What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

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mojacardave
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What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby mojacardave » Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:15 pm UTC

It feels odd that swimming on the moon would feel the same as swimming on the Earth. But this is definitely one of the more fun (and less lethal) What-If setups!

Also - experimental setup image from linked report:

Untitled.png
Human 'run on water' attempt on Earth

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby dtilque » Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:33 pm UTC

Link to Lunar Swimming

I expect there'll be flying on the Moon before anyone swims there.
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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby JPhi1618 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:45 pm UTC

So, I browsed the PLoS ONE paper, and it turns out that there is a VIDEO of their test setup - not just a silly picture!
http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchSingleRepresentation.action?uri=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0037300.s002

Here is the HTML version of the paper with another video (of a lizard) and separate graphics:
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0037300

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:19 pm UTC

In the Red Mars trilogy, the colonists spend a lot of time hanging out in hot tubs and steam rooms together, and they actually talk about this a bit!
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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby squall_line » Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:46 pm UTC

So, it used to be "Tuesdays: New What If?s!", which then sorta morphed into What If? Wednesday... Are we up to "What If? Whenever" now? Maybe the book tour turned into a road tour?

I know, I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, complain about free ice cream, etc., but it worries me that there's nothing mentioned in the blog about delays or other personal strife, and I worry that there's something going on that Randall isn't telling us. Not that I expect him to reveal his personal life to the world, but something addressing the significant and frequent delays of the What If?s, even something as simple as "I'm busy, What If?s will be delayed until ready every week, maybe as late as Friday or Saturday" would be appreciated.

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby JPhi1618 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:12 pm UTC

Honestly, we've been at "What-if Whenever" since the book release! I just look at it as an extra bit of excitement and wonder to my mornings, and I'm happy to see the new ones. I don't even try on Tuesdays...

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby mathmannix » Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:16 pm UTC

Yeah, the website no longer makes any claim of a schedule for What-If's. However, this is a great one, totally a classic What-If, with an interesting question, an answer with good equations and sources, and plenty of humor. IMHO, I don't think there's been a What-If this good in six months. Good return Randall, keep up the good work!
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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby speising » Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:51 pm UTC

but little potential for "more power".

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby DanMcQueen » Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:52 pm UTC

Please do a part 2 about pools on other planets... PLEASE!

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby Heimhenge » Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:53 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:Yeah, the website no longer makes any claim of a schedule for What-If's. However, this is a great one, totally a classic What-If, with an interesting question, an answer with good equations and sources, and plenty of humor. IMHO, I don't think there's been a What-If this good in six months. Good return Randall, keep up the good work!

Totally agree. Best What If? since the book came out. The delays in posting have been annoying, sure, but I was willing to cut Randall some slack figuring he was busy with book promotion etc. I mean, if I paid for XKCD I'd be pissed. But as it is, I just drop by during my morning coffee, hoping to see something new. If not, I'll spend some time reading these forum threads ... almost always get linked to something interesting.

Personally, I'd rather wait a bit longer to see a great What If? than get a mediocre one every Tuesday. And the previous 4-5 What If?s have been, imho, mediocre.

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby PointSpecial » Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:00 pm UTC

I agree, best What-If since the book, but let's talk about it rather than the lack of consistency in the medium...


I had two thoughts.

First, why take earth-water and try to bring it to the moon? That, as Randall stated, would cause immense problems.

Why not just take hydrogen and oxygen and convert them to water ON the moon? That seems much more feasible... Yes, it would be energy intensive on the moon, but it seems like a more workable solution (once we learn how to harness more solar power, etc).

Second, I think it would ultimately take much MORE energy to keep our pool from freezing than converting it from the gas components to the compound. Pretty darn impossible to have pool-on-the-moon awesomeness on a frozen pond.

Hmm... Hockey on the moon anyone?

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby Whizbang » Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:02 pm UTC

Do the hydrogen and oxygen atoms suddenly get more mass when they bond to form water? 'Cuz if not then bringing them separated and then bonding them there wouldn't make a bit of difference.

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby jlpicard2 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:15 pm UTC

But there is already water on the moon. Quite a lot of it. "an estimated 600 million metric tonnes (1.3 trillion pounds) of water-ice" in the polar craters. Local water recovery may require some kind of mining operation to extract from the regolith, but would be vastly cheaper than trying to transport from Earth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lunar_water
Last edited by jlpicard2 on Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:23 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby NealCruco » Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:34 pm UTC

squall_line wrote:So, it used to be "Tuesdays: New What If?s!", which then sorta morphed into What If? Wednesday... Are we up to "What If? Whenever" now? Maybe the book tour turned into a road tour?

