'Universe mysterious despite many findings'

'Universe mysterious despite many findings'

New methods of mapping the birth of the universe may have come up, and yet there are innumerable ways more to undertake the mapping. Things may appear consistent, but there remain more mysteries to be solved, said George F Smoot, Nobel Laureate and Physics professor at the University of Berkeley, California, at a lecture organised by the Nobel Museum and hosted by IISc, in Bangalore on Monday.

The Museum’s vision, reportedly, is to have Nobel laureates share their ideas with the scientific community and the public at large, all over the world. Dr Smoot will deliver lectures at three more cities in India. This is the first time that the Museum is undertaking a multi-city  programme in the country.

Dr Smoot answered some questions with regard to the birth of the universe. He said that careful analysis, discussion and computer modelling had allowed scientists to determine the sequence of events that may have occurred over billions of years. Only continuous mapping will allow us to check this in detail and would give us the concepts to map the universe, he said reflecting on the ways to understand the creation of the universe.

The tale of creation, the scientist said, can be told from very early times with key evidence, including the use of cosmic background light to provide a direct image of the embryo universe.

Advanced instruments will help us sift through the light coming from all parts of the universe, he said. By separating and studying the cosmic wave background as a relic of the very early universe, it is possible to understand the events surrounding the development of the universe, the Berkeley physicist added.

Dr Smoot said that claims could be made about how much study had been taken up so far on the universe and what more needs to be done, but the fact is that the Earth is a spec in just one galaxy among billions of galaxies.

How small we are and how very far we are from understanding all the galaxies of the universe is subject to debate and theorisation, he added. But in general, we have a long way to go to grasp the scene before the big-bang, even while we know a few things, said Dr Smoot.

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