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(Science Daily)   Humongous telescope will be large enough to observe plants in other solar systems, follow Carrot Top's career   (sciencedaily.com ) divider line
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16191 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Dec 2004 at 3:09 AM (11 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



115 Comments     (+0 »)
 
 
2004-12-28 07:32:32 PM  
/steals submitter's wallet while he's being punched in the face.
 
2004-12-28 07:37:22 PM  
*picks 5000_gallons_of_toothpaste's pocket.
 
2004-12-28 07:47:17 PM  
Maybe if you connected thousands of telescopes all over the world and feed the data into a computer program that removed all the errors you would be able to see the aphids on those plants.
 
2004-12-28 08:03:48 PM  
Making fun of one of Florida's best again?
 
2004-12-28 10:57:12 PM  
nice headline.
 
2004-12-29 12:23:07 AM  
Oh, good. I can finally check up on all those apple trees I planted on Mars.
 
2004-12-29 12:38:53 AM  
planEt!! planEt!!!
 
2004-12-29 03:13:03 AM  
at last, we can observe the life cycle of mars bars!

//lame
 
2004-12-29 03:13:30 AM  
But I don't want to see the dingleberries on Uranus.
 
2004-12-29 03:14:05 AM  
[image from carrottop.com too old to be available]
 
2004-12-29 03:16:43 AM  
man, I hope that headline doesn't get corrected.
 
2004-12-29 03:21:29 AM  
Don't diss Carrot Top. He's probably the only comedian who can also probably beat the shiat out of you.
 
2004-12-29 03:21:31 AM  
Jeebus, what the ATF and DEA won't do to throw a pothead in jail for 10 years. Now they're going after extra-terrestrial deadheads ?
 
2004-12-29 03:23:42 AM  
I can't wait to start a cult based on the observation of EDEN!

[image from members.cox.net too old to be available]

gonna eat all the fruit and throw away the rhind...
 
2004-12-29 03:24:47 AM  
so.. theyre getting ready to defend earth from pod people?
 
2004-12-29 03:27:13 AM  
Xenobotany fetishists unite?
 
2004-12-29 03:27:24 AM  
gonna eat all the fruit and throw away the rhind...

I am not Herbert. Yay, Brother.
 
2004-12-29 03:32:19 AM  
Are we going to have a Space/Nasa hat trick today? Let us wait and see...

/ps FRICKIN cool, I like this kinda stuff
 
2004-12-29 03:34:57 AM  
Don't diss Carrot Top. He's probably the only comedian who can also probably beat the shiat out of you.

not to mention that guy makes some serious bank.
 
2004-12-29 03:41:57 AM  
Headline totally caught me off guard. Nice work, submitter. =)
 
2004-12-29 03:43:39 AM  
plants are not planets
 
2004-12-29 03:47:26 AM  
Incorrect headline, but did he planet?

/"Stiff man puttin' my mind in jail and the judge banged the gavel and said no bail"
 
2004-12-29 03:51:05 AM  
When I went to Vegas recently, I was surprised to learn from the numerous big screens on the strip that Carrot Top is, in fact, one of the funniest comedians in Vegas.

[image from img.fark.com too old to be available]
 
2004-12-29 03:57:56 AM  
The guy's got some serious pipes now, compared to when he started as a stick-thin dork. Now he's a rich, somewhat pumped-up dork.
 
2004-12-29 03:59:40 AM  
That headline was some funny shiat...
 
2004-12-29 04:00:08 AM  
nottheman: And how do you know that there isn't some 8,000 mile diameter spheroid cannabis indica plant being fed by a supernova hydroponic fountain SOMEWHERE out there? Huh? Well?

/An' Jah say, might I and I feel irie mon, baking under da sun!
 
2004-12-29 04:00:15 AM  
I'm betting that when they say they'll be able to observe planets in other solar systems they'll be looking at gas giants and they'll still be no bigger than a single pixel.
 
2004-12-29 04:07:55 AM  
Chibisuke: We're already looking at nearby stars in relative detail with Hubble. We observe the planets by measuring the "wobble" that the planet exhibits on the star's light pattern and redshift/blueshift, via gravitational distortion (or the "gravity lens" effect).

In other words, the gravity from the planet distorts the star's light ever so slightly (yes, light has SOME mass), and as it passes in front of the star, we're able to see that distortion effect. It's somewhat like one bubble in your beer adsorbing (not aBsorbing!) a smaller bubble next to it. Depending on the distance of the star, we know that said planet passed in front of said star X amount of years ago. It's really simple, yet hopelessly complicated at the same time, since we'll never know whether a planet 40,000LY away is still there, should we decide to visit it. However, given our Earth's track record of existing for hundreds of millions of years, we can make an educated guess that planets are difficult to obliterate -- life, however, is another question.
 
2004-12-29 04:15:15 AM  
urmn.....

...the headline. I don't get it.
 
2004-12-29 04:16:18 AM  
What I'm more interested in is upcoming projects for stellar interferometry. Supposedly we will be able to build three or more (three at least) geosynchronous satellites that can be aimed at a single point in space. By virtue of having three or more individual viewpoints, interferometric satellite imaging would enable us to gain at least 3x resolution images of any given point in space, in addition to providing a slightly more "3D" example of whatever object is in focus. Based on even more complex calculations, we would even be able to more accurately determine the velocity and direction of a given object, possibly including asteroids (since we're so worried about those little bastards).

/geek rant
 
2004-12-29 04:20:52 AM  
ground-based telescopes can be much bigger, which is important because a telescope's light-gathering power is proportional to the square of its diameter

Sure, but you have to worry about atmospheric distortion with ground based telescopes. No matter how large you make them, it's going to be a factor. That's why we wanted a telescope in space to begin with.
 
