Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Black Hole Particle Jets Explained

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the never-turn-your-back-on-an-accretion-disk dept.

Space 201

Screaming Cactus writes "A team of researchers led by Boston University's Alan Marscher have apparently worked out the physics behind the particle streams emanating from many black holes. According to the researchers, 'twisted, coiled magnetic fields are propelling the material outward.' By watching an 'unprecedented view' of a black hole in the process of expelling mass, they were able to confirm their theory, predicting where and when bursts of energy would be detected."

cancel ×

201 comments

Black Hole (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23187612)

I found this article [notlong.com] on the same subject absolutely fascinating. Stunning pictures too.

Re:Black Hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23187726)

Sadly, the redirect to GNAA is broken.

Please fix it ASAP, I'm a nerd and I love it, you know that.

Re:Black Hole (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188682)

We nerds love it.

It was tubgirl, right? (-1, Troll)

Trespass (225077) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187614)

That isn't really black, though...

Request For Assembly Kit For Black Hole Generator (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23187652)



All your reactors are belong to us.

P.S. : Fuck Bush

Sincerely,
Filipino Monkey

Next Slashdot Meme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23187682)

Barfing Black Holes

Re:Next Slashdot Meme (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188764)

Data ? Where is the "real" data, not artist conception baloney. 'Course /. types are BIG into cartoons.

Taco Bell corollary: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23187708)

If you eat to much of it, uranus shoots out particles at nearly the spead of light.

Hawking Radiation (1)

packeteer (566398) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187710)

So this is separate from Hawking Radiation? Black holes emit two kinds of energy?

Re:Hawking Radiation (5, Informative)

PhuCknuT (1703) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187774)

Yes, this is completely different, but it's not exactly the black hole emitting anything. The jets are from material that hasn't fallen into the black hole yet, being accelerated along the axis of rotation by the twisted magnetic fields outside the black hole.

Re:Hawking Radiation (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187858)

The jets are from material that hasn't fallen into the black hole yet
So those sci-fi movies with "we'll sling shot around the sun" should really try "We'll sling shot around that black hole!"

Re:Hawking Radiation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23188192)

I must admit I missed the fact that the jets are not from the black hole itself, but from material yet to be sucked in. I found the article still a bit ambiguous though. Thanks for clearing it up for me.

Re:Hawking Radiation (5, Informative)

ekstrom (941853) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187818)

This is radiation from the accretion disk, which both supplies the material and twists up the fields which then accelerate the material. It's not from the hole itself. Of course it is all powered by the hole's gravitational field.

Re:Hawking Radiation (1)

RobinH (124750) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188490)

So is the energy (to accelerate the particles in the jets) coming from the loss of potential energy of matter that is falling into the black hole, or is the energy from the black hole itself?

Re:Hawking Radiation (0)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188590)

Of course it is all powered by the hole's gravitational field.

Man, there's one hell of a joke there just begging to be typed but it seems the mods [uncyclopedia.org] today have too much gravity [uncyclopedia.org] and not enough levity.

So I'll let it pass.

No, on second thought I'll link to uncyclopedia [uncyclopedia.org] . I mean, if I'm going to get modded down anyway -

"Black holes are simply where I decided to divide by zero" ~ God [uncyclopedia.org] on Black Holes

"That's crazy" ~ Mr. Replier on God's black holes

"Originally, Black Holes where known as 'Gravaitationally Collapsed Stars'" ~ Steven Hawking on Gravaitationally Collapsed Stars

Re:Hawking Radiation (3, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187824)

These particle jets aren't emitted from the actual "depths" of a black hole, but as the article says, ejected due to twisted magnetic fields perpendicular to its accretion disk. Once you get closer, space bends even the magnetic fields inwards, and everything else. And what goes that far is later emitted as Hawking radiation, the only form of energy theorized to be emitted from a black hole, in time believed to "evaporate" the black hole itself.

Re:Hawking Radiation (4, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188002)

Well, large black holes don't evaporate -- even the cosmic background radiation is enough to add more mass than they lose to Hawking radiation. The CMB is at ~2.7K, and a 1 solar mass black hole has a temperature of 60nK from the Hawking radiation.

