Science weird and broken

Two stories I came across today about scientific puzzles that completely uproot our conventional views of how the universe operates. First this: Meet Niku, the Weird Object Beyond Neptune That Nobody Can Figure Out. And what’s weird?

Authored by the astronomer Ying-Tung Chen of Academia Sinca in Taiwan and an international team of astronomers from Harvard to Hawaii to Germany, the paper describes a sense of utter confusion regarding the behavior of this little object.

Niku orbits on a plane that is tilted 110 degrees from the plane of the rest of the solar system. One theory is that a large object’s gravity is influencing Niku, causing it to orbit at an angle to everything else as well as backward.

And then this: Researchers orbit a muon around an atom, confirm physics is broken.

Although tiny, a proton takes up a finite amount of space, enough to fit three quarks, a host of virtual particles, and their associated gluons. The size of a proton’s radius is determined by these particles and their interactions, and so is fundamentally tied in to theories like the Standard Model and quantum chromodynamics.

We can measure the radius because the proton’s charge is spread across it, which influences the orbit of any electrons that might be circling it. Measurements with electrons produce a value that’s easily in agreement with existing theories. But a few years back, researchers put a heavier version of the electron, called a muon, in orbit around a proton. This formed an exotic, heavier version of the hydrogen atom. And here, measuring the proton’s radius produced an entirely different value—something that shouldn’t have happened.

This “proton radius puzzle” suggests there may be something fundamentally wrong with our physics models. And the researchers who discovered it have now moved on to put a muon in orbit around deuterium, a heavier isotope of hydrogen. They confirm that the problem still exists, and there’s no way of solving it with existing theories.

I say the same about our economic problems, but this is on a very different plane.

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17 Responses to Science weird and broken

  1. RobK

    It’s a Bastard when that happens.

  2. A Lurker

    Don’t you know Steve that the Science is always Settled.
    Or perhaps different laws apply to Climate Science Quackery than the rest of Science…

  3. Bruce of Newcastle

    I suspect the muon story is more to do with the detailed structure of protons, which isn’t completely known, than it is due to anything fundamentally wrong with QCD or hypothesised unknown forces. The structure is difficult to calculate from first principles even with the hottest of hot supercomputers.

    On the other hand the overarching point is correct: we don’t know everything!

  4. Shane

    We are in a world that is making less sense .

    The Elon Musk opinion that we are all living in a Vitual Reality Simulation run by an advanced civilization on the other side of the galaxy is increasingly the straw that I clutch onto to .
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jun/02/elon-musk-tesla-space-x-paypal-hyperloop-simulation
    And all this comes from a man whose Tesla motor car company inspite of its share price ,has never made a profit nor presumably unlike our DFAT ,has made a contribution to the Clinton Crime Foundation.

  5. AP

    But what does the consensus of 193 science acadamies, NASA, and governments say?

    According to Emma Alberscreechy, and the rest of their ABC, the consensus IS the empirical evidence.

  6. Myrddin Seren

    One theory is that a large object’s gravity is influencing Niku, causing it to orbit at an angle to everything else as well as backward.

    Death Star.

    Only a matter of time………

  7. calli

    Vogon Constructor Fleet.

    Got my towel ready. Just gotta find that electronic thumb…

  8. Andore Jr.

    I blame Trump.

    Now he’s even atomically divisive.

  9. This “proton radius puzzle” suggests there may be something fundamentally wrong with our physics models.

    It’s due to nano dark energy.

  10. Entropy

    I struggle to understand the apparent mystery of the planetoid. Wouldn’t it just be something travelling in interstellar space that got captured by the Sun’s gravity?

  11. JohnA

    Science weird and broken

    that is, within the limits of the current closed-system, evolutionary set of assumptions.

  12. jupes

    One theory is that a large object’s gravity is influencing Niku, causing it to orbit at an angle to everything else as well as backward.

    Rubbish. It’s obviously a ricochet.

    As to the problem of the diameter of a proton, I’ll get back to you.

  13. Kently

    First this: Niku is just a particle as our universe is a particle, obeying the law of nature, and reacting to any influence.

    And now this: The study of matter and motion is not broken. Particles interact though we see nothing between them. So there is indeed something between them and we do not see it. Let us describe this stuff we do not see. We have states of matter and we have states of energy. As water freezes so does a photon freeze and stop moving. Motion of matter is energy. E= mass times speed, and speed is a measure of distance divided by time. There is no such thing as time, no beginning no end. Time is just a very useful expression like miles per hour. 186,000 miles per second tiny particles go from a standing start. How? Maybe these tiny particles were already doing this in place (spinning) and when freed of their bond just took off on the traction of that stuff we do not see or (and refute me this) we are the ones going 186,000 mps and they have been freed of our influence.

    And here is one for you: Entanglement Does this stuff we do not see have properties of superconductivity and frequency resonance? A super solid state?

  14. Lysander

    It’s due to nano dark energy.

    “Dark matter” and “dark energy” in laymen’s terms means “we don’t know shit.”

  15. Jumpnmcar

    “Dark matter” and “dark energy” in laymen’s terms means “we don’t know shit.”

    ” Dark Liberty ” ?

  16. cohenite

    Quantum physics is separate from Classical or Newtonian physics by a threshold defined by Shrödinger’s wave equation. And a good thing to although it would be handy occasionally to be in 2 places at once.

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