proverb

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1. Objectivismonline.net

Thanks, I found out what the issue was. (Yay IP filtering)
2. Objectivismonline.net

Mods, please move and/or delete this as necessary as I'm not a frequent visitor here and don't know the forum that well. Does anyone know why Objectivismonline.net is down? Does anyone here also frequent that site? Thanks. Just curious.
3. Refraction

Think about what a 'wave' of light would look like if it acted like soldiers just going into the mud without changing directions. It would look like a wave that had originated from a different point but was traveling as though it was still coming from the same point as the waves outside the medium. That would just not 'look right' because if the light had originated within the medium the point of origin would have to had sent out parts of the same crest at different times. It just "doesn't fit" mentally. I really have no other way to approach this, maybe this didn't help. I don't know.
4. Refraction

My, very basic, understanding of the nature of light leads me to this rule of thumb: When an observed phenomenon involving light cannot be easily explained by considering light a particle, try considering it a wave. As I've also heard, it's not always correct to consider light to be a particle and not a wave or vise versa but rather some kind of hybrid of both. That said, consider light a wave and draw the same format drawing as the soldier analogy but use a set of waves emanating from a point outside the denser medium. You'll find in the new representation that, as the crest of a wave enters a new medium at a non-perpendicular angle, the form of the wave as it slows down will change uniformly. The reason that this is significant is that after this change the apparent point of origin for the waves that are now in the medium will seem to have shifted. The reason I think the soldier analogy fails is because one is led to consider a soldier a single unit and not part of a rank of a parade. Think about what would happen if a rank of infantry, who are ordered to stay in rank, entered a field of mud that slowed each soldier by the same amount. If they we're to just slow down and not change direction they would no longer be in rank, but if they were to adjust their direction when they entered the mud at an angle they would be able to stay in rank with the others in like medium until the whole parade was in the mud. This is purely a thought experiment and is how I have come to understand it but it doesn't say much about the physics of the situation. take a look at my little drawing: refraction.bmp
5. Elementary Matters

I have only a basic understanding of physics. Consequently and because of my love of math it is an area that I am very anxious to learn more about. My question is concerning the nature of the basic components of matter. Simply, what are they? I understand that research is very active in this area but I am uncertain if there are any theories that are gaining support. I have heard of the controversial "String Theory" which I have yet to grasp the basics of. I have also heard of the more substantiated "sub"-subatomic particles such as quarks and gluons and the elusive neutrino. However, I am not very clear on how "proven" these theories are. Any insight whatsoever on this subject would be greatly appreciated. Thank You.