Here We Discuss Different Science Related Stuffs... Chapters & Contains. Innovations in Science world And Some Knowledge Stuff ... Come And See & Let Us Know How You Feel

What Is Aerogel?

Aerogel is a synthetic porous ultralight material derived from a gel, in which the liquid component for the gel has been replaced with a gas. The result is a solid with extremely low density and low thermal conductivity. Nicknames include frozen smoke, solid smoke, solid air, solid cloud, blue smoke owing to its translucent nature and the way light scatters in the material.

Aerogels are a diverse class of porous, solid materials that exhibit an uncanny array of extreme materials properties. Most notably aerogels are known for their extremely low densities (which range from 0.0011 to ~0.5 g cm-3). In fact, the lowest density solid materials that have ever been produced are all aerogels, including a silica aerogel that as produced was only three times heavier than air, and could be made lighter than air by evacuating the air out of its pores.

An aerogel is the intact, dry, ultralow density, porous solid framework of a gel (that is, the part that gives a gel its solid-like cohesiveness) isolated from the gel’s liquid component (which takes up most of the volume in the gel).

The term aerogel does not refer to a particular substance, but rather to a geometry which a substance can take on–the same way a sculpture can be made out of clay, plastic, paper-mâché, etc.

Aerogels can be made of a wide variety of substances, including: silica, Most of the transition metal oxides (for example, iron oxide), Most of the lanthanide and actinide metal oxides (for example, praseodymium oxide), Several main group metal oxides (for example, tin oxide), Organic polymers (such as resorcinol-formaldehyde, phenol-formaldehyde, polyacrylates, polystyrenes, polyurethanes, and epoxies),  Biological polymers (such as gelatin, pectin, and agar agar), Semiconductor nanostructures (such as cadmium selenide quantum dots), Carbon, Carbon nanotubes, Metals (such as copper and gold).

Many aerogels boast a combination of impressive materials properties that no other materials possess simultaneously. Specific formulations of aerogels hold records for the lowest bulk density of any known material (as low as 0.0011 g cm-3), the lowest mean free path of diffusion of any solid material, the highest specific surface area of any monolithic (non-powder) material (up to 3200 m2 g-1), the lowest dielectric constant of any solid material, and the slowest speed of sound through any solid material. It is important to note that not all aerogels have record properties.

By tailoring the production process, many of the properties of an aerogel can be adjusted. Bulk density is a good example of this, adjusted simply by making a more or less concentrated precursor gel. The thermal conductivity of an aerogel can be also be adjusted this way since thermal conductivity is related to density. 

Typically, aerogels exhibit bulk densities ranging from 0.5 to 0.01 g cm-3 and surface areas ranging from 100 to 1000 m2 g-1, depending of course on the composition of the aerogel and the density of the precursor gel used to make the aerogel. Other properties such as transparency, colour, mechanical strength and susceptibility to water depend primarily on the composition of the aerogel.

For example, silica aerogels, which are the most widely researched type of aerogel, are usually transparent with a characteristic blue cast due to Rayleigh scattering of the short wavelengths of light off of nanoparticles that make up the aerogel’s framework. Carbon aerogels, on the other hand, are totally opaque and black. Furthermore, iron oxide aerogels are just barely translucent and can be either rust-coloured or yellow. 

As another example, low-density (<0.1 g cm-3) inorganic aerogels are both excellent thermal insulators and excellent dielectric materials (electrical insulators), whereas most carbon aerogels are both good thermal insulators and electrical conductors. Thus it can be seen that by adjusting processing parameters and exploring new compositions, we can make materials with a versatile range of properties and abilities.

Its unique properties have made aerogel popular with a range of industries. Silicon manufacturers, homebuilding materials manufacturers and space agencies have all put aerogel to use. Its popularity has only been hindered by cost, though there is an increasingly successful push to create aerogels that are cost-efficient. In the meantime, aerogels can be found in a range of products: Wetsuits, Firefighter Suits, Skylights, Windows, Rockets, Paints, Cosmetics, Nuclear weapons.

Because of aerogel's unique structure, its use as an insulator a no-brainer. The super-insulating air pockets with the aerogel's structure almost entirely counteract the three methods of heat transfer: convection, conduction and radiation. 

Even though aerogel is still quite expensive, the good news is that studies have shown that aerogel insulation used in wall framing and hard-to-insulate areas such as window flashing can save a homeowner up to $750 per year. In addition to helping homeowners save money, aerogel insulation can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

Companies are racing to find a way to bring costs down, but for now, aerogels are more affordable for NASA than the general public. Still, aerogels are put to use by construction companies, power plants and refineries.


What Is Game Theory?

Game theory as we know it today came about in part because of one man’s interest in poker. This man was not just your average man on the street. He was a mathematician, physicist and computer scientist named John von Neumann. 

His goal was loftier than becoming a better poker player. He was only interested in poker because he saw it as a path toward developing the mathematics of life itself. He wanted a general theory – he called it ‘Game Theory’ – that could be applied to diplomacy, war, love, evolution or business strategy.

He moved closer toward that goal when he collaborated with economist Oskar Morgenstern on a book called "A Theory of Games and Economic Behavior" in 1944.

