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Comment: Re:Nerd Blackface (Score 1) 442

by drerwk (#47641627) Attached to: Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Do you really think that an IRL Sheldon without script immunity would be able to do the same? The TV Sheldon also seems to be a pretty crap physicist, given to conspiracy theories, junk science, and an inability to distinguish between fiction and reality.

I was an undergrad Physics major at Caltech. Other than the crap physicist qualifier, I knew professors in the department who were given to conspiracy theories, junk science, and an inability to distinguish between fiction and reality, though not all in a single individual.

Comment: Re:"and designed to fly near transonic speed" (Score 1) 44

by drerwk (#47593219) Attached to: Perlan II Project Aims To Fly a Glider To the Edge of Space
The lift produced by a wing is partly a function of the rate of air mass that passes over the wing. Keeping density constant an increase in velocity will increase lift. If the density of the air decreases, as it does with altitude, then one must increase velocity to get the same air mass to pass over the wing and generate the same lift. At the altitude they will be flying, they may well have to fly near the speed of sound to get enough air over the wing to provide sufficient lift. The higher they go, the higher their stall speed so they end up flying in a decreasing envelope between speed of sound and stall. The typical airspeed indicator is a static ram pressure transducer, which is also dependent on the mass of air impinging on it, so it will indicate 'normal' stall and flying speed even though the plane is going much faster.

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