How to accurately share science with others? Three pictures of the universe that are easily misunderstood by us

2020-01-10 | Theory of Quantum Science original |

I love my teacher, but I love the truth more. "—— Aristotle

Science topics are large or small. The scientific knowledge that ordinary people usually come across are simple conclusions. We don't care about their brain-burning calculations because these are all things for scientists. I just need to knowEverything is fine, but the conclusions we get should also be correct and rigorous. Sometimes we do receive wrong information, and worse, we sometimes believe in it. Let ’s talk about a simple one todayTopic: Three pictures of the universe that are often mistaken for us.

Share the first law of science

If you love science, you will understand that science is actually two things :

About the process of acquiring, pooling, and integrating knowledge

Summarize all the knowledge, and the best conclusions we can draw based on this knowledge.

Although science is sometimes full of mistakes, dead ends, and false results, it is a process that advances the cause of humanity.

From the composition of matter at the smallest scale to the observable universe at the largest scale, to everything in between, science enables us to find answers to some questions. It will not only tell us: what we seeWhat is it, how it was formed, and it also enables us to predict the distant future.

Esoteric and magical universe stories are not only rich but also full of value for human beings, so except for a few scientists who study it, every ordinary person I should learn about science, understand the universe, and be curious. BecauseThe universe created us, and we live in the universe.

The story of the universe is the story of all of us. It is a story that we should all share. This is also what a science popular creator does every day.

If you want to share a scientific knowledge or a universe story with others, if you want to become a popular science person, you need to shoulder a huge responsibility and follow a rule :

If you want to talk to others about science, the first responsibility is to accurately describe what we know about the universe at the moment.

This includes whether the terminology we use is accurate, the logic is rigorous, and the pictures shown are correct. For example, there are two animations below, so which one more accurately describes the movement of the planets in the solar system in the universethe way?

How the Solar System Works in the Universe

The planets in the picture above, especially those with long revolution periods, obviously lag behind the plane of the solar orbit.

The above two animated pictures should be seen by everyone, but most people usually see the top animation, because it has been cited the most, and of course it has been viewed more often. However, the bottomThis animation is actually a correct representation of the movement of the solar system in the universe, because all the planets are running on the same orbital plane, it will only differ by a few degrees, and it will neither fall behind nor lead the orbital plane of the sun.

The animation at the top may be very beautiful and it looks more visually striking, but scientifically, it contains the wrong information. Let ’s take a look at this photo again, you are definitely familiar with it.

cosmic cavity? Or just a mass of gas

The above photo is also often shared, printed, and viewed a lot, because its text with pictures is very shocking, generally it is: This is a 1 billion light-year cosmic cavity, there is no any in the dark area.The existence of matter normal or dark matter, let alone a star or an entire galaxy.

It sounds really spectacular, and the surrounding dense stars make this picture a bit confusing. It really makes people think that a huge hole has appeared in the star. It seems that these stars have beenErase it. But the truth is this :

The so-called "cosmic cavity" is just a typical large and sparse space area. It does not contain large and bright galaxies, but in addition to a large amount of normal matter and dark matter, it contains a large number of low-mass galaxies and at least several1 billion stars.

What is the dark area on that picture? It is a Boke spheroid, or a mass of dust and neutral gas that blocks light.

In fact, we can observe the Boke spheroid in the infrared, it is not a hole at all, there are a large number of stars behind it, which is basically the same as the surrounding area, and no stars have been erased.

Neutral hydrogen likes to absorb visible light. The size of the dust particles can also block the visible light from the background stars. It is actually only a few light years in size, not a billion light years, not a hole! It is just a small area of ​​dust.

Hawking radiation visualization picture?

You may not be familiar with this animated picture below, but it was once accompanied by the title of Hawking radiation! Hawking radiation is radiation emitted by a decaying black hole. What do you think it has to do with Hawking radiation?

This is just a computer-generated picture by digital artist Daniel McFarlane, which has nothing to do with Hawking radiation, which has its own charming characteristics and has nothing to do with the visual effects shown.

This is not to say that only scientists should communicate or spread science. Science belongs to everyone, anyone can talk about it, and even share science with others.

But before we share a story with others, we must first make sure that what we are telling is correct. The opposite of knowledge is not ignorance, but wrong information disguised as knowledge.

Science needs to absorb new knowledge, modify our previous thinking, and then accommodate it as we know it before, and we will have a larger and more detailed understanding of the actual operation of the universe.

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