2004-12-29 04:33:18 AM  
Then they can hook it up to one of those miniDV cams some have over 200x digital zoom, think of how much further we could look by just putting one of those on it.

/joking
 
2004-12-29 04:33:20 AM  
Bhruic: Very true. Too bad Mr. President (or rather, some semi-intelligent being under his control) has decided that Hubble isn't important enough to risk the lives of very dedicated astronauts who are pleading to him to let them repair it.

I mean, sure, the Colombia disaster was indeed a disaster, but if the ever-decadent USSR existed today, they would say "oh well, let's hire some new astronauts and try again. Oh and BTW, we use PENCILS in space, instead of $?M gravity-defying pens." (a joke, in lieu of an official sarcasm punctuator)

We continued shuttle flights after the Challenger exploded (which happened less than a week after its 17th anniversary, if you can call it that). Perhaps we should just learn to stop launching shuttles in February.

Yeah. I get pretty worked up about astro-topics. :)
 
2004-12-29 04:40:22 AM  
addendum: (Colombia exploded less than a week after Challenger's "anniversary." Sorry for any confusion.)

And I guess technically Challenger blew up in late January. Oh well. I'm out for now :)
 
2004-12-29 04:48:03 AM  
abdul: Gravitational lensing is a lot harder to see than just looking at the star's Radial velocity. I'm pretty sure RV data is the stuff used the most right now. Gravitational lensing effects are just way too small.

see this.
It shows the number of planets discovered by each detection method.

p.s. light does NOT have mass according to present theories. Space-time bends in the presence of mass and light follows the geometry of space-time.

p.p.s. IF light had mass though it would sure fix that problem they're having with the pioneer spacecraft...

/geekier rant
//yes this is a challenge. :-)
 
2004-12-29 05:06:23 AM  
bakarocket: So, we meet again! Sugoi! I'm still learning that crazy ol' Japanese. :)

However, Hubble has demonstrated definite effects of gravitational lensing on wide-scale shots, particularly exemplified in this image and story, which details the phenomena.

Light definitely has "speed," as demonstrated by Olaf Roemer, way back in the day, when he realized that Jupiter's eclipses varied slightly. The only possible explanation was that lightspeed was "definitely finite," to coin a phrase.

In a farfetched, Einstein-obeying fashion, we can naturally deduct that light has mass by its inability to escape a black hole. Since none have been directly observed, this is the physics equivalent of a fairy tale.

However, recent studies and experiments utilizing the Bose-Einstein condensate (in which gas supercooled to nearly absolute-zero (-497 deg F, I believe), has shown that light can be slowed to a near stop (and has BEEN stopped, if I recall correctly. I apologize for my laziness in fact-checking this evening).

The mere fact that light can be slowed and/or stopped in a Bose-Einstein condensate atmosphere, where the molecules of a gas cease individual movement and essentially become a "gestalt" of non-autonomous molecules -- hot molecules move quickly, cold molecules move slowly; a Bose-Einstein condensate does not move at all!) proves that light must operate within the traditional boundaries of standard physics, and that gravity, friction and even barely understood quanta must be playing a part on the photons (which have exhibited *wave* functions, in the case of gravity lens distortion, proving that they are not merely particles).

Even without all this, it is obvious that light has mass, since it is forced to obey a speed limit. Sub-atomic particles are not forced to obey such a limit, and blink in and out of existence on a whim. Why else would light be so cautious?

/Challenge accepted. Bring it. :)
 
2004-12-29 05:11:24 AM  
Why did they go out of their way to explain to us morons who have nothing past a sixth-grade education, that the telescope will have a diameter of 83 feet, "making it about as wide as an eight-story building is tall"?

Now, even for some of the measurement-challenged people out there -- let's suppose you have absoluletly NO concept of what a "foot" is -- isn't the bigger challenge actually finding an 8-story building near you so you can forge a more concrete concept in your pea-sized head?
 
2004-12-29 05:19:21 AM  
As another addendum, this article presents the theory that light doesn't have actual mass (but the same article fails to proffer a reasonable explanation for "dark energy", et al), but that it has energy and momentum.

The article further suggests that not only does light lack mass, but it attracts physical objects by itself! Perhaps the author would care to explain why we haven't spiraled into the sun yet? Admittedly, Newton has been more or less proven wrong with his theory of gravity (we haven't spiraled into the sun, so there must be repulsion beyond that which can normally be explained by orbital/centrifugal force), and in lieu of an adequate explanation for dark "whatever," we are at a literal crossroads.

/Merely presenting an alternative opinion, by which to measure my own objectively.
 
2004-12-29 05:27:43 AM  
bakarocket:

p.s. light does NOT have mass according to present theories. Space-time bends in the presence of mass and light follows the geometry of space-time.

According to general relativity, light does indeed have mass, though it's nearly infinitesimal. e=mc2, remember? Anything that has energy has mass, and vice versa. That's what was so revolutionary about Einstein's equation.
 
2004-12-29 05:28:50 AM  
ecmo19741974: Because the average taxpayer in an urban setting isn't capable of measuring 80 feet, but is capable of looking at a building, which generally measures 9-12 feet per story, depending on some esoteric building code.

We can't expect taxpayers to fund science unless we can approximately translate it for their momentary benefit. I refuse to die until we have flying cars and teleportation, but as a direct side-effect, I will be forced to continue paying taxes, funding these very experiments. :)
 
2004-12-29 05:37:19 AM  
SpaceButler: According to general relativity, light does indeed have mass,

Little knowledge is a dangerous thing, pal. That famous E = mc2 thing is basically a conversion factor between mass and energy. In case of photon, it doesn't have a mass (or we tried to detect any mass but couldn't so far).

Imagine this: when you collide electron and positron (positively charged electron), they annihilate and turn themselves into gamma ray photon. The energy of the outgoing photon is basically equivalent to the loss of mass of two electrons (or electron and positron) times speed of light squared (E=mc2). Fortunately photons don't go both way and have both mass and energy.
 
