Cosmic Challenge Searches for Dark Energy Explanation

Dark_energy_cluster_2 It continues baffle scientists and astronomers alike, as no one can prove that it exists, but it seems that it hast to exist. Dark energy, seemingly making up 75% of our universe’s matter, could possibly lead to Einstein’s law of gravity being wrong, but will definitely expand our understanding of the cosmos if we can explain it.

Now,38 scientists from 19 international institutions have started the GRavitational Lensing Accuracy Testing 2008 (GREAT08) PASCAL Challenge, an international competition challenging anyone interested to solve the dark energy/matter mystery.

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The Magnificent Seven: Projects that Will Answer Big Questions About the Cosmos

20080928_a15switzerland Monday saw European scientists gather together in Brussels to announce what they are labeling the ‘Magnificent Seven’; seven projects that will answer some of the biggest questions in astroparticle physics. What is dark matter? What is the origin of cosmic rays? What is the role of violent cosmic processes?

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Unique Double Pulsar Proves Einstein's "Spacetime" Theories

Manchester_fig1 Albert Einstein was famously annoyed about God playing dice with the universe.  Perhaps as an apology, God has set up the perfect demonstration of the theory of general relativity - it seems that if He moves in mysterious ways, those ways are at least consistent with four-dimensional spacetime.

A fundamental concept in relativity is the idea of curved spacetime, the idea that large masses bend surrounding space (and which has led to more people imagining bowling balls on sheets of rubber than could possibly have happened otherwise).  The problem is that even our largest local mass might as well be called "The wee tiny little o'Sun-chan".  It looks pretty big, but that's only because we're really small.

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MAGIC Rays May Reveal New Laws of the Universe

Magic_gamma_rays Einstein’s theory of relativity – the combination of his general and special relativity theories – dictates that all photons must move at the speed of light. A photon is the carrier of electromagnetic radiation of all wavelengths, including gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet light, visible light, infrared light, microwaves, and radio waves. This theory has stood the test of time over the last century, with no challengers.

Until now…

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The Emperor's New Matter

Darkmatterlg_2 Dark matter is the modern fairy dust that makes everything (cosmologically) better.  Upon observing that the universe would need to have several hundred times more mass than we can see to be consistent with modern theories, many scientists apparently thought "Fair enough, there must be several universes worth of invisible magic stuff hiding throughout the entirety of existence".  Rather than the crazy heresy of "Maybe our theories need a little work".

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n Physicist Identifies How to Find Wormhole: Look For The Light

Wormhole01_2 Portals to parallel universes or far off regions of our own cosmos may be found if astronomers know where and how to look, a Russian physicist claims. Wormholes to other worlds can be recognized by the unusual way they bend light, according to Dr Alexander Shatskiy, from the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow.

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The Dark Secret of the Cosmos

Dark_energy_2 One of the fascinating ironies of nature is that the most abundant form of energy in the universe is mysterious stuff that we cannot see. New evidence has confirmed that the expansion of the universe is accelerating under the influence of a gravitationally repulsive form of energy that makes up two-thirds of the cosmos.

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Helioseismology Sizes Up the Sun

Sun_full_disk_soho_09_14_1997_2 Some discoveries are by accident, some thanks to brand new instruments or ideas - and some are made thanks to attention to detail.  The sort of person who can look at something 1.4 Gigameters across and say "That might be 0.04% smaller than we think" might sound unnecessarily pedantic - and perhaps boring at parties - but when the object is our Sun that's the sort of number that makes a difference.

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Searching for One of Einstein’s Greatest Predictions

Gravitational_waves_2 A unique observatory that is scanning the skies, involving about 500 scientists worldwide, is searching for one of Einstein’s greatest predictions – gravitational waves. Using new tools to look at the universe, says Patrick Brady, professor of physics with the  University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee), Center for Cosmology and Gravitation, has often led to discoveries that change the course of science.

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Stephen Hawking Asks Why are We Here & Where Did We Come From?

Andromeda_galaxy_5_2 I admit it. I love Stephen Hawking. 

I love that computerized voice of his.  I'm inspired by his story and I just can't get enough of hearing him break down the universe in a way even a simpleton like me can understand.  That's why I was so pleased to discover a transcript of a lecture he gave across the Bay at UC - Berkeley offering a summary of where we are in relation to understanding the origin of the Universe.

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