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Adam Alexander
Software Developer, Science Fan, Father
Software Developer, Science Fan, Father

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Useless fact:

The word recursion contains the word recursion.

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Sciene fiction with the past.

Have you
Have you heard
Have you heard the
Have you heard the one
Have you heard the one about
Have you heard the one about traceroute?

Idle thought of the moment:

If someone types a URL into their browser's bar, why does it default to non-secure HTTP:// instead of defaulting to using TLS and falling back if port 443 is unavailable?

I understand if the user is clicking a link in a page, since the link includes the protocol (or the protocol is safely assumed based on the current context within the same domain)... but for people just typing in the address, why not assume HTTPS:// by default?

I can prove that I can keep mathematicians busy for centuries, but it won't fit in the margins of this post.

Those who forget the pasta are doomed to reheat it.

If you're not familiar with Task Force Smith, look it up.

Then scale it up to conflict with one of the few nations in the world that can realistically survive a general nuclear bombardment with minimal losses to its fighting force.

Being able to actually measure the Unruh Effect?

That's pretty cool.

Talking about "cooking astronauts" to ask about the Unruh Effect?

Not cool.

See, when you do that, you're confusing people about the sheer scale of the issue. The Unruh Effect only appears when you're accelerating at a significant fraction of the speed of light.

Not when you're simply traveling at the speed of light. You can't just use your fusion powered engine to travel at 10Gs of acceleration for a decade or so, turn off your engine, and start getting free energy out of the quantum foam.

No, you need to be constantly speeding up each moment. And as I said two paragraphs above, that speeding up needs to be a significant fraction of the speed of light.

Let's say your target is 10% c. A nice round number and a very significant speed. In one second, you'll be nearly 30 thousand kilometers from where you were a second ago. In the next second, you'll be 90 thousand KM away. The second after that? 180 thousand KM.

Of course, everybody will be observing your speed to be different. From the place you started, you'll only be traveling at 28% c, rather than the 30% c that you'd expect. (Remember we're traveling within a relativistic frame, so the speed of light is an absolute. The more you accelerate, the "further" the speed of light become; or stated more simply, the more energy it takes to accelerate more.)

From within your ship, though, you're observing something different entirely. Or rather, you're not observing anything because you just experience 3 million Gs for 3 seconds. Assuming the spaceship itself didn't rip itself apart, the passengers are a 1 atom thick layer of goo on the floor of the ship. Nobody's going to care about a few extra photons from the quantum foam at that point.

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Carbon dating: Because silicon based life forms are unlikely to share our social customs, thus are probably bad dating partners.
Let’s use some Legos and a six-side die to model radioactive decay, and understand carbon dating. More fun with physics from @rjallain.
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