Physics World and MoG

Yipee. Wow. Gosh.

I was informed yesterday that Physics World are going to feature an article of mine in their July issue! I had thought that my recent experience of a public talk on science and religion (see ‘The Big Bang and the Mind of God’ post below) might make a suitable article for their quirky backpage (Lateral Thoughts), and it seems they think so too…

Physics World is the flagship publication of the Institute of Physics. It’s a physics magazine of very high standard, easily my favourite (it’s a bit like a European version of the American Physics Today, but better). PW regularly has excellent, comprehensive articles on every area of physics research today, written by world-class researchers.

One snag – the dreaded words “we’ve made a few small changes”. In fact, the copy-editor made quite a lot of changes, especially at the beginning. To me, it doesn’t read like my voice at all. It’s something I’ll never understand, the compulsion of editors to change submitted prose around. What writer wants their carefully chosen words changed? Besides, all too often, the ‘edited’ version conveys a slightly different meaning to that originally intended…

So I’m now engaged in a process of trying to reach a compromise. I spent hours today trying to incoporate the changes I can live with, and sent the result back. Hopefully, we can each agreement.

Sigh. One day I’ll have my own magazine column somewhere!


Filed under Uncategorized

2 responses to “Physics World and MoG

  1. Great link to the mag..Can’t wait to read your submission.
    This was really interesting..

    Testing for no dark matter
    You might recall a while back reported on a prediction for peculiar event that takes place on the two equinoxes. On the 20 March and the 22 September (or thereabouts) at two places on the Earth’s surface, many of the gravitational forces in the Milky Way should cancel out.

    Such a quiet time in the turmoil of our galaxy provides an ideal opportunity for a ruthless test of Newton’s laws of motion. Some physicists think that if there were any deviation in the laws at very low accelerations it would mean dark matter — the elusive substance thought to make up around 95% of the universe’s mass and the dream catch of experiments worldwide — does not exist. Instead, all the phenomena associated with dark matter could be explained by a slight alteration in the laws known as modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND).

    When Alex Ignatiev from the Theoretical Physics Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, came up with the idea for the equinoctial experiment, there were a couple of problems with his proposal. First, there was a worry that stray icebergs at high latitudes where one of the experiments would have to be performed might give a false gravitational signal. Second, Ignatiev did not know the exact time that the desired signal would occur.

    Now, in a new paper, he has resolved both of these. He has shown that even the biggest icebergs would not produce a signal big enough to confuse the data. And he has also shown how to predict the exact signal times.

    One of the referees for Ignatiev’s paper has given a rich endorsement to the proposal
    I’ve never bought into the whole dark matter thing..95% of the universe is missing..This is from people that claim they have no idea how gravity works.. yet we must believe thier math and almost everything that exists is missing..
    If it was a reasonable amount of the universe matter that couldn’t be explained.. say 10-30% i could buy into it..but 95%.. the math and understanding doesn’t pass the smell test..You need some kind of proof or numbers to blanket the theory.
    I think this is a great project to move forward on..
    Hey Mr. C if this thing cast doubt on on the universal mass then the gravity math has to be re-thought and that
    review may eventually lead to the TOE.

  2. cormac

    Hey Hoosier, sounds like you’ve got a little confused between Dark Matter and Dark Energy.

    Dark matter is thought to account for about 20% of all the matter/energy of the universe. Although we can’t see it, we’re pretty sure it exists, because of it’s gravitational effect on visible matter. Put differently, we don’t insist that all matter must be visible (i.e. emit electromagnetic radiation) in order to exist. Instead , we include the possibility that some matter may only be detecable by its gravitational effect. If this is right, then the motion of spiral galaxies suggests that ‘ordinary’ matter makes up 10% of all matter/energy, and dark matter makes up 20%.

    Of course, like the MOND crowd suggest, there is the possibility is that our laws of gravity (both newtonian and Einsteinian) are simply wrong. But most physicists consider this unlikely, as the predictions our theory of gravity makes is right in so many areas…

    Dark energy is a different kettle of fish altogether. It’s simply the name we give to whatever is causing the expansion of the universe to speed up (since 1998, it has been known that the expansion is currently increasing, currently thought to be some sort of vacuum energy. Hence Einstein’s equations do need an extra term tp accelerate the expansion, known technically as the’positive cosmological constant’.

    Put together, cosmologists strongly suspect that ordinary matter, dark matter and dark energy all add up to the critical density required for the flatness of the universe observed.
    i.e. the state of the universe can be summed up by

    density ord matter (10%) + density dark matter (20%) + dens dark energy (70%) = 100%