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I've provided the link between man and machine.
In rivers and trees, respectively, I can be seen.
I've been key in measuring the speed of light.
The Pacific Ocean is where I developed flight.
To measure current flux, I gave my label.
I once was a particle, but my matter became unstable.

Who am I?

In your answer, please explain each line.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Is the 'tree' a 'family-tree'? $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers Jun 10 '16 at 13:54
  • $\begingroup$ Not in this case, Brent Hackers. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Jun 10 '16 at 14:55
  • $\begingroup$ A quick google search tells me electric flux is measured in Volt meters or Newton meters squared per columb, while magnetic flux is measured in Webers. Hope this helps. $\endgroup$ – Devsman Jun 10 '16 at 21:01
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    $\begingroup$ Is it giving away too much if we definitely confirm the 'who am I?' is a person? $\endgroup$ – Inazuma Jun 10 '16 at 23:48

10 Answers 10

16
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I'm going with

IO

I've provided the link between man and machine.

Input/Output, or I/O

In rivers and trees, respectively, I can be seen.

i.o. is an abbreviation for in illo ordine, "in that order", which means the same as "respectively". The Io genus consists of one species, Io fluvialis or spiny river snail, and the tree part is Automeris io, a North American moth who lays its eggs on trees.

I've been key in measuring the speed of light.

Danish astronomer Ole Römer used the timing of Jupiter's moon Io to measure the speed of light.

The Pacific Ocean is where I developed flight.

Possibly 'io, the name of the Hawaiian Hawk in the Hawaiian language, or Io Matua Kore, a god in some Maori traditions

To measure current flux, I gave my label.

The symbol usually used for flux is Φ, which looks like the letters I and O superimposed on one another.
Question asker's original intention: As mentioned below, Io is the symbol for Ionium (before it was realised it was Thorium-230). One of the uses of this radioactive isotope is to determine ocean current flux

I once was a particle, but my matter became unstable.

Ionium, symbol Io, was a supposed radioactive element until it was discovered to just be Thorium-230.
Question asker's original intention: A bit of misdirection here, Io was a voievodal title particle used mainly by royalty from Moldavia and Walachia, up to Hohenzollern dynasty in the 19th century. But the rule of this dynasty became unstable after World War I and the German monarchy was overthrown.

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  • $\begingroup$ I like this because it's the only answer so far to make any contact with the "mythical" in the title, but lots of the clues don't seem to fit well... $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 10 '16 at 22:22
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    $\begingroup$ Yes! This is what I'm looking for, although some of the hints need work. Try looking up other meanings of the word especially in relation to rivers and trees, current flux and the particle. Well done though! $\endgroup$ – hexomino Jun 10 '16 at 22:39
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    $\begingroup$ Yes,correct on rivers and trees and the bit you crossed out was right too, it was intentional. On second reading, your answers for the last two bits are quite nice. There are slightly better fits, if you can find them. Otherwise, I can help with an edit tomorrow. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Jun 10 '16 at 23:19
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    $\begingroup$ I've edited the answer just to put in some of my original intention but I've kept your answers because I quite like them too. Feel free to change the style, if you wish. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Jun 11 '16 at 14:45
  • $\begingroup$ @hexomino Oh, those are good. I had seen the voievodal title particle thing but dismissed it as too obscure; I should have gone with it. Great puzzle! $\endgroup$ – Kevin Jun 13 '16 at 17:06
6
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I think the answer is:

Maxwell (James C Maxwell one of the greatest physicist of all time)


I've provided the link between man and machine.

Electromagnetism (Base of current, RF etc)

In rivers and trees, respectively, I can be seen.

Not yet sure

I've been key in measuring the speed of light.

The speed at which light waves propagate in vacuum is independent both of the motion of the wave source and of the inertial frame of reference of the observer. This invariance of the speed of light was postulated by Einstein in 1905, after being motivated by Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism

The Pacific Ocean is where I developed flight.

Not sure

To measure current flux, I gave my label.

