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Physicists Spot Potential Source of 'Oh-My-God' Particles

Unknown Lamer posted about two weeks ago | from the giant-alien-particle-acceleration-experiment dept.

Science 144

sciencehabit (1205606) writes For decades, physicists have sought the sources of the most energetic subatomic particles in the universe — cosmic rays that strike the atmosphere with as much energy as well-thrown baseballs. Now, a team working with the Telescope Array, a collection of 507 particle detectors covering 700 square kilometers of desert in Utah, has observed a broad 'hotspot' in the sky in which such cosmic rays seem to originate. Although not definitive, the observation suggests the cosmic rays emanate from a distinct source near our galaxy and not from sources spread all over the universe.

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144 comments

Ooh, ooh, I have a bogus theory (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about two weeks ago | (#47414941)

I have an idea backed only by my imagination.

What if those galaxies are proof of symetry, and they're some of the few that are made of both matter and anti-matter, and the high energy ejections we're seeing are from that collision. Maybe half the galaxies in the sky are made of anti-matter and the non-particle-scale properties of antimatter are otherwise identical to matter.

Re:Ooh, ooh, I have a bogus theory (2)

OakDragon (885217) | about two weeks ago | (#47415153)

In that case all you have to do is reverse the polarity... Then the universe fills up like a balloon and... something bad happens!

Re:Ooh, ooh, I have a bogus theory (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415265)

Just whatever you do, do not cross that streams. that would be bad.

Re:Ooh, ooh, I have a bogus theory (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415399)

I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, "bad"?

Re:Ooh, ooh, I have a bogus theory (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about two weeks ago | (#47415713)

ERMERGERD! It's FULL of STARZ!

Re:Ooh, ooh, I have a bogus theory (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415471)

Collisions between matter and antimatter in space produce a lot of gamma rays of specific energies corresponding to the energy equivalence of the mass of the particles involved (not exclusively at those energies, but a lot there still). This has allowed scientists to characterize collisions between gas clouds and antimatter in areas around our galaxy, but they involve very, very small amounts of antimatter spread out over a large volume.

As far as the discovery that these high energy particles might be coming from some place close, this was somewhat expected as the GZK limit [wikipedia.org] describes a process of high energy particles interacting with CMB photons to pair produce and lose energy, limiting the energy of high energy cosmic rays that travel a long distance. Unfortunately, that could mean there a lack of new physics involved at the cosmic ray energy, much in the same way that confirming a single Higgs particle is a boring outcome not hinting at post-Standard Model physics.

Re:Ooh, ooh, I have a bogus theory (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about two weeks ago | (#47415903)

So to bring it around, what does that have to do with this specific observation in the article, because I can't quite bridge that connection in my head.

Re:Ooh, ooh, I have a bogus theory (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47416735)

The GZK limit predicts essentially a drag force on particles above a very large energy limit. Cosmic rays above this limit have been seen for some time now. This means either the particles come from somewhere close, before they have a chance to lose a lot of their energy, or they come from somewhere far away and the limit is wrong. Previous data was starting to lean toward the latter, with hotspots matching up with distance sources that match early theories on what could produce such high energy particles. Now those previous results didn't pan out, and these results are pointing more toward the former option, that such particles come from some place close and that the limit may still be valid.

Re:Ooh, ooh, I have a bogus theory (1)

idji (984038) | about two weeks ago | (#47416105)

because the annihilation particles are all well known and have MUCH less energy than these particles.

I know where they are coming from. (-1, Flamebait)

kperrier (115199) | about two weeks ago | (#47414945)

It's Galactus. And not the crappy one from the movie.

Happy Hump Day from The Golden Girls! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47414947)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Signals (-1, Flamebait)

mfh (56) | about two weeks ago | (#47414965)

It would be really cool if we discovered these particles were actually packets of alien data. I mean if WE found a new civ and we decided to contact them I wonder how they would adapt to our technology. Wouldn't it present in a kind of similar way?

