You might be a physics major if...

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fREnZy
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby fREnZy » Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:23 pm UTC

[Off topic]
It would be so much cooler if I knew what an order of magnitude was. And I'm curious enough to not be able to wait till I get a physics major, or even till I start my course for it.
[/Off topic]

...if your 4 year old child asks you why the Jedi's hands doesn't get burnt if he's holding something so hot.

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby smw543 » Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:49 pm UTC

fREnZy wrote:[Off topic]
It would be so much cooler if I knew what an order of magnitude was. And I'm curious enough to not be able to wait till I get a physics major, or even till I start my course for it.
[/Off topic]

...if your 4 year old child asks you why the Jedi's hands doesn't get burnt if he's holding something so hot.

You are not defined by the actions taken upon you (such as questions asked of you) but rather by the actions you yourself partake in. On that note, YMBAPM if you really try to explain to a 4-year-old why the Jedi isn't burned. Distinguished from a geek in that, while a geek will also determine a reason, only a physics major will naturally use scientific concepts when speaking to 4-year-olds (it took me a long time to break this habit, by which time I had already bewildered countless toddlers.)

Also, an order of magnitude means that the two amounts vary by a fixed ratio, usually 1:10 unless otherwise specified. So, if my salary is one order of magnitude less than your salary, you make ten times as much money as I do.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Xanthir » Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:48 pm UTC

smw543 wrote:Also, an order of magnitude means that the two amounts vary by a fixed ratio, usually 1:10 unless otherwise specified. So, if my salary is one order of magnitude less than your salary, you make ten times as much money as I do.

Just as a further clarification, when talking to computer scientists orders of magnitude are sometimes a ratio of 1:2, due to their reliance on log2 for everything. In common usage, though, it means a multiple of 10, just like smw said.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby ThinkerEmeritus » Sun Nov 02, 2008 12:21 am UTC

YMBAPM if

You think that this entire business of resetting the clocks twice a year (like the USA is doing tonight) is STUPID and ILLOGICAL when we could all just agree to change the time we go to work/school/whatever in the morning.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby bigglesworth » Sun Nov 02, 2008 1:36 am UTC

Or if everyone could just use GMT, everywhere on the globe, and get used to different times for things.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Mr. Beck » Sun Nov 02, 2008 2:21 am UTC

bigglesworth wrote:Or if everyone could just use GMT, everywhere on the globe, and get used to different times for things.

Exactly! I will gladly support any upcoming plan to institute this measure.

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Monty40xi » Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:04 am UTC

ThinkerEmeritus wrote:YMBAPM if

You think that this entire business of resetting the clocks twice a year (like the USA is doing tonight) is STUPID and ILLOGICAL when we could all just agree to change the time we go to work/school/whatever in the morning.

We actually tried that and it didn't work very well.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Mr. Beck » Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:34 am UTC

Monty40xi wrote:
ThinkerEmeritus wrote:YMBAPM if

You think that this entire business of resetting the clocks twice a year (like the USA is doing tonight) is STUPID and ILLOGICAL when we could all just agree to change the time we go to work/school/whatever in the morning.

We actually tried that and it didn't work very well.

When/Where?

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby rho » Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:55 pm UTC

ThinkerEmeritus wrote:YMBAPM if

You think that this entire business of resetting the clocks twice a year (like the USA is doing tonight) is STUPID and ILLOGICAL when we could all just agree to change the time we go to work/school/whatever in the morning.
bigglesworth wrote:Or if everyone could just use GMT, everywhere on the globe, and get used to different times for things.

I was having this exact dicussion < 2weeks ago.

YMBAPM if one night of heavy drinking can cause you to miss more hours of lectures the next day than some BA students have in a week.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Monty40xi » Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:44 pm UTC

Mr. Beck wrote:
Monty40xi wrote:
ThinkerEmeritus wrote:YMBAPM if

You think that this entire business of resetting the clocks twice a year (like the USA is doing tonight) is STUPID and ILLOGICAL when we could all just agree to change the time we go to work/school/whatever in the morning.

