MELBOURNE, Fla. (Reuters) – Former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, one of the first Americans to land on the moon, will spearhead a new research institute in Florida aimed at paving a path toward Mars exploration and settlement, officials said on Thursday.
The writer and environmentalist George Monbiot cooks dead squirrel in the Newsnight studio as he discusses the outraged reaction he got on social media after revealing he had cooked and eaten a “road kill” squirrel. —> Read More
Chavs and bimbos might seem like they would be shunned by society, but they are unlikely to suffer depression, a study has shown
Britain’s biggest satellite operator, Inmarsat, awaits the launch of the spacecraft that will complete its new £1bn global telecommunications network. —> Read More
Scientists at Duke University in North Carolina say the results may help develop treatments for conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and addiction. —> Read More
Researchers recently explored the ‘Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park’ reef off the southern Australian coast to discover stunning corals, colourful sponges and a thriving fish life. —> Read More
WHRC scientists have counseled the State Department on policies that could control permafrost thaw, including reducing global carbon emissions from fossil fuel use and deforestation, and limiting emissions of ‘black carbon,’ sooty particles that darken snow and ice and hasten Arctic warming. —> Read More
Astrophysicists have found two supermassive black holes in Markarian 231, the nearest quasar to Earth. The discovery of two supermassive black holes — one larger one and a second, smaller one — are evidence of a binary black hole and suggests that supermassive black holes assemble their masses through violent mergers. —> Read More
It’s been 40 years since
This is not Hawking’s first announcement that he solved his own paradox: he had several previous announcements that, in the end, did not convince. I believe the same fate will befall his current attempt.
The paper that created the paradox and put the physics community in turmoil was submitted for publication August 25th, 1975 (but it took a year to be published due to its controversial nature). Hawking argued that the radiation effect that he had just discovered (and that bears his name), leads to the ultimate evaporation of black holes, and violates one of our most cherished laws of physics, namely time-reversal invariance. This law, which states that all microscopic processes can in principle run forwards just as well as backward, implies the predictability of the future (as well as our ability to understand the past).
The contradiction with the laws of physics that Hawking noted was quickly termed the “information paradox”, because the loss of predictability can be seen to be a consequence of losing the information that fell into the black hole in the past.
During these last 40 years, physicists have not stood idly by: not a year goes by without a plethora of attempts to resolve the contradiction. Now Hawking announced, during the “Hawking Radiation Conference” at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm that he had figured out how to solve the paradox, and that information is in fact not lost to the universe, just badly scrambled.
Hawking in his talk described a meeting in April of this year, where he had heard fellow theoretical physicist Andrew Strominger (also in attendance in Stockholm) talk about his recent work that showed how gravity waves (the stuff —> Read More
The headline in the New York Times reads “Lebanon’s Garbage Crisis Underscores Government’s Disarray.” It seems that the Lebanese government is unable to collect and dispose of the garbage in Beirut and the waste is piling up across the city.
Garbage smells bad, and in the heat of summer, with wafts of rotting meat and vegetables blowing across the city, it is hardly surprising that the citizens of Beirut are getting very frustrated at the lack of leadership.
The government of Lebanon is dysfunctional but the resulting and increasingly strident “You Stink” protests have, thus far, had little effect. Obviously this can’t continue for much longer before a serious health problem emerges and compounds the pain.
To me, the situation in Lebanon is analogous to the global political dysfunction that prevents serious solutions to climate change. Some time in the not too distant future, the NYT will plausibly carry a headline to the effect, “Global Greenhouse Gas Crisis Underscores Governments’ Disarray” (only, I hope it will be pithier).
In preparing a short “TED talk” type lecture for the upcoming Positive Economy conference in France, I gathered some slides from the recent National Academy of Science report on geoengineering climate. I sat on the panel that issued the two reports. There were two because there are two “solutions” for continued, unabated burning of fossil fuels. And if you really need to know — we aren’t running out of fossil fuels anytime soon — at least not for a century.
The first solution is to take the carbon dioxide out of the stack gases of (mostly) coal-fired power plants, or if not there, then directly from the air. Both solutions are expensive and would add a cost to the price —> Read More