Because if these particles are pretty special, which they are, then can we not assume they might not be naturally occurring?

Re:Signals (1)

qbast (1265706) | about two weeks ago | (#47414995)

It would be interesting "conversation" with lag measured in thousands of years.

Re:Signals (1, Interesting)

mfh (56) | about two weeks ago | (#47415195)

Unless the particles aren't the message but the means of communication. Maybe they form some kind of field mechanic communications bridge to enable instantaneous communications?

We should consider something like this instead of probes like Voyager. Eventually we'll find a way to use fields or lasers as a communications field conduit that enables immediate lagless communications. Someone is probably working on this right now. To some extent the teleportation technology we've seen for communications could use such beams as guidance and accelerators that cut down lag. So maybe instead of thousands of years the lag is like a day or an hour or a few minutes.

A darker side of this could mean that the existence these focused particles could prove someone is communicating with their homeworld from Earth.

The film Kpax used this kind of idea as his transportation method, which was a pretty awesome film.

Makes for some awesome sci-fi even if it's far fetched!

Re:Signals (2)

meta-monkey (321000) | about two weeks ago | (#47415269)

Any form of faster-than-light communication naturally leads to the ability to communicate backwards in time via moving frames of reference. So FTL anything means the universe is non-causal and we haven't seen anything to suggest that.

Re:Signals (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47416133)

Any form of faster-than-light communication naturally leads to the ability to communicate backwards in time via moving frames of reference

No it doesn't. The "Speed of Light" is simply the speed of pure kinetic energy. Moving faster than light would simply make you "appear" to teleport instantaneously to any of us (and our equipment) bound in the kinetic/potential energy duality, without appearing to be accelerating to that speed. The faster you are moving than the "Speed of Light", the further you'd appear to be teleporting between even infinitely-granule measurable references. The problem is really that it would take more energy than our known mass has available to reach that velocity (which is the whole "mass expands infinitely" misunderstanding). You'd have to discover an alternative type of dormant energy with a higher speed threshold than our understood kinetic/potential and find a way to exploit that.

Re:Signals (1)

weszz (710261) | about two weeks ago | (#47415311)

Couple books/shows come to mind...

Ender's Game using the ansible for instant communication across great distances (the idea that half of it is in one place, the other half somewhere else) and didn't they do that for very short distances already? like a few feet or so?

but also Dr Who comes to mind... depending on what we send out, can they control us with it?

Could it be a very weak attack?

Re:Signals (1)

CeasedCaring (1527717) | about two weeks ago | (#47415433)

Ansible - You're thinking of Quantum Entanglement. Dr Who - You've confused it with A for Andromeda [wikipedia.org]

Re:Signals (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about two weeks ago | (#47415737)

Aye. 'Tis the "Runcible" our lad is thinkin' of, Captain.

Re:Signals (1)

weszz (710261) | about two weeks ago | (#47415821)

For the Dr Who it was this one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org]

The probe is intercepted by a giant spaceship heading for Earth. When the broadcast is shown, an alien face appears and identifies itself as being a Sycorax. The alien demands Earth's surrender and causes a third of the world's population to go into a hypnotic state. The Sycorax threaten to make these people commit suicide unless they are given half of the world's population as slaves. One of the scientists discovers that all of the hypnotised people share the same blood type (A-positive), the same as contained in a sample on Guinevere One.

They used blood control to control people.

On the Ansible you are probably right.

Re:Signals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415845)

It was David Tennant's (Doctor #10) first episode

Re:Signals (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about two weeks ago | (#47415409)

We should consider something like this instead of probes like Voyager.

Voyager's purpose was not to communicate with aliens. The "message" on the spacecraft was a publicity stunt concocted by Carl Sagan, and no sane person expects that any alien will ever receive it.

Re:Signals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47416411)

We should consider something like this instead of probes like Voyager.

Voyager's purpose was not to communicate with aliens. The "message" on the spacecraft was a publicity stunt concocted by Carl Sagan, and no educated person expects that any alien will ever receive it.

