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    Why does resonance greatly increase the likelihood of the triple alpha process?

    Why does "resonance" greatly increase the likelihood of the triple alpha process? Why does the fact that the combined energy of 8Be and 4He is (almost) the same as the energy of an excited state of 12C greatly increase the probability of that reaction (i.e. 8Be + 4He → 12C + stuff) occurring...
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    How radioactive is nuclear reactor waste?

    That estimate is not too far off the graph I found. At 10 years, the graph shows 10 Terabecquerels per kg.
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    How radioactive is nuclear reactor waste?

    In" [Broken] I found the following graph: It shows the radioactivity of fission products per kg of initially present heavy metal (IHM) in spent PWR fuel at 33 MWd/kg burnup. It seems that after roughly a day we have...
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    How radioactive is nuclear reactor waste?

    I want to know how much radioactivity in Becquerels is produced by a typical light water reactor in one year of operation. I don't know how one would go about estimating this number. I found one reference that said 27 tons of spent fuel are generated by a typical reactor per year. But I...
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    What is the efficiency of the Sun, really?

    The implication of the Wikipedia article is 100%, real-time and not just eventually, i.e. it's on a Joules/sec (Watts) basis. For if you accept their number of 9.2 x 1037 proton-proton chain reactions per second, and ignore the CNO cycle, you come up with an energy-generated number that exactly...
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    What is the efficiency of the Sun, really?

    Does all (i.e. 100%) of the energy generated in the Sun's core via nuclear fusion eventually escape out into space (as photons, neutrinos, ... and umm solar wind?), or is some energy lost to internal processes? Surely the photons must lose energy as they take their long, indirect path from the...
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    Prerequisites for understanding Riemann's zeta function?

    Heheh, I purposely chose a rather vague measure because I'm not sure what I remember of my mathematical education. Thanks for the information. Looks like I'll need to study up on real analysis and complex analysis. For real analysis I'm deciding between Undergraduate Analysis by Serge Lang...
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    Prerequisites for understanding Riemann's zeta function?

    I am wondering what are the prerequisites required for learning the theory behind Riemann's zeta function, starting from a base of mathematics that an average physics graduate might have. In particular, I want to be able to understand a book like this...
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    Estimating the ratio of flux of sunlight to moonlight (at full moon)

    Indeed you're right, about me and the Moon. Thanks for the hint, I'm going to look at it again when I get home from work.
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    Estimating the ratio of flux of sunlight to moonlight (at full moon)

    I'm trying to estimate the ratio of the flux of sunlight to moonlight (at full moon). What I'm interested in is if I'm doing the physics right. I know what the solar flux is at the surface of the Earth (actually, just outside the atmosphere): roughly 1400 Watts/m^2. I can actually calculate that...
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    News Stability of anarchy.

    The anarchist FAQ is here: Anarchists have an optimistic view of human beings. I like anarchists, I don't like most human beings.
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    Galileo's Real Enemies

    Yes, do not trust popular notions of anything. Science is not immune from its own historical myths and biases, even including recent affairs like the Sokal hoax. A very good article on the subject of the Galileo affair can be found here: [Broken]...
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    Scientific word processors

    What's wrong with LaTeX? Get yourself a decent syntax-highlighting editor (too numerous and platform-dependent to mention just one) and a good LaTeX manual by your side, and you're set.
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    How many times you loved to boys/girls?

    I find it better to avoid the stealth, come right out immediately and say to her, "Oi, you rollicking, trolloping little sauce-bottle! Your luck's in! Trip along to my place with all your cash, and some naughty night attire, and you'll be staring at my bedroom ceiling from now till Christmas...
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    Do you feel proud to your contry?

    I'm proud of a few individuals in my country. Not necessarily everything about them, because everyone has their warts. But proud of my country? No, I leave such primitive emotions for the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei and other völkisch movements of their ilk that have plagued...
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    Whats your age?

    You're only as old as the woman you feel. So my age is undefined. :frown:
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    Is Science Becoming a Religion?

    To echo Vanesh, here's a quote from a great physicist: [p. 61, Chpt. 4, From X-Rays to Quarks: Modern Physicists and their Discoveries, Emilio Segrè, (1980)]
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    Craziest, wierdest science words

    The Pfaffian, from mathematics. I find that word very amusing. No offence to the Pfaffs.
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    Best movie scenes

    Many scenes from Tarkovsky's films. I hope there are some Russians here who know what I'm talking about.
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    Extreme headache

    See a bloody doctor!
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    Is science slowing to a standstill ?

    Is it true that science has not slowed down, but is moving faster than ever before? This is a problem of perspective. What do you look at, the development of fundamental laws of nature such as relativity, quantum mechanics and quantum field theory, or the number of papers produced per year? What...
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    Is science slowing to a standstill ?

    I found the following article relevant to this thread:
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    Possible Explanations To Fermi's Paradox?

    Possibly, but not necessarily. There's a book that speculates on answers to Fermi's question, by Stephen Webb, but I haven't read it and I don't know how good it is. It's an entertaining question to think about, but you will not find any definitive answers. I suspect that highly intelligent...
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    Statistical mechanics textbooks?

