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Cosmic Variance

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Climate Model, Galaxy Spiral Arms, The Sun and Dark Matter

The title of this post suggest a Theory of Everything, and indeed I have a theory that explains everything in a flawless manner, without the exotic explanation of dark matter or super string brane damaged worlds.

Lubos, an intelligent young man from Czech that looks like going to waste his lifetime in the hopeless crackpot theory of super strings, Posted some comments on a CERN experiment to find out how cosmic rays affect the cloud formation on earth.

That experiment is a waste of time and public money. We all know cloud formation is all a matter of relative humidity and temperature only. If humidity is not high, no cloud can form and any cloud that forms will promptly be evaporated again. Besides clouds form at low atmosphere, cosmic rays are mostly stopped at high atmosphere and seldom reach the vicinity of the surface, should it be otherwise we will all be bombarded by deadly cosmic radiation and no life could exist.

A high energy physicist worth his/her salt should know how Wilson Cloud Chamber works. The humidity must be saturated to allow the Wilson Cloud Chamber to work. Knowing that along rules out cosmic ray, or any charged particle radiation, as a factor in creating any persistable cloud in the sky.

Some scientists argued about a correlation between the earth's ice age and the period the solar system crosses into and out of the spiral arms of the milkway galaxy. Such correlation is completely correct. But the cosmic ray explanation is WRONG.

The fact that we observe galaxy spiral arms in telescopes means more lights are emitted from the spiral arm part of the galaxy. Since lights are emitted by stars only, this can only mean one of two things, either the stars happen to be more closely packed within the spiral arm, or individual stars simply shine brighter when they happen to be in the spiral arms.

The closely packed star explanation can be ruled out, consider that stars keep crossing into and out of spiral arms, but yet the spiral arms persisted in its shape, and rotate at way much slower angular speed around the center of galaxies, in comparison to rotation of stars. We know the rotation of spiral arms are extremely slow, or even not rotating at all, because if they rotate any faster, the shape will wind up and dissipate after just a few turns of rotation. That's because outer part and inner part should rotate at different angular velocity to counter the effect of gravity from the center of the galaxy.

The only correct explanation remains is that individual stars do shine just a bit brighter while they are in the spiral arms. That brings in another speculation. The void of the universe is not void at all, but is filled with extremely dilute hydrogen gas and other materials. These hydrogen gas gets sucked into galaxy centers in a swirling fashion, creating a spiral arm structure, where there are more hydrogen within the spiral arms.

Stars constantly exchange its hydrogen content with its surroundings and they reach an equilibrium. As a star travels in and out of spiral arms, the amount of hydrogen sucked onto and repeled from the star gets modulated, this modulation is what causes the brightness of stars to fluctuate. When it replenishes more hydrogen from the spiral arm, the hydrogen fuel burned a bit faster ad the star is a bit brighter, and when hydrogen gets depleted as it travel outside the spiram arms, it burns less hydrogen and shines less brighter.

Change of the solar radiation directly causes the warm up and cooling down of the earth climate, causing an ice age cycle which is in sync with the crossing of spiral arms.

Now, another commonly accepted notion of the solar model must be defeated. The sun is NOT mainly composed of hydrogen, but of heavier elements like iron. If the sun is mainly hydrogen, then the exchange of hydrogen with the srrounding would be too insignificant to cause any observable effect. In fact, the bulk of the sun is probably iron and other common heavy elements found in meteorites. The hydrogen and helium we observed, is merely the top layer of the sun. We could not observe the interior of the sun directly and could not detect what is in the interior.

But the interior MUST be heavy elements. We know it because the sun and the planet were formed from the same blob of gas and dust cloud a long time ago. Why would heavy and rocky elements be ejected to outer layer and form the solid planets, while the lighter elements, the hydrogen gas, would sink and condense in the center to form the sun? It does NOT make sense. Heavy elements and meteorite pieces would most likely sink into the interior of the sun, and form its core.