Fixed that for you. Plenty of people are perfectly sane while still having no concept of the scales involved. It's ignorance not insanity that leads them to think the Voyager probe(s) may eventually get far enough away to be picked up by aliens.

Re:Signals (1)

PPH (736903) | about two weeks ago | (#47416023)

Unless the particles aren't the message but the means of communication. Maybe they form some kind of field mechanic communications bridge to enable instantaneous communications?

So that would be like needing to make a phone call immediately. And then standing in line for the next version of iPhone.

I'm certain that advanced civilizations have evolved beyond this kind of behavior.

Re:Signals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415485)

They might recognize our technology. After all, they are already throwing baseballs at us.

Re:Signals (1)

tonywestonuk (261622) | about two weeks ago | (#47415547)

Maybe not communication..... ....but, maybe its part of a super ion-drive thruster, that can accelerate ions to near lightspeed before throwing them out the back of their spacecraft. This would give them very close to an actual impulse drive, without violating that annoying Newton's Third Law.

Re:Signals (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about two weeks ago | (#47415769)

It's interstellar Unicorn vomit - ejected our way from the taping of "Mythological Beasts Gone Wild" during spring break, beyond Arcturus.

Heaven (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415013)

Just saying what we're all thinking.

translating for the athiests. (5, Informative)

nimbius (983462) | about two weeks ago | (#47415035)

For those of us scientists who hold Christ-gods and sky friends as important in our lives as an empty roll of shit-tickets or takeaway flyers:

God Particle: the Higgs Boson.
Oh-My-God Particle: ultra-high-energy cosmic ray (most likely a proton) detected on the evening of 15 October 1991 over Dugway Proving Ground, Utah.

other particles we find similar to it could be given normal names like UHE particles, or super high energy rays but that doesnt secure grant funding in the theocratic Mormon state of Utah.

Re:translating for the athiests. (4, Informative)

bunratty (545641) | about two weeks ago | (#47415103)

Ironically, these particles are named after exclamations. The God Particle was the name of a book originally titled The Goddamn Particle because the Higgs boson was so hard to find. A better name for the Oh-My-God Particle may be the Oh-Shit! Particle. The names have nothing to do with religion.

re:translating for the athiests (1)

ed.han (444783) | about two weeks ago | (#47415241)

thank you, because here i was thinking the naming of the OMG particle related to sex!

ed

Re:translating for the athiests. (1)

drainbramage (588291) | about two weeks ago | (#47415315)

He states that he is a scientist, how dare you try to explain the well known facts to him, a scientist?
Don't you realize this is science man!
Take your common sense, reason, and facts and go somewhere where that kind of stuff is tolerated.

Re:translating for the athiests. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415617)

That may be the true reason; but religion has twisted the events to suit their own agenda. Guess which one is presented in the media?

I asked 53 people at work "Why was the Higgs boson called the 'God Particle'"? 38 looked at me like a deer in a headlight. The rest answered with some version of "It proves that god exists". Not one knew the correct answer.

Your planet is doomed!

Re:translating for the athiests. (1)

stox (131684) | about two weeks ago | (#47415677)

My favorite particle is still the OopsLeon.

Re:translating for the athiests. (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about two weeks ago | (#47416147)

It amazes me that this needs to be pointed out. Using a deity's name in a secular and preferably angry context is one of the fundaments of swearing, by deus.

Re:translating for the athiests. (1)

swillden (191260) | about two weeks ago | (#47416459)

It amazes me that this needs to be pointed out. Using a deity's name in a secular and preferably angry context is one of the fundaments of swearing, by deus.

And one that is generally frowned upon by religious people. The names are essentially anti-religious, not religious, in nature.

Re:translating for the athiests. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415109)

Wow. You don have a problem with your own ideology, don't you?
 
Now just sit back and let the adults talk about something other than their juvenile hang ups.

