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FQXi FORUM
May 20, 2019

CATEGORY: Questioning the Foundations Essay Contest (2012) [back]
TOPIC: An Elephant in the Room by Don Limuti [refresh]
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Author Don Limuti wrote on Aug. 21, 2012 @ 14:41 GMT
Essay Abstract

There is an elephant in the room. Something obviously is wrong in physics and no one pays any attention to it anymore. We have been taught to believe that the mass of an electron (or any particle or even a golf ball) can approach infinite mass if its velocity approaches the speed of light. This mistaken truth (the Elephant) has been with us for about 100 years as part of Einstein's special theory of relativity. It is in a lot of textbooks even though it can never be proven because it is impossible to prove by experiment that anything approaches infinity. Nowhere do we see massive quantum mechanical particles larger than 22 micrograms whatever their velocity, yet physicists as a group believe in them. This strikes me as just plain goofy. A case will be made that any particle can only get to a maximum mass of 22 micrograms (a Planck mass). This is about the mass of a mosquito and is a lot less than infinity. Since ordinary classical masses (i.e. golf balls) are composed of particles they too will not approach infinite mass as they approach the speed of light. It may seem that getting rid of the elephant would be a major alteration to the theory of relativity. However, the theory remains intact (but without the elephant). At the end of this essay a way of looking at why there is a limit on particle mass will be suggested.

Author Bio

Don Limuti (just another kid who graduated from CCNY) is an enthusiastic student of foundational issues in both philosophy and physics. This is his fourth FQXi.org contest. The other entries were: 1. Making Time with Pretty Girls and Hot Stoves 2. Gravity from the Ground Up and 3. Making Waves. He has a paper on gravity titled "Mercury's Precession Reconsidered" published by The PreSpaceTime Journal. His heroes include Albert Einstein in physics, Helen Keller in philosophy, and Barak Obama in politics. He would like to see free higher education for all who desire it.

Download Essay PDF File

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Joe Fisher wrote on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 15:29 GMT
Dear Don Limuti,

Despite my not fully understanding the mathematics of your essay because of my abject lack of a formal education, I still found your brilliant essay truly absorbing. I honestly believe that only one real equation could ever exist, but your clarification of some of the most important abstract equations that dominate the science of physics was masterfully compelling. I will never believe that abstract total energy will always be the equal of total abstract mass times the constant abstract speed of total light multiplied by itself. I will only ever believe that one real Universe can only be occurring eternally once, therefore, 1=U and e=U.

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Author Don Limuti replied on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 01:30 GMT
Hi Joe,

I am glad you found things to like about my essay. I found something that needed a remedy and I gave it my best.

I read you essay Sequence Consequence and you made a good point about the nature of the universe.

Best of luck.

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Ioannis Hadjidakis wrote on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 09:53 GMT
Dear Don,

It seems you have reached to the most fundamental points of our Universe's conception. Have you ever considered whether our Universe is a Black Hole (BH)? The same with our galaxy (Milky Way). It is as if we are "living" on their horizons but no one dares to say it. Even atoms might be created as tiny BHs and then evolved to their present form. The key idea is that c is analog to Universe's radius and so its value was much smaller, when atoms were created, and hence mass requirement to form BH were considerably less.

good luck,

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Author Don Limuti replied on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 02:11 GMT
Hi Ioannis,

Thanks for the praise. I hope I have make a contribution to this essay contest as you have done.

Your question about the universe being a black hole is a good one. I think a rough estimate can be made. Give it a try. My website has estimates of the mass and radius of the universe, plug these into the Schwarzschild radius equation and see how it goes. You can make the calculation with and without dark energy.

See: http://www.digitalwavetheory.com/DWT/21_Self-Gravity.html

And
: http://www.digitalwavetheory.com/DWT/39_The_Schwarzschild_Ra
dius.html

I you run into any snags let me know on this thread and I will give it a try.

Best of Luck

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Ioannis replied on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 16:49 GMT
Just for the history:

from your data: Universe's Schwarzschild radius rs=26.7*10^26 m compared to Universe's radius .95*10^26 m. (Am I right?)

