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Blogger William Orem wrote on Jun. 15, 2010 @ 15:12 GMT
I was nineteen; I had probably been out partying with friends the night before; those were different days. However it came about, I slept through class that morning. It was “Quantum Mechanics for the Myriad,” and my college professor was scheduled to lecture on the modern view of energy. Wrapped up as I was in trying to understand how the different families of particles fit together, to say nothing of simply navigating undergraduate life, my mental plate was more than full. Yet I always felt I had missed something critical.

Interestingly, the day I slept through class has stayed in my head more than the days I attended, probably because it placed an unanswered question there—a question of a foundational sort. What is energy, anyway?

We all know the textbook answers. Ask any high schooler and you will be given some version of “energy is the ability to do work.” But even when I was in high school myself, that sounded like an evasion. After all, I didn’t ask what energy allowed to happen; I asked what it was. The “ability to do” anything is nonspecific, an abstraction; it’s definition by way of things other than the subject at hand. It’s like that moment in the B-movie when our hero, tied to a chair, asks the masked man who he is and the masked man answers, “I’m the guy holding the gun.” Energy is “the ability of a system to do work” always sounds to me like mother nature saying “Shut up; I’ll ask the questions here.”

Next, the dutiful high schooler will recite that there are types of energy: kinetic, electromagnetic, chemical, and so on. All energy on Earth comes from the Sun (except for geothermal, except for radiation from certain rock layers) and powers all living things (except for the ecosystems around black smokers) and can neither be created nor destroyed (except for virtual particle pairs, especially on event horizons). Gravitational energy results in nuclear fusion in the cores of stars and releases radiant energy that is absorbed by mass, which is condensed energy . . . anyway, we know all this.

But do we? Enumerating a number of familiar phrases doesn’t necessarily get to the heart of an issue; it merely makes it seem more, well, familiar. Richard Feynman tells a wonderful story about how he first discovered as a child that, when rolling a toy pickup truck with a ball in the bed, the ball tended to lag behind. (I’m paraphrasing from memory here; perhaps you’ve seen Feynman recount this tale on various documentaries.) Why does that happen? he asked his father. “No one knows,” his Dad said. “It’s called inertia.”

The point being: Don’t confuse having a name for something with understanding what it is.

Ask college students about energy and you will hear that photons, as gauge bosons for electromagnetism, carry the electromagnetic force. Or *are* they the electromagnetic force? We have to be careful with our language. In layman’s terms, photons *are* energy (no rest mass) . . . but of course they can have more or less of it depending on frequency, which sounds once again like they are carriers of something else, not pure instances of that something.

Keep going up the ladder of specialization. Grad students can tell you all about scalar, vector, and tensor fields, classical and quantum. Fields, such as the electromagnetic ones, certainly have and transmit conserved quantities, such as momentum and energy. Or are they energy? They are generated by charged particles passing information between them. Or are particles themselves simply field perturbations?

Finally, FQXi grantees can explain (or get a talented science writer to explain for them, I humbly add) such wonderful concepts as negative energy. This “less than zero” power is necessitated by our uncertainty, or possibly the universe’s uncertainty, about how much energy is present in empty space. Quantum Mechanics has shown that statistical fluctuations underlie fields, and that the energy density of the void really only averages to zero, rather then being zero by definition. To get an average of zilch, however, there must be some “negative” as well as some “positive” all the time. Grab the negative, by the way, and you might be able to do any number of marvelous things, like creating your own bubble universe in a lab.

Some day a team of physicists will use negative energy to stabilize a traversable wormhole; some day engineers will use micro black holes as energy supply for starships. But even the prospect of such future marvels doesn’t convince me we know yet what energy—negative or positive—actually is. If QM has shown anything, it’s that we are remarkably adept as a species at manipulating things whose fundamental nature we don’t fathom at all.

I’m not even certain what would make for a satisfying answer. Do we have to wait until a successful theory of quantum gravity is produced to suddenly recognize what energy was all along? Do we even know what it is we’re looking for – not just how to make the formalism work -- as we try our increasingly complex mathematical approaches? I’m not sure.

So I turn the question to you. FQXi readers are among the most intelligent folks on the web (they are also immune to flattery). We don’t mistake poetic hand-waving, which anyone can do, for serious physics; energy is “the breath of the universe” or some such thing is no more useful, here, than “the ability to do work.” We all know the formulae; we know the standard definitions. But what is energy?

No, really. What is it?

this post has been edited by the forum administrator

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jun. 15, 2010 @ 16:06 GMT
Energy is an accounting system, a conserved quantity. In a way, it is like money. Energy takes many forms, money takes many forms (cash, change, credit, checks, greenbacks, yen, etc..) It is conserved down to the photon at which the universe rounds off; money is rounded off to the neatest penny.

I don't think we need to know what it is. We just need to know that if we want to do something "technologically advanced", we have to obey conservation laws.

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Jun. 16, 2010 @ 18:19 GMT
Jason, I agree: There are no negative coins. Who justifies negative energy?

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Ray Munroe replied on Jun. 16, 2010 @ 19:31 GMT
Dear Eckard,

You asked "Who justifies negative energy?"

Gravitational fields are normally defined as having negative potential energy, which is why an object gains (positive) kinetic energy when it "falls" in a gravitational field.

I understand that you generally complain about the philosophical interpretation of negative numbers. I didn't create that particular convention, but it is mathematically consistent.

Have Fun!

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T H Ray replied on Jun. 16, 2010 @ 20:15 GMT
Never had a negative bank balance?

Tom

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Jun. 15, 2010 @ 16:33 GMT
Hi dear Owen, Jason, all,

My point of vue is this one.

It is as if energy was present at(in) all with this maximum energy.

It's like a tool in various forms and complementarities.

It can add up(very interestings the add of systems)

Energy is the mass and rotation fields in some sorts.

It's this notion of maximum energy in all things that becomes very pertinent for energy applications of tranformations.

The thermodynamics show us this energy everywhere.The heat is correlated like all , because the universal proportionalities are an evidence.

I am always asked me "but how these particules know how they must become..."

I also told myself that towards these very small limits, the energy increased simply(more the evolution and the increase of mass)

The concept of universal energy is so important, and furtermore it grows due to evolution.

This to say that only a tiny fraction of that is necessary for us the humans.It is interesting for future energetical applications .The additions of systems become a key.Like says Jason, the different kinds and forms are so numerous.

The energy is everywhere dear friends, everywhere and so important

invisible, unfathomable in the maximum ...but reals in its fractalisations...

we should feed our planet with one water drop ....

Regards

Steve

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Constantinos replied on Jun. 26, 2010 @ 13:26 GMT
Hello all,

Perhaps along with all the other ideas about energy in your discussions you may also want to consider the definition of energy I suggest in my short paper Prime ‘physis’ and the Mathematical Derivation of Basic Law.. In this paper, energy is a derived and secondary physical quantity to a more primary quantity ‘accumulation of energy’ (in units of joules-sec).

In terms of this primary quantity energy is the time rate while momentum is the space rate of it. Force can also be naturally defined. The basic laws of physics such as the Conservation of Energy and Momentum, of Newton’s Second Law of Motion, of Planck’s Law, of the Uncertainty Principle and of the Energy Quantization Hypothesis can be easily derived as nothing more than mathematical consequences.

This formulation also results in a physical interpretation of Schroedinger’s Equation and the wave function. It also provides an ‘existence argument’ for Planck’s constant and an understanding of it as being the minimal of this ‘prime physical quantity’ that can be manifested.

Constantinos

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Jun. 26, 2010 @ 17:07 GMT
Hello Constantinos,

Don't we call Js action at least since Maupertius?

Eckard

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Constantinos replied on Jun. 27, 2010 @ 20:19 GMT
Hello Eckard. Good to hear from you again.

If you are referring to ‘joules-sec’ as in Planck’s constant, then you are right that commonly this is interpreted as ‘action’.

The interpretation of ‘joules-sec’ can also be made as ‘accumulation of energy’ (in the sense of the time integral of energy). Planck’s constant then is seen as ‘accumulation of energy’ (in units of ‘joules-sec’). By starting out with such physical quantity as ‘primary’ then it is easy to define energy, momentum and force in terms of it and to mathematically derive the basic laws of physics such as Newton’s Second Law of Motion, Conservation of Energy and Momentum, Planck’s Law, Quantizaton of Energy Hypothesis and others. It is also possible to give a non-thermodynamic definition of temperature which makes intuitive physical sense. There are other nice consequences to such a prime physical quantity. The Schroedinger’s equation can be understood and the wave function has a physical interpretation.

All these are explained with mathematical formulations in the various papers that I referenced in the previous posts.

Constantinos

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jun. 15, 2010 @ 17:48 GMT
Dear Steve,

Well said.

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Simple Particle wrote on Jun. 15, 2010 @ 20:54 GMT
"What is energy?"

In its fundamental comprehension it is a least a super question!

In my (crackpotish) view energy is simply ripples in the fabric of space - directional when it comes to kinetic energy and circular when it comes to potential energy.

Since mass is just a form of potential energy (E = mc2), it has to be circular ripples according to this suggestion. I even think I have a good case when claiming that particles of mass are looping EM waves!

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Jason Wolfe replied on Jun. 27, 2010 @ 05:40 GMT
It's certainly a creative idea. Continue developing it to see where it leads.

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Simple Particle replied on Jul. 1, 2010 @ 20:30 GMT
Thanks for the encouragement, Jason :-)

Based on the idea, I have already tried to explain mass and gravitation and disk formations in space...

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James Putnam replied on Jul. 1, 2010 @ 22:53 GMT
Mass is not a form of potential energy. That implies that energy is primary and mass is only a form that follows from it. Energy is a theoretical concept that substitutes for understanding what force is. Mass is the source of all force. It is also the recipient of force and it shows this by changing its velocity. No one knows yet what is mass, and, therefore, no one knows yet what is force. What is force? I think that understanding mass requires explaining how mass participates in applying force over distance? After a mass applies force over distance, then we can calculate that force times that distance and have a product that is defined as energy. We see distance. The question is not what is force being applied over. The question is: What is force?

James

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John Merryman wrote on Jun. 15, 2010 @ 21:09 GMT
One habit to answering a question is to ask the opposite. What is the absence of energy? Is it empty space, the non fluctuating vacuum? Does energy hold space out, such that in the absence of energy, space would collapse to the proverbial point?

This doesn't really answer the first question but just points out that asking what energy is, also requires asking what space is.

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T H Ray replied on Jun. 15, 2010 @ 21:24 GMT
John, you said something that I understand and agree with. :-)

Tom

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T H Ray wrote on Jun. 15, 2010 @ 21:21 GMT
What's wrong with defining energy as a measure of the strength of interaction among mass points? That's certainly what energy "is," yet as your father indicated, it only begs the deeper question of the origin of inertia. I.e., why do mass points go to the trouble of interacting? Why isn't there a zero action principle, which would be the simplest state of matter? Ah, wait, there is -- that zero average density. And so on to the exotic mysteries of the vacuum. And extra dimensions?--personally, I think at this stage one has to answer that question: probably.

Tom

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T H Ray replied on Jun. 15, 2010 @ 21:30 GMT
I meant Feynman's father, of course.

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John Merryman replied on Jun. 16, 2010 @ 00:52 GMT
Tom,

I guess I should leave it at that then.

Naaa.

I'm thinking you would be on the side of energy holding space open/creating space, given previous discussions about the validity of space as anything other than a measure of points, along with general agreement with the premise of Big Bang theory. Yet the statement,

"I.e., why do mass points go to the trouble of interacting? Why isn't there a zero action principle, which would be the simplest state of matter? Ah, wait, there is -- that zero average density. And so on to the exotic mysteries of the vacuum."

would seem to suggest the opposite view, that space is a void in which energy arises/manifests.

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Georgina Parry replied on Jun. 16, 2010 @ 03:36 GMT
Ray, John, All

As I see it energy is a change in spatial position of something or the potential to cause the change in spatial position of something. If a chemical reaction is exothermic heat energy is given out. Heat is kinetic energy of particles. So the reaction involves a change in spatial position or arrangement of matter that causes an increase in the change of spatial position of...

view entire post

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Jun. 15, 2010 @ 23:58 GMT
I have a similar physics lecture story. I was a sophomore and I was taking modern physics, which is a sort of intro-QM course, and this is the time I got a lecture on the Stern-Gerlach experiment. I was living with a couple of friends, and they came home after I was in bed and woke me up. I also had an exam in electromagnetism the next day I had studied and was all set. One thing led to another and to get back to sleep I had a beer, and then another, and …, well before long the whiskey came out and I really did it. This was the first time I had ever gotten completely blitzed, where I am a very moderate drinker and was then. But for some reason this time moderation went the way of virginity in a cat house. The next day I was not just hung over, but still somewhat drunk. I got to my morning mod-phys course and was quite blown away by the discussion on the S-G apparatus. I kept wondering if I heard this correctly. Maybe this is the best way to be introduced to new physics --- well occasionally. The exam was drudgery to get through, but I managed to do ok.

Energy as the ability to do work is encapsulated in the first law of thermodynamics. Work is also a force through a displacement or W = ∫F*dr. So a force which manages to move a body through space defines work. Fine, but what is force? That is F = ma. This is really a rather odd equation. Mass is a kinematic category, acceleration is a geometric quantity a = dv/dt, and force is a dynamical quantity. So the product of the first two (kinematic x geometric) is the third, which is dynamical. This makes Newton’s second law of equation a rather odd thing to ponder, for from a philosophical perspective it is rather perplexing.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jun. 16, 2010 @ 00:15 GMT
An excursion into "what is inertia", is a very when trying to figure out, "what is energy". We all know that, whatever energy is, it's conserved. It has many manifestations to transduce between. Energy causes gravity.

I still think that energy has similarities to money. You can't get work done without money (in some form).

But we do know that energy is intimated related to motion, inertia, and electromagnetism. Energy is bound by the speed of light. We could almost mistake energy for photons of light, almost.

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Bee wrote on Jun. 16, 2010 @ 02:53 GMT
Sorry for being your stereotypical physicist but energy (or rather the stress-energy-tensor) is just a quantity defined by conservation laws resulting from symmetries. It can be derived from the Lagrangian of your theory. You probably know the details anyway. I frankly don't understand questions like what's the "nature" of this or that. I'm fine knowing how to describe it and being able to compute what it does. For what I'm concerned, that's the nature of the thing.

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Jason Wolfe replied on Jun. 16, 2010 @ 04:39 GMT
Bee,

"I frankly don't understand questions like what's the "nature" of this or that. I'm fine knowing how to describe it and being able to compute what it does. "

Somebody has to deal with the quantitative nature of this or that force. It is good that there are physicists and engineers who can work out the technical details. But from a "Foundational" point of view, mathematical expressions might not be enough give real insight into what is physicall possible. That takes a more creative approach; that requires that someone asks: what is the nature of this or that.

