The age of the universe

The age of the universe

             The age of the universe            04/30/16

 

Have you ever pondered how old is the universe that we inhabit? Believe it or not, some of the greatest minds of the human species have devoted their entire lives to that very question. There are two methods for finding the age. The first method involves some very intuitive reasoning. We know a few basic facts about the universe; first of all, galaxies are moving away from eachother at a similar velocity (adjusted for the acceleration of the universe, and second of all, we know (or at least we think we know, remember science is all about hypothesis) that at the beginning of the universe all matter was concentrated in a single point. Therefore, by measuring the speeds and the distance of galaxies, we can solve for the time elapsed in the universe. It’s like trying to solve for the time of a race if you know that everyone had a constant velocity and had a beginning spot! The second, more technical method involves analyzing globular clusters around the milky way and doing some really cool astrophysics stuff with them. By averaging both measurements, we get a value of 13.772 billion years! (with an uncertainty of around 59 million years, that’s science for you!)

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