Naked Science Forum

General Science => General Science => Topic started by: Peter Perkins on 04/02/2004 02:22:25

Title: Are we on course for a Nobel Prize For Guessing?
Post by: Peter Perkins on 04/02/2004 02:22:25
The Nobel Prize for Guessing.

I think they've finally lost it. The Magic Roundabout boffins and their particle accelerators. They are colliding to confusion, faster all the time and more and bits are flying off. Their conclusions are roughly as follows...

One cat can be in two boxes at once. 

Light from a galaxy knows when we are looking at it.

When you stir your tea, Betelgeuse makes it go up the sides of the cup. 

These are not hypotheses, they are facts from Zebedee and Florence.

They say 'Don't try to understand, just accept it.' Well that isnít reasonable is it. We can't help trying to understand everything.  If we paid a 'Beyond our Comprehension' Tax, we wouldn't like it. Sorry, that example's like VAT.

Science has been jumped into the realms of nonsense and enough is enough.  The world law as enacted by yours truly now categorises Quantum Mechanics to the Forbidden Mystery status. Like Devil Worship. Put all that effort and money into the making of cars and pizzas.

Alternatively, we can all join in and have a go and get ourselves a Nobel Prize for Guessing.

If itís right one day, they canít  ignore you, you thought of it first.

I claim the following insights....

Light is not a wave or a particle it is an ointment.

There are six billion parallel universes, i.e. one for each of us. The proof here is that when someone else puts something away for you, you can't find it.  Of course not, it's in their universe.

Gravity is elastic painted with invisible ink.

There are more particles in an atom than stars in the sky. Just.(A sure fire winner)
That'll do. They all sound so reasonable.

Our scientists will say, look at the advantages we've already got from them, microwave ovens, cyberpets, etc. Ok but we've got them now and it's like pontoon. Lets stick unless we twist and bust.
Title: Re: Are we on course for a Nobel Prize For Guessing?
Post by: Donnah on 04/02/2004 17:55:41
Hahahaha.  Welcome Peter.
Title: Re: Are we on course for a Nobel Prize For Guessing?
Post by: qpan on 19/02/2004 00:13:22
Well, i don't know...
Some things are quite reasonable in quantum mechanics (although a lot of it is incomprehensible). For example, the indeterminancy of the true position and velocity of any particle. Whenever you measure something, you affect its position and/or speed by a completely miniscule amount. For example, when measuring the temperature of a hot cup of tea, some of the tea's heat must be transferred to the thermometer in order for you to record its temperature, thereby decreasing the tea's temperature and giving you a measurement just under the tea's actual temperature when you measured it. For macroscopic entities (things on our scale), this is not much of a problem as this does not cause much error at all. However, when you have a particle and want to measure, lets say its position, you have to bounce some small particles or waves off of it and record how long it takes to bounce back. However, due to the particle's small mass, just by measuring it you would have changed its course and it will now be moving at an unknown speed at an unknown position (you can, at any given time, either know its velocity or position exactly, but not both).
Science may seem incomprehensible at times, but things certainly are not just guessed (although sometimes luck has something to do with it- e.g penicillin). You just need to learn the background knowledge and build up your understanding step by step, thats all, and all will become clear(er).

"I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."
-Edgar Allan Poe
Title: Re: Are we on course for a Nobel Prize For Guessing?
Post by: MayoFlyFarmer on 19/03/2004 03:14:08
ok, a couple things on this thread:
first... don't elastic and gravity actually work by the same principles when you really get down to it?
second, I have found that you don't become more comfortable or accepting of scientific knowledge the more you learn about it.  I find that the more I know the more I realize how uncertain we are about everything else that we claim to know (wow does that contradict itself).  I'm not sure if thats more scary or exciting.

Yar, the flies be everywhere!!!
Title: Re: Are we on course for a Nobel Prize For Guessing?
Post by: tweener on 19/03/2004 16:30:33
Actually, gravity and elasitc don't work on the same principle.  Elastic works by the electromagnetic forces between molecules holding together and allowing some "give".  Cannibinoid or one of the chemistry types can give more detail.

Gravity on the other hand is an attractive force between any two masses that acts across a distance.  For any given distance, the electromagnetic forces are several orders of magnitude greater than the gravitational force. However, electrically charged particles come in pairs (electrons and protons) and normally cancel each other out on scales larger than molecules.  An exception to this is when you develop a static charge relative to some other object - your hair stands up because of the electric field forces.  Gravity on the other hand does not cancel out - it is always attractive.  Thus we stay on the earth.  Moons and planets stay in orbit.  The galaxy stays together.  

Quantum mechanics is truly bizzare, but as qpan says, it is not in-comprehensible if you build up your understanding by getting the necessary training.  I understand your statement about learning more results in having more questions.  It teaches you to not just accept things, but to really learn how they work.  This leads to knowing about the uncertanties in scientific knowledge.  It also leads to knowing more about what really is known and why we know it.

Quantum mechanics is not the end of the line in our understanding of physics.  Relativity is not either.  They are both very accurate descriptions for what they describe. They have some fundamental incompatabilities that they should not have.  Also, quantum mechanics cannot explain (or predict) gravity.  There si something deeper that we don't understand yet.  But that is part of the thrill of science.  Trying to understand something that no one else has ever figured out.

John - The Eternal Pessimist.
Title: Re: Are we on course for a Nobel Prize For Guessing?
Post by: Monox D. I-Fly on 13/01/2018 07:03:01
One cat can be in two boxes at once. 
Ugh, Schrodinger, stop torturing your cats.