The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model for the observable universe from the earliest known periods through its subsequent large-scale evolution. The model describes how the universe expanded from a high-density and high-temperature state, offers a comprehensive explanation for a broad range of phenomena, including the abundance of light elements, the cosmic microwave background, large scale structure and Hubble's law. If the observed conditions are extrapolated backwards in time using the known laws of physics, the prediction is that just before a period of high density there was a singularity, associated with the Big Bang. Physicists are undecided whether this means the universe began from a singularity, or that current knowledge is insufficient to describe the universe at that time. Detailed measurements of the expansion rate of the universe place the Big Bang at around 13.8 billion years ago, thus considered the age of the universe. After its initial expansion, the universe cooled sufficiently to allow the formation of subatomic particles, simple atoms.
Giant clouds of these primordial elements coalesced through gravity forming early stars and galaxies, the descendants of which are visible today. Astronomers observe the gravitational effects of dark matter surrounding galaxies. Though most of the mass in the universe seems to be in the form of dark matter, Big Bang theory and various observations seem to indicate that it is not made out of conventional baryonic matter but it is unclear what it is made out of. Since Georges Lemaître first noted in 1927 that an expanding universe could be traced back in time to an originating single point, scientists have built on his idea of cosmic expansion; the scientific community was once divided between supporters of two different theories, the Big Bang and the Steady State theory, but a wide range of empirical evidence has favored the Big Bang, now universally accepted. In 1929, from analysis of galactic redshifts, Edwin Hubble concluded that galaxies are drifting apart. In 1964, the cosmic microwave background radiation was discovered, crucial evidence in favor of the Big Bang model, since that theory predicted the existence of background radiation throughout the universe before it was discovered.
More measurements of the redshifts of supernovae indicate that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, an observation attributed to dark energy's existence. The known physical laws of nature can be used to calculate the characteristics of the universe in detail back in time to an initial state of extreme density and temperature. In 1922, Russian mathematician Alexander Friedmann proposed on theoretical grounds that the universe is expanding, rederived independently and observationally confirmed soon afterwards by Belgian astronomer and Catholic priest Georges Lemaître in 1927 Lemaître proposed what became known as the "Big Bang theory" of the creation of the universe calling it the "hypothesis of the primeval atom".: in his paper Annales de la Société Scientifique de Bruxelles under the title "Un Univers homogène de masse constante et de rayon croissant rendant compte de la vitesse radiale des nébuleuses extragalactiques", he presented his new idea that the universe is expanding and provided the first observational estimation of what is known as the Hubble constant.
What will be known as the "Big Bang theory" of the origin of the universe, he called his "hypothesis of the primeval atom" or the "Cosmic Egg". American astronomer Edwin Hubble observed that the distances to faraway galaxies were correlated with their redshifts; this was interpreted to mean that all distant galaxies and clusters are receding away from our vantage point with an apparent velocity proportional to their distance: that is, the farther they are, the faster they move away from us, regardless of direction. Assuming the Copernican principle, the only remaining interpretation is that all observable regions of the universe are receding from all others. Since we know that the distance between galaxies increases today, it must mean that in the past galaxies were closer together; the continuous expansion of the universe implies that the universe was denser and hotter in the past. Large particle accelerators can replicate the conditions that prevailed after the early moments of the universe, resulting in confirmation and refinement of the details of the Big Bang model.
