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Our Universe as a Laboratory for Understanding Physical Laws

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Introduction

Our Universe as a Laboratory for Understanding Physical Laws

Cosmology is the study of the origin, current state, and future of our Universe. With recent technological advances, we have been able to probe deeper and deeper into the large scale structure of the vast universe and the small scale structure of matter. Our basis of understanding and determining fundamental physical laws in assumed to be correct when measured locally in laboratory experiments. These laws are verified over and over again so that they can be extrapolated to a distant time and place where they can be investigated with modern astronomical methods. The universe is basically used as a massive laboratory. The universe as defined by Dr. Green is "everything that can be measured now or at any time in the future." What if our current understanding of the universe is not as perfect as we believe it to be? Our just we being egocentric in assuming that the fundamental physical laws that we have determined locally can apply to the rest of the universe? I am going to discuss why our universe

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Middle



If the universe is in fact accelerating, there has to be some mysterious force causing this. This force has been labelled dark energy by physicists and astronomers. Dark energy would be almost impossible to detect in a local laboratory because of its tiny density and its very weak interactions. The best way to try to understand dark energy would be to thousands of type 1a supernovae. This is exactly what the SuperNova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) is going to do. SNAP is going to orbit a 3-mirror, 2-meter telescope circling the globe every 14 days. It will discover and accurately measure over 2,000 type 1a supernovae a year. This would be 20 times the amount that was found in a decade of ground-based research. It will have a very wide-field camera with a billion pixels that will collect images hundreds of times larger than its predecessors. Measuring spurts or slowdowns in the expansion history of supernovae will provide an excellent way in understanding dark energy (Preuss online).

While using the universe to measure such forces as dark energy may be the best laboratory, at the same time it demonstrates how our understanding of the universe is not perfect.
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Conclusion



We are very fortunate to be living in this epoch of a rapid accelerating universe. I think with the proper funding and technology, we will have the capacity to understand our universe much better. Our universe has the capacity to be the best laboratory in understanding and determining fundamental laws, but until we can fully understand darkness of the universe I don't think we can say it is. I agree with the many scientists, astronomers, and physicists, who believe that type 1a supernovae hold the key to understanding our universe. I think our outlook on the universe should be "Carpe Diem," seize the day, or in a cosmologist's term, seize the epoch because if our universe is truly accelerating exponentially then this is our only chance as humans in understanding and determining the fundamental physical laws of the universe.

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