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How to Trivialize the Cosmos
Posted: 25 March 2007 05:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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[quote author=“snapshot1”]Oh my God, that’s disgusting.

Are we sure we are measuring them right? Are we sure the Universe’s gravity isn’t dilated in certain areas, causing us to believe that objects in the mirror are closer than they appear or something?


I can’t imagine a black hole…I can’t imagine the amount of mass there is capable enough of producing nuclear reaction that can counteract the force of gravity. I also can’t imagine how some other kind of nuclear reaction wouldn’t occur. It wouldn’t even be nuclear from the force of gravity; it would be quantum or quarkish—subnuclear.

OK, there has to be a certain amount of force that causes particles to break down into smaller components. We’ve done this in our particle accelerators. Because we’re dealing with single atoms in a particle accelerator, the acceleration must equal near-light speeds in order to shatter a neutron. Therefore, is it not also true that if one increased the mass of an object to a great enough measure, the force from gravity would eventually exert enough for to create a sub-nuclear reaction, essentially requiring a new definition for such a massive object? MY Cephie and W Cephie would seem to be likely candidates. Is such a reaction possible with large enough masses, and are these large enough masses? Is my query flawed? Does the low mass/high velocity collision translate into a high mass/low velocity ratio when splitting particles (or atoms)?

The question is flawed in two ways.  In those super giant stars, the internal energy generation is powerful enough to drive them to the size they are.  What is more important is their mass.  With stars greater than a certain mass, collapse to a black hole is inevitable.  This is because in general relativity energy also has mass.  So, for example, pressure is energy and so contributes to mass.  As the star collapses to a black hole, pressure goes up tremendously, but all that does is contribute to a greater mass and so greater gravitation.  Eventually, anything that acts to oppose the collapse does so via energy and so actually contributes to the collapse.

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Posted: 25 March 2007 05:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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FaixaPreta - Beautiful pictures of the planets, stars, and their relative sizes.  Thanks.

Snap, I’m out of my depth here, but I once estimated that if the nucleus of a hydrogen atom was the size of a marble, the electron would be smaller than a dust mote.  This dust mote would be several hundred feet from the marble, orbiting around it fast enough to keep anything from entering inside the orbit.  I think that’s why when you try to photograph atoms, you just see the ‘shell’ of the whizzing outermost electron.  This leaves a lot of empty space inside the atom.  If you could fill all that empty space with other nuclei so that there was no empty space inside the atom. the marble would weigh more than all the cars in the world.  If you accidentally dropped that marble, it would sink through the Earth’s crust, reach the center of the planet and . . . anyway, don’t drop it.

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Posted: 25 March 2007 06:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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[quote author=“burt”][quote author=“snapshot1”]Oh my God, that’s disgusting.

Are we sure we are measuring them right? Are we sure the Universe’s gravity isn’t dilated in certain areas, causing us to believe that objects in the mirror are closer than they appear or something?


I can’t imagine a black hole…I can’t imagine the amount of mass there is capable enough of producing nuclear reaction that can counteract the force of gravity. I also can’t imagine how some other kind of nuclear reaction wouldn’t occur. It wouldn’t even be nuclear from the force of gravity; it would be quantum or quarkish—subnuclear.

OK, there has to be a certain amount of force that causes particles to break down into smaller components. We’ve done this in our particle accelerators. Because we’re dealing with single atoms in a particle accelerator, the acceleration must equal near-light speeds in order to shatter a neutron. Therefore, is it not also true that if one increased the mass of an object to a great enough measure, the force from gravity would eventually exert enough for to create a sub-nuclear reaction, essentially requiring a new definition for such a massive object? MY Cephie and W Cephie would seem to be likely candidates. Is such a reaction possible with large enough masses, and are these large enough masses? Is my query flawed? Does the low mass/high velocity collision translate into a high mass/low velocity ratio when splitting particles (or atoms)?

