Archive for the ‘physics’ Category

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Something of a mystery developing here. Open season for theories.

Spaceweather.com

June 11, 2019: On June 8th and 9th, many people who have never previously heard of “noctilucent clouds” (NLCs) found themselves eagerly taking pictures of them–from moving cars, through city lights, using cell phones and iPads. “I have never seen clouds like this before!” says Tucker Shannon, who took this picture from Corvallis, Oregon:

“I heard that they may have been seeded by meteoroids,” says Shannon.

That’s correct. NLCs are Earth’s highest clouds. Seeded by meteoroids, they float at the edge of space more than 80 km above the planet’s surface. The clouds are very cold and filled with tiny ice crystals. When sunbeams hit those crystals, they glow electric-blue.

Noctilucent clouds used to be a polar phenomenon. In recent years, however, researchers have noticed their electric-blue forms creeping south. Is it climate change? Or the solar cycle? No one knows for sure.

This past weekend…

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Not what some might have imagined perhaps. Researchers found that temperature difference between the surface and the liquid was less important than ‘the difference in pressure between the liquid surface and the ambient vapor’.

For the first time, MIT scientists have analyzed the evaporation process in detail at a molecular level and determined the physics of evaporation, reports Tech Explorist.

Evaporation is the process by which water changes from a liquid to a gas or vapor. The process is the primary path for water to move from the liquid state back to the water cycle as atmospheric water vapor.

Evaporation commonly occurs in everyday life. When you get out of the shower, the water on your body evaporates as you dry. If you leave a glass of water out, the water level will slowly decrease as the water evaporates.

For the first time, MIT scientists have analyzed the evaporation process in detail at a molecular level. For this, they used a new technique to control and detect temperatures at the surface of an evaporating liquid. Doing this, they were able to identify a set of universal characteristics involving time, pressure and temperature changes that determine the details of the evaporation process.

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Still plenty of work for scientists to do to gain a better understanding of our rotating Earth’s electromagnetic processes.

Scientists assumed Earth’s mantle, the layer stretching from the crust to a depth of 255 miles, was magnetically dead. New research suggests they were mistaken, reports Phys.org.

Most scientists thought Earth’s magnetism was powered by materials in the crust and core, but according to a new study published this week in the journal Nature, hematite, a common iron oxide, retains its magnetic qualities at high temperatures.

“This new knowledge about the Earth’s mantle and the strongly magnetic region in the western Pacific could throw new light on any observations of the Earth’s magnetic field,” Ilya Kupenko, mineral physicist and researcher from the University of Munster in Germany, said in a news release.

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Readers can comment on this disagreement/misunderstanding/debate here at The Talkshop and/or at Joe Postma’s own website (link below).

Roy Spencer’s post that kicked it off is here.

[UPDATE: follow-up video to the one shown below – here.]

Climate of Sophistry

Roy Spencer published an article today stating that I am incorrectly ranting about the fraud of flat Earth theory making its way into modern physics via climate science.  I analyze his statement and expose that climate science truly is indeed flat Earth theory: it is baked into the mathematics!

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Polar Mesospheric Summer Echoes

Posted: May 22, 2019 by oldbrew in atmosphere, Clouds, physics

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Noctilucent clouds form when molecules from summertime water vapour stick to the microscopic debris of disintegrated meteoroids.

Spaceweather.com

May 21, 2019: Every summer since the late 1970s, radars probing Earth’s upper atmosphere have detected strong echoes from altitudes between 80 km and 90 km. The signals come from noctilucent clouds (NLCs).  NASA’s AIM spacecraft is still waiting to spot the first NLCS of the 2019 season, but the echoes have already begun. Rob Stammes of the Polarlightcenter in Lofoten, Norway, detected them on May 19th and 20th:

pmse

“I detected these VHF signals from Eastern Europe,” he explains. “They reflected from the mesosphere back down to my receiver in Norway. The wave patterns were recognizable and very strong.”

Researchers call them “Polar Mesospheric Summer Echoes” or “PMSEs.” They occur over the Arctic during the months of May through August, and over the Antarctic during the months of November through February. These are the same months that NLCs appear.

The underlying physics of these echoes is still uncertain.

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Credit: mining.com


A longer delay in the middle of an existing process could be the key to even greater success than is currently being achieved.

Oil companies are missing out on vast sums of recoverable oil in unconventional reservoirs, according to Penn State experts, as Phys.org reports.

