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Author Topic:   What is "the fabric" of space-time?
cavediver
Member (Idle past 2874 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 166 of 327 (459444)
03-07-2008 1:49 PM
Reply to: Message 146 by Silent H
03-05-2008 7:20 PM


Re: the gravity of general relativity
Sorry - as Fallacycop correctly guessed, I missed this.

Feynman's path integral approach to quantum field theory is actually identical to what I've been describing, though it takes a 'little' maths to demonstrate. It deals with the behaviour of the fourier modes of the field, and the statistical flavour is that of these modes.

We could for example model vibrations of atoms in a molecule using the same type of equation for balls attached to each with a spring. As accurate as that might be, there is no real "spring" between th atoms, which are not themselves balls (or even ball-like). This is where convenience is not the same as understanding what it really occurring.

True and this is the classic picture of physics. What we are finding is that our descriptions now encapsulate not only the behaviour but the object itself. This sounds bizarre and it's the result of the nature of fundemental particles: they only have a finite and very small set of parameters. Two electrons do not just look similar - they are identical to the point of being the same object. This lies at the heart of the Pauli Exclusion Principle, and the in turn the structure of all matter. Once these few parameters have been explained, there is literally nothing else left to describe, by necessity (This property is also true of black holes, encapsulated in the famous 'no hair theorems') In your example, the atoms are sufficiently similar to be treated as identical, but we are smoothing over an enormous number of (irrelevant) parameters.

I thought that was an important distinction for him to make, because it undercuts illusions regarding what we actually know. Is it just accurate mathematical models (bean counts) or is it an actual description of the phenomena?

I would argue that we are getting close to the actual description. The mathematical models are becoming entire bodies of mathematics that we are seeing replicated in nature - it's no longer a bunch of useful mathematical methods and tools patched together to make a good model of reality. The phsyics isn't just remaining ameniable to the mathematics as we descend through the layers, it appears solely as mathematics. Why should it tie in so closely?

In my defense, my hypothetical simply paraphrased something I saw by a physicist. In his example he imagined that the sun (its mass) suddenly disappeared.

Hmmm, he was obviously no relativist :) Mass cannot disappear either...

Even if mass is energy in a volume, isn't there a point where energy in an area moves from something that does not exert a gravitational force (aka warps space-time) to something that does?

NO! You cannot change the mass in a volume without moving that mass out of that volume. You could annihilate every fermion in the Earth until it was just a cloud of photons, and as long as you could constrain those photons within a volume, the moon would never notice! The mass of the particles created in a particle accelerator was measurable as mass before in the energy of the power generation.

I guess I'd like you to unpack the explanation of why a pure time directional arrow would be different from one place to another. This may be a good place to literally draw me a diagram.

Take my classic space-time picture of a closed FRW universe - the globe. T=0 is the North Pole, with time flowing south. Care to suggest where the time directions of two separated particles would be parallel?

Must go - will continue later


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Replies to this message:
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johnfolton 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4822 days)
Posts: 2024
Joined: 12-04-2005


Message 167 of 327 (459487)
03-08-2008 1:14 AM



I just find it interesting that scientists at the University of Sussex and Imperial College London are talking about bands of mass-energy crossing the universe. However that would tend to hold things together not be responsible for the expansion of the universe.

Which is likely why the people at NASA explanation for the expansion is dark energy because its not detectable other than by its effects.

P.S. I just find it interesting that the Bible written over 3,000 years ago mentions stars clusters as having bands which is in agreement with the mass-energy cosmic string theory. The scientists at NASA about dark energy responsible for the expansion is interesting that it agrees with the bible that God is able to loosen these bands and that he alone is responsible for the expansion!!!!!!!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Could The Universe Be Tied Up With Cosmic String?
ScienceDaily (Jan. 21, 2008) —

A team of physicists and astronomers from the University of Sussex and Imperial College London have uncovered hints that there may be cosmic strings - lines of pure mass-energy - stretching across the entire Universe.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080120182315.htm

What is Dark Energy?