Re:Hawking Radiation (1)

PhuCknuT (1703) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188424)

Large ones will start to evaporate... in a few trillion years once the CMB cools down enough.

Re:Hawking Radiation (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188598)

Yes, I probably should have added a 10^100 years or so disclaimer to "in time". Hehe. But I actually didn't realize that was because of the CMB, never considered that. I just thought they radiated slow enough. So I guess I learnt something there too, hehe.

Re:Hawking Radiation (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188440)

Well, large black holes don't evaporate -- even the cosmic background radiation is enough to add more mass than they lose to Hawking radiation. The CMB is at ~2.7K, and a 1 solar mass black hole has a temperature of 60nK from the Hawking radiation.

Yet. The operational word is "yet". As the Universe ages, the cosmic background temperature will decrease until the point that even a very large black hole will radiate.

Does it even matter? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188636)

My understanding of hawking radiation is that a particle/anti-particle pair is created near the event horizon. One particle falls in and the other falls out. It's the ones that fall out that are called hawking radiation, and the particles falling in contribute to the black hole's demise.

The question that arises in my mind is this. Presumably there is a 50/50 chance that it's the particle that's being emitted, and the anti-particle falling into the hole. The other 50% of the time it's the antiparticle that escapes, and the particle falls in. So, if half of what falls in are particles, and half are anti-particles, wouldn't the net effect on the black hole be zero?

Re:Does it even matter? (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188710)

Antiparticles have positive mass, but opposite charge (and in the case of things like proton vs antiproton, the internal quarks are changed to antiquarks, etc). So yes, the black hole does lose mass, even though half of the radiation is antimatter.

Re:Does it even matter? (1)

ChatHuant (801522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188720)

My understanding of hawking radiation is that a particle/anti-particle pair is created near the event horizon. One particle falls in and the other falls out. It's the ones that fall out that are called hawking radiation, and the particles falling in contribute to the black hole's demise.

The question that arises in my mind is this. Presumably there is a 50/50 chance that it's the particle that's being emitted, and the anti-particle falling into the hole. The other 50% of the time it's the antiparticle that escapes, and the particle falls in. So, if half of what falls in are particles, and half are anti-particles, wouldn't the net effect on the black hole be zero?


IANAPhysicist, so I son't know anything about the state of matter inside a black hole, but even if the particles and antiparticles annihilate, the resulting energy doesn't dissapear or leave the black hole. So this basically makes no difference: the net mass still increases.

The scatological aspects of astronomy. (4, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187720)

an 'unprecedented view' of a black hole in the process of expelling mass


Ok, so its juvenile and stupid. But it still made me laugh.

Re:The scatological aspects of astronomy. (1)

ZenDragon (1205104) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187864)

No worries man, I had a little chuckle myself over that statement. :)

On topic, somewhat; It would be interesting to see how many of Hawkins theories, if any have been debunked by this discovery. He has had an obsession with black holes for quite some time, which has been somewhat of an mystery in the scientific world. Over the last couple months and years however, there have been numerous discovery's made on black holes. Though I probably wont understand half of it, I would like to see what the little robotic voice has to say about this. :)

Re:The scatological aspects of astronomy. (1)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187960)

Near as I understand it, this confirms Hawkings' theories.

Re:The scatological aspects of astronomy. (1)

ZenDragon (1205104) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188088)

Didn't he say that matter could NOT escape a black hole?

Re:The scatological aspects of astronomy. (4, Informative)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188128)

Didn't he say that matter could NOT escape a black hole?
This isn't matter escaping a black hole. This is matter, outside the black hole, being accelerated and hurtled outwards by the forces of the black hole.

Re:The scatological aspects of astronomy. (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188666)

This is matter, outside the black hole, being accelerated and hurtled outwards by the forces of the black hole.

That somehow sounds far worse.

Re:The scatological aspects of astronomy. (0)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187914)

You mis-spelled asstronomy.

Re:The scatological aspects of astronomy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23188072)

It is misspelled no hyphen.

Re:The scatological aspects of astronomy. (1)

Trespass (225077) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188684)

You mis-spelled asstronomy.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure there's a colon in there somewhere.