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Author Don Limuti replied on Sep. 1, 2012 @ 19:22 GMT
Hi Ioannis,

Sorry I did not notice your reply. I will get right on my confirmation of the calculation. Your result is just about spot on for such a rough estimate. The universe as a black hole! I do not know what to make of that, except to say: This is very interesting.

I will post here the result of my arithmetic, probably by tomorrow.

Your insight is very interesting.

Don L.

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Michael Lee wrote on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 20:43 GMT
Hi,

"Since ordinary classical masses (i.e. golf balls) are composed of particles they too will not approach infinite mass as they approach the speed of light."

What is the problem about this?

Clearly nothing can reach an infinite mass. But not because of your essay's considerations, but because the very concept of infinity is absurd. How would you accelerate a golf ball to the speed of light? There's no physical mechanism that allows this, even if you don't need infinite energy to accelerate it to the top of lightspeed. Charging to much energy onto the golf ball, you destroy it and it cannot reach lightspeed. Charging the appropriate portions of energy onto it, you need an infinite amount of time to do this! (and i guess also an infinite amount of enery).

So, Einsteins "if-then"-Gedankenexperiment only shows the breakdown of his own theory for things that are beyond our spacetime. Because consequences of physical laws that cannot be executed in spacetime, have no meaning for the same reality the laws were designed for. (surely they HAVE a certain meaning - but only regarding their own limitation!).

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Author Don Limuti replied on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 02:17 GMT
Michael,

Yes, I too felt that a mass value approaching infinity was absurd so I called it an elephant in the room.

Don L.

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Michael Lee replied on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 06:05 GMT
Hi Don,

maybe the results in your essay could be usefull to some future developments towards Quantum Gravity or some other new physical paradigma.

Best wishes,

Michael

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Dirk Pons wrote on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 09:12 GMT
Don,

Nice essay. Good ideas and well-expressed.

As a matter of interest, why should the Planck length exist? What happens if we question that premise too?

I wonder about the assumption that a classical body (e.g. a golfball) is 'made up of quantum mechanical particles ... that can interfere with themselves'. I would instead have interpreted the situation as QM interference only applying in coherent cases, and macroscopic bodies are not generally coherent. Would this change your conclusions do you think?

Thank you

Dirk

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Author Don Limuti wrote on Aug. 24, 2012 @ 19:19 GMT
Hi Dirk,

You have a very good essay with a premise that is spot on. I hope everyone looks at "Bundles of Nothingness". And there are at least 3 of us in this contest that have issues with "uncertainty". As to your questions:

1. Nope you can not question my premise about the Planck length, because it is not a premise it is an axiom and is not questionable. I am giving myself the "mathematic" license. :)

Of course you can question it, but I like it a lot. Take a look at http://backreaction.blogspot.com/2012/01/planck-length-as-mi
nimal-length.html

2. I mean a golf ball is made up of atoms and molecules. Atoms and molecules have been checked out experimentally to have the wavelike property of interference at least up to the mass of a Buckyball C60. In orthodox physics circles the golf ball itself is also thought of as a particle that has wavelike properties (even though they have wavelengths shorter than the Planck length).

Let me know if this makes sense to you.

Best of luck in this contest.

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Aug. 25, 2012 @ 20:55 GMT
Don,

My attitude to Planck units you can read my essay

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1413

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Author Don Limuti wrote on Aug. 26, 2012 @ 00:31 GMT
Hi Yuri,

Thanks for taking the time to direct me to your essay.

I did visit your essay and copied the following:

"For practical use Planck’s length, time and energy are obviously irrelevant. But I am sure that Planck’s mass eternal relevant."

I agree that the Planck mass is extremely interesting (that is what my essay is about). But do not throw out the Planck length too soon. If I may point out, the Planck mass when compressed to have a wavelength of a Planck length is a black hole. And this may fit in with points in your essay.

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Yuri Danoyan replied on Aug. 26, 2012 @ 01:00 GMT
Don

Please read all my posts to my essay and you can understand all my trick with fundamental constants an Planck units.

