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The 10 weirdest physics facts, from relativity to quantum physics
Telegraph ^ | 11/12/09 | Tom Chivers

Posted on 11/12/2009 7:51:26 AM PST by LibWhacker

People who think science is dull are wrong. Here are 10 reasons why.

Physics is weird. There is no denying that. Particles that don’t exist except as probabilities; time that changes according to how fast you’re moving; cats that are both alive and dead until you open a box.

We’ve put together a collection of 10 of the strangest facts we can find, with the kind help of cosmologist and writer Marcus Chown, author of We Need To Talk About Kelvin, and an assortment of Twitter users.

The humanities-graduate writer of this piece would like to stress that this is his work, so any glaring factual errors he has included are his own as well. If you spot any, feel free to point them out in the comment box below.

Equally, if you feel we’ve missed any of your favourite physics weirdnesses off the list, do tell us that as well.

If the Sun were made of bananas, it would be just as hot

[*Snip*]

(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: electrogravitics; mechanics; physics; quantum; relativity; scientism; weirdest
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1 posted on 11/12/2009 7:51:29 AM PST by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

Spooky action ping.


2 posted on 11/12/2009 7:53:15 AM PST by TheVitaminPress
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To: LibWhacker

11. GOP leadership in New York would push a pro-abortion, pro-stimulus, pro-ACORN, pro-card-check candidate as one of their own.

Physics is weird, just weird I tell ‘ya...


3 posted on 11/12/2009 7:58:56 AM PST by kidd (Obama: The triumph of hope over evidence)
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: LibWhacker
Particles that don’t exist except as probabilities

This is cool stuff. I own just about every book written by Wolf. A few by Talbot. A few by others. Quantum physics is a HUGE hobby of mine. The material world does not exist until particle/waves pop into quarks.
This stuff is so cool.

5 posted on 11/12/2009 8:01:45 AM PST by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: LibWhacker

btt


6 posted on 11/12/2009 8:02:23 AM PST by mnehring
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To: LibWhacker

I think a lot of these “facts” will sound laughable 100 years from now.


7 posted on 11/12/2009 8:03:26 AM PST by Pessimist (u)
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To: LibWhacker

Bookmarking


8 posted on 11/12/2009 8:03:36 AM PST by FarRightFanatic (It wasn't an election. It was a socialist coup.)
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To: LibWhacker
I just love this stuff.....

I don't understand it! But I love it.

Kind of like obammer and the syncophants who get "chills up their legs" at the mere metion of the saviour's name.

He doesn't understand why, but he loves it just the same!

9 posted on 11/12/2009 8:09:16 AM PST by Logic n' Reason (If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.)
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To: Pessimist
I think a lot of these “facts” will sound laughable 100 years from now.

I will be long long gone well before 100 years passes.

However, after my body is dead, "I" will know the truth about these statements.

And...if you'll send me at least $1,000 in unmarked bills, I'll come back and whisper the answers in your ear!!

10 posted on 11/12/2009 8:12:22 AM PST by Logic n' Reason (If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.)
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To: kidd
11. GOP leadership in New York would push a pro-abortion, pro-stimulus, pro-ACORN, pro-card-check candidate as one of their own. Physics is weird, just weird I tell ‘ya...

That's because that type of physics was Newt-tonian.

11 posted on 11/12/2009 8:19:53 AM PST by techcor (I hope Obama succeeds... in becoming a one term president.)
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To: Logic n' Reason
I just love this stuff..... I don't understand it! But I love it.

I'll start to read a new book, and "WT....?" I'll have to start all over and read slower. If I still don't get it, I'll read it until I do.
Eventually, there's a "pop" and I get it. Sort of like waves popping into a particles. Presto! The information finally gets downloaded into my brain.
Then I go and buy another physics book to see what else is new. Why do I do it? I have no idea. I just do. I'm addicted.

12 posted on 11/12/2009 8:19:54 AM PST by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: techcor
That's because that type of physics was Newt-tonian.

Omg. That fits perfectly. LOL.

13 posted on 11/12/2009 8:22:34 AM PST by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: Logic n' Reason

I dont know if I would come back, but I sure would promise I would for all that cash! :)


14 posted on 11/12/2009 8:24:39 AM PST by RaceBannon (OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE IS SHOVEL READY...FOR SENIORS!!:: NObama. Not my president.)
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To: LibWhacker
If the Sun were made of bananas, it would be just as hot The Sun is hot, as the more astute of you will have noticed. It is hot because its enormous weight – about a billion billion billion tons – creates vast gravity, putting its core under colossal pressure. Just as a bicycle pump gets warm when you pump it, the pressure increases the temperature. Enormous pressure leads to enormous temperature. If, instead of hydrogen, you got a billion billion billion tons of bananas and hung it in space, it would create just as much pressure, and therefore just as high a temperature. So it would make very little difference to the heat whether you made the Sun out of hydrogen, or bananas, or patio furniture

Okay, so how hot is Saturn?? Isn't Saturn huge? Shouldn't Saturn be hotter than the Earth just based on it's mass lke this example declares??

15 posted on 11/12/2009 8:29:25 AM PST by RaceBannon (OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE IS SHOVEL READY...FOR SENIORS!!:: NObama. Not my president.)
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To: LibWhacker

The stuff about the “cat both alive and dead until you open a box” is complete madness. It is not a fact.

“Events in the future can affect what happened in the past” complete stupidity. Causality does not work backwards.

“Almost all of the Universe is missing” idiocy. None of the universe is missing. What they meant to say is that that our theories account for only a small part of the universe. (therefore the theories are wrong)

“an infinite number of universes existing side-by-side” foolishness. There is only one universe. Not two. Not millions. Not an “infinite” number.

“The fundamental description of the universe does not account for a past, present or future” then the fundamental description of the universe is wrong.

Other than that, it’s right.


16 posted on 11/12/2009 8:33:25 AM PST by Leftism is Mentally Deranged
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To: LibWhacker
Much of this is, however, not true.

In the Schrodinger Cat problem, the cat is very much alive, until it is dead, and the problem comes from confounding quantum mechanical phenomenoa, where the system is in a mixture of well defined "stationary states" and macroscopic phenomena where the system is in a well defined thermodynamic or macroscopic state.

The temperature of the sun, or any star, is determined by its composition, age, and mass, which establishes the rate of fusion generating heat in the core of the star. A star that is mostly hydrogen and helium burns very differently than a star that has a lot of carbon, which burns very differently from a star that is mostly metal (lawnchairs).

The theory of relativity does not do away with past and future. If an event observed by one observer can be communicated via light signals, (timelike separation) to another observer then the order of events between the two can be established. If the separation is "spacelike" ie. they are so far apart that communications in the requisite time period cannot be established, then the relative ordering is arbitrary.

17 posted on 11/12/2009 8:38:38 AM PST by AndyJackson
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To: LibWhacker

My two favorite quantum physics facts posed by atheists:

1) “dark matter”, so there can be an accordion-like universe that can be explained w/o reference to a Creator, in contravention of the observation that there is not enough matter in the universe to ever make it stop expanding; and

2) rocks that can turn into people.

The wonderful world of the Brothers Grimm...


18 posted on 11/12/2009 8:45:47 AM PST by Migraine (Diversity is great... ...until it happens to YOU.)
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To: Pessimist

Most of the “facts” are interpretations that will probably be discarded as more is learned. The claim that the infinite universes hypothesis is the “standard model” is bogus. (God as a bubble machine). The hypothesis is just an effort to save metaphysical naturalism from John Wheeler’s anthropic principle. Paul Davies rejects the bubble machine in favor of an equally unsupported theory of backward causation. There are probably other theories that try to answer Wheeler’s original challenge. All of them are interesting, but none of them ought to be considered as a part of the standard model of physics in the sense that, say, quanum mechanics and general relativity are part of the standard model.

Physics is fascinating.


19 posted on 11/12/2009 8:46:41 AM PST by achilles2000 (Shouting "fire" in a burning building is doing everyone a favor...whether they like it or not)
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To: LibWhacker

So if you change the past by observing it AND there are an infinite you’s and infinite them’s accounting for every possible history then you don’t really change the past by observation you are actually only selecting a new history to go by. How about that brain hemorrhage inducing mind trap?


20 posted on 11/12/2009 8:48:11 AM PST by aft_lizard (Barack Obama is Hugo Chavez's poodle.)
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To: LibWhacker
So...if I read this right...the sun could be make out of marshmallows and hershey's chocolate.

Now THAT would be a heck of a "Sumore"!

21 posted on 11/12/2009 8:50:13 AM PST by Logic n' Reason (If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got.)
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To: RaceBannon
Saturn is nowhere near as large, or massive, as the sun. Saturn is 95 times the mass of the Earth. The sun is 333,000 times the mass of the Earth.

