How Small is the Universe? - documentary

How Small is the Universe?
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Most science documentaries offer knowledge on the huge expanse that is the universe, this documentary asks the question, how small is the universe? To investigate leading figures researching the microscopic universe are interviewed. Firstly we meet Thorsten Schmitt who is using the most powerful electron microscope in the world which can image individual atoms. The atoms look as you would expect, static, uniformly arranged balls however this is just an illusion created by the electrons which wiz around the atoms nucleus where 99% of its mass is located. In essence most of what we see in an atom is absolutely nothing. 


The microscopic universe does not stop at the atomic nucleus, it goes much further than that, however electron microscopes are not going to help us anymore. To look deeper complexes such as CERN in geneva are needed to smash the atoms together and map out the resulting explosion. This has revealed that the atomic nucleus contains two subatomic particles called protons and neutrons and within these are three quarks. It may be the case that the structure of the universe just gets smaller and smaller, infinitely more perhaps. An analogy used in the documentary is the Russian doll. The microscopic universe starts off as you would imagine but gets stranger and stranger the deeper you look which is often the case with the galactic universe. 


John Hannah
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