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Florin Moldoveanu replied on Jun. 16, 2010 @ 05:22 GMT
Bee,

I agree. I think those kind of questions are ill posed especially after the modern relational view of math. Regardless, I was scratching my head to come up with an answer, and the best I could do was: "energy is an useful conserved quantity".

(Forget relativity. Take Newtonian physics. If energy would not be conserved, nobody would even bother to mention it. And why is conserved? Because of time translation symmetry via Noether theorem... etc, etc...)

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T H Ray replied on Jun. 16, 2010 @ 08:41 GMT
Florin,

I think you hit the key, with the relational view. It's the relations that manifest meaning, not the things in relation.

Even going back to Minkowski, that space and time have no independent reality has proven a fruitful road to both theoretical and physical reault.

Tom

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James Putnam wrote on Jun. 16, 2010 @ 03:18 GMT
Energy is force times distance. It is a multiplication problem with a numerical answer. Potential energy is a force that cannot yet act across a distance, but, if allowed to act across a distance the calculation of force times distance can then be made. In other words, potential energy is not energy, it is a recognition that it is potentially possible to calculate the product of force times distance sometime in the future. That calculation will then be what we call energy. Energy is not difficult to understand. It is not a property. It is a sum result. The difficulty is understanding what is force? The mechanically imagined mysterious property of the universe is not energy. The question to be answered is: What is force?

James

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Jun. 16, 2010 @ 04:01 GMT
The relationship between potential energy and force is that force is F = -∂Φ/∂x for Φ the potential, and this set in one dimensions for brevity. Well integrate this with respect to x

∫Fdx = -∫(∂Φ/∂x)dx = -ΔΦ

Here the limits on the integral are assumed. So the change in the work does is equal to the negative in the change of potential.

James, what you just wrote above is pure bilge water.

Cheers LC

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James Putnam replied on Jun. 17, 2010 @ 03:52 GMT
Dr. Crowell,

The integral of force times distance is the sum of differential values of force times distance. Your phoney, mathematical speculations do not tell us what energy is. You have no energy to show anyone.

James

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Jun. 18, 2010 @ 00:46 GMT
James,

What I wrote is exactly what the basic physic is. This is not to say this gives some deeper ontology to what energy is.

I honestly regard such questions meaningless. A comparison might be made with biology. Up to the 18th century it was commonly thought there was some elan vitale which animated matter. With the development of biology this idea fell away. The mechanisms of biological systems are very well understood in comparison with the past, and the past just a few decades ago. Yet there is no definition of life. Such a definition might be compared to the élan vitale.

Science does not seek to find ontological definitions of things. Physical quantities are defined operationally, operationally in that they work. Force through F = ma is a bit odd in a way, for it conflates categories in a funny way. Yet this works. The same holds for the definition of energy.

Cheers LC

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T H Ray wrote on Jun. 16, 2010 @ 14:08 GMT
Lawrence, I think James is not alone here, in not understanding time reversibility in classical physics.

Our equations would be useless otherwise. The problem is not that we don't actually observe events reversed in time; it is, as your integral explains, a matter of balancing the energy books.

Tom

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T H Ray replied on Jun. 16, 2010 @ 22:53 GMT
No negative coins? Ever play poker and pull "light" from the pot, to call a bet, when you run out of chips?

Negative energy and time reversal are not unrealistic, either. Unphysical _maybe_, but not unrealistic.

Tom

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Jason Wolfe replied on Jun. 17, 2010 @ 00:05 GMT
"The problem is not that we don't actually observe events reversed in time; it is, as your integral explains, a matter of balancing the energy books."

Balancing the energy books, by itself, makes sense. But what is the difference between equations that are time reversible versus not-time reversible?

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Jason Wolfe replied on Jun. 17, 2010 @ 00:14 GMT
Ok, I looked up "time-reversibility". So it just means that the dynamics can proceed in either direction. For QM, CPT-symmetry holds true. CPT symmetry is really interesting. Apparently, charge-parity-time, combined, they supercede "time-reversibility".

I think parity has something to do with reflecting a wave, P(X,Y,Z) --> P(-X,-Y,-Z).

I am sure that none of these combinations will allow you to violate causality, but the symmetry seems to suggest that charge, parity and time are very intimately related.

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QSA wrote on Jun. 16, 2010 @ 22:51 GMT
What is Energy?

My theory QSA (quantum statistical automata) explains that. The theory is 100% information theory. Moreover, I derive the theory from the postulate that “Reality is nothing but math”. Well, if it is, then, I should be able to create it myself, and I was able to. To design a dynamic universe there are not too many things you can do really. So, I start with a line (an axis) The simplest and probably the only thing you could do is to throw two RANDOM numbers, one denotes position and the other the length of a line not exceeding the original line(the size of my universe). Applying a simple constraint on these random numbers the solution to Schrödinger’s particle in a box appears like magic,i.e. sin^2.

Not to keep you all in suspense before I continue, ENERGY is nothing but the length of this line (actually 1/L), which is nothing but your usual momentum K, although here it appears geometrically. All interactions (forces) arise naturally from simple logical relationships of these lines belonging to different particles. My web site has not included many new findings including the famous 1/r law, but can be seen from fig.2. which mimics Hydrogen 1s energy level. In some respect, no energy means no space defined.

This theory goes very well with Smolin’s comment that particles as end of lines should be studied and Joakim’s(google) linking entropy (verlinde’s) to the wavefunction and twister theory with Kerr which considers particles as end of lines.

So, in my theory the universe appears NATURALLY, because numbers and their relationships are the ultimate truths and they are the only things that exist. What else could it be? NOT CHEESE.

QSA

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Anonymous replied on Jun. 17, 2010 @ 17:26 GMT
Hello,

It's very interesting all that but the numbers are not the ultim truth, just a truth if and only if the universal referential is respected.

The ultimate truth is more tan this....

The numbers of our quantum numbers is finite like the numbers of particles for one quantum system .....when we add, superimpose, calculate, derivate,substituate, .....the calcul of the uniqueness is totally different than a pure serie without real physical sense.

thus "can we add , superimpose.....like we want for this correct and real number of spheres.....the spaces are indeed infinite......the energy also due to some adds....but the universe is finite, the number for one system is finite ......can we add ....like we want for this calcul,no of course......

The informations thus are correlated for the specificty of these systems.Finite in the uniqueness...infinite with our adds and transformations....

Regards

Steve

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Steve Dufourny replied on Jun. 17, 2010 @ 17:30 GMT
sorry it was mine

the crazzy spheric man

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Georgina Parry replied on Jun. 17, 2010 @ 23:09 GMT
QSA,

Interesting. I have been saying that energy is just the change in position of something (or the potential to cause such a change). Momentum could be used in a description of this, if considering particles with mass and using time and so also velocity. Ultimate truth? As there are no absolute points in space, and everything is continuously changing position, the beginning and end -points- of a line are an abstract representation of that reality, as is length. Nothing wrong with a hypothetical line. RE. momentum. If all change is energetic rather than temporal then the change in position just is the energy. Describing it as mass times velocity or mass times change in position over time takes it further away from its fundamental identity. Time allows a record of samples of position to be taken. This will permit quantitative comparisons to be made. However the fundamental qualitative identity of the energy is not the calculation of momentum or a hypothetical line that represents it, imo.

Although the changes in position of particles or ions could be represented by lines, the lines themselves are not existentially real but just a record of positions that have been sampled or calculated. I make this point only because you have talked of the -absolute truth- of mathematics. I think it is important to distinguish between that which is a part of the mathematical model only and that which is regarded to pertain to objective, material, existential reality. It is the change that is foundational not any fixed points in space or hypothetical lines that are used to represent the change. That is not to be dismissive of your work, which sounds interesting but to give my own perspective in regard to your stated philosophy.

If a chemical structure is broken so that ions that were held together in a molecular structure are released and move apart, possibly actively repelled, then there has been an expansion. It has gone from occupying one continuously changing position in space to more than one or many. Which if repeated for many molecules could give a measurable increase in temperature. There is greater kinetic energy of constituents and associated expansion which might be described as heat being given out. The heat (energy) is the changes in position. Which can cause further changes in the positions of the particles of the thermometer liquid or electric probe allowing temperature to be recorded. Heat is felt as hot because that is the interpretation of the brain of the signals sent by the skin's sensory receptors. Subjective conscious awareness.

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 16, 2010 @ 23:37 GMT
What is energy?

This is a stupid question.

The answer to it would provide no useful insight into real physical problems. At best it would provide some way of thinking about the "bigger picture," which is what literature is for anyways--and the author already said he didn't want any poetic answers that apparently "anyone" could write.

Energy is the breath of the universe. Duh.

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Marcel-Marie LeBel wrote on Jun. 17, 2010 @ 01:52 GMT
What is energy?

Energy is our knowledge, frozen on paper, of what appears to be required for some finite process to happen or that has happened. Here is how I see this.

Take E = F x D for example. E is the sum accounting of the total work that could be used or produced or that was used or produced, given these F and D.

But in real life, here is what happens. D = V x T and time, any time, is compulsory for any distance to be traveled. This means that this work in effect can only be used or produced during a non-zero amount of time!

So you see, energy is just a form of accounting of a finished event, on paper. The universe is about events happening; the accounting is our own requirement! In a universe with a background of passing time, it is all about power, not energy.

This is only one of a multitude of examples where the analysis of our physics has removed the time background that is required for anything to happen in the first place.

Time is one of the things we lost sight of in our physics that impedes our understanding of what the universe is really about…

Marcel,

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Don Limuti (www.zenophysics.com) replied on Jun. 18, 2010 @ 01:01 GMT
Marcel,

Your post has some very good points. Let me rephrase them.

Energy is a calculation perhaps not always on paper,

in many instances our senses and instruments do it for us.

But the basic fact is that energy is a calculation using

events recorded in the past.

Time bashing is trendy in physics and many awards are given for it.

The exercises in getting rid of time are interesting and worthwile.

But it can be overdone. The people who eliminate time are like cosmologists

who realize that we can keep the earth as the center of the universe by

using epicycles and other complex math. However having the earth go round

the sun and using ellipses has some advantages.

"Look Ma! no time".... "Albert, get yourself a clock and life will be easier".

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John Merryman replied on Jun. 18, 2010 @ 02:00 GMT
Complexity theory offers an interesting dichotomy in the relationship between bottom up process and top down order. Reality seems to be a function of bottom up, emergent processes, which stabilize as structure/order. This seems to correspond to the relationship between energy and mass, as energy is constantly radiating outward, until it collapses into mass, either by being absorbed into previously existing mass, or possibly reaching some degree of equilibrium of background radiation that eventually feeds into ever more quantifiable components, such as plasma and inter-stellar gases.

The problem with our comprehension is that the mind naturally focuses on the ordered structure, with all its possible measurements and delineations, while the actual energy remains some ghostly presence we all sense, but cannot quantize.

We see the bit, but not the it.

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Georgina Parry replied on Jul. 5, 2010 @ 21:07 GMT
Don,

with respect, the idea of getting rid of time is more than just trendy. It is essential to progress imo. Unfortunately time is a muddle of many different concepts. It seems that an assumption is often made that if one says "time is not real" then all time has to be thrown out. This is not so. It is necessary to differentiate between different kinds of time. It can then be seen that time t as a measurement tool is vital to physics. However that which is measured with time does not have material physical existence. The past is merely a record or image of something that no longer exists. So the time- distance is from what is no longer existentially real to what is existentially real. That past form is not materially still out there in space-time , even if it can still be seen due to its EM image.

Existential historical time (Ht) in which events are fixed in space-time is an erroneous concept. Space-time works because it functions with the temporally distorted EM image of material reality that is -observed- rather than the fully simultaneously existing material reality in space which can not be observed. Acknowledgement of that material reality which is fully simultaneously existing solves the grandfather paradox. There are no time realms containing material substance of past forms only images. Material substance is not smeared through time or continuously replicated as time progresses, it only ever has one form at one time. The grandfather paradox is the biggest clue that the space-time model is not the whole truth. It is not incorrect, relativity works with observations. However space-time is only a part of physical reality, the EM illusion part. IMO

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Stefan Weckbach wrote on Jun. 17, 2010 @ 06:51 GMT
From a non-mathematical point of view, energy is a potential to constrain something to change non-randomly. Then the next question is, what is non-random change, what is time, and what is space? Those are all questions that can't be answered by mere mathematical relations as long as there is no ultimate TOE found which is consistent and complete for sure. If it would, we could assume that the mathematical answers of this TOE to those questions (energy, time, space) are absolutely true and eternal.

From the the non-mathematical point of view, even the answer that energy is a potential to constrain something to change is unsure due to the same reasons why every TOE-answer in maths is unsure today.

I would prefer to understand space as a "room" that gives "space" to relations. Causally, those relations are linked via "energy" locally. But non-local entanglement isn't linked anymore in an energetical sense with real portions of energy-exchanges (or is it?). So i would prefer energy to be a kind of "information". The more information, the more potential "energy" there is to force non-random changes of something.

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Jun. 17, 2010 @ 15:21 GMT
With a grin I imagine John Baez repeatedly hurling Zeh’s book to the floor in anger.

He argues: “Our world is evidently in a state that is not even approximately invariant under time reversal; there are many processes going on whose time-reversed versions never seem to happen. But this is logically independent from the question of whether the dynamical laws of physics admit time reversal symmetry.”

Baez and many others are obviously not in position to see an utterly basic mistake affecting theoretical physics. They obviously equate spatial or temporal distance with a Cartesian coordinate x instead of |x|. Common sense tells us that there is a natural minimal value of zero for the number of any items, for any probability, for conserved physical quantities like mass and energy, for temperature, etc. including spatial distance and considered time-span. Negative elapsed time is unreal even if everybody early learned benefitting from use of future time for predictions.

Baez should not just keep his distinction between what he calls state, the actually (unilateral) reality, and the laws of physics. If only he was really aware that theory is not the world. Baez should accept that what he learned and propagates like a gospel is ignorant of the necessary distinction between what belongs to physical history and is therefore measurable on one hand and what was abstracted and extrapolated from this real basis on the other hand. Minkowski’s cones suggest the same as do the words of church: One block of time ranges from eternity to eternity, amen.

If Hilbert space contains past as well as future states, isn’t it anticipatory? A tiny flaw put in as to avoid Allah’s wrath?

To me the main remaining mystery is: Why did Baez so far refuse to accept my more basic reasoning? Having benefited a lot from Zeh’s excellent book, I apologize for my unfortunately hurting result that there is something wrong in the state Danmark.

