Wednesday, January 23, 2008

With love to the physics nerds.

17 comments:

plumpy said...

First time posting, I thought this one was really really cute. Love this site and look forward to receiving your book!!

a physics nerd said...

not sure i get this one... shouldnt a and b be switched? the more you tivo and less you do, the greater your mass? or are we going for the less you move the less you do and the more you watch?...

from,
a physics nerd.

Anonymous said...

I think it means, you move around more when you have more things o do and less things to tivo?

plumpy said...

K is not mass, it's kinetic energy.. i.e. when the things to tivo outnumber *actual* things to do (e.g. 20 things to watch, 1 thing to do, K = 1/20) there is very little kinetic energy going on in your body/house ;)

Justin said...

@plumpy --

I agree with your interpretation, but we must agree that we are assuming that mass is constant. Otherwise, 'a physics nerd' could have a point. But if we allow mass to change, we would in fact be doing rocket science.

And this is not rocket science.

Though someone might argue that our mass is not a constant, the amount that our mass changes is so small in comparison with the changes in velocity that it is a valid approximation to say it is constant.

a physics nerd said...

aww so my whole theory of couch potatoes growing fatter and fatter just got thrown out, huh.

Katie said...

Thanks!

From a physics nerd.

Shan said...

If velocity is decreasing, it won't matter that your mass is increasing, the kinetic energy will still come down. So it works (n.p.i.).

Jacob said...

a physics nerd:
I don't think so.
Assume velocity remains constant, mass is proportional to things to do/things tivo'd.
Thus, as the number things to tivo increases with both velocity and things to do constant, mass decreases.

Another explanation is that, s being stress, s = v*a^2*b and m∝1/s.

There could also be some complication with the phrases: "to do" and "to tivo", instead of "done" and "tivo'd".

-another physics/math/geekiness geek

Shan said...

Jacob, physics isn't geeky, it's just nerdy. Let's not confuse nerds and geeks or I'll have to ask Jessica to make an index card showing the difference.

LAN said...

What if v -> c (speed of light)? Then m is definitely not constant!

Michael Ens said...

The only difference between nerds and geeks is etymological. People in certain enclaves have decided that one means one thing and the other another, and usually they pick their favourite to not be an insult. You'll find no general agreement on which is better.

I also think this equation is likely only valid under the same assumptions as classical mechanics, so the speed of light need not come into play. See, as you approach the speed of light, your "things to do" narrows down to "slow down", while your "things to tivo" expands to infinity as time dilation sets in (although in fact hard disk limitations will get you beforehand and limit the equation). Hence kinetic energy would seem to tend to 0. No, it's best we ignore relativistic scenarios. Similar arguments hold at the QM level.

There will be no agreement on whether this is a nerdy or geeky post.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope there's always something to Tivo.

If the denominator ever becomes zero, it's going to be tough getting it above that when you're not moving :P

Carol said...

Hi Jessica, only just foudn your blog. I love it. Gave you a mention in mine :-)
http://carol-cooper.blogspot.com/

lindz said...

The best use of science I've seen since...well, maybe ever.

Full Infinity said...

Don't you mean E=m/sqrt(1-v^2) for the first one?

Anonymous said...

It seems my kinetic energy is infinite...

 
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