Physics news

shrinking protons

a paper in Nature July 8th (see ) indicates protons are smaller than previously thought - by some 4 per cent. This doesn't sound a big deal, you might think, but scientists say this could have 'enormous implications' and 'something is 'drastically wrong'. It could be there is something amiss with quantum electro-dynamics, the theory of how light and matter interact by incorporating Einstein's special relativity into quantum mechanics (see also pre-publication news report on In the News last week).

Altitude ... Snowballs ... the journal Science (July 2nd) claims Tibetans and Han Chinese separated from each other just 2750 years ago. The group that moved into Tibet dwindled in numbers but the lesser group, remaining at a low altitude, expanded dramatically. As such the Tibetans adapted to a very high altitude in a very short period of time - and the Han went on to dominate China. This story reappears on Daily Galaxy on July 3rd, posted by Casey Kazan.

Neutrino Experiments June 25th ... Neutrino experiments in an underground laboratory in Minnesota suggest neutrinos and anti neutrinos do not weight the same which might indicate the presence of an unknown force or a violation of Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity.

Neutrinos ... and clouds ...

Meanwhile, at June 14th we have two interesting posts. The first one is on the topic of aeroplanes accidentally making holes in clouds and causing rain or snow to fall. It may happen more often than realised.

Dark matter does not exist?

At June 11th ... scientists at Durham University's Physics department used satellite data to study the remnant heat of the Big Bang - via a microwave anisotropy probe. In the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society they claim dark energy and dark matter may not exist - the mathematics was wrong. In turn, this may threaten the consensus model of the universe, the Big Bang theory.

The Age of the Universe has changed - and the Big Bang might have been a squib

At June 11th .... we have 'You couldn't make this up dept; our universe is 150 billion years old' - it seems a group of international astronomers say the universe is much older than previously thought as modern telescopes and attachments reveal more and more 'rivers of galaxies' forming bands out there in deep space, some of which are 600 million light years apart, and stretch across a large section of what is an expanding universe that threatens to get even bigger while we are reading this and they are looking up into the sky.

Quark Gluon Plasma June 9th ... for a few millionths of a second after the Big Bang the universe consisted of a hot soup of elementary particles called quarks and gluons. A few micro seconds later they cooled to form protons and neutrons - the building blocks of the universe.

Highest mountain in the world March 4th ... Mount Everest is the highest mountain in the world at 29,000 feet, so it is generally believed. However, when the equatorial bulge is taken into account, the earth being oblate as it spins, flattened at the pole and bulging at the equator, it seems that Mount Chinborozo in the Andes, at only 20,000 feet, situated on that bulge, is the highest point on the planet. A bit of random and completely useless information but there you are.

The Science of Greenhouse Gases is a blog about greenhouse gases, particularly C02. It is basically a series of long articles written by the blog author in response to lack of understanding on various web sites and blogs. In other words, he felt people were commenting on things they only understood in a general way and his articles are designed to educate - not lecture. As a result of that approach this blog is recommended - to everyone, alarmist or sceptic.

Semi-conductors February 5th ... research on semi-conductors caught in the act electrons forming complex patterns, resembling those seen in turbulent fluids. This is said to confirm long held convictions and provides fresh knowledge that might be used as a means to turn semi-conductors into magnets.