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April 16, 2014

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Shutdown of the LHC, by Kevin Black [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Aug. 5, 2008 @ 16:27 GMT
As the LHC supposedly gears up, Harvard physicist Kevin Black, based at CERN, investigates rumors that the particle accelerator may, in fact, soon be shut down—by ripples from the future.

From Kevin Black:

(Image: CERN)
I came across a bizarre paper recently suggesting that the LHC might be shut down. Not because of the funding cuts that have been threatening particle physics projects around the world, nor because of law suits accusing the LHC of threatening life on Earth. (Not even because we at the LHC have recently been accused of having far too much fun rapping.)

No, the paper suggested that future effects caused by the production of particles, such as the Higgs, could ripple backwards in time and prevent the LHC from ever operating.

If it hadn't been written by two very well respected and accomplished theoretical physicists, I would have stopped reading at the title alone:"Test of Effect from Future in Large Hadron Collider; A Proposal". To be completely honest, the title reads like titles that occasionally appear in my inbox—“Relativity Principle Untenable," "Quantum Mechanics a Hoax," and other nerdy versions of the emails from the supposed attorney of my long-lost Nigerian uncle who apparently has died and left me millions of dollars, if I can only send him $50,000 so that he can get it to me.

But I didn't stop. I read the article. I read it for another reason other than the somewhat awkwardly sounding title and not just because the authors, Holger Nielsen, of the University of Copenhagen, and Masao Ninomiya, of Kyoto University, are somewhat famous. I read it because when I come across such things it tends to remind me of the first time I learned about quantum mechanics. To be honest, if it hadn't come from a professor at a university and a published text book I would have thought that the whole thing was some sort of a scam as well. I mean, really? Sometimes it acts as a wave and sometimes it acts as a particle? The first time I heard about wave/particle duality I was expecting to be asked to send the authors money (perhaps to Nigeria?).

So what did the article say? Well, it started out with a reasonable enough point. One of the basic assumptions of classical physics is that time flows in one direction and that when describing a physical system one needs to know the equations of motion and the initial conditions in order to predict the future behavior of a classical system.

However, quantum mechanics changes this a bit. Classical mechanics can be formulated in such a way that one sets up an “action” integral. The solution to the physical system can be expressed as the path that minimizes the action integral. It turns out that in quantum mechanics one needs to not simply take one path—but take the sum over all possible paths. For example, if you want to work out how a photon gets from a lightbulb to your eye, you need to take into account not just its straight-line trajectory, but contributions of all possible paths it could have taken, including paths where the photon bounces round the room. It's a bit strange, but it seems to work and 60 years+ of detailed experiments have confirmed this description over and over again to remarkable quantitative precision.

The authors of this paper claim to show that other terms can be added to the quantum mechanical action that are consistent with current theory and experiment. However, some of these possible terms include conditions in the future that need to be taken into account and summed over. That is to say, what happens in the future could (according to this paper) affect what happens in the present.

Why the LHC? The authors argue that these sorts of time-violating interactions could be associated with whatever new particles we create at the LHC. For example, the production of a large number of Higgs particles in the future could have a backwards-in-time causal effect on the machine that produced them, stopping the machine from ever running. As possible “evidence” for such a backwards-in-time effect, the authors cite the now-canceled Superconducting Super Collider (SSC)—a particle accelerator that was meant to hunt the Higgs and was partially constructed in Texas before Congress pulled the plug on the project. As the authors write in their paper: “Such a cancellation after a huge investment is already in itself an unusual event that should not happen too often. We might take this event as experimental evidence for our model in which an accelerator with the luminosity and beam energy of the SSC will not be built.”

It’s as though the Higgs plays the role of the time traveler who goes back to the past and murders his grandfather, thus preventing his own birth.

Now, I must admit that this is where I started to get a bit skeptical. The authors go on to suggest that the LHC is also under threat from a possible “miraculous” shutdown caused by the backward influence of particles like the Higgs, which it may create in the future: “Since the LHC has a performance approaching the SSC, it suggests that also the LHC may be in danger of being closed under mysterious circumstances.”

Visions of the X-Files’ Fox Mulder launching into some hour-long diatribe about future conditions (and of course government conspiracies) started to appear. But I read on nonetheless, becoming a little bit more amused and a lot more confused as I tried to finish the paper.

(Image: margot mystic)
In order to make it topical they proposed an experiment. Play a game of cards—a kind of particle physics tarot—to determine if future LHC conditions could affect the draw of the cards. The idea being that if the cards were arranged to represent different possible LHC outcomes—discovery of the Higgs particle, discovery of SUSY, failure or cancellation of the LHC, destruction of the world by the creation of mini-black holes, etc—then what actually happens in the future could affect the outcome of the card drawn now.

As crazy as it sounds, it’s at least a novel idea. Certainly, time travel and causality violation are topics that physicists, such as FQXi’s Ken Olum, are seriously investigating (see “Charting the River of Time”); so why not look for backwards causation at the LHC?

As an experimentalist working at CERN, I’m ready to pull cards out of a hat in the name of science, even at the risk of prognosticating the demise of the LHC. However, I can't get my head around one basic thing. How can this possibly prove or disprove the theory? They went through some argument (which I can't say I completely understood) claiming that a concrete test of this idea could be put in place, but I am not convinced. Even if I pull the “shutdown card” and the LHC is indeed shut down, how will I know that this is proof and not just a strange coincidence?

Conventionally, scientific hypotheses are considered “scientific” if and only if they can be falsified by some experiment (at least in principle). That is to say, it may not be technically possible to conduct such an experiment right now but at least in principle such an experiment could be made. That's the part I couldn't get my head around. How could you ever design an experiment that would disprove future causal influence on a current condition? I just can't imagine how one could do that, but I am open to suggestions. Any ideas?

So, for now, I will just put down the paper and get back to the grind of my usual days—debugging software and trying to commission the ATLAS muon spectrometer. I will pass this paper off as quirky, but probably not likely to lead to any major discoveries. But then again, one day I might be teaching this experiment out of a text book to incredulous students who think I am trying to sell them the Brooklyn bridge...


Kevin Black is a postdoc at Harvard University. He works with the ATLAS experiment at CERN, and sincerely hopes that LHC isn’t shut down any time soon.

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 5, 2008 @ 19:58 GMT
"How could you ever design an experiment that would disprove future causal influence on a current condition?"

build more than 1 identical LHC and see if they ALL shut down under mysterious circumstances. 20 would be enough, 100 would be better. you did say "in principle" :)

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Ron Garret wrote on Aug. 5, 2008 @ 20:01 GMT
> Even if I pull the “shutdown card” and the LHC is indeed shut down, how will I know that this is proof and not just a strange coincidence?

Well, one way to do it is to conduct the experiment more than once. If there's only one shutdown card and you pull it out of a deck of 52 cards 10 times in a row, that would be a pretty good indication that it's not just random chance.

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free mp4 to mp3 converter replied on Nov. 15, 2011 @ 14:29 GMT
This is amazing!

And so interesting, sometimes even thrilling.

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Kevin Black wrote on Aug. 5, 2008 @ 21:50 GMT
Both interesting ideas - but again I am stuck on the scientific proof issue. I guess the crux of the problem is that the way that I am used to thinking of scientific proof means essentially providing a reproducible causal link between two events. No doubt the experiments that you propose could be reproducible - but do they prove a causal link. I think the heart of the matter is what you define to be causal. Its hard for me to imagine proving that something in the future caused something in the present to occur. To start with - how do you know what did or didn't happen in the future if something that happens then stops it from ever happening??

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George Watson wrote on Aug. 5, 2008 @ 22:00 GMT
This could never happen - the Microsoft OS that runs the universe doesn't do multi threading.

Seriously though I want to be in the time thread alternate universe where the collider finds does nothing. I feel safer.

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Walter Dalton wrote on Aug. 5, 2008 @ 22:32 GMT
I am -totally- out of my depth when it comes to considering physics [I'm not even going to say 'higher physics'].

However, the fantastic comes easy to me.

So here's a thought: -if- running the LHC teaches us something wildly spectacular about the way time flows in more than one direction [don't ask me to expand on that, please, have mercy] and this effect can be kinda sorta maybe controlled: would it occur to the scientists working on the -then- machine to design an experiment that flows back in time [don't ask me how, -tell me-] to make the -now- machine behave in a totally unanticipated way which would act as a strong indicator that such a thing was possible?

And if it is: why have we not yet seen any strong evidence of it? Does it require the LHC to be operating at least once, to establish causality that in -this- universe the device actually functions as designed and it can receive a signal? Maybe it requires modifications that have not yet been completed, much less considered?

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Walter Dalton wrote on Aug. 5, 2008 @ 22:38 GMT
Just to tweak a little: Doctor Black mentions the paper referring to 'some events that would stop the machine' by dint of the huge amount of Higgs particles it would generate.

I specifically mean: an experiment, by adjusting the way the machine works, that would allow -then- to send an unambiguous message back to -now-. It doesn't have to be the complete works of Shakespeare, it should be an outcome that the machine could not possibly come up with on its own, the first 10 primes pulsing in sequence for instance.

Not eloquence, just a glaring signal: LOOK HERE, SOMETHING'S HAPPENING!!!

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Richard wrote on Aug. 5, 2008 @ 23:05 GMT
You should read Thrice Upon A Time:

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 5, 2008 @ 23:45 GMT
This sounds to me like someones lame excuse for missing a deadline.

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Absintereo wrote on Aug. 5, 2008 @ 23:57 GMT
Maybe you guys are going about this the wrong way? It's like those illusion drawings where they depict impossible 3d shapes on a 2d bit of paper. There is no problem because the actual illusion is only 2d. The mind invents the third dimension. And that contradicts. But there is no real physical problem.

It sounds crazy to use a time machine to go back in time and prevent the machine from being built. But what happens is that as soon as you go back you go to a version of the "then where you went back". Which is different from the "then where you did not go back". (The then you remember.)The idea that there is a loop is just an illusion. In reality there is a continuous consistent time line for the observer involved.

The other observer, the experimenter experiencing his machine being wrecked apparently by himself from the future is also continuous. No laws are broken by this. Something appears from another place and stops him from building a time machine. Then it leaves again. There is no problem if you consider this two superpositions of the same universe. Which is perfectly acceptable in quantum mechanics. Our normal mode of thinking would have one exclude the other. But there is no actual physical exclusion.

The fact that something appears out of nowhere sounds like a law broken. But quantum mechanics allows for this. The odds against it are astronomic. But its theoretically possible for complete objects to appear out of nowhere. No matter how unlikely the odds. This allows for a time line to cross itself without forcing the whole system into an infinite loop.

There would be a law broken if the experimenter who's machine is destroyed before being finished would later use that machine to go back to the past. That would be impossible since it was broken.He cannot get from that position to the point where he travels back in time in it.

It's a bit complicated because it requires another way to look at the problem. But you can easily do it by just imagining being the experimenter and allowing for multiple possibilities. Don't observe the bigger picture just stick close to the locality of the experimenter and note that there is no contradiction.

This is like Einsteins relativity. Implications of that allow us to theoretically go faster than light seemingly breaking the laws of physics. Unless you look at it locally and realize no laws are actually broken.

I think most problems people have with time travel are directly related to their instinctive response to consider space and time independent of the observer. Which is not accurate as Einstein patiently explained to us :)

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Norm wrote on Aug. 5, 2008 @ 23:57 GMT
John Titor unavailable for comment.....

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SpiderX wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 00:13 GMT
ok I made a python program to test this theory, and here is my first result (and only, since i only ran it once)..

'nothing out of the ordinary'

here is my python program:

import random

c = ('nothing out of the ordinary', 'explosion', 'shutdown','black hole', 'time travel', 'anything can happen')

print random.choice(c)

...ok just ran it 4 times more to make sure it was working and my next three results were the same as the first, 'nothing out of the ordinary'. the fourth one was 'explosion'.

based on these results, there is only a 20% chance of explosion, 0% chance of time travel, 0% chance of creating a black hole, 0% chance of something unexpected happening, and 80% chance of it operating as expected.

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mds47 wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 00:40 GMT
The effect they describe reminds me of time loop computation:

perhaps this could be used for a proof of causality.

The idea is write a program that waits for some effect sent back from the future. Next, perform a calculation (like solving some np-hard problem) such that not solving it would result in a paradox based on the event or message from the future. Therefore, if the universe is paradox-free, you would always solve the calculation.

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carl wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 00:42 GMT
Absintereo: Thanks for the thoughtful post, that sounds a lot like "Benders Big Score" futurama movie to me, thanks for helping make more sense of it's plotline. Futurama also did an episode about universes in boxes which really confused me :)

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Matt Simmons wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 00:50 GMT
How could you ever design an experiment that would disprove future causal influence on a current condition?

You turn on the machine. That's the experiment.

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mds47 wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 01:02 GMT
Here's a more concrete example... say we somehow had a device that could create higgs particles at will (hopefully the LHC =]), and, lets say we know it will only break if we try to use it.

Next, lets say we want to determine once and for all if there are any pair-primes over 10^100 or something.

So, we start calculating, iterating over possible paired primes. When we find one, we immediately use our device to create a higgs particle (thereby breaking our device at some prior time).

Meanwhile, we monitor our device to see if it ever breaks. If it breaks (and we havent used it yet), we know we must have used it at some point in the future. Therefore, we must have found a really large prime-pair.

Those are really tough criterion in the first pp. maybe there is something simpler...

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Optional wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 01:09 GMT
Perhaps if you were to set up several kinds of experiments that depend on random events and observe a distance relationship from the core of the experiment it could be taken as reproducible evidence of the influence of the experiment from the future. Such things as radioactive decay rates could be measured for example as a function of distance and orientation from the core as a function of time till the experiment is suppose to take place. If any of these kinds of observations could be made and documented I would like know...

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Infogleaner wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 01:34 GMT
Hmmm...wasn't LHC supposed to be running by now? Why the delay? Magnet issues, cooldown rates...what excuse will we see next?

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 01:41 GMT
I'm not a physicist either, just a programmer reading reddit. So you shouldn't take this seriously, but...

My theory about time travel is that if someone does an experiment that alters things in the past, the new past would slightly change the experiment, because even small things like breaking a twig in a forest, cause exponential growth of perturbations in the resultant future.

Any experiment that changes the past will be altered in the alternate time-line... therefore the alternate experiment will cause a slightly different affect on the past, which in turn alters the experiment more, changing the past again etc... in a loop.

To break out of the loop, the changes to the past will need to stop. What we see in our reality is the final outcome, when the past stops changing.

So I agree with the authors of the paper, that if in the future you do an experiment that alters something in the past, it's likely that machine from the future has already caused a reality for us that prohibits the past-altering machine to exist. Even if you could do a test with a "shut-down card", is it more likely that our reality will change to pick the "shut-down card" instead of being changed to have a faulty component in the machine? I think that the machine is more likely to have a faulty component in our reality, given that it's the closest thing to the past-changing particles created.

So I think the tree in the forest will burn down in our reality, just to stop you from going back in time to break one of its twigs. Since small changes in the past cause many iterations of changing the past (because the machine is changed each time), and since those changes grow exponentially, I like to call my theory the 'Chaos Theory of Time Travel.'

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netcan wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 01:59 GMT
I'm Not sure I understand the problem at all. You don't need an experiment to prove causality. You need a theory that makes definite predictions and is falsifiable.

The definite predictions are "you will choose the shut down card." And the falsifying result is: "You will not pull out a shut down card."

If it's not a 1/50 card you're pulling but a whole object pulled out of quantum theory at odds of 1/a lot, you don't need as many expirements.

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Joe replied on Mar. 18, 2010 @ 15:16 GMT
But what is the connection between the LHC, the Higgs-boson, and the deck of cards? Printing a variety of possible outcomes on otherwise ordinary cards does not make them special. You absolutely need to prove causality, which I just can't see as within the realm of possibility. Otherwise every card game in the world has been running this experiment since the dawn of card games, possibly the largest base of experimental (and, unfortunately, mostly unrecorded) data ever. And if that is the case, then I could use this principle, in theory, to cheat on every card table in Vegas.

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_gmanual_ wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 02:46 GMT
'near-periodicity' springs to mind


Turing's (praise be) Halting Machine


Zenoan Riddles/Paradoxes.

fwiw: 'mini black holes' ftw.

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Napkins wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 02:50 GMT
Has anyone seen the film Primer? Do so at your own peril!

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lonedangler wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 03:03 GMT
dude - sssssssssst - fuckin a

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Chris wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 03:29 GMT
Ok, so a single draw of cards is problematic because random chance could make the shutdown card pop up. Another problem is if such a card poped up, no one would seriously even consider shutting down the plant so the backwards causality would work on that anyways. What you have to do first is to come up with a test that will be so convincing as to shut down this many billion dollered investment. One possible way to retain the card idea is to make the option to shut down the plant much much more unlikely. Say, 10 decks and you have to draw all 520 cards in a specific order... TWICE!!! lol Then you would have an order of improbability so high as to be quite impossible for it to be chance, and while it might not lead to the shutdown of the LDC it would certainly freak people out enough to put it on hiatus to figure out the physics behind what the hell just happened. Interestingly if this worked you might be able to harness the improbability to do fantastic things. A la hitchhikers guide to the galaxy's improbability drive. We'll only shut down the LCH if someone invents cold fusion... tomorrow!

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Richard G. wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 03:42 GMT
You come to a fork in the road. One branch leads to success, the other to certain doom.

In the crotch of the Y are two skulls. One only tells the truth, the other only tells lies. You may ask one question.

How do you find the safe path?

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G. Richard wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 04:11 GMT
What an elementary problem, I don't see the relevance though.

You ask one skull, it doesn't matter which, the following question: "If I asked the other skull which path leads to success, what would be its answer?"

Go down the other path.

Back on topic. I accept that there may be particles that travel backwards in time, but can someone explain to me how it is conceivable that these particles would create a 'miracle' (the example given by the paper seems to be convincing Congress to cut funding of the SSC) many orders beyond simple interaction with other particles?

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dc wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 04:12 GMT
you ask either skull "which way would the other skull tell me to go to get to success?", and go the opposite wzy

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Mark wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 04:36 GMT
I am not a physicist, so am certainly confused about the line that implies a theoretical particle traveled backwards in time and convinced Congress to cut funding for the SSC.

One stretch of an explanation: Higgs-bosons (or whatever theoretical particle) don't "cause" Congress to do anything, let alone cut funding for the SSC.

But generated in sufficient quantities, they flow backwards and erase the universe that created them from existence.

We live in a universe that exists, therefore something will always happen to prevent the generation of higgs-bosons in sufficient quantities.

That's my shot in the dark, I'd love to get a hold of the original paper and see their explanation for how the particle caused Congress to cut funding.

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misanthropope wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 04:39 GMT
"your theory is crazy, but it's not crazy enough to be true" - Bohr

brilliant people can say stupid things. and they can do it without ceasing to be brilliant people. nothing to see here, move along.

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 05:00 GMT
there is a ligical fallacy in there somewhere we just need to find it

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 05:21 GMT
build more than 1 identical LHC and see if they ALL shut down under mysterious circumstances. 20 would be enough, 100 would be better. you did say "in principle" :)


You can't build identical LHCs. Not to mention they're so huge that there would most likely be some architectural error along the way, if we're talking about quantum effects, the LHCs need to be identical to the atom, which isn't really possible.

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Warwick Bass wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 05:39 GMT
Testing for this theory would be only marginally less sensible then properly testing for the supposed outcome of the quantum suicide experiment...

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tiered probabilities wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 05:46 GMT
One issue is that you can't just build a highly improbable shut down test, because something more probable will cause the LHC to fail first (like a broken part). Imagine you create an nearly impossible shut-down-card test, like "someone better invent cold fusion by next week or we're turning it on". But instead, a horrible plague engulfs the earth because that was more probable.

So maybe the right test is something like a 1/100 chance. enough to take seriously, but not totally impossible. Do it more than once and it's still a 1/100 chance each time, since it has no memory, so you should keep getting the same results forever (or until you get sick and don't make it to work that day or something). That should be enough It can't be too improbable or something else will happen first. You're literally pitting all improbable actions against each-other, all with the end result of stopping the LHC!

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tiered probabilities wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 05:54 GMT
ok, ok, so the physicist walks into a bar and he says, if I don't get laid tonight, I'm starting the particle accelerator tomorrow!

And.... he doesn't get laid.

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 05:55 GMT
I'd believe that there was something to the paper if it indicated that, say, a Higgs particle would somehow annihilate itself before it ever came into existence due to some causality violation or something - i.e. I'd believe the paper had relevance if it was talking about considering various past present and future paths of a SINGLE PARTICLE, not some mystical BS about how the human race is predestined to never see a Higgs. The paper sounds like a good candidate for an Ignobel award.

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Unchow wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 06:16 GMT
Ok. I’m not in any way qualified to make these arguments, but my intuition tells me that there is a fundamental misunderstanding on the part of the future Higgs influence hypothesizers.

The only part of this theory that I don’t buy is that the generation of a particle could influence the actions of the US congress, or of budget committees, or of any other person. What would make more sense to me is if the production of the Higgs particle sent a different kind of ripple backwards in time- not one that influences history on the top levels of bureaucracy, but one that influences the local physical environment of the past. Meaning, what if the future production of the Higgs created a field of energy/radiation/dark energy/whatever in and around the LHC site here in the past, and this field of whatever in turn created an environment that made the operation of the LHC, as it is intended, impossible?

Personally I find that easier to believe. It’s not that events are being influenced, like a time traveler telling congress to slash a science experiment budget, but that the Higgs particle (or anything created by the LHC for that matter) is in fact a self-deprecating particle. The creation of the particle makes it impossible to create the particle, on a physical level. Is it possible? The only way to disprove it is to run the experiments as planned, and make a Higgs.

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ScotieB wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 07:01 GMT
Sounds like it was a success then...

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 09:24 GMT
Regarding the cards, I've got the feeling that it could only be relevant if decisions where made directly based on what card comes out. So, in addition to being nearly impossible to test, it wouldn't be reproducible as a final decision can only be made once.

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Bob wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 09:32 GMT
Couldn't you make two identical particle collidors, one with the intention of finding Higgs particles, and one with the intention of not running any tests that could produce Higgs particles and if the Higgs one shuts down that would be pretty strong evidence.

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 12:18 GMT
"Couldn't you make two identical particle collidors, one with the intention of finding Higgs particles, and one with the intention of not running any tests that could produce Higgs particles and if the Higgs one shuts down that would be pretty strong evidence."


The problem is that if you build two identical machines, both of them will have the same results, if you intend them to or not. Dropping a glass onto concrete will cause it to break whether you want it to or not.

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Eli Vance wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 13:39 GMT
You're all forgetting that time does not exist.

'Time' is a means of measuring how things move, change and decay, made by humans, for humans, to help us organize the day.

Nothing can go backward in time, because there is no time to which one can go back. If you somehow rearranged all the particles in the universe to how they once had been at a set moment, you will have gone "back in time" as much as anyone ever could.

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Jim wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 14:33 GMT
> You're all forgetting that time does not exist.

Sure it does. It may not be quite the same as the way humans typically visualize is, but many physical systems definitely depend on a time coordinate.

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 14:36 GMT
... baby, baby, baby, you’re out of time ...

-jagger/richards "The Rolling Stones"

Hmmm, wasn't this around 1975, and about when the Apollo program was canceled? QED

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 14:56 GMT
Why not set up a couple of Ronald Mallet's "Time Machine" devices, designate them and a certain particle solely for future communication regarding CERN, and wait for a signal?

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Chris Jones wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 14:59 GMT
"How could you ever design an experiment that would disprove future causal influence on a current condition?"

Perhaps the sum of all such experiments have already self-cancelled? ;)

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 15:01 GMT
The problem with the card test is that it assumes the particles will use the path of least resistance to shut down the LHC. I see no reason to assume the card game might be influenced rather than infinite other events that would have the same effect (broken part, funding, Sun explosion, etc.)

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mr_moon wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 15:38 GMT
It's all about intent... xxxxxx

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Koko wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 16:39 GMT
Obviously the effect of the LHC will be/was the shutdown of the SSC.

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Now and Then wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 17:15 GMT
I know of no good reason to believe in a linear construction of time. While we have evolved within this system and are accustomed to it, it is nonsnese to think that what is past does not exist, or that what is future has not begun to exist yet. This is saying, basically, that endless entire universes have ceased to exist, and that only the current fleeting state is actuall existant. I don't buy it. All fo the "thens" do not fall into nonexistance just because we can't access them. For that matter, thinking that one past leads to one future is a silly assumption. I put my money on the hypothesis that each possible progression from each given state does, in fact exist. I further contend that it is the limitation of our existance, and not of the real universe, that makes this seem unlikely. All of the thens are still nows within their own frame, and they are still existant. Just not right now.

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Riding Siberian wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 17:28 GMT
I just read "Einstein's Bridge" by John Cramer which deals with people from the future coming back in time to stop construction of the SSC to prevent a disaster from taking place (disaster not DIRECTLY related to the device by the way).

Very close to this thread of thought.

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Paulo wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 17:56 GMT
The LHC will be activated, go back in time, kill his own grandfather, then impregnate his own grandmother. This will make his unborn father carry a mind-altering gene that will cause his son (the LHC) to go on a time-traveling rampage against his own grandfather instead of doing what he was supposed to do.

Unfortunately, before he could do that he mistook the SSC budget for his grandfather and killed that. This awful incident, of course, was caused by the Higgs particles, which cleverly deceived him at the precise moment.

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Not Isaac wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 18:06 GMT
The underlying article sounds like a spoof. Have any of you ever read Isaac Asimov'z "articles" about The Endochronic Properties of Resublimated Thiotimoline?

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Matt wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 18:31 GMT
So what I should be getting from all of this is that the LHC won't start because we're going to start it? Urgh...

When we start the LHC, the particles will travel back in time to make sure we don't start it... but then won't the particles be non-existant? but still there...?

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Randal wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 18:51 GMT
Sometimes granners has those cold cold hands and we dont' even know what to do. Pop Pop Charlie comes over and its all over for me and roger... when we sleep in the basement. Today I'm 43 years old and granners basement is so cold and musty like an old doorknow with a gruntfist attached. Oh, the trials of it. As I roll my dice in the darkness and imagine the hammershelf of all of you people.

You think you got it good but you didn't with your haing plan. right? haha. Oh Roger.

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 19:00 GMT
Maybe the LHC will both create a quantum black hole AND shut itself down in the past.

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James wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 19:01 GMT
Kevin -

So, I did major in physics during my undergrad, but I am by no means a physicist (i.e. I wasn't one of those guys who did his physics homework on his napkin at lunch)

But, I do understand the gist of the situation. However, I disagree with the idea that a time-reversed effect from the production of the Higgs or other qualified particle could cause a macro-scale effect like a reactor shutdown. Now that's not to say the Higgs couldn't travel back and prevent itself from being created, because, that's plausible. But, it couldn't lead to a situation where the whole reactor project is cancelled etc. (as the authors claim with the SSC's shutdown). The cancellation of funding for the SSC was the result of electing an individual who despises science. As soon as Bush got into office he dismantled the Congressional Scientific Advisory Board and cut funding for the SSC and a variety of other, non-defense related areas of research.

Anyways, it seems far more likely that the Higgs would come back and cause a relatively small effect, something on it's own size, energy, and time scale. i.e. the Higgs comes back and interferes with itself in such a way that we never see the Higgs at all. This phenomenon is relevant considering that we have expected to have found the Higgs prior to this and have not. The move towards higher energy levels was only felt necessary after the particle wasn't found at the operating levels of fermilabs and CERN. (although this move to higher energy levels is also supported by more recent theory)

So, I would expect that the reactor comes online and works just as expected. But, if the authors are truly on to something, we're more likely to just not find the Higgs. In which case, I would agree with you that there will never be a scientifically testable hypothesis in this regard. It would also indicate that is most likely impossible to actually create a Higgs Boson because the future existence of the particle initiates a reverse causality and interferes with its creation.

Just food for thought


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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 19:17 GMT
Hypothesis: The operations/interactions of the Higgs Boson on matter occurs in a state of reverse causality. i.e. it's creation and 'lifetime' (however short) flow in the reverse direction as our perception of time's flow.


Our flow of time always exhibits increases in entropy.

Think it over, what would the result be if the elementary interaction responsible for the creation of mass was occurring in a time-reversed reference frame...


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KKeevviinn BBllaacckk wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 20:52 GMT
Hi, this is Kevin from the future.

Wow, we certainly didn't expect THAT to happen. Yes, please, turn it off.

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Chris wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 22:11 GMT
Maybe the physicists are getting death threats from the religious establishments... considering someone coined the term "God Particle" for Higgs Bosons.

Paranoia concerning whether the LHC has the potential to destroy the earth or to restart the Big Bang or end the Mayan Calender in 2012, etc, is probably spread by specific parties. I agree with what James posted above in this regard.

If a test must be run to see whether running this machine is possible, shouldn't the following experiment stand up?

-Hire a random -uninformed- person to work at the LHC and eventually make him -casually- press "the button" without any clue of his intentions or its purpose. (Possibly making him press many other buttons before and after as to make it even more insignificant.)

-This way the conciousness of the man starting the machine has no influence on its outcome. (This concept already being a stretch for my current understanding of things....)

-If for some reason he cannot complete the task (ie: sudden death) or the LHC fails; then things get interesting.

As for the skull and the fork road mentioned above, I disagree that you can make a safe choice. The liar can say wtf he wants, and the "truth" is different for each case. The honest one cannot determine how the liar will lie, so he must therefore lie himself.

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Chris wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 22:29 GMT
And continuing on analysis of the Skulls, you might as well not say anything and walk through it. Either way your odds of success are still 50%. The complexity of this problem can be made ridiculously high by over analysis of the possible outcomes of what the skulls might say.

Stop being pussies and press it. Or I will.

If we all stop existing instantaneously (worst case), who's left to care? They certainly didn't with the nuclear bomb.

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Brandon M. Sergent wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 22:46 GMT
What about spacial location?

To my understanding the earth is zipping around inside a galaxy that is zipping around. So, if I created an apple at my current location and moved it backwards in time only even a few seconds, would it not end up frozen in space somewhere along earth's orbit?

And if you grant that a paradox can occur, IE a future event stopping a past event, then why halt that causation in the normal direction?

In other words, if the Higgs particles stop the collider then the collider wouldn't produce Higgs particle to stop itself, would it?

Thats the real reason you can't safe JFK, because if you did, he'd be saved and you'd have no reason to go back in time to save him. Does this work both ways?

QM seems like crap to me, but crap very close to the mark. I just don't like the touchy feely anything is possible feel, given that our existence proves that to be untrue. For example I know that all existence (pluralmultiomnieverything-a-verse) wasn't destroyed 5 minutes ago.

QM: OH but there's also a pluralmultioptimegaversic multidimensional fold-twist-weave where every “thing” was destroyed except us, so naturally we're giant flying purple zombie Lincolns.

QM to me is like this.

Me: Whats 1 + 1?

QM fan: Somewhere between negative infinity and banana.

Headline: “Scientists prove 1 + 1 = 2”

QM fan: “Told ya so. 'nother successful prediction.”

Me: !?!?

And whats with all this bowing and scraping? So you're not a physicist, does that mean you'

re incapable of providing a good question or a new theory? The science establishment is quickly turning into a faith based initiative.

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foothillsfarm wrote on Aug. 7, 2008 @ 00:25 GMT
The main problem I have with this so-called "hypothesis" is that I do not see any reason to suppose it. What evidence are they basing it on? It seems quasi-religious and mystical. Why would the creation of the Higgs mean that the Higgs would have to go back in time and nullify its own creation? Or is this just a grand justification of why the Higgs has not been found yet?

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Wraith wrote on Aug. 7, 2008 @ 01:07 GMT
Reminds me of a quote "Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine."

--Arthur Eddington

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 7, 2008 @ 01:59 GMT
Brandon M. Sergent wrote on Aug. 6, 2008 @ 22:46 GMT

"Headline: “Scientists prove 1 + 1 = 2”"

Wouldn't that read mathematicians?

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Dennis wrote on Aug. 7, 2008 @ 06:15 GMT
This would make a great episode of Star Trek. Starfleet discovers that a pre-warp civilization is about to activate some kind of doomsday device thinking it's going to generate a whatever particle. The Enterprise has to decide whether or not to interfere, and if so, how to do so without revealing their existence.

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 7, 2008 @ 11:40 GMT
"Wouldn't that read mathematicians?"

No, since it was a metaphor for the science of QM and related predictions and discoveries.

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 7, 2008 @ 11:41 GMT

Check out the episode "All good things."

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Travis wrote on Aug. 7, 2008 @ 11:44 GMT
This sounds like a journal article for the Journal of Irreproducible Results.

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Leo van Nierop wrote on Aug. 7, 2008 @ 15:12 GMT
I am not quite sure about how all the details would work out, but: It may be possible to make an experiment as follows: Immagine an experiment you would run to test forward causation. Say, unstable atom, when it decays a swich flips over. (This example will not work, of course, we know atoms have forward causation, not backward).

Start it with a decayed atom and a flipped switch.

Just run the whole show backwards.

This will of course require a full prediction, you cannot look for 'any' backward causation.


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Legene wrote on Aug. 7, 2008 @ 15:29 GMT
This effect could be useful as a way to determine that there will be a future in existence that could stop the collider from starting.

On a possibly less significant but also cheery note, key people winning the lottery might might cause them to leave the project...

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jayessell wrote on Aug. 7, 2008 @ 17:36 GMT
All the intelligent and knowledgeable people here... this is a perfect place to post my time travel experience!

Well, not so much 'experience', but I did discover a real-world time paradox.

Back in the early 1980s I was helping a friend make a SciFi movie (Google for 'fun 1981 sci-fi home movie') and on the way to his place I stopped at a convience / drugstore for a soda. On display were 'Worlds smallest Trinitron Color TV'. 2.5" or so diagonal CRT. About 10" to 12" long with the screen on the end. Shaped something like a loaf of Italian bread with 20% cut off one end. Garishly colored. Large battery compartment, with detachable stand for tilt/swivel. I thought it would make a nice prop. Two side by side to make electronic binoculars!

I was just a little better than broke at the time and didn't buy any.

Present Day (or so)

I remember the TV I saw years ago and wonder if any are on eBay. No. I go to the Sony site. They say their smallest Trinitron tube ever was 4". I contact a vintage TV collector. He assurres me it never existed.

I know what I saw! No, it wasn't LCD! A similar sized TV from Panasonic appeared in the film 'Tootsie' and I can find information about that one.

So, what is the explanation?

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Kent Perdue wrote on Aug. 7, 2008 @ 17:59 GMT
I recall some apochryphal text of G. I. Gurdjieff where he

graphed out backward causality by superimposing the enneagram over the days of the week in such a way as to

actually plot the 'geometry' of the phenonema, determining

which future day's events directly impinged upon any given

day, thus affirding the querant a 'vector' with which to

confirm his observations.

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John Smith wrote on Aug. 7, 2008 @ 19:44 GMT
I bet nothing happens, but maybe the Higg's boson is recognized and other new problems arise.

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Mike Hanby wrote on Aug. 7, 2008 @ 20:11 GMT
How about you create a 10 card deck of particle physics tarot cards, 1 being the infamous LHC shutdown and the remainder other events.

Purposely removed the shutdown card from the deck, lock it up in a safe, shuffle the deck, draw a card and if the shutdown card is drawn.... look out!


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John Mccain wrote on Aug. 7, 2008 @ 20:14 GMT
I sincerely hope LHC really just kills us all.

