Log in

How Real Is Reality?
[Most Recent Entries] [Calendar View] [Friends]

Below are the 8 most recent journal entries recorded in Scientific Shit's LiveJournal:

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
3:31 pm
Thursday, March 30th, 2006
3:39 pm
Coming Soon TO A (Pseudo) Scientific Journal Near You:
IE. This One.

"The Double Slit Experiment"

Watch this space.
Saturday, October 1st, 2005
2:25 pm
Anomalons and Neutrinos
Today I want to talk about some more particles that I find exciting... er, before you get any strange ideas, let me state that they excite me merely because they are so fascinating and inexplicable!

The Anomalon
The Anomalon is a relatively recently discoverd particle.
Stunningly its' properties vary from laboritory to laboritory!*
This is incredable, like having a car that turns a different colour depending on who is driving it!

In 1930 a scientist named Pauli proposed the existence of a massless particle called the Neutrino in order to solve an outstanding problem concerning radioactivity. At first the particle was only theoretical but in 1957 physicists discovered evidence of its' existence.

In more recent years physicists realized that if the neutrino possessed some mass it would solve several other problems in their theories, then in 1980 evidence that the neutrino actually possessed some mass started surfacing. If that wasn't queer enough, it was only laboritories in the Soviet Union that discovered neutrinos with mass, labs in the US conducting experiments at the same time did not, and this remained the case for the better part of the 80s. Since then, other laboritories have been able to duplicate the Soviets' findings but the situation is still unresolved.

Tachyons are theoretical particles are "superluminal," or travel faster then light. No one has proven they exist yet, but they tend to come up in Star Trek a lot.

Antony Sammeroff 24-30/09/2005

Notes And Sources:
* If anyone knows of any books, papers or anything really where I could find out more about the anomalon I'd be most interested! It's come up a few times in my reading but never in depth and only with the same details.

I appologise for the delay in posting this article, I don't have internet access in my appartment at the moment. If I'd realised how short it was going to turn out I would have posted it last week as schedualed.
Sunday, September 25th, 2005
12:01 am
Article In Progress
Sorry about the delay, I'll have it up ASAP
Saturday, September 10th, 2005
2:45 pm
How Awesome Are Electrons?
Yes it's that time again, two weeks have passed and I feel obliged to provide all Zero of my readers with article #3: This weeks subject is primarily electrons, because (lets face it) they kick ass!

Lets start with the basics, (I'll try to get through them as quickly as possible):

- An electron is a sub atomic particle with a negative charge.
- In an atom (relatively weightless*) electrons surround the dense nucleus (consisting of protons and neutrons). They don't just fly off primarily because they are attracted to the protons in the nucleus and don't just stick to it primarily because they are repelled by one another. There's more to this but I just want to get into why they're so cool.
- Electricity is a flow of electrons.
- The number of electrons in the universe is estimated to be at least 10^79 (or
100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 in lamens terms) :-
One electron per cubic meter of space?**

Quantum Physics Is Ace
Quantum Physics has shown that when you break matter into smaller and smaller pieces those pieces (such as electrons *wink, wink*) no longer hold the traits of objects.

Electrons Are Ace
Most people imagine an electron as a wee ball whizzing around a nucleus, but thats not the case! Although electrons sometimes act like compact little particles they are impossible to measure!... They literally have NO Dimension At All!
"An electron simply isn't an object as we know it!"***

More On How Electrons Are Ace
Another amazing thing about electrons is that they can manifest either as a particle OR a wave:
"If you shoot an ellectron at the screen of a television that's been turned off, a tiny point of light will appear when it strikes the phosphorescent chemicals that coat the glass. The single point of impact the electron leaves on the screen clearly reveals the particlelike side of its nature."****

However! An electron can also assume the form of a blurry cloud of energy, behaving like it was spread out over space. When an electron manifests as a wave it can do mad stuff that nothing else can, if fired at a barrier with two stils cut through it it can go through both slits at the same time!

Imagine there are two doors on the same wall of you hallway, one to your bedroom and one to your living room. If you were like an electron manifesting as a wave you could walk into both rooms at the same time!

All Subatomic Particles And Waves Are Also Ace
This shapeshifting ability is common to ALL subatomic particles!
It is also true of all things previously thought to exist only as waves such as light, gamma rays, radio waves and X rays... they can all change from waves to particles and back again!

Things exhibiting this trait are called Quanta and "physicists believe they are the basic stuff from which the universe is made."*****

The Acest Thing Of All!
The most astonishing thing is that there is compelling evidence that the only time that quanta ever manifest as particles is when they are being observed. This is crazy amazing, like having a bowling ball that is only a bowling ball when you look at it and turns into a wave as soon as you look away.

How awesome are electrons?

Antony Sammeroff 10/09/2005

Notes And Sources:
* Incase you were wondering it takes about 1836 electrons to make up the weight of a proton or neutron, thats why the weight is considered "negligible."
** Based on the "classical electron radius" (or "compton radius"), a concept outdated by quantum mechanics, it can be calculated that 10^130 electrons could fit in the observable universe (that being the theoretical distance from around the earth that light has had time to travel here since the creation of the universe, estimated at 78 billion light years, although the edge of the cosmic light horizon is only 13.7 billion light years distant.)
*** Michael Talbot, "The Holographic Universe," p.33
**** Ibid
***** Ibid, p.34
Saturday, August 27th, 2005
9:15 pm
Escape Velocity and Black Holes
Escape Velocity is the speed at which something must be travelling in order to escape the gravitational field of a mass.
The escape velocity of the earths surface is about 11.2 kilometres per second, but before you start giving me the: "well I don't need to be travelling at 11.2 kilometers a second to jump off the ground" shut up smart ass!

The escape velocity is the minimum speed an object without propulsion needs to have to keep moving away from the source of the field as opposed to falling back or entering into orbit.

That means you'd have to jump high enough so that you wouldn't be pulled back down.

(Side Note: "Escape Velocity" is actually an inaccurate description of what "Escape Velocity" is, and calling it "Escape Speed" would be more accurate. Personally, I think the reason why they call it "Escape Velocity" is because scientific types like to sound all smart and poncey and just can't do that when using lamens terms like 'Speed.')

Another way of looking at it is that if an object starts at the outer reaches of the gravitational pull, it would theoretically hit the surface at escape velocity.

Boring you yet?

It is worth mentioning that 9,000 km above the earths surface (in space) the escape velocity is reduced to a bit less then 7.1 km/s. It isn't possible or practical for a rocket to reach escape velocity from the very surface of earth and thats why they continue to accelerate on their way up.

Before we get into the interesting shit, here is a list of some escape velocities for surfaces:

Moon 2.4 km/s
Mercury 4.4 km/s
Mars 5 km/s
Uranus 21.3 km/s (haha even geeks find the phrase: "The Escape Velocity Of Uranus" funny)
Jupiter 59/5 km/s
Sun 617.5 km/s
A Black Hole > 299,792.5 km/s

Yes, you read right, to escape the gravitational pull of a black hole you have to be travelling at a minimum speed of 299,792,458 metres (or 186,282.4 miles) a second. And why?

'Coz thats the speed of light duphus!

So now (hopefully) you understand why nothing can escape a black hole.
The gravitational pull of a black hole is so great that not even light can travel fast enough to reach its' escape velocity.

Antony Sammeroff 24/08/05
Saturday, August 13th, 2005
3:39 pm
About The Moon
Scientists are unsure how exactly the moon came to orbit around the Earth.
It is seen as very unlikely that the Moon formed along with the Earth or even that the Moon was captured later, this article discusses some of the theories as to how the moon came to be in orbit around the earth.

Some Scientists long believed that the cetrifugal force of the Earth caused the Moon to break off, leaving one of our oceans as a gaping scar. However, this theory would require too much of an initial spin on the Earths part. Plus the composition of the Moon is different from that of the Earth.

Others speculated that the moon was captured into the Earths gravity and brought into orbit, however, the chances of this are minimal as many, possibly millions, would have to pass in order for one to be caught. No planets or moons are flying by today and if they were then they would tend to either crash into the sun, fly by it or begin encircling it. If they were nearby the tendancy would be for them to crash into the planet.

Some propose the Coformation or Condensation Theory. This states that the Earth and Moon were formed at the same time from the accretion disk (A disk of interstellar material surrounding a celestial object with an intense gravitational field, such as a black hole). But this theory cannot explain the depletion of Iron in the Moon.

Others suggest that the Moon formed from a debris field around Earth resulting from an asteroid or planetesimal collision.

The currently accepted theory is the "Giant Impact Theory", which states that the Moon originated from what was ejected when Earth, in its' semi-molten stages, collided with an object about the size of Mars! (theoretically called Theia.)
This makes the theory very unlikely as the chances of a Mars-sized object hitting the Earth are miniscule, and the chances of such an impact hitting Earth at angle which didn't destroy it entirely are minute.
If this did infact occur then this is this cause of the fortunate degree of axial-tilt and plate teutonics (which are vital to the carbon cycle) of Earth which makes life here possible, and can therefor used as a theory to explain the apparent rarity of life in the universe.

More poignantly though, if these infinitessimally unlikely events are the cause of life on Earth... then we may indeed be alone in the galaxy, a concept often regarded as improbable if not ludicrous.

In technical terms, the Earth and Moon are a "binary planet": that means the moon isn't technically a Satellite of the Earth because the centre of gravity (and centre of mass, which is always at the same point as the centre of gravity) is at a point in between the two, rather then somewhere inside the Earth.

[The following paragraph is likely to be replaced with better research in the future]
I also heard, but have no science to back up, that the Moon is too large / has too high a mass and is too close to the Earth to scientifically justify its' orbit! Similar to the flight of a bumble bees' apparent scientific impossibility, comparing it's wing span and the frequency at which it flaps them wings to it's weight.

In short, there are a number of unlikely theories as to how the Moon came to orbit the Earth, and perhaps one of them is infact correct. Otherwise we do not yet have the means to determine the real reason yet.

This article was featured in it's original (less boffiny form) on my personal journal varimademe on the 21st of May 2005:
Friday, August 12th, 2005
3:37 pm
How Real Is Reality?
The scientific field of Quantum Physics is showing that it is not really as real as we really think it is.

This is a journal for sciencey stuff that I find interesting.
My personal journal, varimademe is far more humerous and entertaining.
About LiveJournal.com