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Five Discoveries In Fundamental Physics That Came As Total Surprises

3 Nov 2017, 14:01 UTC
Five Discoveries In Fundamental Physics That Came As Total Surprises
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The Hubble eXtreme Deep Field, our deepest view of the Universe to date, which reveals galaxies from when the Universe was only 3–4% its current age. The fact that so much was revealed just by looking at a blank patch of sky for so long was one incredible surprise that didn’t make the list. Image credit: NASA; ESA; G. Illingworth, D. Magee, and P. Oesch, University of California, Santa Cruz; R. Bouwens, Leiden University; and the HUDF09 Team.If you think we know it all, you’ll never be ready for the next big breakthrough.When you’re taught the scientific method, you think of a neat procedure you can follow to gain insight into some natural phenomenon about the Universe. Start with an idea, perform an experiment, and either validate or falsify the idea, depending on the outcome. Only, the real world is a lot messier than that. Sometimes, you perform an experiment, and you get a result that’s entirely different from what you were expecting. And sometimes, the correct explanation requires a leap of imagination that goes far beyond what any reasonable person would logically conclude. Today, the physical Universe is very well understood, but the story of how we got here ...

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