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Andrew wrote on Aug. 8, 2008 @ 00:41 GMT
I think that in the "first" loop in the time-line, the LHC works perfectly but then a lot of years later, humanity realize that it was not any good to discover what it was discovered so they use this new knowledge to prevent it from being discovered. Imagine humanity with time travel capabilities, that would be horrible, you will always be afraid that the present could have been changed and you are not living the normal life you were supposed to live. Have you seen Back to the future 2? XD

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Sythes wrote on Aug. 8, 2008 @ 06:05 GMT
You're forgetting the fact that time does indeed exist. Following your example of 'time as a measurement of movement,' is illogical. Otherwise an object that does not move or has never moved would have a measurement of 0. Such an object would not be able to exist, otherwise it would be a physical 2 Dimensional object. The thing with 2 Dimensional objects is that they cannot exist within a 3 Dimensional universe. A timer would only simply measure how long it takes one to move, but if you altered a non-moving object from it's 0 location, you would be creating a paradox. You cannot create from nothing. You cannot un-create something. Such a theory of these being possible must break the laws that man has set for energy. If these laws can be broken, than how are you judging how the machine will react? If it did indeed alter the timeline, don't you think it would have altered the past already? Thus providing evidence that it did, we would have to activate it for this past event to occur, but it has already occured, therefore it has been activated in the future. This is false, as if you didn't activate it EVER, this time fluctuation would have never existed, yet it has already. If something's position is always at 1,1,1,0 than the object is always at the same spot, and has never changed, but because the 4th measurement is there, it must change eventually, because it's at 0, it cant. All these theories cause paradoxes, and the card idea wouldn't work because it's random chance and has nothing to do with the actual machine running as it would.

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 8, 2008 @ 17:33 GMT
there's no such thing as a scientific proof

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Rance wrote on Aug. 8, 2008 @ 17:58 GMT
The shockwave from the future says the LHC will be delayed until December 21st, 2012. They Mayans predicted the "End of Time", not "The End of the World" on this date. I guess we'll see soon enough.

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anon wrote on Aug. 8, 2008 @ 21:31 GMT
How could you ever design an experiment that would disprove future causal influence on a current condition? I just can't imagine how one could do that, but I am open to suggestions. Any ideas?


Just a thought... If I were a theoretical physicist In order to run an experiment of this nature I would most likely do something simple like send a post card to myself in the past saying that the experiment was a success and to proceed as planed. Of course maybe my past self has no clue what the post card is.

To take this a step further lets say the LHC (1) the one in the future runs a test to see if exotic particles ripple into the past. So as a precautionary measure they try and "float", if we can call it that, a certain particle along the ripple of time distortion (we will call this particle anomaly (1)) in the hope that the particle is detected by the LHC (2) (the LHC in the past).

The LHC (1)'s reasoning is That their past selves should be able to pick up on the idea that anomaly (1) shouldn't be there, when the LHC (2) decides to run a test to check for that sort of thing, and that it was put their puposefuly. Of course how can they know this right away? They can't so LHC (2) runs their own test to check to see if they can float anomaly (1) across a time ripple. Of course when they decide to do this they get smart and decide to add Anomaly (2) in the other direction (future) because now LHC(2) has figured out that the anomaly (1) was purposeful. So LHC (2) runs the new test. So now the LHC (1) and the LHC (2) now are seeing anomaly (1) and anomaly (2) coming at the same time. Infact now all The LHC's (if you believe in the multiple worlds theory) should have all have the same anomalies coming in.

This would indicate the experiment to have a success on past causality. Of course the viewer initially would have no clue to this as they are inside the system and not on the outside looking in, or the anomaly might be misinterpreted as something that maybe considered dangerous when first viewing it. just get to the second experiment as fast as possible so you can figure out that you put it there in the fist place.

Interesting stuff indeed. Can't wait to see what the future holds. Take care!

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 8, 2008 @ 21:48 GMT
i got so wrapped up if forgot to finish my train of thought. If you don't see anything out of the ordinary that would be more proof that there is no past causality. Of course if this is the case, then it is imperative to run the past causality experiment that the theoretical LHC (1) ran in my above post.

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sweetdaddy D wrote on Aug. 10, 2008 @ 17:37 GMT
Yo momma didnt bring u up rite.. dats wat.. honkey white crackers

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Joe K wrote on Aug. 11, 2008 @ 00:28 GMT
I would like to put my 2 cents in. What if the LHC doesn't find the Higgs boson? I believe that the gist of the posts above are correct, a singe particle is way the hell to unlikely to cause Congress to cancel some huge project. However, it seems theoretically possible for a particle to have reverse causality that cannot be noticed. As I understand quantum physics, anything is possible but observation itself is a key element of the effect. To continue the above supposition, what if the reverse causality effect of creating a Higgs boson is that we cannot see the Higgs boson that had just been created? If there was a reverse causality such that the Higgs boson was never created, we never would have known. Every time the LHC fired up, it could create any number of the things but because of their very existence we wouldn't be able to see them or their instant annihilation. In my very jumbled up head, this could get around the paradox of time travel. It can happen backwards if no one knows it happens. What causes the paradox is that the backwards traveling whatever has an effect on things other than itself. If the LHC creates a Higgs and the Higgs causes its past self to never have been created, we would never know-- we would never have seen the thing. Perhaps stranger things that quantum physics exist, but we will never know?

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Dr. Freeman wrote on Aug. 14, 2008 @ 10:51 GMT
LHC should be shut down

This reminds me Half-Life 2 -.-

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emo wrote on Aug. 14, 2008 @ 10:54 GMT
scientist are emos and want to suicide taking the world with them

i revealed a secret!

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Rich wrote on Aug. 18, 2008 @ 17:19 GMT
Even if there are an infinite number of universes, splitting off for every possible event that could occur, you would still not expect to be in a universe inwhich you are in france one second, then a fraction of a second later in Canada. It just doesn't happen (and of course relativity wouldn't allow it- even quantum physics would not allow a whole person to go faster than the speed of light, regardless of what causes it). This effectivly means that no universe inwhich we are in Canada wondering what happened to France exists, atleast in the absence of loss of sanity or use of drugs.

Perhaps the particles travelling backwards in time has an effect such that certain universes they have travelled from can not exist. If they have travelled back in time, then the situation seems distinctly paradoxial. Consequently, it could be that quantum physics does not just suggest that particles can travel backwards in time, but also that the universe these particles came from can no longer exist.

That's what I got from this anyway, and in a mind bending way it makes sense, but is still based on assumptions. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.

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Dave King wrote on Aug. 24, 2008 @ 20:07 GMT
And another piece of fiction to add to those already mentioned: Gregory Benford's Timescape - science experiment caused to fail by effect of actions made in the future.

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Merlin wrote on Aug. 31, 2008 @ 07:46 GMT
The truth you seek will be revealed only in the future sense of the current time, however in total truth you will be troubled to know it as being thusly so.

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ToEngineerIsHuman wrote on Sep. 1, 2008 @ 13:24 GMT
This article is spooky to me. It gives me goosebumps. Probing the structure of the Hamiltonian to the smallest increments of space and at the highest energies (effort, money, Watts, determination) created by man is a cost we may not be willing to pay - especially if it reveals nothing useful.

Ask yourself, if there is no limit to the number of tinier and tinier particles we can create, when do we stop? We'd know we can't find them all: would it be a vain waste of energy?

The universe ultimately exists only in balance. If it were any other way it could not be... energy must be conserved. Nature demonstrates to us conservation and balance. Wouldn't it be a waste to do something which doesn't help us survive, while there are people suffering in poverty, abuse, or neglect?

Well, this will be a decision which can only be decided collectively. I'm sure there will very strong motivation to continue: people have devoted their lives to formulating and testing particle physics at the LHC.

It seems we will likely do some tests to pacify and to determine how to proceed. However, I put it to everyone: huge energies surpass potential barriers and create more unpredictable outcomes - the ultimate of which we do not want to experience. If we create sufficient energy to probe beyond our universe, we may "create" a black hole, turning our universe inside out here on Earth. Seriously. We see black holes elsewhere... do we need to do it here? I haven't done the calculation, but how much energy is really required to reach the Planck length? But furthermore, as energy density increases... the PROBABILITY of "tunneling" increases... that is, we have increasing chances of a bad outcome. I hope the established physics vanguard will consider this matter seriously, putting aside all individual pride in past predictions and accomplishments to consider the long-term effects our actions can have. At every moment of every day... are we trying to survive? We would be well-served to take every action with ultimate survival in mind. We have not been the best stewards of our Earth, let's pause now to be careful with our knowledge.

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anonymous wrote on Sep. 11, 2008 @ 16:55 GMT it turns out that activating the LHC did end up destroying all matter in the universe. How much hubris we had in probing nature's depths!

But the strange thing is that non-existence feels just like existence so far...

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Neil wrote on Sep. 13, 2008 @ 14:20 GMT
They haven't actually started high energy collision tests yet, so... the black hole possibility is still there. Here's what might happen (it's a flash but it shows the real possibility):

The guys behind LHC say nothing like that will happen and suggest that nature conducts similar experiments in the Earth's atmosphere every day. However Dr Wagner is pretty sure that nature does not collide two highly focused beams of particles with the energies seen only when the universe was born. See his web site here:

The second argument of CERN is that even if a microscopic black hole appears, it will quickly evaporate due to hawking radiation. However, hawking radiation is just a theory. Hawking changed his mind about black holes once, and there's not reason to think he'd get it right this time. There's not reason to bet your life, the life of your children and the future of the planet based on a word of one quantum physicist.

Even though the odds of the black hole appearing are not that high, did anyone ask you if you're willing to trust a bunch of scientists with your life just so that they can test their theories?

I sure hope that the next time $6 bln dollars are spent by scientists it will be on finding cure for cancer and not the hypothetical higgs particle. Last time quantum physicists produced something useful resulted in millions of people dead in Hirohima, Nagasaki and Chernobyl.

The first high power experiments will be conducted end of 2008 or early 2009, so there's still time to stop this doomsday device.

I hope that anyone who cares about the future will take an action. Please suggest your ideas on how to do this (no violence, please). Will injunction help? For example:

I hope that if enough of us do that, we will be able to save our planet.

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ToEngineerIsHuman wrote on Sep. 19, 2008 @ 05:16 GMT

I appreciate your sarcasm because it brings balance to my seemingly alarmist post. Still, the thoughts weren't intended to be apocalyptic; my point is that destroying matter is a waste of energy - both literally and figuratively.

By the way, the LHC is still in a ramp-up phase, so the possibility remains. Can you or another reader prove that a catastrophic event has zero probability? In a much weaker sense, can you prove that increasing the collision energy does not increase the measurement uncertainty?

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Ryan Westafer wrote on Sep. 19, 2008 @ 16:14 GMT

Regarding the black hole concern...

Think on a few things which may alleviate your fears:

1. Conservation of energy: we don't expect to get out more than we put in, so the micro black holes (MBHs) should simply be the consumption of high energy particles with the emission of radiation ("particles," "virtual particles") in proportion. By creating such non-equilibrium states as MBHs, we have a lot of science indicating they will be ephemeral. We don't have sufficient energy to crush galaxies together, but protons, sure.

2. Black holes and white holes may be more common than we all suspect. We observe blackbody radiation but say we haven't observed Hawking radiation. We observe shock waves and various forms of event horizons in many natural phenomena. While higher energies seem to admit more intricate and therefore unpredictable outcomes, it is nice to know CERN is taking incremental steps toward collision at the goal energies. We'd expect early data to provide some signs of danger before we'd reach a hypothetical tipping point creating some metastable and omnivorous singularity. There will be a lot of data to process (300MB/s counting only "interesting" events). Hopefully CERN will "stop to smell the flowers along the way."

3. The anthropic principle applied in the context of some modern concepts of a harmonic universe seems to suggest that we will not destroy ourselves in the future because here we are today. You would likely agree the past determines the present by causality. In this assumed universe (agrees with Peter Lynds's view) the balancing term is phase reversed... that is, the future also determines the present state. I'm optimistic, thinking we'll figure this stuff out and find some physical basis for optimism. :-)

-Ryan Westafer

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Ore wrote on Sep. 20, 2008 @ 17:42 GMT
I'm not a physicist, but I do try to keep a decent grasp of the ideas involved. That being said, I would be surprised if this does not make tiny black holes, at some point or another. Thing is, a black hole with a mass of a few protons has the gravitational force of... a few protons. Not exactly a world ending threat, especially when they evaporate instantaneously.

Back on topic, though, the helium leak that has shut down the collider for the next two months is interesting. Perhaps, as the article you read suggested, that by operating in the future the machine prevented itself from working now? It certainly seems like an odd coincidence. (Though, being a spoilsport, the problem isn't that surprising when you consider that one of the most complicated machines in history is being tested.)

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Sam wrote on Sep. 24, 2008 @ 13:59 GMT
So the way to prove the theory is to build a great number of LHCs (or other Higgs producing devices) and keep trying to fire them off. As the number of devices that malfunctions approaches infinity, the likelihood that the theory is true approaches one.

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antisoshal wrote on Sep. 24, 2008 @ 14:18 GMT
It seems fairly intangible that future particle actions could cause conspiracies and “mysterious circumstances”, however I can certainly grasp the idea that temporally backwards moving quantum interaction could alter/change/interact with the operation of the collider causing it to shut down or malfunction. Say something like a transformer burning out? The collider operates by the sole grace of our precision understanding and manipulation forces and tolerances at an unprecedented level. The idea that it could generate effects whose temporal displacement could alter the operating environment and parameters in both forward AND backward domains seems perfectly feasible. In some ways, it almost seems like exactly what we are looking for but forgot to actually look for….

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Anonymous wrote on Sep. 24, 2008 @ 20:08 GMT
How does the LHC shut itself down from the future if it was never operable in the present?

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rachel wrote on Sep. 25, 2008 @ 01:24 GMT
....well that's easy.

Black holes swallow up matter as well as time, so the future and the past will both be engulfed up by the tiny blank holes the collider has released. It's rather simple really.

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Nestor wrote on Sep. 28, 2008 @ 14:31 GMT
So wouldn't this mean that the LHC will never work until the day it's decreed to be dismantled and then it will work once, before it's taken apart? This one use being the only one not being interfered with from the future use, and interfering with all previous attempts?

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intereesting wrote on Dec. 31, 2008 @ 23:45 GMT
hmm maybe they were right

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Lost in Space wrote on Jan. 4, 2009 @ 05:17 GMT
I guess in part it depends how "real" the universe is and what sort of reality we inhabit. In a quantum multiverse there would seem to be no problem, all possibilities would arise, perhaps even ones that rely on future events, making the paper's point that in our universe the LHD could be prevented from producing unallowable particles, or whatever.

If however we live in some form of simulated universe, well, all bets are off. How in hell does a character in a computer game get to grips with the higher reality of existence, when all it can measure is in fact an illusion? Such an illusion would seem capable of holding things together, but at it's core is at the whim of the (perhaps) unchanging initial program. There are no true distances in a computer simulated world, nor indeed time scales. Wave/particle duality seems nuts in a physical world, but its fairly easy to explain in a non-physical simulation.

We may well be nothing more than a god boy's science project. Reading the papers lately does not give me hope that we are not....scientific or news.

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Brian Beverly wrote on Jan. 7, 2009 @ 10:03 GMT
Remember that time Hubble gave us those blurry images? Turns out it wasn't spherical abberation. Photons from the past purposely distored themselves to prevent the grandfather paradox, etc.

Do you think the engineer's responsible for the magnet that imploded on itself used the grandfather paradox as an argument?

Did everyone expect the most complicated thing ever built to work perfectly?! Maybe theoretical physicists should try experimenting a little more and publishing a little less.

That paper should be studied by sociologists as an example that serious celebrity physicists have bad ideas too (gasp!). What is worse is people will believe them because they are from serious celebrity physicists.

Celebrity crackpots until proven otherwise.

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Casady wrote on Jan. 12, 2009 @ 06:33 GMT
Neil, millions of people did not die at Nagasaki, Chernobyl, nor at Hiroshima. Not even all combined. Thousands of people did. Far more people died during WWII than in those 3 places combined. Yes 2 of those of events were during WWII.

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Jason_Lane wrote on Jan. 30, 2009 @ 15:57 GMT
You know how we find out is we simplify the problem or find a child that can somewhat grasp the concept and ask him.

I heard a story about a truck (semi) that got stuck under and overpass (Truck or Semi was too high for the bridge or overpass) and all the emergency people that were one site were trying for hours to figure out how to pull out the truck. A girl was in a car passing by I believe when someone asked her how to get the truck out and she replied to let the air out of the tires.

The truck was free from the bridge as they were easily able to pull it out.

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BugY wrote on Jan. 31, 2009 @ 01:38 GMT
SpiderX listed a Python program to "test" the supposition. It's not clear whether this was a joke or a misunderstanding.

If you read the actual paper (simply skipping any text & equations that are not readily understandable), it will be clear that the authors' proposal requires society to firmly agree in advance that the outcome of the random card game (or computer program) will be used to DECIDE whether or not to abandon the LHC before running experiments that could generate Higgs particles.

The probability of this "regrettable" outcome would be set infinitesimally small (the proposal is 1 chance in 10 million). (And as an aside, you would want to seed your random number generator with a high-quality quantum mechanically random source.)

With such a tiny chance of that card or number coming up, if it actually does occur, then this is taken statistically to be very strong evidence that an influence from the future has been detected -- and that is the consolation prize for giving up the LHC.

(But we must then faithfully follow the outcome and not complete the collider. Otherwise, the card game or program has ZERO predictive ability!)

Nevertheless, the authors propose this as a "cheap" way to see whether the LHC would work after all, compared to proceeding normally with construction & operation, which they say would (if the whole concept is correct) lead to some other unexpected and perhaps bizarre reason for its failure to ever actually go into operation. Such as one miraculous failure after another each time we attempt to turn it on. (So far, that's what we've had. Evidently the very last circuit tested led to the serious failure before the first actual collisions could be run! Now we wait until spring '09 for the next possible failure... This is highly amusing although I doubt the authors really believe they have identified the reason.)

So if their fanciful suggestion is actually correct, then no matter what we try, we will nearly never be able to generate Higgs particles. However, the reasons could be things such as a change of political parties (which killed the SSC), an economic crash (which currently threatens large-scale science), founded or unfounded fears about risks of creating strangelets/black holes, or unworkable technical problems with the design of the LHC, or an asteroid that collides with the collider.

Despite all this, I do think there may be tabletop experiments, such as may be run in Python albeit with better random sources, which may be able to demonstrate either the receipt of information from the future, or if "useful" information cannot actually be sent back, at least the retro-correlation of events in the present with events to be decided later on (as opposed to their retrocausation).

You can read the paper at

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BugY wrote on Jan. 31, 2009 @ 02:19 GMT
Continuing from the previous post,

If anyone here besides me has been seriously working on retrocausality/retrocorrelation experiments, or is interested in either funding them or collaborating in person to build small-scale electronic and/or software-based devices to test the possibility of sending information across time, I invite your email correspondence: I can be reached at

I have run many such experiments to date with some intriguing results. I do not claim sufficient proof of a useful and reliable effect but know of a group of researchers who do, who would be willing to demonstrate this to us in person, and I have the skills and access to the detailed information needed to replicate their equipment given reasonable resources. If this can actually be demonstrated (which is of course a very big 'if') I will then proceed directly to monetize the discovery in an automated way, to rapidly realize a very large ROI.

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Myke wrote on Jan. 31, 2009 @ 02:20 GMT
Being able to predict a future event is 'just' an exercise in gathering all the present information that affects the future event. Easier said than done, but in principle it could be made to approach better than an even chance; thus, a future event is as knowable as the present inormation...

Given sufficient information, the circumstances leading to the future event either happen or don't happen with an increasing probability proportional to the 'engineered' present (causal) information...

Time symmetry implies that the reverse is true; hence, the possibility of modifying the input information (tuning it) to yield an experimental outcome that depends on a future state...

Such a causal feedback loop is possible in principle and could form the basis of a 'tunable' experiment whose output depends on a future state. Very quirky indeed, just like the above comment gap between Sep 28 and Dec 31...

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amrit wrote on Jan. 31, 2009 @ 19:58 GMT
Kevin if a phenomenon that exists in future can influence present this means that future already is existent. My idea is that time is only a measure of motion in space. Space itself is “out of time” but past, present and future exists in space. So past, present and future can influence each other in all possible ways.

Practically this means that division on past, present and future is not necessary. Universe is a block of “matter-energy(of the space)” where “before” and “after” do not exists physically, they are only models for explaining energy interactions. Universe runs in a timeless (atemporal) dimension where time is a measure of energy motion.

my mail:

attachments: ETERNITY_IS_NOW_Sorli_2009.pdf

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amrit wrote on Jan. 31, 2009 @ 20:44 GMT
article attached before is a bit exotic, this one is written more in a scientific spirit

attachments: Idea_of_Time_as_a_Measure_of_Motion_Permits_Test_of_Influence_from_Future_in_Large_Hadron_ColliderSorli__2009.doc

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Will. wrote on Jun. 22, 2009 @ 04:49 GMT
Time is like a river, although the rivers don't just flow one way, they flow all ways, at the same time, this displacement of energy, is what creates the surface movement, so just as this theorem of time displacement, there is no possible way to differentiate where and when. Never the less how, time will do as it does. Now I'm no specialist in Quantum Mechanics, but I do know a thing r' two about Metaphysics, and such. .

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jerry atric wrote on Aug. 11, 2009 @ 04:27 GMT
c'mon everyone,the Higgs boson IS the God Particle.end of speculation.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Aug. 11, 2009 @ 05:29 GMT
Future events influence the present all the time. It's called "worry". Somewhere, there is a politician or a bean counter that is preparing to change the present "close down the LHC" because he is influenced by his perception of some future event. Fortunately, there is another politician somewhere that forsees a different future, and is working feverishly to undermine the efforts of the first politician.

There are contrasting visions of the future. To influence the present, you have to create the illusion of a great future. At least that's my 2 cents. :-D

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paul valletta wrote on Aug. 11, 2009 @ 16:37 GMT
What will be done? what's done is done..

Suerly, if the LHC can confirm a theory, by creating the "HIGGS", then and thus, the "HIGGSY/GOD" particles can, and by defualt process will, create and destroy the theory of LHC? ;)

Is the Higgs creating the LHC, or the other way round? (forgive the circular/cern pun) This remindes me of the Des Carter parallexed viewpoint,: I aint gonna think, therfore Iam not, thus why worry!

Retrocausality, as far as I am aware, cannot be" machined", that is manafactured and procured by a forward thinking, backwards-in-time (retrocausality) AI action, there are laws, legally and in physics, for

bendy_ robots, and rigid_robots also? :)

Is the Higgs a forwards thinking artificial intelligent AI particle?, and who's T.O.E is it representing, and which pond will ripples be seen or felt?

Feynman and Wheeler proposed particles such as positrons the anti-matter equivailent of Electrons, are simply particles travelling backwards in time?

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Jason Wolfe/ wrote on Aug. 11, 2009 @ 18:46 GMT

You see, this is why time travel cannot be possible. From retrocausality, you then have to have antiretrocausality. Then, if you have "forwards thinking artificial intelligent AI particle", then you must have "reverse anti-forwards thinking artificial intelligent AI particle". Or even worse, "lateral-forwards thinking semi-artificial para-intelligent AI particle-wave monstrosity effects". In the end, everyone is confused; we finally know why time travel is impossible, and why God favors 'forgiveness'.

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Aug. 11, 2009 @ 19:11 GMT
Hello all,

I have always thought what the time travel was impossible due to the rule of the time like a constant ,the past is the past ,but about the acceleration or deceleration ,in a short time ,I have some questions ,and that ponctually or in a little volume of spherical space .

I have always thought what AI was impossible ,because the time evolution of complexification of polarizations wasn't insert like foundamenatl .

It's impossible to reproduce a quantum architecture like our brain .The ultim quantum codes and its specific dynamic implies the intelligence of evolution.

We can invent many many things but some are impossible because it's like that in correlation with the foundamental laws ,God,the entity ,the entropy and its diffusion of mass .

These bosons are numerous and in correlation with the numbers of cosmological spheres with their mass ,volume ,density ,velocity of rotations ...If my logic is correct these bosons have a velocity of rot of the sphere around itself which is big ,each quantum spheres is specific like one planet is specific ,stars,BH moons .....thus each boson is specific ....These light particles I think shall be find in other experiment like a vegetal multiplication for exemple ,because there is an increase of mass and a building bypolarizations .Like the light ,the linearity and the ponctuality are essentials to encircle the whole .

I suspect the LHC in the impossibility to find the bosons because if the ponctuality is not a foundamental for the bosons thus.....

On the other side ,with for exemple the auxins and the totipotence of cells by AIA's intersting about the polarizations of evolution by very very weak particles ,it's more logic to find them there .

But the LHC can find some new particles in the strong interations,gravity, fact it's a question of polarizations between all and the center of our Universe and the membran limit .



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Jason Wolfe/ wrote on Aug. 11, 2009 @ 19:31 GMT

If you believe that the universe is more like frames on a movie reel, then time travel, forwards and back, is possible, but freewill is not. I belieive that time travel is the equivalent of forcing every particle in the universe into it's previous quantum eigenstate, whatever that was; who can remember, or cares. I think (hope) it is possible to push quantum particles into a preferred set of eigenstates; and do this repeatedly. Some might call this 'magic' or 'a miracle'. I believe in can be done in a localized and limited way. Creating loaves and fishes out of air is, I believe, possible for the Deity; harder for us. But pushing the whole universe back in time just too much to ask; and in fact, it is impossible.

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Aug. 11, 2009 @ 20:02 GMT
Jason ,

You are right ,afetr all ,I have any proof about the time travel.

What I find impossible is the past ,....for the present and futur I see differently but the past really ,I have difficulties .

What do you think Jason?

If we take for exemple a set of eigenstates in a local sphere .

Thus with spherical coordonates and an extended fuction to extrapolate the frequences and the symmetries.

If the locality and ponctuality are balanced by translation,orthogonal symmetry or central symmetry thus it's interesting about a weak acceleration or deceleration of this spaces and its parameters .

I support your inflatons to find the road of harmonized frequences of eigenstates and their extentions .

You know Jason ,me I focus on space ,and the effects of gravity and thus the rotations of the mass in complexification.

Let's imagine if we check the space and the short local acceleration and deceleration of time ,thus our velocity is optimized in its enviroment ,that' will permit to optimize our movement in our physical space .decelerate locally the time ,decrease the space and accelerate our velocity in this system or kind of vortex or vaccuum.



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Steve Dufourny wrote on Aug. 11, 2009 @ 21:31 GMT
Let's take the LHC and Tevatron tests,in competition of course .

The big question is this one ,why the Higgs bosons have mass and the light no !

The collisions of protons won't give I think Higgs bosons ,beause they aren't there .Furthermore if they exist there ,their period of life is so short .

The symmetry is so bad understood .

An other important question is the desintegrations of forces by bosons .

I have some questions just now ,about the quantum and cosmological link ,and if the expansion is correlated with a specific dynamic and the contraction with an other ,thus the weak interactions of complexification are in two possible roads but it's a hypothesis of course .

If we are in the expansion ,thus the desintegration of forces are relevants but not during the contraction because in this logic the weak interactions are for the polarizations with stable quantum architecture If I can say .

I doubt that LHC or Tevatron shall find these datas .

If these bosons have a mass they are in a complex architecture like a human ,or a plant but not into two protons .

These particles of very weak mass are in a specific system and due to the complexification of evolution .

I have a question ,hope somebody can answer me ,What is the nature of the protons collisions ,a H on a man is different than a H in a star for make simple.Thus it's essntial to insert the evolution time space parameters ,which are numerous like the correlation with spheres and their rotations .

The weak interactions result from a complexification of mass ,all polarizes it's environment .

All times we polarize ,the interactions are in continuity in their polarizations ,we capture very very weak mass in a light design of gauge .

I wish the best results for the LHC and the Tevatron ,but news parameters are necesserary and that to decrease the lost of time .



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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Oct. 14, 2009 @ 12:13 GMT
Better late than never -- the New York Times weighs in the idea, a year after Kevin Black:

this post has been edited by the forum administrator

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Oct. 14, 2009 @ 19:26 GMT
There is no Law of Temporal Sabotage. There is only the creeping fear that we can't jump the next hurdle.

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amrit wrote on Oct. 15, 2009 @ 17:18 GMT
Dear Kevin

Space-time is a math model merely.

No influence can be from the future and no influence from the past.

Motion in the universe is result of dynamics between quantum space and mass that runs in timeless quantum space

see more on the subject on:

yours amrit

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Oct. 16, 2009 @ 06:38 GMT
Dear Amrit,

We have a mathematical model of space-time. Effects cannot propagate away from their cause any faster than c. I'm not sure I agree about mass moving in timeless quantum space. Time shows up as simply as y=Aexp[i(kx-wt)].

I do agree with you that the very idea of Higgs particles moving back from the past to sabotage the LHC sounds like one of the strangest excuses for missing a deadline I have ever heard.

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amrit wrote on Oct. 17, 2009 @ 14:58 GMT
Dear Jason

Physical time is run of clocks in timeless quantum space. Symbol "t" in equations means "thicks" of clock. Einsten was awre of that and so he put

X4 = i x c x t where i is imaginary number. In SR X4 is imaginary math coordionate that describes motion.

yours amrit

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Oct. 20, 2009 @ 17:48 GMT
I am of the opinion that time and space are built into c = wavelength x frequency; c is the absolute for our universe. The ticks of the clock are dependent upon how fast you're moving with respect to what you're observing. Time is built into the speed of light. Since the speed of light exists, and both time and space are necessary parts of the speed of light, time and space both exist, therefore, everything moves in time and space or space-time.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 20, 2009 @ 21:25 GMT
Whether or not time should be considered built in depends on what you consider time to be. If time is considered to be an energy change (related to change in quaternion spatial position) then it is. Time is part of speed but only because we use time rather than 4th dimensional distance or energy change as the measurement. As it is a 4th dimensional distance we can not measure with the usual tools for distance. Nor can we measure the energy change directly.

The assumption that the change is regular allows a regular change observed in 3D space (tick-tock) to be used which relates to the unobservable energy change and corresponding change in position within quaternion space. What the clock is indirectly measuring is not a mysterious otherness called time but unobservable spatial and energetic change. Time is a tool for measurement. The speed of light exists because we make that particular measurement using time and call it speed of light. It could be called ratio of propagation or some other term. It is change in 3D vector spatial position divided by change in 4th dimensional scalar spatial position.

It is OK to say space-time but it is all just space, in which energetic change and corresponding change in spatial position occurs. This said does not mean that the historical concept of time also applies, it does not. There is no past or future as places with physical existence in which matter is duplicated and can be visited. The present is constructed from input that has taken various lengths of time to arrive at each observer and is amalgamated into a seem-less experience. It is not absolute for all observers. In this regard there is no time and there is no paradox.

Nothing travels back from the future. But we can not know what is ahead in afore space and its possible influence. Though we can experience its gravitational effect.

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amrit wrote on Oct. 21, 2009 @ 06:18 GMT
Dear Georgina

You say: Time is part of speed but only because we use time rather than 4th dimensional distance or energy change as the measurement.

Yes here is a mistake. Physical time as a run of clocks is a measuring device.

Godel explained in 1949 that time is not part of space and still today this is leading belief. Because we are not aware of inner neuronal space-time as a map of the mind. Physics should put more attention to bridge observer and observed. This will open deeper understanding about the universe and observer as its consistent part.

yours amrit

attachments: 1_Experimental_Proof_for_Godel_Theorem_on_Time.doc

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Oct. 21, 2009 @ 16:58 GMT
I don't believe that physics can offer anything of value to the exploration of consciousness. Both physics and consciousness are deeply embedded in reality, but they distort one another in very unhelpful ways. Consciousness is meant to be creative and free. Physics is meant to be logical and constrained. The world would be a better place if they just ignored each other.

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amrit wrote on Oct. 21, 2009 @ 17:03 GMT
Jason I think physics will bring consciousness into science. Observer itself is consciousness. Physics starts now opening the question: Who is the observer ?

see my essay here: Awakening of the Observer in Physics.

yours amrit

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thinking wrote on Oct. 21, 2009 @ 20:13 GMT
The tao that can be told

is not the eternal Tao

The name that can be named

is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.

Naming is the origin

of all particular things.

Free from desire, you realize the mystery.

Caught in desire, you see only the manifestations.

Yet mystery and manifestations

arise from the same source.

This source is called darkness.

Darkness within darkness.

The gateway to all understanding.

The Tao is like a well:

used but never used up.

It is like the eternal void:

filled with infinite possibilities.

It is hidden but always present.

I don't know who gave birth to it.

It is older than God.

Lao Tzu 600 bc

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Anonymous wrote on Oct. 22, 2009 @ 02:31 GMT
I am annoyed that sensible people in the 21st century still retain the belief in the magical lands of the future and the past where all that is to happen is played out and all that has happened is eternally repeated. ( Even the disgusting and horrific and painful things.)This belief is so ridiculous and sickening.

The magical imaginary lands of past and future are fantasy not reality. No more real than your magical invisible friends, including Santa and the tooth fairy. There is absolutely no scientific proof that such places exist and no scientific reason to speculate that they must exist. It is nonsense. Oscam's razor should slash them out of all serious consideration. Only to remain within science fiction for the purpose of entertainment. I do not need to prove that they do not exist. Science should have to prove that they do exist if they are to be used within scientific theory.

How can serious trained scientists talk such non scientific, naive nonsense about time in the 21st century. Any scientist talking of time travel or the like, who actually believes that the imaginary lands are real places is deluded. The trouble is that the belief is so widely held, even amongst the scientific community, that they do not realise the unscientific error of retaining such naive beliefs. The grandfather paradox clearly shows that the concept of a physical past realm is incorrect. To make up silly reasons why events avoid a paradox is daft when there is no scientific proof of such a place anyway. No more sensible than scientists speculating how all of the souls of the universe could fit into heaven.

Einstein and Godel were seriously concerned about the problem of time. They were rightly concerned. Other scientists should have been concerned too but they had another agenda. So here we are. Grow up, get real.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 22, 2009 @ 02:33 GMT
So busy feeling annoyed I forgot to say that was by me.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Oct. 22, 2009 @ 04:36 GMT

This is why physics and consciousness should not mix. Physics uses Occam's razor to shave away anything that is unnecessary, including those things that are sacred and enrich our soul. In return for the benefits that physics and mathematics provide, they demand that we sacrifice our soul and our God at Occam's alter.

Take whatever wonders you still have left, and run as fast as you can!!!

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 22, 2009 @ 08:24 GMT

It is the lack of a level playing field that is wrong. Religious belief is ridiculed and proclaimed irrational yet belief in the imaginary past and future realms are conveniently overlooked. Not even recognised as a belief but just accepted as fact. Why? There is no proof that they exist and there is a glaring paradox that makes it nonsensical. Space exists.

A torture victim tortured for eternity within space-time is not a sacred vision or enriching to the soul. It is disgusting. When the torture is over just nip back in time and its happening all over again and again. Never mind meeting Granddad. Every atrocity fixed forever. This is a sickening human invention of the naive human mind not the reality of the universe.Instead of imaginary future and past there is space that has been passed through and space that will be passed through in which events occur. That is there are changes in spatial positions and corresponding energetic change.There is no continuous duplication of matter throughout time.

If people want to believe in Santa and the tooth fairy that is OK but lets not pretend that it is scientific. If people want to believe in past and future realms that's OK but lets not pretend that that is any more scientific than fairyland.

