On July 4, 2012, scientists at the giant atom smashing facility at CERN announced the discovery of a subatomic particle that seems like a tantalizingly close match to the elusive Higgs Boson, thought to be responsible for giving all the stuff in the universe its mass. Since it was first proposed nearly fifty years ago, the Higgs has been the holy grail of particle physicists: finding it completes the 'standard model" that underlies all of modern particle physics. Now CERN's scientists are preparing for the Large Hadron Collider's second act, when they restart the history-making collider, running at higher energy--hoping to find the next great discovery that will change what we know about the particles and forces that make up our universe.
We move around in space, but we are stuck in a prison of time moving ever forwards. Einstein said, 'The distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.' Is our experience of the ticking clock merely a trick of the mind? Could science ever make the clock move backwards? Experiments in quantum physics are showing that the future influences the present: what happens later limits the choices we think we have now. The laws of physics say visiting or talking to ourselves in the past is possible – but changing history once we get there is not.
Category:Science Duration:45:00 Series: Through the Wormhole Season 6
Scientists have no idea what it is, but Dark Matter and Dark Energy make up 96% of the Universe. Dark Matter is everywhere. It passes through everything we know on earth at billions of particles every second, yet no one has ever gotten a direct detection of this mysterious dark substance. An even more bewildering force is Dark Energy, which is rapidly pushing apart our Universe. Discovered only ten years ago, scientists are struggling to comprehend its unusual characteristics and answer the ultimate question; what is the fate of our Universe? Using cutting-edge computer graphics watch as the universe is brought down to earth.
Category:Science Duration:45:00 Series: The Universe
While scientists have previously theorised about a “Big Crunch” where the universe retracts back to its original size, the discovery of Dark Matter and Dark Energy has placed that hypothesis on the backburner. Some astronomers now believe that if Dark Matter offsets Dark Energy then as the universe slowly expands, stars will gradually fade, running out of fuel and leading to a dark, cold and lifeless universe. Others hypothesise a much more violent end where Dark Energy continues to expand the universe at a greater and greater speed. Stronger than gravity, Dark Energy would pull apart everything down to the fundamental particles – the universe’s very fibres. While the universe’s end may be 50 billion years away, great leaps in science will continue to alter how we believe the universe was formed – and how it will end.
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