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Blogger William Orem wrote on Feb. 15, 2010 @ 04:02 GMT


An appreciative farewell is due this month to a true scientific radical. While he wasn’t a member of FQXi, his enthusiasm for deep cosmological questions, coupled with an absolute willingness to disagree openly – even vociferously! -- with the entire tide of conventional thought marked him as a rare and courageous thinker.

I’m speaking, of course, of Geoffrey Burbidge, grand old man of the alternative astrophysical community, Bruce Medalist, and almost the last remaining bugbear of the Standard Cosmological Model. Burbidge died this month at age 84, having revolutionized the field by first introducing (along with E. Margaret Burbidge, William Fowler, and Fred Hoyle) the notion of stellar nucleosynthesis in 1957. The team laid out the process in one of the great papers of the century, casually known to this day as B2FH. Thanks to B2FH, we understand where the heavy elements came from (contrary to earlier speculation, the Bang produced only hydrogen, helium, and lithium; lovely in their simplicity, but not much more than a primal haze). Burbidge and his coworkers presented compelling evidence that the stars, going through their cycles of life and death, crushed these light elements into more complex forms to be blasted out into space during supernovae. The earth and all its inhabitants, including the one writing this memorial, are evolution’s handiwork on the remnants of exploded stars.

Burbidge called me at home a few years back after I had written an article on his dogged opposition to the SCM. At the time I was science editor on a local paper; we had conversed by phone a few times during the writing of the piece, and then I had gone on to other things. I wasn’t sure why he was phoning me, but after several minutes realized he was simply keeping the conversation going – a charming aspect of his personality I would later learn was a commonplace among those who interacted with him. On that last call we talked for about a half hour about the “Quasi-steady State” model, his theory that the cosmos is infinitely old, experiencing partial collapses and expansions but no singularity. Perhaps most radical of all, Burbidge was skeptical of red-shift data altogether, which is, as they say, kicking at the big pole of the tent.

The man had a fascinating mind. Are we too quick to assume quasars are “cosmologically distant,” and should we (as Halton Arp maintains) take a closer look at their curious visual proximity to active galactic nuclei? Were people in the West more ready to accept the Bang than a steady-state model because the dominant religion had cued them to believe the universe has a beginning in time? Burbidge had even written his own alternative textbook, along with Hoyle and J. V. Narlikar, taking back the SCM and interpreting the data that led to it in an entirely new light.

The net is full of nonsense; everybody knows that. There are as many self-proclaimed geniuses touting a radical cosmology as there are gurus trying to conflate science with superstition. What I admire most about Burbidge, though, is the fact that for all his plying of strange waters he never let go of the rigorous standards of evidence required of credible theorizing. Was he right about SCM? Not many think so, especially after COBE and WMAP. I don’t think so myself. But ninety-nine can be wrong; I am reminded of the 1931 pamphlet “100 Scientists Against Einstein.” Burbidge’s role as gadfly reminds us of how uncertain we actually are of the correct way to read our data; the danger of merely following the crowd; of writing our cultural expectations into nature; and -- exactly because of that -- the necessity of holding on to the steady rudder of objective experiment. Look again: what today thinks it knows may well become the luminiferous aether of tomorrow.



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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Feb. 15, 2010 @ 13:47 GMT
Burbidge and others in the Hoyle-Burbidge camp raised up an alternative which in the 1960s in a reasonable scientific enterprise. It is worthwhile to propose alternatives to a developing theory which can be used as a benchmark, and potentially as a preferrable alternative. What I do find funny is how these people persisted in this alternative (steady state model etc) long after the jury had come in with a verdict.

Cheers LC

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Feb. 15, 2010 @ 13:50 GMT
"Infinitely old, experiencing partial collapses and expansions but no singularity."

As long as we cannot even reasonably speculate what was before a Genesis, this attitude is appealing and perhaps irrefutable. I frankly admit that I am not aware of a single example of a singularity in reality while I used to operate with singularities in theory on a regular basis.

"Were people in the West more ready to accept the Bang than a steady-state model because the dominant religion had cued them to believe the universe has a beginning in time?"

"Beginning in time"? The word IN is perhaps not quite correct. Aurelius Augustinus argued: God did nothing before Genesis. Prior there was no time. Some people mocked: Before Genesis he made the hellfire for those who put unwelcome questions.

Religions do certainly convey very old thoughts. If we accept that religions arose from human thoughts, we may look for some indications in language. Nature comes from Latin word natura = birth. Priests observed that the sun was born in the morning and died in the evening. Accordingly, some religion imagined periodic incarnation.

I would like to complain about a similar and also questionable generalization: Sunrise was learned to be predictable. Such facts led to the deeply rooted belief in an a priori existing future, in the extreme to fatalism. Actually, there is no way to safely look ahead into all future. The most ridiculous case of belief in a "Vorsehung" (providence) was the man who led Germany into the worst crimes.

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James Putnam replied on Feb. 16, 2010 @ 20:13 GMT
Dear Eckard Blumschein,

Ian Durham has started a discussion: Forums, Ultimate Reality, The limits of Mathematics. I thought perhaps you might be interested in it.

James

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Feb. 17, 2010 @ 16:50 GMT
Thank you for the hint. What could I contribute here? I wonder why Zeh did not quote Burbidge. I wonder not so much about the considerable gap between VLBI in the GHz, i.e., the mm range and patterns of spectral lines in the split micrometer range of light that can be undoubtedly identified as red-shifted or blue-shifted due to the Doppler effect.

To my humble knowledge, there are at least three methods for Tera-Hertz technology all three being somewhat difficult and running into problems with SNR.

An angular resolution of 0.2 degrees is hopefully not yet close to the best feasible one. As a layman, I guess both the size of an space-based array for synthetic aperture and the time of exposure can be extended much further in principle.

Regards,

Eckard

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 17, 2010 @ 00:43 GMT
Well, At least the steady state model doesn't require Inflation to make it work.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Feb. 17, 2010 @ 12:26 GMT
The steady state model is about as dead as phlogiston theory or aether. The universe is simply expanding, and evidence points to an accelerated expansion. Inflationary cosmology is here to stay.

Cheers LC

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 17, 2010 @ 12:38 GMT
Dear Lawrence,

I am sorry to tell you that but your perception is false about the accelerated expansion in my line of reasoning.

Indeed it exists different steps of evolution inside the sphere, an accelaration is logic indeed but not eternal, that has no sense about the harmony.

This perception is chaotic due to a bad understanding of the evolution and thus about the time and too about the gravity.

When we analyze relatively our universe, we see the past dynamics thus we can't resume the acceleration at this simple conclusion.

The expansion evolves and goes towards a maximum volume in my humle opinion, if not the future interactions between spheres shan't be harmonized and optimized.That has no sense.We can't make a generality about these dynamics of evolution.Furthermore the rotation of all around the universal center is essential too thus you can imagine our datas at thismoment, our Universe is a sphere and thus that implies a specific topology which evolves.

The relativity is that dear Lawrence and with respect.

Cheers

Steve

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Ray Munroe replied on Feb. 17, 2010 @ 13:56 GMT
Dear Steve,

Until I hear a consistent explanation for the redshift and the cosmic microwave background, I am satisfied with Big Bang Theory and Inflation. Lawrence and I are working with models that may introduce a Quantum Critical point capable of causing Inflation.

Have Fun!

Ray

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 17, 2010 @ 18:13 GMT
Dear Ray,

You know I am direct and frank.Thus to be short, here is my conclusion.And of course a critic is a nice critic with respect.

a Quantum Critical point capable of causing Inflation.

Impossible for me because your tools and referential are falses.

You are competents but your ideas are falses simply like many theories which are falses too.

I can understand it is difficult to admit but the rationalmity is like that.Never you shall understand the inflations like that.Impossible dear Ray like the extradimensions, the higgs,strings, superstrings, the infinity in the physicality, the time machine, the white holes, the exterior causal mass, .....all that is false.The axiomatization must be rational in fact.

If you change your line of reasoning, you and Lawrence you shall find interesting ideas but there no it is false.

This critical point dear Ray , let's go for a proof.

Regards

Steve

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 17, 2010 @ 17:14 GMT
Lawrence,

I think you and I have been around this enough not to start again, but I do think there are a few too many elephants swept under the rug of BBT. Inflation theory being the largest.

Btw, All redshift proves, according to BBT, is that space is expanding, not the universe, because according to what seems to be generally accepted theory, gravity is causing space to collapse at a fairly equal rate and as I pointed out in our most recent discussion on the topic, if the same amount of space is exiting stage left, as is entering stage right, then the stage is stable, no matter what is going on backstage.

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 18, 2010 @ 02:44 GMT
Lawrence,

As for the "accelerated expansion," the original assumption was that the rate of expansion slowed as the universe expanded, but this wasn't the case. Apparently there is an underlaying expansion effect to space itself, thus it isn't accelerated, but rather didn't slow to the degree BBT assumed. It should also be noted that this underlaying effect is apparently identical to what Einstein proposed as the Cosmological Constant. A function he specifically added to prevent gravity from causing space to collapse to a point, thus balancing the effect of gravity and resulting in a stable universe.

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Florin Moldoveanu replied on Feb. 19, 2010 @ 04:58 GMT
John,

Einstein made a mistake in thinking that adding a cosmological constant would result in a stable universe as it can be proven by rather elementary arguments that the equilibrium position is unstable.

PS: I am not really sure what part of the cosmological constant story Einstein considered his biggest blunder: the fact that he introduce it, that it does not lead to a stable configuration, or that he retracted it later on, while it is indeed a real physical phenomena? I think that most likely it is the faulty justification of stable equilibrium that he considers the blunder as the proof of unstable equilibrium is simple and rather embarrassing for someone like Einstein.

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 19, 2010 @ 12:11 GMT
Hi all,

Dear John,

I am happy to see your perceptions and doubts about the expansion,

The equilibrium and the harmony are universals, the humans interpretations them are instables, chaotics due to a lack of whole vision.

Anybody can say how is the serie since the begining because we are youngs at the universal scale and its evolution, thus how can we interpret the different steps of expansion, acceleration, decceleration, contraction,density, volumes, mass, energy.

It is purely impossible for us(in the 2 senses, quant./or cosmol.) at this moment, already we don't know well our solar system thus how can we find the correct serie.

I insist on the rotation of all around the universal center , all the quantum spheres since the begining rotate and evolve , this rotation change all our datas about our realism I think humbly.All was coded inside this sphere.

All has a center and our Universal sphere too , a beautiful sphere in 3D with its irreversibilities, constants ....The dynamic is specific since the begining of this physicality.This sphere builds the gravity with the light.

The evolution implies a perception, rational.

Best Regards

Steve

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Feb. 19, 2010 @ 12:23 GMT
To expand on Florin's comment, the cosmological constant is a Ricci scalar curvature term Λg_{ab}, which is added to the Einstein field equation. Einstein did impose this as a way of keeping the universe static. It must be remembered than in 1910-19 when Einstein worked on and penned down general relativity the known universe was not thought to extend far beyond the Milky Way galaxy. Hubble demonstrated in the 1920s that various nebulae were other galaxies which were receding away and the known universe became far larger. It was at this point Einstein retracted the idea as his “biggest blunder.”

The Λg_{ab} cosmological constant term is a constant of integration, and physically it is connected to some quantum vacuum effect or zero point energy. There are issues of course with why this Λg_{ab} = (8πG/c^4)(ρg_{ab} – p_ap_b) is so much smaller than what is expected from the vacuum energy density ρ expected from quantum field theory. However, this does not negate the clear observations which illustrate the existence of Λ.

Cheers LC

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Feb. 19, 2010 @ 03:43 GMT
Sorry guys, but the standard model as it is now being called is pretty much on the mark and matches the data. There are no "elephants" swept under the rug.

Cheers LC

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John Merryman replied on Feb. 21, 2010 @ 03:40 GMT
Lawrence,

Then I will go back to an issue we have discussed before, but which I don't remember getting a clear rebuttal:

When the concept of an expanding universe was first proposed, it was assumed to be an expansion IN space and the redshift was a basic Doppler effect of recessional velocity. This was later changed to an expansion OF space because all those distant galaxies were redshifted as though they were moving directly away from us and we were at the center point from which this expansion occurred. So the theory was modified to say that space itself expands, such that every point appears to be the center.

As I have argued previously, if space itself is expanding, then the speed of light would have to increase at the same rate, since this is our most stable measure of space. This creates a contradiction with the idea of expanding space though, because the expansion would not be detectable. Example: If two galaxies are a billion lightyears apart and the universe doubles in size, because space expands, they would still be a billion lightyears apart, since the speed of light would increase proportionally.



Otherwise, if they are now two billion lightyears apart, this is not an expansion OF space, because we have simply increased the amount of space between the galaxies, NOT stretched it!!!!

What would determine the speed of light, if we say space expands, but lightspeed remains constant? Constant to WHAT?

(With the Doppler effect, when something moves away from you, it doesn't stretch the space in between, but moves through space that is already there, such that space which was in front of it, is now behind it and is more space between you and the object.)

On the other hand, if redshift is an optical effect due to some consequence of light traveling enormous distances, possibly due to the waves of this light expanding out to cover enormous volume and having proportional effects on the photons detected, it would make perfect sense that all these distant sources appear redshifted directly away from us.

When gravity bends the path of light traveling through it, we don't argue that the source of this light moved, only that its path was affected and it appeared to us to have moved. I think, eventually, we will come to similar conclusions about redshift. Obviously not anytime soon, of course.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Feb. 21, 2010 @ 12:22 GMT
Gravity in general is the dynamics of space. Near a black hole space is flowing into the black hole within the Arnowitt-Deser-Misner (ADM) space plus time formulism of general relativity. Any observer on a small local frame observes the speed of light to be invariant. General relativity is formulated by patching together local regions with their affine coordinates, and these local regions are patched together into tangent bundles or affine connections. In the case of cosmology points of space are not flowing into a gravitational source, but instead are separating apart with a velocity v = Hd, H = Hubble constant = 74km/s/Mpc and d = distance from any frame in mega parsecs (Mpc). This perspective has little deviation from a naïve model which has objects moving at v

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John Merryman replied on Feb. 21, 2010 @ 17:44 GMT
Lawrence,

"Gravity in general is the dynamics of space. Near a black hole space is flowing into the black hole within the Arnowitt-Deser-Misner (ADM) space plus time formulism of general relativity."



"In the case of cosmology points of space are not flowing into a gravitational source, but instead are separating apart with a velocity v = Hd, H = Hubble constant = 74km/s/Mpc and d = distance from any frame in mega parsecs (Mpc)."

So space IS flowing into black holes, AS points in space are separating/space is forming across the vacuum. AND, according to theory and observation, these two effects are basically equal, resulting in an overall flat space, AS the effect of expansion corresponds to what Einstein proposed as the Cosmological Constant.

It's not that I'm trying to be thickheaded, or proposing some fantastical new model. I'm just taking the information that's out there and pointing out it adds up, without needing BigBangInflation Theory and while you keep telling me how naive I am, you don't seem to be able to clarify why.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Feb. 21, 2010 @ 19:03 GMT
Take a look at Inside black holes and in particular water fall of space. There you can see some representations of this flow of space. For a cosmology the arrows are everywhere moving away from each other. Other pages here illustrate what things would appear as by falling into a black hole.

General relativity takes a bit to understand and wrap one’s brain around. Quantum mechanics is another strange area to fathom, and then the quantum holographic principle is stranger than the two together.

