A mechanistic common cause for inflation and dark energy using only standard model physics

Rather than providing another functional construct to fit observational cosmology, a mechanistic...

There Is Still Hope After Entropy

The first law of thermodynamics is commonly known as the law of conservation of energy.  This...

Your Eyes As Radiation Detectors

When you look at the rainbow, what you see is the prism like effect of the mist (aerosolized water...

Archeology Can Reveal Truth

The modern definition of science could be stated that it is a systematic study of the natural...

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Robert HayesRSS Feed of this column.

With 15 previous years in the nuclear industry, I am now an associate professor of nuclear engineering here at North Carolina State University in Raleigh (which is the worlds first academic nuclear... Read More »


Is there a battle between astrology and science?

The law of gravity is readily recognized and easily tested.  The force that gave rise to the expression, "whatever goes up must come down" has indeed undergone extensive scientific testing and is largely considered to be one of the most fundamental forces in all of nature.  The very pull of it can be felt as you read these words as you are held to your chair or the floor rather than floating around like a helium balloon.  Given this, is it possible for the gravitational forces from the planets to give rise to meaningful predictions from astrology?

Lives lost without nuclear medicine

Nuclear Glue

The nucleus of an atom is made up of protons and neutrons.  Both have about the same weight although protons have a positive charge and neutrons have no charge (they are neutral).  Like charges such as protons produce a repulsive force against each other.  This then begs the question, what holds the nucleus together then if these positively charged protons are all pushing each other away while being crammed into the nucleus together?

An independent spent fuel storage installation (ISFSI) is a place to safely store spent nuclear fuel while it is waiting for a geological repository to permanently dispose of the material.  The amount of nuclear fuel required to supply a typical American citizen with a lifetime of energy would fill a single soda can with waste.  This means that for a large power plant, it won't generate very much spent fuel at all for the amount of energy it produces.  Still, this spent fu

Refining oil starts with distillation

Have you ever wondered why you can't just use raw crude oil in a diesel engine or why your car won't run by filling the tank with kerosene or engine oil?  If these things could be done, then in large part, we would not need oil refineries.  Rather we could just filter the dirt out of the raw crude oil and burn that for our various energy needs.  Largely, the problem is that crude oil is a mixture of very many different kinds of hydrocarbons.  A hydrocarbon is a molecule made of only carbon atoms and hydrogen atoms.  Typically, a hydrocarbon is a chain of connected carbon atoms to which hydrogen atoms are then attached.

The process of distilling water, crude oil or ethyl alcohol are all based on similar science.  When two or more chemicals are thoroughly mixed in a liquid, being able to separate them can be quite a challenge.