Index | Comments and Contributions | previous:1.15 functions

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From: "Joॅo Batista" <jbatista#NoSpam.mail.pt>

Some time ago a piece of paper was posted around here where I study saying something like this: "Theory is when you know how it works but it still doesn't. Practice is when it works but you don't know why. In this Department [Physics], theory and practice are joined together: nothing works and no one knows why!"

mathematics physics
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From: morton#NoSpam.nscl.msu.edu (A.C. Morton)

In the department where I did my Ph.D., graduate students often give presentations on their work for the benefit of other graduate students.

This week's talk:

Better Living Through Group Theory

by Peter Turner

An extremely poorly prepared talk on the role of group theory in physics. It will begin with some mathematical jargon in order to discourage anyone from asking questions, and conclude with hastily prepared examples from a vast number of physical disciplines--that number being approximately equal to three. All are welcome to offer examples from their own research in order to increase both that number as well as the amount of time I am drinking and not talking.

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From: fc3a501#NoSpam.math.uni-hamburg.de (Hauke Reddmann)

1945. A lone (American) indian is riding through New Mexico. Suddenly, a giant mushroom of smoke appears on the horizon. He slowly spells out..."E...equals...mc...squared...Hey, you don't have to roar if you just talk such nonsense!"

(from de.talk.jokes)

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From: BT Tymnet
Special Category: Definitions and terms
Q: What is the definition of a tachyon?
A: It's a gluon that's not completely dry.

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From robxxviii#NoSpam.aol.com Tue Jun 22 23:04:00 1999
Matter is fundamentally lazy:- It always takes the path of least effort
Matter is fundamentally stupid:- It tries every other path first.
That is the heart of physics - The rest is details.

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From: "Chris Giauque" <cgiauque#NoSpam.wirthlin.com>

One of the buildings in the university I attend has a large Focault's pendulum in the lobby. Someone has attached a sign to its cable that says, "Warning - Stay away from cable. 18,000 ohms."

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                           AN ANNOTATED THERMOMETER
 60F  15C 289K
Californians put on sweaters (if they can find one in their wardrobe)

 50F  10C 283K
Miami residents turn on the heat (if they have a heating system)

 40F   4C 277K
  * You can see your breath
  * Californians shiver uncontrollably
  * Minnesotans go swimming

 35F   2C 275K
Italian cars don't start

 32F   0C 273K
Water freezes

 30F  -1C 272K
  * You plan your vacation to Australia
  * Minnesotans put on T-shirts
  * Politicians begin to worry about the homeless
  * British cars don't start
  * Your boogers freeze

 25F  -4C 269K
  * Boston water freezes
  * Californians weep pitiably
  * Minnesotans eat ice cream
  * Canadians go swimming

 20F  -7C 266K
  * You can hear your breath
  * Politicians begin to talk about the homeless
  * New York City water freezes
  * Miami residents plan vacation further south

 15F  -9C 264K
  * French cars don't start
  * You plan a vacation in Mexico
  * Cat insists on sleeping in bed with you

 10F -12C 261K
  * Too cold to ski
  * You need jumper cables to get the car going

  5F  -15C 258K
  * You plan your vacation in Houston
  * American cars don't start

  0F  -18C 255K
  * Alaskans put on T-shirts
  * Too cold to skate

-10F  -23C 250K
  * German cars don't start
  * Eyes freeze shut when you blink

-15F  -26C 247K
  * You can cut your breath and use it to build an igloo
  * Arkansas stick tongue on metal objects
  * Miami residents cease to exist

-20F  -29C 244K
  * Cat insists on sleeping in your pajamas with you
  * Politicians actually do something about the homeless
  * Minnesotans shovel snow off roof
  * Japanese cars don't start

-25F  -32C 241K
  * Too cold to think
  * You need jumper cables to get the driver going

-30F  -34C 239K
  * You plan a two week hot bath
  * The Mighty Mongahela freezes
  * Sweedish cars don't start

-40F  -40C 233K
  * Californians disappear
  * Minnesotan button top button
  * Canadians put on sweaters
  * Your car helps you plan your trip South

-50F  -46C 237K
  * Congressional hot air freezes
  * Alaskans close the bathroom window

-80F  -62C 211K
  * Hell freezes over
  * Polar bears move south

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From: Stephen Tonkin
                    Different responses to cold weather

This was posted by a Norwegian on a message board that I frequent.

+15ओC / 59ओF
This is as warm as it gets in Norway, so we'll start here.
People in Spain wear winter-coats and gloves.
The Norvegians are out in the sun, getting a tan.

+10ओC / 50ओF
The French are trying in vain to start their central heating.
The Norvegians plant flowers in their gardens.

+5ओC / 41ओF
Italian cars won't start.
The Norvegians are cruising in cabriolets.

0ओC / 32ओF
Distilled water freezes.
The water in Oslo Fjord gets a little thicker.

-5ओC / 23ओF
People in California almost freeze to death.
The Norvegians have their final barbecue before winter.

-10ओC / 14ओF
The Brits start the heat in their houses.
The Norvegians start using long sleeves.

-20ओC / -4ओF
The Aussies flee from Mallorca.
The Norvegians end their Midsummer celebrations.
Autumn is here.

-30ओC / -22ओF
People in Greece die from the cold and disappear from the face
of the earth.

The Norvegians start drying their laundry indoors.

-40ओC / -40ओF
Paris start cracking in the cold.
The Norvegians stand in line at the hotdog stands.

-50ओC / -58ओF > Polar bears start evacuating the North Pole.
The Norvegian army postpones their winter survival training
awaiting real winter weather.

-70ओC / -94ओF
The false Santa moves south.
The Norvegian army goes out on winter survival training.

-183ओC / -297.4ओF
Microbes in food don't survive.
The Norvegian cows complain that the farmers' hands are cold.

-273ओC / -459.4ओF
ALL atom-based movent halts.
The Norvegians start saying "Faen, it's cold outside today."

-300ओC / -508ओF
Hell freezes over, Norway wins the Eurovision Song Contest.

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From: jebush#NoSpam.ridgecrest.ca.us (John Bush)

If M = 1 centimeter
What is W?

W = 1 erg.
(i.e. 1 dyne-cm)

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On the heater lies a tile.
The teacher asks: "Why does the the tile warmer at the side that lies at
the far side of the heater?".
The student stammers :"Eh, maybe because of the heat conduction and so?"
Teacher: "No, because I just turned it around."

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From: schmid#NoSpam.isi.ee.ethz.ch (Hanspeter Schmid)

At the physics exam:
'Describe the universe (max. 200 words) and give three examples.'

From: garyg#NoSpam.warren.mentorg.com (Gary Gendel)

Sometimes real life is stranger than fiction.  My physics final came at
the time when there was a debate whether to allow calculators in the exams.
The Physics department was the first to decide in favor of allowing them,
the 3 hour exam had one question:

Describe the universe, if Planck's constant were equal to 1.

