Search found 942 matches

by Minerva
Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:17 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Nuclear physics notation
Replies: 6
Views: 1692

Re: Nuclear physics notation

The above expression doesn't make any sense, it's not any intelligible notation I've ever seen.

Did you transcribe it correctly? Maybe post some of the surrounding context material, or a scan or image of the notation?
by Minerva
Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:11 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Israel/Palestine discussion
Replies: 6262
Views: 564038

Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Iran has enriched uranium to 20% U-235 . The required amount for nuclear power is 3.5%. That's quite typical for a research reactor, it's not unusual at all. IAEA won't have any problem with this at all. Iran has a couple of research reactors. Anywhere from about 3% to 5% is not unusual for a light...
by Minerva
Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:35 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Planetary exploration to be completely axed.
Replies: 96
Views: 13013

Re: Planetary exploration to be completely axed.

sourmìlk wrote:I hear the Europa might have liquid water under the ice surface. Is it possible we could send a probe there to figure that out?


Dude, you're forgetting about the Monolith.
by Minerva
Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:29 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: If we can land a man on the moon....
Replies: 15
Views: 3262

Re: If we can land a man on the moon....

To anybody who uses the "We can put a man on the moon, so why can't we do..." phrase, I say this. - Pick a goal that is (just barely) viable scientifically and technologically. - Pick a goal that is supported overwhelmingly by all scientists and engineers as being a sensible thing that is ...
by Minerva
Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:16 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Israel/Palestine discussion
Replies: 6262
Views: 564038

Re: Israel/Palestine discussion

Well, there's an IAEA report due this week that according to leaks will come even closer to proving Iran has a nuclear weapons program. Lets wait a couple of days and see. Nobody has ever actually showed me any convincing, compelling evidence that Iran has a secret program of nuclear weapons develo...
by Minerva
Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:53 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Texas judge beats his daughter for gaming [trigger warning]
Replies: 110
Views: 19966

Re: Texas judge beats his daughter for gaming [trigger warni

I think there's something seriously wrong if you're spanking a 16-year-old.
by Minerva
Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:21 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Germ Theory vs Evolution
Replies: 9
Views: 3012

Re: Germ Theory vs Evolution

There are only two kinds of people in the world who ever talk about "germ theory" at all today. They are either (a) anti-medicine crackpots or (b) science historians. If the term "germ theory" has any meaning today, what exactly does it mean? The "theory" that living mi...
by Minerva
Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:54 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Planetary exploration to be completely axed.
Replies: 96
Views: 13013

Re: Planetary exploration to be completely axed.

NASA might be cutting back on deep space probes is to focus more on the cheaper low Earth Orbit stuff, and the more popular manned programs. What the hell are we going to do in Earth orbit, though? Go up into Earth orbit, go around a few times, spend some time on the ISS, and then come back down ag...
by Minerva
Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:47 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: Uh-oh. It's a Youtube party and you're up next. What do you show 'em?
Replies: 2151
Views: 748245

Re: Something on Youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmTmGLzPVyM

Feynman. Win. No further explanation really required.
by Minerva
Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:52 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Abandonware
Replies: 120
Views: 47109

Re: Abandonware

When people make creative media works (eg. computer games), I can understand that after a few years it's simply not worth manufacturing new CDs and packing them up in boxes and shipping them out to the shop. Essentially nobody is going to buy a copy of SimFarm or Doom or whatever today, therefore th...
by Minerva
Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:02 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: neutron moderation
Replies: 6
Views: 2819

Re: neutron moderation

I've been reading quite a lot of vulgarization on nuclear reactors recently, and there is something I just don't understand: Why do we need to moderate the neutrons. As much as I understand, fast neutrons are less efficient at fissionning uranium nuclei. But why? And what happens to fast neutrons t...
by Minerva
Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:09 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is this real?
Replies: 25
Views: 5695

Re: Is this real?

The Meissner effect was discovered in 1933, and levitation of a superconductor over a magnet has been a staple physics lecture demonstration for decades. It's strange that in 2011 they decide to pick it up and spin it into a news story with great excitement. Also, got to love the journalists's fasci...
by Minerva
Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:03 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Destruction of Nuclear Bombs Using Ultra-High Energy Neutrin
Replies: 5
Views: 1706

Re: Destruction of Nuclear Bombs Using Ultra-High Energy Neu

Ah, good old crackpot arXiv papers which people take too seriously. *makes Dr. Evil gesture* ... we demand... one quadrillion electronvolts! So, there's this nuclear weapon, and it's on the other side of the Earth, but you don't know where it is on the other side of the Earth, so you'll sweep this b...
by Minerva
Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:38 pm UTC
Forum: Books
Topic: REAMDE Excerpts Available
Replies: 10
Views: 4911

