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No. 41: Sep-Oct 1985

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Wimps in the sun?

For over two decades now, physicists have been measuring the neutrino flux emitted by the sun -- and despite all attempts this flux is much too low. It just doesn't jibe with what theorists say should be happening in the thermonuclear powerhouse in the sun's interior. J. Faulkner and R. Gilliland have conceived a solution to this dilemma. They postulate a large population of WIMPS (Weakly Interactive Massive Particles) orbiting the sun's core, but still well beneath the sun's visible surface. The WIMPS help convey heat out of the core, thereby cooling it to temperatures significantly less than those predicted by the astrophysicists. A cooler core emits fewer neutrinos, bringing theory into line with reality. And just what are these WIMPS? One suggestion is that they are photinos, a particle suggested (but not proved) by recent experiments at CERN (SF#37)

(Thomsen, D.E.; "Weak Sun Blamed on WIMPS," Science News, 128:23, 1985.)

Comment. WIMPS represent just the kind of particle that Dewey Larson railed against in his book: The Universe of Motion. He maintains that astronomers have to engage in such ridiculous theoretical gymnastics and invention only because they have picked the wrong energy-generating mechanism for stars and refuse to give it up! Larson's theory, on the other hand, solves this and many other astronomical problems, but at the initial cost of a radical change in one's conception of the universe.

From Science Frontiers #41, SEP-OCT 1985. 1985-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987