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Bill Angel

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Everything posted by Bill Angel

  1. Fundamentalist Christians believe that we are all sinners in the eyes of God, and the acceptance of the offer of Salvation offered by Jesus garantees entry and eternity in paradise for anyone who believes in Him. How one had conducted one's life "morally" does not enter into the issue. That said, I think that gays desire a level of social acceptance by straight Christians beyond having them holding their noses while assuring them (gays) that Jesus loves them and will take care of them in paradise.
  2. My understanding is that if a neutron star is heavy enough, about twice as massive as the sun or greater, it will collapse to form a black hole.
  3. I've read that certain types of pulsars rival atomic clocks in their accuracy in keeping time. If it were possible to theorize what the period of a particular pulsar would be for an observersitting in a gravity free (flat) region of space, and then one made a measurement of the pulsar's period at the point in space that the observer actually occupied, would it then not be possible to determine the gravitational force acting upon the observer and hence the curvature of space at the observer's location?
  4. I'm finding that cosmology interests me the most right now. I did graduate work in physics 30 years ago, but did not stay abrest of developments in physics reaearch, having been diverted into a "career" in computer programming. But it is still fascinating for me now to catch up on the progress and developments over the last 30 years in that branch of physics research.
  5. One good example of what you mention is living organisms. We eat food and produce waste heat, but in the process synthesize highly ordered structures (DNA, enzymes, etc). Nevertheless a person's metabolism (via the waste products it produces) increases the overall entropy of the universe.
  6. You might also be able to solve the problem optically by using a small lens to focus an image of the light source onto the sensor. That way the only light that the sensor would see would be coming from your light source.
  7. There is an interesting article discussing the mathematics of gravitons in the recent issue of Scientific American. See :Loops, Trees and the Search for New Physics According to the authors:
  8. Science related books that I have enjoyed reading recently: "For the love of Physics" the autobiography of the physicist Walter Lewin. "once before time; a whole story of the universe" by martin bojowald "A UNIVERSE FROM NOTHING (Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing)" By Lawrence M. Krauss
  9. The two areas of philosophy that you mention are also associated with a topic in philosophy known as "logical positivism". The Positivist approach is of particular importanceand interest in the context of studying the development of modern physics that occurred in the early part of the twentieth century.
  10. I think that's an interesting question. A book I'm reading, "once before time: a whole story of the universe" by martin bojowalk describes black holes as being "singularities in time" rather than in space. The author also states "The singularity appears entirely different from all other astrophysical objects, and not only because of its extremely high density. Its spacelike nature means that it forms only at the exact moment when an observer falls in!"
  11. The domain of chemistry is non-relativistic solutions of the Schrodinger equation. And as a related issue, I don't think that the existence of virtual particles or of anti-matter need be of concern to chemists.
  12. A mention of the Uncertainty Principle by Heisenberg would seem appropriate here. Virtual particles (and their anti-particles) can come into existence and then annihilate each other, with the virtual particles having large energies (or equivalent masses) provided the particles' lifetimes are so brief so as to not violate the Uncertainty Principle.
  13. Eliminating extreme weather is a valid objective. A recent hurricane in Haiti claimed a lot of lives. But I would think that a Dyson sphere around the earth that could control the weather could exacerbate the climate change problems that are associated with global warming.
  14. It's an interesting idea, but I would think that a satellite between the sun and the earth would collect more energy that would be sent to earth via microwaves than would collection stations that were located on the moon. A stationary lunar collection station would not receive as much sunlight, because it would periodically fall within the shadow of the earth on the moon, as the moon completes its orbit around the earth.
  15. People are sure working hard on this issue. I have found the book "once before time: a whole story of the universe" by Martin Bojowald to be very informative on this issue. It discusses "loop quantum gravity", a theory that considers how quantum effects would manifest themselves in the behavior of the "big bang". The book also discusses in passing the tricky question of if gravitons do exist, how could they escape from the gravitational field of a black hole?
  16. It was stated that the universe is 13.72 billion yearrs old. Some cosmological theories incorporating quantum loop gravity effects have speculated that the universe oscillates from big bang to collapse and then to another big bang. So one can only assert that the universe we inhabit is 13.72 billion years old, as measured from the last big bang occurance.
  17. I agree that it would make sense for the ants to be able to direct the foragers to the higher quality food sources. The issue would be what mechanism would facilitate this direction. An interesting article that I found on this subject is Communication in Ants. According to this article, the ants might lay down a trail composed of several different pheromones, the particular combination serving to direct the foragers to the higher value food sources. So the ants might not simply follow a single simple one component pheromone trail out and back to their nest.
  18. Hi: Like most casual observers of insects, I am familiar with the explanation of how ants use pheromones as trail markers to guide them both to sources of food and back to their nests. In studying a recent photo that I took, what I found to be intriguing is that that some of the ants navigate to the end of a chicken bone to consume the remaining flesh, while other ants are content to feast on the crackers that are more accessible. I would have thought that the ants would have first consumed the more accessible food source (the crackers) before venturing out after the less accessible food source at the end of the bone. Here is the image that stimulated my thinking on this issue: Here is a link to a larger version of the image. Comments anyone? Thanks, Bill Angel Baltimore, Maryland
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