This experiment is something I always wanna do, at home. I’m aware that it’s very unlikely and ordeal, but it was still worth a try. Because, the principle itself is almost certainly counter-intuitive.
Can hot water freeze faster than cold water?
Yep, it’s a defiance to everyone’s intuition. But, that’s the whole point of this dull phenomena. You say, “Ugh.. How in the hell can something happen like that?” But, what if it does? Definitely something staggering. Right? To caress your curiosity, it has happened. Not once or twice. But, an overwhelming gazillion times. Although this wizardly effect has some interesting that dates back to centuries, however it was first demonstrated by Mpemba in the 1960s, and by that, this bloody thing got a name. It’s the Mpemba effect. I sense that you’re still on the brink of believing and not believing.
I’m on my vacation, my dear readers. Semester’s gone and I’ve got three weeks to enjoy (one week, already gone without satisfaction, as usual). Keeping aside the fact that my vacation is no different from a bulk holiday, I thought of making it different this time by having a few mementos and schedules. I’ve planned to spend most of my time enthusiastically on Physics – select a topic, research about it (by exploring the internet quite deeply), generate new ideas & opinions that may lead to better blog posts (like the one on “flapping wings of aircrafts“). I should utilize these days because these days are unlike the tough college days, when most of the daytime hours probably suck, days when you mostly feel like you haven’t done something useful, when you also realize that you’re a schmuck..!!! I mean, how often would you face the same
monstrous insidious tyranny again & again?
Last week, I told you about the glories of comet ISON. Most of my words were, “Don’t miss ISON when it comes back on December!!!”. Then, I also mentioned that NASA/ESA fellas are planning to view the comet’s activity via SOHO’s eyes. On Thanksgiving day (yesterday, at 18:25 UTC), ISON crossed the perihelion with flying colors. And, just as expected, SOHO’s LASCO (C2 & C3) saw the comet swimming through a solar wind that was just ejected by Sun (made of a swarm of charged particles and EM radiation traveling around 200 km/s)…
Timelapse of ISON from Nov. 27 – Dec. 1, captured by SOHO’s LASCO C3
(the white circle in all those captures represent our sun, to scale)
Being a good-for-nothing sophomore in aeronautical engineering (you know how I got myself involved in that, given no other known choice), I always feel sleepy while writing most of my exams (as a matter of fact, my end semester has already begun, earlier this month). Because, we already know what questions are gonna show up in the exam (oh, that’s quite easy to figure out, just by seeing the activities and responses given by the teacher during those exam-nearing days) and that scheme doesn’t put anyone into a challenge during the exam. Sometimes, itsy-bitsy challenges do show up this way – like plugging the right formulas (which you’ve rote like hell) into a specific problem in the right way.
While I know it requires talent (I’m out of those), I don’t consider them as a challenge, nor a way of evaluating knowledge and skill. They’re just another crackpot way of solving a jigsaw puzzle, where you bring most of the pieces from your home. In my third semester, we have a subject called “Principles of Flight”. It’s actually an interesting one (probably the interesting of all, keeping aside the professor’s activities, who’s slightly weirdo), where you learn about the aircrafts, their motion, their design, their structure, almost all of their clockworks other than those already occupied by the specific fields. For instance, you don’t learn about the working of engines (propulsion covers it), how a wing bends under its own weight (solid mechanics), materials currently used for aircraft’s design (materials science), how the thing moves through air (fluid dynamics, probably the most scared and the most respected field of all, along with a pinch of numerical approximations) and the queue goes on…
Comets (as per the definition) are small extraterrestrial frozen objects that have highly elliptical orbits around the sun, which show a tail-like thingy pointing away from the sun (coma), indicating the outgassing of gas & dust from its surface as it nears the sun. So, ISON is not a comet in that sense, because it’s in a hyperbolic orbit (just kidding, I should start the post someway, no?). It is a comet, but it’s probably our first candidate to have that kind of characteristic feature…
That’s our magnificent ISON (exposure by John Nassr at Stardust observatory)
Last time, I showed you a lot of stuff regarding reference frames, speed of light, observers, etc. on our quest to grasp the fraction of Einstein’s mind. I made you accept a lot of them without even giving you the courtesy of thinking what the heck all those math really meant. From today, I’ll clarify those one by one, so that you’ll finally be able to understand the mystery behind the speed of light. But, trust me on this. Pensiveness and intuition are something very difficult (or lousy) to speak of, in the theory of relativity which is simple but substantial…
This is gonna be our last topic on the terrific astronomical measurements and it’s the most enjoyable & tasteful topic of all (Why? Because, it has Light). What you understand here, paves the way for you to grasp a fraction of Einstein’s mind (a fraction that is). And, you should pardon me (alot of times) along the way, that mostly I’ll be saying, “we’ll see about that in a later post”. Because, today we’ll be going along blindly without investigating much in, “Why’s that so?”. We’ll just digest that, that’s the way it works, and investigate one by one, in the near future. Don’t you worry, all those things will come handy in due time, as this terrific stuff needs a few posts…
Okay, it’s actually called out as light-year. But, you can have light-seconds, light-minutes (of course we have), light leap-years (Meh..??) if you want. It’s just an unit. Ain’t it? When you’ve finished playing around with the units, be sure that you’ve plugged in the right numbers responsible for such a transformation to happen. Roughly (in your language), when you change an inch to a centimeter, make sure that you’ve included the “2.54″ factor.
Alright, so what’s the big deal about light? If you’re a beginner to Physics, then you might believe in a lot of statements like this one, “The speed of light is something very special in our universe, that no one can reach the speed”. You’re quite right in a sense that it’s the cosmic speed limit. But as you become an amateur, you’d easily figure out that what you previously assumed was not really true. Before we get into light and give an introductory to spacetime and stuff, let’s have a look at light-year, which is what this post was intended to address…