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November 27, 2013

Hard things, squishy things. How real is real?

Is the universe squishy or hard? What happens when all that you thought you knew is called into question?

For example: something as seemingly well established as the radius of the lowly proton is being called into question.

(Phys.org) —Officially, the radius of a proton is 0.88 ± 0.01 femtometers (fm, or 10-15 m). Researchers attained that value using two methods: first, by measuring the proton's energy levels using hydrogen spectroscopy, and second, by using electron scattering experiments, where an electron beam is shot at a proton and the way the electrons scatter is used to calculate the proton's size. But when trying to further improve the precision of the proton radius value in 2010 with a third experimental technique, physicists got a value of 0.842 ± 0.001 fm—a difference of 7 deviations from the official value.

Explanations for this discrepancy are actively being sought. We're like prehistoric cave men looking at shadows dancing on the cave wall. We're just waving our hands and making shit up a lot of the time.

And apparently we really don't know squat about how the Sun really operates. Ra does this kinda shit just to remind us how much we don't know about Ra. Our "reality" is held hostage by the limitations of our ability to see. It is at best an approximation.

Dogma? Settled.
Science? Never settled.


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posted by Purp at 02:48 PM

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