astrophysics

We know very little about what happened in the first seconds after the Big Bang. In this public lecture, author and Fermilab physicist Dan Hooper examines how physicists are using the Large Hadron Collider and other experiments to re-create the conditions of the Big Bang and to address mysteries such as how our universe came to contain so much matter and so little antimatter.

The existence or nonexistence of dark matter is a pressing and modern problem in physics. Something makes galaxies spin too fast, but nobody knows just what. In this episode of Subatomic Stories, Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln talks about the ongoing debate and points to two observations that make scientists more confident that dark matter is a real thing.

While we’ve known about neutron stars for the better part of a century, astrophysicists still aren’t entirely sure how large they are. That uncertainty is related to two other unanswered questions: What’s in the middle of neutron stars, and how massive can they grow? Astrophysicists are combining multiple methods to reveal the secrets of some of the weirdest objects in the universe.

There are mysteries in the cosmos that general relativity can’t explain, such as how galaxies rotate and how clusters of galaxies move. Scientists have ideas as to possible explanations. In this 13-minute episode of Subatomic Stories, Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln lists some of the most pressing mysteries.

A bit of MAGIC

The MAGIC telescope’s first observation of a gamma-ray burst gave astronomers surprising new insight into the phenomenon.

Black holes live up to their name. They emit no light and they’re usually very far away. This makes it hard to take pictures of them, and indeed, some people claimed that they might not exist. But that’s no longer true. In episode 19 of Subatomic Stories, Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln tells us how we are quite sure that black holes are real.

Black holes seem to be timeless, lurking in the cosmos, forever eating and growing. However, astronomers believe that there is a way for black holes to shrink in size and eventually evaporate away. In episode 18 of Subatomic Stories, Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln talks about Hawking radiation, the ultimate fate of black holes.