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Posts Tagged ‘Dennis Overbye

How can one ignore new evidence that Einstein was right, for now!

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Albert Einstein book cover illustration
Image by morgantj via Flickr

From this morning’s ubiquitous Science reporteur, Dennis Overbye:

October 29, 2009

7.3 Billion Light-Years Later, Einstein’s Theory Prevails


Astronomers said Wednesday that a race halfway across the universe had ended in a virtual tie. And so the champion is still Albert Einstein — for now.

The race was between gamma rays of differing energies and wavelengths spit in a burst from an exploding star when the universe was half its present age. After a journey of 7.3 billion light-years, they all arrived within nine-tenths of a second of one another in a detector on NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, at 8:22 p.m., Eastern time, on May 9.

Astronomers said the gamma-ray race was one of the most stringent tests yet of a bedrock principle of modern physics: Einstein’s proclamation in his 1905 theory of relativity that the speed of light is constant and independent of its color, or energy; its direction; or how you yourself are moving.

“I take it as a confirmation that Einstein is still right,” Peter F. Michelson of Stanford, principal investigator for Fermi’s Large Area Telescope and one of 206 authors of a paper published online Wednesday in the journal Nature, said in an interview.


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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/10/29 at 06:37

Do you care that the Universe is expanding?

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{{Potd/2007-08-12 (en)}}Image via Wikipedia

Whenever I read about what astronomers do, I feel puzzled. My puzzlement is caused by the stories told about methods used in the quest to measure the size of the Universe and the rate at which billions of galaxies in the Universe are moving away from each other and from our galaxy and therefore our planetary system.

The latest article by Dennis Overbye, a talented science writer, in the NY Times this morning tells the story of the latest happenings in this seemingly never ending quest for better precision. The notion of exact science doesn’t seem to fit this quest, which boils down to reducing the % of error in results.

There are several links below that offer more information about the Universe and efforts to understand it better. If you want to investigate weird click on the last link to the master explainer of cosmological things, Sean Carroll, the cosmologist.

IMHO one of the very neat things about astronomy is the dazzling photography connected with it.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/08/19 at 06:56