Archive for the ‘Astrophysics’ Category

Talkshop readers will remember that some time ago, we had a guest post from Raghu Singh about a gravity theory he has been developing. Since the discussion here, Raghu got his paper published in the General Science journal and received a lot of feedback. That led to some reworking and he has now re-written his paper. The latest version of his model has had some theoretical success. In email Raghu tells me:

Gravity-1“My primary goal has been to explore gravitational radiation. More than one theory can explain several gravitational phenomena – except gravitational radiation, which one and only one theory shall explain. Physics does not have that one experimentally confirmed theory of gravitational radiation as of now. Astrophysicists claim, rightly so, that there are indirect evidences of the existence of gravitational waves, but those are not evidences on the physics of gravitational radiation (i.e., its emission, propagation, structure, speed, and polarization).

I used the revised model to calculate the orbital shrinking of pulsars PSR B1913+16, the results are astonishing. The model yields 3.71 mm/period; general relativity yields 3.5 mm/period. This is the ultimate test for any gravitation theory. Hulse and Taylor received Nobel Prizes for applying general relativity to the orbits of PSR B1913+16

Physics has been waiting for several decades just to detect gravitational radiation; must it wait longer? Our increasingly vast knowledge of the strong nuclear, the weak nuclear, and electromagnetic interactions notwithstanding, deciphering gravitation is essential to the survival of the species beyond the solar system and the Milky Way – as the great Professor Hawking would like to say.

A Constructive Model of Gravitation

Raghubansh P. Singh

The paper presents a physical model in which mass fields and momentum fields mediate gravitational interactions.

The model addresses: Gravitational interaction between masses, between mass and energy, and between photons; Gravity’s effect on spectral lines, time periods of atomic clocks, and lengths of material rods; Gravitational radiation; Mercury’s orbital precession rate; and the Pioneer effect. Of particular importance, it calculates gravitational radiation power emissions from the moon, the planets of the sun, and the binary pulsars PSR B1913+16. It reflects upon time.

The model rediscovers the initial predictions of general relativity. It makes new predictions:


Fossil fuels puzzle

Posted: April 12, 2014 by oldbrew in Astrophysics, Carbon cycle, Energy, Geology, Uncertainty

Do all so-called fossil fuels originate from fossils or not?
It’s a puzzle, sometimes called the abiotic (non-biological) argument.

Dinosaur fossil  [image credit: wikipedia]

Dinosaur fossil
[image credit: wikipedia]

We know there’s methane elsewhere in the solar system:

‘The presence of methane on Saturn’s moon Titan and in the atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune is cited as evidence of the formation of hydrocarbons without biology, for example by Thomas Gold. (Terrestrial natural gas is composed primarily of methane). Some comets contain “massive amounts of an organic material almost identical to high grade oil shale (kerogen),” the equivalent of cubic kilometers of such mixed with other material; for instance, corresponding hydrocarbons were detected during a probe fly-by through the tail of Comet Halley in 1986.’


lollianus-mavortiusQuintus Flavius Maesius Egnatius Lollianus signo Mavortius (fl. 330 – 356) was a politician of the Roman Empire. Known as Roman consul Lolliano Mavorzio in the local dialect, an acephalous [headless] statue of Mavortius was discovered in Puteoli, then Pozzuoli (near Naples, Italy) in the C18th. He was Governor of Campania from 328 to 335, comes Orientis from 330 to 336, Proconsul of Africa from 334 to 337, Praefectus urbi of Rome in 342,Consul in 355 and Praetorian prefect of Italy for Constantius II between 355 and 356.

Being a well travelled man who had probably conversed with the scribes of   the Serapeum, had made many naked eye observations of the heavens, and taking a strong interest in the subject himself, he encouraged the senatorial writer Julius Firmicus Maternus to write an astrological essay, the Matheseos libri VIII. It is among the last extensive handbooks of a “scientific” astrology that circulated in the West before the appearance of Arabic texts in the 12th century. According to Firmicus Maternus, the system of horoscopic astrology was given early on to an Egyptian pharaoh named Nechepso and his priest Petosiris. The Hermetic texts were also put together during this period.


This is a repost of an article by Richard Merrick  published on the website. This is highly relevant to the research Stuart ‘Oldbrew’ and I have been doing to try to define the mechanism by which sufficient energy is being passed between planets and the Sun to account for the observations we have been making in our Why Phi? series:

Harmonic Formation
By Richard Merrick

How do harmonics form?

As waves reflect and resonate inside a container or cavity, they cross one another. As they cross, they exchange energy at specific locations called ‘damping wells.’ In quantum mechanics this is explained by Landau-Zener theory (1932).

Known as Landau damping, waves that pass through one another mostly transparently, avoiding a direct collision, are called ‘avoided crossings.’ In such cases, energy is exchanged in a ‘parameter zone’ where one wave pushes against another, creating a kind of spinning well or vortex action. Like a kind of switch, energy is passed ‘adiabatically’ (without heat loss) across the damping well in a kind of torque action.



