It is difficult for us to fathom the scale of the universe. The differences between the smallest structures and the largest are so enormous that linear scales are useless. We need exponential scales, which make the numbers appear to be easy, even when the geometry is simply incomprehensible. A simple example can demonstrate these size differences – there are more atoms in a glass of water than there are glasses of water in all the oceans combined. (If you don’t believe it, here is the math.)

On an exponential scale in meters, humans are located at the midpoint between the nanometer scale (1×10−9 m) (a strand of DNA is 3 nanometers thick) and the scale of stars ( the sun is 1.4 ×109 m in diameter.) Reaching “down”, what we try to do in nanotechnology, is just as difficult as reaching “up,” exploring the solar system with our probes. But, the journey is only beginning.

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February 2012  © Jürgen Braungardt We are currently experiencing a paradigm shift in scientific thinking and explanation, away from reductionist and constructivist approaches. This shift is the result of the introduction of computers and the internet. Scientific researchers are now capable of collecting and processing much more information than ever before, and advanced modeling techniques allow […]

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He is one of the most important physicists and mathematicians of all time. Biography This short biography is quoted from the BBC History site. Isaac Newton was born on 4 January 1643 in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire. His father was a prosperous farmer, who died three months before Newton was born. His mother remarried and Newton was […]

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In response to a 1993 challenge from the UK Science Minister to produce a one-page simple explanation of the Higgs boson, the following entries were submitted.  (Quoted from “Physics World”, Volume 6 Number 9). As we all know, the Higgs has been found in July 2012 by the Large Hadron Collider. 1. How Particles Acquire […]

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Murray Gell-Mann developed the theory of quarks, the fundamental particles that constitute the atomic core. Here is an excerpt of his biography from the Nobel prize website. Continue reading

The following timeline of discoveries the led to the Standard Model is quoted from Fermilab’s website. “The current theoretical framework that describes elementary particles and their forces, known as the Standard Model, is based on experiments that started in 1897 with the discovery of the electron. Today, we know that there are six leptons, six […]

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From Physorg.com: “A group of three researchers from KEK, Shizuoka University and Osaka University has for the first time revealed the way our universe was born with 3 spatial dimensions from 10-dimensional superstring theory in which spacetime has 9 spatial directions and 1 temporal direction. This result was obtained by numerical simulation on a supercomputer. […]

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