Monthly Archives: May 2010

Q: Would it be possible to generate power from artificial lightning?

The original question was: Would it be possible to create a very dense cloud cover inside a laboratory under controlled conditions and generate “artificial lightning”?  the Power output would be Amazing!!  it would really help solve our energy crisis. Physicist: … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Engineering, Physics | 13 Comments

Q: What is the optimum spectrum to visualize things with? Theoretically, which type of vision would be the best to see things with?

Physicist: At the risk of being a smart-ass; it really depends on what you want to see. Different wavelengths are good for seeing different things.  Infrared is good for seeing dust, x-rays are good for finding blackholes, novas, and bones.  … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Physics | 3 Comments

Q: What causes iron, nickel, and cobalt to be attracted to magnets, but not other metals?

Physicist: The magnetic properties of a material are governed entirely by the configuration of the electrons in that material.  In metals there are two types of electrons: bound electrons and free electrons.  The free electrons are free to move between … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Physics | 19 Comments

Q: Is it possible to fill a black hole? If you were to continuously throw galaxies worth of matter into a black hole, would it ever fill up? And what would theoretically happen if all the matter in the universe was thrown into a single black hole?

Physicist: Nope. A blackhole is already the result of over filling. A blackhole is to mass as the rage virus is to people; throwing more at it just makes it more dangerous. However, unlike zombies, blackholes do eat each other. … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy, Physics | 22 Comments

Q: Can math and science make you better at gambling?

Physicist: Yes. Don’t gamble (mathematically speaking). Mathematician: Gambling (at casinos, in lotteries, and in most other instances) is expected value negative, even when you play optimally. That means that the average amount of money you will make per play is … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Mathematician, -- By the Physicist, Probability | 3 Comments

Q: Spectroscopy?

The complete question was: What is spectrum? What spectrum does the absolute black body have? Why do different bodies have different spectra? What is spectroscopy and how is it used in science? Why do different elements in star spectrum have … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy, Physics, Quantum Theory | 3 Comments