10-07-07, 09:11 PM #1
The Copenhagen Interpretation
I've noticed a staggering amount of peeps round here do not know the in's and out's of the Copenhagen Interpetation. For those who would like to learn more about it,i've carefully selected chapters and parts from my book that explain this bizarre world.
The Matter That Most Counts
One of the biggest mysteries concerning physics today is the role of the observer. The world of the mind has captured the imaginations of some of the biggest giants in the world of physics... and with good reason. We learn that the observer must play one of the most important parts in what we call reality. Hence, a physicist is compelled to say, 'the mind is reality,' and in this chapter, we will investigate why physics is driven into believing this statement.
The observer plays one of the biggest roles in physics - but unfortunately, it isn't explored enough i feel. Theoretical physicist, Fred Alan Wolf has written many tributes to the theory of consciousness. Physicist and mathematician Erwin Schrödinger, most famous for 'Schrödinger’s cat paradox' also dedicated a lot time to the observer. Niels Bohr, the founder of the 'Copenhagen interpretation' showed us the effects of the observer on the observed. Einstein himself brought back the role of the observer, in many examples such as the 'twin paradox', the 'train-platform game of catch,' the 'grandfather paradox', the 'EPR paradox', ECT.
The EPR paradox is by physicists Einstein, Boris (Podolsky) and Nathan (Rosen). It raises the question of the state of one half of a system that was previously attached to the other system. If one half of the system is observed and measured, what happens to the other half? Well, whatever is determined for the half being observed, instantly determines the other system, even though it is no longer connected to it. The paradox is how this happens. The research on the EPR is still on-going, and the results of physicist Alain Aspect showed a connection of entangled behavior in 1996.
I can understand why Einstein was highly critical of physics; considering half of the unsolvable paradox's came from him. Even 'Schrödinger’s cat' was inspired by Einstein. It was as though Einstein was out on a mission to show everyone of the world that quantum physics was strange, and there was nothing we could do about it - and this included the paradoxical world of the observer.
Though, as physics and our assumptions about physics progress, we are only just beginning to understanding some of the mysteries concerning consciousness. Just recently, physics made a big turn around. In the last decade of the 20th century, physicists proposed that gravity might be responsible for the mental phenomena of consciousness. Quantum gravity is known to keep our planets and stars in their galactic orbits, but it also exists at the subatomic level - and if it does, that must mean it exists inside of my head. The force of gravity might have a special influence on the electrons and hydrogen atoms whizzing around in my brain!
This is an important discovery. If it is true, it will revolutionize our ways of thinking. We can only hope that now more discoveries on mind will arise in the future. There are already a lot of documented works on consciousness, as i said previously, and we will investigate a lot of those in this chapter.
Some of these ideas will lead us into considering that there is no such thing as free-will. We will also see how the mind directly influences the properties of whatever it observes, as the information travels superluminal (faster-than-light) through time and space. These quantum waves are best described by physicist John G. Cramer. A collapse of the wave function occurs, only when two quantum waves travel through time, one travels forward in time, and the other wave travel backwards through time; then the waves meet in the present and they multiply. This multiplication is called the collapse. The original wave can only multiply with it’s complex conjugate.
Multiplying two answers to obtain a single answer is common in everyday life. You might remember the mathematical formulae from school. Here are a few to example;
1. Force = mass x acceleration
2. Velocity = frequency x wavelength
3. Volume = area of base x height
4. Area = half the length of base x perpendicular height
Once they multiply, the 'transaction', as Cramer terms it, is complete. He feels that using these quantum waves helps in teaching how they work. It is after all, understandable. It is quite an elementary way of looking at it all.
Let's have a look at Schrödinger’s Cat. It refers to a cat that is locked up in a box, and inside the box is a device that will or will not emit poisonous gasses. Einstein had previously suggested a similar paradox, but involved an unstable keg of gunpowder instead of a cat. It suggests that if no one looks into the box, the cat has 50/50 chance. One it could be alive, or two it could be dead. Is the cat dead or alive?
Schrödinger just took the next step in applying quantum mechanics to an entity that may or may not be conscious, to illustrate the putative inconsistency of quantum mechanics when going from microscopic to macroscopic events, (the world of objects the eye can see directly). He once wrote;
'One can even set up quite ridiculas cases. A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat) - in a Geiger counter there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small, that perhaps in the course of one hour at least one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges and through a relay releases a hammer which shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid. If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The psi-function of this entire system would express this by having in it the living and the dead cat mixed, or smeared out in equal parts... which can be resolved by direct observation. That prevents us from so naively accepting as valid a 'blurred model' for representing reality. In itself, it would not embody anything unclear or contradictory. There is a difference between a shaky or out-of-focus photograph and snapshot of clouds and fog banks.'
So... after one hour, is the cat dead or alive (1)? In the parallel universe model (even though Schrödinger never considered the many worlds theory in his paradox), the cat is both dead and alive. The cat will have split the universe into two, with a happy living cat in one universe, and a dead smeared cat in another.
The Copenhagen interpretation says that a system halts when an observation takes place. Schrödinger’s cat will be in a superpositioning until such an observation is performed - until then the experiment will exist as 'decayed nucleus/dead cat' simultaneous with 'undecayed' nucleus/living cat.' This is the effect of the quantum wave function until any observation is carried out, (no such thing as a collapse happens in the parallel universe theory. Instead, the observer and the observed become involved in a split). However, Schrödinger did not make this experiment to example the split.
According to the Copenhagen school of thought, the amount of uncertainty for complex quantum systems is predicted by 'quantum decoherence.' Particles which exchange photons become so entangled with each other that the uncertainty in a macroscopic system, like a cat, is almost zero - this means we can say that the cat is no longer dead and alive, but rather is one or the other - one (the cat is alive) or zero (the cat is dead).
'Wigner’s Friend,' by physicists Eugene Wigner, is an extension of Schrödinger’s Cat. It is meant to provoke thought. Professor Wigner stands outside of the room, ready to look in to see Wigner’s friend looking at the cat. Is Wigner’s friend in a happy state, or a sad state?
Eugene Wigner designed the experiment to highlight how he believed consciousness is a requisite for mathematical measurement process - if a material device is substituted for Wigner’s friend, the wave function hasn't collapsed and superpositioning continues. However, he also reasons that a conscious observer must be in one state or the other.
In next part, we shall have a look at the effects of the wave function in the mind. Though, for now, i will leave you with some quotations all to do with the observer and the universe.
'We ourselves can bring about into existence only very small-scale properties, like the spin of the electron. Might it require intelligent beings, 'more conscious' than ourselves to bring into existence the electrons and other particles?
Barrow and Tipler, 'the Anthropic Principle.'
'No photon exists until a detector fires, only a developing potentiality. Particle-like and wave-like behavior are properties we ascribe to light. Without us, light has no properties, no existence. There is no independent reality for phenomena nor agencies of observation.'
'The world in Copenhagen interpretation is merely potential before our observation, and is actual afterwards.'
Bryce S. DeWitt
'We have to imagine the system a-attentively trying out all potentialities out of which one actually emerges.'
'There is always a triple correspondence;
1. A mental image, which is in our minds and not in the external world
2. Some kind of counterpart in the external world, which is inscrutable in nature
3. A set of pointer readings, which exact science can study and connect with other pointer readings
To put the conclusion crudely - the stuff of the world is 'mind stuff'. '
Sir Arthur Eddington
and Quantum Waves
‘Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in
time future, and time future
contained in time past.'
T. S. Eliot
Human Mind is -
A state of continued being with intelligence and the capability of understanding surroundings.
This is how i define the human mind, without bringing in the complexities of physics. A quantum mind equals quantum rules... and this can come to mean a lot when considering the mind. The mind is governed by the principles of quantum mechanics. Take for instance, whenever a mind attempts to remember an event. A mind does no such thing as rummaging through a file of memories like a search system on a computer... no... it actually recreates that past event inside our neural networks, as if it where happening there and then. We can do such a thing when two quantum waves multiply. An echo wave (a wave that travels backwards in time), and an offer wave (a wave that travels forwards in time). When the two waves multiply, a collapse of the wave function takes place. This is physicists John G. Cramers wave function interpretation.
When Einstein considered the collapse, he said that he could not believe that such drastic changes in our universe would take place in the event of a mouse. We know now to consider that intelligence has a lot to do with it. A mouse could not collapse the wave function. In fact, only be mammals that can think with enough intelligence can collapse the wave function, like a living thing capable to make the distinction between an object that is red, with an object that is yellow. A mouse does not know the difference, so no collapse would occur.
However, with consciousness comes many problems. Not only is there the trouble of whenever we come to observe something, but also the problem of how the phenomenon of consciousness arises. Is it really just a case of enough electrons rubbing off each other in my brain? Well, many candidates are responsible for my aware matter...
One candidate might be the wave function and the collapse and out of which 'pops' intelligence, as we have seen previously. There is also the weakest force, gravity, also mentioned as a possible candidate.
How is gravity the weakest force?
I remember when someone came to me and said, 'you think gravity is weak? Just walk off the edge of a building and tell me if you are still saying the same thing!' He was quite serious, however, there is a reason why physicists believe that gravity is the weakest force.
Let us have a look at the other forces. The weak is responsible for all particle emissions and decays, such as a decay of a neutron into a proton. The strong forces, hold all particles inside the nucleus together, we think through the presence of the gluon. If you take all matter into consideration, all 10^80 particles in our universe, that is a lot of force for both electroweak and strong. The electromagnetic force is also very strong. Have you ever wondered why matter simply doesn't flow through other matter when it comes into contact with each other? The reason why my hand doesn't simply pass through a mirror (for example), is because of a force known as 'electro-static propulsion'.
There are billions of negatively-charged electrons whizzing around in my hand. They act like magnets, all pushing against each other, and off foreign bodies. It is natures way of having a Universe so 'chock-a-block' with hard matter. This is because of the electromagnetic forces. Now comes gravity. This is indeed the weakest force in our universe, even though it has disastrous consequences for a biological entity like myself, if i walked off the edge of a building. You can be sure, when i reached the bottom, my particles will be splattered on the ground against the force.... so technically, it was the electromagnetic resistant force that obliterated my body. Gravity only helped me along the way.
