Posts tagged with energy
The life forms on our planet have necessarily evolved to match the magnitude of [thermal] energy ﬂows. But while “natural man” is in balance with these heat ﬂows, “technological man” has used his mind, his back, and his will to harness and control energy ﬂows that are far more intense than those we experience naturally….
A society based on power technology teems with heat transfer problems.
John H. Lienhard IV & John H. Lienhard V, A Heat Transfer Textbook
183 Plays
BHP Billiton from The Economist
 the cut and thrust of dealmaking
 putting finance types in the C suite rather than engineers
 diversifying as mines are both very large and financially volatile
Just a reminder that humans have harnessed the forces that bind atomic nuclei together to unleash total destruction.
hires
 Global oil consumption grew by 0.7% million barrels per day, or 0.7%, to reach 88 million b/d. This is a low growth number.
 Global energy consumption rose 3.5% in 2011l, OECD consumption dropping littlebylittle the past few years balanced against developing economies consuming 5% more energy per year. China’s consumption grew 71%.
The Future of Oil (por StanfordUniversity)
peak oil vs. “business as usual”
 accounting & measuring issues
 using the lower48 states of the USA as a statistical basis for “what exhausting a given area’s geological reserves should look like” elsewhere in the world
 new kinds of discoveries (deepwater, tarsands, seismic tools by geophysicists application to reservoir finding)

 the first trillion bbl we’ve used
 the second trillion bbl we know where it is
 the third trillion bbl — ???
 issues of stocks ∫ vs flows ∂
 We’re actually discovering more oil fields now (due to seismic & 3D reservoir modelling), but they’re smaller.
 Saudi Arabia used to produce 12% of the world’s oil consumption with only a handful of rigs (12) — just very, very productive wells. Now they have several times that number of rigs
 It’s not even that wildcatting (new drilling) is discovering less oil per year. But rather the second derivative <0. The growth in peryear wildcat additions is slowing. (Whilst it’s thought demand will grow ever faster as growing populations in developing countries finally get decent modern lifestyles supplied with electricity.)
 We also know that we’ve already found all the big oil fields, because bigger (gigantic) oil fields are the easiest ones to find.
 48,000 oil fields but maybe 500 huge ones.
 (World’s biggest oil field, in Saudi Arabia, produces 6% of the world’s oil per year, and has done so since the 1950’s.)
 Daqing oil field produces half of China’s oil by itself. (how’s this for your long tail / powerlaw distro!)
 Recovery rates vary from 20% to 70%, averaging 35%
 The enhanced recovery methods use pretty “simple” or familiar solvents/methods. CO₂, heat, ….
 (Kind of like cancer treatments, right? Burn, poison, and cut, all familiar to 1stcentury Barbarians, although we do the burning with lasers and the cutting with robots.) But since air and water and heat are such simple stuff, we can do things on an industrial scale within adequate expence.
 "Green" friendly idea: take CO₂ gas from eg a coal plant and pipe it back into the ground to sweep the oil over to the pump.
 Not a lot of 30somethings in petroleum engineering. So the 20somethings getting more responsibility & pay early on in their careers.
 Some projections about likely future production. He takes a humble position about his gut instinct on the projection.
 But! This was 1 October 2009. And he says (at the 1hour mark) he doesn’t think offshore drilling will lead to environmental catastrophe. Deepwater Horizon oil spill 6½ months later. But he was so humble about his other prediction I feel bad pointing this out.
The origins of mass & the feebleness of gravity by Frank Wilczek
tl,dr:
@jshadlen quarks & gluons ∃ in a virtualparticle soup. The energy quanta where heisenberg locality−strongcharge balance = particle masses.
— isomorphismes (@isomorphisms) November 19, 2012
 dark matter & dark energy
 "Even though protons, neutrons, and electrons comprise only 3% of the universe’s mass as a whole, I hope you’ll agree that it’s a particularly significant part of the mass." lol
 "Just because you can say words and they make sense grammatically doesn’t mean they make sense conceptually. What does it mean to talk about ‘the origin of mass’?”
 "Origin of mass" is meaningless in Newtonian mechanics. It was a primitive, primary, irreducible concept.
 Conservation is the zeroth law of classical mechanics.