The Library of Economics and Liberty (Econlib) states that in their book, von Neumann and Morgenstern asserted that any economic situation could be defined as the outcome of a game between two or more players.

What is a game according to game theory? Yale economics professor Ben Polak notes a game has three basic components: players, strategies and payoffs. As we just mentioned, game theory applies to games involving two or more players. In a game, players share “common knowledge” of the rules, available strategies, and possible payoffs of a game. However, it is not always the case that players have “perfect” knowledge of these elements of a game.

Strategies are the actions that players take in a game. The strategy is at the heart of the game theory. The theory presented in A Theory of Games and Economic Behavior as the mathematical modelling of a strategic interaction between rational adversaries, where each side’s actions would depend on what the other side would do.

The concept of strategic interdependence – the actions of one player influencing the actions of the other players – is one important aspect of von Neumann’s version of game theory that is still relevant today.

Then there are payoffs, which one source describes as the “outcome of the strategy applied by the player.” Payoffs could be a wide range of things depending on the game. It could be profits, a peace treaty or getting a great deal on a land.

One limitation of Von Neumann’s version of game theory is that it focused on finding optimal strategies for one type of game called a zero-sum game. In a zero-sum game, one player's loss is the other player's gain. A source notes that players can neither increase nor decrease the available resources in zero-sum games.

Critics have noted that life is often not as simple as a zero-sum game. More complicated game scenarios are possible in the real world. For example, players can do things like find more resources or form coalitions that increase the gains of several players. Game theory has evolved to analyze a wider range of games such as combinatorial games and differential games, but we have time to look at only one.

A classic example of a game often studied in game theory is called The Prisoner’s Dilemma. There are two prisoners, Jack and Tom, who have just been captured for robbing a bank. The police don't have enough evidence to convict them but know that they committed the crime.

They put Jack and Tom in separate inter[r]ogation rooms and lay out the consequences: If both Jack and Tom confess they will each get 10 years in prison. If one confesses and the other doesn't, the one who confessed will go free and the other will spend 20 years in prison. If neither person confesses, they will both get 5 years for a different crime they were wanted for.

The Prisoner’s Dilemma contains the basic elements of a game. The two players are Jack and Tom. There are two strategies available to them: confess or don’t confess. The payoffs of the game range from going free to serving 5,10, or 20 years in prison.

Let's see and compare these outcomes (payoffs) As they are put into a matrix: Since Tom's strategies are listed in rows or the x-axis, his payoffs are listed first. Jack's payoffs are listed second because his strategies are in columns or on the y-axis. ‘C’ means ‘confess’ and ‘NC’ means ‘not confess.’ This matrix is called ‘Normal Form’ in game theory.

Moves are simultaneous, which means that neither player knows the other's decision and decisions are made at the same time. In this example, both prisoners are in separate rooms and won't be let out until they have both made their decision. 

One common solution to simultaneous games is known as the “dominant strategy.”  It is defined as the “strategy that has the best payoff no matter what the other player chooses.” Tom does not know if Jack will confess or not. He takes a look at his options. If Jack confesses and Tom does not, Tom will get 20 years in prison. If both Jack and Tom confess, Tom will get only 10 years. If Jack does not confess and Tom does, Tom will go free. 

The best strategy for Tom is to confess because it leads to the best payoffs regardless of Jack’s actions. Confessing will cause Tom to either go free or serve less prison time than if he did not confess. Jack is in the same situation and has the same options as Tom. As a result, the best strategy for Jack is also to confess because it leads to the same best payoffs that Tom will get.

One study states that a dominant strategy equilibrium is reached when each player chooses their own dominant strategy. Why is the strategy of both not confessing not the best choice? While this option would give both of them less prison time than if they confessed, it would work only if each of them could be sure the other one would not confess.

It is unknown whether Tom and Jack would be able to work together with that level of cooperation. In addition, both are unlikely to choose the strategy of not confessing because it has a greater penalty than they would get if they confessed. Confessing also gives each of them the possibility of serving no prison time, which is even less than 5 years in prison.

The Prisoner’s Dilemma is a good example of how rationality can be problematic in game theory. The University of British Columbia, Vancouver researcher Yamin Htun calls it “one of the most debatable issues in game theory.” 

Htun points out that almost all of the theories are based on the assumption that agents are rational players who strive to maximize their utilities (payoffs).  Yet studies demonstrate that players do not always act rationally and that “the conclusions of rational analysis sometimes fail to conform to reality.

As we can see from this game, the most rational strategy that would give both players less prison time was not the best choice, while a choice that involves both players doing more prison time was.

The Prisoner’s Dilemma also reflects how other game theorists were able to fix some of the problems with Von Neumann’s version of game theory. One of them was mathematician John Nash.

He found a way to determine optimal strategies in any finite game. He describes the Nash equilibrium as a particular solution to games—one marked by the fact that each player is making out the best he or she possibly can, given the strategies being employed by all of the other players. 

When Nash equilibrium is reached in a game, none of the players wants to change to another strategy because doing so will lead to a worse outcome than the current strategy. In the Prisoner’s Dilemma, the Nash equilibrium is the strategy of both players confessing. There is no other better option for either player to switch to.