Cheers LC

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 21, 2010 @ 21:42 GMT
Lawrence,

Those links didn't seem to work:

"Safari can’t open the page “http://%20http://jila.colorado.edu/~ajsh/insidebh/waterfa
ll.html”. The error was: “Cannot show URL” (WebKitErrorDomain:101) Please choose Report Bugs to Apple from the Safari menu, note the error number, and describe what you did before you saw this message."

I don't see how models of space falling into black holes do anything other than further emphasize my point that gravity is balancing out the expansion of space.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Feb. 21, 2010 @ 22:20 GMT
Just eliminate the ://%20http on the address bar and refresh it. Something strange happened in copying it.

LC

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 22, 2010 @ 00:43 GMT
Lawrence,

Thanks, that worked. It is a very interesting depiction of the effect on space by a black hole.

Still....Space is falling into these gravity wells at the same rate it is growing between them.

Why does that not seem to register?

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Feb. 22, 2010 @ 01:39 GMT
Don't think of these points of space as being particles. How space flows is dependent upon the coordinate condition one works in, or physically the frame bundle one is on. Space and space time metrics and connections are analogous to the vector potentials in electromagnetism, which are not covariant. So in a strange sense they are not "real," even though these gauge dependent quantities are an external symmetry we sense as space according to how objects are related to each other.

Cheer LC

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 22, 2010 @ 02:41 GMT
Lawrence,

I don't think of those points in space being particles. Actually I don't even think of particles as particles, but as nodes in a network.

I'm just trying to use whatever terms put us on the same wavelength. Personally I think of space as being an equilibrium state, but am willing to think in whatever terms others do, to try to understand where they are coming from and how they are modeling the situation.

Space, as distance, dimension, volume, etc. isn't hypothetically "real," in the sense of the aforementioned particle, but what is? The particle only exists as an effect of its relationships and motions, in the same way that space only exists as an effect of the motions and relationships defining it.

The point is that what we measure as space is expanding between gravity wells and contracting into them. If, as seems to be the case, these two effects are balanced, then it is, by definition, a stable situation.

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Feb. 22, 2010 @ 14:27 GMT
The two cases are not balanced. That was the motivation of Einstein in proposing the cosmological constant. It comes down to data, and the data clearly shows the universe is expanding and doing so in an accelerated "eternal inflation."

Space and spacetime are similar to vector potential fields in electromagnetism. These vector potentials are not real, and the actual fields determined by the two-form F = dA are also not Hermitian in a quantum format and thus do not form a real observable in a proper sense. The situation is similar with space and spacetime, though rather than being a space of an internal symmetry it is of an external symmetry. This external symmetry is seen in the observed spatial or distance relationships between bodies. General relativity really describes the motion of objects in spacetime according to a geodesic deviation equation



Which is an equation of relative motion between two particles.

Cheers LC

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John Merryman replied on Feb. 22, 2010 @ 18:08 GMT
Lawrence,

You said not to think of the points in space as particles and I don't. I think light expands out as its own wave and only when it connects with mass does it ground out as a photon. This explains such effects as entanglement and why light is so distinct after traveling so far. If light traveled across the universe as individual photons, it seems likely there would be far more distortion.

So now the only light we actually observe is what has traveled the routes most unimpeded by intervening gravity fields and other objects, so it has traveled across space which is expanding the most, not the space which is falling into gravity fields. Therefore the effect on the light we can observe, that is crossing only expanding space, thus is expanded, but, given the proffered wave nature of light, this expansion is negated by the portions of the wave being pulled into gravity wells, but which we cannot observe.

Now space is presumably close to flat:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shape_of_the_Universe

"Anal
ysis of data from WMAP implies that the universe is spatially flat with only a 2% margin of error.[1]"

Though this view does still assume the universe is expanding, this is based on the assumption that the observed redshifted photons are completely unentangled with those falling into gravity wells.

It still should be noted that dark energy, the accelerated "eternal inflation," does correspond to a Cosmological Constant:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_constant

"
There are other possible causes of an accelerating universe, such as quintessence, but the cosmological constant is in most respects the most parsimonious solution."

Now obviously I don't expect you to seriously consider the validity of my point of view, but I do think there are unaddressed problems with the the current comic model and by the time these are resolved, many current assumptions will have to be reconsidered.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Feb. 23, 2010 @ 00:44 GMT
Spacetime is not locked into what you seem to think. The speed of light is a local result, but on a nonlocal scale space can dynamically evolve in ways which violate our local ideas about the speed of light.

Cheers LC

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 23, 2010 @ 03:40 GMT
Lawrence,

Maybe it's the way I learned why the speed of light is invariant to the speed of the observer, in that as the observer speeds up, its clock is slowed proportionally, because the combined velocity and atomic activity of the electrons spinning around cannot exceed the speed of light and at the speed of light, there is no internal atomic activity, because it would require exceeding the speed of light. That's why, for light, there is no time. Admittedly it was a very old textbook on the subject.

As for the whole idea of time as a dimension, I keep arguing it is an effect of motion, not a dimensional basis for it. In other words, activity is changing the configuration state, so that events are created and replaced, thus going future to past, even as we, as particular points of reference embedded within our circumstance, view the series as past to future. In other words, the earth isn't traveling the fourth dimension from yesterday to tomorrow. Tomorrow becomes yesterday because the earth rotates. Thus the concept of time travel is meaningless, because there is no time dimension to travel, but simply energy changing shape.

So, from this point of view, space is simply an equilibrium state and it can only be defined in terms of what occupies it. It would be meaningless to say it expands at greater than lightspeed, because there is no there there. It is what is defining it.

I realize modern physics has created enormously complex mathematical models which configure it however theory can model it, but I do think some significant part are as fantastical as time travel.

Escher sketches of water falls and and stairways that go round in circles are locally logical, but on the non-local scale, they are nonsense.

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Feb. 23, 2010 @ 08:56 GMT
Yes and we can go in the time , more speedly than the light, and with extradimensions, well ,I think you confound all my friends and not a little.

It is really ironic for scientists.

You don't undertand the relativity dear friends.

I invite you to re study .

Ps the freen speaking indeed is the road of the truth.Spherisation, an eternal expansion, no but I dream or what.Oh my God.

I am laughing , you are scientists or you make a film.hihihi

Regards

Steve

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Feb. 23, 2010 @ 13:17 GMT
The speed of light is a constant which pertains to one's local frame. If the spacetime is flat everywhere then one’s local frame is extended throughout the spacetime. For curved spacetimes physics is not so easily understood by a single frame, but involves transformations between frame bundles and curvatures. The analogue with the Escher picture is somewhat relevant, and globally these pictures seem to make no sense. They present you with some apparent contradiction. Yet for pictures such as the staircase and waterfall these are due to inverse map on a projective bundle. Other pictures which have people walking a various orientations are representations of noncommutative geometry. The cubist art of Picasso and Rivera are also representations of noncommutative geometry. In connection with curved spacetime, if one attempts to extend one’s local rules in a frame “everywhere” you run into difficulties.

Cheers LC

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 23, 2010 @ 16:26 GMT
An important thing, The light speed is constant indeed but the gravity modulates the light for a building of these mass, thus the light decrease but not increases, it is foundamental.

The non commutativity, the non associativity, the locality with bad math tools don't erxplain nothing.

Don't complicate the simplicity.The locality is like the globality, relatively speaking in fact .

To understand the locality, before you must understand the globality because ALL IS PROPORTIONAL .The mass is a simple divivion of mass towards the Planck Scale, the real research is this one, to improve our actuals foundamentals but don't change them please, in respect with our scientists, like Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Copernic, Feynman.......let's be pragmatic please and respect the referential please ,I say that for the sciences community and its evolution.

Regards

Steve

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 23, 2010 @ 20:20 GMT
Lawrence and Steve,

The issue everyone is trying to deal with is how to define the whole as anything more than the sum of parts that never quite seem to add up, but often give the illusion of doing so.

It is difficult to extrapolate the global from the local, much like trying to understand a sphere in terms of the flat space constructed from the perspective of every point on its surface. We rationalize it it in terms of the digitized, atomized components, but there is an evident analog whole that defies description.

We all approach this problem from different perspectives and perceive different aspects, arguing over those that seem evidently contradictory. Often what seem true doesn't fit in other situations. Order turns to chaos and then emerges from chaos. Spheres turn to bubbles and pop, streaming out into the void, as others condense out of the void.

Sometimes our models are bubbles that grow, until they can grow no more and then pop. Leaving us to pick up the pieces and try something different. The current debt based monetary system comes to mind, among other mass belief systems.

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Bubba Gump wrote on Feb. 24, 2010 @ 00:54 GMT
The scietific community needs more scholars like Burbridge -- those not afraid to challenge established orthodoxy even in the face of ridicule. Based on our current state of knowlege, his adherence to the theory seems a bit implausible but his convictions are admirable. The scientific community has become too complacent and posesses a herd mentality that stifles originality in favor of the status quo. The status quo is motivated by the desire for tenure over theoretical advancement. Days are spent writing copious amounts of papers, many of them redundant, in an effort to query favor.

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 24, 2010 @ 10:09 GMT
Dear Bubba Gump,

Interesting point of vue , like what the sciences community needs limits too.

I suspect a wall between the sciences and the pseudo sciences, hope that exists but I ask me in fact.

I think many confounds and it is sad for the the sciences community.

Incredible reality of an economic and chaotic system.

Well well well , Oh my God....

Steve

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Feb. 24, 2010 @ 07:41 GMT
Dear John,

You said,"Sometimes our models are bubbles that grow, until they can grow no more and then pop. Leaving us to pick up the pieces and try something different. "

At first, it kind of sounded pessimistic. But then it reminded me of something. Notice the physics community's morbid fascination with entropy, that everything will end in a cold dark desolate and destroyed way. Yet, the stuff we overlook everyday beneath our feet...dirt. Dirt is the biospheres contradiction and dismissal of this negative entropic outlook. Dirt recycles itself and lasts for millions of years. It continues to support our biosphere. Let's embrace the symbolic meaning of dirt.

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Feb. 24, 2010 @ 10:53 GMT
Hi ,

Dear FQXi and all, Like you know I am young, 34 years old and I work about the creation of an international Humanistic Sciences center focus on priorities for the fogotten.

My aim is very simple, unite interesting people, humanist and universalist.

The project is on the road with many many friends everywhere on this Earth, indeed the geostrategy is important for the optimized synergies.

Thus FQXi if you want be a partner, you are welcome, my only condition is to be universalist above the borders, the differences, the money .....the others I invite them to make business.....

Regards

Steve

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 24, 2010 @ 17:33 GMT
Bubba,

It's really more of a fundamental physical reality, then just conscious decisions. The inclination is to scale the existing structures and questioning them can be counter productive, so the truest believers are those mostly likely to reach the top and gain the most power. Just look at how religious and political institutions develop.

Science likes to think it's more objective, but given the size of the projects, it's much more logical to plaster over problems than to bring the whole process to a stop and thoroughly examine them.

So it's only when the weaknesses exceed the strengths that the seriousness of those problems become unavoidable.

Jason,

As I see it, entropy only applies to closed systems. In a fundamentally open network, lost energy is constantly being replaced by energy that's lost from surrounding systems. So while systems form and grow until they start losing more energy than they gain, new generations of systems are constantly growing up in their place. The Big Bang model assumes the universe is a single system that loses energy to expansion, but the expansion is a source of energy as well. If it is an infinite system, the energy being radiated away from our area is constantly being replaced by energy radiated into it from surrounding areas. Even a Big Bang model must explain where the initial energy comes from, otherwise it's no different than saying it's "God's Will."

It should be noted that Physics has been treading water for a couple of decades, on many of the big issues. Is this just a plateau before continuing further, or is it a sign of internal weaknesses?

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T H Ray wrote on Feb. 24, 2010 @ 17:33 GMT
Lawrence, John:

Your dialogue on Escher (reference to AMS article at end) reminded me of some private notes I made last year, in developing a method in complex analysis to show irreversibility of time in dimensions d > 3. My physical definition of "time" is: "n-dimensional infinitely orientable metric on self-avoiding random walk," which leads to these consequences:

We have in the complex (Riemann) sphere a 1-point compactification of the 2-dimensional complex plane, with a point at infinity. By a method of rotation of adjoined, disjoint spheres (for which I have a detailed description that I won't go into here), results on the equator represent the flow of time away from infinity. The flow is always oriented, on the n-dimension Riemann surface.

We identify the complex plane origin as the joined equators of S^2 + S^2, the topological equivalent of S^3. Because every Riemann surface accommodates negative (hyperbolic), zero (elliptic) and positive (parabolic) curvature, we find that the orientability of the surface exchanges continuous curvature for a discrete point at the closest approach of equators where values (i, + 1, - 1) square to (- 1, + 1, + 1) of S^3, which we may interpret as 0 + 1 spacetime -- i.e., the function-theoretic class of Riemann surfaces containing all complex numbers, z, except 0 and 1 [1]. This parabola, then, is continuous (and dissipative, we show) over n-dimension Riemann surfaces within the given definition of time.

As we move, then, from C to C-hat (Riemann sphere) [2], the transformation that exchanges units of space for units of time is nothing more than the familiar rotation in the complex plane, from the origin. In other words, the kissing boundary of spheres of infinite radii is not differentiable from a straight line of infinite length. The unique point of measure zero at the closest approach of S^2 + S^2 corresponds to the complex plane origin, and the point at infinity corresponds to an orthogonal line of infinite length, lying on the imaginary (Y) axis.

[1] http://www.ams.org/notices/200304/fea-escher.pdf

[2] O'Shea, Donal. The Poincare Conjecture, p. 78

Tom

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 24, 2010 @ 18:56 GMT
Houra there that becomes relevant, let's go dear friends for the hypothesis of Riemann and the zeta function, Dear Mr Euler and Rieman , that becomes finally, at lenght, ...interesting.

Afetr all the primes numbers like said Euler are a mystery what our human mind .....you know these words I suppose.Gaussitude in french hahahah Moebius where are you ....the fermat principle is invited too...

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Ray Munroe replied on Feb. 24, 2010 @ 19:16 GMT
Dear Steve,

I don't have access to the programs and computers that I used to use, but you would be amazed at the problems that I've been able to solve with Microsoft Excel and some simple numerical approximations and iterations. Just Do It!

Ray

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 24, 2010 @ 19:26 GMT
Hello Dr Cosmic Ray,

It is your fault hihihi you say, me , Have fun have fun and you see now, hihihih I like you too dear Ray even if I am like a baby sometimes on this platform, I play like a baby with an arrogance of baby but I am nice and I like really the people, the Earth is a big familly in fact, we are all linked.

I like this platform and the skills of people , even if I disagree with many ideas, but is it the essential, no of course and fortunally.

I respect you dear Ray and you know it ,you know me in private.You Too Laurence and Georgina, I just catalyze like a baby, ....

It is well said "just do it" ....like Nike hihihihi to be serious I prefer cretate the center Ray, it is a physical reality that for me and my friends wait me too, I must create it .Dear Dr Cosmic Ray, why calculate a false and not utile serie , that is the question in my humble opinion....

Take care

Steve

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T H Ray wrote on Feb. 24, 2010 @ 17:57 GMT
Making the link live:

Escher

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 25, 2010 @ 03:51 GMT
Tom,

Time is emergent. The flow is a construct. It is the narrative, the series. Activity changes the form, so these forms are emerging/dissolving. They go from potential, to actual, to residual. From future to past.

