Search FQXi

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

Forum Home
Introduction

Order posts by:
chronological order
most recent first

Posts by the blogger are highlighted in orange; posts by FQXi Members are highlighted in blue.

RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Paul Reed: on 3/9/12 at 11:04am UTC, wrote James “It warns of those who have failed to complete the full cycle of...

Anonymous: on 3/9/12 at 2:38am UTC, wrote Paul, The manner in which you arrived here matters greatly. I knew...

James Putnam: on 3/8/12 at 23:15pm UTC, wrote Paul, There is no irony in that quote: Ironically, your quoted phrase...

Paul Reed: on 3/8/12 at 9:09am UTC, wrote James The original subject of this exchange is your sentence in 27/2...

James Putnam: on 3/7/12 at 22:22pm UTC, wrote Paul, I responded to this message of yours: You quoting me: “For...

Pentcho Valev: on 3/1/12 at 20:20pm UTC, wrote New Status of the Second Law of Thermodynamics ...

James Putnam: on 3/1/12 at 3:03am UTC, wrote Paul, I missed pointing out that there was a misunderstanding between us....

James Putnam: on 3/1/12 at 0:57am UTC, wrote Paul, You quoting me: “The information carried by the photon is about...

RECENT FORUM POSTS

Steve Dufourny: "I see this very simply you know. The motions rotations permit the changes,..." in The Quantum Clock-Maker...

Jim Snowdon: "How does motion create time?" in The Quantum Clock-Maker...

Steve Dufourny: "Hello Daniele Oriti, I liked your approach for this quantum gravitation...." in The universe as a quantum...

Stefan Weckbach: "I wonder what in a strictly deterministic world could at all be defined as..." in The Present State of...

Lorraine Ford: "David and Kelvin, But what IS consciousness? I would say that the..." in Consciousness and the...

Lorraine Ford: "Markus, I think you are over complexifying everything. I can only repeat..." in The Room in the Elephant:...

Lorraine Ford: "Physics and mathematics are full of bad ideas. Like the idea that a..." in The Present State of...

Steve Dufourny: "Hello Professor Smolin, I liked your youtube about the time and your..." in Views, variety and the...

RECENT ARTICLES

The Quantum Clock-Maker Investigating COVID-19, Causality, and the Trouble with AI
Sally Shrapnel, a quantum physicist and medical practitioner, on her experiments into cause-and-effect that could help us understand time’s arrow—and build better healthcare algorithms.

Connect the Quantum Dots for a New Kind of Fuel
'Artificial atoms' allow physicists to manipulate individual electrons—and could help to reduce energy wastage in electronic devices.

Can Choices Curve Spacetime?
Two teams are developing ways to detect quantum-gravitational effects in the lab.

The Quantum Engine That Simultaneously Heats and Cools
Tiny device could help boost quantum electronics.

The Quantum Refrigerator
A tiny cooling device could help rewrite the thermodynamic rule book for quantum machines.

FQXi BLOGS
September 23, 2021

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Entropy and complexity: themes from the FQXi conference Setting Time Aright [refresh]

Blogger Ian Durham wrote on Oct. 8, 2011 @ 03:27 GMT
The aim of the recent FQXi conference on the nature of time was to explore time from a multidisciplinary, multifaceted viewpoint. As such the conference brought together psychologists, neuroscientists, complexity theorists, evolutionary biologists, journalists and science writers, as well as the usual cadre of physicists, philosophers, and the odd mathematician or two. Personally I thought it was a rousing success. Of course one of the drawbacks of bringing together such a broad group of researchers is that the way each communicates within their particular discipline. Each field has its own specialized jargon and notation, sometimes conflicting with the jargon and notation of other fields. One of the most glaring examples of this is the notation used by mathematicians and physicists when describing the behavior of operators and their matrix representations. Mathematicians (and sometimes mathematical physicists) use an asterisk to denote the adjoint (complex conjugate transpose) of an operator. Physicists, on the other hand, use a dagger. This gets confusing because the physicists use the asterisk to denote just the plain old complex conjugate (no transpose!). It gets even more confusing when you realize that the mathematicians use an overbar for the complex conjugate while the physicists use the overbar to indicate a vector which can be acted on by an operator! Is your head spinning yet?

At any rate, while it is safe to say we all were able to communicate reasonably well across disciplinary barriers at the conference, there were occasional points of confusion. With that said, a deep commonality emerged from across the spectrum of talks and discussions. First, it seemed quite clear that complexity, in some form or another, was at the heart of nearly every discussion. In other words, regardless of whether we are talking about multiple universes or electric fish, time has something to do with complexity. Second, it also seemed fairly clear that entropy is ultimately a measure of complexity. Thus the second law of thermodynamics seems to tell us that, roughly, complexity (and thus entropy) tend to increase in the long run and this is where the "arrow of time" seems to come from. The disagreements arose largely from our rather fluid understanding of complexity, entropy, and the second law.

So just what is entropy? Operationally it appears to be some type of measurable quantity (we'll get to exactly what that means in a moment) that tends to increase, on average, for the universe as a whole. In fact, the second law of thermodynamics specifically says that the entropy of any isolated system never decreases (on average) over time. Most people would assume that the universe is the ultimate isolated system - unless, of course, one believes in the multiverse. As such it seems that entropy is a thermodynamic quantity - and here's where the trouble starts.

From the standpoint of pure thermodynamics, i.e. macroscopic arguments, entropy can be related to internal energy, pressure, volume, temperature, chemical potential, and a host of other thermodynamic quantities via what are known as thermodynamic identities. Thus we often feel justified in associating entropy with energy (note that there are other reasons, but this is just one example). This association is the source of one problem that was discussed extensively at the conference: why is the entropy of the early universe low? More importantly, how is it that the state of the early universe contains high-energy particles but has low entropy and then evolves to a state in which the particles are low-energy but have a high entropy?

There are several answers to these questions and I won't endeavor to present them all. But I will present two. The first potential answer is that there isn't actually a problem here at all: all that energy in the early universe is (slowly) being used to increase its entropy. In this case entropy doesn't increase of its own accord (spontaneously) - energy must be injected into the system in order for the entropy to increase. The second potential answer is that maybe, just maybe, entropy has nothing to do with energy. Sure, they relate in some equations such as the thermodynamic identities, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are universally interdependent.

To expand on this it is necessary to actually give a definition to entropy. Now entropy is a concept that turns out to be fairly universal. It pops up in many different guises and forms including information theory. In fact one interpretation of entropy is that it is information. In statistical mechanics (the microscopic way of looking at thermal systems) and a few other fields, entropy is often interpreted as a logarithmic scaling of the number of possible configurations that a system could have. So, for example, one could define the "entropy" for a pair of dice as essentially counting how many ways one can get a certain number. Thus the "entropy" of a roll of seven would be higher than the "entropy" of a roll of two since there's only one way to get a two on a pair of dice but six ways to get a seven.

What does that have to do with the universe? Well, think of it this way. The very early universe (but post-inflation, so roughly 10-32 seconds after the Big Bang) consisted of a quark-gluon plasma. There are only a few possible processes at this point and so there’s not much you can do with all those quarks and gluons. I mean, you might think there’s a completely clean slate and anything is possible, right? But there really isn’t. For example, until the so-called “quark epoch” between 10-12 and 10-6 seconds after the Big Bang, particles don’t have any mass. By acquiring mass, the universe adds a little bit of variety to the mix. Think of it like this: the quark-gluon plasma prior to the action of the Higgs mechanism would be like having a box full of square, two-by-two Legos of only two colors. You can certainly build a lot with that, but good luck making a model of Princess Leia in Jabba the Hutt’s lair. Adding mass is like adding, say, another color or shape to the Legos in your box – you can now do a little more with them. The variety is a bit greater.

