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CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Hanny's Voorwerp, and Other Year-End Goodies [refresh]

Blogger William Orem wrote on Dec. 30, 2011 @ 17:13 GMT

The new year is upon us: first step—according to the Gregorian calendar, anyway—of our next long loop around the sun. Time to look back over some of the most interesting Foundational stories from the previous trip.

Here, in no order, are five which caught my eye. Feel free to add your own.

Number one:

If the LHC has finally produced a Higgs boson, will a Higgs singlet be seen jumping backward in time?

“One of the major goals of the collider is to find the elusive Higgs boson: the particle that physicists invoke to explain why particles like protons, neutrons and electrons have mass. If the collider succeeds in producing the Higgs boson, some scientists predict that it will create a second particle, called the Higgs singlet, at the same time.

“According to Weiler and Ho's theory, these singlets should have the ability to jump into an extra, fifth dimension where they can move either forward or backward in time and reappear in the future or past.

"One of the attractive things about this approach to time travel is that it avoids all the big paradoxes," Weiler said. "Because time travel is limited to these special particles, it is not possible for a man to travel back in time and murder one of his parents before he himself is born, for example. However, if scientists could control the production of Higgs singlets, they might be able to send messages to the past or future."

Pet Peeve: Writing popular science, one becomes rapidly fatigued by seeing the grandfather paradox used to explain the logical problems with retrograde temporal motion. Not only is it a big yawn, there are several more interesting paradoxes out there. One, nicely touched on by FQXi member Brian Greene in his book “The Fabric of the Cosmos,” (recently televised, btw, and including interviews with Max) is a time-traveler’s evident ability to generate information ex nihilo.

In cartoonish form, imagine jumping forward in time, looking up a few articles in Physical Review that have your name in the byline, jumping back with copies of the articles, transcribing, and submitting them. Where did the information contained in the articles—information about how nature actually works—come from? No logical laws have been broken in this scenario: you wrote the articles; you read over your work; you just did these two things in reverse order. But, somehow, objective knowledge has been created here without any “access point.”

Given the importance of information itself to contemporary, physics-based ontologies, this kind of “information paradox” may be much more apposite than one more dead grandfather.

Two:

“’The key message of my paper is that dark matter may not exist and that phenomena attributed to dark matter may be explained by the gravitational polarization of the quantum vacuum,’ Hajdukovic told PhysOrg.com. ‘The future experiments and observations will reveal if my results are only (surprising) numerical coincidences or an embryo of a new scientific revolution.’

“Like his previous study about a cyclic universe successively dominated by matter and antimatter, Hajdukovic’s paper on a dark matter alternative is also an attempt to understand cosmological phenomena without assuming the existence of unknown forms of matter and energy, or of unknown mechanisms for inflation and matter-antimatter asymmetry. In the case of the fast rotational curves of galaxies, he explains that there are currently two schools of understanding the phenomenon.

“’The first school invokes the existence of dark matter, while the second school invokes modification of our law of gravity,’ he said. ‘I suggest a third way, without introducing dark matter and without modification of the law of gravity.’”

Readers of this blog know I am something of a dark matter skeptic myself—and a string skeptic, actually—though I wouldn’t go so far as to bet against either (skeptic, not denier). Still, we’ve talked before here about how dark matter is an absolutely ginormous revision to the very idea of what the cosmos is made of, based, largely, on what could equally well be a mistake over gravitation. “Dark” is certainly one way to explain rotational speeds, and gravitational lensing, but there are others—others that, as odd as they may be, don’t require us to assume that some 96% percent of the universe has never even been glimpsed.

That said, if there is any place on the web where “ginormous revisions” of our basic scientific views will find a rational audience, it’s FQXi.

Speaking of which . . .

“It is a concept that forms a cornerstone of our understanding of the universe and the concept of time – nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.

“But now it seems that researchers working in one of the world's largest physics laboratories, under a mountain in central Italy, have recorded particles travelling at a speed that is supposedly forbidden by Einstein's theory of special relativity.

“Scientists at the Gran Sasso facility will unveil evidence on Friday that raises the troubling possibility of a way to send information back in time, blurring the line between past and present and wreaking havoc with the fundamental principle of cause and effect.”

My money says ‘no’ on this one. The apparent violation—sixty billionths of a second—is still within the possibility of experimental error. Of course, if anything is going to be seen doing paradigm-splitting weirdness, it’s a neutrino. Could neutrinos briefly hop into another dimension, shortening their overall trip while not exceeding the local speed limit? Could they temporarily convert into tachyons . . . some kind of superluminal neutrino decay?

Four.

Are universal constants actually constant? And, are they universal?

“A cherished principle in science - the constancy of physics - may not be true, according to the research carried out at the University of New South Wales, Swinburne University of Technology and the University of Cambridge.

“The study found that one of the four fundamental forces, electromagnetism - measured by the so-called fine-structure constant and denoted by the symbol alpha - seems to vary across the Universe.”

