Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sound and lots of Fury: Confirmation of Gravity Wave B Polarization?

It's been a busy few months with a lot about of Sound and Fury in the particle physics and astrophysics communities,  Sterile neutrinos: Dead?  Gravitational Waves: Dead?  TeV Dark Matter: Alive??? (Well...)

My goal in this post is to hopefully calm people down. and ask science journalists to be patient for more data before drawing any strong conclusions.
As such, given the recent article from the Planck discussing dust as a possible source of the B-polarizaed modes in the BICEP2 data, I wanted to remind people that there have been analyses done by other researchers (such as Prof Richard Gott of Princeton University and Dr. Colley formerly of Princeton University) who have mostly confirmed the results from the BICEP2 team. They estimate that the value of the tensor-to-scalar ratio, r, is 0.11+/-0.04 (and hence a detection of gravity waves with only 2sigma certainty. This is less than the 7sigma certainty that BICEP2 original suggested.)

To do so, they looked at the Gaussian/Non-Gaussian nature of the data, and they found that the BICEP2 data is extremely Gaussian (as it should be if it came from gravity waves during inflation...because before inflation many researchers expect that the universe was a giant Gaussian fluctuation of extremely hot stuff.) However, Gott&Colley showed that the dust data from Planck at 353 GHz was very non-Gaussian. Hence, most of the signal that the BICEP2 team measured can't be attributed to dust, and there is 2sigma certainty that the value of r is >0.

Note that Planck last year showed that the E and TT mode data in the CMB was almost entirely Gaussian, and they showed that the initial slope of the primordial density fluctuations vs. wavenumber can be explain by generic theories of inflation. (Note that there are a lot of different inflation theories...in order to rule out the different theories we need to know quantities such as the slope of the density fluctuations and the tensor-to-scalar ratio of the B-mode polarized waves in the CMB.)

So, Prof Gott and Dr. Colley showed that it's unlikely that dust is the cause of the B-mode signal in the BICEP2 data. But in addition to that, I want to point out dust can't explain the drop in signal that BICEP2 (and KECK preliminary) measured at a multipole value of l=50. If what BICEP2 had seen was due to dust, then the signal at l=50 would have been greater than the signal at l=100. As such, both the work by Planck and the work by Gott/Colley help to somewhat confirm the BICEP2 data, however in each case, it's important to note that the certainty has dropped from 7sigma to ~2sigma.

Since there is only likely 2 sigma confirmation of gravitational waves, we are left waiting for more data in order to cross over the 5sigma threshold. Waiting is no fun, but ever worse than waiting is spending a lot of time talking about nothing but Sound & Fury. This may take a few months or a few years to sort out...who knows?  Let's keep an open mind both ways.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Department of (Zero Total) Energy

I think that we have to seriously consider the idea that the total energy content of the universe is zero. (While experimentally proving that it is exactly zero before inflation is nearly impossible, data coming from multiple data sets is all leading to the same conclusion: that the total energy content of the universe post-inflation is nearly zero and remains nearly zero throughout the rest of the history of the universe.) The image below show an possible energy content of the universe throughout its history (for a set of parameters close to today's values...expect for the radiation...which was make larger in order to make it easier to see. Note that this graph is from lecture#12 from Dr. Mark Whittle's Great Courses series titled Cosmology. I highly recommend watching it. It's infinitely better than the two Great Courses series by Dr. Sean Carroll.)


In the figure above, the kinetic energy (yellow) plus the gravitational energy (white) sum together to a value of zero (red) through time (x-axis.)

But wait a second. If the total energy content is and always will be zero, why do we say that there's an energy crisis? If the total energy content is zero and constant. How could there be a crisis?
Are millions of people worrying about a crisis that doesn't exist?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

More evidence for 7.1 keV sterile neutrinos

I'm working on some other posts right now, but I wanted to make others aware of some more recent evidence that dark matter could be 7.1 keV sterile neutrinos.

First, Boyarsky et al. measured a signal at 3.55 keV within the Center of the Milky Way Galaxy that their model couldn't explain. The signal that they measured is much wider than can easily be explained by emission from Argon, Potassium or Chlorine ions. It's clear that this signal is not instrument noise because it doesn't show up in a blank sky scan and because it shows up at different values in galaxies with different z values (i.e. it's being redshifted when it comes from galaxies farther away from us.) Also, it's pretty clear that the signal is related to dark matter because the flux increases roughly linearly with the dark matter content of the galaxy.

A 7.1 keV mostly-sterile neutrino particle is an interesting dark matter particle because this rest mass falls right in the middle of the ~2-10 keV range of rest masses that is consistent with both data on Dark Matter Halos and Lyman Alpha Forest. (See post on The Case for keV Dark Matter.)

I also want to point out that this 7.1 keV sterile neutrino is not ruled out by cosmological data. For example, there is a recent paper by Vincent et al. that puts constraints on the mass&mixing angle for sterile neutrinos if they make up 100% of the dark matter (see Figure 2.) However, at 7.1 keV, the constrain is well above the value of mixing angle as measured by  Boyarsky et al. and Bulbul et al..

There is also another reason to be interested by a keV mass sterile neutrino (however, it should be noted that the details below are completely speculative):

Let's imagine that a  keV sterile neutrino could somehow decay into many, many light active neutrinos. (We can rule out the mechanism above in which 1 sterile neutrino decays into 1 light neutrino and 1 photon of half the energy of the sterile neutrino's rest mass because we need the sterile neutrino to decay into millions of active neutrinos.) However, knowing that a sterile neutrino can decay to a neutrino means that it is somewhat active in the weak nuclear force. This means that, if a black hole could consume sterile neutrinos, then it's possible that a black hole could eat dark matter (and regular matter) and spit out millions to billions of active neutrinos. We know that light active neutrinos can be ejected from the event horizon of a black hole. As such, it's possible that one heavy sterile neutrino of rest mass of ~keV could turn into billion of  active neutrinos of roughly micro-eV rest mass (provided that these active neutrinos have virtually no kinetic energy.) Also, if black holes can consume Fermi degenerate sterile neutrino dark matter, then this can provide a mechanism that allows super-massive black holes to form (and not run-away in size because the density of keV sterile neutrinos is limited in the center of galaxies because they would be limited by Fermi pressure.) This would help to explain the major question of how super massive black holes formed but did not consume their entire galaxy's dark matter. GeV cold dark matter would not solve the super massive black hole problem in physics.

