Physics news

An Ocean of Air

Quoting somebody who visualised humans as living beneath an ocean of air, the atmosphere, Gabrielle Walker has the opposite point of view - fully committed to the consensus as far as AGW is concerned. Her book, An Ocean of Air; A Natural History of the Atmosphere, Bloomsbury:2007, is an altogether nice overview of not simply the science but how the scientists themselves arrived at their positions, and what hurdles were jumped.

The Water World

At http://chiefio.wordpress.com/interesting-cosmic-rays-paper/ .... EM Smith is addressing his version of atmospheric science, the Water World. In doing so he expands by quoting Nur Shaviv at www.phys.huji.ac.il/~shaviv/Ice-ages/GSAToday.pdf who says, 'global climate possesses a stabilising negative feedback. A likely candidate for such a feedback is cloud cover (quoting Lindzen 1997 and Ou 2001). If so, it could imply that the water cycle is the thermostat of climate dynamics, acting both as a positive (water vapour) and negative (clouds) feedback ...'.

Gravity in question

Erik Verlinde, professor of Theoretical Physics, and dabbler in String Theory, in a recent book, On the Origin of Gravity and the Laws of Newton, challenged the prevailing consensus opinion on gravity - see www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2012/11/gravity-doesnt-exist-is-gravity-an.... In fact, can gravity, and even the Big Bang, be an illusion, and Verlinde struggles, it seems, with dark matter, dark energy, and space within space. Likewise, he says it is illogical to think there was nothing and then it exploded, and we had lots of everything.

Glitch

This post appears to use the word glitch in ways it was not intended - strangling a nuance or two. At http://phys.org/print275050837.html ... 'Researchers find a glitch in pulsar glitch theory' is the headline. Again, it is the intrepid people at the University of Southampton that are pushing out the rowing boats on a fishing expedition, calling into question a 40 year old theory that purported to explain periodic speeding up or glitching of pulsars.

Wow

Wow. From super-massive black holes to ultra-massive black holes - the monsters in space are growing all the time - see http://phys.org/print275069018.html How do they measure these things? By the amount of X-rays and radiowaves they generate. Ultra-massive black holes were predicted to exist to explain the most powerful outbursts. Sort of circular logic, on the face of it, but no doubt quite reasonable when looked at without fear or favour.

How did the Bang get into the Big One?

At http://phys.org/print274954301.html ... we learn University of Chicago researchers (Nov 2012) in a paper in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, say there is no evidence of an exploding star that might have kick-started the Big Bang version of the origin of our universe. Fred Hoyle might have coined the term, a jest perhaps, but it was a phrase rapidly adopted by mainstream and is well established as consensus science opinion.

Some anomalies with Plate Tectonics theory, we are led to believe

This comes from an unusual site that is linked to George Howard's Cosmic Tusk site and appears to be into Atlantis and various forms of catastrophism outside mainstream. As such, its reliability should not be accepted without cross checking but it picks up on David Pratt's anti-Plate Tectonics theory (which even pops up on the Thunderbolts forum). Therefore, I have no reason to ignore what it says - see http://frontiers-of-anthropology.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/mid-atlantic-une... ...

physics and consensus paradigms

At http://phys.org/print266649953.html ... research has found too many taus decay from bottom quarks to fit the Standard Model (of the universe). It also indicates problems with super symmetry theory as well. To explain this it is being suggested another kind of Higgs Boson is required - yet super symmetry is already thinking in terms of 4 types of Higgs Boson and research at CERN is still trying to prove that what was observed earlier this year was in fact an actual Higgs Boson.

Hundreds of physicists can't be wrong ... can they?

At www.dummies.com/how-to/content/string-theory-hundreds-of-physicists-cant... ... this is a somewhat amusing review that begins by saying one of the major criticisms of string theory is not to do with the theory itself so much as the theorists. The argument is they have formed a sort of cult of physicists, herded together with a shared concept they promote above all alternatives, quoting Smolin's The Trouble with Physics. The criticism smacks at the heart of science and the way popular ideas are liberally funded and less populist onces are sidelined.

Hotting up the Solar Wind

At http://phys.org/print264414605.html ... Dr Kareem Osman from Warwick University is looking at why solar wind is hotter than it should be - or why does it not conform with the consensus view. It gets hotter as it expands towards the outer solar system and her study will concentrate on unravelling plasma turbulence. Now, this doesn't appear to be the kind of turbulence in the dictionary definition, mainly associated with buffeting winds. Turbulence in astronomy is a feature of stars and stellar winds, accretion discs, galaxies, and even the material between the galaxies.