I know, I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, complain about free ice cream, etc., but it worries me that there's nothing mentioned in the blog about delays or other personal strife, and I worry that there's something going on that Randall isn't telling us. Not that I expect him to reveal his personal life to the world, but something addressing the significant and frequent delays of the What If?s, even something as simple as "I'm busy, What If?s will be delayed until ready every week, maybe as late as Friday or Saturday" would be appreciated.


I posted about this just a month ago. It didn't generate much discussion, but here's the post:

NealCruco wrote:I'm thinking that Randall is losing interest in what-if, especially since publishing his book. Last year each installment appeared as promptly as each new comic, every Tuesday morning. Some months ago, the "every Tuesday" tagline was removed. Now new entries have slid from Tuesday to Wednesday, Thursday, and even Friday. It's no longer something that I look forward to- I enjoy each article when they come out, but I have no confidence that there will be another.



On today's what-if...
Whizbang wrote:Do the hydrogen and oxygen atoms suddenly get more mass when they bond to form water? 'Cuz if not then bringing them separated and then bonding them there wouldn't make a bit of difference.

...No, they don't. More mass requires more matter, and matter cannot be created or destroyed. You're right that bringing pure H and O2, then combining them on the moon, would give the same result. I don't know if it would be a better option, though.

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby PointSpecial » Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:35 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:Do the hydrogen and oxygen atoms suddenly get more mass when they bond to form water? 'Cuz if not then bringing them separated and then bonding them there wouldn't make a bit of difference.


I'm a mathematician, not a chemist.... but water vapor in the air is significantly less dense than water liquid on the ground.

I've flown a plane through water vapor. I've successfully avoided flying a plane through liquid water on the ground.

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby jlpicard2 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:11 pm UTC

But there is already water on the moon. Quite a lot of it. "an estimated 600 million metric tonnes (1.3 trillion pounds) of water-ice" in the polar craters. Local water recovery may require some kind of mining operation to extract from the regolith, but would be vastly cheaper than trying to transport from Earth.

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby EugeneStyles » Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:14 pm UTC

NealCruco wrote:
Whizbang wrote:Do the hydrogen and oxygen atoms suddenly get more mass when they bond to form water? 'Cuz if not then bringing them separated and then bonding them there wouldn't make a bit of difference.

...No, they don't. More mass requires more matter, and matter cannot be created or destroyed. You're right that bringing pure H and O2, then combining them on the moon, would give the same result. I don't know if it would be a better option, though.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geology_of_the_Moon
This suggests that the lunar soil contains about 45% Oxygen by weight. It may not be a simple matter to extract it and combine it with imported Hydrogen, but I'd wager there's a good chance it's more energy efficient than launching a swimming pool from the Earth's gravity well. I'm not an astrophysicist or chemist, but I'd think a) we'd need to be able to extract O2 from the soil in order to build a permanent base, and b) reacting that O2 with our imported Hydrogen fuel to form water would generate energy, though I don't know if it would be more energy than it costs to extract that O2 from sand - if it's less than the extraction energy, well... at least it's an offset, right? And we need water anyway.

Barring that, it might make more sense to mine water from Mars and launch it out of that considerably shallower gravity well, but then that involves a permanent base on Mars which probably isn't really feasible until we already have a permanent base on the Moon to launch from.

Edit: another interesting link - Scientists Make Oxygen Out of Moon Rock

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby Heimhenge » Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:31 pm UTC

Yeah, we could make water ON the Moon by extracting hydrogen and oxygen from the rocks (or maybe get it from polar craters). But extracting the components from rock would be very energy intensive. So then you need to consider where that energy would come from. Solar cells would work great on the Moon but you'd need to get them up there somehow. A small reactor might be the most cost effective energy source, in terms of power output vs. launch weight.

But if we're going to swim on the Moon, why not also fly? Fill the dome with sulfur hexaflouride (ρ = 6.17 kg/m3). It ain't as dense as water, but in lunar gravity you should be able to "swim" the gas with suitably sized flippers on feet and hands.

[edit] Sure you'd need a small oxygen tank for breathing during the swim. SF6 isn't poisonous or corrosive, but it will asphyxiate you. It'll also deepen your voice like helium does.
Last edited by Heimhenge on Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:01 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby EugeneStyles » Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:55 pm UTC

Heimhenge wrote:Yeah, we could make water ON the Moon by extracting hydrogen and oxygen from the rocks (or maybe get it from polar craters).


