Little story on superconductivity

KSMB
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Little story on superconductivity

I don't know about you all, but one of the most irritating things theists claim is that science is our religion*. So today when I went to a talk at my university about superconductivity (I'm a graduate student in astrophysics), I learn about just how false the theists' views are. Let me share a story (beware of paraphrasing).

 

Superconductivity occurs in certain materials, and it is the phenomenon of exactly zero electrical resistance (for low enough temperatures). It was discovered by Heike Kamerlingh Onnes in 1911 (Nobel prize 1913). As in all physics, the development is then stepwise, with a definate milestone being the discovery of the Meissner effect in 1935. However, it wasn't until 1957 that the complete microscopic theory of how superconductivity works was presented. This is called the BCS theory (Bardeen, Cooper & Schrieffer, awarded Nobel prize in 1972) and it's pretty neat.

As you can imagine, in the time between the discovery and the formulation of a working theory (46 years) there are lots of failed hypotheses. Some of these hypotheses come from very famous scientists. Einstein himself writes a paper in 1922 (in German) where he proposes some model. This model gives some prediction (in this case, that superconductivity cannot sustain itself across boundaries of materials). But it is known already that it can in reality, so Einstein essentially says "by the way, this falsifies my model, so my model is wrong. Good! Now we know that." Other hypotheses proposed come from such dignitaries as Landau, Kronig, Bloch and even Bardeen himself (the same guy that later comes up with the correct theory). These models were all falsafiable, and were weeded out! This is the beauty of science! Scientists are not afraid of being wrong, if you can show how they are wrong, they will thank you for it!

This (imho) is an illustration of what separates science and religion. Science makes falsafiable predictions concerning the real world to get at how the world really works. If your model of the world is not falsafiable, then it is, in the words of Enrico Fermi, "not even wrong". Religion isn't even wrong, religion is irrelevant!

(* Disclaimer: I know that not all theists view science as the religion of atheists, but an annoyingly large fraction of them do. If you're one of the theists that do not, I hope you pass that view along to your less knowledgable theist friends. Stop the madness.)


Cpt_pineapple
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 Masters or

 Masters or Doctorate?

 

I'm sure being an astrophysist, you might be able to see where I get some of my opinions.

 

For example have you come up with a theory for what happens when you get trapped in a blackhole? Now how do you prove this theory? Granted you can observe Hawkin radiation, singularities, effects on nearby masses (stars, astroids whatever) etc, but how do you prove 100%?


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Cpt_pineapple wrote: but

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

but how do you prove 100%?

Nothing in science is ever 100%, we always have to leave room for the unknown (falsifiability...ring a bell he just talked about it).  Absolutism is a characteristic of religion not science.   

No Gods, Know Peace.


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Okay, maybe I

Okay, maybe I miscommunicated.

 I'll try to clear things up:

If something is 'falsafiable' it means that there is a way to prove false.

My question: How do you prove theories false on blackholes? Or nebulas? You can't grab a spaceship and fly over to your favorite blackhole/nebula(Yet at least).

 I hope I cleared up my question.

[Edited: for spelling and grammar]


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close enough, some would

close enough, some would say that it requires you to attempt to falsify it, but that really depends on the type of experiment you are carrying out. 

As to the specifics of how to prove/disprove the prescence or absense of a black whole, I don't know.  I'm a microbiologist, and I don't want to speak that far outside of my chosen field. 

No Gods, Know Peace.


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Cpt_pineapple wrote: Okay,

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Okay, maybe I miscommunicated.

I'll try to clear things up:

If something is 'falsafiable' it means that there is a way to prove false.

My question: How do you prove theories false on blackholes? Or nebulas? You can't grab a spaceship and fly over to your favorite blackhole/nebula(Yet at least).

I hope I cleared up my question.

[Edited: for spelling and grammar]

 

The answer is in your own question.  Yet.

 

Just because something at the present time isn't proven doesn't make it unprovable.

At one time people were convinced the Earth was flat because no one had proven it.  Were they right?  No.

 


aiia
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Cpt_pineapple wrote: For

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
For example have you come up with a theory for what happens when you get trapped in a black hole?
I would hypothesize that I would die.
Quote:
Now how do you prove this theory?
Information about black holes tells me that the environment there cannot support living organisms.
Quote:
Granted you can observe Hawkin radiation, singularities, effects on nearby masses (stars, astroids whatever) etc, but how do you prove 100%?
By comparing the environment that I need to live and the black hole environment assures 99.9999999999999% probability of death. Why would you need 100%

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Masters or Doctorate?

 

I'm sure being an astrophysist, you might be able to see where I get some of my opinions.

 

For example have you come up with a theory for what happens when you get trapped in a blackhole? Now how do you prove this theory? Granted you can observe Hawkin radiation, singularities, effects on nearby masses (stars, astroids whatever) etc, but how do you prove 100%?

