Re: [humanism-174] Below Zero K.?

From: Randy P.
Sent on: Saturday, January 5, 2013 8:34 PM
TC3,

I doubt that the laws of physics are actually being defied. Saying that it looks as though the laws are being defied is just an oversimplified way of relating the phenomenon to a general public that is, on the whole, not particularly well versed in physics. I suspect that the material flows up and out of the container in apparent defiance of gravity not because it is actually defying gravity but probably because some countering force creates an unbalanced force in the direction opposite of that which gravity is applied. Its the same principle that explains why a rocket is able to lift off from Earth and escape Earth's gravitational pull. A greater force applied in the opposite direction produces a net force greater than zero and the object moves in the direction of the unbalanced force.

I don't understand what you mean by "It's just the mass state of matter being shared by many particles." What do you  mean by the "mass state of matter"? You will also need to explain to me how this mass state of matter is shared by many particles? What is it that they are actually sharing? I teach physical science, composed of some physics and this statement just does not make any sense to me.


Randy


From: TC3 <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Saturday, January 5,[masked]:09 PM
Subject: Re: [humanism-174] Below Zero K.?

Bose Einstein condensates are AWESOME. Fluid can flow uphill, through insanely small holes and generally defy what we call physics. lol

It's just the mass state of matter being shared by many particles. If you think that's weird the state where one particle is in many places is equally astounding.

You teach? Tell us more.


On Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 7:06 PM, Randy Pelton <[address removed]> wrote:
Here is the answer to your question Mark:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/phenom-200801.html

I found this article by following a link at the bottom of the article you posted to another article about the MIT physicists who have produced the lowest temperatures to date and play around with the bizarre form of matter called Bose-Einstein condensate. I am only vaguely familiar with this form of matter of which virtually everyone outside of physics has probably never heard about. I learned a great deal I did not know from the article you referenced and the one I excerpted below. Will need to incorporate this stuff into what I teach. 

Here is an excerpt. I have bold-faced the part about light.

"Another contender for the coldest spot is across Cambridge, in Lene Vestergaard Hau's lab at Harvard. Her personal best is a few millionths of a degree F above absolute zero, close to Ketterle's, which she, too, reached while creating BECs. "We make BECs every day now," she says as we go down a stairwell to a lab packed with equipment. A billiards-table-size platform at the center of the room looks like a maze constructed of tiny oval mirrors and pencil-lead-thin laser beams. Harnessing BECs, Hau and her co-workers have done something that might seem impossible: they have slowed light to a virtual standstill. The speed of light, as we've all heard, is a constant: 186,171 miles per second in a vacuum. But it is different in the real world, outside a vacuum; for instance, light not only bends but also slows ever so slightly when it passes through glass or water. Still, that's nothing compared with what happens when Hau shines a laser beam of light into a BEC: it's like hurling a baseball into a pillow. "First, we got the speed down to that of a bicycle," Hau says. "Now it's at a crawl, and we can actually stop it—keep light bottled up entirely inside the BEC, look at it, play with it and then release it when we're ready."

This just illustrates the apparent strangeness of the universe. I think geneticist and evolutionary biologist J.B.S. Haldane said it best:

"I have no doubt that in reality the future will be vastly more surprising than anything I can imagine. Now my own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose." -- J.B.S. Haldane, 1927, Possible Worlds and Other Papers (p. 286)

 Discoveries since 1927 have certainly demonstrated the accuracy of Haldane's suspicions.

Randy








From: Mark Tiborsky <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Friday, January 4,[masked]:46 PM
Subject: [humanism-174] Below Zero K.?

I wonder if the speed-o'-light limit is flexible as well-

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartnews/2013/01/physicists-find-that-absolute-zero-may-not-be-quite-so-absolute/




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