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Everything posted by ScienceNostalgia101

  1. For the record, I since realized that in light of Toronto's size, a literal half-sphere is out of the question, but... what about an ellipsoid? 1. Ah! That's actually pretty good! 2. But sewers are a network of several pipes that each have to be very meticulously placed and fitted. This is just one giant ellipsoid. Cost of materials aside, how delicate an operation can constructing a concave-up ellipsoid be? 3. Might be too late for that. Mind you, I'm all for taxing carbon to pay for whatever infrastructure improvements are needed, but I'm not counting on stopping it.
  2. That could go either way, though. With a woodstove, you don't need as big a container of water, but you need to select the wood and transport it to where it is being burned. With a forest fire, you'd need a HUGE container of water... but the fire comes to you. Cast iron's apparently $1.29 per kilogram... how thick would a cast iron container need to be to withstand flame while holding water? (I could probably derive a function between surface area and cost/revenue from that... I also realized now that perching something rectangular would also be wasteful, as it makes it difficult to relocate from the forest one just torched to a forested one, so whatever I come up with will be either cylindrical or spherical.)
  3. This year's California fires reminded me of this subject. California's a state that seems to be on fire especially often. I've since come up with another option. What about, instead of pipes, a large container, with a base and walls, (and maybe a roof) to boil the water? If they could make it thick enough to withstand the heat, would it be more practical to use the boiled water directly (cooking, coffee, etc.) or to put a hole in the roof to force the steam through it to turn a turbine?
  4. https://www.cp24.com/news/men-rescued-from-flooded-elevator-after-rain-storm-in-toronto-1.4044296 Yesterday's Toronto floods got me wondering about better flood control measures and/or better ways things could be designed to be harmed less by a flood. 1. It says people needed to be rescued from a flooded elevator. If they're not airtight enough to keep the water out anyway, why not put airholes in them so that people don't have to worry about suffocating from being stuck in the elevator? Why not make them out of glass so that there would be good enough cellphone reception to call for help, and if that doesn't work, to break the glass and escape? 2. Why not build a giant half-sphere; concave-up; to collect rainwater such that it could be redirected away from the city and toward farms?
  5. So I was recently watching this video: 1. Why molten salt in particular? 2. How do they decide the size of the mirrors involved? On a related note, would it be significantly more expensive, less efficient, or both, to use one giant concave mirror than several flat ones? Or is there a risk a giant concave mirror would break?
  6. I keep hearing that epsom salts are good salts to electrolyze, because the sulfate ion is supposedly stable enough not to break down into sulfur or oxides thereof from the electricity. However, something like the carbonate ion, in the context of carbonic acid, breaks down spontaneously; carbonic acid breaks down into carbon dioxide and water vapour without any electrical current at all needing to be applied. Is there any table of known products of electrolysis, and/or handy rulebook for predicting them?
  7. I checked the bottom of it and it says "7 other." Which, looking it up, yields this. A tad concerning, but it says nothing about the vapour pressure from melting. Also, not sure if anyone here might recognize the numbers to the left of it, so I uploaded this image of it. As for gloves and safety goggles, I'll keep that in mind should I choose to go through with this.
  8. I have a bunch of spare plastic around that I'm considering melting into a plastic sculpture just to prove I can. Is there any way to melt plastic without burning it and/or causing significant amounts of toxic fumes? (By significant I mean enough to harm people either a few metres upwind or several metres downwind; or does that follow from the vapour pressure of molten plastic?)
  9. My bad. I guess I'll have to brush up on my electromagnetism to get the full context for this discussion, then.
  10. The idea was to build it prior to the forest fire, in anticipation of where they typically are. @ HallsofIvy The twin towers weren't filled with water, though. Wouldn't water flow to wherever the water level was dropping in the pipe? If not, why not, and if so, why wouldn't that constant contact between water and steel resist temperature increases beyond the boiling point of water? @ Area54 I have no idea how much it costs to build an elevated pipe or a wider, more rectangular container of water, nor where to start on that one, so I was hoping someone more familiar with either could fill me in on this.
  11. Here's one out-of-curiosity question, similar to Raider's but without the "one way mirror" to consider. If someone made a closed container, coated on the inside with the most reflective material possible, and put a laser pointer inside it (set to go off at a given time) and used up all its light to completion, where would the light go? Would it all be absorbed/transmitted, even by whatever degree of either it has? And would reflectance give way to absorptance and transmittance once the intensity of light increased?
  12. I've seen a number of formulae in electromagnetism refer to the "number of turns in a wire;" not some function that converges at infinity, but rather linear proportionality. (To things like magnetic field, magnetic inductance, etc...) I get that, in practice, once a current carrying wire generates a magnetic field, this creates a back emf and decreases current to some equilibrium level. But in that initial instant; when the current begins to flow; does this mean you could have a theoretically infinite magnetic field/inductance/etc... with enough turns of wire?
  13. Year after year, somewhere in the world, its forests are on fire. There's a lot of talk about people displaced, but not about energy that went to waste. Is it at all possible to set up a network of pipes carrying seawater, (and/or giant enclosed containers of the stuff; obviously not tall, just long and wide) such that any burning forests underneath them would force the resulting water vapour into a pressure release valve underneath a steam turbine? Apart from any initial investment in such a project, would there be significant maintenance costs?
  14. Eh, it's fine, turned out my hometown went ahead with that municipal fireworks display after all. Forgot all about this thread after that until now. Another question, for future reference; would glass store the hydrogen more effectively? If so, and if I put a balloon full of air over the tip of the bottle, would it become 50% hydrogen by diffusion? (Or alternatively, more than that because hydrogen is lighter than air?) And even if so, would there be a way to get the concentration higher than 50%? Would a tube of water inserted underneath the balloon, filling the bottle, force hydrogen into an empty balloon wrapped over the tip?
  15. I've got a whole bunch of half-drained batteries and wood ash around, and I was considering making homemade hydrogen-based fireworks with electrolysis for Canada Day. 1. I tried testing the wood ash for hydroxides by putting them in an aluminum can and mixing them with water, but it didn't dissolve the can. Are carbonate compounds effective enough electrolytes? Are they safe to use? 2. Do balloons store hydrogen reliably for days? If so, does it depend on the material? If not, do you know of what else can be used to store them that can also be used to pump the hydrogen into balloons? Or if not balloons, do you know what else would be lightweight enough to float when filled with hydrogen? (I'm not talking on the scale of blimps here, I'm talking anything the size of balloons or only slightly bigger.) 3. I was also wondering how to light them once they're in the air. Would throwing a sparkler do the trick, or would it be better to soak a thin string attached to the balloon in gasoline? Would the fire be out before the string hits the ground? (I could do this well away from any houses or trees, but ideally I'd want to avoid the hassle if it's safe enough.)
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