So while it is true that, generally speaking, the universe contains the same amount of mass-energy now as it did then, it currently comes in a wider range of fundamental building blocks than it did in the beginning. So it makes sense that the current entropy of the universe is greater than it was. What about the entropy of the universe trillions of years from now? Currently the most accepted model of the universe’s evolution has it expanding forever (thanks to the acceleration of its expansion) which should eventually produce a universe of nothing but individual fundamental particles of low-energy that aren’t bound to anything and tend to be spatially isolated from one another. How could that state have a higher entropy than the current one?

Think about the Legos again. The current state of the universe is a bit like having a box full of a wide variety of Legos but with most of them already put together to form buildings, people, etc. In other words, you can do more with a box full of unused Legos than you can with a bunch of Legos that are already being used in some model: when you buy a new set of Legos, the entropy of the set is at its highest before you actually build the model because at that point those Legos could be used to build anything!

So if we view entropy in this manner, it is not in the least bit surprising that the early universe has a low entropy (despite consisting of high energy particles) while the much later universe will have a considerably higher entropy (despite consisting of low-energy particles). We could then view the Second Law of Thermodynamics as representative of the universe’s desire (or, perhaps, the desire of the stuff in the universe) to be in the state that offers the greatest possible number of configurations, i.e. the state that maximizes the variety of possibilities. One could alternately say that the universe tends towards a state of increasing complexity.

If one looks closely at many of the talks from the conference (available on YouTube) one will find that most have some relation to complexity or statistical arguments (though sometimes not in an obvious way). In fact just about every talk at the conference touched on one or more of the following topics: quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, probability & statistics, and complex systems. So it’s fairly safe to say that if you want to understand what time is (and it’s clear that we still don’t), those are the topics you would do well to study.

With that said, I will close with some thoughts shared in casual conversation by Julian Barbour. As Julian says, if you want to properly define time you need to first answer the question: what is a clock? But in order to answer that question, you need answer this one: just what is duration anyway? Can entropy help answer that? It’s an open but intriguing question. It means a lot of us will be busy thinking about this stuff for awhile.

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

report post as inappropriate
James Putnam replied on Feb. 19, 2012 @ 20:27 GMT
Quoting from near the end of the article:

"...As Julian says, But in order to answer that question, you need answer this one: just what is duration anyway? Can entropy help answer that? "

Taking this part: "...if you want to properly define time you need to first answer the question: what is a clock?..."

Why? This looks inescapably like defining the problem so that it can only move forward in your chosen direction.

With regard to entropy, it depends upon which kind of entropy one chooses. I choose the orginal thermodynamic entropy as defined by Clausius. My answer then is: Yes thermodynamic entropy can help to answer the question." I say this because the value of thermodynamic entropy relates directly to a period of time and that period is insensitive to one's choice of clock. The chosen clock will give a measurement that does not pertain to the set value of thermodynamic entropy, but, rather pertains to the mechanical limitations of that and all clocks.

Now take Clausius' formulation of thermodynamic entropy, a specific time period is involved regardless of the properties of one's clock. It would be better to throw the clock away and use the value of thermodynamic entropy as both the fixed point and the length of period of time for measuring the passage of the fundamental property called time.

James

report post as inappropriate

John Merryman wrote on Oct. 8, 2011 @ 03:48 GMT
Temperature=time. Level of activity=rate of change.

I think the entropy angle is a dead end though. Even if you buy the expanding universe model, enormous patches and all, that dark energy is going somewhere, possibly pressure causing the galaxies to spin faster and so dark matter and dark energy are the same thing.

Fact is, death cures legacy costs. The energy is conserved and reused. Structure contracts and energy expands. Gravity and light are opposites.

report post as inappropriate
James Putnam replied on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 01:57 GMT
Ian,

Chopping up you blog a bit so that I may target thermodynamic entropy:

"...In other words, regardless of whether we are talking about multiple universes or electric fish, time has something to do with complexity. Second, it also seemed fairly clear that entropy is ultimately a measure of complexity. Thus the second law of thermodynamics seems to tell us that, roughly,...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Blogger Ian Durham replied on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 03:07 GMT
James,

You should read E.T. Jaynes' article "Where Do We Stand on Maximum Entropy?" which is part of his collected works.

report post as inappropriate

James Putnam replied on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 04:21 GMT
Ian,

I went through all of it. Clausius was mentioned once in the context of assuming he would approve of the author's work. I did not find that the article began or included Clausius' definition of thermodynamic entropy. I won't push this point if you do not wish to pursue it. My point is:Clausius' definition has nothing to do with probability theory or quantum theory even in rudimentary forms. Beginning with Boltzmann's definition onward, they are not representations of thermodynamic entropy as defined by Clausius. Repeating the question which in my point of view has never been answered: What did Clausius discover when he defined thermodynamic entropy? Since I am not a physicist, I will leave your response to stand as the answer for this thread. If you feel that E. T. Jaynes article answers the question then I won't repeat it here.

James

report post as inappropriate

Pentcho Valev wrote on Oct. 8, 2011 @ 05:34 GMT
The law of entropy increase was a conclusion deduced by Clausius from two false premises. Clausius eventually abandoned it but the enchanted scientific world did not:

http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00000313/

Jos Uffink, "Bluff your Way in the Second Law of Thermodynamics", pp. 39-40: "On many occasions Clausius was criticised by his contemporaries. I do not know if, in his own time, he was criticised in particular for his famous formulation of the second law as the increase of the entropy of the universe. However, Kuhn (1978, pp.13-15, p. 260) has pointed out the remarkable fact that in the book (Clausius 1876) he eventually composed from his collected articles, every reference to the entropy of the universe and even to the idea that entropy never decreases in irreversible processes in adiabatically isolated systems is deleted!"

So the entropy always increases in much the same way that the refuse in the Augean stables always increases (no Hercules is able to clean that).

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

report post as inappropriate
Pentcho Valev replied on Nov. 4, 2011 @ 08:10 GMT
Let us assume that Kelvin's version of the second law of thermodynamics can be violated, that is, in some cases, heat can be converted into work cyclically and isothermally. Would there be respective violations of the "entropy always increases" version? Only if Clausius' deduction of the latter version is valid and based on true premises. If not, a scenario is conceivable in which violations of the second law do occur in nature but our entropic glasses prevent us from seeing them. In this scenario the "entropy always increases" version automatically becomes the red herring suggested by Ehrenfest-Afanassjewa and Uffink:

http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/archive/00000313/

Jos Uffink, "Bluff your Way in the Second Law of Thermodynamics", p. 94: "This summary leads to the question whether it is fruitful to see irreversibility or time-asymmetry as the essence of the second law. Is it not more straightforward, in view of the unargued statements of Kelvin, the bold claims of Clausius and the strained attempts of Planck, to give up this idea? I believe that Ehrenfest-Afanassjewa was right in her verdict that the discussion about the arrow of time as expressed in the second law of the thermodynamics is actually a RED HERRING."

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

report post as inappropriate

Pentcho Valev replied on Nov. 5, 2011 @ 08:04 GMT
Take a suspended and stretched spring. It can lift a weight as it contracts, that is, we GAIN work. However, in order to restore the initial stretched state of the spring, we must SPEND work so there is no net gain. If both contraction and stretching are carried out in a reversible fashion, the net work gained at the end of the cycle is zero.

