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HowTo: How to Explain Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation to a Precocious 10-year-old?


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How about this (1.5 guesses as to where it came from): -

 

Here's a simplified explanation of Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) fit for a bright 10-year-old:

Imagine the Universe's Super-Giant Birthday

  • The universe had a birthday a LONG time ago – way before you, me, or even dinosaurs! We call this the Big Bang.
  • Just imagine the hottest explosion ever! It made the universe grow really, really fast, like a balloon blowing up.
  • It was SO hot in the early universe that it glowed like a giant fireball.

The Ever-Cooling Glow

  • As the universe kept blowing up bigger and bigger, it started to cool down. Think of a cup of hot chocolate that gets a little colder over time.
  • That fireball glow didn't disappear – instead, it cooled down so much we can't see it anymore with our eyes. But it's still all around us!

Microwave Flashlight from the Past

  • Scientists have special telescopes, kind of like super-powerful microwave ovens, that can "see" that old glow.
  • This old glow is known as Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. It's like a flashlight shining from the very beginning of the universe.

Why It Matters

  • The CMB is like a baby photo of the universe. It tells scientists:
    • How the universe was born
    • How old it is
    • How it's been changing all this time

Want to get extra fancy?

  • Sometimes the CMB is called the "echo of the Big Bang" because it's leftover energy from that giant explosion!
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3 minutes ago, Crossy said:

How about this (1.5 guesses as to where it came from): -

 

Here's a simplified explanation of Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) fit for a bright 10-year-old:

Imagine the Universe's Super-Giant Birthday

  • The universe had a birthday a LONG time ago – way before you, me, or even dinosaurs! We call this the Big Bang.
  • Just imagine the hottest explosion ever! It made the universe grow really, really fast, like a balloon blowing up.
  • It was SO hot in the early universe that it glowed like a giant fireball.

The Ever-Cooling Glow

  • As the universe kept blowing up bigger and bigger, it started to cool down. Think of a cup of hot chocolate that gets a little colder over time.
  • That fireball glow didn't disappear – instead, it cooled down so much we can't see it anymore with our eyes. But it's still all around us!

Microwave Flashlight from the Past

  • Scientists have special telescopes, kind of like super-powerful microwave ovens, that can "see" that old glow.
  • This old glow is known as Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. It's like a flashlight shining from the very beginning of the universe.

Why It Matters

  • The CMB is like a baby photo of the universe. It tells scientists:
    • How the universe was born
    • How old it is
    • How it's been changing all this time

Want to get extra fancy?

  • Sometimes the CMB is called the "echo of the Big Bang" because it's leftover energy from that giant explosion!

 

Excuse me, Mr. C., however, I think this suggestion of yours is just far too dumbed down for my super-smart 10-year-old Chinese students.

 

How long has it been since you taught a precocious 10-year-old?

 

Over a generation ago, at least, I would imagine.

 

And, since that time, the Flynn Effect, which I am sure you know something about, has proven true, once more.

 

Children, especially in China, are getting smarter, by the generation.

 

So, Mr. C., maybe there truly is hope for the future, for the future of these smart children, and I hope so.

 

Every day, I am amazed at just how smart some of these children truly are.

And, as I say, their understanding of the world, and their ability to do insightful analysis of their reality, is FAR and Away, beyond what I recall was typical of most children when I was growing up.

 

But, of course, there were some kids, like Chomsky, back in the day, who were smarter than the kids, these days.

 

Still, Nim Chimpsky was the exception.

And, he remains the exception at age 95.

 

Chinese students are amazing.

They can stay focused in class for 90 minutes, and think nothing of it.

 

The Asians are taking over the Natural Sciences at American universities.

While, the Americans are escaping into the Social Sciences because they are easy.

 

Don't take my word for it.

 

IF a Chinese eight-year-old can stay completely focused in class, for 60 minutes, then you know that it will be the Asians who will do the very hard work in American universities.

 

There are no better students than the young Chinese students.

 

Wait an see.....

 

I am just paraphrasing Richard Smalley, of Rice University.

