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Everything posted by Thales

  1. But swansont if the force is exerted over a shorter amount of time on a massive body it will find more resistance to a change in momentum than a slow gradual release that provides a constant push, no? Isn't it a question of impulse not nessercaily total force?
  2. The main problem I see with the idea is that you need a surface or common point of origin for the creatures to initally evolve on. That and in order for them to be in free space they must somehow leave this surface, at a slow rate, such that evolution has a means to catch up to the changing environment. For a complex organism to evolve, be it a bit of bacteria or a tree, there needs to be a certain thershold of stability in order for the organic molecules to bond and actuate the different possibilites, 'testing' which ones are suitable and which are not. It cannot be too stable an environment, however, as the lack of dynamics in the environment robs the evolutionary process of its need and indeed process by which mutuation can arise to futher the biology of the system. That is not to say that life cannot evolve in the vacuum of space more that it would need a solid surface to adhere to and for that surface to have a sufficiently low gravity so that the critters(or plants) can escape it gradully enough to evolve to the new state of independence. There is also the problem of nutrients. All biological processes consume nutrients of one form or another and unless such an organism, 'ate' solar wind(which is not impossible) it would be more of a complex chemical reaction rather than a living entity. Of course then one enters into the debate about what constitutes 'life' and when a complex chemical reaction becomes a living organism.
  3. Whats worse is this moronic cowboy is 11 points up in the latest polls. Whats wrong with America?
  4. On another note (this doesn't refer to andromeda) there is the possiblity that if space is bound on a 3sphere (ie a sphere in 4D space) then light could reach us from the 'back' of galaxies. It is of course, reliant on the age of the universe and whether the light from complex structures such as galaxies has had time to tranverse the 'great circle' since formation but it leads to a rather interesting and bizarre conclusion. That of being able to witness the 'same' structures at two distinct points in their evolution (assuming its position on any such great cirlce is not exactly opposite to ours).
  5. The size would effect it as a large pressurised area with a small hole will depressurise much more violently than a smaller area with a large hole. The example that comes to mind is again aircraft. If the hole in the fuselage is large enough there is not as significant amount of 'pulling' due to air loss as there is if the pressure is being lost through a smaller hole. If the air is lost through a smaller hole(not too small of course) I would imagine it would destablise its orbit to a greater extent as it would act almost like a miniture thruster.
  6. I would even go a step futher and restate what I already did. I believe massless particles do not obey special relativity. I might be wrong as this is more of a hunch than a confirmed scientific principle but it would eliminate the need to talk about such frames. How can an object see the whole universe collapsed to a point and have time stop for it if outside observers clearly see it traversing from one region to another. Its beyond contradiction, its impossible.
  7. Again your abstract reasoning is impressive although I hate to be the bearer of bad news. Problems I see incude; the assumption that matter 'depletes' space and time, and this talk of space time 'flow', does this refer to the expansion? I ask because flow implies the entry/exit of new material from an area not the expansion of existing material. The idea I do like its that if atoms are fixed in size independent of this expanding space time then there would indeed be some sort of outward 'flow' of space time. I fail to see however the implications for gravity which is explained via the much simpler model of GR, that being space time curvature explains gravity. There is also the assumption in the first picture that space time is expanding at the speed of light, a popular misconception. We do not know spacetimes true expansion rate but we do know it is variable (ie intergalactic expansion > galactic expansion). There exists some mean for this rate, the calculation of which is one of the leading problems facing cosmology. Red can also not travel in the opposite direction to a light pulse he emitted if he is travelling sub c. If you care to provide some futher explainations I'll be more than happy to walk you through any inconsistancies. I hope I do not sound condecsending, just trying to give you a more accurate scientific viewpoint of your quite interesting ideas. Keep up the good work.
