Physics news

the evolution of the atmosphere of the Earth

I couldn't help thinking of some of Malaga Bay's postings when coming across this at http://phys.org/print303991846.html ... a piece of research on amber deposits. A team of sicentists have analysed modern and fossil resins and the results seem to suggest there was less oxygen in the atmosphere in the geological past than previously imagined. The study therefore raises a question mark about current theories on the evolution of climate and of life itself, including the causes of gigantism in dinosaurs.

The Ring Nebula, atmospheric rivers in the sky

Tim Cullen has a post on the Ring Nebula (Messier 57) which provides an example of the fluorescence produced by gases when they are irradiated - with ultra violet light (see http://malagabay.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/fluorescing-skies/ ... complete with images

Meanwhile, at www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-323 ... we have atmospheric river storms over the Pacific. These are short lived wind tunnels that carry water vapour from the tropical ocean to mid latitude land ares and are prolific producers of rain and snow in the Americas and East Asia

The hard and the soft of it

Cadbury's Milk Tray, brought by a hunk to a swooning lady, was depicted with a selection of hard and soft centres, chocolates to suit any taste. At www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2013/10/09/mired-in-slush-2/ ... it asks, do the centre of planets contain molten magma or a rocky slush? A gravity map of Titan made by the Cassini spacecraft in orbit around Saturn suggests its interior is a mixture of rock and ice with no layering. Variations in the gravity seem to imply a variationin density - unlike the body of Earth's Moon.

Nir Shariv at EIKE 2013

Nir Shariv of the Racah Institute of Physics in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem can be seen on video addressing the German EIKE conference on solar and cosmic ray connections with climate physics. This is not to say that what he says is embraced by the sceptic community - only that he offers an alternative view, in one respect, and one that doesn't shirk from the idea of electrical effects on the atmosphere of the Earth. His work is not the same as that of Svensmark, and colleagues, but involves cosmic rays, too.

Computer to the Rescue

At http://phys.org/print297254823.html ... computer simulation solves another puzzle. The beginning of the last glacial period required an accumulation of snow at higher latitudes to form the ice sheet that expanded from the poles to cover a vast area of the northern hemisphere. Snow fall is associated with high humidity and moderate temperatures - it is when the rain meets cold air that it turns to snow (as we regularly can see on weather forecasts as produced for television). Snow does not form in the freezing weather, enough to feed a growing glaciation.

Why is the Universe expanding faster

This story can be found at http://phys.org/print297435137.html ... and this time it is UK scientists in the chase (based at an observatory in Chile). The 'Dark Energy Survey' is just commencing so no conclusions as yet but the title is the name of the game - finding out why the universe seems to be accelerating instead of closing down due to gravity. The side dish to the plate is to probe the mystery of dark energy, the force that is widely held to be powering the acceleration, overriding gravity.

Golden Ratio - further from Miles Mathis

Returning to the theme of Miles Mathis on the Golden Ratio, at http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/miles-mathis-more-on-the-golde... ... he claims there is often too much math and not enough of mechanics. Instead of looking at it as a field mechanics issue most people analyse it as a pure math problem - and most of the current, and some of the historical math do not add up. He then takes up the theme of modern physics and what he sees as wrong with it - a lack of physicality.

See also http://milesmathis.com/updates.html

A Big Bang simulation

At www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2013/08/big-bang-simulation-of-380000-year... .. not sure if they have found the Big Bang - but they've found something (which may be profound, important, or inconsequential). Physicists claim to have reproduced the same 'pattern' in approximately 10 milliseconds in a simulation using ultra cold cesium atoms in a vacuum chamber at the University of Chicago. The idea is to try and understand what happened - or what existed shortly after the Big Bang.

The fastest man-made object

At www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-23861397 ... St Andrew's University, a stone's throw from Trevor, have created the world's fastest spinning man-made object, a microscopic sphere achieving speeds of 600 million revolutions in a minute.

The idea behind the experiment was to discover what might happen to larger objects containing many times more than a million atoms. Essentially, the particle behaved like a small gyroscope, stabilising its motion around the axis of rotation. (so what does this tell us about the axis of the Earth?)