Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

The More We Look The Less We Know

dark matterAt the Quantum to Cosmos science festival in Canada a eminent panel of leading experts proffered an insight into the issues that give them sleepless nights. Katherine Freese, physicist at the University of Michigan is absorbed by our lack of understanding of the materials that make up the universe.

At first sight this may seem odd, but the killer point is we are only able to account for around 4% of the total energy of the universe, the other 96% is known only by the ethereal and theoretical Dark Matter. As we come close to understanding dark matter and close to proving its existence a new problem has arisen, that of Dark Energy, which seems to have some very odd properties.

It seems the more we learn about the universe the less we understand and even those at the forefront of scientific research and knowledge can be as confused and ignorant as us lesser people. I’m not a scientist but the strangeness of the world of quantum mechanics and the search for the unified theory make fascinating reading. Maybe I’ll live long enough to see someone come up with a credible answer and some degree of proof for the remaining 96% of the universe.

Is There Anybody There?

PD*13992296The existence or not of god has been an on going subject of debate among scientists for many years the latest and most substantial attempt being British biologist Richard Dawkins book The God Delusion. which attempts to disprove the existence of god using using the logic of hard science. Now, however we have two other scientists Holger Bech Nielsen, of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and Masao Ninomiya of the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics in Kyoto, suggesting that God may be the reason the large hadron collider in Geneva keeps having problems.

They have suggested that the Higgs boson, the particle that physicists hope to produce with the collider, might be “abhorrent to nature”, and its creation in the future would ripple backwards through time to stop the collider creating it in the first place. Its the application of the time travel conundrum whereby you go back in time to kill your grandfather and thus instantly disappear as you could never have been born, a common thread of the Terminator trilogy of science fiction films. In this case, however, its suggested God is at work not an Austrian body builder.

For those of us with less scientific minds and a more limited intellect such suggestions are baffling. My own question is why would God want to remain an ethereal being? Why would a divine being prefer to be the subject of pure faith and not hard evidence? But, then again, we have recently been told by Dr. Andrew Newberg, neuroscientist and author of ‘Why We Believe What We Believe’, we are “hard wired for faith”. As the collider hits a temperature lower than outer space and is due to be switched on this November we might just get a answer to the question ‘Is there anybody there?’ unless, of course, God does not want us to know the answer.