Where is "here"?

So what's really going on?

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Greta
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Greta » Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:28 am

Greta wrote: The fact is that space is not empty but full of quantum particles.
Obvious Leo wrote:This is not a physical statement but a mathematical one, Greta, because you left a critically important adjective out of your statement. Space is full of VIRTUAL quantum particles and the meaning of "virtual" in physics is exactly the same as the meaning of "virtual" in the common usage. "Virtual" means NOT REAL.
The same could be said for all quanta, including that which makes up our atoms, in which case we ourselves are no more real than space.
Obvious Leo wrote:Your quantum foam is a mathematical metaphor and nowadays a much unloved one. Even Feynman had the decency to shudder at such a usage and clever Dick was a logical positivist in a class of his own.
The quantum foam is far more acknowledged than the idea that space doesn't exist. Sadly, I'm not Steve or Neo and can't delve as deeply into this with you as would be ideal. All I can do is what most do - see which experts seem most credible and whose ideas resonate.

A nice description of virtual particles here for your perusal and scorn :) http://profmattstrassler.com/articles-a ... -are-they/

I've tended to agree with you when you say it's best not to complicate things if possible and not discount the bloody obvious, and I'm doing that now. My science chops are lacking but, speaking from logic, if there is space between you and me, then there's space between cosmic bodies, as there's space between atoms, as there's space between the orbital clouds of electrons. Further, it makes sense to me not to think of space as empty but zones of low density through which higher density zones like objects be be or travel. We've spoken about this kind of thing before but I always gave up in confusion and I'd rather try to understand your ideas than be confused by them.

Entanglement could suggest a lack of space, as you espouse, or it could suggest actual physical short cuts through space (as opposed to wormholes, that are theoretic shortcuts with no physical evidence).

Sorry, have to stop for a moment because my neck is giving me gyp again. Can hardly sleep etc and permanently grumpy, hence foolishly buying into the dribble/drivel thing. Shall return when I don't feel like a gorilla is trying to twist my head off ...

Obvious Leo
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Obvious Leo » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:00 am

Greta wrote:The same could be said for all quanta, including that which makes up our atoms, in which case we ourselves are no more real than space.
Why do you assume that reality is contingent on the spatial extension of matter? In fact the smallest physical units of matter, these being the sub-atomic particles, are modelled in the SM as zero-dimensional mathematical points. Nobody in physics assumes that these particles are fundamental so if this can be true for these mathematical objects why should it not be true for the emergent entities they encode for?

The gaping hole in the SM modelling is the absence of gravity and everybody knows it, Greta, and the reason for this is that physics is mistaking a cause for an effect. Why should we assume that the strong nuclear force is the cause of quark behaviour within the proton when it is far more logical to assume that it is the effect of the gravitational motion of the quarks. If we were to do this then the motions of sub-atomic particles would be consistent with GR instead of attempting to make it consistent with SR, a gravity-less and thus timeless model.

You've got to remember that you're the observer in this scenario and what you're trying to do is look at reality from the outside looking in. This can't be done because you are just matter and energy yourself so you've got to try and think the world from the inside looking out. The reality "out there" that you think you're looking at doesn't exist any longer. The real reality "out there" is that which is continuously being MADE, just as you are. You are a process embedded within a process.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Obvious Leo » Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:09 am

By the way Steve was getting this loud and clear but Neo lacked the flexibility of thinking to get my point. Although his physics was pretty good he was very easy to trap with the logical inconsistencies which physics is riddled with. I think I upset him with the Lorentz-Fitzgerald contracting space because any half-awake logician can drive a semi-trailer through the logic of that nonsense sideways. You'll note that absolutely NONE of the sensitive new-age geeks still talk of contracting spaces when they bang on about relativistic motion. Such fantasies are so...yesterday because all you need to ask is "contracting according to which observer?" The simple fact is that SR is not relativistic enough.

