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PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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1 of 26  Fri 26th Jun 2020 2:31pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4362

Hello. A QUESTION: It must be my age! So many of life's events & experiences are leaving me more puzzled than ever nowadays. I even ponder what is natural about the "Natural World". Probably, one of the most common life essential substances that we interact with is water. H2O, stuff. WHAT ON EARTH IS NATURAL ABOUT WATER? It avoids nearly all of the physical state properties that are called the rules of matter. What other substance, when changing from liquid to solid, expands so the solid nature is lighter than the liquid state. If that hiccup didn't exist, our globe would not have free flow oceans, anywhere! The Sun's heat never penetrates more than 200ft in water depth, so any ice that formed would sink to the bottom, whereupon it would accumulate. Odd Stuff. Many of you know of my interest in meteorology, most of what I understand is a scratch on the surface. It's me trying to get my head around one of the fundamentals, of how atmospheric water in all of its states follows the adiabatic process. I thought the white van was coming for me, but it's the M&S vegetable box delivery. Have a good day all.

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News, Media and Current Affairs - Stranger than Fiction
Earlsdon Kid
Argyll & Bute, Scotland
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2 of 26  Fri 26th Jun 2020 5:34pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2017  Total posts:83

Philip, you may well be opening up a can of worms with that question. Staying with the properties of water, I was at Drakelow "C" power station in my training days and we had a couple of super-critical boilers which operated above the critical pressure point for water, meaning that water spontaneously changed from liquid to vapour without any of the boiling process we see in our kitchen kettles. I have always been fascinated by the way science theory constantly changes to fit the observations, after all we were introduced to the 'Big Bang' theory during my schooldays at the time when 'Steady State' and 'Continuous Creation' were becoming less acceptable. Following on from this I still find that the action of observing something, whether it be measuring the operation of an electronic circuit or attempting to verify quantum entanglement, immediately alters what you are attempting to observe. This makes the result inaccurate at the very least. I would love to find some solid base to science, however, the more you question it the more you discover that it eventually comes down to an assumption. Maybe the ultimate answer really is "42"! ("Bang the rocks together, guys") Cheers
News, Media and Current Affairs - Stranger than Fiction
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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Thread starter
3 of 26  Fri 26th Jun 2020 6:41pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4362

I loved reading that. Thank you. Super heating or cooling is fascinating. One of the issues facing met people is super cooling vapour in the atmosphere. Unless there are free particles of matter, could be aircraft exhaust, volcanic dust or whatever, unless the water gas has catalyst dust particles to form on, it can exist as a vapour at minus 40. The current lack of industrial debris in the atmosphere, for want of a better description, might need the weather models to be updated.
News, Media and Current Affairs - Stranger than Fiction
Earlsdon Kid
Argyll & Bute, Scotland
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4 of 26  Fri 26th Jun 2020 8:03pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2017  Total posts:83

That's a good point! Boiling at atmospheric pressure also needs an imperfection in the container or water itself to allow the vapour to form. This is one of the dangers of microwave ovens which can sometimes superheat the water. When a teaspoon or some other item is put into the superheated water it will explode, often with nasty consequences for anyone nearby. Here's a link to Samsung re this phenomena; Microwave Boiling
News, Media and Current Affairs - Stranger than Fiction
Old Lincolnian
Coventry
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5 of 26  Sat 27th Jun 2020 12:08pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2012  Total posts:521

It’s interesting how often we look to science to provide answers but it is an area where the “facts” are constantly changing. It is a series of hypotheses that fit the current observable facts and as our understanding changes so does the explanation, for example, in the either days of atomic theory an atom was believed to consist of solid balls rotating round a solid nucleus held together with “sticky” neutrons – prompting somebody (can’t remember who) to suggest that maybe our heliocentric solar system was merely an atom in the hind leg of a dog! This theory has changed countless times and I remember there being a new twist every few years and having to learn to think in five dimensions when studying chemistry to explain the then current atomic theory. An hypothesis can never be proven only disproven and then a new one is made. One of the big problems nowadays is that the theories are so complicated that the vast majority of people cannot begin to understand them because of the concepts involved, I know “A Brief History Of Time” by Stephen was one of the most purchased and least read books in the year of its release because it relies on the ability to think in, if I remember correctly, nine dimensions although it is written in fairly easy to understand terms it is the concepts that are difficult to grasp So it may be that water doesn’t work in a way that appears to defy the natural laws, we just need the correct hypothesis. Sorry, that turned out a lot more "waffley" than I intended Cheers
News, Media and Current Affairs - Stranger than Fiction
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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6 of 26  Sat 27th Jun 2020 12:48pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:731

As an engineer, not a scientist, I'm driven by practical results. Most of the theory I apply has come from scientists, and as long as it works to get the end results, that is fine. I remember one of my lecturers saying that as long as a theory seems to fit the facts and suits our purposes that is fine. If another theory comes out later to contradict an earlier one, that too is fine. As Prof Brian Cox said, "that's the beauty of science - it's inherently self-correcting; if a theory is wrong, eventually it will be proved wrong and consigned to the bin; unlike other belief systems that are not based on cogent evidence but fictional thoughts of the mind". A good word for the latter is obscurantism. A good example of the above is when Newton, a brilliant scientist, stated that time flows at its own constant rate independent of everything else. That theory seemed to work and stood for centuries until Einstein said no, that's wrong, it's relative to speed, and has been proven correct over and over again. In a strict sense of course, time does not really exist as an entity. It is merely another invention of the human brain to measure things by. I still don't get relativity, curved spacetime, multiple dimensions and particles etc. And they reckon the smallest particle is the boson or whatever, But then, what does that consist of? There's no end to it. I'm not sure atoms and particles really exist. It doesn't matter. To me, a copper bar is solid. It conducts electric current and heat very well, and is relatively soft to work with compared to steel. So the atoms and particles in it are not solid at all but mostly space, and if they were compressed to eliminate all the space, my piece of copper bar would weigh over 50 million tons. Really?
News, Media and Current Affairs - Stranger than Fiction
Earlsdon Kid
Argyll & Bute, Scotland
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7 of 26  Sat 27th Jun 2020 3:11pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2017  Total posts:83

