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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/03/20 in all areas

1. 5 points

Today I Learned

Today I learned that skills improved by participating here on scienceforums can, at least in some minor way, be helpful in the current virus situation. I joined a local initiative where students studying from home can ask about math and physics. Debating science here has made me more confident regarding mainstream science and how to respond with useful hints (instead of solutions) to homework questions.
2. 5 points

Bob Lazar

Element 115 (moscovium) has a half life of about half a second, so is not very practical as a target. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscovium (And I doubt that element 116 can be produced by firing protons at the nucleus.) "Immediately decays"? It is true that the half life of livermorium is less than that of mosocvium; but it is not immediate. Livermorium decays via alpha decay. In other words, it emits a helium nucleus (a pair of protons and a pair of neutrons bound together). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livermorium It does not emit anti-protons. That would violate all sorts of conservation laws. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_law And anyway, what would be the point? This can only be of interest to people who think that antimatter=magic. What are you going to do with these anti-protons? Presumably combine them with some protons to generate energy. But you can't get any more energy out of that than you put in. So the whole process of accelerating some protons, transmuting 115 to 116, then capturing the anti-protons and then generating some protons for them to interact with, then controlling their interaction and directing the energy ... all takes energy. And must run at less than 100% efficiency. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_thermodynamics So you are going to get less energy out than just using shooting the original protons out the back of the rocket. Or using the heat from the rapid decay of the moscovium (you will be left with no useful fuel after a few minutes, anyway). There is nothing to critique here. This is just meaningless word-salad from a bad SF book. No references here because there is no such thing as "Gravity-A waves", "Gravity B waves" or "Gravity Amplifiers". Also, gravitational waves (which do exist) are not directly related to gravity. Gravitational attraction is not a wave phenomenon. Also, gravity is only attractive; there is no practical or theoretical reason to think that somehow causing gravitational waves (if that is what the ignorant author means) to interfere would cause any gravitational effect (either pull or push). Gravitational waves cause stress (stretching and shrinking) in directions orthogonal to their direction of travel. This effect is too small to be significant, unless you are a few miles from two merging back holes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_wave Gravity waves are something completely different. They are a phenomenon in fluid dynamics and have nothing to do with gravity (in the sense implied here; they are caused by gravity, not a cause of gravity). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravity_wave It is almost as if the author doesn't know what they are talking about. And are just stringing together a bunch of words they don't understand. See anyone can do it.
3. 4 points

Element 115 as Flying Saucer Fuel

After 8 seconds it said "This film is not presented as fact." So I did not watch the rest. Correct. I am not interested. But if anyone provides reliable scientific evidence about progress in our understanding of gravity (and/or anti gravity) I would be very interested. Warning: Straw man ahead: *) Replace alien technology with "magic", "psychic powers", "spirits", "life after death". The scientific content would be the same (zero).
4. 4 points

5. 4 points

6. 4 points

Coronavirus Terrorism

The plot revolves around a group of highly trained professionals who break into homes of elderly folks and aggressively cough into their faces for a few minutes. In a heartwarming twist one of their presumptuous victims confuses the terrorist with their grandchild to whom she had lost contact. After a furious intermezzo consisting of baking and copious amount tea the terrorist realizes that deep inside he is just longing for the love of a family. Meanwhile the grandparent realizes that the nightly visitor in stealth suit is indeed not her grandchild (the climbing hook on the balcony being a crucial hint- as well as a flashback highlight that the real grandchild had a fear of heights). But she enjoys the moment too much to care.Tragically, this human moment is also what ultimately resulted in successful infection. The terrorist becomes guilt-ridden when it becomes clear that the lonely grandma is not long for this world and he tries to reach her a last time to say his farewells. Meanwhile, his terrorist buddies consider him a traitor and try to stop him resulting in a highly choreographed fight scene involving lots of offensive coughing and running noses in slow-mo (the filmmakers did not consult experts as per usual and did not realize that this is not part of the symptoms). Finally, he survives all these ordeals and reaches the grandma, who turns out to be a special CDC/Homeland security agent in disguise (Jason Stratham) who have been delaying a rollout of coronavirus testing in favour of sting operations to catch corona-terrorists. PS: can anyone tell that I really, really do not want to read those student reports?
7. 3 points

Mathematical Knowledge

I know I am not supposed to get involved as I have already acted as a moderator (but hopefully in a fairly non-contentious way), but I can't resist the need to point out that there are two ways of defining something: 1. In terms of something else (which is, hopefully, simpler) 2. As an axiom (or postulate or "self evident truth" or whatever) in which case the thing is defined as simply being itself. (I believe this is what "Lawbringer" is referring to as a "circular definition".) All definitions must eventually bottom out to (2). I would not call that a circular definition as I think it is useful to distinguish fundamental concepts that cannot be defined in terms of anything else, from the circular definitions which are often the basis of a fallacy (similar to begging the question).
8. 3 points

