Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

Entry for November 20, 2006

Today I want to take about the weirdness that is out there if you just look for it.
First the  VORTEX.   When you say vortex the first thing that comes to mind is the comman bathtub whirlpool, and rightly so.  Thats a classical example of a what eggheads call a “free vortex”.   A free vortex is shocking complicated for something you see in your sink everytime you pull the plug.   See, (1) gravity pulls the water down. (2) The drain gives the vortex a exit size (3) the property of the water (called viscosity) works with gravity to decide what the angle of the cone that the whirlpool makes in the water is (4)  the viscosity and the gravity also decide how fast the water turns  (5) weather you are in the Northern or Southern half of the planet decides if the water spins to the left or the right. (NO I AM NOT MAKING THAT UP.  Its called the coriolis effect click  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coriolis_effect if you don’t believe me.
  So as weird as that as is it gets much wierder.   Weirder here is a “forced vortex”.  In a forced vortex all the above forces are in effect, PLUS a reverse mirror image that goes down the center.  A Tornado is a  forced vortex.  It’s the addition of ENERGY that makes the forced vortex so differnt.  In the case of a tornado its the temperature difference between the hot ground air and the cold air over head.  Hot air wants to go up (Thats why flame and and smoke go up instead of creaping along the ground.)  So basically the energy forms this… well hang on it gets weirder:  It makes a donut.  Air goes up through the “hole”, turns and goes down again.  It pulls everything to the center and sucks it up.    But inside the suction part you know what you have .  NOTHING.  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!.  The so called eye-of-the-storm. 
 But wait it gets wierder still.  So if something is doing that what would that look like…
-TUBESOX-
Think of a tube sock.  Now this is a special tube sock.  It is kitted with a spiral patern of red and white, like a candy cane.  Now, cut of the toe of the sock.  Ok?  Now put the sock on your friends wrist.  Fold one end of the sock over it self, like rolling up a flannel shirt, until it gets to the middle.  Now do the same thing to the other side.  Sew them together.
-VOILA, a forced vortex-
  See the spiral goes left to right down the out side, gets turned over at the bottem and now goes right to left up the center.  So is that the weird part?  NO!  The weird part is that the process is reversable…
Imagine a T-shaped tube.  Air goes in at the center.  And if it is spun right, and one leg of the T sort of cones out like a tornado,  Hot air pours out the cone and cold out the short leg.  Its called a Vortex Tube ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Tube_de_Ranque-Hilsch.png )
It has no moving parts and creates hot and cold, but is that the weird part! NO
-THE REALLY WEIRD PART-
Ok, to be frank,  scientist don’t have the foggiest  IDEA how the thing works, but they do know WHY it works, and the reason is so unbelievable odd that I think if I told it to a grade schooler they would laugh at me…
-Hand Rubbing-
When you rub your hands together they get warmer, right?  Well thats because when molecules moving around is heat.   The reason that ice is ice and not just really cold water is that the molucules move slower and slower.    The reason that a car runs is because the burning gas makes the air in the engine hot, which makes the molecules bounce around ALOT.  and they push things around in engine and move the car.   So if something is say 70 degrees, that means that all the molecules are bouncing around like its 70 degrees.
-nope-
Half the molecules are hotter and half are cooler making an average temp of 70 degrees.  Logically, if we have 200 molecules then 1 out of every 100 molecule is about 7000 degrees (70 X 100) and another 1 out of 100 is .7 degrees.   When you spin a bunch of air around REALLY REALLY fast the hot molecules sling to the edges and the cold ones stick toward the middle.  The middle pumps one way, the outside the other and the pipe blows hot and cold air out of the 2 ends respectively.
-DEMONS- (really)
   Ready for the final weirdness?  This was discoverd in the 1890’s and completely forgoten about, until a scientist working on something else made a coment about demons.   The year was 1945.  The scientist was reading about the temperature theory above.  He said that it was very silly, because it gives you something for nothing.  Recalling a chinese myth that said if you could keep a demon busy that he would do your bidding, the scientist (Who’s name was Maxwell.)  said if you could just tell a demon to open a valve to a pressure flask only when a fast (and therefore HOT molecule) was coming, but keep it closed when a cold one hit, you would end the averaging out that creates normal temperature, and have all the free heat you could ever need.  He wrote this into a paper and it was called “Maxwell’s demon”.   Some one read the paper remembered thet Vortex Tubes.  With modern math applied to them they worked better and become a comercial success, still used to this day to create blast of cold air in machines and machine shops world over. 
  But as I said, scientists, still don’t really understand HOW this works.  So they say, its powered by Maxwell’s demon.
My head hurts…

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November 20, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. AAAAAAHHHHHHH! My brain’s doing the macarena! There’s a vortex in my head. It’s sucking my brains through, my head is imploding. Thanks a lot!

    Comment by CC | November 20, 2006 | Reply

  2. Yeah, I agree with CC. And you honestly. My head hurts. That’s really weird. I am continually surprised at how much we don’t know.

    Comment by Becky | November 20, 2006 | Reply


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