May 17, 2012 at 1:09 am #438
This is a wonderful four part special about our strange universe. “What is space?”, “The illusion of time”, “Quantum leap” and “Universe or multiverse?”. Based on a book by Brian Green and presented by him.May 17, 2012 at 1:17 am #439
Ilya Prigogine is cool…May 17, 2012 at 1:19 am #440
“There was a time, not so long ago, when biologists swore black and blue that quantum mechanics could play no role in the hot, wet systems of life.
Since then, the discipline of quantum biology has emerged as one of the most exciting new fields in science. It’s beginning to look as if quantum effects are crucial in a number of biological processes, such as photosynthesis and avian navigation which we’ve looked at here and here.
Now a group of physicists say that the weird laws of quantum mechanics may be more important for life than biologists could ever have imagined. Their new idea is that DNA is held together by quantum entanglement.
That’s worth picking apart in more detail. Entanglement is the weird quantum process in which a single wavefunction describes two separate objects. When this happens, these objects effectively share the same existence, no matter how far apart they might be.”May 17, 2012 at 1:20 am #441May 17, 2012 at 1:30 am #442
“…if quantum superposition and decoherence and Hamerhoff and Penrose’s model is correct then some form of panpsychism or panproto-experientialism may be true. Consciousness on this view is a foundational, irreducible component of reality. Or as Hamerhoff states it “Consciousness or its ‘proto-conscious’ precursors are thus somehow built into the structure of the universe—a view that we might label pan-protopsychism” and “Consciousness is a sequence of transitions, of ripples in fundamental spacetime geometry, connected to the brain through Orch OR”. Some call it materialism on steroids, other call it a form of idealism.”May 17, 2012 at 1:34 am #443
“The end product of this kind of reasoning must be the revisioning of Jefferson Davies as a third world liberation leader protecting the southern cultural authenticity against the Imperialist, Capitalist North and its myth of universal human rights. “Slavery may be wrong in New England culture, but you can’t impose your cultural values on us in Dixie, we have our own cultural reality.” And of course we in Europe would be too busy burning witches at the stake to care either way.”May 17, 2012 at 1:38 am #444May 17, 2012 at 1:45 am #445May 17, 2012 at 1:50 am #446
When Albert Einstein looked at his equations, he realized they indicated that the universe was expanding. This didn’t make sense to him, so he introduced the cosmological constant to correct the maths. Well, turned out the original equations were right.
The thing is, these days, the maths indicate that there are more universes, that past and future already exist, and that we may be a 3D hologram :-).May 17, 2012 at 1:53 am #447May 17, 2012 at 2:04 am #448
Yes, indeed, Mari… and thanks, but the trouble with multiverses, and string theory and 3D holograms and a whole lot of other fantastic conceptions, none of us ordinary folk can understand the mathematics, and I have read rather convincing criticism, that says that you can make any Universe you like, by juggling the numbers and equations… so, there needs to be some connection to observable empirical stuff…
Which, in some cases, like Black Holes, there does appear to be… but others, like Dark Matter and Dark Energy, they seem to be completely fanciful, and rather absurd… if nobody knows what or where it is, or can find anything to match up with the mathematical models and supposed predictions….
Did they find that Higg’s Boson yet ? That was supposed to decide things, one way or another, wasn’t it ?
I do love to have my mind boggled though… 🙂May 17, 2012 at 2:09 am #449
“One thing I have learned in a long life: All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike — and yet it is the most precious thing we have.”
— Albert EinsteinMay 17, 2012 at 2:10 am #450
I have posted this before on Unciv. but it is one of the best and most illuminating depictions of what we know about whatever this ‘thing’ is, that we are existing in….
All the way down to quantum foam…. which both is and isn’t :-)))May 17, 2012 at 2:19 am #451
The Higg’s particle is supposed to give mass to everything else, while moving through the Higg’s field. So far, they are closing in on a particular energy area, having excluded higher and lower energies (afaIk).
