Entries by Multiple_Authors

Where Did the Big Bang Happen?

According to standard cosmological models, which are based on general relativity and are found to agree well with observations, time and space did not exist before the Big Bang — or even at the time of the Big Bang, which is a point where the theory breaks down because various quantities (such as temperature and…

Could Redshifts Be Intrinsic Rather than Cosmological?

How do we know that the redshifts of galaxies and quasars are cosmological and not “intrinsic?” Evidence for the cosmological interpretation The purpose of this FAQ entry is to explain why nonstandard interpretations of redshifts are not viable, not to explain from scratch how standard cosmological models were arrived at. The following is only a…

Building a Definition for Heat

One of the most frustrating misconceptions in Thermodynamics centres on the actual definition of heat. Many science/engineering students often refer to a body as to be possessing heat, but as we shall see, to do so is completely nonsensical. We start by examining the first law and defining each of it’s terms. The first law…

Is the Universe a Black Hole?

In the early universe, matter was gathered together at very high density, so why wasn’t it a black hole? The first thing to understand is that the Big Bang was not an explosion that happened at one place in a preexisting, empty space. The Big Bang happened everywhere at once, so there is no location…

Can We Tell Whether the Universe Is Rotating?

If you believe wholeheartedly in Mach’s principle, then there is no way to test empirically for rotation of the universe as a whole, since there is nothing else for it to be rotating relative to. However, general relativity is not very Machian, and it offers a variety of ways in which an observer inside a…

Why Do People Say That 1 And .999 Are Equal?

Why do people say 1 and 0.999… are equal? Aren’t they two different numbers? No, they really are the same number, though this is often very counterintuitive to many beginning students. Here are some non-rigourous proofs that 1=0.999…: Proof #1 For any two unequal numbers, there is always another number in between them. (That is…

A Layman’s Guide to: Lies, Damned Lies and Pseudoscience

It seems nowadays that we are getting swamped with science. But not the science of the valid kind. Science where people follow the scientific method and are based on sound reasoning, good experimental evidence and makes check-able predictions. No, sadly, most of the so-called science are pseudoscience, evil heinous impostors that exploit the public’s curiosity…