2004-12-29 05:44:24 AM  
SpaceButler: According to general relativity, light does indeed have mass,

Oh one addendum. The concept of 4-vector space (which leads to that E=mc2 thing) is originated from special relativity. General relativity is more about space-time. The former is far simpler to understand. There is a good paperback from Dover...I forgot its title now, but it's about electromagnetisms. It contains a very good description of special relativity as well as E&M...(or you can read the original book on relativity by Einstein himself, but that one was a harder reading, considering how much I hate differential geometry).
 
2004-12-29 05:47:03 AM  
helioquake:

I see. I think I'd better go do some more reading. :)
 
2004-12-29 05:48:38 AM  
Bah! abdul, I hate to say it so bluntly, but you're wrong. The effect used to "observe" planets is not gravitational lensing. Look closely at the "Deep Field" image and you will see what gravitational lensing does. It makes mirror images in rings around areas of high gravitation.

One way extrasolar planets are observed is the Doppler effect. A planets gravity tugs on the star every so slighty away and toward you as it orbits the star. This causes a slight color shift in the star.

The other way, at the moment, is to carefully watch the brightness of a stars and watch for a regular dimming of the star as it is eclipsed (what little can be) by a planet. This is the way multi-star systems were discovered.

Howstuffworks has a page that explains this all pretty good.
 
2004-12-29 05:53:14 AM  
SpaceButler: I see. I think I'd better go do some more reading. :)

Don't be embarrassed. One should never stop learning new things anyway.
 
2004-12-29 05:57:58 AM  
Albinoman: Bah! abdul, I hate to say it so bluntly, but you're wrong.

He's not wrong. There is a gravitational lensing search for exo-terrestial plants. The project is called OGLE.

Initially they were looking for missing matter in the Galaxy (isolated blackholes or more exotic WIMPS, etc).
 
2004-12-29 06:00:43 AM  
SpaceButler: And that theory was published in 1905. Since then, we have made some pretty amazing discoveries (relativity was published in the same generation as aerial flight and the automobile, for Chrissakes!). Most new measurements and discoveries, unfortunately, can be back-calc'ed (with some cooking, I imagine) to vaguely represent Einstein's original theorems. This leaves very little "wiggling room" for a newborn theory to make any headway without contradicting the "gospel" of Einstein's original musings, which could be complete haberdashery. I love that word.

Modern measuring/experimental devices, however, will eventually either disprove or further refine Einstein's original theories, and we will reach a point at which we're forced to either discard his work, or re-examine it in light of some new revelation.

Currently, I personally believe that Einstein was mostly right, but that his ideals of spacetime (further corroborated by Hawking) are the trappings of hardcore Sci-Fi, and that the curvature of spacetime isn't directly the result -- or, conversely, causative of -- gravity and quantum physics themselves. There is some deeper meaning in all this, we just don't have the measuring devices to detect it yet. Dark energy, or whatever it really is, plays a very significant part in this ultimate discovery, and its no wonder that we've been unable to directly measure it. We can't have Creation (tm) reconstructed as easily as a jigsaw puzzle, can we? :)

helioquake: I haven't been keeping up on my "relativistic heavy ion collider" gossip, but didn't they at some point determine that gamma radiation is of higher energy than can be directly produced by colliding heavy gold ions against one another? I seem to recall Hawking mentioning something about exponential radioactivity in this regard (due in part to the difference in the rad spectrum betwixt standard electrons and protons, vs. gamma rays!), but I could definitely be wrong. Most of my knowledge on this facet of the topic is derived from conversation rather than even half-hearted research. :)

In re: your addendum: Another good piece of work, as far as major publishings go, would be "The Elegant Universe," published by PBS. It was highly informative, if not slightly confusing and yet simplified (a sufficiently knowledgeable person may overlook the obvious, an uneducated person cannot hope to get so far), and with enough pop-appeal to interest even the most distant of my partygoers during its initial screening. Most of it dealt with superstring theory, and was far out of its element in regards to real experimentation, but it offers exciting visuals and a pace that even a "Joe Schmoe" intellectual can keep up with. :)

Albinoman: I didn't say that lensing by itself was used to observe planets. If you'll would read my original posts, you'll see that I did mention red/blueshift (the light-equivalent of "doppler" effect, quite literally). I don't mean to offend, but this is *the only* premise of theory on gravitational lensing, as far as I know.

A significantly massive body will always exert some finite pull on any smaller/less massive body (a neutron star will not be influenced by the Earth, obviously, so the size is insignificant). Light is slightly wavered by stars and especially galaxies, which produces the effect that you saw in the "deep field" image (which I did indeed link to earlier in this thread). With these factors added together, it is a simple matter of eyeballing to determine that gravity has indeed produced the "scrunching" effects that are seen in the deep field image.

And, once again, if light lacks mass, then another entirely different explanation for black holes must be reached. I challenge all of you to present one more compelling. :)

/oy, I post too much
 
2004-12-29 06:01:14 AM  
Excellent. The game is on.

abdul: hisashiburi. Okay not really, but hi!

...Hubble has demonstrated definite effects of gravitational lensing on wide-scale shots, particularly exemplified in this image and story, which details the phenomena.

Given, yes, but I didn't say that GL wasn'T in use, I just said that it isn't as popular considering the level of technology required to see GL effects on such a small scale. From my link, 133 planets have been discovered by Radial velocity measurements, 6 from transits, and 2 from microlensing.

In a farfetched, Einstein-obeying fashion, we can naturally deduct that light has mass by its inability to escape a black hole.

I would prefer to argue against this. That idea doesn't obey Einstein at all, I think. As Helioquake said, the E=mc^2 thing is just an equivalence idea. Matter and anti-matter, etc. As to light's inability to escape from inside the Schwarzchild radius of a black hole, it's not because light has mass, it's because space has been severely warped. I bet if you were massless you couldn't get out either.


