Theoretical physicist Dr. Richard Hammond discussed his new book The Unknown Universe, which explores mysterious aspects of cosmology and space. Cosmic acceleration, he explained, is the accepted concept that the universe is in a constant state of expansion, like a balloon being blown up. Galaxies, like pennies on the balloon, are moving further and further apart. Yet conversely, local perturbations dictate that some galaxies will collide with each other, such as the eventual merging of our own Milky Way with neighboring Andromeda.
Hammond speculated that puzzling 'dark energy' could be the force that is causing the universe to expand-- it's even possible that our universe could be contained in another universe, contributing to the expansion, he conceded. The observation of the hypothetical Higgs Particle (referred to by some as the God Particle) could be the greatest breakthrough in science, he said. It would help explain how particles have mass.
He also suggested that travel through wormholes, if they could be found or built, would be more a practical way to explore the universe, rather than trying to develop propulsion alternatives for spacecraft.
During the first half-hour, Richard C. Hoagland discussed his speech at the recent Libertarian convention, and commented on the Mars Phoenix Lander mission.
Bumper music from Monday May 26, 2008