From this game, we can also see another interesting aspect of the Nash equilibrium. Mathematician Iztok Hozo points out that any dominant strategy equilibrium is also a Nash equilibrium. He explains that this is because the Nash equilibrium is an extension of the concepts of dominant strategy equilibrium. However, he notes that the Nash equilibrium can be used to solve games that do not have a dominant strategy.

Nash received great praise for the Nash equilibrium and his other work in game theory – but not from John von Neumann. According to Forbes, “Von Neumann, consumed with envy, dismissed the young Nash's result as ‘trivial’-- meaning mathematically simple.” 

Others did not share in Von Neumann’s assessment of Nash’s work. Nash, Reinhard Selten, and John Harsanyi went on to share the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for their work in game theory. 

Nash’s most fundamental contribution to game theory was in opening the field up to a wider range of applications and different scenarios to be studied. Without his breakthrough, much of what followed in game theory might not have been possible.

Did The Big Bang Created All The Elements In Predictable?

My absolute favourite fact in the universe is that we are made of dead stars. And that's literally true. The atoms in our bodies were actually created inside the cause of stars that then exploded and died or unravelled into space. And so the question about the periodic table is very interesting. What was the periodic table like at the beginning of the universe, the moment of the Big Bang?

Well, one thing Astronomers say is that it was a lot simpler. The Big Bang, when it went off, produced basically three elements. Almost everything was hydrogen. There was a little bit of helium, and a tiny, tiny little smattering of lithium as well. So those three elements were around just a couple of minutes after the formation of the universe, but nothing else.

And that's actually not a theory. That's actually something we can observe. One of the wonderful things about being an astronomer is, as you look out into space, farther and farther away, the light has taken longer to get to you. And the farthest we can see is actually back to a time only about 400,000 years after the Big Bang.

At that time, there was nothing but very hot hydrogen gas, and a little bit of helium and lithium as well. So everything larger than that, every atom more complex had to be formed inside a star. Over time, stars like the sun are pretty good, over the life cycle, at producing things like carbon and oxygen. They don't really get much more far off the periodic table than that. 

If you want to go any farther than the element, iron, you actually need a very violent explosion, a supernova explosion. The cores of very massive stars and by that, I mean stars that are 10, 20, maybe even as much as 50 times the mass of the sun, their cores are much hotter, because the gravity crushes things down and the temperature goes up many, many millions of degrees hotter than inside the sun. So these stars can actually form bigger and bigger atoms.

The hotter the temperature, the denser the core, the more you can ram things together and actually, form bigger and bigger atoms over time. But there's a very special thing that happens when you get to the atom, iron. And it's something you have actually heard about but you may never have thought of.

When people think about getting energy out of a nuclear reaction-- you've heard about fusion reactions. So like a fusion bomb, actually, takes hydrogen, fuses it together to make helium and that creates energy. The sun also runs on that particular reaction, fusing hydrogen together.

Then you also heard that there's something called fission. And this is how, say, a uranium bomb would work. A uranium nucleus has many, many particles inside it you actually get energy out of breaking it up and forming two smaller nuclei that are actually a bit denser and they hold together better. And so you get energy out of breaking them apart.

So, the element, iron, is exactly halfway between those two processes. So you have been getting energy by fusing things together until you get to iron. And iron is the first nucleus where you don't get any energy out of fusing. From anything bigger, now, you get energy out of ripping apart, fission. 

So iron is what sets off a supernova explosion. When a star tries to fuse iron together, it absorbs energy. And that's not great for the star. The core collapses. And that huge collapse creates this giant wave of heat and the formation of many, many new elements after that. So anything heavier than iron has to be created in a supernova explosion.

Now, there are some elements, heavier still, that even supernova energies don't really get up quite high enough to make. And this is something we only found out recently, in the last couple of years. Elements like gold, platinum, bismuth and all the big things, like uranium and all of the really large atoms; they have to be formed by something that seems almost preposterous, but we have observed this happening-- two neutron stars colliding.

So neutron stars are the cores of dead stars. They are super-compressed. The density of a neutron star is about a Mount Everest worth of mass in every square centimetre. So think about crushing Mount Everest into a little cube. The entire star, which is only about 10 miles across, is actually that density. And that means you have a tremendous amount of nuclear components neutrons, protons really close together. And two neutron stars collide.

When that happens, you make all of these very heavy elements up, like gold, and platinum, uranium and all the big stuff. And again, this is not something that we just know theoretically. We actually have observed this happening. Recently, we observed two neutron stars colliding. And in that single explosion, 10,000 times the mass of the Earth in gold came out of that explosion. It was tremendous. So, we definitely know where those atoms come from now. We observed that happening. 

So to recap, at the beginning of the universe, you had three elements mostly hydrogen, a little bit of helium, a tiny bit of lithium. Now we have the entire periodic table. And a lot of those are formed in stars like the sun. Anything past iron has to be formed much more violently, in a supernova explosion or in the case of very large atoms, two colliding neutron stars. And over billions of years, we have filled out the periodic table that way.


Do We Really Sweat Out Toxin Of Our Body?

