the way to being able to say how the universe was created, what it is created from and all the conditions that were around at the start of the universe.

I watched a video on youtube by the darling Brian Cox chatting about what he does at the LHC, and it was really phenomenal to hear what they actually do there. I mean all that was really heard in the news about it last year was the 'end of the world' and 'black holes' and nobody really seemed to know what it was about. But they literally have created a sum whereby if they find out the final element which was around at the start of the universe, they could literally find out what anything is made up of. And that's just like, out of this world. If you're interested, the video is here.

I mean, people may say that we 'don't need to know how the world was created' or that we need 'faith' or whatever, but I think a quote from the marvellous Stephen Hawking is in order here.

"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the universe. That makes us something very special."

And I totally agree with him. We may not need to know, and some people might not want to know, but those who do; well, it's fucking awesome.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Brian Cox is my Idol

So, I'm going for an interview and I had to fill out an 'About Me' form. One of the questions on it was 'Who would you like to meet and why?' and I had to have a minute to think about it. I have a few idols for different reasons - Jesse Eisenberg because he's overcome so much to be where he is now, Helen Sharman for being a woman in space...Kate Hudson for her ear pride (but that's a different story) - but the one person I think the highest of is probably Brian Cox.

Then I had to think why. Well, he's a particle physicist, and I'm taking physics for A Level, and it's something I'm very interested in. He's done work at the Large Hadron Collider, something else I'm interested in, because the work they do attempts to recreate the conditions right after the universe began. In short, they're trying to work out how everything came to be.

There's two reasons I'm so interested in this. One, I have this kind of thirst for knowledge where I want to know just about how everything works. Like, if I don't know, I have to look it up. I've always been like it ever since I was young, making me an insufferably annoying child, but now I can see it's probably a good thing that I'm so interested. I can't just be told 'oh but God made it', because there's questions like 'how' and 'why' and 'where did he come from?'. I don't want to turn this into a massive religious debate, but I'll just touch lightly on that. That's probably the second most reason that I'm so interested in it - I need to know how the world was created, not just 'done by God', because I'm an atheist. I believe that the world was created in whatever scientific way can be proved, and I'd love for one day it to be fact, just like evolution is and everything else.

I think it's phenomenal the work Brian Cox does at the LHC, because it's broadening knowledge for everyone and bringing new truths out. The kind of predictions they can make - the particles which originally started the universe, their super symmetry which can be compared to dark matter, the fact that the world was created 13.7 billion years ago - I find it fascinating. Really, what I want to do with my life is bring and find knowledge for others. To help discover things that aren't known yet, and to prove that they're fact. That's basically what Brian Cox is doing and he's amazing for it.

Oh, and he was in a rock band too. That's pretty awesome.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Remember when I didn't have Tumblr?

So yeah...maybe that's why I haven't posted in nearly half a year. Being honest with you, I completely forgot I even had this blog. Like I can think back to a couple of times when this would have come in handy; when I was reading about Woomera Prohibited Area, when I was looking up where to do astrophysics at uni, writing my CV, looking at female astronauts...

Anyway, I'm here now, so. I just watched Alien Autopsy again, which I love, but I was just pondering if I believe in extra terrestrial life or not. Which I definitely do. It's just whether it's the whole bug eyed alien thing. I have a few thoughts on the matter.

1. The universe is bloody massive, so why the hell would there not be anything else out there?
2. I don't think microorganisms are extra terrestrial life, because as nice as it is to find out that fungi can grow on Mars, to me the word 'life' means things with thinking brains and whatnot.
3. If there are things out there, intelligent, and they're gaining intelligence, if they ever came to Earth, chances are they would just take our fuel and resources and leave us to die. Because if they were clever enough to get here then they're not going to be friendly 'we come in peace' things. In my opinion.

Okay, so the Roswell UFO crash. June/July 1947, a UFO supposedly crashed. The fact is, being 1947, anything out of the ordinary could be seen in that way, as in if it were now with the way science is, would it be a UFO or just something that they could label? Anyway, not going to go into all of that now, I've researched it before and yeah, but then there's the alien autopsy video.
So in 1995 Ray Santilli and Gary Shoefield released this supposed footage, and then in 2006 admitted that it was fake. Only they didn't use the word fake, they used the word 'reconstruction', because they said that it was based on real life footage they had seen, which had been corrupted, dissolved, and so they had just used certain frames which they could salvage. Only they never said which frames were from the original authentic reel.

So we have two options. Number one, Ray and Gary wanted some cash, and they thought what a good idea to make this video. So they did, and they made a bunch, and eleven years later they thought by admitting to it, only making it a little more interesting than just being 'fake', they could cash in again. Which, seeing it's a film starring Ant and Dec, evidently they did.
But number two, maybe it is true. These two men could have legitimately seen footage of an alien autopsy, only no one else believes because no one else has seen it. It always comes down to faith with things like this, and that's where it makes me almost laugh, when people have faith in religion and love and other things, but never in things that may have some scientific base.
It's also where religious people always try to get me out, saying I have faith in my science and UFO's and aliens. Which well, maybe I do. But it's fun. It's interesting.

