Log in:  

Register

The Universe: Cosmology, Nature etc.

Grab a short black and come join in the non-cycling discussion. Favourite books, movies, holiday destinations, other sports - chat about it all in the cafe.

Moderators: Irondan, Eshnar, Red Rick, Valv.Piti, Pricey_sky, Tonton, King Boonen

Re: Re:

09 May 2016 19:20

Starstruck wrote:
ScienceIsCool wrote:The gravity waves are caused by two super-massive (black holes, neutron stars, etc) that are just about to collide. As they orbit one another, the distortions in the fabric of space create a wave-like pattern that ripples outwards. Just before the objects collide is when the effect is strongest and therefore "easiest" to detect. And what are they detecting? The wave is actually a contraction of space itself. Imagine that one meter is now less than a meter. Weird huh? But two independent detectors measured such a contraction and the data correlates perfectly. How much of a contraction? 10^-15 meters per meter... Absolutely amazing stuff.

Check it out: https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/

In short, we are not inventing. We are very much observing.

John Swanson


Given the nature of quantum theory I don't know how you can say that with such certainty. Regardless, how is it possible for two black holes to occupy the same area of space, given their inherent (theoretical) properties? There's something wrong/funny with that proposition.


There's nothing wrong with merging black holes. In fact, now we've observed one! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_black_hole

As for quantum, I am very sure we aren't inventing anything. We've measured quantum effects quite exhaustively and use them in our daily lives. Just down the road from me, they're building quantum computers (well, quantum annealers, anyways) at a company called D-Wave. It's all very real.

I think what you're referring to is the idea of how to interpret quantum mechanics - and that has kept philosophers fairly busy as well as the scientists. I'm betting you'd enjoy this Wikipedia entry very much: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpretations_of_quantum_mechanics

The most widely accepted interpretation is called the Copenhagen Interpretation and it's served us quite well. Does it describe the reality of quantum mechanics? We haven't nailed that down yet and there are other possibilities that are being worked on. The Many Worlds Interpretation is one of them and would have multiverses as a consequence.

Note that none of this is "inventing" in any sense. They are hypotheses to describe our observations of quantum mechanics. Much like in the search for the Higgs boson, people are very actively working on ways to test and confirm which hypothesis is correct. Or... in the course of testing we might get a surprising result which would require us to form even newer hypotheses.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the fact that we haven't ruled out the multiverse. :)

John Swanson
ScienceIsCool
Member
 
Posts: 1,432
Joined: 05 Jul 2009 15:34

09 May 2016 19:27

I've thought of an example that might help with the notion of quantum interpretations. Heat. What is heat? As it flows, things get warmer and/or colder. We can write equations to describe that. Some of those equations look an awful like fluid flow.

So is heat an actual fluid? A substance that flows? That's one interpretation and if you thought about it long enough you could come up with some ways to test that.

Another interpretation is that it's the transfer of kinetic energy. Is heat just molecules bumping into one another? Well, it turns out that after much testing, this is the correct "interpretation".

None of this was invention - other than the creativity required to form the hypotheses. They followed from the observations and the math used to describe them.

John Swanson
ScienceIsCool
Member
 
Posts: 1,432
Joined: 05 Jul 2009 15:34

Re:

09 May 2016 19:56

ScienceIsCool wrote:I've thought of an example that might help with the notion of quantum interpretations. Heat. What is heat? As it flows, things get warmer and/or colder. We can write equations to describe that. Some of those equations look an awful like fluid flow.

So is heat an actual fluid? A substance that flows? That's one interpretation and if you thought about it long enough you could come up with some ways to test that.

Another interpretation is that it's the transfer of kinetic energy. Is heat just molecules bumping into one another? Well, it turns out that after much testing, this is the correct "interpretation".

None of this was invention - other than the creativity required to form the hypotheses. They followed from the observations and the math used to describe them.

John Swanson


Ok, so now we're bumping into the core of our misunderstanding as I see it. You've been glazing over a good many things in our discussion as have I, but then I really am ignorant and quite stupid. The above example is very real (illusion), it's within the range of our senses and thus experience and so explanations come rather easily.

So to cut to the chase, so to speak, given the central lesson of quantum theory (as I understand it), beneath the level of appearances (illusion), is there an objective reality or not? Do you still believe in logical positivism and if so how and why in light of the quantum?

ps, I haven't read your links yet but I will. I don't think they'll influence my questions in this post though.
Starstruck
Member
 
Posts: 1,280
Joined: 16 Apr 2016 22:13

09 May 2016 20:32

Yes, I think that there is an objective reality when it comes to science in as much as we demand reproducibility from many independent observers. Logical positivism fits in that sense, and yes I believe it applies to quantum mechanics. Just because we do not understand the mechanisms of quantum decoherence (something going from probability based to determinate after observation) does not mean that we can't apply an objective reality to it. We just don't know which reality it is! There are far too many unknowns to be able to say that any particular interpretation (Copenhagen, many worlds, etc) is the correct one.

As an example, take quantum entanglement. It is very real and is used in all kinds of experiments around the world. This is an objective reality. The issue is that we don't know how it works! Spooky action at a distance is how it's been described. Some have speculated pre-determinism, which would have profound philosophical implications. However, that would require a "hidden variable" that travels with the particle and to the best of my knowledge that has been ruled out.

John Swanson
ScienceIsCool
Member
 
Posts: 1,432
Joined: 05 Jul 2009 15:34

Re: Re:

09 May 2016 20:35

Starstruck wrote:
ScienceIsCool wrote:I've thought of an example that might help with the notion of quantum interpretations. Heat. What is heat? As it flows, things get warmer and/or colder. We can write equations to describe that. Some of those equations look an awful like fluid flow.

So is heat an actual fluid? A substance that flows? That's one interpretation and if you thought about it long enough you could come up with some ways to test that.

Another interpretation is that it's the transfer of kinetic energy. Is heat just molecules bumping into one another? Well, it turns out that after much testing, this is the correct "interpretation".

None of this was invention - other than the creativity required to form the hypotheses. They followed from the observations and the math used to describe them.

John Swanson


Ok, so now we're bumping into the core of our misunderstanding as I see it. You've been glazing over a good many things in our discussion as have I, but then I really am ignorant and quite stupid. The above example is very real (illusion), it's within the range of our senses and thus experience and so explanations come rather easily.

So to cut to the chase, so to speak, given the central lesson of quantum theory (as I understand it), beneath the level of appearances (illusion), is there an objective reality or not? Do you still believe in logical positivism and if so how and why in light of the quantum?

ps, I haven't read your links yet but I will. I don't think they'll influence my questions in this post though.


btw, I (think I) know this is the gulf that string theory is attempting to traverse so I don't really expect a comprehensive answer.
Last edited by Starstruck on 09 May 2016 21:57, edited 1 time in total.
Starstruck
Member
 
Posts: 1,280
Joined: 16 Apr 2016 22:13

Re:

09 May 2016 21:38

ScienceIsCool wrote:Yes, I think that there is an objective reality when it comes to science in as much as we demand reproducibility from many independent observers. Logical positivism fits in that sense, and yes I believe it applies to quantum mechanics. Just because we do not understand the mechanisms of quantum decoherence (something going from probability based to determinate after observation) does not mean that we can't apply an objective reality to it. We just don't know which reality it is! There are far too many unknowns to be able to say that any particular interpretation (Copenhagen, many worlds, etc) is the correct one.

As an example, take quantum entanglement. It is very real and is used in all kinds of experiments around the world. This is an objective reality. The issue is that we don't know how it works! Spooky action at a distance is how it's been described. Some have speculated pre-determinism, which would have profound philosophical implications. However, that would require a "hidden variable" that travels with the particle and to the best of my knowledge that has been ruled out.

John Swanson


oK, that was a pretty great answer so I'm just riffing (talking out my *** as usual). As all of these independent observers have a similar perspective (ape shape) and are further educated along the same lines (do I have to refine, define and extrapolate - I'm lazy and dumb?), the obvious question is how independent is their observation? If similar minds replicate a similar experiment wouldn't a very plastic non-reality provide similar results?

"does not mean that we can't apply an objective reality to it." Is the invention in the application?

"We just don't know which reality it is!" Maybe it's infinitely malleable and simply subject to refined parameters (that humans can create).

"Spooky action at a distance is how it's been described." Maybe this is the intentionality that's stumping neuroscience? It used to be called relationship in archaic times.

"Some have speculated pre-determinism, which would have profound philosophical implications. However, that would require a "hidden variable" that travels with the particle and to the best of my knowledge that has been ruled out." Would that be the observer? Intentionality again?
Starstruck
Member
 
Posts: 1,280
Joined: 16 Apr 2016 22:13

10 May 2016 00:04

I'm climbing that Dunning-Kruger curve (people with a bit of knowledge can't recognize that they aren't experts...) as we dip into string theory, metaphysics and the like, so I will only give a partial answer.

