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(Boing Boing)   Finally, someone has come along to explain String Theory through an animated video. Hopefully, hosted by Bugs Bunny. Now we'll all know how Physics works   ( boingboing.net) divider line
    More: Cool, Boing Boing, Boing Boing Shop, great animated explainer, animated explainer video, string theory, Voyager Golden Record, Cory Doctorow, Frank Drake  
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1494 clicks; posted to Geek » on 01 Mar 2018 at 5:35 PM (33 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-03-01 05:06:37 PM  
Unfortunately, many folks these days are just not that interested in unification.
 
2018-03-01 05:07:28 PM  
imgs.xkcd.comView Full Size
 
2018-03-01 05:08:50 PM  
i.pinimg.comView Full Size
 
2018-03-01 05:40:55 PM  
Get a brane, morans!
 
2018-03-01 05:59:03 PM  
String theory is not a theory, discuss
 
2018-03-01 06:22:36 PM  
Cool video! But this one's better (and it had its own FARK thread way back when):
A Capella Science - Bohemian Gravity!
Youtube 2rjbtsX7twc
 
2018-03-01 06:32:08 PM  
Is there any experimental evidence yet?
 
2018-03-01 06:32:15 PM  
I'd rather see the Animaniacs/Pinky and the Brain sing a song to explain it.
 
2018-03-01 06:33:28 PM  

Chemlight Battery: I'd rather see the Animaniacs/Pinky and the Brain sing a song to explain it.

The video I posted is pretty close.
 
2018-03-01 06:34:06 PM  

MrPoopyPants: String theory is not a theory, discuss


String theory should be called String Conjecture, sort of like how Fermat's Last Theorem should have been called Fermat's Last Conjecture, as Fermat never proved it and it went unsolved until Wiles proved it in the 1990s. Fermat could have solved a specific case like n=3, but the general proof for all n>3 used modular elliptical functions, which Fermat definitely didn't know.
String Theory is attractive to physicists since the math falls into place, but the actual experimental proof is lacking as nobody knows how to prove or even demonstrate the existence of particles that are near Plank length in size. The math shows it could exist in the real world, but there's no physical proof.
 
2018-03-01 06:49:10 PM  
eyeq360:

The math is there to model physical observations.

Somewhere along the line, physics let people start crawling up their own butthole and use the math to come up with things to look for in the real world.

This is a good and necessary part of modern physics, but letting the mathematic types forget they're just playing with numbers and not actually discovering anything was a mistake. Even if it's true, string theory needs experimental evidence or it's not even middle school level science.
 
2018-03-01 06:59:31 PM  

MrPoopyPants: String theory is not a theory, discuss


Discuses are not string, they are round.
 
2018-03-01 07:09:30 PM  

doglover: Is there any experimental evidence yet?


img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-03-01 07:15:56 PM  
Anime Meets Physics
Youtube fZmVECQ9EfU
 
2018-03-01 07:20:37 PM  

doglover: eyeq360:

The math is there to model physical observations.

Somewhere along the line, physics let people start crawling up their own butthole and use the math to come up with things to look for in the real world.

This is a good and necessary part of modern physics, but letting the mathematic types forget they're just playing with numbers and not actually discovering anything was a mistake. Even if it's true, string theory needs experimental evidence or it's not even middle school level science.


I agree with your assessment.
String theory came about because a physicist at CERN noticed how the data fit a relatively obscure function from mathematics (I believe it was a function that Euler came up with) and the rest is pretty much history.
The major discoveries in physics have come about when the theorists and experimentalists worked together. The existence of the quark, radioactive decay, the Higgs boson--all a combination of mathematics and experiments.
String theory will just be nothing more that pages of complex mathematical equations that seem to model reality until someone can come up with some actual experiments.
 
2018-03-01 07:22:31 PM  

doglover: Is there any experimental evidence yet?


Yes, approximately 10108 evidences.
 
2018-03-01 08:00:03 PM  
That video was crap.
 
2018-03-01 08:11:37 PM  

eyeq360: doglover: eyeq360:

The math is there to model physical observations.

Somewhere along the line, physics let people start crawling up their own butthole and use the math to come up with things to look for in the real world.

