The universe is dying, new study confirms

Star production peaked three billion years after the Big Bang.

This map of the entire sky shows the location of 739 blazars used in the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope's measurement. Brighter areas have stronger gamma rays. Image source: NASA/DOE/Fermi LAT Collaboration
  • Scientists track gamma rays across the universe's extragalactic background to calculate all of the starlight ever produced.
  • For 10.8 billion years, star production has been decelerating.
  • The research team measured nine years worth of data from the universe's 739 known blazars.
Keep reading Show less

Droplets of primordial soup are cooked up by scientists

Matter from the first few microseconds after the Big Bang.

(Johan Swanepoel/Shutterstock/Big Think)
  • Scientists create droplets of quark gluon plasma.
  • The droplets assume exactly the shapes researchers predicted.
  • Far too hot to touch, but a fascinating glimpse at morsels of primordial soup.
Keep reading Show less

The Big Bang wasn’t an explosion. Visualize it like this.

NASA's Michelle Thaller explains why the term 'Big Bang' is misleading, and how to best imagine the shape of the universe.

  • Where exactly did the Big Bang happen? Well, nowhere—and everywhere. As NASA's Michelle Thaller explains, thinking of the origins of our universe as an explosion with a central hub is misleading.
  • "The Big Bang wasn't an explosion of matter, it was an expansion of space itself," she says. We don't know how big the universe is, but the general consensus is that there is no edge to the universe, and no center either.
  • To visualize the Big Bang accurately, imagine an inflated balloon and pay attention just to the surface of it — "Pretend that there's no such thing as inside or outside of the balloon, just the two-dimensional surface of the rubber." We are living on the surface of that balloon, only able to shine a light in one direction or the other. All of it is expanding and every part of it is filled with galaxies—no matter where you are in the universe.

Stephen Hawking's PhD thesis is now available for free

Wow. Reading Hawking's Ph.D. paper is like listening to Pink Floyd for decades and then suddenly finding out they had a different and even more groundbreaking debut album. 

Stephen Hawking at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge.

In honor of Open Access Week 2017, The University of Cambridge released one of its most requested theses for everyone to enjoy without having to make a formal request for it; the Ph.D. thesis of Stephen Hawking. Now, anyone who wants to read one of the first works of one of the world’s most famous scientific minds can do so whenever they please.

Hawking, who agreed to make the document available to all, said that,

Keep reading Show less

Scientists Discover The "Angel Particle" That Is Both Matter and Anti-Matter

Researchers succeed in an 80-year-old quest to find the elusive "angel particle".

A composite view of the Crab nebula viewed by the Herschel Space Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope (Image: NASA)

A team of scientists found first evidence for the existence of a Majorana fermion, a hypothetical particle proposed 80 years ago that is its own antiparticle. 

Keep reading Show less