Re:The scatological aspects of astronomy. (4, Informative)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187930)

Ok, so its juvenile and stupid.
Not really. You may not be aware, but one of the reasons the term Black Hole stuck around was to annoy French astrophysicists (the term translates to a bodily orafice in French). The question was later posed (by Wheeler, I believe) as to whether black holes have 'hair', meaning do they give off observable radiation or other phenomena, much to the chagrin of his French counterparts. The question was posed, FWIU, mostly just so American physicists could snicker while French physicists had to talk about black holes and hair in public conferences. And it turns out that yes, black holes do in fact have hair.

Now we have black holes expelling mass. I'm sure you're not the only one finding this humorous.

Re:The scatological aspects of astronomy. (-1, Offtopic)

Kenja (541830) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187946)

So does the mass sometimes cling to the hairs?

Re:The scatological aspects of astronomy. (1)

jmn2519 (954154) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188726)

So does the mass sometimes cling to the hairs?
Yeah, it's called a Klingon.

We call those... (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188746)

Quantum dingleberries.

Re:The scatological aspects of astronomy. (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188630)

Physicists have black holes, mathematicians have the Hairy Ball Theorem [wikipedia.org] .

Physics meets Beavis and Butthead (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188350)

bh: heh heh... he said expelling mass ... uhhhh heh heh heh...

French Translation... (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188364)

French speaking nations tend to dislike the literal translation of "black hole" into their language... It doesn't translate well.

Re:French Translation... (1)

BoredAtWorkWhatElse (936972) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188510)

French speaking nations tend to dislike the literal translation of "black hole" into their language... It doesn't translate well.
Do we ? What's wrong with "Trou Noir" ?

Re:French Translation... (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188562)

I have some lectures on black holes in mp3, and listening to the Japanese speakers talk about "brack hos" gets me going every time.

This is how science works (5, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187730)

'By watching an 'unprecedented view' of a black hole in the process of expelling mass, they were able to confirm their theory, predicting where and when bursts of energy would be detected."


Note to all ID supporters, this is how real science works. Propose a theory which can be tested, then go about trying to disprove the theory.

Now go ahead, flame me. My karma can take it.

Re:This is how science works (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23187766)

Propose a theory which can be tested, then go about trying to disprove the theory.


Exactly!

Well, except global warming, obviously. That just gets accepted as is, since anyone who suggests otherwise is probably an oil company shill.

Re:This is how science works (1, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187826)

Well, except global warming, obviously. That just gets accepted as is, since anyone who suggests otherwise is probably an oil company shill.
Um, we have decades of direct testing and thousands of years of indirect data supporting global warming. It has been and continues be heavily tested.

Re:This is how science works (0)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188258)

Well, except global warming, obviously. That just gets accepted as is, since anyone who suggests otherwise is probably an oil company shill.
Um, we have decades of direct testing and thousands of years of indirect data supporting global warming. It has been and continues be heavily tested.
How many of those thousands of years worth of data found that GW is attributed to SUV's or the burning of fossil fuels for industry?

How many of those thousands of years worth of data include data on solar cycles?

Re:This is how science works (2, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188514)

You're making the very common mistake of using sloppy terminology. "Global warming" is not necessarily the same thing as "anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming". The former is directly observable; the latter is not. We can build computer models that predict how human activity causes (or at least contributes to) the warming; and, if warming continues over time, the chance that it is just due to natural variation goes down with every new year the trend holds. But just observing that the climate has warmed, in and of itself, is not proof that it's been induced by human activity.

Re:This is how science works (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188522)

Actually, for GW to be tested, we would need another planet to play with.

Re:This is how science works (2, Insightful)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187848)

Well, except global warming, obviously. That just gets accepted as is, since anyone who suggests otherwise is probably an oil company shill.
It's called "climate change" now. That way if the current trend of lower temps continues and we go into another mini ice age (as some are predicting) they're still right!

BRILLIANT!

Re:This is how science works (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188154)

Im tenatively convinced about global warming for the following reason: acidic ocean water.

As anybody in chemistry knows, dissolving CO2 in water results in H2CO3, an acid. Only 2 major variables result in this, and that is pressure and amount. Since our pressure is roughly constant (28mmHg-32mmHg), that leaves the amount of CO2 to be rising.