We don't know. We know how much there is, and we know some of the properties it must have. Other than that, dark energy is a mystery, and it's important that we find out more. Roughly 70% of the universe is made of dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 25%. Everything on Earth, everything that we have ever observed with all of our instruments – normal matter – adds up to less than 5% of the universe. Then again, maybe we shouldn't even continue call it "normal" matter since it's just a small fraction of the universe!

http://science.hq.nasa.gov/universe/science/dark_energy.html


  
Son Goku
Member
Posts: 1207
From: Ireland
Joined: 07-16-2005
Member Rating: 4.8


Message 168 of 327 (459576)
03-08-2008 4:51 PM
Reply to: Message 146 by Silent H
03-05-2008 7:20 PM


A bit of history.
Am I wrong in thinking that much of Feynman's work (or at least QED's explanatory power) would be undercut by the current direction of physics? He seemed to have a purely statistical concept driven by particle behavior (or theoretical behaviors) rather than fields.

This deserves an explanation. Feynman worked during a period when QFT was very new and hence his way of thinking will seem a bit out of step with what we are saying.

Basically Feynman came up with his diagrams, which you are familiar with. As you said these diagrams seem very particle based, not field based. That is what Feynman intended, he considered these diagrams as quantum mechanical descriptions of particle interactions of photons and electrons, nothing to do with fields.

At the same time Julian Schwinger, who had just come out of working on radar research for the US government, had developed a quantum field theory of the interactions of photons and electrons.
Also at the same time Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, a Japanese physicist, had obtained a field theory identical to Schwinger's.

The Schwinger-Tomonaga field theory gave identical predictions to the Feynman particle theory. Freeman Dyson eventually proved that Feynman's diagrammatic expressions are generated by the field theory. Of course many people were divided over which was primary. Did the field theory form the bedrock and generated the Feynman diagrams as a side bonus or were the diagrams all that matter and the fields only a pile of mathematical junk used to obtain them?

During the 60s people veered in the direction of the later. Mainly because making Quantum Field Theory mathematically consistent seemed impossible* and field theory didn't seem to be able to describe the strong and weak nuclear interactions.

However, ever since the 70s we've found several things (nonperturbative effects, certain bound states, e.t.c.) that the Feynman diagrams can't see/predict, which field theory does. Hence we now know that the Feynman diagrams are just useful mnemonic for field theory calculations when the interactions are weak.

*In fact it still seems so. You can obtain $1,000,000 from the Clay mathematics institute if you can make it consistent.

Edited by Son Goku, : Better title.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4130 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 169 of 327 (459728)
03-09-2008 4:19 PM
Reply to: Message 160 by Percy
03-05-2008 9:38 PM


Meanwhile, back here on planet Earth

You expect civility with this kind of garbage? Every single thing I have stated about quantum physics in terms of the science of it, I have backed up with specific comments from quantum physicists themselves, and you guys have shown not one single link or quote from a quantum physicist to disagree with me.

And yet you think I am the one in outer space?


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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4130 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 170 of 327 (459731)
03-09-2008 4:35 PM
Reply to: Message 159 by Percy
03-05-2008 9:27 PM


Anyone choosing to reply to this message, please ignore the off-topic rants and just focus on the topic.

AbE: I had only read the first couple paragraphs when I posted the above sentence. I've now read the rest of the message, and there is almost nothing in it that is on-topic. Anyone replying to this message should take care to reply to only those portions that actually relate to the "fabric" of space/time. --Admin

I don't think that viewpoint is shared by anyone but you. To everyone else you seem to be confusing classical and quantum descriptions of reality.

By "everyone else", you mean the partisan evos here at EvC, right? Because you guys have not shown one working scientist in the area of quantum mechanics that disagrees with me whereas I have shown they do agree with me.

Heck, in fact, I don't think you guys have enough decency half the time to even try to understand what others are saying. If you had, you'd realize that despite your haranguing me with all kinds of insults, breaking your own rules, etc,.....that on the science of it, you have conceded my points and agreed with me.