Yuri

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Yuri Danoyan replied on Sep. 22, 2012 @ 22:03 GMT
For better clarification my approach

I sending to you Frank Wilczek’s article

http://ctpweb.lns.mit.edu/physics_today/phystoday/Abs
_limits388.pdf

On Absolute Units, I: Choices

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Author Don Limuti replied on Sep. 23, 2012 @ 02:00 GMT
Hi Yuri,

Thanks for your reference to Frank Wilczek's article. He would like to add a few constances to Planck's G,c, and h. He would like to add the charge of the electron, the mass of the electron and the mass of the proton. With these added constants he can develop interesting relations.

However for my work in removing the elephant; G, c and h all by themselves can do the job.

One of the things that is important about Planck's original triad is that they are independent of relative motion, whereas constants like the mass of the electron and the proton are not.

Thanks for your reference,

Don L.

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Sep. 1, 2012 @ 13:34 GMT
Dear Don Limuti

In the framework of the Theory of Infinite Hierarchical Nesting of Matter (my Essay), there was found the meaning of the Planck length. It is close to radius of particles (praons) which relate to nucleon in the same way as nucleons relate to neutron star. It is suppose that in neutron as much praons as neutrons in the neutron star.

Sergey Fedosin Essay

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Author Don Limuti replied on Sep. 1, 2012 @ 20:25 GMT
Hi Sergey,

Thanks for your insight on the Planck length.

A long time ago I remember watching a children's movie "Cosmic Zoom". It starts out with a boy on a row boat in the middle of a lake. There is a mosquito on the boy's arm. The camera focuses on the mosquito and then zooms out in progressive steps to the kaleidoscope of galaxies that make up the universe. Then the sequence reverses and we are back at the mosquito but it does not stop there it keeps on going into the microcosm via a drop of blood the mosquito is taking from the boy. It keeps on going to a phantasmagoria of quantum stuff. The movie ends at the solitude of a boy in a row boat on a lake. I thought the movie was fantastic.

This movie reminds me of your essay, and I hope you do well in the contest.

My own work is pointing to the Planck mass as being just a "foundational" as the Planck length. My notion is that it marks the dividing line between quantum and classical phenomena and it is intimately involved with gravity. Most interestingly the Planck mass is about the mass of a mosquito.

Can you tell me from your viewpoint (Infinite Hierarchical Nesting of Matter) what is the Planck mass?

Thanks,

Don L.

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Sergey G Fedosin replied on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 14:16 GMT
Dear Don Limuti,

From the point of view of Infinite Hierarchical Nesting of Matter and Similarity of matter levels , at every main level of matter there are their own gravitational constant and Planck constant. For the level of star such constants are described in Stellar constants . At the level of particles is supposed strong gravitation .

Now I want say that Planck units must be corrected. If for the particles level of matter we will use not common gravitational constant, but instead of it take Strong gravitational constant , we find good coinciding with the parameters of nucleons. To use correctly Planck units at the level of stars we must to use stellar Planck constant.

Now about Planck mass. From the theory it follows that Planck mass is equal to product of proton mass and similarity coefficient in size between star and atomic levels of matter. So the Planck mass is not a mass of real particle, since there is should be similarity coefficient in mass, not similarity coefficient in size.

Sergey Fedosin Essay

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Author Don Limuti replied on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 23:58 GMT
Dear Sergey,

Thanks for the information.

Don Limuti

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Bob Gellert wrote on Sep. 6, 2012 @ 18:57 GMT
Hi Don,

I enjoyed your "Elephant in the Room" and haven't seen anything glareingly false in your reasoning. I must admit, however, that I didn't follow up on the details yet, so the rating of 9 is not due to any insuffiencies in your article, but my own slowness in getting time to do the math.

Just in case you get a Nobel Prize, can I have your autograph now?

Cheers,

Bob Gellert

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Author Don Limuti wrote on Sep. 8, 2012 @ 01:40 GMT
Hi Bob,

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I am glad you enjoyed the essay and feel it rates a 9.

I wish I could have hidden the equations, but it is an important part of the essay. Scientific American articles are just about devoid of equations and Nature is not far behind. They know that equations are like sleeping pills and are guaranteed to lose an audience. Additionally there is not just one technique for solving algebraic equations, if your technique is like mine the equations flow easily, but if your technique is different than mine then you will be wondering "what is he doing? at every step.

