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Friday, March 28, 2014

A Star Called The Sun



T  H  E    S  U  N


                           By  George Gamow.


I read the book that I mainly feature here some time ago. Gamow was a physicist who worked with Einstein but wrote popular books on astronomy etc As a teenager I was interested in science, including biology, chemistry, physics and kept up to date with (more or less popular) science via The Scientific Book Club with books on Astronomy including one on the solar system, one about alternative possible life forms (the only suggestion that seemed likely was that if other life forms developed outside the earth they might have silicon, instead of carbon as a basis, as silicon (sand and hence glass are formed from SiO2 or Silica) like carbon can form the long chain compounds somewhat as carbon does. I also took some interest in biochemistry and chemistry as well as animals. Hence I still have a book by Schaller about the gorilla, and one about animal behaviour by the great scientist N. Tinbergen. I also had (and still have) a book about bats, one of sharks, and I had various astronomy books. One book was on LSD and other such drugs (the only one of my scientific book club books to be stolen, I took them around, some unread, for years, (as I took some of the classics such as "Dead Souls" by Gogol but it wasn't until the last 5 years or so I read that book which is not as mysterious or gloomy as it sounds); and I read and re-read a large book about astronomy, as well as a huge book about Darwin an evolution (Reader's Digest Book). My grandfather made a telescope, a refractor, so I spent hours looking at the stars and the moon. It was good but unlike a reflector I had to get quite low and cramped to see things. (My brother in Townsville is able to see the satellites of some of the planets, something I've never seen.) I was never able to remember or identify many of the constellations but I took my "observing" seriously for a year or so.

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                    Some of the Scientific Book Club Books I Read as a Teenager


World's Apart investigates the origins of life, the nature of living things, and whether or what chances there is life on other planets and what forms they might take.

 Asimov wrote Science Fiction but he was a trained biochemist and this book was important to me. Asimov also wrote a book about all of Shakespeare's plays (I own a copy of it): dealing with each play in some detail. A multi-talented man like Carl Sagan and Jacob Bronowski.

       Bonner's book and a book about Pasteur were others I read, as well as books on the Solar System etc   More recently I read books about Madame Curie, Fleming who discovered penicillin, and The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes.                

 A great book with photographs. Intriguing to read of the
 interaction strategies of animals.

 The author of this Silently by Night (see the title page below) was more a 'Naturalist' but bats are animals of great complexity, finding their way by a kind of audio radar (sonar) high frequency sound signals bounce of objects and they can fly with great accuracy through multiple objects at speed. They kill thousands of insects harmful to humans and fertilise flowers and food crops. Because of the very rare occasions of rabies caused by vampire bat bites, an extermination program was started but stopped when it was realised that they are animals of great importance and ingenuity of beauty of function. Bill Bryson writes about them...

 Also misunderstood and harmed by humans, gorillas are mainly harmless unless approached accidentally (or attacked suddenly). We are not descended from apes or monkeys, they have a very similar DNA and we and they descend from Lemur-like creatures 2 million or so years ago.


   I was also a big fan as was my mother and I think my brother, of Gerald Durrell's marvelous books about his family and animals. Gerald Durrell opened a zoo. He was the brother of Lawrence Durrell. I haven't read any of his (Lawrence Durrell's) books. 
   I wasn’t particularly “scientifically minded”, I was also interested in learning Latin, Maths and English literature.
   My maths wasn’t very good, and in fact as a scholar, while I took a lot of interest in these things, I was really rather slow. I think this slowness meant I concentrated on things more, but in the end I “failed” at science, various things took place in my life, and in more recent times I took up literature again. But I keep an amateur (or “intelligent layman’s” interest) in science and mathematics. I wish I had in fact worked more consistently on literature, languages, art, geography and history.
  But this strange EYELIGHT project, which I know to many must seem rather naïve, is an attempt to look in many directions so to speak. The themes I have outlined. While knowledge is part of what I want, the interest in that also concentrates on the form of those things. That is why it modulates from the “information” to the very texture of the language sampled itself.

But the book, A Star Called the Sun inspired some thoughts, and this poem must have been written about 1990 or 1991 about van Gogh.


