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The Science Thread

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Would you sink in a concrete bath ? What is the history of cement and concrete ? How does it work ?
As usual Veritasium gets into the act and at the end of the story our understanding has increased many fold

 
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I think I need one of these.
1686956257918.png

Mick
 
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Don't just listen to national treasure , Dr. Karl on Triple J's podcast , from now on.
Can now livestream the great man in his loud shirts , on You Tube . Triple J. ( from 13 th July 2023 )
 

Knobby22

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Russia rushed a mission to try to beat India to landing on the South Pole to measure the water presence but they weren't ready and crashed. Russia looks like losing another space race.

It will be interesting to see how India goes. For them it is a precursor to landing men on the moon and a possible permanent base.

China also are planning to land mankind on the moon and want to achieve this by 2030.

We are also sort of going to the moon (as a junior partner) next year as part of the Artemis program, joint missions with the EU, Canada, USA, Japan and Israel. We also want to have a permanent moon base.
 
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Dona Ferentes

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sorry about bringing politics into the thread.

Some recent comments from "inside the Beltway"



Dr. Pippa Malmgren:
"We shut down if we don't have [the internet]. So, what's been happening in space, which is we're in a proper space race now, right? There's a race to establish the first physical foothold on the moon that will be manned. I'm actually making a documentary about this right now, the new space race. And I go into the reasons why, but we'll come back to that in a moment. The main thing is it's kind of the new commanding heights, if you have control of higher orbits and the moon, you can basically take out everybody's satellites from above.

"So what's been happening in space? The Russians have been targeting their own satellites, particularly the really big ones that weigh like 4,000 pounds, smashing them to smithereens, creating this huge debris field, which they call a Kessler effect, which has been described as razor blades in a washing machine. And that is partly what has forced the International Space Station to nearly evacuate on a few occasions, because they're getting caught in the shrapnel field that the Russians created. Now, why did they do it? Because they're trying to deny access to those critical orbits.

"So, it's a denial of access, just almost like a cyber attack is in cyberspace, this is a physical orbital denial of service attack, in a sense. The Chinese have also been very active in space, demonstrating they have lasers and all kinds of offensive capabilities, but two things there. One is only the United States and China have satellites with robotic arms. And the Chinese recently demonstrated with, I believe it's called the Shijian-17 satellite, that it was able to go up to a Chinese satellite, grab it with the robotic arms, and then hurl it into outer space. Now, why are they hurling their own satellite into outer space? To show us that they can. And so we're like, "Oh boy, all our satellites that we depend on could be gone in a heartbeat, and never to recover into the depths of space."

"So this is space wars. Also, remember Starlink, which is our main satellite internet network now, Starlink has been supplying services to Ukraine. And so the Chinese said, "Hey, wait a minute, Starlink is therefore a military company, providing military support services." And Elon went, "No, no, no, no, no, we're not. We're just providing it for humanitarian reasons." And the Chinese went, "No, because the Ukraines are using it for offensive operations." Which it seems they were. So he turned the bandwidth down, or I don't know what the technical term is, but he made it less possible. Then Ukrainians started having a heart attack going, "No, we need this to fight the war."

"And Elon goes to China where he's received very well by the Chinese authorities because he wants to protect both Starlink and Tesla, because why? The Chinese said, "Well, we're going to create a mega constellation of satellites of our own, but ours will be armed, and they will be capable of either interrupting or damaging or destroying all the Starlink satellites. So we're going to weaponize our mega constellations." Now we're talking about mega constellations of
satellites being weaponized.

"Now, by the way, there's some technical difficulties with that, because some of these satellites are literally the size of a shoebox. They're so small, and that's what makes them robust, is that you can't find them to take them out. But nonetheless, we are talking about war in space.

"Now, people, again, they're shrugging their shoulders, "Well, what does this mean for me?" Well, it means your GPS might not work tomorrow, but it also has led to a fight over subsea internet cables. And the first cable cut was in... It's actually technically January 6th, 2020, which is a very interesting day for other reasons, and nobody connects the dots on this thing. But the fastest internet cable in the world is on a little island in the Arctic called Svalbard in Norway. Now, why is it there, of all places? Because that is where pretty much all the high altitude satellites connect to Earth, is at Svalbard. So you cut that cable, and suddenly your missile guidance system's not working, and your Uber Eats isn't neither. So how much damage can you do to the world? Answer, a huge amount. But luckily, that was a lot of redundancy already built in. .....
 

Dona Ferentes

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further on, another aspect of developments in space
.

Dr. Pippa Malmgren:
"Well, and now we're in, like I said, this new space race, and the move into the space economy, one piece of that puzzle is, guess what? There are no regulators in space. And part of the reason you're seeing... It's not the only driver, but one piece of the puzzle there is that you can create things in space where there is no regulator, no oversight.

"So the first space factory has just gone up, and they're manufacturing pharmaceuticals. And you're like, wait, what? Again the answer is, well, first of all, it turns out that some pharmaceutical ingredients won't combine in a gravity environment, but they will in a zero gravity environment. So, you can make things there that you can't make on Earth. But also no FDA, and you can then drop that in the ocean and somebody who says, "I really need a drug that does this particular thing, and I can't wait for the regulators to go do all the testing and dah, dah, dah, dah. And I can afford to pay." You can make stuff for that audience in space, drop it in the ocean, they could pick it up. It sounds like a big rigamarole, but movement between earth and space is no longer such a big expensive deal as it used to be...
 
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The effect of rising CO2 levels on the upper atmosphere - and how it is impacting our climate even further.