I am hoping you go over the equations and when done post your results back here.

The theory presented here is spectacular and will cause the rewriting of a lot of textbooks, it may even be worth a prize, but first two things need to happen: 1. an experimental physicist (the people who do the real work) needs to demonstrate it has some validity. and 2. It needs to provide other theorists a base for more discoveries.

And as the community voting stands right now, I better not give up my day job.

Wishing you the best.

Don L.

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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde wrote on Sep. 13, 2012 @ 16:32 GMT
Hi Don, I read with great interest your very interesting essay.

The Planck length and time are also basic assumptions in "THE CONSCIOUSNESS CONNECTION", but in another way as your perception. The only reamrk I make is that these limits may change in the future, I use them "in principle".

Thank you for all the usefull data.

I hope that you will also read/comment/rate/ my essay

Wilhelmus

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Author Don Limuti replied on Sep. 13, 2012 @ 18:39 GMT
Hi Wilhelmus,

Thanks for expressing interest in my essay. I am very interested in your use of the Planck length and time. I will be vacationing for a few days and hope to read and comment on your essay by the middle of next week at the latest. I look forward to it.

Don L.

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Christian Corda wrote on Sep. 14, 2012 @ 09:49 GMT
Dear Don Limuti,

I like your enthusiasm on foundation of Science. In this Essay you raises interesting points. I am going to give you an high score.

Good luck in the Contest!

Cheers,

Ch.

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Don Limuti replied on Sep. 14, 2012 @ 14:11 GMT
Dear Christian,

Thank you very much for the vote of confidence, and the boost it gave my morale. I will be looking at your essay again, there is something about it that applies to my work that I need to ferret out.

Best of Luck

Don L.

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Peter Jackson wrote on Sep. 20, 2012 @ 18:17 GMT
Don

Nice essay, in you inimitably straightforward style and exposing some much ignored basics. I also agree with the content, indeed you may remember my reference last year to the syncrotron emissions (from the Pe cloud or not) in the LHC, closing up so much that no oscilloscope could distinguish them as the bunch approached c. This gives an intuitive visible analogy to your thesis.

So elephants are not of infinite size. But does this mean they'll always be recognised? I fear not. And I think there is a herd of them! I expose a few in my essay. I hope you'll read, comment and score.

Best of luck

Peter

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Author Don Limuti wrote on Sep. 20, 2012 @ 19:41 GMT
Hi Peter,

Thank you for your generous comments. And I am looking forward to visiting your essay.

I am not sure if Cern can get protons going fast enough to see the limit effect on mass? It would be wonderful if they could!

A young friend of mine was looking at my essay blog and commented ...."Is he THAT Peter Jackson!". So of course I must ask: Are you that Peter Jackson?

I think we have both participated in all the contests, and they just keep getting better. And there are plenty of "elephants" to support many more contests.

Best of Luck,

Don L.

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Peter Jackson replied on Oct. 8, 2012 @ 18:51 GMT
Don

Yes I am 'that' Peter Jackson, but unlike some I don't mind communicating with ordinary people. Tell your young friend to keep our communications, then when he is our age and we are legend he has the stuff for a best seller.

I think the limit effects on mass are already visible, at the 'optical breakdown limit' and in Cherenkov radiation.

Yes, ever more herds of them roaming the sparse plains of physics, and their giant invisible cousins hiding in every room.

Best wishes

Peter

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Sep. 26, 2012 @ 15:20 GMT
Dear Don Limuti

Very interesting to see your essay.

Perhaps all of us are convinced that: the choice of yourself is right!That of course is reasonable.

So may be we should work together to let's the consider clearly defined for the basis foundations theoretical as the most challenging with intellectual of all of us.

Why we do not try to start with a real challenge is very close and are the focus of interest of the human science: it is a matter of mass and grain Higg boson of the standard model.

Knowledge and belief reasoning of you will to express an opinion on this matter:

You have think that: the Mass is the expression of the impact force to material (definition from the ABSOLUTE theory of me) - so no impact force, we do not feel the Higg boson - similar to the case of no weight outside the Earth's atmosphere.

