Showing posts with label Science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Science. Show all posts

How to Do Ternary or Trinary, Base 3 Number System Conversions — Includes Examples

Latest update: April 18, 2021
I first published this article at another website on 09/19/10. However to keep the information current, relocating to websitewithnoname was best. This copyrighted article has served people well for years.

If you understand the everyday decimal (base 10) number system, then you already understand the ternary, base 3 counting and numbering system. You just don’t know you know yet. The complete lesson immediately follows the short semantics note about "ternary" versus "trinary".

Base 3 Conversion - Base 3 to Base 10 and Back - 0 1 2

How to Learn the Ternary Base 3 Numbering System

Complete Lesson and Examples

Semantics Note

Ternary is the primary descriptor used to identify base 3 (using the digits 0 1 2) in mathematics as relates to numbering systems. Trinary is the primary descriptor used to identify base three as relates to logic (using the digits -1 0 +1); but the term has also been used in place of ternary. This page does not address the logic definition of trinary. This page is about and explains the base 3 number system; usually called ternary, but sometimes referred to as trinary.

A Quick Review of Base 10 Structure...

Base 10 Decimal Orders of Magnitude

1 · 10 · 100 · 1,000 · 10,000 · 100,000


100,000 · 10,000 · 1,000 · 100 · 10 · 1

We use the base 10 numbering/counting system in our day-to-day living. Base 10 has ten numbers (0-9) and orders of magnitude that are times ten.
  • The lowest order number represents itself times one.
  • The next order number represents itself times 10.
  • The next order number represents itself times 10 x 10, or itself times 100.
  • The next order of magnitude would be 10 x 10 x 10, or 1000.
And so on. A base 10 example would be the number 3528. This number means that there are:
  • Eight 1’s,
  • two 10’s,
  • five 100’s,
  • and three 1000's.
Which represents 8 + 20 + 500 + 3000 for a total of 3528.

The Ternary or Base 3 Numbering System...

...uses the same structure, the only difference being the orders of magnitude. Base 3 or ternary has three numbers: 0, 1, and 2.

The orders of magnitude are times three.
  • The lowest order number represents itself times one.
  • The next order number represents itself times 3.
  • The next order number represents itself times 3 x 3, or itself times 9.
  • The next order of magnitude would be 3 x 3 x 3, or itself times 27.
  • The next order of magnitude would be 3 x 3 x 3 x 3, or itself times 81.
And so on.

Orders of Magnitude in Base 3

  • 1 · 3 · 9 · 27 · 81 · 243 · 729 · 2,187 · 6,561


  • 6,561 · 2,187 · 729 · 243 · 81 · 27 · · 3 · 1

A basic, first example of a ternary number would be the base 3 number 11111. This would mean there are:
  • one 1,
  • one 3,
  • one 9,
  • one 27,
  • and one 81.
Which represents 1 + 3 + 9 + 27 + 81 for a total of 121 in Base 10 decimal.

Another base 3 example would be the number 1120. This number means that there are:
  • No 1’s,
  • two 3’s,
  • one 9,
  • and one 27.
Which represents 0 + 6 + 9 + 27 for a total of 42 in base 10 decimal.

Another base 3 example would be the number 2101. This number means there are:
  • One 1,
  • No 3's,
  • One 9,
  • And two 27’s.
Which represents 1 + 0 + 9 + 54 for a total of 64 in base 10 decimal.

More Ternary (Base 3) to Base 10 Conversion Examples

9 · 3 · 1
9 · 3 · 1
27 · 9 · 3 · 1

Orders of Magnitude in Base 3

  • 1 · 3 · 9 · 27 · 81 · 243 · 729 · 2,187 · 6,561


  • 6,561 · 2,187 · 729 · 243 · 81 · 27 · · 3 · 1
(convenience relist)

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List of Things That Reflect or Emit Ultraviolet Light Rays and Protecting Your Vision

Latest update: April 26, 2021. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

Another Summer Approaches...

The Sun in Ultraviolet Light

It is fairly common knowledge ultraviolet light destroys vision and causes blindness over time. The effects of ultraviolet light are cumulative. How well you protect your eyes when younger will directly affect your vision as you become older. All information on this page has been derived from federal websites, studies, research, archives, etc.

Sources That Emit Ultraviolet Light Rays - Never Look Directly at Them

  • Some halogen, fluorescent, and incandescent lights (found everywhere). Yep, not a good idea to stare directly at any light bulb for long periods of time.
  • Mercury vapor lighting (often used in stadiums and school gyms)
  • Specifically designed UV lights found at many nightclubs
  • Tanning booths 
  • Some types of lasers
  • Sun

Sources That Reflect Ultraviolet Light Rays

  • Pavement
  • Cement, e.g., sidewalks
  • Water
  • Snow
  • Grass
  • Sand
  • Moon (Earth's atmosphere filters out most of it)
  • Pretty much anything white in sunlight
  • Aluminum and aluminum-based coatings
From an astronomical point of view, NASA has an interesting page about ultraviolet light at Tour of the Electromagnetic Spectrum - Ultraviolet Waves.

Environmental Factors Affecting Ultraviolet Exposure

This federal website explains these factors best: FDA direct sub-page. Detailed information for:
  • Geography
  • Altitude
  • Time of year
  • Time of day
  • Weather conditions
The relevant segment is located a little over halfway down their page. Most of it is pretty obvious, though clouds and shade do not protect one as much as people think. UV rays are usually most intense from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The Obvious as to Contacts, Prescription Glasses, Sunglasses and UV Exposure

As everyone who needs their vision corrected knows, we are always offered a UV light protection coating for our lenses when buying glasses; I always agree to it. Folks who wear contacts are given the same option; the contacts are made of a material that absorbs the ultraviolet light part of the spectrum; however, it should be remembered that the contact does not cover the entire eye.