After doing some (minimal) research, I would think that being able to efficiently extract oxygen from the lunar soil is a prerequisite to having a manned base, but I still have questions about the hydrogen part of the equation. Hydrogen is pretty light and is not very abundant on the moon. It's also expensive to extract - that applies both to terrestrial and lunar extraction, but I have to think that building the necessary equipment to extract hydrogen would be way cheaper on the Earth than on the Moon. So would it be more efficient to send Hydrogen rather than extract it?

And would the Hydrogen+Oxygen=>Water reaction generate more energy than it costs to extract O2 from SiO2 or other compounds? Even if it did, solar cells and/or a nuclear reactor would probably be cheaper in the long run than either H2 extraction or shipping from the Earth, but just thinking about the energy implications, since you'd need water regardless.

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby mathmannix » Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:59 pm UTC

Heimhenge wrote:But if we're going to swim on the Moon, why not also fly? Fill the dome with sulfur hexaflouride (ρ = 6.17 kg/m3). It ain't as dense as water, but in lunar gravity you should be able to "swim" the gas with suitably sized flippers on feet and hands.


I am definitely not a chemist, but having read this What-If and threads like these has made me very scared of any solution (heh?) which involves the element fluorine... am I wrong?
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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby Uthor » Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:05 pm UTC

I don't understand this What If? At what point does the Earth get destroyed?

PointSpecial wrote:
Whizbang wrote:Do the hydrogen and oxygen atoms suddenly get more mass when they bond to form water? 'Cuz if not then bringing them separated and then bonding them there wouldn't make a bit of difference.


I'm a mathematician, not a chemist.... but water vapor in the air is significantly less dense than water liquid on the ground.

I've flown a plane through water vapor. I've successfully avoided flying a plane through liquid water on the ground.


And water vapor takes up more volume and weighs the same not matter what when you need to fire it up into space on a rocket.

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby Minerva » Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:08 pm UTC

Sulfur hexafluoride is actually pretty inert chemically. It should be fine with about 20% oxygen added to it as a breathing atmosphere. The slow speed of sound changes the pitch of your voice, though - the opposite of helium which is very light and has a fast speed of sound.

But screw building a dome.

I'd much rather take a heated bodysuit, a pair of wings strapped onto my arms, an oxygen supply, and a trip to Titan. We choose to go to the moon indeed, just not the one you're thinking of.
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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby Bureaucromancer » Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:14 pm UTC

Just wanted to point out that various low G pools were proposed for O'Neil cylinders as well. Not sure if the High Frontier itself mentions them, but every design for a cylinder I've seen not in that book definitely mentions it.

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby mathmannix » Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:19 pm UTC

What's up with this guy?
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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:39 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:
Heimhenge wrote:But if we're going to swim on the Moon, why not also fly? Fill the dome with sulfur hexaflouride (ρ = 6.17 kg/m3). It ain't as dense as water, but in lunar gravity you should be able to "swim" the gas with suitably sized flippers on feet and hands.


I am definitely not a chemist, but having read this What-If and threads like these has made me very scared of any solution (heh?) which involves the element fluorine... am I wrong?

Some fluor compounds are really really dangerous. However SF6, teflon and the fluorine in toothpaste are quite harmless. I hazard a guess that fluorine in toothpaste is the most toxic of the three, assuming the teflon isn't overheated.

Don't mess with the stuff in those threads though.
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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby rhomboidal » Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:02 pm UTC

I both love and loathe the idea of turning the Sea of Tranquility into a water park.

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby bsaintg » Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:45 pm UTC

To me, as a scuba instructor, there were some great links in this what-if. I would wait for some unique flora and fauna to take root before I arrange a scuba trip up there, but it would be on my bucket list. I would bring hazmat-rated drysuits plus full-face masks, and some serious thermal protection.

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:16 pm UTC

NealCruco wrote:
Whizbang wrote:Do the hydrogen and oxygen atoms suddenly get more mass when they bond to form water? 'Cuz if not then bringing them separated and then bonding them there wouldn't make a bit of difference.

...No, they don't. More mass requires more matter, and matter cannot be created or destroyed. You're right that bringing pure H and O2, then combining them on the moon, would give the same result. I don't know if it would be a better option, though.

