The Chinese Should Think Before Wiping Us Out As Sometimes They Need Us To Solve Their Problems For Them
Okay you knuckledragging ChiComs trying to take us down…here’s a history lesson for you.
For millennia, you had to suffer from this:
Yep. Steppe Nomads. They laid waste to your country, burned, raped and pillaged (but not in that order–they’re smarter than you are) for century after century.
You know who figured out how to take them on and win? The Russians.
Not you, the Russians. And it took them less than two centuries. And Oh By The Way they were among the most backward cultures in Europe at the time.
You couldn’t invent an alphabet, you couldn’t take care of barbarians on horseback, and you think you can take this board down?
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! We’re laughing at you, you knuckledragging dehumanized communists…worshipers of a mass-murderer who killed sixty million people!
I mean, you still think Communism is a good idea even after having lived through it!
By my reckoning that makes you orders of magnitude more stupid than AOC, and that takes serious effort.
Joe Biteme, properly styled His Fraudulency, continues to infest the White House, and hopium is still being dispensed even as our military appears to have joined the political establishment in knuckling under to the fraud.
One can hope that all is not as it seems.
I’d love to feast on that crow.
A detailed analysis of the contents of His Fraudulency’s skull was performed.
Absolutely no chemicals found!
Justice Must Be Done.
The prior election must be acknowledged as fraudulent, and steps must be taken to prosecute the fraudsters and restore integrity to the system.
Nothing else matters at this point. Talking about trying again in 2022 or 2024 is hopeless otherwise. Which is not to say one must never talk about this, but rather that one must account for this in ones planning; if fixing the fraud is not part of the plan, you have no plan.
Many times conservatives (real and fake) speak of “small government” being the goal.
This sounds good, and mostly is good, but it misses the essential point. The important thing here isn’t the size, but rather the purpose, of government. We could have a cheap, small tyranny. After all our government spends most of its revenue on payments to individuals and foreign aid, neither of which is part of the tyrannical apparatus trying to keep us locked down and censored. What parts of the government would be necessary for a tyranny? It’d be a lot smaller than what we have now. We could shrink the government and nevertheless find it more tyrannical than it is today.
No, what we want is a limited government, limited not in size, but rather in scope. Limited, that is, in what it’s allowed to do. Under current circumstances, such a government would also be much smaller, but that’s a side effect. If we were in a World War II sort of war, an existential fight against nasty dictatorships on the brink of world conquest, that would be very expensive and would require a gargantuan government, but that would be what the government should be doing. That would be a large, but still limited government, since it’d be working to protect our rights.
World War II would have been the wrong time to squawk about “small government,” but it wasn’t (and never is) a bad time to demand limited government. Today would be a better time to ask for a small government–at least the job it should be doing is small today–but it misses the essential point; we want government to not do certain things. Many of those things we don’t want it doing are expensive but many of them are quite eminently doable by a smaller government than the one we have today. Small, but still exceeding proper limits.
So be careful what you ask for. You might get it and find you asked for the wrong thing.
Political Science In Summation
It’s really just a matter of people who can’t be happy unless they control others…versus those who want to be left alone. The oldest conflict within mankind. Government is necessary, but government attracts the assholes (a highly technical term for the control freaks).
James Webb Space Telescope Update
None of the 19 boxes I showed last time have been checked, yet, but NASA has published another blog entry about what they plan to do with JWST once it is ready to do science, this time focusing on our own solar system.
The article makes the point that we haven’t sent a spacecraft to Uranus and Neptune since 1986 and 1989, respectively, and that was Voyager 2 (which, by the way, is still alive and kicking, and 129.9 AUs away from the Sun, the second furthest we’ve ever sent a probe [you are a mere 1 AU from the Sun]).
We’ve even managed to put orbiters around Jupiter (two of them), and Saturn (one) and even landed on a moon of Saturn, but we’ve not been back to the two ice giants. So we need to watch them from here. Hubble has taken pictures of Uranus and Neptune, and JWST will, also.
[As an aside, I still remember New Horizons’ 2015 flyby of Pluto. In my lifetime Pluto went from being a dot (marked with an arrow) among an array of other dots (which are stars) in a photograph, to being a world we had some very detailed images of, and almost all of that progression was in one week. (Hubble had gotten very blurry images in 2002-03.) Suddenly I was able to buy a six inch globe of Pluto, something flat-out (pun intended) undoable mere months earlier.
