Vaulted Scientific Challenges at Zombal

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According to analyses stretching back to Isaac Newton, the surface gravity of a planet can be calculated assuming all the mass of a planet is at its centre. This zomb seeks, instead, to calculate the surface gravity of the Earth using the data in PREM (Preliminary Reference Earth Model), in particular variation of density with depth. Any method of calculation may be used, the attached file gives one suggestion. If catchers are aware of such a calculation done previously and its result, a reward of Q100 will be paid instead for the first response. The Earth and all its internal layers may be assumed spherically shaped, and the reference point at sea level. (ZBL#158). See also attached file ZBL158X.pdf.

the Earth PREM (Preliminary Reference Earth Model) surface gravity

Ample evidence is now available (see refs [1], [2] in attached file) that 200 million years ago, the Earth had approximately half its current diameter. Calculations are wanted for gravity and atmospheric pressure at the surface of this half-diameter Earth. Assume that the mass of the atmosphere and the mass of the Earth then was the same as now. Demi-Earth surface gravity will be higher because the surface-centre distance is halved, and surface atmospheric pressure will be higher because the same amount of atmosphere overlaid one-quarter of the area. (ZBL#159). More details are given in the attached file ZBL159X.pdf.

gravitation ; gravity atmospheric pressure expanding Earth

Each second, the Sun loses about 4 million tonnes of its mass, by its conversion to energy. More exact figures: "The Sun loses mass 4.289x10^12 g every second to energy. Or, in other units, the Sun loses mass 1.353x10^20 g every year to energy". ( Because the Sun's mass is diminishing, it will exert less gravitational attraction on the Earth. A calculation is wanted on how much the Earth's orbit changes (and its direction) over 1 million years, and over 1 billion years, because of this. Other influences on the orbit, and changes in the Sun's output, may be ignored. (ZBL#161).

the Earth the Sun solar radiation planetary orbits

Assume that a 1-kilometre-deep mine shaft is available in which to mount a device to measure gravity. Assume the device can record the gravity measurement dynamically, by travelling up and down the shaft, or that the device can make measurements statically, with sensors extending down the depth of the shaft. Assume that the density of layers of the Earth increases downwards according to PREM, the preliminary reference earth model. In this model, the Core/Mantle boundary has a sharp discontinuity at a depth of 2885 km. In theory, the variation in gravimeter results for the 1-km stretch should be analyzable to yield the variation in density of the different layers. What accuracy would be needed to detect a change in the Core/Mantle boundary to 2895 km? (ZBL#155). More detail at attached file ZBL155X.pdf.

the Earth gravitation ; gravity gravimeter PREM

In an interferometer, it is said that a light beam can be "cancelled" by splitting it in half, delaying one half-beam by half a wavelength, and recombining this with the other fraction.

If this is true, where does the energy of the light beam end up? Assume that the light beam is monochromatic, and the interferometer is in a vacuum. (ZBL#154).

energy light interferometers

Hello & thank you for you interest & participation in this post.

I am interested in finding out the Interest Rate on a 60 month Fair Market Value Lease. The total cost of equipment is $35,000 with a Lease Rate Factor of .02120. It is for 4 black & white copiers brand new. I do not know the buyout of the previous leased equipment.

My question is, what is the Formula to convert the Lease Rate Factor into an Interest Rate Percentage & what is the actual Interest Rate Percentage?

Financial Calculations Maths

I am trying to track an object every second. I know the start position in mm and the end position in mm (both could be a positive or negative figure. I know the target speed (mm/s) and the acceleration and deceleration (mm/s^2) which could be different values.

What I am trying to calculate is the position of the object each second. I was originally coming at this by trying to calculate the distance travelled and then either adding or subtracting depending on the direction but my calculations seemed really wrong. Also I need to account for the possibility that the accel and/or decel may be so slow that the object never actually reaches full speed.

physics, mathematics, applied physics

I am looking for a creative, open-minded physicist with experience publishing in top-tier scientific journals. Established, reputable scientist (professor at a leading university) needs help drafting (and/or co-authoring) an interdisciplinary paper for publication. Not sure how this works, but I'm willing to pay $10K to $40K for individual with the right qualifications

physics the Universe / Cosmos

I'd like to seek funding for making an advanced 3d holographic unit that can project objects the size of a basketball or bigger, as real time as a television for many industries and purposes. I need an expert to help with the technical planning and 'rough' estimates for timing, costs, knowns, and unknowns


I received a DUI charge and had a dental procedure a couple of days before the DUI. The Dentist put Cavit G and Ultracal on my tooth and was in my mouth when I was tested. Will any of these ingredients cause my DUI to be abnormally high?

