Adams Group, Wnyc Studios, FLU discussed on Live From Here with Chris Thile
To science writing Sioux City. Hi, how are you? Hi there. Hi, how are you fine? Go ahead. I was wondering if it isn't the word constant that might be the issue here. Throughout the entire universe. And maybe the university's expanding at different rates in different places. Right. That that's a great question. We actually had used the same tools to determine if the universe is expanding at the same rate in different directions. And in fact, that has been confirmed to very high precision. But you're also right that constant is kind of a funny misnomer anyway because it is a number that will change as the universe ages. It's just we think constant at any one point in time. But the same in all direct could could the dark energy that is pushing the universe further apart. Could that have something to do, you know, we don't know anything about it with the number being wrong? Yeah. That is in fact, the one of the possibilities. You know, we take a very I would say vanilla guess at what the nature of dark energy is. And we've tried to measure that and you know, it roughly looks like that vanilla guests, but you know, that could be part of the story of what's going. On is that we have kind of a turbocharged dark energy that makes the university. Celebrate and expand even faster today. I'm going gonna bring another one of our favorite topics into this. And this is like a black holes and gravity waves. He's there ally. Go measuring it could be the referee of these two other measurements. Yes. Absolutely. I think that's the that's going to be the exciting thing over the next five years. So your listeners know that LEGO which is the laser interferometer gravitational wave observatory detected gravity waves from the merging of black holes in the past few years, but in August of twenty seventeen it had another event that it observed that was actually very interesting which was the merger of two neutron stars. And so these two neutron stars when emerged they generated gravitational waves, but they also generated a burst of electromagnetic radiation, and in order to calculate the Hubble, constant you need to things that you need the distance to some astrophysical objects, and you also need to measure its recession velocity. So the gravitational wave signature from the neutron star merger. Give the LEGO team away to tell the distance to this merger event and electromagnetic radiation, which was captured by other. Telescopes gave them Redshift information, which then allowed them to figure out how fast this is receding from us. Putting those two together they came up with the Hubble constant value of seventy which sits bang in the middle of the plank and the data from Adams group except that the Airbus because there's just one event, and they just don't have enough. Data to have good statistical significance the bars are so big that they can accommodate both plank and the result from Adams group. So what's exciting is that, you know, this just this week LEGO announced that they have upgraded that instrument and a restarted observations, and they're going to I think in about a year's time close it down and upgrade again. So over the next five years they're hoping to absorb about fifty such neutron star mergers, and that will give them enough data to pin down this number two within two percent. And it will be really exciting to see which way they move whether they move towards plan. Or whether they move towards the data from Adams group every interesting I have a tweet from Sarah. Who asks a question that's been asked of every bite every the last hundred years, I want to repeat it if the universe is everywhere. You know, what I'm gonna say. How is it? Expanding is it becoming more infinite, Adam. Oh, I was hoping you were gonna ask a Neil. This question. I was going to punt it. Yeah. Yeah. What we really mean when we say the universe is expanding. We mean locally around us. And as far as we could tell everywhere else that whenever two things are separated like galaxies that separation grows we can't really verify what happens much further than we could see there's a limit. We can only see as far as the age of the universe times the speed of light. But we believe that the universe continues to expand. And so of its infinite it's infinite and getting bigger, you know, as as my father used to like to say what's bigger than 0 well 0, plus one I'm I replayed and this is science Friday from WNYC studios. Now, you're getting into Allah finale, one Kanter all those sorts of things. We have a lot of calls her interested in in whenever we talk about the universe of people want to talk about the universe and has expansion. I'm and that that tweet reminded me of a letter I so many years ago that was sent Einstein himself about what happens if you poke your thumb through the. Finite universe. Where does it go that sort of stuff has been around all the time? You already. Here's another tweet. Let's go to the phones. Go to the to four I walk up to science Friday. Charleston. Hi, charles. Go ahead. Yes. Thank you. I would like to know if this E M B boundary is expanding. Or is it too far to tell if it's expanding the cosmic background radiation. It's leftover from the big bang. Right. Well, the cosmic microwave background radiation is actually a tiny slice in time. It's a snapshot of the universe at a certain moment. The moment when the universe went from being a fog where light couldn't really propagate very far until it suddenly became thin enough diluted enough by the expansion of space that it suddenly gets out. And so it's not really expanding. But it is getting more distant from us in time as time goes on. But because we can always look back to it. And it's an all directions. It's always available to us. We can always see. Well, let me just wrap up because we're running out of time. Is it possible that we need new physics here? Could there be particles unknown particles unpredicted particle? Yes, yes. I would say, you know, on on our menu of possibilities. Our new particles like what we would call a sterile neutrino exotic dark energy dark matter that inter. Iraq or decays another episode of dark energy, all kinds of interesting possibilities. And that's why we're so excited about this this discrepancy. But do you have the tools to discover those new particles? I think so I mean new tools are coming online. The various predictions of what would happen if you had exotic particles make specific predictions of you know, what other signatures, you should see. So hi, this is just the way science works is, you know, you might get your first clue when your first clue leads to a hypothesis, and that hypothesis recommends another experiment, and so we may be going through a generation of that. Then let me see if I can get a quick caller in from Johnny in beacon, New York. I John welcome. Hi, thanks. How's it going guys? So great discussion. My question was. These potential differences in measurements. From these two groups based off of we always assume that the initial big bang causing ever expanding universe as a constant in one direction. What if the universe hit appoint were, then it works you retract and almost come back to let's say that initial point. Gravitational pull is there any evidence why that is not possible. And I think we always just assume that it was I got about thirty seconds for an answer. I could jump in here on this one. You know, we don't really get a good glimpse of the universe between the time shortly after the big bang to oh, the last seven or eight billion years, and so there's kind of a dark ages in there, if the if the universe took a break, you know, it took a snooze during that, you know, we wouldn't know, and that really could also mess up these calculations of course, we would look for. What is the exotic new physics at explains why that would happen? But you know, just generic has a statement. We don't think the the universe. Took took a break. Thank you. Madam Reese twenty eleven Nobel laureate in physics talking with us also an airline anther Swamy a science journalist author based in the bay area working the science scientific American every once in a while. Well, we're gonna take a break when we come back. We're going to talk about the flu did you? Void flu this season. We're going to talk about blue near you. It's was our citizen science project that Joel helped to create to give real time updates and how the virus spread. Season. We have the results there in a bell ringing. But we'll be back after this break. Stay with us. This is science Friday from WNYC studios. Science Friday is supported by progressive insurance, offering its homequote explorer designed to provide information about available home insurance options in one place. More information at progressive dot com..