Enormous pressure leads to enormous temperature. If, instead of hydrogen, you got a billion billion billion tons of bananas and hung it in space, it would create just as much pressure, and therefore just as high a temperature.

This statement is deceptive. If you packed all those bananas together in space, their mass would create a gravitational field that would compress them. This causes heat. You'd get the same heat that exists at the center of the Sun. The difference is that there is enough heat to cause the hydrogen in the sun to fuse into helium. The lack of free hydrogen in the bananas means that they would make a very large mess, but very little nuclear fusion. The banana fire would quickly burn itself out.

22 posted on 11/12/2009 8:50:47 AM PST by sig226 (Bring back Jimmy Carter!)
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To: RaceBannon

Nah. No humans to initiate global warming.


23 posted on 11/12/2009 8:53:46 AM PST by greatplains
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To: sig226

Calculate how much hydrogen is in the bananas, allow for loss of hydrogen during the ‘destruction of the banana as it reverts to basic unit construction, then look at how little hydrogen would be left to ‘light up like a star’. I seriously doubt that the mass of bananas named would yield sufficient unit hydrogen to light up star fusion.


24 posted on 11/12/2009 8:54:36 AM PST by MHGinTN (Obots, believing they cannot be deceived, it is impossible to convince them when they are deceived.)
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To: achilles2000

If there was an infinite number of universes, with an infinite number of possibilities for each universe, there would be at leat one universe in which the people destroyed all the other ones.

The infinite possibilites hypothesis is a weak answer to a complex question that we do not yet understand.


25 posted on 11/12/2009 8:54:42 AM PST by sig226 (Bring back Jimmy Carter!)
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To: sig226
The banana fire would quickly burn itself out.

And stink like the Dickens in the process.

26 posted on 11/12/2009 8:57:44 AM PST by Cyber Liberty (Ram "Health Care Reform" down our throats in '09, and we'll ram it up your @ss in '10.)
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To: RaceBannon

Correct. Core temperature of Saturn is around 12,000°C, while the Earth’s is around 6,000°C.


27 posted on 11/12/2009 8:58:17 AM PST by LibWhacker (America awake!)
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To: LibWhacker

28 posted on 11/12/2009 9:02:05 AM PST by Lady Jag (Double your income. Fire the government)
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To: LibWhacker

I have never read that Saturn is hotter than the Earth, where did you get that value?


29 posted on 11/12/2009 9:11:52 AM PST by RaceBannon (OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE IS SHOVEL READY...FOR SENIORS!!:: NObama. Not my president.)
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To: LibWhacker

It’s almost impossible to say what is the temperature of Saturn. The highest cloud tops, right at the edge of space, are colder than -150 °C. But as you travel down into the planet, pressures and temperatures rise. At the very core, temperatures can reach 11,700 °C.

http://www.universetoday.com/guide-to-space/saturn/temperature-of-saturn/


30 posted on 11/12/2009 9:14:52 AM PST by RaceBannon (OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE IS SHOVEL READY...FOR SENIORS!!:: NObama. Not my president.)
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To: LibWhacker
I don't think bananas support a fusion reaction but I might be wrong. In any case we wouldn't be able to tell if the sun were made of bananas because it would still be yellow.

Unless somebody peeled them.

31 posted on 11/12/2009 9:17:35 AM PST by Billthedrill
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To: sig226

Buit if the links I found are accurate about Saturn’s core temperature, and since Saturn is assumed to be mostly gaseous, the core temperature , if around 7000°C would igniote the gaseous atmosphere and melt all liquid or ice into gas, ignote them...

Saturn should be on fire if this is true about the core temperature.

Same with jupiter. AND Uranus and Neptune


32 posted on 11/12/2009 9:17:52 AM PST by RaceBannon (OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE IS SHOVEL READY...FOR SENIORS!!:: NObama. Not my president.)
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To: sig226

Buit if the links I found are accurate about Saturn’s core temperature, and since Saturn is assumed to be mostly gaseous, the core temperature , if around 7000°C would ignite the gaseous atmosphere and melt all liquid or ice into gas, ignote them...

Saturn should be on fire if this is true about the core temperature.

