1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

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1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby niky » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:56 am UTC

Image

Title Text: "The retina is the exposed surface of the brain, so if you think about a pot of gold while looking at a rainbow, then there's one at BOTH ends."

A sextillion tons of gold.

You could bankrupt every country on Earth a million times over by dumping that amount into the economy.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby rhomboidal » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:08 am UTC

Leprechauns may have died at the formation of the sun, but at its demise, a white dwarf will be born!

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby paha arkkitehti » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:39 am UTC

niky wrote:A sextillion tons of gold.

You could bankrupt every country on Earth a million times over by dumping that amount into the economy.


Only because the physical weight of all that gold is enough to _crush_ the economy. And everything else on Earth.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby keithl » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:42 am UTC

niky wrote:A sextillion tons of gold.

You could bankrupt every country on Earth a million times over by dumping that amount into the economy.


A mere quintillion (1e18) tonnes - gold comprises about 5e-10 of the Sun by mass, and the mass of the Sun is 2e30 kilograms, thus the mass of gold is 1e21 kg, or 1e18 tonnes. The density of solid gold is around 20 tonnes per cubic meter, and the surface area of the earth is around 5e14 square meters, so 1e18 tonnes is a layer of gold 100 meters thick over the entire Earth.

The main economic effect would be crushing everything on the surface of the Earth. Unless the gold is delivered at solar plasma temperatures, in which case it would vaporize the atmosphere, oceans, crust, and a considerable fraction of the mantle and blow it all off into interstellar space.

Making the king Midas problem seem trivial.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby Heimhenge » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:47 am UTC

Munroe wrote:The retina is the exposed surface of the brain, so if you think about a pot of gold while looking at a rainbow, then there's one at BOTH ends.


Then the taste buds on the tongue must also be the exposed surface of the brain ... think about that next time you're deep kissing someone.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby niky » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:24 am UTC

paha arkkitehti wrote:
niky wrote:A sextillion tons of gold.

You could bankrupt every country on Earth a million times over by dumping that amount into the economy.


Only because the physical weight of all that gold is enough to _crush_ the economy. And everything else on Earth.


Aside from that little problem, of course.

keithl wrote:
niky wrote:A sextillion tons of gold.

You could bankrupt every country on Earth a million times over by dumping that amount into the economy.


A mere quintillion (1e18) tonnes - gold comprises about 5e-10 of the Sun by mass, and the mass of the Sun is 2e30 kilograms, thus the mass of gold is 1e21 kg, or 1e18 tonnes. The density of solid gold is around 20 tonnes per cubic meter, and the surface area of the earth is around 5e14 square meters, so 1e18 tonnes is a layer of gold 100 meters thick over the entire Earth.

The main economic effect would be crushing everything on the surface of the Earth. Unless the gold is delivered at solar plasma temperatures, in which case it would vaporize the atmosphere, oceans, crust, and a considerable fraction of the mantle and blow it all off into interstellar space.

Making the king Midas problem seem trivial.


RE: Big numbers: My math is rusty at this time of the day.

RE: Big Badabooms: I think that would depend on how quickly the gold could transfer all that heat. Burn through the oceans, yes, but all the way through the crust? Hm.

I really miss "What If. "

Heimhenge wrote:
Munroe wrote:The retina is the exposed surface of the brain, so if you think about a pot of gold while looking at a rainbow, then there's one at BOTH ends.


Then the taste buds on the tongue must also be the exposed surface of the brain ... think about that next time you're deep kissing someone.


I think it is every teenager's sacred mission to get their tongue as close to the actual brain as possible in that scenario.
Last edited by niky on Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:26 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby niauropsaka » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:24 am UTC

OK, so there's a lot of gold inside Sol. Not in a pot, though.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:29 am UTC

TIL there is actual gold inside the sun. Until now I assumed it was all just hydrogen and helium. But I guess if it's hot enough for fusion to happen, there's probably every element in there, including ones with super-high atomic numbers that we still haven't synthesized yet.
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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby niky » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:42 am UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:TIL there is actual gold inside the sun. Until now I assumed it was all just hydrogen and helium. But I guess if it's hot enough for fusion to happen, there's probably every element in there, including ones with super-high atomic numbers that we still haven't synthesized yet.


