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Old 09-27-2012, 03:29 PM   #1441
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There are more than a few very intelligent and credible people that believe we're living inside of a simulation right now, mainly due to the fact that energy is quantized and the smallest parts of matter have a finite size, which are the same rules we would give a computer to run a physics simulation.
It's totally plausible and I don't think humans as we are now have the ability to truely wrap their minds around this possibility. However, if we were to be living in a simulation, wouldn't it be wrong for us to be able to theorize and/or discover such a thing? Additionally, we are running simulations inside of simulations inside of simulations. It becomes more of the chicken or the egg at that point. If we are living in one and start running our own in say 10 years, who's to say that our simulation won't do the same and so on?

As for the laws of physics, how could we live in a world that isn't governed by basic things like mass and energy?

This is the reason I say that humans aren't able to comprehend this possibility at this point except for the few exceptionally intelligent people on the planet.

My head now hurts.

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One of the "through the wormhole" episodes covered this, maybe I can find it.

*edit* turns out it was episode one, DOH!
I wish TV networks would play more things like this to expand the mind and knowledge instead of sh!t like honey boo boo.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:42 PM   #1442
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I wish TV networks would play more things like this to expand the mind and knowledge instead of sh!t like honey boo boo.
There are tons of educational programs on all throughout the day, I just wish the majority of the population would watch them instead of other garbage.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:15 PM   #1443
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Loving this stereolithography based 3d printer these guys came up with,
http://www******starter.com/projects...inter?ref=live

Too bad the $2300 spots already sold out.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:14 PM   #1444
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Awesome, awesome stuff here

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A deeply rooted concept in everyday life is causality; the idea that events in the present are caused by events in the past and, in turn, act as causes for what happens in the future. Physicists from the University of Vienna and the Universite Libre de Bruxelles have shown that in quantum mechanics it is possible to conceive situations in which a single event can be both, a cause and an effect of another one.
http://phys.org/news/2012-10-quantum-causal.html
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:21 PM   #1445
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Loving this stereolithography based 3d printer these guys came up with,
http://www******starter.com/projects...inter?ref=live

Too bad the $2300 spots already sold out.
3D printing is about to blow wide open in the consumer market and I'd be willing to bet it revolutionizes the way we buy a lot of things in the next 20 years. Need a replacement part for something you bought? Pay a nominal fee to the manufacturer and they'll send you the design to print at home, or just design and print it yourself. And once we hit atomic resolution (we're already at the nano scale) with 3D printing, we'll be able to print literally anything, atom by atom.

edit: Case and point
http://boingboing.net/2012/10/01/pop...anufactur.html
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OP-1 synthesizer manufacturer Teenage Engineering doesn't want to ship you replacement knobs and buttons for your instrument. Instead, they've uploaded printable shapefiles to Shapeways and have asked their customers to simply download them and print them on a nearby 3D printer as needed.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:59 AM   #1446
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I saw this yesterday and thought it was interesting...........


Liquid air 'offers energy storage hope'

Renewable power generation, such as wind turbines, can produce electricity when it is not in demand

Turning air into liquid may offer a solution to one of the great challenges in engineering - how to store energy.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers says liquid air can compete with batteries and hydrogen to store excess energy generated from renewables.


IMechE says "wrong-time" electricity generated by wind farms at night can be used to chill air to a cryogenic state at a distant location.

When demand increases, the air can be warmed to drive a turbine.

Engineers say the process to produce "right-time" electricity can achieve an efficiency of up to 70%.

IMechE is holding a conference today to discuss new ideas on how using "cryo-power" can benefit the low-carbon economy.

The technology was originally developed by Peter Dearman, a garage inventor in Hertfordshire, to power vehicles.

A new firm, Highview Power Storage, was created to transfer Mr Dearman's technology to a system that can store energy to be used on the power grid.

The process, part-funded by the government, has now been trialled for two years at the back of a power station in Slough, Buckinghamshire.

More than hot air The results have attracted the admiration of IMechE officials.


Mr Dearman uses his garage as a laboratory
"I get half a dozen people a week trying to persuade me they have a brilliant invention," head of energy Tim Fox told BBC News.

"In this case, it is a very clever application that really does look like a potential solution to a really great challenge that faces us as we increase the amount of intermittent power from renewables."

IMechE says the simplicity and elegance of the Highview process is appealing, especially as it addresses not just the problem of storage but also the separate problem of waste industrial heat.