Does there need to be a particle with mass for everything have volume? If so, then why the mass of everything change when moving from the Earth to the Moon? Higg boson is lighter by the Moon's gravity is weaker than of Earth?

The LHC particle accelerator used to "Smashed" until "Ejected" Higg boson, but why only when the "Smashed" can see it,and when off then not see it ?

Can be "locked" Higg particles? so when "released" if we do not force to it by any the Force, how to know that it is "out" or not?

You are should be boldly to give a definition of weight that you think is right for us to enjoy, or oppose my opinion.

Because in the process of research, the value of "failure" or "success" is the similar with science. The purpose of a correct theory be must is without any a wrong point ?

Glad to see from you comments soon,because still have too many of the same problems.

Kind Regards !

Hải.Caohoàng of THE INCORRECT ASSUMPTIONS AND A CORRECT THEORY

August 23, 2012 - 11:51 GMT on this essay contest.

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Author Don Limuti wrote on Sep. 26, 2012 @ 19:23 GMT
Hello Hoang,

I think you have the answer as to why the FQXi community is so quarrelsome: "Because, seems God not to teach communication theory" :)

I believe you got to my blog via Wilhelmus' blog where I agreed with his comment that the "reference of reference is "You". I usually would not agree with such high philosophy, it is out of my league. However I had been sitting on a concept of how light moved, and it hit me that Wilhelmus was correct philosophically as well as logically. My notion (see my website) is that each period of light has two speeds, 0 and c. And I go into how this makes sense in terms of the Planck-Einstein equation. The thought that struck me was that 0 speed means 0 speed with respect to the observer (you or I) and the speed c also means with respect to the observer. This means that each of us is in lockstep with the speed of light.

Why do we always measure light as moving at c .... yes it is linked to us. There are some fine details as to the linking .... see www.digitalwavetheory.com (the section on the mechanics of digital waves.

I have looked at your questions, but alas lack the horsepower to answer them.

But let me share my favorite question: What is a thought that a man may know it?

This is a wonderful contest,

Thanks for being part of it.

Don L.

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Helmut Hansen wrote on Sep. 28, 2012 @ 07:37 GMT
Dear Don,

it is true an elephant is running around in modern physics. But how does this elephant look like? I am sure you know the story of the blind men and an elephant. It has often been used to illustrate a deficit of information and the need to accept different perspectives.

What is the ultimate truth of the Universe? Are its internal processes moving in a digital fashion or are they moving in an analogous fashion?

I think, we still tend to solve this riddle by make a decision in favour of one of these two possibilities and against the other one... But perhaps every one-sided view (including in its most subtle and sophisticated version) is a fundamentally limited view, that does not cover REALITY in its totality.

Though I believe, that your approach is physically fruitful and promising, it does not touch the deepest level of reality. I am convinced, that velocity v = Delta_x/Delta_t is valid from v = 0 until v = oo without any exception or gaps.

This continuum is indeed the underlying branch to make statements - the term of velocity is only valid as long as Delta_x and Delta_t are not smaller than the deBroglie wavelength and period of the particle being - meaningful at all.

This continuous or analoguous spectrum of velocities may still be considered as a metaphysical assumption of physics, but it is to my opinion its central core. The real weakness of this assumption is still its implicit character: We think WITH them and not OF them. (Michael Polanyi). Therefore I am looking for a Modern Metaphysics.

I left a comment on my FQXI-site, too.

Good Luck for your Essay.

Kind Regards

Helmut

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Anonymous replied on Sep. 28, 2012 @ 19:45 GMT
Hello Helmut,

Thanks for your question, it is getting at core issues for physics. In my opinion the issue is the math-physics boundary

You are convinced, that velocity v = Delta_x/Delta_t is valid from v = 0 until v = oo without any exception or gaps.

This is entirely correct from the viewpoint of mathematics. Sure, make Delta_x =1 and Delta_t =0, the result will be infinity. Mathematics has no problem with this, however it is not reasonable physics. Why is it not reasonable physics? I will give you a challenge, find an event you can measure with a Delta_t = 0.

And sure you can find numbers that will make the velocity "smooth". But those numbers are mathematical and not obtained from physical measurements.

