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Old 05-21-2012, 10:43 PM  
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Science is Cool....

This is a repository for all cool scientific discussion and fascination. Scientific facts, theories, and overall cool scientific stuff that you'd like to share with others. Stuff that makes you smile and wonder at the amazing shit going on around us, that most people don't notice.

Post pictures, vidoes, stories, or links. Ask questions. Share science.

This is in support of the Penny 4 NASA project. If you enjoy anything you learned from this thread, consider making a donation and signing the petition.

http://www.penny4nasa.org/

Why should I care?:


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Old 07-29-2014, 12:19 PM   #1966
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That's as good an explanation as I've ever heard and I'm sure it has at least a small amount to do with it. I think, with coming in contact with more hosts, the viruses have more chances to mutate.

I just find it strange that there wasn't some super-disease that killed off Europeans. I mean, it seems like there are tons of fatal viruses coming out of Africa in places where the population density doesn't seem so high. You'd think there'd have been something from the Amazon at the very least...
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:06 PM   #1967
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Inventor Develops Synthetic "Leaf" That Produces Oxygen



Julian Melchiorri, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, claims to have developed a silk leaf that could create oxygen for space travel as well as make the air nicer here on Earth. The leaf was developed in conjunction with a silk lab from Tufts University

The leaf is created from a matrix of protein extracted from silk and chloroplasts, the organelle that allows plants and algae to perform photosynthesis. When provided with light and water, the synthetic leaf allegedly acts just like a real leaf and produces oxygen.

“It’s very light, low energy-consuming,” he explains. “It’s completely biological and my idea was to use the efficiency of nature in a man-made environment. I created some lighting out of this material, using the light to illuminate the house but at the same time to create oxygen for us.”

Malchiorri isn’t content to just think of a few small fixtures within the house as the only use for this product. His dreams for Silk Leaf are out of this world.

"NASA is researching different ways to produce oxygen for long-distance space journeys to let us live in space,” he continued. “This material could allow us to explore space much further than we can now."

In addition to meeting the breathing demands of astronauts and the first colonists of Mars and beyond, the material could be used on the facades of buildings and inside ventilation systems in order to generate fresh oxygen.

Check out this video:



All of this does sound pretty great, but does not account for photosynthesis in its entirety. Let’s take a look at the equation:

6CO2 + 6H2O + --(Sunlight Energy)--> C6H12O6 + 6O2

The Silk Leaf accounts for the input of carbon dioxide, water, and light as well as the oxygen product, but what about all the sugar? Plants don’t perform photosynthesis purely as a public service; it is done so they can create food for themselves. There isn’t an explanation as to what happens to the carbon and hydrogen that the leaf takes in. Silk Leaf lacks the vacuoles, stems, and roots that store food in plants.

The video also claims that plants don’t grow in space, which isn’t true. There have been concerns in the past that roots require gravity in order to develop properly, but experiments from the ISS have shown that plants can grow in space. However, it would take a considerable amount of soil, water, and plants to generate enough oxygen for astronauts or a, so a lightweight alternative like Silk Leaf would be beneficial in that regard.
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:25 PM   #1968
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:54 AM   #1969
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Scientist Invents Ice Cream That Changes Color As You Lick It



Your childhood dreams of being Charlie Bucket are coming one step closer to reality thanks to physicist turned Willy Wonka, Manuel Linares, who has invented an ice cream that changes color as you lick it.

Linares developed a passion for ice cream and pursued a “Masters Diploma in Creating Artisan Ice Cream,” (seriously? That exists? No one told us…). Marrying gelato ardor with his scientific background, Linares set out to develop an ice cream that changes color when exposed to temperature changes and varying acidities found in the human mouth. The result is Xamaleón, a tutti-frutti tasting bonanza.

Linares is obviously keeping his cards very close to his chest as his formula is patent-pending. However, he says that the color-change is merely chemistry: “Any food can change color depending on temperature and oxidation,” Sploid reports.

