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Old 2nd May 2023, 06:14 PM   #1
bigred
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A scientific fact/tidbit you recently learned that you thought was interesting

It's estimated that in the universe a supernova occurs once every second.

I thought wow that's a lot, until I remembered the universe is a pretty big place. Kind of like saying once a second a grain of sand in the Sahara explodes.
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Old 3rd May 2023, 09:12 PM   #2
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Speaking of sand: There are 10 times more stars in the universe than grains of sand in all the world's deserts and beaches.

That's a lot of stars.

On the other hand...

This is also the same number of water molecules in 10 drops of water.
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Old 3rd May 2023, 10:20 PM   #3
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The number of atoms to fill up an apple is around the number of apples to fill up the Earth.
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Old 4th May 2023, 06:41 AM   #4
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Nano Carbons can be made from vapor desposited on Quarts glass from the Thermal break down of Plastic bags in inert gas.
Imagine mining the waste plastics in the ocean to produce Graphene for Graphene Super Capacitors to power electric Vehicles.
Clean the oceans and cheap travel at the same time.
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Old 4th May 2023, 09:02 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by bigred View Post
Speaking of sand: There are 10 times more stars in the universe than grains of sand in all the world's deserts and beaches.

That's a lot of stars.

On the other hand...

This is also the same number of water molecules in 10 drops of water.
I've heard a lot of these comparisons, ranging from about the same to 10x more. The author linked below finds that one grain of sand contains more atoms than there are stars.

https://www.universetoday.com/106725...nd-than-stars/
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Old 4th May 2023, 09:25 AM   #6
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A starfish is neither a star nor a fish!

(As proudly declared to me by my friend's 5 year old daughter. After I expressed fake skepticism, she assured me it was so, and added "It's science!")
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Old 4th May 2023, 09:35 AM   #7
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The changes of puberty are mediated by two glands, that need to kick off together for complete and healthy development. We have treatments to slow down one of the two glands when it kicks off early.
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Old 4th May 2023, 09:42 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by sir drinks-a-lot View Post
A starfish is neither a star nor a fish!

(As proudly declared to me by my friend's 5 year old daughter. After I expressed fake skepticism, she assured me it was so, and added "It's science!")
[Johnny Carson voice] I did not know that! [/Johnny Carson voice]
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Old 4th May 2023, 12:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sir drinks-a-lot View Post
A starfish is neither a star nor a fish!

(As proudly declared to me by my friend's 5 year old daughter. After I expressed fake skepticism, she assured me it was so, and added "It's science!")
In one of Matt Groening's comics, he had a bunch of "fun facts". One was "ringworm is not a ring or a worm, it's a fungus." Further down on the same page was "fish sticks are not fish or sticks, they are a fungus."

OK, real science fact: the fist graphene people studied was created by putting scotch tape on graphite and then peeling it off. If you were lucky, you would end up with a single sheet of carbon stuck to the tape.
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Old 4th May 2023, 03:43 PM   #10
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Speaking of scotch tape--

Vigorously pulling scotch tape off the roll produces x-rays.
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Old 5th May 2023, 11:20 AM   #11
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If you can't tell I've been watching astronomy stuff lately...

The majority of suns are a binary system (two suns). I always assumed most were solitary.
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Old 5th May 2023, 10:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Yalius View Post
Speaking of scotch tape--

Vigorously pulling scotch tape off the roll produces x-rays.
I'm skeptical.
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Old 5th May 2023, 10:23 PM   #13
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I know the particle/wave dichotomy in the double slit experiment applies to photons.

But I never knew: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-slit_experiment

Quote:
In 1927, Davisson and Germer demonstrated that electrons show the same behavior, which was later extended to atoms and molecules.[2][3]
Now that's a rabbit hole I am going to have to explore.

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Old 6th May 2023, 12:27 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I know the particle/wave dichotomy in the double slit experiment applies to photons.

But I never knew: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-slit_experiment



Now that's a rabbit hole I am going to have to explore.
You should really explore two rabbit holes simultaneously.
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Old 6th May 2023, 12:37 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
You should really explore two rabbit holes simultaneously.
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Old 6th May 2023, 12:58 AM   #16
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The male elephant has a motile penis.
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Old 6th May 2023, 02:16 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I know the particle/wave dichotomy in the double slit experiment applies to photons.

