Underneath the veneer of certainty portrayed by TV documentaries about the universe are deep questions and controversies. Some of these briefly appear on publicly-available news stories, only to be covered by new coats of certainty. Are the new veneers fixing the problems or, instead, whitewashing serious weaknesses in current cosmological understanding? Here are some quick looks under the veneer. Speaking of the Cosmological Principle, it has been wrongly been attributed to Copernicus – a man who admired God’s supreme architecture of the heavens. Dava Sobel, who wrote the illuminating historical Galileo’s Daughter, that did much to debunk the science-vs-religion myth of the Galileo affair, has a new book out: A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos (Walker/Bloomsbury 2011). Owen Gingerich reviewed it in Nature last week (Nature 477, 15 Sept 2011, pp. 276–277, doi:10.1038/477276a) and considers it “first rate… a charming and accurate book, although it omits much of the technical background in which earlier accounts revelled.” Apparently the semi-fictional account by this gifted writer gives prominence to Rheticus, a Lutheran: “True to the historical record, Rheticus finally persuades the ageing canon to allow a copy of his manuscript to be taken to Nuremberg for printing.” See the 4/30/2004 entry, “Lutherans Helped Copernicus,” for more non-fiction about this central character in the rise of modern cosmology; see also our online biography of Copernicus (March 2008, right sidebar) Why do most teachers, textbook writers, and TV documentary producers concentrate on the whitewash, and ignore the termites? Find many more termites in the cosmology house by searching on “Cosmology” topics on our search bar. Listen also to some of the things David Berlinski told National Review TV last month about scientists’ hubris about physics and cosmology (see list of episodes on Evolution News & Views).(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Disturbing: “Dwarf galaxies suggest dark matter theory may be wrong,” wrote Leila Battison for the BBC News. We’ve heard it for years; “The current theory holds that around 4% of the Universe is made up of normal matter – the stuff of stars, planets and people – and around 21% of it is dark matter.” Why, then, did leading cosmologist Carlos Frenk call new developments “disturbing”? The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has been unable to find cold dark matter (CDM), an essential ingredient for the Standard Model of the birth and evolution of the universe. “Scientists working on the problem have recently expressed dismay at the universally negative results coming from the LHC, and this has led some to consider that the standard model may be wrong.” Either cosmologists do not understand the formation of dwarf galaxies, or (something that Frenk is “losing sleep” over), a more disturbing alternative is dawning on them: “that CDM does not exist, and the predictions of the standard model relating to it are false.” Hunt for darkness: Various teams are still searching for dark matter anyway. PhysOrg reported 67 anomalous results from the CRESST experiment deep under a mountain in Italy that cannot be explained except by Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs), a theoretical form of dark matter. That does not mean dark matter is real; only that it has not been ruled out by these unexplained detections. Antimatter, anti-dark matter: Meanwhile, other detectors are disconfirming dark matter. “Antimatter enthusiasts will love it; dark matter hunters not so much,” quipped Stuart Clark for New Scientist. “NASA’s FERMI satellite has confirmed a previous hint that there is more antimatter than expected coming from space. The bad news is that the result almost certainly rules out dark matter as the source.” Long-held assumption doubted: We’ve been told for quite awhile that large galaxies grew by collisions with smaller ones. “ESA’s Herschel infrared space observatory has discovered that galaxies do not need to collide with each other to drive vigorous star birth,” Science Daily reported. “The finding overturns this long-held assumption and paints a more stately picture of how galaxies evolve.” That is, for now. Whatever picture emerges next, “These new observations now change our perception of the history of the Universe.” Will God Particle be science fiction? The Higgs Boson (a.k.a. “God particle”) is running out of places to hide. Central to cosmological theories for the origin of mass, it continues to elude detection by the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. Finding the Higgs was one of the world’s largest detector’s prime missions (see video posted on Deseret News for explanation). Believers are running out of time waiting for God-ought (where ought is slang for zero). PhysOrg reported; “if it’s not there, it will be known to be science fiction by December.” Cosmological Principle under siege: One of the most beloved of all cosmological notions is that the universe is homogeneous and isotropic – that at large scales, every place looks the similar to any other, so that there is no preferred direction or location in the universe. Watch out; PhysOrg titled an entry, “New evidence for a preferred direction in spacetime challenges the cosmological principle.” Enter an anisotropy to muck things up. The article explains, “the universe’s expansion is accelerating at a faster rate in one direction than another. In the most recent study, scientists have analyzed data from 557 Type 1a supernovae and found, in agreement with some previous studies, that the universe’s expansion seems to be accelerating faster in the direction of a small part of the northern galactic hemisphere.” Critics point to contrary evidence from the cosmic microwave background. “Yet considering that the cosmological principle is one of the pillars of modern cosmology whose fundamental importance is difficult to exaggerate, threats to its credibility won’t be taken lightly,” the article ended. “If the cosmological principle turns out to be wrong, it would dramatically change the way we look at the world.”