However, these accelerators can only probe so far into high energy regimes. The state of the universe in the earliest instants of the Big Bang expansion is still poorly understood and an area of open investigation and speculation; the first subatomic particles to be formed included protons and electrons. Though simple atomic nuclei formed within the first three minutes after the Big Bang, thousands of years passed before the first electrically neutral atoms formed; the majority of atoms produced by the Big Bang were hydrogen, along with helium and traces of lithium. Giant clouds of these primordial elements coalesced through gravity to form stars and galaxies, the heavier elements were synthesized either within stars or during supernovae; the Big Bang theory offers a comprehensive explanation for a broad range of observed phenomena
Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with 13.2 million residents within the city limits, 17 million within the urban area and 20 million within the metropolitan area. Moscow is one of Russia's federal cities. Moscow is the major political, economic and scientific center of Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as the largest city on the European continent. By broader definitions, Moscow is among the world's largest cities, being the 14th largest metro area, the 18th largest agglomeration, the 14th largest urban area, the 11th largest by population within city limits worldwide. According to Forbes 2013, Moscow has been ranked as the ninth most expensive city in the world by Mercer and has one of the world's largest urban economies, being ranked as an alpha global city according to the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index. Moscow is the coldest megacity on Earth.
It is home to the Ostankino Tower, the tallest free standing structure in Europe. By its territorial expansion on July 1, 2012 southwest into the Moscow Oblast, the area of the capital more than doubled, going from 1,091 to 2,511 square kilometers, resulting in Moscow becoming the largest city on the European continent by area. Moscow is situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia, making it Europe's most populated inland city; the city is well known for its architecture its historic buildings such as Saint Basil's Cathedral with its colorful architectural style. With over 40 percent of its territory covered by greenery, it is one of the greenest capitals and major cities in Europe and the world, having the largest forest in an urban area within its borders—more than any other major city—even before its expansion in 2012; the city has served as the capital of a progression of states, from the medieval Grand Duchy of Moscow and the subsequent Tsardom of Russia to the Russian Empire to the Soviet Union and the contemporary Russian Federation.
Moscow is a seat of power of the Government of Russia, being the site of the Moscow Kremlin, a medieval city-fortress, today the residence for work of the President of Russia. The Moscow Kremlin and Red Square are one of several World Heritage Sites in the city. Both chambers of the Russian parliament sit in the city. Moscow is considered the center of Russian culture, having served as the home of Russian artists and sports figures and because of the presence of museums and political institutions and theatres; the city is served by a transit network, which includes four international airports, nine railway terminals, numerous trams, a monorail system and one of the deepest underground rapid transit systems in the world, the Moscow Metro, the fourth-largest in the world and largest outside Asia in terms of passenger numbers, the busiest in Europe. It is recognized as one of the city's landmarks due to the rich architecture of its 200 stations. Moscow has acquired a number of epithets, most referring to its size and preeminent status within the nation: The Third Rome, the Whitestone One, the First Throne, the Forty Soroks.
Moscow is one of the twelve Hero Cities. The demonym for a Moscow resident is "москвич" for male or "москвичка" for female, rendered in English as Muscovite; the name "Moscow" is abbreviated "MSK". The name of the city is thought to be derived from the name of the Moskva River. There have been proposed several theories of the origin of the name of the river. Finno-Ugric Merya and Muroma people, who were among the several Early Eastern Slavic tribes which inhabited the area, called the river Mustajoki, it has been suggested. The most linguistically well grounded and accepted is from the Proto-Balto-Slavic root *mŭzg-/muzg- from the Proto-Indo-European *meu- "wet", so the name Moskva might signify a river at a wetland or a marsh, its cognates include Russian: музга, muzga "pool, puddle", Lithuanian: mazgoti and Latvian: mazgāt "to wash", Sanskrit: májjati "to drown", Latin: mergō "to dip, immerse". In many Slavic countries Moskov is a surname, most common in Bulgaria, Russia and North Macedonia. There exist as well similar place names in Poland like Mozgawa.
