To the mysteries of Dark Matter and Dark Energy we can add Dark Flow

Mysterious New ‘Dark Flow’ Discovered in Space. “As if the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy weren’t vexing enough, another baffling cosmic puzzle has been discovered. Patches of matter in the universe seem to be moving at very high speeds and in a uniform direction that can’t be explained by any of the known gravitational forces in the observable universe. Astronomers are calling the phenomenon ‘dark flow.’ The stuff that’s pulling this matter must be outside the observable universe, researchers conclude.” [via]

Happy Large Hadron Collider Day

Click through to xkcd

The Telegraph: Large Hadron Collider vital for humanity

Prof Hawking said the £4.4bn machine, in which scientists are about to recreate conditions just after the Big Bang, is “vital if the human race is not to stultify and eventually die out.”

And he sought to ease fears that the machine could have apocalyptic effects. “The world will not come to an end when the LHC turns on,” Prof Hawking said, adding: “The LHC is absolutely safe.”

Not according to this guy.

The large Hadron Collider may be a lot more sinister than has already been percieved. The LHC may be capable of making a hole in the Van Allen Belt. The Van Allen Belt protects the Earth from Cosmic rays. It also stops any living creature from leaving or entering the Earth. The LHC is a doorway for the return of Satan himself.

For the latest on whether the Earth has been destroyed by the Large Hadron Collider.

Pounds of gold in the sea

A line in Action Comics #244 from 1958 about there being 84 pounds of pure gold in every cubic mile of water got me thinking and with a quick back of an envelope calculation I worked out there had to be at least 100 Trillion US dollars worth of gold in the Earth’s oceans.

The volume of water in the Earth’s oceans according to Wikipedia is 310 million cu mi

The current price of gold is 943 US dollars troy ounce

There are 14.58 troy ounces in a pound.

161 962 513 200 000 dollars

Is the Universe Actually Made of Math?

Unconventional cosmologist Max Tegmark says mathematical formulas create reality.

I think Tegmark is correct about this and I’ve been thinking along similar lines for years that the more you look at the universe the more you can break it down into its constituent parts and at the bottom of it all is just mathematics.

Similarly I think consciousness will be discovered to be an effect of quantum entanglement and parallel universes.

Why is the sea blue?

This is one of my favourite little pieces of science because it is the kind of question that a small child might ask and for which there is a very simple answer that you’ll almost never get from people who know why.

Most answers you might hear will talk about reflection of the sky and the differences in refraction by the surface of the water between the red and the blue ends end of the spectrum of light.

But a simple and satisfying answer (particularly for a 5 year old child) is because water is blue, as can be seen in these amazingly beautiful photographs.

Launch loops

Hitting the random article button at Wikipedia can often yield very interesting results.

A launch loop or Lofstrom loop is a design for a belt based maglev orbital launch system that would be around 2,000 km (1,240 mi) long and maintained at an altitude of up to 80 km (50 mi). A launch loop would be held up at this altitude by momentum of the belt as it circulates around the structure, in effect it transfers the weight of the structure onto magnetic bearings at each end which support it.