Consider again a suspended and stretched spring but this time it is "chemical", that is, we have one of the macroscopic contractile polymers described by Dan Urry in:

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jp972167t

J. Phys. Chem. B, 1997, 101 (51), pp 11007 - 11028, Dan W. Urry, "Physical Chemistry of Biological Free Energy Transduction As Demonstrated by Elastic Protein-Based Polymers"

If, before contraction, we add acid (H+) to the system, the force of contraction and, respectively, the work gained as the polymer reversibly contracts increase. Then, just before stretching, we remove the added H+ from the system: the force of contraction and, respectively, the work spent as we reversibly stretch the polymer decrease. At the end of the cycle, THE NET WORK GAINED FROM CONTRACTION AND STRETCHING IS POSITIVE.

So far things go against the second law of thermodynamics but the complete account requires that the net work gained from adding H+ to and removing H+ from the system be evaluated. If it is positive or zero, the second law is definitively violated. If it is negative, the second law is saved for the moment.

In the absence of the polymer, adding H+ to and removing the same amount of H+ from the system, in a reversible fashion, would amount to zero net work gained. The polymers designed by Urry, however, release H+ as they contract, and absorb H+ as we stretch them. It is easy (for people experienced in electrochemistry at least) to see that this makes the net work gained from reversibly adding H+ to and then removing the same amount of H+ from the system POSITIVE.

Conclusion: The reversible cycle:

1. The polymer is stretched. We add H+ to the system.

2. The polymers contracts and lifts a weight.

3. We remove the same amount of H+ from the system.

4. We stretch the polymer and restore the initial state of the system.

violates the second law of thermodynamics.

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

report post as inappropriate

Pentcho Valev replied on Nov. 5, 2011 @ 08:17 GMT
If a constant-charge parallel-plate capacitor is totally immersed in water, the force of attraction between the plates is 80 times weaker than the force of attraction in vacuum. However, if we thrust some solid dielectric between the plates (not necessarily occupying the whole distance between them - it could be rather thin), the force of attraction becomes even greater than in vacuum. Accordingly, the following four-step cycle (carried out very slowly) violates the second law of thermodynamics:

1. Plates are immersed and fixed. We thrust the solid dielectric.

2. Plates get closer. We GAIN work.

3. We withdraw the solid dielectric.

4. Plates get apart; initial state restored. We SPEND work.

When the plates are immersed in a liquid dielectric (water), some additional pressure between them emerges, pushes them apart and so counteracts their electrostatic attraction (W. Panofsky, M. Phillips, Classical Electricity and Magnetism, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Massachusetts (1962), pp. 111-116). If the plates are vertical and only partially immersed, the same pressure forces the liquid between the plates to rise above the surface of the water pool (see fig. 6-7 on p. 112 in Panofsky's book). What if one punches a small hole in one of the plates, just above the surface of the pool? Will the lifted water leak through the hole and fall? If lifting is due to an additional pressure generated within the bulk, as assumed by Panofsky and Phillips, then water WILL leak through the hole and the second law will be violated. No matter how weak the waterfall is, in principle it can rotate a waterwheel...

The perpetuum mobile of the second kind described above will never become a money-spinner and will not solve the energy problems of humankind. However Nature may occasionally have used such (inefficient from an anthropocentric point of view) mecanisms and the knowledge of them could make us unexpectedly rich in some unconventional sense.

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

report post as inappropriate

John Merryman wrote on Oct. 8, 2011 @ 10:54 GMT
Ian,

THe confusion about time is due to trying to incorporate the subjective perception of the present transitioning along a singular series of events into a fundamental physical theory. It is the non-linear thermodynamic activity which is constantly changing the configuration of what exists. So it is not the present which moves, but the events which coalesce and are replaced.

There is no absolute flow from past to future, or physically real geometry of spacetime, because time is not a vector, but a process. We are not traveling the fourth dimension from yesterday to tomorrow. Tomorrow becomes yesterday because of the cumulative activity of everything, including the rotation of this planet, relative to its star.

This rate of change is a function of the level of activity. If the earth were to spin faster, the units of time we call days would be shorter. This doesn't mean the earth found a shorter time dimension, but simply the level of activity is greater.

The reason I keep having to repeat this is because no one can refute it, but few seem willing to accept it. Isn't science about reason, not belief?

report post as inappropriate

Blogger Ian Durham wrote on Oct. 8, 2011 @ 13:37 GMT
Actually, John, I completely agree with you and that was kind of the point of my post (though it was too short to really do it justice). So, yes, time is a process, not a fourth dimension. What's more, it's an emergent process (which is why oddities like faster-than-light neutrinos, if the data is true, are not surprising).

report post as inappropriate
Pentcho Valev replied on Oct. 8, 2011 @ 14:09 GMT
Ian, do you try to say that special relativity is irrelevant, e.g. time dilation does not exist (or the travelling twin will return as old as the sedentary twin)?

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

report post as inappropriate

John Merryman replied on Oct. 8, 2011 @ 16:24 GMT
Ian,

You do realize the foundation of the current cosmological model of an expanding universe, is based on that assumption of spacetime being "physically real?" With all the blocktime, wormholes, multiverses, inflation etc. as Frankensteinian appendages. Once time is relegated to an effect of thermal activity, then space is no longer physically malleable.

If time is to be considered simply a measure of thermodynamic activity, an aspect of temperature, this would be seriously significant for current physics.

report post as inappropriate

John Merryman replied on Oct. 8, 2011 @ 16:32 GMT
I should also note that demoting time to emergent effect would have far reaching social consequences as well, given the insistence on a singular narrative is also foundational to the monotheistic paradigm.

Then again, they keep saying the Aztecs predicted the end of time in 2012, not the end of the world.

report post as inappropriate

T H Ray wrote on Oct. 8, 2011 @ 14:55 GMT
Ian,

I don't think there is a problem with duration being identical to time (Newtonian physics). If the universe is open, that's enough. The evidence that shows the universe on the boundary of open and closed (Omega ~ 1), as well as expanding and accelerating, may suggest a fruitful path toward an entropic gravity model (e.g., Jacobson, Verlinde, 't Hooft). Thermodynamic entropy itself, however, can be easily formulated for both open and closed systems.

So far as the question of what is a clock -- Einstein's definition, i.e., the rate of a physical process -- suits me.

Tom

report post as inappropriate
John Merryman replied on Oct. 8, 2011 @ 16:15 GMT
Tom,

"So far as the question of what is a clock -- Einstein's definition, i.e., the rate of a physical process -- suits me."

So you agree that time is a measure of physical processes, much as temperature is a measure of physical processes? Not some part of some underlaying "physically real" geometry? No blocktime, just what is physically manifest, transitioning relative to thermodynamic processes?

report post as inappropriate

T H Ray replied on Oct. 8, 2011 @ 16:45 GMT
John,

I am not going into this with you again. Temperature is not an independent, physically real phenomenon in any context. Time, though not independent of space, is physically real in a continuum of spacetime.

Tom

report post as inappropriate

John Merryman replied on Oct. 9, 2011 @ 01:12 GMT
tom,

The operative term here is, as Ian said, "emergent."

report post as inappropriate

Domenico Oricchio wrote on Oct. 9, 2011 @ 12:44 GMT
I have some quantum problem for the Big Bang description with the entropy.

A quantum system have an entropy associated to the density function:

$S = \int dr \Psi(r)\Psi^*(r) ln \Psi(r)\Psi^*(r)$

I think that near the Big Bang the entropy is infinite, a single quantum description using a Dirac delta function.

