Friday, 29 July 2011

Trojan asteroid in the news, and Tunnels go both ways

First off, Frank wants everyone to be aware that an asteroid  (2010 TK7) has been found to be stable in the L4 point in the Sol/Earth two-body system. (Of course, anyone paying attention to the science news would already know that.)

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, back to the normal stuff. So, Frank is really stuck on trying to locate the other end of the Door. Now he's even gone so far as to give Tom an old-style film camera and tripod, which Tom is supposed to set up, point 'north' (see discussions of 'east' and 'west' in previous postings), and take a few time-exposures of the stars. Frank will then use that information to plot out the relative position of the stars as well as establish the speed of the planet's rotation. From all that, Frank is very hopeful that he'll be able to identify the other end.

A recent concern that came up in random talk in the lunch room is that the other end of this obviously-alien device may connect with the home world of its creators. The worry here is that we might not be opening up a tunnel through space so we can go out and explore, rather we're opening up a hole that will let others come 'visit' us.

What do you think?

Friday, 22 July 2011

Not PI day, just almost PI day, but no invisibility cloaks

Welcome to PI approximation day. Today is the 22nd day of the 7th month, so if we write it in day/month format, it looks like 22/7, which is a close approximation to the value π (only off by 0.04%). 
  • As an aside, a closer approximation that is easy to remember is 355/113, the first three odd numbers each used twice. It is only off by 0.000008%! 
Back to dates, March 14th, is often celebrated as PI day, with PI minute being one minute until 2:00 in the afternoon. At that moment, the date/time (in month/day format) would be 3/14 1:59. (Yes, it would really be 13:59, but only the most staunch nerds are willing to be up at 2:00 am to celebrate the right time, which they do.)

So what does all this have to do with the Door? Probably not much, but when we spin up the magnetic fields to open the Door, it does make a sphere, which has pi in the calculation of both volume and surface (just like calculating the area and circumference of a circle).

Considering the recent hoopla with the Potter movie, I was hoping to discuss bending light around objects and invisibility cloaks, but there's still more research to do on it. Maybe next time.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Time Travel still isn't possible, but Where does the Door put us?

All right, so there are plenty of folks out there who do think time travel is possible in spite of Frank's 'proof' (see last week's posting). Frank points out that even plausible Time Travel using an infinite Tipler cylinder would still require a spaceship accelerating along its length. May I point out, yet again, for those who haven't noticed, the Door not only isn't a spaceship but it also doesn't leave the general area where it's been set up.

The other end of it, though, is a different matter. Where it leads we still haven't figured out. From the few sighting of stars that Tom has been able to copy down and bring back, Frank hasn't been able to place it in mapped space, but once Frank has enough stars identified, he'll be able to pin down the location of the other side on a 3-D map of the stars, and then we'll know where we're going. (Although, Frank is the only one who even cares enough to worry about it; to the rest of us, it doesn't really matter as long as we get to charge folks to visit.)

 Keep up the comments. See ya!

Friday, 8 July 2011

42 and Is Time Travel Possible?

In honour of this being our forty-second posting, Frank insists on mentioning HHG2G and how it influenced his education. All right, so I mentioned it. Now we can continue, right?

Some folks investigating how the Door works have suggested that the wormhole effect isn't so much a connection between different points in space, but rather they say that it connects the same point in space, but in a different time. In other words, it's connecting two points in four-space that just happen to have the same x, y, and z values. Frank is convinced that it couldn't possibly happen that way, and his biggest argument is the one espoused by Steven Hawking: We don't see tourists from the future time travelling back for a quick jaunt. Of course Carl Sagan has an alternative viewpoint on that argument: The tourists from the future are very careful to blend in so that no one notices them.

Either way, bringing in big names like those is just Frank's way of name-dropping, so don't pay any attention to him and his head won't swell too much.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Space-Time curvature and Guinea Pigs

According to Frank, the Door causes a curve in space-time. I don't know exactly what that means, but he tried to explain it by drawing a picture of a mattress with different weights on it. A marble hardly affects the surface at all, but a bowling ball bends it quite a bit. He says that the Door goes so far that the hole comes out somewhere else (in the basement?). With the info we have now, there's no way to predict where the other end of the tunnel created ends up. Of course there's the opinion that it doesn't go least not in the standard three dimensions, rather in the fourth: time.

Where ever the Door connects to, it's certainly keeping Tom busy.

I think I've found some guinea pigs to send out to explore. If they get back to me soon enough, I'll have info to post next week. See you then.