It's not due to the Sun's own activity. If I recall right, iron is the heaviest element that can be formed from regular fusion reactions inside stars. Elements heavier than iron require the energy of supernova to form. Thus, gold comes from contaminants from dead stars in the dust cloud that created our solar system.

Whatever elements you can find on Earth, you should be able to find inside the sun.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:46 am UTC

I would expect that generally, most of the heavy elements in the proto-stellar disc that formed our solar system ended up near its center of gravity (i.e. inside of the sun by now) since, you know, they're heavier.

Having little clumps of stuff besides hydrogen and helium, like the Earth, way the hell up here high above the center of gravity, is what's notably odd.
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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby laurint » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:03 am UTC

But isn't rainbow the volume from which the light is reflected? Volume limited by two (almost) conical surfaces with cones' peak in observers eye and then extending indefinetly. Hence, the rainbow has only one end, the observers eye.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby niky » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:25 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I would expect that generally, most of the heavy elements in the proto-stellar disc that formed our solar system ended up near its center of gravity (i.e. inside of the sun by now) since, you know, they're heavier.

Having little clumps of stuff besides hydrogen and helium, like the Earth, way the hell up here high above the center of gravity, is what's notably odd.


Centrifugal force pushing the heavy elements outwards.

Oh, wait:

Image


It's worth noting the Earth has more metals in it than further away planets. And the outer planets are mostly gas giants.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby chrisjwmartin » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:42 am UTC

Heimhenge wrote:
Munroe wrote:The retina is the exposed surface of the brain, so if you think about a pot of gold while looking at a rainbow, then there's one at BOTH ends.

Then the taste buds on the tongue must also be the exposed surface of the brain ... think about that next time you're deep kissing someone.

No, the eye is considered to be part of the brain, but the tongue isn't. The eye grows directly out of the fetus's brain.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby Mikeski » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:18 am UTC

chrisjwmartin wrote:
Heimhenge wrote:
Munroe wrote:The retina is the exposed surface of the brain, so if you think about a pot of gold while looking at a rainbow, then there's one at BOTH ends.

Then the taste buds on the tongue must also be the exposed surface of the brain ... think about that next time you're deep kissing someone.

No, the eye is considered to be part of the brain, but the tongue isn't. The eye grows directly out of the fetus's brain.

But there's still a whole eyeball between those nerves and the outside world.

I think the nerves closest to "exposed brains" are the olfactory receptors.

Those are the path that brain-eating amoebas take to get to their food.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby cellocgw » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:57 am UTC

Rainbow? Oh, yeah? Then where's the Skittles?

Maybe it's the Reading Rainbow, which you can get to on the Reading Railroad. Which goes nowhere near Redding, CA.
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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby speising » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:20 am UTC

of course, it's not true that (all) rainbows are circles. it's really a stretch to continue a circle made of an optical phenomenon where it intersects the ground.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby dbosst » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:27 am UTC

Reading the End of the Rainbow...

The leprechauns hide their gold in the sun.

---

Trying to calculate the amount of gold by mass in the sun, from the elemental abundance figures in the photosphere, a lot of guesswork (I am not an astrophysicist):

for Gold, abundance Ae = 1.01 (logarithm dex scale) ( http://newenergytimes.com/v2/library/19 ... ts-OFF.pdf )

10^(1.01 - 12) = 1.023 * 10^-11 ( # of gold atoms / # of hydrogen atoms in the photosphere )

0.7346 * (1.989 *10^30 kg) = 1.461 * 10^30 kg -- the mass of all hydrogen in the sun

Mass of a gold atom = 3.2707065 * 10^-25 kg
Mass of a hydrogen atom = 1.6737236 * 10^-27 kg

and, assuming the photosphere has about the same composition as the rest of the sun (I see this assumption everywhere but don't know the reasoning behind it)...

