Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Small alien worlds

     I'm not in a thermodynamic mode tonight.  Partly because I do not have a good idea what to do, partly because I've been working some extra hours, and partly because I'm just not in the mode.  On this fine evening, I'll just talk and write to see where I go.  Nobody reads this thing anyway.
     Let's start off in distant land.  It's a good place to start because books like "Through the Looking Glass" and "Planiverse" used to intrigue me.  I'll keep this simpler in more of a "Flatworld" style.
     I'm imagining a 3D dimensional world, but  farther away from their star then we are from ours.  This would cause a world with more light weight gas present in the atmosphere.  Not something as big as Jupiter, mind you, but still bigger than us. The flora and fauna that live there would be invisible.  Well, to us at least.  In this imaginary world, since more light get there, it blocks out the visible light spectrum.  Light still bounces off of these objects, so their eyes would see other wavelengths.  I'm curious to know what we would look like to someone who could only see as high as radio.
     Can't stop myself from finding the calculations of the size of the planet.  Hey, if you're bored and want to build a mind planet, check this shit out.  I'm imagining my planet to have a 10,000 km radius.  Here's a good article if you want to know your planet's mass.  Anyways, the fauna here are built stockier, due to higher gravity.
     The deeper and deeper I dive into the equations and find the relationships between one thing and another, it does seem that we were brought here by a delicate ratio.  But what would have happened if ratio changed?  It would affect the sum of the parts, for sure.  They've found life in extreme places on earth though, so why not somewhere where the situation is different?  Imagining a world with different rules is fun, but imagining an alien world with the same rules as ours seems so fascinating.
     If any explorers find their way here, I'd be curious to know about any alien worlds you can create.  I'll be back to talking about thermodynamics next week.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The third law.

     Well, I've had my coffee, and I've stretched mentally, so let us get the ball rolling on this paper.
     The Third Law of Thermodynamics intrigues me.  The zeroth law has been around since before Thermodynamics had been called Thermodynamics.  There are miles of writing on the first and second laws.  But the third one is just there.
     Just think for a moment.  If there is energy is in a system, what is the temperature of the system when there is no energy?  I mean absolutely no energy.  The lowest temperature on the Celsius scale is -273.15 degrees.  When you can measure a state at that temperature, then there is no energy.  There is no processes that the energy can create.  And there is temperature scale that uses this point as zero.  The Kelvin scale measures the absolute temperature of a system.
     The story goes that  heat is created by the movement of molecules.  As a state cools, the molecules begin to move less and less, thereby creating less heat and less entropy.  They begin line themselves up into a structure, creating a crystal.  In a perfect crystal, the entropy is equal to zero.
    Here's where the fun begins.  Mathematically speaking, you can't reach zero using a finite number of processes.  If there was a gas at 310 K and we want to cool it down, we could introduce a cooler state for the heat to transfer to.  So, let us whip out our perfect crystal.  The problem is, the crystal will only help bring the gas down to equilibrium, it won't cool it down to Absolute zero completely.  Ignoring entropy for the moment, let us say that equilibrium is the mean of the two temperatures, or 155 K.  To actually bring it down to 0 K, you would need a state lower than Absolute zero; in this case it would need to be -310 K.  As stated, it can't go lower than zero, because there is no heat due to complete inactivity from the molecules.
     So, let us instead figure that we have a cabinet full of these damn crystals.  And we keep dividing the gas in half over and over.  The problem is 0 multiplied by any number is still zero, and no number can be divided to equal zero.
     As I'm writing this, I'm also catching up on convergent series.  Quite honestly, this will by stopping point because this is my limit.  According to most of what I can find, a series can not converge to zero.  And since I'm learning as much as I am sharing, I've hit my confusion point because it seems there are some proofs that claim I can reach zero.   Goodbye, my imagiary friends.  Dinners calls.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Insane Mathmatical Ramblings of a Madman.

