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Everything posted by Thales

  1. *Black holes do fuse together in a round about way. When they merge its sometimes refered to as black hole 'cannibalism'. These events are thought to emit huge amounts of the as yet undected gravoty waves. Yourdadonapogos I answered that one already and it is a resounding no. 1. Misconception: Black holes are black!! 2. Public facination: Nothing can escape, sort of like marridge. 3. Useful function: The ultimate in gravity slingshots. They're useful for making galaxies too. 4.Unsolved Problem: Resolving the paradox that arises when taking about singularities when it is clear all Black holes have varying mass. Hawking radiation and whether black holes evaporate.
  2. I think its not so much addicting as it is stimulating. People don't talk about these issues in public because intellectual conversation is frowned upon, unless your among academics. Forums are one thing but one such as this provides knowledge, insight and entertainment all in one. It beats sitting in front of the idiot box absorbing the latest 'reality' shows. I really appreciate the outlet this site gives me in not only alieviating the thoughts that circle in my brain daily and help in honing my explanitory skills. Knowledge is often hoarded, a community such as this where it is embellished and shared is well needed. Kudos to all for their intellectually stimulating input.
  3. Interesting though it is moving away from us, slowing the earths rotation as it does so via conservation of angular momentum.
  4. The water expands because it is under less pressure. It also expands because the surface currents are warmer and warmer water occupies more space than cooler water. The sinking/rising of the water is what drives the gloabl weather system. I don't see what it has to do with electricity (thread title).
  5. The point is that what I am talking about is the future. So first we are not allowed to gripe about the past and now we shouldn't be worrying about the future? The American government is notorious for making the same mistake repeatedly. That and it is hardly democracy if you force it onto people. You will never defeat terrorism by bombing islamic countries, never. Maybe that was where the truth lies in Bush's statement about how this war can't be won. It certainly can't be using his methods which create terrorists and make it easier for them to recruit moderates to the hard line. As for the semantics we had an in depth discussion about the difference between Iraqi's who are fighting for their nations soveriegnty(because they are being occupied by an unwanted force) and foreign terrorists who have entered the country because, even though it wasn't before, Bush has made it the front line on the 'war on terror'. What I find interesting is other than the obvious Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, the last three 'wars' this administration have declared have been; A war on drugs, a war on terror and a war on poverty. What they fail to realise is that declaring war on these entities is probably the worst possible way to affect positive change. But if it stikes a cord with the increasingly naive electorate then what does positive change matter? Sure things need to be finished in Iraq but gun toting US soldiers who have obviously not been educated in cultural sensitivities are doing little to quell the violence. I'm not saying leave but the UN should have been involved all along and the only reason the Americans haven't formally requested their assistance is because they are too darn proud to admit their own shortcomings. Well that pride is costing lives, both American and Iraqi. Is that something to be proud of?
  6. I think your confusing a definition of dark matter with the process by which we understand its presence (ie the radial velocity curves of galaxies). What is this mini hole you speak of?
  7. It is space time expansion no matter which way you look at it. It is not matter moving through space it is space moving and taking matter with it. Similar to the idea of living on an inflating ballons skin you illuded to earlier. Entropy is the fundamental property associated with time. For more infomation try searching for the second law of thermodynamics. It dictates the direction of the 'arrow' of time.
  8. Its not all great. One example of the finer points of anime is 'the origin of O-ren' chapter from Kill Bill vol.1. Very tidy. The animatrix is pretty ok too for a bit more of a mainstream take on it.
  9. I'm not religous and I do believe in natural selection. My point was more one of the abundance of structure in the world we have bought about via consciousness. The organisation and structure we have created seems to be the result of some overall structure governing evolution. I'm not saying god or a god is responsible just merely trying to grapple with the issue of our apparent suitibilty. And whether or not consciousness is a natural result of biological evolution.
  10. I'm reading one at the moment thats what inspired the idea. My point is how come this randomness leads to such effective design? The whole notion af randomness doesn't sit well with me. There are many examples of genetic mutations that seemingly preempt the enviornment they eventually settle into. Does the notiong that you are nothing more than the result of randomness not worry you? The fact we are conscious and able to think coherently about such things for me points to design. So perhaps it is merely that we percieve mutations as random because we as yet don't fully understand the processes that lead to the mutations in the first place.
  11. Our sun is a second or third generation star. The other constituant elements are left over from the supernova that preceded the formation of or sola system and our sun. The suns current size (and age) dictate that the synthesis of iron and other heavier elements will not occur on a significant level due to the lack of pressure and abundance of hydrogen. While its their it will fuse it, when it runs out it will move onto sythesising progressively heavier elemens until the reaction becomes endothermic(around silicon) by then the fusion reactions will cease and our sun will fade to obsurity. Elements heavier than silicon are formed in the vatly more complex supernovae events.
  12. Note the careful use of the word usually. While I applaud your scientific accuracy(as I am the same) I kept the post simple given the calibre of the question.
  13. Has anyone heard the latest on the situation with neutrinoless double beta decay. If it occurs then aren't there major problems with the standard model of beta decay?
  14. That question has been answered in another thread which you started. Please refrain from repeating posts in differing places.
  15. But space doesn't expand at the speed of light. Space expands at a rate sub c. Time is better thought of as new combinations. Every time a new combination is 'actuated' time passes. A simplistic way of viewing the concept of entropy.
  16. It is universally excepted that genetic mutations drive evolution forward with natural selection cropping off the weakest links but what actually causes the mutations in the first place? If its random 'copying' errors then how did we manage to achieve the extent of biodiversity we currrently have. And how come we fill ecological niches in such a fitting way? The majority of evolution is due to a changing enviroment but an organism cannot choose the genetic mutations that occur so how did we come to be so perfect? If its design then what process accounts for the random factors from mate selection to the success of gametes and zygotes? Not being a biologist I find this question very vexing. Anyone got any ideas? __________________
  17. Helium 3 has 3 nucleons (two protons and one neutron) Helium 4 has 4 nucleons (two protons and two neutrons) An element is defined by the number of protons. When there is a proton/neutron imbalance it is usually refered to as an isotope of that element.
  18. -Gravitational effect(obviously) -Lensing effect(it bends space such that light paths are curved.) -Hawking radiation(still largely theoretical) -Polar 'jets'(most likely caused by uncoiling of magnetic fields) -Galactic formation(act as the seed around which galaxies grow)
  19. The electrical potential of individual neurons is quite low, around 40mV. The electric signals that cause neurons to fire does not run across neurons but is limited to the neurons individually. The synaptic gap (between neurons as they do not actually 'touch') is bridged by chemical signals known as neurotransmitters (such as dopamine and serotinin). So the electrical potential of the brain as a whole is very close to zero.
  20. Thales