(mass of all hydrogen atoms in the sun) * (# of gold atoms / # of hydrogen atoms in the sun) * ( mass of gold atom / mass of hydrogen atom ) :

(1.461 * 10^30 kg) * (1.023 * 10^-11) * ((3.2707065 * 10^-25 kg) / (1.6737236 * 10^-27 kg)) ~=

2.9 * 10^21 kg ( mass of gold in the sun )

--

Seawater is 96.5% water:
0.965 * (1.4 * 10^21 kg) ~= 1.35 * 10^21 kg (mass of water in the oceans)

So, if my math isn't horribly wrong, there is more than twice as much gold in the sun than water in the oceans.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:42 am UTC

niky wrote:A sextillion tons of gold.
Is that 1021 (1,000N+1 for N-illion) or 1036 (1,000,000N)?

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby Mutex » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:03 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
niky wrote:A sextillion tons of gold.
Is that 1021 (1,000N+1 for N-illion) or 1036 (1,000,000N)?

Does anyone still use long scale?

...

Well, I decided to answer my own question:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_and_ ... cale_users

Seems French, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch speaking countries use it, along with most of Continental Europe. But no English speakers use it as far as I can see.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby da Doctah » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:14 pm UTC

Back when it still meant something, I fed Google the name of every element then on the periodic table (they had added darmstadtium at that point) and collected the number of hits for each. I disregarded alternate names and spellings and the fact that some element names are spelled exactly the same as unrelated words like lead and iron.

Turns out gold is the most common element on the internet (more than two-to-one over the second-most common, tin).

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby somitomi » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:20 pm UTC

niauropsaka wrote:OK, so there's a lot of gold inside Sol. Not in a pot, though.

Apparently 0,2% of the Sun's mass is composed of iron, that might have been a pot before all this hot ball of plasma thing started.
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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:27 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:Seems French, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch speaking countries use it, along with most of Continental Europe. But no English speakers use it as far as I can see.
I know enough English speakers who still think in that scale. (It's more logical, and it doesn't get to silly-prefixes anywhere like as quickly.) One therefore may have to carefully ask if "billions and billions" is the smaller version of superlative or the larger one, etc, sometimes. (Safer to stick to indeterminate superlatives like "gazillion" at one end and scientific notation at the other.)

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby Mutex » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:35 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
Mutex wrote:Seems French, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch speaking countries use it, along with most of Continental Europe. But no English speakers use it as far as I can see.
I know enough English speakers who still think in that scale. (It's more logical, and it doesn't get to silly-prefixes anywhere like as quickly.) One therefore may have to carefully ask if "billions and billions" is the smaller version of superlative or the larger one, etc, sometimes. (Safer to stick to indeterminate superlatives like "gazillion" at one end and scientific notation at the other.)

Well, it's more consistent yes, I'd argue it's less generally useful since "thousand million" is more of a mouthful than "billion". And we use billions in day-to-day life more than we use heptillions or whatever, and should probably just use standard notation at that point.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby GlassHouses » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:23 pm UTC

paha arkkitehti wrote:
niky wrote:A sextillion tons of gold.

You could bankrupt every country on Earth a million times over by dumping that amount into the economy.


Only because the physical weight of all that gold is enough to _crush_ the economy. And everything else on Earth.

And even if one were to deliver a fraction of the gold from the sun to Earth, small enough that it didn't crush everything but large enough to dwarf the gold reserves we already have, what would the economic impact be?

The price of gold would tank, obviously, and that would cause hard times for people in the gold production business, but since the value of money has nothing to do with the price of gold, everything else would keep humming along just as before. And we could congratulate ourselves on the wisdom of those who came before us and decided to end the "gold standard." 8-)

Mutex wrote:Well, [long scale] is more consistent yes, I'd argue it's less generally useful since "thousand million" is more of a mouthful than "billion". And we use billions in day-to-day life more than we use heptillions or whatever, and should probably just use standard notation at that point.

But long scale has words for those powers of one thousand that aren't powers of one million, too. The Dutch names are: miljoen, miljard, biljoen, biljard, etc.

