Archive for the ‘ Science Section ’ Category

All the conceptions…

All the conceptions, all the theories, all the things we have created, all the beliefs, everything is just the creation of our mind. It’s just our mind which becomes curious, doubtful or anxious and then it creates questions and then it’s again the human mind who answers the questions. It’s just a hide and seek of the same mind, it’s just the execution of thoughts in the mind. Someone’s mind creates questions and then that questions are answered by someone else’s mind or by his own mind. So, in the whole case it’s the mind which initiates the process and then itself ends it when it find something acceptable.

Diamond in the sky

lucy in the sky with diamondsThe universe in full of wonders and mysteries and this one is just one of them. There are uncountable stars in the universe and the one I’m writing about is lies in the Constellation of Centarus which is just 50 light years away from the earth. Astronomers nicknamed it “Lucy” after the Beatles song, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Lucy, which is technically known as BPM 37093 – is actually a crystallized white dwarf star. A white dwarf is the hot cinder left behind when a star uses up its nuclear fuel and dies. It is made mostly of carbon and oxygen and surrounded by a thin layer of hydrogen and helium gases. In 1992 it was found that Lucy pulsates due to its core temperature dropping below 12,000 degrees Fahrenheit and in 1995 scientists decided to use Lucy for an experiment to see what she was made out of.

This experiment was to use the pulsation of the star and see if the crystallization theory was true. The process that was used is called Asteroseismology or Stellar Seismology which uses their frequency spectra to determine what the composition of the star is. The same way that geologists study the interior of the Earth during earthquakes.

Scientists had found that approximately 90% of Lucy’s mass had crystallized and since Lucy interior core is mostly made of Carbon and therefore, this means Lucy is a diamond, it’s a diamond star of 10 billion trillion trillion carats, astronomers have discovered. Lucy, the diamond star completely outclasses the largest diamond on Earth, the 546-carat Golden Jubilee which was cut from a stone brought out of the Premier mine in South Africa.

Astronomers expect our Sun will become a white dwarf when it dies 5 billion years from now. Some two billion years after that, the Sun’s ember core will crystallize as well, leaving a giant diamond in the center of the solar system.

Reference – http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/3492919.stm

The future of electricity transmission

Day by day, technology is advancing very rapidly; there will be many changes in coming decades in the world of technology and one of them will be wireless transmission of electricity. Yes, in the coming few decades electricity will be transmitted without the use of wires.

The first person to actually make wireless transmission of power possible was Nikola Tesla. Tesla demonstrated wireless energy transfer to power electronic devices in 1891, and aspired to intercontinental wireless transmission of industrial power in his unfinished Wardenclyffe Tower project and still wireless transmission of electricity is a field of research. It might be possible that this technology will come into existence in few decades.

Here’s something about this technology:

Primarily, this technology may starts from mid-range transmission methods that could charge or even power portable devices such as cell phones, laptops, PDA and all that kind of devices or possibly all other range of electric and electronic appliances. And for sure, this technology will going to eliminate the need for multiple wall sockets and bulky cables and will greatly reduce clutter in homes and offices. In place of batteries, electronic devices will have antennas to draw power from a single power node mounted in the ceiling or in the wall of a room. Electromagnetic waves are transmitted through the air from the device present in the ceiling or in the wall. These waves are then received by the device like cell phone or other appliance through their receiving antenna. And in this way electricity will be transmitted without using wires. So definitely, there will be new way of transmission of electricity in the coming decades, maybe by the late 2020s.

Higgs boson: Scientists find signs of missing ‘God particle’

“Scientists said they had found signs of the Higgs boson, an elementary particle believed to have played a vital role in the creation of the universe after the Big Bang”.
First of all I would like to explain what is the Higgs boson particle and why do people call it the ‘god particle’ before presenting its whole report.

What is the Higgs boson?

This particle is named after Peter Higgs, an Edinburgh University physicist, the Higgs boson particle is crucial to understanding the origin of mass and it has been called “the brick that built the universe,” “the angel of creation” and “the god particle.” It is thought to have emerged from the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago and have brought much of the rest of the flying debris together to form galaxies, stars and planets.

Why do people call it the ‘god particle’?

Its theistic nickname was coined by Nobel prizewinning physicist Leon Lederman, but Higgs himself is no fan of the label. According to Higgs, it wasn’t even Lederman’s choice to call it the god particle: “He wanted to refer to it as that ‘goddamn particle’ and his editor wouldn’t let him.”

Now, What Report says:

GENEVA: Scientists said on Tuesday they had found signs of the Higgs boson, an elementary particle believed to have played a vital role in the creation of the universe after the Big Bang.

Scientists at the CERN physics research centre near Geneva said, however, they had found no conclusive proof of the existence of the particle which, according to prevailing theories of physics, gives everything in the universe its mass.

“If the Higgs observation is confirmed… this really will be one of the discoveries of the century,” said Themis Bowcock, a professor of particle physics at Britain’s Liverpool University.

“Physicists will have uncovered a keystone in the makeup of the Universe… whose influence we see and feel every day of our lives.”

The leaders of two experiments, ALTAS and CMS, revealed their findings to a packed seminar at CERN, where they have tried to find traces of the elusive boson by smashing particles together in the Large Hadron Collider at high speed.

