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Life On Mars?...Maybe

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Original article

Martian find raises chances of life
Dec. 6, 2006. 11:49 AM
ALICIA CHANG
ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOS ANGELES A provocative new study of photographs taken from orbit suggests that liquid water flowed on the surface of Mars as recently as several years ago, raising the possibility that the Red Planet could harbour an environment favourable to life.
The crisp images taken by the Mars Global Surveyor do not directly show water. Rather, they show apparently recent changes in surface features that provide the strongest evidence yet that water even now sometimes flows on the dusty, frigid world. Water and a stable heat source are considered keys for life to emerge.
Until now, the question of liquid water has focused on ancient Mars, and on the Martian north pole, where water ice has been detected. Scientists have long noted Martian features that appear to have been scoured by water or look like shorelines, and have tried to prove that the Red Planet had liquid water eons ago.
"This underscores the importance of searching for life on Mars, either present or past," said Bruce Jakosky, an astrobiologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder, who had no role in the study. "It's one more reason to think that life could be there.''
The new findings were published Wednesday in the journal Science and NASA scheduled a news conference for Wednesday afternoon to announce the results.
Oded Aharonson, an assistant professor of planetary science at the California Institute of Technology, said that while the interpretation of recent water activity on Mars was "compelling," it's just one possible explanation. Aharonson said further study is needed to determine whether the deposit could have been left there by the flow of dust rather than water.
The latest research emerged when the Global Surveyor spotted gullies and trenches that scientists believed were geologically young and carved by fast-moving water coursing down cliffs and steep crater walls.
Scientists at the San Diego-based Malin Space Science Systems, who operate a camera aboard the spacecraft, decided to retake photos of thousands of gullies in search of evidence of recent water activity.
Two gullies that were originally photographed in 1999 and 2001 and re-imaged in 2004 and 2005 showed changes consistent with water flowing down the crater walls, according to the study.
In both cases, scientists found bright, light-colored deposits in the gullies that weren't present in the original photos. They concluded the deposits possibly mud, salt or frost were left there when water recently cascaded through the channels.
The Global Surveyor, managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, abruptly lost radio contact with Earth last month. Attempts to locate the spacecraft, which has mapped Mars since 1996, have failed and scientists fear it is unusable.
NASA's durable Mars rovers have sent scientists strong evidence that the planet once had liquid water at or near the surface, based on observations of alterations in ancient rocks.
"We're now realizing Mars is more active than we previously thought and that the mid-latitude section seems to be where all the action is," said Arizona State University scientist Phil Christensen, who was not part of the current research.
Mars formed more than 4.5 billion years ago and scientists generally believe it went through an early wet and warm era that ended after 1.5 billion to 2.5 billion years, leaving the planet extremely dry and cold.
Water can't remain a liquid for long because of subzero surface temperatures and low atmospheric pressure that would turn water into ice or gas.
But some studies have pointed to the possibility of liquid water flowing briefly on the surface through a possible underground water source that periodically shoots up like an aquifer.


...Then again, this could just be some deviously clever promotion for that idiotic Transformers movie soon to be released...

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post #2 of 36
Eh, I don't think alien life is to be found in this solar system. NASA is wasting time and money exploring here any more. They need to get their engineers working and design an interstellar space ship. No one cares about dead planets.
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post #3 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by turnwrite

Eh, I don't think alien life is to be found in this solar system. NASA is wasting time and money exploring here any more. They need to get their engineers working and design an interstellar space ship. No one cares about dead planets.

interstellar space travel is "wasting time and money" unless there's a good way to go really fast. Whether or not faster-than-light travel is possible is up for debate, but if it is possible, it's probably going to require some very exotic power generation methods.

While I agree that NASA is in many respects a figurehead, it's hard to imagine that there aren't plenty of people in NASA that realize the futility in large-scale space missions until better technologies start popping-up on drawing boards. Most NASA missions over the past 10 years have been more focused on developing technologies that are very sensible to work on in the current time-frame: robotics, rad-hard electronics, etc.
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post #4 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel

interstellar space travel is "wasting time and money" unless there's a good way to go really fast. Whether or not faster-than-light travel is possible is up for debate, but if it is possible, it's probably going to require some very exotic power generation methods.