There will technically be some difference, but I think in the wrong direction. More mass doesn't require more matter, depending on what you mean by "more matter"; if more by mass then yes obviously, but if more by number of particles then no... not exactly. What cannot be created or destroyed is energy, not matter. Rest mass is just one form of energy. (Actually it's a lot of different forms of energy all sharing certain important characteristics.) Matter can be created from other forms of energy, and destroyed to create other forms of energy. Even without technically creating or destroying any actual matter as we would normally think of it, we can add or remove energetic bonds between bits of it and thus change the rest mass of the aggregate. That's where all rest mass comes from: otherwise massless particles interacting in one way or another that takes some of their kinetic energy and makes it stick around in one place, simultaneously making the particles no longer move at c and giving them rest mass.

(This is what the whole Higgs boson thing was about; it was found that even after all the known kinds of interaction, and thus most of the rest-mass of matter, was accounted for, the fundamental particles still had some rest mass, and the question was what interaction was giving rise to that? The theory was that there was an as-yet-undiscovered field, the Higgs field, with which the particles were interacting; and that that field's existence could be tested by trying to excite it and seeing if it gave rise to a distinctive exotic particle, a Higgs boson).

Anyway, the point is that chemical bonds involve electromagnetic binding energy and thus affect the rest mass of the matter being bound. However, it works the opposite way we want it to: it takes energy to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen, and it releases energy to bind them again, so you need to haul more energy up into space (and then let most of it fly away as heat) if you haul up separate H and O and then react them on the moon, than you would just hauling up pre-reacted H2O. A way of visualizing this is to imagine if you wanted to haul H and O to the moon for separate purposes, and for some reason thought maybe hauling water and the energy to separate it up there was the best way to do that. For maximum efficiency and also better visualization, let's say that energy is in the form of equal amounts of matter and antimatter, kept safely separated until needed.

So if you want to haul H and O separately to the moon, you need to haul the equivalent mass of enough H2O to produce that, and enough matter and antimatter to provide the energy to separate them. If you just wanted to haul the H2O to the moon, you wouldn't need to bring that matter and antimatter along. It doesn't help if you do the separation on Earth first either, because the mass of the matter and antimatter would become energy upon annihilation, which would go into the H and O to separate them, and stay there (as if it left they would reform H2O again), so you have the same energy and thus mass either way. H and O separately have higher energy and thus higher mass than the reaction product H2O; the lost mass is converted to kinetic energy in the exothermic reaction.

Of course, while I've only got the concepts and not the numbers here, my suspicion is that the mass of matter+antimatter needed to produce enough energy to separate H and O from water would be minuscule compared to the mass of the water itself, and thus that the mass difference between H2O and separate H and O is probably negligible, but technically it's there and you'd only making things (probably negligibly) worse by hauling up separate H and O.
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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby keithl » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:15 pm UTC

Water droplets in the air above a lunar pool would take at least 6 times as long to fall down. There would be a lot more water in the air near a lunar pool surface, perhaps 36 times as much if this behaves like a diffusion problem. Breathing without choking could be difficult; that is my main problem as an incompetent swimmer on Earth. Swimmers might need tall snorkels.

Much of our exploration of the solar system will be from Earth, in haptic suits connected to remote sensors by predictive-adaptive telepresence. We can accurately simulate the experience of swimming on the moon without leaving the earth, a process that gets exponentially cheaper over time due to Moore's Law. Unlike unsubsidized rocket-based travel, which hasn't gotten significantly cheaper since 1970.

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:18 pm UTC

There is another difference.

It is impractical to bring that amount of volume to the moon. The container would be far bigger then a container for the water equivalent and thus far heavier.
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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby speising » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:40 pm UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:There is another difference.

It is impractical to bring that amount of volume to the moon. The container would be far bigger then a container for the water equivalent and thus far heavier.


what? you don't need to ship volume. there's enough of that there already.
likewise, shipping a pool would be daft. just cut one from the rock.

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby keithl » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:44 pm UTC

JPhi1618 wrote:... "What-if Whenever" ... I don't even try on Tuesdays ...
A moderated email list might help, sending out a "new xkcd what-if available" message as soon as one of the moderators notices the sorta-kinda-weekly change. I could host such a list on my server, but I'm not obsessive enough to look for new what-ifs minute-by-minute, nor competent to write a bot that detects changes automatically. Nor competent to run a server, actually ...
A bot might also automagically create first posts on the forums. It is fun to post the first message about a new xkcd strip or what-if, but un-fun to clean up after two near-simultaneous first-posts. An Eliza-style first comment generated by the bot would add surreality to the festivities. Multiple bots, the inevitable result of chowderheads arguing about how the bot should work, would have hellish results.