We can think of the damping well as a kind of low-pressure zone much like those in our atmosphere that create storms, hurricanes and tornados. The surrounding pressure differential causes an implosion toward the center of the low-pressure zone, forming a vortex.


wpid-PRP-Censured.jpgOver the last five years there’s been a revival of an old hypothesis which suggests that the motion of the planets around the Sun modulates its output, and that variation in the Sun’s output affects the Earth’s weather and in the longer term, shifts in regional and global climate. This revival has been most visible here in the blogosphere, where ideas can be kicked around with less professional reputational risk, and a faster exchange and development of concepts and narratives can take place. There has also been a steady trickle of papers published in the scientific literature relevant to the theory, and these have been championed and denigrated by bloggers on both sides of the issue.

Naturally, in the overheated atmosphere of the climate debate, the second part of the idea is especially controversial, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change telling us that human emitted ‘greenhouse gases’ are the primary driver of global warming since the middle of the last century. They also say the Sun’s variation has very little effect on climate change. An IPCC author recently took exception to our special edition on the theory and got the journal we published it in axed. The first part of the idea is controversial too, as the received wisdom from most mainstream solar physicists is that the planets are too small and too far from the Sun for their motion to affect it. They are sure that the Sun runs an internal ‘dynamo’ (Babcock & Leighton) and ‘chronometer’ (Dicke) which accounts for the observations of its cyclic variations that have been made over the centuries.


H/T to Gerry Pease for alerting me to this paper from last year by Steinhilber and Beer which lays out a solar prediction from their analysis of their reconstruction of solar activity from proxy data.

Prediction of solar activity for the next 500 years
Friedhelm Steinhilber1 and Jürg Beer1
Received 18 May 2012; revised 18 February 2013; accepted 2 March 2013.

Recently, a new low-noise record of solar activity has been reconstructed for the past 9400 years by combining two 10Be records from Greenland and Antarctica with 14C fromtree rings [Steinhilber et al., 2012]. This record confirms earlier results, namely, that the Sun has varied with distinct periodicities in the past. We present a prediction of mean solar magnetic activity averaged over 22 years for the next 500 years mainly based on the spectral information derived from the solar activity record of the past. Assuming that the Sun will continue to vary with the same periodicities for the next centuries, we extract the spectral information from the past and apply it to two different methods to predict the future of solar magnetic activity.


This is a major new paper published in the March issue of prestigious journal ‘Solar Physics’ by solar-planetary theorists Ken McCracken, Jurg Beer and Friedhelm Steinhilber, which makes a newer and more extensive analysis of planetary motion in relation to the Carbon 14 and Beryllium 10 Glactic cosmic ray proxies than the 2400 yr Hallstat cycle study we looked at yesterday. The paper has been in the works a long time (submitted in July 2012), achieving final acceptance in late February this year. I can’t make the whole paper available due to copyright restrictions, but the abstract gives a clue as to the content. I’ve added one of the figures up to help convey some of the more important results. I’ve also appended the bibliography, as this isn’t part of the paper’s main text, it’s great to see Geoff Sharp and Ian Wilson getting citations. We can discuss other parts of their paper in comments. Boy is Martin Rasmussen going to look stupid in the future, by axing PRP for publishing our solar-planetary special edition.



Here we have  two fine scientists who have written an excellent and easily readable paper, well supported by the evidence they cite.

2400-year cycle in atmospheric radiocarbon concentration: bispectrum of 14C data over the last 8000 years
S. S. Vasiliev and V. A. Dergachev

Received: 5 September 2000 – Revised: 6 August 2001 – Accepted: 21 August 2001




Our friend Semi has sent me a paper to  first publish here at the talkshop. There are some interesting puzzles and some speculative ideas in it which will intrigue our readers. Since as Hans Jelbring showed the other day, we tend to be sceptical of ‘grand theories’, we should also temper our scepticism  with an openness to alternative ideas lest it becomes a dour cynicism. The great thing about having an open mind is the ability to filter things out of it as well as allow things into it. So we can take the parts of someone else’s work we find interesting or useful, and leave the parts we aren’t interested in, without feeling the need to pass judgement on them.

Semi emailed this introduction along with the paper:

This winter I’ve sent you one my works, and said, there is another work pending, which I’m attaching now…
It is related to the Curvature Cosmology by David F. Crawford and original Einstein’s hyper-spherical universe, of which Albert E. was  incorrectly persuaded by his colleagues at that time, that it was incorrect. This idea of (hyper)spherical universe is as revolutionary, as once was the idea of a spherical Earth.


The press release from BICEP making claims regarding detection of gravitational waves which inform us about the origin of the cosmos has been doing the rounds of the world’s media organisations.  Hans Jelbring comments:

Big Bang – The greatest fairy tale ever told
Hans Jelbring – 18-3-2014

big-bang-theoryThere is freedom of choosing religion in our country so there is no problem what you or I believe. On the other hand there is a problem when scientists mix facts supported by evidence and laws of nature with fantasy, unfounded hypotheses and faith.

There is no qualitative difference being a creationist believing that earth and our galaxy was created 6000 years ago or believing that the universe was created from a small cosmic egg 14 billion years ago. From where did this egg originate and what existed before that? There must have been something more (or rather, less) than a nuclear bomb within it since at that point not even matter are believed to has existed. None of these beliefs are or can be supported by scientific methods or verified experience. Hence, it cannot be classified as science.