The researchers propose that companies are applying tried-and-true transport mechanisms for conventional oil extraction but are hitting recovery stumbling blocks because they are not accounting for the difference in physics found at unconventional reservoirs.

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Confusing Diabatic and Adiabatic Processes within the Climate Theory:

A Reply to Dr. Roy Spencer’s Blog Article “Giving Credit to Willis Eschenbach

Ned Nikolov, Ph.D.
Physical Scientist

In a recent blog post, Dr. Roy Spencer at the University of Alabama at Huntsville attempted to criticize and dismiss the importance of our recent discovery about the physical nature of the atmospheric “Greenhouse effect” (Nikolov & Zeller 2017). I normally do not reply to blog articles, but this one reflects a fundamental generic confusion in the current climate theory that is worthwhile addressing for readership clarification. In his blog, Dr. Spencer demonstrated several misconceptions about our work that could be due to either not having read/understood our papers or perhaps an incomplete grasp of thermodynamics. The fact that Dr. Spencer cites a newspaper article about our research instead of the actual published paper may indicate a lack of familiarity with the technical details of our study. These are some key misrepresentations that I spotted in his article:    

1. Dr. Spencer incorrectly referred to our main finding as a “theory” when, in fact, it is a discovery based on vetted NASA data extracted from numerous published studies. This empirical pressure-temperature (P-T) function emerged from reported NASA measurements in the process of Dimensional Analysis, which is an objective technique employed in classical physics to derive/extract physically meaningful relationships from observed data.

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STT highlights the ‘tension between economic energy and politically correct energy’.

No amount of money or technology can force the wind to blow on demand.

STOP THESE THINGS

The spinning wheel was meant to signify Indian independence, too.

It never takes them long to work out that wind power is the greatest economic and environmental fraud of all time. Eco-zealots have attempted to ram wind and solar power down the throats of Third World governments under the auspices of saving the planet and purportedly with the purpose of dragging millions out of poverty. As the initiated well-know, wind power rates zero on both scores. Pointless and expensive, wind power is a kind of first world disease being spread by UN endorsed lunatics, across the developing world.

In India, solar power is seen as ‘fake electricity’, by those being forced to use it: The Cruel Hypocrisy: West Drops Wind Power as it Forces ‘Fake Electricity’ on the World’s Poor

Now, Indians have branded wind power an outright fraud, too. The calm, and very wet weather that comes with the monsoon…

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Image credit: Spaceflight now


Light as a power source is only a theory so far, but could have interesting implications if it can be shown to work. Or it could go nowhere…

Spacecraft and satellites could in future be launched into space without the need for fuel, thanks to a revolutionary new theory, says EurekAlert.

Dr Mike McCulloch, from the University of Plymouth, first put forward the idea of quantised inertia (QI) – through which he believes light can be converted into thrust – in 2007.

He has now received $1.3million from the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for a four-year study which aims to make the concept a reality.

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energy-budget-fixed

Question: If I had a container, full with air, and I suddenly decreased the volume of the container, forcing the air into a smaller volume, will it be considered as compression, will it result in an increase in temperature, and why?

Answer on Stack Exchange by Luboš Motl: Yes, it is compression and yes, it will heat up the gas.

If there’s no heat exchange between the gas and the container (or the environment), we call it an adiabatic process. For an adiabatic process involving an ideal gas (which is a very good approximation for most common gases), pVγ is constant where γ is an exponent such as 5/3. Because the temperature is equal to T=pV/nR and pV/pVγ=V1−γ is a decreasing function of V, the temperature will increase when the volume decreases.

Macroscopically, the heating is inevitable because one needs to perform work p|dV| to do the compression, the energy has to be preserved, and the only place where it can go is the interior of the gas given by a formula similar to (3/2)nRT.

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Ken Rice, an Edinburgh University academic who selectively censors dissenting comments at his pro-AGW “and Then There’s Physics” propaganda blog, has another of mine in moderation:
tallbloke says:

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

OK, I’ll drop that subject and deal directly with the subject of your blog post.
You state that:

“If the Earth’s atmospheric pressure is to contribute to the enhanced surface temperature, then that would mean that the atmosphere would need to continually provide energy to the surface. It could only do this through the conversion of gravitational potential energy to thermal energy. This would then require the continual contraction of the Earth’s atmosphere.”