Re:translating for the athiests. (1)

Herve5 (879674) | about two weeks ago | (#47415123)

Thanks. Just this, thanks, but sincerely.

translating for the athiests. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415203)

Religious scientist is like saying technophobic blogger.

Re: translating for the athiests. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415459)

Or compassionate Teabag Partier.

Re:translating for the athiests. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415839)

Religious scientist is like saying technophobic blogger.

Actually, that's not true. But thanks anyway for letting us know about your tunnel vision of reality.

If you ever take a theology class you will learn that there are 2 ways to determine the nature of God. The first way is special revelation (eg. scripture) and the second way through general revelation (eg. science). True theology actually encourages the sciences even though liberal media only picks up on the tabloid "theologists" who are all bat crazy.

Sorry to turn your "reality" upside down on this.

Re:translating for the athiests. (1)

irrational_design (1895848) | about two weeks ago | (#47416631)

I think that is is wishful thinking in your narrow-worldview. I have one uncle that is a tenured professor of physics (though he also has a PHD in chemistry) at a major university and is openly religious. He spoke at the funeral of my grandfather and nobody who heard him speak would think he was atheist. I have another uncle that is a top research scientist a Fortune 100 company. Likewise he is a believing scientist. I have other relatives that are doctors, engineers, etc that likewise are religious.

Re: translating for the athiests. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415697)

perhaps, not only religious, but popular appeal can attract more funding?
Please consider the following submissions in the future;
Hammer of Thor Particle,
WTF Particle?!,
SUPER SIZE BIGASS PARTICLE,
Naked Celebrity Particle,
Big Screen TV Particle,
Ow.. My Balls Particle..
Each one has its own charm.

Re:translating for the athiests. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415725)

And translating for those without spell-checkers:

"Atheists".

It's not that hard.

Re:translating for the athiests. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415743)

Did you do the translation because atheists were confused and you needed to break it down into other terms for them to understand?

BTW: atheist is spelled atheist, not athiest. The red squiggly line underneath your typing should have indicated your misspelling.

Re:translating for the athiests. (1)

swillden (191260) | about two weeks ago | (#47416141)

other particles we find similar to it could be given normal names like UHE particles, or super high energy rays but that doesnt secure grant funding in the theocratic Mormon state of Utah.

If the state of Utah is theocratic and makes funding decisions based on particle names, choosing blasphemous ones is not the path to big research bucks. Mormons take the prohibition against taking the name of deity in vain pretty seriously.

Buy the book BANNED by Costco! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415045)

Buy the book BANNED by Costco!

Buy the book that Google can't seem to find in their search engine!

America!

http://www.dineshdsouza.com/news/

"Dinesh D’Souza, in response to the news of Costco removing his latest book, America: Imagine A World Without Her, from its shelves, made the following statement on July 8.

                Today, I was stunned to learn that Costco had pulled my latest book, America: Imagine A World Without Her, from all of its stores. This was despite the fact that the book had sold very well at the chain and that my movie of the same name was releasing on over 1,000 screens the very next day. Today, I am disappointed to learn that this news has been confirmed by Costco. This action confirms the suspicions of all freedom-loving Americans and is a direct attack on my livelihood which I take very seriously.

                In a free society, Costco is free to ban my book, but their customers are also free to shop at other stores which don’t censor books. In the book and the movie, I talk about the shaming of Americans and a culture of intimidation and censorship that has been spearheaded by the President himself. It’s one thing for Costco executives to pal around with President Obama and donate almost exclusively to Democrats. But to turn their company into a tool for suppressing dissent against the government is another matter.

                I urge all Americans to watch our film in their nearest theater and buy the book from an establishment that honors freedom of speech. Once they do that, they will understand why the President and his allies are so afraid of this message and determined to keep it from reaching the American people."

Or is it actually true that you people are too lazy to read anything that is longer than a blog post?

