So my first piece was about the largest known object in the Universe – the Huge Large Quaser Group. I decided to mainly focus on its size with a relative comparison to other objects in the universe, but what I decided to leave out though was the consequences of this discovery. Due to its unbelievable size, the Huge LQG puts doubt into the ‘cosmological principle’, a theory that has been about since the time of Einstein.
It states that: ‘Viewed on a sufficiently large scale, the properties of the Universe are the same for all observers’
That is, no matter where you are in the Universe the laws of physics are the same – so some of you might be glad to hear that this means you are in fact the centre of the universe! Unfortunately though, it means that everywhere else is the centre of the universe also…….
Of course what we see physically would be different at different points in the Universe, but the laws would not change. The cosmological principle and the modern theory of cosmology also mean that no structure should be larger than then 370Mpc (Mega parsecs). And this is where the Huge LQG inflicts doubt on the principle.
As I stated in my first piece, the size of the Huge LQG is in fact about 1200Mpc – 4 times as large as it should be. There is also the fact that it is situated nearby another large quaser group – Clowes and Campusano LQG – meaning that region of space is unusual.
And this is one of the things that fascinates me about science, as the cosmological principle has been about for a good 80 years or so, and was taken as full proof until one discovery has brought about the possibility of it being incorrect.
Even the best and most famous can get it wrong sometimes. In my second year at uni I did a paper about the Cosmological Constant, introduced by Albert Einstein to help force through his new theory of general relativity into “predicting” a static universe. However, in time Einstein became against the idea of a constant, and rejected it completely when Hubble discovered his law showing the expansion of the Universe. He would later describe it as his “greatest blunder”.
However, during the 90s it was reintroduced by scientists to help their theories of Dark Matter in the Universe, and has become an important part of the theory once again. So there we have the Cosmological Constant being declared right, then wrong and then possibly right again.
This tells us that any idea you have whether it is right or wrong (or good or bad), should not be viewed as bullet proof, or should not be discounted as it may be useful in another set of circumstances.
Does that mean there is no such thing as a bad idea?