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5 Things You Didn't Know: Cosmology and Physics

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    5 Things You Didn't Know: Cosmology and Physics

    5 things you didn't know about physics and cosmology


    1) Our solar system travels on a more-or-less linear path about 370 statute miles per second. Expansion of the universe, rotation of the galaxy, etc. I was born in 1974, about 490 billion miles from here. If it were possible to examine my path through the universe, it would look something like a finely coiled spring, or a lightbulb filament.


    2) Despite Newton's and Einstein's best efforts, and the efforts of those that have come since, nobody really can explain gravity. We know it exists, we know how to measure it, but we have no solid explanation of why it exists. It remains one of the biggest mysteries of our existence.


    3) Star Trek fan? Warp drive could be a real thing, soon. Invented 15-ish years ago by some Brit, the EM drive is slated to be tested by NASA. Expect news on this in the coming months.


    4) Everything is bigger in Texas, right? Well, that was almost true, with the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC). If that project had come to fruition, A collider ring of over 54 miles in circumference around Waxahachie, Texas would have been 3 times the size of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, in Geneva, Switzerland, by some metrics. Unfortunately, Congress yanked funding back in the 80's, and most recently the site has been shopped as the largest Internet data center in the world, though - since the founder of that enterprise died, recently, it's fate is uncertain. I've heard it was for sale, again, but was unable to find a link. If you happen to have 2 billion dollars handy, it could be yours.


    5) Bohr's model of the atom is wrong (except, possibly, for Hydrogen atoms). We've known that for decades, but still teach it to our students.
    Consider for a moment that there is no meme about brown-haired, brown-eyed step children.

    #2
    The Trekkie in me really hopes that the EM drive does actually work. I read a few reports on it before and (as the articles mentions) it does seem to violate a fair few laws of physics...

    Comment


      #3
      There be fantastic work being done with teh graverties right now.
      http://sci.esa.int/lisa-pathfinder/
      Oh and #4 is a bitter bitter topic. Very much anti-learrning and them anti-eletistisms "idiots putting shrimp on a treadmill" pandering. I am going to politely put that topic down and walk away to be the bigger goddamn monkey.
      Last edited by BackFistMonkey; 11/14/2016 1:10pm, .

      Comment


        #4
        More Gravity stuff I couldn't find in my bookmarks earlier.
        https://www.nsf.gov/news/index.jsp?pims_id=5628&org=NSF

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by submessenger View Post
          5) Bohr's model of the atom is wrong (except, possibly, for Hydrogen atoms). We've known that for decades, but still teach it to our students.
          It is not so much as "wrong" as a very simplistic model. It is "right" enough for anyone whose education into physics\chemistry stops at just learning it. Most people that take a 100 level chemistry/physics class will get into at least the valence shell atom model.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by goodlun View Post
            It is "right" enough for anyone whose education into physics\chemistry stops at just learning it.
            Chicken or egg? I don't want to devolve into politics/conspiracies, here, but this has bugged me for a long time. I guess that's why I'm not a teacher.
            Consider for a moment that there is no meme about brown-haired, brown-eyed step children.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by submessenger View Post
              Chicken or egg? I don't want to devolve into politics/conspiracies, here, but this has bugged me for a long time. I guess that's why I'm not a teacher.
              I mean when teaching BJJ do you teach kinesiology at a 400 level class?
              When teaching someone to read do you jump right into Ulysses?
              How much do we all need to know?
              If you are learning to drive do you need to know how an ICE runs?
              I mean really runs not just the 4 cycles.

              Comment


                #8
                "All models are wrong. Some are useful."

                George EP Box

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by goodlun View Post
                  I mean when teaching BJJ do you teach kinesiology at a 400 level class?
                  When teaching someone to read do you jump right into Ulysses?
                  How much do we all need to know?
                  If you are learning to drive do you need to know how an ICE runs?
                  I mean really runs not just the 4 cycles.
                  Rhetoric begets rhetoric. How much smarter/better would we be if we didn't "hide the truth?" OK, that sounds conspiratorial, unintentionally. But, that's the point of this series... Shit you didn't know. Imagine what you'll know, tomorrow:
                  Consider for a moment that there is no meme about brown-haired, brown-eyed step children.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by submessenger View Post
                    "hide the truth?"
                    Is simplicity really hiding the truth though? I see it more along the lines of the problems I have with map projections vs say purposeful misinformation.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by goodlun View Post
                      Is simplicity really hiding the truth though? I see it more along the lines of the problems I have with map projections vs say purposeful misinformation.
                      Of course you think that way, you're a math guy, you probably passed calculus. The laymen don't know why we ignore the little bits, or probably that there are little bits that can be ignored.
                      Consider for a moment that there is no meme about brown-haired, brown-eyed step children.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by submessenger View Post
                        Of course you think that way, you're a math guy, you probably passed calculus. The laymen don't know why we ignore the little bits, or probably that there are little bits that can be ignored.
                        But do the laymen need to really understand:







                        When this model here tells the layperson everything they need to know.
                        When this representation will allow you to do 99% of what 99.99% of the population needs to do when it comes to atoms:

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by goodlun View Post
                          It is not so much as "wrong" as a very simplistic model. It is "right" enough for anyone whose education into physics\chemistry stops at just learning it. Most people that take a 100 level chemistry/physics class will get into at least the valence shell atom model.
                          Explaining probabilities to the unwashed masses is difficult. Witness the whole mess about polls in the latest election...
                          Falling for Judo since 1980

                          "You are wrong. Why? Because you move like a pregnant yak and talk like a spazzing 'I train UFC' noob." -DCS

                          "The best part of getting you worked up is your backpack full of irony and lies." -It Is Fake

                          "Banning BKR is like kicking a Quokka. It's foolishness of the first order." - Raycetpfl

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by ChenPengFi View Post
                            "All models are wrong. Some are useful."

                            George EP Box
                            This was on of my favorites back when I was in the petroleum geologist business. Computer-based Reservoir models, geophysical models, etc., etc., were becoming more and more common in my line of work. Hell, even good old fashioned contour and isochore maps are models. Some managers got it, others were convinced that whatever came out of the black box was "truth".
                            Falling for Judo since 1980

                            "You are wrong. Why? Because you move like a pregnant yak and talk like a spazzing 'I train UFC' noob." -DCS

                            "The best part of getting you worked up is your backpack full of irony and lies." -It Is Fake

                            "Banning BKR is like kicking a Quokka. It's foolishness of the first order." - Raycetpfl

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Here is a good one for this discussion Electron flow vs Current Flow.



                              There is literally no reason to keep teaching current flow what so ever.

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