It used to be possible to hire art reproductions, and I had one here at home of a Van Gogh self portrait (when I say “You know the one…” well, that isn’t me really, in many cases of course “you” Don’t know the one…the voice at that point, later to become the slightly paranoid one I used more recently (influenced by certain of the programs and books of Oliver Sachs, not that they dealt with paranoids, but that the strangeness of the neurological worlds they evoked affected my writing). But here is the poem:

                                               For Those Who Feel

I hired Van Gogh from the library —
No, I didn’t —
I didn’t hire Van Gogh —
I hired the painting of him
from the Panmure library:
There, self-wrestling on my wall,
his painted pain.

I lean back in my bed,           
and watch him warily —        
and he has been watching me ever since:
You know the one —
whirling background
like the mad granulations of the sun,
or a blue-green fire,
blue-flowing onto his jacket...

And recall that jagged
haggard look of torment —
red beard flaming his unshaven face.

Just another lonely man:
Not a wizard —
a genius, yes,
but solitary, haunted.

Is this then our condition of knowing
the repeating wonder of the ever-birthing world;
the dazzlings,
the intense shinings
like the sun in your rear-vision mirror,
and the ecstasy of music,
that only child-sight
keeps fragrant,
as age dulls;
and Time screws us up like
a demented writer tearing out his writings —
making balls of dead paper failure:
Is this our price to sense?

Crisp apples remind the youth,
but later, death grips his shoulder —
there’s always a price — you name it!
Anyway, Van Gogh and I, continue to
regard each other’s face:
he, or his work, is a greatness.
So much said
So much unsaid:
Poor Van Gogh — you were still reading
the world’s song — when you shot you —
you made a choice —
Love, isolation, genius:
nothing was enough,
or is enough,
for those who so deeply feel or fear.
You bled the last of your rich red pains…

They expired into your yellow, red, green
and purple flaming dreams and loves,
weird and magical as yellow spiders in black fields.

R Taylor

First written about 1990.

There it is: “like the mad granulations of the sun” (the granulations – which can he several hundred miles or kilometers across and have “gas winds” or fires racing across them at 20 or more k/sec, are examples of the enormous turbulence on the sun, which is basically gaseous, or plasma). But what I had forgotten were the number of times I mention the sun. As Gamow says, perhaps a little tongue-in-cheek, sun worship is one of the most understandable of “religions”. Akhenaten maybe had a point.
Then there are Van Gogh’s sunflowers. 

In these images the "granularions" can be seen. On the right picture is seen a 'sunspot'. Sunspots can be between 16 to 160,000 kilometres in diameter, and they are the result of interactions of magnetic and electric fields, as when they are seen from various angles the elliptical shape that is really consonant with lines of magnetic force as in any magnet, are seen. They throw off huge amounts of energy including ultra-violet and infra red light, x-rays and gamma rays as well as other cosmic particles. Sun spots follow roughly 11 year cycles, when they peak or decline. They seem to affect out weather in beneficial ways. The sun is a vast nuclear engine that works with great energy and like all things, to quote T. S Eliot: 'It can murder or create.'
But what do I or we (anyone) know about the sun?And why should we want to know?

Once a philosophy lecturer, a visiting American who 
was lecturing on continental and modern-postmodernist philosophy in lectures I attended in 1994, mused on 
Camus's supposed thought that human beings hunger endlessly to know everything.  


Without light from the sun, no life on earth could exist, as light is processed either by photosynthesis in leaves and green plants (or indirectly the heat energy – the ‘red-end’ of light is that which we feel as heat, whereas UV light, also invisible to humans, is the energizer of photosynthesis ‘sent’ from the sun is used by some more primitive plants). This photosynthesis is the basis of life, as by it sugars etc are built in plants (in their leaves mostly), and this gives energy for growth. Other animals eat various plants to obtain this carbohydrate energy (and nitrogen, minerals, water (Hydrogen and Oxygen) and proteins or compounds that can be built into proteins in their bodies. Vitamins are then processed - they are catalysts (they don't do anything as such except make things happen, just as water is essential, as are sodium, chlorine and potassium (these act for example to regulate what enters a cell, and in neurons in specialised forms some of these alkali earths enable synaptic events.)   

