133 reputation
6
bio website nathanielvirgo.com
location
age
visits member for 1 year, 8 months
seen Sep 8 at 10:00

I'm a post-doctoral researcher with a wide range of interests. My career is in complex systems science (or maybe cybernetics) and the origins of life, but I also have research interests in

  • the foundations of statistical mechanics and its relationship to information theory
  • Earth systems science
  • non-equilibrium thermodynamics in general

I'm also generally interested in the foundations of quantum mechanics and in black holes, though I wouldn't say I'm an expert on those things.

It's probably worth noting that despite the fact that my research is in physics-related areas, all my degrees are in other subjects. If I occasionally seem to start talking in an alien language, this is probably why.


Sep
24
awarded  Autobiographer
Jun
6
comment Perception of distant lights without glasses
@TheLastWord it's definitely something to do with refraction, and not floaters - the effect is the same for every distant light source, whereas floaters would be intermittent. The question is why my eye's optics (plus processing by my visual system) produce a different effect from that of an unfocused camera lens. I'll try to get around to sketching it one of these days.
Jun
4
accepted Are there any organisms that lack ATP synthase?
Jun
2
revised Are there any organisms that lack ATP synthase?
added 43 characters in body
Jun
2
revised Are there any organisms that lack ATP synthase?
added 141 characters in body
Jun
2
comment Are there any organisms that lack ATP synthase?
The linked article appears to be referring to organelles within eucaryotic cells, rather than to the cell as a whole. I'm specifically interested in whether there are any cells that entirely lack ATP synthase, not just in the organelles, but in the outer membrane as well.
Jun
2
awarded  Scholar
May
30
comment Are there any organisms that lack ATP synthase?
If you can add a convincing citation (for the lack of ATP synthase in fermentative organisms) or a link to more information, I will accept this answer.
May
30
comment Are there any organisms that lack ATP synthase?
Right, Krebs cycle, that was kind of obvious I guess. Thanks! But are there organisms that only produce ATP that way?
May
30
asked Are there any organisms that lack ATP synthase?
Mar
15
comment Perception of distant lights without glasses
@daniel I'm not sure if I can easily describe it in words. If I get a chance some time I will make a sketch.
Nov
8
comment Growing crops on the Moon
@GriffinEvo that's not to say there can't be any light. The sunlight that reaches a shady spot on a cloudy day on Earth is probably less than 1% (maybe much less) of the total energy provided by the Sun, and supplying that level of artificial light becomes much more feasible. But you still have to use plants that can cope with a 28-day dusk-daylight cycle.
Nov
8
comment Growing crops on the Moon
@GriffinEvo those things are all one-off costs. Lighting requires a continuous supply of energy. Maybe there are other options (fission, fusion) but the most obvious source for that energy is solar panels, and as I've discussed at length, the issue then becomes one of land area. The idea of agriculture is to maximise yield from a given area of land, and if half that land is occupied by solar panels then only half can have crops growing on it, which seems quite inefficient.
Nov
8
comment Growing crops on the Moon
@GriffinEvo the question I have asked is difficult and requires a considerable amount if expertise to answer. That is quite a different thing from being too broad, and I didn't think it was against the rules. It must definitely does have a specific answer. I completely disagree that it can be asked any more concisely than its current form, and when I edit it for clarity it will necessarily get longer. I have explained many times why modifying the day length won't work, and if you ignore that then you are simply not addressing the question.
Nov
7
awarded  Commentator
Nov
7
comment Growing crops on the Moon
I think I can re-write it to be clearer, but it will have to wait until I'm at my computer, either tomorrow or next week.
Nov
7
comment Growing crops on the Moon
@terdon again, most of the things you mentioned are already covered in the question. People keep bringing them up even though I already covered them, and I don't understand why. But Basically all the options you mention are possibilities, with the exception of artificial gravity, which is physically impossible (trust me, I'm an expert and know more of the underlying complexity) and artificial lighting unless it's kept to a minimum, for reasons already discussed. The question is aimed at someone with the knowledge and imagination to weigh those options up and arrive at a solution.
Nov
7
comment Growing crops on the Moon
@terdon yes, the quoted part can't be answered on its own. That's why the following section on background and clarification is necessary - but then people complained it was too long, so I can't win.
Nov
7
comment Growing crops on the Moon
@terdon there is only one question. It is stated in a quotation block at the top. The rest is clarification and background material - something which on most other stack exchange sites would be appreciated. I'm very happy to try and make it clearer, but if people keep just saying "it's unclear" without being specific about what they're having trouble with then there really isn't much I can do. Closing it would be perfectly reasonable if the question was against site policy, but it patently isn't, and the fact that the close votes are all for different reasons reflects this.
Nov
7
comment Growing crops on the Moon
@terdon I expected better from this community, but if they choose to close it it's their loss. I'm an expert from another field with what I believe is a perfectly specific and well-defined (if somewhat speculative) question about biology, and if that's not welcome here then I guess this just isn't the site for me.