We are our own point of reference and while our context changes, but it is always the present state. The dimensional concept of time assumes the events are real and the present is an illusion, but it is the other way around.

That is why, when we try modeling the dimension of time, it always comes out looking like an Escher sketch, as different rates of motion create different clocks.

That is an interesting monograph on the effort which Escher put into constructing his work. Mathematics is a very powerful tool. One that can be illuminating or deceptive and often both at the same time, since the distillation of reality clarifies by elimination. We end up with particles, but not processes. Nodes, but not networks. Form without function. Meaning without purpose. Lifeless Gods.

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T H Ray wrote on Feb. 25, 2010 @ 14:30 GMT
John,

When we say some property is emergent, it always applies to the dynamics of some complex system. It may be expressed as weak emergence, in which case the property is a pattern one would not observe in the absence of the interacting elements of the system and disappears at the end of the interaction; weak emergence is an example of what in physical terms would be called an illusion--e.g., in general relativity, time and space taken separately are weakly emergent properties, because space and time are not physically real of themselves and only the (Minkowski) space-time continuum possesses a physical reality. In Einstein's definition, "physically real" means "...independent in its physical properties, having a physical effect but not itself affected by physical conditions." [1] So in general relativity we may speak of events as time-like or space-like even as we understand that space and time are not independent.

A strongly emergent property is one that does have physically real effects independent of the system. The boundary between holistic and reductionistic thus becomes blurred; how does a system have an irreducible property, when taken independently of the system, the properties of this property _are_ reducible? It was a most satisfying experience for me personally, when I grasped the importance of Yaneer Bar-Yam's complex systems research, which answers this question, with The Law of Multi-Scale Variety (derived in part from Gordon Ashby's Law of Requisite Variety). Bar-Yam showed that lateral (as opposed to linear hierarchical) distribution of system control results in a dynamically changing center as the system components self-organize at different rates. Thus in a time-dependent system, the aggregate of time (the sum of independent intervals) will show relative equilibrium, growing proportionately more smooth with increasing length of chosen time interval, while small scale changes will vary--sometimes radically--among small intervals. [2]

It is not clear to me whether you favor time as a weakly emergent or strongly emergent property. Unequivocally, I find that time is strongly emergent, i.e., physically real. In a background-independent, self-organized world, components (network nodes) exchanging information do not have to be physically real; feedback effects, both positive and negative, are the physically real elements that drive system change. I am not alone in treating time this way. In this forum you can find at least two researchers--Fotini Markopoulou and Lev Goldfarb-- who assign physically real properties to time.

Tom

[1] Einstein. A. The Meaning of Relativity, Princeton University Press. (1956)

[2] Braha, D. & Bar-Yam, Y.[2006]. “From Centrality to Temporary Fame: Dynamic Centrality in Complex Networks.” Complexity vol 12, no 2, pp 59-63

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T H Ray wrote on Feb. 25, 2010 @ 15:49 GMT
Lawrence,

Metamaterials? I had to Google the term--very interesting! I expect that such a substrate would be useful in quantum computing machines, no?

Tom

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Feb. 25, 2010 @ 16:48 GMT
These are interesting materials with exotic indices of refraction. The position dependent index of refraction is given by conformal maps on the complex plane.

As for quantum computing I am not so sure, but I think they might be a way in which the holographic prinicple could be realized. A shell of metamaterials can act as a sort of "black hole," where the properties of entangled states might be probed. In that way the stretched membrane of the hologrphic principle can be simulated.

Cheers LC

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T H Ray replied on Feb. 26, 2010 @ 17:31 GMT
Lawrence,

I was thinking more in terms of large scale quantum coherence, such as Bose-Einstein condensation and superconductivity. A substance that locally suspends, i.e., traps, information I would think can mimic states of superposition -- thus allowing local interpretation of nonlocal influences.

Tom

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Feb. 26, 2010 @ 18:45 GMT
TH Ray,

I am not sure if this is a way to create BEC or condensate physics. At least I had not thought of it that way. I attach a little diagram of the physics, which is really a type of conformal map on the complex plane. The yellow line is for a photon directed nearly along the x axis, which is deflected from this interior region. This forms a cloaking device of sorts, where that interior is invisible from the outside. This is in a way similar to a black hole, call it an optical pseudo-black hole. Now if that photon were directed dead on along the x axis it is trapped at the intersection of the inner circle and that axis. This is then similar to an event horizon, though it is a point here and not a surface. So this is in a way similar to an euclideanized black hole. The photon is trapped in this point similar to how quantum fields are trapped on the stretched horizon in holographic black hole physics. So if we have a large set of over complete photon states, such as laser coherent states, then these fields will have nonlocal entanglements with a photon field trapped at that point. It could then be possible to do some quasi-quantum black hole physics this way. In particular some of the strange properties of BH-holography could be tested.

Cheers LC

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T H Ray replied on Feb. 26, 2010 @ 19:16 GMT
Thanks, Lawrence.

I didn't mean to conflate BEC or superconductivity with metamterials; I was only using these as examples of large scale quantum phenomena.

Metamaterials, it seems to me, are instruments that create such coherence on the large scale, and insofar as such a state contains information preserved in an infinite loop, superposition states (at least, a finite number) could be created, sampled and used analytically, as opposed to the digital "prison" in which our present computing technology resides.

Maybe we are saying the same thing, actually, insofar as I can parse your explanation. Doesn't " ... laser coherent states... (possessing) ... nonlocal entanglements with a photon field trapped at that point ..." correspond to quantum information in superposition?

Tom

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 25, 2010 @ 17:42 GMT
Tom,

In light of your description, it's difficult to see what might be a strongly emergent property, but I think I will distinguish space as a strong emergence and time as a weak emergence.

Say the essence of reality is a fluctuating vacuum. Space is the vacuum. Time, like temperature, is an effect of the fluctuation.

Now the question here would be why I'm treating space as a strong emergence. That is because I think it amounts to an equilibrium state. When you have matter and anti-matter, or expanding and contracting space, the equilibrium isn't an obvious effect, but it is hidden in there. Consider an object in space with no outside reference. How would you be able to define whether it is spinning, or stationary? There would be a centrifugal force. What is the source of that, if space doesn't exert an equilibrium?

Time, on the other hand, is simply an effect of the fluctuation causing change, just as temperature is a scalar measure of the variance away from an equilibrium state, or absolute zero.

In this respect is might be argued that the fluctuation is the emergent property, but that begs the question of what is "physically real."

I do think space as an equilibrium state might have other subliminal effects, such as on the question of gravity and the speed of light, since the closer one gets to light speed, the slower one's clock runs and the pull of an equilibrium could explain that.

I realize this runs counter to space being completely relativistic, but than relativity describes time as only running past to future and the only effect, other than spatial motion, I perceive is the present falling into the past.

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T H Ray wrote on Feb. 26, 2010 @ 12:20 GMT
John,

You wrote "...I think I will distinguish space as a strong emergence and time as a weak emergence."

You can't do that and preserve general relativity. Which invalidates the rest of your argument.

" ... relativity describes time as only running past to future ..."

That isn't true. General relativity is a classical theory, in which time is a simple parameter of reversible trajectory. That is, though we don't observe broken teacups reassemble themselves, the equations work just as well backward as forward. A continuum of spacetime (Minkowski space) does not distinguish between space and time, but only as a unified, continuous "physically real" object, spacetime.

" ... and the only effect, other than spatial motion, I perceive is the present falling into the past."

You wouldn't be able to distinguish present from past in those terms, applying general relativity. Again, consider the observer dependence: we know to the best of our experimental capacity that we might observe a pile of broken teacup shards forever (whatever that means) and it would only tend to greater disorder. Run the film of the teacup breaking in the reverse direction, however, and the teacup hops back up onto the table, whole and filled with steaming Oolong.

An extradimensional theory in which time is physically real can preserve general relativity in the limit of 3 + 1 dimensions, and account for the irreversiblity of the time trajectory. In other words, such an extension of general relativity would do what relativity did to Newtonian physics.

Tom

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 26, 2010 @ 17:55 GMT
Tom,

"You can't do that and preserve general relativity. Which invalidates the rest of your argument."

Uh, no. That invalidates your consideration of my argument. Otherwise you are making claims as to the absolute nature of General Relativity that would be a faith based assertion.

Yes, General Relativity does view time as a dimension and the direction is immaterial to the theory, but doesn't that point out the limits of the theory, in relation to the teacup? The map doesn't fully explain the territory, obviously.

What I'm saying is that time is not a dimension, so the tape cannot theoretically be run backwards. The problem is that the dimensional conception of time is based on the narrative construct. That it is the series of frames, be they pages of a book, or frames of a film. Also known as block time.

I'm saying that sequential series of events is an effect of change in the state of what exists, otherwise known as the present. The motion of this energy is a convective cycle of expanding energy and collapsing mass. This explains why the teacup cannot jump back up on the table in one piece. There was a series of consolidating processes which brought the particular mass of that cup of tea to the table, frequently expending and releasing energy in the process. When it fell, due to the contraction of mass, ie. gravity, it released some degree of energy, as well as the hot tea. In order to put the cup back there, you would have to repeat the process which put it there in the first place.

To repeat the point of why time, as the series of events, does go the opposite direction, since you state you did not consider my argument: While the event of the cup being on the table preceded the event of it falling to the floor, these events, as with all events, are first in the future, then in the past.

To the extent time is perceived as proceeding in the direction of the future, it is similar to the spatial effect of walking on a treadmill, or flying into a stiff wind. Your seeming progress in one direction is matched by the circumstances proceeding in the opposite direction, toward the past. "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." There is far more to relativity than General Relativity.

To repeat: The earth does not travel the fourth dimension from yesterday to tomorrow. Tomorrow becomes yesterday because the earth rotates. (In space.)

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T H Ray replied on Feb. 26, 2010 @ 18:55 GMT
John,

You wrote

"Tom,

"You can't do that and preserve general relativity. Which invalidates the rest of your argument."

Uh, no. That invalidates your consideration of my argument. Otherwise you are making claims as to the absolute nature of General Relativity that would be a faith based assertion."

It would? You mean spacetime is not continuous in your argument? And this relates to general relativity ... how?

"What I'm saying is that time is not a dimension, so the tape cannot theoretically be run backwards."

In fact, _theoretically_ it does run backward. It is experimentally that it doesn't.

"In order to put the cup back there, you would have to repeat the process which put it there in the first place."

I think you mean reverse the process. No matter, though--the process is irreversible not through any failing of general relativity; the microscopic effects of dissipation in an open system (Prigogine) accounts for it.

"To repeat: The earth does not travel the fourth dimension from yesterday to tomorrow. Tomorrow becomes yesterday because the earth rotates. (In space.)"

Well, I don't know what model you base this on, so there isn't any way to tell whether you are right or wrong. However, you can't appeal to general relativity to make this point. Time _is_ the fourth dimension in that theory, and there is no distinction between past and future but for convenience of ascribing causality.

All I am saying, John, is that to my knowledge general relativity does not support your claims. You need to find another model, or give me a reference for your conclusions. Maybe there's something in Mach's Principle that you could use; Mach, after all, was the true relativist.

My references are Einstein, The Meaning of Relativity, Princeton 1956; and Glansdorff & Prigogine, "Thermodynamics, irreversible" in The Encyclopedia of Physics, 2nd edition, Lerner & Trigg, eds, VCH Publishers 1991.

Tom

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Feb. 26, 2010 @ 20:05 GMT
Dear TH Ray,

Have you read his book about Time(Mr Prigogine of course).It was very interesting.A big thinker.The thermodynamic is so important.

Regards

Steve

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T H Ray wrote on Feb. 27, 2010 @ 00:28 GMT
Steve,

Which book do you mean?

Tom

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 27, 2010 @ 09:53 GMT
Hello,

"Between the Time and the Eternity"He wrote it with Isabelle Stengers.

When I was17 years old, I read an other from him about time too, very relevant.

Regards

Steve

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T H Ray replied on Feb. 27, 2010 @ 10:56 GMT
Sorry, Steve. Not familiar with that one.

Tom

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 27, 2010 @ 01:16 GMT
Tom,

"You mean spacetime is not continuous in your argument?"

Everything is continuous in my argument. It's that fluctuation is emergent from the vacuum and time is emergent from the fluctuation.

"In fact, _theoretically_ it does run backward. It is experimentally that it doesn't."

I'm saying that in my theory it doesn't run backward because there is no tape. Time is...

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T H Ray replied on Feb. 27, 2010 @ 10:55 GMT
John,

If you don't get my point that general relativity doesn't support your conclusions, to wit:

1. Time is not a dimension (in GR, time most certainly is a dimension, at least in the mathematical treatment)

2. Fluctuation is emergent from the vacuum and time is emergent from the fluctuation (GR describes a mostly flat, smooth, unified spacetime)

then of course we are on different wavelengths.

It's not that one accepts unquestioningly the conclusions of "someone famous," it's that we have to have a common ground for communication. You reference general relativity without grasping what it describes, and provide no reference to an alternative theory that is consistent with what you want to communicate, and you end up in contradiction. Extend me a branch, here.

Tom

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Feb. 27, 2010 @ 14:14 GMT
A largely concur. General relativity is a four dimensional theory, the group structure is SO(3,1) --- 3-space plus time, and time has a status equivalent under local Lorentzi transformations with space. As for fluctuations, this is a quantum issue, which to not pertain to classical gravity according to general relativity.

Cheers LC

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John Merryman replied on Feb. 27, 2010 @ 14:18 GMT
Tom,

I do understand that General Relativity does treat time as a dimension. I don't have a specific academic reference to support what I'm saying, but I have read in various sources that natives of South America, as well as various Asian worldviews treat the past as in front of the observer and the future as behind. This view is event oriented, since the event occurs before it is observed. As opposed to a spatially influenced view of time, where the observer moves from one event to the next and thus the future is in front of the observer. then again the oriental view is context based, while the western view is object based and it is the context which goes future to past, as the point of view of the object goes from one event to the next.

There are also quotes of various people, over the centuries, to the extent that "Time is lived forward and viewed backwards."

I have tried my best to explain what I'm trying to say, from any number of angles, but you are not trying to deconstruct my logic, or giving any hint that you are making the effort to do so, but just seem hung up on the fact that I'm not treating time as a dimension. I'm describing the theory. What do you need? A link to a website or archive?

Recorded history treats time as a dimension. It's the narrative. Think in terms of a film. Physics also thinks of it as a series of events which go from beginning to end. Big Bang to Big Crunch/Fadeout. With "blocktime" in between. I'm saying that view is not fundamental. That it is effect, not cause. That activity changes the configuration of the energy and the "events" created go from being in the future to the past.

I say, "To repeat: The earth does not travel the fourth dimension from yesterday to tomorrow. Tomorrow becomes yesterday because the earth rotates. (In space.)"

And you reply; "Well, I don't know what model you base this on, so there isn't any way to tell whether you are right or wrong."

That's not a model! That's simple observation!!!!! I don't know if this has occurred to you before, but models are based on observation, not the other way around.

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 27, 2010 @ 03:02 GMT
Clarification:

Obviously the energy goes from past events to future ones, but dimensional time considers time to be the dimension, or projection along which these events exist, not the process by which the events are created and replaced and it is that dimension, those events, which go from being in the future to being in the past. The dimension is yesterday, today and tomorrow and they go from being in the future to being in the past.

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T H Ray wrote on Feb. 27, 2010 @ 19:36 GMT
John,

I'm afraid we can't communicate. As I explained, and as Lawrence just explained, there is no correlation between your ideas of fluctuations and emergence, and the theory of general relativity. It just isn't there.

