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Archive for the ‘education’ category: Page 67

Nov 2, 2012

Atlantica Undersea Colony — Undersea Colonization and Research

Posted by in categories: education, engineering, futurism, habitats, space, sustainability

It may have gone unnoticed to most, but the first expedition for mankind’s first permanent undersea human colony will begin in July of next year. These aquanauts represent the first humans who will soon (~2015) move to such a habitat and stay with no intention of ever calling dry land their home again. Further details: http://underseacolony.com/core/index.php

Of all 100 billion humans who have ever lived, not a single human has ever gone undersea to live permanently. The Challenger Station habitat, the largest manned undersea habitat ever built, will establish the first permanent undersea colony, with aspirations that the ocean will form a new frontier of human colonization. Could it be a long-term success?

The knowledge gained from how to adapt and grow isolated ecosystems in unnatural environs, and the effects on the mentality and social well-being of the colony, may provide interesting insights into how to establish effective off-Earth colonies.

One can start to pose the questions — what makes the colony self-sustainable? What makes the colony adaptive and able to expand its horizons. What socio-political structure works best in a small inter-dependent colony? Perhaps it is not in the first six months of sustainability, but after decades of re-generation, that the true dynamics become apparent.

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Oct 30, 2012

The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 5c)

Posted by in categories: education, engineering, physics, policy, scientific freedom, space

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts, Legal Standing, Safety Awareness, Economic Viability, Theoretical-Empirical Relationships, and Technological Feasibility.

In this post I discuss the third and final part, Concepts and Logical Flow, of how to read or write a journal paper, that is not taught in colleges.

A paper consists of a series of evolving concepts expressed as paragraphs. If a concept is too complex to be detailed in a single paragraph, then break it down into several sub-concept paragraphs. Make sure there is logical evolution of thought across these sub-concepts, and across the paper.

As a general rule your sentences should be short(er). Try very hard not to exceed two lines of Letter or A4 size paper at font size 11. Use commas judicially. Commas are not meant to extend sentences or divide the sentence into several points!!! They are used to break up a sentence into sub-sentences to indicate a pause when reading aloud. How you use commas can alter the meaning of a sentence. Here is an example.

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Oct 29, 2012

The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 5b)

Posted by in categories: defense, education, engineering, philosophy, physics, policy, scientific freedom

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts, Legal Standing, Safety Awareness, Economic Viability, Theoretical-Empirical Relationships, and Technological Feasibility.

In this post I discuss part 2 of 3, Mathematical Construction versus Mathematical Conjecture, of how to read or write a journal paper that is not taught in colleges.

I did my Master of Arts in Operations Research (OR) at the best OR school in the United Kingdom, University of Lancaster, in the 1980s. We were always reminded that models have limits to their use. There is an operating range within which a model will provide good and reliable results. But outside that operating range, a model will provide unreliable, incorrect and even strange results.

Doesn’t that sound a lot like what the late Prof. Morris Kline was saying? We can extrapolate this further, and ask our community of theoretical physicists the question, what is the operating range of your theoretical model? We can turn the question around and require our community of theoretical physicists to inform us or suggest boundaries of where their models fail “ … to provide reasonability in guidance and correctness in answers to our questions in the sciences …”

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Oct 28, 2012

The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 5a)

Posted by in categories: education, ethics, physics, policy, scientific freedom, space

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts, Legal Standing, Safety Awareness, Economic Viability, Theoretical-Empirical Relationships, and Technological Feasibility.

I was not intending to write Part 5, but judging from the responses I thought it was necessary to explain how to read a journal paper – and a good read cannot be done without a pen and paper. If you are writing a paper, when you have completed it, I would suggest you set it aside for at least a week. Don’t think about your paper or the topic during this shmita period. Then come back to your paper with a pen & paper and read it afresh. You’d be surprised by the number of changes you make, which means you have to start well before your deadline.

Note, you can find articles on how to review or write papers and here is one, by IOP (Institute of Physics, UK) titled Introduction to refereeing, and is a good guide to read before reading or writing a paper. This is especially true for physics but applies to all the sciences and engineering disciplines.

Note, for those who have been following the comments on my blog posts, IOP explicitly states “Do not just say ‘This result is wrong’ but say why it is wrong…” and “be professional and polite in your report”. So I hope, we as commentators, will be more professional in both our comments and the focus of our comments. Thanks.

