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CERN Clocks Particles Exceeding Speed of Light

Posted on Sep 22, 2011 in - Physics & the Universe

Kevin Hayden –

Source: BBC

Puzzling results from CERN, home of the LHC, have confounded physicists – because it appears subatomic particles have exceeded the speed of light.

Neutrinos sent through the ground from CERN toward the Gran Sasso laboratory 732km away seemed to show up a tiny fraction of a second early. CERN is said to have clocked the neutrino exceeding the speed of light by 60 nanoseconds… with a margin of error of only 10 nanoseconds.  

The result – which threatens to upend a century of physics – will be put online for scrutiny by other scientists.  In the meantime, the group says it is being very cautious about its claims.

“We tried to find all possible explanations for this,” said report author Antonio Ereditato of the Opera collaboration.

“We wanted to find a mistake – trivial mistakes, more complicated mistakes, or nasty effects – and we didn’t,” he told BBC News.

“When you don’t find anything, then you say ‘Well, now I’m forced to go out and ask the community to scrutinize this.'”

The speed of light is the Universe’s ultimate speed limit, and much of modern physics – as laid out in part by Albert Einstein in his special theory of relativity – depends on the idea that nothing can exceed it....

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CERN: The Sun, Not Man, Causes Climate Change

Posted on Aug 30, 2011 in - Physics & the Universe

Kevin Hayden –

Source: Telegraph

If Michael Crichton had lived to write a follow-up to State of Fear, the plotline might well have gone like this: at a top secret, state of the art laboratory in Switzerland, scientists finally discover the true cause of “global warming”. It’s the sun, stupid. More specifically – as the Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark has long postulated – it’s the result of cosmic rays which act as a seed for cloud formation.

The scientists working on the project are naturally euphoric: this is a major breakthrough which will not only overturn decades of misguided conjecture on so-called Man Made Global Warming but will spare the global economy trillions of dollars which might otherwise have been squandered on utterly pointless efforts to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions. However, these scientists have failed to realise just how many people – alarmist scientists, huckster politicians,  rent-seeking landowners like (the late Michael Crichton’s brilliant and, of course, entirely fictional creation) the absurd, pompous Sir Reginald Leeds Bt, green activists, eco-fund managers, EU technocrats, MSM environmental correspondents – stand to gain from the Man Made “Climate Change” industry....

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Sun Unleashes ‘Spectacular’ & Powerful Eruption

Posted on Jun 08, 2011 in - Physics & the Universe – Kevin Hayden

Source: Space

The sun unleashed a massive solar storm today (June 7) in a dazzling eruption that kicked up a vast cloud of magnetic plasma that appeared to rain back down over half of the sun’s entire surface, NASA scientists say.

The solar storm hit its peak at about 2:41 a.m. EDT (0641 GMT), but the actual flare extended over a three-hour period, said C. Alex Young, a solar astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center who runs a website called The Sun Today, in a video describing the event.

“The sun produced a quite spectacular prominence eruption that had a solar flare and high-energy particles associated with it, but I’ve just never seen material released like this before,” Young said. “It looks like somebody just kicked a giant clod of dirt into the air and then it fell back down.” [Video: See the sun’s June 7 solar flare and eruption]

Coronal Mass Ejection as viewed by the Solar Dynamics Observatory on June 7, 2011.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft caught high-definition video of the flare in different wavelengths. The event registered as a Class M-2 solar flare, which is a medium-class sun storm that should not pose a danger to satellites or infrastructure on Earth....

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Physicists Produce Quantum SuperPositions with a Simple Mirror

Posted on Apr 05, 2011 in - Physics & the Universe – Kevin Hayden

Source: PhysOrg

A team of physicists experimentally produces quantum-superpositions, simply using a mirror. 

Standing in front of a mirror, we can easily tell apart ourselves from our mirror image. The mirror does not affect our motion in any way. For quantum , this is much more complicated. In a spectacular experiment in the labs of the Heidelberg University, a group of physicists from Heidelberg Unversity, together with colleagues at TU Munich and TU Vienna extended a gedankenexperiment by Einstein and managed to blur the distinction between a particle and its mirror image. The results of this experiment have now been published in the journal

Emitted Light, Recoiling Atom 

When an atom emits light (i.e. a photon) into a particular direction, it recoils in the opposite direction. If the photon is measured, the motion of the atom is known too. The scientists placed very closely to a mirror. In this case, there are two possible paths for any photon travelling to the observer: it could have been emitted directly into the direction of the observer, or it could have travelled into the opposite direction and then been reflected in the mirror....

