Search found 196 matches

by drachefly
Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:55 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1442: "Chemistry"
Replies: 63
Views: 22197

Re: 1442: "Chemistry"

Under sufficient pressure, though, couldn't oxygen link together with itself into chains? We have to consider the implications of elements with closed loops. So you could get interlocking oxygens? Hmm. Now I'm envisioning charm-bracelet molecules of O linked to He, B, Ne, P, As, Os, Rh, Pt, Pu, etc...
by drachefly
Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:40 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Skunk Works reveals compact fusion reactor?
Replies: 47
Views: 9004

Re: Skunk Works reveals compact fusion reactor?

How do you plan on getting those particles so nicely sorted?
by drachefly
Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:12 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: FTL communication and time travel
Replies: 51
Views: 15358

Re: FTL communication and time travel

doogly wrote:It's time to go to the fictional science subforum. Like, the Ender's Game fanfic nadir of the fictional science subforum.


Surely it would be the Hainish Novels end?
by drachefly
Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:08 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Fuck Dark Matter; It's a sprinkler, not a whirlpool.
Replies: 135
Views: 27656

Re: Fuck Dark Matter; It's a sprinkler, not a whirlpool.

The distribution of dark matter is roughly spherical around galaxies. This would produce a flat disk if it produced any gravitationally bound structures at all. You've hit the nail on the head! The flat disk it produces is the disk of visible matter in our milky way; the dark matter isn't necessary...
by drachefly
Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:14 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: FTL communication and time travel
Replies: 51
Views: 15358

Re: FTL communication and time travel

And it's worth noting that while relativity eliminates any requirement for a privileged rest frame, you have the freedom to pick one if needed for some other theory. Not if by "privileged" you mean that the basic laws of physics work differently in this frame than in others, so that even ...
by drachefly
Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:05 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Fuck Dark Matter; It's a sprinkler, not a whirlpool.
Replies: 135
Views: 27656

Re: Fuck Dark Matter; It's a sprinkler, not a whirlpool.

The distribution of dark matter is roughly spherical around galaxies. This would produce a flat disk if it produced any gravitationally bound structures at all.
by drachefly
Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:02 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"
Replies: 91
Views: 22836

Re: 1413: "Suddenly Popular"

Middle school I may have become slightly more globally aware, but as another person said, the whole "chads" thing was more recognizable than Butterfly Ballot. I'm not sure why. Butterfly Ballots are more vivid an image, more obviously the result of shenanigans, and, IIRC, skewed the resul...
by drachefly
Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:54 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1412: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"
Replies: 150
Views: 42173

Re: 1412: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"

well, goes to show how old I am. I have heard of the TMNT but am absolutely clueless as to what their theme song is. And it's not as if you don't know who they are, if that avatar of yours is any indication (unless I'm totally mistaken, it's from the comic isn't it?) Actually, that's Usagi Yojimbo,...
by drachefly
Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:40 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Does the universe have "Garden of Eden" configurations?
Replies: 24
Views: 6381

Re: Does the universe have "Garden of Eden" configurations?

Frenetic Pony wrote:Ok ok, I said assumptions holding, maybe quantum tunneling can break thermodynamics


It doesn't.
by drachefly
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:10 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1409: "Query"
Replies: 66
Views: 21555

Re: 1409: "Query"

Called it.

What did she think would happen?
by drachefly
Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:10 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Aerogel
Replies: 28
Views: 10761

Re: Aerogel

Furthermore, the use of pyrogel allows you to go to higher temperature and hence, produce more lift. (nowhere near helium, if I remember right I calculated around 30000°C to get to the lift of helium). Off the top of my head, it would be (14*2/4)*300 = 2100°C for high temperature N2 to be as light ...
by drachefly
Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:25 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: EMDrive and other reactionless propulsion claims
Replies: 71
Views: 16801

Re: EMDrive and other reactionless propulsion claims

While the initial and final velocities may be the same, I'm pretty sure the velocity of the box in between the time that the cannon hits the wall and the time that the ball hits the wall has a different value. The velocity of the box alone does change. But the velocity of the system of the box, can...
by drachefly
Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:50 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1404: Quantum Vacuum Virtual Plasma
Replies: 62
Views: 22084

Re: 1404: Quantum Vacuum Virtual Plasma

Its worth looking at the Wikipedia article on the issue: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_vacuum_plasma_thruster It explains why, if it works according to the claim, it doesn't violate conservation of momentum. To a first approximation, its an MHD drive using the Dirac Sea of virtual particles ...
by drachefly
Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:31 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: EMDrive and other reactionless propulsion claims
Replies: 71
Views: 16801

