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Comment: Re:It works both ways (Score 3, Insightful) 873

by Khashishi (#49342093) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill

Because history shows us that it turns out bad. When bigots are a small minority, it's ok to let the free market deal with the problem. When they are in the majority, or when they wield a majority of the power, the free market gets ugly. Just look at pre-civil rights era segregation.

Comment: translation (Score 1) 83

This experiment measures the power level where spontaneous emission becomes comparable to stimulated emission.

You have a similar situation in a laser. A laser works on the principle of stimulated emission. When you pass laser light of an appropriate frequency through an excited laser cavity, the light is amplified, since the light stimulates nearby particles to emit more light. So the light grows exponentially with the length of some cavity until saturating (by fully de-exciting the cavity). But, where does the initial "seed" light come from in a laser? The laser cavity also emits light via spontaneous emission. So what you have is some combination of spontaneous and stimulated emission. The stimulated emission ramps up exponentially and dwarfs the spontaneous emission, which is always present.

Stimulated emission can be treated using classical mechanics by treating the medium as an amplifier. But spontaneous emission must be treated quantum mechanically. Of course, stimulated emission can also be treated with quantum mechanics. So quantum mechanics is valid all the time, but classical mechanics is only valid above a certain point.

Comment: Any laptop (Score 1) 385

by Khashishi (#49288271) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Laptop To Support Physics Research?

Any laptop will do, since most of your computing will be done remotely. You just need to be able to run SSH or NoMachine. The only thing that matters is that your laptop has enough resolution to show the remote screen. If she doesn't have Linux experience, then a Linux laptop could help with that, since all the computer clusters run Linux.

I'm a plasma physicist, and I say any laptop will work.

Comment: Re:They just want to grow crops of wage slaves (Score 1) 119

And I suppose you belong to the superior race-*ahem* culture that is capable of innovating, and you can't understand why anyone would waste their time with poor Africans who won't ever amount to anything. That's what you believe, isn't it? See, if you really thought it was about culture, it would make sense to provide education where it was needed most, since education is perhaps the best way to overcome deficiencies in the culture.

Zuckerberg and Gates could invest more in America, but they don't owe it to Americans simply because they made more money off of Americans. (Or if they do, you should be arguing for higher taxation, not complaining about where they focus their personal cash.) As far as efficiency of altruistic efforts, it's pretty clear that a dollar will go a lot father in impoverished countries than USA, even when accounting for corruption.

Comment: Re:They just want to grow crops of wage slaves (Score 0) 119

If that's what Gates and Zuckerberg are thinking, I commend them for thinking about the long, long term. Anyways, if that's the plan, it's win-win for future software companies and Africa. I suppose US software engineers might lose, but who cares?

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington