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Thread: The FORT science outreach project

  1. #31
    Can They Do It?? mrdobolina's Avatar
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    FoRT people are sooo cool!!

    I love this stuff! I haven't read this whole thread yet, but I am so looking forward to it.

    My roommate in college took a Quantum theory class one semester. I remember him coming home one day and literally blowing our minds with some statement such as "time doesn't exist" and then he went into a huge explanation....it was so mind bending.

    Thanks for asking the questions, Amanda....and for your answers AG!
    "You don't own a TV?!? What's all your furniture pointed at?" Joey Tribianni

    It's not who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you.

  2. #32
    Can They Do It?? mrdobolina's Avatar
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    May I give my theory on how to make time travel possible?? And please AG, feel free to bust this wide open.

    I have always thought there was a way to at least see back in time. Not necessarily GO back in time, but to see back in time. My idea was a ship that could travel faster than light(yeah, I know, not really possible) such as the Enterprise. You would fly that ship to a particular point in space, focus a very high tech telescope on where you wanted to see, and then fly the ship in such a manner as to always keep that event/place/whatever in focus. So, lets say I want to witness JFK's assasination....I would fly my ship to the exact point in space where all of the light that was reflected from Dealey Plaza in November of 1963 was right then. Focus that light into my telescope, input the earth's rotation, the distance, all of that crazy data into my flight computer, and the ship would fly me in a path that would keep that light focused so I could see what was going on.

    Hey, its the next best thing to being there, right?
    "You don't own a TV?!? What's all your furniture pointed at?" Joey Tribianni

    It's not who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you.

  3. #33
    FORT scientist astrogirl_2100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedbump
    Astro-

    You made my golf outing fun today. I brought up this subject and while everyone was discussing it, I was able to kick my ball into the fairway

    Seriously, the balloon example is a great way to imagine what is happening. I'm just having a hard time imagining what existed before the BB. I know you said there was nothing, but in my mind, something had to have existed.
    I'm with you. if there is no space, what does things exist in? It makes no sense. Fortunately, we can still find equations to describe things that we cannot imagine. Some physicists work on these things, but not me. I prefer working with the universe we are actually in and the things in it.

  4. #34
    FORT scientist astrogirl_2100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cali
    OK, talking about wormholes...

    From what I understand about black holes, all they are is really condensed matter, so condensed that a thimble full has more gravitational force than something like a 1,000 suns. So how does that form a worm hole?

    ***I can't really type that as mine, as it would require me understanding something about black holes to begin with.... yeah.... that's from my son ***
    Well, then this reply is also for your son Okay, first of all, a black hole has no specific size. It can have any mass. Some black holes (not proven to exist) are call primordial black holes, and they are the size of a a proton (protons exist in the center of atoms, along with neotrons, i.e. they are very small). Other black holes, called supermassive black holes have amillion to a billion solar masses. Those exists in the centres of galaxies. We can observe them, because of what they do to their surroundings. Then there are stellar mass black holes which have approximately the same mass as a star. It doesn't matter what size the black hole is, because they all behave the same way. The mass of the hole is just a scale.

    Okay, so what is a black hole then? Well, it is an area in space (the simplest black holes are spherical, so imagine a ball sitting somewhere in space). Inside the black hole (ball) nothing can escape, not even light which is the thing that can travel fastest. You can never go into a black hole and come out again. We can never observe what is inside a black hole. However, our equations tell us that when you get inside a black hole the direction of time points to the middle of the black hole. That means that once you are inside a black hole, the middle is in your future, and you must go there. The middle of a black hole is called a singularity.

    A wormhole is also a black hole, but we look at it with different equations. Take a piece of paper and draw a circle on both ends of it. Then fold the paper so the circles touch. You can go to one end of the paper and the circle looks exactly like a black hole, and bhaves in the same way. And then you go to the other end of the paper, and that circle also looks like a black hole and acts the same way. But if you go to one circle and step inside it, you fins outself inside the other circle also, and can step out on eihter side of the paper. That's how a wormhole works.

    You can never create wormholes that you can walk through if you don't put some special matter inside it. The two black holes will collapse form singularities in the middle, and be just like normal black holes. But if you can put some special matter inside the black hole that stops the collapse to a singularity (i.e. fixes the arrow to time, so the singularity is not in your future, and you don't have to go there) you can have a bridge between two ends of the universe.