I think that is possible an entropy reduction after the Big Bang because there is a density function dispersion in a large space, and after a transformation of energy in elementary particles: in the usually word the entropy increase with particle emission (if you use a camera shot of the particle creation, and you reverse the shot, then this is the usual event in the space: particles decay).

The series of the quantum states

$\Psi(t_1), \Psi(t_2), \cdots. \Psi(t_n)$

have a series of energy

$E(t_1), E(t_2), \cdots. E(t_n)$

and a series of entropy:

$S(t_1), S(t_2), \cdots. S(t_n)$

I think that this series is crescent far away the Big Bang, but near the Big Bang can decrease.

We associate the entropy to the time evolution; if we take a macroscopic system, then if the entropy is constant, then the system have not time evolution (only fluctuation) like a box filled of an inert gas; but when we open the box, then we have a entropy increasing and a time evolution, and time direction.

The time evolution, and the time measure, don't depend on the entropy: if we measure the time with a pendulum we have not entropy evolution, only an energy evolution of the pendulum (the camera shot don't have a time direction for each elementary time measure).

If the time direction depend on the entropy, the direction near the Big Bang is reversed, so that there is future to the past evolution?

Saluti

Domenico

report post as inappropriate
Steve Dufourny replied on Oct. 9, 2011 @ 13:26 GMT
Hi Domenico,

You know the thermodynamical diffusion and the universal cooling of evolution shows the road.

This entropy is simple, it is the maximun universal energy.and this entropy is everywhere at the same maximum. Like an absolute in physical evolution. It does not exist pseudo multiverses or this or that. Our Universe and its entropical diffusion rests rational and deterministic. The time is irreversible and constant. The complexity of the mass is in 3d. And this mass evolves at all momment. The duration is a result of a cause, in my model, the rotating spheres. This duration is linked with the gravitation and the space time evolution.

The BB is a spherical distribution of mass where the cooling complexificates the mass......we have not reversibilities or decoherences there.

report post as inappropriate

T H Ray replied on Oct. 9, 2011 @ 14:32 GMT
John,

Spacetime is indeed a real, independent physical phenomenon. This is well understood in both theory and experiment, contrary to all the half baked crackpot nonsense circulating in this forum.

Tom

report post as inappropriate

Jason Wolfe replied on Oct. 9, 2011 @ 17:44 GMT
Tom,

"This is well understood in both theory and experiment, contrary to all the half baked crackpot nonsense circulating in this forum."

It's not as well understood as you think it is. It doesn't explain:

1. how particles are attached to space-time;

2. how gravity and the standard model are unified;

3. how causality is transmitted.

The space-time continuum is a source of "half baked crackpot nonsense" because it leads experts to believe in time travel. In fact, the scientific community is itself a source of nonsense; e.g., a multiverse of infinite identical universes.

report post as inappropriate

Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Oct. 9, 2011 @ 23:23 GMT
Ultimately, the full and proper understanding and involvement of time include instantaneity. There is no getting around this.

report post as inappropriate
Paul Reed replied on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 11:10 GMT
Frank

But instantaneity of what? There was one existent state. We only know of it via one, or more, observations. So we can take one observation, understand the circumstances within which it occurred and extrapolate when that event occurred. Two observations means we can do it again, and additionally, we can compare differences in circumstance, etc. In the latter we are able to compare timings. It is all about timing, as manifest in the observations which enable us to calculate the time at which the event occurred. Indeed, it is all about timing/duration, because time does not exist, what you are comparing is different rates of change in different attributes of existent entities.

Paul

report post as inappropriate

Sridattadev replied on Oct. 10, 2011 @ 16:16 GMT
Dear Paul and Frank,

Instantaneity = Total Simultaneity = Steady Big Bang State.

Universal I or singularity is the source of them all.

Love,

report post as inappropriate

Lev Goldfarb wrote on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 17:11 GMT
Tom,

"You don't think Newtonian physics is seriously flawed, since you correctly identified general relativity as its extension from a well-defined limit of the Newtonian domain. So how could you consider GR to be seriously flawed? Since the theory is mathematically complete--i.e., independent of experiment--either it is correct, as experimental validation informs us, or all of classical physics is seriously flawed."

The issue of the "incorrectness" of the present physical models is deeper than that.

First, as I have been saying, the development of math. began with geometry and measurement. (We then discovered that there are many geometries.) And, of course, GR and QM are based on our current understanding of "geometries".

But it may turn out, as I have been suggesting, that *all* our present concepts of "geometry" are *physically* inadequate. I.e. we might be in the midst of a contemporary version of epicycles-like *computational* models.

Of course, for the vast majority of scientists this possibility is so scary as to be, practically, "invisible".

By the way, I wouldn't have been bold enough to suggest the above possibility if the framework I'm developing hasn't suggested this possibility.

report post as inappropriate
T H Ray replied on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 17:40 GMT
You could be right, Lev.

Unless there is a demonstrable demarcation between mathematics and physics, however, I want to see how far the mathematics goes. If the horizon turns back on itself, there may be no difference at all.

Tom

report post as inappropriate

Lev Goldfarb replied on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 17:56 GMT
The issue is not the "demarcation between mathematics and physics" but the needed new conception of math. based not on the conventional geometric, point-based concepts but on the new concept of (temporal) event-based structures, which are even more universal than the former.

*There are no points in nature, there are temporally related informational events, which are of non-spatial origin.*

report post as inappropriate

T H Ray replied on Oct. 11, 2011 @ 18:27 GMT
Lev, that's just the kind of continuum that Joy describes -- a topological structure (and therefore conveying a different meaning for "distance" than conventional geometry) with a nondegenerate torsion feature that disallows point set geometry yet permits classical time reverse symmetry.

String theory, as well, denies point particles in favor of a field description.

And I still agree with you that information theory holds the key. I just don't think we need to count new mathematical methods out.

Tom

report post as inappropriate

John Merryman wrote on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 10:55 GMT
When considering the validity of entropy for proving an overall direction to time, it might be useful to consider the extent to which entropy is a subset of punctuated equilibrium. As entropy only applies to a closed set and its tendency to settle into a stable, relatively non-dynamic median state, this should be considered in the context of unknown inputs that cannot be ruled out, given there is no proof any closed set doesn't exist within some larger, unbounded, infinite context. In this context, entropy would only be an example of built up legacy costs and their consequence of weakening the frame in question, relative to more dynamic frames.

Time is linear for the individual frame, as it goes from start to finish, but the larger dynamic would seem to be cyclical, as it conserves and reuses energy on unbounded scales.

report post as inappropriate
Sridattadev replied on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 14:32 GMT
Dear John,

Absolutely true. Infinite equilibrium you have mentioned is the singularity or universal I. This state is not only relative infinite but also absolute equality. Please see some posts above for the links explaining the singularity.