Now, the mystery of consciousness might be answered through the presence of gravity. As you should have seen in the previous parts, there is no matter, without the presence of gravity. In fact, gravity is matter. If gravity governs the relationship of all matter, from the galactic orbits to the particles inside of my brain, then gravity might have something to do with the phenomenon of consciousness. That, in mediation with the Uncertainty Principle, and the Collapse of the Wave Function (we shall see later that Fred A. Wolf believes the Uncertainty Principle has a lot to do with consciousness).
And there is the 4th dimension, the imaginary dimension of space. Time is mind. Both are so entangled, physicists see neither as being separate as two different things.
Where there is mind, there is a boundary between what is past and what is future, that, and we are smack in the middle; we call this the present moment. We move through time, and leave the present behind us, turning it into past, thus the mind is the best system that is able to know what a past event is to a future event. In much the same sense, one might say that the present/consciousness is a sandwich creation of both past and future. Somehow, the past determines the present, and the future plays a statistical role in the present. In fact, one might even say that the present is a potentiality of futures and a construct of all past events - after all, the present is nothing more than an ensemble of all that was past. As physicist John A. Wheeler put it once;
''The past has no existence except as it is recorded in the present.''
Every time we come to observe something, these quantum waves comb time, from past, as far back as the big bang to the present, and one from the Big Crunch, the future to the present. Now, the waves stop and will cancel out if they are meaningless. As you can guess, it would be meaningless if it does not multiply with a second wave coming from the past, ultimately collapsing the wave function.
The collapse creates reality - and the collapse happens whenever we come to measure the properties of a quantum system. However, if this is so, a question arises. How did the universe begin, if there was no observer to witness the events of Big Bang?
According to Quantum Physics, because there was no observer around at Big Bang, all possible start-up positions had to arise side-by-side, because no resolution was ever made to distinguish one from another. Now, physics can be a bit tedious at times. To get around our misunderstandings we can apply some rather ridiculas examples to explain how we are supposed to envision situations.
To explain this 'superpositioning' in the very beginning, I’m going to use a classic analogy - one you may have heard of, or seen in cartoons; it is the 100 monkeys all typing away randomly on type writers... statistics says, that if you give these hypothetical monkeys long enough, they will eventually write a famous piece of work, like Shakespeare's, 'A Midsummer Nights Dream...'
Now, you can imagine these monkeys being the equivalent of the universe 15 billion years ago - bare with me on this, as bizarre as it might sound - imagine that these random pushing’s of buttons resembled the universe at time zero, a attentively flicking through all possible start up positions.
You can think about the statistics with the monkeys for a second. The chances they would create a 'Shakespearean' play runs into billions upon billions upon billions - almost unthinkable numbers - granted, that the monkeys would eventually do so, in the matter of 10 years, to 10 billion years. The product of this play, is equivalent to the product of everything visible today. Whether one considers the start up condition chosen by the universe as nothing but a fluke, or some divine purpose or otherwise, it is truly remarkable.
This superpositioning at the beginning means that every outcome lay as a potential, totally superimposed upon each other, like layers on a cake - an infinite amount of them.
So how did reality form without any observer, a second after Big Bang? Before i answer this question, let me tell you that when the Big Bang occurred, just a moment after it also occurred a Big Crunch. It's here that both the start and the end become meaningful, and our universe can work in the order it was intentioned by God.
We (think) that reality at the beginning had no observer - but reality did still form nevertheless. It all came about like a ghostly world where everything existed as potential - nothing was real, in the sense we 'see' or 'touch', or 'sense' in any other way. Thus it turned out that the past is constantly being written in the present. It is our observations now that are making up for an unobserved universe at the beginning of time.
In 1985 in Maryland at College Park, physicists Carroll Alley, Oleg Jakubowick and William Wickes conducted an experiment that would verify that all that is contained in the present, also determines any past... somehow, now makes 'what was' or 'might have been'. They used photons (light particles) that would bounce off an apparatus made of mirrors. The photon would travel through two slits, like found in the double slit experiment, seen in ch.1. Now, if the mirror was positioned up, the photon would interfere with itself, just like the double slit experiment, where a photon is in its wave-like function. With the mirrors down, the photon would be as a particle and no interference would be present. In other words, with the mirror present, a photon had to travel through both slits in order to maintain its wave description.
The interesting part, was that the choice to insert the mirror or not, as the case may be, was made after the photon entered the setup! This meant that their last second decision did indeed decide what path the photon would take - either by one path, or by both... somehow, the choice of now, determines, alters or chooses what is past. This verifies that quantum waves travel backward through time (echo wave) into the past. This means that the present is making 'time' more and more real, by giving itself a unique past.
In physics, we are informed that reality soley depends on us - to such an extent, that we can alter the past through how we perceive a memory of an event. The mind doesn't actually delve back in time or anything, but rather we can add intrinsic details that might or might not be entirely accurate to a past event - and this is the similar effect of the Wicks experiment that we have just investigated. Thus we can alter and recreate unspecified memories of a past event, just like the photon that had no specific path before and after it had entered the Wicks experiment, until we come along and make a definite path for it.
And if you think what we do now in the present is defining what we might call past is weird, it is possible for us to have a complete knowledge about a system here in the present, like a position and a path by a 'two-time' measurement, one made in the past and one made in the future!
(Don't worry... if a position is made in the past then its path is not yet known, but can be knowable in the future, making a correct record in the Present... in this case, the Uncertainty Principle is not violated, just as long, both the position and paths are made at different times).
It was physicists Albert, Aharonov and D'Amato who forwarded this idea. According to them, it is very possible to have both information of a location of a particle in the past, and a path in the future, and know with certainty both the location and path simultaneously in the present. In this sense, what is past, and what can happen in the future, traps the information as a record in the present. They can act like a sandwich. However, there is another way to defy the uncertainty principle - in fact, as physicist David Z. Albert informs us, it happens everyday. It happens with us.
We know where we are. We know where we are going. No uncertainty can arise in our minds about these objective facts of my existence. Somehow, the mind even though it is made of matter, does not need to have the uncertainty of matter when it comes to self-awareness. The mind itself, is a paradox on so many levels. It exists as if not a care in the world can effect it - impervious to the rules and conditions of dead matter. Here in my head, exists a world of (mostly) time, and a vision of space - but this time and space is twisted to suite my existence and measurements, so that what i experience, seems independent of anything 'out there.'
You see, i know of self-knowledge, but can never know the knowledge of another. Here, a separation can be made, and it is equally here, the objective 'I' can arise. If my self-awareness did not work, the uncertainty principle would get a hold of me, and nothing would be the same. This is a principle called, 'secret knowledge.'
Mind, Time and Defining Reality
'If reality is what we see, smell and touch, then reality
Is nothing more than electrical signals interpreted by the brain.' (3)
When Einstein linked space and time together as one single geometric continuum, it revolutionized our way of thinking about spacetime, and reality - he once said himself, 'the non-mathematician is seized by a mysterious shuddering when he hears of four dimensional things.'
What does a four dimensional object look like? Well, let us consider a football - the three dimensional scape of reality makes the ball look nice and round doesn't it? Except, the ball, when cast into the four dimensional realm looks more like a 'tick-tack' - those elongated 'bullet-like' sweets - the football is stretched outwards, and this is what a four dimensional object look like.
The thing about linking space and time together introduces a lot indeed - however, the main point i am going to raise in this book, is that the relationship between time and space, actually introduces more relationships, if you like, a king relationship between mind and reality.
Somehow, time is mind; this is because of one major statement. That is, that time is a product of the mind. The time we all experience, the so-called 'asymptotic time,' is totally an imaginary concept. Time is like the shadow of consciousness - it sets boundary's between what is past and what is future; it also sets a barrier between what is external and internal.
What is the internal reality? This is the world of feeling and sense - the world that any individual experiences. I sit here quite happily, writing the words of this book (which might i add, are written somewhere in a special blueprint intended for reality), i am experiencing feelings and thoughts. Most of the time, i feel as though my mind is objectively 'out there' - but this seems to be an illusion, as it really doesn't exist anywhere really. Not only does my consciousness feel as though it exists outside my mortal coil, i also never take heed that i am apart of the great and wide universe - most of the time i act as though i am separate of the great chain of life; Einstein referred to this as a prison - a human illusion.
Somehow, the ethereal internal world creates the physical, material external reality - an inextricable relationship can be made between the world of outside and the world of inside, like a fine interwoven tapestry. I am made of the outside world, but my consciousness is very much inside of me.
This boundary my mind creates between what is me, the internal world to the external world, one can imagine, keeps me from insanity - it is a way to keep my thoughts and analysation separate from the information of the world. Yet, from this perspective, one might think that knowledge - that is information - flows from the outside world and into our being - but is this completely true? To some extent, i am the external world - not only am i physically made of it, and made of mostly 98% of space itself, i am also the creator of the things i observe; it seems as though any information of the outside world, may well actually originate inside of me. After all, i create reality, and thus reality is me.
Some physicists think that the Copenhaganists superfluously stresses the role of the observer - of course, a counter argument can be made, as others believe that not enough correlation is made between the observer and the observed. Some theorists use the parallel universe theory as the reason for consciousness.
Astrophysicist Fred Hoyle believes that consciousness arises out of a tight bundle of universes - he believes that everything external are a product of messages from the future (possibly by some superintelligence) - and when we are aware of one at any time, we tend to tune into a universe-possibility, and the rest of the possibilities are discarded. He believes that it is these universes that do not evolve that spark consciousness when bundled together into a region of space. Hoyle died in 2001.
Most physicists should agree that the collapse of the wave function must occur in a conscious being. One quantum wave from the future and one from the past meet together in the present and multiply, creating the conscious mind - although, the theory would not be accepted in the parallel universe model - considering that no collapse occurs. Apart from the chemistry inside of my head, any proposals thought to spark consciousness will be responsible for the phenomenon of awareness. It will be a multitude of aspects - not just a single proponent - and change just a single statistic, a small iota of difference, and consciousness would disappear in a flash... As you will see in part six, we will be exploring other candidates as well, thought to be responsible for consciousness - including a suggestion brought forth by physicist Fred A. Wolf, a leading theoretical scientist in the world of the human psyche.