 

Don't blame me, Mr. C.

 

Gamma....

 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, GammaGlobulin said:

Excuse me, Mr. C., however, I think this suggestion of yours is just far too dumbed down for my super-smart 10-year-old Chinese students.

 

But Mr GG.

 

It's NOT my suggestion.

 

As I implied in my response, it came from your favourite AI system.

 

In reality, IF these students are that advanced, they should be ok with the full "grown-up" version shouldn't they?

 

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39 minutes ago, Crossy said:

 

But Mr GG.

 

It's NOT my suggestion.

 

As I implied in my response, it came from your favourite AI system.

 

In reality, IF these students are that advanced, they should be ok with the full "grown-up" version shouldn't they?

 

 

aa. To be completely candid, Mr. C., I have read very many of your comments here on TV, and I can honestly say, truthfully, that you have never written a word which I did not agree with.

 

bb. In addition, it was my error that I did not realize that the opinions that you quoted, which I do not agree with, were actually spouted by my favorite AI, Bard/Gemini, a fool if there ever was one.

 

cc.  Fortunately for TV, we have great mods like you, still.  

 

dd.  My only worry is that there may come a day when you will decide to retire, and perhaps, even a day when my favorite AI will take your place.  And, in this case, it will truly be a sorry day for this forum.

 

ee.  Concerning super-smart students from China, they often astound me with their brilliance, as well as their dedication to hard work and study, from dawn to 10:00PM, every day, including weekends.  But, such dedication of Chinese/Taiwanese students to study is not new to me.

 

ff.  Before I end this comment, I would wish to let you know that....

 

When I am about to finish a solid-90-minute class with a very young Chinese student, the ONLY question they ask is:

 

 

 

Take care, Mr. C.

 

You are the BEST!

 

 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, GammaGlobulin said:

ee.  Concerning super-smart students from China, they often astound me with their brilliance, as well as their dedication to hard work and study, from dawn to 10:00PM, every day, including weekends.  But, such dedication of Chinese/Taiwanese students to study is not new to me.

 

You do realise they too are AI :whistling:

 

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1 hour ago, GammaGlobulin said:

 

Excuse me, Mr. C., however, I think this suggestion of yours is just far too dumbed down for my super-smart 10-year-old Chinese students.

 

How long has it been since you taught a precocious 10-year-old?

 

Over a generation ago, at least, I would imagine.

 

And, since that time, the Flynn Effect, which I am sure you know something about, has proven true, once more.

 

Children, especially in China, are getting smarter, by the generation.

 

So, Mr. C., maybe there truly is hope for the future, for the future of these smart children, and I hope so.

 

Every day, I am amazed at just how smart some of these children truly are.

And, as I say, their understanding of the world, and their ability to do insightful analysis of their reality, is FAR and Away, beyond what I recall was typical of most children when I was growing up.

 

But, of course, there were some kids, like Chomsky, back in the day, who were smarter than the kids, these days.

 

Still, Nim Chimpsky was the exception.

And, he remains the exception at age 95.

 

Chinese students are amazing.

They can stay focused in class for 90 minutes, and think nothing of it.

 

The Asians are taking over the Natural Sciences at American universities.

While, the Americans are escaping into the Social Sciences because they are easy.

 

Don't take my word for it.

 

IF a Chinese eight-year-old can stay completely focused in class, for 60 minutes, then you know that it will be the Asians who will do the very hard work in American universities.

 

There are no better students than the young Chinese students.

 

Wait an see.....

 

I am just paraphrasing Richard Smalley, of Rice University.

 

Don't blame me, Mr. C.

 

Gamma....

 

 

 

Richard was a brilliant physical chemist, RIP. His first lab was under the chemistry lecture hall  where he housed his mass spectrometer. Used to take our research samples down and shoot them in the mass spec to figure out what we had made. Last years there , his carbon research really took off. We called it the soot factory. Fun times.

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3 hours ago, GammaGlobulin said:

NOT noise, Sir!

