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The AstronomersThe Universe is a strange place
The Universe is a strange place
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About the Lecture Perhaps the universe is not so much strange as brimming with lovely paradox. The search for such beauty seems to lie at the heart of Frank Wilczek’s work. Twentieth century physics, from Einstein through Wilczek’s own Nobel Prize-winning efforts, involves demonstrating the existence of a topsy-turvy reality: for instance, that such sub-atomic particles as quarks and gluons, which have little or no mass, “orchestrate themselves into not just protons and neutrons but you and me,” according to Wilczek. “How is it possible to construct heavy objects out of objects that weigh nothing?,” he asks. Only by “creating mass out of pure energy.” These particles are essentially “excitations in otherwise empty space.” Says Wilczek: “That suggests something …beautiful and poetic: the masses of particles are not like, or similar to or metaphorically suggested by—they are the tones or frequencies of vibration patterns in dynamical voids.” The theory of quarks and gluons and the strong interaction accounts quantitatively for “the mass of protons, neutrons and ultimately you and me and everything around us.” But physics has not yet squared away all aspects of the universe. Wilzcek says that “in cosmology, we meet our match, and don’t know what’s going on.” This is because scientists can’t account for much of the mass in the cosmos. 70% of this mass is in “dark energy,” which is pushing the universe apart. Wilczek hopes that explanations for the dark stuff will emerge through improving equations, unifying theories of different interactions and extending their symmetries. “Beautifying equations leads not to ugly consequences but beautiful surprises,” he concludes.
Added on Feb 19, 2010 by deek
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  About  the  Lecture  Perhaps  universe  is  not  so  much  strange  as  brimming  with  lovely  paradox.  The  search  for  such  beauty  seems  to  lie  at  heart  of  Frank  Wilczek’s  work.  Twentieth  century  physics  from  Einstein  through  own  Nobel  Prize-winning  efforts  involves  demonstrating  existence  topsy-turvy  reality:  instance  that  sub-atomic  particles  quarks  and  gluons  which  have  little  or  no  mass  “orchestrate  themselves  into  just  protons  neutrons  but  you  me  according  Wilczek.  “How  it  possible  construct  heavy  objects  out  weigh  nothing  he  asks.  Only  by  “creating  pure  energy.”  These  are  essentially  “excitations  in  otherwise  empty  space.”  Says  Wilczek:  “That  suggests  something  …beautiful  poetic:  masses  like  similar  metaphorically  suggested  by—they  tones  frequencies  vibration  patterns  dynamical  voids.”  theory  strong  interaction  accounts  quantitatively  “the  ultimately  everything  around  us.”  But  has  yet  squared  away  all  aspects  universe.  Wilzcek  says  “in  cosmology  we  meet  our  match  don’t  know  what’s  going  on.”  This  because  scientists  can’t  account  cosmos.  70  this  “dark  energy  pushing  apart.  Wilczek  hopes  explanations  dark  stuff  will  emerge  improving  equations  unifying  theories  different  interactions  extending  their  symmetries.  “Beautifying  leads  ugly  consequences  beautiful  surprises  concludes. 
  Lectures In Astronomy   Cosmology   Major questions in astronomy  
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