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Oct 23, 2012

The Witch-Hunt of Geophysicists: Society returns to the Dark Ages

Posted by in categories: education, ethics, events, geopolitics, information science, physics

I cannot let the day pass without contributing a comment on the incredible ruling of multiple manslaughter on six top Italian geophysicists for not predicting an earthquake that left 309 people dead in 2009. When those who are entrusted with safeguarding humanity (be it on a local level in this case) are subjected to persecution when they fail to do so, despite acting in the best of their abilities in an inaccurate science, we have surely returned to the dark ages where those who practice science are demonized by the those who misunderstand it.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2012/10/20121022151851442575.html

I hope I do not misrepresent other members of staff here at The Lifeboat Foundation, in speaking on behalf of the Foundation in wishing these scientists a successful appeal against a court ruling which has shocked the scientific community, and I stand behind the 5,000 members of the scientific community who sent an open letter to Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano denouncing the trial. This court ruling was ape-mentality at its worst.

Oct 21, 2012

The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 4)

Posted by in categories: business, cosmology, defense, economics, education, engineering, nuclear weapons, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, scientific freedom, space

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts, Legal Standing, Safety Awareness, Economic Viability, Theoretical-Empirical Relationship, & Technological Feasibility.

In this post I have updated the Interstellar Challenge Matrix (ICM) to guide us through the issues so that we can arrive at interstellar travel sooner, rather than later:

Interstellar Challenge Matrix (Partial Matrix)

Propulsion Mechanism Relatively Safe? Theoretical-Empirical Relationship?
Conventional Fuel Rockets: Yes, but susceptible to human error. Known. Theoretical foundations are based on Engineering Feasible Theories, and have been evolving since Robert Goddard invented the first liquid-fueled rocket in 1926.
Antimatter Propulsion: No. Extensive gamma ray production (Carl Sagan). Issue is how does one protect the Earth? Capable of an End of Humanity (EOH) event. Dependent on Millennium Theories. John Eades states in no uncertain terms that antimatter is impossible to handle and create.
Atomic Bomb Pulse Detonation: No, because (Project Orion) one needs to be able to manage between 300,000 and 30,000,000 atomic bombs per trip. Known and based on Engineering Feasible Theories.
Time Travel: Do Not Know. Depends on how safely exotic matter can be contained. Dependent on a Millennium Theory. Exotic matter hypotheses are untested. No experimental evidence to show that Nature allows for a breakdown in causality.
String / Quantum Foam Based Propulsion: Do Not Know. Depends on how safely exotic matter can be contained. Dependent on a Millennium Theory. String theories have not been experimentally verified. Exotic matter hypotheses are untested. Existence of Quantum Foam now suspect (Robert Nemiroff).
Small Black Hole Propulsion: No. Capable of an End Of Humanity (EOH) event Don’t know if small black holes really do exist in Nature. Their theoretical basis should be considered a Millennium Theory.

It is quite obvious that the major impediments to interstellar travel are the Millennium Theories. Let us review. Richard Feynman (Nobel Prize 1965) & Sheldon Lee Glashow (Nobel Prize 1979) have criticized string theory for not providing novel experimental predictions at accessible energy scales, but other theoretical physicists (Stephen Hawking, Edward Witten, Juan Maldacena and Leonard Susskind) believe that string theory is a step towards the correct fundamental description of nature. The Wikipedia article String Theory gives a good overview, and notes other critics and criticisms of string theories. In What is String Theory? Alberto Güijosa explains why string theories have come to dominate theoretical physics. It is about forces, and especially about unifying gravity with the other three forces.

Continue reading “The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 4)” »

Oct 20, 2012

The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 3)

Posted by in categories: cosmology, defense, education, engineering, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, space

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts:

1. Legal Standing. 2. Safety Awareness. 3. Economic Viability. 4. Theoretical-Empirical Relationship. 5. Technological Feasibility.

In Part 1, we learned that Einstein was phenomenally successful because his work was deeply meshed with the experimental evidence of the day. In Part 2, we learned that to be successful at developing new useful theories and discovering new fundamental properties of Nature that will bring forth new interstellar travel technologies, we need to avoid hypotheses that are not grounded in experimental data, as these are purely mathematical conjectures.

