The anthropic principle

In his 1988 book 'A Brief History of Time' the British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawkins (1942-2018) stated: 'The laws of science, as we know them at present, contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron. ... The… Continue reading The anthropic principle

The cosmic microwave background part II

As discussed in my previous post, the accidental discovery of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) in 1964 by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson would prove to be one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the early twentieth century. One of the first things it achieved was to provide confirmation of the big bang theory. The telescope… Continue reading The cosmic microwave background part II

The cosmic microwave background: part I

In 1964 two young American radio astronomers, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, made an accidental finding which would win them both the Nobel prize and turned out to be one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the twentieth century. The story started when Penzias and Wilson were given observing time on a large radio telescope at Bell Labs in New… Continue reading The cosmic microwave background: part I

The Steady State Theory

This post, the latest in my series about cosmology, the study of the origin and evolution of the Universe as a whole, talks about the Steady State theory. This is an elegant alternative theory to the Big Bang, which was very popular among astronomers in the 1950s, although it has now been discarded. What is the Steady… Continue reading The Steady State Theory

Dark Energy Over Time

This post continues the subject of dark energy, which, as discussed in my previous post is a mysterious form of energy which makes up about 68 per cent of the mass of the Universe and is the reason why the Universe is expanding at an ever-faster speed. This post will discuss how the percentage of dark energy changes over time… Continue reading Dark Energy Over Time

A Brief History of the Universe

This post covers a brief history of the Universe from the Big Bang until the the present day. This, as I am sure you'll agree, is a pretty big topic so I can only give a outline of some of the key events and when we believed they happened. This post is the second in my… Continue reading A Brief History of the Universe

The Universe Past, Present and Future

The  Universe is all existing matter and space, including all stars, planets, galaxies and the space between them. This post, which is the first in a series, discusses the origins of the Universe and its ultimate future. How large is the Universe ? Our Solar System belongs to a galaxy which we call the Milky Way (shown below).  The… Continue reading The Universe Past, Present and Future