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history:h_world

a brief history of the World

Contents

    • Big Bang Theory indicates the universe began 13.8 billion years ago:
      • nucleosynthesis stage lasted 20 minutes
      • photon epoch lasted 380,000 years until stable hydrogen and helium atoms formed in the recombination phase and today these still account for some 98% of all baryonic “normal” atoms in the universe (this excludes dark matter)
      • matter dominated era and cosmic microwave background radiation
        • cosmic ray fission forms beryllium and boron
      • 1st stars formed 100 million years later and initially had no elements heavier than lithium
        • dying low mass stars convert the their helium to carbon and nitrogen but also form much of the heavier elements from strontium to lead
        • red giant stars begin to turn all of its helium into carbon and oxygen atoms which in turn become converted to iron atoms - the heaviest type of atom such a star can produce. The nuclear process of fusion stops at iron because iron, when formed, does not produce extra energy to keep the process going.
          • Iron-56 is particularly common, since it is the most stable element that can easily be made from alpha particles (being a product of decay of radioactive nickel-56, ultimately made from 14 helium nuclei)
          • elements heavier than iron are made in energy-absorbing processes in large stars, and their abundance in the universe (and on Earth) generally decreases with increasing atomic number
        • supernovas occur when most of it's atoms become iron and it explodes showering space with a range of atoms which can coalesce thanks to gravity to form meteorites, asteroids, comets and planets
          • exploding white dwarf stars create elements silicon to zinc
          • exploding massive stars create elements all the way to Rubidium
        • colliding neutron stars form much of the heavy metals and rare earths including platinum, gold, uranium, and plutonium
      • Omega Centauri globular cluster forms at over 11 billion years ago
      • Andromeda Galaxy forms around 9.7 billion years ago
      • Milky Way Galaxy spiral arms form around 8.7 billion years ago
      • alpha Centauri forms around 5 billion years ago
      • our sun forms 4.6 billion years ago from condensation of the hydrogen and helium in the cloud matter of the region,
      • earth forms from the cloud matter in the region around 4.54 billion years ago
        • iron and to a much lesser extent, nickel are the most abundant heavier atoms in the solar system and thus, along with sulfur as sulfides, formed the core of the “rocky planets” with the crust containing a variety of other atoms - in particular, oxygen bound to silicon as silicate minerals with very high melting points and low vapor pressure, which allowed oxygen to be retained on earth and contribute to 46% of the mass of the crust, while silicon contributes 28%. Oxygen constitutes 86% of the mass of the oceans in the form of water.
        • the solar heat drove most of the volatile compounds into space (such as elements lighter than oxygen including carbon and nitrogen, as well as sulfur, selenium, hydrogen telluride and the inert gases), although earth's gravity has maintained some gases trapped in the atmosphere.
      • dark energy dominated era began 4 billion years ago
    • has there been other intelligent life on other planets in the universe?
      • ANSWER in statistical terms is now YES based upon:
        • there are 70 sextillion (7×10^22) stars in the observable universe, and of the 200-400 billion stars in the Milky Way, there are billions of stars in just our galaxy that are similar to the Sun
        • we now know that almost every, if not every, star has at least one planet
        • if we assume 25% of such planets are at a reasonable temperature for life, and if we take a pessimistic assumption that the probability of an intelligent civilisation having occurred on any such planet is 1 in 10 billion, then the maths suggests that around a trillion such civilisations have existed in the universe!1)
    • pre-Cambrian (600-6000 million yrs ago) - formation of earth through to evolution of algae life forms
      • Hadean eon: 4,600-3,900 mya
        • ~4.51 billion years ago: massive impacts on earth formed the moon
        • fortunately, earth developed a strong geomagnetic field which is able to repel enough of the solar winds to allow an atmosphere to build up and not be stripped away as it occurred on Mars (Mars did have a geomagnetic field 3.7bya which allowed water to flow and an atmosphere but lost the protective field and then its atmosphere)2)
      • Archeozoic eon: 3,900-2,500 mya
        • the Late Heavy Bombardment of meteors ends c3800 mya
        • deposition of ferric oxide in the Banded Iron Formations begins c 3,800 mya
        • oceans rich in ferrous sulphate and carbon dioxide
        • atmosphere rich in methane, carbon dioxide but poor in free oxygen
      • Proterozoic eon (2500 - 540 mya)
        • Great Oxygenation Event (GOE) 2400 mya with evolution of oxygen-producing cyanobacteria
        • 2 billion yrs ago - mass extinction event of cyanobacteria perhaps due to lack of nutrients such as phosphorus
        • multi-celled organisms, soft-bodied invertebrates further oxygenate atmosphere
    • Paleozoic (230-600 million yrs ago)
      • Cambrian (500-600 million yrs ago) - marine invertebrates
      • Ordovician (425-500 million yrs ago) - marine vertebrates
      • Silurian (405-425 million yrs ago) - land plants
      • Devonian (345-405 million yrs ago) - land animals
      • Carboniferous (280-345 million yrs ago) - reptiles
      • Permian (230-280 million yrs ago) - ice age - ice sheets cover much of Victoria
