From Quantum to Cosmos: Fundamental Physics Research in Space

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Slava G. Space-based laboratory research in fundamental physics is an emerging research discipline that offers great discovery potential and at the same time could drive the development of technological advances which are likely to be important to scientists and technologists in many other different research fields. This unique volume discusses the advances in our understanding of fundamental physics that are anticipated in the near future, and evaluates the discovery potential of a number of recently proposed space-based gravitational experiments.

Specific research areas covered include various tests of general relativity and alternative theories, search of physics beyond the Standard Model, investigations of possible violations of the equivalence principle, search for new hypothetical long- and short-range forces, variations of fundamental constants, tests of Lorentz invariance and attempts at unification of the fundamental interactions. Enter e-mail address This e-mail address will be used to create your account.

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Reset your password. Please enter the e-mail address you used to register to reset your password Enter e-mail address. Registration complete. Astroparticle physics Cosmology Dark matter and energy Gravity Planetary science Stars and solar physics Telescopes and space missions. Editor's choice. Instrumentation and measurement Feature Building a planet-sized telescope. Telescopes and space missions Feature Giant leaps for knowledge Apollo 11 was just the first of five further Apollo missions to land on the Moon.

Will Quantum Mechanics Swallow Relativity?

Latest news. Telescopes and space missions News Thirty Meter Telescope forges ahead with Canary Islands site Officials at the protest-hit telescope seek a construction permit for the island of La Palma. Research headlines. Gravity Research update Black hole is hairless, reveals analysis of gravitational waves. Astronomy and space Research update Planet-eating star could be lurking in nearby cluster.

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Cosmology Research update Cosmic clash over Hubble constant shows no sign of abating. Planetary science Research update Water vapour is spotted on a distant rocky planet Kb is in the habitable zone of a red-dwarf star. Others vehemently disagree, arguing that the task of physics is to explain not just how time appears to pass, but why. For them, the universe is not static.

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The passage of time is physical. The future does not exist. It does not!

The Quantum Experiment that Broke Reality - Space Time - PBS Digital Studios

Last month, about 60 physicists, along with a handful of philosophers and researchers from other branches of science, gathered at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada, to debate this question at the Time in Cosmology conference. The conference was co-organized by the physicist Lee Smolin , an outspoken critic of the block-universe idea among other topics.

Fundamental Physics

His position is spelled out for a lay audience in Time Reborn and in a more technical work, The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time , co-authored with the philosopher Roberto Mangabeira Unger , who was also a co-organizer of the conference. Those in attendance wrestled with several questions: the distinction between past, present and future; why time appears to move in only one direction; and whether time is fundamental or emergent. Most of those issues, not surprisingly, remained unresolved. There are a few things that everyone agrees on. The directionality that we observe in the macroscopic world is very real: Teacups shatter but do not spontaneously reassemble; eggs can be scrambled but not unscrambled.

Entropy — a measure of the disorder in a system — always increases, a fact encoded in the second law of thermodynamics. As the Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann understood in the 19th century, the second law explains why events are more likely to evolve in one direction rather than another. It accounts for the arrow of time.

The Alternative Origins of Time

But things get trickier when we step back and ask why we happen to live in a universe where such a law holds. But no one believes that entropy actually works that way. Scrambled eggs always come after whole eggs, never the other way around. To make sense of this, physicists have proposed that the universe began in a very special low-entropy state. There was nowhere to go but up.

Some physicists are more troubled than others by the past hypothesis. To Smolin, the past hypothesis feels more like an admission of failure than a useful step forward.