Gravity

We have already detected gravitational waves. However, neither gravitational or magnetic attraction is mediated by waves. A "magnetic wave", is just one component of an electromagnetic wave, or in other words, light and radio waves. Magnetism, as in the attraction and repulsion of magnets, is due to a field, not a wave.
9. 3 points

Corona virus general questions mega thread

Well, we already had plenty that did not originate there (as well as a few pandemics) and we will have plenty of outbreaks within the next few years. It is mostly the confluence of factors that make a disease more likely become a pandemic, which includes e.g. effective human-human transmission, long incubation time, late/difficult detection, outbreak in areas with high connections to rest of the world etc. This time a lot of folks dropped the ball which resulted in a rather unprecedented situation. The question is whether the next one (which will come) will be contained better or not.
10. 3 points

why we still believe in a god

I shared that the Bible cannot be the source of morality since our existing morals allow us to pick and choose which parts of it are right and which parts are wrong. John reinforced this point in his own way. You suggested we were saying “what’s the point of books if we already know stuff.” I corrected you. That wasn’t the point. Our point was specific to the assertion that morals come from the Bible. You then made yet another different point, that we know before we learn. Sounds fancy, but is obviously both nonsense AND not what was being suggested by me or John. You told me I could explain better, so voila... see above. Hope this helps and hope we can now please for the love of Thor get back on topic instead of chasing fortune cookie one-liners from an unsober but otherwise easy going and enjoyable poster. ✌️
11. 3 points

I don't have Covid 19! test came back negative! Looks like just plain old viral pneum

I don't have Covid 19! test came back negative! Looks like just plain old viral pneumonia! That 104 fever was a bitch! Feeling better now! All I need now is a flight back to NC, CA is nice but home is nicer!
12. 3 points

Corona virus general questions mega thread

It's not intuitive. Another one not intuitive to me is cold bleach, it seems, bleaches better than warm or hot bleach. Edit: Lower concentration increases contact time so that the surface of the microorganisms protein coat is not denatured too quickly such that it prevents more of the alcohol penetrating deeper into them. Superficial denaturing may just initiate dormancy.
13. 3 points

Please tell me we have free will

Do you mean that because, in this case, it has no free will, in normal circumstance it does? @ others: I can’t moderate in this thread but there is no reason to suddenly get irrational and offensive just because someone mentions the “R word”. Grow up
14. 2 points

Non-human pandemics

They tend more often to be epidemics than pandemics since most nonhuman primates lack the ability to cross the ocean. That said, here ya go: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150327-ten-scary-diseases-of-animals
15. 2 points

Corona virus general questions mega thread

To me it is preparedness after it became clear that there was widespread community spread. There was a weird lack of contact tracing, folks were (and as recent at two weeks ago) not asked where they came from, no test or even asking for symptoms (unlike e.g. during the ebola outbreak). A number of countries initiated these measures and increased preparedness and among the community there was a sense that CDC and other agencies were starting just that. But then there was quite a bit puzzlement among my colleagues that have been travelling. And then it became clear that even countries who were producing the test kits were not stockpiling them. Manufacturers of PPE have reached out and asked whether they need to ramp up production but got no response (sure there are also financial interest there, but it shows that there was no concern as of yet). Structurally, it also showed that many lacked a decent pandemic response team. The US dismantled theirs, Germany assembled theirs end of February. And this goes to my general point, pandemic response needs to become a regular element of public health and an ad hoc assembly late in the game is likely not going to cut it. Regarding swine flu, there was a pandemic in 2009 resulting in 100-500k deaths. Any good response will look overprepared, because that is what they have to be.
16. 2 points

Does straight peple don't exist?

Maybe some lie, maybe some don't really understand their own feelings, maybe being attracted to the same gender and getting excited by watching other men and having sex are not the same? Just because someone feels excited watching something, doesn't mean they are instantly INTO that thing, in the real world. There is a large difference between reacting to seeing something, and doing it yourself. Although there probably is a subgroup of people that may not know they are homosexual/bisexual, or they feel moral disgust due to stigma/upbringing and therefore say they aren't sexually attracted? So many reasons.
17. 2 points

Sociolution

That's one aspect of a social species. You're trying to say this is representative of all evolution, and that's extrapolating in the wrong direction. You can't go from specific to general based on one data point. To quote from The Logician: 'All wood burns,' states Sir Bedevere. 'Therefore,' he concludes, 'all that burns is wood.' This is, of course, pure bulls**t. Universal affirmatives can only be partially converted: all of Alma Cogan is dead, but only some of the class of dead people are Alma Cogan. IOW, all social behavior is the result of evolution, but not all of evolution deals with social interaction
18. 2 points

Can an alternative form of electricity be possible?

