Monthly Archives: November 2012

Q: Is it possible to experience different rates of time? If time were to speed up, slow down, or stop, what would you experience?

Physicist: It depends a little on how you define “experience”, but in general you’ll always experience time moving in exactly the same way.  So sci-fi movies where the characters are experiencing slowed-down or sped-up time and are having a hard … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Philosophical, Physics, Relativity | 18 Comments

Q: How many theorems are there?

Physicist: Every sub-field in math and physics has at least hundreds, and there are hundreds or thousands of sub-fields.  So overall we’ve proven… At least millions? This is one of those things that can’t really have an exact answer, or … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Math, Philosophical | 4 Comments

Q: How much of a direct effect do planets and stars have on us? Is astrology reasonable or plausable?

Physicist: Of the four forces: gravity, electromagnetism, nuclear-strong, and nuclear-weak, only the first two, gravity and EM, affect things over distances (at least, over distances larger than an atomic nucleus).  So, if the planets and stars have any direct influence … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy, Experiments, Physics, Skepticism | 7 Comments

Q: Why are scientists looking for life in space by looking for water? How can they be sure that all life uses water?

The original question was:  I’m reading more and more lately about the findings of the Kepler satellite and that some scientists are estimating that roughly 5% of newly discovered planets in our galaxy may have mass similar to Earth, which … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy, Biology, Logic | 6 Comments

Q: If energy is neither created nor destroyed, what happens to the energy within our bodies and brains when we die?

Quick note: If you’re presently grieving, don’t read this. The original question was: If energy is neither created nor destroyed, what happens to the energy within our bodies and brains when we die?  I think I understand that the metabolic … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Biology, Physics, Skepticism | 101 Comments

Q: Could Kurt Vonnegut’s “Ice-9 catastrophe” happen?

The original question was: Is it possible to actually create a substance such as Kurt Vonnegut’s “Ice-9 (Nine)“, which could, in theory, bond with water (especially seawater) and replicate like a virus, freezing the oceans (or all liquid water on … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Paranoia, Physics | 6 Comments