Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:These scientists.... (Score 1) 71

Finding all of the existing physics is important as it helps calibrate the instrument and gives confidence it is working as expected.

I've been spending some time on arXiv looking at LHC related papers. So far they are saying, "No new physics beyond the standard model has been detected." WRT the Higgs, it hasn't been detected yet either. Tighter constraints have been put on it's mass - Due to the combined efforts of the Tevatron, LHC , LEP2 and DZERO. It's very early though. Experts in the field say we should wait until 2013-14. Scientists need the time to collect and analyze more data.

'A Quantum Diaries Survivor' is a blog by a physicist working at the LHC. His posts use real, recent data from the various experiments listed above. An entry posted today (22 April, 2011) is particularly relevant:

Comment Re:OK, I'll bite... (Score 1) 311

1 - Where did a singularity come from?

Problem, you can't rely on any matter or energy because they didn't exist yet.

Good question. No-one knows. Where did a supernatural god come from? "It just is that way." Is a valid answer to both questions.

2 - A singularity is a black hole? all the matter of the universe is compressed into a theorized pinhead that means the atoms can not move, therefor the matter is in a thermodynamic dead end. it can not change state.

Two problems: 1. The big bang doesn't have to start from a singularity. It can start from a small, dense hot object that isn't a black hole.

2. Atoms not moving is against the rules of quantum mechanics. Stephen Hawking showed that black holes are not a thermodynamic dead end in the 80s (or 90s.) He showed that black holes have a temperature and, over massive time scales will radiate their mass away as energy.

3- How long in time was the singularity stayed the way it was?

Probably some infinitesimally short time. (Like .000000000000000000000000000001 seconds. Give or take 10 to 20 zeros.) AFAIK there's no way the big bang could have been a stable object that had any kind of lifespan. It could only go boom.

(Does time stop in a black hole?, I dont know.)

It does. As you get pulled close to and over the event horizon you accelerate to almost the speed of light. So, yes, time dilates massively for you.

4 - What mystical force caused the explosion / expansion of the singularity?

As I said above, the BB doesn't have to start from a singularity. It can start from a small, dense ball-o-really hot stuff.

5 - I might be wrong on the name here but the hubble's constant of the expanding universe combiend with the gravity of the matter of the universe force would have to match to a accuracy ratio of 1 to 1 million million million in relation to each other otherwise the universe will

A - collpase on itself.

B - explode.

That's right. But, when you add dark energy to the picture, it looks like we live in an open universe where everything flies apart, the universe cools to absolute zero and becomes silent, empty and boring.

6 - With the BB I read you only get hydrogen / heiliem atoms. This means you should get a steady cloud of gas expanding at 10^70 the speed of light

Yes, hydrogen and helium were created in the BB. The expanding gas at 10^70 part is complete nonsense. No physicist would ever say that as we all know the maximum speed is c (the speed of light.)

As the universe expands, the gas cools. Over a billion years or so it collapsed into galaxies, stars, clusters, etc...

A - What causes the cloud to condense into galixies at the gas is uniformed.

As the gas cooled, it wasn't uniform. Small instabilities in density are magnified over time, creating what we have today.

B - Why wouldn't the gas collapse back to the sigularity?

This one I'm not so sure on. I think the expansion of the universe (Hubble constant) and the outward energy of the explosion ensure the gas won't collapse back in on itself.

Do you want me to go on about how gas clouds can't form galaxies because they require a working super nova / sun to compact them enough for gravity to hold them?

You don't need a supernova to seed these things. As I said above, the gas wasn't uniform from the beginning. Those mass fluctuations are enough to start the process.

BTW, look at a picture of the cosmic microwave background. The variations in color are the fluctuations I'm referring to.

Anyway, People have to use the BigBang theory because they have no other way to explain the universe and how they exist. And the other explanation they refuse to accept. So funding goes mainly/only? to such "research" hindering science other possibilities.

Research is based on theorizing, observation and proof. Roughly put, an idea is accepted if the experimental evidence confirms the idea being proposed. The (inflationary) BB is the best explanation we have that matches our observable universe - now and in the past. It rests on firm foundations: Isaac Newton's mechanics, electromagnetism, Einstein's relativity and quantum mechanics.