The question is flawed in two ways.  In those super giant stars, the internal energy generation is powerful enough to drive them to the size they are.  What is more important is their mass.  With stars greater than a certain mass, collapse to a black hole is inevitable.  This is because in general relativity energy also has mass.  So, for example, pressure is energy and so contributes to mass.  As the star collapses to a black hole, pressure goes up tremendously, but all that does is contribute to a greater mass and so greater gravitation.  Eventually, anything that acts to oppose the collapse does so via energy and so actually contributes to the collapse.

You say that the internal energy generation drives the stars to the size that they are. Isn’t this obvious? Is not the energy generation equivalent to its mass which is equivalent to its gravity? Is not the amount of mass of a star equivalent to its size and energy output? I’m sure age has something to do with it as well and it probably very important, but you left that out of your explanation.

You said pressure is energy and so contributes to mass. Don’t you have it backwards? The mass arrived before the energy. Doesn’t mass produce pressure which contributes to the energy output (with heat and light of a nuclear reaction)?

Well no doubt certain stars, after they run out of nuclear fuel, are no longer able to counteract the force of gravity. And I assume a star can get too big that it can’t support its own mass.

Are you saying that a star will collapse on itself before the pressure (force) inside the star is equal the amount of force required to split a neutron?

So I guess I’m asking:

1. Can an object be massive enough to ignite a subnuclear reaction (if the same type of process occurs in a neutron as when an atom splits and energy is released) before it reaches a state too massive for its age for its energy output to sustain its size?

2. Can any amount of mass create the force needed to break apart a neutron?

3. Do neutrons release energy when they are broken as atoms do when they are split?

4. Do black holes produce energy? They must because I think they emit x-rays. What is the source of this energy? I’m assuming it to be a kind of matter/energy conversion.

Am I making enough sense to explain to me in a brief answer? I don’t want to ask a million insane questions. If I wanted to do that, I could just look them up on Google and not waste your time. I’m trying to hold a single premise that neutrons can be broken under the force of matter. But I’m not satisfied with your answer. Tell me if I need to do my homework.

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Posted: 26 March 2007 04:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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1. Can an object be massive enough to ignite a subnuclear reaction (if the same type of process occurs in a neutron as when an atom splits and energy is released) before it reaches a state too massive for its age for its energy output to sustain its size?

You need to check a book on stellar astrophysics, but basically it is not the sort of nuclear reaction you are talking about.  When you talk about atoms splitting, that is nuclear fission.  Stars are powered by nuclear fusion, that is when two atoms are forced together to produce a larger atom.  (Same as the difference between an “atomic bomb” and a “hydrogen bomb”.)  In stars like the sun there is a process where hydrogen atoms fuse to form helium, releasing energy as they do.  As a star ages, its core gets hotter and as all the hydrogen fuel is burned the core contracts, gets hotter, and eventually reaches a point where heaver atoms can fuse.  The process stops with iron, if I recall.  In sun like stars, once they reach that stage they start cooling off and eventually shrink to a white dwarf.  In larger stars, the core collapses and there is a supernova.  What is left over could be a neutron star, or a black hole, depending on the initial star mass.

2. Can any amount of mass create the force needed to break apart a neutron?

3. Do neutrons release energy when they are broken as atoms do when they are split?

Neutrons, protons, electrons, etc., are not the same as atoms.  The forces holding an atom together are electromagnetic and this force gets weaker with distance.  The forces holding neutrons, protons, etc., together are the “strong force” which gets stronger with distance.  Neutrons decay on their own with a half life of about 13.4 minutes into a proton and an electron, but in a neutron star the pressure is so great that electrons are pushed onto protons giving neutrons.  Note that the terms are misleading of they result in thinking of these things as “particles” that can be put together or split apart.  They are something different.

4. Do black holes produce energy? They must because I think they emit x-rays. What is the source of this energy? I’m assuming it to be a kind of matter/energy conversion.

Black holes generate enegy from the matter falling into them.  The black hole itself doesn’t emit x-rays, these come from that infalling matter as it is accelerated to near light speed. 

Am I making enough sense to explain to me in a brief answer? I don’t want to ask a million insane questions. If I wanted to do that, I could just look them up on Google and not waste your time. I’m trying to hold a single premise that neutrons can be broken under the force of matter. But I’m not satisfied with your answer. Tell me if I need to do my homework.