One thing that is constant is the questioning of constancy, and it remains, for me at least, universally intriguing.

Number Five is not technically Foundational, but should be of interest to anyone invested in our ongoing quest to become a space-faring species—as well as the ambiguous feelings that come along with commercialization of that impulse:

“Spurred by a \$30 million purse put up by Google, 29 teams have signed up for a competition to become the first private venture to land on the Moon. Most of them are unlikely to overcome the financial and technical challenges to meet the contest deadline of December 2015, but several teams think they have a good shot to win — and to take an early lead in a race to take commercial advantage of our celestial neighbor.”

On that note, just after the turn of last new year, NASA released some images that led to my favorite science news headline of the year: “Hubble Telescope Zeroes in on Green Blob in Space.” (Contenders include “Giant Space Blob Glows From Within” and the ever-popular “Is there a ring of debris around Uranus?”) The green blob story also gave rise to my currently favorite single line:

“The Hubble Space Telescope got its first peek at a mysterious giant green blob in outer space and found that it’s strangely alive.”

A living, galaxy-sized green blob named “Hanny’s Voorwerp”? The late Douglas Adams would have been proud.

this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

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T H Ray wrote on Dec. 30, 2011 @ 17:41 GMT
You've done it again, William. I predict another rich discussion to follow.

I especially appreciate:

"In cartoonish form, imagine jumping forward in time, looking up a few articles in Physical Review that have your name in the byline, jumping back with copies of the articles, transcribing, and submitting them. Where did the information contained in the articles -- information about how nature actually works -- come from? No logical laws have been broken in this scenario: you wrote the articles; you read over your work; you just did these two things in reverse order. But, somehow, objective knowledge has been created here without any 'access point.'"

Actually, no physical laws have been broken in this scenario, either. While I observe that most like to focus on (and ridicule) Godel's work on closed timelike curves (CTCs), the idea of a positive feedback loop that you express here differs from a CTC in that time has no specific causal partition; i.e., the order of events is continuous and not associated with an assignable first cause (analogous to microphone-amplifier feedback). Not even the writer of these articles need be aware of a "jump" -- a discontinuous move in spacetime. Thus we avoid the metaphysical implications of time as a well ordered sequence of events.

Tom

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James Putnam replied on Dec. 30, 2011 @ 18:13 GMT
Tom,

Actually, no physical laws have been broken in this scenario..."

I presume that this remark was meant to say that no theoretical laws have been broken.

James

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James Putnam replied on Dec. 30, 2011 @ 18:47 GMT
Willian Orem,

Your education, skill, and writing ability is not in question. However, you chose right from the beginning to not respond to my messages. So, no offense intended, but, since I think that I may have something to contribute, I choose now to correspond with willing participants. Tom's active participation here, while not in accordance with my view, is, without question, the most valuable contribution to blog conversations. Thank you for posting your blog entry.

James putnam

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T H Ray replied on Dec. 30, 2011 @ 19:03 GMT
So James, what physical law(s) do you think has been broken here?

(and thanks for the kind words!) :-)

Tom

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oliver wrote on Dec. 31, 2011 @ 03:29 GMT
Hi william

This query is unrelated to this latest blog of yours. I saw something you wrote about broccoli coming from kale. I have not read anything to that effect before or since. Is there more science to this? Thanx and sorry for being off thread. Oliver My email address is olliesunshine28@yahoo.com

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James Putnam replied on Dec. 31, 2011 @ 15:03 GMT
Tom,

"...This violates every principle of science and objective knowledge that I know. Believers in every church, mosque and temple know what the cause of everything that exists is. They are convinced they didn't invent it. Scientists who do invent causes to explain observed effects in nature are not convinced that objective knowledge is acquired by belief. ..."

Let us be clear that we are talking about theoretical physics. Cause and effect are limited to motion of objects. It is believed by theorists that electric charge is the cause of eletromagnetic effects. That belief is not supported by direct knowledge. It is a guess about two inexplicable quantities that show up in Coulomb's equation. It was guessed that those quantities are representative of cause. That guess is not supported by direct knowledge.

"[Snip. I can't parse this paragraph at all.]"

"You wrote: "A question: Is electric charge the cause of electromagnetic effects?"

Electric and magnetic effects are dual, so their reciprocal causality is well known and demonstrated. Your question makes no sense in a physics context."

This is evasion. The question is direct and clear. It makes perfect sense to acknowledge that there are effects and to expect that there is a cause for those effects. If theoretical physics puts electric charge forward as the reason for the existence of electromagnetic effects, then, theoretical physics has adopted the guess about the existence of electric charge as the cause. Electric charge is an inferred property. It is not inferred from direct empirical evidence. It is inferred from lack of knowledge. Theoretical physics is the practice of filling in guesses, educated as they may be, to serve in the place of the unknown. That filling in process is what allows theory to continue to develop in the face of the unknown.