Take for example this comment:

But we're not calling the quantum world physical in the classical sense. In our most accurate model to date, the quantum model, the foundation of reality is the quantum field. The objects in the macro world that appear so substantial and so real to us are actually just manifestations of the quantum field.

Note your comment "so real". I am sure you will deny it, but I think a reasonable person knows what you meant. You are echoing the exact same thing I have stated, that what we think of as physical or real is a derived property, not the fundamental one, from the quantum field.

Well, to repeat, if you want to make the case for the "spiritual" deserving scientific status, you should probably propose a new thread.

And as has been said several times now, I think most of us would agree with you that descriptions of the quantum world directed at laypeople have a very spiritual quality to them. Gazing upon the foundation of our universe, be it at the level of the quantum field or at the macro level of star nurseries and the background radiation of the Big Bang, brings out spiritual feelings in us all.

You show you have not paid any attention whatsoever to my comments. Why do you guys feel so secure bashing people's ideas when you don't even understand them, percy? Are you too afraid to deal with their ideas because you are afraid you might be wrong or something?

Unfortunately, in order to help further this thread, I will have to explain something a little off-topic. By "spiritual", I mean nothing related to feelings, or being in awe, or anything like that. As I have mentioned before, the biblical concept and some other tradition's concepts of the spiritual world is that it is an invisible realm intertwined and connected to the physical world in such a way that the spiritual realities are more fundamental and give rise to the physical world. Seeming physical laws are therefore more easily violated (miracles) but spiritual laws are not.

The description above whether you want to accept it or not is one held by a great many religious and spiritual people. Your definition of physical would automatically include the spiritual realm since under your definition of physical, everything if it exists in the universe is physical. It's nonsensical to bash me for pointing out the quantum realm fits all the hallmarks of what people have called spiritual by you insisting it's "physical" and must be, and then snidely commenting in total ignorance I might add, you are confusing QM with classical physics.

No, I am not. The definitions of physical and material are derived from classical physics. In fact, it's classical physics that led to your comment on "so real."

But whether you call something spiritual or physical, if it is intertwined with the physical universe, gives rise to all things, then you have therefore defined spiritual realms as physical. So the term spiritual is a subset of physical under your definitions percy. I think that's wacked but your criticism of me here is like ypou arguing something cannot be water because it must be a liquid. It's nonsensical, and if you stopped and paid attention to what I had stated, you'd know that.

Don't you think instead of pretending I am making some argument I am not, you'd do better to get past the labels and see what process is occurring.

In QM, Zeilinger invokes a 3-d extra space for QM to operate. I thgink Schroedinger worked with a 2-d extra space. Either way, space and time, meaning our 3 dimensions plus time, have specific limitations, and one of those limitations is to limit action at a distance and enforce local realism. QM violates those and indicates added spaces.

Even cavediver admits the added spaces, but then people like him and you have the gall to blast me for discussing what this added space is, specifically it contains no mass, nor energy, and creates effects independent of space-time separation.

I have backed up every thing I have said about the science of QM with actual quantum physicists. You guys have provided not one link, not one refuting me, and yet you have the gall to accuse me of being rude despite putting up with vile insults from you and others, and dishonest attacks.

Show me one actual quantum physicist that disagrees with the science comments I have made concerning quantum physics. Show me one that doesn't agree entanglement occurs independent of space-time separation, for example. If you cannot, I'd appreciate an apology for the rudeness and insults you have levied against me here.

Edited by randman, : No reason given.

Edited by randman, : No reason given.

Edited by Admin, : Add moderator message.

Edited by Admin, : Add additional moderator comment.


This message is a reply to:
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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4130 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 171 of 327 (459736)
03-09-2008 4:50 PM
Reply to: Message 163 by Silent H
03-05-2008 10:06 PM


Interesting comment. I think we have.