However, recent studies and experiments utilizing the Bose-Einstein condensate (in which gas supercooled to nearly absolute-zero (-497 deg F, I believe), has shown that light can be slowed to a near stop (and has BEEN stopped, if I recall correctly.

But the speed of light, like the speed of sound, is affected by the density of the medium it's travelling through. BE condensate is super dense isn't it? The slowing done of the speed of light is a natural effect of running it through a BEC.

The mere fact that light can be slowed and/or stopped in a Bose-Einstein condensate atmosphere proves that light must operate within the traditional boundaries of standard physics, and that gravity, friction and even barely understood quanta must be playing a part on the photons (which have exhibited *wave* functions, in the case of gravity lens distortion, proving that they are not merely particles).


True. But that doesn't show that light has mass, just that it obeys and has the properties of both waves and particles. That's not to say that photons ARE both waves and particles, just that they act like both.

(a Bose-Einstein condensate does not move at all!)

Yep it does, just not very much. Absolute zero is a heretofore immpossible goal. We can't get there yet, and according to Dirac, Pauli et al. we never will. Therefore BEC moves. A little.

/geekiness has gone up a notch with the introduction of Schwarzchild.
 
2004-12-29 06:09:26 AM  
abdul: I haven't been keeping up on my "relativistic heavy ion collider" gossip, but didn't they at some point determine that gamma radiation is of higher energy than can be directly produced by colliding heavy gold ions against one another?

I have no idea what you talk about. I'm better at following math, but not when it is described to me by words...[I stopped caring about colliders when the congress canceled super conducting super collider back in 93 -- 94.]

The Elegant Universe," published by PBS.

Oh, my colleagues and I thought it OK. Though I thought I was more confused about string theory after watching parts of it.
 
2004-12-29 06:16:24 AM  
helioquake: Everyone I spoke to about the series disliked it. The GR folks hated it for obvious reasons, the Quantum people thought it was silly and just ignored it, and the string theorists didn't like that someone else was getting all the glory.

Everyone else just didn't understand it.

/Come on....11? At least make it interesting.
//42 dimensions would be awesome.
 
2004-12-29 06:19:41 AM  
Sorry, mustve missed that. Im sure Im not the first to skip around while reading a thread. Just saw the final comments and I thought you were off your rocker.

Jeez, reading along all I can say I thought I was on Slashdot for a minute there.
 
2004-12-29 06:23:31 AM  
Bah. He meant industrial plants, like cement mills, refineries, etc. Much bigger then plant plants ;-)

Actually, he might has inadvertently committed truth. Years ago there was discussion of using the gravitational lensing of our own sun as the primary lens of a telescope that could indeed resolve houses on distant planets.

Light curves as it passes through the curved space around the sun. A distant object behind the sun (from our viewpoint)would have its light curved around the edges of the suns' disk, and the focal point of this light is a little beyond the orbit of Mars. If you built a focal plane imager ('bout 50 miles across or so)out in that orbit, you could in fact assemble the image. The theoretical resolution obtainable could image houses on planets in nearby star system, and continents on planets halfway across the galaxy.
 
2004-12-29 06:26:30 AM  
You know what's really funny? I just did a google search for "string theory experimental evidence", told it that I felt lucky and got this...

Alert: Document contains no data


/Morrisette irony?
 
2004-12-29 06:26:57 AM  
bakarocket: Everyone I spoke to about the series disliked it.

It can't be everyone. I said it was OK for jocks and poets. :-) Quite frankly I wouldn't take anything like that too seriously anyway. To learn science (IMHO) there is only one way: learh through the description of mathematics. Since there wasn't much math in that program, I'll just treat it as an entertainment and that was ok for that. Beats watching FOX news entertainment if you ask me.
 
2004-12-29 06:27:21 AM  
OK, we've just had a failure of the primary italics closure system. Standby to eject the core.....
 
2004-12-29 06:40:33 AM  
bakarocket: To be sure, I don't know of a single planet that has been re-identified (and further studied), the discovery of which was initially facilitated by gravitational lensing. For the most part, I believe we are only able to detect approximately Jupiter-sized planets, although the actual size could be much smaller if the planet were made of rock or denser material; and of course gas giants aren't likely to habilitate life as we prefer to appreciate it.

I don't think we can move further on the spacetime/matter idea at this point without getting into esoteric randomness, so I won't go there. :)

BE condensate is decidedly not denser than a Neutron star, and yet we're able to detect those easily. If light were absorbed (not aDsorbed!) as easily into a neutron star as it were into a BEC, how would it have escaped to reach us, for us to know it were there in the first place?

The fact that light behaves as both wave and particle exhibits our continuing cluelessness about the subject itself. Either we have yet to measure it properly in its entirety (which is approaching doubt, what with the BECs and Roemer's original measurements providing nearly limitless evidence to the contrary), or we simply haven't figured out another way to quantify the data that we receive when we DO measure light. Perhaps there is a happy medium between wave and particle that no other quanta has shown us yet.

Absolute-zero is indeed impossible. We create a BEC at *nearly* absolute-zero, but not quite. If we could manufacture a temperature of absolute-zero, a perfect vacuum would be possible. The theoretical complications of a perfect vacuum would currently undo the entire universe, since we have no way to explain "infinite" anything, gravity, pressure or otherwise. A BEC may move in some very small way, but it is indistinguishable in standard measurements from the very small movements that molecules undergo immediately prior to forming the BEC.