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A promising PhD candidate was presenting his thesis at his final
examination.  He proceeded with a derivation and ended up with
something like:

        F = -MA

He was embarrassed, his supervising professor was embarrassed, and the
rest of the committee was embarrassed.  The student coughed nervously
and said "I seem to have made a slight error back there somewhere."

One of the mathematicians on the committee replied dryly, "Either that
or an odd number of them!"

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A Physicist is explaining a picture: "Of course, these are false colours,
the red is really yellow, the green is really blue and the white is really

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The study of non-linear physics is like the study of non-elephant
(From: "Craig W. Reynolds" <cwr#NoSpam.red.com> : I found several pages that
identify the author as Stanislaw Ulam, often via Gleick's 1987 book Chaos.
I don't know for sure.)

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From tellen#NoSpam.mtg.mt.com Thu Nov 24 15:19:01 1994
From: "Jean-Maurice Tellenbach" <tellen#NoSpam.mtg.mt.com>
The second world war is the best demonstration of relativity...

The high energy density variations of vacuum are mainly produced within

The Physicist : "The positron will be dramatically modified by meeting an
The President : "You said ... position and ... election ??"

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Special Category: Archimedes
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A1: To actualize its potential.

From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
A2: She was buoyant and excited at the thought of new adventures. 
A3: Eureka!

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October 2
Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Special Category: Aristotle
From Rmaliska#NoSpam.cris.com
Why did the chicken cross the road?
A1: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.
A2: The other side of the road was its natural place.
A3: To actualize its potential.

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Special Category: Andr़ Amp्re
Januari 20
June 10
From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Andre Ampere:  To keep up with current events.

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March 3
August 2
Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Alexander Graham Bell:  To get to the nearest phone. 

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Special Category: Robert Boyle
Januari 25
December 31
From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Robert Boyle:  She had been under too much pressure at home.

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
Why did the chicken cross the road?
William J. Broad: "The crux is that the vast majority of the poultry in the
universe seems to be missing."

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Special Category: Marie Curie
November 7
July 4
From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Marie Curie:  She was radiating with enthusiasm as she crossed the road.

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Februari 19
May 24
Special Category: Nicolaus Copernicus
Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Nicolaus Copernicus: Despite the evidence of you senses I can show that it
is mathematically simpler to describe it as the road passing under the

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Special Category: Christian  Doppler
November 29
March 17
Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
Why did the chicken cross the road?
C. J. Doppler:  For its effect on passer-bys. 

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Special Category: Thomas Edison
Februari 11
October 18
From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Thomas Edison:  She thought it would be an illuminating experience.

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Special Category: Richard Feynman
May 11
Februari 15
Feynman: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Answer: Surely you are joking, Mr. Feynman!

Why did the chicken cross the road?
Richard Feynman: It didn't cross the road to the other side. It actually
came back to where it started but was momentarily moving backward in time.
.emit ni drawkcab gnivom yliratnemom saw tub detrats ti erehw to kcab emac
yllautca tI .edis rehot eht to daor eht ssorc t'ndid tI :namnyeF drahciR

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Februari 11
September 19
Special Category: Jean Foucault
Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Jean Foucault:  It didnt. The rotation of the earth made it appear to cross.

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
Why did the chicken cross the road?

Buckminister Fuller: Because we have not yet designed and implemented true,
constantly forwardly/backwardly evolving, energy-transforming living
machines which will enable us to perform all functions from the informedly
turbining hub of a single autonomous in-spiralling/out-radiating network of
space-connected information vector transforms. Had the chicken been
supplied with my Dymaxion Tensegrity Coop, it would have remained at home,
un-tempted by such risky spatial-temporal translations.

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Februari 15
Januari 8
Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Special Category: Galileo Galilei
From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
Why did the chicken cross the road?

Galileo:  To get a better look at the stars.

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Special Category: Karl F. Gauss
March 30
April 23
From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Karl Gauss:  Because of the magnetic personality of the rooster on the
other side.

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Januari 8
Special Category: Stephen Hawking
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A1: The first seconds made the universe in such a way that
chickens cross the road.
From: John Yeadon <john_yeadon_athome#NoSpam.blueyonder.co.uk>
A2: There exist numerous parallel universes in which the same chicken is in
differing stages of crossing the road.  Only when one of the chickens has
completed crossing the road do their ave functions coallesce.

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
December 5
Februari 1
Special Category: Werner Heisenberg
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Werner Heisenberg: 
(1) We are not sure which side of the road the chicken was
on, but it was moving very fast.

From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>

(2) It was uncertain if it could make it, but wanted to try on general

(3) Because the chicken is moving very fast, you can either observe the
chicken or you can measure the chicken, but you cannot do both.

(4) We could tell you how it crossed the road, but we couldn't tell you where.

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December 5
Februari 1
Special Category: Werner Heisenberg
From: "Chuck O'Connell" <chuckoconnell#NoSpam.comcast.net>
Why did Werner Heisenberg hate driving cars?
Because, every time he looked at the speedometer he got lost!

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July 22
October 30
Special Category: Heinrich Hertz
Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Gustav Hertz: Lately, its been crossing with greater frequency.

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
March 8
December 27
November 15
Special Category: Johannes Kepler
From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Johannes Kepler:  He crossed in an arc, not a straight line.

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
July 17
June 20
Special Category: Abb़ Georges Lematre
From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Lemaötre: He crossed with a big bang.

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
December 25
March 30
Special Category: Isaac Newton
1) Chickens at rest tend to stay at rest.  Chickens in motion tend to
   cross the road.
2) It was pushed on the road.
3) It was pushed on the road by another chicken, which went away from
   the road.
4) It was attracted to a chicken on the other side of the road.

I have not yet found the cause of this behaviour of the chicken, based on
the phenomenons and I do not make hypotheses.

No doubt the ancients knew why the chicken crossed the road and I am
studying the bible and try to rediscover their mathematics to find out why
the chicken crossed the road.

I wrote a manuscript on chickens crossing the road a few years back.  It is
in a drawer somewhere and I will send it to you as soon as I find it, dear

From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
Because an apple fell on its head.

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March 15
July 6
Special Category: Georg Ohm
Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: There was more resistance on this side of the road.

From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
A2: She resisted the idea at first.

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June 19
August 19
Special Category: Blaise Pascal
Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: It was pressured to cross the road.

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
April 25
December 15
Special Category: Wolfgang Pauli
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Wolfgang Pauli:  There already was a chicken on this side of the road.

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Februari 18
March 5
Special Category: Alessandro Volta
Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: The other side had more potential.

From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
Alessandro Volta:  There was a potential difference in her future on the
other side.

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Januari 19
August 19
Special Category: James Watt
Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
From: Stan Kegel <kegel#NoSpam.fea.net>
Why did the chicken cross the road?
James Watt:  It thought it would be a good way to let off steam.

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Why did the chicken cross the road?
Zeno of Elea:  To prove it could never reach the other side.

