Random Science Talk

Today I thinked about liquids (not water), like other environment for living organisms. And i thinked about - superfluidity (mostly Helium’s). I now only learning, so I want to ask question, can something replace water (in organism) and what will be with organism, if water(and/or blood) becomes superfluid? If some life can use Helium like/instead water, then that life will survive at a temperature of 4 Kelvin and below. I think so…

Single celled life would have to survive on that planet until it evolved into multicellular life in order to use helium based blood. Which doesn’t seem likely most wouldn’t happen since most single celled organisms are dead at about 293.15 Kelvin.

And other liquids with superfluid? Are there any?

Water is used by organisms because it is so useful. It is an extremely effective solvent and has reactions which can be utilized by life. It also expands when it freezes, so bodies of water freeze from the top down instead of the bottom up. This hypothetical replacement for water would need to be chemically useful like water is in order to develop life. Exotic life on Titan has been hypothesized that uses liquid hydrocarbons (methane and ethane) in a similar way to how water is used by earthlings. However, no conclusive evidence of such exotic life has been found.

Helium would be a terrible medium for life due to its relative lack of reactivity. Noble gases are mostly inert, meaning they aren’t involved in so many chemical reactions. The purpose of blood is to transport things around the body, and helium would not be good at that. Furthermore, there would need to be a very large amount of helium in a relatively small area at a consistently low temperature. Given the size of the universe, there probably is some place where such an accumulation of helium can be found, but I highly doubt it would be useful for life due to the aforementioned reasons.

Moreover, all the elements in that area would be at that temperature, not just the helium. I am no expert, but I know that many chemical reactions necessary for life (as we know it, of course) would not be possible at such a low temperature. Because that temperature is so precarious, any exothermic reactions would be extremely disruptive and presumably fatal to whatever theoretical exotic organisms were attempting to survive there. I suppose the initial helium users would mostly die and be replaced by organisms which could live at somewhat higher temperatures, similar to how anaerobes on Earth were greatly reduced once aerobic life became dominant.


Ok, but I said about Helium, because, at very low temperature, Helium is superfluid.

That’s my question now.

And about liquids in organisms. Ammonia(NH3) - good favourite (if the pressure of atmosphere more, than 60 ATM and you want temperature about 0-30 Celsius).

I once thought is it possible for one solar system to have two planets with life?

Why not? In one solar system can be many planets with life, if planets wil be suitable and life will evolve on that.


It might be possible, but the odds are probably very low.

Orbital mechanics are chaotic so it is not possible to have certain planetary configurations, as only a small fraction of initially possible configurations are stable and don’t get messed up really fast:

So it might be impossible to have multiple planets in the habitable zone of a single star. But that still leaves moons as possible places for other life to form.


I find the situation of Proxima Centauri’s planet interesting. Binary and trinary systems would allow for more planets and moons and thus more possibilities for life. What if there were a planet in a trinary system that had no night, as no matter how it rotated there was always a star shining on each side of it?

I don’t think simulating orbital mechanics is necessary for Thrive. As long as it produces a stable configuration, the evolution of that configuration is irrelevant. I suppose these orbital mechanics causing drastic changes for life (e.g. the planet’s orbit shifting farther from the star) might be interesting, but I suspect that would be too much work to implement for not much gain.

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Hey hhyyrylainen, I know it might not be entirely related to this thread, but in what field(s) of study have you been in University? Was it just computer science or have you been in advanced mathematics too?
I’ve just always seen advanced math to be a bigger part of computer science…

I’m not studying computer science, I’m studying information processing science, which is less about algorithm complexity and math, and more about how to make good software for users, things like user centered design and software processes, but also some time is spent on low level details like algorithm complexity. I like to joke that information processing science is like computer science, but actually good and useful.


That’s odd, I’m studying technical computer science yet this subject is something that is going to come up pretty often. Then again, I’m studying at WO-level, and a friend of mine who is studying at HBO-level (lower lever) does not have that, so it may have something to do with that.

Ahem: No u

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That’s odd. Why is your computer science department wanting to become information processing science? What next, that department is going to start researching the effects of information system on organizational efficiency, as well as different user types affecting software design? Just kidding.
But when I think of computer science, I think of mathematically analysing algorithms, encryption, code efficiency improvements, stuff like that. For example this is what I think computer science researchers write all day: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221049934_A_Skyline-Based_Heuristic_for_the_2D_Rectangular_Strip_Packing_Problem

Whereas information processing science does research like: An anatomy of requirements engineering in software startups using multi-vocal literature and case survey - ScienceDirect
the use of requirements engineering in startup companies.

I was going to try to further make my point by comparing some releases from the information processing science department at my university:

compare that to computer science:

But it seems very similar, perhaps there’s a bit more of a focus on more low level technical related stuff.
So I guess we should just end computer science as it is useless and have applied math or something take up the slack.

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I think this is partly because my uni does not have information processing science, so we have to make do.

But that’s still a fair point, I think it may just be a case of how deep we go into the subject. In your study you also have stuff like algoritm complexity, instead of keeping to your own field.

Computer science is very broad tho. Yeah it’s useful to have something like applied maths to model the world, but you need someone who can actually use that in unison with other material.

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Speaking of computer science, I have a less personal question this time. When speaking of seeds and the rand() and srand() functions, how can a bunch of digits just be literally randomly generated? Is there a mathematical function for this? If it is so, what is it?
All I know is that time is generally used for generating the seed.

Mersenne twister is a very common algorithm for generating pseudorandom numbers from a seed:

You are correct that the current time is often used as a seed for the pseudorandom generator. However that is not the most optimal thing. Most operating systems provide a better random source that is for example derived from the in CPU thermal noise randomness generator mixed in with some OS performance metrics as well as stuff like mouse movements (at least that’s how I understand /dev/random to work on Linux). So the OS provided randomness is much more random. Of course there’s always special hardware for generating guaranteed random numbers with quantum physics effects.

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Gotta edit to make it pass.

Gotta edit to make it pass.

Random question: Why do children think faster than an average adult human? As far as I recall, when I was a child, I could perform calculation as well as most tasks way faster than I can now. My memory was even better and more photographic than it is right now. Why do we lose those abilities through time?

Children have a faster metabolism than adults, so that might be part of it

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Children also have less memories stored, so it’s easier to fetch memories.

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