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Bill Angel

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Everything posted by Bill Angel

  1. Here's a question related to the findings about black holes. The image released yesterday is of a black hole with a mass of 6.5 billion suns. That is apparently a mass sufficient to ensure that nothing, neither energy nor mass, can escape the black hole's gravitational pull. When the universe came into existence the total mass created was far greater than that of 6.5 billion suns. And the mass was concentrated in a volume as small or smaller than the volume of a black hole. So how could this mass overcome its mutual gravitational attraction to fly apart and create what we presently observe as the universe? There seems to be something of a conceptual contradiction here. A black hole is supposed to be a region of space that represents a singularity in which the laws of physics and SpaceTime are unknown. But the moment that the “Big Bang” occurs, a moment when the total density of mass is greater than what it would be in a black hole, is supposed to be a moment where the properties of SpaceTime and the laws of physics are both knowable and are the same as what we presently observe in the universe.
  2. That black hole at the center of Messier 87 has a mass of 6.5 billion solar masses. One wonders if any of those 6.5 billion suns had planets which supported intelligent life. It would be a real bummer if the astronomers of an alien society had to inform their population that in the distant future their sun and the planet that this alien society occupys are going to be sucked into their galaxy's black hole and annihilated.
  3. Could the entire universe be considered as having a single quantum mechanical wave function? At the time of the Big Bang the universe was extremely small, of dimensions in which quantum phenomena were dominant compared to gravity, as the entire universe was smaller than a proton. As the universe expanded, matter filled a much larger region, but particles whose wave functions were entangled would have remain entangled. A textbook analogy would be what happens when two elections with equal but opposite momentum are emitted from a source. The resultant particles can become separated by the size of the universe, but their total wave function won’t collapse from its range of probabilities until a measurement is made determining the properties of one of the electrons, such as its position and its direction of spin. Likewise as the universe expands, would its properties such as the total amount of matter, dark energy, etc. be probabilistic unless some observation could be made of the universe as a whole that would measure that property? And would the measurement of that property result in the quantum wave function for the entire universe collapsing to yield a single resultant measurement as happens when a measurement is made on an election as described above? This above questions are related to the issue of whether our universe is really one possible universe in a manifold of universes that would make up a multiverse.
  4. Interesting article for the non specialist reader: "Study finds 'dark matter' and 'dark energy' may not exist – here's what to make of it" — http://theconversation.com/study-finds-dark-matter-and-dark-energy-may-not-exist-heres-what-to-make-of-it-88181 What is worth mentioning is that the authors' theory and its confirmation by astronomical observations only deals with the rotational motion of galaxies, but makes no mention of the observations of "gravitational lensing" which result in the light from distant galaxies being bent when it passes near galaxies that are closer to the Earth. "Gravitational lensing" would seem to be the more direct evidence for the existence of dark matter.
  5. Bill Angel

    Donald Trump

    Also check out:U.S. Says Russia Directed Hacks to Influence Elections http://nyti.ms/2dLavGe
  6. Bill Angel

    Donald Trump

    Here's the question that I think the moderator should ask the Presidential candidates at one of those debates: "If you are elected President, would you invite Vladimir Putin to address a Joint Session of Congress?"
  7. Bill Angel

    Ben Carson

    Ben Carson isn't the only neurosurgeon espousing strong religious/spiritual beliefs. Another is Eban Alexander https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eben_Alexander_(author)
  8. Bill Angel

    Ben Carson

    Those are very good questions that you have raised, and it is unclear if even his closest Associates could answer them. The following article from The New York Times does provide some useful information about his career and his controversial views. With Ben Carson, the Doctor and the Politician Can Vary Sharply http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/23/us/politics/with-ben-carson-the-doctor-and-the-politician-can-vary-sharply.html
  9. What about molecular hydrogen H2? What would cause H2 to decay, assuming the molecules arn't bombarded with radiation or collide with each other?
  10. I'm 68 and my doc has me on Simvastatin to control my cholesterol level and Losartan together with Amlodipine to control my high blood pressure. The meds appear to work well together.
  11. When I was growing up a lot of the kids including myself were active in religious-based youth groups. Are there youth groups for atheists? I'm assuming here that the parents of these children are atheists, otherwise their kids would likely be active in these groups.
  12. Bill Angel