If there are really ~7 million times more active light neutrinos today than the expected number of ~60 per cm3, then this is just the number of light active neutrinos required to provide a quantum degeneracy pressure of 7∙10-30 g/cm3. The density of light neutrinos would need to be 420,000,000 per  cm3 in order to reach this Fermi pressure, and this in turn would require a lot of matter and dark matter converting into light active neutrinos within super massive black holes. Well, this turns out to be nearly exactly the same energy density as dark energy today  (7∙10-30 g/cm3). In other words, if the actual density of nuetrinos is roughly 420 million per cm3 rather than 60 per cm3, then we could explain dark energy as the Fermi pressure supplied by quantum degenerate light neutrinos.

This means that, while highly improbably, it might be possible that dark energy is the quantum degeneracy pressure of light active neutrinos that have decayed from keV mostly-sterile neutrinos. This last part of about neutrinos as dark energy is still highly speculative; however, the information above about 7.1 keV sterile neutrino dark matter is starting to firm up. We'll have to await the launch of the Astro-H satellite in order to nail down whether the 3.55 keV emission signal is actually from the decay of sterile neutrinos.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Case for keV Dark Matter

As I've mentioned before in previous posts, the case for GeV Cold Dark Matter is becoming weaker and weaker every day. However, that doesn't seem to stop people who work in this field from defending their theories and attacking Warm Dark Matter.
That's fine, but for those of you who actually care about understanding how the universe works. We need to move on and actually analyze what the data is suggesting.
So, here's a list of what we know:

(1) Dark matter is real, and it's roughly 25% (+/-3%) of the universe. We can detect it "directly" through gravitational lensing and "indirectly" from the CMB spectra. Dark Matter is not an artifact due to Modified Newtonian Dynamics (i.e. MOND) because the location of dark matter is not 100% correlated with the location of normal matter. The Bullet Cluster is an excellent example of this, but there are many many more examples of this phenomena. When galaxies collide, the normal matter of doesn't always follow the dark matter and the dark matter doesn't immediately clump together. This is one of many signs that dark matter is not GeV rest mass particles, but rather is quantum degenerate fermions with rest mass in the low keV range.

(2) Dark Matter particles can't have a rest mass less than 1 eV (or else they would be relativistic when universe first de-ionized.) Because a keV dark matter particle is non-relativistic when electrons and protons recombine, a keV dark matter particle only affects the "effective number of Relativistic Particles" (i.e the Neff in the CMB) with a contribution of roughly 0.03. This is well within the error bars for Neff, which was measured by Planck+BAO to be 3.30+/-0.27. When you include data from Big Bang Nucleosynthesis, the allowed range for Neff remains pretty much the same. This means that a keV sterile neutrino is completely compatible with data from the Planck satellite to within 1 sigma uncertainty on Neff.

(3) If Dark Matter particles are Fermions, then their rest mass can't be less than ~ 2 keV because the mass density would be too low to explain experimental data on dark matter density in dwarf galaxies. (de Vega and Sanchez 2013)

(4) Using the Lyman Alpha Forest data in the early universe, there are constraints on the rest mass of dark matter particles. The exact cut-off depends on the allowed uncertainty (i.e. 1 sigma, 2 sigma, 3 sigma, 5 sigma) and on the model assumptions about the particle. The most recent best-fit-value I found for dark matter using Lyman Alpha Forest data was listed as 33 keV in Table II of Viel et al. 2013. The 1 sigma range was 8 keV to infinite rest mass (i.e. no constraint on the high end), and the 2 sigma range was 3.3 keV to infinite rest mass. What's interesting is that the best fit through the data was a keV rest mass dark matter particle...not a GeV rest mass dark matter particle. One way of explaining this is that a GeV dark matter particle would over-predict the Density Perturbations, whereas a 10-100 keV particle is a better fit through the data. For example, in the plot below of the Power Spectrum P(k) vs. wavenumber (k)  (where larger wavenumber means smaller length scales), the Cold Dark Matter line is well above the data points for the Lyman Alpha Forest (and this was known even back in 2002.) More recent data confirms that the data is better fit with a 33 keV particle than with a GeV scale particle.


The reason I find this funny is that the Lyman Alpha Forest had been used by proponents of GeV Dark Matter to fend off proponents of Warm Dark Matter. Ah, how the tides turn. While Lyman Alpha Forest Data can't rule out GeV Dark Matter, it is now suggesting that Dark Matter is Warm  (i.e. in the keV scale.)

(5) If a GeV Dark Matter particle obtains its mass from the Higgs Boson (like it appears that the tau lepton and the bottom quark do), then we can rule out the mass of the particle from ~ GeV to half the rest mass of the Higgs Boson. The reason is that the branching ratios of the Higgs Boson are proportional to the rest mass of the Fermion. In other words, we would have indirectly detected Dark Matter particles at CERN if they had rest masses on the order of ~1-62 GeV. In addition, if the dark matter particle were 10-1000 GeV we would have likely detected it in detectors looking for WIMPS. As such, the range 1-1000 GeV is effectively ruled out for dark matter particles. (See plot from Aad et al. in PRL 23 May 2014)

(6) GeV Dark Matter would clump together in the center of galaxies. There is nothing to stop GeV Dark Matter from clumping together. This is the well known "Cuspy Core Problem" of GeV dark matter, and it also shows up as a problem with estimating the number and size of dwarf galaxies.
What solves these problems and keeps dark matter from clumping is the Fermi Exclusion Principle, which states that only 1 Fermi particle can fill any position-momentum level. As mentioned above, the Fermi exclusion principle sets a lower limit of ~1-2 keV for dark matter in order to explain the actual density of dark matter in dward galaxies. But the principle also helps to explain why the density of dark matter is not cuspy in the center of galaxies, provided that the mass of the dark matter particle is in the range of 1-10 keV. Below is a comparison (from de Vega et al. 2014 that compares observational data for the density of dark matter in galaxies vs. theory for quantum degenerate dark matter with a rest mass around 2 keV.) Notice that the theory matches the observational data quite well at small radius. GeV dark matter would tend to clump up at the center and could in no way match the data. However, it should be noted that I was unable to determine after reading the entire paper what rest mass was actually used in the simulations. This is a major oversight on their part, and I hope that it gets corrected shortly. The point is that a ~2 keV dark matter particle does a pretty good job of reproducing the actual distribution of dark matter in a wide variety of different types of galaxies.


