This combinatorial process is fundamentally different to the ones that physicists generally consider, and which are governed by the laws of physics. These laws place important constraints on what states can and can’t form. What’s more, the number of possible configurations increases over time as the building blocks that can be combined become more complex.

Beyond inflation

Stay up to date on the latest science news by signing up for our Essentials newsletter. PBS’s SpaceTime explains why inflation has proved such an attractive idea. Our cosmos’ final fate is a long and frigid affair that astronomers call the Big Freeze, or Big Chill. The cosmos will come to a close through a cold and lonely death called the Big Freeze. Martin Rees is the 15th Astronomer Royal, and was master of Trinity College from 2004 to 2012 and president of the Royal Society between 2005 and 2010.

What Do Astronomers Do? (Plus Salary Info and Necessary Skills)

Read more about Cosmology here.

Their key idea is that the number of possible biological states must counted in a different way to the other states in the universe. And it is this new way of counting that dramatically changes the calculus behind the entropic budget of the cosmos. But for the last 4 billion years, life on Earth has moved in the opposite entropic direction by becoming increasingly complex.

The universe also appeared to contain much that we could not see. In 1933 Fritz Zwicky estimated the mass of all the stars in the Coma cluster of galaxies and found that they make up only about 1 percent of the mass necessary to keep the cluster from flying apart. The discrepancy was dubbed “the missing mass problem,” but many scientists at the time doubted Zwicky’s suggestion that hidden matter might be to blame. The question remained divisive until the 1970s, when work by Vera Rubin and W. Kent Ford and by Morton Roberts and Robert Whitehurst showed that the outer parts of galactic disks would also fly apart unless they were subject to a stronger gravitational pull than stars and gas alone could provide. Finally, most astronomers were compelled to accept that some kind of “dark matter” must be present. Furthermore, Russell argues that while a scientist may look for causes, they do not assume that there is one to find.

As the universe expands, both matter and radiation become diluted. However, the energy densities of radiation and matter dilute at different rates. As a particular volume expands, mass-energy density is changed only by the increase in volume, but the energy density of radiation is changed both by the increase in volume and by the increase in the wavelength of the photons that make it up. Thus the energy of radiation becomes a smaller part of the universe’s total energy than that of matter as it expands.

The history of the universe is divided into different periods called epochs, according to the dominant forces and processes in each period. The standard cosmological model is known as the Lambda-CDM model. On 1 December 2014, at the Planck 2014 meeting in Ferrara, Italy, astronomers reported that the universe is 13.8 billion years old and composed of 4.9% atomic matter, 26.6% dark matter and 68.5% dark energy. I am glad to see a statement on the redshift, apparently 3.0 on the redshift scale used in the BB model.

“We kind of have this same situation now with measuring the universe,” says Scolnic, who’ll begin a professorship at Duke next month. Scientists have a great picture of what the universe was like as a baby. And as with the doctor’s growth chart, a curve—following physics as we know it—should connect the two cleanly.

He noticed that the visible motion of the stars was consistent with the Earth’s rotation on its axis, while the movement of planets appeared more complex. These views propounded further attempts to formulate theories of the natural world through physical properties rather than through mythical or supernatural explanations. Later philosophers would attempt a similar line of thinking, in which the earth, fire, or air were seen as the elementary building blocks of life. According to Thales, water was the fundamental building block of all things.