Posts Tagged ‘black holes’

Little Black Hole; Where’s the Limit?

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008 by Bellatrix

Two NASA scientists have found the smallest, or lightest weight, black hole ever yet discovered. The black hole is in the binary system, XTE J1650-500, which is in the constellation Ara in the southern hemisphere. The mass of the black hole is only 3.8 solar masses. This beats the previous record holder of 6.3 solar masses. The black hole was discovered earlier as part of the binary with a normal star and was known to be lightweight but its exact weight was not known until recently with the use of a new method.

This new method uses a relationship between the black hole and the inner part of the surrounding in falling gas and material. Hot gas piles up around the black hole as it falls in and heats up giving off x-rays. The x-ray’s intensity varies in a regular pattern, called the quasi-periodic oscillation, or QPC. Astronomers discovered the congestion zone is closer to smaller black holes and therefore makes the QPC change more quickly. To measure the black hole masses, astronomers used archival data from RXTE, which has made exquisitely precise measurements of QPO frequencies in at least 15 black holes. Using this method they measured the mass of XTE J1650-500 as 3.8 solar masses with a margin of error of only half a sun.

This value is well below those measured for other standard black holes. Now there is a threshold value below which a dying star will become a neutron star instead of a black hole. It is thought to be between 1.7 to 3 solar masses. However, with this new discovery and method of detection this boundary could be in question. This value is very important for fundamental astrophysics. This is because it’s hard to know exactly what happens when a star goes supernova, when a very large amount of mass is condensed to a very small size with high density. The more details we learn about this process in particular, the more we learn about physics in general. So while the study of super massive black holes may sound more exciting, studying the smallest of black holes may be more fundamental for our understanding of physics and matter.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

LHC: Doomsday or Discovery?

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008 by Evan Finnes

Where can you find the world’s largest refrigerator, the world’s fastest racetrack, the hottest spot on Earth, and the emptiest space for thousands of light years? CERN’s Large Hadron Particle Accelerator lays claim to each of these records. Propelled by 9300 super-cooled magnets (-271.3°C), a particle will travel 26,658m at speeds of 99.99% the speed of light through a vacuum whose pressure is 10-13 atm’s. Two colliding beams of particles will collide with energies of 14 Tev which will generate temperatures 100,000 times the temperature of the center of the sun.

The LHC will be conducing six experiments: ALICE, ATLAS, CMS, LHCb, TOTEM, and LHCf. The ALICE experiment (A Large Ion Collider Experiment) will attempt to recreate the earliest conditions predicted by the big bang. This will be achieved by colliding lead ions at speeds of 99.99% the speed of light. The collision will separate the ions into protons and neutrons, and under temperatures 100,000 times the heat of the sun, should further break down into a quark-gluon plasma, scientists hope to observe this plasma as it cools and recreates known particles.

On September 10th at precisely 10:28 am, the first step towards experimentation and hopefully discovery was taken, as a test beam successfully traveled the nearly 27,000 m tunnel. For CERN this was a moment of triumph as they observed their marvel of engineering come to flawless life. But their 20 year journey was not without pain, as CERN even had to battle a doomsday scenario lawsuit.

On March 21, 2008 Walter Wagner, founder of Citizens Against The Large Hadron Collider, filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Energy, Fermi lab, the National Science foundation, and CERN. The goal of the lawsuit was to put a time restraint on the activation of the LHC while safety issues were evaluated. The safety issues Wagner is concerned about include miniature black holes, and strangelets. Wagner fears that if the LHC creates miniature black holes, they would fill their tremendous appetites by feasting on the Earth. Defendants of the LHC say that this is of no concern because any black hole that does form would have a lifespan of about 10-23 seconds. Wagner also fears that if strangelets are formed they will transform the entire planet into a lump of exotic matter.

Once the experimentation has begun, and Wagner can once again sleep through the night, the LHC hopes to prove or disprove a major theory, discover new subatomic particles, search for extra dimensions, discover what causes the formation of mass, and explore the mysteries of dark matter. Whether or not all or even one the goals are achieved, one thing is for certain; the LHC will expand our knowledge and provide us with a clearer image of the universe in which we live.

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

NEWLY LAUNCHED OUR UNDISCOVERED UNIVERSE WEBSITE FEATURES INFORMATIVE PODCASTS

Thursday, September 4th, 2008 by Aridian PR

Author Terence Witt discusses topics relating to Null Physics in monthly podcast series.

Terence Witt , author of Our Undiscovered Universe: Introducing Null Physics, is releasing a series of podcasts that will illuminate ideas he raises in his controversial physics book. The podcasts will focus on topics such as Null Cosmology and black holes.

“My goal from the very beginning has been to provide answers to important questions other theories ignore,” said Witt. “The purpose of the series is to expand on ideas from Our Undiscovered Universe and give readers a greater sense of the evidence that supports the theory.”

Topics discussed in the first podcast include:

• Null Cosmology versus Big Bang theory
• Null Cosmology interpretation of intergalactic redshift
• Challenges faced by Null Cosmology
• The Cosmic Fusion Cycle

The next podcast will premiere in early September. Witt will discuss one of the most intriguing topics in physics: black holes . Topics include the distance to the nearest black hole from Earth, the characteristics of a black hole, as well as white holes and wormholes.

For more information about the book and to access the podcast series, go to www.OurUndiscoveredUniverse.com . The podcast series is also available on iTunes.

About Terence Witt
Terence Witt is the founder and former CEO of Witt Biomedical Corporation. He holds a BSEE from Oregon State University and lives in Florida. Our Undiscovered Universe: Introducing Null Physics is his first book. To read more about Terence Witt and his latest breakthroughs go to OurUndiscoveredUniverse.com .

Victoria Lansdon
Public Relations Director
Aridian Publishing
(321) 773-3426
vlansdon@aridian.org

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]

Null Cosmology and Supermassive Black Holes

Thursday, August 28th, 2008 by William Reynolds

Ahhh, tis Thursday and time for another installment of Schopenhauer Was Right. However, in its stead I want to very briefly address an epistemological concern I’ve been chewing on lately:  The abandoned treatment of essential purpose(s) in scientific method manifest in the treatment of supermassive black holes.

For the record, I must distinguish what I mean by essential purpose.  For example, it may be rightfully said that supermassive black holes cause the formation of spiral galaxies.  If may also be said that spiral galaxies cause the formation of supermassive black holes.  Neither of these statements address the essential purposes of supermassive black holes as vital constituents of spiral galaxies.  To be essential is to be purposeful – to be vital to the constitution of an existing whole.

In his book, Our Undiscovered Universe: Introducing Null Physics, Terence Witt outlines a cosmology based on his theory Null physics. His Null cosmology accounts for the purposes of supermassive black holes observed at the center of spiral galaxies. Indeed, by asking the question “Why are supermassive black holes at the center of spiral galaxies”, Mr. Witt reminds all of us that the universe is not superfluous in essence or purpose. Are there nonessential physical laws? Are there excesses of gravitational forces or electromagnetic currents upsetting the balance of our universe?

Terence Witt represents the general will of a number of thinkers who remain unsatisfied with the direction science has chosen in forsaking the essential purposes of things in order simply describe what things do and what they may do. We are reasonably confident in our understanding of black holes i.e. how they interact with matter and light. Additionally, we must similarly seek to understand the essential purpose of supermassive black holes. Or are we to believe supermassive black holes have no purpose in relation to the stellar and planetary swirl of a spiral galaxy?

[Slashdot] [Digg] [Reddit] [del.icio.us] [Facebook] [Technorati] [Google] [StumbleUpon]


Our Undiscovered Universe Blog is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).