A Written lower case as 'a, 'A' is first letter of English alphabet, also Greek (Alpha) and Hebrew (Aleph); originally in English as in Latin and Romanic tongues it is the sign for making the lowbackwide sound with jaws, pharynx, and lips open. Its prime position indicates importance of the sound, which has several meanings as an exclamation of wonder, approval, and worship. Ancient name of the Moon in several Near East cultures was "A" or kindred sounds and syllables, "Aa", "Ah", "Ai". "A" to Babylonians signified the Great Mother of the wise and "Akshara." Greek myth regarded "A" as the beginning of birth and creation, the entrance to the river Styx that wound about in the womb of the world, finally returning to Alpha. Aku, the Sumerian Moon, was also "the Measurer." The name "Abram" or "Abraham" might have originated as a combining of the Moon (Ab), Sun (ra) and Mercury (ram or raham). The letter has other uses as a word, as an indefinite article ("a bird"), in Latin languages, as an article and also as a preposition ("to" and "by")and feminine ending ("femina"); pragmatic uses as a vowel and word and exclamation in communication are thus known; ultimate significance is unknown, as, e.g., whether all languages must utter the full Asound in a certain range of frequencies or whether the sound preponderates in sacred utterance, etc.
aa Form of lava which solidifies as a mass of blocklike fragments with a rough surface. Also called block lava.
Aar Gorge A 1.6 kmlong cut through a limestone ridge near Meiringen, Switzerland, carrying the torrent of the Aar River that arises from the Aar Glacier. The parent mountain is Finsteraarhorn, highest peak of the Bernese Alps. Walls of the cut reach 50 meters, while its width is as narrow as one meter at its foot. The gorge derives an age of 10k (c) from the end of the Ice Age. Granted a constant flow, hence a slow startup until the definitive cut is made, the extent of ablation appears excessive. Alternatively, (q) the cut occurs originally as a fracture inviting the flood; or the initial torrent was exponentially greater, therefore able soon to initiate the cut.
The famous theorist of the Ice Ages, Agassiz, built a hut by the Aar glacier to observe its behavior, engendering public curiousity and accelerating its popularity.
Aaron Biblical personage of Exodus, cbrother of Moses and Miriam. High priest and ancestor of subsequent high priesthood of Judaism. More likely he is halfbrother of Moses through their father, or cousins by an uncle, with his mother as Moses' guardian wetnurse. He is closest to him of all men saving Joshua, the warrior. Origin of his name may be homologous with that of the Ark, a box or chest; Aaron was custodian of the Ark, the sacred container, upon which Yahweh appeared and spoke. The root of ('aron) refers also to a gatheringin, a collector, which relates therefore to a function as well as the chest. The analogy of collector permits the application of both the person and his function to the Ark as an electrical charge collector or Leyden Jar. When Moses was assigned his divine mission to demand of the Pharaoh the release of the Hebrew People, Aaron went with him as a laboratory assistant for his magical demonstrations and as an eloquent spokesman to assist the apparently stuttering or incoherent Moses. For the rest of his life, Aaron was the inseparable and docile companion of Moses, holding the rank of HIgh Priest; his temporary complaisance during the rebellion of the worshippers of the Golden Calf was forgiven.
Aaron's rod A staff of magical properties carried by Aaron in Bible and legend as High Priest of the Hebrews in Egypt and the Wanderings. A rod was used upon the command of Moses to perform miracles when challenged by the Pharaoh. The rods of the Egyptian magicianscientists were outdone. Both Moses and Aaron educed serpents from rods and the principal rod ended up on the Ark as the Rod of Aaron. It was said there to have produced overnight buds, blossoms and almonds. Treated as miracles by some, magic by others, literary devices by still others, the essentials of a queerly behaving rod, whether handheld or positioned, may be owing to static electric properties, given a charge collector and/or (q) charged atmosphere. The magical rod is particularly a property of the Greek God Hermes, but is also found in many magical and authoritative settings elsewhere.
abacus At first the term abacus refers to a sand covered table upon which figures were inscribed using a stylus. There is a suspicion that the abacus had a semitic origin. A cuneiform sign among the ruins at Nippur(Shid») resembles its form (a calculating table). The abacus developed into a form utilizing small discs or counters to indicate numbers. The counters were arranged loosely along lines or placed in grooves. There is evidence that short Bamboo rods were used in China (»1925), rather than a nut or an inorganic counterpiece, in early use of this method in its Oriental form. The Japanese, too, used chikusaku» placed on a board for their computations. A later abacus, still in use in Russia, Japan, China, and Arabia, has movable balls or discs mounted on rods.