Some have speculated that the color changing ability might be due to the varieties of fruit used in the ice cream, alongside a spritz that Linares has dubbed a “love elixir” which is squirted onto the dessert before you eat it. The ice cream is blue in the tub, but becomes pink and eventually purple as it is licked. Feast your eyes on this:



He does not intend his chameleon adventure to end here, though. He’s already in the process of developing an ice cream that reacts to UV lights in nightclubs, and a saucy version called Xamán which will be made with medicinal plants that supposedly induce an aphrodisiac effect. We hope he is recruiting taste testers.
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:24 PM   #1970
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Hey Mr. Neil Degrasse Tyson - maybe we can start dreaming again...


EmDrive Is an Engine That Breaks the Laws of Physics and Could Take Us to Mars


An experimental engine is gaining acceptance among scientists, and could introduce a new era of space travel — it only had to break a law of physics to do so.

The picture, below, is of the EmDrive. It uses electricity to generate microwaves, which then bounce around in a closed space and generate thrust. The drive does not need propellant, an important part of current space-travel mechanics.




The force generated by the drive is not particularly strong, but the implications are big. Multiple independent experiments have now replicated the drive's ability to generate thrust, albeit with varying success. Using panels to convert solar energy into electricity and then into thrust, opens the door to perpetual space travel fueled by the stars.

Scientists were slow to warm up to the EmDrive since it violates the law of the conservation of momentum. In addition to not being sure why it works — current theories rely on quantum mechanics — scientists also have some pretty good ideas why it shouldn't work.

The law of the conservation of momentum is pretty important. It says that you can't create or destroy momentum. The momentum of two objects that collide is equal before and after the impact. Space travel relies on this principle. A typical rocket engine or thruster uses propellant that it blasts out to create an opposing force. Think of a fireman with a giant firehose. Turn it on, and it pushes back against you.

The Emdrive appears to have found a loophole. It is, in some sense, creating an unbalanced equation of momentum.

The engine's inventor, Roger Shawyer, and his company, SPR Ltd., have been working on this for more than a decade with little fanfare. Shawyer's science had been roundly criticized, although no one seemed to be able to prove that it didn't work.

Slowly, the scientific community has come around. Last year, Chinese scientists replicated it. Now, NASA has done it, too, with the help of U.S. scientist Guido Fetta, who has built his own thruster similar to the Emdrive. A new paper on an eight-day test completed in August 2013 describes the dynamic as "a force that is not attributable to any classical electromagnetic phenomenon, and therefore is potentially demonstrating an interaction with the quantum vacuum virtual plasma." More tests are planned.

Potential applications of the technology vary, from replacing propellant thrusters on satellites, thereby reducing the cost and difficulty of operating, to providing sustainable thrust on deep space missions, resulting in a trip to Mars taking just "weeks rather than months," according to Wired.
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:58 PM   #1971
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Originally Posted by mikey23545 View Post
EmDrive Is an Engine That Breaks the Laws of Physics and Could Take Us to Mars
Fraud or Instrumentation Error.
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:04 PM   #1972
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby Lee View Post
Fraud or Instrumentation Error.

Reading comprehension fail:

Last year, Chinese scientists replicated it. Now, NASA has done it, too, with the help of U.S. scientist Guido Fetta, who has built his own thruster similar to the Emdrive.


I realize you're just a friggin' lawyer, but...
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:13 PM   #1973
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Originally Posted by mikey23545 View Post
Hey Mr. Neil Degrasse Tyson - maybe we can start dreaming again...
Being it sounds like so far best case has been enough to do minor corrections for a satellite already in orbit. Not exactly useful for space travel. Still neat and all.
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:19 PM   #1974
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Originally Posted by morphius View Post
Being it sounds like so far best case has been enough to do minor corrections for a satellite already in orbit. Not exactly useful for space travel. Still neat and all.
Are you ****ers reading the article at all?