Well, obviously, it will require a computer system is controlled by three primary main processor cores, cross-linked with redundant melacord-remastat 14-kiloquad interface modules. The core element is based on an FTL nanoprocessor with 25 bilateral kelalacterals. With 20 of those being slaved into the primary Heisentram terminals. Now, you know what a bilateral kelalacteral is?

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post #5 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by turnwrite

Eh, I don't think alien life is to be found in this solar system. NASA is wasting time and money exploring here any more. They need to get their engineers working and design an interstellar space ship. No one cares about dead planets.

That is the type of arrogant statement that gets proven wrong easily...
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post #6 of 36
I know it is difficult. But they really haven't tried very hard. Really, can anyone find a point in exploring further the moon and/or Mars? They spend billions of dollars on this, and what do we have to show for it? Whereas if they poured this same amount of money and effort into interstellar travel, they might come up with nothing. But at least it would be nothing striving toward a worthy goal, rather than the current nothing put out by NASA, which has no purpose, and is merely a waste of money.

And who knows, if they spent enough effort, they could come up with an interstellar ship. THAT would be incredible.
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post #7 of 36
Thread Starter 
I think the money spent toward colonizing the planets in this solar system would have far greater immediate benefits than a "mission" to another solar system that would yield nothing for hundreds of years.

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post #8 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by turnwrite


. . . They spend billions of dollars on this, and what do we have to show for it? Whereas if they poured this same amount of money and effort into interstellar travel, they might come up with nothing. But at least it would be nothing striving toward a worthy goal . . .

I'd be much more pleased if they poured this amount of money into public urban and inter city travel. Now this would be a worthy goal, to have something really fast, efficient and comfortable running in ten years.



Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich


I think the money spent toward colonizing the planets in this solar system would have far greater immediate benefits than a "mission" to another solar system that would yield nothing for hundreds of years.

I think money spent toward colonizing new urban "concept" communities would have far greater immediate benefits than any space program.

post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel

interstellar space travel is "wasting time and money" unless there's a good way to go really fast. Whether or not faster-than-light travel is possible is up for debate, but if it is possible, it's probably going to require some very exotic power generation methods....
.

There is no debate there. Faster than light travel is not possible because the faster something moves the heavier it is. However there is a technology that may be able to travel really fast.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bussard_ramjet
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post #10 of 36
I am sure my fifth-grade teacher was from Mars; we don't have to waste money going there to prove it.

As interesting as all of this adventure stuff is, the money could be put to far better use right here at home.

- better transportations systems
- increased funding for alternative energy sources (so we are alive to see the results of the "mission")
- invest in education so we don't produce anymore GWs (that would take A LOT of money, I know)
- explore earth, first (e.g., the recent sea survey is turning up lots of new stuff and ideas)
- improved waste management systems
- improved water systems
- a free milkshake for me

 

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post #11 of 36
How does NASA do it? Maybe they could send some of that research money calculating the possibilities of life in the universe -- and stop asking for life on two planets, right next to each other.

More probes, more rovers, telescopes and for heavens sake, stop planning manned missions and can the shuttle.

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post #12 of 36
Space travel thus far has yielded a ton of technology that has found it's way into our daily lives. Satellite TV, GPS, computers, plastics, etc...

I agree, interstellar travel is absolutely a necessary goal if we are to keep going beyond Earth's lifetime, but mapping our own solar system, colonizing it- all those things not only train us to adapt and develop the technology to obtain a valid interstellar vehicle and strategy, but just think about all the cool tech that will come out of it and make life here on earth better. Nothing that helps us gain knowledge and drives innovation is a waste of time.
post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRR


I agree, interstellar travel is absolutely a necessary goal if we are to keep going beyond Earth's lifetime . . .