Entanglement binds two particles together in a fundamental way. Let's say one has spin "up", then the other *must* have spin "down". The problem is that each particle behaves as though it has both spins simultaneously until you measure one of them. Then the spin is determined for both particles. One up and one down.

Now let's say you entangle two particles and then separate them to opposite sides of the continent. When you measure one to be spin up, the other instantaneously becomes spin down. Instantaneous as in faster than the speed of light, no time at all, it becomes spin down. That is what is referred to as "spooky action at a distance".

The thought was maybe there's some hidden variable we don't know about that gets set (i.e., particle becomes spin up or down) at the time of entanglement. We just can't observe that variable until we observe the particle. In other words, the spin was predetermines at entanglement. Well, that was ruled out. So what's left? Instantaneous, faster than light communication? That is, errr... problematic.

This all becomes great fodder for the philosopher at meta-physicist, but there's still plenty of objective reality based physics left to test before we get to the "weird" stuff. Plus, we know that the standard model of particle physics is incomplete (dark matter, gravity, etc) and we can't resolve quantum gravity, so it might just very well be that this will all shake out once we get a new model of the universe.

John Swanson
ScienceIsCool
Member
 
Posts: 1,432
Joined: 05 Jul 2009 15:34

Re:

10 May 2016 00:14

ScienceIsCool wrote:I'm climbing that Dunning-Kruger curve (people with a bit of knowledge can't recognize that they aren't experts...) as we dip into string theory, metaphysics and the like, so I will only give a partial answer.

Entanglement binds two particles together in a fundamental way. Let's say one has spin "up", then the other *must* have spin "down". The problem is that each particle behaves as though it has both spins simultaneously until you measure one of them. Then the spin is determined for both particles. One up and one down.

Now let's say you entangle two particles and then separate them to opposite sides of the continent. When you measure one to be spin up, the other instantaneously becomes spin down. Instantaneous as in faster than the speed of light, no time at all, it becomes spin down. That is what is referred to as "spooky action at a distance".

The thought was maybe there's some hidden variable we don't know about that gets set (i.e., particle becomes spin up or down) at the time of entanglement. We just can't observe that variable until we observe the particle. In other words, the spin was predetermines at entanglement. Well, that was ruled out. So what's left? Instantaneous, faster than light communication? That is, errr... problematic.

This all becomes great fodder for the philosopher at meta-physicist, but there's still plenty of objective reality based physics left to test before we get to the "weird" stuff. Plus, we know that the standard model of particle physics is incomplete (dark matter, gravity, etc) and we can't resolve quantum gravity, so it might just very well be that this will all shake out once we get a new model of the universe.

John Swanson


lol, you're focused on observations but at this level isn't it the observer that determines what is observed as there's no objective reality? Anyway, have fun trying to define all the "observations". If there's no travel, there's no speed of light. Maybe the "spin" is all in your head - instantaneous. I don't know.
Starstruck
Member
 
Posts: 1,280
Joined: 16 Apr 2016 22:13

26 May 2016 17:11

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/05/machos-make-a-return-with-gravitational-wave-discovery/

Crazy exciting to think that Dark Matter might be MaCHOs big stuff like black holes and neutron stars) after all rather than WIMPs (small particles that only interact via gravity). Not only that, but we might have a way to observe them via gravity waves. Too cool.

John Swanson
ScienceIsCool
Member
 
Posts: 1,432
Joined: 05 Jul 2009 15:34

09 Jun 2016 18:51

Bob Lazar predicted gravity waves when he explained how UFOs work. Alien spacecraft amplify gravity waves according to him. It isn't the first time one of his predictions are fist mocked and many years later accepted as mainstream by the scientific community. :D
Wantington Jr.
New Member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: 09 Jun 2016 14:33

09 Jun 2016 21:28

Dammmmit man. you gave yourself away with that post.
User avatar Semper Fidelis
Veteran
 
Posts: 8,308
Joined: 07 Dec 2010 15:53
Location: New Orleans

09 Jun 2016 21:30

This thread should be in the clinic. It'd fit right in with all the other threads rife with the logically fallacious.
User avatar Alex Simmons/RST
Senior Member
 
Posts: 2,075
Joined: 10 Mar 2009 23:47
Location: Australia

09 Jun 2016 21:39

TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO bad we cant move it to OZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
User avatar Semper Fidelis
Veteran
 
Posts: 8,308
Joined: 07 Dec 2010 15:53
Location: New Orleans

Re:

12 Jun 2016 18:19

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:This thread should be in the clinic. It'd fit right in with all the other threads rife with the logically fallacious.