Ingredient C.A.S. No. % by Wt ZINC OXIDE 1314-13-2 30 - 50 CALCIUM SULFATE 7778-18-9 1 - 30 BARIUM SULFATE 7727-43-7 0 - 20 ETHYLENE BIS(OXYETHYLENE)DIACETATE 111-21-7 10 - 20 TALC 14807-96-6 0 - 20 ZINC SULFATE 7733-02-0 5 - 10 POLY(VINYL ACETATE) 9003-20-7 1 - 5 Calcium Hydroxide 1305-62-0 215-137-3 C; R36/38 35 Barium Sulfate 7727-43-7 231-784-4 R 36/38 20

Computational chemistry Dentistry

The binding energy of an atom is a measure of the energy needed to hold the parts of its nucleus together. See the attached file BindingEnergies.pdf for an idea of how the binding energies of various isotopes vary with their mass and composition.

In general, the highest binding energies are found in some of the isotopes of iron (Fe). Atoms of elements more massive than iron can be the source of energy through nuclear fission, where they break down into smaller parts (lighter isotopes). Atoms lighter than iron can yield energy through fusion, where an isotope is increased in mass.

This zomb seeks to find out whether there are any correlations between the binding energies of isotopes and their abundance in the Earth's crust or in MORB, a uniform variety of basalt produced at Mid-Ocean Ridges (and possibly representative of the Upper Mantle).

Values for the relative abundances of different elements in the Crust can be found from geochemical sources. These values are often represented as silicates, and may need conversion to represent the significant elements or isotopes.

Note that different isotopes of the same element may have very different binding energies. Multiple bids are invited for this zomb, ranging from low bids for simple analyses, to higher ones for more detailed work.

The range of elements considered may also vary, from representational atoms to a fuller range. Hydrogen and other gaseous elements should be excluded. (ZBL#153)

binding energy abundance of elements and isotopes MORB - Mid Ocean Ridge Basalt the Crust

Neutron stars and pulsars are believed largely made up of very densely-packed, spinning cores of neutrons. Calculations are wanted for the shapes of these spinning cores.

The default assumption is that such stars are spherical, but in view of the forces involved, this assumption is unlikely. Because of the mass concentration in these cores, gravitational forces are very high, but because of their rapid rates of spin, centrifugal (centripetal) forces are also very high.

In the attached sketch 'Neutron Core.jpeg', some possibilities are shown. Even in the relatively slowly-rotating Earth, this rotation is enough to swell it out at the equator into an oblate spheroid (B). The interplay of gravitation and centrifugal forces in star cores might lead to a bobbin shape (D), a spindle shape (E), a discoid (C), a torus, or a hollow rotating cylinder, or something else.

According to, a typical neutron star has a mass between about 1.4 and 3.2 solar masses (with a calculated radius of about 12 km if spherical), and rotation periods from about 1.4 ms to 30 seconds.

Shape calculations are wanted for this range of masses and rotation periods. Distorting effects of magnetic fields, relativistic influences, etc, may be noted but ignored in calculations.

gravitation ; gravity star rotation neutron stars pulsars

A primary cause of harmful deforestation and loss of vegetation cover in poorer countries is the harvesting of plant parts for cooking fires. Imported fuels such as kerosene may be impracticable or unaffordable in remote regions. This zomb requires an analysis of how a manually-powered flywheel generator can run a simple but safe microwave cap, to cook food in a locally-supplied ceramic pot buried in the ground. The microwave cap and the flywheel generator components would be fabricated in an industrial country and supplied to the users. Users would perform a simple assembly of flywheels and fill the circular rim with water to supply inertial mass. More details in the attached file ZBL139X.pdf. (ZBL#139).

bush microwaver microwave ovens manual power flywheels third-world conditions

I am looking for someone to review my new theories published in my book that answers today's mysteries about the cosmos (sample of TOC and first 20 pages attached) . The potential candidate I'm seeking possesses the requisite PhD and background in Astrophysics, Physics and/or Cosmology to be able to evaluate my theories.

astrophysics Cosmology extragalactic astronomy dark matter astro

We run an edutainment HIV/AIDS portal called Young Africa Live in South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania. For more information please look at our website

The primary objective of what we're trying to do is to increase sexually safe and responsible behaviour in youths age 18 to 25. In addition we aim to drive positive change in the preconceptions about gender and sexuality in this audience. For the past two years we've conducted surveys on the platform to determine our users' opinion on relationship and sexual practices. The results can be seen in these two PDFs:

Additionally, we record web analytics of user behaviour on the platform, including page impressions, number of comments posted and top articles that people have viewed. We have dashboards that show an overview of these analytics, an example dashboard for Tanzania can be seen here. Dashboards are also available for South Africa and Kenya. It may be possible to source more in-depth data if required by a data scientist.

We are looking for suggestions about how we can improve our practices to monitor change in user behaviour over time. We're also looking for additional survey questions or data that we should be collecting that would assist us in achieving this objective, as well as any suggestions for equating online measurements with real world behaviours.

In the future we're looking to employ a statistician to help analyse our data and make ongoing suggestions about improvements that we could be making. The best answers from this "bounty" will help us determine who we'd like to employ. If you require further information or need clarification on anything, feel free to post a clarification and we'll do our best to answer it.

