by Staff Writers
Melbourne (UPI) Aug 20, 2012
A Big Freeze rather than a Big Bang may be how the universe began, theoretical physicists in Australia say, and they're looking for evidence of it.
Researchers at the University of Melbourne and RMIT University suggest the start of our universe was less an explosion and more like water freezing into ice.
Studying the cracks and crevices common to all crystals, including ice, could revolutionize our understanding of the nature of the universe, they said.
"Think of the early universe as being like a liquid," researcher James Quatch said in a University of Melbourne release Monday.
"Then as the universe cools, it 'crystalizes' into the three spatial and one time dimension that we see today.
"Theorized this way, as the universe cools, we would expect that cracks should form, similar to the way cracks are formed when water freezes into ice."
Some of these defects, or cracks, might be visible today, RMIT physicist Andrew Greentree said.
"Light and other particles would bend or reflect off such defects, and therefore in theory we should be able to detect these effects," he said.
The researchers have calculated some of these effects and say they could be experimentally verified.
Understanding Time and Space
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Old Star, New Trick
Washington DC (SPX) May 03, 2012
The Big Bang produced lots of hydrogen and helium and a smidgen of lithium. All heavier elements found on the periodic table have been produced by stars over the last 13.7 billion years. Astronomers analyze starlight to determine the chemical makeup of stars, the origin of the elements, the ages of stars, and the evolution of galaxies and the universe. Now for the first time, astronomers h ... read more
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