sexta-feira, maio 11, 2018

Smelly Socks:"Gravitational Waves - How Einstein’s Spacetime Ripples Reveal the Secrets of the Universe" by Brian Clegg

By complete coincidence, last night I had my amateur radio telescope pointed at a certain part of the sky. I had left the recording equipment on, and when I played it back this morning there was this strange message:

"Oh freddled gruntbuggly,
Thy micturations are to me
As plurdled gabbleblotchits in a lurgid bee.
Group, I implore thee, my foonting turlingdromes,

And hooptiously thrangle me with crinkly bindlewurdles,
For otherwise I will rend thee in the gobberwartswuh
With my burglecruncheon."
See if I don't!"

Black holes...That explains where all my spoons, biros, unicorns, and my wife's hair-clips that keep disappearing end up in. In order to find the Black Hole, we simply follow a large number of my smelly socks to their destination ((nah, the Unicorns are down to Noah; the silly sod got so drunk and confused he filled the Ark with the reject list, so instead of Unicorns, Centaurs, Mimsy Borogroves & c we ended up with the poisonous snakes and spiders, naked mole rats and the various parasites, viruses and such that infest the world now thanks to Noah's love of booze. Of course the book makes him out to be a hero, but who do you think wrote it? He and his family are the only people left, no wonder it's a hagiography! Hell, you don't want to hear what he got up to with the Mermaids!).

I wish we had a theory of quantum gravity.

What we describe as waves in a sea of energy aren't real waves but a representation of probabilities at locations. Particles can come in and out of existence at random, but they may hang around for quite a long time. Long enough to bind together into atoms, which accrete into a planet and eventually get taken up by a tree which is cut down to make my chair. The only visible signal would be if some material around the black holes started crashing together. The energy from the black holes themselves spiralling in just comes out as gravitational waves. You get visible light from the accretion disks of black holes, which are typically pulled off companion stars. But binaries both of whose components are black holes don't have companion stars, and hence have no accretion disks. So they are expected to be very dark electromagnetically. Energy doesn't have to be visible.

Gravity waves are it. I don't know that you would necessarily see any "visible signal", unless by "visible" one simply meant detectable, e.g. visible telemetry data. In which case it's exactly what LIGO and VIRGO are doing as Clegg shows.

6 comentários:

Book Stooge disse...

One, ok, two, slight corrections.
Moses wrote the account of Noah. It was verbal before that as far as we know.
Noah didn't get drunk until AFTER the flood. There's speculation that fermentation of enough potency to get drunk couldn't have happened before the flood too. I know the basic outlines of the why's, but have NO idea if it is something actually feasible or not.

Are we sure we WANT to find blackholes if we're just going to discover everyone's missing smelly socks? History would look back on you like the SJW's do on Columbus and see nothing but the plagues ;-)

Manuel Antão disse...

You're right of course. Humanity have been deliberately fermenting foodstuffs since Noah. It's not a modern invention. It was a clever way of storing food and introducing exciting new tastes into diets that might otherwise not have been as varied/nutritious. Our good gut bacteria like the probiotics we eat. In return they provide the fuel to feed the cells that line our colon. Stock up on toilet roll before supplementing!

You know that Columbus was Portuguese, right? In Portugal we all know that joke about Columbus when he was talking to a Portuguese King...I'm not sure it translates well: "He couldn't cut his toenails properly anymore as he didn't stretch that well to bite them (he was a fatso); that's why he had smelly feet..."

As a stylish resident of a hot summery country, I have long realised that there is only one sandal for men that will do, and that is the flip-flop (proviso: you must have nice feet like mine). These can be either blue, black or white but cannot be worn on a pasty foot.

If you want sandals socks are essential, especially the really colourful ones. They contribute mightily to the "pleasure" of wearing sandals...(I'm joking)

IMPORTANT: I get very bitter about this issue, especially at this time of year when women can come to work wearing vests, light skirts and flip-flops; some of whom insist on keeping the heating on with nary a thought of one's cheesy feet and sweaty bollocks. Won't somebody please think of the sweaty bollocks?!

Book Stooge disse...

Oh man, you'd think I'd learn my lesson about talking to you about gross subjects!

I'm making a note now. Don't talk about about anything that might allow Manuel to discuss bodily functions, etc.

Don't mind me, I'm just here in the corner, gagging ;-)

Manuel Antão disse...

Gag away!

Let that be a lesson to you...

Peter D. Tillman disse...

> Black holes...That explains where all my spoons, biros, unicorns, and my wife's hair-clips that keep disappearing end up in. In order to find the Black Hole, we simply follow a large number of my smelly socks to their destination

Shades of Wossisname, the [somethings] that metamorphose to metal coat hangers, and other instars that I've forgotten. I have his posthumous collection downstairs, and it's pretty good: ah, Avram Davidson. I *think* the story is "Or All the Seas with Oysters", which won a 1958 Hugo. Disappearing socks -- well, one of a pair -- are involved, as are bicycles. Ah, youth!

Manuel Antão disse...

We're two of a kind Peter...

I remember that story! I even remember the circumstances when I read it.