Friday, August 22, 2014

Fundies Put 'Personhood" On November Ballot Again!

It's getting really, really tiresome now. That is, to see the knuckle-dragging Religious Right trot out their new "Personhood amendment" for Colorado's voters to stomp on once more. It's already been stopped three times, but I guess these useless turkeys seem to believe if they keep putting it up they will win out at some point.

The last time this farce got on the ballot (2011)  58% of voters cast votes against the amendment and the resistance was across age, race and class lines. In some places, especially college campuses, the tensions were so severe that it was being described as "Christian against Christian". The reason? Evidently, many critically thinking Christians properly saw this amendment as a step too far, and way..way beyond the bounds of simply protecting life.

This bollocks appeared before in 2010 and also in 2008. On both occasions here in Colorado it was roundly defeated, and so badly the last time, one would have thought its proponents would have tucked their tails between their legs and finally found something better to do with their time. But see, because they are zealots, they're unable to do that. So they simply "regroup" for the next election cycle, wasting taxpayers' money and time as they do so. They aren't motivated by facts, data or logic but specious beliefs.

Accordingly, their amendment states that a "fertilized human egg is a person, whether in a woman's uterus or in a test tube."  (In its newest incarnation, according to the Denver Post, Aug. 21, p. 2A)  it defines "an unborn child" as a "person").

Let's leave aside for the moment the fact that no sane person in his or her right mind can possibly regard a "zygote" as a person, or a fetus as an "unborn child". There is simply no standard by which that passes even elemental laws or tests of logic, or science.  A child cannot be "unborn" because by definition it is already born!  Thus, we send the 'child' to school, to take his medicine and so on. If unborn, it's a fetus, not a "child". Don't these ignorant twits know any better?

Meanwhile, a person, a human person, must have at least minimal capacity for basic cognition and rudimentary choice. It must possess a brain, at the very least, which evinces definite brain waves. Anything that doesn't is a proto-human entity, but clearly not a person. The logical error made is called the "genetic fallacy". That is, arguing that because a thing is going to become something, it IS something. It would be like me picking up an acorn and claiming it's an oak tree. Nope. No way.

Then there is the aspect of unintended consequences, which I actually believe drove most sane Christians to vote against it. Consider here, that if (by the dictates of the amendment) the destruction of fertilized eggs is outlawed then that would mean wholesale banning of various birth control devices. For example, it would ban the use of all IUDs, or intra-uterine devices, by virtue of the fact that while they permit fertilization they impede the attachment of the fertilized egg to the uterine wall. Hence, any woman using one would -by the letter of the law- be eligible for imprisonment, perhaps up to five years or more.

The morning after pill would also be criminal to use, because its primary benefit is to interfere with the fertilization. The pill delays ovulation or thickens cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg, meaning that fertilization can't occur. Beyond that, it is certainly plausible that any pregnant women deemed to exhibit "dire disrespect for the life of the zygote" might be taken in by the pro-fertilization cops. For example, if caught having one too many at a bar, or lighting up a toke - say at a party. Even if they participate in an event (say 5K run) deemed not to be in their best interest.

The worst thing is that even with such passage, the psychotically driven lunatics behind it likely won't be satisfied and may be encouraged to go one step further: say outlawing the slaughter of sperm cells as "potential living persons" (i.e. after being united with eggs). In this hellacious case, all male masturbators would be fined and imprisoned merely for performing a vital function which many medical practitioners recommend (to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, see e.g. Dorothy Baldwin's monograph 'Understanding Male Sexual Health').

DO we really, really want to go there? Have some possible poor guy in some dark, zealot-driven future emerge as a test case to face execution for committing a "holocaust" via release of semen outside of an act of potential conception?

It's time for Colorado voters to teach these lunatics another lesson, and this time let's make it such a blowout vote against they will never put their personhood twaddle on any ballot ever again!

Looking At Basic Atomic Physics (2): The Photo-Electric Effect

Continued from yesterday:

3. The Photo-Electric Effect:

The famous photo-electric effect is important because of how it highlights the particulate nature of quanta.  (So is often also included in previews to quantum theory) While electron diffraction enabled the hypothesis of matter waves or de Broglie waves, the photo-electric effect reinforced the nature of light as  photons.

