Yugen | Posts tagged 'universe'

Posts filled under: universe

Happy birthday, Carl.


I’m so glad we Earthlings had the chance to know you, and that you used your platform for the noblest of things: to educate and inspire millions.


I believe in more than I don’t.


I believe in more than I don’t.


Carl Sagan once said that we are all made of star stuff.  That every molecule, every atom in our bodies originated in the heart of a star at the beginning of the universe.  Humans are so young, yet our bodies are infinitely old.  Our time on Earth has been so short, but we have existed since the beginning of the Universe.  Every one of us. We are the same age as every rock, fish, tree, planet, and star in all of existence.  We have always been here and, after the infinitely brief moment that our consciousness will inhabit this space, we will continue to live on forever.

Out of all of the confusion and cosmic clutter, this earth was formed.  Your friends, lovers, enemies, all of us emerged from the primordial dust and there is no telling what our journeys will hold for us.  Sometimes, when I look at the maddening chaos we all came from, it can be overwhelming.  If we are just dust and chance, what is the reason for our existence?  There is no reason.  We must, of our own volition, decide why we are here.  We must find that simplifying factor to make sense of it all.  Some people use religion, some people use science, some people go throughout their lives never thinking about, ignoring the incredible beauty and rarity of the fact that we exist. Science has always been a comfort to me, to attempt to understand the world around me, but it always raises more questions, as is the nature of the beast. 

For me, the simplifying factor is love.  The one constant that can hold true, maybe not with one person for your entire life, but with somebody, through the mystery and the confusion, is a love shored with another human being. Not love in the romantic sense, but a genuine human connection.  An invisible umbilical cord between you and another.  You feed them, nourish them, as they do for you.  You keep each other alive. 

This is how I survive.  Looking for that one person whose presence can bring sense to the chaos, quiet to the unsettling hum of the background radiation of our ancient birthplace.

Carl Sagan also said, “For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.” I could not agree more.


Magnets FAQ

Magnetism is one of the most fascinating topics in physics, but one of the least understood. Here’s a little FAQ to answer some common questions about magnetism. 

  • What exactly is a magnet?
A magnet is defined as an object that has both a north and south pole, and that can create a magnetic field. Easily magnetized materials, such as iron, steel, nickel and cobalt have atoms arranged in small units, called domains. Each domain contains trillions of atoms and acts like an individual magnet. If the magnetic material is placed in a strong magnetic field,  the individual domains will generally swing around in the general direction of the field. When most of the domains are aligned to the field, the material becomes a magnet. 

Before magnetization:
After magnetization: 

  • What do magnets actually do? 

Magnets attract objects via a magnetic force on other ferromagnetic objects - some notable ones include objects composed of iron, nickel and cobalt. Magnets are also able to effect electrically charge particles and conductors. Because of these interesting properties, magnets are able to convert electrical energy to mechanical energy and vice-versa. Magnetism exists due to the motion of the electrical charges within the atomic structure of these materials.

  • What’s the difference between a “permanent” magnet and “electromagnet?”
Permanent magnets continuously emit a magnetic force, even in the absence of a power source. On the other hand, electromagnets require a power source in order to generate a magnetic field. Permanent magnets retain their magnetism unless affected by a strong outside magnetic/electrical force or extremely high temperature. Permanent magnets will lose their own magnetism eventually, but at an extremely slow rate - on the order of one percentage point every decade. 
  • How is a magnet’s polarity determined? 
If allowed to move freely and not under a strong force, a magnet will naturally align itself with the north-south polarity of the Earth. 
  • How are magnets made? 

Modern magnet materials are made through casting, pressing and sintering, compression bonding, injection molding, extruding, or calendaring processes.

  • What are superconductors? 

Superconductors are the strongest type of magnets. They don’t require a metal core, but are made of coils of wire made from special metal alloys cooled to very low temperatures. Superconductors have zero electrical resistance, which makes an electrical current flow very easily. 

  • How do lines of magnetic flux behave? 

Lines of force are three-dimensional, surrounding a bar magnet on all sides.

However, it is much simpler to think of them as two dimensional. Like poles repel and unlike poles attract. When opposite poles of a magnet are brought together, the lines of force join up and the magnets pull together.

When like poles of a magnet are brought together, the lines of force push away from each other and the magnets repel each other.



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philosoraptor’s greatest hits


Cosmos, in a way, is the opposite of chaos.


Cosmos, in a way, is the opposite of chaos.


Alien Planets Would Likely Have Leap Years, Too

Today is a leap day, a calendar oddity that helps align our timekeeping with the orbit of the Earth around the sun. But leap day may not be restricted to the Earth — it could occur on planets around other stars as well, as long as there are beings living there to mark the days, scientists say.

The extra day of Feb. 29 is added to the second month of the year every four years, making that year a leap year, according to our Gregorian calendar. This extra day is necessary to keep our calendar in line with the seasons, which depend on Earth’s revolution around the sun.

That’s because the year — the time it takes Earth to make one circuit around the sun — can’t be evenly divided into days — the time it takes Earth to make one full rotation.

“We have a leap year because the spin rate of the Earth, which is 23 hours and 56 minutes, doesn’t divide completely evenly into the length of the year, which is 365.242374 days,” said astronomer Greg Laughlin of the University of California, Santa Cruz. “You can’t fit an exact number of spins into one trip around the sun without having some left over.”


APEX turns its eye to dark clouds in Taurus.

Apex telescope captured this image of part of the Taurus Molecular Cloud, the nearest (450 light-years) large star formation region to Earth, showing a more than ten light-years long filament of cosmic dust. Above the filament you can see a bright star, it’s φ Tauri.

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