Concerned about Earth becoming uninhabitable? I think a little time exploring the universe, looking for a new home, would make the Earth in its worst condition look like paradise. Let's just spend our money fixing it up.

Regarding interstellar travel, has anyone addressed the issue of finding food and water? You can take only so much with you. Then what?

post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy

Concerned about Earth becoming uninhabitable? I think a little time exploring the universe, looking for a new home, would make the Earth in its worst condition look like paradise. Let's just spend our money fixing it up.

Regarding interstellar travel, has anyone addressed the issue of finding food and water? You can take only so much with you. Then what?


Snoopy- like I said, space travel has produced a whole myriad of technology we use here on Earth that benefits us every single day in a very positive way. Thus, space travel does in fact benefit everyone down here.

Water is not solely on Earth, FYI. Perfecting space travel in our local solar system will be a great stepping stone to interstellar travel, and I am confident that will help us overcome issues like food and water- and radiation, and so on...

For instance- NASA building a moon base would be a huge step in the direction of inter-solar system travel.
post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by maimezvous

There is no debate there. Faster than light travel is not possible because the faster something moves the heavier it is. However there is a technology that may be able to travel really fast.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bussard_ramjet

Any type of sublight vehicle, I think, will ultimately be inadequate for interstellar exploration. The concepts that are frequently used to verify the universal speed-limit (light speed) are rooted in classical physics, which we've already found to be incomplete in describing the laws of the universe. Even so, it's plausible that relativistic boundaries can be avoided if extra-dimensional manipulation is available. It's too early to say whether practical FTL vehicles can or cannot be built. There's a lot of conjecture as to how it might be done.

These technologies aren't on NASA's radar. They shouldn't be. Technology for 0.1c or possibly 0.2c propulsion, as you mentioned, is closer, and it opens the door for unmanned exploration of Alpha centauri. This would be a nice milestone in human development, and is probably a partial reason for why NASA has funded so much work towards unmanned missions.
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post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by maimezvous

There is no debate there. Faster than light travel is not possible because the faster something moves the heavier it is. However there is a technology that may be able to travel really fast.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bussard_ramjet

Our current understanding of physics implies that FTL travel is impossible. However, our current understanding of physics is also severely limited and, at some points, self-contradictory. And in the past 100 years alone, many ideas that had previously been thought of as inherently true were completely disproven and looked at in a revolutionarily different way.

I.e.:
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar

That is the type of arrogant statement that gets proven wrong easily...
post #17 of 36
Ok. I haven't taken physics at all. My knowledge is limited to what I have read in various places. I would love to see this proven wrong in my lifetime. That would be amazing.
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post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucker

Our current understanding of physics implies that FTL travel is impossible. However, our current understanding of physics is also severely limited and, at some points, self-contradictory. And in the past 100 years alone, many ideas that had previously been thought of as inherently true were completely disproven and looked at in a revolutionarily different way.

Seems like I was just talking about this very same topic in another thread here not too long ago.

I won't say FTL is impossible. I really hope it is possible. I'd be happy just to see FTL communication, even if FTL travel wouldn't work. But there are very good reasons for suspecting that the speed of light is truly an absolute limit, not just for physical travel, but for any type of information-bearing* cause-and-effect relationship.

So if you're thinking things like, "What if we find a way to reduce mass to zero" or "What if we can make a wormhole/travel through subspace/travel through hyperspace/fold space/etc." you're probably not fully appreciating the the problems the FTL travel introduces. Because even if you forget all about problems with mass and energy, even if you forget entirely about moving physical objects around, there's an enormous fundamental problem with doing anything at one point in time and space which would cause any immediately discernible effect whatsoever at another point in time and space faster than light could travel between those two events.

I can try to explain this further, but for now I'll just say this: FTL is time travel. Not just can be time travel, it is time travel. Without imposing some very artificial, specious rules on what is allowed and is not allowed via FTL (rules that might say things like "You can travel 10c (ten times c) from Earth to Alpha Centauri, but you can only travel 1.1c on the return trip -- as if one direction was "downstream" and the other was "upstream") you immediately get caught up in shoot-your-own-grandfather paradoxes.

