Curtains Down for the Black Hole Firewall Paradox: Making Gravity Safe for Einstein Again
Mar. 6, 2013 — Research by scientists at the University of York has revealed new insights into the life and death of black holes. Their findings dispel the so-called firewall paradox which shocked the physics community when it was announced in 2012 since its predictions about large black holes contradicted Einstein’s crowning achievement — the theory of general relativity. Those results suggested that anyone falling into a black hole would be burned up as they crossed its edge — the so-called event horizon.
CATCHING a flight out of Fukushima in the wake of the nuclear disaster two years ago would have given you a larger dose of radiation than staying put.
This is the upshot of a new report from the World Health Organization estimating that for residents exposed to the radiation leak, the risk of developing cancer has increased only slightly.
A Window into Europa’s Ocean Right at the Surface
If you could lick the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, you would actually be sampling a bit of the ocean beneath. A new paper by Mike Brown, an astronomer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., and Kevin Hand from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, also in Pasadena, details the strongest evidence yet that salty water from the vast liquid ocean beneath Europa’s frozen exterior actually makes its way to the surface.
The finding, based on some of the best data of its kind since NASA’s Galileo mission (1989 to 2003) to study Jupiter and its moons, suggests there is a chemical exchange between the ocean and surface, making the ocean a richer chemical environment. The work is described in a paper that has been accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal.
Psychologists who study the origins of religion say belief in God relies on several intuitions, including a teleological bias (the assumption that certain objects or event were designed intentionally) and Cartesian dualism (the belief that mind can exist independently of the body). So to become an atheist one must second-guess these automatic ways of thinking. And recently a number of studies have supported the idea that belief in God is influenced by cognitive style—how much of a second-guesser you are.
2012 DA14 Asteroid Close Approach |
On February 15, a 45-meter wide asteroid known as “2012 DA14” will pass within 20,000 miles of Earth, which is approximately 1/12th of the way to the Moon and well within range of many Earth-orbiting satellites. While scientists don’t anticipate a collision with Earth, it could make for some fantastic skywatching for space geeks in certain parts of the world.An interactive scenario is available here.
Massive Supply of Gas Around Modern Galaxies |
Galaxies have a voracious appetite for fuel — in this case, fresh gas — but astronomers have had difficulty finding the pristine gas that should be falling onto galaxies. Now, scientists have provided direct empirical evidence for these gas flows using new observations from the Hubble Space Telescope.
The team led by Nicolas Lehner, research associate professor at the University of Notre Dame, is presenting its work January 11 at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Long Beach, Calif.
The team’s observations using Hubble’s two ultraviolet spectrographs, the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph and the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, show large quantities of cool gas with very low quantities of heavy elements in the gaseous cocoons surrounding modern galaxies. The lack of heavy elements indicates this gas in the circumgalactic medium of the galaxies has not been strongly processed through stars. The members’ work, “The Bimodal Metallicity Distribution of the Cool Circumgalactic Medium at z<1,” has been submitted to the Astrophysical Journal.
Led by Lehner, the team of astronomers identified gaseous streams near galaxies through the absorption they imprint on the spectra of distant, bright background quasars. The atoms in the gas remove small amounts of the light, and as the light from the quasars passes through the gas around galaxies, the chemical elements leave characteristic spectral “fingerprints” that allow astronomers to study the physical and chemical properties of the gas. Lehner and collaborators searched for the signature of gas within about 100,000-300,000 light-years of galaxies, identifying this gas due to its strong hydrogen absorption, a known signature of circumgalactic gas. They subsequently determined the amount of “metals” — all elements heavier than hydrogen and helium — in this gas to test whether the circumgalactic matter was being newly accreted from intergalactic space and lacking in metals or being ejected from the galaxies themselves and strong in metals. continue reading
Moving there now!
Australia gets #4 which is still better than the USA.
Never-Before-Seen Stage of Planet Birth Revealed
Astronomers studying a newborn star have caught a detailed glimpse of planets forming around it, revealing a never-before seen stage of planetary evolution.
Large gas giant planets appear to be clearing a gap in the disk of material surrounding the star, and using gravity to channel material across the gap to the interior, helping the star to grow. Theoretical simulations have predicted such bridges between outer and inner portions of disks surrounding stars, but none have been directly observed until now.
Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) are nuclear reactors that use a fluid fuel in the form of very hot fluoride or chloride salt instead of the solid fuel used in most reactors. Since the fuel salt is liquid, it can be both the fuel (producing the heat) and the coolant (transporting the heat to the power plant). There are many different types of MSRs, but the most talked about one is definitely the Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor (LFTR). This MSR has Thorium and Uranium dissolved in a fluoride salt and can get planet-scale amounts of energy out of our natural resources of Thorium minerals, much like a fast breeder can get large amounts of energy out of our Uranium minerals. There are also fast breeder fluoride MSRs that don’t use Th at all. And there are chloride salt based fast MSRs that are usually studied as nuclear waste-burners due to their extraordinary amount of very fast neutrons.
Religion is a prison, people just have to accept that if they want to be free