So you don’t enter the new year completely unprepared, here are my most secure predictions for 2012. Unlike other prognostication websites, these predictions are based on Science!
1. Freely-falling objects will accelerate toward the ground at an approximately constant rate, up to corrections due to air resistance.
2. Of all the Radium-226 nuclei on the Earth today, 0.04% will decay by the end of the year.
3. A line drawn between any planet (or even dwarf planet) and the Sun will sweep out equal areas in equal times.
4. Hurricanes in the Northern hemisphere will rotate counterclockwise as seen from above.
5. The pressure of a gas squeezed in a piston will rise inversely with the change in volume.
6. Electric charges in motion will give rise to magnetic fields.
7. The energy of an object at rest whose mass decreases will also decrease, by the change in mass times the speed of light squared.
8. The content of the world’s genomes will gradually evolve in ways determined by fitness in a given environment, sexual selection, and random chance.
9. The entropy of closed systems will increase.
10. People will do many stupid things, and some surprisingly smart ones.
Happy New Year, everyone.