Class blog for sharing and commenting on current events in biology.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mystery Tug on Spacecraft is Einstein's 'I Told You So'

Malysses Moy                                                                                                      October 15th, 2012
Core Biology H 10                                                                                  C Block Odd, Mrs. Davies

Overbye, Dennis. "Mystery Tug on Spacecraft is Einstein's 'I Told You So'" New York Times Online. 14 Oct2012. 23 Jul2012. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/24/science/mystery-tug-on-pioneer-10-and-11-probes-is-einsteins-i-told-you-so.html?_r=0>

In the early summer of year 2012, scientists found the answer to a problem that had been troubling them for decades. The travel of two space probes, dubbed Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 had gone rather awry, putting Einstein's theory of relativity into question. The travel of the probes had slowed considerably more than they should have, given Einstein's theory. It was put into question whether there was an asteroid or a comet, or if perhaps Einstein simply wasn't right, because they were slowing down more than the gravity of planets should have allowed for. The probes were slowing down at roughly 300mph per year, and although it was slight, this was more than the speed should have been decreasing. Russian physicist Slava G. Turyshev took it upon himself to discover what was causing this phenomenon, and so he did. Light, a form of heat radiation can carry momentum, almost like solid particles. If light is fired at a solid object, it will cause a recoil with collision. Just as with walking against the wind, if something has light shining in front of it while it travels, the light will push back, slowing it down. This is what happened with the space probes, proving Einstein's theories safe and sound.

Space, being so vast and silent has always been intriguing to me. It seems to stretch on endlessly, and there are new things to be discovered in every corner. Albert Einstein had the good fortune to understand more about outer space and the laws in motion that most other people, managing to further deepen the mystery, for the more we understand the more there is to learn. The fact that Einstein's theories were thought of as unsound interested me, as well as how sound they truly were after all. Society can benefit from knowing why the space stations were slowing down, so in the future they can prevent that from happening, so the stations can go further faster and revolutionize our knowledge of extraterrestrial places.

As informative as this article was, it could have stood to be slightly more relevant to the immediate situation. The analogy about the neutrinos in springtime was interesting, but unnecessary in the context of the article. It seemed to draw away from the scientific factor of the article and focus more on Einstein and the other physicists on a personal level instead. When the article read strictly factually and to the point, it was extremely informative. However, there was a bit too much of a personal spin on it. Overall, this article was a quick and easy read, and very interesting. It would have been better if it was a bit simpler and more to the point, but the writing style was fluid and I feel I've learned a lot.

7 comments:

  1. Malysses did a great job with he analysis of this article, I really felt the she was truly interested in what the article had to say. First of all Malysses was very good at getting to the point and giving us the blatant scientific facts that we want. She provided a short and concise view of the article in her mind and was able to simply break it down in a way easier for us to understand. Also Malysses was able to keep her review very formal in that she wasn’t very personal in her opinions. This could be could in that she did not show much bias, but then again bad in that there is no passion in her responses. To me though this aspect is a positive one. I was also very interested in what this article is about. When Malysses explained that what was slowing down the probes was light I had slight déjà vu. Early today I had actually watched a video on how much shadows way, so when this came up I was surprised to see the common real world problems this can cause. I was also very intrigued by her intake of Einstein and his theory of relativity. She did a great job of pointing out that they got to personal in their explanation and should have kept the review purely factual. Some things that Malysses could have improved on would be, although I said this wasn’t a bad thing, becoming more personal in her reviews. It would help if she showed a little more passion in her opinions and explanations to give it more of a inspirational kick. But besides that I thought her article review was fantastic.

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  2. Malysses Moy wrote her review on the article, “Mystery Tug on Spacecraft is Einstein’s ‘I Told You So.’” Overall, she did a nice job completing this task, and there are several things I particularly like about her paper. First off, I love that Malysses uses an analogy in her summary to help explain how light causes a recoil when colliding with a solid object. She compares walking against wind to light pushing back on an object while traveling, causing the object to move slower. I was also satisfied with how Malysses discussed her deep interest in space. From her words, one can really tell that she is genuinely intrigued by the topic, and this reflects well throughout the review. Lastly, I believe Malysses did a good job analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the article. She not only noted the aspects of the article that could have been better, but also explained why she felt this way and how they could have been improved. From this article and review, I learned a lot. Before reading either, I was unaware of the existence of Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11. It completely amazed me to learn that these probes were launched in 1972 and 1973 and are still traveling back to Earth. Both are about ten billion miles out, which totally shocks me. I also find it interesting how even though Turyshev did not discover any new physics, revisiting old, previously discovered physics proved to be quite useful. One improvement Malysses could make is to go more into detail on what exactly Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity is. She mentions that Turyshev’s results reinforced this theory, but did not really explain the theory. Some definitions for the term could be inferred from certain things she stated in scattered sections of the report, but a more clear, straightforward description of the theory would have been nice. Despite this, Malyssess’s review was a definite success.