And you say, "I don't know if this has occurred to you before, but models are based on observation, not the other way around."

Sorry, but this is another of your misconceptions. General relativity is in the class that theorists call "mathematically complete." That is, it is based on first principles (absolute speed of light; continuous spacetime) and makes specific predictions of the physical consequences, all strictly determined by these assumptions.

Quantum theory, on the other hand, is not mathematically complete. The mathematics was formulated a posteriori to explain experimental results (beginning with the 2-slit experiment by Thomas Young in 1803). And even though the standard model of particle physics has become the most successfully tested theory in history, there are still "by hand" insertions (renormalization) that one must use to reconcile the mathematics with the observation.

Tom

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 27, 2010 @ 20:12 GMT
Hi all,

Indeed sometimes I think it is difficult to encircle the relativity.

First of all, simply, the R.Relativity.....the light and the motion....and the general relativity...the space is curved.....why thus all these confusiopns about the gravitation and the mass and the effects on the space time.The curvatures can have different kinds, + - or 0.

The inertie takes all its sense with the rotating spheres implying mass.The motion , thus universal is better understood.Descartes had right about the inertie and the conservation of the movement.

There I return about the center of our Universe, indeed all has a center thus you can encircle the real motion around this center since the begining of the big polarization if I can say.

Invariances, coherences, irreversibilities thus are essentials and foundamentals.If not the understanding of the relativity and the gravitation is false.

And if the gravitation is the same velocity, Einstein liked to voyage on a ray of light, the key is to rotate at this velocity around the center.It is the same logic for our quantum architecture.

The fourth dimension thus is bad understood, don't confound the globality and the locality .....

Sincerely

Steve

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 27, 2010 @ 20:21 GMT
Furthermore dear John, the evolution and its irreversibilities proves the difference between these events.If you apply the reversibility thus all is false, hope you understand.

Sincerely

Steve

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 27, 2010 @ 20:47 GMT
I want not be a professor but it is essential to explain correctly the relativity.Like said Chaplin, "all people caclaims me because they understand me and you Mr Einstein all people caclaims you because they don't understand you."

If we take the 11 proofs of E=mc²...thus ....but some improvements are essentials about them.

About the acceleration, it exists a big difference between the linear velocity and the spinal or orbital velocities.In my model ,more we accelerate in linearity we increase the mass, for the spinal rotation, it is the opposite, that decreses the mass, you can thus encirle the gauge of the light.Between this gauge and with a different main sense of rotation thus you can encircle the gravitational mass and their stability.

Dear John,

if we take the Earth and if we calculate the horloges in one sense around the Earth, and after in the other sense, we have a difference in nano seconds, but the gravity always dear John the gravity .....explains this effect of our duration.

Thus, we can't go in time but we can decrease the duration, it is totally different in my humble opinion.

Thus, we can go more far in Space, furthermore with the rotation around the center.....

Regards

Steve

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 28, 2010 @ 00:37 GMT
Tom,

I'm not arguing with the math. I'm arguing with the logic.

Relativity says that if you increase the speed of a material, you slow the clock of its atomic activity, until you reach lightspeed, at which point there is no internal atomic activity, so it has no time. This is a very precise relationship, so the math will always be exact, but does it mean space and time are the same?

If you take a given amount of gas at a given temperature in a given volume and increase the volume, the temperature of the gas will go down and this relationship is as precise as the measuring setup allows. Does this mean that temperature is another parameter of volume?

Because two factors possess a precise relationship to one another doesn't automatically mean they are the same thing.

To repeat again: The earth is not traveling the fourth dimension from yesterday to tomorrow. Tomorrow becomes yesterday because the earth rotates!

Steve,

"Furthermore dear John, the evolution and its irreversibilities proves the difference between these events.If you apply the reversibility thus all is false, hope you understand."

I think you need to point that out to Tom and Lawrence.

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 28, 2010 @ 13:35 GMT
Hi all ,

Dear John,

It is bizare sometimes to see the relativity explained like that by the sciences community.

I don't say that for you, for anybody in fact, I am just surprised.

The people confounds all about the locality and the globality , all about the mass and the motion, the energy....

The relativity of our friend Eisntein says what, all system has its specific espace time and we can chnge the parameters inside a spherical espace time.

There we can decelerate inside this system the duration because we accelearte and balance the two gauge , the linear velocity and the spinal rot.

Thus only the space can be checked because we can decrease these intrinsic clocks of our particles, the rotating spheres for me.

That permits thus to be more long time in this intrinsic system.But never we can go in the past,only in the future but we can't return at the moment of begining.

Because the other spherical system,

the Earth doesn't change its intrinsic clocks.

All the relativity is there.The mass and the light are different in their rotating spheres, but the same in the dynamic.

The past is the past, only the duration is relevant thus and the mass, thus the energy.

Best Regards

Steve

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Feb. 28, 2010 @ 02:58 GMT
I had to laugh at, "I'm not arguing with the math. I'm arguing with the logic."

Sorry John, but your statement about yesterday becoming tomorrow because the Earth rotates makes little sense. Does this mean on a body with absolutely no rotation with respect to the background world has no defintion of time?

Cheers LC

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John Merryman replied on Feb. 28, 2010 @ 10:57 GMT
Lawrence,

I'm just using it as an extremely obvious example of the fact that a clock is a specific contextual motion. Why does relativity say that for light, there is no time? Because anything moving at lightspeed has no atomic motion, thus its clock is stopped. Although this overlooks the fact that it does take motion and thus time for light to travel.

Our traditional measures of time have become increasingly distorted over the years. The cycles of the moon have only a passing relationship to years, but we have changed the concept of months from a calendar of the cycles of the moon to sections of the year. Days don't correspond to years either, so we have to add the occasional leap day, minutes, seconds, etc. to keep our holidays in their seasons. Then if you go around the world, different people use different calendars altogether, even to the point of where they decide the day begins.

I think if you really sit back and look at the broad spectrum of how the concept of time is applied, rather than just a specific, narrow application of how one particular theory applies it to the motion of light, this might make more sense.

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John Merryman replied on Feb. 28, 2010 @ 12:30 GMT
Lawrence,

As well as using it as an example of why the overall effect is one of events emerging from and replacing previous events within the same general spatial context, rather than traveling an extra-spatial projection from one event to the next, with the implication of reversing course and returning to past events without further consideration of the myriad physical processes involved.

That the problem with modeling, mathematical and otherwise. In isolating the factors you think are important, you run the risk of ignoring ones that may well be equally important.

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T H Ray wrote on Feb. 28, 2010 @ 12:49 GMT
John,

You wrote, "I'm just using it as an extremely obvious example of the fact that a clock is a specific contextual motion. Why does relativity say that for light, there is no time? Because anything moving at lightspeed has no atomic motion, thus its clock is stopped. Although this overlooks the fact that it does take motion and thus time for light to travel."

You need to get more acquainted with what the theories of relativity really say. You have developed many misconceptions that lead you to erroneous conclusions. A _photon_, i.e., a particle of light, is massless. Because the measure of a time interval is always between mass points changing relative position, the metric between two such points has the property of time--a measured length interval. No such interval exists between photons, and there is thus no measure of time. This is why the time parameter drops out of quantum mechanical calculations; the Planck limit prevents measure of a time interval, so microscopic quantum mechanics is non-relativistic. However, because the principles of both relativity and quantum nonlocality (Einstein's "spooky action at a distance") must necessarily be preserved for each theory to survive, the theories are incompatible. In relativistic quantum mechanics, there is no time interval between two photons on opposite ends of the universe, yet the age of the universe is calculable from the time interval between mass points.

It's unfortunate in my opinion that Einstein's use of the metaphors, "clocks and rods", for time and space have led so many to literal interpretations of the physics. In the mathematical formalism, points and lines are what matter--changing relations among points in a spacetime continuum. I.e., a four dimensional Riemannian geometry derived from the Pythagorean theorem.

I think it reasonable and productive that before one is introduced to relativity, they read and understand Einstein and Leopold Infeld's very accessible book, The Evolution of Physics.

Tom

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 28, 2010 @ 16:20 GMT
Tom,

It's safe to say you know far more than I about the relationships between QM and Relativity, as well as the fact that many of those who do study it are still scratching their heads over some of the conclusions, but this is avoiding my basic point.

"Because the measure of a time interval is always between mass points changing relative position, the metric between two such points has the property of time--a measured length interval."

Read what you wrote. Time is a consequence of motion. It is the changing relative position of these particles that not only has the property of time, but IS the property of time. There is no absolute time underlaying this effect. These "changing relative positions" are configurations which come into being and are replaced by the motion moving the particles into the next configuration. Thus the events and the intervals, the conceptual dimension, goes from being in the future to being in the past.

We think of the present as proceeding along this dimension, but it is the motion of YOUR particles which are ALWAYS IN THE PRESENT, creating these events. SO IT IS THE PRESENT WHICH DOESN"T MOVE, SO THE EVENTS GO FUTURE TO PAST!!!!

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Anonymous wrote on Feb. 28, 2010 @ 17:16 GMT
How did this thread start with an obituary and a tribute and morph into a discssion concerning the ontological nature of time?

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Feb. 28, 2010 @ 17:32 GMT
I suppose this obit evolved in much the same way somebody might ask, "Besides that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"

I second TH Ray's comments above. John needs to be acquainted with null world lines for photons and other matters.

Cheers LC

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 28, 2010 @ 21:33 GMT
Lawrence,

I'm not arguing that point, thought I might have some thoughts on it. The particles, massive or massless are presumably physically real. The events formed by the motion of these particles only exist during their formulation.

Anon,

I should probably take responsibility for that, but you would have to read a bit of the thread to follow the line of reasoning.

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T H Ray wrote on Feb. 28, 2010 @ 22:01 GMT
John,

You wrote, "It's safe to say you know far more than I about the relationships between QM and Relativity, as well as the fact that many of those who do study it are still scratching their heads over some of the conclusions, but this is avoiding my basic point."

I assure you, those who have studied the subject are not scratching their heads over questions you've raised, which are...

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 28, 2010 @ 23:58 GMT
Tom,

Sorry about the caps. It's easier that italicizing.

I did read through pretty much all the entries in last year's contest on the nature of time and it doesn't seem like much of a consensus on where spacetime leads to, but you don't like my observation, no problem. I get the message. Have fun in your many worlds and your block time. I'm just going to keep living in the present situation, observing future possibilities turn into past circumstance.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Mar. 1, 2010 @ 02:30 GMT
In general relativity the concept of time is an invariant as a proper interval, which is the spacetime length of a curve or path a particle takes in spacetime. This is a geodesic path and the time measured on a clock on that frame measures the distance of that path. What is odd is that the clock on that path must be some assembly of things which execute oscillatory physics, say a spring vibrating or an atom oscillating. So the device which actually measures the time does so through internal motions on that frame which are not geodesic. In the case of the atom this is a quantum system, and quantum field equations are formulated around a different concept of time. In QFT a spatial surface is established by a coordinate condition in spacetime, not an invariant interval, and the arrows of time established at each point on it. From there harmonic oscillators for the quantum field are set by the boundary conditions. From there the quantum field equations are integrated forwards in time. So there are two incommensurate notions of time, and where the two concepts do seem to at least overlap some is with string theory and the holographic principle.

Cheers LC

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T H Ray replied on Mar. 1, 2010 @ 11:58 GMT
Lawrence,

Nice summary. One might add that having to specify boundary conditions for field theories--classical or quantum--is a show stopper, if the aim is to have a background independent cosmological theory.

What does a field theory without boundary conditions look like?

Tom

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John Merryman wrote on Mar. 1, 2010 @ 11:09 GMT
Lawrence,

I realize you are not a fan of Carver Mead, but for me, he does make the most sense and has the real world experience to back it up.

http://freespace.virgin.net/ch.thompson1/People/CarverMea
d.htm

What I take from him is that it doesn't work to think of electrons, photons, etc. as particles, but as macroscopic waves (or strings). Thus such situations as action at a distance make sense, as you are measuring two points on the same wave, not separate points.

It also seems erroneous not to think time doesn't exist anytime there is some evident effect, even if it doesn't involve traveling a distance, since there is necessarily a before and after state. This equating time with distance seems too focused on time as a specific linear effect, but non-linear change is quite evident at all scales. The situation of a collapsing wave function wouldn't lead to multiple realities if it was future possibility collapsing into past circumstance, as opposed to pushing along a path from past effects into future possibilities.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Mar. 1, 2010 @ 13:36 GMT
A quantum field requires boundary or initial conditions, which in a spacetime perspective is a coordinate condition (a relativistic version of a gauge choice) plus the establishment of field amplitudes everywhere. This has to be done for the partial differential equations of QFT have an infinite number of amplitudes (solutions) which occur at each point of the spatial manifold. We can get around the BCs if we change the notion of a quantum field or if we change the geometry of the fields. One way of thinking of this is if the initial or boundary conditions of the fields are topological. Then the Euler index, or more generally Pontrayagin-Chern numbers, for principle bundles contain this information. Topology serves as the boundary condition. The other means is by changing the notion of what it means to have a field amplitude in some region of space or spacetime. With string theory amplitudes are distributed along a chord or circle, and this form has interesting properties with respect to spacetime, for the string under space transformations (eg Lorentz boosts etc) assumes forms which completely adulterate our concepts of a field propagated in a time sequence in some spatial ordering. This happens particularly when the string interacts with a black hole, which results in holographic realizations of fields.

Cheers LC

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T H Ray wrote on Mar. 1, 2010 @ 14:38 GMT
Lawrence,

Exactly so! My money is on Witten and TQFT:

Topological Quantum Field Theory

Thanks to Project Euclid and Springer for supporting open access.

Tom

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Mar. 1, 2010 @ 18:36 GMT
Witten is certainly one of the towering people in the field. He devised the Witten index for fermions and bosons, and then came up with the twisted supersymmetry where some fermion degrees of freedoms are in a manner similar to BCS theory combined into bosonic fields. There are some interesting aspects to twisted SUSY.

Carver Mead is an engineer primarily. His statements about physics, where he sees a general malignancy in modern physics, stem from a problem most people have. This problem is that most people are not able to conceive of things beyond their standard expectations of things. Engineers often don’t learn about the strange implications of quantum theory, where no matter how you boil it down it can’t be reduced to our standard idea of how reality is as based on our perceptions. Even classical mechanics does that a bit to us, which you can see if you have ever taught basic physics to freshmen. Things are worse with the holographic principle and quantum gravity --- far worse, and you really have to adjust how you think about things.

This is particularly bad in society at large, where the big science social controversy is with global warming. That challenges some preconceptions we have about economics and the whole political ideological spectrum (eg. Reaganomics etc) which has dominated this nation for the better part of four decades. Many people would rather reject the scientific findings than re-evaluate, adjust or abandon their modes of thought and beliefs. I have considerable email debates with competent physicists over the holographic principle, where they really can’t make the shift in thinking.

Cheers LC

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John Merryman wrote on Mar. 1, 2010 @ 23:31 GMT
Lawrence,

It is certainly true that while reality is wholistic and infinite, our knowledge of it is necessarily reductionistic and finite and reconciling the two can be a very tricky business indeed. Especially since everyone comes at the situation from slightly, or more than slightly different perspectives and have different needs to fill, in order to make sense of and deal with their particular situation. What might be transcendent to one person, could be inconsequential to another, but keep in mind that if you get too far out of the fold, even if it's to get ahead, you isolate yourself. The reason there are significant amounts of money and public respect invested in physics is because the larger society knows there is a payback in the progress being made. In that regard, people like Carver Mead, who do translate theory into technical advances are the sort of people who make funding for the more esoteric aspects acceptable. If there should become too much of a break between those engineering types and the academic types, it will not be to the advantage of academia. They might end up in one of those many worlds where the money doesn't flow. You can have your head in the clouds, but make sure your feet are on the ground.

