Derive the age of the planet Jupiter from the properties of liquid hydrogen and the planet’s surface temperature


I dreamed that my homework assignment was to derive the age of the planet Jupiter. The professor hinted that physical properties of liquid hydrogen and the current Jupiter surface temperature would be useful.

My classmate Ted, on the other hand, had to extend a C++ base class to record a GUID name.

The two of us were taking a class together where we watched a reality show about two ditzy celebrities, and the professor said, "The next episode is so stupid, I don't even want anybody to watch it. But they do learn about Sirens of Greek mythology, so can you guys write up a quick one-pager to get everybody up to speed?"

That's how I ended up dreaming that Ted and I had to write a one-page overview of Greek Sirens.

Comments (8)
  1. Anonymous says:

    The answer obviously was 42, wasn't it? (I couldn't resist).

  2. On a strangely related note, today, Google has the doodle up for Douglas Adams' 68th birthday.

  3. Anonymous says:

    @crescens2k: It's not nice to explain one's joke, but you are forcing me to explicit that the point was exactly that, today's anniversary. :-)

    ps: 11 march 1952 <-> 11 march 2013 = 42, again!

  4. Anonymous says:

    [Derive the age of the planet Jupiter from the properties of liquid hydrogen and the planet's surface temperature]

    I'm told that this doesn't work because the cooling that should be observed with Jupiter's net radiation excess was not observed. In other words, Jupiter is functioning as a low-power nuclear furnace.

  5. Anonymous says:

    To dream that you are doing homework symbolizes the lessons that have learned or are learning. Pay attention to the assignment in your dream and figure out how it can be applied to your waking life.

  6. I wonder if Jupiter is getting the extra heat from fission of radioactives or some sort of catalyzed fusion reaction. I'm sure I read somewhere that Jupiter's core pressure isn't enough for fusion as stars do it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    But it might be enough for muon induced fusion. There's enough radioactive storm around Jupiter due to its magnetism to make that believable.

  8. Do you take melatonin? I always get these bizarre and real dreams from it.

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