Wow! It’s a good day for science videos tackling age-old brain stumpers. Earlier today we had one that took on the Chicken or the Egg question and now here’s one that deals with the old mind bender of what would happen when an unstoppable force hits an immovable object:
I just tickles me pink that we live in a day and age when we not only have almost all of the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, but that there are folks out there who are applying science to silly questions and sharing the results with the rest of us.
Religious people say that without a divine being the universe loses all its mystery and wonder. Yet here’s something wonderfully mysterious that happened for no reason at all. It’s simply an end result of the right circumstances and the laws of physics. If you were to examine that package you’d probably find something fairly heavy inside without enough packing material to hold it into place resulting in it shifting around during the tumble just enough to make sure the box kept tipping over every time it paused during a revolution. It’s the same principle used in those egg-shaped toys that tumble and wobble about when you toss them. Any other time the speed of the conveyor belt or the contents of the package itself would be enough to end that cycle after a couple of revolutions, but in this one case, for no particular reason, the factors were just right to keep that package rolling.
The odds of that happening purely by accident have to be astronomical and yet there it is. Unless, of course, you think God would have some reason to make such a thing happen. I’m sure someone someplace could think up a reason, but I’m hard pressed to do so.
Stumbled upon this and figured most everyone here would want to see it. UC Berkley is posting some of their lectures series online on YouTube. Here’s the intro class to “Physics 10: Physics for Future Presidents”. I get the feeling it’s a physics class for the non-technical majors, but still good stuff. The whole series can be found at UC Berkley on YouTube
Haven’t had a good science post in awhile so here’s one linking to a BBC News article on how scientists have managed to create a new form of matter called Di-positronium:
Di-positronium, as the new molecule is known, was predicted to exist in 1946 but has remained elusive to science.
Now, a US team has created thousands of the molecules by merging electrons with their antimatter equivalent: positrons.
The discovery, reported in the journal Nature, is a key step in the creation of ultra-powerful lasers known as gamma-ray annihilation lasers.
“The difference in the power available from a gamma-ray laser compared to a normal laser is the same as the difference between a nuclear explosion and a chemical explosion,” said Dr David Cassidy of the University of California, Riverside, and one of the authors of the paper.
“It would have an incredibly high power density.”
It’s hope they’ll be able to produce gamma-ray lasers as a step towards kicking off fusion reactors:
“A gamma-ray laser is the kind of thing that if it existed people would find new uses for it everyday,” said Dr Cassidy.
He highlighted an experiment at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in the US where scientists envisage using 192 lasers to heat a fuel target to try to kick-start nuclear fusion.
“Imagine doing that but you no longer need hundreds of lasers,” he said.
Plus with the right optical tracking mirror you could potentially vaporize a man-sized object from space.
Kudos to anyone who knows which 80’s comedy movie I badly paraphrased that last sentence from.