185 reputation
bio website markbetnel.com
location Seattle, WA
age 39
visits member for 4 years, 7 months
seen Jul 10 at 23:07

PhD in computational biophysics. High school teacher. Tinkerer.

comment Explaining Newton's Laws of motion to a 6 year old
I think this is an excellent suggestion for a high school or college student, but it is beyond the capacity of almost any 6 year old. The punchline of each of these examples is an algebraic regularity, but a typical 6 year old does not even recognize an arithmetic sequence as being the result of repeated addition of the same number.
comment Light in the absence of colloids?
Were there lights on the exterior of the lander?
comment Where does this equation originate from? (found in the Big Bang Theory)
The physics consultant for the show has a blog at thebigblogtheory.wordpress.com which often discusses the details of the ideas talked about in the show -- though not for this particular episode.
comment What can the D-Wave quantum computer do?
"Here we use quantum annealing to find the ground state of an artificial Ising spin system comprising an array of eight superconducting flux quantum bits with programmable spin–spin couplings." -- from the abstract of their recent Nature paper (nature.com/nature/journal/v473/n7346/full/nature10012.html). It seems unlikely to me that their commercial product actually uses 16-fold more qubits.
comment What happens if you try to freeze water in an water tight container
Hard to tell from the final photo, but did the ice inside the grenade form a hollow sphere?
comment How Does Mass Leave the Body When you Lose Weight?
Not to be crude, but the answer's excretion. You might lose a tiny bit of mass from perspiration, but weigh yourself right after a meal -- your mass isn't going to change until your next trip to the lavatory. (Unless you've got a nuclear powered gut)