Wednesday, December 07, 2011


Aloha! Here are a few photos from Pearl Harbor as it looks today. The Captain's chair of the battleship USS Missouri. The ship is covered in steel plate in some places 18 inches thick! They don't build ships like this anymore.

An unforgettable view out the Missouri bridge windows to the USS Arizona Memorial. US involvement in the war began with the attack here 70 years ago and ended with the surrender ceremony on Missouri's deck in Tokyo harbor.

The Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island. This B-25 bomber is in the colours of Doolittle's raiders. They launched from USS Hornet to bomb Tokyo.

The 16-inch gun turrets. Missouri and other Iowa-Class battleships carried 9 such giant rifles. They could each fire a 2700-pound shell 40 kilometres! Due to Earth's curvature a battleship can only fire as far as it can see, leaving the advantage to aeroplanes. For centuries ships with cannon dominated naval warfare.

Isaac Newton saw warships armed with cannon. He saw that the faster a cannonball is fired, the farther it travels. Newton deduced that a projectile moving fast enough would "fall" around the Earth's curve, becoming a satellite. The farther a satellite orbits from Earth, the slower its velocity. Newton surmised that the Moon's orbit followed the same law of gravitation.

If Newton were alive today he would see that particles of light (photons) appear to travel at the same velocity. He would also see evidence that Space/Time began at a tiny point, called a "Big Bang." As the Universe gets older, every point in Space/Time travels farther from that initial singularity.

Perhaps Newton would deduce that gravitation affects all particles, even those of light. Just as satellites circle the Earth, he might surmise that photons are locked in orbit around a "Big Bang." As light particles move farther in Space/Time from the Big Bang, their velocity must also slow.

GM=tc^3. Where G is Newton's gravitational constant, M and t are mass and age of the Universe. As time t increases, speed of light c is predicted to slow. Newton's laws continue to guide our spacecraft to the planets. The power of ideas lasts longer and travels much farther than a battleship's guns.



Blogger PaperJerry said...

Wow... I've never thought of a cannon to be a Science lesson such as yours.
Thanks for sharing!

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