In Case You Missed It Last Week: LHC Reports Discovery of Its First New Particle

The Chi_b (3P) is a more excited state of Chi particles already seen in previous collision experiments, explained Prof Roger Jones, who works on the Atlas detector at the LHC.

“The new particle is made up of a ‘beauty quark’ and a ‘beauty anti-quark’, which are then bound together,” he told BBC News.

“People have thought this more excited state should exist for years but nobody has managed to see it until now.

“It’s also interesting for what it tells us about the forces that hold the quark and the anti-quark together – the strong nuclear force. And that’s the same force that holds, for instance, the atomic nucleus together with its protons and the neutrons.”

BBC: LHC reports discovery of its first new particle

Cold Fusion Device Tested, Rossi Claims Sale Was Made

According to Wired UK:

Today is set to be the start of a new era of cheap power, as a new type of low-cost nuclear reactor goes live in front of an audience of scientists and media representatives in Bologna. Once the mystery customer who commissioned the device has confirmed that it really is producing one megawatt, they’ll pay the developer, Andrea Rossi.

Unless, of course, it all goes horribly wrong. […]

And that’s the important thing about the 28 October test: for the first time it will be carried out by the customer’s consultants, not by Rossi himself. The customer, apparently a large US company which has declined to be identified, will be measuring for itself whether the E-Cat does what it says before it will pay for it. Rossi has claimed that the device will output six times as much energy as it consumes. If it fails to perform, Rossi will not get paid and the customer will doubtless remain anonymous to avoid the inevitable bad publicity. If it succeeds, the customer might reveal itself to take credit for financing the biggest breakthrough in energy production of the modern era.

Wired UK: Cold Fusion: Future of physics or phoney?

You can find notes and video from the test here. The Pure Energy Systems Twitter account claims the same was made to the customer:

Q&A just finished; reading of results; 470 kW maintained continuously during self-sustain; customer satisfied; sale made; more later.

See also: Laser Fusion Closer to Becoming a Practical Reality

Nuclear Fusion Closer to Becoming a Practical Reality?

NIF giant laser

Using nuclear fusion – star energy – to power the world’s dishwashers, TVs and servers has long been a twinkling in the misty eyes of physicists, but it inched closer to reality this week as the American National Ignition Facility (strap line: “Bringing Star Power To Earth”) struck a deal with the UK company AWE and Oxford-based Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

The National Ignition facility (NIF) in California – at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory – has been using lasers to force together the isotopes and create the fusion needed for the process to work. Scientists there believe they are within years of achieving the goal in the lab and project that the concept could eventually become a commercially viable energy source.

The Register: UK, US ink boffinry pact on laser fusion ‘star power’

Universe Probably Not a Hologram After All

gamma ray

An astrophysicist’s attempt to measure quantum “fuzziness” — to find out if we’re living in a hologram — has been headed off at the pass by results suggesting that we’re probably not.

In October 2010, Wired.com reported on Craig Hogan’s experiments with two of the world’s most precise clocks, which he was using to try and confirm the existence of Planck units — the smallest possible chunks of space, time, mass and other properties of the universe.

Hogan’s interpretation of results from the GEO600 gravitational wave experiment had shown a quantum fuzziness — a sort of pixelation — at incredibly small scales, suggesting that what was perceive as the universe might be projected from a two-dimensional shell at its edge.

However, a European satellite that should be able to measure these small scales hasn’t found any quantum fuzziness at all, contradicting the interpretation of the GEO600 results and indicating that the pixelation of spacetime, if it exists, is considerably smaller than predicted.

Wired Science: Physicists: Universe Almost Certainly Not a Hologram

How Tibetan Singing Bowls Work

How Tibetan Singing Bowls Work

Ceremonial Tibetan “singing bowls” are beginning to give up their secrets.

The water-filled bowls, when rubbed with a leather-wrapped mallet, exhibit a lively dance of water droplets as they emit a haunting sound.

Now slow-motion video has unveiled just what occurs in the bowls; droplets can actually bounce on the water’s surface.

A report in the journal Nonlinearity mathematically analyses the effect and could shed light on other fluid processes, such as fuel injection.

