Everyone knows what time is. We can practically feel it ticking away,
marching on in the same direction with horrifying regularity. Time has
enslaved the Western world and become our most precious commodity. Turn it
over to the physicists however, and it begins to
morph, twist and even crumble away. So what is
As part of our joint project with FQXi called Science fiction, science fact, we've been asking you what question on the frontiers of physics you'd like to have answered. The question that topped our first poll was 'What is time?'. We went to ask Paul Davies, a theoretical physicist and cosmologist at Arizona State University and Director of BEYOND: Centre for Fundamental Concepts in Science and here is his answer.
Space is the stage on which physics happens. It's unaffected what happens it and it would still be there if everything in it disappeared. This is how we learn to think about space at school. But the idea is as novel as it is out-dated.
Cosmologists gathered in the Netherlands last week to discuss a new view of the Universe. The Universe as seen by Planck was an international conference to discuss the recently released scientific results from the Planck satellite, including two particularly striking snapshots of the early Universe.
That geometry should be relevant to physics is no surprise — after all, space is the arena in which physics happens. What is surprising, though, is the extent to which the geometry of space actually determines physics and just how exotic the geometric structure of our Universe appears to be. Plus met up with mathematician Shing-Tung Yau to find out more.
You're unlikely to ever run into a black hole, but here's what it "looks" and "sounds" like when two black holes run into each other. The movie shows a simulation of the gravitational waves generated when two black holes collide and form a third, and the sound file shows what these waves would sound like if you cold hear them.