“Both experiments have the signals pointing in essentially the same direction,” said Oliver Buchmueller, senior physicist on CMS. “It seems that both Atlas and us have found the signals are at the same mass level. That is obviously very important.”

Fabiola Gianotti, the scientist in charge of the ATLAS experiment, told a seminar to discuss the findings. She said “I think it would be extremely kind of the Higgs boson to be here, but it is too early” for final conclusions, she said. “More studies and more data are needed. The next few months will be very exciting… I don’t know what the conclusions will be.”

While its discovery would cement current knowledge about particles such as electrons and photons, results of work at CERN could also prove it does not exist. Such an outcome would undermine the foundations of accepted theories of the make-up of the universe.

“If the first inklings of the Higgs boson are confirmed, then this is just the start of the adventure to unlock the secrets of the fundamental constituents of the Universe,” said Stephen Haywood, Head of the Atlas Group at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

The ATLAS results were followed by explanation of the second experiment, CMS.

“We are homing in on the Higgs,” said Claire Shepherd-Themistocleus, Head of the CMS Group at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

“We have had hints today of what its mass might be and the excitement of scientists is palpable. Whether this is ultimately confirmed or we finally rule out a low mass Higgs boson, we are on the verge of a major change in our understanding of the fundamental nature of matter.”

Struggling to cope with demand from Higgs-hunters. “It can still happen that it is a fluctuation, but all we see from both experiments is compatible with what we would expect for a Higgs signal to build up,” said Buchmueller.

“But we really need the data from next year to be sure of what we’re seeing.”

References: Times of India (The article published in  Times of India on 13th dec 2011 under the heading – Higgs boson: Scientists find signs of missing ‘God particle’)

Scientists Report Second Sighting of Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos…

Few scientists are betting against Einstein yet, but the phantom neutrinos of Opera are still eluding explanation.

Two months after scientists reported that they had clocked subatomic particles known as neutrinos going faster than the speed of light, to the astonishment and vocal disbelief of most of the world’s physicists, the same group of scientists, known as Opera, said that it had performed a second experiment that confirmed its first results and eliminated one possible explanation for how the experiment could have gone wrong.

But the group admitted that many questions remain. “This is not the end of the story,” said Antonio Ereditato of the University of Bern in Switzerland, the spokesman for the collaboration, explaining that physicists would not accept the result that neutrinos could go faster than light until other experiments had come up with the same conclusion. “We are convinced, but that is not enough in science,” he said.

Other physicists said they remained skeptical that the universe was about to be overturned.

The speed of light was established as the cosmic speed limit, at least for ordinary matter in ordinary space, in 1905 by Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity (now known as special relativity), foreclosing the possibility of time travel into the past or of timely travel to other stars.

Neutrinos, though ghostly in many regards — they are able to traverse planets and walls of lead like light through a window, and to shape-shift from one of three varieties of the particle to another along the way — are part of the universe, and so there was no reason to expect that Einstein’s stricture should not apply to them as well.

But over the course of the last three years, in experiments designed to investigate this shape shifting, neutrinos produced at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, and beamed underground to the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy, an underground facility about 450 miles away, arrived about 58 billionths of a second sooner than would a light beam, according to Opera. The group is based at Gran Sasso, which is near L’Aquila; CERN is in Geneva.

When these results were presented to a meeting at CERN in September, after a prairie fire of blog rumors, they were greeted by fierce skepticism. Among the problems with the original experiment, scientists said, was that the neutrinos were produced in bursts 10,000 billionths of a second long — much bigger than the discrepancy in arrival time.

Last month CERN retooled so that the neutrinos could be produced in shorter bursts, only 3 billionths of a second long, making it easier to match neutrinos at Gran Sasso with neutrinos at CERN, and the experiment was briefly repeated. The neutrinos still arrived early, about 62 billionths of a second early, in good agreement with the original result and negating the possibility, the Opera team said, that the duration of the neutrino pulse had anything to do with the results.

Physicists said the new paper had answered some of the questions about the experiment, but many remain: for example, about how the clocks were synchronized between Geneva and Gran Sasso, and how the distance between them was ascertained. “It does appear that they have done a good job,” said John Learned, a neutrino physicist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa who was not involved in the experiment. But, he added, “If there is a deep systematic error in the calculation of expected time difference, this remains.”

Alvaro de Rujula, a CERN theorist, said there were two interpretations of the experiment. “One is that they have stumbled upon a revolutionary discovery; the other, on which I would place my bet, is that they are still making and not finding the very same error.”

In the meantime, Einstein sleeps peacefully.

Asked if he had seen any interesting theoretical explanations of how neutrinos could violate the speed of light among the papers that have been flooding the internet these past two months, Dr. Ereditato demurred. “That’s not our business,” he said. “A good experimentalist tries to be as cool as possible.”

Dr. Learned and Dr. de Rujula both said there were no convincing theories out there yet. “The theory papers are amusing in that it more and more points out how very much trouble this result will cause, if verified,” Dr. Learned said in an e-mail.

He added, “Fun!”

BY DENNIS OVERBYE
“A version of this article appeared in print on November 19, 2011, on page A8 of the New York edition with the headline: Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos Are Seen Again by Scientists.”