119 reputation
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age 58
visits member for 3 years, 11 months
seen Sep 4 '12 at 6:40

Aug
31
awarded  Popular Question
Aug
29
awarded  Nice Question
Jun
2
awarded  Teacher
Feb
4
awarded  Popular Question
Jan
25
answered How did Newton discover his second law?
Jan
19
awarded  Supporter
Jan
18
comment Is there any thing other than time that “triggers” a radioactive atom to decay?
Yes, thanks Vladimir. And Joe mentioned above that "stimulated radioactive decay" is also possible!
Jan
18
comment Is there any thing other than time that “triggers” a radioactive atom to decay?
Thanks Joe. I realize that decay rate can be modeled by assuming a random decay process. But making that assumption doesn't really explain why the process is "random" in the first place. I guess Nature simply likes to play dice...and I need to get used to the odds!
Jan
18
asked Is there any thing other than time that “triggers” a radioactive atom to decay?
Jan
18
comment What's the problem with solar energy?
Just curious, how much of your average daily electrical costs are met by the solar panels you have installed on your roof? Thanks for your analysis.
Jan
18
comment What's the problem with solar energy?
Agreed! But isn't it always the economic incentive that gets our butts moving in the first place?
Jan
17
comment How is a spherical electromagnetic wave emitted from an antenna described in terms of photons?
Ok Lubos, so I think if I understand you correctly the classical laws of electromagnetism are actually describing the "collective" behavior of what in practice can be considered an infinite number of photons being "spit out" in all directions "simultaneously" or in a more restricted set of directions depending on the configuration of the antenna. Whereas quantum mechanics is used to describe the case of a single photon. So obviously I was confusing the case of "infinite" number of photons with the case of a single photon. Many thanks for your help!
Jan
17
awarded  Student
Jan
17
asked How is a spherical electromagnetic wave emitted from an antenna described in terms of photons?
Jan
17
comment What's the problem with solar energy?
Thanks Humble, let's hope these "extreme" environments (like the Sahara desert) will give us "extreme engineering" breakthroughs to provide this planet with relatively clean electricity for future generations.
Jan
17
comment What's the problem with solar energy?
Money matters! Thanks Lubos for your insightful economic analysis on the state of solar energy.
Jan
17
comment What's the problem with solar energy?
Hej Robert Filter, Yes, my question was a bit diffuse. I was thinking about the fact that new materials are continually being developed that purportedly increase the "efficiency" of energy conversion from light to electricity and I was wondering if there was some kind of theoretical limit for this conversion, and if so, how was it calculated. I hope my question is now a bit more "enlightened"!
Jan
17
asked What's the problem with solar energy?