F=MA
relates the dynamical concept of force to a kinematic quantity and a conversion factor (mass). rewriting equations and they “say” something different
 the US Army field guide for radio engineers describes “Ohm’s three laws”:
V=IR
,I=V/R
, and a third one which I’ll leave it as an exercise for you to deduce” m=E/c²
 Einstein’s original paper Does the inertia of a body depend on its energy content? uses this ^ form
 You could go back and think through Einstein’s problem (knowing the solution) in terms of free variables. In order to unite systems of equations with uncommon terms, you need a conversion factor converting
a ∈ Sys_1
tob ∈ Sys_2
.  Min 13:30 “the body and soul of QCD”
 Protons and neutrons are built up from quarks that are moving around in circles, continuously being deflected by small amounts. (chaotic initial value problem)
 supercomputer development spurred forward by desire to do QCD computations
 Min 25:30 “The error bounds were quite optimistic, but the pattern was correct”
 A model with two parameters that runs for years on a teraflop machine.
 Min 27:20 The origin of mass is this (
N≡nucleon
in the diagram): QCD predicts that energeticbutmassless quarks & gluons should find stable equilibria around .9 GeV:
Or said alternately, the origin of mass is the balance of quark/gluon dynamics. (and we may have to revise a bit if whatever succeeds QCD makes a different suggestion…but it shouldn’t be too different)  OK, that was QCD Lite. But the assumptions / simplifications / idealisations make only 5% difference so we’ll still explain 90% of the reason where mass comes from.
 Computer ∋ 10^27 neutrons & protons
 The supercomputer can calculate masses, but not decays or scattering. Fragile.
 Minute 36. quantum YangMills theory, Fourier transform, and an analogy from
{ a stormcloud discharging electrical charge into its surroundings }
to{ a "single quark" alone in empty space would generate a shower of quarkantiquark virtual pairs in order to keep a balanced strong charge }
 Minute 37. but just like in QM, it “costs” (∃ a symplectic, conserved quantity that must be traded off against its complement) to localise a particle (against Heisenberg uncertainty of momentum). And here’s where the Fourier transform comes in. FT embeds a frequency=time/space=locality tradeoff at a given energy (“GDP" in economic theory). The “probability waves" or whatever—spreadout waveparticlequarkthings—couldn’t be exactly on top of each other, they’ll settle in some middle range of the Fourier tradeoff.
 "quasistable compromises"
 This is similar to how the hydrogen atom gets stable in quantum mechanics. Coulomb field would like to pull the electron on top of the proton, but the quantum keeps them apart.
 "the highest form of musicality"
 Quantum mechanics uses the mathematics of musical notes (vibrating harmonics).
 Quantum chromodynamics uses the mathematics of chords, specifically triads since 3 colour forces act on each other at once.
 Particles are nothing more than stable tradeoffs that can be made between localisation costs (per energy) from QM and colour forces.
 (Aside to quote Wikipedia: “Mathematically, QCD is a nonAbeliangauge theory based on a local (gauge) symmetry group called SU(3).”)
 Minute 40. Because the compromises can’t be evened out exactly due to quanta, there’s some leftover energy. It’s the same for a particular kind of quarkgluon interaction (again, because of the quanta). The .9 GeV overshoot  disbalance  asymmetry in some particular quarkgluon attempts to balance creates the neutrons and protons. And that’s the origin of mass.
Minute 42. Feebleness of gravity.
 (first of all, gravity is weak—notice that a paperclip sticks to a magnet rather than falling to the floor)
 (muscular forces are the result of a lot of ATP conversions and such. That just happens to be even weaker—but if you think of how far removed those biochemical electropulses and cell fibres are from the fundamental foundation, maybe that’s not so surprising.)
 Gravity is 40 orders of magnitude weaker than the electrical force. Not forty times, forty orders of magnitude.
 Planck’s vision; necessary conversion; a theory of the universe with only numbers.
 The Planck distance, even for nuclear physicists, is about 20 orders of magnitude too small.
 The clunkiness of Planck’s constants mocks dimensional analysis. “If you measure natural objects in natural units, you should get something of the order of unity”.
 "If you agree that the proton is a natural object and the Planck scale is a natural unit, you’d be off by 18 orders of magnitude".
 Suppose gravity is a primitive. Then the question becomes: “Why is the proton so light?” Which now we can answer. (see above)
 Simple physics (local interactions, basic = atomic = fundamental = primitive behaviours) should occur at Planck scales. (More complex behaviours then should “emerge” out of this reduction.)
 So that should be, in terms of energy & momentum, 10^18 proton masses, where the fundamental interactions happen.
 The value of the quarkgluon interaction at the Planck scale. “Smart” dimensional analysis says the quantum level that makes protons from the gluonquark interactions then gets us to ½, “which I hope you’ll agree is a lot closer to unity than 10^−18”.
