Posts Tagged ‘Science notes’

A newly discovered object is the most-distant body ever observed in the solar system — and the first object ever found orbiting at more than 100 times the distance from Earth to the sun.
The discovery team nicknamed the object “Farout,” and its provisional designation from the International Astronomical Union is 2018 VG18. “Because 2018 VG18 is so distant, it orbits very slowly, likely taking more than 1,000 years to take one trip around the Sun.” one AU is the distance between Earth and the sun, which is about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers).
When we choose a scale to pinpoint objects in space like the sun or stars we take AU. Suppose we want to measure the smallest unit, where the space-time is zero where do I go? From my previous post on loop quantum gravity I suspect my thought must be as strange as what happens at the event horizon of a black hole. Certain ideas I can recall I have been carrying around me and a few I could put to rest having drawn logical conclusions from them. God’s role in my life for example. Certain ideas have taken a leap at times and it comes back in the face of certain ife experience I know it made my reasoning on better grounds. An idea though discarded when it bounces back to point out my flaw in reasoning what shall I say? Collective memory must be a kind of interface on which thoughts must make impact. It is more likely for a seafaring nation because of their past lead other nations as well. Thus was with the Age of exploration and in anything else. Collective memory belong to the category of invisible persuaders. I remember the case of a boy who astounded many locals by being able to recall events he surely had no way of living through. Such previous birth experience must account for collective memory.
White holes, wormholes and black holes are mysteries of life on which Science wrestles on premises and trying to work its way into one whole.

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Higgs bosons are made in high-energy collisions between pairs of particles that have been accelerated to nearly the speed of light. These bosons don’t live for very long — only about 10^minus 22 seconds. A particle with that lifetime, traveling at the speed of light, will decay long before it travels a distance the size of an atom. Thus, it is impossible to directly observe Higgs bosons. It is only possible to observe their decay products and use them to infer the properties of the parent boson.
Physicists have made the first unambiguous observation of Higgs bosons decaying into a matter-antimatter pair of bottom quarks. Surprisingly, the Higgs bosons decay most often in this way.
The new announcement shows a strong agreement between the theoretical predictions and the experimental data, which could in turn set strict constraints on ideas of more fundamental physics that strive to explain why the Higgs boson even exists.
In the 1960s, researchers were investigating linkages between the force of electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force, which is responsible for some types of radioactive decays. Although the two forces seemed distinct, it turned out that they both arose from a common and more fundamental force, now called the electroweak force.
However, there was a problem. The simplest manifestation of the theory predicted that all particles had zero mass. Even in the 1960s, physicists knew that subatomic particles had mass, so that was potentially a fatal flaw.
Several groups of scientists proposed a solution to this problem: A field permeates the universe, and it’s called the Higgs field. Fundamental subatomic particles interacted with this field, and this interaction gave them their mass. [6 Implications of Finding the Higgs Boson]
The existence of the field also implied the existence of a subatomic particle, called the Higgs boson, which was finally discovered in 2012 by researchers working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research(CERN) laboratory in Switzerland. ( For their predictions of the Higgs field, British physicist Peter Higgs and Belgian physicist François Englert shared the 2013 Nobel Prize in physics.
(Ack :Live Science/First-Ever Observation of Higgs Boson Decay Opens New Doors for Particle Physics-Don Lincoln/ August 28, 2018)

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Stephen Hawking died today (March 14), leaving behind a massive legacy of work as an astrophysicist, science communicator, activist, and figure of pop culture admiration. And on the day of his death, a question he raised and worked on until the last years of his life remains unanswered: Can information really be lost to the universe?

Hawking’s most famous paper, “Black Hole Explosions?,” published 44 years ago in 1974, took a hatchet to the whole notion of black holes as physicists had previous understood them. And it was Hawking’s first whack at that basic question.

“Classically, a black hole should be ‘perfectly cold’ in the sense that it absorbs everything but emits nothing. This is how they were understood in the early 1970s,” Robert McNees, a physicist at Loyola University in Chicago, wrote in an email.

A black hole like that would radiate energy no matter could escape escape from it. It would just… exist, cold, silent, and eternal. Hawking’s paper made the black holes alive ­— and possibly mortal.

“When Stephen considered quantum mechanical effects in the mid-70s, he discovered that black holes should, in principle, radiate as if they were thermal objects with a temperature,” McNees told Live Science. “If they radiate energy then their mass will decrease. And he found that as this happens, as they shrink, their temperature goes up and they radiate even faster.”