As for wonders, there are all sort of amazing and wonderful things that science has ridiculed but are now being accepted scientifically. The New Scientist had some recent articles on sleep and how the sleep and wake cycles are not entirely separated and can overlap during wakefulness, giving rise to hallucination. (So verification that even two people sitting next to each other are not necessarily observing the same reality!) This is quite normal, especially for the sleep deprived. Also about out of body experiences. Just stimulating a certain area of the brain has been observed to cause this effect. How amazing. Descriptions of such experiences have in the past been derided as the nonsense of attention seeking liars, crack pots or pseudo-science. Now there is scientific proof of their physical cause.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 22, 2009 @ 19:43 GMT
I said "Space exists!" I now feel I must qualify that statement. It is possible to describe and measure the space that an object occupies rather than the space it does not occupy. Since this difference can be observed and measured and as science is based on observations, it is scientific to include space in a model. Time can not be observed. We can observe changes in spatial position of objects such as apparent movement of sun and hands of clock, but not time. We just call the observed changes the passing of time.

The observation of the space an object occupies is constructed from the energetic input received and processed. So ultimately it is not possible to know if the source of the input is the same as the reconstructed subjective image. However science begins with observation. It is the boundary.

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thought about it wrote on Oct. 22, 2009 @ 22:18 GMT
It seems to me that physics is straying into the world of philosphy because there is nothing left to measure in the natural occuring world. I find this fantastech theory , and find it great , but I think as you approach this realm leave the slide rule alone and discover the dynamic models of modern philosphy , not the subject matter as such but the methodology of analysis used by dialectical materialism or how Wittgenstein was right when he was wrong and visa versa .

I do not really belong here but am really happy to see that science has itself become a religion threatening to have its own own reformation . It seems that the Inquisition is ready to condemn any modern galileo who dares challenge the order established by its high priests or its scripture .

The LHC can write this episode of discussion up as one of its success stories. When dealing with absolutes everything is true till proven otherwise .

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 23, 2009 @ 01:22 GMT
thought about it,

you said "when dealing with absolutes everything is true until proven otherwise."

I am asserting the idea that the historical concept of time that is, past, present and future as physical realms, should not form any part of scientific reasoning because it is not a physical reality and there is no proof of its physical reality. I am of the opinion that past and future are not part of the structure of the universe but a fantasy equivalent in existential physical reality to fairyland. That is not to deny the quaternion structure of the universe but to say that there is no proof that the 4th dimension is time and not spatial. Time causes the grandfather paradox, space allows gravity to be explained. It is only belief, faith and confusion that has maintained the position of time not science. Time is just a measurement of 4th dimensional change not an absolute in itself.

And because I am still feeling annoyed...

8 billion dollars and not a single subatomic speck of pixie dust. So it may be the magical influence from fairyland preventing us getting hold of the stuff. Self censorship of inappropriate language necessary. For humanity's sake, think!

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Oct. 23, 2009 @ 02:22 GMT

You said,"A torture victim tortured for eternity within space-time is not a sacred vision or enriching to the soul. It is disgusting..." If you are referring to the Christian Hell that is used to scare people into being Christians, it doesn't exist. There is no eternal torment for not being a Christian. We all have character failings, it's part of the human condition. I can't prove this, but I am very certain that God and his angels all understand that human life is difficult. They are compassionate and understand that we will fail to sustain perfection from time to time. This is why compassion and love are so important.

I'm not sure that anything spiritual can really be proved. If it could, it would be kind of spooky. But we should hold onto whatever spiritual practices people have that bring joy, peace of mind and strength. I'm not talking about evil practices that inflict harm; those practices should be done away with.

As you may have noticed, I believe in a higher power. I treat others with compassion because I want to be treated compassionately. This was a key point in my interactions with this higher power. When I noticed that I could be treated the way I treat other people, I adjusted my behaviour accordingly.

If you ask me if there is scientific evidence that God is real, I cannot provide any that will satisfy a scientific community. But when the physicists and neurologists have finished reducing the human brain to a bunch of lifeless particles, it leaves me with a sick and empty feeling. I cannot emphasize enough that this conclusion is a dead end. A dead end. There is no benefit to this conclusion.

Whatever God is, it isn't anything that a quantum bit can describe.

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Georgina parry wrote on Oct. 23, 2009 @ 04:00 GMT

No, I am not talking about hell. I have given my opinion on that before.I am talking about the consequences of belief in space-time. One can not just have the fantasy of seeing Auntie sipping tea in the sunshine and perhaps seeing the odd dinosaur, without accepting the consequence that the child that is raped and murdered endures that torture eternally, if the space-time structure is accepted. I do not accept it. To avoid hypocrisy the belief in the past and future, as realms, should be treated with the same scepticism that scientists treat un- provable religious ideas. I am told that science is not belief or faith but based solely on observation and experiment. There is no evidence of these realms. (A benign God would not allow it either for that matter.)

Nothing that I have said in my recent posts are directed personally to your own personal religious convictions and faith. Human psychology is complex and ideas that give strength an comfort are valuable. I agree that it is important to treat others respectfully, compassionately and benignly as far as possible. Yes it feels nice to be treated well. One does not have to adhere to a particular faith to behave in an altruistic manner and most people with social intelligence reciprocate the behaviour. Most people are innately pretty nice to other people.

I do not think scientific knowledge is necessarily diminishing to our humanity. Amoral (rather than moral) atheism is. Rather we can marvel at the complexity and intricacy of the natural world and its mechanisms. Which some may see as even greater appreciation of the Creator and its works.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Oct. 23, 2009 @ 04:41 GMT

When you speak of space-time, and then dinosaurs, I guess you mean that you don't believe in time travel. Neither do I. I think we are on the same page; we both agree that time travel as a consequence of space-time would mean that everyone would have to re-live the painful experiences every time a time traveler went back into the past. Once again, I agree with you. Time travel, and causality violations, are impossible. Personally, I think movement outside of the light cone (Faster than light travel), should be reserved for transit through space, only. In fact, I would argue that FTL travel does not run the clock back, at all. That's all a bunch of nonsense, in my opinion. If anything, FTL simply negates the conditions of the Einstein equations.

Anyway, sorry I misunderstood you. "Tortured for eternity" has connotations...

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 23, 2009 @ 07:03 GMT

It's more than just not believing in the possibility of time travel.I really, absolutely, don't believe in time as a physical reality. Why are there scientists in the 21st century that still retain their irrational belief? What scientific proof do they rely on? How can it be scientifically justified? Other than as a measurement of 4th dimensional change in quaternion spatial position and corresponding energy change, time should, in my opinion, be recognised, within science, as having no physical reality.

There is no proof that the 4th dimension is time, though 4 dimensions are necessary for a full explanation of observations within 3D space. Instead a far more rational speculation is that there is afore space and aft space. We know that space exists.There is observational proof. Using a spatial 4th dimension gravity can be explained. This is further support for the idea of a spatial 4th dimension. The belief in an existential physical past or future should no longer be taken seriously by any sensible scientists.Unless they have experimental evidence of these imaginary realms. Any talk of the future affecting the present should be dismissed as unscientific.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Oct. 23, 2009 @ 09:00 GMT

On a practical note, time is integrated into our very culture. We go to work at x oclock. We spend thirty minutes a day on this or that. If time doesn't exist, then what do we replace it with? How does a no time approach make my life easier? How does a no time approach make physics easier? It's remarkable that you can think in 4 spatial dimensions. But how does a quaternion approach make anything easier? Quaternion mathematics has it's uses. But I'm not convinced that we should throw away our clocks and our wristwatches because time somehow doesn't exist. Although, truthfully, I probably should meditate in that timeless state much more than I do.

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J.C.N. Smith wrote on Oct. 23, 2009 @ 12:23 GMT
Kevin Black wrote (way back on August 5,2008), "How could you ever design an experiment that would disprove future causal influence on a current condition? I just can't imagine how one could do that, but I am open to suggestions. Any ideas?"

At the risk of appearing to talk crazy, I'd like to suggest that it is not necessary to design such an experiment. Moreover, I'd like to go on record here as proposing the following as a basic axiom of physics: Anything which does not exist cannot influence anything which does exist. A crazy idea? Maybe, but crazy enough to be true? Time will tell, or not.

The future does not exist. Therefore it cannot influence the present, which does exist. For a fuller discussion of this, please read my current FQXi essay, 'On the Impossibility of Time Travel,' which may be found here, and also my essay 'Time: Illusion and Reality,' which may be found here. Then let's talk.

Sorry I just finally got around to reading this thread today. Btw, Eli Vance had the right idea in his post of Aug 6, 2008. Eli, if you're still checking in with this thread, I especially invite you to read my essays and re-join the discussion; you're obviously already a "believer." Whether time "exists" or not hinges precariously on how one chooses to define "time." I choose to define time as configurations of the universe. By this definition, time does exist.

The present cannot be influenced by the future any more than it can be influenced by leprechauns and/or by fairy dust, which are equally as real as the future. And yes, I am very much aware that Mr. Einstein has been quoted as saying, "For we convinced physicists, the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however persistent." But I must respectfully disagree with him on this point. General Relativity and the block universe are magnificent, successful, internally self-consistent edifices, so long as you buy into the unfortunately flawed fundamental concept of time upon which they're built.

In his book 'The Trouble With Physics,' Lee Smolin wrote, "More and more, I have the feeling that quantum theory and general relativity are both deeply wrong about the nature of time. It is not enough to combine them. There is a deeper problem, perhaps going back to the origin of physics." (p. 256) I'm convinced that Smolin is exactly correct in this assessment, and I address the causes of the problem in 'Time: Illusion and Reality.'


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Jason Wolfe wrote on Oct. 23, 2009 @ 19:31 GMT
Dear J.C.N.Smith,

Maybe the future manifests in the present through the mysterious multiverse called, the imagination. These physicists are just getting nervous that their LHC is very difficult to get operational. Let's give them some encouragement, and be patient.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 23, 2009 @ 19:53 GMT
Jason ,

I am not saying that we must not use time as a measurement. I am talking about what the measurement actually represents physically. We can all carry on using it in a practical way. That is subjective time t not historical time Ht. I have explained before that time is a muddle of different concepts that are all just called time but are not the same.

Science needs to rid itself of the fantasy of historical time. That is that there is such a place as the past or the future or an absolute present. This solves the grandfather paradox and the disgusting consequences of history being fixed in time.It does not negate Einstein's work on relativity but just recognises that the 4th dimension measures distance as do the other 3. We need time as a measurement of 4th dimensional change because we can not measure the distance directly. That's all.Time is not some mysterious otherness that we can not comprehend and that we should weave fantasies and superstitions around in the 21st century.

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J.C.N. Smith wrote on Oct. 23, 2009 @ 19:56 GMT
Mr. Wolfe,

You may have a point there. Leprechauns and fairy dust manifest via the imagination, so why not the future? Hmmm . . . . Food for thought, perhaps?

Encouragement and patience are always good things.


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Jason Wolfe wrote on Oct. 23, 2009 @ 20:42 GMT

I don't understand how we can ever return to the past in any physically interactive way, other than memories and virtual environments. I'm pursuing an expanation of space-time as a group of fermions/bosons, each with a velocity/interaction range of c (speed of light). Any two such fermions/bosons whose relative velocity is faster than c will be unable to interact with each other. Fasterthan light does not return to the past. Faster than light travel (which is the only way that sci-fi travels to the past), merely puts particles out of reach.

The past only exists as the mark it leaves on the present. It can never, ever be returned to through FTL, magic or by any other means. All we have is the memory of the past, for as long as that lasts.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 23, 2009 @ 20:48 GMT
Jason, J.C.N. Smith,

How many more millions of dollars worth of encouragement and patience is reasonable in your opinion?

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Oct. 24, 2009 @ 04:32 GMT
Until they get the result. I'm not at the LHC, so I don't know what the problems are. But they need to get those protons moving. This is not just for fun. We're stagnating at this tech level, and we need to move forward.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 24, 2009 @ 06:13 GMT

Sounds like a blank cheque. No time limit, no financial limit? Certainly no need to hurry with that kind of reasonableness.

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J.C.N. Smith wrote on Oct. 24, 2009 @ 15:14 GMT
Mr. Wolfe,

"The past only exists as the mark it leaves on the present. It can never, ever be returned to through FTL, magic or by any other means. All we have is the memory of the past, for as long as that lasts."

We are in total agreement here. And you raise a very interesting way of looking at this; we are, whether we know it or not, and whether we like it or not, "helping" (I use the term loosely) to *shape* the future of the universe. Unfortunately, we have little way of knowing how our miniscule acts of volition will reverberate into the future of the universe, just as the butterfly flapping its wings in China has little way of knowing how it will influence the hurricane in Florida.

Ms. Parry,

"How many more millions of dollars worth of encouragement and patience is reasonable in your opinion?"

At least as many as it would take to buy another unneeded jet fighter plane.


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Jason Wolfe wrote on Oct. 24, 2009 @ 20:08 GMT
Dear J.C.N.Smith,

Engineers, architects and everyday people control the future all the time. For some, it's called planning. For others, it's called authority. But there are limits to what can be controlled. A parent certainly has the ability to control whether or not a child gets to watch television. An LHC physicist may or may not have the technical capability to determine whether or not we get to see protons smash into each other anytime soon. Control over the future can be limited.

Dear Georgina,

Before we give up on the LHC, don't you think we should examine the REAL problems why it won't work? This Higgs sabotage particle crap is an unacceptable reason; it is a technically elaborate way of saying: it's too hard. I admit, I haven't been following the LHC news lately, I don't know the exact problems.

Has the physics community fallen into a belief that it can't know or measure any new physics? Has humanity become complacent with it's mediocre physics? "Sorry humanity! There is just so much we CAN'T do. We're just too tired and too complacent with our mathematics to try to find any new physics." I assure you, there are things beyond the scope of our mathematical CAGE. If the physics community and/or the human race gets complacent, the universe will KICK our cage across the cosmos if that's what it takes to motivate us.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 24, 2009 @ 20:31 GMT
Jason said,

"The past only exists as the mark it leaves on the present. It can never, ever be returned to through FTL, magic or by any other means. All we have is the memory of the past, for as long as that lasts."

I almost agree. The present however is also a problematic term. There is no absolute present. The observed present being a patchwork of input that has taken different lengths of time to reach each observer and so is different for each observer. Perhaps one should just say the effect of prior spatial and energetic change is observable, within observable space. There is no existential past, future or absolute present.

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J.C.N. Smith wrote on Oct. 24, 2009 @ 21:28 GMT
Ms. Parry,

Your wrote, "There is no absolute present. The observed present being a patchwork of input that has taken different lengths of time to reach each observer and so is different for each observer."

Please consider the case of several blind persons who have no prior knowledge of elephants and who are positioned at various fixed points around an elephant and who are asked to examine and then describe the elephant.

The descriptions of the elephant given by each of the various observers will almost certainly vary considerably, and any one of the descriptions will only partially capture the elephant's true overall configuration. Would you take this to be convincing evidence that the elephant does not exist? The universe is our elephant, and, contrary to what you seem to assert, it does indeed exist, despite the fact that no one observer can ever have access to information about more than a small part of its total configuration. The evolving configurations of the universe are what we perceive as the flow of time.


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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 25, 2009 @ 00:03 GMT
Jason ,

I do not know the value, rather than cost, of the LHC. However I think it is the international co-operation, academic collaboration and coming together of various technology and information processing companies on such a project that adds value to what could otherwise be a very expensive folly. There may be future business opportunities for various companies and their technicians for having been involved. Also potential income from the application of new advances in technology or IT for those countries involved in this project, which is naturally an incentive for being involved. There is also the lure of the prestige of being involved in such a monumental project for individuals and governments. Whether it should be funded indefinitely depends upon the value the participants and their sponsors place on the project. That is there must be perceived net benefit to both groups to justify continuing. Perhaps there is already less value in trying to get it to work than in having co-operated to build it.It could be an interesting tourist attraction.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 25, 2009 @ 00:16 GMT

I am not saying the universe does not exist. It exists within quaternion space not space-time. The present is a concept that does not actually apply to the objective reality of the universe.

What is the present if we are to discount our individual observations as I explained them? I can give my geographical location, height above sea level which is my spatial position. Time varies with geographical location and height above sea level so what do you mean by the present? Your now is not the same as my now.

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J.C.N. Smith wrote on Oct. 25, 2009 @ 00:56 GMT
Ms. Parry,

You wrote, "Time varies with geographical location and height above sea level so what do you mean by the present? Your now is not the same as my now."

Sorry, but I must beg to differ with you. My now *is* the same as your now and the same as the now of every observer in the universe, regardless of their location. The problem to which you allude arises, however, because we all have differing perspectives on that "now." We're all looking at the same elephant, but from different vantage points.

The fact that our descriptions of the elephant (i.e., our perspectives on the universe) differ considerably (they may not even overlap, and therefore won't appear to agree even in the slightest) doesn't mean that the elephant we're all looking at isn't real or that it doesn't have a real configuration. The configuration of the elephant is the now, and it is real. We simply may not be able to agree on it. That doesn't mean that any one of us is "wrong;" it simply means that we each have incomplete information.

This clearly is not an ideal situation, but I fear that it is an accurate description of reality. The only way to avoid it would be to bump up the speed of light to infinity. Then we'd all be able to see the whole elephant, it all its glory, in its real, simultaneous configuration. But I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to happen.


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Jason Wolfe wrote on Oct. 25, 2009 @ 03:43 GMT

What if they get the LHC working? If we confirm the existence of a Higgs particle, that's great. But, what if we slam two protons together, and we discover particles we didn't expect? What if we discover something that revolutionizes physics? They want to test a hyperdrive theory of their own, involving two protons flying by each other, almost touching.

Where would you rather spend the money? Taking care of the poor? With new technology, we can give them job! Which is better?

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 25, 2009 @ 08:46 GMT
J.C.N. Smith,

You said "The configuration of the elephant is the now, and it is real. We simply may not be able to agree on it."

If we consider observation of a present moment; pointing at a star I could see light from it, which is said to have taken light years to arrive, and light reflected from my own hand, that has taken a fraction of a second to arrive at my eye, simultaneously. Both in the same present moment. The star may no longer exist but it is in my present. Although I am seeing its past.If it no longer has material existence, what I am seeing could be considered an illusion of reality rather than an accurate portrayal of material reality itself.So is the now actually "real" as you say? My material hand does still exist and its image is also in my present. So each present moment is a composite of various past images not now as such.

To continue using your analogy, If it is the material configuration of the elephant, rather than its image, that is the now , then that means that it is its existing material substance and spatial arrangement. Why assume a temporal description of the configuration of matter in space is necessary, when it is adequately described by a spatial rather than temporal description. How does the inclusion of temporal description aid or improve comprehension in your opinion?

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 25, 2009 @ 09:05 GMT

"What if" is a question that could be applied equally well elsewhere. What if funding or extra funding had been given to all sorts of other investigations and endeavours? (It is a rhetorical question.)

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Oct. 25, 2009 @ 10:19 GMT

We're in a technological box right now. We need to find a way out of it. We can certainly learn to get along and sing Kumbiah, but the reality of existence is this: people need to grow and expand in all sorts of areas. If they do not, they will stagnate. Funding for cancer research is fine by me. But humans beings have to push the envelope of what is ultimately possible for us to do. If physicists can't make the breakthrough, then we'll have to exert our efforts in other areas, like magic...

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J.C.N. Smith wrote on Oct. 25, 2009 @ 10:55 GMT
Ms. Parry,

Thank you for your very pertinent comments and questions. I infer from the nature of your questions, however, that you've apparently not read and/or given much thought to the content of my current FQXi essay, 'On the Impossibility of Time Travel,' and its related thread, which you'll find here, or my related essay, 'Time: Illusion and Reality,' which you'll find here. I'd respectfully suggest that you'll find your questions already addressed in some detail in those readings. Rather than reconstruct them here paragraph by paragraph, I'd appreciate it if you'd look carefully at those readings and then raise whatever questions are not satisfactorily answered there. Thank you.

I sense from your comments and questions that a meeting of the minds between us is possible, but for this to happen we will both need to put in some work. Some of my (already completed) work on the topic will be found in the referenced essays and related thread. Thanks in advance for taking the time and trouble to read and think about them. I look forward to continuing this dialogue. And yes, I know that we're all overwhelmed with readings. I've read all of the 113 other essays in this year's competition, and am now re-reading and commenting on quite a few of them, so I understand the problem of insufficient time.


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Steve Dufourny wrote on Oct. 25, 2009 @ 11:59 GMT
The LHC and these main programs like ATLAS or ALICE or LHCb or the solenoid ...I think really it's incredibly incredible .What can I say ,perhaps nothing in fact .I have the impression that this story of collisions has embarked a boat of business attention soon 7 Tev after 10 for the super magnets ....

And these higgs and imaginaries extrapolations like a quest of the supranaturel .

Only 3D in a time constant and a specific dynamic ! only that

No but I dream or what .The only one which is interesting is the return to the balance and stability of the system divided.There some dynamic of re becoming if I can say are relevant .

An other point, what I don't find in our global analyzes, is the result of this collision and circular movement .Can we do all what we want without consciousness about the ultim energy in eveything .

The enginiering is sufficient and stable ,6 systems /8 are near the zero absolute ,what about the resistance and the results of errors due to the complex energy and its steps of architecture .We are humans and only a weak part of conscious people checks this LHC ,some are in the imaginaries ,others in the inutile experiments ,others in the business plan and commercialization of multiple products ,others in the reals ,others in and in and in ....and some look with pragmatism ,realism and consciousness.

The LHC is going to divide spheres with the mass and fields of energy ,the number is so important ,how much spheres divided with their specificities from the collision between protons ,that depends of many parametrs ,already we don't understand well this proton ,let's divide thus the spheres and thus let's take the enrgy of these divisions .BOUM hihihi I don't understand why the humans focus on fission ,division ,it's even though better with the fusion ...the fusion is logic ,harmonic ,the fusion is chaotic due to our perception ,walls ,and limits of our physicalty .



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Jason Wolfe wrote on Oct. 25, 2009 @ 17:56 GMT
In spite of these trepidative and fearful theories of time travel, the LHC is making progress towards become operational.

By the way, I'm kind of curious about this HIggs time travelling particle that is supposedly preventing the LHC from doing experiments. How does one misinterpret the mathemics and physics to arrive at the conclusion that Higgs can sabotage their own generator?

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amrit wrote on Oct. 25, 2009 @ 18:53 GMT
As time is run of clocks One can travel in space only. Time travel are impossible.

For members here that believe space-time is physical reality they should answer how shrinking of 4-th coordinate manage that clock run slower.

Clear description of mechenism in 4-th coordinate that influences velocity of clocks should be presented.

yours amrit

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Oct. 25, 2009 @ 19:43 GMT

I agree that time travel is impossible. But it seems to me that ones own clock is ones own time std; Photons from somewhere else are either red shifted or blue shifted. If a photon is redshifted, it means it will generate clock ticks that are longer in duration, because they're moving away, or in any event, their photons have lost energy. Blue shifted photons have energy added to them, and their ticks of time are speeded up.

By this argument, space-time is simply the effect of waiting for photon messengers from the rest of the universe to give you informational updates about what's going on. These poor little photons run as fast as they can with their information. These photons do not let you time travel into the past or the future. They only transmit information. When we look at stars, we're just looking at old information that took a long time to get to us. If someone builds a hyperdrive and uses methods to move faster than the speed of light, this might make it possible to transmit information FTL. You can get information from locations light years away in just a few seconds. But that doesn't put you into the past. It just makes your information system run faster.

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stii thinking wrote on Oct. 25, 2009 @ 20:47 GMT
time travel may be impossible but exchange of infomation over time may be possible . As a model : at a point in our development we develop the technology to pass infomation between moments in human perceived time , along the lines of lets say a telephone , that can phone a " time phone " at a different moment in human time . In this simple model the moment that we have the phone is the starting point for communication through time . We can not phone a preceding point in time because before that moment nobody has a phone to receive the call .

Our first call is to ourselves the next day.Our future self tells us that it will rain tomorrow and we can best take an umbrella to work . The next day in does rain and we have already had our umbrella at the ready . But on that future day we have to answer he phone to talk to ourselves from the previous day . If this is not so then we will have phoned a virtual self which means we are already a virtual self .

With an infinite number of possible phone calls there would have to be an infinite number of virtual selves , with an infinite number of universes supporting their existence .

There would not be anyway to phone a point before the first phone because it will be like having internet in a world with no computers. The moment the very first primitive machine comes on line will be the moment that the system will be waiting for and it would show up on the grid at once , it would also be the very first moment that the future machine could have any contact with the past , perhaps its first communication would be a warning .

We need to extrapolate our development over millions of years before we think ourselves as all knowing beings . Humans will be around for a long time and we will keep developing . Our intelligence will always solve our ignorance , we will destroy the known earth but we will make artificial trees , develop bio systems and cold technology etc , leave earth and more than likely be able to grow our own solar systems in the cause of 200 million years continually evolving . Do you honestly beleive that we haved not cracked time communication (not time travel) in the future and are waiting for the first moment to communicate with the first machine that is capable of reception .

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 25, 2009 @ 21:28 GMT
J.C.N. Smith,

I have not read your essays. As you have noted there are 113 essays to choose from. I will try to make time for reading your essay and giving it some thought.

If I have anything to say about them I will post under the essay.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Oct. 26, 2009 @ 01:12 GMT
Dear Still Thinking,

I believe that the confusion over time travel, and sending information can be solved this way. Physicist talk about information, but they don't really discuss signalling. Signalling is when you actually make a change or change something, in a way that demonstrates that you have the ability to do so. If I place a signal into a broadcast media, such as AM radio or some other kind of modulation, it can broadcast for decades. The waves flow outwards from the antenna at the speed of light. I can only broadcast or signal when I am in the present. Some sattelite a light year away can hypothetically hear my broadcast, my signalling. If I am really an alien from a high tech civilization and my broadcast is transmitting a signal using tachyons, I still can only transmit from the present. One light year away, there might be an alien spaceship that can pick up my signal. They might respond and we might have a conversation with tachyons over a long distance. But if I accidently tell that alien that he is a "nucklehead", once those words are out, I can't take them back. Hypothetically, if I sent them out at the speed of light, I might have a chance to get in my own starship, head off the signal, and block the part about him being a nucklehead. But that's not really time travel. If the alien heard me call him a nucklehead, there is no way to take it back.

As for psychic stuff, I leave all that to naturally occuring quantum waves. Our thoughts are just electrons moving around anyway. Why would that stuff transmit? The only signal I can send from the past is the one I send from the present directed towards the future. I can't have a two way conversation with someone in the past. Out of respect to all those who thrive upon the mysterious and unexplained, I will just say that physics restricts it, but reality includes more than just physics.

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Roy Johnstone wrote on Oct. 26, 2009 @ 03:22 GMT
Georgina & Mr Smith,

I get the feeling that you are arguing two aspects of the same thing and in fact are in basic agreement! Mr Smith and I have had extended discussions at his essay thread and I completely agree with his principle of evolving configurations explaining what we call "time" and "advancing time". What I have also said there is that it would be nice to extend this idea to be relativistic. This is where I agree with Georgina that there can be no objective "present" due to relativity and that a 4th dimensional *spatially* represented quantity is needed for a fully realistic description of the "Elephant". This would require representation as a *spatial* displacement for example in place of the "t" coordinate in a Lorentz transformation to relate the different views of the Elephant. I have read Georgina's proposal for this as basically a redistribution of energy scenario on a 4D sphere with "hidden" motion along an axis orthogonal to the 3d surface (as I recall?) and this may well be as good as any other representation I have heard.

As Georgina has said, any observers or subsystems of the Universe will have their own (evolving) "image" of an observable Universe which must vary unless exactly co-moving. Mr Smith's objective "now" may have a *global* objective reality but this would only be observable from outside the Universe, ie by a hypothetical external observer who sees all the blind people and elephant non-relativistically! From within the Universe, there is an infinite configuration space of "nows".


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J.C.N. Smith wrote on Oct. 26, 2009 @ 13:52 GMT
Mr. Johnstone,

Thank you for your characteristically insightful and constructive thoughts and words. Yes, I suspect that you're correct; my view of time probably is overly simplistic in some/many ways, but that stems largely from my simple-minded, primitive, naive approach to the universe, and I use those adjectives proudly rather than apologetically. But perhaps I err too far in those directions. I do acknowledge, somewhere in the remote, back recesses of my head, that things probably are not quite as simple as I'd like to believe. The devil is always in the details.

Ms. Parry, despite having discovered your footprints in numerous threads to numerous FQXi essays, I have not found your name listed as author of an essay in this year's competition or in last year's. Have you written an essay which spells out your thinking on the nature of time? If so, I'd certainly be willing to read it and think about it and comment on it if you'd be so kind as to point me toward where I might find it.


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thinking wrote on Oct. 26, 2009 @ 20:41 GMT
Jason Wolfe i understand what you are saying , a priest once tried to tell me that modern physics had proven that all our actions good or bad will exist forever as they are projected endlessly through the universe .

But what i am really saying is very simple . In the linear progression of human development together with the existence of the universe , the rubbing together of two sticks to make fire to the development of the LHC would be 400 000 years . A mere whispher in the history of existence . In an infinite human future we should have the 'time' to develop the technology to transfer some form of data over time , a particle binary code . It would need to be decoded . If such technology would be developed all improvements on the technology would take place in retrospect .

I am not talking about sending last years xmas cards this year so that they arrive last year , no data like the internet , i can not download a banana and eat it but i can download a photo of a banana and print it out .

A machine which can make exotic matter could enable this model to develop , but here is my point IF!! we manage to send data back in time from the future it will all go whizzing by until we build a machine that can decode it . We would not be able to 'transmit' from the future to a point before the existence of this machine therefore we have not yet noticed any communication.

I beleive that this sought of problematic is to be solved with abstact thought seeking hypothesis and paradigm , the constant has to be found to reveal the relative . We need a new constant or else we will chase the relative until it becomes an alternative for crossword puzzles .

Time is a sticky issue even our cultural background determines how we perceive it , i come from a part of Africa where local people refer to time not in seconds but as 'later' .

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Oct. 26, 2009 @ 21:52 GMT
Dear Thinking,

You are lucky to be able to live in such a relaxed atmosphere where "later" is an acceptable answer.

If you want to download pictures of technology from the future, then what stops us from sending lottery numbers? I don't know if you have a lottery back then. Did you see the movie, Back to the Future II? The bad guy is a poor old man; he gets a hold of the time machine, with a book of betting results from the futre. He goes back to give his young self this book with the betting results. The bad guy, when he was younger, starts betting and winning huge amount of money. You might disagree, but I honestly think that that the laws of physics will restrict specific information from flowing from the future to the past.

In contrast, Nostradamus revealed information about the future that is not specific and open to interpretation. My personal opinion is that psychic phenomena has quantum information encoded into it, but the signal is usually weak and sometimes the person receiving it interprets it wrong. Since it's not specific and precise information, it can be transfered. I think that is about as good as you're gonna get, in my opinion.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 26, 2009 @ 22:48 GMT
Mr. Smith,

I was not aware of FQXi or the first essay competition, about time, until it was too late to enter. I only stumbled upon the site by browsing.

I do not have an essay just about time. The mechanism for how the perception of time arises, what time is currently perceived to be and how gravity arises as well as various other physical phenomena are all intertwined. It would take me some time to break it down into a respectable stand alone but fully explained essay. This is something that I might do sometime if I feel there is enough reason to spend the time doing so. Mostly I feel damned by faint praises or more usually no acknowledgement at all and that I may just as well bang my head on the wall. I have spent quite a bit of time on this site just talking to myself. You are the first person to request to see such an essay.

I have not entered the current competition. It has to be worthwhile from -my- perspective. Besides if I did think I knew what was "ultimately" possible in physics why would I waive all right to defend my intellectual property to FQXi?

I did enter the Gravity Foundation competition but nothing at all came of that.I would write the essay differently now having had time to reflect on the presentation of my explanation and how I might improve upon it. Likewise I need to return to my writing of the Prime Quaternion model and produce a revised version. Having had the opportunity to reflect on the way in which I have explained and presented my ideas.It is somewhere on my mental "to do" list. Likewise I need to update the web site I had began presenting my ideas on, prior to stumbling on FQXi. I have done nothing with it for a long time.4D Megauniverse So much to do and no time!

I do appreciate the opportunity to say what I think on the FQXi site and perhaps one day someone who is really interested will actually read what I have said. There are some careless mistakes but on the whole I think I have explained it clearly.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 26, 2009 @ 23:16 GMT

thank you very much for your comment.I get very little positive feedback, so your opinion on my "representation" was very welcome and well received. I also do not think that I am in essence in disagreement with Mr. smith.

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Geeorgina Parry wrote on Oct. 27, 2009 @ 06:35 GMT
Mr. Smith,

For the sake of clarification when mentioning "intellectual property rights" I was not being entirely serious and was thinking about those potential new technologies that Anthony Aguirre had suggested might be topics for this essay contest when it was announced.

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J.C.N. Smith wrote on Oct. 27, 2009 @ 07:22 GMT
Mr. Johnstone, Ms. Parry,

"As Georgina has said, any observers or subsystems of the Universe will have their own (evolving) 'image' of an observable Universe which must vary unless exactly co-moving. Mr Smith's objective 'now' may have a *global* objective reality but this would only be observable from outside the Universe, ie by a hypothetical external observer who sees all the blind people and elephant non-relativistically! From within the Universe, there is an infinite configuration space of 'nows'."

Yes, I agree. And I don't want to be seen as being an advocate of a position or concept which requires a god-like observer who resides outside the universe (although I must admit that for the purpose of thought experiments this is a useful perspective).

In 'Three Roads to Quantum Gravity' Lee Smolin wrote, ". . . the first principle of cosmology must be 'There is nothing outside the universe.'" (p. 17) And later, "I believe that the main lesson of relativity and quantum theory is that the world is nothing but an evolving network of relationships." (pp. 19-20) And later, "Like all advocates of new ideas we support our opinions with slogans as well as with results. Our slogans are 'In the future we shall know more' and 'One universe seen by many observers, rather than many universes, seen by one mythical observer outside the universe'." (p.48)

It is statements such as these which give me hope that any new book on the nature of time which Smolin writes will almost certainly incorporate some of our ideas, *and* will allow for the reality of motion. I'd love to get Messrs. Smolin and Barbour in a room to hash this all out once and for all, and be a fly on the wall as they do so.

A (perhaps "the") central tenet of my own thinking about the nature of time can be stated very simply: what we traditionally have thought of and referred to as "the flow of time" is, in reality, nothing more and nothing less than the evolution of the physical universe.


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Peter van Gaalen wrote on Oct. 29, 2009 @ 20:08 GMT
Feynmann liked to present a positron as an electron moving backwards in time. Isn't that a form of timetravel? When we have the creation of an electron-positron pair, isn't it just one particle, rotating in a circle forward and backward in time?

When time is not a physical reality where does this leave the Minkowski metric? This metric describes the spacetime continuum and it is said that special relativity wasn't finished until Minkowski came with his metric describing spacetime (based on the hyperbolic quaternion).

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 29, 2009 @ 20:37 GMT
It can still move backwards along the 4th dimension but it is not time travelling.

It does not pass through events that have already occurred but through space that has already been passed through. That is the significant difference. Travelling back through time causes a paradox, travelling through space along another spatio-energetic dimension does not.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 29, 2009 @ 20:52 GMT
According to the model I have proposed the 4th dimension represents a scale of "universal" potential energy as well as spatial distance. This is because every change in spatial position is an energy change according to the model. Within 3D vector space change in spatial position is regarded as kinetic energy. The 3 vector dimensions do not work as scales of kinetic energy because it is not possible to give an absolute orientation of those dimensions, unlike the 4th dimension. Moving forwards (afore)along the 4th dimension is loss of "universal" potential energy. Moving backwards will thus be gain of "universal" potential energy.It is therefore not unreasonable for objects to oscillate forwards and backwards along this dimension loosing and gaining energy as they do so.

