Physical Insights

An independent scientist’s observations on society, technology, energy, science and the environment. “Modern science has been a voyage into the unknown, with a lesson in humility waiting at every stop. Many passengers would rather have stayed home.” – Carl Sagan

A roundup of some interesting things.

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A few interesting things I’ve come across this week:

i) In pure water, (and in particular in ice, which has a much greater density of hydrogen bonds) electric charge is primarily carried not by electrons, but by a flow of mobile protons. (Or deuterons, in D2O.)

Further reading here and here.

ii) A compendium of water-related pseudoscience and quackery. From magical quantum water purification, to “water memory”, to converting your car to run on water, it’s all discussed here.

iii) Neodymium-iron-boron magnets are dangerous!

Super-strong neodymium-iron-boron permanent magnets are very cool. They’re fun to play with, and they’re also extremely useful for many technological applications.

But they should be treated with a great deal of respect, and not toyed around with, especially not if they’re large – anything bigger than a few cubic centimetres.
A pair of these magnets the size of cigarette packets are not novelties and they’re not toys – they will take off your hand quite easily if they’re not treated with respect.

Do not want! 😦 😮

To Mars by A-bomb: The Secret History of Project Orion.
I think I’ve posted little bits from this before, but I was delighted to find that someone’s posted the entire one-hour series on YouTube. Very, very cool.

Here’s the first part, the next five parts are at the above page.

Watching the start of this program, I was actually a little surprised to see that there actually exists video footage (indeed, colour video footage) of the assembly of the Gadget for the Trinity test in 1945.

Written by Luke Weston

February 27, 2009 at 8:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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