Physics news

Novas emitting huge gamma ray bursts

At August 14th ... gamma rays were thought only to come from supernovae but amateur astronomers in Japan have changed that view. They imaged a change in brightness of a small star in the constellation of Cygnus, ten times brighter than it had been a couple of days before, and reported the discovery of a nova event, a short lived brightening of an otherwise inconspicuous star. Novas are thought to occur when a white dwarf in a binary system erupts in an enormous thermo-nucleur explosion.

electron fractionalisation

At there is a report on a paper in Physical Review Letters 105, 057201 (2010) concerning the puzzle of electrons as they fractionalise into two separate quasi-particles, spinons and chargons, which carry spin, and charge, respectively, This is known as spin-charge separation and this paper is basically a new theory to explain what happens.

Big Bang

At August 11th ... Casey Kazan wonders why the prevailing Big Bang theory predicts all galaxies should be evenly distributed on the outer rims of the initial expanding explosive force, but aren't. Galaxies move in the wrong directions, at different speeds, and collide into one another from every conceivable angle throught the Hubble Length Universe. Hundreds of millions of galaxies appear to clump together forming super clusters while great walls of galaxies are separated by apparently vast voids of empty space.

Space Time may be just a mirage?

At August 10th ... Casey Kazan is winding people up again by questioning space time. Quoting a scientist from Berkely University in California, Peter Horava, who wants to split time apart from space in order to reconcile quantum mechanics with the mystery of dark energy (source New Scientist). The problem is that if he is right it will require a major overhaul of black hole physics.

Are physicists making up dark energy?

This story was sent in by Gary Gilligan and is interesting as it represents the problem from an astro-physicist that believes dark energy is real rather than a critique from a detractor. He is the author of a popular book and can be read on a regular basis at and as well as the article itself some of the comments following it are also just as interesting - the interaction between supporters of the consensus as opposed to the irreverent.

Strings and Things

At physicists use an offshoot of string theory to describe the puzzling behaviour of super conductors - material that conducts electricity without resistance. Published in Science August 5th

What the Large Hadron Collider is doing - in a nutshell

At the experiment at the Large Hadron Collider is described - and the objectives. This actually appears in an earlier posting but is not described in such simple layman's terms as in this article. A number of lead atoms travelling very near the speed of light will collide in the experiment, generating a fireball 100,000 times hotter than the core of the Sun.

No big bang ... no beginning ... and no end.

At July 29th (see July 30th) ... Wan-Yi Shu has proposed a new class of cosmological model that may bit observations of the universe better than the current big bang model.

Earth's collapsing atmosphere

At there is a report on a paper at Geophysical Research Letters June 19th which says there was a contraction of the  thermosphere during the deep solar minimum of 2008-9. It is known to cool and shrink when solar activity is low - but in this instance, the collapse was almost 3 times greater than low solar activity by itself can explain - from their mathematics.