If you have spent any amount of time on the Internet, you have probably read some weird stuff. Like, at some point, you have probably heard someone claim that there are toxins trapped in your body and that you need to do something to help release them. To accomplish this, some people favour juice cleanses. Others like to sweat in a sauna, hoping to push toxins out through their pores. But if either of those is your favourite method, we have some bad news. 

Juice cleanses don’t actually detox anything. And sweating, as it turns out, doesn’t contribute much to the cause either. But fortunately, we have built-in organs that can deal with toxic substances. Strictly speaking, toxins are poisons made by living things. But usually, people use the word as a vague catch-all for things that are bad for your body, regardless of where they come from.

Admittedly, the human body does have to deal with a lot of them. From medications and alcohol to the occasional pesticide, you have to process a lot. And no matter what you do, you can’t avoid this, because your body also makes plenty of its own waste.

Just look at the byproducts of metabolism, which your body makes all day, every day, to stay alive. They include ammonia and urea, which come from breaking down proteins; bilirubin, which comes from the two million or so red blood cells you recycle every second and carbon dioxide, which you exhale.

At normal concentrations, these things aren’t harmful, but if they build up, they can cause issues. So there is that bit of truth in the whole “your body has to get rid of toxins” thing. Still, your body doesn’t rely on sweat to take care of that.

When it comes to getting rid of toxic substances, the big guns are the liver and kidneys And they do a thorough job of it. Like, the liver is a detox powerhouse. It chemically modifies toxic metabolic waste products, like ammonia and helps convert them into things that are less toxic, like urea.

It also has powerful and versatile enzymes that turn drugs and other molecules into less harmful things. And for many other kinds of waste, like bilirubin from red blood cells, the liver dumps things into a fluid called bile that we poop out. Bilirubin is what makes poop brown, by the way.

Other waste from the liver goes into the bloodstream, and eventually, to the kidneys. And the kidneys are equally impressive. They are built-in blood filters. They keep most of the useful stuff your body takes in, like nutrients, and dump the rest into the urine.

The kidneys filter out metabolic waste like urea, broken-down molecules from the liver, small amounts of things like hormones and drugs and trace amounts of an array of toxic substances. They also maintain healthy levels of minerals, water and electrolytes in the blood. Because too much of anything can kill you. So really, the liver and kidneys have your body’s supposed “toxin” situation under control.

The idea that sweat is important for filtering things out might have come from the fact that sweat glands are actually pretty similar to kidneys when it comes to their microscopic structure and abilities. This means that sweat and pee do have a lot of the same things in them, though pee is significantly more concentrated.

Most of what’s dissolved in sweat are salts, minerals, and metabolic waste products, plus trace amounts of things like heavy metals, drugs, BPA, and pesticides. And when I say “trace amounts,” I mean the amounts of toxic substances in sweat are so small that the health benefits of getting rid of them are negligible.

So while sweat might get stinky sometimes, it’s not because it’s doing hero’s work. The main reason we sweat is to cool down and, for some reason, when we are nervous. There are some conditions that cause the skin to take over part of the kidney’s function, and where you will start to sweat out more of the stuff that normally comes out in pee. But those conditions include kidney failure and cholera. So if your skin is doing the kidney’s job, you probably have bigger problems to worry about.

Under more typical circumstances, sweating doesn’t rid the body of toxic substances any better than the liver and kidneys do on their own. And whether that person trying to sell you a sweat-based detox therapy realizes it or not, they are pushing fear to make money.

Saunas, hot yoga and some other things that make you sweat may have health benefits, but not because they expel extra toxins. If you have a healthy liver and kidneys, your body is doing just fine all by itself.

Whether these organs are healthy, though, is a different story, and unfortunately, your personal health isn’t something we can help you with around here! That’s the whole point of visiting your doctor for a check-up.

Top 10 Places for New Human Colonies In Our Solar System

Looking to make a fresh start amongst the stars? Here are a few options and today we are counting down our picks for the Top 10 Places for New Human Colonies In Our Solar System. For this list, we’re looking at planets, moons and dwarf planets orbiting our sun that could potentially be colonized in the future.

Number 10: Mercury As the closest planet to the sun, colonizing Mercury would be complicated but not an insurmountable task. A big problem is that temperatures get up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and down to -290 degrees at night. 

It’s been suggested that a Mercury colony could be a mobile one that slowly travels the globe, keeping itself in the transitional space of land caught between night and day known as the “twilight belt.” 

Though continuously chasing the sun would be impossible on Earth, Mercury’s rotation takes about 58 days, meaning that the colony could move very slowly and still remain in the safe zone. In the twilight belt, Mercury’s daytime temperature drops to one more comparable to that of Earth.

Number 9: Uranus In the name of humanity’s future, let’s leave the butt jokes out of it. This overlooked ice giant might not rank highly on the list of planets we are anxious to colonize, but if we were to make the effort, a settlement on Uranus could yield substantial rewards.

The planet is rich in Helium-3, a rare substance on Earth that has been proposed as the ideal fuel for interplanetary travel. In Uranus’ atmosphere, the gravity is only 89% that of Earth’s. This has led experts to put forth the idea of floating mining facilities, suspended by hot air balloons or some other mechanism. For more permanent living arrangements, the moons of Uranus would serve well.