[If we can launch New Horizons, we can launch more probes to Uranus and Neptune, though they might not be orbiters. New Horizons was launched at solar escape velocity directly from Earth. (Its speed immediately after launch, relative to Earth, was over 36,000 miles per hour, a record that still stands, though other spacecraft like the Helios sun probe have gone much faster well after launch.) It didn’t need a gravity assist “slingshot” like the Voyager probes needed to get to Saturn and beyond, though we did use one off Jupiter to shorten the voyage by a few years. New Horizons was a very lightweight (884 lbs) probe compared to the Voyagers (1820 lbs), and that’s what made the difference–a lighter probe can be pushed to a higher velocity by the same rocket.]
Lawyer Appeasement Section
OK now for the fine print.
This is the WQTH Daily Thread. You know the drill. There’s no Poltical correctness, but civility is a requirement. There are Important Guidelines, here, with an addendum on 20191110.
We have a new board – called The U Tree – where people can take each other to the woodshed without fear of censorship or moderation.
And remember Wheatie’s Rules:
1. No food fights
2. No running with scissors.
3. If you bring snacks, bring enough for everyone.
4. Zeroth rule of gun safety: Don’t let the government get your guns.
5. Rule one of gun safety: The gun is always loaded.
5a. If you actually want the gun to be loaded, like because you’re checking out a bump in the night, then it’s empty.
6. Rule two of gun safety: Never point the gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.
7. Rule three: Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
8. Rule the fourth: Be sure of your target and what is behind it.
(Hmm a few extras seem to have crept in.)
(Paper) Spot Prices
This week, 3PM Mountain Time, markets have closed for the weekend.
We’re seeing some recovery of gold, silver and platinum, but well below the levels that were starting to look normal before the Fed raised the rate.
Greatest Physicists and Greatest Scientists
Physics World (a British journal) did a poll back in 1999, presumably only quizzing actual physicists. They were asked to name the greatest physicists of all time. Here’s what they got:
- Albert Einstein
- Isaac Newton
- James Clerk Maxwell
- Niels Bohr
- Werner Heisenberg
- Galileo Galilei
- Richard Feynman
- Paul Dirac
- Erwin Schrödinger
- Ernest Rutherford
All of these have gotten mention here; I probably didn’t spend enough time on Heisenberg. (Or maybe I did. Can’t be sure.) I’m a little surprised to not see Michael Faraday on the list. It’s heavily tilted towards post-1894 people, which shouldn’t be too surprising; physicists’ heads are the quantum world constantly, and Einstein, Heisenberg, Dirac, Schrödinger, and Feynman had a lot to do with shaping that world, and Bohr and Rutherford investigated the atomic nucleus (which also depends on quantum concepts). That just leaves Newton, Maxwell, and Galilei (almost always referred to by his first name) as representing classical (“old”) physics.
There’s also a site named famousphysicists.org and they list twenty names:
- Albert Einstein (for Advancing the Theory of Relativity)
- Neils Bohr (for Contributions to quantym theory, nuclear reactions and nuclear fission
- Stephen Hawking (for Explaining black holes and advances on the General Theory of Relativity and quantum mechanics
- Isaac Newton (for explaining the theories of gravity and mechanics)
- Nikola Tesla (for creating the first alternating current system)
- Galileo Galilei (for providing a mathematical analysis of the relationship between astronomy and physics)
- Marie Curie (for discovering radioactive nature of thorium and the discovery of polonium and radium)
- (Lord) Kelvin (for advancement of the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics; developing absolute thermometric scale
- Robert Hooke (for explaining Hooke’s Law of elasticity)
- Richard Feyman (for work on path integral formulation on quantum mechanics, particle physics, theory of quantum electrodynamics, and superfluidity)
- Michael Faraday (for discovering electromagnetic induction and for coming up with the idea for the first electrical transformer)
- Ernest Rutherford (for supporting the theory on the existence of an atomic nucleus)
- Marconi (for work on wireless telegraphy)
- Max Planck (for formulation of quantum theory)
- Allesandro Volta (for inventing the first electric battery)
- J. J. Thomson (for showing the existence of the electron)
- Erwin Schrodinger (for extensive advancements of quantum mechanics and the Schroedinger equation)
- James Clerk Maxwell (for work on the theory of electromagnetism and the kinetic theory of gases)
- Werner Heisenberg (for work on quantum mechanics and the uncertainty principle
- James Chadwick (for discovery of the neutron).