(What’s so great about Prigogine?)May 17, 2012 at 2:25 am #452
Prigogine ? Well, he had 53 university degrees. Not everybody can say that. 🙂
He got the Noble Prize in chemistry for his contributions to non-equilibrium thermodynamics. Certainly as smart as Einstein.May 17, 2012 at 2:29 am #453
Yes, “the scale of the universe”-interactive is very good. I played with it when you posted it on unciv.May 17, 2012 at 2:30 am #454May 17, 2012 at 2:55 am #455May 17, 2012 at 2:56 am #456May 17, 2012 at 3:03 am #457
“None of the eight proposed Quantum Realities (and others since invented) feels right to me. No one today, I think, really knows how this world works. One easy way to fluster a physicist: ask what he/she thinks of the Measurement Problem.”May 17, 2012 at 3:27 am #458
“In the previous 2 posts of this series we looked at some of the pillars of quantum physics: the measurement problem & quantum entanglement and the way both can be demonstrated in the infamous double slit experiment. There we saw that the way an experiment is carried out seems to determine what we measure – an objective reality is nowhere to be seen, in other words: a conscious observer influences the result of a quantum measurement.
Let’s take this one step further: In this post I’d like to demonstrate that on the quantum level even the law of cause and effect seems to break down.”May 17, 2012 at 4:05 am #464
“Few of us ever stop to ask one of the most basic questions about the Universe: Where is it? The answer can help us understand the structure of nature and rid the mind of useless things.
To do so requires us to deviate from conventional thinking. We’re taught since childhood that the universe can be divided into two entities — ourselves and what’s outside of us. This seems logical and apparent. What is “me” is commonly defined by what I can control. I can move my fingers but I cannot wiggle your toes. The dividing line between self and nonself is generally taken to be the skin.”May 17, 2012 at 4:13 am #465May 17, 2012 at 4:15 am #466May 17, 2012 at 4:22 am #467
“The nature of quantum mechanics has forced researchers to reconsider their own role in the process of science. Gone is the Victorian idea that measurement is objective and absolute. Today, we know that in the quantum world, it is impossible to separate the measured from the measurer. But exactly what role measurement plays in the universe, we have yet to fathom.
One intriguing idea is that certain kinds of experiments can tease apart the nature of measurement. And one particularly important class of experiment involves quantum entanglement, the hugely puzzling phenomenon in which widely separated objects share the same existence (or in scientific terms, are described by the same wave function).
Imagine two particles that are entangled in this way. Before any measurement takes place, these particles are in a superposition of states. Then a measurement on one immediately influences the other, somehow determining the outcome of a measurement on it.
Many experiments have shown that this “influence” happens as close to instantaneously as it is possible to measure and certainly cannot be mediated by any lightspeed signal. The same experiments also rule out any hidden correlation between the particles in which the outcome of any measurement is agreed upon in advance. Imagine, for example, some unseen hand that forces experimenters to unknowingly carry out measurements that always make it look as if this spooky action at a distance was taking place.”May 17, 2012 at 4:40 am #468
“A theory of reality beyond Einstein’s universe is taking shape – and a mysterious cosmic signal could soon fill in the blanks
IT WASN’T so long ago we thought space and time were the absolute and unchanging scaffolding of the universe. Then along came Albert Einstein, who showed that different observers can disagree about the length of objects and the timing of events. His theory of relativity unified space and time into a single entity – space-time. It meant the way we thought about the fabric of reality would never be the same again. “Henceforth space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade into mere shadows,” declared mathematician Hermann Minkowski. “Only a kind of union of the two will preserve an independent reality.”
But did Einstein’s revolution go far enough ? Physicist Lee Smolin at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, doesn’t think so. He and a trio of colleagues are aiming to take relativity to a whole new level, and they have space-time in their sights. They say we need to forget about the home Einstein invented for us: we live instead in a place called phase space.”May 17, 2012 at 4:43 am #469
“Conjurers frequently appear to make balls jump between upturned cups. In quantum systems, where the properties of an object, including its location, can vary depending on how you observe them, such feats should be possible without sleight of hand. Now this startling characteristic has been demonstrated experimentally, using a single photon that exists in three locations at once.
Despite quantum theory’s knack for explaining experimental results, some physicists have found its weirdness too much to swallow. Albert Einstein mocked entanglement, a notion at the heart of quantum theory in which the properties of one particle can immediately affect those of another regardless of the distance between them. He argued that some invisible classical physics, known as “hidden-variable theories”, must be creating the illusion of what he called “spooky action at a distance”.
A series of painstakingly designed experiments has since shown that Einstein was wrong: entanglement is real and no hidden-variable theories can explain its weird effects.”May 17, 2012 at 4:52 am #470
one of nine, go to youtube to catch them all…May 17, 2012 at 4:57 am #471May 20, 2012 at 11:14 pm #545
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