For a closed Gaussian surface, electric flux is known as Gauss' law for electric field in its integral form and it is one of the four Maxwell's equations.

I once was a particle, but my matter became unstable.

Maxwell particles

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  • $\begingroup$ I feel dumb. +1 $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers Jun 10 '16 at 12:04
  • $\begingroup$ Good guess and this answer fits some of the clues very well but not the correct answer, I'm afraid. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Jun 10 '16 at 12:45
  • $\begingroup$ @hexomino :( And I was struggling to fit my answer to rest of the lines. But yeah, an excellent puzzle. $\endgroup$ – Mohit Jain Jun 10 '16 at 13:27
4
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Is the answer:

Wave?

I've provided the link between man and machine.

science stuff? Brain waves measured by machines?

In rivers and trees, respectively, I can be seen.

waves on a river, trees waving in the wind?

I've been key in measuring the speed of light.

something to do with light waves? Wave lengths?

The Pacific Ocean is where I developed flight.

waves in the ocean?

To measure current flux, I gave my label.

waves of electricity?

I once was a particle, but my matter became unstable.

science stuff? Waves of plasma?

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  • $\begingroup$ You've made some very good fits here but this is not the answer, I'm afraid. The mention of the Pacific Ocean is deliberate and there is an answer which fits the clues better. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Jun 10 '16 at 12:43
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    $\begingroup$ @hexomino Don't be afraid. I don't mind. I still like the riddle! $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers Jun 10 '16 at 12:46
4
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Perhaps

hydrogen


I've provided the link between man and machine.

Hydrocarbons (found in life forms and petroleum used as fuel for machines)

In rivers and trees, respectively, I can be seen.

In water (H2O) and wood (H makes up 5-10% of most woods)

I've been key in measuring the speed of light.

Not sure if pure hydrogen was ever used in these experiments. The sun was certainly used by many to measure c, and the sun is mostly made of hydrogen.

The Pacific Ocean is where I developed flight.

Reference to USA's H-bomb testing on Pacific islands. Ivy Mike, the first H-bomb test, was dropped on Enewetak Atoll in the Pacific.

To measure current flux, I gave my label.

The H-field in electrodynamics is measured in amps/meter

I once was a particle, but my matter became unstable.

Because of its simplicity, it could have been confused with its nucleus, the proton. And 'unstable' may refer to hydrogen's volatility, e.g. the Hindenburg disaster.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is a very creative answer and I've given you +1 but it's not what I'm looking for. I may have to think of a hint to add later. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Jun 10 '16 at 18:51
2
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I think the answer is

Heinrich Hertz

In rivers and trees, respectively, I can be seen.

You see sounds in trees like waves and waves do appear in rivers.

I've provided the link between man and machine.

He created radio using electromagnetism

I've been key in measuring the speed of light.

He measured the speed of light

The Pacific Ocean is where I developed flight.

His radio was used during The Pearl Harbor attack in aviation.

To measure current flux, I gave my label.

Hertz. Flux doesn't have to be like flux as in Weber right?

I once was a particle, but my matter became unstable.

Sound relies a lot on light ,and during his time, people believes wave is particle. However, Albert Einstein later proposes wave-length duality, making sound ambiguous. (So sound is wave or particle?)

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  • $\begingroup$ Very interesting answer and fits with some of the clues quite well but not what I'm looking for. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Jun 10 '16 at 18:54
1
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It might be:

Φ (the Greek letter phi)

I've provided the link between man and machine.

Vitruvian Man / Leonardo?

In rivers and trees, respectively, I can be seen.

The golden ratio can reportedly be found in nature.

I've been key in measuring the speed of light.

Not sure

The Pacific Ocean is where I developed flight.

Not sure

To measure current flux, I gave my label.

It's used to symbolize electric/magnetic flux.

I once was a particle, but my matter became unstable.

Phi mesons have a very small mean lifetime.

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  • $\begingroup$ That's not it but I do like your out-of-the-box thinking which should prove useful for this puzzle. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Jun 10 '16 at 18:55
1
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Are you radioactive/radiation ?