My guess is that this nomenclature fell out of favor in the English-speaking parts of the world because in English, these words are pronounced with the stress on the first syllable, which makes the difference between the -ion and -iard words hard to hear. In Dutch and German at least, the French pronunciation with stress at the end is used, and then these words work fine.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby Mutex » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:56 pm UTC

GlassHouses wrote:
Mutex wrote:Well, [long scale] is more consistent yes, I'd argue it's less generally useful since "thousand million" is more of a mouthful than "billion". And we use billions in day-to-day life more than we use heptillions or whatever, and should probably just use standard notation at that point.

But long scale has words for those powers of one thousand that aren't powers of one million, too. The Dutch names are: miljoen, miljard, biljoen, biljard, etc.

My guess is that this nomenclature fell out of favor in the English-speaking parts of the world because in English, these words are pronounced with the stress on the first syllable, which makes the difference between the -ion and -iard words hard to hear. In Dutch and German at least, the French pronunciation with stress at the end is used, and then these words work fine.

*smacks head* I'd forgotten about them. Yes, we have milliard etc. I guess that would be more logical then.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby Keyman » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:10 pm UTC

niky wrote:
Steve the Pocket wrote:TIL there is actual gold inside the sun. Until now I assumed it was all just hydrogen and helium. But I guess if it's hot enough for fusion to happen, there's probably every element in there, including ones with super-high atomic numbers that we still haven't synthesized yet.


It's not due to the Sun's own activity. If I recall right, iron is the heaviest element that can be formed from regular fusion reactions inside stars. Elements heavier than iron require the energy of supernova to form. Thus, gold comes from contaminants from dead stars in the dust cloud that created our solar system.

Whatever elements you can find on Earth, you should be able to find inside the sun.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby orthogon » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:38 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:
niky wrote:A sextillion tons of gold.
Is that 1021 (1,000N+1 for N-illion) or 1036 (1,000,000N)?

Does anyone still use long scale?

It is odd that you still get people saying "is that an American billion?". I assume that Soupspoon was being facetious, but you hear it a lot in the UK, and not just from the curmudgeonly and innumerate. I mean, it's not as though billions are rarely encountered - how do these people cope with newspapers, internet news sites, TV and radio news? Every other story has an amount of money in billions; are they really, genuinely unsure whether the NHS is asking for another £4x109 or another £4x1012? I suspect a touch of anti-Americanism.

Pseudo-edit: OK, I see that milliard was indeed neck-and-neck with billion in British English until the mid-1920s, fell back at the start of WWII, and then put up a valiant fight until the 1970s when it went into terminal decline. So I guess it is an age thing: by the time I became aware of it the battle was already won/lost, but there were still a lot of veterans around. Still, it's time to let it go already.
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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:26 pm UTC

I was definitely taught that a Million Million made a Billion2, when young, with a Thousand Million being a Thousand Million because Milliard wasn't told to us at that time1. I always took it that US Billionaires just couldn't be arsed getting that next 1000-times richer before boasting about how much money they had than the 'mere' Millionaires.

But these days we regularly see Trillions in use for money at national levels (Billions in the other measure) and talking about astronomical or even molecular quantities sends us regular into higher-Xillions in everyday talk, and I do sometimes take some time to back-form into each version and parallel-use them until I can work out which version is the most sane.

This time round, I could have waited for the inevitable calculations to be shown, but I thought I'd ask. I didn't immediately twig whether OP was perhaps either one of our many Merkin forumites (defaults to short-scale, with its awkward inbuilt offset value) or maybe one of our various Yoorupine ones (may have brought the long-scale across the language barrier).


Wasn't intended to be a big argumentative point, but there you go.


1 And a Billiard is obviously a unit subset of a cue-and-balls game. ;)
2 And, initially thought that a Billion Billion made a Trilllion, a Trillion Trillion made a Quadrillion, i.e.1k to the power 2N (had I known of exponentials like that, at such a young age), which makes a handy Ultra-Long scale that works well with easily derived magnitudes of accuracy far further into the heights of such numbers. Made sense to me, but then most of my schoolmates were still not understanding negative numbers. I was probably getting ahead of myself.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby DanD » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:34 pm UTC

niky wrote:
Steve the Pocket wrote:TIL there is actual gold inside the sun. Until now I assumed it was all just hydrogen and helium. But I guess if it's hot enough for fusion to happen, there's probably every element in there, including ones with super-high atomic numbers that we still haven't synthesized yet.