Suppose that some wonderful magical technology made it possible to make instantaneous phone calls between Earth and Mars. I could somehow carry on a pleasant, ordinary conversation with a friend living on Mars without having an annoying hour-or-longer pause between saying something to him, and hearing his response come back to me. That very same technology would allow someone traveling through space to cause problems like this to happen...

Alice on Earth calls Bob on Mars. Bob is angry about what Alice said, and calls Carol on the Enterprise, which is now on its way from Mars to Earth, to complain about Alice. Carol calls Alice to tell her that Bob was pissed, and maybe she shouldn't have called him. Well, as it turns out, because simultaneity is relative, Carol's call to Alice actually reaches Alice before Alice called Bob in the first place.

So, is Alice forced to call Bob anyway, even though she knows she'll make Bob angry, somehow powerless to change her actions? If she decides not to call Bob, and then Bob never calls Carol, did Carol call Alice to warn her about something that never happened in the first place?

Hyperspace, subspace, folding space, space warps, reducing mass to zero... none of that changes the above sort of problem. Does that mean FTL is impossible? Maybe not. Maybe our universe is weird enough that things like that can happen, and when we discover how to do FTL, we'll find out how those weird paradoxes work out. Or maybe we'll find that every such paradox is simply a place where the universe splits into multiple different histories, with some odd points of contact between those differing histories -- the Alice who receives the phone call from Carol belongs to a different time track than the Alice who called Bob never having heard from Carol beforehand.

I strongly suspect however, that anything that would muck with causality that badly simply can't happen, that the universe runs by rules that rule that shit out. I wouldn't think it wise to invest a lot of time and money into a technology that can only happen in universe where cause and effect are so mixed up.

There are a couple of ways to get around these paradoxes, but these things would be truly weird along with what we currently know about physics -- not "well, when you measure out to twenty places after the decimal point, you discover that..." or "oh, we should have guessed that", or "oh, what naive fools we were!" kinds of things. Doubting FTL is very different from "if man were meant to fly, he'd have wings" type of thinking.

*In quantum mechanics, it has been demonstrated that the effect of a measurement taken in one location can have an instantaneous** effect at another location a great distance away, faster than light could ever travel. However, information cannot be transmitted this way. The fact that what you did at point A instantaneously effected what happened at Point B cannot be ascertained until a light-speed-or-slower comparison of measurements at A and B is made. Until that slower comparison is made, any effect of a measurement made at A upon B is indiscernible from random noise.

**Just the word "instantaneous" itself is a tricky to rectify with relativity.
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post #19 of 36
Yeah, the Bussard Ramjet thing was an interesting concept, but I dunno about the practical application for interstellar travel. Even traveling at or close to the speed of light, it still would take you far to long to get around the universe. We need a way of getting around the actual neeed to travel at all. Like something instantaneous using quantum mechanics of some sort. I know very little about physics, but it seems that this would be a good thing for NASA to be looking into.

Just my opinion. \
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post #20 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quantum entanglement and spooky action at a distance are not effective on anything other than the quantum scale, and even then are difficult to measure and control. I seriously doubt anything like the Star Trek transporter will ever be possible for anything larger than quantum-scale communications or computing... I could be wrong, but unless we can figure out how to enter and exit a parallel ghost-world, I'll stay highly skeptical.

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post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by turnwrite

Yeah, the Bussard Ramjet thing was an interesting concept, but I dunno about the practical application for interstellar travel. Even traveling at or close to the speed of light, it still would take you far to long to get around the universe.

It doesn't have to take you very long to get anywhere. If you had enough energy to do so, and if you could withstand the crushing effect of pouring on a lot of acceleration all at once to get your velocity up there close to c very quickly, you could cross the galaxy (roughly 100,000 light years) and only age 10 years, or a year, or even just a day during your travel. You could return home just as quickly in your frame of reference. The big problem is coming back home and finding that on Earth 200,000 years or more have passed while you were away.