Now, how can we look at prior trends of CO2 affecting the oceans? Simple. H2CO3 is an acid, and tends to leach calcium from single-celled creatures in the sea water. Now, looking at these plankton now shows disastrous effects on their shells due to oceans acidity. We can, however, use oceanbed samples to view millions of years prior to see if these effects have occurred before.

According to samples from ocean beds around the world, effects like these have never been seen on this dramatic of a scale.

Like I said, I was a naysayer, until I saw this evidence, and others.

Re:This is how science works (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188280)

You provided evidence for an increase in CO2, not evidence for a prolonged warming trend BASED on an increase in CO2. It's the latter issue that is causing concern, and the question is whether it's warranted.

Re:This is how science works (4, Insightful)

macemoneta (154740) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188366)

It's called "climate change" now. That way if the current trend of lower temps continues and we go into another mini ice age (as some are predicting) they're still right!

It's called "climate change" now because people had problems understanding the concept of global warming; they concentrated on the terminology instead of understanding the process.

Energy is being added to the Earth's outer layer, including the atmosphere. This additional energy is like turning on a blender - everything is going to get mixed up. Places where it was cold may turn warm. Places where it was warm may become cold. Deserts will form where there was arable land. Dry places may get wetter. The ice caps act as a thermal buffer (like the ice cubes in a drink), and the additional energy is causing them to melt. This in turn raises sea levels.

Things get complicated because of the political boundaries; people can't just move to where things are becoming nicer. If the farm land in the U.S. turns to a dust bowl for example, we can't just pick up 300M people and move to another country - just as the U.S. doesn't open its borders to tens of millions dying of thirst and starvation in other countries.

A secondary complication is the delicate balance between airborne particulates and greenhouse gases. Reducing pollution levels reduces both, but not at the same rate. As the two have opposing impacts, and tend to be politically controlled by local goverments, it's and extra monkey wrench in the calculations.

In this context, the term "climate change" is easier for people to grasp. It doesn't change what is happening.

Re:This is how science works (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188800)

It's called 'Climate Change' now for exactly the reasons GP stated. The whole 'Climate Change' scare is just another power/money grab. The science is NOT at all settled, and the infamous UN report was penned and influenced by non scientist politicians.

Talk to me in 20 years when the glaciers are advancing.

Re:This is how science works (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188852)

I somewhat agree. I think the term "climate change" was simply to explain the disparity of what people were seeing. To chalk this up to trying to explain it to the little people is disingenuous.

Clearly we are seeing changes in our climate. What isn't quantified is the direct cause. While humans are no doubt making an impact other factors show that such changes were likely inevitable and are still so. The relatively mild and stable nature of our climate is, in the history of Earth, an anomaly. To expect it to go on for ever is simply to ignore science. However, that doesn't take the burden off of us to curb our impact. We just need to understand that the idea that man could keep our climate stable isn't seeing the whole picture. That many are turning this into a political issue to secure power and money is equally disingenuous.

Re:This is how science works (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188272)

That just gets accepted as is,
Noooo... you propose a theory, then test it against all the past data that has been collected. You may have noticed how the models have changed quite a bit in the last 30 years as the models improve and more data is collected.

Re:This is how science works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23187844)

I worked in a lab with an assistant professor who believed in ID. He was a good scientist (a molecular biologist). He proposed theories, then went about finding evidence to support or disprove the theory. He did good science, the only difference being that when he discovered something he believed that it was designed that way.

Re:This is how science works (0, Troll)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187872)

Evolution is a good explanation of "accepted" evidence. One cannot test it, therefore it isn't science.

When you can take a bacteria, and make a mouse using only "natural selection", then I'll accept that you've "tested" evolution.

Now move along.

I suspect I'll be flamed for stating the obvious.

Re:This is how science works (3, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188056)

Evolution is a good explanation of "accepted" evidence. One cannot test it, therefore it isn't science.


Right. Because the fossil record of both horses and humans do not show examples of intermediate changes from non-horses and non-humans to todays creatures.

And I suppose astrology is a science because it's so well "tested".

