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Old 2008-06-03, 21:37   Link #1601
Kyuusai
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiberLibri View Post
Do pupils in the US employ mile/pound/gallon in physics classes?
It depends on the school, but the answer is often still "yes". In my observation, though, the higher the education level, the greater the likelyhood of eschewing Imperial units. With better communication in the modern age, metric is far more likely among, say, graduate students who are doing actual scholarly work and therefore communicating internationally as part of their school/work.

Although it wasn't physics, my favorite example was in my college trigonometry class. On our first test, without warning, we were expected to convert from one Imperial unit to another to have the correct answer. I refused, and earned a failing grade on the test because of it. In truth, although I refused to do all of them, few of the conversions I actually didn't know. I only had to learn them once in elementary school, and I've never needed or used them afterward. Even when used in my math and physics classes, conversion was never required.

With such a history of Imperial measurements being utilized in US products, I can completely understand the continued teaching of Imperial measurements, but I hope it is considered a legacy system very soon.
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Old 2008-06-03, 22:55   Link #1602
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We do both equally, kinda. In my chemistry class, not only do we need to know the metric system AND the Imperial system, but we have to know how to convert them by memory. An example is a problem finding out which car has more mileage, one is given in miles/gallon and one is given in kilometers/liter. It's not that we throw away the Imperial system, but since it is so common, we're expected to know the metric system and converting it so our friends could understand.

In physics, everything is mostly in m/s, and it was actually annoying when the teacher gives us a problem in ft/s, since you're so used to measuring speed in m/s. But whoever knows what ft/s is, right? We measure in miles/hour. For example, I know what gravity is in m/s2 exactly, but if you ask me what it is in ft/s2 I would only be able to give you an estimate.
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Old 2008-06-03, 23:15   Link #1603
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In math both systems are used. In science it's been pretty much all metric through high school and college. I still don't really grasp the kilometer. Some sort of wimpy mile.
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Old 2008-06-03, 23:51   Link #1604
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedinat View Post
In math both systems are used. In science it's been pretty much all metric through high school and college. I still don't really grasp the kilometer. Some sort of wimpy mile.
Meh I always estimate. I just remember 1.6 km in a mile, a bit less than half a pound is equal to a kilogram, a bit less than a quart is equal to a liter.
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Old 2008-06-04, 02:14   Link #1605
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I was forced to learn these In my College Chem and Physics >.< I don't remember them all now, but 2.54cm = 1 Inch ^^
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Old 2008-06-04, 02:40   Link #1606
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Quote:
In math both systems are used. In science it's been pretty much all metric through high school and college. I still don't really grasp the kilometer. Some sort of wimpy mile.
Well, I've never quite grasped the mile.

And there's tons of Imperial stuff I've never really known. The thing that drives me the most insane is the foot/inches system. It just seems too... nonsensical, cumbersome and anti-intuitive. I mean, come on, 100 centimeters = 1 meter, that's all you need . In fact, for some reason most numeric systems born in the UK (I'm thinking the old pound/shillings/pence system) seem extremely weird.

And with the metric system, you don't have the issue Kyuusai was pointing out, since converting is a trivial matter (1 dm3 = 1 liter, things like that).
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Last edited by WanderingKnight; 2008-06-04 at 10:03.
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Old 2008-06-04, 04:48   Link #1607
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Yes, 1 kilometre = 1000 metre

Of course 1km doesn't make sense compared to a mile, that wasn't the point; in metric everything derives from the base unit. So you only need to know what things are measured in: grams, leters, meters, what have you and then you know all others and what relationship they have with each other, with a easy mathematical conversion.

I have no damn idea which is which in imperial, lol.
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Old 2008-06-04, 04:49   Link #1608
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Thanks for the answers.

Today I came to know the unit of force Poundal. I had supposed that even in the US physical calculation were based on the SI system. Given the Imperial units prevail in science there, we always need constants to convert every value; 1[J] = 1[kg·m²/s²] = 23.73 [pound·feet²/s²], right?

I have seen US products using Volt [V] and Ampere [A] to show the specification. Possibly (and hopefully) electronics is an exception.
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Old 2008-06-04, 04:50   Link #1609
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Well, I'll say that the metric system is widely used in scientific circles. (Anyone remembers that fiasco by NASA over the Mars probe that failed because the distance was calculated in the wrong units?)

