Physics news

Movements of the earth at the point of axis

The New York Times (see 'As the World Turns' asks, do shifts of the earth's axis produced by earthquakes alter world weather? - presumably a question an earnest AGW enthusiast might be concerned about - why is snow still falling in parts of the US and Canada? Its supposed to be spring. Its very warm over here in NW Europe but other parts of the northern hemisphere are not so lucky.

An electric plume - under Yellowstone

At - a computer simulation has come up with an image based on variations in electrical conductivity in underground rock formations beneath Yellowstone. It is thought to have a connection with the famous hot spot, a volcanic plume that has blown in a mega-blast on at least three previous occasions, the so called and much hyped super-volcano. The image was produced by geophysicists at the University of Utah and is due to be published by Geophysical Research Letters.

Ocean Circulation Systems

At (there is a broken link here so if there is a problem go to site and look at archive on LH menu). This is a taster article for those who know very little about the Ocean Circulation System, ENSO events (El Nino and La Nina cycles) and how they influence global climate.

Black Holes ... gamma ray bursts and things

At we have an interesting interpretation of an astronomical event - two neutron stars merge and within mill-seconds, it is said, form a black hole. It can't of course be seen but is thought to happen, even the neutron stars are hypothetical as far as composition is concerned. What is known for sure is that such an event coincides with the formation of a strong magnetic field along the rotational axis which creates a jet that shoots ultra hot matter into space - a gamma ray burst event.

Earthquakes ... are they increasing?

Piers Corbyn has attributed current earthquake activity to lunar and solar factors - and presumably the much smaller influences on earth by the planets. In effect, it is a peculiarity of 2011 - but that peculiarity pops up at where it asks, 'Are we living in an age of giant earthquakes?' - following a succession of large tremors. An earthquake, it suggests, represents the abrupt release of seismic strain that has built up over years as plates of the earth's crust slowly grind and rub up against each other.

Krypton ... and what it may mean

At December 2009 ... Krypton trapped in earth's mantle may not have been captured from the Sun - as models predict. It seems to have an origin in carbonaceous meteorites or comets and if this is confirmed bang goes the generally accepted theory.

Child genius ... no big bang

At ... a twelve year old maths whizzkid has worked out the universe could not have been formed by the Big Bang. Its all to do with carbon.

The Sun awakes - or is it still slumbering?

At is a reference to the present X-flare and unsettled geomagnetic conditions (details derived from A flare on March 9th, following on from the big flare in late February, is what has generated the posting, as it sent a CME towards the earth. Funnily enough, or perhaps just a coincidence, two days later we have the Japanese earthquake.

Cosmic Rays - where do they come from?

At ... it is thought cosmic rays have an origin in distant supernova events - but is this true? An Italian physicist, at the University of Rome, in a paper in Science (March 3rd, 2011), says cosmic rays aren't actually rays, strictly so, they are fast moving particles that carry an extraordinary amount of energy and they continuously bombard the earth from every direction.

Plasma, magnetic holes and a mud volcano

At .... huge blobs of plasma known as coronal mass ejections cause probems when they collide with the magnetosphere of the earth. They produce aurorae for example, but also feature in comet tails (no this is not Wal speaking but a scientist from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory), solar wind and much of the spiralling material that appears to fall into black holes. Science is now trying to understand plasma.