Monday, February 16, 2015

Our place in the cosmos

Cosmologist Joel Primack argues that the universe, far from being a meaningless void, was meant for us. Sort of. Primack was a particle physicist who became interested in cosmology in the late 1970s, coinciding with the field's transformation by inflation theory and supersymmetry - the latter a theory that relates the properties of particles of force and matter, giving rise to predictions about invisible, or "dark," matter with not even a convincing conjecture about the nature of "dark energy". The center of the universe is not, of course, a geometric point in space, but a metaphor for humanity's place in the cosmos and the authors' intent is to relate these discoveries to the macroscopic, earthbound realm of human perception as a meditation on our place in a universe of visably known, unknown and perhaps unknowable mystery.

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