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Thread: Dumb Questions Encore

  1. #1 Dumb Questions Encore 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Just a few I've wondered about: How far can a particle decay, is there a limit? Will decaying particles eventually disintegrate into nothing? Does anti-matter decay faster than matter? Is Dark Energy composed of decayed matter?

    I have to edit in one more: If a universe consisted entirely of decayed matter then is there a way to un-decay it, return it to a former state?


    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  3. #2  
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    Err, I have no experience here, but, I would imagine that particles would degrade infinitesimally.


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  4. #3  
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    For cryin' out loud, look it up.

    Particle decay - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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  5. #4  
    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    I prefer to sob surreptitiously.
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  6. #5  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexG View Post
    For cryin' out loud, look it up.

    Particle decay - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Why have a science forum? No one Alex,except me, can be sure those are my questions. I could be asking on someone else's behalf. You wouldn't know if I have already suggested your answer or looked it up myself.
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    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Why have a science forum?
    Discussion leads to additional information you may not have looked up. It provides access to resources to help clarify any answers you may have looked up.
    It can provide encouragement and guidance, as well. It can provide different wording, even, that may have more of an effect than one simplified definition might.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Why do particles decay anyway? They are not "alive" .
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Why do particles decay anyway? They are not "alive" .
    Because they're unstable.
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
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    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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  10. #9  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    What makes them "unstable"? I mean that in an honest way for I do not know why a particle could become unstable to begin with if it starts out stable.
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  11. #10  
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    It doesn't start out as stable and then become unstable. It's always metastable, which means it's stable enough to hang around for a period of time, sometimes a long period, but will sooner or later will decay. That's what radioactive decay is all about.
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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  12. #11  
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    Well then, as this thread looks just about over and done with can I ask a question dumb question which I cannot find an answer to, if you don't mind Zinjan?
    Depression is the uncertainty of the unknown, I know one day I'll die so I'm happy.
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  13. #12  
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    To answer the OP, unstable particles decay until they become stable particles.

    Ask away, andy.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Ask away unless ants and/or shadows are involved. They seem to be obsessions of yours :P
    Do ants cast a visible shadow?
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    Well then, as this thread looks just about over and done with can I ask a question dumb question which I cannot find an answer to, if you don't mind Zinjan?
    Fire away Andy. I hope my dumb questions get some more air time but in case they don't, I would welcome more of the same.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  16. #15  
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    There aren't any dumb questions - there are only dumb answers.
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  17. #16  
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    Heh, well, he asked questions and then provided his own dumb answers, didn't he? :P
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  18. #17  
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    Frikken ants.

    Does the speed of light have a length?
    Depression is the uncertainty of the unknown, I know one day I'll die so I'm happy.
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    Frikken ants.

    Does the speed of light have a length?
    In 2D.
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  20. #19  
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    Any Dimention

    I've come to my own conclusion how to make the ants on the 2D sphere acceptable to me.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    Frikken ants.

    Does the speed of light have a length?
    And we have another meaningless question. It's not even dumb. It doesn't rise to that level.
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    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
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  22. #21  
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    Am I suggesting a measurement has its own length?
    Depression is the uncertainty of the unknown, I know one day I'll die so I'm happy.
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  23. #22  
    Anti-Crank AlexG's Avatar
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    Go back to the ants.
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    Am I suggesting a measurement has its own length?
    How heavy is 1 kilometre?
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  25. #24  
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    That canyon is a 100 years across.
    Depression is the uncertainty of the unknown, I know one day I'll die so I'm happy.
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  26. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedFreek View Post
    There aren't any dumb questions - there are only dumb answers.
    Anyone trotting this out has clearly never been involved in bringing up a 7yr old boy.
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    Or traded posts with AndyThomasTheKey.
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    So once again there is no helpful answer from the SF defence league

    Does the speed of light have length relative to us? On paper maybe it does, I don't know :/
    Depression is the uncertainty of the unknown, I know one day I'll die so I'm happy.
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  29. #28  
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    Andy seems to have some very basic problems with physical dimensions and units. I wonder how color he walks at.
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    That canyon is a 100 years across.
    Exactly. If that makes sense to you, there is simply no hope. It's a sign that your neural wiring is so broken that our answering will not be able to fix it.

    How much does green weigh?

    Could Han Solo really have made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs (post-hoc rationalizations by Star Wars fanboyz don't count)?

    Is my car's top speed 100 or 110 miles?