The process follows a number of stages:

"Wrong-time electricity" is used to take in air, remove the CO2 and water vapour (these would freeze otherwise) the remaining air, mostly nitrogen, is chilled to -190C (-310F) and turns to liquid (changing the state of the air from gas to liquid is what stores the energy) the liquid air is held in a giant vacuum flask until it is needed when demand for power rises, the liquid is warmed to ambient temperature. As it vaporizes, it drives a turbine to produce electricity - no combustion is involved

IMechE says this process is only 25% efficient but it is massively improved by co-siting the cryo-generator next to an industrial plant or power station producing low-grade heat that is currently vented and being released into the atmosphere.

The heat can be used to boost the thermal expansion of the liquid air.

More energy is saved by taking the waste cool air when the air has finished chilling, and passing it through three tanks containing gravel.

The chilled gravel stores the coolness until it is needed to restart the air-chilling process.


Highview believes that, produced at scale, their kits could be up to 70% efficient, and IMechE agrees this figure is realistic.

"Batteries can get 80% efficiency so this isn't as good in that respect," explains Dr Fox.

"But we do not have a battery industry in the UK and we do have plenty of respected engineers to produce a technology like this.

"What's more, it uses standard industrial components - which reduces commercial risk; it will last for decades and it can be fixed with a spanner."

In the future, it is expected that batteries currently used in electric cars may play a part in household energy storage.

But Richard Smith, head of energy strategy for National Grid, told BBC News that other sorts of storage would be increasingly important in coming decades and should be incentivised to commercial scale by government.

He said: "Storage is one of four tools we have to balance supply and demand, including thermal flexing (switching on and off gas-fired power stations); interconnections, and demand-side management. Ultimately it will be down to economics."

Mr Dearman, who also invented the MicroVent resuscitation device used in ambulances, told BBC News he was delighted at the success of his ideas.

He said he believed his liquid air engine would prevail against other storage technologies because it did not rely on potentially scarce materials for batteries. "I have been working on this off and on for close on 50 years," he told BBC News.

"I started when I was a teenager because I thought there wouldn't be enough raw materials in the world for everyone to have a car. There had to be a different way. Then somehow I came up with the idea of storing energy in cold.

"It's hard to put into words to see what's happening with my ideas today."

John Scott, from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), added: "At present, pumped-hydro storage is the only practical bulk storage medium in the British grid.

"However, locations are very restricted," he told BBC News. "In the future, if new storage technologies can be deployed at a lower cost than alternatives, it would benefit the power system."

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) said it would shortly launch a scheme to incentivise innovation in energy storage. Other grants are available from Ofgem.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19785689
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:06 AM   #1447
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Thats a good piece, thanks for sharing!

It would be great to see more kinetic energy storage rather than chemical storage being used. (right terminology?)
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Old 10-03-2012, 09:40 AM   #1448
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^ Great read!

Doesn't this feed right into the usage of hydrogen power though? Use a renewable source at low usage times to chill hydrogen and then "burn" liquid hydrogen to create water. Rinse (pun intended) and repeat.

Hydrogen has a much higher energy density than nitrogen (~8.5MJ/L for liquid hydrogen and 0.62 MJ/L for liquid nitrogen).

Another option is just compressed, instead of liquified, hydrogen. This would require much less energy to accomplish to begin with but would still yield more energy density (~4.5 MJ/L) than liquid nitrogen.
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:14 AM   #1449
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Hubble's constant gets an update:

http://www.space.com/17884-universe-...-constant.html

" The most precise measurement ever made of the speed of the universe's expansion is in, thanks to NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, and it's a doozy. Space itself is pulling apart at the seams, expanding at a rate of 74.3 plus or minus 2.1 kilometers (46.2 plus or minus 1.3 miles) per second per megaparsec (a megaparsec is roughly 3 million light-years)."

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Old 10-07-2012, 07:12 AM   #1450
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i don't mean to spam this thread, but though some of you may be interested in knowing that you can get a year's subscription to popular science for 5$, free shipping

https://www.tanga.com/deals/ee418555...#close-facebox

coupon: OCTSCIENCE
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:41 PM   #1451
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They're learning
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Old 10-15-2012, 05:47 PM   #1452
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Glad to see this thread alive and kicking.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:43 PM   #1453
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They're learning
They need to make a webpage with that on it, so we can draw random stuff and have the computer guess what it is. It would be an awesome way to kill time.
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:23 AM   #1454
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And it could potentially help their system learn, too.
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:43 AM   #1455
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Is light speed really a limit?

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10...y_mathematics/
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:10 PM   #1456
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I Love space stuff. Every time I read about it, I read something new............

--------------------------------

A sun was discovered with 5 planets revolving around it and each one is closer to the sun than our own Earth.




The most crowded alien planetary system found yet possesses five worlds all orbiting a star at least 12 times closer than Earth does the sun, researchers say.

