Physics news

Does the Moon contain water?

At ... analysis of lunar soil samples seems to indicate the Moon's mantle contains hydrogen from water (possibly indigenous to Earth). The Moon, of course, is supposed to have originated out of the Earth - and would have dragged water from the mantle with it. Its getting a big story at the moment - water inside the Earth (and water inside Mars and the Moon and various other places).

BICEP - 2 update

At ... it seems some physicists are throwing a dash of cold water on the recent enthusiasm displayed at the BICEPS-2 results - see the new paper at arXiv:1403.5166. Basically, they say the research has not ruled out all possible non-inflation sources of the observed B mode polarisation patterns and surprisingly high value of r (the ratio of power in tensor nodes to scalar density perturbations).

Smaller than Higgs, synthetic diamonds, and the Van Allen stripes

At ... particles smaller than the Higgs are now being looked for - what it is that comes together to form the Higgs. See what you think.

At ... synthetic diamond crystals from plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition - plasma reactors making diamonds.

Gerald Pollack and Water

At ... Gerald Pollack describes the fourth state of water. Tim Cullen, at ... begins with Wikipedia's claim that 60 per cent of the average person's body is made of water - with lesser amounts of stuff. This progresses towards, how much of it is oxygen and how much hydrogen - and ends up with Pollack. He was a speaker at last years EU conference - not sure about this year (go to

Cosmic Microwave background radiation

At ... we all know what the consensus view is on cosmic background radiation in the afterglow of Big Bang - but here we have it described by a professor of physics and astronomy at UCLA, Ned Wright. No mention of Arp of course but useful to have it straight from the horses mouth. It is the strongest evidence, if not mostly the only evidence, of Big Bang - so it is important to mainstream in many ways.

Dark matter might not exist!

Welkl, we've had Hawking's 'Black Hole that don't exist' - go to ... which involves Hongcheng Zhae of St Andrews University, and a team of astronomers at Scotland's best. They have come up with a hypothesis that thinks the Milky Way galaxy might have collided with the Andromeda galaxy 10 billion years ago. This implies our understanding of gravity is flawed. Zhao wonders if an unknown force is acting on dark matter.

Stephen Hawking Update

The idea black holes don't exist, as espoused by Stephen Hawking, has been challenged by physicists according to ... although, as already noticed in the earlier post, he doesn't doubt their existence - only their boundary that inhibits light emissions from the 'hole' - or whatever it is. Thunderbolts forum is also featuring this subject but Galaxy New comes up with some alternative views.

Grey, not quite Black

AQt ... we are told black holes are real, and they have a picture of one - a mass accreting black hole is a lumimous gas rich area at the heart of galaxies, and most common in merging galaxies (where lots of material are being gobbled up). The image is an infra red observation.

The solar wind makes water using space dust

At ... water ice is the most abundant solid material in the universe. Much of it is produced as a by product of star formation - but not all of it (it seems). John Bradley and colleagues at the John Livermore National Laboratory have found a new souce of water in our solar system. The solar wind seems to be creating water on dust in space, the plentiful dust between the planets of the solar system. They are saying that such dust, as well as tiny meteorites, can be eroded by the solar wind.

Earthquake Lights

Earthquake lights were considered to be apocryphal in the lobbies of academia, and largely ignored. They were taken up by the likes of Paul Devereux, on the fringe of science. He wrote two books on the subject - and they are very illuminating. No actual scientist had made a study or witnessed them and therefore they did not exist - the usual pretence. This could be described as the perfect example of consensus science.