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Posts Tagged ‘Subatomic particle’

Particles found to break speed of light

Posted by Admin on September 30, 2011

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/22/us-science-light-idUSTRE78L4FH20110922

A graphic showing a collision at full power is pictured at the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experience control room of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Meyrin, near Geneva March 30, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

By Robert Evans

GENEVA | Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:26pm EDT

(Reuters) – An international team of scientists said on Thursday they had recorded sub-atomic particles traveling faster than light — a finding that could overturn one of Einstein’s long-accepted fundamental laws of the universe.

Antonio Ereditato, spokesman for the researchers, told Reuters that measurements taken over three years showed neutrinos pumped from CERN near Geneva to Gran Sasso in Italy had arrived 60 nanoseconds quicker than light would have done.

“We have high confidence in our results. We have checked and rechecked for anything that could have distorted our measurements but we found nothing,” he said. “We now want colleagues to check them independently.”

If confirmed, the discovery would undermine Albert Einstein’s 1905 theory of special relativity, which says that the speed of light is a “cosmic constant” and that nothing in the universe can travel faster.

That assertion, which has withstood over a century of testing, is one of the key elements of the so-called Standard Model of physics, which attempts to describe the way the universe and everything in it works.

The totally unexpected finding emerged from research by a physicists working on an experiment dubbed OPERA run jointly by the CERN particle research center near Geneva and the Gran Sasso Laboratory in central Italy.

A total of 15,000 beams of neutrinos — tiny particles that pervade the cosmos — were fired over a period of 3 years from CERN toward Gran Sasso 730 (500 miles) km away, where they were picked up by giant detectors.

Light would have covered the distance in around 2.4 thousandths of a second, but the neutrinos took 60 nanoseconds — or 60 billionths of a second — less than light beams would have taken.

“It is a tiny difference,” said Ereditato, who also works at Berne University in Switzerland, “but conceptually it is incredibly important. The finding is so startling that, for the moment, everybody should be very prudent.”

Ereditato declined to speculate on what it might mean if other physicists, who will be officially informed of the discovery at a meeting in CERN on Friday, found that OPERA’s measurements were correct.

“I just don’t want to think of the implications,” he told Reuters. “We are scientists and work with what we know.”

Much science-fiction literature is based on the idea that, if the light-speed barrier can be overcome, time travel might theoretically become possible.

The existence of the neutrino, an elementary sub-atomic particle with a tiny amount of mass created in radioactive decay or in nuclear reactions such as those in the Sun, was first confirmed in 1934, but it still mystifies researchers.

It can pass through most matter undetected, even over long distances, and without being affected. Millions pass through the human body every day, scientists say.

To reach Gran Sasso, the neutrinos pushed out from a special installation at CERN — also home to the Large Hadron Collider probing the origins of the universe — have to pass through water, air and rock.

The underground Italian laboratory, some 120 km (75 miles) to the south of Rome, is the largest of its type in the world for particle physics and cosmic research.

Around 750 scientists from 22 different countries work there, attracted by the possibility of staging experiments in its three massive halls, protected from cosmic rays by some 1,400 metres (4,200 feet) of rock overhead.

(Reporting by Robert Evans; Editing by Tom Miles and Kevin Liffey)

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Terrifying scientific discovery: Strange emissions by sun are suddenly mutating matter…

Posted by Admin on May 22, 2011

http://battleofearth.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/terrifying-scientific-discovery-strange-emissions-by-sun-are-suddenly-mutating-matter%E2%80%A6/

The angry sun

For months mounting fear has driven researchers to wring their hands over the approaching solar storms. Some have predicted devastating solar tsunamis that could wipe away our advanced technology, others voiced dire warnings that violent explosions on the surface of the sun could reach out to Earth, breach our magnetic field, and expose billions to high intensity X-rays and other deadly forms of cancer-causing radiation.

Now evidence has surfaced that something potentially more dangerous is happening deep within the hidden core of our life-giving star: never-before-seen particles—or some mysterious force—is being shot out from the sun and it’s hitting Earth.

