Oct. 1, 2021

Is That Dark Energy?

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Transcript

SpaceTime S24E111 AI Transcript

[00:00:00] Stuart: This is space time series 24 episode, 111 for broadcast on the 1st of October, 2021. Coming up on space time, have scientists detected dark energy, uh, launch a board for black skies, new sounding rocket and Southern launch confirms tie spaces. Hypoth one rocket is damaged beyond repair, all that a more coming up on SpaceTime  

[00:00:27] VO Guy: Welcome to SpaceTime with Stuart Gary

[00:00:47] Stuart: A new study led by researchers from the university of Cambridge, suggest that some unexplained results from the Xeno one T experiment in Italy earlier this year may have been caused by dark energy and not the dark matter. The experiment was designed that a attacked, the authors constructed a physical model to help explain the results which may have originated from dark energy particles produced in a region of the sun with a strong magnetic field.

Although future experiments would be required to confirm this explanation. The study reported in the journal. Physical review D could be an important step towards the detection of dark energy. Everything our eyes can see in the sky is, and in our everyday world from ads to blue whales and cars to castles make up less than 5% of the universe, all the rest is dark.

Meaning I know. About 27% of this is referred to as dark matter and invisible material, which can only be detected through its gravitational influence holding galaxies and the cosmic web together. The remaining 68% is dark energy, which causes the universe to expand at an ever accelerating rate.

Large-scale experiments like seeing on one T have been designed to directly detect dark matter particles by searching for signs of these particles when they collide with ordinary matter. Uh, dark energy would be even more elusive than this to detect dark energy scientists. Generally look for gravitational interactions.

The way gravity pulls objects around on the very largest scales. The gravitational effect of dark energy is repulsive pulling things away from each other and making the universe has red of expansion accelerate. The Xenon one T detector is located deep beneath the mountain at the grand Sesar national laboratory in.

The detector is filled with some 3.2 tons of ultra pure liquified Xenon, which serves as a target for political directions. What a particle crosses the target, it knocks off free electrons and generates photons from the Xenon atom. Most of these interactions occur from paddock. It was that a known to exist.

Therefore scientists need to carefully estimate the number of background events in the Xenon wante experiment. But about a year ago, when data from Xeno, one T was compared to known backgrounds, a surprising excess of 53 events over the expected 232 events was observed. And this raises an exciting question.

Where is this excess coming from? Now? It must be pointed out. These sort of excesses are often nothing more than flukes, just statistical anomalies. That once in a while, they can also lead to some fundamental new discovery. Now the signature was very similar to what could result from a tiny residual amount of Tridium.

That's an isotope of hydrogen containing a proton and two neutrons, and you'd only need a few tritium atoms for every 10 of the 25 Xenon atoms to explain the excess, but it could also be a sign of something more exciting, such as the existence of a new hypothetical particle being produced by the sun, a particle, which has been dubbed a solar axis.

Actually onto a hypothetical particles, which if they exist, we preserve a time reversal symmetry of the nuclear force and the sun could be a strong source of them out while the solar axions are not diametric candidates, that detection would mark the first observation of a wool motivated, but never detected class of new particles.

And that would have a huge impact on sizes. Understanding of fundamental physics as well as astrophysical phenomenon. More importantly, Axiom's produced in the early universe could well be a source of dark matter. However exciting as all this sounds, the Acciona explanation really doesn't stand up to observations since the amount of axioms that would be required to explain the Xenon one T signal would drastically alter the evolution of stars, much more massive than the sun.

That's simply in conflict with what we observe around it. Another possibility is that this could be an indication of a previously unknown property of neutrinos. You train as the most common particles in the universe, and they're extremely weekly interactive. In fact, there are trillions of them passing through your body right now, completely unhindered.

It could be that the magnetic moment of neutrinos is larger than its value in the standard model of particle physics. And that would be a strong hint that there's some other new physics out there that will be needed to explain. All in all scientists are far from understanding what a, again, energy could be, but most physical models for dark energy would lead to the existence of a so-called fifth force in nature, a sort of vacuum energy working opposite to gravity.

Existing four forces in nature are the electromagnetic force, the strong and weak nuclear forces and gravity. Although even with gravity, we're not sure. It may just be an effect rather than a full. The thing is we know that Einstein's theory of gravity works extremely well in the local universe.

Therefore, any fifth force associated with dark energies, unwanted and must be hidden. That was screened when it comes to small scales and therefore early be operating on the very largest scales where Einstein's theory of gravity fails to explain the acceleration of the universe, at least not without a cosmological constant.

