Matter, Energy, Space, Time, Life

13.7 billion years ago, there was a huge explosion – what we all know as the big bang.

A sea of particles formed due to big bang. Matter and antimatter collisions resulted destruction of almost everything that was formed from the bigbang. Only a billionth of what was left over goes into making the current universe after baryogenesis and Big Bang Nucleosynthesis.

300 million years after the explosion, stars start to form. Stars are formed due to gravity which causes hydrogen to come together. Temperature of stars begin to rise as Nuclear Fusion starts. Stars in close proximity form galaxies.

Milky way was formed 13 billion years ago. It is 6000 billion miles in diameter with 2000 billion stars. Earth was formed 4.6 billion years ago, nearly same time as the Sun.

As conditions became conducive, life formed on planet earth. Life is what matter does mysteriously. Bacteria have lived on without intelligence for over 3 billion years now. The last asteroid strike was 65 million years ago and it wiped out dinosaurs. For 10000 years now, humans have dominated the planet. They say that mass annihilation of life in this planet could happen in 2012. In year 2029, asteroid 99942 Apophis could strike the earth. At some uncertain time in the distant future, gamma rays from WR104 could fry our planet.

Even if none of that happens, within 5 billion years, the sun will grow in size as it ages. As sun becomes a red giant, the temperature of the planets in the solar system would rise. Oceans of the earth would evaporate. Tiny life forms would would outlive the human race by several million years. Will we have to escape to another planet? How about Gliese581d? Does Gliese581d have low gravity could possibly weaken muscles of future generations? Would it be void of an ozone layer like our Mars? Eventually, all life on earth would perish because of the heat. Even later, the earth will be pulled into the sun.

Like the earth, the sun will perish too. Gravity Vs Fusion. Gravity will finally win.

Not all stars would die quietly like the sun. Some stars explode as Supernovae. With the end of a life of a star by explosion, a black hole is bornGravitational singularity is the centre of a black hole where time and space stop. A singularity is where our present science stops. Its scientists way of saying “We dont know”.

A black hole will pull every thing towards it. A black hole the size of a golf ball will weigh as much as planet earth. But black holes can be as big as a solar system. Some of them can be super massive black holes.

A 11 million mile diameter super massive black hole is at the heart of our own Milky way. Stars revolve super massive black holes. A quasar is a compact region in the center of a massive galaxy surrounding the central Super massive black hole. Quasars are the brightest known things in the universe and we already know about thousands of quasars. Quasars calm down when galaxies age.

No mass or energy can escape a black hole. Matter and energy are but interchangeable things. What happens to all that that goes into a black hole? No one knows.

As you approach a black hole, you would reach the Event Horizon. Event Horizon is where time is stopped by gravity. Physical laws as we know them stop working at the event horizon. Black hole is an object that changes physical laws as we know them. Yet, our SWIFT mission reveals that a black hole is formed every day within the space known to humans. We dont yet know what physical laws govern a black hole.

Some feel that black hole might be the reverse of a big bang. Matter enters a black hole by gravity and exits through a big bang. Black holes seem to drink up matter and then spit it out into a parallel universe. A black hole could be the connection to a parallel universe. Black holes could be universe’s way of renewing itself.

While we know black holes can eat up stars and even galaxies, we also know that the expansion of the universe is accelerating contrary to all known laws of gravity.

Dark energy is the term used by cosmologists to explain why the expansion of the universe is accelerating rather than slowing due to gravitation. The behavior of dark energy would determine if the universe would be headed for a big freeze, big rip, big crunch, big bounce, multiverse or have no end with any cosmic certainty.

How will the universe end? We have many people guessing at it. Can you re-boot the universe? As in, end it and begin it again? Now that is a real question. Good luck figuring that out. Everything else is, but, of course, elementary.

Is there always a cause?

People are not always mindful of the cause. They prefer to stay focussed on what they desire. At least partly, that is the problem with the scientific method. Science is focussed on explanation of effects. The causes are only hypothesized.

Today, a kid cried for candy. The kid eventually obtained candy, but it seldom realizes the full story behind it. Mama gave me candy is not the full story. How did mama get the candy? Who made candy? Where? How did candy get there? If a child eating candy can be such a complex process, imagine the list of possibilities in a complex planet.