So maybe Ray and Gary did just make it all up, maybe it is a load of rubbish. But maybe there is some truth behind it, maybe there was a UFO at Roswell in 1947, and maybe there has been extra terrestrial life on Earth.

Who knows?

Saturday, 11 December 2010

The Big Bang

So, Edwin Hubble made the idea of 'The Big Bang', which is to say energy exploding into matter continuously. It came from nothing, but then what is nothing? Does nothing contain energy and dimensions? In a vacuum, nothing does. Can there really be nothing nothing?

Another theory is - is there inflation as well as expansion? The Big Bang was caused by matter made from energy exploding, but it could have been very, very small, and then inflation happened, causing it to grow. Once this finally stopped the universe then continued expanding.
Or was there a pre existing condition which always has and always will be, and inflation just started, and when that ran out of steam, expansion continued? Was there no Big Bang at all?

Is our universe the only one, or are there more? They may coexist like holey cheese, where millions of universe exist at once, but none can ever be accessed by others? Andrei Linde says there are 10 to degree 10 to degree 10 to degree 7 amount of universes.


Another theory, which makes a lot of sense to me, is that a past universe collapsed in on itself, then rebounding to make our current universe, and when the end of ours happens, the same will happen, creating some kind of infinite universe bounce. But what started the infinite bounce?
Time did not exist before nothing, but could it have suddenly sprang into existence? Or was there an event in a pre existing universe that made ours. But then what made that?

Another theory yet again is that we live on a three dimentional membrane, and all of space is part of it. Within this there are two branes, separated by a gap which is a fourth dimention of space. The two branes then collided, remaining extended and filled with the denisty of plasma and matter. But is that the Big Bang? Or a load of nonsense?

Will we ever know what created our universe?

Friday, 20 August 2010

Nebulas

So I knew I needed to post something in here, but I didn't know what. Then I was on tumblr, and I saw one of the many nebula pictures come up on my dash from the multiple space/universe/nebula blogs I'm following, and it made me think: what is a nebula. Yes, they're really pretty, look amazing, and they're interesting....but what actually are they?
Nebula is latin for cloud. It is an accumulation of dust and gas, or an 'interstellar cloud'. The gas, dust and other material clumps together to form a ball of matter, which then attracts more matter and will eventually become a star. The remaining materials then form planets and other planetary system objects. I love that, planetary system. Sounds awesome.
Anyway, instead of ranting on for ages, enjoy some images, most if not all taken by the Hubble:




Tuesday, 27 July 2010

YES. YES. MORE YES.

Okay so I realise I haven't posted for nearly a month?
...my bad ><

Okay, so firstly, I raged. A lot. This made me really angry. Like seriously, I swear I almost cried while reading it. I got really panicky and I was like "What?! No more space?! WHAT?!"
But then...I read something else.
I quote, "US President Barack Obama says he is aiming to send US astronauts into Mars orbit in the mid-2030s". Oh. My. God. Okay, so if we call mid-2030s 2035, I will be 40 then. Whoa. But seriously, I would do, I will do, whatever it takes to do it. I will stay in university for like, 20 years if I have to, I will move to America, I will become a US citizen and I will abandon all hope of having a family, because more than anything I want to be able to get off this earth.

So I was thinking about this the other day; people are clautrophobic. Claustrophobia: the fear of having no escape and being closed in. In most cases, this is like being trapped in a small room or space, a cupboard or an elevator. But for me, it's like....being trapped on this earth. The furthest away we can get from it is a few miles up in an airplane, and then we just have to come down again, onto a ball of earth orbiting a star. There is so much out there, and it makes me feel so scared to think that the chance of me even getting to see a tiny bit of it is so slim. You look at the night sky and see thousands of stars, and around those thousands of stars there are probably millions of planets, and if there is life out there and it's looking up too, it sees stars too, and we're just one pretty insignificant dot of light.

Back to the mars mission; I would seriously give anything, and I mean anything, to go there. To do that. I will study my hardest and I will try to work my way up. How I see it is I have 25 years to become one of the few people lucky enough to be able to escape this place. At one point I was thinking about joining the RAF and becoming a pilot, but I figure I'm more intellectual and to be honest I wouldn't want to waste that, because I'm more interested in the whole Physics side anyway. I just wish and hope that I'm good enough to be able to be free from this prison.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Last Doctor Who/Chemical Love

First off....LAST DOCTOR WHO?! OH MY GOD?!
It was....pretty amazing. I realise this is like a week off, but I didn't get round to writing this. I think that this was one of the best episodes of this series. I've really liked Matt Smith as The Doctor, and I think that although Steven Motaff isn't the best writer in the world, Matt has really worked with it and become his own Doctor. I also love the bowtie.

Secondly, I thought I would talk about chemical love. Basically, the science behind love.
The main hormone in love is dopamine, a catecholamine neurotransmitter which basically means it sends a message in your brain to get you to react to the person you're seeing. Then there is norepinephrine which is the chemical that gets you in the mood, and basically focuses you on one person. Obviously there is a lot more to it than this, but that's the basic idea. If you want to learn the full thing, listen to this podcast.
The way I first found out about this was purely due to the wonderful Charlie McDonnell, who's song about Chemical Love can be found here.

I'm really tired so I'll do a thing about dinosaurs tomorrow.
And NASA.