Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:And what about dark matter? (Score 1) 109

What happens when you get macroscopic objects displaying quantum effects, as in the experiments of Andrew Cleland and Aaron O'Connell?

Or Yves Couder et al., who reproduce the two-slit experiment on a macroscopic scale - but it seems to require an ether if that's what's happening on the quantum level, which goes against physics dogma?

Comment Re:And what about dark matter? (Score 1) 109

Where is the energy removed to?

In the edx Greatest Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe MOOC, a student asked a question:

First:At the 2nd lesson you said that the energy of photons and particles, at the young universe, is the same (equipartition) and higher of the today energy. But the first law of thermodynamic says that the energy is constant in a closed system. We have any violation of the law?

To which Professor Paul Francis replied:

First question - it turns out that energy is not necessarily conserved in General Relativity on very large scales. So it is possible that the energy just goes away! Some people believe that there is a sort of potential energy built into space-time, and so as space expands, this potential energy increases, compensating for the loss of energy of the photons etc. They sometimes go on to say that this (negative) potential energy is exactly equal and opposite to the energy of everything in the universe, so the whole universe has a net energy of zero (and is hence the ultimate free lunch).

Comment Re:Written by a Woman? (Score 1) 274

Govt isn't funded by taxes, in the same way that banks aren't funded by deposits. Banks' loans (created out of nothing) are their assets. So the Fed expands its balance sheet by creating an asset, which funds the government, and keeps the asset on its books forever. Zero-cost govt funding. Taxes aren't necessary, a relic of a feudal era.

Comment Re:If you're just beaming it down to earth anyways (Score 1) 230

But relying on the private sector to research innovative alternative energy sources (as the original post I was replying to in this thread implied) is futile. Did the private sector build Hoover Dam? When oil dropped to $10/barrel during the 1990s, the private sector abandoned alternative energy research. That was precisely the time when government should have invested in it (but Reagan's influence in defunding the DOE's alternative energy projects prevailed, a continuation of his attitude of symbolically ripping out the solar panels on the White House that Carter had installed). What the private sector considers uneconomic may be good for the General Welfare, and then government should fund it, by borrowing from the Fed at zero cost for example.

Comment Re:If you're just beaming it down to earth anyways (Score 1) 230

There are other reasons besides economics to build solar collectors in space. The kind of feudal economics you're locked into can't account for new innovation that would make it better to have solar farms in space. For example: space colonies.

It's also environmentally better to build energy plants in space. I've seen solar farms in the desert in Arizona. Some of them keep the ground cover but others pave it over. Where do the lizards go?

The goal should be to get Earth back down to about 500 million people, and let the environment regenerate, not pave over the remaining land.

Comment Re:If you're just beaming it down to earth anyways (Score 1) 230

I think your "never" is really saying that you don't have the imagination or technical know-how to do it.

Space elevators, for example, could bring down prices. When computers were first invented, who foresaw Moore's law? Yet government investment in the chips that TI produced kept the private sector afloat.

In conclusion, try to think beyond next quarter's shareholder report.

Comment Re:If you're just beaming it down to earth anyways (Score 1) 230

Using economics to bash basic science research is ridiculously short-sighted. AT&T refused at first to invest in internet research, because their business model was based on telephones. Business is okay at incremental innovations (making computers smaller), but not at disruptive innovations (making computers in the first place). Research such as this has to be publicly financed, precisely because market signals are too short-sighted and profit-oriented to invest in it.

Slashdot Top Deals

When someone says "I want a programming language in which I need only say what I wish done," give him a lollipop.

Working...