The abacus is likely to have originated because the original numerals, principly alphabetic letters, were unsuited to computation. These numerals were principly suited to the reporting of quantity. A counting device thus was needed. The Roman numerals are the most familiar example. Here the letters I, V, X, L, C, D, and M stand for quantities between the unit and one thousand. Some Greek and Hebrew letters were similarly assigned a numeric equivalent to report totals.
The abacus came into common use as a calculator in many countries: Armenia, Babylonia, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Korea, Latium, Poland, Russia, Turkey, and elsewhere in W Europe. Modern arithmetic notation emerges from its arrangement.
In the (q) context counting devices seemingly appeared during the revolution which followed the last astral cataclysm. In this period the notion of private property emerged along with the patriarchical system of inheritance, accompanied by the masculinization of the pantheon of deities.
AbdulRauf, M. Author of works on Arabia, including of the Black Stone of Mecca (diam=30 cm), now encased in silver and embedded in a corner of the Kaaba. Moslems believe the stone, which is meteoric in origin, to be the only remainder of the House of God of Abraham and Ishmael and to be associated with Archangel Gabriel, hence planetgod Venus.
Abell, George D. Astronomer, whose (Exploration of the Universe) has been an influential textbook, more open than most to new theories.
Abell35 nebula A large nebula of low surface brightness, possibly a binary. It lacks a central blue star. Parabolic emissions of gas centers on a 9th magnitude star. The nebular glow (seen at a "forbidden" oxygen energy) indicates a diffuse plenum of gas. The glow is brightest where the oxygen changes its ionization state. No shock front is observable at its edge. In the red light of hydrogen two parallel luminous jets are seen. If a planetary, the nebulas diameter of 5.2ly is one of the largest. Abell35 is estimated to be nearly 1200ly distant.
A planetary nebula is driven in the (c) view by "hidden" light (ultraviolet, Xray, etc.) emanating from a very hot central star which does not emit much visible light. A (q) alternative is that the nebula represents a stellar discharge originating or impinging upon the region. The form of the nebulous glow depends upon the nature of the gases present and their state (density) as well as upon the discharge current.
aberrational Earth forces Forces producing erratic Earth motions deviating from strictly gravitational expectations. Several instances are: solarplanetary conjunctions involving unusual electrialgravitational attractionrepulsions such as the "Jupiter Effect;" annual and diurnal periods owing to variations in atmospheric pressures especially on midwinter midnights and summer noons; the halfmonth lunar period of 14.8 days; the elevenyear period of sunspot occurrences bringing heavy atmospheric effects of wind, rain, earthquakes, volcanism, etc.; the 19y (18.6y) nutation period involving variations in lunar precession in relation to the Earth's plane of the ecliptic; varying ice cap pressures incident to increased or decreased ice caps; yet unknown periodicities that are anniversaries or residues of ancient quantavolutions, i.e. residue forces presumably tailing off with time, such as polar axis drift, adjusting equatorial bulge, continental drift, and orogenic settling by isostatic equilibration and the cooling of upper mantle.
Abery, Jill Contemporary English quantavolutionist, biologist, who has produced a large number of analytic notes of current relevant scientific investigations. Published regularly in the SISR and SISW.
abiogenesis The concept of life originating from nonliving matter. Spontaneous generation was the older concept, and included ideas about vermin coming from manure, etc., but Pasteur and others showed that life could not be so produced before our eyes. Hence interest turned to means of producing ever more complicated organic molecules in the hope of finally bringing forth selfreplicating genetically fixed organisms. This is hardly believed possible today but is thought to have been the natural means under primordial conditions. Cyril Ponnamperuna (1983) found all five of the chemical bases of human genes (adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine, and uracil) in a meteorite and has synthesized all five in a single laboratory experiment, indicating the possibility of their combining naturally. In the experiment, the commonly found methane, nitrogen and water (supposedly like the Earth's atmosphere billion of years ago) were subjected to heavy electrical discharges.
abiotic compound Certain molecules of biological importance might be synthesized in nature independent of living things: such molecules would be termed abiotic. Some meteorites contain racemic mixtures of amino acids (mixtures containing possible isomeric forms not found in living systems). The presence of the amino acids in meteorites has led to the speculation that the all of the materials necessary to assemble living systems could originate in space prior to polymerization in suitable planetary environments. The notion of important biological units being fabricated abiotically differs from the theory of Panspermia in which living spores are carried through space between worlds riding on a sunbeam or pushed by starlight.
