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by stoppedcaring
Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:25 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0113: "Visit Every State"
Replies: 87
Views: 34204

Re: What-If 0113: "Visit Every State"

Flumble wrote:Instead of a lengthy refueling, you can just swap planes. Of course you should first decelerate the fighter to a speed at which the pilot(s) can "safely" get out and hop to the other one. It works in BF2, so I expect it to work in real life. :D

Good luck pulling that off at Mach 3.
by stoppedcaring
Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:21 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0114: "Antimatter"
Replies: 52
Views: 17066

Re: What-If 0114: "Antimatter"

Moose Anus wrote:If electrons were originally assigned a positive charge (rather than negative), then positrons would instead be called "negatrons," which sounds awesome.

But "negatronic brain" just doesn't have that ring to it.
by stoppedcaring
Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:19 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0114: "Antimatter"
Replies: 52
Views: 17066

Re: What-If 0114: "Antimatter"

As you will be able to tell, I am not a physicist. I always thought matter and antimatter were in the same quantities, but settled in different areas of the universe because, on the large scale, they repelled each other. Small bits of matter can collide with antimatter to create explosions, but any...
by stoppedcaring
Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:54 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0113: "Visit Every State"
Replies: 87
Views: 34204

Re: What-If 0113: "Visit Every State"

One consideration is that the refuel time may be a little longer than I estimated; the SR-71 is a much bigger bird than the F-14. I was able to find anecdotal references to the fuel capacity of the SR-71 being roughly 40 short tons, and given that this pilot says a B2 takes up to half an hour to gul...
by stoppedcaring
Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:01 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0113: "Visit Every State"
Replies: 87
Views: 34204

Re: What-If 0113: "Visit Every State"

EDIT: Reworked the path somewhat. I realized that NY, VT, NH, ME, MA, RI, CT, NJ, PA, DE, MD, DC, VA, and OH can all be hit in sequence by one curve with a radius that never goes under 100 miles, so I reversed the loops. Added enough points to the line so that the actual curves taken will be less d...
by stoppedcaring
Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:06 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0113: "Visit Every State"
Replies: 87
Views: 34204

Re: What-If 0113: "Visit Every State"

This one makes an SR-71 possible to beat satellite. Start just over the Southern tip of Alaska, wing down over Washington, Oregon, and join the Northernmost line somewhere in Oregon/Idaho so you hit the line in time to pass over Wyoming. That should be possible on one tank, in about an hour and a h...
by stoppedcaring
Thu Sep 25, 2014 10:08 pm UTC
Forum: What If?
Topic: What-If 0113: "Visit Every State"
Replies: 87
Views: 34204

Re: What-If 0113: "Visit Every State"

How are we doing on coming up with a 4-pass route over the Lower 48? I can get everything but Washington if we allow a pass over the Four Corners Monument to count for all four states. Of course, I'm using straight lines, not great circles; I don't know if that would affect the final result or not. ...
by stoppedcaring
Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:12 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Gravitational waves, potential, and creationism
Replies: 11
Views: 3742

Re: Gravitational waves, potential, and creationism

That would be the case outside the sphere, but what about for an observer at some random point inside the sphere? At time t 0 , it is enclosed in a shell and thus experiences no gravity. At time t 1 , when that shell of mass crosses the location of the observer, the observer will begin to experienc...
by stoppedcaring
Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:54 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Gravitational waves, potential, and creationism
Replies: 11
Views: 3742

Re: Gravitational waves, potential, and creationism

Perhaps I can recast the question in a more straightforward fashion. Consider a Kardashev-III civilization with a Dyson swarm large enough to enclose an entire galaxy. Suppose this civilization wants to create a new galaxy with a new galactic core, so they arrange their pre-charged Dyson swarm in a...
by stoppedcaring
Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:40 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Gravitational waves, potential, and creationism
Replies: 11
Views: 3742

Re: Gravitational waves, potential, and creationism

Perhaps I can recast the question in a more straightforward fashion. Consider a Kardashev-III civilization with a Dyson swarm large enough to enclose an entire galaxy. Suppose this civilization wants to create a new galaxy with a new galactic core, so they arrange their pre-charged Dyson swarm in an...
by stoppedcaring
Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:09 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: How hard would I punch something to shatter the moon?
Replies: 7
Views: 3500

Re: How hard would I punch something to shatter the moon?

Well, for certain values of "shockwave"...