Statistics Design of experiments Statistical modelling

Details are sought of methods of deriving human food from tree leaves. Rapid methods, using fermentation or fast-growing fungi, which could be used during droughts or in difficult areas are particularly wanted. In some parts of the world tree leaves are eaten directly, as 'tree greens', this is not included in the topic.

Fermentation is commonly used to render plant materials more palatable or edible, for example maize leaves are fermented in silos to give silage, fed to cattle. Some ants harvest leaves which they use to grow fungi in their nests for food.

In both cases, success may depend on specific strains or mixtures of fermentation microbes or fungi. Ideally, famine food sources could be provided by shipping in inoculated starter kits or fungus growth boxes. Sources of effective materials would be useful, but not required, for this zomb.

Fermentation processes should preferably yield edible product within 7 days, fungal processes within 6 weeks. (ZBL#151).

tree leaves fermentation food from fungus
  1. Need a mathematical formula to establish a bid price, as simple as possible, to be translated to a excel spreadsheet, see enclosed spreadsheet. need to find X (bid price) which starts with 95% of "property values" column (L), before adding various variables to achieve a regressive profit margin from 45% at a $50,000 property value to 25% at $400,000. Needs to take into account a regressive deduction for the "Yr Built" starting from yr built 1965 at .33% to 0% at yr built 2002. e.g. row 3, property value 172,038 x.95%=163,431-J = X (based on initial property value >or= to45% to >or=to 20%)
Real estate economics Excel mathematical formulas

I need assistance with a mixed methods study. While I am familiar with the SPSS, I am not an expert to ensure that my hypothesis, available data, and selected methodology are proper selected. I need help with the available tests in SPSS to test my hypothesis using the data. I will provide the hypothesis and data after your consideration.


It's usually said that the Sun emits radiation equally (and implied, with identical spectrum) in all directions. Is there any practical (non-theoretical) proof or disproof of this?

What I'm looking for is whether the Sun's emissions from its poles are any different (and if they differ in spectra) from its equatorial radiation. Please bid on this basis. (ZBL#150).

spectra or spectral lines solar radiation star rotation

I am interested in being able to calculate how running a times ievents increase as a function of distance. There is a well known power law that describes this function whose exponent is about 1.1. The equation is T=cD to the n power where T is running time and D is distance. I'm attaching a paper on this which describes how the equation applies to world records in running. My interest is in seeing if the exponent is slightly different for different individual runners. So I would like to develop a program in which could enter data such as below, determine the exponent and then input a different distance to get a prediction of the the time for that distance

Distance (meters) Time (seconds) 3000 440 5000 772 10000 1610


In this paradox, an open circular bowl of mass Mb has its centre of gravity (O) a distance r above the centre of its floor (see attachment Bowl&Sphere.jpg). A sphere of mass Ms and radius r is placed in the bowl. This sphere also has its centre of gravity at O.

According to gravitational laws, the gravitational force F between the sphere and the bowl is Mb*Ms/d^2, where d is the distance between their centres of gravity.

In the present case, both bowl and sphere have their centres of gravity at the point O, so d=0, and the gravitational force between the objects is infinite. Explain this. (ZBL#149).

paradoxes gravitation ; gravity

Calculations are wanted for the shape of the intensity/wavelength curve for particles in interstellar space emitting at a particular quantum wavelength (2mm). Assume particles are travelling within a range of velocities, and that their photons are red-shifted or blue-shifted according to their velocities relative to the observer. Assume the velocity distribution curve of the particles is one typical of gas particles, with a mean (root-square) velocity matching that of an observed CMBR line peaking around 2mm as in the curve supplied. Further details and situation sketch in the attached file ZBL142X.pdf. (ZBL#142).

astrophysics spectra or spectral lines interstellar space gases CMBR radiation

Because all particles in the Universe are subject to mutual gravitational attraction, this "background" gravitation can be thought of as a type of viscosity.

Solar systems and galaxies rotate against this background according to gravitational laws as set down by Newton. That is, the individual bodies involved, such as the Sun and its planets, move in accordance with Newtonian laws of gravity.

In smaller systems, such as a solar system, the effect of this "background gravitation" may be completely negligible. With larger celestial assemblies, such as galactic clusters, the outer parts of these assemblies must be subject to drag from the background gravitation which increases with their peripheral velocity with respect to the centre of gravity of the assembly.

A framework is sought by which this background gravitation may be quantized. It might be treated as a sort of viscosity, as with a paddle-wheel rotating in a liquid, or as a type of field. Bids are invited for a framework concept. Offers for further development by mathematical modelling or otherwise would be welcome. (ZBL148).

the Universe / Cosmos gravitation ; gravity

Clarification is wanted for two aspects of the orbits of moons around planets.

1) Tidal forces are said to cause moons rotating outside the synchronous distance to recede away from the planet, while closer moons lose altitude and approach the planet. The synchronous distance is that at which a moon rotating above the equator in the direction of its rotation would appear stationary.

The catcher should locate and describe formulas for the rates of recession or approach, and use these formulas to calculate the current rates of recession and approach of the two small moons of Mars, Deimos and Phobos (Deimos has an orbital period of 30.3 hours, Phobos 7.6 hours [reference given], while Mars itself rotates in 24.63 hours).

2) What forces act to bring a moon's orbit around its primary to conform with the planet's own rotation, that is, are moons not orbiting strictly in the planet's equatorial plane moved towards conforming? Are there formulas to calculate this? As background, Saturn's main rings orbit strictly in its equatorial plane, while the outer Phoebe ring is tilted at 26.7 degrees to this plane. Do the formulas in (1) still apply for a moon in a retrograde orbit, in particular for Neptune's large moon Triton [reference given]?

Expanded details are given in the attached file ZBL147X.pdf.

moons ; natural satellites moon and satellite orbits

The task is to calculate the average density of the Galaxy, using the following assumptions. First, find the average distances of the 6 nearest major galaxies to the Milky Way, and assume the Galaxy occupies a sphere of diameter half this average distance. Assume a galaxy is 'major' if its mass is greater than 50% of the Milky Way, otherwise minor.

Find figures for the mass of the Galaxy (including central black hole and minor/ satellite galaxies within the sphere) and any other matter amounting to more than 0.01% of this.

Divide the mass by the volume to get density (in gm per cubic centimetre).

galaxies the Milky Way / our Galaxy

The task is to calculate the average density of the Solar System, using the following assumptions. First, find the average distances of the 6 nearest stars to our sun [you can use], and assume the Solar System is a sphere of diameter half this average distance. For binary stars, assume a single object at the average distance.

Find figures for the masses of the Sun, the eight planets, and estimates of other matter of significance (moons, asteroids, Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud objects, comets, interstellar gases). Masses less than 0.01% of the (Sun + planets + moons) may be neglected.

Divide the mass by the volume to get density (in gm per cubic centimetre).

solar system

This bid is for payment for mathematical editing, document preparations, illustrations, consultation, advice, expert witness, and original contributions that by myself I cannot complete leading to co-authorship in my paper "Musical Tones are the Intersection of Pitch and Position: Commuting Algebras of Hilbert Spaces."

Bid 2: Rough Draft to Publication. This work remains to be completed. This bid is restricted to Daniel Branscombe.

Affine geometry

An answer to the question with at least two independent references is sought.

Saturn solar system ring systems

This completes my topology paper: 1. Import 3 files for appendix 2. Post on line so I can edit article 3. Make changes as needed to finalize paper. 4. Write a forwarding letter to publisher describing your contribution and opinion of the paper. Per our agreement you may bill hourly if the work exceeds the estimate.

Algebraic topology Affine geometry

The amount of heat coming to the surface of the Earth through internal processes is known (A). The surface area of the Earth is also known (B). Use these two figures to calculate the yearly energy production (C). Then assume all this energy originates from nuclear processes (as with radioactive decay), and calculate the mass equivalent (D) using the Einstein equation E=mc2 (E).

Results wanted are (1) annual loss of mass of the Earth (=D), and (2) loss of mass over 1 billion years (assuming loss has been constant over this time) as a percentage of Earth's current mass (F).

Values are supplied for all quantities involved, the results are wanted for consistency checks and independent source quotation. See attached file ZBL143X.pdf for values to be used.

the Earth mass/energy equivalence internal heat loss of mass

I am trying to create a side bet in the game of baccarat. I need some calculations in order to create the bet.

Computational mathematics

What causes us to be ticklish? Also, why when we tickle our own self we don't feel anything, but when someone else tickles us we feel ticklish?

mankind ; human species genetics of human races

PayBack Zomb


Calculations are wanted for the shape of the intensity/wavelength curve for particles in interstellar space emitting at a particular quantum wavelength (2mm). Assume particles are travelling within a range of velocities, and that their photons are red-shifted or blue-shifted according to their velocities relative to the observer. Assume the velocity distribution curve of the particles is one typical of gas particles, with a mean (root-square) velocity matching that of an observed CMBR line peaking around 2mm as in the curve supplied. Further details and situation sketch in the attached file ZBL142X.pdf. (ZBL#142).

astrophysics spectra or spectral lines interstellar space gases CMBR radiation

A primary cause of harmful deforestation and loss of vegetation cover in poorer countries is the harvesting of plant parts for cooking fires. Imported fuels such as kerosene may be impracticable or unaffordable in remote regions. This zomb requires an analysis of how a manually-powered flywheel generator can run a simple but safe microwave cap, to cook food in a locally-supplied ceramic pot buried in the ground. The microwave cap and the flywheel generator components would be fabricated in an industrial country and supplied to the users. Users would perform a simple assembly of flywheels and fill the circular rim with water to supply inertial mass. More details in the attached file ZBL139X.pdf. (ZBL#139).

bush microwaver microwave ovens manual power flywheels third-world conditions

A feasibility check and design hints are wanted for the proposed Simplex Electronic Telescope as sketched in the attached file ZBL141X.pdf. The telescope is based on a conventional reflector telescope, with a concave mirror at the end of a tube focussing a distant image. Instead of a secondary mirror, the SET has an electronic image sensor (EIS, typically a CCD or CMOS device) as used in digital cameras or video cameras. Input from the EIS is fed directly to a screen such as an LCD screen. This screen may be behind the telescope tube or separate. Focussing for closer objects, as for a security camera, can be by sliding the EIS. Magnification can be by 'digital zoom'. (ZBL#141).

digital telescopes electronic telescopes electronic image sensor - EIS

Theoretical and practical analyses are wanted for low-power devices able to broadcast sharp infrared lines from micron-scale metal shapes. Two questions need answering:

1) With radio broadcasting antennas, metal rods (half-wave dipoles) are activated to produce radio waves of wavelengths typically twice the length of the rods. If tiny rods (5 - 20 microns long) are fabricated and activated to act as antennas, will they produce infrared waves of wavelength twice the rod length?

2) How can such tiny rods be made and connected, for example can integrated-circuit manufacturing techniques be used to make infrared antennas on a chip? (ZBL#140)

More information in the attached file ZBL140X.pdf.

infrared radiation broadcast antennas integrated circuits manufacture and fabrication half-wave dipoles

An analysis is wanted of the minimum attainable energy losses in very long (10,000 km) optical fibres. This should include both the case of what's achievable with the most advanced off-the-shelf materials and ancillary devices (joiners etc) available today, plus an examination of the causes of losses and any theoretical or practical limits to their reduction in the future. No repeaters are involved, and only energy losses are of concern, not signal losses. Special requirements (such as use of monochromatic light) should be noted. (ZBL#138).

optical fibres energy losses

I need to find the mathematical function that defines the following sequence / progression - a proper notation for it would be great.

5x5, 5x7 (5x (5+2)), 7x7, 5x11 (5x(5+2+4)), 5x13 (5x(5+2+4+2)), 7x11 (7x(7+4)), 5x17 (5x(5+2+4+2+4)), 7x13 (7x(7+4+2)), 5x19, 5x23, 7x17, 11x11 - then the 11 series starts with +2 then 13 will start with a +4 after its square, and on and on - do you see?

It looks like it should be very simple but I am not versed in how to properly write it

Analytic number theory

We have a pool of thousands of True/False questions. Players are presented 10 questions per session. Order of presentation is adaptive, so if you get a question correct, the next question is harder. Or incorrect-> easier.

I'd like to regularly rank all the items by difficulty, based on actual performance during play. We are currently using a simple "percent correct" on an interim basis, but that seems problematic because of the adaptive algorithm and other reasons.

One lay person idea I have is to log each event pair where in the same session a given player gets one item incorrect and a different item correct. Intuitively, it seems that I could use that history of differentials as a more accurate ranking of the item pool by difficulty.

But that's just one idea. The problem is to create a practical, defensible system that allows us to state with confidence and credibility the order of difficulty of the thousands of items in the item pool.

It's important that the approach be defensible to an expert audience, but only in a practical way. Experts need to find the ranking persuasive, because they want to rely on the rankings. But it doesn't need to be a bulletproof academic or theoretical defense.Of course it's not logically consistent, in that one player may get a right, b wrong; another b right c wrong; and another c right, a wrong.

We are constantly adding new items, so we need a way to handle that, perhaps by having a confidence level for each item?

We also tag items by subtype. I'm guessing I'll be able to use the same approach for ranking items within a subtype, but please address that question as well.

Sometimes a player might just fool around, for instance randomly choosing answers to see how the game works. It would be nice to be able to ignore sessions like that.

I'd like to know what field of mathematics deals with this. I thought it was psychometrics, but from a quick layman's look, that doesn't seem quite right.

I'd like a brief description of what you feel is the best approach to the problem.

Thank you.

Computational mathematics Applied mathematics

With the passing of another recent typhoon in our country (and another one on the way apparently) It got me wondering what the difference between typhoons and hurricanes are there? Is it just a naming convention thing, with typhoons occurring in the Pacific and hurricanes in the Atlantic? Or are there other differences?

Meteorology Environmental sciences

Earth has recently been bombarded by sunspots making the Northern Lights more dazzling than usual. (;_ylt=AhfeJyMLsSSYfH4VTwLSDIIPLBIF;_ylu=X3oDMTNtZ3NvZTZiBG1pdAMEcGtnAzM4ZDA2N2ExLTRkOTgtM2M2Zi04NTdhLTg3ZjE5MmExZTcwZgRwb3MDOARzZWMDbG5fU3BhY2VBc3Ryb25vbXlfZ2FsBHZlcgMxYTUzZmFiMC1lODk0LTExZTAtOWY2ZC0xYjU4NTdkMGExOGM-;_ylv=3) scientists though have called this recent event a glancing blow, and claim that we are not out of the woods yet. So what dangers can sunspots pose to our society?

astronomy solar wind solar radiation

Scientists have discovered a new way of making biofuel ( but hasn't biofuel been around for quite a while now? What are the reasons why it hasn't fully replaced fossil fuels yet?

chemistry Energy economics Political economy energy

We all know that water is important to life, yet millions still do not have access to safe drinking water. What steps are being made to help bring this important resource to those that need it, and will we ever have clean water sufficiency?

Environmental sciences Environmental economics society fresh water

Recently, an old NASA satellite crash-landed on Earth (, though fortunately, far from any populated areas where any damage could have been done. So how many of these things are still up there?


It seems to me that facial hair like beard and mustache as well as head hair never stops growing. Is there a maximum length a human hair can grow? In contrast, body hair seems to stop growing once it gets to a certain length. Probably evolutionary, but what part of the body mandates the way hair grows? Any insights would be great as this is bugging me.

I will award the 5 credits whoever gives me the best answer. :)

life sciences / biology Evolution/Evolutionary biology mankind ; human species

Space missions to find proof that there are truly other living things out there aside from man are definitely interesting. What mission has gone farthest in space, and what were its discoveries? Which country funded it?


Nuclear power is often times suggested as one of the alternatives to coal and gas - today’s most common source of energy. What happened with Japan’s nuclear reactors during the March 11 earthquake, however, elevates the question of whether the safety concerns and disadvantages associated with nuclear reactors are risks worth taking.

Has Japan’s damaged nuclear reactors been fully restored? Will the nuclear reactor crisis from the March 11 earthquake slow down Japan’s development and construction of new reactors? How would the crisis affect the nuclear energy programs of other countries?

Environmental sciences energy

Computers have become necessary tools to people and most of us use it every day. Can you cite official studies done on the negative effects of prolonged computer usage on our health. What is the recommended maximum time per day that a person should be using a computer?

Health sciences human health

According to the pundits, the longest a total solar eclipse can last is 7 minutes and 29 seconds (for example, see However, I have seen a total solar eclipse which lasted more than 9 minutes. What is the explanation? (Q10 for the first correct answer).

paradoxes eclipses

At midday on June 29, 1979, I was in Honolulu, Hawaii. At midday on June 29, 1979, I was in Perth, Western Australia. Both these statements are true. What is the explanation? (Q10 for the first correct answer).


Addiction to harmful substances such as alcohol and drugs is truly one of our society's social ills. Should our society be doing more to help curb addiction to these harmful substances? What do you think is the best course to take to prevent addiction?

What do you think about Ibogaine, which is being labeled as a miracle herb that can cure addiction?

Medical anthropology

I often hear people say that going through diets can be bad for you. Others say that dieting really works. Is dieting really a bad way to lose weight? If yes why? If not, what types of diets are effective?

Health sciences health measures

What makes gold so ideal for use as money? What is the history behind the gold standard and the reasons why it was accepted for trade rather than the traditional barter that used to be practiced in ancient times?

social sciences Anthropology

As our telescopes become more and more powerful, we begin to discover more stars and planets. It's quite interesting to think that we may not be alone in the universe and the Drake's Equation was made to try and guess how many civilizations other than ours exist. I was just wondering how accurate Drake's Equation can be.

astronomy Astrobiology

All living beings produce electricity, except of course the amount of voltage, what is the difference between electricity that living beings produce and that made by the atmosphere like lightning and that produced by generators?

biochemistry Evolution/Evolutionary biology

This year, the US has started phasing out the use of incandescent bulbs for use in homes and businesses. As they're much cheaper than other types of light bulbs I was wondering why this is being done and is it reasonable?

energy Current Events

Is Homer's Troy a real city?

If you think Homer's Troy truly existed, what is the best evidence that you can cite that proves this and where was the city's most likely location?


Does the recent finding of "possible liquid water on Mars" have a big impact in the search for another planet that can sustain life?

I am enjoying a sabbatical and frequently browse the net for interesting news and current events. My interests were piqued by recent news about seasonal streaks on Mars that could mean flowing water. If this is true, does this bring man closer to finding another planet that can sustain life? Do you think this warrants further study and maybe a mission to Mars?


What is the best computer programming language for beginners to learn?

Computer programming undoubtedly is one of the most profitable professions. I am an electrical engineer, but I would like to study computer programming more extensively and look forward to adding it as one of my skills. Aside from some basic programming lessons many years ago, I do not have much programming experience. I would like to know the best language to start with that will be most profitable in the long run.

computer science Software engineering

It's not like we don't have enough infectious and life-threatening diseases to worry about, but the advent of "superbugs," or bacteria that is resistant to multiple types of antibiotics, presents additional medical problems. The discovery of antibiotics no doubt has a very big impact in the treatment of infections, however, it is considered as a major factor in the development of these so-called superbugs. Can you explain why and how this happens?

If you have additional ideas about the development of super bugs, please also add.


I am working on a research paper on AIDS and I want to know how HIV became one of the most concerning virus to affect humans. Why can't we create a vaccine for HIV? With the emergence of Timothy Ray Brown who is now known as the "first man in world history to have HIV virus completely eliminated from his body," do you think we are close to finding a cure for HIV infection?

Virology Current Events

Frequently on the news I hear that the polar ice caps are melting and that we have worry about sea levels rising. Undoubtably the earth is heating up but how quickly is the ice retreating at the poles?

Are there any research teams or particular examples that monitor and document this?

5 credits to the best answer!

national, global, and local statistics Current Events Global Warming

What's the largest plant in the world in terms of weight and also height? Is the only inhibiting factor that determines how big the plants can get gravity?

Botany Evolution/Evolutionary biology

I'm interested in knowing what would possibly happen if a hole was drilled directly through Earth entering the North Pole and exiting through the South Pole?

Additionally a related question is, what would happen if once a hole was drilled and water was poured through it, would the water come out through the other end? Or how would gravity have an effect on? Will the water just go through it half way until a gravity equilibrium point is reached?

I know drilling a hole all the way through it is pretty much impossible, but I would like you to pretend it was possible. And go from there. Any information will be great.

I will award 10 credits to the answer that makes the most sense. Thanks!

Earth sciences the Earth

If a spaceship had a large fuel supply could it propel itself until it was close to the speed of light? If it's travelling in a vacuum and there's no friction is there anything slowing it down besides the gravitational pull of nearby large bodies?

What's the inhibiting factor stopping us from creating spaceships from travelling faster? If it's simply a fuel requirement why can't we create a nuclear-powered spacecraft?

Mathematical physics astronomy spaceships space

I'm hoping a physicists who is involved in this area can succinctly explain why:

  • We believe dark matter exists
  • What it's made from
  • Why we didn't think it existed until fairly recently?

On a side not, are there many other cases where we "know" that something exists but can't prove it at this time? For instance, I believe that when the periodic table was first created several spots were reserved for elements that were not yet discovered.

dark matter

I've heard that if you're being breathalyzed while driving a car you can blow over the limit if you've been drinking mouthwash. I've also heard that you can show a lower reading if you have a massive drink of water before being tested. Are either of these true?

Organic chemistry alcohol

A one shot sting, what's the use of that? I understand that the queen been can sting multiple times without dying but why do ordinary honey bees only get one shot before ripping out their abdomen?

Evolution/Evolutionary biology Entomology Apiology

If we manage to fly people to Mars, what equipment would they need to bring to setup a permanent colony? Are the main concerns water, air quality control and food? Could a unmanned spacecraft using robots set up a colony prior to the first humans arriving?

Aerospace engineering Mars space colonization

What's the inhibiting factor that's stopping us from cloning extinct animals? The Japanese claim that they will have cloned a woolly mammoth in the next 5 years: Can we expect to see the cloning of long extinct species, like dinosaurs in Jurassic Park?

Is there a bank that contains the genes of animals like the one used in Norway for plants?

zoology / animals Extinctions

Can we reverse the process of making plastic or develop a new process that will break plastic back down into its original elements? Can we at least break it down into something that is less permanent?

I'm looking for someone who has experience in plastic engineering or who is up to date in this field to produce a half-page document answering these questions.

Inorganic chemistry

I'm looking for someone to calculate what the fastest speed a human body can travel at on earth without causing themselves physical damage. The candidate should preferably have a strong mathematical background

Biophysics Mathematical physics Anatomy

Assuming one is standing on a flat surface with no obstructions (no trees, no buildings, etc.) on planet Earth, I would like to find out what is the percentage of sky visible. Additionally, I would like a formula that allows you to calculate the percentage of visible sky depending on altitude. See earth.png attachment below for additional details.

Geophysics Applied mathematics

It's usually thought that cacti hold water to tide them over in dry periods, but this cannot be the main reason, as they do not shrink much in extended dry periods or swell much when an occasional downpour happens. They may have spines to deter browsers, but is this their only purpose? (D998).


The Hydro Medusa device is intended to extract water, fuel (as hydrogen), and electricity from the air, and also act as a platform for communications. It is based on an EFTE-skinned hydrogen balloon maintained at about 1 km up in the air, as in the attachment. An artist's impression based on the preliminary sketch is wanted. Suggestions on functional design matters are also welcome. (ZBL#133)

water sources and supplies electricity sources and supplies hydrogen communications balloons Hydro Medusa

In most areas, temperatures rise as you go down from the local ground surface. Inexpensive methods are sought for inserting a 200-metre (say) length of 50 mm (say) plastic water pipe into the ground to reach warmer sub-ground water. As an indication, average temperature in Perth, Western Australia, just below the soil surface, is about 17 deg C and temperatures rise by about 3 deg C per 100 metres. At 200 m the temperature is around 23 deg C, and water at this temperature would be adequate for passing through a heat exchanger to warm a home. Boring speed may be slow, perhaps using a small electric motor to turn a 10 mm pipe with Archimedes-screw flanging to remove debris. Multiple suggestions, bids, and sketches are sought. (ZBL#117)

domestic or home use water boring geothermal microbores home heating

Copepods are tiny shrimp relatives found in many water environments (lakes, streams, swamps, seas, etc). An outline scheme is wanted for farming fresh-water species to gather their cysts - these are the equivalent of their eggs.Cysts can be dried and remain viable for many years, so that on adding them to a suitable water body they hatch and go through their life cycles. (ZBL#116)

copepods mosquito control

A table is wanted for as many countries as possible showing their per-head and national consumption per year of different types of sugar and other sweetening agents such as honey. The sugar consumption will need to be broken down by type (cane, beet, corn syrup, etc) and by category (refined white, raw, brown, etc). For refined white sugar, any data on degree of purity and any change in this over the years would be useful. (ZBL#112)

national, global, and local statistics sugar food consumption

If 'Solar Wind' relates to particles (as opposed to radiation) received by the Earth from the Sun (including those gathered in by the Earth's magnetosphere), how many of each sort of particle (electron, proton, other) are received per day? (ZBL#110).

solar wind

The orbit of the Earth round the Sun is not a perfect circle, instead it is an ellipse with an eccentricity of about 0.0167 (see The Sun sits at one of the two focus points of the ellipse. On July 4, the Earth is about 152.1 million km from the Sun, on January 3 about 147.3 million km. Because of this, radiation received by the Earth varies by about 7% in six months ( Over long time, eccentricity of Earth's orbit varies from 0.0034 to 0.058. Calculations are wanted (a graph plus table of representative values) to show how this figure of 7% is affected as orbital eccentricity changes, and how total annual heat received varies with orbital eccentricity. (ZBL#131).

the Earth orbital mechanics solar radiation renewable energy

What is the density of interplanetary hydrogen at the distance of Earth from the Sun? If the Earth swept up by gravitational attraction a volume extending out by say 1 million kilometres from its centre, how much hydrogen would be gained in this way each year? (ZBL#109)

the Earth interplanetary space hydrogen in space hydrogen atoms

Modern large astronomical telescopes depend on light being reflected from a large circular mirror onto a small secondary mirror and thence to an eyepiece or camera. Calculations are wanted for the optics of conformation of the secondary mirror of a band-arc telescope. Here the primary mirror is simply a relatively narrow flat arc of circular or parabolic cross-section, and the secondary mirror needs to 'correct' for this. It should be possible to construct band-arc telescopes 20 metres or more wide, these would have excellent resolution, although reduced light-gathering capacity. In the present instance, calculations are sought for a proof-of-concept instrument where the primary mirror is a 90-degree section, 10 cm wide, of a 1-metre-diameter circle. Use of adaptive optics is not sought. (ZBL#129).

optics telescopes band-arc telescopes

The concept to be investigated is of a shuttle station spacecraft with an elliptical orbit which would travel unpowered between the orbits of Earth and of Mars, always reaching Mars at the time when Mars was at the closest position in its normal orbit. For this to occur, the shuttle's orbital period would have to be exactly the same as that of Mars (about 2 Earth years). A calculation is wanted for such an orbit, perhaps with the ellipse extending beyond the Mars orbit, so the coincidence of positions would occur on only one leg of the orbit. The inner part of the ellipse would graze Earth's orbit on the other side of the Sun, but not necessarily coincide with Earth. While fuel would be needed each trip to move passengers and consumables onto and off the shuttle, fuel to position living and control structures would be needed only once. (ZBL#107).

the Earth Mars interplanetary orbits spaceships interplanetary shuttles

The bidder needs to know how snow-making machines work to bid on this zomb. At this stage, engineering drawings are not needed, but offers would be welcome. Related zombs have label 'fire control'. (ZBL#104)

sketch design snow-making machines fire control

Using figures for the density of layers of the Earth from centre to surface, calculate total mass of the Earth and compare to standard values. Attached page shows a formula and data on layers of the Earth and how their density varies, from If there is not reasonable agreement between the calculated and reference masses, determine why and adjust formulas accordingly. Then, assuming the same density gradients occur from the surface down, calculate the corresponding masses for the Moon, Mars, Venus, and Mercury, and compare with published figures. (ZBL#101)

planets ; planetary bodies density mass integration

Information and sources are wanted on the angle between the planes of our solar system and of our Galaxy. The plane of the solar system is reckoned as the average plane of matter circling the Sun, it can be taken as the plane of the centre of the Sun and of Jupiter in two positions, a quarter Jupiter-year apart. Similarly, the plane of the Galaxy can be reckoned as the plane bisecting the galactic disc which has half the galaxy's matter above it, and half below. It would also be of interest to know how far away the Sun is from this disc. (ZBL#121)


The so-called 'Second Law of Thermodynamics' states that the entropy of the universe tends to a maximum, that is, its degree of order can only degrade, not improve. Derived from this is the idea that we are inescapably approaching the 'heat death of the universe', when everything is run down and there is no free energy to sustain motion or life. Information is sought on any measurements or experiments which give evidence supporting the so-called law. Without such evidence, the law must be deemed invalid as a scientific law. The bid amount will also be paid for a sufficiently-detailed survey showing that no evidence (as opposed to theoretical inference) exists for the 'Second Law'. Ref: (ZBL#120).

thermodynamics scientific laws

A table is wanted for as many countries as possible showing their present diagnosed figures for different types of diabetes. Data on possible changes in these figures in the past would be useful. (ZBL#113)