Physics news

Decay Rates

An interesting piece at http://arxivblog.com/?p=596 'Do nuclear decay rates depend on our distance from the Sun?' ... is a question that came up in a recent Study Group meeting in London. Decay rates of elements have always been thought to be constant regardless of ambient conditions. However, at the same time it is long known that decay rates can be influenced by powerful electrical fields - and we can all see electricty in the atmosphere in the form of lightning.

Holographic Dark Information Energy

This story with the same title is at www.physorg.com/print225970694.html comes from Universe Today - which is a touch sceptical. A chap called Gough has suggested that in an expanding universe there is, concomitant, a loss of information. As such, this should release dissipated energy - and the dissipated energy is the dark energy component that is thought to exist in space. However, what is exactly being mathematically modelled?

Olivine falling as rain

At www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-161&cid=release_2011-161 ... tiny crystals of a green mineral called olivine are falling down like rain on a star observed by NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope. Astronomers aren't sure how such crystals got to be where they are - but jets of gas are projected as a likely culprit.

Volcanoes, Tornadoes, and Earthquakes - why the swarm?

On May 15th Piers Corbyn of www.weatheraction.com predicted an earthquake 'somewhere' in the world between 19th and 21st of May. On May 21st an earthquake in Iceland activated the Grimsvotn volcano (see image below) (go to http://klaengur.imgur.com/grmsvtn for further images) and see www.physorg.com/print225286069.html and http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/21/iceland-volcano-eruption-not-likel... which has some nice comments and links. Grimsvotn erupted 8 times in the 20th century and again in 2004.

Radio telescope captures Jets on lip of black hole

The story is at www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110520160607.htm ... researchers using radio telescopes throughout the southern hemisphere think they have an image (pictured) of particle jets erupting from a supermassive black hole in a nearby galaxy. It is thought the jets arise as infalling matter approaches the black hole but we don't know how they form, it was said. However, the findings involve 'advanced computer techniques' that allow data from several telescopes to yield images with the sharpness of a single giant telescope.

A storm on Saturn, dark energy is real, and a fractal Sun

At www.physorg.com/news/2011-05-deep-huge-storm-saturn.html we learn that ESOs Very Large Telescope and NASAs Cassini spacecraft have been looking at a huge storm in the upper atmosphere of Saturn (see also NASA news release May 19th 'Cassini and Telescope see violent Saturn storm' and the full story at www.jpl.nasa.gov/news.cfm?release=2011-150&cid=release_2011-150 and www.nasa.gov/cassini ). It created a gigantic violent and complex eruption of bright cloud material which spread to encircle the entire planet.

Staying with the Sun ...

Another web site or blog that is interesting for those into the Electric Universe theory - see www.thesurfaceofthesun.com/index.html. It seems that beneath the photosphere the surface of the Sun is solid - not gaseous. It goes on to say that Birkeland said this nearly 100 years ago. His early laboratory research with an electrified iron sphere suspended in a vacuum created images remarkably similar to modern satellite x-ray images of the Sun (with pictures). 

Cosmic Rays, Clouds, and the Solar Wind

At http://calderup.wordpress.com May 15th and May 17th Nigel Calder draws our attention on an update on the Svensmark hypothesis. As the CERN CLOUD experiment took so long to get going and is not due out for awhile as yet and so the Danish decided to do their own laboratory experiment, in Copenhagen. A study of their findings has just been published in Geophysical Review Letters (12th May), with the title 'Aerosol nucleation induced by a high energy particle beam'.

Dark Matter

Also at www.space.com/11642-dark-matter-dark-energy-4-percent-universe-panek.html 'What is 96 per cent of the Universe made of? Astronomers don't know' ... Richard Panek says that all the stars, planets, and galaxies make up just 4 per cent of the universe. The other 96 per cent is made of stuff astronomers can't see, detect, or even comprehend. They are tagged dark energy and dark matter and their existence is inferred based on gravitational influences on the little bits of the universe that can be seen - but themselves elude detection.

Hoyle from the Grave

At www.physorg.com/print224335841.html - it seems the Big Bang did not produce carbon yet life is carbon based. Where did it come from? A supercomputer simulation claims to have proved Fred Hoyle right. He suggested 50 years ago that carbon was made in stars from three helium nuclei or alpha particles. This has now been demonstrated - on a computer (published in the May issue of Physical Research Letters and see http://prl.aps.org ).