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  #761  
Old 15.06.2009, 13:48
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Re: Ask a Scientist

You'd have to define the degree of flatness, and that is subject to interpretation. There are hills and boulders all over the place. If it was as flat as a sheet of paper, then I suppose it would could wrap around the earth a couple of million times.
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  #762  
Old 15.06.2009, 13:50
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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I have another q. on map and surveying.

When they say CH is ex. 41000 KM2, is this supposing country is flat or does it take all the terrain into account like all the mountains and valleys, which makes it much bigger?
If first choice, then CH will be bigger in reality for ex. compared to Denmark which is very flat and about the same area size. So this value is not very reliable.
If second choice, how you can accurately measure all the bumpy and complicated surfaces and ups and downs and turns?
I don't think that figure is the actual area for switzerland, only considering it as being flat.

It'll be the same problem as trying to measure the length of a border for a country.

As most mapping was done by triangulation (though this is being replaced by modern GPS systems), and include figures for height, you would work out the exact areas of all those little triangles taking the elevation into account, and you'd have a good approximation.
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  #763  
Old 15.06.2009, 13:52
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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To continue the theme of maps (well sort of). How big would Switzerland be if it was flattened out?
Doesn't help your question much but it reminds me of Billy Connolly talking about a dinner party where he was sat next to some guy who suddenly came out of his drunken stupor to exclaim "If you stood Norway up on its southernmost tip and let the country fall, where would the northernmost tip land?"

"Italy!" then fell asleep back in his dinner.
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  #764  
Old 15.06.2009, 14:07
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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I don't think that figure is the actual area for switzerland, only considering it as being flat.

It'll be the same problem as trying to measure the length of a border for a country.

As most mapping was done by triangulation (though this is being replaced by modern GPS systems), and include figures for height, you would work out the exact areas of all those little triangles taking the elevation into account, and you'd have a good approximation.
So it means only projection of the cone is measured not real top areas of it.
Then as I said, if nominal area which you find in all geographycal data of countries, for 2 country are the same, then the one with more terrains and up and downs is in reality bigger than flat one.
Say CH can make more cheese than Denmark, as it has more grasses due to bigger real surface area!
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  #765  
Old 15.06.2009, 14:10
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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So it means only projection of the cone is measured not real top areas of it.
Then as I said, if nominal area which you find in all geographycal data of countries, for 2 country are the same, then the one with more terrains and up and downs is in reality bigger than flat one.
Say CH can make more cheese than Denmark, as it has more grasses due to bigger real surface area!
But not all that land may be usuable, so although they may have a larger geographical area, they may very well have a much smaller useable area.
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  #766  
Old 15.06.2009, 14:45
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Re: Ask a Scientist

As I understand it the real surface of Switzerland is not determinable because of fractals-and-stuff Have a look at Mandelbrot's paper Wikipedia reference-linkHow Long Is the Coast of Britain? for a geographical application.
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  #767  
Old 15.06.2009, 14:49
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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...
weejeem, do you work in Geology or why do you know the name of this "Bouger Anomaly Map"? The map I linked by the way was measured from airplanes flying at 5500m altitude.
...
Not a geologist, just used to do a lot of navigation of various sorts

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To continue the theme of maps (well sort of). How big would Switzerland be if it was flattened out?
Ohmigawd, 3-d fractals and it's only Monday...
...where's MathNut when she's needed ?

Here's the problem described in two dimensions...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_Lon...onal_Dimension
and Mandelbrot's original paper...
http://www.math.yale.edu/mandelbrot/...tOfBritain.pdf

The big challenge is establishing an appropriate value for D (the exponent of similarity),
for three dimensions for "Switzerland"; will see what can come up with, but
really don't hold your breath...!
.
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  #768  
Old 15.06.2009, 15:10
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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The big challenge is establishing an appropriate value for D (the exponent of similarity),
for three dimensions for "Switzerland"; will see what can come up with, but
really don't hold your breath...!
.
It probably varies from canton to canton...
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  #769  
Old 15.06.2009, 17:30
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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It probably varies from canton to canton...
As in "Consider a spherical kanton..." ?
.
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  #770  
Old 15.06.2009, 17:44
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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As in "Consider a spherical kanton..." ?
.
Would that be a "Frictionless spherical Kanton"?
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  #771  
Old 18.06.2009, 11:11
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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To continue the theme of maps (well sort of). How big would Switzerland be if it was flattened out?
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...
The big challenge is establishing an appropriate value for D (the exponent of similarity),
for three dimensions for "Switzerland"; will see what can come up with,
...
.
Thursday's update:

The problem turns out to be not particularly amenable to frac-attack
due to great variation of terrains that would need to be handled discretely
( got as far as D=1 for lakes! ) and the difficulty of mapping an
appropriate D to each of these terrain types.