The only ones I missed completely during the physics series were Hooke (and I’ve noted I shouldn’t have skipped that particular topic, especially when later stuff turned out to depend on it somewhat), Marconi. and Tesla. Though Tesla, I noted, did have a unit of measurement named after him.
Discover Magazine came up with their own list of scientists (not specifically physicists) here: The 10 Greatest Scientists of All Time | Discover Magazine (Warning, this is one of those sites that gives a very limited number of free reads to non-subscribers…sort of a demi-paywall.) Their selection criteria seem just a bit…odd.
- Albert Einstein
- Marie Curie
- Isaac Newton
- Charles Darwin
- Nikola Tesla
- Galileo Galilei
- Ada Lovelace
- Carl Linnaeus
- Rosalind Franklin.
I definitely haven’t mentioned all of these, many are biologists and one is a geologist, and I haven’t talked about those fields (which are more closely tied to each other than many might imagine). Charles Darwin is famous enough, clearly (though many suffer from misconceptions as to what his theory addressed–it says nothing about the origin of life) and he definitely deserves a spot in the top ten. Ada Lovelace was in fact the first programmer, but the man who designed the machine she programmed is absent. Carl Linnaeus came up with a classification scheme for living things close to what we use today and is definitely a biologist of the first rank. Pythagoras is famous for his theorem about right triangles, and Franklin was part of the DNA sequencing team, denied her rightful share of the credit. All on this list are worthy of mention, but only a few of them should be in a Top Ten Scientists list. I suspect some PC or even wokester influence in the cases of Lovelace and Franklin. If Franklin should be on this list, so should her two teammates Watson and Crick. It could be worse, though; at least no one on this list was totally useless.
Readers of Discover Magazine sent in some other suggestions, including Isaac Asimov, Richard Feynman, Robert FitzRoy, Lucretius, Katherine McCormick, John Muir, Rolf O. Peterson, and Marie Tharp. Frankly the only one of these in the absolute top drawer is Feynman, though all of the others did worthwhile things. Asimov was a very good explainer of science (more so than me!). Marie Tharp discovered the mid-ocean terrain that was an important piece of the evidence for plate tectonics (without which, geology makes no sense). FitzRoy was the captain of the HMS Beagle (the ship on which Darwin voyaged) and made contributions to meteorology; Peterson has been running a predator/prey study on Isle Royale for decades.
T5 The Kinetic Theory of Gases or Why The Earth Leaks Hydrogen
The second list above contains the name “(Lord) Kelvin” and explains that he’s famous for his work on the kinetic theory of gases. The original article says a bit more, crediting him with enunciating the first two laws of thermodynamics. Which, for review, are:
- If you put energy into (or take it out of) a system, the energy remaining in the system changes by that much. This is essentially the conservation of energy.
- In a natural thermodynamic process, the sum of all entropies of the interacting items never decreases. As it turns out, this is equivalent to saying that heat never passes from a colder body to a warmer body.
Even in your refrigerator, the heat inside the refrigerator goes into the refrigerant; it’s piped away and compressed (to warm it up), the heat leaves the hot refrigerant, which is allowed to expand and cool…and sent back into the refrigerator. Energy–work–is used to alter the temperature of the refrigerant by mechanical means so it can suck heat out of the refrigerator then dump it outside the refrigerator; that work itself creates more heat.
But what’s really behind all of this? We’ve talked about heat, we’ve established that it’s a form of energy, but why does it always flow hot to cold? And what is it, really?
The kinetic theory of gases goes all the way back to Lucretius, who suggested that all objects consisted of a large number of moving particles, but Aristotelian theory was more widely accepted. In the 1700s some scientists revived the theory, but it ran into difficulty because it required perfectly elastic collisions. I’d better explain what that means, because it’s probably counter-intuitive. When you hear “elastic” you’re probably thinking of bouncing a rubber ball, which after all, is an elastic material, but to a physicist an elastic collision is one where the bodies do not deform and do not lose their kinetic energy in any way–whereas with rubber objects some of the energy goes into compressing and bending the rubber. Billiard balls are close to elastic in this sense.
