Miscellaneous Rumbles

A Moment of Science: we’re all astronauts.


Thinking how we're moving thru space heading toward the Great Attractor like swirling particles in a soup on the stove, makes ya kinda wonder how we got here on the move.

Energy in the big bang got us accelerating in all directions and perturbations in the energy gave rise to sub atomic particles which gave us mass. A heavy dose of dark energy now and then gave us inflation and the current accelerated expansion, and todays cosmological constant which shows greater acceleration than back in the days not long ago when our solar system was created, and shows us the current rate of expansion.

We got dark energy keeping us expanding, and matter and dark matter trying to hold the expansion back, but it's a losing battle since dark energy doesn't diminish with increased volume of space but instead fills in the space made available by the increased volume, unlike mass acted on by gravity which diminishes over distance and gets weaker as time and distance trucks on.

Dark matter is cool. Cooley indifferent to photons! We know it's there by it's effect on everything around it, but we just can't see it. As mass it does perturb photons flying by, but it doesn't seem to wanna get involved with normal absorbing and retransmitting of photons.

.....actually, since there's more dark matter than regular matter, maybe dark matter is the normal!

Anyway, that's it! See how simple our universe really is!?


F107, I’m really kind of shot right now so I would ask of you jut a single Simple question, and then hopefully read what You have to say.

What the smurf do you do for a living.

You think to much.❤️


F107+5...that's an admirably cogent and succinct summary of what seems to be the current state of our understanding.

But I didn't have the impression that the contribution of dark energy was positively established as the cause of spatial expansion. It makes intuitive sense, for sure - or at least it uses the mystery of a force we theorize is necessary to come up with right answers (ie, dark energy) as the agent in expansion. But do we know that yet?

It also makes sense that, regardless how much matter (of any shade) we have, an actual expansion of space everywhere will overcome it in at least a logarithmic pace. (As I recall my tutelage, we reached the balance point between aggregate mass, expansion from the Big Bang, and expansion mediated by [your thoughts here/hypothetically dark energy] a few billion years ago, and have tipped over into irrevocable expansion.)

It remains curious that there's something which is not just "making things further apart," but which is actually creating more space everywhere. And where does that, hypothetically, come from? Unless I've missed a fundamental piece of the theoretical puzzle, doesn't this input of dark energy violate conservation of matter and energy within the closed system of this universe?

Is the 6dd% of everything now considered to be dark energy now also integrated into the equations testing for conservation? Or...is that system allowed now not to be closed, so that dark energy can be working from somewhere outside it?

It is truly a trip that 27% of everything is dark matter - and that the aggregate mass in the trillions of stars (and surrounding bodies) in billions of galaxies we can see...comprise only about 5% of everything which the observations, math, and well-proven equations tell us is there.

It's amazing how much we know. It's more amazing how much we don't know, and perhaps can never know. But I love it that we keep trying.

And thanks for bandying this stuff about with me. I know I barely have a grasp on it.


To be more precise--

186,282 miles, 698 yards, 2 feet, and 5 inches per second... Or 299,792,458 metres per second for our international friends.

– Tartan Phantom

Nice breakdown of speed of light.

You don’t supposed these guys were thinking about the speed of light when they named this album?


You are too kind, Chris!

....glad to see you are still posting and hope you feel better soon and keep it up for a long long time! Seriously!

Sadly, I grew into retirement age and that's my current job, but once I was an engineer happily taking the engine in my avatar and turning it into the Tomahawk cruise missile engine. Then we enlarged it and it's now pushing thousands of private jets thru the skies all over the world. It was fun!

I read a book about Albert Einstein and learnt he did something in his studies that I figured I could do too!

"Thought Experiments"! I can do that! It sounds like fun! It is! .....ok, some times I fall asleep.

My fav saying is "He who dies with the most knowledge, wins!" Plus I figgur I may have a leg up at the pearly gates if I can impress the assessor with knowledge of how the Creator did His thing! Couldn't hurt!

