Adventures & Insights

One man's adventures in the physical and intellectual worlds…

To Infinity And Beyond!

It’s probably just me, but have any of you noticed a shortage of blogs about spaceships and/or time travel? Perusing the WordPress blogoverse lately I’ve found plenty of posts about food, family, life, love and all manner of other things but there are very few blogs about space.

Is it just me? Are all the people who think about space, time travel and other associated scientific-esque things not bloggers? Are they blogging but I’m just too ignorant to find their posts? Don’t worry too much about answering those questions; I’m not really concerned. I did search (well, more of a sugar-rush browse really…) and the best I could do was find a few posts about UFOs. Not exactly what I had hoped.

If you think my previous statements were a little odd – you either don’t know me or you do and you know that I make odd statements. Either way it’s ok. You’re right.

Aaanyway.

This afternoon I caught the train home with my brother and naturally, we talked. Being the highly intelligent and globally aware person that he is, we discussed a number of topics. As we made our way towards the train station, our conversation moved from the initial “How was your day” yammer into more serious business. Because sometimes, that’s what we do. We talk about serious business. Like the current issues experienced with the A380 engines and the talk, or lack thereof about the cause and solution.

Perhaps more importantly – and definitely more interestingly, conversation turned to science. Did you know that a black hole has been discovered to be emitting the most powerful jets of energy ever seen? I didn’t. I thought there was no way to capture images of black holes because by the time you get close enough to take any kind of picture, well, you all know that black holes have a super destructive gravitational pull. An image of an aluminium can and a steamroller enters my mind…

So that was interesting enough, but as our train hurtled along the tracks towards our destination our conversation turned yet again towards a different topic. Namely, the Large Hadron Collider. Also known as “The Destroyer Of Worlds – OOOooohhh!!!”, this contraption was built to recreate the Big Bang. Naturally, naysayers and doomwatchers jumped all over this idea spouting ill omens and the implosion of not only the Earth, but summarily the destruction of the Universe – or Galaxy (whichever one has EVERYTHING in it).

With the pop and fizzle and associated discoveries (or lack thereof, I never really paid much attention to the details – knowing that the universe had been spared was enough for me), scientists were left with this enormous machine that had limited uses. It’s ok everyone, they’ve managed to find uses for it! Ingenious scientists.

So their latest news is that they’ve managed to create a quark-gluon plasma that is believed to be akin to the primordial ooze and is being studied with great fervour to better understand the creation of the universe, and stuff. What both my brother and I agree is MUCH more important to know about this whole situation is that the heat required to produce the goop is approximately 4 TRILLION degrees Celcius. Why is this important I hear you ask? Well, allow me to answer.

The surface temperature of the Sun is approximately 5500 degrees Celcius and its core temperature is about 15 000 000 degrees Celcius. Yeah, 15 million degrees inside. Not so bad on the surface. When we take into account the fact that here on Earth we can create temperatures in the 4 trillion degree range, we can now safely rebuke the notion that we will never be able to fly a spaceship to the Sun. Because if we can create that kind of temperature and not destroy the planet, I’m pretty sure we can make a spaceship that can handle 5500 degrees. The only potential difficulty here is that I don’t believe the Sun has much in the way of a hard surface. It’s just a massive ball of superheated gas.

I wonder why there aren’t more blogs about space…

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2 responses to “To Infinity And Beyond!

  1. ragrobyn November 10, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    This was like trying to understand Genetic Offspring. Every dinner conversation ends up like this. The reason there are not many bloggs about space is because the spacey guys are writing for spacey journals, discovering answers to theories and flying to mars. Apparently there isn’t extra time to cover blogging unless you start messing with the temporal directive. Then of course you create a paradox. Because how can you go back in time, change something, then come back? Time would have been changed, thus preventing you from needing to go back in time, you are trapped back in time. Mind boggling really. 🙂

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