Friday, February 04, 2005

Peace in Iran, LHC, and other news

Many readers rely on this blog as one of the main sources of information. Let's mention some news:
  • The US administration does not plan a war against Iran right now. Although Libertarian Girl and others may have presented some arguments supporting such a war (well, the photograph may be one of them), the Reference Frame would consider a war against Iran as a strategic error and a risky and morally controversial decision, especially after the less-than-perfect development in Iraq in the last 2 years. The plans about Iran may change, of course.
  • BBC has a new article about the search for the "God particle". Prof. Virdee says that "they don't always like theorists to tell them what they should find". Did you know that the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) is large enough to house the Canterbury Cathedral?
  • Max Schmeling (the boxer) died at age of 99. He may have been the greatest symbol of the "superior" Nazi race among the sport celebrities. However, from a historical perspective, I think that he was a kind of positive personality. He protected Jews from the Nazi regime, became friends with his old good African American competitor Joe Louis, and introduced CocaCola to West Germany.
  • Julia Tymoshenko, an ally of Viktor Yushchenko, became the new Ukrainian prime minister. The situation in Ukraine has been completely stabilized.
The weather has become one of the most politically sensitive topics ;-), which is the main reason why the Reference Frame finds it important to inform about the weather:
  • Although most of the news about the Arctic emphasize how warm it's getting and how the polar bears may dislike it, almost no one will tell you that the Arctic's stratosphere has experienced an extremely harsh, cold winter. In fact, this extreme cold is a threat for the ozone layer in Northern Europe. Unlike the "Global Warming", the ozone hole is viewed by the Reference Frame as a potential problem that should be seriously looked at; the UV radiation is dangerous, and its amount reaching the surface depends exponentially on the ozone layer's thickness. Of course, the Global Warming alarmists will blame everything - including the cooling stratosphere - on human-induced global warming, but I hope that most of my readers are still able to distinguish different effects. The ozone layer thinning is caused by many effects, and indirect effects of CO_2 are among the speculative ones.
  • Australia has had a record cold summer, too. Melbourne has recorded its coldest February day on record (12.8 degrees). It's been raining a lot. The damage has topped 100 million AUD. Also, a famous glacier in New Zealand had been used as a prime example of global warming - it shrunk by 500 meters between 1999 and 2003. The glacier was named after the emperor of my homeland, namely Austria-Hungary, 100+ years ago: Franz Josef. You won't hear about Franz Josef today because it is growing by 4 meters a day. This fact is apparently politically incorrect.
  • Today, it was announced that a new, fifty-kilometer-long iceberg has formed in the frigid waters around Antarctica.
  • Four days ago, Moscow was hit by the heaviest snowstorm ever. At the same day, a huge snowstorm also hit Japan.
  • Researchers have constructed realistic plans to terraform Mars, by injecting a huge amount of greenhouse gases to Mars's atmosphere. In other words, the scientists plan to use global warming to make another planet habitable. Well, CO_2 would not be enough: they think about fluorine-based gases that can be roughly 10,000 more efficient than carbon dioxide.
Some news from the economy:
  • The unadjusted unemployment in Germany has topped 5 million people, the highest number (and rate) since 1933 when Hitler took power: the number of unemployed jumped by 200,000 or so within a month. It may be useful, especially for some of the readers, to mention that it does not yet imply that a new Hitler has to become the German leader in 2005.
  • Europe is slightly changing its agenda. According to the previous, Lisbon agenda, various EU commission's governmental projects should have made our old good Europe the world's most dynamic economy by 2010. The new plan - the revised Lisbon agenda - is for Europe to avoid the collapse by 2010. The new commission's boss José Manuel Barroso (former Portugese prime minister) has obviously learned more from the failure of the Soviet bloc than his predecessors. He has made a kind of Larry-Summers-like scandal when he openly supported flexible free markets in his speech! :-) Barroso also wants to establish The Eurochusetts Institute for Technology.
  • In the US, the payrolls increased roughly by 150,000, a long-term average number and a disappointment for the economists who predicted 189,000. The unemployment calculated from another survey dropped from 5.4 to 5.2 percent, the lowest number since September 2001.
  • Václav Klaus, the outspoken and highly intelligent Czech President, spoke at the Microsoft conference in Prague. He explained that the clichés about the knowledge economy and information society are modern forms of mysticism. The important principles of market economy do not need any updates, and they are not correlated with any particular technology.
  • The financial terrorists at Karmabanque.com who believe that by having established a website for similar anti-Coke morons - a website that features virtual antimoney, they would be able to reduce the price of the Coca Cola stock from $40 to $20, must feel surprised. The airplanes do not land. The Coke stock has risen from $40 to $42.50 within the last few months.

