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Topics - graham d

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Star space / Strangelet Fear-Mongering And Death By Review
« on: February 18, 2014, 07:47:21 pm »
Here's an absolutely priceless summary by Tommaso

"Strangelet Fear-Mongering And Death By Review"

I'm not dumb enough to admit I was doubled over with laughter at his introduction and final paragraph with comment.

No doubt every psychiatrist will be banging on his door. Unknowingly I think or indeed hope he had too many for the road when he fashioned this piece of Dr Stangelovian nihilism, as he fine tunes the universe to a metrical harmony.

That would at least demonstrate the ultimate deadly power of scientific review slowness.

One last thought: regardless of the evidently significant disappointment of losing our entire planet, mankind, and our artistic heritage (where else in the Universe is there a Chopin, or a Mozart ? Alas, I fear we will never know, strangelets or not), I fail to be seized by the fear of dying a much premature death by being turned into strange matter, as I know that I would be going down with absolutely everybody and everything else.

Am I the only one feeling unconcerned ?

Star space / Size of Universe infinite zero 42 or -1/12
« on: February 04, 2014, 04:55:24 pm »
Who worries about the size of the universe here on the forum. Well Alice did in Jan 2008 and Edd has often mentioned it and a search revealed I was deleriously addicted to the phrase "may well be infinite in size". Nobody has ever been so prolific with this now boring Shakespearian sound bite than myself.

Now we all know the universe may well be infinite in size. Infinity is a lousy concept and physicists don't like it cropping up in equations; starting with Newton. So it's best to dismiss it and Sean Carroll's transinfinity of possible worlds as well. It's obviously not zero to all but deceased anthropists. I bet many would like a Doug Adams 42 answer, twofold the SM 21 number infact. Name them? Exactly ,it doesn't sound so quaint or original.

The sum of the natural numbers or should we say integers. What about the negative integers too; include these we and can get 0

1+2+3+4 ...... to infinity=?   Now infinity isn't a really big number like 10500. 10500^500 is even hugely enormously bigger. Where does it end ? Well it doesn't since it's a procedure that never ends.

1+2+3+4 ......= -1/12 has been the most topical debate for a couple of weeks.

Dennis is a little out of date when it comes to cosmology and I thought Sean Carroll was crazy! I'm out of date too assuming I was ever in, in the first place.

Cosmologists do not know if the universe is physically infinite in either space or time, or what it means if it is or isn’t. Or if these are even sensible questions. They don’t know whether someday they will find that higher orders of infinity are unreasonably effective in understanding existence, whatever that is.

In the End, It All Adds Up to – 1/12

“This calculation is one of the best-kept secrets in math,” said Edward Frenkel, a mathematics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of “Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality,” (Basic Books, 2013), who was in town recently promoting his book and acting as an ambassador for better math education. “No one on the outside knows about it.”

Here's why -1/12 is the correct answer.
In modern terms, Dr. Frenkel explained, the gist of the calculations can be interpreted as saying that the infinite sum has three separate parts: one of which blows up when you go to infinity, one of which goes to zero, and minus 1/12. The infinite term, he said, just gets thrown away.

And it works. A hundred years later, Riemann used a more advanced and rigorous method, involving imaginary as well as real numbers, to calculate the zeta function and got the same answer: - 1/12.

“So Euler guessed it right,” Dr. Frenkel said.

Why do they throw away the zero? If it is zero an anthropist would say we wouldn't be here to throw it away, infact nothing would be here. The most surprising thing about the universe is that it exists at all. For ourselves we don't tend to think about the time past ie. 14 billion years before us or 4004 if you care. Yet we tend to dwell on what is yet to become after we have departed the scene.

Of course that -1/12 is based upon the ~5% stuff we know of. DM could sum to +1/12. Algebraically, why does Nature (the bitch and not the Journal)  prefer the minus? Many a professor or more likely all teachers remain unaware of his closely guarded secret. With 1.5 million video hits many school children are about to ask  some difficult questions. Are there any other snippets of hidden information or secrets at the very foundation of mathematics. Post here please.

Huge National defecits might infact be a good thing. The USA must hope so since they gave the Chinese an iou for what could be $17 trillion. Maybe Congress could write a cheque for a negative quarter (keep the change) to clear the debt.

