What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

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Psykar
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

Klear wrote:
rhomboidal wrote:Now I want a lava box. For Christmas.

This is kinda creepy considering the hidden alt text on one of the pictures:

"it's warmer than my parents! It's my new parents."

The alt texts on the images of this one were brilliant.

ebbitten
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

About the cost of a plugged in charger, does anyone know how he arrived at those numbers?

Möbius
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

The manhole cover legend comes from 1957, Operation Plumbbob during the Pascal B test shot. This was an underground nuclear weapons test wherein the borehole had a steel lid (the manhole cover) welded to the well casing.

Look up the Pascal B shot here for a short description of the manhole cover story: http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/Plumbob.html

Dr Brownlee offers his own account of the event here: http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Usa/Tests/Brownlee.html

Quoting Dr Brownlee in part:

*****
For Pascal B, my calculations were designed to calculate the time and specifics of the shock wave as it reached the cap. I used yields both expected and exaggerated in my calculations, but significant ones. When I described my results to Bill Ogle, the conversation went something like this.

Ogle: "What time does the shock arrive at the top of the pipe?"
RRB: "Thirty one milliseconds."
Ogle: "And what happens?"
RRB: "The shock reflects back down the hole, but the pressures and temperatures are such that the welded cap is bound to come off the hole."
Ogle: "How fast does it go?"
RRB: "My calculations are irrelevant on this point. They are only valid in speaking of the shock reflection."
Ogle: "How fast did it go?"
RRB: "Those numbers are meaningless. I have only a vacuum above the cap. No air, no gravity, no real material strengths in the iron cap. Effectively the cap is just loose, traveling through meaningless space."
Ogle: And how fast is it going?"

This last question was more of a shout. Bill liked to have a direct answer to each one of his questions.
RRB: "Six times the escape velocity from the earth."

Bill was quite delighted with the answer, for he had never before heard a velocity given in terms of the escape velocity from the earth! There was much laughter, and the legend was now born, for Bill loved to report to anybody who cared to listen about Brownlee's units of velocity. He says the cap would escape the earth. (But of course we did not believe that would ever happen.)

The next obvious decision was made. We'll put a high-speed movie camera looking at the cap, and see if we can measure the departure velocity.

In the event, the cap appeared above the hole in one frame only, so there was no direct velocity measurement. A lower limit could be calculated by considering the time between frames (and I don't remember what that was), but my summary of the situation was that when last seen, it was "going like a bat!!"
*****

So there you have it, the genesis of the Project Thunderwell legend.

Goggalor
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

Plasma_Wolf wrote:
jalohones wrote:Although given that it's a sealed box, I suspect the answer to the latter question is Schrodinger's cat.

I highly doubt that it would be Schrödinger's cat, because you have information while the box is closed, you could say something about lack of poisonous vials, but the heat would substitute for that. Lets say we do have Schrödinger's cat in there. Then the cat is alive so long as the dial is being changed, which can be determined by leaving the equilibrium state after having achieved it.

Not only by this information "leak" you could claim this (could be solved by having the cat turn it on 11 immediately, but then the cat is useless anyway), but the cat also manages to survive heat that normally vaporizes any metal. So the cat is indestructible, which is a fatal flaw for Schrödinger's experiment.

I highly doubt it's Schrödinger's cat, because it is difficult to turn a dial with paws.
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Greth
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

So ... Who's turning the dial?