Wearing sunglasses without UV protection is worse than wearing no glasses at all and can even be dangerous; the eyes can be fooled into dilating, causing maximum and damaging exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Here is an eye-opening (so to speak) article by NASA: Ultraviolet-Blocking Lenses Protect, Enhance Vision. The NASA article is a little off-topic, but the message is clear; do spend whatever time, money, and effort necessary to be sure the sunglasses you buy actually do their job. The wrong sunglasses could ultimately subtract years of vision from your life; or at minimum, cause severe problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. One really does not want to experience retina injections and/or cataract surgery in their later years.

Ultraviolet Light Phobia

Almost last, but not least. One should not decide to be phobic concerning UV rays. The body needs ultraviolet light to manufacture the vitamin D3 necessary in order to stay healthy.

In-Depth, Scientific Research and Studies of Environmental Ultraviolet (UV) Reflectance

For the science and tech oriented: Ultraviolet Radiation Albedo and Reflectance. If so inclined, be prepared to set aside an hour or two.

[August 2020 Update]

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are buying and using unregulated UVC light devices for disinfection purposes. The FDA is now warning that these unregulated UVC devices can cause eye damage and skin burns. If you are considering buying such a device, here is a cautionary article from CNET: UVC wands kill viruses. They're also a 'major safety issue,' experts warn.

[December 2020 Update]

As recently as two days ago, there are research reports definitively stating that ultraviolet LED lights kill the COVID-19 virus. These lights are only to be used where they are not visible, e.g. inside ventilation systems, etc. This research has not been reported in mainstream media; my guess is that it was generally decided it would cause a repeat of August or worse.

[April 2021 Update]

Other than the usual advisory concerning summer, not much new to report.

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Full and New Moon - Apogee - Perigee - Eclipses - Lunar Events - 2021 Calendar Schedule - More

Latest update: January 14, 2021

When is the next full moon? Dates and times listed below, along with other interesting dates; meteoroid/meteorite showers dates also included.

Full Moon - All Images and Data from NASA

Apogee is when the moon is farthest from the earth.
Perigee is when the moon is closest to the earth.
Calculator (opens in new tab or window).
1 kilometer equals .621371 miles.
1 mile equals 1.60934 kilometers.
ZHR = Zenith Hourly Rate (re: meteoroid/meteorite showers)

A comparison between perigee and apogee.

Year 2021 Moon Phases and Events International Calendar

(Dates and Times UTC/GMT +0:00)
Time Zone Map to convert UTC/GMT +0:00 to your time zone.
Do not forget to factor in DST when applicable.
(Opens in new tab or window)

January 2021
  • 02 Sa 08:59 Perihelion: 0.9833 AU
  • 03 Su 14:47 Quadrantid Shower: ZHR = 120
  • 09 Sa 15:39 Moon Perigee: 367400 km
  • 13 We 05:00 New Moon
  • 21 Th 13:11 Moon Apogee: 404400 km
  • 28 Th 19:16 Full Moon
February 2021
  • 03 We 19:33 Moon Perigee: 370100 km
  • 11 Th 19:06 New Moon
  • 18 Th 10:22 Moon Apogee: 404500 km
  • 27 Sa 08:17 Full Moon
March 2021
  • 02 Tu 05:19 Moon Perigee: 365400 km
  • 13 Sa 10:21 New Moon
  • 18 Th 05:04 Moon Apogee: 405300 km
  • 20 Sa 09:37 Vernal Equinox
  • 28 Su 18:48 Full Moon
  • 30 Tu 06:12 Moon Perigee: 360300 km
April 2021
  • 12 Mo 02:31 New Moon
  • 14 We 17:47 Moon Apogee: 406100 km
  • 22 Th 12:16 Lyrid Shower: ZHR = 20
  • 27 Tu 03:31 Full Moon
  • 27 Tu 15:24 Moon Perigee: 357400 km
May 2021
  • 05 We 01:30 Eta Aquarid Shower: ZHR = 60
  • 11 Tu 19:00 New Moon
  • 11 Tu 21:54 Moon Apogee: 406500 km
  • 26 We 01:52 Moon Perigee: 357300 km
  • 26 We 11:14 Full Moon
  • 26 We 11:19 Total Lunar Eclipse
June 2021
  • 08 Tu 02:27 Moon Apogee: 406200 km
  • 10 Th 10:43 Annular Solar Eclipse
  • 10 Th 10:53 New Moon
  • 21 Mo 03:32 Summer Solstice
  • 23 We 09:58 Moon Perigee: 360000 km
  • 24 Th 18:40 Full Moon
July 2021
  • 05 Mo 14:48 Moon Apogee: 405300 km
  • 06 Tu 02:59 Aphelion: 1.0167 AU
  • 10 Sa 01:16 New Moon
  • 21 We 10:30 Moon Perigee: 364500 km
  • 24 Sa 02:37 Full Moon
  • 28 We 03:17 Delta Aquarid Shower: ZHR = 20
August 2021
  • 02 Mo 07:35 Moon Apogee: 404400 km
  • 08 Su 13:50 New Moon
  • 12 Th 19:11 Perseid Shower: ZHR = 90
  • 17 Tu 09:23 Moon Perigee: 369100 km
  • 22 Su 12:02 Full Moon
  • 30 Mo 02:22 Moon Apogee: 404100 km
September 2021
  • 07 Tu 00:52 New Moon
  • 11 Sa 10:06 Moon Perigee: 368500 km
  • 20 Mo 23:55 Full Moon
  • 22 We 19:21 Autumnal Equinox
  • 26 Su 21:44 Moon Apogee: 404600 km
October 2021
  • 06 We 11:05 New Moon
  • 08 Fr 17:28 Moon Perigee: 363400 km
  • 20 We 14:57 Full Moon
  • 21 Th 11:30 Orionid Shower: ZHR = 20
  • 24 Su 15:30 Moon Apogee: 405600 km
November 2021
  • 04 Th 21:15 New Moon
  • 05 Fr 11:59 South Taurid Shower: ZHR = 10
  • 05 Fr 22:23 Moon Perigee: 358800 km
  • 12 Fr 11:16 North Taurid Shower: ZHR = 15
  • 17 We 17:33 Leonid Shower: ZHR = 15
  • 19 Fr 08:58 Full Moon
  • 19 Fr 09:04 Partial Lunar Eclipse
  • 21 Su 02:14 Moon Apogee: 406300 km
December 2021
  • 04 Sa 07:34 Total Solar Eclipse
  • 04 Sa 07:43 New Moon
  • 04 Sa 10:01 Moon Perigee: 356800 km
  • 14 Tu 06:44 Geminid Shower: ZHR = 120
  • 18 Sa 02:16 Moon Apogee: 406300 km
  • 19 Su 04:36 Full Moon
  • 21 Tu 15:59 Winter Solstice
  • 22 We 15:00 Ursid Shower: ZHR = 10
Data calculations from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center by Fred Espenak and Sumit Dutta. For folks interested in other dates, moon-planet conjunctions, and more; there is NASA's SKYCAL.