But I never knew: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-slit_experiment



Now that's a rabbit hole I am going to have to explore.
You can even do the experiment with atoms. Thus showing that atoms have a wavelength as well.
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Old 6th May 2023, 03:08 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
The male elephant has a motile penis.
Glad you put male in that sentence!
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Old 6th May 2023, 05:04 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Yalius View Post
Speaking of scotch tape--

Vigorously pulling scotch tape off the roll produces x-rays.
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I'm skeptical.
I do recall reading about that, and being tempted to try it. But I believe the tape has to be in a vacuum. I don't think it has to be vigorous, but steady.
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Old 6th May 2023, 06:50 AM   #20
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Okay, I sort of knew about this in an offhand, heard it somewhere or another kind of way, but this would be my first, first hand experience with it, and with that, came a mess of knew knowledge!

My wife likes to have hanging flowers on our front porch, for one, because they're pretty, but two, because she enjoys watching birds make nests, and raise their young through the window. So about ten days ago, a new set of hanging flowers were hung, and in no time there was a finch nest with eggs, and all was right with the universe.

Then a few days ago,when she was waters her flowers and being generally nosy, she noticed an odd egg in the nest. The finch eggs were smallish with an ever so faint blue tint, the odd egg is clearly larger, but more prominent, is, is heavily speckled.



Knowing there's a species of bird that will not make a nest of it's own, but will instead lay its egg in another birds nest, allowing the host bird to raise it's young, I did some quick research to see if that was, in fact,what we had here. Yep, it's a cowbird egg.

Now my first instinct was to evict the interloper, but, further research said this was a bad idea for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which, it's illegal! But that wasn't all. Removing the egg could cause the adoptive parents to abandon the nest completely if an egg were to come up missing. Seems birds aren't all that aesthetically aware, but they can count. So even though the odd egg is so distinctly different to you and I, as far as the bird is concerned, and egg is an egg.

But even worse things than that can happen. Apparently, despite having little interest in raising their young, a cowbird mother will keep something of an eye on the nests they've deposited their eggs in, and if it's been removed, they may come back and destroy the nest and it's contents.

So, given the options, we'll be watching a pair of adoptive parents raise their young,and a cowbird baby too.
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Old 6th May 2023, 07:33 AM   #21
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An electron is perfectly round.

I wonder how different the universe would be if they were cubes.
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Old 6th May 2023, 08:13 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
An electron is perfectly round.

I wonder how different the universe would be if they were cubes.
The Universe would be really square, man, square. [Uses two hands to draw a square in the air] And what fun would that be?
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Old 6th May 2023, 04:57 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
The male elephant has a motile penis.
... and it's attached to the elephant's face!!!
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Old 6th May 2023, 04:57 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Mike! View Post
The Universe would be really square, man, square. [Uses two hands to draw a square in the air] And what fun would that be?
Damn.

I thought the universe was saddle-shaped.
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Old 6th May 2023, 07:40 PM   #25
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About the usual argument that travel faster than light is impossible... not just "we haven't invented it yet but wait a minute we don't really know what can be invented if it hasn't been yet so that totally means we can just invent whatever we can imagine" impossible, but actually "the nature of the way the universe works makes it fundamentally out of the question because the universe won't allow it no matter what we invent" impossible...

I've been willing to accept the conclusion that it's impossible, but part of the argument for that has always seemed off to me: the bit about how inventing FTL travel would equal inventing a time machine. Well, now I know that at least one legitimate physicist sees the same hole in it that I've always thought was the case.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-jIplX6Wjw
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Old 6th May 2023, 08:29 PM   #26
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Warp drive is theoretically possible, but we'd have to find a way to basically bend the laws of physics around the ship or thing doing it. So I don't accept that it's impossible at all, although perhaps highly unlikely, at least not before we blow ourselves up.
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Old 6th May 2023, 10:27 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Mike! View Post
So, given the options, we'll be watching a pair of adoptive parents raise their young,and a cowbird baby too.
Fore a little while. The cowbird chick will probably eventually push the other chicks out of the nest - some of them at least.
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Old 6th May 2023, 10:54 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
About the usual argument that travel faster than light is impossible... not just "we haven't invented it yet but wait a minute we don't really know what can be invented if it hasn't been yet so that totally means we can just invent whatever we can imagine" impossible, but actually "the nature of the way the universe works makes it fundamentally out of the question because the universe won't allow it no matter what we invent" impossible...