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby keithl » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:57 pm UTC

speising wrote:
Neil_Boekend wrote:It is impractical to bring that amount of volume to the moon. The container would be far bigger then a container for the water equivalent and thus far heavier.
what? you don't need to ship volume. there's enough of that there already.
likewise, shipping a pool would be daft. just cut one from the rock.
Agreed about volume, not about "cut one from the rock." Throughout all the manned and robotic missions to date, with drills and lasers (no saws AFAIK), how many square centimeters of rock surface have we cut, and how many cubic centimeters of rock have we removed? Maybe large scale solid rock excavation is easy - or maybe it requires lots of energy and cooling water and drilling mud like it does on Earth.
Lunar pools will be inflatable, and reside with humans inside large lava tubes, under 30 meters of cosmic-ray-shielding rock.

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:57 pm UTC

speising wrote:what? you don't need to ship volume. there's enough of that there already.

This (treating volume, i.e. space, as a "stuff", that you could ship) reminds me of something I was musing on recently and wanted to ask the physics-heads here about.

Is there any notion in any under-development physics of any process that could create space at an expense of energy? I was wondering this in the context of the accelerating expansion of the universe and the mysterious "dark energy" that drives it and wondering if that expansion comes at a cost somewhere else; is it really space-time-mass-energy that's conserved, and mass-energy can actually be "destroyed" by being converted into space-time? (And if so, could that process in principle be reversed, and space-time be converted into "free" energy "from nothing"). Or are we just getting free space actually from nothing because space (nor any product of space and something else) is not conserved?
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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby bobo1371 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:01 pm UTC

Am I the only one who emailed the sales account at SpaceX looking for a quote??

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby gladiolas » Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:05 pm UTC

He mentions that eating pine cones is hard. How many here have heard of Euell Gibbons? I wonder if Randall has?

http://www.wildfoodadventures.com/euellgibbons.html

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Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby Klear » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:25 am UTC

keithl wrote:
JPhi1618 wrote:... "What-if Whenever" ... I don't even try on Tuesdays ...
A moderated email list might help, sending out a "new xkcd what-if available" message as soon as one of the moderators notices the sorta-kinda-weekly change. I could host such a list on my server, but I'm not obsessive enough to look for new what-ifs minute-by-minute, nor competent to write a bot that detects changes automatically. Nor competent to run a server, actually ...
A bot might also automagically create first posts on the forums. It is fun to post the first message about a new xkcd strip or what-if, but un-fun to clean up after two near-simultaneous first-posts. An Eliza-style first comment generated by the bot would add surreality to the festivities. Multiple bots, the inevitable result of chowderheads arguing about how the bot should work, would have hellish results.


This forum works well enough for that purpose for me, but I am checking it quite often.

schapel
Posts: 244
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:33 am UTC

Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby schapel » Sat Jan 10, 2015 4:42 am UTC

JPhi1618 wrote:So, I browsed the PLoS ONE paper, and it turns out that there is a VIDEO of their test setup - not just a silly picture!
http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchSingleRepresentation.action?uri=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0037300.s002

Run, Forrest, run!!!

I like how the girl ducks under the tarp to keep from getting drenched while they leave the lab computers unprotected. I bet they want new computers but their stingy prof. won't buy any. :twisted:

jimbo1qaz
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:56 am UTC

Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby jimbo1qaz » Sat Jan 10, 2015 6:00 am UTC

Why is he so over-enthusiastic to the point of complete absurdity by the end?

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bachaddict
Handel Played it Better
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Location: Aotearoa

Re: What-If 0124: "Lunar Swimming"

Postby bachaddict » Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:58 am UTC

keithl wrote:
JPhi1618 wrote:... "What-if Whenever" ... I don't even try on Tuesdays ...
A moderated email list might help, sending out a "new xkcd what-if available" message as soon as one of the moderators notices the sorta-kinda-weekly change. I could host such a list on my server, but I'm not obsessive enough to look for new what-ifs minute-by-minute, nor competent to write a bot that detects changes automatically. Nor competent to run a server, actually ...
A bot might also automagically create first posts on the forums. It is fun to post the first message about a new xkcd strip or what-if, but un-fun to clean up after two near-simultaneous first-posts. An Eliza-style first comment generated by the bot would add surreality to the festivities. Multiple bots, the inevitable result of chowderheads arguing about how the bot should work, would have hellish results.

I subscribe by RSS, though I don't know if there's a delay involved there. I know my Freefall RSS is generated a few hours late.
slinches wrote:Also, the OTC isn't a disease. In fact, it's the cure. As we all know, Time heals all wounds.

Thanks for the molpish wig ggh!
he/him/his


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