The Universe May Not Be Expanding
A theoretical physicist has published a paper arguing the universe may be static, but the mass of everything is growing exponentially.
How do we know the universe is expanding?
Albert Einstein's theory of General Relativity posits one of two possibilities: the universe is either expanding or contracting. It can't be static. Thanks to Edwin Hubble and every sophisticated instrument available since 1929, we know that most galaxies are moving away from us, and appear to be moving away from us faster and faster. The galaxies themselves are not getting larger, but the distance between the galaxies grows, like raisins on a rising loaf of bread. Another analogy is to think of the universe as an expanding balloon.
Not so fast, says Christof Wetterich, a theoretical physicist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, who has just published an alternative explanation. The universe may be static, but the mass of everything is growing exponentially. Wetterich's paper hasn't yet been peer-reviewed. Moreover, his idea can't even be tested.
However, according to Nature, no one is dismissing Wetterich out of hand. The physicist Arjun Berera at the University of Edinburgh, for one, likes the idea because it will keep scientists from getting too comfortable with one single explanation, so that they might "see if there are alternative explanations consistent with all known observation.”
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.