Re: REAMDE Excerpts Available

I'm pretty sure there's some sort of exponential function, akin to Moore's law, which describes how each new Neal Stephenson tome is 50% longer and bigger and heavier and more effective as a makeshift bludgeoning weapon than the book that came before it.
by Minerva
Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:48 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Physics homework help
Replies: 11
Views: 1721

Re: Physics homework help

I searched for the Particle Data Group. If you like, you can order a book from them at no cost that is full of all the particle data. It also comes with a mini calendar full of the birthdays of important people. Yep, the "definitive reference" if you've got a "what is the [some measu...
by Minerva
Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:33 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Shale Gas: Cheap Energy for Decades to Come
Replies: 35
Views: 5916

Re: Shale Gas: Cheap Energy for Decades to Come

the gas needed for Bosch-Haber and fertilizers It's a bit of a myth that the use of petroleum or fossil fuels are required for Bosch-Haber synthesis and fertilizers. It's not true. Hydrogen is required, and the cheapest, easiest way to get hydrogen is usually to get it as a byproduct of the industr...
by Minerva
Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:28 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Malaria Vaccine
Replies: 5
Views: 2444

Re: Malaria Vaccine

Awesome.

Of course some moron "mommy instinct" science denialists who will never ever see a case of malaria in their lives will come along and cry about how it's a Big Pharma Conspiracy to give kids autism.
by Minerva
Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:03 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Is there a set amount of Water on the Earth?
Replies: 16
Views: 3058

Re: Is there a set amount of Water on the Earth?

Some water enters our atmosphere when fragments of things like icy comet-like objects enter the atmosphere. Some water is lost, for example, when astronauts carry drinking water on their spacecraft. But the overall amount really doesn't change much. It's kind of funny when some people say things lik...
by Minerva
Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:49 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Shale Gas: Cheap Energy for Decades to Come
Replies: 35
Views: 5916

Re: Shale Gas: Cheap Energy for Decades to Come

Riddled with straw men, it's entirely ignore the primary objections to gas is that it's already a significant portion of global emissions despite being a "cleaner" fuel, and methane is a green house gas much worse than CO2 already. Er... correct me if I'm wrong, but methane doesn't contri...
by Minerva
Sat Oct 15, 2011 10:39 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Will Robots take all the jobs?
Replies: 92
Views: 10707

Re: Will Robots take all the jobs?

This is just the Luddite Fallacy - the technology is gonna take our jobs. It has always been a fallacy, ever since the days of the loom-breakers. Over time, the job market evolves. Certain types of jobs are in less demand, but certain types of jobs are in higher demand, and new technologies and proc...
by Minerva
Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:11 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Radiation dose chart...
Replies: 11
Views: 3560

Re: Radiation dose chart...

If every single cumulative nanosievert of ionising radiation dose really was responsible for adverse health effects and increased morbidity and mortality, as per the "linear non-threshold hypothesis" that anti-nuclearists love to carry around etched on their stone tablets from the mount, t...
by Minerva
Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:58 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: U.S. Panel recommends against routine P.S.A. testing
Replies: 89
Views: 10816

Re: U.S. Panel recommends against routine P.S.A. testing

None of that applies to vaccination. Most people chose to be vaccinated against the worst diseases...it's only the more trivial, or less communicable ones, where government has really "needed" to impose vaccination by force, and of course governments are wrong when they do that. The Varic...
by Minerva
Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:11 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: U.S. Panel recommends against routine P.S.A. testing
Replies: 89
Views: 10816

Re: U.S. Panel recommends against routine P.S.A. testing

We don't really need to ban PSA tests, but we do need to have really good education for the patients about what the results from PSA tests mean and how to interpret them. It is inappropriate - indeed, it is bad for people's mental health - if they believe that slightly elevated PSA means that they a...
by Minerva
Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:40 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Occupy Wall Street - Spreading. Check your town.
Replies: 2500
Views: 242249

Re: Occupy Wall Street - Spreading. Check your town.

http://www.danbuzzard.net/journal/why-i-cant-take-occupywallstreet-seriously.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter This sums it up pretty well for me. Unfortunately, it's the same thing as with environmentalism, or with a lot of political policy change. The crazy silly people with nonse...
by Minerva
Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:38 pm UTC
Forum: General
Topic: A year of environmentalism
Replies: 18
Views: 5546

Re: A year of environmentalism

Personally, I would recommend trying to spend a year learning about the science of ecology. Before there was an ideology called environmentalism, there was a science called ecology, and I think learning about science helps you to steer clear of some of the fanatical dogmas pushed by some people in t...
by Minerva
Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:34 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Well, this could change things (neutrinos)
Replies: 289
Views: 45735

Re: Well, this could change things (neutrinos)

If they mean to say that Sir Alber Einstein is wrong then how did his formulas and theorems work out well this long? Who said this? The CNGS/OPERA physicists certainly didn't say this. There are only two kinds of people who say things like this - pseudo-physicist crackpots and annoying journalists....
by Minerva
Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:22 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Well, this could change things (neutrinos)
Replies: 289
Views: 45735