If you believe the math is the physics, you are stuck with your position (along with many members of this forum).

This is the problem I went after in "An Elephant in the Room". The equation for mass increase is "perfect" mathematically. Too bad the physical universe does not go along and shows it to be goofy. The remedy is easy once it is realized the equation has limits.

I hope this makes sense.

Let me know.

Thanks,

Don L.

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Author Don Limuti replied on Sep. 28, 2012 @ 20:12 GMT
The above anon was me.

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Pentcho Valev wrote on Sep. 28, 2012 @ 11:49 GMT
Don,

You wrote: "The velocity of a particle will be made such that it cannot exceed a maximum velocity Vmax, if that velocity would cause the Compton wavelength to be shorter than a Planck length."

The velocity of the particle is relative to some observer isn't it? But the observer could also start moving towards the particle and then the relative velocity of the particle and the observer will exceed not only Vmax but also c, irrespectively of what happens to the Compton wavelength. Don't you think so?

Pentcho Valev

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Author Don Limuti wrote on Sep. 28, 2012 @ 20:10 GMT
Hi Pentcho,

You are exactly correct about relative velocity. An observer can be in a rocket ship moving away from the particle. This causes the particle to be measured at a faster speed. Your equation for relative velocity is perfect, AND it has limits. That is what this essay is about. And sure you can ignore the limits and insist your math is perfect (which it is), and therefore the velocity can go beyond c.

Everything is correct and you are in the soup.

Now I have to admit, that my explanation about how Vmax comes about does not satisfy me completely. I am waiting for John Baez to provide the added insight. I think he has the horsepower to provide the needed insight.

Thanks for your question.

Don L.

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Pentcho Valev replied on Oct. 2, 2012 @ 22:40 GMT
John Baez? I think he left the sinking ship a few years ago:

John Baez: "On the one hand we have the Standard Model, which tries to explain all the forces except gravity, and takes quantum mechanics into account. On the other hand we have General Relativity, which tries to explain gravity, and does not take quantum mechanics into account. Both theories seem to be more or less on the right track but until we somehow fit them together, or completely discard one or both, OUR PICTURE OF THE WORLD WILL BE DEEPLY SCHIZOPHRENIC. (...) I also realized that there were other questions to work on: questions where I could actually tell when I was on the right track, questions where researchers cooperate more and fight less. So, I eventually decided to quit working on quantum gravity."

Baez is a very cautious Einsteinian - he will tell you nothing that can threaten Divine Albert's Divine Theory:

John Baez: "You can see that I did not assert anything about the photon's mass. I know what the photon's mass is, but I never talk about it around here because the endless discussion of the photon's mass is boring, boring, boring."

Pentcho Valev

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Sep. 28, 2012 @ 23:33 GMT
Don,

What if you can somehow reduce or eliminate the mass of the medium you are traveling through?

Jim

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Author Don Limuti replied on Sep. 29, 2012 @ 01:22 GMT
Hi James,

In the model considered here the speed limit of a particle is only a function of the rest mass divided by the Planck mass. The medium will certainly effect how easy or not it is to accelerate the particle.

The limiting effect is not a gradual one. It is like running out of gas, one instant everything is fine the next instance there is no more power to accelerate. In the case of a particle it is like running out of space, there is no place to go.

It is interesting that I can show how a limit to speed comes about, but I cannot tell you the meaning of it. So, all ideas are welcome.

Thanks for your question,

Don L.

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John Merryman wrote on Oct. 2, 2012 @ 03:01 GMT
Don,

You seem to have dug up the missing math. It looks like something that should make the finals, so you get my ten.

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Author Don Limuti replied on Oct. 2, 2012 @ 18:55 GMT
Hi John,

Glad to be with you in another contest. Thanks for your support.

Don L.

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 2, 2012 @ 11:00 GMT
After studying about 250 essays in this contest, I realize now, how can I assess the level of each submitted work. Accordingly, I rated some essays, including yours.

Cood luck.

Sergey Fedosin

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Author Don Limuti replied on Oct. 2, 2012 @ 18:51 GMT
Hi Sergey,

I am glad I made the cut. Thanks for your support.