Eckard Blumschein

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Jun. 18, 2010 @ 03:11 GMT
I like your post and comments Stefan,

Potential to induce non-random change is a good way to put it. Perhaps that defines energy. The potential to create change in a particular direction, might be another way to say the same thing.

And I appreciate your perspective on things too Eckard. In my mind the |x| rather than x aspect comes form the procedural nature of time. If steps are taken it is always in the direction of evolving a process or procedure.

I too think Zeh's book on time is excellent and enlightening. Makes sense of things others miss.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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T H Ray replied on Jun. 18, 2010 @ 13:45 GMT
Eckard,

I think you misread Baez's review of Zeh. He did not hurl the book at the floor, and was in fact complimentary of Zeh's work.

So far as the distinction between laws and state, I know that you eschew any use of negative and imaginary numbers. So I'll forego that discussion for now.

There is one thing, though -- keeping in mind that the book and its review were written 17 years ago -- Baez says that "so far the dynamics of gravity seems to admit time reversal symmetry." Personally, I think (among others, e.g., Jacobson, Verlinde) that gravity will be shown entropic, time asymmetric.

Tom

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dom wrote on Jun. 17, 2010 @ 13:14 GMT
What is entropy? No, really, what is entropy? Or maybe why? (I think I like why better.)

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T H Ray replied on Jun. 18, 2010 @ 15:42 GMT
dom,

I agree -- why entropy? is a much more interesting question. We approach entropy scientifically by answering what it "is," because we have quantifiable parameters. The philosophical implications are deeper, however.

Years ago when Bill Cosby was a standup comedian, he had a routine titled "Why is there air?" in which he poked fun at the "jock's" view of more philosophical types. His answer: "To blow up basketballs, of course!" As in Cosby's unexpectedly cerebral humor, perhaps a similar principle applies -- what if "entropy exists so that we can know what life is." I mean, in contrast to equilibrium thermodynamics (i.e., entropy) in a closed system, "life" as we know it in biological terms functions on non-equilibrium thermodynamics, an open system. Without that continuous energy throughput, one wonders how information would be propagated and replicated without eternal self-reference; i.e., we would have no objective access to a world existing "outside" that closed system. We only know outside from inside by the coexistence of open and closed systems.

Tom

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jun. 18, 2010 @ 02:21 GMT
What is energy, really?

The other side of the equation - of course. The notion that energy is the active part of reality does bear inspection. It appears as a natural unit or fundamental quantized quantity, the Planck energy. And via Einstein's equation E = mc2 a mass-energy equivalence is shown where one can be converted to the other. In my view, this idea links up with wave-particle duality such that energy manifests the wave-like aspect of evolutive forms, where matter represents the particle-like aspect of things or objects. To an extent; a sub-atomic particle can be said to be a process involving energy and information, rather than object, per se.

But the distinction comes in by adopting a local frame of reference. Any localized reference frame is automatically identified with the material or particle-like aspect, since it is only by taking on that nature (as photons, for example) whereby energy can be localized. Apart from this; energy is ephemeral. Energy exists as motion or action, but also as the potential to move or act. To an extent it is only defined in relations, since in order to act - energy must have something to act upon. But act it does. Its tendency is to move or propagate, to circulate or oscillate, to be shared among the unitary objects in a system, and to impart motion or action to those objects.

Energy is distinct from space and time, which seem to me more geometric and procedural respectively, but it may arise as a product of the processes that drive the evolution of space-time. This would seem to be what we look for a Quantum Gravity theory or TOE to resolve. So I'll leave off here, for now.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Anonymous replied on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 17:47 GMT
Jonathan, energy = gravity/mass (in three parts).

A true union of gravity and electromagnetism demonstrates particle-wave.

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Georgina Parry replied on Jun. 20, 2010 @ 00:02 GMT
Johnathon ,

Energy does not have likes or dislikes.It just is. I think it is a synonym for the occurrence of a physical change in position of matter, particle or medium (or potential to cause such change in the case of potential energy).It does as you say move out, spread and flow because change causes further change in sequence or formation of a structure that holds the potential for change, until local conditions permit the alteration of that structure. I don't think the energy is a product of the process of change but is the change and is the process or the potential for the change process.

Even a stationary mass on the earth is not stationary. It is moving with the rotation of the earth and with the orbit of the earth and the rotation of the galaxy. This is continuous unobserved change. A lot of unaccounted kinetic energy, when only locally observed change is considered. A mass may have positional potential energy and will have potential energy within the molecular and atomic structure of the mass. So mass has energy even when stationary. It has stored potential for change and an unobserved trajectory through space. Which will manifest as inertia because to move the "stationary object" its trajectory through space must be altered,imo.

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Georgina Parry replied on Jun. 20, 2010 @ 07:19 GMT
Jonathan, sorry for careless misspelling of your name.

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jun. 18, 2010 @ 02:56 GMT
More thoughts..

Energy is not, strictly speaking, a localized phenomenon. Energy is non-local. If; as I suggest in the last post, energy can be identified with the wave-like aspect, perhaps the quantum wavefunction - especially in its global aspect - is a manifestation of energy, or vice versa. What I am suggesting is that in some cases the two terms are synonymous, or interchangeable. Again; it is the identification with a local reference frame that gives energy or the wave function a discrete appearance. But the global wavefunction, pervasive fields, and so on - remain unified and continuous rather than discrete.

Perhaps that is the nature of energy you are hoping to root out. The unified nature which remains unbroken and connective, despite the appearance of separate entities and discrete interactions - is energy in its purest sense. I think this is perhaps what Zeh was talking about with "Quantum discreteness is an illusion," and "There are no quantum jumps, nor are there particles." But I think he would insist that this is not energy per se. Methinks there is some wordplay, going on, and some inaccuracy of meaning that comes in when we try to express these things in the English language.

Maybe that's the point. Energy is elusive, doesn't like to be contained, and will move or spread out whenever it can. This is just another way to express the Second Law of Thermodynamics. But maybe it also says something about the nature of energy itself. It doesn't want to be localized, preferring to flow instead.

All the best,

Jonathan

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Anonymous replied on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 18:03 GMT
Jonathan, energy is relatively unbroken and connective in conjunction with gravity.

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Marcel-Marie LeBel wrote on Jun. 18, 2010 @ 02:59 GMT
Don,

Here is another example of what we do with time.

Following E = hv = h x1/T , the energy of the photon is proportional to the frequency or inversely proportional to the period T.

This means that a radio frequency photon of a 100 Km wavelength has less energy than a light photon of say, 370nm. Does this make sense to you?

In fact, all photons contains the same quantum of action or Planck h. The real difference is in the time period or time package that contains that Planck. This is because the period is the actual time duration of delivery of that Planck h. The Planck is delivered much faster by a light photon of 370nm than by a radio photon of a 100 Km wavelength. The real difference is power, which makes sense in a universe where the clock is ticking for everything that happens.

Those who have been computing the energy of the finished event of emission or of absorption have disregarded the time required for this event to actually happen. Those who disregard the time required for these events to actually happen have invented the concept of “wave collapse” to support their own misinterpretation.

Can you see a 100 Km radio photon collapsing on the radio antenna? Not! Unless one believes in instantaneity. The current is induced into the antenna, as the photon moves along, at a rate that is matched by the oscillating circuit. If the circuit is no match, the photon just goes by.

The equation should be: Power = h/T , and this is directly proportional.Power is the hallmark of something happening, not of some integrated calculation of the finished event "on paper".

Our description of finished events misses the time component required for them to happen….and it distorts our understanding of what the universe is really about..

Marcel,

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jun. 18, 2010 @ 03:54 GMT
Excellent comment Marcel,

The 'delivery time' of a photon is an especially poignant example. You are absolutely right. The wavefunction does not collapse, but rather components become decoupled from the global wavefunction and couple to local systems instead. In effect; bits of non-local energy and information are transferred to the antenna or other local system. Including the time component for an interaction process does make some aspects of the actual nature of decoherence readily apparent.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Don Limuti(www.zenophysics.com) wrote on Jun. 18, 2010 @ 06:44 GMT
Jonathan and Marcel,

We are basically on the same wavelength (so to speak)). I do carry it to extremes however if you remember my essay Gravity From the Ground up in the last contest.

1. I take Marcels comment on energy "Energy is our knowledge, frozen on paper," to the extreme of: There is no energy outside of our calculation of it. Those photons hitting the antenna and heating it up are nothing until we measure (observe) them. The instruments of measurement (or our senses) always involve "history" and calculations. Said another way Energy is not an observable it is a calculable that always contains the notion of time between events.

2. And I also agree with Marcel that wave collapse is invented ad hoc. I would go further and call superposition and the Schroedinger wave equation and its wave function and wave function collapse interpretation pure flapdoodle.

see: http://www.fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/514

Jonathan, best of luck in Paris at FFP11, I will most likely not be able to attend with much regret because it looks like pure fun.

Thank you William Orem, this is a super blog! The question is good enough for the upcoming contest.

Don L.

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Jacob Bitsadze wrote on Jun. 18, 2010 @ 20:08 GMT
energy - a movement which some weight ... from gravitons to the galaxies .. is very simple

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Jacob Bitsadze wrote on Jun. 18, 2010 @ 20:09 GMT
energy - this is the motion of a mass ... from gravitons to the galaxies .. is very simple

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Jacob Bitsadze wrote on Jun. 18, 2010 @ 20:18 GMT
E = mc2

M -- mass

c - movement

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Steve Dufourny replied on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 16:26 GMT
before I saw E mc² ..Evolution ....mass polarises light.... in time constant.....the mass and the motion...in fact the rotations of these spheres implying the linearity or the gravitational stability...the senses seem on the road for the difference between light and gravity....furthermore they continue to polarise these gravitationals creations......the codes are intrinsics, thus the cause of the mass is intyinsic, here the rotations of entangled spheres are proportionals with mass.....we can perceive the light and the mass....the evolution ùakes the rest.....these motions...these rotations of all are fascinatings .we turn, all turn around the universal center of our Universe,the sphere in optimisation towards the perfect equilibrium of all rotating spheres.....

Best Regards

Steve

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Jacob Bitsadze wrote on Jun. 18, 2010 @ 20:45 GMT
Potential energy is only an opportunity to make movement of masse/

Full energy is an opportunity of disintegration of masse on moving photons. Is occurs at nuclear explosion.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jun. 18, 2010 @ 20:49 GMT
There are none so blind as those who Will Not See. The physics community has been using differential equations and e^i(kx -wt) solutions for five hundred years. The building blocks of physics ... are photons. That's it. Occam's razor is satisfied. If you want any new physics, you have to think about clever ways to manipulate photons. What is a photon?

It's a packet of energy...

a. which, in large quantities, it reproduces electromagnetism and the Poynting vector;

b. that mediates the electromagnetic force;

c. a quantum wave which means it has lots of eigenstates; eigenstates are equivalent to available space that the photon might occupy;

d. whose existence is of the form Ae^kx - wt.

e. that transmits momentum;

f. which carries causality;

g. it implements space-time because everything is interconnected with speed of light moving, causality implementing, momentum carrying photons.

Physicists don't have a clue why gravity works. If photons cause everything, then somehow, they have to cause gravity. We've known about black holes for a long time. Relativity tells us that photons redshift and blue shift in the presence of a gravity field. Maybe I'm just a crackpot who believes in God and UFO's, but I looked at redshift and blue-shift and wondered, "mmm...what if we generate a repeating redshift/blue-shift using a radar dish?" What if we could generate frequency shift/spread photons? Gee whiz, do you think that might carry a force F = h (f2 - f1)/(c t_ramp) per photon?

So go back to your ivory tower and joke and laugh about how Jason the crackpot consults with alien intelligences using telepathy. You're the ones with the PhD's, not me. I have two bachelors, one in physics and another in electronics. I am a graduate school drop out. I have far less talent than any of you. But I had the humility to ask a higher power for help. I had the guts to risk my eternal soul with eternal damnation by crossing the line between New Age occultism, and the Holy Bible. Furthermore, I had the mental stamina to be able to embrace both faith, and interrogative process logic (e.g. well why does that work?).

What do you think inertia is? If you were being bombarded by the spectrum of frequencies (dc to gamma rays) of virtual photons of the form e^i(kx-wt), why wouldn't you get inertia out of that? If all photons move at the speed of light, and photons create both space and carry momentum, why wouldn't they cause inertia too?

If you read this far, then you deserve to know that I used passion, and paradigms normally associated with those who usually don't use their mental faculties, just to bury the equation.

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Ray Munroe replied on Jun. 18, 2010 @ 21:28 GMT
Dear Jason,

I don't think you're crazy, because I'm almost as crazy as you. You have it *ALMOST* correct, but you haven't considered the effects of Electro-Weak and Color. Granted that Gravity may have an extra-dimensional Hyperspace origin that can be appropriately represented by Spacetime/ photon geometry, but we also know that the photon is related to the W and Z intermediate vector bosons, and these *SOMEHOW* (Higgs - I think it is too simple of a model) obtain mass (what is mass?).

The problem with Occam's razor is in its interpretation. I feel that too many people focus on the "Simplicity" of a theory, but overlook the "Necessity" of an all-inclusive theory. If we focus on the 3 or 4-D of Spacetime, and overlook complications associated with information, action-at-a-distance(?)Hilbert space, and symmetry, then we just threw half of the problem out the window. I didn't necessarily *WANT* to consider the possibility of hidden dimensions/ variables/ degrees-of-freedom, but it seems to be the most logical solution to these complications. The problem now is that Lawrence is using 27 dimensions, and I'm using 28...

Have Fun!

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Jason Wolfe replied on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 00:05 GMT
Ray,

27 or 28; What's 1 dimension? So what!!!

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 00:09 GMT
Dear Ray,

We have enough information to generate a gravity wave, electronically. Electro-weak interact? Mmm...what would that let us do if we understood it? Would it allow us to speed up/slow down radioactive decay? I'll have to get back to you on this one.

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QSA wrote on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 00:19 GMT
Dear Georgina,

Thanks. I will explain few more things in a compact way, although I think this might lead to a less clear picture. I will also try to tie your theory to mine. All our friends on this forum have conjectures that come somewhat close to the truth (some more than others), but none is as all encompassing as QSA. You see, QSA ties the concept of mass, charge, momentum, forces(interaction), particles and energy in one go. Moreover, mass and charge have a clear geometric interpretation and not just a property of point like object!!

As I said before I have not shown how I get 1/r law in my website, but as in fig.2. where the interaction between a small high energy (mass) particle resembling a proton interacting with the electron cloud produces the 1s energy level, which shows how the e^2/r potential is produced. Now, if I make the two particles far away from each other and not restrict the “li” parameter to the particle size then I apply the same interaction procedure and I will get the 1/r law , the bigger I make the universe the more accuracy I get, although with much more computer CPU power expended. Thus the mass interpretation as the energy expressed in the extended lines to the end of the universe. So, the lines at short distance produced EM and at long distance gravity!