The metric system is also closely linked to the SI system of units. You know, unit of energy = joule, unit for force = newton, unit of pressure = pascal, that system. I prefer the SI system as it helps give credit to some chaps of science who were otherwise unknown. How many here read up on Joule?
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Old 2008-06-04, 04:55   Link #1610
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Yes. Same thing really. Both meter and joule are standards from the ISU.
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Old 2008-06-04, 05:31   Link #1611
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Astronomy question: on any given night, will the phase of the moon be the same when viewed from anywhere on Earth?
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Old 2008-06-04, 05:40   Link #1612
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Theorically yes, as the viewing degree difference are too minicules compared to the distance between earth and moon >.<

That didnt make much sense in english.. Sounds more plausible in Malay, hopefully you can understand that
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Old 2008-06-04, 05:55   Link #1613
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Astronomy question: on any given night, will the phase of the moon be the same when viewed from anywhere on Earth?
Maths tells you that it is different but if it's actually noticable is another matter. Dia.of Earth 8,000 miles (12,756km), distance between Earth and Moon 240,000 miles (384,404 km), do the maths

Depends what you mean by phase of the moon, if you mean will a quarter moon still look a quarter moon (and not a waning crescent) then yes, it will look a quarter moon anywhere on the earth. There will be a minor difference but since the terminator line is a bit vague it's going to be very difficult to notice any difference in practice, certainly not with the naked eye.

Last edited by xris; 2008-06-04 at 06:18. Reason: Typo on dist. to moon
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Old 2008-06-04, 07:26   Link #1614
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
The thing that drives me the most insane is the foot/inches system. It just seems too... nonsensical, cumbersome and anti-intuitive. I mean, come one, 100 centimeters = 1 meter, that's all you need . In fact, for some reason most numeric systems born in the UK (I'm thinking the old pound/shillings/pence system) seem extremely weird.
Some cultures (including some ancient ones) used 12 as a base because it's divisible by 2, 3, 4, and 6. The old UK monetary system was one of these, along with the English foot. 10 is, of course, divisible only by 2 and 5. So, while it's easy to buy a "quarter-dozen" of some items, no such equivalent exists for 10.

I find powers of ten a lot more congenial myself, though. Of course, if we'd all been born with six fingers and six toes, we'd probably be on base-12.
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Old 2008-06-04, 18:41   Link #1615
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My friends having trouble with their myspace, this is part of what they wrote. The rest of the message doesn't have anything to do with the problem.
"My sSTUPID muspac isnt accepting comments on my main page or on my blogs anymore. WHAT HAPPENED!"
My initial thought was that she may have accidentally clicked not to show comments, but I'm not sure as I don't have a space myself, that and shes pretty computer savvy.
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Old 2008-06-05, 03:02   Link #1616
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And the one million dollar question was

what is the silly question again?
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Old 2008-06-06, 06:34   Link #1617
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Just a quite silly question on English grammar.

Verbs of _ake type have several distinct patterns of conjugation.

bake - baked - baked
make - made - made
take - took - taken
wake - woke - woken

Suppose there comes another new verb, for instance "zake". What would be the most appropriate conjugation that sounds natural to the native speakers?
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Old 2008-06-06, 07:40   Link #1618
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I think it should be zake - zaked - zaked
Make, take and wake seem to be exceptions because when you look at other words with -ake they follow the bake pattern, like rake and fake.
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Old 2008-06-06, 09:41   Link #1619
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiberLibri View Post
Just a quite silly question on English grammar.

Verbs of _ake type have several distinct patterns of conjugation.

bake - baked - baked
make - made - made
take - took - taken
wake - woke - woken

Suppose there comes another new verb, for instance "zake". What would be the most appropriate conjugation that sounds natural to the native speakers?
Unique intransitive forms like "taken" and "woken" are archaic, and new verbs generally follow patterns in a much more predictable way.... THANK GOD. I would imagine that any new verb, like "zake" would take "zaked" in both the transitive and intransitive form.

I would much rather live with the slight ambiguity of transitive versus intransitive than have a completely non-standardized form for each word.

Here's my own question on this subject: Is there any language that has unique forms for both transitive and intransitive verbs as part of the regular form of all verbs? Even my beloved Esperanto, while it has a way to make intransitive verbs transitive (by a suffix) and to make transitive verbs intransitive (by an auxiliary verb)... each verb is still inherently transitive or intransitive and the verb's form gives no clue as to which. This is an ambiguity I've seen in every language I've examined... are there any that aren't this way?
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Old 2008-06-06, 12:13   Link #1620
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Quote:
Is there any language that has unique forms for both transitive and intransitive verbs as part of the regular form of all verbs?
Well, you have the passive voice marker in Japanese which can somewhat qualify for that--but I don't think it's technically what you want to find, more like a sort of "workaround" which can yield the same effect.

(Besides, there's the point that there are actions that, unless the society's paradigms change a lot, can't ever be made transitive, no matter how much you want it to be. The verb "to be", to give a basic example).
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