Re:This is how science works (1)

Gotung (571984) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188086)

No you'll be flamed for demonstrating your ignorance.
Those dinosaurs you see at your local museum are just the tip of the iceberg. At this point millions, maybe even hundreds of millions of fossils have been found.
Hundreds of thousands of bones/fossils have been found at single dig sites.

The dots have been connected, by looking at the fossils you can actually watch some of the more complete species on record morph over time, sometimes to drastically different shapes
But you won't be satisfied until you see bacteria turn into a mouse before your eyes ...

Re:This is how science works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23188186)

And he is right, too! Also, what's with this "Earth orbits around the Sun" crap, anyway? I won't believe it until I see it with my own eyes. Oh, and I want a full revolution in under a minute, since I have a low attention span.

Re:This is how science works (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188158)

Do you think that they made a black hole in the lab to "test" these theories?

Tracing the fossil record, and mapping historical changes in various genomes would be enough solid evidence for anyone who didn't have an irrational bias.

Like it or not, evolution through natural selection is a robust, predictive theory. So far we've only successfully applied it to things that have extremely fast reproductive cycles (e.g bacteria) but, again, that's good evidence.

Until you can actually produce a good argument based on actual evidence that there is something wrong with the theory of evolution as it is currently understood, you're effectively arguing that the world is flat. It is a crackpot position, and the only people who will take it seriously are themselves crackpots.

Thank you, come again.

Re:This is how science works (1)

BobNET (119675) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188172)

When you can take a bacteria, and make a mouse using only "natural selection", then I'll accept that you've "tested" evolution.

How do you know the Earth isn't really a big giant Petri dish that someone is using to test evolution right now?

Re:This is how science works (1)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188466)

Hey wow, I read that book! [wikipedia.org]

Re:This is how science works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23188550)

When you can take a bacteria, and make a mouse using only "natural selection", then I'll accept that you've "tested" evolution.

How do you know the Earth isn't really a big giant Petri dish that someone is using to test evolution right now?

Rumor has it that God got the early release of Spore. And we just haven't made it that far in the Space Phase yet.

Re:This is how science works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23188198)

That is not how scientific theories are tested.

Tests are done in a repeatable fashion that either support (not prove) or disprove a hypothosis.

Your "acceptable" test case is not reproducable ... for several reasons.
- lack of suffient time for the experiment.
- lack initial environment.
- lack of 3 1/2 *billion* years worth of modifying conditions.
- lack of initial bacterium that evolved into a mouse.

I do not understand the irrational knee-jerk reation to evolution that "Good Ol' Righteous God Fearing Folk" have.

The Theory of Evolution does NOT disprove the existance of your Almighty. Evolution and God are not mutally exclusive.

Re:This is how science works (2, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188438)

I do not understand the irrational knee-jerk reation to evolution that "Good Ol' Righteous God Fearing Folk" have.

I'm agnostic, but let me take a stab at an answer to your question...

I think that bot Christians and Evolutionists have a spectrum of positions within their two camps; some are compatible, some aren't:

  • Some Christians believe that the book of Genesis was meant to be understood literally rather than metaphorically or poetically. So to them, all Evolutionist viewpoints are incompatible with things they already believe.

  • Some Evolutionists believe don't merely believe that natural variation and selection occurred. They go further to posit that any process (e.g., evolution) which appears random or capriciously cruel to them is surely not be guided by any God worth talking about. So to this subset of Evolutionists, all Christian believes are definitely wrong.

  • In the middle, you have Christians who are willing to concede that a literal interpretation of Genesis might be inaccurate, either because its conflicts with what seam to be clear indications in the natural record that evolution occurred, or for other reasons of Biblical scholarship. (I'm told that regardless of an apparent conflict with scientific conclusions, some Biblical scholars have other reasons to believe that parts of Genesis are meant metaphorically, such as the style of the prose.)

Does that sound right?

Re:This is how science works (1)

Artuir (1226648) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188382)

You ever wonder why the same vaccines and antibacterial medicines and such don't work forever?

That's right - evolution. Those bacteria of which you speak learn to adapt to their (formerly hostile) new environment and thrive. This has been known, proven, and shown for decades now. I apologize on behalf of scientists everywhere that haven't figured out yet how to condense 4 billion years of evolution into a week for your sake.