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FAIL: Why Last Week’s Solar Storm was a Dud

Posted on Feb 22, 2011 in - Physics & the Universe

Source: Wired

When the largest flare in four years erupted from the sun Feb. 14, sky watchers across the Northern Hemisphere braced themselves for a geomagnetic storm. Space weather experts predicted that jets of charged particles smacking into the Earth’s magnetic field could disrupt navigation and communication systems, and spark a bonus of bright northern lights dancing across the ionosphere.

Instead, nothing much happened.

“There were some nice displays of aurora, but you had to live in Finland, northern Canada or Alaska to see them,” said Joe Kunches, a forecaster at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Weather Prediction Center. “This one was the lowest storm category that we even pay any attention to.”

The storm was so weak because the flare’s magnetic field happened to be aligned parallel to the Earth’s. When the sun sends a mass of hot plasma hurtling toward the planet in a coronal mass ejection, the plasma is imprinted with its own magnetic field separate from the sun’s. Astronomers can’t predict the direction of the plasma’s magnetic field until the burst hits Earth.

If the plasma’s magnetic field is parallel to the Earth’s, the incoming charged particles are effectively blocked from entering Earth’s magnetosphere....

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Giant X Class Solar Flare Headed for Earth

Posted on Feb 16, 2011 in - Physics & the Universe

Source: Wired

The biggest solar blast in four years erupted late Monday, and it’s sending jets of charged particles right at Earth. The spray will spark bright auroras when it hits the magnetosphere in the next 24 to 48 hours.

A cluster of sunspots called Active Region 1158 unleashed the flare at 8:50 p.m. EST, Feb. 14 [1:50 a.m. UT, Feb. 15]. It was categorized as class X2.2, meaning it’s the most powerful flare since December 2006. The sunspots have continued to let loose smaller flares and may still be active now.

As notes, the sunspots didn’t even exist one week ago, and now cover a swatch of sun wider than Jupiter.

NOAA forecasters estimate a 45 percent chance of geomagnetic activity on Thursday, Feb. 17, when the bulk of the radiation hits Earth’s magnetic field. The December 2006 storm was powerful enough to disrupt GPS systems

Should the new storm prove as powerful, it could be a preview of what’s expected this year and in 2012, as the sun reaches an expected maximum in its natural cycle of activity....

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Antimatter Caught Streaming from Thunderstorms Here on Earth

Posted on Jan 12, 2011 in - Physics & the Universe

Source: BBC

A space telescope has accidentally spotted thunderstorms on Earth producing beams of antimatter.

Such storms have long been known to give rise to fleeting sparks of light called terrestrial gamma-ray flashes.

But results from the Fermi telescope show they also give out streams of electrons and their antimatter counterparts, positrons.

The surprise result was presented by researchers at the American Astronomical Society meeting in the US.

It deepens a mystery about terrestrial gamma-ray flashes, or TGFs – sparks of light that are estimated to occur 500 times a day in thunderstorms on Earth. They are a complex interplay of light and matter whose origin is poorly understood.

Thunderstorms are known to create tremendously high electric fields – evidenced by lightning strikes.

Electrons in storm regions are accelerated by the fields, reaching speeds near that of light and emitting high-energy light rays – gamma rays – as they are deflected by atoms and molecules they encounter.

These flashes are intense – for a thousandth of a second, they can produce as many charged particles from one flash as are passing through the entire Earth’s atmosphere from all other processes....

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Will the Lunar Eclipse on December 21st, 2010 Unlock the ‘Apocalypse?’ Thumbnail

Will the Lunar Eclipse on December 21st, 2010 Unlock the ‘Apocalypse?’

Posted on Dec 19, 2010 in - Physics & the Universe

Source: Activist Post

Much has been written about the Mayan calendar’s “apocalypse” date of December 21st, 2012.  Indeed, many galactic anomalies occur during this time which some experts have speculated will cause significant problems on Earth. However, some say that the lunar eclipse happening December 21st of this year (2010) may be a great revealing of things to come. Furthermore, they suggest it may provide a powerful window to make a collective choice about the direction of the coming apocalypse.