We have to assume a BEC moves (sorry for the apparent contradiction, I got ahead of myself), otherwise we once again reach the theoretical impossibility of infinity. So this, if nothing else, is a matter exclusively up to honest debate. I appreciate your challenge, but I must retire very soon.

helioquake: The RHIC, residing in Brookhaven, NY, is titled "relativistic heavy ion collider," because it is a particle accelerator that zooms stripped gold ions ("heavy" ions), to about ~99%C (nearly the speed of light, for the rest of you), and collides them together once they've reached that velocity. Supposedly, a heavy ion would never ever collide with a similar ion at such speed, save for perhaps in early pre-galactic superevents (think 10 to 10x10^10 seconds or minutes after Planck-time became old-hat)

As a result, it was suggested that this could re-create the "big bang," in a smaller scale, and that new, as-yet-unheard-of quarks could form, creating "strangelets" (yes, a real term), that could voraciously devour matter through a simple mechanism of converting positively charged particles to negative (can't say how that would work exactly), recharging themselves, and continuing onward until the initial energy was reached, and the effect naturally cancelled itself out. I, for one, believe the Big Bang has yet to cancel itself out, so that may give an idea as to the mechanism these "strangelets" supposedly operate on. This is all quite theoretical science, of which I have picked up only bits and parts so far. I hope you won't use the entire salt-shaker in interpreting it.

In other words, that is all a BS theory, and thousands of such collisions have taken place under our own tax-funded microscopes/spectrographs/etc... They educate us further on how particle collisions can explain the physics of what happened moments after Planck's constant became obsolete, so to speak, although it is clearly impossible to really define what actually happened in that timeframe.

Now I really should consider getting to bed.

helioquake: I only suggested that "The Elegant Universe" was a layman's video. There is no need for the terms "jock" or "poet", both being mutually exclusive. You may want to be careful in mentioning them simultaneously howver, as they will collectively wither and destroy human civilization. :)
 
2004-12-29 06:43:00 AM  
helioquake: You're probably right. I learned a very little bit of the mathematics of String Theory in a seminar course I took once, and it was a lot easier to understand the theory then than it was when I watched the show.
The math was farked up.
Seriously. Farked. up.


/liked the show for all the pretty pictures...still very suspicious of the theory...maybe I'm too stupid to understand it (a very good possibility), but I'm still the old-fashioned sort that needs evidence and stuff.
 
2004-12-29 06:53:53 AM  
abdul: There is no need for the terms "jock" or "poet"

Old habit from my TA days in college. Sorry.

I think now I know what you were referring. It was about creating a micro-blackhole in a laboratory. Well, all I thought about it then was "cool if they can self-sustain it" and that's as much as I cared to think about it. Never followed up (too nerdy and trekkish to me). So I've got no comment here.

I'll be at work in a few hours, so I'm signing off. Have fun, guys.
 
2004-12-29 06:57:07 AM  
abdul: On GRish space-time, agreed. Let's leave that alone. But the BEC thing is fun.

p.s. this'll be quick so sleep can come soon.


BE condensate is decidedly not denser than a Neutron star, and yet we're able to detect those easily. If light were absorbed (not aDsorbed!) as easily into a neutron star as it were into a BEC, how would it have escaped to reach us, for us to know it were there in the first place?

I like this idea. A very good point. Can't come up with anything really good to argue this because I don't know enough about BECs. Neutron stars I'm okay with though.

A neutron star never absorbs the light it emits (or light that comes from other sources) because the light never slows down to zero velocity. It would (theoretically--I'm guessing) slow down inside the star for sure, but because

a) there is no Schwarzchild radius in/on a neutron star, and
b) the light never reaches zero velocity,

the light will always, eventually, escape the star and come travelling to Earth where it then is used to dry out my most recent crop.

Also, I'm not really sure there's a mechanism for absorption in a neutron star (or for that matter in a BEC, but like I said, I don't know anything about BECs...yet).
I mean, there're no atoms with electron orbits and absorption potential except on the very outer surface of the star.


/wishes he had a crop
//researching BEcs right now
 
2004-12-29 07:02:56 AM  
helioquake: Myself as well. I have to go, RIGHT NOW, if I intend to continue participating in the human race. It was quite exciting to discuss this matter, however, and hopefully we'll meet again. Maybe if you decide to email me at some later date, you'll note that the "hot" in my email addy, in profile, has changed to the letter "g." I know you'll figure it out. :) Luckily, spam providers probably will not. I like to reveal my email to anybody who significantly challenges me (even if I may do so in a puerile non-riddle), and you have certainly earned that respect, as has:...

bakarocket: And finally, now that I've looked it up, thank you once again for teaching me hisashiburi. I will be using it this morning to impress the g/f, who will no doubt love me forever for at least trying to learn to speak her favorite tongue in addition to possessing it... sorry. I probably took that too far.

/Um... Ja mata ne!
 
2004-12-29 07:12:01 AM  
bakarocket: Last moment reply... and I mean *last* moment.

I agree, a neutron star probably doesn't necessarily absorb the light, but due to its density it must do *something* to it, as a function of its incredible density/gravity, pursuant to various other theories (none of which are laws, including Newton's), regarding the behavior of any moving object in space. I am forced to conclude that light does have some mass, otherwise it wouldn't be very interesting at all. Not very scientific, but it makes me happy. So we may be seeing an example of light actually completing a half/three-quarter (or whatever %) orbit of a body before escaping orbit once again, much like we do with probes (gravitational acceleration), which obviously would deflect it to a direction we could no longer detect directly. Just a far-fetched theory, is all. Whatever light we do observe has certainly undergone a journey -- straight, curved or otherwise. :)

Thank you both once again for the workout, but I really absolutely have to leave right now. :)
 
2004-12-29 07:15:32 AM  
abdul, be polite and say Ohisashiburi. Remember, the Japanese are all about politeness!

/ganbatte ne!
 
