Search found 169 matches

by roundedge
Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:09 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: What do you think is the best data analysis software?
Replies: 27
Views: 3002

What do you think is the best data analysis software?

I just tried doing some data analysis in mathematica. Boy is it cumbersome to input and manipulate tables of data. So I switched back to Igor. I like igor a lot because: it keeps a command line style record of your actions expressions are straightforward, as are accessing elements tables and graphs ...
by roundedge
Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:47 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The brain: How do you think it works?
Replies: 46
Views: 5600

Re: The brain: How do you think it works?

The brain works by 600 million years of trial and error.
by roundedge
Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:28 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: I'm going to be a Physics Major...
Replies: 18
Views: 4814

Re: I'm going to be a Physics Major...

Don't think that you'll take a professor's class, skip half of them, get a B in the course, and never see him/her again. If you plan on going to grad school, the people who are teaching you are the people who you will be working for, so you want to make a good impression from the start. Even if you ...
by roundedge
Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:42 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Anyone have experience with lasers and fibre optics?
Replies: 12
Views: 2500

Re: Anyone have experience with lasers and fibre optics?

So, I'm curious, why do you need a collection of 9 lasers focussed onto a single point? Mapping the efficiency of solar cells. Gotta scan over the visible spectrum, so we have 9 lasers of differing wavelength from 400nm to 1000nm. So it looks like I've been charged with plunking myself down in the ...
by roundedge
Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:11 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Anyone have experience with lasers and fibre optics?
Replies: 12
Views: 2500

Re: Anyone have experience with lasers and fibre optics?

So I'm looking at the newport website, and they sell laser-to-fiber couplers for ~700 apiece, and I need 9 of them :| http://search.newport.com/?i=1;q=laser-to-fiber+coupling I'm also looking at these spherical ball microlenses, which I suppose I could use to construct my own couplers, but I'd proba...
by roundedge
Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:02 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Anyone have experience with lasers and fibre optics?
Replies: 12
Views: 2500

Anyone have experience with lasers and fibre optics?

I'm trying to focus a collection of lasers onto a single point. There are 9 of them, of varying make, and they cover the visible spectrum, 400 nm-1000nm. Currently I've got them all focused using an optics table set up and some very finely aligned mirrors, however whenever anything gets bumped or ch...
by roundedge
Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:13 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The nature of anti-matter
Replies: 34
Views: 4550

Re: The nature of anti-matter

The thing to keep in mind is that all negative energy states are normally filled up. An antiparticle is actually a hole in this Dirac sea, a negative energy state that would normally be occupied, but now isn't. So an antiparticle has a positive energy because it denotes a lack of negative energy . ...
by roundedge
Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:23 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The nature of anti-matter
Replies: 34
Views: 4550

Re: The nature of anti-matter

Question about anti-matter and the Dirac sea interpretation. Dirac Sea explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirac_sea I'm a bit confused by this interpretation of mater anti-matter annihilation. We know that when a particle and an anti-particle collide they produce light. Light carries some ene...
by roundedge
Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:15 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Distance for matter-antimatter annihilation
Replies: 10
Views: 2078

Re: Distance for matter-antimatter annihilation

Isn't a cross section an abstraction to describe probabilities of interaction? When a proton collides with a proton, it gets close enough to have significant interaction, mediated by specific forces. The cross section in this case is an abstract mathematical tool used to umbrella the nuclear strong ...
by roundedge
Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:52 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: The future of human evolution
Replies: 93
Views: 10496

Re: The future of human evolution

I believe that, due to the rapid development of technology and culture, human environments are changing too quickly for biological evolution to respond in any effective or noticeable way. The lifestyles that people possess from one generation to the next are often radically different from one anothe...
by roundedge
Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:16 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Insider Science Jokes/Lingo
Replies: 129
Views: 28992

How do you do it?

The first three my friend sent me: Astrophysicists appear to do it at a furious rate due to the effects of time dilation. String theorists cannot agree on how to do it but are all certain it is very complicated. Black hole cosmologists cannot tell you how they do it because the information is only r...
by roundedge
Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:00 am UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: Algorithm for constructing a simply connected polygon
Replies: 3
Views: 1137

Algorithm for constructing a simply connected polygon

Say you are given a set of points in a plane. You want to reorder that set so that if you draw a line from each point to the next in the sequence, the final point connecting to the first, you construct a simply connected polygon. For example, the set {(0,0),(0,1),(1,0),(1,1)} might be transformed to...
by roundedge
Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:43 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Question to the anthropologists out there, about fire.
Replies: 22
Views: 2217

Re: Question to the anthropologists out there, about fire.

