The Origins of the Universe – Ed Copeland – 28/11/11

27th November 2011

In the last of our ‘guest lecturer’ series, we chat to Professor Ed Copeland about the origins of the Universe, the Big Bang, inflation, quarks, ‘dark’ matter, ‘normal’ matter, ‘anti-‘matter and ‘does it even’ matter?

Dark Matter

To the left is an image of the simulated dark matter distribution in our Universe. We can’t see dark matter because it doesn’t interact with visible light. It does interact with gravity however, so we can see its effects.

Standard Model

To the right is the Standard Model of particle physics, and it represents what we believe makes up matter in our Universe. Listen in on Monday to hear all about how we know this and whether there are any other particles in the Universe we don’t know about.

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We’re talking about the big bang, check out this poster describing the history of the big bang..

In the beginning there was the radiation dominated era before matter as we know it began to take over! Click on the thumbnail to see more about it..

Super Symmetry
In particle physics Super Symmetry is a symmetry that relates elementary particles of one spin to other particles that differ by half a unit of spin and are known as superpartners. In a theory with unbroken supersymmetry, for every type of boson there exists a corresponding type of fermion with the same mass and internal quantum numbers, and vice-versa.

Here’s an example of the branes that Ed was talking about, each of these branes is its own universe and could have different laws. They move apart and back together so we could have multiple big bangs! Don’t worry, it won’t be for trillions of years..

Atlas is pretty big! There’s a man standing in the centre of the Atlas detector if you look closely!

Science in the News –

Closing in on the Higgs (or not)…

Failure of the russian space program to be punished by prison! Would a similar threat motivate academics here?

Landmine sniffing rats, could they replace dogs?

Ed in the studio