If I calculate the expectation position (of the random positions) after the interaction, then you can see how positions are shifted, and so, we interpret that as a force has acted. In reality what the interaction terms have did is to remove some of the lines li (interpreted as energy of course) and thus causing the shift in the position expectation. And that ties your theory to mine, albeit not exactly. QSA starts with the Born’s rule as a natural result and need not be derived or justified.

I hope you can see how mass, charge, position of particles and forces have arisen from just these lines and not by twisting differential equations hands and legs. I am tempted to call these lines photon just like the claim of one of our friends on the forum. Hence Time can be derived simply as a result of the changes in position due to interactions of the lines(li).

As for the meaning of these lines which without we cannot even say how far point A is from B(no space defined), I say they are just numbers they don’t describe anything, they describe themselves if the theory to be fundamental. Hence, reality.

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QSA wrote on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 00:58 GMT
One more thought. When I first saw the sine^2 approximation on the computer screen for the first time I was left in disbelief as if I had seen a ghost. But then I was as mad as one can be, all human sufferings are due to these pesky numbers I thought. After little thought I rationalized and thought, well, thank god all our sufferings are not due to a big conspiracy.

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Jason Wolfe replied on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 02:00 GMT
That's what I keep telling my conspiracy obsessed friends. It's not the government messing everything up. The mathematical nature of physics just makes everything difficult.

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John Merryman replied on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 03:09 GMT
Also that everyone has to be part of the same narrative. Looking back through history, a single God and a single narrative go hand in hand. The reality is more of a tapestry, where all the different threads are constantly weaving in and around each other, branching out, creating endless patterns, just like all the voices in this discussion.

The problem with the singular is that the universal equilibrium is the big flatline. The ultimate equation is just that. A balancing of the figures. No matter how much the enforcers trim the frazzles off though, some wild hair will always be counted on to pop up, like a dandelion popping up in the cracks on the sidewalk.

Order and energy are antithetical.

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Marcel-Marie LeBel wrote on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 13:50 GMT
Don, Jonathan,

I would like to conclude the point of my two previous post by the following statement.

By the very nature of our observer status (our size, sense, brain etc.) and of our mathematical approach on finished events using calculus, we have grown a picture of the universe that is one order over-integrated in time.

On paper, the integrated form is Energy (Power X T) power is out there

.. is space ( speed x T) speed is out there

... is duration ( 1/t x T) time evolution is out there

We must understand the price we pay for integrating in time, through observation, the components of a dynamic universe. The first casualty was spontaneous time evolution.

Marcel,

Marcel,

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 17:18 GMT
Marcel, John, when the gravitational contraction of space is balanced -- offset, but not eliminated -- with the electromagnetic expansion of space, then we have a true union and coupling of electromagnetism and gravity.

I agree with John that the inclusion of electromagnetism, and quantum gravity too, reduce the total of experience.

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COSMO D wrote on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 18:10 GMT
Any true and complete union of gravity and electromagnetic phenomena demonstrates particle-wave and quantum gravity.

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 19, 2010 @ 20:05 GMT
"Don’t confuse having a name for something with understanding what it is." -- Very true. I see this all the time here. We get ahold of one word (or mathematical equations) and think we have it. You have to define and explain things/matters. Schopenhauer talks about the relatively inferior/ineffective practice of thinking with words in the absence of conceptual substance.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jun. 20, 2010 @ 06:12 GMT
Sorry DiMeglio, I hate to interrupt your flow of ideas.

Anybody,

Is it reasonable to define what I call a Shift-Photon?

Shift-Photon: a variation of a photon whose frequency is shifted from f1 to f2. The shift in frequency must occur over an unbroken phase angle. Shift photons provide a way to generate acceleration fields using electronics and satellite dishes. When shift photons are continually generated, the changing electromagnetic field frequency is averaged out. This results in a gravity-like field or a slight curvature of space-time.

A shift-photon has an energy
$E_{SP}= h(f_2 - f_1)$

Shift photons have a ramp duration
$\Delta T_R$

which allows us to calculate its length as

$L_{SP} = c \Delta T_R$

Using these equations, the force of one shift photon is defined as

$F_{photon} = \frac{h(f_2-f_1)}{c(\Delta T_R)}$

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Don Limuti (www.zenophysics.com) replied on Jul. 2, 2010 @ 07:59 GMT
Jason,

A shift photon makes sense. Your way of generating it with an antenna is good.

I think you can also generate it with a black body sphere by changing the temperature.

Also a light beam going into glass generates a photon shift.

I think a photon shift will always produce a pressure. Is that gravity?

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Jason Wolfe replied on Jul. 2, 2010 @ 16:35 GMT
Dear Don,

Thank you for your feedback. The thing with shift photons is that they have to be generated quickly. The are as long as the speed of light multiplied by the time it takes to generate them. Anything longer than a microsecond spreads out the acceleration field effect. A black body sphere would make it too long to really notice. However, a nuclear blast might generate a gravity wave. Nuclear testing has been discontinued; which is probably a good thing.

I had considered the effect if generating shift photons with glass and even gradually doped GaAs. Glass slows the speed of light down. Although, in truth, it does make you wonder if laser light passing through a lens, if it produces a slight instantaneous gravity-like force, first one way, then the other way, on the lens.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Jun. 20, 2010 @ 13:25 GMT
If you write the force F = mg, say in a local region of gravity, and let cΔt = Δr this is then a formula for a local Doppler shift due to gravity.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jun. 20, 2010 @ 16:31 GMT
I got the idea from thinking about black holes and what the gravity field does to light. If I can build a Voltage Controlled Oscillator (VCO), drive it with a repeating ramp voltage, send the output to a high power amplifier, and then to a dish, couldn't I generate an artificial gravity field? At 100% efficiency, 1000 watts could live 100kg at about 1m/s in a 1g gravity(natural) field.

We could launch satellites into space without using rockets.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't this lead to a technological revolution?

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 20, 2010 @ 17:36 GMT
It does seem that the idea.. "The ability of thought to describe OR reconfigure sense is ultimately dependent upon the extent to which thought is similar to sensory experience.".. accounts not only for genius but also for the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics. Accordingly, the unification of gravity and electromagnetism has to be plainly and readily apparent in our experience. I agree that in dreams it is.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jun. 21, 2010 @ 07:03 GMT
Uh, I just explained how you can generate anti-gravity. Isn't anybody interested?

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Marcel-Marie LeBel replied on Jun. 23, 2010 @ 01:07 GMT
Jason,

I don`t see you explaining WHAT gravity is, in the first place.

So, without knowing what it is, how can you move to the next

step, anti-gravity?

Marcel,

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Jason Wolfe replied on Jun. 23, 2010 @ 02:29 GMT
Marcel,

That is a great question. The answer turns out to be a little embarassing to explain. You wanted an answer that Gravity IS ______. Mathematical physics is all about relationships between this and that. However, the only thing that is real, is light. Photons. That's it...

Photons, virtual and real, carry

1. causality, (cause and effect)

2. eigenstates of photons are just "space".

Physics is mathematical in nature because photons behave ... mathematically.

Let me give you a better answer. Everyone knows what inertia is. No forces, objects remains moving or remains at rest, etc... Geodesics tell you about how gravity curves the inertial pathway (space-time) of objects into orbits.

A boat on the surface of the water will typically travel with the flow of water unless its anchored down. The effect of inertia is like being bathed in virtual photons. They apply equal and opposite pressure to objects in it. But gravity fields are an imbalance in the inertial field, and the object falls. The virtual photons that implement inertia range from (dc to gamma) in frequencies.

Since inertia is just the effect of balanced pressure from virtual photons, what happens if we use our own photons?

The Law of Equivalence is the big clue. Physics doesn't see any difference between gravity and accelerating rockets. That means that there is a "smoke and mirror" quality to the physics. Only photons are real. Everything else is kind of ... not fundamentally real.

The physics community knows that photons/light red shift and blue shift in a gravity field. But they have been stumped in trying to explain what gravity is. Because of the Law of equivalence, we only know there is a relationship between gravity and the frequency shifting of light. Since we don't know what gravity is as a separate and independent manifestation of reality (independent from light), then we have to assume that it is caused by something that light is doing.

I hope that was helpful.

It is interesting to note that, if everything results from what light, photons, are doing, then the limitations of physical reality are somewhat illusional. But that is just my opinion.

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COSMO D replied on Jul. 2, 2010 @ 20:24 GMT
Gravity is a force that increases with distance. Gravity and electromagnetism are united when a larger space is made smaller, and when a smaller space is made larger at the same time. This is what the addition of the fourth dimension indicates. Gravitational space -- consistent with (and as) electromagnetic energy/light -- is then experienced at the mid-range of feeling in the body. This, in turn, is associated with the primal life force.

Accordingly, we have extensiveness of being and experience (and space) in conjunction with the integrated extensiveness of the forces and laws of physics. Gravity is a binding energy. (Note that touch and gravity may both be experienced consistent with what is the mid-range of [gravitational] feeling in dreams.)

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jun. 21, 2010 @ 23:23 GMT
I was reading about the weak force. There is something that doesn't make any sense.

A neutron (udd) can decay into a proton (uud) when it emits a W boson. Specifically, one down quark changes to an up quark.

d → u + W⁻

But W and Z bosons have mass/energy of about 80.4 GeV/c2 and 91.2 GeV/c2.

Which is probably why they only last for about 3 x 10-25 seconds.

Heisnberg Uncertainy principle,

$\Delta E \Delta t > h$

allows conservation of energy to be violated, for a very short time period.

Photons, electromagnetic fields, are described using U(1) gauge groups. U(1) is the circle group in the complex plane. That's why photons emit in a spherical wavefront.

Protons and neutrons (hadrons) consist of 3 quarks and are described with a vector that has three elements, e.g. (udd). It takes a 3X3 matrix to change the elements. SU(2) is a Rubik's cube which is a complete set of all possible 3x3 matrices that can change the hadron. The strong force is described with a Rubik's cube.

The photon particle (boson) is a form of energy that can expand outward at the speed of light; photons do not have mass. Photons are not localized. Mass is a form of energy that is localized. Z and W bosons (mediators of the weak force), are localized to the nucleus. Because they are local in their effect, they have mass.

Mass is a localized form of energy.

The Higgs field/particle must be telling us something about how energy can be compelled to become localized.

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Ray Munroe replied on Jun. 22, 2010 @ 01:25 GMT
Dear Jason,

Well-presented. Electro-Weak is an SU(2)xU(1) Lie algebra, with a Z that behaves like a massive photon. I like your perspective that the W and Z bosons are localized mass, whereas a photon isn't. Curiously, the W and Z couple to left-handed fermions, but not right-handed. So the Higgs must be related to localized mass and spin. What's your question?

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jun. 22, 2010 @ 02:22 GMT
Dear Ray,

Well, I think that artificial gravity is achievable, it's also going to take a lot of energy. If 1000 watts can get lift 100kg about 1m/s in a 1g gravity field, that means that, to lift 1000 metric tons (size of a good spaceship) at about 100 m/s, it's going to take about a Gigawatt of power output. I think the next problem we face is going to be power*duration versus weight.

So, I'm trying to figure out if it's possible to store and release energy with a very high efficiency to E=mc2. More particularly, how much lift can we get per kg of fuel+ equipment.

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Dr. Cosmic Ray replied on Jun. 22, 2010 @ 13:42 GMT
Dear Jason,

At this point, you need to convince the Government, Military or NASA that your idea is worthy (and don't be surprised if someone else has already developed the idea - I have read about alternate propulsion based on EM waves, but I thought their purpose was more magnetic than red-shift). My Uncle and I designed an alternative rocket a few years ago. We applied for a grant, but didn't get one. The only way that our rocket would have been practical would have been to use nuclear energy, which we don't have access to, but could have probably simulated. Recall that a pound of payload cost >\$10K on the (now extinct) space shuttle, and nuclear energy is based on E=mc^2, so it is generally more energy-per-mass than chemically-stored energy.

Have Fun!

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Jun. 22, 2010 @ 15:26 GMT
Generating gravity is tough. The coupling constant between the source and curvature is 8πG/c^4 ~ 10^{-54}cm^3/g-s^2, which is terribly small. This is one reason that a nuclear explosion does not generate a significant gravity wave pulse. Actually it does, but it is a blackbody spectrum of very weak waves. This suggests that to generate artificial gravity it takes a large amount of mass-energy. The Earth is about 10^{24}kg, or about 10^{40}j of energy. So 1000 watts, about the power of a microwave oven, is going to fall very short of lifting 100Kg so it has a velocity of 1m/s in 1g of gravity! Actually there is something a bit wrong with how this is stated to begin with, for there should be a time figure as well.

Cheers LC

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Ray Munroe replied on Jun. 22, 2010 @ 15:50 GMT
Dear Lawrence and Jason,

I agree that this coupling would be very weak. In fact, it would probably be more efficient to design a magnetically-coupled laser (planets and stars usually have magnetospheres to which we could couple), than to design a red-shift-coupled laser. I think standard chemical rockets are still the best way to get into the micro-gravity of orbit/space, but alternative propulsion systems might work well in micro-gravity.

Have Fun!

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jun. 22, 2010 @ 06:31 GMT
Is it hypothetically possible to built a device that absorbs heat energy into it and stores it as usable energy? Maybe it gets around thermodynamics by accumulating energy very slowly. Any thoughts?

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T H Ray replied on Jun. 22, 2010 @ 10:56 GMT
Jason, even a solar shower (the kind you use for camping) absorbs and stores heat. Any thermodynamically open system, such as the earth itself, continuously absorbs, stores and releases energy. Whether it's usable depend on what use you have in mind--taking a shower or heating your house are common. These are passive uses. Active storage might involve solar panels and batteries, also common.

You can't really get around thermodynamics. When you speak of accumulating energy very slowly, it seems you are implying that slow accumulation means fast release. No problem--the accumulated energy of eons old matter is released in a flash in an atomic explosion. It can do the work of killing millions, or controlled -- meeting our energy needs. Safely? The debate goes on.

Tom

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John Merryman replied on Jun. 22, 2010 @ 16:25 GMT
The problem is our rational focus on closed systems. Open systems simply trade energy around. Rather than trying to develop a closed perpetual motion machine, maybe we need to start focusing on how all systems are integrated. Life on this planet has functioned and evolved for billions of years through integrated ecosystems, while in the course of a few short generations, we are burning through the majority of this planet's easily accessible stored energy reserves. Our physicists are not going to create unlimited supplies of energy, nor the systems to absorb the resulting waste. The most effective change would be to get rid of the debt based monetary system, which requires ever more productivity to pay off the debt and ever more debt to finance the productivity. That's the real cancer destroying our resources faster than they can be replenished.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Jun. 22, 2010 @ 12:16 GMT
The conversion of energy from one form to another involves some loss of energy in the form of heat. So one can store energy in various low entropy forms, but the process of converting energy involves loses or waste heat. There is no escaping the laws of thermodynamics for any system with a large number of degrees of freedom.

