“We want to see the invisible”

"We want to see the invisible"

The Andromeda Galaxy will one day merge with our own galaxy. The enigmatic dark object holds the galaxies “tied” to each other. (Shutterstock)

Shortly after the appearance of Hamlet’s father’s demon, the latter tells Horace in one of the most talked about work abominations: “Earth and sky, Horace, our philosophy is full of things that even the dream can not dream of” (Trans.: Dionysis Kapsalis, published by Gutenberg).

French astronomer David Elbas agrees with the depressed Danish prince. Sitting opposite me at the beautiful bookstore of the University of Crete (PEK) on Tucsido Street, despite his scientific training (he is an expert in the formation and evolution of galaxies, director of research at the French Committee on Atomic Energy and Alternative Energy, as well as scientific adviser to the European Space Agency) pop culture Do not hesitate to speak with notes about. “Communication” is one of his favorite films, “Interstellar” (I have a problem with some episodes of Star Trek), but Woody Allen’s “Nervous Lover”: his book “In the Church of the Invisible” is in the universe. “Dark matter, dark energy, Black holes. “So one day it will disintegrate.” You’re in Brooklyn! “” Brooklyn did not expand, “his mother shouted at him.

Elbas understands Alvi’s childhood pain. The universe is actually expanding, and in this mysterious, permanent expansion it seems to have some strange properties or objects: dark matter, dark energy and black holes. Everything is black, unknown and dark.

Elbos’s book (from science fiction to author of fiction beginning in astronomy – one of which will soon be released in cinema) should only be read about the aforementioned cosmological trio under one roof. To explain it as simply as possible (to understand it myself): 4.9% of the total matter in the universe is ordinary matter, 26.8% is black matter and 68.3% is dark matter. This brings us to the most unpleasant realization: the visible universe, with its ordinary, solid object, is not even 5%. In other words, the universe is largely invisible. And worse? We do not know exactly what Dark Matter or Dark Energy is, except that the former “binds” the galaxies together, and the latter contributes significantly to the expansion of the universe that began in the Big Bang.

Black holes

But we did not: black holes, these cosmic spirals, monuments of large stars, “cracks” in the system of space-time with unimaginable gravitational force, even such light can not escape from them. Black holes are not made of matter, but rather “rotating space and time”. At their center should be a point nest of infinite density, the collapsing singularity of known laws of physics, while at the same time its imaginary range is the famous “event horizon”: beyond this state the known universe of events is invalid.

The fact that we are made up of stars is not just a poetic expression. We come from the vibrations of the newborn universe.

With a warm smile the French astronomer knows what Hamlet is saying. When I ask him if he agrees with the theory that the mysterious dark object must be a trace of a parallel universe, he agrees to drink his tea. “Actually, the dark matter may be the hallmark of other dimensions. According to string theory there are eleven dimensions in total, but they are small and spiral. But imagine the dimensions on a macro scale parallel to us.” That is, it’s not like movies or ghost stories; But in the end, yes, it’s like that. “

But why put Dark Matter, Dark Energy and Black Holes under one umbrella? “Scientifically, they are all connected by gravity. We see the invisible through its impact on the surrounding environment. But there is another: people think that ignorance is the opposite of ignorance. But ignorance is a kind of knowledge that you do not know. We see this today in social networks, fake news, etc. We have believers in the flat earth. One way to say what Nicholas Kausanos said centuries ago is that the more you know your ignorance, the deeper your knowledge will be.Mystery inspires and nourishes the souls of researchers. It hurts to touch with your finger. The body hurts “and the doctor:” I know what you have, a broken finger. “So the question is: Do we have a” broken “gravity?

The French astronomer David Elbas was in Athens for a few days. “Mystery inspires and nurtures the souls of researchers,” he says. Photo by Elena Collado

Thorne and Heraclitus

Elbas’ book confirms what Nobel Prize-winning astronomer Gip Thorne told me a few years ago: “The most beautiful thing about the sky is not everything I see, but everything I can see.” Also, the French scientist’s book is suitable for non-specialties. Especially for those trying to see the “big picture”. As long as they know it will always escape from them. Elbas emphasizes that Heraclitus said centuries ago that “nature wants to hide”. But that in itself makes scientific research even more compelling – unimaginably attractive.

“It’s a challenge,” Elbos says. “The European Space Agency plans to launch three satellites that will record in detail the collision of two black holes millions of light years away. Isn’t that crazy?” There is. Even more amazing is how astronomers measure and “weigh” the famous cosmic background radiation – echoes from the origin of our universe. “Because we study the surface of the stars, we study the vibrations on the surface of this cosmic horizon. The latter is called astronomy and the former is called cosmology. It is the seeds of the galaxies we see today and the crystals of the vibrations of the primordial universe. This is the cry of the newborn universe. Neither do the stars. Neither do you. They are not just poetic expression, we are made of the substance of the stars. In fact, we come from the crystallization of these primordial vibrations. Not experimentally or proven in nature, and that’s the big problem. Like string theory, supporters say they trust her because she’s aesthetically pleasing. Keep. But these should not all be mere paper exercises. On the other hand, it may one day prove to be the correct theory. In 1933, the idea of ​​the existence of a dark object first fell. Half a century has passed and we have finally found it. But you know what the amazing thing is? Theorists who thought about it found it in their minds before they even saw it there. The same thing happened in the theory of relativity, which Einstein did, he said that the most wonderful thing about the universe is that we cannot understand it. Something similar can happen in string theory, i.e., to prove it correctly, but so far we have no way of doing so. There may be a limit to what we can understand, I don’t know. So we can not dismiss it, but should doubt it.

David Elbos, “Searching for the Invisible Universe. Dark matter, dark energy, black holes. “Translation: Angelos Philippos, Scientific Editor: Vassilis Harmandaris, University of Crete Publications, 2021, p. 264.

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