ablation Natural process removing, eroding, evaporating, melting, or evaporatng material in situ. Rates of ablation where calculable can be used to determine duration of ablated objects Thus, if the total diminution of glaciers consists typically of evaporation at a 5% per annum rate in the Northern Alps, the balance of ablation occurs in melt waters. But (q) climatic occurrences or (u) climatic shifts will affect both evaporation and melt rates.
aboriginal humans First or primeval humans, defined as highly selfaware beings. Their direct descent is probably from a hominid looking very much like them, who did not make the requisite genetic change and/or physiological adaptation to a new determining constant of the environment such as a high oxygen or a changed electromagnetic state of the atmosphere. The difference between the two modes of change is that a single mother might be the only mother of the human race in the first case and a number of individuals in the second, whether the individuals were from a special locality or scattered around the world. More likely it is the first, since there has been a scientific consciousness of the latter types of change without persuasive theoretical or experimental models. This question will be treated in detail in the article on homo sapiens. In either event (q) argues for a catastrophe or quantavolution as the active cause of humanity, whereas (c) seeks for a great many minute changes bred among an isolated population that branches and produces another isolated population that mutates and produces yet another, that is, a chain of mutating scenarios, each involving an adaptation of a mutation already present or acquired on location. This envisions a ladder of evolution and incites a search for the earliest particular changes, the cause of a succession of millions of evolutions, and the order and timing of the changes. Contrariwise, (q) presumes as a consequence of selfawareness a hologenesis into an aggressive and schizoid mentality, a basic tool kit, household utensils, and a coupling of human mentality and actions with exciting and uncontrollable sky events. The location of the change from hominid to human (c) is based upon the theory of gradual piecemeal evolution, the presumption of a constant ecology, the continents fixed into their present configuration, the absence of worldshaking natural events, and the validity of geological and radiometric dating. With this background, physical anthropology moved in its second century from a concentration upon European finds and finds by Europeans in Java and the Peking region to a plethora of discoveries in South Africa and thereafter the upper Rift Valley. The Near East and other regions elsewhere for instance, Morocco, the Riviera, and Israel have begun to issue bulletins of discovery of hominids and early humans with competitive time test results. The Americas are left out of the map of discoveries of early man; this would suggest (q) that they were thoroughly devastated by catastrophe, or that EastWest timetables are immensely awry, or (c) that ice and sea kept humans from entering the New World until 1230ky ago. The apparent diversity of races (modern African, Asian, IndoEuropean, Levantine, as well as AmerIndian) has been documented in preColumbian carvings, paintings and sculptures, so that the infusions of the last 5 centuries can be discounted, but this method has not found favor with anthropologists and archaeologists. Some sixty sites of toolmaking of the Lower Paleolithic have been found spread around Europe, the Mediterranean and the Southeastern African belt. Oceanographers and glacialogists describe the seas of the world as significantly lower during this time. Therefore it is all the more remarkable that the Americas are credited with null hominids and null human culture. The most radical proposal to contrast with the (c) map marking the origin and spread of humans is a (q) thesis that the world was all continental crust until recently (Pangea), a great part of which exploded into space, already in the time of humans, and that the continents then rafted apart, carrying humans with it; a likely site of the birth of humans under these circumstances would be the Tethyan Sea. The Tethyan Sea is carried in legend as the original home of the human race, and is construed (q) as the shallow sea girdling the Pangean globe. The earliest human memories of a cultural ancestry might be indicating a place from which the earliest men journeyed around the world (see adjoining map). In this case the hominids of Africa might be among the country cousins of the "Atlanteans", as the originals might be called, or a marginal true nearhuman, waiting for assimilation and/or extinction. The change to human is (c) traced from a hominoidal primate group called ramapithecines, through gracile and robust australopithecines, through homo erectus (no longer first to walk erect, alas, since Lucy's finding), to the several early modern types of homo sapiens, several of whom may have disappeared, such as CroMagnon, Neanderthal (now cleaned up greatly, disease freed, found to be largebrained, and given a culture called Mousterian, relative to the first specimen found in Germany 144y), the Australian robust type, thankfully the nontype Piltdown fraud of a Man, etc., but it is also permissible to claim that these have been absorbed into the more fertile varieties and might pop out under isolated conditions and inbreeding. (q), inclined to simplify, sometimes argues that the hominid is actually human when found walking upright and with a chipped stone ax in her handand that time lapses are highly exaggerated. Nonetheless (c) places the transition from ape to hominid at about 10my, from hominid to human between 10 and 1.5my, and the arguably human Homo erectus into modern human at about 0.5my. Thence the development of higher culture, with its artistic creativity and religious rituals is found (c) in the Late Paleolithic at under 40ky. Time has been exponentially crushed in the path of development lately accelerated by (c), whereas (q) has introduced the possibility of crushing both time and culture into a short span. (Q) relies heavily upon the thesis that all of the artifacts of humans that have survived, all of their dwelling residues, all of their drawings, anything indicative of ornament or religion, in fact just about everything except handaxes, have appeared within the Late Paleolithic, assigned an age by (c) of 840ky. centering upon an age of ~18ky, hence representing possibly the very same time period, without basic change. Thence, going back in time, there appears to have been little discoverable development over 2my, so that a situation prevails much as in the spurious "Dark Ages" of Greece, where a large "timeperiod" never really existed. The cultural interval between Ramapithecus and Lucy would be better set at 1 Quantavolute, that between Lucy and modern man at 1 Q and that from the "50ky" "modern man" arrival to Leonardo da Vinci .2 Q. It may be foreseen that no category of culture will be discovered to have been invented between Lucy and today, i.e. ~2my (c).
