Monday, March 01, 2004

I Stand Corrected

The perils of marrying someone smarter than oneself simply cannot be overstated. This just in from my beloved, in response to yesterday's entry about the Worm Cafe:

***The weight of the jars is dropping each week--can we assume that's because the worms are eating the food and converting some of that food into energy?***

We can assume that under 2 circumstances. 1) The worms are ignorant of the Law of Conservation of Matter, which says during ordinary chemical changes, there is no increase or decrease in the quantity of matter; 2) the worms are nuclear powered, where matter is converted into energy. When something eats, be it a worm, a bacterium, or a person, the same amount of matter is left over at the end, it just has less energy in it (the energy is transferred to the creature doing the eating).

The only way that the mass (weight) of the jars could be dropping would be due to the escape of water vapor, carbon dioxide, and other gases. Most of that would be due to the decomposition of the material, as the condensation on the jar seems to suggest.

Your clever husband

It is probably obvious to all of you that Scott and I did not meet in a physics class.

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