And even in conventional electricity, the net flow of electrons is slow. The current is caused by the massive numbers of charge carriers, and the fact that the interaction proceeds at the speed of light in the material. But the electrons themselves have a drft velocity far, far slower. To have electricity you need free charge carriers, and that's typically the electrons. You could do this with other charged particles, but you'd have to create a condition where they are the free charge carriers, and that just doesn't happen except in very specific circumstances. The fact that electrons are stable and much less massive than protons, and don't bind to other particles except via the electromagnetic interaction (unlike protons binding to neutrons and other protons) is the reason they are free to create currents in conductors.
19. 2 points

why we still believe in a god

Morality isn't a static thing - it's a living, breathing phenomenon - evidenced by the fact we now frown upon many practices considered tolerable many moons ago. But it only develops where there is a dialogue. Religious books are an important part of that dialogue, perhaps more so in the past. An eye for an eye might make the world blind, but at the time it was improvement on 'your families life for an eye.' The problem with religious books is that they can become a monologue when they insist upon themselves as the only valid authority. The minute you think any text is the definitive version morality dies. The problem with ignoring the fact that religious books are still part of the dialogue is that you ignore the historical and cultural processes that led us to our current understanding, and, perhaps more importantly, you exclude billions of voices from the dialogue.
20. 2 points

Help Me To Find The ''Cure'' For Hair Loss

I think it's human nature to blame something about oneself that can't be changed for ones lack of progress in some aspect. I gave my deafness more weight than it deserved, in hindsight.
21. 2 points

Another way of looking at Special Relativity

! Moderator Note Discussion has that advantage, certainly, but only when one listens rather than lectures. Unfortunately, you aren't discussing this, so nobody is learning anything they really need to. Discussion would mean you actually incorporate comments from others in your replies. Instead we see an outlined lecture series you obviously don't want any critique on. Please go elsewhere to do this kind of blogging. Nobody is interested in that format here. This is a science discussion forum. Thread closed.
22. 2 points

Another way of looking at Special Relativity

Don't worry, patience is not an issue, at least not in my case. But I think the forum rules still apply, you can't keep blogging and hope for questions to self-resolve in some distant future. I have reread the posts so far and I can't find that my questions are adressed. The addition of doppler in the last revision does not add clarification regarding issues raised earlier. Basic question: Can you please post the complete set of postulates used in your "related experiments"-idea? There is no need to repeat the whole "fresh look" stuff, just tell the postulates and, if necessary, how they deviate from the postulates used in SR. What you have posted so far does seem to match SR predictions, it is not a "fresh look" of SR and it is not an alternative point of view of SR. In my opinion clearly stating the postulates you use and how your postulates differ from SR may help bring the discussion forward. Since you state that SR is an offshoot of Electromagnetic Theory I guess that your postulates must differ from SR in some way; when deriving certain relativistic effects from your postulates we see how electromagnetism comes into play in some way that deviates from the mainstream SR.
23. 2 points

Bob Lazar

You are free to defend this in a thread in speculations You mean like stuff you posted in the other thread? That I debunked?
24. 2 points

What are you listening to right now?

The entire Neil Young archives free for streaming. https://neilyoungarchives.com/info-card?track=t1975_1129_01
25. 2 points

26. 2 points

Equal Exchange

To amplify Mordred's statement ( +1 ) Mathematically and logically a relation is a particular conncetion between pairs of (mathematical) objects. Equality as represented by the equals sign = is characterised by three properties. Where A B and C are three mathematical objects 1) Reflexivity A = A 2) Symmmetry If A = B then B = A 3) Transitivity If A = B and B = C then A = C These may seem obvious but they are fundamnetal and very important. Another stronger reelation is identity. This is different from equality and should be carefully distinguished. All identities are also equalities, but not all equalities are identities. An easy way to see this is to compare the following ${x^2} - 1 \equiv \left( {x + 1} \right)\left( {x - 1} \right)$ This is an identity. Note the different symbol. It is true for all x or each and every possible value of x. But ${x^2} - 1 = 0$ is only an equality. It is only true for certain values of x and not true for many more. To pick up on the remark about chemical equations. You noted that chemical reactions represent a process as well as an equality (mass balance charge balance etc) These are more properly shown with various arrows for this reason $\to$ etc
27. 2 points