Definitely you need to do the homework.  :wink:  You’re thinking of these things (neutrons) as if they were little marbles rather than quantum entities and that is leading you astray.  Good luck!

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Posted: 26 March 2007 06:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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I forgot about the fusion/fission discernment, but now you’ve got me very interested in neutron stars. Oh man, that sounds awesome.

I can’t wait to do my homework! :D

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Posted: 26 March 2007 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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[quote author=“unsmoked”]Zen master Joshu Sasaki, speaking to a crowded hall of puzzled University of Washington students replied to a questioner, “What is Zen?  Zen is to laugh!”  Everyone stared at him.  Wondering if his English was at fault, Joshu emitted a deep belly laugh to demonstrate.  This caused an erruption of spantaneous, infectious laughter.  It can be said, even from a sober, scientific observation, that clouds of atoms sometimes burst into spontaneous laughter.  Sometimes the cosmos laughs.  Like Ayn Rand, the universe is, at times, jolly.

And I’ve been told by some of the more hysterical critics of Ayn Rand that she had no sense of humor!  LOL

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Posted: 26 March 2007 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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[quote author=“SaulOhio”][quote author=“unsmoked”]Zen master Joshu Sasaki, speaking to a crowded hall of puzzled University of Washington students replied to a questioner, “What is Zen?  Zen is to laugh!”  Everyone stared at him.  Wondering if his English was at fault, Joshu emitted a deep belly laugh to demonstrate.  This caused an erruption of spantaneous, infectious laughter.  It can be said, even from a sober, scientific observation, that clouds of atoms sometimes burst into spontaneous laughter.  Sometimes the cosmos laughs.  Like Ayn Rand, the universe is, at times, jolly.

And I’ve been told by some of the more hysterical critics of Ayn Rand that she had no sense of humor!  LOL

Can’t resist a straight line: what they meant was that it humorous that she had no sense.  LOL

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Posted: 26 March 2007 05:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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Burt:

I’ve been doing some research on the haarp project.  If I am right, this apparatus emits electrons into the atmosphere, thereby changing gas, yada yada (If I am wrong, please forgive me, I’m just dabbling in new ideas.) 

Anyway, while watching a documentary on deep space travel, I heard mention of the propulsion system required to propel a craft to the speed of light.  One of the systems mentioned was some sort of hydrogen fusion, but the other alternative mentioned was “alternative proton propulsion.” Wouldn’t something along the lines of HAARP fit this bill, theoretically?  Or am I making illogical mistakes that I don’t know about?

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Posted: 28 March 2007 12:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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[quote author=“MDBeach”]Burt:

I’ve been doing some research on the haarp project.  If I am right, this apparatus emits electrons into the atmosphere, thereby changing gas, yada yada (If I am wrong, please forgive me, I’m just dabbling in new ideas.) 

Anyway, while watching a documentary on deep space travel, I heard mention of the propulsion system required to propel a craft to the speed of light.  One of the systems mentioned was some sort of hydrogen fusion, but the other alternative mentioned was “alternative proton propulsion.” Wouldn’t something along the lines of HAARP fit this bill, theoretically?  Or am I making illogical mistakes that I don’t know about?

Don’t know, have never heard of haarp.

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Posted: 28 March 2007 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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[quote author=“burt”][quote author=“MDBeach”]Burt:

I’ve been doing some research on the haarp project.  If I am right, this apparatus emits electrons into the atmosphere, thereby changing gas, yada yada (If I am wrong, please forgive me, I’m just dabbling in new ideas.) 

Anyway, while watching a documentary on deep space travel, I heard mention of the propulsion system required to propel a craft to the speed of light.  One of the systems mentioned was some sort of hydrogen fusion, but the other alternative mentioned was “alternative proton propulsion.” Wouldn’t something along the lines of HAARP fit this bill, theoretically?  Or am I making illogical mistakes that I don’t know about?

Don’t know, have never heard of haarp.

Don’t worry about it unless you’re into conspiracy theories.

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