It's a pity, a fact-based thread about science would be cool.
Check 'em!
User avatar CheckMyPecs
Senior Member
 
Posts: 2,400
Joined: 14 Mar 2016 09:24
Location: SW Europe

Re: Re:

12 Jun 2016 19:37

CheckMyPecs wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:This thread should be in the clinic. It'd fit right in with all the other threads rife with the logically fallacious.

It's a pity, a fact-based thread about science would be cool.


So don't complain, start discussing the "facts". I'll stay out of it. You guys could be up for multiple Nobel prizes if you can logically explain paradox. Good luck.
Starstruck
Member
 
Posts: 1,280
Joined: 16 Apr 2016 22:13

Re: The Universe: Cosmology, Nature etc.

06 Jul 2016 22:52

The Juno voyage to Jupiter is another extraordinary scientific achievement. I am just in awe of what these astrophysicists do. So much time, effort and money is on the line, the slightest glitch can blow it all, and they pulled it off.

There were so many obstacles to overcome. The satellite is powered by three wing-like solar panels, which had to be folded in for the satellite to fit in the nose cone of the rocket launch; then they had to unfold perfectly when the satellite was ejected from the final stage. Juno orbited the earth for about two years, gaining speed, then was flung towards Jupiter, another three years' journey. When it got close to the planet, it had to fire engines in just the right direction to slow it down just enough to fall into the planet's orbit. Now in that orbit, there are enormous amounts of radiation that the satellite and its delicate scientific instruments have to be protected from, as well as extremes of temperature.

So far, everything has gone off virtually perfectly, and data are being sent back. The most interesting thing I learned is that it's thought that when our sun eventually burns out, and becomes a red giant that swallows the earth, Jupiter will remain. One of its moons, Europa, has water or ice, and could conceivably be home to life that survives that on earth. Through a process known as tidal flexing, frictional forces provide an energy source, so the sun's radiation would not be necessary to support life on this moon. Key elements may be transported to Europa from another moon orbiting Jupiter, Io, which has heavy volcanic activity.
Merckx index
Senior Member
 
Posts: 3,147
Joined: 27 Jul 2010 19:19

07 Jul 2016 00:13

When does electricity get it's due?
http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/hubble-captures-vivid-auroras-in-jupiter-s-atmosphere

Gravity, yada yada - there appears to be more going on.

Hopefully further study of our sun will yield results. .
Starstruck
Member
 
Posts: 1,280
Joined: 16 Apr 2016 22:13

Re: The Universe: Cosmology, Nature etc.

07 Jul 2016 04:06

Merckx index wrote:The Juno voyage to Jupiter is another extraordinary scientific achievement. I am just in awe of what these astrophysicists do. So much time, effort and money is on the line, the slightest glitch can blow it all, and they pulled it off.

There were so many obstacles to overcome. The satellite is powered by three wing-like solar panels, which had to be folded in for the satellite to fit in the nose cone of the rocket launch; then they had to unfold perfectly when the satellite was ejected from the final stage. Juno orbited the earth for about two years, gaining speed, then was flung towards Jupiter, another three years' journey. When it got close to the planet, it had to fire engines in just the right direction to slow it down just enough to fall into the planet's orbit. Now in that orbit, there are enormous amounts of radiation that the satellite and its delicate scientific instruments have to be protected from, as well as extremes of temperature.

So far, everything has gone off virtually perfectly, and data are being sent back. The most interesting thing I learned is that it's thought that when our sun eventually burns out, and becomes a red giant that swallows the earth, Jupiter will remain. One of its moons, Europa, has water or ice, and could conceivably be home to life that survives that on earth. Through a process known as tidal flexing, frictional forces provide an energy source, so the sun's radiation would not be necessary to support life on this moon. Key elements may be transported to Europa from another moon orbiting Jupiter, Io, which has heavy volcanic activity.


Just so you know, Europa is already a prime candidate for life in our solar system. The leading candidate in fact. The tidal forces you're talking about are responsible for what is thought to be a planet-wide sub-surface ocean of liquid water! So instead of the sun, you have friction forces providing the heat. Add water and a chemical soup. Our history says that's all you need to create life. And just like our atmosphere protecting us from the solar wind, all that water would protect very well against the radioactive blast from jupiter's magnetic field.

John Swanson
ScienceIsCool
Member
 
Posts: 1,432
Joined: 05 Jul 2009 15:34

Previous

Return to General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

Back to top