    The effect was first observed by Heinrich Hertz in 1887, but it was left for Einstein to explain (and for which he won the Nobel Prize) in 1905. The effect at the time, was most directly observed when a + charged zinc plate (in a Braun type electroscope) was exposed to x-rays or ultraviolet radiation which caused an increased deflection of the electroscope leaf.  Conversely, a negatively charged plate exposed to the same high frequency radiation caused a decreased deflection showing a loss of potential. Hertz demonstrated the effect using an apparatus such as shown in Fig. 6.

Phil Stahl's photo.
Fig. 6: Apparatus to investigate the  photo-electric effect

Here, an evacuated tube contained two electrodes connected to an external circuit with the anode being the metal plate on which the radiation was incident. The photo-electrons emerging from the surface thus had sufficient kinetic energy to reach the cathode despite its negative potential. These electrons formed the current (photo-current) measured by the ammeter.

     To measure the maximum kinetic energy of the photo-electrons one applies a retarding voltage V, gradually increasing it until the most energetic photo-electrons are stopped so the photo-current becomes zero.

At this point::  eVs = K max=  ½ mv max2

     Thus, the maximum kinetic energy of the electrons can be obtained if Vs is known.  If  K max is then plotted against the frequency of the incident radiation (for different tests) a graph such as that shown in Fig. 7 is obtained.

Phil Stahl's photo.
Fig. 7: Plotting K max vs. f to get the work function

The results of such experiments showed:

i)The number of photo-electrons emitted is proportional to the intensity of the incident radiation

ii) The photo-electrons are emitted within an energy range; 0 < K < K max   corresponding to a range of frequencies: fo <  f   <  f’. Hence, there exists some frequency (fo) defined as the threshold frequency, below which no electrons are emitted.

From the graph originating in such experiments, it is therefore possible to write:

½ mv max2    =  hf  -  f

Where f is the “work function”.  It follows from this that one can also get the following graph in terms of the stopping potential Vs :

Phil Stahl's photo.
Fig. 8: Alternate graph in terms of the stopping potential

This is known as the empirical graph based on actual measurements. Recall from the theory: ½ mvmax2   =  hf  -  f

And, from experiment: eVs = ½ mvmax2  

Therefore, combining the two:

eVs =  hf  -  f


Vs =   hf/ e   -  f/e = (h/e) f -  f/e

Where (h/e) is then the slope which can be computed based on the two known quantities (h = 6.626 x 10 -34 Js) and e = 1.6 x 10-19 C.  This yields:

(h/e) = (6.62 x 10 -34 Js)/ 1.6 x 10-19 C = 4.13 x 10-15 Js/C

Hence, in such experiments the slope h/e will always remain the same but the y-intercept (f/e) will change.  Note that an alternate form of the energy relationship can be written:

½ mvmax2    = hf – (h fo) = h (f - fo) since f = h fo


Einstein’s explanation:

A beam of radiation consists of bundles of energy of size hf called “photons”. When such photons collide with electrons at or on a metal surface, they transfer an energy hf. The electrons on the metal surface either get all of this energy or none at all. In leaving the surface, electrons lose an amount of energy f which is the work function of the surface. The maximum energy with which an electron can emerge is:

(Energy gained from work function) – (work function)

The fact that K max   is independent of the light intensity can be grasped this way: If the light intensity is doubled, the number of photons is doubled which doubles the number of photo-electrons emitted.  However, the kinetic energy, which equals hf  -  f depends only on the frequency of light and the work function, not on the light intensity.  Lastly, the fact electrons are emitted almost instantaneously is consistent with the particle theory of light in which the incident energy of light occurs in small packets  and there is a one to one interaction between photons and electrons.

Problem:  Sodium has a work function of 2.0 eV. Calculate the maximum energy and speed of the emitted electrons when sodium is illuminated by radiation of l = 150 nm. What is the lowest frequency of radiation for which electrons are emitted?


