Life

Scientists “Catch Monsters” to Understand the Universe

Legend has it that mythical creatures possess supernatural abilities, so in reality, some individuals attribute inexplicable problems to “specters” in the workplace. Occasionally, even scientists hypothesize the existence of a certain kind of “monstrosity.” When apprehending these “monstrosities,” the indispensable contribution of scientists becomes apparent.
Expulsion of corporeal “demon”

By means of Newton’s laws of motion, humanity has significantly deepened its comprehension of the objective realm, subsequently assuming the capability to elucidate all phenomena. French astronomer Pierre-Simon Laplace posited that the entire universe operates under predetermined principles, and diverse events can be foretold in accordance with Newton’s laws of motion. With an abundance of data and robust computational and analytical prowess, one can fathom everything. In 1814, he postulated: “If there exists an ethereal being, proficient in calculation and analysis, cognizant of the precise momentum and position of every substance in the cosmos, and well-versed in Newton’s laws of motion, then it can unveil the outcomes of all events transpiring in the universe—the complete chronicle, encompassing knowledge of its past, present, and future.”
Laplace’s cosmological perspective adheres to determinism, also recognized as Laplace’s Creed. The omniscient being he envisioned, one who possesses all-encompassing knowledge, is referred to as the “Laplace Demon.”
Determinism once held sway, with numerous scientists, including Einstein, “embracing comprehensive laws and order.” However, the advent of quantum mechanics altered perspectives on this matter. Quantum mechanics investigates the laws governing the movement of microscopic particles in the material world. Researchers delving into quantum mechanics have ascertained that matter at the microscopic level is inherently uncertain, and the “three laws of Newton,” universally applicable in the macroscopic realm, fail to account for the movement patterns of microscopic particles. In other words, even if Newton were resurrected, he could not predict the mortality or vitality of Schrödinger’s cat. Consequently, the “Laplace’s Demon” is nonexistent and impossible. Utilizing determinism as an explanation for the objective world ultimately leads to fatalism and a mechanical impasse.
Uncovering the imperceptible “monstrosity”

In 1922, Dutch astronomer Kaptein postulated the existence of imperceptible matter enveloping stars by observing irregular motions within star systems. Subsequently, various phenomena violating the laws of gravity in space were discovered, lending credence to Kaptein’s inference.
As scientists speculate, besides observable matter like nebulae and stars, a substantial amount of dark matter may permeate the universe. Dark matter is devoid of light and constitutes approximately 85% of the total mass in the cosmos. It eludes classification within any known form of matter and fundamentally defies reactivity with other substances.
Accurate measurement of cosmic ray particles serves as a crucial method for dark matter detection, as decay or collisions between pairs of dark matter particles can potentially emit cosmic ray particles such as positrons, electrons, and gamma rays. By leveraging the information derived from detecting these particles, the “true nature” of dark matter can be deduced based on the principle of energy conservation.
In December 2015, my country launched the dark matter particle detection satellite “Wukong.” Orbiting approximately 500 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, it circumnavigates the planet every 95 minutes, capturing high-energy dark matter particles.
Since its launch, “Wukong” has amassed over 10 billion data points on cosmic ray particles. Scientists have employed this data to delineate the distribution patterns of certain particles suspected to originate from dark matter, establishing my country’s position at the forefront of cosmic high-energy particle detection. Presently, “Wukong” boasts the broadest range of observational energy and the highest energy resolution of any dark matter particle detection satellite worldwide. Moreover, China is in the process of developing a next-generation space telescope, capable of detecting high-energy particles like gamma rays. With over a 50-fold improvement over “Wukong,” it will more effectively aid humanity in locating traces of dark matter and exploring the origins and evolution of the universe.
Targeting the meteorological “monstrosity”

In 2021, North America and Europe experienced an unusual bout of scorching weather, transforming many regions into pressure cookers. Some locals attributed this anomaly to the machinations of a demon.
Researchers discovered that this phenomenon stemmed from a “traffic jam” within the Earth’s atmospheric jet stream. Atmospheric jet streams represent robust air currents encircling the Earth, exerting a profound influence on the planet’s climate. However, sporadic irregularities in their movement can result in atmospheric congestion. Meteorological data indicates that, similar to road congestion caused by excessive traffic, the “flow” of atmospheric jets possesses an upper threshold, leading to congestion when surpassed. Atmospheric congestion can be described using the same equation employed to elucidate highway traffic congestion, and its occurrence relates closely toArctic conditions. The warming of the Arctic facilitates atmospheric congestion, whereas the cooling of the Arctic undermines its maintenance.
Global climate change alters the configuration of the atmospheric jet stream, potentially increasing the frequency of atmospheric blockages and giving rise to more extreme weather events. Such phenomena occur with greater frequency in North America and Europe, leading to floods, intense heatwaves, cold spells, and droughts. In 2004, an unprecedented heatwave struck Alaska, resulting in the melting of ice caps and forest fires, with atmospheric blockage identified as the underlying cause.
Chemical “wildfires,” optical “mirages,” geographical “ghost cities”… Many “demons and specters” once engrossed public discourse, but through scientific inquiry, they have been unveiled one by one. “The clouds shall inevitably yield to the sun, and the harsh winter shall yield to the buds of spring.” While engaged in the pursuit of “conquering monsters” and “advancement,” science and technology continuously progress.

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