Now I'm not disagreeing with you, because I do understand you can wrap your head around ideas I never will be able, but sometimes you have to go back and fill in the details between what you know and others do. Sustainable progress is cumulative, not linear.

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Anonymous wrote on Mar. 2, 2010 @ 01:23 GMT
It would be funny if one day we discovered that the Hindus were right and the Universe really originated from a gigantic cosmic egg laid by Ganesh. I can imagine an astronomer of the future peering out past our current event horizon and seeing what appears to be giant split--open egg shells filling the telescopes arperture and thinking, wtf?

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John Merryman wrote on Mar. 2, 2010 @ 01:28 GMT
P.S,

Mead seems to have the opposite problem than what you ascribe to him. He argues that the quantum world is what makes sense and it's only our tendency to interpret it with classical ideas and mechanisms, such as point particles, that makes it seem incomprehensible.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Mar. 2, 2010 @ 02:19 GMT
I have been associated with the engineering world. I worked on clock synchronization problems due to relativity and on related space navigation problems for a long time. The engineering field is interesting to experience, and in some ways it is amazing that anything works as well as it does. This is particularly the case for complex systems, say the space shuttle, combat aircraft, C^3 communication systems and so forth. Engineers are educated a bit differently from scientists. An electrical engineer will learn the basic Maxwell theory, but are then focused on how to solve various problems with it. A physicist is concerned with quantizing electromagnetism, or its gauge theory and how it is unified with other forces. An engineer might take a basic quantum mechanics course to learn about waves in matter and so forth, but they don’t usually get into deeper issues of entanglements and the like.

I read something from C. Mead a couple of years ago. I sense that he did not make the thought adjustments required to understand these deeper matters.

Cheers LC

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John Merryman wrote on Mar. 2, 2010 @ 02:57 GMT
Lawrence,

I did buy his book, Collective Electrodynamics, but it's beyond my level of math.

http://www.amazon.com/Collective-Electrodynamics-Quantum-Fou
ndations-Electromagnetism/dp/0262133784

You might find the customer reviews at amazon interesting.

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Mar. 2, 2010 @ 17:53 GMT
The opening line, "It is my firm belief that the last seven decades of the twentieth century will be characterized in history as the dark ages of theoretical..." sort of says it all. I am very suspicious of people who claim to have something which overthrows established physics which goes back that far. I read an essay by him a few years back, and as I remember he raised doubts about a raft of modern physics from special relativity to nonlocality in quantum mechanics.

Cheers LC

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John Merryman replied on Mar. 2, 2010 @ 18:14 GMT
Lawrence,

That's why I referred to the customer reviews, since they would be more objective. Here is the first two paragraphs of the first one:

Despite his preface upbraiding physicists for their work of the past 50-75 years, the main text makes reasonable claims based upon well-founded experimental and theoretical results. The book endorses earlier work of Einstein, Feynmann,...

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John Merryman wrote on Mar. 2, 2010 @ 17:57 GMT
Lawrence, Tom,

"In general relativity the concept of time is an invariant as a proper interval, which is the spacetime length of a curve or path a particle takes in spacetime. "

I'm still stuck on this time question. It seems that as you both have been describing it, time is what is measured by A clock. The question occurs to me; What is being measured by multiple clocks?

It's all well and good when we can define functions in terms of the singular, but mass/swarm/complex/cumulative effects are very real too and not always definable in terms of the component processes.

In order words, while relativity defines time as a vector from spatial coordinates, it would seem a complex time function would be more of a scalar, in that the average rate of activity would determine the time interval.

While this may be an attempt to understand time as it is actually experienced, even in relativity, it is the rate of activity which measures the time interval, such as clocks running slower in gravity fields.

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amrit wrote on Mar. 2, 2010 @ 22:31 GMT
Scientific picture of the world deeply influences scientific experience: “We experience what we think”. Fiscaletti approach integrates old divisions between “matter”, “space” and “energy” with sharpening awareness and clearly distinguishing between world and its picture. “Graal” in science will be found by synthetic way of searching where consciousness is supervising and integrating mind’s analytic approach.

Amrit S. Sorli

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T H Ray wrote on Mar. 2, 2010 @ 23:00 GMT
John,

I'm only a few pages into Sean Carroll's new book, From Eternity to Here. It is already an excellent read, however, and will answer your questions about the treatment of time in general relativity.

Tom

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Mar. 2, 2010 @ 23:43 GMT
For a number of reasons I think I will pass on Carver's physics. HIs arguments amount to a reduction of QM to classicality.

Multiple clocks at different regions of spacetime measure different invariant intervals.

Cheers LC

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John Merryman wrote on Mar. 3, 2010 @ 02:21 GMT
Ray,

Thanks for the suggestion, but the reviews sound as though it is pretty much a rehash of much of what is already out in the pop science world. My little bit of reading time is mostly spent following the financial implosion. Little slow at the moment, as the powers that be draw all possible notational value into one last bubble to beat all bubbles.

Lawrence,

Words from on high.

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T H Ray wrote on Mar. 3, 2010 @ 11:44 GMT
John,

General relativity is not "pop science." The fact that it is a mature discipline has only increased the number of ways in which one can explain the theory in everyday language -- which Carroll does well, and which cearly shows why your ideas about the theory contradict its terms.

Tom

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Mar. 3, 2010 @ 12:10 GMT
General relativity is as well developed and mature as classical electromagnetism, which is the basic field theory of 18th century classical physics. The field is space, and its momentum metric conjugate.

Cheers LC

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John Merryman wrote on Mar. 3, 2010 @ 18:31 GMT
Tom,

We are not discussing General Relativity, but reading Carroll's book on time. I don't have the time, because I don't make my living studying physics. It simply helps me understand this constant flux of reality. Now if I want some general understanding of what Sean Carroll thinks on the subject of time, an obvious resource would be his essay in last year's contest:

http://www.fqxi.org/data/essay-contest-files/Carroll
_fqxitimecontest.pdf

If I may be so reductionistic, it seems to boil down to a function of entropy. My previously stated position has been that entropy only applies to a closed set, so if the universe is infinite, as per my defense of Professor Burbidge, then the energy radiated from any one area is balanced by the energy radiated back into it from adjoining areas. What we see as the black body radiation, described as residue from the Big Bang, would rather be light that has fallen off the visible spectrum, so it's too diffuse to identify the visible sources, but is still energy emitted from beyond the horizon of visible light, that is accumulating in our part of the universe, or even passing through it, eventually to falling into gravitational accretions and eventually the gases to form new stars, thus creating a form of convective cycle of expanding energy and collapsing mass.

Sean starts that essay with a refutation of "presentism," but the concept of the present as a dimensionless point is not logical, since it would require freezing the motion time measures. My position is simply that there is motion, frequently relativistic motion where activity in one direction is balanced by the opposite effect, so time as the cumulative effect we experience would be as much or more a scalar phenomena, as the linear one assumed in General Relativity.

Lawrence,

While you insist Mead is simply putting QM in classical terms, both he and his commentators say the opposite, that he is describing the classical as a sub-set of the quantum and that it is only the tendency to view the quantum through the prism of the classical that makes it confusing.

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T H Ray wrote on Mar. 4, 2010 @ 00:58 GMT
John,

We are discussing general relativity to the extent that you assign properties to the theory that aren't true.

True to form, you did it again here:

"My position is simply that there is motion, frequently relativistic motion where activity in one direction is balanced by the opposite effect, so time as the cumulative effect we experience would be as much or more a scalar phenomena, as the linear one assumed in General Relativity."

If you understood general relativity for the geometric theory that it is, you would see that it does not describe such a linear order as you think. There is no succession of moments in GR; time in the aggregate is an illusion. On p. 14 of Carroll's book you would read " ... we can think of the whole shebang, the entire history of the world, as a single four-dimensional thing, where the additional dimension is time. In this sense, time serves to slice up the four-dimensional universe into copies of space at each moment in time ..." an infinite number of such copies.

Time doesn't have anything to do with motion in GR; relative motion was Mach's take on physics. With Einstein, motion is absolute--the constant speed of light against an absolute spacetime background. If you don't grasp this, you are not only missing out on some beautiful physics, you are missing an opportunity to test your philosophy of time against the way the world actually presents itself. Is the way you experience time identical to the way in which nature orders time?

Tom

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John Merryman wrote on Mar. 4, 2010 @ 02:50 GMT
Tom,

I understand relativity, at least to the extent of knowing I'm disagreeing with it as anything more than a reductionist abstraction. Math is abstract, but ultimately physics has to correspond to the physical.

I'm not saying it's wrong, but that it doesn't give a complete description of reality. Now that may be obvious, since it doesn't connect with QM, but for me, reducing time to one exact measure of a specific interval is like saying temperature is entirely defined by the activity of one molecule.

For one thing, what is an exact time interval? You can't determine a dimensionless point in time because the activity you are using doesn't stop, so even if you take it down to Planck scale, there is still the smallest level of fuzziness in determining the parameters of the interval. Then when you scale it up to include a variety of clocks, all incorporated in the same frame, it is also necessarily blurred, because they could be traveling at different speeds and thus different rates, but Relativity only considers one clock at a time. Yet that is not how the larger macro world exists.

Carlos Rovelli makes some interesting points in his essay on time:

http://www.fqxi.org/data/essay-contest-files/Rovelli_Ti
me.pdf?phpMyAdmin=0c371ccdae9b5ff3071bae814fb4f9e9

"While non-relativistic time is the observable quantity measured (or approximated) by physical clocks, in general relativity clocks measure s along their worldline, not t."

His larger point being there is no "one" dimension of time, since all clocks are effectively their own "dimension" of time. That what is being measured is motion.

And as I keep pointing out, this motion is what creates the ticks and the intervals of time, thus this motion exists as(not "in") the present and it is the series of events going future to past.

As for General Relativity actually being a theory of absolutes, why is it given that space is entirely relativistic? Consider a spinning object in space. Even if there were no outside reference, there would still be centrifugal force. Why would an object spinning in a complete vacuum have centrifugal force, if space is relative? What defines the speed of light, if space is relative? It seem to me that space, as an equilibrium state, would be the absolute. As in absolute zero, the absence of motion and thus no temperature or time.

Spooky action at a distance? Everything exists as the present, so there is no time interval between points on the same frequency. They are the same clock. No distance on that fourth dimension.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Mar. 4, 2010 @ 02:57 GMT
Tom,

It is worth pointing out that in the ADM approach to relativity a point on a spatial manifold is shifted along a spatial direction by N^a, a = spatial indices, and shoved to the next surface by a lapse N according to a normal vector on the first spatial surface which has 3-components in the second. This is then literally an vector of time

t^a = Nn^a + N^a.

The time issue in Carroll's book is why there is a single direction to time. We can well enough have 4 dimensions and a time dimension, but why does everyting flow in one direction? Of course there is thermodynamics which enters into the picture, and this may have links to the occurrence of other cosmologies.

John,

I am aware that Mead is saying that everyting is quantum, and that there are coherences of waves which define the classical world --- or what we call the classical world. However, in doing so he then tacitly reduces the quantum world to something more classical like.

Cheers LC

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John Merryman wrote on Mar. 4, 2010 @ 11:06 GMT
Lawrence,

Isn't your point to Tom what I'm saying is the problem with the relative vector of time, that it only focuses on a single point, but that the cumulative effect is of innumerable points moving about, so the question is of whether it is ultimately a scalar effect, or is there some vector?

As I keep saying, the reality is those multiple points and they constitute the present, so any vector of events is the face of the clock going counterclockwise, and any vector of specific points is spatial, since it is movement relative to other points.

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T H Ray wrote on Mar. 4, 2010 @ 12:39 GMT
John,

You wrote:

"As for General Relativity actually being a theory of absolutes, why is it given that space is entirely relativistic?"

I keep trying to explain, that the "relative" part of relativity is in the relation of the observer to an absolute background and to other observers. Relative motion among obects is Mach's Principle.

"Consider a spinning object in space. Even if there were no outside reference, there would still be centrifugal force."

Centrifugal force is just a convenient fiction of classical mechanics. There is no force at work.

"Why would an object spinning in a complete vacuum have centrifugal force, if space is relative?"

It wouldn't. You wouldn't even know that it was spinning, in a vaccum. There is no background nor other reference against which to spin.

"What defines the speed of light, if space is relative?"

The speed of light is a measurement. It is defined by the limit of the velocity of mass; rest mass is calculated relative to the observer and the speed of light is invariant for all observers. Space is not "relative" for whatever that could mean; space_time_ is absolute.

"It seem to me that space, as an equilibrium state, would be the absolute. As in absolute zero, the absence of motion and thus no temperature or time."

In Newtonian mechanics, that might be true. In Mach's mechanics, it is true (space is a fiction). In general relativity, it is definitely _not_ true; absolute zero is a theoretically unobtainable limit, as Hawking's results show.

"Spooky action at a distance? Everything exists as the present, so there is no time interval between points on the same frequency. They are the same clock. No distance on that fourth dimension."

What the heck could you possibly mean by "no time interval between points on the same frequency?" The propagation of the wavelength in spacetime is what "frequency" _means_.

Lawrence,

Yes, I know that Carroll's research program departs from general relativity. I was just getting ever more bugged at John's assertions about general relativity that I know to be untrue that I find myself stuck in this tar baby of a dialogue. I thought if he wouldn't take my word for it, Sean Carroll's would carry some weight. I guess not.

I don't know the ADM method, but I agree in principle with the separation of time vector from infinite and unbounded space in a numerically precise way. My own model favors a topological approach of the vector over the equators of disjoint S^2 + S^2, which is S^3; with a complete algebra on that Riemann sphere (a compactified complex plane with a point at infinity), time flows away from infinity and across the S^3 equator supports chaotic flows on the manifold of S^2, and by analytic continuation, irreversibility and dissipation of the metric over the n-sphere group of Euclidean spheres, n > 3.

Tom

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John Merryman replied on Mar. 4, 2010 @ 17:20 GMT
Tom,

"I keep trying to explain, that the "relative" part of relativity is in the relation of the observer to an absolute background and to other observers. Relative motion among obects is Mach's Principle."

That's what I'm trying to say, that the absolute background is an equilibrium state. Time would be an effect of motion, ie. not equilibrium. Any level of activity induces change and the sum of this activity are configurations that are created and replaced.

Consider Carroll's thermodynamic entropy: All the particles bounce around, going from lower to higher states of entropy. His point of view is that the arrow of time is thus from the lower states to the higher states and the process travels along this vector/arrow. My perspective is that there is simply those particles bouncing around and losing order and energy, so the states they go through are first potential, then residual. So he sees a clock on which the hands, representing the present, move clockwise around the face, representing the events/intervals. I see the hands/present as the constant, so it is necessarily the face which moves counterclockwise.

"It wouldn't. You wouldn't even know that it was spinning, in a vaccum. There is no background nor other reference against which to spin."

So if I were on an astroid out somewhere in a void between galaxies and that astroid was spinning at a fairly rapid rate, I would be flung off by the centrifugal force because I could see those distant galaxies and could tell it is spinning rapidly, but if I was blind and couldn't see those other galaxies, I would be safe, because there would be no way for me to tell that it is spinning?