"Potential applications of the technology vary, from replacing propellant thrusters on satellites, thereby reducing the cost and difficulty of operating, to providing sustainable thrust on deep space missions, resulting in a trip to Mars taking just "weeks rather than months," according to Wired."
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:22 PM   #1975
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Hell, I even highlighted the parts you and ambulance chaser are barking about and it didn't help...
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:30 PM   #1976
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Originally Posted by mikey23545 View Post
Hell, I even highlighted the parts you and ambulance chaser are barking about and it didn't help...
I read the article on wired, and while the possiblity might be there, the reality is the thrust is weak:
Quote:
Chinese team built its own EmDrive and confirmed that it produced 720 mN (about 72 grams) of thrust, enough for a practical satellite thruster
And the US result was much less powerful:
Quote:
less than a thousandth of the Chinese results, but emphatically a positive result
So I have no idea where they are getting the speed from the test that the quote suggests.

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/...le-space-drive
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:11 PM   #1977
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This has been discussed before. NO laws of physics have been violated. Light has momentum and heat or radio waves are part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The remarkable part is that the microwave's momentum has been directed by the waveform extracting work from the part of the spectrum that we associate with heat and therefore is usually has a high Entropy and therefore is hard to extract work. But for example in weather the earth's spin provides initial preferences that then help organize weather patterns from heat in the atmosphere.
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:54 PM   #1978
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morphius View Post
I read the article on wired, and while the possiblity might be there, the reality is the thrust is weak:


And the US result was much less powerful:


So I have no idea where they are getting the speed from the test that the quote suggests.

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/...le-space-drive
They are testing the drive in a laboratory setting at very low power levels. If I'm not mistaken, the NASA test was using 17 watts of power...Your damn laptop uses 3 or 4 times that much power.

This may surprise the shit out of you, but you don't seem to be very familiar with laboratory testing...

Edit: I cnnot locate the article that gave 17 watts as the input power for the NASA TEST, so I may have to hold off on that statement, but the fact still remains that there is no reason to believe the thrust cannot be scaled up. Also, non-scientists don't grasp the idea that in space a relatively small amount of thrust applied for long periods of time can add up to fantastic velocities.

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Old 08-05-2014, 09:38 PM   #1979
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikey23545 View Post
They are testing the drive in a laboratory setting at very low power levels. If I'm not mistaken, the NASA test was using 17 watts of power...Your damn laptop uses 3 or 4 times that much power.

This may surprise the shit out of you, but you don't seem to be very familiar with laboratory testing...

Edit: I cnnot locate the article that gave 17 watts as the input power for the NASA TEST, so I may have to hold off on that statement, but the fact still remains that there is no reason to believe the thrust cannot be scaled up. Also, non-scientists don't grasp the idea that in space a relatively small amount of thrust applied for long periods of time can add up to fantastic velocities.

So this got me thinking about the ability of constant thrust in space. so I started reading a little bit and found this page http://space.stackexchange.com/quest...-get-you-there

You would reach the edge of lightspeed in just under a year and travel 1/2 a light year in just under one year. You would travel 200000 kilometers in the first 2 hours. quite interesting, at a constant acceleration of 1/2 g or 4.9 m/s we could easily travel about our solar system.
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:44 PM   #1980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikey23545 View Post
They are testing the drive in a laboratory setting at very low power levels. If I'm not mistaken, the NASA test was using 17 watts of power...Your damn laptop uses 3 or 4 times that much power.

This may surprise the shit out of you, but you don't seem to be very familiar with laboratory testing...

Edit: I cnnot locate the article that gave 17 watts as the input power for the NASA TEST, so I may have to hold off on that statement, but the fact still remains that there is no reason to believe the thrust cannot be scaled up. Also, non-scientists don't grasp the idea that in space a relatively small amount of thrust applied for long periods of time can add up to fantastic velocities.
Like I said, it is still neat and all, but I'm just not jumping up and down with excitement. Not that I won't pay attention to it. Sadly you still have to cary fuel, because solar only gets you so far. But I love that they are still looking.

Without know how much energy they put it that at 70 grams of thrust it is going to take a while to get up to a decent speed.
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