Index | Comments and Contributions | previous:2.10 quantum mechanics (starring Schroedingers cat!)

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: bilbo (hobbit#NoSpam.rings.net)

Astonomer #1:  .....so anyway the cop pulls me over and asks if I realized
that I had just run a redlight.  So I said that I did not see the light as
being red, because it must have blue-shifted as i was approaching it.
Astronomer #2: And he let you go?
Astronomer #1: No.  He gave me a speeding ticket intead.

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

Here is an original joke about physics.....
Q: How does Einstein begin a story?
A: Once upon a space-time......

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

Here is an original joke about physics.....
Q: Why should followers of special theory of relativity not be taken
A: They fail to see the gravity of the situation.

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: mini-air <marca#NoSpam.wilson.harvard.edu>
1997-03-11	Scientific Correctness: Zippy Travel

Here is the report on our SCIENTIFIC CORRECTNESS SURVEY #2. The
question was:

Is faster-than-light travel possible?

This survey drew an onslaught of opinions.

The vote was a landslide (72%) for the YES side. Thus, another
controversy is put to rest. Henceforth, it will be scientifically
correct to believe that faster-than-light travel is possible.

Opinions ranged from positive to negative, and from simple ("Yes")
to hideously complex. While the results are interesting, the
variety of methods used to obtain them is dazzling.
				*	*	*
Some readers used fuzzy logic:
I have never really believed that light actually goes at the speed
of light. Have we any proof? I worked out that it should go at
root two times the speed of light (c) making the constant itself
	--Graeme Winter
				*	*	*
Other readers used higher-level fuzzy logic:
This is an interesting question, coincidentally I was driving
through a Minnesota blizzard last week when my wife told me to
slow down because I was 'over driving my headlights.' I was so
excited I almost spilled my coffee because I thought that she
meant I was traveling faster than the speed of light, but then I
realized that she meant that because of the poor conditions, the
stopping distance for my car was greater than my visibility.
	--Don Berryman
				*	*	*
One reader used tangential logic:
Since light has yet to dawn on school boards here in Texas, we are
unable to answer this question.
	--Julia Frugoli
				*	*	*
Some took a theoretical bent:

Yes, but no matter what the destination, you always arrive at
	--Dick Baker

My fraternity brother Charles Jones (MIT '63) created a faster-
than-light vehicle in 1960. A beam of light is reflected in a
mirror. Approaching the mirror, the light's velocity is (+)c.
After reflection it is -c. Ergo at the instant of reflection, its
velocity is 0. When the vehicle passes the mirror, it goes faster
than light.
	--A. D. Snider
				*	*	*
Others relied on advanced theories:

Faster than light travel IS possible but only if you are facing
	--Charles Belair

It depends on how fast the light is going.
	--Michael Castleman
				*	*	*
Some readers cited empirical evidence:

Of course. It is demonstrated every week in "Star Trek: The Next
Generation". They also demonstrate crystal power, telepathy,
reversal of the polarity of neutron fluxes in starboard power
couplings, and other facets of modern science.
	--Stephen Trier

No. No no no no no no. Most people think Star Trek has solved the
problem of faster-than-light travel. I am much more fascinated by
Star Trek's solution to the sound-in-a-vacuum problem.
	--Karen Lingel

"Yes!" E-mail uses delivery through electrical circuits, therefore
traveling at the speed of light (one of the reasons for its
popularity over the historically traditional US Postal "Service").
America OnLine uses these same electrical circuits. It is well
known that almost anything travels faster than AOL these days.
	--G. Borochoff
				*	*	*
Not everyone relied on intellectual arguments. Two readers,
Charlie Cerf and Peter Thorp, sent in variants of the same
classical argument:
	There was a young lady called Bright
	who could travel much faster than light.
	She departed one day
	in a relative way
	and returned on the previous night
				*	*	*
Practical experience, too, was useful in solving the question:

Of course faster-than-light travel is possible. However, the
probability that your luggage will wind up at the wrong
destination increases as the cube of the velocity.
	--Bob O'Hara

Yes. Faster than light travel is possible and can be readily
demonstrated by making the mistake of having two dates show up at
your place at the same time. I've done this and witnessed first
hand the flight, which happens so fast that you can't see it.
	--P. Hughes

Yes, but tickets must be purchased at least three weeks in advance
and a Saturday night stay is required.
	--Kristina Pawlikowski

After my cat decided it was play time at 3 AM, he was forcefully
accelerated from the bed. Quickly, his velocity reached the of
light resulting in a mid-air white hot flash of spontaneous
combustion (matter to energy.) Conversely, all internal energies
(neuroelectrical, biochemical, etc.) were converted to matter. A
strange ash covered the room, very similar to scoopable litter.
The other possibility is that he landed on my camera equipment and
has been hiding ever since.
	--Don Copeland
				*	*	*
Finally, one response defied categorization:
Of course, as a physics teacher I tell my students that faster-
than-light travel is impossible, but that's just to crush their
	--LaNelle Ohlhausen

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: "Alexandre Cherman" <a_cherman#NoSpam.hotmail.com>
I happen to know something that is faster than light!!  :)


Try this:  lock yourself inside a darkened room.  Then, slowly, open the
door.  You can surely see the light coming in, but you canखt see the
darkness going out.  Thatखs how fast it is!!!