The work function: f = 2 eV = 2(1.6 x 10-19 J)

 f =  3.2 x 10-19 J

The incident energy E = hf = hc/l

hc/ l = (6.62 x 10 -34 Js) (3 x 108 ms-1)/ (150 x10-9 m)

 hc/ l = 13.2 x 10-19 J


K max  =  hf  -  f = [13.2 x 10-19 J - 3.2 x 10-19 J]

K max  =   10-18 J

The velocity v = Ö(2 K max  /m) =

 [(2 x 10-18 J) /(9.1 x 10 -31kg)]1/2 = 1.5 x 10 6 ms-1

Threshold ("cut off") frequency  fo = f / h

f / h =  (3.2 x 10-19 J)/ (6.62 x 10 -34 Js)


f o =   4.8 x 10 14 Hz



1)When light of l = 0.50 mm falls on a surface it ejects photo-electrons with a minimum velocity of  6 x 10 5 ms-1    Calculate: a) The work function in eV, and b) the threshold frequency for the surface.

2) A stopping potential Vs = 0.54 V is used for photo-electrons dislodged from a metal surface by radiation with l = 750 nm.  Find the frequency of the incident radiation and the work function of the metal in electron volts.

3) When light of wavelength 500 nm falls on a surface it produces photo-electrons with a maximum kinetic energy K max  =   0.57 eV. Use this data to find the work function in eV and the stopping potential in volts.


Can A Former AF Tea Bagger Even READ Properly?

Seems another would -be, wannabe warrior, flashing his badges of security all around (doubtless to gain some kind of credibility, despite minding a coding and intercept  facility in Brindisi, Italy over 1969-71), thinks I was wrong in my suggestion of using Sarin on the ISIS vermin. According to 'Mr. Air Force Man', the use of all poison gas has been banned since the end of World War I because of the diffusive and dispersant effects. Thus, a large amount of collateral damage can be inflicted if release is proximate to population centers, villages etc..

This is absolutely true, and I never overlooked it. So if Mr AF man would have spent less time pounding his chest in false bravado and more time reading the blog post (Aug. 10, 'The Solution to the ISIS Terrorists: Nerve Gas')  to which he refers in his FB rant, he'd have read the parenthetical at the end of the 6th paragraph:

This assumes, obviously, the ISIS fighters can be isolated sufficiently that innocents won't also be gassed. Thus, dump the sarin when ISIS alone is in the vicinity of a dam they gain control of - or when they're racing across the desert in their land rovers, jeeps, trucks etc.

I thought to any person of 5th grade reading ability that point wouldn't have been missed, but evidently I was wrong. Way wrong!  Maybe, despite the fact the Web manners police insist no use of caps, I ought to have written the whole damned thing in caps, then Mr.AF Man wouldn't have missed it like he did.

When I said "isolated sufficiently" I meant in situations - such as racing across hundreds of miles of Iraqi desert (I guess he knows Iraq is mostly desert) and hence far from any population areas. The dam reference implied the ISIS rats had taken it over completely and killed all those around.

In such instances Sarin would be the perfect agent to use in the right concentration (100 mg can kill a man confined to a one cubic meter closet in 1 minute). Also, unlike mustard gas  or chlorine (used in WWI) it doesn't just roll over the landscape affecting all in its wake but diffuses more rapidly because of having less density.  But maybe he didn't take chemistry any more than he took physics in HS.

Sarin and other similar nerve agents aren't banned because of the potential diffusive effects so much as their chemical action on the body. Once inside your body, nerve agents affect the signaling mechanism that nerve cells use to communicate with one another. Sarin is a cholinesterase inhibitor -- it gums up the cholinesterase enzyme, which your nerve cells use to clear themselves of acetylcholine.

The result is a horrific death summarized by the acronym 'SLUDGE': sweating, larcrimating, urinating, defecating and gastro-intestinal emesis.  Hence, the person makes a mess of himself before the final convulsions and asphyxiation.  In other words it's damned terrible in its physical effects which is why it's been banned. 

But are the ISIS bugs deserving of being spared such appalling  effects? Not when they enslave and rape females and torture and behead innocents. They are no better than rats and deserve what they get. Hell, if it didn't take so long, I'd ditch the Sarin and just round up all of them and dump them on Komodo island and let the giant lizards rip them to shreds piece by piece. A death by a 'thousand bites'.