    Hurricane Ivan

    I would say there is most likely a link between global warming an the increased hurricane abundance. Hurricanes form in warm tropical waters, waters which when warmer increase the likelyhood of forming hurricanes. Oh and global warming will cause unseasonable bouts of cold weather in some areas.
  21. I don't live in America but the fact Mr Bush is in power made me lean towards yes.
  22. One of the easiest ways to solve the energy crises is to decentralise the power distibution infrastructure and have each house hold producing its own power with something like fuel cells. Most of the electricity generated by burning coal(which itself is only about 30% efficient) is lost in transmission and even less of the power delieved is actually used. Its a very inefficent process every step of the way. Seeing as houses don't actually use that much power, not much needs to be generated if its used in the immdiate surrounds.
  23. I've had thoughts like that myself. Not that specific one obviously but I often wondered if/how long a post-apocalyptic world would re-achieve the technological standing. The problem is that most of this knowledge is, most obviousluy, accumulative. I think it was Newton who said: 'If I have seen this far it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.' No one person/small group of people, could possibly hope to retain any meaningful amount of knowledge on the broad topics required so, assuming they enter with very unspecific knowlegde, I would imagine it would take centuries for them to re-discover the previous knowledge. So while the people who intially know what the future looks like, their understanding of the modern world would probably quickly fade to obscurity as it gets passed from generation to generation eventually becoming almost mythical. It raises an interesting question as to whether we would reach the same point. Whether we'd make the same technological follies (ie reliance on coal). Or, if in an economically isolated environment, this small group could actually overtake our current understanding due to the freedom of their thought processes and lack of populus that slows the rest of the world down.
  24. Without wishing to offend people generally judge you on what you say and do not what 'potential' you have.
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