This quote demonstrates that you’ve fundamentally misunderstood Ned Nikolov’s hypothesis. He’s not positing a raised surface T due to an ongoing gravitational collapse producing a compression, generating heat which is then lost to space.

Atmospheric pressure produces a density gradient; i.e. it forces there to be more air molecules per unit volume at lower altitude than at higher altitude. Denser air intercepts and absorbs more of the sunlight passing through it than less dense air, producing more molecular collisions and excitation. It therefore holds more kinetic energy.The more kinetic energy it holds the higher its temperature will be.

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Image credit: strangesounds.org


But amplitude variations in the hum did not correlate with the seasons as once thought.

Scientists finally capture hum coming from the centre of the Earth, reports GeologyIn.

Although we like to think we know everything – and technology has advanced so much we practically have the answer to everything we don’t know at our fingertips – there are still plenty of mysteries left to solve.

For the past few decades, something has been becoming increasingly clear: Earth constantly hums, even though we can’t hear it.

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The GOLD mission to learn more about the Earth’s ionosphere ran into comms problems after launch yesterday and may take longer than expected to reach its required orbit height. NASA’s own publicity says: “Just like an infrared camera allows you to see how temperatures change with different colors, GOLD images ultraviolet light to provide a map of the Earth that reveals how temperature and atmospheric composition change by location”.

NASA has reported that despite a glitch within minutes of its GOLD mission launch, the satellite is communicating with control systems, reports the Indian Express.

The aim of the Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk, or GOLD, mission is to study the dynamic region where space and Earth’s uppermost atmosphere meet.

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London’s Millennium Bridge [image credit: Alison Wheeler / Wikipedia]


Researchers now believe ‘that the synchrony of the crowd might not be a root cause but instead acts as a feedback effect that amplifies pre-existing small-scale wobbles’, but leave open the question of how or why the swaying starts. So to date any such resonance seems to be largely a matter of luck – or bad luck, which ideally is where testing comes in.

Some bridges could really put a swing in your step, says Science News.

Crowds walking on a bridge can cause it to sway — sometimes dangerously. Using improved simulations to represent how people walk, scientists have now devised a better way to calculate under what conditions this swaying may arise, researchers report November 10 online in Science Advances.

When a bridge — typically a suspension bridge — is loaded with strolling pedestrians, their gaits can sync, causing the structure to shimmy from side to side.

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Good luck grappling with this longstanding physics conundrum. Even the meaning of ‘faster’ in this context could be open to question. For example there’s rate of heat loss, then there’s total time taken.

Ever since the days of Aristotle, people have made the counterintuitive observation that hot water sometimes freezes faster than cold water, says Phys.org.

In modern times, the observation has been named the Mpemba effect after Erasto Mpemba, an elementary school student living in what is now Tanzania in the early ’60s. When making ice cream, Mpemba observed that using warmer milk causes the ice cream to freeze faster than when using colder milk.

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As the Talkshop reaches the milestone of 5 million visits, do we hear echoes of Scotty of Star Trek fame: ‘Ye cannae change the laws of physics’? Does fundamental mean universal – or could some ‘laws’ depend on where you look in the universe? Meanwhile Tallbloke is boldly going…somewhere… 😎

A study that will ‘test our understanding of how the Universe works, particularly outside the relatively narrow confines of our planet’ is being undertaken by an international team of researchers led by the University of Leicester, reports Phys.org.

The research probes whether the fundamental laws of physics are the same everywhere in the universe.

In their new study, the Leicester-led team assesses whether these laws are the same within the hot, dense conditions in the atmosphere of a dying white dwarf star as here on Earth.

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A handy beginner’s guide to large icebergs.

Climate Change Sanity

An iceberg as big as Delaware!   For those of you that are saying, “what’s a Delaware,?” — it is the second smallest State of the USA’s 50 States.   Even so, an iceberg that big is really impressive.  If it ran into the Titanic, the ship’s orchestra would probably not have had time to play for the people before the ship sank. (That’s from the movie– I am not sure the orchestra really played while the ship sank.)

Around 12 July this year, this huge piece of ice broke off from the Larson C ice shelf in Antarctica. The iceberg, named A68, has an area of 5800 km² (2239 miles²).  The authorities say it is the 5th largest berg in history. Because the continent of Antarctica is so inhospitable, it wasn’t till 1821 when an American seal hunter became the first person to actually put foot on this continent. History, in…

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