Once the core is formed, due to its heavy mass, the sun is able to trap enough hydrogen from its surroundings to start the nuclear reactions. Mean while, lighter planets could not trap and sustain hydrogen in their atmosphere because their gravity fields are too weak. Heavier planets, like Jupiter, do have strong gravity field and are able to trap a substantial amount of hydrogen. So we though these planets are gaseous, but internally, these giant planets, just like the sun, is maining composed of irons and other heavy elements.

Very diluted hydrogen and other elements fills all the voids of the universe, and accounts for the bulk of the mass of the universe and that of the galaxies. That totally removes the need of the exotic dark energy and dark matter explanation. Dark matter is not needed. The dark matter is nothing but invisible hydrogen gas.

For the solid sun model, see also Dr. Oliver Manuel:
The surface of the Sun
Dr. Olive Manuel

Cosmic Variance,
(The authentic one, versus the Gang of Four which studies
the main stream crackpot cosmic theory)

Friday, February 17, 2006

Global Warming is Pseudo Science!

The widely accepted Global Warming Theory, is a pseudo science and must be abandoned. Here I explain what it is and why it is totally wrong.

The Global Warming Theory (GWT) believes that human activity considerably increased the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. As a result it leads to considerable warming up of the arth's surface. As a consequence it could leads to the melting of polar ice and cause raising sea level, and other catastrophies that would eventually render the planet earth un-inhabitable to human. Some GWT doomers even believe that we have passed a point of no return. i.e., the global warming cause by human is already so high it releases the methane gas frozen in the polar ice, and methane, being a more effective green house gas, causes more global warming, and it leads to to more green house gas being release and so it leads to run off global warming that destroys all life on earth.

Complete Nonsense! First we have to realize that although human activity do contribute to raising CO2 level in the atmosphere, the amount of atmospheric CO2 is so low that it's green house effect is totally insignificant. Today's atmospheric CO2 is only 377 ppm (part per million), it is maybe 30% higher than pre-industrialization level. But the earth has experienced atmospheric CO2 density many orders of magnitude higher.

One has to realize that human can not make a single gram of carbon atoms. All the CO2 we release into the atmosphere, come from burning of fossil fuels like coal and petroleum. And fossil fuel came from buried ancient plantations. Ancient plantations obtained their carbon by absorbing CO2 out of the atmosphere. So here you go, by burning fossil fuel, you are just releasing ancient atmospheric CO2, right back into the atmosphere. And fossil fuel is a limited resource, at a time when you have burned the last ounce of fossil fuel, you still have not released enough CO2 to cause the atmospheric CO2 level go high enough to the level it once was, when the ancient plantation were growing to form the fossil fuels.

And we are pretty close to running out of fossil fuels. Because of that, we are facing an un-precedent energy crisis. But that's another story I will talk about the other day. For now keep in mind that even if we burn all of our fossil fuels, we are still far away from have an atmospheric CO2 level that is high enough to be of any concern.

Now go back to the GWT theory. The main pillar of GWT is that green house gases, which are gases containing three or more atoms per molecule, allow the short wave light of the solar radiation to go through to heat up the earth's surface, while at the same time, these molecules absorb the long wavelength heat radiation radiated from the surface of the earth, and re-radiate them back to the earth surface. So the heat is trapped on the surface of the earth, causing the surface temperature to be warmer than otherwise.

Sounds reasonable. Isn't it? GWT theorists also frequently cites the planet Venus as a good example of the global warming effect. However one thing they negnect to point out is that the atmospheric CO2 thickness on the Venus is 3x10^5 thicker than the earth's. And it warm up the Venus by less than 200 degrees. The earth has a CO2 layer 3x10^5 times thinner. So 200 degree divided by 3x10^5 times = 0.00007 degrees. The global warming caused by CO2 is virtually nothing on earth, if the data on Venus can tell us something.

How much is 377 ppm of the earth's atmospheric CO2? If the CO2 condense into a liquid layer on the surface of the earth, it's no more than 3 milimeter thick. Such a thin layer can not absorb any radiation or trap any heat in any significant way.