Supernova Zoo / Possiblr supernova in M99
« on: January 28, 2014, 02:44:05 pm »
Breaking news-
Part of the Viro Cluster ca. 60mly distant

Star space / Majority of Sun-like Stars Harbour Earth Sized Planets
« on: November 08, 2013, 06:22:09 pm »
Prevalence of Earth-size planets orbiting Sun-like stars
PNAS Oct 2013

    Erik A. Petigura
    Andrew W. Howard and
    Geoffrey W. Marcya

A major question is whether planets suitable for biochemistry are common or rare in the universe. Small rocky planets with liquid water enjoy key ingredients for biology. We used the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Kepler telescope to survey 42,000 Sun-like stars for periodic dimmings that occur when a planet crosses in front of its host star. We found 603 planets, 10 of which are Earth size and orbit in the habitable zone, where conditions permit surface liquid water. We measured the detectability of these planets by injecting synthetic planet-caused dimmings into Kepler brightness measurements. We find that 22% of Sun-like stars harbor Earth-size planets orbiting in their habitable zones. The nearest such planet may be within 12 light-years.
What a monumental paper!. Wow!!!. Let's take a trip back more than forty years. At my age it comes trippingly off the tongue, dribbling honey today. Millions of words had already been written, little if any on habitable or Goldilocks zones. Melvin Calvin cited a famous cartoonist in 1969 as a reference to possible habitable zones; an alien gasping in an alien world; its last words framed in a bubble "Ammonia,Ammonia!" . In 1972 all the scientists I care to mention were all at the Los Alamos lab in the mid-late 60's, headed by Cyril Ponnamperuma, who when he left for an academic professorship retorted to Nasa that they might as well close the lab without him at the helm.

  We were all enjoying a drink in a bar in Braunschweig with Bill Schopf, Keith Kvenvolden, Carl Sagan , Alan Schwartz in 1972. Bill was dishing out Russian tube cigarettes and Carl was even then totally proccupied about his persona with regard to his first TV appearance in New York in that year, if I recall correctly. Exobiology and planetary science was hot stuff even in those days. The idea of exoplanets in those days was sheer speculation, wild speculation. Everyone then liked to manipulate the Drake Equation and the greatest of optimists , we ourselves, were totally sold on maybe one million planets were out there amongst a galaxy of 10 billion stars. Of course since then the Milky Way done just gotten bigger and more massive, so today a 100 billion stars is a more appropriate assessment. One in five solar like suns within the habitable zone infact. Unbelievable what- writing off the ammonia breathers inter alia. What about the 10 fold greater abundance of lower mass stars down to perhaps 0.5 solar mass? Even without thee unknowns our assessments were out by more than 3 orders of magnitude.

This Kepler study deserves a  greater impact for the title of the paper perhaps. When we fast forward to 2008 and keyword search this forum for say habitable planets and spectra it brings home even then the paucity of extra solar planets.
For me it's doubly comfoerting since I helped discover a few planets with a multitude of citizen scientists, before Kepler became lame. We can now address Enrico Fermi's assessment on alien presences with just as much speculation as we enjoyed then. Another few million words is already in the press elsewhere.

Star space / Is the Universe Expanding or are we Shrinking?
« on: August 20, 2013, 08:51:44 pm »
Wetterich stresses that his model provides an alternative perspective on the standard cosmological model, rather than an alternative model:

"Our model should be interpreted as a new complementary picture of cosmology, not as opposing the more standard picture of an expanding universe. The different pictures are equivalent, describing the same physics. This can be seen by a redefinition of the metric, which leads to the “Einstein frame” with constant Planck mass and particle masses and an expanding universe. In the Einstein frame the big bang has a singularity, however. The possibility of different choices of fields describing the same reality may be called “field relativity”, in analogy to general relativity for the choice of different coordinate systems. Field relativity underlies the finding that strikingly different pictures, as an expanding or a shrinking universe, can describe the same reality."

This means that not only the Bohr radius describing atom sizes, but also the quantum wavelength of the electron and the electron radius need to shrink in proportion. All these lengths are given by the ratio of Planck's constant and the speed of light divided by the electron mass and some power of the dimensionless fine structure constant. Wetterich makes the observation that all you need to do to shrink every microscopic length scale is to increase the mass of the electron and of each elementary particle. This leaves the dimensionless fine structure constant and all dimensionless mass ratios untouched.

Actually, Marni, has posted several blog comments predating science .com on Wetterich's paper over the last week  New Cosmolog 2 &3 etc. I have covered much on the DM thread but let me summarise.
There are three length scales pertinent to particle physics, the Bohr Compton and electron wavelengths with an inverse mass relation. However, for a universal scale for things like the Earth, galaxies mass goes with length and not inversely so. Much is covered in Planck units for reference
What I stressed is the conservation of Planck Charge. Whereas the Planck Mass is an enormous mass compared with that of the neutrino, electron and nucleons the electric charge is similar. One Planck charge ~11.7*e  cf. 10-8kg versus 10-31kg for an electron and 10-39kg for the first flavour neutrinos.
Were the electric charge 3 fold greater then the radius of an atom would shrink 27 fold . Before that happened everything we are made of would collapse into more stable neutrons. Conversely, 1/3 the charge and atoms would expand 27 fold. The other scales would change commensurately but here Wetterich is mistaken , the conservation of Planck charge is is inviolate; PC2=e2* alpha . As e changes so also does alpha. His alpha orders become allo alphas.

Let me address the Wien's Law relation as lambda wavelength max at an equilibrium temperature is equal to h*c/4.9651 k*T ~hc/5kT
Pertinent to Wetterich's quote I can recast this as       PC2*vacuum permeability/(2*particle restmass)
I want to get rid of the G fundemental constant, ambitious perhaps because there's no simpler derivation of it ; that's whu it is a fundemental dimensionalful  constant.