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  3. From Luke Geiling:

    Malysses did a good job with her analysis of this article; I felt the she was interested in message of the article. I thought she did a really good job with the explanation of the article, and getting the overall point across in the first few sentences. Another thing that she did very well with the response was the style of her righting. She used a different more relaxed style, such as “his theory is safe and sound”. I felt that I could connect more to what it was she was saying because of this. I enjoyed this different righting and found it pleasant to read. Another thing that she did well in her response was connection the actions going on I space to Albert Einstein’s theory. I thought that it was very clear and to the point. One thing that I learned and found extremely interesting was how the energy source from light can cause a transformation of energy from heat to motion causing a opposite force on the probes causing them to slow down. This was a completely new and intriguing aspect of energy that I did not know, prior to reading her response. Another thing I learned was the existences of the probes. I was completely unaware of the existence of Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11. It completely new to me to learn that these probes were launched in 1972 and 1973 and are still traveling back to Earth. I thought that Malysses did a very good job on her response but one thing I would add to it is the addition of quotations, in order of the reader to further connect to the author of the article.

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  4. Malysses did a great job with he analysis of this article, I really believed the she was truly interested in what the article had to say. Malysses was good at getting to the point and giving us the blatant scientific facts that we want. She provided a short and concise view of the article in her mind and was able to simply break it down in a way easier for us to understand. Also Malysses was able to keep her review very formal in that she wasn’t very personal in her opinions. This could be that she did not show much bias, but then again bad in that there is no passion in her responses. To me though this aspect is a positive one. I was also very interested in what this article is about. When Malysses explained that what was slowing down the probes was light I had slight déjà vu. Early today I had actually watched a video on how much shadows way, so when this came up I was surprised to see the common real world problems this can cause. I was also very intrigued by her intake of Einstein and his theory of relativity. She did a great job of pointing out that they got to personal in their explanation and should have kept the review purely factual. Some things that Malysses could have improved on would be, although I said this wasn’t a bad thing, becoming more personal in her reviews. It would help if she showed a little more passion in her opinions and explanations to give it more of a inspirational kick. But besides that I thought her article review was fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Owen Balseiro 11/12/12
    Comment on Malysses report about Einstein and space Ms. Davies
    I thought this review was very good and it explained well about what the discovery was and why it was ground breaking. What I thought was really interesting was the fact that even in death Einstein`s theories are still used today and although some of them have been disproven most have been proven and even though some are doubted he has others to back him up. Another aspect that I found interesting was that light could slow down probes that we sent up into space, this was really interesting to me because I had always thought that light could not slow down objects in space.
    I thought that Malysses did a very good job with this review and I cannot find any points to critic, she opened up the report with a very interesting point and went into great detail about how it worked and how even in death Einstein can still make the difference in how we learn about space and the planets around us.

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  6. Malysses Moy’s review on the article, “Mystery Tug on Spacecraft is Einstein’s ‘I Told You So,” was very well presented. I think that she gave a very clear and defined analysis of the article that didn’t contain much additional irrelevant material that could easily confuse the reader. For the most part, she attentively kept her focus on the various main points of the article. I found that reading this report, I learned a lot. Before reading, I was completely unaware of the existence of Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11. It amazed me to learn that these probes were launched in 1972 and 1973 and are still traveling back to Earth, to this day. By reading her review, I was opened up to an entire field of scientific knowledge I hadn’t even known about. I was also impressed how she clearly separated the weaknesses and strengths of the article. Not only did she explain both sides but she discussed her own view on the article and how she would specifically improve it. I wouldn’t change much about her review; I would only make some of the details simpler at times because for the reader who might not know much about the topic it could be slightly difficult to understand. However, generally I think that Malysses’ report on the article, “Mystery Tug on Spacecraft is Einstein’s ‘I Told You So,” was very well written.

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  7. Isabelle Shinsato
    Mystery Tug on Spacecraft is
    Einstein’s ‘I told you so’

    I thought that Malysses did a great job writing this report, she went very in depth about all her points and it really helped me understand her topic and why it was so important. She was able to give descriptive details and she really showed how much this topic interests her. I think that her summary of the article was perfect, it wasn’t too long and it wasn’t too short, she really explained every aspect of this topic in a way that was easy to understand. She also really showed us why society can really benefit from this discovery.
    This article was very interesting and informative for the future of space travel. I thought that it was very interesting to learn that if light is fired at a solid object then it will recoil with a collision, causing the object to slow down and because the light was pushing back. I also thought it was interesting to learn that light was a form of radiation which can carry momentum, I never thought that light could be able to carry momentum because you never think about that when you think about light. It was very hard to find a flaw in this report because it was so well written but I think she could have explained Einstein’s theory of relativity a little better. Although, overall I thought this was an excellent report.

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