A strange question

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PerPer
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A strange question

Postby PerPer » Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:25 pm UTC

I'm helping one of my friends to study for a test in a course I've already taken. No, this question came up, which to me seem ludicrous.

"Light year... how you measure the speed 1 year?" (Directly translated with the same meaning as in the original language)

Now, what could they mean with this question? Keep in mind that this is basic astronomy, no advanced physics with relativity, only basic high school.

I can't wrap my head around what they mean, some help?
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Re: A strange question

Postby seladore » Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:57 pm UTC

Something is definitely getting lost in translation.

Maybe they're asking how long is a light year (in metres, say)?

Or, work out the speed of light given the length of a light year?

Umm... can't think of what else this might be. Perhaps a direct translation isn't the best way of doing this.

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Re: A strange question

Postby PerPer » Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:11 pm UTC

No, nothing is getting lost in translation, trust me. I speak English fluently, this is a correct translation and there is no difference between the original language and my translation in terms of meaning.

The question sounds equally strange in both languages.
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Re: A strange question

Postby Matterwave1 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:31 pm UTC

I'm going to guess a misprint because a light-year is a distance not a speed...

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seladore
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Re: A strange question

Postby seladore » Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:15 am UTC

Unless that is the question - it might be a trick.

So, the (paraphrased) question is "light years - how, exactly, do you go about measuring the speed of a year?", and the answer would be "a light year is a distance, not a time period".

That's all I can think of. It's a terrible question.

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Re: A strange question

Postby Macbi » Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:25 am UTC

Or instead of speed they meant length, i.e. "If you're in a spaceship traveling at relativistic speeds in another galaxy, how exactly do you intend to measure an Earth year?"
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Re: A strange question

Postby seladore » Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:43 pm UTC

Sure, but then you'd have to know what velocity the spacecraft has. Which the question didn't state.

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Re: A strange question

Postby Tahlas » Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:01 pm UTC

My guess would be that you're supposed to figure out either the speed of light from the length of a light year or vice versa.

Could you post the original wording? (Not that I don't trust your translation, I'd just like to see it.

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Re: A strange question

Postby Bobber » Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:21 pm UTC

Yeah let us see the Swedish wording. Just curious.
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Re: A strange question

Postby Comic JK » Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:27 pm UTC

Perhaps the question means, "how do you measure an object's speed over the course of a year?" In which case one could say "you don't need to; you can measure the distance it travels in any given time t and multiply the distance by 1 year / t" (Assuming a constant velocity--you said this was basic physics).
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Re: A strange question

Postby PerPer » Wed Apr 22, 2009 9:24 pm UTC

Bobber wrote:Yeah let us see the Swedish wording. Just curious.


Alright then :P :

Ljusår... hur man mäter hastigheten 1 år?
Light year... how you measure the speed 1 year?
"If somebody thinks they're a hedgehog, presumably you just give 'em a mirror and a few pictures of hedgehogs and tell them to sort it out for themselves." - Douglas Adams

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Re: A strange question

Postby Bobber » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:10 pm UTC

PerPer wrote:
Bobber wrote:Yeah let us see the Swedish wording. Just curious.


Alright then :P :

Ljusår... hur man mäter hastigheten 1 år?
Light year... how you measure the speed 1 year?
That is so fucking weird. Is there no context? What about the question before it, or the one before that? Does nothing relate to it?
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Re: A strange question

Postby Perpy » Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:29 am UTC

Um, yeah.

That looks like either a misprint, or a trick question.

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Re: A strange question

Postby PerPer » Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:09 am UTC

Nope, no relating question before it, and no context what so ever.
"If somebody thinks they're a hedgehog, presumably you just give 'em a mirror and a few pictures of hedgehogs and tell them to sort it out for themselves." - Douglas Adams

To bad you can only use 255 characters, otherwise I would write somethin

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Re: A strange question

Postby Zamfir » Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:18 am UTC

Did you ask the teacher? I mean, if the question is even grammatically gibberish, than you can be reasonbly sure it's not what they intended to ask,


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