37 comments:

  1. I prefer Vegas to politics. Can you help?

    You could read THIS and vote for "Jodi & Andrew"! Thanks a lot!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lubos: Are you OK? Your title meantioned Iran, LHC and other news. But I could not find any meantioning of LHC in the content of your message. What's wrong with you?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Quantoken,

    if you don't see the information about the LHC, you should perhaps try to train your brain a little bit more, or perhaps ask for medical assistance.

    Cheers
    Lubos

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Quantoken wrote a message emphasizing that he thinks that no paragraph in my text is about the LHC. ;-)

    After a couple of hours of thinking, he has probably discovered that the Compact Muon Solenoid searching for the God particle may have been about the LHC after all, and he erased his comment.

    This insight is, according to Quantoken's standards, a marvelous intellectual achievement that I wholeheartedly appreciate. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. It would be scientific, though perhaps not politic, to mention regarding US unemployment figures

    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/050204/economy_22.html

    "The overall civilian unemployment rate declined to 5.2 percent in January, from 5.4 percent in December, as people left the job market for any number of reasons. January's jobless rate was the lowest since September 2001."

    and

    "January's job gain pushed total payrolls to 132.57 million. That was just above the level when payroll employment peaked in February 2001, the month before the economy fell into recession."

    ReplyDelete
  7. "Many readers rely on this blog as one of the main sources of information." But the landscape looks like 0.9 science, 0.09 amusement, 0.009 crackpots (vacuum states :-), 0.000999... remainder.

    "... the ozone hole is viewed by the Reference Frame as a potential problem that should be seriously looked at." Well, if GW exists abnormal local temperatures would be expected in the transition, and you would know how to counter them.

    Since you have contrary evidence, what remains is to control gases regulating high athmosphere ozone. That includes most GW gases. lumo joining GW; is that topology possible, or are you stringing us along... ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Well Lumo, the high Arctic is indeed enduring a "harsh cold winter" - provided that when you say "high Arctic" you mean above 8 km, up in the stratosphere. You left that little detail out of your post. There has been a trend toward such "harsh, cold winters" in recent years. Most scientists think that the cold stratosphere is related to the unusually warm Arctic surface temperatures. The chain of causation is complex and I don't think there is any "consensus" on it, but the anticorrelation for the past few years is undoubted. Check out NOAA's climate site for the numbers and charts.

    Cheers,

    - Anon

    ReplyDelete
  9. Trouble is, lumo doesn't believe in correlations, he wants causal proofs. There is a strong suspicion that when we see the GW effects clearly enough to prove them, it's to late.

    The Cautionary Principle that large consequences should be considered even at small probabilities, means nothing to him since isn't scientific, just common sense.

    The sad fact is that the probability that lumo will do something for the climate before any GW will be unstoppable is 10{-99}.

    Except if he is serious about the ozone, since he then must advocate pretty much what the GW group says...

    ReplyDelete
  10. I do share Lubos's opinion that GW is a crackpot theory. Clearly human could not produce a single ounce of carbon atoms. So whatever carbon human release into the atmosphere in the form of CO2, it came from either current (woord) or ancient (fossil fuel) plantations. The carbons in plantations in turn came from the CO2 in atmosphere, so nothing is added and nothing is extracted. The total carbon on earth is conserved.