Re:Buy the book BANNED by Costco! (-1, Flamebait)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about two weeks ago | (#47415107)

Everytime I go to Costco I'm impressed with the quality of what they sell. I guess it's because they can tell the difference between shit and quality.

Re:Buy the book BANNED by Costco! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415201)

#1 best seller on Amazon, but of course you mouth breathers are all happy and fun with effective censorship from the Obama donors at Costco.

Does it give none of you pause that they would rather you not know anything about this book?

Maybe it's just me, but when the state tells me I cannot read a book, that book is something that I will want very much to read.

But you all just keep doing as you are told. We know you will.

Re:Buy the book BANNED by Costco! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415379)

Plenty of benign books, like cooks books and top selling novels, I'll see at Costco one week, then gone a week or two later... beyond some staples, they change what is on their shelves quite a lot. And when the state (which is not Costco...) does say you can't read the book, that will be a different story. Otherwise, Costco's decision to carry or not carry a book doesn't factor into my decision which books to read.

Re:Buy the book BANNED by Costco! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415447)

Well good for you. But that's really not the point.

Costco is a big Obama/Democrat donor and is using their not insignificnat power to shutdown the voice of an author who is critical of the Obama/Democrat machine.

This is fascism, you do understand this do you not? And while this is not direct state censorship, Costco is working at some level along with the actual state, and that makes this very close to actual censorship.

One would think that an enlightened, intelligent, reasonable person would be against censorship. But we know that you sooper genisus are all socialist all the time and anything that furthers that end is just fine with you.

This is tyranny, straight up.

Re:Buy the book BANNED by Costco! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415587)

No, it's keeping the shelves fresh with new material.

Again, to repeat the post above yours, Costco moves through inventory quite fast; it's part and parcel to their business model. I bet they did the same with Obama's book, and Coulter/Hannity books, etc. Hell, they do it with higher-end wine, too!

Re:Buy the book BANNED by Costco! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415621)

Nonsense, this was politically motivated and if you think otherwise you really need to take a look at what other bullshit things you believe because other people tell you to.

This book is a best seller right now, and in theaters right now, and they are getting bad publicity because of this whole thing. A business looking to make money does not make these kinds of decisions.

Hillary book is there on the shelves and selling like empty cracker jars, but you think they have no room for thie super popular book.

Are you really an idiot or do you have an actual brain? Use it.

Re: Buy the book BANNED by Costco! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415513)

I didn't see Costco on the ballot.

Re:Buy the book BANNED by Costco! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415869)

This action confirms the suspicions of all freedom-loving Americans and is a direct attack on my livelihood which I take very seriously.

Nobody gives a fuck about your livelihood.

Just because you wrote a book doesn't mean anybody is required to carry it, or read it, or give a damn about it.

I propose a new book: "Dinesh D'Souza: Imagine A World With one Less Whiny Bitch With a Crackpot Theory"

Re:Buy the book BANNED by Costco! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415941)

"Nobody gives a fuck about your livelihood."

That's quite untrue, this book is a best seller. So clearly many people disagree with you.

"Just because you wrote a book doesn't mean anybody is required to carry it, or read it, or give a damn about it."

No one is saying that should be forced to carry it, just that they are taking it off their shelves for a political reason, which they are. But what's more is that these are big Democrat donors, the party that runs the government, as as such this action is an atempt at near state censorship, which it is.

So are you, Mr. Enlightened liberal, a pro censorship guy? Are you afraid of a little criticism? It appears that you are.

I hate censorship of any kind. I would resist someone censoring a communist book for example, I do not hold double standards. But you, it seems do.

I hate people who hold double standards.

I hate you.

Re:Buy the book BANNED by Costco! (1)

DahGhostfacedFiddlah (470393) | about two weeks ago | (#47416395)

If you want the book to reach people, maybe you should apply the same persuasive techniques to Costco stores that we've seen in this very thread.

For instance, you might find yourself in a Costco and see a small group of people gathered around telescopes, discussing the many wonders of the universe they hope to see. You could shove your way to the center of their attention and shout about how Costco censors a completely unrelated book! I can think of no finer way to win the respect and admiration of the scientific community.