Moose Anus
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

The dial is heat-activated.
Lemonade? ...Aww, ok.

dimochka
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

the question is - if the dial keeps turning as hair dryer gets warmer, does it (a) turn all the way back to 0 and stop, (b) turn all the way to 0, but because of the heat continues turning and creates a perpetual cycle, or (c) continue getting warmer and closer to infinity heat over time?
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Fire Brns
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

dimochka wrote:the question is - if the dial keeps turning as hair dryer gets warmer, does it (a) turn all the way back to 0 and stop, (b) turn all the way to 0, but because of the heat continues turning and creates a perpetual cycle, or (c) continue getting warmer and closer to infinity heat over time?
Infinite heat? I'm fairly sure there is a maximum limit to energy density (planck temperature).
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5th Earth
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

cantab314 wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:Heating a gas while keeping the volume and the number of moles present fixed increases the pressure of the gas. If the temperature inside the box gets high enough, then you start getting fusion taking place. Higher still, and you get a quark-gluon soup. Higher still and you break known physics...
An entirely unexplored line. At what point do we have a fusion reactor in the box - and if the ionising radiation can escape directly, for how far around is it deadly?

Well, once fusion progresses beyond iron, it starts absorbing energy rather than releasing it. I imagine at any given temperature beyond that, there will be an equilibrium point where atoms are fusing to higher masses and then fissioning back down, re-releasing the absorbed energy. Until you get so hot that that the nuclei themselves break down, anyway. I think the net effect would be pretty much trivial compared to the energy already being produced by the hair dryer.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Rai
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

jgh wrote:Ah, but on Back to the Future they didn't use gigawatts, they used something called jiggawatts.

'jigga' was a pronunciation of 'giga' that never caught on.

elej
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

Psykar wrote:
Klear wrote:
rhomboidal wrote:Now I want a lava box. For Christmas.

This is kinda creepy considering the hidden alt text on one of the pictures:

"it's warmer than my parents! It's my new parents."

The alt texts on the images of this one were brilliant.

yeah, liked the 'hidden alt text' on this one. reference to the hugging machine on the big bang theory? (the little kid made my go 'awww....')

also enjoyed 'the floor is made of lava'

Davidy
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

What would happen if you turned it up to 11?
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charonme
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

If an unused charger isn’t warm to the touch, it’s using less than a penny of electricity a day. For a small smartphone charger, if it’s not warm to the touch, it’s using less than a penny a year.

this makes me wonder: some cellphones after being charged full display a message (even if they are turned off) telling me to unplug the charger from the wall "to save electricity" - is it possible that more energy is wasted on displaying the message (including manufacturing the phone and programming it to do this) than it would be wasted if everyone just left the charger in the wall?

Angelastic
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

Fire Brns wrote:Infinite heat? I'm fairly sure there is a maximum limit to energy density (planck temperature).

Then you start getting into negative absolute temperatures.
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tibfulv
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

Klear wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:
Klear wrote:Whatever it was you just said, Pfhorrest came up with this javasript to enable it:

Code: Select all

`javascript:(function(){ h = document.getElementsByTagName("img"); for (i=0; i<h.length; i++) h.item(i).title = h.item(i).alt; })()`

I what? When did this happen? Have I been coding in my sleep?

Oops... it was huangho. Turns out that somebody misattributed the script in a quote. That somebody was me.

Incidentally, it seems we no longer need that javascript for later pages. Munroe has fixed the glitch that necessitated it, so now title/alt-texts work.

Ed.: The old ones have been fixed, too. Looks like a sed/perl filter, which I completely understand. I wouldn't have done it manually, either.

ijuin
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

Fire Brns wrote:
dimochka wrote:the question is - if the dial keeps turning as hair dryer gets warmer, does it (a) turn all the way back to 0 and stop, (b) turn all the way to 0, but because of the heat continues turning and creates a perpetual cycle, or (c) continue getting warmer and closer to infinity heat over time?
Infinite heat? I'm fairly sure there is a maximum limit to energy density (planck temperature).

According to our current understanding of physics, anything that gets hotter than the Planck temperature necessarily contains so much energy that, since e = m * c^2, it is effectively dense enough to collapse into a black hole under its own gravitation.

Klear
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

I guess if it wasn't for that, you'd still be unable to make something hotter once all the particles are moving at the speed of light.

snowyowl
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

Klear wrote:I guess if it wasn't for that, you'd still be unable to make something hotter once all the particles are moving at the speed of light.