Quote:
We need a way of getting around the actual neeed to travel at all. Like something instantaneous using quantum mechanics of some sort. I know very little about physics, but it seems that this would be a good thing for NASA to be looking into.

You're missing the point of everything I just posted before. Travel, if by "travel" you mean specifically moving through the intervening space between a starting point and a destination, isn't the only problem. If you simply vanished from where you are now, and miraculously appeared somewhere else far, far away, appearing at that distant location sooner than a beam of light could have gotten there... that, in and of itself is a huge problem. The ability to do such a thing, utterly and completely apart from how you manage to do it, leads to shoot-your-own-grandfather causality paradoxes.

So no, this is not what NASA should be spending much time, effort or money on. While we can't rule it out 100%, FTL travel (or "instantaneous" transportation, even if you don't want to call that "travel" per se) could very well be fundamentally impossible, something that no amount of money, "can do!" attitude, or closing your eyes and saying "I do believe in fairies!" can fix. This is a very, very different issue than, say, thinking we'd "never" make an airplane go faster than the speed of sound.

The only related thing NASA, or someone else who's work might someday help NASA, should put more effort into is improving our understanding of basic physics. If, and only if, our research into basic physics shows promising signs that some sort of matter-moving or information-bearing FTL phenomena can or should be real would it even be close to time for NASA to start working on turning theory into technology. To do so before there were any relevant theory to support the work would be an enormous waste of time and money. It would like commissioning shipwrights of the 17th century to build a boat to sail to the moon, then sitting back and waiting for them to nail boards together and to string sails in just the right magical combination to make a moon ship.

Hard work, romantic dreaming, and a "can do!" attitude are useful and helpful, but they aren't infallible sources of technological progress which will produce anything and everything we want, if only we dedicate ourselves sincerely enough.
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post #22 of 36
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post #23 of 36
Hmmmm....... I recently read a book on quantum entanglement, and it was very specific on why no information could actually be conveyed via same.

Sadly, at the time I said "Aha! Fascinating!" and now I have now idea what the deal was. Shetline?
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post #24 of 36
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Adda: I believe it is because in the course of "looking at" the information it destroys or changes it.

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post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

Sadly, at the time I said "Aha! Fascinating!" and now I have now idea what the deal was. Shetline?

Quantum entanglement works sort of like this...

Imagine you're flipping a coin and recording the results... HHTHTTHTTTHH.... Someone else is flipping a mutually entangled coin 10 light years away at the same time, at the same rate (say one flip per minute). The results are completely random, and completely unpredictable, but, weirdly enough, the results you and your distant colleague get are exactly the same. You only way know that this is true for certain, however, is when, ten years later, your colleague's results arrive by radio for comparison. The correlation you see only works when you and your colleague flip the coin and let it land randomly -- neither of you can deliberately set the coin down heads up or tails up and make the other coin do the same thing.

It also turns out the when your colleague sits on a different side of his desk when he flips the coin, his results and yours, instead of being exactly the same, are exactly opposite. He can't send an FTL message to you by changing where he sits, however, because no matter where he sits, the pattern of heads and tails you see looks just as random as ever. The sudden, immediate switch from perfect correlation to perfect anti-correlation only shows up clearly when, after ten years, you compare notes.

Something that works faster than the speed of light somehow binds these two coins together (or, more realistically, two distantly separated entangled particles), but whatever that thing is, it eludes any form of manipulation which we can exploit to send information or to cause a definitive FTL effect at a distance, an effect which is clear without waiting for light-speed messages to confirm the effect.
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post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich

Adda: I believe it is because in the course of "looking at" the information it destroys or changes it.

It's more than that. The information doesn't exist until you measure it. It's not simply a matter of not being able to make a measurement subtle enough that you avoid disturbing the thing you're measuring. Google the "double slit experiment" to get a better understanding of this. This experiment (which is a real, do-able and confirmed experiment, not just a thought experiment like Schroedinger's Cat) really highlights the weirdness of wave/particle duality.
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post #27 of 36
Thread Starter 
Nice having a quantum physicist around when you need one.

