Physics news

Minoans and Mycenaeans

At ... 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 ).

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.