Monday, October 1, 2012

Science Humour: Theories & Proofs

Monday Humour

This week's humour is focused on Scientific Theories & Proofs:
This bit of humor was written in April 1988 and appeared in the January 1989 issue of The Physics Teacher. William DeBuvitz is a physics professor at Middlesex County College in Edison, New Jersey (USA). He retired in June of 2000.
The heaviest element known to science was recently discovered by investigators at a major U.S. research university. The element, tentatively named administratium, has no protons or electrons and thus has an atomic number of 0. However, it does have one neutron, 125 assistant neutrons, 75 vice neutrons and 111 assistant vice neutrons, which gives it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by a force that involves the continuous exchange of meson-like particles called morons.

Since it has no electrons, administratium is inert. However, it can be detected chemically as it impedes every reaction it comes in contact with. According to the discoverers, a minute amount of administratium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete when it would have normally occurred in less than a second.

Administratium has a normal half-life of approximately three years, at which time it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which assistant neutrons, vice neutrons and assistant vice neutrons exchange places. Some studies have shown that the atomic mass actually increases after each reorganization.

Research at other laboratories indicates that administratium occurs naturally in the atmosphere. It tends to concentrate at certain points such as government agencies, large corporations, and universities. It can usually be found in the newest, best appointed, and best maintained buildings.

Scientists point out that administratium is known to be toxic at any level of concentration and can easily destroy any productive reaction where it is allowed to accumulate. Attempts are being made to determine how administratium can be controlled to prevent irreversible damage, but results to date are not promising.


Heaven is Hotter Than Hell

The temperature of Heaven can be rather accurately computed. Our authority is Isaiah 30:26, "Moreover, the light of the Moon shall be as the light of the Sun and the light of the Sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days." Thus Heaven receives from the Moon as much radiation as we do from the Sun, and in addition 7*7 (49) times as much as the Earth does from the Sun, or 50 times in all. The light we receive from the Moon is one 1/10,000 of the light we receive from the Sun, so we can ignore that ... The radiation falling on Heaven will heat it to the point where the heat lost by radiation is just equal to the heat received by radiation, i.e., Heaven loses 50 times as much heat as the Earth by radiation. Using the Stefan-Boltzmann law for radiation, (H/E)^4 = 50, where E is the absolute temperature of the earth (300K), gives H as 798K (525C). The exact temperature of Hell cannot be computed ... [However] Revelations 21:8 says "But the fearful, and unbelieving ... shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone." A lake of molten brimstone means that its temperature must be at or below the boiling point, 444.6C. We have, then, that Heaven, at 525C is hotter than Hell at 445C. 
—From Applied Optics, Vol. 11, A14, 1972.

A mathematician confided
That a Möbius strip is one-sided.
You'll get quite a laugh
If you cut it in half.
For it stays in one piece when divided.

A burlycue dancer, a pip
Named Virginia could peel in a zip;
But she read science fiction
And died of constriction
Attempting a Möbius strip.
Cyril Kornbluth [1923-1958] U.S. science fiction writer

If God has made the world a perfect mechanism, He has at least conceded so much to our imperfect intellects that in order to predict little parts of it, we need not solve innumberable differential equations, but can use dice with fair success. 
Max Born [1882-1970], German-British physicist & mathematician

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