By JENNIFER OUELLETTE
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Extra resources for Black Bodies and Quantum Cats - Tales of Pure Genius and Mad Science
Once the “contact lens” was implemented, Hubble began producing breathtaking images of distant celestial objects, and NASA breathed a collective sigh of relief. But the incident illustrates the critical importance of having the right lens prescription. Despite all its advanced technology and dizzying array of sophisticated instruments, Hubble fell victim to the same difficulty that has plagued eyeglasses, microscopes, and telescopes since their inception: defects in the lenses. In Philip Pullman’s fantasy novel The Amber Spyglass, an exiled physicist, Mary Malone, ingeniously constructs her own primitive telescope lenses out of a lacquer made from tree sap, fitting them at either end of a bamboo tube.
During that time he methodically cataloged some 2500 nebulae in addition to more than 90,000 stars. In 1845, an aristocratic amateur astronomer, Lord Rosse, erected a 72-inch telescope dubbed “Leviathan” and used it to discover the spiral nebulae. Many modern telescopes incorporate elements of both the refractor and the reflector designs and are called compound telescopes. Hubble is a very large compound telescope. It has a long tube that is open at one end and mirrors to gather and focus light to its “eyes”—an Herschel’s 40-foot telescope 32 BLACK BODIES AND QUANTUM CATS elaborate system of cameras and sensors that enable it to detect different types of light, such as ultraviolet and infrared.
For example, firing a gun accelerates the bullet forward, and this force is countered by the recoil action, which causes the gun to snap backward. This happens because of conservation of GRAVITY’S GURU 39 momentum. The total amount of momentum in the universe is constant and cannot change. The Addamses’ hearse will stay in place because gravity exerts a downward force upon it, while the ground exerts an equal and opposite upward force on the tires. The hearse begins to move forward only when the accelerator is pressed down and the engine applies enough extra energy to overcome gravity.
Black Bodies and Quantum Cats - Tales of Pure Genius and Mad Science by JENNIFER OUELLETTE