Physics news

Have they found something ... or not

At ... the official position is that the Large Hadron Collider has found something - but they are a bit shy on saying what it might be. However, the intepretation of what was found was vigorously challenged  during the meeting as scientists bounced suggestions off each other - so who knows?

Parallel universes and the Black Widow

Is gravity from a parallel universe creating dark energy? Casey Kazan at has a different slant on a story that emerged a few weeks ago - the idea of gravity leaking from a parallel universe. The commenters at the end of what is a short piece are not impressed. Ivar Nielson of Denmark in particular.

Jupiter's radio emissions and dark energy?

An interesting post by Casey Kazan who continues to rattle the cage at and posted on August 31st 'Do Jupiter's radio emissions hint that dark energy may not exist?' ... the cosmic microwave background as tracked by the WMAP satellite shows a pattern of ripples that underpin the idea the universe is composed of dark matter and dark energy. Researchers at Durham Univesity think they have found a flaw in the data - starting with WMAP observations of the planet Jupiter.

sun spots ... can stretch the sky ...

New Scientist August 27th ... sun spots may play a role in small fluctuations in the time it takes the earth to rotate on it's axis. The exact length of the day varies - tides and winds also affect the rotation but now it seems so do sun spots. It is suitably dressed up in uniformitarian glamour wear as they are talking about fractions of a second, supposedly as a result of an abundance of sun spots - or the lack thereof. The question thus might be asked - what hails in the result of a very large solar flare?

The birth of black holes

At ... a paper in Nature purports to have discovered the origin of the universe's first super massive black hole - by computer simulation of dark matter, stars, gas, and black holes. They were born when early galaxies collided and fused together - quite simple really. However, it is not quite simply simple as it means the old hypothesis that gravity draws small pieces of matter together and these then go on to form large structures is - well, redundant.

Neutrinos and decay rates - ongoing

At --- which is the story that broke a few days ago concerning research that seemed to show a variation in radioactive decay rates on earth - is being reopened after a cascade of criticism. The real shocker is they attributed it to solar neutrinos - and they aren't supposed to react with matter and ar particularly difficult to detect. In fact, they might even not exist.

Magnetic Monopoles

At the io9 website ( ) there is a feature, ask the scientist. In this instance, it is Physicist David Sparks who poses as teacher and knowledge bringer, and the question asked is, what happened to magnetic monopoles? Are they still out there in space?

Solar Flare and radio-active elements on earth

At ... 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 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 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.