Re:This is how science works (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188406)

Evolution has been tested. There are organisms that have a short life span (e.g. fruit flys). You don't test a theory to prove it, you test a theory to disprove it.

Evolution is testable, has been tested, and so far has not been disproven. If it is disproven, then another theory will take its place.

Re:This is how science works (1)

muellerr1 (868578) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188442)

The overwhelming evidence for proving natural selection is the fossil record. To test evolution you look at the data from the fossil record to prove or disprove your hypothesis. Not one fossil has disproven natural selection so far. Given how many millions of fossils have been found so far, I'd say that theory is pretty well tested.

Re:This is how science works (3, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188446)

Wow, and this junk got modded insightful?

Here's something that you can do and in fact has been done over a timeframe of the past 50 years:

Take a large pool of bacteria, start killing them off with antibiotics, rinse, and repeat.

Now, the bacteria is your organism, the antibiotics the selective pressure. Natural selection dictates that eventually through random mutations, there will be bacteria that will no longer be susceptible to antibiotics.

Lo and behold, this has exactly happened. The overuse of common antibiotics has resulted in an outbreak of what doctors call superbugs--bacteria that are resistant to those same common antibiotics. And where are we most likely to find these superbugs? Hospitals, where antibiotics are most used. Why do you think they try to get patients out of the hospital as quickly as possible? It's not just because they need the beds. It's largely because, barring any need for specialized monitoring or equipment, the outside is a safer environment for the sick to heal than inside. 50 years ago when antibiotics just began to be used, the opposite was true.

So if you've gotten this far, you now have proof of natural selection, proof you can see with your very own eyes. And this is just the most simple, most mundane case. There is a more extreme case involving frogs where natural selection has resulted in speciation within a hundred years.

Re:This is how science works (1)

SiriusStarr (1196697) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188584)

Pardon my lack of citation, but I do remember reading an article stating that scientists have almost demonstrated speciation in a laboratory using (I think it was) C. elegans. Would that be enough evidence?

Re:This is how science works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23188594)

Well, if you pray to your invisible magic sky dad and get him to let me live comfortably for say 2 billion years on my own planet, I will make you your fucking mouse. (providing i get to start with sufficently advanced bacteria. Otherwise I might need another billion, 1.5 billion years.)

As long as you're addressing the flaws of the genesis story, or unreasoning literalism (take your pick), keep in mind the Bible says the sun revolves around the Earth, the moon is made of light not rock, the sun is the greatest light in the universe outside of god presumably, there are no snakes that don't spend their entire lives in the dust (ie the bible asserts there are no sea snakes or tree snakes). And we could go on. Your book is a piece of crap, it's a crutch for your weak faith, and now you're an anachronistic tool of a political work written by primitive, savage idiots. Congratulations.

Re:This is how science works (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188822)

we've taken bacteria and made other bacteria which don't die in the presence of antibiotics. Without trying, even!

I assume you'll be consistent, and consider your faith to be equally 'untested' until you've managed to create a planet in seven days.

Re:This is how science works (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187896)

Actually, "real science" goes like this.

Propose a theory to explain an observable phenomenon. Then attempt to disprove it. If it stands up to scrutiny it stands until disproved or a better theory comes along. The base theory itself does not need to be tested, in fact by definition it can not be proven, only disproved.

Re:This is how science works (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188450)

I wonder if in the future we will have to separate evolution from intelligent design (of the human kind).

Natural evolution vs forced genetic selection?

Re:This is how science works (1)

Breakfast Cereal (27298) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188768)

Actually, it can't be disproved, either, in the sense that it can always be tweaked this way and that to accommodate experimental results. Theories fall into and out of favor according to whether or not the majority of scientists in a given field prefer them to the alternatives.

Re:This is how science works (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23187916)

'By watching an 'unprecedented view' of a black hole in the process of expelling mass, they were able to confirm their theory, predicting where and when bursts of energy would be detected."



Note to all ID supporters, this is how real science works. Propose a theory which can be tested, then go about trying to disprove the theory.