Don L.

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Oct. 3, 2012 @ 04:39 GMT
Hi Don,

I remember "making time with pretty girls and hot stoves". With time being a particular interest of mine it had immediate relevance in my mind to my own interests. This essay I have read previously and had to come back to.

While it makes sense to me that there may well be a limit to velocity that can be achieved before getting to c ,I thought that the issue was one of inertia. IE that the resistance to acceleration would exceed the force that could be applied to give further acceleration, so preventing achievement of the theoretical limit. It makes sense to me in this way - there is environmental resistance to change of universal trajectory and the bigger the change the bigger the resistance to it. Overcoming that would be a question of altering the environment in the vicinity of the object, to decrease resistance. An analogy might be an air hockey puck which is free to move when the friction with the external environment is reduced.

I admire the very clear way in which you have set out your argument, the large type is a relief, the diagrams and tables very nice. I don't see how this explanation really solves any problems.I see you are suggesting another theoretical limitation and the clear relevance to the essay question, if it is assumed that reaching c is regarded as possible. Perhaps I am just not recognising the relevance of "the elephant" so am not bothered by it- but should be.

Good luck and kind regards Georgina.

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Author Don Limuti wrote on Oct. 3, 2012 @ 10:58 GMT
Hi Georgina,

Good to see you again in a contest. I am still interested in time and follow your posts. This essay can be extended to explain the arrow of time.... but I wanted to concentrate on the "elephant".

Yes, the usual reason for not being concerned with getting to infinite mass is that it is going to be more and more difficult to make the object go faster as it gains speed. This is usually thought of in classical terms...a golf ball is going to be difficult to accelerate after it gets to be the mass of a loaded supertanker.

However, this way of explaining away the problem glosses over a very big problem! This gaining of mass with velocity also applies to all quantum mechanical particles (electrons to Buckyballs). This essay makes a case that all quantum mechanical particles have a very precise mass limit at speed. This limit is the Planck mass (about 22 micrograms) and it occurs a little below the speed of light. Twenty two micrograms is really far away from infinity :)

This means the quantum world ends at 22 micrograms! All phenomena is classical after that. There is some over lap between quantum world and the classical world, but for the most part they are separate worlds that exist together. Most physicists say we have a choice of two different theories to explain the whole world. Our choice is between QM and Relativity. This is incorrect, Both theories are needed together because the quantum masses and the classical masses coexist together.

Please let me know if this makes sense to you.

Thanks, And best of luck!

Don L.

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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 14:30 GMT
Dear Don,

Sorry that it took so long to respond to you on the questions you posed on my thread.

We both agree that the Planck length is the minimum length in our causal universe, and in reference to "the reference of refernces" perhaps this length and time are the reference (beyond our consciousness). The length can be expressed in meters, yards of smurfs, it is the same one.

There is one problem I did not touch however, when a "unit" with a Planck length is moving at c relative to you, whet happens ? Since it is the minimum length it cannot shorten without entering the what I called Total Simultaneity, the other dimension where every possibillity is a probability available for our consciousness. So it leaves our causal reality.

Now for your photons : You indicate that they have "mass", but as far as I know they do not, thus how is that with your other formula's (ps I am bad with formula's but your text was very clear and even I understood them).

I should like to finish with the sentence of Descartes :

"COGTO ERGO SUM"

this in fact is the reference of my essay, and if the elephant in the room is thinking or has a consciousness he "IS", and then can interfere with our consciousness, the only thing the elephant has to do is grow beyond the Planck scale.

I hope to see your comments on my thread again.

best regards

Wilhelmus

PS I gave you a high rating, it is a good essay.

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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde replied on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 14:31 GMT
sorry it is :

COGITO ERGO SUM

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Author Don Limuti replied on Oct. 5, 2012 @ 19:55 GMT
Hello Wilhelmus,

1. I favor "I am, therefore I think". However, the phrase: "Cogito ergo Spud, I think therefore I Yam" is much more humorous.

2. I do think the Planck length is a limit, but it is not a quantization on space, it is a limit on wavelength. A wavelength can start on any point of space, but can only have wavelengths greater than a Planck length.