Love,

Sridattaev.

report post as inappropriate

John Merryman replied on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 16:08 GMT

I don't think the singularity is a viable concept. A universal state would be a state of equilibrium, not an ultimate focal point. I have long been making the argument that the Big Bang theory is extremely patchwork and all the evidence points to an optical explanation for redshift. The background radiation is better explained as coming from light that has been shifted completely off the visible spectrum. Suffice to say, arguing against it amounts to beating one's head against a wall, so I'm mostly waiting for further evidence of galactic structures too far and too old to be contained by the age limits of BBt. By any reasonable calculation, they already exist, since the oldest observed galaxies are now at 13.2 billion lightyears, so that means they would have had to coalesce out of the inflated medium and ignite in 500 million years, but the credulity of the cosmological community is close to limitless. So it will have to take examination of that background radiation and discovery of signatures of sources beyond the light horizon and not just a uniform medium, to raise issues which cannot be ignored.

report post as inappropriate

Sridattadev replied on Oct. 12, 2011 @ 17:38 GMT
Dear John,

Precisely the point that I am conveying to the scientific community, to reconsider what singularity really means. Singularity is not just an infinite focal point which lies inside a black hole as per the current understanding by several relativiistic theories. Some relativistic theories which could not fully comprehend the meaning of singularity are totally avoding this concept and looking at multiverses to explain away this unexplained state inside a black hole and at the beginning of big bang. We can imagine how many ever theories we want to explain what we can see, but the truth is only one - singularity - that we all know inherently. Scientists are trying to use several non zero constants to explain the observable unverse. There is only one absolute constant - zero and everything relatively is absolutely equal to this constant. Singularity in mathematics is that zero, verbally translated it should not exist as it means absolutely nothing. To a self realized being, this absolutely nothing is the one's self that gives meaning to relatively everything. No matter where one goes in the universe or multiverse one will find a singularity of one self or I, hence singularity is universal I.

Singularity is that all points in space-time are absolutely equal, all else we see with our senses and process in our brains is an illusion. This equilibrium state is eternal and is beyond any begining and any end. We are all capable of experiencing this state in our heart and this state of absolute awareness is full of joy. Singularity is the "absolute" quantum state of everything and nothing.

Love,

report post as inappropriate

T H Ray wrote on Oct. 13, 2011 @ 17:02 GMT
rest frame

report post as inappropriate
John Merryman replied on Oct. 13, 2011 @ 18:11 GMT
Tom,

"The rest frame of compound objects (such as a fluid, or a solid made of many vibrating atoms) is taken to be the frame of reference in which the average momentum of the particles which make up the substance is zero (the particles may individually have momentum, but collectively have no net momentum). The rest frame of a container of gas, for example, would be the rest frame of the container itself, in which the gas molecules are not at rest, but are no more likely to be traveling in one direction as another. The rest frame of a river would be the frame of an unpowered boat, in which the mean velocity of the water is zero. This frame is also called the center-of-mass frame, or center-of-momentum frame."

So what if the frame of reference is infinite?

report post as inappropriate

T H Ray replied on Oct. 13, 2011 @ 18:18 GMT
Then inertia does not exist, and motion is impossible.

report post as inappropriate

Sridattadev replied on Oct. 13, 2011 @ 18:55 GMT
Tom and John,

I suppose that is why we call death - Rest in Peace.

We can also achieve this absolute rest frame by being in Love when we are still alive.

Be in Love to Rest in Peace.

Love,

report post as inappropriate

Constantinos Ragazas wrote on Oct. 14, 2011 @ 23:33 GMT
To my fqxi friends,

Ian's post prompts me to respond – after a long hiatus!

Entropy, time and The Second Law of Thermodynamics featured prominently in my last essay, “A World Without Quanta?”. I wont repeat arguments and derivations found there. Only make the following points:

1)Physical time is 'duration' (t-s) and not 'instantiation' (t=s)

2)Entropy is the measure of the 'amount of evolution' of a system. The fundamental relationship between entropy and time is ΔS = r Δt , where r is the 'rate of evolution' of the system (positive or negative).

3)The Second Law of Thermodynamics is about physical time, and not entropy. It simply says that for a physical process to occur, a (positive) duration of time must lapse.

4)Boltzmann's Entropy Equation is mathematically equivalent to Planck's Law.

Constantinos

report post as inappropriate
Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde replied on Oct. 15, 2011 @ 14:53 GMT
Do you think that the analog universe as is created by our consciousness, has a discrete basis ? the discrete basis are the grains of our reality, these grains are combined to life-lines with the assistance of our consciousness, that is why we can experience the second law of Thermodynamics. Entropy is the explained as the grade of Chaos (formless void) in our Cosmos (ORDER), but attention it is only our perception of order, being an unique one !!!

keep on thinking free

Wilhelmus

report post as inappropriate

Constantinos Ragazas replied on Oct. 15, 2011 @ 16:18 GMT
Wilhelmus,

We cannot know 'what is' the Universe. Only our 'measurements of what is'. So fundamentally, physics should be about 'measurement'. 'Knowing what is' in the past was called 'metaphysics' . Science arose in large part as reaction to metaphysical speculation and the subsequent 'religious wars of believers'. Human nature always finds ways of coming back to the same fundamental questions. And always risks making the same fundamental mistake of taking 'theory' as 'real'. Often called 'idolatry'. In the current debates among physicists, you can find traces of the metaphysical. Our best guide must always be our 'senses'. Much of what physicists claim are non-sensical. It is an interesting intellectual game, but ruptures us from our experience. 'Go' is more honest. It has no victims though it is a 'simulation of war'. Modern 'human being' is the victim of modern physical theory.

Constantinos

report post as inappropriate

Eckard Blumschein replied on Oct. 16, 2011 @ 09:05 GMT
Dear Constantinos,

To what extent do you agree with NoDiscreteness.pdf by the distinguished FQXi member prof. Zeh?

Regards,

Eckard

report post as inappropriate

Lev Goldfarb wrote on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 15:36 GMT
Tom (and everyone),

"I don't think you mean to argue that Newtonian dynamics and relativity aren't *physical* theories. These are, as I said and can easily defend, mathematically complete theories; i.e., every element of the mathematical theory corresponds to every element of the physics that the theory describes."

I am prepared to argue that by far not "every element of the mathematical theory corresponds to" physical reality. For example, take such critical concepts as velocity and acceleration: there is nothing in Nature that is truly "instantaneous" so that these concepts are the artifacts of the mathematical machinery. Moreover, I suggest that under the conventional math. *most* so-called "physical" concepts do not have true counterparts in Nature, and in this sense are not truly "physical", but are simply mathematical concepts.

report post as inappropriate
Pentcho Valev replied on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 16:01 GMT
Is gravitational time dilation a "physical" concept? That is, do the intrinsic rates of clocks vary with the gravitational potential? Banesh Hoffmann seems to give a negative answer:

http://www.amazon.com/Relativity-Its-Roots-Banesh-Hoffmann/d
p/0486406768

Banesh Hoffmann: "In an accelerated sky laboratory, and therefore also in the corresponding earth laboratory, the frequence of arrival of light pulses is lower than the ticking rate of the upper clocks EVEN THOUGH ALL THE CLOCKS GO AT THE SAME RATE. (...) As a result the experimenter at the ceiling of the sky laboratory will see with his own eyes that the floor clock is going at a slower rate than the ceiling clock - EVEN THOUGH, AS I HAVE STRESSED, BOTH ARE GOING AT THE SAME RATE. (...) THE GRAVITATIONAL RED SHIFT DOES NOT ARISE FROM CHANGES IN THE INTRINSIC RATES OF CLOCKS. It arises from WHAT BEFALLS LIGHT SIGNALS AS THEY TRAVERSE SPACE AND TIME IN THE PRESENCE OF GRAVITATION."

However 99% of Einsteinians teach that the intrinsic rates of clocks do vary with the gravitational potential, that is, the gravitational time dilation is a "physical" concept:

http://student.fizika.org/~jsisko/Knjige/Klasicna%20
Mehanika/David%20Morin/CH13.PDF

David Morin: "The equivalence principle has a striking consequence concerning the behavior of clocks in a gravitational field. It implies that higher clocks run faster than lower clocks. If you put a watch on top of a tower, and then stand on the ground, you will see the watch on the tower tick faster than an identical watch on your wrist. When you take the watch down and compare it to the one on your wrist, it will show more time elapsed."

Where is the truth?

