This new equation might finally unite the two biggest theories in physics, claims physicist
Linking general relativity and quantum mechanics with wormholes.
One of the most stubborn problems in physics today is the fact that our two best theories to explain the Universe – general relativity and quantum mechanics – function perfectly well on their own, but as soon as you try to combine them, the maths just doesn’t work out.
But a Stanford theoretical physicist has just come up with a new equation that suggests the key to finally connecting the two could be found in bizarre spacetime tunnels called wormholes.
As far as we know, there are four fundamental forces that hold our Universe together – gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces.
But, in April last year, physicists in Hungary saw evidence of a possible fifth force of nature, one that could potentially explain some of the lingering mysteries in our Universe, such as dark matter.
Physicists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee and the University of Cambridge have together discovered a new state of matter. The groundbreaking findings, reported in the journal Nature, detail the observations of the long-theorized but ever-elusive state known as “quantum spin liquid” – in which electrons seemingly break into smaller pieces.
“This is a new quantum state of matter, which has been predicted but hasn’t been seen before,” said Johannes Knolle, a scientist at Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory and one of the paper’s coauthors, in a news release.
LIGO Detected Gravitational Waves from Black Holes
On September 14, 2015 at 5:51 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (09:51 UTC), the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors, located in Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington, USA both measured ripples in the fabric of spacetime – gravitational waves – arriving at the Earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. The new Advanced LIGO detectors had just been brought into operation for their first observing run when the very clear and strong signal was captured.
On Thursday (Feb. 11) at 10:30 a.m. ET, the National Science Foundation will gather scientists from Caltech, MIT and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration in Washington D.C. to update the scientific community on the efforts being made by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) to detect gravitational waves.
In the wake of some very specific rumors focused on the possible discovery of these elusive ripples in spacetime, hopes are high that the international LIGO collaboration of scientists will finally put an end to the fevered speculation and announce the discovery of gravitational waves.
If life is effectively an endless series of photocopies, as DNA is transcribed and passed on from one being to the next, then evolution is the high-stakes game of waiting for the copier to get it wrong.
Too wrong, and you’ll live burdened by a maladaptive mutation or genetic disorder. Worse, you might never live at all.
But if the flaw is wrong in exactly the right way, the incredible can happen: disease resistance, sharper eyesight, swifter feet, big brains, better beaks for Darwin’s finches.
Earth’s magnetic field is our great protector, shielding us from dangerous incoming solar radiation that would otherwise make life on Earth almost impossible. However, the strength of the field has changed through geological time, with the poles of the planet’s magnet switching dramatically at somewhat random intervals – roughly between 200,000 and 5 million years. Although the field strength has been dropping for the past two centuries, a new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests it is not in danger of flipping any time soon.
Our planet’s magnetic field appears to be quite chaotic: It undergoes not only reversals, but also excursions wherein the poles “wander,” changing their coordinates on the surface of the planet rapidly with respect to geological time, before suddenly switching back to “normal.” Although the most recent reversal occurred 780,000 years ago, the poles temporarily flipped during an excursion in the middle of the last ice age 41,000 years ago.
Beakus were commissioned to create three animated films that explain key concepts about our universe, with humour helping to explain the ‘almost’ unexplainable! Director Amaël Isnard also designed the films.
In ‘What’s Inside A Black Hole?’ ROG astronomer Rad explains where black holes come from, how we know they’re there and the strange effects they have on surrounding matter. We also find out what would happen if ROG astronomer Liz approached one!
At roughly 13.8 billion years old, the Universe might seem like it’s been around for a long time, but a new study suggests that Earth is one of the first habitable planets to form – and we’re probably too early to the party to get a chance to meet future alien civilisations.
The research looked at data from the Hubble and Kepler space telescopes, and predicted that 92 percent of the Universe’s habitable planets have yet to be born. And most won’t form until after our Sun burns out in 6 billion years’ time.