Physics news


Wow. From super-massive black holes to ultra-massive black holes - the monsters in space are growing all the time - see 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 ... 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 ...

physics and consensus paradigms

At ... 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 ... 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 ... 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.

Electron beams from the Sun

Research at Los Alamos National Laboratory by Ruth Skaug, a space scientist, is hoping to find a link to weather on Earth, and the positioning of the Jet Streams. This smacks a bit of Piers Corbyn - see The Sun gives out light and heat. It is also always losing particles, losing mass if you like, and the study notes the outflow of the solar wind, punctuated by explosions of material, or coronal mass ejections. Skaug is studying yet another kind of particle flow - jets of high energy electrons known as 'electron strahl'

Physics at the Edge

Physics at the Edge - the edge of what? Playing to the fanfare on the Higgs Boson release a paper in Physical Review Letters (see is getting publicity because it involves another elusive theoretical particle, the Marjorana. It is thought to exist at the boundary of matter and anti-matter and is a fairly important component of the universe. Some astrophysicists see it as a component of dark matter but in spite of searching for both for years they have both failed to materialise.

Ozone holiness

At ... its ozone loss that is frightening some scientists it seems, according to a paper in the journal Science (July 27th 2012) - but where have we heard all this before? There is, apparently, we are told, a link between climate change and ozone depletion - and the latter implies more damaging ultra-violet radiation reaching the surface of the Earth. This, it is proclaimed loudly, causes skin cancer while water vapour injected into the stratosphere by thunderstorms converts 'stable' chlorine and bromine into free radicals.

Doing the maths to test End Times

At ... new research on dark energy can deduce the End Times - the fate of the Universe, no less. The paper comes from the Chinese Academy of Sciences - and they have looked at the consensus model of the Big Bang which was developed to explain the origin of the Universe. However, to forecast the end of the Universe researchers have poked their toes into murky waters, and explored dark energy. There is actually no consensus on what exactly dark energy is - but plenty of ideas get bandied around, as they should.