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OldChemE

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OldChemE last won the day on October 14 2019

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About OldChemE

  • Rank
    Atom
  • Birthday 07/13/1946

Profile Information

  • Location
    High desert Nevada USA
  • Interests
    All things science, golf, tutoring grandchildren, developing cartridge designs for old rifles (experimenting with various types of gun powder, various bullet designs, various ballistic results, target shooting), working with my hands (wood/metal).
  • College Major/Degree
    BsChe, MSNuclear
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Physical Sciences
  • Biography
    38 years engineering, 10 years teaching (Math & Science) I'm not much of a debate person. I have confidence in myself (worts and all) so I tend to state my position on a topic and move on. Peer approval isn't high on my needs list.
  • Occupation
    retired

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  1. If you can find it somewhere, look for a Scientific American article "Traces of a Distant Past" by Gary Stix et al published in the July 2008 issue. It traces out human genetic relationships by changes in DNA and uses a mathematical method of estimating times of the changes based on rates of DNA mutation. It is only a small piece of what you are looking for, but it might prove interesting.
  2. Back to the op-- I don't think he will be able to steal this election. Good thing. As some here may realize I am a political conservative who values honest dealing. I had high hopes for the past four years and it most definitely did not work out.
  3. Many such products offgas to some extent early on life and then the levels go down. Think "New car smell." However, it is short lived. I'm not aware of any studies specifically on the health hazards, but because it is a short lived process (new products) I suspect it is not a hazard. If the process were to continue indefinitely I would expect the records to degrade. I am speculating that it is a short lived process because the new car smell goes away fairly rapidly and also I have vinyl records that are 50+ years old that do not seem to have decayed.
  4. So, acceleration is one example where we see seconds squared, but we are not really squaring a second-- its mathematical language. When we say, for example, that the acceleration is 10 meters per second squared we are really saying that the velocity is increasing by 10 meters per second each second. Mathematically this looks likes we are squaring a second but in reality we are not.
  5. I have to be careful how I say this, but... I do not believe God exists-- but, if a God of unlimited power did exist, could not that God have triggered the existence of the Universe in such a manner that everything we can measure with science remains true? If so, then, while there is no experiment or observation that proves such a God exists, there would also be no experiment or observation to prove such a God does not exist.
  6. A very interesting development, but it raised a question in my mind. As you all know, superconductivity was originally achieved by cooling to a very low temperature. Now it has been achieved by applying a very, very high pressure. It occurs to me that these two approaches have a common element-- they both involve moving the atoms closer together than they normally would be at room temperature and one atmosphere pressure. I have no knowledge as to whether distance between atoms is a factor in producing superconductivity-- but I wonder about it. If atomic distances are a factor, this achievement may not bring us closer to practical room-temperature conductivity.
  7. It depends a lot on what you know and how much you are in the habit of using what you know. People who have a solid grounding in math and science often apply their knowledge without ever consciously thinking "now I will do science." When I go to clean the bathroom and look at the available cleaning products my wife has accumulated I find myself considering the ingredients and their possible chemical interactions. 10 years ago a tall pine in our back yard died and looked like it would fall, but I was just packing for a vacation. So I quickly used the similar triangles method to estimate how tall it was and decided that if it did fall it would be just short enough not to touch our glass back door. Sure enough we got back from the trip and it was down, and the tip was three feet from the door. It's just a automatic sort of thought process for people who are accustomed to applying math and science.
  8. Alas, there are many different types of work in Chemical Engineering and I never spent much time on pipe systems, but its nice to get a mention. I, too, was thinking that perhaps the goal was to create a vortex action, but have not been able to come up with a proof that it would work. It wold be interesting to know if anyone has ever actually done an experiment on this.
  9. First, let me say that "simply being creative" is very much more valuable than you make it seem. But, aside from that, There are undoubtedly many novel ideas that a hobby inventor might discover and patent thereby becoming rich and/or famous. The difficulty is that the things that have value depend on what is going on in society and the current state of both technology and the needs of society. To successfully invent you need to be attuned to the needs of society and where those needs are either not being fulfilled or may not even have been yet recognized. A good example is the invention of the tiny plastic clips that are used to close plastic bags (such as in the bread section of the market, at least in the US). Invention has a great deal to do with recognizing needs and being at the right place at the right time.
  10. Oxidation states relate to the electron structure of the given atom, generally taking into account the octet rule. The Octet rule basically says that atoms "prefer" to have 8 electrons in their outer shells (there are exceptions and it is not very rigorous-- but it works). The outer shells of Sulfur are 3s2 3p4, for a total of 6 electrons. By 'sharing' 2 more electrons (from the hydrogen atoms) the atom fulfills the octet rule, but that gives it an electric charge of -2 (2 extra electrons). As these two electrons are from the two Hydrogen atoms, they are now are each +1. The extent to which the electrons are only shared, as opposed to one atom taking and varies. There is a lot more technical detail to that. You should note that the arrangement of the Periodic Table is ties into this, as elements that usually have the same oxidation states are all in the same column.
  11. You might want to approach this differently. How many half lives would it take to get to 30%? If you knew how many half lives, you would then know how many half lives equals 300,000 years.
  12. Not much of a paradox. The definitions of Won and Lost imply a contest, which implies two or more contestants. Your example was not a contest. Therefore the words do not apply. M(ore) S(lippery)C(oncepts}? 🙂
  13. Some religions, fundamentally, aim to teach moral principles and give guidance on how to live a useful, productive and happy life. Some dress that up with lots of improbable features in order to connect with people who need that sort of thing. One need not believe the improbable to believe in the value.
  14. I love this post! Very often we solve problems ourselves simply through the thought process of describing the problem. I cannot count the number of times my batter math students have begun to describe the problem they were trying to solve, only to end the conversation with "oh!... nevermind" Well done!
  15. The element hidden in several of the replies is creativity, or the lack thereof. In my experience, collaborative teams where several members are very creative, especially if they have different skill sets, produce amazing results (because they tend to build on each other's inspirations). But-- one good engineer, if sufficiently creative, can outperform a group that lacks creativity.
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