James

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T H Ray replied on Dec. 31, 2011 @ 15:21 GMT
"Electric charge is an inferred property. It is not inferred from direct empirical evidence."

Yes it is. The same symmetry that applies to the classical laws of motion is demonstrated in electrical effects.

Tom

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T H Ray replied on Dec. 31, 2011 @ 15:24 GMT
Oliver is right. It all reduces to the ultimate question: what came first, the broccoli or the kale?

Tom

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Dec. 31, 2011 @ 03:41 GMT
Dear William Orem,

I'm not sure what you were referring to in your remarks about San Grasso raising "the troubling possibility of a way to send information backwards in time," but that is not a correct interpretation of the OPERA results. There is nothing about superluminal neutrinos (with finite velocity) that supports sending information "backwards in time." One may of course send information by neutrino faster than light, but that is no different in principle than the case in which information sent via undersea cable will arrive before information sent by sailing ship.

In no case does information arrive before the event being signaled occurs. That would truly be 'backwards in time,' and it cannot occur, nor is it implied by the OPERA results.

Regards,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Paul Reed replied on Dec. 31, 2011 @ 09:18 GMT
Edwin

Correct. The confusion arises here because of the conflation of reality and that which we see (literally). The latter being a representation of reality based on the ability of photons to gather and convey to us what we can then turn into an image. So, if entities exist that have a faster frequency of change (eg velocity) than photons, or indeed are constituted in such a way that photons cannot gather an image, then we do not see that.

Put the other way around. There is no reason whatsoever to assume that our sensory capabilities, and the medium we rely on (eg photons)function perfectly in respect of their acquired evolutionary role. There may be lots of 'stuff' out there that travels faster than photons or just does not interact with them. To attribute detection of any such 'stuff' to time is nonsense.

Paul

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Pentcho Valev replied on Dec. 31, 2011 @ 14:40 GMT
Note that the essence of Einstein's 1905 light postulate is "independent of the state of motion of the emitting body":

http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/specrel/www/

"...ligh
t is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body."

This independence is the direct precursor of time dilation, length contraction and all other miracles and should never be discussed - it is the heart of the money-spinner. In contrast, "Nothing can move faster than the speed of light" is a corollary the discussion of which is relatively harmless - it is not easy to see how its violation could topple Divine Albert's Divine Theory. Adding the troubling-possibility-of-a-way-to-send-information-backwards
-in-time red herring makes the discussion absolutely harmless.

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

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Paul Reed replied on Jan. 1, 2012 @ 09:18 GMT
Pentcho

The speed with which light starts is always the same because it is the result of the same atomic interaction, the speed of that which it interacted with being irrelevant to this. The speed with which it then continues depends on circumstances. In SR there is no gravity, and like anything else, light will continue at its initial speed unless acted upon by a force. In GR there is a force, ie gravity. Light behaves differently. And Einstein said so.

The hypothesis of length contraction has nothing whatsoever to do with this 'independence'. It was because light was expected to take different times to travel one way, as opposed to the other, wrt earth movement. Apparently, it did not. Therefore, it was assumed that that there must be a compensatory alteration to dimension in the line of motion. Lorentz 1892: "that the line joining two points of a solid body doesn't conserve its length, when it is once in motion parallel to the direction of motion of Earth, and afterwards it is brought normal to it".

Paul

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Karl Coryat wrote on Jan. 1, 2012 @ 00:52 GMT
Very thought-provoking, especially #1. Regarding the paradox, it would be impossible to bring information from a future journal to the present, as doing so would violate the 2nd law. Your future self metabolized food and expended energy in order to gather together that information into the lower-entropy form of a meaningful article. Now you're asking to retrieve this lower-entropy state from the future, without incurring the debt of higher entropy in the rest of the world? No go. Such a feat would decrease the total entropy of the universe. The impossibility of this is the very reason there's an arrow of time.

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Jan. 1, 2012 @ 02:43 GMT
Very nice, Karl.

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Paul Reed replied on Jan. 1, 2012 @ 16:24 GMT
The difference between time and timing has not been understood.

Paul

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T H Ray replied on Jan. 1, 2012 @ 16:49 GMT
Not true, Karl. There's no warrant to assume partitioning of past from future in a positive feedback loop.

The hidden assumption one makes in applying an entropy argument to the impossibility of time reverse symmetry is that time intervals are always defined on the well ordered sequence [0,1). However, we know that most phenomena are non-linear -- there's no reason to believe that time is an exception (in a fully relativistic theory, it isn't).

Another hidden assumption concerns the role of consciousness. Conventionally, one assumes that the actor (in the example, the journal writer) is aware of such time reverse symmetry. The actual physics tells us, however, that self awareness is not necessary for event reversibility in classical time symmetry. Analogously, one is not necessarily aware of the cellular and molecular changes in one's own physical body.

Entropy does not guarantee irreversibility, as we know from open systems (e.g., biological functions) based on nonequilibrium thermodynamics. Entropy can always be formulated for both open and closed systems.

