Year: 2007

Charge, geometry, and effective mass

Foundations of Physics Vol. 38, pp. 293-300 (2008).

The original publication is available at

Charge, like mass in Newtonian mechanics, is an irreducible element of electromagnetic theory that must be introduced ab initio. Its origin is not properly a part of the theory. Fields are then defined in terms of forces on either masses–in the case of Newtonian mechanics, or charges in the case of electromagnetism. General Relativity changed our way of thinking about the gravitational field by replacing the concept of a force field with the curvature of space-time. Mass, however, remained an irreducible element. It is shown here that the Reissner-Nordstrom solution to the Einstein field equations tells us that charge, like mass, has a unique space-time signature.


Climate Change: The Sun’s Role

The sun’s role in the earth’s recent warming remains controversial even though there is a good deal of evidence to support the thesis that solar variations are a very significant factor in driving climate change both currently and in the past. This precis lays out the background and data needed to understand the basic scientific argument behind the contention that variations in solar output have a significant impact on current changes in climate. It also offers a simple, phenomenological approach for estimating the actual–as opposed to model dependent–magnitude of the sun’s influence on climate.

(arXiv: 0706.3621)

America’s Left Has Taken a Wrong Turn

USA Today Magazine (May 2007) (PDF)
Socialism, the Left, and its future in the United States.

The Left in the US is in crisis. It has lost the broad support it once enjoyed in the working class and finds itself captive to the past—or, worse yet, to an impotent radicalism. It no longer offers working people a political outlet for their interests, but only a means of protest about issues that are not central to their lives.

Recycling Nuclear Waste

American Physical Society Special Session on Nuclear Reprocessing, Nuclear Proliferation, and Terrorism (15 April 2007)
Coauthors: William H. Hannum and George S. Stanford

In the public mind, the foremost reservation about nuclear power is, “What can we do with the waste?” Fortunately there is an answer: We can use the worrisome, very long-lived components as fuel in the right kind of reactors, and then the rest becomes manageable. Will this lead to proliferation of nuclear weapons or to an increase in the threat of nuclear terrorism? Not necessarily. Prudent recycle of nuclear waste will actually reduce these threats while also reducing the time that nuclear waste must be sequestered to a few hundred years instead of thousands.


The Infinite Red-Shift Surfaces of the Kerr Solution

In contrast to the Schwarzschild solution, the infinite red shift surfaces and null surfaces of the Kerr solution to the axially-symmetric Einstein field equations are distinct. Some unusual infinite red shift surfaces for observers following the time-like Killing vector are displayed here for the Kerr and Kerr-Newman solution. Some similarities of the latter to the Reissner-Nordstrom solution are also discussed.

(arXiv: gr-qc/0702114)

Journal of Physics & Astronomy Vol. 2, Issue 4.


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