Equal Exchange

Again it doesn't count as a dimension. It is a relation not a dimension.
28. 2 points

Comparing Corona Virus Success Stories with Abysmal Failures

The graph shows trajectories in the number of cases and it does show that in most cases they will rise further.
29. 2 points

Comparing Corona Virus Success Stories with Abysmal Failures

But the James Bond movies would suffer...
30. 2 points

Element 115 as Flying Saucer Fuel

B Lazar has been making these claims for over 20 yrs. I distinctly remember seeing him on TV shows dealing with UFOs in the 90s. Wouldn't the simpler explanation be that he has no academic records from MIT/Caltech, rather than the Government 'scrubbed' them ? And what makes us so special that they'd want to play 'cat and mouse' games with us ? You'd think they would explore the galaxy, not anally probe Americans from southern states.
31. 2 points

Corona virus general questions mega thread

I'm picturing this like a Western: you standing on a deserted street with the spray clipped to your belt. Arms by your side, fingers twitching slightly. Suddenly a figure emerges from a bar and prepares to spit on the floor. Before he can move you have drawn and fired sprayed. Nice animation showing the how big the effect of reducing contact is: This also applies to increasing herd immunity (because that also breaks the chain of transmission). So as herd immunity increases, the limitations on social contact can be reduced.
32. 2 points

Corona virus general questions mega thread

Worse, it is less effective at higher concentrations.
33. 2 points

Corona virus general questions mega thread

Directly in an equivalent common English phrase, it probably means "It is what is and we can't change it"... C'est ce que c'est et on ne peut pas le changer (from Google Translate). Ours is an expression of resignation. We usually just say "It is what it is"
34. 2 points

Is this study linking phones to cancer reliable?

Three words: inverse square law Any effect on the user is almost indistinguishable from the background levels of disease (hence the lack of good evidence for any harm). That is for a phone a few centimetres from the user. For a family member a few metres away, the effect is going to be at least 10,000 times smaller; effectively non-existent.
35. 2 points

36. 2 points

Please tell me we have free will

Sorry, dimreepr, but most of the times I am missing concreteness in your reactions. I discovered that when I react to possible interpretations of vague arguments or questions I have to write a long reply, then I get another short reaction that at one side seems to show that I interpreted you wrong, and at the other side forces me to write another long reply, etc. And then you react you do not have the time/energy/intention to read long texts... If the topic interests you, I would suggest to illustrate your questions or arguments with examples, preferably taken from real life, that can give your reactions the clearness for a fruitful discussion. It is true, iNow and me are trained in scientific, resp philosophical discourse, and so we can meet (and cross swords...) on a pretty abstract level. But that in itself is not a sign of intelligence, it just means we are used to the words (I hesitate to write '.. and concepts ...'), and ways of thinking. But abstract thinking can also hide a lot of differences and nuances. Therefore I often ask for concrete, real life examples. If an abstract concept really means something to a speaker, shows itself if the person can still make the connection with concrete life. And that also reduces the chances that two people use the same word, but think different things by it.
37. 2 points

Corona virus general questions mega thread

This sounds like the poisoned drinks problem. Unfortunately it won't work here. In the idealised case where we there is say, exactly 1 in every 100 people infected then it could apply. But for every 100 hundred people we take there is no guarantee of the number of infected people. Sometimes there are none. Most times there will be one. Occasionally there will be 10. It is a random variable itself. Also, the tests themselves have a number of false positives and false negatives which will likely be significant.
38. 2 points

Coronavirus Terrorism

Somewhat too simplistic to be helpful? Perhaps I'm being a hypochondriac, but I'm rather concerned that every time I run for a bus in inclement weather I come down with all the symptoms of coronavirus.
39. 2 points

Coronavirus Terrorism

We can go that way. I had been thinking a comedic level of incompetence, where the protagonists inadvertently infect the people at the top of the terrorist organization, and think that drinking Corona beer (it’s the Corona virus, dude!) makes them more dangerous They fail to kill anyone at their target, which is supposed to be an old folks home but they end up at a military base with a similar name (they’re drunk on Corona), and nobody dies because they salute rather than shake hands and are young and healthy.
40. 2 points

