2,197 research outputs found

    Jet interactions in massive X-ray binaries

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    Massive X-ray binaries are formed by a compact object that accretes matter from the stellar wind of an early-type donor star. In some of these systems, called microquasars, relativistic jets are launched from the surroundings of the compact object. Such jets interact with the photon field of the companion star, the stellar wind, and, at large distances, with the interstellar medium. In this paper I will review the main results of such interactions with particular emphasis on the production of high-energy photons and neutrinos. The case of some specific systems, like LS I +61 303, will be discussed in some detail. Prospects for future observations at different wavelengths of this type of objects will be presented.Comment: 5 pages, 5 figures. Invited talk presented at the meeting: "Massive Stars: fundamental parameters and circumstellar interactions", Carilo, Dec 200

    Philosophical problems of space-time theories

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    I present a discussion of some open issues in the philosophy of space-time theories. Emphasis is put on the ontological nature of space and time, the relation between determinism and predictability, the origin of irreversible processes in an expanding Universe, and the compatibility of relativity and quantum mechanics. In particular, I argue for a Parmenidean view of time and change, I make clear the difference between ontological determinism and predictability, propose that the origin of the asymmetry observed in physical processes is related to the existence of cosmological horizons, and present a non-local concept of causality that can accommodate both special relativity and quantum entanglement.Comment: 20 pages, small changes to match the version published by Cambridge University Pres

    The collapse of supertasks

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    A supertask consists in the performance of an infinite number of actions in a finite time. I show that any attempt to carry out a supertask will produce a divergence of the curvature of spacetime, resulting in the formation of a black hole. I maintain that supertasks, contrarily to a popular view among philosophers, are physically impossible. Supertasks, literally, collapse under their own weight.Comment: 10 pages, accepted for publication in Foundations of Scienc

    From change to spacetime: an Eleatic journey

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    I present a formal ontological theory where the basic building blocks of the world can be either things or events. In any case, the result is a Parmenidean worldview where change is not a global property. What we understand by change manifests as asymmetries in the pattern of the world-lines that constitute 4-dimensional existents. I maintain that such a view is in accord with current scientific knowledge.Comment: 13 pages, accepted for publication in Foundations of Scienc
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