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
From: aaron#NoSpam.falcon.cc.ukans.edu (Aaron Hoyt)

   Q: Why did the tachyon cross the road?
   A: Because it was on the other side.

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
From: "David Johnson" <david#NoSpam.johnson-ashby.freeserve.co.uk>

Q. Why did the quantum chicken cross the road?
A. It was already on both sides of the road!

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Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
From: "Tom Garza" <tomgarza#NoSpam.hotmail.com>

Why did the egg cross the road?
Because it had the inclination.

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From: "Ed Keane III" <keane#NoSpam.northweb.com>
Special Category: Albert Einstein
March 14
April 18
Special Category: Niels Bohr
October 7
November 18
Special Category: Why the chicken crossed the road according to scientists
Q: Why did Albert Einstein cross the street?
A: To get away from Niels Bohr. But when he got to the other side Bohr was
there also.

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Law of Selective Gravity:
        An object will fall so as to do the most damage.

Jenning's Corollary:
        The chance of the bread falling with the buttered side down is
directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.

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From:ozbrown#NoSpam.sage.cc.purdue.edu (Paul Raymond "OZZY" Brown)

Spell Checked and reformatted by Nathan Mates (nathan#NoSpam.cco.caltech.edu) As scientists and concerned citizens, we applaud the recent trend towards legislation which requires the prominent placing of warnings on products that present hazards to the general public. Yet we must also offer the cautionary thought that such warnings, however well-intentioned, merely scratch the surface of what is really necessary in this important area. This is especially true in light of the findings of 20th century physics.

We are therefore proposing that, as responsible scientists, we join together in an intensive push for new laws that will mandate the conspicuous placement of suitably informative warnings on the packaging of every product offered for sale in the United States of America. Our suggested list of warnings appears below.

WARNING: This Product Warps Space and Time in Its Vicinity.

WARNING: This Product Attracts Every Other Piece of Matter in the Universe, Including the Products of Other Manufacturers, with a Force Proportional to the Product of the Masses and Inversely Proportional to the Distance Between Them.

CAUTION: The Mass of This Product Contains the Energy Equivalent of 85 Million Tons of TNT per Net Ounce of Weight.

HANDLE WITH EXTREME CARE: This Product Contains Minute Electrically Charged Particles Moving at Velocities in Excess of Five Hundred Million Miles Per Hour.

CONSUMER NOTICE: Because of the "Uncertainty Principle," It Is Impossible for the Consumer to Find Out at the Same Time Both Precisely Where This Product Is and How Fast It Is Moving. (Note: This one is optional on the grounds that Heisenburg was never quite sure that his principle was correct)

ADVISORY: There is an Extremely Small but Nonzero Chance That, Through a Process Know as "Tunneling," This Product May Spontaneously Disappear from Its Present Location and Reappear at Any Random Place in the Universe, Including Your Neighbor's Domicile. The Manufacturer Will Not Be Responsible for Any Damages or Inconvenience That May Result.

READ THIS BEFORE OPENING PACKAGE: According to Certain Suggested Versions of the Grand Unified Theory, the Primary Particles Constituting this Product May Decay to Nothingness Within the Next Four Hundred Million Years.

THIS IS A 100% MATTER PRODUCT: In the Unlikely Event That This Merchandise Should Contact Antimatter in Any Form, a Catastrophic Explosion Will Result.

PUBLIC NOTICE AS REQUIRED BY LAW: Any Use of This Product, in Any Manner Whatsoever, Will Increase the Amount of Disorder in the Universe. Although No Liability Is Implied Herein, the Consumer Is Warned That This Process Will Ultimately Lead to the Heat Death of the Universe.

NOTE: The Most Fundamental Particles in This Product Are Held Together by a "Gluing" Force About Which Little is Currently Known and Whose Adhesive Power Can Therefore Not Be Permanently Guaranteed.

ATTENTION: Despite Any Other Listing of Product Contents Found Hereon, the Consumer is Advised That, in Actuality, This Product Consists Of 99.9999999999% Empty Space.

NEW GRAND UNIFIED THEORY DISCLAIMER: The Manufacturer May Technically Be Entitled to Claim That This Product Is Ten-Dimensional. However, the Consumer Is Reminded That This Confers No Legal Rights Above and Beyond Those Applicable to Three-Dimensional Objects, Since the Seven New Dimensions Are "Rolled Up" into Such a Small "Area" That They Cannot Be Detected.

PLEASE NOTE: Some Quantum Physics Theories Suggest That When the Consumer Is Not Directly Observing This Product, It May Cease to Exist or Will Exist Only in a Vague and Undetermined State.

COMPONENT EQUIVALENCY NOTICE: The Subatomic Particles (Electrons, Protons, etc.) Comprising This Product Are Exactly the Same in Every Measurable Respect as Those Used in the Products of Other Manufacturers, and No Claim to the Contrary May Legitimately Be Expressed or Implied.

HEALTH WARNING: Care Should Be Taken When Lifting This Product, Since Its Mass, and Thus Its Weight, Is Dependent on Its Velocity Relative to the User.

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO PURCHASERS: The Entire Physical Universe, Including This Product, May One Day Collapse Back into an Infinitesimally Small Space. Should Another Universe Subsequently Re-emerge, the Existence of This Product in That Universe Cannot Be Guaranteed.

(The above is from Volume 36, Number 1 of The Journal of Irreproducible Results. Copyright 1991 Blackwell Scientific Publications Inc.)

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From: James W Walden <jw63+#NoSpam.andrew.cmu.edu>

"Truth decays into beauty, while beauty soon becomes merely charm. Charm ends up as strangeness, and even that doesn't last, but up and down are forever." - The Laws of Physics

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From: Doug Morgan <dmorgs#NoSpam.pacbell.net>
Date:     1999/04/26

Cold Fusion

Let me tell you a story. When I was a senior (UG) at the University of Houston, I had a class with Ernest Henley. Ernest and John Seader collaborated on the text which dealt with simulation of separations. When P & F announced their findings, Henley made a point of contacting John (head of the CHE department at Utah.) John told him that P & F, among others, had been working on CF for years. P&F had been fired from Utah but had been brought back on. "So why the support - all of a sudden?" Henley asked. According to Henley, P&F left their experiment on one weekend on the fourth floor of a building only to find it in the basement on Monday. (It melted thru 4 concerete floors.) Believe it if you need it but believe it if you will. Its the God honests truth. From: Richard Schultz <schultr#NoSpam.gefen.cc.biu.ac.il> I (alone of the news:sci.physics.fusion regulars, AFAIK) was actually at the University of Utah Department of Chemistry in 1989 (and in fact attended P&F's first press conference). Jim Carr is right -- it's just a story. : >John told him that P & F, among others, had been working on CF for years. : >P&F had been fired from Utah but had been brought back on. Fleischmann was never a faculty member at Utah. He was considered "adjunct" but AFAIK did not even have an office at Utah -- his home base was in England. Pons was not fired (it's tough to fire someone with tenure). The semester after the big announcement, Pons did not show up to teach his class, and sent a fax explaining that he was on leave. Not teaching your classes is just about the only thing you *can* be fired for, but the department allowed him a graceful way out by making him a "research" professor and (IIRC) eventually accepting his resignation. By the way, the head of the department at the time was John Simons, but he is universally known as "Jack" Simons. :> According to Henley, P&F left their experiment on one weekend on the :> fourth floor of a building only to find it in the basement on Monday. :> (It melted thru 4 concerete floors.) This is completely untrue. Pons's laboratory was *in* the basement. And I worked on the third floor of that same building -- I think I would have noticed holes in the floor and ceiling. What happened was that they left an apparatus over the weekend and found on Monday that it had destroyed itself in some kind of violent fashion. Other than scorch marks, however, the fume hood in which the experiment had been sitting was still in good shape. The obvious explanation, one that fit all of the facts, was that there was a hydrogen fire. They preferred to believe that they had had a CF "meltdown." They believed it so much that they didn't even bother testing for residual radiation before going back to work.