(WRT refusing to accept other theories: I believe in the process of science: Bring the idea forward. Propose experiments that can be done to verify your idea. Experiments is key. That's what makes or breaks a theory. Note that saying, "I believe strongly that..." is not an experiment. BUT, do your homework first: Review the literature in the field(s) in question. See why other ideas failed and why. Learn from them. If the idea has merit, scientists will consider it.)

Therefor when I stick my fork into the power socket and see sparks flying, that must be something to do with how the early big bang worked. (I am now moderated up). I hope this brief posting enlightens some people but I gotta work now. I do recommended for anyone to read a book "Dismantling the Big Bang". It does a much better job at ripping to pieces then what I can remember. Cheers

You didn't do a good job at all. You demonstrated that you have no real knowledge of how science is done on a day to day basis. You've also demonstrated you don't know any physics or astronomy. It seems your "education" comes from an anti-science book. You're parroting ideas from it with no real understanding of what you're saying.



Pope's Astronomer Would Love To Baptize an Alien 308

Ponca City, We Love You writes "The Guardian reports that Guy Consolmagno, curator of the pope's meteorite collection and a trained astronomer and planetary scientist, says he would be 'delighted' if intelligent life was found among the stars. 'But the odds of us finding it, of it being intelligent and us being able to communicate with it — when you add them up it's probably not a practical question.' Consolmagno adds that the traditional definition of a soul was to have intelligence, free will, freedom to love and freedom to make decisions. 'Any entity — no matter how many tentacles it has — has a soul.' Would he baptize an alien? 'Only if they asked.' Consolmagno dismisses the ideas of intelligent design as a pseudo-scientific version of creationism. 'The word has been hijacked by a narrow group of creationist fundamentalists in America to mean something it didn't originally mean at all. It's another form of the God of the gaps. It's bad theology in that it turns God once again into the pagan god of thunder and lightning.'"

Comment Re:the final solution (Score 1) 360

1) Why not move the excess population off-Earth? We're already talking about space tourism as a reality... it's not that big of a step from tourism to colonization, especially 90 years from now.

Because it takes a HUGE amount of energy to lift things out of our gravity well. It is also a huge undertaking to create infrastructure for that excess population off planet.

2) Who says that gasoline will be a primary source of energy in 2100, let alone transportation? One would figure that by the time prices for gas rises to $10/gal (in 2010 dollars), the market itself would find a way to either create hyper-efficient engines, or folks will just replace their gas-powered cars with electric-powered ones.

The laws of thermodynamics place an upper limit on the efficiency of all engines, or all devices that convert energy from one form to another. This applies to "hyper efficient" engines, creating bio gasses from crops, electricity from nuclear power etc.

Could someone who knows something about the current state of car engines comment on how much more efficient they can become?

Comment Re:government out of economy (Score 1) 584

Canadian citizen here: Part of the speed of Canada's recovery comes from the fact it wasn't caught up in the banking/mortgage problems that affected many countries. That's because our banks are much more heavily regulated. Don't know enough about health care to comment.

Comment Re:What does gun ownership have to do with anythin (Score 1) 659

Speaking of lies... ...

What is comparatively new (only a few hundred years old) is (small-l) liberalism, in which minority viewpoints race from vilified, to tolerated, to accepted, to embraced. There is a huge section of adult society that basically worships any cause that claims to be tearing down some other, more established cause--an attitude once expected only of adolescents and madmen. In our race to destroy the trappings of

Of course you are free of bias and have studied the situation.

Comment Wayne will lose (Score 3, Insightful) 118

So, Wayne wants the courts to agree hyperlinking an article is "publishing" and that anyone who links to defamatory content is guilty of defamation themselves. He's already lost twice in courts.
Speaking as a Canadian, I think the snowball has a better chance in our supreme courts. My prediction is that 8 or 9 of the supreme court justices will rule against him.
Believe it or not, I think our supreme court is pretty good. They're smart people and they make sane decisions.

Slashdot Top Deals

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: #44 Zebras are colored with dark stripes on a light background.