Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Universal snacks

Well, the title might be a misleading. This is mostly an excuse to post this, which I thought was funny. After all, what better way to enjoy your next handful of peanuts (particularly when sitting on a plane, of course) - than by expanding for your fellow passenger the central tenets of physics and how they apply to universe shape.

Or not.

And then, just as we had narrowed the possibilities down (they also include, theories that it might be dodecahedral, although I have yet to find a snack shaped like that - possible new product angle, anyone?), someone went back and relooked at our assumptions.

Which is wonderful. Super. Very scientific. And, often, a stunningly good way to upset not only the apple cart, but the entire market with repercussions all the way back to the farm.

You see, it's been realised that dark energy (the black sheep of physics, hngh hngh) might have far more of an effect on the shape of the universe than we thought. Which makes sense. But it really does confuse the matter even more.

And, in a wonderful chicken and egg scenario, this lack of knowledge about the size and shape of the universe, in turn, makes it very difficult to further explore (i.e. find/work out anything, at all, about) dark energy.

Fun, non?