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From: jap#NoSpam.cbnews.ATT.COM (James A. Parker)

[The following is, as far as I can tell, original with me.]

There's good news and bad news on the investigation of the nuclear missile
dropped overboard near Japan:

    The good news is that the U.S. Navy is going to scan for signs
    of excess radiation.

    The bad news is that they've hired Fleischmann and Pons to do the

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From: kovarik#NoSpam.mcmail.cis.mcmaster.ca (Zdislav V. Kovarik)

A math&physics student was hit by a brick falling from a house. He
fainted, but came to after a while and started smiling. The onlookers
were worried, so they asked him why the smile. "I just realized how lucky
I am because the kinetic energy is only half m v squared."

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From: Robert M Chittister <rc5x+#NoSpam.andrew.cmu.edu>
                        CRAZED PHYSICS TEST ANSWER
 1]  A shotgun shooting 12 pellets of 00 Buckshot weighing 4g leave the
barrel at 1125 fps.  Assuming the average infant will absorb 127.3 f/lbs
before disintegrating, how many babies will the average blast cut
through (rounding off to the nearest whole number)?


2]  A 100 kg man is being swung by his entrails in a circle 16'in radius
at the rate of 1600 radians/sec.  Find the tension in the man's entrails
(ignoring the effects of gravity).

       65,024 Newtons.

3]  A pagan priest attempts to vaporize a young virgin by placing her in a
flaming pit.  Assuming the woman, weighing 120 lbs, is completely
composed of water, how much energy will he have to use to completely
vaporize her?

      130,000 BTU

4]  An infant has a tensile strength of 400 psi and has a cross
sectional area of 23.4 sq. inches.  Assuming it is 23" long and has an
elongation percentage of .0036%/120psi at roomtemperature, how long will
the baby be before it is dismembered?

     about 26.45 inches.

5]  A 12 year old blind orphan girl is shot from a cannon at the speed
of 1200 fps at a solid brick wall.  Calculate the force of impact given
that the brick wall is 3 feet away from the barrel.

    if she weighs 50 lbs, and all of her sticks to the wall,
    3.3 million Newtons.

6]  A large plane weighing 12.7 M tons carrying 12 tons of nuns and
orphans travelling at 724.46 kph and at an altitude of 40,000 meters
suffers explosive decompression above the center of a 30km diameter
population. Assuming that one passenger is sucked out every second, how
many passengers will land within the population center?

    about (give or take a torso or leg) 12.

7]  A 1000 lb car is moving at 130 mph and two poodles whose combined
weight is 82 lbs are thrown out the back at 3 mph. Calculate the
velocity of the car.

    140.91 happy mph.

8]  Farmer Brown is selling apples for 12 cents a dozen in a room where
a torch has a brightness of 120 candela is 12 ft froma 14.36 sq meter
surface.Assuming a light bulb 17.3 cubits fromthe surface has a
brightness of 129 candlepower and gives offheat of 1.27 BTU and the room
is 423 degrees Kelvin; assuming thethe pressure in the room is 1100
millibar; assuming the lightbulb is rotating at 4 pi radians per half
minute, with the power source of the bulb a battery giving off energy at
a rate of 12000000 terajoules per exasecond;  assuming the coefficient
offriction at the base of the rotating lightbulb is 1.679 E9;assuming
the room is being launched at 50 times escape velocity;assuming it
collides with the moon in a perfectly elastic collision, when the room
returns to the earth 6 days 4 hours 20 minutes 35 seconds and 12
nanoseconds later, how much does Farmer Brown sell one apple for?

   still one cent, but all thats left is well-done applesaus,

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From: Edward Ruden <ruden#NoSpam.plk.af.mil>
A Princeton plasma physicist is at the beach when he discovers a ancient
looking oil lantern sticking out of the sand. He rubs the sand off with a
towel and a genie pops out. The genie offers to grant him one wish. The
physicist retrieves a map of the world from his car an circles the Middle
East and tells the genie, "I wish you to bring peace in this region".

After 10 long minutes of deliberation, the genie replies, "Gee, there are
lots of problems there with Lebanon, Iraq, Israel, and all those other
places. This is awfully embarrassing. I've never had to do this before, but
I'm just going to have to ask you for another wish. This one is just too
much for me".

Taken aback, the physicist thinks a bit and asks, "I wish that the Princeton
tokamak would achieve scientific fusion energy break-even."

After another deliberation the genie asks, "Could I see that map again?"

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From: johncobb#NoSpam.uts.cc.utexas.edu (John W. Cobb)

I had a professor who said that "physicists have a knack for jumping into
mathematical cesspools and coming out smelling like a rose"

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From: fc3a501#NoSpam.rzaixsrv1.uni-hamburg.de (Hauke Reddmann)

Editors (=my) note:
This is a classical joke that appeared in "Die Naturwissenschaften"
somewhere in the 30's. Eddington numerology was hip, and the Editor
must have slept, so this stuff went through. In the next issue the
sour-faced retraction followed. I have freely translated the stuff,
luckily the central pun carries over unharmed.

"This is an attempt to explain the value of the absolute zero
temperature. To reach it, all degrees of freedom must be frozen.
Now, due to Eddington, proton and electron have both 1/alpha degrees
of freedom. But even at absolute zero, their circulating around
each other can't stop. Summing up, this means absolute zero is at
minus (2/alpha-1) degrees. With a value of 1/alpha=137.08, this makes
-273.16 degrees, which is surprisingly close to the known value."

Now, if you take more than 10 seconds to ROTFL, you should better
"out" yourself to Doraemon... ;-)

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From: marnow#NoSpam.wwa.com (Murray Arnow)

K.K. Darrow in a colloqium that recounted some of his rememberances told
this story about a European physicist. About 75 years ago the physicist was
visiting the Harvard Library and couldn't find the Natural Philosophy
section. He asked the librarian for help. She showed him to the proper
section and said "We call it Physics."

