Monday, December 26, 2011

The new light is "light"? Huh?

About 10 days ago The Irish Times published an article by Claire O'Connell with the title "Deep blue sea", in the business section, that carried the above picture of a rather calm ocean surface.  The caption of the picture says: "A major effort has been ongoing to define what lives in all the oceans, and how these organisms are connected.  By last year, the Census of Marine Life had encountered 'an unanticipated riot of species''.  The article consists several sections of varied lengths, the first section, "Marine life" is a fairly long one, mainly about the work of the Census of Marine Life's works that " has seen about 540 expeditions chalk up roughly 9,000 days at sea, and more than 2,700 researchers from over 80 countries." An impressive operation somehow the program I have not yet heard of, probably it was overshadowed by the "overwhelming" amount of wasteful global warming news coverage nowadays in the science world.  The section concluded with comments by a Dr. Peter Heffernan Of Ireland's Marine Institute:

“We are probably standing in a period where we could see a revolution in the pace at which mankind could get the knowledge of the ocean that we need, to understand how the planet really works, to deal with climate change and to take advantage of the many commercial opportunities associated with the ocean, which include such things as renewable ocean energies and deeper water sites and developments for aquaculture, which are going to be absolutely essential if we are to feed the growing populations of this planet,” he says.
“It is a technological challenge, but if we focus our minds on it, and there are initiatives to do that, there will be huge dividends – it will pay back mankind many times over to unlock the potential of the oceans and wisely steward the resource we are endowed with.”
These are quite optimistic and encouraging, may be a little short of realism, scientists' wishful and fund seeking talks. If the "technological challenge" and the hope for "huge dividend" can generate available lucrative funding support, it will probably can only expect to allure hordes of hungry, fund seeking scientists who can promise the moon!

The next section is , surprisingly to me, "Rogue waves cast in a new light"! Aha! It was "light' indeed. It reports that ". . . a European Research Council-funded project is taking a new approach to figuring out these dangerous oddities. They are synthesised from light to study their behaviours and possibly work out how to predict them . . . " So the new light is in fact aiming at "figuring out" all about freaque waves by synthesized from "light"?  Huh?  How do you synthesize a jumbo cruise ship sailing through "light" and encountering a typhoon or hurricane?

The article stated:

Using laser-based experiments, the project will look at the conditions under which these freak waves can arise, and use the optical findings to work out what conditions at sea would foster such rogue patterns, and so improve shipping forecasts.
The project also hopes to build an optical “wave farm” to analyse the potential impacts rogue waves could have on wave energy-harnessing devices.
Wait a minute,  what are the conditions under which freaque waves can arise?  Does anyone know for certain?  Can they provide a viable definition of freaque wave in the first place?  Granted it's only a miserly "€1.8 million Multiwave study with optics" project.  But it is of interest to note that scientists can still promising, not really the moon, but a "wave farm"  in the "light"!  That is really not an encouraging approach  for freaque wave researchers to expect learning what is happening about freaque waves, but if you can amass funding for the research, all power to you.  Ability to amass funding, in this day and age, is really the name of the game!   What do the $'s or €'s mean to the funding providers?  Probably just some silly numbers from the suckers, umm,, taxpayers!

By the way, what kind of ocean waves does the light see?  Can the light see breaking waves?  Can a surfer surfs in the light? 

1 comment:

Illuminati said...

It's almost as if they are suggesting that light has wave-like properties and that using this so-called "wave farm" that you could model billions of complicated wave interactions in seconds instead of the hundred thousand years it might take in a mechanical wave tank... Rubbish! They're after the funding the laser and fiber optics researchers used to get, which was also a huge waste of sucker money. And the statistics they would use to do this modeling? We now know that statistics and probability were invented in the late 1960's by the you-know-who gang! ;)

I do actually enjoy this site though. Lots of interesting content brought together.