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Admin
Director
Posts: 12788
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 172 of 327 (459737)
03-09-2008 4:53 PM
Reply to: Message 169 by randman
03-09-2008 4:19 PM


As has been explained to you many times now, the place for these types of complaints is the Windsor castle thread.

If you don't like board management please vote with your feet. Moderation policies are for the broader membership and will not be modified just to suit your whims.

You will only escape suspension as long as your contributions to discussion are civil and on-topic. Your skill at becoming offended and then using that as an excuse to disrupt discussion is well established and won't be tolerated.


--Percy
EvC Forum Director

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Percy
Member
Posts: 20745
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 173 of 327 (459742)
03-09-2008 5:13 PM
Reply to: Message 170 by randman
03-09-2008 4:35 PM


Hi Randman,

If you'd like to argue that the spiritual, in whatever way you would like to define it, should be given scientific status, I again suggest you propose a new thread.

So much of your post was off-topic diatribe that I can find nothing I can respond constructively to. If you'd like to continue discussion then I suggest you reply to one of the earlier messages, but not in the same manner you just did.

--Percy


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Silent H
Member (Idle past 5050 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 174 of 327 (459746)
03-09-2008 5:47 PM
Reply to: Message 166 by cavediver
03-07-2008 1:49 PM


Re: the gravity of general relativity
Sorry, was busy... also a thank you to fallacycop for policing my earlier post. The mnemonic description of Feynman's work was useful which I will address in my reply to SonGoku.

The mathematical models are becoming entire bodies of mathematics that we are seeing replicated in nature - it's no longer a bunch of useful mathematical methods and tools patched together to make a good model of reality. The phsyics isn't just remaining ameniable to the mathematics as we descend through the layers, it appears solely as mathematics. Why should it tie in so closely?

Would I be wrong in taking this as a suggestion of "math is the language of God" or more secularly "math is the language of the Universe"? If so, I might have an argument against that position. Of course, you might beat me to a bloody pulp after the first swing.

Hmmm, he was obviously no relativist Mass cannot disappear either...

If you want, I can try to find the video. I believe it was from a PBS type documentary posted on YouTube. The physicist was purportedly trying to show an issue Einstein had with Newtonian physics, which would have all bodies immediately be effected by such a sudden loss of mass. His claim (and he had computer graphics to support it!) was that the sudden mass loss would result in a wave of change in gravity spreading out at the speed of light to effect each other body in turn.

You cannot change the mass in a volume without moving that mass out of that volume. You could annihilate every fermion in the Earth until it was just a cloud of photons, and as long as you could constrain those photons within a volume, the moon would never notice! The mass of the particles created in a particle accelerator was measurable as mass before in the energy of the power generation.

Okay, I think I get this idea. Let me repeat to make sure. Energy can be diffuse, or compact. When compacted in a location it exhibits the properties we ascribe to mass. If that compaction is of a self-sustaining nature it is what we'd call a particle with mass?

Take my classic space-time picture of a closed FRW universe - the globe. T=0 is the North Pole, with time flowing south. Care to suggest where the time directions of two separated particles would be parallel?

If I understand your description my guess would be the south pole (parallel but opposite direction)?


h
"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." - Robert E. Howard

This message is a reply to:
 Message 166 by cavediver, posted 03-07-2008 1:49 PM cavediver has replied

Replies to this message:
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Silent H
Member (Idle past 5050 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 175 of 327 (459749)
03-09-2008 6:07 PM
Reply to: Message 168 by Son Goku
03-08-2008 4:51 PM


Re: A bit of history.
Sorry, was busy... I was going to ask some questions of both fallacycop and cavediver, but you have successfully answered them already. Thank you.

However, this appears to emphasize the issue I was talking about with cavediver. I've been asking about whether our current math is a model of the underlying reality, or just a useful tool.

Feynman seemed to suggest it was a tool. And the history you outline appears to substantiate his own commentary. His math was a tool.

Now what reason do we have to believe the more fully developed QFT is more than just a better tool?

