Kevin's Watch Forum Index
 HomeHome   MemberlistMemberlist   RegisterRegister   SearchSearch   ProfileProfile   FAQFAQ   StatisticsStatistics  SudokuSudoku   Phoogle MapPhoogle Map 
 AlbumAlbum StoresStores   StoresItems Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Quantum continuum.

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> The Loresraat
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
peter
the spider from Mars


Joined: 25 Aug 2009
Posts: 6656

Thanks: 38
Thanked 43 Times in 42 Posts


21483 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:46 am    Post subject: Quantum continuum. Reply with quote

I'm struggling a bit to hang my understanding of what quantum theory has to say (if anything) about the existence of otherwise of continua in the universe. I always understood the electromagnetic spectrum as a continuum - but if energy comes in little indivisable packets, it can't be can it? Am I correct in thinking that quantum theory effectively precludes the existence of continua? Space is not one - the plank length and granular nature of the stuff at the quantum level preclude this, light I said about above. But hang on; of continua are precluded by quantum mechanics - why can they exist in mathematics - or can they? Does there exist somewhere down there a 'planc number' beyond which further divisibility is impossible? Help! Wink
_________________
http://jhfv.blogspot.co.uk/

....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

We are the Bloodguard
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Vraith
LibTard, Mr. Reliable.


Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 9810

Thanks: 17
Thanked 85 Times in 83 Posts

Location: everywhere, all the time
35095 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Raver1 Wraith1 Caesure


PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Quantum continuum. Reply with quote

peter wrote:
I'm struggling a bit to hang my understanding of what quantum theory has to say (if anything) about the existence of otherwise of continua in the universe. I always understood the electromagnetic spectrum as a continuum - but if energy comes in little indivisable packets, it can't be can it? Am I correct in thinking that quantum theory effectively precludes the existence of continua? Space is not one - the plank length and granular nature of the stuff at the quantum level preclude this, light I said about above. But hang on; of continua are precluded by quantum mechanics - why can they exist in mathematics - or can they? Does there exist somewhere down there a 'planc number' beyond which further divisibility is impossible? Help! Wink


Well, it has a lot to say, and depends on which version you're talking about. We all, it seems, make that error around here for convenience. We say "Quantum Theory" as if it was all one big thing. It ain't.

And all the versions have their own claims and inherent contradictions/paradoxes...although they all have one thing in common: though they use a plethora of mathematical tools, and can't be done/understood without those tools, the fundamental levels of none of them are actually mathematically rigorous. [[some people are trying to make them so]].

Anyway: any PARTICULAR photon, depending on frequency, wavelength, can only interact at/with specific discrete energy quanta. BUT light can be any frequency/wavelength. [[though total available energy obviously creates an upper practical limit. I don't think there is a lower limit?? Theoretically, I guess the lowest would be one that is EXACTLY one wavelength that is the size of the entire universe---but it would always be getting lower/longer due to expansion...I think. Maybe. I think somewhere at some time I ran across someone suggesting standing waves in all directions the size of the universe. ]].

The Planck length is NOT the smallest size/distance that can exist. [[though some say it is]] It is the smallest length we can MEASURE. [[Due to energy required and uncertainty.]] Planck time is similar---it is how long it takes something moving at light speed to travel a Planck length. It doesn't mean that 1/2 a "Planck second" doesn't exist...just that it cannot be measured meaningfully.

Try this--just for autotelic reasons--you have a sphere of Planck diameter. What is its radius? Does that thinking imply anythings/prompt speculations? I ask cuz it does weird things to me.

And, more just for fun...though I really mention it cuz I was gonna do so in other threads, because it relates tangentially to emergent properties, and might relate to what consciousness is [at least analogically fruitful, I think], and some other things...

We, almost all of us, keep talking about quantum in terms of particles, and "force carriers" and such, as if [among other things] particles CAUSE fields and forces. That isn't really the case, though, it's more of a convenience/useful tool. At a fundamental level it seems the opposite is true: particles, to the extent they even exist, are created by/states of the fields.

[[[All errors in the above are because I'm talking from a point way way out in the fuzzy/misty territories of my brain-power, data, and exposure]]].

_________________
the difference between evidence and sources: whether they come from the horse's mouth or a horse's ass.
-------------------------------------------------------
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
-------------------------------------------------------
the hyperbole is a beauty...for we are then allowed to say a little more than the truth...and language is more efficient when it goes beyond reality than when it stops short of it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wayfriend
whilom witling

Male
Joined: 21 Apr 2004
Posts: 18455

Thanks: 11
Thanked 198 Times in 181 Posts

Location: The world of the Bowling Green Massacre
41539 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Quantum continuum. Reply with quote

peter wrote:
I always understood the electromagnetic spectrum as a continuum - but if energy comes in little indivisable packets, it can't be can it?

You're mixing metaphors there. Although it may just be the way you phrased it.

The electromagnetic spectrum is a purely mathematical+nomenclature construct, which describes the range of possible frequencies an EM wave may have, and assigns names to different subranges. It's like an FM radio dial, going from 88 to 108. Any given radio station will be at one specific frequency, but the dial represents the range where that station might be. The electromagnetic spectrum is a range of frequencies which an EM wave might have.

What an EM wave moves through is actually something else entirely. AFAIK it is nothing except space (the three dimensions). But QP may have a more refined answer.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Hashi Lebwohl
Director of Data Acquisition

Male
Joined: 06 Jul 2009
Posts: 10529

Thanks: 19
Thanked 94 Times in 90 Posts

Location: UMCPHQ
58439 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Caesure1 Insequent1 UMCPHQ


PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Quantum continuum. Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:

Anyway: any PARTICULAR photon, depending on frequency, wavelength, can only interact at/with specific discrete energy quanta. BUT light can be any frequency/wavelength. [[though total available energy obviously creates an upper practical limit. I don't think there is a lower limit?? Theoretically, I guess the lowest would be one that is EXACTLY one wavelength that is the size of the entire universe---but it would always be getting lower/longer due to expansion...I think. Maybe. I think somewhere at some time I ran across someone suggesting standing waves in all directions the size of the universe. ]].