Now, to end this part, let us consider time, without the human mind.
Time is messy without mind. Without mind, everything may as well have happened at an infinite speed. Without mind, there is no time at all - present time, or 'real time', is non-existent without mind to set boundaries for what is past and what is future. Thus, past and future, exist simultaneously, like a single present time. The Big Bang happens simultaneously alongside a Big Crunch, without a mind to perceive the duration of time in-between. Now, to grasp this, lets' use a hypothetical but true idea that my mind works faster than my dogs.
To explain this, let us take an example, where i am standing at one end of a room, and my dog stands at the other end. In my hand is a ball, and i decide to roll it towards her. I would observe the ball rolling towards her at a constant speed, and will eventually reach her, two seconds later. However, the time it took for the ball to reach her, was perceived differently for my dog. My dog will have experienced it taking a little longer. My perception of time is no more correct than my dog’s perception of time - it is nothing but a matter of our brains functioning at different speeds.
Existence, reflected in the evolution of time is nothing but momentary flashes of consciousness which we are able to apply a duration to; without us to make this distinction, time exists as one single frame. Because of this, anything is possible when it comes to time; my time can move faster than another’s time and equally my time can be your time - nothing is absolute - we will be looking at the differential speeds of time we can experience in next part. There are even individuals that experience time as a short five seconds. They have a neural disorder, where they might be talking to someone and then reintroducing themselves all over again in the matter of seconds. It is a rare and bizarre phenomena - with only a handful in the world that have this debilitating mental disorder. This 'time' perception is interesting more and more scientists.
To imagine time existing as a single frame without mind isn't easy to contemplate. One way to describe our universe without an observer is to imagine i entered a lift, with sixteen levels. This lift represents the universe, and the levels i move up resembles present time. When inside, i press the button to take me to the sixteenth level. Just imagine that the first level is the birth of my life, and the sixteenth level represents my death. Just like a typical elevator, as it ascends the levels, each level will light up - and one can imagine each level that lights up represents the present moment. Thus, as level two lights up, level one is now dimmed, and now exists as my past as mere memory. All dimmed numbered levels above level two exists as my future. The interpretation between what is past and what is future is determined by me, in the present; but what if i never got into the lift?
If i am not present, then there is no present! The barren elevator has no one there to distinguish level two from level one. Thus, no one is there to determine a past level to a present level. The levels may as well exist simultaneously. Now, this is just the same as the universe itself; it is like a lift, that moves through time when a mind is present. Without a mind, the universe is meaningless, and time will exist as if it were a single frame.
The Observer and the Atom
Everything is made up of 'observables'. If i looked at a dice, i could say that it has observables. I could say it has dimensions - with six sides as a result. I could also say it has dots placed on each side. What i see are observables. Everything that is physical is made up of things we can measure. Let us take a particle as a quick and easy explanation.
A particle has many observables. One observable is spin - all fundamental matter has spin - from the smallest matter which is an electron, to the smallest quanta of energy, which is a photon... every particle has a spin value, which can be either a 'half-integer' or an 'increasing integer'. The lowest spin that any particle can have is a 1/2. Thus a particle with a 1/2 spin can be potentially observed as either an up-spin or a down-spin. It is here the relationship between mind and matter can come into play - again, mind is matter.
A particle, before any resolution is made, has to have both a spin-up and a spin-down simultaneously - this is the effect of the quantum wave function. Whenever an observation is made on a particle, a direction is made for it. We can observe it to be with a spin-up or a spin-down. Thus we essentially create the function of the matter being observed.
Another effect we can have on matter, is found in the 'Zeno-Effect' in quantum physics. Suppose a scientist came along to observe an atom. Now, one might think that the atom would behave just as normally, despite the fact of it being observed - and would eventually radiate away its energy. However, it turns out that this is not the case at all. The very act of observation 'somehow' suspends the little atom in time, and prevents it from evolving and releasing any energy!
Thus, the observer and the atom have some strange effects on each other. You know, i wouldn't make the argument i make in this book, if it wasn't for the 'blind-obvious' fact that the mind interacts with the space and time, and the matter contained within it. More so, is the question to how we come to affect matter in such ways...
Mind is a dimension. A virtual superdimension threaded into the real 'ordinary' dimensions of spacetime. This virtual dimension is powered by the rules and conditions of consciousness and imaginary processes, and this makes our relationship to matter quite incomprehensible.
The photon for instance is a zero-time particle. That leaves this luxen particle in the category of the potential... not quite real... might i even say it exists as a ghost, as it whizzes across the galaxy. Now imagine the photon was to travel the universe in either a wave description or as a particle... but before this, the photon has no state. It is us therego, who applies and ascribes the photon with a wave-like or particle-like attributes. This goes for all matter.
The Spark of Consciousness
Consciousness... how does it arise?
I believe it requires all possible candidates. The way i see it, why should there be any ingredients if they are never going to be used? In other words, there are principles so that matter can exist, and somehow, all principles of matter are valid and responsible for the phenom of consciousness.
Is it just a matter of particles that are arranged rather accurately in my head? Or are a multitude of aspects concerning matter responsible? Well, I don't think that consciousness is a product via one cause - I’m sure of that fact. I am positive that the force of consciousness is an ensemble of many aspects.
Consciousness is like a force - it is an imaginary force that somehow doesn’t exist in space or time or at least, physics thinks it doesn't exist in space or time. In fact, in some paradoxical sense, it is the force that allows any force to have effect and substance, because it is mind-consciousness that really defines the world around it.
According to theoretical physicist Fred Alan Wolf, the uncertainty principle has something to do with sparking consciousness, and i agree. Somehow the atoms inside my head work the way they do, because of a coherent set of laws in uncertainty. Thus, out of the uncertainty paradoxically rises certainty in consciousness.
With the insight from Fred A. Wolf, we can see that consciousness is a result of very fine tuning, right down to the subatomic level using the rules of Uncertainty. But, as i have pointed out, all rules that govern matter will be responsible for my awareness; i make this assumption because if you removed any of these rules, consciousness would theoretically fail to exist!
This means that quantum gravity will also be a candidate for consciousness as suspected by physicists - including the electromagnetic force, with all the electrical signals occurring inside of my head every second. And there is the quantum wave function - a collapse will occur in the presence of self-awareness (5). And of course, there are the numerous particles whizzing around in my head. This chemistry will also result in its own awareness. And 'hey presto' - consciousness prevails.
Also, i believe that the exclusion principle might have something to do with it. If Parallel Universes exist, then my brain is superimposed among an infinite amount of other me's, enclosed into a tight region of space, and as they bundle together, like a stable family of atoms or molecules, my consciousness will simply emerge out of the living matter; that is, if we have our assumptions correct, and that conscious awareness does indeed arise from matter.
How do we know we are conscious?
As simple as the above question might seem, there is no direct evidence, apart from our objective awareness that allows us to say, 'we are definately conscious.' Why is this a hard question to prove? Is it because consciousness is untestable, apart from psychology? Why should we ask such a question? Can we not simply say we are conscious, since we all communicate and think?
O'k, one question at a time.
Well, consciousness is an invisible thing. We presume that it must radiate from matter itself, or exist a bit like a force field around electromagnetic matter. In fact, it is out of the living mobile matter that my consciousness can arise. It will not do anyone any good to say that all mobile or living matter is consciousness. We know this not to be true, since bacterium and plant life exists without, what we would define as consciousness. Even the carnivorous plants such as the pitcher plant or the Venus fly trap do not have a consciousness, or a mind to think. When it comes to us, we have subjective self-awareness; this is in definition consciousness, isn't it?
We can, as i believe define what consciousness is to what consciousness isn't, using sleep states as an example. When asleep, we don't 'think' in the same manor as we might think whilst being awake. Whilst asleep, we are incapable of independent thought (except for the phenomena known as lucid dreaming), in fact, in certain dreams we can behave a bit like a robot. It is the 'diluted phenom' of awareness during sleep that allows my brain to move into a dream state. Because i am not objectively aware, my brain can act a bit wild, and frivolous in its dreams.
It is here, during a dream, one vivid enough that it is actually making its mark on me, existing as a very low form of experience. It is only when we awake that we can turn this experience into memory, as we often say, 'i just remembered a dream i had.' This ability to ask such a question shows us the differential state between being awake and being asleep - but also shows us what it is like being conscious and what is it like with a non-conscious thing - like a plant. Being asleep might be the closest existence we will ever have to being a plant; as a plant is not aware of its existence, just as we are normally not aware of our existences in our sleep. It is only when we are awake we can say, 'yes, i do exist.' For me, when comparing a persons state when asleep to being awake, shows me that consciousness does indeed exist, whether or not we have any direct material evidence of our subjective awareness or not.
The old proverb 'i think, therefore i am,' seems to work here.
Last edited by Reiku; 10-07-07 at 09:19 PM.
10-07-07, 09:19 PM #2
You wrote a book about this?
Didn't you say somewhere that you're not really good at math? A bit arrogant, don't you think, writing a book about a subject you only know through laymen's explanations?
10-07-07, 09:22 PM #3
What i may know, may not be layman to someone else... or it may seem very simple. That is a totally diferential perspective.
And no. I don't find it arrogant at all. Your just dogmatic.
And besides, you've had something out for me since i ever got here... i wonder why... find me some kind of threat do you?
10-07-07, 09:32 PM #4
The reasons why we ask ''why''?
Physics has the scientist asking the question, 'why?'... Though, it is neither an end, in my opinion. And if one understood the Copenhagen Interpretation with any good degree, one would come to realize that it states that there really isn't any reason to try and unify physics, because it is totally impossible... This was essentially why many scientists today believe that parallel universes could answer some of these gaping questions, involving our search for the incontrovertible proof we so desire. Though, i still believe that [one universe] is plentiful, and that science is but a means... not an end...