The Pentagon announced this morning that "all options are on the table"  and one of them should certainly be the POSSIBLE use of Sarin if the right - I say RIGHT  - conditions for use present themselves. If they don't, then obviously you don't use it since we want to keep the kill count on the ISIS maggots  not anyone else.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Basic Atomic Physics: Insight Problem Solution

We now look at the solution of the insight problem at the end of the Basic Atomic Physics blog post:


The energies for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Balmer transitions will be, respectively:


1st)  E (n=5 to n = 2 ) =  - 13.6 ( 1/ 5 2   -1/ 2 2 )


2nd) E (n=4 to n = 2 ) =  - 13.6 ( 1/ 4 2   -1/ 2 2 )


3rd)  E (n=3 to n = 2 ) =  - 13.6 ( 1/ 3 2   -  1/ 2 2 )


Take differences between energy levels for Balmer lines:


Balmer a line (called H- alpha):


E3 – E2 =  - 13.6 eV ( 1/ 3 2   -  1/ 2 2 )   = -


 13.6 eV( 1/9 – ¼) = -13.6 eV (-5/ 36) = 1.88 eV


Now, 1 eV =  1.6 x 10-19 J  so:


So:  E3 – E2 =    1.88 eV  (1.6 x 10-19 J  /eV) = 3.02 x 10-19 J 


From this, the wavelength of the photon emitted can be found. Since E = hf = h (c/ l):

l =   hc/ (E3 – E2) 


l =    (6.626069 x 10- 34 J-s)(3 x 10 8 m/s)/ (3.02 x 10-19 J )   


l =    6.56 x  10- 7 m


Balmer b line (called H b):

E4 – E2 =  - 13.6 eV ( 1/ 4 2   -  1/ 2 2 )   


= - 13.6 eV( 1/16 – ¼) =   -13.6 eV ( -3/16) =    2.55 eV


 1 eV =  1.6 x 10-19 J  so:

So:  E4 – E2 =    

2.55 eV (1.6 x 10-19 J  /eV) = 4.08 x 10-19 J 

As before, the wavelength of the photon emitted is:

l =   hc/ (E4 – E2)  = 

 (6.626069 x 10- 34 J-s)(3 x 10 8 m/s)/ (4.08 x 10-19 J )


l =    4.47 x  10- 7 m


Balmer g  line (called Hg ):

E5 – E2 =  - 13.6 eV ( 1/ 5 2   -  1/ 2 2 )  


= - 13.6 eV( 1/25 – ¼) = -13.6 eV ( -21/100) =    3.4 eV


 1 eV =  1.6 x 10-19 J  so:


So:  E5 – E2 =   

 3.4  eV (1.6 x 10-19 J  /eV) = 5.44 x 10-19 J 

As before, the wavelength of the photon emitted is inversely proportional to the difference between energy levels:

l =   hc/ (E5 – E2)  = 

(6.626069 x 10- 34 J-s)(3 x 10 8 m/s)/ (5.44 x 10-19 J )

l =    3.63 x  10- 7 m



Another Icon of Right Wing Loony Tunes: Michael Savage

If one scans the landscape- web sites, Facebook entries etc.  of right wing idiots and loony tunes, one name sure to appear is that of Michael Savage. Just like Limbaugh, Hannity, Glenn Beck, O'Reilly and Larry Schweikart,  this tool seems to be one of the specially lionized imps by Tea Baggers (aka "constitutionalists"), radical conservatives and others who value anti-intellectualism over anything else.

According to Rational Wiki:

"An ultra-radical conservative, Savage, along with such others as Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, has been a contributor to the ongoing demonization of liberal people and viewpoints, helping to maintain the current level of mutual fear and loathing in American politics. He is rabidly xenophobic, misogynistic and homophobic, and hates potheads with a burning passion"

As in the case of Larry Schweikart, this dope is a fake. So, all the huzzahs he gets from his boot lickers, groupies and sycophants are all for nothing- just empty banter. Most probably, his fawners and followers don't even know the history of this phony, including that he deliberately changed his original (Russian-Jewish) name  (Michael Alan Weiner) to "Michael Savage" - which was the "inspiration" for Savage Nation. Obviously, as psychologists will tell you, if you pick a psychotic name you will act the part of a psychotic. So it's no different with Savage.

