Physics news

Stephen Hawking Again

Jovan sent in the link http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2018/03/20/stephen-hawking-fin... ... what did Stephen Hawking's final paper say (and doesn't say). It was on the idea of the multi-verse - different universes within each other. This is bound up with another idea, eternal inflation. It continues to inflate forever - in most places. It can in some places actually stop - and where it stops a new universe forms (in a repeating process that has no end). You won't be much wiser after the reading the link.

Stephen Hawking

Lots of tributes to Stephen Hawking out there after his recent death, last week. He is well known for his work on black holes for example. In the link at https://phys.org/print440413851.html ... we are told black holes were the remnants of supermassive stars that had fallen in on themselves, contracting to such a small size that gravity became so strong even light cannot escape. Hawking filled in some of the holes in the theory. Why do black holes exist? Answer. Because gravity exists and the speed of light is not infinite.

Water in Diamonds

We now have evidence of water in diamonds - as an inclusion. This is said to be a pointer to water rich regions in the Mantle - see https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/03/10/weird-stuff-type-vii-water-ice-fo... ... The study in the journal Science (March 8th 2018). Diamonds from South Africa, China, and Botswana, were used in the study. They are said to have surged up from the innards of the Earth - but later this is described as a theory. The diamonds were formed under intense heat and therefore the assumption of an inner earth origin.

Earth's Core

Go to https://phys.org/print437245752.html ... for the story. Basically, the mainstream view for a long time has been that Earth's inner core formed a billion years ago when a solid super hot iron nugget spontaneously began to crystalise inside a 4200 mile wide ball of liquid metal at the centre of the Earth. According to a new paper in Earth and Planetary Science Letters the above theory is a paradox - contradicting itself.

Minoans and Mycenaeans

At http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/summer-2017/article/ancient-dna-rev... ... It seems that DNA confirms that the people of Crete and the Greek mainland, including the Mycenaeans, are all closely related in origin with a strong genetic signal from early farmers in Anatolia. This puts to bed the idea the Minoans arrived in Crete from a more advanced civilisation elsewhere. The article in particular blows the Black Athena hypothesis out of the water (although I don't think it had a lot of traction in any case).

Einstein Renaissance

Einstein's 1915 theory of gravitation, or General Relativity, is now a central pillar of consensus physics and science - but it was not always so. It contributes to our understanding of cosmology and how particles inter-act with each other - but this was not always so according to Alexander Blum et al in an editorial introducing a special issue on Einstein, 'The Renaissance of Einstein's Theory of Gravitation' in the European Physical Journal (2017) DOI:10.1140/epjh/e2017-80023-3 (see https://phys.org/print419072124.html ).

Rocket Engine

At https://phys.org/print413442372.html ... this story was on BBC Oxford news this week. The village of Westcott is on the Bicester to Aylesbury section of the A41, a once sleepy place that was host to a WWII airfield. This became a small industrial estate of commercial to let units in more recent years, on the edge of the Waddesdon estate. Westcott is now home to a rocket engine test facility, an extension of the facilities that have been on the airfield site for a number of years.

Silica

Gary Gilligan sent in this link, suggesting it was not that different from his theory on the origin of sand as outlined in his book, reviewed in SIS Review during 2016. More than ninety per cent of the continental crust is made up of silica rich minerals such as feldspar and quartz - but where did this silica enriched material come from? Mainstream theory holds that all of the early Earth's crustal rocks were formed by volcanic and seismic activity. Now we have a new addition to this theory - a twist of the mainstream tail.

Water Fractals

   ... winding waterways - captured from space. This example comes from Egypt.

Physics and river flow - and fractals. The subject of a new book by Sean Fleming, 'When the Rivers Flow' (Princetown University Press) - the physical forces that water exerts on its surrounding landscape. The author uses physics to explain. See www.sciencenews.org/article/understand-rivers-let-physics-be-your-guide

cold water and cold fusion

This story comes from www.scientificamerican.com/article/cold-fusion-lives-experiments-create-... ... which is a source hardly likely to be full on keen on cold fusion. It was dismissed as junk science some years ago and one can see why some science journals might like to stand on the neck of anything that attempts to resurrect the theory.