The sun is about 150 million miles from the earth. It is about 110 times the diameter of the earth, that is as the earth is ~ 6371 (kms) in mean radius so it is ~ 12742 kms in diameter.  The sun’s mean diameter is 1 392 684 kms. Which is again close to 110 (109.3) x the diameter of the earth. The density of the earth is greater than that of the sun and any other planet. But the mass of the sun is enormous in comparison. The size of the sun means that although the rate of energy production of the sun is slower that that of the metabolic rate of the human body: it is, as a function of its size and mass, so hot that it sends a huge amount of energy to the earth every second. I don’t know all these figures but some of them I know. The important thing is to start thinking about the world we are in and (not the dry facts, we are no Gradgrinders*): but in fact to at least know that it doesn’t all happen quite by magic, but that, in essence, we really know very little about the Universe and we will never understand except perhaps in some “revelatory” way. Facts (or too many facts) ultimately confuse us. The forces, the processes, the distances and the ideas are complex and vast. But that we know as much as we do is wonderful.
  The sun, in simplified terms, is vast fusion reactor that converts Hydrogen to Helium (there are different ways this is done in different stars, but in our sun the centre is mostly hydrogen at a temp. of 20 million degrees Kelvin. Some stars may have surface temperatures as high as 100,000 million degrees, and huge centre pressures (temperatures), and there are complex mechanisms for energy creations involving neutrino actions and much else). 

[There are other ways energy is created in Suns such as what Gamow calls the Carbon cycle. (Not the carbon cycle we learn about re biology but a complex theory for nucleosynthesis.)] 

How does it do that? How is energy created in the sun’s interior? The hydrogen atom, the atom with the atomic number 1, and hence the “lightest” element, has one proton and one electron. Helium has two. The enormous force of gravity (paradoxically one of the “weak” forces in the universe) acts at the centre of the sun so that temperatures are about 20 million centigrade (Kelvin really). The density is also enormous, and the forces acting at or near the sun’s center cause hydrogen protons to join together and (later the electrons “join” them). So the sun converts hydrogen (the commonest element in the Universe) into helium. In the process energy is released. This energy starts on a “journey” lasting several thousands of years before it even reaches (it is shielded from the surface by convection “waves” and makes it’s way by convection just as heat does say from a fire place around a room in house in winter): at the sun’s surface, which is approximately 6000 deg centigrade, it is thrown out (?) and radiated to the earth.

  The wave (electromagnetic) or series of quanta (photons) hits the leaves on our earth and plants begin, from the action of a single proton dislodging one electron a complex biochemical process called photosynthesis (synthesis by or with light). This creates sugars. Sugars, or carbohydrates, despite what popular diets might “tell you” are the most important chemical for living systems. Wood, in fact, is glorified and somewhat modified long chains of sugar-like long-chain carbon compounds. ATP utlilizes sugar in cells (especially in the “engine room” of the cell, the mitochondria) to allow us to live…
   Most of this is off the top of my head except the distances etc

   Useless knowledge? So is knowing the latest variations in the Slav Defence, but if you earn your income playing Chess, it is vitally important knowledge.
   But much of this “useless” knowledge, and it is very sketchy by me, is really something essential in us, we love to know how things work (given that some things are always outside our interest or ‘realm’); the Universe is there, and we want to know what is here and there. The thing is to realize the limits of knowledge. Astronomy, the earth, biochemistry: men and women spend years studying these subjects.
   What is I think significant is that we know enough to know how limited we are, how fascinating and beautiful (and also how sometimes it is terrifying, terrible).

   Think of the sun as a huge nuclear engine that smashes atoms together and thus generates energy. Slowly it is losing energy as it’s total mass declines.

  It has been going for about 4.6 billion years (or at least 500 million years at the intensity of heat and light we know). 

It is dangerous to look at the sun directly and images like this are taken with telescopes designed to effectively 'eclipse' the Sun. This means that the outer coronosphere of the sun can be studied. In this case the prominences on the sun were photographed during an eclipse on 9 December 1939 (Mount Wilson Paolmar Observatories.) 



[TA giant eruption on the Sun which took place on 4 June 1946 as photographed by the coronograph of the High Altitude Observatory of the Universtity of Colorado (Courtesyof Dr Harold Zirin).  

