Starting with Democritus in 430 BC, people have been trying to understand the smallest units of matter. However, when you get that small, matter becomes fuzzy and behaves like a wave. According to Quantum Field Theory, what we experience as particles are energy ripples in Quantum Fields that exist everywhere. So matter is like the waves on a vast ocean. There are many such fields and they interact with each other to make all of reality.
Einstein thought that Quantum Physics is an inadequate representation of reality and that there are hidden variables or physics that we don't understand, and possibly may never be able to understand. I have seen a video claiming that the hidden variable idea has been disproven, but I side with Einstein on this one. Much can be explained by the fact that what we perceive as particles are waves in fields according to Quantum Field Theory. All the weirdness in Quantum Physics has to do with the particles not having an exact location.
The next question would be what are the fields made of? We might never know.
I find Pilot Wave Theory enticing. The idea is that particles are actually particles, but they ride on top of waves giving us essentially the same result. Reportedly there is some minor evidence for this, but the two theories are hard to distinguish from one another.
We can't see all of our galaxy. Much of it is blocked from our view by dust and gas. However, scientists have used things like x-ray emissions to get a pretty good idea of what the Milky Way Galaxy looks like. We live roughly halfway between the edge and the center.
Light and other electromagnetic radiation from parts of the galaxy take tens of thousands of years to reach us. This makes me wonder if our image of the galaxy is based on what we see now, or based on where we expect stars to be right now?
There is a saying in science that it is never aliens... until it is. A great many natural phenomena can generate electromagnetic radiation.
On Wed, Sep 8, 2021 at 7:01 PM Larrywrote:
I am enjoying a great sci fi book called Omega from Jack MxDevitt, which has bad things coming from the galactic center...but here is something new in reality...
Astronomers have detected a strange, repeating radio signal near the center of the Milky Way, and it's unlike any other energy signature ever studied.
According to a new paper accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal and posted on the preprint server arXiv, the energy source is extremely finicky, appearing bright in the radio spectrum for weeks at a time and then completely vanishing within a day. This behavior doesn't quite fit the profile of any known type of celestial body, the researchers wrote in their study, and thus may represent "a new class of objects being discovered through radio imaging."
The radio source — known as ASKAP J173608.2−321635 — was detected with the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope, situated in the remote Australian outback. In an ASKAP survey taken between April 2019 and August 2020, the strange signal appeared 13 times, never lasting in the sky for more than a few weeks, the researchers wrote. This radio source is highly variable, appearing and disappearing with no predictable schedule, and doesn't seem to appear in any other radio telescope data prior to the ASKAP survey.
When the researchers tried to match the energy source with observations from other telescopes — including the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Neil Gehrels SwiftObservatory, as well as the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy in Chile, which can pick up near-infrared wavelengths — the signal disappeared entirely. With no apparent emissions in any other part of theelectromagnetic spectrum, ASKAP J173608.2−321635 is a radio ghost that seems to defy explanation.
Prior surveys have detected low-mass stars that periodically flare up with radio energy, but those flaring stars typically have X-ray counterparts, the researchers wrote. That makes a stellar source unlikely here