......I know, coulda done a better job designing knees, hips and spinal column. I'll mention that too!

If it turns out we have a multiverse and no pearly gates, well, I've had the fun of finding out about nature while being a blob of introspective star stuff inhabiting our fragile little pale blue dot!

Love and peace to all!


Hi Tim!

You are absolutely correct that the jury is still out on dark energy being the top dog, but one article I read that equated gluons and dark energy as an analog made sense and has some folks thinking of dark energy as filling in the spaces of expanding space the same way as more gluons fill in the space when quarks get a little too frisky. It seems we are told that virtual particles can do their thing, break natural laws if they must, and then disappear if they depart quickly enough, and although dark energy expansion seems pretty powerful, the energy actually expended is rather weak in the overall scheme of things. EDIT: Good point of dark energy as being an outside influence! Some string theory postulates just that about Gravity, whatever it is!

Yup, there's more we don't know than what we do, so we go with new stuff if it fills in the blanks til even better stuff comes along, of course. Besides, it fit the narrative quite nicely and put a credible name on whatever it was that gave us inflation and a recent increase in expansive force acting on our universe!


Yeah I figured you to be a hell of a mathematician. Tim you got your boots heals in the stirrups too. Me, I am not very versed, left school without a degree or a license. My math is very simple minded. I’m a very good engineer, I build things. Back in the early 1800s some guy named Fink figured the moment and equarlibrium equations for trestle trusses. Steel and I-beams kind of made that just a bit moot. I build things right. You guys see things that should be seen.


I envy you, Chris.

I went in the Navy in the early 60s to get an education and a fun job and see the World, and then then get out and go back to school on the GI Bill. Extended for two years for two more years of schooling I did! Probably the first FTM,DS,ET in the Navy when digital and solid state kicked out tubes and began taking over the Fleet! Then I got to the Fleet and grabbed some tools and learned.......I'm a klutz and a danger to myself and those around me when I've got tools in my hand! I envy folks who can build things they can be proud of that look good and don't fall down! Folks who don't get zapped by 440 three phase. Folks who don't let their fingers slide down a tweaking rod and dangle their pinky into the circuitry while adjusting a waveform on an oscilloscope.

I had a choice, if I wanted to stay in a technological environment, I hadda be an Engineer, or.....DIE!

I had a second choice. Since I saw tubes replaced by solid state, I figured that electronics would require me to keep going back to school way too often to keep up! Bummer! I also figured that mechanical engineering required less math than electrical engineering! I ain't no dummy! .....oh yes I am! All I needed to learn was what the Greeks and Romans and Egyptians knew and a bit of Newton!

I struggled thru with the math that I had to pass, but it wasn't exactly what I'd call Fun.

While reviewing a lecture on string theory from Sanford U, which Was fun(!), Prof Susskind was answering a question from a student who was struggling with the math. He looked at the kid and said something like: "What's the problem, this isn't exactly rocket science ya know." I thought cool, I'm sorta ok with rocket science! "Rocket Science is Easy!" he continued.


And I can neither build nor do the math. Got a brother who does the engineering, another who does the fabrication (with more applied math than I can apply), and a third who teaches both.

What I got, was words. The disparity between my raw computational skills and my verbal aptitude was so absurd there was no question of what I wanted to do. No one ever let me take shop class (who wanted square pegs jammed sideways into round holes, or my fingers on the saw table?), and my high school "Advanced Senior Math" teacher kindly tutored me in leftover Algebra I while the other kids were doing trig and calculus (which remain only words to me) so I could complete the requisite math requirement to go to a decent college...and get all humanitiesed up.

Then I happened to go to college during an aberrant bubble in time (early 70s) when it was possible to take no math, and you could get by with three terms of science. (Me, two astronomy - then the math washed me out - and one geology. Or was it botany.)

Thing is, I lovelike all the sciences. But math, engineering, fabrication: I watch from the sidelines, chasing concepts it takes math to truly grasp, occasionally having ideas.

