Odd & Amazing Facts About The Universe & Everything In It!
|Unexplained Scientific Anomalies Demystified
On April Fools’ Day, 1988, a Theoretical Physicist by the name of Stephen Hawking published a paperback entitled “A Brief History Of Time”. That day marked the beginning of a most wonderful phenomenon in which highly skilled and noted scientists began to offer up their vast repositories of lectures and complex subject knowledge in a way such that the general public could, should they choose, become highly self educated in nearly any topic. It is in this spirit that I present you today with this contribution. I intend to clear up how one should expect to view concepts such as “Dark Matter” and “Dark Energy”. I will also be presenting numerous factual examples of irreconcilable flaws that can be found in every facet of our most current understanding of the cosmos, and you may be surprised how much of what we seem to think we know about the universe is demonstrably and fundamentally incorrect.
Many moons ago a gentleman astronomer by the name of Hubble set out to uncover a fundamental property that he knew our universe must be hiding an answer to. Most of his peers at the time were of the prevailing belief that our universe was not only infinite in scope, but must also be static in state, neither expanding nor contracting, it had existed forever and would continue to exist forever. Hubble was able to take advantage of a prior yet unrelated discovery of a particular type of supernova who’s luminosity or brightness was always constant, Type 1A Supernova. Using this information Hubble was able to observe Type 1A’s across multiple galaxies over a long while and it brought him to a startling conclusion! Our universe is expanding, not static! What’s more is the further away an object is the faster this expansion is propelling it. Now Hubble new there would be a few ramifications of this new information. If everything is drifting farther and farther apart, then one can simply rewind the clock and see that this means at one point, long long ago, everything that exists in our universe today can be wound backwards until we see that every bit of material was once in one spot before it came bursting outward, this we call the “Big Bang”. Having established that the universe is still expanding it was then assumed that the collective gravitational pull from all of the matter in the universe should be slowing this expansion down until eventually it stops or collapses back in on itself in what is referred to as the “Big Crunch”. Measurements were performed and experiments were carried out and a astonishing result was found! Not only is the universe expanding but it’s expansion is accelerating at a rate completely incompatible with any existing models of the universe. This effect was so unexpected that it gave rise to a new term, “Dark Energy”. Once we accounted for every last bit of matter and energy that our current models provided we were left with the horrifying fact that our most advanced model of physics, Quantum Physics, is/was completely unable to account for over 68.3% of the known universe.
Around the same time Hubble was struggling with Dark Energy a upcoming female Astronomer was about to unravel yet another cosmic quandary. While studying photographic plates of galaxy’s a young woman realized that after you take into account every last bit of known matter, the sum of the gravitational force from everything we know of and understand would never provide enough gravitational pull to hold these hundreds and hundreds of billions of spinning galaxies together. In fact they should have all broken up and flown apart billions and billions of years ago. The only solution the team could come up with, after exhausting everything else, was that there must be some sort of matter that we simply cannot see, interacting with galaxies to keep them together but not interacting with our measuring tools. They called this “Dark Matter” and it is completely unknown.
So in just two simple recent discoveries we are able to show that out of all of the matter and energy that permeates the universe, 68.3% is Dark Energy and 26.8% is Dark Matter, leaving our very best and most complete theory of physics a measly 4.9% of the entire visible universe to tend to. The remaining 95.1% we honestly have no clue what causes this behavior, we call it Dark Energy and Dark Matter so that we may feel better in our ignorance, as it would be just as effective to call them “Huh?” and “Dunno”. Don’t let the name fool you into thinking Dark Matter is actually Matter, as we have no clue… Same goes for Dark Energy!
Take a moment and imagine yourself as a passenger in a car, traveling down an empty highway on a windless night at 40 miles per hour. In your lap lays a baseball. Looking ahead you see a stop sign fast approaching, by now it has become quite clear that your driver has no intention of stopping. As the sign draws near you grab the baseball, roll down your window, lean out and nail the stop sign with a perfect 90mph fastball. So, how fast was the baseball traveling prior to impact? I can tell you it would depend on who you ask... If your driver measured the speed of the ball from the car he would say it was traveling at 90mph. What then if I were to measure it while standing on the side of the highway with a speed gun? Well, hopefully you remembered that the vehicle was already traveling at 40mph towards the stop sign when you threw the baseball at 90mph from the moving window, causing me to register the speed of the baseball as 90mph + the 40mph it was already traveling at while in the vehicle for a sum of 130mph from my stationary position alongside the highway. Thus we will always disagree on the speed of anything that you choose to throw, launch, fire or spit at the stop sign from the window of your moving car, provided we ignore the effects of air resistance and continue to measure from our respective positions, your driver from the moving vehicle and myself while standing alongside the road. We have just arrived at two completely different conclusions for the same simple question and yet we are both 100% correct. Interesting isn't it?
Now here is where we begin to dive down the rabbit hole... imagine the same scenario. You are riding shotgun with a friend in the same vehicle on the same highway and still traveling at exactly 40mph, but just a few miles further down. You have since traded in your baseball and speed gun for a pair of shiny new headlights, a nifty book on relativity, and a device that allows you to measure the speed of photons (light) as they leave those nice new headlights. Up ahead you see me again, this time standing stationary right in the middle of the road. As a warning your driver flashes his brights at me, allowing me just enough time to leap out of harms way. Your photon speed detector notifies you that the photons you released while flashing your brights at me clocked in at a very special number, rounding for simplicity, a smooth 186,000 Miles Per Second. This makes perfect sense right? It is just like when you threw your baseball and measured its speed from the moving car, no addition required! Now, coincidentally, as I was standing in the middle of the road I also happened to have a device that measured the speed of those photons (light). What speed do you think I clocked your photons as traveling at? 186,000 Miles Per Second + the 40 Miles Per Hour the car was traveling when the photons were fired at me right? Well it would certainly seem like pure common sense, but it would be completely incorrect. Strangely in this case I also measured the speed to be that special number... In fact, if you were able to fire a single photon and have a stationary man and a man speeding towards the photon at 180,000 Miles Per Second, both men would measure the photons speed as 186,000 Miles Per Second. No need to add or subtract speed here! The speed of light (in a vacuum for simplicity's sake) is constant no matter who measures its speed or how fast they are going! Light has its very own set of rules to play by, such as rule number one of the universe... Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, which again is 186,000mps... Meaning that whether you "throw" your photon while standing still on the side of a highway, or if you "throw" it via the window of an already speeding car, you will never be able to add that extra 40mph like we did with the baseball.
The consequences of this has some interesting effects. Let us imagine another scenario...
Imagine you are standing on the open deck of a moving train. In your hand this time is a tennis ball. You proceed to throw the ball at the platform under your feet and catch it as it bounces back upwards. Imagine the path the ball travels... To your friend watching you from the same platform the ball appears to travel straight down and back up in a line. Now imagine you are the observer, only this time you are on the embankment as the train goes by. You watch a friend on the train throw the ball down and catch it as it rebounds from the train bed. You notice something different this time! Since the train is in motion relative to you, and so is your friend and the ball, you see the ball travel some distance from the point where it is released downward to the point where it is caught after bouncing back up. The ball no longer has traveled in a straight line, but instead a parabola!
Now let us take the same scenario, only this time we are watching a single photon of light bounce up and down between two mirrors on the train. Again the person standing on the train measures the distance it has traveled as a line, the shortest path between two points. However you on the ground watching measure the photon fall and bounce up in a parabola. Meaning that in the same amount of time, the photon who's speed is always constant, has managed to travel in a line for one observer, and a longer parabola for the other! Two different distances, but still at the same speed and in the same time... Relativity is a tricky one.