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Peter van Gaalen wrote on Oct. 30, 2009 @ 07:15 GMT
What quantity does this 4th dimension represent? is it energy? is it length? is it time?

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 30, 2009 @ 10:07 GMT
There has to be a 4th dimensional change to give rise to both the experience of time within 3D vector space and the observation of gravity. It is also this change that provides the energy input for the increasing complexity and order of matter in the universe. Just as a change in distance within 3D vector space requires kinetic energy so a change in 4th dimensional position requires an energy change.

One may consider either the energy change that has occurred or the change in position as the objective reality. However it is not possible to measure either of these quantities from the 3D vector space perspective of an observer. We can not observe the 4th dimension in order to make the measurement.

A change that is regular, continuous and observable within 3D vector space can be used as a measurement of actual 4th dimensional change, if the assumption is made that the change that occurs along the 4th dimension is also regular and continuous. That is to say that time is used but it is an indirect measurement of a change that can not be directly measured, not a physical reality of the universe itself.

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amrit wrote on Oct. 30, 2009 @ 15:14 GMT
Godel suggests 4-th dimension is spatial too.

I suggest physical time is run of clocks in 4 dimensional timeless quantum space.

yours amrit

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Peter van Gaalen wrote on Oct. 30, 2009 @ 18:35 GMT
But again: when time is not a physical reality where does this leave the Minkowski metric? What are the consequences for special relativity?

The same for 'the 4th dimension is spatial': then what is the time component in the Minkowski metric?

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 30, 2009 @ 19:32 GMT
Time can still be used as is for that purpose but should, in my opinion, be interpreted differently. Time has to be used (As the 4th dimension is unobservable it is the only measurement we can make) but it is not time that is really being measured. The time measurement is telling us about the amount of 4th dimensional energetic and spatial change that has occurred. The consequence of this alternative interpretation is that there are no future or past realms. History is not fixed within space-time. There is no grandfather paradox and gravity can be explained.

There is no paradoxical consequence of travelling aft-wards along the 4th dimension. There would be no actually reverse causality, as such, for sub atomic particles travelling aft-wards along the 4th dimension, as it is a spatio-energetic change rather than temporal change in position. Within the macroscopic world that is experienced there is always net afore-ward motion of matter along the 4th dimension giving the subjective experience of time. That makes us think of a flow or arrow of time. This is also the continuous loss of universal potential energy driving the formation of the universe.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 30, 2009 @ 19:58 GMT
Just considering the 4th dimension differently from a philosophical viewpoint does not alter its treatment within existing mathematics.It only alters the interpretation of the meaning of the mathematical findings. Structurally, within this alternative model, it is just the same. That is, it is a scalar dimension (no single direction can be ascribed to it from 3D vector space) that is orthogonal to the other 3 dimensions.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Oct. 31, 2009 @ 06:40 GMT

Do you think the gravitational constant could be a function of the speed of light? In other words, do you think that the gravitiaonal constant is dependent upon the speed of light?

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Edward Otto wrote on Oct. 31, 2009 @ 10:33 GMT
If you take the time to read the paper proposing the test, the 'deck' consists of 200,000 cards - only ONE of which is the shutdown card.

The purpose of this test is to 'randomize' the activities of the LHC, controlling it's operating parameters (ranges of energies, etc.)

My only problem with this attempt to violate causality is that, if it is truly interference from the future, wouldn't the future already know what cards are drawn in what order? And, if so, at that point, how do they manage to influence the operation of the LHC? Playing with the deck?

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amrit wrote on Oct. 31, 2009 @ 15:15 GMT

time "t" in Minkovski metrics works well.

"t" menas thick of clock.

The problem is we think time is physical reality in which material change happens.

Time is only a measure. X4 = i x c "t" whete "t" is thick of clock

yours amrit

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Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Oct. 31, 2009 @ 17:01 GMT
Hi Peter:

You ask:

What quantity does this 4th dimension represent? is it energy? is it length? is it time?

My reply is:

I have demonstrated the equivalency of extension in time and space at a three to one ratio in keeping with the following (below). I have shown that the integrated extensiveness of being and experience go hand-in-hand in and with time. What I will now...

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Anonymous wrote on Nov. 1, 2009 @ 04:40 GMT

You asked "Do you think the gravitational constant could be a function of the speed of light? In other words, do you think that the gravitational constant is dependent upon the speed of light?" I'm not sure where your question sprang from. Or what answer you are looking for.I will attempt to answer it to the best of my (sleep deprived)...

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 1, 2009 @ 04:42 GMT
That last post was me.

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Peter van Gaalen wrote on Nov. 1, 2009 @ 11:40 GMT
Hi Jason and Georgina,

Jason asked if the gravitational constant could be a function of the speed of light. In other words, is the gravitational constant dependent upon the speed of light?

The 4 terms in the Minkowski metric have the same dimension. Minkowski replaced time t with 'proportional time' ict. Proportional time has the same dimension as length. Georgina in this sense I...

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Lawrence B Crowell wrote on Nov. 1, 2009 @ 13:28 GMT
How can G be an imaginary number?

Cheers LC

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Peter van Gaalen wrote on Nov. 1, 2009 @ 16:15 GMT
G is not an imaginairy number. G has dimension burst/mass.

But 'proportional G' is an imaginairy number. proportional G = (prop. burst)/(prop. mass)

Below I will explain how I derived 'proportional bust' and 'proportional mass', but it is a bit ellaborate. In the same way Minkoswki composed his metric, I composed a bigger metric. I will use the extra quantities I defined in the post...

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Peter van Gaalen wrote on Nov. 1, 2009 @ 16:16 GMT
We can give all coordinate quantities the same dimension as gmflux, so the other quantities are proportional to gmflux:

This metric can be decomposed into two opposite octonions (c and G left away for readability and i,j,k and L are imaginary units).

Of = f + ix + jy + kz + LE + iLsx + jLsy + kLsz

Ot = - t - ibx - jby - kbz - Lm - iLpx - jLpy - kLpz

Proportional velocity = (prop length)/(prop time) =

And just like velocity = length/time, there is a quantity 'gravicity': gravicity = burst/mass.

The speed of light is maximal velocity and the gravitational constant G is maximal gravicity.

Proportional G = (prop burst)/(prop mass) =

So proportional G = iL

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Peter van Gaalen wrote on Nov. 1, 2009 @ 16:30 GMT
Oh ye, I forgot to tell.

The metric I found in the post above is the completion of classical relativistic gravitomagnetic mechanics. It is the missing idea that will form the basis for the correct quantum theory.

So please keep it secret. :)

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Anonymous wrote on Nov. 1, 2009 @ 16:34 GMT
Do String Theorists Wear Belled Slippers"

Dear Anon,

I am so glad you asked.

Yes, they do, and they also have bells on their floppy pointed hats.

However, only the Master Jesters are allowed to juggle the Glass Beads.

The sycophants have to sit around them in a circle and clap.

Otherwise they are branded "cranks" and ostracised.

Good observing Anon,


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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 1, 2009 @ 19:11 GMT
Peter van Gaalen: I of course recognize momentum invariant interals, quaterions and the like, but beyond that I have a difficult time seeing what you are writing about.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 1, 2009 @ 22:56 GMT
Georgia and Peter,

I want to thank you both for putting effort onto your answers. I think gravitational flux is what I stumbled upon. I came up with what I think is a good hypothesis or idea for a hyperdrive physics theory. My initial starting assumption is this: 3D space exists, but there is an infinite set of space-times for the same 3D space. There is the one space-time we know exists; I call that the c_1 brane. I speculate that there is a c_2 brane with a speed of light equal to two times c, a c_3 brane with 3c, c_4,...c_n. This isn't proven, but dark matter and dark energy influcnced this idea.

Next, I ran a very simple thought experiment. I have two apples, identical, both with mass m1. I am going to drop them both a height L1. I am assuming that energy is conserved. One of the apples is going to fall through a region of space where the speed of light is 2c, a c_2 brane. I want to convince you that

EQ1: m1g1L1= m2g2L2.

If energy is to be conserved, then an energy of E1 that passes into a c_2 brane, will equal the energy E2. No energy is gained or lost in the transition. If this is the case, then what is the relationship between m1 and m2? E=mc2, so E1=m1c12 = E2= m2c22. Thus,

EQ2: m1/m2 = (c2/c1)2.

If we assume that L1 = L2 out of convenience, that the path through c2 space does not change the elevation, then we are left with m1g1= m2g2. Energy is conserved, so if the mass scales by equation 2, then the gravitational acceleration must scale too, so,

EQ3: g2 = g1(c2/c1)2.

Of course, we all know that g=GM/r2. Since the mass of the earth, M doesn't change because we went through a c2 brane, and the distance r doesn't change, then it must be the gravitational constant, G, that changes. Hence,

EQ4 G2/G1 = (c2/c1)2.

The gravitational constant scales by the square of the speed of light. I think this means that the speed of light determines how fast we can fall. There's more, but I want to get your comments or questions.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 2, 2009 @ 02:09 GMT
Pater said "c and G are both constants. What does this mean? The speed of light c is responsible for relativistic effect. In my view G must also be responsible for relativistic effects. And therefore proportional G must also be an imaginary unit."

I do not follow the logic of this statement.

I agree that both c and G are constants and involved in relativistic effects. Gravitational time dilation is in my opinion real and not an artefact,in that there is actual spatial distribution of matter along the 4th dimension giving discrepancy between time measurement by external observer and on the gravitationally accelerated object. As I said this being due to the assumption that time passes regularly for all objects rather than being variable for each according to spatial position in relation to the gravitationally attracting mass. G giving the difference between actual and assumed change.

The speed of light measured in 3d space actually is constant, in my opinion, as explained, unlike the "only assumed constant passage of time for all matter."

Peter said "So I think it should be that speed has meaning when considering the 4th dimension itself because (proportional time)/(proportional length) = -i."

I do not really understand the meaning of this. Please can you explain in words what meaning this equation has? Does the meaning only relate to the mathematics itself or does it have some meaning outside of the mathematical formulation that enables speed without time or speed without distance to be understood?

We can assume that a regular change in 3D vector space is proportional to a regular passage of time (or regular change along the 4th dimension). However the assumption is wrong, it is only an approximation. Hence relativistic effects.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 2, 2009 @ 05:13 GMT
That should have read -Peter said"..

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 2, 2009 @ 06:45 GMT
I was hoping someone would ask. I have a cool idea for a hyperdrive and I'm ready to give some of the specifics about how energy is handled. I'm talking about hyper-drive mechanics 101. Is anyone interested?

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Peter van Gaalen wrote on Nov. 2, 2009 @ 07:21 GMT
Hi Lawrence, can you tell where you lost me?

Minkowski gave a description of spacetime in his metric. The quantities in this metric have the same dimension, they are proportional quantities. This metric can be decomposed into a (hyperbolic) quaternion. The elements of the quaternion are real and imaginary proportional elements. We can use these proportional complex elements to see what the dimension of proportional velocity is. Proportional velocity = (prop length)/(prop time) = length/ict imaginary unit -i.

The second part is to do the same thing for the gravitational constant G. But first we had to develop a metric just like the minkowski metric:

From the newtonian equations we derived the relationship between length and mass. If we extend the number of quantities then we can see that G = burst/mass. from this I did a premature combination of the minkowski metric and the relativistic energy momentum equation. Reconsider relativistic mass we can extend the energy-momentum equation to a equation with 8 dimensions. The same thing for the Minkowski metric, also extended to 8 dimensions. Now we combined the extended minkowski metric with the extended energy momentum equation. Ultimately we got the 16 dimensional metric. this metric can be decomposed into two opposite octonions. The octonions are composed of the proportional imaginary elements. So now we can finaly see what proportional burst and proportional mass are. From those two we found that the proportional gravitational constant G = iL.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 2, 2009 @ 08:48 GMT
Peter said "From those two we found that the proportional gravitational constant G = iL."

How does this aid comprehension?

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 2, 2009 @ 13:29 GMT
The MInkowki metric applies for the Lorentz group, with the invariant interval or proper time

ds^2 = c^2dt^2 - dx^2 - dy^2 - dz^2,

and in keeping with some basic structure of classical physics conjugate momentum distance is

(mc^2)^2 = E^2 - (pc)^2.

This is the basic construction of Minkoswki spacetime. The light cone is defined where ds = 0 and equivlaently for m = 0.

I am not sure what the reasoning is for proportional velocity. Velocities in spacetime can be easily defined from the invariant interval by dividing through by ds^2 so that

1 = c^2(dt/ds)^2 - (dx/ds)^2 - (dy/ds)^2 - (dz/dx)^2 = U_t^1 - U_x^2 - ...,

which tells us that four velocities are always of length one. A proper time derivative of this gives 0 with

0 = a_tU_t - a_xU_x - ...

so accleration in four dimensions is orthogonal or perpendicultar to four velocity. This is standard stuff.

Gravitation enters into the picture with curvature, where this Minkowski structure is local, and on the spacetime in general there are locally different Lorentzian systems. These merge together according to connection terms and curvatures, thus giving general relativity. In special relativity there is no reference to G.

Now if you want to consider something a bit odd the following sequence exists

1^2 + 2^2 + 3^2 + ... + 24^2 = 70^2.

This sequence of squares of integers turns out to be tied to some remarkable structure with something called the Leech lattice, which is the root system for the sporadic group M_{24}. This turns out to define the 26 dimensional Lorentzian structure (Minkowsi spacetime) with the null condition

0^2 + 1^2 + 2^2 + 3^2 + ... + 24^2 - 70^2 = 0.

If I change the sign on 0^2, which is of minimal consequence for this discrete setting, I have a space where and anti-de Sitter structure exists. Now 26 dimensions is the size of the space for the bonsonic string. and it is under a so called infinite momentum frame condition the space which emerges from the exceptional Jordan matrix J^3(O). This further defines an automorphism structure for the Fisher-Griess group, or "The Monster" group.

This is the domain where I have been working things. What I mention here is just a couple of highlights of this. This is a deep subject to study and to work within.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 2, 2009 @ 16:45 GMT
Dear Lawrence,

I appreciate your review of GR.

You said, "I am not sure what the reasoning is for proportional velocity. "

GR is very much designed to suggest that FTL (faster than light) travel is impossible. I was looking for a simple and easy way to introduce a hypothetical hyper-drive physics without drastically departing from the mathematical structure of General...

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 2, 2009 @ 19:29 GMT
I am not sure what a c_n brane is. D-branes are extended objects, similar to spaces, but which for dim > 1 have solitonic physics of strings they interact with. A one dimensional brane is a string. You might be best to liberate yourself from ideas of FTL drives and the like. These things are not likely to bear any fruit in physics. That just seems to be how the cards have been delt in the universe.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 2, 2009 @ 20:29 GMT
Dear Lawrence,

Well, thank you for your effort and your feedback. I'm sorry I couldn't more clearly define a c_i brane as a 3D space with an integer multiple of the velocity of light, i times c. I acknowledge that there are probably more formal ways to clearly define it. I was going for a college freshman physics description to keep the physics clear and simple. I also understand that the very suggestion that physics could exist for faster than light phenomena goes against generations of theoretical physics efforts. I thought it would be best to draw the needed experimental evidence from observations about dark energy and dark matter.

While I value your vast knowledge in General Relativity and String Theory, I don't wish to tax your thoughts with something too radical.

Thank you,


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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 2, 2009 @ 22:35 GMT
The Loretnzian structure of gravitation appears to be a bedrock of physical principles. It also pretty clearly appears that even though this might apply to local frames, that the basic form carries over to global manifolds. In other words faster than light spacetimes with warp drives or multiple connected topologies are pathological.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 2, 2009 @ 23:23 GMT
The constant c is built into every part of Lorentian transforms, the Einstein equations and gravitation. Yet dark energy and dark mass account for 96% of all gravitationally relevent material.

It comes down to this: why can't we see, with photons, 96% of the gravitationally significant universe. In my opinion, most of 96% comes from light that we can't observe, and travels along a brane that doesn't transmit our kind of light. I'm simply suggesting that those other branes might be FTL branes. If those other branes really are FTL, then whatever light they transmit, is incompatible with our light. Our brane is optically incompatible with the other brane(s). But gravitation transmits by warping space, not by transmitting light.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 3, 2009 @ 03:37 GMT
Jason, you said "It comes down to this: why can't we see, with photons, 96% of the gravitationally significant universe".

General relativity tells us that matter is distributed along the 4th dimension. (I have spoken at some length about how this spatio-energetic dimension is involved in the perception of a passage of time. There is no justifiable reason to assume that this 4th dimension can not be regarded as another spatial dimension.) Which makes matter distributed in 4 rather than just 3 observable dimensions.

However we can not see 4 dimensions of space. Therefore we can not observe the objective material distribution of the universe. We observe an image of the universe within 3 dimensions that is not the actual material distribution of matter but former distributions and configurations of matter that no longer exist in that precise form. This means there is always a discrepancy between what we can see and what is actually out there. We can not see along the 4th dimension at all. However gravity acts along this dimensions so un-seeable matter is able to exert a gravitational force upon see-able matter because of the distortion it causes.

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Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Nov. 3, 2009 @ 04:53 GMT
Time is dependent upon the integrated extensiveness of being, experience, space, and thought.

Regarding the darkness/blackness of [outer] space, the increased transparency/invisibility of space in astronomical/telescopic observations makes these observations possible, AS IT ALLOWS US TO SEE FARTHER.


Astronomical/telescopic observations and dreams both involve a narrowing/"telescoping" of vision. Astronomical/telescopic observations have significant similarities with dreams. Both dreams and astronomical/telescopic observations involve increasing invisibility/transparency of space. Telescopic/astronomical observations are interactive creations of thought to a significant extent.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 3, 2009 @ 05:17 GMT
Hi Georgina,

I'm afraid you caught me. I can't really comprehend a 4th spatio-energetic dimension. To me, it's easier to imagine that space-time is nothing more then the simple fact that standard model particles interact at the speed of light. Outside of the light cone, standard model particles are beyond reach of each other. But these interactions occur on some kind of "surface", a brane if you will. Gravity seems to be able to curve/compress this surface/brane. Think of photons as little messengers walking around on a flat surface. But gravity comes along and turns that flat surface into the Grand Canyon. These photons will exert as much energy as they have to climb to the top. After theyve climbed the top, they're very tired and sluggish. One would think that the bottom of the canyon is slow. It's just that the photons are tired and sluggish after their climb.

The hyperspace ideas I've been discussing, 2c branes, 3c branes, etc., presuppose there are really fast photons on a 2c brane. They run twice as fast as normal photons. They are also snobs and don't like to talk to our 1c-brane photons.

My point is that it's easier to imagine space-time and gravity in this way. Visualizing a 4th spatio-energetic space-time is too awkward for my layperson brain.

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Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Nov. 3, 2009 @ 05:28 GMT
Electromagnetric space (e.g., photons and the Sun) is both larger and smaller than ordinary or typical space (such as the Earth). When space manifests as gravitational/electromagnetic energy, scale is then balanced, space is particle/wave, invisible/visible, and larger/smaller. Accordingly, space is both repulsive and attractive as well.

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Peter van Gaalen wrote on Nov. 3, 2009 @ 07:14 GMT
Jason: "I think gravitational flux is what I stumbled upon."

In the Kerr metric there is also a quantity that is the same as gmflux/phase: the product of rotational length and velocity.

I do not understand: "One of the apples is going to fall through a region of space where the speed of light is 2c, a c_2 brane."

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Peter van Gaalen wrote on Nov. 3, 2009 @ 07:16 GMT
Hi Georgina,

[Georgina: Peter said "c and G are both constants. What does this mean? The speed of light c is responsible for relativistic effect. In my view G must also be responsible for relativistic effects. And therefore proportional G must also be an imaginary unit.."

I do not follow the logic of this statement.

I agree that both c and G are constants and involved in...

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 3, 2009 @ 07:22 GMT
Jason I'm not just imagining a 4th dimension for fun. You've said your self that gravity curves a surface of some kind. A 4th dimension enables that curvature of space to be described and modelled. If 3D space can be curved you need another dimension to give that curvature.

3 dimensions of space and 1 of time is more complex and difficult and less scientific ( as it involves imagining time realms) than 4 dimensions that all give orientation of the same stuff ie. space. The only problem is where is that extra dimension as we can not see it within 3d space. It is not curled up very small but runs through the mass itself. So the exterior of the mass is always moving to the position that was occupied by the interior as the interior has moved on, without moving through 3D space. It does not collapse into itself in 3D space but is in continuous motion as described giving the effect of gravity.

The 4th dimension is a necessary part of a model that describes the observations that are made, giving us relativity. A spatial (or energetic) 4th dimension is necessary to understand the arrow of time and to explain gravity.It is not just imagination but a necessary progression in understanding of the meaning of scientific observations including dark matter and black holes and how galaxies hold together and how there can be input into quantum systems that is not observable within local space, without anything coming from a future or past realm.

Your explanation of space-time and gravity is not easier to comprehend in my opinion (except perhaps it is to you.) It is just very different and I think it explains less. Unless you can demonstrate that it is a model that can explain more than we can at present then it is probably incorrect.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 3, 2009 @ 08:43 GMT

I was trying to say that the apple that falls through a region of space where the speed of light is twice c, will accelerate faster. If we assume that energy is conserved when transitioning between a c1 brane and a c2 brane, we discover that mass converts as m2/m1=(c1/c2)^2; in effect, an apple with mass m1 will have less mass in a space where the speed of light is 2c, a c2-brane. For two apples in a gravity field, m1g1L1=m2g2L2, where L2 is the elevation within the c2-brane. It won't be possible to gain or lose energy by climbing in one brane and then falling through the other brane. L1=L2, same elevation; so m1g1=m2g2. Because m2/m1=(c1/c2)^2, then g2/g1=(c2/c1)^2, so the velocity of light ratios cancel out. But g=GM/r^2. The mass of the earth is not in hyperspace, and r^2 is not scaled. Therefore, the only thing that can scale is the gravitational constant. Thus, G2/G1=(c2/c1)^2. I interpret this to mean that objects that fall in a c2 brane (twice c), will fall faster.


There are different ways of thinking about General Relativity. Adding an additional dimension is a perfectly good way to interpret gravity and GR. It is important to me to be able to explain these ideas, both GR and hyperdrive physics suppositions, it's important to be able to explain these ideas as simply as is possible. If I can't explain these ideas to a high school senior or a college freshman because the mathematics is so sophisticated, then how do I know that I really understand it? I wonder if I'm just regurgitating what some college professor taught me.

I don't experience the 4th dimension. As a layperson, I only know that gravity keeps me from floating away. Gravity makes it hard to climb hills and mountain. But someone who is immersed in mathematics might find that the mathematics makes more sense then common experience. For a few really intelligent persons, visualizing in four spatial dimensions might be easy. You have the advantage over me because you can work the quaternion mathematics visually. I have to use various metaphors to make GR make sense. It has taken years to refine my use of metaphors and intuition to the point where I can explore branes and gravity very quickly. It is here that I hold the advantage of being able to ask reasonable questions and consider plausible scenarios.

I don't anticipate much interest in my ideas from the physics community because I can't weave tensors and diffential mathematics effortlessly. I expect I will eventually push my ideas through the internet at a layperson level to attract more interest.

You, on the other hand, will have more sway with the physics community because of your skill in mathematics. Do don't feel like I'm attacking quaternions. There are many different ways to understand general relativity/gravity/etc.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 3, 2009 @ 09:34 GMT
Peter thank you for explaining your reasoning.

I believe the speed of light is constant because I have often heard that it is. I understand that there is mathematical proof and experimental evidence to verify the assumption. I have conducted no experiments of my own on this or worked through any mathematical proof of it myself. I therefore take it on faith as correct to the best of our current knowledge. I can not test every assumption and must just accept some as correct. I also accept that I may be wrong and it may be found that in fact it is not constant after all.

As for c and g and relativity I was unclear in what I said. I merely meant that the speed of light and force of gravity come into consideration when considering relativity.

I trust that Mr. Einstein , Mr. Minowski and Mr Lorentz all knew how to do their algebra. It is only its meaning that concerns me. If it works mathematically and it seems that the majority consider that it does then I am more than content to leave their work well alone.

I currently think that a quaternion arrangement of 4 spatio-energetic dimensions is the most suitable for describing the structure of the universe, explaining scientific observations and answering the foundational questions. Including explaining gravity. I may be wrong but I would like to see how another structure can explain as much before I am convinced that it is not the best solution.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 3, 2009 @ 10:22 GMT
Jason you said that you don't experience the 4th dimension. You do experience it. Only you don't experience it in the same way as the other 3 spatial dimensions. The progression of matter along that dimension can explain the experience of time, the energy input for the self assembly and increasing complexity of the universe, and the effect of gravity. These are all things that you can observe and thus experience. Direct observation with the eyes is not everything. It is possible to infer its existence from indirect observation of its effects within 3D space.

Jason I think that you overestimate my abilities and chances of being taken seriously and most probably underestimate your own. I agree that it is good to have the opportunity to explain our own ideas. You do a good job of that. You are very articulate. You also have so many ideas going on that it is difficult to know where they are going or what to make of them. You are correct in that there are lots of possible ways of understanding explaining things. Some ideas will stand the test of time others will not.I do not believe that there is a future already written.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 3, 2009 @ 19:30 GMT
How about thinking of it this way. The normal 3 spatial dimensions of an object enable the limits of its existence in space to be identified. By giving height length and width it is possible to distinguish the space it occupies from the space it does not occupy. Now if one considers time dilation for a spherical object, the mathematics shows that the interior of the sphere is further forward in time than the exterior. If one thinks that physical time realms do not exist this has no sensible meaning. However if that dimension is considered spatial rather than temporal it shows that there are extra limits to the existence of the object that give its quaternion spatial existence rather than just 3D spatial existence. Those being the centre of gravity and the external surface.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 3, 2009 @ 22:59 GMT
Dear Georgina,

I believe in time because I literally only have a couple of minutes to reply.

Yes, I agree that photons and particles exist on some kind of a surface or a brane. I have said before that I think that particles are actually tiny "kinks" in space, itself. I think the effect of "space-time" results from the effect that particles on this brane interact because photons signal back and forth at the speed of light. My hyperdrive starts with the idea that there are n of such branes, where the speed of light on each brane is an integer multiple of c: c, 2c, 3c ... n*c. The idea is still evolving.

I do understand that I have ideas all of the time, and they often don't seem to add up to one idea. Some of my ideas are better than others, some will survive, most will not. Gotta go!

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 4, 2009 @ 03:30 GMT
Dear Georgina,

I hope to articulate this clearly, I will do my best.

What if time is kept, in this thought experiment, with a laser, whose frequency is f_0; the laser shines on a sensor and every cycle makes the clock progress; f_0 makes it progress at the normal rate. Let's say that you are a safe distance from a black hole gravity well, you feel gravity potential V=0. I take my...

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backfrombranethree wrote on Nov. 4, 2009 @ 03:43 GMT
It seems that the major postulate here is that the Higgs will make itself observable only to travel into the past to make itself unobservable, to me this goes against the conservation of energy. As far as I'm concerned the importance of these experiments is really about the human endeavor and what it means for our species as a whole. Our whole existance has been wrought by chance and risk and it has brought us wonders beyond all comprehension. Past, present and future, it's all relative, so fix the damn thing and lets get on with it.

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Peter van Gaalen wrote on Nov. 4, 2009 @ 06:13 GMT
"so fix the damn thing and lets get on with it."

I don't think it's that simple. Dr. Who won't let us. He is the Time Lord.

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Peter van Gaalen wrote on Nov. 4, 2009 @ 07:19 GMT
Lawrence: I am not sure what the reasoning is for proportional velocity. Velocities in spacetime can be easily defined from the invariant interval by dividing through by ds^2

Georgina: Peter said "From those two we found that the proportional gravitational constant G = iL." How does this aid comprehension?

proportional velocity v/c is used in the Lorenz factor. Because of my octonion model of gravity, all quantities of the gravitomagnetic system have been made 'proportional imaginary quantities'. Als those proportional imaginary quantities are relativistic. And with relativistic I mean both: special and general relativity. The consequences are gigantic! special and general relativity are fused into one closed system! So if you use equations with proportional quantities: The laws of physics that satisfy the demands of general relativity take the mathematical form in which all coordinate quantities other then space coordinates exactly play the same rol as the three space coordinates.

In my model proportional area and proportional mass-squared have the same 'imaginary' unit (both are negative). (You can do it yourself just take a look at my octonions:

Of = f + ix + jy + kz + LE + iLsx + jLsy + kLsz

Ot = - t - ibx - jby - kbz - Lm - iLpx - jLpy - kLpz

for proportional length and proportional proportional mass. make them squared.)

-Area c2 = - G2/c2 m2

This is in accordance with Hawking:

Area = 16pi G2/c4 m2

except for the 16pi!

But I don't know what to do with 16pi. Maybe my model is incomplete. Maybe factors like 2 pi 4pi 8pi 16pi have to be incorporated. I don't know how to figure this out. And it wil make the octonions a bit uggly.

So I can use some help to find this out.

Except for this issue I dare everyone to find inconsistencies in my model so that my model can be prooven wrong.


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Anonymous wrote on Nov. 4, 2009 @ 09:11 GMT

I'm not sure that I said particles exist on some kind of brane although I may have said that it could be thought of in that way.

Regarding the hyper-drive idea, I really don't know what to say other than it seems too abstract and radical for me to contemplate. Even if such a theory were a good representation of reality I do not see how such a ship with components that break the laws of physics as we experience them could be constructed within the space that we inhabit. It is not my cup of tea, so to speak. However there are scientists who take such radical ideas seriously and perhaps it is a question of encountering like minded individuals who wish to explore such realms of possibility.

'Frontiers of Propulsion Science' explores warp drives, gravity control

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 4, 2009 @ 09:12 GMT
Jason , that last post was me again.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 5, 2009 @ 01:07 GMT

I think it's important to pursue one's passion, you yours, me mine, etc. I don't expect to be able to convince hard core string theorists with my ideas. However, I believe there is an interest in these ideas.


I thought I was the only one introducing ratios of the speed of light and gravitational constant because I'm the only one considering the existence of a second space-time/brane with twice the speed of light; also a 3rd, 4th, etc...

I believe these additional space-times exist right along with this space-time. We don't notice them because we are made of particles that come from this brane/space-time.

I have been working on an interface between two branes; I am calling it a Transaction Surface unless a better name comes along. In trying to figure out how it worked, it made me wonder just how much energy it wouuld take to generate a gravity wave or a vibration in space-time.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 5, 2009 @ 03:06 GMT

I was looking over the various blogs. I see I'm not the only person discussing velocity ratios. Pardon me.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 5, 2009 @ 07:19 GMT

I do not doubt that certain audiences will be very interested in your many ideas.

I do not understand the necessity to hypothesise that the speed of light of each of these branes would be different. Although I realise it does not prove that it could not occur, beyond our current powers of observation, there is no evidence for light speed greater than c. Why should light speed be different in these different branes of 3D space? Is there any scientific reason to hypothesise this difference? Or are you trying to create a universe in which a hyper-drive would work?

I have previously contemplated the medium of space separated into hypothetical 3D space slices or "branes" along another spatial dimension, for the sake of comprehension. While it is actually likely to be continuous with matter separated in each "brane" layer by energetic limits. That is to say it would require too much energy gain or loss to move between branes or layers. The layers themselves are not actual layers but they are a means of comprehending the energetic spatial separation of matter.

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Peter van Gaalen wrote on Nov. 5, 2009 @ 14:33 GMT
In regard to my former post: I think I understand.

-Ac2 = - (G2/c2) m2

'Area' is not the same quantity as 'surface area of a sphere'.

Surface area of a sphere = 4 pi radius2 = 4 pi radius2 (ordinary sphere)

Surface area of a sphere = 16 pi mass2 = 4 pi (2 mass)2 (black hole (Hawkings))

I wonder where this '2' came from. In case that the '2' is derived from the escape velocity (John Michel)

then Hawkings is incorrect because John Michels escape velocity is not relativistic. This non-relativistic escape velocity is also used in the Schwarzshild metric as factor

The relativistic version is

(derived in the same way the Lorenz factor is.)

So we can make 2 modifications: Surface area of a sphere = 4 pi mass2 (Hawkings + modification). The Schwarzshild metric can also use a slight modification. And I don't know yet what this modified Schwarzshild metric will do with the singularities.

But the important message is that mass2 and radius2 are dual (I call it 'periodical'). You can choosse either mass2 or radius2, the equation remains equally valid.

In my octonion model of gravity there are a lot of dual (periodical) quantities. For example 'proportional time' (-tc2) is dual with 'proportional valention' (-val/c2) and 'proportional instant' (L inst Gc) is dual with 'proportional energy' (L E Gc-3) in which 'L' is an imaginary unit. This duality arises from the periodical character of the imaginary units.

'Proportional energy' (L E Gc-3) and 'proportional mass' (-L m Gc-1) are not dual.

This because E = -mc2 (a slight modification: the minus sign).

Interesting: duality in classical relativistic mechanics.

Think about it.

If the proportional imaginary quantities are incorporated into quantum theories, then special and general relativity are automatically included in those quantum theories.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 6, 2009 @ 02:27 GMT
Got it! I will picture Minkowski space time as road kill and sympathise with Einstein not being able to recognise his beloved creation. Thank you Lawrence for your explanation. Now I understand what you meant by "the manifold" and I do not want a stack of road kill. How silly that original suggestion must have sounded. I only want spherical layers 3D space for ease of comprehension and explanation.


It is not surprising to me that mass and radius have the connection that you have found (assuming a uniform density) but it does surprise me that you have not found a similar connection between energy and mass.

Why E=-mc^2? Does that make sense to you? Does the - denote direction or just because you are considering the mass moving along an imaginary axis? Could it be -E=m^c2 then? I ask because I have been saying that mass energy is loss of universal potential energy as there is progression along the 4th dimension and that this loss of energy provides the energy that "powers" the universe.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 6, 2009 @ 05:23 GMT
Incidentally I wonder if the brain uses some algorithm similar to Minkowski space-time to analyse the visual data input. The biological analysis from observation would then fit with the Minkowski space-time because similar mathematical analysis is being conducted. One voluntarily by mathematicians and the other subconsciously by the involuntary brain processes of the organism.This would potentially make special relativity and artefact of the analysis rather than a true reflection of underlying objective reality. Unlike general relativity which does appear to relate to the quaternion structure of the universe and the distribution of matter. Just a thought.

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Peter van Gaalen wrote on Nov. 6, 2009 @ 07:19 GMT
Hi Georgina,

Proportional mass and prop radius are not dual, but prop mass2 and prop radius2 are. Prop mass2 and prop radius2 are minimizing quantities. They come from the same table with other minimizing proportional quantities like prop mass-centre motion, prop action and the product (prop time * prop length) used in string theory. There are 8 different minimizing quantities. You can invent more, but they all will have a dual partner.

To be true, I had my doubts with E = -m2 because sometimes I mix up proper mass, coordinate mass and proportional mass.

Minkowski used proportional time 'ict' next to length 'l'.

At speed of light: ict = length.

Likewise: Energy = (ic)2 m = -mc2

The relationship between energy and mass you must see as follow:

In math class we learned:

But in physics you must see a and -a as different quantities.

And from the square-root we only have one solution:

[equation]\sqrt{E^2} = E

\sqrt{-m^2} = -m[/equation]

The equation with coordinate quantities is: (E)(E) = (-mc2)(-mc2).

Taking the root: E = -mc2

I think that this in accordance with the 'positive energy theorem'. And if we choose energy to be positive then mass must be negative and we will have next to the 'positive energy theorem' the 'negative mass theorem'.

