Conversation on Physics and Space Travel on MicroMuse

MicroMuse has a sophisticated Solar System and Deep Space section where participants can learn to astronavigate, subject to Newton's Laws of Motion. Faceless is a graduating Senior from High School who is an accomplished astronavigator and who now helps others learn the ropes. Lorraine, an adult who teaches English as a Second Language to at-risk inner city children, has become one of his students. Kalany is a home-schooler who is just beginning to learn about Space on MicroMuse. In this spontaneous conversation, Faceless and Kalany rise to the challenge of helping Lorraine understand the fundamentals of Newtonian Physics.

Lorraine waves as she settles in to MUSE.

MacDuff: so much activity in space :)

Lorraine: Airbike is putting the Windswift through her paces.

Faceless thinks he needs a "I'd rather be Navigating" sticker for his car.

Kalany would like to learn to navigate sometime.

MacDuff has seen the "flying" variety

Faceless: I'm checking up on all the stuff that needs updating in space.

Faceless: Kalany, it's really cool. Have you read 'spacehelp' or checked out any of the practice shuttles yet?

Kalany: I have...

Kalany remembers having problems with the practice shuttles... I need to try them again.

Faceless made a new system where you get a simulator. They should work better.

Kalany: Okie. I'll try them out next time I'm now trying to talk to three people at once. :(

Lorraine: Hey, Macduff could you log Airbike's lesson on the Windswift so we could reread it or something!

Kalany is.

MacDuff: huh?

Lorraine: Nevermind MacDuff. :)

MacDuff: Kalany is logging the lesson I just gave Airbike?

Kalany: No, I'm logging the lesson he's giving us.

Lorraine: Kalany is logging the lesson Airbike is giving us. Even better, she's understanding it. :)

MacDuff: Oh, I see.

Lorraine: Phi is north pole and south pole movement, I need a mnemonic device for that.

Kalany: Phi & pole -- p & p

Lorraine: OK. :)

Lorraine: Airbike is doing a fine job fielding questions and showing us stuff. Even I'm learning.

Faceless wakes up.

Lorraine: Hiya Faceless! :)

Faceless: Lorraine, what kind of stuff is Airbike teaching you about space()?

Lorraine: Meanings of abbreviations, velocity, phi, movement.

Lorraine: Right now he's working on tangent velocity

Lorraine: He did Newton's first law too.

Faceless: Cool.

Lorraine: It's all news to me. :)

Kalany knows just enough about this sort of thing to make it seem as if it -should- be obvious, but just little enough so it isn't. :)

Lorraine: I'm learning the vocabulary at this point. Nothing is obvious.

Lorraine wonders how many more laws Newton had.

Vampire: 42?

Vampire: Oh, wait, that's the answer to something else....n/m :)

Lorraine: The perfect number?

Kate: That's 24, isn't it?

Lorraine: Airbike is giving us another lesson on Monday :) Time to be announced.

Vampire looks for something to do, while avoiding other mu* work...

Faceless: I'm gonna experiment with catapulting around Sol in space.. you wanna be my projectile? :)

Vampire eyes facey, and wonders if he's made a will recently...

Lorraine gives it serious consideration.

Lorraine hugs everyone and quits while she's ahead. How many laws did Newton come up with?

Lorraine: Three, four?

Faceless: 3. if i remember correctly.

Lorraine: What was the second and third one?

Vampire: umm, yer not ahead Lor anymore ;)

Faceless ponders mailing Lorraine one of his really cool physics books.

Lorraine: Only if it is Physics for Dummies.

Faceless: It's my high school physics book. it was the last year for them at my high school so i grabbed about 10 of them from the dumpster. They're really well written, and they're funny too.. which is rare in physics books.

Lorraine: I'd love one? YOu need a SASE?

Faceless: a wha?

Lorraine wonders if that ? was a Freudian slip.

Lorraine: Self addressed stamped envelope

Vampire ponders cramming a textbook into a SASE

Faceless: Yeah.. but these things weigh a bit. I don't know how much they'll cost to mail.

Kalany: Book rate shouldn't be too bad.

Lorraine: So weigh it. Simple math you can handle after physics. :) I have faith in you.

Faceless goes to find a scale.

Vampire grins

Kalany: According to my physics book, Newton had 5 laws.

Kalany: One of cooling, one of universal gravity, and three of motion.

Vampire: do I hear 6?

Lorraine: What do they say in a nutshell.

Vampire: That newton had some strange ideas that now confine us to our universe?

Lorraine grins.

Kalany looks it up. :)

Lorraine: What's the cooling one about?

Kalany: I can't understand it. :)

Kalany: The three of motion are easier.