Number 8: Triton Speaking of moons, here is one with a lot of potentials. Triton is the largest of Neptune’s moons and the only surface around the planet that offers any sort of solid ground on which to set up a colony.

In terms of why we would want to live there, it shows signs of major geothermal activity and a possible subsurface ocean likely composed of water or ammonia. It’s the coldest body in our solar system, but between the combined resources offered by both it and Neptune, heating wouldn’t be an issue.

There is some concern about the nitrogen geysers that dot the moon’s surface, but hey, no one said that colonization would be easy.

Number 7: Callisto Ice giants like Uranus and Neptune and gas giants like Jupiter are difficult to colonize directly. Whereas Uranus’ gravity allows for colonies suspended in the atmosphere, Jupiter’s unforgiving atmosphere, staggering winds and powerful gravity wells make that sort of approach impossible. Enter Callisto.

The fourth and furthest of the Galilean moons from Jupiter, it’s appealing because it is subject to the least radiation of its peers, like Ganymede. Add to that the presence of water ice and its overall geological stability and you can understand why it has been deemed humanity’s best home base for exploring the outer solar system.

NASA actually has a detailed outline for a theoretical manned mission to Callisto.
Number 6: Ceres/The Asteroid Belt The asteroid belt might sound like an unappealing place to call home, but give it a chance -it might just make you rich! It offers mining possibilities that are honestly hard to quantify in the monetary sense - the word “quintillions” tends to get thrown around though.

Humanity could set up mining stations on any number of larger asteroids, but Ceres, a dwarf planet located within the asteroid belt is the obvious choice. The water ice present is more than adequate to support a sizable colony. Ceres’ small size largely rules out terraforming and artificial gravity would likely be necessary, as would a solution for radiation. Still, it’s very much within the realm of possibility.

Number 5: Venus is a very interesting candidate for colonization in that it is both blessed with appealing features and burdened by some incredibly harsh ones. Venus is similar to earth in size and, by extension, has comparable gravity. 

Unfortunately, the planet’s surface temperature is hot enough to melt lead. It’s also frequently subjected to sulfuric acid rain and home to numerous volcanoes. As such, it’s been suggested that Venus be colonized not on its surface. Instead, humans could establish floating habitats in the Venerian atmosphere, an environment that has been described as “paradise.”

This isn’t the only option though. One strategy involves the construction of an artificial mountain, but arguably the most appealing option is terraforming the planet.

Number 4: Europa Though it might not be as practical as its neighbour Callisto, the smallest of the Galilean moons is without a doubt one of the most exciting bodies in our solar system. Europa has fascinated the scientific community due to the presumed presence of a liquid water ocean.

The surface of the moon is covered in water ice, which is more than enough to support a colony of any size that we could reasonably build. Of all the bodies in our solar system, Europa’s ocean has arguably inspired the greatest hope for finding extra-terrestrial life; and the best way to find it is with a permanent research settlement. Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, is similarly enticing.

Number 3: Titan Second only to Ganymede in terms of size, Titan offers a lot in terms of potential for colonization. Unlike earth’s Moon, Titan boasts a significant atmosphere, making it one of the few entries on our list today that has a built-in solution for the ever-present issue of radiation.

Unfortunately, the outlook is less positive in terms of gravity and proximity to Earth. That being said, its presumed methane lakes offer up a bountiful energy source, which would go a long way in terms of heating and oxygen production.

Fun fact: that low gravity paired with high atmospheric density would enable human flight with a simple set of wings.

Number 2: The Moon We have discussed a number of moons, but as far as Earth is concerned, there’s only one. Here’s why Earth’s natural satellite is such a candidate for our first off-Earth colony. First, it can be travelled to in a matter of days. Proximity to the sun covers energy needs.

Water ice has been found at the poles, so we have got that covered. That just leaves the lack of atmosphere and the accompanying problems of radiation, lack of breathable air and the frequency of small meteorites. But numerous functioning models have actually been presented. Really… we just need someone to foot the bill and to figure out the long-term impacts on human health.

Number 1: Mars With Earth’s Moon literally at our doorstep relative to other bodies in our solar system, why would we choose to fixate on Mars? Well, to put it simply, it presents certain opportunities that the Moon does not. The Martian atmosphere, though far from perfect, is a much better foundation for terraforming and it already provides far better protection from radiation and meteors than the Moon’s.

The planet’s size also gives it a closer gravity to earth’s own, though the two are by no means the same. Arguably the strongest case for colonizing Mars over the Moon, however, is that as a distinct planet, it offers far more opportunity for significant scientific discovery.


Problem With Uranus

Suppose you are standing at the North Pole of Uranus, by the way, you can't you would sink right in, But if you could you would see the Sun appear on the horizon circle higher and higher for 21 years. Then circle back down to the horizon over the course of another 21 years. Once the Sun went below the horizon, you would experience another 42 years of darkness before the Sun appeared again now that's a long wait. But why does this happen? 

It all started with something huge that smashed Uranus some 1 billion years ago and locked it over on its side. While the other planets looked like spinning tops as they revolve around the Sun Uranus is flipped on its side and appears to be rolling around the Sun. This has a weird and dramatic effect on the seasons on Uranus.

