Plus Advent Calendar Door #5: Riddles of the Universe

Share this page
A Hubble image

Image courtesy NASA.

The best thing about Christmas are the presents! And if it hadn't been for that blazing star guiding the three magi to baby Jesus, laden with gold, frankincense and myrrh, then we might not have that present giving tradition at all.

So for Door #5 of the Plus Advent calendar we turn our gaze to the stars and muse on the biggest mysteries of the Universe. Find out what happened before the Big Bang, whether we will one day be able to travel through time, whether those mysterious constants of nature really are constant, how gravity works, and unravel the secrets of dark matter and dark energy.

You can also find out what the greatest star gazers of them all, the Hubble Space Telescope, has discovered, whether there's life on distant planets, why the Universe might just be an illusion, and why a single number holds the key to it all.

Back to the Plus Advent Calendar

Read more about...


Compact thoughts on the Door#5 muses:

before the Big Bang - enough motion to create enough friction to cause the Bang. How? or maybe a better question is Why?

travel through time - we have always traveled though time, someone said "time waits for no man" we can now only go in one direction, the real trick will be to control then change direction.

constants of nature - appears to most common men the the only real constant is change, everything else is dependent on, or at the very least responding to it.

For many of us lay people these muses lead to a never ending...Why?

Thank you for the opportunity to to explore, the Plus Advent Calendar is an awesome idea for young and old alike.

Harriet Raymond

  • Want facts and want them fast? Our Maths in a minute series explores key mathematical concepts in just a few words.

  • What do chocolate and mayonnaise have in common? It's maths! Find out how in this podcast featuring engineer Valerie Pinfield.

  • Is it possible to write unique music with the limited quantity of notes and chords available? We ask musician Oli Freke!

  • How can maths help to understand the Southern Ocean, a vital component of the Earth's climate system?

  • Was the mathematical modelling projecting the course of the pandemic too pessimistic, or were the projections justified? Matt Keeling tells our colleagues from SBIDER about the COVID models that fed into public policy.

  • PhD student Daniel Kreuter tells us about his work on the BloodCounts! project, which uses maths to make optimal use of the billions of blood tests performed every year around the globe.