    Before there was ever life, most carbons on earth must have existed in the form of CO2. And the global warming would have been max at that time. If the environmental temperature at that time wasn't high enough to prohibit the origin of life, then a few percentage of a ppm extra CO2 due to human activity today should really cause no problem at all.

    Now that Lubos do agree GW is a crackpot theory. And he must realize that it is a well established theory within the establishment circle. At least the MAJOR of environmental scientists AGREE with GW. The question I want to ask Lubos is how come this is the case? Does he think all environment scientists are all incredibly stupid. Or is there a different explaiantion to this social phenomena?

    I would say the establishment is full of craps, not necessarily because those people are smart, but because of the political reason that people who do not adhere to the main stream is not going to survive within the establishment camp.

    That surely is true in the environmental science circle. Is it not true also in theoretical physics circle, and cosmology as well? It's all politics disguist in the name of science.

    Quantoken

    ReplyDelete
  11. What I can't figure out is why they would want to house the Canterbury Cathedral in the Large Muon Solenoid. Won't the archbishop get a pretty big radiation dose? I guess he would get to see God pretty soon whether they see God's particle (or even a Higgs) or not.

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  12. CIP, haha, pretty funny. At least some of the priests will see God if the physicists don't see the God particle.

    Quantoken - what you write would be very nice. Except that the concentration of CO_2 in the atmosphere is known to have risen by tens of percent since the start of the industrial era.

    It's not hard to see that only a tiny fraction of the carbon atoms are in the atmosphere. If you collapse and condensate the whole atmosphere, you will get a couple of meters thick layer. The CO2 is only 400 parts per million, which is roughly 2 millimeters or so, and only 1/4 of it is the carbon. Would you believe that there is more carbon in the solid Earth than a 2 millimeter thick layer? I don't know the exact numbers, but I believe that your counting is incorrect.

    In history, it's been known that the concentration of CO2 was both much higher as well as much lower. The GW alarmists don't want to claim that we're unprecedented in the history of the Earth - they are just saying that our climate is unprecedented in the timescale of thousands of years - which is also wrong by the way.

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  13. Lumo - It's not hard to see that only a tiny fraction of the carbon atoms are in the atmosphere.Yes. About 70 times as much CO2 is in the Ocean, fossil fuels, and other sinks as in the atmosphere. The rock composing the Earth's crust has a couple of million times as much carbon as the atmosphere.

    ReplyDelete
  14. History properly refers to the period during which humans have kept records. The vast majority of human existence too is properly termed prehistory. Not sure then what the term "history of the earth" means.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Dear Anonymous,

    the fact that YOU don't know what the history of the Earth was at the geological timescale does not mean that SCIENCE does not know.

    On the contrary, it is known that the concentration has been fluctuating between roughly 200 in the ice ages, and roughly 300 ppm in the interglacials. This is known from drilling samples into the glaciers.

    Half a billion years ago, the concentration was above 3,000 ppm with a slightly larger error bar - nine times the current concentration. This is measured from stomata of fossil plants.

    Best
    Lubos

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am asking Lubos to comment on the social phenomena while the MAJORITY of scientists agree with the Global Warming Theory, which both me and him agree is a crackpot theory. Why such a crachpot theory is the main stream in the establishment. Is it because those people are not smart, or is it something else? Has Lubos thought about it?

    So far Lubos refused to comment on that notion, while continue to comment on the GW theory itself. I guess he knows full well that if the most widely accepted theory in one establishment campt, the earth science camp, could be crackpot. Then it could also be full of craps in other establishment camps, including cosmology, and even his own camp.

    Now I am finally beginning to publish how some of the most precise predictions of GUITAR, including the calculation of the correct CMB temperature of 2.724K, the solar constant 1360W/(M^2*sec), the precise ratio between neutron to electron mass, correct for the first 10 (TEN) DECIMAL PLACES(!!!), are obtained. Please see my BLOG:

    http://quantoken.blogspot.com/

    Lubos please go and comment as you have promised in the past. But before you go. I must warn you that you should throw away your cheap calculator bought from Wal-Mart, and instead buy a high end scientific calculator, before you go to my web site. Because the $10 crap you have at hand would have 8 or 10 decimal places accuracy, which is not good enough to verify my calculation of the neutron to electron mass ratio. You need a more accurate one.