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Greta
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Greta » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:07 am

Natural pain remedy comes to the rescue when all else fails.

Leo, the strong nuclear force/gravity connection makes sense intuitively - forces of attraction manifesting differently at different scales - but the differences are counter-intuitive enough to add to the general strangeness at that level.

Where is here? :)

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Obvious Leo » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:01 pm

Greta wrote:Natural pain remedy comes to the rescue when all else fails.

Leo, the strong nuclear force/gravity connection makes sense intuitively - forces of attraction manifesting differently at different scales - but the differences are counter-intuitive enough to add to the general strangeness at that level.

Where is here? :)
I was only using the strong force as an example because the same reasoning applies to the weak force, electro-magnetism and whatever epistemic "fields" we choose to contrive in order to model the behaviour of whatever particles we choose to invent. The essential point of this spaceless modelling at the sub-atomic scale is that it reverses the way that physics currently models cause and effect at higher emergent scales. In fact at the sub-atomic scale the entire notion of reality mandated by physical law collapses altogether and in the spacetime paradigm this draws us to the final refuge of the metaphysical dunderhead, randomness and the notion of the uncaused event. This interpretation is bollocks.

Think of the sub-atomic particles whizzing around inside an atom at speeds very close to the speed of light. It doesn't matter how we choose to define these particles or what properties we choose to endow them with or how many times we change our minds about the best way of doing this. My guess is that we'll keep tinkering with this methodology until we wipe ourselves out as a species because there is simply no such thing as a RIGHT way of modelling this. Our theories will determine what we observe in our particle accelerators just as they do now. However these sub-atomic particles all have different masses and thus the relativistic motion of each must gravitationally affect the motion of every other, but the closer the particles travel to light-speed the more relatively significant this gravitational effect will be, in accordance with GR. Bear in mind that there isn't a geek in physics who doesn't realise that QM is incompatible with GR and for a century it has been well known that no unification model will be possible until this impasse is resolved so what I'm talking about here is quantum gravity, which cannot be currently modelled in physics because the SM is predicated on SR, a model which assumes that gravity does not exist!!!! This chaotic motion of particles at the sub-atomic scale is in no way different from the chaotic motion of cosmological bodies at the cosmological scale, where it has been known since Newton that the motion of each determines the motion of all the others and that such complex inter-dependent motions can only be modelled probabilistically. What physics has managed to do with its gravity-less model of the atom is to mistake chaotic motion for random motion and thus drive itself into a conceptual cul-de-sac. Chaotic motion is SELF-CAUSAL, which means that reality is not being made according the laws of physics but in fact the laws of physics are being made by reality, which means we can make them up entirely to suit our own convenience. Which is what science has always done.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:43 pm

It is funny that modern physics no longer explains matter and the physical. They only supply us with useful fictions.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:59 pm

I hate the postmodern turn modern physics has taken. Hawking, for example, said that his theories do not describe reality. They only predict experimental results.
I wish Hawking understood philosophy. He is a self described logical positivist, a self contradictory philosophy. Logical positivism is based on the proposition that anything not empirical or analytical is nonsense. That proposition is neither analytical or empirical. Therefore, by its own definition logical positivism is nonsense!
When I read physics I want to learn about the nature of reality. I am not looking for useful fictions that only predict the results of experiments in a lab!

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:05 pm

Call me old school, but I believe that science should explain (or at least attempt to explain) reality. Instead, it is about mundane practical results and not the search for truth.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:20 pm

By the way, I have TREMENDOUS respect for Hawking,as a PHYSICIST not a philosopher. I remember when he said that we should not attempt to contact extraterrestrial intelligence. His "reasoning " was that history shows us that superior civilisations destroy inferior civilisations. Ummm, if extraterrestrials exist that can visit us, they are VASTLY superior to us. For them to want to conquer us, is like me wanting to be king of the ants and take over their ant hill. Not likely!