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Best Unusual Moon Pictures / Images / Photos

Spectrum analysis of moon surface soil composition.

How Much Does a Pint / Quart / Gallon Weigh in Pounds?

Latest update: April 14, 2021. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

How Many and How to Calculate Pints, Quarts, Gallons to and from Pounds

Alternate Titles or Questions

  • How to Convert Pints to Quarts to Gallons to and from Pounds?
  • Volume to Weight Conversions or Weight to Volume Conversions – 8:4:1:8.
  • How many pounds in X pints, quarts, or gallons?
  • How much does X gallons, quarts, or pints weigh?
A list of most-searched-for questions and answers is included. There is also a specific section relating to the calculating of the size/volume/weight of home water heaters.

Volume to Weight Conversions. Weight to Volume Conversions.
Simple math to convert or calculate pints, quarts, gallons, and pounds.

Be advised that this page is US-centric. As an example, this does not work in the UK where a pint is 1.25 pounds as opposed to US 1.043 pounds at room temperature (RT). There are also issues of temperature and density, both of which are addressed further down the page. The purpose of this page is for practical, everyday business-of-living uses only. For that, it will serve you well.

First – The Quick Answers to Volume Amounts and Ratios

Volume Definitions

  • 2 pints equals 1 quart.
  • 4 quarts equals 1 gallon.
  • 8 pints equals 1 gallon.

Or to Put It Another Way...

  • 1 quart equals 2 pints.
  • 1 gallon equals 8 pints.
  • 1 gallon equals 4 quarts.

Converting Volume to Weight

Converting volume to weight has everything to do with the density of the liquid. Fortunately, this question usually has to do with:
  • How much does the gasoline in your gas tank or a gas can weigh?
  • How much does a specific container of water or other mostly-water grocery items weigh?
  • Questions relating to home water heater size, calculated water volume and the resulting weight.
The rule of thumb, and the expression to remember is: "A pint's a pound the world around." The resulting estimates and extrapolations from this rule will serve you well for most everyday purposes. For scientific and industrial purposes where greater accuracy is required, a pint weighs a little bit more than a pound (1.043 lb.).

Basic Formulas

  • A pint weighs a pound.
  • There are two pints in a quart, so a quart weighs 2 pounds.
  • There are four quarts in a gallon, so a gallon weighs 8 pounds. 
  • And the eight pints in a gallon, also weighing 8 pounds.
This pretty much answers the question. Here are some other typical examples:

Some Household Examples

  • A 1-quart bottle of Gatorade weighs 2 pounds. Note: there are 2 pints in a quart and 4 quarts in a gallon. As a side note: there are 16 fluid ounces in a pint, 32 fluid ounces in a quart; 1 and 2 pounds respectively.
  • A 2-liter bottle of Pepsi would convert to a weight of a little over 4 pounds. Note: A liter is slightly more than a quart.

Some gallon examples

  • A 1-gallon container would convert to a weight of 8 pounds.
  • A 5-gallon container weighs 40 pounds.
  • A 10-gallon container weighs 80 pounds.
  • A full, 25-gallon SUV gas tank means you are hauling around 200 pounds of fuel.
  • A typical city water tower can hold anywhere from 300,00 to 600,000 gallons of water, which converts to a weight of 2,400,000 to 4,800,000 pounds of water sitting on those "stilts".

The Density of the Liquid Significantly Affects the Rules Concerning Volume Conversion Calculations to Weight

A major component of converting fluid volume to a weight measurement is the density of the fluid. For gasoline, water, and most grocery items; the rule of a-pint's-a-pound will serve you just fine. However, as an example, the rule probably wouldn't work too well with any significant volume of engine oil. As an extreme example, the liquid metal/element mercury would totally throw the pint's-a-pound rule out the window. So of course would any molten metal or alloy.

