Perspective...

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Seattle, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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  3. Neddy Bate Valued Senior Member

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    I think you might be off by one order of magnitude...

    oops, nevermind...
     
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    One aspect: maximum complexity of organization may be reached at around our size. At our size, we can incorporate quantum scale and gravitational/lightspeed scale phenomena in our structure and behavior; large enough to withstand Brownian motion and the like, use light waves for information, etc, small enough that gravity does not overwhelm everything - we are not self-drawn into spheres, nor are we battered about by energetic particles. We are large enough to have temperature and pressure make sense, small enough to have rapid communication throughout our structure by chemical flow and reaction as well as light and sound. "Our" (living beings here) generational time is short enough to have many replications over the age of the universe, long enough to allow complex growth and development in each one - that is partly a matter of size. And so forth.

    So we can, in a sense, more easily generate complexity of structure and behavior than we could if we were very much larger or smaller. We have more to work effectively with.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
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  7. Michael 345 Bali 1 week here 2 to go Valued Senior Member

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    What about picking a virus as a starting point???

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Why? Are you a virus?

    You can start where ever you want however. You can start with a neutrino at 10^-24 and end with the Observable Universe at 10^26.
     
  9. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    No. We only know our perspective at the metre scale.

    We assume the Plank length is the smallest scale.
    Likewise, we assume the observable universe is the largest scale.

    But those assumptions are based simply on what we can see and measure, which is humano-centric.

    So, saying we are right in the middle is a tautology.
     
  10. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. Both limits we picked because we can see them.
    Our science simply doesn't cover anything beyond those limits.

    Why do you ignore string theory, which goes down nine more orders of magnitude?
    And why do you ignore brane theory, which grapples with multiple colliding universes?

    Because they're tentative? Yes. That is a limit of our ability to observe and study.

    But you can't then turn around and declare it is the limit and that isn't it odd that we find ourselves in the middle. Again, that's a tautology.
     
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    It's kind of like saying

    'Isn't it interesting that this fog bank is centered directly on top of us. After all, I can only see the same distance no matter which direction I look. We must be in a preferred location.'
     
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  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, when discussing a way to put various scales into perspective I can only deal with the known. If you can construct a post regarding perspective including the unknown and make it meaningful...be my guest.

    I don't actually assume that the observable Universe is all there is. Regarding the Planck limit, I have no reason, one way or another, to know that there is more beyond that.

    I'm also not saying that there is anything particularly meaningful about us being roughly in the middle, other than the kind of comments that Iceaura made above.
     
  13. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    We can't see anything at the Planck limit. Yes, I can only intelligently discuss the known. I'm not "declaring anything".

    I find it helpful to remember these benchmarks in terms of their perspective.
     
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    True, you didn't say meaningful; you said interesting.

    Would you find it interesting that you can see roughly the same distance in any direction in a fog bank?
     
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    So, your comment should then rightly be: isn't it interesting that we can see similar limits to scales in both directions.
     
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I think you might need more bran flakes in your morning meal. My post is nothing like your scenario. I think you are trying to read more into it than is there.

    My post about perspective was about useful benchmarks not about our "privileged" position although it is helpful to consider than our scale is roughly in the middle.

    Which, to me is especially interesting, as it shows just how small things go since we already intuitively have a pretty good understanding of the larger scales.

    None of it is "known" of course. The Universe may be infinite. I don't think so but if it is, I don't really need a benchmark of infinity as it would be of no use.
     
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    The fog bank is an excellent analogy.

    You choose to see yourself as the middle, based on your own limited ability to see.

    Our scale is based on our ability to see a given distance along the two scales.

    Which is exactly what causes us to choose ourselves as the middle. There may well be an infinity, but it is beyond our feeble sight.
     
  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    No, because I'm not an idiot. I don't think that it gets or can get much smaller than the Planck scale. If it can, I would find that interesting as well.

    My point about being roughly in the middle of the observable Universe is saying nothing about the Observable Universe being all that there is...or I would just call it the Universe.
     
  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Or it may be very large but finite since we don't have many/any physical examples of infinity of space. It's largely is a mathematical construct that occurs when a formula breaks down, which is why some are looking for a quantum gravity formula.
     
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    This is not why we are in the middle. We aren't in the middle of everything that we have knowledge of. Earth is 4.6 billion years old. We aren't in the middle.
     
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    O...kay. So you're retracting your OP. We aren't in the middle after all.
     
  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    You seem to want to win...you win.
     
  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I am simply trying to understand what you are saying.

    Post 37 acknowledges we're not in the middle. That seems to contradict your OP. Am I wrong?
     
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