[The enormous eruption which would engulph perhaps 200, 000 of our Earths thew atomic material and gas out from the Sun with hateful and joyous destructive power. The mass of it leapt almost millions of miles from the Sun and sped outward toward our Earth and into Pascal's space.



Here is a poem I wrote about the sun inspired by reading the NASA page and Wikipedia as well as Gamow’s book*:

                         The Sun

          Maniac of energy sending end-
          less seeming streams of light to earth rec-
          eptive it has been let to be what
          it is and to us so vast so great
          we have built temples and legends
          to the god of life we accept and can
          never know except it blinds us and sings
          to us without favour: it kills and makes.

          We know it and know it not this fuser:
          this near-infinite engine that rules
          all life and endlessly implies death.
         You wont cheat this god, there’s no converse:
         no prayer is accepted or acknow-
         ledged. It sits in a pool of knowing
         beyond any human discussion
         It is not concerned with love or life. 
         It terribly, marvelously, is. 
         We continue: we are, like it a part 
         of this unordinary mystery, this: 
         force. This ideal material thing 
         we want to call insane, want to worship.  
         Trees through leaves simply act by it

              And we mostly do. 

         Like an ancient law, or an unjust 
         child death: we can never understand it.
         But like love it lights us into an ach- 
         ing transform. All things we know are created
         in or from it: we go about our days            
         breathing and consuming its output: 
         Arid terrifying it can seem but
         we make sad complex beauty and art and
         reasons for death loss and redemption:
         Let us say we are silk and stardust, 
         Let us recall our mothers talking, 
         Lip touch, flowers, storms, the beautiful 
         cat: the tiger, the chrysanthemums, gentian, 
         first loves, moments of “vision”, the good days: 
         We know the sun, his or her power, 
         We are stardust: we are songs: 
         We fragment into meaning, groping hope.
         And we keep on living. We keep. We are.

        The sun beats like a huge heart: it burns
          it blesses, it seems.

                           We move, we breathe: 

       and we copulate in challenging ecstasy: make,
       suffer, feel greatness betimes, sadness betimes,
       and die. Our thirst is life, and knowing our ends, we cry.

      We stare, at times, at the sky. 

       We seem, indeed: to be.


Richard Taylor 2014  

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Quite unlike my usual poetry these days, and I had no intention of writing directly onto this post but felt as I began it to do that and to add these poems.

(The poem above is strictly, for a number of stanzas, 10 syllables, if not in iambics. This changes near the end.)


From Gamow’s book A Star Called the Sun.

*I have another book about the sun that is more ‘current’ but I have only read parts of it, the thing about Gamow’s book is that he is able to simplify extremely complex physics and mathematics etc Gamow was associated with Rutherford and many others including Einstein.

From the book:

   As was stated in the first chapter, the surface temperature of the Sun is about 6000° Kelvin [absolute zero is –273° celsius so at say 773° Celsius you add 273 to get Kelvin or 773° Kelvin is 500° Celsius or Centigrade (I’m not sure if there is any difference between these). Water boils at 100 Celsius which is 373° Kelvin. ) For those interested in calorie counting as I am doing now 1 calorie [to make it more confusing a calorie as usually quoted for human weight measurements etc is in fact a kilocalorie] the energy (in the form of heat mostly – calor is ‘heat’ in Spanish and derives from Latin) to raise 1 cc through 1 degree. When a supernova destroys itself in a massive cosmic sun explosion (usually a very old star) the calories utilized for this are about 10²¹ x 10²º but I have no symbol for the power or 4 but that is about 10 to the power or exponent base 10 or 41!! The calories consumed by the average person in one day are about 2000 or so. So if harnessed the potential energies of the various suns could run everything on earth for thousands of years. Even a few minutes of the sun’s radiation (most of which is ‘lost’) if all were used, would keep us going for 100s of years. The power and energy of the universe is vast, and yet it seems to be a system slowly tending toward greater and greater entropy. The likelihood is that it might end in a so-called “heat death”…but that is all a long way off!]

