I think you are the second with that statement.
Must be because neither of you can answer it.
Guess you missed the fact that the kids question
was based on a fallacy. People that know
practically nothing about science, e.g. most 9
year old children, often ask questions based on a
On Tue, 10 Oct 2006 03:54:49 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"
Electro-magnetism is but a subset of magnetism in general. Since he's
discussing this with a 9-year old, he is almost certainly talking
about non-electro-magnetism. That is, permanent magnets. If
permanent magnets aren't subjected to heat or violence, their power
won't run out in one lifetime. Horseshoe shaped magnets should be
kept with their "keeper", the bar from one pole to the other.
So don't pat yourself on the back too much. You should have said
magnetism, not electro-magnetism. (The latter probably didn't exist
except during lightning strikes until the 19th century.)
You were pounded down, not because you seemed to exhibit some
knowledge, but because you insulted a guy who had done nothing to
deserve it, whose questions made total sense. Not that one should
insult someone just because he doesn't make sense or does worse than
Yeah I know it was harsh, too harsh to the OP, not
to the others.
I'll be harsh again. Although I don't have great
faith in wikipedia, you should look at the below
before you post about electromagnetism:
Ha. Ha. I didn't expect an answer, it was just a
tease since the kid's question is about basic
physics. It does bite my butt that few adults
can answer two simple question, Name three natural
forces and name three states of matter. (Don't
expect anyone to list all the forces and all the
recognized states of matter). That very basic
information about the world we live in isn't
taught in schools or at least it isn't taught in a
manner that students retain or understand it.
A significant fraction of the people in the
country can't reliably identify the atlantic
ocean on an unlabled map, their anniversary,
or their own freaking email password.
And you're expecting to remember what a
"state of matter" is?
Yes, because it is at hand everyday. If one
doesn't know the general properties of a liquid
and a gas, they are likely to have an accident
when boiling water. The most basic information
about states of matter and fundamental forces is
useful at a personal level.
But, yeah, I forget my passwords too and since I
don't expect any break-ins to steal my passwords,
I write them down. As for not identifying the
Atlantic ocean--the problem is mostly low IQ or a
really poor education.
I've heard they've recently created new states, and in a search found
more than i though:
Bose-Einstein Condensate Liquid:
Bose-Einstein Condensate Solid:
Some new superhot liquid:
well, I learned and retained it in the 70s/80s... but i'll bet many
folks in the same class havn't. I can't spell for crap though.
Different folks will learn and retain different things given the same
stimuli/classes. It's just a matter of what folks find to be important
to them. Sadly, a large percentage of those folks find trivia about
sports or trite television shows to be more important than states of
matter and physical forces.
May no harm befall you,
Ich habe keine Ahnung was das bedeutet, oder vielleicht doch?
It sounds like you are trying to show people how smart you are. It would
have been a great start actually answering the question. Who cares about
Socratic blabber not even related to the question?
A nine year old asking a question "based on a fallacy"? For crying out
loud - university is a long way from a nine year old. Did you possess your
"states of matter" nugget when YOU were nine years old? Maybe not....
Those are the ones who don't know shit. On the other hand, obvious
cheapskates looking for free labor who ask me something related to house
and building crap are promptly told I don't know nothin'. I just do a
little painting, no trim though... too complicated, and tighten a door
knoob here and there.
George E. Cawthon wrote
Electro-magnetism is one force, another is
gravity. Here is your question, name two other
You appear to be the smartest person here.
Could you get us started by enumerating the
"unnatural forces" before we start listing the
Obviously you are too bright and too smug to
make a 9th grader's mistake of referring to the
4 fundemental forces as "natural forces."
All forces are natural. But it is commonly believe
(thanks to Uncle Albert) that all forces are derived
from 4 fundemental forces. Proving it was one of
Einsteins great unfinished works.
The timing here isn't right--at the time Einstein did special and
general relativity, the strong and weak nuclear forces weren't yet
identified. In his latter years, his attempts at unification were
hindered greatly by being still too early and his unwillingness to
accept quantum mechanics as being an actual description of "how the
world works". The problem is that without QM, we have no way to
describe the miniscule although the large is handled nicely.
Unfortunately, even at the large scales, when one gets to the boundary
conditions where gravitational fields become immense, then there QM
rears its ugly head again.
For readable accounts for any interested, Hawking's "A Brief History of
Time" and Brian Greene's various works are recommended. Hawking
primarily for up to the time at which the transition to string theories
(mid-80s or thereabouts) essentially replacing earlier attempts (such
as "supergravity") and Greene for newer developments.
This old guy finds it incredible, too. All this stuff was essentially
unknown when I was finishing undergraduate work and still considered
almost purely conjectural even after had finished graduate degree some
ten years later (didn't go straight on, obviously. I'm slow, but not
_that_ slow! :) )
If you have any interest at all, I do strongly recommend both Hawking
and Greene. Particularly The Brief History of Time is quite short and
an easy read (he states in the Foreword that his editors told him his
audience could be expected to be halved for every equation he included
so there's only one in the entire book! :) ) but does a nice job of
explaining the overall transition from the Aristolean thru Copernican
and to Newtonian physics, then the "crises" that led to modern physics
in a way that is quite coherent. It does cover the very rudimentary
ideas of string theories towards the end, but was written when these
ideas were still evolving quite rapidly so that to try to do more than
mention them would have detracted more than explained.
Greene (The Elegant Universe, etc.) is a little harder going, but still
not at all a textbook but a general description/overview and written
more recently. The concepts there start to get _really_ esoteric (as
if quantum effects and special relativity aren't bizarre enough as
compared to "normal" experience! :) ), but are fascinating as to what
may (and I emphasize the "may" here) turn out to be the way the
universe is actually put together. (There was at least one NOVA built
around The Elegant Universe, but I found it difficult to really get
much from as the production seemed somehow disjointed. It was
interesting, but not satisfying, at least to me. Being able to read
the book was better.)
Don't think dpb has anything to worry about -- it's not being well-
educated that sets people off here, it's being a pompous jackass about
it. dpb provided information in a polite manner, rather than
supercilious questions, quite a different approach to social
email@example.com is Joshua Putnam
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