The word apocalypse has been enhanced to mean “the end of the world” or “the destruction of everything.”  Researchers who adopt this view when studying the possible effects of the coming galactic alignment usually determine that total geological devastation is upon us. They usually refer to effects from solar maximum predictions, magnetic pole shifts, new galactic radiation fields, etc. — which are all possible  Surely it is easy to derive scientific theories of how these type of events will cause havoc on the planet.

However, apocalypse, as it is purely translated, actually means a “great revealing/revelation” or “unveiling” or “end of a cycle,” which is different than the commonly accepted version from the Bible’s Book of Revelation. ...

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Principle of Astrology Proven to be Scientific: Planetary Position Imprints Biological Clocks of Mammals

Posted on Dec 13, 2010 in - Physics & the Universe

Source: Natural News

Mention the word “astrology” and skeptics go into an epileptic fit. The idea that someone’s personality could be imprinted at birth according to the position of the sun, moon and planets has long been derided as “quackery” by the so-called “scientific” community which resists any notion based on holistic connections between individuals and the cosmos.

According to the conventional view, your genes and your parenting determine your personality, and the position of planet Earth at the time of your birth has nothing to do with it.

Then again, conventional scientists don’t believe the position of the moon has anything to do with life on Earth, either. They dismiss the wisdom that farmers have known for ages — that planting seeds or transplanting living plants in harmony with the moon cycles results in higher crop yields. Even the seeds inside humans are strongly influenced by the moon, as menstruation cycles and moon cycles are closely synchronized (28 days, roughly).

Researchers demonstrate scientific principle of astrology

Skeptics must be further bewildered by the new research published in Nature Neuroscience and conducted at Vanderbilt University which unintentionally provides scientific support for the fundamental principle of astrology — namely, that the position of the planets at your time of birth influences your personality.


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Physicists Create New Source of Light: Bose-Einstein Condensate ‘Super-Photons’

Posted on Nov 25, 2010 in - Physics & the Universe

Source: Science Daily

Physicists from the University of Bonn have developed a completely new source of light, a so-called Bose-Einstein condensate consisting of photons. Until recently, expert had thought this impossible. This method may potentially be suitable for designing novel light sources resembling lasers that work in the x-ray range. Among other applications, they might allow building more powerful computer chips.

The scientists are reporting on their discovery in the upcoming issue of the journal Nature.

By cooling Rubidium atoms deeply and concentrating a sufficient number of them in a compact space, they suddenly become indistinguishable. They behave like a single huge “super particle.” Physicists call this a Bose-Einstein condensate.

For “light particles,” or photons, this should also work. Unfortunately, this idea faces a fundamental problem. When photons are “cooled down,” they disappear. Until a few months ago, it seemed impossible to cool light while concentrating it at the same time. The Bonn physicists Jan Klärs, Julian Schmitt, Dr. Frank Vewinger, and Professor Dr. Martin Weitz have, however, succeeded in doing this — a minor sensation.

How warm is light?


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Physicists Finally Capture Antimatter at CERN

Posted on Nov 18, 2010 in - Physics & the Universe

Source: Al Jazeera – English

Physicists have created, and for the first time trapped, antimatter atoms, one of the biggest mysteries of modern science, the European Centre for Nuclear Research says.

The Switzerland-based research institute, also known as CERN, said on Wednesday it had produced antihydrogen atoms – the opposite of a hydrogen atom – in a magnetic trap and kept them viable for more than 170 milliseconds.

Holding the antimatter in a vacuum for this fraction of a second allowed the physicists to study the atoms, CERN said in an article in the British journal Nature.

“We’re ecstatic. This is five years of hard work,” Jeffrey Hangst, a spokesman at CERN, told the journal.

An antihydrogen atom is made from a negatively charged antiproton and a positively charged positron, the antimatter counterpart of the electron.

Experiments have produced antimatter atoms before but only in a free state. That means they instantly collide with ordinary matter and get annihilated, making it impossible to measure them or study their structure.

‘A big deal’

“The goal is to study antihydrogen and you can’t do it without trapping it,” Cliff Surko, an antimatter researcher at the University of California, San Diego, said in Nature....