  8. The sad reality is that there will be some form of global mass extinction that culls a significant portion of the human population within 50 years. Be it a global pandemic or a major war most population models dictate that if a populus either extends its reach beyond the means of the environment or, as is the current case, undergoes a rapid and unchecked expansion, mother nature employs some fight back mechanism to trim the numbers back. Now the question is whether or not we let her do it, particularly seeing as technology can keep us one step ahead of the games in that respect. What we really need (and I'm not being melodramatic) is a revolution. The systems of control are steering us in the wrong direction. The rich get richer and the poor stay poor, all while, as you rightly point out, the environment withers before our eyes. Technology, in the form of renewables and atmospheric 'mop-up' operations can save us but major investment is chronically needed and soon, before even the most advanced technologies are left to merely prolong our decline in a vastly different and desolate environment. There will always be poor people, people with less than yourself.Its a hierachy that helps define your position as well as giving the elite some shoulders to stand on(as harsh as it sounds). But they needn't be impoverish. Investment in health, education and clean technologies in these poorer countries will do alot to alievitate the massive extent of the poverty that exists. The importance of good governace can also not be understated, particularly seeing as most money given to impoverish nations disappears in the bureacracy before it ever reaches the people. The fundamental problem with trying to rebalance the global socio-economic position is that it means the rich will have to make sacrifices, something that they are not reknowned for. Overall I think a shift in focus of what is important, in all countries it's needed. In the election camaign down here in Australia the environment hasn't once been outlined as a significant issue facing, if not my generation then the one that follows. And it is an accumulative problem with no quick fix, so the only way we can make a serious dent in the amount of restoration required when the shit hits the proverbial fan is to act now. Unfortunately such impassioned pleas as ours all to often fall upon deaf ears, because who in their right mind, in the present political environment(and lets face it thats where these issues are unfortunately won/lost) would seek to implement policies which do not maximise the amount of economic rational.
  9. Correct. The main variation comes from the gel 'discs' that are lodged between your vertebrae. When your lying down they expand more and so for a short period of time in the morning you are taller than when you went to bed.
  10. Thats a rather pessimistic assumption. While we are not world leaders in physics we have made substantial contributions to Astronomy and Medicine. Given our population I would say we're punching much above our weight.
  11. It depends what you mean by contain. If you have a perfectly reflective surface you can hypothetically contain the photon indefinately. You could 'select' the polarity of the photon before 'inserting' it into you system, but taking a measurement without effecting the photon's overall energy would be difficult. You could use a polarising reflecter however.
  12. Unfortunately the article does not appear to be on the new scienctist webiste. Its in their latest addition though (4th September, pg 34). Well worth a read.
  13. My point exactly. Understand yields an avenue to resolving the crises. Violence helps people understand nothing of the reasons behind a cause. All too often people adopted the defeated approach and place such problems in the 'too hard' basket. I am not so ignorant as to deny that violent acts will cease as a result of talks being undertaken but my intial and ongoing point is that without such a process there is no end in sight to the violence.
  14. Thales


    Yes but only because the air is less dense and colder. Essentially incorporating the method of the weight of air displaced vs the weight of helium used to displace will yield the amount of weight able to be buoyed. There is definately an altitude limit associated with the fact that the atmosphere becomes thinner at increasing height and there for weighs less. If the average weight per cubic cm of the atmosphere does not exceed the average weight per cubic cm of helium (at the same temperature) then buoyancy cannot be achieved, well at least not with helium. *An interesting aside, helium was dicovered in/on the sun prior to it being identified on earth, thus the term helium, related to latin; helios.
  15. Diplomacy is never impossible. The level of validity and credit adhered to it by the International community is usually the mitigating factor in its success. I think it more naive to consider violence as bringing some form of resolution of the debarkle. The pen is mightier than the sword. Not a glib quote as much a recognition that diplomacy always has a place and that violence solves nothing other scratching the primitive itch of revenge. Perhaps Russia is overly stubborn, but is there any here who would in their right mind choose to argue that the blood of these children is somehow currency in international politics? That these inhuman acts bring Chechnya closer to independence?
  16. I totally agree Dave. I've never born witness to a natural 'disaster' but I certainly wouldn't mind seeing mother natures power at her rawest, so long as no one had to suffer as a result(which would be highly unlikely unfortunately). I've been thinking of planning a trip to Hawaii as i reckon catching the lava flows in action would be awesome, although seeing a hurricane from space would be the ultimate (might be a but pricy though )
  17. I know this is more of a sociological question, but has fear of knowledge or of the knowledgable been a constant in the world or is it getting worse? As we collectively accumulate more and more knowledge it becomes increasingly apparent that in order to 'survive' and prosper in the economically geared western world, one needs to specialise, to a level that to me, seems illogical and unnatural. The good old days of being a 'Jack of all trades' seems to hold little value in todays world and people who are knowledgable in more than one field are often greeted with skepticism rather than heralded as an asset. Is this seemingly increasing trend going to impact on our ability to remain adaptive, rational creatures or will the resulting segregation of society, into ever more specialised areas, breed more mistrust and misunderstanding? I, personally, am an advocate of the idea that one should never stop learning and that the mind is a powerful tool to be utilised to its full potential for the greater good. Resting upon ones laurels does little to progress the wealth of human understanding and while I realise not everybody shares my passion, the standard model in my immediate surrounds is to; pick a career, specialise and don't go back. Am I alone in my fear of education being not only undervalued but also underestimated as the cause that should drive us forward into tomorrow, or does that frustration reside in all of us but a lack of public voicing of the idea, hold us back?
