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n1vux (1492)

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Only started with Perl4 and Perl5 in 1995. I was doing AWK etc for 12 years before that, and resisted switching. I've been doing OO since before C++ hit bigtime, with Objective-C and SmallTalk, so I really like the (no longer new) Perl5 OO style; and the Lispish Map style is also an old friend. What do I hack with Perl? All data that passes my way; systems monitoring scripts at $DayJob, weather data at night, and I cheat on NPR word puzzles. Member: [] [] /. LinkedIn []

N1VUX is my FCC-issued ham radio callsign.

Journal of n1vux (1492)

Saturday March 19, 2005
11:48 PM

Science news - No lab-made black-hole, but even better

[ #23750 ]
«The RHIC fireball as a dual black hole»

News reports about the analysis of a "fireball" seen for a fleeting instant in the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) on Long Island have gone hyperbolic.

What precious few reputable media outlets have even attempted to cover this story so far have got it wrong, alas. (Kudos for trying I guess?) The BBC has a misleading headline, "may be a black-hole". No, the scientist is calling it a pion-analogue of a gravity-dual black-hole, which is only almost almost the same thing. TheRegister likewise, «Black holes in production in New York». National Geographic - Picture at least says the "fireball behaved like a black hole" but also says "believed was", which seems wrong.

New Scientist (subscription req'd past 2nd paragraph) is more restrained, «Black hole-like phenomenon created by collider ... A fireball created in a particle accelerator bears a striking resemblance to a black hole - but thankfully not the sort that could consume the Earth.»

The scientist who made the analysis, Horatiu Nastase of Brown, titled his Arxiv preprint much more modestly as «The RHIC fireball as a dual black hole». He says the so-called "fireball" acted as if it were a «pion-analogue» of a «gravity-dual black-hole», whatever that is. (What it isn't is a standard eat a galaxy black hole, or even a baby one.) Rather more exciting is the conclusion «Thus RHIC is in a certain sense a string theory testing machine, analyzing the formation and decay of dual black holes, and giving information about the black hole interior.» [emphasis supplied.]

If the RHIC has sufficient engergy to test the string-theory as a possible basis for the theory-of-everything, this is great news. Combine this with the elegance of the Bott Periodicity Dimensions N and N+8 having mathematical similarity in behavior [ D=11 & 12 are "similar" to D=3 & 4 respectively ] and the recent suggestion and experiment underway regarding gravity leaking into string-theoretic micro-dimensions all seems to be leaning in one direction ... maybe the RHIC can provide some key answers.

UPDATE 3/21 - Physics News Update has a report on a separate analysis of the fireball anomalies. They observe that the "low-energy pions produced inside the fireball act more like waves than classical, billiard-ball-like particles; the pions' relatively long wavelengths tend to overlap with other particles in the crowded fireball environment" and thus conclude "the strong force is so powerful that the pions are overcome by the attractive forces exerted by neighboring quarks and anti-quarks", thus recreating the immediate-post-big-bang environment.

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