02 SEP 2016 by ideonexus

 Teaching Temperature

Outside Temperatures. Place a thermometer outside a window so students can make daily calculations and keep a chart reporting the actual temperature and the temperature change from the previous day. Students will see that the change can be a negative number without the temperature falling below 0—an often-confusing concept that is clarified by these observations. An achievable-challenge extension could include barometers, and students who need more advanced work can learn how negative—or...
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18 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 An Example of the Joy of Hard Science Fiction

If they are going to sink below, then the pressure on the vessel is going to rise as Verne talked about in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. If the pressure on the vessel is going to rise, then it's going to collapse unless the pressure within the vessel rises. So the captain is slowly letting the vessel sink into the Moon dust, while the crew is not letting onto the tourists that anything is wrong, but the pressure is slowly going up. Now just as we don't typically notice the pressure go up or ...
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This example from a Clarke novel illustrates the fun of Hard-SF in how it leaves it up to the reader to figure things out from their scientific literacy.

16 JUL 2013 by ideonexus

 Physiological Effects from Exposure to a Vaccum

Vacuum doesn’t have a temperature of its own, so space is not really that cold. It’s a great insulator too, meaning that your core body heat doesn’t get sucked away. Without an atmosphere to transfer heat away, the risk of exposure is somewhat mitigated. The saliva on your tongue may boil off, as it’s not pressurized like your blood is, and you may get some frost on your skin. Sunburn from direct contact with the sun’s ultraviolet rays is a more immediate danger than perishing from ...
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A good description.

12 APR 2013 by ideonexus

 The Origin of Chaos Theory

Lorenz and his team were working to develop a weather forecasting program on an early computer known as a Royal McBee LGP-30.21 They thought they were getting somewhere until the computer started spitting out erratic results. They began with what they thought was exactly the same data and ran what they thought was exactly the same code—but the program would forecast clear skies over Kansas in one run, and a thunderstorm in the next. After spending weeks double-checking their hardware and t...
Folksonomies: prediction chaos theory
Folksonomies: prediction chaos theory
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Weather modeling produced two widely different results when a few thousandths of a decimal point went missing.