So, let me summary the points above:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

What is Dark Matter and Dark Energy?

In a  previous post, I provided a long explanation of what is Dark Matter and what is Dark Energy.
This post is a quick summary that I wrote in response to a post at Dispatches from Turtle Island titled "CDM looks better relative to WDM with better models."

Here's a quick summary of what is my best guess to explain dark matter/energy.

Dark matter = 2-10 keV rest-mass, mostly-sterile neutrino (spin 1/2),  quantum degenerate in galaxies which prevents the dark matter from clumping together

Dark energy = the quantum degeneracy pressure from ~0.01 eV rest-mass, active light neutrino (spin 1/2), most of these active neutrinos are made as the mostly-sterile neutrinos each decay into many light neutrinos.

Below is my comment:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Alive: The case for Edward de Vere

I've been taking a break from energy and physics, and delving into the topic that caused me to pick the pen name that I did for this blog: Eddie Devere.
Yes, this is a play off of the names  Eddie Vedder and Edward de Vere, two artists I admire greatly.
I was caused to delve into the Shake-Spear authorship question by a friendly email from Alan Tarica, who sent me a link to a website (Forgotten Secrets) he created in which all 154 of William Shake-Speare's Sonnets are available to read, along with Alan's comments. While there's a lot to read, Alan makes a very convincing case that the Sonnets are written by Edward de Vere, and that the sonnets are written to Queen Elizabeth and the Earl of Southhamption, who is likely the son of Edward de Vere and Queen Elizabeth.  While personally think that there's still some debate as to whether the Earl of Southhamption was the bastard child of Edward de Vere and Queen Elizabeth, I have virtually no doubt that  Edward de Vere used the pen name William Shake-Speare. The goal of this blog is to give a summary of the main arguments why Edward de Vere is the actual author of the sonnets, narrative poems, and plays that were written under the pen name William Shake-Spear.


Trying to determine who is the author of these sonnets, narrative poems, and plays is like going down the rabbit hole or getting stuck in the Matrix. It's easy to get lost in a world of Elizabethian politics, paranoia, and conspiracy theories. But let's not get stuck down in the rabbit's hole.
Let's ask ourselves one simple question: what do famous authors write about?  Answer: they write about what they know best.

What did James Joyce write about? what about Faulkner? Virginia Woolf? They wrote about what they knew best. Ireland, the South, and depressed women.

So, let's look at a few of the many possible authors of the Shake-spear collection:  Francis Bacon, William Shakspear, Edward de Vere, Queen Elizebeth, Christopher Marlowe, and Ben Johnson.

Now let's ask the question: what did Francis Bacon write about? He wrote about science and religion. His most famous text (Novum Organum) is a philosophical text about the methods of science, that is written in bullet format. It's pretty dry, just like Aristotle's lecture notes "The Organum", of which this text is based. Francis Bacon just didn't have the literary skills to write the Shake-spear collection, even though he might have had the education to have done so. 

Now what about William Shakspear? We don't know much about William Shakpeare of Stratford-upon-Avon. But one thing is abundantly clear. William Shakpeare of Stratford-upon-Avon was not capable of writing poems, let alone sign his name. William Shakpeare's will makes it abundantly clear that William Shakpeare is not a world famous playwright. Likely, what happened is that, after the death of William Shakpeare of Stratford-upon-Avon, the local church in  Stratford-upon-Avon tried to make it look like William Shakpeare of Stratford-upon-Avon was William Shake-speare, due to the similarity of the names and the fact that nobody else had stepped forward as the author of the poems and plays.

So, let's once again ask the question: what did Edward de Vere write about? Guess what!  Edward de Vere wrote poems about love and melancholy, and with a lot of references to Greek&Roman mythology. Here's a link to some of the poems. But that's not all. As detailed in a Front Line documentary make in 1989 of the Shake-spear question, it was well known at the time that Edward de Vere wrote under a pen name. (See the end of the following website for quotes from famous writers who list Edward de Vere as an excellent poem and playwright.)


A lot of authors write under pen names. Here's a wiki list of some of the famous ones. Some of the most famous include: Ben Franklin (Richard Saunders of the Poor Richard's Almanac), Mark Twain (Samual Langhorne Clemens), Pablo Neruda, Moliere, Lewis, Carroll, Mary Ann Evans (George Elliot), George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair), Leslie McFarlane (of HardyBoys fame), J.K. Rowling, O. Henry, Isaac Asimov, V. Nabokov, Sylvia Plath, Soren Kierkegaard, Lemony Snicket, Woody Allen, and many, many more.

The assumption should be that the name on a book or play is a pen name, unless there is some direct proof that it's not a pen name. As such, there's no direct proof that William Shakspeare wrote the poems and plays of William Shake-speare. For example, we have no evidence that William Shakspeare could even write; we have no evidence in his will that he wrote poems/plays; and we have virtually no evidence from his original gravestone monument that he wrote plays/poems. (See image below.)