We actually tried that and it didn't work very well.

When/Where?

Washington DC, 1922, under Warren G Harding. Not everyone went along with it and they didn't try it again in 1923.
Occam's Quandary: any idea can be made to sound like the simpler one.

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby You, sir, name? » Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:10 am UTC

Use of the word ansatz in daily English vocabulary is a strong indicator. Though, it may also signify the person in question is a math major.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby danpilon54 » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:49 am UTC

Oh me yarm I use ansatz all the time and people give me funny looks.

Also, saying "it's only quantum mechanics", because I am realizing more and more that it is in fact one of the easier branches of physics (at least at my level). This also gets funny looks.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Woxor » Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:57 pm UTC

Not a physics major, but I studied math and engineering. A recent physics conversation with my then-five-year-old nephew went as follows:

Nephew: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Woxor: Well, I think I'm going to be an engineer.
N: What's that?
W: Well, you use science to design things. You know, like machines and stuff.
N: Could you make a time machine?
W: No, I don't think so.
N: If I had a time machine, I'd go back to when I was a baby. [I thought that part was pretty hilarious for a five-year-old.]
W: Well ... actually, they do know how to travel through time, but only into the future. They haven't figured out how to go back to the past.
N: Why not?
W: Well, if you got in a spaceship and went really fast and then came back ...

Smart kid, he was disappointed about not getting to go back in time but it seemed like he understood. I'm not sure which one of us is more physics-major-y, me for trying to explain relativity to a five-year-old, or him for understanding it at age five. I suppose if I were a true physics major I would have mentioned the possibility of travelling back in time via wormholes and such.

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby thecommabandit » Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:19 pm UTC

You're avatar is Calvin's dad isn't it? It's kinda coincidental you've been explaining complicated phenomena to a young child, but different from Dad in that you tell the truth :P
Image

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Liet Kynes » Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:29 pm UTC

Run around in circles yelling, "NEWTONS LAWS DON'T APPLY TO ME!!!"

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby rho » Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:43 pm UTC

I am compelled to say 'Awh' at Woxor's post.

YMBAPM if when someone uses the phrase 'I think we're going off on a tangent here', you immediately wonder how they differentiated the conversation vectors.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Ended » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:14 pm UTC

thecommabandit wrote:You're avatar is Calvin's dad isn't it? It's kinda coincidental you've been explaining complicated phenomena to a young child, but different from Dad in that you tell the truth :P

:D One of my favourite C&H passages.

Calvin's dad, on the subject of relativity, wrote:It's because you keep changing time zones. See, if you fly to California, you gain three hours on a five-hour flight, right?

So if you go at the speed of light, you gain *more* time. Because it doesn't take as long to get there. Of course, the theory of relativity only works if you're going west.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Interactive Civilian » Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:32 am UTC

Liet Kynes wrote:Run around in circles yelling, "NEWTONS LAWS DON'T APPLY TO ME!!!"

Until someone steps in front of you causing a collision which knocks you to the ground, and they just stand there smugly and say, "You were saying?" ;)
I (x2+y2-1)3-x2y3=0 science.

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby thoughtfully » Tue Nov 04, 2008 3:46 pm UTC

Liet Kynes wrote:Run around in circles yelling, "NEWTONS LAWS DON'T APPLY TO ME!!!"

YMBAPM if you immediately thought of this comic :)
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Herman » Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:31 am UTC

You might be a physics major if you're watching the election returns and thinking, "Wow, America's coming toward me quick. I better get out of the way."
Last edited by Herman on Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:09 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Mitchell
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Mitchell » Thu Nov 06, 2008 1:46 am UTC

YMBAPM if you get frustrated with common misconceptions about conservation of energy.

For the last time, you can't get out more than you put in, no matter how fancy your super-duper contraption is.
And they said you weren't supposed to do this.
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Code: Select all

void * foo;
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for (i; i=10; i--)
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foo = malloc(1-i);
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Liet Kynes » Thu Nov 06, 2008 1:47 am UTC

Its always fun to prove that with swings.