    And finally, how many seconds in a kilogram?
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  31. #30  
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    All speeds are distance covered in a certain time. The speed of light is measured in metres per second. There is your length.
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  32. #31  
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    I was going to write its length is 299792458 meters but it didn't seem right.
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  33. #32  
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    Its 299,792,458 metres per second.

    So, in 1 second, light travels 299,792,458 metres.

    Simples!
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  34. #33  
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    I think the word 'per' is screwing Andy up.
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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    No need to get per-sonal!

    If energy is mass travelling at the speed of light then how do I measure it up to a speed of 299,792,458mps? I cannot see energy so I am assuming as soon as mass reaches the speed of light it suddenly disappears :/
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  36. #35  
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    Andy doesn't have a clue.

    Now the real question, in my mind, is he really that stupid, or is he a troll?
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
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    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    No need to get per-sonal!

    If energy is mass travelling at the speed of light then how do I measure it up to a speed of 299,792,458mps? I cannot see energy so I am assuming as soon as mass reaches the speed of light it suddenly disappears :/
    A common enough problem, actually.

    It's not traveling at light. Light is E.M. radiation and light is limited to a particular constant in regards to its speed through spacetime.

    That constant is "c."

    That constant is not composed of light. The speed of light does not define the constant but the constant does define the speed of light.
    Everything is limited by that constant, not just light. Light is just the only commonly thought of thing that manages to max out at that speed.
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  38. #37  
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    No need to get per-sonal!

    If energy is mass travelling at the speed of light then how do I measure it up to a speed of 299,792,458mps? I cannot see energy so I am assuming as soon as mass reaches the speed of light it suddenly disappears :/
    Mass cannot travel at the speed of light. Only massless particles can travel at the speed of light.

    You cannot watch light travelling, as you can only see light if it hits your eyes. Light can only be detected when it hits something that can detect it - you cannot measure it whilst it is in transit.

    How you measure the speed of light is to shine a light at a mirror and time how long it takes before you see the light reflected back from the mirror. If you know the distance to the mirror, and know the time between the light being sent at the mirror and the light coming back from the mirror to your detector, you can calculate the speed of light.
    Last edited by SpeedFreek; June 13th, 2013 at 05:22 PM. Reason: typos
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    Thats cool, if something was to travel faster than the speed of light would that be our new constant?
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  40. #39  
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    Thats cool, if something was to travel faster than the speed of light would that be our new constant?
    "If the speed of something exceeded the absolute speed limit of something, would that new speed be constant?"

    Do you think before posting, or do you just post?
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  41. #40  
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    Thats cool, if something was to travel faster than the speed of light would that be our new constant?
    For something to travel faster than light, it would have to have less than zero mass. This seems to be an impossible situation.
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  42. #41  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedFreek View Post
    For something to travel faster than light, it would have to have less than zero mass. This seems to be an impossible situation.
    Wouldn't it have to have imaginary mass? (Which sounds even more impossible.)
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    That is not what defines the constant in any case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedFreek View Post
    For something to travel faster than light, it would have to have less than zero mass. This seems to be an impossible situation.
    Wouldn't it have to have imaginary mass? (Which sounds even more impossible.)
    Or something we are over looking.
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  45. #44  
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    fiveworlds seems to be giving andy a run for the money as stupidest poster.
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
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    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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  46. #45  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedFreek View Post
    For something to travel faster than light, it would have to have less than zero mass. This seems to be an impossible situation.
    Wouldn't it have to have imaginary mass? (Which sounds even more impossible.)
    Indeed.
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  47. #46  
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    E=MC2

    Energy is equal to mass travelling at the speed of light, which is nothing.
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    Note that it says, "Squared."
    That's a formula for 'at rest.'
    "c" is the constant. "c" does not represent "light."
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    At rest is it not E0 = m0c2
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    Hold on... 2D ANTS drive you crazy but you want to go there?!
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    Ha ha, in a way.

    So if what your saying is right about "c" being the constant does that suggest that C never moves but we do .
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    Ha ha, in a way.

    So if what your saying is right about "c" being the constant does that suggest that C never moves but we do .
    A constant is a figure that is constant. In this case, it is a "Speed limit" of propagation in spacetime.
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  53. #52  
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    Hypothetically;

    So C is the limit of the motorway,
    Mass is the car,
    Energy is the fuel?
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    Yeah, I guess.
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    Cool. So it doesn't matter how much energy I put into the tank of the car as I am not beating the limit set by the motorway unless I start to cheat. I could reduce my mass to very little and even alter the energy the car consumes but I will never break the limit of C unless I was nothing, or a ball of energy?
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    Yes. But... ball of energy?