[So the sun’s surface is ~ 6000 deg Kelvin] and it is thought to increase rapidly as one goes deeper into the body of the Sun…the material of the sun is entirely in a gaseous state. [The mean density of the Sun is about 1.4 that of water.] [In the core or near of the Sun] these gases must be highly compressed and their atoms packed tightly in the available space…their high thermal agitation results in an optical noise,…., and in the continous spectrum of white light. But the outermost layers of solar material…resemble the gas flames we study in our laboratories. When the continuous spectrum of the inner layers (photosphere) passes through the thinner outer layers (chromosphere), selective absorption of certain characteristic wave lengths take place in much the same way as when light emitted by the hot filament of  of an electric light bulb passes through the flame of a gas burner. This results in the Fraunhofer lines which give us information on the chemical constitution of the solar atmosphere. All the spectral lines of elements on earth in reasonable abundance are also found in the absorption spectrum of the chromosphere, proving that the Sun is made essentially of the same chemical elements as our Earth.

…the curves in Figure 29 represent the results of such computations. They show that the material near the center of the sun has a density about 100 times that of water and a temperature of about 20 million degrees. To give an idea of the tremendous value of that temperature, it is enough to say that if we could maintain that temperature on a pinhead at 20 million degrees its thermal radiation would burn everything within a radius of several miles.

[This leads up to Rutherford, Marsden and Soddy’s experiments, but requires the history of Roentgen, Thompson and the work done by Madame Curie and her husband, so the first experiment by Rutherford was the effects of naturally emitted radiation from Uranium and other isotopes, possibly Radium (discovered with Polonium by the Curies] (Initially)…it turned out that there were three kinds of radiation, which were called by the first three letters of the Greek alphabet:
  Alpha (ά ) – particles, which are the nuclei of Helium, carrying the double positive charge (2 protons) and moving with velocities from 5 to 7 percent of the speed of light [The speed of light is 300,000 km / sec and is the constant velocity of most electromagnetic radiation {comments in the square brackets are mine, so there may be errors in them.}]
  Beta (β) – particles, ordinary negatively charged electrons, identical to those studied by J. J. Thompson, but moving with velocities unobtainable in the discharge tubes of the time.
   Gamma (γ) – rays, similar to X-rays, but having much shorter wave lengths, and, consequently, much higher energy per radiation quantum. [If you simply draw  a series of sign waves at higher and higher frequencies the drawing will make it obivious why any wave that is of a higher frequency from any other wave has a greater energy (power basically). In effect ‘three phase power’ is about 3 x the power or one phase. By moving sign waves around on a piece of paper all this can be shown without any science knowledge per se: also we know that a singer at a high audio frequency can break a glass due to the high energy of that frequency (and its resonance with the glass’s basic characteristics).]

   In nuclear physics energies of particles and radiation quanta are measured in units known as million electron volts. According to the laws of  classical electrostatics, the energy gained by a particle carrying a certain electric charge and accelerated by a field with a certain potential difference [basically think voltage] between the anode and the cathode is equal to the product of that charge and that potential difference. If an electron is accelerated by a potential of 1 volt, the energy it gains is called an electron volt (ev): if the potential is one thousand volts the energy will be a kilo electron volt, or kilovolt (kev); and if it is a million we speak of one million electron volts (mev). Energies encountered in ordinary chemical reactions are of the order of several volts per molecule; in radio active transformations energies are in the order of several million electron volts. Thus nuclear transformations are millions of times more energy producing than chemical transformations for the same amount of material.

   To give a discrete example, let us consider the amount of water can be heated from the freezing point to the boiling point by the fission process in 1 kilogram of uranium. How many U235 nuclei are there in one kilogram? A hydrogen atom weighs 1.66 x 10 to base 10 exp -24 gm. The weight of the U235 nuclei is 235 times larger, i.e. 3.9 x 10-²² gm.
Thus one kilogram of uranium contains

     ___________________      =  2.56 x 10 exp base 10 to power 24

                3.9  x  10-²²

[Unfortunately at the moment my program doesn’t have enough symbols to write many indicial numbers.]