Tom

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Domenico Oricchio wrote on Jan. 2, 2012 @ 16:54 GMT
I believe in the strength of the ideas, not too formal, the ones that can be expressed with only words, because they are close to the thought, and there is an immediate understanding between person with the same culture.

For example I can hypothesize that there is not antimatter in the space because if exist antimatter-planet, then antimatter-solar system must exist, and antimatter-galaxies must exist; then it is impossible the antimatter-zone in the Universe because we have not seen antimatter explosion until now (matter-antimatter impact does not exist).

An other hypothesis is that the entanglement cannot obtained with gauge bosons: If we use an entanglement of gauge bosons, then the wave function cannot be obtained with gauge bosons because the elementary particles wave function cannot be shaped by gauge bosons: the instantaneity do not violate the relativity.

There is not a time travel problem because of the finite time-transmission (the information transmission corrupt the entanglement) of the instantaneous entanglement: there is a time travel problem if it is possible the biological being transmission (across DNA transmission) with the brain memory; I think that the DNA contain a part of the biological being memory (ancestral memory), that contain instinctive behavior (bacteria have not brain) through a chain of slow biological reaction (specific tissues response to extern stimulus, like drug response) that was been replaced by quicker neuron reaction.

If the DNA is transmitted in an instantaneous transmission channel, besides the memory contents (using a scanner of an elementary organism like Aplysia) then a complete biological transmission shall be possible in a near future; I think that a superior organism transmission shall be possible in a distant future (equivalent to the transmission of an old computer hardware, and software, with the successive complete construction): I think that in the future a subject W shall be able to transmit instantaneously the DNA and brain contents in an entangled receiver (the violation of the light velocity in the transmission is equivalent to the violation of the biological velocity), but this have not time paradox: there is a time bifurcation of the W subject in a clone, but each subject don't modify the own past.

Saluti

Domenico

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Domenico Oricchio replied on Feb. 7, 2012 @ 13:54 GMT
It is possible a cancer cure?

I read of a new device Ion Proton Sequencer of Life Technologies that permit the complete genome sequence in a day.

The cancer is a gene disease, that reproduce the incorrect DNA; I think that if a geneticist take two biopsy, one in the initial cancer zone, one other in a terminal cancer zone, an compare these with a DNA mouth swab, then it is possible to detect the alleles that contain cancer disease (cancer-allele invariance along the years of the disease).

There are 1600 genetic disease that are treated, until now, and 30.000 gene in each human being; so it is a good possibility to attack the cancer with a mix of genetic cure (each cure that work for each allele), and a right diet (each food can interfere with the proteins reaction).

It seem interesting to me, and I loose too time to disclose it; I see that there are people that can understand my words.

Saluti

Domenico

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Domenico Oricchio replied on Feb. 11, 2012 @ 12:00 GMT
I think that many human infectious disease (HIV, plague, H5N1, and similars) can be treated using reverse (biological) engineering.

I think that many human infectious disease are not human disease: the human existed for 50.000 year, before this period there are only infectious disease but there is not the human host (the hominids number was too low to be a right for infectious disease).

The life cycle of plasmodium falciparum is too complex to attack the simple human, it is necessary an organism that have a complex DNA (many variable antibody) because of a high velocity of DNA change (high adaptation to the environment): the malaria is present in the mouse.

Some being adapt to the environment, other modify the environment.

Each four month there a change of the mouse population, and a change of the mouse DNA; in the human being there is a DNA change in 20 year (the mouse DNA change is 80 time more quickly); the mouse population is the right host for the infectious disease (great number and diffusion in each country) but it has a great variability, then it is necessary a great change in the microbes, bacteria and viruses (complex life cycle).

I think that is possible to study the DNA of the mouse in the infectious zone, so that it is possible to obtain the proteins used in the microbes destruction (antibodies protein like biologic drug?).

Saluti

Domenico

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Anonymous replied on Feb. 29, 2012 @ 11:00 GMT
I have a great problem with an mental experiment.

I can obtain with particle-antiparticle annihilation a couple of photon.

I can reverse the process, using a reversed film of the process, and I can obtain from a couple of photon a couple of particle-antiparticle.

If I emit a photon and an anti-photon (same frequency and negative velocity: destructive interference) then in the interaction zone happen a region where there is not longitudinal oscillation (the Werner formula of the oscillation produce a product of oscillation that contain fluctuating energy): it is like an oscillating rope, where before I init the oscillation of the first border point, then I can apply a oscillation in the second point border with opposite value (I can cancel the oscillation in the second point), then the rope have a stable oscillation without longitudinal wave, only a transversal oscillation.

This is not a reversible process, the channel decay contain all the possible couple particle-antiparticle, so that this is the fundamental irreversible process: the film of the process is not unique.