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Laws of Physics Vary Throughout the Universe, New Study Suggests – Hayden’s Note Attached

Posted on Sep 16, 2010 in - Physics & the Universe

Source: Science Daily

A team of astrophysicists based in Australia and England has uncovered evidence that the laws of physics are different in different parts of the universe.

Hayden’s Note:

Well….duh!  I certainly don’t have a PhD or a team of research scientists behind me, but ever since I was a young child, I’ve assumed that other parts of the universe behave differently than our local scene.  That’s why I never understood the classic imagery of aliens or extra-terrestial beings as being so human-like.  Why would you think that intelligent – or even simple organisms – in a distant galaxy thrive the same way we do?  Why would another planet, hundreds of light years away, need oxygen or nitrogen?  Why would it’s inhabitants need water or hydrogen? 

Our classical scientists have always thought that since we humans need these things to sustain life – and because they have not seen otherwise – that all living creatures must function in this manner.  But what if in a distant galaxy, oxygen is poisonous to it’s inhabitants?  What if they absorb uranium and an aluminum alloy in order to function and live, which is abundant on that planet? ...

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Microbes Survive a Year and a Half in Space

Posted on Aug 25, 2010 in - NASA / Space Exploration, - Physics & the Universe

Source: PhysOrg

Bacteria collected from rocks taken from the cliffs at the tiny English fishing village of Beer in Devon, have survived on the outside surface of the International Space Station for 553 days. The bacteria, known as OU-20, resemble cyanobacteria called Gloeocapsa.

The rocks were placed on the outside of the European Space Agency’s technology exposure facility at one end of the . The small chunks of Beer cliff had microbes inside and on the outside of the rocks. During their year and a half outside the space station they would have had to endure extreme shifts in temperature, exposure to and . Not only is the environment anaerobic, but the vacuum of space would also have caused all the water in the rocks to boil away.

Professor Charles Cockwell of the Open University (OU) Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute, which ran the experiment, said said the Beer rocks contained a range of “everyday organisms,” but part of the reason the OU-20 microbes survived could be that they form a multi-celled colony that would protect the cells in the center....

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AMPERE Program: Solar Storms Likely to Increase This Year

Posted on Aug 23, 2010 in - Physics & the Universe

Source: CNet

The AMPERE program is a first step toward developing a system that enables 24-hour tracking of space weather.

Getting more accurate forecasts about space weather may not help you decide whether to water your garden, but it could soon clue you in better to when events in the solar system may be putting a damper on your electronic activities.

Johns Hopkins University, Boeing, and Iridium Communications announced on Wednesday that they have launched a new space-based service that they say will help scientists monitor magnetic storms around Earth.

Dubbed the Active Magnetosphere and Planetary Electrodynamics Response Experiment (AMPERE), the system utilizes commercial satellites orbiting Earth to take magnetic-field measurements in real time. The result is output that gets scientists one step closer to accurate, year-round tracking of space weather and the effects it can have on the planet, including disruptions to telecommunications service and the electrical power grid.

“Solar storms can disrupt satellite service and damage telecommunications networks, cause power grid blackouts and even endanger high-altitude aircraft,” Brian J. Anderson, principal investigator at Johns Hopkins, said in a statement....

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Cold Atoms Make Microwave Fields Visible

Posted on Aug 10, 2010 in - Physics & the Universe

Source: PHYSorg

Using clouds of ultracold atoms, a scientific team at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Germany) have made microwave fields visible.

Microwaves are an essential part of modern communication technology. Mobile phones and laptops, for example, are equipped with integrated microwave circuits for wireless communication. Sophisticated techniques for measurement and characterization of microwave fields are an essential tool for the development of such circuits.

A novel technique developed by a group of scientists around Prof. Theodor W. Hansch (Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munich (LMU)) and Prof. Philipp Treutlein (University of Basel) allows for the direct and complete imaging of microwave magnetic fields with high spatial resolution. In this technique, clouds of ultracold atoms serve as sensors for the microwave field. The technique is described in the cover story of the current issue of Applied Physics Letters.

Modern wireless communication is based on the transmission of information through radio waves and microwaves. Integrated microwave circuits in devices such as mobile phones and computer laptops decode and process this information. Computer simulations play an important role in the development of these circuits....

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