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spugmeistress
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Joined: 22 Feb 2005
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Location: manchester, uk

Alex Smith wrote:
 leakingpen wrote: well, since density is defined as the proportion between mass and volume, yeah, a changing mass would mean a changing density... (wtf man?)

A changing mass requires matter appearing and disappearing inside it, going nowhere. Impossible. Unless the cube is some kind of tiny particle accelerator.

who says its tiny? we know its small enough to be seen in a museum but we dont necessarily know how small (or big) it is, volume wise. and indeterminate doesnt necessarily mean it changes either imho. it just means it cant be determined, maybe only guessed. i may be horribly wrong but im thinking along the lines of how we kinda guess the mass of the earth because of gravity and the earth's centre having different densitys in different parts and obviously we cant get in there to see exactly what its made of. as i said, am not a science fan by any means but its a different way of thinking about it maybe.

rach =)

Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 6:46 pm
RI_Barnica
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Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 124

 Alex Smith wrote: A changing mass requires matter appearing and disappearing inside it, going nowhere. Impossible. Unless the cube is some kind of tiny particle accelerator.

I beg to differ. We're not (necessarily) talking about a closed system here. Perhaps the cube is a wormhole that links to the hearts of stars as a source of energy (for example). And the mass of the cube at a given moment depends on the mass of the star it's linked to at that moment.

Or perhaps.. oh any number of things! The point is, we don't even know what the cube does, much less how it does it. So we can't really claim to know what is or isn't impossible for it.
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Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 8:39 pm
yanka
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Joined: 06 Oct 2003
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I merged the Cube discussion from this thread here because it was getting entirely off-topic to that thread.

Anyway: re: fluctuating mass. Isn't a small-scale generator of micro black holes theoretically possible? I could swear I read something along those freaky lines a few months ago in SciAm So, the Cube could, theoretically, be that, or be a micro white hole receptacle, couldn't it?

And don't all sorts of particles already pop in and out of existence all over the place? Could the Cube be a manifestation of some sort of other-worldly weird quantum technology? Or it could be something stupid - like it's made of photons... ok, it couldn't, but I couldn't resist throwing it out there

All of that said, I also think that the cleanest explanation is that it's a hypercube-type-thing, but I'm just not sure that we can accept it as a definitive answer yet - so, I think, we should at least keep some other possibilites in mind
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Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 8:42 pm
songofthephoenix
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Location: Sydney

Perhaps the cube defys gravity? which would make it extremely difficult to determine the mass.. as it has no known weight. That is the simpliest explanation. Another is that it could be made out of quantum pieces and because they are fluctuating through out time the mass is not a constant but a variable?

blah.
Or.... I just had a wild idea..
perhaps perplexcity is in a virtual world.. like the metaverse or a vr version of the internet? then the cubes mass would definitely be indeterminable. It would also explain everything between Earth and Perplexcity.. even with why Scarlett can communicate us via the net but not physically. It fits perfectly actually =)

Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:33 pm
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 songofthephoenix wrote: Perhaps the cube defys gravity? which would make it extremely difficult to determine the mass.. as it has no known weight. That is the simpliest explanation. Another is that it could be made out of quantum pieces and because they are fluctuating through out time the mass is not a constant but a variable?

Mass is calculated either by weighing against a known mass, or by calculating its gravitational displacement - this is how physicists work out the mass of the moon, or black holes - so even if it defies gravity (and assuming thier tech is equivalent to ours, you should still be able to pin down it's mass. The only way I can see it having a fluctuating mass is for it to have an extra-dimentional component, which leakingpen has postulated
 Quote: inditerminate mass means its constanlty a different mass. meaning its likely an extradimensional object.