Re: EMDrive and other reactionless propulsion claims

It can't be pushing off the quantum vacuum. If you want to get anything out of the quantum vacuum, you need to provide all of the energy and momentum yourself. How exactly did conservation of momentum work when we knocked virtual photons into real photons with a superconducting quantum interference...
by drachefly
Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:14 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: "Fat" Universe Theory
Replies: 50
Views: 7916

Re: "Fat" Universe Theory

Spoilered for Yudkowsky gossip. But he did set my crackpot alarm on texts like this That set off your crackpot alarm because... what? The arguments work and the interpretation he endorses is endorsed by a strong minority of professionals in the area, with most of the others refusing to take a posit...
by drachefly
Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:57 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: "Fat" Universe Theory
Replies: 50
Views: 7916

Re: "Fat" Universe Theory

He is the only non-physicist I have ever seen to write an extended essay about quantum mechanics and get only trivial details wrong.
by drachefly
Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:49 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: EMDrive and other reactionless propulsion claims
Replies: 71
Views: 16801

Re: EMDrive and other reactionless propulsion claims

It can't be pushing off the quantum vacuum. If you want to get anything out of the quantum vacuum, you need to provide all of the energy and momentum yourself. If this is somehow real, it would be the most surprising result since quantum mechanics, counting everything from the photoelectric effect u...
by drachefly
Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:40 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Why is hydrogen's boiling point higher than helium's?
Replies: 4
Views: 6698

Re: Why is hydrogen's boiling point higher than helium's?

H2 is much much more polarizable than He, so they should stick to each other better.
by drachefly
Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:34 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Compression and Degenerate Matter
Replies: 12
Views: 3713

Re: Compression and Degenerate Matter

There are some materials that do just that, though. A) That is weird, but B) These crystals are doing work, like I said. That they can explode a little tinny bit (and remain crystalline in the process) doesn't really change that they are converting internal energy into work - the definition of expl...
by drachefly
Sun Jul 27, 2014 2:57 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Compression and Degenerate Matter
Replies: 12
Views: 3713

Re: Compression and Degenerate Matter

If pressing it inwards harder causes it to expand, then it's doing work. That explains when such a thing might happen quite easily: pressure-induced explosions! This happens on the inside of a Diesel engine multiple times a second. Aside from that, no, it ought not happen that increasing the pressur...
by drachefly
Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:10 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: If "Troll Science" actually worked...
Replies: 9
Views: 6562

Re: If "Troll Science" actually worked...

The main thing about troll science is that it takes premises that are false, usually generated by misapplying Murphy's Law. However, they are generally very technologizable in almost utopian ways. Nearly energy from cheap components! However, we would never get to enjoy it because we'd be inundated ...
by drachefly
Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:30 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: LED farm 100-fold more awesomer than farmland
Replies: 91
Views: 15752

Re: LED farm 100-fold more awesomer than farmland

Oh-kay... but doesn't that kind of argue against your point? People ARE apparently taking it seriously, so putting things inside isn't all that crazy after all?
by drachefly
Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:35 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1389: "Surface Area"
Replies: 125
Views: 38254

Re: 1389: "Surface Area"

HES wrote:That's what evolution is for.


That's what eugenics is for. It's evolution minus 99.9999% of the misery.
by drachefly
Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:21 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: LED farm 100-fold more awesomer than farmland
Replies: 91
Views: 15752

Re: LED farm 100-fold more awesomer than farmland

Someone talks about putting cities into bubbles, and everyone realizes it's sci-fi*, but if they talk about greenhouse farming being an actual factor in food production, everyone nods along as if this is relevant and reasonable. Farms cover vastly more land than cities do. Cities in bubbles are inv...
by drachefly
Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:18 pm UTC
Forum: Individual XKCD Comic Threads
Topic: 1397: "Luke"
Replies: 39
Views: 10797

Re: 1397: "Luke"

The reason for this double standard? I'm pretty sure it boils down to the simple matter that men have an easier time working with hands than women. Also, Yes, but in a population of N males and N females, the mean number of female sex partners the males have must be the same as the mean number of ma...
by drachefly
Mon Jul 21, 2014 10:11 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: items related to: roko's basilisk, boltzmann brain paradox
Replies: 53
Views: 21023

Re: items related to: roko's basilisk, boltzmann brain parad

It is very silly, and thinking that it's mainstream on LessWrong is sillier. That takes work, people.
by drachefly
Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:54 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Dark Matter
Replies: 27
Views: 6599

Re: Dark Matter

The force that keeps the hyperplanes from moving in that fourth dimension? Isn't it obvious? We're pinned in the nodes or antinodes of the standing wave of dark energy, which is, ah, somehow coherent over cosmic length-scales.

