Imminent Science: What Remains to be Discovered by Giovanni F. Bignami

By Giovanni F. Bignami

This isn't technology fiction. It’s a voyage at the arrow of time to the arriving fifty years. The mythical palindromic personality Mr. Qfwfq from Italo Calvino’s choice of brief tales, The Cosmicomics, will elect us – he who understands the entire solutions yet will provide out no tricks. he'll support us to find the techniques that may have replaced our lives via 2062, whilst, using astride Halley’s Comet, our omniscient extraterrestrial will go back to go to us.In this e-book, we will learn the way astronomers will commit themselves to the learn of the mysterious strength of darkish power, which makes up a few three-quarters of the Universe. we will additionally delve deeply into the examine of our Earth, to take advantage of the significant thermal power that lies underneath our toes. we will clear up one other enigma in today’s technology: the foundation of existence. we will come to appreciate how you can strengthen direct contacts among our brains and the remainder of the realm. we will find out about the way forward for genetics, the cause of the durability of Methuselah flies and the hunt for top numbers. those are just a number of the fascinating and significant discoveries to be printed during this fascinating ebook, that is designed for a broader public and never just for technology fiction devotees.

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Extra resources for Imminent Science: What Remains to be Discovered

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These messengers that physicists call bosons (from the surname of the Indian physicist Satyendranath Bose [1894–1974], we wonder what his mother called him . ) are themselves particles, but they are there with the sole purpose to transmit the forces of nature. Bosons are the dear old photon, with its elegant Greek name, mediator with the electromagnetic force, the gluon, from “glue”, mediator of the strong nuclear force: it keeps well stuck together nuclear particles (and keeps us together too), the W and Z (that only have a coded name), that transmit weak nuclear forces, and, of course, the Higgs boson, the boson par excellence, the one which makes sense of it all.

And since the size of the Galaxy will by then be still the same, in half a century’s time we shall easily come to cross it by means of our message in the laser bottle. It remains to be hoped (but yet to be discovered) that there should be someone out there who, taking a walk on the Galaxy beach, may be able to see and pick up the bottle. Let’s hope. Anyhow, it is worth trying: Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison, in their famous article of 1959 on “Nature”, entitled Searching for interstellar communications, came to their conclusion by saying : “the probability of success is difficult to estimate; but if we never search, the chance of success is zero”.

The difficulty of discoveries still to be made in astrochemistry lies precisely in the fact that the more complex the molecules are, the more complex will their spectrum be and, what’s more, the various molecular species add up and overlap on each other, thus creating real entangled forests of lines. We shall need very intelligent telescopes, able to find their way in that infinitely rich but very untidy territory which is the sky. Of course, today we know that molecules by themselves are not enough, for instance, to make up planets, that is those same objects on which later on more molecules will come to rest to make up people like us and Mr.

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