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

report post as inappropriate

John Merryman replied on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 16:55 GMT
Pentcho,

Both are relativistic effects. Gravity does effectively slow the clock rate. Though I might argue, not because of some four dimensional geometry dictating how fast the clock functions, but because gravity is equivalent to acceleration and acceleration slows the atomic processes, since the internal processes and external velocities cannot add up to being faster than light. So the clock does tick slower.

While the limits to which light can transmit information distorts perception of time in other frames.

report post as inappropriate

Pentcho Valev replied on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 17:20 GMT
Einstein said in 1911 that gravitational time dilation would take place even in a HOMOGENEOUS gravitational field. This means that the two clocks (at the top and at the bottom of the tower) are in EXACTLY THE SAME immediate environment (experience EXACTLY THE SAME gravitational field) and yet one of them runs faster than the other. Clearly such an effect without any cause is absurd so Stephen Hawking, just like Banesh Hoffmann, hints at the REAL effect: As light travels upward in the earth's gravitational field, it loses SPEED:

http://www.amazon.com/Brief-History-Time-Stephen-Hawking/dp/
0553380168

Stephen Hawking: "Another prediction of general relativity is that time should appear to slower near a massive body like the earth. This is because there is a relation between the energy of light and its frequency (that is, the number of waves of light per second): the greater the energy, the higher frequency. As light travels upward in the earth's gravitational field, it loses energy, and so its frequency goes down. (This means that the length of time between one wave crest and the next goes up.) To someone high up, it would appear that everything down below was making longer to happen. This prediction was tested in 1962, using a pair of very accurate clocks mounted at the top and bottom of a water tower. The clock at the bottom, which was nearer the earth, was found to run slower, in exact agreement with general relativity."

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

report post as inappropriate

John Merryman wrote on Oct. 17, 2011 @ 17:09 GMT
I thought I would post a link to this article, since it was on learning the universe appears flat, over twenty years ago, that first clued me to the possibility of other interpretations of cosmology might be possible.

If space is flat, then expansion is balanced by gravitational contraction and there would be no need for it to ever be otherwise, since a convection cycle of expanding radiation and contracting mass would be far more logical than assuming we happen to exist at a point where they just happen to balance.

While this article discusses the fact it was only proven by COBE and WMAP, it had been theorized much earlier.

report post as inappropriate

Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Oct. 19, 2011 @ 00:07 GMT
Gravity, invisible and visible, is key to distance in/of space. Look at the eye. Look down at the ground. Close your eyes. See the black/inertial space of the eye/body? Vision begins invisibly inside the eye/body. See where it ends at the ground/feet? This is fundamental to understanding gravity.

report post as inappropriate
Author Frank Martin DiMeglio replied on Oct. 19, 2011 @ 00:12 GMT
Therefore, space that is equally (and both) invisible and visible is key to fundamentally and ultimately understanding gravity.

report post as inappropriate

Paul Reed wrote on Oct. 19, 2011 @ 13:27 GMT
Peter/Tom

On the subject of the Twin Paradox. Leaving aside possible length alteration (this is not my idea, they said it, so I keep raising it as a marker), this 'paradox' is easily explained as an optical illusion. But, of course, it was not to do with optical illusions, but length contraction, as far as they were concerned.

Anyway, the optical illusion is as follows:

Light is the information medium in an experience based on sight. As light travels, there is a delay between the existence of a state and its perception. That delay will vary as a function of the individual spaces involved, and the speed with which the light travelled in each experience. Whilst the perceived order of sequence will never vary, assuming that light has a reasonable degree of constancy of movement (ie is not fundamentally erratic).

The perceived rate of change of a sequence will remain the same, so long as the on-going relative spatial position remains constant amongst everything involved. Because, while the value of the delay is different depending on each individual space, it remains constant. However, when relative individual space is altering, then the perceived rate of change alters, because the delay is ever increasing (or decreasing) at a rate which depends on the rate at which individual spaces are altering. It is a perceptual illusion. The intrinsic rate of change (duration, in reality) in the sequence being experienced does not alter, either in order to create this effect, or as a consequence of this effect being realised.

Ageing was the wrong example to use, hand waving would have worked, as an optical illusion. Ageing was an analogy to length contraction, ie the twin, as matter, 'slows down'. It was a poor example all round, but that does not disprove length contraction.

Paul

report post as inappropriate

wilton.alano@gmail.com wrote on Oct. 22, 2011 @ 16:31 GMT
Dear Pencho,

The reason for the clock at the bottom to be found to run slower is simple: close to the earth the gravity force is stronger and so, all particles of the clock near to the ground were braked, slowing time measurement - not time elapsing in all places.

By other hand, once time a measure of matter motion, 'time' is really slow closer to a massive corpse, so measurement was right.

But, nothing related to "general relativity".

report post as inappropriate

Don Limuti (digitalwavetheory.com) wrote on Oct. 23, 2011 @ 06:48 GMT
Wow Lev what a thread you started a few posts back. It was so long (55) that I thought it best to post here. Other wise it would never be found.

1. I agree with you completely, the current mathematics that is used to describe physical reality is lacking (a lot). Your attempt to remedy this is to be commended.

2. I have appreciated your suggestions in my work and have changed what I have called Planck Thingies to Planck Instances, thanks for prompting me. I am sticking with the term wavelenght hopping, still cannot find anything better.

3. Check out www.digitalwavetheory.com sections 33 to 42. You will probably still consider it on the lunatic fringe ..... but it might generate some ideas for your own work.

John Merryman posted that "There is only what is present. It's the events that come and go".

This may be true in a psychological sense, but I believe it is nonsense physics until we get a good (scientific) model of what "present" means.

I have made an attempt at modeling "now" see: http://www.digitalwavetheory.com/DWT/42_The_Arrow_of_Time.ht
ml

It also gives an explanation of the arrow of time quite different than those presented in this blog.

Thanks to all in this most interesting blog.

Don L.

report post as inappropriate
Paul Reed replied on Oct. 23, 2011 @ 08:37 GMT
Don

Defining the 'present' is very easy. It is that which, at any given point in time, exists.

Finding it, is somewhat more difficult!! This is due to two fundamental variables: a) we are only aware of it later, b) we are only aware of it via a representation of it, brought to us by a medium. That is, for every existent state in reality (present), there are also existent sensory representations of it (light, air waves, etc). The two are different, and independent of us. We do not sense (see, hear, etc) reality (that which is existent) directly, and there is a delay between existence and receipt of information. Unfortunately(!), though rather obviously, the only way we can know the present (or indeed previous presents-ie the past)is by extrapolating it from resultant individual perceptions. In a scientific situation, this is not too bad, but one still has to regress the process in order to discern what instigated it (ie a present).

Paul

report post as inappropriate

John Merryman replied on Oct. 23, 2011 @ 14:48 GMT
Don,

I see the effect of time as emergent, so terms describing certain aspects of it can be little fuzzy. As Paul says, it's what exists. Yet any perception of existence is subjective and there can be no such thing as an objective perspective on existence. Scientific or otherwise, models only model existence.

report post as inappropriate

Paul Reed replied on Oct. 24, 2011 @ 07:25 GMT
John

Now you know what I an going to say next, because I have said it many times.

There is such a thing as an objective perspective on existence. We live in a closed system of existence, we cannot transcend it. Therefore, WITHIN that, which is all we have, there are absolutes. We can know. We can have objective perspectives. Indeed, if from within these valid limitations, there is no objectivity, then 'all bets are off', it is complete anarchy, and we might as well all pack up and go home.

