Category Archives: – Guest Author

Q: How do I encrypt/hide/protect my email?

Cryptographer: Lots of people have been asking “how do I encrypt my email” or “how can I hide from NSA surveillance”. It turns out that the answer to the first question is fairly straight forward, while the second is not, … Continue reading

Posted in -- Guest Author, Computer Science, Paranoia | 4 Comments

Q: Is the Alcubierre warp drive really possible? How close are we to actually building one and going faster than light?

The original question was: Is this f’real? Astronomer: The Alcubierre spacetime metric is named after a Miguel Alcubierre, a physicist who was also a Star Trek fan. It describes a type of bubble in space, where you could put, for … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, -- Guest Author, Physics, Relativity | 33 Comments

Q: What would happen if a black hole passed through our solar system?

Astronomer: Most black holes form when a star which is ten times more massive than our Sun runs out of fuel for fusion. This causes the star to collapse, explode as a supernova, and, if enough material is left over … Continue reading

Posted in -- Guest Author, Astronomy, Paranoia, Physics | 59 Comments

Q: Are there universal truths?

Physicist: That something exists, that it is more complex than trivially simple, and it includes me (cogito ergo sum, and all that). It doesn’t seem like you can say much more.  At least, this brain-in-a-box can’t. Philosopher: Depends on what … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, -- Guest Author, Philosophical | 4 Comments

Q: Is it of any coincidence that mathematics is able to describe physical reality – given that both are inventions of the human mind?

Physicist: There’s a lot of math that doesn’t describe physical reality at all, and even some (few) mathematicians who feel that “applicability” is just another word for “impurity”.  The ability of math to describe reality is just a consequence of … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, -- Guest Author, Evolution, Math, Paranoia, Philosophical | 1 Comment

Q: What did Einstein mean by: “Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.”

Albert Einstein: “Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.” Mathematician: It is impossible to know precisely what Einstein meant by this quote without being able to ask him. It is often … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Mathematician, -- By the Physicist, -- Guest Author, Philosophical, Physics | 38 Comments