Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

×

Comment: Re:Are we looking through the center... (Score 1) 127

by michelcolman (#49170143) Attached to: Astronomers Find an Old-Looking Galaxy In the Early Universe

The big bang hypothesis is based on two things:

- Objects that are far away, also appear to be flying away from us at high speeds. Speed and distance even appear to be proportional. We can measure the speed quite easily using redshift: all light (and other electromagnetic radiation) is shifted to lower frequencies, the entire spectrum moves down (well below red, by the way). Spectrums have thin black lines corresponding to the presence of certain elements, and we see the same thin lines at lower frequencies when something is moving away from us, so we can measure the speed quite precisely. Distance is harder to measure, but we can occasionally use events of a fixed brightness (certain types of supernova that always have the same brightness) to determine how far away something is.

- Objects that are far away (high redshift) appear younger. Less heavy elements, different kinds of radiation, etc. Since distance corresponds directly to the age at which things appear (because light had to travel all the way here), this means that the universe was different when it was younger, and evolved to what it is today.

And that last bit is what is causing the paradox with this new galaxy: although it is far away and should therefore appear younger (it is the same age today, but we see it as it was in the past), it looks much older than it ought to look.

Comment: Re:not the first time (Score 1) 111

by michelcolman (#49170125) Attached to: Photo First: Light Captured As Both Particle and Wave

Any other particle behaves the same way. The dual slit experiment can be done with electrons instead of photons, and you get the same result. A particle IS something that shows up in one place when you try to figure out where it is, but travels as a wave until you try to detect it. That's how particles can interfere with themselves: the probability waves travel through space and determine the likelihood of the particle appearing in any place. Photons are no different from other particles in this way.

So light does simply consist of particles, and nothing else, but particles are nothing like billiard balls and in fact travel like waves.

Comment: Re:c++? (Score 2) 337

Objective C++ works well for me. You can not only mix and match Objective C and C++ files, you can use a mix of both in the same files. Just give them the ".mm" extension. No problem usig std::cout from [theView dosomethingWith:(int) i]. Of course you do have to understand both languages, so it takes more time to learn. But you can use the strong points of both languages and pick whatever you need. Need to stick a bunch of UIView*s into a std::vector? No problem!

Comment: Re:Are we looking through the center... (Score 1) 127

by michelcolman (#49169953) Attached to: Astronomers Find an Old-Looking Galaxy In the Early Universe

No. First of all, we don't know whether the Big Bang had a center, it may have occurred everywhere at the same time throughout the infinite universe. But even if it did have a center, the light coming from the other side of that center would still have traveled the same long amount of time to get here, so it should still appear just as young as any other galaxy at that distance. The apparent age (how old it looks when we watch it through our telescopes) is not due to absolute location, but relative distance to us. The further away it is, the younger it should look. This side or other side does not matter.

So either we are looking at something that is much closer than we think it is (maybe a high redshift because of motion relative to local space, or some gravitational anomaly) or the whole big bang model is wrong.

Comment: Re:*sighs* (Score 1) 145

by michelcolman (#49163749) Attached to: AVG Announces Invisibility Glasses

Or: please step aside, follow me into this room where somebody will meet you in an hour or so to question you about why exactly you are using this high tech device to keep your identity hidden from our security cameras and what you were planning to do here. Then someone else will come and ask the same questions all over again. I hope you didn't have any other plans for today.

You might as well wear a balaclava.

Comment: Re:White balance and contrast in camera. (Score 1) 409

by michelcolman (#49153885) Attached to: Is That Dress White and Gold Or Blue and Black?

The definitive clue is in the almost perfectly specular reflection on the draped bits near the shoulders: This is clearly a reflection of the illuminating light, and it's a bluish color in the picture. Pick that as the white point and you get a white dress with golden-brown applications.(...)Then you'll clearly see that it's a picture where the white balance is off (in terms that most people will find on their cameras, the camera balanced for "incandescent light" instead of "fluorescent light"), not a blue dress.

Great theory, except for the fact that the company that makes the dress has confirmed that it's blue and black.

When I first saw it, I was completely convinced it was blue and black. But then later that day, I saw it again and it was definitely white and gold. I couldn't believe I had ever seen it as blue and black. Ambient light and monitor color settings definitely change the perception. When you see the dress as white and gold, looking at the bright spot at the lower right of the picture makes the dress start to turn blue. Dimming the monitor also helps.

Comment: Re:Don't bother (Score 2) 203

by michelcolman (#49125443) Attached to: What Happens When Betelgeuse Explodes?

Indeed, it doesn't really say much interesting. Half the article is about the definition of absolute and relative magnitude (yawn...), then they say it will be about a quarter as bright as the moon. What about radiation? Lots of highly charged particles will be coming our way. Could give a pretty significant EMP pulse.

Comment: Re:News Media (Score 1) 110

by michelcolman (#49113627) Attached to: Mars One Does Not Renew Contracts For Robotic Missions

Would it only cost $4.5 billion? Bill Gates' net worth is $79.2 billion, Zuckerberg has $33.4 billion, Elon Musk has $7.9 billion and then I've skipped a lot of billionaires in between. If a few of those guys pool together, $4.5 billion sounds like peanuts. I suspect that figure was wildly optimistic, though. And anyway, even with all the money in the world, pulling off such a mission is simply unlikely with current technology. They'll get something wrong, or some vital equipment will fail unexpectedly, and that will be the end of it.

SpaceX is still having trouble simply landing a rocket booster back on the same planet it came from, would they be able to do it with twice the amount of money? Ten times? A hundred times? Nope, they just have to try, fail, try again, and finally they'll get it right. It's not about money, it's about experience.

Maybe try the moon first. I've always wondered why they didn't go for that first. See if you can get people to live there and survive. You can even get them back after a few years. Then, when we've got a colony up and running on the moon, we can start thinking about Mars.

In case of injury notify your superior immediately. He'll kiss it and make it better.

Working...