    Mean while I only wish they had determined alpha more accurately, to allow me to achieve better than 10 decimal places accuracy!!!!

    Quantoken

    ReplyDelete
  17. Dear Quantoken,
    why do I think that the majority of scientists believes it?

    1. It has become very popular among scientists, and certain "synergy" encourages every scientist to believe other scientists, even though very few people actually have an independent reason to believe these theories.

    2. Most scientists are atheists and left-wing, and they feel that they should be something along the "moral lines". Reducing a hypothetical damage of the climate is a good solution.

    3. Because of the points 1,2, there is an extensive cherry-picking going on, with the data that oppose the global warming paradigm being systematically suppressed and eliminated. Given the fact that the climate is very complex and gives us a lot of chaotic data, it is very easy to pick a subset of data that will give you a kind of support for your paradigm.

    4. Many scientists are simultaneously active anti-capitalist activists. They have interest to damage the big corporations and capitalism in general, and they're not able or not willing to separate their politics from their science.

    Despite these things, I am not gonna agree with your bizarre statements such as "most carbon is in the atmosphere" because they're not right either.

    All the best
    Lubos

    ReplyDelete
  18. Lubos:
    Now we are beginning to have a meaningful discussion. As for the Carbon thing I think you are taking my words out of context and misunderstood it: I said "BEFORE there was ever life, most carbons on earth must have existed in the form of CO2".

    Clearly I was talking about pre-history atmosphere, NOT today's atmosphere. Do I not know that many rocks are CaCO3?


    The CO2 in atmosphere are almost completely depleted today due to plantation consumption. The low density of CO2 is the major reason plantations are not more prosperous than they could have been. That's another argument against GW theory.

    I agree with your few points why most scientists agree with GW. I hope you keep the skepticism in judging other science branches as well. I would also want to supplement that funding, politics, and survivability within the circle do play a very big role, especially when the competition for limited funding and job position is SO FIERCE within the science circle nowadays.

    It forces you to go with the main stream if you want to survive!!!! How many of your classmates get a tenured position so far?

    Meanwhile I do want you to pull out a calculator, and go to my web page to verify some of my calculations. It is not a everyday occurence that one calculates the neutron to electron mass ratio to 10 decimal places accuracy. I assure you I did not secretly inject the parameter like your camp do in secretly injecting G through the Planck Sacle. If you catch my secretly injecting numbers you would have a chance to publicly humiliate me.

    OK, to do that calculation you do need to know the mean lifetime of neutron decay. I tried to get the most accurate result. Here it is:

    http://www.physi.uni-heidelberg.de/physi/publications/ckm_hartmann.pdf

    It listed several numbers. I would pick the number with least error, 885.4 += 0.4 seconds, instead of using average, which dilute the accuracy by other less accurate results.

    Wait till I show you how it's related to the neutron to electron mass ratio!

    Quantoken

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  19. Dear Quantoken,

    I am happy if you find this discussion meaningful, and unhappy to tell you that this feeling is not necessarily mutual.

    Capitalist and Imperialist Pig (C.I.P.) told us that there is roughly 1 million times more carbon in the rocks than in the atmosphere - and it was never too different. At the very beginning of the life of Earth, the atmosphere as we know it did not really exist.

    Your speculations about the mainstream are not interesting for me. I never felt any need to go with or against the mainstream.

    Best
    Lubos

    ReplyDelete
  20. Lubos said:
    "Your speculations about the mainstream are not interesting for me. I never felt any need to go with or against the mainstream."

    Certainly you don't feel this way. And I believe you. But here is where the anthropic principle plays: You don't get the pick the system, the system gets to pick you and keep only those fit. It's like gold fishes with the fluffy tails: It's not that they wanted that way, it's because we human only keep and breed the kind we like. Darwinism, isn't it.

