The Steampunk Satyricon

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

WAY Faster Than A Speeding Bullet

There is an excellent article on the Washington Post's web site on Danish astronomer, Ole Romer, who devised a method of estimating the speed of light in 1676. The number he and his contemporaries got was about 30 percent slower than later findings, but getting even that close was fairly amazing given the equipment Romer and his colleagues had at the time. According to the article, even when it was recalculated later, "They didn't change Romer's method of calculation; they just had better data to feed into it." (The currently accepted value is 186,410 miles per second.)

Romer: Obsessed with speed.

As interesting as the article was, I was particularly fascinated by the comment left by a reader who seemed to be lamenting the fact that the 700-word article didn't present a more thorough explanation of the calculations involved. I posted what I considered a fairly reasoned response. Of course, what I really wanted to say was, "Are you fuckin' kidding me?!? Pedantic, know-it-all assholes like you are *killing* interest in science! When will you people learn!!!" But that would have been so rude.

Also this week, new developments at the Large Hadron Collider as reported in The Guardian.

And also... FRACTALS!

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