Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by Beer w/Straw, Jan 4, 2016.
After man has gone extinct they won't exist anymore and no other species will miss our absence.
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It is kind of silly to say that things don't matter just because they're not eternal. Unless you're a nihilist.
No, we would just be the same as a lab created non-stable particle which decays instantly after creation.
In furtherance of post #21, this link will give a different perspectives on the importance of mankind in this world.
All radioactive particles do. Define "instant". At cosmic scales instant is a million years.
Here's a continuous list of decay rates from 10^-24 to 10^30
Scale has nothing to do with it. We are talking about a *causal existence in reality* of a single elemental atom.
There is a BIG difference between a *duration of existence* of 14 billion years and an *instant of existence* @ 10^-44 seconds.
At cosmic scales (the fabric of spacetime) measurements are made in Plack time (10^-44)
Not being a physicist, I may be wrong. But it is irrelevant to the discussion of latent *potential* (the Implicate) and dynamic *causal existence* (the Explicate).
The half life of element 118 is 8.9 million billion billion billion billion instants.
89ms is only its half life. Fully half the atoms will still exist. After minutes hours, even days, some atoms in a sample will still persist.
89ms is long enough for unaided human perception.
are we drifting into the concept of the universe as a self sustaining and self creating entity?
Far from it, IMO.
The first instant of decay alters the element, and it ceases to exist as a defined elemental atom.
As I understand it, *half-life* is a probability function. It is a rough estimate of the rate of decay. And we are talking about a *single* atom. It is impossible to calculate the decay rate of single unstable atoms, except as a statistical probability (half life)
And then it disappears back into the *quantum foam* of potentials, never to be seen again; well actually about 4 times, in controlled experiments..
But what can it do in this universe, what is its function? IMO, just becasue we can create it under *controlled* conditions, does not mean it has a natural dynamic causal function in this universe.
Note that we are not even certain in what group it belongs (noble gas or solid).
No, more like an alternate universe, with slightly different laws and potentials, where Ununoctium might play a causal dynamic function.
Who knows, it might be relevant in Black Holes (it is a very heavy atom). But so far we have only observed this element under *specially created* conditions, with known components as predicted by the Table of Elements. So we made it, but we can't store it or do anything with it.
Perhaps Dark Matter is made from #118? The wiki narrative is interesting.
It might be created occasionally in this universe, but as yet no one has found it in nature. Which tends to support the notion that it has no causal function. We constructed it and it gained existence for a brief moment (in human terms), but then decaying rapidly into simpler elements or components.
Oh. You're religious.
OK well, this is one of the science forums. Don't be bringing your 'but what function does it serve' stuff here.
It would seem so.
I checked. We haven't been mysteriously transported to the Religion forum when I wasn't looking. It's Write4U that's lost his/her way.
Strange days indeed. And what religion would that be?
David Bohm's Implicate? Renate Loll's CDT? Max Tegmark's Mathematical Universe?
Strange that you should call these physicists, cosmologists, mathematicians, religious. I have never heard them mention anything about a God.
Nor did I, for that matter.
What does *function* have to do with *religion*?
And you may also want to check; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necessity_and_sufficiency
Asserting the need for an element to have a "function" is teleology. This is classically the realm of metaphysical or religious ideas - "purpose" in the cosmos and so forth. Whereas, as I said to you earlier in this thread, it has no place in a science discussion. More background here: http://www.britannica.com/topic/teleology
I have a slightly different viewpoint.
IMO, the dynamics of the universe itself function in a manner which we have named *mathematical* functions. Tegmark observes that "the universe does not have *some* mathematical properties, it has *only* mathematical properties."
I find this an attractive idea and is supported by *known* universal constants, which we can efficiently express through mathematical values and equations and mathematical functions.
I recently ran across this;
IMO, this true or false equivalence holds on every mathematical hierarchy from the infinitely subtle to gross expression in reality.
Fundamentally the universe, the singularity with (near) infinite Potential, functions as a duality, the absolute minimum Material or Immaterial equivalence. Necessity and Sufficiency.
That was the basis for my argument that #118 might not be a dynamic functional atom because there may not be a need for such an element, except perhaps at a level beyond our observation, such as in a BH.
I don't see how that justifies ascribing a "function" to a chemical element. If you think it does, you will need to point out how in rather more detail.
Most of the synthetic transuranic elements are very short lived, so it's very difficult to make chemical experiments with them. Usually very little is known.
Interesting is, that there is an "isle of stability" expected starting about at element 120, and if this "isle of stability" is real, then we might find new and interesting elements there.
Mass production of elements by fusion of lighter cores is insanely expensive though, otherwise we'd already produce gold or other rare and valuable elements this way.
I offer this link because it says it better than I ever could.
There is nothing I can see in either link on the subject of ascribing function to a chemical element. Where is this mentioned?
Separate names with a comma.