This is a good and necessary part of modern physics, but letting the mathematic types forget they're just playing with numbers and not actually discovering anything was a mistake. Even if it's true, string theory needs experimental evidence or it's not even middle school level science.

I agree with your assessment.
String theory came about because a physicist at CERN noticed how the data fit a relatively obscure function from mathematics (I believe it was a function that Euler came up with) and the rest is pretty much history.
The major discoveries in physics have come about when the theorists and experimentalists worked together. The existence of the quark, radioactive decay, the Higgs boson--all a combination of mathematics and experiments.
String theory will just be nothing more that pages of complex mathematical equations that seem to model reality until someone can come up with some actual experiments.


I suspect that this will involve really really big and ginormously powerful linear accelerators. Say, solar system sized. Ditto for gravity wave detectors. This imho is a really good reason to go into space in a big way.
 
2018-03-01 08:17:53 PM  
Harlee:

We already detected gravity waves
 
2018-03-01 08:34:29 PM  

doglover: Harlee:

We already detected gravity waves


Yes, we have. Barely. Really good detection, to shake out observational error, requires a much longer baseline.This might also allow us to observe nuance that could lead to theories about control and creation of gravity.

Matter and energy are interchangeable. Matter tells space how to curve (creates gravity). So if one were to get really high energies in a linear accelerator, it's plausible that one could create a tiny gravitational wave. The immense size is needed because of the step-up in forces necessary to get that result.

https://www.sciencealert.com/a-mathem​a​tician-has-proposed-a-way-to-create-an​d-manipulate-gravitational-fields
 
2018-03-01 08:43:00 PM  

doglover: Is there any experimental evidence yet?


Yes.  It's been experimentally determined that putting the words "string theory" in a proposal leads to a statistically significant increase in research grants.
 
2018-03-01 09:02:06 PM  
There is a much better video that gets the gist of why string "theory" is popular in physics.  It is important to that it did not come from some guys saying "maybe everything is made out of strings."  The central idea was developed some years before anyone noticed the equations involved are mathematically equivalent to strings. It comes from special relativity combined with quantum mechanics and apply it to the concept of gravity. It causes infinities.  If you play a standard trick to get rid of the infinities--the same trick that was used mathematically find the Higg's boson a half century before experiments did--then you make string theory.  This the only idea with proven ability to get alone with relativity and quantum mechanics.   I'd be far more willing than the scientist in the video to consider that string theory is all wrong and that those working on other ideas should be funded.  But the notion that become popular on the net that physics guys just pull it out of their asses is nonsense.  I might add that we are not guaranteed that the next advance in fundamental physics will be easy.  The math is hard, even for the professionals.  And the experiments that might be needed might very well make the LHC seem easy.


The Case for String Theory - Sixty Symbols
Youtube Q8ccXzM3x8A


/Add me to those who wish it was the Sting hypothesis instead of theory.
 
2018-03-01 09:38:56 PM  
Big Bang Theory: The Animated Series
Youtube GB-0fKhHm2c
 
2018-03-01 10:01:17 PM  
It's only a theory.
 
2018-03-01 10:50:23 PM  

Harlee: doglover: Harlee:

We already detected gravity waves

Yes, we have. Barely. Really good detection, to shake out observational error, requires a much longer baseline.This might also allow us to observe nuance that could lead to theories about control and creation of gravity.

Matter and energy are interchangeable. Matter tells space how to curve (creates gravity). So if one were to get really high energies in a linear accelerator, it's plausible that one could create a tiny gravitational wave. The immense size is needed because of the step-up in forces necessary to get that result.

https://www.sciencealert.com/a-mathema​tician-has-proposed-a-way-to-create-an​d-manipulate-gravitational-fields



I think it's very strange that the speed of gravity is the same as the speed of light.
 
2018-03-01 10:52:34 PM  

COMALite J: Cool video! But this one's better (and it had its own FARK thread way back when):
[YouTube video: A Capella Science - Bohemian Gravity!]


That was absolutely entangling!
 
2018-03-01 11:06:19 PM  

wolfemane: COMALite J: Cool video! But this one's better (and it had its own FARK thread way back when):
[YouTube video: A Capella Science ― Bohemian Gravity!]

That was absolutely entangling!

I just posted another of his videos over in the Earliest Light After the Big Bang thread here in the Geek tab.

