Mission Possible C

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Mission Possible C

Postby Jim_R » August 7th, 2013, 7:42 am

-The path of the Administrator is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

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Re: Mission Possible C

Postby XJcwolfyX » September 4th, 2013, 7:51 pm

Very interesting topic this year.
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Re: Mission Possible C

Postby olympiaddict » September 6th, 2013, 6:05 pm

Just a few quick questions

The final task says to switch on a light, but I don't see where it allows electric lights. Unless photocell includes electric lights, but I thought that only referred to photoresistors like CdS cells and photovoltaic (solar) panels. Is my definition of photocell correct / can anyone clear this up for me? Thanks

I like the rules this year although the size element is tricky

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Re: Mission Possible C

Postby iwonder » September 6th, 2013, 7:17 pm

I think we've all got questions veto similar to that (I'm trying to figure out how to use electromagnetic energy with those restrictions), so I think that we'll need to wait until the national clarifications open to get official word on anything.
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Re: Mission Possible C

Postby chalker » September 7th, 2013, 5:56 am

olympiaddict wrote:Just a few quick questions

The final task says to switch on a light, but I don't see where it allows electric lights. Unless photocell includes electric lights, but I thought that only referred to photoresistors like CdS cells and photovoltaic (solar) panels. Is my definition of photocell correct / can anyone clear this up for me? Thanks

I like the rules this year although the size element is tricky



Unofficially of course, I think this was just a minor oversight. Of course we intend to allow you to use things like LEDs and lightbulbs.

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Re: Mission Possible C

Postby olympiaddict » September 7th, 2013, 7:37 am

Great, thanks
Also, I'm a little unsure of what constitutes an energy transfer with regard to a whole bunch of things happening in a very related and causal way. Like, for example, a battery lighting a rocket igniter which lights a candle and heats something else.
Does that count as
Chemical -> electric -> thermal -> chemical -> thermal?

Would a switch closing a circuit to power a lightbulb count as
Mechanical -> Electromagnetic spectrum or would it be mechanical -> chemical -> electric -> electromagnetic spectrum

Thanks!

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Re: Mission Possible C

Postby torqueburner » September 9th, 2013, 3:14 pm

olympiaddict wrote:Great, thanks
Also, I'm a little unsure of what constitutes an energy transfer with regard to a whole bunch of things happening in a very related and causal way. Like, for example, a battery lighting a rocket igniter which lights a candle and heats something else.
Does that count as
Chemical -> electric -> thermal -> chemical -> thermal?

Would a switch closing a circuit to power a lightbulb count as
Mechanical -> Electromagnetic spectrum or would it be mechanical -> chemical -> electric -> electromagnetic spectrum

Thanks!


Olympiaddict, in general you should consider every change of energy form that occurs as the chain of actions in your machine proceeds. There are, however, two exceptions to this of which I am aware. One is spelled out in rule 3e. - when the rocket igniter is activated, it produces both light and heat, but in your first example, it is the heat which lights the candle, so your TSL should ignore the light that is produced. The second exception is one of the unwritten rules of Mission Possible - the black box rule. This says that what happens inside a component that you did not construct yourself does not count as a transfer. For example, the chemical reaction inside the battery is ignored, and it counts as electrical only. Likewise, the candle is a black box that takes heat from the ingiter as an input and produces heat (and light) as an output. So I'd say electrical >> thermal>>thermal, which heats the "something else. On the other hand, if you replaced the candle with a wad of cotton string (not a black box), I'd accept a chemical transfer for the oxidation of the string between the two thermal steps.

For your second example, the bulb is a black box which changes electricity to light (or maybe heat), so I'd say mechanical>>electrical>>electromagnetic (or thermal). In this case the thermal step of the electrical current heating the bulb's filament does not count, since it is "inside the box."

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Re: Mission Possible C

Postby olympiaddict » September 9th, 2013, 4:13 pm

Ahah, the black box rule makes sense. I guess my confusion lay in where to "draw the line" perhaps, but thinking about it that way makes it a lot clearer. Thanks

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Re: Mission Possible C

Postby gorf250 » September 9th, 2013, 8:25 pm

torqueburner wrote:
Olympiaddict, in general you should consider every change of energy form that occurs as the chain of actions in your machine proceeds. There are, however, two exceptions to this of which I am aware. One is spelled out in rule 3e. - when the rocket igniter is activated, it produces both light and heat, but in your first example, it is the heat which lights the candle, so your TSL should ignore the light that is produced. The second exception is one of the unwritten rules of Mission Possible - the black box rule. This says that what happens inside a component that you did not construct yourself does not count as a transfer. For example, the chemical reaction inside the battery is ignored, and it counts as electrical only. Likewise, the candle is a black box that takes heat from the ingiter as an input and produces heat (and light) as an output. So I'd say electrical >> thermal>>thermal, which heats the "something else. On the other hand, if you replaced the candle with a wad of cotton string (not a black box), I'd accept a chemical transfer for the oxidation of the string between the two thermal steps.

