Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Further Solar Neutrino Mysteries

Scientists have known how the Sun shines for quite a while, thermonuclear fusion was well established as was the so called proton proton chain, in which four protons, from hydrogen atoms are converted into Helium nuclei,2 neutrinos and two positrons. Since neutrinos react rarely enough to mostly pass through all the sun, it would be possible to measure the rate of thermonuclear fusion in the sun, by how many neutrino where captured in a lab on earth. Yet when the homestake experiment first measured the number of neutrinos they found only third of the amount expected. Later experiments confirmed this, and it turned out that neutrinos could change the flavour, or type of neutrino from ones with react with atoms, to one which can't. While the sun create only electron type anti neutrinos, by the time the react with an detector on earth, they become an equal mix of electron, muon and tau anti-neutrinos. Since only the electron type reacts with atoms, the rate observed is just one third of the amount predicted by the sun being powered by fusion. Mystery solved and everything ok again, except...

Just published on ArXiv, C.R. Das and J. Pulido find a much better fit to measurements amount of neutrinos coming from the sun, if as well as oscillating, some of them also decay. The paper is a possible indication of non standard interactions.

I can't help but relate this to my own, axial force theory. It something of an oversight but so far, I've only done the briefest of calculation of cross-sections for high-speed neutrino, due to the axial force, noting that effect falls over as 1/E^2 for ultra relativistic neutrino we can detect from the sun, any effect would be small. However, extra scattering it is at least of the right sign, to remove some of the extra electron neutrinos. In addition the axial force can allow neutrinos to decay from one form to another (but only in the presence of other matter), to some degree. So plenty of calculations for me to do.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Minos points to neutrinos breaking CPT

One of the most fundamental theorems in quantum field theory, is the CPT theorem, it relates the properties of matter and anti-matter particles, and in particular shows that anti-particles must have the same mass and lifetime as ordinary particles. A recent measurement from MINOS, a accelerator neutrino experiment, has for the first time offered evidence that CPT is broken, it measured the mass difference between electron and muon neutrinos and also electron and muon anti-neutrinos, by watching them oscillate, changing form, in the 735Km between the Fermilab where the neutrinos are created and MINOS neutrino detector.
The first measurement show that the mass difference between electron and muon neutrinos is 40% smaller than for anti-neutrinos. The experimental uncertainty leaves just a 5% chance that the mass difference is the same for both particles. Unless some other effect such as interaction with the background matter along the journey has prevented some of the muon neutrinos oscillating to electron neutrinos, it looks like evidence of CPT violation for the first time. CPT violation also applies violation of Lorentz symmetry, so the effect would be in some way breaking specially relativity. I expect that this measurement may disappear as more data come in, but note that my Axial-force would imply that ordinary matter has a background sea of neutrinos that might interact with the travelling neutrinos (more so that anti-neutrinos), to slow the neutrino oscillation.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Supermassive Black Hole growth limits dark matter

Found an interesting article, at the daily galaxy. About a paper from from Dr. Xavier Hernandez and Dr. William Lee, (sorry, no article citation in the link, and couldn't find them with an ArXiv search), which looks at how the central black hole in the middle of a galaxy, absorbs dark matter. According to the Hernandez and Lee, if the density of dark matter in the centre of the galaxy, is greater than seven hole masses per cubic light year, the central black hole would grow fast than observation of black hole size predict. However ordinary theory of dark matter predict that concentration of dark matter is cuspy, tending to infinity as 1/r square, or so at the centres of galaxy. Thus some mechanism must intervene to prevent dark matter getting to dense. This could be annihilation of dark matter particles in the super-symmetric models, or formation of mirror stars, in the mirror matter model.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Mathematical Backing for Mirror Matter

Mirror Matter is an alternative dark matter candidate, in which a second copy of the all the known matter particles in universe, is also present in the universe, and provides the missing mass of the universe. I've recently written about some tentative experiment evidence of mirror matter. But although experiment rules in science, in physics, good mathematically justification for a theory, also seems to count for all lot. Previously Mirror Matter is justified because it restores the symmetry between left handed and right handed particles but why should a symmetry switching handedness of a particle, form a completely right handed different particle, is not obvious. However a recently paper, show this does indeed happen. It investigates the symmetry between left handed spin 1/2 particles, described by a mathematical object known as a spinor, in Matej Pavsic's new paper, he shows that using the Clifford Algebra CL(1,3), a symmetry operation from a left-handed standard model particle, indeed forms a mirror matter right-handed particle, and not a standard model right-handed particle. So mirror matter now has some solid mathematically justification between it. Warning you'll need to understand spinor maths and clifford algebra to understand the paper.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Web ablaze with Xenon 100 experiment