To hide. The fifth force, many models of dark energy are equipped with a so-called screening mechanism, which dynamically hides this fifth force. The authors of this new study constructed a physical model, which used that type of screening mechanism known as chameleon screening. In order to show that dark energy produced in the sun strong magnetic fields really could explain the Xenon one TXA.

They proposed that this chameleon screening shuts down the production of dark energy particles in very dense objects, therefore avoiding the problems faced by solar axions. And it will also allow side as to decouple what happens in the local very dense universe from what's happening on the very largest scales where density is extremely low.

The researchers use their model to show what would happen in the detector. If the dark energy was produced in a particular region of the sun called the attacker climb, where magnetic fields are a specialist strong, via calculation suggests that experiments like , which are designed to detect dark matter could also be used to detect dark energy.

However, it's worth remembering that the original excess still needs to be convincingly confirmed. Citus need to know it. Wasn't simply a statistical. If actually saw something new than you'd expect to see similar excesses again, in future experiments, but this time with much stronger signals and if the excess was the result of dark energy, upcoming upgrades to the Xenon wante experiment, as well as experiments pursuing similar goals, such as the Lux Zeplin and the Panner XX T means it could be possible to directly observe dark energy within the next decade.

We'll keep you informed.

the maiden flight of black sky Aerospace's new signing. Rocket has had to be aborted, Chile technical issues. The test flight from the company's launch facility need going to windy on the new south Wales Queensland border had already been delayed once due to strong winds. Mission managers are looking at a program of four, four minute test flights from the new rocket, which will climb to an altitude of 35,000 feet in 38 seconds.

Before parachuting back to the ground, the test that has had to evaluate all aspects of a sovereign launch vehicle, including domestically developed rocket fuels, avionics, electronics, and airframe. The company undertook its first commercial loans from it's gone. The windy facility back in 2018 using its five meter site, a one 90 solid fuel sounding rocket on a suborbital ballistic trajectory.

This is space-time still the calm Southern Lauren's confirms Ty spaces, hypoth one rocket damaged beyond repair and Jonathan Nalli from Australian sky and telescope magazine tells us about some easy ways to begin backyard a strong. Oh, that and more still to come on. Space

[00:09:18] VO Guy: time.

[00:09:34] Stuart: Southern launches. Confirm that tie spaces hypoth one or flying squirrel rocket was damaged beyond repair after catching a lot during last week's launch at 10. But he says it won't continue with any further launch attempts of this vehicle and internal electrical fault in the rocket has been blamed for the failure.

It was the third attempt to launch the rocket. The first was halted by high altitude winds and a second launch. A template was scrubbed 30 minutes before liftoff, after one of the launch sequence systems failed to come online. The flight was designed to test birth the new rockets hybrid fuel system and the environmental impact caused by vibration and noise from rocket flights from Southern launches.

New whale is way over launch complex on the air peninsula. South of port Lincoln. Southern launch has two more rocket launches planned before the end of the year. It's a, space-time still to come. Jonathan Nalli explains how we don't need expensive telescopes to begin sky watching. And later in the science report and you study wars that sea level rise is likely to be far greater than predicted, or that are more still to come.

and you wish you have Australian sky and telescope magazine hit the new staff. This month's issue looks at easy ways to begin backyard astronomy, which could set you or your kids on course to become citizens scientists. Joining us now with all the details is the magazine's editor. John, we have a complete guide

[00:11:17] Jonathan: to buying binoculars for astronomy.

You know, most people think you've got to have a telescope and probably a big one in order to do any sort of stargazing. Um, well that's just not, not the occasion and never has been the case, uh, but not actually a really good way to get into, um, astronomy because you, you've got a nice wide field of view and they're easy to handle.

Um, you can, you can start to learn your way around. You can use binoculars during the day for other purposes as well, where it's gets quite clumsy for that. So binoculars are really good way to get into it. And now there's been all sorts of standard advice over the years about which con you should get in which size and that sort of thing, and how much money you should spend.

Well, look, the binocular market, I guess you'd say has changed quite a lot in recent years. So, uh, you know, there's a lot more technology and, uh, the prices have changed. Uh, we, we have a complete guide to getting your first pair of binoculars, um, depending on what sort of stargazing. So, um, if you're interested in getting into astronomy or, you know, someone who is maybe a child, um, ever rated this, because this, this will give you your best introduction in how to find your way around the night sky with an optical instrument.