Cheers LC

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Jason Wolfe replied on Jun. 22, 2010 @ 16:47 GMT
I will have to confront thermodynamics. A long long time ago, I had a professor in electrical engineering who had a pet theory about violating thermodynamics with the following idea. There are cog mechanisms with ramp shape teeth; sloped on one side, vertical drop on the other. They will rotate clockwise rather easily. But getting them to rotate counter clockwise is difficult because they lock in place to prevent counter clockwise rotation.

It's just an idea, a thought, a starting point. This might be a tool to counter thermodynamics.

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Jun. 22, 2010 @ 16:59 GMT
The ratchet pawl device is an idea is based on the idea that statistical fluctuations of the medium or a gas will turn the wheel one way and not the other. There is some sort of paddle wheel attached the gas molecules collide with, and the pawl on the ratchet wheel will only turn one way. From there the wheel lifts a mass. From this the thermally distributed energy of the gas is extracted for free. So what is wrong with the idea? The problem is that the ratchet pawl device is in thermal equilibrium with the gas. As such there are thermal fluctuations of the pawl on the ratchet which lifts it. This then prevents the build up of potential energy on the mass you are attempting to lift. See Feynman’s lectures #1 for a fuller analysis of this.

Cheers LC

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Ray Munroe replied on Jun. 22, 2010 @ 17:02 GMT
Dear Jason,

I think I understand your asymmetrical sawtooth wave with respect to its application as a red-shift propulsion system. I think your biggest Thermo enemy will be "Entropy" or "un-usable energy".

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jun. 22, 2010 @ 21:28 GMT
Dear Eckard,

I've heard about ideas of trying to use negative energy. I know about the derivation of the cosmological constant and the zero point energy stuff. I hope that people are actually trying to figure this out. Someone needs to work out the physics, something more substantial. Right now, it does sound more like a UFO storyline then a technology that is ready to implement. To be honest, that is the threshhold that needs to be crossed.

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Jun. 23, 2010 @ 14:56 GMT
Dear Jason,

An ideal saw tooth is a fiction that includes unreal but at least positive spectral components. Negative probability, negative delay, negative gain, etc. are pets of those who do not understand the matter they are dealing with, as for instance Minkowski, or who expect to benefit from deliberately worrying their auditory. I do not claim that there is for instance no negative gain - if measured in dB. Either negative frequency or negative elapsed time is also reasonable - in either the complex domain that corresponds to positive elapsed time or the complex domain that corresponds to positive frequency, respectively.

I intend pointing to what I consider really "foundational questions" in contrast to wild speculations that are based on theories with possibly questionable basics. Isn't it perhaps an indication of stupidity to put virtually all physical notions including time and energy into question or create such "original" and breathtaking novelties like to allow for negative energy?

Somewhere wrote: "Transmission of an RF signal can also be time reversible". Really? Lossless and without possible eavesdropping?

Tom meant: "All equations are symmetric, transitive, and reflexive".

Does this hold for u=iR+Ldi/dt? We EEs learned in what case to calculate with negative resistance; but we also learned that R and L are positive in general.

Regards,

Eckard

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jun. 23, 2010 @ 18:46 GMT
Eckard,

You said: "Isn't it perhaps an indication of stupidity..."

I believe in having compassion and patience for the mentally challenged. So let me explain... The question is this: by varying the frequency linearly from f1 to f2, with an unbroken phase angle, can I generate an acceleration field? I think there are clever electrical engineers out there who could resolve some of the technical challenges involved. I've even considered using spread spectrum frequency hopping circuits, at least for the initial experiments.

You said:"I intend pointing to what I consider really "foundational questions" in contrast to wild speculations that are based on theories with possibly questionable basics. "

Oh, I thought negative energy was what YOU were interested in. I was just trying to be supportive and helpful.

Now run along and go play. The grownups are talking now.

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Ray Munroe replied on Jun. 23, 2010 @ 19:10 GMT
Dear Jason and Eckard,

If we are talking about foundational questions, I think that "What is Gravity?" is a relevant question. If Jason's idea can be demonstrated (even IF the efficiencies are low, which I agree with Eckard that this "sawtooth wave" is a very "Iffy" proposition), then it would verify a fundamental idea - that red-shift is equivalent to gravity - in the same way that the Atomic bomb verified Einstein's mass-energy equivalence E=mc^2.

Have Fun!

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Jason Wolfe replied on Jun. 24, 2010 @ 00:12 GMT
Ray,

I'm looking at some military grade electronics. Switching is still a little slow, but, there are possibilities...

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Jun. 24, 2010 @ 14:35 GMT
A nearly ideal sawtooth is easily available only for modest frequencies. While an appropriate antenna can still transmit the mentioned frequency range from 4 to 8 GHz, to my humble knowledge it is difficult to generate a stable frequency sweep in the THz range.

Eckard

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jun. 23, 2010 @ 19:16 GMT
Dear Ray,

That is exactly what I'm asking. Is red-shift equivalent to gravity?

I suppose another good question is: can electrical engineering generate such a redshift?

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Ray Munroe replied on Jun. 23, 2010 @ 19:23 GMT
Dear Jason,

Aren't you and Eckard both EE's? And I'm sure you know some others as well. Sometimes, brainstorming with several skilled and intelligent people can lead to interesting ideas and results.

Have Fun!

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jun. 23, 2010 @ 19:47 GMT
Hi Ray,

I have a BS in physics; a BS in electronics, and I've taken electrical engineering courses as well.

I was looking at some voltage controlled oscillators the other day; I saw one that varies from 4000MHz to 8000MHz. That was the largest range I could find. I don't know how strictly I have to maintain an unbroken phase angle. Also, this gets into microwave RF transmission which is beyond my scope of knowledge.

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Ray Munroe replied on Jun. 23, 2010 @ 23:42 GMT
Hi Jason,

It sounds like you have most of the education and experience of an EE, Of course, most employers would pay an "engimeer" more.

Have Fun!

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Jason Wolfe replied on Jun. 24, 2010 @ 00:02 GMT
Dear Ray,

That's an interesting thought. Do you think there are any companies that might try to squeeze an electronics technician into an electrical engineering slot? Especially if they could pay them less? Actually, I know that this happens. Suddenly, names and faces of "super-techs" spring to mind.

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Carmen Putrino wrote on Jun. 24, 2010 @ 03:53 GMT
I agree. We really don't know much about anything. Energy is just a methematical construct that still seems to be conserved. It has no meaning behond that.

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Jason Wolfe replied on Jun. 24, 2010 @ 06:36 GMT
Actually, we know quite a bit about physics. What the physics community doesn't really see is that there are facets/footprints of the photon all over physics.

Photons:

1. travel at the speed of light, c;

2. embody geometry and therefore mathematics;

3. conserve energy;

4. transmit causality (cause and effect);

5. mediate Coulomb forces, magnetism and electromagnetism;

6. are themselves quantum particles known as bosons;

7. are fundamentally expressed as exp^i(kr - wt);

8. implement special and general relativity;

9. ...

We really haven't even begun to unlock the possibilities for physics.

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Jun. 24, 2010 @ 15:24 GMT
Jason, Imagine me a curious schoolboy.

1. Isn't c the speed of light only in empty space? I measured 2/3 c in a 50 Ohm cable.

2. To embody geometry means to have it as main feature or basis. How to imagine the geometry of a photon, a point, a sphere, a string, or how else?

3. Do photons really conserve energy? Maybe you meant conservation of photons?

4. To my humble knowledge, there is no exception from causality in reality. So I do not see any need for a transmission of causality in reality from somewhere to somewhere.

5. Well, electromagnetic waves are thought to be identical with photons. However, how do these waves mediate static electric and magnetic fields?

7. Didn't your expression with x instead of r belong to a plane wave? Given r means radius. How do you interpret the expression in complex plane and how its correlate in reality? Isn't the sign of imaginary part in general arbitrary for any representation in complex domain? I as a schoolboy tend to guess that reality is not ambiguous even if the describing mathematics is ambiguous.

8. Do photons really carry out what special and general relativity dictates?

At best I am ready to accept the opposite view: These theories may describe what photons do.

Little Eckard

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Jason Wolfe replied on Jun. 24, 2010 @ 20:53 GMT
Dear Eckard,

You ask some great questions; and I want to give you an honest and clear explanation.

1. Yes, the speed of light in empty space is c. In materials, there is constant absorption are re-radiation of photons. That would slow it down.

2. Perhaps more accurately, photons are responsive to the potential energy geometry around them. You and I would see a slit or two slits. The photons sees a high potential energy wall with one or two low potential energies through which they can easily pass, as waves.

3. You're right. Single photons don't conserve energy. Only aggregate numbers of photons, or many single photon events, conserve energy.

4. If photons don't transmit causality, then how does anything interact with anything else? Photons are packets of energy. But how can there be any cause and effect, at all, if energy is not transmitted and received?

5. Good question. Still working on a more detailed "how". But just a quick thought. Isn't a photon just an oscillation of electromagnetic potential energy?

7. The difference between x and r just tells you whether the photons is traveling as a wavefront or emitted from a point; x/r tells you about the photon's geometry.

8. Relativity is about how different reference frame "see" an event. They see the event because photons carried information about the event. Photons always move at the speed of light. That is one of their essential characteristics.

If photons don't implement the laws of physics, then the only alternative is that, physics is implemented by magic. Are you telling me that physics is implemented magically?

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Marcel-Marie LeBel wrote on Jun. 26, 2010 @ 05:05 GMT
Jason, Eckard,

I have a metaphysical explanation with correlation with the classical model of the EM waves.

A The vacuum is made of a dimensional explosive process we call time.

B The basic property of this explosive process is its rate: the local rate of evolution of time.

C The EM wave is a traveling variation of this rate. A sine wave with rate lower than local in front and a rate higher than local in the back half of the wave. Its motion is essentially based on logic. Things exist more were time is slower (e.g. gravity field) and thing exist less were time is faster (e.g. center of an explosion). This association in logical differential existence is motion AND direction.

D If we superimpose this metaphysical model on the classical electromagnetic model, we have a direct rule of correspondence: The magnetic field lines happen where the time rate is in the process of changing within the wave; increasing or decreasing rates. The electric field lines are the point of inflection in these changes (second derivatives of time rate = 0). This happens when the rate variation changes direction; from increasing to decreasing rate or vice-versa. We see then that time variations of electric lines induce magnetic lines and time variations of magnetic lines induce electric lines. This means that a magnetic field is a zone within which the local time rate is changing, and the electric lines are lines along which the time rate variation changes direction. All this is in accordance with the laws of induction. Does anyone see this? That the circularity of dE/dT = B and dB/dT = E means that they are all made of the same stuff? The dB, dE and dT are all aspects of the same dynamic rate of evolution of time? They are time derivatives of each other.

E This is just a fraction of the whole picture … all made of this explosive evolution of time. I believe the quantum to be this fundamental unit of time evolution, a small sphere that gets sliced in two by a magnetic line to make an EM wave…. Radio antenna do it that way..Right??

Marcel,

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COSMO D wrote on Jun. 27, 2010 @ 20:20 GMT
Gravitational energy may manifest as the lesser when inertia is (on balance) increased.

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Robert Massey wrote on Jun. 27, 2010 @ 21:34 GMT
My try http://www.ourgoodbigbang.org/theory_of_everything.html

visua
lized, detailed consistency.

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Roger wrote on Jun. 28, 2010 @ 04:18 GMT
Hi. I think Georgina and a few others above were right. Energy is the process where unit of existence causes another unit to change shape/move. That is, if existence is made of some fundamental units, nothing would ever have happened if these units were static and unchanging and completely inflexible. So, for anything to ever have happened, these fundamental units must have the ability to...

view entire post

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 29, 2010 @ 03:36 GMT
Delight,

There is no cure to your enlightenment or mine.

Your senses are only your relationship with the universe. To understand the universe, you have to remove yourself out of the picture and give a chance for the universe to exist on its own. The relationship is not the universe; it is only our reality, our point of view.

I don't understand what is between the brackets "".

Where physicists dream of going but can't, I am there, waiting.

Marcel,

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jun. 29, 2010 @ 23:53 GMT
What may we expect from answers to the question "What is energy?"? Does science need speculatively extended putative foundations? I rather prefer to check whether the commonly believed fundamentals are sound:

Perhaps they were more sound before the community got ready to accept negative values of elapsed time, energy, and frequency as if these quantities were vectors like momentum in space. Don't get me wrong. I like to calculate with negative frequencies, future time and other virtual quantities as long as I know how to correctly interpret them. However, I do not accept the anticipatory notion of an absolutely predetermined future Minkowski cone.

A definition of energy should mention the conservation of the sum of equivalent to each other kinds like kinetic and potential mechanical energy in case of a lossless oscillator as well as heat, chemical, nuclear energy etc. Kinetic energy mv^2/2 can obviously not be negative if there is no negative mass. Accordingly one may consider the densities of magnetic energy (integral HdB) and of electric energy (integral EdD). All observable physical processes including live and information are based on some mutation and spreading of energy.

Eckard

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jun. 30, 2010 @ 04:39 GMT
Dear Eckard,

"However, I do not accept the anticipatory notion of an absolutely predetermined future Minkowski cone."

I agree with you. I don't seem how anything can be absolutely predermined because of the Uncertainty Principle. Certain aspects of the future are predetermined, but there is a lot of wiggle room. I guarantee that the sun will come up tomorrow. But I have no idea what you will eat for breakfast; I have a good idea what I will eat, but it's not completely certain.

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jun. 30, 2010 @ 12:03 GMT
Dear Jason,

I dislike a bit the negative sign in L=T-V. When calculating trajectories in phase plane for power electronics, I used only positively defined components of energy. Physicist may explain to me in what the value of the Lagrangian is different from the sum of energies.

In order to avoid confusion I have to obey the usual definition of time even if all measured data are located at negative values of this ordinary time.

What do the physicist call a world-line? Does it just draw the history or does it include all speculative future too? I am not sure what is meant when action S is defined as the integral Ldt over the entire worldline.

Concerning the experiment by Hafele-Keating I realized some suspicious details: The author of True Relativity calls himself the only one who understands the matter! He does not reveal any affiliation or peer-reviewed paper. Wikipedia does not show personal data for Hafele and for Keating, and I also looked in vain for a more trustworthy newer outcome of the easily reproducible experiment. Perhaps the claimed accuracy was not honest. I am not familiar with different height of flight from US to UK and return, Coriolis force, and other imaginable effects. What I found about Dayton Miller's seasonal effects reminds me of the possible influence of the moon and of biased publisher. In all, the matter seems to be murky.

