We present a simple, unified model that can explain two of the brightest, large-scale, diffuse, polarizedradio features in the sky, the North Polar Spur (NPS) and the Fan Region, along with several otherprominent loops. We suggest that they are long, magnetized, and parallel filamentary structures thatsurround the Local arm and/or Local Bubble, in which the Sun is embedded. We show this modelis consistent with the large number of observational studies on these regions, and is able to resolvean apparent contradiction in the literature that suggests the high latitude portion of the NPS isnearby, while lower latitude portions are more distant. Understanding the contributions of this localemission is critical to developing a complete model of the Galactic magnetic field.
Dr. Jennifer West, Research Associate at the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, is making a scientific case that two bright structures that are seen on opposite sides of the sky – previously considered to be separate – are actually connected and are made of rope-like filaments. This connection forms what looks like a tunnel around our solar system.
“If we were to look up in the sky,” explains West, “we would see this tunnel-like structure in just about every direction we looked – that is, if we had eyes that could see radio light.”
An expert in magnetism in galaxies and the interstellar medium, West looks forward to the more possible discoveries connected to this research.
“Magnetic fields don’t exist in isolation,” she says. “They all must to connect to each other. So, a next step is to better understand how this local magnetic field connects both to the larger-scale galactic magnetic field, and also to the smaller scale magnetic fields of our sun and Earth.”
“What are you talking about? Gravity is the force of attraction that makes things fall straight down.” But say it to a physicist, and the answer you’ll get is, “That’s right.”
I know, because those are the two answers I’ve been getting for the past few years, ever since I figured out that nobody knows what gravity is, and that just about nobody knows that nobody knows what gravity is. The exception is physicists: They know that nobody knows what gravity is, because they know that they don’t know what gravity is.
Burns said his helical engine would work by accelerating ions confined in a loop. By changing their mass slightly, the engine would then move the ions back and forth along the direction of travel to produce thrust. New Scientist notes that the helical engine would need to be 650 feet long and 40 feet wide in order to work.
• What and Why
•Ions and Particle Accelerators
•Classical vs Relativistic Dynamics
•Helical Engine Architecture
•A Specific Design Example
•Conservation of Momentum
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet…
This mass changing isn’t prohibited by physics. Einstein’s theory of special relativity says that objects gain mass as they are driven towards the speed of light, an effect that must be accounted for in particle accelerators. In fact, a simplistic implementation of Burns’s concept would be to replace the ring with a circular particle accelerator, in which ions are swiftly accelerated to relativistic speed during one stroke, and decelerated during the other.
But Burns thinks it would make more sense to ditch the box and rod and employ the particle accelerator for the lateral as well as the circular movement – in which case, the accelerator would need to be shaped like a helix.