The most fatal fraud in the GWT theory, is that they have forgotten some basic common sense physics that every one should learn from elementary school. Radiation is NOT the only way heat can be dissipated! There is radiation, convection, and evaporation. Any one has any doubt need to look at the cold snap in Russia a few weeks ago. They have such a cold temperature NOT because all of a sudden they have a hole of green house gases on top of their sky, and that all their heat gets radiated away. They are cold because of air convection. Cold air from the polar area flow to the ground, and caused the extreme cold.

Air convection and water evaporation are much more important contributing factors than radiation, in how the ground dissipate the heat. And it happens every day, not just during a cold day. We often have experience that once the sun sets, the temperature drops pretty quickly. Temperatures can't drop that fast by radiation along, if it were not for the heat loss caused by the air circulation.

The most important forms of surface heat disipation is by water evaporation, which absorbs large amount of heat, and also by hot air raising in the sky during day time and cooler air sink down during the nights. In both cases, the water vapor and hot air raise to high above the ground. When they come back down, in the form of rain fall and cold air. They are cold and further absorbed surface heat.

Clearly, in between water vapor and hot air raising and cold rain and air falling, a large amount of heat was brought up, and release high in the sky. But yet, the atmosphere tens of kilometers above the ground is EXTREMELY COLD. How could it happen. Where does the heat go? Clearly the heat can not be dissipated by air convection: The air is becoming ever more thin the higher you go so the heat can't be brought further up. The ground is hotter so the heat really can't be released back to the ground. For all the heat that's being continuously brought up in the high air, there is only one place for them to go: Radiation into the deep space.

Here, the so called green house gas actually played the opposite role. The high air is at sub-zero temperature so it could not radiate in short wavelengths like visible light. It can only radiate in long wavelengths. But the only gases that can radiate in long wavelengths are also the gases that absorb such wavelengths, i.e., green house gases.

So, the matter of the fact is the green house gases not only does NOT trap heat on the ground. It actually HELPS to keep the ground cool by actively radiate away the large amount of heat brought up to the high air by ground water evaporation and air circulation. The high air is a heat sink that sucks heat away from the ground. And the green house gases keep that heat sink cold so it can continue to suck heat away from the ground. Green house gases cause global cooling, not global warming!!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Clifford Talking About Big Oil Profit

I encouraneg ever one to read the "Twilight in the Desert", a must read book by an authoritative figure in the industry, Matthew Simmons. Also see Princeton professor Kenneth Deffeyes. He predicted the world wide petroleum production peak around Thanksgiving 2005 and sticked to his prediction. I believe he was wrong by a year or so. The actual peak occured in April of 2004. We were not able to see a production per day as high as the April 2004 figure.

Much worse than oil is the situation of natural gas. While you see gasoline price going from $1.50 to $3.00, the natural price has actually gone from $2 to a peak of $17 right before Christmass 2005. (The price is measured per thousand cubic feet). Just one year ago it was still no more than $7.

Most people have the perception that as long as there is oil underground, we can pump it out at any production speed we want, until last drop is drawn, and then it suddenly stops. That is not the case! Due to geological reasons oil can only be pumped out at no faster than a certain speed, or the oil field will collapse and not produce any more. Therefore, even though there is still one half oil stored underground, the daily production rate has peaked and can not go up any further, and it will decline year by year. That's the Peak Oil phenomena. The majority of oil production countries have seen their production peaked and then enter an ever declining phase, including the USA. Sandi is the only major oil producer which has not yet officially peaked, but people speculate that it indeed has.

A big question looms that as it becomes ever more clear that the world's oil is becoming depleted, is there any reason to believe that oil producing nations will not at some point decide to "go slow" and leave some for their future generations, instead of continuously pumping it at all speed and sell it cheap to other nations? If OPEC countries decide to hold back their oil in this fashion, it's going to be a world wide chaos. But I see no reason why oil producers will not do it, it just seem so logical!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The ICE-CUBE experiment on the Southern Pole

Lubos on his blog meantioned this ICE CUBE experiment.