Seriously: watch his whole channel.
 
2018-03-01 11:08:55 PM  

COMALite J: wolfemane: COMALite J: Cool video! But this one's better (and it had its own FARK thread way back when):
[YouTube video: A Capella Science ― Bohemian Gravity!]

That was absolutely entangling!
I just posted another of his videos over in the Earliest Light After the Big Bang thread here in the Geek tab.

Seriously: watch his whole channel.


Already subbed
 
2018-03-01 11:19:58 PM  

TedCruz'sCrazyDad: I think it's very strange that the speed of gravity is the same as the speed of light.


It's not that gravity sucks, it's that light blows.
 
2018-03-01 11:23:31 PM  

TedCruz'sCrazyDad: Harlee: doglover: Harlee:

We already detected gravity waves

Yes, we have. Barely. Really good detection, to shake out observational error, requires a much longer baseline.This might also allow us to observe nuance that could lead to theories about control and creation of gravity.

Matter and energy are interchangeable. Matter tells space how to curve (creates gravity). So if one were to get really high energies in a linear accelerator, it's plausible that one could create a tiny gravitational wave. The immense size is needed because of the step-up in forces necessary to get that result.

https://www.sciencealert.com/a-mathema​tician-has-proposed-a-way-to-create-an​d-manipulate-gravitational-fields


I think it's very strange that the speed of gravity is the same as the speed of light.


It's strange, but not that strange.  The universe has a finite speed of causality, that is, if something happens at one point in space, then a certain amount of time (depending on distance) must pass before that event can affect something at a different point in space.  A photon (i.e. light) has no mass, so it can travel at the speed of causality.  Gravity also travels at the speed of causality, but we're still not sure what gravity is, so we aren't sure why.

Here's a video from PBS Space Time that goes into more detail:
The Speed of Light is NOT About Light | Space Time | PBS Digital Studios
Youtube msVuCEs8Ydo


/one more thing: gravitational waves are not the same as gravity waves
 
2018-03-01 11:34:55 PM  

anfrind: TedCruz'sCrazyDad: Harlee: doglover: Harlee:

We already detected gravity waves

Yes, we have. Barely. Really good detection, to shake out observational error, requires a much longer baseline.This might also allow us to observe nuance that could lead to theories about control and creation of gravity.

Matter and energy are interchangeable. Matter tells space how to curve (creates gravity). So if one were to get really high energies in a linear accelerator, it's plausible that one could create a tiny gravitational wave. The immense size is needed because of the step-up in forces necessary to get that result.

https://www.sciencealert.com/a-mathema​tician-has-proposed-a-way-to-create-an​d-manipulate-gravitational-fields


I think it's very strange that the speed of gravity is the same as the speed of light.

It's strange, but not that strange.  The universe has a finite speed of causality, that is, if something happens at one point in space, then a certain amount of time (depending on distance) must pass before that event can affect something at a different point in space.  A photon (i.e. light) has no mass, so it can travel at the speed of causality.  Gravity also travels at the speed of causality, but we're still not sure what gravity is, so we aren't sure why.

Here's a video from PBS Space Time that goes into more detail:
[Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/msVuCEs8​Ydo]

/one more thing: gravitational waves are not the same as gravity wave


Quantum entanglement has shown that the universe does not have a finite speed.
 
2018-03-01 11:44:16 PM  
String theory has less evidence to it than most Bible stories. So, yeah.
 
2018-03-02 12:14:41 AM  

pup.socket: String theory has less evidence to it than most Bible stories. So, yeah.


But unlike most Bible stories, string theory is internally consistent.
 
2018-03-02 12:25:27 AM  

anfrind: pup.socket: String theory has less evidence to it than most Bible stories. So, yeah.

But unlike most Bible stories, string theory is internally consistent.


[citation needed]

Even the people who made it up are not sure about that.
 
2018-03-02 12:55:11 AM  

pup.socket: String theory has less evidence to it than most Bible stories. So, yeah.


Belief in String Theory never started any wars.
 
2018-03-02 01:01:22 AM  
Oh, cool.  So string theory has moved from philosophy to physics?
 
2018-03-02 01:02:05 AM  

RJReves: pup.socket: String theory has less evidence to it than most Bible stories. So, yeah.