Fluid density is also affected by temperature. This is why many people fill their gas tank first thing in the morning. There is more gas per gallon at 50 degrees Fahrenheit than at 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It should be noted the percentage difference is in the low single-digits.

Here is a worthwhile page from NASA about Density, Mass (weight), Volume for both solids and liquids.

List of Frequent Volume-to-Weight Conversion Q&A

The Most-Searched-for Questions and Answers for How Many Pounds

  • How much does 1.5 quarts weigh? Answer is 3 pounds.
  • How much does 2 quarts weigh? Answer is 4 pounds.
  • How much does 3 quarts weigh? Answer is 6 pounds.
  • How much does 5 quarts weigh? Answer is 10 pounds.
  • How much does 6 quarts weigh? Answer is 12 pounds.
  • How much does 10 quarts weigh? Answer is 20 pounds.
  • How much does 16 quarts weigh? Answer is 32 pounds.
  • How much does 5 gallons weigh? Answer is 40 pounds.
  • How much does 10 gallons weigh? Answer is 80 pounds.
  • How much does 15 gallons weigh? Answer is 120 pounds.
  • How much does 20 gallons weigh? Answer is 160 pounds.
  • How much does 50 gallons weigh? Answer is 400 pounds.
  • How much does 55 gallons weigh? Answer is 440 pounds.
  • How many pints is a pound? Answer is 1.0 pint.
  • How many quarts is a pound? Answer is 0.5 quarts.
  • How many gallons is a pound? Answer is 0.125 gallons.

The formulas for the volume of a sphere, the volume of a cube,
the volume of a cylinder, the volume of a rectangular prism.

For folks who are interested, here is a beginner's Algebra Tutorial.

More Water and Gasoline Volume-to-Weight Examples

Depending on what unit of measurement you use, volume will equal cubic English or cubic Metric; examples being cubic inches or cubic centimeters.

Side note: the tilde (~) is the mathematical symbol for approximate.


  • 29 cubic inches equals ~1 pint, which equals ~1 pound.
  • 58 cubic inches equals ~2 pints, which equals ~1 quart, which equals ~1/4 of a gallon, which equals ~2 pounds.
  • 231 cubic inches equals ~4 quarts, which equals 1 gallon, which equals 8 pounds.


Most of the world uses metric. There is a reason for that. As an example, 1000 cubic centimeters equals one liter, 1000 grams equals one kilogram, etc.; all nice, neat, and tidy. The United States and others are trying to get with the program; metric is already included with English measurement on most U.S. consumer items. It's only a matter of time.

How Much Does the Water Weigh in a Full Water Heater?
– Water Tank Size Volume Formula and Answers –

Serendipitous page on everything about water heaters, including how to buy one.

How to Calculate the Weight of the Water in a Home Water Heater

How much does the total amount of water in a water heater weigh, volume to weight conversion.

From the above NASA chart we see the volume formula for a cylinder is V = (πd2h)/4.

Water tank heaters come in all sizes. For the purposes of this example, we will say the water tank heater has a measured height of approximately 54 inches; what with this, that, and the other, the water part is probably around 48". The diameter measured as 18"; what with insulation, etc., 16 probably works.

d = 16
h = 48

Thus (" * " meaning to multiply),
V = (3.14 * 16 * 16 * 48) divided by 4.

Since all numbers are inches, the answer will be in cubic inches. We reduce the formula as follows:
  1. V = (3.14 * 256 * 48) divided by 4.
  2. V = (3.14 * 12288)/4
  3. V = 38514/4
  4. V = 9646 cubic inches
231 cubic inches is equal to a gallon, so we divide 9646 by 231.
9646/231 = 41.76 gallons.

What with the inner measurements being estimates, looks like it is a 40 gallon water heater.
  1. A gallon weighs 8 pounds.
  2. So multiplying 40 times 8 gives 320.
  3. A 40-gallon water heater contains 320 pounds of cold water.
Knowing the volume and weight of a 40-gallon water tank heater makes it easy to extrapolate the volume and approximate weight of other water heaters. Do remember that as volume increases, the discrepancy totals of the  "pints-a pound". designation versus the more accurate 1.043 lb. designation also increases. As an example: multiplying the 320 lb. calculation for a 40 gallon water heater by 1.043 gives a result of 333.76 lb. at RT versus the original approximation of 320 lb. at RT. When the water temperature is at hot water heater level, the actual weight will fall between the 320 lb. calculation and the 333.76 lb. calculation.
  • 10 gallon water heater is 2310 cubic inches and the water weighs 80 pounds.
  • 20 gallon water heater is 4620 cubic inches and the water weighs 160 pounds.
  • 30 gallon water heater is 6930 cubic inches and the water weighs 240 pounds.
  • 40 gallon water heater is 9240 cubic inches and the water weighs 320 pounds.
  • 50 gallon water heater is 11550 cubic inches and the water weighs 400 pounds.
  • 80 gallon water heater is 18480 cubic inches and the water weighs 640 pounds.
  • 100 gallon water heater is 23100 cubic inches and the water weighs 800 pounds.
Do keep in mind the temperature versus density considerations and the expansion of water when heated, i.e., a fully hot water heater tank weighs slightly less than a cold or warm water tank heater that's been freshly refilled after water usage. The difference between hot and cold water density versus volume is significant enough that most water heaters have a temperature pressure relief valve and a drainage tube or pipe to compensate for this.

Converting Cubic Inches to Cubic Feet...

