Physical activity

I read yesterday about a couple of cool things in the world of physics.

Firstly it appears that they may finally have observational evidence of the presence of dark matter. There is a really good explaination of the results and some of the background of the science here. It also contains links to the academic paper and the NASA press release. Given that this has been such a bone of contention in modern physics it’s nice to see it starting to pan out one way or another.

Secondly, an Irish company (those crazy crazy Irish) believes it has stumbled upon a way of producing “clean” energy from some system involving the interactions of magnetic fields. It’s a superb advance if it can be validated independently, although if that happens it will also confuse the hell out of a lot of people, because superficially at least it appears to violate the first law of thermodynamics (which states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can only be converted from one form to another). They have publically advertised for independent physicists to validate their system, and it will be interesting to see what the eventual outcome is.