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Ask Your Resident Physicist Questions

Discussion in 'Question & Answer' started by ID Zeta, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. ID Zeta

    ID Zeta Resident Physicist

    Solaire
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    Ho boy. Hollywood physics is a rabbit hole that's always fun to go down. In case there are people who haven't seen The Last Jedi yet, I'll keep this as spoiler-free as I can and keep it general.
    Hollywood, particularly when it comes to action thrillers and sci-fi movies, doesn't give a damn about physics. If it makes for an intense scene, it works for them. While I'm not bothered by these, I'll go ahead and list a few unrealistic things in Star Wars (though these can extend to any space-based movie):
    -Space battles would be silent. Sound needs a medium to travel through, and space conveniently lacks any such medium.
    -Spaceships suddenly changing direction would put insane g-forces on the pilots, but they often act unaffected by them.
    -Why do all planets have Earth-like gravity and atmospheres?
    -Faster-than-light travel would require infinite energy to achieve.
    -What powers the Death Star's mega laser? On that topic, how does Starkiller Base contain the mass of a star in the volume of a planet?
    -Lightsabers are a whole topic unto themselves. As they exist in the movies, they're (currently) impossible to build. Being cut/stabbed by one would be a lot more gruesome and fiery than shown.
    -Specifically for The Last Jedi, the whole "tracking through light-speed" thing is a little odd. That's the only one that bugs me a little.
    The list goes on, but I'll stop there. There was one scene in The Last Jedi with some particularly interesting physics.
    When Captain whats-her-face sent the Rebel cruiser through Snoke's flagship at light-speed. With our current understanding of relativity, a ship going that fast would have infinite mass and, therefore, infinite momentum. We'll keep it a little more realistic and say that the ship was almost to light-speed, which would still give the ship a huge amount of kinetic energy. Snoke's ship wouldn't just have a chunk broken off of it, the whole damn thing would be in ruins, with much of it being vaporized on impact.
    Rang over.
     
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  2. SnowboundBecca

    SnowboundBecca Scarf Enthusiast

    Jet Stone
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    Marshadium Z ★★★★★Beast Ball ★★★★Black Glasses ★★★★Luxury Ball ★★★Legendary Triforce ★★
    What's your favorite thing about Christmas?
     
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  3. ID Zeta

    ID Zeta Resident Physicist

    Solaire
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    The scenery. I live in a more rural area, so I'm used to seeing hills and fields covered in perfect snow. The lights everywhere are a nice touch, too.
     
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  4. Vigilance

    Vigilance once here, now gone

    Fletchling
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    Master BallGold Bottle Cap ★★★★★Mewnium Z  ★★★★★Beast Ball ★★★★Staff of Verity
    Did you take AP Physics in high school? What prompted you to do so?
     
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  5. ID Zeta

    ID Zeta Resident Physicist

    Solaire
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    I don't think my high school offered AP physics. We had Honor's physics (which I didn't take for some reason), and we had IB physics (which I didn't take because I wasn't in the IB program).
     
  6. Princess Victoria

    Zelda
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    Do you think quantum mechanics is the complete truth? Is there an underlying randomness and uncertainty in nature, or is it because our instruments aren't good enough to measure things precisely?
     
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  7. ID Zeta

    ID Zeta Resident Physicist

    Solaire
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    A bit of both, in a way. Instruments can always be improved, but if the Uncertainty Principal is true, then we can never build an instrument that gives us absolute precision on more than one measurements at a time. With time, we'll be able to bridge the gap between quantum randomness and classical order.
     
  8. Eclipse

    SkittleBox
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    :: Would you ever want to go hiking somewhere?

    :: Do you like surprises or would you rather go without?

    :: Do you ever go into rants regarding the Fast and the Furious movies?
     
  9. ID Zeta

    ID Zeta Resident Physicist

    Solaire
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    -Possibly. I'm an out-of-shape asthmatic, which means my adventures into the wilderness would likely have to be short.

    -Normally, I'm the kind of guy who wants to know exactly what I'm getting myself into. That said, pleasant surprises are always welcome, but I like to be as surprise-free as I can help.

    -Aside from the usual Hollywood physics shenanigans, I haven't looked that deeply into the Fast and Furious movies to find specific things to pick apart.
     
  10. Vigilance

    Vigilance once here, now gone

    Fletchling
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    What is the last movie you watched?
     
  11. ID Zeta

    ID Zeta Resident Physicist

    Solaire
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    In a movie theater? Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
    At home? I think one of the Jurassic Parks, I can't remember which.
     
  12. Junkrat

    Junkrat Demolitions Expert

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    Park Ball ★★★
    Do you like answering or asking questions more?
    Are you superstitious?
    Would you consider yourself sassy?
     
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  13. ID Zeta

    ID Zeta Resident Physicist

    Solaire
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    -Answering, if only slightly. I'm often afraid that the questions I ask make me sound dumb.
    -Not particularly, no. Science and logic have answers to most things nowadays.
    -I can definitely be if I wanted, I just often choose not to be.
     
  14. Eclipse

    SkittleBox
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    :: Do you have a particular favourite of the Jurassic Park movies?

    :: Do you own an umbrella?

    :: What's the wittiest thing someone's ever said to you?
     
  15. ID Zeta

    ID Zeta Resident Physicist

    Solaire
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    -I think the original one and Jurassic World were the best so far. The second one didn't quite capture the same manic as the first, and I honestly don't remember enough of the third to pass judgment.

    -I do, in fact, though I rarely use it.

    -I have a really hard time remembering things like this, unfortunately, so I don't have an answer for you. :sweat:
     
  16. Vigilance

    Vigilance once here, now gone

    Fletchling
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    When was the last time you participated in a SoTM whether it be this site or any other?
     
  17. ID Zeta

    ID Zeta Resident Physicist

    Solaire
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    Hm... November was the last time I think I participated in LV's SotM. I haven't had time to since.
     
  18. Eclipse

    SkittleBox
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    :: Have you ever gone by other aliases in the past besides 'ID Zeta'?

    :: Do you enjoy any sort of word puzzles?

    :: Is 'zeta' the most important Greek letter, or is it something else?
     
  19. ID Zeta

    ID Zeta Resident Physicist

    Solaire
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    -Other than variations of it (adding numbers, removing the space), ID Zeta is my only alias.
    -Define "word puzzles".
    -Alphabetically, zeta is the 6th Greek letter. It's not used in physics, though we do like using the z-axis to define things, which could count. I picked it because it sounded cool at the time, honestly.
     
  20. Eclipse

    SkittleBox
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    Anything that is puzzle-like in nature and uses words as a primary vehicle - fill-ins, word searches, crosswords, acrostics, etc. are just some examples.
     

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