As h goes to zero the  universe becomes less quantum like and as c goes to infinity the universe becomes less relativistic. Now PC2/2 fold uo = h/c from Wetterich's remarks, prortional to inverse mass. This constant of proportionality = 2.21*10-42. It attests to the strenght of the interaction at any distance when compared with the gravitational force which is presumed negligeable.
The ratio of the respective electric and gravitational forces between two electrons is 4.167*1042. The gravitational force is absolutely minute. Herman Weyl and Emmy Noether published in the same year the relations between what are now called continuous gauge transformations relevant to conserved physical properties such as electric charge. Weyl's  English translation as gauge is more appropriately scaling; local symmetry follows automatically from a global symmetry.
From Dirac's electron shell  model were one to collide two photons with an energy commensurate with the field at a distance of the electron radius, the force required would be sufficient to generate a particle pair. In a photon bath the necessary thermal regime is ca. 1.2  billion Kelvin. For a neutrino mass of the first flavour  as mentioned is several times before, the mass is 2.0786*10-39kg. If we substitute this into the formula for    lambda max at 2.725Kelvin we get 1.0633mm which is the wavelength for the cmb at lambda max. So what is special abbout this mass? Recall that there is no derivation of what particle masses are! The standard model doesn't do everything in that it has to assign particle masses, or some of them from empirical measurements as well as the interaction strengths or coupling constants for the forces; eg. the electroweak alpha with that fascinating ratio alpha  (137.036, that actually runs at high energies). One might argue that 98% of SU(3) of a proton's mass is due to gluon field energy the inertial masses of the quarks are minor. However, no one can argue why the electron's mass is what it is. So what is interesting about this first flavour neutrino mass. It is one of three flavours infact.

lambda max =h/m*c  (h/p) = hc/~5kT

Were all matter particles to conform to Noether's conservation of momentum with conservation of planck charge, were one to assign a infinitessimal electric charge, of charge n*delta e to all particles with restmass ie. even neutral particles then such a force might mimic the gravitational force. Cosmological models are rich in derivations that require universe huge masses and length. At the low energy and low range pertinent to Wiens law and the equivalent electroweak derivation PC2 * uo/2*m we note that to a good approximation the cmb photon neutrino bath generates particle masses with equivalent delta e gravitational ratio ~1 to 2% accuracy.

The gravitational attractive force between two electron pairs ie. an electron and a positron, at any distance scale, is equivalent to the electroweak attractive force between 3 neutrinos and allo neutrinos (0.001166eV/c2 per pair. This is hardly a coincidence. Infact we can imagine that a fraction of the cosmos based upon U1 SU(2) gauge symmetries exists and pervades as as separate entity to the one we commonly express with a baryon contaminant.

This means that not only the Bohr radius describing atom sizes, but also the quantum wavelength of the electron and the electron radius need to shrink in proportion. All these lengths are given by the ratio of Planck's constant and the speed of light divided by the electron mass and some power of the dimensionless fine structure constant.

This forces Wetterich into a Diracesque move: to increase all masses including the Planck mass, the gravitational constant needs to shrink.

This misses the points raised. One can change the magnitude of charge e but there must be a concomitant change of alpha such that Planck charge2 is conserved globally and locallly as per Noether and Weyl. If e changes , m changes and  atoms really do shrink or expand. Atom size is related to the electron's mass and charge and not nuclear mass.

Why is the electron's inertial mass what it is? Maybe I would venture to add that so happens to get its mass from the cmb neutrino photon bath. There's every good reason to believe it has always existed. Charged leptons are derived, or have evolved from neutrinos and photons in an anti de Sitter space with a mass energy of only one electron mass equivalent per m3space. A major problem with planck derived units are those that express universe scales of mass and length. Is it really ~4*10 26m radius? What scales do they represent? The scales we know of with accuracy are from particle physics. Were an elctron without charge and we then added a fractional elctric charge equivalent to that of the whole mass energy of a neutrino then the attractive or repulsive electro forces would mimic the gravitational forces between an electron pair at any distance, in other words give it inertial mass. Ultimately, of course we couldn't answer why the cmb is what it is, or why it is at 2.725 Kelvin, nor know of the existence of even lighter restmass particles eg. axions. The cmb has an independence not related to that 13.7 billion year timeframe nor to a beginning that comprises  elements of the Planck masses at a planck distance and a Planck time with mass energy densities >10120 cmb photon neutrino bath density, ca. 1 electron mass equivalent/m3/m3. Following Christoff were one to double the gravitational constant stars would burn much faster and our lives soon curtailed. We don't need to worry or draw upon anthropic solace however. Summers here would be balmy. I'd pick up the phone and inform Penzias and Wilson. Look for a microwave planck distribution maximising at 0.53mm, at an excess temperature of ~5.5 Kelvin. Otherwise, none of you would have been here to anthropise what came first, the cmb or the baryonic contamination that we are part of. I made a rough estimate of my Einstein Index; it's about 4.5% of Christoffs- there you go. He could have increased his index here on Earth by stressing it was a radically different model. To do so would endanger his career here on Earth, no doubt. My 4.5% no doubt will remain static or diminish while the rest of you perish but for Marni and myself why settle for an Earthly real estate and a lease on life. Our bid is for the freehold, everywhere, every time.