2004-12-29 07:19:05 AM  
abdul: That's as good a reason as any. :-)

/ima nemutte kudasai.
//mata
 
2004-12-29 07:31:40 AM  
w00t, maybe they can tell me what the plant life is like in the Alpha Centauri system. I plan to retire there in 2020.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2004-12-29 07:48:42 AM  
The surface temperature of a young neutron star is millions of degrees or higher, dropping to hundreds of thousands over millenia or longer, so basically they look white or bluish-white. The surface is normal matter, not superfluid neutrons or any other exotic substance.

Light is bent around a neutron star. Go to Greg Egan's black hole page and pretend the black disk is 50% larger and so blindingly bright that your eyes burn out immediately.
 
2004-12-29 07:55:24 AM  
That's because his career is ***OUT OF THIS WORLD***

CARROT TOP 4 EVA
 
2004-12-29 08:10:13 AM  
For those of you who are really interested in this stuff (Disgod, abdul, etc), check out the Terrestrial planet finder homepage.
 
2004-12-29 08:55:45 AM  
God after listening to abdul, bakarocket and the others I finally know how my girlfriend feels when I try to explain the OSI model or TCP/IP to her...sheesh, I'm done doing that
 
2004-12-29 09:04:26 AM  
I tach astronomy and i am always surprisd how oftn
popl tll m about th distant plants.
 
2004-12-29 09:07:00 AM  
Bad mods. You know you left the typo there on purpose. Shame.
 
2004-12-29 09:10:22 AM  
carrot top? jeez. hey, 1995 called - they want their humor back. why don't we start writing headlines that bash judge ito and/or the macarena while we're at it.
 
2004-12-29 09:11:49 AM  
While we're picking nits, this is the only "solar system" there is, thanks to the fact that our sun is named Sol. Other systems would be more accurately referred to as "star systems."

/bergeek
 
2004-12-29 09:21:29 AM  
Who is Carrot Top?

/Hey, at least I heard of Susan Sontag :-)
 
2004-12-29 09:34:33 AM  
Great! Now we can finally get rid of the excuse that we don't have a big enough telescope whenever I ask why there have never been any pictures of the lunar rover and American flag we left behind on the moon during our little visit there.

/yeah right...like we really went there
 
2004-12-29 10:06:06 AM  
This thread makes my head hurt :-(

Whatever happened to the project that was supposed to put several hubble type telescopes out at L2 to give you an interferometer tlescope with a supposed baseline of 1km? That was meant to be abole to spot cloud formations on extrasolar planets
 
2004-12-29 10:08:20 AM  
ZAZ: I said that. Well, the outer surface part anyway. But how does help me in my battle against Abdul? We all know what neutron stars are; we're trying to debate the nature of light. Well, we were until Abdul went to bed. So I'm debating myself on the nature of light.


Hmmm, that's pretty stupid.


/trying to win against myself.
//losing handily
 
2004-12-29 10:10:53 AM  
ZAZ:
p.s. That page rocks! I've never seen a model of the light horizon around a black hole.
 
2004-12-29 10:22:17 AM  
[image from img.villagephotos.com too old to be available]

Feed me Seymore!!!
 
2004-12-29 10:23:42 AM  
Keep an eye on these plants?

[image from hillcity-comics.com too old to be available]

/To the shore....
 
2004-12-29 10:25:07 AM  
At 83 feet it's almost as wide as the length of 6 cars handed out by Oprah on one of her TV shows.
 
2004-12-29 10:36:21 AM  
....stars are pretty...
 
2004-12-29 10:37:23 AM  
Carrot Top played here back in the late 90's. Good show. High energy set, prop comic.
/shrug
 
2004-12-29 10:38:15 AM  
quiefNpea: Keep an eye on these plants?

they made a movie to that book!?!?!
i had no idea!!

/love that book, loves wyndham books in general. would have man-sechs....nevermind.
 
2004-12-29 10:54:27 AM  
I'm waiting for a big telescope that can see in windows on other planets. Now that would be cool.
 
2004-12-29 10:57:00 AM  
abdul: I quit reading after a few of your comments because what you were writing was almost 100% wrong.

Gravitational lensing is not used to detect planets at all. We use wobbles in the radial velocity to find planets. And your view of gravitational lensing as a red/blue shift of the spectrum of objects is wrong. Gravitational lensing is the distortion of shapes and brightnesses of background objects by foreground mass.

Upcoming interferometry missions won't have geosynchronous satellites. Probably the satellites will be at L2.

Light has no mass. No conventional theory says light has mass. There has never been any evidence that light has mass. In the 100 years since we have had Einstein's relativity theory, no experiment has proved it wrong. It is what we use to this day to describe gravity. It is certainly incomplete but has yet to be supplanted by a more complete theory.

All particles are forced to obey the cosmic speed limit, not just light. I'll state it again: light does not have mass (energy and momentum, yes... mass no).
 
2004-12-29 11:03:32 AM  
A series of questions that have been bugging me for the astro physcisits here...


I'll start with this one, is it still common belief in the physics realm that gravitational forces from a mass has influence on all other matter in the universe?
 
2004-12-29 11:05:04 AM  
A friend of mine's friend who is a girl (deep breath) was once propositioned for sex by Carrot Top. He offered her $5000.
 
2004-12-29 11:06:42 AM  
Oh, she declined both offers. Needless to say, she can't stand the guy.

Is anyone surprised he has to go to such lengths?
 
2004-12-29 11:19:16 AM  
"ground-based telescopes can be much bigger, which is important because a telescope's light-gathering power is proportional to the square of its diameter."

Now, THIS is why we need to restart the lunar landing project. We could build the biggest, most bad-ass ground-based telescope there, taking advantage of both the Moon's lack of an atmosphere and low gravity.
 
2004-12-29 11:29:50 AM  
frank_drebin: Light is massless yes, Gravitational lensing is used to detect planets, yes.

See
here and
here.

Both are mentioned elsewhere in this thread.
 