The Xenon 100 experiment is a brand new dark matter experiment, with as you might expect a 100 kilograms of Xenon fluid, at the bottom of an old mine, Gran Sasso laboratory in Italy. This is so much bigger than previous experiments that just 11 days of data, are supposed enough to rule out previous positive signals at CDMS, DAMA and CoGeNT. Contraversally this was supposed to be true, even at the lower end of the mass range for dark matter particles, which traditionally detectors with heavy elements (like Xenon) are not so sensitive to. Because Xenon experiment is so new some have worried that it isn't well calibrated yet, so Xenons first result has been high controversial. More on the Xenon experiment from around the web.


Physics World

Ars Technica


Monday, 22 March 2010

Dark Iron, and Mirror Matter

Dark Iron it sounds like something drawf's mine in a fantasy game, not from something out of astrophysics but Mirror Matter Iron Nuclei is what Robert Foot claims. the CDMS II detector has discovered. Combined with his sighting of mirror electrons in the CDMS detector, and candidate of mirror oxygen atoms, in the solid DAMA results. Thing are looking up for mirror matter as a theory of dark matter.

The Theory of Mirror Matter, is just like in Alice in the looking glass, another physical matter which the same sort of atoms and proton and neutrons, and it own mirror-light, that is invisible to us. Ordinary Matter is left-handed with respect to some nuclear interactions. Mirror Matter would be right-handed with respect to it. Combining the two result a world that has regained its mirror symmetry. Ordinary light and mirror light might mix slightly, the only free parameter in Robert Foots, et al, theory, and each of this three detect results, is described by the same amount, about 1 part per billion, an amount weak enough to prevent mirror matter upsetting the big bang theory and making it quite invisible to telescopes.

Despite only a few researcher working on it, the Mirror Matter theory has impressively worked out, with results for its effects on large structure formulation, the early big bang, and how it forms a halo in the galaxy. The Mirror Matter, with all types of atoms, but a lack of hydrogen fuel for its stars, is thermalised as a plasma supported by the heat of regular mirror-supernova and perhaps accretion into the central black-hole of the galaxy.

If there is ever proof of mirror matter, Perhaps one day, physicists will amass enough mirror matter to create a mirror telescope and look out to a complete different alien sky, full of supernova relics and dense clouds that hold the other four-fifths the matter in the universe.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Super Heavy Supernova

Supernova, or Type Ia Supernova, are cosmologists favourite "standard candle" in the universe. Theory tells us exactly how bright they are (in absolute terms), so we can tell exactly how far away they, and the galaxy that contains them are. And yes they are that bright at -19.8 absolute magnitude they can outshine a galaxy for days, the light curve decay, follows the decay of Nickel-56, half life six days, the most common radioactive element in the cloud of elements the supernova shoots out, and of Cobalt-56, half life 77 days.

The theory of Type Ia Supernova is that they consist of a White Drawf that slow gains enough extra matter to get with %1 of a white drawf massive mass 1.38 Suns, at which point the pressure from the electrons in white drawf can't support the Drawf against gravity. The interior of the White drawf collapses to a neutron star, while the exterior burns carbon and oxygen into iron and nickel which are blown into space.

News today is of a paper by Richard Scalzo, look a supernova from 2007. SN2007if, weighted the supernova by calculating amount of Nickel and Cobalt produced by fraction of its mass. The heavier that star, they move Nickel produced. And he achieves a unbelievable massive result, 2.4+/-0.2 Solar masses. A whole Solar mass above the Chandrasekhar limit, 1.38 suns, for a white drawf.

The Physics World article. wonders if they result undermines the whole measurement of dark energy, which is determined part by measurement of the speed and distance of galaxies. Most of the distances of the furthest galaxies are measured by single Type 1a Supernova, the brightest standard candle there is. If the supernova are brighter than we think they are, then they are further away, and the universe is not expanding as fast as previously measured. However one or a few rare super heavy supernova, would not upset the calculation, and would show up as outlines on the graph of speed versus distance.

