Spam (madbodger) wrote,
Spam
madbodger

  • Location:
  • Mood:
  • Music:

Math, astrophysics, and humour

Quite some time ago, I read a humourous piece about the mass of Pluto. The writer decided to collect the estimates of Pluto's mass over the years, assume that they were all, in fact, correct, and apply a curve fit to their values over time. He came up with some sort of a sine function to an irrational power. He went on to say that the sine function would pass through zero some year hence, and then become negative. And he pointed out that a negative number to an irrational power yields a complex number. And gleefully added something to the effect that "while this idea may be repulsive to some, Pluto will be repulsive to everything.". Sadly, I don't remember where I found this essay, and the usual array of search engines comes a cropper.

Musing on this somewhat abstruse bit of humour, I recalled the recent ballyhoo over the IAU no longer regarding Pluto as a planet, and started to wonder. Was this theory actually correct, and Pluto is indeed shrinking? Are they trying to soften up the blow for when Pluto either vanishes in place or, repelled by the Sun, scoots off into the eternal darkness, never to be seen again?

Tags: geekery
Subscribe

  • CRT power supply

    My fondness for vacuum tubes extends to cathode ray tubes (CRTs), which were ubiquitous for decades in television sets, as well as technical…

  • Heaterizer XL 3000 FTW!

    I decided to buy SparkFun's $10 Heaterizer XL 3000 Heat Gun to try for heat stink and desoldering duties. I'm getting more and more opportunities to…

  • Laser cutter, Part V: air assist

    A worry with the laser cutter is fumes from the cutting condensing on the focussing lense, leading to all sorts of badness. Additionally, cutting…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic
  • 5 comments