Yeah, that's it.
by drachefly
Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:50 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Why is cosmological inflation necessary?
Replies: 15
Views: 4111

Re: Why is cosmological inflation necessary?

Tchebu wrote:The monopole thing is basically just that we haven't found any although our current particle physics theories strongly suggest that they should be formed in the early universe in large amounts.


What?
by drachefly
Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:50 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How do gravitational waves form?
Replies: 11
Views: 2791

Re: How do gravitational waves form?

Gravitational fields come from the same basic sources as electromagnetic waves: a source (charge, mass) is experiencing changing acceleration. A common source for this would be a spinning object on which the gravitational field is not uniform along the direction of spin, but it could also be somethi...
by drachefly
Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:28 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: my (stupid) perpetual motion idea
Replies: 6
Views: 5023

Re: my (stupid) perpetual motion idea

KnightExemplar wrote:That moon will keep circling for millennia.


millennia?
by drachefly
Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:27 am UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: Silly Question: Neutrino Rocket
Replies: 23
Views: 12118

Re: Silly Question: Neutrino Rocket

With an exhaust velocity of about 0.9999999999999c, the difference in efficiency between the neutrino rocket and a true photon rocket is negligible. Photon rockets are far far more efficient if you can aim them at mirrors aimed at mirrors mounted on your spaceship so your photons bounce back and fo...
by drachefly
Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:56 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Toffo Talks about Trains
Replies: 128
Views: 19295

Re: Toffo Talks about Trains

In a relativistically rotating reference frame, you can't use special relativity - you need to use general relativity. So it's almost certainly not the case that the rotating observer sees the walls contracted and that's the only change.
by drachefly
Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:10 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Dark Matter
Replies: 27
Views: 6599

Re: Dark Matter

It's a little tricky to reconcile with the Bullet nebula evidence. There, the dark matter passed through itself readily, while visible matter did not. But I can see two solutions: If our plane (locally) holds the plurality of the matter and there are lots and lots of hyperplanes the dark matter is s...
by drachefly
Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:07 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: String Theory and the various interpretations of QM
Replies: 21
Views: 4426

Re: String Theory and the various interpretations of QM

Yeah, unfortunately string theory is flexible -- hehe -- enough to render it more-or-less unfalsifiable. Now, if we managed to actually confirm some of its predictions, then we'd have something. From what I recall, the most significant result in String Theory is that non-supersymmetric string theor...
by drachefly
Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:36 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: I think I understand why black holes are weird
Replies: 33
Views: 6664

Re: I think I understand why black holes are weird

We never look through a microscope and see electrons and quarks, either. Well, we do see electrons all the time, though not in enough detail to distinguish them individually. However, I've seen the shadows of individual carbon atoms. The only way it was less direct than using a pinhole camera was t...
by drachefly
Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:01 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: LED farm 100-fold more awesomer than farmland
Replies: 91
Views: 15752

Re: LED farm 100-fold more awesomer than farmland

The ramifications for this are enormous, considering the guy wants to expand. Extraordinarily less water, pesticide, and fertilizer consumption. It's basically a means to convert electricity into food, while simultaneously freeing up bananas amounts of farmland. Bananas amounts of farmland? Okay, n...
by drachefly
Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:37 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: String Theory and the various interpretations of QM
Replies: 21
Views: 4426

Re: String Theory and the various interpretations of QM

Yeah, unfortunately string theory is flexible -- hehe -- enough to render it more-or-less unfalsifiable. Now, if we managed to actually confirm some of its predictions, then we'd have something. From what I recall, the most significant result in String Theory is that non-supersymmetric string theor...
by drachefly
Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:32 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Terraforming Venus
Replies: 34
Views: 8715

Re: Terraforming Venus

thoughtfully wrote:Also, anchoring the flywheels is going to be a bigger challenge than building them or spinning them up.


Given that they were to be launched, I think the idea was to keep them roughly on the surface, in which case the anchoring is a piece of cake but the launching is daunting.
by drachefly
Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:56 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How many neutrinos can fit inside the Earth?
Replies: 7
Views: 2913

Re: How many neutrinos can fit inside the Earth?

Well, neutrinos can not actually pass through an elemental particle. That is what the Pauli exclusion principle tells us. This means next to nothing because elemental particles are only a really small percentage of the volume of an object. The PEP says NOTHING about the overlap between particles of...
by drachefly
Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:53 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Toffo Talks about Trains
Replies: 128
Views: 19295

Re: Energy of transition in accelerating transportation

Oh der, of course it gets SHORTER as it accelerates.

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