Regards,

Eckard

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Ray Munroe replied on Jun. 30, 2010 @ 12:37 GMT
Dear Eckard,

It sounds like you were effectively using the Hamiltonian rather than the Lagrangian. We can derive the physics either way, there are just certain professional preferences.

The Coriolis effect is caused by the Earth's rotation (a non-inertial reference frame). It is why low pressure systems (such as today's Hurricane Alex) rotate counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere.

Have Fun!

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Florin Moldoveanu replied on Jul. 1, 2010 @ 04:59 GMT
Dear Eckard,

I too did not like the minus sign in L = T-V when I first learned about it. But ultimately the minus sign comes from F=ma and F = - gradient V. In the lagrangeian formulation, L is an extremal value leading to Euler-Lagrange equations: d/dt(partial L/partial dq/dt) = partial L/partial q Here LHS is "ma" and the RHS is -gradient V = "F" so this is nothing but Newton's second law with the advantage of easy generalizations to much more complicated cases. If L = T+V, then F = -ma, a nonsense.

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Steve Dufourny replied on Jul. 1, 2010 @ 10:12 GMT
Hello,

Indeed these transformations are nonsense .If L = T+V, then F = -ma....???? The maths sometimes imply an ocean of confusions where the -,the 0 and the infinity are inserted without rationality and limits, foundamentals furthermore the limits inside a correct realistic and objective topology of the referential.

Regards

Steve

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Marcel-Marie LeBel wrote on Jul. 1, 2010 @ 00:57 GMT
Coriolis effect, eh? Good starting point. Artillery uses it too. But what are the fundamentals here?

My logical analysis of the metaphysics of the universe allows for only one substance and one cause. The one substance is a universal dimensional evolution we associate with the physical passage of time and the unique cause for anything to happen is a differential in the local rate of this evolution.

As said in the previous post, the Coriolis effect affects weather systems. But the bottom line is that, according to the single logical cause principle, it is fundamentally a time rate differential at work!

Now imagine how complex weather system forecasting could be improved by understanding that all the data input is essentially about a single variable disguised as temperature, pressure, humidity, solar input, etc. Sure, the data is still captured by weather stations and satellites etc. But the modeling of the way in which they interact with each other at a fundamental level to produce a final cause, as a time rate differential in the form of motion and wind could \ should be improved!

My 5 cents,

Marcel,

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jul. 1, 2010 @ 13:26 GMT
Dear Ray, I am not a know-all. I merely wondered: The astonishing agreement between predicted and measured values of the Hafele-Keating experiment cannot be ascribed to velocity alone. Influences of gravitation and Sagnac effect are stronger. When I tried to imagine further possible influences, I got aware having no knowledge how the used atomic clock works. I vaguely remembered of Coriolis effect, moon caused tides, acceleration due to movement along a bent path, etc.

What about Lagrangian and Hamiltonian, engineers like me tend to be trained in the Lagrangian perspective. For us, time domain is the primary one. Measured values are real and limited to the past. Accordingly, frequency domain is complex. When I looked for an explanation of the claimed anticipatory mirror symmetry in quantum world, I read the original papers by Schroedinger who changed to the Hamiltonian point of view. The fathers of QM left their good habit of returning to the original time domain by calculating the real part. Heisenberg used Re for the last time in Z. Phys. 33, 879 (1925). They made an ansatz in complex domain as usual, they tried to avoid unphysical negative and complex values of frequency, and consequently they arrived at an anticipatory interpretation for which Weyl admitted: At present there is no explanation in sight.

Regards,

Eckard

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Ray Munroe replied on Jul. 1, 2010 @ 13:50 GMT
Dear Eckard,

Check out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamiltonian_(quantum_mechan
ics)

or

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamiltonoperator

for more on the Hamiltonian.

I wish I better understood time. I purposely did not compete in the recent FQXi grant program because I know that I don't understand time, and I think that everyone else is throwing their best guesses at an unknown quantity. As I understand it, "time-like" is normally defined to have a negative Minkowski metric (-+++). I am leaning towards defining "time-like" as an independent 1-D String that leads to a U(1) symmetry. In the case of electromagnetism, the generator of the U(1) is the photon - the clown that causes the speed of light and our confused perspective of geometrical gravity. There may be other U(1) symmetries that lead to other "time-like" dimensions. If that is the case, it may be that our time is actually "Imaginary Time", and this leads to the validity of the Wick rotation, and fully explains the negative sign in the Minkowski metric (i^2=-1). If our time is imaginary time, then where is real time hiding? Of course, I think that all of my extra dimensions are hiding either on or within the Black Hole Event Horizon. All of the larger branes (2-branes, 3-branes, 4-branes, 5-branes,...) would then be considered space-like dimensions.

I hope this post clarifies my confused perspective of time.

Have Fun!

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jul. 2, 2010 @ 05:20 GMT
Dear Ray,

To me, H=T+V is correct, and I tried to explain L=T-V. Thank you for both links. The en link has been criticized as too much jargon. Isn't this possibly symptomatic for how you and perhaps all modern physicists are trying to understand time too? I feel the rejection of my seemingly old-fashioned criticism when replies of mine are "not shown". However, I consider myself someone who is in position to clearly understand some overlooked trifles, in particular concerning restrictions of sign and tacitly agreed precondition of complex calculus. The de link reminds me of my promise to Florin taking issue concerning Hermitian symmetry "as soon as possible". I am sure having understood the matter, while admittedly I am still struggling with the jargon. I will look at Wick rotation. Thanks.

Regards,

Eckard

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Ray Munroe replied on Jul. 2, 2010 @ 13:32 GMT
Dear Eckard,

I admit that I don't yet understand time well enough to explain it. To understand time, I feel that I also need to understand imaginary time, and this is where I truly fall short. Of course, I can crank the mathematics, but what are the philosophical implications? You are asking good questions. Also, are "time-like" dimensions always negative Minkowski metrics? Or all "time-like" dimensions 1-branes? I'm playing around with this crazy 28-D model that contains multiple time dimensions, and I'm trying to make sense out of it all.

Your replies are "not shown"? Perhaps you should try a different internet browser. My Internet Explorer works better than my Mozilla Firefox on these links. Also, some links are hidden, but can easily be opened. I prefer to order blogs by "most recent first" with the option in the upper left corner.

Have Fun!

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Jul. 7, 2010 @ 16:18 GMT
Dear Ray,

http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.0909 does not answer my simple but foundational question on the orthogonality between ct and s with x as hypothenuse.

Some more questions are remaining:

-Is V considered the same in H=T+V and in L=T-V?

- Doesn't Minkowski's picture ignore the essential difference between past and future in an anticipatory manner?

- Was the negative outcome of Michelson/Morley absolutely correct?

- How do Lorentz's time dilation and Doppler effect relate to each other?

- Shouldn't sometimes x be replaced by |x| if used in the sense of distance?

...

Admittedly, I am just an old engineer who is not even familiar with C*. Aren't R* the hyperreals?

Regards,

Eckard

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Ray Munroe replied on Jul. 7, 2010 @ 16:58 GMT
Dear Eckard,

I only had part of this conversation with you. I haven't been following the full thread.

Yes, V is the same in both the Lagrangian and the Hamiltonian.

Too many physics equations imply that time is reversible, and we know that time isn't reversible. My models have multiple time dimensions.

Could our interpretation of the Michelson-Morley experiment be wrong? Just as soon as we say that the aether doesn't exist (Michelson, Morley, Einstein), we make up a more complicated Hyperspace scenario (Kaluza, String Theory, M-Theory, F-Theory, etc.). What is wrong with this picture? We still don't really understand Spacetime.

The acoustic Doppler effect is caused by moving sources and observers. The relativistic Doppler effect is caused by the same, but further modified by Lorentz's time dilation/ the speed of light.

Vectors contain both a scalar "magnitude" and a unit vector "direction". Some simple problems decompose into 1-D problems that only involve magnitudes. But we can easily dream up more complicated scenarios that involve keeping track of direction as well.

Have Fun!

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Paul N.Butler wrote on Jul. 3, 2010 @ 03:03 GMT
Energy and mass/inertia are aspects of motion, which is the basic substance from which all things in this world are composed. Only total motion is ultimately conserved. It is all just complex motion strictures and their interactions working according to the patterns (rules) generated by the structure of the dimensional system.

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COSMO D replied on Jul. 3, 2010 @ 23:48 GMT
Hi Paul. Your comment is interesting. Do you agree that gravitational energy, inertia, and balanced attraction and repulsion must be the fundamentals in uniting gravity and electromagnetism? A [common] binding energy, as such, would then establish distance in space with balanced scale, correct?

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jul. 3, 2010 @ 10:26 GMT
Dear Ray,

"Show all replies (2 not shown)" hides the content of these two e.g. if I am using the search function in order to find what I wrote.

I looked at Wick rotation and found confirmed that it suffers from Minkowski's lacking restriction to actually observables and from the at will chosen sign i or -i. I do not see any noticeable contribution in it.

My reasoning is repeatedly at odds with accepted tenets. Should I look for the reason in mistakes of mine? I feel encouraged by having experienced the breakdown of strong doctrines. My opinion concerning auditory function has already been partially confessed by leading experts, and it is still getting further confirmed by recent research. In particular Sohmer's team in Israel and Ren's team in Oregon/Stockholm/China provided compelling evidence.

Let me try to summarize a few credos of mine: Reality is primary. Mathematical extensions and generalizations must not be blindly attributed to it. Point, line, singularity, infinity, etc, are ideals without identical correlates in reality. Past events are quite different from future ones.

Regards,

Eckard

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Ray Munroe replied on Jul. 3, 2010 @ 14:30 GMT
Dear Eckard,

I was pointing out the Wick rotation because that may be one approach towards finding the errors in our definitions of time. I seriously wonder if it implies that the time we experience is "Imaginary Time" and if "Real Time" is hiding somewhere else.

Have Fun!

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T H Ray replied on Jul. 3, 2010 @ 17:50 GMT
Ray, real time and imaginary time are not independent, no more than the imaginary line is independent of the real line in the complex plane, at least in the sense that one might "hide" from the other.

Imaginary time is a trajectory in 2-dimensional complex space, as opposed to a 1-dimensional real time trajectory in spacetime. Were the spacetime trajectory to extend beyond the singularity of say, the Big Bang, it would no longer have the coordinate properties that tell us where it lies in relation to the spatial coordinates. It would have the analytical properties of the complex plane. As Hawking explains it, imagine that you are traveling North on the two dimensional surface of a three dimensional sphere (like the Earth) whose North Pole is a singularity. When you get there, you are not "north of the North Pole," which is meaningless. Same with the time trajectory of 3 + 1 spacetime -- beyond the singularity, the space is complex and therefore the time, imaginary. This is not really as strange as it seems at first sight -- we use complex analytical methods all the time in quantum mechanics.

Tom

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Jul. 3, 2010 @ 21:50 GMT
Tom and Ray,

Measurement in real time means current data without delay. The considered timespan has just elapsed. In Minkowski's terminology it is the current tip of the cone of past. Measured negative elapsed time corresponds to negative distance or negative radius beyond the singularity of zero. May we benefit from declaring future time or negative radius imaginary? I doubt. There is certainly no mathematical approach to make a negative distance reasonable or to safely predict all future.

Analytical continuation can only furnish redundant solutions of seemingly enlarged degrees of freedom. As an EE, I used to measure complex quantities that contain more data than real ones. However, if I measure real data then a transformation into complex domain does not add information except for an arbitrary choice of the point of reference. The enlarged volume is merely filled with redundancy. I read a lot of original papers as to understand the claimed qualitative progress with quantum mechanics. What I found so far were only incorrect interpretations, necessarily leading to strange peculiarities that were not even understandable to Feynman.

I did not yet clarify the basis for Lorentz transformation and the belonging metrics. I consider Cartesian coordinates not just arbitrary but also risky in so far one is tempted to admit negative values of r and t. We may therefore restrict not just to y=z=0 but also to merely positive values of x as well as of ct with t=elapsed time. Could you please explain to me the meaning of s, x, and v? What does s^2 + (ct)^2 = x^2 mean?

Thank you in advance,

Eckard

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James Putnam wrote on Jul. 3, 2010 @ 13:35 GMT
So far it appears to me that energy is being said to be the fundamental given of the universe. It is here and there and slips from this form to that form and all the time being very useful in leading the evolution of the universe toward intelligent life. I wonder why and how it does this?

In any case, it is conserved and that appears to be a key to orderliness in the universe. I have seen it said that this conservation property is based on the underlying symmetry of time. That's a good escape route. Is it the point of sayng this that: The fundamental source of all this orderliness is the property of time? That is pretty safe theoretically. No experimentalist is going to be able to put that to a direct test.

What about space? Does it also play a key role in universal orderliness? It turns out that theoretical space is described as having isotropic symmetry. What does that give us? It is said that that is the fundamental reason for the conservation of momentum. Well now, that also is a very safe place to hide, theoretically speaking. No experimentalist is going to put that to a direct test either.

The question of "What is energy?" seems to be answerable through metaphors but not by direct answer. The answer that comes closest to being direct is to speak of it as if it is the substance, both in form and in action, from which the universe is made. So, it appears to be the mechanical answer for the wonderful magic behind the operation of this universe.

There remains a nagging question. What is momentum? Why is mass made of energy instead of momentum? Why is it not momentum that causes the world to go round? It seems to me that there are two equally valid properties vying for the King's or Queen's seat. Why is energy chosen over momentum? Can the universe be equally well described by using either one as the fundamental 'responsible' property? If so, then: Why energy first?

These two properties are spoken of as if they could be poured into one form and then another. Do they both have substantive natures? With regard to a substantive nature, we do not know what energy is and we do not know what momentum is, but, we do know that they apply equally to every event that occurs. Instead of having a real answer to "What is energy?" the mystery spreads and includes "What is momentum?".

Readers and physicists in particular are welcome to correct this message.

James

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Wilton Alano wrote on Jul. 4, 2010 @ 03:59 GMT
All forms of "energy" are just inertial movement (kinetics).

A potential energy - like gravitational one, or compressed springs - are just released (produce work), when moving.

I am wrong, guys?

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Steve Dufourny replied on Jul. 4, 2010 @ 09:47 GMT
Hello dear Wilton,

Indeed you are right ....inertial...rotating spheres....mass....motion....evolution....the kinetics evolution in fact and the increase of mass....the polarization gravity/light is fasinating, the universal equation is on the road....the linearity and the gravitational stability seems just a difference of sense of rotation......

Regards

Steve

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Wilton Alano replied on Jul. 4, 2010 @ 11:16 GMT

Do you believe mass can be increased?