Sounds an interesting experiment. But what does it has to do with string theory? You have not shown us you can predict exactly how many down-going or up-going high energy neutrinos you can expect to detect, based on string theory calculation. String theory can't say anything about interaction cross-sections or reaction rates so it's out of the equation.

I am highly skeptical that they can obtain significant event counts to produce statistically meaningful result. If you read the 4 page paper carefully, you find that the author is trying desperately to STRETCH THE NUMBER to un-reasonable limit, in order to produce a reasonably looking event count.

According to the author, during a total of 15 years of experiment run (a very long time, isn't it?), he expects to detect mere 4 down going neutrino events and 20 up going events. Very small number and hardly enough to do any statistics, you would agree.

But even that (4,20) event count estimate is way too much optimistic. If you carefully exam his calculation, you find he stretched the numbers too much. A more realistic estimate would give you an event count 100 times lower. Rendering the experiment meaningless since your expectation of event count is less than ONE.

First big mistake the author made, is he used the effective aperture of individual detectors times the length of detector strings to estimate the number of target nucleons, thus attrived at NT = 6x10^38. That estimate is wrong because there is redundancy between detectors.

A more common sense estimate is actually calculate how many atoms are involves in the detection. This brochure says the total volume of ice in the IceCube is ONE CUBIC KILOMETER. One should be able to calculate how many nucleons is contained in one cubic kilometer of ice.

The density of ice is about 900 kilogram per cubic meter. So one cubic ice is 9x10^11 kilogram. The water molecule contains 3 nucleons, and has an atomic weight of 18. That means each 0.018 kilogram contains 3 times the Avogardro constant, 6x10^23 nucleons. Put those number together. The total number of target nucleons is 9x10^37.

The author used 6x10^38 nucleons, which is an over estimate of 7 times already.

The author also grossly over estimated the detection efficiency to be between 50% to 100%. No such efficiency exists. Think about it, one single muon is created a few hundred meters away, it does emit some number of photons, but for the photons to be almost 100% detectable by a detector a few hundred meters away, that is really a stretch. It takes many many many photos to trigger an event. During dark nights there are still billions of bilions of photons entering our eyes per second but we hardly see anything. I do not know how to calculate the quantum efficiency but it must be way below 100%.

Now the technical difficulties how you can run such an experiment for 15 years in the frigid cold in the southern pole? These detectors and instruments must run on continuous electricity. How do you supply stable electricity for 15 years? Using solar panels? Well half of the year on the southern pole will be permanent darkness without sun shine. So no solar energy.

You may think of batteries. But the temperature is so cold that the fluid of the batteries will freeze into solid, disabling the battery. If you read recent news about the cold snip in Russian, you know many people had to take their car batteries into their home to keep it warm over night and put it back on the car the next morning. Any one not bringing their battery home will not have a working car the next day. So battery option is out for the souther pole experiment due to the temperature.

Or some device burning gasoline to generate electric power? That would be subject to supply issues and human maintenence. And it is impossible to maintain it year around.

Anyway you look at it, the experiment simply can not be run continuously year around. You may be able to run some months during each year, but not all the time.

The author used a full 15 years to estimate the event count. Again that is a gross over estimate. The realistic number should probably be divided by 3 or 4.

After you factor in all these realistic consideration, I am sure the experiment simply will not produce enough event count to draw any statistically meaningful result of any kind.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Idiots at the other Cosmic Variance

Mark Troden at the other Cosmic Variance talked about a so called recent discovery of an earth like planet 25,000 light years away. The discovery was made using the gravitational lensing effect of the General Relativity.

I say it's totally nonsense. And too bad that cosmologists like Mark Troden et al spend a lifetime studying General Relativity, but could not carry out a little bit order of magnitude estimation and and see through it that the observed brightening effect actually has NOTHING to do with gravitational lensing.

I am not saying gravitational lensing does not exist. But what the research group observed could not be explained as gravitational lensing.