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Comparison of the Wealth of Nations: The 2014 Update

Yup, you guessed it. It’s that time of year again. BP just released their latest updates for the production and consumption of energy throughout the world. Before I get into the details of the analysis, I want to point out that there is one major change in my analysis compared with previous analyses that I’ve posted on this site. (These links go to the previous posts in 2011,  in 2012, and in 2013 on the Wealth of Nations.) The one change that I’ve done is that I’ve included a new form of useful work: coal consumption for non-power plant applications. In the developing world, ~90% of all coal is consumed in power plants. However, in places like China, the consumption of coal in power plants is only ~60% of total coal consumption. Therefore, in this update to the “Wealth of Nations” calculations, I’ve included a new term that takes 10% of the coal consumed for developed countries and 35% of the coal consumed for developing countries. This number is then multiplied by 10% to reflect the fact that the enthalpy content in the coal is typically only being converting into low-grade energy, whose exergy is only 10% of its enthalpy content. This is similar to the existing term I have for non-power-plant consumption of natural gas (i.e. NG for home-heating.) The main result of this additional term is that the useful work generation has increased in China by 14%, in India by 10% and in Russia by 3% compared with the useful work generation if this term were not included. If this term is included, then China’s useful work generation has been greater than the US’s useful work generation since 2011. In other words, China actually has had the world’s largest economy since ~2011.

Here are some other conclusions before I get into a detailed breakdown of the analysis for this year.

(1) The US economy (as measured in [TW-hrs] of useful electrical and mechanical work produced) increased by 1.8% in 2013 compared with 2012. This is much better than the -1.5% decrease in useful work output between 2012 and 2011.
(2) There were two countries with negative growth rates between 2012 and 2013: Japan (-2.0%) and the UK (-1.5%.) And there were two countries with near-zero growth rates: Germany (0.3%) and Russia (0.2%.) The major countries with the highest growth rates were: China (1.8%), India (4.4%), and Brazil (3.7%.)
(3) The purchasing power parity GDP (i.e. PPP GDP) is a pretty good reflection of the wealth of country, i.e. the capability to do mechanical and electrical work, when comparing developed economies (such as Germany, Japan, USA and UK.) However, the calculation of the GDP appears to be biased against a few countries, especially Canada and Russia, but also China and Brazil. I can understand why the IMF would be biased against Russia (i.e. black markets and collective farming likely aren’t being accurately reflected in the GDP calculation), but I still have no clue why the IMF and other world organizations consistently underestimate the size of Canada's economy. If I were a Canadian representative for the IMF, I would voice my concern that the IMF is underestimating the size of the Canadian economy by at least two fold.


So, now I'm going to present a more detailed breakdown of the analysis and present the data in graphical form. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

US CO2 Emission Reductions: A Good Start, but Much More is Needed Globally

As I've mentioned in a previous post, global emissions of CO2 are a major problem because the people who will be harmed the most of the higher temperatures and lower ocean pH are not those who are emitting the most CO2.
Before getting onto the main points of this post, I'm going to summarize the main points from that previous post (i.e. why CO2 emissions are a problem.) The reason I'm summarizing this is that I still have many family members who get their news from Fox News, and hence think that CO2 emissions is a good thing.    ;-{

(1) There is a clear link between CO2 levels in the atmosphere and fossil fuel combustion (due to the decrease in oxygen at the same time that CO2 is increasing and the change in the isotope ratios of carbon 13 to carbon 12 in the atmosphere.)
(2) There is a clear link between CO2 levels in the atmosphere and lower pH levels in the ocean (more CO2 means more acidic oceans, which in turn can lead to coral bleaching.)
(3) There is a clear link between CO2 levels in the atmosphere and less IR radiation leaving the atmosphere at the IR frequencies at which CO2 absorbs.)
(4) Since there is a partial overlap between the absorption frequencies for CO2 and H2O, the addition of CO2 into the atmosphere will have a greater effect on temperature in those locations where there is less water vapor.  (i.e. CO2 is fairly well mixed in the atmosphere, but water vapor concentration is highly dependent on local temperatures and relative humidity.)
(5) Predictions of models match well with experimental data. (meaning that temperatures are increasing the most in those locations where there wasn't much water vapor to start...i.e. the poles, deserts, and most other places in winter at night.)
Climate Model and Temperature Change
(6) All other possible causes of global warming have been debunked. (i.e. it's not the sun, it's not volcanoes, and it's not natural fluctuations...i.e. Milankovitch cycles.)

If you want a more depth summary of the case for why we need to significantly reduce CO2 emissions, please read the following articles from the website Skeptical Science. (which if you're not familiar, is a website devoted to debunking Climate Skeptics.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Spacetime Expansion (i.e. Dark Energy) is due to the production of Quantum-Degenerate Active Neutrinos

I'd like to summary what I've been trying to put into words over the last few years at this site. This article is still in rough draft form, and I will likely be editing it over the next few weeks as I improve the main argument.

Dark energy is not actually actual energy. Dark energy is just the expansion of spacetime because matter (mostly keV sterile neutrinos dark matter) is slowly turning into active neutrinos, which are relativistic & quantum degenerate.

Assuming that the rest mass of lightest active  neutrino is 0.001 - 0.06 eV and assuming that their temperature right now is 2 Kelvin, then their de Broglie wavelength is between 0.3 mm and 2 mm.

Also, using estimates for the electron neutrino density of 60-200 per cubic cm,  the average spacing between electron neutrinos is between 1.7 and 2.5 mm. These two numbers are extremely close to each other, which means that the lightest neutrino is quantum Fermi-degenerate, i.e. you can't pack more into a region than given by their de Broglie wavelength cubed. (Just as you can't pack more electrons into a metal than its de Broglie wavelength cubed, without increasing its temperature.)

