Hobbies & interests
By Mohan Babu
Albert Einstein postulated the famous theory of relativity that has the beauty of being both simple and extremely complex. A part of the theory is simple enough to understand. We see a car travelling at 100 mph or 160 kmph towards north. We would think the car is moving towards Earth's north pole and nothing else is needed to explain this further. Viewed from the space above Earth, the car along with our planet would seem to be going around the Sun. If the same thing is viewed from a point far above our solar system, the car along with the rest of solar system would seem to be moving around the central black hole in the milky way galaxy.
From the above analogy, we know that nothing could be termed fixed in space but can be explained only in relation to something else! So when I am taking a morning walk in the beach, I also continue my round trips around the Sun and the milky way galaxy. The concept of relative time is more complicated compared to that of relative space. I will talk about it later.
Did universe have a beginning? Why do things exist the way they are? What if nothing ever existed? Some of the very fundamental questions in physics and astronomy have a philosophical tone. It explains why some of renowned experts in this field have an inclination towards philosophy. I personally believe a deeper appreciation of cosmos and nature would make us better human beings. Let us discuss briefly about two of the most important theories on the nature and origin of our universe. The theory of relativity and the Big bang theory are central to our present understanding of our universe.
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According to Big bang theory, the entire matter in our universe was condensed as a single or a near single point at some point of time in a distant past. The gravitational forces of such great intensity led to rapid expansion and cooling. The Big bang is not an explosion as is commonly misunderstood. It is possible that the universe could again collapse into a point of singularity and then could cause another big bang. This cycle could continue perpetually into future and it is possible that it had happened for a long time in past. If that is so, the origin of universe could never be explained and would remain as something that is beyond our scope to understand.