Belief in String Theory never started any wars.


It started at least two revolutions and spilled rivers of ink.
 
2018-03-02 01:38:31 AM  

anfrind: pup.socket: String theory has less evidence to it than most Bible stories. So, yeah.

But unlike most Bible stories, string theory is internally consistent.

Well, the two Noah's Ark stories (one starring Elohim aka "God," the other starring YHWH aka "the LORD") are internally consistent, until Ezra and his scribes merged the two together into a big mess in an attempt to placate followers of both religions.

Seriously. Try it. Read through the Noah story and separate out the sentences featuring "God" from the ones featuring "the LORD" and you wind up with two stories, each complete and internally consistent. "God":(Elohim) tells Noah to bring two of every kind of animal onto the Ark, but "the LORD (YHWH) tells him to bring two each of only the unclean kind, but seven (pairs?) each of the clean land animals and birds (never mind that the distinction between "clean" and "unclean" animals wouldn't be introduced until a millennium or so later with the Law of Moses). "God" (Elohim) promises never to flood the Earth again because He puts His hugemongous bow in the cloud as a ginormous glowing gay-colored Post-It™ Note to remind His apparently not-so-perfect memory never to flood the Earth again, but "the LORD" promises never to flood the Earth again because, after the Flood waters recede, Noah builds an altar and sacrifices one each of the "clean" animals and birds to YHWH and the "sweet savor of the smoke" rises up and "soothes" His wrath. And so on, and so on.
 
2018-03-02 01:57:27 AM  

COMALite J: anfrind: pup.socket: String theory has less evidence to it than most Bible stories. So, yeah.

But unlike most Bible stories, string theory is internally consistent.
Well, the two Noah's Ark stories (one starring Elohim aka "God," the other starring YHWH aka "the LORD") are internally consistent, until Ezra and his scribes merged the two together into a big mess in an attempt to placate followers of both religions.

Seriously. Try it. Read through the Noah story and separate out the sentences featuring "God" from the ones featuring "the LORD" and you wind up with two stories, each complete and internally consistent. "God":(Elohim) tells Noah to bring two of every kind of animal onto the Ark, but "the LORD (YHWH) tells him to bring two each of only the unclean kind, but seven (pairs?) each of the clean land animals and birds (never mind that the distinction between "clean" and "unclean" animals wouldn't be introduced until a millennium or so later with the Law of Moses). "God" (Elohim) promises never to flood the Earth again because He puts His hugemongous bow in the cloud as a ginormous glowing gay-colored Post-It™ Note to remind His apparently not-so-perfect memory never to flood the Earth again, but "the LORD" promises never to flood the Earth again because, after the Flood waters recede, Noah builds an altar and sacrifices one each of the "clean" animals and birds to YHWH and the "sweet savor of the smoke" rises up and "soothes" His wrath. And so on, and so on.


so were rainbows not a thing until after the flood?
 
2018-03-02 02:11:04 AM  
The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle does not operate as described, it's not due to measurements interacting, but is more fundamental to the universe than that.
 
2018-03-02 02:25:44 AM  
mr lawson:so were rainbows not a thing until after the flood?

Light was monochromatically white before the flood, because it was PURE heavenly light.
 
2018-03-02 09:09:46 AM  

Sgeo: The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle does not operate as described, it's not due to measurements interacting, but is more fundamental to the universe than that.


That's not how I see it. At any given time, the particle has a defined momentum and position. Period. HUP refers simply to the suckiness of our tools in trying to measure it. The "billiard balls" of photons are energetic enough to affect the particle we attempt to see. No one would say that a glass statue cannot ever be seen because of properties inherent in the glass if we kept breaking it by throwing actual billiard balls at it in an attempt to determine its shape.

Here's a thought: what if the hypothetical graviton is so small that it slips into the hidden dimensions postulated by string theory, thus accounting for gravity's weakness relative to the other forces, due to its having to cover or "fill" nine physical dimensions rather than three. Perhaps a future "graviton beam" could have particles small and weak enough to look at electrons (or even quarks!) without disturbing them.
 
