Archive for the ‘cosmology’ category: Page 5

Apr 17, 2023

Disentangling the Sun’s Impact on Cosmic Rays

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

An instrument on the International Space Station has revealed new information about how the Sun’s magnetic field affects cosmic rays on their way to Earth.

Galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) are highly energetic charged particles that are produced through various acceleration mechanisms in astrophysical objects such as supernova remnants. These particles propagate through the Galaxy and can reach the heliosphere, a region dominated by plasma originating from the Sun. Within the heliosphere, GCRs interact with the turbulent plasma environment in a way that decreases their flux, causing them to diffuse in space and to lose energy [1]. Most of the impact of this “solar modulation” on GCRs is independent of particle charge. But GCR drift is also influenced by large-scale gradients in, and curvatures of, the heliospheric magnetic field and by the current sheet—a tenuous structure that separates the heliosphere into regions of opposite magnetic-field polarity [2].

Apr 17, 2023

Fred Adams — Will the Universe Ever End?

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

What does it mean to ask about the end of the universe? Can the universe even have an end? What would end? In the far, far future, what happens to stars, galaxies, and black holes? What about mass and energy, even space and time? What’s the ‘Big Crunch’ and the ‘Big Rip’? And what if there are multiple universes, will the multiverse ever end?

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Apr 16, 2023

Scientists discover a unique, tiny galaxy with big star power

Posted by in category: cosmology

Scientists looked more than 13 billion years into the past to discover a unique, minuscule galaxy that could help astronomers learn more about galaxies that were present shortly after the Big Bang.

A team of scientists led by the University of Minnesota Twin Cities used the James Webb Space Telescope to observe a very small galaxy that is more than 13 billion years old.

This galaxy created new stars at a very fast rate for its size. It is one of the smallest galaxies ever found at this distance (which is about 500 million years after the Big Bang).

Apr 16, 2023

Physicists lead experiments to explore the force that binds the universe

Posted by in categories: cosmology, particle physics

The universe began about 14 billion years ago with a single point that contained a vast array of fundamental particles, according to the prevailing theory known as the Big Bang. Under the pressure of extreme heat and energy, the point inflated and then expanded to become the universe as we know it. That expansion continues to this day.

Unlocking the mysteries of what happened in that first instant is a key subject of nuclear physics research. Rosi Reed, associate professor, and Anders Knospe, assistant professor―both in the Department of Physics―are on the leading edge of that research, probing the nature of that initial matter created, quark-gluon plasma, a fluid made up of subatomic particles. With support from the National Science Foundation, they have built a highly-specialized to measure aspects of the universe that have never before been measured.

Reed and Knospe are installing their event plane detector at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Relativistic Ion Collider (RHIC) in Long Island, New York, one of only two operating particle collider facilities in existence. They are running experiments to forward their collaborative and individual research on the strong nuclear force, one of the four fundamental forces of nature, along with gravity, electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force. The strong force holds atomic nuclei together.

Apr 15, 2023

A ‘Wormhole’ Built on a Quantum Computer Teleported Information as Predicted

Posted by in categories: computing, cosmology, quantum physics

face_with_colon_three year 2022.

For the first time, scientists have created a quantum computing experiment for studying the dynamics of wormholes – that is, shortcuts through spacetime that could get around relativity’s cosmic speed limits.

Wormholes are traditionally the stuff of science fiction, ranging from Jodie Foster’s wild ride in Contact to the time-bending plot twists in Interstellar. But the researchers behind the experiment, reported in the December 1 issue of the journal Nature, hope that their work will help physicists study the phenomenon for real.

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Apr 14, 2023

We now have a better image of black hole M87, thanks to machine learning

Posted by in categories: cosmology, robotics/AI

This has important implications for measuring the mass of the central black hole in M87.

Look at the image on the left and then the image on the right. They are by no means identical. But what if we told you that both the images are of the same object?

The object being a supermassive black hole.

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Apr 14, 2023

New map of dark matter supports Einstein’s theory of general relativity

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics

In the early 1900s, Albert Einstein proposed the theory of general relativity, which challenged everything scientists believed they understood about the universe at the time. Over the years, scientists have questioned whether this theory was true. However, a newly created dark matter map finally gives undeniable proof.

We must first look at Einstein’s original theory to fully understand this new development. Before Einstein proposed the theory of general relativity, scientists believed space to be almost featureless and changeless. Further, they thought that time flowed at its own pace, oblivious to clocks that tried to measure it, as Isaac Newton had suggested two centuries earlier.

However, Einstein proposed that both space and time were one force, spacetime, and that matter within this ever-changing stage was controlled by the curving path that gravity dictated. But to create gravity, we needed mass, a force so strong it could literally curve spacetime around it. This is where dark matter comes into play.

Apr 14, 2023

The most elusive black holes in the universe could lurk at the Milky Way’s center

Posted by in categories: cosmology, physics, satellites

— What’s the biggest black hole in the universe?

LISA will consist of a trio of satellites orbiting the sun that will constantly monitor the distances among them. When a gravitational wave comes by, the satellites will detect the telltale signature, like buoys in the ocean recognizing a passing tidal wave.

To search for IMBHs, the astronomers have to hope for a lucky break. If an IMBH in the galactic center happens to capture a wandering dense remnant (like a smaller black hole, a neutron star, or a white dwarf), the process will emit gravitational waves that LISA can potentially detect. Because the IMBH itself will be orbiting around the central supermassive black hole, these gravitational waves will undergo a Doppler shift (like the shifting in frequencies from a passing ambulance) due to the IMBH’s motion.

Apr 14, 2023

Superstring Theory and Higher Dimensions: Bridging Einstein’s Relativity and Quantum Mechanics

Posted by in categories: cosmology, quantum physics

A team of researchers at Kyoto University is exploring the use of higher dimensions in de Sitter space to explain gravity in the early universe. By developing a method to compute correlation functions among fluctuations, they aim to bridge the gap between Einstein’s theory of general relativity and quantum mechanics. This could potentially validate superstring theory and enable practical calculations about the early universe’s subtle changes. Although initially tested in a three-dimensional universe, the analysis may be extended to a four-dimensional universe for real-world applications.

Having more tools helps; having the right tools is better. Utilizing multiple dimensions may simplify difficult problems — not only in science fiction but also in physics — and tie together conflicting theories.

For example, Einstein’s theory of general relativity — which resides in the fabric of space-time warped by planetary or other massive objects — explains how gravity works in most cases. However, the theory breaks down under extreme conditions such as those existing in black holes and cosmic primordial soups.

Apr 13, 2023

First-ever close-up of a supermassive black hole sharpened to ‘full resolution’

Posted by in categories: cosmology, robotics/AI

Astronomers have used machine learning to sharpen the 2019 Event Horizon Telescope image of the black hole M87*, the first direct image of a black hole ever taken.

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