Physics news

dark matter and dinosaurs

Lisa Randall, a particle physicist, has written an interesting book with the title, 'Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs' (Ecco:2015) - see www.sciencenews.org/article/dark-matter-helped-destroy-dinosaurs-physici... ... it seems the dinosaur bit is an add-on, something to persuade people to look at her book, a colourful window on what she has to say as she goes on to suggest that dark matter could have been a trigger factor in the K/T event.

fusion update

At www.q-mag.org/the-german-sun-machine-is-on.html ... posted by Anne Marie de Grazia at her web site. Greens don't like fusion it seems as they are raising a storm at the amount of money invested in fusion research - peanuts in comparison with the gold bars on offer for renewable subsidies. Greens, the financial reality behind the Green Blob, want to protect wind and solar as the subsidies are where the gold dust lies.

excited about nothing?

A press release from the University of Aolberta informs us of a paper published in the Dec 11th 2015 issue of Science Advances that is somewhat novel to say the least - see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/12/14/length-of-day-increase-and-sea-lev... ... which sounds very interesting from a Catstrophism point of view - but never think a uniformitarian would really come up with something earth breaking. The study is about sea level rise and presumably sea levels that go up and down a bit.

Alan Turing

At www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2015/12/quantum-conundrum-some-aspects-of-... ... Alan Turing is famous, in books, urban myth and in a film, for cracking the Enigma Code - but among mathematicians and computer scientists he is even more famous for proving that certain mathematical questions are 'undecidable' - they were neither true or false (but beyond the reach of mathematicians). Astronomers think they have reached an 'undecidable' point - but read on (at the link).

Einstein and Delft

At http://phys.org/print364664826.html ... a paper in Nature (Oct 22nd 2015) seems to undermine Einstein who said nothing moved faster than light. The Delft experiment involved two electrons trapped inside two different diamond crystals - 1.3km apart.

zircons, moon, life

Robert Farrar sent in this link to www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151017152343.htm ... durable crystals known as zircons are used to date some the earliest and most dramatic cataclysms that occurred in the solar system including a super collision that is thought to have produced the Moon. This was somewhat prior to another big event involving a hypothetical mass bombardment of the Earth and the Moon by meteors, comets and asteroids. All this is safely dated 4 billion years ago.

glass

Interesting story and research at http://phys.org/print358750569.html ... molecular scientists unexpectedly produced a new type of glass, and it involved vapourising the experimental material - thereby imitating lightning or meteors and the creation of fulgarites. The study, published in PNAS (August 2015), and in Materials Science journal, produced a glass where the molecules were aligned in an orderly fashion in a single direction, which is a novelty (and would, presumably, give glass greater strength).

Buckminster fullerenes

Buckminster fullerenes are back on the menu at http://phys.org/print356180451.html ... scientists at the Swiss University of Basel has identified a particle, the positively charged buckminster fullerenes (see Nature July 2015). Buckminster fullerenes are made up of 60 crbon atoms with the shape of a soccer ball and their existence was at first dismissed (in the 1989s). They are also ionised particles - which accounts for their rehabilitation.

string theory

Tim Cullen turns his attention to String Theory - and he is not exactly being friendly (see https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/string-theory/ .. and begins his blast with the words, 'string theory is a theory of quantum gravity' and goes on to say it 'is a problem that is stuck at the bottom of a very deep rabbit hole'.

balls of string

Are black holes the ruthless killers we've made them out to be, a professor of physics at Ohio State University asks. The paper has been published on the pre-publication site arXiv  where the professor sets out to prove, mathematically, that black holes are not necessarily arbiters of doom.