Again, from Rational Wiki:

"Savage sews irrational, unfounded liberal-bashing with his life story. Explaining the thesis of the book (Savage Nation), he has said: "Only a more savage nation can survive...Not a more compassionate nation...We're not going to survive by being overly compassionate to our enemies."

But what about to our own people, like hungry children on food stamps, or moms and dads that have to work 20 hours a day and still can't make ends meet on minimum wage - so must go onto food stamps to have enough food? Evidently, Savage doesn't care to extend compassion to them either. How can he if he seeks to implement "savage Nation" and presumably have all his savage followers at his beck and command to do it?

The "nation" he espouses is one only for the fittest, so "survival of the fittest" would be its motto - after Herbert Spencer - who once famously dismissed any societal obligations to needy or disabled people that often begged at alms houses for services:

"If they are sufficiently complete to live, they do live, and it is well that they should live. If they are not sufficiently complete to live, they die, and it is best that they should die."

This, we can say, is the "philosophy" of the Savage-worshipping lackeys boiled to its essence. They'd let hungry kids on food stamps starve, let poor blacks continue to rot away in urban ghettoes and get shot every night under some ruse, even as they themselves blame others for their predicaments.

Rational Wiki for perspective again:

"Savage's style and views are so outspoken, vitriolic, and hyper-masculine that even the conservative pundit Bernard Goldberg included Savage in 110 People Who Are Screwing Up America. Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell has called Savage "crazy right" and has also said: "Michael Savage is to talk radio what Jerry Springer is to talk television"

So we can well imagine what his followers are like.

In a recent dustup  circulated on Youtube ("Michael Savage tears a liberal professor to pieces") Savage harangued a professor  trying to educate him on minority presence in riots in AZ.  Like Limbaugh - Savage saw fit to use bombast and epithets ("You're full of crap!") when the prof tried to reason with him.

Incredibly, Savage's delirious followers, instead of seeing the absence of reason and logic on their hero's side, chose to dump on the prof instead. And by extension any or all who had ever taught in academia as - get this " "lording it over their students" and "giving them Ds if they don't accept what they're told".
Cartoon concepts, anyone?  People like this obviously never attended college, were never exposed to critical thinking. Also,  when they go so far as to assert academics "never contributed a thing, a service, or product in their lives" they leave themselves open to ridicule and sharp rejoinder. . about imparting, or trying to, fact-based knowledge and critical thinking - which if YOU had a modicum of you wouldn't be slavering after every word of a crackpot like Savage?

Following their own logic to its end conclusion:  college is value-less to everyone, since all the profs are simply blathering nonsense and "on the dole". They aren't "doing" anything.  But if that has substance why are so many going to college, even with the high debt it entails? Perhaps they realize that doing so assures higher earning power and income at the end of the day - much higher than HS grads.

As for "products" and "services" - funny, but most of those I see all around me today - from smart phones (for "selfies) to Youtube and Twitter, are merely ramping up ever more time wasting and stupidity by the users.. I mean, how many times can you take your own selfie or show kitties punching doggies on video? Oh, and then dispatch tweets about them?  Such transitory nonsense evaporates compared with the value of hard-won knowledge which most of these yahoos wouldn't recognize if it bit them in the ass.

As for "giving Ds" - I seldom ever had occasion to do so myself, unless a student really did something dumb - say like turning in a lab or physics homework and writing on top: "I ought to get an 'A' just for turning it in!". Yeppers, and in red ink! Uh, no Buster, you get a big fat D- if it's incomplete or the data is copied from someone else.

Am I "lording it" over the little imp for giving him a D-minus? Of course not! Just trying to educate him at least in the basic sense that you don't dictate grades to your physics prof! But as we know, this sort of education breeds in the babies of the right the sense of victimization and being picked on. Who? By all those bad, nasty liberals of course!