    This is not something that we can actually do, i.e. form two black holes in different places and make sure they touch, but it is theoretically possible, and that's usually enough for science fiction

  5. #35
    FORT scientist astrogirl_2100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrdobolina
    May I give my theory on how to make time travel possible?? And please AG, feel free to bust this wide open.

    I have always thought there was a way to at least see back in time. Not necessarily GO back in time, but to see back in time. My idea was a ship that could travel faster than light(yeah, I know, not really possible) such as the Enterprise. You would fly that ship to a particular point in space, focus a very high tech telescope on where you wanted to see, and then fly the ship in such a manner as to always keep that event/place/whatever in focus. So, lets say I want to witness JFK's assasination....I would fly my ship to the exact point in space where all of the light that was reflected from Dealey Plaza in November of 1963 was right then. Focus that light into my telescope, input the earth's rotation, the distance, all of that crazy data into my flight computer, and the ship would fly me in a path that would keep that light focused so I could see what was going on.

    Hey, its the next best thing to being there, right?
    Except the part where you fly faster than the speed of light, you are right. Signals like TV signals pass through the atmosphere and into space. So if you could instantly go out some distance from the Earth, you could watch old TV shows. If you go there through a wormhole instead of a faster than light ship (which is not theoretically possible) you're in business.

    I'm afraid we do not have telescopes that are so great that we can observe details like JFK's assasination from a distance of 40 light years. As you know, a sattellite in orbit can observe such details as a license plate, but orbit is normally about 100 to 22000 miles (160-36000 km)in the air (see exact numbers http://www.inetdaemon.com/tutorials/...te/orbits.html) which is an extremely small distance compared to the distance you are talking about. A light year is
    5.87849981 × 10^12, i.e. approximately a 6 followed by 12 zeroes. A light year is 9.4605284 × 10^12 kilometers. Also, I'm not sure that there are anough photons from the even that far out. Each event send out only a limited number of photons (light particles), and even though they are many, if they spread through space in a sphere there might not be any at the end of your wormhole, even though you are looking. Ofcourse, the atmosphere would absorb most of them. But as I say, TV signals travel through the atmosphere, so you could watch TV.

    Actually, I think it's better to create a wormhole now. Then people at the other end would always be able to look through the wormhole and see this moment. But since there are no wormholes in the past, we cannot look at the past that way. Sorry.

  6. #36
    FORT scientist astrogirl_2100's Avatar
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    Last night I had this picture in my head how you guys look after you read this thread. I don't know if you've all seen "Finding Nemo", but if you have, there is this scene where Nemo's dad has left Dori, and she swims around in circles saying "oooo oooo" because she doesn't remember anything. That's the image that comes to mind

  7. #37
    Can They Do It?? mrdobolina's Avatar
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    Damn! Well, there goes my plan to someday witness my own birth!

    Yeah, I'm no quantum physicist, that was just my rough idea of how to witness past events....collect the light reflected from the event, whereever it is.
    "You don't own a TV?!? What's all your furniture pointed at?" Joey Tribianni

    It's not who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you.

  8. #38
    FORT scientist astrogirl_2100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrdobolina
    Damn! Well, there goes my plan to someday witness my own birth!

    Yeah, I'm no quantum physicist, that was just my rough idea of how to witness past events....collect the light reflected from the event, whereever it is.
    It isn't a bad idea at all, you do have a good grasp of the physics involved (except the faster than light ship, but replace that with a wormhole and it's all good), but again I don't think it is possible.

  9. #39
    FORT Fogey joeguy's Avatar
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    I Recommend a book : "In search of the big bang " by John gibbons he lays it out pretty good in lay-mans terms plus he did a great job with quantum physics with his book :"In search of schrodenger's cat"

  10. #40
    FORT scientist astrogirl_2100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeguy
    I Recommend a book : "In search of the big bang " by John gibbons he lays it out pretty good in lay-mans terms plus he did a great job with quantum physics with his book :"In search of schrodenger's cat"
    I second that (but his name is John Gribbin). Those books are very good books for the layman. I've always been an astro-buff, but until I read "In search of the Big Bang" I didn't know it was something you could actually do for a living. I immidiately decided it was what I wanted to do, and here I am

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