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About Me









Found 53 results

  1. How the blackness of space used to be orange. For some reason, his explanation of what it meant for the universe to have become 'transparent' clicked (with me) some 35 years later.....
  2. B-man mentioned that when he was in school, the atom was the smallest object in nature; electrons have been known since 1890; I had no idea he was so long lived; congrats!
  3. A friend of mine worked on the (short lived) Superconducting Supercollider; it cost more to shut down than it would have to complete.
  4. Another way to look at it, some decades later, that may blow your mind, again
  5. The Outer Rim is a cee-bang 'sound room' that exists to talk about uncommon sense, stranger things and other ξ = Ø stuff. I threw a few topics out there last week; some of my favorite things Speaker sensitivity: some like it hot, some like it cold, most don't know that if they like it hot, they are giving up about as much dynamic range as the dreaded 'loudness wars' compression schemes. How and why to detect extra dimenions A string theory refresher (remember when it was QED and QCD? now it's QFT) Some distortions, like transient inter-modulation distortion, just don't matter How can something that isn't revolving have a spin? Graham's number is up there Every cable/interconnect manufacturer in the world is lying Why most impact craters are perfectly circular If you are interested in uncommon knowledge, please join the club; we'd love to hear from you
  6. A walk back to a key principle, which may help in understanding non-Euclidian space; or at least help one understand that trying to apply Euclidian characteristics to space-time doesn't work.
  7. Let's unmix that paint (or reveal the sinusoids in a composite signal)
  8. Well, maybe not from the beginning, but as soon as possible.....If cable manufacturers get a hold of this, get ready for the next big thing; quantum distortion erasers!
  9. Optimized for my backyard at 10PM, but applicable to night time in the midwest
  10. Teleportation of objects larger than subatomic particles? Sure, but ..... INTERFERING ATOMS (Discover, 1996) Stopping atoms in their tracks is not the only way to get them to show their wavelike nature. Another way is to throw them at a grating with slits so small and tightly spaced that each atom wave passes through two slits at once and is thus split in two. The split waves can then be recombined to produce an interference pattern‑alternating bands of intensity in which the matter waves either cancel each other or reinforce each other, just as interfering light waves do. MIT physicist David Pritchard first measured such atomic interference in 1988. Last February Pritchard and his colleagues reported another first: using the silicon nitride grating shown here, whose slits are just a few hundred‑millionths of an inch apart, they managed to separate the split atom waves enough to do separate experiments on them. (The closer the spacing of the slits, the more the waves diverge after they pass through the grating.) The researchers passed one of the waves through a gas or an electric field while leaving the other alone. By observing the effect on the interference pattern‑which is extremely sensitive to any tampering with one of the component waves Pritchard and his team made fundamental measurements that were not possible before. They measured the susceptibility of sodium atoms to electric fields and the degree to which sodium atom waves are refracted‑bent and attenuated‑as they pass through another gas and the atoms in that gas attract them. Physicists armed with optical interferometers have been able to make similar measurements on light waves for the last century or so‑but light waves are 10,000 times longer than atom waves, which means they can be diffracted with much coarser gratings than the one in Pritchard's atom interferometer. Pritchard has managed to send entire sodium molecules through his device, and in principle, even something as large as a living bacterium could hurtle through it in wave form. But quantum mechanical trade‑offs mean that such a large chunk of matter would take thousands of years to pass through the grating. For the moment at least, physicists must be content with finally being able to exploit the wave nature of atoms.
  11. QFD physicists like to use colorful terminology for attributes of sub-atomic particles. 'Spin' as used by QFD theorists has nothing to do with rotation of a mass. So what is it? This refresher will come in handy later
  12. If more people understood the difference between flow and charge, there'd be less BS talk about propagation delay, dielectric slew et al in the cable industry
  13. Mathematics of laundry unveiled (Science News, 1992) Have you ever wondered why laundry hung on a clothesline dries from the top down? This question so piqued the curiosity of Erik B. Hansen, a mathematician at the Technical University of Denmark in Lyngby, that he applied the rigor of mathematical modeling to the problem. Hansen reports on the secret life of laundry in the October issue of SIAM JOURNAL ON APPLIED MATHEMATICS. "In almost everything you do, from shaving in the morning to putting your pajamas on at night, you'll find some interesting mathematics, and drying laundry is no exception," comments John Ockendon of the Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford in England. The most obvious explanation for top-down drying—that gravity draws the water down and out of the fabric until it is completely dry—is incorrect, says Hansen. Gravity is involved but it plays a secondary role. Hansen explains that water resides in discrete pores within damp cloth. Capillary forces act on these isolated islands of water, counterbalancing the tug of gravity Therefore, gravity cannot pull water out of cloth in a continuous sheet. Then what does cause clothes to dry from the top down? Hansen came up with an explanation for this phenomenon and used it to build his mathematical model of drying laundry. In the model, vertical air movement causes top-down drying. To dry hanging laundry must be cooler than the surrounding air. The air right next to the garment is also cooler, and therefore heavier, than the air around it. Gravity pulls this cooler air down across the surface of the cloth. The air current soaks up evaporated water, becoming more saturated as it sinks. Since the air flow can carry away less water vapor at the bottom than at the top, the garment dries from the top down. But does real laundry behave as Hansen's model says it should? To find out, he used the model to predict the rate at which a garment should dry under certain conditions. Then he hung up a wet T-shirt and recorded what he observed. At first, the shirt dried more or less as predicted. As time passed, however, it began to dry more slowly. This came as no surprise to Hansen, because he had deliberately idealised some of the processes at work on the drying fabric. Despite these mixed results, Hansen claims success in reaching his general goal of better understanding the physics of drying laundry. This kind of applied mathematical study aids the general health of the field, says Ockendon, because "mathematics gets very sterile unless it has input from the real world, and [the] drying of laundry is a perfectly good example of how you get exciting new mathematics that you would never get if you just sat at your desk." No room to hang out? Try microwaves For consumers lacking the space or ambition to hang up their laundry to dry, mechanical clothes dryers are a must. Now, the appliance industry and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) have joined forces to develop a machine that dries garments with microwaves instead of hot air. According to John Kesselring, senior project manager at EPRI, the proposed appliance will dry clothing faster, more gently, and more efficiently than electric or gas-powered dryers. Instead of heating the entire garment, the microwaves selectively zap the water in damp clothing, Kesselring says. Conventional dryers can overstress and weaken fabrics in the course of heating them with hot air, he adds. EPRI plans to field-test commercial and residential versions of the new dryer next year. The U.S. Public Health Service Center for Devices and Radiological Health will evaluate the EPRI design to make sure it protects consumers from possible exposure to microwaves.
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