The problem is that in the vacuum, if all of this is true, I can obtain matter-antimatter with laser interference but I have not read, until now, of this simple process (inside a laser must happen sometime destructive interference with photon anti-photon interference because of atom delay: transversal emission of particle-antiparticle), besides the destructive interference process are ordinary in Physic, and the matter production is not observed: in the reasoning must be an error!

I am studying this because the entanglement can be obtained with annihilation of particles (and boson?)

Saluti

Domenico

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Jan. 8, 2012 @ 23:10 GMT
In all honesty,

Not really rational all that. I doubt that these higgs have been found or shall be found. Just a publicity at my humble opinion. The time is irreversible after all. I do not understand why the LHC searches these higgs. I beleive it is simply a fashion from some universities and teams wanting some funds. I am frank.

Your article is very well written and interesting William, but the reality is this one. Some teams fear to loose several investments. It is not the sciences this comportment. It is bizare like behaviour even. You imagine the lost of monney. The lost of E, the lost of this rationalism. They do not exist these higgs. It is a false subjective extrapolation in fact.

Regards

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Georgina Parry wrote on Jan. 10, 2012 @ 20:52 GMT
William Orem quoted; Pet Peeve: ...... there are several more interesting paradoxes out there. One, nicely touched on by FQXi member Brian Greene in his book “The Fabric of the Cosmos,” (recently televised, btw, and including interviews with Max) is a time-traveler’s evident ability to generate information ex nihilo. .................................

Quote: Given the importance of information itself to contemporary, physics-based ontologies, this kind of “information paradox” may be much more apposite than one more dead grandfather.

The paradox of generating information ex nihilo when time travelling, is overcome by the outlined explanatory framework that I have posted on the FQXi blog site a number of times, just like for the Grandfather paradox. The time dimension only pertains to the image produced by the observer from recieved data and not the external foundational reality which is always unitemporal Ie. everything that exists existing simultaneously. So therefore there is no other time to travel to or from, only other space. The error is to think the time dimension pertains to actualized objects rather than just images fabricated from data, incorporating temporal delay.

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Paul Reed replied on Jan. 11, 2012 @ 10:20 GMT
Georgina

You are right, though the phraseology is somewhat awkward. Except that what you refer to as the "time dimension" is timing, not time, and in this particular instance revolves around the delay between existence and receipt of information about that. In physical reality, what is known as 'time' is actually the frequency with which change occurs.

Paul

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Georgina Parry replied on Jan. 12, 2012 @ 23:07 GMT
Paul ,

thank you for saying that I am right on this particular point. I appreciate that feedback. The time dimension I was referring to was the space-time one. The wording of that post may sound somewhat awkward but it is consistent with the language I have been using within the explanatory framework I have set out and the solutions to the other paradoxes.

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Paul Reed replied on Jan. 13, 2012 @ 08:32 GMT
Georgina

I suppose the response to that is to enquire what is this "time dimension" (the "space-time one")then, in terms of physical reality?

Paul

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Feb. 8, 2012 @ 00:27 GMT
Dear Paul Reed,

You asked me, "So what is this "wave function"? In what respect is it describing an object, and/or the field that it creates around it?"

It has taken several days to really think about it. But it comes down to this. Physics can only account for that which is reproducible and reliably measureable. Physics is correct down to the quantum noise, at which point predictability becomes impossible. To some, it is an inconvenience, to others, there is hope in mystery; the totality of all that is, all that reality has to offer, must include the mystery that lies beneath splashing waves of the quantum underworld.

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Paul Reed replied on Feb. 8, 2012 @ 10:00 GMT
Jason

Thanks for replying, and I am pleased it has taken several days. Because, contrary to what some think, I do not ask questions with a 'hidden agenda' or whatever.

I would not limit the process of Physics to that extent. The physical reality it is determining is that which is potentially sensorily experienceable. But, for simple practical reasons, in respect of considerable sections thereof, we are unable to actually effect that experiencing. And we cannot assume that the sensory detection systems we are endowed with, or the physical phenomena utilised to provide information to those, are capable of detecting all that is available. So, hypothecation based on experientially validated entities and/or relationships, is both necessary, and scientifically legitimate.

The issue is whether these hypothecated events are grounded in experience, or whether they are a function of beliefs and/or the self-serving outcome of representations of reality that are flawed. This is where an understanding as to how reality is constituted is important. One cannot have representations which are either not discernable in reality and/or contradict the logic of it. An example of the former being what is commonly understood to be time, and one of the latter being a concept that implies perception creates reality.

It is one thing to have a theoretical explanation, but quite another to refer to fundamental concepts but not be able to identify experiential phenomenon to which they relate in reality.

Paul

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Jason Wolfe replied on Feb. 8, 2012 @ 20:43 GMT
Dear Paul,

You said, "It is one thing to have a theoretical explanation, but quite another to refer to fundamental concepts but not be able to identify experiential phenomenon to which they relate in reality."

It is my opinion that scientific experiments do not include the complete set of all that is possible, all that reality has to offer. I think that gravity drives are possible, but we won't see them in our lifetimes.

