Beijing time on December 5, according tomedia reports, in 1900, the famous physicist Lord Kelvin declared at the British Association for the Advancement of Science: “The physics world has no new discoveries.” “But it’s a big mistake to say that.” Over the next century, physics changed in a subversive nature. Numerous theoretical and experimental discoveries have completely changed our understanding of the universe and the earth’s place in the universe.
And the 21st century may be the same. There are still many mysteries in the universe that have not yet been solved. And over the next 50 years, new technologies will help us continue to crack these puzzles.
The first puzzle relates to the basis of our existence. Physicists estimate that the Big Bang produced the same amount of antimatter as it produced the substances that make up us. Most material particles have corresponding antimatter “twin brothers”, which are identical in characteristics, except for the opposite of charge. Once matter and antimatter meet, they will be annihilated in an instant, and the energy of both sides will be converted into light energy in the process.
Compared with the new collider of the future, the Large Hadron Collider is nothing to mention.
But today’s universe is made up almost entirely of ordinary matter. Where the hell are those antimatter?
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has provided us with some ideas. The machine would cause protons to collide at unimaginable speeds, producing heavier matter and antimatter particles that then decay into lighter particles, some of which may be new particles we have never seen before.
These experiments show that matter and antimatter decay at slightly different rates, which may explain some of the asymmetries we observe in nature.
The problem is that physicists are used to dealing with accurate data, but experiments in the Large Hadron Collider are as difficult to control precisely as ping-pong balls with tennis balls. Protons are made up of smaller particles of all kinds, and when protons collide with each other, the internal particles are sprayed around, making it much more difficult to find new particles in a large pile of debris. That makes it difficult for scientists to accurately determine the properties of these particles and to find clues to the mystery of the disappearance of antimatter.
Pictured is a one-to-one model of the James Webb telescope decorated with colored lights.
But in the next few decades, three new colliders will help us turn things around. One of the most important is the Future Ring Collider (FCC). The device is a circular tunnel around Geneva, about 100 kilometres long, while the 27-kilometer tunnel of the Large Hadron Collider will be a slide for the new collider. In the future, however, it will not be protons, but electrons and its antiparticles, “positive electrons”, that will collide much faster than the Large Hadron Collider.
Unlike protons, electrons and positrons are inseparable, so we know exactly which particles are involved in collisions. We can also adjust the energy levels of the collision to create specific antimatter particles and accurately measure their properties, especially the way they decay.
These studies will shed light on the new truth seisbuting physics. Perhaps the disappearance of antimatter is related to dark matter (dark matter accounts for 85% of the universe, but scientists have never detected such particles yet). Antimatter and the ubiquitous dark matter may be related to the state of the universe at the time of the Big Bang, so these experiments will take us back to our roots and explore our origins in depth.
We can’t predict how the truth revealed by these collider experiments will change our lives. But the last time we looked at the world with a “super magnifying glass,” we discovered subatomic particles and quantum mechanics. With this knowledge, our computer, medical, and energy production has revolutionized.
Will we be the only intelligent civilization in the universe?
At the cosmic level, there are also a number of unsolved mysteries to be solved. For example, the old question of “are we not the only intelligent civilizations in the universe” is the question. Although we recently found liquid water on Mars, we have found no evidence of microbial presence. The Martian environment is extremely harsh and difficult, so even if such evidence is found, these extraterrestrials must be extremely primitive.
So far, our search for alien life has been fruitless. But the James Webb telescope, due to be launched in 2021, could revolutionise the way we search for habitable planets.
Previous telescopes used to look for exoplanets by “ling-sun”, but james Webb did not. It uses a coronal instrument to block the light emitted by stars into the telescope (just as you reach out to block the glare of sunlight), so it can directly observe the more asteroids that would otherwise be obscured by bright light.
The James Webb telescope not only detects new planets, but also determines whether they are habitable. When the light emitted by a star enters the planet’s atmosphere, certain wavelengths of light are absorbed, leaving some gaps in the reflection spectrum. Like barcodes, these gaps in the arrangement can help scientists analyze the planet’s atmospheric composition.
The James Webb telescope was able to read these “bar codes” to analyze whether a planet’s atmosphere is necessary for life to survive. Over the next 50 years, we will be targeted for space missions to find out if there is extraterrestrial life on these target planets.
Scientists believe that Europa, not far from Earth, could be one of the planets in the solar system with life. Although The temperature of Europa is as low as minus 220 degrees Celsius, Jupiter’s groundwater may continue to stir and avoid freezing under Jupiter’s strong gravity, so it may be inad by microorganisms and even aquatic life.
The Europa Clipper probe, scheduled for launch in 2025, will confirm the presence of underground seas on Ganymede and find suitable landing sites for the follow-up mission. It will also look at liquid water spewing from the ice on Ganymede’s surface to analyze whether there are organic molecules.
All in all, there are still many unsolved mysteries about how the universe works and where we stand in the universe. The universe won’t reveal its secrets easily, but over the next 50 years, the universe will certainly be very different in our eyes. (Leaf)