April 3, 2001 |
The Hubble Space Telescope, peering 10 billion years back in time to when the universe was in its adolescence, has spotted the most distant exploding star ever observed. Researchers said the discovery bolsters the controversial theory that mysterious "dark energy" is accelerating expansion of the cosmos. Invisible and poorly understood, dark energy might account for as much as two-thirds of space. Proposed a century ago by Einstein, it may counteract more familiar forces such as gravity.
March 14, 1998 |
A combination elf, oracle and rock star, Cambridge University physicist Stephen Hawking makes waves in physics that other people ride. So scientists listened when Hawking proposed in a technical talk Thursday at Caltech that the universe sprang from nothing into something in the shape of a wrinkly pea, and that the universe can be both open and closed, depending on how you look at it.
May 25, 1997 |
Almost 20 years ago, I tagged along with the great physicist Victor Weisskopf as he talked to a Cambridge, Mass., high school class about the Big Bang, the explosive origin of the universe. One student asked him what happened before the Bang, what caused the Bang? That question, said Weisskopf, fell outside the realm of physics. It was a question for God. Not anymore. Today, some scientists, it seems, just won't take no for an answer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 1995 |
The birth and death of stars, the future of the universe, stellar explosions and the origin of life are among the topics to be discussed at a symposium on "The Origin and Evolution of the Universe" Friday at UCLA. Hosted by the Center for the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life, leading astronomers and astrophysicists will discuss details of some recent developments in cosmology. The program is suited for a general-interest audience and will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
March 12, 1995
Religion and science are obviously not identical. But the growing prominence of cosmology, that branch of science that attempts to explain the order of the universe as a whole, has brought the two of late into a dialogue interrupted for centuries. The announcement last Tuesday that Paul Davies, an Australian mathematician and physicist, has won the annual, $1-million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, may stand as a minor milestone in that reconciliation.
March 7, 1995 |
As cosmologists struggle to get a handle on the universe, their biggest adversary is time. Probing the whys and wherefores of the universe turns on getting information from sources that are millions (or even billions) of light-years away. That means they are also millions (or billions) of years back in time. Deciphering starlight is like reading a letter from a friend who writes that he's sitting at a window looking at the crocuses in bloom.
March 6, 1995 |
Ever since people first stood up amid the tall grasses and looked about the world in wonder, religion, mythology and science all have struggled to explain how the world came to be. But when it comes to creation stories, few can hold a candle to the tale cooked up by modern cosmologists. Dialing back the cosmic clock about 15 billion years, they depict a time before time, a place before space existed.
October 30, 1994 |
It was 1985 when I got off the train in Nara at dusk and began walking down a resi dential street lined with walled-in houses and gardens. It was the second week of my visit to Japan and I had just come from the fabled city of Kyoto, about half an hour away, where I spent the day wandering through temple grounds. Lost in thoughts about the day, I walked for several blocks in Nara before realizing I had not gone down the street leading to my minsuku , or inn. It was getting dark.
April 4, 1993 |
Some performers keep scrapbooks of their past; Abbey Lincoln keeps history books. In her uptown Manhattan apartment, the jazz singer emerges from the study bearing two thick, black ring binders that she sets down on the dining room table. The carefully preserved press clippings between their covers record a life that has shifted gears as dramatically as the society around it. At first Anna Marie Wooldridge becomes Gaby Lee, a coquettish and beautiful 1950s supper club singer.