Saturday, November 13, 2004


colomb .n

1. Somewhat similar to the physics unit "coulomb"(a), but with a few distinct differences. It has a part "A" and a part "B", both of which are completely and wholly dependent upon one another and neither can exist in isolation.
i) Part "A"- Known as the blogger's blog. The blogger's blog tends to exist only to let the blog exist.
ii) Part "B"- Known as the blogger. The blogger exists only to let the blog exist, yet it is the blog that exists the blogger.
iii) Both parts miraculously repel and are in this way strangely and unbeknowingly related to Columbus, the physics unit.

Initial use: "a little from colomb 'A' a little from colomb 'B'" - R3P1N5


a) Coulomb's law states that for charged particles... that are small compared to the distance between them, the force between the charges varies directly as a product of the charges and inversely as the square of the distance between them. The role that charge plays in electrical phenomena is much like the role that mass plays in gravitational phenomena.

F = k . [ (q1.q2) / d^2 ]

Common sense might say that it is the charge of a single electron, but it isn't. For historical reasons, it turns out that a charge of 1 C (Coulomb) is the charge of 6.25 billion billion (6.25 x 10^18) electrons. This might seem like a great number of electrons, but it represents only the amount of charge that passes through a common 100 W light globe in about one second.

The greatest difference between gravitation and electrical forces is that while gravity only attracts, electrical forces may either attract or repel."

Because most objects have equal numbers of protons and electrons, electrical forces usually balance out. Any electrical forces between the earth and the moon, for example, are balanced. In this way the much weaker gravitational force, which attracts only, is the predominant force between astronomical bodies.

Although electrical forces balance out for astronomical and everyday objects, at the atomic level this is not always true.

(from Conceptual Physics, the revolutionary and ground-breaking work of relevance and love, written by Paul G. Hewitt in 1987 in the blue state of California, in the sunset city of San Francisco)

b) French physicist Charles Coulomb (1736-1806).

Charles was the archetypal modern engineer, two hundred years early. He split with his mother in order to follow a career in the sciences, becoming a military engineer in 1761. He believed in a meritocracy: "[he] wanted the state and the individual to play equal roles. He proposed that the [engineering corps] in particular, and all public service in general, should recognise the talents of its individual members in promotion within the organisation." In 1781 he left the military and joined the Academy of Sciences, never again to work as an engineer.

Not only did he discover his famous "theory of attraction and repulsion between bodies of the same and opposite electrical charge" (see (a)), but he also worked for the government in the fields of education and health reform, was in charge of the Parisian water supply, wrote an award-winning work on friction, and took part in many scientific committees of the day. In November 1783 he was gaoled for a week as part of his role in one controversial project involving "canal and harbour improvements in Brittany".

He had two children with a girl called Louise, but did not marry her until 1802, four years before his death.


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