I'm guessing (could be totally wrong) that it would be very quick to learn how to make fire from watching natural fires start. Hot day and flammable material = I rub something, it gets hot. If I rub flammable material will it burn? Then that knowledge is really easy to pass on. Either through obser...
by roundedge
Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:19 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Favorite Perpetual Motion Machines
Replies: 105
Views: 12656

Re: Favorite Propetual Motion Machines

I think I've realized the solution. The scenario is nonsensical in that I've described it as one universe, when in fact the two photons can never experience one another, and thus must live in two separate causal domains, and thus two "universes" which both have maximal entropy from the per...
by roundedge
Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:24 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Ponderances
Replies: 31
Views: 3042

Re: Ponderances

Wait, which infinity are we talking about here?
by roundedge
Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:21 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Question to the anthropologists out there, about fire.
Replies: 22
Views: 2217

Re: Question to the anthropologists out there, about fire.

That's pretty difficult to pinpoint. I can say with probable certainty that fire has passed on generations, but millenia seems highly unlikely. Forest and grass fires are pretty common. If you find one, you're no longer dependent on the old group and can move out with your friends. But wouldn't it ...
by roundedge
Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:05 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Creating a Virtual Physics Simulator
Replies: 21
Views: 2820

Re: Creating a Virtual Physics Simulator

"It always bothers me that according to the laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine an infinite number of logical operations to figure out what goes on in no matter how tiny a region of space and no matter how tiny a region of time" - Feynman, R., "The Character...
by roundedge
Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:53 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Question to the anthropologists out there, about fire.
Replies: 22
Views: 2217

Re: Question to the anthropologists out there, about fire.

sje46 wrote:One of these, I suppose:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_flame


"At the Buddhist temple Daishō-in, at Mt. Misen, Itsukushima, where the flame is said to have been burning since AD 806, for more than 1200 years"
by roundedge
Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:50 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Question to the anthropologists out there, about fire.
Replies: 22
Views: 2217

Re: Question to the anthropologists out there, about fire.

That's pretty difficult to pinpoint. I can say with probable certainty that fire has passed on generations, but millenia seems highly unlikely. Forest and grass fires are pretty common. If you find one, you're no longer dependent on the old group and can move out with your friends. But wouldn't it ...
by roundedge
Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:48 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Favorite Perpetual Motion Machines
Replies: 105
Views: 12656

Re: Favorite Propetual Motion Machines

Question: Empty universe save for two photons traveling in opposite directions. Where does entropy increase? Does it have to do with the fact that the distance between the photons is increasing? Or is my hypothetical universe equivalent to saying "imagine a universe where entropy does not incre...
by roundedge
Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:25 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: EMDrive and other reactionless propulsion claims
Replies: 71
Views: 16806

Re: China Picks up the EMDrive

I remember writing to Shawyer after reading the article at newscientist about his EMdrive when I had just got out of highschool... actually, screw writing anything, I just found the e-mail: http://files.getdropbox.com/u/1371960/emdrive.jpg A lot of my humility was feigned, so that he'd be more likel...
by roundedge
Sat Jul 18, 2009 7:55 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Question to the anthropologists out there, about fire.
Replies: 22
Views: 2217

Question to the anthropologists out there, about fire.

Fire has played a transformative role in the cultural, social, psychological, and even biological evolution of our species. Having fire is a significant advantage. However I suspect that when we originally harnessed fire, we did not posses the knowledge of how to create it from scratch, and instead ...
by roundedge
Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:27 am UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?
Replies: 818
Views: 228482

Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Looks like the collective subconscious is at it again.
http://www.skytopia.com/project/cpu/cpu.html


[edit]
scratch that, this thread may have been a direct inspiration, as there is a link at the end of the article to this thread.
[/edit]
by roundedge
Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:46 am UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?
Replies: 818
Views: 228482

Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

No matter how smart an algorithm gets, it can't change the laws of set theory. What are the laws of set theory? I knew there were axioms and theorems built on those axioms, but I didn't know about these laws. What are they and why can't they be changed? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algebra_of_sets#...
by roundedge
Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:44 am UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?
Replies: 818
Views: 228482

Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

For those of us talking about AI, I would like to point out that intelligence is contextual. Just because a program is good at being intelligent within the context of your algorithm does not mean that this program will be good at talking to people, or understanding our physical reality. In addition,...
by roundedge
Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:40 am UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?
Replies: 818
Views: 228482

Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Infinitely fast computer ≠ magic powers just because your computer is infinitely fast doesn't mean it's automatically super-intelligent. It might even be difficult to make it intelligent. I think the easiest way would be to evolve it. However defining the correct success conditions would be very cha...
by roundedge
Wed May 27, 2009 9:55 am UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?
Replies: 818
Views: 228482

Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

davidstvz wrote: For safety, I would ensure the computer isn't connected to any network.