aborigine Coming from the Latin, "ab origine", "from the beginning," a term applied to persons conceived to have been present at a locale before others and possibly before all others. As often as not, the "aborigines" are themselves colonizers of an earlier epoch, whose aborigines have disappeared or assimilated. The term is especially used in Australia for the preEuropeans, and this aggregate, classified as Melanesian by race, is believed truly to have been aboriginal to the continent but in two branches of homo sapiens, one more robust, the other gracile. Indications of 53ky(c) are offered for first arrivals by sea when less than 100 km may have separated Australia from the Asian land mass. A full range of cultural activities was introduced and continued its development. Catastrophic mythology is extensive, including flood legends and accounts of sudden Pleiades shift westward in sky with freezing and population decimation.
Abraham A key personage of Biblical Genesis, Abraham's very name is in contest. It is rendered as "father of many" and, when designated Abram translated into "the father is high," and can also be considered a combination of Moon and Mercury, that is, "A" and "ram", given that he is believed (c) to have existed in the 5Mn when HermesMercury was a prominent god, "Ram", and Egyptian, Sumerian, Akkadian, and possibly Arcadian words for Moon began with "A", such as simple "A" or "Aa", "Ah", etc. He was a famous astronomer of Ur, where the Moongod was especially worshipped. Biblical literalists believe that Abraham lived a long life, during which time he experienced travels throughout the Near East and Egypt, founded the Hebrew Religion, sired Isaac, made a covenant with Elohim, and gave to Elohim the character later decipherable as the Hebrew, Christian and Moslem God (thus possibly inventing monotheism), instituted circumcision in his religion, and caused the cessation of human sacrifice (this occurring when about to sacrifice Isaac on command from Elohim and then refraining upon the latter's stayorder and substituting for the boy a ram). There appear to have been catastrophes in his time, particularly the destruction of Sodom and Gommorah, which may have also opened up or enlarged the Great AfricanRed Sea Rift and Dead Sea, and wreaked destruction generally; also a prominent comet appeared described as a smoking pot with a blazing torch in the skies amidst a general "thick and dreadful darkness." Although most (c) and (q) theory assign early dates to Abraham, and therefore to the cultures among which he moved, it has been lately proposed that these cultures are grossly olded and need be younged by two thousand years or so, basing the claim upon much later usages attributed to Abraham, such as moneyexchanges and monotheism; however those who refuse to young Abraham argue that he might well have been attributed postexilic traits following the return of the Jews from Babylon when the Priesthood codified the Old Testament, including Genesis. One possibility of resolution is that though Abraham is an archaic father figure who lived before the Age of Venus (beginning 3500) and that Scripture relating to his presence in Babylon was added during or after the Captivity, which ended in 2537. Parallels with Abraham in other cultures are not lacking: Brahma, the Indian Solar deity, bears a similar name and was also "father of a multitude". His wife was Sri or SaraSvati, while Abraham's wife was Sarai or Sarah. The firstborn of Sarai came when the father was 100; the first of Sri after a century's waiting. Greek parallels also suggest legendary ecumenicalism, possibly resulting from namecalling of commonly observed natural events. Resolution of the "Abraham Problem" should liberate several Middle Eastern Chronologies tied to him and might allow several anachronisms to be eliminated from the histories of nations and of thought within the region.
