Cool science videos (round two!)

Black Hole Artist's Impression Astronaut Falling Into Tidal Forces Firewall Hawking Weekly Show Stephen

Hey, all! To splice things up a bit and deal with the awfulness of finals (damn you, Galois theory!), I’m throwing together another video post for this week! These are the people who inspire me to share the wonders of science, and I want to give them as much credit as I can. Enjoy these videos, then go check out the creators’ full channels. Beyond!


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How do black holes emit light?

Black Hole Accretion Disc Light Massive Color Picture Artist's Rendition Weekly Show

If there’s one thing everyone knows about black holes, it’s that they give off no light. These behemoths of time and space erase objects from history, swallowing everything in their paths. Yet a few minutes of research will tell you we can detect black holes through their radiation. In fact, black holes are supposedly some of the brightest objects in the universe. Welcome to the bizarre world of astrophysics.

First of all, your science teachers were telling the truth: black holes give off no light. As their namesake implies, these objects have grown so massive not even light can escape their gravity. If a rogue black hole flew between us and the stars, the only way to detect it would be through its gravity. Astrophysicists have shown, however, that most matter in the universe clumps together. Stars live in galaxies, and galaxies move in clusters. Black holes often live at the centers of galaxies or alongside stars throughout them.

Black Hole Accretion Disc Light Massive Color Picture Artist's Rendition Weekly Show

An artist’s rendition of an accretion disc. Scientists have yet to understand why the black hole emits particle streams on polar axes.

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Breakthough study finds remnants of Big Bang

Inflation Big Bang Expansion Image Diagram NASA Science Universe Weekly Show

The universe is a big place. Most physicists say it is infinite, and estimates of our observable universe fall around 93 billion lightyears across. Fortunately, math and science give us the tools to unravel what we cannot see, such as last week’s breakthrough discovery of the “echo” from the Big Bang.

The Big Bang theory posits the universe burst from a single point some 13.7 billion years ago. In a fraction of a second it underwent staggering expansion, growing exponentially at speeds faster than light. Early phases of the universe contained plasma so “dense” (high-energy) that photons could not escape. About 380,000 years later, the plasma cooled enough to let light push through, giving the universe its first moment of transparency. This theory is widely accepted by the scientific community and explains many properties of our universe, such as cosmic background radiation, large-scale structures, and the large presence of light elements (more on these in future posts).

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Cool science videos

Stars Space Outer Beautiful Pictures Secrets Colorful Large Magellanic Cloud Star Forming Stellar Nursery Weekly Show Beautiful

Every blogger has his inspiration, and mine has in part come from the amazing science channels on YouTube. To escape the old “wall of text with pictures” habit, here is a sampling of fun videos. Check out each channel for more science awesomeness.

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Everything in science is wrong

In 1900, mathematician and physicist Lord William Thomson Kelvin proclaimed, “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.” Kelvin was wrong, of course. In fact, he could not have been more incorrect—the next few decades alone saw the discovery of general relativity, other galaxies, radioactivity, and quantum mechanics, to name a few fields.

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