When Elon was hiring for SpaceX and/or Tesla a decade or so ago, and I briefly thought how cool it would be to get involved in his world-changing, I looked up the plethora of available jobs. There were dozens of positions. The only thing I might remotely have had a shot at was writing and editing sales proposals to prospective launch clients. But the combination of age and lack of actual even theoretical understanding of yon rocket science meant that, though I could construct sentences, I wouldn't be able to competently vet the math and engineering content in the proposals.

Ah well.


So bear with me, i am awake. lets start with the squarw root of tow. it most often comes up as 1.4142........... it is actually imposibil. id have to explane second grade math, so i wont, the square of 4 is in fact two. 2x2=4 2+2=4 the root of two should be by all acounts be the # 1 after all 1+1=2. BUT 1x1 = 1. coffey table tricks. but if one were to start considering. Waite. Lets start by unconsidsering any unit of measurement or #s as if they actually matter in any odf this. Take a square any unit of leg length you want to use. Ill say if got a square thats six pinkys long if you take the hypotenuse of trhat square and divide it by its leg it comes out tou 1.4142.................., if, now, you start tow think in percentages you would need to think as the whole # 1 as actually the base # of 6 pinkys as the # 1 in the equation and subtract it you wind up wityuh .4142................. it is irational if you then X that number by the width oh the stock your milling it comes out to be the exact length of one of the sides of an octagon you might need to draw on paper or mill out of that particular piece of stock. shit im tired.


Ah, yer jogging some unhappy memories there, Tim!

High School? Yup. We got a great new Basketball Coach the year I took Algebra 1! Yupper, he was a great coach! Gimmee a chorus of "Be true to yer school"!

Not so good at teaching math though. Lost a year, so did about 70% of the class. Bummer.

Biology. Really wanted to take it. Didn't. I shot tons-o-frogs with my Daisy Red Ryder Carbine, but no way could I dispatch one face to face and study it's internals. No way.

Writing was not my long suit. No seriously! (yuck yuck!) As a jr. engineer I hadda use lotsa pencils (and erasers!) and a lettering guide helping write manufacturing planning. Engineeringese was easy, but how-to kinda text? gimmee a break! I was terrible! You got the gift, Tim, I got the used kitty litter!

Math in the real world?

My specialty evolved into engine assembly and test. That's where the real fun is!

The formulas were formidable but they were in the computer and the punch card stack and a call on the dial-up gave us the whole picture. Later when the program went classified and above and we got new state-of-the-art in-house computers, I had to correct the data using pretty much the same procedure used by an auto chassis dyno. Inverse of the square root of delta and theta plotted using a really cool green plastic french curve!. Jr. high stuff. I went to school for THIS!! Still, it took almost a complete day to run thru the entire performance summary!

We knew what our engines would do on a test stand just sitting there, but the Navy and Air Force wanted to know what they were like in an operational environment, so off to the wind tunnels they went! THAT was fun!

The very first one was a real bummer. The folks in Tennessee were unfamiliar with our shipping container I guess. Instead of putting the fork lift forks under the bottom of the container, they found the middle. Yup, put masking tape over the holes and black spray-painted over the tape. That was a long day and the only thing I accomplished was notifying them that the engine probably wouldn't meet spec with two big holes almost half way thru.

......nah, we didn't try to run it to be sure when we got it back.

Then they tried to throw another one off the high lift crane in transporting when a rapid change of direction caused a pendulum swing that took yer breath away! Did mine, anyway!

Then there was the time we were testing a new heavy fuel before we had completed internal combustor modifications cuz the Navy was anxious for the engine even knowing we may have to cut the test short and try again later. I'm so bad with words that even saying "Shut-er down before she splatters Hastelloy all over inside yer pretty test cell!" had minimal impact on their actions.

In New Jersey we had better luck.

