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Brilliant ways that scientists figure things out.

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Gunhaver, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. Gunhaver

    Gunhaver the wrong hands

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    At about 21:10 in this video,
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omvMvkOzBIE"]History.Ch.How.the.Earth.Was.Made.The.Deepest.Place.on.Earth. - YouTube[/ame]
    they explain how a Navy submarine detection system read the ocean floor as bands of alternating North and South magnetic stripes. The whole video is well worth watching but the idea that someone read that magnetic map and made the connection that it's a record of the earth's shifting magnetic poles frozen in cooled magma is pretty mind boggling to me. I love stuff like this, that I can sit on my butt and find out all kinds of interesting stuff because of the genius of people who can make connections where I'd have no clue what I'm looking at.

    Is there a story of a scientific "ah ha!" moment, or any example of brilliant deduction that blows your mind?
     
  2. mikeflys1

    mikeflys1 Pastafarian

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    Eratosthenes calculating the circumference of the Earth to within a few percent using math and a few sticks.....in the 3rd century BCE. [​IMG]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8cbIWMv0rI"]Carl Sagan - Cosmos - Eratosthenes - YouTube[/ame]
     

  3. nelsone

    nelsone rank amateur

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    "If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants."
    - Isaac Newton

    What made these awe-inspiring discoveries possible is libraries: each generation no longer has to learn from living tribe members, or figure it out for themselves.

    There are some pretty smart apes and even parrots out there, but they can only teach what they know to others that they come into direct contact with. You and I routinely learn from long-dead "giants" whose work has been refined and distilled across the years and ages, so that even ordinary folks can understand.
     
  4. sopdan

    sopdan

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    How appropriate, I just saw TED Talk this last night, and I discovered that Okie's twin is a scientist!

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ascql_RoeBU"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ascql_RoeBU[/ame]
     
  5. NEOH212

    NEOH212 Diesel Girl

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    I'm glad this wasn't one of those threads about how NASA scientists spent millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to find out how a rose smells in zero gravity. :whistling:
     
  6. Rabbi

    Rabbi The Bombdiggity Lifetime Member

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    (I did not watch it)

    Yes, paleomagnetism. I have done statistical models for the paleomagnetism in the mid Atlantic ridge. It is fascinating.
     
  7. harlenm

    harlenm Millennium Member

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    Is there anything you haven't done?
    :tongueout::tongueout::wavey:
     
  8. Tongo

    Tongo

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    He hasn't stayed at a Holiday Inn Express....he doesn't need to. :wow:

    :tongueout:
     
  9. Rabbi

    Rabbi The Bombdiggity Lifetime Member

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    Yes, there is much I have not done...and I am working on changing that.
     
  10. harlenm

    harlenm Millennium Member

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    That's a good answer.
     
  11. RC-RAMIE

    RC-RAMIE

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    Great outlook on life. We may disagree on some subject but I respect your views on things.
     
  12. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

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    Bell Labs discovered BBR while working on the radio dish technology in the . . . 50's, IIRC.

    First words uttered by AGB was when he hurt his hand, IIRC as well.

    Discovery of Pluto was a mistake as well, I think. Happened to be looking in that part of the sky for something else.

    Discovery of anti-bacterials - whoops - get rid of that danged mold in there!



    We discover most of our stuff "by mistake."
     
  13. RimfireMan

    RimfireMan

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  14. RayB

    RayB Retired Member

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    Yes, it comes in second to water vapor... :whistling:

    I think the debate for most folks is about how much is too much? :headscratch:

    And there's the whole thing about punishing the successful nations while letting China, India, Russia, Mexico, etc., do whatever the hell they want! :steamed:

    Also, there’s the fact that flimflam artists like Al Gore rise to international prominence, while getting filthy richer on fear mongering, massaged numbers, and sloppy science. :clown:

    --Ray
     
  15. DanaT

    DanaT Pharaoh

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    But how does that relate to

    k=Ae^(-E/RT)

    or am I missing something?

    -Dana
     
  16. RayB

    RayB Retired Member

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    Pluto's discoverer, Clyde W. Tombaugh, was looking for just that--a planet beyond the orbit of Neptune. It was later learned that Neptune is sometimes the furthest planet from the sun, due to the eccentricity of Pluto's orbit, as overlayed with Neptune’s.

    Charles Messier, on the other hand, created the famous Messier List of deep space objects by looking exclusively for comets. The Messier List is a list of rejects.

    Johannes Kepler was dedicated to working out a model for the heavens based on geometrically perfect nested solids (a silly concept introduced by the ancient Greeks). His attempt to account for the motions of Mars using the assumed perfectly circular orbits of the planets was also a dismal failure... However, when Kepler took one last shot at describing Mars' motions, plotting its and the other planet's orbits as eliptical--he nailed it!

    --Ray
     
  17. Fred Hansen

    Fred Hansen Liberal Bane

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    Spoil sport! :supergrin:
     
  18. MadMonkey

    MadMonkey Spershul Furces

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    Gotta admit, you've been an inspiration for me to learn more since I've been on here. I only hope someone can claim the same about me someday.

    Might be a while though, I'm still dumb :tongueout:
     
  19. MooseJaw

    MooseJaw NRA Lifer Silver Member CLM

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    Copper Wire

    After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, New York scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago.

    Not to be outdone by the New Yorkers, a California archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet and shortly after, a story in the LA Times read:

    "California archaeologists' discovery of 200-year old copper wire, have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a hundred years earlier than the New Yorkers."

    One week later a local newspaper in Arizona reported the following:

    "After digging as deep as 30 feet in his pasture near Benson, AZ; Bubba, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing.”

    Bubba has therefore concluded that 300 years ago, Arizona had already gone wireless."

    Just makes you proud to be from Arizona, doesn’t it? :rofl:
     
  20. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

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    I just seem to recall Tombaugh was looking in the wrong spot when he found it. Something about their calculations or calibration was off. I want to say they were looking for something larger. It's been over 20 years since I knew this stuff. Lol