August 3, 2006

Long-running experiments, or, sub-optimal thesis topics

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at August 3, 2006 4:43 PM

I'm still catching up on my reading—this is from a Boing Boing post yesterday, so you may have seen it already. Anyway: three very long-running physics experiments. I had read about the pitch drop experiment before, but the others were new to me.

Unmentioned is the fact that the flood levels of the River Nile have been measured for thousands of years, providing the lowest-frequency data on 1/f noise in existence.

Tags: Physics, Science

Is it at all possible that those measurements of the Nile could be analyzed for clues as to the existence (still doubted in the minds of some) and severity of global warming?

Posted by: JSpur | August 4, 2006 5:28 AM

cool clock

Posted by: shellock | August 4, 2006 11:37 AM

JSpur: I think the data are pretty noisy, but I've only seen the Fourier transform. I'd be curious to know if it reflects any of the observed climate change from the last 150 years.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | August 4, 2006 1:44 PM

That was a cool link.

I've heard of the pitch one before. If I recall correctly, it was mentioned in a talk Ray Goldstein gave about his work on modeling "platonic" stalagtites. (As opposed to the man-eating Stalag Mites with which Tas scared Tika briefly.)

Of course, I am especially fond of Douglas Adams' take that we're an extremely long-running experiment.

Posted by: Mason | August 4, 2006 5:40 PM

Awesome. The dripping pitch one won an Ig Nobel prize last year (that's where I think I heard about it). The pressure variation clock is spiffy. Do they sell those things?

Posted by: Jolene | August 4, 2006 6:23 PM

And here I complain about 24hr+ continuous monitoring experiments...

Posted by: Wren | August 4, 2006 6:24 PM

Oh, I must have also seen it via Ig Nobel then, as I make a point to look at those every year.

Posted by: Mason | August 5, 2006 12:55 PM
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