2004-12-29 11:33:38 AM  
Omega Ohm: Yep. Still common. Necessary in fact. It's pretty much what holds all these silly theories together.

Of course, none of the stuff we see in the deep dark reaaches of the Universe does what it should, but don't let that bother you.


Mouser: I couldn't agree with you more. But you still have to get the stuff up there, power it, maintain it, and have someone make the coffee. Not a small task.

/sweeping generalizations are fun.
 
2004-12-29 11:52:55 AM  
bakarocket --
"Yep. Still common. Necessary in fact. It's pretty much what holds all these silly theories together."


So, what happens to gravity when the distance between two objects has become so great, that the rate of comsmological expansion between them exceeds the speed of light?
 
2004-12-29 12:17:03 PM  
Omega Ohm: Dunno. Better ask God that one.

Seriously, um, well, okay.

Easy answer: Action at a distance. THat means that Gravity works instantaneously with no propagation speed. But no one knows if that is true. Some people say that gravity has a particle that transmits gravitional forces (the graviton) just like electrons and protons and light transmit electro-magnetic forces. But no one really knows how fast the graviton goes, some say it's about 10^22 m/s or about 10^13 times the speed of light.

Hard answer:
If the rate of expansion exceeds the speed of light, we're in singularity territory. That's what physicists call something that they don't know how to explain. For instance, the beginning of the universe was purportedly a singularity. A Black Hole is a singularity. We don't know what goes on inside, and our present physics can't give us a theory beyond..."Um, okay, well, I think the light won't...um, come out?"

The present expansion of the Universe (Hubble Constant) is reckoned to be between 50 and 100km/s/Megalightyear. That means for every million light years away from Earth (or anywhere for that matter) an object is, stuff moves away at 55km/s more. (I can tell you know this from your post.)

So, at the edges of the universe we have a horizon that we can't see beyond because the expansion is faster than light...


SO if Action at a Distance is correct, there is no problem. gravitational attraction from objects outside our horizon DOES effect us.

AND if gravitons exist, also there's no problem because the velocity of gravitons is way higher than the speed of light.


/I don't understand the math either, I just pretend.
//In fact, no one understands the math, we all just pretend.
 
2004-12-29 12:41:33 PM  
[image from bewarethecheese.com too old to be available]
 
2004-12-29 12:50:51 PM  
Maybe, I'm a moron, but if light has no mass how is it "trapped" by the gravity of a black hole?
 
2004-12-29 12:55:05 PM  
yes ... but will it be strong enough to find an ounce of decency within a republican's soul? or a shred of brains within Bush's head?
 
2004-12-29 01:02:51 PM  
BiffTWC
Maybe, I'm a moron, but if light has no mass how is it "trapped" by the gravity of a black hole?


Light has energy and by E=mc^2, that energy corresponds to some mass. Energy and mass are equivalent.
 
2004-12-29 01:06:40 PM  
bakarocket:

Easy answer: Action at a distance. THat means that Gravity works instantaneously with no propagation speed. But no one knows if that is true. Some people say that gravity has a particle that transmits gravitional forces (the graviton) just like electrons and protons and light transmit electro-magnetic forces. But no one really knows how fast the graviton goes, some say it's about 10^22 m/s or about 10^13 times the speed of light.


Here is an interesting article with reasonable looking explanations on the speed of gravity. Always a good subject to get the physics prof distracted.

BiffTWC:

Maybe, I'm a moron, but if light has no mass how is it "trapped" by the gravity of a black hole?

One answer: The radius of a black hole may be infinite.
Second answer: It is escaping, but it will take forever to do so, because the rate of the passage of time has dropped to zero due to the time distortion caused by the gravitational field.
 
2004-12-29 01:08:42 PM  
expansion of answer

Second answer: It is escaping, but it will take forever to do so, because the rate of the passage of time has dropped to zero due to the time distortion caused by the gravitational field.

To an observer outside the event horizon, that is. Inside it's turtles all the way down.
 
2004-12-29 01:09:51 PM  
now if they would only make a microscope powerful enough to locate Ashlee Simpsons talent.
 
2004-12-29 02:13:58 PM  
bakarocket --

Thanks for the attempt at it. I didn't realize the speed of gravity was still so up in the here. I figured they had it pretty pegged at the speed of light which is nowhere near the case.

BiffTWC --
"Maybe, I'm a moron, but if light has no mass how is it "trapped" by the gravity of a black hole?"

If light requires space in which to travel and that space is curved back in on itself, then it doesn't necessarily require mass to become trapped. It can simply be plowing along through the space, but that space has been curved sufficiently that it can longer come back out.
 
2004-12-29 03:38:56 PM  
lensitational gravimation is to pork rinds

as

photonical burnination is to love
 
2004-12-29 04:07:18 PM  
What?
 
2004-12-29 04:48:47 PM  
Just for the record here you guys:

Former Football Player = Jock
Still writes bad poetry = Poet
Photographer by trade = Artist

Still tracking your conversation here. Not well. Nothing to contribute, but still tracking nonetheless.

Now, granted as well, I am some sort of freak mutation of the jock/poet variety. I'm just sayin, is all I'm sayin.

Oh yeah, and as far as the graviton:

Wasn't there a Laser Interferometer that was set up to try and detect gravitational waves passing through our space/time area? Did they ever find anything through that?
 
2004-12-29 06:01:49 PM  
I saw on NOVA yesterday that a possible reason gravity is so weak compared to magnetic is because gravitons may not be confined to our 3 dimensions. Magnetism appears 10^33 times more powerful than gravity because of this. If this is true and we can create gravity waves at will we could use them to comminicate with aliens living in parallel universes.
 
2004-12-29 06:40:12 PM  
It took nine posts before getting a Uranus mention?
 
