The best of 2022

Particles, astrophysics, cosmology. These are the things that this small blog (which just completed its third year) usually concerns itself with. And what were the biggest news in each of them in 2022? Well, we over here say that it was lowering the possible mass of neutrinos, taking the first photo of the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, and finding hints that the mainstream cosmological model is wrong.

Lowering the possible mass of neutrinos

Dall-e Mini imagining neutrinos inside an experiment

[Excerpt from the full February post.]

Over the last decades, the best that various neutrino experiments have been able to do was to lower the possible values that the mass of neutrinos can have – as they try to pinpoint it and fail, meaning that it is lower than what they can “see”. And now the KATRIN experiment in Germany announced a new drastic reduction, after a few years of not finding what it looks for (albeit in very competent ways).

And if you must know, their mass must now be less than 0.8eV; where “eV” is “electron-volt”, a unit for measuring tiny masses, with electron itself being at 500,000 eV.

Taking the first photo of the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way

The position of the black hole along with its photo [ESO/José Francisco Salgado, EHT Collaboration]

[Excerpt from the full May post.]

It’s been known for a long time that a supermassive hole is found at the centre of the Milky Way, because of the weird motion of stars around it. And now -like the first ever photo of a black hole, three years ago- it was photographed by the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, which combines the power of eight telescopes spread around Earth.

Finding hints that the mainstream cosmological model is wrong

Dall-e Mini imagining distant massive galaxies

Look, this one, which is probably the news of the year, doesn’t have a link to a lengthier post, because it happened in December and I haven’t written it up yet (update: the full post is now here). But in short, the James Webb Space Telescope has found a few galaxies from very early eras of the universe which are very massive. This comes to direct contrast to the current models of the universe’s evolution, and promises some interesting times.

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