The other problem I see is the use of the word "reality". You should replace the word "reality" with the word: experimentally verifiable. If science becomes the authoritative of reality, the "Master of Reality", civilization will inevitably collapse.

I would be happy to explain how.

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Paul Reed replied on Feb. 9, 2012 @ 10:25 GMT
Jason

The key point here is that reality is not an abstract concept. It exists. And is does so in a particular mode. Which means there is a logic to it, ie how it is constituted. Therefore any attempt to investigate it, must respect this, as well as adhere to the standard rules of scientific procedure. Put the other way around, using some form of representational device (be it word, graphic, maths) which is intrinsically valid, or without apparent presupposition, is not necessarily a correct approach. There must be some correspondence between the concepts and reality.

Now, we are bound not to ‘know everything’. Any knowledge only has a status ‘given available knowledge at that point in time’. Obviously. Indeed, so obviously that we do not bother with this caveat. Furthermore, even within the boundaries of our existence, we have issues with acquiring knowledge. So some level of hypothecation is necessary. But so long as proper processes are adhered to, we can have objective knowledge (which includes discrete facts and abstractions based thereon). The point here is to differentiate the logical and the practical. Given the nature of our existence, there is the possibility of objective knowledge, and that must be deemed to be reality.

Which brings me to: “You should replace the word "reality" with the word: experimentally verifiable”. Absolutely. Except that it is not a case of ‘replace’, they are the same phenomenon. Reality can only be that which is potentially sensorily experienceable by any organism. Because we are trapped in a closed loop of awareness, by virtue of the evolution of sensory detection systems. [Note: ‘potentially’ refers to the fact that just because we do not perceive it, does not necessarily mean it did not exist. And on similar lines, reality is not some human preserve (ie all organisms)]. So “experimentally verifiable” needs definition, given how existence occurs. But yes, reality is what we can prove, given our constraints, experientially exists.

I think you will have to expand on your last point. Understandably, people have strict allegiance to beliefs. But I am reasonably confident that these can be supplanted by a belief in objective knowledge. Just as in governments, there is a trend to accept rule by fact (ie what’s best) rather than selecting faction.

Paul

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Feb. 10, 2012 @ 06:24 GMT
Physicists should consider the possibility that wave functions, probability amplitudes, are a real part of nature. The caveat is that they would be the part of nature, the part of reality, that we can't measure directly.

If a particle in a quantum system has many eigenstates for momentum and position, then the physical nature of that particle has a "lack of exactness" quality to it. Larger objects would have a very large number of eigenstates containing a smaller (but very large number) of particles. We are fooled into believing that a large physical object, a rock or a person, has an exact position and momentum. But quantum mechanics really tells us that physical objects are made up of particles whose position and momentum is "less than exact".

This inexactness of position/momentum could be attributed to the existence of wave-functions/wave function fields around every particle, every object. All objects (all particles) have a field of "inexactness".

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Paul Reed replied on Feb. 10, 2012 @ 16:26 GMT
Jason

For a number of practical reasons, we cannot measure (ie experience) everything directly. However, this does not imply anything 'mysterious'. It just means precisely that. What we must do in these circumstances is ensure that hypotheses are based on directly substantiated entities and relationships. AND reflect the logic of how reality is constituted. The latter where I start to have problems with concepts of eigenstates, and the like (se previous post).

There is no difference between a rock and a particle, logically. How can there be? We are not 'fooled', we are just able to establish it. With a particle, not only is it small/fast, our measurements interfere with what would otherwise have happened. It's all about the process of perception, not any innate difference in the substances as they occur in reality. Neither is it anything to do with fields. These are an effect of matter which creates space, both internally, and externally to an object.

Paul

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Jason Wolfe replied on Feb. 11, 2012 @ 04:33 GMT
Paul,

You said, "For a number of practical reasons, we cannot measure (ie experience) everything directly. However, this does not imply anything 'mysterious'. "

Actually, nature behaves very differently when there is mystery. Just look at the two slit experiment. If you know which slit the electron went through, then it acts like a particle. If you don't know which slit the electron went through, it acts like a wave. I assert with great boldness that a wave function is a "mystery field". The absence of mystery is knowledge, such as: it went through slit A (e.g.). If there is mystery, then there is inexactness. I am so tempted to speak of spirits, ghosts, and other "bump in the night" things that move in the shadows of what we cannot see.

So why doesn't the electron know which slit it went through, and therefore act like a particle instead of a wave?

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Jason Wolfe replied on Feb. 11, 2012 @ 05:02 GMT
Paul,

Here's what I think. The electron that passes through the two slits is isolated from "reality". I think that people who claim to see ghosts or other paranormal phenomena, they are not crazy or deluded fools. I want to speculate that such people became isolated from "reality", and for that paranormal experience, they became the wave, the way the electron becomes a wave when it passes through both slits. In other words, particle-ness is measurable reality; but wave-ness is the mysterious part of reality that behaves differently than the measurable part of reality.