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From: kanti#NoSpam.cs.brandeis.edu (kanti bansal):

A physics book seems to be a mathematican's worst nightmare.

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From: lbsys#NoSpam.aol.com (LBsys)
(Tim Joseph)

Furgeson and the Unified Field Theory

In the beginning there was Aristotle
And objects at rest tended to remain at rest
And objects in motion tended to come to rest
And God saw that it was boring, although very restful.

Then God created Newton
And objects at rest tended to remain at rest
And objects in motion tended to remain in motion
And energy was conserved, and momentum was conserved,
And matter was conserved
And God saw that it was conservative.

Then God created Einstein
And everything was relative
And fast things became short
And straight things became curved
And the universe was filled with inertial frames
And God saw that it was relatively general
but some of it was especially relative.

Then God created Bohr
And there was the principle
And the principle was quantum
And all things were quantified
But some things were still relative
And God saw that it was confusing.

Then God was going to create Furgeson
And Furgeson would have unified
And he would have fielded a theory
And all would have been one.
But it was the seventh day
And God rested
And objects at rest tend to remain at rest.

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From: Joao Batista <fbatista#NoSpam.cc.fc.ul.pt>

1. In the beginning there was nothing, then something went wrong.[Murphy's
2. The empty set contains and is contained within all other
   sets.[Fibonacci's Rule]
3. Universe has no plural.
4. Space is nothing.
5. Time is an abstraction.
6. Energy is the opposite of mass.
7. Energy is not effected by gravity.
8. In order for two points to exist, a third point must exist between them.
9. Less than enough is not sufficient, more than enough is not necessary.
10.Enough is a finite quantity.
11.That which has been done is not impossible.
12.Pythagoras trisected an angle.
13.Mathematics is a set of languages providing different ways to describe
14.Statistical norms are not real integers even when they are whole
15.A line representing a continuous function contains no discrete elements.
16.A "Field" is a continuous static structure extending to infinity.
17."Field Lines" are mathematical constructs having no existence.
18.Reality is what it is irrespective of description.
19.Ptolomy was believed because his math was correct and it worked.
20.The "Plane of the Elliptic" is perpendicular to and centered upon the
   Barycenter of the Solar System (or any other system).
21.All orbits are planes of ecliptic.
22.The eccentricity of an orbit is proportional to the deviation from the
   perpendicular to the path of the center of mass. [Kepler's 4th Law]
23.The Earth does not revolve around the Sun, the Sun and the Earth revolve
   around the center of mass.
24.There is no error in the orbit of Mercury.
25.A measured value is the sum of its contributing elements.
26.The specific computed values of the elements do not change the measured
27.The measured gravity of the Sun was the same after Einstein as before.
28.The bending of light observed near a star is thermal reflection, a
29.Velocity is measured at two different times, not on two different
30.A zero based measurement is required to know the value of measured
31.The "Aberration of Light" is the same in a column of water as it is in a
   column of air.
32. The velocity of light is constant in all media.
33. The aberration of light is a measure of the Earth's absolute velocity.
34. Light is a spherical wave containing no particles.
35. The outside of a wave has more degrees of freedom than the middle, the
    inside has fewer.
36. As a wave expands outward from its' source, it expands outward from its'
    middle, a red shift.
37. The further away it is, the greater the red shift, coming or going.

38. The energy required to operate a mechanism increases with velocity
    while the available energy decreases.

39. There is nothing new here, it's all old stuff. You must get the old
    stuff right before you can benefit from the new. D.MURPHY - HCEZJCIA

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Researchers in Fairbanks Alaska announced last week that they have
discovered a superconductor which will operate at room temperature.

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Cold Fusion: Looney Theory of the Week
"Hey Mike?"

"Yeah, Gabe?"

"We got a problem down on Earth. In Utah."

"I thought you fixed that last century!"

"No, no, not that. Someone's found a loophole in the physics
program. They're getting energy out of nowhere."

"Blessit! Lemme check..."< tappity clickity tappity>

"Hey, I thought I fixed that! All right, let me find my terminal."< tappity
clickity tap... save... compile>

"There, that ought to patch it."

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To whom it may concern,
There will be a seminar given on the subject of time
travel in the 21st century.
It will be held on Thursday, January 1, 1920 at
Please to have marked your calendars.

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September 1
November 20
From: Philip Clarke <clar0318#NoSpam.flinders.edu.au>
Q:  What's the difference between a mass spectrometer and an electric guitar?
A:  You can tune a mass spectrometer.

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From: din#NoSpam.bellcore.bellcore.com


This is an original article by me and M.S.Moni, my colleague
when I was a graduate student in India.  I have slightly edited
the text, but most of it is intact.   Moni is still at IIT and
has no objection to the dissemination of this article.

There is some interesting background story, but I will leave it
out, unless someone wants to know.


         (A Transportation Device for Homo Sapiens)

                Dinesh Nettar- and M.S.Moni=
       Regional Sophisticated Instrumentation Centre,
              Indian Institute of Technology,
                   Madras 600 036, India

          This device principally operates on the
          transmission of mechanical energy delivered
          from the payload to circular rotators that
          enable positive displacement of the operating
          system.  The linear motion of the payload
          energy source is converted to circular motion
          in the device.



The device is built around a triangular framework, to ensure
structural stability[1].  Its tubular construction enables
reduced gravitational load[2] without sacrificing mechanical
integrity.  All the remaining components are mounted on this


On this framework, two rotators are mounted through a pair of
branched couplers.  The aft coupler is linear, while the forward
coupler is semi-parabolic[3].  Its non-radial orientation ensures
automatic return to default theta setting on normal operating
surfaces.  Its non-linearity provides partial attenuation of low


  - Present (in 1984) Address: Department of Chemistry, The
    Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
    16802, United States.

  = To whom no questions should be addressed.

                           - 2 -

frequency oscillations.  The forward coupler is coincident with
the theta control.


Each of the rotators has a cylindrical axial support at which
place the coupler is joined.  The grooved peripheral structure is
connected to the axial support by a set of pre-stressed off-
radial connectors.  These connectors ensure relatively evenly
distributed load.  The peripheral structure carries an annular
cover made of isoprene polymer duly processed with sulfur.  The
interstice between the cover and the peripheral structure is
charged with a gaseous mixture of nitrogen, oxygen and other rare
gases[4].  The gas mixture is prevented from leakage by a gas


Semi-circular grooved laminas are mounted in proximity to both
rotators.  These prevent a slurry of SiO2, Fe2O3 and H2O from
contaminating the energy source and operator from the operating
surface.  These usually terminate in isoprene polymer extenders.