    I'm searching for a statistical mechanics textbook. It should be roughly at or above the advanced undergraduate level, have a decent set of problems, be reasonably thorough, and be ideal for self-study. I would be grateful for any recommendations.
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    The Best Textbooks Thread

    Yes, but writing Lifshitz in such a manner is tedious and gives me the shits. :zzz:
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    Is Science Becoming a Religion?

    How's Kansas in the 21st century? Coping alright?
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    Best all time mathematicians/physicists.

    Can you provide more details? I couldn't find it on Amazon or the web.
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    Best all time mathematicians/physicists.

    My first 3 in each list are in order, the rest are not. Mathematicians: Euler Riemann Gauss Fermat Lagrange Hilbert Poincaré Cantor Kolmogorov Grothendieck Physicists: Einstein Newton Maxwell Bohr Schrödinger Rutherford Dirac Heisenberg Pauli Feynman I suppose there...
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    The Best Textbooks Thread

    Ha, ha, I just noticed this. I can't write Lifsh1tz, just because I can't write sh1t. That is so lame and immature.
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    The Best Textbooks Thread

    The authors were Paul Horowitz and Winfield Hill. We used to call it "Horrific and Hill". One of the worst textbooks I ever encountered. Each to his own. :smile: My favourites: Special Relativity: Mermin (the best writer among physicists) General Relativity: MTW (desert island book)...
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    News The United States: your positive and negative

    Positive: A willingness to get things done; a concern with doing what is right; open doors for immigrants; the most benign empire in history; the best research institutions in the world. Negative: A sick combination of the biggest porn industry in the world and an almost puritan attitude to...
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    Ph.D Philosophy

    That's one kind of success which is only accessible to a small minority of the population, even in rich Western countries. The first problem is that not every thing that people want to do has a job associated with it (e.g. a professional...
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    Existential essentials

    Yes, I would put it in that category, but I'm not sure about other people.
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    Existential essentials

    I think a major omission from this list is: free time. That is, time that you have available to you to pursue whatever it is you wish to pursue. For me, nothing is more important than that.
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    Nonsense words

    Proactive. Touch base. Take ownership. Leverage. Incentivize. Add value. Knowledge transfer. Milestone. Out of the loop. Responsibility assignment. Sync up. Team. Welcome to the absurd world of corporate lingo.
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    Is it worth studying mathematics?

    One can, of course, argue the exact opposite. For example, mathematicians are so constrained by well-defined concepts and the strict logic that applies to them, that they can't get anywhere in the field without being intellectually disciplined. They are assailed every step of the way by the...
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    Intergalatic travel useing thought as the vehical

    If joke then not all that funny else you're a looney and I hope you're one of those harmless loonies.
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    Tales of irony My brother was telling me that the first time

    Irony? Isn't that a bit like goldy or bronzey only it's made of iron?
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    Super models in photoshop

    Personally, I'm turned off by airbrushing. The more airbrushing the less human they look. The less human they look the less sexy they are. In the second photo, the imperfections, the hair, the dimples, the extra fat in the natural version, all serve to make her look much sexier than the...
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    Becoming a Hollywood actor

    You enjoyed playing on stage but you want to become a Hollywood actor? What is it that you really want? If you like acting on stage then there are countless amateur theatre groups all over the country (and the world) where you can play the thespian all you like. If you want to act on film, there...
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    Whats your Iq

    Well, firstly I don't consider myself dumb, just a bit lower than average in overall intelligence. 30th or 40th percentile, maybe, although I think it's impossible to measure. Secondly, I think that aside from a small percentage of people who have a very low intelligence, everyone can learn to...
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    Whats your Iq

    Well, the evidence suggests (but does not prove) otherwise. It's a little too personal and embarassing to go into in much detail, but the only area of life where I have excelled compared to the average person is the sort of very basic mathematics that can be done on a stupid computer. In other...
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    Everything is about God

    Everything else.
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    Whats your Iq

    I'm come to the opinion (without a leg to stand on, of course) that IQ doesn't mean much as a measure of intelligence. I score significantly higher than average on IQ tests, but I'm almost certain that I'm dumber than the average person. I have a calculator brain and I think calculator brains do...
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    Is it worth studying mathematics?

    It has no "objective answer" when it is applied to any human activity or vocation. So the question is utterly useless in that respect. Although it's interesting to read people's answers.
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    Is science a property of nature or a property of us?

    Because they're all imaginary, too. The equations, the predictions, the variables, the effects, the experiments... ...the man on the moon, the A-bomb, the accurate predictions etc are all imaginary. You can't argue against this position. On the other hand, you can choose not to hold it...
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    Anti-racist math

    That's better. See, you're learning. No, the quote means what it says. It does not mean or imply that I "believe TRUTH actually exists". So what did you like about my statement?
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    Anti-racist math

    Sarcasm is only effective when you are sure about the truth of the topic in question. If you are sure that I haven't read the book then you're being an idiot and the subsequent sarcasm only makes it worse. Which in no way contradicts what I wrote. This paragraph (and the rest of the book for...
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    Anti-racist math

    Yes, and I did more than read the back cover. There are two things that are absurd about what you wrote: 1. The idea that Sokal and Bricmont set out to prove that postmodernism is absurd. They attempt no such thing. In their own words, "what we intend to show" is: 2. The idea that Sokal...
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    Anti-racist math

    Yes and this sort of thing can't happen in Physics. I mean, there's no way physicists could be so "absurd". *cough* *cough*