I don't think that works. Nothing (or rather nothing with mass) can reach the speed of light; no matter how fast something is moving it can always be made faster.
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brenok
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

snowyowl wrote:
Klear wrote:I guess if it wasn't for that, you'd still be unable to make something hotter once all the particles are moving at the speed of light.

I don't think that works. Nothing (or rather nothing with mass) can reach the speed of light; no matter how fast something is moving it can always be made faster.

Isn't your second statement contradictory with your third?

Klear
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

snowyowl wrote:
Klear wrote:I guess if it wasn't for that, you'd still be unable to make something hotter once all the particles are moving at the speed of light.

I don't think that works. Nothing (or rather nothing with mass) can reach the speed of light; no matter how fast something is moving it can always be made faster.

Gotcha. I meant 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999% of c and got lazy. Or, to put it in another way, that the speed of light would be a limit to temperature, even though you can't reach the limit itself.

Angelastic
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

brenok wrote:
snowyowl wrote:
Klear wrote:I guess if it wasn't for that, you'd still be unable to make something hotter once all the particles are moving at the speed of light.

I don't think that works. Nothing (or rather nothing with mass) can reach the speed of light; no matter how fast something is moving it can always be made faster.

Isn't your second statement contradictory with your third?
Nope, quite the opposite; something with mass can always get closer to the speed of light, and since it can never reach the speed of light, there will always be room for it to get a tiny bit closer. It can't be made so much faster that it'll be at or over the speed of light, but it can be made faster. If it could reach the speed of light, then it wouldn't be able to get any faster.
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snowyowl
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

Angelastic wrote:
brenok wrote:
snowyowl wrote:
Klear wrote:I guess if it wasn't for that, you'd still be unable to make something hotter once all the particles are moving at the speed of light.

I don't think that works. Nothing (or rather nothing with mass) can reach the speed of light; no matter how fast something is moving it can always be made faster.

Isn't your second statement contradictory with your third?
Nope, quite the opposite; something with mass can always get closer to the speed of light, and since it can never reach the speed of light, there will always be room for it to get a tiny bit closer. It can't be made so much faster that it'll be at or over the speed of light, but it can be made faster. If it could reach the speed of light, then it wouldn't be able to get any faster.

Precisely. You can't reach the speed of light, though you can get up to 0.9999999c. But once you're there, you can still accelerate to 0.99999999999999c. And from there to 0.9999999999999999999999999999c. And so on.
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Jofur
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

Whee! Limits!
Everybody is doing it and nobody knows why.

rmsgrey
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

Klear wrote:
snowyowl wrote:
Klear wrote:I guess if it wasn't for that, you'd still be unable to make something hotter once all the particles are moving at the speed of light.

I don't think that works. Nothing (or rather nothing with mass) can reach the speed of light; no matter how fast something is moving it can always be made faster.

Gotcha. I meant 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999% of c and got lazy. Or, to put it in another way, that the speed of light would be a limit to temperature, even though you can't reach the limit itself.

You can keep increasing the kinetic energy of a particle without limit - as its speed approaches c, the energy manifests more as mass and less as velocity. The speed of light is no limit on temperature.

Pfhorrest
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

This conversation makes me wonder several things:

1) Can a beam of light itself, considered as a collection of particles (photons), be said to have a temperature? If so, then as there is no more velocity to be added to a photon (already being at the speed of light), the only energy that can be added to a "gas" of photons is mass-energy (i.e. increasing frequency/decreasing wavelength), and there is a limit to that (Planck length is the minimum wavelength, no?). That would seem to give us a theoretical maximum temperature: that of a gas of planck-wavelength photons. Of course the temperature of such a gas will vary with pressure as well so the maximal temperature would be that of a maximally dense volume of such photons. And I'm pretty sure that would be the Planck temperature, as at that point you would have a volume of space maximally saturated with energy and it would collapse into a black hole, no?