The Pain Persists
As pertinent as our questions may deceptively appear, they are also the most irrelevant, in so many countless ways. I don't wish to sound big-headed, in any sense or form, but the dischanted path of quantum physics seems to be leading into a cascade of stranger theories, and we are finding it incredibly hard to unify. Even string theory is faiding into the past.
Though the process of our scientific endeavours have altered our theories to perverse and weird levels, though we remain irrevocably flawed and unable to complete quantum theory. The dogmatic narrow views we all tend to get from time-to-time from science, are but drastic errors in our theories, caused by our extreme interpretations, usually fuelled by those who hold to mathematics as the ultimate answer to everything and those working on the hallucination called string theory. Concurrently, we will from time-to-time obtain the correct information, but is always bombarded with new theories and interpretations, that will equally stand in our way!
10-07-07, 09:56 PM #5find me some kind of threat do you?
You're just another cargo cult.
10-07-07, 09:59 PM #6
10-07-07, 10:00 PM #7
10-07-07, 10:02 PM #8
Oh right... so you are a pure crack pot?
10-08-07, 01:37 AM #9
I skimmed a bit, found a place where the author asserts that there is no such thing as free will, according to some property of quantum theory or something.
That, plus the frequency of poor grammar and vague reasoning encountered in jsut a brief skim, discouraged further exploration.
I'd find, and take the advice of, a good editor, were I you.
10-08-07, 02:13 AM #10
10-08-07, 08:31 AM #11
I first read about them in Forrest Gump and then, while researching them, found that Feynman spoke and/or wrote of them. It's not surprising that Dawkins would as well.
10-08-07, 09:01 AM #12
10-08-07, 09:17 AM #13
The book is then usually peer reviewed by those experts and if it doesn't stand up to their scrutiny usually calls for the chapters they concern themselves with to be re-written. Admittedly it's slightly different from having a paper peer reviewed, usually because a publicist has already fitted the funds for the book and the overall cost of the research. (which obviously finds it's way to the experts needed for the material, who are only too happy to have the addition to the coffers for their experimentation.)
10-08-07, 09:53 AM #14
Human Mind is -
A state of continued being with intelligence and the capability of understanding surroundings.
false. The human mind is a limiter of thought designed for the owner to focus on the essentials that make a successful reproduction likely, as in the same structure has in the past proven to be successful in guaranteeing the generation of offspring.
Note that being able to survive and reproduce successfully does not require a true understanding of the world. It merely needs a projection of the world that in most cases allows for the appropriate reaction/action/inaction response to the condition of the projection of the world, which is correlated to some degree to the real world.
In conclusion, nothing we know about the human brain suggests that we are capable of understanding our surroundings. At least not understanding on a level that suggests comprehension of its true nature.
10-08-07, 09:54 AM #15
Regarding Stryders post:
In this context, the point remains. Thats about what I had in mind, but simplified it to be sure I am understood. Thanks for the added details.
10-08-07, 09:56 AM #16
Ok... hold everyone. You are bombarding me all with different questions. Now my head is spinning.
''I skimmed a bit, found a place where the author asserts that there is no such thing as free will, according to some property of quantum theory or something.
That, plus the frequency of poor grammar and vague reasoning encountered in jsut a brief skim, discouraged further exploration.
I'd find, and take the advice of, a good editor, were I you.''
This is the original draft. I haven't even published this yet. Before Nexus started running his mouth off, i never got to post a second long post that i was going to do. It just annoyed me so I left... So keep those nasty opinions to yourself mate eh?
''I first read about them in Forrest Gump and then, while researching them, found that Feynman spoke and/or wrote of them. It's not surprising that Dawkins would as well.''
Not surprising you would swoop in for a chance at trying to slag me off eh?
''Have you considered that the little that you know may be false-interpretations or erroneous simplifications, and if you present it in a factual fashion, although it is completely your own speculation, you might confuse people that want to study the topic? Layman books are not written by laymen, they are written by experts, because simplifying something down to layman terms may often be more complicated than understanding the topic itself. As you admit not completely understanding the topics, I would suggest you to think over about the kind of help you might be providing.''
This is an iota of my work. You all seem to think this represents an entire book. You know what, i will start posting the chapters here, and why don't you all weigh up the entire book if you ar all going to be so damn critical. Why don't you be scientific at it?
10-08-07, 10:05 AM #17
I think posting your book on an online community doesn't quite qualify as the peer reviewing Stryder talked about.
10-08-07, 10:16 AM #18
How do you assume this then? Go on, illuminate me.
10-08-07, 10:22 AM #19
To complete my book, ''Superdimension,'' I needed to involve no controversial theories. In fact, there is only one chapter involved in talking about only consciousness. The rest is mostly textbook stuff. What i was attempting to do, was a make some textbook stuff on the theory of consciousness. Here's the first chapter, and the guide made in the book.
Aether Theory - is the notion that fundamental matter, that is, all subatomic matter have a field of force that instructs them how to behave with other matter... creating coherency at this low level, must then inexorably reflect the importance of coherency between macroscopic objects... If it is a real field (and that is a big ''if'' because i am not convinced), i would, and have in some respect, interpret this force as the will of God. Some scientists believe Aether is needed. Other's ridicule the thought due to relativity.
Albert Einstein - Was a German-born theoretical physicist (March 14th 1879-1955), thought to be the best physicist that had ever lived. He is most associated with the mass-energy equivalence equation E=Mc^2, and for his special and general relativity papers. He was awarded with a Nobel Prize in 1921 for his work in 1905 on the 'Annus Mirabilis'. Some believe that Einstein should have received a lot more Nobel’s for his work; especially for the Relativity papers and 'the Brownian Movement.'
Anthropic Principle - This is the principle that states that our universe expanded so that we could exist.
Antimatter - Is this opposite of ordinary matter (the stuff we are made of). Antimatter was distributed in equal proportion when ordinary matter emerged from the distortions of spacetime. Antimatter, when comes into contact with ordinary matter annihilates each other with twice the magnitude of energy as high-frequency gamma rays (light).
Arrow of Time - These arrows that can arise in perception or in nature point to a directionality, which help us in understanding the path of time, which is, according to our observations and calculations, points forward.
Artificial Intelligence - is a theory stating that it is capable to create an independent consciousness within computers. This theory, as-yet cannot be denied, as it equally cannot be proven. Such a theory can only be answered through time... unless conspiracists are correct, and an artificial intelligence already exits, as portrayed in the 1990's film, 'The Matrix.'
Big Bang - The theory of the birth of our Universe. It states that a sudden explosion occurred and expanded outwards in a burst of energy and matter, 15 billion years ago.
Big Crunch - The theory that our universe might one day begin contracting and reducing in size.
Big Rip - The theory that our universe will one day suffer a massive tear in all matter.
Black Hole - This is a remnant of a star that has so much mass concentrated in it, it is able to stop light itself. A black hole will have infinite curvature at its centre called the singularity. It might also link one universe with another universe through wormholes located inside of it.
Bradyon/Tardyon - A Bradyon is a particle that moves with a velocity which is always under the speed of light. Another name for this particle is a 'Tardyon.' This particle moves more in imaginary space (real time), than it does in real space. (imaginary time).
Cosmology - The study of our large universe.
Copenhagen Interpretation - an interpretation on quantum mechanics given by Niels Bohr.
Collapse of the Wave Function - A sudden change in state. Usually used in interpreting what would happen when a quantum system is being observed. Thus, whenever anything is observed, according to the Copenhagen interpretation, that system is reduced to a single probability.
Continuum - Is a dimension with infinite space. Our space and time are two aspects of one single continuum.
Chronon - Our universe began at the first chronon. It is an infinitesimally small period; it is the billionth of the billionth of the billionth of the billionth of the billionth part of one second.
Corporeal - An object with physical body structure.
Decoherence - a fantastic, though disturbing discovery made in 1996 by physicists that seems to prove that a mixed state object can settle into a single state due to its environment.
Density - Even a mass of an object has a lot of space between the atoms it is made of. The space measures how dense an object is. Our planet for instance, is about 96% space - so it is not very dense.
Dimension - A dimension is a realm of freedom. In our universe we have three spatial dimensions and one time dimension. They make up the vast space of the universe.
Dirac's Equation - It showed the existence of the antiparticle. His equation opened new doors into the laws of physics.
Echo Wave - This is a quantum wave that travels backwards in time.
Electron - The electron is the smallest subatomic particle known, with a mass of about 938 MeV (mega-electro vaults). The electron which has a negative charge lives inside of atoms around the nuclei which have a positive charge.
E=Mc^2 - This is Einstien's mass-energy equivalence equation, developed for his relativity theories. E is for energy. M is for mass. C is for celeritas, and ^2 is squared.
Ekpyrotic Cosmological Theory - states that our universe has a siemese twin, that inexorably speeds away, and bounces back off each other, causing a Big Bang all over again.
EPR Paradox - Created by Einstein, Pololsky and Rosen, it deals with the measurement on one half of a system. The other half, even though it is no longer attached to the system, is instantly determined. Thus the measured part determines the unmeasured part.
Eukaryote - A mulitcellular organism.
Exclusion Principle - This principle was devised by Wolfgang Pauli - it states that all particles must cancel each other out, by having a unique position, spin, path ect. that is not shared by another particle inside of an atom.
First Instant - see 'Chronon'
Flat Spacetime - is a theory stating that the three dimensional coordinates of visible space, aren't curled and twisted into time, but rather seen as a flat, smooth scape, that extends into infinity. Thus, this is an anti-Einstinian concept, as states in his Relativistic Laws and imaginary principles, that space and time bend into each other, like a grand ''Gordian’s knot.''
Gravity - is the weakest of all four fundamental forces, and the most elusive, as we have never detected its fundamental maker, the ''graviton'' - which is strange, i must admit... after all, the force of gravity, according to physics must be made up of such an elementary particle. Though, some scientists believe no such particle exists - but they are few in number...
Gravitational Waves - as common as they ''should'' be, according to the Big Bang Model, these waves have so far not been detected. Some scientists don't even believe they are as common as predicted, which would seem like the most logical explanation, for the time being anyhow...