Same with jupiter. AND Uranus and Neptune


33 posted on 11/12/2009 9:18:13 AM PST by RaceBannon (OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE IS SHOVEL READY...FOR SENIORS!!:: NObama. Not my president.)
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To: LibWhacker

Schrodinger’s cat is not dead. You only think so because you don’t see him. He is actually at a neighbor’s house where he has a different source of food, a different set of owners and a different identity.


34 posted on 11/12/2009 9:19:19 AM PST by Gritty-Kitty
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To: sig226
...there would be at leat one universe in which the people destroyed all the other ones.

Hey, chill! Give us time. :-)

An infinite number of universes doesn't necessarily imply all possible universes will be realized; e.g., if there are in fact an infinite number of them, then there are infinite subsets that aren't exhaustive of the whole thing. So just because you've got an infinite number of them in your basket doesn't mean you've captured every possibility.

There are so many errors in this article it's ridiculous. For example, he presents the infinite universes theory as though it were an established fact, which isn't true by any means. Still, fun article.

35 posted on 11/12/2009 9:20:30 AM PST by LibWhacker (America awake!)
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To: LibWhacker; sig226

Effects
All of this means that Saturn is a frozen planet. The tops of the gaseous clouds average minus 285 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperatures below this hydrogen and helium gas layer are considerably warmer than those at the top, with estimates as warm as minus 20 degrees near the surface. The helium gradually sinking through the hydrogen is thought to create the chemical reactions that make this possible.

http://www.ehow.com/about_4601019_what-average-temperature-saturn.html


36 posted on 11/12/2009 9:21:12 AM PST by RaceBannon (OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE IS SHOVEL READY...FOR SENIORS!!:: NObama. Not my president.)
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To: RaceBannon

Looks like you did the same Google search I did. :-)


37 posted on 11/12/2009 9:22:49 AM PST by LibWhacker (America awake!)
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To: Pessimist

These “facts” are mostly just laughable misunderstandings of oversimplifications of actual facts. That which does not account for the “mostly” part is true, very strange to the general populace, and entirely reasonable to those who do understand. No need to wait 100 years.


38 posted on 11/12/2009 9:30:02 AM PST by ctdonath2 (End the coup!)
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To: RaceBannon
Saturn should be on fire if this is true about the core temperature.

It radiates that heat away. One of the links I found said that Saturn radiates away more heat than it gets from the Sun. There must be huge convection processes going on in Saturn where hot material from the core rises, radiates away its heat, then sinks back down into the interior. The cloud tops aren't on fire because they do not retain their heat.

39 posted on 11/12/2009 9:30:07 AM PST by LibWhacker (America awake!)
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To: sig226
If there was an infinite number of universes, with an infinite number of possibilities for each universe, there would be at leat one universe in which the people destroyed all the other ones.

In order to really understand this, you'd have to also understand Psychology, theology, and even networking to some extent. Each branch has it's own jargon, but each branch has similar views (Even though none will ever admit it).
I've been into all of these things for at least the past 24 years. Actually, a more adequate word would be "obsessed."
This entire science is a lot deeper than most people understand. There are things that are made from things that are unseen. Just because we can't see things happening in our 3-D world doesn't mean they don't exist or happen.

Probabilities are the key to everything. Nothing is carved in stone. Absolutely nothing.

A small example , sort of, would be the Web Bots. Quantum physics holds the theory that conscienceness has an effect on everything. The Web Bots deal with cyberspace - which is mental, or world conscienceness.
The Bots have been able to predict the future (To some extent. The creators have to guess what they're finding based on the language. They're not "mind" readers). Their latest prediction was that something would happen on Nov. 5th that would make world news. A disaster of some sort. Well, that's when the Fort Hood terrorist attack hit. Coincidence? Maybe, but they were specific with their warning. They said specifically November 5th. (google it) They also predicted 9/11 in September.

So, if cyberspace can give hints about future events, what role does world conscienceness have in their creation?

40 posted on 11/12/2009 9:30:53 AM PST by concerned about politics ("Get thee behind me, Liberal")
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To: sig226

Or one in which intelligent life has communicated with all other ones...I agree that the infinite universes with infinite possibilities is a weak hypothesis.


41 posted on 11/12/2009 9:38:36 AM PST by achilles2000 (Shouting "fire" in a burning building is doing everyone a favor...whether they like it or not)
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To: techcor
That's because that type of physics was Newt-tonian

Very good!

