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Q & A: fluidic space

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
I heard of a thing called "fluidic space" on star trek, does it really exist, if so is it the areas of the universe that are absent of the intersteller medium, or is it somthing else?
- jake (age 14)
central memorial high school, canada
A:
What's the interstellar medium?

I guess you could say that a lake or ocean was a pretty fluidic space. At least they feel that way.

Mike W.

Interstellar space does have a small density of atoms (mostly hydrogen) and other collections of atoms commonly called "dust". There are also lots of photons (many from visible matter, and even more from the cosmic microwave background), neutrinos, and there is increasing evidence thereís a lot of other stuff we havenít yet been able to detect. Astrophysicists commonly use fluid mechanics to describe the flow of material through space -- the gases in stars, accretion disks, and elsewhere. The neutrinos and other stuff seem not to interact with each other very much, so fluid mechaincs is even more complicated than is needed to describe that stuff.

Take all the stuff away, and you donít need fluid mechanics any more.

Tom

(published on 10/22/2007)

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