    I'm so used to you saying things wrong that when you say something that makes some sort of sense- it throws me off.
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    Its a British thing!

    I can't see energy, only the results of it.. I can only break the limit of C if I were nothing or pure energy?
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    if I were nothing or pure energy?
    Quite a contrast, that.

    If you were nothing, you wouldn't break anything.
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    'Nothing' can break the speed of light after all!
    Depression is the uncertainty of the unknown, I know one day I'll die so I'm happy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    Cool. So it doesn't matter how much energy I put into the tank of the car as I am not beating the limit set by the motorway unless I start to cheat. I could reduce my mass to very little and even alter the energy the car consumes but I will never break the limit of C unless I was nothing, or a ball of energy?
    You cannot cheat. You will never beat the limit of c, even if your mass is ZERO. All massless particles can ONLY travel at c, but they cannot break that limit and move any faster than c.
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    I took "cheat" to refer to a concept like Warp drive, which sidesteps relativity, rather than physically exceeding light.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedFreek View Post

    You cannot cheat. You will never beat the limit of c, even if your mass is ZERO. All massless particles can ONLY travel at c, but they cannot break that limit and move any faster than c.
    I know, just because I cheat doesn't mean I will win.
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    Its a British thing!
    No, it definitely isn't.
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    Energy is equal to the content of the constant c2?
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    Energy is equal to the content of the constant c2?
    You forgot the mass part.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedFreek View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    Energy is equal to the content of the constant c2?
    You forgot the mass part.
    You mean nothing
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    No, I mean energy = mass x
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    Then I didn't forget mass, I called it content.
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    No, you didn't. Mass is NOT "the content of the constant c2"

    If you multiply the mass by the content of that constant, squared, you get the energy. This is not the same thing.
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    But you don't know what that constant is or do you? NF said it isn't the speed of light so it must be the constant relevant to the matter in question therefore the content of the constant c2 is energy.
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    e=mc2
    energy is equal to mass travelling at the speed of the constant2?
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    No.
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    e=mc2

    energy is equal to mass travelling at the speed of light2?
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    So why don't YOU help me and try to explain, in simpleton terms how this equation is translated please because if e = energy and m = mass and c2 is the constant then what is it I am writing about so wrong?

    And how can I troll in a stupid question thread, surely your the troll.
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    So why don't YOU help me and try to explain, in simpleton terms how this equation is translated please because if e = energy and m = mass and c2 is the constant then what is it I am writing about so wrong?
    So you were taught in maths class to read X = 2Y as X equals 2 travelling at Y?
    Or did you just not bother with learning?
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    e=mc2

    energy is equal to mass travelling at the speed of light2?
    it's supposed to be written as e = mc2. e equals mass times the speed of light squared.

    Lets put different variables in there to simplify it.

    assuming that z = 5

    b = az2

    meaning b = a times z squared

    b = a times 5 squared

    5 squared = 25

    b = a times 25

    b/25 = a


    Any better?
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    The same as you. I learned that if 2 is next to y I need to multiply 2 by y. In relative terms terms though if 2 represented mass and y represented speed then I would multiple 2 by what ever the speed is.

    So..

    Energy = mass x c2.
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    Thanks seagypsy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    As has been pointed out to you before, "c" in this equation is a constant that comes out of the theory. It just happens to be the speed that light (or any other massless entity) moves at in a vacuum, the "mass" involved in the equation is not moving at this speed it is simply that the constant that relates how mass and energy are related is a fundamental part of the universe which also governs the "speed limit" of the universe. Get rid of the idea it means "mass is moving at c", as has been pointed out to you (at length) this is not what the equation means and is not possible. If this isn't simple enough you are never going to get the point.
    PhDemon is right. When looking at any equation, you are simply taking numerical values and adding/subtracting/dividing/multiplying them. There is no implication in any equation that one variable represents movement or any other process dealing with another variable other than mathematical processes. Variable are simply place holders for numerical values that will eventually be mathematically processed.
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    Andy, perhaps this will help.



    Beautiful Equations (BBC) - YouTube

    You really should watch the whole thing, but the part from 3:20 onwards deals with
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    Andy, c2 is not c x 2. It is not twice the speed of light. It should be c2 , meaning c squared. It is NOT a velocity. It is a constant, whose units are meters squared per seconds squared. When that constant is multiplied by mass,( i.e. kg), you get kg/m2/sec2 , which is the unit of energy, Joules.
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    So why don't YOU help me and try to explain, in simpleton terms how this equation is translated please because if e = energy and m = mass and c2 is the constant then what is it I am writing about so wrong?
    Normally, I would let the answers provided stand upon my return. It's quite often that others explain it better and with more knowledge.

