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  1. We're on Mars, people


    #351192012-08-07 16:36:54 *Gargron said:

    I'm shocked that we don't have a thread about that yet. America or not America, mankind has landed a robot on Mars. That's far. Far as balls.

    I am not going to criticize the costs of the London Olympics, it's a really nice event and everybody has a right to spend their money on what they want, but: From a mankind-as-a-whole point of view, this is the most important step since the Moon landing.

    Science fiction authors and actual scientists agree that for mankind to survive, mankind has to expand to other planets. Which reminds me of how a virus expands onto other hosts to survive, which just illustrates how cyclic the universe is.

    That being said, we need a few more breakthroughs down here before space travel becomes as exciting as in the books. Waiting 16 hours for your signal to arrive there and waiting 16 hours more for a response to arrive here sounds really boring.

    Luckily there are some quantum physics inventions or projects that could be applied there. Ever heard of teleportation? We kind of can do that with photons, by having two photos share the exact same properties no matter where they are.

    Is anyone as excited as I am?

  2. #351222012-08-07 16:54:09 *Fieyr said:

    Also, just to clarify for everyone else (and not to get completely off topic), quantum teleportation is something of a misnomer I would say in that article. They aren't actually teleporting the photon itself. Rather they are changing the polarization of one photon, which instantaneously results in the same state change in the entangled photon.

    Teleporting the photon itself, or even simple the state of the photon, would mean going faster than light. Which, according to Einstein, is a nono. As far as how the state change is communicated from one photon to the other, scientists have yet to figure this out... so even calling that 'teleportation' is a little premature at the moment.

  3. #351262012-08-07 17:34:09Ethereal said:

    I should be excited about this, but for some odd reason I'm really not. Rather, I am extremely frightened by how far we've come. Space is a scary, scary place (/'.')/ However, it is intriguing none the less. Now I must find a way to combat these scientists doing and finding all this stuff shakes first Dat science stuff be overpowered...

  4. #351302012-08-07 17:50:04Gargron said:

    @Fieyr It is a misleading name indeed, though if you want, the state is teleported, as it is shared instantly. I remember this idea being used among the multiverse theorem in Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials.

    It is nevertheless exciting.

    Also, how do you like the idea to wrap spacetime around an object to bypass velocity limits?

  5. #351342012-08-07 18:04:22 *Fieyr said:

    @Gargron

    Also, how do you like the idea to wrap spacetime around an object to bypass velocity limits?

    I love the idea, however the the only way we know to warp space time (that I'm aware of at least) is via gravity generated from massive objects such as stars or black holes. Until we can create black holes on demand, it seems like we're not going anywhere fast.

    Also, the reason why I think we should be hesitant to stay teleportation, even for state change, is because we currently do not know exactly what's happening. Teleportation to me implies instantaneously teleporting an object from one location to another without transiting the intervening distance. Einstein was looking for what he called 'hidden variables' in order to explain quantum entanglement. However he never found them.

    To me it's similar to saying, I've become sick, therefore the gods have cursed me. We shouldn't jump to the conclusion of teleportation just because we've yet to understand the so called 'hidden variables' aka the nature of reality that allows something like this to happen.

  6. #351682012-08-08 01:48:39 *Noon said:

    I guess I don't really quite get the hype. We've landed rovers on Mars before, why is everyone acting like it's New Years Eve? I don't remember people being so excited for the other ones xD In fact, the old Opportunity rover is still functioning on Mars as well...

  7. #351852012-08-08 07:36:07 *Fieyr said:

    @Noon @Domo

    If mankind successfully landing on another planet is not enough for you...

    Here are a couple of things to consider.

    1. Historically speaking, we have only a 1 in 3 chance of successfully getting a functioning rover on Mars. In other words, 66% of the rovers sent to mars have failed to work once they arrive.

    2. NASA spent 14 years and 2.5 billion dollars on this rover which represents our most technologically advanced rover to date. It's as if we put a fully equipped lab on Mars that's uniquely suited to discovering whether Mars was ever capable of supporting life. When someone (NASA) spends that much time working on something that could fundamentally redefine our understanding of life, and have them succeed at getting it there intact...well... it's hard not to be happy for them as well as to be excited regarding what they may find.

    3. All previous rovers were about the size of a small lawn mower. This thing is the size of a small car. Imagine the engineering challenge of dropping a car on the Earth, opening a parachute to slow it down, cutting off the parachute then hovering with rockets to slow it down, then lowering the car to the ground with a hovering sky crane. Whether you're doing that on Earth or Mars, that's not exactly an easy task. But the fact that we did it on Mars and for it to be a completely automated process 155,000,000 miles away. Well that's kind of impressive. Everything has to go exactly right.

    4. Doing stuff like this is what inspires kids to go into math and science which will hopefully result in me getting my hoverboard as well as any number of other cool tech advancements.