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Archive for the ‘cosmology’ category

Apr 21, 2017

A naked singularity: Can we spot the most extreme object in the universe?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics, singularity

A team of scientists at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, India, have found new ways to detect a bare or naked singularity, the most extreme object in the universe.

When the fuel of a very massive star is spent, it collapses due to its own gravitational pull and eventually becomes a very small region of arbitrarily high matter density, that is a ‘Singularity’, where the usual laws of physics may breakdown. If this singularity is hidden within an event horizon, which is an invisible closed surface from which nothing, not even light, can escape, then we call this object a black hole.

In such a case, we cannot see the singularity and we do not need to bother about its effects. But what if the event horizon does not form? In fact, Einstein’s theory of general relativity does predict such a possibility when massive stars collapse at the end of their life-cycles. In this case, we are left with the tantalizing option of observing a naked singularity.

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Apr 19, 2017

Physicists create mind-bending ‘negative mass’ that accelerates backwards and could help explain black holes

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Scientists have created a fluid with “negative mass” which they claim can be used to explore some of the more challenging concepts of the cosmos.

Washington State University physicists explained that this mass, unlike every physical object in the world we know, accelerates backwards when pushed.

The phenomenon, which is rarely created in laboratory conditions, shows a less intuitive side of Newton’s Second Law of Motion, in which a force is equal to the mass of an object times its acceleration (F=ma).

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Apr 16, 2017

Earth-Sized Telescope Just Took The First-Ever Photo Of A Black Hole: How It Will Test Theory Of Relativity

Posted by in category: cosmology

Astronomers have successfully peered inside a black hole to take an image of its event horizon. What does this new development from the Event Horizon Telescope means in testing Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity?

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Apr 13, 2017

Mach Effects for In Space Propulsion: Interstellar Mission

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics, space travel

NASA is funding Mach effect propulsion in the latest round of advanced concept projects.

Nextbigfuture has covered Woodwards Mach effect propulsion in dozens of articles.

They propose to study the implementation of an innovative thrust producing technology for use in NASA missions involving in space main propulsion. Mach Effect Thruster (MET) propulsion is based on peer-reviewed, technically credible physics. Mach effects are transient variations in the rest masses of objects that simultaneously experience accelerations and internal energy changes. They are predicted by standard physics where Mach’s principle applies – as discussed in peer-reviewed papers spanning 20 years and a recent book, Making Starships and Stargates: the Science of Interstellar Transport and Absurdly Benign Wormholes published recently by Springer-Verlag. These effects have the revolutionary capability to produce thrust without the irreversible ejection of propellant, eliminating the need to carry propellant as required with most other propulsion systems.

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Apr 13, 2017

The gravity and light-sucking monster weighs as much as 4 million suns

Posted by in category: cosmology

AFTER training a network of telescopes stretching from Hawaii to Antarctica to Spain at the heart of our galaxy for five nights running, astronomers said Wednesday they may have snapped the first-ever picture of a black hole.

It will take months to develop the image, but if scientists succeed the results may help peel back mysteries about what the universe is made of and how it came into being.

“Instead of building a telescope so big that it would probably collapse under its own weight, we combined eight observatories like the pieces of a giant mirror,” said Michael Bremer, an astronomer at the International Research Institute for Radio Astronomy (IRAM) and a project manager for the Event Horizon Telescope.

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Apr 12, 2017

These ‘waves’ may let us see the Big Bang’s earliest moments

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

I wonder if people who were alive when Galileo first turned his telescope to the heavens in 1610, when he discovered the moons of Jupiter, realized that it was a seminal moment in human history. The discovery changed everything. It showed that not all celestial objects orbit the Earth and set the stage for adoption of the Copernican theory, which holds, of course, that the Earth orbits the sun and not the other way around. From that date onward, telescopes aimed at the sky became a staple of cosmology and a constant source of discovery and wonder for humanity.

It’s quite possible that people living in the distant future will view last year’s announcement of the discovery of gravitational waves as a similar turning point in humanity’s ability to observe and understand the cosmos.

Related: Earth-Sized Telescope May Let Us See Black Hole for First Time.

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Apr 12, 2017

Image confirms galaxies are connected

Posted by in category: cosmology

April 12 (UPI) — A new composite image captured by researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, offers proof galaxies are connected by a web of dark matter.

The universe’s cosmic web of dark matter has remained elusive, but Waterloo researchers were able to tease out its existence by tracing a weak gravitational lensing.

Typically, astronomers used gravitational lensing events to study the light from distant galaxies as the beams are warped by massive galactic structures. But the gravity of smaller cosmic objects can bend light, too — including strands of dark matter.

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Apr 12, 2017

Physicists Say They’ve Created a Fluid With ‘Negative Mass’

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Researchers in the US say they’ve created a fluid with negative mass in the lab… which is exactly as mind-bending as it sounds.

What it means is that, unlike pretty much every other known physical object, when you push this fluid, it accelerates backwards instead of moving forwards. Such an oddity could tell scientists about some of the strange behaviour that happens within black holes and neutron stars.

But let’s take a step back for a second here, because how can something have negative mass?

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Apr 11, 2017

Quantum effects cloak impossible singularities with black holes

Posted by in categories: cosmology, information science, quantum physics

By Leah Crane

Break out the censor’s black bars for naked singularities. Quantum effects could be obscuring these impossible predictions of general relativity, new calculations show.

Albert Einstein’s classical equations of general relativity do a fairly good job of describing gravity and space-time. But when it comes to the most extreme objects, such as black holes, general relativity runs into problems.

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Apr 6, 2017

Mystery of How Black Holes Collide and Merge Starting to Unravel

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

Once upon a time, two black holes collided, releasing energy which undulates across the universe. Little is known about these reverberations — dubbed “gravitational waves” — including how they were formed in the first place. However, a University of Birmingham astrophysicist told Sputnik science may now have the beginnings of an answer.

It’s believed that around 1.3 billion light years away from Earth, two black holes cataclysmically collided, releasing energy — gravitational waves — which undulates across the universe like ripples in a pool.

Gravitational waves had long been speculated upon, and were a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity, but the existence of these wrinkles in the fabric of space-time was only confirmed in September 2015.

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