(This is an amazing result, since darkness is known to be heavier than
light: just ask any diver -- they will tell you that the deeper you go, the
darker it gets.  Darkness sinks, while light floats).

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: "riley" <riley#NoSpam.ctcweb.net>

That theory is technically incorrect, the dark is not actually leaving the
room.  Instead it is being compressed into an infinitely small space in the
corner of the room.  This also explains why the sun heats up the earth so
well; all the dark in the world is being compressed into a singularity,
this process creates an immese amount of heat, especially on the equator
where the direct sun rays cause the greatest compression.

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

Q: What would happen if the speed of light were only sixty miles per hour?

A: As we approach the speed of light, the aging process slows down. So, if
the speed of light were sixty miles per hour, we would have even more
people speeding, especially older people trying to stay young. As a matter
of fact, physics would demand that we go faster than the speed of
light. The safest thing is to drive at a steady sixty to keep time and the
highway patrol off our necks.  Airplanes would become obsolete in this slow
light world, because you would be going so fast, relatively speaking, that
you'd be back before you even left. This would make business trips
unnecessary and lead to economic collapse.  So, to answer your question,
life, if the speed of light were sixty miles per hour, would be youthful,
fast, and dark.  -- Ask Dr. Science

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: PRATAP RAMAMURTHY <pramamurthy#NoSpam.wisc.edu>

Faster than light travel is possible!

Force light through a medium of sufficiently high refractive index, such
that it is slower than your driving speed. Now you can travel travel faster
than light, without getting a speeding ticket!

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: tds#NoSpam.honet9.att.com (Antonio Desimone)

In article <S1ab.5c97#NoSpam.looking.on.ca> mm459504#NoSpam.longs.lance.colostate.edu (When I'm good, I'm even better) writes:

 The paper "National Geographic, The Doomsay Machine" which appeared
in the _Journal of Irreproducible Results_ predicts dire consequences
resulting from a nationwide buildup of _National Geographic_. The
author's predictions are based on the observations that the number of
subscriptions for _National Geographic_ are on the rise and that no
one ever throws away a copy of the _National Geographic_.

In a similar vein, yesterday I was reading a collection of essays by
David Mermin (co-author of the world's funniest solid-state physics
text), where he observes that, extrapolating from the current rate of
growth, soon volumes of the Physical Review will be filling library
shelves at a rate exceeding the speed of light.  There is no violation
of special relativity, however, as no information is being propagated.

Mermin attributes the comment to Rudolf Pierles (sp?)

[This is probably just for the physics geeks in the crowd]

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: sbaker#NoSpam.oro.net (Steve Baker)

Here's a sample of some on-line humor from the website
http://www.drscience.com .

Dear Dr. Science
      Why is the speed of light only 186,000 miles per second?  Can'[t
science do better than this?

       "Yes, you're right.  It's a disgrace light only goes a measly
186,000 miles per second, but physicists are working on this problem.
There's already a prototype vehicle that goes 200,000 miles per second, but
the headlights shine at only 186,000 miles per second.  This is equivalent
to driving down the freeway the wrong way with the headlights not only out
but actually chasing you down the road. This is why so many scientists
today no longer own a driver's licence. "
    Remember, Dr. Science knows more than you do!

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

December 25
Special Category: Christmas Science Jokes
Q: How does Santa deliver presents all over the world on Christmas Eve?
A: With Rudolf the red-shift reindeer.

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: Jan-Eric Nystrom <animato#NoSpam.sci.fi>
Special Category: Albert Einstein
March 14
April 18
A student recognizes Einstein in a train and asks:
Excuse me, professor, but does New York stop by this train?

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

November 29
March 17
From: kudlicki#NoSpam.hydra.astrouw.edu.pl (Andrzej Kudlicki)

Q: What's the easiest way to observe Doppler's effect optically
   (not accoustically) in one's everyday life?
A: Go out in the evening and look at the cars. They lights are
   white or yellow when they approach, but they are red when
   they are moving away of you.

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

October 9
May 11
From: "Rudolf Rab" rrab#NoSpam.bmts.com
A Black Hole is a tunnel at the end of light.

