1,807 reputation
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bio website skepsi.me
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age 22
visits member for 3 years, 3 months
seen yesterday

May
27
comment Are scientists missing the point with distant cosmic objects, or is it just me?
@Colin: Then what is speed relative to? I kind of assumed that the twin paradox illustrated the point that it could not simply be relative to two objects.
May
26
asked Why does the road look like it's wet on hot days?
May
26
comment Are scientists missing the point with distant cosmic objects, or is it just me?
@Anonymous: That's not quite right. It's not that two masses can't move away from each other faster than c, but rather that a massive particle can't move relative to space faster than c. That means that you cannot accelerate a massive particle to the speed of light, but, for example, you can accelerate two particles to 99% of c, and shoot them in opposite directions. At that point, they are moving away from each other at a rate faster than c, but they themselves can never reach c.
May
24
comment Explanation of “thermite vs ice” explosion
Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a definite scientific study done on the cause. There are some logical explanations, as phycker pointed out, but unfortunately, it seems that mankind hasn't done every experiment there is to do, yet. :]
May
24
comment How does reflection work?
Ah, interesting. I think the last paragraph was probably the most helpful. And, as I keep reading everyone, it seems like looking up Mr. Feynman's talks and publications is a good way to learn more about QM in general. :D
May
24
accepted How does reflection work?
May
23
comment How does reflection work?
@Bjorn: So, from what I understood, photons are indeed absorbed and re-emitted during reflection. Why is it, then, that the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection? Logically, there must be a finite amount of time that the electron holds on to the energy. When it is radiated away, why is it not in a random direction?
May
23
asked How does reflection work?
May
23
comment Is there a good chance that gravitational waves will be detected in the next years?
@Jerry: Alright. I suppose that I was mainly thinking of Einstein@Home when I thought of data analysis. From what I understand, its search algorithm uses matched-filtering to detect continuous wave sources, not coalescing compact binaries. This PDF lists the sensitivities for various GW sources. Notably, continuous wave sources are order of magnitude lower in amplitude.
May
20
comment Special Relativity and time
That's the thing, distant galaxies aren't necessarily traveling any faster than we are. That's just how it appears because space itself is expanding between us.
May
20
comment Is there a good chance that gravitational waves will be detected in the next years?
@Jerry: Sorry, I think "very low frequency" was the wrong wording to use. I realize that LISA was aimed more at those kinds of waves. What I meant was that the data analysis would search for continuous patterns, things that would be immediately noticeable. My impression was that a merger event, although not being a "Hey, I think we got something!" moment or anything like that, would be detectable in the relative short-term. And, since LIGO is collaborating with Swift, a detection from a gamma-ray burst might be easier, perhaps.
May
20
awarded  Commentator
May
20
comment Is there a good chance that gravitational waves will be detected in the next years?
@Jerry: I was under the impression that they were going to look for continuous GW sources. I live nearby the Hanford facility and have visited it a few times, and I recall the lead scientist mentioning that the analysis of the old data will look for very low frequency patterns that would not be readily apparent in a short time scale. For energetic events like neutron star mergers, though, they may detect it more quickly. The control room outputs the signal from the detector as human-audible sounds, and there is always someone monitoring it.
May
20
answered Is there a good chance that gravitational waves will be detected in the next years?
May
19
answered How to measure resistance of DI water
May
19
comment Why does gravity need to be quantised?
I live roughly 45 minutes away from the LIGO facility in Hanford. They're currently in the process of increasing their sensitivity, and after they've calibrated everything they are predicting a tenfold increase, which corresponds to a thousandfold increase in event detection. Exciting!
May
18
comment What is the difference between north and south magnetically?
+1 for mentioning the arbitrary naming of electric charges.
May
18
awarded  Teacher
May
18
answered Figuring out North and South Magnetic Poles for Earth
May
18
comment What really are some distant astronomical bodies that seems like dust clouds?
@Jader Also keep in mind that the Hubble pictures aren't true-color. The telescope uses different filters to isolate certain molecular spectral lines, and then maps those out to colors that we humans can see.