3. Oops, I did not mean to infer that light is a mass. It has an energy but this energy always propagates at c. Mass also has an energy that moves at c, but it resonates within a Compton wavelength. I did not mean to say that light has mass.

4. Reference of reference: A great way to refer to the measurement problem.

5. The observer is always at the bottom of the reference of reference chain and is "you".

6. The Reference of Reference is You. Is correct.

7. You make a measurement using light (or energy).

8. All the energy in the universe is in your frame of reference. It comes and goes with you.

9. How can that be?

a. Light is a Planck instant (h times Planck length) that repeats. Two Planck instants make a photon.

b. During the Planck length the velocity of light is 0. This means the physical manifestation of light is in your frame of reference.

c. After the Planck instant the speed of light is c (the speed of space-time) which continues until the next Planck instance. The light is not in existence at this time, but the Planck instance will appear again.

10. All light is in your frame of reference! That is why you always measure it as having a velocity c. Moving objects need not be in your frame of reference. And space-time adjusts to accomodate this.

11. What about somebody else? They also measure the speed c for light.

12. We are all locked to a common reference frame provided by light (energy).

13. This is a back of the envelope proof for "the reference of reference is you",

14. You are the observer and all measurements are locked to you.

Can I give my essay idea to you? I get headache thinking about "What is a Thought that a man may know it".

It has been super being in this contest with you.

Don L.

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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde replied on Oct. 8, 2012 @ 14:13 GMT
Dear Don ;

"What is a thought that a man may know it"

experience = awareness = conscious

to know can be divided in :

a. understand and being aware

b. not understand but being aware

c. almost understand with all the grades inbetween and being aware

d. believe

A thought is:

1. the result of data received (experiences) in the past on your SSS.

2. the result of data received by your consciousness direct from TS. (here the thought can be the cause of an event, of a future experience)

3. a causal process taking place in our causal deterministic universe, but this process can be influenced (see 2) by different non-causal data. (alpha-probabilities).

If you are not aware of a thought that means that you don't "know" the thought, however it exists as probability of future and also past alpha-probabilities in TS, so it is possible that "all of a sudden" you become aware of a thought you thought you would never be able to think.

What people call "BELIEF" is the total of unknown awareness (thoughts) that are "available" in TS, but humans in tha causal universe cannot explain them in the reductionist materialistic way, they "emerge".

This is just the beginning of the thought.

It is a good way that we answer each other on our threads because I gat a message when there is a new post, I think you too.

I hope to continue this fruitfull communication.

Wilhelmus

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John D Smith wrote on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 00:20 GMT
Hi Don. This is great stuff. I am certainly no doctor of anything but I do have an upward IQ and a great love for the mysteries of the universe. I have no qualifications but I have some strong convictions on what exactly gravity is. I've been studying gravitation, relativity, quantum mechanics, space-time and and many many other related subjects in an attempt to fully grasp these ideas so that I can eventually make a meaningful contribution in unification or at least gravitation. In the course of my studies I came to the subject of the Planck Length and many of my ideas suddenly made a little more sense to me. One idea I've been kicking around is that space is not a void but a solid 'mass' of, well, massless somethings that can be displaced and agitated and that light is possibly visible to us because it is disturbing this strata. Also I have been wondering today if perhaps photons DO have mass, but that mass is below a Planck threshold, therefore irrelevant in the real universe. Anyway, I was asking Google about these questions and was directed to this page along with Loop Quantum Gravity, which is almost precisely the same idea I had. Great stuff! Your words have encouraged me to continue learning, because I feel that while I am behind in qualification there are people like you out there that think like I do. Hopefully I will soon be able to fully comprehend all the math formulas and have more to say. I like your idea very much right now, even if that isn't much of a compliment coming from me. Best wishes to you.

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JDS replied on Nov. 20, 2012 @ 03:03 GMT
I normally refrain from politics when engaged in science but it seems very relevant to both your heroes, Don, and our ability to ferret out the secrets of the universe, and also because less educated people listen to folks like yourself so it's very important for the learned to make sure of their convictions. Anyway bear with me here and you might(might..:) be rewarded with a bit of morbid...

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