Scientific research has answered a number of questions that were unknown to humanity. We have studied about the very small things such as structure of atoms and also about enormous systems like the Milky Way. We created new machines which made our life easier. Science and engineering have been a boon to humanity and solved many mysteries. This article is not about such success stories but about the unknown mysteries. There are always something incredible things to be discovered. Here is a list of such unsolved mysteries in science.
Protein folding Problem
Proteins are polymers of amino acids and they are extremely relevant molecules in biological systems. They have significant functions which decide the progress of biological processes. A protein is active for a particular function only if it is properly folded onto its native state. But how does a protein fold into a specific functional conformation is an unsolved problem in science. So the driving mechanisms behind the proper folding of proteins are still an unsolved question for researchers. The process protein folding is highly complex. A large number of interactions are involved during the folding process and they drive protein to a lowest energy stable conformation. These interactions are highly complex and that makes it difficult to follow and understand the protein folding pathway.
The Origin of Life
We humans have been trying to explore Mars, Moon, Venus and many other extra-terrestrial things. But we still don’t know how life originated in our own planet; the Earth. If we can solve that mystery about the origin of life we will be able to discover many aspects of science. Reproduction and transfer of genetic material are the two characteristic features of life. Understanding about the origin of these processes in molecules can help us to study about the origin of life. ‘Primordial Soup’ theory says that, life originated from a mixture of energized molecules. According to this theory, Earth had a mixture of molecules which were energized by electrical storms and solar energy and these molecules reacted to form organic molecules that make up life.
How does gravity work?
We are able to feel our weight because of Gravity. Apples fall down, Tides are generated and Earth revolves around the Sun. All these are happening because of the existence of gravitational force. But how much do we really know about Gravity? Gravitational force is generated from matter. So, objects with larger mass can generate more gravitational force and has higher ability attract other objects. We know the effects of gravitational force but we don’t know how it is created. Our current understanding of physics is not able to explain gravity completely.
Dark matter and Dark energy
The amount of matter in this universe that is known to us is just a 5% of the entire universe. The remaining part of the universe is considered to be dark and it consists of Dark matter and Dark energy. Dark cannot be seen directly and it’s not been discovered yet. We know about the existence of dark matter by the gravitational effects that it creates on visible matter. Even though the gravitational force is trying to pull the universe inwards, universe is expanding outwards. Astrophysicists suggest that there is an invisible energy which counteracts the effects of gravity and they termed it as Dark energy. Dark matter will not interact with light or with anything in fact. That makes it difficult for detection. Scientists have seen the effect of dark matter by gravitational lensing, which causes the bending of light. The existence of dark matter and dark energy is an unsolved mystery in science.
At the beginning of 19th century, it was believed that there’s nothing left to be discovered in physics and all the phenomena can be explained by classical physics. But then there were somethings that classical physics couldn’t explain, such as the Blackbody radiation. Then, Quantum theory and the theory of relativity was proposed and that made revolutionary changes in the field of physics. We know many things about our universe but that is only miniscule. There is much more left to be explored.