Lorraine: OK, tell us one of the motion ones. Which law is it?

Kalany: Oh... it says that the rate of cooling is approximately equal to the temperature difference between the object and its surroundings. :)

Lorraine thinks it makes sense.

Lorraine: Law or room temperature?

Kate: Thermodynamics? Cooling? Everything tends toward uniformity. Entropy. As time goes on, things wind down till they nearly stop. Heat distributes around things until it's all the same temperature.

Kalany: Law 2: The acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the net force acting on the object, is in the direction of the net force, and is inversely proportional to the mass of the object.

Vampire points to his statement again... ;)

Lorraine: Mass as weight or size?

Faceless: oh. i meant 3 of motion. he did have the two others.

Vampire: mass as in weight

Kalany: Facey, can you summarize that law?

Lorraine: Everything tends toward uniformity?????

Lorraine yicks.

Vampire: size makes little difference in a vacuum

Kate: Yeah, even ppl

Faceless: what? what? what?

Faceless: Mass is always mass. Weight is not mass. Size is not mass. Mass is mass.

Lorraine: I can see working with confines of social conventions but uniformity....

Kalany: Lorraine: Think of mass as being the amount of shtuff in an object.

Lorraine thinks of shtuffed artichokes. :)

Lorraine: OK. Amount in an object.

Kalany: If you have no gravity, the weight disappears, but the amount of shtuff there stays the same, right?

Lorraine: WHOA!!! Faceless mass is not weight?

Faceless: No. mass is not weight. They're related, but they're not one and the same.

Lorraine: Yesssssssss....

Lorraine: Mass is amount of space taken up?

Faceless: Listen to Kalany. Kalany just explained. Weight is the result of gravity. Mass is *always* there.

Kalany: So, weight depends on mass -- but it also has to do with gravity. The more gravity you have, more weight, correct? But mass is always there, as Faceless says.

Faceless nods at Kalany.

Lorraine tries untangling weight, mass and size and kicks density on the side for now.

Lorraine: I follow about gravity and weight.

Faceless: But if you're somewhere where gravity is constant--like here on earth--it's easy to confuse them. And we do it all the time. For instance, take the postal system. It measures the price of sending something based on its weight--not its mass. Of course, unless the postal system goes interplanetary, it doesn't make a difference.

Faceless: Speaking of the postal system, I weighed the book. My really really old scale says it's a 2 pounds, some ounces. my horky electric bathroom scale confirms that it's something like 3 pounds.

Kalany smiles.

MacDuff: Physics and nav lessons

Lorraine grins.

Vampire: Call it 2.5 facey :) smail doesn't pay attention half the time

Kalany: Facey -- it makes snese for the postal office to charge based on weight. They have to accelerate that mass against gravity, remember? :)

Lorraine chuckles.

Vampire should go build mars...hmm

Faceless: Vampire: mars is already built. Lord_soth built it.

Lorraine: Sounds like you should accept a SASE on that book.

Lorraine: Back to Newton. Which was the thermodynamics one? The uniformity bit?

Faceless: Yeah, Lorraine.. want my address? You can make it for however much you want. The book weighs something under 3 pounds. :)

Vampire: not here silly

Lorraine: Entropy was everything slowing down and stopping?

Lorraine: OK. I think it is 32 for the first ounce and I don't know how much for each additional unit. I think it is ounce again.

MacDuff: gad, they changed it?

MacDuff: Am i stuck with all these 23-centers?

Faceless suggests going to post office and having them do it.

Lorraine grins. Nah, you buy 1 , 2 , 3 centers and add to them.

Puck: Under two pounds is $3.00 priority mail, but your package can go fourth class if it's books.

MacDuff: when did they change it?

Lorraine: It might be 3 pounds Puck. Doesn't have to be priority mail.

Lorraine: Faceless took 10 extra copies of a Physics book they were dumping.

Lorraine: I took a few hundred of the science books.

Lorraine: All of them went. :)

Lorraine: They changed it from 23 cents a loooooooooooooong time ago , MacDuff. :)

Faceless loves this book. he turns to a random page and there's a cute little kid explaining the difference between temperature and heat.

Lorraine peeks through the monitor.

MacDuff: Can't be that long ago. I bought this roll last month, I think

MacDuff: I'm talking 23 cents for the second ounce.

Lorraine: Did you transpose your numbers?

Kalany: Hey, if I pay you postage, will you send me one too??

Lorraine: Oh! :)

Lorraine grins. :)

Lorraine: That's two down and only 8 more left!

Faceless checks his stash. he's given quite a few away already by other means, actually. :)

Kalany: What's the name of them?