Now go ahead, flame me. My karma can take it.

note to both ID supporters and ID critics.
this topic is about black holes, not ID.

Re:This is how science works (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187918)

Propose a theory which can be tested, then go about trying to disprove the theory.

That's assuming that all theories can be tested. Or, to put it another way: If you can't test it, is it a theory? According to Merriam-Webster, [merriam-webster.com] yes. Inference points towards your disputing that. Is this the problem in a nutshell?

Re:This is how science works (0, Offtopic)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188114)

There are ID supporters on /.?

I'd flame you, but only for being ludicrously off topic.

Re:This is how science works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23188214)

That's how _all_ science works.

Since you brought it up, when's the last time you saw someone test the theory of evolution? When's the last time you read an article about someone trying to debunk evolution? Sheesh. I admit ID is hard to test, but evolution is even more so.

Re:This is how science works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23188898)

I'm sure you've carefully read up the other posts here, but evolution isn't harder to test than ID. We can at least test evolution in the lab, or even by just watching the way we need new flu vaccines each year, since the flu is constantly randomly mutating, with the mutations that survive our current vaccines selected for in the environment of our bodies.

Re:This is how science works (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188216)

Note to all ID supporters, this is how real science works. Propose a theory which can be tested, then go about trying to disprove the theory.
Or you can present a theory and then set about trying to PROVE it. Many times, it leads to other theories. Take, for example this [wikipedia.org] story:

Premise: God created the Universe, as stated in the Old Testament.
Theory: The Universe had a beginning.
Test: Use Einstein's formula's to track time back until you find a beginning.
New Theory: Big Bang.

Note: I believe in ID. I just believe that in order to reach the "Design", evolution was used. Please don't assume that religion is a rejection of science. Many religious scientists use science to find out HOW God works.

(I know that it is off topic, but I was responding to another OT post)

Re:This is how science works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23188856)

Wow, you really *are* a dumb shit.

Re:This is how science works (1)

hercubus (755805) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188234)

'By watching an 'unprecedented view' of a black hole in the process of expelling mass, they were able to confirm their theory, predicting where and when bursts of energy would be detected."

Note to all ID supporters, this is how real science works. Propose a theory which can be tested, then go about trying to disprove the theory.

Now go ahead, flame me. My karma can take it.

yeah i'm sure /. is just overflowing with ID supporters

but a black hole is a relatively simple physical phenomenon, pretty simple compared to species and the bioshpere

i think there's still a lot of mystery regarding the origin of species. such as how RNA may be passing as much or more data than DNA

not so easy to test evolution, like set up a bioshpere and let it run for a billion years...

Re:This is how science works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23188238)

Actually, in a world where everyone must battle for research funding, 'real science' works a bit like this :
http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=761 [phdcomics.com]

Re:This is how science works (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188246)

Note to all ID supporters, this is how real science works. Propose a theory which can be tested, then go about trying to disprove the theory.

Note to all anti-ID people, not all propositions can be tested by scientists. Especially alleged miracles, which are by definition one-off phenomena caused by an external agent that is itself inscrutable to human-devised experimentation.

I too would offer to be flamed, but I think that's pretty unnecessary considering the position I just advanced. The down-modding, rather than considered discussion, will occur of its own accord.

Re:This is how science works (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188546)

Note to all anti-ID people, not all propositions can be tested by scientists. Especially alleged miracles, which are by definition one-off phenomena caused by an external agent that is itself inscrutable to human-devised experimentation.

And that's what makes it irrelevant to science, and more importantly, not science.

And if you're saying that miracles can be used to show ID is viable, then I think you'd agree that it shouldn't be taught with science in a science class. Maybe it should be taught in a class called, oh, I don't know, theology perhaps?

Re:This is how science works (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188756)

And that's what makes it irrelevant to science, and more importantly, not science.

And if you're saying that miracles can be used to show ID is viable, then I think you'd agree that it shouldn't be taught with science in a science class. Maybe it should be taught in a class called, oh, I don't know, theology perhaps?