2) Would it be practically possible to create a high enough energy density to form a black hole just out of light? Intersect a whole fuckton of beams of extremely high-energy lasers and eventually you have a point where so many high-energy photons are so close together that even they can't get away from each other? Of course any such black hole would be tiny and evaporate immediately, but would it be possible? (And if you did that in the midst of a good amount of other matter -- say, fire the lasers to intersect in the atmosphere of a gas giant -- could you create larger black holes at will?)
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Klear
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

Pfhorrest wrote:This conversation makes me wonder several things:

1) Can a beam of light itself, considered as a collection of particles (photons), be said to have a temperature? If so, then as there is no more velocity to be added to a photon (already being at the speed of light), the only energy that can be added to a "gas" of photons is mass-energy (i.e. increasing frequency/decreasing wavelength), and there is a limit to that (Planck length is the minimum wavelength, no?). That would seem to give us a theoretical maximum temperature: that of a gas of planck-wavelength photons. Of course the temperature of such a gas will vary with pressure as well so the maximal temperature would be that of a maximally dense volume of such photons. And I'm pretty sure that would be the Planck temperature, as at that point you would have a volume of space maximally saturated with energy and it would collapse into a black hole, no?

2) Would it be practically possible to create a high enough energy density to form a black hole just out of light? Intersect a whole fuckton of beams of extremely high-energy lasers and eventually you have a point where so many high-energy photons are so close together that even they can't get away from each other? Of course any such black hole would be tiny and evaporate immediately, but would it be possible? (And if you did that in the midst of a good amount of other matter -- say, fire the lasers to intersect in the atmosphere of a gas giant -- could you create larger black holes at will?)

1) Can massless particles even have temperature? I'd guess that they can't, but it's just a feeling.

2) I think I've seen this pop up as a suggested side effect to something in the fictional science forum not long ago, though I don't remember which thread it was... the one where we are trying to weight a feather perhaps?

rmsgrey
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

The "temperature" of a beam of light is a measure of the disorder of the photons in it - a laser, with all the photons moving in phase in the same direction is "cool" while a typical sunbeam is "warm".

endolith
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

cellocgw wrote:Space Shuttle's tiles once. You can heat them until they are glowing red ( the spectral radiant output is a function of temperature and all sorts of weird physics that get summarized into how much unlike a 'black body radiator' the material is) and hold them in your hands without injury

Vid or it didn't happen?

charonme wrote:this makes me wonder: some cellphones after being charged full display a message (even if they are turned off) telling me to unplug the charger from the wall "to save electricity" - is it possible that more energy is wasted on displaying the message (including manufacturing the phone and programming it to do this) than it would be wasted if everyone just left the charger in the wall?

Or just hang up a single load of laundry to air-dry instead of putting it in the dryer, and forget about it. You'll save more energy with one load of laundry than you would unplugging chargers for a year.

Each time it nears the ground, it superheats the surface, and the plume of expanding air hurls it back into the sky.

Would this really happen? I'm skeptical. Yes, rockets shoot away from the earth with less energy output, but their energy is directed downward. The hair dryer is superheating everything in all directions. What determines whether it shoots away from the Earth or burrows a melty hole into the Earth?
Last edited by endolith on Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:19 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

speising
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

endolith wrote:
charonme wrote:this makes me wonder: some cellphones after being charged full display a message (even if they are turned off) telling me to unplug the charger from the wall "to save electricity" - is it possible that more energy is wasted on displaying the message (including manufacturing the phone and programming it to do this) than it would be wasted if everyone just left the charger in the wall?

Or just hang up a single load of laundry to air-dry instead of putting it in the dryer, and forget about it. You'll save more energy with one load of laundry than you would unplugging chargers for a year.

what if i don't even own a dryer? do i have to buy one to save by not using it?

endolith
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

speising wrote:what if i don't even own a dryer? do i have to buy one to save by not using it?