The pressure of a relativistic Fermi quantum gas is only a function of the number density of fermions. The pressure (in units of mass per volume) is proporitonal to planck's constant divided by the speed of light, all multipled by the number density to the 4/3rd power. By starting with the density of dark matter at the recombination time (z ~ 1100), and assuming that the number of light neutrinos that can be created from a heavy neutrino is equal to the ratio of their rest masses, then I estimate a degenerate pressure of 10^-30 grams per cubic cm. This number is surprisingly close to the current mass density of dark matter (~5*10^-30 grams per cubic cm) and is only a factor of 10 less than the required dark energy pressure of 10^-29 grams per cubic cm. This means that with a few(somewhat) minor tweaks to my calculations, I could derive the dark energy "pressure" from the equations of relativistic, quantum degenerate neutrinos. (Note: here's a link to an article saying that relativistic, quantum degenerate neutrinos can't be the source of dark energy because the pressure is way too low. However, in that article, they assume a rest mass of the neutrino of 0.55 eV and don't assume that neutrinos can be generated from dark matter. When you change the rest mass to ~0.01 eV and include other sources of neutrinos from the decay of dark matter into many light neutrinos, then the quantum degeneracy pressure of neutrinos is large enough to explain dark energy. To be clear, my argument rests on a still on proven statement:  that a ~2 keV sterile neutrino can slowly convert into ~10^5 active neutrinos of ~0.02 eV rest mass. If this statement is true, then we can explain why neutrinos have mass, what is dark matter, and what is dark energy.)

So, if dark matter can slowly turn into active neutrinos over time, then dark energy might just be the quantum degeneracy pressure of relativistic, quantum degenerate neutrinos. I'll continue in the rest of this post to make this argument stronger.

During the Big Bang, there would be a large amount of active neutrinos produced, and then some more would be produced as sterile neutrinos (i.e. dark matter) slowly converts/oscillates into light active neutrinos. Spacetime expands as active neutrinos are generated because it can't be any smaller than that which would be required to keep the de Broglie wavelength cubed times the number density less than 1.

As seen in the image below, there is stringy areas and clumpy areas. It is entirely possible that the stringy areas are regions in which the dark matter is mostly light neutrinos (formed after recombination via break down of heavier, sterile dark matter) and the clumpy areas (i.e. galaxies) are regions that mostly hold the keV sterile dark matter. What is keeping the whole universe from collapsing might be the quantum degenerate pressure of the lightest active neutrino.



Monday, May 19, 2014

What is the curvature of spacetime?

This post was updated on June 30 2014.
The astrophysicists community is currently in a heated debate about the implications of the BICEP2 measurements of B-mode waves in the cosmic microwave background (CMB.)
[For non-experts, the CMB is the nearly spatially-uniform (isotropic) radiation that we receive in whichever direction we look. The radiation matches with the radiation of a blackbody at a temperature of 2.726 /- 0.0013 Kelvin. This radiation is nearly uniform, with only small fluctuations. This near uniformity can be contrasted with the extreme density fluctuations we see in matter. Before the temperature of the universe cooled to below 3000 K (~0.3 eV), the density of hydrogen and helium in the universe was rather uniform because the hydrogen and helium were ionized (i.e. plasma), and in constant contact with the photons that today make up the CMB. Only after the temperature dropped below 3000 K, could the helium and hydrogen decouple from the radiation, and clump together to form local dense spots (which eventually turned into galaxies, stars, and planets.) It appears that the dark matter was already much more lumpy than photons and non-dark-matter at this point in time, so when the non-dark-matter decoupled from the photons, it started to fall into the local gravitational wells caused by the lumpy dark matter. (Note that my guess of why dark matter did not become extremely clumpy is that dark matter has a rest mass of ~2-10 keV and is prevented from being clumpy due to Fermi quantum degeneracy as neutrons are in neutron stars.)]

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Dynamic Simulation of the Universe

I noticed that the BBC ran an article this morning about a Dynamic Simulation of the Universe with Cold Dark Matter that was recently published in the journal Nature.

Galaxies
The simulation produces galaxies of different shapes and sizes that astronomers see in the real Universe

I think that simulations like this are fascinating and I encourage more people to run simulations like this.
However, I find it extremely odd that the researchers didn't state in the paper what was the mass of the dark matter particle in their simulations. They just mention Cold Dark Matter. It seems odd that the reviewers in a journal as well-recognized as Nature would have let this paper be published without requesting that the authors provide the mass of the Dark Matter particle.
If anybody knows what is the mass of the Dark Matter particle they used in their simulations, please comment on this post and provide us with the value of the rest mass of the Dark Matter particle.
Thank you

Also, to those people who work in this field, I have a request:
Try running a simulation in which the universe is simulated with all of the following properties: (1) a wrinkled surface on an expanding 4D sphere (i.e. General Relativity in 4D with non-isotropic mass density), (2) the radius of the 4D sphere expands only when there are time irreversible collisions (i.e. collisions involving the weak nuclear force are the cause of the expansion of space-time while GR tells how space-time is curved), and (3) the dark matter particle has a mass between 2-10 keV.

It seems to me that simulations that are missing (1), (2), and (3) above are missing major components required to actually simulate the evolution of the universe.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Center of Mass of the Universe: More thoughts on Symmetries and Conservation Laws

I was re-reading Feyman's "The Character of Physics Law" when I stumbled upon some interesting sentences. (Chapter 3, Pg 82 starting just above Figure 22.)
"In this way the conservation of angular momentum implies the conservation of momentum. This in turn implies something else, the conservation of another item which is so closely connected that I did not put it in the table. This is a principle about the centre of gravity...The point is that of all the stuff in the world, the centre of mass, the average of all the mass, is still right where it was before."

If you take a large collection of particles, the forces of interaction between the particles is not capable of changing the center of mass. The position of the center of mass only changes if the center of mass was already moving with a certain velocity, V. This velocity, V, is unaffected by the forces of repulsion and attraction between the particles. If this velocity, V, were zero to start, then it would always stay that way, unless acted upon by particles that weren't included in the original set when calculating the center of mass. But what if we take the collection of particles to be all of the particles in the universe?

