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#1 Vortigern

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 11:44 AM

Ladies and gentlemen and otherwise, I am many things, but one of the most apparent is that I am no good at science. Thus I have decided that a science thread will be entertaining and informative, both for me and for other people who, like me, are terrible at science yet still wish to know why certain things happen. In this thread we may query the world and, with any luck, one of the smart folks who dwell herein will reply with an answer.

My first question is this: why does the concave side of a spoon reflect my face as upside down?
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#2 {IRS}Athos

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 12:43 PM

I'm not sure.

On a [slightly] related subject, I think we need a nuclear stain remover that removes stains via atomic bombardment, but irradiates the garment in question so badly that it cannot be worn for the next five thousand years. That would be spiffy. :p
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#3 Romanul

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 01:01 PM

Surely this isn't a thread for you to do your homework and not think at all? :p

Anyway, the spoon reflects your face because the reflecting surface is concave.The back of the spoon is convex and will reflect your image right side up.

#4 Grimson

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 01:30 PM

My first question is this: why does the concave side of a spoon reflect my face as upside down?


Because the light that bounces from the concave side of the spoon is focused in a spot, known as focal point
, in front of the concavity. The picture that will "form" into your eye will thus be upside down.

See this picture. Yeah I know, it's a lens, but the idea is the same. Only in a mirror (spoon) the light, obviously, wont pass trough it :p

Edited by Grimson, 25 November 2009 - 01:31 PM.

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#5 olli

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 02:16 PM

Surely this isn't a thread for you to do your homework and not think at all? :)

Anyway, the spoon reflects your face because the reflecting surface is concave.The back of the spoon is convex and will reflect your image right side up.


Good quoting from Wiki :p

and you Grimson!

Edited by olli, 25 November 2009 - 02:17 PM.

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#6 Florisz

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 02:34 PM

My sience teacher put a piece of platinum in a fire...
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#7 Grimson

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 02:48 PM

Surely this isn't a thread for you to do your homework and not think at all? :p

Anyway, the spoon reflects your face because the reflecting surface is concave.The back of the spoon is convex and will reflect your image right side up.


Good quoting from Wiki :p

and you Grimson!


The only thing I did with wiki was to check the name of the "focal point" and get the picture.

Good job for contributing to this thread :)
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#8 olli

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 03:18 PM

I always contribute.
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#9 Vortigern

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 05:31 PM

Firstly, Romanul, I am 20 years old and in the middle of an English degree. This is simply curiosity, as could perhaps have been guessed by my opening statement: "I am no good at science." Secondly, your reply did not answer anything. You merely stated two facts without any kind of explanation. The explanation is what I'm really after here. Thank you Grimson for actually answering the question. And thank you Olli for continuing to be quite so misanthropic in such an entertaining fashion.

Next question, anyone?
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#10 Puppeteer

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 07:48 PM

Gah, I hated lenses and mirrors in GCSE Physics. Actually, I hated all of physics. Especially lenses, though.

Anyway, the spoon reflects your face because the reflecting surface is concave.The back of the spoon is convex and will reflect your image right side up.

Your argument is essentially:
B is opposite to A.
A just is.
Therefore, B also just is.

#11 Mathijs

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 08:27 PM

I failed every single science class in high school.

Then again, I aced every single language, art, music and history class.

It evens out, right? RIGHT?

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#12 olli

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 08:36 PM

It's funny... All this talk of vision. I'm just about to start writing an essay on top-down and bottom-up processing in visual perception!

The explanations you have had so far Vortigen have been from a purely low-level physical stand point.

Why does it reflect your face upside down?... Well, you now know the basic physics behind it. I'll try and answer from a psychologist’s stance as to why you perceive it as so.

Essentially, what we "see" is not actually what is there. (I.e. you aren't actually looking at a "computer") From physics stand point; what you are actually seeing is just a bunch of different photons and electromagnetic waves of different characteristic frequencies, which are reflected into your eye. It's then up to your visual processing system to make sense of this, turning all those waves and photons into something that you can understand, something that makes sense and something you can perceive. It basically does this by applying previous knowledge.

In reality all it is, is just electromagnetic waves of varying frequency and photons being reflected and refracted at different angles, some of which enter your eye. What you "see" in the spoon is your brain turning all that mumbo jumbo into something you can recognise; i.e. your face. It's your reflection; you know what you look like.
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#13 Pasidon

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 09:03 PM

Hey... I made a identicle topic to this like 5 months ago and it was shut down for being to similar to the Think Tank. But one's up now, so SCIENCE!

You should test our a dead guy's vision, Oil. Stimulate the electrodes in the undeteriorated brain the right way, and the pupils can dilate. Can dead people see? We'll let the Necromancers find that out.

SCIENCE!

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#14 Florisz

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 09:04 PM

I try but fail to ace out everything...
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#15 Vortigern

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 09:52 PM

Pasidon, I have found that you can get away with just about everything if you claim it is 'for science'. Shout it at the top of your lungs and nobody will stop you, as exemplified herein:
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Olli: I know about the physiological basics of vision, though thanks for the explanation. Very neat and concise. What I was really going for was the "why is it upside down as opposed to the right way up?" question.

Anyway, new question! Why exactly are water and electricity not a good combination? What is it about water that makes it so dangerous when electricity gets involved? It doesn't seem to conduct very well...
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#16 Beowulf

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 10:46 PM

Pure water is nonconducting but it's the impure water that conducts quite well since there are a lot of metallic particles that electricity easily travels through.

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#17 Allathar

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 10:55 PM

Sounds about right.

Anyway, this one's a more philosophical one: what if you actually died a long time ago, and this 'live' is hell?
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#18 olli

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 11:30 PM

Then it's one fucking party
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#19 some_weirdGuy

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 05:40 AM

Anyway, this one's a more philosophical one: what if you actually died a long time ago, and this 'live' is hell?

then hell isn't so bad after all. Makes you wonder if hell was so exaggerated then what about heaven? will you get there to find out its also just the same as normal life?

buts thats not scientific at all, so you are eliminated.

My question: (which i actually already know the answer to but still)
why isn't the night sky just white with stars? i mean, there are suppose to be so many of them why do they not fill up the whole sky?

Edited by some_weirdGuy, 26 November 2009 - 05:41 AM.

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#20 Spectre

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 07:12 AM

T'is an easy one. The night sky isn't filled with light because it takes certain time for light to travel to Point A to Point B. If Light were so fast to travel 1 million AU in 1 millisecond then light would be unbearably bright, or so I believe.

It takes years for a star far far off to transfer light from the sun to our planet - thus, ones that take quite a long time to reach Earth show up less often, or aren't very visible. It takes our nearest star's sunlight, Proxima Centauri, 4.3 hours to reach earth. Soooo... Yeah.

I gather all this from scraps I remember in my head - so I might have it all wrong, anyone with a better knowledge of Astronomy can correct me if they believe me to be wrong.

Edited by Spectre, 26 November 2009 - 07:17 AM.

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