Engineering, Management, Technology Consulting

The Answer is Still Out There

The talk about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math being still needed is exemplified by this article off Slashdot today:

"According to new research by British historian Tim Maltin, records by several ships in the area where the Titanic sank show atmospheric conditions were ripe for super refraction, a bending of light that caused a false horizon that concealed the iceberg that sank the Titanic in a mirage layer preventing the Titanic’s lookouts from seeing the iceberg in time to avoid collision. According to the new theory, Titanic was sailing from Gulf Stream waters into the frigid Labrador Current, where the air column was cooling from the bottom up, creating a thermal inversion with layers of cold air below layers of warmer air creating a superior mirage. The theory also explains why the freighter Californian was unable to identify the Titanic on the moonless night because even though the Titanic sailed into the Californian’s view, it appeared too small to be the great ocean liner. The abnormally stratified air may also have disrupted signals sent by the Titanic by Morse Lamp to the California to no avail. This is not the first time atmospheric conditions have been postulated as a factor in the disaster that took 1,517 lives. An investigation in 1992 by the British government’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch also suggested that super refraction may have played a role in the disaster (PDF See page 13), but that possibility went unexplored until Maltin mined weather records, survivors’ testimony and long-forgotten ships’ logs."

It goes to show that the answer is not always as simple as it may appear, or is that pun too obvious.


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