Paul

report post as inappropriate

Anonymous wrote on Oct. 23, 2011 @ 23:08 GMT
Hi John and Paul,

If I were addressing a general public I would use the words "present" and "existence" as you do.

One of my favorite philosophers Zeno (and Parmenides) favored the use of one word "being" as encompassing present and existence. However, there was no understanding it, being was "The Reality". I find this to be more honest than me using phrases like "the present is that which, at any given point in time, exists". A bunch of words that makes it seem that I know what I am talking about and that would not doubt carry a lot of weight in a philosophy class.

It is not that this view of the present moment is wrong, but I believe we can make models to give the concept of "the present" more meaning.

Don L.

report post as inappropriate
John Merryman replied on Oct. 23, 2011 @ 23:54 GMT
Don,

We can always make the models more descriptive. The question is how to best taylor the model to the issue it seeks to address. There is an academic tendency to to over paint the picture and the result ends up just being shades of brown to anyone trying to make sense of it. Perspective is subjective and too much information tends to cancel out the usefulness and focus.

report post as inappropriate

John Merryman replied on Oct. 24, 2011 @ 02:22 GMT
That would be tailer....

report post as inappropriate

Georgina Parry replied on Oct. 26, 2011 @ 20:50 GMT
OK Paul,

All of the paradoxes involve some kind of error of comprehension. The extreme nature of the paradox highlights the problem. They all arise because though relativity can stand alone mathematically it is an incomplete model of reality.

Both barn-pole and twins ignore the unobserved reality that exists simultaneously beneath perception. Taking observation of time dilation or of length contraction to be what is happening to the actualised object itself. The observed "object" (manifestation) is regarded as the object (actualisation). Andromeda paradox too ignores the unobserved reality and mistakenly assumes that the reality that would be formed from observation always pertains.

There is no consideration that observation from received data is creating a manifestation that is different from the -simultaneously existing- actualisation. THAT = ILLUSION !! As the concept of objects in space with absolute dimensions was superseded by relativity.

The framework I have set out allows all of these paradoxes to be overcome, as well as answering numerous other questions. Perhaps when you have worked out what Einstein was saying for yourself you will be able to appreciate my work.

report post as inappropriate

Pentcho Valev wrote on Feb. 10, 2012 @ 13:05 GMT
Water Violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Consider the "somewhat mysterious" pressure emerging between and PUSHING APART the plates of a constant-charge capacitor immersed in water:

http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Electromagnetic-Theory-Mo
dern-Perspective/dp/0763738271

Introduction to Electromagnetic Theory: A Modern Perspective, Tai Chow, p. 267: "Calculations...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate
Pentcho Valev replied on Feb. 10, 2012 @ 18:51 GMT
Water Violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics II

http://farside.ph.utexas.edu/teaching/jk1/lectures/node44.
html

"However, in experiments in which a capacitor is submerged in a dielectric liquid the force per unit area exerted by one plate on another is observed to decrease... (...) This apparent paradox can be explained by taking into account the difference in liquid pressure in the field filled space between the plates and the field free region outside the capacitor."

So the pressure difference will constantly pump water through a small hole punched in one of the plates, won't it?

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

report post as inappropriate

Pentcho Valev replied on Feb. 13, 2012 @ 11:54 GMT
The following reasoning by Granville Sewell is valid (and not necessarily leads to creationist conclusions):

http://www.math.utep.edu/Faculty/sewell/AML_349
7.pdf

A second look at the second law, Granville Sewell, Mathematics Department, University of Texas, El Paso, United States: "If an increase in order is extremely improbable when a system is closed ["isolated" is more correct], it is still extremely improbable when the system is open, unless something is entering which makes it not extremely improbable. (...) Order can increase in an open system, not because the laws of probability are suspended when the door is open, but simply because order may walk in through the door.... If we found evidence that DNA, auto parts, computer chips, and books entered through the Earth's atmosphere at some time in the past, then perhaps the appearance of humans, cars, computers, and encyclopedias on a previously barren planet could be explained without postulating a violation of the second law here.... But if all we see entering is radiation and meteorite fragments, it seems clear that what is entering through the boundary cannot explain the increase in order observed here."

Natural or artificial devices violating the second law of thermodynamics (converting heat into work cyclically and isothermally) would be commonplace if it were not for a major inconvenience: they function extremely slowly, due to the lack of initial temperature gradient responsible for the heat supply. That is, the lifetime of such a device would prove too short - natural forces would destroy it before considerable amount of work could be produced or even before the anti-second-law behaviour could become noticeable. And, what is even more important, people do not like slow engines. If engines are too slow and cannot make money, then they simply cannot exist and that is a Supreme Law of Nature. Anyone questioning the Supreme Law automatically becomes a "perpetuum mobile of the second kind" constructor, that is, he/she is just as mad as people trying to extract energy out of nothing.

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

report post as inappropriate

T H Ray replied on Feb. 13, 2012 @ 13:31 GMT
"The following reasoning by Granville Sewell is valid ..."

No it isn't.

(Sewell:) ".... But if all we see entering is radiation and meteorite fragments, it seems clear that what is entering through the boundary cannot explain the increase in order observed here."

It can, and does. This tired and easily refuted "intelligent design" argument ignores all the principles of self organization with which we are familiar in both theory and experiment. In plain terms, it discounts our knowledge that while *events* are irreversible, *processes* are not. Thus, there is no boundary to the continuous processes by which inanimate matter self organizes and biological life evolves. This is no contradiction to the laws of thermodynamics.

"Anyone questioning the Supreme Law automatically becomes a "perpetuum mobile of the second kind" constructor, that is, he/she is just as mad as people trying to extract energy out of nothing."

Tom

report post as inappropriate

Eckard Blumschein wrote on Feb. 10, 2012 @ 17:58 GMT
Pentcho,

D=Q/A=K E, w=DE/2. Not even Uffink sees a mystery. I would just appreciate the physicists were more familiar with dipoles in inhomogeneous electric fields when they discussed the experiment by Stern/Gerlach.

Do you really expect any possibility to question irreversible processes? I would rather urgently ask you to deal with Marmet's hint that the correct M&M result was pointless from the very beginning while de Sitter and others disproved the emission theory.

Eckard

report post as inappropriate
Eckard Blumschein replied on Feb. 12, 2012 @ 08:22 GMT
Pentcho,

"So the pressure difference will constantly pump water through a small hole punched in one of the plates, won't it?" No.

You should read carefully all what utexas wrote. They might be horribly poor educators who are jumping between different cases.

But if someone understands the matter she or he avoids being as confused are obviously are you.

"However, in experiments in which a capacitor is submerged in a dielectric liquid the force per unit area exerted by one plate on another is observed to decrease... (...) This" is not paradoxically at all, unless one is unaware of the details.

Eckard

report post as inappropriate

Pentcho Valev wrote on Feb. 14, 2012 @ 14:23 GMT
Logical Aspects of the Second Law of Thermodynamics

What is the probability that an arbitrary Mr. X looks exactly like an arbitrary Mr. Y? Clearly the prior probability is virtually zero. This means that for the argument:

PREMISE: Mr. X and Mr. Y are identical twins.

CONCLUSION: Mr. X looks exactly like Mr. Y.

the combination "false premise, true conclusion" is...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate
T H Ray replied on Feb. 14, 2012 @ 16:18 GMT
As usual, your facts are irrelevant and your logic is full of holes. Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy content of a chosen system, not the unit quantity to which you allude. Therefore, it is *statistical mechanics* that governs heat flow, and which most certainly ranges in all directions -- yet always from hot to cold. Neither nonequilibrium thermodynamics, which characterizes growth and reproduction in biological life, nor the entropic measure of equilibrium thermodynamics, requires an "operator" of the Maxwell's demon type that you propose.