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:31 pm

Obvious Leo wrote: reality is not being made according the laws of physics but in fact the laws of physics are being made by reality, which means we can make them up entirely to suit our own convenience. Which is what science has always done.
Hawking contradicted his logical positivism paradigm when he asked, if everything is explained in an equation what breathes fire into that equation.
I disagree, science was a search for truth, not now of course. Hawking ( with that fire in the equations statement ) lapsed into an old school physicist, like Einstein.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:36 pm

That "fire" Hawking wonders about is by definition outside rational thought. A very mystical paradigm!!!
PS: I am using the correct definition of "mystical":the direct perception of reality without the intermediary of words/equations/symbols/icons.

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by raw_thought » Tue Sep 08, 2015 11:42 pm

Wittgenstein * said that it is not what reality is,but that it is,is the mystical".
* In the past Wittgenstein was incorrectly labeled a logical positivist. Now, he is known as a mystic!!!

Obvious Leo
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Obvious Leo » Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:01 am

raw_thought wrote:It is funny that modern physics no longer explains matter and the physical. They only supply us with useful fictions.
You raise a number of points very dear to my heart which I yearn to respond to, but she who must be obeyed has fixed me with a steely glare. I have to go and look in a furniture store, for fuck's sake. I thought I was done with all that shit decades ago!!

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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Obvious Leo » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:05 pm

raw_thought wrote:Call me old school, but I believe that science should explain (or at least attempt to explain) reality. Instead, it is about mundane practical results and not the search for truth.
This is to ask of science what science is not equipped to do. I'll confine my comments to physics because it is in physics that the inherent shortcomings of science are most apparent.

Hawking is not my favourite physicist by any means but he has a point. He is simply agreeing with Bohr that it is not the job of the physicist to explain what the universe is but merely to model it and make predictions about the behaviour of matter and energy within it. The entire problem of physics lies in its methodology because building on existing models is NOT how human knowledge progresses. It never has and it never will because all of the major advances in science have ALWAYS come about as a result of a single individual offering a different way of thinking the world. Einstein knew this and he also knew that spacetime was NOT the conceptual breakthrough which science was looking for. He knew perfectly well that the 4D continuum was nothing more than a clever mathematical embellishment on the Newtonian space and that all this new model could lead to was a mathematical extravaganza of spectacular virtuosity but no new insights.

This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of his death and the 100th anniversary of the publication of GR and in the modern scientific age this is an aeon. No significant breakthrough has occurred in physics since the development of the Standard Model half a century ago and everybody agrees that this was merely tinkering at the margins. Minkowski's manifold is long dead and the time has come for physics to acknowledge this. Time is not a spatial dimension and that's all there fucking well is to it and to represent it as such is to mistake the map for the territory.

Breathing fire into the equations of physics is simply a matter of bringing the universe to life. The truth of our cosmos is the truth of time because time is the realest thing that IS. Time is exactly what it appears to be, an infinite sequence of moments.

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Greta
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Re: Where is "here"?

Post by Greta » Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:27 am

Enjoyed both your posts. Much to agree with. Science can't possibly be used for macro explanations because it works from the bottom up. To depart from that approach is generally criticised as "unscientific", back to Stephen Hawking there.

[quote=Obvious Leo"]The truth of our cosmos is the truth of time because time is the realest thing that IS. Time is exactly what it appears to be, an infinite sequence of moments.[/quote]
Leo, if we have a infinite sequence of moments, it begs the question as to whether it's only an infinite sequence of information and energy or if there's something else in the mix. That leads to the next question - what is the universe doing? It appears to be growing, developing and, presumably, dying - a cosmic equivalent blastula invaginating? Then we have the pre-inflation state of the universe and if it was the first instance or one of many - serially or in parallel? What I like about the multiverse model is that its scattershot aspect strikes me as how nature generally operates - multiple iterations with many non-viable or stable entities to be recycled.

At this point level of reality the idea of "here" seems a tad moot.

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