For your second example, the bulb is a black box which changes electricity to light (or maybe heat), so I'd say mechanical>>electrical>>electromagnetic (or thermal). In this case the thermal step of the electrical current heating the bulb's filament does not count, since it is "inside the box."

Is this "blackbox" rule a legitamate rule the event supervisors will uphold, if it is not written anywhere in the rules? If so would something such as motor not count either? I've never done this event C div before but that seems to limit the event quite a bit.
In addition, can anyone clarify to me the meaning of a transfer? I interpreted it as an actual conversion of energy, ex. generating a current using a small generator/motor, but the resources my coach gave me listed things like flipping a switch as mechanical to electrical. I see this more as a trigger as the mechanical energy is not transferred to electrical. Am I misinterpreting the rules?
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Re: Mission Possible C

Postby iwonder » September 9th, 2013, 8:43 pm

gorf250 wrote:Is this "blackbox" rule a legitamate rule the event supervisors will uphold, if it is not written anywhere in the rules? If so would something such as motor not count either? I've never done this event C div before but that seems to limit the event quite a bit.


No, the blackbox rule isn't written anywhere in the rules. There's no guarantee anyone will accept it. That being said, it's more of a common sense thing that you shouldn't be allowed to count transfers you didn't make. If there's any question at all I'd submit a clarification to NSO when the system opens.
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Re: Mission Possible C

Postby twototwenty » September 10th, 2013, 5:38 am

Frankly, I think the entire black box "rule" is extremely subjective/should be taken on a case by case basis. Take for the example turning on a light bulb. While that is a clear conversion of electricity to light (a good scientist would recognize the chemical part of that too, of course), according to the black box rule, that is no conversion you should get points for. Thus, unless you are making your own light bulbs or LEDs (which most teams do not have the capacity to do, obviously), I can see no way one would convert electricity to light.

Furthermore, as I read them, the rules specifically allow for the use of batteries as energy conversion mechanisms, as per rule 3e. By my personal interpretation (although, of course, I am not an event supervisor), that would include the fact that they convert chemical energy to electricity.

That being said, I do think that some judgements of whether something is a scorable energy transfer or not is going to vary with the event supervisor. Hopefully, there will be a rule clarification or two about it.

Also, a quick question of my own: do you all think using a mechanical force to close a switch would actually be a mechanical-to-electrical conversion? Because the energy for the electricity is still coming from the battery, not the switch being closed.

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Re: Mission Possible C

Postby olympiaddict » September 10th, 2013, 12:34 pm

Gorf250 summed up basically what I was wondering after thinking about it since those posts. Maybe one of the rules writers could weigh in to give us a little better understanding? I'm pretty unsure.

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Re: Mission Possible C

Postby iwonder » September 10th, 2013, 10:02 pm

twototwenty wrote:Also, a quick question of my own: do you all think using a mechanical force to close a switch would actually be a mechanical-to-electrical conversion? Because the energy for the electricity is still coming from the battery, not the switch being closed.


Personally, I think it would have to count. If not, then all the energy ever used in the device would come from whatever the first transfer started with. In this case dropping an assortment of items in the device, and that's not much energy considering all the losses in these transfers. Then again, it's possible that the transfer you talk about doesn't count, but an electrical->thermal transfer would count using battery energy... I hate to sound like a broken record but it should probably be added to a clarifications list with the other half a billion questions :D
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Re: Mission Possible C

Postby gorf250 » September 10th, 2013, 11:17 pm

This whole theoretical "blackbox" rule is still perplexing. For example, assume a lightbulb wouldn't count as electrical to ems, but would a just running current through a nichrome wire count? It's not like one requires more effort by the competitor, and each pretty much completes the transfer on its own. If a candle doesn't count as chemical to thermal, does a purchased string coated in wax count? What about just a string, or even a piece of wood? These would all produce the same result (heat), with very little effort by the student, so could any of these recieve points according to this "blackbox" rule?
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Re: Mission Possible C

Postby chalker » September 11th, 2013, 5:08 am

twototwenty wrote:
Also, a quick question of my own: do you all think using a mechanical force to close a switch would actually be a mechanical-to-electrical conversion? Because the energy for the electricity is still coming from the battery, not the switch being closed.


here's something that might help you think about this better: 4.b says "directly transfers from one basic energy form to another".

First think about a wire hooked to a motor that's hooked to a switch connected to 2 wires. In this case you transfer electrical energy to mechanical via the motor, then use the mechanical energy on the switch to permit the passage of electricity.

Compare that to a wire hooked to a light bulb that's aimed at a photocell that's connected to 2 wires. In this case you transfer electrical energy to EM energy, then use the EM energy on the photocell to permit the passage of electricity. A photocell is essentially a switch (e.g. it doesn't have to be a 'solar' cell that outputs energy, but can be a 'phototransistor' type).

Is there any fundamental difference between the 2 situations? I don't believe there is. Of course this isn't the place for official clarifications as always....

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