Sure, I'm ok with that. I have no problem with a science class teaching that there's a good case for evolution. But we should remember that there are at least two versions of ID: (a) no evolution occurred and (optionally) the earth is about 6000 years old vs. (b) God exists and works his ID using evolution as his means. I think there's probably a good scientific case against (a), but I also think some evolution advocates over-reach and try to teach (b). That's what I object to. The teaching of (b) belongs in, you know, an atheology class or something.

Re:This is how science works (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188622)

Note to all anti-ID people, not all propositions can be tested by scientists.

Don't you mean, note to all pro-ID people? The argument against ID and specifically the argument for keeping ID out of science class when the discussion turns to evolution is exactly as you state it--not all propositions can be tested by scientists.

ID does not belong in science class not because it's not true. It does not belong because it is not science.

Science is not a collection of facts, it is a method of discovering and testing, observation and experimentation.

So if you agree ID cannot be tested and therefor is not science, then surely you agree it does not belong in a science class. That is all the anti-ID folks are saying.

Re:This is how science works (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188868)

So if you agree ID cannot be tested and therefor is not science, then surely you agree it does not belong in a science class. That is all the anti-ID folks are saying.

That sounds reasonable. On the other hand, I don't think students should be hermetically shielded from the anti-evolution arguments that ID people make. I've seem some ID people make non-theological arguments against certain aspects of evolutionary theory. If you shut out these arguments just because they're made be people who also make theological arguments against ID, you're cutting off a source of critique that is so important to the scientific method.

Granted, not all sources of critique are equally worth our time. But given that a large fraction of American adults feel forced, perhaps unnecessarily, to chose between their theology and accepted science, it seems bizarre to me that we don't teach the kids the debate in detail. It seems like a totally kick-ass opportunity to sharpen their critical-thinking skills and to help them understand both the power and the limits of the scientific method.

Re:This is how science works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23188332)

"Look guys, a cool science article! I'll use it to ridicule ideas I don't understand!"

Irreducible complexity
http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/re2/chapter10.asp [answersingenesis.org]

Re:This is how science works (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188340)

Nobody here is going to flame you for promoting or explaining science, you're not at whitehouse.gov. I am, however, pleasantly surprised that you were modded "insightful" rather than "offtopic".

Good science writing (5, Insightful)

ekstrom (941853) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187756)

This is a good article. It was complete enough to satisfy the casual interest of this old physicist who once worked for awhile as an astronomer, explained all of its terms in ways accessible to a more general public, but was never tedious about it. We need more science writing of that quality. Also good work, it would seem. Rarely do you get a chance to check astrophysical theory in such detail against observations.

Re:Good science writing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23188472)

By saying that the black hole is expeling matter, the article is accurate?

Isn't that against the core theories of black holes, that nothing leaves (except Hawking radiation...but semantics).

I've got a brown hole... (0, Troll)

loafula (1080631) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187812)

...and it ejects lots of matter, too!

Particles coming out of blackholes... (3, Funny)

Whatanut (203397) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187852)

That's what's left of the poor alien souls that attempted to use a pair of them for travel...

Yuck (0, Redundant)

electricbern (1222632) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187856)

Am I the only one that feels disgusted by "an 'unprecedented view' of a black hole in the process of expelling mass"??

they are wrong (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23187882)

blah blah
I read slashdot.
blah blah
I'm smarter than they are and smarter than you are.
blah blah
they are wrong.
blah blah
I'm not going to explain why because nobody but me could possibly understand how awesome I am.

mod parent insightful (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188882)

Ironic commentary, betraying an almost Foucaultian weariness of the tedium and the hubris of our discourse. AC, I salute you.

Where does the magnetic field come from? (1)

AxelBoldt (1490) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188344)

Where does the magnetic field perpendicular to the accretion disk come from? Does the material in the accretion disk carry a net charge?

Old hat (2, Informative)

jessica_alba (1234100) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188428)

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birkeland_current [wikipedia.org] "A Birkeland current generally refers to any electric current in a space plasma, but more specifically when charged particles in the current follow magnetic field lines (hence, Birkeland currents are also known as field-aligned currents). They are caused by the movement of a plasma perpendicular to a magnetic field. Birkeland currents often show filamentary, or twisted "rope-like" magnetic structure."

I wonder when they will discover that these "super massive destructive forces" are actually electric powerhouses that light up the cosmos.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...