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Everything posted by mmalluck

  1. I want a nuclear-powered-atomic-watch! It might sound redundant, but it's not. We just use Cs for both the power source and the oscillator. They already use nuclear batteries in deep space satellites (Voyager) because they can't use solar panels because they're so far away. These batteries are just more efficient as compared to the old way they were manufactured. Yeah, that is very true. I don't think we'll see this technology out on the consumer markets for several other reasons as well: There's laws on the books in the US that make the frivolous use of nuclear material illegal. Otherwise we'd have cool things like trasers here in the US. There's the question of what to do with a slightly radioactive used up batteries. There is also the fact that most high-technology devices are manufactured with a projected lifespan around 18 months (IE you don't need the battery in your cell phone or laptop to last decades if you're going to be buying a new one in a year or two).
  2. So you enjoy a good grog? They're tasty.
  3. I'd hardly place stars in the same catagories as planets. Nice try coving your mistake, though.
  4. Well I'm no expert on lightning, but I can speculate from what I know from electrical engineering and physics. The goal of any lightning bolt is to get itself to ground taking the least resistive path possible. It wants a path that's short and conductive. If the ground is a good conductor, the bolt gets itself to ground quickly and their's less chance of a bystander getting hurt. It's reminds me of the guys who work on live electric lines. They literally clip on to the high voltage line while it's active. Thier body is raised to the potential of the line, but they're unaffected because the wire is a more attractive conductor than they are themselves, even if they touch the same wire in two different places. Now soil is a funny thing, especially sand soil. The water in the soil will make it conductive, but as soon a lightning bolt strikes, all of the water becomes steam, and the soil dries. So the lightining bolt spreads to a more conductive part of the soil. Again the soil drys, so the bolt forks and moves again. That's how you get the spiderweb effect in the previous picture. With poorly conductive soil, there's a lot more of the lightning bolt searching for the best conductive path for the moment. There's a better chance the bolt will choose part of you for that path.
  5. Given enough mass, they themselves will become a blackhole. The center will crush inwards until even neutrons can't resist the crushing force of gravity.
  6. That's a hard one to guess. I depends on the size of the bolt, the kind of bolt (positive or negative) and the enviroment. If the soil is a poor conductor, the bolt will spread through the ground and can electrify a much larger area, as compared a bolt produced over soil that conducts better. For instance here's a picture of the scortch marks left from a lightning strike on a flag pole that was left in a field. The scortch marks are about 25 feet across. If you were standing anywhere around there, you wouldn't be feeling too happy. Just because this thread made me think about this pic, I'll put it up as well. The person who took this picture survived. Click the picture for the orginal source page. They have some other very impressive electrical accidents (exploding utilities and the like). And here's the story that goes with it:
  7. 1) they didn't actually get struck by the bolt, they were just close enough to get blasted by the hot compression wave the bolt produces. 2) The duration of the bolt is so short, that the heat capacity of the body prevents them from becoming burning up. In all fairness my wire example didn't take the duration of the bolt into account. If the bolt was very short, the copper wire could survive. Peak power disapation may be 128,968 Kiliowatts, but if the bolt only last microseconds, considerably less heat will be transfered to the wire.
  8. Ever hear thunder? That's the sound of the air violently expanding outwards due to the intense heat of the lightining bolt. The air explodes. As YT said, lightning will take the path of least resistance, but even a little resistance can cause the substance to vaporize when a lightning bolt hits it. To give you an idea: Strong lightning strikes can produce currents in excess of 200,000 Amps. Lets say the bolt chooses to go through some heavy copper wire on it's way to ground. We'll say it's 10 meters of 0 AWG wire. Using a handy-dandy wire gauge resistance chart we can see this wire has a resistance of 0.0032242 Ohms. That's a pretty small resistance. How much power will this resistor (the wire) have to dissapate when the lightining bolt pass through it? P=(I^2 * R) P=((200000 amps)^2 * 0.0032242 Ohms) = 128,968 Kilowatts The wire quickly becomes plasma.