...you could punch something with sufficient force to create a ripple in spacetime with so much energy that the cruciform oscillations triggered in the moon when the wave hit it would rip the moon apart.
by stoppedcaring
Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:34 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Gravitational waves, potential, and creationism
Replies: 11
Views: 3742

Gravitational waves, potential, and creationism

Some particularly convoluted versions of young-earth creationism propose that God created the universe moving inward from the observable edge, at the speed of light, over a period of 13.8 billion years, such that all the light from the farthest and nearest reaches of the universe reached our solar s...
by stoppedcaring
Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:18 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Speculative biology -- the affairs of dragons
Replies: 33
Views: 10528

Re: Speculative biology -- the affairs of dragons

I'm not disputing that vomiting has utility in life, I'm disputing vomiting as a 'pre-digestion' ploy. There are snakes that spit venom to blind their prey, but AFAIK, there are no vertebrates that eat via spitting up digestive juices, and sucking up the digested prey. Yeah, it was the venom-spitti...
by stoppedcaring
Tue Aug 05, 2014 2:23 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: EMDrive and other reactionless propulsion claims
Replies: 71
Views: 16585

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 stoppedcaring
Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:06 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: EMDrive and other reactionless propulsion claims
Replies: 71
Views: 16585

Re: EMDrive and other reactionless propulsion claims

Apparently, the difference between the "should work/shouldn't work" models was some sort of baffle or groove or slot on the inside which the original inventor had claimed was necessary for the device to function. That they measured the same thrust regardless of whether those slots were pre...
by stoppedcaring
Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:04 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Why is hydrogen's boiling point higher than helium's?
Replies: 4
Views: 6583

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

Right, hydrogen is diatomic while helium is noble, so helium has a smaller cross-section.
by stoppedcaring
Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:22 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Speculative biology -- the affairs of dragons
Replies: 33
Views: 10528

Re: Speculative biology -- the affairs of dragons

Holy mother of
by stoppedcaring
Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:08 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: EMDrive and other reactionless propulsion claims
Replies: 71
Views: 16585

Re: China Picks up the EMDrive

Izawwlgood wrote:Surely though there are ways to separate out forces, either by building another 'test' machine that is shaped differently, and/or by... I dunno, doing whole thing in a... faraday... cage...?

Oh, I'm sure. Just trying to think of what mistakes the NASA team could have made.
by stoppedcaring
Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:53 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: EMDrive and other reactionless propulsion claims
Replies: 71
Views: 16585

Re: China Picks up the EMDrive

It is always funny (in a depressing way) how persistently people continue to think basic magnetism is able to violate the laws of physics. Not sure if you were replying to me or not, but that's not what I was implying. I had suggested earlier than an induced current could have produced an unanticip...
by stoppedcaring
Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:29 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: EMDrive and other reactionless propulsion claims
Replies: 71
Views: 16585

Re: China Picks up the EMDrive

Izawwlgood wrote:Is the general consensus that there was an error in NASA's testing/

How much energy is actually involved? I'm sure that with any appreciable current, it would be easy to miss some induced magnetic interference.
by stoppedcaring
Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:23 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Speculative biology -- the affairs of dragons
Replies: 33
Views: 10528

Re: Speculative biology -- the affairs of dragons

As far as possible reagents are concerned, disodium peroxide or one of its hydrates looks promising. It's an extremely caustic base even at low purity, meaning it would serve as an excellent deterrent to attack even without its oxidization properties. Mix in a little calcium carbide, and the hypergo...
by stoppedcaring
Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:45 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: EMDrive and other reactionless propulsion claims
Replies: 71
Views: 16585

Re: NASA scientists report positively on propellant-less dri

Thrust, or at least energy, is velocity-dependent, thanks to the Oberth effect. I imagine that this sort of novel propulsion, if it works, could be particularly sensitive to the Oberth effect.
by stoppedcaring
Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:29 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: EMDrive and other reactionless propulsion claims
Replies: 71
Views: 16585

Re: NASA scientists report positively on propellant-less dri

If this is the same "propellant-less" drive I've seen mentioned for years, it's just a glorified photon drive possibly combined with a solar sail of some sort. It's true that solar sails don't use propellant, but that doesn't make them a breakthrough revolutionary technology or whatever p...
by stoppedcaring
Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:46 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: EMDrive and other reactionless propulsion claims
Replies: 71
Views: 16585

Re: NASA scientists report positively on propellant-less dri

My first guess would be that the orientation of the reflectors results in an asymmetric magnetic field which induces current in something nearby, making the whole thing act basically like a solenoid. Which could explain why different experimental designs are getting such vastly different thrust. Alt...
by stoppedcaring
Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:14 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Speculative biology -- the affairs of dragons
Replies: 33
Views: 10528

Re: Speculative biology -- the affairs of dragons

Structurally, it's also worth noting that bats and pterosaurs have very different approaches to the "membrane." Since both managed powered flight with their wings and one branch of pterosaurs retained long, bony tails as control surfaces, I think you don't need to worry about tails as a p...
by stoppedcaring
Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:36 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Speculative biology -- the affairs of dragons
Replies: 33
Views: 10528

Re: Speculative biology -- the affairs of dragons

On the other hand, I don't know of any vertebrate species that has/had more than four limbs. So whilst random mutations do, on occasion, add a fully functional 5th limb to an organism, there doesn't appear to be a selection advantage to it. That was my point -- yes, extra limbs can come from mutati...
by stoppedcaring
Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:42 pm UTC
Forum: Serious Business
Topic: Gun Control
Replies: 2237
Views: 370969

Re: Gun Control

...a LOT of military combat takes place at very close ranges indeed, but there is significant dispute over if sidearms are even worth carrying at all(the USMC is generally against). The value is as a backup, too...not as "oh, he's close, drop the rifle and swap to pistol". Be aware that e...
by stoppedcaring
Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:07 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Speculative biology -- the affairs of dragons
Replies: 33
Views: 10528