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Thu Nov 06, 2008 1:57 am UTC

Liet Kynes wrote:Its always fun to prove that with swings.


Michael Scott (Apple CEO, not the Office guy):

There were 183 of us freshmen, and a bowling ball hanging from the three-story ceiling to just above the floor. Feynman walked in and, without a word, grabbed the ball and backed against the wall with the ball touching his nose. He let go, and the ball swung slowly 60 feet across the room and back — stopping naturally just short of crushing his face. Then he took the ball again, stepped forward, and said: "I wanted to show you that I believe in what I'm going to teach you over the next two years."
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Liet Kynes » Thu Nov 06, 2008 1:59 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:
Liet Kynes wrote:Its always fun to prove that with swings.


Michael Scott (Apple CEO, not the Office guy):

There were 183 of us freshmen, and a bowling ball hanging from the three-story ceiling to just above the floor. Feynman walked in and, without a word, grabbed the ball and backed against the wall with the ball touching his nose. He let go, and the ball swung slowly 60 feet across the room and back — stopping naturally just short of crushing his face. Then he took the ball again, stepped forward, and said: "I wanted to show you that I believe in what I'm going to teach you over the next two years."



Bowling bllas work well too.

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby SpitValve » Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:46 am UTC

Mitchell wrote:YMBAPM if you get frustrated with common misconceptions about conservation of energy.

For the last time, you can't get out more than you put in, no matter how fancy your super-duper contraption is.


... if you have spent time and energy convincing people that the Matrix is supposed to do exactly that...

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Chips the Nerd » Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:08 pm UTC

You might be a physics major if you've ever tried to teach 7 year olds calculus (sheepishly raised hand)

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Monty40xi » Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:40 pm UTC

SpitValve wrote:
Mitchell wrote:YMBAPM if you get frustrated with common misconceptions about conservation of energy.

For the last time, you can't get out more than you put in, no matter how fancy your super-duper contraption is.

... if you have spent time and energy convincing people that the Matrix is supposed to do exactly that...
I prefer to think that Morpheus was just wrong about the purpose of the Matrix, and that it's not used for electrical power at all. He wasn't really an infallible narrator, he was a character providing exposition as he understood it.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Xanthir » Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:40 pm UTC

Monty40xi wrote:
SpitValve wrote:
Mitchell wrote:YMBAPM if you get frustrated with common misconceptions about conservation of energy.

For the last time, you can't get out more than you put in, no matter how fancy your super-duper contraption is.

... if you have spent time and energy convincing people that the Matrix is supposed to do exactly that...
I prefer to think that Morpheus was just wrong about the purpose of the Matrix, and that it's not used for electrical power at all. He wasn't really an infallible narrator, he was a character providing exposition as he understood it.

Well, really, it's either that or the entire universe doesn't make sense.

I prefer a warped interpretation of Asimov's Laws, personally.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Mr. Beck » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:06 am UTC

Monty40xi wrote:
SpitValve wrote:
Mitchell wrote:YMBAPM if you get frustrated with common misconceptions about conservation of energy.

For the last time, you can't get out more than you put in, no matter how fancy your super-duper contraption is.

... if you have spent time and energy convincing people that the Matrix is supposed to do exactly that...
I prefer to think that Morpheus was just wrong about the purpose of the Matrix, and that it's not used for electrical power at all. He wasn't really an infallible narrator, he was a character providing exposition as he understood it.

The explanation that I heard is that originally it was written that human brains were being used for parallel processing, but someone intervened thinking that audiences wouldn't get it. Hence, human battery. Also note that it is in combination with "a form of Fusion".

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Monty40xi » Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:25 am UTC

Mr. Beck wrote:
Monty40xi wrote:
SpitValve wrote:
Mitchell wrote:YMBAPM if you get frustrated with common misconceptions about conservation of energy.

For the last time, you can't get out more than you put in, no matter how fancy your super-duper contraption is.

