Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Unscientific friends making arguments!

  1. Jul 12, 2009 #1
    Right here's a story,

    All this started with someone proclaiming that energy/mass equivalance and general relativity were the same thing, the other people taking this guys side and of course, they were wrong.

    So eventually we came onto other topics and I said based on the strong nuclear force we can't discover any more elements beyond the limits of the force on holding the nucleus of the atom together as new protons would just repluse from the nucleus and of course they proclaimed that I'm an ignorant idiot for believing our understanding of the fundemental forces as a scientific fact despite trying to explain that we know the strong force exists, it's strength and the fact that if it was different the universe would be different.

    I tried explaining spectroscopy, how and why we can measure and see the elements in the universe, but that didn't work out too well.

    But then the most retarded thing ever came into the mix, the basic convo went like this..

    person:"yes but you're saying all this but do you know what the equation for the beginning of the universe is??"

    me:"what?"

    person:".......t= 0.........."

    me:"sweet Jesus what the hell a re you talking about, what the f*uck has something you just made up got to do with how many protons can fuit in the f*cking nucleus!?"

    So as they went on I just couldn't listen to this crap any more as he was trying to ask how I can talk about fundemental forces without factoring in time, pretty much by this stage my head's going to explode.

    So, thanks for listening :P wall-o-text.

    Moral of the story, I say we can't have any more elements beyond the capability of the strong force, they say we don't know that, there could be some other mechanism we don't know about call me an ignorant clown and whatnot asking if I know so much why amn't I a scientist(lol).

    what's your take on this? did you know about the miraculious t=0 equation that we have all missed? will the strong force change and the universe as we know it ceace to be?

    your thoughts people, thank you. :)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2009 #2

    Nabeshin

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Don't argue physics with people who don't understand physics. Especially if they want to argue.

    Time dependence seems incredibly irrelevant though. Even if we assume, as your buddy asserts, that there is some time dependence in the strong nuclear interaction, our current models describe the strong nuclear interaction right now. So even if that were true, we know how it behaves now and can accurately say what the universe is like now. And that's granting a time dependence to a force which, to every single experimental and observational test, has shown no time dependence (behaved the same at the beginning of the universe, nucleosynthesis era).

    Although, there have been symmetry breaking events in the past (strong force seperating out from the electroweak force, GUT era), so it doesn't necessarily preclude the possibility of another breaking event happening in the future (i.e a changing in the strong force). Although I wouldn't put any money on that happening.
     
  4. Jul 12, 2009 #3
    yes I mentioned the seperation of the 4 forces before planck time but according to them that was an "now you're getting it!" moment so I didn't even bother replying mainly on what does he mean getting it? why is this relevant, ugh the fustration...
     
  5. Jul 12, 2009 #4
    Also as note I stated the strong force is what holds the nucleus together as fact, there is no other mystical force there that might make another proton stick that the strong force can't.
     
  6. Jul 12, 2009 #5

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I feel dizzy after reading that load of child-like immaturity. That's my thoughts. Who cares?
     
  7. Jul 12, 2009 #6
    Likely such discussion IS more trouble than it's worth, but a few quick thoughts:

    (1) Einstein, for example, rejected conventional "consensus science" in arriving at special and general relativity and the quantum nature of light....so don't be toooooo doctrinaire regarding current science....likely almost all of it is incomplete.

    (2) nobody really knows what time,mass, energy, space (for example) are or where they came from,,.,we are very good at explaining and predicting their behavior however.

    (3) Don't disregard dark matter and dark energy, perhaps entirely "new constituents" of the universe, that make up about 96% of everything....who knows what we'll discover about them. Maybe nothing much new, but maybe a lot!

    (4) I looked at maybe 50 or so famous scientific theories from Ptolmy to Copernicus to Newton to "ether" to the purely wave description of light...the belief that our own galaxy was the universe, that our universe is stationary and eternal, the existence of black holes, the loss of information from black holes, and on and on....much to my surprise they ALL turned out to be seriously flawed...actually WRONG depending on the situation...I never expected to find that!!! So keep an open mind.
     
  8. Jul 12, 2009 #7
    No offense, but if the person is willing to listen to you, and you can't explain it to them, that's probably a failing in your explanation. An intelligent person should not be expected to believe a theory before understanding how it works. It sounds like he had questions..such as how time affects fundamental forces...that you couldn't answer. If you can't answer those questions, perhaps you ought to reconsider why you believe the theory before trying to convince someone else of it.
     
  9. Jul 12, 2009 #8
    Not really I was trying to explain but they really weren't interested in what the force is or how it works and wouldn't even let me speak to try and explain anything about it and if I did kept saying unless I observe the strong force myself I'm just listening to someone elses science and I can't intrinsically take it as truth.
     
  10. Jul 12, 2009 #9
    I am not a physicist either, so you probably won't like what I have to say. I was under the impression that the stability of the nucleus was a balance between the electrical forces between the protons and the strong force between the protrons and neutrons. In order to maintain the balance in large nuclei, it becomes necessary to mediate the electrical forces by adding neutrons. In this view, the problem of creating ever larger nuclei is the difficulty of providing a sufficient number of neutrons. This is a technological problem, not a theoretical one. If the technological problem of prividing extra neutrons were solved, what is the theoretical limit on the size of a nucleus?
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  11. Jul 12, 2009 #10
    interesting point there Jimmy, thanks for that, I'd like to know what is the theoretical limit.

    Also, another question, would all elements in space be able to be detected by spectroscopy techniques?
     
  12. Jul 12, 2009 #11
    Here is an interesting periodic table of the elements:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Periodic_table_(extended)" [Broken]
    It gives various possible limits.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  13. Jul 12, 2009 #12
    So can I assume that any new elements would not be naturally occuring?
     
  14. Jul 12, 2009 #13

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I think it's a dangerous assumption that there is ever a limit on what we can discover...one needn't go into crazy speculation, but there is always a possibility that there is more at work than we have yet discovered.

    Just for perspective, when I was in school, the periodic table of the elements only went up to about 103, with a few more (I think up to 106 then) listed as theoretical, but not observed. That has become a somewhat longer list now.

    Beyond that, it's really not an argument worth having. To the average person, it's just crazy speculation for the fun of it, not that they really care about the topic, or that it has any relevance to their life. If you hadn't interrupted, they'd have probably just as quickly changed the topic and forgotten the discussion ever happened. They'll be content to be awed next time they read that a new element has been discovered, however fleetingly it exists in a laboratory.
     
  15. Jul 12, 2009 #14
    I don't know. Could they be created in a supernova explosion?
     
  16. Jul 12, 2009 #15
    Good point. I know I always am.
     
  17. Jul 12, 2009 #16
    Here's a video on creating new atoms. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/3313/02.html
     
  18. Jul 12, 2009 #17
    I usually like to egg these people on. Make up half-truths, agree with them occasionally, and see the crazy things that result. I usually end the conversation with "this was slightly interesting, but even less usefull."

    One time, I think we had DNA made of dark matter. However, unlike conventional spiral DNA, dark matter DNA is in a straight line. This allows the material to stick in your skin, causing disease.
     
  19. Jul 12, 2009 #18
    I can see a lot of downside to this approach. On the other hand, I note that DNA is in fact made of dark matter.
     
  20. Jul 12, 2009 #19
    Well, the way I see it, these minds are already lost. I would never do this to a young person. Unless they were really asking for it.
     
  21. Jul 12, 2009 #20

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    The D stands for Dark.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Unscientific friends making arguments!
  1. Argument (Replies: 2)

  2. Greetings, friends! (Replies: 8)

Loading...