The original Old Russian form of the name is reconstructed as *Москы, *Mosky, hence it was one of a few Slavic ū-stem nouns. As with other nouns of that declension, it had been undergoing a morphological transformation at the early stage of the development of the language, as a result the first written mentions in the 12th century were Московь, Moskovĭ, Москви, Moskvi, Москвe/Москвѣ, Moskve/Moskvě. From the latter forms came the modern Russian name Москва, a result of morphological generalisation with the numerous Slavic ā-stem nouns. However, the form Moskovĭ has left some traces in many other languages, such as English: Moscow, German: Moskau, French: Moscou, Georgian: მოსკოვი, Latvian: Maskava, Ottoman Turkish: Moskov, Tatar: Мәскәү, Mäskäw, Kazakh: Мәскеу, Mäskew, Chuvash: Мускав, etc. In a similar manner the Latin name Moscovia has been formed it became a collo
Saint Petersburg State University
Saint Petersburg State University is a Russian federal state-owned higher education institution based in Saint Petersburg. It is one of the largest universities in Russia. Founded in 1724 by a decree of Peter the Great, the University from the beginning has had a strong focus on fundamental research in science and humanities, equipped its graduates with what it takes to contribute to Russia’s success, it is made up of 24 specialized faculties and institutes,the Academic Gymnasium, the Medical College, the College of Physical culture and Sports and Technology. The university has the other in Peterhof. During the Soviet period, it was known as Leningrad State University, it was named after Andrei Zhdanov in 1948. Saint Petersburg State University is the second best multi-faculty university in Russia after Moscow State University. In international rankings, the university was ranked 240th in 2013/2014, by the QS World University Rankings, it was placed 351–400th by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 301–400th by the Academic Ranking of World Universities outperforming the rest of universities in Russia excluding Moscow State University.
The university has a reputation for having educated the majority of Russia's political elite. The university is Russia's oldest university, founded in 1724 by Peter the Great, which predates the foundation of Moscow State University in 1755. Saint Petersburg state university is included in all ratings and lists of the best universities in the world and is one of the leaders in all indicators in Russia; the university was the first from Russian universities to join The Coimbra Group, it now represents Russia. It is disputed by the university administration whether Saint Petersburg State University or Moscow State University is the oldest higher education institution in Russia. While the latter was established in 1755, the former, in continuous operation since 1819, claims to be the successor of the university established along with the Academic Gymnasium and the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences on January 24, 1724, by a decree of Peter the Great. In the period between 1804 and 1819, Saint Petersburg University did not exist.
The Petersburg Pedagogical Institute, renamed the Main Pedagogical Institute in 1814, was established in 1804 and occupied a part of the Twelve Collegia building. On February 8, 1819, Alexander I of Russia reorganized the Main Pedagogical Institute into Saint Petersburg University, which at that time consisted of three faculties: Faculty of Philosophy and Law, Faculty of History and Philology and Faculty of Physics and Mathematics; the Main Pedagogical Institute was restored in 1828 as an educational institution independent of Saint Petersburg University, trained teachers until it was closed in 1859. In 1821, the university was renamed Saint Petersburg Imperial University. In 1823, most of the university moved from the Twelve Collegia to the southern part of the city beyond the Fontanka. In 1824, a modified version of the charter of Moscow University was adopted as the first charter of the Saint Petersburg Imperial University. In 1829, there were 19 full 169 full-time and part-time students at the university.
In 1830, Tsar Nicholas returned the entire building of the Twelve Collegia back to the university, courses resumed there. In 1835, a new Charter of the Imperial Universities of Russia was approved, it provided for the establishment of the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of History and Philology, the Faculties of Physics and Mathematics, which were merged into the Faculty of Philosophy as the 1st and 2nd Departments, respectively. In 1849, after the Spring of Nations, the Senate of the Russian Empire decreed that the Rector should be appointed by the Minister of National Enlightenment rather than elected by the Assembly of the university. However, Pyotr Pletnyov was reappointed Rector and became the longest-serving rector of Saint Petersburg University. In 1855, Oriental studies were separated from the Faculty of History and Philology, the fourth faculty, Faculty of Oriental Languages, was formally inaugurated on August 27, 1855. In 1859–1861, female part-time students could attend lectures in the university.