In my understanding of our universe (which is different than many astrophysicists and physicists), the universe is a wrinkled, expanding surface of a 4D sphere,where the radius of the sphere is the time dimension. The center of mass of such a surface is the center of the sphere. The center of the 4D sphere is the location in space-time of the Big Bang  (r=t=0.) So, while the surface my be wrinkled (due to local variations in the density of matter), the variations have to cancel exactly on average, so that the center of the mass of the universe is still exactly the the center of the 4D sphere. If there were any fluctuations (i.e. fluctuations such that there is an increase in mass/energy that is not exactly balanced on the opposite side of the sphere), then the location of the center of mass would be offset from the center of the sphere.

One can hopefully see that this has major implication for quantum gravity as well as R-type quantum theories that require a collapse of the wavefunction. The introduction of uncertainty into the location of massive objects might cause us to have to drop an important conservation law (i.e. the conservation of the momentum...which leads to the conservation of the center of mass in specific circumstances.) For example, if the mass inside of a blackhole were to randomly fluctuate, then this could cause the center of mass of the blackhole to change, and then would in turn cause the center of mass of the universe to go off center.

There are clearly some problem reconciling quantum mechanics with certain conservation laws, such as the conservation of momentum, because if the location of electron in an atom were truly random (i.e. stochastic) before we measure it, then this could cause the center of mass of the universe to be ever so slightly off center (unless there were an completely symmetry fluctuation on the opposite side of the universe that kept the center of the mass constant. Of course, such a symmetric fluctuation would imply that electrons on opposite sides of the universe can communicate with each other at speeds much greater than the speed of light.) This is one of the many reasons why I'm skeptical of introducing stochastic (i.e. probabilistic) processes into the laws of physics. In order to introduce stochastic processes into nature, you run into potential problems of either (a) communication at infinite speed in order for the fluctuations to cancel out, or (b) throw out the conservation of momentum...i.e. allow of the center of mass of the universe to move stochastically around the origin as particles randomly appear here and disappear there. (Note U-type Quantum mechanics is deterministic, it's only R-type Quantum mechanics that is stochastic. For more discussion of U vs. R QM, see Chapter 22 of Penrose's The Road to Reality.)

Another interesting question is:  what is the total angular momentum of the universe? Is there an axis about which the 4D sphere is rotating?
I think that this question is similar in nature to following questions:  what is the total electrical charge of the universe? what is the total weak charge and total color charge of the universe? It is entirely possible that the answer to all of these questions is zero.

In the remainder of this post, I'll be summarizing the concepts discussed in \Figure 14 in Chapter 3 of Feyman's "The Character of Physical Law."  The ideas that Feynman discuss here can be found on any website (such as wiki) that covers Emmy Noether's Theorem that Conservation Laws imply continuous symmetries of differential equations (and vice versa.)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Similarities and Differences between the CKM & PMNS Matrices

In the Minimal Standard Model (MSM), neutrinos do not have mass. They do not have mass because the creators of the MSM assumed that there are no sterile neutrinos (i.e. right-handed neutrinos and left-handed anti-neutrinos.) By including sterile neutrinos, it's fairly easy to build a theory that predicts massive neutrinos and neutrino mixing. (This is not new...see neutrino minimal standard model, vMSM.) However, the vMSM has yet to be confirmed experimentally, and there are still some remaining questions that need to be answered in the vMSM, such as: what is the mass of the sterile neutrinos? Can the masses of the neutrinos be predicted in advance of experimental measurements?

Given that neutrinos mix into each other, scientists have indirectly shown that neutrinos have mass. (Other indirect evidence for neutrino mass is that neutrinos from the 1987 supernova explosion arrived later than photons from the explosion...and the less energetic neutrinos on average arrived later than the more energetic neutrinos...in line with the special theory of relativity.) So, it's now been obvious that the MSM is not a valid theory of the universe (and this is not news.) But the MSM seems to do quite well at predicting the rates of interaction between quarks and leptons. So, we are looking into how to tweak the MSM to account for neutrino mixing, but without messing up the parts of the MSM that work extraordinarily well.

In this post, I want to discuss the similarities and the differences between the CKM and PMNS matrices because this are the two matrixes (that we know of so far) in which there is CP-symmetry violating physics (and hence T-symmetry violating physics. ) There is an eerily close resemblance between the CKM matrix and the PMNS matrix, but the eigenvalues of the matrices are not exactly the same. It is the PMNS that shows the strongest CP-violation, but it is also the matrix that has the most uncertainty in the values. Hence, it is crucially important that we decease the uncertainty in the values of the PMNS matrix by creating more precise measurements of neutrinos. Only by decreasing the uncertainyty will it be clear what is the strength of the CP-violating term in the matrix, and perhaps whether we need to include sterile neutrinos into the PMNS matrix.



Thursday, April 24, 2014

News update on Sterile Neutrinos

I'm currently working on a post on how the CP-violating term in the PMNS matrix is indirect evidence both for massive neutrinos and for a sterile neutrino.
In the mean time, I wanted to let readers of this blog know that you can read the following paper that was just recently published by Physical Review Letters, in which the author shows that a 7 keV sterile neutrino is an extremely plausible candidate for dark matter. The paper can also be found on the Arxiv website, where it was posted back on March 4th.
Their main results are summarized in Figure 1 of the paper. They suggest that recent observation of a 3.57 keV X-ray line can be explained by a 7.1 keV sterile neutrino with a mixing parameter of approximately 3*10^-11  (sin squared of two times the mixing angle to be precise.) This leads to predictions of the temperature at which the sterile neutrinos were produced.

I think that this is certainly interesting research, and the model works much better than ColdDarkMatter models. However, there are still a lot of assumptions in the model, and I would hesitant to make any firm statements about whether a sterile neutrinos have been discovered. There is clearly no discovery because the research is no where near "5sigma" certainty (like what has been required to claim discovery of new particles.)

