Welcome to ScienceBits

4 cm in diameter hail. Read all about it in the Jumbo Deluxe Hail blog entry.
A random (and subjective) walk in science and physics in particular.

In the blog and bits sections, you'll find various interesting science related anecdotes you'll find nowhere else (e.g., an exhaled breath condensation calculator, or a snow probability calculator), and also things you will (such as a pension calculator written for my needs).

In the Research section, you'll find articles which are more directly related to my personal research in astrophysics, or on the role of cosmic rays behind climate variability. For example, you'll find articles on the Milky Way and Ice-Ages, or on the question of which mechanism is behind the 20th century global warming, is it Solar or Anthropogenic?

If there are any comments about the site you would like to post, feel free to post them here.

Enjoy your stay in \( \int c_i e^n ce \sim B i^ts \) !

Note, you're more than welcome to post comments, however due to some flooding by spam (mostly for v-pills), some precautions were placed. There are now two options to place comments:
  1. Anonymous comments, using a captcha and moderation (i.e., after I verify and approve that the content is legit.)
  2. Register/login using a captcha, and then comment without a captcha. If the comment appears legit., the next comments will not require any approval

Modeling the COVID-19 / Coronavirus pandemic – 3.The effects of several populations

The next interesting question to ask when studying the coronavirus, is what is the effect of a mixed population which has different infection rates. That is, that some individuals are more infectious than others (e.g., a cashier in the supermarket vs. a farmer). Spoiler: it turns out that unless there are super-spreaders then all you care about is the arithmetic average of the transmission coefficient.

Modeling the COVID-19 / Coronavirus pandemic – 2.Simple Models

Armed with the data on the coronavirus such as the serial interval, incubation period, and the base growth rate, we are now in a position to start modeling the pandemic. Note that as the title suggests, these are simple models. Any conclusions drawn from this specific page should be taken with a grain of salt. More realistic modeling will be carried out in subsequent posts.

Modeling the COVID-19 / Coronavirus pandemic – 1.Background Data

This is the first in a series of posts in which I study the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. My original goal was to understand the behavior of the pandemic. As a scientists my curiosity forces me to not to leave such problems untouched. I wanted to know what are the possible outcome scenarios possible and what are the steps required to reach them. Is there a reasonable solution in which we avoid the collapse of health systems and/or the economies? I am sure (well, I hope) that professional epidemiologists know all of this, I decided to share with whomever is interested in my insights.

How Climate Change Pseudoscience Became Publicly Accepted

The I recently wrote an OpEd for the Epoch Times which tries to succinctly capture my main grievances with the global warming scare. Here is brought again with a few comments (and references) added at its end.

Critique of “Discrepancy in scientific authority and media visibility of climate change scientists and contrarians”

This paper made some waves in the Media recently. It is based on highly biased data selection, and therefore flawed to its bone. It shouldn't have passed refereeing.

Solar Debunking Arguments are Defunct

An article interviewing me was removed yesterday from forbes. Instead, they published an article by Meteorologist Prof. Marshall Shepherd that claims that the sun has no effect on climate. That article, however, falls to the same pitfalls that pointed out on my blog yesterday.

Specifically, why is Shepherd’s arguments faulty? Although I addressed them yesterday, here they are brought again more explicitly and with figures.

Forbes censored an interview with me

A few days ago I was interviewed by Doron Levin, for an article to appear online on forbes.com. After having seen a draft (to make sure that I am quoted correctly), I told him good luck with getting it published, as I doubted it will. Why? Because a year ago I was interviewed by a reporter working for Bloomberg, while the cities of San Francisco and Oakland were deliberating a climate change lawsuit against Exxon-Mobil (which the latter won!), only to find out that their editorial board decided that it is inappropriate to publish an interview with a heretic like me. Doron’s reply was to assure me that Forbes’ current model of the publication online allows relative freedom with “relatively little interference from editors”. Yeah Sure.

22 minute talk summarizing my views on global warming

Just over a week ago I gave a 20 minute talk (which lasted almost 22 min) about the role that the sun plays in global warming in the Heartland institute's climate conference in DC. Here it is brought again for posterity.

My experience at the German Bundestag's Environment Committee in a pre-COP24 discussion

Last week I had the opportunity to talk in front of the Environment committee of the German Bundestag. It was quite an interesting experience, and frankly, something I would have considered unlikely before receiving the invitation. It was in fact the first time a climate "skeptic" like myself appeared behind those doors in many years. 

Finally! The missing link between exploding stars, clouds and climate on Earth

Our new results published today in nature communications provide the last piece of a long studied puzzle. We finally found the actual physical mechanism linking between atmospheric ionization and the formation of cloud condensation nuclei. Thus, we now understand the complete physical picture linking solar activity and our galactic environment (which govern the flux of cosmic rays ionizing the atmosphere) to climate here on Earth though changes in the cloud characteristics.

Climate debate at the Cambridge Union - a 10 minute summary of the main problems with the standard alarmist polemic

Last week I participated in an interesting debate that was held at the Cambridge Union, the oldest debating club in the world (dating back to 1815. The invite was to be on the side opposing the proposition “This house would rather cool the planet than warm the economy”.

Although I think the phrasing of the question is problematic to begin with, since it assumes that “warming the economy” necessary would cool the climate, I should applaud the Cambridge Union for supporting free speech and allowing people on both side to voice their arguments, especially given how many on the alarmist side refuse to do so, claiming that there is nothing to debate anymore.

Here you will find my 10 minute summary of the main flaws plaguing the alarmist science.

Vacuum QED effects detected around Neutron Stars?

Ship water intake measures the hiatus?

Just over a week ago I received an interesting call from a science magazine reporter. He asked me what do I think about the recent discovery of the Quantum Electrodynamic (QED) produced vacuum birefringence around neutron stars. It was an interesting surprise as my colleague Jeremey Heyl at the University of British Columbia and I had what seemed to be a bizarre prediction back in around 1998, a prediction which seems to have been verified almost 2 decades later. So, what is the effect and what was measured?