42 posted on 11/12/2009 9:55:55 AM PST by kidd (Obama: The triumph of hope over evidence)
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To: Logic n' Reason
Kind of like obammer and the syncophants who get "chills up their legs" at the mere metion of the saviour's name.

I believe that Chrissy got a tingle up his leg.

Or could it be a tinkle down his leg?

Hey Chris, did you have to change underwear (or panties, as the case may be)?

43 posted on 11/12/2009 9:57:35 AM PST by Ole Okie (Aged American)
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To: MHGinTN
Now you are making me reconsider. Fusion energy can't disrupt the gravity of the sun, so any reaction concerning bananas shouldn't be able to break up the banana sun, either. The energy at the core is essentially stuck there. It should be so hot that the elements can't react with each other - no product would be stable in that environment.

Bananas are mostly starch (C6H10O5) and sucrose (C12H22O11). The fats contain glycerol (C3H5OH3), and the other components contain potassium nitrogen, iron, zinc, chlorine, and trace quantities of a few other elements.

The core tempreature is sufficent to generate nucleosynthesis. This leads to the Carbon Nitrogen Oxygen chain, which increases fusion of helium and raises the temperature. If it gets hot enough, the model has to account for carbon fusion. I suspect that Dr Hawking, et al., have never contemplated this eventuality.

44 posted on 11/12/2009 10:06:24 AM PST by sig226 (Bring back Jimmy Carter!)
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To: RaceBannon

The core temperature wouldn’t affect the atmosphere. Our own core temperature is 6,000 degrees, and Saturn’s diameter is about 19 times that of the Earth.


45 posted on 11/12/2009 10:12:14 AM PST by sig226 (Bring back Jimmy Carter!)
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To: RaceBannon

It’s not actually that difficult to calculate the temperature. We know the mass of Saturn based on its affect on other planets and its orbit around the sun. We know its size by direct measurement. We know the effect of gravity. Given that information, we can make a good estimate of what happens at its core.


46 posted on 11/12/2009 10:20:41 AM PST by sig226 (Bring back Jimmy Carter!)
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To: RaceBannon
Perhaps a better way to think of it is in terms of heat flux, how much heat per second flows through a square meter on Saturn's "surface." Both the surface of the Sun and of Saturn are in thermal equilibrium: that is, they are radiating away heat at the same rate it's coming up from the interior. Otherwise, the temperature would be rising (or falling), and it is not. The Sun's surface has been at 5,400ºC for, what, billions of years? Saturn's surface is holding at -285ºF. One is fiery. One is ice cold.

The difference is, the Sun's surface is dealing with a massive heat flux generated on a massive scale by fusion at the Sun's core. The heat flux on Saturn doesn't come from fusion and is minuscule in comparison. Saturn's surface has no trouble dumping it off into space before it can build up.

But give Saturn the heat flux of the Sun and we can absolutely guarantee it would be very fiery surface indeed!

47 posted on 11/12/2009 10:20:57 AM PST by LibWhacker (America awake!)
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To: LibWhacker
Anyone want to explain how these two coexist?

Light speed is the speed limit of the universe. So if something is travelling close to the speed of light, and you give it a push, it can’t go very much faster. But you’ve given it extra energy, and that energy has to go somewhere.

If they are passing through an insulating medium that slows light down, they can actually travel faster than the light around them.

If the Sun were made of bananas, it would be just as hot

That's nice, except for that little thing called nuclear fusion. Despite the amount of potassium in bananas emitting alpha radiation smushing them together is not going to start a nuclear reaction.

48 posted on 11/12/2009 10:34:16 AM PST by Pan_Yan (All gray areas are fabrications.)
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To: Pan_Yan

Oops. I flipped my italics.


49 posted on 11/12/2009 10:36:54 AM PST by Pan_Yan (All gray areas are fabrications.)
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To: Pan_Yan
Despite the amount of potassium in bananas emitting alpha radiation smushing them together is not going to start a nuclear reaction.

Right, there's no hydrogen, helium, beryllium, etc., in a banana as far as I know. I think your banana star would start to collapse right away and about the time it was the size of the Earth, you'd see Carbon, first, then Nitrogen and Oxygen start to fuse.

As far as the light speed thing, c only represents the speed of light in a vacuum, not in other materials. So there's no contradiction if you push some mass past 38mph, the speed of light in whatever material we're talking about. Is that what you were asking?

50 posted on 11/12/2009 10:47:30 AM PST by LibWhacker (America awake!)
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