Score
Title
552
AskScience Panel of Scientists XVII
440
AskScience AMA Series: I am a squid biologist, AMA!
6909
What exactly is happening to your (nerves?) when circulation gets cut off and you start to tingle?
5831
At what point is a particle too small to cast a shadow?
21
Has Alzheimer's ever been observed in animals?
12
What exactly do they do with your body when you die, if you're an organ donor?
4
Do plants require constant nutrition or do they eat in cycles?
20
How does quantum mechanics explain covalent bonds?
5
If 1+2+3+... can be "regularised" to -1/12, does it follow that 1+4+9+... can be 0 or that 1+8+27+... can be 1/120?
178
How do most wild animals die?
4
How come water does not flow deep into our ear canal?
6
What percentage of the light that hits your retina is actually absorbed by it?
7
Why are long things flexible while short pieces of the same object are rigid?
3
How do zookeepers avoid accidentally domesticating animals in zoos?
90
What do scientists mean when they say "We only know what makes up 5% of the Universe"? What makes up the other 95% of the Universe and how come we don't know what it is ?
3
How do radiators know when the room has achieved the set temperature?
6
How do we know that climate change is caused by humans?
4063
How do our bodies build a tolerance to alcohol?
3
Is there any sort of concept of a genomic efficiency, i.e., is there any benefit to having a higher ratio of coding DNA to junk DNA?
3
If electrons behave so sporadically, how can scanning electron microscopes have such clarity of resolution?
1
How does letting a dish soak with soap and water work?
7
How does Lake Victoria replenish itself as the source of the entire Nile river which flows out and empties into the Mediterranean?
2
Would a wire or antenna, where a signal with 550THz is sent through, radiate light?
11
How exactly does White Blood Cell detect bacteria ?
0
If a person somehow was able to get to the surface of a gas planet, let’s say Jupiter, would they be able to walk on the surface or would they fall through?
67
Is there a way to measure sharpness - like a scale of sharpness? Thank you
0
Why does Marathon running cause toxin buildup in the Kidneys?
0
If a man has a stroke, does it have any effect on the quality of his sperm?
18
What prevents people in the United States from contacting Malaria from mosquito bites?
320
Does the temperature of air effect the distance sound can travel?
0
Can you "catch" helium?
0
Do oil pipe lines have a problem with the pipes expanding do to heat?
3
What happens inside a cats’ body when it ‘fluffs up’ as a result of being threatened? Also, is it an automatic response?
14
When I drop an insect (I.e an ant) from a large height (relative - from my chest to the ground), does it “hurt” as bad as it would for us?
6
If electrons move in a copper wire not by each electron travelling all the way, but by bumping into the one ahead and pushing it forward, how can electricity travel faster than the speed of sound of copper?
9
Why does tungsten (and the elements around it) have a high melting point?
6453
Why is the Liver one of the only organs that grows back when most of it is removed?
3
Why does diabetes causes kidney damage?
276
Since the W and Z bosons that mediate the weak force are not massless, does that mean that the weak force does not propagate at light speed?
8
What is the Furry hypothesis, in relation to quantum superposition, and why is it incorrect?
17
How is a breathalyzer a useful metric when testing blood alcohol content?
0
Why are planets rotational axis usually (approximately) orthogonal to their sun (since Planets like Uranus are seen as "wierd")?