But if I am correct with E = -mc2, then it doesn't matter if you write it like -E = mc2. That is a matter of choise, but if you do, then you must do it for all the other proportional quantities.

But in regard to your question it might be interesting that the energy of a gravitational field is unambiguously negative. (See "The inflationary universe" by Alan Guth, appendix A: "Gravitational energy")

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 6, 2009 @ 07:59 GMT
Hi Georgina,

Other than the mysterious dark energy composing a majority of the gravitationally relavent mass of the universe, no, there is no real proof of branes with a larger value of c.

However, I believe that this much is certain. If anybody in the universe or multiverse is flying around space at some FTL velocity, then they have to be using a technology that looks similar to what I have described. In other words, if a hyperdrive is possible, then it will probably look something like what I've described.

I already tried a standard space inside of a hyperspace approach before. The problem with it is that it's not very helpful when trying to figure out a hyperdrive physics. However, if we assume, and I admit this is the easiest assumption to make a hyperdrive physics mathematically easy to work with; if we assume there are "slices" or space-times: c, 2c, 3c, 4c,...100c..., then it is relatively easy to contemplate conserved interactions between our c-space-time, and a 2c_space-time. Since the mass-energy of our space-time is unable to interact with a c2-space-time, then what can we do? I want to hypothesise the existence of a "transaction surface". This transaction surface passes energy E1 from c1_space into c2_space. E1=E2, so energy is conserved. Then, lots of interesting stuff you won't be interested in.

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Georgina parry wrote on Nov. 6, 2009 @ 21:06 GMT
Ok Jason I understand you are working back from the assumption that faster than light travel exists.Creating the kind of universe that allows that to happen. It is a big assumption.

I think the problem may be to do with how we think about space and distance and time. Our notion of speed does not apply to a 4th spatial dimension in the quaternion arrangement,in my opinion. Speed is always a ratio of distance divided by time. If a distance is moved along the "time" dimension then we have distance divided by distance or time divided by time which will always be 1. I am not talking about an artificially created space-like representation of the time dimension because as it is not just another vector dimension. One could potentially move along this dimension without breaking the rules for faster than light travel.I have been suggesting that there is space "ahead" and "behind" along that dimension. The unseen material universe, rather than the EM image illusion seen within 3D space.

Jason its not exactly that I am not interested in your ideas but I do not want to get carried away into complicated speculative ideas that do not pertain to my own experience when the physics and biological simulation of of everyday reality is still not fully modelled.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 7, 2009 @ 01:10 GMT
Hi Georgina,

I agree about not wanting to get caught up in complicated and speculative ideas. I've been trying very hard to boil it down to very simple speculative ideas. Also, thank you for recognising that I am working back from an assumption.

I have to admit that I trust the speed of light before I trust the clock. Just to talk about this space-time, I think of time as being regulated by, or potentially could be regulated by a laser at a known freuqency. I trust the lengths in my reference frame more than I trust moving lengths. I also trust energy consrevation.

Also, it is my personal belief that how we "philosophize" mathematical physics is tricky and subject to error; however, it can also provide an excellent way, in my experience, to figure out what is relavent and important to think about. I've tried my best to make everything as straightforward and simple as possible. I didn't want to hide any magic behind the uncertainty. I've defined everything. You might not like my definition of n space-times with speeds of light ranging from c, 2c, 3c ... nc; however, to build a hyperdrive theory, I have to start somewhere.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 8, 2009 @ 03:45 GMT
Jason, I appreciate you keeping it simple. Having made this start how will it be possible to build something with components that break the laws of physics as we experience them within our reality? It seems that you wish to break the one most reliable law of physics and then use the consistency of the proposed physics as validation of the proposal. If you must break the law it seems that there must be a way to do this without it being a violation but legitimate avoidance. How are you going to do that in such a way that the unlawful physics can be used within our experienced space without violation of the constant speed of light that is experienced and has been validated?

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 8, 2009 @ 10:12 GMT

You said "But if I am correct with E = -mc2, then it doesn't matter if you write it like -E = mc2. That is a matter of choise, but if you do, then you must do it for all the other proportional quantities. But in regard to your question it might be interesting that the energy of a gravitational field is unambiguously negative."

Yes I think it is very interesting. I think that rest mass energy and loss of universal potential energy are directly related. It is that loss of energy that also gives the experience of time and gravitation. However I would consider kinetic (and the 4th dimensional equivalent promotional energy to be positive.)This change in spatial position energy only exists because potential(stored energy) energy has been released. As it is being released rather than gained it can be considered as negative energy. Kinetic energy and promotional energy are just the observable manifestation of release of potential energy. If no separate term for motion or change in spatial position energy was used, then all energy release, which necessarily gives rise to change in quaternion spatial position, would be negative and all energy stored positive. Incidentally I have not read the inflationary universe by Alan Guth, thank you for the reference. Perhaps I should read it, but I would not expect to be persuaded with regard to inflation.

I don't think there would be a problem with the other proportional quantities being given the reverse sign. It would seem to make more sense to me if proportional mass and proportional area were both positive. Proportional velocity and speed of light would be positive. That sounds reasonable to me.

I am not a mathematician. Lawrence would know if your mathematics is correct.If it can do what you say then it may be very useful.I don't like Minkowski space-time, it seems to be a complicated distorted approximation. It is still a distorted approximation when "completed" but perhaps it is a significant improvement.

Lawrence what do you think?

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 8, 2009 @ 21:09 GMT

Now you're getting it! Physics, speed of light/relativity, is still in effect. My strategy was to avoid violating the laws of physics in the following way. Einstein described the first space-time. Standard model particles emerge from the first space-time (c1-brane). I am interpreting dark energy to mean energy that does not radiate energy/light that we can see or detect. It is convenient to describe dark energy as energy-matter that exists on a c2-brane. A hyper-drive theory requires that FTL has to be possible somewhere. I am suggesting that it's possible on a c2-brane (c3, c4...). c1 photons and c2 photons do not, in general, interact. But they do contribute to gravity; that's the only way we can observe dark energy.

It would be nice to be able to observe FTL signalling of some sort. Since we can only see the gravitational effects of dark matter, I'm not sure if we can detect superluminal events on a c2-bran through gravity. My theory suggests higher accelerations, g2=g1(c2/c1)^2.

You asked how we can ever build something that appears to violate the laws of physics. I think what you mean to ask is how do we build something that can interface between a c1-brane and a c2-brane. At the moment, I have only speculative ideas of how this can be done. It would be necessary to discover something that is far beyond human experience/comprehension. We could have to discover a naturally occuring multi-brane or multi-space object. It would be a crystal or material made of multi-space, made of c1,c2,...branes, that are interwoven into some kind of matrix or crystal. It would cause energy to be transmitted between branes. Such a material would appear to violate Conservation of Energy. Instead, it would simply transmit energy between branes. I'm not sure if such objects have much energy/mass content themselves. The huge energy requirements that the Einstein equations require for curving space do not apply here. The interweaving of multi c-brane space would most certainly introduce new physics, and new limitations for possible spatial anomalies.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 9, 2009 @ 03:35 GMT
I happened to look in here and saw I was called to answer something. Relativity theory tells us that everything is moving the speed of light. Even if you are sitting still you are moving along some direction outside of 3-dim space at the speed of light. We ordinarily call this direction time, If you watch something moving with a velocity v relative to spatial directions, the it too is moving the speed of light, but with spatial and temporal coordinates mixed. This is the nature of timelike intervals.

The distance in four dimensions is

ds^2 = c^2dt^2 - dx^2 - dy^2 - dz^2,

where this distance is also a proper time. Now divide by ds^2

1 = c^2(dt/ds)^2 - (dx/ds)^2 - (dy/s)^2 - (dz/ds)^2

Now we use chain rule with dx/ds = (dx/dt)(dt/ds) and factor out the (dt/ds)^2 to get

1 = [c^2 - (dx/dt)^2 - (dy/dt)^2 - (dz/dt)^2](dt/ds)^2.

If the spatial velocities are zero dx/dt = dy/dt = dz/dt = 0, then this means you are moving along the time direction at the speed c. If you observe something moving at a spatial speed v, then this motion is seen as a mixture of along space and time with again the speed c. This is more on the timelike interval

It is strange to think that everything is in fact moving the speed of light. However, light moves along a spatial direction at the speed of light as well as at speed c along the time direction so that its proper interval or distance is zero. This is the null interval

Anything thought to be moving faster than light will have come interesting properties which are fundamentally different. One can always find a frame where FTL motion is infinitely fast, or with zero velocity along the time direction. This is the tachyon with an imaginary mass, or for a warp bubble a negative mass-energy wrapped up in a spacetime curvature. This case for a spacelike interval things are fundamentally different from the first case. For various reasons there are no continuous or finitely extendable transfomrationw which can bridge timelike and spacelike intervals.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 9, 2009 @ 04:55 GMT

Black hole entropy, information content versus surface area, and holographic universes tend to imply, to me, that the universe treats "information" as fundamental. While information may be nothing more than the "measurable differences" (quantum numbers), information about those quantum differences can only transmit at the speed of light. We should be able to agree that if some event happens one light year away, that this event's occurrence will not be distinguishable from the background noise for at lease one year - this is assuming normal physics, nothing speculative. There are events occurring all the time, big and small. Evidence of that event, under commonly accepted physics conditions, evidence of any event can travel no faster than the speed of light.

In my interpretation, that is what a space-time really means. It's not that you and I move at the speed of light through time. Instead, it means that the universe can only become aware of our instantaneous activities at the speed of light. The universe itself tends to process this information, at every location in space, only as fast as it can receive the information (at the speed of light). The brane that our universe exists in, signals information at the speed of light. That is the absolute nature of our universe: computing information that arrives from its source.

I merely speculate about another brane that, for unknown reasons, velocity of light is higher, 2c in my thought experiment. In this hypothetical 2c or c2-brane, information transmits twice as fast as it does in our universe. Consequently, time can flow twice as fast. It's like a hypothetical universe with a faster microprocessor that can transmit and process information twice as fast.

A tachyon is only a definition; no tachyon has ever been detected. I simply offer another way to define an FTL particle. We're not getting anywhere with imaginary masses. Let's try defining a second brane with a faster speed of light, but in most other respects, is just a variation of standard model physics. The advantage of such a thought experiment is that, if nothing else, it gives us something to compare our own universe with. What are the consequences of having a universe that can transmit information faster?

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 9, 2009 @ 05:15 GMT
I was explaining this idea to my girlfriend in very layperson terms. The universe gossips at the speed of light. THE UNIVERSE GOSSIPS! When a white dwarf explodes, the universe "gossips" about it at the speed of light, and usually in all directions. What does the universe do with this gossip information? It includes this information in the quantum calculations that occur everywhere, all the time.

What is the difference between transmitting information and gossiping? Answer: who you're explaining it to.

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Peter van Gaalen wrote on Nov. 9, 2009 @ 06:24 GMT
Lawrence: "Relativity theory tells us that everything is moving the speed of light."

This is interesting, It sounds logical!

So what is the problem I often read about in popular books that Yang-mills theory describes only particles that are moving with the speed of light? And then I suppose that they imply that mass particles are not moving with the speed of light. Yang-Mills theory only describes massless particles. So mass is the problem according to them. And therefore they are looking for the Higss, the particle that gives other particles their mass.

Lawrence, You say that also mass particles are moving with the speed of light. So what is the problem Yang-Mills theory is talking about?

Why doesn't Yang-Mills theory describe particles with mass?

Grtz, Peter

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 9, 2009 @ 13:38 GMT
There are several meanings to moving at the speed of light. I posted the metric for Minkowski flat spacetime above, which I write again

ds^2 = c^2dt^2 - dx^2 - dy^2 - dz^2.

Now let us suppose I set dx = (dx/dt)dt = vdt = 0. The proper interval is then

ds^2 = c^2dt^2.

So in the frame of any particle it is moving a distance s at the speed of light. We might interpret...

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 9, 2009 @ 21:40 GMT

thank you once again for all of your explanations. You said "Yet if we admit negative energy conditions, quantum field theory will permit an in principle time operator, but spacetime no longer obeys a chronal condition. There is a very deep and subtle connection here, which does involve tachyons and these odd spacetime solutions."

That first sentence sounds interesting to me because it seems that within the quantum world particles do not obey time. If time can be regarded as the manifestation of 4th dimensional spatial or energetic change then the problems of reverse causality do not occur. An object moving "back in time" is just a particle gaining in "Universal" potential energy rather than loosing it. ( Outrageous cherry picking I know but I did read and attempt to "take on board" all of what you wrote.)


Check list. Do you have the amulet of protection and the sword of power? Ancient map or prophesy? Prepared to fight the forces of darkness that will oppose you? Finding the crystal or similar mystical object that can open a portal to another dimension is so often the plot of second rate children's fantasy.

However, as I have said many times, just not having evidence of something's existence does not mean that it does not exist. Perhaps it is so common place that we don't realise its occult power or it is extremely rare or not present on the earth, or is not visible or has not yet been manufactured. There are so many possibilities.

Not having such a vital key is a big barrier to any kind of progress with the proposal. What is your plan? Wait until it just turns up or a quest? Are you interested in Ormus?

P.S. Please take the above in good humour it is not intended to be hurtful.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 9, 2009 @ 23:17 GMT
Dear Georgina,

I got a good laugh out of your comments. I'm just a layperson, so I do occasionally spend my free time playing online games.

I have been wrestling with "physics/mathematics" ersus "mystical/supernatural" all my life. There are things that each of them can do very reliably. I took on an impossibly difficult problem: create a hyper-drive physics. I completed that challenge.

It is my humble opinion that the physics community will continue to hinder itself by misinterpreting what the physics is telling us. In a nutshell, information transmits from events at the speed of light, and it's information content/quantum numbers become part of the quantum calculations as soon as they are available. There simply is no way to travel back in time because the configuration of the universe at any moment is not saved, stored or backed up. Moving faster than light Does Not Allow Time Travel. Imaginary masses and negative energy are the Wrong Way to explain/discuss a hypothetical hyperdrive physics. You have to introduce an FTL brane. That brane simply allows information content to be distributed more quickly. You don't get to violate causality.

Take my advice. If you want to explore hypothetical hyperdrive physics, SCRAP TACHYONS.

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Ray Munroe wrote on Nov. 10, 2009 @ 00:34 GMT
Dear Jason,

Tachyons were just one of many ideas. What if the soul is a tachyonic Kramers-Kronig transformation of the body?

OK - So we imagine that a "doorway" (membrane boundary, etc...) of some sort separates the space-brane from the FTL-brane. Can we transfer information across this doorway? Lawrence thinks that quantum information is conserved entering a Black Hole. There may even be a correlation between information and entropy at the Event Horizon. That is probably the most extreme type of "doorway". All we have to do is find the "doorway" and try to transfer information across it. Is Jason our volunteer?

Dear Georgina,

I have a magic 12-D crystal if you would like to borrow it...

Have Fun!

Ray Munroe

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 10, 2009 @ 00:45 GMT

Time has different meanings in quantum physics and relativity. First off, quantum states do not really have an intrinsic notion of space or time, well that is for relativistic quantum field theory. A quantum state |ψ) has a representation in space and time according to ψ(r,t) = (r,t|ψ) as a wave function. There is more to this, such as second quantization, but I will not go there. This representation works in accordance with a wave equation. Now this wave equation is established on a spatial surface, where each point on that surface has the same time. This is a coordinate condition, which is a choice of a frame in special relativity. Such choices involve coordinates, including time, that are frame dependent. In relativity the notion of time which is invariant is proper time or that invariant interval I mention above. Time in relativity, which includes general relativity, that is frame dependent is not something which is physically intrinsic to the theory. This includes spatial coordinate positions as well. These are “real” only within a local frame, but are not physically proper for spacetime in general because they do not transform in a covariant manner. This includes time involved with quantum mechanics.

This is a part of the problem with quantum gravity. There are different physical concepts of space and time in quantum physics and relativity. So attempts to quantize gravity, the so called canonical quantization, then amounts to a brushing over of these problems. As I indicated above quantum physics derives energy states which have a minimal energy --- bounded below. This prevents a time operator from existing. This is unlike position and momentum which do exist as operators with [x, p] = iħ, but there is no corresponding [t, E] = iħ, even though there is the Heisenberg uncertainty principle ΔxΔp >= ħ, ΔtΔE >= ħ. Conversely with relativity we can liberalize the energy condition T^{00} = E >= 0, but we end up with closed timelike loops and indistinct physical meaning for chronality. This is where you get warp drives, wormholes and other strange things --- including time travel. So you might be able to define a quantum time operator, but that time operator does not support a chronal spacetime. So there is a subtle dualism here --- a part of what I spend much time thinking about.

Cheers LC

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 10, 2009 @ 01:49 GMT
Jason I'm glad you could see the funny side.Your head might be off in hyperspace but at least your feet are still on the ground. Won't we look smug though when you receive your first commission for a hyper-drive ship, Frank gets his Nobel prize and my ideas get presented to the Royal society. All we have to do is get hold of an improbability drive. Brew up some tea, not too hot, one sugar to sweeten the experience. We could even build one ourselves for less than 8 billion dollars and it is bound to work as well as the LHC!

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Peter van Gaalen wrote on Nov. 10, 2009 @ 06:51 GMT
Hi Lawrence,

Interesting stuff you write.

Time and spatial coordinates are "real" only within a local frame, but are not physically proper for spacetime in general because they do not transform in a covariant manner? Is this right? Is that the reason why quantum theory is called 'background dependend'?

Does quantum theory use proper time? if so, why doesn't it use ict? Is a local frame in quantum theory a 'proper local frame'? if so, why is quantum mechanics not defined in a coordinate frame?

"..quantum physics derives energy states which have a minimal energy.." Why not minimal 'Action'? (action = energy * time). Energy is not a minimizing quantity, but 'action' is. If 'action' is used then a time operator can exist?

I do not understand: "This is unlike position and momentum which do exist as operators with [x, p] = ih, but there is no corresponding [t, E] = ih." Can you explain?

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 10, 2009 @ 13:52 GMT
Space and time are the geometric quantities of a gauge-like group that defines the Lorentz transformations. Yet unlike a gauge field, these geometric quantities are external instead of being a vector space associated with each point in space, and further the vector space (spacetime) is hyperbolic and does not have an elliptic complex.

Quantum field theory is background dependent because...

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 10, 2009 @ 15:22 GMT
Dear Georgina,

I kind of think the LHC is well on its way to finding Higgs particles, now that they've gotten the crumbs out; I can just imagine hungry Higgs birds from the future munching away on toast, trying to mess up the supercollider.


I'm trying to work out some of the details for c-brane/c2-brane interfacing. In my opinion, a c2-brane exists all around us; but we generally don't interact with its particles, except gravitationally. However, what if a c1:c2 interface can be created? How might that be engineered? Quantum entanglement seems to be able to produce the appearance of faster than light phenomena because the wave function collapse is instantaneous. Another consideration might be that, since 2c is twice as fast as c, information will transmit at the same rate if the 2c brane has to travel twice as far along the interface. In other words, for every available pathway across the interface, the 2c-brane has to loop twice compared to the c-brane which has to loop only once. I'm thinking conceptually along the lines of a 2:1 transformer. This brings up an important issue. How are permittivity and permeability handled at the interface? If energy tramsmits across the surface, at all, then energy must surely be conserved.

Lawrence brought up the issue that wave functions experience the same time across the whole wavefunction. So what happens if the gravity wave is so strong that the wavefunction spans the gravity wave such that the wavefunction cannot be gauranteed a constant time? Does the wave function simply split in two? Does mathematics even exist to describe a vibrating string that spans such a gravity potential? Does this cause event horizons to occur? If such a superstring does find itself spanning across a gravity potential, how and where does it absorb a photon? Do we even have experiments that can tell us what happens? In my opinion, there will always be a way to solve such a mathematical problem. But how will nature handle it? Do wave function really behave like calculators that calculate all of the different information content factors and produce a result? Can a gravity potential be enough to overwhelm this calculating quality of wave functions? If so, what will it do? Will it crash? Will it give screwy answers and allow physics to behave eratically? Will it accidently lose information? If it does, will anybody notice?

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 10, 2009 @ 19:55 GMT
I consider the problem in my essay of a string as it approaches the singularity of a black hole. The Weyl curvature across the size of a closed string is such that it distorts the string into an increasingly elliptical shape until it becomes effectively a filament or open string.

A wave function on a flat region of a spatial surface that is distorted by some time dependent curvature, such as a gravity wave, will have oscillators at different regions transported from each other according to the transformations of connection terms or we might think of as local boosts. Remember that the quantum wave equations of motion are partial differential equations which “in principle” correspond to harmonic oscillators at every point. To make this work each point has its local time arrow pointing in the identical direction in 4-dimensional spacetime, and with each imaginary clock set to the same time. The flat space with synchronized clocks everywhere will exhibit a de-synchronization if some time dependent curvature perturbs the quantum system. If the perturbation is reversible, or if its influence is completely removed once the disturbance has been removed, or evolved past the region, the quantum system will relax back to its original configuration. However, if there is a permanent change, or in particular if there is some event horizon associated with this curvature, this de-synchronization is permanent as well. The quantum system as a result is adjusted into a non-unitary statistical ensemble. So a wave function which describes particles at various regions will describe some larger number of particles with a thermal (Boltzmann) distribution. So a vacuum (zero particle state) will become a vacuum plus a thermal bath of particles. This is the basic element for Hawking black hole radiation or the Unruh effect, where an accelerated observer detects the vacuum as having a thermal bath of bosons.

I have worked out some calculations on how a gravity wave will influence Stern-Gerlach apparatus in such as way that quantum teleportation exhibits a loss of fidelity. This should work as a form of gravity wave, or really graviton, detector for short wavelength gravitational radiation from hot thermal sources.

Cheers LC

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GeorginaParry wrote on Nov. 10, 2009 @ 20:09 GMT

even if they get the thing working they can not find something that does not exist. They can say that they have found it at best. They could possibly get some mathematical results that are interpreted as being evidence of a Higgs particle but that does not mean that the Higgs particle has been found and the theory is correct. It would be some evidence in favour of that theory.

A very small number of people know how to operate this apparatus and how to interpret the results it produces. I would not have the first idea of how the methodology, practical execution and interpretation of results can be evaluated by people who are not specialists in that area of high energy physics. Dare I say scientists are humans too. The majority of people will just accept whatever they are told. If told that scientific experiments have found the Higgs particle they will accept as irrefutable that the Higgs exists.

I do not think that any of the bosons are actually particles but are manifestations of the disturbance of the medium of space.There seems to have been a trend to keep on adding extra particles to the standard model without the consideration that some of these so called particles might be something else. If one considers rest mass energy and gravitational mass to be due to the change in position of matter along the 4th dimension then the Higgs boson is unnecessary. I will take the lack of evidence of a Higgs boson as evidence if favour of my own interpretation.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 10, 2009 @ 21:26 GMT

There is a problem with strings. I had considered that strings are really just wave amplitudes. Because atoms cause electrons to take the shape of spheres, shells and dumbells, which are obviously not one dimensional filaments, would you mind reminding us of the difference between wave functions and the superstrings that you work with? There seems to be something else built into the superstrings that distinguish it from wave functions. By the way, I think you put your finger on something significant.

You said: "To make this work each point has its local time arrow pointing in the identical direction in 4-dimensional spacetime, and with each imaginary clock set to the same time." Complex time? Mmm... what does that do to causality?

Unruh radiation cannot stop a hyperdrive system that relies on c1-c2 brane interfacing. Starships are at rest inside of a c1-c2 interfacing barrier. The acceleration and velocity occur within c2-space where the speed of light is 2c; we can go back to Newtonian mechanics. The details of c1-c2 brane interfacing are still being worked out.


Toast munching Higgs birds from the future will not be able to stop progress at the LHC.

While looking at Lawrences very insightful review of operators, classical quantum, I couldn't help but notice an analogy:

drop of water:ocean :: superstring:brane.

It almost looks like superstrings contain the properties of Planck constant and speed of light within them, as properties. Furthermore, when you take a large number of strings, you get a brane or space-time; somehow, a Higgs field fits here to, maybe a brane and a Higgs field are the same thing, part of the ocean of superstrings.

If c and h are characteristics of individual superstrings, then the difference between a c1 brane and a c2-brane might be nothing more then the difference in characteristics between two different kinds of superstrings. I hope I'm not going to fast.

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Ray Munroe wrote on Nov. 10, 2009 @ 21:28 GMT
Dear Georgina,

Regarding the Higgs, I agree with you to a point, but also disagree.

Generally, we use Monte Carlo simulations to extend theoretical ideas to experimental results. Depending on the statistics of a particular experimental result, this may or may not be a good predictor.

Also, there are more than one "Higgs Theories" if you count the Standard Model Higgs (one scalar boson), and the Mininal Supersymmetric Standard Model (MSSM) (Light Higgs, Heavy Higgs, positive and negative Charged Higgs, and Pseudoscalar Higgs). If we only discover the lightest Higgs of the MSSM, then we still don't understand everything about mass.

How would you explain the origin of mass without a Higgs?

You said "I do not think that any of the bosons are actually particles but are manifestations of the disturbance of the medium of space." Because we have not yet isolated a quantum graviton, and we understand gravity from a geometrical perspective, perhaps we could say this about the graviton with a straight face. But can you honestly say this about photons? How would you explain a light bulb or a laser? Bosons are different from fermions, but I don't think they are any less important.

Have Fun!

Ray Munroe

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 10, 2009 @ 21:31 GMT
Perhaps my brain is a c2-brane, and I speculate at twice the speed of light.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 10, 2009 @ 22:02 GMT

I agree with you that the interested public should be skeptical of what high energy physicist/specialists tell us. There are a lot of interpretations that I am skeptical of in various related areas of physics. Cosmology, and the idea of an accelerating universe does not make sense. I don't like the interpretation that everyone and everything is moving through time at the speed of light; it sounds too magical and handwaving. The whole idea of interpretations is that they should inspire new understandings and realizations about physics, not leave us mesmerized.

I don't want to offend anyone and please forgive me if I do. There are interpretations of physics that mesmerize; as if a magician has convinced us that he or she can do mathematical magic. Mathematical magicians tell us that philosphical physics interpreting is wrong because if departs from the calibrated mathematics that is wielded to hide everyone's confusion. With all due respect to everyone that practices mathematical magic, if you can't explain it to an reasonably educated and smart person, then you don't understand it. There are common language expression that someone who really understands this stuff, should be able to substitute to explain what is really occuring. Yes, I understand that this stuff is about as intellectually challenging as it gets, but we are all after the Physics Truth. When we cannot explain this stuff to a layperson, then we cannot exercise the creative part of the mind that can tell us what to ask, what to test.

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Ray Munroe wrote on Nov. 10, 2009 @ 22:39 GMT
Dear Jason,

A former CEO told me his way of dealing with people "Trust but verify". I have the same attitude towards these theories. I have studied their strengths and weaknesses and will follow them until I see a more promising horizon.

Have Fun!

Ray Munroe

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 11, 2009 @ 01:02 GMT
Dear Ray,

Thank you for doing that much.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 11, 2009 @ 01:49 GMT
The idea of a time operator is that there exist |t) such that ψ(t) = (t|ψ) which describes the probability of a particle occurring at a time t according to p[ψ(t)] = |ψ(t)|^2. The ket |t) is related to the energy ket |E) by the standard Fourier relationship (t|E) = N^{-1/2}e^{iEt/ħ}, for N a normalization constant. It is then possible to demonstrate that


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Anonymous wrote on Nov. 11, 2009 @ 02:12 GMT
Ray thank you for your replies (and offer of magic crystal.)

I really didn't know there were so many varieties of Higgs. My mind is boggled! It begins to sound like a Higgs field and Jason's "ocean of superstrings" is just a way to have an aether within space with out admitting it is such. That empty vacuum just isn't empty because whatever you want to call it, the medium is necessary to make everything work. How does it work without Higgs? I have explained in one of my previous posts how I think Inertial mass , gravitational mass and rest mass energy arise. I will see if I can find a copy and paste it up.

I don't think bosons are any less important than fermions either and I also don't think they are particles. They can be treated as particles mathematically so the balance sheet adds up correctly but that's all. What evidence do you have that one of these bosons can be isolated as a material particle?

In my opinion, when an electron changes spatial position within an atom there is an energy change. Equal in energy to 1 photon.(Every change in spatial position within quaternion space is an energy change and vice versa.) When an electrons moves to a lower energy level the medium of space is disturbed by the change in position of the electron. This disturbance is observed as a photon of light. The disturbance spreads out across 3d space and afore along the 4th dimension from the origin as waves. A photon amounts to the smallest energy change that is detectable. That is why it appears to be a single quantum of energy.It may be the amount of energy necessary to cause a disturbance. Or smaller disturbances than this may just not be detectable.

Energy in my opinion is change in quaternion spatial position or the potential to cause change in quaternion spatial position it is not something in its own right as a material particle is. Those changes in spatial position of the medium of space causing phenomena such as gravitation, electrostatic attraction and emission of photons of light from atoms are currently said to be caused by boson particles.

My face is still straight, is yours? What evidence do you have that shows the above explanation can not possibly be valid?

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 11, 2009 @ 02:42 GMT
Last post was me again.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 11, 2009 @ 03:26 GMT
Jason ,

thanks, just read that it is all ready to go after the bird baguette attack. Lets hope the squirrels don't have anything planned.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 11, 2009 @ 03:28 GMT
Dear Ray,

I hope the last post didn't sound snippy, I didn't mean it that way. I simply appreciate it when someone considers my ideas for even a moment.

By the way, I have an ad hoc hyperdrive physics theory. I want to call it a place-holder theory or a "fun hyperdrive toy theory". I'm not adding or removing any mathematics. The formula is very simple.

Step 1: Start with the laws of motion, GR, Classical mechanics.

Step 2: Create a copy. Everywhere there is a c (speed of light), insert 2c into the copy.

Step 3: Assume that space-time is some kind of brane whose main property is the speed of light.

Step 4: Use imagination to ask questions about how the two spaces would be related to each other.

Step 5: Make some educated guesses.

Logically, some kind of surface or interface seems inevitable. I take some educated guesses to mold the ad hoc theory. It's a play theory. It's simple enough for a college undergrad to play with. The fact that 90% of the universe is unexplainable dark matter or dark energy makes the idea plausible.


How do we ever know that an electron has moved within an electrons shell of an atom? It's like a shell game where you can't see the electron being moved; all we know is that, mysteriously, it is under all three shells (which must really annoy the physics community). It's like the laws of physics are teasing us because we can't know without using a photon. We can't see it, but I bet the laws of physics are making funny faces at us too.

As for oceans of superstring, Higgs fields, and aether, I'm quite sure that they snicker and tell jokes about us. Their laughter transmits at the speed of light.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 11, 2009 @ 04:24 GMT
The Higgs field is a particle physics version of a wide range of phenomena which exists. Superconductivity, phase change from paramagnetic to ferromagnetic properties, superfluids, Meissner effects and so forth are all set up by a physical potential term similar to what makes the Higgs field give mass to particles at the end of conformal renormalization flow. The Higgs field is really an example of a rather generic aspect of physics.It should exist.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 11, 2009 @ 05:38 GMT
The Higgs field is loosely described as the field that gives particles their mass. By that reasoning, does the Higgs field also enforce the laws of motion (kinetic energy, momentum, inertia, etc...)?

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Anonymous wrote on Nov. 11, 2009 @ 06:59 GMT

You write a lot interesting things. I try to understand but it is difficult for me. But I am trying.

You also wrote:

"I consider the problem in my essay of a string as it approaches the singularity of a black hole. The Weyl curvature across the size of a closed string is such that it distorts the string into an increasingly elliptical shape until it becomes effectively a filament or open string. "

How big is the force the more you approach a singularity? The biggest force is the planck force: c4/G. No force can exceed that force.

Ricci curvature is reducing volume and weyl curvature is responsible for tidal effect. In a black hole weyl curvature is big. When does a string snap? How can you calculate that?

Besides that what is a singularity? If someone is falling towards a event horizon, then an observer will see his the clock of the falling person slow down until time even stops. The falling person himself if he is looking to the universe around him hee sees everything accelerating. things are going very fast. He sees galaxies come and go. So when does he reach the event horizon? when the universe has finished to exist?

And what will happen with the singularity when we exchange the nonrelativistic

with relativistic
in the Schwarshild metric? The calculation Hawking did is the minimal surface area. surface of what? Couldn't it be that there is no "inside the black hole"?

A black hole is not material, I think the mass of a black hole is just part of continuus spacetime. mass is not uggly. mass and the other wooden quantities are not something we have to put into the einstein equation from the outside. What is your opinion?


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Peter van Gaalen wrote on Nov. 11, 2009 @ 07:14 GMT

You wrote: "Every change in spatial position within quaternion space is an energy change and vice versa."

And: "Energy in my opinion is change in quaternion spatial position or the potential to cause change in quaternion spatial position it is not something in its own right as a material particle is."

I like your view of 'every change in spatial position is an energy change'. I think time and energy have something in common. At least they are both scalar quantities (just like mass and gmflux). But what do you mean with 'quaternion space'? How is your quaternion composed?


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Ray Munroe wrote on Nov. 11, 2009 @ 14:21 GMT
Dear Jason,

It sounds like a good "toy model". Who knows? You might learn something very significant from that exercize. It might even end up representing the space-brane versus the gravity-brane.

Dear Georgina,

Georgina still has her "Poker face" on. I must confess that I have never read enough of your ideas to fully understand your Quaternion theory. The important thing to me is that you consider the origin of mass in your theory. As Lawrence says, Higgs theory is a generic concept that the Particle Theorists borrowed from Solid State Physics. Perhaps your origin of mass explaination is a related generic concept.

In my theory, bosons are the "operators" (either translation vectors or rotation matrices) that change one set of fermion quantum numbers into another. These bosons carry energy, momentum, quantum numbers, and some (such as the W and Z) carry mass. If this doesn't qualify as a particle, then what do you call it?

I'm not opposed to new theories so much as I want to force you to think through all of the details. My theory is a 12-dimensional "crystalline" lattice, but I was joking about the 12-dimensional magic crystal.

Have Fun!

Ray Munroe

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 11, 2009 @ 19:02 GMT
The Planck force is ħc/L_p^2, for L_p = sqrt{Għ/c^3} which is 1.2 x10^{44}N. The string tension is 8.9x10^{42}N, which is 13.5 times smaller. The string tension is determined by the string coupling constant α’, and is a scale where the Planck chaos is valanced away from direct observation. The string tension is determined by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. In effect the uncertainty in the momentum of a string is a Δp ~ F_sΔt_p. Leonard Susskind in this paper

argues for how a string falling to a black hole will be length contracted up to the Planck scale as seen by a distant observer. The Planck length is the L_p ~ cΔt_p, which then sets the limit for how far one observes a length contraction of a string on the stretched horizon.

I don’t argue in my paper that the string necessarily breaks. It is rather that the Weyl curvature grows as ~1/r^3 as a closed string approaches the center of the black hole. This force then approaches the string tension and the closed loop of a string is distended into more of an open string configuration. This is a transformation between string types. Further, the modes corresponding to the graviton are transformed into tachyonic modes, but where these exist in some form of a condensate. This is where the M2-brane comes into play, which is a D2-brane with solitons corresponding to open strings attached by Chan-Paton factors. This is in effect a quantized form of the singularity of the black hole.

The standard form of the Schwarzschild metric is with g_{tt} = (1 – 2GM/rc^2). For black holes in higher dimensional space or for “black branes” you do get metric coefficients with higher order ~ 1 – (r_0/r)^n, for r_0 playing the role of 2GM/c^2.

