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jelliott

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jelliott last won the day on December 27 2014

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About jelliott

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  • Birthday 07/26/1997

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  1. Nate-- Negative energy - can't really wrap my head around that. Very cool. Justin-- That stuff about the planet rotating under you and forcing you into fixed waves is even scarier than the idea of your traditional tidal wave. Awesome
  2. After watching Interstellar, one can pretty much gather that Miller's planet is weird. On top of the aforementioned super-massive tidal waves and its close proximity to a rotating black hole, Gargantua, it has a very interesting property regarding its time "flow" - one hour on this planet equates to 7 years on Earth. So what does this mean? Are those on Miller's planet aging at a vastly accelerated rate? Is everything in slow motion? Well, the answer can be summarized like this: it's all about perspective. On Miller's planet, the flow of time doesn't feel any different than it does on Eart
  3. The observation of interactions is basically the foundation of science and physics, but often times this observation directly alters the phenomena being observed. This concept is aptly named the observer effect. In circuits, the voltage and current can be measured by the use of voltmeters and ammeters, respectively. However, the placement of these devices into the current alter the actual voltages and currents of these circuits. This is why voltmeters are very high in resistance and wired in parallel, and ammeters are very low in resistance and wired in series. This is to minimize the essen
  4. You wouldn't have too big a problem believing that the past can affect the future, or that the present affects the future. We see it everyday. But if I told you that the future could affect the past, you'd probably be a bit skeptical. Quantum physics is full of these weird thought experiments that are absolutely wild and mind-bending, and one of them is known as Wheeler's delayed choice experiment (prominent in the late '70s and early '80s). John Wheeler attempted to answer a very strange question in the following way. It uses Young's double slit experiment wherein light can either demonstr
  5. Nothing for me proves the ubiquity of physics more than this article I came across in the LA Times. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-popcorn-science-20150210-story.html Yes, that's right; on top of just being tasty, popcorn is a great demonstration of several physics concepts such as thermodynamics. First off, food chemists have determined the ideal moisture content of a kernel to be around 14%, and since the 1950s, plant breeders have apparently fixed that annoying unpopped kernel problem by 75%. So there's evidently a lot of people with some passions for this stuf
  6. One would think that someone who is somewhat knowledgeable in the realm of physics might be somewhat decent at golf. They would be wrong, because I exist. In this particular installment, I will be focusing on the flashiest aspect of golf, known as the drive. A long drive may not guarantee a good score on a certain hole, but it's a good start, and can make you look cool. Martin Paul Gardiner, creator of advanced golf simulators, obviously had to do some research beforehand - I will be citing his findings here. A driver has considerably less loft than other clubs, and typically, a 10 degre
  7. This is the last blog post (for now, at least) concerning the debate on nuclear fission, and we'll end with the positive aspects. For one thing, it is free of CO2 emissions. This is a big one considering the effects of global warming caused by such gases. In fact, the lack of harmful smog and air pollution is one of the biggest selling points for nuclear reactors. While the wastes can be hazardous, the immediate radiations from fission are harmless to the environment. Although it may not seem like it would be the case, the fuel used in these reactions are quite cost-efficient and gene
  8. As mentioned before, nuclear fission generates a pretty substantial amount of energy. And the numbers alone may convince you that fission is extremely efficient. Well, efficiency isn't the only means for debate - it also involves safety, as the process can be very dangerous. The most common nuclear reactor is known as a critical fission reactor. Here, neutrons produced by fission of atoms (such as Uranium) are used to cause further fissions, and so it is generally self-sustaining. One of the main reasons people are against this process is the nuclear waste. Honestly, the term "nuclear wa
  9. A couple posts ago, I briefly touched on the idea of nuclear fusion - the process of merging two light hydrogen atoms to release massive amounts of energy. This concept is awe-inspiring considering our current energy crisis, but it is far from being mastered. A certain nuclear energy source that is utilized, though, is nuclear fission. It's essentially the opposite of fusion - a heavy atom is split, by decay or a nuclear reaction, into two lighter atoms, and a large amount of energy is released. Now, this process has its proponents and opponents, and I'll get to that in a later post. But he
  10. We humans are drawn to the unknown and the mysterious. And what's more mysterious than black holes? Not much. An event horizon (a.k.a. a point of no return) is a boundary in spacetime where an outside observe cannot be affected by anything beyond it. In other words, a gravitational pull is so strong that nothing can possibly escape it. Light emitted from beyond the black hole's event horizon can never reach an observer outside of the horizon. If you, an observer, are looking towards one of these horizons, an object approaching it from your side will never quite reach it - it will appear
  11. Besides being fun to say, plasma is a very important concept in physics. But what is it, exactly? Well, it's one of the four fundamental states of matter, alongside our friends solids, liquids, and gases. It can be found even in household objects, such as fluorescent light bulbs, plasma televisions, and the Sun. It is essentially a medium of unbound positive and negative particles, meaning it is generally neutral (the charge is close to zero). When a plasma moves, these charges create current, and therefore magnetic fields. They are in turn affected by the fields of other plasmas. To cre
  12. The phonograph was invented by Thomas Edison in 1877 as a revolutionary device to not only record sound, but play it back. Since then, obviously, new music media has become more prevalent (CDs, etc.) and understandably - but a recent "retro" movement has increased the popularity of this seemingly dated form of listening to music. Newer record players are obviously different from the original phonograph, but the components and main concept remains the same. Starting with the record: A master recording is perfected in a studio. Then, a lacquer (disc) is placed on a record-cutting machine. As
  13. (You, of course, indicating its impact on the Earth and not necessarily you on a personal level.) By essentially sapping energy from an orbital system, gravitational radiation makes orbits more circular and continuously decreases their radii. Overall angular momentum decreases, as this too is essentially stolen by radiation. The decrease in the radius of orbit is given by the following equation: Substitution of the Earth's and Sun's masses for m1 and m2 tells us that the rate of our orbit with the Sun is decreasing by the second: 1.1 * 10^-20 meters per second, to be exact. Not to freak
  14. Relativity, as we know, explains the intimate connections of space and time, since they are essentially components of one larger entity, the spacetime continuum. One of the more elusive byproducts of this theory is the concept of gravitational waves. To explain, first understand that the spacetime continuum has curvature, and this curvature is directly affected by the mass of an object. For instance, large masses like planets will actually cause spacetime to "bend" around it. And gravitational waves are like any other waves, in that they are ripples that travel outwards from the source
  15. We all know now that the Universe is expanding, and at an accelerating rate. What happens, though, if it expands too far? Well, it turns out that if the Universe's density exceeds its "critical density", all of its matter will be mutually gravitationally attracted to each other, causing the expansion to cease and then reverse. This phenomenon, that all matter will eventually collapse in on itself into a black hole singularity, is known as the Big Crunch. What happens, though, after all matter has dissolved into this black hole? It's possible that another Big Bang could occur, thus indicatin
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