The reason that I mentioned this article is that hopefully NSF, NASA and European equivalent agencies devote more time and effort to searching for WarmDarkMatter and Sterile Neutrinos.
(Sterile neutrinos can explain why ordinary neutrinos have mass and are intriguing candidates for dark matter. I'm still a little shocked that so much time/money/effort has gone into looking for GeV ColdDarkMatter. Unfortunately, this is likely all just a side-effect of the physics community irrational devotion to supersymmetry and superstring theory. It's good to see that the hype of supersymmetry, superstring theory, and ColdDarkMatter is finally being realized by the public at large.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cold Dark Matter is an Oxymoron

(Note that this is a continuation of previous post in which I point out that Heavy Dark Matter is an Oxymoron.)

Anybody else tired of the science media jumping on every piece of evidence for Cold Dark Matter, and turning it into possible evidence for string theory, supersymmetry, and the multiverse. I wish that the scientific journalists at Scientific American and New Scientist thought critically about the physics news that they are reporting. How can a particle be heavier than a proton, but have no electric charge or strong nuclear 'charge'?
Cold Dark Matter is an oxymoron because the rest mass of a particle is related to its capability to interact with other particles and/or fields (especially the Higgs field.) Heavier particles have more interactions with other particles, whereas lighter particles have less interactions. Mass is proportional to the number and strength of the particles interactions with other particles. Saying the words "Cold dark matter" is like saying the words "Skinny fat people." It just doesn't make sense because a particle can't be both heavy in mass but light in interactions.  (Note that this is also why I think that supersymmetry and any supersymmetric string theories are silly...if your theory invents new particles that are really heavy, but hardly interact with anything...such as gravitinos or neutralinos...then please throw your theory away and start from scratch. You are missing the whole point...mass related to capability to interact. Note that the same goes for a theories that predict 'sterile' neutrinos of GeV or TeV mass.)

But let's step back for a second, and ask the question: what are the implications of GeV dark matter?

In order to have GeV dark matter, you need to explain the following:
(1) Why there's no evidence for the GeV dark matter particles in any of the particle collider experiments? Why haven't we seen any of these particles when we collide together matter/anti-matter pairs with TeV of energy?
(2) Why doesn't the GeV dark matter just clump together at the center of galaxies?  The reason that we invented the concept of dark matter was to explain the higher than expected velocity of stars on the outer-edge of galaxies (and of higher than expected velocity of entire galaxies rotating about each other.)
GeV cold dark matter would just clump together because there's nothing (except Fermi-Dirace statistics and perhaps the weak force) to keep the particles from clumping together into an extremely tight ball. The fact that the recent "evidence" for GeV dark matter is coming from GeV gamma ray emission only in the center of the galaxy is a tell-tale sign that it's not coming from dark matter, but rather that it's coming from objects with extreme temperatures.
(3) According to astrophysical observation, there's no spike in the density of dark matter in the center of galaxies. Dark matter is actually quite diffuse in galaxies, and even extends out past where there's no more stars. (see image below from the new movie Dark Universe.) So, why would there be spike in the GeV emission at the center of galaxies?  (It's not due to dark matter collisions, or else it would be diffuse throughout the galaxy.)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

What is the cause of the Arrow of Time?

This is a dialogue between a Sophist and a Platonist. The topic of the dialogue is: What is the cause of the arrow of time?

The participants of this dialogue are: Socrates and Sean Carroll

Location:  This dialogue takes place in a coffee shop near the ocean in California

Socrates:  Sean, you seem to be saying that the laws of physics are all time reversible, but that the motion of particles can still be time asymmetric. If I understand your argument, then you are saying that we can tell past from future, at least right now, because the future will have higher entropy than the past. You seem to state that this is due to the fact that it is more probable for a system to be in a state of high entropy rather than low entropy.

Sean Carroll: That's right. You have stated my position correctly. The universe started in a state of low entropy and gradually the entropy is increasing. The most probably state of the universe in the future is for it to be in a high state of entropy than the past. Though, if in the future, the universe reaches complete equilibrium, then we will see small fluctuations about this maximum value of entropy. Well, that is of course if there is such a thing as maximum entropy, and there is also the caveat that there might not be a 'we' to measure the entropy that far in the future.

Socrates: You are saying that time will continue to increase even after we reach equilibrium. I think that I understand your position. Let me rephrase what I think that you're saying:  If the state of the universe were probabilistic, and if you were to look at the state of the universe, then most of the time it should be in a state associated with the highest entropy. Though, if the state of the universe were probabilistic, then it might be possible for the universe to be far-from-this-maximum-entropy state. But tell me, Sean, why is the universe in a state so-very-far-from-this-maximum-entropy state?

Sean Carroll: That's because the universe started with a very-low entropy Big Bang. And the universe is still in the process of increasing its entropy. We are headed to a state of maximum entropy, but that is not for some time in the future, and perhaps, if the universe continues to expand, it might never happen. The entropy might just continue to increase as the universe increases.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

7 keV sterile dark matter?

It's a good day when you wake up and see the U.S. medal in your favorite Winter Olympic sport (SBX), and you see a blog post at Resonannces with a good discussion about a topic of interest: dark matter.
The Resonnances blog post discusses a manuscript by Bulbul et al. recently uploaded to Arxiv about X-ray emission lines ~3.5 keV that can't be attributed to known atomic spectra. The authors of the manuscript attribute the emission to sterile dark matter particles with a mass of ~7 keV. Though, it should be noted that there are other, less likely, explanations to the emission at 3.5 keV. The manuscript discusses some of the other possible explanations. As seen below in the graph at the Resonannces website, the emission line at 3.5 keV is consistent with other experiments, and in region of parameter space that has yet to be ruled out.

(Image from http://resonaances.blogspot.com/)


What I'd like to add to the discussion is that this value of dark matter mass is very close to the 95% confidence window from computer simulations by  Horiuchi et al., whose 95% confidence window as 6-10 keV in one set of data and 8-13 keV in a second set of data. (shown below)

While there's still a large amount of uncertainty about what is the cause of dark matter, it appears that there is starting to be some convergence between experiments and computational simulations. And I hope that the recently submitted manuscript by Bulbul et al. will convince NASA to fund more research into analyzing X-rays in the ~0.5 keV to ~5 keV range as possible signals of sterile neutrinos decaying into fertile neutrinos. Of course, the term sterile and fertile neutrino are misnomers because sterile neutrinos aren't completely sterile (w.r.t. to the weak nuclear force) or else they wouldn't be able to decay to normal neutrinos, and it should be pointed out that normal neutrinos, electrons and quarks are not always fertile (w.r.t. to the weak nuclear force) because as they zig-and-zag, they go between being fertile and sterile.