What do you think is "mass"?

Cheers

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Steve Dufourny replied on Jul. 4, 2010 @ 15:54 GMT
Hi wilton,

You are welcome,with pleasure.

Your first question troubles me, I admit,a bit my mind,it's indeed is quite large subject indeed.

The mass can be increased, it is by evolution.

So for this universality which complexify itself.

But we can indeed increase the mass, taking the example of plant propagation(multiplication,auxins, AIA,AIB...TOTIPOTENCE) and cultivation, biological of localities.The mass may therefore be increased by the hand and the rationality of man.

We are, somehow, these catalysts of surrounding masses, evolving, furthermore.

The intelligence and the consciousness, admitting our evolution and thus the creations ,can thus haronize, optimize ,increase the mass.....here the local system, the spherical, spheroidal Earth and its lifes.

You ask me why is this mass......it's all , it's the enegy, the light polarised by the gravity, it's the universal sphere in harmonization, the spherization for me,....in fact I think the mass is proportional with these quantum spheres which turn......more a sphere turn quickly, less is its mass...the volume of the fractal is linked of course and dthus we can derivate a new universal equations between mass and these spheres....there the cosmological link of spheres seem universally inked...we can thus extyrapolate an interesting equations between all spheres and their rotations.....mv1v2V IS A COSNTANT...PROBABLY OTHERS PARAMETERS CAN BE INSERTED....mass of an universal sphere,...velocity of rot spinal,vel.of rot orbital...Volume of this sphere....the density is correlated...interesting if the volume doesn't change, thus the evolution is understood where the gravity polarises the light and thus only the density change and thus the mass...thus the rotations....the volume and the number seems finite and do not change for the uniqueness.

In all case the mass is these rotating spheres...intrinsic the cause of mass....the code in the main central spheres is the ultim information......

Best Regards

Steve

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Willton Alano wrote on Jul. 4, 2010 @ 04:07 GMT
Sorry,

Additionally, no energy exists by itself. Energy is always just a property of a material body or particle. As the tinkle of a bell can not happen (or exists) without a bell clapper, no "energy" (movement) can exists without a body to be moved.

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Wilton Alano wrote on Jul. 5, 2010 @ 08:08 GMT
Simplifying the question and keeping in the main subject:

An "energized" part is a par in motion.

So, energy is inertial motion.

Anybody here knows a different energy?

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jul. 5, 2010 @ 20:38 GMT
Dear Wilton,

"Additionally, no energy exists by itself." What about gamma rays? Or, for that matter, electromagnetic energy? Wouldn't photons be considered pure energy?

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Wilton Alano replied on Jul. 6, 2010 @ 01:20 GMT
Dear Jason,

The first question to be done is: - What is energy? Energy means motion. More explicitly, inertial motion.

It is enough to allow us to confidently claim: As obvious as the pendular movement can't exist without a pendulum, energy (movement) can't exist except as property of a material corpse.

In other words: energy is motion and the 'nothing' can't move. So, it doesn't matter if we haven't still discovered the particle involved, every energy manifestation is a particle or corpse in motion.

By the way, what is the relation between force and energy? Is it possible to exist energy without force?

Cheers,

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James Putnam wrote on Jul. 5, 2010 @ 22:11 GMT
Energy is today what it has always been. It is a sum total of force times distance. We do not know what force is, so, it appears that theoretical physics has decided to sidestep that question by adopting energy as the primary substance responsible for change. So, the end becomes the beginning. The 'sum total of force times distance' becomes the starting point for analyses. We no longer have to explain force because energy is primary. Energy does not need to be explained, it is a 'given'.

I give away givens. We get them for free and lose nothing by ridding ourselves of them. Energy is neither action nor the cause of action. Along with force times distance, we can also simultaneously calculate the sum total of that same force durring that same event and that sum total is momentum. Energy cannot be made primary because it cannot be separated from momentum nor shown to be of greater value. They are not the same thing. Yet, they both apply equally well to the same event.

James

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Wilton Alano replied on Jul. 6, 2010 @ 01:30 GMT
Dear James,

I believe you touched an important issue: What is force?

Is it possible to energy exists without force? What is the relation between both? Would be energy always the daughter of a force?

As long as I know, force something very simple and can be either attractive or repulsive. (apparently, the only repulsive force known is which we call "electromagnetic".)

What we don't know is which is the actuation mechanism of the four known fundamental forces.

Am I wrong, palls?

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James Putnam replied on Jul. 6, 2010 @ 14:13 GMT
Dear Wilton,

My opinion is that we do not know what force is because we do not know what mass is. The answer that 'mass is energy' just extends the range of abilities of this wonderful, magical substance called 'energy'. Newton's f=ma is considered settled science when, I am certain, it is actually unsettled, and, that unsettlement gets passed on into all theory that makes use of the artificially indefinable property called mass. I say artificial because it was simply assigned an indefinable nature without any basis other than ignorance as to what it represented. So, we do not yet know what mass is nor what force is. That is a pretty weak foundation upon which to build higher level theory. That is what I think and hope to expound upon in future essay contests.

James

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Anonymous replied on Jul. 6, 2010 @ 17:00 GMT
Hello to both of you,

Dear James,

I totally agree that the unfathomable dear James is what it is.

It's a bit if I said that the limits are a reality....I we can't ignore it.

That said, we can see what is the mass within our perception.

As a pure evolutionary rule.

It is this question, so unfathomable, that becomes fascinating.

Do not confuse this information with the ultimate objective reality of our mass.Like the energy, we can't indeed understand the whole, like the unknown, but we can adapt and utilize these mass, energies....

You say what we do not know what is mass, I agree...but wen can extrapolate the correct universal correlation between all spheres.

We can't find the correct number, we can't see the center of our Universe or its cosmological limits, we can't know the total energy of our Universe, we can't calculate the number of lifes in our Universe, we can find the serie of pi or others serie, we can't find or understand the main ultim cause of mass inside the ultim sphere of the entanglement.....it's logic all these limits dear James....is it a reason to stop the appraochs of the reality in 3D , this physicality where the intelligence and consciousnnes increase.....somethings are possibles , others not possibles simply...but never the objectivity is chaotic in its pure synchronizations of evolution.

I see the mass like a result of evolution, predicted and in optimization.and these rotating coded spheres implying rule and comportment and polarity...we are catalyzers of the mass and we can optimize the interactions due to the intelligence and the harmonic erception.Thus we understand a little this mass dear James.We evolve and we shall understand better more we shall evolve.We can understand for example the complemenatrity of an ecosystems, like said Bohr the complemenatrity is universal.The mass is like a tool of evolution towards the harmony between all spheres......the creations increase and become more complexs.The future is incredible......we build in fact ....

Best Regards

Steve

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John Merryman wrote on Jul. 6, 2010 @ 09:44 GMT
It would seem force/energy is always oppositional. Not only in the sense of matter vs. anti-matter, positive vs, negative, etc. but what is momentum or force, if it is not pushing against something? Is it purely a dance of opposites, or is there some inertial medium around which they are dancing?

In the tyranny of information vs. the opacity of energy, it seems we just get tangled in the record and lose sight of the reality. If anyone thinks temperature is not as fundamental to the reality and the understanding of reality, as the passage of time, they must not be living on the east coast. It's like Alabama without the oil around here. The hallucinogenic permeability is getting a bit much. If it keeps up, it will be like Arizona without Republicans.

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Willton Alano wrote on Jul. 6, 2010 @ 23:34 GMT
About "MASS": We humans have never found anything "massive" in fact. Everything is hollow and mad of other hollow "being". This system seems to be an infinite number of "class of dimensions", infinitely nestled.

So,one can say that "mass" is something virtual but "real". Exists without existing in fact. Do not exists, existing.

Difficult ideas for our Cartesian minds to grip...

About "FORCE": I Would say that there is just two fundamental forces: Attractive and repulsive. It seems they both search for an equilibrium and the universe just exists amid this fundamental effort

(If just attractive, no space, no universe, but just a single mass. If just repulsive, too much space and no massive bodies of any size.)

So, "force" is that simple: Attracts or repels. How it works? Perhaps the attractive force be kind of a 'memory' of an ancient or cyclical 'united matter' state .

Cheers,

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Ray Munroe replied on Jul. 7, 2010 @ 00:16 GMT
Dear Wilton,

Of course, particle physics assumes that everything (but the Planck scale) is massless to first-order, and then the Higgs field breaks the symmetry of the ground state (which is initially massless) so as to produce a negative vacuum expectation value and, supposedly, mass.

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

(I was surprised at how little description the Portuguese Wikipedia version had! By the way, I live in Florida.)

In my models, mass is related to a 5-fold "pentality" symmetry that introduces tachyons. This pentality symmetry includes the 72-36-72 degree "Golden Triangle", the Golden Ratio phi=1.618034..., fractals and self-similarities. Perhaps "mass" is a "hollow mass" related to Cantor sets.

Regarding the attraction and repulsion of forces, it may be that all forces are both attractive and repulsive when observed within their respective branes. But we observe a distorted holographically transferred geometrical gravity that seems to be only attractive, rather than the original quantum gravity with both attractive and repulsive components.

http://fqxi.org/community/articles/display/115

Dea
r Frank,

Please "man-up" to your posts. I don't mind you saying something silly on occasion, but please don't spam the site with Anon's, Cosmo D's, Lightbringer's, etc. And please, study red-shift. You have had it wrong from the very beginning. As I said earlier, not every idea is a genius idea, but time will tell which ones are...

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

Have Fun!

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Anonymous wrote on Jul. 6, 2010 @ 23:43 GMT
Willton, you are correct that the forces of physics add to the integrated extensiveness of being and experience, and to thought as well. In integrating gravity and electromagnetism, attraction and repulsion are balanced, and the increased inertia/immobility then goes hand-in-hand with reduced gravity.

Dreams unify gravity and elecromagnetism/light.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jul. 7, 2010 @ 06:25 GMT
What if energy = light (gamma rays, photons, electromagnetism, etc...). What if it's that simple? Of course, I already think that inertia is implemented by virtual photons, more precisely, a field that is a function of kx-wt. Such a virtual photon field seems to operate below the Planck constant threshold.

I would love a challenge to these ideas. Either,

a. energy = light;

b. inertia is implemented with a virtual photon field.

As for Wilton's idea, "About "MASS": We humans have never found anything "massive" in fact. Everything is hollow and mad of other hollow "being". "

Humans have never experienced anything massive? Is that a joke?

Mass is just localized energy.

Why is it localized? Mmm...that's harder to explain. A Higgs field would convert energy into mass. It's almost suggestive that there is something peculiar about Higgs fields.

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Anonymous replied on Jul. 7, 2010 @ 09:22 GMT
Dear Jason,

No, it's not a joke! For sure humans "experiment" mass, but we have never found nothing massive in fact. From the very large to the very small, everything is hollow and made of other hollow things.

I.E.: The entire earth could measure just an inch (or few meters), if it were compressed like a black hole.

Anybody cant tell how much of the average atom volume is occupied by the nucleus? It seems a tiny fraction...

By the way, energy=motion, don't you agree?

Cheers

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Jason Wolfe replied on Jul. 7, 2010 @ 19:56 GMT
Wilton,

OK, sure, the atom is 98% empty space. But it still has mass, doesn't it?

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Wilton Alano replied on Jul. 7, 2010 @ 23:44 GMT
Jason,

For sure it still has mass, you are right.

Matter is more or less concentrated (massive)forms. We all know that it depends mostly on the number of heavy particles of the nuclei(certainly a bunch of few grapes is lighter than another - "healthier" - with many grapes).

Perhaps the questions are "what is mass" or "what is matter", once both concepts are close tied. Every time we look close into "mass" we find hollows with few stuff, and this reality seams to be nestled.

By the way: What are quarks made of? Anything finally "massive"? Let't look closer now... What is that thing made of and so forth?

My suspect is there is no Cartesian solution to that problem unless accepting the absurd as it is.

Cheers,

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jul. 7, 2010 @ 21:28 GMT
Dear Cosmic Ray,

I have been thinking about the metaphor of "collapsing the wave-function". It reminds me of how there are people who become very enthusiastic, even unto the point of belief in fantastic ideas. Such people become filled with what I call "brain juice"; neural-chemicals that allow them to make associations more quickly, discover patterns, and learn at an accelerated rate. Such people might even begin to fancy themselves as having a degree of psychic ability, occult power, or other abilities that are generally not available. Such people breed enthusiasm and joy in others. But if the "wave-function" or "magic" is not rooted in something real, then skeptics will collapse it.

When skeptics collapse the wave function, creativity and flow come to a halt. The money is counted. Possibilities are analyzed and calculated. Choices emerge. Very cynical people live in this state. They always collapse the wave function. For them, there is no joy and no possibility of escaping their plight. They sink back into entropy, and misery.

Having raised this matter, I would be the first to say that skill, talent, personal integrity, correct decision making and accomplishment must be there to sustain "the magic". Those who can somehow achieve each successful step, each measurable accomplishment, it is like they climb each step of the stairway towards victory. Call it magic or call it faith, but there is something that moves us forwards; some power buried deep within the physics itself.

In my experience, this "Power" will come to the aid of those who want to help, who want to make the world a better place. It is the driving force behind evolution. It is what drive human beings to attain and accomplish seemingly impossible goals.

But, it is the doubts and the fears that collapse the magic. Perhaps even the lack of patience.

For most, it is easier to wait until the outcome is clearly discernible. But, by then, what magic is left. It is in the flow and fluid motion of activity that alchemy is performed. This is the forge of creativity, power and accomplishment. It is here that we sacrifice our comforts and reinforce our commitment to our greatest ideals.

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Dr. Cosmic Ray replied on Jul. 7, 2010 @ 21:42 GMT
Dear Jason,

We know that we don't understand quantum gravity, so how can we place limits on something we don't understand? What if our only experience of electricity was holding an ungrounded live wire? How wrong would our conclusions be?

"It doesn't matter what you've heard, Impossible is not a word, It's just a reason for someone not to try" Scott Davis/ Kutless

Have Fun!

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John Merryman replied on Jul. 8, 2010 @ 01:49 GMT
Jason,

Interesting article:

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/06/the-
web-we-weave/

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Jason Wolfe replied on Jul. 8, 2010 @ 02:27 GMT
John,

Great article!

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Jul. 8, 2010 @ 11:04 GMT
Great post indeed....

ps it's the reason why I will work all my life for the creation of this International Humanistic Sciences Center where we shall discuss in transparence to improve the quality of life of our fellow men simply.

The united of scientists, universalists is so important at this moment.

We can produce, we can adapt, we can improve, we can optimize, we can invent, we ca, create....What ...SOLUTIONS.