    But I suspect that AndyThomasThekey will keep this one going for a while. He always does. In the end, we'll never be sure if he got it, or not.

    As noted, repeatedly, "c" is a constant. Another constant is π (pi).
    You would not say that a circle is traveling at π, would you? That would be nonsense.

    E=mc2 is an equivalence at rest.
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    Sorry for late reply.

    Seagypsy you were right I wasn't taking any notice to what you said

    Variable are simply place holders for numerical values that will eventually be mathematically processed.
    I agree with the equation and appreciate the help to understand it.



    As well as E=MC2 being the universal equation for working out potential energy I also believe it suggests what happens to mass if it reaches the speed of the light, as you all know

    But the equation shows me that no mass can do this, simply because the constant is pi. NF thanks for bringing pi into it, very helpful in showing me what is implied by a constant, an endless number that is relevant to the equations success.
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    Troll, or the worlds dumbest poster?

    I just can't decide.
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    Sorry for late reply.

    Seagypsy you were right I wasn't taking any notice to what you said

    Variable are simply place holders for numerical values that will eventually be mathematically processed.
    I agree with the equation and appreciate the help to understand it.



    As well as E=MC2 being the universal equation for working out potential energy I also believe it suggests what happens to mass if it reaches the speed of the light, as you all know
    There is no place in mathematics for beliefs. There is no suggestions implied or otherwise about what happens to mass if it reaches the speed of light. What part of the equation do you think suggests anything of the sort? Equations and formulas do nothing but process numbers. They do not suggest cause and effect. The purpose of mathematics is to find data. It does not interpret that data. It only identifies it.

    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    But the equation shows me that no mass can do this, simply because the constant is pi. NF thanks for bringing pi into it, very helpful in showing me what is implied by a constant, an endless number that is relevant to the equations success.
    The equation shows no such thing. It is simply a tool for manipulating numerical values. A constant is just a variable who's value never changes. It does not imply that the value of that variable must be a number that can not easily be written down due to the infinite precision of countless decimal places it would require. A constant can hold the value of 3 or it can hold the value of 3 x101000. There is no rule that states a variable representing a constant must be some huge difficult to comprehend number.

    Also, NF did not bring pi into the E=mc2 equation. he mentioned pi as an example of another constant. The constant in Einsteins equation is c. It's value will always be 299,792,458 metres per second(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_of_light). They use c in the equation because it is easier to write.
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    As Einstein himself said, if you had cared to listen to the short vid, small matter moving near to the speed of light can turn to huge amounts of energy.
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    "near the speed of light" is not actually the speed of light.
    I did say that the equation tells me that nothing can reach the speed of light.

    There is no rule that states a variable representing a constant must be some huge difficult to comprehend number.
    There is no rule that states Energy needs a number, Mass needs a number or c needs a number. Just because the equation has been tailored to meet our mathematical needs doesn't mean the buck necessarily stops there. Right now E=MC2 is the same as 0=0x0, until I start adding values but what if I have no numbers to replace the 0's with? It doesn't matter because the equation, by itself, is enough for me understand the universal law "nothing" is going faster than the speed of light other than pure energy but then energy isn't matter so "nothing" can go faster than the speed of light.
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    Before you go, one last question?
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    Did Einstein know the constant existed before he made the equation?
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    andythomasthekey is banned for a month for trolling and derailing a thread. Since there's tid-bits of science in the thread I'm leaving sending it to general rather than trash.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedFreek View Post

    Mass cannot travel at the speed of light. Only massless particles can travel at the speed of light.
    And you know this because....
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedFreek View Post
    Mass cannot travel at the speed of light. Only massless particles can travel at the speed of light.
    And you know this because....
    ...he is educated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    And you know this because....
    ...it is the only way to satisfy the relativistic energy-momentum relation for all observers. Also, because that is precisely what we observe for the two types of massless particles in existence, photons and gluons. There are other reasons related to quantum mechanics ( the Dirac equation ) and the geometry of space-time itself, but I won't bother going into that since you wouldn't understand it anyway.

    E=MC2
    This relation is true only for particles at rest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by andythomasthekey View Post
    Did Einstein know the constant existed before he made the equation?
    What constant ?
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