The modern Big Bang theory has evolved from earlier theories by LeMaitre, Gamow and Alpher, with inherent flaws that were modified by numerous Inflation theories initiated by Guth in 1981. Latterly, String Theories and M-theory modifications or the search for master symmetries that unify beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. By itself SM , July 2013 appears quite complete in its own right.

The Big Bang theory in terms of Bayesian Logic decisions represents a Prior belief with regard to theories of cosmological origins of this universe. There were other Prior theories as alternatives to to the Big Bang Prior. The most notable other belief was a Steady  State theory by Bondi, Hoyle and Gold. Nominally, prior probabilities can initially  be given equal weightings. It is a gut reaction of many scientists. One has to dismiss classical solutions and adopt a quantum theory approach so the outcome of of an event from an evolving wave function, glibly , can go either way, there's a 50/50 probability, an either or result. Without doubt we inhabit a quantum universe. Prior theories are tested againt posterior probabilities based upon what we call scientific observational and empirical data. The Big Bang theory won out. By 1980 Alan Guth admitted he had never heard of the Steady State Model of cosmology. Since then no evidence has appeared to even remotely support this defunct prior theory. Again there was no shortage of prior beliefs that tend towards the metaphysical and are variants or include encapsulated features of the victorious Big Bang Model. Who amongst us and I include the academic team members of this dying forum could propose a new Prior as an adjunct to the Big Bang "An Anthropic Bound to the Cosmological Constant" and get it published  anywhere but Vixra.

 Hoyle didn't formulate any anthropic theories. Of course he noted that carbon was essential to folk like ourselves, organic life. Beryllium Be decay was so prolific that a new mechanism was essential, an unknown resonance of carbon was essential to outcompete Be decay. This is a totally scientific procedure but it was seized by those of anthropic inclination as a benchmark "we live in a universe apparently designed for sapient beings". Well Weinberg got it published in a prestigious journal. There are now many more established priors that are based upon this and Big Bang priors. Notably the Multiverse prior is based upon half a dozen assumptions from what is string theory itself?, fermion/boson supersymmetry, new particle sets, Calabi- Yau manifolds, M-theory and so on as a consequence that the Standard Model was incomplete. Last month it may have been incomplete but it is almost complete to better than 1 part per billion.

 Prior beliefs are abundant but when subjected to postpriori empiricism not a shread of evidence has appeared in collider experiments to attempt to verify these priors. The Multiverse is an example of up to 10500 priors for which we inhabit or are subsumed in but one of the hierarchy priors, our existence fine tuned. Increase an electron restmass by 10% and matter ie. protons and electrons are instantly stabilised as neutrons, sapient existence is expunged. Uncharged neutrinos would be 10% more massive too but we could live with that. The cosmic microwave background temperature would increase to 4.0 Kelvin and perhaps bathe celestial balls of neutrons of Earth size. There would be no stars and no clouds and no speculation either, no flamenco arab  :), "el fin del mundo".

The Big Bang Prior is tested by a posterior probability mix of astronomical observational data and the Standard Model of particle physics. The cmb profile or Planck distribution of its radiation is a prior in its own right, the distribution is based upon a quantum description of radiation and the Standard Model interpretation of equilibrium mixes of fundamental particles. The former SM doesn't itself ascribe particle inertial restmasses to particles, the discovery of the Higgs particle as an excitation of the Higgs field is what gives particle some but not all of their restmass. The Planck distribution of radiation or an equilibrium black body profile is not excluse to solely a Big Bang prior. Infact, the only particle of the Standard Model whose absolute mass remains unknown is the neutrino (there three flavours of them). The Higgs particle infact is regarded now as part of the Standard Model. Infact this accounts for the 9 decimal place certainty of SM completeness. There were other priors to consider; namely as a consequence of the supersymmetry prior there were potentially many Higgs Fields variants inorder to account for a 10500 Multiverse prior, as well as new suites of particles that are envisaged, eg. the recent "almost restmassless Goldstone bosons" prior of Weinberg (2013).

I am not aware of any new published priors in the academic private press that are not phyllogenetically related to the Big Bang Master Prior. Bouncing and cyclic cosmological priors all go through that initial singularity of enormous density and temperature after an enormous elapse of time ~10100year. No new phylla priors have been proposed, no moderate regimes or cold starts to the passage of eventual eternity of a diluted nothingness. Inflation variants and the golden barge of the cmb that beats to the tune of acoustic echos, so burnished that the vacuum  is love sick with them. So enticing is the perfume of Bayesian logic ascribed to massless dust.