Take a look at for a numerical study on what one would see falling into a black hole. One does not see the exterior world rapidly sped up in some way. As you fall in the light from objects radially directed away from you become highly redshifted. This is the Weyl curvature in action, for your local frame becomes distended into an elliptical shape as you approach r = 0.

Cheers LC

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 11, 2009 @ 21:29 GMT
Really Ray,

you mean we can't actually open a portal to another brane and send Jason through with your magic crystal?!! I think he is prepared. I was aware that you are working on a seriously complicated 12D lattice and realised at once that this was what you were referring to.

You said "These bosons carry energy, momentum, quantum numbers, and some (such as the W and Z) carry mass. If this doesn't qualify as a particle, then what do you call it?" Environmental influence or disturbance. Seismic waves and air pressure are the 2 analogies that spring to mind.

Ray I do appreciate your advice and take it well. However I would just like to point out that something that is very detailed but wrong (no references or implications being made )is not better in any way than something highly simplistic but essentially correct.


I call the construct quaternion space because I don't know what else it ought to be called. When Hamilton developed quaternion mathematics he produced a mathematical means of representing three dimensions of space and one of time. This is the same structure only the one of time is not time itself but another dimension measuring space. It is the relationship between the 4 dimensions that allows production of experienced time. The 4th dimension is scalar because it can not be given any single direction from the 3D space perspective.

All of the dimensions are spatio- energetic which means that any change in spatial position is an energy change. One may discuss the energetic changes that occur or spatial changes of position of particles or matter, they are the same in this model. The 4th dimension is a direct scale of universal potential energy as its orientation can be absolutely given in relation to the hypersphere structure formed by the 4 dimensions. Running from the exterior surface at every point to the interior.The 3 vector space dimensions relate to kinetic energy but no absolute orientation can be given for these dimensions so they do not work as scales of energy in the same way.

The real numbers are the 4th dimension and the imaginary numbers form the spherical 3D surface of the material universe which can be imagined progressing along the 4th dimension. This is necessary for the subjective experience of the passage of time and the generation of gravity and the self assembly or creation of the universe. Other spheres of matter may be hypothesised to exist afore(ahead) along the 4th dimension and aft(behind) along the 4th dimension. Forming nested 3D spheres of matter. Matter afore and aft is not visible but matter afore exerts gravitational attraction upon visible matter.Accounting for the missing luminous mass from galaxies allowing them to hold together.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 11, 2009 @ 21:42 GMT
Dear Ray,

Describing bosons as operators is actually a pretty good idea. I think that QM operators refer to taking measurements which can sometimes change the quantum system. I don't have enough clarity on this, but you might have to explore the difference between measurement operators and your boson operators. I'm sure the magic crystal can help.

I confess that my hyper-drive "toy theory" lacks sufficient evidence to be a real theory. On the other hand, it doesn't have the logical vulnerabilities that used to annoy me when I'd search online for such things. If the physics community won't buy it, I might have to look for an audience in the UFO crowd. Don't tell anybody I said this, but it really is alien technology.

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Ray Munroe wrote on Nov. 11, 2009 @ 22:21 GMT
Dear Georgina,

I agree that more detailed models are not necessarily more correct. I just wanted you to be aware of obstacles that any "contender theory" must overcome. Good luck in your quest.

Dear Jason,

"Toy theories" are not necessariliy worthless. You have seen my ideas. I think that hyperspace has 3-branes (WIMP-gravity-brane in dimensions 8-10) and 2-branes (hyperflavor-brane in dimensions 5 and 6, generation-brane in dimensions 11 and 12). Studying the boundaries between these branes might be useful. Last year, I wrote a paper on a "Hypercolor" 2-dimensional triangular close-packing lattice. At the time, I considered it an excersize to help understand my Hyperflavor 3-dimensional FCC close-packing lattice. I think it helped my understanding of the problems at hand.

I once knew someone who claimed to be an alien abductee. I think they stole his "math brain". He was two math course short of an AA degree, but never could grasp College Algebra. He claimed to have a chip planted inside his right palm. One day I scanned his palm with a bar code scanner. I was just goofing around. The scanner "beeped" like it had scanned something and put strange characters in the scanner registry. I told him I had deprogrammed his chip, but I was sort of "freaked out" that it beeped - it shouldn't have beeped.

Have Fun!

Ray Munroe

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 12, 2009 @ 00:47 GMT
Jason Wolfe wrote "Describing bosons as operators is actually a pretty good idea." This is something called second quantization.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 12, 2009 @ 01:11 GMT
Dear Ray,

I don't associate with evil aliens who abduct people and put chips in their heads. I have consulted the good aliens about hyperdrive physics. Call it telepathy, creativity or genius, but the idea I have now does make logical sense. The c1, c2, c3, ... c_n branes spaced at integers of c was my idea to make it easier to undesstand. I got the idea from the toroid field generator that came to me, which generates these boundaries that cause energy to be transferred from c1 space to c2 space. I was also getting images of spaceships hiding in the empty space and wearing space like a blanket. These images got me to think about multiple branes in the same space. Actually, there was also the fact that the Alcubierre hypdrive idea just won't work. I knew I had to "stack the deck" so to speak. There is nothing in physics that says that FTL is possible; so I had to make some changes to the deck so it was possible.

By the way, "second quantization" is your answer. Congratulations, bosons as operators really is a good idea.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 12, 2009 @ 02:54 GMT

Operator sounds better than particle because at least you are referring to what it does mathematically rather than its identity as a singular -thing-.I don't think they are any kind of -thing- of themselves but a name given to certain specific types of spatio-energetic change within the medium of space.


thank you for all of your explanations again. I will try to find out more about all of the Higgs ideas.It seems to me likely that it is the particular motion of the particles , due to their particular arrangement and interaction or lack of interaction, that causes specific kinds of changes to the spatial distribution of the medium of space, observed as magnetic field, superconduction etc.I have gone in to quite a lot of speculation myself as to how each kind of effect might be produced. Which may or may not be the correct mechanism. However the point is that the effect is due to change in the spatial distribution of the medium of space that is according to the Prime Quaternion model also an energetic change, which can be recognised as a field with an energetic potential.


Propulsion research goes into hyperdrive

I noticed this quote in the article.

"It's important for people to get together and expose their ideas to the scientific community ... and get back credible feedback," Cassanova said. While he didn't experience any "aha" revelatory moments at STAIF, brainstorming and open discussion is key, he said, to help flesh out a sound idea from speculation. But Cassanova cautions: "Just because you can write an equation that describes something ... doesn't mean that such an equation describes the real physics that are going on."

If you are determined to have your ideas taken seriously you must find those people who want to take such ideas seriously. People with interest in UFOs are 1 potential audience who may be very enthusiastic, given your ability to explain your physics ideas simply, clearly and intelligibly. It might even pay well but it might also be difficult to escape the niche (should you ever wish ) once a reputation has been built there.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 12, 2009 @ 03:14 GMT
Dear Georgina,

I checked out the link. I'll probably clean up my "toy hyper-drive theory", and send them a copy. You're right about getting trapped in a niche. I was talking to a layperson friend of mine who has been very supportive of my efforts. He assured me that using algebra and many clear definitions would be just fine. I wnat my idea to be very clear and well defined. I expect I'll still add some creativity to it, just for fun.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 12, 2009 @ 19:09 GMT
I am not sure about UFO people; they lack credibility. I think that from what we know it is not likely that fater than light travel is really possible. Obstructions to this seem pretty air tight. The alternative propulsion group hosted by NASA and the STAIF mettings are reasonable in attempting to understand whether the local laws of physics, such as the Lorentx group and special relativistic prohibition on travelling faster than light, constrain global principles. Attempts to make global principles violate the causal principles of local ones have encountered obstructions.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 12, 2009 @ 22:04 GMT
UFO people are so much easier to please than physicists; I've put a lot of work into my "toy" hyper-drive theory; unfortunately, it's too complicated for UFO people to understand, and too "unproven" to be considered by the physics community. Coming from someone who has a hyper-drive theory, let me give the physics community and NASA a hint. Nothing in GR, special relativity or QM is ever, and I mean EVER, going to give you v > c because the mathematics prevents it. It's like asking the mathematics to tell you that 2+2=5, it's impossible. Mathematical physics says that FTL is impossible, but that doesn't mean that it really is. This is the hint: if a second space-time exists in close proximity to standard space-time, with a c'>c, What Are The Consequences? It took me 10 months to figure this out. Photons from c and c' space-times don't interact in any natural way, you will need an interface of some kind. If dark matter and dark energy can be regarded as a clue, then only gravity is common between the two space-times.

If you don't want FTL, you are in a good position to stonewall the debate.

If you do want FTL, it's an uphill fight. You will spend the next 500 years trying to convince the stonewallers. An alien spaceship could crash into the Princeton physics department, open the hatch and invite everyone on campus to an interplanetary picnic on Alpha Centauri, and the physics community would still scoff at FTL.

By the way, FTL does not violate causality, that is a mistake.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 12, 2009 @ 22:15 GMT

What's done is done, the past can never be changed.

You cannot go back to the past to take back an unkind word or undo a mistake.

You cannot go back and kill Hitler to save millions of lives.

Superman cannot go back and save Lois Lane from dying.

George McFly cannot be helped by a time machine; he could be helped by a confidence building course.

You cannot go back and change the time-line. There is only one timeline; it is an energetically "winner takes all" timeline; other quantum possiblities (MWI)are the energetic losers because energy is conserved.

You can never travel back in time. If you're quick, you can catch your mistake before it manifests.

In reality, all we can do is ask for forgiveness and move on.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 12, 2009 @ 23:00 GMT
With all do respect, I suspect that anybody who believes in time travel is confusing "the past" with "transmission time". Here is an example. Without any tampering with equipment, the Lottery, which is popular in the USA, cannot be known. You can't know the numbers before they are generated. But what if the numbers were generated from a spacestation ten light hours away? Everyone on earth would play their number in the "lotto". The transmission time would take ten hours to reach earth. Ray, who is getting the hang of his FTL starship, would jump to a c50-brane (50xc), intercept the transmission, and be back hours before the signal arrives at earth. He would play the winning lottery numbers, and the lottery commision would be at his door within a week investigating how he cheating the lottery. The reason WE can't know the numbers in advance is because all of the factors that will eventually determine the winning numbers, are untrackable.

When we look at stars that explode 10 million light years away, we are looking at the past, but not the changeable past. WE can only look at the light that arrived; we can't change what happened - we can only intercept the light.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 12, 2009 @ 23:10 GMT
The problem is that faster than light travel means the spatial surface of data, say the initial data for the start of a system, will not remain that way. As such there is no manner by which one can define a unique Causchy surface for the evolution of fields. Or to make this simpler to understand: Faster than light Travel automatically implies time travel. If you are going to have one you have to admit the other.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 13, 2009 @ 03:33 GMT
If another space-time exists with a different speed of light, the photons between them don't interact, in fact, they are observed not to interact in any natural way. I'm looking at the definition, D+(S) U S U D-(S) >< M for an anti-desitter space. Two space-times in close proximity, I am discovering, have very limited interactions. Using dark energy as a hint, material on each of the space-times can exert gravitational forces on each other.

In other words, any translation of material from one surface to the other will require some careful handling. I am trying to figure out how an Interface Surface would have to behave. I do know that if an FTL spaceship finds a way to jump from one surface to the other, that will constitute an event between both space-times (or surfaces). Photons, lasers and waves get very tricky at this point.

If the space-ship makes its journey in the c2-space-time, it makes it to its destination, and then translates back into standard space-time. I don't understand where time travel comes into this? By time travel, do you mean that the pilot who is travelling FTL, that he is moving so fast, he can travel back to the past and convince himself that he shouldn't take the trip? I guess I don't see how a second space-time with a faster c can amount to time-travel.

If the pilot, who is travelling FTL on his way to Alpha Centauri, were to watch the star on his approach, he would observe the history of the star (for a few years). He would watch the star smolder and watch sunspots move around. But that is not really travelling back in time. Is that what you mean by time travel?

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 13, 2009 @ 05:39 GMT
Lawrence said: "The problem is that faster than light travel means the spatial surface of data, say the initial data for the start of a system, will not remain that way."

I'm afraid I don't see the connection between FTL and the initial conditions of system not remaining constant. Can you clarify?

Thank you.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 13, 2009 @ 05:48 GMT
Ray et al,

How mass is generated without Higgs particle etc.

Have given this some more thought.

Firstly every energy change is a change in quaternion spatial position and vice versa. Energy is not a thing of itself but is either change or the potential to cause change of quaternion spatial position of either matter, particle or the medium of space.Space is continuous so that...

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 13, 2009 @ 09:05 GMT
Dear Georgina,

I've been thinking about physics all day. I feel like my brain is starting to fry. I feel like I'm addicted to physics, yet at the same time, I'm sick of it.

I've wondered about why E=mc2, and what it means. It's not good to be too heavy. If you think of a brane or space-time as an information processing system, your mass is how you know how fast or slow your motion is going to be. Energy is conserved, so E1=m1c1^2 = m2c2^2. If you want to be lighter and faster, move to a c2-brane. In a c2 brane, your mass, m2 = m1(c1/c2)^2= m1/4. On a faster c2-brane; everything is faster and lighter because the speed of light, which is something like processing speed, manages the laws of motion more quickly. That's my interpretation. Sorry, you can't go back in time and kill your grandparents using a c2-brane. But if they're still alive, they can run away from you a lot faster on a c2 brane.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 13, 2009 @ 13:46 GMT
What I mean is that a spatial surface of three dimensions can't be defined as a unique set of initial conditions. Spacetime is where we push that surface forwards to foliate out spacetime. Yet if you have multiply connectsd spacetimes, or causal paths which are globally spacelike (faster than light) then any spatial surface of intitial data (Cauchy data) may be continuously mapped (evolved) into a surface with timelike data. This means that you can't uniquely specify boundary conditions or initial data so that physical fields evolve uniquely. In effect you get closed timelike curves and --- well time travel.

Cheers LC

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Ray Munroe wrote on Nov. 13, 2009 @ 14:56 GMT
Dear Georgina,

Certainly. If your model is four dimensional, then you must explain mass with the fourth dimension. Because I have so many dimensions, I used the 7th dimension to explain "mass" (as we know it) and the 8th through 10th dimensions to explain WIMP-Gravity-related "mass".

I'm not sure it is OK to combine concepts of time and mass in the fourth dimension. Your model may be evolving into a Kaluza-Klein 5 dimensional model.

Dear Jason,

I have always equated FTL travel with time travel because we are dealing with Spacetime, not space and time separately. Are FTL travel and time travel both possible or both impossible? I think the nay-sayers have always existed. The trick is to do "the impossible". It seems that there were also arguments why supersonic (How can you travel faster than sound?) or space (What does a rocket "push" against in the vacuum of space?) travel were "impossible".

Have Fun!

Ray Munroe

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 13, 2009 @ 16:23 GMT
There are of course other obstructions to traveling fster than light. FTL travel or closed timelike curves CTCs means one could enter a black hole, acquire its internal energy and exit the region and having lowered the entropy of the exterior universe and that of the black hole S = kA/4L_p^2 = πkGM^2c/ħ. This of course violates the second law of thermodynamics. As a macroscopic law the 2 nd law is pretty hard. This can be executed without traveling back in time, a multiple connection in spacetime (worm holes) or some FTL means like a warp drive to cross an event horizon both ways. So I tend to play things a bit safe and stay on the side of reasonably understood physics. There are of course other reasons, including the old killing one’s ancestors in the past argument when it comes to time travel.

Cheers LC

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georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 13, 2009 @ 19:34 GMT

You said "I'm not sure it is OK to combine concepts of time and mass in the fourth dimension."Why not? Is that because your 4th dimension is not the same as my 4th dimension?

Passage of time is perceived because of the change we observe as a result of unseen change in position along that dimension. I did accidentally call it the time dimension when I only wish to refer to it as the 4th dimension. I have outlined all of the ways that mass is produced due to this dimension. if you do not like the idea of a wake producing the so called curvature of space you may prefer to think of the change in the slope of universal potential energy gradient produced by the redistribution of the medium of space as the object passes along the 4th dimension which is the gravitational field.

Change in position along this dimension gives us time, gravity, and mass.It also gives an energy input to the universe driving its formation in to structures of greater size and complexity. It allows an explanation of the missing mass of galaxies and alternative explanation of black holes. There is no need for another separate time dimension.

Kulusa klein ran into difficulties I gather because he could not determine where the 4th dimension was in relation to 3D space. I have explained on a number of occasions where the dimension runs, how change in position along this "orientation" gives rise to gravity. We can not perceive the change directly because it is not occurring along any of the dimensions of 3D space.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 13, 2009 @ 19:41 GMT
Please could you read my recent post on this thread "How mass is generated without Higgs particle etc.",if you have not done so. I would really appreciated further feedback on the ideas presented.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 13, 2009 @ 20:08 GMT
Using a hyperdrive, it would in principle be possible to escape from/pass through the event horizon, perhaps even with some blackhole material. Actually, in practice I'm pretty sure the spaceship would be destroyed anyway, but that's a design issue.

Getting multiple space-times with varied speeds of light to, if I may use a metaphor, become pages (surfaces) in a 'book' of hyperspace or...

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 13, 2009 @ 20:25 GMT
By the way, large scale systems are forced to follow causal interactions, therefore, travelling backwards in time is impossible to large scale sytems. FTL determines how fast the clock is ticking, but does not have the ability to reverse causality. There is no operator.

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Ray Munroe wrote on Nov. 13, 2009 @ 21:02 GMT
Dear Georgina,

I read your post "How mass is generated without Higgs particle etc." Your explaination is feasible. All I am saying is that it seems that you have hidden a lot of details in the 4th dimension. Nature might work like that. Or Nature might spread the details over more dimensions as I propose. You keep calling your model a Quaternion. Have you used any Quaternion mathematics in your modelling?

Dear Jason,

Time travel disturbs me as much as it does you and Lawrence. Causality is a cornerstone of physics. The point is that we are working with Spacetime. A rift in Spacetime should affect both space and time.

Have Fun!

Ray Munroe

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 13, 2009 @ 21:21 GMT
Thank you Ray. Please can you explain what you mean by the details? As I don't really understand what you are looking for. I'm not sure I have hidden anything. Is it merely that you want it written it out mathematically or is something actually missing from the mechanism I gave. What details of physics would you wish to see incorporated?

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 13, 2009 @ 21:25 GMT

I'm saying that space-time can be thought of as a "network", no wires, just photons bouncing back and force, essentially pinging, transmitting energy and uphodind the laws of motion. Faster photons means a faster space-time. When a fast network talks to a slow network, does the fast network make the slow network run backwards? No. There is just a lot waiting around for the slow network to catch up. Same thing here. No time travel, just fast clocks and slow clocks trying to talk to each other. Large scale systems are prevents from moving backwards in time.

How is our universe not like a wireless network that pings with photons?

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 13, 2009 @ 21:45 GMT
If there is a logical fallacy in my reasoning, I would really like to have that explained to me. If my interpretation of the physics doesn't make sense or there is a disjoint in my reasoning, please point that out.

I fully expect to be operating outside of traditional unterpretations because I have to extrapolate from the only available evidence: dark matter/energy, black holes, general relativtiy. From these, I have to figure out what would have to occur in nature for an FTL to exist in nature.

I hope that the ONLY problem with my argument is that it lacks sufficient evidence. I don't want to make arguments based on magic and handwaving. I want my arguments to be logical. Magic and handwaving should be reserved for fun and inspiration. I'm going for the hardcore logical argument here.

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Ray Munroe wrote on Nov. 13, 2009 @ 22:52 GMT
Dear Georgina,

I'm sorry. I guess I used the wrong word. Your details are in plain sight. In my opinion, you have packed a lot of details into the fourth dimension. That's OK. I guess one could argue that Einstein did as well. Yes - I prefer words that are supported by mathematics. It is my bias. But I'm not saying that is the only way to do physics or science. Science generally involves modelling. Some models require mathematics or advanced logic. Newton had to invent calculus to explain his ideas.

Dear Jason,

I also have problems with time travel. We could dream up paradoxes all day long to contradict the possibility. Space and time are interwoven. I understand that you want to send information via e-mail at speed "f" (for fast) rather than by pony express at speed "s" (for slow). Suppose there is an interface between our c-brane and a proposed FLT-brane. Can we transmit information across this interface at a fast enough speed so that we don't lose the advantage of having an FTL-brane? I don't know if information and entropy work against us at this point or not. Ultimately, entropy may be the enemy here. We can define the direction of time with entropy. If I video-tape a long enough part of a game of Billiards and play it forward and backwards, you will be able to determine the direction of time by watching for noticable differences in entropy.

Is FLT travel impossible? Is time travel impossible? You might have to trick entropy. Perhaps entanglement is one way. Mankind has overcome a lot of "impossible" things with technology.

Have Fun!

Ray Munroe

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 13, 2009 @ 22:58 GMT
The problem is that wormholes can act as time machines. The Lorentz boost of one opening of the wormhole and a second boost back to the same spatial location will put its local clocks at an earlier time than the other opening. This is a version of the so called twin paradox. The result is closed timelike curves can exist. Any multiply connected topology to spacetime, or some process which permits one to tunnel through at v > c can be transformed into a time machine.

With the rock and the window, we might imagine a worm hole on the other side of the window. You throw the rock through the window and the rock enters the wormhole. The wormhole is a time machine so it returns before your throw hits the window and knocks the rock away from the window. You have now a problem of whether the window broke, and further you have to copies of the identical rock.

Cheers LC

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 14, 2009 @ 00:44 GMT
Thank you very much Ray.

If it is just a question of tidying up the descriptions I have given to ensure they are as clear as possible and providing mathematical translation of those descriptions then I am entirely happy with that evaluation.I was concerned that you thought I may have overlooked some important physics details. I haven't really "packed a lot in", its just that everything is connected so explaining one aspect then leads on to explanation of others, which are all just there. Thank you very much for taking the time to consider what I have written.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 14, 2009 @ 01:11 GMT
I don't like wormholes because they require way too much energy to produce graviational curvature. But let's ignore all that.

Question: how can you bridge between two space-times when one of them is in the present, and the other is in the past? The past no longer exists as a space-time. If you like the MWI, then you might describe a bridge between two space-times. You can slip into the other space-time, make some changes, and slip back. I don't like the many worlds interpretation because every time someone choses between pancakes and cereal, a new universe springs up that is a bajillion lightyears away and can never be confirmed. I ask for one additional space-time with a c'>c, and everyone thinks I'm nuts.

A bridge to another universe, one that is energetically reasonable, is conceivable. But the past no longer exists. To put it another way, the universe is a box of LEGO. You only have 300 pieces of LEGO. You can arrange it any way you like. But you can't make a bridge between a configuration now, and what it was ten minutes ago, because the 300 pieces are already in use.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 14, 2009 @ 01:36 GMT
Lawrence ,

with respect doesn't that just show the nonsense of considering time as a physical reality. One can not travel in time if there are no physical future realms or past realms.I consider these to be fantasy realms. These are just a belief with no scientific evidence to substantiate their existence. Matter can not just replicate itself by time travel. What would the mass of replicated tea cups alone be if a new copy of every cup in 3D space is made every second? Where does all the matter come from? Time used in this way (not merely as a measurement tool) might just as well be called magic.

Good old scientifically respectable space is all mixed up with (time) magic and then squished. This squished magical mixture is then used to produce all kinds of outrageous nonsense. I am not saying that there could not possibly be worm holes but they would be means to access other space outside of our experienced 3D space not other time realms, whatever the clock says.

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Vladimir F. Tamari replied on Apr. 13, 2011 @ 15:47 GMT
Georgina - "Matter can not just replicate itself by time travel. What would the mass of replicated tea cups alone be if a new copy of every cup in 3D space is made every second?"

Bravo! Very well put. Time simply does not exist as a real dimension! Vladimir

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Georgina Parry replied on Apr. 14, 2011 @ 00:30 GMT

thank you. That is an argument that I first wrote in 2007 when I first began to think about space and time and that something was not quite right with the interpretation of the physics models.It is quite funny and alarming and to imagine everything being endlessly replicated.

I have just posted a diagram on my competition entry discussion thread, which is What is reality in the Context of physics (I recommend the last version posted, which is clearer.) It sets out how I think the two physics models QM and relativity are related to the Entirety of reality, observed and unobserved.It shows that the two models can co exist and how they are related to different aspects of reality.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 14, 2009 @ 01:39 GMT
You can't use MWI, for that would require getting around the Bell inequality issue, or that you are trying to impose local principles to manipulate nonlocal entanglement properties as hidden variables.

There are an array of ideas for FTL travel: worm holes, Alcubierre warp drive, Kraznikov tubes and so forth. All of them suffer from the same problem, they all can be transformed into time machines. This is because the symmetry of spacetime (the Lorentz group) transforms space and time between each other. It even has an impact on quantum mechanics. The nonlocal principles of QM which extend over space take place over time as well. This is seen in the Wheeler DeLayed Choice Experiment. At least in this case no information is actually communicated faster than light or backwards in time.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 14, 2009 @ 03:30 GMT
For the record, let me tell you what I think about MWI. Physics is supposed to be built on conservation laws. I don't mind when someone tries to get around a baryon number here and there. But MWI wants a whole universe everytime a quantum particle has to decide which eigenstate it wants. A BIG BANGS worth of universe springs into existence. This is what some people use to try to understand...

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 14, 2009 @ 05:39 GMT
Last try for the night.

Planck constant defines relationship between energy and time.

Speed of light defines relationship between distance and time.

A single photon, from a point, goes out in all directions at the speed of light. Since Avagadros of photons make up undulating electric fields, than one photon should also have its own undulating electric field. Electric fields apply a force to a charge.

If we photocopy this physics, and talk about a hypothetical photon with speed of light c', everything is the same with due consideration of the Planck constant. The c' photon will expand in all directions, at a rate of c'. The undulating electric field will match up with c' charges. There will be no mysterious time travel back to some 1950's brane when life was easier.

Coupling between c charges and c' charges is assumed to be zero. If coupling is not zero, there will have to be due consideration of consequences. I'm not sure what this means for imaginary mass, other than c photons cannot interact with c'-mass, and c'-photons cannot interact with c-mass.

It's just a thought experiment.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 14, 2009 @ 12:33 GMT
Let me see if I can say this in a different way. The issue is not whether there is a time in the past to return to, or that the past does not exist. This involves interpretations, where in relativity the block time is a sort of interpretation. The Planck constant is a unit of action which involves the momentum and space, or equivalently energy and time, It tells us that for a particle to move a distance x it requires the generator called momentum p, In quantum physics this is involved with a unitary transformation. So let us suppose a particle travels a distance to x by moving with momentum p. We further consider a situation where that particle can enter a wormhole with a different momentum and appear at the other opening of the wormhole and reach the same point. So there is an ambiguity with respect to the momentum generator which maps a particle from the origin 0 to x. We may then repeat the experiment, but where now spacetime transformations or a successions of boost are performed on one of the wormhole openings, The ambiguity in the transformation which put the particle at the point x may them be transformed into an ambiguity in time ordering.

As one who is interested in quantum gravity (I think gravitation is not itself directly quantized) the existence of closed timelike loops or large scale wormholes and other FTL configurations of spacetime makes things far more difficult. We have no Born rule, and we have processes in quantum gravity which utterly fail to be unital or unitary.

Cheers LC

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 14, 2009 @ 20:03 GMT

With respect Lawrence the issue is with time and how it is used.

If time is used in the equations and the results are interpreted to give temporal meaning then paradoxes can arise. The paradoxes show that this can not be correct. If it is imagined that we exist within space-time results are interpreted in a way that gives existential past and future (as realms) This interpretation is incorrect. There is no scientific evidence of these realms and little anecdotal evidence.

If it is imagined that we live within space-magic the interpretation of results will give existential magical realms. There is far more anecdotal evidence for this than past and future realms. There are lots of accounts of encounters with various species of faerie folk, daemons, ghosts etc. but far fewer accounts of encounters with time travellers and to my knowledge no paradoxical disappearances of whole branches of family trees due to arrival of a malevolently suicidal descendent.

If it is imagined that we live within space-space we can interpret results in a way that gives that gives existential realms of further 3D space. This does not cause paradoxes and can help explain the missing mass of the universe and how galaxies hold together. Any mathematical results showing that there would be time travel would then be interpreted as showing change in position along another dimension of space. The object that returns does not arrive back before it left but at "another" space, that is not occupied by any of the matter that was in 3D space with the object when it left.

Therefore hypothetical methods of hyperspace travel can not be discounted on the premise that they would become time machines as this is just an error of interpretation of the mathematics. In my opinion.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 15, 2009 @ 03:12 GMT
I advise people to do some reading on relativity theory, and to look at some responsible literature on this matter. The problems hyperdrives would present are equivalent to the problems with time machines. Due to the nature of spacetime physics you can't have one without the other.

It might be sad for those who have some ideations about Star Trek futures and the like, but unfortunately those things don't appear at all likely. Physics is not like Charley Parker's "Anything goes." There are certain things which nature presents to us as obstructions.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 15, 2009 @ 04:20 GMT
I am looking at a college freshman physics book: Physics for Scientists and Engineers with modern physics by Serway. The book is so old, the duct tape that holds the bind together is falling off. But it will suffice to make my point. Special Relativity is built upon the train car with a light emitting from the floor, bouncing off a mirror on the ceiling, back down to the floor. The O’ observer, on the train, watches the light go straight up, then back down. The Observer watching the train go by at some velocity v, sees the light trace a path that goes up, but also across due to the velocity of the train. Both observers agree on the vertical path of the light, but observer O’ is at rest with respect to the moving train. Both observers agree that the velocity of light is the same. From all of this, we get special relativity. It’s like a riddle. Light is the one thing that every observer agrees has the same velocity. The velocity of the train, and the clocks of each observers will adjust to make sure that c is the same for everyone. I interpret this to mean that distance and time are emergent properties, are effects or consequences, of the absolute velocity of light, c. The only easy and simple way to construct a space and a time for which everyone agrees on the velocity of light, is to say that all particles, masses, fields, etc., verify each others positions and velocities using photons. The closest analogy I can think of is a wireless network or GPS grid that transmit radio waves or lasers to verify each others position and velocity. Cosmologists determine the positions (distance) and relative velocity using intensity comparisons and red shift. That means there is no 3D box and no absolute clock. There are only shifts in energy (frequency) along a beam of light that always moves at c; everything in the way of position and velocity is measured against that metric: velocity of light and relative shifts in frequency (energy). That is what the universe uses for a clock and a ruler.

If an object were to move faster than the speed of light, that object could not be accounted for and would be lost, it would vanish. On a more subtle note, since photons are just undulating electric fields, a photon that is traveling FTL would have its permittivity and/or permeability reduced in magnitude or scaled to a smaller value so that the speed of light can be larger; that could result in a lack of coupling. Photons that travel at different velocities of light might not interact with each other. That is one possible interpretation of dark energy.

In a nutshell, I don’t see how time travel can occur for objects moving FTL. I can see the possibility of electrical disturbances and/or zero coupling. Objects moving to fast for a photon to interact with, all pretty much not there. I don’t see how that translates into a time machine. If anything, it’s a cloaking device. If any part of logic is wrong or unclear, please point it out.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 15, 2009 @ 04:41 GMT
Come to think of it, I've always wondered how magnets and charges moving is magnetic fields keep track of what should move where. That would need some kind of a GPS system to determine each others relative distance and velocity. If each particle is emitting a beacon of light, other charges can determine their position and velocity, and plug those numberse into equations, and change their direction and velocity accordingly.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 15, 2009 @ 05:42 GMT
I have no personal interest in hyper-drive theory.

My point was not that it is in any way possible to build a hyper-drive but that you ruled out certain possibilities because they would act like time machines.

It will only act like a time machine if that is a physical possibility given the existential physics. No matter what the space-time mathematics is interpreted to mean.If there is no existential future realm and no existential past realm there is no possibility of time travel, no paradoxes but other possibilities.

Unless there is actual -scientific- proof to the contrary, (rather than erroneous interpretation of mathematics (put time in, get time out) or mere belief) observable evidence and logical reasoning suggests to me that I do not live within space-time, although that is a subjective experience. Whatever 6 billion other people may choose to think.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 15, 2009 @ 12:09 GMT
Lawrence said: "The problems hyper-drives would present are equivalent to the problems with time machines." GR says that if you exceed the speed of light, you get imaginary numbers; obviously we've reached the edge of modern physics. Think back to 1492 when people thought the earth was flat. It’s 2009, and people think that FTL results in time travel. They think that FTL is impossible because it leads to time machines and causality violations. They think that since time travel is impossible, which it is, then FTL must be impossible. I’m sorry, but the connection between time travel and FTL is a mantra that neither common sense nor logic can defend. If effect, the physics community tells us to drink the cool aid or you will be ostracized and your career will be ruined. When FTL conditions are applied to GR, the model breaks down; the imaginary masses can be treated like error messages. But you can’t make a new model until you understand how space-time is structured. If it’s not an aether, then what is it? I’ve already said that every particle, wave and field seem to use the photon velocity as a metric. For that reason, a GPS styled wireless network makes sense to me. From the 95% dark matter/dark energy that is gravitationally conspicuous, there must certainly be a lot material in space that doesn’t radiate anything that we can see. Even matter that is close to absolute zero still radiates very low frequency blackbody radiation. Surely we could see its low frequency radio waves. I don’t even think we see that.

Consider this idea. Since c^2= 1/(permittivity * permeability), then changing the speed of light will change the strength of electric and magnetic fields. A faster speed of light would have to make either permittivity or permeability smaller, but probably both would get smaller. That would make electric and magnetic fields weaker. Whether or not that will show up as charge Q getting smaller, I’d have to think about. The only way we see anything is because photons with undulating electric fields make our charges oscillate, and thus absorb the energy packet of the photon. But FTL photons might have very weak electric and magnetic fields. I don’t think that will affect the Planck constant, I have to think about that as well. If it does, that could create a coupling problem making it impossible for our electrons to absorb their quanta. I’m just considering some possibilities.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 15, 2009 @ 13:30 GMT
A couple of points about this history of science are needed. Eratosthenes (276 BCE - 194 BCE) measured the shadow of a rod at Alexandria and Syene at the summer solstice. The rod at Syene cast no shadow being at the tropical lattitude, and he then used the shadow cast at Alexandria to estimate the radius of the Earth. He came up with about the right answer. So the spherical nature of the Earth...

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 15, 2009 @ 15:33 GMT
Dear Lawrence,

I am sorry you are not feeling well. I hope it's not because we are in disagreement about FTL. I really had to push myself to wrap my mind around these concepts and it made me feel nauseated a couple of times. I have had to take many excursions to do something fun, relaxing and easy. Please feel free to do likewise.

I want to take a closer look at the Krasinov tubes to see if I can explain how and why they don't cause time travel.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 15, 2009 @ 18:36 GMT
The matter of hyperdrives and the like is interesting, not for any idea we can realistically build such things, but for understanding what these obstructions are telling us about the underlying structure of the universe.

I feel more or less alright. I thought last night I was getting the flu, but I don't seem to be headed that way --- fortunately.

Cheers LC

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 15, 2009 @ 20:46 GMT

You said "Cosmologists determine the positions (distance) and relative velocity using intensity comparisons and red shift. That means there is no 3D box and no absolute clock. There are only shifts in energy (frequency) along a beam of light that always moves at c; everything in the way of position and velocity is measured against that metric: velocity of light and relative shifts in frequency (energy). That is what the universe uses for a clock and a ruler."