*edit: just came to me...* Think The Lazy Gun - Ian Banks 'against a dark background'

Hmmm... Virtual world eh? What about the post card?
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Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:53 pm
tanner
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 Quote: Mass is calculated either by weighing against a known mass, or by calculating its gravitational displacement

weight is a function of gravity -- weight changes dependant upon gravity -- things weigh less on the moon for example

a weightless object in freefall still has mass -- this can be measured by its inertia

weight and mass are very different -- if you know the speed and the inertia you get the mass -- two main ways of changing mass are einsteins special theory (speed) and his general theory (the curvature of spacetime)

these are relativisic phenomina and dont usually occur in museums
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Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 10:22 pm
Rolerbe
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The printers are in the real world. All they have to transfer is the info...
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Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 10:35 pm
Rolerbe
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 tanner wrote: these are relativisic phenomina and dont usually occur in museums

Unless the museum is moving really, really fast...
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Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2005 10:38 pm
songofthephoenix
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Joined: 02 Mar 2005
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 Quote: weight is a function of gravity -- weight changes dependant upon gravity -- things weigh less on the moon for example a weightless object in freefall still has mass -- this can be measured by its inertia

a weightless object that defys gravity can not fall.. i.e gravity whether it be on the moon or on Earth does not affect it. You have to think outside the square for that one.

The cube could be made out of flames that are fueled off there own existence? or if we really wanted to go outside of the square.. outside of the laws of physics.. the cube be a hallucenation that is powered by the thought of curiousity and mystery about the cube itself.

Either way.. I am leaning more towards my virtual reality world idea now.

Posted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:32 am
songofthephoenix
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Another idea I just had is that perhaps the cube's mass/weight is proportional to it's surrounding environment?

=)

Posted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:47 am
yanka|tage
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songofthephoenix wrote:
 Quote: weight is a function of gravity -- weight changes dependant upon gravity -- things weigh less on the moon for example a weightless object in freefall still has mass -- this can be measured by its inertia

a weightless object that defys gravity can not fall.. i.e gravity whether it be on the moon or on Earth does not affect it. You have to think outside the square for that one.

He is not talking about a weightless object falling onto the moon or Earth - he's talking about an object with mass in freefall (i.e. floating out in space), where it would be weightless. Weight is not interchangeable with mass

Posted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 1:18 am
songofthephoenix
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Joined: 02 Mar 2005
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Location: Sydney

ok ok =)
let me try it this way =D

 Quote: a weightless object in freefall still has mass -- this can be measured by its inertia

Yes and No.. we are talking about the cube and at the moment we shouldnt assume the physics of the cube are inline with our physics... or even created from elements known to Earth.

If I am within the metaverse and weightless within a metaverse space ..how much is my mass within the metaverse ?

**edit: don't require two examples of alternative realities, I am sure you can think of some =P**

and yes I am stepping outside the scope of our dimension.. however, Perplex City may not call our dimension home. We have to think outside our scope.. think as Perplexians think.

Posted: Thu Apr 14, 2005 1:58 am
Mr. Munchy
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Joined: 22 Sep 2004
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Yet another way to get around the "indeterminate mass" would be to say that the cube affects gravitational forces around it, making it impossible to measure the mass or weight. I guess that's similar to it being unaffected by gravity, but in any case "indeterminate mass" is not the be-all end-all clue.

Vacuum fluctuations could also account for the indeterminate mass -- they could also explain the potential power of the cube -- if you can control vacuum fluctuations you can do pretty much anything (stealing that from the Naked God by Peter Hamilton).

I thought that the fact that it should not be exposed to water, acetone or liquid mercury is more telling of the cube's true nature. Can you imagine how hard it would be to get all of the moisture out of the air surrounding the cube? Or maybe it only applies to liquid water (even then, think of condensation).

Posted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 3:09 am
Crane
Guest

"the Cube, whose value is incalculable"
Doesn't this indicate that the cube is sentient? At least to some degree?
Could it be an AI stored in a cube-computer-thing, storing the wisdom of a previous society? This might also explain why it's valuable both scientifically and religiously...

Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 8:09 am
terminalskeptik
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Joined: 05 Jun 2003
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Location: Onboard the Groovy Purple Derigible

 Mr. Munchy wrote: Yet another way to get around the "indeterminate mass" would be to say that the cube affects gravitational forces around it, making it impossible to measure the mass or weight.

I think that in saying that the cube has "indeterminate mass", this means that no one has really ever held it, maybe they are not allowed to touch it. Kinda like the ark of the covenant. If anyone unapproved touched it they would die.
That could explain why it came to earth. By touching it, it was activated and transported its self and whomever touched it.
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Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 8:26 am
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