5 things you need to know before markets open in Australia and around the world.

Here’s 5 things you need to know as the markets open around the world.

1. Three Reasons why Tesla should go Private

A tweet by Elon Musk earlier in the week certainly caused some stirs in the stock market as well as lifting Tesla stocks a bit higher. The questions everybody is asking about the tweet: Is it for real and is it a good idea? Here’s 3 reasons that are worth considering.

(i) Less headaches Private. Musk does not like the rules under which a public company must operate. Quarterly reports, shareholder demands and conference calls, for example. He makes a good point about the company having to make incorrect short term decisions to satisfy shareholder reports. They are not good for Tesla in the long term. If the company goes private, they can do their own thing.
(ii) Stock is Undervalued. Buy up the shares now, privatise, and a few years down the track after Tesla has its Gigafactory 3 operational and the company’s production is a lot better to meet demand, it might be worth a lot more.
(iii) Stock is Overvalued. If Tesla privatises at current stock value of $420, then going private virtually locks in that valuation.

It seems Tesla and Musk remain in the spotlight.

2. Which came first – the Big Bang or the Black Hole?

It’s all very well to say the Universe started with the Big Bang, but what was there before that? A theory put forward by Ethan Siegel, physicist, suggests that the origins of it all may have come from a black hole.
The evidence that supports that theory is the singularity, an occurrence found in only two instances in the universe — the Big Bang and black holes. A gravitational singularity is a one-dimensional point where the laws of physics regarding spacetime breaks down.

Because our understanding of the universe is still limited, we simply call this point the singularity. Basically, a black hole’s event horizon is a one-dimension iteration of our three-dimensional universe. This is what the Perimeter Institute study explores. Is it possible that our universe is a product of a larger, primeval black hole’s singularity? Is our universe the three-dimensional wrapper around another universe’s event horizon?

In this scenario, our universe burst into being when a star in a four-dimensional universe collapsed into a black hole. However, we feel it more likely that the before the big bang there was top quark time crystal that disintegrated into the current cold atomic universe rather than a hyper massive black hole which we are circling.

3. Space Force – USA

Is Trump’s plan to create a “space force” more about allocation of funding money and power, or more about having some futuristic Starship Troopers type army to fight wars in space? Some military officials and senior Pentagon commanders, especially in the Air Force, fear losing responsibility for space and the nearly $8.5 billion of its budget that now goes for building and launching satellites, along with other space systems.

The new “U.S. Space Command” would be responsible for drafting war plans for space and for conducting military operations in space, much like Central Command draws from all military services and is responsible for fighting wars in the Middle East.

The Senate is not in approval of the idea and the whole concept faces an uncertain future. Some current and former Air Force officers cautioned Congress to go slow in reshaping the military’s space operations.

4. Lithium Ion Batteries Keep on Keeping on

Another update on the Lithium Ion batteries with the latest report estimating the market in 2022 will be $69 billion. Lithium batteries now come in all shapes and sizes, but they are the same on the inside and are lighter in weight compared to other batteries of the same capacity. The properties and ability to store energy has seen them become a strong player in the renewable energy market.

The only downside to the battery continuing with exponential growth is the availability of the metals that make it work – Lithium and Cobalt. A replacement battery for energy storage is still a long way off.

4. X-ray light reveals the geometry of a black hole

In the constellation Cygnus X-1, which is 6,100 light years away, lies a a young blue supergiant star about 20 times the mass of our Sun, and also an enormous black hole, 15 times the mass of our Sun. The black hole was discovered in the 1960’s by X-ray detectors. The black hole is called a high mass X-ray binary because it gives off X-rays.

Cygnus X-1 (also called Cyg X-1) is one of the most famous black holes in our galaxy. It is the first source that astronomers could agree was a black hole, and the subject of a well-known 1974 bet between Kip Thorne and Stephen Hawking. Thorne bet that Cyg X-1 was indeed a black hole, while Hawking bet that it wasn’t. By 1990, when the majority of the astronomical community had agreed the source of X-rays in Cyg X-1 was a black hole, Hawking conceded the bet (and subsequently, as per the conditions of the wager, bought Thorne a year’s subscription to Penthouse magazine).

Scientists have been trying to work out the geometry of the black hole and used an instrument called a polarimeter to measure the orientation of the X-rays to find out how they were reflecting off the accretion disk. That black hole is both accreting matter — pulling gas off its companion and funneling it into a swirling disk — and shooting out powerful jets. The processes of accretion and jet formation give off X-rays we can detect here on Earth.
Using this information, scientists can now better model all of the processes going on around the black hole. In particular, they can better study the spin of the black hole itself — Cyg X-1’s event horizon is believed to be spinning about 800 times a second, close to its maximum rate. That spin rate can affect space-time around the black hole, and also perhaps tell astronomers more about the black hole’s birth and evolution over time.

That information might bring us closer to understanding not only how black holes evolve, but the galaxies around them as well.

Andrew Mortimer
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