You do know how the background radiation was first discovered right? 

Or do you need a 10 year old to explain it to you?  

Hint, Penzias , Willson ,  Background Noise 

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25 minutes ago, degrub said:

Richard was a brilliant physical chemist, RIP. His first lab was under the chemistry lecture hall  where he housed his mass spectrometer. Used to take our research samples down and shoot them in the mass spec to figure out what we had made. Last years there , his carbon research really took off. We called it the soot factory. Fun times.

 

Years ago, while Smalley was still alive, and still at Rice, I read, on his uni website, his tribute to his mother, who he credited for his path and dedication to the Natural Sciences.  This was a long and loving document which, I guess, has since been taken down from the Rice website, after Smalley's death.

 

In the past, I watched many of Smalley's lectures and talks on YT.  Some of these seem to have, unfortunately, gone missing.

 

Smalley was a very caring and dedicated scientist.

 

Obviously, he touched very many around the world.

 

He even, deeply, touched me.

 

(Smalley kept on working, even after being diagnosed with the Big C.  He is one who TRULY deserved the Nobel, and for very many reasons.)

 

 

 

 

Edited by GammaGlobulin
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16 minutes ago, sirineou said:

You do know how the background radiation was first discovered right? 

Or do you need a 10 year old to explain it to you?  

Hint, Penzias , Willson ,  Background Noise 

 

Maybe you need a filter?

You seem to be exhibiting, at the moment, a very HIGH...

Noise to Signal Ratio....

Just my humble opinion....

 

 

 

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35 minutes ago, sirineou said:

You do know how the background radiation was first discovered right? 

Or do you need a 10 year old to explain it to you?  

Hint, Penzias , Willson ,  Background Noise 

 

My deepest apologies to you, Sir.

 

I will do my utmost to improve my comments in the future.

 

Please, rest assured!

 

 

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2 minutes ago, GammaGlobulin said:

 

My deepest apologies to you, Sir.

 

I will do my utmost to improve my comments in the future.

 

Please, rest assured!

 

 

You do that!!:mad:

Don't make have to come and found you:tongue:

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9 minutes ago, sirineou said:

You do that!!:mad:

Don't make have to come and found you:tongue:

 

No worries, Sir.

 

I have made up my mind to improve my comments, in a very substantive way, beginning this New Chinese Lunar New Year.

 

I will do my best.

Please rest assured!

 

You will soon see.

 

(I give you my word!)

 

 

Edited by GammaGlobulin
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1 minute ago, GammaGlobulin said:

 

No worries, Sir.

 

I have made up my mind to improve my comments, in a very substantive way, beginning this New Chinese Lunar New Year.

 

I will do my best.

Please rest assured!

 

You will soon see.

 

 

Please stop calling me sir 

I feel like I got pulled over by the cops in the US :laugh:

 

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GG''  Absolute nutcase! 🙄

6 minutes ago, GammaGlobulin said:

I have made up my mind to improve my comments, in a very substantive way, beginning this New Chinese Lunar New Year.

Here's a tip.....Just go away!

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14 minutes ago, sirineou said:

Please stop calling me sir 

I feel like I got pulled over by the cops in the US :laugh:

 

 

In the future, I will not call you, Sir....OK?

 

Instead, I will call you:

 

Cyrano de Bergerac...because.....

Your profile name has ALWAYS made me think of Cyrano.

 

Would you mind my doing so?

Or, do you have some other name you might prefer?

Or, what about a different title or honorific?

undefined

 

But, for sure, I will never, again, call you, "Sir", Sir.

 

Rest assured!

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, GammaGlobulin said:

What do you think might be the best way to explain the concept of INFINITY to a 10-year-old?

 

And, when the 10-year-old asks about the Universe, and the beginnings of the Universe, as well as the end of our Universe, then how do you explain this image:

 

 

image.thumb.png.60100cbac1cc69ae88af76d000c80ba6.png

 

This concept of the beginnings of the Cosmos, and the final end of our Universe, is not so easy for a young person to grasp.

