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The BIG picture…

SkyHarbor, 2013/02/26 

Gμν = -(8πG/c²)Tμν

This elegant symbolic formulation of Einstein’s general theory of relativity cannot be used for actual calculations, but it clearly shows the principle that “matter tells spacetime how to curve, and curved space tells matter how to move” (John Wheeler, Princeton University and the University of Texas at Austin) . The left side of the equation contains all the information about how space is curved, and the right side contains all the information about the location and motion of the matter. General relativity is beautiful and simple (to a physicist), but mathematically it’s very complicated and subtle.

Of course, General Relativity as formulated by Albert Einstein is an approximation. It says nothing for instance about ‘dark’ matter or energy, which make up the bulk of the ‘stuff’ our Universe is made of. It is also mathematically incompatible with Quantum theory. But I think you’ll agree that Herr Doktor Einstein made a pretty decent stab at the problem! ;-)

An interesting and pretty accurate historical survey of our changing views of the Universe over the centuries:

9 Comments »

  1. Max wrote,

    Better than a dancing chiauau.

    Comment on 2013/02/26 @ 11:45 am

  2. byronius wrote,

    What the hell is a ‘chiauau’? Is that related to an El Camino? I believe so.

    That video looks good. Someday when I am not adding up endless columns of numbers, I shall watch it.

    Comment on 2013/02/26 @ 2:27 pm

  3. Max wrote,

    One of those little yappy critters streaming over the border stealing good owners from the red-blooded patriotic dobies and labs that make this country great. Hate it when they dance.

    Comment on 2013/02/26 @ 2:51 pm

  4. Max wrote,

    Looks like the little fuckers are stealing my “h”s now too.

    Comment on 2013/02/26 @ 2:53 pm

  5. byronius wrote,

    A sequester on teir eads.

    Comment on 2013/02/26 @ 3:15 pm

  6. SkyHarbor wrote,

    It’s spelled ‘CHIHUAHUA’ you frijoles-for-brains!

    Hail your new master ‘Che Chalupa’:

    Comment on 2013/02/26 @ 3:53 pm

  7. SkyHarbor wrote,

    Comment on 2013/02/26 @ 4:12 pm

  8. SkyHarbor wrote,

    The physical analogy used to illustrate the concept of an ‘expanding universe’ is usually a toy balloon being inflated. Dots drawn on the un-inflated balloon represent galaxies which will visually move apart from one another as the balloon inflates.

    The idea is that just as space-time ‘stretches’ or more precisely ‘deforms’ in the presence of mass-energy, it likewise generally expands outward, making the universe’s overall volume continually increase over time. In the 1990′s, it was discovered that this expansion was not slowing as expected, but was actually accelerating. This apparent ‘anti-gravity’ effect, pushing space-time away from itself, was dubbed ‘dark energy’. ‘Dark’ in this case being a measure of our ignorance as to what this ‘energy’ actually IS.

    Another somewhat bizarre explanation is that space-time is not being stretched in the expansion… but new apace-time is actually being created as space-time expands.

    Is the space-time involved with warpage in the presence of mass-energy even the same as that involved in the large scale expansion? Just wild speculation.

    Comment on 2013/02/27 @ 12:28 pm

  9. byronius wrote,

    My bean-brain suggests that algorithmic compression might be at work. Inflated balloon or dissipating mist in a vacuum? Gravimetric-wave-generated reality or dirt?

    I was imagining today just what it would feel like to truly, undeniably know that there is alien life. To look at verifiably real footage of strangely-moving crab-creatures, or some clearly impossible lifeform, or to see them in person, up close — even for the expectant, and the curious, it’s going to be a Fucking Freakout.

    I need to know, man. It’s going to Change Everything.

    Comment on 2013/02/27 @ 8:56 pm

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