I haven’t really prepared anything for today, so I’m going to ramble on for a while about some things that I think about while I’m either waiting for dinner, or waiting for the dean to run out of wind. Gadfry, but that man can talk.
I find that I’m bored with black holes (the astronomical kind, funny man). You hear the same things about them, over and over, and very rarely does anyone come up with something really new. There’s a good reason for it, of course. You can’t see into one (duh), and theorists can’t really calculate anything about them past the event horizon, because there is a big, fat, infinity sitting at the center: the singularity. Most theorists hate infinities. String theorists say their math works fine in a singularity. “Oh yeah, my theory works perfectly, except for this one thing, here. Oh, and no one has been able to actually verify the main bit here, but someone will surely try. Other than that, though, it works perfectly.” These guys are all full of beans.
Ah, I just remembered a topic related to black holes that I haven’t gotten bored with, which is Gamma Ray Bursts, or GRBs. They’re very interesting phenomena, but I don’t have any prepared notes to talk about them just now. However, I did stumble across a nifty NASA video the other day, I forget exactly where, that talks about what causes GRBs. It’s pretty short, so I stuck it in:
My, wasn’t that interesting? I have wondered about exactly what would happen if a pair of neutron stars collided, other than a big kaboom and so on, but I never pursued the subject, lest I be accused of actually working. And here is NASA/Goddard doing a nice simulation of that very thing, for free. Such nice people there.
Damn. I have a hole in my sock and my big toe is sticking out of it. Why doesn’t this ever happen when I’m home?
A while back, I read an article in a Scientific American about a strange astronomical beast known as a naked singularity. A naked singularity is basically a black hole without an event horizon. How could something like that possibly exist? It sounds like pure codswallop to me. The author of the article (I can’t remember his name, consider finding it self-study) is some hot-shot mathematician dabbling around in astrophysics, and he says that they can exist and he has numbers that prove it. Supposedly, they form when a type II supernova occurs and the star doesn’t collapse onto the core symmetrically (how symmetrically? I couldn’t tell) which results in a sort of lopsided supernova explosion where naked singularities can form. Well then, that will be easy to test, eh? Hmph. I rather doubt that most any star you look at that is collapsing into a type II supernova will collapse symmetrically, so there should be naked singularities everywhere you look. You shouldn’t be able to swing a cat without hitting one. I am dubious.
Hmmm, that does, however, give me an idea for a lovely little proposal that I could insert into the budget. Oh my, yes. Do you think CERN would be annoyed if I asked them to let me use their brand new, shiny, just-got-it-working Large Hadron Collider as a storage ring to inject particles into my even-more gigantic collider in order to create naked singularities? Ho ho ho. I might have to pursue that. I haven’t caused a commotion in a budget meeting in, oh, months, so I’m well overdue.
You know, I feel like watching some cartoons. Yes, I think I’ll go see if the fansub of this week’s Nichijou has shown up on IRC yet. I have to keep up on my anime, you know.
That’s all for today. Talk among yourselves if you like. Remember, no biting.