Re: Speculative biology -- the affairs of dragons

Yeah, the four-limbed-dragon design of Smaug is basically a Wyvern (though Smaug himself is of course massively, massively larger than could realistically be possible). Similar to pteranodons, really; it's now known that pteranodons were quadrupedal, just as we saw from Smaug in the last film. I do...
by stoppedcaring
Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:39 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Speculative biology -- the affairs of dragons
Replies: 33
Views: 10528

Re: Speculative biology -- the affairs of dragons

Yeah, the four-limbed-dragon design of Smaug is basically a Wyvern (though Smaug himself is of course massively, massively larger than could realistically be possible). Similar to pteranodons, really; it's now known that pteranodons were quadrupedal, just as we saw from Smaug in the last film. I don...
by stoppedcaring
Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:48 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Speculative biology -- the affairs of dragons
Replies: 33
Views: 10528

Speculative biology -- the affairs of dragons

This is more hard science discussion than fictional science per se, so I wanted to put it here. I've seen some speculations about how dragons could have evolved, like this , but none of them ever seem particularly convincing. Swim bladders that collect hydrogen and help the dragon float while lettin...
by stoppedcaring
Wed Jul 30, 2014 2:10 pm UTC
Forum: Language/Linguistics
Topic: Grammar question -- tense inside clause
Replies: 3
Views: 3086

Grammar question -- tense inside clause

Grammar is usually my forte, but I confess I'm stumped by this one. Which of the following is correct? I realized my brother is gay. I realized my brother was gay. Obviously, this could be clarified by adding "that", i.e. "I realized that my brother is/was gay", which makes the p...
by stoppedcaring
Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:48 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: What does a million-ton black hole eat?
Replies: 32
Views: 16203

Re: What does a million-ton black hole eat?

Yeah, feeding 18kg a second into an event horizon that small... Wow, that really is small. Even the larger billion ton black hole would have an event horizon smaller than a nanometer. Good luck with that. A million-tonne black hole has an event horizon surface area of only 3e-35 m 2 . Which is prob...
by stoppedcaring
Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:09 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Speed of Propagation of a Magnetic Field.
Replies: 116
Views: 28565

Re: Speed of Propagation of a Magnetic Field.

This is not directed at the OP: It's been ages since I did E&M, and I wasn't amazing at it back when I did do it, but... isn't one of the reasons electromagnetic forces are 'electromagnetic forces' and not 'electric forces' and 'magnetic forces' because one can be made to look like the other (o...
by stoppedcaring
Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:53 pm UTC
Forum: Fictional Science
Topic: What does a million-ton black hole eat?
Replies: 32
Views: 16203

Re: What does a million-ton black hole eat?

Black holes are still entirely subject to conservation of momentum, right?
by stoppedcaring
Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:03 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Toffo Talks about Trains
Replies: 128
Views: 19043

Re: Energy of transition in accelerating transportation

Toffo wrote:It's a quite well known fact that in an accelerating vehicle front clock ticks faster than rear clock.

As this is your premise...are you sure?
by stoppedcaring
Fri Jun 20, 2014 6:23 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: I think I understand why black holes are weird
Replies: 33
Views: 6557

Re: I think I understand why black holes are weird

Pardon if this is hijacking and should be its own thread, but I feel it falls into the "black holes are weird" heading. What happens to matter in a black hole? I read that at some point the matter cannot support its own weight, and so collapses infinitely. Matter is just energy 1 . Someth...
by stoppedcaring
Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:43 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Toffo Talks about Trains
Replies: 128
Views: 19043

Re: Energy of transition in accelerating transportation

I'm guessing that light hitting the inside surface of the front of the train will in fact, donate some kinetic energy, as it does in the operation of a solar sail. Photons do not have mass, but they do carry momentum (the maths and physics of this is slighty above my pay grade)... Photons do have m...
by stoppedcaring
Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:43 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Toffo Talks about Trains
Replies: 128
Views: 19043

Re: Energy of transition in accelerating transportation

I'm guessing that light hitting the inside surface of the front of the train will in fact, donate some kinetic energy, as it does in the operation of a solar sail. Photons do not have mass, but they do carry momentum (the maths and physics of this is slighty above my pay grade)... Photons do have m...
by stoppedcaring
Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:37 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: I think I understand why black holes are weird
Replies: 33
Views: 6557

Re: I think I understand why black holes are weird

The "rubber sheet" diagram doesn't really capture the significance of the event horizon. From the infalling observer's point of view, the event horizon is the point at which space becomes so warped that every direction is "down". Though of course locally it's still possible to wa...
by stoppedcaring
Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:57 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: I think I understand why black holes are weird
Replies: 33
Views: 6557

Re: I think I understand why black holes are weird

schapel wrote:So you end up traveling an infinite distance in a finite amount of time? Why, butter my biscuits, that's even weirder than I thought!

IIRC, in the image you embedded, distance exists in the x-y plane. The z-axis represents acceleration.

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