From Wikipedia: While it is not impossible that some binaries might be created through gravitational capture between two single stars, given the very low likelihood of such an event (three objects are actually required, as conservation of energy rules out a single gravitating body capturing another) and the high number of binaries, this cannot be the primary formation process. Also, the observation of binaries consisting of pre main-sequence stars, supports the theory that binaries are already formed during star formation. Fragmentation of the molecular cloud during the formation of protostars is an acceptable explanation for the formation of a binary or multiple star system.
Instead, he discovered the law of gravity.
Which, as expressed in neutron star formation and collisions, is what transmutes base elements into gold.
Score one for the alchemists.
Something seems off about "a third": according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon, the Moon's radius is a bit less than a third of Earth's, but its volume is 2% and its mass is just 1%. I'm no expert, but "about a hundredth" seems more accurate.
For what it's worth, I only looked it up because I've come across this discrepancy before, so perhaps I'm missing something!
I'm guessing that it should be "do not"
Also, this is a beautiful piece of writing! I love it.
Thank you or sharing your appreciation. I will treasure that.
Kilograms are a measure of mass, not weight. Pounds would be a more appropriate unit there.
The majority of humanity has absolutely no idea what 'one pound' is when not referring to the currency, and will merrily say they weigh X kilograms.
It's an easy shorthand for the most part, since we're not 'weighing' ourselves in space, on the moon, etc, but in an article about space and physics and whatnot, it can come off as a bit sloppy.
So, thank you.
For an illustration of a pedantic distinction, this seems awfully unlikely to be correct. You gain mass by eating and drinking and lose it by urinating, defecating, and breathing; odds are you're not going to have the same mass on the mountaintop.
Think you're maybe projecting? It was meant to be a silly example and taking a super uncharitable interpretation (object x at different times or states with different masses) of my statement just to be able to pick a nit strikes me as more pedantic than responding to a request for corrections with my high school level understanding of basic units.
If you care about absolute masses at the ~percent scale or better, calibration is requisite.
A pound of force uses 'standard gravity' as a constant, even though it varies across the earth. Sounds just as bad?
Yes, that definition was reached using a notion of "standard gravity", but once fixed, it is nothing but a number.
Great writing. But the lesson is wrong. It has been proven that certain things which are true can never have an explanation: Godels incompleteness theorem.
If we are to debate whether the conclusion of my parable is true, I would tend more towards considering the possibility that many things in our Universe may simply be axiomatic, there is no explanation for them, they just are. Uncertainty may be one of those things.
Another line of investigation would be to consider whether some things do have explanations, but we have missed the opportunity to gather the evidence to understand them, therefore we will never understand them. Likewise, the Universe is finite, it will die, and we may never discover all of the explanations.
If something has an explanation, but there is no way for us to discover it, in what sense does it have an explanation?
However, you bring up a good point. Explanations rely on evidence and evidence must be observed. Additionally, the tools which we employ to observe evidence are imperfect. What does this mean?
It means in the world of logic only some things can't be proven, but in the world of science (aka reality as we know it): Nothing can be proven. Nothing can be fully explained because additional evidence can always be observed in a later point in time that disproves an explanation. As Einstein once said:
"The scientific theorist is not to be envied. For Nature, or more precisely experiment, is an inexorable and not very friendly judge of his work. It never says "Yes" to a theory. In the most favorable cases it says "Maybe," and in the great majority of cases simply "No." If an experiment agrees with a theory it means for the latter "Maybe," and if it does not agree it means "No." Probably every theory will someday experience its "No"—most theories, soon after conception."
or Karl Popper who put the concept simply:
"...no matter how many instances of white swans we may have observed, this does not explain the conclusion that all swans are white."
In short, no amount of evidence or explanation can justify any statement.
Interestingly though, it takes only one observed black swan to disprove a statement. Hence the role of falsifiability in the scientific method.
Thanks for a good read :)
Would it, really? Using a back-of-the-envelope calculation using a formula pulled from Wikipedia, and assuming:
1. The Apple Watch needs to stay within 50 milliseconds as Apple advertises
2. The neutron star is around two solar masses and has a radius of 10 km, and isn't spinning faster than 1,000 times a second
3. The distance between your waist and shoulder is about a meter
it should take a couple hundred seconds before Apple Watch drifts out of sync. Should be long enough for Siri to record your note :)
I wouldn’t be so sure. First of all, siri is pretty slow already in the best of times. Second, the watch doesn’t do the recognition onboard; it sends the audio (or some processed version, I don’t know) to your phone. And a neutron Star, especially a spinning one with lots of junk around it, we be generation an ENORMOUS amount of RF interference. I can definitely see it getting out of sync.
Then again it (and you) are not really rated for neutron sta4 conditions and the tidal forces would definitely tear you apart; just moving your arm would distort the watch, 7nless perhaps you purchased the extra expensive ceramic version.