In 1861, there were 1,270 full-time and 167 part-time students in the university, of them 498 were in the Faculty of Law, the largest subdivision. But this subdivision had the cameral studies department, where students learnt safety, occupational health and environmental engineering management and science, including chemistry, agronomy along with law and philosophy. Many Russian, Georgian etc. managers and scientists studied at the Faculty of law therefore. During 1861–1862, there was student unrest in the university, it was temporarily closed twice during the year; the students were denied freedom of assembly and placed under police surveillance, public lectures were forbidden. Many students were expelled. After the unrest, in 1865, only 524 students remained. A decree of the Emperor Alexander II of Russia adopted on February 18, 1863, restored the right of the university assembly to elect the rector, it formed the new faculty of the theory and history of art as part of the faculty of
National Library of the Czech Republic
The National Library of the Czech Republic is the central library of the Czech Republic. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture; the library's main building is located in the historical Clementinum building in Prague, where half of its books are kept. The other half of the collection is stored in the district of Hostivař; the National Library is the biggest library in the Czech Republic, in its funds there are around 6 million documents. The library has around 60,000 registered readers; as well as Czech texts, the library stores older material from Turkey and India. The library houses books for Charles University in Prague; the library won international recognition in 2005 as it received the inaugural Jikji Prize from UNESCO via the Memory of the World Programme for its efforts in digitising old texts. The project, which commenced in 1992, involved the digitisation of 1,700 documents in its first 13 years; the most precious medieval manuscripts preserved in the National Library are the Codex Vyssegradensis and the Passional of Abbes Kunigunde.
In 2006 the Czech parliament approved funding for the construction of a new library building on Letna plain, between Hradčanská metro station and Sparta Prague's football ground, Letná stadium. In March 2007, following a request for tender, Czech architect Jan Kaplický was selected by a jury to undertake the project, with a projected completion date of 2011. In 2007 the project was delayed following objections regarding its proposed location from government officials including Prague Mayor Pavel Bém and President Václav Klaus. Plans for the building had still not been decided in February 2008, with the matter being referred to the Office for the Protection of Competition in order to determine if the tender had been won fairly. In 2008, Minister of Culture Václav Jehlička announced the end of the project, following a ruling from the European Commission that the tender process had not been carried out legally; the library was affected by the 2002 European floods, with some documents moved to upper levels to avoid the excess water.
Over 4,000 books were removed from the library in July 2011 following flooding in parts of the main building. There was a fire at the library in December 2012. List of national and state libraries Official website
Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,372,810 while its metropolitan city has a population of 3,245,308. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres; the wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age. Milan is considered a leading alpha global city, with strengths in the field of the art, design, entertainment, finance, media, services and tourism, its business district hosts Italy's stock exchange and the headquarters of national and international banks and companies.
In terms of GDP, it has the third-largest economy among European cities after Paris and London, but the fastest in growth among the three, is the wealthiest among European non-capital cities. Milan is considered part of the Blue Banana and one of the "Four Motors for Europe"; the city has been recognized as one of the world's four fashion capitals thanks to several international events and fairs, including Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair, which are among the world's biggest in terms of revenue and growth. It hosted the Universal Exposition in 1906 and 2015; the city hosts numerous cultural institutions and universities, with 11% of the national total enrolled students. Milan is the destination of 8 million overseas visitors every year, attracted by its museums and art galleries that boast some of the most important collections in the world, including major works by Leonardo da Vinci; the city is served by a large number of luxury hotels and is the fifth-most starred in the world by Michelin Guide.
The city is home to two of Europe's most successful football teams, A. C. Milan and F. C. Internazionale, one of Italy's main basketball teams, Olimpia Milano; the etymology of the name Milan remains uncertain. One theory holds that the Latin name Mediolanum planus. However, some scholars believe that lanum comes from the Celtic root lan, meaning an enclosure or demarcated territory in which Celtic communities used to build shrines. Hence Mediolanum could signify the central sanctuary of a Celtic tribe. Indeed, about sixty Gallo-Roman sites in France bore the name "Mediolanum", for example: Saintes and Évreux. In addition, another theory links the name to the boar sow an ancient emblem of the city, fancifully accounted for in Andrea Alciato's Emblemata, beneath a woodcut of the first raising of the city walls, where a boar is seen lifted from the excavation, the etymology of Mediolanum given as "half-wool", explained in Latin and in French; the foundation of Milan is credited to two Celtic peoples, the Bituriges and the Aedui, having as their emblems a ram and a boar.
