Famed physicist Stephen Hawking announced last week there are no black holes—at least not the way we think of them. His new, not-yet-peer-reviewed paper says the idea of an event horizon—the point of no escape—violates quantum mechanics and therefore does not exist. In doing away with the event horizon, Hawking claims to have solved the firewall paradox, one of the most pressing problems in modern physics.
First, some background. Stephen Hawking is a theoretical physicist and cosmologist and the Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge University. His work in quantum mechanics and general relativity is a cornerstone of modern physics and has made him one of the most famous scientists of the past century.
Posted in News & Commentary, Quantum World, Stars & Galaxies
- Tagged Black Holes, Mysteries, Nerd, News, Outer Space, Quantum Mechanics, Relativity, Science, Stars, Stephen Hawking, Universe
Back by popular demand! (Click here for numbers 10-6!) Have you ever looked at the night sky and marveled at the stars? Here, circling our lonely star in our lonely galaxy, we gaze past the bright lights, imagining the wonders they conceal. These tiny specks contain secrets about the universe we can only begin to imagine—truths that challenge our understanding of space and time themselves. Below are five more mind-bending facts about outer space and the universe. Feel free to leave discoveries that peak your interests in the comments section below.
The stars unveil the past
You’ve probably heard that the stars are far away, beacons of light shining from the depths of our galaxy. But how distant are they? Distant enough to exist in the past. Stars and galaxies sit so far apart that it takes their light years—often millions or billions of years—to reach one other. Many of the stars we see at night have long since faded or died in spectacular explosions. In fact, the farther away we look the deeper into the past we explore. As technology progresses we will be able to witness events from the early stages of the universe. If that’s not mind-boggling enough, think about this: were someone 200 million light years away to look at the Earth right now, she would see dinosaurs running around Pangaea.
A close-up view of the Omega Nebula, a stellar nursery approximately 5,500 light years away. Most stars in the region fly business class to avoid sitting next to these protostars during their orbits.
Have you ever looked at the night sky and marveled at the stars? Here, circling our lonely star in our lonely galaxy, we gaze past the bright lights, imagining the wonders they conceal. These tiny specks contain secrets about the universe we can only begin to imagine—truths that challenge our understanding of space and time themselves. Below are a few mind-bending facts about outer space and the universe. Feel free to leave discoveries that peak your interests in the comments section below. Click here for numbers 5-1!
Space and time are relative
If there’s one thing that’s absolute in this world, it’s time, right? Well, not quite. While we see time and space as constants, they are actually relative to the observer. What does this mean? According to Einstein, if you were to fly past the Earth at 10% of the speed of light, you would see some strange things. Everybody on Earth would slow down and contract—yes, actually become shorter. You could watch them age for years, but from their perspective they would only have lived for a fraction of that time. In fact, from their reference frame, Earth would be normal and these things would be happening to you. The craziest part of it all? You would both be right.
Posted in Physics, Science, Secrets, Stars & Galaxies
- Tagged Black Holes, Einstein, Lists, Nature, Nerd, Perspective, Relativity, Science
Everybody, there’s something I need to get off my chest: I am a nerd. Yes, I am an avid Boston sports fan. Yes, I spend too much time at the gym. But deep inside I am as weird as everyone else. I say everyone because I have a hunch that I am not alone: behind our mainstream interest and normal-person façades, we all have our oddities—our guilty pleasures, if you will. Below are a few of my nerdy secrets most people do not know about. I hope that this post can inspire others to share their guilty pleasures as well because let’s be honest: being a nerd is a lot more fun than being normal! Be sure to check out part two and part three!
“Hmm, if I could just adjust my flux capacitor…”
Posted in Cool Misc., Physics, Quantum World, Secrets
- Tagged comedy, Entertainment, flux capacitor, harry potter books, Humor, Interests, Literature, mainstream interest, Nerd, Pokemon, Relativity