    • Mesozoic (65-230 million yrs ago)
      • Triassic (181-230 million yrs ago) - mammals, early dinosaurs
      • Jurassic (135-181 million yrs ago) - dinosaurs
      • Cretaceous (65-135 million yrs ago) - modern vegetation
    • Cenozoic (65million yrs ago to today)
      • Tertiary period:
        • Paleocene epoch:
          • small mammals
          • rising sea levels as ice caps melt
          • Victoria: 
            • old river beds become buried to form the gold-containing “deep leads”
            • swamps in beech forests develop peat bogs which would later become brown coal
        • Eocene epoch - horse, rhinoceros, camel, rodent, monkey, modern birds, aquatic mammals
        • Oligocene epoch:
          • first true carnivore mammals, first anthropoid apes
          • complete disappearance of polar ice caps causes sea levels to rise world wide
          • Victoria: last of the older volcanoes (~57m - 20m yrs); maximum extension of sea into Murray, Gippsland & Otway basins;
        • Miocene epoch:
          • mastodon, grasses
          • Victoria: 
            • climatic change in late Miocene & Pliocene times from the previously wet coal-forming times resulted in:
              • retreat of the seas & draining of the inland basins & rejuvenation of streams which lay down sand, clays & marl over the limestones deposited by the seas
              • erosion of the major valleys in Victorian Highlands to bedrock which was later covered by deposition pf river alluvia - initially by Tertiary & later Pleistocene (30,000 to 4,000yrs ago)
              • the rise of eucalypt & decrease in beech (now only in sheltered damp valleys on higher mountains)
              • updoming of Western Highlands resulting in newer volcanic series over Western Highlands & Western District Plains (last was 6000yrs ago)
        • Pliocene epoch:
          • higher mammals
          • Victoria:
            • in late Pliocene & early Pleistocene times, renewed earth movements result in the final uplifting of Mt Kosciusko, Dundas Tablelands, Western & Eastern Highlands as well as accentuating the Otway Ranges & South Gippsland Uplands resulting in formation of the Port Phillip & Western Port Sunklands & their faulting within them.
      • Quaternary period:
        • Pleistocene (10,000-2 million yrs ago):
          • humans, larger mammals
          • the last ice age 
            • commenced 38000-40000yrs ago & max. at 17-20,000yrs ago resulting in sea levels falling 120-150m below present levels, thus Tasmania & New Guinea linked to Australia's land allowing migration of animals & humans.
            • sea levels rose rapidly with minor fluctuations until ~7300yrs ago by which time it was ~10m below present levels 
          • Victoria:
            • limestone caves become dry enough for occupation by animals & Aborigines (23,000yrs ago)
            • Zanci event - 17500-15000yrs ago - rapid change resulted in drying of the southern Australian lakes
            • deposition of alluvia in major river valleys (30,000-4000 yrs ago)
            • further subsidence of Mornington Peninsula push Pleistocene dune rock & beach deposits 135m below sea level due to movements in Selwyn's Fault to the east & the Bellarine Fault to the west
          • Paleolithic (10,000-500,000 yrs ago) - old stone age
        • Holocene:
          • final rise in sea levels - the Flandrian Transgression - ended ~2000yrs ago
          • Victoria:
            • rising sea levels results in:
              • the buried valley floor of rivers draining into sea being 50-100m below sea level
              • formation of calcareous dunes & cementing of shell fragments to form aeolianite
            • last of the volcanoes (6000yrs ago)
            • erosion into Pleistocene alluvial bed in major river valleys by current rivers (4000yrs ago to present)
          • Neolithic (2,000 - 10,000 yrs ago) - new stone age, agriculture, domesticated animals
    • 3000-2000BC:
      • the bronze age
      • Egypt: pyramids
      • Middle East: Sumerian civilisation in Mesopotamia
      • India: Indus Valley civilisation
    • 2000-1500BC:
      • Israel: Noah
      • Egypt: Hyksos kings
      • Middle East: Myceneans
      • Britain: Druids, stonehenge
    • 1500-1000BC:
      • Israel: Moses - David
      • Greece: Trojan war
      • Dorian invasion
      • Assyrian empire
      • Teutonic tribes settle
    • 1000-500BC:
      • Greece: 1st Olympiad; Homer, Aesop, Thales
      • Italy: Latin tribes settle, Etruscans, Rome founded, Roman Republic founded
      • Phoenicians dominate the seas
      • Middle East: fall of Nineveh and Babylon; Persian empire - Cyrus; Israel: Solomon - Ezra
    • 500BC-0AD:
      • the iron age
      • Greece: Plato, Spartan wars, Archimedes
      • Italy: Punic wars, Roman Empire founded, Julius Caesar
      • Egypt: Alexander the Great, Cleopatra
      • Middle East: Herod the Great
    • 0AD-500AD:
      • Jesus, Christianity
      • Roman empire, Eastern Germans converted to Christianity, Goths sack Rome
      • Western Germans pagan religion
      • Middle East: Neo-Persian empire
      • India: Gupta empire
      • America: Teotihuacan then Mayan civilisations
    • 500-1000AD:
    • 1000-1500AD:
      • high middle ages:
        • Britain: Norman conquest of Britain - Erik the Red; Macbeth;
        • Europe: Holy Roman Empire - crusades, Inquisition
        • America: Vikings in Nth America
        • Asia: Jenghiz Khan rules Nth Asia
      • late middle ages:
        • Europe: Hapsburg dynasty, Marco Polo, Dante; Ottoman empire
        • Britain:  Chaucer, 100yr war with France, War of the Roses,
        • Joan of Arc,
        • Middle East:
        • Incas' and Aztec empires in Americas