Eventually, perhaps, the black hole would disappear entirely, or shrink to a little nubbin. Without fully reconciling relativity and quantum mechanics in a robust theory of “quantum gravity” (what physicists call a “theory of everything”), the final stage of that black hole evaporation remains a mystery.

“The problem is that, according to his calculations, the radiation is perfectly thermal. It doesn’t retain any information about the state of the material that formed the black hole, and this would violate a fundamental rule in quantum mechanics,” McNees wrote.

Quantum physics requires that the whole future and past of every particle should be, in principle, possible to figure out and link through a series of chained, causal, probabilistic events. But if a black hole release an undifferentiated soup of particles with their information — their histories — unrecoverably erased, then that requirement is fundamentally broken.

“[Physicists call this] the ‘black hole information paradox,’ and attempts to resolve it have driven much of the work in quantum gravity since it was first articulated,” McNees wrote.

Hawking was already an accomplished physicist by 1974. And many brief biographies imply that, following the publication of his 1988 popular science book “A Brief History of Time,” his most important scientific work was behind him. But Hawking continued to produce significant and controversial scientific papers until as recently as this decade, wrangling with the paradox he introduced decades earlier.

The most dramatic late-career paper Hawking wrote suggested the black holes as they’ve classically been understood don’t exist at all.

In “Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting for Black Holes,” published in 2014, he suggested that the “event horizon” around black holes, the point beyond which even light could not escape, doesn’t really exist. Instead, he wrote, there’s simply an “apparent” horizon of trapped light, which could fade away and allow the light to escape.

“The absence of event horizons mean that there are no black holes — in the sense of regimes from which light can’t escape to infinity,” Hawking wrote.

He also suggested some fundamental conceptual problems with a number of features physicists had attributed to black holes, like “firewalls” around their boundaries that destroy observers who try to enter.

That wasn’t Hawking’s final word on science. As recently as 2016, Hawking published a paper with the University of Cambridge physicist Malcolm Perry and Harvard University physicist Andrew Strominger called “Soft Hair on Black Holes.”

The research team argued that black holes are surrounded by “soft” or zero-energy particles, which they call hair. That hair, they wrote, stores the lost information of particles emitted by black holes on “holographic plates” beyond the black holes’ boundary regions. So the information, while displaced, is never truly lost.

“A complete description of the holographic plate and resolution of the information paradox remains an open challenge, which we have presented new and concrete tools to address,” they wrote.

Even near the end of his life, Hawking remained very much a working scientist, presenting ideas that advanced his field, and ideas his colleagues rejected.

“It’s my impression that the 2014 paper is not widely accepted. The 2016 paper, on the other hand, which is work with Perry and Strominger, is a direction that people are still actively working on,” McNees wrote.

“The black hole information paradox has been one of the defining questions for people working on quantum gravity. And, as it remains unanswered, I think it remains the most interesting question that [Hawking] raised.” (Ack: LiveScience/ Stephen Hawking Never Answered His ‘Most Interesting’ Scientific Question/Rafi Letzter of March 14,2018)

He was a visionary alright. I am more concerned with the question that remains unanswered:  the Information Paradox which the existence of black holes threw up shall be vigorously followed yet more riddles grist for the mills namely Scientific Inquiry..

Information can never be lost the idea was first proposed by Einstein. We have black holes, white holes, worm holes. These are all highways, back alleys, hyper loops for information to be sent across. Only problem for Science is that they do not know the addressee. May be out there is a Celestial Post office and one sitting there with a seal ready, Address Unknown, Return to Sender.




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Some 2.4 billion years ago when the Milky Way started upping its star production, cosmic rays–high-speed atomic particles–started pouring onto our planet, causing instability within the living. Populations of bacteria and algae repeatedly soared and crashed in the oceans

The researchers counted the amount of carbon-13 within sedimentary rocks, the most common rocks exposed on the Earth’s surface. When algae and bacteria were growing in the oceans, they took in carbon-12, so the ocean had an abundance of carbon-13.

Many sea creatures use carbon-13 to make their shells. If there is a lot of carbon-13 stored in rocks, it means life, the origin of which is still unknown, was booming.  Therefore, variations in carbon-13 are a good indicator of the productivity of life on Earth.(ack: wikipedia)


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