It's not due to the Sun's own activity. If I recall right, iron is the heaviest element that can be formed from regular fusion reactions inside stars. Elements heavier than iron require the energy of supernova to form. Thus, gold comes from contaminants from dead stars in the dust cloud that created our solar system.

Whatever elements you can find on Earth, you should be able to find inside the sun.


Iron is the heaviest element that produces energy when it is fused to. It's also the lightest element that produces energy when it is fizzed to. However, the sun isn't actually fusing elements into iron because it's still in equilibrium with lighter element (H-He) fusion.

But that doesn't mean that the sun can't produce a few heavier elements by taking some excess energy from light element fusion and accidentally fusing heavier elements. The percentage of this that occurs is low, but it is non-zero, and there is enough fusion happening that you end up with some trace native heavier elements (At least I believe this is the case).

ETA: This is s-process nucleosynthesis, and there is some debate whether, or how much, it occurs in our sun at it's current stage. The general consensus is that it is rare, but there is no reason for it not to happen.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby Kit. » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:07 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:Yes, we have milliard etc. I guess that would be more logical then.

One can have milliard[s] and still use short scale, like in Russia.

Billiard[s], though, is a slightly different thing.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:22 pm UTC

cellocgw wrote:Rainbow? Oh, yeah? Then where's the Skittles?

Maybe it's the Reading Rainbow, which you can get to on the Reading Railroad. Which goes nowhere near Redding, CA.

Fun(?) fact: there was a violent newsworthy incident up there in NorCal once surrounding a guy known as the "Redding Rambo".

Seriously, Google it.
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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby Rombobjörn » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:30 pm UTC

laurint wrote:But isn't rainbow the volume from which the light is reflected? Volume limited by two (almost) conical surfaces with cones' peak in observers eye and then extending indefinetly. Hence, the rainbow has only one end, the observers eye.

Why indefinitely? It seems silly to extend the cone beyond the region where it's raining.

I see no reason to talk about a cone with its apex at the Sun. Seeing how big the Sun is, it makes more sense to treat it as the base of the cone, and the rain cloud as the apex.

DanD wrote:But that doesn't mean that the sun can't produce a few heavier elements by taking some excess energy from light element fusion and accidentally fusing heavier elements. The percentage of this that occurs is low, but it is non-zero, and there is enough fusion happening that you end up with some trace native heavier elements (At least I believe this is the case).

I'm willing to believe that some small fractions of single-digit elements are formed that way, but hardly any gold worth mentioning.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby squall_line » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:41 pm UTC

rhomboidal wrote:Leprechauns may have died at the formation of the sun, but at its demise, a white dwarf will be born!


Nobody else has commented on this, so I logged in long enough to compliment you for this clever word play.

Well done. Well done, indeed. *slow clap*

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby x7eggert » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:31 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:Well, it's more consistent yes, I'd argue it's less generally useful since "thousand million" is more of a mouthful than "billion". And we use billions in day-to-day life more than we use heptillions or whatever, and should probably just use standard notation at that point.


There's the "Milliarde", "Billiarde" etc. in the German language. I agree that while speaking English, it sounds … strange.

I think it's easier using "trillion" → 10^(3 ⋅ 6) {instead of 10^(3 ⋅ 3 + 3)}, but that's what I'm used to.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:49 pm UTC

"Milliard", "billiard", etc are English words too, with the same meanings (but no terminal "e"s). They're mostly archaic now, only used in the old British long scale system, where "billion" = "million million" ≠ "thousand million" = "milliard".
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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby keithl » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:04 pm UTC

I found the gold fraction of the Sun in Anders and Ebihara, "Solar-system abundances of the elements", Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 1982. That compares relative counts of atoms, and lumps deuterium and tritium in with hydrogen, so my 1e18 tonne estimate is imprecise, assuming H = 1.0 amu and Au = 79.0 amu.