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: Rod Ryker <rryker1#NoSpam.fuse.net>
I think you will enjoy the following from Jonas :

"How about this one?

It was late evening at the home of Wayne Throop and the gang were gathered.

There was Tom Roberts the energic brilliant technician, Nathan Urban the
rebelious outsider, Paul Andersen the great philosoph and Ande the real

This night they all were gathered to drink some vine and to watch just
another superb episode of X-archives.

Having so many brilliant mathematical minds brought together, it was
obviously impossibe to avoid discussions that handled some of the paradoxes
in the great theories of Einstein (SR and GR).

Wayne the deardevil in the gang kept quiet the whole evening, and wasn't
real in his usual chearfull mode. Tom turned to Wayne and asked him.

- What's up Wainie?

Wayne looked up, with a serious face studying the members of team-SR, he
uttered with low voice.

- I had this strange conversation with Ryker last night, he told me that
things appear longer not shorter when objects travel at high relative speed
to the observer, this really can't be the case can it?

- Of course not said Paul Andersen the great philosoph, this is not
according to SR and the "will of Einstein".

- Don't haste to any conclusion without having some experimental facts
verified upon your feets said Tom Roberts the mighty technician.

An intensive discussion was at hand, but it suddenly ended when Nathan
Urban and Ande the real deal suddenly proposed.

- Let's do a real experiment we bring in our bicycles to Waynes bathroom
and use his old car transmission.

-Why?  Asked Wayne.

- If we just could borrow your lucky dollar for a moment Wayne, and the
flashlight that Tom use for dark nights. Then we could transmit the energy
generated of us on the bicycles to make the luckydollar rotate, of course
we have to fetch the flashlight upon it said Nathan Urban!

Everybody felt and new, that this was just another excellent idea, created
within the great mind of Ande the real deal.

After some tedious work with the bicycles, all things was settled and the
gang were ready for the big show, Wayne the experimental executive and
observer, dropped the light.......

The muscles of the gang started to pump on the pedals and their muscles
were stretched beyond their limits, with all that work going on the dollar
slowly started to rotate with the flashlight sending it's white light thru
the empty space of Waynes bathroom.

Some time in the work with connecting the bicycles to the transmission
Wayne got the wonderfull idea to use an old revolv gauge with this he could
measure the revolves per second of the dollar .

Measuring the gauge Wayne could se 5 - 10 - 20 and the light slowly started
to stretch out, but the muscles of the gang just kept on working 100 - 200
- 1000 - 2000 - 5000 - 9000 - 9300 and the light started to form the shape
of an open circle, but then Wayne suddenly shouted stop, stop with a
hysterical voice. At first no one noticed him due to the effort and
restrain put in the pounding of the pedals, the gauge just went higher 9600
- 9800 - 9900 then Wayne scream STOP IN THE NAME OF EINSTEIN STOP,
everybody stoped pounding instantly!

Except for Tom the mighty he's muscles just kept pounding, and the gauge
showed 9950 - 9970 -9990- 9995. A fearless roar could be heard from Wayne
standing up,

starting to move in an incredible speed against Tom giving him an old

highschool football tackle,that put him out of the seat of the bike.

Someone turned on the light and all looked in an suprised manner in the
direction of Wayne.

Tom said laying on the floor, what's going on Wayne?

- Wayne: I just realized what we were doing rotating that dollar, do you
know that a pulsar rotate with roughly 10000 revolves per second, there
some GR to consider doing this things at a higher speed!

They all looked at each other and said with common voice, ooooh that was a
close one.

The rest of the evening was spent talking about what really would have
happen if Wayne hadn't been able to stop Tom before he had turn the dollar
into a singularity.  (Someone with great philosophical knowledge even
proposed that Wayne had been faster then light that evening ;).

Suddenly, their chearfull conversation came to an end, it was the lead
music to

X-archives that started to play, Nathan Urban instinctly looked at his
watch, and realized that it had slowed 2 minutes. At comparing their
watches this evening they all knew what had happen, for a single moment
they all had been trapped by the mighty Tom Roberts at the edge of the
singularity, in a no mans land only the incredible effort of Wayne had
manage to bring them back, maybe he had moved faster then light afterall.

Since that day they all felt a great gratetude against Wayne, and felt that
he deserved a new nickname "Wayne the fastone".

I do believe that everyone could enjoy this story, no hard feeling SR! "

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: "General L. Bradford, Jr." <glbrad01#NoSpam.hotmail.com>

               Moscow Humor Concerning Big Bang And Creation

   The story goes that God created the universe relative to Earth some
4,000 ago and it has been accelerating so fast in spacetime expansion ever
since that is has now reached the point of being between 12 and 15 billion
light years old and wide.

