Journey of Light + Creeping Superfluid

Dr. Jeff Zweerink

Dr. Jeff Zweerink

I decided to throw a couple more science-bytes at you from astrophysicist Dr. Jeffrey Zweerink. They’re brief but fun bits of science trivia to pack into your “li’l pea brain” (as my friend likes to say). And, if you realize that, technically, that is not physically possible, then we’re on the same wavelength.

1) “We all know that light takes roughly 8 minutes to reach from the Sun to the Earth. But, did you know that the light actually takes anywhere from 10,000 to 170,000 years to get from the center of the Sun, where it was produced, to the edge of the Sun, where then it can actually extend off to the Earth? That’s because, as it’s going through the Sun, it’s bouncing around kind of like a pinball, and it takes (again) anywhere from 10,000 to 170,000 years to make that journey.”

Here’s a cool little video on the subject:

2) “Did you know that there are liquids that will drain up and over the edges of a container and drip out even with nothing pushing on them? In fact, superfluid liquid helium is one of those fluids. As you cool liquid helium, it could be in a container that is well-containing it, and as it makes the transition to a superfluid, it will leak out through holes that it didn’t ‘see’ before, because now it has zero viscosity. That same zero viscosity will allow it to creep up over the edges of the container and drain itself and empty it in a way that no other liquid would behave.”

Here’s a short clip on this one:

Pretty cool! I feel all science-y, now….


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