  18. True but pointing that out is more productive than telling people to shut up.
  19. Yes and no. I think Ion drives are probably more likely to aid in extrasolar exploration. Technically speaking solar sails become ineffective at the heliopause. In response to the original post, go Japan! 'Bout time NASA got a good kick in the bum.
  20. So many questions, but I like inquisitive minds. Cooling an object-> Yes. Nasa has already exploited the effect to make miniture refrigorators. Building materials-> Probably not the most economically viable implementation the effect. Particularly seeing the temperature gradient would not be as drastic and thus the power output would be minimal vs investment. Fusion-> Unnessercary, such reactions need to retain all their heat in order to maintain the pressures/temperatures required to fuse nuclei together.
  21. They recently identified that a shrinkage of the hippocampus, as well as the typical environmental factors such as; some form of abuse/neglect in childhood, are the two major contributors to clinical depression. When the two factors were present, the hippocampus factor being genetically related, the risk of depression at some point in life more than doubled when compared with people who suffered from only one of the afflictions. The identification of this arose via a study of children in Dunedin, New Zealand, as they became adults. I think it is also important to realise, as some of our younger members may not, that being depressed and clinical depression are too vastly different concepts. People more often than not deal with some form of depressed feelings during the latter part of adolesence however this usually subsides as one developes into full maturity. Clinical depression, however, usually occurs over prolonged periods throughout a persons life. The difference may not sound large to one who is in the midst of teenage angst but it is really quite profound. Particularly as teenage/early twenties depression is usually a result of a feeling of helpless in a dark and gloomy world. Whereas clinical depression arises from a mixture of emotional problems and chemical imbalances that are not easily overcome. The study I mentioned early also found that cognitive behavioural therapy, when combined with drugs designed to protect the hippocampus from undergoing shrinkage ,was by far the most effective(although as BrainMan points out, not universal) means of treating clinical depression. Smiling is a good way to alieviate sadness, not depression, as smiling releases endorphins into the bloodstream, making things easier to deal with. try it next time you are feeling blue, I am pretty sure you will notice a difference. Its not about 'faking' it. Its about realising the insignificance of your problems and convincing your body and your mind that there really isn't all that much to be sad about, after all its a beautiful world.
  22. The materials themselves are metallic alloys so the answer is yes, they can be molded into any shape. The current record for power output is still only around 18% however that is expected to improve substantially as the physical processes that dominate the generation of potential differences have only just been identified. You are indeed right about the endless applications, almost any engineer/scientist is used to calculating heat loss as part of a systems efficiency equations. Utilising waste heat in every facet it occurs by the application of what is a relatively simple idea, will indeed lift the load, so to speak, on the inefficient processes that dominate today's world. Its taken nearly 200 years but finally we may be able to harness the power of heat.
  23. A recent study conducted by Australian Astronomer Micheal Drinkwater at Siding Springs Observatory in NSW, has reveiled an unexpected abundance of Ultra Compact Dwarf Galxies (UCD's). These galaxies are tiny and had previously been misconcieved as stars in our own galaxy due to their minute size. However a detailed Spectroscopic analysis of the Fornax Cluster has shown that these objects are satellite galaxies, orbiting the Milky Way in intergalactic space. One of the suprising conclusions of the study has been that these UCD's may infact be more abundant than the more commonly known spiral galaxies and while they do not account for all the missing mass(each only contains a few million solar masses) in the Dark Matter equation, they may add significantly to the known amount of luminous matter in the universe. They are also considered to be important as the current leading theory of galactic formation requires that our galaxy formed from an accumulation of smaller galaxies which were, until recently, unaccounted for.
  24. Phonons are hypothetical particles used to aid the modelling of heat flow. They can be considered as particles for all intents and purposes because the vibrational modes of atoms in a solid absorb(and emit) specified discrete energy levels. These 'particles' also obey the Bose-Einstien statistical methods used in thermodynmic analysis. Basically the thermodynamic equivilent of a photon.
  25. He is entitled to his opinion, no matter how wrong and baseless it may be. That said arguing for the sake of arguing shouldn't be condoned either. Photons have no mass and nothing (with mass) can travel faster than the speed of light. If you don't understand why find any site on the web that explains the basis of special relativity. Either that or, as above, please provide evidence, if not, at least some basis for such claims.
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