    There may be a lot of different versions of Lubos, you are just one of them. All Luboses have different opinion regarding various scientific theories and each believe in his or her own view point. But the system of establishment comes in and eliminate most of those incompatible with the system, and you are the sole surviver and that's why you get to be a Harvard assistant professor.

    Now I guarantee you, should you now start to doubt the string theory and question the popular Big Bang, and have other indenpend opinion of things. You are not going to continue to be able to publish and be funded. You will be eliminated by the system without mercy
    You will not get your tenure either.

    This is a fact of life. Those dare not challenge the establishment survives. I can only speak so freely only because I lived a comfortable life outside the circle.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Dear Quantoken,

    at least we can all agree that you do not challenge
    anything, except our patience.

    Have fun with yourself!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Dobrý den Luboš,

    Your ideas on our climate are quite interesting. Is it possible for you to put your thoughts in an essay sometime in the near future? For it would be much easier than extracting bits from all those comments.

    Na shledanou

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am glad that I found this blog. I plan to visit it frequently to keep updated! http://www.mjohnson1980.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anon thinks History properly refers only to the period of time during which humans have kept records. The online etymological dictionary suggests a rather different idea:

    history
    1390, "relation of incidents" (true or false), from O.Fr. historie, from L. historia "narrative, account, tale, story," from Gk. historia "a learning or knowing by inquiry, history, record, narrative," from historein "inquire," from histor "wise man, judge," from PIE base *wid- "know, see." Related to Gk. idein "to see," and to eidenai "to know." In M.E., not differentiated from story; sense of "record of past events" probably first attested 1485. Sense of "systematic account (without reference to time) of a set of natural phenomena" (1567) is now obs. except in natural history. What is historic (1669) is noted or celebrated in history; what is historical (1561) deals with history. Historian "writer of history in the higher sense," distinguished from a mere annalist or chronicler, is from 1531.
    ..

    Looks to me like other meanings than Anon's have a historical and logical basis.

    ReplyDelete
  25. What then does pre-history refer to?

    ReplyDelete
  26. My theoretical calculations of proton and neutron mass have now been published on my BLOG:

    http://quantoken.blogspot.com/

    Go there and see step by step calculation how I obtained the most precise value of neutron mass to electron mass ratio, with 10 effective decimal places. It completely agree with the accepted value.

    I am only sorry that experimental researchers were not able to give me a more accurate measurement of the neutron delay time. They gave me 885.4 +- 0.4 seconds.

    But if I am right, in future improved experiments, they should be able to approach a neutron delay lifetime of
    885.18 += 0.06 seconds

    Beyond that accuracy, they will need a better measurement of alpha and actual neutron/electron mass ratio.

    Quantoken

    ReplyDelete
  27. Dear anonymous,

    you will be surprised but prehistory is the period of human history prior to the advent of writing (which marks the beginning of recorded history).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PrehistoryBest
    Lubos

    ReplyDelete
  28. Lubos said:
    "you will be surprised but prehistory is the period of human history prior to the advent of writing (which marks the beginning of recorded history).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistory"

    No! Actually "pre-history" means the history before the current human occured on earth, NOT before the current human obtained the ability of writting. "pre-history human" would NOT mean the current human race prior to the acquisition of writting abilities, but rather refer to a differnt human race who occured before the current one. See the movie "Lord Of the Rings"

    As for whether pre-history human exists or not, that's a totally different topic.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Before Lubos do the usual thing that I would expect him to do (although I wish he is above my expectation bar), I must add a few words. It is not usual that one obtains a neutron mass of 10 decimal places accuracy, purely from simple theoretical calculation.

    It is definitely not numerology. There is not an expansion series or any adjustment terms. There is absolutely no adjustable parameter. And it could be easily fausified by future more precise measurements of neutron lifetime and neutron mass, and alpha. But so far my result agrees completely with the most accurate experimental results.

    I do expect questions to be raised, which I can answer except I can not now, pending the availability of a more proper publish channel than an internet anonymous BLOG. But all calculation steps have been revealed already and any one can verify with a calculator.

    http://quantoken.blogspot.com/

    Quantoken

    ReplyDelete
  30. More Quantoken weirdness: "Before there was ever life, most carbons on earth must have existed in the form of CO2."