Re:Buy the book BANNED by Costco! (3, Insightful)

Triklyn (2455072) | about two weeks ago | (#47416419)

Dinesh D’Souza has always been a hack. it'd be different if it were a good writer, but i might as well be outraged at them pulling twilight from their shelves. some things really aren't worth the ink they're printed with :)

Reavers (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | about two weeks ago | (#47415071)

Running ther reactors without shielding.

I lament the degeneration of the English language (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415089)

Actual scientists... people with PhDs... are creating names like "Oh-My-God" . What's next, "veribifaction" in physics education?
Professor: "So I totally EyeJammed my telescope and galactified my research. I thought I was peepin' down a R.D. but really it was a 2nary star, bitches!"

Re:I lament the degeneration of the English langua (1)

weszz (710261) | about two weeks ago | (#47415325)

Idiocracy... it's not just a funny movie, it is the future.

Re:I lament the degeneration of the English langua (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about two weeks ago | (#47415401)

Obligatory:
http://xkcd.com/603/ [xkcd.com]

Their illustrations are worse (2)

grimJester (890090) | about two weeks ago | (#47415475)

I've been laughing at this [princeton.edu] (pdf) for days now. The lower right pic on the second page gets me every time.

Re:I lament the degeneration of the English langua (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about two weeks ago | (#47415499)

It's only wage-slave click-baiting modern journalists who are responsible for this. It only takes one scientists to slip up and use a funny or sensational nickname for a particle (which will happen eventually), and then these media idiots run with it.

Re:I lament the degeneration of the English langua (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415503)

The problem is your own bigotry - why do you assume that real scientists - people with PHDs - are somehow not human? Guess what - scientists fart too! They even make fart jokes! Scientists also snort when they eat, scratch their balls, argue with their wives and kids, bitch at/about their neighbors and are even known to drink beer in the backyard while having a barbecue! Scientists can and do listen to opera, rock, country western, rap, hip hop and everything in between.

Youre a pretentious asshole. No one is obligated to live out your preconceived bigotries to your expectations.

Re:I lament the degeneration of the English langua (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415873)

"veribifaction"?? If you're going to make up words, at least try to make the derivation clear. What's a "veribi"?

Re:I lament the degeneration of the English langua (2)

Minwee (522556) | about two weeks ago | (#47416197)

Actual scientists... people with PhDs... are creating names like "Oh-My-God".

You need to meet more people with doctorates.

Many of them are actual people with senses of whimsy and humour. It's not like they joined some sort of academic cult and were turned into mindless zombies.

Not that that doesn't happen, but it's not part of the PhD process. Many people are able to survive academic life and still think that thagomizer [wikipedia.org] is a perfectly fine name for the spikes on the end of a Stegosaurus's tail.

Re:I lament the degeneration of the English langua (2)

Triklyn (2455072) | about two weeks ago | (#47416563)

fuck off kid.

someone saw something moving at nearly the speed of light packing the energy of a fast moving baseball at 20 odd something orders of magnitude it's mass... and you don't think OMG is an appropriate declaration?

Global Warming (0)

gunner_von_diamond (3461783) | about two weeks ago | (#47415121)

has observed a broad 'hotspot' in the sky in which such cosmic rays seem to originate

Cosmic Rays? Or just global warming?

WTFis "as much energy as well-thrown baseballs"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415177)

WTF is "as much energy as well-thrown baseballs"?

Re:WTFis "as much energy as well-thrown baseballs" (2)

Idarubicin (579475) | about two weeks ago | (#47415289)

WTF is "as much energy as well-thrown baseballs"?

That should technically be something like "as much kinetic energy as a well-thrown baseball". In other words, about 50 joules: what you get from a baseball at about 60 miles per hour. So, not major-league fastball fast (90+ mph) but quite a respectable velocity.

