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Named six key intractable scientific mysteries

Названы шесть основных неразрешимых научных загадокThe journal Science Alert called six scientific mysteries that scientists have been unable to resolve until 2018

Over the past century people have achieved outstanding success in scientific and technical progress. We have created technologies that have changed our society. Scientific advances have helped us to answer fundamental questions about the world, but unsolved mysteries still remain.

Why do we need sleep?

The answer seems quite simple: because sleep helps us to regain strength, to rest and recover. However, countless attempts to find the root cause of the human dependence on sleep has not produced any results.

Scientific research to shed some light on the stages of sleep and brain activity during sleep, but all these answers just divide the main question into parts, complicating the puzzle.

Jerry Siegel, Professor of psychiatry at the Institute of neuroscience and human behavior at the University of Los Angeles, examines the sleeping animals to understand people. According to him, animals understand the necessity of sleep is different, because most people would like not to spend time in the arms of Morpheus. However, the nature of inaction is extremely appreciated. Bears, for example, and woodchucks and lemurs, hibernate, can’t live without sleep: sleep for them — as a power saving mode for computers, explains Siegel.

Of course, there are other examples. African elephants sleep only two or three hours a day because the rest of the time they need to support their giant body food and energy.

The theory of energy conservation is one of several that scientists use to explain why we sleep. Giulio Tononi, Professor of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin in Madison is convinced that sleep is the price we pay for tuition.

Experiments on mice showed that after sleep the synapses in the brain of rodents decreased. Tononi came to the conclusion that the reduction in connections is evidence pinning absorbed in the process of waking information: during the day the brain is bombarded with different data, so it enhances the reception of information by extension synapses. To absorb all the knowledge these connections have weakened. Sleep just allows it to happen.

There remain other puzzles: why some are able to sleep soundly when someone makes a noise, while others Wake up from the slightest noise? Exactly how consciousness creates dreams? Only one thing is clear: without sleep we feel a lot worse.

What is dark matter and why we can’t see her?

We don’t know how it looks, but it takes more than 26% of the space the known Universe. Dutch astronomer Jacobus Kapteyn assumed the existence of dark matter in 1922, and since then, science has not figured out what is wrong.

A large part of the visible matter consists of neutrons, protons and electrons. Dark matter, these elements do not contain, and consists of different types of particles that have not yet been able to classify. They interact with matter and light quite differently. Dark matter does not absorb or reflect light. Scientists can determine its presence by its gravitational Wake.

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The experiments, the scientists from CERN has brought us closer to understanding this phenomenon, at least nominally: the researchers are working to identify unseen material by means of acceleration of particles and the study of energy and momentum in collisions of particles at extremely high speeds.

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Recent studies show that gravitational wave detectors can allow us to “see” dark matter. But this has not yet happened.

How did the universe originate?

We are getting closer to the earliest hours of life the newborn Universe, but the time of her birth remains hidden from our eyes. “Any theory or model at the moment is incredibly speculative,” says astrophysicist from the Ohio state University Paul Sutter.

The most common version — the Big Bang theory, according to which the universe is expanding for 13.8 billion years from an extremely hot and dense singularity.

But people think wrong if you think that in those days the matter appeared out of nowhere, says Sutter: “Big Bang is not an explosion in space. It is an explosion of space. What was the catalyst, it is still unknown”.

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The paradox is that the deeper we look into the history of the Universe, the less we understand it. We are not entirely clear quantum aspects of gravitation and the laws of physics sometimes put scientists in a deadlock when confronted with relict radiation or dark matter.

Experts CERN recently confirmed that the standard model of particle physics can turn on the head, as it does not account for much of the matter created by the Big Bang. Just realize the nature of antimatter, we get an approximate picture of the birth of the Universe.

Where is planet 9?

Beyond the Kuiper belt is a mysterious cluster of space objects formally belonging to the Solar system, but is not fully understood. Most of them wander around Neptune, drawn by a strong gravitational field of the gas giant, crossing the Ecliptic from South to North at perihelion. Such movement may result from the fact that the Oort cloud exists massive planet.

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Konstantin Batygin of Caltech believes that these features are at least partially caused by the existence of Planet 9.

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Think about the Solar system as a giant disk. Mysterious orbits of TRANS-Neptunian objects cross the disk up over the edge.

9 planet should be massive (much bigger than Earth) to have that effect. Despite all the theories, in fact, to prove the existence of the planet is impossible. Even infrared analysis could not detect a mysterious wanderer. The planet moves very slowly (the orbital period can be from 10 000 to 20 000 years) and is far away from Earth.

According to researchers, the planet is a significantly reduced copy of the ice giants Uranus and Neptune and surrounded by an atmosphere of hydrogen and helium. The radius is the Ninth planet in ten earth masses is only 3.66 times larger than the earth and is approximately 23 000 km, and its temperature is about -226 °C.

Why the brain is tingling from some sounds?

Thousands of videos on YouTube where people say something in a whisper, accompanying it by creating soft noises like tapping fingers on a sheet of paper or scratching a foam sponge. Special MIC creates the feeling that the sounds arise not from the computer speakers and right next to you. The results of such video — relaxing effect with the emergence of “tingling” sensations in the brain, 90% of the audience.

To explain this acoustic experience is still not successful, but gave it a name: Autonomous touch meridional reaction (ASMR).

Where intelligent alien life?

The age of the Universe has billions of years. Her space is so huge that it is impossible not to believe in the existence of aliens, but all their searches against the Fermi paradox.

Astronomers and physicists have put forward many theories to explain such a lonely situation for mankind. One of them says that there is a catastrophic event that stops any civilization from alien contact. Another claims that aliens exist, but they’re trapped under kilometers of ice on their planets.

Since intelligent life beyond Earth could not be found, scientists have focused on finding the simplest organisms. NASA, for example, are prepared to study the surface of the moons of Saturn and Jupiter. However, if we can find the “live” world, will we be able to recognize life?

Familiar carbon may significantly limit the ability of our brain before the great opening. In addition, scientists need to distinguish individual passages, presumably messages of aliens from other space noises — but it’s not easy. Suddenly their “negotiations” is indistinguishable from “sounds” comets and asteroids? What can we do if aliens just don’t want us to find them?

In any case, and no concrete answers, but with hope, the search for other life forms is just beginning. As 2018.

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