Ground State - is the lowest amount of energy as determined by quantum rules.
Higgs Boson - It is a hypothetical particle proposed by Peter Higgs. Being the only particle predicted by the standard model, and as yet has not been seen, the Higgs Boson is thought to provide all matter with mass, accompanied by an invisible force field. For such a reason, the particle itself has been dubbed as the ''God Particle.''
Hubble Expansion - also known as Hubble red shift - Discovered by Edwin Hubble, measurements of objects in our universe seem to indicate that everything is receding from us, showing an expanding universe. We measure the expansion when objects that are moving away from us appear to be redder, and the closer an object is, the bluer it will appear. We know these effects to be true, because the same thing happens when the colour 'red' is radiated by an object showing it is in a strong gravitational field, and 'blue' when in a weak field. Measuring these 'Time Warps,' proved Einstien’s static universe as wrong, as he himself said, 'it was my biggest blunder.'
Hyperspace - This theory states that our universe was once a perfect 10 dimensional space. Then suddenly, the dimensions cracked; this caused our universe to expand, whilst the 6th dimension began to contract violently. If it is correct, it might explain big bang theory.
Imaginary Space - Imaginary space, is the same thing as real time. We move through the imaginary dimension of space at the speed of light.
Luxen - This is a particle that always moves with a velocity equalling that of light. Light moves at 186,000 miles per second.
Macroevent - The scale unto which we can observe things directly by the naked eye.
Microevent - This is the small world of electrons and photons and all other elementary particles.
Momentum - This is the measure of matter in motion. Thus, the momentum of a 'particle' is in fact the equivalence to an infinite collection of waves, we come to call, 'the wave function.'
Offer Wave - This is a quantum wave that travels forward through time.
Oscillate - If something oscillates, it is said to move back and forth.
Panspermia Theory - This is a theory stating that life on earth originated from microbes, sent from deep space aboard a comet.
Paradox - This is a problematic situation. A paradox might consist of a situation that is contradictory with itself.
Parallel Universes - This is the theory that states that our universe is in fact one in an infinite amount of universes all superimposed upon each other.
Photon - A photon is a particle of light - it is the smallest particle of energy, with no mass, and emits an electromagnetic field. The light from the sun takes a little under 8. 3 minutes to reach us and thus travels at the fast velocity of 186,000 miles per hour. The Photon is an ethereal zero-time particle; this means it doesn't move through space, neither does it take any time to do anything. Therego, its birth and death are simultaneous.
Powers - If a calculation is 10x10x10x10, then it can be represented as 10^4, then that means 10 multiplied by 10 four times - powers can help us catalogue large numbers into easy notation.
Prokaryotes - This is a single-celled organism.
Psi - A mathematical symbol that is used to describe a quantum wave that travels forward in time.
Psi-Star - Is the mathematical symbol for a quantum wave that travels backwards in time.
Relativity Theory - There are the general and special relativity theories. The general theory deals with gravity as the presence of matter and the distortions of space and time. The special theory deals with the calculations one might envision in respect of another observer that is moving at a fixed velocity.
Schrödinger’s Cat - Erwin Schrödinger proposed this principle, to state the incompleteness of quantum physics. A cat is locked up in a chamber, with atoms that will or will not emit gas - suppose that the probability of the atoms being unstable is 50% - if no one looks in the box, is Schrödinger’s cat dead or alive?
Singularity - A negative point in space and time where all laws of quantum physics are meaningless, because all aspects take on infinite values.
Standard Interpretation - see the Copenhagen Interpretation.
String Theory - States that fundamental particles are not 'point-like,' but rather they are little strings all vibrating with differential frequencies, existing as ''higher objects,'' in an eleven-dimensional space.
Superdimension- This is the human mind and consciousness. Somehow, the mind influences the material world, that whenever we come to measure something, we ultimately create that system, by giving it meaning, texture, colour, shape ect - and the information thus floods into our beings/consciousness. Superdimension can also mean that the human mind is a dimension of its own, threaded into the external world of reality.
Superposition - This is when two possibilities, or more, are superimposed upon each other.
Suprachiasmatic Nucleus - A human gene, thought to be responsible for the perception of time.
Tachyon - This hypothetical particle travels faster than light. It is made of a strange substance called 'imaginary matter,' and thus has 'timelike' qualities, meaning it can move backward and forward through the time dimension.
Thermodynamics - even though i don't mention the laws of thermodynamics with great detail, i shall nevertheless recite them for the reader. The first states that there is conservation in energy... thus, nothing can be removed, only transferred. The second law states that the flow of heat cannot spontaneously convert to one body to a warmer body. The third states that everything is moving, even at zero-temperature.
Twin Paradox - Einstein devised this paradox to show how time is not absolute. It describes a twin that leaves earth near the speed of light and returns after so many light years, only to find on his arrival that his twin has aged dramatically, whilst he has aged only a few minutes.
Quark - An elementary particle that makes up the nucleus of atoms. They in turn make up protons and neutrons which make up 99% of the entire atom
Quantum Cosmology - is the study of the universe in the atomic and subatomic scale during the first instants.
Quantum Leap - Is a discontinuous change from one state to another. A particle that quantum leaps, will move from one place to another without ever going in between, as if it vanishes of the spacetime map for a fraction.
Quantum Wave Function - It is a mathematical formula that predicts the likelihoods of an object in space.
Uncertainty Principle - A difficult principle to understand, brought about by Werner Heisenberg, that states that certain knowledge’s are at the expense of other knowledge’s, and shows that the world cannot be summed up entirely of cause and effect.
Wormhole - A topological opening in space and time, that can link to other times in this universe, whether that be in the future or in the past - and if theory is correct, it might even link up with other universes. Wormholes are predicted to exist inside of black holes. For a black hole to become traversable wormhole for objects moving at a speed slower than light, it requires matter with a negative energy... we call this exotic matter. It is needed to counteract the positive energy of gravity, which tends to 'bring everything together,' whereas negative matter will blow everything up.
Zeno-Effect - An atom, ripe to radiate energy, can be suspended in time through simple observation.
Einstein once said
'Every mind in the world is a dimension.'
In the beginning
It is always best to start right at the beginning, and this beginning happened 15 billion years ago when there were no stars or planets in the heavens. No time to measure or any space to move through. There was simply nothing. Then, out of the nothingness appeared a sudden act of violence - a spontaneous expansion of energy and gas. Here, space and time began (1).
Ancient Roman philosopher Lucretius pointed out over 2000 years ago, that there was a paradox concerning the boundary, or edge of the universe. He states, that for there to be an edge, it would mean that the universe had something beyond it to show it was the edge. However, Albert Einstein, one of the greatest physicists that had ever lived, showed that everything that 'counts' must be contained within the expansion of space and time - thus - the edge of the universe is the boundary between nothing and everything (2).
This dawning of energy and gas has come to be known as the 'Big Bang.' The Big Bang came out of a 'singularity' which is a point in space and time with infinite qualities - anything that moves into a singularity grows to unimaginable size. A singularity has infinite curvature, and a zero-radius. Here, all laws go bizzerk. The expansion of energy and gas created the first stars - and after billions of years, these stars exploded and sent into the deep regions of space stardust debris that joined and formed the first lot of planets, through a timely process called 'accretion'.
All matter is made up of tiny little units called 'atoms'. To grasp how small they are, take a Hydrogen atom, the simplest atom in physics. The size of a hydrogen atom is quite small... Describing how small is not an easy task. However, there are even smaller bits of matter that inhabit atoms. Simply, they are called, 'subatomic particles' and are quite small even compared with an atom. We have a wide range of particles in physics labs today, with something like 410 or so known; we will investigate four of those particles in this chapter.
There are 10^80 particles in our universe that accounts for our current observations of the cosmos. That number is vast, compared with the size of planet Earth. Our planet is the third 'rock' from the sun. It is one of ten known (we once thought there was only nine planets in our solar system, but recent data the last year, 2006, showed other planets orbiting our sun - and there is thought to be an eleventh. Here it might be best to note that Pluto is not a planet. It is actually a moon). Our planet contains about 10^24 x 6 kilograms of matter. The sun is gigantic compared to this sum - the sun is a gigantic ball of gas; an E=Mc^2-pumping station (more on E=Mc^2 later). It is something like 6 million times larger than Earth, containing 333,900 times more mass - however, on a cosmic scale, this is a small star. 'Red Giants', which are nothing but a star at the end of its lifespan, are several times larger!
Up to our present time, physicists have built quite a reasonable picture of our universe. However, it has been far from being anything but a smooth ride, and still some questions hound the text book pages of quantum mechanics and cosmology. We have had to alter theory after theory, since problem after problem arose.
Theory suggests our universe began with an infinitesimally small size - something like the size of a human skin cell. However, it was here the first problem came about. As small as this was, the universe would have still been far too big! This would ultimately result in light (the first subatomic particles of energy) not having enough time to reach the four corners of the universe.
The universe grew quite old before light first emerged. The very beginning of our universe has been come to be commonly known as the 'first chronon' - even though it sounds like a Star Trek villain it is in fact a time period. It is also called the 'Planck time' - which is 5.3 x 10^-44 seconds.
A chronon is the billionth part of the billionth part of the billionth part of the billionth part of the billionth part of one second. Accordingly, a billion chronons passed, before there was any light in our universe. Thus, if our universe had started with the size of a cell, it would mean there was not enough time to start the universe to assure that all background temperatures in space would show different frequencies - but they don't. It all has the same temperatures.
To eliminate this paradox, physicists brought together a dubious 'inflationary phase' - the need for inflation was to start the universe on a much smaller scale - like the size of a subatomic particle so that light could reach those corners of space and expanded faster than light. Light travels at 299,792,458m/s or 186,000 miles per sec. The model, mediated with rapid expansion seemed to wipe away the problematic situation - it also added another 5 billion years onto the age of the universe.
However a new problem persisted. Apparently, our universe should show initial start-up conditions that where never wiped out - we would still see evidence of such conditions today. No one has yet solved this problem with clarity - some have brought into the picture 'parallel universes' to wipe out these conditions (more on parallel universe theory later).