 

Therefore, what might be the best way to present these concepts of infinity and the end of the universe...to....a....

10-year-old?

 

====

 

For example, when a 10-year-old looks at this image, in fact, he/she is actually looking at the very edge of our universe.

And so, how does a good teacher explain this image in terms which can be understood by a young person?

 

From my experience, kids just think that this image is something....IMAGINARY....even though this is a real image.

 

Any help with this?

 

Thank you.

 

Gamma

 

 

 

 

 

Ah GrandmaGargantuan, the boundless expanse of infinity, a concept as vast and immeasurable as the cosmos itself! Imagine, if you will, a never-ending line stretching out into the great unknown, with no beginning, no end, just an eternal continuum of possibilities. Now, picture a 10-year-old mind, curious and inquisitive, eager to grasp the unfathomable mysteries of the universe.

 

So, how do we begin to unravel the enigma of infinity for such a young mind? Perhaps we could start with something familiar, like counting. You know how when you count numbers, you can keep going and going without ever reaching the end? Well, that's a bit like infinity. It's like a super-duper, mega-awesome version of counting where there's no final number to stop at. It just keeps on going forever and ever, like a cosmic never-ending story.

 

Now, when it comes to explaining the universe and its beginnings and endings, things get a tad more complicated. Imagine the universe as a gigantic cosmic playground, filled with stars, planets, black holes, and all sorts of other celestial wonders. But here's the kicker: the universe isn't just a playground, it's also a timeline, with a beginning, a middle, and, well, maybe an end.

 

You see, scientists believe that the universe was born in a big bang billions of years ago, like a cosmic fireworks show on the grandest scale imaginable. And ever since then, it's been expanding and evolving, like a giant cosmic pancake slowly puffing up in the oven of space-time.

 

But here's where things get really mind-bending. Just like infinity, the universe might not have an end. It could keep expanding forever and ever, or it might collapse back in on itself like a cosmic accordion. We're talking about some serious cosmic uncertainty here, folks!

 

So, when a 10-year-old looks at that image of the universe, what they're really seeing is a glimpse of the great cosmic tapestry, woven together with threads of infinite possibility. Sure, it might seem imaginary at first, like something out of a science fiction movie, but trust me, kiddo, this stuff is as real as it gets.

 

In the end, the key to understanding infinity and the universe is to embrace the wonder and awe of it all. It's okay if it seems a bit confusing or overwhelming at first. After all, the universe is a big, mysterious place, and there's always more to learn and discover. So keep asking questions, keep exploring, and who knows? Maybe one day you'll unlock the secrets of infinity and beyond!

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2 hours ago, GammaGlobulin said:

 

Years ago, while Smalley was still alive, and still at Rice, I read, on his uni website, his tribute to his mother, who he credited for his path and dedication to the Natural Sciences.  This was a long and loving document which, I guess, has since been taken down from the Rice website, after Smalley's death.

 

In the past, I watched many of Smalley's lectures and talks on YT.  Some of these seem to have, unfortunately, gone missing.

 

Smalley was a very caring and dedicated scientist.

 

Obviously, he touched very many around the world.

 

He even, deeply, touched me.

 

(Smalley kept on working, even after being diagnosed with the Big C.  He is one who TRULY deserved the Nobel, and for very many reasons.)

 

 

 

 

 

Smalley's impact on the world of science and the lives of those he touched indeed reverberates through time like ripples in a cosmic pond. His dedication to the pursuit of knowledge, coupled with his profound care and compassion, left an indelible mark on the scientific community and beyond.

 

 

 

It's touching to hear about his tribute to his mother, a testament to the profound influence that familial love and support can have on one's journey through life. Though the specific document may no longer be readily accessible, the spirit of gratitude and reverence that Smalley expressed for his mother undoubtedly lives on in the hearts of those who were touched by his words and deeds.

 

 

 

As for his lectures and talks, it's regrettable that some have seemingly vanished into the digital ether. Yet, the essence of his message, his passion for science, and his unwavering dedication to his craft continue to inspire and resonate with aspiring scientists and curious minds around the globe.