In operation, the rotators can be rapidly decelerated in the case
of necessity.  This is accomplished by depressing either or both
the deceleration control bars on the theta control.  These apply
instantaneous large mechanical loads on the rotators by
depressing isoprene polymer pads on the grooved peripheral


The aft rotator carries several circular energy receivers.  These
receivers have finite discontinuities on their circumference.
The receivers are ordered in increasing radii.  Each is
concentric with the aft axial support.  A discrete endless
coupled energy transfer device connects any one of these
receivers to one of the two energy transmitters of similar
structure.  These energy transmitter devices are mounted at the
lower apex of the main triangular framework.  The transmitters
can be set in motion by imparting angular momentum via an
orthogonal radial shaft.  This shaft carries a perpendicular
extension.  The planarity of the extension is necessitated for
positioning the operator's energy output source.  This extension
is pivoted to eliminate torsion of the energy source.

                           - 3 -


There is an ingeneous decoupling mechanism in the energy transfer
device.  While positive angular momenta are transferred from the
energy transmitter to the receiver, the positive angular momenta
of the receiver are not transmitted to the transmitter.  This
permits the energy source to be stressless during gravitationally
favorable transportation environments.


Orientation mobility is ensured by a theta control.  This is
connected to the forward rotator coupler.  This has a short arm
symmetrically orthogonal to its main axis.  It can be used to set
theta from  -pi/2 to pi/2 radians continuously and it defaults to
zero on normal operating surfaces.  The theta control usually
carries additional controls that select combinations of the
energy transmitters and receivers.  These selections enable
nearly continuous variation of angular momentum ratios between
the energy source and the rotators.


A polymer base is securely mounted at the rear apex of the
triangular framework.  This supports the operator during
operation.  It is usually buffered by metallic helices[5] to
minimize the transmission of low frequency oscillations from the
operating surface to the operator.

2.  ACCESSORIES (Only on some models)


An energy conversion device is used to convert mechanical energy
into electrical energy by electromechanical induction[6].  The
electrical flux generates a stream of photons by resistance[7]
flow through a conductor enclosed in vacuum[8].  The photon
stream enables optical feedback to improve when the ambient
radiation characteristics are below optimum.


An audio-frequency synthesizer for generating approach signals is
used to transmit early warning messages to surrounding areas to
avert a possible momentum transfer.

                           - 4 -


Extra payload can be transported by a support device.  This is
mounted vertically above the aft rotator and is connected to the
aft axial coupler.


The device is ecologically excellent since it is totally non-
contaminating.  It is relatively very inexpensive, very easy to
maintain[9] and often portable.  Its reduced width requirements
and height make it ideal for almost any kind of operating
surface.  It also provides much-needed muscular training to the
users, besides agreeable diversement.

However, it is not self-propelled and so tends to deplete the
energy source during prolonged operations.  It is a low-priority
device on most operating surfaces since it does not reach high
linear velocities.  Due to its reduced gravitational stability,
the operator must be cautious not to provide a cushion[10] for
the internal combustion driven devices.

It cannot be computerized.

                           - 5 -


 1. Euclid, Principia Triangularica Stabilica, (Latin
    Transl.), 45, 120 (145 B.C.).

 2. Newton, I., J. Grav., 1, 1 (1705).

 3. The exact equation is beyond the scope of this document.
    A detailed explanation can be found in J. Math.
    Parabol., -25, 45 (2045).

 4. Lavoisier, A-L, Sur la Composition de l'Aire, Paris
    Bench Press, Paris, 1781, Chapter 4, pp 104-121.

 5. For a description of helices, see Watson, Crick and
    Wilkins, Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, Stockholm, 1962.

 6. Faraday, M., Electromagnetic Ind., 4, 1 (1833).

 7. Ohm, G.S., Proc. Roy. Soc. Elec. Engg., 222 (1827).

 8. Edison, T.A., U.S.Patent No. 413478345 (1883).

 9. This is essentially adding a mixture of higher alkanes.

10. Bureau of Statistics, Report on the Number of
    Fatalities, Section 8, Table 19, p 153 (1979).

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From: bacherb#NoSpam.physics.orst.edu

Frictionless Surfaces                       only $4.95 per square meter!

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Magnetic Monopoles                          $1.25 ea.
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Zero-Resistance Wire
        --Various guages available, inquire as to price and/or availability

An original idea by B. Bacher, with a bit of help from a few friends...
From: B७rge Berg-Olsen <azoth#NoSpam.dod.no>
                           Y'ALL KEWL BOMB DOODZ
(from Jon Singer and Michael Butler)

(taken from Pyro Joe's Hot Flashes, pp 137-151)

Now, kids, it's tahm ta talk about dee-layed gratification.


Here's one that'll tickle ya pink! (Also black & blue if ya stand around
it too long. Take a hint from ol' Joe.)

'menny          Whut is it                      Where d'ya git it

    1           1 inch cube of 90% Palladium    any good hardware store
                with 10% Titanium               should have it

    1           4 inch length of gold wahr      steal from yore sister's

   5 gallons    heavy water, with 10%           steal frum Navy base
                DTO (th' "Jolt" version,        or borry frum naybors.
                heh heh.)

    1 cup       Lithium Lye, with Deuterium,    war surplus store
                USGummint #3039924057394XD

    1           1 to 3 volt, 30 amp pahr splah  hell, bild it, use
                                                pappy's arc welder,
                                                or whutever.

    1           special currint reggalater      bild it.
                (figger 3, end of chapter)

    1           Kickass(tm) 8 week              ain'tchoo gotta hardware
                timer or equiv'lint             bin? Call up Bud's
                                                Scientific Splah.
                                                Don't let on whut
it's                                            for.

    1           big moonshahn crock, with lid.  c'mon, ya gotta know
                                                where ta git basics!

Plus th' usual wahr an' stuff, as requahred.

How d'ya do it, Joe?

Wal, ya find a ol' shack on a hill somewheres that still got pahr goin'
to it. (Elsewise, ya gots ta use a whole lotta ol' truck
batt'ries, which is tuff ta hump around.) Put th' crock in th' shack,
and pour th' Jolt water inta it. Stir in th' Lithium Lye, slow
an' careful. Don't splash none, an' don't add th' stuff too quick, now.
Cover it real taht, so's ya don't lose too much. Y'all
don't wanna hafta sneak inta th' navybase again, do ya? Them guys got
guns & stuff and they ain't afraid ta use it.

So, ennyway, see, ya bild the pahr splah, an' ya bild th' currint
reggalater in figger 3 at th' end of th' chapter, the one with
the special shunt cirkit fer changin' the currint. Thet's whar th'
Kickass tahmer goes. Test it ta be sure that th' current starts
at about 30 amps and goes down ta 10 or 15 when th' tahmer goes off.

Bild th' other stuff lahk in figger 2. Cart th' whole mess down ta th'
shack, and put th' bizniz end inta the Jolt water. Don't
leave th' lid off too long, now. Cover it up good, an' duck tape it,
specially th' place wher the wahrs come out. Ah got me
some motorcycle ground strap, which is read'ly avail'ble an' flat, so it
don't queer up the fit o' the lid. Bolt the straps down
real secure, an' put vaseline on th' bolts.

Now, set th' Kickass tahmer fer 8 weeks, plug th' pahr splah in, make
sure ya got 30 amps, an' take a hike.