     Wow, so here it is, my imaginary amigos, a joke in my head that somehow gained momentum and never stopped.  I gonna say right here this may not be safe for work.
     Entropy, sex, and the unseen world.  The discussion that's been in our minds for years.  The questions you never had, and the answers that are non-sequesters.
     Sex, sex, and more sex.  It seems that those of us that think a lot about it are not having enough of it.  It seems fitting that a blogger that talks about thermodynamics is going to think about sex, because it's safe to assume if he has enough free time to look for thermodynamic equations, he's probably suffering from a lack of sexual stimulation.
     Energy, heat, friction, and other principles come into play during sex.  And if I add enough equations into a discussion on the topic, it makes it seem like I've done work for the last week as opposed to watching porn.
     Imagine for a moment you are a young American Philosophy student on a back packing trip through Europe to "find yourself".  You're a philosophy student because you're imaginary and theoretical.  And you meet a German Engineer with low standards during this trip.  During this tale, feel free to fill any plot holes.
     While the two of you are doing your thing, keep in mind that one or both of you are doing work by the scientific definition of the word.  That is, one or both of you is moving.  And energy is the cause of that work.  A lack of energy would make this process that much harder.  What I want the first step to be is to define terms.  While you're busy plowing this person, I want you to be able to accurately figure out the science behind this.
     Since you're American, naturally all your measurements are done in imperial.  But you are in Europe where you have landed a scientist of sorts, so I ask of you to make a good impression.  Use metric.  And protection, but I hope that already occurred to you.
     I am going to make a lot of assumptions here, because there's a lot of information I don't know about you or your partner.  And I'm not all together positive on how to quantify your energy.  But I will say that your partner there, is full of Joules.  And the force they're using, well, that's Newtons.  You could say they're using Joules to make Newtons.
     And now that we've defined some units, we can begin to examine how the first two laws apply to sex.
     From a design perspective, this act is fairly straight forward; insert Tab A into Slot A.  From a psychological perspective, people are stupid and Tab A only goes into Slot A if we're lucky.  Biologically speaking, we are not design for the latter.  Before you go sticking your Tab into random Slots, think about the conservation of energy principle.
     Your potential energy is becoming kinetic energy.  And that kinetic energy is motions of your hips as they move back and forth.  As Tab A goes into Slot whatever, it is going to create friction.  The friction comes as the two planes move past each other, and if your friend there starts moving, then as the opposing force increases, so does the friction.  As said before, the energy has to go somewhere, and if there's a lot of friction, there is going to be a lot of heat.    You can prevent this build up of heat with the simple application of lube.
     Your probably noticing a lot of heat now in fact.  You're young, so you can have a crazy hectic sex life.  If you focus your attention inward, you might notice that your heart is getting a work right now and your temperature is rising.  That's normal, don't worry about it.  That heat your feeling is entropy.  And if your finding that your mind is wandering or math makes your partner really turned on, you can begin to figure out what entropy is.
     Entropy is the measure of the energy being dispersed.  It's energy you had, but wasn't used to drive your hips into your partner repeatedly.  It's the energy that you've lost through heat.
     Try shouting "The amount of energy being dispersed in a system is equal to the highest temperature divided by the lowest temperature!" a couple times to get your friend going.  Now you can use this statement to continue your problem solving.  In this case, either one of you can be the thermodynamic systems this equation refers to.  You and your Germanic friend started your little rendezvous with temperatures of 37 degrees Celsius.  With all the energy you've been using, it's probably safe to assume that the temperatures have gone up.  But your going to have to get some hard core data here.  I need you to take the temperature of one of the systems.  I suggest inserting the thermometer vaginally and using it to get your partner off.
     Now you're going to use that number in the above equation.  I can try using math to guess the temperature, but I'm just going to say it's gone up by a degree, for the sake of sanity.  This will mean that you would have something that looks like 38 degrees c divided by 37 degrees c.  Or 1.027 joules.  Now get back to work, because sex is apparently making your brain work.  Maybe it's the increased blood flow.  Maybe your absorbing all of your partner's engineering knowledge.  Whatever the case, you need it because it's about to get intense.
     I can't really find information to help with what we are about to attempt.  Many engineers have tried, but none have written it down.  And in all honesty, you became a philosopher because the transitive property is the most math you could wrap your brain around.
     The first thing we must do is figure out what the absolute temperture of the system is.  To do this, we need to convert Celsius to kelvin.  We need a number to convert, of course.  When trying to figure out the entropy of steam, they use the absolute temperature of boiling water.  By that logic I've chosen 42 degrees Celsius, because if your body rises above that, you are in for some serious damage.  Let me repeat, if you or sex buddies temperature is 42 degrees Celsius or 107 degrees Fahrenheit, then stop and seek medical attention!  But that's impressive, quite honestly.
    Add 273.15 to the Celsius number to get the kelvin equivalent.  So now you know that heat stroke starts at 315.15 K.
     Here it is, the big finish.  The equation I came here to talk to you about today.  While your working towards your climax, think about this:  the change in entropy is equal to the dispersion of energy divided by the absolute temperature of the system.  You can shout out that or the answer as you climax.  I'll leave that decision to you.
     As the two of you try to reach equilibrium in your post-coital bliss,you might find yourself wondering why your so tired.  Your tired because of all the work you did, and I'm going to leave you with one more equation.  Work is equal to the difference in energy.  If you were energtic then and just barely awake now, then rest assured the answer to that equation is somewhere in the range of "a lot".  Unless we come up with real numbers, we'll never figure out how much work was done mathematically.  This makes the experiment void, and I'll need you to do it again.  If you worry that you'll die, don't.  According to the third law of thermodynamics, you'll never have zero energy.  According to some stories I've heard, your heart could explode.  But the decomposition happening would count as energy.  Just something to ponder until I get to the third law later.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Working title

