Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication
Q: What is third hand smoke? How can it efffect us?
Krishna: People can carry hazardous compounds from cigarette smoke that cling to their bodies and clothes and then release those compounds into non-smoking environments—exposing people nearby to cigarettes' adverse effects.
Third-hand smoke has been described as the residual contamination from cigarette smoking that adheres to walls and other surfaces in places where smoking has previously occurred. This third-hand smoke can travel in large quantities into indoor, non-smoking environments by way of humans. The research suggests that even if someone is in a room where no one has smoked, that person could still be exposed to many of the hazardous chemical compounds that make up cigarette smoke, depending on who else had entered the room or previously visited it. The results were published March 4 in Science Advances.
People are substantial carriers of third-hand smoke contaminants to other environments. So, the idea that someone is protected from the potential health effects of cigarette smoke because they're not directly exposed to second-hand smoke is not the case.
Third-hand smoke was long considered stationary. Now, a new study shows people can carry it with them and transport it to other locations.
"Despite regulations preventing people from smoking indoors, near entryways, and near air intakes, hazardous chemicals from cigarette smoke are still making their way indoors.
The amount of these hazardous and reactive gases wasn't trivial. The gas emissions were equal to that of being exposed to 1-10 cigarettes of secondhand smoke in a one-hour period. These emissions and air concentrations peaked upon audience arrival of people inside a room and decreased over time.
The researchers also found a predominance of nitrogen-containing compounds from cigarettes, which would have migrated from people to other indoor surfaces.
"In particular, tehy noticed that nicotine was the most prominent compound by far.
The researchers said these results on human transport of third-hand smoke now help to explain why previous studies had found notable quantities of nicotine on surfaces in numerous non-smoking environments.
Q: How can we get all three phases of water at one point?
Krishna:This is the answer given by Edward Rayne, Physics Undergraduate Student, Cambridge UK
Water exists in three distinct phases at something called the triple point. Zero degrees celsius is defined by the triple point of water which is 273.16K at 611.2 Pa.
At this temperature water is in the process of changing from a solid state into the liquid phase or visa versa. Molecules in the liquid phase can loose a bit of energy and solidify whilst solid water (ice) can gain some energy and melt. This can be seen in melting ice where the solid ice exists for some time while the exposed surface melts.
Molecules in a liquid don't all have the same energy. The energies of the molecules can vary from a finite minimum, which would mark the transition back to a solid phases, up to an infinite energy (although the probability of this occuring is infinitely small). The average energy of the molecules gives us the temperature of the liquid. Statistical thermodynamics can map out the energy distribution of the water molecules. At a certain energy molecules will have enough energy to evaporate, even if the water temperature is 0 degrees C.
Because of these two effects it is possible for the water to exist as solid, liquid and gas at the same time.
Source: How can water co-exist at three phases (solid, liquid and gas)?
Q: Is everything other than science an illusion?
Krishna : Yes, undoubtedly.
Scientific principles that govern this universe are the only reality.
The study with which we try to understand this universe can sometimes go wrong because of the limitations of the human mind. This ’s what ‘s used by several people to criticize science. But that is not the fault of the ‘science’ this universe is made of
Only when what we find really tally with the universal scientific principles, ‘genuine science’ gets established.
People forget this and say science is an illusion. It is not. Human mind gets into an illusionary state when we refuse to see the scientific facts this universe runs on and treat only what we study is science.
Natural laws are scientific. Universal laws are scientific. That is the only reality. Rest all is illusion!
Q: Does science have a moral dimension?
To be frank science is a neutral study of the universe without any biases and prejudices. It exactly shows what reality of our universe is. And if that helps in human culture moral judgements?
Like DNA fingerprinting helps in finding the culprits in forensic science who cheat others?
When it comes to questions of morality and meaning, the way we go about deciding what is right and wrong, and meaningful or not, is not the same as the way we discover what is true and false or facts. Some emotions like kindness and empathy will be involved. Controlling them is highly important to arrive at a good decision. Just because a criminal cries and acts funnily, you cannot support him. Oh yes, his brain could be differently wired! You try to analyze what could make any person behave so differently from others. On the other hand you can empathize with a poor thief when he steals food. But if you are a logical thinker you will try to understand what circumstances made him stole the food and try to correct them. Critical and scientific thinking helps here.
Anyone who knows how a nervous system works during pain processing can do no physical harm to any living being. And anyone who knows how the brain really works at the emotional level will never try to harass another living being. Any person who has seen how the scientific rules are followed universally in a given set of conditions, and understood its beauty can never think in local terms and can never come under the influence of artificially created races, castes, groups, communities or citizenships. He sees all the living beings as his own images - following universal rules of life and as citizens of this universe.
So far science has described how various social animals work in their groups, using various mechanisms to interact collectively. Bees use pheromones. Humans use emotions. And morality is just a word for emotional responses for how people do or do not behave according to 'rules' of the group they identify with. And science described it in spite of centuries of claims of mystical magical forces that made people behave as they do.