Image
Life will find a way.
by roundedge
Fri May 22, 2009 9:57 am UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?
Replies: 818
Views: 228482

Re: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

Ended wrote:This.



I think it's unlikely that we could know the original conditions of the universe, even with the right theories. Still, pretty mind bugging story.
by roundedge
Fri May 22, 2009 8:48 am UTC
Forum: Computer Science
Topic: What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?
Replies: 818
Views: 228482

What would you do with an infinitely fast computer?

If you had a wish from a genie, and you wished for a computer that could do an infinite number of operations in no time, what would you do with that computer? I'd like to say I'd hack the internet, or something to that extent, but I doubt I'm tech savy enough to be able to do that right off the bat,...
by roundedge
Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:55 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Are preservatives bad for you?
Replies: 45
Views: 8204

Are preservatives bad for you?

I'm having an argument with my girlfriend, she says there's scientific evidence to show that preservatives are unealthy, I say it's just propaganda from organic food producers and people who are afraid of anything 'unnatural'. I did a quick google search but couldn't find anything besides this from ...
by roundedge
Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:40 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Will creating life be possible in the future?
Replies: 30
Views: 4747

Re: Will creating life be possible in the future?

my mom made me.


In her basement.


with sheet metal, a soldering iron, and the brains of a couple of octopi.
by roundedge
Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:40 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Realistic Aliens!
Replies: 69
Views: 6144

Re: Realistic Aliens!

This may help to add more clarity to what it means for something to be alive. http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/t.quick/autopoiesis.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autopoiesis The definition is a bit bogged down in jargon, but it's definitely on the right track.
by roundedge
Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:25 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Hypothesis as Part of the Scientific Method
Replies: 27
Views: 2248

Re: Hypothesis as Part of the Scientific Method

Close. The "hypothesis" is your (testable) answer to a question about observations. The question can simply be, "Why does XX happen?", but that is not a hypothesis. The hypothesis is your answer to that question. You then test your answer to see how well it is supported by the d...
by roundedge
Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:34 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Realistic Aliens!
Replies: 69
Views: 6144

Re: Realistic Aliens!

The word life was invented to describe specific complex phenomenon we see on the earth. I think inevitably we will find that our definition for life has many exceptions and gray areas, just as our definitions for intelligence or human also appear to break down as our understanding of the world expan...
by roundedge
Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:33 am UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Realistic Aliens!
Replies: 69
Views: 6144

Re: Realistic Aliens!

I think a really good possibility of intelligent life on other planets is in the form of collective lifeforms, like anthills and such. Imagine a scenario where the conditions on the planet keep life from being able to form large complex organisms like we have on earth. Nevertheless intelligence is u...
by roundedge
Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:56 pm UTC
Forum: Science
Topic: Pavlov's foreplay
Replies: 41
Views: 5015

Re: Pavlov's foreplay

isn't this what cologne is for?
by roundedge
Sun Dec 28, 2008 2:56 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: The applicability of Godel's incompleteness theorems.
Replies: 5
Views: 1722

Re: The applicability of Godel's incompleteness theorems.

I think the question you actually want to ask has something to do with the limitations of physical theories about the universe, which is a rather different question. There, Godel says something like "there exist true laws of physics in any sufficiently powerful physical theory that cannot be p...
by roundedge
Sat Dec 27, 2008 9:00 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: Fractals, baby! Vote now!
Replies: 45
Views: 8546

Re: Fractals, baby! Vote now!

if anyone can find me a fractal with a Hausdroff dimension of π, that would be my favourite.
by roundedge
Sat Dec 27, 2008 8:41 am UTC
Forum: Mathematics
Topic: The applicability of Godel's incompleteness theorems.
Replies: 5
Views: 1722

The applicability of Godel's incompleteness theorems.

I couldn't quite decide wether to put this in mathematics or science, but I decided that this question first and foremost requires an understanding of mathematics, and then secondarily requires an understanding of physics and the material world. As a frame of reference, here's what wikipedia states ...

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