Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Supernova erupts in nearby galaxy : Nature News & Comment

Supernova erupts in nearby galaxy : Nature News & Comment:

 "Last night, light from a new supernova reached astronomers on Earth. Its origin: the nearby galaxy M82, some 3.5 megaparsecs away (11.4 million light years). It is one of the closest and brightest supernovae seen from Earth since a monster exploded in 1987 just 168,000 light years away. Astronomers say that the latest supernova is of the type 1a class, and may help reveal how such supernovae form. Moreover, because these supernovae are used as cosmic measuring sticks, understanding them better may help clarify the shape of the Universe."

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Vigilantes in Mexico


Monday, January 20, 2014

Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn: A Father, a Daughter, the Meaning of Nothing, and the Beginning of Everything: Amanda Gefter: 9780345531438: Books

Trespassing on Einstein's Lawn: A Father, a Daughter, the Meaning of Nothing, and the Beginning of Everything: Amanda Gefter: 9780345531438: Books:

In a memoir of family bonding and cutting-edge physics for readers of Brian Greene’s The Hidden Reality and Jim Holt’s Why Does the World Exist?, Amanda Gefter tells the story of how she conned her way into a career as a science journalist—and wound up hanging out, talking shop, and butting heads with the world’s most brilliant minds.
At a Chinese restaurant outside of Philadelphia, a father asks his fifteen-year-old daughter a deceptively simple question: “How would you define nothing?” With that, the girl who once tried to fail geometry as a conscientious objector starts reading up on general relativity and quantum mechanics, as she and her dad embark on a life-altering quest for the answers to the universe’s greatest mysteries.
Before Amanda Gefter became an accomplished science writer, she was a twenty-one-year-old magazine assistant willing to sneak her and her father, Warren, into a conference devoted to their physics hero, John Wheeler. Posing as journalists, Amanda and Warren met Wheeler, who offered them cryptic clues to the nature of reality: The universe is a self-excited circuit, he said. And, The boundary of a boundary is zero.Baffled, Amanda and Warren vowed to decode the phrases—and with them, the enigmas of existence. When we solve all that, they agreed, we’ll write a book.
Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn is that book, a memoir of the impassioned hunt that takes Amanda and her father from New York to London to Los Alamos. Along the way, they bump up against quirky science and even quirkier personalities, including Leonard Susskind, the former Bronx plumber who invented string theory; Ed Witten, the soft-spoken genius who coined the enigmatic M-theory; even Stephen Hawking.
What they discover is extraordinary: the beginnings of a monumental paradigm shift in cosmology, from a single universe we all share to a splintered reality in which each observer has her own. Reality, the Gefters learn, is radically observer-dependent, far beyond anything of which Einstein or the founders of quantum mechanics ever dreamed—with shattering consequences for our understanding of the universe’s origin. And somehow it all ties back to that conversation, to that Chinese restaurant, and to the true meaning of nothing.
Throughout their journey, Amanda struggles to make sense of her own life—as her journalism career transforms from illusion to reality, as she searches for her voice as a writer, as she steps from a universe shared with her father to at last carve out one of her own. It’s a paradigm shift you might call growing up.
By turns hilarious, moving, irreverent, and profound, Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn weaves together story and science in remarkable ways. By the end, you will never look at the universe the same way again.

Advance praise for Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn
“This is the most charming book ever written about the fundamental nature of reality. Amanda Gefter sounds like your best friend telling you a captivating story, but really she’s teaching you about some of the deepest ideas in modern physics and cosmology. Trespassing on Einstein’s Lawn is a delight from start to finish.”—Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist and author of The Particle at the End of the Universe

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Maureen Dowd


Obama's Homework Assignment


Ball lightning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ball lightning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

 "Scientists from the Northwest Normal University in Lanzhou, China, published the results in January 2014 of recordings made in July 2012 of the optical spectra of, what was thought to be, natural ball lightning made during the study of ordinary cloud-ground lightning.[39]. At a distance of 900m, a total of 1.64 seconds of high-speed video of the ball lightning and its spectra was made, from the formation of the ball lightning after the ordinary lightning struck the ground, up to the optical decay of the phenomenon. The emission lines of neutral atomic silicon, calcium, iron, nitrogen and oxygen were detected in contrast with mainly ionized nitrogen emission lines in the spectrum of the parent lightning. Oscillations in the light intensity and in the oxygen and nitrogen emission at a frequency of 100Hz, caused by the electric field of the 50Hz high-voltage power transmission line in vicinity, were observed. From the spectra the temperature of the ball lightning was assessed as being lower that the temperature of the parent lightning (<15000-30000K). The observed data are consistent with vaporization of soil as well as with ball lightning's sensitivity to electric fields.[4][39]"

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Physics - First Spectrum of Ball Lightning

Physics - First Spectrum of Ball Lightning:

"Ball lightning has been one of the most mysterious natural phenomena for centuries, partly because it is so rare and transient and therefore hard to investigate. But a fortuitous observation during field experiments in China to study ordinary lightning, reported in Physical Review Letters, has now provided what seems to be the first measurement of the emission spectrum of ball lightning. The data suggest that the glowing ball was composed of elements from soil, consistent with one popular theory."

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Nuclear Deal


Ley line - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ley line - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Ley lines /l lnz/ are supposed alignments of a number of places of geographicaland historical interest, such as ancient monuments and megaliths, natural ridge-tops and water-fords. The phrase was coined in 1921 by the amateur archaeologist Alfred Watkins, in his books Early British Trackways and The Old Straight Track. He sought to identify ancient trackways in the British landscape. Watkins later developed theories that these alignments were created for ease of overland trekking by line-of-sightnavigation during neolithic times, and had persisted in the landscape over millennia.[1]

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