I've been willing to accept the conclusion that it's impossible, but part of the argument for that has always seemed off to me: the bit about how inventing FTL travel would equal inventing a time machine. Well, now I know that at least one legitimate physicist sees the same hole in it that I've always thought was the case.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-jIplX6Wjw
It's physically impossible for two objects in our universe to be moving apart from each other faster than the speed of light in exactly the same way that it's physically impossible for two objects on the surface of the earth to be further apart than 20040 km - the former is just the 4 dimensional equivalent of the latter. That's why fictional ways to get around it need to involve higher dimensions or something similar - leaving the universe at one point and then returning to it at a different point - which we don't know for sure to be impossible.
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Old 7th May 2023, 08:57 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by bigred View Post
Warp drive is theoretically possible, but we'd have to find a way to basically bend the laws of physics around the ship or thing doing it. So I don't accept that it's impossible at all, although perhaps highly unlikely, at least not before we blow ourselves up.
It's called the Alcubierre Drive after the person who first discovered this solution to General Relativity. Essentially it requires you to create a "bubble" of spacetime around your craft. Then when you travel you're moving at non-relativistic speed across the bubble, but the bubble itself is moving faster than light, which it can do because the light speed limit only applies to matter and energy, and not to spacetime itself. It's complicated but you're basically compressing spacetime in front of you, and stretching it behind, so your bubble and therefore the ship that it contains is pushed through the background spacetime faster than light could move through it. Or something like that - I'm hardly an expert.

The problem is that generating this spacetime bubble requires the use of exotic matter with negative mass, and no-one is really sure what that even means, let alone whether we could find or manufacture some.
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Old 11th May 2023, 09:15 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I'm skeptical.
Strange but true.
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Old 11th May 2023, 03:33 PM   #31
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I inherited about 20 'silver' commemorative coins, QEII Silver Jubilee and so on. I checked Ebay and some of these things are up for sale for a £ or two, so clearly not real silver but cupro-nickel alloy. Millions of those were sold.

Turns out that there's a simple test to distinguish between the alloy and the sterling silver versions ... drop a spot of domestic bleach on them and, in a minute or so, the silver darkens while the alloy remains shiny.

Turns out that the three coins in little display cases were actually silver. Total weight 102 gms, so sale value as scrap is around £60.

Interesting

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Old 11th May 2023, 11:55 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The problem is that generating this spacetime bubble requires the use of exotic matter
The real problem is people not just accepting that traveling faster than light is impossible and treating any proposed workarounds as the fantasies they are.
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Old 12th May 2023, 12:08 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
The real problem is people not just accepting that traveling faster than light is impossible and treating any proposed workarounds as the fantasies they are.
The Alcubierre Drive is not fantasy. It is a viable solution within General Relativity.
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Old 12th May 2023, 07:53 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
The real problem is people not just accepting that traveling faster than light is impossible and treating any proposed workarounds as the fantasies they are.
Let me guess, your grandpa said the same thing about travelling to the moon.

It's fantasy with technology as we know it today. The history of technology is filled with examples of what was once considered impossible and folly to consider otherwise that became a reality.
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Old 12th May 2023, 08:00 PM   #35
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As a statement of historical fact in a few specific cases, that is true.

As a line of reasoning pointing to the conclusion that anything we want to imagine must be possible because other things have turned out to be possible before, the word "nonsense" is inadequate to express how far from anything resembling making sense it is.

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Old 12th May 2023, 08:02 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
The Alcubierre Drive is not fantasy. It is a viable solution within General Relativity.
Great! I'll just go get the almost infinite amount of negative mass we need, and we'll be on our way!
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Old 12th May 2023, 08:28 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
Great! I'll just go get the almost infinite amount of negative mass we need, and we'll be on our way!
Too bad is isn't Negative Energy that's required, between your wife and mine, we'd be traveling faster than light in no time!
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Because then it won't really matter, you’ll be a mile away and have his shoes."
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Old 12th May 2023, 08:47 PM   #38
psionl0
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I know the particle/wave dichotomy in the double slit experiment applies to photons.

But I never knew: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-slit_experiment
That discovery was the birth of quantum mechanics.
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Old 13th May 2023, 09:39 AM   #39
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A swan's neck contains 26 vertebrae.
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As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
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Old 13th May 2023, 07:57 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Mike! View Post
Too bad is isn't Negative Energy that's required, between your wife and mine, we'd be traveling faster than light in no time!
Yeah but we'd have to build an infinitely long Tipler Cylinder.
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