"absolute zero is a theoretically unobtainable limit, as Hawking's results show."

Obviously, but that's like saying infinity doesn't exist because you can't get there. In a state of complete motionless there would be nothing to measure and nothing to measure it with, since ultimately everything is basically subatomic motion in empty space.

"What the heck could you possibly mean by "no time interval between points on the same frequency?" The propagation of the wavelength in spacetime is what "frequency" _means_.'

Sorry about that. "Frequency" wasn't a good word to use. I'd been rereading the forward to Mead's book and was referencing his point that with entangled particles, there is no distance separating them on the "fourth dimension." Really shouldn't have gone there, but was tired and wanting to expand on the point, without extending the conversation, so dropping it. My apologies. Thanks for the patience and actually trying to follow my sometimes/often muddled thinking, as most don't bother.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Mar. 4, 2010 @ 14:07 GMT
The Arnowitt-Deser-Misner (ADM) approach to general relativity is outlined in Chapter 21 of the Misner-Thorne-Wheeler classic "Gravitation." This is the foundation for the Wheeler DeWitt equation and loop variable quantum gravity.

The time vector t^a = Nn^a + N^a is a vector field. For a spatial surface sliced out of spacetime by a certain coordinate condition (a gauge-like choice) every point on it has a vector which points out of the surface and connects to another spatial surface in the foliation of spatial surfaces which compose spacetime. Of course one can choose another frame bundle and the foliation is different, yet in this picture the essential spacetime is the same ---- at least invariant intervals of proper time and mass exist. There is a curious thing which happens of course. The time variable (vector field of time) here is not an invariant and in the formulation of the action the Hamiltonian is annulled on the manifold of solution NH = 0 and there is a corresponding N^aH_a = 0. There is no time evolution with the Hamiltonian and its quantum version is HΨ[g] = 0.

Cheers LC

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Mar. 5, 2010 @ 01:03 GMT
Tom,

You say that you are working with S^2+S^2, where I presume you mean S^2xS^2. Usually one constructs cartesian products of spaces. This will have a middle cohomology H^2(S^2xS^2) = Z. One might think of the space as a T^2 torus, but where each of the two independent directions which define circles are extended into S^2 spheres.

John,

I am having a bit of a hard time following a whole lot of what you are trying to say. I think that you need to honestly read some basic text on relativity theory.

Cheers LC

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John Merryman wrote on Mar. 5, 2010 @ 10:44 GMT
Lawrence,

I'm afraid I'm just way too simple minded.

I never could quite grasp epicycles either, with all that complicated geometry. If only they had renormalization back then, it probably would have worked much better though.

Turns out those angels on the head of a pin were pretty prescient though, when you consider microbiology and nanotechnologies.

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T H Ray wrote on Mar. 5, 2010 @ 12:50 GMT
Lawrence,

No, I actually mean the S^3 topology at the union of two disjoint S^2, by analytic continuation. As Hadamard is supposed to have said, "The shortest path between two truths in the real domain passes through the complex domain." In giving a physical meaning to time, I find that 3 + 1 spacetime is a subset of 0 + 1 dimensional space--with the time metric continuous and dissipative over the manifolds of kissing spheres in R^n. Details, sketchy as they may be so far, are in my paper "On breaking the time barrier" on my Comcast site.

John,

You're not simple-minded and your thinking is not muddled. You just don't think like a scientist or a mathematician. You could save yourself a lot of effort by understanding work that has gone before, so that you don't fall into gaps of contradiction or impossibility. If it's relativity you want to understand, Einstein wrote a non-technical book, Relativity: the special and general theory; also, I think I mentioned before Einstein's and Leopold Infeld's classic, The Evolution of Physics.

Tom

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Mar. 6, 2010 @ 00:38 GMT
I suppose I am a bit uncertain about what you are meaning by the union of two spheres via analytic continuation. It sounds as if you are attaching some sort of circle e^{iθ} which parameterized on S^2 to another as boundaries (eg an equatorial cut) of the S^3.

Cheers LC

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T H Ray replied on Mar. 6, 2010 @ 04:20 GMT
Lawrence,

Just so. If the origin of the complex plane can be uniquely determined as the closest approach of kissing spheres, can one differentiate a Y axis from the boundary of kissing spheres of infinite radius? Then, take trivial equatorial values (i, + 1, -1) and by squaring produce (- 1, + 1, + 1) to define the interval (0, 1].

Because the 2 poles of C are compacted to a single pole on C*, a move of time traces the domain [0, oo). S^3 being the simplest Riemann surface, and every Riemann surface being orientable, our definition (time: n-dimensional infinitely orientable metric on self-avoiding random walk) holds on S^n, n > 3.

Tom

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Mar. 7, 2010 @ 02:40 GMT
The complex plane is the Riemann sphere. This system sounds similar to a the puncturing of a sphere. The S^2 ~ C can be punctured into a hyperboloid. Then if two of these are sutured together you get the sphere back. S^2 with two sutures is a tube, and connecting a hyperboloid to it reduces if to a hyperboloid. S^2 with three sutures is a pair of pants (a cobordant system) and suturing … . And so forth. So by taking a set of S^2 ~ C one can puncture and suture to form a lattice of tubes and tubular loops that form a 2-dim lattice system for a space that on a large coarse grained scale appears three dimensional.

Cheers LC

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John Merryman wrote on Mar. 5, 2010 @ 18:00 GMT
Tom,

Thank you for seeing that I'm coming at this from a perspective which is not specifically academic.

I realize I don't have the background of a student of those disciplines and I certainly didn't set out to question them, just gain some useful insights, but have come to the conclusion there are problems with some of these ideas that are being ignored.

Obviously there is the fact that QM and GR don't fit together and every effort to formulate the necessary theoretical mortar to plaster over the cracks hasn't worked and not for lack of trying.

There are quite a number of other issues that have been plastered over and the results have been quite interesting, such as inflation theory, dark energy, multiple realities, baby universes, etc.

Now scientists like to point to various speculations in the past that have been very prescient and assume these theories will also eventually be precursors to further revelations, but forget the vastly larger number of speculative ideas which led nowhere.

I keep coming back to the point I make about time because it is very simple and I have had much success in pointing it out to otherwise intelligent and educated individuals who are not in fields where four dimensional spacetime is part of the Holy Canon, so I know I'm not talking in tongues. Unfailingly though, when I raise the issue with those who are in said fields, it draws some form of blank. At best it is dismissed as inconsequential, but without any reference as to how it is already incorporated in the models.

In my examination of the models, there still remains the fundamental assumption that time is simply a dimension extending from the past into the future. Big Bang to Big Crunch, etc. Low entropy to high entropy. Prelude to prologue. Genesis to Armageddon.

There just seems to be no acceptance of the very physical fact that particles, energy, whatever, bouncing, radiating around are what create these events and they go from future to past. Math might be all about abstraction, but Physics is supposed to be about the physical!!!!!

I don't expect you to agree with me, or even see that I'm making sense, because I've become completely disillusioned with the possibility, as it seems everyone in the field is immersed in the Holy Water of four dimensional spacetime. I just think that physics is going to keep bumping its head against immovable objects for the foreseeable future and eventually someone, somewhere will say; Let's just start with a clean sheet of paper and question everything.

Lawrence,

I might read up more on relativity, if you will read up on crowd psychology. It's not that very intelligent people can't be deluded, just that the delusion needs to be that much more complex.

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T H Ray wrote on Mar. 5, 2010 @ 19:28 GMT
John,

The reason that GR and QM are incompatible has nothing to do with failings of the models. In fact, they do not fail, any more than Newtonian mechanics--which we still use, in fact, to land people on the moon--fails. The models successfully describe the physics of experiment.

GR and QM are incompatible because the large scale of gravitational effects is discontinuous with the small scale of microscopic effects. Einstein said it was like trying to join wood with marble, or something like that.

There's no need to start over--the theories work.

The task remaining of understanding what wood and marble have in common, to derive one from the other from first principles, is a hard step but surely not impossible if, as Einstein famously said, "God is subtle, but not malicious."

The subtle extension of quantum field theory to string theory does, in fact, do the job. As you say, though, we (as yet) have no foundation on which to base experiment, and so cannot say for sure that string theory is physical.

So far as your ideas of time, though -- you can't use general relativity to derive them. That is all I have been pointing out to you.

Tom

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John Merryman wrote on Mar. 6, 2010 @ 00:06 GMT
Tom,

I didn't say they failed, but that they didn't fit.

Wood and marble are composite structures and anything built of the two is a further composite, just as combining time and space is a form of composite structure. Certainly useful, but not as fundamental as some would have it.

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T H Ray replied on Mar. 6, 2010 @ 00:18 GMT
Ah, John, it was just a metaphor. Space and time aren't a "composite" in general relativity. Neither has an independent reality; only spacetime is real.

I give up.

Tom

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Mar. 6, 2010 @ 01:11 GMT
John,

On the topic of space-time, I've been having a very interesting visualization about it.

At the moment of the Big Bang, I see two infinite potential walls moving apart very slowly. Every possible quantum wave is between the two potential walls as they move apart very slowly. The energy of the Big Bang drives the Cosmological constant value very high. The waves themselves are bouncing off both sides of the energy walls; they may have been standing waves at one time, but now they have to travel quite a distance and cannot keep up with the infinite potential walls as they move apart.

At first, I thought the potential walls were the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning of time and the end of time. After I thought about it for awhile, I realized that the two infinite potential walls were just opposite sides of a space-time universe in which objects move in space and in time. Basically they are opposite sides of the universe. Any thought of time travel is really a misunderstanding. The Beginning and Ending merely refer to the beginning and ending of a journey for a photon, the kx-wt.

I hope this helps.

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John Merryman replied on Mar. 7, 2010 @ 23:51 GMT
Jason,

Yes, it's just a measure of motion. Motion and space are inseparable, both time and temperature are inevitable effects of motion. If you have motion, you have change and time is a measure of change.

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Jason Mark Wolfe replied on Mar. 8, 2010 @ 11:30 GMT
John,

OK, everything is related to motion. It reminds me of a tattoo I saw in a movie: Jesus is coming. Look busy.

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John Merryman replied on Mar. 8, 2010 @ 18:37 GMT
Jason,

While I'm not sure of the connection you are making, it does have some deeper philosophic resonance for me.

For one thing the essence of western culture is based on the linear concept of time. The idea of actors proceeding along a historical trajectory. Even the concept of a god is an idealization the individual reference moving through context. So it is no wonder we have over emphasized the linear, serial, cause and effect view of reality, while the non-linear, cumulative, contextual view is assumed to be a mystery of emotion and intuition.

The eastern view in which context is primary and objects are integral is based on the perspective of time as a process of events receding into the past. That's why the concept of gods, the idealization of objects and objectivity, is foreign and they have a history of ancestor worship, because the process of life is one of rising and falling generations, each building on and replacing the previous, as the process is constantly renewing itself. As I point out in theological discussions, the source would be the essence from which we rise, not an ideal from which we fell.

I also think the Christian Trinity amounts to an allegory of past, present and future, since Jesus didn't set out to start a new religion, but to renew one encrusted and obsessed with past influences and strictures, much like old institutions everywhere. When he apparently failed, the Holy Ghost was originally a female deity that was repurposed as a spiritual ideal of hope in the future, to provide the Christian community with a sense of direction.

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T H Ray wrote on Mar. 8, 2010 @ 19:39 GMT
Lawrence,

Thanks for engaging.

I go out of my way to avoid surgery. The time metric continuation over equators of S^2 + S^2 depends on the assumption that one cannot differentiate the kissing boundaries of two S^2 of infinite radius, from the imaginary line. Which begs analytic continuation on the complex plane and by extension on the complex (Riemann) sphere.

I was puzzled by your reference to the Riemann Hypothesis; I thought perhaps I had missed something in the thread. My method does rub up against the Riemann Hypothesis, however. Leaving out a lot of details, and going to some notes I made about a year ago:

The positivity condition imposed by measurement implies orientation toward the single pole of C* at infinity, so that [0, oo) is always oriented on the Riemann surface even though the underlying manifold is nonorientable. As a result:

The oriented time metric necessarily dissipates over n dimensions, n > 3, because length 1 recedes as a function of the square of the distance from the origin, i.e., by the Minkowski-Hlawaka theorem;

Nu >= zeta(n)/2^n-1

(Sorry I haven't installed LaTeX on this computer; I've gotten in the habit of using MathType.)

... gives densest n-dimension packing (zeta(n) is the Riemann zeta function). The inverse of this result converges to unity:

n ---> oo, zeta(n) ---> 1

... so implying length 1 in hypersapce as an infinitely receding metric, as the kissing order increases. We show, however, that there is a "natural" limit of 10 dimensions, that is precisely equivalent to the 4-dimension horizon and yet does not obviate n-dimension continuity.

It's a fascinating result, and I'm looking forward to completing it.

Tom

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Anonymous replied on Mar. 9, 2010 @ 03:22 GMT
Th Ray,

I nearly missed your dicussion on S^2s and S^3. The Riemann zeta function came up because John talked about the distribution of prime numbers. I will try to carry one tomorrow with this.

Cheers LC

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T H Ray wrote on Mar. 9, 2010 @ 18:40 GMT
Steve,

Don't you understand that "... the critical line doesn't exist ... the 0 doesn't exist ..." implies that the Riemann Hypothesis is false? In fact, it implies that the complex plane (where the hypothesis is conjectured) doesn't exist, either.

Well, there goes analysis. It should be a lot easier to get through those math courses, now.

Tom

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Steve Dufourny replied on Mar. 9, 2010 @ 19:00 GMT
Well,

If you give lessons, please don't invite me because with all your pseudo scientific extrapolations , there I am going to laugh during a long time.

No let's be serious, to understand the maths, you must understand the physicality, and apparently it is not your case.But we evolve hihihi

There too you confound, never I have said what the Hypothesis is false, no !

Thus re read my post about the irrationalities, the infinities, the zeros, the negatives but apparently it is a lost of time for me to explain the real physicality of our Universe and its distribution.

Oh my God people confounds all ....

When you want correlate the maths and the physics, it is the physics the main driving force because the primordial distribution is in this reality.

The maths can explain if and only if they are synchronized with our foundamentals equations.But apprently it is not your choice.Good road

Sincerely and respectful

Steve

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T H Ray wrote on Mar. 9, 2010 @ 19:05 GMT
Steve,

You asked, "Where are the reals , on the critic line you beleive."

One of the many wonderful things about mathematics is that it doesn't (within some very strict limits) care what one personally believes. However, no one "believes" the real numbers are on the critical line. Real numbers are on the real line. The real part of the complex number x + iy has the real number (x) = 1/2 on the critical line, a singularity of hypothetically infinite length (mathematicians actually use the term "height" for this instead of length)while the imaginary part (iy) grows with the function.

It has been proven that there are no zeros with real part outside the critical strip (i.e., that exceed 0 or 1 on the real line), but whether there are non trivial zeros of Riemann's zeta function off the critical line is an open question.

I remember you using the term "harmonic" somewhere. If you meant harmonic series, and you actually know what this means, that's where the study of zeta functions begins. Start there, work yourself up to the complex plane, and you'll see the beauty, if you have a mathematical bone in your body.

Tom

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Steve Dufourny replied on Mar. 9, 2010 @ 19:16 GMT
Dear Tom,

The singularity is everywhere and is the begining of all harmonic series and the system of pure physicality is finite.