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post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline

It's more than that. The information doesn't exist until you measure it. It's not simply a matter of not being able to make a measurement subtle enough that you avoid disturbing the thing you're measuring. Google the "double slit experiment" to get a better understanding of this. This experiment (which is a real, do-able and confirmed experiment, not just a thought experiment like Schroedinger's Cat) really highlights the weirdness of wave/particle duality.

Hey, I just realized I can ask you the question I wanted to ask the guy who wrote the book about entanglement that I read.

And forgive me if this is just too stupid to bear, but:

Is there any though that entangled particles are somehow a manifestation of the same "thing"? In the sense that they are not two different particles somehow connected but rather the same particle somehow separated?

I kept picturing a long dowel whose circular ends would appear to somehow "know" what the other end was doing, which would appear mysterious if you didn't realize you were dealing with a dowel but thought you had two separate circles.

Presumably if I had a "dowel" 10 light years long and I gave it a little push perpendicular to its long axis, the two ends would move in tandem, again seemingly in defiance of logic, if the interconnecting dowel-ness of the set-up were somehow obscured.

I only ask that you not mock me savagely.
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post #29 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

I only ask that you not mock me savagely.

That might be asking too much.

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post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

Is there any though that entangled particles are somehow a manifestation of the same "thing"? In the sense that they are not two different particles somehow connected but rather the same particle somehow separated?

Before measurement reveals the particle nature of a quantum entity, all you have is a wave function, and entangled particles have connected wave functions. Beyond that, it's more of a philosophical question about what one means by "same thing".

Are the words you're reading from your screen right now the same words I wrote, or just a copy of them? Different words which say the same thing, or the same words because they say the same thing?

Quote:
I only ask that you not mock me savagely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich

That might be asking too much.

Addabox has nothing to worry about, at least until turnwrite catches hell first.
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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post #31 of 36
Quote:
The ability to do such a thing, utterly and completely apart from how you manage to do it, leads to shoot-your-own-grandfather causality paradoxes.

What?
"How fortunate are you and I.."
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"How fortunate are you and I.."
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post #32 of 36
Quote:
It's more than that. The information doesn't exist until you measure it. It's not simply a matter of not being able to make a measurement subtle enough that you avoid disturbing the thing you're measuring.

I thought it was that quantum particles only retain their superposition until you measure them, at which point they randomly take on the form of "ON" or "OFF" and no longer have any difference from normal particles.

But I learned all my quantum mechanics from a "For Dummies" book, so what do I know..
"How fortunate are you and I.."
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"How fortunate are you and I.."
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post #33 of 36
They are equivalent.
"In a republic, voters may vote for the leaders they want, but they get the leaders they deserve."
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"In a republic, voters may vote for the leaders they want, but they get the leaders they deserve."
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post #34 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

Is there any though that entangled particles are somehow a manifestation of the same "thing"? In the sense that they are not two different particles somehow connected but rather the same particle somehow separated?

I kept picturing a long dowel whose circular ends would appear to somehow "know" what the other end was doing, which would appear mysterious if you didn't realize you were dealing with a dowel but thought you had two separate circles.

Presumably if I had a "dowel" 10 light years long and I gave it a little push perpendicular to its long axis, the two ends would move in tandem, again seemingly in defiance of logic, if the interconnecting dowel-ness of the set-up were somehow obscured.