 Minute 57. “A lot of what we know about the deep structure of the Standard Model is summarised on this slide”
 weak force causes beta decay
 standard model not so great on neutrino masses
 SO(10)’s spinor representation has all the standard model’s symmetries as subgroups
 Minute 67. Trips my regressionanalysis circuits. Slopes & intercepts. Affine!
 Supersymmetry would have changed the clouds and made everything line up real nicely. (The talk was in 2004 and this week, in 2012, the BBC reported that SuSy was kneecapped by the latest LHC evidence.)
 "If lowenergy supersymmetry turns out to be false, I’ll be very disappointed and we’ll have to think of something else."
(Source: mit.tv)
The universe is receding behind you every second. One of the lessons of special relativity is the −ct
term:
 you can stand still where you are,
 you can run away as fast as you can,
 you can stop and go and wander around,
 you can focus like a nail and pound deep into something,
 you can get bored or be excited,
 you can build something & raise the Lagrangian or veg & leave it low,
time is still flowing past you, that metric subtracting −ct
ticks at a rate of one tick per tick.
I think about the Eagles song Desperado.
"Your prison is walking through this world all alone"
In other words, freedom and independence, too, have a cost, perhaps exactly equal to the cost of
 never leaving your village
 or spending your “best years” raising children instead of “achieving” careerwise.
A tumbleweed sees more but also less than a tree.
If you want to think about lifetime as being a fixed length (ignoring that its length comes from a probability distribution, which itself is conditional on your choices) then you can derive my favourite equation:
the tradeoff between work, leisure, and wealth. That idea as well is symplectic. And many other such tradeoffs ∃. Symplecticity is the theoretical basis of all budget constraints. It’s another way of talking about all the tradeoffs that make choice meaningful and also unavoidable (even notchoosing is a choice). You can strain and strive as much as you want, all you will do is slide amongst alternatives and never do everything.
If you want to use a picture of the form of Christopher Alexander’s
and just substitute in names of various other things that you want—then the “metric signature”, due to time flowing over and beyond us like a river always, is −
in so many of the pursuits one might like to do, such as
 making money
 learning algebraic topology
 spending time with kids
 learning to do a backflip
 travelling in Asia
 playing guitar
 starting a(nother) business
 writing an opera
 living so you get to Heaven after this life (ok, I said I wouldn’t bring in any probability distributions but I had to cheat on this one. It’s an interesting measure theory question, isn’t it? If there is even a finite chance of getting an infinite payoff, then unless the utility function becomes flat above a certain payoff, then the only logical thing to do is make 100% sure you get the infinite payoff. OK, /rant)
 making the sex, many times. Or, not:
Sure, sometimes one lucks out and there is a positive association between two things, like learning mathematics and being a quant—but the magnitude might be less than you expect. (Pure maths alone is insufficient and unnecessary to finance.)
In terms of the 10,000hourstoexpertise paradigm—despite some complementarities (+)—there are only so many 10,000hour blocks in your life. And the Type A personality who squeezes out the most 10,000hour blocks, gets the most toys or becomes the world’s best cyclist or visits all the countries, learns the most languages, or whatever, still miss out on something.
Leaving aside that the human encyclopedia and Tony Hawk also will turn back to dust, just even evaluating only the finite path [0,1] → life
, that busy body necessarily misses out on
 the down moments,
 the still time,
 the zoning out,
 the chilling,
 the doing nothing and being OK with it,
 the taking in instead of forcing out,
 and perhaps those have some value as well.
In English it sounds so obvious to be trivial: you can’t do everything, because nothing is also something and if you’re doing something you can’t be doing nothing.
But the mathematical language, in addition to sounding more exotic and smartypants, adds something real, at least for me—which is the sense of those −
signs attaching me to everything. Every time I do something, I’ve lost some other opportunity. Every person I become, I drift further away from the possibilities of who else I might have been. Every commitment loses a freedom and every freedom wastes a commitment. Every nothing wastes a something and every something forgoes a nothing. Everything is receding, decaying, entropying, with or without me, until eventually the waters will cover my head and I never surface again.
Sufficiently convolved with the
 work, energy, accomplishment, heat, Lagrangian,
 care or notcare,
 notice or don’tnotice,
 smart or notsmart,
 fit or fat,
 excited and consumptionheavy or bored and spitting out less entropy to the world at large,
 Tory or Whig,
 happy or unhappy,
all the paths sum to a constant and that constant quantity eventually runs out.