  9. Now, I'll admit I don't know a great deal about speaker box design, but why would fill the box with helium as opposed to just building a smaller box? For a box with the least amount of stored energy, you'd have no box at all. You'd transfer the sound directly into a solid. Think transducer.
  10. mmalluck

    Homosexual Gene?

    Sexual preference is a sliding scale. While you can have a tendancy towards one gender or the other, it almost never is a totally exclusive thing. Human nature is too quick to classify things into catagories. We hate gray areas. Is homosexuality learned or in-born. I'd have to say in-born. Here's some more evidence of this: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/homosexual_brains
  11. Most religious scholars recognize that the Virgin Mary is simply a mistranslation.
  12. Yes, probably sometime off in the future. How about any time soon? I wouldn't count on it. I won't happen until we exhast all the other fuel sources we have. The difference between hydrogen and coal or oil is that hydrogen is merely a form of energy storage, where as coal and oil are actual fuel sources. Huh? So how are they different? Well you can dig up coal or drill for oil, but you can't exactly go out and dig up some loose hydrogen. But we can make hydrogen! Ah, but to make the hydrogen you have to take a molecule and split the hydrogen off of it. This takes energy, more energy in fact than what you get back from burning the hydrogen. But don't you have to use energy to make coal and oil? No, no energy is actual used to make coal or oil. The only energy used is in finding it, getting it, and cleaning it. It's true that some energy is used in the processing of oil and coal, but nature has provided us with carbon-hydrogen bonds that contain the energy in the fuel. No energy has to be spent making the fuel. The chemical energy is already there. The difference between fossil fuels and hydrogen is the difference between finding a dollar by the side of the road and that of going out and working for a dollar. Which do you think people will go with? /end psycopathic thread mode/ There, I've covered all the bases all by myself. Thread Over!
  13. But the energy you get back from combining the hydrogen back with oxygen will never be greater than the amount of energy the battery used to split the water. Lets do this as a formula: 2(H20) + energy from battery => 2(H2) + (O2) + wasted heat The total energy on the right (both kinetic and potential) equals the total energy on the left. Why the Wasted heat? During electrolysis, the water will heat up. That's just a fact of life. There's no perfect way to split up oxygen and hydrogen molecules. Some of the energy always becomes heat. You can make the process rather efficient, but you'll never be 100% efficient. Lets give this equation some numbers for the energy totals. We'll say the 2(H20) has no particular energy content (water is rather inert) and we'll say the battery supplies one unit of energy. On the other side of the equation we'll say that the 2(H2) + (O2) has an energy content of .9 and .1 is wasted as heat. 0 + 1 = .9 + .1 Everything is nice and balanced as it should. Now lets turn our O2 and 2(H2) back into water to get our energy out. O2 + 2(H2) => 2(H2O) + energy How much energy go we get back? Lets go back to the energy units we used earlier. O2 and 2(H2) become .9 units of energy and 2(H2O) become 0, so .9 => 0 + energy Energy must be .9, but we put in 1 whole unit from our battery to split the water in the first place! Even if your battery was recharged by the engine, it would still run down over time due to inefficiency of splitting water molecules. Any kind of energy transfer will result in wasted energy and that's why there's no perpetual motion machines.
  14. In humans, maybe, but what about something like bees? The only thing the drone does is mate after which he dies. Even if all the drones are killed, the queen can simply make more drones. Incestious? Yes. Limiting the gene pool? Not really. It's part of the bee's survival strategy. In humans, if 3/4 of the male populations was lost, we would see some genetic limitation in the next generation, but this wouldn't last long. The female population still cares a vast array of genetic differences and in a few generations all would be well. 1) I think you underestimate the resourcefulness of women, but I agree that a loss of man power would see that population would further decrease. Things would tend to become more even. 2) Defend from who? Other packs of waring females?