Those 'libruls' who want to take their guns and bibles away, and teach their kids about global warming and evolution.

It's sad that so much internecine strife in this country today is based on perceived victimization and demonization. But with the likes of Limbaugh, Larry Schweikart and Savage around and people not adequately trained in critical thinking, what would you expect?

See also: Test - Are You A Racist?

Screw the Weak-Kneed, Neolib Dems: Nail Rick Perry's Ass to the Wall!

I am sick and tired of the pussified, wussified Neoliberal Democrats like former Obama advisor David Axelrod,  who have in large measure been responsible for gutting the party and driving many of us away to become independents. For example,  they fail to see or perceive constitutional rights, e.g. Axelrod unhesitatingly came down on Snowden for his revelations - while also now being willing to allow the likes of Texas cornpone Guv Rick Perry to escape accountability. Axelrod recently tweeted that the Texas Democrats ought to leave this jackass alone and not pursue a Grand Jury investigation. The modus operandi of the Neolib Democrats: Go after the good guys and tar them, leave the bad guys alone!

Why should we leave Perry to his devices? The documents show Perry violated state law by having funding removed, to the tune of $7.5 million, from the Public Integrity Unit in Austin. This was done after a DA in heavily Democratic Travis County (with Austin the state capital) was jailed after a drunk driving incident. Perry, just like Dumbya before him, then let the power go to his head and said if the DA didn't resign (so he could install a Gooper) he would veto funding for the unit - clearly a case of political extortion if ever there was one. The DA, of course, realizing what was at stake refused, and Perry make good on his vile threat.

As one of the prosecutors noted this morning (CBS Early Show), this  Public Integrity Unit is the only oversight branch in the state with any potential to keep the renegades like Perry in line. Renegades and cornpones who'd just love to do whatever they hell they want. For example, as has been reported (Denver Post, Aug. 20, p. 18A) at the time Perry carried out his threat the unit was investigating a cancer research institute that was one of Perry's pet projects. (One of its high ranking officials now faces a felony corruption charges. If the Dem DA had been stupid enough to step down, Perry would have replaced her with a pawn who'd have quashed the investigation.)

Further, this knuckle-dragging imp would have made sure no Texas liberal ever got into such a powerful  oversight office again.

Perry, after being indicted, snarked to Fox News:

"This isn't America! We don't use indictments to settle our issues!"

Uh, you need to look up 'Richard Nixon', bozo!  Hell, there are probably any number of other indictments can be made on this turkey to derail his obvious presidential aspirations. (We need another Texas cornpone fool  for President like we need an Ebola outbreak). What else to nail him on to derail his White House bid?

The Dallas Morning News  reported in October, 2011  that more than $16 million of Perry's special fund had gone to companies with substantial links to some of Perry's campaign backers. Meanwhile, "one $4.5 million grant went to an Austin pharmaceutical start-up founded by David Nance who's donated more than $75,000 to the Governor since 2001" (ibid.).

If Texas is any example, one can just imagine the nonstop shenanigans if this guy were to somehow get elected to the Presidency! "Teapot Dome Scandal II" anyone?

One would have thought that two Texans in office would have been at least enough to last a hundred years. But maybe Americans are so taken in by swagger, drawl and brash talk that they would succumb to this dolt. If they do, we can really say 'hasta la vista' to what's left of this country! "Third World America" won't merely be a distant fear but an immediate reality, as Perry plots to make the entire U.S. look like Texas.

All the more reason to ensure a full grand jury investigation and to torch his 2016 plans like Chris Christie's have been.  Plus, let's not forget how Perry made a lot of threatening remarks about then Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke two years ago. (But then American memories are fairly short).

Recall again Perry's words - verbatim- made in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Aug, 15, 2011:

"If this guy prints more money between now and the election. I don’t know what y'all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous, or treasonous in my opinion." 

Treasonous in Texas? Hmmmm.....what does that bring to mind? Well, the thousands of 'Wanted for Treason' posters going up on nearly every telephone pole and bldg. in Big D, on the morning of Nov, 22, 1963, e.g.

