Posts tagged ‘mathematics’


thenewenlightenmentage:

Babies Are Born Scientists

Very young children’s learning and thinking is strikingly similar to much learning and thinking in science, according to Alison Gopnik, professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. Gopnik’s findings are described in the Sept 28 issue of the journal Science. She spoke about her work in a video briefing with NSF. New research methods and mathematical models provide a more precise and formal way to characterize children’s learning mechanisms than in the past. Gopnik and her colleagues found that young children, in their play and interactions with their surroundings, learn from statistics, experiments and from the actions of others in much the same way that scientists do.

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quantumaniac:

How Much Does Fire Weigh? 

Question: Since fire is a plasma, and plasma is a state of matter, and matter is defined as anything that has mass, would that then mean that fire has mass and weight to it? If so, is there a way to measure its weight? How much space would, say, a pound of fire take up?

AnswerIt weighs more than nothing, but if you’re at the bottom of a pillar of fire, being crushed should be your second concern

Fires, putting aside details about plasma and chemicals or whatever, is just hot air.  For a given pressure the ideal gas law says that the density of a gas is inversely proportional to temperature, in Kelvin.  You can use this fact, the temperature and density of air (300°K 1.3 kg/m3), and the temperature of your average run-of-the-mill open flame (about 1300°K) to find the density of fire. For most “everyday” fires, the density of the gas in the flame will be about 1/4 the density of air.  So, since air (at sea level) weighs about 1.3 kg per cubic meter (1.3 grams per liter), fire weighs about 0.3 kg per cubic meter.

One pound of ordinary fire, here on Earth near sea level, would take up a cube about 1.2 meters to a side.  The reason that fires always flow upward is that its density is lower than air.  So, fire rises in air for the same reason that bubbles rise in water: it’s buoyant.  Enterprising individuals sometimes even take advantage of that fact.

If you were on a planet with no air at all, fire would fall to the ground instead of rise because, like all matter, it’s pulled by gravity.  Also, it would be hard to keep the fire going (what with there being no air).

Well that’s fascinating. Not sure if being crushed or burnt to death would be worse!


quantumaniac:

Isaac Newton Fun Facts
Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was without a doubt one of the most important scientists of all time, if not the most important. Here are some fun facts about ol’ Ike: 
  • Newton became a professor of mathematics at only 26.
  • Newton practiced Alchemy. 
  • Newton was elected as a member of parliment. His membership lasted only a year.
  • Newton earned the title of Warden of the Royal Mint.
  • Newton oversaw the recoinage of the whole country.
  • Newton was knighted because of his political activites.
  • He was named after his father who died three months before Isaac was born.
  • Isaac was born early. He was so small he could have put him in a quart jug.
  • Isaac’s father could hardly write his name.
  • Isaac was one of the worst in his class until a bully at school kicked him. Isaac challenged him to a fight even though he was smaller. He won. That wasn’t enough for him, he decided to be better than the bully at school as well.
  • Isaac liked to draw, his room was even colored on the ceilings and walls.
  • Newton was born on Christmas.

Posted a little bit ago, he is also Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s favorite scientist! Because who doesn’t like a guy who creates a whole new math just to prove he’s right?