  15. Lets not forget about parallel processing. Computer are very good at processing code line by line in a linear fasion. We can use time slices (I.E. Computer, I want you to run this code for application A for X amount of time and then run the code for apllication B for Y amount of time) giving the appearance of parallel processing. You brain on the other hand can do dozen of things at a given time (taking care of vital functions, walk, talk, and chew gum at the same time) without having to switch between these functions. Hurray for specialized areas of the brain!
  16. This can be seen in nature many times over. Bees, for instance, take this to the extreme. All works are females. The only males are Drones and they die after they mate with the queen. The male only has one use and dies after he's no longer needed The Angler fish (the scarey fish in Finding Nemo with the light-lure on it's head) is also another interesting example. The female fish is what is commonly seen. The male is tiny in comparison. Once finding a mate, the male fish latches onto the female and lives off her in a parasitic manner. Over time the male fish becomes totally enveloped by the female leaving behind little more than a pair of testicles. I pulled these examples out of my head, but I also found a webpage that discusses these further. Females are nessary for a species to reproduce, males are only needed to the point of conception, after which they become expendable unless they preform some other useful task, like providing protection, gathering food, hunting, or caring for the young.
  17. I'm a computer engineer with a pension for RF work. One would guess I'd say Silicon, but I'de have to go with silver. The best conductivity of any metal, shallowes skin depth, heavy, cold, shiny, and won't leave your hands tasting like copper when handled.
  18. Most computer power supplies have to be tricked into running without a motherboard attached. Usually you have to tie the ground together and place a resistor across the 12v supply.
  19. I'd have to say Silver is my favorite metal. It's nice, soft, shiny, and the king of conductivity. I just wish it didn't tarnish so quickly. I'd say helium is about as non-metal as you can get.
  20. Because there's nothing worse than someone singing "happy birthday to you" in form format. I'm 24/M/Atlanta, Ga, USA.
  21. Well I know the satellites responsible for GPS (and probably every other communication satellite) use the principles of special relativity to keep in contact. I know the GPS satellites are particularly sensitive. All a GPS satellites does is simply transmit a time code (they're just a big radio clocks in space). The receiver on the ground gets the time codes from various GPS satellites to calculate your position, but the receiver also has to take into account the velocity of the satellites and correct the time codes accordingly. Or in other words, special relativity is a well tested, well accepted, and well used theory.
  22. To maximize the electrolysis of water, you need lots of current. These means nice large electrodes with lots of surface area (looks like you're already going that way) and a hefty low voltage, high current supply. I know some guys who rewind microwave oven transformers for just such use. Link . Of course you'd have to rectify the output (so you get hydrogen at one lead and oxyegen at the other) and that may be troublesome due to the high current (100+ amp diodes are hard to come by).
  23. I thought so. I almost went back and changed it, but decided to leave it as is. It's changed now.
  24. The distance the light has to travel becomes longer according to the stationary observer. Light may be fast, but it's still bound by a set speed. What I'm talking about is illistrated by the time dialation link I included earlier. And for those too lazy to go to the link: You have two guys with simple clocks. They bounce a beam of light off a mirror and see how long it takes for it to bounce back. Borrowing images from the link. It would look something like this: Now if the blue guy goes running off with his clock, according to the stationary red-guy observer, the beam of light in his clock has to travel along a longer path from the mirror and back. It travels along a diagnol and would look like this: If the red-guy measures the speed of the light in the other's clock, he finds it's traveling at a constant 2.998*10^6 m/s, just like his. From the blue-guys moving frame of reference, the light is going straight back and forth between him and the mirror at the same speed of light and there we have paradox, unless we take time dialation into effect. Accoring to the Red-guy, Blue's clock is running slow. Accoring to the Blue-guy, Red's clock is also running slow. Me and that webpage do a kinda of crappy job explain this. There's other's out there that are better.
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