Related Posts Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Frank is a freelance journalist who has worked in various editorial capacities for over 10 years. He covers trends in technology as they relate to business. How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture Purchasing a new piece of equipment for your business can be a difficult process filled with lots of different steps and friction. However, this isn’t the time to sit back and let someone else take charge. A correct purchase will push your business forward, while an incorrect one could hold you back for years to come.4 Equipment Buying Tips to ConsiderGood execution is the difference between having a good idea and experiencing positive results. In business terms, the right piece of equipment — as well as the correct processes — typically plays a major role in good execution. The only problem is that most businesses don’t think about the significance equipment plays until it’s too late to make a change.If you’re currently considering buying a new piece of equipment — whether as an upgrade or replacement — it’s imperative that you understand the significance of your decision. A thorough buying process in which you meticulously vet every aspect and detail will reward you with better results on the back end.Here are a few specific tips and suggestions:1. Compare Multiple OptionsThis first suggestion is sort of common sense, but it’s one many businesses fail to heed when they get thrown into situations where they need a new piece of equipment right away.At a very minimum, you should consider two different options. Preferably, your list should include at least three. When you compare three options, this gives you a better idea of what exists in the market, what the going rate is and what you can expect with your purchase.2. Look at the VendorIt’s vital that you carefully consider the vendor when purchasing a piece of equipment. Even if the equipment is the same from vendor to vendor, there are a number of pros and cons associated with working with different companies.Take industrial manipulators (the kind used in material handling) as an example. You can purchase industrial manipulators from a variety of vendors, but they don’t all have the same processes and requirements in place. Certain vendors — like Dalmec — must adhere to strict safety standards, while vendors from other nations lack regulations and standards. Working with a company in the former category could save you a lot of trouble and heartache.3. Consider Financing OptionsHow you purchase a piece of equipment for your business is sometimes just as important as what you buy. There are a different financing options, including:Purchasing (cash). When you buy a piece of equipment outright, you don’t have to spend additional money on interest payments. Plus, you get to amortize the cost over the lifespan of the equipment.Financing (loan). Financing is great because it allows you to own a piece of equipment without having to fork over all of the money at once. Certain packages even let you finance the cost of installation, training and transportation.Leasing. Need the equipment, but don’t want to make a long-term investment? Leasing allows you to gain access to the equipment and then reconsider your options at the end of the agreement.Renting. Only need a piece of equipment for an isolated period of time? Renting is a nice option for businesses that have a one-off project or short-term need.4. Look at Long-Term Cost AnalysisAn equipment purchase might make sense right now, but what are the long-term effects? Before making a significant investment or purchase, always conduct a long-term cost analysis. (You may need to hire a consultant to help with this.)Adding It All UpIt’s important to point out that there isn’t always one piece of equipment that’s perfect for your company. In many cases, there are two or three different options that could potentially work. The key is to do your due diligence and avoid getting mixed up with the ones that are clearly wrong.In the end, a detailed vetting process will give you the best chance of succeeding in the execution phase of your business. It won’t guarantee results — but it will pave the way for opportunity. Frank Landman
The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), the country’s apex body to handle any emergency, on Saturday reviewed the preparedness to deal with cyclone ‘Bulbul’ that is likely to affect coastal districts of West Bengal and Odisha.The meeting of the NCMC, headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, was informed by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) that the cyclone has intensified and is likely to cross the West Bengal coast by Saturday evening.Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall, accompanied by winds reaching upto 120 kmph and tidal waves up to one to two metres high are expected. The cyclone is expected to make a landfall on the West Bengal coast at around 2000 to 2200 hours on Saturday. Chief Secretaries of West Bengal and Odisha said that teams of the State Disaster Response Force and Fire Service teams have been positioned. Fishing operations have been suspended and people in low lying areas are being evacuated to shelter homes. As many as 16 teams of the National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force have been positioned in West Bengal and additional teams are being deployed at the request of the States. Officials of the Defence Ministry said that requisite number of ships, aircraft and special teams of the Coast Guard, the Indian Navy, the Army and the Air Force are on standby.