There's also a bit of a controversy as to whether landscapes actually do
conform to fractal analysis at all (statistical self-similarity being a key aspect).
Fr'instance, "Is soil erosion at one level of scale really 'similar' to glaciation at a
higher level, which is in turn 'similar' to plate tectonics at a yet higher level of
scale?"

Brute geometry would seem to be the next best line of attack, soooooo
if anyone's got access to vector map data for Switzerland...???

Like I said, don't hold your breath...!
.
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  #772  
Old 18.06.2009, 11:56
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Re: Ask a Scientist

The people at Swisstopo have solved the riddle for us and even give the information in English: Measured with a 25m resolution, the country's area increases by 12.5%.
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  #773  
Old 18.06.2009, 13:49
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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The people at Swisstopo have solved the riddle for us and even give the information in English: Measured with a 25m resolution, the country's area increases by 12.5%.
Cool, thanks for that! I feel the brain-pain reducing already


So here's another riddle to replace the one they solved: "What do you get when you cross a mountain-climber with a mosquito?"
.
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  #774  
Old 19.06.2009, 09:15
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Re: Ask a Scientist

.
"What do you get when you cross a mountain-climber with a mosquito?"
.
Nothing. You can't cross a scaler with a vector. Aarf-aarf...
.


OK, back to the serious stuff... (it is Friday, after all!)


So, here we all are building ITER, a fusion reactor in France, with a price tag of $6bn
(2006), oops, a price tag of $16bn (2009), and I'm kinda guessing the trend is not a
one-off.

The Research Director for the French national research laboratory in Paris is on record
as saying
"The most difficult problem is the problem of materials. ... fusion is like trying to put the
Sun in a box - but we don't know how to make the box."
"The walls of the box, which need to be leak tight, are bombarded by these neutrons
which can make stainless steel boil. Some people say it is just a question of inventing
a stainless steel which is porous to let these particles through; personally I would have
started by inventing this material."

This doesn't fill me with a lot of confidence, to be honest.
("Chemists have just made the strongest acid known to man. Unfortunately, they don't
have anything to keep it in...")

What's the prognosis, nuclear-type people out there? Anyone who's involved in this field,
or related, care to share their opinion? Any CERN slant on it?
.
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  #775  
Old 19.06.2009, 11:41
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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.
This doesn't fill me with a lot of confidence, to be honest.
("Chemists have just made the strongest acid known to man. Unfortunately, they don't
have anything to keep it in...")

What's the prognosis, nuclear-type people out there? Anyone who's involved in this field,
or related, care to share their opinion? Any CERN slant on it?
.
This comment isn't specifically about ITER, but large reasearch projects in general. A lot of long-term projects may ultimately strive to produce X, but a lot of the research consists producing W which will help produce X. Then V has to be produced to assist with W. It's incremental.

For a close to home example, check out the LHC computing grid. While it's not a perfect example as they just improved on what was already there, it illustrates it well enough.
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  #776  
Old 19.06.2009, 15:15
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Re: Ask a Scientist

I wouldn't worry about the materials - they were building difusion separation plants for uranium extraction befoer they had the materials that could stand up to uranium hexafluoride. They'll turn something up.
Although saying that, my money's on the US laser experiment. Looks a lot less hassle and cost.
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  #777  
Old 19.06.2009, 15:24
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Re: Ask a Scientist

This is probably an evolutionary biology question.

Does anyone know why you find more and nastier poisonous animals generally in hot climates.

Is this just because there's greater diversity of life in those places anyway? This wouldn't seem to hold true for deserts, where there are often extremely poisonous creatures.
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  #778  
Old 19.06.2009, 16:13
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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This is probably an evolutionary biology question.

Does anyone know why you find more and nastier poisonous animals generally in hot climates.

Is this just because there's greater diversity of life in those places anyway? This wouldn't seem to hold true for deserts, where there are often extremely poisonous creatures.
Could be that in environments like desserts, having much scarse food, those who had poison could hunt better and feed themselves, beside higher chance of survival if a fight needed .
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  #779  
Old 25.06.2009, 17:23
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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They'll turn something up.
...after all, it only took twenty years after the invention of nitroglycerin for someone to invent Dynamite!
.
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  #780  
Old 25.06.2009, 22:29
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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...after all, it only took twenty years after the invention of nitroglycerin for someone to invent Dynamite!
.
Here's a better explosive for you...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8119591.stm
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