You may desire something, but to obtain what you desire you have to pursue a path of acquisition. For people who only desire something and dont understand what it takes to make it happen, the desire almost always turns to disappointment.

But to a learner, the pursuit of cause should not be driven by desire.

There are billions of people on this planet. They do billions of things every instant. There are zillions of things happening in this planet every instant.

These are caused by something and they in turn cause something. Understanding a single planet completely, is technically a zillion variable problem.

Understanding the universe may be even more complex.

But, of course, no human attempts to understand or remember everything. Our brains are so limited by capacity or at least we haven’t still exploited the full working capacity of the human brain because humans live in circles of understanding. An artist understands arts and a scientist understands science. Humans dont see past their limited circle of knowledge. And this circle of knowledge is as big as we make it by our effort.

Even knowing more within a circle of knowledge is a challenge to humans, knowing what to know is a bigger challenge.

How much can a human brain learn?

How big is the truth?

We know, at least generically, what causes the waves in the ocean. But do we know enough to understand ocean waves?

Is the knowledge of the effect sufficient to predict the cause or even is the knowledge of the cause sufficient to predict the effect ?

Is there always a cause? I can’t but help wonder.

Carbon dioxide emissions don't cause global warming

In April, KLM had an interesting exclusive in-flight documentary on global warming which I happened to watch.

The documentary goes on to present that man-made CO2 emissions do not cause global warming. It states that earth’s present temperature increase is driven by the sun and not by human activity. A few points presented in the documentary are:

1. CO2 is not the major green house gas. Its concentration change has been too small to explain such major temperature differences. Oceans can emit 180 billion tons of CO2 tonnes of CO2 where as human activity emits only about 7 billion tons. It is argued that water vapour and methane are bigger influences than CO2.

2. Earth has seen decades of temperatures which were significantly higher and and also significantly lower. But the ice did not ever vanish completely.

3. Changing of the size of the polar ice caps is explained to be a normal thing which happens routinely with temperature even between summer and winter.

4. Earth’s temperature is more closely related to solar activity and is known to have had a very good co-relation with it for centuries.

5. Change in CO2 concentration in the polar ice caps is an effect of change of earth’s temperature and it has a 800 year lag. This 800 year year lag is the time required for the temperature of the oceans to change to release or absorb CO2.

6. Earth’s temperature continued to drop from 1940 to 1970 when the economic activity boomed. The present upward trend lasts from only 1970.

7. Yet another observation was that the change in temperature profiles of the earth’s atmospheric layers did not seem to support increased green-house activity.

8. The model used to predict the global climate has several hundreds of assumptions on which not all experts seem to be in agreement. Clearly, a model can only be as good as the assumptions that go up to make it.

The documentary goes on to state that the IPCC report is driven by considerations that are non-scientific and serves to retain several jobs which were created by the billions of dollars funded to study this.

Those who are closely following the global warming issue must be already aware that there is a clear second opinion on the need to limit the emissions from developing countries in order to reduce global warming.

One can’t help but wonder if the entire global warming tale is fabricated by an energy thirsty group of nations who are using misleading pointers to prevent the developing nations from creating a stronger demand for energy.

That documentary was an eye-opener to me.

Global warming – Check list for Indians

One man cannot cause global warming. The globe is warmer now because over several decades , its people have continued to do things that have consumed energy. Cutting down unnecessary energy consumption is the first step to slow down the process. Here is a quick check list that applies in the Indian scenario. 

 global-warming.pdf

Please print this and paste this in a place so that it hits the eye often.

Is oil renewable?

 

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I’m surprised by the claim that oil is not a fossil fuel.

Another webpage states that “oil is actually a renewable, primordial syrup continually manufactured by the earth under ultrahot conditions and tremendous pressures. As this substance migrates toward the surface, it is attacked by bacteria, making it appear to have an organic origin dating back to the dinosaurs.”

Can this be true? People please tell me.

The Inner Life of a Cell

DJ Stelios’ blog always interests me.

I found this truly amazing science video, entirely animated, and pretty much mind blowing. A must watch for every guy interested in science and its capabilities.

Watch the video here, you’ll need flash player 8 to view this.