Please, if you are going to change your trolling strategy from relativity to thermodynamics, at least use some material from the 20th century. You are moving ever backward.

Tom

report post as inappropriate

Anonymous replied on Feb. 14, 2012 @ 22:20 GMT
You know Pentcho , if the second law were not true, it would be possible to drive a streamship across the ocean by extracting heat from this ocean.

Furthermore the first law also is essential and cannot be violated !

The real secret Pentcho is to extract this heat, so this enegy and to convert in work !

The Kelvin Planck Statement of the second Law is a beautiful example at my humble opinion. let's take a simple heat engine, with a cold reservoir and a hot reservoir, and so we have a work due to the difference of heat between the two reservoirs !

The most important is that we cannot convert all the heat into work, we loose a part.

But in fact the most important is these words:

the first law denies the possibilityu of creating or destroying energy, and the second law denies the possibility of utilizing energy in a particular way.

We arrive at an important point about the perpetual motion and the rule of this gravity !!! Pentcho, I have found a kind of perpetual motion , but you know the system is difficult. imagine a sphere in rotation in space like our earth which is a kind of perpetual motion, ....see that without gravity, we can imply an energy for the rotations, so the energy, so the mass, ans the time permits to have a paepetual motion, but it is without gravity in theaory. The probelm is that we have the proportions with mass and the spheres and the rotations spinal and orbital. So the perpetual motion is possible with an add like my motor with the totipotence !

Don't forget that the intrinsic energy, this entropy is maximum in all ! We can convert it, but is it essential to utilize all this energy or just a part ?

We could nourrish our planet with one water drop during billions years !

Regards

report post as inappropriate

Pentcho Valev replied on Feb. 14, 2012 @ 23:50 GMT
Water Violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics III

http://farside.ph.utexas.edu/teaching/jk1/lectures/node44
.html

"However, in experiments in which a capacitor is submerged in a dielectric liquid the force per unit area exerted by one plate on another is observed to decrease... (...) This apparent paradox can be explained by taking into account the difference in liquid pressure in the field filled space between the plates and the field free region outside the capacitor."

The pressure difference will constantly pump water through a small hole punched in one of the plates, in violation of the second law of thermodynamics. More effects produced by the mysterious pressure emerging between the plates are shown here (but the author does not consider the pressure as a non-conservative force doing work at the expense of heat absorbed from the surroundings, which misleads him into believing that the law of energy conservation is violated):

http://energythic.com/view.php?node=208

"...force that creates a pressure-difference at the edge of a flat capacitor when merged into a liquid dielectric, and pushes up a liquid column between the plates..."

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

report post as inappropriate

Pentcho Valev wrote on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 12:16 GMT
Water Violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics IV

http://farside.ph.utexas.edu/teaching/jk1/lectures/node44.
html

"However, in experiments in which a capacitor is submerged in a dielectric liquid the force per unit area exerted by one plate on another is observed to decrease... (...) This apparent paradox can be explained by taking into account the difference in liquid pressure in the field filled space between the plates and the field free region outside the capacitor."

The pressure difference will constantly pump water through a small hole punched in one of the plates, in violation of the second law of thermodynamics. The hole could be drilled at the level of points 3 and 5 in FIG. 1 below:

http://pages.csam.montclair.edu/~yecko/ferro/papers/Fu
ndamentals/Brevik_ElecMagnFluids.pdf

Can. J . Phys., 60. 449 (1982), Fluids in electric and magnetic fields: Pressure variation and stability, I. BREVIK: "FIG. 1. Two charged condenser plates partly immersed in a dielectric liquid. (...) FIG. 2. The hydrostatic pressure variation from point 1 to point 5 in Fig. 1."

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

report post as inappropriate
Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 21:27 GMT

My post below was meant to appear in this thread.

Jonathan

report post as inappropriate

Pentcho Valev replied on Mar. 1, 2012 @ 20:20 GMT
New Status of the Second Law of Thermodynamics

http://www.kostic.niu.edu/2ndLaw/2011SecondLaw
-frontmatter.pdf

AIP Conference Proceedings, Volume 1411, Second Law of Thermodynamics: Status and Challenges, San Diego, California, USA 14-15 June 2011: "No physical principle holds greater sway in the natural world than the second law of thermodynamics. It is widely regarded as the quintessential scientific truth, in large part because no exception to it has been recognized by the scientific community during its 150-year history. Over the last 20 years, however, this situation has changed. More than two dozen challenges to it have entered the mainstream scientific literature, the majority of which remain unresolved. (...) Competitions are most exciting when the stakes are high and the competitors evenly matched. After 150 years of preeminence, the second law finds itself in such a contest, where challenges have put its absolute status at risk. The outcome is uncertain, but for the first time it plays in an 'evenly split game.' That is, the second law is in a jeu parti: it is in jeopardy."

Pentcho Valev pvalev@yahoo.com

report post as inappropriate

Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 21:22 GMT
Ha!

The apparent violation of the Second Law is not the same as an actual violation. When observed; it usually means that our understanding of natural law is more feeble than nature's applications thereof, or that we have elevated our limited conceptions beyond their applicability. I think Sewell's paper is an example of this, in that it illustrates the ridiculousness of taking the characterization - that increasing entropy and increasing disorder are identical - a bit too far. The 2nd Law is a law of Thermodynamics.

Harvey Leff, Frank Lambert, and a handful of others, have taken direct aim at that mis-application. They assert that a better conceptual approach is to equate entropy with spreading (in space and time or among possibilities) and dispersal of energy and/or substance. Furthermore; they assert that it is the erroneous association of entropy with disorder that accounts for most of the mistaken examples - so-called violations of the 2nd Law. See the Entropysite for more details, tutorial examples, and links to published papers.

When Scientific American featured on its cover - a few years back - a story about experiments that 'break' the 2nd Law, the actual article by J. Miguel Rubi never spoke about it in those terms. Instead; he explained how the 2nd Law is exquisitely preserved - in those experiments - but that the degrees of freedom available to nature change as one varies the size regime, in the range between the macroscopic and fully quantum-mechanical realms he refers to as the mesoscale. Of course; this shifts the picture from equilibrium to a non-linear and non-equilibrium condition, and forces us to consider how adding energy adds to the reciprocal exchange between modes, as well as to the number of modes available to the system.

The thing is; living organisms already exploit this effect - for fluid transport and other things. And it is because the 2nd Law does work that this is possible. It's only that terms of the equation not present in macroscale examples come to dominate the behavior in the 'mesoscale' domain. I suspect that in the examples cited, we are seeing what happens when the additional degrees of freedom are constrained by the directionality of the electric field, and that any 'pumping' effect which would be observed is at the expense of the supply voltage, ambient heat of the bath, and so on. My guess is that the 2nd Law is not violated in these experiments, at all.

All the Best,

Jonathan

report post as inappropriate
Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 22:05 GMT
Hi Jonathan,

How are you ? Fine I hope.

Have you news of Ray ?Hope he is well .

ps I am totally parano you know ue to these persons in my pc.

report post as inappropriate

Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 22:14 GMT
Hi Steve,

Ray is recovering slowly after a radical heart operation Jan. 9th. I just heard from him today; he's back at home, and he is feeling a bit stronger now.

And to Pentcho;

I wanted to bring to your attention the discussion at Entropysite of the paper on water filling in Carbon nanotubes, which I have attached.

All the Best,

Jonathan

report post as inappropriate

Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Feb. 15, 2012 @ 22:17 GMT
Sorry; file too big!