Faceless: Conceptual Physics by Paul G. Hewitt.

Kalany: Oh!

Lorraine likes the name.

Kalany: Never mind that...

Kalany has a copy sitting beside her. :)

Faceless has four if he counts the one he's sending Lorraine.

Faceless: oh no! :)

Lorraine: What, what!!!

Faceless: Which edition is it, Kalany? :)

Kalany: Seventh

Faceless has the sixth. He's seen the 7th. It's not as funny. :)

Kalany: Which edition is yours?

Lorraine: I heard of a program that has a sheep jumping all over the screen when you do work and it's supposed to be very funny.

Kalany: Send me one anyhow. :)

Lorraine: Two down and two to go.

Kalany: No, three.

Faceless: Does one of your chapters start with a picture of an alligator and a joke about stoned reptiles?

Kalany: Which chapter??

Faceless doesn't remember. he flips through.

Kalany: There's only 36. :)

Lorraine: Ah, the optimism of youth, only 36. :)

Kalany: Lor: I was being sarcastic. :)

Lorraine grins. :)

Faceless can't find it. grrr.

Lorraine paraphrases 3 laws and tries to recall the other two. Are they the foundation of physics or only a tile in a mosaic?

MacDuff: happy trails

Kalany: Nini, Duffie

Lorraine: Goodnight. :)

Faceless finds a sprawling giraffe on page 212.

Kalany finds one too.

Lorraine: Does it have anything on theta and chi?

Vampire cackles quietly(well, not that quietly) to himself :)

Kalany: Facey -- e-mail me your address, and I'll send you enough money to cover the cost of sending it to me. :)

Faceless: You already have one! :)

Lorraine: hi5's Kalany.:)

Kalany: Oh yeah... <-- forgot what we were discussing, looked in log, forgot that part...

Lorraine waves and toddles off to read Wolf Speaker. Nice seeing you all again.

Kalany waves to Lorraine!

Lorraine: Thank you Faceless. :)

Faceless: Bye lorraine. :)

Faceless: No problem. :)

Lorraine waves and vanishes into the ether.

Faceless finds the stoned crocodile!

Faceless: pg 219!

Kalany: Oh, where??

Faceless: if you have that, then i'll believe that your edition is as good as this one. :)

Kalany grins.

Kalany: The croc with stones in it?

Faceless: It doesn't say stoned croc?

Kalany: No, a croc full of stones.

Faceless: Oh, how blasphamous. ;)

Kalany smiles.

Faceless: Well, you at least have the picture on 268, then?

Kalany: Does your version have the canoeing hippo?

Faceless: where? :)

Kalany: One page over from the croc

Faceless laughs. yup. :)

Kalany grins.

Faceless: are you taking physics or do you have your own copy?

Kalany has her own copy... I don't take physics for two years. :(

Kalany adds get

Kalany can hardly wait... but then, I can hardly wait for most of my classes.

Vampire: Kalany, yer weird :)

Kalany: Why'm I weird??

Kalany can hardly --wait-- for calculus and physics... And I think Government should be -fun-!!

Faceless: Kalany: don't listen to him. He's named _vampire_ of all things, after all. ;)

Kalany smiles.

Kalany isn't going to change her opinion because he thinks it's weird... so do all my classmates and teachers. :)

Vampire eyes faceless, and shuts up.

Faceless: Kalany: anyhoo, i don't think you're weird. I'm the same way about most things.

Kalany grins. Someone who understands me! :)

Faceless: I hope you get involved in space, Kalany. after you get over the shock and initial difficulty of navigating, I think you'll really like it.

Kalany: I think so too! :)

Kalany: Is it true that one can visit Old Cyberion City?

Faceless: Yup.

Kalany has wanted to do that for so long...

Faceless: there's a lot out there. CCI is just one thing.

Faceless: Are you going to be on tomorrow?

Kalany: Probably not, unfortunately. For why?

Faceless: Well, whenever you're on next, we can go. I'm in the Terran system. It's a pretty short trip. why not? :)

Kalany: That would be -so- super!

Kalany: I warn you, tho... I'm likely to ask you questions about everything you do. :)

Faceless: okay. sounds like fun.

Kalany hugs you. You're great, Facey. :)

Faceless laughs. :)

Kalany: ?

Faceless: I get told that rarely. :)

Kalany: Oh. :)

Faceless: Anyhoo, I'm gunna set myself up to dock with CCII tomorrow and then we'll go whenever you're ready, m'kay?

Kalany: Okie. :)

Random: Salut, tout le monde

Faceless: M'kay. night all. See ya' later, Kalany. :)

Kalany: Nini, and Zen Hugs.