831 reputation
517
bio website orthogonaltonormal.com
location Johnstown, PA
age 32
visits member for 2 years, 4 months
seen 2 days ago
//TODO Glorious Lies

Mar
20
comment Why can't you hear music well over a telephone line?
@ThePhoton I think you're assuming too much about the interviewer. Hinting at one part of it that they think would be easy for the interviewee to figure out even if they don't know much about how POTS works doesn't mean they'd reject a more in depth answer that requires greater historical knowledge of how the system was originally designed.
Dec
19
awarded  Yearling
Dec
16
comment How to measure resistance of a piece of wire?
Instead of using a long coil of wire, would using one with a relatively high resistance like nichrome (used in heating elements) work as well?
Oct
4
comment How would charge be distributed in charged conductors if the Coulomb law was not ${1}/{r^2}$?
@RedGrittyBrick as described in that link fictional physics is off topic if inadequately defined to the point that an answer cannot be given. Richard's question doesn't have that problem; and legitimate science has been done on what would happen if the rules or constants defining any of the fundamental forces were different.
Sep
26
comment How big should a lens of a telescope be so we can see the American flag on the Moon from the Earth's surface?
Interferometry can get equivalent resolution to a single huge telescope with several smaller ones spaced as far apart as the single huge one. But if I understand correctly, what is done is to take an image of the interference pattern and use a computer to figure out what input would create the pattern; it doesn't give an image directly.
Sep
26
comment How big should a lens of a telescope be so we can see the American flag on the Moon from the Earth's surface?
We wouldn't only need a huge telescope; to compensate for the Earths atmosphere we'd need adaptive optics that are equally beyond anything that's been built so far.
Sep
26
comment Can Helium Disappear from Earth?
@Wouter for nuclear synthesis we'd be better off irradiating something in a fission reactor that created a short lived isotope that emitted alpha particles (helium nuclei) and captured it that way. However I'd be shocked if that resulted in a price low enough for non-industrial use. Tritium and radionuclides used in cancer treatment are produced that way but cost thousands of dollars/gram.
Sep
13
comment Weak force: attractive or repulsive?
@Trimok because opposite weak charges attract. If you're asking why the weak force is that type of force instead of a different one, you're going beyond what is currently known. It's possible that a unified theory (ex string theory) might be able to answer that question at some point in the future. It's also possible that such a theory will end up trading one set of magic-numbers-to-make-it-work for another set (for string theory the shape of the extra dimensions of space).
Sep
9
comment Explaining UV radiation to a 6 year old
@Cleonis working with a 6yo you could even use that the kid will be able to hear high frequencies you can't any more.
Aug
22
comment Accidental, unplanned breakthroughs in physics
Is listing CdTe twice in "CdTe/HgTe/CdTe" a typo?
Aug
19
comment How long until we fall into the Sun?
@JackAidley The sun will turn into a red giant in ~5bn years. The most detailed model of what will happen then created so far has the Earth being tidally dragged into the sun just before the end of the red giant phase. However since the Earth is right on the cusp of being destroyed/surviving the result shouldn't be considered definitive.
Jul
26
comment Any physical example of an “explosive” differential equation $ y' = ky^2$?
@RobertMastragostino What Chris White said. Except when population densities are very low it's not relevant.
Jul
26
comment Any physical example of an “explosive” differential equation $ y' = ky^2$?
I don't think biological population growth would fit. Except at very low levels (where just finding a mate is problematic), doubling the total population won't cause each female to have twice as many offspring.
Jul
19
comment Is it possible to have a geostationary satellite over the poles?
While near-future solar sail materials fall well short of what would be needed to maintain a permanent presence over a pole, offsets from geosynchronous orbit large enough to park an additional or ring of satellites north and south of the equator is plausible. Being able to put several times as many satellites in geosyncronousesque orbits would be a major benefit.
Jul
13
comment Where does the light go when I turn off the light switch?
@Manishearth even with LED bulbs the majority of the power output goes to heat.
Jul
12
comment Where does the light go when I turn off the light switch?
If you want to demo flashlight warming with your kid; find an old incandescent light to do it with. This is one case where modern efficiency is working against you.
Jul
8
comment Why is steam used to spin turbines?
@tpg2114 ethane? Boiling point -89C, molecular mass 30, and the petrochemical industry has a huge amount of experience in handling it safely.
Jun
12
reviewed No Action Needed Help finding Delta T for a known position displacement with known accel/decel, etc
Jun
11
awarded  Custodian
Jun
11
reviewed No Action Needed Why two balls of different mass dropped from the same height falls the ground at the same time?