If there is a gravitational lensing, you can imagine the gravitational field acts like an optical lense. The diameter of that lense is about the distance where the gravity is significant, i.e., approximately some multiples of the diameter of the object that causes the gravitational lensing. What about the focus length? We know star lights are bended approximately 1 arcsecond when it skip over the surface of the sun. So the focal length would be approximately the diameter divided by the sine of that bending angle, i.e., about 2x10^5 times the diameter of the lense. The star is about the same size as the sun, so its diameter is 2x10^9 meter, multiply by let say 5 times, 1x10^10, that's about how big the diameter of the lense is. So the focal length of the gravitational lense would be about 2x10^15 meter, or, 0.2 light years distance at most.

The distance of the observed object is 25,000 light years away, more than 1x10^5 times longer than the possible focal length of the gravitational lense. Clearly, had it been a gravitational lense, you would only observe the star to be dimmer, not brighter, because the light is diverged by the lense. You would have to be at a distance of approximately the correct focal length, to be able to see the light more concentrated and hence see the star become brighter.

And not to meantion that the gravitational lense of that planet would have to be of much smaller size. Consider that the observer, the earth is moving at 30km per second speed around the sun. The time that this planet sits right in the path of the light would last a much shorter time period, probably a few minutes, instead of half a day as reported. Also, the chance that the planet happen to be sitting at exactly the right place to block the star light to earth, would be so small that you are unlikely to see the lensing effect.

I challenge Mark Troden or Sean to use his knowledge of GR, to do a more careful quantitative estimate of exactly how big the lensing effect would be, and what the focal length would be like, therefore to rule in or rule out that reported observation as gravitational lensing.

Cosmic Variance

Friday, January 06, 2006

LuboŇ° Motl: Second or third warmest year#links

Lubos Motl on his blog talks about
2005: second or third warmest year#links

This guy clearly has not the slightest idea about statistics. He talked about the Brownian Movement as a statistical model to describe temperature fluctuations. That's completely wrong. Temperatures fluctuate around an average level, but Brownian Movements do not circulate around a central location. Given sufficient time, a particle doing Brownian Movements can drift away from its original place an arbitrarily long distance away. That is not the case for temperature.

Lubos immediately erased my comment after I pointing out his mistake, therefore embarrassing him. This poor young man. He still doesn't get why he was wrong!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The LHC Will Be a Stillborn

Mark at the CosmicVariance.com just wrote about the LHC, as it was reported by BBC. So I am going to say a few things.

My prediction is nothing will come out of LHC. It will be a still birth. I based my prediction on information revealed by this article, which was first meantioned by Lubos. What did the article say? It said that they were planning to shut the LHC down for half of the year and operate only half of the year to save electricity cost.

In view that despite of the huge cost overrun during the construction of LHC, member states REFUSED to increase the budget and CERN had to cut corners some where else and borrow money through 2010 to get the machine built. And in view that a global energy crisis is looming. My conclusions is by the time LHC is finished, the electricity price will be so high that CERN simply do not have the budget to pay electricity bill to run the machine. Mean while, do not expect any budget increase from member states. The top priority for national governments will be to concentrate resources to research alternative energy source to deal with the energy crisis, budget for high energy physics research will be greatly reduced, not increased.

Let's see how much electricity the LHC consumes. From CERN provided information. We know it consumes 200 mega watts of electricity, equivalent to half of the consumption rate of the whole Geneva City. Running the machine for one year would consume 1.75 billion kilowatt*hour of electricity. The electricity now in USA costs almost 12 cents per kwh, almost double the figure less than 2 years ago. By the time LHC is really to do some real physics experiments, I expect electricity could cost as much as half a dollar per kwh. That would put the electricity cost at 0.88 billion dollars per year. That alone is already more than CERN's annual budget.

And it consumes a huge amount of fossil fuel to generate that electricity. At half kilogram per kwh, it burns 0.88 billion kilogram of coal to generate 1.75 billion kwh. That's 8.8 million tons of coal. Takes one million trips of huge trucks just to transport that amount of coal. I am not sure where the morality is to burn all the fossil fuels for some vague physics result that no one even knows for sure will come out, while citizens are having a hard time keep themselves warm in the winter.