Global Warming, Asteroid Impacts, and the Laws of Physics


impactWhen I was a first-year graduate student at Caltech, my Ph.D. adviser published a paper called „Impact-induced energy partitioning.“ He asked how an asteroid’s energy would change form if it collided with the Earth. He used computer models to estimate what fraction would go into lofting debris, heating, melting, vaporizing rocks, and so on.

By Mark BosloughThe Huffington Post

This subject was not settled science then, and is still not. One thing is for sure, however. The laws of physics dictate that energy is conserved. If an asteroid is hurtling toward your city, you might not be concerned that scientists are not 100 percent certain about how its energy will be „partitioned.“

Global warming is no different.

Another one of my professors was Richard Feynman. In his famous „Feynman Lectures“ he had a chapter called „Conservation of Energy“ in which he says:

„There is a fact, or if you wish, a law, governing all natural phenomena that are known to date. There is no exception to this law – it is exact so far as we know. The law is called conservation of energy.“

He imagined a child with toy blocks that are indestructible and can’t be divided. His mother counts the blocks every day and discovers a phenomenal law – no matter what he does with the blocks, there is always the same number at the end of the day.

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