The infinity can't be applied with the uniqueness , that has no sense, the beauty is this reality.

The maths are a tool, and a tool needs a method and the method needs a referential.Thus n tending to what it is there your problem Tom.

To understand this hypothesis and conjecture, you must differenciate the physicality and its 3D evolution and the unknown behind our walls.And too differenciate the add and the multiplication of a function with the uniqueness.

Now of course you can utilize these methods for the computing but not for the physical sphere.

Regards

Steve

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T H Ray wrote on Mar. 9, 2010 @ 23:24 GMT
Steve,

Prove it.

Tom

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John Merryman replied on Mar. 10, 2010 @ 01:56 GMT
Tom,

Not to butt in here, but we did just spend a week discussing the difference between the construct of time as a dimension of events, vs. the physical process of those events emerging from previous ones and transforming into subsequent ones, yet relativity treats the construct as fundamental.

So I would be curious to know what you require as proof there is a distinction between the abstraction and the reality, since you seemed quite unwilling to consider what I thought was a very simple example.

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Steve Dufourny replied on Mar. 10, 2010 @ 10:00 GMT
Hi all,

Tom,

How can I explain you what the hypothesis can't be proved due to the evolution and the big number of this primordial serie of primes.

In fact It is a joke Tom for the 1 millions by Caltech, because never somebody will find the serie with this referential.

Thus indeed physically speaking , with the finite serie inside a sphere with a center and the rotations, yes I had proved , thus Caltech in your referential impossible but with a physical reality ,I have proved.

Here is my number for money 00100010001 hihihih hip hip hip houra , 1 millions of dollars, How many in Euros. They have not thought about that , Thanks Euler, Riemann and Poincarré.

Steve

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T H Ray wrote on Mar. 10, 2010 @ 11:55 GMT
John,

This is surreal. Steve is speaking of things that don't have anything to do with the actual Riemann Hypothesis, and now you are again raising the non-question of what you think general relativity says about time, that it doesn't.

Let's try once more: In general relativity there is no simultaneity of events; events are equally valid in every observer's frame of reference. Therefore, whatever you could mean by "the construct is fundamental," can't possibly be true. Time in general relativity is an illusion, and only spacetime is real. It isn't an abstraction; it is, as Einstein averred, physically real, "... having a physical effect, but not affected by physical conditions." John, this is experimentally verified. Please, if you want to reference relativity, study it.

Tom

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Streve Dufourny replied on Mar. 10, 2010 @ 12:13 GMT
Tom,

I have touched your vanity? hihihi, if you don't understand, it is not serious, don't worry I can explain you still one.

First you don't differenciate the physicality and the Aether if you want.

Second your spacetime ....I invite you to really understand the relativity and its referentials with the gravitation.Time is an illusion, yes and after what, it doesn't exist thus our past too thus our evolution too thus us too, No but I dream, all is linked with relativity and the mass is essential.

I repeat you confound all about the reality.It lacks a point of vue of the whole with the foundamentals.

Sincerely

Steve

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Steve Dufourny replied on Mar. 10, 2010 @ 12:31 GMT
I am going to share with you dear Tom , 50 per cent thus 1/2 million for you hihihihi

It is ironic how this kind of conjecture can imply a lost of time for the majority of scientists, even their computers are tired hihihi

Oh my God they do not understand the irrationalities tending towards the ultim rationality.

Really , it exists how many people who understand the realtivity on this Earth , I am surprised. Newton, Einstein, Euler and company shall laugh and shall cry too if they read all these extrapolations where the essential lacks, this uniqueness and its evolution.Oh my God.

Sincerely

Steve

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John Merryman replied on Mar. 11, 2010 @ 02:28 GMT
Tom,

My mistake. I was thinking you were considering Steve's seeming effort at extending the subject to a broader comment on the relationship between theory and reality.

Not to start the subject over again, but I do realize relativity says there is no universal point of view, so every subjective point of reference will perceives events occurring according to the order in which the information is received. You do not seem able to compute what I'm saying.

The simultaneity of events would only be valid to a universal perspective and I certainly am not claiming that.

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John Merryman wrote on Mar. 16, 2010 @ 17:08 GMT
Steve,

There's no such thing as a wholistic theory. Assuming otherwise is to confuse theory with belief.

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Mar. 16, 2010 @ 18:14 GMT
Hi John ,

Interesting.Here is my point of vue .

The question is not there, they confound the physicality , it is not a question of faith but a question of utilization of tools.Even with Faith we can perceive correctly our 3d AND THE SPACE TIME AND ITS REFERENTIALS.

The whole must be encircled for a correct local analyze and its specificities....

I am surprised..... in fact the secret is a balance between physicality, Faith(Universality), and unknown .....but if all is coufounded .....that becomes ironic.

Our constants are our constants, our datas are our datas, our irreversibilities are the irreversibilities and the evolution is the evolution...surprised is a weak word.

Regards

Steve

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John Merryman wrote on Apr. 9, 2010 @ 01:37 GMT
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20627554.200-time-wait
s-for-no-quasar—even-though-it-should.html

“All quasars are broadly similar, and their light is powered by matter heating up as it swirls into the giant black holes at the galaxies’ cores. So one would expect that a brightness variation on the scale of, say, a month in the closer group would be stretched to two months in the more distant group. “To my amazement, the [light signatures] were exactly the same,” he says. “There was no time dilation in the more distant objects.”

So what’s going on? Hawkins classes possible explanations as “wacky” or “not so wacky”. The wacky ideas include the possibility that the universe is not expanding, or that quasars are not at the distances indicated by the red shifts of their light - an idea that has previously been discredited.

Among the not-so-wacky theories is the idea that the brightness variations are not caused by the quasars themselves but by the gravitational distortion of bodies about the mass of a star floating between Earth and the quasars.

But this explanation raises its own problems. If all of the quasars in the study are “microlensed” in this way, that would suggest there are a huge number of these invisible lensing objects floating around - enough to account for all of the universe’s dark matter.”

These supposed lensing objects seem to conveniently affect only the more distant objects.

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Jason Wolfe replied on Apr. 9, 2010 @ 02:24 GMT
John,

I'm confused. Once the light gets up the gravity well hill, it's not longer being red shifted. If the quazar is putting out a signal (3 flashes, dim, 2 flashes, dim, ...) brightness would determine how far away they are. But the signal won't be elongated unless the signal has to go up a gravity well.

Why would there be a time dilation for more distant objects? Did I miss something?

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John Merryman wrote on Apr. 9, 2010 @ 09:54 GMT
Jason,

I assume it's because in BBT, the entire universe would be considered a huge gravity well, since the further light travels, the more it is redshifted. Remember Cosmic redshift?

The argument I keep making is that since total expansion and gravitational contraction are equal, ie. flat space, could it be that light isn't just individual photons, but is entangled, such that light falling into gravity wells and thus blueshifted, is causing that which passes them to be redshifted, creating an optical effect of expansion, rather than actual expansion. So that while distant sources appear to be flying away from us, they are not actually doing so. Much like gravitational lensing causes a source of light to appear to be somewhere other than where it is, ie. an optical effect.

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HIGH COMMAND replied on Jun. 5, 2010 @ 14:59 GMT
Ray, Lawrence, Florin, John, and Steve, astromonical observations are making space increasingly invisible/transparent because space is increasingly visible (that is, where/as it would not be otherwise) as well.

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Anonymous replied on Jun. 5, 2010 @ 15:51 GMT
HIGH COMMAND, you are stating that this is a detachment of space?

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Anonymous replied on Jun. 8, 2010 @ 00:06 GMT
Ray, Lawrence, Florin, Tom, John, and Steve, Astromonical observations are making space increasingly invisible/transparent because space is increasingly visible (as it would not be otherwise/ordinarily) as well.

Similarly, dreams make space increasingly invisible/transparent because space is increasingly visible (as it would not be otherwise/ordinarily) as well.

Dreams involve a narrowing/"telescoping" of vision that also involves increased distance in space (out of reach of touch), as in astro. obs. -- both are interactive creations of thought. Now do you understand why the understanding in relation to what is seen in astro. obs. is generally reduced/lacking/conflicting? You reduce the totality of vision (and of natural visual experience) in astro/telescopic obs.

You're the big man Ray. Step up.

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John Merryman wrote on Apr. 9, 2010 @ 16:05 GMT
Jason,

Not a gravity well per se, but in terms of gravity and acceleration being equivalent.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Apr. 9, 2010 @ 18:05 GMT
John,

Acceleration? Are we including the effects of dark energy?

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John Merryman wrote on Apr. 9, 2010 @ 21:44 GMT
Jason,

Dark energy was proposed to explain why redshift of the various distances didn't fit with Big Bang Theory, but did fit with a Cosmological Constant. It should be remembered that Einstein first proposed the Cosmological Constant to balance the contraction of gravity in order to keep space flat. Well, space is flat. The question is whether we really need this very convoluted model to support the current belief that redshift can only be evidence of actual expansion of the entire universe, or is there another way to explain what is observed. May I refer back to the article I linked. It is automatically assumed the expansion must be real and wacky to consider otherwise, but the only proposal the scientist making the observation could come up with has a huge hole in it, in that the effect he proposed would have affected the closer sources as well, so if it had reduced the time dilation of the distant sources, it would also have reduced that of the closer sources by half as much as well, so they would have still been divergent.

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amrit wrote on May. 30, 2010 @ 20:29 GMT
Invariance of light velocity in SR and GR implies that photon clock has no relativistic diminishing of velocity:

http://vixra.org/abs/1005.0073

attachments: Relativistic_effects_of_relative__velocity.pdf

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amrit wrote on May. 31, 2010 @ 13:43 GMT
Right understanding of time is bridging scientific and religious experience.

yours amrit

attachments: Integration_of_Scientific_and_Religious_Experience.pdf

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Steve Dufourny replied on Jun. 1, 2010 @ 09:25 GMT
Hello dear Amrit,

Your works are very relevants,....the harmony emerges beneath the canopy of hope for peace.

The spirituality and universality are tracing the meandering path of universal love.

I am very pleased and honored if you would in the future ok for universal humanistic science center.I must admit I am a poor administrator, which implies some difficulties for the start of the creation of this center.

I'm 34 and I can assure you that I will never cease,it's my reason of life this sciences center of adapted and harmonious productions of restabilisation.

The solutions exist and the united generates accelerations of processes of prioritary resolution.

I must create it.I must create it.

Friendly

Steve

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Steve Dufourny replied on Jun. 1, 2010 @ 14:37 GMT
On this platform, we met Universalists, scientists awares,seekers of the truth.

It is this unification of sensible people, that will generate universal harmonic effects on the chaotic disasters.

The planet Earth has to have this kind commission universal global warming, which wisely and conscientiously, can find solutions to global problems.

It has become essential for the good of all without exeption.

We can act, we cvan harmonize, we can produce, we can optimize.

It's so important at this moment.

The global equilibrium is broken, and some exponentials are possibles.

It's purely not possible to live in this kind of globality.

Best Regards

Steve

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 3, 2010 @ 17:19 GMT
The increasingly transparent and invisible space in astro. obs. (and relative uniformity of increased acceleration) is the requirement of magnification.

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Dr. Cosmology wrote on Jun. 3, 2010 @ 17:25 GMT
Anonymous, the red-shift does seem to apply to this magnification involving increased and more uniform acceleration.

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Dr. Cosmic Ray replied on Jun. 3, 2010 @ 18:07 GMT
Dear FMD,

You're too funny! You seem to crave attention - calling me out by name and by nickname, but then you completely ignore my constructive suggestions! What is the answer to this paradox? It is silly for us to fuss and pick at each other all the time (I have siblings for that). If we don't have anything in common, I suggest that we just ignore each other, and happily share the blog space.

Have Fun!

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THE LIGHTBRINGER replied on Jun. 3, 2010 @ 19:34 GMT
Ray, did you understand that the mid-range of gravity is manifesting in the middle distance -- AND, in keeping with the middle level of gravity (in the body) IT IS ALSO experienced at the feet in dreams?

That is huge Ray. Middle distance in front of us too, in keeping with the mid-range of GRAVITATIONAL FEELING IN THE BODY. Space manifesting as gravitational/electromagnetic energy/light in dreams Ray. Frank nailed it.

Ray, DiMeglio is a towering genius. Others get and appreciate his ideas.

He is leading the way by far relative to unifying physical theory.

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Dr. Cosmic Ray replied on Jun. 3, 2010 @ 20:39 GMT
Dear FMD,

You said "DiMeglio is a towering genius". Does that mean you are taller than the rest of us geniuses? I'm a fairly average height at 5'10", so you may be taller than me.

And "gravitational light" makes no sense. In my book, I considered both, the photon and the graviton, to be different quantum states of the GUM (Grand Unified Mediating) boson. Perhaps one (say a photon) could transition to the other (say a graviton), but gravitational light (as I suppose you intend to mean it) implies a mixed quantum state that should not be allowed in a simple system.

If I understand him correctly, I think that Amrit (I sometimes mis-understand your rantings, and I sometimes mis-understand Amrit's English) is saying that a photon cannot reveal a quantum gravity event to us - as if he considers this an axiom. If so, then gravitational light still makes no sense.

IMHO, you are still confusing red-shift. I have heard Creationists purposely mis-represent the interpretation of red-shift to "prove" that the Universe is only 6014 years old. It is frustrating that "incorrect" science propagates as fast (sometimes faster!) than "correct" science. I don't think your purpose is to prove Creationism, but you may have been confused by one of their books. Please study red-shift in a legitimate College Freshman Astrophysics text book. I would also recommend that you study Black Holes as they relate to red-shift and "infinity".

Don't hold your breath waiting for fame. And I don't think you can "create" fame by tying up this blog site with silly conversations back and forth to yourself. I published my book over 2 years ago. The Paparazzi have not yet visited me. Have they visited you? Perhaps we are those mis-understood souls who will not be appreciated in this lifetime...

Have Fun!

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 3, 2010 @ 18:35 GMT
Space and gravity are manifesting at the gravitational mid-range of feeling in dreams -- in accordance with electromagnetism/light and distance in space. This is space manifesting as gravitational/electromagnetic energy/light in dreams.

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FAST FRED wrote on Jun. 3, 2010 @ 19:39 GMT
Ray, invisible and visible/transparent space are balanced in the dream. The integrated extensiveness of being and experience go hand in hand.

Did you know that vision is transparent inside the body/eye because it is at the top of the body. Ray, you have so much to learn. We will teach you.

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 5, 2010 @ 15:40 GMT
Quantum gravitational light, does it exist? What would it be theoretically, if it could exist?

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THE LIGHTBRINGER wrote on Jun. 5, 2010 @ 16:44 GMT
Ray, your answer is that space and gravity are manifesting at the gravitational mid-range of feeling in dreams -- in accordance with electromagnetism/light and distance in space. This is space manifesting as gravitational/electromagnetic energy/light in dreams. This relates to the space as it exists in the middle distance in conjunction with the mid-range of gravitational feeling that is experienced therein -- including at the feet.

Which part of gravity and electromagnetism/light united with scale do you not understand Ray?

Ray, don't be so lazy. I'm not here to do all of your thinking. You need to grow in your capacity to think -- and that requires effort.