    The story goes Albert Einstein created the universe relative to
Relativism early in the last century and........

  Hillary Clinton, when in the White House, pouted so much to Bill that
there was so little that was relative to her that he, by executive order,
ordered the American government to create a universe solely relative to
her.  As usual to the Big Government State, things got out of hand and
Hillary's own personal little relative spacetime universe accelerated out
of control in spacetime expansion so fast that it is now between 12 and 15
billion light years older and wider than the American government ever
intended it to be.

  The story goes that a 1-dimensional mathematician and physicist created a
flat universe meant to be flatly relative to Flatland an instant in
Flatland time ago and, as usual to Toon Town cartoon creations that always
blow themselves up out of control, it has been accelerating so fast in
spacetime expansion ever since that it has now, an instant later, reached
the point of being between 12 and 15 billion light years older and wider
than Toon Town actually wanted.

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Special Category: Albert Einstein
March 14
April 18
From Rmaliska#NoSpam.cris.com
Why did the chicken cross the road:
Albert Einstein
A1: Did the chicken really cross the road or did the road move beneath
the chicken?

From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
A2: Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed the chicken
depends upon your frame of reference.
A3: It was a relatively easy thing to do.
A4: The true value of a chicken can be found in the degree to which it has
attained liberation from the self.

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: Ian Ellis <ian#NoSpam.iglou.com>
Special Category: Albert Einstein
March 14
April 18
"The probability of them visiting is directly proportioned to how much
you feel like being *left alone*... (Einstein's Theory of Relatives)

Cartoon from series "Tilted View by Steve Breen at "Ion Science" Web

Copyright ऊ 1995 ION Scienceऍ.

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

Special Category: Albert Einstein
March 14
April 18

From: "Michael Williams" <ausmusicrules#NoSpam.hotmail.com>

a ridiculous'history' of twentieth century physics sent by a friend, enjoy
From: "Indomitable Fatman" <theindomitablefatman#NoSpam.hotmail.com>

I'm throwing out all the notes I took in physics during the year, and
here's a sample of some of the notes I took (which goes to show my
attenetion span,and love of taking the piss.)

 The kinetic energy of an electron emmitted from a photoemmissive surface
is equal to the frequency of the incident light multiplied by Plank's
constant. Plank's constant is named after it's discoverer, John Constant,
who stumbled across the number while playing Keno on a transatlantic flight
to London in 1937. This discovery was somewhat fortuitous for Constant, as
he inadvertantly got on the wrong flight- (He was supposed to flt to

When Constant eventually arrived in Zurich he met a young Albert
Einstein-who was at the time significantly younger than he would be in 2
decades time. The purpose of this meeting was twofold-

1) To redefine the laws of space and time, and
2) To redefine 'Gregory's' top ten list of Europe's finest strip-clubs.

Sharing a genuine passion for advanced mathematical physics, Constant and
Einstein had no trouble with the second of these objectives, however the
listing of London whorehouse 'Tittany's" over Munich's finest Brothel,
elaborately named with typical German wit and flare as 'the designated
establishment abiding by the predetermined council guidelines that allows
men to enjoy a night of efficient German sexual intercourse in accordance
with council regulation 17 tripple x c B 4.' This inavertantly triggered
the second world war, which was fundamental in shaping today's
understanding that there is not one single attractive woman in all of the
Brittish Isles.

The first of these objectives did prove slightly more difficult, and it
took 5 years for the theory of relativity to be developed. However there
was one lingering critical problem- The theory of relativity was incredibly
difficult to understand, inspite of all the publicity concerning the
assasination of JFK. Many people he did try to understand it formed
self-help groups. Einstein once read it out on hospital radio, and no fewer
than 12 people got out of coma's, packed their bags and went
home. Unperturbed, Einstein decided that he would use telephone counselling
service 'lifeline' to get his theory to the world. Einstein talked to 7
people that day, all of whom committed suicide. Einstein usually wouldn't
have minded that much, but one of those was a wrong number- he phoned up to
order a pizza.

Einstein 'passed on' in 1967, incurring a penalty against his rugby side
for breaking one of the most fundamental laws of the game. Furious with the
decision, Einstein ran out to the road screaming, where he was hit by a

[Top of page] [Bottom of page] [Index] [Send comment]

From: "Dan" <daniel.joseph#NoSpam.christ-church.oxford.ac.uk>

A bar walks into a man. Opps. wrong frame of reference

next:2.12 measure the height of a building with help of a barometer | Index | Comments and Contributions


Member of the Science Humor Net Ring
[ Previous 5 Sites | Previous | Next | Next 5 Sites ]
[ Random Site | List Sites ]

Hit Statistics