Monday, April 11, 2005

MetaStability

Consider a coin toss exerscise where the usual output is either heads or tails but then if it lands on the middle and continues to roll along the floor without settling down, would you be able to call it either heads or tails? Neither. All the same,you cannot call 'indecisive' because the coin hasnt stopped rolling. Like Poverty in India, this cannot be eliminated but could only be minimised.

Think of Diamonds. The crystalline Carbon with its total internal reflection is an amazing sight to behold but who would think of its slow phase transformation into graphite. In reality, Diamond is said to be metastable(ability of a unstable state to persist for a long period of time) at room temperature because heating a diamond would catalyse its transformation into graphite.Women love this unstable state of carbon.

If you are en electronics engineer you would readily associate words like "pain" or "bug", "avoid" to the word "metastability" and probably know more about this issue than me.
As I understand the binary equivalent of 0 or 1 could only be set by voltage level at a constant.Imagine the voltage level to be oscillating between 0 and 1 volts, you have a chip thats rendered unusable because a clock is very fundamental to synchronizing tasks. Now this is at a miscroscopic level, I have learnt about this in a painful way today at a macroscopic level. We found a bug in our application's state machine that exactly did this.Basically it lapsed into a unknown state while the application was synchronizing with the database. Its kind of hard to solve but with another layer of indirection we mitigated the risk of running into it again.

I think your mind occasionally cannot make up a decision and enters a state equivalent to this. Nevertheless, We make some decision and move on.

6 comments:

Sumedha said...

At what temperature exakk-leeee does diamond turn to graphite ???

Paddy said...

a pressure of about 15-20 GPa and temperatures of about 3000 K would be normally required.I forgot to mention pressure is another factor that contributes to the transformation.

At room temperature and atmospheric pressure, it requires about 1090 years for spontaneous transformation of diamond into graphite.


Fore more on he source of these facts please click here

Sumedha said...

Just confirming that diamonds really are a girl's best friends :)

perspective said...

wow!! that's pretty lota analysis...
but i would agree..sometimes the mind is never made up... wonder if you and i posted a similar post on the same date...
you this wonderful analysis - scientific and i this silly little poem...

:)

Paddy said...

[SumSin] Confirmed Now.

[Anya] Not Really a great anaysis methinks.Its just a pointer and observation to certain facts.
Different Strokes for Different Folks and To each unto his own kind of argument comes to mind seeing you compare the 2 posts. Nicely written.

Anonymous said...

a reasonable exercise of comparing a baccilus with humans led me to the fact that humans r far less efficient and slow than a baccilus.
especially a flagellated baccilus.[a flagellum is a cell outgrowth which aids the movement of baccilus.]
so a baccilus moves at a speed of 1cm-3cm per second.Mind u the size of baccilus is in angstom range. so the speed of a baccilus which has a humanoid size would be tooooooooooo fast.....Mach-2
a baccilus reproduces much faster.
a baccilus adapts faster to antibiotics...so is the antibiotic resistance.
i try to learn from smallest of creature...do u?

e-gaseous

pssst:there is relation of what i have scribbled to what u hav published.