Whatever it is, the evidence suggests it’s affecting all matter.

Strange and unknown

Alarmed physicists first became aware of this threat over the past several years. Initially dismissed as an anomaly, now frantic scientists are shooting e-mails back and forth to colleagues across the world attempting to grasp exactly what is happening to the sun.

Strange and unknown

Alarmed physicists first became aware of this threat over the past several years. Initially dismissed as an anomaly, now frantic scientists are shooting e-mails back and forth to colleagues across the world attempting to grasp exactly what is happening to the sun.

Something impossible has happened. Yet the “impossible” has been proven to be true. Laboratories around the globe have confirmed that the rate of radioactive decay—once thought to be a constant and a bedrock of science—is no longer a constant. Something being emitted from the sun is interacting with matter in strange and unknown ways with the startling potential to dramatically change the nature of the very Earth itself.

Exactly what has scientists so on edge is the fact that the natural rate of decay of atomic particles has always been predictable. Indeed, using the decay rate of Carbon-14 has been a method to date archeological artifacts. The process, known as carbon dating, measures the quantity of Carbon-14 within organic objects. According to the numbers, Carbon-14 has a specific half-life of 5,730 years. Physicists have proven through exhaustive observation and experimentation over the course of a century that it takes 5,730 years for Carbon-14 atoms to decay into a stable Nitrogen-14.

The values don’t change—or at least they never have in the past. With certain evidence that radioactive decay can be significantly affected by an unknown effect from the sun, much of science is turned on its head.

Rate of decay speeding up

Worst of all, if the decay rates of matter are being mutated then all matter on Earth is being affected including the matter that makes up life.

The mutation may go so far as to change the underlying reality of the quantum universe—and by extrapolation-the nature of life, the principles of physics, perhaps even the uniform flow of time.

In fact, some evidence of time dilation has been gleaned from close observation of the decay rate. If particles interacting with the matter are not the cause—and matter is being affected by a new force of nature-then time itself may be speeding up and there’s no way to stop it.

Neutrinos the cause?

Researchers have correlated the anomalies in the decay rate to a 33-day period. That time frame matches the 33-day rotation of the solar core. Such a match strains credulity as being a mere coincidence.

Since the sun’s core is known to blast out continuous streams of particles called neutrinos, some scientists are attempting to find evidence that neutrinos are the culprits behind the mutation of matter.

There’s a problem with that hypothesis, however, as neutrinos are like ghost particles. They’re extremely difficult to detect. Normally, neutrinos pass through the Earth without any interaction at all. To a neutrino, it’s as if the Earth doesn’t exist.

Other than discovering a previously unknown property of neutrinos, or finding a new particle altogether, the possibility exists that no particle is behind the changes recorded in the radioactive decay rates. What could be causing the phenomenon is a previously unknown force.

Unknown dangers

As the sun builds towards solar maximum and a period of dangerous intensity never experienced by any living person inexorably approaches, strange, uncontrollable forces could be building deep within its fiery nuclear furnace.

It’s already been proven that the sun’s mass warps time, bends light waves and accounts for mutation of species on Earth. Now this new force may be directly interacting with matter in a way that could not only change Mankind’s understanding of physics, but change Mankind itself…and not necessarily in a beneficial way.

Yes, the e-mails will continue to fly and the hands will continue to wring. But in the end, we are all just observers.

Whether the phenomenon has no real impact on humanity, or the worst impact imaginable, nothing can be done to stop it. Once again, the titanic forces of nature rear up to overwhelm our technology—and we find ourselves like the playthings of gods.

Utterly helpless.

