Daily Archives: July 2nd, 2007

A Peek Before Time and Stuff

After last week, I thought I was through with quantum physics and space-time theories for a while, but Mirth of Liberally Mirth tipped me off to this and I couldn’t resist:

It may be possible to glimpse before the supposed beginning of time into the universe prior to the Big Bang, researchers now say.

Unfortunately, any such picture will always be fuzzy at best due to a kind of “cosmic forgetfulness.”

The Big Bang is often thought as the start of everything, including time, making any questions about what happened during it or beforehand nonsensical. Recently scientists have instead suggested the Big Bang might have just been the explosive beginning of the current era of the universe, hinting at a mysterious past.

Huh? What’s this? Scientists might be able to observe events before the Big Bang? WTF!

To see how far into history one might gaze, theoretical physicist Martin Bojowald at Pennsylvania State University ran calculations based on loop quantum gravity, one of a number of competing theories seeking to explain how the underlying structure of the universe works.

Past research suggested the Big Bang was preceded by infinite energies and space-time warping where existing scientific theories break down, making it impossible to peer beforehand. The new findings suggest that although the levels of energy and space-time warping before the Big Bang were both incredibly high, they were finite.

Scientists could spot clues in the present day of what the cosmos looked like previously. If evidence of the past persisted after the Big Bang, its influence could be spotted in astronomical observations and computational models, Bojowald explained.

I would like to see what kind of influences that are left over from the Big Bang that could give clues that pre-date said event. And I sure as hell don’t know what loop quantum gravity is.

I’m not even going to hazard a guess at this other than to tell you to read the rest of the article, which is really easy reading. Then tell me what you think! (Glimpse Of Time Before Big Bang)

Private enterprise has been trying to make a break through market into the space tourism business for a while now. Companies such as Virgin Galactic, Space X, Scaled Composites (invested into by Virgin Galactic), Texas Space Authority, Jeff Bezos and others have planned various future sub-orbital and orbital flights for private citizens who can afford such luxuries. Orbital hotels are also in the planning stages and are essential to keep the interest of the public up:

An ISC Kosmotras Dnepr rocket launched Genesis 2 into space on June 28. The 15-foot (4.4-meter) module inflatable module is designed to expand to a diameter of about eight feet (2.54 meters) and carries 22 onboard cameras to relay scenes from both inside and outside the spacecraft. Personal items from paying customers, a “Biobox” with scorpions, ants and cockroaches, and a Space Bingo game are tucked inside the spacecraft as cargo.

I read about the Bigelow Module being launched last week. Bigelow Aerospace also has another inflatable module in orbit launched earlier (Bigelow Launches Prototype Space Habitat) to prove the viability of such a project. This is the first I’ve read about there being actual critters being on board the second module. This makes sense in that Bigelow’s goal is to link inflatable modules to make the first tourist hotels in space for profit. This is an instance where I support private efforts to revolutionize the space industry like various aircraft companies did during the 1920s, like barnstorming and of course, Lindberg’s flight across the Atlantic. Whether this advances Mankind’s expansion into the Universe is too early to tell, but it couldn’t hurt either. (Article at Space.com)