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Logic breaks reality Answered

My friend told me about this earlier today and I thought it was brilliant:

Cheese has lots of holes. The more holes you have, the less cheese you have. The more cheese you have, the more holes you have.
So logically, the more cheese you have, the less cheese you have.

This got me thinking and I'd quite like to see if anybody has anything similar to this logic fail.


A hole isn't a thing. As you get more cheese. The only thing you're getting is more cheese.

"A hole isn't a thing." You should explain that to your computer (or at least, to the engineers who designed the microprocesor). It just might stop working.

What? A hole is a location, so to speak. The holes in cheese are where cheese isn't.

Look up how semiconductors work. You'll discover that there are both electrons (negative charge carriers) and holes (positive charge carriers).

Nope, protons are hydrogen nuclei. Holes are what get left behind when an electron picks up enough energy to move from the "valence band" up to the "conduction band" in a semiconductor.

Fascinating. You're going to argue with a professional physicist. Protons are the nuclei of H-1. Period. Other nuclei have constituents which are protons and neutrons, in bound systems.

But you said protons are hydrogen nuclei. Which is wrong. Protons are can make up any element. For instance, chlorine has 23 protons per atom.

A bare proton, floating around by itself, is the nucleus of hydrogen-1.

Other nuclei are strongly bound systems of protons and neutrons.

A chlorine nucleus has 17 protons (not 23), and has anywhere from 18 to 20 neutrons, depending on the isotope (Cl-35 has 17 protons and 18 neutrons, Cl-37 has 17 protons and 20 neutrons).

A proton is a nucleus, a very specific one (H-1). A nucleus (in general) is not a proton, it is a bound system of protons plus neutrons.

I know. But you incorrectly said that a bare proton comes from hydrogen. A bare proton CAN come from anything. You could make a really powerful microscope and take one of the outside while it is whizzing around.

I didn't say that. You must have trouble with reading.

Nope, protons are hydrogen nuclei.

That defines the equivalence between the two terms.

Protons don't "whiz around the outside" of anything. They are bound inside the nucleus. You don't seem to have a very clear understanding of atomic and nuclear structure. I recommend doing some research, then come back with interesting questions.


.  I'll debate/argue with Dr. Kelsey about a lot of things (eg, gun geometry, immigration policies, how many iBles you have). But I don't argue with him about Physics. IMNSHO, he is an expert in his field, so, unless you can present evidence to the contrary, I'm going with what Dr. Kelsey says.
.  He ain't perfect (just like all of us) and does make the occasional typo or awkwardly worded phrase, but I've never known him to purposely mislead anyone. Which is why, although we may not always agree, I respect his opinions and accept his statements about Physics.
.  You, on the other hand, repeatedly try to prove just how ignorant you really are. You're doing a great job.

.  PS: I suggest you not argue with lemonie about Chemistry, steveastrouk about Electricity/Electronics, caitlinsdad about being a Yankee, ...  way too many ppl I consider experts on here for me to attempt to name them all.

Here are two homework problems for you.

Please name another isotope except hydrogen which has a single proton as a nucleus.

Please name any element or isotope which has only protons (no neutrons) in its nucleus.

You have already amply demonstrated that you don't know what you're talking about. Shouting doesn't make you right, it just makes you loud and wrong.

.  He does have over 50% more iBles than you do, ergo he is at least 50% smarter than any pro physicist could ever dream of being.  >snicker<

.  I do have to admit, I love his music list. ;)

But his entire excess consists of slideshows, not [b]real[/b] Instructables :-P

.  Bah! I'm only a third as smart as you are and I know better than to doubt Robot's judgment. Look under the avatars - if Robot says ML has 15 iBles, then ML has 15 iBles. Quibble with Robot if you dare.

I'm looking under the avatar, and it says that ML has fifteen "hands", whatever those are. I only have nine hands, and you have a measly three (but still an extra when the other two are occupied :-).

But what, then, is a hand?!? Well, Robot tells us that there are four kinds of hands: Instructables, Slideshows, Videos, and Guides.

So there :-)

Nobody puts baby against the wall. Always use the cartoon defense. It works for me. Gotta know when to hold it and know when to fold it. And you should know better than to argue with the neighbor kid that's always playing with his balls of neutrons and protons.

I don't want to start an argument or anything, this is just a question. Is it strictly speaking a nucleus if there are no electrons around it?

Not an argument, a good question! The term "nucleus" is used to refer to the (stable) ball of neutrons and protons, including a bare proton. For example, an alpha particle is also a "fully ionized" helium-4 nucleus.

Here's another way to think about it -- start with a whole, neutral atom, which has electrons and a nucleus. Now start stripping off the electrons one by one. At each step, your atom (ion) still has a nucleus with (fewer) electrons around it. When you take a way the last electron, do you really want to have to change the name of what you're talking about?

I think I understand, it's more a really positively charged ion?

Think of it as the space a -ve charged electron used to be in.


Those are the "holes." The Jamalam was asking about my use of "hydrogen nucleus" to refer to a proton.

I am accustomed to using "proton" for H+, but I'd back-tracked to holes there -wrong spot in the thread.


Yes, that's one way to look at it. An atomic nucleus is a ball of Z protons (positively charged) and N neutrons, with Z>0 and N>=0. If it exactly Z bound electrons, then the whole system is called an atom. If less than Z, and at least 1, bound electrons, the whole system is called an ion.

Okay. Well. We're talking abou cheese here. Not semiconductor.

You're not even talking about cheese. Just sophistry.

You should be -- I can't do arithmetic in my head, and got both of us confused. I'm deleting my comment above and rewriting it correctly.


7 years ago

This only takes into account the fact that you gain holes. As it happens, you also gain cheese, so it's balanced ;)

Here's a (trickier) one:

E=mc2 has always been accepted as the correct fomula of relativity. However, if something reaches the speed of light (eg. Photons), it/they will suddenly gain INFINITE mass, location and size. 

*according to the theory of E=mc2

Which is why things simply can't reach the speed of light. Photons behave very peculiarly. Sometimes they are waves, sometimes they are particles. Upon examination of E=MC2, I don't think personally that photons have mass.

Well, for a given value of "everything".

If, for example, we assign a value of Your Mother to the variable everything, then everything definitely has mass. Infinite mass, to be precise. She goes faster than c. Yo Momma so fat she breaks relativity.


I'm sorry...I read waay too much xkcd...

It's a somewhat mixed debate, but I personally believe that Photons do have mass since light is bent by gravity (i.e around stars)

There is no debate. What you "believe" isn't really relevant to reality. The equations of motion are unambiguous, and the deflection of light in a gravitational field can be calculated quite precisely. If light carried mass, those calculations would not match observations.

Photons have momentum, but zero rest-mass. Mass is beter thought of as being equivalent to energy with photons.


You're right on. Massive particles which start with v < c always have v < c -- as you add energy to make them go faster, their momentum increases (all the way to infinity), but their velocity approaches c asymptotically.

Photons have zero mass. That requires them to travel at exactly c (in vacuum) all the time.