Uranus like Earth has four seasons, however, the seasons on earth and Uranus are very different. It takes Earth 365 days to orbit around the Sun, but it takes Uranus the equivalent of 84 years here on earth. So 1 Uranus year is 84 earth years long and each season on Uranus lasts 21 earthly years. But it's the tilt of the planet that makes this season weird.

It's unusual seasons just as Earth's seasons are caused by planet’s own tilt on its axis, but the tilt of our planet is very different. Earth's axis is tilted 23.5 degrees from the plane of its orbit around the Sun whereas with respect to its orbit the axis of Uranus is tilted at an angle of 98 degrees.

During the summer earth has a Midnight Sun at its poles and a long polar night in winter, but those dark and bright times at Earth's poles only affect a smaller part of our planet and don't last nearly as long as they do on Uranus. During Uranus's winter/summer season the winter side of the planet doesn't see the Sun at all for 21 long years. Meanwhile, the summer side of the planet has continuous daylight. 

However, during its spring and fall seasons, Uranus is oriented in its orbit so that sunlight strikes its equatorial region, which drastically affects the lengths of its days. Uranus spins on its axis about every 17 hours and 14 minutes making that the length of its day and night. Day and night cycle so for much of the planet where there had once been a continuous day or continuous night lasting decades on an earthly scale. Now there is a relatively rapid change between day and night all depending solely on the seasons. 

You can at last think of Uranus as one of the weirdest planets of the solar system and also, of course, the one with the funniest name.

Also Read:- Discovery Of Twelve New Moons Orbiting Jupiter

What is Time?

Time is something that everyone is familiar with 60 seconds is one minute, 60 minutes is one hour, 24 hours is one day and so on. This is known as Linear Time and is something that everyone is familiar with and agrees upon. But consider this, if someone came up to you on the street and asked you to draw time, what would you draw?

You might draw a clock, or a watch ticking every second, Or you might draw a calendar with X's over each day to represent the passing of time. But that's all those drawings would be, just physical representations of the passing of time. Those drawings would just scrape the surface of the Enigma that is time. Something that seemingly runs our lives and is unavoidable can't be explained by even the smartest people on Earth. So what is time and can we prove that time even exists?

Aristotle once said, "Time is the most unknown of all unknown things." That was nearly 2,500 years ago, and it still stands true today. If you were to go to Google and type in, "What is time?", you would find that it says time is a dimension and in many ways it is. When you text a friend and ask them to meet for coffee, you wouldn't give them a place without a specific time.

However, there is a flaw in that definition of time; It leaves too many doors unopened - because time is also a measurement. For example, I was born in the 1990s. That was over 20 years ago If I were to say I was born 18 billion kilometres in the past, that wouldn't make much sense and people would probably look at me like I'm crazy.

With spatial dimensions - the 3D world that we live in - it's very easy to go back and forth between places because these things are essentially fixed in space. If I went to the store to buy groceries and I forgot the milk, I could easily go back and buy some milk. However, the time that it took to do that is unable to be retrieved. It is lost forever into the past.

An object placed in 3D space will stay there almost indefinitely. If I place a bottle on the table, it will just stay there, but that bottle still falls victim to time. See, time is like an arrow - it moves in one direction; forward. Scientists fittingly called this the arrow of time.

If you one day woke up and found yourself floating in the middle of empty space, would you be able to tell which way is up, down, left or right? Probably not. However, time is a much simpler ordeal. See, the time comes from the past, originating at the Big Bang, where our history lies and is fixed.

Through the present, where we are essentially prisoners of, towards the unknown and turbulent future. We can remember things from the past like how I can tell you that this morning I went to the store, bought groceries and then forgot to buy milk. But at the same time, I can't tell you what I ate for breakfast next Thursday.

The arrow of time originated at the Big Bang and has been moving forward ever since. We used the second law of thermodynamics to represent this. It is known as entropy. Think of entropy as a measure of disorder in the universe. 

At The Big Bang, all the matter in the universe was compacted into an infinitely small point. This is considered a very low entropy situation; a very orderly situation. It would be similar to stuffing every sock that was ever made into one drawer. In that situation, you know with 100% certainty where your socks would be. Ever since the Big Bang, all the matter in the universe has been expanding away from each other making the universe a higher entropy system. 

Because of entropy and because of the arrow of time, we have galaxies, stars, planets, and even life. Entropy is the reason that you can tell the difference between the past and the future. It explains why every human is born and then they live and then dies - always in that order. If there were no entropy -- if there were no change in the universe, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the year 2017 and the year 1 billion. No matter what you do, time moves forward and doesn't stop for anyone or anything.

At least on the macro scale. See, the arrow of time works and is extremely noticeable on large scales the skills that you and I operate on every day. But at a quantum level time operates differently. Take the situation where you woke up in the middle of space. There, you have no idea which way is up, down, left or right. It's a very unique situation that only applies in the vastness of empty space, but if you come back to Earth, it's very easy for you to orient yourself. The arrow of time works in a similar way. On a macro level -- the big level, it's very easy for you to tell that the year 1900 is different from the year 2018. It's very easy to view the flow of time.

