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About Dord

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  • Favorite Area of Science
    Trying to understand photons

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  1. Have you noticed the red dots by your right hand? They seem to be in a similar position relative that side's headlight ie at about 1 o'clock.
  2. It seems to be pretty awesome looking camouflage... https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110425120344.htm#:~:text=A team of researchers at,hindwings that are folded underneath.
  3. The winners of the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2020 awards have been announced with some truly spectacular images. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/in-pictures-54105085 Nicolas Lefaudeux: Overall Winner I don't have sufficient permissions to upload all the images but I'd like to give the winners a name check nonetheless... Nicholas Roemmelt: Aurorae category Bence Toth: Best New Comer Alain Paillou: Our Moon category Alexandra Hart: Our Sun category Lukasz Sujka: Planets, Comets and Asteroids category Thomas Kast: Skyscapes category Peter Ward: Stars and Nebulae category Alice Fock: Young category Julie F Hill: Annie Maunder Prize for Image Innovation Finally, Rafael Schmall: People and Space category (my particular favourite) The star in the centre of the image is the Albireo double star, surrounded by trails of moving satellites.
  4. When you say 'fertility rates drop' do you mean the biological ability to conceive or actually giving birth? Either way, it could just be a coincidence like so many other things... https://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations
  5. Why is the identity of the source not important? IMO more information about the provenance, meaning and relationship of the numbers is required if this puzzle is to be solved; which can only be reasonably obtained from the as yet anonymous source. I too know next to nothing about black holes, but if this really is a 'scientific' puzzle I would expect at least a smattering of Greek letters and squiggly lines (for apparent authenticity, if nothing else).
  6. I learnt about this when I was a criminal fraud investigator in the Inland Revenue for reviewing potentially fraudulent invoices, accounts, till rolls etc. Apparently when someone tries to fake a list of numbers for nefarious purposes they are more likely to either choose a fairly even spread from 0 to 9 or over select 5 to 7 creating a bell curve when the numbers are plotted on a graph. It's not enough to convict, obviously, but is a useful investigative tool.
  7. A photon travels at c in a vacuum. Is this correct? A photon slows below c when travelling through a medium. Is this correct? If both statements are correct, and if a vacuum is not nothingness, how do we know for sure that 186,282 mph is the upper speed limit of a photon? Wouldn't the 'something' be slowing it down, even ever so slightly?
  8. I concur, the term 'Freedom of Speech' is far too vague and leaves itself open to numerous and disparate interpretations. May I offer words to the effect: 'Freedom of Speech that is acceptable in accordance with the law, the norms and conventions of the relevant society at any given time which may be subject to amendments in response to changes in that (or any other) society now or at any time in the future.' Fr'instance I am free, in theory, to say what I like about anyone and anything but as a police officer I am bound by certain rules not applicable to others. Conversely, I am free to criticise and condemn President Putin's management style all day long but others may end up having a cup of tea washed down with two lumps of Novichok.
  9. With the grateful help from numerous forum contributors, I have now realised that my visualisation of photons and the double-slit experiment was fundamentally flawed. I wanted to explore what effects gravity may have on c when a photon is 'split' but as it doesn't do that I have failed miserably. I shall, possibly, reconsider what I'm trying to ask with a more sensible question in the future. In the meantime, and to prevent myself from further embarrassment, am I correct in thinking that a photon is not a particle and a wave; it is represented as either one or the other? Also, the commonly used picture of a wave - akin to numerous ripples going across a pool of still water - confused me initially. To me, it looks like many 'waves' pulsing across the page but am I right in thinking that it may be better described as the same wave drawn at different points in time? In my minds eye, I am now picturing a wave as an expanding balloon or an explosion's shock wave with just a single 'edge' that grows progressively larger in all directions. Does this sound like a helpful image for a layman to use? Thanks for your time.
  10. Some planets. I can't imagine terraforming a gas giant will be easy!
  11. I dont know which language has the most words, but if it has a finite number of letters in its alphabet[1] and a maximum word length then one can calculate the total number of letter combinations to arrive at the maximum possible words. Taking English as an example, the longest word accepted by the Oxford English Dictionary has 30 letters[2] I don't know if this is the correct way to express this calculation, and I don't know how to show my thought process without longhand pencil and paper workings, but hopefully someone will show me the way... 26+(26^2)+(26^3) ... (26^30) = an awfully large number = maximum possible words in the English language. Obviously, there will be a lot of non-words (abc... aaa... bbb... zxy...[3] etc) but at least it sets the upper limit and gives the wordsmiths something to work with. [1] Letters in the Latin sense that is, I know nought about pictogram, hieroglyphic, alphasyllabary, cyrillic etc based languages. [2] pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis I know that there are much longer words but according to Wikipedia there is some doubt about their validity. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longest_word_in_English#:~:text=The longest word in any,is the same as silicosis. Obviously one may go on ad infinitum by making new words so maybe there is no answer to the OP. [3] This then begs the question, what is a word? Are acronyms such as ICI, NATO, AA included? Sometimes I wish I hadn't started some things!
  12. I thought this may pique the interest of some contributors, bearing in mind the recent conversations about law enforcement, guns and alternatives to killing people... The UK government has launched a competition to develop an Advanced Less Lethal Weapons System. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/competition-advancing-less-lethal-weapons/competition-document-advancing-less-lethal-weapons The UK's current hands-off less lethal options are incapacitant sprays (~4m), Taser (~6m) and baton rounds (~40m). I've used all three and one major obstacle I see with a 'one size fits all weapon' is how to make it effective at 50m without being hazardous to health at 5m. Or, conversely, effective at 5m but not a damp squib at 50m. Ultra low/high frequency sound maybe?
  13. I've never heard of a white hole so had to Google it and found this... https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/GRB_060614 No photographs, I'm afraid, just 102 seconds of Hulk-creating gamma rays.
  14. Well, I find it interesting. Thank you for raising it ( honey ) There's also the question whether or not loanwords should be included within a particular lexicon... • Cafe; French • Trek; Afrikaans • Pyjamas; Urdu • Bona fide; Latin And the size of the English language will depend on whether these are to be counted as 'proper' English words.
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