We have periodic headlines of scientific events. Three recent ones come to mind. In 2011, a headline read “Faster Than Light Particles Make Time Travel Possible, Scientist Says”. I am an Einstein fan. If this were true it would be a monumental challenge to his work. After months of excitement, stories, and headlines came the “woops, my culpa” and the story quickly died. Another story, the buildup to the launch of the James Webb Telescope, described how we would be looking back in time almost 13 billion years. We would see the universe just after the Big Bang, with the early heavenly stars being born, and galaxies and systems being formed. When the pictures came back, they looked like what we have always seen around us. It was more like Genesis 1:1 than the postulated disorder after the Big Bang. Time will tell. Last week’s headlines read, “Earth’s Inner Core May Have Started Rotating in the Opposite Direction”, followed by some speculations on what that could mean. A closer look revealed that “opposite” does not mean opposite as many would think, but rather a slight change in relative speed to the crust. Even then it is quite a claim as the radius of the solid iron core is 1,220 kilometers with a mass of 1×1023 kilograms and a rotational kinetic energy of 1.56×1026 Joules. A massive amount of energy would have to be exchanged for this rotational change. Although the tides/moon/earth interaction would slow the crust resulting in a slightly leading rotation of the core, it is difficult to see how this could reverse and become lagging. Again, we will see. Science is always evolving. It is never settled. Those who claim otherwise are not scientists.
By Joe Grant, Wiscasset