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    QM or Relativity first for self learners?

    I decided to expand my knowledge on Physics a little from what I was taught at school, which was mostly classical/Newtonian stuff. I am planning on learning both Quantum Mechanics & Relativity. Which one should I learn first, so that the knowlege from that first subject would help me learn the...
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    Is there an optimum hardness for bone?

    Obviously, anyone with osteoporosis can tell you that bones can be too soft. But can bones be too hard? I thought that this may be possible because part of cushioning we get when we do everything from walking to jumping, comes from the flexing/compressing of bones (however small). The rest...
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    Nerve impulse amplifiers

    Can any biology-savvy people comment on the viability of implants which boost the nervous signals to muscles, effectively making someone superhuman in strength and endurance? I can see how someone with these implants may end up killing themselves from over-exertion, but would something like this...
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    Genetic engineering of us humans

    What is your opinion of it? Do you approve of it? I think that there is no law which states that evolution of a species has to be a purely natural process that does not involve the 'artificial' intervention of the own species. If a species were developed and intelligent enough to tinker with...
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    Radioactive decay in relativistic frames

    If you take two identical radioactive samples, place one on Earth and another on a near-lightspeed spaceship, and compare them some time later, will the one left on Earth have undergone comparatively more radioactive decay than the one on the spaceship? If the experiment is repeated by...
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    Cybernetic enhancements: Will you want them?

    I am not talking about prosthetic arms or legs, or artificial hearts which you need for your health. I am talking about cybernetic implants which you don't need for your health, but could arguably improve your quality of life. Examples of this would be a microprocessor or solid state memory...
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    Will too much adenosine triphosphate kill you?

    Can synthetic ATP be made? What happens if synthetic ATP were injected into someone? Will the person just become temporarily superhuman or will they just die of a heart attack (like what an adrenaline overdose does).
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    What do you work as and do you hate it?

    Post your job description and why you like/hate it. I'll start the ball rolling. Aeronautical engineer. I hate it. Bad salary. I am diversifying into commerce/finance because of that, even though I hate commerce/finance and would actually prefer to be doing my job as qualified. I'm...
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    Next generation power reactors

    It seems pretty much a given fact that the next generation reactors after the current nuclear fission reactors will be nuclear fusion reactors. What will be the source of energy for the next generation giga, tera and petawatt reactors? Reactors which use the strong nuclear force like a...
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    Gravitation slingshot

    Gravitational slingshot How does this work exactly? Where does my analysis go wrong? I know it is used to speed satellites up, but its name alludes to a permanent improvement in speed. The way I see it, you would get a slight benefit in journey time as long as the satellite is within the...
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    Red shift frequency from a black hole

    Can someone tell me if these statements are right/wrong, and if wrong, why they are wrong? Lets say you have a light (or more generally, EM) source a distance r from a black hole's core, with r > event horizon radius. As you move closer towards the black hole, since the energy of a...
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    Quantum effects in very small scale numerical modelling

    For those of you familiar with numerical modelling of various phenomena, you will know about work like the various discretisation schemes, stability/gradient limiters for high order schemes and so on. The most broad sweeping improvement to the field of numerical modelling would ultimately be...
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    6 degrees of separation hypothesis: Do you believe it?

    This hypothesis basically states that any 2 people on Earth are connected by no more than six levels of acquaintances.
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    Shock waves in crystals and frequency changes

    Shock waves propagating in photonic crystals can be used to lower or raise the frequency of light passing through them. It seems (to me) to be some kind of Doppler effect at work here. The electrons in the atoms of the crystal absorb the light, and as they move because of the propagating...
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    Doppler shift and red/blue shift

    Suppose we have a weightless light source that is moving. Its output light will therefore undergo a Doppler shift. Now, if the lightsource had weight but were static, its light would undergo a red shift. If the light source had weight and were moving, would it undergo both a red shift and a...
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    Is there any point on setting an incline on a treadmill?

    Since the runner's level does not actually change, they are not doing any work against gravity. Their total output wattage -- if it can be measured -- should be the same regardless of inclination. Yet, running on an inclined treadmill seems more difficult. Is the difference purely in the...
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    So why do different media slow light down?

    As I see it, which is probably wrong, the speed of light changes in different media because of absorption and re-emission of the photons. This sequence of events takes longer than light just passing straight through a vacuo, which means that the average velocity will be lower. I have a...
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    Cloud shapes

    What causes the high up cirrus clouds to be ripple shaped and thin, while the lower stratus or cumulo nimbus clouds to be puffy and opaque? Presumably, it must have something to do with atmospheric density and temperature...although how exactly seems uncertain. Also, what causes clouds to...
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    Charge balancing in thunderstorms

    IIRC, the charge distribution in clouds is caused by friction of the ice crystals within it. Why should there be any charge distribution in the first place? First off - how does friction charge up an object? Then, why should the uneven charge distribution not neutralise itself? The...
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    Nuclear ignition of gas giant atmospheres

    Out of curiosity, can you produce a self perpetuating nuclear fusion chain reaction - in effect a new sun - by dropping a nuclear bomb deep into the atmosphere of a hydrogen rich gas giant? If a powerful enough weapon was fired on a non-hydrogen atmosphere like Earth's, bearing in mind that...
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