I've provided the link between man and machine.

used to see inside of people with X-rays.

In rivers and trees, respectively, I can be seen.

Both rivers and trees play a vital role in cleansing the inviroment of toxins. As such radiation build-ups are most visible in those area's in the form of mutations.

I've been key in measuring the speed of light.

Im not much of a scientist but the wiki page on the speed of light offers multiple ways of measuring the speed of light trough, or aided by radiation.

The Pacific Ocean is where I developed flight.

The first nuclear weapon tests were performed in the pacific. Giving off vast amounts of radiation.

To measure current flux, I gave my label.

Radiation flux is a measure of the amount of radiation received by an object from a given source. This can be any type of radiation, including electromagnetic, sound, and particles from a radioactive source.

I once was a particle, but my matter became unstable

Produced by the decay of radioactive particles

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting answer, not what looking for though. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Jun 10 '16 at 22:41
1
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Is it

Chi?

I've provided the link between man and machine.

man and maCHIne (the word chi added into the center turns man into machine)

In rivers and trees, respectively, I can be seen.

Used in the chinese context of energy force (Qi), this fits.

I've been key in measuring the speed of light.

Not sure on this one.

The Pacific Ocean is where I developed flight.

Not sure about this one, perhpas it is the name of a character in a story. Two possibilities I found were Sailor Chi, or a dragon names Chi in chinese mythology?

To measure current flux, I gave my label.

Greek letter Chi (Xi)

I once was a particle, but my matter became unstable.

Chi particles (also called chi mesons) have a lifetime of approximately 1.5 X 10^-20 seconds, and are thus very unstable.

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  • $\begingroup$ Not the answer but I do like some of the explanations. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Jun 10 '16 at 22:40
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    $\begingroup$ Dang, the man/maCHIne link looked so good to me. This puzzle is driving me crazy. :P $\endgroup$ – Hal Jun 10 '16 at 22:41
0
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Is it:

Darwin?


I've provided the link between man and machine.

Evolution (somehow?)

In rivers and trees, respectively, I can be seen.

In rivers, you can see evolution in all the animals and organisms present. Trees themselves are products of evolution, as are the organisms that live in them.

I've been key in measuring the speed of light.

Darwin Lagrangian (named after Charles Galton Darwin, the more well-known Charles Darwin's grandson, who discovered it), which has something to do with the speed of light that I'm not smart enough to understand.

The Pacific Ocean is where I developed flight.

Darwin studied finches in the Galápagos Islands, in the Pacific Ocean.

To measure current flux, I gave my label.

Something about electromagnetism, which I know is related to electromagnetic flux, but I am not smart enough to understand either.

I once was a particle, but my matter became unstable.

Not sure.

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  • $\begingroup$ Creative, but not the answer I'm looking for.,unfortunately. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Jun 10 '16 at 22:42
0
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Is it Aether? A very 'Mythical' concept, used to denote a scientific idea which have since been disproven.

I've provided the link between man and machine.

The concept of aether, or similar ideas like 'quintessence' or 'elan vital' have been used in the past as the animating force causing life to differ from non-life.

In rivers and trees, respectively, I can be seen.

It was once believe that light / electromagnetic force must be carried through a substance called the 'luminiferous aether'. Thus aether would allow us to 'see' the rivers and trees.

I've been key in measuring the speed of light.

The idea of aether was supposed to determine the speed of light, based on how fast light could propagate through it. But the idea of aether was disproved in the Michelson Morley experiment.

The Pacific Ocean is where I developed flight.

Aether is a greek god, the god of the upper air. (Sadly, the pacific ocean doesnt fit here, the mediterranean would).

To measure current flux, I gave my label.

Cant figure out anything for this one.

I once was a particle, but my matter became unstable.

In ancient greek philosophy, aether was proposed as a fifth element, along with fire, earth, air, and water. But we have since learned better.

I think some of them dont fit well enough, sadly.

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protected by Aza Jun 11 '16 at 4:39

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