Now, we also have a look at how professional and amateur astronomers band together to do studies. Um, in, in, in science, it's, there's a lot more of this going on. And in particular, we there's a group that's, um, studying funny star code R w over guy. Uh, seems to brighten and dim on very short timescales, very odd.

They can't really figure out what's going on. Um, unlike other spots they've seen before, so there's gotta be an explanation for it. And they're working together to try and solve. Um, so what is causing it? We'd have read, you know, maybe they've discovered some new kind of syllabus.

[00:12:55] Stuart: Uh, it's a very common, there are lots of them around, but the reasons why the pulse setting are often very different, it can be two stars or.

And one is dimming out the light from the other, or it can be the star itself has got unusual properties inside it with different gases, willing up at different times through the plasma with Betelgeuse recently, we found a huge dust cloud that was, that was causing it to Dem as a dust cloud caused by the spy Bentyl goes itself.

It had a big puff of gas released. And then as the guests went further and further from the. It cooled and became dust, which is what guests does when it's away from the star. And constantly, I'm glad

[00:13:37] Jonathan: you described it as apart from guests. I thought you were going to describe it some in some other manner, but I'm not puff of gap stands.

Very nice. Indeed.

[00:13:46] Stuart: Jonathan, Nalli the editor of Australian sky and telescope magazine. And don't forget if you're having trouble getting your copy of Australian sky and telescope magazine from your usual retailer because of the current lockdown and travel restrictions can always get a print or digital subscription and have the magazine delivered directly to your letterbox or inbox.

Subscribing is easy. Just go to sky and telescope.com.edu that sky and telescope.com.edu. And you'll never be left in the dark again. This is space time

and Tom at a, take another brief look at some of the other stories making use in science this week with a science report and you study wards at the maximum sea level rise predicted in the most recent report to the intergovernmental panel on climate change is likely to be too low. The findings by Danish and Norwegian researchers reporting in the journal, ocean science are based on calculations of future sea level rise based on actual observations of changing sea levels in the recent past, compared with computer model based predictions, the authors say the intergovernmental panel on climate change estimates are too conservative because their models have never been tested against past patterns of sea level rise.

In order to check that there are. And you study has found that male sleeping patterns are more strongly influenced by the lunar cycle than those of females. The findings reported in the journal of the total environment aren't new, but previous studies had produced conflicting results on the association between the lunar cycle and sleep.

The new study by ciders from Uppsala university included other potential issues such as obstructive sleep apnea and insomnia. The new study looked at sleep recordings from 492 women and 360 men finding that men who sleep was recorded during nights in the moon's waxing phase, exhibited lower sleep efficiency and increased time awake after sleep onset, compared to men who sleep was measured during times of the waning moon.

In contrast, the sleep of women remained largely unaffected by the lunar cycle. During the waxing period, the amount of illuminated moon surfaces seen from earth increases and the moment the moon crosses the locations, Meridian gradually shifts to late evening hours in contrast, during a waning period, the illuminated surface decreases and the moment that the moon crosses a locations, Meridian gradually shifts to daylight hours.

One mechanism through which the moon may impact sleep is sunlight reflected by the moon around the time when people usually get. So it's possible that the male brain is simply more responsive to ambient light than the brains of females. Now, while we're on the subject and you study is found that spending less time in bed could help.

If you have trouble sleeping a report in the journal, Australian prescriber claims, changing behavior around sleep, including setting regular sleep times and restricting the amount of time spent in bed is an effective first-line therapy for insomnia. The authors found cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia should include improving sleep hygiene restricting the time spent in bed, avoiding naps, relaxation strategies, such as meditation and cognitive therapy to challenge unhelpful beliefs and attitudes around sleep.

They say drugs may be useful as a short-term approach during episodes of acute insomnia as an add-on to behavioral therapy, or when there's a high level of distress. A new study claims of famous 3,700 year old Babylonian clay tablet known as Plimpton 3, 2, 2, maybe the world's oldest, the most accurate trigonometry table scientists from the university of new south Wales who made the discovery claim.

The tablet may have been used by ancient mathematical scribes to calculate how to construct palaces and temples and build canal. The new research means the ancient Babylonians are not the Greg's were the first to study trigonometry. The Plimpton 3, 2, 2 tablet was discovered in the early 19 hundreds in what is now Southern Iraq by archeologists Edgar banks.

Upon whom the fictional character, Indiana Jones was loosely based. The tablet has four columns and 15 rows of numbers written in cuneiform script using a base 60 system. The nearest search suggested the tablet describes the shapes of right angle triangles using a novel kind of trigonometry based on ratios, not angles will circles, trigonometry tables, a lady use one known ratio of the side of a right angle triangle that determined the other two unknown ratio.

