Category Archives: Science
I had posted a blog about the necessity of space colonization not too long ago. It just seemed to be the right and logical way forward. And today, I got to know about the Mars One project. As per the information I got, it is a non-profit foundation that is trying to gather the human and technical resource to successfully place living people on the red planet.
Of course it sounds easier than it is. There are tons of considerations to make. The first and most important is the environment of Mars. Mars’s air has 99% Carbon-di-Oxide which is not suitable for humans at all. Unless a solid scientific plan is in place to somehow lessen the CO2 in the atmosphere or convert it into Oxygen, the project is as good as doomed. Supplying Oxygen from Earth is a tall order and very unlikely to satisfy the needs in time.
Other than that, Mars weather has been known to display a hostile nature. Fierce wind flows are natural on this planet and sometimes they can blow as fast as tornado. These info was gathered by the rover Pathfinder, if people still remember it. We have still not been able to tame the nature on Earth itself, how can we do so on Mars? These are some of the important points that the Mars One patrons need to ponder upon a lot before they can go forward with anything concrete.
But they do have time on their side. The colonization Mars trip is supposed to launch anywhere between 2020 to 2023. So a good 6 – 9 years are there to iron out all the wrinkles and make the project viable. After all, there will be manned spaceships and nobody would want the bold volunteers to die horrific deaths in the space.
As per news released by the project, they are taking applications from all over the world. All you need is to be over 18 years of age and make a donation of 7 USD to the foundation. It is a very small sum and I will be happy to part with the money even if it gives me a .0000001% chance of actually visiting Mars. The humongous amount of money needed to launch the project will be gathered from sponsors, news channels and other charities. You can apply for a spot here.
While going through the plans of the foundation again, one thought suddenly crossed the mind. What if it is the biggest con job of history so far? I mean foundation runners can always fall back to the fact that it is a improbable task from the beginning and it just did not fructify. And people are not likely to fret over 7USD. The foundation however would have made millions, if not more. As per latest information, there are already 78,000 applications in place which means around 4,50,000 USD has already been accumulated.
But if there is any hope that the project will try to get people to Mars, I am all for it. At least it will be a step forward in the right direction. The foundation will supposedly start training chosen applicants for life on Mars from 2015 onwards. But they will also need to check out the living conditions of Mars in detail by probably sending another rover to its surface. We will probably have to wait a couple of more years to see if this outrageous project is hot or not.
Well, a lot of talks have been going on for decades about the impending space colonization. Movies after movies have been created based on this fact. We have loads of sci-fi books, TV series and comics dedicated to humans finally conquering the space and making it their homes. Video games have gone one step ahead and have allowed us to create civilizations on the soils of distant planets and travel to nearby star systems in search of allies, trades and expansion. Distant space travels have surely become a cult-classic topic and a material of assured nerdgasm. As much as it is one of the best fantasies a child can have, there are reasons why we as a civilization need to take a more serious approach when it comes to space travel.
It was way back in 1969 when man set his first steps on the soils of Moon. A whooping 44 years ago. Many people and scientists thought at that time that space invasion was just a matter of years. Unfortunately that has not played exactly as per the wishes. Yes, we have seen hundreds of satellites launched and stable space stations. the Hubble is providing us with tons of information about the space almost on a daily basis. But sadly, all the efforts have been more or less concentrated towards earth itself. Now, space colonization is not an easy thing, in fact, an extremely difficult and expensive undertaking. But the needs have risen very fast due to our own irresponsible actions.
None can deny the fact that we humans have abused the planet earth like anything. We are on the verge of destroying the marine ecosystem, forests are thinning faster than a middle aged man’s hair and huge gaping holes are there in the Ozone layer. We have increased population too much too fast and now there is hardly any place left for it to grow anymore without disturbing the environment. Medical science has improved drastically lengthening the lives of people while newborn deaths have been cut down by large percentages. The sure shot outcome of this is more load on the population, more food, energy and space requirements and eventually more molestation of the planet.
If we continue to go like this, the day might be near when we have to adopt any of the following ways to save the planet:
- Selective culling of people. People over a certain age and who are not contributing in a significant manner to the society will have to be put to “sleep” in order to make room for the contributing ones.
- Forced birth control. Couples will be forced to live childless in order to lower burden on the society.
- Wars to gain control over natural resources. Winner may eradicate the loser altogether to lessen the need to share the resources.
- Destruction of the planet.
None of these are welcome scenarios, not by a long shot. So the other sane proposition is that we look elsewhere. It might be harsh to read but controlling ourselves and saving the planet is no more an option. We are way past that stage. Right now, we need to search the galaxy for habitable planets, build spaceships that can take us there and start a colony there. The numbers indicate that it is more than just a theory. There are innumerable stars and planets in the space, the space is, after all, infinite. So theories dictate that there has to be a large number planes orbiting a star in the “Goldi Locks Zone.” Even if there is a .01% possibility, we are looking at an infinite number of planets to choose from.
Sadly, when the efforts of all the smart men must be directed towards this, they are busy creating better weapons, faster fighter jets and sneakier submarines. It is high time they realized fighting over earth is not going to take them anywhere. It is better we find ourselves a few better planers, figure out how to get and live there and then fight over them. At least that will have a happy ending.
The Higgs-Boson particle or the God particle of Physics has long eluded the scientists. Peter Higgs first predicted its existence in 1964 and Satyendranath Bose first hinted at this particle having unique properties. Hence the name Higgs-Boson particle. Leo Lederman declared this particle as the “God” particle of physics. It is one of those particles whose existence has been proven theoretically but never practically. According to theory, this is the particle that provides the mass to all other known particles. Without this particle, other particles will just zip through the universe at the speed of light without ever forming anything. The importance of proving the existence of Higgs-Boson is too much to be expressed in words. If proven non-existent, almost all the recent nuclear physics theories will fall down like a pack of cards.
But what happened so suddenly that physicists all around the world are so excited about the “Good News” finally after decades of fruitless experiments? The reason is an announcement by CERN. They have invited five of the worlds leading theoretical physicists to attend the news conference to be held on 4th July including Peter Higgs, the man who predicted the very existence of the Higgs-Boson particle.
According to CERN physicist john Ellis one of the key reasons for building the Large Hadron Collider is indeed the the discovery of the Higgs-Boson particle. According to Higgs’ theory some Higgs-Boson particles could be created from every few trillion collisions within the Large Hadron Collider and this is the result CERN has been trying to achieve with LHC. The Large Hadron Collider is the most ambitious science equipment that is located in an 18 mile long tunnel 100 meter under the ground at the French-Swiss border. There have been more than 1600 Trillion collisions but fewer than 300 suspected Higgs-Boson particles.
It is being highly speculated that the five Physicists are being invited to confirm the existence of Higgs-Boson to Five Sigma Level (99.99995 %).
While at the same time, American Fermilab has announced that thy have found “something”, using Tevatron and the findings will be declared on Monday, 2-nd July. Speculations are that this “something” is related to the Higgs-Boson particle as well.