For the first time, astronomers have detected the presence of complex organic molecules, the building blocks of life, in a protoplanetary disk surrounding a young star, suggesting that the conditions that spawned our Earth and Sun are not unique in the universe. In fact, it probably means that the building blocks of life are very widely spread. This, combined with the recent discovery that planets are commonplace, raises the likelihood that life may be abundant. Just how abundant cannot be known, but it is now all but certain that there is life out there. But is it intelligent? If intelligent life was commonplace, then we would have seen more obvious signs, probably in the radio background noise. However, given the sheer size of the cosmos, it is all but inevitable that ET exists.
Ahmed Farag Ali at Benha University and coauthor Saurya Das at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, have shown in a paper published in Physics Letters B that the Big Bang may not have happened and the universe may actually be infinite. It the suggestions in this paper prove to be true, then mankind’s fundamental understanding of the universe is going to change profoundly. It has been believed for a long time that the universe began 13.8 billion years ago with a ‘singularity’, a tiny, ultra dense mass that exploded with tremendous force, expanding into the universe we see around us today.
Like it or not, mathematics underpins our whole existence, either by conscious design or through natural selection. Our ancestors were very appreciative of the significance of mathematics, illustrated by the precise geometric alignments that have been observed in the construction and placements of ancient monuments on earth, such as Stonehenge and the pyramids, that align them with other monuments nearby, and also with astronomical events such as sunrise or sunset.
As the hot debate over whether the next "Miss Universe" beauty pageant will take place in 2014, 2015 or not all, the real question we should be asking ourselves is: what actually is the Universe? Is it the vast, limitless vacuum of space that we conventionally perceive it to be, or could it be…a hologram?
And if it was, would we ever know?
A unusual experiment, conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, in Batavia, Illinois, is attempting to find the answers to this and other mind-blowing questions regarding the universe we live in. Using a unique device called the Holometer, scientists have begun to collate data that is trying to detect the smallest unit in the universe.