unsolved problems

this list compiles today’s

unsolved problems in physics

and some of these unsolved problems

are fundamental to our existence

so it’s a bit disheartening

to know that we know

so little

about so much

basic stuff

stuff that

we asked

each other

when we were kids

for example

take the matter of time

we still have

these unanswered questions:

are there exceptions to the principle of causality?
is there a single possible past?
is the present moment physically distinct from the past and future or is it merely an emergent property of consciousness?
why does time have a direction?

i mean…

and then there are these questions

about the universe’s fate:

is the universe heading towards a big freeze, a big rip, a big crunch, or a big bounce?
or is it part of an infinitely recurring cyclic model?


good questions all

and then we have the mystery

of the Wow! signal:

was that a real signal and, if so, what is the origin of it?

i was oblivious to the Wow! signal

until i read this list

and i wondered

why there hasn’t been a massive crowdfunding campaign

launched for astronomers to solve the mystery

because of all the mysteries

this one is…



but then i found this



putting aside our still-unanswered questions

in recent years

to our collective credit

we have solved

some tricky riddles


we pretty much confirmed that quantum nonlocality is a real thing

so that’s cool


we figured out the approximate age of the universe

kudos to us

and then in february 2016

we detected gravitational waves


but still

this remains:

what is the origin of the elements in the cosmos?


what is our collective origin story

what is the pourquoi tale of us

and one day

far in our future

this may be the only question

left unanswered

but still

it will be the one

with the answer

that we care about most

musings inspired by "List of unsolved problems in physics" via Wikipedia

our sky

28012 some lines