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InvisibleMarioNett
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20 light-year wide particle accelerator spotted by astronomers
    #4036007 - 04/10/05 02:33 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

BBC news
U of Leicester

This is seriously the most interesting astronomical sighting I've ever seen. Could it be a natural phenomenon?

It also seems to be the most downplayed discovery since the "Martian car wash."


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Invisibletak
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Re: 20 light-year wide particle accelerator spotted by astronomers [Re: MarioNett]
    #4036471 - 04/10/05 09:03 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

what does this mean?


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Offlinedebianlinux
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Re: 20 light-year wide particle accelerator spotted by astronomers [Re: MarioNett]
    #4036564 - 04/10/05 10:04 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

I wonder if they found this when they traced the path of the oh-my-god particle...


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OfflinekronnyQ
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Re: 20 light-year wide particle accelerator spotted by astronomers [Re: tak]
    #4041481 - 04/11/05 04:52 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

root-ninja-tak said:
what does this mean?




Aliens and anal probing? :ass:


Edited by kronnyQ (04/11/05 05:07 PM)


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Offlinefreddurgan
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Re: 20 light-year wide particle accelerator spotted by astronomers [Re: kronnyQ]
    #4041675 - 04/11/05 05:41 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

It really doesn't mean much.


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OfflineBoccherini
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Re: 20 light-year wide particle accelerator spotted by astronomers [Re: freddurgan]
    #4042275 - 04/11/05 07:57 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

I hope you are being sarcastic.

It means a lot for astrophysics and high energy particle physics. If scientists are able to understand what created this loop or what exactly is going on in the region, then there could be some huge breakthroughs from this, in our understanding of the formation of galaxies and possibly in engineering new accelerators.


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InvisibleDieCommie
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Re: 20 light-year wide particle accelerator spotted by astronomers [Re: freddurgan]
    #4042505 - 04/11/05 08:56 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

freddurgan said:
It really doesn't mean much.


  Only the nature of the existence of the universe.  I know... boring  :yawn:  We should concentrate on more *important* things like MTV, making our cars sound real loud, or just getting high...


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OfflineCatalysis
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Re: 20 light-year wide particle accelerator spotted by astronomers [Re: DieCommie]
    #4042542 - 04/11/05 09:07 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

What i got from the article is that they have absolutely no evidence of a "particle accelerator" whatsoever.  The problem is that there is no current physical theory that could account for a 20-light year accelerator so to suggest that we found one is proposterous.  All they know is there is a large band of high energy particles similar to those produced by an accelerator on earth.

I would think that these scientists should know better than to claim something that complex based off of a single observation.  Anyways, it is quite a find and it may be able to tell us someting after further study...that is, assuming it even exists and the data isnt coming from something different than what we think.

My hypothesis would be that these particles could be coming from a massive anamoly that is not readily visible, similar to a black hole.  But i base that on nothing.  :stoned:

Ever heard of a white hole??



Edited by Catalysis (04/11/05 09:14 PM)


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InvisibleVvellum
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Re: 20 light-year wide particle accelerator spotted by astronomers [Re: Catalysis]
    #4042597 - 04/11/05 09:27 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

whats a white hole?


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Invisiblemycophyle
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Re: 20 light-year wide particle accelerator spotted by astronomers [Re: Boccherini]
    #4042662 - 04/11/05 09:44 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Boccherini said:
It means a lot for astrophysics and high energy particle physics...




Seriously, if anyone is remotely interested in the significance of this, you should read anything by Steven Hawking. I've only recently become interested in astrophysics, so I'm in no position to explain anything. I'm half way through "Brief History of Time", and Hawking explains the limitations of our current earth-bound particle accelerators.

So basically... physics strives to find some Grand Unification Theory that can describe how matter (essentially, waves- everything is waves) behaves on both the macro and micro level. Einstein's theory of relativity describes planetary movement, solar systems, galaxies, etc. Then there are theories about how matter acts on subatomic levels. Electrons, protons, and neutrons in atoms. HOWEVER, the two theories are not compatible. The subatomic theories haven't yet accounted for gravity. We really don't know where that mysterious forces comes from yet.

