Sunday, March 18, 2007

From the Physics World

10 Key Physics articles that I have read about in the last four or so issues of New Scientist

1. New Universes will be born from ours - Philosophically enthralling but where does this leave us? If it is true then its conceivable that our particular universe may not be spectacular after all.(relatively speaking of course).

2. Symmetry issue around Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity. Nobel Prize Winner Sheldon Glashow and Associate have readapted the theory - now known as the Very Special Theory of Relativity.

3. Dark Energy continues to baffle most? What is it? Does it represent gravity particle leakage into other dimensions or is it a left over from the inflation period of the early Big Bang?
How does the cosmological constant fit in (courtesy of Einstein)? Does the acceleration of space-time vary with time and place? Also how does the belief that the universe is made up of Galaxy rich and poor areas influence its expansion? Questions everywhere still.............


4. Free Fall under Investigation - Scientists at Standford will use a technique known as atom interometry to test Einstein's General Theory of Relativity - Main issue at stake is the Equivalence Principle.

5. Early sign that the mysterious Higgs Boson particle may be found....I wouldn't hold my breath. If it is not found in the long run the big question is how should the Standard Model should be modified?

6. Better forecasting of solar storms ahead - Its become more necessary than ever with our added reliance on technology.

7. Some stats on the Big Bang (all from NS - March 3-9)

10E-35 seconds – Age of Universe when inflation kicked in.
Greater than 10E30 - Factor by which the universe expanded.
100 micrometers – size of the universe today without inflation
14 billion light years – size of the observable universe today.
10E-27 meters – size of the observable universe before inflation.

8. The Universe may be a fractal - Apparently this throws many of our notions regarding modern physics on our head. Sounds more like hype than anything else.

9. The Quantum Rebel - Shahriar Afshar claims that both the wave-like and particle-like particles of matter can be revealed at once (experimentally). This flies in the of Niels Bohr's principle developed eight years prior.

10. Invisibility cloaks may be around the corner - it seems to have some success in alluding microwave detection.
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