 Barely four hours later, Kennedy was shot dead. He took a round to the throat, one to the upper back, and a dum-dum to the head - which exploded inside his skull, sending brain matter spewing out back across the limo. (Jackie desperately lunged across the limo trunk to try to retrieve the expelled skull fragment )

We also know that Perry, from his comments in 2011-12, is a died-in the wool Confederate sympathizer and Secessionist so has no respect for law and order.

 Thus his treason threat is well taken.

Indeed, this man doesn't even know that the 10th amendment to the Constitution is not a carte blanche to have states' rights. It specifically refers to powers (and as Alexander Hamilton elaborated, 'prerogatives') not to rights!

Government Prof. Garry Wills clarified these issues in his landmark book, A Necessary Evil-A History Of American Distrust Of Government, Simon & Schuster, 1999:

"The Ninth Amendment talks of 'rights enumerated' and says 'the people' retain unenumerated ones. The rights in the Ninth are not the rights of the state, which can- strictly speaking - have no rights.

That Perry doesn't know any of this, and even - in one Reepo debate- was unable to name even three government agencies - shows he is unqualified for the highest office in the land.

The indictment now, and the Grand Jury process, is then an excellent means to ensure Perry doesn't get close to any election possibility.

Since this is the case, we cannot allow Perry's previous words or actions to slide here, or try to softsoap them away - as David Axelrod attempted  to do.

Looking at Basic Atomic Physics (1)

1.The Rutherford Model of the Atom.

 What may be called the first foray into basic atomic physics by which further theory could be built upon, commenced with the Geiger and Marsden experiment – first suggested by Lord Rutherford in 1909. The basic setup is depicted in the rough sketch below:

Phil Stahl's photo.
Fig. 1: Basic Layout of the Geiger-Marsden Experiment

From the Rutherford experiment design, Geiger and Marsden made use of a source of alpha particles to bombard a thin metal foil, on the other side of which was a detecting zinc sulfide screen. They found that while most alpha particles arrived at A, in the direction shown, a few also scattered to positions at B and C which could be detected when the screen at A was moved to the other positions.  The nature of the scattering and deflections (especially some alpha particles at very large angles) was such that there had to be a highly concentrated charge or “nucleus” at the center of the atom. Since the alpha particles are relatively massive (at about 4.002 amu each) the deflections at wide angles meant nearly all the atomic mass was concentrated in the center of the atom and electrons were in the distant outer regions.

Rutherford thereby proposed a model of the atom in which nearly all the mass was concentrated in a very small nucleus while the electrons were scattered at some distance away. This is depicted below in Fig. 2.

Phil Stahl's photo.
Fig. 2: The Rutherford Model of the atom

The key consequence was that the Rutherford experiment, carried out by Geiger and Marsden, showed that the “pudding pie” model of J.J. Thomson was incorrect. If Thomson’s model was correct, then the expected deflection could be no larger than 0.0001 radians or less than a degree. Since the observed deflections were in some cases more than 100 degrees, it failed the experimental test.

Despite this success, Rutherford’s model still hadn’t won the day. It was largely accepted because it could quantitatively alpha-scattering by thin foils. His model could not: 1) explain line spectra in atoms, including both absorption and emission lines, 2) account for the stability of atoms and could only account for half the nuclear mass.

2. The Bohr  Model of the Atom.

The Bohr Model of the atom, proposed by Neils Bohr, directly challenged the Rutherford model by showing how the observed emission and absorption lines of spectra could be explained. At the heart of Bohr’s model was simplicity, with the hydrogen atom – for example – configured to a miniature solar system with the nucleus at the center and the electron in orbit around it.

 Phil Stahl's photo.

Fig. 3: The Bohr Model of the atom.
From the diagram the electron (e) orbits at a radius r from the central nucleus of charge Ze. As with the planets, a centripetal (inner directed force) F acts toward the center.

 Bohr’s major concept was to quantize the electron orbits. He proceeded by first quantizing the angular momentum of the orbit:

m vr  = nh/ 2p  = n ħ

where  ħ  =  h/ 2p   is the Planck constant divided by 2p.

