Physics news

Rocket Engine

At ... 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.


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

cold water and cold fusion

This story comes from ... 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.

liquid iron and the EU

This article at Thunderbolts was inspired by the news over Christmas that earth has a liquid iron jet stream as revealed by ESAs Swarm mission satellites. Swarm is able to measure variations in the electromagnetic fields of the earth. Stephen Smith says 'jet' as in a jet stream is a trifle overstated and planetary scientists attribute it to liquid iron (aka the press release last week as reported in the News), circulating around the poles.

Wind Up

At ... this story is weird in all kinds of ways - and so are some of the other stories at the same link. Supposedly, there is an area of 'anti-gravity' situated in the region of Hudson Bay. It is also supposed to have been noticed as long ago as the 1960s - but lots of weird things were being mooted at that time. One suggestion is that it is a convection hot spot. These are located in the Mantle of the earth and pull down the edges of plates as they collide with each other.

measuring the decay at earth's core

This one is interesting - if only that it begins with an assumption, nuclear activity is at the heart of the sun and affects all the planets in various ways. At ... we learn that scientists are keen to find out how much fuel is left inside the earth - on the assumption it is the decay rate that provides the warmth to keep Plate Tectonics in motion (as well as several other earth phenomena). In other words, nuclear energy produced during natural radioactive decay.


Jovan Kesic forwarded the link ... it seems theoretical physicists are saying they have found a fifth force. The comments are not exactly confident about this but the relevant paper is currently at the arXiv preprint server for anyone to look at. The study author thinks it may help solve the dark matter issue.


At ... evidence is mounting that neutrinos are the key to the universe's existence, according to a news release from Imperial College in London. It includes Japanese research as well as the team from Imperial and revolves around differences in the make up of neutrinos and anti-neutrinos. Basically, they have divided the particles into tau, muons and electrons, but what differs between neutrinos and anti-neutrinos is the rate of change, from muon to electron.


Excellent post at ... and the maths behind fractals, the phenomenon of fractals in nature, and we might add, fractals in art. If you want to learn something more about the subject of fractals this might whet your appetite and encourage you to learn more. For example, the architect of the new Barcelona cathedral used fractals to achieve maximum light inside the building. Antoni Gaudi studied how plants grew, the patterns and fractals, and produced a masterpiece of architecture.