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Annual science dumbed down on again!

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Annual science dumbed down on again!

Old 27th Dec 2016, 19:04
  #21 (permalink)  
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good try Blue up except that even the 3.6 volt AA is a cell, it has only one cell inside. It still doesn't become a battery until it is connected to one or more others.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 02:12
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It still doesn't become a battery until it is connected to one or more others
rans, out of curiosity what is the source of your definition? I ask because I've come across two definitions, one says "two or more cells" and the other "one or more cells". The manufacturers (at least the ones I have in my drawer) call the AA cells "batteries", and battery is the only word used in the bumf, absolutely no mention of "cell", though I understand why it can alternatively be called a cell. Plus I've seen the definition as you use it. ie Sometimes we call a single cell a ‘battery’, although technically we ought to say 'cell'. One university quotes " A cell is the smallest, packaged form a battery can take". An engineering source - "Battery - Two or more cells electrically connected to form a unit. Under common usage, the term "battery" also applies to a single cell". Confusion reigns.

Just professional curiosity from an ex electrician who loves minutia.

Last edited by megan; 28th Dec 2016 at 02:33.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 02:28
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Battery, by definition, means 'more than one of'.

Hence you have a battery of guns, or in this case, cells that make up a Battery.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 02:39
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I think "battery" has become a generic term rather like "Hoover" has.
Doesn't mean its correct though. However, a quick peruse of the "bay of evil" leads one to notice that coin cells are in fact correctly labelled as such.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 11:44
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And testing an HT battery with one's tongue. Now that imprints memories as clear as the day JFK was killed.

Brian Cox seems so nice, though I wish he'd stop saying longditude. He's not alone.

Jim al-Khalili - now there is a talented guy. BUT, to us with diminishing brains and damaged hearing, the need to make concophanistical noises every few seconds is driving me away from my favourite programs. If someone shows a volcano, it seems to need a drum roll, and mentioning a star! Oh, quick, get some pratt to blow a trumpet. It has become insane, with noise levels often exceeding that of the dialogue.

Another problem with science programs is the lack of openness about what we don't know. I think about gravity every day of my life. I read everything I can lay hands on late into the night and I know how little we know about the mechanism that shapes the Universe. Yet, folk will pontificate as though their notions are set in stone. Very misleading and at the same time off-putting to young minds considering a career in science. They need clarity, even if it means saying, 'we don't know' - with the emphasis on the fact it's the most exciting puzzle . . . in the Universe.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 13:33
  #26 (permalink)  
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My favourite science presenter is the delicious Professor Alice Roberts who has no affectations in voice or manner, but just simply tells it like it is.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 14:11
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Another problem with science programs is the lack of openness about what we don't know.
We do from time to time get reminded that science doesn't even seek to answer the "why" question.

Well, we do on science programs on the radio, I don't watch telly so don't know what they do there.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 14:13
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However, a quick peruse of the "bay of evil" leads one to notice that coin cells are in fact correctly labelled as such
Not all. In fact the document setting the international standard for watch batteries (IEC 60086-3:2016) uses that term "watch battery".

Last edited by megan; 28th Dec 2016 at 14:27.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 14:27
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Grief, they even had a guest appearance of Dr Richard Dawkins who allowed a spiked sphere to pendulumate* back to his nose. If I'd been God, I'd have interferred with spacetime for a moment and had his eye out.
Which kind of proves the good professor's point don't you think?
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 18:44
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Ah, A, B and C batteries, proper electronics! It doesn't matter one shoot if a cell is called a battery, what's wrong with a one cell battery anyway. Had this distinction with me through two physics degrees and a lifetime of engineering and you know what, it doesn't matter and no one should care.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 18:46
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Alice Roberts should have a degree in winsome smirking. It's all about me, another profile of my chest about now. Total lack of credibility but maybe just shows the scientific illiteracy of the BBC.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 20:57
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I suppose I could have made myself clearer now you point it out .......
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 21:55
  #33 (permalink)  
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of course, if the 21,000 CELLS had been wired up to provide the necessary power they would actually have become just one BATTERY.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 22:26
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The physical sciences only become beautiful through mathematics. Try constructing a TV programme to convey that. The 'wonder of science' or the awe and mystery of the unknown is one thing, but to actually give an understanding without the clarity of mathematics isn't sellable, even with a pretty face, winsome smile and modest breasts.


They may have better luck with the less mathematical sciences. Try selling sonic hedgehog stem sell pathways just after EastEnders.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 22:56
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Just for info. The symbols and definitions for cells and batteries are given in IEEE standard (IEEE Std 315) and the British Standard (BS 3939).

My old text books go back to Leclanche, Daniell and Volta cells. They are described in "Electricity as a Wizard" by Charles R Gibson in 1929. Volta cells shown wired in series become a pile or battery.
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Old 28th Dec 2016, 23:37
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Thanks for the info. Nothing would be lost in 2016 by not distinguishing between cells and batteries. You are right, but it doesn't matter.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 12:25
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If I hand you a black box with a couple of terminals can you count the number of cells within without opening it, using only very basic equipment? I thought not.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 12:47
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Originally Posted by le Pingouin View Post
If I hand you a black box with a couple of terminals can you count the number of cells within without opening it, using only very basic equipment? I thought not.
Yes, because I have X-ray eyes...



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Old 29th Dec 2016, 12:59
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Now, now, Mk I eyeball only! No cheating with your Mk III.
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Old 29th Dec 2016, 13:07
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Maybe they WERE using batteries:

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