13 Things That Don't Make Sense: The Most Intriguing by Michael Brooks

By Michael Brooks

Technology begins to get fascinating whilst issues dont make feel. Michael Brooks unearths 13 anomalies that defy the clinical thought of at the present time and forecast tomorrows breakthroughs.

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If there had been too much, any matter that was created would have been spread so thinly that gravity couldn’t have pulled atoms together into stars, galaxies, and—eventually—humans. As the matter spread farther, its gravitational pull would have become even weaker and the expansion energy ever more dominant. The universe would have blown itself apart before anything interesting—humans, for example—happened. If there had been too little expansion energy, on the other hand, gravity would have pulled all the matter together in a similar feedback cycle: once things got closer together, their gravitational pull would have become stronger, pulling them even more.

On Monday, February 23, 1987, we saw such a sight. The explosion of Sanduleak-69 202, a blue giant star in the Large Magellanic Cloud galaxy, was notable for two reasons. First, because it turned the star into the brightest supernova seen since 1604. Second, because its light was the first to give a standard for measuring cosmic distances. The way certain supernovae—they are known as Type 1a Supernovae—emit their light has a peculiar characteristic that makes them supremely appealing to astronomers.

When the Cambridge professor Malcolm Longair wrote his cosmology primer Our Evolving Universe, he listed some of the things it might turn out to be. At the top of the list were things like interstellar planets and low mass stars. Toward the bottom of the list were house bricks and copies of the Astrophysical Journal. This last candidate seems most appropriate; if it were discovered to be the answer, it would add a pleasing irony to the dark matter story. The Astrophysical Journal is where, in 1970, Rubin published her results and brought dark matter in from the cold.

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