From the very beginning of the interested consciousness, man began to explore the world around him, constantly expanding the horizons. But it turns out that as far as these horizons do not expand, they reveal even more distant horizons, which have to be dragged along for a long time. So what? We get a real pleasure learning something new. We are ready to gnaw granite to get to the bottom of things. But we can not solve some of the riddles of science. Perhaps you will help?
The universe began with the Big Bang?
The theory of the Big Bang has for many years been considered the most reliable, explaining the beginning of the universe. But is she really one hundred percent sure and the only answer?
“The Big Bang” theory was named one of the most cruel of its opponents, Fred Hoyle. He thought that the universe was static and eternal – but his hypothesis quickly died. In 1929, Edwin Hubble proved that the universe is expanding. Then came new evidence in favor of the theory of the Big Bang: in 1965 it became the existence of microwave background radiation, the afterglow of the Big Bang.
But there is one but. The Hubble measurements, made in 1929, were refuted in 1990. In fact, the universe expanded more slowly than the theory of the Big Bang predicted. In response, Alan Guth introduced some corrections to the theory of the Big Bang. He stated that the universe first expanded rapidly, and then slowly.
But as critics of the Big Bang say, it is impossible to prove this. Maybe we need a new way to determine the beginning of the universe?
How to predict an earthquake?
Our understanding of the movements of the Earth began to form relatively recently. Only in 1912 Alfred Wegener came to the conclusion that the continents are in constant motion. In the 1960s, the US Navy observed that the seabed was not smooth, as it was supposed before – it consisted of mountain ranges.
Scientists came to the conclusion that the seabed was also exposed to volcanoes and earthquakes. This discovery led to the theory of plate tectonics, which explains the large-scale movements of the Earth’s lithosphere. Now we know that earthquakes are born when two plates creep on each other.
We were able to locate places more prone to tectonic activity. But we still do not know when the earthquake will happen. For example, scientists can predict that an earthquake will soon occur in Los Angeles. It can mean any moment from tomorrow to the next 30 years.
What causes glacial periods?
We still do not know what causes glacial periods. Milutin Milankovich proposed a decision in 1920. He said that the Earth receives different amounts of solar energy at different times because of how our planet moves. This leads to the appearance of glacial periods with constant intervals. Initially, the idea of Milankovitch seemed correct, because the ice ages really came every 100,000 years.
But Milankovich’s theory can not explain some serious violations in this scheme – for example, a period of 200 million years without a single glacial period. The new theories focused on the greenhouse effect, but it generates more questions than answers. What led to fluctuations in carbon dioxide when no people were yet? Scientists are racking their brains, but nobody knows the truth yet.
Is there a missing link?
The missing link is a hypothetical evolutionary link between primates and humans. In 1912, Charles Dawson found a skull with a vault of man and a monkey’s jaw at Piltdown Common near Lewis in England. For 41 years, the scientific community believed that we had found the missing link.
However, this unusual find was a fake, created by the zoologist of the British Museum named Hinton. What for? Such was his revenge.
Hinton started working at the museum as a volunteer. When he asked about the salary, the guardian of paleontology Arthur Smith Woodward refused him. Therefore, Hinton forged the skull to undermine Woodward’s authority as a scientist. However, the plan did not work.
In 1956, William Strauss suggested that the Neanderthal man was our immediate ancestor. However, new methods of dating fossils have shown that people and Neanderthals lived simultaneously and maintained contacts. The vacancy is still open.
Why did the abstract communication system appear so late?
The earliest examples of art date back as being created 35,000 years ago. However, written language developed only 7,000 years ago, and mathematics took another 2000 years.
Why was there such a big gap between the first abstract drawings and the first communication system? Most likely, our brain must be the first to change. But how? The brain is such a complex structure that it may take several centuries before we understand the principles of its work.
What are black holes?
The concept of black holes was first met with disbelief. When physicist Sir Arthur Eddington first heard about them, he exclaimed: “I think there must be a law of nature that does not allow a star to behave in such a strange way!”
The first to welcome the black holes Oppenheimer in 1938. But Sir Arthur Eddington can be understood, because the behavior of black holes contradicts intuition. Nobody knows what is happening inside the black hole. In the 1990s, scientists discovered the existence of supermassive black holes the size of a billion suns. They are, as a rule, located in the center of elliptical galaxies. Did they participate in the creation of these galaxies? We do not know, really. And the black holes themselves are a real mystery to us, because neither we can see nor touch them, nor can we visit them.
How old is the universe?
No one knows for sure. The answers vary from 8 to 20 billion years, but this is a rather large spread. The strangest thing about this problem is that the universe can be younger than its oldest stars. Studies conducted in 1994 showed that the universe is 8 billion years old, which means that the oldest star in the Milky Way is older than the universe itself. Fortunately, the measurements carried out in 1999 disproved previous studies.
But their triumph was short-lived. Another study, conducted with the help of modern technologies, showed that the universe was 15% smaller, and therefore 15% younger. According to this study, there are stars older than the Universe itself. What are we doing wrong? Perhaps we do not understand the fundamental laws of physics?
Are there multiple universes?
The first concept of multiple universes was proposed by science fiction writer Jack Williamson in 1952. What inspired the physics of Hugh Everett. In 1957, he wrote a doctorate on the topic of multiple universes. According to his model, each event creates a series of universes in which every possible outcome of this event takes place.
John Wheeler, the head of Everett, proposed a different version. In his view, the universe periodically expanded and then shrunk to the size of an atom. But some scientists noted that the universe, apparently, does not have enough substance to collapse.
Stephen Hawking developed a theory that states that there are an infinite number of universes with every possible future.
The only problem is that we can not test these theories in practice.
What will be the end of the universe?
Some theories suggest that the universe will begin to contract at a certain point, until it reaches the size of the atom. Then there will be another big explosion, and the universe will reborn.
But there is another possibility. The universe can expand infinitely, pushing the galaxies farther and farther apart. In the end, the stars will burn out all their fuel, and there will be nothing left.