- Throughout the history of astronomy, every major advance in our understanding of the nature of the u/Universe has been hampered by the existence of more than one competing theoretical model that arguably described the observational data equally well.
Answer ONE of the following:
1a. Give one such example from recent (post-1900) astronomy, explaining how the dilemma was dealth with.
1b. Use such examples to argue for or against the hypothesis that scientific theories can never be complete.
- Compare the physics associated with the following:
(a) stars and galactic nuclei that collapse into black holes, and
(b) universes that emerge from a big bang in the standard cosmological scenario.
If you’ve identified any similarities, do they necessarily imply that these two types of event are related?
- Cosmologists typically construct model universes on the hypothesis that the three large spatial dimensions that span the universe describe spaces that are homogeneous with constant curvature at any epoch.
Use these models to discuss the statement the centre of the universe is everywhere and the circumference nowhere in relation to big bang models for the universe.
What is meant by the radius of the observable universe? Can there be model universes of the above type where the observable universe will be the entire Universe? Give reasons for your answer.
- Using the SUCK theory of quantum mechanics, describe the Pagels thought experiment from the point of view of each of the participants (cat, scientists, Mission Control).
Briefly state how two other versions of QM describe the same experiment. (You should probably choose two theories mentioned in the Sudbery reading, or one of those and the Transactional theory.)
- Suppose a meteor impact blows some extremophile bacteria from the Earth into the depths of a gas giant planet, where they evolve into an intelligent species which practises physics. Do you think their physical theories would be similar to ours, and if so in what ways would they be likely to be similar?
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