Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Still Searching For "God"

Remember THIS? Click to remind yourself about the "Large Hadron Collider". Back in 2008 at CERN scientists prepared to use it to smash particles together and get a look at the Universe less than a second after the "big bang". They were looking for the reason matter IS matter. They've been smashing these protons together almost 7 months now.
The particle that hides from us and could explain why we are what we are, is the Higgs boson, as you might remember from the post link, above. It was dubbed the "God particle" and I remember people fearing if we attempted to re-create our Universe, we'd open black holes and the known world would ... disappear? Explode? Go to hell? There were all kinds of theories a few years ago.

Our Universe is 14.5 billion years old.

You're now looking at the most remarkable picture ever taken. It is 14 billions years old, a blink of an eye after the Big Bang. Created by WMAP, which measures the radiant heat from the BB, it shows the universe as it looked then - no stars, no galaxies. This is the farthest reaches of the universe we can reach using any source of light. The bright areas are clumps of matter which will become stars and galaxies by the hundreds of billions. DID YOU CATCH THAT???

It's the oldest because it took 14 billion years to reach us, and the youngest because it is a snapshot of the newborn universe. Many believe there could even be OTHER universes, more than this one, that at the edge of space is another dimension of another space!

What limits our view is TIME not space - beyond this distance, light just hasn't had enough time to reach us yet.

THIS IS AMAZING. It shows areas where no galaxies exist - what's out there? The COBE Project used backround microwave radiation left from the "big bang" to map it. It is our baby picture!! If you haven't clicked the opening link, please let me remind you of why we're doing this: (the ho-hum part)

Take a glass of water - it's liquid. Freeze it, it's solid. Heat it up, it's a gas. It's all the same matter, but in different states. And if you took any material into a lab and tear off the electrons from the atoms, you have another state of matter called plasma, or dark matter/dark energy, and 98% of the Universe is made up of it. Here's WMAP's model of our known universe:
Physicists theorize that before the creation of space/time there was another form of matter entirely. In fact, there's a theory that TIME may have existed even before space, in another dimension. GOT THAT ONE???

The only way to obtain this "creation" matter is to melt the nucleus of an atom, releasing what's inside. If it can be created, scientists at LHC will have darn good
information as to how this matter evolved into what is now a Universe. Not to mention you and me. (ok the ho-hum part is over)

Everything had to start somewhere, from something. We're still trying to find that "something". The reason matter IS matter: The Higgs particle. (If you need a refresher about the Higgs-boson, click the link at the start of this thing - it's called the "God particle" because even scientists realize all this started from an unknown)

You know how the universe is expanding, and that excites people? It shouldn't, the expansion is actually the BIG BANG still throwing out particles from what existed before all this did - the farther away from our galaxy. the farther they move. We know that before the "big bang" something existed that was extremely small yet incredibly dense, and when it exploded, it created the cosmos we know today. Yes, even after 14.5 billion years, it's still expanding outward from whatever it was, WHERE ever it was. And it could be only one universe of so so many more. Billions of trillions of universi. WHAT IS OUT THERE?? Since it's so distant from our own universe, this might be a very empty area of space/time. So far, so empty....

Back to work at the LHC - what scientists are doing is, instead of protons they're smashing lead ions together, in an experiment dubbed "ALICE". These tiny fireballs will exist for less than a millionth of a trillionth of a second - and generate temperatures of over ten million degrees - that's a million times hotter than the center of our star, "Sol" - the sun.

The search continues.........but hey - we got pictures!!
Some details courtesy of Brian Cox, Physics World, NASA, CERN updates


Lucy said...

A LOT TO TAKE IN. Did you write like a scientist before? A lot of information and actually very interesting. So you are 60 and I will be 81, Nov. 16, if I make it that long. Thanks for dropping in to renew old times.

Gerry said...

I love that you are so fascinated with space and love to write about it because you go places in your blog on this journey of trying to understand that I could not go in mine, but I can read what you are thinking about in yours. The same reason I borrow books written about physicists or what they are studying. I just got one at the library called "Quantum" by Manjit Kumar about Einstein, Bohr, and the great debate about the nature of reality. I don't understand a lot of what they say especially about physics but I love reading about something I don't understand that someone else understands better!

Missie said...

Intresting post. I find myself wondering about space all the time.

Have a good week.

Anonymous said...

First Cause...what seekers seek :)

Jeanie said...

I enjoyed reading about this from your point of view and knowledge.
How exciting to think about the many worlds there could be.
By this way of reasoning and explaining, we surely cannot be alone.
It is such an exciting and thrilling concept that could take over your thoughts full time. Amazing!
Thanks for your lucid information. I have never thought of life and the 'big bang' in this way before.

Jeanie xxxxx

DB said...

Very interesting Cathy. I follow the discoveries as much as I can, while following a lot of other interests. I think the discoveries and interpretations are fascinating. But I realize, even with the great pictures, that the observations are still being made by human senses. I wonder about the possibility of robotics creating a devise that can view everything from a non or super human view point and then translating it back into human terms.


Cathy said...

Hey Lucy! Yeah I always talk like this lol. Check out some of the older posts - alot is ho-hum but always something I'm passionate about. Glad I caught up with you again sweet darlin :)

Cathy said...

DB: Glad you mention that my ole friend. We do have super-robots already out there, and will be for years with more to come. Cassini-Huegens for example: what was that satellite and its probe if not a robot meant to collect, collate and dispense data to us puny humans to decipher? Wasn't Voyager a robot, able to collect Jovian data, helping us reach farther? Remember New Horizons launched on its 7 year mission to Pluto, talk about a "non-human" view as you say! We finally saw Saturnian space, its amazing moons like Titan which is so close to early earth. Hubble! A light--source into deep space allowing us to see nebulae we couldn't imagine. Now the James Webb telescope, Hubble's advanced model, can you begin to imagine what we'll get a glimpse of?!? DB I'm incredulous we've been able to go so much farther than our physical eyes, following our human instinct to SEE WHAT'S OUT THERE. Even if our eyes limited us - we just built robot eyes, and I know we'll keep improving. Good to see you again - Namaste.

Lisa said...

Well I guess since they've been working steadily we're not going to implode, explode or burst into a billion pieces! It's so hard for me to fathom...all of this ~ it is just mind boggling to me. I would love to find an alternate universe though (do you watch Fringe?). It's hard to imagine a millionth of a trillionth can even be!
I love reading your thoughts on this as you are so insightful.

Shelly Rayedeane said...

They already know the answers. They just don't want to let everyone else know what they know and the people who do know they don't want telling anybody else.

I would tell you I know but that might put up a big no-no flag.

Did you know one of the workers at CERN founded Google?

Interesting article btw.

Cathy said...

SHELLEY: Thanks for stopping by. Yes, CERN is very interested in all things internet since this is where the www started. They have many net interests far beyond what we're aware of just yet. Please tell me what you know, I'm most interested to hear what's being hidden and why.

Ana said...

It's amazing that the big bang theory is the official $cientific opinion.
I don't believe it.
Eternal... that is the universe....