abrupt transform Alteration of any kind, in anything, which is deemed to occur at the brief end of a time scale that is thought might be much longer. Actually the phrase may be used as a synonym for quantavolution. Thus in early science, Ovid and many others catalogued what they believed to have been instant metamorphoses of species, often "regressive" as well as "progressive," for instance, a man turned to stone or ape; they claimed, too, sudden extreme changes of climate, atmosphre, soil, and topography. Applied to (q) and (c), the question of whether an event of the past required less rather than more time to transact or transform with other events of their medium may be most significant, comparable in importance to questions of the relative intensity of events and their scope. The (q) tends to believe that the rate of change peculiar to a given organism or natural process, measured at today's rates, has been drastically altered at times by explosive transformation, including extinction of life forms. The change in question may be within and among star galaxies or in rates of radioactivity of a microscopic chemical element. It may refer to the evolution of species or the end of the ice ages. Hence this article can only format the problem and illustrate it, implying the logic and methods used to address it. A change may reveal itself in a substance or a motion, in a body or in a transaction between bodies, in an effect upon a third body or an effect upon a measure or index of the change. Thus a fossilized fern discloses family and individual features, and, if unique, sets up a species, suggesting then either a continuation or a change of kind. The fossilizing process is measured in relation to the surrounding medium, which must bear appropriate traits for inducing the fossilization. The age of the plant becomes the age of its case, the suddenness of the chemical process dates it; the date is determined by geological or chemical means, both controversial; if the plant is unique, its date in relation to dates accepted for other plants of the same family will suggest whether a sudden or longterm transition from one species to another has occurred. Obviously the longer the period between two events, the longer the subperiod between two subevents, so that in astronomy and geology and evolution, as the time between original and current events has been lengthened, the time allowed for intermediate transformations has been increased. Thereupon, either abruptness is denied to as many events as possible, or an event is termed abrupt even if it takes many times the period hitherto assigned it; terms like "geologically sudden" and "astronomically gradual" are employed increasingly. Illustrations of the problem are numerous: a.) Two phytosaurian "reptiles" found in late Triassic rocks (soft, claylike matrix) in India contain smaller reptile skeletons in their stomach cavities; again, fossil fish remains have been found in throat sacs of pteranodan; in both situations, sudden disaster is indicated, and abrupt fossilizing conditions. b.)explosive volcanism can extinguish almost all life and pave vast areas around it for greatly varying areas, but the myriad extinct volcanos point to a time when a great many volcanos were exploding and erupting at the same time, and fissure volcanism has been responsible for remaking completely the morphology and later life forms of vast areas such as Northcentral Siberia and the Deccan Plateau. (A recently discovered ash layer in San Salvador covers 1300msq of a Mayan civilization.) Under such circumstances, ashes, gases and lava together can transform large sections of the global environment. c) Cracraft argues that speciation is a "geologically instantaneous phenomenon." d) Studies of generally occurring exoterrestrial iridium residues assert a shutdown of thousands of species from an obscuration of the Sun brought on by the dust of a meteoroid impact but whether the extinctions occurred in 3 months, 3 years, or millennia is hotly debated. All of these would be considered too short a time by (c) but some (q) exponents would even argue that 1ky is too long for a cosmic fallout of heavy material to have catastrophic effects on the species. Abrupt transform is sharply defined in recent studies of clay beds near Teapot Dome in Wyoming; there, in (q) 65my clay beds, investigators unearthed fossil land and water plants such as water lilies and lotus, akin to modern plants, whose cell structures indicated that they had been killed suddenly by freezing in the month of June. The sharp offseason winter lasted for 12 months, because the world was in darkness, the sun being unable to penetrate because of dust and gases from a meteor impact blanketing the sky. Even upon recovery, disaster would continue to strike, because then the sunlight would be let in but the atmosphere too choked with reaming dust and gas to let the heat out; a long wet greenhouse effect would destroy most remaining land biota. The presently feared destruction of the lifeprotecting, ultraviolet shielding ozone layer, on account of the abuse of supersonic plane flights, aerosols, etc., would be an abrupt transform without great Earth movements, wind noises, or oceanic turbulence, reminding one that ancient disasters might have occurred from the sky leaving little sign of their entrance or effects. The mammoths that have been found deep frozen, undisturbed, chewing plants, are examples; they hardly were terrified in certain cases, but were most likely so when found in a jumble of corpses. Investigation for the deepfreeze phenomenon must turn to exoterrestrial blasts of a cold gas, possibly cold helium that can asphixiate and freeze stiff a large animal instantly, without a great change in absolute temperature. Debates about global warming, ozone depletion, deforestation, and pollution currently occupy great scientific and public attention; even as a consensus of imminent danger seems to be growing, the length of time years, decades, scores of years, centuries tests the methodology of scientists of several major fields, armed with budgets inordinately larger than the budgets of natural historiography.
absolute zero Lowest temperature theoretically obtainable. A conceptual state in which atoms and molecules have minimal energy. The motions of molecules are equated to the temperature based upon the kinetic molecular theory. The scale assigns no translational motion to molecules at absolute zero; 0 kelvin on the thermodynamic temperature scale. The notion of absolute zero arises from the observation that the volume occupied by a gas is proportional to its thermodynamic temperature. Originally, absolute zero was the temperature at which a "perfect" (ideal) gas would occupy no volume. It is equivalent to 273.15°C.
absorption 1. Absorption is when one substance permeates the bulk of another, as in gases dissolving in liquids or solids, or liquids mixing into solids.