The Upper Atmosphere Is Cooling, Prompting New Climate Concerns


A new study reaffirming that global climate change is human-made also found the upper atmosphere is cooling dramatically because of rising CO2 levels. Scientists are worried about the effect this cooling could have on orbiting satellites, the ozone layer, and Earth’s weather.

By Fred Pearce • May 18, 2023

There is a paradox at the heart of our changing climate. While the blanket of air close to the Earth’s surface is warming, most of the atmosphere above is becoming dramatically colder. The same gases that are warming the bottom few miles of air are cooling the much greater expanses above that stretch to the edge of space.

This paradox has long been predicted by climate modelers, but only recently quantified in detail by satellite sensors. The new findings are providing a definitive confirmation on one important issue, but at the same time raising other questions.

The good news for climate scientists is that the data on cooling aloft do more than confirm the accuracy of the models that identify surface warming as human-made. A new study published this month in the journal PNAS by veteran climate modeler Ben Santer of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution found that it increased the strength of the “signal” of the human fingerprint of climate change fivefold, by reducing the interference “noise” from background natural variability. Sander says the finding is “incontrovertible.”

But the new discoveries about the scale of cooling aloft are leaving atmospheric physicists with new worries — about the safety of orbiting satellites, about the fate of the ozone layer, and about the potential of these rapid changes aloft to visit sudden and unanticipated turmoil on our weather below.

 
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Interesting video on the development of the cavity magnetron, originally used in radar, now in microwave ovens.

 
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An Australian working at the leading edge of fusion power says the revolutionary new energy system could one day cut down household power bills by 90 per cent.

Dr Warren McKenzie, co-founder of private fusion power company HB11, made the startling claim in the same week Sydney’s UNSW announced students would begin building their own fusion power device to push Australia into the fusion age.

Fusion power generates energy by fusing light atoms together. Dr Warren said achieving a net energy gain – or the ratio between fusion energy out and energy in – of about 100 would mean the emerging technology could generate energy at today’s prices.

But a net gain of 1000 would cut power bills cut down by about 90 per cent and a net gain of 10,000 would mean an end to metering energy because it would be so cheap.

Last December, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory achieved a net gain of 1.5, a “Kitty Hawk” moment for the field.
Dr Warren said traditional renewables like wind and solar could not meet the challenge.

“We know wind and solar are good, they are cheap, but they are nowhere near sufficient,” he said.

“If you purely look at the cost of energy from a supply demand perspective, if we turn off fossil fuels, demand is going to far outstrip supply for a very long time, and that means not just the price of electricity, but our quality of life in general will seriously decrease.

“In the long term, if we turn off fossil fuels, the energy price increases we are seeing today are not even the tip of the iceberg, they are a drop in the ocean.”
HB11 uses boron as fusion fuel and Dr Warren said known reserves of boron could power the world for 10,000 years.
A massive $30bn reactor in France, called ITER Tokamak, is the world’s largest fusion enterprise, but students at UNSW think they can push the boundaries of fusion for less than $1m.

The students will build a small 1m-by-1m device to methodically solve the complex problems of fusion generation rather than introduce fuel to try and control and harness reactions like ITER.
 
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An Australian working at the leading edge of fusion power says the revolutionary new energy system could one day cut down household power bills by 90 per cent.

Dr Warren McKenzie, co-founder of private fusion power company HB11, made the startling claim in the same week Sydney’s UNSW announced students would begin building their own fusion power device to push Australia into the fusion age.

Fusion power generates energy by fusing light atoms together. Dr Warren said achieving a net energy gain – or the ratio between fusion energy out and energy in – of about 100 would mean the emerging technology could generate energy at today’s prices.

But a net gain of 1000 would cut power bills cut down by about 90 per cent and a net gain of 10,000 would mean an end to metering energy because it would be so cheap.

Last December, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory achieved a net gain of 1.5, a “Kitty Hawk” moment for the field.
Dr Warren said traditional renewables like wind and solar could not meet the challenge.

“We know wind and solar are good, they are cheap, but they are nowhere near sufficient,” he said.

“If you purely look at the cost of energy from a supply demand perspective, if we turn off fossil fuels, demand is going to far outstrip supply for a very long time, and that means not just the price of electricity, but our quality of life in general will seriously decrease.

“In the long term, if we turn off fossil fuels, the energy price increases we are seeing today are not even the tip of the iceberg, they are a drop in the ocean.”
HB11 uses boron as fusion fuel and Dr Warren said known reserves of boron could power the world for 10,000 years.
A massive $30bn reactor in France, called ITER Tokamak, is the world’s largest fusion enterprise, but students at UNSW think they can push the boundaries of fusion for less than $1m.

The students will build a small 1m-by-1m device to methodically solve the complex problems of fusion generation rather than introduce fuel to try and control and harness reactions like ITER.

I hope this isn't a joke because if it works it's probably game over for electricity generation.

The words "cold fusion" come to mind.
 
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I hope this isn't a joke because if it works it's probably game over for electricity generation.

The words "cold fusion" come to mind.
Yes, the big problem from memory is holding the fusion process in place, if it touches anything it goes out, so it is held with magnets. Well that is from the memory bank.
 

wayneL

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Perhaps in the current spirit of creating renewable energy, we could use Congonese children to pedal on generators.
 
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wayneL

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I like this observation of "the science"



It's while why we should "follow the science", we should concurrently be extremely sceptical of it.

As I've stated on here ad nauseum, most of the science in my own field is egregiously bad, absolute BS. But there are pearls which occasionally pop up.

Science is three steps forward, two steps back.
 
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