From the Greek meaning 'heavy with wine'
A blog devoted to science and reason
Written after a glass or two of Pinot Noir.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Wingnut Nuclear Physics

Before there was any experimental evidence - in fact, before experimental evidence was even possible, the Greek philosophers Democritus, Leucippus, and Epicurus believed that matter consisted of atoms. It wasn't until the 19th century however that atomic theory had experimental validation. Albert Einstein provided in 1905 a crucial explanation of Brownian motion* that gave atomic theory a firm basis.

In 1909, Ernest Rutherford, Hans Geiger, and Ernest Marsden showed that the atom had a nucleus which we now understand to consist of protons and neutrons.  This presented a puzzle for scientists though.  A proton has a positive electrical charge while a neutron has none.  Given that the nucleus is extremely tiny, the repulsion of the protons must be huge. What is keeping the nucleus together?

Bryan Fischer:
CREDIT: American Family Radio
It wasn't until the late '60s that physicists began to understand that protons and neutron were themselves made up up of even smaller things called quarks.  The attractive force between the quarks is what was keeping the nucleus from flying apart.

Courtesy of Right Wing Watch, I came across Bryan Fischer's recent video in which he enlightens his listeners on his version of nuclear theory and the force that binds the nucleus, but before we watch the video, let's understand who Bryan Fischer is.

Fischer is the Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association (AFA) and the host of the radio program Focal Point on American Family Radio. AFA is listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, and Bryan Fischer's comments on homosexuality were specifically cited.

At the beginning of this clip, Fischer states
One of the age-old questions of science is what keeps the nucleus together.
Later, he says
How does that thing stay together? What hold its together? They've been looking for what scientists call the nuclear glue that keeps them from flying apart.  
Now we know. Now we know what the glue is that holds together the entire universe and keeps it from flying apart.
The answer according to Bryan Fischer?
It is Jesus Christ. In him, all things hold together.
The first question that pops into my head is what happened in 1945 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

CREDIT: U.S. Department of Energy
*Brownian motion is the random motion of small particles, like dust grains, suspended in a fluid.  Robert Brown first observed this in 1827.

No comments:

Post a Comment