The gold, like most of the rest of the solar system, was formed in a supernova, and deposited in the shocked cloud of hydrogen gas that condensed to form our solar system, and our Sun in its center. Almost all of the original rotating nebula was hydrogen; the accumulation in the center had enough gravity to collect and compact the hydrogen into a new star. There was plenty of hydrogen throughout the rest of the rotating disk of gas, but it was too hot to condense into planetesmals close to the newly ignited Sun; our planet is formed of the materials that did not "evaporate" back into interstellar space ... which tens to hundreds of "Jupiters" of hydrogen did. Beyond the "snow line", some of the gas was cold enough to condense into Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, perhaps around cores of rock or ice. Future planetary probes will help us determine the composition of those cores.

Besides the metallic hydrogen that may surround the cores of Jupiter and Saturn, ice is the most abundant solid material in the Solar System and Oort cloud, much more massive than the rocky inner planets. This has astro-engineering and SETI implications.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby keithl » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:26 pm UTC

Million, billion, milliard, short scale, long scale ... feh. Use scientific notation, with e/E separating the exponent so we don't need to use superscripts. Not as difficult as lakh ( 1e5 or 100,000 ) and crore ( 1e7 or 100,00,000 ) common in India and south Asia; and yes, they do write the commas in crore like that. So 1e18 = 1 lakh lakh crore crore .

I hope some clever linguist/mathematician will develop a compact and memorable way to express scientific notation exponents with special syllables; for example 0 "do", 1 "re", 2 "me", 3 "fa", 4 "so", 5 "la", 6 "ti", 7 "du", 8 "ru", 9 "mu", so 1e18 is "one re ru" and 7.5e147 becomes "seven point five do so du", rather than "seven thousand five hundred octillion octillion octillion long scale". For extra compactness, sing the exponent on top of the significand, but make sure both talker and listener have perfect pitch.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby Mikeski » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:05 am UTC

keithl wrote:Million, billion, milliard, short scale, long scale ... feh. Use scientific notation, with e/E separating the exponent so we don't need to use superscripts. Not as difficult as lakh ( 1e5 or 100,000 ) and crore ( 1e7 or 100,00,000 ) common in India and south Asia; and yes, they do write the commas in crore like that. So 1e18 = 1 lakh lakh crore crore .

There's also the Chinese (and Chinese-derived) version that counts by myriads rather than thousands. In Japanese:

ichi (1), juu (10), hyaku (100), sen (1000), man (10,000=10^4), juu man (100,000), hyaku man (1,000,000), sen man (10,000,000), oku (100,000,000=10^8), ..., chou (1,000,000,000,000=10^12 ... a short-scale trillion; we line up every 12th power since we go by 3's and they go by 4's), ..., kei (10,000,000,000,000,000=10^16), ..., gai (100,000,000,000,000,000,000=10^20), ...

Simpler than that lakh and crore thing, but still different. So, yes, scientific notation FTW.

keithl wrote:For extra compactness, sing the exponent on top of the significand, but make sure both talker and listener have perfect pitch.

And languages that are tonal to begin with will have to do some sort of throat-singing/overtone-singing.

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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby RogueCynic » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:13 am UTC

You could bankrupt every country on Earth a million times over by dumping that amount into the economy.


I say we do it.
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Re: 1944: "The End of the Rainbow"

Postby Lothario O'Leary » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:46 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:And, initially thought that a Billion Billion made a Trilllion, a Trillion Trillion made a Quadrillion, i.e.1k to the power 2N (had I known of exponentials like that, at such a young age), which makes a handy Ultra-Long scale that works well with easily derived magnitudes of accuracy far further into the heights of such numbers. Made sense to me, but then most of my schoolmates were still not understanding negative numbers. I was probably getting ahead of myself.

This is essentially how Knuth numerals work, expect that the squaring there starts lower down, so it ends up with a myriad (104) instead of a thousand.
One of the recorded medieval Russian scales also worked in this way - a t'ma (darkness) was 106, a legion (same as English) was 1012, a leodr (no translation that I know of) was 1024, a voron (raven) was 1048, and there's some confusion after that (the two attested versions differ).

Modern Russian basically uses American scale, except with "milliard" instead of "billion" - i.e. million, milliard, trillion, quadrillion, and American scale thereafter. All of those have final stress, by the way.


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