We almost never got a run off before late evening what with trying to coordinate the proper temperature soak with the right ram air velocity/mach no. and simulated altitude. Seemed we could never get all the computers and mechanicals together at the same time. Seeing how close I could estimate the numbers we got at home vs there was jolly fun and I got pretty close most of the time! I also got too close to the raw data with a newly discovered Calzone, but that's a different story.

Oh my, it's getting late and I'm rambling!


Oh, Hi Chris! Lookit all those numbers!

Oh geez, I ain't awake enough for this!

Except to say that my fav number is the inverse of the square root of two! Been my favorite number for decades! It's true!

Ask my Wife, she'll tell ya!

Yup, think I'll happily lookit all those numbers first thing in the mornin'! With fresh coffee!



Ya'll need to shut the hell up and keep passing it to the right!


Aw heck, I miss you Gary!


Aw heck, I miss you Gary!

– Suprdave

Just for the hell of it I bought the.......buckaroo! I could care less about quantum physics at this age.


How can you people be so gullible? You probably think Copernicus was right too!


How can you people be so gullible? You probably think Copernicus was right too!

– Billy Zoom

Wasn't he the shortstop for the Oakland A's in the late '60s and early '70's?

Wait, no. That was Bert Campaneris. Never mind.


Campy Campaneris may not have done much to advance our understanding of planetary mechanics, but then again neither Copernicus or Galileo could hit a curve ball worth a darn.

Eppur si muove indeed.


Math in the real world? My specialty evolved into engine assembly and test. That's where the real fun is!

Ha! Very interesting. You're talking to the wrong brother. Other than the Tru-Arc brother, and the technology-teaching brother, I have the engineering brother.

He got all degreed up from GM Institute (before it was Sloan or something); before he even graduated he interned at Allison in Indy, working on the other side of the glass blowing up engines in the test cell. I visited him once there and saw the stand, and the engine, but they weren't blowing things up (oops I meaning TESTING) that day.

Next he did a very strange gig for John Deere, who in the 80s had a license from Wankel and a contract with the gubmint to develop freakishly oversized Wankels for use in troop carriers/amphibious landers. Deere leased some office space and, in another vast and cavernous building, test cells and "lab space" in the sprawling, mostly deserted former Wright-Curtiss plant in Wood-Ridge NJ. (You mentioned NJ, made me think of it.) I understand there was so much fuel and chemical runoff in the land under the property that it required serious cleanup. Not quite Superfund, but almost. That was a very strange visit, all those dank and decaying echoing buildings where ghosts of WWII workers roamed.

Again I got to see the engine on the test stand, and it was actually running. I guess the thing is that pressure on the seals around the permieter of the rotor housing on yon gargantuan Wankels increase geometrically with size, and blown seals became The Thing. There were targets to meet, of course - so many hours at half rated power, hours at 75%, hours at 100%, hours at 125%. The gubs kept funding the project even though the engines never made it through the whole regimen. Eventually the plug was pulled.

NEXT he went to Cummins in Columbus, IN, where he said he was working on a project collecting data via telemetry from buses in public transport testing experimental propane diesel - and, again, that results ultimately didn't support further exploration. But I see on a recent resume at LinkedIn that it was actually defense work. I don't know which is the cover story.

And NEXT next came Torque Engineering in Elkhart, where a race-boat guy had a pile of money to throw at development of a V12, 1,000+ horsepower competition marine engine with something unheard of in that highly competitive and brutal sport: a guarantee of x-number of hours before the engine blew up. The guy threw all the money he could stand to burn at a dozen engines, and my brother spent several years flying to exotic climes around the world doing warranty work on the engines...sometimes down in the engine bays at speed. Hair-raising tales.

After that, Eaton/GM.

So you know, engines engines engines. Test cells! Blowing things up to improve the breed.

Amazingly, I found a couple videos from the Torque Engineering boat engine adventures. Engineheads may enjoy them.

And geez man. Listen to the wound-out revs in the boat...two of those 1,100hp behemoths, cranked to bejesus. Crazy stuff.

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