     It's that time again, my imaginary friends, for coffee and heat science.    I wanted to talk about the three laws and improve my knowledge on that, but I keep forgetting about entropy.  Specifically, I forget the level of math that goes into it and the depth that goes into that topic.  So I'll talk about the Zeroth and First law today, and start in on the insanity that is entropy next time.
     The Zeroth Law is the basics.  When you read about this stuff, this law sometimes isn't even stated, but it's always implied.  It's good to have an understanding of it, so here it goes.
     Cold is the lack of energy.  Heat is energy.  Energy moves to where there is no energy, heat travels towards the cold.  In the case of heat, it will move back in forth between two states until they reach equilibrium; which is to say, until they're both the same temperature.  Think hot tea with an ice cube.  The heat of the tea transfers to the ice cube, which in turn cools the tea, and they both reach equilibrium.  When they both become the same temperature, they stop transfer.  In this case though, they will transfer heat with air if it's at a different temperature.  Without that explanation, think if two things have equal temperature, then they are in equilibrium.  Or A=B, therefore, equilibrium.  According to transitive logic, if B=C, then A=C.  I hope all my imaginary friends are mathematicians, and only pay attention to those last two lines.
     Ugh.  I've just developed pity for every teacher I've had.  But right now, I'm not going to dwell on it, and I'm just going to move on.
     The First law of Thermodynamics is the conservation of energy principle.  This actually has a place near and dear to my heart because it was the first thing I saw outside of school that applied to physics.  The principle states that energy can't just be magicked out of thin air, and when it's done it doesn't just disappear.  No, energy transform into other energy.  I had a teacher that always added "And it commonly becomes heat energy."  I helped move hay bales as a summer job back in high school.  When bales get wet, you have to keep them in the field for 72 hours, then separate them from the dry bales.  The microboes and bacteria inside the bale are creating a lot of energy.  Try this: if you have a compost pile, stick your hand in the middle of it.  Or you can trust me that it's hot.  Same thing with the hay bales.  So, if you keep them with the dry bales, there's a chance it will start a barn fire.  There is another point of proof of why I am a nerd.
     It also states that the change in internal energy of a system is equal to the heat added to said system minus the work done.  The internal energy is "the energy associated with the random, disordered motion of molecules."  I add heat to the system, in turn the system does work.  It makes something move.  Any heat not being used for work adds to that random, disordered motion of molecules.  This is used extensively for heat engines.  And thats a good place to stop, and I'll talk about entropy next time.
     The truth is, I enjoy math.  I feel like math is a puzzle to solve, and puzzles have always made me happy.  The deeper I dive into this, the more comfortable I feel.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

10 o'clock Rants into the Void

     As I sit here researching and writing my next post, I begin to notice a trend in my own writing.  I am insecure about adding a voice to my writing.  And I am having flashbacks to all the classes I took where I had to write an essay.  To write a technical paper, it seemed, you had to take all the life out your writing.  No longer could you be aware that you were writing for an audience, you could could only treat the reader like a stone being.  And it makes no damn sense.
     There is so much technical jargon that it's hard to make an essay on thermodynamics sound interesting.  And most of those words are over saturated in syllables or straight up Greek.  But the Japanese and Shakespeare have proven that you can take syllables and make them sound beautiful.  Why can't a technical paper be as beautiful as the science it tries to describe?  Why can't we marvel at the artistry of technical writing that is as simple as it is complex like the molecules it describes?  Science is an art, damn-it.  It is an art technically mastered by some and emotionally mastered by others.  Some can describe a complex idea and make it into a household term.  Others seem to cloud their own thoughts behind an impenetrable wall of words.  They need to prove to the world that smartest person in the room is the one with the one with the most syllables.
     Is this a pledge to the people who might stumble upon this?  HA!  You fucking wish it was.  To actually set out to be the most artistic writer of technical science is. . . silly, maybe?  Perhaps egotistical.  Here I sit, though, a man educated by the papers of others before me, and all I really know is what I like.  And those are the people I want to strive to be.  I want to write stuff that runs, no, sprints past your eyes and lodges itself directly into your brain.  I want to stay away from the pompous writing of Ph. D's that have their heads so far up their own ass it amazes us they can even see.  I can only hope that I can stay away from needlessly obscuring my words with meaningless, mindless bullshit.
     I was never allowed to write about extremely explosive materials in a way that could make the reader smile.  It could've offended someone.  But now I'm screaming into a vacuum, in the hopes that someone might here me.  It feels like I have to shake off the voices of others to find my own voice.  Passion and emotion must find their way back into this writing.  And really, who became interested in science because it's a lifeless wreck?
     Math takes intangible and inexpressible ideas and presents them to us visually.  Physics gives these numbers reality and depth.  Each of the sciences gives the numbers something more, until they are something we can hold and caress.  Chemistry gives energy, biology gives life.  Anatomy gives us something to look at and admire, astronomy gives us goals to shoot for.  So why should the writing be devoid of life, when science is not?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