Investigators discovered these exoplanets using NASA's pioneering Kepler space observatory. The orbiting telescope has detected more than 2,300 potential alien worlds since its March 2009 launch. It searches for these planets by observing more than 160,000 stars simultaneously, looking for small dips in stars' brightness due to orbiting worlds passing in front of them.

The researchers used Kepler to analyze the planetary system around the star KOI-500, a star about the mass of the sun but only about three-quarters its diameter and only about 1 billion years old, less than one-quarter the sun's age. KOI-500 is about 1,100 light-years away in the constellation Lyra, the harp.
KOI-500 is a super-compact planetary system, the most tightly packed one seen yet, hosting at least five planets ranging from 1.3 to 2.6 times the size of Earth. [ Tiny Alien Solar System Explained (Infographic) ]
"All five planets zip around their star within a region 150 times smaller in area than the Earth's orbit, despite containing more material than several Earths," study lead author Darin Ragozzine, a planetary scientist at the University of Florida at Gainesville, said in a statement. "At this rate, you could easily pack in 10 more planets, and they would still all fit comfortably inside the Earth's orbit."

These planets orbit so near KOI-500 that their "years," or the time it takes to circle their star, are only 1.0, 3.1, 4.6, 7.1, and 9.5 days long. The planets are so close together that their mutual gravity slightly pushes and pulls on their orbits. Still, their orbits appear completely stable overall they appear in no danger of crashing together or of hurling each other away from or into their star, Ragozzine told Space.com.

"These four planets come back to a similar orbital configuration about every 191 days," Ragozzine said.
The orbits these planets are now in make them too hot for the planets to have formed there. The researchers suggest the planets around KOI-500 were originally more spread out, and migrated inward due to gravitational interactions between them and the protoplanetary disk of gas and dust they originated from, Ragozzine said.

"We think that the migration process that put them into their current orbits also helped synchronize them into a four-body resonance," Ragozzine said.
Recent theories for the formation of the giant planets of our outer solar system, such as Jupiter and Saturn, also involve planets moving during the formation process. As these giants shifted their orbits, researchers suggest their gravitational pulls hurled asteroids and comets toward the inner solar system, causing the so-called Late Heavy Bombardment about 4.1 billion to 3.8 billion years ago, which pummeled Earth, the moon and the inner planets with a barrage of countless impacts.

As scientists have discovered more and more exoplanets, they have found that most observed worlds orbit much closer to their stars than any planet in our solar system orbits the sun, including so-called hot Jupiters, which are giant planets orbiting closer to their stars than Mercury does the sun. Scientists still don't understand why most observed alien planetary systems look so unlike ours.

"This difference probably has to do with the different ways planets interacted with the disk of gas and dust they came from," Ragozzine said. "There's still a lot of work that needs to (be done to) understand these processes better."


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49423434.../#.UH0XYfVWqE9
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:10 PM   #1457
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Another planet was discovered that has 4 suns !



Astronomers have found a planet whose skies are illuminated by four different suns - the first known of its type.

The distant world orbits one pair of stars which have a second stellar pair revolving around them.

The discovery was made by volunteers using the Planethunters.org website along with a team from UK and US institutes; follow-up observations were made with the Keck Observatory.

Computerised attempts to find things [in the data] missed this system entirely. That tells you there are probably more of these that are slipping through our fingers"

The planet, located just under 5,000 light-years away, has been named PH1 after the Planet Hunters site.

It is thought to be a "gas giant" slightly larger than Neptune - more than six times the radius of the Earth.

"All four stars pulling on it creates a very complicated environment. Yet there it sits in an apparently stable orbit.

"That's really confusing, which is one of the things which makes this discovery so fun. It's absolutely not what we would have expected."

"So I think what this is telling us is planets can form in the inner parts of protoplanetary discs (the torus of dense gas that gives rise to planetary systems).

Stares fixedly at a patch corresponding to 1/400th of the sky
Looks at more than 155,000 stars
Has so far found 2,321 candidate planets
Among them are 207 Earth-sized planets, 10 of which are in the "habitable zone" where liquid water can exist
Kepler candidate list
William Borucki talks about Kepler
PH1 was discovered by two US volunteers using the Planethunters.org website: Kian Jek of San Francisco and Robert Gagliano from Cottonwood, Arizona.

They spotted faint dips in light caused by the planet passing in front of its parent stars. The team of professional astronomers then confirmed the discovery using the Keck telescopes on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Founded in 2010, Planethunters.org aims to harness human pattern recognition to identify transits in publicly available data gathered by Nasa's Kepler Space Telescope.

more...........................
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19950923
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:04 AM   #1458
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:19 AM   #1459
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:52 AM   #1460
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that is so awesome
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