Supersonic Man

June 21, 2016

light

Filed under: science! — Supersonic Man @ 10:58 am

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June 16, 2016

is there only spacetime? (part 1)

Filed under: science!,thoughtful handwaving — Supersonic Man @ 6:33 am

In a recent post, I mentioned in passing that “the close relationship between energy, gravity, and inertia is still a mystery, despite apparent confirmation of the Higgs boson.”  But wow, I may have just stumbled on an outsider theory that can resolve that whole mystery, and more.  It’s from a laser specialist and entrepreneur named John A. Macken, and his work can be found at onlyspacetime.com.

Where Macken begins is with the idea that “mass” is just energy confined to a particular frame of reference.  This sounds like it might be just an obvious truism based on special relativity, but once one looks at the details, it covers more ground than you might think.

His start on this came, naturally enough, when thinking about lasers.  The light inside a laser has energy, which means it has an equivalent mass, which means it has inertia.  Now inertia seems very mysterious as a property for particles, but for light, he realized, there’s nothing mysterious about it. (more…)

June 5, 2016

solar panels on electric cars?

Filed under: fun,Hobbyism and Nerdry — Supersonic Man @ 12:39 am

So if you had an electric car, would it be worthwhile to put a solar panel on the roof?

At first blush, it wouldn’t seem so.  A decent electric car ought to have something like 100 kilowatt-hours in its battery pack, and it sure would be nice if it could hold 200 or more.  (The total energy in a moderately sized tank of gasoline is about 500 kwh, but at least two thirds of that just goes into waste heat.)  The biggest solar panel area you could fit on top of a car, disregarding all competing design criteria, would be about two square meters, and a more typical car would probably make room for about one square meter.  Over a whole day in blazing sun, that’s only going to produce about one kwh, and in most circumstances you’ll get quite a bit less.  So it’ll probably only extend your daily driving range by three miles at most, and if you park it indoors you’ll never get even one mile out of it.

But range extension isn’t the only benefit of having a bit of free power available when not driving.  You’d never have to worry about running things down with the fan or the stereo or mobile-device chargers.  On a hot day you could even use the air conditioner.  The car could even cool itself automatically while left in a parking lot, with no fear that this would affect your ability to get home.  Cars left unattended for months might still be fully ready to drive away in.  And if you run out of juice in a lonely desert, the next day you might be able to drive a few crucial miles to get to a spot where help is reachable.

I think this is starting to sound like a good idea even on gasoline cars.  Or on hybrids, at the very least.

June 2, 2016

a small attempt to emulate the gadget press

Filed under: Hobbyism and Nerdry — Supersonic Man @ 9:08 am

Nowadays the popular media report on the latest gadgets almost as eagerly as they report on celebrity gossip.  Since my smartphone is now three models out of date, I’ve been reading more than my share of this stuff.  And this is inspiring me to try adding a little noise of my own to that topic.  So:

Five Things Premium Phones Will Need in Order to Stay Premium

(more…)

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