... if you have spent time and energy convincing people that the Matrix is supposed to do exactly that...
I prefer to think that Morpheus was just wrong about the purpose of the Matrix, and that it's not used for electrical power at all. He wasn't really an infallible narrator, he was a character providing exposition as he understood it.

The explanation that I heard is that originally it was written that human brains were being used for parallel processing, but someone intervened thinking that audiences wouldn't get it. Hence, human battery. Also note that it is in combination with "a form of Fusion".
Yeah, I think the Bad Astronomer compared it to saying "my car is powered by 3 rats in a wheel and a type of V8."
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby SpitValve » Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:00 pm UTC

Monty40xi wrote:Yeah, I think the Bad Astronomer compared it to saying "my car is powered by 3 rats in a wheel and a type of V8."


I'd say it's worse than that: "My car is powered by a battery that uses its own power to recharge itself. And also a V8."

On topic: You might be a physics major if you put time and effort into debating and criticising the design of the Imperial AT-AT walkers from Empire Strikes Back...

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby von Eisenstein » Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:18 am UTC

You might be a physics major if...
...you find yourself on top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, holding a bowling ball in your right hand and a ping pong ball made of lead in your left hand.

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Monty40xi » Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:32 am UTC

SpitValve wrote:On topic: You might be a physics major if you put time and effort into debating and criticising the design of the Imperial AT-AT walkers from Empire Strikes Back...
On a completely different forum I once gave that same example as a sign you're a nerd. We started a debate on whether or not they were practical weapons of war compared to air strikes and small armored vehicles of the same total cost.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby mattdude » Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:35 am UTC

You confiscated a full size white board from the engineering department and lugged it all the way across campus up the elevator and to your room.

(yes, i am, and yes, i did.)

also assuming this hasn't been said to some degree,

you can derive the gain equations for low pass, high pass, and band pass filters in your sleep, but can't seem to spell onomonopia (still have no idea, and yes this is also true for me)

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby bigglesworth » Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:55 pm UTC

Monty40xi wrote:
SpitValve wrote:On topic: You might be a physics major if you put time and effort into debating and criticising the design of the Imperial AT-AT walkers from Empire Strikes Back...
On a completely different forum I once gave that same example as a sign you're a nerd. We started a debate on whether or not they were practical weapons of war compared to air strikes and small armored vehicles of the same total cost.


Hmm, well, the anti-air required to repel airstrikes could probably knock out the shields and armour of the AT-AT, going by the effect of the 88 on tanks. However, smaller armoured vehicles would either find it harder to cross obstacles, or be hover and thus have less weight, meaning less armour. This would mean that smaller weapons would be able to knock them out.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Tenth Speed Writer » Sun Nov 09, 2008 5:13 am UTC

You consistently and unconsciously refer to the beginning of *any* system (the universe, your life, when your clock went off at 6:15 this morning) as "t equals zero."

Your experience playing Fallout 3 was ruined by the utterly ludicrous amount of time you spent attempting to rationalize the game's representation of radiation as "evil invisible-green ooze."

Upon seeing objects moving at an irregular rate, you begin to ponder equations to describe their changes in motion.



And this is only coming from an Engineering major.
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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby cspirou » Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:12 pm UTC

You might be an astrophysicist if you think being off by an order of magnitude is very accurate.

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Mr. Beck » Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:58 am UTC

Tenth Speed Writer wrote:You consistently and unconsciously refer to the beginning of *any* system (the universe, your life, when your clock went off at 6:15 this morning) as "t equals zero."

Nice one- I do that all the time.

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby Mitchell » Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:06 am UTC

...If you actually have tried to figure out if 42 has something to do with the Theory of Everything.
And they said you weren't supposed to do this.
Spoiler:

Code: Select all

void * foo;
int i;
for (i; i=10; i--)
{
foo = malloc(1-i);
};

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Re: You might be a physics major if...

Postby cspirou » Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:59 am UTC

Mitchell wrote:...If you actually have tried to figure out if 42 has something to do with the Theory of Everything.


Done.

http://seedmagazine.com/news/2006/03/pr ... itched.php


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