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

Copernicus

In this post I'll talk about Nicolas Copernicus (1473 - 1543) and the heliocentric theory.  The move away from the prevailing Earth-centred theory of the Universe to the heliocentric theory represents one of the greatest advances in astronomy ever made. Nicolas Copernicus - Image from Wikimedia Commons Background - the need for a better theory… Continue reading Copernicus

Geocentric Cosmology

Today it is generally accepted as a scientific fact that the Earth is one of eight planets which revolve around the Sun, that the Sun is one of 400 billion or so stars in our Milky Way galaxy and that the Milky Way is one of hundreds of billions of galaxies in the observable Universe.… Continue reading Geocentric Cosmology

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

Ultimate Fate of the Universe

This post, which is the latest in my series on cosmology, is about the ultimate fate of the Universe, a subject which has engaged scientists, philosophers and religious leaders for centuries. There are many possible endings to the Universe, but the outline I will present here, which is sometimes called "The Big Freeze", is the most commonly held… Continue reading Ultimate Fate of the Universe