 

 

 

Smalley's resilience in the face of adversity, continuing his work even after being diagnosed with a formidable foe, serves as a shining example of courage and determination. Indeed, his contributions to science, his impact on countless lives, and his enduring legacy are a testament to the profound difference that one person can make in the world.

 

 

 

While the Nobel Prize may have eluded him, Smalley's true Nobel was the legacy of inspiration and discovery that he left behind—an invaluable gift to humanity that transcends accolades and recognition.

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6 minutes ago, ThaiFelix said:

How does a 10 year old explain an imaginary friend to a stubborn old know it all?                           :stoner:

 

Looks to me as if you are pretending to be Mr. Mellow Yellow.

 

Unfortunately, your brains are not sharp enough to put a fine enough point on your barb.

 

Whatever you say, just seems to fall short.

 

Can't you do better?

 

Come on, Felix.

Lemmon could do so far better!

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, GammaGlobulin said:

 

Looks to me as if you are pretending to be Mr. Mellow Yellow.

 

Unfortunately, your brains are not sharp enough to put a fine enough point on your barb.

 

Whatever you say, just seems to fall short.

 

Can't you do better?

 

Come on, Felix.

Lemmon could do so far better!

 

 

 

Sorry I never realised such a simple concept would go right over your head.  Seems everybody is right, you need either banning or help, Im for the latter.

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3 hours ago, ThaiFelix said:

Sorry I never realised such a simple concept would go right over your head.  Seems everybody is right, you need either banning or help, Im for the latter.

I am for the former as it is past help IMO!

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On 2/29/2024 at 2:48 PM, ABCDBKK said:

 

Ah GrandmaGargantuan, the boundless expanse of infinity, a concept as vast and immeasurable as the cosmos itself! Imagine, if you will, a never-ending line stretching out into the great unknown, with no beginning, no end, just an eternal continuum of possibilities. Now, picture a 10-year-old mind, curious and inquisitive, eager to grasp the unfathomable mysteries of the universe.

 

So, how do we begin to unravel the enigma of infinity for such a young mind? Perhaps we could start with something familiar, like counting. You know how when you count numbers, you can keep going and going without ever reaching the end? Well, that's a bit like infinity. It's like a super-duper, mega-awesome version of counting where there's no final number to stop at. It just keeps on going forever and ever, like a cosmic never-ending story.

 

Now, when it comes to explaining the universe and its beginnings and endings, things get a tad more complicated. Imagine the universe as a gigantic cosmic playground, filled with stars, planets, black holes, and all sorts of other celestial wonders. But here's the kicker: the universe isn't just a playground, it's also a timeline, with a beginning, a middle, and, well, maybe an end.

 

You see, scientists believe that the universe was born in a big bang billions of years ago, like a cosmic fireworks show on the grandest scale imaginable. And ever since then, it's been expanding and evolving, like a giant cosmic pancake slowly puffing up in the oven of space-time.

 

But here's where things get really mind-bending. Just like infinity, the universe might not have an end. It could keep expanding forever and ever, or it might collapse back in on itself like a cosmic accordion. We're talking about some serious cosmic uncertainty here, folks!

 

So, when a 10-year-old looks at that image of the universe, what they're really seeing is a glimpse of the great cosmic tapestry, woven together with threads of infinite possibility. Sure, it might seem imaginary at first, like something out of a science fiction movie, but trust me, kiddo, this stuff is as real as it gets.

 

In the end, the key to understanding infinity and the universe is to embrace the wonder and awe of it all. It's okay if it seems a bit confusing or overwhelming at first. After all, the universe is a big, mysterious place, and there's always more to learn and discover. So keep asking questions, keep exploring, and who knows? Maybe one day you'll unlock the secrets of infinity and beyond!

The analogy of the universe as a cosmic accordion, expanding and contracting like the bellows of a musical instrument, adds a delightful touch of imagination to the vastness of space-time. And I am equally amazed how much the said instrument is often associated with space.

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