The answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything, according to Douglas Adams’ excellent book, is 42. The reality, it turns out, is not quite so simple.
Questions about what the universe is, how it began, how it works, and where it is going have exercised the minds of some of the smartest scientists of the last two centuries and, while huge strides have been made in pinning down the science underlying the workings of the universe, some stubborn obstacles still remain. In fact, it does sometimes seem that the more we learn and the more questions we answer, the more there is to learn and the more new questions arise.
Nevertheless, this website tries to summarize some of the main theories and topics in modern physics and astrophysics without getting into too much serious mathematics, but at the same time without dumbing it down to the point of uselessness. It attempts to tread the fine line between the two extremes: providing sufficient accurate and hard information and explanation but without too much confusing detail.
It attempts to cover some of the fundamental topics in 20th Century physics such as the Big Bang, black holes, quantum theory, special and general relativity, etc, as well as touching on fascinating concepts such as dark matter and dark energy, wormholes, the Big Crunch, the Big Freeze, and the Big Rip, superstrings, curved space-time, the uncertainty principle, wave-particle duality and some of the other bizarre consequences of quantum mechanics, in the process. There is also a section on the search for the beginnings of life on Earth, even though this is not strictly physics. It does NOT deal in any detail with classical physics, except insofar as explanations are necessary for the development of some of the other main themes.
There are, of course, many other websites out there, both elementary and technical, and there are even more books published on the subject by a multitude of eminent scientists. I am most definitely NOT an eminent scientist. In fact, I am not a scientist at all, merely an interested layman. But I have made use of several of those admirable books, as well as additional information from any number of other freely available websites, many of which I have credited on the Sources page. All pictures and images used are also credited and linked to source websites.
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