I also want to point out that it does seem intuitively strange that "mostly" sterile neutrinos are heavier than the "mostly" fertile, normal neutrinos. This seems to violate the trend that the fundamental particles with more mass also have more forces with which they can interact. Therefore, it's important to point out that there is still a lot fundamental physics that we don't understand, even if it turns out that dark matter is ~7 keV sterile neutrinos.

Update: Here's a link to a paper by a separate group that also found a 3.5 keV signal in the X-ray spectra from two galaxies.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Evidence for Massive Neutrinos, which also Interact with the Earth

Just want to highlight the following research paper by physicists in the UK.

Massive neutrinos solve a cosmological conundrum


They estimate that the sum of the masses of neutrinos is 0.32 eV +/- 0.081 eV.
You have access to APS journals, you can find their paper here.

It's unclear to me what is the connection between this group's findings and the 2-10 keV  particle that seems to explain dark matter. So, I welcome feedback in the comments section.

I'd also like to highlight some recent research from Japan, showing that solar neutrinos interact with the Earth. In other words, as the solar neutrinos pass through the Earth, they can be convert from one type of neutrino into another type of neutrino faster than if the neutrinos were travelling through a vacuum.
Pretty cool that, once again, predictions using the Standard Model were confirmed experimentally!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Recent Experimental Measurements of the Weak Nuclear Force: Implications for the Arrow of Time

I wanted to highlight some recent experiments conducted at the Jefferson Lab in Virginia. The group measured the interactions of electrons with quarks, and was able to measure the weak nuclear interaction between these particles with greater precision than any previous experiments. (I'll link to the journal article as soon as it is published.)

They quantified the breaking of the mirror (P) symmetry of the weak nuclear force. Though, it should be point out that this type of measurement is not new. It has been know for a long time that the weak nuclear force violations P, as well as T & CP symmetry.
My main point in highlighting this research is that this measurement was much more precise than previous measurements and that this measurement is in agreement with the Standard Model of physics. (i.e. most data for the Standard Model and more data that reduces the likelihood that there is Beyond Standard Model Physics at the <10 p="" scale.="" tev="">
My secondary goal in highlighting this research is to highlight that the weak nuclear force is present in collisions between electrons and quark, which means that it's present any time molecules collide with sufficient velocity. This in turn means that the weak nuclear force is most likely the cause of the arrow of time.

Notice that we never see an arrow of time when there's only Boson particles or when Fermi particles are interacting only via Gravity, E&M or the Strong Nuclear Force.
(Try determining which way a movie is running for the following phenomena: superconductivity, superfluid helium, photons travelling in the vacuum of space, or planets orbiting a star.)
The arrow time only exists when there are Fermions interacting via the weak nuclear force.

As such, it's important for us to recognize that Boltzmann's assumption of molecular chaos is not required in order to obtain time-asymmetric equations of motion. You just need to include the weak nuclear force (which occurs only when Fermions collide with sufficient energy.)

I also wanted to let readers know that I'm working on a Socrates dialogue between a defender of Boltzmann's molecular chaos assumption and a defender of the theory that the weak nuclear force is the cause of the arrow of time. I'm hoping that, after reading this dialogue, one will be able to see the problems with the assuming that the reason for the arrow of time is that there is molecular chaos (i.e. randomization of velocities after collisions.) This assumption is quite useful for most problem of engineering interest; however, it's doesn't actual teach us what is the real cause of the arrow of time. (And therefore needs to be scrapped and replaced.)

The real cause of the (one and only) arrow of time is one time asymmetric term that shows up in the weak nuclear force. This means that the real way to determine rate-based coefficients (such as diffusivity, thermal conductivity, and electrical conductivity) is to include the weak-nuclear force into computer simulations of molecular models. Assuming molecule chaos gets us pretty close to the right answer, but it's likely that there are some cases where we can do a better job in predicting transfer coefficients using first-principles than in making Boltzmann's assumption of molecular chaos.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Partial Deregulation in Mexico's Energy Sector

I want to spread awareness of some breaking news today in Mexico.
The lower House of Representatives has passed a bill that allows foreign companies to own up to 50% of energy companies in Mexico. This includes oil, natural gas and electricity companies.
The bill still needs to pass in the Upper House of Representatives.
If you haven't read the news already, check out the following story by the LA Times.

I think that this bill is a step in the right direction. Government monopolies over the energy sector are never as effective as private companies, so I'm glad to see this partial deregulation of the oil/NG/electricity sector. However, it's only a partial step, and it doesn't do what's ultimately required for real positive change.

(To my knowledge) The bill doesn't give landowners back their mineral rights.
This has been one of the major problems in Mexico. The mineral rights are owned (and still will be owned) by the government.

The Current Law: Per the Federal Mexican Constitution, the Federal Mexican Government owns and holds all the mineral and petroleum resources located under the surface of the ground (In other words, the owner of land in Mexico only owns the surface thereof and any non-restricted treasure therein).

So, until the Mexican government gives the mineral rights back to the landowners, I'm slightly skeptical that we'll see huge increases in production of oil&gas in Mexico's.
The new law is a good first step, but it's only the beginning towards a free market.



(Side note:  I'm completely in favor of capping CO2 emissions from combusting fossil fuels. The reason I want to see free energy markets is that I think that we'll be drilling for oil&gas long after we stop emitting CO2 into the atmosphere because we still need oil&gas for making plastics. Also, we can capture and storage any CO2 generated at power plants. So, you can be pro-oil&gas development and pro-capping-CO2 emissions. The two are not exclusive.)