    Donald Trump

    What Trump has managed to do is engineer a hostile takeover of the Republican Party, much as a businessman might engineer a hostile takeover of a corporation. But the product he is attempting to sell, a political agenda tailored to the perspective of disaffected uneducated white males, doesn't have enough appeal to other groups of voters to enable him to beat his competition.
  13. The brain is a machine, and purported "out of body experiences" can be explained as manifestations of alterations or disruptions of its neural activity. Here is one such example: Recreational Drug Creates Out-of-Body Illusions See http://www.wired.com/2011/02/ketamine-drug-hallucinations/
  14. Scientists can do good work and then for problematic reasons, such as emotion triumphing over reason, become proponents of repugnant ideologies. Here is one example. Philip Lenard migrated from being an honored physicist to being an ardent Nazi. Philipp Eduard Anton von Lenard (7 June 1862 20 May 1947) was a German physicist and the winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1905 for his research on cathode rays and the discovery of many of their properties.... An advisor to Adolf Hitler, Lenard became Chief of Aryan physics under the Nazis. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philipp_Lenard
  15. True. But some of the tests evaluate one's problem-solving ability and also one's ability to concentrate. Also, there's been speculation about whether or not Ronald Reagan exhibited some signs of Alzheimer's disease while he was still serving as President.
  16. Wouldn't psychological and neurological testing of the candidates give voters a better picture of who they actually are than witnessing them trading barbs and insults in their interviews, speeches, and Twitter posts?
  17. Bombing campaigns have had mixed success. We bombed the hell out of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan and won those wars. We bombed the hell out of North and South Vietnam and lost.
  18. Bill Angel

    Political Humor

    There is serious speculation that Donald Trump might pick Newt Gingrich as his running mate. See http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/12/politics/donald-trump-vice-presidential-search/ Donald Trump shouldn't get all the attention for suggesting goofy ideas in the context of a Presidential election. In 2012 Newt Gingrich suggested that someday the moon might become America's 51st state! See http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/27/gingrich_moon_base/
  19. Bill Angel

    Donald Trump

    Here is a good quote from Carlo Rovelli, an Italian theoretical physicist, which would seem to apply to Donald Trump, especially because of Trump's pronouncements concerning the Global Warming controversy.
  20. Bill Angel

    BRITEX!!!

    One wonders if holding this direct referendum to decide an important issue will be setting a precedent for the future. For example will Great Britain first hold a direct referendum to gauge public support before deploying its military forces into an active combat situation somewhere in the world, like Syria?
  21. Oliver Sacks, professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University, wrote in his book "The Mind's Eye" in 2010:
  22. There is evidence that engaging in activities such as doing crossword puzzles can delay the onset of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
  23. There is research going on in that area. See"Detection of mini black holes at the LHC could indicate parallel universes in extra dimensions" http://www.phys.org/news/2015-03-mini-black-holes-lhc-parallel.html
  24. That's quite an assertion, that you know how to do that. I hope you're not planning on taking us down the path of "I need your advice, but I'm not going to tell you how it works because then I'll be giving away the secret of how it operates".
  25. Since you posted your query to the Science Education forum, you might wish to check out the books and videos of Lawrence M. Krauss. His books are usually stocked at good public libraries, and lectures by him are available on youtube. His aim is to impart an understanding of what is interesting and important in modern physics without assuming that the reader (or audience member at a lecture) is particularly proficient in mathematics. He is first rate at what he attempts to do. Sadly, most college professors are not. Speaking from experience, trying to prepare for college science examinations based on class material delivered by 2nd rate teachers is a real bummer!
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