2018-03-02 09:12:31 AM  

TedCruz'sCrazyDad: Harlee: doglover: Harlee:

We already detected gravity waves

Yes, we have. Barely. Really good detection, to shake out observational error, requires a much longer baseline.This might also allow us to observe nuance that could lead to theories about control and creation of gravity.

Matter and energy are interchangeable. Matter tells space how to curve (creates gravity). So if one were to get really high energies in a linear accelerator, it's plausible that one could create a tiny gravitational wave. The immense size is needed because of the step-up in forces necessary to get that result.

https://www.sciencealert.com/a-mathema​tician-has-proposed-a-way-to-create-an​d-manipulate-gravitational-fields


I think it's very strange that the speed of gravity is the same as the speed of light.


Why, specifically?
 
2018-03-02 09:51:07 AM  

Harlee: Sgeo: The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle does not operate as described, it's not due to measurements interacting, but is more fundamental to the universe than that.

That's not how I see it. At any given time, the particle has a defined momentum and position. Period. HUP refers simply to the suckiness of our tools in trying to measure it. The "billiard balls" of photons are energetic enough to affect the particle we attempt to see. No one would say that a glass statue cannot ever be seen because of properties inherent in the glass if we kept breaking it by throwing actual billiard balls at it in an attempt to determine its shape.

Here's a thought: what if the hypothetical graviton is so small that it slips into the hidden dimensions postulated by string theory, thus accounting for gravity's weakness relative to the other forces, due to its having to cover or "fill" nine physical dimensions rather than three. Perhaps a future "graviton beam" could have particles small and weak enough to look at electrons (or even quarks!) without disturbing them.


As far as I understand, it's a common myth that HUP is due to measurements disturbing anything:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQKEL​O​E9eY4
Although I guess that doesn't rule out secret hidden exact position and momentum, it has nothing to do with our tools, if I understand properly.

There are places in quantum physics where "secret hidden information" has been almost ruled out unless there exists faster than light causality, if I understand properly. https://en.wikipedia.org/wi​ki/Bell%27s​_theorem
 
2018-03-02 09:52:34 AM  

Harlee: HUP refers simply to the suckiness of our tools in trying to measure it.


Not really, it is fundamental under the Copenhagen interpretation and comes from the dual (wave-particle) nature of things. To put it in the simplest possible way, the momentum of a particle wave with wavelength of λ is p=h/λ. To "know" it, you have to know the wavelength, and wavelength is not something you can measure at a point. Or, if you have a pulse at a certain location, you can't say much about its wavelength (and, consequently, about its impulse).
 
2018-03-02 10:20:19 AM  

pup.socket: Harlee: HUP refers simply to the suckiness of our tools in trying to measure it.

Not really, it is fundamental under the Copenhagen interpretation and comes from the dual (wave-particle) nature of things. To put it in the simplest possible way, the momentum of a particle wave with wavelength of λ is p=h/λ. To "know" it, you have to know the wavelength, and wavelength is not something you can measure at a point. Or, if you have a pulse at a certain location, you can't say much about its wavelength (and, consequently, about its impulse).


Not all physicists are convinced that the Copenhagen interpretation is the right interpretation.  Many of the effects that we explain as collapsing wave functions (the Copenhagen interpretation) could just as easily be explained with hidden variables, or a branching multiverse (the Everett interpretation), or any of almost a dozen other possible interpretations.

Here's a relevant video featuring Sean Carroll:

Quantum Mechanics (an embarrassment) - Sixty Symbols
Youtube ZacggH9wB7Y
 
2018-03-02 11:23:34 AM  

mr lawson: COMALite J: anfrind: pup.socket: String theory has less evidence to it than most Bible stories. So, yeah.

But unlike most Bible stories, string theory is internally consistent.
Well, the two Noah's Ark stories (one starring Elohim aka "God," the other starring YHWH aka "the LORD") are internally consistent, until Ezra and his scribes merged the two together into a big mess in an attempt to placate followers of both religions.

