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Underground Experiment Confirms Fusion Powers the Sun 141

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-you-lost-a-bet,-go-pay-up dept.
sciencehabit writes: Scientists have long believed that the power of the sun comes largely from the fusion of protons into helium, but now they can finally prove it (abstract). An international team of researchers using a detector buried deep below the mountains of central Italy has detected neutrinos—ghostly particles that interact only very reluctantly with matter—streaming from the heart of the sun. Other solar neutrinos have been detected before, but these particular ones come from the key proton-proton fusion reaction that is the first part of a chain of reactions that provides 99% of the sun's power.
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Underground Experiment Confirms Fusion Powers the Sun

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  • by wallsg (58203) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @06:05PM (#47769885)

    Obvious is different from proven.

  • by khallow (566160) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @07:07PM (#47770357)
    Or we could just realize that "proof" in empirical science means something different than it does in pure mathematics.
  • by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @07:30PM (#47770507)

    Or we could just realize that "proof" in empirical science means something different than it does in pure mathematics.

    THIS. By GP's standard, >99% of the uses of the word "proof" in the English language are invalid. Almost all uses of the word "proof" in thousands of legal statutes around the world are bogus and meaningless.

    And, empirically, from looking at actual scientific methods as practiced, it's clear that scientists clearly do NOT treat all scientific theories as equally "falsifiable." Some are treated as "proven," if not in a strict mathematical-philosophical sense. It would take a LOT more to overturn a basic established law of physics than some off-the-cuff guess ("hypothesis") in a new experiment. So what exactly is it that we are doing when we verify and reverify and reverify a basic well-established tenet of basic science over centuries if not, in essence, proving "proof" of it (in any reasonable sense of the English word outside of the strange world of pure math and logic puzzles).

"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world." -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS

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