September 30th, 2010

Mr. Twister

Тупизна америкосов/образование

Hands-on science kits that are produced to get kids excited about science could have an unclear future as debates arise on the safety of the kits, according to the Associated Press (AP).

The debate has included the classroom science kits and some of the items they contain, such as paper clips to show kids how magnetism works.

The kit makers argue that the items contained in the science kits are not harmful to children, would be too expensive to test, and shouldn’t have to be tested because they are everyday items found in homes and schools that don’t have to be tested if bought separately.

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Mr. Twister

Новости космических трасс

Годы упорного поиска увенчались успехом. Исследователям в НАСА удалось получить уникальное видео. На нем видна высадка человека на луну в 1969 году.

Несомненно, обнаружение в австралийском архиве этого видео, ранее считавшегося утраченным, является величайшим достижением человечества.
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Mr. Twister

Наша с вами история

     In 1963, two Russian scientists, Evgenii Lifshitz and Isaac Khalatnikov, claimed to have proved that solutions of the Einstein equations with a singularity all had a special arrangement of matter and velocities. The chances that the solution representing the universe would have this special arrangement were practically zero. Almost all solutions that could represent the universe would avoid having a singularity of infinite density: Before the era during which the universe was expanding, there must have been a previous contracting phase during which matter fell together but missed colliding with itself, moving apart again in the present expanding phase. If this were the case, time would continue forever, from the infinite past to the infinite future.
     Not everyone was convinced by the arguments of Lifshitz and Khalatnikov. Instead, Roger Penrose and I adopted a different approach, based not on a detailed study of solutions but on the global structure of spacetime. [...] Our paper, proving time had a beginning, won the second prize in the competition sponsored by the Gravity Research Foundation in 1968, and Roger and I shared the princely sum of $300.
     There were other reactions to our work. It upset many physicists, but it delighted those religious leaders who believed in an act of creation, for here was scientific proof. Meanwhile, Lifshitz and Khalatnikov were in an awkward position. They couldn't argue with the mathematical theorems that we had proved, but under the Soviet system they couln't admit they had been wrong and Western science had been right. However, they saved the situation by finding a more general family of solutions with a singularity, which weren't special in the way their previous solutions had been. This enabled them to claim singularities, and the beginning or end of time, as a Soviet discovery.


--Hawking, "The Universe in a Nutshell"
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