Although I have not studied Einstein's math, and some limited amount of QM math, I did read Einstein's discussions and some of the QM pioneers of their work. I always got the feeling they had come up with interesting ways of conceptualizing reality (how phenomena function), based on the mathematical models which we needed to fit the observations (or make accurate predictions). All that logically entails (to my mind) is that the math is a useful tool, and that the conceptualizations help us understand the math... not what is actually happening.

The history you provided of Feynman's work would seem to support my feelings on the subject as the concepts were different, and so why can't there be still different concepts (especially when we haven't unified everything mathematically yet)? Cavediver is doing a nice job trying to dispel my unease, but maybe you'd like to take a shot.


h
"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." - Robert E. Howard

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 176 by Chiroptera, posted 03-09-2008 6:16 PM Silent H has replied
 Message 182 by Son Goku, posted 03-10-2008 8:52 AM Silent H has replied

  
Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 176 of 327 (459752)
03-09-2008 6:16 PM
Reply to: Message 175 by Silent H
03-09-2008 6:07 PM


Re: A bit of history.
Hi, H.

I've been asking about whether our current math is a model of the underlying reality, or just a useful tool.

I'm not sure what you mean here. I think of a model as a tool, so I'm not sure what you mean here.


...Onward to Victory is the last great illusion the Republican Party has left to sell in this country, even to its own followers. They can't sell fiscal responsibility, they can't sell "values," they can't sell competence, they can't sell small government, they can't even sell the economy. -- Matt Taibbi

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Silent H
Member (Idle past 5050 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 177 of 327 (459767)
03-09-2008 6:59 PM
Reply to: Message 176 by Chiroptera
03-09-2008 6:16 PM


Re: A bit of history.
Yeah, I should probably define my terms better. I think I may have switched usage throughout my posts as well. I should have said "accurate depiction of the underlying reality", rather than "model of the underlying reality". Clearly mathematical models can be tools.

Earlier I gave the description of atomic vibrational calculations using a "model" of two balls connected by a spring. While a wonderful tool, it would not describe the underlying reality.

For the purpose of this thread, is curved space-time a description of reality, or an extremely useful tool? For example are objects really following the topology of space and time, or do they simply behave in a way such that if we want to do our best calculations we (so far) ought to use that conception?

Cavediver appears to be making a case that the math has become so particular in its definition of phenomena, that there is often nothing left to mathematically address. One theoretical question I keep trying to get at (though hopefully not ad nauseum) is whether it might be possible for a different mathematical approach to be found based on totally different conceptions for how the phenomena function, or even different concepts using relatively the same math?

If so, then I'd say that we are dealing in mathematical models which are tools, and not mathematical models that describe underlying reality. As an aside, I believe that it is possible to reach a point where all we can know are abstract rules for prediction based on observation, without getting further at what is actually occurring. Perhaps we have reached that stage in some areas. This does not reduce such knowledge in importance, it only clarifies its boundaries.


h
"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." - Robert E. Howard

This message is a reply to:
 Message 176 by Chiroptera, posted 03-09-2008 6:16 PM Chiroptera has replied

Replies to this message:
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Chiroptera
Inactive Member


Message 178 of 327 (459768)
03-09-2008 7:08 PM
Reply to: Message 177 by Silent H
03-09-2008 6:59 PM


Re: A bit of history.
Heh. cavediver* and I disagree about how real the mathematics really is. I tend to be pretty anti-Platonic.

One theoretical question I keep trying to get at (though hopefully not ad nauseum) is whether it might be possible for a different mathematical approach to be found based on totally different conceptions for how the phenomena function, or even different concepts using relatively the same math?

And I've had similar questions in regards to determining how real the mathematics is. Suppose that we come across an intelligent alien species which clearly has an advanced technology. Suppose that this species has developed its science and technology through a historical development of theories that in every stage were utterly incommensurate with our mathematical theories. Would that imply that mathematics really isn't real, but simply a useful tool that one simply uses as a tool to concisely denote complicated abstract concepts?