Coronavirus Terrorism

Well, if you wanted to actually kill someone with the coronavirus you'd have to try to sneak into homes for the elderly to be efficient. Assuming you get in contact with 100 folks above 80 you may have caused somewhere between 8-14 fatalities. You could contribute to overall spread, but if it is already spreading as it is now, it is unclear whether it would amount to more. But to do so, you will have to spend significant time with each person as casual contact seems to inefficient. So in other words you may have made the situation worse, but it is unclear how much you contributed. That, is typically just the opposite of what most lone wolf types have in mind. Part of their motivation is some distorted desire for notoriety and striking fear into folks. A "regular" mass shooting or other attack is likely to be more satisfying to them. On top, this is only likely going to work during an ongoing outbreak as there is a decent likelihood for vaccines eventually and/or most folks will develop immunity (due to infection). So all they are doing is accelerating things perhaps a little bit. Perhaps worse than any of that, poor public health responses are likely to create more fatalities than any level of deliberate act of terrorism is going to achieve. Think about that for a minute. Let's say hypothetically that testing for the virus is going to cost more than you can afford and you have the choice between going to work or lose the job, what do yo do? You cannot self-quarantine since you live paycheck to paycheck and have no food stocked up because of that. How many are in that situation compared to say ten deliberate spreaders? Now combine that with a slow roll out of tests even if they are affordable.
41. 2 points

I suggest we stop the bickering and petty downvoting and return to the topic.
42. 2 points

Photons don’t work

Observers not in line with the laser will not see the photons, unless the photons scatter off of something (e.g. dust). The number of photons in the beam is large but not infinite (and can be found knowing the wavelength and power)
43. 2 points

Military is an excellent example of socialism. Why or Why Not?

Sure JC, but maybe Phi is on to something... Some purposes, or objectives, may be more important than monetary rewards. In the case of war, freedom from oppression is the reward. In the case of exercise, good health is the reward. In the case of raising your kids, strong familial bonds are the reward. That's what I like about this forum, we all have blinders to some degree, but other members can help you see where you may not have looked previously.
44. 2 points

Military is an excellent example of socialism. Why or Why Not?

is thread has given me an opportunity to focus/confirm my thoughts on Socialism ( thanks INow ). And why B Sanders should not be considered the 'boogey man' by Republicans and Democrats alike Both Socialism and Capitalism have a use and, if not corrupted ( big IF ), can be beneficial for society. Capitalism gives everyone the opportunity to care for themselves. Socialism gives society the opportunity to take care of everyone equally. It would seem that a mix of the two allows for people to better themselves, while ensuring that no-one is left behind
45. 2 points

Military is an excellent example of socialism. Why or Why Not?

OK, so one of them is run by a mad dictator and.. Oh never mind.
46. 2 points

What Would Happen If Everyone Truly Believed Everything Is One?

This has nothing to do with there being “no such thing as people.” The core issue here is identity, social cohesion, and empathy. Leaving aside the mystical woo of oneness, we really are just one element of the universe in human form for a little while. When we see ourselves as separate or different, we act accordingly. We become tribal, competitive, amd less cooperative. When we see ourselves as part of a larger whole, however, we see others as extensions of ourselves and tend more to protect and nourish them much like we would our own family.
47. 2 points

False claims about negative mass - Runaway motion problem, Vacuum instability problem, Wheel problem

At first reading I assumed he meant electron/positron pairs had positive/negative masses, and stopped reading. Turns out he's actually implying the direction of a vector potential makes it positive or negative absolute value, not just convention. And again I stopped reading...
48. 2 points

Joe Biden's Mental State

I'm not convinced. I don't think being forgetful whilst talking, especially in public, is a definite sign of cognitive decline. That video is nothing more than a blooper reel. And Walker Bragman is a journalist and cartoonist not a neurologist. Not what I would call a credible source of information.
49. 2 points

Are the weirdnesses of QM still regarded as mysteries to be resolved?

Isn't it the other way around? What we observe in nature is the weird looking stuff. And QM is the, or at least one, explanation for it? I do not see how you can take the observations that we make about the universe to not reasonably represent how the universe is.
50. 2 points

Another way of looking at Special Relativity

You seem to have posted all this before and been told several times that modern authors have streamlined the presentation of Relativity over the now more than a century since inception. Mordred and Marcus in particular ( +1) have tried to point to presentations that contains earlier and simpler theory as limiting cases so the theory of Newton and Galileo is a limiting case of the Special Theory which in turn is a limiting case of the General theory. We would expect this type of progression to continue wiht future developments. Here is a mid 1960s version that demonstrates this, due to Wangsness. You should take away with you this development along with the clear exposition of how it relates to Lorenz and modern versions of the two postulates of SR The math is not too difficult. But he does provide proper reasoning for each step taken (not always shown in shallow modern treatments). I will just post the basic bit here, but he goes on in similar vein to eplore all the aspects of SR, inlcuding the electromagnetic ones.
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