Category Archive: Science

Nov 13 2013

Statisticians need to see how experimental science really works, then shut up about it

This kind of irks me. The plague of non-reproducibility in science may be mostly due to scientists’ use of weak statistical tests, as shown by an innovative method developed by statistician Valen Johnson, at Texas A&M University in College Station. The article goes on to specify an amazing new Bayesian test the person invented which …

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Feb 22 2013

Thermo for Normals (part 30): Complicated things

All cars have to keep themselves cool. The reason for this, as we've seen, is the inefficiency of the engine: you can't convert the heat, made in the burning of gasoline, into work without creating some waste heat. If we take the energy stored in gasoline to be the "free energy" of the chemical bonds, …

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Feb 06 2013

Thermo for Normals (part 29): Radiation, continued


Now we know the amount of radiation coming from an object with a surface at temperature . And we know the amount for each frequency of light. It's where is frequency you're interested in, is the speed of light, and is a property of the object called emissivity. Emissivity measures the fraction of white light …

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Feb 01 2013

New American Cancer Society report


The American Cancer Society just published their 2013 Facts and Figures report. It's kind of interesting to look at the time dependence of the rates. First for men: Since 1990, the rate of lung (mostly smoking induced) cancer has been falling, presumably due to the government's concerted effort to force people to stop---absent any other …

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Dec 28 2012

Thermo for Normals (part 28): How things radiate


Every object, including you, radiates all the time. The radiation comes in the form of light, also known as electromagnetic radiation. Most of the time, this light isn't visible. Right now I'm radiating, and almost all of what is coming off is infra-red (IR), though there is also a tiny amount of radio, and microwaves. …

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