However, on a micro scale, if we look at deep down into the physics that make up the universe, entropy and - subsequently - the time isn't so obvious. If I were to record myself cracking an egg and pouring its guts into a bowl and then I reversed the footage, you would easily be able to tell that the footage had been reversed. However, if I record a pendulum swinging back and forth for five minutes and then reversed the footage and show it to a random person on the street, will they be able to tell that that footage has been reversed? The answer is probably not.

See the arrow of time seems to flow in one direction on the macro scale, but as you take parts of it away and skim it down to the bare bones of particles that make up the universe, time seems to work and flow in every direction; both forward and backward. There are no laws of physics that state the past is any different from the future.

The only reason why you can think about what you want to have for dinner tomorrow as opposed to what you want to have for dinner yesterday is because of the arrow of time; because of entropy, because the universe had a beginning. Or at least it seems like it.

You might be starting to see why the arrow of time and entropy are so important. They quite literally govern our lives and the universe. See the fact that entropy is increasing is well known. It's the reason why life today is the way that it is.

However, not many people are addressing the question that is: "Why was the entropy of the universe so low in the first place?" Well, the answer is simple. It was lower yesterday than it was today. You can take this logic all the way back to the Big Bang. You hear that a lot, "The universe came into being at the instance of the Big Bang." And for all we know as of now that may be true. However, it might not be true.

We have the physics of Einstein's general relativity that allows us to go back to mere seconds after the Big Bang. But after that, our equations break down. That is as far as we can go for now. There is no law of physics yet that states that there wasn't time before the Big Bang and perhaps a reversed arrow of time. We just don't have the science to look that far back yet.

Because the universe is expanding and because entropy is increasing with time, there will eventually be a time where everything in the universe is so far apart from one another that space will essentially be empty. Everything will be too far apart to interact with one another all the way down to the atoms that make up everything in the universe.

However, just as the temperature outside fluctuates day to day, so does the entropy of the universe. Albeit, very small fluctuations are small time scales such as a human life, over unreal time scale such as 10 to the 10 to the 10 to the 56 years. It is possible that quantum fluctuations could cause an extremely random extreme entropy decrease. This would create conditions similar to the Big Bang as we know it and could explain the arrow of time and the origin of our universe.

However, in order to answer these questions, we need to unite quantum mechanics with Einstein's general relativity. This would provide a scientific link between the quantum world of atoms with the macro world of stars, galaxies and black holes in the universe. This is dubbed "the theory of everything" and is something that many scientists are working on right now.

With this theory, we may be able to - for the first time - be able to explain how and why the universe we live in came into existence. And maybe, even prove that the multiverse exists.


Problem Of The Nuclear Waste

Nuclear energy is one of the cleanest, most efficient, and most available sources of power on earth. To generate one kilowatt-hour of energy —the amount a modern household consumes in 48 minutes— nuclear power plants only emit 12 grams of carbon dioxide— enough to fill about three two-litre soda bottles. Meanwhile, to produce the same amount of energy, coal plants emit 820 grams of CO2—about a full bathtub’s worth. 

Factoring in the environmental cost of production, nuclear energy is cleaner than hydropower, than geothermal, than solar, than really any energy source except wind. But that doesn’t necessarily mean nuclear is the long-term solution for the world because nuclear material is perhaps the most poisonous substance on earth.

Two times in history have nuclear power plants leaked a significant amount of radiation—in 1986 in Chernobyl, Ukraine and in 2011 in Fukushima, Japan. 31 people died in Chernobyl with at least a further 4,000 expected to contract early lethal cancer due to the radiation.

Fukushima was better contained with only two deaths, both unrelated to radiation, and only 130 early cancer deaths expected, but additionally, each site still today has massive exclusion zones where humans cannot live due to ongoing radiation. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced from their homes and will never be allowed to return.

The economic damage of Chernobyl is estimated at nearly $250 billion dollars—significantly more than the GDP of Ukraine. The Fukushima disaster, meanwhile, having taken place is a much more populated and developed area, is estimated to set Japan back over $500 billion dollars—a full 10% of their GDP.

In addition, uranium, the element most commonly used in nuclear reactors, is not in limitless supply. Using present-day extraction methods, there is only about a 230 year supply of uranium left. Many would say nuclear is only a short-term solution to reduce carbon emissions until truly sustainable energy can become commonplace, but the biggest problem with nuclear energy is not the risk of meltdown, it’s not the supply of uranium, it is the nuclear waste.

All current commercial nuclear power plants work through the process of nuclear fission. As a radioactive element decays, the individual atoms split into multiple, but when that happens the reaction also releases energy. There are plenty of different designs of nuclear reactors, but in general, they capture the released energy by using it to heat up water into steam which runs through turbines that spin generators.

The nuclear element used is typically uranium which, after about six to eight years of usage in a nuclear power plant will have released enough of its energy that it is no longer useful in nuclear reactors, but that doesn’t mean it’s done emitting energy. The fuel rods will remain radioactive enough to emit a lethal dose for tens or hundreds of thousands of years past their removal.

So the question is, what do you do with them? The answer is simple—put them somewhere where they can stay, undisturbed, isolated, forever, but that’s not all that easy. In fact, no nuclear waste worldwide is currently in what is considered long-term storage. Every bit of nuclear waste in existence is in temporary storage facilities to be used until a long-term solution is built.