[That is a lot of atoms! I.e about 3 x 10¹² x 10¹²  or ~ 3 million billion billion atoms]

[Using the British ‘billion’ being 10 to the power of 9 (base 10)]

In this fission process a uranium nucleus liberates 200 mev. The relation between the nuclear unit of energy (i.e. mev) and the thermal unit of energy (i.e. a calorie) is:

               1 mev = 3.8 x 10 to power –14 (base 10) calories

[Note that calories referred to by most people are actually kilocalories, but the term calorie is used to calculate human food needs, not the kilo calorie. To convert kilojoules (energy units) divide the amount of kilojoules by 4.2 – this gives kilocalories which are called calories! It sounds stupid, but like star classification which is rather haphazard and slightly illogical it works for astronomers who know which star is which (I have no idea, the only star systems I think I know are Orion and the Southern Cross the rest I simply have no idea, and the only planet I think I know is Venus, the evening star. I have never lived in a place outside a city for a long enough time to study the stars with any consistency. The skies over Auckland are far too misty and there are too many lights at night.]

Thus the total energy in the fission of one kilogram of Uranium is:

200    x 3.8 x 10 to power –14 x 2.56 x 10 power 24 = 1.95 x 10¹³ calories.

[So that if we use the calorie we use for weight watching is ~ 20 000 000 000 000 000
  Calories - which is a lot of chocolate bars!]

And the amount of water it can heat from 0º to 100º is 1.95 x 10¹¹ gm (as there are 10³ gms in a kilogram by definition.)

Thus 1 kg of Uranium “fissioned’ can heat 200,000 tons of water.

[Gamow’s book is good, but he lived in England and the United States so as this book is a more or less “popular” book there is a mix of units. The S.I. units are now used throughout the world while the US keeps things such as lbs per sq inch and miles (except when they are doing scientific calculations, but errors must happen due to these usages. The ton varies as well as the trillion, or is it the billion?]

{I litre of water is 1 kg so you can calculate how many coffees you could make  by using that and dividing by 10, unless you always fill the jug to the 1 litre level!}

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  [THE] …total amount of energy liberated a nova explosion, tremendous as it is, is but a small fraction of the total heat and gravitation energy contained in the body of a star. Thus ordinary nova keep exploding again and again over a long period of time. In the case of  a supernova the situation is quite different, since the total energy emitted in a single explosion (10 exp. base 10 to 41 calories)  requires the total energy content of the star. Thus a supernova explosion can be considered…[death of the star]…What causes these suicidal explosions at the end of the long-lasting and glorious life of a star? Just as in the case of the erratic behaviour of the ageing stars during the last few hundred million years of their lives, we probably do not deal here with some spontaneous liberation of the latent nuclear energy. It must be some latent instability of the star’s body which permits the tremendous amounts of heat energy accumulated in its interior to be released into the surrounding space.

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[The theory (the Urca Theory) by Gamow and his Brazilian research student Mario Schoenberg.] – suggested  that a collapse of a supernova might be the result f a sudden drop of pressure in its interior, caused by the emission of neutrinos, those highly penetrating elementary particles…What is the Urca process? As we have seen, the emission of a beta particle (a negative electron) by an unstable nucleus (N1 ) is always accompanied by the emission of a neutrino (or an antineutrino as it is now called) which carries the balance of energy:

              N1   >  N11 + e-  +  ϋ

Where e- stands for a negative electron and ϋ for an antineutrino. According to the basic principle of reciprocity, there might also exist a reverse reaction:

             N11  + e-   >   N1 + ν

In which a nucleus emits a neutrino after absorbing an electron. A concrete example of this reversible reaction is given by the ‘alchemical’ equations:

                Fe56 +  e-   >  Mn56  +  ν
                Mn56         >   Fe56   +  e-

[Note the Periodic Table: but I cant get a good "visual" of it as Blogger cuts it off on the RHS so the other important thing to note is that the order is 1. H   2 He   3 Li and so on. Helium has 2 protons and electrons while H has one, so two Hydrogen atoms - united create one Helium atom with the release of energy. The mass of the Sun is vast so it's total energy so gained (and radiated) is also vast.]




Choose elements by name, by atomic number, by symbol, by mass

Click here for the history of the periodic table.