Though, it still stands that Big Bang is still a theory - nothing is set in stone - and not everyone believes that everything originated with a tremendous spill of energy and matter via a Big Bang. Some believe that everything came around by other means. Even Einstein once said, concerning the 'Hubble Shift' - (the Hubble Gravitational Red Shift showed that all planets and stars where rushing away from planet Earth, proving that everything was in fact moving away from each other);
'There does arise, however, a strange difficulty. The interpretation of the galactic line-shift discovered by Hubble as an expansion leads to an origin of this expansion which lies only a billion years ago, while physical astronomy makes it appear likely that the development of individual stars and systems of stars takes considerably longer. It is no way known how the incongruity is to be overcome.'
Yes, Einstein did indeed have problems excepting the Hubble Red Shift. Einstein, before the discovery of the Hubble Red Shift did not believe the universe was expanding. He said, 'it was my biggest blunder,' and passed in physics history as nothing but a curiosity. However - his protest might not have been in vain - some cosmologists say that certain supergalaxies must take around 80 billion years to form!
Thus, many cosmologists are painfully aware of the time scale posed by the age of our universe, and posits much doubt on the validity of the Big Bang - whilst many observables in the universe seem to compliment the theory, just as physicist Lerner writes;
'Present evidence shows that the Big Bang initially introduced to explain the Hubble expansion, does not make predictions that correspond to observation. It is clear supercluster complexities arise and by the more recent confirmations of large-scale structures. This returns us to the problem; what caused Hubble expansion? The cosmological debate will not be resolved until this basic question is answered. The question of the Hubble remains unanswered until an adequate theory is found. Far more theoretical and observational work is needed.'
While complex structures like some certain supergalaxies take tens upon tens of million years to form, the issue of Hubble Expansion might never be fully understood. Just as Einstein informs us, until a more appropriate theory comes along, we can but stand in protest. Perhaps we might even find the long sought-after GUT - the grand unified theory. This mathematical theory, supposed to be only a few notations long would explain everything. In order to do this, some mathematicians are attempting to combine relativity theory and quantum mechanics together. If such an equation existed, it might even be simple enough that we might even have it as logos on t-shirts or even on school pencil cases!
I, however, do not believe we will ever discover the Unified Theory - i simply do not believe that all of the universes complexities will [allow] itself to be deduced so easily by humans.
Right... let's encapsulate our universe, with some whole facts.
Our Sun is 15 million km away - and even at this large distance, it is still able to give us heat. The sun is always burning away at its fuel. In the suns core, it is 15 million degree Celsius and is 5 times denser than lead. Here, hydrogen atoms convert into helium atoms. As the nuclei of hydrogen form the nuclei of helium, the superfluous loss of mass is converted into pure energy. Each second, the sun converts 4 million tones of mass and will keep it burning for another 5 billion years or so.
The sun is 70% hydrogen, 28% helium and 2% heavy elements - the stuff earth is made of. The earth came from a 'Supernovae' 6 billion years ago. All planets and stars are thought to have come from the death of Supernovae - including our own solar system, where the sun makes up 99.8% of the mass.
The surface of the sun is called the 'photosphere' and it is a melting 6000 degrees Celsius. Outside the surface of the photosphere is the 'red chromosphere.' This inner solar sphere blasts out gas called 'prominences,' hurtling billions upon billions of electrically charged particles towards earth every second.
Our sun will eventually die out in 5 billion years time - and when it does it will expand 200 times larger and will consume mercury and Venus. By that time, it will be a red giant, and will scorch the earth to a cinder. Not the smallest organic life will survive. Once the sun has stripped away its outer layers and its core be exposed, it will shrink to the size of earth and become a 'white dwarf' - as it cools down and dims, it will then become a 'black dwarf' over time, and will leave us in eternal darkness - not that it should bother us by that time - we will all be long gone.
Our Galaxy, the Milky Way has something like 200 billion stars, being 100,000 lightyears across and 10,000 lightyears thick - light years measure how far light travel in one year - light will travel around 65.5 billion miles in one year.
It takes 222 million years for our sun to orbit the galactic center. Our galaxy is one of an estimated 50 billion in the universe, where some galaxies have grouped with 12 other galaxies, whereas others have grouped in thousands! They make up 'supergalaxies', which are thought to have supermassive black holes at their centers.
We have always been fascinated with life. We know that life, given the right conditions will thrive and teem in some of the harshest climates on earth. The elements of earth originated from the swirling disks of debris and remnant of supernovae, around 6 billion years ago that slowly began to fuse together - a process called accretion.
During the early years, the earth was highly volatile - nothing more than a molten rock, bombarded by asteroids crashing to earth for hundreds of millions of years. Then, as solar activity began to subside, everything in the observable universe began to take shape - however, life still had a long way to go, considering 'mobile matter' did not come into existence until only 4 billion years ago.
Volcanic eruptions constantly reshaped the face of the planet, forming the geological structures we see and admire today. By now, oceans had formed from volcanic condensed water vapor and also from large chunks of ice from comets carried to earth from deep space. In fact, 'Panspermia theory' states that comets could have brought 'polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons' to earth, and could have brought the origins of life to earth in the form of simple microbes. The strongest evidence of this was announced, rather bizarrely by President Clinton standing on the Whitehouse lawn, saying that NASA had discovered evidence of possible life in the subsurface of Mars.
A cabbage-sized meteorite, found recently in Antarctica, dubbed ALH84001 that seemed to have come from the 'red planet' had in it tiny features, that according to NASA scientists could have been fossilized microbes. The only problem is that the little marks are under high controversy, and not every scientist is convinced it is in fact, fossilized Martian life. The skeptics however admit, the tiny marks do have all the appearances of bacterium - but are considered far too small to be living organisms - which is all very interesting, considering this presumed life came from an entirely different planet; you would expect some biological differences wouldn't you? However, NASA did find organic chemicals inside of the meteorite, including carbonates, which also included tiny magnetic grains that can be produced by bacterium - but such grains can be produced without the aid of life.
More importantly, was a recent discovery in 2006 that seemed to prove the existence of subsurface water channels. Recent photography of the red planet displayed that a substance that looks like water had seeped out of loose rocks on the planets rocky surface - which most geologists believe itself hold all the characteristics of being formed by water itself that might have flowed around 3.5 billion years ago! This discovery will indeed make scientists think twice about astrobiology in the future, considering water is one of the fundamentals needed to sustain life (3).
Gases from the interior of the earth created the early atmosphere, which were mainly nitrogen and carbon dioxide. And it is believed lightning was needed as a catalyst to charge the first simple organisms. These organisms needed four basic elements; they are carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen. The first life would have been very simple, called 'prokaryotes,' which are single-celled organisms. It is thought that the single-celled life formed in hot springs, heated by the earth around 3.8 billion years ago. There is still evidence of them today, clinging to hot vents deep under the ocean... not changed after 4 billion years! It was only when they began to 'photosynthesize,' that the atmosphere changed. These photosynthesizing organisms released oxygen into the atmosphere.
Then, mulitcellular organisms came about and life began to double every 12 million years. However, its not been a steady ride for life at all! It has initially been very hard for any ecosystem to survive - this is because earth has undergone some heavily catastrophic events.
From what we know, nature first came from single-celled life, that eventually evolved into mulitcellular life - but a great extinction would wipe out nearly every life form off the planet, leaving the oceans decimated and empty. Then, very slowly, plants would begin to evolve, then the first insects, only to be wiped out in a second great extinction. This cycle repeated again and again until reptiles emerged dependant of the sea, only to be killed off again. Then dinosaurs came about, with the first birds, and fern plant life, yet to be destroyed in a 5th great extinction.
Only 100,000 years ago, homosapians (humans) appear. We have managed to survive an ice age 20,000 years ago - however, scientists warn us that the next great extinction is just around the corner. This is easy to imagine, especially when global warming accelerates at its disturbing rate.
O'k, that sums up life on earth... but what about life outside our own terrestrial sphere?
Scientists do not deny the rather, probable existence of alien life. After all, we live in a universe with infinite space and matter (well, not so much infinite matter. There are about 10^80 particles in our universe, but an infinite potential in the vacuum) - there must be an equally infinite amount of possibilities for a planet, just like earth, neither too hot, nor too cold, teeming with strange and wonderful life. However, whether alien life has the intelligence to master deep space travel is a whole other game.
Given the distances and energy required, it would far exceed a space crafts capabilities - it just seems unlikely that aliens have ever visited earth. Nevertheless, aliens must exist in my opinion - it would be selfish to presume we are the only life forms in the infinite vacuum of space and time. After all, if they are alien, what are we? In fact, during the writing of this book, astrologists discovered a planet extremely similar to our own, with a blue atmosphere, indicating that the atmosphere would probably contain similar gasses found here on earth. Only one problem... the planet a whopping 5 billion light years away... thus we won't be visiting this planet in the near-future.
'Cyril Hinshelwood, a Nobel Laureate in physical chemistry
has suggested that a more appropriate name for particles
(of elementary physics) might be ''manifestations''.'
Lyall Watson, Lifestream
The electron is a very interesting particle. It lives inside of atoms and exists around the nucleus (the center of an atom). It leaves the nucleus all of the time without rest. The electron is attracted to the nucleus because it has a negative charge and the nucleus, made up of protons and [neutrons] have a positive charge.
The 'electron' is the smallest subatomic particle in physics labs today. It has no apparent structure - it appears thus to have no apparent size! Though, it contains definite mass, and behaves as though it is spinning. We can shoot the electron out of a special gun, and it will move in a bullet form. If the electron is restrained from motion, it instantly turns into a wave form! The electron contains an exact charge of 1.6^10-19 coulombs.
It was believed for a while the electron orbited the nucleus like a planet orbiting a star - but instead, it has become to be accepted that it does in fact exist in all spaces within the atom in the form of a cloud (4). This cloud circles the nucleus, and represents all the possible paths the electron could have - this is because of a imaginary mathematical concept called the 'Quantum Wave Function,' (more on Schrödinger’s Wave Function later).