'Member, neutrons ain't yer frens. Keep ol' Blue away from th' shack
unless ya want two-headed puppies runnin' around
eatin' too much, probly worrit yore mom no end, an' if ya gotta go in
ther ta check, don't stay long. Ya want ol' Joe's
advice, after around 7 weeks, don't go in ther atall.

This hear makes a real 'hot flash', an' in fact, it's whut this book is
named fer. Y'all kin see th' flash from a couple mahls
away, raht through th' av'ridge wall, so don't go bildin' it in yer
basemit. Got thet? No need ta keep it too close ta home,
raht? Ya kin get caught with it if it's too close. Besides, ya don't
want yer sister fahndin' out wher her earrin's got off ta. She
probly woont lahk it, an' she'll make ya cut her in on the deal.
'Course, thet maht not be too bad, if she's good with a
soldrin' ahrn. Probly bilds good pahr splahs, an that's importunt ta
this 'hot flash'.

Ah got trouble, Joe. Now whut?

Whut happen                     Whut ta do

ya hair falls out       Dummy! I tol' ya not ta stan' aroun' up
in hanks                close-lahk! Thow away yer clothin', an'
                        take lots o' shahrs. Eat some vitamin E,
                        an' call th' doc ef'n it don't stop in
                        a spell.

red skin & funny spots  same thing.

juice won't drop to     shunt circuit screwed up, or ya bought a cheap
10-15 amps              tahmer. Don't bah you no cheap tahmers!

no flash after 8        th' Authority mebbe cut yer pahr. Wait 2 more
weeks is gone bah       weeks an' then check fer pahr at the wall
                        Ef thet don't work, check the pahr splah. Ah
                        tol' ya yer sister probly bild it better then
                        you, ya shoulda listened. Also check th'
                        tahmer. 'Member whut ah sed about cheap ones!

Big wet spot            ya crock leak? If no leaks, check the roof. If
                        the roof leaks, don't worrit yerself. If th'
                        crock leaks, fix it quick.

'lectrode turns brown   probly yer Lithium Lye is contaminatid. Ya can
                        give it up, or start over.

runs hot                only happins once in a whahl. Swipe Grampa's
                        ol' still-tubin', an' make lahk a li'l still
                        coil with it. Jes' run th' outlet back inta
                        the crock. Duck tape the whole mess real good.
                        If thet ain't enuf, use a truck radiater.
                        Don't drink the stuff, neither! Taste lahk
                        hell, take it from one that knows.

Y'all have fun, now. Ef ya hit the sweet spot, th' hill will glow fer
munths. Thet means you done real good! Set up a "myst'ry
spot" sahn, an' charge th' city folks a dollar a look.

Yore Frend,


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From: mege#NoSpam.iqe.phys.ethz.ch (Markus Emmenegger)

Subject: Physics Exam Answer

I am a research and teaching assistant at the Swiss Federal Institute of
Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. Just recently, we corrected the written
exams of about 160 first-year physics students. One of the exam problems
consisted in calculating the length of a bungee cord so that the jumper
would just touch the water at the foot of the tower, given the height
of the platform, the jumper's mass and the strength of the cord.

The answer of one of the students started with the following sentence:
"For simplicity, I will neglect gravity in this problem."

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From: Neil <neil_delverNOneSPAM#NoSpam.hotmail.com.invalid>
Q: Why did the employer force his employees to walk between highvoltage
   plates before entering the work place?
A: Because he didn't want any unionized workers.

From: David K. Davis <davis_d#NoSpam.spcunb.spc.edu>
Am I missing something? Won't he get only unionized workers?
The ionized workers will be sidelined, and presumably discharged.

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From: "roon_toon" <roon_toon#NoSpam.hotmail.com>
I'll have an Absolut Zero with cranberry - Agitated not Centrifuged.

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November 8
From: ug837#NoSpam.victoria.tc.ca (Karl F. Johanson)

              Warning: Wind energy facilities are radioactive

Wind energy is an oft touted "environmentally friendly" energy source.
Rarely is it mentioned that all of the components of a wind turbine are
radioactive. Radioactive isotopes in the building materials of wind energy
facilities include the following:

Rubidium 87
Potassium 40
Thorium 232, 230, 238, 227
Uranium 238, 235, 233
Radium 226, 228
Protactinium 231
Actinium 227
Astatine 215, 216, 218, 219
Bismuth 210, 211, 212, 214, 215
Francium 223
Lead 211, 212, 214
Polonium 210, 211, 212, 214, 215, 216, 218
Radon 219, 220, 222
Thalium 206, 207, 208, 210

When wind energy facilities are mothballed at high cost, the radioactive
nature of the materials is not accounted for. Some of the materials are
buried under slight amounts of soil, or simply left out in the open.

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                   **Things Heard At Nerd Conferences.**

"The magnetic field lines are kinky."
"The magnetosphere sucks."
"I didn't mean to get so passionate about the physics."
"I think they are full of bologna."
"Oxygen is cool."

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Special Category: Definitions and terms
From: Ron Gerards and j. richard jacobs
(On the Science Jokes mail-list: http://www.egroups.com/group/sciencejokes
                         Prof. Jacobs's Definitions

CHROMOSPHERE: Reflective globe found hanging in dance halls.
ORION: An Irish constellation of Winter in northern latitudes.
FLU SEASON: Time of year associated with Orion, Leonids and CMaj.
FLU: Disease directly proportional to seeing conditions.
TELESCOPE: Device designed to ensure a profitable flu season.
DARK MATTER: A morbid subject
DIAGNOSTIC: One who believes 2 may neither be proved nor disproved
ASTRONOMER: One who watches and catalogues nocturnal emissions; see VOYEUR.
METEORITES: Pending legislation permitting meteors to traverse U.S. air space.
QUARK:  Sound made by duck with speech impediment.
MESON:  Member of secret sub-atomic society.
MU MESON:  Bovine member of above society.
RELATIVITY: A gathering of family members.
ASTEROID BELT:  Used to keep the asteroids in place.
RARIFACTION: First indication a species may be endangered.
PARADIGM: Twenty cents.
NUCLEOTIDE: Effect of moon on an atom.
MAX PLANCK: The biggest board you can find.
PLANCK CONSTANT: A board of uniform dimensions.
LIGHT YEAR: The opposite of a HEAVY YEAR.
TACHYON: A sticky particle.
PERISCOPE: Close approach to instrument used for viewing periwinkles.
GLUONS: Little stickers featuring cartoon characters you find all over the
   fridge, front door, bathroom walls, library books, etc. Origin, unknown.

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From: Jan-Eric Nystrom <animato#NoSpam.sci.fi>
                         Disproving string theory

1. Cut 12 inches (304.8 mm) of string, +/- 0.1 in (2.54 mm).
2. Soaked string under kitchen tap.
3. Hung string in freezer.
4. After 1 hour, removed string.
5. Placed string on hard clean surface.
6. Pushed string, shouting "Aha!  Another law bites the dust!"
7. Cackled maniacally for almost two minutes.
8. Stared into space until suppertime.


