Physics news

Solar Flare and radio-active elements on earth

At www.physorg.com/print201795438.html ... researchers at Stanford have discovered a link between solar flares and the inner life of radio-aactive elements on earth, which sparked a hunt to find out why as it was important for the wellbeing of space walking astronauts of the future. The radioactive decay of some elements on earth seemed to be influenced by activity within the Sun - but why? It is generally thought the decay rate of radioactive materials is a constant.

Anti-matter going bang

At www.dailygalaxy.com August 21st (see also BBC News) .... anti-matter can create huge explosions is an accurate statement but anti-matter meeting matter isn't actually an explosion - it is dubbed an annihilation. A space search for anti matter via a particle detector onboard the space shuttle Endeavour, is set to launch in september where it will be transferred to the International Space Station and operate over the next 18 years. The hope is that they will find this elusive property.

What makes a Black Hole?

This is one of those uncomfortable pieces of emerging evidence that might result in an upset. At www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100818085938.htm is a story that is being widely reported - it's just too good to ignore. European astronomers have demonstrated that a magnetar, an unusual form of a neutron star, was formed from a star with at least 40 times the mass of our Sun. The result presents a challenge as a star as enormous as this was thought to become a black hole - but that did not happen.

Galactic volcanoes

At www.physorg.com/print201424073.html we have an image of a galactic volcano - erupting. Of course, it isn't a real volcano but it is likened to one (see also www.dailygalaxy.com August 21st for a slightly different slant). The image comes from NASAs Chandra X-ray Observatory and happened 50 million light years away - in the centre of the Virgo cluster.

Probing Dark Energy

At www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/ August 19th (NASA newsletter) ... claims astronomers hav e devised a method to measure dark energy - the mysterious force purported to be pushing the universe apart at an ever increasing speed. They homed in on a huge cluster of galaxies at the extreme point of vision of the Hubble Space Telescope and they hope to be able to calculate the speed of energy involved - accurately. In turn, they hope this will eventually lead to an explanation of what dark energy actually is.

Bose-Einstein condensates and superatoms

At http://calderup.wordpress.com August 18th .. Nigel Calder looks at very cold rubidium atoms combining together to make superatoms known as Bose-Einstein condensates. A team in Germany added more rubidium atoms and this brought order and a neater pattern which was probably aided and abetted by reason the superatoms became wider overall.

Boson

At www.physorg.com/print201193905.html a press release from the Pacific NW National Laboratory outlines the current status of Fermilab's search for the Higgs Boson particle. Scientists have now ruled out about a quarter of the Higgs mass rays allowed in earlier experiments in order to narrow it down. It will be a year or so before they can say whether the Higgs Boson particle is fact - or fiction.

'Natural Nucleur Accelerators'

At www.physorg.com/print201279930.html there is a report on a paper in Physcial Review Letters with some interesting discoveries, one of which is that high energy cosmic rays were thought to come from remote galaxies that contained huge black holes capable of eating stars and accelerating protons like a bullet shooting out of a gun barrel. These protons, referred to as cosmic rays, travel through space and eventually enter our galaxy - the theory assumes.

Dark Attractors

At www.dailygalaxy.com August 16th .... 'Dark Attractors Believed to Shape the Universe' is the headline. The science community do not know what invisible or dark matter is but they think they know that it is out there and that without dark matter there would be no galaxies, no stars or planets, no life as we know it.

Supernovae and Amino Acids

A peculiar story is this one, and it was suitably published in Astrobiology as 'Supernovae and the Chirality of the amino acids' (but see www.liebertonline.com/doi/10.1089/ast.2009.0427?utum_source=io9+News but probably the peculiarity is due to the latter rather than the former. It appears to be an attempt to explain left handed amino acids and the virtual exclusion of right handed ones.