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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde wrote on Feb. 10, 2012 @ 16:29 GMT
Perhaps the wave function of a "particle" indicates the possible locations of this particle in the future (the future not yet existing), this could indicate that we receive indications from this future but it is still blurred in the form of the so called wave-function.

The collapse of the wave function only happens in the "now" moment (the moment that we perceive already as the past.

Jason I think you are on a very good path...

keep on thinking free

Wilhelmus

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Feb. 11, 2012 @ 04:41 GMT
Wilhelmus,

You said, "Perhaps the wave function of a "particle" indicates the possible locations of this particle in the future (the future not yet existing), this could indicate that we receive indications from this future but it is still blurred in the form of the so called wave-function."

Perfectly reasonable interpretation. Fog of war comes to mind. Also, there is a wave-function in our minds in the sense that: I don't know what you are thinking unless you express your thoughts.

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Paul Reed replied on Feb. 11, 2012 @ 07:49 GMT
Wilhemus/Jason

Unless it is a completely different point, can we please post as a 'reply to this thread' rather than 'add new post', as it becomes difficult to follow. Thanks.

The point here (ie in Wilhemus post) is that the 'wave-function' indicates the possible location of the wave-function. One might be able to deduce where the particle might have been at that same time, if there is enough information, and we understood the relationship, circumstances prevailing, etc.

It is certainly not anything to do with now/future. We can only have now, ie the point of existence. Future is non-existent. And incidentally, when we become aware of it, a) it has occurred, b) the information we receive about it is a physical phenomenon but only a representation of it (eg light, heat,noise, etc).

Paul

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Jason Wolfe replied on Feb. 11, 2012 @ 09:51 GMT
Paul/Wilhemus,

The future exists as probabilities. Banks, insurance companies, manufacturing/production managers, engineers, poker players, you, me (at my job) all make decisions about the future based upon probabilities. There is nothing magical or paranormal about that.

However, it is my belief that the mathematical description of quantum wave functions/wave amplitudes are actually describing a real phenomenon in nature. This is the "magical/paranormal" part. This is why someone like Nostradamus can make enough accurate predictions about the future that people believe that something supernatural has occurred; because it did. Nostradamus saw the future because he could see wave function probabilities of future events. He could see it, not with calculations, but with his life force. Some people call this the astral plane.

Oh, and by the way, none of this violates any laws of physics. Compare this with the many worlds interpretation that smashes through the laws of physics like a bull in china shop.

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Jason Wolfe replied on Feb. 11, 2012 @ 09:58 GMT
By the way, ask me why science can't get proof of the supernatural.

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 14, 2012 @ 03:59 GMT

"The new research concludes that galaxies have no definite “edges.” Instead galaxies have long outskirts of dark matter that extend to nearby galaxies and the intergalactic space is not empty but filled with dark matter."

The problem is that it doesn't make sense in terms of explaining the effect for which dark matter is postulated to explain; Why the outer bands of galaxies spin as fast as the inner bands. If intergalactic space is filled with gravitationally attractive matter, wouldn't this serve as a drag on the outer bands of galaxies? The only way it makes sense to me is if what is there is expanding like gas, or radiation and creating external pressure on those galaxies. Where would that radiation be coming from? Considering the galaxies themselves are radiating out enormous amounts, maybe there is a cycle of expanding radiation and collapsing gas/mass....

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Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 14, 2012 @ 13:10 GMT
John

See if this more accurate info makes sense of it; Outer 'bands' (Halo's) DON'T spin as fast as disks (to a 'virial radius'). They 'travel' very fast, measured against a local group but have a much slower 'RPM' than the disc. i.e. The Magellanic Clounds take 1.5Gyr to orbit! (Google 'Milky Way velocity gradient').

Also look here and you'll see the bigger picture.http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de/galform/millennium/ Dark Matter is also found way out in an ICM (Intra Cluster Medium) as part of a CMF (Cluster magnetic field). It is largely ions from pair production (mainly free electrons, plus protons) so termed 'diffuse plasma', as 'shocks', but also its derivatives, CO and bound molecular gas.

And yes, galaxies and clusters are interacting all the time. Check out http://arxiv.org/abs/1104.0711v2

This should allow you to picture the correct ontological construction for the real evidence, not apparently visualizable by those astrophysicists with their noses to close to the trees to 'see the wood'. Some have all the basics. http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/1108/1108.2202v1.pdf

Light is scattered by all matter at c, so goes at c locally through all collections at matter with respect to the kinematic state ('inertial frame') of each collection of matter.

Try this; Take the matter from a lens or prism and spread the particles out diffusely over 100 light years of space (dark matter). It does the same job, but is rotated in a gentler curve as Ewald-Oseen exctinction does its work on the old signal speed and direction.

You just need to be able to imagine galaxies as kinetic entities moving within bigger entities and with respect to others. Light signals then always change to c locally, which is of course why wavelength changes (Doppler shifts).