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From: scdevine#NoSpam.freenet.tlh.fl.us (Steve Devine)
Special Category: How many scientists does it take to screw in a lightbulb
September 4

Q:  "How many nanoassemblers does it take to change a light bulb?"

A:  "Back of the envelope estimates indicate that to convert a nickel iron
asteroid massing 10^9 tonnes into a solar reflector capable of handling
the lighting requirements of all mankind for the next 50 thousand years
would take 10^28 assemblers 12.9 days, assuming the asteroid was already
in gesynchronous orbit...."

From: "Fraser Orr" <ifo#NoSpam.xnet.com>
Invalid question really, with nanoassemblers we will modify our
eyeballs so that we can see in the dark :-)

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March 21
From: Derek Brownlee <derekb#NoSpam.northlink.com>
Q: What caused the big bang?
A: God divided by zero. Oops!

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From: Hejir70#NoSpam.aol.com

Q: what happens when a yellow ball drops in a bucket filled with half

A: The ball becomes wet. 

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From: Craig Levine <nospam#NoSpam.newsranger.com>
I saved this a year or so ago.  I forget the source, but given the
Zetababble and other crackpots surfacing as surely as dandylions do when
the warmer weather hits us, I thought y'all might find it amusing.

From: Ellen Spertus <spertus#NoSpam.mills.edu>
The Crackpot Index is by mathematician John Baez. 

                            THE CRACKPOT INDEX
A simple method for rating potentially revolutionary contributions to physics.
1.  A -5 point starting credit.
2.  1 point for every statement that is widely agreed on to be false.
3.  2 points for every statement that is clearly vacuous.
4.  3 points for every statement that is logically inconsistent.
5.  5 points for each such statement that is adhered to despite careful
6.  5 points for using a thought experiment that contradicts the results of a
widely accepted real experiment.
7.  5 points for each word in all capital letters (except for those with
defective keyboards).
8.  5 points for each mention of "Einstein", "Hawkins" or "Feynmann".
9.  10 points for each claim that quantum mechanics is fundamentally misguided
(without good evidence).
10. 10 points for pointing out that you have gone to school, as if this were
evidence of sanity.
11. 10 points for beginning the description of your theory by saying how long
you have been working on it.
12. 10 points for mailing your theory to someone you don't know personally and
asking them not to tell anyone else about it, for fear that your ideas will be
13. 10 points for offering prize money to anyone who proves and/or finds any
flaws in your theory.
14. 10 points for each statement along the lines of "I'm not good at math, but
my theory is conceptually right, so all I need is for someone to express it in
terms of equations".
15. 10 points for arguing that a current well-established theory is "only a
theory", as if this were somehow a point against it.
16. 10 points for arguing that while a current well-established theory predicts
phenomena correctly, it doesn't explain "why" they occur, or fails to provide a
17. 10 points for each favorable comparison of yourself to Einstein, or claim
that special or general relativity are fundamentally misguided (without good
18. 10 points for claiming that your work is on the cutting edge of a "paradigm
19. 20 points for suggesting that you deserve a Nobel prize.
20. 20 points for each favorable comparison of yourself to Newton or claim that
classical mechanics is fundamentally misguided (without good evidence).
21. 20 points for every use of science fiction works or myths as if they were
22. 20 points for defending yourself by bringing up (real or imagined) ridicule
accorded to your past theories.
23. 20 points for each use of the phrase "hidebound reactionary".
24. 20 points for each use of the phrase "self-appointed defender of the
25. 30 points for suggesting that a famous figure secretly disbelieved in a
theory which he or she publicly supported. (E.g., that Feynman was a closet
opponent of special relativity, as deduced by reading between the lines in his
freshman physics textbooks.)
26. 30 points for suggesting that Einstein, in his later years, was groping his
way towards the ideas you now advocate.
27. 30 points for claiming that your theories were developed by an
extraterrestrial civilization (without good evidence).
28. 40 points for comparing those who argue against your ideas to Nazis,
stormtroopers, or brownshirts.
29. 40 points for claiming that the "scientific establishment" is engaged in a
"conspiracy" to prevent your work from gaining its well-deserved fame, or
30. 40 points for comparing yourself to Galileo, suggesting that a modern-day
Inquisition is hard at work on your case, and so on.
31. 40 points for claiming that when your theory is finally appreciated,
present-day science will be seen for the sham it truly is. (30 more points for
fantasizing about show trials in which scientists who mocked your theories will
be forced to recant.)
32. 50 points for claiming you have a revolutionary theory but giving no
concrete testable predictions.

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Special Category: Afterlife
October 31
From: "Ed Kolis" <koliset#NoSpam.email.uc.edu>


Over time, people die and enter Heaven, but no one comes back from Heaven,
so the number of souls in Heaven is constantly increasing. Of course, these
souls have to be coming from somewhere, otherwise the law of conservation
of mass is being violated. Where the souls are coming from is of course
Earth. Now the Bible says that the righteous go on to live in the kingdom
of God for eternity. Thus, Heaven has an infinite duration. But the Earth
has a finite mass and if souls are leaving it at some rate then eventually
its mass will be depleted below zero, which is impossible - nothing can
have negative mass. Therefore Heaven cannot exist. A similar argument
applies to Hell, Gehennom, Elysium, Hades, and any other form of
afterlife. (The special case of reincarnation is somewhat more difficult
and will not be presented here.)

Note: The preceding paragraph is a work of satire. It contains numerous
scientific and mathematical errors. Please do not bother contacting me if
you only want to point out these errors. Otherwise, write away! - Ed.

On the other hand, if you if you have comments or improvements on this
theory that are in the same spirit as this was written you can send them to
this site - Joachim.

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anthropic principle

Many people are aware of the weak and strong anthropic principle. The weak one says, basically, that is was jolly amazing of the universe to be constructed in such a way that humans could evolve to a point where they make a living in, for example, universities, while the strong one says that, on the contrary, the whole point of the universe was that humans should not only work in universities but also write for huge sums books with words like 'Cosmic' and 'Chaos' in the titles.

-- Terry Pratchett, Hogfather.

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From: c186282 <c186282#NoSpam.yahoo.com>

time machine

I was a grad-student at JILA. The secretaries would tell me that every so often someone would call asking about time travel and if we are capable of doing it at JILA. I told them to say "Yes, We do, do time travel, but only into the future. Would you like a demonstration?", Then put them on hold.

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From Lars-Åke Andersson (fnoxis#NoSpam.gmail.com)

Newton, Einstein and Pascal playing hide and seek

Hello! My students told me a great physics joke. Newton, Einstein and Pascal were playing hide and seek. Einstein was counting. Pascal ran away and hid but Newton silently drew a square on the ground with the a side of 1 meter and placed himself in the square. Einstein yelled 100 and looked startled when he saw Newton. "That's easy. I found you Newton". "No way. I'm not Newton, I'm Pascal"

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