By the late 1990's, the neutrino acquired restmass but by how much? In July 2010 a new prior appeared that rings to the tune not of almost restmassless particles, but particles not less than a milli electron volt, a bare thousandth, with a standard model equilibrium mix that accounts for a radically different interpretation for the cmb that is not a relic distribution from a recombination event. To add luxury the SM model is chiral, only the left particles interact, the weak force is maximally specific to them yet it's the mirror neutrino that accounts for the cmb! The Planck distribution or blackbody spectrum is not exclusive to a Big Bang Prior. Every particle pair in the SM was born in a blackbody equilibrium. The neutrino is no exception and neither is an "almost massless Goldstone Boson", were it to exist, an exception. Infact, the Goldstone boson and carbon resonance is an intermediate in the formation of fleeting charged electroweak gauge bosons. Furthermore  is the Higgs particle itself, but these are not stable unlike the neutrino uncharged leptons that are of such a mass as to challenge the origin of the cmb radiation. Central is Big Bang dogma. The word dogma in this sense hurts, abuses our credence. Central to the interpretation of the Big Bang and its Inflation density variations are echos of Inflation priors. The Big Bang Prior like the Phlogiston Prior and Ptolomaic Priors really is dead in the cosmos. Bayesian logic is much appreciated by the particle physicist as it has contributed to the victory of this model, the SM. However, in the context of cosmology and parallel universes and multiverse, Bayesian logic may win a few Nobel awards and even the Templeton awards, and it certainly commits billions of taxpayer money to cosmic dead ends and anthropic claptrap. What name do we give to this new Prior? The Photon Neutrino Condensate? Something grander is warranted. Bene dissere est finis logica after all. Affords this quantum condensate no grander prior? We should learn to be suspicious of experts as species of hard sub disciplines who have never worked  with genera, families orders and phylla.

Stunning sights! / Space Warps
« on: May 15, 2013, 09:10:59 pm »
Space Warps

What is astronomers' dust. It begins with Newton's concept of a fine dust dust that permeated all space. It arose as a consequence of an absurdity as understood by Newton. How could the gravitational force, action at a distance,  be transmitted through the empty vacuum of space? He surmised it couldn't and proposed an "atomic" solution. Space itself was filled with an extremely fine dust that filled all space between planets and stars that did not impede the flow of matter through it. There was no inertial impedance to the flow of matter particles.

Matter these days is baryonic stuff made up ultimately of the first generation or flavour of fractionally charged quarks, with charge exactly balanced by electrons to build the basic building blocks of matter we call elements or atoms.

Astronomers' dust is a generic term. Were one to take a variety of meteorites, grind them up and sort them into individual piles of grains of various mesh sizes we might expect the following abbreviated list.
Silicate grains, aluminosilicates, iron spicules and iron oxides, predominantly reduced ferrous and low ferric oxides, carbonates, elemental carbon, graphite, abiogenic organic carbon polymers, poly aromatics (PAH's), water ices with ammonia. The carbon moities are endless, literally thousands of species from methanol and hydrocarbons to amino acids to even porphyrins and panspermian bacteria and virii , while we await RNA or DNA. It's huge list and every member is made up of baryobnic fermions.

 All astronomers' dust and its temperature in the interstellar environment is based upon spectrometric analysis from  photons which are bosons that are the carrier force in interactions between these atoms or molecules. Infrared analysis aims to identify the species responsible for rotational and vibrational spectra within galaxies as gas clouds or interstellar dust components with broad poorly resolved spectra. Astronomers' dust is neither homogenous nor isotropic. We observe it countless times as dustlanes. In the vicinity of starforming regions we expect it to be hot, and in old star regions, cold. The heat is transported by bosons, the photon of the standard model. As a carrier of the interaction or force we can not contemplate a universe made up solely of photons at any temperature. At ultra high energies Weinberg considered the baryonic matter content of the early universe as a contaminant or trace, then only 4 baryons per cubic metre, whereas the photon numerosity was ca. 1 billion fold greater; a huge numerical ratio which he could never satisfactorily explain; baryonic dust was insufficient to thermalise radiation and account for this ridiculous ratio. 

Galametz et al (MNRAS 2012) Mapping the cold dust temperatures and masses of nearby Kingfish
galaxies with Herschel
 note a worrying implication on page 14 I would characterise as a major problem for baryonic dust
On the contrary, the
grand-design spiral NGC 628 or bulge-less objects like NGC 3621
or NGC 7793 show cold dust temperatures that are homogenous
throughout the structure of the galaxies. The fact that the cold
dust temperature distribution does not seem to correlate with any
dust heating source (neither star forming regions, nor old stellar
populations or radius) within the galaxies is worrying and ques-
tions the use of a free beta factor in the model, at least for this type of galaxy

Although not cited in this paper Hwang et al  "Evolution of Dust Temperature of Galaxies through
Cosmic Time as seen by Herschel"   2010
faced the same quandary, their figures 2-4  page 4 onwards.

