xkcd: What If?

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xkcd: What If? #109 - Into the Blue

Postby bystander » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:20 pm

Into the Blue

    If I shot an infinitely strong laser beam into the sky
    at a random point, how much damage would it do?
    — Garrett D.
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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xkcd: What If? #110 - Walking New York

Postby bystander » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:24 pm

Walking New York

    Could a person walk the entire city of NY in their lifetime? (including inside apartments) — Asaf Shamir
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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xkcd: What If? #111 - All the Money

Postby bystander » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:27 pm

All the Money

    People sometimes say "If I had all the money in the world ..." in order to
    discuss what they would do if they had no financial constraints. I'm curious,
    though, what would happen if one person had all of the world's money?
    — Daniel Pino
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

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xkcd: What If? #112 - Balloon Car

Postby bystander » Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:25 am

Balloon Car

    My 12-year-old daughter is proposing an interesting project. She is planning to attach a number
    of helium balloons to a chair, which in turn would be tethered by means of a rope to a Ferrari.
    Her 13-year-old friend would then drive the Ferrari around, while she sits in the chair enjoying
    uninterrupted views of the countryside. Leaving aside the legal and insurance difficulties, my
    daughter is keen to know the maximum speed that she could expect to attain, and how many
    helium balloons would be required.
    — Phil Rodgers, Cambridge, UK
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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Re: xkcd: What If? #112

Postby geckzilla » Tue Sep 23, 2014 3:24 am

Two thoughts: First, seems like a novel way to kill someone by tying them to a balloon and having them freeze to death high in the atmosphere. Second, seems like a novel way to steal a Ferrari.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

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xkcd: What If? #113 - Visit Every State

Postby bystander » Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:15 pm

Visit Every State

    How fast could you visit all 50 states? — as discussed by Stephen Von Worley on Data Pointed
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Re: xkcd: What If? #113

Postby Beyond » Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:37 am

so... what is the equivalent resistance between the two marked nodes, in the above xkcd?
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Re: xkcd: What If? #113

Postby BDanielMayfield » Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:31 am

Beyond wrote:so... what is the equivalent resistance between the two marked nodes, in the above xkcd?


My quick guess would be 1 ohm. Prove me wrong, I dare ya. :lol2:
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Re: xkcd: What If? #113

Postby BMAONE23 » Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:45 am

BDanielMayfield wrote:
Beyond wrote:so... what is the equivalent resistance between the two marked nodes, in the above xkcd?


My quick guess would be 1 ohm. Prove me wrong, I dare ya. :lol2:

http://m.wikihow.com/Calculate-Series-and-Parallel-Resistance
Here is the simple equation

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Re: xkcd: What If? #113

Postby BDanielMayfield » Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:03 am

BMAONE23 wrote:
BDanielMayfield wrote:
Beyond wrote:so... what is the equivalent resistance between the two marked nodes, in the above xkcd?


My quick guess would be 1 ohm. Prove me wrong, I dare ya. :lol2:

http://m.wikihow.com/Calculate-Series-and-Parallel-Resistance
Here is the simple equation


Yes, the basic equations are quite simple, but it's a deceptively complex network. I didn't want to get stuck in the road ... :shock:
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Re: xkcd: What If? #113

Postby Beyond » Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:12 pm

The answer is.... stick the ends of the two leads of an Ohmmeter on the two nodes and read what the scale says. :lol2: I've got the meter, but no 1-ohm resistors.
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Re: xkcd: What If? #113

Postby BDanielMayfield » Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:34 pm

Beyond wrote:The answer is.... stick the ends of the two leads of an Ohmmeter on the two nodes and read what the scale says. :lol2: I've got the meter, but no 1-ohm resistors.

I thought of that too, but the problem is that you'd need an infinite number of resistors ...
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Re: xkcd: What If? #113

Postby Chris Peterson » Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:41 pm

Beyond wrote:so... what is the equivalent resistance between the two marked nodes, in the above xkcd?

These resistor network problems are routinely assigned in first year college electronics class.

In this case, the answer is about 0.77 ohms (in fact, it's exactly 4/pi - 0.5).
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Re: xkcd: What If? #113

Postby Beyond » Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:19 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:These resistor network problems are routinely assigned in first year college electronics class.

But not in Technical School electrical shop classes, at least not the ones i was in w-a-y back in the 60's.
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Re: xkcd: What If? #113

Postby Nitpicker » Tue Sep 30, 2014 2:44 am

Chris Peterson wrote:
Beyond wrote:so... what is the equivalent resistance between the two marked nodes, in the above xkcd?

These resistor network problems are routinely assigned in first year college electronics class.

In this case, the answer is about 0.77 ohms (in fact, it's exactly 4/pi - 0.5).


In my classes, we failed if we gave the correct answer with no derivation:
http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath668/kmath668.htm

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Re: xkcd: What If? #113

Postby Chris Peterson » Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:40 am

Nitpicker wrote:In my classes, we failed if we gave the correct answer with no derivation:
http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath668/kmath668.htm

Actually, I didn't derive my answer. I ran a sim using a SPICE module in Matlab.
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Re: xkcd: What If? #113

Postby bystander » Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:55 am

Application of the lattice Green's function for calculating the resistance of an infinite networks of resistors - J. Cserti
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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xkcd: What If? #114 - Antimatter

Postby bystander » Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:55 pm

Antimatter

    What if everything was antimatter, EXCEPT Earth? — Sean Gallagher
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

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xkcd: What If? #115 - Into the Sun

Postby bystander » Sun Oct 12, 2014 7:12 pm

Into the Sun

    When I was about 8 years old, shoveling snow on a freezing day in Colorado, I wished
    that I could be instantly transported to the surface of the Sun, just for a nanosecond,
    then instantly transported back. I figured this would be long enough to warm me up
    but not long enough to harm me. What would actually happen?
    — AJ, Kansas City
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

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xkcd: What If? #116 - No-Rules NASCAR

Postby bystander » Fri Oct 17, 2014 2:14 pm

No-Rules NASCAR

    If you stripped away all the rules of car racing and had a contest which was
    simply to get a human being around a track 200 times as fast as possible,
    what strategy would win? Let's say the racer has to survive.
    — Hunter Freyer
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

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xkcd: What If? #117 - Distant Death

Postby bystander » Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:06 pm

Distant Death

    What is the farthest from Earth that any Earth thing has died? — Amy from NZ
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

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xkcd: What If? #118 - Physical Salary

Postby bystander » Fri Oct 31, 2014 9:12 pm

Physical Salary

    What if people's incomes appeared around them as cash in real time?
    How much would you need to make to be in real trouble?
    — Julia Anderson, Albuquerque, NM
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

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Re: xkcd: What If?

Postby MargaritaMc » Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:35 am

Thanks for posting these, bystander! I always enjoy them but don't remember to go to the website if you don't post the links here.
M
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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xkcd: What If? #119 - Laser Umbrella

Postby bystander » Sun Nov 16, 2014 1:36 am

Laser Umbrella

    Stopping rain from falling on something with an umbrella or a tent is boring. What
    if you tried to stop rain with a laser that targeted and vaporized each incoming
    droplet before it could come within ten feet of the ground?
    — Zach Wheeler
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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Re: xkcd: What If?

Postby geckzilla » Sun Nov 16, 2014 1:48 am

Good to know that there are at least three livable autoclaves in Boston.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.


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