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How physics get done not what you might expect

  1. Dec 13, 2013 #1
    How physics gets done...not what you might expect

    ahoy geeks!! I came across a couple of funny stories I thought worth sharing....So if you have any, add them on.....

    Stephen Hawking; Sixty years in a Nutshell, Chapter 6, The future of Theoretical Physics and Cosmology, Celebrating Stephen HAwkings 60th Birthday, Cambdirdge University Press, 2003



    I wonder why the chocolate bar melted but he didn't??
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2013 #2
    LOL, he may have just noticed a warm feeling!
  4. Dec 13, 2013 #3


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    Lower melting point for the chocolate. I'm sure if Mr. Spencer didn't have a chocolate bar in his pants, he probably would have left the magnetron on until he did melt.
  5. Dec 13, 2013 #4


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    Chocolate melts at blood temperature. So chocolate in a pocket is almost at melting point and needs only a small amount of extra energy to melt.

    Humans melt at a much higher temperature.
  6. Dec 13, 2013 #5
    LOL. Don't worry Naty, we don't all assume you know nothing about chocolate!
  7. Dec 13, 2013 #6
    That is what I wondered....likely a lucky guy....
  8. Dec 13, 2013 #7


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    Humans are predominantly liquid: they don't melt, they boil.
  9. Dec 13, 2013 #8


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    It's well known (especailly you read Wikipedia) that Americans invented all modern technology, but the Brits got there first with the cavity magetron, in 1940. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Randall_(physicist [Broken])

    IN fact the USA tried to stop the Brits from using it in WWII, claiming for some reason that it didn't work. See "American opposition" in http://rsnr.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/58/3/283.full.pdf

    And when the Germans found out about the British system from a crashed plane, they wrote a report claiming it was a copy of a Russian patent. (see link above).

    But of course it is well known (in Russia) that Russians also invented all modern technology, from the steam engine onwards :smile:

    I've heard anecdotes that the British military also used them for culinary purposes, though this was officially a military secret and I can't find a web reference anywhere.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  10. Dec 13, 2013 #9
    Chemistry and math:

    How to discover the structure of organic compounds:

    Somebody asked von Neumann to solve the famous fly puzzle:
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  11. Dec 14, 2013 #10
    geeks, please, just calm down...please, 'stifle' yourselves!!! Some are beginning to remind me of the joker, Feynman.

    Too many are taking my original question about 'melting' as would "Dr. Sheldon Cooper" [Jim Parsons] of the TV show, 'Big Bang Theory'....LITERALLY.

    Further chocolate discussion, human melting and so forth, from this time forward risk being referred to as 'geeks', a mantle many find difficult to wear...So far in these forums, only perfect has admitted 'geek status' that I have seen. I have implied as much about myself but that's likely a bit of an exaggeration. I would consider that mantle,however, should I encounter 'Penny' [Kaley Cuoco] of the same TV show.

    This a bit different than I recall reading: cavity magnetron.....
    I seem to recall that the development of RADAR was considered so crucial to the war effort that documents and maybe an early model were shipped to the US by the British for parallel development in the US.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013
  12. Dec 14, 2013 #11
    Lecture by Stephen Hawking, same source as the first....
    The future of Theoretical Physics and Cosmology, Celebrating Stephen Hawkings 60th Birthday, Cambridge University Press, 2003

    [Dennis Sciama was Hawking's advisor at Cambridge.]

  13. Dec 14, 2013 #12


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    Hm ... I think you have a limited view of this. From what I've heard, Russians invented fire, the wheel, metalworking, and everything since, with the exception of democracy which they have in recent years imported, but very unsuccessfully.
  14. Dec 14, 2013 #13


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    The US didn't invent radar, but they did invent the name which is equally important :tongue:
  15. Dec 14, 2013 #14


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    I've been told by some who served in the Navy that some on watch would stand in front of the radar systems because the radar waves would warm them.
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