It's interesting how many scientists do also write science fiction, although I shouldn't be surprised as fiction and fact do feed off each other. I find it refreshing that many fringe ideas from the 60's and 70's are now being considered seriously by the science community and there is validation of some of these concepts. You only have to watch 'Springwatch' for instance to find the now accepted levels of communication within trees and also between them, now commonly known as the "Wood Wide Web". As you mentioned Prof Brian Cox, Slim, he has also brought science fiction and science theory together in his TV programmes including the 'Dr Who' specials in 2013. The whole area of quantum physics is still rather nebulous (?) but even gravity is quite happily demonstrable and quantifiable but the actual mechanism is still a mystery (at least to me), unlike electricity which can be explain by the movement of electrons. Throw light into the arena and it can either be waves or photons depending on what it's doing at the time. I guess I must be missing something here!
News, Media and Current Affairs - Stranger than Fiction
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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8 of 26  Sat 27th Jun 2020 5:14pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:731

Yes, I was amazed years ago when I learned that Arthur C Clarke was an SF writer, as you say, like so many scientists. That's why I'm not a scientist, I guess: I never got fiction, even as a young kid, never "played" with toys, e.g. was only ever interested in dismantling my train set to see how it worked, then re-wiring the stuff to make it do something it wasn't intended to do! Even in the infants I thought classmates were childish living in a fantasy world pretending to be a train driver or cowboys and Indians and so on. I hated composition. I would sit there for hours with a blank sheet of paper thinking "what a waste of time - this isn't real world". In Lower Prep B my teacher Miss Poulton wrote on my report "Composition: He lacks imagination." It's one the limitations of school where there were (in my case) 22 boys in the same class - one size does not fit all because we are all different. There were a few TV programs my mum watched, from the U S of A, that were scoffed at. A spy with a mobile phone built into his wallet so the Pentagon could call him - ha ha ha, what a load of absolute rubbish, absolutely impossible, will never happen in a million years. Flat screen televisions in colour - dream world stuff. Computers that can read, recognise a human voice and talk? Nonsense.
News, Media and Current Affairs - Stranger than Fiction
scrutiny
coventry
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9 of 26  Sat 27th Jun 2020 5:52pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:715

Arthur C Clarke, my favourite SF writer. Never wrote about aliens, only what could be possible. Yesterday’s fiction, today’s reality. There is more than him that has helped NASA because they can visualise what the engineers cannot see but can build on their vision. Oh my Edited by member, 27th Jun 2020 6:17 pm
News, Media and Current Affairs - Stranger than Fiction
scrutiny
coventry
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10 of 26  Sat 27th Jun 2020 6:02pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:715

I think I like Philip for this topic. Question, can anyone explain how an electric (battery) clock can stop for exactly one hour and then carry on an hour late when I know that battery was almost new? There is a second part to this but an answer first please. Thumbs up
News, Media and Current Affairs - Stranger than Fiction
Earlsdon Kid
Argyll & Bute, Scotland
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11 of 26  Sat 27th Jun 2020 6:36pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2017  Total posts:83

I would guess a radio controlled clock at the end of summer time?
News, Media and Current Affairs - Stranger than Fiction
Slim
Another Coventry kid
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12 of 26  Sat 27th Jun 2020 6:58pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:731

Quite likely. We've had several radio controlled clocks at work over the years, but gave up long ago. They start off fine, then start going haywire, being several hours out of step, refusing to update correctly, despite new batteries. In other words, a short life. And expensive. So we reverted to cheapo ordinary clocks, which go for several years without a hitch. Like a lot of digital technology, unreliable.
News, Media and Current Affairs - Stranger than Fiction
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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Thread starter
13 of 26  Sat 27th Jun 2020 8:39pm  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4362

Regards the stop & start clocks, our central heating clock automatically stops for an hour, then, six months later receives an hour length of double pulses.
News, Media and Current Affairs - Stranger than Fiction
scrutiny
coventry
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14 of 26  Sun 28th Jun 2020 9:13am  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:715

Thank you but I have no self set clocks, only the computer and tele. All the clocks in the house were just plain ordinary ones. The second part is this, 6 ordinary AA battery clocks separately on different days lost exactly one hour, not less or more. All in different rooms. I still have the same clocks bar one, lost it, and they still keep good time. Apart from altering them for summer/winter time they work perfectly. When this happened, one ok, two that’s funny, three something going on here, then it just became spooky. This was a few years back. Oh my
News, Media and Current Affairs - Stranger than Fiction
3Spires
Leicestershire
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15 of 26  Sun 28th Jun 2020 9:53am  
Member: Joined Apr 2018  Total posts:110

Stop the Clocks! I've had the same radio-controlled clock for years and years - it has never missed a beat Thumbs up If we wait long enough, Kaga will be along recalling the use of water or gas powered clocks Roll eyes Wink
News, Media and Current Affairs - Stranger than Fiction

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