2. Loss of energy within a medium, as light losing intensity passing through glass, sound becoming fainter heard through a wall, or neutrons losing speed in paraffin. The energy loss may be due to scatter or due to the molecules of the medium becoming excited by the source.
Abydos 1. City of ancient Greece on Hellespont.
2. Egyptian city of the First Dynasty where vases were found resembling finds at Knossos on Crete, of the Early Minoan Period. A polychrome vase of Middle Minoan II was discovered in a Twelfth Dynasty Tomb which would appear to tie the Egyptian and Greek cities together. Destruction at both sites appears as part of a widespread catastrophe which brought an end to the Middle Bronze Age.
abyss, oceanic The bottoms of the ocean basins, by far the greater extent of the oceans (310m sqkm), largely plains, fractured around the world, dotted by myriads of volcanoes and seamounts, bounded on all sides by continental slopes. The abyss is a coating of basaltic igneous rock the same everywhere, product of the volcanic outpourings of the fracture system from the mantle of the Earth below. As the continents split asunder and rafted from one another, their huge blocks left behind a heated smooth bottom that was then paved over by the new volcanic material, like a roadbed laying machine following after a bulldozer. Beneath the coating lies an underside that is half the thickness of the floor, apparently not a product of lava flow but a melting and cooling of the lava in place. Depths of its water cover vary, averaging 4 km. Abyssal rock is termed sima, rich in magnesium and silicon substance. Continental rock or sial (silicon and aluminumrich) is found practically nowhere on the ocean bottoms unless it has detrited from the continents or fallen from the skies. The abyssal thickness is only onetenth that of the continents, which suggests that it is the product of a melt and that the oceans are new, and also it is more basic, less acid than the continental crust. Considering the extensive legends of the sinking of lands into the depths of the ocean, the expected abyssal continental sial does not exist there; one searches therefore for the source of such legends on the continental shelves, whether from contractions from fundamental cooling or increased water from outer space or melted ice caps and glaciers. The ocean basins are barely sedimented; they hold only 1% of all sediments. Under uniform conditions, this would represent only 16My of runoff debris totalling 10exp18cutons70). Dissolved solids in the oceanic waters total 3% of the aquatic mass, far from the extent of the difference, nor can these solids be attributed to continental detritus. The sediments are thickest on and at the base of the slopes; sediments of the abyss amount to a few meters of clay and ooze, incorporating a large amount of ash from aerial fallout and cosmic dust. The clay is igneous in origin. Pebbles, fish teeth and bones, and manganese nodules are sometimes encountered, and low hills, (c) ascribed to turbulent currents originating in earthquakes, the rotation of the Earth, or temperature shifts. The climate of the abyss is, however, fairly constant, and cold. Still, species do exist in scant numbers, unexceptionally species or varieties of species that are found near the surface, indicating either conditions inhospitable to life, a failure of evolution, or a newness of the abyss.
Acadian disturbance Devonian period's set of uplifts and sinkings, accompanied by heavy volcanism, settling large lava beds upon Northeastern North America (Francophone Canada, ergo Acadian). The White Mountains rose, with a granite core. Eastern Australian ranges also originated, providing estimated 10kthick igneous beds. The same species of animals are fossilized in North America and Europe, though ocean separates the two lands now. The Acadian upheavals are differently interpreted as gradual (c) and abrupt (q) and as distant and elongated in time (c = 340405My), (q = £1ky). The Old Red Sandstone of England is a controversial DevonianAcadian event, proposing a million times longer by (c) than by (q).
acanthode Fossil fish abundant in early Devonian period freshwater deposits. These minnowsized specimens have bony skeletal tissue. Their fins are supported by a heavy spine. A. have rows of spines between the pectoral and pelvic fins. They are not believed to be ancestors of the common jawed fishes which appear in the Silurian period and flourish in the Devonian.
Acapulco Bay A fine natural harbor, surrounded by cliffs and promontories, located on the SW coast of Mexico at »17°N latitude. The deep circular bay bites into the narrow lowland of the coastline. Beyond the Sierra Madre del Sur rise 900m above the sea separating the bay from the continent. Isla la Roqueta guards the bay's mouth. The region suffers frequent damage by earthquakes and hurricanes.