BBC: Tibetan singing bowls give up their chaotic secrets

(via Edward Borasky)

Alan Moore Interview on His Next Novel, Jerusalem

Alan Moore

The New Statesmen recently interviewed Alan Moore on the subject of his next novel Jerusalem. The article says it will be about next year, though the novel hasn’t been completed yet. Also, Moore may have a hard time getting it published since it’s 750,000 words – much longer than both A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth and Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.

Moore also talks about his theory of time – that we exist in a four dimensional system where consciousness moves backwards and forwards in time but everything else remains still. Much like his fellow comic writer Grant Morrison’s theory, or the theory put forward in LOST and by many occultists such Paul Laffoley and Michael Bertiaux.

Moore also believes that when we die, our consciousness has nowhere to go but back to the beginning. So we live our lives over, and over again. It’s an idea called eternal recurrence, originally put forward in Vedic religions, particularly Jainism, and later by Nietzsche. Point being, you should live a life you’d be willing to live over and over again.

New Statesmen: Alan Moore: “I’ve disproved the existence of death”

Here’s Moore reading from Jerusalem.

For far more on Alan Moore, check out the Alan Moore dossier

Photo by Fimb

Estimate: There are 50 Alien Civilizations in Our Galaxy That We Could Communicate With

In the 1960’s, U.S. astronomer Frank Drake started the first real search for alien radio signals being beamed across the Universe. Off the back of this work, he came up with an equation that is at best, an educated stab at the number of civilizations in our Galaxy with which we might actually be able to communicate right now. […]

So this is the exciting bit, plug those numbers all in to the equation and you come up with… (drum roll please) …50!

Is that really it?

The number of contactable civilizations in our Galaxy, right now, that we might communicate with, is just 50… fifty? It’s estimated that there is around 400 billion stars in our Galaxy and, according to my numbers (which, by their nature are educated guesses), there are just 50 alien civilizations that we could communicate with.

Discovery: How Many Intelligent Aliens Are Out There?

CERN May Have Found the Higgs Boson Particle, but Don’t Get Too Excited Yet

Jon Butterworth, a member of the High Energy Physics group on the ATLAS experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider confirms that the group thinks it may have found the higgs boson particle. He writes on his blog at The Guardian:

So, it is not a hoax. But the rumours are based on an analysis which has to pass many levels of scientific scrutiny before I get very excited by it. It could fail at any stage. If it passes, it will be released by ATLAS, and will then be submitted to a journal. For comparison, journal submission acceptance is the stage the CDF bump has got to, and that is far from established yet as a real new physics effect.

The thing is, CERN is an exciting place right now. New data are coming in as I write. There are lots of levels of collaboration and competition. Retaining a detached scientific approach is sometimes difficult. And if we can’t always keep clear heads ourselves, it’s not surprising people outside get excited too. This is why we have internal scrutiny, separate teams working on the same analysis, external peer review, repeat experiments, and so on…

So don’t go tearing up your particle physics text books just yet. But please stay tuned for when we really do have something to say! These are indeed interesting times.

The Guardian: Rumours of the Higgs at ATLAS

Photos from the Super-Kamiokande Neutrino Detector in Japan

Super-Kamiokande: Neutrino Detector


sadbury sno screen

That last image is actually a read-out screen from another neutrino detector, Sno in Montreal.

More info and pictures:

The Blog Below: Super-Kamiokande: Neutrino Detector

(via Fadereu)

Our Bruised, Battered Universe May Have Collided with Other Universes Four Times

X-Men vs. New Teen Titans

This is a couple weeks old, but I’m still going through my backlog of posts:

Today, another group says they’ve found something else in the echo of the Big Bang. These guys start with a different model of the universe called eternal inflation. In this way of thinking, the universe we see is merely a bubble in a much larger cosmos. This cosmos is filled with other bubbles, all of which are other universes where the laws of physics may be dramatically different to ours.

These bubbles probably had a violent past, jostling together and leaving “cosmic bruises” where they touched. If so, these bruises ought to be visible today in the cosmic microwave background.

Now Stephen Feeney at University College London and a few pals say they’ve found tentative evidence of this bruising in the form of circular patterns in cosmic microwave background. In fact, they’ve found four bruises, implying that our universe must have smashed into other bubbles at least four times in the past.

Technology Review: Astronomers Find First Evidence Of Other Universes

There are some caveats, be sure to read the original article.

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