All matter is a standing wave, or more accurately a collection of standing waves--*you* are a standing wave. At the macro level, though, wave motion is so small that it may be dismissed entirely...unless you are creating a Bose-Einstein condensate, in which case quantum effects start to manifest at the macro level, but then things get weird when that happens.

Anyway, the Planck length is significant because below that threshold all normal definitions and ideas about space, length, and time lose their meaning--at that point you are reducing spacetime itself to a quantum nature. For comparison, the charge radius of a typical proton is less than 1 fm (femtometer, or fermi, at 10^-15 m) and the Planck length is 20 orders of magnitude (10^-20) smaller than that (I forget the exact value but you can look it up in about 30 seconds). To put this in perspective, if the charge radius of that proton is the age of the observable universe (10^16 s), then the Plank length is a tenth of a millisecond (10^-4 s).

_________________
No matter how thinly you slice it, it's still bologna.

What is the secret of Zen? Burn all your Zen books.

If you can't handle losing then you don't deserve to win.

Don Exnihilote wrote:
Hashi, if you thought you were wrong at times, evidently you were mistaken.


Mensa and Intertel
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 16746

Thanks: 35
Thanked 170 Times in 163 Posts


14347 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wave/particle duality is real. It's not a mathematical construct. In experiments, matter behaves as either, depending on how you conduct the experiment. There are many ways to interpret this, but I do not believe any sort of reductionism is going to do it justice.
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Vraith
LibTard, Mr. Reliable.


Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 9810

Thanks: 17
Thanked 85 Times in 83 Posts

Location: everywhere, all the time
35095 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Raver1 Wraith1 Caesure


PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Wave/particle duality is real. It's not a mathematical construct. In experiments, matter behaves as either, depending on how you conduct the experiment. There are many ways to interpret this, but I do not believe any sort of reductionism is going to do it justice.


Reductionism...probably not. Because the meaning of reduction has been "reduced." 50/100 can be "reduced" mathematically to 1/2. BUT there are innumerable ways that 50/100 is NOT the same as 1/2...or the same as 49/98...
OTOH [or maybe on the same hand, but we're saying similar things in different terms/comprehension spheres] the duality is only real-ish, perhaps. IF [I'd actually lean towards WHEN] we come up with a different kind of experimental basis, it might well be particle/wave/?? triplicity. And then particle/wave/??/** quadracity. Because it is not "dual" it is something else that is neither.

_________________
the difference between evidence and sources: whether they come from the horse's mouth or a horse's ass.
-------------------------------------------------------
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
-------------------------------------------------------
the hyperbole is a beauty...for we are then allowed to say a little more than the truth...and language is more efficient when it goes beyond reality than when it stops short of it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peter
the spider from Mars


Joined: 25 Aug 2009
Posts: 6656

Thanks: 38
Thanked 43 Times in 42 Posts


21483 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I can make an example of what I'm thinking (and thanks for the posts guys - it'll take me a bit to read the links, but I will), my wallet can hold any degree of money - but I can only add to it a pound at a time, or whole multiples thereof (say). Therefore whatever money it holds will be in multiples of pounds - no half or quarter pounds etc. Now won't the same be true of the frequency values that light will be found to hold down at the quantum level of accuracy of measurement? Are not continua a bit like Newtonian mechanics, a good descriptive tool at macro levels, but which have no meaning in a quantum description of the world. Or (most likely Wink is this just plain wrong, and continua ....... errr ...... continue even down at this smallest level - is they actually do represent how light-waves are in reality.

(A third possibility is that these descriptions are just simply that - descriptions - waiting to be superceded by a new, more encompassing description in which continua and quantum will be unified into a single description of greater explanatory power.)
_________________
http://jhfv.blogspot.co.uk/

....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

We are the Bloodguard
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Vraith
LibTard, Mr. Reliable.


Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 9810

Thanks: 17
Thanked 85 Times in 83 Posts

Location: everywhere, all the time
35095 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Raver1 Wraith1 Caesure


PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
but I can only add to it a pound at a time, or whole multiples thereof (say). Therefore whatever money it holds will be in multiples of pounds - no half or quarter pounds etc. Now won't the same be true of the frequency values that light will be found to hold down at the quantum level


Not really, no.
The notes in your wallet COULD have any value whatsoever. The printer/government just decided to label it. [[not to mention, the actual value of every pound varies all the time]].
Photons can have any frequency/wavelength whatsoever between nothing and infinite.
I've seen some speculation there MIGHT be endpoints, but we can't measure, even in principle, to know for sure. But there definitely are not gaps between. All wavelengths/frequencies are possible.

_________________
the difference between evidence and sources: whether they come from the horse's mouth or a horse's ass.
-------------------------------------------------------
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
-------------------------------------------------------
the hyperbole is a beauty...for we are then allowed to say a little more than the truth...and language is more efficient when it goes beyond reality than when it stops short of it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peter
the spider from Mars


Joined: 25 Aug 2009
Posts: 6656

Thanks: 38
Thanked 43 Times in 42 Posts


21483 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Fair comment V. All part of the process of learning: continua and quanta, room for everything! Wink
_________________
http://jhfv.blogspot.co.uk/

....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
'Have we not served you well'
'Of course - you know you have.'
'Then let it end.'

We are the Bloodguard
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> The Loresraat All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by Earthpower © Kevin's Watch