So, in our search to find out a Grand Theory that links macro and micro, we constantly strive to see on smaller and smaller scales. What makes up matter? Atoms. What makes atoms? Protons, neutrons and electrons. What makes those? Quarks, gluons, and all sorts of other terms that start to confuse me. But now there's a problem. We're looking at things on such a small scale, that when we try to measure it, our measurements are only as good as the wavelenght of what we're using. So if you use a low energy wavelength, the waves are long between the peaks, and the resolution is not so good. You use a high energy wavelength, and the resolution is better, you use VERY HIGH energy wavelengths, resolution is great, but that high energy affects the particles you are looking at, so you can't exactly know the position and velocity of particles you are looking at, because the energy of your instrument to observe it affects it.

One theory predicts that particles at a thousand million million giga-electron volts would be essentially different aspects of a single force: quarks, electrons would be the same. The present particle accelerators on earth can only collide particles at about 100 giga-electron volts, but as Hawking says, a machine powerful enough to accelerate particles to the Grand Unification Energy would have to be as big as the solar system, and "would be unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate". He goes on to say that it is therefore impossible to test these theories in the laboratory.

BUT now we've observed this particle accelerator in our galaxy: one thousand trillion electron volts. Surely large enough to test our theories! Check the math:

So to test the G.U.T., we need a thousand million million.
1,000,000,000,000,000

We observed this on in the galaxy:
1,000,000,000,000,000,000

The one we observed in 1000x more powerful than what we need to test the Grand Unification Theory, thus enabling astrophysicists to refine current theories, or produce new ones.

This is indeed very exciting!

As I said, read Hawking.


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Edited by mycophyle (04/11/05 09:47 PM)


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OfflineBoccherini
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Re: 20 light-year wide particle accelerator spotted by astronomers [Re: mycophyle]
    #4042761 - 04/11/05 10:06 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

Very nice connection!

I read Brief History probably 5 or 6 years ago and I loved it, but I didn't pursue anything else afterwards. So a few weeks ago I spotted it on my bookshelf and I started reading it again but I lost interest after the quantum mechanics chapter. (We were learning the derivations behind quantum mechanics in physics, so I found Hawking's explanation interesting, but too basic.)

Brief History is an awesome book, definitely recommended to anybody just starting to pursue an interest in (astro)physics. It's pretty basic and easy to read. In fact, Hawking announced that some of the theories he present in BHoT are wrong, but I'm not sure if he's written another, up-to-date book. I think the majority of the errors dealt with the Grand Unified Theory predictions.


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OfflineCatalysis
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Re: 20 light-year wide particle accelerator spotted by astronomers [Re: Boccherini]
    #4042801 - 04/11/05 10:14 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

If you liked that book, read his sequal "The Universe in a Nutshell". It will blow your fucking mind.


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Invisiblemycophyle
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Re: 20 light-year wide particle accelerator spotted by astronomers [Re: Catalysis]
    #4042855 - 04/11/05 10:26 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Catalysis said:
If you liked that book, read his sequal "The Universe in a Nutshell". It will blow your fucking mind.




That's next.

I just graduated w/ a masters in biology. For the last 7 years the only books I've read were related to the field only. The last thing I was going to do was read on my free time! Now I've got all this free time and so many questions, so I started reading Hawking. I read like two or three chapters a day, and that is only one of the books I'm reading. I'm also reading:

"Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James Loewen
"A Short History of Nearly Everything" Bill Bryson
"How to Practice" Dalai Lama

But Nutshell is next, right after BHoT. And I'm sure you're right about updating the text. Hell, only a month or so ago, some scientists crated a black hole in a lab! I think it was in Hawking's book that he said we didn't know what the result of that would be! (it may have been in Short History of Nearly Everything- the two books overlap a bit, also a GREAT read for, well, nearly everything!)

So Boccherini, did I get my explanation basically correct (from my first post)? I really have only a rudimentary grasp on what I was talking about.


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Edited by mycophyle (04/11/05 10:30 PM)


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OfflineCatalysis
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Re: 20 light-year wide particle accelerator spotted by astronomers [Re: Catalysis]
    #4042911 - 04/11/05 10:42 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

Ok, i just had an idea.

