Physics news

Alan Turing

At ... Alan Turing is famous, in books, urban myth and in a film, for cracking the Enigma Code - but among mathematicians and computer scientists he is even more famous for proving that certain mathematical questions are 'undecidable' - they were neither true or false (but beyond the reach of mathematicians). Astronomers think they have reached an 'undecidable' point - but read on (at the link).

Einstein and Delft

At ... a paper in Nature (Oct 22nd 2015) seems to undermine Einstein who said nothing moved faster than light. The Delft experiment involved two electrons trapped inside two different diamond crystals - 1.3km apart.

zircons, moon, life

Robert Farrar sent in this link to ... durable crystals known as zircons are used to date some the earliest and most dramatic cataclysms that occurred in the solar system including a super collision that is thought to have produced the Moon. This was somewhat prior to another big event involving a hypothetical mass bombardment of the Earth and the Moon by meteors, comets and asteroids. All this is safely dated 4 billion years ago.


Interesting story and research at ... molecular scientists unexpectedly produced a new type of glass, and it involved vapourising the experimental material - thereby imitating lightning or meteors and the creation of fulgarites. The study, published in PNAS (August 2015), and in Materials Science journal, produced a glass where the molecules were aligned in an orderly fashion in a single direction, which is a novelty (and would, presumably, give glass greater strength).

Buckminster fullerenes

Buckminster fullerenes are back on the menu at ... scientists at the Swiss University of Basel has identified a particle, the positively charged buckminster fullerenes (see Nature July 2015). Buckminster fullerenes are made up of 60 crbon atoms with the shape of a soccer ball and their existence was at first dismissed (in the 1989s). They are also ionised particles - which accounts for their rehabilitation.

string theory

Tim Cullen turns his attention to String Theory - and he is not exactly being friendly (see .. and begins his blast with the words, 'string theory is a theory of quantum gravity' and goes on to say it 'is a problem that is stuck at the bottom of a very deep rabbit hole'.

balls of string

Are black holes the ruthless killers we've made them out to be, a professor of physics at Ohio State University asks. The paper has been published on the pre-publication site arXiv  where the professor sets out to prove, mathematically, that black holes are not necessarily arbiters of doom.

Puffing Billy

At ... if you like choo choo trains and puffing billies have a look at Tim Cullen's post this week. He uses videos of steam trains to make a point about the Doppler Effect. I used to watch the steam trains from the West Country roar through our neck of the woods when I was a boy, rocking side to side as they sped on their way to London. They used to stop feeding the boiler at around West Drayton, and had enough momentum to reach Paddington.

ice cores and co2

At ... there is a short article on pre-industrial levels of co2 which clearly conflicts with the global warming mantra.

Grand Unified Theory

At ... there is an abstract of a book written by Dr Randell Mills who favours what he calls the Grand Unified Theory of Classical Physics - which unifies Maxwell's Equations, Newton's Laws, and Einstein's General and Special Relativity. The central plank in this idea is that physical laws hold over all scales, from the scale of subatomic particles to that of the cosmos.