Out to z=1 and for comparison galactic abundances tail off rapidly past z=2 for the four ultradeep surveys , the detailed sample coverage includes interacting ones and AGN's the astronomers' dust appears homogenous with dust temperatures within the limit 20-40 Kelvin with outliers in the AGN Goods survey to 50 Kelvin, whereas IR luminosities cover a three orders of magnitude variation. I would hazard a guess that dust types haven't changed in 6 billion years but that the absolute magnitude of dust mass has been increasing  ie. astronomers' metallicities have increased. Yet there must be astronomers' dust because we observe the dustlanes that are not homogenous and not isotropic and yes there is a great range of dust temperatures in our immediate locale. Yet such dust is not a far more fundemental neutrino dust that operates much like Newton's concept of extremely fine dust. It could conceivably represent baryonic atomic matter I mentioned three years ago in the DM thread. Such dark atoms  up 27 fold greater size than atoms carried only 1/3 charge of the atoms we know of and would have provided rotational excitations in the IR at 30 fold longer wavelengths.  Such dm candidates were abandoned in favour of neutrino dust with low rest masses.

What then is Neutrino dust? First of all the neutrino is a fundamental fermion, one could argue it is more fundamental than the charged lepton or quarks in that it lacks a charge, simpler stuff by one quantum number. Flip Tonedo posted this brilliant post over on quantum diaries-  "Helicity, Chirality, Mass, and the Higgs". It is worth reading several times because it took Flip many attempts at editing to finally get it right, with a lot of help from the readership.

Remember particles are created in pairs, particles and antiparticles and are equiabundant with photons at their pair production temperatures. The only sm fermion with rest mass with an unrecognised pair production temperature are neutrinos. The antimatter particle to matter particle begin with eg. Flip's electron and positron. Forget the Higgs which is relish to the story which is not a fermion yet again has conceptually a pair production temperature associated with its production in a hot enough bath of photons. From conservation laws we expect one photon with sufficient energy per particle or two fold for the particle pair; a simple small number and not a 109/1 ratio.

Chemists have known about helicity and chirality for six generations. For the particle physicist little more than a generation of erudition has passed. In the mid 1960's biochemists and chemists had always attempted to separate gooey mixes of optically active molecules into pure fractions and gooey fractions by definition aren't pure. Enzymes would be employed to selectively remove say right handed species, the result was the enzymes would self digest themselves and results were usually notoriously bad, full of lysed enzymes. With the advance of high resolution gas liquid chromatography on chiral liquid phases, chiral because we had formed them by total synthesis from optically pure amino acids, we were able to separate such LH and RH forms. Some gluey goooes thought to be pure from good melting point and derivative tests, contained three or four chemically different forms, notably triterpenoids. Much simpler were the protein amino acids. Leucine has two forms. Isoleucine had two known forms until two new forms were observed to be present in equilibrium mixes, denoted alloisoleucine as a left handed and a right handed form. By convention these other forms were called allo, meaning other without any preconceived idea what " other" meant than a chemically different form. There were four forms and not two. Of course, we knew structurally exactly what they were. The term mirror would imply it was a mirror reflection, which it was because we knew beforehand what the structure actually was.

The particle physicist hasn't got or lived with that luxury yet- which is why I stick to  chemical nomenclature or alloneutrinos. When I say neutrino I really mean the more long winded neutrino and antineutrino pair. When I write alloneutrino it refers to the ensemble that the physicist has yet to recognise. There are twice as many neutrinos that are yet known in the physics philosophy, Marni's mirror set, yet to a chemist it's necessary and old relish! Of course the chiral sm consorts with only one of thes forms; the rest one may correctly associate with dark matter, but two of these unrecognised forms are alloneutrinos. Why should I be so arrogant about it. Because if I am wrong the cmb temperature would be 5.45 Kelvin and not precisely to great accuracy 2.725Kelvin. Why is the cmb radiation at that temperature? The simple answer is a hidden assumption. It happens to be a precise temperature on a cooling curve that so happens to be what it is because our era is the here and now after 13.7 billion years of evolution. It has to have a temperature along the cooling curve but how hot was it initially; the Planck temperature perhaps just prior to one correct inflation model. Or was there a temperature limit at 1016Kelvin. Also if it went out of equilibrium so early and is relic radiation why did it retain its thermodynamic profile for so long? The Big Bang retains many ad hoc assumptions even with inflation. Had measurements reported 5, 10 , 15 Kelvin the self same story would have become ingrained.

Neutrinos now have rest mass , an ultra low rest mass, a cumulative mass of ~0.06eV from three flavours and the implications are truly enormous to cosmology, so much so that like the Phlogiston theory that was a physicist's theory can be safely binned with BB theory and the origin of the cmb radiation. The cmb radiation is not relic radiation at all; it is the result of photon  neutrino pair production; it is what space is, what the vacuum represents- a fine mist of granular, a neutino fine dust moiety of Compton grains 1.06mm diameter , more spherical cows:). Of course chemist's love allo forms of moities that are not spherical cows and neither I expect are alloneutrinos simply preonic cows either. Unlike atoms we don't see them yet.