I only ask that you not mock me savagely.

there are a few explanations of this - shetlines is one and the most recognised and accepted. But i've found other possible explanations.

a) John Cramers transactional model explains how entangled particles can affect each other instantly over any distance instantly, without nothing wierd happening like information breaking the speed of light. Its beautiful, symmetric and very simple to understand.

b) from string theory, it is possible that extra dimensions that didn't expand in the big bang, thus having a size of zero, but are connected thus to every physical point in the 4 dimensional universe we see, and information is thus sent through these dimensions, thus causing immediate effects over long distances in the 4th dimensional universe.

c) my own model, which basically says that the universe needs to be observed and understood from the relative pov of the most fundamental constituents of what it is made from, ie pure energy, therefore there is no fundamental time, size, distance - thus what we perceive is a consequence of our relative pov.

its quite possible, that with the exception of c (which could be the mutterings of someone mentally ill) that all the explanations are correct, and when the 'theory of everything' is known it is possible that all these models were correct, and are unified to be explained as being correct depending upon how you chose to answer the question of why depending from the starting point of the way you chose to ask the question.
post #35 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich

Original article

Martian find raises chances of life
Dec. 6, 2006. 11:49 AM
ALICIA CHANG
ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOS ANGELES A provocative new study of photographs taken from orbit suggests that liquid water flowed on the surface of Mars as recently as several years ago, raising the possibility that the Red Planet could harbour an environment favourable to life.
The crisp images taken by the Mars Global Surveyor do not directly show water. Rather, they show apparently recent changes in surface features that provide the strongest evidence yet that water even now sometimes flows on the dusty, frigid world. Water and a stable heat source are considered keys for life to emerge.
Until now, the question of liquid water has focused on ancient Mars, and on the Martian north pole, where water ice has been detected. Scientists have long noted Martian features that appear to have been scoured by water or look like shorelines, and have tried to prove that the Red Planet had liquid water eons ago.
"This underscores the importance of searching for life on Mars, either present or past," said Bruce Jakosky, an astrobiologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder, who had no role in the study. "It's one more reason to think that life could be there.''
The new findings were published Wednesday in the journal Science and NASA scheduled a news conference for Wednesday afternoon to announce the results.
Oded Aharonson, an assistant professor of planetary science at the California Institute of Technology, said that while the interpretation of recent water activity on Mars was "compelling," it's just one possible explanation. Aharonson said further study is needed to determine whether the deposit could have been left there by the flow of dust rather than water.
The latest research emerged when the Global Surveyor spotted gullies and trenches that scientists believed were geologically young and carved by fast-moving water coursing down cliffs and steep crater walls.
Scientists at the San Diego-based Malin Space Science Systems, who operate a camera aboard the spacecraft, decided to retake photos of thousands of gullies in search of evidence of recent water activity.
Two gullies that were originally photographed in 1999 and 2001 and re-imaged in 2004 and 2005 showed changes consistent with water flowing down the crater walls, according to the study.
In both cases, scientists found bright, light-colored deposits in the gullies that weren't present in the original photos. They concluded the deposits possibly mud, salt or frost were left there when water recently cascaded through the channels.
The Global Surveyor, managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, abruptly lost radio contact with Earth last month. Attempts to locate the spacecraft, which has mapped Mars since 1996, have failed and scientists fear it is unusable.
NASA's durable Mars rovers have sent scientists strong evidence that the planet once had liquid water at or near the surface, based on observations of alterations in ancient rocks.
"We're now realizing Mars is more active than we previously thought and that the mid-latitude section seems to be where all the action is," said Arizona State University scientist Phil Christensen, who was not part of the current research.
Mars formed more than 4.5 billion years ago and scientists generally believe it went through an early wet and warm era that ended after 1.5 billion to 2.5 billion years, leaving the planet extremely dry and cold.
Water can't remain a liquid for long because of subzero surface temperatures and low atmospheric pressure that would turn water into ice or gas.
But some studies have pointed to the possibility of liquid water flowing briefly on the surface through a possible underground water source that periodically shoots up like an aquifer.


...Then again, this could just be some deviously clever promotion for that idiotic Transformers movie soon to be released...

then i guess they just start looking of another solar system.
post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by turnwrite

Eh, I don't think alien life is to be found in this solar system. NASA is wasting time and money exploring here any more. They need to get their engineers working and design an interstellar space ship. No one cares about dead planets.

Europa.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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