The nearby ruins of Ciudad Perdida are of archaeological interest. They are dated to 2000.
A circular depression like Acapulco Bay is a possible astrobleme or it could be a fossil caldera of an old volcano. Subsurface probing would be required to validate these or other mechanisms for the bay's formation.
acceleration The rate of change of velocity with respect to time. A moving body can accelerate by changing speed or by changing direction. Isaac Newton described acceleration in terms of a force acting upon the body. A force of 1 Newton acting corresponds to acceleration of 1 metre/second/second. A body falling near the earth' surface accelerates 9.81 m/s² (=g). An automobile accelerating to 100 km/h in 10s accelerates at 2.77 m/s².
accelerator A device that causes acceleration.
1. The gas pedal of an automobile.
2. An electromagnetic mechanism to increase the motion of charged atomic particles to velocities near the speed of light. Particle accelerators are rated by the kinetic energy they impart to the accelerated particles. It is usually measured in electron volts.
Acclimatization extent to which life forms derive life chances from the atmospheric conditions, together with the dependent terrestrial conditions thereof, within a given habitat. Considerations usually resolve to the formula: Given conditions a,b..n, how will species A,B,..N fare in reproduction. Often, trend analyses are the focus of interest. How did climate affect the evolution or extinction of the giant sloth of the Pampas, or the northward reach of the coniferous forests in the last interglacial period (c), etc. The Earth contains thousands of microclimates with accompanying acclimatized species, a Maine lobster, a Chesapeake Bay clam. Everything affecting climate affects acclimatization. Ordinarily, what climate makes, the species take. More brutally it is said, "Adapt or perish," and natural history of the Pleistocene, at least, becomes often (c) a story of ice ages coming and going. The extinction of large and small mammals in the Late Pleistocene in Australia appears not to have proceeded from climate or humans, and may be one of the many indications that (q) factors involving , of course, abrupt and extreme acclimatizing demands have to be searched out. Species can affect climate slightly; forestation invites heavier precipitation, etc. Humans can and have acclimatized by affecting their microclimates in many parts of the world, usually by destroying life forms that in their turn had affected climate, wild grasses, animal herds, forests, water supplies, etc. Global warming, an industrial and consumption effect, appears to be enticing many plants, ground animals, and birds northward just within the last two decades, the most convincing studies a product of the University of Michigan. Here one sees that acclimatization may take an aggressive form, as well as causing retreats and extinctions; life forms unrelentingly search out and seize opportunities. Global effects of ozone depletion, carbon dioxide emissions and industrial acid diffusions into the atmosphere appear to be having significant climatic effects that may make heavy demands upon humans to acclimatize to a new worldwide set of conditions.
accretion by comet The orbits of the many periodic comets resemble the calculated trajectory of specific streams of tiny meteoritic particles which produce the annual meteor showers. The similarity between the two kinds of orbits led to the theory that comets evaporate "dust" as they pass near to the Sun. The comet dust, scattered through space near the comet's orbit, is thought to fall into the Earth's atmosphere producing the meteors. Since the periodic comets pass through the asteroid belt on each orbit of the Sun recent speculation has it that the comets might be accumulating asteroid material which they later shed as the "dust." The idea of comets capturing material as they orbit through the Solar System is fully consonant with (q) theories of comet operation.
accumulation, precipitate snow, ice, or dust aggregates from atmospheric fallouts, whether from near or far space. Glaciologists are most concerned with the history of frozen precipitates, especially as they accumulate and form ice caps which are supposed to draw upon the oceans for their growth and renewal. The present ice caps, as well as all of those of natural history, and especially in the several Ice Ages that are believed (c) to have occupied much of the Earth's surface over long periods of time, are said to have grown up during the early Pleistocene, ~12my, owing to diminution in solar activity, increased dust clouds in the Earth's atmosphere due to a plague of volcanism that would block the sun's rays; both theories might be termed (q) but are allowed to take enough time to be called gradual. The fact that ice accumulates on mountaintops and in glaciers descending therefrom also promotes the theory that the ice caps form from perennial precipitation. The fact that the "Wisconsin" ice cap disappeared, leaving the minor caps of today, in a geological instant (therefore q) brings into question whether the origins as well as the demise of enormous accumulations of ice can occur without exoterrestrial (q) intervention. However, ice cores have been drilled in Antarctica and Greenland and appear to evidence to the eyes and by chemical test, annual layers of deposit; a sudden drop of ice blocks (q) would appear to be prohibited. If, on the other hand, the layered accumulation had been the product of heavy repeated hail and snow, the layers might be explained; a Noachian flood, that is, given an Earth with cold poles as today, would have been received upon the poles as ice and snow and preserved as such, with some layering. More likely in the two preceding hypothetical instances, the large blocks or the particle precipitation would both be below the area where annual varves are distinguishable (itself a hotly contested location in the cores). It is even difficult to determine whether snow is ample enough to increase accumulations of ice at test points in Greenland and Antarctica, or is more than ample. If the latter, and the flow off the bottom of the cap is constant, the time taken for the ice cap to generate would be short(q) and the age of the cap young; the fact that the very dwellings of the supervisors of the drilling operations are hoisted annually to escape burial in the snow would perhaps suggest a rapid rate of accumulation and an equally rapid rate of outsqueezing at the cap base.