William Thomson (1824-1907) was a key figure to elaborating and getting the kinetic theory of gases accepted. He was actually a very important figure in physics, and you may recall he had things to say with regard to the (then) mystery of where the Sun (and other stars) gets its energy. He was first knighted by Queen Victoria in 1866, becoming Sir William Thomson, then eventually ennobled and made Lord Kelvin in 1892, the first scientist to be elevated to the House of Lords. And he is more commonly known as Lord Kelvin today, and so the metric unit of temperature is named the kelvin, not the thomson.
In 1847 Thomson attended a conference at which James Prescott Joule argued against the then-dominant caloric theory of heat, which stated that heat was a fluid, named “caloric,” that repelled itself and thus would tend to flow to where it wasn’t (i.e., to colder objects). Joule was having little success, but Thomson became intrigued and eventually during the mid 1850s the two collaborated, mostly by mail, with Joule doing the experimental work and Thomson suggesting new experiments and working on the theory.
And they ended up arguing convincingly for the kinetic theory of gases.
This theory models a gas as a collection of very small particles, identical particles if the gas is pure, which are spaced much further apart than the diameter of the particles. And they’re all bouncing around, smacking into each other and their surroundings, sort of like in the GIF below (ignore the different colors for now).
It’s like the world’s biggest game of billiards–perfectly elastic. And it’s in three D, and there’s no friction at all. Air resistance? This is what the air is made of, how can these spheres be encountering air resistance? In other words, the space between these little particles (atoms or molecules) of gas is a vacuum.
If you watch that GIF for a while, you’ll see that some of the particles move quickly, some move slowly, and a particle’s speed can change. Part of the loop, just for instance, shows a red particle in the lower left that is nearly stationary until it gets smacked by another particle.
Just looking at that, there’s a fair amount of kinetic energy in all these particles. But it’s more than just the particles flying all over the place and smacking each other; the particles can vibrate and rotate as well, and all of this is kinetic energy in different guises.
It turns out the temperature of the gas is directly related to the average kinetic energy of the particles.
If you have, say, about six hundred sextillion particles of gas, you have a mole of the gas, in other words, if it’s hydrogen molecules, H2 (molecular weight 2), it’s two grams of hydrogen, and so on; physicists and chemists like to work in moles because if two samples of two different things are of the same number of moles, they have the same number of molecules in them.
So if temperature is directly tied to the average kinetic energy of the particles, in other words energy per particle, then you can get to total energy by multiplying by the number of particles, and every mole has the same number of particles in it. So they like to write this law out in energy per mole.
So the kinetic energy in one mole of a gas is equal to a constant, R, times the temperature in kelvins, so Ek = 3/2 RT. And if you have n moles of the gas, it becomes Ek = 3/2 nRT.
R = 8.31446261815324 J/(K mol)
But scientists then like to divide this energy per mole, by the number of particles in a mole, to get the average kinetic energy of each molecule in the gas, and when they do that the constant becomes:
k = 1.380649×10−23 J/K
And k is known as the Boltzmann constant.
So the average kinetic energy of a molecule in a sample of gas is simply this number, times the temperature of the gas, times 3/2.
Kinetic energy in general is Ek = 1/2 mv2, i.e, one half the mass of the object, times the square of its velocity.
So we have the average kinetic energy of a molecule of the gas expressed in two different ways, one the traditional formula for kinetic energy, the other in terms of temperature. So we can set these two things equal to each other, like this:
Ek = 1/2 mv2 = 3/2kT
If you do a bit of algebra, you can get the average velocity of a molecule of gas, at some temperature–skipping past energy.
vaverage = sqrt( 3kT / m )
Notice…now that we’ve done it this way, it becomes clear that the lighter the molecule, the faster it must move at a given temperature (on average). A molecule of oxygen is sixteen times heavier than one of hydrogen; so at some temperature, the average hydrogen molecule must move four times as fast as the average oxygen molecule.
