Monday/ the cosmic perspective

I have finished reading Neil deGrasse Tyson’s quick-read book called Astrophysics for People in a Hurry.¬† In the front is a quotation from Tyson, that I love: ‘The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you’.

Humans have certainly made strides to understand the mysteries of the universe, but we need another Newton, another Einstein, to help us out with understanding what we now call dark matter and dark energy.

Towards the end of the book, Tyson also offers: The cosmic perspective opens our eyes to the universe, not as a benevolent cradle designed to nurture life, but as a cold, lonely, hazardous place, forcing us to reassess the value of all humans to one another’.

This picture is not in the book, but the epochs shown in it are described. The Inflation Theory proposes a period of extremely rapid (exponential) expansion of the universe during its first fantastically short instants of time. Then it took 380,000 years for the temperature to come down to 3,000 K for atoms to form. Right now we are at the 13.8 billion year mark, and the universe is expanding at an ever increasing rate – something we have only learned over the last few decades. The best explanation is that dark matter and dark energy are at work. [Picture courtesy of Particle Data Group, 2015].

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