Now you understand, hopefully, that...Fourthly, invisible/transparent space and visible space are integrated, included, and balanced in the dream at the mid-range of gravitational feeling. The integrated extensiveness of being and experience go hand in hand. Did you know that vision is transparent inside the body/eye because it is at the top of the body? Ray, you have so much to learn. We will teach you. How do you think that the invisible experience of space (and body) is harmoniously integrated, included, enjoined, and balanced with the visible experience of the body and space (in relation to the range of feeling that we experience). DIMEGLIO IS THE MASTERMIND RAY.

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Dr. Cosmic Ray replied on Jun. 7, 2010 @ 13:18 GMT
Dear FMD,

I'm sorry that you think I am being lazy. I read your ideas, and sincerely thought that some of them made sense, and some of them don't make sense. I cannot make sense out of non-sense. That is not my laziness - the burden of clearly communicating your ideas is on your shoulders, not mine. From my own experience over the decades, I would say that some ideas are good, some ideas are garbage, and some ideas need to be stored away for a future application. Not every idea is a genius idea, but you have to work out the details...

Have Fun!

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THE LIGHTBRINGER replied on Jun. 7, 2010 @ 17:47 GMT
Ray, the experience of the gravitational mid-range of feeling in dreams combines and includes BOTH VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE/TRANSPARENT feeling/energy AND space in keeping with what is necessarily the middle (and average) distance, scale, and size of space. PERFECT

Vision begins transparently/invisibly inside the body and eye in keeping with the [relatively] reduced feeling that is experienced at the top of the body. Vision then ends (with visible space) at the earth/feet in the progression/increase involving BOTH gravitational feeling and distance in space. PERFECT

Dream experience combines (and includes) opposites and extremes in order to add to the integrated extensiveness of being, experience (and space), electromagnetism/light, gravity, thought, and quantum mechanical phenomena generally. Therefore, it is understood that dream experience is different from, and yet linked with, waking experience. PERFECT

Ray, you do not know how to respond, and you are always twisting, avoiding, and diminishing the best ideas. We have seen you do this repeatedly.

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Dr. Cosmic Ray replied on Jun. 7, 2010 @ 19:15 GMT
Dear FMD,

My models include Scale Invariance. Please look at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-similarity

for more description of that concept - they have some cool graphics. As Tom Ray says, Distance and Scale are different concepts. You seem to continually confuse red-shift. I don't blaim your ignorance because I have seen Creationists purposely distort the facts about...

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 5, 2010 @ 18:30 GMT
Ray, all, you need to consider distance in space in relation to attraction and repulsion when it comes to gravity. Along these lines, electromagnetic/gravitational space balances attraction and repulsion with scale (the size of space) to establish a relatively stable distance in space.

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 5, 2010 @ 21:07 GMT
DiMeglio, is that you? Are you saying that the real reason that there is generally no gravity (i.e., weightlessness) in outer space is due to the extreme distances/scale/size of the space?

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T H Ray wrote on Jun. 7, 2010 @ 14:36 GMT
James, the speed of light is important to the extent that it limits communication between mass points, so that the discontinuity at relativistic distances, or relativistic velocities, allows the time metric to be treated mathematically the same as a rigid rod. IOW, the length of time becomes a length of space, so that we can use methods from geometry to show the relation among mass and spacetime...

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Anonymous replied on Jun. 7, 2010 @ 17:30 GMT
Tom, when considering distance in space (the size of space) in relation to balanced attraction and repulsion when it comes to gravity, electromagnetic/gravitational space balances attraction and repulsion with scale (the size of space) to establish a relatively stable distance in space. This involves combining and including visible and invisible space. Gravity ultimately relates to distance in/the size of space.

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James Putnam replied on Jun. 9, 2010 @ 20:11 GMT
Tom,

"James, there is nothing "wrong" with theoretical physics. It is not broken. Ours is a progressive art, just as it has always been. There is a story, perhaps apochryphal but instructive, about a young physicist who came to John von Neumaann with a problem he couldn't solve. Von Neumann replied that the problem could be addressed using the method of characteristics. "But I don't underdstand the method of characteristics," said the younger. "One does not understand (a mathematical method)!" said von Neumann, "One gets used to it!" Get used to the abstraction, to glimpse the true power of what is real."

In other words: Get used to scientific mysticism, its like God is gone but the Force is with us. What is the difference? If you think there is a difference, then perhaps you still insist that the universe lacks intelligence. Or, even less scientific, that dumbness can give rise to intelligence. The abstractions that you appear to admire are the result of the problems with broken theoretical physics. The universe is not abstract, and, we are programmed to understand the universe. It comes along with being constructed of the very same particles of matter that exist throughout the universe. They know how to make sense of the data they receive; and, so would we if only abstraction hadn't become the darling of theoretical physics.

Abstraction is what separates theoretical physicsts from other mortal beings. Take pride in it if you wish. Abstraction, i.e. not concrete, by definition is not reality. It is one of the educated minds ivory towers. You gave your 'book' explanation of abstract theory. Fine. I do not pretend to be a theoretical physicist. So, I leave to others to believe in scientific mysticism. My intention is to show that theoretical physics is broken and was broken right from its start. I look forward to the possibility that the next essay contest subject will permit me to show at least the first error of theoretical physics. That error has to do with the nature of mass.

James

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T H Ray replied on Jun. 9, 2010 @ 21:02 GMT
Science has nothing to do with personal belief, James. You might find contemporary science less mystical if you got caught up with it. At least, you would know what you're up against as you try to make your point. As it is, you make claims that are wildly unobjective, and often contradictory -- such as your latest claim that we are programmed to understand, against your previous claims of free will.

Tom

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T H Ray wrote on Jun. 7, 2010 @ 18:02 GMT
Distance is not the same thing as scale. One is a measured, or conveniently chosen, result; the other is an abstract representation of how the distance relation between or among a field of points varies according to the observer's distance from the measure.

We already know (by the inverse square law) how gravity relates to distance.

Still bumping my head on that visible space. Ow.

Tom

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John Merryman replied on Jun. 11, 2010 @ 16:33 GMT
Tom,

Neither is a thermometer the same thing as a ruler.

Time to start watching your head. If you keep it in the spaces not already occupied, it will get less bumps.

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John Merryman replied on Jun. 11, 2010 @ 16:37 GMT
Tom,

Delete that. I thought it was a reply in the thread above.

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T H Ray replied on Jun. 11, 2010 @ 18:22 GMT
Well, John, a thermometer is in fact a ruler, in exactly the same way that a slide rule is a scientific calculator. These things are conventions, not intrinsic natural properties of the universe.

Tom

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FAST FRED wrote on Jun. 9, 2010 @ 20:52 GMT
Ray, there is no smell (very rare) or taste (rare) in dreams generally because there is no "AVERAGING" or "typical experience" that may then be experienced in dreams in accordance therewith. On the other hand, the distance and size of space, sound, and taste, are "averaged" in the dream; or (it may be said) they are/constitute "typical approximations" of waking experience.

Potential and actual both are real in the dream Ray. Dreams are the theoretic/potential AND actual manifestation/union of gravity, electromagnetism/light, and of Q.M. phenomena generally. Theoretical and potential are unified with actual in dreams Ray.

Dreams make thought in general more like the totality of sensory experience

that is and can be experienced IN GENERAL (in its totality).

As DiMeglio says:

"Seeing from/with the [relatively] increased feeling/energy (at the [gravitational] mid-range of feeling between thought and sense) allows one to see farther, as if in an inherently larger space (such as outer space). However, this [relative] reduction in gravitational experience/feeling also pertains (on balance) to an inherently reduced ability to see as far; since INCREASED gravitational feeling is associated with seeing farther in conjunction with seeing/experiencing the end of VISIBLE space at the earth/feet." Here is your unification Ray.

Ray, do you see how the integrated extensiveness (and interactity) of observer, thought, experience, and the forces/laws/descriptions of physics are generally merged and extended/simplified in dream experience?

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FAST FRED replied on Jun. 9, 2010 @ 21:22 GMT
Ray, a correction -- Sound/hearing, touch/tactile experience, and the distance AND size(s) of space, are "averaged" in the dream; or (it may be said) they are/constitute "typical approximations" of waking experience. Dream experience adds to the integrated AND interactive extensiveness of being, thought, gravity, experience (and space), electromagnetism (and light), and quantum mechanical phenomena generally.

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 9, 2010 @ 21:00 GMT
This is amazing: "Seeing from/with the [relatively] increased feeling/energy (at the [gravitational] mid-range of feeling between thought and sense) allows one to see farther, as if in an inherently larger space (such as outer space). However, this [relative] reduction in gravitational experience/feeling also pertains (on balance) to an inherently reduced ability to see as far; since INCREASED gravitational feeling is associated with seeing farther in conjunction with seeing/experiencing the end of VISIBLE space at the earth/feet."

I don't blame DiMeglio for being outraged that he didn't win the prior essay contest.

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Dr. Cosmic Ray replied on Jun. 10, 2010 @ 12:46 GMT
Dear FMD,

It is ironic that you and I are both native-English-speakers, and yet I often understand people like Steve Dufourny and Leshan (though English is not their first language) better than I understand you. We need to revisit our definitions so that we are on the same page.

By calling the Dream the sixth sense, I was not saying that the Dream experiences all 5 senses. However, I have experienced Dreams with sight and sound, so perhaps the Dream represents the sixth sense (Dream sight) and the seventh sense (Dream sound) IN ADDITION TO the five recognized senses of sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. These new senses (the 6th and 7th) allow us to experience alternate realities that exist in different SCALED (larger (without) or smaller (within) than ours) Universes.

My question remains unanswered: "Does the Dream represent additional human senses, and is therefore an objective witness to alternate realities, or is the Dream part of human creativity, and is therefore an untrustworthy subjective view of reality?"

You keep mentioning "mid-range of feeling". Why don't you try to use mathematics to represent some of your ideas? It is simple enough to define averages in mathematical terms.

Have Fun!

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jun. 11, 2010 @ 00:03 GMT
Dear Frank,

I notice that you keep using the word "extensiveness". Can you define what you mean when you use that word?

Thanks

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Jun. 11, 2010 @ 00:34 GMT
Jason,

You just blew my directive. Don't respond to DeMigio or any of his sock puppets! Let the guy get bored talking to himself and he will go somewhere else.

LC

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T H Ray replied on Jun. 12, 2010 @ 13:37 GMT
John,

Don't confuse dimensionless numbers on a scale with geometric points of measure zero. (Yes, I realize I should have said "number" rather than "point.")

Lynds's program is demonstrably incorrect, BTW.

Tom

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John Merryman replied on Jun. 13, 2010 @ 01:10 GMT
Tom,

Say the scale is a clock. If the numbers constituted dimensionless points, this would mean freezing the motion, since motion creates a before/after. So take one of those atomic particles and completely freeze its motion. Remember dimensionless. Now what is left? A non vibrating string? If those numbers on the clock were dimensionless, there would be nothing.

Consider temperature. How utterly meaningless would it be to require the numbers on this scale to be dimensionless? It's a freaking average of the cumulative motion to begin with! The only truly dimensionless point on a thermal scale would be absolute zero.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jun. 12, 2010 @ 00:05 GMT
Does anybody know if relativity has been tested using a centrifuge and atomic clocks? In other words, if you have atomic clock A motionless on a table, and atomic clock B on a centrifuge experiencing 5g's of force, won't atomic clock B run slower? In other words, 5g's of centripetal acceleration should be the same as 5g's of gravity, which should also be the same as 5g's of rocket ship acceleration, at least as far as the laws of physics are concerned. Right?

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Jun. 13, 2010 @ 01:34 GMT
James,

Length is something we measure with a ruler, time is measured with a clock. Seriously you have to understand that science involves operational definitions of things. You seem to be demanding that science answer metaphysical questions which are not amenable to empirical methods.

I put this here, for the thread has gotten too lengthy in this "response list."

Cheers LC

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John Merryman replied on Jun. 13, 2010 @ 10:05 GMT
Lawrence,

"Seriously you have to understand that science involves operational definitions of things."

I think we all recognize we can only measure what's measureable, but there does need to be understanding that these measurements are like those pilings sunk into soft soil in order to build what is currently necessary and we cannot overbuild on such a foundation without further examination of the nature of the soil, even if that borders on the philosophical.

Otherwise we end up with entirely metaphysical constructs, such as block time and multi-worlds.

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James Putnam replied on Jun. 13, 2010 @ 15:14 GMT
For readers in general, here is a link and excerpt giving an explanation of operational functionalism:

Philosophy of Physics in General Physics Courses

Erwin Marquit

School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455

(Received 25 April 1997; accepted 28 February 1979)

Erwin Marquit Paper

Excerpt:

"OPERATIONALISM,...

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John Merryman replied on Jun. 13, 2010 @ 15:42 GMT
James,

I think the feature most relevant to this discussion is the fourth. Are there simpler and more compact explanations for observed phenomena than are currently being employed.

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John Merryman wrote on Jun. 15, 2010 @ 09:34 GMT
Back to the original topic of discussion, it always amazes me that we keep finding fully developed galaxies and galaxy clusters as far as we can see and the only issue raised is how it could have happened so quickly.

http://www.naoj.org/Pressrelease/index_2010.html#100
520

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James Putnam wrote on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 03:38 GMT
If I have missed responding to anyone's message, please let me know where your message is?

James

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James Putnam replied on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 04:06 GMT
Dr. Crowell,

What is mass?

James

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James Putnam replied on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 04:35 GMT
Dr. Crowell,

We all know what acceleration is. You must know either what mass is or what force is or you are lost at the very beginnning.

James

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Constantinos replied on Jun. 22, 2010 @ 22:07 GMT
James,

... since you asked, you have not yet responded to my response of your response under the Dr Cosmology thread. But if your response is not to respond, then respond to just let me know that you will not respond. If you don't respond, then I wont know that your response is not to respond.

Constantinos

PS I am traveling in Europe and will not always have Interenet. So if I don't respond normally, know why and know I will when possible.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 13:38 GMT
Again things are operational more than axiomatic. Acceleration is geometrical. If we multiply it by a mass we get a force. So how is mass defined? It is defined by the extension of a spring under a gravitational force, otherwise known as a scale. It is something operationally defined according to what we measure. This is the difference between mathematics and physics. Mathematically mass is just a scalar, but in physics it is a scalar which is defined according to what we measure.

This might leave some people unhappy in that quantities such as mass, eg a property of matter, are defined in ways which seem not to have some deeper basis and are only defined according to relationships with other quantities. Yet that is the point of physics, it is about the relationships between things we measure or observe, not about some deep set of definitions that satisfy some Platonic or Aristotelian criteria.

Cheers LC

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James Putnam replied on Jun. 20, 2010 @ 18:54 GMT
Dr. Crowell,

Since you feel superior to the point where you can speak derogatorially about and to others, I will be speaking forthrightly to you:

Quote: "This might leave some people unhappy in that quantities such as mass, eg a property of matter, are defined in ways which seem not to have some deeper basis and are only defined according to relationships with other quantities. Yet that is the point of physics, it is about the relationships between things we measure or observe, not about some deep set of definitions that satisfy some Platonic or Aristotelian criteria."

This quote does not represent good science. It represents an ideology about science that can be described as escapism. You do not have real answers. You are so educated and on top of things that, if you do not have real answers and have no idea about how to find them then they must not exist. This is an unbelievable state of affairs that theoretical physics now finds itself in.

The greatest damage is not that important questions remain unanswered, it is that the attitude that you express about what is real science and real knowledge is put forward in an arrogant manner intended to keep the status quo and discourage others from searching for real answers. My opinion is that your efforts are both futile and too late. Answers do exist and we can know them.

James

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Jun. 21, 2010 @ 13:24 GMT