Cook a meal in a microwave instead of the oven? Wash a few loads of dishes by hand instead of using the dishwasher? Turn off the air conditioning for a few hours?

speising
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

endolith wrote:
speising wrote:what if i don't even own a dryer? do i have to buy one to save by not using it?

Cook a meal in a microwave instead of the oven? Wash a few loads of dishes by hand instead of using the dishwasher? Turn off the air conditioning for a few hours?

dishwashers are actually cheaper than handwashing.
i also do not have a/c.

my point is: i never get why people say instead of x just do y, that will save more. how do you know the other one isn't already doing y? someone asking about energy saving is probably already energy concious and has already implemented all the obvious strategies.

trueger
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

Icalasari wrote:
Klear wrote:
rhomboidal wrote:Now I want a lava box. For Christmas.

This is kinda creepy considering the hidden alt text on one of the pictures:

"it's warmer than my parents! It's my new parents."

Oj freaking site won't let me put in my shock at the what if images having alt text

Yep, there goes my afternoon.

Interplanetary Cessna (#30) is especially good: "i do not want to go to space today".
(That and the 32 individual alt-texts for the various solar system bodies.)

Mikeski
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

Move somewhere colder, then all the energy you're "wasting" by leaving chargers plugged in is subtracted from your heating bill.

Also applies to incandescent light bulbs vs. those expensive new mercury-delivery systems the gov't wants us to use.

KarenRei
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

Mikeski wrote:Move somewhere colder, then all the energy you're "wasting" by leaving chargers plugged in is subtracted from your heating bill.

Also applies to incandescent light bulbs vs. those expensive new mercury-delivery systems the gov't wants us to use.

There'd be less mercury emitted if you took a fluorescent bulb at end-of-life, smashed it open, put it into a plasma arc furnace to vaporize all of its mercury (when broken in real life, most of it stays with the glass), and vented it straight into the atmosphere, then if you'd used an incandescent bulb, just due to the amount of mercury released from burning the extra coal (let alone all of the other pollutants). And CFL mercury is inorganic (elemental), rather than the organic mercury (methyl and dimethyl) released from burning coal.

Also, in most places, there are far more efficient ways to heat your home than with non-circulated electric heat. And of course you know that telling someone to move isn't a practical solution. And that in the summer, waste heat is an added cost to get rid of.

endolith
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

Mikeski wrote:Move somewhere colder, then all the energy you're "wasting" by leaving chargers plugged in is subtracted from your heating bill.

Yes, but then they'll argue that a heat pump can heat your home more efficiently than just dumping energy directly into it.

speising wrote:my point is: i never get why people say instead of x just do y, that will save more. how do you know the other one isn't already doing y?

Because 99% of people aren't, and have no intention of doing so, but do bullshit things like unplugging cell phone chargers and then feel better about themselves while having negligible effect on anything? Electricity consumption per capita

KarenRei wrote:And CFL mercury is inorganic (elemental), rather than the organic mercury (methyl and dimethyl) released from burning coal.

Ooh, so the coal mercury is healthier, right? It's all-natural and organic!

Mikeski
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

KarenRei wrote:
Mikeski wrote:Move somewhere colder, then all the energy you're "wasting" by leaving chargers plugged in is subtracted from your heating bill.

Also applies to incandescent light bulbs vs. those expensive new mercury-delivery systems the gov't wants us to use.

There'd be less mercury emitted if you took a fluorescent bulb at end-of-life, smashed it open, put it into a plasma arc furnace to vaporize all of its mercury (when broken in real life, most of it stays with the glass), and vented it straight into the atmosphere,

And the power savings vs. incandescent when you add in this recycling method? Including transport costs? I'm not likely to wait until I have a back-seat-full of curlycue lightbulbs before I want to get them out of my house. I'm guessing we're burning more fossil fuels to use the "lower power" bulbs. (Pretty sure there's more power and materials used to manufacture the things, too.)

