Tests of Big Bang Cosmology
http://edu-observatory.org/olli/tobbc/Week4.html   or   index.html


Heisenberg's uncertainty principle
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8FTr2qMutA  (4+ min)

  Heisenberg's uncertainty principle tells us that it is
  impossible to simultaneously measure the position and
  momentum of a particle with arbitrary precision. In our
  everyday lives we virtually never come up against this
  limit, hence why it seems peculiar. In this experiment a
  laser is shone through a narrow slit onto a screen. As the
  slit is made narrower, the spot on the screen also becomes
  narrower. But at a certain point, the spot starts becoming
  wider. This is because the photons of light have been so
  localized at the slit that their horizontal momentum must
  become less well defined in order to satisfy Heisenberg's
  uncertainty principle.

What is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle? - Chad Orzel
  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQKELOE9eY4  (4+ min)
  The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that you can
  never simultaneously know the exact position and the exact
  speed of an object. Why not? Because everything in the
  universe behaves like both a particle and a wave at the same
  time. Chad Orzel navigates this complex concept of quantum

Quantum vacuum fluctuation (or Quantum Fluctuation for short) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_fluctuation Quoting from the above Wikipedia page: "In quantum physics, a quantum vacuum fluctuation (or quantum fluctuation or vacuum fluctuation) is the temporary change in the amount of energy in a point in space, arising from Werner Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. "According to one formulation of the principle, energy and time can be related by the relation "That means that conservation of energy can appear to be violated, but only for small times. This allows the creation of particle-antiparticle pairs of virtual particles. The effects of these particles are measurable, for example, in the effective charge of the electron, different from its "naked" charge. "In the modern view, energy is always conserved, but the eigenstates of the Hamiltonian (energy observable) are not the same as (i.e., the Hamiltonian doesn't commute with) the particle number operators. "Quantum fluctuations may have been very important in the origin of the structure of the universe: according to the model of inflation the ones that existed when inflation began were amplified and formed the seed of all current observed structure." Quoting from A USENET Posting by Steve Carlip (UC Davis): "CMB fluctuations give evidence for (though not proof of) inflation. "So far, I haven't said anything about where the initial density variations of the pre-recombination plasma came from. There are many possibilities. We know, at least, that they must be there -- even if we try to start with a perfectly smooth, unvarying plasma, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle tells us that there must be a minimum level of quantum fluctuations. "Inflationary" models propose that the very early Universe -- before the time of primordial nucleosynthesis -- underwent a very rapid expansion. Such an expansion would smooth out/dilute any earlier inhomogeneities, leaving only the quantum fluctuations, which would be "stretched" in size by the rapidly expanding space. "Such models predict a special pattern of fluctuations. In particular, although any particular fluctuation is random, the average number at any particular scale is predictable. This pattern on initial variations, in turn, should show up in the details of the CMB variations. So far, observations match the predictions of inflation very well. Most people in the field don't consider this conclusive -- one can imagine other ways of getting a similar pattern of initial perturbations -- but it is suggestive."

Inflation (cosmology) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_(cosmology) Cosmic Inflation and the Accelerating Universe - Part 1 - Alan Guth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwCCMHH378Q (9+ min) Alan H. Guth describes the theory of inflation and presents evidence that indicates our universe very likely underwent a perod of inflation in its early existence. He also discusses the surprising observation that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, offers possible explanations for this acceleration, and describes its impact on particle physics. Important Concepts: 1. The density stays constant during inflation 2. The net energy is very small -- likely zero

Physics Nobel Prize 2011 - Brian Schmidt http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHBvOOX3RJQ (7+ min) The Nobel Prize for physics in 2011 was awarded to Brian Schmidt, Adam Riess, and Saul Perlmutter for discovering that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. This finding was completely unexpected because it was thought that gravity should slow the expansion of the cosmos. The best current explanation of why the universe is accelerating is that there is some energy tied to empty space which pushes matter apart. This 'Dark Energy' makes up 73% of the universe but is very difficult to detect.

The Trouble With “The Big Bang” A rash of recent articles illustrates a longstanding confusion over the famous term. BY SABINE HOSSENFELDER https://nautil.us/the-trouble-with-the-big-bang-238547/

BOOK RECOMMENDATION Why Is The Universe So Empty? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmqbMwRK8KA (4+ min) We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe by Jorge Cham; Daniel Whiteson https://www.amazon.com/We-Have-No-Idea-Universe/dp/0735211515 Humanity's understanding of the physical world is full of gaps. Not tiny little gaps you can safely ignore-there are huge yawning voids in our basic notions of how the world works. PHD Comics creator Jorge Cham and particle physicist Daniel Whiteson have teamed up to explore everything we don't know about the universe: the enormous holes in our knowledge of the cosmos. Armed with their popular infographics, cartoons, and unusually entertaining and lucid explanations of science, they give us the best answers currently available for a lot of questions that are still perplexing scientists, including: * Why does the universe have a speed limit? * Why aren't we all made of antimatter? * What (or who) is attacking Earth with tiny, superfast particles? * What is dark matter, and why does it keep ignoring us? It turns out the universe is full of weird things that don't make any sense. But Cham and Whiteson make a compelling case that the questions we can't answer are as interesting as the ones we can. This fully illustrated introduction to the biggest mysteries in physics also helpfully demystifies many complicated things we do know about, from quarks and neutrinos to gravitational waves and exploding black holes. With equal doses of humor and delight, Cham and Whiteson invite us to see the universe as a possibly boundless expanse of uncharted territory that's still ours to explore. sam.wormley@gmail.com