And we're not going to talk about assorted forms of chemical or nuclear potential energy in the baseball. If you set fire to a baseball, you could get quite a bit more thermal energy. And you could get a heck of a lot more energy out of a baseball if you fused all its component atoms down to iron.

Re:WTFis "as much energy as well-thrown baseballs" (0)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about two weeks ago | (#47415349)

In high school I could throw a fastball at 75 mph. I got recruited by Bama but they rescinded the offer when I hurt my elbow in a skateboarding accident.

Re:WTFis "as much energy as well-thrown baseballs" (2)

Himmy32 (650060) | about two weeks ago | (#47415439)

This what I come to Slashdot for.

I use to be a baseball player, then I took a skateboard to the elbow.

Re:WTFis "as much energy as well-thrown baseballs" (1)

Triklyn (2455072) | about two weeks ago | (#47416587)

this comment deserves recognition. please mod parent up :)

Re:WTFis "as much energy as well-thrown baseballs" (1)

tonywestonuk (261622) | about two weeks ago | (#47415297)

Re:WTFis "as much energy as well-thrown baseballs" (1)

Minwee (522556) | about two weeks ago | (#47416281)

How much is that in Volkswagens? And how fast is it travelling relative to imperial standard sheep? Can you measure the kinetic energy in terms of double-decker busses?

Re:WTFis "as much energy as well-thrown baseballs" (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about two weeks ago | (#47415299)

Take the energy of a baseball thrown at 90-something miles per hour. Now instead apply that energy to a single proton. That's an awful, awful lot of energy for one tiny particle.

Re:WTFis "as much energy as well-thrown baseballs" (1)

Motard (1553251) | about two weeks ago | (#47415575)

Steerriikke!

Re:WTFis "as much energy as well-thrown baseballs" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47416203)

Oh, but where it gets real funny is if you don't take the kinetic energy of a baseball and transfer it to a single proton, but where you take the impulse of a baseball and transfer it to a proton.

Now that is a fun proton gun to wield on a baseball field and should confuse the hell out of a batter when you direct it against, well, a flying baseball. Though it would likely cause different problems than just pushing baseballs off-course.

Because the energy of such a proton would be quite intimidating...

Re:WTFis "as much energy as well-thrown baseballs" (1)

drainbramage (588291) | about two weeks ago | (#47415333)

No kidding, it should have been in the internationally accepted furlongs per fortnight.

Re:WTFis "as much energy as well-thrown baseballs" (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about two weeks ago | (#47415553)

The unit of energy is fff, the energy required to accelerate one firkin by one furlong-per-fortnight.

Re:WTFis "as much energy as well-thrown baseballs" (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about two weeks ago | (#47415635)

That's purely a velocity measure, to include the energy you need to include the mass.

So it's "hogs heads * (furlongs/fornight)^2"

Re:WTFis "as much energy as well-thrown baseballs" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415341)

Somewhere in the ballpark (hur hur) of 140 Joules each

Alien Spacecraft (4, Insightful)

tonywestonuk (261622) | about two weeks ago | (#47415263)

Its aliens who have created an Ion drive capable of accelerating Hydrogen ions to near speed of light.. - Giving an almost limitless supply of thrust. What we are seeing is pollution from the thrusters!

Re:Alien Spacecraft (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415373)

We need to make them stop polluting out galaxy!

We must put an end to these dirty dirty aliens once and for all! Who's with me!

Bring your pitchforks!

Re:Alien Spacecraft (1)

swillden (191260) | about two weeks ago | (#47416479)

We need to make them stop polluting out galaxy!

We must put an end to these dirty dirty aliens once and for all! Who's with me!

Bring your pitchforks!

I got my pitchfork right here. Let's go!

How are we going to get there, again?

Re:Alien Spacecraft (1)

sinij (911942) | about two weeks ago | (#47415601)

This would imply that they are decelerating on the approaching trajectory.