...and the corresponding volume and weight ratios. It is surprising how much just one cubic foot of water weighs.

With the pint-equals-pound rule, one cubic foot of water weighs 60 pounds for approxiamation purposes.

A cubic foot is 12 inches times 12 inches times 12 inches. So 1728 cubic inches equals 1 cubic foot. To convert cubic inches to cubic feet, simply divide the cubic inches by 1728. So using the above examples, we would have:
  • 2310 cubic inches equals 1.34 cubic feet equaling 10 gallons equaling 80 lb.
  • 4620 cubic inches equals 2.68 cubic feet equaling 20 gallons equaling 160 lb.
  • 6930 cubic inches equals 4.02 cubic feet equaling 30 gallons equaling 240 lb.
  • 9240 cubic inches equals 5.36 cubic feet equaling 40 gallons equaling 320 lb.
  • 11550 cubic inches equals 6.70 cubic feet equaling 50 gallons equaling 400 lb.
  • 18480 cubic inches equals 10.72 cubic feet equaling 80 gallons equaling 640 lb.
  • 23100 cubic inches equals 13.40 cubic feet equaling 100 gallons equaling 800 lb.
* A side note. I happened to stumble across this on Wikipedia: "Pound (mass), a unit of mass often abbreviated incorrectly as 'lbs' in the plural. Abbreviations of units of measure do not use an 's' on the end for plural."

May all your calculations be prosperous ones.

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How to Remember Color Order of Spectrum and Rainbow

Latest update: March 20, 2021. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

Remembering the list order of the rainbow and visible light color spectrum is easy: ROYGBIV.

Additional wavelength, rainbow, sunset, laser images and information resources were added afterwards for folks who might find them interesting. But first, The Quick and Easy Way to Remember Rainbow and Spectrum Colors...

An Introduction to Mr. Roy G. Biv

Mnemonic Trick to Remember the Order of Colors in the Visible Light Spectrum and Rainbows

His name is Roy G. Biv.

Note the first letter of each color in the visible light color spectrum map above. If you can remember the name, Roy G. Biv, then you have accomplished your goal.

ROYGBIV - The Color List and Order of the Visible Light Spectrum and Rainbow

  • Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.
If you are interested in more information about the visible spectrum, wavelengths, light, colors, etc.; there are all sorts of additional information and resources below.

The List and Order of Visible Spectrum Wavelengths

Visible light wavelengths.

Visible light wavelengths

  • Red: The lower and longer wavelengths.
  • Violet: The higher and shorter wavelengths.

An Expanded Electromagnetic Spectrum List

There really isn't that much more to it.
  • Gamma Rays
  • X-Rays
  • Infrared
  • Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet
  • Ultraviolet
  • Microwaves 
  • Radio Waves
Interesting how the visible spectrum is right in the middle. As a side note, there are two categories of ultraviolet light; long wave and short wave; UV lights can be purchased that radiate both wavelength ranges.

This is a good time to mention that ultraviolet light can permanently damage your eyes. Never stare directly at a UV light. The damage can occur over time. A mistake you make when you are 20 years old can come back to haunt you in your later years, For that matter, most people who wear glasses or contacts always get a UV-blocking coating on their lenses and/or contacts. And for those who use sunglasses, always buy a reputable brand that has the UV protection coating.

Here is a short article dedicated exclusively about ultraviolet light and your eyes.

An Expanded Electromagnetic Wavelength Image

This image came from a NASA page with all sorts of additional information and resources included, well worth a visit.

Rainbows - Nature's Natural Prisms

This NOAA/NASA page will tell you everything you would ever want to know about rainbows, how they are formed, etc. Rainbow images are free and in the public domain.

Symmetric rainbow

Double rainbow

Rainbow over the Gardner River Canyon near Mammoth NPS photo by Neal Herbert

Light Show Sunsets

This NOAA/NWS page explains the causes for the vivid sunsets we sometimes see. Sunset images are free and in the public domain.

Sunset image

Sunset image

Sunset image

Sunset image

Lasers - Otherwise Known as Light Waves With an Attitude

Here is an introductory page on How Lasers Work. Laser images are free and in the public domain.

Ground-to-Space Laser Calibration System
NASA page on ground-based systems to calibrate Earth observing sensors
measuring reflected radiance in low and geostationary orbits.

Simulation of Laser-Plasma Interaction
ALCF page on laser-plasma interactions and current projects.

Lasers Used in Dual Atomic Clock
NIST page on how lasers are used in atomic clocks.

It is hoped you liked the images and additional information resources. Feel free to use the images as desktop or other screen backgrounds, Pinterest pinning, other social media uses, etc.

So, what is the order of colors in a rainbow or the visible light spectrum? 😁

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Gold and Fool's Gold - How to Field Test and Tell the Difference

Latest update: April 19, 2021. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

Here are the quick, reliable, easy field test methods one can use on the spot to recognize real gold versus fool's gold when prospecting.

Side note. After one has gotten what they came here for, do check out the federal USGS gold resource at the end of the article. All sorts of worthy information is there. Maybe this page should have been titled: Summer Time Gold Rush.

Crystal Form of Pyrite Fool's Gold.
If you happen to find a really nice pyrite fool's gold crystal (the larger, the better), there's a market for it on eBay.

Fool's Gold

Chemically known as iron pyrite or iron sulfide, the chemical symbol and formula being FeS2, representing the chemical composition of iron and sulfur. The symbol for gold is Au. Determining the difference between an iron-sulfur mineral rock and the metal element gold is straightforward.