The ages of discovery:

Modern history:

    • Western romanticism - Dickens, French impressionist painters,
    • Napoleon, 1812 war, Crimean war, Q. Victoria, Marx, Mexican war, American civil war, slavery abolished in USA, Abraham Lincoln, Opium wars, Boer war
    • telegraph, railways
    • anaesthetics, bacteria
    • world war I & II; Bolshevik revolution, Stalin, Hitler, nuclear weapons, perpetual Middle East turmoil, the rise of anti-Western sentiment amongst many Islam followers.
    • automobile, film photography for consumers, radio, television, rise of rampant consumerism driven by mass marketing, space exploration
    • fragmentation of the family unit in Western societies, global recreational travel.
    • antibiotics, viruses, vaccines, X-rays, aseptic surgery, blood transfusions, modern medicine, rise of the pharmaceutical and oil industries
    • sub-atomic physics - quantum theory, sub-atomic particles
    • electronics, computers, internet
    • digital photography and smartphones radically change the way we commmunicate and document our world
    • the end of the world as we know it
      • the human plague continues to exhaust natural resources whilst throwing the ecosystems into disarray
      • the end of oil reserves - will it finally destroy industrial growth and cause global super-inflation?
      • global climate change - we have perhaps only a decade to turn around drivers for global warming.
      • prolonged droughts
      • sea level rise flooding coastal communities
      • more extreme weather
      • perhaps a new ice age in Europe due to effects on the Gulf Stream
        • history shows us that rapid warming over a period of 70yrs caused ice berg break up in Canada which migrated east to France and these were then followed by decades of intense cold with soil deep frozen as far south as southern France.
        • the Gulf Stream is driven by the stream's fall to the bottom of the sea in the Baltic as it gets colder and more concentrated (thermohaline circulation) but this can be disrupted by excessive ice berg or glacier melting which dilutes the waters.
        • turning off the Gulf Stream means warm tropical waters from the Mexican Gulf will no longer moderate temperatures in the Norwegian Sea with resultant cold climate for northern Europe.
        • sea levels would rise by 1m in northern hemisphere and drop in the south.
        • 2007 showed evidence of decreased salinity, increased ice berg and glacier break up while Arctic seas are open to shipping for longer periods each year due to less sea ice.
        • probability of this occurring: perhaps 2% in next decade and 50% in next century.
      • loss of flora and fauna - not to mention deforestation by man directly.
      • will the internet further marginalise people or will it provide opportunity to improve humanity.
      • how will we feed the Western world (let alone the Third World) when prolonged droughts or weather extremes impact the major food growing regions while soaring oil prices with depletion of reserves will make food too expensive to transport long distances, not to mention ecosystem disasters such as the massive loss of honey bees in 2007 impacting fruit pollination.
      • its time to stop taking the world for granted like everything else in our lives.
    • will technology be enough to solve the problems:
      • electrical power generation from:
        • geo-thermal power
        • new higher efficiency solar cells based on quantum crystals
        • “clean” coal power stations
        • methane hydrate ice on ocean floors but this will only add to carbon dioxide production and be expensive.
        • expansion of nuclear fission stations
        • nuclear fusion converting hydrogen to helium like on the sun (at least 50 years away)
      • carbon nano tubes 50x stronger than steel that could build space elevators and replace rockets
      • but how will we create products currently based on oil such as plastics
history/h_world.txt · Last modified: 2019/09/04 09:23 by gary1