The Planck constant, first proposed by Max Planck, is:

h = 6.626069 x 10- 34 J-s

Then the value of ħ  = 1.0546 x 10- 34 J-s

Next: both sides are squared:

(m vr ) 2 =  (n ħ)2

So:  m2 v2 r 2 =  n2 ħ2

And:  v2  =  n2 ħ2     / m2  r 2

Now, Bohr looked at the total energy of the H-atom in terms of it kinetic (K) and potential (V) contributions, so:

E = K + V  =    ½ m v2  -  k e2  / r

E = K + V  =  

k e2  /  2r    - k e2  / r =  - k e2  /  2r    

(Since  ½ m v2   =  k e2  /  2r )

Now solve for r (actually the quantized r n ):

r n  = [  n2 ħ2/ m2 v2 ] ½

But  from the kinetic energy equivalence:

v2 =  k e2  /  mr =  n2 ħ2   m2  r 2

\    r n  = [n2 ħ2   / m k e2  ]

The Bohr radius is just the value when the principal quantum number n = 1, so :

r o  = [ ħ2   / m k e2  ]   = 0.0529 nm = 5.2917 ×10−11 m

This is just the most probable radius, i.e. distance between proton and electron, in the hydrogen ground state.

Now, to obtain the quantized energy (E n) we substitute the value for r n  into the total energy equation:

E =  - k e2  /  2r     =

 - k e2  /  2[n2 ħ2   / m k e2 ]   

E = - m k 2 e4  /  2n2 ħ2   =

 - m k 2 e4  /  2 ħ2     [1/ n2] = - 13.6/ n2   

Where the last quantity  is in eV, or electron volts. Here the n refers to the energy level, ground state is n = 1, so can allow the computation of energy for a given level. Or, the energy for a photon emitted from an atom when an electron makes a transition – say from n = 2 to n = 3. Such a situation is shown below:

Phil Stahl's photo.

Fig. 4: A few energy transitions made in Hydrogen

An important point is that the quantized angular momentum postulate (m vr  = n ħ) restricts the possible circular orbits to defines sizes according to the quantized radii (r n  etc.). Thus the normal state of the atom, say hydrogen, will be that for which it has the least energy or the ground state – corresponding in the case of hydrogen to the Bohr radius. Some transitions for different spectral series are shown below:

Phil Stahl's photo.
Fig. 5. Some Energy transitions in the Hydrogen Bohr atom

     As shown in Fig. 4, emission occurs when an electron in the atom, say hydrogen, makes a transition from a higher to a lower energy level, accompanied by the emission of a photon with a defined energy E = hf = h (c/ l). Consider for example, a transition from the n = 2 to the n = 1 level, as depicted in the lower right of Fig. 4 and in the first line of the Lyman series of Fig. 5.

The energy at the n= 2 level is:

E(n=2) =  - 13.6/ n2   = - 13.6/ (2)2      =  - 13.6/4  (eV)


Now, 1 eV =  1.6 x 10-19 J  so:

E(n=2) =  - 13.6/4  (eV) =  -(3.4) x 1.6 x 10-19 J  =


 -5.4 x 1.6 x 10-19 J 


The n= 1 level has energy:


E(n=1) =  - 13.6/ n2   = - 13.6/ (1)2      =  - 13.6  (eV)


E(n=1) =  -(13.6)  x 1.6 x 10-19 J  = -21.8 x 10-19 J 


Then the energy difference is:

E2 – E1 = [- 5.4 – (-21.8)]  x 10-19 J  = 16.4 x 10 -19 J 


From this, the wavelength of the photon emitted can be found. Since E = hf = h (c/ l):


l =   hc/ (E2 – E1) 


l =    (6.626069 x 10- 34 J-s)(3 x 10 8 m/s)/ 16.4 x 10-19 J 


l =    1.21 x 10 -7 m 


The frequency can be found from:

f = (c/ l) = (3 x 10 8 m/s) / 1.21 x 10 -7 m  = 2.47 x 10 15 Hz

Insight problem:  Using Fig. 5 as a basis, compute the energies and wavelengths of the photons emitted when the electron in the hydrogen atom makes the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Balmer transitions.