1. Louanne Learning

    Louanne Learning Active Member

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    The Science Thread

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Louanne Learning, Aug 2, 2022.

    This thread is reserved for scientific discussion.

    Maybe it's something interesting you read, or a question you have.

    Post it here.

    Who knows? We might even come up with some inspiration for the next story.
     
    MartinM, Madman, B.E. Nugent and 2 others like this.
  2. Louanne Learning

    Louanne Learning Active Member

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    One of the biggest mysteries in the known universe is dark matter.

    Dark matter was in the news today. Scientists have discovered dark matter that is 12 billion years old.

    https://www.space.com/dark-matter-ancient-galaxy-detection

    Dark matter is a gold mine for a Sci-Fi writer. There is so much we don't know about it. How will it be harvested and used in the future?

    I would love to hear from any writers here who have figured dark matter into any of their stories.
     
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  3. Louanne Learning

    Louanne Learning Active Member

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    I was reading an article that speculated that dark matter—this invisible, untouchable substance—might be used as spacecraft fuel.

    The spacecraft collects dark matter as it goes (with magnetic fields) funnels and traps it, and then relies on matter-antimatter annihilation.

    When two dark matter particles interact, they annihilate. When annihilation occurs, it produces pure energy in a 100% efficient fashion.

    All according to E = mc2

    The result is a free, unlimited source of energy.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2019/07/03/this-is-how-mastering-dark-matter-could-take-us-to-the-stars/?sh=6930c3907da4
     
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  4. Earp

    Earp Contributor Contributor

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    The Hubble, and now the Webb, telescopes have provided us with mind-bending images.

    This week, NASA and its partners released new images of what it called a “rare” feature: the rings and spokes of the Cartwheel Galaxy, some 500 million light years from Earth in the Sculptor constellation.

    “Its appearance, much like that of the wheel of a wagon, is the result of an intense event ― a high-speed collision between a large spiral galaxy and a smaller galaxy not visible in this image,” NASA said in a news release. “Collisions of galactic proportions cause a cascade of different, smaller events between the galaxies involved; the Cartwheel is no exception.”

    AA10fzSU.jpg
     
  5. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin My get up and go must have got up and went... Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Cool part is the galaxies pass "harmlessly" through each other, distorting the large structure but leaving the individual star systems to go about their business.
     
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  6. Alcove Audio

    Alcove Audio Senior Member

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    One concept that I've been working with is that dark matter/energy/gravity are actually what we can see of alternate universes.
     
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  7. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    The endlessness of space freaks me out, but in a good, reassuring kind of way. Makes me realise nothing really matters in the grand scheme of things. When ever I’m lucky enough to be in a location with little to no light pollution, I’ll just gaze up and look far beyond the stars, into that blackness, and everything, even if only for a wonderful fleeting moment, pales into glorious insignificance.
     
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  8. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin My get up and go must have got up and went... Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Next time you're doing that, take a hammer, smash your big toe, and see if nothing really matters anymore.
     
  9. Earp

    Earp Contributor Contributor

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    I put it a little differently. You could blow this planet and everything on it to dust tomorrow morning, and, not only would the universe not care, it wouldn't even notice. I like to remind myself about that when I get all exercised about something some Senator from Missouri (or some Justices from the Supreme Court) might have said.
     
  10. Louanne Learning

    Louanne Learning Active Member

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    Dark matter as an alternate universe makes sense. It's intuitively what we imagine it to be.

    Love to hear more if you'd like to share.
     
  11. Louanne Learning

    Louanne Learning Active Member

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    You have the soul of a poet, Sir.
     
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  12. Louanne Learning

    Louanne Learning Active Member

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    But yet we evolved to care very much about what is happening in our corner of the Universe.
     
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  13. evild4ve

    evild4ve Senior Member

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    We think we did... but it may turn out we were evolving to breathe CO2 and have massive underbites so that hamburgers can bypass our teeth.
     
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  14. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Why thank you!
     
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  15. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    For us as humans, ultimately the human scale is the one that matters the most. The microscopic and the macroscopic are important to science, and also to visit briefly (like stargazing) for a quick change of perspective, but you then return to the human scale. Things that happen at a scale we can't see without some kind of 'scope' are strange and alien to us. This is why narrative (religion, history, the story of your life, the planned narrative of your future) is more important to us as individuals than science. I mean except in the ways science affects our lives, such as medicine and technology etc. Those are things that strongly affect us at the human scale.
     
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  16. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    ... and he wants it back.
     
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  17. Louanne Learning

    Louanne Learning Active Member

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    I think the science is settled, we are aerobic and chew our food.
     
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  18. Louanne Learning

    Louanne Learning Active Member

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    For after all, our immediate environment affects us more. What is close is what stimulates our behaviour. That's what we react to.
     
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  19. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    As long as you're including the immediate internal environment along with the external. ;)
     
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  20. Louanne Learning

    Louanne Learning Active Member

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    Yes, this is what we are: self-contained, self-regulating, reproducible compilations of the most complex chemistry imaginable.

    If the chemistry hums along just right (homeostasis), then good mental and physical health results.
     
  21. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    I cant agree with that, sorry. I mean yes, the bio-chemical balance of the body is vital, but so is psychology and good emotional balance.

    Also we're not self-contained. We're interdependent parts of a very social species. Unless you were referring only to the body, but even then, the body will deteriorate if the needs of the mind and heart are not met.
     
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  22. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    What would a committed materialist have to write about I wonder? (I ask because I doubt that's what you really are.) Electrons leaping across synapses in the meat calculator, and chemicals getting squirted into the bloodstream?

    I suspect when writing you operate at the human scale, not the microscopic scale of subatomic particles and the table of elements. More like emotions, motivations, desires, etc. The scale of narrative.

    In fact, come to think of it, I've seen your winning entry in the short story contest (which I really liked), and it was about humor vs philosophy, with humor winning out in the end. I'd call that a win for humanism, not materialism.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2022
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  23. evild4ve

    evild4ve Senior Member

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    What if a rock falls on us? Is it better to see that as a disruption of our internal chemistry, or as an accident?
     
  24. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin My get up and go must have got up and went... Staff Supporter Contributor

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    A structural failure.
     
  25. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Modern Dinosaur Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Precisely. The rigidity of our support frame fails under the instantaneous pressure and fractures, allowing for contusion and rupturing in the softer tissues and processing components.
     

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