What then is this super heavy supernova. One theory is that its two colliding white drawf each under the 1.38 Chasdrasekhar limit, but totaling 2.1 suns, together. This would be a very rare process plus it would likely be such a catastrophic event that the fusion process would not be very regular or complete. Another explanation is of white drawf made extra heavy by a particular type of dark matter, Mirror Matter, since mirror matter is a second copy of matter, with the same interaction in mirror form, its only mirror light and electromagnetism. A combination of ordinary and mirror matter in a white drawf, might have masses up to 2.8 Suns in a white drawf, and the neutron star mass is also increase in its equation of state, moving up, but not doubling the Tolman–Oppenheimer–Volkoff limit. Indeed in the Year 2000 Paper in which Robert Foot et al predicted such objects he stated: Also note that this type of fake white dwarf could have a mass exceeding the Chandrasekhar limit of 1.4 solar masses: such an object would be a smoking gun for some sort of invisible clumped matter that happens to have acquired an ordinary matter core. Indeed This superheavy supernova might be the Smoking gun he was looking for. ">Richard Scalzo's Paper see a whole four such smoking guns, SN2003 fg, SN 2006gz, SN 2007if and SN 2009dc.

It does however look like SN 2007 if, as predicted by Scalzo's paper, is the result of two colliding white dwarf, as pointed to by, evidence of an existing envelope of carbon around the stars, ejected by tidal distribution of both prior to the final collapse into a supernova. This envelope is evidence by the slowing of the explosion and also by a shell of increased density in the explosion, where the in falling or blocking envelope of material encounters the out going material.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Great documentary on Cosmology

Horizon tonight on the BBC, covered the mysteries of cosmology, dark matter, and dark energy, which make up much more of the universe, the conventional 'baryonic' matter we know about. It ended though with a final mystery dark flow, one a rushing of galaxy clusters at the largest scale of the universe, toward some mystery attractors, which might well be outside the now visible universe. The potential explanation, this was caused by the attraction between the then small density fluctations, just before inflation expanded the universe at a speed faster than light.

All very well presented, if a bit over the top on distracting music and big bang shaped special effects. Dark Flow however is very iffy as a real physically effect, see papers like Kiesler, who disputed the significance of the statistics, but, Edge et al which hold the effect to be real. We find out in time, once the Planck space telescope data come in, (a space telescope, with 10 times the current resolution for the cosmic background radiation), and we more detailed measurement of galaxy clusters.

Horizon, begun its episode with everything you know about the universe is wrong. But then told the usually story of dark matter and dark energy, which mainstream cosmology currently believes true. I have my own theory, of dark energy as caused by an fifth force between neutrino, which unfortunately did survive my first publication attempt. But in the next post, I attend to show why the evidence is starting to look bleak for the super-symmetric theory of dark matter.

Friday, 29 January 2010

A possible detection of heavy-photons

Always on the lookout for strange physics, I was fascinated by a Paper by Boer and Fields at ArXiv. They analysised 7 previous experiment all which should something bizarre, A new Light Neutral Boson. There particle has a mass range of 1.5MeV to 20MeV, a lifespan of about 10^-15 to 10^-16 seconds. And strangely shows up only in experiment using photograph Emulsion. There X boson appears to be made in the decay on the neutral pion, one decay out of every thousand, and itself decays into an electron positron pair. They don't even have bad statistics ranging for 2.8 sigma to 8 sigma in the different experiments the review.

A boson is a force carrying particle, given a mass of 1 MeV, Boer's and Field's particle would mediate a short range force novel to the standard model. Looking at previous limits to a fifth force, this particle is in a range previously thought to be ruled out. This might even be the axi-photon as predicted in my axial-force theory, which escapes the those fifth force limits. The axi-photon should gain mass, and additional decay modes (usually it would decay to a neutrino and anti-neutrino) in any dense medium with heavy nuclei, such as photographic emission. However i'd only expect a mass of about 5KeV and only very rare electron pair production. Boer's and Field's particle actual pair produces some thousand times quicker than an ordinary photon. Its very notifable that there particle is only observed in old fashioned photographic emulsion, most modern experiement don't use these, and don't observe the behaviour of particles at depth in ordinary matter. Perphaps thats why this new particle has
escaped our eyes, up to now.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Quantum Mechanics and the Fifth Dimension