List of Physical Observations and Tests on How to Discern Gold versus Pyrite Fool's Gold

  • Both are yellow, but of different tones. Gold is golden to silvery yellow. Pyrite is pale to medium brassy yellow.
  • Gold shaped as crystals are rare. Pyrite shaped as crystals are common.
  • Gold is soft; fool's gold is not. Scratch the mineral with a knife blade. Gold is softer than pyrite and will be scratched or cut. Pyrite cannot be scratched. Beware, a mineral called chalcopyrite which looks like pyrite and can be scratched. However, its brassy, yellowish color will give it away.
  • Gold does not smell; fool's gold does. Forcefully rub the specimen with a hard object. Gold has no odor. Pyrite smells like sulfur or rotten eggs.
  • Gold is malleable; fool's gold is not. Strike the specimen with a steel hammer. Gold will flatten or change shape and is not known to break. Pyrite will give off sparks, crumble, and generally act like any other hard rock hit with a hammer.
  • Bring a piece of unglazed porcelain with you. As a side note, weathered mica is also known as fool's gold. When scratching unglazed porcelain:
       1. Gold leaves a golden, yellow streak.
       2. Pyrite and chalcopyrite leaves a dark green to black streak.
       3. Common micas will leave a white streak.

Iron Pyrite Crystals aka Iron sulfide Crystals, known as fool's gold.

And here is the federal USGS search query results for gold page; all sorts of interesting items and resources there as well. May your gold prospecting adventures be prosperous ones.

Current and historical prices of gold and silver can be found here.

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Entropy: Meaning, Concept, Examples in Everyday Life...

...and Why Do Things Go Wrong?

Latest update: March 20, 2021. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

If you are looking for how entropy is an integral part of our lives, then you have found it. An alternate title for this page would be: The Reality of Entropy  - The Top 10 Ways Entropy Messes with Us.

Among other things, this page has two lists. There is a short description list of examples as to ways entropy affects our daily lives. And then there is a long description list of examples explaining exactly how entropy does this.

For some readers, this page will be humorous. For other readers, this page will be serious. Both perceptions are correct. And it should be noted there are more than 10 ways scattered around this page. Lucky us.

List of Examples of the Effects of Entropy in Our Daily Lives

  • Why do things break down? That's entropy.
  • Why is Murphy's Law so prevalent? That's entropy.
  • Why do things malfunction? That's entropy.
  • Why are we obstructed in everything we try to do? That's entropy.
  • Why are there a hundred times more mistakes than accomplishments? That's entropy.
  • Why are there a hundred times more failures than successes? That's entropy.

The Universe - Entropy Is the Built in Randomness of Reality

What does entropy mean to humanity? Whenever a human or humankind in general tries to create order, entropy immediately begins to disassemble it. This is why any man-made object will immediately begin to deteriorate upon its completion. It does not matter if it's a newly manufactured stick of gum or a newly constructed, 100-story skyscraper; the result is always the same. Entropy immediately begins doing everything in its power to render it useless, broken-down, and of no value.

Chaos and Entropy

"Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone." - Albert Einstein in The Evolution of Physics

Why Things Break – List of Examples of How Entropy Works and Some of Its Methodologies

How Entropy Uses Oxidation

One of entropy's favorite methods. With any physical item humankind creates, whether made of most metals or other materials, entropy will immediately start to change the object's chemical structure. In due course the object's chemical composition becomes such that the object's original purpose is no longer viable; plain, ordinary rust being the most well-known example. Another common example are liquids. Pretty much any liquid, whether relating to food or industrial manufacturing, begins to decompose and becomes useless fairly quickly when not immediately used for its intended purpose.

How Entropy Uses Gravity

Another favorite tool of entropy. Quite simply, entropy will keep pulling on each and every object until the object comes crashing down, no matter how long it takes. Entropy never quits. And the larger the object, the more forceful the gravity and the more determined entropy becomes. Breakage and injuries, whether animate or inanimate, are the norm.

How Entropy Uses Friction

Another tool of entropy. The more often used term for "friction" is "wear-and-tear". Every time an object is used, it is subjected to wear-and-tear. Sooner or later, the wear-and-tear renders the object no longer usable. Cars and other vehicles being the most well-known examples. However, entropy's industriousness is also equally busy with all other manufactured machinery as well. There does happen to be one scenario where friction is a good thing, but this website is not going to go there.

How Entropy Uses Contamination

One of entropy's often used tools. This is where entropy uses one class of objects to destroy another class of objects. Probably the top categories of objects entropy uses to destroy other objects and entities are bacteria, viruses, and even plain, ordinary dust. In fact, when entropy isn't using oxidation to destroy all man made foods or industrially made liquids, contamination is what entropy then brings into play.

How Entropy Uses Heat

Otherwise known as an increase in temperature. For every degree increase in temperature, entropy accelerates decomposition, deterioration, destruction of the target object. Heat is entropy's favorite method for rendering any and all manufactured machinery and electronics useless. A decrease of temperature to .01 degrees Kelvin is minimum entropy. An increase of temperature to x millions/billions degrees is maximum entropy.

How Entropy Uses the Synergy and Combinations of Destructive Methods

Combining methods from the above list is also an entropic standard procedure. Entropy really likes using combinations of methods where possible, reason being the acceleration of the destruction; usually exponentially. The best example is where friction generates heat, which causes expansion, which causes more friction, which causes more heat, ad infinitum; the inevitable and sometimes quick result being the destruction of the victim object. Any manufactured item with moving parts is where this most often comes into play.

