Physics news

Polar Wandering

Sir Henry James in an article in a journal called The Athenaeum, in 1860, explained Ice Ages by the migration of the axis of rotation. The mechanism for this, he proposed, was the rapid elevation of the world's mountain chains which had disturbed the rotational balance. In fact, during the 19th century the idea of polar wandering was aired on many occasions - even during the early 20th century. It is rarely mentioned nowadays. 

Rotation of the Earth

At www.physorg.com/print246274195.html there is a report on research in Japan and a paper in Physical Review Letters on problems associated with rotation of the Earth, namely there is not a perfect rate of spin. This led to the view that because different kinds of material make up the core, mantle and the crust this created different rates of spin that causes inherent friction. In other words, the planet wobbles. Why does it wobble? Insome way the mantle responds to the magnetic tug of the core.

Higgs and Holes and sun beams

At http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/13/higgs-boson-announcement-expected-... cern/ is a piece with lots of comments on how the search for Higgs Boson is proceeding (see also www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16158374/ we have the BBC headline, 'Higgs Boson may have been glimpsed' ... but on the other hand, it might not have been. Whatever, particle physicists are apparently very excited by small signals - which might be background noise.

Up the stairs and down the stairs

Landsatt satellites used to track Yellowstone's geothermal heat - see www.physorg.com/print242540137.html. Yellowstone National Park sits on top of what is thought to be a huge ancient and still active volcano, a so called hot spot - downstairs. Heat is thought to rise from an underground chamber that creates some 10,000 hot springs, mud pots, terraces and geysers. 

Blowing Bubbles ... in the sky

At www.physorg.com/print241937908.html ... we might ask, is the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way quietly dozing away or is it secretly gobbling all that dares to come alongside? In a paper in Physical Review Letters Subir Sarkar of Oxford University discusses bubbles feeding black holes - or is it vice versa? These bubbles are gigantic structures above and below the centre of the galaxy that were discovered fairly recently and studied by Harvard astrophysicists using material from NASAs Fermi satellite.

Some science at the edge

According to a paper in Astrophysics and Space Science by Dragan Hajdukovik contemporary physics has two cornerstones, namely General Relativity and the Standard Model of Particle Physics. General Relativity is our best theory of gravitation. The Standard Model is a collation of Quantum Field theories and claims that everthing in the universe is made from six quarks and six leptons (and their anti-articles) which interact through exchange of gauge bosuns . However, he says these two theories do not fit with certain observations .... go to www.physorg.com/print241707260.html.

Neutrinos ... real or imagined?

David de Hilster, in 'The Neutrinos: Doomed from Inception'  published in the Proceedings of the NPA, College Park, MD 2011, begins by saying some scientists are attracted to the neutrino as it adds desirable characteristics to new theories. However, neutrinos are clearly linked to special relativity. If special relativity is fiction then the neutrino cannot exist. The author, de Hilster, leans on the work of Argentine physicist, Ricardo Carezani.

Little Rascals

Neutrinos are rascally little devils according to Ask a Physicist at http://io9.com/5859576/whats-the-strangest-thing-about-neutrinos/ in reply to a query on why neutrino oscillations occur. At www.thunderbolts.info the actual existence of neutrinos is questioned and the recent experiment in which neutrinos were said to move faster than light involved something going into a mountain  and some shreds of something coming out the other side - but was it neutrinos?

Einstein

A beautiful piece with the title, 'Why Einstein was wrong about being wrong' is at www.physorg.com/print237818552.html and begins with the Theory of Relativity, a mathematical equation, and how it meant the universe was either expanding or contracting. Einstein went on to tweek the theory and adopted the 'cosmological constant' in order to counteract gravity. Some years later Edwin Hubble found the universe was in motion and this led, after some deliberation, to the Big Bang Theory.

Speed of Light

It seems some scientists are worried the general public are not up to understanding what science is all about - and fearful of the way the media presented the hullaballoo over the CERN discovery that neutrinos may travel faster than light - see www.physorg.com/print237470243.html. Sounds a bit like those politicians that have no faith in the democratic process. 

The Speed of Light is also the subject at www.physorg.com/print237460906.html - time dilation is taken into account.