Sources

Is the Sun Emitting a Mystery Particle, Ian O’Neill, Discovery News

The Sun Influences the Decay of Radioactive Elements,Tudor Vieru, Softpedia

Mysteriously, Solar Activity Found to Influence Behavior of Radioactive Materials On Earth, Rebecca Boyle, POSCI

As_I_Please writes“Scientists at the US National Institute of Standards and Technology and Purdue University haveruled out neutrino flux as a cause of previously observed fluctuations in nuclear decay rates. From the article: ‘Researchers … tested this by comparing radioactive gold-198 in two shapes, spheres and thin foils, with the same mass and activity. Gold-198 releases neutrinos as it decays. The team reasoned that if neutrinos are affecting the decay rate, the atoms in the spheres should decay more slowly than the atoms in the foil because the neutrinos emitted by the atoms in the spheres would have a greater chance of interacting with their neighboring atoms. The maximum neutrino flux in the sample in their experiments was several times greater than the flux of neutrinos from the sun. The researchers followed the gamma-ray emission rate of each source for several weeks and found no difference between the decay rate of the spheres and the corresponding foils.’ The paper can be found here on arXiv. Slashdot has previously covered the original announcement and followed up with the skepticism of other scientists.”

http://science.slashdot.org/story/10/09/25/0254219/Scientists-Confirm-Nuclear-Decay-Rate-Constancy

The Sun Can Lob Curveballs

Sandy Koufax has a solar equivalent. The great former Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher was famous for his ferocious curveball. Now scientists have discovered that powerful bursts of magnetism emanating from sunspots near the poles of the sun can be arced back toward Earth by the solar magnetic field. The finding creates another potential headache for people who run or rely on GPS satellites, telecommunications networks, and power grids, but it also means more reliable warnings about these electromagnetic disturbances.

The sun’s coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are of more than just scientific interest. When these gigantic bursts of electrically charged, extremely hot gas particles hit satellites, they can disrupt TV and radio transmissions, GPS signals, and cell phone calls. They can also overload electric power grids on the ground and pose a radiation hazard for astronauts in orbit. One recent U.S. National Academy of Sciences study of the potential hazards from a major CME hitting Earth estimated that the damage could total more than a trillion dollars and require up to 10 years to repair. Scientists have spent years attempting to track CMEs and provide enough warning to allow precautions, such as placing satellites in temporary safe modes.

So an international team analyzing data from NASA’s twin STEREO spacecrafts, which provide three-dimensional observations of solar activity, made an important discovery when they noticed something that had been predicted but never observed: CMEs launched into space from the sun’s high latitudes following trajectories that brought them back toward the solar system’s equatorial plane—where Earth resides. “We were really surprised and thought something might be wrong with our algorithms,” says solar physicist Peter Gallagher of Trinity College Dublin.

Further analyses revealed, however, that the curving solar storm tracks were accurate. CMEs emerging from sunspots located at latitudes of 60˚ or higher, north and south, can have their tracks bent by the sun’s magnetic field and pushed out toward the planets by the 500-kilometer-per-second solar wind. Gallagher and colleagues report this week in Nature Communications that the magnetic fields of CMEs also affect their trajectories. These fields tend to rotate, and their rotation can either sharpen the curve of the trajectory or flatten it out, depending on whether the CME is traveling slower or faster than the solar wind at the moment. The result is that, just like the breaking curveballs by a Major League pitcher, the bent tracks of CMEs can vary.

Gallagher, who used to compile solar-activity warnings for NASA, says the findings mean that space-weather forecasters need to watch high-latitude ejections more carefully. The normal reaction when CMEs emerge from the polar regions has been to think “that they’re going to miss us.” The new data show that isn’t the case.

The imaging process the researchers have developed to track CMEs is “quite innovative,” says Madhulika Guhathakurta, a solar physicist with NASA’s STEREO mission in Washington, D.C. The ability to track even curving CMEs through space “is of great benefit to forecasters of space weather,” adds Guhathakurta, who was not involved in the research.

The researchers have “clearly shown that [solar] storms launched initially at high latitudes can still affect us at Earth,” says solar physicist William Thompson, a contractor for the STEREO mission at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Thompson adds that although scientists have long known solar storms can change directions while close to the sun, “it was surprising to find that this can still be the case farther along [in their] journey.”

http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/09/the-sun-can-lob-curveballs.html?rss=1

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