Marni again has reported on the dilemma yesterday.

In all modesty we don't care to cite our joint vixra paper from 2010, nobody else does bar a few. Nevertheless, we did predict the creation annihilation temperatures for the suite or neutrino ensemble of three flavours, 2.725 Kelvin for the cosmic cmb and at higher densities, where the second flavour ensembles are created, at homogenous and isotropic ~21 Kelvin. So why is the spread to 50 Kelvin or 0.021eV equivalent? One may bitch about the eigenflavour values that contribute to the discrete eigenstatemasses but there is now little controversy re- the bound at 0.060eV for cumulative neutrino masses of the three flavours, 1/3 of that measure.

 "Graham keeps telling us that MINOS had their chance and blew it. Probably he is right, but a poor theorist has to put some trust in the data".

Of course as scientists we have to trust data, that's the whole point of the method and there's no point reciting it any more. The Astronomical Implications thread might now as well be a dead parrot.

 I spent some time, several days with a squad of British army officers, in Andalusia, on my recent visit there. I befriended a dwarf green parrot that cared to dwell on the window eaves  adjacent to the cottage. It made a horrendous racket when I first approached but by day four, and after many tiny morsels of food Alexander became tame. All the time I whispered to it "What's your name" and " You are mortal". I had to leave before it risked my shoulder as a perch. Rather than being right too often they all agreed I was politely, they are all politically correct these days, eccentric rather than absolutely bonkers. One shouldn't bet on the likelihood of an inside straight, but when one is dealt it, there's no option but to bet the farm. The best thing Minos can do is fill in the mineshaft from the inside :-\. I grew to love that little parrot. I know nothing about parrot gender of course but I hope it survives and finds a mate. It had a mate since all parrots come in pairs too. It's mate simply went missing just before I arrived. That's life, riding high in April shot down in May.

A man went to an auction. He saw an exotic green dwarf parrot pair. The prat wanted a male bird, nobody wanted both birds, so he bid. He kept bidding, but was always outbid. He refused to stop. He finally won. The bird was his! He paid for the parrot and said to the auctioneer,

"I  hope he talks. I'd hate to pay all this for a dumb parrot"

"Of course his mate can talk," said the auctioneer. "Who do you think bid against you?"

Star space / Comet Ison
« on: April 13, 2013, 06:28:41 am »
Ison approaches. Already passing Jove's orbit it is shedding 51 tonnes of gas and dust every minute. It's a big piece of real estate, 5 kms in diameter. At this rate will anything be left as it reaches Earth's orbit?

Star space / Order and Disorder aka Entropic Change
« on: October 16, 2012, 09:45:34 pm »
Just watched the Jim al -Khalili programme "Order and Disorder" on BBC 4-

A very basic exposition on the development of thermodynamics. The first 10 minutes was totally wasted on Leibnitz's contribution; although a great mathematician his philosophic meanderings unlike Kit Marlowe contributed zero to the development of these concepts. Likewise Newton. They spent so much time hating each others guts in Latin that they might have contributed something worthwhile. Oops- I forgot Newton's law of cooling and his fine dust. The most meaningful contribution was by that famous Physical Chemist, Peter Atkins. I still have an old dog eared and tatty copy of his book "Physical Chemistry" Oxford University Press, 1978, that has never been bettered, perhaps a slight exaggeration. It's a pity he wasn't given half an hour more air time. The last ten minutes, while the universe is grinding itself down to total disorder and diffuse heat death, there's a plug for nuclear fusion. Back in 1968 a commercial hydrogen fusion plant was a 30 year distant goal. Infact the whole history of commercial fusion was always to plus 30 years. However, last week it was revised to to plus 50 years, and that's entropy for you. When you look at that million mile boiling cauldren of fusion we call our solar orb, with its occasional violent mass ejecta of ionic storms, you can well imagine why a small office block sized Tokomak keeps shorting to the walls.

dS/dt >= 0 isn't so pessimistic for the future of the cosmos as Jim makes out. Things do happen at constant entropy all the time. Jim neglects to point out that this expanding universe is on a one way journey to a diluted cold almost nothingness that contravenes the second law of thermodynamics, that's if you believe it. Overall it's worth watching for the sole reason he never raises the anthropic disorder "if it wasn't for .... we wouldn't exist/be here".

 Carnot and Boltzman, both academic giants had hard lives with much tragedy and mental torture, in large part afflicted by their peers. That's Nature or life Jim, depressing and degrading stuff for some, that's what entropy is all about while the cosmos spins around Tiger Bay , riding high in April, cut down in May.  should place it in context.

