* Posts by MadChemist

18 posts • joined 7 Apr 2010

Worlds that could support LIFE found among 715 new planets


solar lifetime

Straight from NASA:


A star like the Sun has about 11 billion years of life before the white dwarf stage. It has already gone through 4.5 billion years so that leaves about 6.5 billion years give or take a few hundred million!

So... just a tad longer than your 5-20 million years - no need to pack quite yet.

Era of the Pharaohs: Climate was hotter than now, without CO2


Re: Personally,

well... I don´t know about you, Steve, but personally, I plan to be around in 100 years from now. They can do amazing things with 3D bio-printing today, and in due time, most if not all organs and bodily structures will be replaceable. So unless your brain rots, or you have an unfortunate accident, we may stand a good chance of enjoying a longer and more active life than any human in history... apart from our children of course, who stand an ever better chance with each passing year.

Climate shocker: Carry on as we are until 2050, planet will be fine


Re: Free Markets Reduce Emissions

Correct me if I´m wrong, but I thought >90% of crude oil were used to drive ships, planes and cars around... and there could not possibly be other options for that.

An intelligent use I would consider the manufacture of plastics (with all their problems) and similar, constructive uses - certainly not simply torching the stuff.

Boffins baffled over pulsar with 'split personality'


Re: Malfunctioning power source...

Well... I hate to disagree, but then again, English is not my native language.

Also, I am aware that clips are used to load magazines, and that the terms are used interchangeably, though technically incorrectly, particularly in the FPS gaming crowd.

However, there are variants of "clip", such as a money clip, video clip, paper clip, battery clip, alligator clip... need I go on? Thus, most clips I come across have nothing to do with guns - in fact, I have only ever seen pictures of a (cartridge) clip. A magazine clip in the context of weaponry - space based or otherwise - would no doubt refer to a clip intended to load a magazine.

Hydrogen on demand from silicon nanospheres - just add water


Re: Good thing this is the Reg,

This is basically very fine high quality sand. You might be able to sell it as a chromatography stationary phase, as a very fine abrasive material or use it in the production of glass product I suspect.

Still not convinced you can make the original spheres sufficiently cheap though.


Re: Just add silicon nano-spheres too

Powering wheelchairs ... a worth goal, for sure. However, I suspect that the silicon spheres will come in at many thousands of dollars for a sufficiently sized (and single-use) battery. Given the current healthcare spending climate, I strain to see the broader appeal in that particular market.

Astroboffins to search for mega-massive alien power plants


Re: I question the leap of logic for Dyson Spheres

...hang on... are you saying there are NO stars within millions of light-years around us? You might want to check on that.


Re: I question the leap of logic for Dyson Spheres

Great questions... but given that we are quite a few million years away from clean portable and emission-free fusion power - assuming those are even possible, given the restrictions of physics - I have to wonder about the possibilities of energy capture, an effective concept proven by billions of years of evolution and responsible for all biomass on earth.

Ocean-seeding experiment re-ignites geo-engineering debate


other methods of study...

If you are not a scientist, it may not have crossed your mind, but changing the method of study may not necessarily be done out of free scientific choice. Research needs funding, you know.

Continuing to causing international controversies about geo-engineering may not be as beneficial to the relevant scientists future career and funding prospects as you might think.


Re: how much carbon is burned

Tom, you might want to review your chemistry again.

Adding oxygen to sulfides is used by some organisms to drive their metabolism and is altogether a process that releases energy, rather than requiring it. Otherwise sulfur would not burn in air once ignited.

Thus, you wont burn very much carbon at all for making iron sulphate. You could simply take a geologist mate and a couple of shovels and find yourself the relevant common mineral (e.g. melanterite or rozenite).

Feel free to have a camp fire between digs if you feel the need to burn carbon.

Is the Higgs boson an imposter?


End of physics indeed...

That´s a bit like suggesting the end of chemistry after you think you found all the elements.

Surely, that´s where the actual fun starts, when you know all the bits you can play with, no?



Re: Earth-like??

while I agree that "earth-like" might be stretching is a bit with those ranges, I would like to point out that life right here on earth is certainly happily thriving at up to 120°C (not all life, mind).

The first goal is to find life out there, not to plonk down holiday homes, you know.


Re: Or possibly

Dunno what you mean, surely that would be the kind of entirely classic Roman or Greek variety of a hoard of gods, all into gambling and manipulating...

Medieval warming was global – new science contradicts IPCC


gees... lots of controversy here, Lewis

it´s probably been pointed out before - had to skip a few comments - but assuming the science underpinning the antarctic evidence for the global nature of the warming phenomenon 1000 years ago is sound: this tell us a) nothing about what caused it then, b) nothing about what is causing the warming now, nor in fact c) if the causes are related or even identical.

Clearly we need to learn more about the atmosphere and how it behaves. One thing is certain though: in ages gone by, before the coal and oil of today was laid down, there is evidence that our planet was much warmer than it is today. Go figure.

US scientists demo hydrogen-powered robo-jellyfish


Re: It's easy to get hydrogen from seawater... NOT

By that thinking, it is also easy to convert hydrogen to helium - clearly possible, and done on unimaginable scale every day - but that is not necessarily what the robot guys had in mind now, is it?

Converting electricity to hydrogen and that in turn into heat seems like a dumb idea even to me, since there are much simpler ways of creating heat from electricity.

Thus, the way I would understand what they are trying to do is to simply collect ambient molecular hydrogen from the ocean and use that to drive their system, though they might be better off trying to convert ambient methane to hydrogen and use that.

(for more info see: "Methane and hydrogen in seawater (Atlantic Ocean)", Deep Sea Research Part A. Oceanographic Research Papers; Volume 35, Issue 12, December 1988, Pages 1903–1917)

gotta love internet search engines....

Hong Kong scientists claim 'self-charging' graphene battery


Isn´t 0.35V in the range of normal electrode potentials? Ag/AgCl is a fairly popular couple and Cu(i)Cl is known to do all sorts of things like dissociate into Cu(ii) and metallic Cu(0). Incidentally, the standard potential for Cu(ii) to Cu(0) is 0.34V.


I would have a close look at those electrodes - and get my experiment *successfully* repeated before making outlandish claims.

Apple gets patent for ‘unlock gesture’


you might want to add to the article...

...the filing date of the patent for those who have difficulties following links or reading patents...

(some people don´t seem to grasp that "granting date" is not in fact the date the patent was applied for)

Filed: June 2, 2009

Giant solar-powered aircraft takes to the skies


confused indeed

...your confusion probably arises from the fact that your days seem 23 hours shorter than the average for this planet.

"mph" after all does not stand for "miles per day" and thus, with your numbers the whole trip would take 22.7 days airborne.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021