The Floating University

Glossary

  • Unified Field Theory: The theory that one equation can summarize all the physical forces in the universe
     
  • e = mc^2: Einstein’s famous equation; energy = mass x (the speed of light)^2
     
  • Galileo (1564 - 1642): Italian physicist and astronomer instrumental in forwarding the Copernican notion that the Earth revolved around the sun. Also made various advancements to telescope technology and invented the study of kinematics
     
  • Isaac Newton (1642 - 1727): "Discovered" gravity by developing the mathematics of calculus to account for the motion of astronomical objects. His laws of motions based on these observations provide the underpinning for all modern physics
     
  • Battle of Hastings: A historically important battle that occurred in 1066. It represented a crucial victory in the Norman conquest of England by Duke William II, who won the skirmish that saw the death of English King Harold II in battle. Halley's Comet is said to have appeared over the battlefield and rattled Harold II's troops enough to deliver victory to the Norman forces
     
  • Edmond Halley (1656 - 1742): A wealthy English merchant who became interested in a comet that appeared over London, and sought out Isaac Newton for an explanation. He later paid for the publication of Newton's Principia
     
  • Principia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy: Isaac Newton's seminal work, detailing the ins and outs of calculus and the laws of motions
     
  • Michael Faraday (1791 1867): A formally uneducated British scientist who discovered the practical applications of electromagnetism
     
  • James Clerk Maxwell (1831 - 1879): A Scottish physicist and mathematician who used Faraday's pioneering work with electromagnetism to develop a series of equations that explain the behavior of light. Maxwell's equations are still taught to all physicists
     
  • The Weak Nuclear Force: The weak nuclear force governs radioactive decay of subatomic particles
     
  • The Strong Nuclear Force: The strong nuclear force binds the component particles of nuclei
     
  • The Standard Model: The current in-progress scientific model that explains observable phenomena on a sub-atomic level. It incorporates all known sub-particles. 
  • String Theory: A candidate for a unified theory of the universe, arguing that all matter exists on extra-dimensional strings that "vibrate"
     
  • The Multiverse: One of the outcomes of String Theory, which posits that our universe is one of infinitely many on a higher dimensional plane
     
  • Wormhole: A link between universes proposed by String Theory and valid under Einstein's mathematics. At some point in the future wormholes might be able to provide transit between universes
     
  • Dark Energy: Unobservable energy that constitutes most of the mass of the universe. Along with Dark Matter, it must exist for physical models of the universe to operate as observed