Friday, February 23, 2018

The Island of Stability



Randy tells Jim about the Island of Stability. This is a theoretically predicted region (or two, in one calculation) where the isotopes of atoms with heavy nuclei are stable. Jim and Randy talk about the islands, how they are attempting to get there, and some of the calculations people use to predict the stability of elements. Along the way, they mispronounce a lot of words.

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Notes:

1. The papers we read for this program:
2. The book I talked about on fluids that goes into the fluid model of the nucleus is Introduction to the Physics of Fluids and Solids by James S. Trefil, which is apparently no longer in print (I have a Dover edition, I love Dover). My favorite Modern Physics text is Rohlf, mostly because of its focus on scattering, but I taught from Serway, which is more standard.


3. Our subreddit.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Dark Energy



Randy helps Jim get a handle on dark energy. Why do we need it? Why do we want to believe in it now, but didn't earlier? How many different things could it be? What does it have to do with you? How close are we to knowing anything about it?

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Notes:

1. The papers we read for this program:
  • Carroll, S., "Dark Energy and the Preposterous Universe." [arXiv]
  • Turner, M., "Dark Energy and the New Cosmology." [arXiv]
  • Zwicky, F., "On the Masses of Nebulae and Clusters of Nebulae." Astrophys. J.  86, 217 (1937) [web]
  • Holsclaw, T., Alam, U., Sanso, B, Lee, H., Heitmann, K., Habib, S. and Higdon, D., "New Constraints on the Time-Variation of the Dark Energy Equation of State from Current Supernova Data." [web]
2.I'll review Oyvind Gron's book, Lecture Notes on the General Theory of Relativity soon. I've been meaning to for a couple of months now.

3. Previous Episodes Referenced:
4. Read my review of Cosmic Update, a book about cosmology in the accelerating universe.

5.If you or Dragan Hejdukovic wants to supply us with the background energy that would be predicted from virtual gravitational dipoles, please leave us a nice comment with smilies.

6. Our subreddit.