accumulator, bioenergy A box of metal covered on the outside with a layer of organic material was found to "accumulate" some form of biological energy. Measured temperatures above the accumulator exceeded those in the room by 0.2 to 1.8degC. The effect was least on humid days. Boxes built of only insulating material did not heat. A box kept in the shade heated most on sunny days. When it was raining no heating occurred.
Seeds treated in an accumulator germinated more reliably than seeds handled comparably but not treated with "bioenergy." Animals and humans became more relaxed after sitting inside an accumulator. There is some similarity between the response to the accumulator and exposure to enhanced numbers of negative ions.
achondrite Stony meteorite that does not contain metallic particles in its crystal structure. It resembles terrestrial rocks. Its chemistry suggests achondrites were once melted or partially melted. (c) 90% of the meteorites that "fall" are stony, yet only half of the "finds," confirmed meteorites, are stony.
acid rain Chemical reactions are induced with chemicals present in the atmosphere by highenergy sources indigenous to the Earth's environment. Lightning dissociates more or less inert atmospheric nitrogen molecules producing chemically reactive nitrogen atoms. The nitrogen combines with oxygen producing nitric acid and other compounds of nitrogen and oxygen. These biologically important compounds are transported to the ground with rain and lodge in the soil where the nitrate and nitrite can be assimilated by plants.
Unfortunately nonmetallic atoms and oxides have accumulated in the atmosphere as byproducts of industrialized society. Nitrogen oxides which are not biologically utilized and sulfur dioxide are notable. These molecules are made reactive by ultraviolet and all other high energy radiations as well as by lightning. In these cases the molecules converted into ecologically dangerous acids (like sulfurous and sulfuric). They also fall with rain only they do not enhance plant growth, rather they alter the acidity of the soil and the water, often destroying the biological balance of otherwise stable ecosystems.
(q) theorists have suggested that comets striking the Earth at the end of the Cretaceous Period might have excited the atmosphere sufficiently to produce enough nitric acid to defoliate the trees and to leach strontium from silicate continental rocks. Using this scenario these theorists hope to explain the enhanced level of strontium87 (which originates from the decay of rubidium87) found in bones and sediments dated to the CretaceousTertiary boundary. A variant of the theory suggests that the mass extinctions associated with this Ageboundary might follow from an environment polluted with toxic metals including beryllium, aluminum, mercury, and lead liberated from rocks by excessive acid rain.
acidbase reaction Acids are "proton" donor molecules; bases are "proton" acceptors. In aqueous solution the proton is exchanged as the hydronium ion, H3O+, or hydrated proton. Acids and bases are considered strong if they readily donate/accept protons. Weak acids and bases react less readily. The AB reaction exchanges "proton(s)" between appropriate molecules.
acoustics 1. The study of the behavior of sound and sound waves.
2. The characteristics of a space within which sound is "heard." Particularly how readily the original sound pattern is discerned. Echoes are reduced by curving walls and by making them from sound absorbing materials. Resonances lead to certain sounds persisting while others do not. Reverberation time is a measure of how rapidly the intensity of a sound is absorbed within a room. Too short a RT makes the room sound "dead." Too long a RT muddles sound, garbling speech and confusing the articulation of music, because the last sound has not died away before the following one is heard.
Certain significant (q) phenomena may under the right conditions produce sounds. They are mentioned in connection with the polar aurorae by observers whose location is well away from the noises of civilization. Great meteors produce sonic booms which are heard over large areas. In the equatorial region charged particles are produced during thunderstorms. These particles become entangled in the earth's magnetic field and produce faint sounds which are audible as a whistle after amplification. In earlier ages, when the magnetism may have been stronger and the atmosphere more extensive, whistling atmospheric sounds may have been clearly audible.