Physics news

Bankrupting Physics

A book is now available, 'Bankrupting Physics: how today's top scientists are gambling away scientific credibility' and is written by Alexander Unzicker and Shiella Jones. It is said to debunk modern theoretical physics and at the same time also takes a swipe at the huge amounts of money used to fuel high energy particle accelerators. I wouldn't have the temerity to comment as I have not read the book - but anyone so inclined is welcome to write a short review and send it via the email link on the web page.

Atmospheric Gases

At ... a paper in Nature Geoscience (Oct 2014) has suggested the origin of Earth's nitrogen rich atmosphere is due to the tectonic forces that drive mountain building, subduction, and Plate Tectonics. It also adds, presumably quoting a consensus source, the chemistry of the air we breathe has been affected by millions and millions of years of photosynthesis. The oxygen upstairs, it is thought, can be mostly explained away as due to plants and trees growing on the surface of the Earth. This sounds a bit like a chicken and egg situation.

Fluid Dynamics

Tim Cullen is turning his attention to fluid dynamics but not sure what the end result will be - go to ... which may have repercussions on a lot of things we take for granted. He says there is no settled science involved because of natural complexities recognised by physicists, as such, and the use of approximations and exceptions and various controversies that have developed over the years. A good science subject then.

CERN update

At ... we are back at CERN and the Large Hadron Collider. Not many press releases from CERN recently but they have been upgrading their baby - big time (and fast approaching a new season of experiments). The Higgs Boson particle is the focus of atttention. They have sifted through reams of experimental data  in order to understand the traits and behaviour of the particle. None of it seems capable of explaining dark matter and in addition there is no evidence of supersymmetry.

Greenhouse Venus

There is a discussion ongoing at ... and one commenter has come on and said Venus was born from Jupiter just 6000 years ago. What is the modern view of Carl Sagan's greenhouse Venus - go to link above and join in if you like.

The cusp of cold fusion technology

At ... 2014 is likely to be important for Cold Fusion (Low Energy Nuclear Reactors or LENR) according to  ... but strangely, since January it has all gone a bit quiet (so has Wired overhyped). First we have the Cyclone engine developed by Cyclone Power Technologies in the US. This can run on virtually anything - from oil, gas, biomass, powdered coal, or even by waste heat or solar collectors.

Black Body Radiation

This is essentially physics rather than climate science - although the latter relies on some consensus physics thinking. At ... which should be a game changer - but will seriously be ignored (with great intensity). Another crutch of CAGW alarmism has had its walking stick kicked away.

Does the Moon contain water?

At ... analysis of lunar soil samples seems to indicate the Moon's mantle contains hydrogen from water (possibly indigenous to Earth). The Moon, of course, is supposed to have originated out of the Earth - and would have dragged water from the mantle with it. Its getting a big story at the moment - water inside the Earth (and water inside Mars and the Moon and various other places).

BICEP - 2 update

At ... it seems some physicists are throwing a dash of cold water on the recent enthusiasm displayed at the BICEPS-2 results - see the new paper at arXiv:1403.5166. Basically, they say the research has not ruled out all possible non-inflation sources of the observed B mode polarisation patterns and surprisingly high value of r (the ratio of power in tensor nodes to scalar density perturbations).

Smaller than Higgs, synthetic diamonds, and the Van Allen stripes

At ... particles smaller than the Higgs are now being looked for - what it is that comes together to form the Higgs. See what you think.

At ... synthetic diamond crystals from plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition - plasma reactors making diamonds.