Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Earth Origins

This week we began a new unit discussing the origin of the Earth.  In order to understand Earth's origin, we first took a look at how the universe was created.  The Big Bang theory states that all of the matter in the universe was concentrated in one small mass that blew apart 10-20 billion years ago.  As that matter spread out, some of it collected in a central mass, contracted under its own gravity, condensed, and heated until forces were so strong that thermonuclear reactions began, thus creating the star that is the center of our solar system.  Some of the questions that we will be tackling this week are:
  • Why is Earth so well-suited for life?  What factors contribute to this?
  • What is Earth's revolution and what evidence do we have for it?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Nobel Prize in Particle Physics!

This year's Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to an American and two Japanese physicists for their work in subatomic physics.  Their discovery, called spontaneous broken symmetry, is a mechanism that predicts the existence of three families of quarks.  "Spontaneous broken symmetry conceals nature's order under an apparently jumbled surface. It has proved to be extremely useful, and Nambu's theories permeate the Standard Model of elementary particle physics," said the Royal Swedish Academy of Science.

Here is an article:  Nobel Prize in Physics