Conversely, suppose that we meet a lot of advanced alien races, and everyone of them has developed their science and technology through concepts and mathematics that, once deciphered, are clearly analogous to ours. Would this imply that there is something real about mathematics after all?

Or is this not what you are asking?

*Speaking of good grammar -- if someone's handle isn't capitalized, is it nonetheless proper to capitalize it at the beginning of a sentence?


...Onward to Victory is the last great illusion the Republican Party has left to sell in this country, even to its own followers. They can't sell fiscal responsibility, they can't sell "values," they can't sell competence, they can't sell small government, they can't even sell the economy. -- Matt Taibbi

This message is a reply to:
 Message 177 by Silent H, posted 03-09-2008 6:59 PM Silent H has replied

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Silent H
Member (Idle past 5050 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 179 of 327 (459793)
03-09-2008 9:18 PM
Reply to: Message 178 by Chiroptera
03-09-2008 7:08 PM


Re: A bit of history.
Although I have direct physics issues as well (where I want more info), you have correctly described my theoretical issue with mathematical "realism".

Obviously, from a logical standpoint, neither scenario you mentioned would prove any specific mathematical model true or false, but the former (aliens using different models) would undercut arguments that useful (or seemingly comprehensive) math proves a model true.

I have the feeling my skepticism runs so deep that if every alien species we ran into had the exact same math as we did, and conceptual underpinning, I'd still make my same argument. However, I'd keep a tighter lid on it.

It is nice to find someone with a stronger math background holding a similar issue with what I was taking cavediver to be advancing.

(on names... I am never consistent with capitalizing or even with spelling out the full name, so I'm not the guy to answer your quandry)

Edited by Silent H, : -also


h
"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." - Robert E. Howard

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johnfolton 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4822 days)
Posts: 2024
Joined: 12-04-2005


Message 180 of 327 (459830)
03-10-2008 4:04 AM


Energy from Nothing ???????
Time by going forward would it not be creating new space from nothingness thru the increase of the dimension of time? Then when time expands would not new energy be created by the expansion of time?

Is the reason we don't see an increase in energy is we're only seeing one dimension of time the present?

Is this energy what scientists call dark energy and creationists call(God the true light of true light)? However it appears this energy is God creating energy from nothing? To empower time including the entire known universe is not space-time being increased?

Its like nothing at rest at least according to Einstein is truely nothingness maybe even less than a pea? But, expand nothingness and create space from nothingness and don't they believe you create energy from nothingness?

Einstein theorized that space expansion does not dilute energy but creates energy from nothing? But he did believe that space expansion was not the same as nothingness which would be the absense of energy of anything until nothing was expanded which became space time?

So what scientists are calling dark energy by all appearances appears to be responsible for binding cosmic strings? (black holes, atoms, galaxies, planets, time, etc...) and loosening (expansion of space) cosmic strings energy formed from the expansion of nothing???????

Is string theory about that from the expansion of nothing in the beginning that it formed cosmic tubular mass-energy strings that like dark energy or God true light of true light responsible for binding these strings to create black holes, atoms, time and that the entire known universe and is expanding still, including the dimensions of space created from this expansion (loosening) of cosmic strings created from nothingness, etc...

Are cosmic strings being created as time moves forward in time? Is there more to the atom like being regenerated as the earth moves forward in time? If the atom is not being regenerated through the creation of space will time just stop like what existed before t=0 like nothingness? Just God, in the beginning, like all things were created thru him, etc...

P.S. If God would but turn his face would all things be destroyed if all things were created from nothing?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Albert Einstein was the first person to realize that empty space is not the same as nothingness. Space has amazing properties, many of which are just beginning to be understood. The first property of space that Einstein discovered is that it is possible for more space to come into existence. One version of Einstein's gravity theory makes a second prediction: "empty space" can possess its own energy. This energy would not be diluted as space expands, because it is a property of space itself; as more space came into existence, more of this energy-of-space would come into existence as well.

http://science.hq.nasa.gov/universe/science/dark_energy.html


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