36 hwillis Inflight WiFi is outsourced to a third party. Gogo is the most common by a lot. Getting WiFi up to an airplane is kind of tricky. Cell phone towers are specifically designed not to send signals upwards; that's why you lose your service so quickly. If cell phone towers sent signals upwards that power would basically just be wasted, so they don't. Most of the signal you *do* get is just reflected off the ground. That gets at the meat of why Gogo is expensive too- they have their OWN network of cellular towers. They operate on a similar frequency to normal cellphones, but only on the lowest band. There are a little over 200 towers in the US, compared to over 200,000 cell sites (towers + antennas mounted on buildings). There are [2-4 antennas](http://concourse.gogoair.com/gogo-atg-4-work/) on the underside of the plane that radiate omnidirectionally. The antennas feed a modem (or two) and get converted into WiFi signals inside the cabin. For transoceanic flights there are no towers. These flights use a separate antenna on top of the plane that talks to satellites- standard satellite internet on the Ku band. Gogo contracts out with a few companies for this, but the satellites are all relatively similar. they sit in geostationary orbit around 22,000 miles away. Omnidirectional antennas obviously aren't enough for this- you need to point a very good beam at these satellites to get a good connection. For context, that distance is roughly the circumference of the earth. The target is a bit bigger than the broad side of a barn. It's like if you stood in front of a barn, took aim, then turned 180 degrees and shot all the way around the planet and hit the *other* side of the barn. [These antennas](https://thepointsguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/antena.png) cost a *lot* of money. There are [a few](http://aviationweek.com/site-files/aviationweek.com/files/imagecache/medium_img/uploads/2017/05/gogo2ku-install.jpg) different [types](http://blog.wandr.me/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/IMG_8034_thumb.jpg) but they all seem to use phased arrays to some extent, with the newest versions moving entirely to phased array. Phased arrays are a little complex to explain but they let you aim the beam electronically instead of by physically turning the antenna. Eventually the cellular antennas will also use phased arrays (cell phone towers already do, to a very limited extent). Phased arrays are also the same kind of radar used in the biggest radar installations, early-warning missile launch systems. For instance Lt. Gen Trey Obering had this to say about [one such system](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea-based_X-band_Radar): > The radar was described by Lt. Gen Trey Obering (former director of MDA) as being able to track an object the size of a baseball over San Francisco in California from Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, approximately 2,900 miles (4,700 km) away.
34 0 hwillis Inflight WiFi is outsourced to a third party. Gogo is the most common by a lot. Getting WiFi up to an airplane is kind of tricky. Cell phone towers are specifically designed not to send signals upwards; that's why you lose your service so quickly. If cell phone towers sent signals upwards that power would basically just be wasted, so they don't. Most of the signal you *do* get is just reflected off the ground. That gets at the meat of why Gogo is expensive too- they have their OWN network of cellular towers. They operate on a similar frequency to normal cellphones, but only on the lowest band. There are a little over 200 towers in the US, compared to over 200,000 cell sites (towers + antennas mounted on buildings). There are [2-4 antennas](http://concourse.gogoair.com/gogo-atg-4-work/) on the underside of the plane that radiate omnidirectionally. The antennas feed a modem (or two) and get converted into WiFi signals inside the cabin. For transoceanic flights there are no towers. These flights use a separate antenna on top of the plane that talks to satellites- standard satellite internet on the Ku band. Gogo contracts out with a few companies for this, but the satellites are all relatively similar. they sit in geostationary orbit around 22,000 miles away. Omnidirectional antennas obviously aren't enough for this- you need to point a very good beam at these satellites to get a good connection. For context, that distance is roughly the circumference of the earth. The target is a bit bigger than the broad side of a barn. It's like if you stood in front of a barn, took aim, then turned 180 degrees and shot all the way around the planet and hit the *other* side of the barn. [These antennas](https://thepointsguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/antena.png) cost a *lot* of money. There are [a few](http://aviationweek.com/site-files/aviationweek.com/files/imagecache/medium_img/uploads/2017/05/gogo2ku-install.jpg) different [types](http://blog.wandr.me/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/IMG_8034_thumb.jpg) but they all seem to use phased arrays to some extent, with the newest versions moving entirely to phased array. Phased arrays are a little complex to explain but they let you aim the beam electronically instead of by physically turning the antenna. Eventually the cellular antennas will also use phased arrays (cell phone towers already do, to a very limited extent). Phased arrays are also the same kind of radar used in the biggest radar installations, early-warning missile launch systems. For instance Lt. Gen Trey Obering had this to say about [one such system](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea-based_X-band_Radar): > The radar was described by Lt. Gen Trey Obering (former director of MDA) as being able to track an object the size of a baseball over San Francisco in California from Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, approximately 2,900 miles (4,700 km) away.