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  #461  
Old 20.12.2007, 16:43
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Not quite - it doesn't exist because anything you cooled down tp it would cease to exist as it would radiate itself away.
We need someone with profuse ear hair to tell us...
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  #462  
Old 20.12.2007, 16:58
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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To have no energy , you would have to have literally nothing, i.e. a completely empty universe or total void. To cool any object down to absolute zero you would need an infinite amount of energy and the result would be that the object ceased to exist.
Wouldn't you still have vacuum energy?
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  #463  
Old 20.12.2007, 17:06
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Should absolute zero be regarded as an asymptote, like eg the speed of light? ie you can have values on either side of it (eg with a hypothetical particle such as a tachyon) but the exact value itself is impossible to reach?

And no I don't know how to have a temperature below absolute zero...

Last edited by bubbles4352; 20.12.2007 at 19:30. Reason: icle
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  #464  
Old 20.12.2007, 17:08
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Re: Ask a Scientist

I think that's a good way to look at it.

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Should absolute zero be regarded as an asymptote, like eg the speed of light? ie you can have values on either side of it (eg with a hypothetical partical such as a tachyon) but the exact value itself is impossible to reach?

And no I don't know how to have a temperature below absolute zero...
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  #465  
Old 20.12.2007, 23:13
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Re: Ask a Scientist

I've heard that you should unplug chargers for items such as mobile phones after you are finished charging. Why? Where does the electricity go if there is no battery connected or the battery is full? I have been wondering this for a while and Cameron Diaz was just on telly telling me to make sure I unplug my charger since it is more envirnmentally friendly.
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  #466  
Old 20.12.2007, 23:31
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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I've heard that you should unplug chargers for items such as mobile phones after you are finished charging. Why? Where does the electricity go if there is no battery connected or the battery is full? I have been wondering this for a while and Cameron Diaz was just on telly telling me to make sure I unplug my charger since it is more envirnmentally friendly.

A charger provides direct durrent (DC) to a rechargeable battery. It is plugged into to a mains supply of 240V alternating current (AC). The transformer, which converts the 240V down to a low voltage , consumes electricity even when the DC output is not connected. You can see from the left side of this diagram that the 240V mains circuit is not broken.




http://www.discovercircuits.com/
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  #467  
Old 21.12.2007, 08:14
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Well, that's a physical limit, not an absolute limit...
And that is the answer of a politician and not a scientist...
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  #468  
Old 21.12.2007, 11:12
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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And that is the answer of a politician and not a scientist...
Vote me!!!!!

It's similar in a way to the problem we're facing with high-speed aircraft. We've got the theoretical means to make aircraft ridiculously fast, but we're constrained by the fact that the airframes tend to melt...
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  #469  
Old 21.12.2007, 11:48
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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You can see from the left side of this diagram that the 240V mains circuit is not broken.
Even I, a scientist/engineer who took electrical engineering lab, am frightened by this circuit diagram!!!
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  #470  
Old 21.12.2007, 12:27
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Time for another question... what's the oddest thing that you have bought from a scientific supply house? You yourself, not the company/uni that you work for...

When I was at Uni I bought a tin of potassium metal chunks in liquid paraffin. When the boys were suitably ratted we used to take pieces and throw them in the river and watch the purple explosions...

Another guy I know bought a bottle of colchicine, but that's another tale...
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  #471  
Old 21.12.2007, 12:51
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Who needs to buy anything when you're good mates with the storeman of the uni's chemistry department?

My main *ahem* purchase was nothing too flash: just a bunch of big, brand new test tubes. They make fantastic shotglasses.
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  #472  
Old 21.12.2007, 13:40
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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When I was at Uni I bought a tin of potassium metal chunks in liquid paraffin. When the boys were suitably ratted we used to take pieces and throw them in the river and watch the purple explosions...
As far as explosions are concerned there's nothing like a long one-ended tube, a box of matches, and lots and lots of calcium carbide.
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  #473  
Old 21.12.2007, 13:45
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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what's the oddest thing that you have bought from a scientific supply house? You yourself, not the company/uni that you work for...
One of our colleagues has to regularly buy the knees of cows from the slaughterhouse to study the joint fluid.

We also have some big vats of pig and cow mucin (component of mucus) in our refrigerators.
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  #474  
Old 21.12.2007, 14:01
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Re: Ask a Scientist

At some point, we brought an hot plate stirer, a few magnetic bars and flasks home to make instant soup and bechamel sauce. Hey, the lab who has lasagna together, stays together....................We of course deny this allegations as we all have grown up to be very serious persons. I am now past my instant soup for dinner phase, but i still think it was a good idea using to use the stirer to add an extra touch of conviniency
Actually, i saw a similar thing in a bar in Zurich, so either the bar owner had worked in a lab, or we all lost a good business oppurtunity.
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  #475  
Old 21.12.2007, 14:10
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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At some point, we brought an hot plate stirer, a few magnetic bars and flasks home to make instant soup and bechamel sauce. Hey, the lab who has lasagna together, stays together....................We of course deny this allegations as we all have grown up to be very serious persons. I am now past my instant soup for dinner phase, but i still think it was a good idea using to use the stirer to add an extra touch of conviniency
Actually, i saw a similar thing in a bar in Zurich, so either the bar owner had worked in a lab, or we all lost a good business oppurtunity.

Yeah I have always wanted a stirrer like that for home. I have seen them in labs only, but they would be very useful for cooking. You could potentially even have a self stirring pot that keeps things from sticking...
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  #476  
Old 21.12.2007, 14:25
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Oh, but that is the whole point of the exercise - if you use a big enough magnetic bar, nothing sticks to the bottom....
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  #477  
Old 21.12.2007, 14:35
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Re: Ask a Scientist

So not true.

That reminds me, one day at work we were doing the typical, "Hey, let's freeze everything we can find in liquid N2" Which is an honored and fun time waster. So the usual, tygon tubing, a couple of plums, a bouncy ball, one of the undergrads fingers etc. When my co-worker decides to freeze one of the ketchup packets you get at McDonalds that has the edges so you can tear it open. We freeze it, he shatters it on the ground and then a couple of seconds later we look at his leg and he's bleeding from a 2 inch slash on his leg. Apparently, one of the edges had cut him pretty good. And all I'm thinking is: "Sweet, we are soooo suing McDonalds because no where on that packet does it say Do Not Freeze in Liquid Nitrogen" I think we coulda had a pretty good case.

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Oh, but that is the whole point of the exercise - if you use a big enough magnetic bar, nothing sticks to the bottom....
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  #478  
Old 21.12.2007, 15:19
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Re: Ask a Scientist

I might be an extremelly skilled lab worker then - did culture media with the same consistency of baby food for over 8 years, and never had them sticking to the bottom of the flask.... What happened to others, i cannot say.
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  #479  
Old 21.12.2007, 15:22
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Re: Ask a Scientist

I'm guessing you've never had to do a reaction with excess Fe or anything like that. Any of the metall-y types reactions can get nasty to deal with.

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I might be an extremelly skilled lab worker then - did culture media with the same consistency of baby food for over 8 years, and never had them sticking to the bottom of the flask.... What happened to others, i cannot say.
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Old 21.12.2007, 15:25
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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same consistency of baby food for over 8 years
I had this nightmare last night...
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