Re:Alien Spacecraft (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about two weeks ago | (#47415739)

This would imply that they are decelerating on the approaching trajectory.

Or getting as far away from us as they can.

Re:Alien Spacecraft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415863)

They're probably spewing particles in every direction, avoiding only their own colonies and ships. According to the map these buggers are in Ursa Major.

Re:Alien Spacecraft (1)

Triklyn (2455072) | about two weeks ago | (#47416629)

that's an incredibly disturbing thought. thanks for that. not only can they throw beefed up protons at us, they're getting closer.

Re:Alien Spacecraft (1)

cjestel (788399) | about two weeks ago | (#47416145)

Its aliens who have created an Ion drive capable of accelerating Hydrogen ions to near speed of light.. - Giving an almost limitless supply of thrust. What we are seeing is pollution from the thrusters!

And this is the real reason for global warming :-)

Re:Alien Spacecraft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47416687)

Its aliens who have created an Ion drive capable of accelerating Hydrogen ions to near speed of light.. - Giving an almost limitless supply of thrust.

What we are seeing is pollution from the thrusters!

COSMIC CLIMATE CHANGE! GO

Cygnus X-3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415495)

Can anyone comment on how this impacts the theory these were coming from Cygnus X-3:

In the case of Cygnus
X-3, the Kiel and Haverah Park experiments detected an apparent signal of 1015 eV particles
that was modulated at the 4.8 hr orbital periodicity of the source [4]. Although the statistical
significance of each detection was low (less than five standard deviations above background),
the results were exciting because, if true, they implied that Cygnus X-3 channeled a substantial
fraction of its luminosity into ultra high energy particles. In fact, it was pointed out that
if Cygnus X-3 consisted of a 1017 eV accelerator with a luminosity of 1039 ergs/s, only a
few such objects would be required to explain the origin of the high-energy cosmic rays [5].
Another wrinkle in the story came from the details of the experimental data itself. In
studying apparent signals from Cygnus X-3 and Hercules X-1, several experiments reported
air shower data that could not easily be explained by assuming a gamma-ray primary particle
(see summary in [6]). For example, in the showers arriving from Hercules X-1, more muons
were detected than expected from gamma-ray primaries. Again, the statistical significance
of this effect was weak, but the results stimulated the community to question whether gamma
rays behaved differently at ultra high energies than expected, or indeed whether the primary
particles were in fact gamma rays.

http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~rene/talks/Cronin-Fest-Ong-Writeup.pdf

Re:Cygnus X-3 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415611)

From the link above:

Ultra high energy (UHE) cosmic rays are particles reaching Earth that have energies
greater than 10^14 eV

From this paper:

The origin of ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs), particles with energies greater
than 10^18 eV, is one of the mysteries of astroparticle physics.

So what is going on here with the definitions?

http://arxiv.org/pdf/1404.5890v2.pdf

Valhalla! (3, Funny)

jsepeta (412566) | about two weeks ago | (#47415699)

or perhaps it's from a stargate

What's next in the headlines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about two weeks ago | (#47415771)

The "Oh, Yes! Particle?"

The "Yes, Right There Particle?"

The "OOOOOOOOHOHHHHH Particle?"

Re:What's next in the headlines? (1)

PPH (736903) | about two weeks ago | (#47416097)

The "OOOOOOOOHOHHHHH Particle?"

It has been discovered. Unfortunately, with a very fast decay rate.

Nice Visualization (1)

shrove (321288) | about two weeks ago | (#47415825)

They have a nice graphic here of the OMG particle hitting the atmosphere.
http://www.spaceanswers.com/deep-space/what-is-the-omg-particle/

That's just the particle beam (1)

silvermorph (943906) | about two weeks ago | (#47416331)

... in the "tiny universe" experimenter's particle accelerator.

Contact (1)

markroth8 (762728) | about two weeks ago | (#47416427)

Hmm... Energetic particles hitting Earth, originating from a single location in the sky... Someone is obviously trying to throw a rock through our window.
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