2004-12-29 06:44:50 PM  
bastian_74: And it would make moving furniture a hell of a lot easier. :)
 
2004-12-29 07:27:40 PM  
I got here way late, for various reasons, but in the hope that one or more of the experts who posted while I was sleeping may return, let me ask this: is it possible to replace the word "curvature" in describing what happens to spacetime in the presence of mass to something else? The candidate I have in mind is "compression," and I have gotten a lot of intuitive mileage (or kilometerage, for those who prefer that metric), viewing it this way.

Have no mercy on me, I can take it.
 
2004-12-29 11:16:06 PM  
BiffTWC
Maybe, I'm a moron, but if light has no mass how is it "trapped" by the gravity of a black hole?

You need a more precise definition of "mass".

A moving object contains either or both of two types of energy: "rest energy", and "motion energy". It's the first type of energy that people are talking about when they use Einstein's equation, E=mc^2. In this case, E is "rest energy", and is directly proportional to the property m, or "rest mass".

Light, however, has no rest mass. All of its energy is "motion energy". However, according to general relativity, both "rest energy" and "motion energy" are affected by gravity, which is why black holes bend light beams.
 
2004-12-30 12:54:17 AM  
Mouser: ...which is why black holes bend light beams.

...so does the Sun. As a matter of fact, the effect of gravity and General Relativity on light was confirmed during the solar eclipse in 1919. The effect was measured by carefully measuring the position of known stars in a star cluster near the Sun at that time.

In classical physics, mass and gravitational constant is tied together. But in modern physics, i.e., general relativity, we talk about space and time being bent around any object that posesses mass (i.e. you, sumo wrestler, or Mary Kay and Ashley). Of course the more massive you are, the more significant the effect of gravity and GR can be.
 
2004-12-30 06:53:50 AM  
helioquake: Ohisashiburi (or maybe not so long, just exercising my memory), and I have another theory for you.

I have read, somewhere (can't recall, I'm afraid), that if you were to find some location in space that was under little/no influence from extraneous bodies, you could propel two bowling balls (or any other round object, such as a planet) at each other, and that they would never hit, regardless of the perfection of your trajectory.

The explanation for this was that gravity has a repulsive effect as well as the standard sucking. And gravity does indeed suck, it nearly caused me injury when my ladder collapsed the other day. Never trust fiberglass.

I guess the theory must be that the trajectory's vector started out pointing at the other object, but gradually gravity's supposed repulsive force threw it off. Once you have even the slightest disturbance in the trajectory, Heisenberg's theory of uncertainty can come into play, and you can no longer rely on scientific method. But since none of this has ever been experimented, and probably won't for some time (it took Pioneer quite some time to escape the solar system, so I doubt if we'll be hitting its gravitational horizon anytime soon), we have to assume that this is not reliable.

Apparently in 1901, the French and US Geodetic surveys used two deep mineshafts, and extended weights down to the one-mile mark. According to the basic idea that the center of Earth's gravity is at..the center, the weights should be ever-so-slightly closer together than the top of the ropes from which they dangle. Apparently, that wasn't true.

This article (now with 20% more capitalization) attempts to explain or at least question this phenomena. I'm sorry that I have no motivation to delve for a more detailed or methodical article, but if you're sufficiently interested, I'm sure you'll find one. I'm just lazy today. :)

Here is another article I found that attempts to explain how dark matter might be influencing Voyager and Pioneer. Also it brings to light the stupidity of printing books for school in our modern, digital world, although indirectly.
 
2004-12-30 11:53:09 AM  
abdul: Apparently, that wasn't true.


I had forgotten about that. Nice reference. Have to wonder how true it is, but I heard about this a long time ago. Sounds like a grad student experiment in the making.

Also wonder about the capitalization thing. The freakier the nutjob, the more capitals they use. When they start capitalizing common nouns it's usually an indicator that Zoloft should be administered.
 
2004-12-30 02:54:32 PM  
SpaceButler: According to general relativity, light does indeed have mass,

Oh one addendum. The concept of 4-vector space (which leads to that E=mc2 thing) is originated from special relativity. General relativity is more about space-time. The former is far simpler to understand. There is a good paperback from Dover...I forgot its title now, but it's about electromagnetisms. It contains a very good description of special relativity as well as E&M...(or you can read the original book on relativity by Einstein himself, but that one was a harder reading, considering how much I hate differential geometry).
 
2004-12-30 02:57:09 PM  
Oops, my firefox is acting up on me and posted whatever was in the cache. If the moderator is around, please delete the post marked "2004-12-30 02:54:32PM" from helioquake. Thanks.
 
2004-12-30 06:55:42 PM  
abdul

That link is interesting, in the sense that anyone who cannot see the fallacy is not likely to be much of a success at science. If you are on the SURFACE (pardon the caps, but I am too lazy to bother with italics), of a fairly homogeneous sphere, then the gravity will SEEM to attract everything to the center of mass. But all mass provides gravitas. Imagine, for example, that Death Valley is on your right and the Sierra Madre on your left: in this case, your readings will be off. Worst case scenario: you are standing on a uniform sphere that is, beneath a certain point, hollow. Dig down and eventually you will reach the hollow innards, where, surprise surprise, there is NO gravity. Along the way, things will behave very strangely. (Likewise, could you reach the earth's center, you would find no gravity there, either. Or, rather, you would be equally attracted in all directions at once, which amounts to the same thing.)

It is no suprise to me that the French tried this, but it is a shock to see that Americans bothered, as well. Think about it for five minutes (fifty if you are French), and you will see why the plumb lines MUST diverge -- they are being attracted to opposite hemispheres. Lower them far enough, and they will curl back upwards, in opposite directions.

Hope this doesn't make anyone's head asplode, but it is so late in the thread that nobody is likely to read it.

/Anyone who buys into that article must imagine that "Armageddon" was a documentary.
 
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