How Entropy Uses Cross-Purposes

Another often overlooked tool of entropy. Aside from the inherent cross-purposes designed into what we perceive as nature; we tend to forget that humans are also part of the same construct. So much so that humans are at cross-purposes more often than they are at equilibrium. The more disagreement, the more entropy. Taken to extreme, there is much more entropy during war than peace.

Randomness and Probability

Randomness – Entropy's Favorite Tool of All

Randomness can otherwise be defined as thermodynamics and/or quantum physics. The only difference between the two being the size of the objects entropy uses as its tools. In the case of thermodynamics, entropy uses atoms and molecules as its implementer. In the case of quantum physics, entropy uses subatomic particles. In both cases, whether they be molecules, atoms, or subatomic particles; the little critters immediately start randomly wandering around and going places where we don't want them to go.

Probability – Entropy Uses This Tool When It Just Wants to Have Fun

Two cars arriving at an intersection at the same time is an example of this. And then there are the asteroids, very large meteors, etc.... They can and do intersect Earth's orbit every now and again. And, of course, sooner or later Earth is just going to happen to be there. Probability is really just an attempt to understand the aforementioned category of randomness; with the additional factor of randomness using the much larger objects along with the smaller ones.

Entropy Is the Opposite of Order

Entropy is change, invariably for the worse. Entropy is constant. The proverb, "Change is constant", is true. Entropy is the antithesis and enemy of order. Energy and matter are in constant flux. Entropy's favorite concepts, quite simply, are: decomposition, destruction, deterioration, and chaos.

How does one compensate for and accept entropy? Keeping the following premises in mind will help.
  • Entropy is not our friend.
  • Entropy can be slowed, but never stopped.
  • Entropy can be postponed, but never defeated.
  • Nothing lasts forever.
  • The universe doesn't care.

Entropy takes it all, whether you want it to or not, entropy takes it all. Entropy bears it away, and in the end, there is only darkness.*
*A paraphrased quote from Stephen King.

Have a nice day.

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Tangential Articles

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Scope and Meaning of Metaphysics - Examples - Thinking Outside the Box

Latest update: February 4, 2021
Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

What Is Metaphysics and the Metaphysical –
Science / Philosophy / Spiritual

An artist's rendition of metaphysics - Source: NASA

The Undefined Science

Metaphysics – not even Stanford and Wikipedia can agree on neither a succinct nor an encompassing meaning or definition for metaphysics. This is because:
  • The definitions and meanings of metaphysics and the metaphysical keep changing.
  • The study and science of metaphysics includes an almost unlimited number of subcategories.
  • The most respected minds in academia, the sciences, and even in the general population are continually unable to reach an agreement as to the perfect meaning or definition.
  • There are disputes as to what does and does not belong in the study or category of metaphysics and the metaphysical.

One definition or meaning for metaphysics could be the sciences and non-sciences that cannot be put in another category are put into the category of metaphysics. However, this meaning or definition would not be complete; because there are sciences that are studied and categorized in other categories that are also included as a part of metaphysics and the metaphysical.

For certain disciplines, the discipline is a subset of metaphysics; and metaphysics is a subset of the discipline. In other words, each is a subset of the other depending on the context and/or the parameters used.

An example:
A. There is the philosophical part of metaphysics.
B. There is the metaphysical part of philosophy.

What is Metaphysics and the Metaphysical -
Thinking Outside the Box

Problems can have more than one solution.

The scope of subjects such as cosmology, ontology, physics, philosophy, existence, time and space, astrobiology, perception, etc are generally undisputed as being both part of metaphysics and outside of metaphysics. It all depends on the subcategory of the main subject being addressed.

Other examples and subjects continually being associated with the scope of metaphysics include paranormal, astrology, New Age, spiritual, meditation, wisdom, karma, determinism, fate, shaman, unity, reiki, psychic, mind and matter, meaning of life, feng shui, etc.; the metaphysical and quasi-metaphysical list can be a long one.

Metaphysics is the perfect place to “think outside the box”. One is allowed to research any theory or hypothesis you wish. You are allowed to follow any chain of logic to wherever it goes. Combining what first appears to be unrelated subjects to derive unusual metaphysical conclusions is perfectly acceptable. In other words, the scope of metaphysics allows one to explore and experiment without constraint.

Philosophy vs Metaphysics -
Perception / Perspective / Reality

What Is Spiritual Metaphysics

Spiritual metaphysics versus religion. What is spiritual metaphysics? It is similar, but not the same as religion.
  • What is religion? Religion is where one makes up whatever they want.
  • Spiritual metaphysics on the other hand, attempts to base its conclusions on logic. As humankind's logic and thinking abilities evolve, so does spiritual metaphysics.

Metaphysical and Philosophical Thoughts, Quotes, Ramblings, Examples... And possibly a little scattered humor.

  • In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
  • With all that goes on in life and reality, the only possible conclusion is we are all lab rats.
  • Most everything means nothing.
  • Time can sometimes cure a problem all by itself. Though can be an excellent excuse for procrastination; it is more often than not, not a wise choice.
  • Free will exists. But it is limited. And it is more limited with some than with others.
  • Sometimes one can actually choose whether a problem exists or not.
  • Belief is the death of intelligence.
  • The fatal flaw of logic is its presumption of being aware of all relevant premises. However, awareness of all relevant factors is seldom the true situation. The best one can hope for is a probable prediction.
  • No one belongs here more than you.
  • No one belongs here less than you.
  • One of the most important lessons a person can learn in life is that other people are as real behind their eyes as you are behind yours.
  • Miscommunication can cause more problems than all other factors combined. Always examine a perceived negative statement twice; it may not be negative at all. Give others the benefit of the doubt. 
  • Life is an iterative process.
More quotes of all kinds: Best Quotes.