The beautiful simplicity is far too different to the paradoxical old stuff to ever be understood buy anyone too indoctrinated. I recall that you did 'see' discrete field (DFM) dynamics at one point. Can you still do so?

Best wishes

Peter

PS There are scores of excellent papers out there with all the evidence, just not 'joined up'. Let me know waht aspect you're interested in and I'll post some more. Also see my conversation with Eckard under Some-when' about Smoot's 2006 CMB Nobel Prize work, also now much ignored.

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John Merryman replied on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 02:51 GMT
Peter,

By this point, what I'm probably most interested in is when it all does "join up." It will be quite interesting to see the establishment walking back some of the more egregious theories and trying not to let go of any more than absolutely necessary. It's nice to see the James Webb telescope is still being funded.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Feb. 17, 2012 @ 02:45 GMT
Artificial gravity field generators are beyond our physics/engineering right now. They are electronic devices that can generate a gravity fields without using huge quantities of mass-energy. GFG's (gravity field generators) are considered an exception to the Einstein equations for many reasons; for one, they are potentially able to create energy, thus violating conservation of energy. They are also exceptions to the laws of thermodyanamics.

They work on a simple (not at all simple) principle that every particle and piece of matter has a chunk of space around it. So a proton, a tree, a car and a person all have space around them. When a photon travels from one object to another, it has to leave the space of particle A in order to enter the space of particle B, which could be traveling at any velocity you might suggest. During the photons journey from A to B, a change in frequency is possible. A change in wavelength (momentum p = hk) is also possible. If the photon changes it's frequency, it can be said to have encountered a gravitational potential across some distance equal to:

$E_f = hf_f = E_i + \Delta U$

\Delta U is the change in gravitational energy experienced by the photon. Somewhere beyond our physics models, there is a way to generate an artificial gravity field by mimicking the change in frequency of a photon. If an electronics device could emit a cone of light as a sequence of frequencies, in increasing order, from f_1 to f_32 (e.g.) at a rapid enough rate, the laws of physics will give up one of it's secrets. That device will generate a gravity field.

Once you have gravity field generators, you can configure them for transporation. You can use them to travel to Mars.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Feb. 17, 2012 @ 04:29 GMT
But transmitting redshift or blueshift is not sufficient to generate a gravity field. The important question to ask is: why are there gravity fields at all?

Particle-antiparticle is a hint. Massive particle annihilate to yield energy. So how did all this energy, energy content of the big bang, get here without violating conservation of energy? After all, you can't create energy out of nothingness, right? Well, what if gravitational potential is the "anti-energy"? If you take a planet, with +E, and add to it the -E energy of its gravitational field, you get 0. So technically, you can create energy, but it will emit a gravity wave until it reaches the Einstein equations equilibrium for gravity.

In a way, the gravity caused by a planet, sun or black hole, is just an extended object. This extended object of gravity is many times the radii of the planet/sun/black hole; this extended object is a gravity field. The space-time continuum manifests negative energy as gravity or curvature of space-time.

So how do you get the space-time continuum to emit a localized negative energy gravity field? Do you jump up and down on the space-time continuum until it creates gravitational ripples? That's what shift photons do. A shift photon is a sequence of 8 to 64 frequency sequential steps that mimicks what a strong gravity field would do to a photon: redshift or blue shift it.

So what is the missing piece?

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Feb. 17, 2012 @ 06:28 GMT
Gravity drives will lead to warp engines. Gravity drives, simplistically, will work by transmitting redshift with an array of LED's. A properly prepared redshift transmission will drastically contradict the Einstein equations by inducing local gravity fields that lead to acceleration. Violations of conservation of energy, which result in the creation of new energy, will generate undetectable gravity waves until equilibrium is reached.

Gravity drives are not high energy devices; they are high precision wave-function transmitters. They transmit wave functions that stimulate acceleration fields. Once you properly generate a gravity field you can lift high tonnage objects.

One gravity field generator on the top, one on the bottom of your spaceship. About 1g between them (between top and bottom). This should result in a positive gravitational potential below you, negative graviational potential above you, and you will begin to rise into the sky.

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Florin Moldoveanu wrote on Jan. 5, 2013 @ 22:33 GMT
Hello friends,

Sorry Bill to go off topic on your post, but I want to announce I created a website: http://www.florinmoldoveanu.org/ and a blog http://fmoldove.blogspot.com/ I also added a link to FQXi from my web page. Since all good things must come to an end, I am saying goodbye to FQXi and going forward I will blog on my new blog site.

Happy New Year in 2013.

Florin Moldoveanu

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Anonymous replied on Jan. 5, 2013 @ 23:43 GMT
Huh?

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Anonymous replied on Jan. 5, 2013 @ 23:45 GMT
Oh, I see.

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Michael Fox wrote on Jan. 31, 2018 @ 09:39 GMT
Nice article! I think you have to hire papergrader. This grammar awful

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