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Old February 4 2013, 09:48 PM   #40
Fleet Captain
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Re: Are We Living In A Box?

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
I am now deeply puzzled as to why you think "NASA" continues to espouse the "dirty snowball" theory.
Because I subscribe to NASA's "science news" emails, and I have received several since the Deep Impact mission stating unambiguously that comets are "dirty snowballs." Asteroids as "extinct comets" is still part of the dirty snowball model—the idea being that all the ices have since melted away. When an actively blazing comet shows a dry, rocky surface with no sign at all of water, you know something is wrong with the existing model. The coma and tail are not sublimating volatiles, they are plasma in "glow mode" or even "arc mode."

This is a discussion board, not a book club.
Give me a moment here to copy and paste the entire text of the book so that you won't have to buy it. I have been making comments about the content of the book.

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
Was that a reference to invisible...pardon..."dark matter"? If the answer is yes, then it looks like a book I'm definitely interested in.
It was, indeed. Although Scott is not the first to question the ad hoc invention of "dark matter." Among the other assumed creatures of mainstream astrophysics are neutron stars. From the book:

The extraordinary thing about pulsars is the almost unbelievably high frequency of their flashes of electromagnetic radiation (both light and radio frequency emissions). When they were first discovered, it was thought that they rotated rapidly – like lighthouses. But when the implied rate of rotation for some pulsars was announced to be about once every second, despite their having masses exceeding that of the Sun, this lighthouse explanation became untenable. It was proposed that only such a super-dense material as ‘neutronium’ could make up a star that could stand those rotation speeds – so they must exist. A neutron star was spinning at the required rate.

Neutron stars are impossible. One of the well-known basic rules of nuclear chemistry is the so-called ‘band of stability.’ This is the observation that, if we add neutrons to the nucleus of any atom, we need to add an almost proportional number of protons (and their accompanying electrons) to maintain a stable nucleus. In fact, it seems that, when we consider all the known elements (even the heavy man-made elements as well), there is a requirement that, in order to hold a group of neutrons together in a nucleus, an almost equal number of proton-electron pairs are required. The stable nuclei of the lighter elements contain approximately equal numbers of neutrons and protons – a neutron/proton ratio of 1. The heavier nuclei contain a few more neutrons than protons, but the limit seems to be about 1.5 neutrons per proton. Nuclei that differ significantly from this ratio spontaneously undergo radioactive decay transformations that tend to bring their compositions closer to this ratio. Groups of neutrons are not stable by themselves.

We know from laboratory experiments that any lone neutron decays into a proton, an electron and a neutrino in less than 14 minutes; atom-like collections of two or more neutrons will fly apart almost instantaneously. There is no such thing as neutronium. Therefore there can be no such entity as a neutron star. It is a fiction that flies in the face of all we know about elements and their atomic nuclei.
Of course, the usual counter-argument is always that "the laws of physics are different" long ago or far away. Scott's book describes credible alternatives to pulsars, gamma ray bursts, etc. My favorite bit is the section about the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram.
"No, I better not look. I just might be in there."
—Foghorn Leghorn, Little Boy Boo
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