You are showing your ignorance of astrophysics.

All data we know about black holes is inferred, it cannot be 100%. As Ninjatux already pointed out, nothing is science is 100%, things can be tested, theories can be re-tested, inferred data can be checked and re-checked. We can be determine theories and laws to the best of our ability but there is always a chance new data may come along and refute a portion or all of what accumulated data shows. Science concerns itself with learning about the natural world, not about knowing things 100%, that is dogma and science despises dogmatic thinking.

Your questions about black holes are silly.

Do you know the sun is hot? How can you be sure? Can you visit the sun?  Do you have vas deferens? How do you know? Have you seen your vas deferens? Do you live on the earth? How do you know? Have you travelled away from the planet to see it from a distance, so you know it is the pale blue dot you live on?

 


Cpt_pineapple
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[quote] You are showing

Quote:

 You are showing your ignorance of astrophysics.

 My university doesn't offer astorphysics Sad

Quote:

All data we know about black holes is inferred, it cannot be 100%. As Ninjatux already pointed out, nothing is science is 100%, things can be tested, theories can be re-tested, inferred data can be checked and re-checked. We can be determine theories and laws to the best of our ability but there is always a chance new data may come along and refute a portion or all of what accumulated data shows. Science concerns itself with learning about the natural world, not about knowing things 100%, that is dogma and science despises dogmatic thinking.

Just because some data refutes the theory, doesn't mean the theory is incorrect. You don't know the conditions of the data etc...

 

Quote:

Your questions about black holes are silly.

Do you know the sun is hot? How can you be sure? Can you visit the sun?  Do you have vas deferens? How do you know? Have you seen your vas deferens? Do you live on the earth? How do you know? Have you travelled away from the planet to see it from a distance, so you know it is the pale blue dot you live on?

They sent probes to the sun.

 By definiton I live on Earth. They could of called the planet "mud ball" and if they did I would live on mudball.

I'd still like the topic creator to answer my questions

[Edit:Fixed quote tags]


KSMB
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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Masters or Doctorate?

Doctorate, I'm half way there.

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
I'm sure being an astrophysist, you might be able to see where I get some of my opinions.

Not really. The theist mindset of "wow, the universe is so wonderful, god must have created it" isn't really there unless you're taught you should think that way.

Given that mindset though, then I get it. The universe is wonderful. I do wish people like Einstein and Hawking would refrain from using the word "god" when referring to their Spinozan concept of "god". It gives the theists the illusion that these very smart people agree with them.

 

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
For example have you come up with a theory for what happens when you get trapped in a blackhole? Now how do you prove this theory?

Black holes are part of the theory of general relativity (I didn't come up with that one though). The term black hole is used to describe the situation when matter is so dense that the escape velocity is greater than the speed of light. So being trapped is a pretty good description. You can't get out, even if you're the brave massless photon called Igor. Information of what goes on within the event horizon thus cannot reach me.

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Granted you can observe Hawkin radiation, singularities, effects on nearby masses (stars, astroids whatever) etc, but how do you prove 100%?

Black holes are predicted by general relativity. General relativity provides predictions on what you should be able to observe, not from within the event horizon, but from outside of it. For example, the immense gravitational field close to the black hole will accelerate particles falling in to the black hole, causing them to radiate lots and lots of x- and gammarays. This is observed. Stars and gas orbiting the black hole will have orbital charachteristics that give information about the mass of the black hole. This is observed, both in our own galaxy and in others.

Nothing is 100% certain, get used to it. On the other hand, science doesn't claim this certainty, religion does. Don't project the flaws of religion onto science, please.


Cpt_pineapple
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Did you read my

Did you read my clearification post?


Tilberian
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Cpt_pineapple wrote: Okay,

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Okay, maybe I miscommunicated.

I'll try to clear things up:

If something is 'falsafiable' it means that there is a way to prove false.

My question: How do you prove theories false on blackholes? Or nebulas? You can't grab a spaceship and fly over to your favorite blackhole/nebula(Yet at least).

I hope I cleared up my question.

[Edited: for spelling and grammar]

Black hole theories are completely falsifiable. For instance, the theory predicted that black holes would throw off x-rays. If we then looked at a black hole and saw that it didn't throw off x-rays, that part of black hole theory would be false. 

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
- Dr. Joy Brown


KSMB
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Cpt_pineapple wrote: Did

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Did you read my clearification post?

Yeah. Did you read my post? It has got your answers on black holes in there. 


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also we might not have to

also we might not have to travel to the nucleus of galaxies to examine black holes up close. Maybe we'll be able to produce them with particle accelerators in the future. They're small, but would do just fine.

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life. - Immanuel Kant