This topic made me think of the possibility of a white hole and i googled it, sure enough i found they have been conceived theoretically.

A white hole would be the mathematical opposite of a black hole, spewing matter created from energy similar to the "big bang". Furthermore, by my logic, that would mean mostly ultra-high energy particles would be generated from the center. These ultra-high energy particles would surely have a velocity close to the speed of light, similar to particles generated in an accelerator.

To top it off, one could hypothesize that these high velocity particles would follow the intrinsic curvatures in space-time via general relativity theory. However, given the ultra-high energy, these particles would not orbit a planet, star, or other (relatively) small mass object. They would tend to follow a more macroscopic space-time curve. The result would be as was reported...

Quote:

The researchers saw the loop when looking at the Arches Cluster, a star-forming region close to the Milky Way's centre.




So, in conclusion, maybe we are not looking at a giant particle accelerator but a particle decelerator where newly formed matter goes to lose energy and join the rest of the solar system.


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InvisibleMarioNett
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Re: 20 light-year wide particle accelerator spotted by astronomers [Re: Catalysis]
    #4043023 - 04/11/05 11:15 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

What i got from the article is that they have absolutely no evidence of a "particle accelerator" whatsoever.




It's a particle accelerator in a sense that it accelerates particles. No one is suggesting that it's a physical tube of matter or anything such as our man-made accelerators, of course, but since we're viewing on the x-ray band, we wouldn't know. The point is, we need to know what kind of phenomenon makes this observation possible.


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OfflineBoccherini
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Re: 20 light-year wide particle accelerator spotted by astronomers [Re: mycophyle]
    #4043320 - 04/12/05 12:29 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

Your explanation was good, especially for someone with a biology background. :grin:

You motivated me to pick up my book and read the next chapter, which actually covers what we're talking about.

Quote:

mycophyle said:
One theory predicts that particles at a thousand million million giga-electron volts  would be essentially different aspects of a single force: quarks, electrons would be the same.  The present particle accelerators on earth can only collide particles at about 100 giga-electron volts, but as Hawking says, a machine powerful enough to accelerate particles to the Grand Unification Energy would have to be as big as the solar system.




Hawking also said that there are plans for accelerators to reach 1000 GeV, and it's been almost 20 years since BHoT was published, so let's just use 1000 GeV.

From the BBC article, "The loop may produce sub-atomic particles with a thousand times more energy than those in man-made accelerators."

So that means the energy from the loop is 1000 * 1000 GeV

Quote:


So to test the G.U.T., we need a thousand million million.
1,000,000,000,000,000





It's actually a thousand million million giga eV. You just forgot to include the giga-prefix. So the math is:

10^3 * 10^6 * 10^6 * 10^9 =
1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 eV (24 zeroes)

Quote:


We observed this on in the galaxy:
1,000,000,000,000,000,000





From before, the loop gives 1000 * 1000 GeV
10^3 * 10^3 * 10^9 =
1,000,000,000,000,000 eV (15 zeroes)

So we're still off by a lot, and I'm not entirely sure it would even be possible to have regions this energetic for a sustained period of time. For a minute I thought that this was the discovery of the century and could actually test the GUT.

BTW, I'm the opposite of you. I'd rather be reading extracurricular books than reading required texts for my classes. :smile:


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Invisibletak
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Re: 20 light-year wide particle accelerator spotted by astronomers [Re: Boccherini]
    #4044309 - 04/12/05 05:52 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

cool


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Invisiblemycophyle
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Re: 20 light-year wide particle accelerator spotted by astronomers [Re: tak]
    #4044457 - 04/12/05 07:30 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

I was just talking about this with a friend and he made the important point that even if this is the particle accelerator that we're all talking about, it is still too far away to test the theories in GUT because we're trying to observe things on a subatomic level.


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OfflineAeolus1369
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Re: 20 light-year wide particle accelerator spotted by astronomers [Re: mycophyle]
    #4062205 - 04/16/05 01:06 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

Anyone interested in string theory should read "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene.  A fantastic read  :thumbup:


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