Arcadian Functor

occasional meanderings in physics' brave new world

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Marni D. Sheppeard

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mighty Jupiter

Today's random plot from the Interactive Extrasolar Planets Catalog.

6 Comments:

Blogger Kea said...

Note that Nottale has a pile of papers on extrasolar quantization laws.

August 31, 2009 12:20 AM  
Blogger Kea said...

... but these usually refer to orbital quantizations and not stellar radii.

August 31, 2009 12:22 AM  
Blogger Matti Pitkanen said...

Quantization of stellar radii probably corresponds to quantization of stellar masses.
This is relevant for the probability of life in Universe.


The radii of Borh orbits depend on the mass of star but not on the mass of planet (Equivalence Principle coded into hbar proportional to GMm). This means that for star with given mass the radii of Bohr orbits are same and there should be lots of Earth like planets in the Universe.

August 31, 2009 5:07 PM  
Blogger Kea said...

Yes, one can see the mass/radius correlation with the same data set. Evidence indicates that life is widespread in the cosmos.

August 31, 2009 8:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Evidence indicates that life is widespread in the cosmos."

I thought they were only finding such massive planets that the surface gravity would prohibit life? The problem is always that - regardless of whether the life is carbon or silicon based - it needs to begin with liquid droplets. Think of a single cell like an egg. The first step is a liquid droplet with a membrane, and the complex molecules like RNA and DNA precursors then evolve inside it. It's believed that life started near underwater volcanic vents on earth, where the right temperature and chemicals were present (Darwin's own idea of a "warm little puddle" is not so good because the right chemicals wouldn't be likely to be found there). If the planet is too massive, the waves and tides will be too big and water currents are likely to dilute and wash away chemicals from volcanic vents before any life evolves. It's clear from the nature of even the simplest single celled life that it's hard to chemically replicate the steps involved in the lab, and this suggests that unless there are a lot of earth like planets, it's unlikely that there is any life at all in the universe.

August 31, 2009 8:29 PM  
Blogger Matti Pitkanen said...

To anonymous: I did not mean massive planets. There are reasons to expect that also planets at higher Bohr orbits are there and if the mass of star is same so that radii or Bohr orbits are universal, there are reasons to expect that Earth like planets are abundant.

Note that the graph only says that the radii and presumably masses of stars tend to have preferred values. The masses of Jupiter like planets do not correlate with the radius of star. Their existence could correlate. This could be tested by including all planet masses and seeing what one obtains.

September 01, 2009 12:11 AM  

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