Science!

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zaratustra
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Re: Science!

Postby zaratustra » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:40 pm

Sharkey wrote:That's kind of an understatement. This wouldn't be a case of having to add some caveats to Newton's laws. It'd be more like finding out Zeus is actually in charge of how electricity works. There are simpler ways to account for a thing that turns around very slowly when you run a lot of juice through it.


There are two theories regarding the emDrive that I find interesting:

1) It's caused by variations in acceleration so minute that one of the values of the equation becomes larger than the diameter of the universe, and physics gives a burp;

2) It's just the copper of the shell reacting to provide fuel for thrust.

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Büge
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Re: Science!

Postby Büge » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:26 am


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Hardly Ideal
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Re: Science!

Postby Hardly Ideal » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:35 pm


Nasa’s Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding in favor of exploration of deep space, with the president-elect having set a goal during the campaign to explore the entire solar system by the end of the century.

If Trump goes ahead with his environmental agenda, we're going to need deep space exploration to find a new home by the end of the century.

I've heard shitheads pushing for a move like this before, and I wonder if there's any way for NASA to move their funds around on the DL. God knows their future president has played enough similar shell games with his own money.
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Büge
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Re: Science!

Postby Büge » Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:23 pm


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Mongrel
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Re: Science!

Postby Mongrel » Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:50 pm

Holy shit!
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Niku
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Re: Science!

Postby Niku » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:12 pm

Nah, they didn't find it that far up the tail.
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TA
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Re: Science!

Postby TA » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:18 pm

Let the feather skeptics eat shit.
のほも is such a good word?? the concept is kind of hard to fully get across in translation, but basically it means a feeling of pure, deep, platonic affection, and i think thats beautiful

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Re: Science!

Postby Mongrel » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:34 pm

Niku wrote:Nah, they didn't find it that far up the tail.

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Büge
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Re: Science!

Postby Büge » Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:01 pm

New human organ discovered!

Sadly, it doesn't grant you psychic powers.

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Büge
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Re: Science!

Postby Büge » Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:09 pm

At least, that we know of.

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Re: Science!

Postby Mongrel » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:22 pm

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Sharkey
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Re: Science!

Postby Sharkey » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:19 pm

Nature remains skeptical as fuck. And not without reason.

Still, that's one of those things that could change the world. If it's actually metallic hydrogen. And if it's a room temperature superconductor. And if it's metastable. And if... you get the idea.

Maybe we could use it to make a better EM drive.
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Re: Science!

Postby Mongrel » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:05 am

The metastability seems to be the biggest one. But also just plain scaleability - this seems like an absurdly resource and energy intensive substance, so it may turn out that it's only viable for things where there is no budget limit and no viable alternatives. Also even the guys claiming to have done it are under a very extreme size restriction - the vise has to fit in a cryostat.

Maybe NASA can indeed use it to make fuel pellets for super-rockets, or in components for really fancy computers for wealthy idiots or research facilities, but maybe it's way too expensive to make transmission lines out of.

Maybe it's difficult to work - if you make it as tiny bits of dust, how do you amalgamate them into a useful size solid? How do you weld it?

Fraud is also a possibility, but this being a Harvard project means I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on that for the time being.

I also don't think they're selling it as a true superconductor though. They talked about big efficiency gains but very specifically avoided using that term.

Another thing is that it may simply turn out to be overly reactive even if it's technically metastable - Iron is metastable, but it rusts like a motherfucker. I guess that would depend on the exact molecular structure of the metal.
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Büge
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Re: Science!

Postby Büge » Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:17 am


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Re: Science!

Postby Mongrel » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:28 am

Telegraph: Scientists "discover" entirely "new" hidden continent.

The real story is that the massive continental shelf around New Zealand, including New Zealand itself and many of the surrounding island chains, is going to be reclassified as a continent because scientifically it meets the definition. Of course scientists and oceanographers have been aware of the geography for decades if not centuries, but the shelf had previously been called "continental".

Basically they're no longer saying that it's "sort of like a continent, only most of it is underwater" and are instead saying that it fully meets all the geological requirements to be a continent (cultural requirements are another story...).
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Hardly Ideal
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Re: Science!

Postby Hardly Ideal » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:46 am

Cue Pluto-esque social media grievances about outdated gradeschool teachings in 3... 2... 1...
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Re: Science!

Postby Mongrel » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:49 am

PLUTO WILL ALWAYS BE A PLANET SCREW YOUR "SKIENSE!"
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Sharkey
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Re: Science!

Postby Sharkey » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:13 pm

My favorite bit of all that has been that the same criteria that exclude pluto from planethood do, in fact, include the moon. So I guess we could technically be up to nine planets again, but I bet people would be even more bent out of shape about it.
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Bal
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Re: Science!

Postby Bal » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:06 pm

The moon fails to have met many of the qualifications mainly because Earth exists. There is a solid argument that we're in a binary planet system though.

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Re: Science!

Postby Sharkey » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:54 pm

Yeah, I think the chief one against is that the pair's barycenter is below the surface of the Earth. But if the moon were a third again further away that wouldn't be the case any more. The Moon is receding, but I think it'd take way to long to get that far at 3.8 cm/y... so... 33-ish billion years until you could call it a planet? I dunno I'm not even bothering with a napkin here. Anyway it's kind of a moot point unless you want to Kerbal something together to give the thing a shove.)

I guess it mostly comes down to even the IAU definition of "planet" being necessarily broad and seemingly arbitrary, just because it's a pretty old word that don't work so good no more. It's basically an attempt at technical a definition that has to be jiggered to mean "bright thing in the sky what moves around, but not the sun, moon, and stars, or any weird shit my primitive ass doesn't know about yet". That's a weird club that includes such disparate objects as Jupiter and Mercury, but leaves out dwarf planets, Kuiper objects, the moon, and probably a bunch of other shit that has a hell of a lot more in common with Mercury than Mercury does with Jupiter. And that's fine, because anybody who needs to be told that Jupiter is a planet probably doesn't care that it's a class I gas giant or that its magnetosphere is fucking crazy and that it really doesn't in any way resemble Mercury other than that it's also mostly round, bigger than a bread box, made of stuff, and orbits around something else. That describes most of the things in the universe that could be described as things at all. Kind of like how we put "fish" in the names of things that clearly (or not so clearly) aren't fish, but they're in the water and they're fishy so fuck you. Way later, after we figured out what clades most of those critters belonged to it became really convoluted coming up with a definition of "fish" to include all the things you'd normally think of as "fish," without roping in a whole mess of other dumb things. But hey, like "planets," it gets across what you mean most of the time without splitting too many hairs, and fish are a lot more likely to be relevant in some way to your day-to-day existence.
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