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The Encoding of the Universe

Latest update: April 14, 2021. Page URL indicates original publication date; meanwhile, times change and the updates continue.

Theory of a Physical Reality Philosophy -
A Math, Physics, Metaphysics Approach

Alternate titles

  • How to Interpret 0 and 1
  • The Numbers 0 and 1 Defines Nonexistence versus Existence
  • What Is the Mathematical and Metaphysical Concept and Significance of the Numbers 0 and 1
  • 1 - The First Non Zero Number - What Is the Meaning of Zero and One
  • Binary Reality Fact of Existence
  • It's All Ones and Zeros
  • Does Negative Zero Exist

One Represented by Many

The Basic Interpretation of 0 and 1

This is a somewhat metaphysical approach as to the existence, meaning, concept, and significance of the numbers 0 and 1. What are the meanings of 0 and 1? What does 0 and 1 really signify?

Zero and One are the most important numbers of all the numbers in the universe. Zero and One defines the difference between existence (1) and nonexistence (0). All other numbers signifying existence can only exist when 1 exists. One is the opposite of none.

1 and 0 are the demarcation defining what is and what is not.

All numbers other than 1 are more of 1 or are none.

0 and 1 are the only numbers times themselves that are themselves. All other numbers become other numbers.

A successful division of 1 by a number other than 1 can only occur when the 1 is not a true 1. The 1 was, in fact, the sum of smaller 1's.

1 is not the first prime number. Contrary to popular belief, 1 is not a prime number at all.

0 exists when 1 or 1's do not exist. -1 cannot exist unless 1 exists. -0 does not exist. or does it?

Does -0 Exist? Otherwise known as Does the Concept of Negative Zero Exist?

If -0 equals 1, then -1 would equal 0; but it does not. So in math, -0 does not exist.

Logic and metaphysical logic, however could be different. Negative can mean not or can mean opposite. A Not 1 means it is equal to anything other than one. An opposite to one would be equal to 0. So not 1 and opposite to 1 have different meanings.

Applying the same logic to zero, however, gives us different results. A not zero means it is equal to anything other than zero; an opposite to zero means it is equal to anything other than zero. So not zero and opposite to zero are equal, whereas not one and opposite to one are not.

It therefore follows that stating -0 is also stating that the concept of not is the same as the concept of opposite. In other words, not equals opposite. That is not true. The meaning of not does not mean the same as the meaning of opposite. So -0 must be interpreted as a false statement, thus -0 does indeed not exist.

The Diverse or Abstract Interpretation of 1 and the Universe

The concept of the number 1 is greatly dependent on the undefined premise of "one what?". Every time science thinks it has found a true one, it invariably turns out to not be so. As an example, the atom was once thought to be the one true basic building block of the universe. But then it turned out the atoms were composed of the smaller 1's of electrons, protons, and neutrons. And now we have quarks, leptons, strangelets, etc. to contend with.

Who knows? Maybe there is no true one. Everything will always be discovered to be composed of something smaller. However, in its most basic form (if we can ever find it), all else derives from one. One is the definition, reality, concept, and source of all existence.

The Binary Base 2 Numbering System

Nothing versus something is the root of the binary system of numbers.

We use Base 10 in our day-to-day living. Base 10 has ten numbers (0-9) and orders of magnitude that are times ten. The lowest-order number represents itself times one. The next-order number represents itself times ten. The next order number represents itself times 10x10 or itself times 100. And so on.

An example would be the number 742. This number means that there are:
  • two 1’s,
  • four 10’s,
  • and seven 100’s.
Which represents 2 + 40 + 700; for a total of 742.

The base 2 binary number system uses the same structure, the only difference being the order of magnitude. Base 2 has two numbers (0 and 1) and orders of magnitude that are times two. The lowest-order number represents itself times one. The next-order number represents itself times 2. The next order number represents itself times 2x2 or itself times 4. And so on.

An example would be the number 110. This number means that there are:
  • No 1’s,
  • one 2,
  • and one 4.
Which represents 0 + 2 + 4; for a total of 6.

Other binary examples are:
  • 0=0, 1=1
  • 10=2, 11=3
  • 100=4, 101=5, 110=6, 111=7
  • 1000=8, 1001=9, 1010=10, 1011=11, 1100=12, 1101=13, 1110=14, 1111=15
  • 10000=16

Binary is the mathematical representation of how the universe encodes itself.

Here are the quick lessons on this and the other: Base Number Counting Systems. All on one page.

1 and the Base 10 Pyramid

And what page about the base 10 number 1 would be complete without the usual acknowledgement of the series of 1's times themselves (squared)...

  • 1² = 1
  • 11² = 121
  • 111² = 12321
  • 1111² = 1234321
  • 11111² = 123454321
  • 111111² = 12345654321
  • 1111111² = 1234567654321
  • 11111111² = 123456787654321
  • 111111111² = 12345678987654321

The binary paradigm is the foundation of the universe, including fractals (recursive geometric shapes) and chaos theory (the butterfly effect).

NASA deep space photo demonstrating fractals/chaos theory

There is no reason to believe the concept of "many" excludes the concept of multiple realities.

A visual representation of the theory of parallel and/or alternate universes.

Humankind relative to the universe

There are no extra pieces in the universe (-Deepak Chopra). You are here for a reason.

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