Author Topic: Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.  (Read 428 times)

stoneaxe

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« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 07:51:21 AM by stoneaxe »
Bob

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PonoBill

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Re: Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 10:32:38 AM »
Very interesting. Great resources too.

Even with the huge number of telescopes painting the sky, it's likely objects less than 100km across won't be seen until they are very close. Mathematical Field of view for most telescopes is less than a degree, and useful field of view is a tiny percentage of that. Incoming stuff is off the ecliptic which means the entire volume of space in the solar system needs to be scanned. Things need to be very bright and fast moving to show up, even though the star field pretty deeply mapped. I think people hunting for supernovas (there are a lot of them) are likely to spot big objects, but smaller ones won't make it past the software. It's surprising how well the immense volume is actually covered, and a lot of the work is done by amateurs, though calling people who probably own a meter+ robotic telescope with all the modern CCD detection and analysis hardware "amateurs" seems to be underselling the effort. Unpaid is more like it.

I just finished reading "The Edge Of Physics". Really good book. If you still have access to my Kindle library you should try it, if you don't, we should fix that. There are about 900 books on my kindle now with the usual mix of science and math, history, good fiction, and total crap that I generally accumulate. The book is a slow start, but great stuff. It got me searching for all the projects underway in cosmology, CBR (cosmic background radiation), and particle physics. There are a staggering number of experiments underway--a literal explosion of extreme physics experiments. Just the number of experiments looking to map the anisotropic structure of Cosmic Background Radiation is huge. It's strange, but theoretical physics is at a bit of a standstill, a victim of its own semi-success. Detecting only the single Higgs Boson (so far) predicted by the standard model has dampened Supersymmetry, which predicts five or more flavors. I think that single outcome has pushed a lot of capable minds toward experiment rather than theory. If nothing else, the theorists seem to be waiting for more data, which may never come since it is so hard and expensive to get. The easy stuff is done.
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stoneaxe

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Re: Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2018, 07:11:36 PM »
I think most of these things are discovered by amateurs.

I check spaceweather once a week to see if anything interesting is supposed to be happening. Saw the links to minor planet center there. Very cool stuff.....I love how in 24 hours they know so much about it. lots of expensive gear and processing aimed at the sky..... :)

Never did find that Kindle again....I'll buy another Paperwhite and link it or maybe get a decent tablet and setup the Amazon account to your's . I've just been using my phone as Kindle. Just bought the Arthur trilogy.....not liking it as much as the Saxon tales yet. I'd get lost in your physics books.... ;)
Bob

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PonoBill

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Re: Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2018, 07:41:04 PM »
You wouldn't get lost, most of the science I read is meant for a general audience. The only tough thing I do is read Feynman's Lectures in Physics every five or ten years. Takes me more than a year and blows my belief in my math skills all to bits.
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addapost

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Re: Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2018, 06:45:26 AM »
The only tough thing I do is read Feynman's Lectures in Physics every five or ten years. Takes me more than a year and blows my belief in my math skills all to bits.

Oh god, don't beat yourself up for not keeping up with Feynman in math. lol You could be in the top 1% and still not even be close. Thanks for the recommended reads, I'm going to get "The Edge of Physics" today.
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PonoBill

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Re: Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2018, 09:52:40 AM »
"Lectures in Physics" was theoretically created for freshmen who were not necessarily aiming to be physicists. It isn't just the math that makes it so hard for me, the concepts always seem untethered. I always feel like I am missing something.
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