It may be only shifts in the energy of EM radiation that cosmologists observe,interpret and use to form their subjective reality of how the universe is constructed. This does not however mean that there is not a material object in unobservable objective reality , with definite volume (Discounting fluctuation due to temp and pressure) occupying a volume of quaternion space, where the object exists. This is the difference between the existential material universe and the interpretation of an EM image of it giving an alternative subjective reality. That subjective reality being dependent upon the observer (him-her-)itself rather than the independent reality of the object. Likewise there is no absolute clock for every observer but there is a now for each object which "experiences" its own individual passage of time.

The universe does not use clocks or rulers or GPS. That appears to be an anthropomorphism. The need to measure and classify is a facet of human curiosity not intrinsic to the universe as a whole. There are just continuous energy changes and the corresponding changes in quaternion spatial position of matter, particles and medium. That is all.

Jason, you said "They think that since time travel is impossible, which it is, then FTL must be impossible. I'm sorry, but the connection between time travel and FTL is a mantra that neither common sense nor logic can defend."

Here I agree. Due to the model I am using it is my opinion that it would not result in time travel but change in position to space that is unobservable.As you say the craft would disappear. We observe the universe using EM images. We do not observe the material universe directly. We can not see the matter afore and aft along the 4th dimension because it is not part of the EM image the we observe within 3D space.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 15, 2009 @ 21:59 GMT
When I look at the criticism of Krasinov tubes, for reasons of FTL = time travel, the description looks far too complicated then it should be. One way that con artists fool their victims is to explain the details in a way that makes it so hard to understand that 'faith' is required. The victim is made to feel dumb if they ask for clarification. If we’re going to truly prove that FTL leads to time machines, then let’s clearly define the problem, and in some ways, let’s make it so understandable, even dumb people like myself can understand it.

Let’s start with two planet, earth and Betelgeuse-3. Let’s say they are 600 light years away from each other. Let’s further say that they have a zero relative velocity. In the year 2200, Captain Buck Rogers has a rocket ship that will reach .99999c. Buck is going to lay down a one way Krasinov tube all the way to Betelgeuse-3. As soon as he reaches Betelgeuse-3, he is going to turn around and come back with the one way Krasinov tube leading back to earth. While Buck is traveling so fast, he only experiences one year to Betelgeuse-3, and one year back to earth. Now somehow, critics are trying to say that Captain Speedy Gonzales can use the Krasinov tube to reach Betelgeuse-3, and return to earth again, before the tubes are laid out.

By my understanding, the Krasinov tube to Betelgeuse-3 won’t be fully available until the year 2800 (2200+600years). Let’s say the trip in a Krasinov tube only takes a week. For the Krasinov tube from Betelgeuse-3 back to earth to be ready, the earth will have to wait until the year 3400 (2800 +600). Can anyone explain to me how Speedy Gonzales can use you this system as a time machine? It looks to me like the Captain Buck Rogers will return to earth in the year 3400 as a you man, and a fascinating relic from the past, a man who is 1230 years old, but doesn’t look a day over 29; he will write books and gives speeches. The Krasinov tubes will open on Jan 1, 3400. Captain Speedy Gonzales hops in his rocket, travel FTL to Betelgeuse-3 in a week. Spends two days dating strange alien girls from Betelgeuse-3, then returns to earth by Jan 28, 3400. Explain where the time travel comes in?

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 16, 2009 @ 02:27 GMT
If you have two Krasnikov tubes you can set up a time machine. If you build one while travelling out at relativstic velocities you may chose to then return to Earth that way. Yet if instead you build a second Krasnikov tube back to Earth you might arrive on earth say 100 years in the future, if the tubes are 50 light years in length. You can then return to the point where you started the second tube almost instantly at the time you started to make it, and them back to Earth right after you made the first tube. You have travelled back to Earth 100 years in time.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 16, 2009 @ 04:50 GMT
What do you mean by arriving 100 years in the future? I'm not clear on how you define the present or the future. I would understand better if you would use my example where I defined the two points (earth,Betelgeuse-3), and I defined the year the project started: 2200 AD. The length of the tube depends upon how much has been laid out. If the pilot stops, and returns through his Kras-tube, then it is as long as however many light years he travelled before he decided to go back to earth.

I'm starting to wonder if too little effort has been made to make general relativity agree with common sense. For example, the tube is only as long as the pilot spends travelling towards his destination times the speed of light; how can it be 50 lightyears long unless the pilot spent 50 years at .9999c. If you want to say that the tube just extends by itself, than why do we need the pilot?

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 16, 2009 @ 09:42 GMT

You said "The matter of hyperdrives and the like is interesting, not for any idea we can realistically build such things, but for understanding what these obstructions are telling us about the underlying structure of the universe."

I have already said what I think about the structure of the universe.

I would be very interested to know what -you- think this current conversation, about these Krasnikov tubes, is telling you about the underlying structure of the universe.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 16, 2009 @ 13:33 GMT
A Krasnikov tube is built by some spacecraft that travels at ordinary relativistic velocities. So if a K-tube is built out to 20 light years by a craft traveling at a gamma = 2, or about 86% the speed of light. From the perspective of the traveler the time it took is 10 years to get there and build the K-tube. The craft then travels back to Earth through the tube and arrives back as some time shortly after it left. So the observer (on the craft) has not exactly traveled back in time at least not on a closed timelike curve. However, let us suppose the craft builds a second K-tube back to Earth. Again it takes 5 years on the craft clock to do this and the second tube is built from the destination point back to Earth 20 years in the future of geo-oriented clocks. Now the observer decides to travel back to the destination point along the second tube, and arrives shortly after the construction of the second tube began. Now the observer takes the craft and travels along the first tube back to Earth. The observer arrives back to Earth not long after the first tube was built. Further this observer can report to people there what conditions are like on Earth 20 years in the future. The two K-tubes then set up a closed timelike curve that connect in two directions Earth at one time and at that time plus 20 years.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 16, 2009 @ 18:43 GMT
Let's convert this problem into observable reality.

Jan 1, 2200 AD newspaper announces that Captain Buck Rogers, a 30 y/o man, is going to lay down a Krasinov tube from his space-ship travelling at c=.866c, a distance 20 light years. By earth clocks, the 20 lightyears of tube-laying and trip should take 23 years and 3 months. Captain Buck is expected to turn around and arrive back at the earth some time in 2223 AD.

March, 2223 AD newspaper announces that scientists receive a message "in a bottle" from Captain Buck. The first tube is completed. He decided to lay a second tube. Incidently, the bottle contained a stop watch that recorded its time in the bottle through the Krasinov tube was 5 minutes. Wow!

Lawrence said: "From the perspective of the traveler the time it took is 10 years to get there and build the K-tube." Then Lawrence said: "Again it takes 5 years on the craft clock to do this and the second tube is built from the destination point back to Earth 20 years in the future of geo-oriented clocks." Shouldn't that be 10 years on the ship's clock both there and back? I assume that was a typo?

July, 2246 AD newspaper announces Captain Buck Rogers returns to earth. Scientists are pleased to notice that the man who was 30y/o when he left, is now 66 y/o, yet he only aged to 50 years; he looks great! Notice it's now 2246 AD.

Lawrence said: "Now the observer decides to travel back to the destination point along the second tube, and arrives shortly after the construction of the second tube began." This is impossible and/or the way that the time-machine effect is slipped in. Captain Buck left earth, a second time, after July 2246 AD. Presumably, it only took him 5 minutes to get back to the destination point.

Larwence said: "The observer arrives back to Earth not long after the first tube was built." That is also impossible/and or how time-travel is slipped in. The first tube was completed March 2223, the message in the bottle confirmed it.

Aug 2246 AD newspaper announces the Captain Buck Rogers arrives back from his second trip. Sadly, he was committed to a mental institution for describing delusions of time travel. Doctors are confident of his eventual recovery.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 16, 2009 @ 19:27 GMT
I don't have all the time in the world to argue this point. Yet the Krasnikov tube is built by a craft traveling at ordinary relativistic velocities. The solution is such that if the craft returns by the tube it returns shortly after it originally left. If instead a second tube is built, again by moving at ordinary relativistic velocities back to Earth, the craft will return in a time given by the elapsed time it took the craft to make the round trip. Then if the craft return through both tubes to Earth it will do so in a time not long after the original departure. The craft has traveled back in time.

I looked this up on Wikipedia, which is about 90% correct on things:

Here you will find essentially the same argument I just gave. I really think that faster than light ideas all suffer from this same problem: They all can be converted into time machines.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 16, 2009 @ 19:52 GMT
Dear Dr. Lawrence Crowell,

I can't think of a more important subject for a professor of General Relativity to be arguing about. There is a disjoint between the mathematics and common sense. Whoever said that Krasinov's tubes lead to time travel, they made a mistake; and everyone else just bought into it without thinking it through carefully. If you want to embrace this belief on faith, I will not bother you about it. But if we're truly trying to figure out how nature behaves, than this is important.

Quoted from the link: "A Krasnikov tube is a speculative mechanism for space travel involving the warping of spacetime into permanent superluminal tunnels. The resulting structure is analogous to a wormhole with the endpoints displaced in time as well as space. The idea was proposed by Serguei Krasnikov in 1995[1]"

The description of a Krasinov tube defines endpoints that are separated in Time and space. Time travel is built into the very definition of a Krasinov tube. That is not the same thing as: FTL can ALWAYS be used for time travel. I am trying to describibe a faster than light propulsion that DOES NOT violate causality and DOES NOT have time travel built into its definition.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 16, 2009 @ 21:07 GMT
The argument on the Wiki page, which parallels mine, was given by Everett and Roman, who are not given to making casual mistakes.

Back in the 80's I worked a problem with wormholes. I thought that maybe one could have multiply connected topology in spacetime, but if one tried to perform a succession of boosts to make it into a time machine that the solution would be unstable. I would approach a Cauchy horizon and become unstable. Sure enough that happens, but it turn out that even the smallest perturbation on a wormhole will induce a Rindler type of horizon, which no matter how far away (due to smallness of perturbation) this rendered the wormhole unstable.

The question boils down the cosmic censorship or chronology protection issue, which is connected to the question of energy conditions. There are obstructions to FTL ideas, which almost universally occur, that appears to suggest nature is such these things don't exist. What is of interest then is not whether FTL, warp drives or wormholes can be made, but the underlying reasons why nature might fundamentally present obstructions to them.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 16, 2009 @ 21:08 GMT
I would like to concede a minor point to Lawrence. Krasinov tubes do contain within their defintion the ability to connect two points in both space and time. If the tubes can connect any two points in time and space, then it is a time-machine and an FTL machine by definition. The Alcubierre drive simply uses too much energy, some of which is negative energy.

My argument is this: FTL (faster than light) propulsion can fit into relativity and quantum mechanics without (1) violating causality and (2) without making time travel possible. Obviously, I don't have direct evidence of FTL. However, there is a very simple explanation for dark matter that also supports the idea of a second space-time with a higher speed of light.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 17, 2009 @ 00:52 GMT
The physics community has demonstrated that it can put create FTL models with time travel built into them. But can they build an FTL model with causality built into it? There are thousands of incredibly brillian minds that are unwilling to consider such an idea: FTL + causality. I think it's not an intelligence issue. I think instead, there are two obstacles: first, there is no paradigm for FTL propulsion; second, physicists fear to comtemplate such an idea because the physics community will turn against them and black ball them.

At least if we had a causality restricted FTL propulsion theory, we could try to see if it can predict dark energy and dark matter. Let me give you a hint.

Step 1: take the equations for relativity and classical mechanics, and photocopy them.

Step 2: Everywhere c shows up, change it to c'.

Step 3: Explore the relationships between the two space-times by looking at ratios for E=hf, E=mc2, c^2 = 1/permittivity & permeability. You get the idea.

Step 4: require energy conservation and causality.

What you really want to do is to try to figure out what events might be translating energy from a c'-space-time to our space-time. Obviously in our space-time, energy cannot translate faster than c. Is it possible that OMG particles might have a c'-space-time origin?

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 17, 2009 @ 01:42 GMT
Ideas about wormholes and warp drives were a pretty hot topic from the late 80's to the late 90s. Kip Thorne spent a lot of time on them. In fact Kip Thorne suggested using the Casimir as a way to generate wormholes, and similar ideas have been advanced as way to set up warp drives and other configurations. The results have been that obstructions exist, and for wormholes these include pathological energy conditions on the Boulware vacuum near horizons or junctions.

It is likely more productive to ask the question why the global causality principles are isomporhic to local ones, which I think has connections to the complementarity between S-matrix configurations involving horizons. In particular this might connect to black hole complementarity.

Unfortuntely I think that trying to get an FTL drive is a bit like trying to build a perpetual motion machine.

Cheers LC

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 17, 2009 @ 02:28 GMT
Jason ,

You said "I would like to concede a minor point to Lawrence. Krasinov tubes do contain within their defintion the ability to connect two points in both space and time. If the tubes can connect any two points in time and space, then it is a time-machine and an FTL machine by definition."

And therefore it is an utterly ridiculous idea. Though perhaps it does highlight the absurdity of space-time as a model of reality and is therefore not entirely without useful function.

A man could not tell what the earth is like 20 years in the future if there is no material existential future, just more space.I thought of saying lots more about how experienced time and gravity is one way only and coming back would be going against the flow Even more energetically demanding! etc. But there is no point really.

If there is no material time only space, which is far more sensible, there can be no reverse causality anyway Jason. Only observed effects without obvious local causes which could be incorrectly identified as reverse causality.I think this is relevant to quantum physics.

You have said yourself that "there is no back up of the present configuration of space". So there is no existential past. There can also be no future using this logic because the present would then be the past relative to that future, so the present couldn't exist. There is no existential material future or past realms, there can be no time machines and there are no paradoxes. So these objections and problems of causality are not even worth bothering about. The paradoxes and causality issues are a product of the space-time model not existential reality.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 17, 2009 @ 02:54 GMT
Creating wormholes requires curving space. Curving space requires impossibly rediculous amounts of energy. I think I read somewhere that an Alcubierre drive could operate using the mass-energy content of Jupiter. Not that we need Jupiter for anything, but it's just not going work that way. Folding space and curving space is the wrong way to go. Where does that leave FTL...

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 17, 2009 @ 04:19 GMT

I was just thinking about your quaternion model. Through the power of imagination, I pictured a flow of water running from a faucet, just a minimal flow, not a torrent or anything. Somewhere between the faucet and the sink was the particle. The flow of water represented 4th dimensional space as it passes through the particle at the speed of light; as it flows in quaternion 4D space. The image makes me want to think about comparing water volume somehow to gravity fields, but it's still a bunch of puzzle pieces right now. Maybe the mass of the particle represents a surface area, and the ct (speed of light * time) makes it a 3D volume (of water, for now). Water in - water out = water content of particle (sorry about the excess use of symbols). I'm just playing with puzzle pieces right now. If the volume of water flowing through the particle represents 'space', or maybe it represents curvature of space Einstein equation stuff. If the flow of water is faster, the particle has to get rid of water faster. I'm not sure what that means; it makes me think that FTL can lead to peculiar gravitational effects. Just for fun, what if we take the area of a Schwarzchild sphere and multiply it by (ct) to represent a gravitional volume of symbolic water flow. If the velocity of light increases to c', then the... I need to play with this some more, but I think it supports my earlier assertion that the gravitational constant G is subject to the equation G'/G = (c'/c)^2.

As for existence, probably 99% (99.9%?) of the Big Bang's energy is contained in the present. Causality requires h-bar action to move that quantum information to the next particle. You can't get in a time machine and return to the past and change it. You can't travel to the future to get the lottery numbers. But there might be enough energy in the past and future to account for some of the strange experiences some people have reported. So why does all of this energy stay in the present? Increasing entropy probably enforces causality. It is really shocking and objectionable to the laws of physics if a grenade explodes and then reassembles. That is statistically impossible. But a Nostradamus might be able to wiggle around thermodynamics, shock and amaze some poeple, but not disturb entropy/causality in any measureable way.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 17, 2009 @ 13:48 GMT
Your c and c' I take to be the speed of light, or different speeds of light. The speed of light is a conversion factor. It converts one unit of measurement, time as measured by a clock, and converts it to another, lengths as measured by rods. If you numerically adjust the speed of light to a different value you find that quantities which depend on the speed of light adjust as well, and in a way which masks any direct measurement of the speed of light.

The energy required to generate a warp drive or wormhole is what is required to dig a well in the quantum vacuum. This well has at the bottom a negative energy. Yet the problem is that the quantum vacuum is a bit like water in that it seeks its level. So the vacuum fills in the hole, but in doing so it results in more positive energy than what is required to fill the hole. It is similar to thermodynamics and the first law, where there is a TdS term in addition to the work you perform. This is the quantum interest problem as advanced by Roman. It is another obstruction result. The universe appears set so that global causal principles are identical to local ones. This is a curious thing, for general relativity does permit solutions with closed timelike curves. The Godel universe was one of the early examples. Yet these types of solutions have an energy condition which appears pathological. They generally violate the averaged weak energy condition T^{00} >= 0, and these solutions have negative energy T^{00} < 0.

Quantum mechanics appears to be playing a role here. A quantum field theory is presumably the source of spacetime curvatures for these solutions. The negative energy condition means the field theory has eigenvalues not bounded below. This results in some serious pathologies, where in particular the quantum field will result in a divergent amount of energy from a bottomless potential pit. The quantum interest problem appears to fix this by filling in any negative energy in the quantum vacuum.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 17, 2009 @ 19:51 GMT
I've been trying to avoid using negative energy because I didn't think there was any proof of its existence. Dark energy is used to explain why the universe appears to be accelerating. I'm not completely sold on the accelerating universe idea. I understand that the further away stars and galaxies are, the more they are red shifted, which means the faster they are moving away. After a few more steps of explanation, cosmologists say "negative pressure" and then say that dark energy makes the universe expand, it acts like a gravitational repulsion. If their interpretation is correct, that sounds an awful lot like negative energy. I need to connect the dots better before I can solve the puzzle.

Right now, I'm developing a nagging feeling that there should be a 'lever' or a 'force' that let's you change the relationship between physics constants. Such a lever or force still has to conserve energy and causality. Causality, I think, can be thermodynamically enforced such that inconsequencial violations might be able to sneak by if they only look improbable. Conservation laws I think are more exacting, like accountants that spend two hours trying to find the penny they miscounted. If such a force exists, it might be possible to generate gravitational forces with jut a nuclear reactor by fiddling with c (permittivity/permeability), h (units of action), and G (acceleration caused by a gravity flux).

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 17, 2009 @ 20:38 GMT
I can think of at least three ways that changes in the speed of light would be noticeable.

1. I don't expect protons and electrons to remain stable.

2. Electric and magnetic field strenghs will vary in both magnitude and possibly in ratio.

3. E=hf, c = lamda*f. If c changes, then either the relationship between photon energy and frequency changes, or p=h/lamda, the momentum from each photon, will change.

4. I expect gravitational constant to change G'=G(c'/c)^2.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 17, 2009 @ 23:32 GMT
The basis elements of the G_2 are Skyrmionic and composed of fermions as (I will try the TeX here, but my experience with the editor here has been none so good)




and for the $A_\mu~=~U\partial_\mu U^{-1}$ the gauge terms are




The Skyrmion model was meant to describe mesons of a form like this. These elements are defined on a 7-sphere according to a tangent 2-plane on $C^5$, and these elements satisfy AdS/CFT for and $S^5~\sim~\partial AdS_5$. These elements can be compared to mesons in a way.

I deriving the BI from the exceptional algebra. I will try to post something on that before long.

Cheers LC

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 17, 2009 @ 23:34 GMT
I guess I don't know how to do tex here. The HTML approach usually involves [tex]y = f(x)[\tex], but that does not seem to work either.


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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 17, 2009 @ 23:43 GMT
I will try the [equation} approach

The basis elements of the G_2 are Skyrmionic and composed of fermions as (I will try the TeX here, but my experience with the editor here has been none so good)

and for the
the gauge terms are

The Skyrmion model was meant to describe mesons of a form like this. These elements are defined on a 7-sphere according to a tangent 2-plane on $C^5$, and these elements satisfy AdS/CFT for and
. These elements can be compared to mesons in a way.

I am deriving the BI from the exceptional algebra. I will try to post something on that before long.

Cheers LC

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 18, 2009 @ 01:24 GMT

After getting posts on the wrong page, and everything :-(, I now comment on this. The idea of warp drives or FTL drives and the like may in time be relegated to the status of perpetual motion machines. I know there is an admonishment to never say impossible, but there are some things which are frankly pretty darn close to impossible. We can't violate certain conservation principles, and those conservation principles can be tied in with other limitations. This happens with the conservation of energy: It is cast into thermodynamics. The result is perpetual motion machines are not possible. With general relativity and other physics it is highly likely that faster than light travel will end up in the same cul de sac.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 18, 2009 @ 03:14 GMT

Are you reading anything that I've written? I've already said that my FTL propulsion idea REQUIRES conservation of energy; I can't figure out the relationships between two space-times without it. By defnition, it is NOT a perpetual motion machine. Furthermore, I am obeying conservation laws.

If am also requiring that my FTL propulsion idea, it must obey causality. I had assumed that causality ends up as a consequence of thermodynamics. If you think that a causality violation might be unavoidable, I will look more closely at boundary conditions.

Here are two fair critisism for you to hurl at my FTL propulsion theory. First, I am tampering with the constants c, h, and G, trying to change them when nobody knows how this could be possible. Second, my ideas are vague and have not been explained carefully in mathematical format. Since you don't read my posts, I'll just leave it at that.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 18, 2009 @ 09:54 GMT
"The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it." Terry Pratchett

"We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats." Howard Aiken

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 18, 2009 @ 12:48 GMT
Jason. I did read what you wrote. I was just indicating how nature appears to be such that certain things are highly implausible. The universe (multiverse?) is such that anything not impossible is manditory. If the universe is infinite, then in some ways this is likely the case. So everything which has some probability for existing or occurring must do so somewhere. So if nothing is impossible then the universe is Charlie Parker's "anything goes." Yet one point of physics is to find what set of variables, states, degrees of freedom and so forth are permitted and which are not. I tend to think that faster than light schemes, or putative physics they are based upon, fit into an excluded categorty.

Cheers LC

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Nov. 18, 2009 @ 13:05 GMT
Hi all ,

Is it possible to check the gravity ?

Is it possible to have a perpetual motion?

let's imagine a system without gravity and an impulsion thus the time will make the rest with a kind of multiplication in the serie of the time .

The impulsion thus is multiplicated but is it realistic to check that....

It is the same logic about the hyperpropulsion ,the forces must be proportionaly balanced with a second system of field ,shield for exemple ,

there the gravity is always our first problem to check .

What is the cause of the gravity ?,the rotation I think is relevant .The universal system uses the rotation everywhere ,many new applications can be extrapolated in this logic in 3D .The check of the gravity is the secret of all and if the rotations are a key thus ,how can we create this spherical fields in a real closed system with a real toplogy and thermodynaical laws .The rotations imply the attraction ,forces ,energy ....The forces ,the gravity can be check with the check of the rotations ,rotating spheres .

In all case in all propulsions ,a balance must be inserted for the intrinsic pression .If not ,our biological system don't resist to these accelerations and velocities .The synchronizations must be very well coordonated .

An other important point of a space ship is the biological ecosystem inside .The composting and the culture of plants are essential to live in the space in these far places .

Like said Lawrence ,a space ship is lethal and is more lethal more it goes far in space and long in time .The shield synchronized ,the propulsion ,the resistance ,the ecosystem ,the energy (electric)system ,the psychology (it is essential too thus the number must be important for a better interactions between this kid of future voyage in our universe ,)If the protection is optimized ,that becomes interesting if the essentials are considered .

We are still youngs at the universal scale ,babies thus of course our technology is still young .How check the gravity ,....perhaps it is just a question of rotation and spherical fields.

In all case it is fascinating our future discoveries ,so many secrets are around us .We have a real problem about the velocity and the engeniering of our space ship ,8 months to go to Mars,it is long ,but we evolve fortunaly .

Best Regards


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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 18, 2009 @ 19:50 GMT
Dear Lawrence,

There are laws of physics and there are laws of life experience. A “law of life experience” is something that a person who is being honest with themselves observes to be true, whether they like it or not. Have you ever believed something just because you wanted it to be true? If what you believed wasn’t true, the “law of life experience” would show you the...

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Anonymous wrote on Nov. 18, 2009 @ 20:49 GMT

I would rather not speculate on faster than light branes because there is no evidence for them and it does not help explain the foundational questions, in my opinion. It is a speculation based on the assumption that faster than light travel is already possible and therefore the universe must have a structure that permits it to occur.

I have not said said that I think it is not possible but I think the way that this may occur is by an "accounting evasion" of the law of constant speed of light within a quaternion structure. I think the report of the signature of anti matter in lightning is interesting in this context. That is because one explanation of antimatter has been that it is just electrons moving backwards in time. If the 4th dimension is spatio-energetic rather than time itself, this would mean that electrons are moving aftwards,(i.e. backwards), along that 4th spatio-energetic dimension. We can not give time taken for this occurrence because we can not directly measure along the 4th dimension and can not know start and end of change in position. It is only possible to know that the phenomenon intersected with visible space.

I have hypothesised that the observed phenomenon of ball lightening may be a charge passing along the 4th spatio-energetic dimension intersecting visible 3D space. Unlike faster than light travel there is observational evidence of such phenomena, which can be explained using a 4th spatio-energetic dimension. This shows that travel along such a dimension is possible independent of the continuous universal flow of matter. So It could be possible to have atemporal travel not FTL direcly through 3d space.

Unless there is physical evidence of the structure you propose or discovery of the exotic material you have described or the craft can somehow be developed despite contradictory and prohibitive physics then it is a dead end.

The pertinent questions then are: How can evidence be found? How can the materials necessary be discovered or manufactured? How can a craft with components not recognised and even prohibited by current laws of physics be incorporated into a craft within a space obeying known laws of physics?

Albert Einstein said "...One might suppose that there were any number of possible systems of theoretical physics all equally well justified: and this opinion is no doubt correct, theoretically. But the development of physics has shown that at any given moment, out of all conceivable constructions, a single one has always proved itself superior to all the rest."

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 18, 2009 @ 21:33 GMT
And that last anonymous was me.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 18, 2009 @ 21:50 GMT
There are two types of perpetual motion machines. The first kind violate the first law of thermodynamics, which is energy conservation. Various free energy schemes ultimately do this. The second kind violates the second law of thermodynamics, which does not violate energy conservation, but says that a closed system can exhibit the reversal of entropy increase. An FTL device would permit you to get information from the interior of a black hole and bring it to the exterior. This would reduce the entropy of the black hole and violate the second law of thermodynamics. In that sense an FTL device or physics would overthrow the second law of thermodynamics.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 18, 2009 @ 22:13 GMT
Dear Georgina,

Proving that FTL is a real phenomena is a challenge, but I think I can suggest some telltale signs.

First, one of the characteristics of an FTL photon is that its electromagnetic field has to be scaled down such that c^2 = 1/permittivity*permeability. If an FTL photon goes by, if we can detect them at all, then we need to figure out how to determine what strength of permittivity and permeability it’s using. For reasons of incompatible word processors, let me define e = permittivity and u = permeability, just for the moment.

Second, does an FTL photon still obey E = hf; does action still come in units of h-bar? I really have to assume that it’s the same. Occam’s razor demands that I leave h-bar alone unless I have a reason to change it. For this reason, if a photoelectric semiconductor detects an FTL photon, than that photon has to have the same frequency as would a normal photon.

Third, for optics, 1/f = 1/lamda_1 + 1/lamda_2. Let me, for the moment, define L=lamda, forgive my word processor issue. I’m not really sure if glass can still work as an optical material for an FTL photon. But if we could detect an FTL photon, we could figure out its wavelength. Since c = L*f , and c^2 = 1/eu, we can combine those to get L^2f^2ue = 1. I’ll clean that up so it’s more understandable.

Fourth, what do we do about spin? When a photon is detected, it transmits a spin = 1. If the photon’s Planck constant is not h-bar, we won’t be to detect them at all, unless it’s an integer multiple of h-bar.

I heard about an astronomy experiment in which astronomers aimed their telescope at a dark region of the sky. They let it absorb photons for several days. When they were done, that dark region of the sky still had stars and galaxies in it. Has anyone tried that with dark matter? That would be a useful start. Would it mean that dark those dark spots in the sky are just pockets of FTL galaxies? No. But it would give us some way of interfacing with FTL photons. From then, we should be able to measure them in different ways to see if we can determine the permeability, permittivity, wavelength and frequency.

Dear Lawrence,

Black hole entropy is built on PV=nRT, the ideal gas law. I can lower the entropy of a balloon by sucking the air out. If I can use an FTL spaceship to slip inside of a black hole and steal some of its matter, than I guess it’s not the closed system we thought it was. A black hole is only a closed system because we don’t have anything that is faster than light to cross the event horizon and come back. That is an FTL technology. FTL technology can convert the closed black hole system into an open system. What an FTL spaceship cannot do is reverse time and make a grenade that just exploded, suddenly reassemble. That is impossible even for FTL.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 18, 2009 @ 23:48 GMT
That the observed and experienced 3D space of the universe is a closed system is an assumption. If there is space that is not observable and is not experienced "on either side" along another dimension then there can be input in to the observed and experienced space of non local and unaccounted origin. This is important for quantum physics and free energy ideas, in my opinion.

There is, in my opinion, continuous input of energy as universal potential energy is lost enabling the self construction and organisation of the universe via the effects of gravity together with the other fundamental forces and processes of chaos and complexity. (At higher levels of organisation processes such as diffusion along concentration gradients,osmosis, chemical controls and pathways, genetic coding and environmental selection become relevant.)

Without energetic input the laws of thermodynamics would tend to work against such development. Argument that there are areas of low entropy in the universe that are balanced by areas of high entropy, accounting for the high level of organisation and increasing complexity observed in some areas is, in my opinion, not supported by observation of the universe. Which actually appears to be rather homogeneous.

It is the assumption that there is no universal energy input that prevents the serious consideration of such ideas. Is there more matter in the universe now than at its origin? Is there greater angular momentum now? Where has the mass energy and angular momentum come from? I would say from change in position along the 4th spatio-energetic dimension, because every change in position is an energy change.

This energy is being input to the universe. If it can be harnessed by nature to produce the continuous development and increase in complexity of the known universe, it might hypothetically be harnessed to do other useful work.I am therefore not convinced that all free energy proposals as necessarily impossible.If there is an unaccounted energy input it would not actually be a perpetual motion machine as such and would not violate the law of energy conservation. Extra energy out put would merely come from energy that was not accounted for by conventional physics.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 19, 2009 @ 00:23 GMT
Black hole entropy was derived by physical arguments by Bekenstein, and then confirmed by Hawking in his examination of how the associated heat of a black hole was due to quantum radiation. The statistical foundations was arrived at by Strominger and Vafa according to the scattering of strings off of D7-branes. So the business is considerably beyond a pV = NkT argument.

A closed system is one which has not outside input of energy, or where all the energy and heat is contained within it. For a black hole this is a bit hard to define, but a black hole in isolation works. For quantum information purposes the BTZ black hole in the AdS spacetime permits an examination of in and out states without the black hole hitting the boundary of the confining space (time). EVen a black hole interacting with a system, say absorbing mass in an accretion disk, is an adiabatic problem which obeys the BH laws of thermodynamics.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 19, 2009 @ 05:42 GMT
I'm having trouble seeing what is so fundamentlly impossible about removing some black hole material using FTL methods. It comes down to calculating escape velocities. If you're using FTL propulsion, you might be able to generate a c'-space field that extends into the black hole; this might seem a bit like science fiction, I'll try to clean up my explanation.

But there is no magic about black holes. FTL propulsion relies on the existence of a space-time with a velocity of light, c'. In such a space, the gravitational constant of the universe becomes G' = G (c'/c)^2. The acceleration of gravity is greater, but, to conserve energy, the mass in a c' space is less by a factor of m' = m(c/c')^2. It is certainly possible to accelreate the mass you want to retrieve above the velocity of light, which is the event horizon threshhold. In theory, this is possible. What is so magical about black holes that makes thermodynamics bullet proof?

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Nov. 19, 2009 @ 10:02 GMT
Dear Jason ,

With your perseverance ,sure you shall find and shall improve your ideas .

It is a beautiful work of research because it is our future evidently .I am always surprised by your creativity and your real desire to find in fact .It is the most important thus don't stop dear Jason ,never .

About the conservation ,I don't know personaly God but I suppose what our universal laws are in the ubiquity and respect thus the invariances in the whole point of vue .

Viva el gravity .......the mass is the secret .



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Steve Dufourny wrote on Nov. 19, 2009 @ 10:17 GMT
The topology seems to me essential .I beleive our actual datas are falses ,not all but if all turns around the universal center ,and if the volume of the universal sphere is specific .Thus all our perception is different with these rotations .Of course the relativity says us what the system in the instant we are in a kind of stable topology but for the evolution ,all must be re-considered .Without that our topology and datas are falses .

Thus what is our actual place in this sphere ,because in the line time we change our place .In fact if all turns all takes all places in the time due to the muliples rotations of cosmological spheres .I think that the fractal with the center of our universe is 1 3 5 7 ......thus we can calculate the main structure in the main spheres with their volumes more important .The groups of spheres and the rules of centers are so important to encircle the real dynamic thus the real topology .We arrive after with this serie in the planets and moons ......The primes numbers are relevant about the physicality .Personaly between the center and the galaxies ,I don't know how many steps exists before this universal center .The first division is probably 1/3/5 but what are the steps ....



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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 19, 2009 @ 13:50 GMT
When it comes to this FTL idea you might at least get a grade of E for effort. Nothing in science is about proving things. We never prove theories, but only support them with accumulated observational evidence, or falisfy them where they fail outside of some domain of observation. A bad theory has a small domain, and a good theory has a large domain. Classical mechanics is a good theory, for it has a wide domain, but fails for atomic and near light speeds or large gravity. So there is nothing in physics which says we can prove that FTL is impossible. We can though say that it is highly implausible, just as it is highly unlikely somebody working up an invention in their garage will come up with a perpetual motion machine. For that matter there is nothing in physics which says Cthulhu will not be called up from his aqueous lair to unleash chaos onto the world. Yet physics does strongly suggest this is exceedingly unlikely.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 19, 2009 @ 17:44 GMT
Dear Professor Crowell,

It was fair-minded of you to debate the issue of FTL with me; I appreciate that. I've learned a lot about the nature of the three interpretations that defend against FTL (time machines, perpetual motion and BH entropy violations). I believe there is value and benefit to discrediting these interpretations in their existence to block FTL. Without these three interpretations, FTL moves from Impossible to Unknown. That is no small victory. That is the difference between what is ignored as a waste of time, and what is considered interesting by physicists.

As for reducing the entropy of a black hole with FTL, certainly, if it were possible to reach such a high speed, the mathematics suggests that it's possible to snatch back a few hundred grams of black hole material. The fact that it lowers the entropy by a tiny amount is irrrelevant because entropy is a statistical description; but there are always fluctuations and individual events and exceptions to this rule. There will always be the possibility of an entropy lowering event. For this reason, black hole entropy cannot block FTL from existing.

In the end, I think it comes down to individual philosophy. You and others are trying to explain everything that has been observed within one framework. I'm trying to push the limits on what can ultimately occur in physics. It may not be obvious, but Physics has a profound effect upon the psychology and motivation of everyone. To alot of people, physics = reality; the problem is that people have experiences that fall outside of the range of what physics says is possible. But physics really doesn't limit what is possible; phyics meassures what is consistently measureable. That is a HUGE difference.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 19, 2009 @ 19:34 GMT
I do have to say that FTL tends to run counter to what physics appears to be telling us. I will also have to say that I have limited interest in the subject. Back in the mid 1990s I looked into this some after the Alcubierre warp drive was advanced. However, in time it became apparent that nature presents obstructions against these things. At first it did seem that if these things were...