The Greek astronomer packet. So lived around 120 BCE as long been regarded as the father of trigonometry and his table of chords on a circle. Consider the odors, triggering a metric table. However, Plimpton 3 22 per data packets by more than a thousand years, the 15 rows on the tablet describe a sequence of 15 RightAngle triangles, which is steadily decreasing the inclination.

The left-hand edge of the table is broken. And your research suggest that there were originally six columns and 38 rows. They also demonstrate how the ancient scribes to use the base 60 numerical arithmetic, similar to our time clock rat than the base 10 number system used today, it would have been used for surveying fields, often making architectural calculations for building palaces temples, or even step pyramid.

The tablet, which is still to have come from the ancient Sumerian city of Lasser has been dated to between 1822 and 1762 BCE. Well, be it Facebook, Instagram, or whatever social media or on chances are, you've noticed the growing phenomenon of the social influencer, people who have built up a massive following, usually because they're hot and have developed a massive lifestyle.

Others can only dream of. Uh, if you're lucky enough to become a social influencer companies will pay you to wear their clothes, to visit their venues and to push their products. And it's usually nothing more than that. But as Tim minim from Australian skeptics points out, there are a growing number of social influences.

It promote dangerous products, things that can really hurt you.

[00:20:16] Tim Mendham: Okay. The influencers being people who talk about their lives and their interests on social media or on Facebook or wherever Instagram. And they talk about everything from what the heck Medina like go to a restaurant and say, look, this is a nice meal I had at this particular restaurant. Or they take up a certain product and say, I've used this product.

And they influenced because they have a lot of followers and people who say, Ooh, that's interesting. Most of these influencers are young women, frankly, not all, but there's a lot of young women. And we have commented on one of them in Australia. We actually went to, I've been spoon award because of spreading medical information about how certain queue was working.

This is close as well with her products, but these are people online who were suggesting you try this, this recipe, this mixture of organic product. What Ava, and it will cure disease. And some of these diseases they're talking about a serious diseases. A lot of these influences are also selling their own products.

Of course. And, uh, those products themselves might be pretty chunky or dangerous or fatal. And unfortunately, there's a lot of people who believe that and you get an attractive influencer, who's got a good manner. They might be a celebrity in their own. Right. And they have faces everywhere. I filed chest, but they were flooding pace, everything from the, you know, to the drink, anything from that up to serums and things that are tapped at as cure roles and all that sort of stuff.

And some of them are harmless. Just very few of them. Actually, some of them are harmless and some of them are not, some of them have quasi pharmaceuticals if you like, and some of them are fatal. So there's a lot of this stuff in Malaysia. This is proving a big issue of Malaysia's version of our therapeutic goods administration, which is the national pharmaceutical regulatory agency has listed 171 health and beauty products that contain banned ingredients, including mercury and a particular treatment for.

And I'm not allowed for leukemia medication that has side effects from skin irritation and hair loss to birth defects in unborn children. This has stuff being promoted by these influencers online, and they're trying to stop it. You're going to go through. But this is because of social media because of freedom of speech on social media.

But if you're selling shonky products, you're selling dangerous products and you're not a qualified person to even comment on it. Apart from being a celebrity and online, it's the sort of stuff that really should be clamped down on put it's an ongoing thing and the influences make money out of this stuff.

And some of them can make a. And if their influence and the number of followers they have and the amount of stuff they sell. So influence is not just about, I had a nice meal at a restaurant is about selling products and making money out of people, some potential misfortunes, and that's what's happening in Malaysia.

It happens here. It

[00:22:55] Stuart: happens around the world. From Australian skeptics

[00:23:14] VO Guy: and

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VO Guy: You've been listening to space-time with Stuart Gary. This has been another quality podcast production from bitesz.com

Jonathan Nally

Editor Australian Sky & Telescope Magazine

Our editor, Jonathan Nally, is well known to members of both the amateur and professional astronomical communities. In 1987 he founded Australia’s first astronomy magazine, Sky & Space, and in 2005 became the launch editor for Australian Sky & Telescope. He has written for other major science magazines and technology magazines, and has authored, contributed to or edited many astronomy, nature, history and technology books. In 2000 the Astronomical Society of Australia awarded him the inaugural David Allen Prize for Excellence in the promotion of Astronomy to the public.

Tim Mendham

Editor

Editor with Australian Skeptics