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Comment Re:Documentary "Pandora's Promise" Highlighted Fra (Score 1) 483 483

Dr Charles Till came and spoke at my university. He's the guy who was in charge of the research project in the states to make the safe nuclear reactor in the documentary. He put his heart and soul into that project and had some of the worlds best physicists putting their faith in him. Makes me really sad that the project was cancelled even after they demonstrated that it was the safest reactor ever conceived and they had managed to solve all the problems the nuclear industry had been fighting against.

Comment Re:Actually, you CAN'T do that (Score 1) 65 65

Interpretations of QM's is not science since they can not be tested (as of yet, I hope it can be some day). However the different models of atoms can and have been tested very well and QCD's has fit the data to an amazing precision. I'm sure there are competing theories but I have never heard of any that fit the data this well. btw, I'm a fan of the many worlds interpretation as well. Took me a long time to come around to it, thought it was just a curiosity at first, but eventually I saw the beauty of it. You don't need to add anything else to QMs it just pops right out of the science.

Comment Re:why- just why? (Score 4, Insightful) 306 306

You should always look at the funding path. It tells you a lot about the quality of research. In the past 60 years funding towards 'think tanks' has gone into making bad science to combat good science research, all in an effort to move political goals. I'm not saying this particular research is bad, however it is good to know some of the funding came from the NSA.

Comment Re:Dark matter and dark energy (Score 1) 225 225

Why is parent modded up? Everything stated is wrong. Modified Newtonian Gravity (MOND) has been attempted to explain away dark matter for decades with no success. The Bullet Cluster pretty much put the nail in the coffin of MOND. Dark Matter is the simplest and currently only idea that actually explains all the observations. That's not saying anyone knows what it is but lots of experiments are getting close to getting first glimpses at possibilities.

Comment Re:Price of using scientists as political pawns (Score 1) 342 342

Scientists should be political, scientists are not separate from the world, nor is science separate from what it is to be a human being. Scientists need to take part in a democracy, and that does not just mean voting, it means participating. They should be sharing science to educate the public on issues, they will have a different perspective even if the science isn't the whole story.

Second point is Fox News can say anything they want for two reasons; they don't have to tell the truth because they and argued that they are an opinion station; 2, the policy on 'balanced reporting' is so utterly stupid. Any issue can be shown to be decisive if they want it to be, get an expert on one side and an 'expert' on the other. It's what they do anytime they talk about climate change.

Comment University (Score 1) 201 201

I took an astronomy course last semester and haven't given back my keys cause I still may go up there periodically for a comet or maybe to take more exoplanet data. The head of astronomy really encourages participation and made an extra project any volunteers, so if time is willing, I hope to measure the expansion rate of the universe this semester :-)

Comment Already doing this in Physics (Score 3, Informative) 106 106

Pretty much every physics paper is pre-submitted to arXiv and after it is published in a paper the final copy is again resubmitted. The arXiv archive is there for peer review too, so it goes through two rounds of peer review. This has been the case for a decade now, I don't understand why this hasn't been taken up by other fields by now.

Comment Not only Iron Maiden (Score 1) 246 246

MP3's have helped so many heavy metal bands gain exposure and allow them to tour. Most metalheads have found new bands by talking with friends and then downloading albums. This in turn gives the band enough exposure to allow them to tour. On tour they actually don't make much per concert, most make about 100-200 which would be losing money. However, at these shows they are able to sell album and merchandise. Can anyone think of another genre that people are so willing to advertise for? There are so many people walking around with metal band t-shirts and hoodies, and, like me, all they own are band t-shirts.

In talking to most of these bands, they are happy you hear of them through downloading MP3's. Most of these bands can't do it for a living, they have regular jobs so they just want their music out there. And every once in a while a band gets enough exposure that can do it for a living. But the only way to get that exposure in through the internet. Hell, you ask any metal band how they found their musical influences and how they find new bands, they'll all tell you they downloaded the music.

Comment wavelength (Score 3, Informative) 107 107

To me one of the most surprising things is the wavelength. Back of the envelope calculation gives me 4.4 *10^-26m. That is amazingly small, 8 orders of magnitude smaller than the proton. This also came from 1/4 of the universe away, which makes me wonder how much smaller it is due to the expansion of the universe. Probably not much, but DAMN that is small.

Comment Re:equal amounts at the beginning of the Universe (Score 1) 129 129

Not only that but conservation of energy doesn't hold for the universe on a whole, only locally. At least that's the current theory, it could be proven wrong. For evidence look at the expanding universe and the cosmic microwave background. All the energetic photons created after the big bang have lost energy as they have shifted down to 3 K. Again, this could be proven wrong because we have no clue what the vacuum energy really is, any time it's calculated from quantum mechanics the energy is thousands of orders of magnitude too large. But the current theory is that energy is NOT conserved in the universe as a whole.

Comment Re:when I want to maximize entropy ... (Score 2) 233 233

This is an old idea that is really about emergence. Terrence Deacon pointed out a flaw in this argument and shifted the idea about emergence from the 'many states' to directional states (I forget the term he used for it). It's the limiting number of states in the system that leads to life, these constraints need energy and so the entropy around them increases. It's a fascinating idea and I hope more work is done on it, listen to it here. [youtube.com]

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes

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