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 20, 2009 @ 03:26 GMT
I think that wormholes are the wrong way to approach FTL. We're never going to be able to gain access to that much energy, nor will we be able to get a hold of black holes, singularities and what not. The reason the Alcubierre drive isn't going to work is because it runs contrary to nature.

Nature will allow one way, and one way only for FTL propulsion to be advanced. If you believe that two universes, two space-times, c and c', can occupy the same place at the same time with minimal coupling between them, you can advance FTL propulsion. But this comes down largely to personal experience and philosophy. Sure there are people who are self deluded; in fact, it's probably an evolutionary advantage to ignore the harsh natural environment we find ourselves in. I got stuck between two philosophies: I am both very honest/logical in my approach, but also, I recognise that the universe can manifest in subtle ways; ways that tend to go unnoticed by skeptics. I simply observed what works, and followed that. Those without vision will tend to die out, the universe seems to ignore them. But those who have vision seem to get special treatment, encouragement and clues. I made it very clear that I was pursuing a hyperdrive because I believe that advanced technology will serve humanity, it will help the economy, jobs, and further our evolutionary growth. You can call that a "weak grasp on reality"; in truth, it feels more like environmental favoritism for those who push the limits. Of course, "environmental favoratism" are just a translation into "science-speak". The human race won't perish; the cynics and skeptics might. Cynics and skeptics are just not very useful evolutionary tools; even evolutionary forces have to be prudent in their use of available resources, who they can help and who doesn't want help/or doesn't want to help.

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Nov. 20, 2009 @ 12:56 GMT
An axiom is an axiom and some evidences don't need proofs ,we feel them simply .

When the confusion appears ,thus probably what the axiom needs improvement .

It is the same in a line of reasonning ,even there we see if some confusions are in fact .But fortunaly the synchronization exists .....there the EPR and Copenhagen or reals and imaginaries or....are evidently in the question of optimization if the confusion doesn't exist of course .

What is a lost of time thus ,personally speaking ....



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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 20, 2009 @ 21:05 GMT
Reliance upon on a statistical mechanism (increasing of entropy) to prevent FTL, will surely watch their belief heaped upon the scrap pile of history. It is a mistake to assume absolute power from a statistical mechansism. The history of science will eventually record that as the biggest blunder that science has every made, when FTL is revealed to be true.

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Ray Munroe wrote on Nov. 20, 2009 @ 21:30 GMT
Dear Jason,

I understand Lawrence's argument about lowering the entropy of the Black Hole, but what if it is countered by an increase in entropy outside of the BH? We don't yet know the characteristics of an FTL spaceship. We must examine the entire system if we are going to make arguments based on the Second Law of Thermodynnamics. You don't care if you affect the entropy of your surroundings as long as you can accomplish FTL travel (and don't dump an 'infinite' amount of entropy on the rest of the Universe).

The seemingly more fundamental problem is based on the so-called "arrow of time". If increasing entropy defines the arrow of time, then this may cause fundamental problems. You need to understand how an FTL craft will affect entropy, and vice versa.

Have Fun!

Ray Munroe

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 21, 2009 @ 01:10 GMT
Dear Ray,

OK, here's the plan to snatch some mass-energy from inside the event horizon of a black hole. Hypothetically, there exists a second space-time that exists in the same space as ours. The speed of light for this c'-space is c'=100c. Normally, black holes don't typically leak material into this hyperspace. I have a hand held gadget. It is designed to withstand the gravitational forces up to the event horizon. At the event horizon, the extreme forces will engage the device and allow a few kilograms of mass-energy to escape into the c'-space. The device will of course be destroyed milliseconds later. I have an FTL starship waiting for the ejected material; It will be scooped up and returned to earth for observation.

By the way, how do you intend to measure the drop in entropy causes by my gadget?

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 21, 2009 @ 01:25 GMT
The wormhole connecting up the outside world with the interior of a black hole would reduce the area of the black hole. The same holds for FTL schemes. Entropy is by the Bekenstein-Hawking result related to the event horizon area of a black hole A = 4piM^2 with mass M by

S = kA/(4L_p^2),

where L_p = sqrt{G hbar/c^3} or the Planck length, k = Boltzman constant. So we can think of the entropy of a black hole as the number of units of Planck area on the event horizon. The reduction in the area of the event horizon means that entropy is reduced, but if presented to the outside world without encryption then the second law of thermodynamics is violated. For instance one might imagine rescuing an astronaut who fell throught the BH.

Now this presents some other funny things, for you might rescue the astronaut, bring him back and you might be able to have him see himself time dilated and redshifted above the black hole horizon. This then leads to another "no-go" theorem in physics that you can't clone quantum states. Yet a traversible wormholes or FTL physics would permit you to do that.

The bugger of this is that we have not proven the cosmic censorship hypothesis, or the related chronology protection hypothesis. I think to prove these, at least in the context of theory, it will require an effective theory of quantum gravity. Yet frankly I think with what we know now the conclusion is pretty tight, and getting tighter as time goes by, that spacetime is arranged so global and local causality structures are the same --- modulo conformal or scaling factors. This means that FTL physics and the like are simply not likely permitted.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 21, 2009 @ 03:30 GMT
Lawrence said: "Yet frankly I think with what we know now the conclusion is pretty tight, and getting tighter as time goes by, that spacetime is arranged so global and local causality structures are the same --- modulo conformal or scaling factors. This means that FTL physics and the like are simply not likely permitted.


What is getting tight and tighter is your ability to ignore what I'm saying.

First: My approach to FTL has nothing to do with wormholes. Wormholes cost too much energy. I'm not using wormholes. FTL does not need wormholes.

Second: My approach to FTL relies upon and requires the discovery of a SECOND SPACE TIME with c' > c. We haven't found one yet; that is the only thing that buttresses your argument that FTL is impossible.

The astronaut that fell into the black hole is gone, forever. The best I can do with FTL is bring back some black and molten material, unless of course he was converted into gamma rays at the event horizon. Falling into the black hole = quantum states are destroyed forever/unrecoverable/gone forever/cannot be cloned.

In reality, black holes are a red herring to this whole argument. FTL technology can only exist if a second space-time is discovered, with a speed of light c' > c. From this, we have to figure out how to interface with it. Not being able to find it makes it unlikely; black hole entropy is irrelevent, a red herring, a misdirect. Reminder: FTL does not require wormholes or time machines.

Ray said: "You don't care if you affect the entropy of your surroundings as long as you can accomplish FTL travel (and don't dump an 'infinite' amount of entropy on the rest of the Universe)."

I don't know what an infinite amount of entropy is, other than black hole stuff. Black holes are too heavy to move around anyway; I'm not worried about that. Reminder: My FTL theory does not using wormholes. My FTL theory does not fold space or curve space.

Defining time as the increase in entropy seems presumptuous; the speed of light seems to regulate the rate at which everything happens. If we stumbled upon a new technology that could miraculously lower the entropy of a system, it wouldn't be a time machine. It would be strange and peculiar; but it wouldn't be a time machine or an FTL machine.

Reminder: MY FTL THEORY DOES NOT USE CURVED SPACE OR WORMHOLES. My FTL theory relies upon the discovery of a second space-time with a c' > c. Interfacing with it is required. Second space-time has to be found. Where do we look? We don't need to look for a wormhole because we're not using wormholes. Where would we find a second space-time?

Since my version of FTL doesn't use wormholes, then black hole entropy is irrelavent. I'm sorry to be rude but I keep hearing arguments that I thought were settled. I don't understand what returns us to wormholes.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 21, 2009 @ 13:27 GMT
A second spacetime might be compared to Riemann sheets that connect at branch cuts. So you connect between them by traversing a branch cut or orbiting a pole. Again this does involve some structure of spacetime that is not likely purely Minkowskian. The MWI mavens have proposed a similar idea involving jumps between multiple worlds or what might be called quantum drafts of the universe. So your idea requires even more exotic considerations, which still have some problems. I will not go into these in detail for now.

Rescuing an astronaut who falls into a BH does require catching her before she reaches the singularity. You will in principle have some time before reaching the inner singularity. The linked website has some ray traced images of what an observer falling into a black hole will optically observe. As you approach the singularity tidal forces grow and will rip you apart, but for a large enough a black hole you can survive for a little while.

Cheers LC

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 21, 2009 @ 13:31 GMT
The linked page is contained here:

inside a BH

I made an error above. Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 22, 2009 @ 07:12 GMT
Dear Lawrence,

The Riemann sheets is closer to the idea. The problem with it is that we're not connecting two identical but separated space-times, instead, we're trying to create an interface between two space-times that occupy the same space, but their speeds of light are different, c' > c. Thus, whatever is wrong with Riemann sheets is irrelavent.

The pictures of the black hole were fun.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 22, 2009 @ 19:35 GMT
If you have point x and y separated by a spacelike diestance, it matters none really how one got x --> y, whether it is FTL, wormhole or any other proposed mechanism, you still have a time ordering ambiguity or some causality problem.

Cheers LC

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Georgina Parry wrote on Nov. 22, 2009 @ 21:04 GMT
Lawrence just in reference to your last post. I think you are assuming that X and Y are spatially separated on one plane". There is no time or causality problem if Y exists upon a plane that is separate from that occupied by x. It may appear that you have arrived back before you can have reached your original destination Y but that is because you have not travelled directly across 3d space to Y but have taken a short cut to another destination parallel to Y but on another plane, lets call it Yb.

You can not ever arrive back before you left x only afterwards because the plane on which x exists will have progressed along the 4th dimension and you can only intercept it by arriving back where spatially (and "when" it "appears" to) exist now.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 22, 2009 @ 21:26 GMT
Allow me to describe a test that can be performed in exotic situations. Imagine that it is possible to play a favorite song from an MPEG file (or some other media) and transmit it from c-spacetime to c'-spacetime. There happens to be a transceiver device in c'-spacetime that will record the song, and then play it back/transmit it back to c-spacwtime. I assume that whatever is transmitted back, will sound terrible, the information content will probably be ruined. However, this test can be used to check for causality.

We can run the same test between an ordinary rocket ship that is heading towards the moon, and an FTL spaceship that is also heading towards the moon, but is propelling itself with thrust converted into c'-spacetime; one assumes that the spaceship exists in c-spacetime, but has a c/c' interface bubble around it. The effect of the c/c' bubble is to give the thrust into c' space something to push off of.

The two spaceships will start off at some fraction of the speed of light, at the same speed. They will transmit back and forth a sequence of different songs (song1, song2, song3 ...). The FTL spaceship will only accelerate between songs. I assume that as the FTL space-ship crosses the speed of light barrier, that communication will be lost.

It is the sublight speed rocket ship that has all of the CD's. The FTL spaceship therefore cannot play a song before it receives it. If it does, it will violate causality.

Can you describe a circumstance in which the FTL spaceship will transmit a song before it receives it, thus violating causality?

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 23, 2009 @ 06:02 GMT
A second spacetime with a speed of light faster than c, c' > c, is sort of like a short cut. I think of it more as an FTL freeway. The planets exist in our standard space-time. If you want to think of it as jumping into hyperspace, that's probably just fine. I just don't understand how you arrive somewhere before you leave. That only occurs when time travel is built into the FTL propulsion. The way I'm describing it, causality is never violated because. The tricky parts to this FTL propulsion have to do with 1) finding this c' space-time (hyperspace if you prefer); 2) creating a field or bubble around your spaceship that transfers energy/thrust from the spaceship engines to the bubble; the thrust is projected into c' space where it is equal and opposite to the bubble. Acceleration and velocity are significantly faster this way.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 23, 2009 @ 13:54 GMT
The short cut is the matter. A wormhole is a short cut, by attaching a multiple connected topological handle, a warp drive which does much the same in momentum space, or your idea of two spacetimes. Suppose we link these two spacetimes together at different points, so a traveler exit our spacetime and travel into this other one at some point x, and then re-enters our spacetime as the point y. The presumed trick here is that the other spacetime has a higher speed of light. Well let us think as a topologist might. The points x and y are really regions so they are two dimensional spheres which are the “gates” between our spacetime and this other one. So both spacetimes have three dimensional spaces of the form M = R^3 – 2{S^3}, which is a three dimensional space with two three dimensional balls removed. The boundaries of these 3-balls which have been surgically removed then identify points between these two spacetime sheets. So far we have done nothing in particular to change the model. Now suppose with this auxiliary spacetime I replace it (this is a bit of a change) with a smaller patch with locally identical properties. After all in this FTL scheme we presume our intrepid space traveler is not going to wander far but take a short path between these two opening in order to return to our spacetime. Now take that patch and sew up the side of it so it is topologically equivalent to a 3-dimensional tube that is sewed on to the 2-boundary openings. Guess what?! This is a wormhole.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 23, 2009 @ 16:49 GMT
In a way, the passing lane of a freeway is kind of a wormhole too. It is a lane that that the law allows us to travel faster on. This "wormhole" that you describe is still un-like the FTL/time machine wormholes that we've been discussing. Your attempt to sneek in time travel has been EXPOSED!!!!

Please try again..

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 23, 2009 @ 16:59 GMT
If you don't have a car and have to walk everywhere, the subway is sort of like a "wormhole". But it doesn't violate causality.

I really want to hear a sound and irrefutable argument that FTL and causality violations are one and the same. So far, everything I've heard sounds more like a "neuro-association", like Pavlovian-dog training. Instead of ringing the bell everytime the dog drools, the physics community trains physicists to think of 'time travel' every time 'FTL' is discussed.

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Ray Munroe wrote on Nov. 23, 2009 @ 17:21 GMT
Dear Jason,

Peter and I have had a similar discussion about Planck's constant. Peter also took up the question with Emile and Florin. I think the expectation is that constants such as h and c must be global. If there is a hyperspace brane with different values of h' and c' it cannot be connected to our Spacetime in any regular way, or the two (Spacetime and the Hyperspace brane) may permanently merge - not necessarily a good thing. How can we connect these two different types of spaces? Are they separated by an impassable membrane or by a Black Hole singularity? There must be a serious "stopper" to plug up such a wormhole! The dashed line in the middle of the road won't be sufficient to keep the two spaces apart. I would still suggest that any attempt at FTL travel must be a quantum, not classical, phenomenon - we do not want these two spaces to be permanently connected.

I understand your arguments against time travel. The fact that space and time are inter-woven makes it difficult to separate FTL travel from time travel. I do understand that you are interested in FTL travel, and don't mind excluding the 'time travel feature' from your spacecraft.

Have Fun!

Ray Munroe

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 23, 2009 @ 17:49 GMT
The speed of light is a conversion factor. That is all it really is. While we might imagine some other spacetime where this conversion is different, even if one pops into that other spacetime with c' > c, and then pop back from the perspective of observers here a causal path exists which carries information faster than light. If one contact point is subjected to a series of boosts at large velocity in our spacetime and then boosted back at high velocity to the starting point the spatial separation is transformed into a temporal one.

It appears that there must exist some general proof which illustrates how this is the case for all processes which expose singularities to the open world (naked singularities) or which result in FTL physics, multiple connections and so forth. In all these cases there are obstructions which appear to exist, and I suspect there is some general proof of a theorem along these lines.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 24, 2009 @ 01:10 GMT
By using the music broadcast example in the other response, whatever hyperdrive spaceships might receive that signal and attempt to broadcast it back, there will never be a causality violation. The FTL spaceship will never receive the song over the airwaves BEFORE it is broadcasted. It does not matter how much faster than the speed of light this spaceship travels. If anything, signal detection will be impossible as the FTL spaceship crosses the speed of light limit.

There are no naked singularites necessary in my FTL model. One of the justifiable weaknesses with my idea is the lack of evidence.

But what if I'm right? What if FTL propulsion under causal and conserved conditions was made possible because a second space-time with a higher speed of light was detected? You might argue that it sounds very science fiction-like or sounds like fantasy. Beyond that, what is awkward or uncomfortable about the possibility?

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 24, 2009 @ 01:32 GMT
Jason, The problem is that you are not really thinking relativistically. You might want to read up some on relativity. This is turning into another argument I have seen, and been a part of, with people who have various ideas that are wrong.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 24, 2009 @ 03:21 GMT

When I said "a second space-time", it was meant to suggest that, whatever mechanism is occuring in our space-time, is also occuring in the second space-time, but with a higher speed of light. It is my opinion that information and causality are transmitted at the speed of light; but for c', its a faster speed of light, c'.

If an FTL spaceship jumps to c', travels at 50c for 24hours, then drops back to regular space-time, it might look as if information content (the spaceship), traveled superluminally. If this really occured, then the mathematics that treats superluminal travel as temporal travel, that mathematics would not be applicable, it couldn't be used to describe two separate space-times.

It's not that I've delved too deeply into relativity and made an error; the problem is that the mathematics you are using cannot be applied to this particular problem.

I just don't think there is anything magical about space-time. For every and any event that occurs, it's effect can only propagate as fast as the speed of light. For FTL travel, the same rule applies using that space-time's speed of light. I don't know what I can say that will convince you that space-time is not about time machines. Space-time is about how fast the effects of some event can transmit. The Pentium 5 is faster than the Pentium 2, but that is not a time machine either.

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Roy Johnstone wrote on Nov. 24, 2009 @ 05:27 GMT
Hi All,

LHC news!!

Just in case any of you are not aware, the first (candidate) collisions have been detected at the CMS experiment! The first occurring around 8.00 pm local (Geneva) time last night (23/11).

Possibly the best place for a running commentary on events there, including images directly from CMS monitors, is this site:-

The fun begins!!!


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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 24, 2009 @ 05:34 GMT
Very exciting! I hope we find lots of interesting new particles.

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Nov. 24, 2009 @ 11:41 GMT
Hi all ,

Here is the news of the LHC .Yes Jason ,a lot of new particles ,bizarres ,imaginaires with a lot of decoherences ,invariances and derivation in a incredible referential ......where all laws disappear .HUM HUM .well well well or perhas it is just a division of mass ,with coherences with the rotating spheres ,thus let's divide a elementary particles and let's go to this yltim energy...

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 24, 2009 @ 18:47 GMT
Dear Steve,

It sounds like their getting the LHC calibrated and ready for the high energy collisions, the very purpose it was built for. We are all hoping that experimental results will give our "imaginaires" something new and useful to work with.

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paul valletta wrote on Nov. 25, 2009 @ 01:37 GMT
the full report?

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paul valletta wrote on Nov. 25, 2009 @ 01:49 GMT
If the theoretical pathway is correct, then all well and good, but the important point is if it is incorrect?

The LHC is the end-game of years of experiment and theory collaborations, but if there is a deviation from theory, some unseen aspect of unknowable process, then there will have to be a trade_off?

I speculate no nearby (local) structure to be damaged beyond the standard model, tomorrow will still follow today as night will follow day.

As a side bet though, the LHC may determine that the Universe is collider shaped rather than doughnut shaped !

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 25, 2009 @ 03:06 GMT
I agree, no worries about blackholes or planetary destruction.

Any idea how soon it might take them to figure out if any new particles have shown up?

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Roy Johnstone wrote on Nov. 25, 2009 @ 05:35 GMT
They are planning to increase ampage enough for beam energy of 1.2 Tev (per beam) before Xmas so potentially, there is a chance for new particles/physics then, as this is going beyond Tevatron energy scales. The actual signature proof of new particles could of course take months or years, depending on the calibration & performance of the detectors. There could even be a Higgs produced before Xmas but we may not know for some time.

Could the (ridiculous) catastrophic "future" causal event which prompted this article happen before Xmas? If so, what would happen if a Higgs is produced in a cascade process where it is created by an initial state of, say, a pair of Z's. Presumably, the "future" censoring "backward in time" effect would not be triggered until the Higgs is actually created, in the meantime the ZZ resonance has been well and truly detected, particularly with the aid of time dilation relative to the detector rest frame (>2?). Would that mean we could have recorded evidence of particles that never existed?

I think the whole black hole destruction scenario has been well and truly debunked too!


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Roy Johnstone wrote on Nov. 25, 2009 @ 05:44 GMT
.......And would those recorded ZZ tracks/resonances disappear before our very eyes??

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Peter van Gaalen wrote on Nov. 25, 2009 @ 06:47 GMT
Hi Paul,

Nice full report. But how can I trust scientists when they use incorrect statements.

For magnetic monopoles: magnetic charge doesn't exist.

In the Maxwell equations:

Dirac rewrote this into

in which \rho_m is magnetic charge. But if you analyse it, then you will see that \rho_m has dimension electromagnetic flux. Why didn't they notice this?

And for example the Schwarzshild equation, which can describe a stationary blackhole. The equation is not relativistic. It uses the newtonian factor
while the relativistic factor is

Why didn't they notice this?

Ok, I don't think that the conditions the LHC will create will be harmfull. But why assume that Hawkings radiation exists whitout proove (so that mini blackholes can evaporate) and search for proove for the Higgs particle?

Cheers, Peter

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Nov. 25, 2009 @ 09:36 GMT
Hi all ,

Hi Jason ,the future will tell us ,I wait too for the results ,it seems what the LHC is ready .The super magnets are ok ,8 and let's go for the collision .

Here is the link for all press news .

Best Regards


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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 25, 2009 @ 10:01 GMT

Any chance that a Higgs particle can tunnel back from the future as a bread munching bird? I didn't think so either. I just thought I'd ask.


Thanks for the link. I wait patiently for results.

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Nov. 25, 2009 @ 10:39 GMT
You are welcome Jason ,

In reading this thread and discussions about the LHC system and the follomers of business systems .I hope that the errors ,human errors are very strongly considered with an extreme consciousness.The real scientists know what is the energy ,this ultim energy but not the others "followers if I can say" .

All is there in fact .We can't play as we want with the ROTATIONS .The collision is not the best solution ,of course the fusion is more logic in an universal point of vue of evolution .

The resistance of the LHC system is human and thus must be inserted in the architecture .

At this step of experiments ,the team which check the LHC must be universalist and rational .WE DO NOT KNOW WHERE WE GO THUS PLEASE THE TEAM ,check this system with a real consciouss .

If the rotation is an universal key (with the spheres for me) ,thus let's admit that the rotation and spherical system is a complete and correlated science ,

we are youngs ,the human species is a baby ,our intelligence and our technology is still so weak ...Don't fire the steps ,simply .

If the rotations are put into variables ,orbitals and spinanls more the rotating system of collision of the LHC ,thus we have a superimposing of rotations and fields ,thus the thermodynamical laws and the rotations can change ,if I am correct ,this rotation of spheres implies the mass ,thus if the superimposing of rotations implies an unique system ,thus perhaps......thus let's be prudent ,simply and sincerely .

Kinds Regards


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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Nov. 26, 2009 @ 13:21 GMT

The term (1 - 2GM?rc^2) is the Schwarzschild metric term. The Schwarzschild metric is a solution to the Einstein field equation for a spherically symmetric static source of spacetime curvature. This is the elementary nonrotating black hole. There are metric terms with higher order factors in r_0 = GM?rc^2, usually denoted (r_0/r)^n, for D-brane metrics.


I really doubt that Higgs particles travel backwards in time. There is nothing about the Higgs field known theoretically which suggests this. The idea that the Higgs might have some backwards time effect was advanced by Nielsen and Ninomiya. It is not clear to me how serious this suggestion was. There is little reason to suspect that temporally backwards fields from a future where the LHC produced the Higgs would arrange for birds to drop bread crumbs to delay the LHC.

Cheers LC

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Nov. 26, 2009 @ 15:20 GMT
A Black Hole turns thus it has mass .Furthermore this system is a sphere .They have a rule ,this big mass and this weak rotation,for me of course,balance the galaxies and their rotations around the center of our Universe .

The rotation of the BH is an evidence if we correlate with the mass and the rotating universal link between physical quantum and cosmological spheres .

This gravitational singularity has evolved on the line time .Thus if the mass increase thus we must class these BH on this line time constant .With an evolution and rule by gravity .Above a value of mass ,the system is relatively different about the electromagneism ,in this case and logic or line of reasoning of course ,the BH balances and diffuses light .This point of vue implies an evolutive relative perception .

If we take the main theories about the BH ,Reissner-Nordström , Schwarzschild ,Kerr......all is a question of perception in correlation with the evolution ,the gravity ,and the mass .The moment ,cinetic for me is weak ,correlated with the gauge max min between quantum entangled spheres and the universal sphere.The universal spheres ,finished at the unification doesn't turn thus of course in this gauge, we can perceive the rotations correlated with the mass of these BH .The electric charge and its polarity is interesting about the sense of rotations.The electrmagnetism ,this light in this big gravity is not fixed in an evolutive correlation where the gravity and the mass polarizes to create the complexification .I consider the electric charges due to this big gravity where the sense is different thus like not probable because the rule is not to polarize but re diffuse light on the line time .

I think what the volume is correlated too .

Best Regards


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Jason Wolfe wrote on Nov. 26, 2009 @ 19:33 GMT
Dear Lawrence,

You do understand I was joking about the Higgs birds, right? :-)

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Dec. 25, 2009 @ 04:41 GMT
Dear cheap ugg,

First, show some back bone and tell us your name.

Second, people who complain about taxpayers who complain about taxes, probably don't pay taxes. Either that, or someone else pays you way. Excess goes towards retirement or to stimulate the economy. It's important to stimulate the economy because that's how people get jobs.

Third, tell Al Gore he can stop global warming,...if he holds his breath...forever!

God Bless and Merry Xmas

Jason Wolfe

Republican and redneck

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Ray Munroe wrote on Dec. 26, 2009 @ 02:39 GMT
Dear Jason and Cheap Ugg,

Ordinarily, I would say that a political conversation doesn't belong here, but this might be relevant.

I was studying Particle Physics in graduate school when Congress decided to stop building the Superconducting Super-Collider. I sent letters to my congressmen and the President to finance the then 10 billion dollar project (only ten billion? they spend that today on special interests just to get 60 senate votes!), and actually received a response letter typed on linen from President Clinton's office. I had ulterior motives - I wanted to work in Texas (Florida is my home, but I like Texas also - Hook 'EM Horns!). We know the history - Congress killed it. I was disappointed, and explained particle physics to my wife into the middle of the night. At 1 am, I thought she actually understood all of particle physics, but she forgot it by morning.

As a businessman, I am a fiscal conservative. Our business pays enough in taxes to provide several jobs or support several welfare families. I prefer to hold onto that money than give it away as taxes, but some projects literally could be good for all of society. Basic research provides new jobs and new technologies that could be beneficial for most of society. And we never know what new thing we will learn. When Einstein proposed a quantum solution to the photoelectric effect in 1905, he didn't know it would birth studies of quantum mechanics and solid state physics that would eventually lead to modern computers. Without Einstein, I wouldn't have this opportunity to waste time on the internet on Christmas night!

Jason - You are welcome to join us rednecks in north Florida anytime!

Have Fun!


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Jason Wolfe wrote on Dec. 26, 2009 @ 04:32 GMT
Dear Ray,

While I consider myself a moderate Republican, I want to believe that liberals, deep down, want freedom and opportunity for the masses around the world. They don't see it, but I believe that the occasional war/overseas conflict that the US engages in usually results in the destruction of a dictator, and the freeing of an oppressed people. I do not believe in torture. It was right to destroy Saddam's regime. It was also right to court marshal the soldiers who abused prisoners at Guantanamo Bay; they damaged our reputation.

I was once a soldier in the US Army. By the grace of God, I never experienced combat. I have enormous respect for our combat veterans. There is something sacred about young men and women who boldly defy death so that freedom can be sustained and achieved. I know for a fact that liberal intellectuals cannot understand that some things are worth dying for. The terrorists are the evil and corrupt expression of selfless sacrifice. Our American heroes and soldiers are the reason that freedom can be sustained.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Dec. 26, 2009 @ 14:12 GMT
The trajectory of systems is governed by extremal principles, and in thermodynamics systems tend to eqilibrium at some extremal or maximal rate. We humans are amazingly good at consuming our environment and maximizing the entropy of this planet. The rate at which we do this is much faster than the natural homeostasis conditions of open thermodynamics of the planet. So as time goes on our activities have increasingly approximated a closed thermodynamics system. Capitalism is the optimal system for converting things into garbage as fast as possible and approachiing maximal entropy at some extremum. As a result we are sort of planetary locusts on two legs eating everything up --- until it runs out.

Cheers LC

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James putnam wrote on Dec. 26, 2009 @ 15:37 GMT
Dr. Crowell,

What, in your opinion, is the optimal system for taking the best care of the planet?

For others looking in, Dr. Crowell's regular insertion of deep political bias, I would say distortion, into these forums calls, in my opinion, for some balance. As a participant in these science forums, I do not want to appear, by neglect, to accept his analysis. I think these political jabs are off topic. However, in response, my opinion is that the market system, including limited capitalism, in the United States is the best system for reaching the level of sophistication necessary to take care of this planet. We need a system where its functionaries are free to think and implement solutions without the misdirection and waste that occurs due to interferrence of theoretically caused political struggle and almost certain control by untalented others.


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Ray Munroe wrote on Dec. 26, 2009 @ 16:11 GMT
Dear Friends,

This conversation only makes sense with this thread in the context of funding basic research such as Supercolliders (the proposed International Linear Collider, ILC, still isn't built).

I agree with Lawrence that America isn't perfect (although its still pretty good - there are reasons I choose to live here). Perhaps Capitalism does a good job of converting resources into junk - we just need to learn how to recycle junk better. "Cap and Trade" might make manufacturing more expensive, more green, and so far I have seen (for example with General Electric's new heat pump water heater) energy-efficient products being manufactured in America rather than in China.

I agree with Jason that some things (FREEDOM) are worth fighting for. Democracy represents a minority of the world's population and a minority of the world's history. Although we are offended by dictators, many people don't understand the degree of responsibility that democracy requires.

I agree with James that the scientific community could propose solutions to these world-wide Global Warming/ Thermodynamics/ Resources problems, but I would prefer not to see such deep-seated political biases.

Have Fun!


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Jason Wolfe wrote on Dec. 27, 2009 @ 00:37 GMT
I suspect that this forum became an outlet for political discussion because the holidays lead to family gatherings; family gatherings lead to discussion about politics; which leads to arguing, which annoys wives, girlfriends, etc., who scold us for arguing. Thus, we have to find another outlet.

I read an article that bio engineers are cracking the DNA code for bacteria; eventually, they want to engineer organisms that eat plastics and convert them into something useful. This could ease the resource depletion problem that Lawrence has vigorously pointed out.

I do believe that entropy/thermodynamics is promulgating a philosophy that is based in error. The philosophy is that everything dies, everything breaks, and everything turns to disorder, eventually. Nature itself contradicts this philosophy. In nature, there are processes where nutrients from the ground are moved, organism to organism, up the chain to more complex lifeforms. When an organism dies, those nutrients are returned to the earth. The sun shines, the clouds rain, and the process continues eternally. The cosmological observation that stars burn out is irrelevant to this cycle because our sun will last millions of years. Yes we should take care of the earth and use our resources wisely; we should shut off lights and plant trees. We should be good stewards of the earth. But let's not overtax the economy with anti-CO2 legislation. Why? Because the next time a volcano belches out vast amounts of CO2 and other debris, our efforts become irrelevant.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Dec. 27, 2009 @ 14:18 GMT
@ Putnam: The problem is ultimately due to this terminator species called Homo sapiens. There is one way to insure the ongoing mass extinction this species (Homo sapiens) is engineering up is stopped. That solution would be to derive a virus or some pathogen which exterminates the human race utterly. Of course as a matter of policy that option is not possible, and as a matter of bio-tech it is...

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James Putnam wrote on Dec. 27, 2009 @ 17:39 GMT
Dear Dr. Crowell,

Reading your message, I am finally seeing some connection between this method of political analysis and what may have occurred in the development of theoretical physics.


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Jason Wolfe wrote on Dec. 27, 2009 @ 20:25 GMT
Dear Lawrence,

You said,"There is one way to insure the ongoing mass extinction this species (Homo sapiens) is engineering up is stopped. That solution would be to derive a virus or some pathogen which exterminates the human race utterly." This is why evolution does not favor genius. When too much knowledge and intelligence is accumulated, then human beings become numbers, useless biomass. The worship of nature follows logically from the persuasive mathematical nature of physics. It is humanity and the God that they worship that become the enemy. A German named Albert Schweitzer once said, "reverence for life". Don't turn a cold heart to your fellow humans.

As for the political system, nobody in America is being dragged off and put it prison, tortured or put into death camps. If you believe that this is being done, then attack the enemy with derision; evil should be mocked and brought to justice, via due process.

There is debate over health care. That means that we're debating about how to pay for something that helps people. That's a good thing.

If we haven't set any new global records for CO2, then I wouldn't even worry about it. To be honest, I would think that energy output levels from the sun would raise temperatures more readily than a green house gas.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Dec. 27, 2009 @ 22:34 GMT
I suppose I don't see the connection between what I wrote with regards to politcs and the situation with modern physics.

Of course I don't really advocate the extermination of our species. Yet, we might be building for that anyway, and we may set up a mass extinction as well. I am only saying that if Homo sapiens disappeared tomorrow then with the epecies of life that exist the Earth would heal over in about 500 years, and in a couple of million years the species diversity we have so far destroyed will be restored by evolution. The sad fact is that in the next 50-100 years we are likely to do far more devistation of the biosphere than in all of our previous history.

Totalitarianism is assuming a different form today than in the 20th century. Of course in the US of A we are not going to have Hitler’s or Stalin’s, or Gestapo and Einsatzgruppen bastards clicking their heels and murdering millions in plain sight. That is too crude. What is shaping up is far more subtle, and IMO it has been taking shape bit by bit since the Nixon administration --- the first President I have any childhood memories of.

Totalitarianism is being brought on by popular decree in many ways, and people are largely too blind to see it. It is also being contracted out or "privatized," where in this country we have strange ideas about freedom as equated with private power. A huge growth industry is with database management of people's records, finances, work history, and what people write or say. With RFID and other tracking technologies your every movement will end up logged into a data base --- where you go, who you meet, what you say and ... . In the age shaping up pressure applied on a person to conform is more electronic or digital, and the nonconformists may find themselves not exiled to Siberia or a labor camp, but to homelessness if no other charges can be pressed, or maybe they end up cycling through the prison industrial complex. You might take stock of how many measures are being used to control us already, such as things like credit ratings. If you lose your job and your credit score goes into the tank it suddenly becomes really hard to get out --- it is a far stronger determinant of your future than it was just 10 years ago. There are other factors as well, and notice how many aspects of life are being restricted or criminalized --- usually as misdemeanors, but it is still a problem if you get charged. Data and information are valuable as tools to manipulate people, and in the "privatized" setting it is a way to make money. Largely people will not recognize this, and we will proceed virtually unimpeded in putting on our collective yokes. Big Brother likes what he sees!

Cheers LC

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Oh my God! LHC workers must be fired! We all gonna die :(((

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Alan wrote on Dec. 1, 2011 @ 08:55 GMT
I still think having LHC constructed we made a huge step forward. I'm a big fan of the collider, I think it's an indispensible tool today! Studying antimatter will probably result in fascinating discoveries!

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Lynett wrote on Dec. 21, 2011 @ 11:00 GMT
I don't think it's possible to travel through time using LHC. I guess if there is any success in exceeding the speed of light we will just have to reconsider the conception of the future and the past.

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Georgina replied on Dec. 21, 2011 @ 12:36 GMT

Needs doing whether the speed of light is exceeded or not to overcome various paradoxes, answer foundational questions and allow QM and Einsteinian relativity to co exist. Breaking of the speed of light would just be another reason to add to the list and evidence in favour of the explanatory framework set out in the attached diagram, rather than status quo.

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Georgina replied on Dec. 21, 2011 @ 12:42 GMT

Sorry for spelling your name wrong.

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