Re: Well, this could change things (neutrinos)

Contaldi admits that his original analysis posted at arXiv wrongly assumed that OPERA's timings relied on a clock being moved from one end of the beam to the other. But even synchronizing the clocks using GPS does not remove the difference in the time dilation effect, which Contaldi says could amou...
by Minerva
Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:37 pm UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Whitehouse opens petition site
Replies: 224
Views: 31563

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Fluoridation appears (for historical reasons perhaps?) to be a charged issue for some Americans in a way that I don't fully understand, and I should stay away from it. Yep, that's the XKCD N&A Forum Motto right there: stay away from controversial issues. That said, it's only controversial among...
by Minerva
Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:55 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Whitehouse opens petition site
Replies: 224
Views: 31563

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

Magnanimous wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:But since when do people object to fluoride?

It's a chemical and it's in our drinking water. You do the math.


It's the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face!
by Minerva
Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:29 am UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Bioweapons research on Plum Island, NY
Replies: 14
Views: 3150

Re: Bioweapons research on Plum Island, NY

Throughout the Cold War, beginning with the Army Chemical Corps during WWII, and continuing from 1954 with the United States Department of Agriculture, the USA maintained a bioweapons research facility on Plum Island, NY . For reference, Plum Island is in the east end of Long Island Sound, just off...
by Minerva
Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:12 am UTC
Forum: News & Articles
Topic: Whitehouse opens petition site
Replies: 224
Views: 31563

Re: Whitehouse opens petition site

It's a little bit sad. “prohibit all federal agencies from promoting, endorsing, or funding fluoridation of the public drinking water.” currently has 3198 signatures. “formally acknowledge an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race – Disclosure.” currently has 7793 signatures. Meanwhile, t...
by Minerva
Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:50 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: KA's Q&A. This week: What exactly is a "dimension?"
Replies: 99
Views: 15917

Re: KA's Q&A. This week: What exactly is a "dimension?"

Regarding the question about dimensions: Your recommended reading that you might like for this month is Lisa Randall's Warped Passages.
by Minerva
Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:17 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Looking for material on Electrodynamics
Replies: 16
Views: 3673

Re: Looking for material on Electrodynamics

Normally, "the" highly regarded electrodynamics textbook is Classical Electrodynamics by Jackson... you might be interested in getting it from the library or something and having a look, but an educated guess tells me that it might be a little bit on the too-hard side at your level. If you...
by Minerva
Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:09 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Well, this could change things (neutrinos)
Replies: 289
Views: 45735

Re: Well, this could change things

Is it a possibility that the speed of photons in a vacuum is not the speed limit, but the speed of some neutrinos instead? Let's assume that something like that is true, just for the hypothetical sake of argument, and ask some questions. Why do neutrinos, which have mass, travel faster than photons...
by Minerva
Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:47 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Well, this could change things (neutrinos)
Replies: 289
Views: 45735

Re: Well, this could change things

The physicists at the press conference are presently tearing each other to pieces, politely. This is beautiful. While the world's media is watching, this is a fantastic illustration of real, good science, how it works, and what separates science from baloney. These skeptical questions, and the analy...
by Minerva
Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:36 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Well, this could change things (neutrinos)
Replies: 289
Views: 45735

Re: Well, this could change things

by Minerva
Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:02 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Are Nuclear Weapon Countermeasures unstablizing?
Replies: 50
Views: 8697

Re: Are Nuclear Weapon Countermeasures unstablizing?

If you're interested in Cold War-era arms control and disarmament policy I strongly recommend reading all the collected essays in Hans Bethe's The Road from Los Alamos . Of all the people who have seriously thought about and grappled with these questions over the last 60 years, Bethe is probably one...
by Minerva
Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:57 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Well, this could change things (neutrinos)
Replies: 289
Views: 45735

Re: What is wrong with you people?

We have a truly fantastic, truly crazy result from what is the most advanced physics laboratory on earth, and your reaction is the biggest "Meh" I've ever seen. It's interesting. It needs to be peer-reviewed and repeated at MINOS and T2K and falsified. At the moment it's not peer-reviewed...
by Minerva
Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:07 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Plotting for Physicists (specifically Electrodynamics...)
Replies: 6
Views: 2231

Re: Plotting for Physicists (specifically Electrodynamics...

If you know C better, why not use C and use something like cpgplot for all your plotting needs? I really think that any physics professor worth their salt would accept C as a perfectly acceptable choice of programming language for any computational physics work. In my undergrad computational physics...
by Minerva
Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:02 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Well, this could change things (neutrinos)
Replies: 289
Views: 45735

Re: Well, this could change things

The actual paper from the CNGS team is here: "Measurement of the neutrino velocity with the OPERA detector in the CNGS beam"
http://arxiv.org/pdf/1109.4897v1

At the moment all the usual arXiv disclaimers apply. Not published for peer-review.

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