A real base is essential to be in the exponential of resolution of prioritary problems of our global Earth.......the sciences and the universality have the solutions.With conscious and wisdom we can find the best adapted solutions on ground.The soil for example is a key.

Best Regards

Steve

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Evil Sock Puppet replied on Jul. 8, 2010 @ 16:26 GMT
Dear Steve,

You are awesome!!! You make the world a better place.

"The soil for example is a key."

May your soil become rich with nutrients. Hey! Maybe DiMeglio can help with that?

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Steve Dufourny replied on Jul. 8, 2010 @ 17:06 GMT
Hi Frank,

Hihihi you are a phenomène en français.

To be serious, I beleive strongly that alone we are nothing, and the universe is a whole.I desire strongly also to unite scientists and universalists to improve quickly some isolated place, desesperated and forgoten.The basics solutions exist, for water, food, education, energy, health mainly.....

Indeed the soil is a key Frank because all is linked with this soil.

The optimization of soils is very important, it's the begining for harmonic productions and to have a ecosystem ,improved and balanced.

For example like you say, I test the different kind of substrate, I add several powders,nutrients,....my best results are for the different Argilo humic complex where cations and ions are fixed in this colloid.

The parameters and properties are numerous.

The compost and the argile are fascinatings,all grows in this kind of soil.after it's just a question of H2O,O2,hv....

The complementarity is universal and facilitate all systems if the synchro exists of course.

You know I find the water so fascinating also.....we are H2O ......

Regards

Steve

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Dr. Cosmic Ray replied on Jul. 8, 2010 @ 17:32 GMT
Dear Steve,

I don't think that ESP is Frank. That sounds more like Jason's brand of humor. I know that Jason once had me rocketted off into outer space...

Have Fun!

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Paul N. Butler wrote on Jul. 8, 2010 @ 17:38 GMT
Hi Cosmo D,

Gravity and inertia are primarily related to an entity’s fifth vector (dimensional) motion. It is the motion that when added to an energy photon causes it to take a three-dimensional curved path, so that its path closes back upon itself to make a stable continuous enclosed path for its motion to occur and repeat in. The result is what we call a matter particle. It is not...

view entire post

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castel replied on Sep. 6, 2010 @ 09:42 GMT
Paul,

I see donut loops of motion for the particles your describing. Am I right?

I have my website here. Would you mind making some comments here at FQXi.

I'd like to see how much in the same line of thought we are.

I've been acquainted with a Butler who served a religious mission in Southeast Asia. Any relation?

Regards,

castel

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THE MAN wrote on Jul. 8, 2010 @ 20:20 GMT
Hi Steve. The body is invisible and visible. We are born into the body of the Earth, so to speak. Think of how the visible and invisible/transparent parts of the body/eye enjoin in a seamless whole with the Earth and sky.

When the Earth trembles during an earthquake, is it not as if it were stabbed? The lava is like the blood. When the lava congeals, it is like a scab.

Jason and Ray are like little boys. DiMeglio's not 26 either -- a lie spread by Ray. Obviously, it is impossible to be as smart/wise as DiMeglio at 26 years of age.

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Ray Munroe replied on Jul. 8, 2010 @ 20:39 GMT
Dear FMD,

Personally, I think age is irrelevant. As I recall, the "26" number arose when you implied that was my age. I told you I'm almost 52, not 26 - not that it really matters - I knew enough physics at age 26 to know that your red-shift ideas were wrong. I suspect that you and Jason are both in your 40's. I really don't care how old you are - as long as you act your age...

If lava is like blood, then what sort of bile should we ascribe to this BP Gulf Oil leak?

Have Fun!

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Wilton Alano wrote on Jul. 8, 2010 @ 22:58 GMT
Once more: What is exactly "energy"?

Does anybody know?

:)

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James Putnam replied on Jul. 8, 2010 @ 23:19 GMT
Wilton,

Yes I think I know. It is force multiplied by distance. It is not a magical substance that moves around the universe changing its form so that everything that we observe may have happened. Energy beyond "force times distance" is the theorists' substitute for the unknown.

Energy involves force and distance. We have a good handle on what distance is, but, we do not know what force is. Well, I have to admit that I think I know what force is. I wanted to save that point for an essay contest.

James

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Wilton Alano replied on Jul. 8, 2010 @ 23:39 GMT
Dear James,

Energy is "force multiplied by distance"? So it's wrong to say that energy means inertial motion?

For me, everything stopped (relative to a reference) is not "energized" and everything in motion is energized. Am I wrong?

I think "force" is, basically, the 'Memory of the Unified State' that matter carries intrinsically.

Cheers,

But that can't explain the repulsive (electromagnetic) force.. . Or it can?

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James Putnam replied on Jul. 8, 2010 @ 23:55 GMT
Wilton,

"Energy is "force multiplied by distance"? So it's wrong to say that energy means inertial motion?"

In a sense it is not wrong. A force was applied to the object over a distance of time. The end result of that action is that the object was accelerated to a new velocity. 'Inertial motion', in that case, means that it will require the same amount of force over the same distance to bring that object to a halt. Or, perhaps a different amount of force over a divverent amount of distance, but, still with the same product of force times distance.

"For me, everything stopped (relative to a reference) is not "energized" and everything in motion is energized. Am I wrong?"

Energized is a relative term. If an object is stoppped with respect to you, then, no it does not require a force to bring it to a stop. If something is in motion with respect to you, then, it will require the application of a force over a corresponding distance to bring it to a stop.

"I think "force" is, basically, the 'Memory of the Unified State' that matter carries intrinsically."

I always resist the use of words regarding intelligence to describe mechanical type events. So far as I can tell, they have no relationship, theoretically speaking, between one another. Matter does carry the source of force as an intrinsic property. So, the question really comes down to: What is force? Theoretical physicists seem to me to have bypassed that question in favor of putting forward a mechanical device that, they insist, answers so many of their questions. That device is called energy. It explains everything while it explains nothing.

James

Cheers,

But that can't explain the repulsive (electromagnetic) force.. . Or it can?

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Marcel-Marie LeBel wrote on Jul. 9, 2010 @ 01:59 GMT
Energy, force, mass etc. all lights and shadows. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I must ask, again. Does anyone out there care about what the universe is made of ? About what the cause for its spontaneous evolution is? About the logic of it all? Aren’t these questions the most fundamental and ultimate ones? They are the oldest ones. Why did we forget about them?

I believe that we are once more, in our minds, at the center of the universe. Because everything is described as a relation with us or with our instruments, we basically admit only the existence of this relationship, not the existence of the subject matter, the universe itself, by itself.

How can we ever figure out anything fundamental about the universe when we don’t even recognize its own existence?

Marcel,

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Jason Wolfe replied on Jul. 13, 2010 @ 09:26 GMT
Marcel,

The universe is made out of light; fast light, slow light, dark light, visible light, 1/2 spin light and integer spin light. It is all light, an ocean of light.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jul. 9, 2010 @ 06:38 GMT
Dear Marcel,

Yes, we use our instruments to "interface" with the physical universe. Our measurement equipment tells us what it sees. If you want my honest opinion, I'm not sure questions like: what caused the Big Bang, etc., are the fast lane to new technology. However, I'm just a crazy old fool. I asked for help from aliens and other worldly entities. I finally got an answer that made a lot of sense to me. Specifically, that red-shift is equivalent to gravity. What that basically means is that if I repeatedly shift a frequency from f1 to f2, and transmit this over an RF dish, I should be able to generate a force field that attracts or repels.

What can I say? Maybe the universe is spooky after all.

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Dave Reardon wrote on Jul. 12, 2010 @ 16:01 GMT
I particularly agree with the central point: "Don’t confuse having a name for something with understanding what it is."

The power of language is that we can use a word as a symbol for something that we only partially understand, and that symbol gives us a feeling of power over it. Just as a label or stereotype applied to a person helps us to "compartmentalize" that person in a way that does not require us to consider the more complex real person that does not truly fit within that label or stereotype, so our labels regarding the bits and pieces, and processes of nature, and "energy" itself, are also just ways to express a partial understanding in the form of a label...a symbol...a word.

To a large degree, science is the process of inventing a shared vocabulary for discussing what we do not fully understand in the hope that discussing it together we will begin to understand it better. That is good. But it is a very common mistake to forget that our labels never capture the fullness of reality; they are just the best approximation we have for discussing our observations of reality.

This is particularly evident to anyone who grasps even the rudimentary basics of quantum physics where the "substantive reality" of atomic matter itself becomes more and more uncertain, the observer affects effects, and future states affect the past, etc.

Words like "energy" are extremely useful, but it is wise for us all to remember "no one really understands it" applies much more often than we would like to think.

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John Merryman replied on Jul. 12, 2010 @ 18:32 GMT
Dave,

Then you have to take into account the physical qualities of language. When we assign a name to something, it attracts attention and the more positive attention it gets, the more gravitas it assumes. So then other ideas clump around it and exert effects on other concepts. Think about the whole evolution of human thought and how some of the oldest and most infantile concepts often exert the greatest cultural influence.

Consider how we think of light as "both particle and wave." Obviously there is some deeper reality we cannot quite grasp, so we assign these two concepts we do understand, particle and wave, to it and then they take on a life of their own and we think of light as little tiny particles traveling billions of light years in straight lines, only distorted by curving around gravity fields.

We spend billions of dollars building particle accelerators to smash them together and find ever smaller particles. What if we were to turn this conceptual coin over and say everything is just "waves" and "particles' are just focused little vortices, so when we crash them together, they spin out other little vortices?

The problem is that if we don't want to drive ourselves silly, sometimes everyone just gives up and drinks whatever Koolaid is most appealing. Be it because it makes sense, because it makes money, because it makes friends, because it's respectable, etc. It's like growing up. Sooner or later, you have to settle for something, even if you know it's not quite what you wanted.

My most basic physical observation is that, "Mass contracts, energy expands." It's purely relational. It just explains mass and energy by what they do, not what they are.

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Anonymous replied on Jul. 13, 2010 @ 01:42 GMT
Mass and energy are gravitationally equivalent only insofar as distance in space can be understood to be balanced in terms of attraction and repulsion.

Gravity is a balanced and additive binding energy in relation to position and distance in space. Gravity may also increase with distance. This is felt/experienced by the body. The body, in turn, shapes the ideas that can be formulated -- consistent with our visual and tactile/electromagnetic/gravitational experiences. Our experience of gravity AS IT IS FELT is never separate from visual descriptions thereof. Gravity ultimately binds and enjoins invisible and visible space.

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James Putnam wrote on Jul. 12, 2010 @ 23:38 GMT
Energy is force times distance. If one cannot explain force, then one does not know what energy is. The calculation can be made and the name attached, but, the question of "What is energy?" cannot yet be, officially, answered. Einstein's equation for energy did not explain what force is. He did not know what force is. However, if mass was properly defined, then force would be properly defined, and, energy would become understood. So, the question at the heart of the matter is: What is mass? Obviously, saying that mass is energy cannot be a real answer.

James

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jul. 13, 2010 @ 00:12 GMT
James,

It's like your asking the questions, but the answer doesn't satisfy you. Physics is not something simple that anyone can easily grasp. Physics is like a multi-faceted gemstone. Physics is a interwoven set of relationships. We told you that mass is a localized form of energy. Mass is fermionic in nature which means that it obeys the Pauli Exclusion Principle. I don't think the physics community is doing anything technically wrong. However, the interpretations and understandings of what the physics is telling us, they are pretty lean right now.

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James Putnam replied on Jul. 13, 2010 @ 00:21 GMT
Jason,

"It's like your asking the questions, but the answer doesn't satisfy you. ...We told you that mass is a localized form of energy."

And, I am saying that that answer is not an answer. It is not correct to say that mass is energy. Otherwise, you could plug energy into f=ma and learn what force is. If the fundamentals are not correct, then the higher level theories, no matter how well their equations work, carry and add to the errors in the fundamentals. Mass is used throughout theory. Einstein's equation for energy does not say that mass is energy. I have said once before that, hiding the speed of light behind a curtain does not make mass into energy.

James

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Jason Wolfe wrote on Jul. 13, 2010 @ 00:33 GMT
Dear James,

"t is not correct to say that mass is energy. Otherwise, you could plug energy into f=ma and learn what force is." Who says you can't?

Force = ma = -Grad U, where U is the potential energy. A sloping U will incur a force that will cause a mass m to accelerate. I don't know where you got the idea that physics is simple and easy to understand. It's not. Mass does not equal energy. Mass is proportional to energy. That proportionality is related to c^2.

Every observer will tell you that it sees light move at the same velocity, c. Do you believe that to be true?

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James Putnam replied on Jul. 13, 2010 @ 00:48 GMT
Jason,

Potential energy is recognizing that a force exists and that it if is allowed to be applied acrossed a distance, then the calculation of force times distance can be made. Neither kinetic, nor potential, nor 'localized' energy is mass.

"I don't know where you got the idea that physics is simple and easy to understand. It's not. Mass does not equal energy. Mass is proportional to energy."

The latter part of this statement '...Mass does not equal energy. Mass is proportional to energy." is correct. The first part, I assume means that the fundamentals are superceded by and not totally relevant to higher level theory. In other words, Einstein's energy equation was accepted as revealing energy to be the primary, fundamental property of the universe. It revealed only an escape mechanism for physicists to avoid defining either mass or force.

"Every observer will tell you that it sees light move at the same velocity, c. Do you believe that to be true?"

If the observer is in empty space and if the light continues to move in empty space then, yes the observer will observe lightspeed to be a constant.

Mass is proportional to energy. In other words, there is a relationship between them. However, they are not the same thing. Otherwise there would be no need to set up a proportionality equation.

James

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Jason Wolfe replied on Jul. 13, 2010 @ 01:08 GMT
James,

So we agree on some basics.

1. c (in vacuum) is the same for all observers.

2. E and m are proportional, not equal.

On your point, "Neither kinetic, nor potential, nor 'localized' energy is mass." I have to disagree and debate you. If you look up the atomic bomb on wikipedia, you find that the instability of the plutonium atom is an example of how energy can be localized. It is localized to the nucleus of the atom. If you weigh centrifuged plutonium atoms, e.g.Pu239, the instability of the nucleus (energy) is part of the weight. If Pu splits into it's products, the products will weigh less than the original unstable atom. The difference is converted into kinetic energy. That kinetic energy can be used to vaporize entire cities.

I'll simplify this: kinetic instability of the nucleus is part of the mass, the weight (mg) of the nucleus. When a neutron splits it, it flies apart with a lot of energy. When we weigh the fragments, they weigh less than the original nucleus.

This shows that E = mc2. If you agree with this part, we can go on and talk about quarks and gluons.

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James Putnam replied on Jul. 13, 2010 @ 01:15 GMT
Jason,

Your last message appears to be intended to support the view that mass is proportional to energy. I have acknowledged that that is true.

James

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