On the topic of diesel.

     So imaginary readers, did you read about Mariotte's Bottle?  Or maybe his law?  You know the one.  The one called Boyle's Law.
    That coffee maker I talked about is an example of the bottle, which in turn is an application of Boyle-Mariotte's law.   It always brings me a little bit of happiness to see some sort of physics principle play out in the real world.  Just one of those "AH-HA!" moments when you see it.  Or you could take chemistry.  Problem with that is, I can't drink the stuff in chemistry.
     The coffee maker got my curiosity working and I hit the pile of physics essays I've been accumulating.  In Rudolf Claussius work he mentioned Mariotte's law.  So, I've come to give you a small rundown.
     The Volume of gas is inversely proportional to the Pressure of the gas.
     Claussius explains it with a container that change it's size.  If this container was filled with a gas, and  then the container shrunk with the gas inside, then the pressure would increase.  Later, it was explained that molecules are the reason for this.  The gas would still have the same number of molecules, but would be in a smaller area.  Being a gas, the molecules are active and would hit the sides of the container more, exerting pressure on the container.
     This law applies to imaginary gases.  The law calls for the application of a constant temperature.  Here's the thing though, as the pressure increases, so does the heat.  As stated before, as the volume decreases, the activity of the molecules also increases.  Pressure is an energy, and energy changes to become other energy.  In this case it becomes heat.  What I'm saying is, if you change the volume, you change the temperature.
     The most perfect example of this I can think of is diesel engines.  They are an application of this principle.  Gas is released on the downward stroke of the piston.    As the piston comes back up, it compresses the gas, and increasing the pressure.  The gas heats up until it explodes, driving the piston back down.  And as the piston rises again, the exhaust is released from the cylinder.
     All the thermodynamic math is based on statistics.  Energy is observed when it's at a steady state, but we need to know what goes on between states.  Of course, statistics is one of the many classes I took in school that caused me to become disillusioned with math.  And I'm finding that it is applicable to something.
     I've really jumped right into the middle of this thermodynamics thing.  To make myself feel a little better, I'm going to rehash the three laws of thermodynamics, according to C.P. Snow; can't win, can't break even, and can't leave the game.  It makes it easier to remember them that way.  You can not conjure up energy from nothing, it converts to other energy.  You can not return to a previous energy state due to entropy.  And absolute zero is unattainable.
     I might talk about that later. For now, I want to discuss the Carnot Cycle.
     I wish I discovered this cycle earlier.  Last winter I was designing a project in my spare time and this would have helped.  One of Carnot's contributions to physics was the equation "Efficiency = (The difference of temperatures)/the first temperature.
     After spending time working with steam engines, Carnot decided that they could not use 100% of the heat.  This was due to some the heat being lost during the process.  Clausius later called this entropy.  I really, really want to talk about entropy, but I gonna save it for another time.
     As Carnot spent more time working on the problem, he hypothesized that if you increase the difference between the temperatures, then you can increase the efficiency of the engine.  Equations are fun to punch numbers into.  In this case, you can see that to get an efficiency of 100, you have decrease the tempurture to zero.    And entropy  makes this really hard to do in practice.
     Holy sweet Jesus, this stuff really takes a toll on my brain. And the worst part is, I always come out feeling like I didn't say what I wanted to.  Whatever, I'll just keep plugging away at this, and then I'll start feeling like I've gotten somewhere.  On an unrelated note, have you heard about there's going to be some information about the Higgs Boson experiement?  I'm excited to see what's released.