Star space / Haunting Image
« on: October 10, 2012, 03:46:16 pm »
From the journal of Historical Biology reproduced in
“This juvenile spider was going to make a meal out of a tiny parasitic wasp, but never quite got to it,” said George Poinar, Jr., a professor emeritus of zoology at Oregon State University and world expert on insects trapped in amber. “This was a male wasp that suddenly found itself trapped in a spider web. This was the wasp’s worst nightmare, and it never ended. The wasp was watching the spider just as it was about to be attacked, when tree resin flowed over and captured both of them.”
Well -you now know  what ate wasps, 100 million years ago. Note an even bigger predator's leg in the image.

Star space / Arsenic life?
« on: July 09, 2012, 07:27:08 pm »
Arsenic substituting for phosphorous?

The Christian life Monitor has the story better covered perhaps.

Now you can't blame Nasa as the funders. If it were true? re- extraterrestrial life....

Wait on. Arsenic is like sulphur in its chemical properties, a group 6 element. We all know it's toxic "Arsenic and old Lace". There are several amino acids that incorporate S and N with a broad class of compounds we called thiols, pyrroles and always a great laugh in our organic chemistry laboratory courses, arsoles. Another great riposte to the question "Name me the six sugars, Sir" was to quote five of them with the correct suffix -nose and then, then hesitate and add  "fucknose Sir", early 60's repertory. Phosphorous is group 5 and is represented by that phosphodiester linkage , the so called "high energy bond" to a sugar eg. D ribose from one of the nitrogenous bases. You can't replace P by As . The absolutely amazing thing going on here for phosphorous is that the element as phosphate or fluoro phosphate is the most insoluble salt of all salts. In igneous rocks it occurs as apatite. You can finely grind apatite and shake it in water for months but you can never dissolve it to get more than 1 ppm in solution. It's a miracle as to how a cell manages to absorb phosphate. The joke years ago about the Alien's molecular acid was it wouldn't have touched an apatite floor. The exobiologists have spent entire careers attempting to solvate phosphate.

Cafe at the end of the Universe / Venus transit
« on: June 05, 2012, 10:30:08 pm »
23.29 on BBC 24 ht news live in progress but not yet on Apod

Supernova Zoo / Weird and wonderful ngc 4424 supernova
« on: May 31, 2012, 10:25:59 pm »
What kind of galaxy is this? from Weird and wonderful, first mentioned by BeamMeUp on August 24th 2007, and 5 other posts the day following.
Well it's ngc 4424

almost five years before a type 1a supernova blew up this month. Uitzoomen voor for the whole of the Virgo cluster
reported by  onze Nederlandse vriend Jan in Zooites and cosmic pictures pp89, 2012.
Hi Guys.....I know the Moon is "king" in this part of the GZ-universe.....but..ah...can I join Monty Python style....."with something completely different"?? As It has been just wonderful weather in the land of Cloggs and tulips for the past seven days or more I (and many more astrophotographers) have been out there under stars almost every night catching photons of faraway galaxies like a mad(J)man. One of my dutch astro-friends pointed out to me a brandnew supernova within reach of the average amateur telescope that had just popped up near (in) a galaxy  in the Virgo cluster. OK...this galaxy NGC 4424 at a distance of 33 million lightyears is definitely not a very spectacular one....I even angrily and wrongly threw away the images of my first attempt because I thought it wasn't there.......with  the supernova nevertheless in plain sight....grrrrr. But..ah...never to old to learn as thet say ;D my second attempt went well. Compared to  bleak NGC 4424 that single exploding star really outshines that whole galaxy big time....wouldn't want sit on some planet with such a havoc-creating thing going off in just round the corner, but ah...from a safe distance of 33 m. lightyears I find it quite enjoyable!! The image was made with my 8 inch Newt. with a Canon 1000 D at its prime focus (120 cm/F6).....10 two minute exposures ( and a few dark frames and flatfields of course) were stacked were combined with Deep sky stacker to compose this single image. In the field also visible a few other members of the Virgocluster being NGC 4410 and NGC 4411.

* NGC 4424 supernova kopie.jpg (366.62 kB, 900x600 - viewed 19 times.)
May 30th 2012

courtesy Lick Observatory Supernova Search from the above link.

Star space / IK Pegasi B on a Diet
« on: May 18, 2012, 03:04:50 pm »
Now, don’t panic!
  :o  Betelgeuse IK Peg B on a diet

I looked this up, and here’s the thing: he’s right! I had never heard of IK Peg,

I got so many replies about that one that I decided to do a theme week, and stick with supernovae. The next day I tweeted this: BAFact: The nearest star that can go supernova is Spica – it’s 260 light years away, so we’re safe, and I linked to a video I did a few years back this.

A few minutes later I got a tweet from Nyrath, saying that he thought the nearest star that could explode was IK Pegasi, 150 light years away.
There's no danger we will be wiped out. Not so says ESO, unless Yosemite blowds top beforehand.

Its surface gravity - g - is estimated to be g ~ 8x10 8 m s -2 (for example on Earth it is 9.8 m s -2 ).
Oooooosh :P

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