Most of that nuclear waste is stored in pools of water. Water does a decently good job of shielding radiation so this is an inexpensive and easy way of storing the rods. Usually, these pools are physically inside nuclear power plants. So, when spent fuel is removed from the reactor, it’s put directly into the water and left there.

The radioactive material, since it’s still emitting energy, it continues to heat up the water, but cooling systems and pumps keep the water below boiling temperature, but to do that the plant needs power. If the power fails and the backup generators fail, the pumps and cooling systems stop working so the water heats up and can boil off. The water is what blocks the radiation so, without water, the radiation just goes right out into the environment.

In fact, exactly that's what happened at Fukushima. Both the primary and backup power sources failed so the pumps and cooling systems for the spent fuel pools couldn’t run, leaving the water to heat up. The situation was brought under control before enough water had boiled off to release significant amounts of radiation into the environment, but had it not been, thousands could have been killed.

Once the nuclear waste has cooled down in storage pools for ten to twenty years, it typically is encased in casks. These concrete and steel containers block in radiation, but this solution is far from permanent. It does not consider earthquakes, it cannot withstand tsunamis, and it would not work without humans.

These casks require security and they require maintenance. Without humans, they could easily be damaged or breached over time and release radiation into the environment. Modern humans have only existed for about 200,000 years, so one can hardly be sure that the species will survive for the millions of years that the most toxic nuclear waste will continue to emit radiation.

What’s more, one can hardly expect that the dominant civilizations that have nuclear technology today will continue to exist for even thousands of years. The Roman Empire was once without a doubt the most powerful civilization on earth. Scholars even believe that it is the most powerful civilization to have ever existed on earth—more powerful than the US, than Europe, than any modern civilization, but it fell, and so too will the west.

Therefore, long-term nuclear waste storage needs to last longer than any political structure, it needs to work without the supervision of humans, it needs to be truly and unequivocally permanent.

Finland is building just that. This region is largely devoid of natural disasters. It doesn’t have earthquakes, it doesn’t see tsunamis, it really doesn’t encounter any natural phenomenon that could damage a nuclear waste storage site, especially if it’s 1,500 feet underground.

Beneath an island on the Finnish Baltic Sea coast, the country is digging. They are building the very first permanent nuclear waste storage facility in the world in the stable bedrock 1,500 feet below. Currently, they are just finishing their dig down then very soon, in 2020, they will start filling the facility with nuclear waste.

They will dig long tunnels with small holes in which they will place casks of nuclear waste then backfill the tunnels with clay to be left for an eternity. With this system, there is near zero risks of nuclear material leaking out into the groundwater and, once it’s filled in the year 2120, it can just be left, forever.

Because the material will be so far down and so difficult to get to, no human management will be necessary once completed. No security, no maintenance, nothing which means it should be truly secure, but before leaving it, they do need to fight against one thing—human nature.

As curious beings, it is hard to combat a person’s urge for discovery. If someone finds a mysterious structure from thousands of years ago, it would just be natural to want to open it up, and that’s a problem for nuclear waste sites. We essentially did just that with the pyramids in Egypt. These structures were built as the final, permanent resting places for the elites of Egypt and we opened them up because we were curious.

Opening the nuclear storage facilities would release radiation into a future civilization, so we have to tell them to leave the sites alone, but that’s easier said than done. The US Department of Energy commissioned a study on how to communicate the danger into the far future. The key is to create a message that conveys how uninteresting, how unimportant, and how dangerous nuclear waste is.

They settled on the following text: Sending this message was important to us. We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture. This place is not a place of honour… no highly esteemed deed is commemorated here… nothing valued is here. What is here was dangerous and repulsive to us. This message is a warning about danger. The danger is in a particular location… it increases toward a centre… the centre of danger is here... of a particular size and shape, and below us. The danger is still present, in your time, as it was in ours. The danger is to the body, and it can kill. The form of the danger is an emanation of energy. The danger is unleashed only if you substantially disturb this place physically. This place is best shunned and left uninhabited.

The idea would be to translate a message like this into every United Nations language— Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. There is a reasonable hope that, at least in the next couple thousand years, one of those languages would be understood. But in the scope of hundreds of thousands of years, there is just little expectation that these languages would survive.

There is not even a reasonable expectation that humans would survive. So, you need to convey the same message without language. What the study suggests is to further push the message by building a landscape that conveys danger. It could be a scene of thorns, or spikes or forbidding blocks.

To satiate the discoverer’s curiosity, it’s also suggested to add monoliths explaining the history of the site through pictographs. Also included would be images like this, engraved in stone, conveying that the substance has danger that will be passed onto humans if touched, but the difficulty of this is that it very well might not be humans exploring earth 100,000 years from now. It could be a species that doesn’t recognize the likeness of what might be a long-extinct species.

What some have suggested is to just let the site be forgotten, to not mark it at all, to just seal it up and leave, but having something that significant disappear isn’t simple.

The site in Finland is designed to not need security or oversight, but its current location is very well documented in a potentially irreversible way. With books and brains and the internet, records of the site might exist until at least the end of human civilization. To truly be forgotten, to truly be left as part of nature, so too must humans be forgotten.


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