    We have reason to believe most prelife atmospheric carbon was methane, not CO2. Oxygen was locked up in water and minerals.

    It is true that CO2 can be produced by geologic processes, see the recent discussion on Mars atmosphere, but it isn't much, see the amount of Mars atmosphere and the limited rate of loss to space.

    But lumo can be obtuse too:
    "Most scientists are atheists and left-wing, and they feel that they should be something along the "moral lines". Reducing a hypothetical damage of the climate is a good solution."

    Do we know that scientists are atheists and socialists? And if they are, isn't that moral line statements; why should they feel that they in particular must do something?

    "Many scientists are simultaneously active anti-capitalist activists. They have interest to damage the big corporations and capitalism in general,..."

    Why would any scientist bite the hands that feed him/her? Also, that capitalism is the only working economic is a hard fact that has been shown by many 'experiments', and scientists should be aware of this.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Ouch! Sometimes I have to hit myself in the head with a blog to make me remind basic facts; I got that carbon in the wrong places and it hurts.

    In fact I think that obviously primordial oxygen was in the water; minerals got oxidized later. Wasn't part of Gaia theory that life liberated oxygen was responsible, and that the change in minerals made the continental drift possible, thus accelerating evolution?

    And of course the Mars atmosphere is something like 10{-4 to -5} of Earth so CO2 seems substantial there, until you factor in the amount that life and water removes here, as other posts said.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Ahh... maybe we should forget about rational answers about 'most' and 'many' scientists? I can see it now, it's obvious; this is a mottled conspiracy theory, replete with GW errorists and their WMDs (Warnings by Mass Disinformation)!

    You know what they say about conspirationists? Either they are named Bush or they have to take their brains for gear change and fluid fill... :-)

    ReplyDelete
  33. torbjorn - You know what they say about conspirationists? . . .

    Rosemary - There really are conspiracies, though...

    in Rosemary's Baby

    ReplyDelete
  34. Torbjorn said: "More Quantoken weirdness: "Before there was ever life, most carbons on earth must have existed in the form of CO2."

    We have reason to believe most prelife atmospheric carbon was methane, not CO2. Oxygen was locked up in water and minerals. "

    Wrong. Where do you think todays 20% O2 in the atmosphere came from? Do they not teach it in high schools in Europe? Oxygen is very chemically active and Oxygen do not stay in its free form for very long. Earth is the only known place with a considerable amount of O2 in the atmosphere. And this is made possible only because there is a source on the earth that continuously supply new O2 into the atmosphere.

    That source is the the plantation lifes on earth. Virtually ALL of the O2 in the atmosphere today are contributed by plantations who breath in CO2 and release O2. So what we know today as 20% O2 must have been a 28% CO2 in the primordial atmosphere.

    It's high school textbook stuff, isn't it?

    Quantoken

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  35. CIP - my sudden concern, and horror movie perspective, was that we now observe the perturbed lumo to have conspirationist theories - a certain sign of mental instability as far as I know.

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  36. quantoken - turns out none of us was quite right.

    Current understanding (my high scool years was _way_ back) is that Earth had a 'first atmosphere' (see Wikipedia) of mainly noble gases.

    Thereafter 'second atmosphere' H2O, CO2, SO2, H2S, HCl, N2, NO2 appeared (http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/past/earths_secondary_atm.html)
    from vulcanoes.

    That the primordial gas mix above was causing that 'the global warming would have been max at that time' is unclear to me.

    ReplyDelete
  37. quantoken - turns out none of us was quite right.

    Current understanding (my high scool years was _way_ back) is that Earth had a 'first atmosphere' (see Wikipedia) of mainly noble gases.

    Thereafter 'second atmosphere' H2O, CO2, SO2, H2S, HCl, N2, NO2 appeared (http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/past/earths_secondary_atm.html)
    from vulcanoes.

    That the primordial gas mix above was causing that 'the global warming would have been max at that time' is unclear to me.

    ReplyDelete