Then physicist Brian Greene postulated that the electron maybe a 'micro Black Hole,' (more on Black Holes in chapter two). The smallest a Black Hole can ever be is in accordance with a very small measurement called the 'Planck Mass' which is 2 x 10^-8kg or 1.1 x 10^19 GeV, that is 'Gravito-electro Vaults'. Of course, a Black Hole of this scale is purely hypothetical - but if primordial Black Holes do indeed exist, all fundamental particles could potentially be Black Holes. Not only this, but the theory that the electron could be a micro Black Hole is incomplete, because it doesn’t explain why two electrons orbiting the nucleus of an atom don’t simply merge into one single black hole.
Protons and Neutrons
The 'proton' has a positive electrical charge +1 and a mass of 938 MeV, that is Mega-Electro Vaults or 1.6726231x10^-27kg, or about 1800 times the mass of the electron. The proton is one of the fundamental particles that make up the center of atoms called the nucleus, apart from the hydrogen atom, which consists of a single proton. The proton seems to be an infinitely stable particle, as no one has ever seen one decay.
The proton is classed as a 'Baryon', which are always made up of three quarks. The proton has what are called 'two up quarks' and 'one down quark'. The 'neutron' has one up quark and two down quarks - thus it is also a Baryon. It has a mass of 940 MeV, which is slightly more than a proton. The fact that neutrons have absolutely no electrical charge actually delayed its discovery and makes them impossible to observe directly - thus makes them very important in nuclear change.
Although atoms themselves are uncharged, they are a massive 10,000 times larger than a neutron - so this should give the reader some grasp between the size of an atom compared with a subatomic particle. Even though both the proton and neutron are Baryons, it is also classified as being in the family of 'Hadrons.'
All protons and neutrons, including other subatomic particles, are themselves made up of elementary particles, called 'quarks'. There can only ever be, according to theory, a maximum of three quarks to any proton or neutron - this is because quarks themselves are made up of 'colors.' Individual quarks have specific colors, called 'strange,' 'charmed', 'up', 'down', 'top' and 'bottom' - but when three quarks come together, they are colorless. These are paradoxically the colorless objects that make up all of nature. Quarks are quite large subatomic particles - it even has more mass than the nucleus it makes up, and the missing mass is turned into gluon energy, to hold it all together. A little more on gluons next (5).
However, there was an experiment conducted a few years ago in Russia 1997, by Maxim Polyakov and Victor Petrov at Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute, that seemed to indicate the existence of a particle that was made up of five quarks. The hypothetical particle came to be called the 'pentaquark,' for obvious reasons.
The nucleus, as you can imagine, is a clumpy cluster of protons and neutrons - but not all nuclei will have this structure. There is something called the 'neutron halo', and has a totally different structure, independent of the clumpy protons at the centers of atoms - these atoms have internal structures called, 'exotic nuclei.' They will have exactly the right quantum number of protons - but will have slightly more neutrons, that change the isotopes. The more and more neutrons that exist inside an atom, will result in them being unable to stick to the protons and other neutrons. Instead, these extra neutrons will float around the nucleus as a halo.
There was a calculation done last year, a mathematician who estimated the statistics of all the phenomena we have seen in this universe. Taking in all the textbook knowledge, he presumed we have seen 40% of universal nature; which is a good thing, because there are still a lot of unanswered-for particles, like the 'Higgs Boson', and particles that make up 'Dark Matter'. Dark Energy also might account for many unseen phenomena. The issue was raised after observations on stars in deep space. We know that there might be many types of different stars, made up of different materials, such as a 'neutron star.'
These collapsed stars are made up mostly of neutrons and thus extremely heavy in weight. The more space a neutron has between another neutron as you can guess measures their density. The neutron, is so much more heavier than the atom shell, in fact, the nucleus makes up 99% of the mass of the entire atom, means that the size of a star would weigh thousands upon thousands of times heavier than earth - a spoonful of neutron pulp would weigh as much as a mountain! The unaccounted phenomena mentioned before has led physicists to contemplate new and exciting ideas, like entire 'quark stars.'
The Four Forces
And particles play a major role in our universe, by bringing with them four forces - two of these forces will most probably be familiar with you. The first will be the most well-known. It is called 'gravity.' The particle thought to be responsible for carrying the force of gravity in our universe, the 'graviton', has never been detected.
We all know gravity as the source that holds us to the surface of our planet. It keeps planets and galaxies orbiting their galactic centers. It seems like a strong force, however, it is according to physics, the weakest of the four fundamental forces. The second is 'electromagnetic force.' This force allows electron to flow from atom to atom with ease. It is this force that allows the electrons to move through a wire, for instance, and allows my television or desk lamp to work.
The third force is the 'weak' - this force allows particle emissions and decays into other particles. It is believed that all particles decayed from the photon, which is a particle of light (more on Luxen Theory later). The forth force, is the 'strong.' The strong force is responsible for keeping all fundamental particles together, such as the nucleus of protons and neutrons, which itself are made up of quarks. The force is mediated by a particle called the 'gluon' (6).
Gluons are massless particles that mediate strong color charge interactions of quarks in 'Quantum Chromodynamics (7).' - thus the Gluon Luxen particle is responsible for reducing quarks into colorless states. The Gluon is a 'vector boson'; like the photon, it has a spin of 1 - all fundamental particles have spin. It is believed that these forces where once one united force called 'Quantum Gravity.' It was in the 19th century, the Scottish scientist James Clerk Maxwell proved that the force of electricity and magnetism where in fact two different aspects of a single force, we now come to call, electromagnetism.
In the 1970's physicists Abdus Salam Sheldon and Stephen Weinberg concluded that this force and the force responsible for radioactive decay, the weak force, was itself a counterpart of one whole force, the 'electroweak.' Thus, ever since, physicists are sure that all the forces where in fact a perfect united force at the beginning of time.
"1 In the beginning (-) God created the heavens and the earth.2 Now the earth was barren and void and the spirit(s) of God hovered gently across the surface of the deep.3 And God said, 'let there be light.' "
This is obviously the first parts of Genesis. Out of nothing, comes light, and this is were physics and theology go hand-in-hand. It is true - out of nothing, came light, and as Luxen theory goes, all matter evolved from the speedy particles of light. In September 1997, physicists created matter out of pure light. This was the verification scientists needed to explain how all matter evolved (8).
What is a Luxen?
A Luxen is a particle that always moves with a velocity with that which is lightspeed (v=c). We have many Luxens in labs today. One that we all know of and see everyday is light. It permeates the sky and we often do not bother ourselves with them. But it is our source of life, and energy - it provides us with heat and light; and as it turns out, provided everything that is physical.
Light is made up of photons. They are the smallest energy units known to us, and move with a velocity of 186,000 miles per sec or 299,792,458 m/s. A photon will travel 65.5 billion billion miles in one year! They are what are called zero-time particles. This means that the photon does not experience any time at all. And if it experiences no time, then the photon spends no 'time' in space either. This is hard to imagine... after all, doesn't the photon move through space? Doesn't a photon take time to get from A to B? Well, this all sounds correct from our point of view, but from a photons point of view it is very different. It is just another bizarre situation in relativity.
The universe, when it expanded from its singular region in space and time, grew quite old before light emerged. In fact, something equivalent to thirty-two years had passed before light emerged. We believe this, because the universe began with a time-scale called the 'first chronon.'
We are made up of many Luxens called gluons. In fact, 98.12% of our bodies are made up of gluon mass. The remaining 1.88% is made up of quarks and electrons, (of course, we are made up of other percentages and types of particles).
Does the photon have mass? The short answer is no.
Some people find it difficult to comprehend a photon as being massless because it can be deflected by the gravity of, let us say a star. One way to explain this is by saying light couples to gravity, because light also generates curvature and curvature is the equivalence of gravity. However, there is too little amount of light to have any major gravitational effects in our universe, except for perhaps 32 years after big bang, when the universe was flooded in light particles. For those who like math, here are some more reasons why the photon does not have mass.
Some people like to say that the photon has mass because the photon has energy E=hf, where (h) is 'Planck’s constant' and (f) is the frequency of the photon. Thus, they tend to assume that because it has energy (E) it must have mass (M) because of Einstien’s mass-energy equivalence equation E=Mc^2...
They also say that the photon has momentum, and momentum is related to mass p = Mv where (v) is velocity and (p) is for momentum. Yet, you cannot justify it having mass using this argument. This is actually 'relativistic mass' - which is nothing but the measure of energy which will change with velocity. It isn't actually mass, even though mass and energy are related. In physics jargon, the mass of an object is called its 'invariant mass,' and the photon has no invariant mass. Now, a massless particle can have energy and it can have momentum, simply because mass is related to these through the equation E^2 = M^2c^4 + p^2c^2, which is subsequently zero-mass for a photon because E = pc for massless radiation (remember, c means the speed of light). So yes, the photon has momenta and energy, and can deliver a punch out of it when it hits a surface, but it doesn't have mass.
Now... a strange situation can arise if light is trapped inside a container. If light is trapped inside of a box with mirrors inside of it, so that it cannot escape, (now the mirrors would need to be cold enough so that the mirrors do not absorb the light-energy), the total momentum is said to be zero, but the energy is not - thus, the light can contribute a very small amount of mass to the box! Now, one can say that the light in the box must have mass to even add any mass to begin with - but actually, it is more accurate to say it contributes to the mass - but do not use this as some kind of justification that light indeed has mass. That is simply not true. A photon can decrease the invariant mass value of E/c^2 each time a system emits a photon... likewise, a system can increase its invariant mass by a value of E/c^2, if it absorbs a photon particle.
The photon is responsible for the 'electromagnetic force' - which was first predicted by physicist James Clerk Maxwell in 1865 which was experimentally proven in 1888 by Heinrich Hertz in his detection of radio waves. Looking at the Feynman diagram shows a virtual photon exchange between a positron (antielectron) and an electron - thus it mediates the electromagnetic force, and comes in many different states; in this sense, light is electromagnetic radiation of absolutely any wavelength, such as radio waves, microwaves, ultraviolet rays, x-rays, gamma rays, infrared light waves and of course, visible light rays. The photon can be slowed down whenever, let's say it is absorbed by other mass or whenever it transfer’s energy and momentum which are both proportional to its frequency.