And the chances of everyone doing things the right way, vs. just throwing the things in the trash and polluting trash bins, trash trucks, and landfills?

And the effects of breaking one in your house? (i.e. the power savings of the bulb, vs. the power used to re-climate-control your house if you do what most people suggest for safety?) I bet I use a lot more energy to re-heat or re-cool my house from a Minnesota summer day or winter night if I have to "open the windows for several hours" and "open the windows the next several times I vacuum", when it's -20F or +90F & 90%humidity outside, vs. what that one CFL "saved" me over its lifetime.

And the environmental damage when a truckload of CFLs on the way to Home Depot crashes, vs. a truckload of incandescents? Or when the stock clerk drops a case of them? Or a customer rams their shopping cart into a display? (I worked as a grocery store manager for several years; breakage is a daily event.)

There's a lot of things I want to do to help the environment. I can't see a way where CFL light bulbs do anything but hurt it, overall. The gov't progressively outlawing incandescents is nothing but stupid busybodying overreach.

then if you'd used an incandescent bulb, just due to the amount of mercury released from burning the extra coal (let alone all of the other pollutants). And CFL mercury is inorganic (elemental), rather than the organic mercury (methyl and dimethyl) released from burning coal.

That's a reason to go natural gas or nuclear or hydro or something else large-scale and non-coal, not a reason to use environmentally-questionable lightbulbs.

Also, in most places, there are far more efficient ways to heat your home than with non-circulated electric heat. And of course you know that telling someone to move isn't a practical solution. And that in the summer, waste heat is an added cost to get rid of.

Since we're arguing about power usage in the watt-hours-per-year range, I thought the sarcasm involved in a suggestion about heating one's home with cell-phone chargers or moving to Moose Jaw would be obvious.

charonme
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

All 1875 watts have to go somewhere. No matter what happens inside the box, if there’s 1875 watts of power being used, eventually there will be 1875 watts of heat flowing out.

Not always. Depends on the mass of the box (and its contents) and its rotation speed...

ijuin
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

endolith wrote:
Each time it nears the ground, it superheats the surface, and the plume of expanding air hurls it back into the sky.

Would this really happen? I'm skeptical. Yes, rockets shoot away from the earth with less energy output, but their energy is directed downward. The hair dryer is superheating everything in all directions. What determines whether it shoots away from the Earth or burrows a melty hole into the Earth?

The box is blasted upward because there is far more mass below the box getting superheated than above. Above the box is only the remainder of the atmosphere, while below the box is the entire surface and subsurface of the Earth. Thus, if the heat output is high enough, far more mass will be heated underneath than above, therefore any pressure from the expanding gases will tend to be pushing it upward from below.

Fire Brns
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

Klear wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:This conversation makes me wonder several things:

1) Can a beam of light itself, considered as a collection of particles (photons), be said to have a temperature? If so, then as there is no more velocity to be added to a photon (already being at the speed of light), the only energy that can be added to a "gas" of photons is mass-energy (i.e. increasing frequency/decreasing wavelength), and there is a limit to that (Planck length is the minimum wavelength, no?). That would seem to give us a theoretical maximum temperature: that of a gas of planck-wavelength photons. Of course the temperature of such a gas will vary with pressure as well so the maximal temperature would be that of a maximally dense volume of such photons. And I'm pretty sure that would be the Planck temperature, as at that point you would have a volume of space maximally saturated with energy and it would collapse into a black hole, no?

1) Can massless particles even have temperature? I'd guess that they can't, but it's just a feeling.
...

A photon to my understanding has an infinitesimally small amount of mass. Even in 5th grade science they teach that electrons have mass when the class gets around to the part about atomic weight.
Pfhorrest wrote:As someone who is not easily offended, I don't really mind anything in this conversation.
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speising
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Re: What-if 0035: "Hair Dryer"

Fire Brns wrote:A photon to my understanding has an infinitesimally small amount of mass.

if it had, it couldn't go at the speed of light...

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