Seriously. Try it. Read through the Noah story and separate out the sentences featuring "God" from the ones featuring "the LORD" and you wind up with two stories, each complete and internally consistent. "God":(Elohim) tells Noah to bring two of every kind of animal onto the Ark, but "the LORD (YHWH) tells him to bring two each of only the unclean kind, but seven (pairs?) each of the clean land animals and birds (never mind that the distinction between "clean" and "unclean" animals wouldn't be introduced until a millennium or so later with the Law of Moses). "God" (Elohim) promises never to flood the Earth again because He puts His hugemongous bow in the cloud as a ginormous glowing gay-colored Post-It™ Note to remind His apparently not-so-perfect memory never to flood the Earth again, but "the LORD" promises never to flood the Earth again because, after the Flood waters recede, Noah builds an altar and sacrifices one each of the "clean" animals and birds to YHWH and the "sweet savor of the smoke" rises up and "soothes" His wrath. And so on, and so on.

so were rainbows not a thing until after the flood?

I was talking about internal consistency, not consistency with known history or observable reality. For instance, a well-written Superman comic book story may be internally consistent even though people who look absolutely like a typical caucasian human can't come from a large red-sun planet that explodes and who on Earth gets invulnerability and the power to shoot infrared laser beams out of his eyes.

The mishmash in those chapters of Genesis isn't even internally consistent (how many of each kind of animal to bring onto the Ark?) until you separate out the two interwoven stories from two related but different religions with two different gods (Elohim was a sky god, while YHWH was a mountain and war [YHWH Sabaoth aka "the LORD of Hosts"] god).

Elyown aka "the Most High" was a third god revered by the Hebrews, albeit not directly worshiped. He wasn't supposed to be worshiped by mortals. Instead, he either fathered or otherwise created YHWH and the other gods of the peoples they knew, and assigned different peoples to different gods to worship, as that god's "inheritance." There may have been more evidence of this in the original books which Ezra and his scribes edited together to form the Torah, but he tried to eliminate all such references to polytheism, yet some slipped through his editing, such as Deuteronomy 32:8−9 which point-blank says that Elyown divvied up the peoples of Earth, and that the descendants of Jacob (whom YHWH renamed "Israel" and thus the Israelites) are YHWH's "portion" and "the lot of His inheritance."
 
2018-03-02 11:24:46 AM  

anfrind: pup.socket: Harlee: HUP refers simply to the suckiness of our tools in trying to measure it.

Not really, it is fundamental under the Copenhagen interpretation and comes from the dual (wave-particle) nature of things. To put it in the simplest possible way, the momentum of a particle wave with wavelength of λ is p=h/λ. To "know" it, you have to know the wavelength, and wavelength is not something you can measure at a point. Or, if you have a pulse at a certain location, you can't say much about its wavelength (and, consequently, about its impulse).

Not all physicists are convinced that the Copenhagen interpretation is the right interpretation.  Many of the effects that we explain as collapsing wave functions (the Copenhagen interpretation) could just as easily be explained with hidden variables, or a branching multiverse (the Everett interpretation), or any of almost a dozen other possible interpretations.

Here's a relevant video featuring Sean Carroll:

[Youtube-video https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZacggH9w​B7Y]


The specific point here is that the Heisenberg principle is fundamental nature and it follows from the experimentally observed wave-particle duality (there are experiments where a single particle interferes with itself, for example). If you disagree with it, you should explain why specifically.
 
2018-03-02 11:26:43 AM  

COMALite J: I was talking about internal consistency, not consistency with known history or observable reality.


This is the proper context to consider consistency here, as string theory also has nothing to do with observable reality.
 
2018-03-02 11:45:37 AM  

pup.socket: Harlee: HUP refers simply to the suckiness of our tools in trying to measure it.

Not really, it is fundamental under the Copenhagen interpretation and comes from the dual (wave-particle) nature of things. To put it in the simplest possible way, the momentum of a particle wave with wavelength of λ is p=h/λ. To "know" it, you have to know the wavelength, and wavelength is not something you can measure at a point. Or, if you have a pulse at a certain location, you can't say much about its wavelength (and, consequently, about its impulse).


Again, we come back to discussing measurement tools. Doing so says nothing about the reality and position/momentum of the particle. The particle exists, whether as a discrete point (unlikely) or as a "smeared out" point described by a wave function. But that "smear" has a set of real positions. We just can't effectively measure them due to the lack of a fine enough tool.

Measure the specific outlines of Mt. Rushmore with a billion ping pong balls shot out of a cannon. Doable.

Now try and measure the specific outlines of a butterfly with the same ping pong balls. Not doable.
 
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