The photon itself was originally called 'light quantum,' or 'das Lichtquant,' by Sir Albert Einstein. It originated from 'phos' in Greek for 'light'. Like all quanta, the particle of light has both a wave and particle description; more on wave-particle duality later. Einstien's theoretical work on the photon (1905 - 1917) helped with momentous advances in quantum theory; such as lasers and quantum field theory. The photon is probably [one] of the strangest particles in physics.
The first reason is because it experiences zero dimensions. Because it is a zero-time particle, it spends absolutely no time at all to get from A to B. Now, to an observer, let's say, standing on a mountain, for light to reach his zone from the horizon, would take only a fraction of a second, but for a photon, or, from a photons point of view, it didn't even take a fraction of a second. It took no time at all. For this reason, the photon doesn't really exist... One might see this two ways. One way being that the photon is never really born in time, because it doesn't experience time - yet this must also mean it never dies. Another way being is that it is born, but this is simultaneous with its death. For these reasons, the photon seems ethereal, perhaps even 'potential', but essentially mystical and relatively ageless.
We are informed in the bible that Gods first element was in the form of light - and He saw that this light was good. In physics this was very good, because it set the stage for the evolution of matter - most of which would get to experience the dimensions of spacetime. It states that our universe, about 32 to 33 years after the 'Alpha Point', was nothing more than a hot sphere of light gas*. Then as everything progressed, the light changed into other particles, and thus came along the first protons and neutrons. Thus, according to the general view among scientists, all matter is in fact, a state of 'Trapped Light.' This light can be released through matter-antimatter collisions, releasing two deadly gamma rays.
* It was a young Indian man, by the name of Satyendra Nath Bose in the year of 1926, who set in motion the discovery that photon particles can be described as being a gas, due to Einstien’s contributions. This was proven empirically through Bose-Einstein Statistics. It showed that if a photon's environment where cooled to a low enough temperature, they would 'condense' into their lowest quantum state. This came to be known as the 'Bose-Einstein Condensation,' and was experimentally tested in 1955. This also led to the most important discovery of coherent fundamental states, and helped in the creation of quantum lasers.
Einstein often wondered what the world was like from the viewpoint of a photon... and using his imagination from a photons point of view opened up many secrets in the world of physics. One example was what would happen if he was traveling along through space at the speed of light - since no light could catch up to reflect off the mirror, would he still see his reflection? The answer one would think is no - but as he devised his relativity papers, it turned out that he actually would be able to see his own reflection.
What is E=Mc^2?
It is an equation that represents the mass/energy equivalence principle. In this equation, energy could become mass and mass could become energy. One might even say this was the first proof of antimatter/matter relationships. The very ability for mass to change back into original energy, just like (E=M)c^2, had written all over it the bizarre behavior of antiparticle/particle coherence.
(E) is for energy.
Energy is diffused matter. There is energy in every particle and subatomic particle in the universe. Every chock-a-block piece of matter has an energy. To release or gain this energy, a particle might absorb or radiate away energy. Either way, the particle will undergo a 'quantum jump' - a discontinuous change from one state to another. The energy of the universe actually comes to a 'whole' zero. All antienergy (-E) added with energy (E) comes to zero total.
(=) equals creates the equivalence between (E) energy and (M) is for mass.
Mass is somehow the same thing as energy. Even though energy is much more erratic, mass is simply just a longer fluctuation in the 'zero-energy field' which will be explained more about later. The equivalence between mass and energy led the world into a new age of thinking, and revolutionized technology. It even led way to the atom bomb itself - thus, by splitting the atom, energy would be released. All the matter when counted comes to a big fat zero as well.
(c) is for (C)eleritas.
Some descriptions write it as 'Sceleritas,' but this Latin translation for 'light' can also be written as, 'Celeritas'. Whenever you see the letter 'c' it represents the speed of light; which is of course 186,000 miles per second. When it is sitting beside another notation, the two answers multiply. Thus it is written as M x c, which basically means that mass is thus multiplied by the speed of light.
(^2) is for squared.
This means that the speed of light is multiplied by itself. Thus, energy equals mass multiplied by the speed of light which is multiplied by itself. The mathematical symbol for light is (), or can also be represented as 'hv', where h is Planck’s constant and v resembles the Greek letter (u).
(note* - [^] is a mathematical notation, indicating a number to its power. See 'powers' in guideline at beginning.)
String theory and M-Theory
Until the 'string theory' came about, it was thought that matter existed as tiny little 'pointlike' units, like a grain of sand on a beach. This idea has been challenged. Superstring theory is a mathematical insert, describing all fundamental particles as tiny strings vibrating at different frequencies, and correctfully predicts the work of the forces between particles, (especially gravity and the strong force). Strings come in two distinctive forms: Open strings and closed strings. Open strings make up fundamental matter, whilst closed strings move throughout different universes.
Open strings have two endpoints, and closed strings are envisioned as tiny loops. The two types of string play different roles, yielding two different spectra. For a quick reference, one of the closed strings is the elusive graviton, and one of the open strings make up the photon. Because open strings have two endpoints, they can inexorably join with other strings forming a closed string. Strings can split and combine, describing particles emitting or absorbing other particles.
The theory states that our universe has 11 dimensions in space, but 7 of these dimensions are undetectable so far, because they are curled up into the smallest space possible called the 'Planck length.' However, physicists Nima-Hamed, Savas Dimopoulos and Gia Dvali have brought forward new ideas how to probe these dimensions using gravity. This makes sense, since according to theory, gravity travels freely between dimensions.
We see three spatial dimensions everyday and are aware of a 4th dimension of time. We know our universe has three dimensions for sure, not only because of the apparent shape of an object, but also because of the 'inverse square law of gravity,' which allows the force between two masses to decrease as the square of the distance, represented as 'r', between them. You can imagine the distance 'r' and the gravitational field strength as being radiated through a 3-dimensional sphere enclosing a mass. The surface area of the sphere increases as the square of the distance 'r^2' and the strength of the field is distributed in proportion.
Thus, in a 4-dimensional space, similarly the surface area of the 4-dimensional sphere would emit a field that gives away with the cube of the distance 'r^3'. Therefore, adding extra dimensions, as string theory does, would mean that the gravitational field would decrease with a corresponding increase in the power of 'r'.
Even though we have not detected these extra dimensions in spacetime, the recent lab results show us that we can probe space to a distance of 200 micrometers. Theory suggests a visible dimension curled up to about 100 micrometers - so you can imagine, we are half way there. The smallest surface around the mass where we can experimentally measure the gravitational field, would enclose the extra dimension searched for, and they would have no effect on gravity at larger distances. There is even a theory that there is a baby universe curled up into the sixth dimension of space, see 'the theory of hyperspace.' It is these hypothetical 'larger scale dimensions' that fits in neatly with the so-called 'brane theory,' or also known as 'membrane theory,' which is an extension to a multi-dimensional string theory.
'M-theory' stands for many expressions, such as magic, mother, mystery and of course, membrane theory. The 'm' itself however, has been attacked, by scientists calling it the 'moron' theory. M-theory added an extra dimension onto the existing dimensions of string theory - before M-theory; string theory was a '1-brane theory'. It was the realization in the mid 1990's that the string theory itself could be extended to allow higher dimensional objects (9).
The introduction of string theory introduces branes which are 'spatially extended objects'. The variable 'p' is for the spatial dimension of a particle; thus 0-brane means a zero dimensional particle. A 1-brane is a string and a 2-brane is a 'membrane' ect. ect. Membrane-theory brought with it an extra dimension of space, and the 'fundamental string', or 'F-string' became a 2-dimensional membrane, called a 'supermembrane.' Membrane-theory has brought other new and bizarre ideas to physics, such as the 'Holographic Principle.'
Plato, the Greek philosopher (427bc - 347bc), wrote a series of dialogues which summarized many things he had learned from his great teacher Socrates, who was executed in the year 399bc. One famous dialogue was called the 'Allegory of the Cave.' It describes a disturbing picture where people are chained to the ground inside of a cave, circling a fire, which cast their shadows on the walls of the cave. However, one escapes the prison, and went out into the light of the day and see's his true reality. When he returns to the captives inside of the cave, he tells them about the deception, but they all mock him for talking absurdities.
In 1993, a Dutch theorist and physicist G. t' Hooft put forward a rather bold proposal, using Plato's Allegory of the Cave. The theory became to be called the Holographic Principle. The idea arose based on two assumptions;
The first says that all the information contained in some region of space can be represented as a Hologram - it is ultimately a theory that exists on the boundary of that region of space. The second assertion is that the theory on the boundary be allowed at least one degree of 'Planck area.'
The Planck area is a very small 'square' measurement which has a side length equal to that of the Planck length, which is 1.6 x 10^-33 centimeters. Moving on, the principle suggests a strange reality, where everything physical in our universe is nothing more than shadows on a wall! M-Theory predicts that our 4-dimensional continuum is just the boundary of a larger space. If we could move away from this wall, this apparent restriction of reality, we would be moving into the 5th-dimension which is curled up into a space smaller than a infinitesimal size of a superstring. Move around in the dimension and you would start to shrink to the size of superstring and then back to normal size! Even if one moved into the fifth dimension, you would end up where you had started. The theory of the fifth dimension was named after its inventor Oskar Klein, 'Kaluza-Klein Theory'. The Allegory of the Cave, one might say, was the first hypothetical assumption that reality as we know it was built up of much more unseen phenomenon, such as dimensions.
String theory has come under considerable attack by many physicists, especially within the last twenty years; prominent critics involve Philip Anderson, Sheldon Glashow, Lawrance Krauss and Peter Woit. The main problem, is that string theory is not testable, and is thus not falsifiable. It is in essence, a very safe theory: Though, if nothing experimental can arise from it within the next couple of decades, it will most probably fade into the past.
10-08-07, 11:12 AM #20
This is chapter two. You already have parts of chapter three... i'll leave it for now, see if any of the science enthusiasts have anything to say about it.
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