Unlike what several people think, science deals with moral ( derived from reasoning related to...empirical evidence) issues too and can be a good guide to life's journey through the checkerboard of blacks and whites!
Q: Psychologically, how does an artistic mind differ from a scientific one in day-to-day decision making and general behavior?
First read these articles to understand what they are really by clicking on the links.
However, there are some differences in artistic and scientific way of doing things.
Artistic creativity is fundamentally different from scientific creativity. Artist's depend mostly on "their thoughts, ideas, beliefs and personal views" for their work whereas scientists' base their work on natural laws and facts and how to fit their informed ideas into these laws to creatively invent or discover something. The imagination of a scientist is based on reality. A scientist has to get his imagination right to succeed where as the artist need not do it right to move forward. In fact, the inadequacies of artists' imagination are what moves the art world forward! They are not the same. At the basic level some overlapping occurs but as you go deep into the subjects, the differences become very clear. I will give an example here. When artists, writers and poets look at the moon they see it as a silver ball in the sky and describe it or paint it in this manner. I even read some stories where the crescent moon was described as a jewel in the hair of a God! This thinking reflects in their creativity ( metaphor and fiction). Now scientists think in terms of a rocky, dusty satellite that moves in space around the earth trapped in its gravity field when they think about the moon and they use their creativity to take the help of the gravity of the moon to accelerate space ships or change their course to send them to other planets to save fuel and time - the mechanism is called "gravity assist " ( fact). Artists and poets even blamed scientists for disrupting their romantic ideas about moon by landing on it! Of course in some areas of science where there is inadequacy in terms of understanding and equipment to study things - like for example Astro-Physics and Theoretical Physics - some scientists might use metaphor and wild imaginations like artists do. But this is not the norm. If you take such examples and say all scientists do things similar to artists that becomes 'fallacy of composition'. In life sciences, for instance, if you want to know about shapes or structure of microbes, just take a microscope and see the fact with your own eyes or test a protein or enzyme in a test tube or in a petri-dish or a flask to know its function in reality! There is no use of metaphors here!
When artists stop after wondering about something based on their beliefs and imagining things, scientists actually go ahead and investigate and verify whether what they have imagined based on the information available at the time is correct or not. Unlike in art the creative act in science generally results in finding a good and 'realistic' solution to a problem.
There are 25 plus differences listed by me: Differences between Art and Science
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Q: Can Indian scientists come up with a cure for the Coronavirus?
You don’t know how ‘co-operative’ the world scientific community became to fight this virus. Scientists all over the world are sharing information, every bit of it, helping others out in order to get a vaccine developed as soon as possible.
For most viral infections, treatments can only help with symptoms while you wait for your immune system to fight off the virus. Antibiotics do not work for viral infections. There are antiviral medicines to treat some viral infections. Vaccines can help prevent you from getting many viral diseases.
So don’t use the word ‘cure’. We are not there yet.
Q; What is climate realism?
This had been discussed in this blog : Climate realism: What does it mean? - Making Science Public
Q: Why does the weather stall?
Krishna: Why does the weather stall? New theories explain enigmatic ‘blocks’ in the jet stream.
Few weather phenomena are as widely experienced—but poorly understood—as an atmospheric block. When a block arises, typically at the western edge of a continent, the jet stream splits, trapping a blob of seemingly static air thousands of kilometers across. Such blocks can last for weeks, and drive heat waves, drought, and winter cold snaps. At the same time, the persistent flows around the edges of a block can route storm after storm to the same spot. A block “has very different impacts in different seasons.
Several new theories are offering answers. A leading idea links blocking to the behavior at high latitudes of the Coriolis force, an effect of Earth’s rotation that can cause the jet stream to meander and contort. The theory, developed by Harvard University atmospheric scientist Lei Wang, is unlikely to be the full picture, but it has a sobering implication. As the world warms, the jet stream is likely to move to higher latitudes, which could lead to even more blocking events.
Scientists did have a standard explanation for what sustains blocks. Published in 1983, the idea stems from a close study of a single block in 1976 that led to drought in Europe. Once the block was established, the split jet stream seemed to shear later weather systems apart. The energy of these atmospheric eddies then fed into the slowly rotating trapped airmass, creating a feedback loop that reinforced and sustained the block.
Q: Even after scientists like Niels Bohr, who quoted Vedas to be his inspiration, why are Indians so ready to disassociate it with science?
Modern science is another ball game altogether. If anything doesn’t stick to modern scientific method, it is not considered as science now. What ‘s said in vedas is knowledge reflecting the ancient times alright, but it is not science strictly speaking according to modern science.
If you try to associate ancient thinking of an era when science as a subject hadn’t been born, to modern science, that becomes pseudo-science, not genuine science.
Treat vedas as ancient knowledge and thinking reflecting their time.
Treat science as modern knowledge based on data and evidence.
That is exactly what they are.
Just because an earlier century scientist ‘got his inspiration from vedas’, doesn’t make them genuine science. Get that right.