Preface


This introductory statement clarifies what is and is not covered on this website. It serves as a content outline for the reader. As the title indicates, this website surveys the entire extent of the universe touching upon phenomenon from the largest to the smallest size and covering the entire cosmic interval from past to present. It presents observations as well as the theories which explains the phenomena.

The intended readership imposes a boundary on the seemingly boundless materials for the subject matter. This website intends to reach individuals who would like to study the natural phenomena at a deeper level than what is generally offered by newspapers or in the high school curriculum, with the benefit of avoiding complex mathematical formulation and confusing terminology. As a result, the text is written in simple language and frequently supplemented by illustrations. Scientific terminology is kept to a minimum or would be presented with an explanation. A more elaborate explanation of some terms or concepts is available in the appendices. References are provided (note: preference is given to online references) at the end of each topic. A blow-up version of all the illustrations can be accessed via the "Illustration" tab in the taskbar at the top of each topic page. There is a list of subjects on the frontier of scientific discovery at the end. It will be updated whenever
new information is available.

In a broader context, while learning science may not make a lot of money or friends, it helps to recognize false premises, and to comprehend the cause of natural phenomena. Science may not provide an ultimate explanation for everything, but it offers a rational view according to the available knowledge. It is open end in the sense that the knowledge and theory can always be updated. In addition, it allows endless inquiries until reaching the limit, where knowledge is not yet available. The very first paragraph in Paul Davies' book "The Mind of God" is a very good example to illustrate the essence (or "problem" depending on the individual's view point) of science:

When I was a child I used to infuriate my parents by continually asking "why?" Why can't I go out to play? Because it might rain. Why might it rain? Because the weatherman has said so. Why has he said so? Because there are storms coming up from France. Why are there ... ? And so on. These relentless interrogations normally ended with a desperate "Because God made it that way, and that's that!" ... Thus the ceaseless inquiries could be closed by a supernatural being. But in science, it might end with just an unsatisfactory "don't know now".