Its been a long time since I've thought about interpreting Quantum Mechanics. When i was young, I'd often read about how mysterious quantum mechanics is, about Schrödinger's Cat, which i'm sure you've all heard of. And about quantum entanglement, sometimes known as spooky action at distance, a name which captures the mystery but not the effect very well. Quantum mechanics is very mathematical, so it wasn't until I was studying it at my final year at university, that I could understand it well enough, to try to make the connection between the mathematics of quantum mechanics, which works very well at predicting the outcomes of experiment, and some physical mechanism, some process that describes how the universe works. And so back then, I surveyed whats known as the interpretations of quantum mechanics, and plumped for the Many Worlds Interpretion, that the universe actually has many parallel universes, in which random events happenned in all the other fashions that could have happened. Extreme though the idea sounds, I basically haven't changed my view, since I passed my PhD.

They were, and still are, basically four known Interpretions of Quantum Mechanics, or otherwise counting three Interpretions and one experimentially disproven theory that behaved more like Newtons physics, called hidden variables.

In the Copenhagen Interpretation, when an observer measures a system, the system instantly decides which of many possible results it will show the observer, and then remains the same, until somehow disturbed. This is bizarre of course, since measuring could just mean looking at, and it really does seem to matter if there is a eye looking or not. Does is an eye somehow emit a darkenning reverse light backwards in time, that causing the observed system to jump to some definite state. In the Transactional Interpretation, thats exactly what happens. So called advanced waves, travel backwards in time, from some fated, utimately fixed future, fixing a definite state for all obversation along the way. Unfortantely for gamblers and pundits, the Transactional Interpretation, doesn't say what the observed state will actally be, any better than odinary quantum mechanics.

The only other known Interpretation proved mathematically viable, is the Many Worlds Interpretation. In which, every act of storing information, such as looking and recording an experiment, causes the observer (or recorder), to split into different versions, each one recording one of the possible outcomes of the experiment. Each of the recordeds might as well be in different universes for all they can now say about the result that didn't happen in its record. The ordinary math of QM, keeps track of all these parallel outcomes, or parallel universes, and quantum computers, seem to show, that the universe, or multiverse, really does do enough calculation, to know all the other possible outcomes of any experiment. And yes that means, all those what would have happen if the germans won World War II, etc, and all does sub cases like, the german won the war and Hitler was assassinated on what ever perticular day you care to choose.

The Many Worlds Interpetation is great for science fiction authors, because even the very unlikely, and therefore much a thinner volumes of the multiverse, happen somewhere, such as Aliens landing on Earth during World War II. It uses the same mathematics as ordinary quantum mechanics. But although space (and time) are still three dimensionally (plus one for time make 4-d), keeping track of all those possiblities very rapidly needs very large dimensions, of state vector, with one row (or column) describing each possibility.

So I found what In Müllers and Fosters recent paper, fascinated me. They investigated what happens if you try to describe an universe with two distinct dimensions of time. Amazing if you start with a classical (I.E. Newton like math, and not quantum mechanics), universe with three dimensions of space and two dimensions of time, for approprate conditions of the extra dimension of time, produces the maths of Quantum Mechanics and Field Theory almost perfectly. Sci-fi authors have often used the expression sideways in time, to describe parallel universes, but this is the first time as far as I know that mathematics has actually described quantum mechanical parallel universe as sideways in time. For MWI and Sci-fi enthusasts this is great, as is the fact that if the temperature of the extra time dimensional was to cool down, the value of planks constant would vary, possibly leading to regimes in which communication between parallel universes could happen. However for physicists they may a lot more work to do. To get an average value for a quantum variable in the two-times description, you have to integrate over the entire eternity of the spare time dimension, which somehow seems to long, and not local enough, and as the Authors emit, only sometimes mathematically possible. Perphaps descriptions more localised in the spare time dimension are possible. I'd also like to see, if starting with both time dimensions on the same footing, and then switch to polar coordinates would work. Then you'd have one dimension represent the total temporal distance from the big bang singularity, the radial dimension, and one polar time, a circle running from 0 to 2pi, which might better fit the wave nature of matter.