Alciato credits Ambrose for his account. The Celtic Insubres, the inhabitants of the region of northern Italy called Insubria, appear to have founded Milan around 600 BC. According to the legend reported by Livy, the Gaulish king Ambicatus sent his nephew Bellovesus into northern Italy at the head of a party drawn from various Gaulish tribes; the Romans, led by consul Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus, fought the Insubres and captured the city in 222 BC. They conquered the entirety of the region, calling the new province "Cisalpine Gaul" – "Gaul this side of the Alps" – and may have given the site its Latinized Celtic name of Mediolanum: in Gaulish *medio- meant "middle, center" and the name element -lanon is the Celtic equivalent of Latin -planum "plain", thus *Mediolanon meant " in the midst of the plain". In 286 the Roman Emperor Diocletian moved the capital of the Western Roman Empire from Rome to Mediolanum. Diocletian himself chose to reside at Nicomedia in the Eastern Empire, leaving his colleague Maximian at Milan.
Maximian built several gigantic monuments, the large circus, the thermae or "Baths of Hercules", a large complex of imperial palaces and other services and buildings of which fewer visible traces remain. Maximian increased the city area surrounded by a new, larger stone wall encompassing an area of 375 acres with many 24-sided towers; the monumental area had twin towers. From Mediolanum the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in 313 AD, granting tolerance to all religions within the Empire, thus paving the way for Christianity to become the dominant religion of Roman Europe. Constantine had come to Mediolanum to celebrate the wedding of his sister
The Taymyr Peninsula is a peninsula in the Far North of Russia, in the Siberian Federal District, that forms the northernmost part of the mainland of Eurasia. Administratively it is part of the Krasnoyarsk Krai Federal subject of Russia; the Taymyr Peninsula lies between the Yenisei Gulf of the Kara Sea and the Khatanga Gulf of the Laptev Sea. Lake Taymyr and the Byrranga Mountains are located within the vast Taymyr Peninsula. Cape Chelyuskin, the northernmost point of the Eurasian continent, is located at the northern end of the Taymyr Peninsula; the Nenets people known as Samoyeds, are an indigenous people in northern arctic Russia, some live at the Taymyr Peninsula. The Nganasan people are an indigenous Samoyedic people inhabiting central Siberia, including the Taymyr Peninsula. In the Russian Federation, they are recognized as being one of the Indigenous peoples of the Russian North, they reside in the settlements of Ust-Avam and Novaya in the Taymyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky District of Krasnoyarsk Krai, with smaller populations residing in the towns of Dudinka and Norilsk as well.
The isolated location of the Nganasan people enabled them to maintain shamanistic practices in the 20th century. MMC Norilsk Nickel conducts mining operations in the area; the company conducts smelting operations in the area of the city near the peninsula. The nickel ore concentrate and other products of the company are transported over a short railroad to the port city of Dudinka on the Yenisei River, from there by boat to Murmansk and other ports; the peninsula is the site of the last known occurring muskox outside of North America, which died out about 2,000 years ago. They were reintroduced in 1975; the population grew to 2,500 animals in 2002 increasing to 6,500 in 2010. The coasts of the Taymyr Peninsula are frozen most of the year, between September and June on average; the summer season is short on the shores of the Laptev Sea in the northeast. The climate in the interior of the peninsula is continental. Winters are harsh, with frequent blizzards and low temperatures; the following data for Cape Chelyuskin provides an indication of the weather experienced in the northern part of the peninsula.
Siberia Russia portal Mihály. Sámánok Eurázsiában. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó. ISBN 9630582953. Taymyr Peninsula photographs
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta