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Friday, January 05, 2007

Biology & Astronomy - Questions, not Answers

Alright. Two things being tossed off my mind here.

1) Why February?

So when the calender was first made (gregorian), the months were given days according to the motion of the moon. Also, it was noted that a year is about 365.25 days, so a leap year was added every four years to negligate the approximation of 365.

However, it was noted that the days in one month had to be truncated to fit in 365. And then they truncated them from Feb. And now we can't rely on the day of the month to find the location of the moon.

But why were these days removed only from Feb? Why weren't the number of days in every month made equal?

2) Negative Half-Life?

Although a half life is negative, as in it is for decomposition, is there anything opposite to the phenomenon of exponential decomposition?

Take the example of Cancer cells. They divide, then the two cells again divide etc. The rate of reproduction increases over time. My question is, is there an accurate exponential formula for this? There really should be, according to physics, but there may be factors which inhibit the reproduction of a particular daughter cell of a cancereous parent...

3) Time travel

You will just have to wait for the release of my book.

9 comments:

TwIsTeR said...

Hey RG ... Got no clu y Feb is d luky munth getin les days.Mayb cuz i waz to b born in feb.Lol. Though its jus an ageold conventions so neither do i care. ... I thot u had quit ritin dat buk! N its fiction rite(wid d end dat v decided)... N bout exponential grwth, by a weierd coincidence, yesterday itself, I waz 2 bord of inorganic wen i thot up dis interesting sequence! Il post it after prebords.

Gr81 said...

The way these months were named and the days were decided hasn't got a really "scientific" basis (Thats what I have heard)

My mom wrote a book which had som stuff about the gregorian cal.. I'll ask her about the Feb thing...

And yeah for -ve half life, wont it be stupid to call it half life??

:D

RG said...

Yeah but also silly to call it double life...

@Twish: A weird coincidence indeed. And it (book) is turning into a short story.....!! Gotta do somethin bout it.

Enigma Man said...

if my mental resources don't desert me, i think the answer to the calender issue lies in mythology rather than anything else...i think the reason was that julius caesar wanted an extra day in the month named after him (coz of the pompous ass that he was), soon his nephew augustus followed the convention and got another extra day for himself. Poor Februarius had to be contended with 2 days less in the month.

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Arun Chaganty said...

Dang, you got to 'double life' first. But I'm that there is such a thing. All exponential growth has the similar thing. I've noticed a lot of new guys (or old guys I've never seen before), which is odd, since we're only getting nearer to the exams. I'm not complaining though...

Enigma Man said...

now that i think of it...this could be a very generalised formula for exponential increase.
the no. of cells after a time 't' would be equal to 2^n where n= total time elapsed divided by the no. of half lives(or double lives).
of course you could then play around with the equation and come up with your own.
however there is an assumption that the rate of doubling of all daughter cells remain the same and that initially there is a single cell.

Enigma Man said...

correction: n= time elapsed divided by the doubling time.

oh and this doesn't necessarily apply to cancer cells, this is the formula used for calculating the cells in a given bacterial culture as well.

RG said...

yes, but a bacterial culture would generally stop after some time.

just the way nature works.