Those are averages. Can we say anything about the individual molecules? Well, there is a distribution known as Maxwell’s Distribution (named after the same James Clerk Maxwell who worked on electromagnetism; he also did work on this topic). With it you can determine, given an average kinetic energy (or velocity), what percentage of molecules are moving faster than some given velocity, or how many are moving slower. So perhaps the average molecule is moving at 100 meters per second, but you want to know what fraction of them are moving at more than 120 meters per second. The Maxwell Distribution will tell you. (It’s an ugly mess of a formula with derivatives in it…so I’ll spare you.)
This has a practical consequence, and explains something we take for granted.
You can imagine, perhaps, a temperature at which oxygen molecules (on average) travel slower than a planet’s escape velocity, so they tend to stick around, and hydrogen molecules, moving four times as fast, exceed the planet’s escape velocity and will escape the planet. Of course there are a couple of caveats. If the hydrogen is down close to the surface, it’s likely to bump into another molecule and perhaps lose its energy; it will certainly be deflected before it zooms off into outer space. So this applies to the upper reaches of the atmosphere, where the hydrogen has a straight shot to interplanetary space.
Also, the temperature doesn’t quite have to be high enough that the average velocity is over escape velocity. In fact, it can be quite a bit lower. This is an average velocity; some molecules move faster, some slower. What if the average is quite a bit lower than escape velocity, but one percent of the molecules are exceptionally fast and exceed escape velocity? Well, then over time that gas will slowly bleed away. Any hydrogen at high altitude will lose one percent of its number to outer space…and what’s left over, of course, will maintain the average and it will lose one percent to outer space. Repeat this a lot, and all the hydrogen in the upper atmosphere is gone, but then replenished by hydrogen from lower altitudes–but it bleeds away too. Eventually all of the hydrogen will be gone, even though it’s cool enough that at any given time, only one percent of the molecules are above escape velocity.
The earth is actually warm enough to bleed hydrogen like this. And in a fairly short amount of time, geologically speaking. This is why even though hydrogen is ridiculously common in our universe, much, much more common than oxygen, that we don’t have a world that consists of rock, water, and left-over hydrogen after all the oxygen forms rocks and water. That excess hydrogen, if it was ever here (it might not have ever stuck to the Earth in the first place during planetary formation), is long, long gone.
Helium is twice as heavy as hydrogen, and also very common…and it too bleeds away. When you open the valve on a cylinder of helium and it leaks out into the atmosphere, it rises, and eventually bleeds away into interplanetary space. Remember that the next time you get a party balloon. The helium in that balloon is gone forever once it leaks out. Helium is slowly generated by radioactive decay inside the earth, but once we pump out helium that has accumulated over billions of years and lose it, it’s gone. It’s the ultimate non-renewable resource…at least until we go mine it from gas giant planets, which is a ways away. This is why it’s so hard to get helium for balloons now–we’re saving it for MRI machines, where at least it’s continually recovered instead of leaked.
Even water (nine times as heavy as hydrogen) leaks from the earth, very slowly. GIve it enough time and the earth would become bone dry, as water evaporates, and some bleeds away. But something as heavy as oxygen and nitrogen has an average velocity low enough that, according to the Maxwell Distribution, virtually none of it gets fast enough to escape.
Jupiter, by contrast is colder and has a higher escape velocity, so it keeps its hydrogen. And helium. (Which is in large part why it is so massive.)
OK, I was hoping to get farther than this, and connect combinatorics and thermodynamics.
But alas, I have run out of time. It’s four minutes after 10 PM mountain, and I gotta publish this. I don’t even have time to edit for clarity (more than I have as I wrote it).
Hope it made some sense.
Obligatory PSAs and Reminders
China is Lower than Whale Shit
Remember Hong Kong!!!
Zhōngguò shì gè hùndàn !!!
China is asshoe !!!
China is in the White House
Since Wednesday, January 20 at Noon EST, the bought-and-paid for His Fraudulency Joseph Biden has been in the White House. It’s as good as having China in the Oval Office.
Joe Biden is Asshoe
China is in the White House, because Joe Biden is in the White House, and Joe Biden is identically equal to China. China is Asshoe. Therefore, Joe Biden is Asshoe.
But of course the much more important thing to realize:
Joe Biden Didn’t Win
Qiáo Bài dēng méi yíng !!!
Joe Biden didn’t win !!!