Category Archives: – By the Physicist

Q: What is the state of matter in deep space?

The original question was: What might be the state of matter in [interstellar space]. Average temperature is 2.7K , so all the gases like hydrogen, helium should be in liquid or solid state? Physicist: Matter in deep space tends to take … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy, Physics | 8 Comments

Q: Is there a scientific conspiracy?

Physicist: Obviously. Science started in the 1750’s when a cadre of ultra-wealthy nobles decided to use their extreme means to build complex and bewildering devices for the express purpose of, as Mikhail V. Lomonosov put it (in Russian), “… the … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, April Fools | 7 Comments

Q: After the heat death of the universe will anything ever happen again?

Physicist: If you wait forever, then you might see something happen.  But the more practical answer is: no. The universe does a lot of stuff (for example, whatever you did today), but literally everything that ever happens increases entropy.  In … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Entropy/Information, Physics | 5 Comments

Q: Why does kinetic energy increase as velocity squared?

The original question was: … the formula for kinetic energy is and the formula for momentum is .  I ran into these in physics class long ago and was really bothered by the first formula.  How can energy go up … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Physics | 2 Comments

Q: Quaternions and Octonions: what?

Physicist: The most straightforward way to stumble across quaternions is to sit around thinking about complex numbers, where we have “i” which is the square root of -1 and stands for “imaginary number”.  If you have i, then you have … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Logic, Math | 5 Comments

Q: Since the Earth is spinning and orbiting and whatnot, are we experiencing time wrong because of time dilation?

Physicist: A little! The movement of Earth, as well as the Earth’s gravity, change how much time we experience compared to other objects in the universe.  If we were to occasionally compare our clocks to clocks in tight orbits around … Continue reading

Posted in -- By the Physicist, Astronomy, Relativity | 11 Comments