02 MAR 2019 by ideonexus

 Entropy in our Everyday Lives: Active Stability

Because things naturally move to disorder over time, we can position ourselves to create stability. There are two types of stability: active and passive. Consider a ship, which, if designed well, should be able to sail through a storm without intervention. This is passive stability. A fighter jet, in contrast, requires active stability. The plane can’t fly for more than a few seconds without having to adjust its wings. This adjustment happens so fast that it’s controlled by software. Ther...
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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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03 NOV 2015 by ideonexus

 Example of Lexical Context

A duct-less split can produce the exact amount of energy needed to temper an envelope. When I first read this sentence, my mind started to try to make connections to envelopes and wondered if tempering had something to do with getting or keeping the glue on the flap. If you are an engineer, you probably know that the sentence above refers to equipment and its capability of cooling a room. As with any topic, the more you know about heating and cooling, the easier it is to learn and understa...
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24 JAN 2015 by ideonexus


The hypothesis of {108} abstraction says that every living creature is characterized by a number Q which is a measure of the complexity of the creature. To measure Q, we do not need to know anything about the internal structure of the creature. Q can be measured by observing from the outside the behavior of the creature and its interaction with its environment. Q is simply the quantity of entropy produced by the creature's metabolism during the time it takes to perform an elementary respons...
Folksonomies: complexity quantification
Folksonomies: complexity quantification
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16 MAR 2014 by ideonexus

 Seeing Dyson Civilizations

In summary, the circumstellar shells of Dyson civilizations-at temperatures ~300 degrees K and radii ~1 a.u.--can be detected with existing telescopes and state-of-the-art infrared detectors in the 8-13-u window out to distances of several hundred parsecs. But discrimination of Dyson civilizations from naturally occurring low-temperature objects is very difficult, unless Dyson civilizations have some further distinguishing feature, such as monochromatic radio-frequency emission.
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How difficult would it be to detect their heat signature?

23 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 Life Emerges from the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Every species of living thing can make a copy of itself by exchanging energy and matter with its surroundings. One feature common to all such examples of spontaneous “self-replication” is their statistical irreversibility: clearly, it is much more likely that one bacterium should turn into two than that two should somehow spontaneously revert back into one. From the standpoint of physics, this observation contains an intriguing hint of how the properties of self-replicators must be constr...
Folksonomies: life thermodynamics
Folksonomies: life thermodynamics
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Hypothesis that life is the result of needing to dissipate energy that builds up.