The problem with putting in those links is that they get out dated. I can't go back to the thing I posted. But I guess we are just rambling around.
About scientist taking the best guess. Some of the guesses are so far out there. Black holes for instance.... Gravity so strong that light can't even escape. But according to something I watched after the whole of the universe gets sucked into the black holes and all those black holes become one huge black hole then the black whole will also go away. How you ask. Evaporation. That is correct. Even though light can't escape it seems that individual molecules can. :roll: Also, did you know there was some sort of geysers that spew out the top of the black holes :? What? There is no gravity up there or what?
Here is where the simple gets complicated. Black holes when you tell your kids about them are neat thing that acts like a giant vaccum cleaner that sucks in everything including light. Because the gravitation pull is so strong. As adults and educated individuals things don't get to remain that simple. You catch a cold as a kid. As an adult you realize everytime you catch a cold it is a different version of the cold virus. It's never quite as simple as we would like it to be. Black Holes have a lot of theroy surronding them and probably will for years to come. It isn't like with today's technology we can travel to one go through it and see what is on the other side. Sometimes when talking about complicated matters the analogies that are used are something we are familar with. However in reality they don't do a very good job of describing the actual science. That is what is going to happen here.
Black Holes were discovered mathmatically before one was actually discoverd in space.
Karl Schwarzschild back in 1915 wrote the mathmatical formula that proved that black holes could exist. His work along with Einstiens help form the relative theory concept that is used today. Basically this guy had lots of brains when it came to math items.
So in 1915 we can't see black holes. The telescopes aren't that good. But on paper we have a mathmatical formula that says they can exist.
Now the other scientist come in and refine this formula and add more varibles to bring it to a more applied ideal. Scientist like Robert Oppenheimer and David Finkelstein are just two of many who worked on the refinement of the idea behind the existance of black holes.
Along the line another scientist John Wheeler made a speech and called them "black holes" and the term has stuck.
Now comes the real fun part. Black Holes are exactly that black. In space you cannot see them so they really cannot be discovered. However the forces they are alone can exert can be discovered. In 1971 a binary star system Cygnus X-1 showed all the signs of a black hole. it is still to far to travel there.
Now a little bit a black hole biology. Black Holes contain at their core a singularity. In basic math this is sometimes refered to as a point. That singularity has an infinite gavitational pull. Light which is a group of charged particles will bend and be drawn to this singularity.
Since the light is not coming toward you, nothing can be seen. Most black holes in space have a huge gravitation field. However it possible to have micro black holes. It is also possible that black holes in certain cases are not very stable and have a very short shelf life.
So here is where it gets even more complicated. A scientific group known as CERN is batting around the idea of creating micro black holes in a partical accelarator. This is a huge magnet scientist use to smash atoms and the protons, nuetrons and electrons that make up atoms. This goes into the heart of a mathmatical style known as quantum mechanics, which has nothing to do with fixing the engine of a car. Quantum mechanics has a real tough time dealing with gravity on a mathmatical level.
These scientist want make these very tiny black holes. They will get test all sorts of theroies and hypthosises with it. However they are somewhat relucant to create even on a microscopic level one of the most powerful vacumm cleaners in the universe. Cartoons on TV where made up of what would happen if something went wrong.
Now some of the scientist also point out that they would not be stable due to something known as Hawking Radiation. This is where the discussion of a black hole evaporating comes from. Stephen Hawking, brillant scientest who lives in a wheelchair with a voice auxilary unit, helped come up with this idea. that is why it is named after him. Not all black holes are the same. Like the word car which refers to a transportation device. Not all black holes are the same. Some black holes are like Mustangs and some are like Pintos.
Now this evaporation item is still being debated. And lets say there is a rate of evaporation. What is leaving Black Holes is radiation and it is escaping just before the event horizon. The event horizon is the point of no return. Now let me throw in another wrench in this. Black holes may not run at a constant level and may even turn down or off and then back on. In which case lots of stuff may escape. It is like putting your hand over the end of a shop vac several times really fast(think speed of light fast here). Also since the stablity of black holes is in debate. A black hole may evaporate very slowly think billions of years others may evaporate seconds after birth.
Let me throw neat analogy in this. Glass to elementary school kids is a solid (vs gas or liquid). However in college viscosity is taught and you learn glass is a liquid. It is a very dense viscous item but it is a liquid. This why black holes seem different from what you learned in elementary school to what you learned in college. You can view something known as the pitch drop experiment for fun. http://www.physics.uq.edu.au/pitchdrop/pitchdrop.shtml
Now just to really melt your mind, the one other thing that happens with a black hole is time changes. Literally the idea behind how a clock works doesn't quite apply once you have crossed the event horizon.
Folding space. :shock: Heard of that one? Seems we can not ever.... never ever.... go faster than the speed of light. So in order to travel great distances we have to fold space. Could you imagine a few billion space travelers from a few billion galaxies folding space all at the same time? It would look like a wadded up piece of paper.
If the space aliens now are traveling this way, don't you think we would notice that galaxy on Orions belt is a little closer these days? And how do you unfold it anyways?
About that light speed. Really :roll: You just go a little faster, and a little faster, and still a little faster until suddenly you hit that magic speed where you do not age as fast as everybody who is sitting still. And then go a little faster until you reach light speed. And then a little faster....What? Poof? You no longer exist? Just because a bunch of numbers say so I guess.
Ah yes folding space. One of favorite science fiction books (Dune) has space travel based on this idea. Einstien was pretty admant that nothing could go faster than the speed of light. He was a pretty bright guy so a lot of people respected his idea. However sometimes the best ideas come from challenging the accepted status quo. There are some scientist who say it may be possible to go faster. Understand for a while there it was thought you could not go faster than the speed of sound. Ideas change. Right now coming up with a good theroy that you have an engine powerful enough to make you go faster than the speed of light are lacking. So a couple of smart guys got together and said why go faster? Why not just fold space. Einstein guessed space was shaped in a curve like a bowl. And items in the space travel like a very tiny ball rolling in the bowl. Well these brainy gus said instead of rolling in the bowl why not just go straight from one edge of the bowl to the other edge and skip all of the curve of the bowl. Right now it makes for great science fiction but in 1915 so did black holes.
Did you hear the one about "String theory"? It has been debunked and replaced with the plane theory or something like that. (Soon we'll be back to particles I'm sure) And to go with this we need some 12 dimensions. These planes have waves in them and when these dimensional planes waves bump into each other we have a "BIG BANG" thing going on. A whole 'nother universe in a whole 'nother dimension is formed. (Wonder where the first 12 came from.)
Well string theroy hasn't been completly debunked but it isn't gaining a lot of fans among scientist and it is still a very early idea. It may go to the wayside it may get picked up. Ideas come and go this is one them. It will be interesting to see what happens.
The idea behind dimensional space (we live in three dimensional space) and the number of dimensions is an amazing setup. The math and ideas behind are incredible.
Maybe one of the reasons aliens from other worlds haven't bothered us yet is because we just aren't that interesting. Than again I wonder about my cats sometimes.