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Learning objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Identify sample questions to be asked on the largest scales.
  • Identify sample questions to be asked on the intermediate scale.
  • Identify sample questions to be asked on the smallest scales.

Throughout the text we have noted how essential it is to be curious and to ask questions in order to first understand what is known, and then to go a little farther. Some questions may go unanswered for centuries; others may not have answers, but some bear delicious fruit. Part of discovery is knowing which questions to ask. You have to know something before you can even phrase a decent question. As you may have noticed, the mere act of asking a question can give you the answer. The following questions are a sample of those physicists now know to ask and are representative of the forefronts of physics. Although these questions are important, they will be replaced by others if answers are found to them. The fun continues.

On the largest scale

  1. Is the universe open or closed ? Theorists would like it to be just barely closed and evidence is building toward that conclusion. Recent measurements in the expansion rate of the universe and in CMBR support a flat universe. There is a connection to small-scale physics in the type and number of particles that may contribute to closing the universe.
  2. What is dark matter ? It is definitely there, but we really do not know what it is. Conventional possibilities are being ruled out, but one of them still may explain it. The answer could reveal whole new realms of physics and the disturbing possibility that most of what is out there is unknown to us, a completely different form of matter.
  3. How do galaxies form ? They exist since very early in the evolution of the universe and it remains difficult to understand how they evolved so quickly. The recent finer measurements of fluctuations in the CMBR may yet allow us to explain galaxy formation.
  4. What is the nature of various-mass black holes ? Only recently have we become confident that many black hole candidates cannot be explained by other, less exotic possibilities. But we still do not know much about how they form, what their role in the history of galactic evolution has been, and the nature of space in their vicinity. However, so many black holes are now known that correlations between black hole mass and galactic nuclei characteristics are being studied.
  5. What is the mechanism for the energy output of quasars ? These distant and extraordinarily energetic objects now seem to be early stages of galactic evolution with a supermassive black-hole-devouring material. Connections are now being made with galaxies having energetic cores, and there is evidence consistent with less consuming, supermassive black holes at the center of older galaxies. New instruments are allowing us to see deeper into our own galaxy for evidence of our own massive black hole.
  6. Where do the γ size 12{γ} {} bursts come from ? We see bursts of γ size 12{γ} {} rays coming from all directions in space, indicating the sources are very distant objects rather than something associated with our own galaxy. Some γ size 12{γ} {} bursts finally are being correlated with known sources so that the possibility they may originate in binary neutron star interactions or black holes eating a companion neutron star can be explored.

Questions & Answers

Suppose a speck of dust in an electrostatic precipitator has 1.0000×1012 protons in it and has a net charge of –5.00 nC (a very large charge for a small speck). How many electrons does it have?
Alexia Reply
how would I work this problem
how can you have not an integer number of protons? If, on the other hand it supposed to be 1e12, then 1.6e-19C/proton • 1e12 protons=1.6e-7 C is the charge of the protons in the speck, so the difference between this and 5e-9C is made up by electrons
what is angular velocity
Obaapa Reply
Why does earth exert only a tiny downward pull?
Mya Reply
Why is light bright?
Abraham Reply
what is radioactive element
Attah Reply
an 8.0 capacitor is connected by to the terminals of 60Hz whoes rms voltage is 150v. a.find the capacity reactance and rms to the circuit
Aisha Reply
thanks so much. i undersooth well
Valdes Reply
what is physics
Nwafor Reply
is the study of matter in relation to energy
a submersible pump is dropped a borehole and hits the level of water at the bottom of the borehole 5 seconds later.determine the level of water in the borehole
Obrian Reply
what is power?
aron Reply
power P = Work done per second W/ t. It means the more power, the stronger machine
e.g. heart Uses 2 W per beat.
A spherica, concave shaving mirror has a radius of curvature of 32 cm .what is the magnification of a persons face. when it is 12cm to the left of the vertex of the mirror
Alona Reply
did you solve?
my name is Abu m.konnek I am a student of a electrical engineer and I want you to help me
the magnification k = f/(f-d) with focus f = R/2 =16 cm; d =12 cm k = 16/4 =4
what do we call velocity
A weather vane is some sort of directional arrow parallel to the ground that may rotate freely in a horizontal plane. A typical weather vane has a large cross-sectional area perpendicular to the direction the arrow is pointing, like a “One Way” street sign. The purpose of the weather vane is to indicate the direction of the wind. As wind blows pa
Kavita Reply
what about the wind vane
If a prism is fully imersed in water then the ray of light will normally dispersed or their is any difference?
Anurag Reply
the same behavior thru the prism out or in water bud abbot
If this will experimented with a hollow(vaccum) prism in water then what will be result ?
What was the previous far point of a patient who had laser correction that reduced the power of her eye by 7.00 D, producing a normal distant vision power of 50.0 D for her?
Jaydie Reply
What is the far point of a person whose eyes have a relaxed power of 50.5 D?
What is the far point of a person whose eyes have a relaxed power of 50.5 D?
A young woman with normal distant vision has a 10.0% ability to accommodate (that is, increase) the power of her eyes. What is the closest object she can see clearly?
29/20 ? maybes
In what ways does physics affect the society both positively or negatively
Princewill Reply

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