Note that the ‘alchemic effect’ is due to the closeness of  Z no 25 Mn and 26 Fe ]

In these two equations [now above the Periodic Table] Fe56 stands for the most abundant isotope of iron, and Mn56 for an isotope of  manganese. Since the neutrinos and antineutrinos produced in these two reactions pass without any difficulty through the body of the star and escape into interstellar space, the reaction goes: Tick-tock-tick-tock-tock-Fe56…., and the neutrinos, along with the anti-neutrinos, pour out of the star, carrying large amounts of energy.

[Basically a neutrino + a proton turns the proton into a neutron so the Z number is decreased if neutrino ‘connects’ with a proton or increased as in the above equation when a Mn of Z 25 converts to Fe26 when a neutrino is emitted (a negative electron). But this is clearly a big simplification as even ‘negative neutrinos’ are not electrons as such.]

[Because of the release of the large amounts of energy] the interior of the star cools, the pressure drops, and the old man star collapses in a burst of light and heat.

[Clearly the mechanism of Supernovas, if known properly at all, involves a lot of complex mathematics and physics or cosmological theory.]

More recently…pointed out that in the hot interior of ageing stars there must be a large number of positive and negative electrons. Normally the encounter of a postitive and a negative electron results in their mutual annihilation with the emission of two gamma ray quantas:

                      e+      +   e-   > 

But one can calculate that once in 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 cases a neutrino** and an antineutrino are formed instead:

                      e+     +   e-    >   υ   +    ϋ  

   Meagre as it seems, neutrino production in the hot interior of stars coming to the end of their contractive evolution would become of paramount importance, and the entire stellar body would collapse even further…

[There are probably complex chemical, Newtonian and Quantum reasons why this leads to a supernova, if this is still an accepted theory, but it is interesting.]


Sunspot - a huge nuclear and electromagnetic event. The sunspots are seen above taken at regular intervals showing how they move around the Sun (the sun rotates about every 27 days) and these spots, so-called are almost invariably between say 6 to 30 degrees from the Sun's horizon.

.[The enormous eruption which would engulph perhaps 200, 000 of our Earths threw atomic material and gas out from the Sun with hateful and joyous destructive power. The mass of it leapt millions of miles from the Sun and sped outward into space.






 If a daddy long legs got drunk and its head grew to the size of an immense baby’s, and it caterpaultered across the First World War, and all the other deathings, and the moon fell in shells of would be time for the first green, hopeful shoots, curleying from the  little garden, hidden from the others, in the oxygenated blackness, and all twenty two fingers in the perfectly nothing lake.

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        Where armies of machining ants clash and time is bent into a ring on the old father’s finger
             and Form, producing a machine-like finish, suggests that there is an absolute, ultimate form
“...there was a tremendous explosion. My first thought, and I wasn’t the only one, was that I was trapped in something like that film Towering Inferno...”
          they want to scratch out the eyes of  their enemies with  their virtue
          He loves the ampersand. And in you, too, there is much that makes me love and hope
  Piet Mondrian “Windmill in Sunlight” (1908) offered Mondrian the pretext to paint a violent red apparition in which the optical pulsation from the calculated opposition of primary colours across the reflecting surfaces of his brittle invention:

      The tragedy of the angry sneer, its vengeance, trap-ratted cat, crying in the box, cuboid, deep in the white hexagonal hold, the Drogons searching, phrasically, in the loop back reactions of dead significations and burning laser beams: it all falling over into the mouth. They begin to imagine symptoms.

    Alone.     Splendour.     It’s cold.      Passion.   To cross wisdom.    He’s a strategist from way back.   I don’t think she’s playing a game Pete.  Praps she is. Oh  Jesus, what a fuck up that all was.  Fuck.  Fuck.  Fuck.  Go the play.  Go to the play?.  Go to the play?Alone??  Yes, you’re always alone. Every one’s alone.
    To sail the equidistance.  Dance on an egg.   
If a daddy long legs got drunk and its head grew to the size of an immense baby’s, and it caterpaultered across the First World War, and all the other deathings, and the moon fell in shells of would be time for the first green, hopeful shoots, curleying from the  little garden, hidden from the others, in the oxygenated blackness, and all twenty two fingers in the perfectly nothing lake.

         nothing ever finally resolves, beginning again, makes a change whose origin, from the process of which was not contained in of what it originated in, whose form, is actually is something – it gets to another place
                  when it gets working it keeps on.   Switch the light.