In my book on gravity modification I classified physics hypotheses and theories into 3 categories, as follows:

Continue reading “The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 3)” »

Oct 17, 2012

The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 1)

Posted by in categories: business, cosmology, defense, economics, education, engineering, events, finance, human trajectories, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts:

1. Legal Standing. 2. Safety Awareness. 3. Economic Viability. 4. Theoretical-Empirical Relationship. 5. Technological Feasibility.

In Part 1 of this post I will explore Theoretical-Empirical Relationship. Not theoretical relationships, not empirical relationships but theoretical-empirical relationships. To do this let us remind ourselves what the late Prof. Morris Kline was getting at in his book Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty, that mathematics has become so sophisticated and so very successful that it can now be used to prove anything and everything, and therefore, the loss of certainty that mathematics will provide reasonability in guidance and correctness in answers to our questions in the sciences.

History of science shows that all three giants of science of their times, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton & Christiaan Huygens believed that light traveled in aether medium, but by the end of the 19th century there was enough experimental evidence to show aether could not be a valid concept. The primary experiment that changed our understanding of aether was the Michelson–Morley experiment of 1887, which once and for all proved that aether did not have the correct properties as the medium in which light travels.

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Oct 14, 2012

The Kline Directive: Economic Viability

Posted by in categories: business, complex systems, defense, economics, education, engineering, finance, military, nuclear weapons, philosophy, physics, policy, scientific freedom, space, sustainability

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts:

1. Legal Standing. 2. Safety Awareness. 3. Economic Viability. 4. Theoretical-Empirical Relationship. 5. Technological Feasibility.

In this post I will explore Economic Viability. I have proposed the Interstellar Challenge Matrix (ICM) to guide us through the issues so that we can arrive at interstellar travel sooner, rather than later. Let us review the costs estimates of the various star drives just to reach the velocity of 0.1c, as detailed in previous blog posts:

Interstellar Challenge Matrix (Partial Matrix)

Propulsion Mechanism Legal? Costs Estimates
Conventional Fuel Rockets: Yes Greater than US$1.19E+14
Antimatter Propulsion: Do Not Know. Between US$1.25E+20 and US$6.25E+21
Atomic Bomb Pulse Detonation: Illegal. This technology was illegal as of 1963 per Partial Test Ban Treaty Between $2.6E12 and $25.6E12 . These are Project Orion original costs converted back to 2012 dollar. Requires anywhere between 300,000 and 30,000,000 bombs!!
Time Travel: Do Not Know. Requires Exotic Matter, therefore greater than antimatter propulsion costs of US$1.25E+20
Quantum Foam Based Propulsion: Do Not Know. Requires Exotic Matter, therefore greater than antimatter propulsion costs of US$1.25E+20
Small Black Hole Propulsion: Most Probably Illegal in the Future Using CERN to estimate. At least US$9E+9 per annual budget. CERN was founded 58 years ago in 1954. Therefore a guestimate of the total expenditure required to reach its current technological standing is US$1.4E11.

Note Atomic Bomb numbers were updated on 10/18/2012 after Robert Steinhaus commented that costs estimates “are excessively high and unrealistic”. I researched the topic and found Project Orion details the costs, of $2.6E12 to $25.6E12, which are worse than my estimates.

Continue reading “The Kline Directive: Economic Viability” »

Oct 1, 2012

Debunking Antimatter Rockets for Interstellar Travel

Posted by in categories: education, engineering, physics, policy, space

Previous Post in this Debunking Series.

Why is it necessary to debunk bad or unrealistic technologies? If don’t we live in a dream world idealized by theoretical engineering that has no hope of ever becoming financially feasible. What a waste of money, human resources and talent. I’d rather we know now upfront and channel our energies to finding feasible engineering and financial solutions. Wouldn’t you?

We did the math required to figure out the cost of antimatter fuel one would require just to reach 0.1c and then cost at that velocity, never mind about reaching Alpha Centauri.

Table 2: Antimatter Rocket Fuel Costs to Alpha Centuariat 0.1c (in metric tons)
Source of Estimates Amount of Antimatter Required Maximum Velocity

Spacecraft Mass

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