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Is Everything We Know About The Universe Wrong?

Investigating the discovery of what is ominously being called 'dark flow', a phenomenon which could mean scientists might have to find a new way of understanding the universe.

There's something very odd going on in space - something that shouldn't be possible. It is as though vast swathes of the universe are being hoovered up by a vast and unseen celestial vacuum cleaner.

Sasha Kaslinsky, the scientist who discovered the phenomenon, is understandably nervous: 'It left us quite unsettled and jittery' he says, 'because this is not something we planned to find'. The accidental discovery of what is ominously being called 'dark flow' not only has implications for the destinies of large numbers of galaxies - it also means that large numbers of scientists might have to find a new way of understanding the universe.

Dark flow is the latest in a long line of phenomena that have threatened to rewrite the textbooks. Does it herald a new era of understanding, or does it simply mean that everything we know about the universe is wrong?

1 hour

Last on

Tue 14 Oct 2014 00:50

Chapters

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Is Everything We Know About the Universe Wrong? Introduction

    14 billion years ago there was nothing; then everything exploded into existence and the universe was born, but a new generation of cosmologists are questioning this theory.

    Duration: 05:20

  • Is Everything We Know About the Universe Wrong? The Standard Model of Cosmology

    Cosmologists have created a replica of the universe by using equations; it’s called the standard model of cosmology and it’s the reason behind the Big Bang theory; however, this model is now doubted.

    Duration: 07:47

  • Is Everything We Know About the Universe Wrong? Theory of Inflation

    Professor Alan Guth’s theory challenges the Big Bang by stating that the universe started out small, allowing the temperature to even out everywhere, before expanding on a massive scale.

    Duration: 09:29

  • Is Everything We Know About the Universe Wrong? Dark Matter

    Stars nearer the edge of a galaxy move just as fast as those in the centre. This made cosmologists think that galaxies needed more gravity, but the only way to get more gravity was to create it.

    Duration: 06:08

  • Is Everything We Know About the Universe Wrong? Searching for Dark Matter

    Astrophysicist Dan Bauer is hunting for dark matter half a mile under the dark plains of Minnesota in order to trace and record it more effectively.

    Duration: 06:39

  • Is Everything We Know About the Universe Wrong? Dark Energy

    The discovery that the universe is speeding up suggests that a new force is powering the universe. This force is known as dark energy, and cosmologists have no idea what it is.

    Duration: 10:23

  • Is Everything We Know About the Universe Wrong? Dark Flow

    The combination of the standard model, inflation and dark matter has given way to a new theory called dark flow. The nature of this theory could show that our universe isn’t the only one.

    Duration: 07:52

  • Is Everything We Know About the Universe Wrong? Conclusions

    The standard model of cosmology has withstood much criticism, therefore making the theory stronger; however it could still be totally wrong.

    Duration: 06:00

Credits

Role Contributor
Producer Rob Liddell
Director Rob Liddell
Executive Producer Andrew Cohen

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