NASA        SPACECRAFT       POISED      TO       PROBE       RED         PLANET

           the terrible red rages in spokes its fiery fireall, all is colour  -  ALL: die for it.  spill blood for colour.  Stab for colour.  puddle of red, seeded with a scattering of pink and white strokes



Not yet fifteen she wrote:  “I feel that I am a woman, a woman who has both moral energy and courage.” She died in the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen in March 1945.              

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** A neutrino has no electric charge.

*Gradgrind is the father in Hard Times who is obsessed with facts and “reality” in his educative methods (he runs a school). He thus has a bad effect on his wife and children. At the start of the book (Dickens always begins his books so brilliantly) he is seen stabbing a square finger at his charges and insisting on facts, facts etc He stops his children “playing” and takes them from a circus. The result in the end is near tragedy, as he has left out love. This is ultimately resolved to some extent. 


Richard said...


richard lopez said...

hi richard: very brilliant post. you've left me without speech, for the moment, but too with a head full of music, math and beauty.

Richard said...

Thanks Richard. I work rather slowly. This changed as I created it. That is a rule I allow myself. Although the plan was for it to be text from a science book - albeit a more or less "popular" science book.

The picture 'Echo of a Scream' I actually saw at the NY Museum of Modern Art although I knew about it. It was only later I found out who the painter was or is. I did know his name but I have forgotten it again! The art is more important than his name.

I was going to avoid doing that with the layer inside the sun but I couldn't resist it.

Nor can I resist playing with fonts and colours. I like colour (and B&W also).

How are you doing?


Richard said...

Next post I will type out the entire text of 'The Fabric of the Cosmos' by Brian Greene which I have here. (Just joking, although I like some of Kenneth Goldsmith's [of "uncrfeatice writing" and UbuWeb] ideas, and some of his stuff.) He (Greene) starts off by taking about a book by Camus, he found as a boy in his father's library 'The Myth of Sisyphus' which I have but haven't read (sighs) but I didn't get far into it. I must give it a whirl. (I see there is group who have read it who discuss it; there are many such groups which is good I think, I recall seeing one that was devoted to reading 'Infinite Jest', two young people met each other in the "Infinite Jest Club"! and were subsequently married.

Recently I read 'White Noise' by Don Delillo: quite a comic-satiric and slightly also 'dark' book...(parts are very funny). Meanwhile I'm reading things re Paul Celan and various stuff and also 'Confessions of a Justified Sinner' by James Hogg, which a friend recommended. Got to keep the old noggin working. Or at least looking as though it works!!


Richard said...

Sorry - '...uncreative writing'.

richard lopez said...

hi richard:

currently reading a book by a french philosopher on jean genet's political activities and writings and a book of essays by a lit. critic, simon leys.

speaking of DFW and INFINITE JEST was rereading his essay on the illinois state fair last night and the night before watched an interview of wallace by charlie rose on youtube the night before. brilliant man and writer. i was quite shocked by his death. still young with so much more.

i like greene. he gave a lecture here a couple of weeks ago. but i was unable to attend.

i confess that i've not read camus either. so many books and i have only this one life to do it in!

Richard said...

I've read novels by Camus and attended lectures about him (and Sartre).

J D Barrow is good on relatively popular maths science philosophy etc

I also learn a bit reading some of Bryson - I read bits of him.

I must get Infinite Jest - I believe it is great. I also have a few other long books I need to tackle. I love reading the classics also. Fortunately I read a lot from say 10 to 20...

I also have got to like a lot of the European writers but Jack Ross is importuning us to read also the Japanese and Chinese classics. I need a few more life times and a better brain!

I must tackle Greene's book.

I find I am enjotying prose a lot nowdays.

Some time ago I read Genet's 'Miracle of the Rose' which is actually beautifully poetic in parts although it is about "depraved" criminals! I see it is beside my unread (lol!) Gide novels. In a long poem by James Schuyler he talks about Gide's diary, so I got that, and that poem of him going to a picnic was put into music or a small opera by Paul there's more to one day read!

Thanks for sharing Richard.

Richard (the other Richard).