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When I Was Young.....
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peter
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:31 pm    Post subject: When I Was Young..... Reply with quote

......The stock answer my parents gave to my childish wondering as to " Where did the universe come from" was that "It's been here forever". I suspect my parents were no less informed than the average on this fundamental question of cosmology, and while the beginnings of the idea of a 'big bang' event were quite possibly rumbling around in the far reaches of the academic journals of the day, it was many years before such knowledge found its way into the mainstream of everyday thinking. I wonder, was the 'it's been here forever' idea based on any experimental or indeed theoretical evidence - did it have any mathematical support behind it, or was it a simple 'get out of jail free' card on a par with any other faith based cosmogeny.

Further to this, even had we not developed the idea of a big bang origin for the universe, and then been able to (pretty much I believe) support it with experimental evidence such as the background radiation signature of its occurence, should not the Second Law and concept of entropy have told us that the universe could not have existed forever: Had it done so everything would have happened already and it would have already been a ghost-town for ....well .......ever!
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That reminds me of a (possibly apocryphal) story of when missionaries first arrived in Africa, and asked the locals who had made all the land and sky and animals etc.

The local tribes-people answered with disarming honesty that they didn't know, they'd found it that way when they arrived. Very Happy

(Which in turn makes me think of Arch-Bishop Tutu saying that when those missionaries arrived, they'd had the bible, while the locals had the land. The missionaries told the locals to close their eyes and pray, and when they opened their eyes, they had the bible and the missionaries had the land. Very Happy )

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

True alas everywhere that colonialism occured Av. And the story - a simple and fine answer to the hubris that demands that admission of not knowing is somehow shameful. Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always found it charming myself. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does indeed have charm about it.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for the diversion, but the thread title prompts me to post this link to the works of my first hard crush.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Savor Dam wrote:
Sorry for the diversion, but the thread title prompts me to post this link to the works of my first hard crush.



Ah yes, Karen Carpenter always had this unique and rich-sounding voice; can't say I mind the diversion! Cool
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:05 pm    Post subject: Re: When I Was Young..... Reply with quote

peter wrote:
Further to this, even had we not developed the idea of a big bang origin for the universe, and then been able to (pretty much I believe) support it with experimental evidence such as the background radiation signature of its occurence, should not the Second Law and concept of entropy have told us that the universe could not have existed forever: Had it done so everything would have happened already and it would have already been a ghost-town for ....well .......ever!


Before reality coalesced into the laws of physics as we know them the Second Law would not have existed; therefore, the conditions could have existed such that the universe could indeed have existed forever before it turned into what we see now. Of course, at that point there probably wouldn't have been Time, either, so the concept of "forever" would be moot.

The idea that everything was condensed into a singularity when then somehow exploded to form the known universe seems to be merely a convenient excuse that loosely fits observed reality. Yes, we see that things are receding away from us in every direction and thus we conclude that all matter must have originated at the same point but that really isn't *proof* that such a singularity existed. At least M Theory allows for reality which exists before the known universe in which we find ourselves.

The very question "where did such-and-such come from?" shows us just how grounded we are in causality. We think things have to have a beginning and an end because that is what we experience every day when, in reality not everything has to be dictated by causality. Well, okay--at the macro level yes, everything is subject to causality but at the quantum level causality doesn't necessarily apply.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have discussed elsewhere the 'nothing' into which the something apparently appeared spontaneously at the point of Creation (maybe an inappropriate word here - maybe not), but even in that nothing the possibility of the appearance must have existed must it not?
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....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the laws of quantum mechanics hold true when then entire universe has coalesced into one singularity then, yes, the probability of existence existing is not equal to zero.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:30 am    Post subject: Re: When I Was Young..... Reply with quote

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:

Yes, we see that things are receding away from us in every direction and thus we conclude that all matter must have originated at the same point but that really isn't *proof* that such a singularity existed.

but at the quantum level causality doesn't necessarily apply.


There may be some alternative to an initial singularity, or different description/properties of what/wherever was from what we mean by singularity right now.
But as a quibble---my currently evolving understanding thinks that it all didn't so much originate from some point as that everything that is IS that point. It's just a lot bigger and still growing.

For a lot of things, normal folk living day to day, the distinction doesn't matter much. It's more fun, though, [[and more useful for cosmologists]] to hold that we aren't all racing FROM the "place" where the singularity was, but we are, and always will be [until we can break through dimensions] "in" or "of" the singularity [or whatever it was].

On the second: it seems clear there are differences from our notion of causality at that level. But I think that's at least partly because our notion is mistaken, not that causality doesn't operate. Similar to our notion of time.
Several multi-dimensional frames have more than one time dimension. Most everyone can get some sense of the "extra" time going in reverse from ours, like a film run reverse. Not full understanding, but an intuition of that kind of flow, anyway.

But what if the "extra" time dimension[s] isn't "reversed"---what if it is at an angle?

We know what a glass of milk falling and breaking is like. We have some sense of what a broken glass standing up and refilling is like.

What is it like when that glass of milk goes sideways timewise? "When" [if ever] is it whole, falling, shattered, full, splattered?

How, exactly, are all those states/events different---and what are causes, and what effects---between time at 90 degrees and time at negative 17 degrees?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is not the 'sideways' slice of time not something akin to that idea that I was banging on about some good period ago, that all time is effectively existent all of the time ..... errrrr ......ish? Wink But lets say some other where was the place where our singularity popped into existance, even though we can say nothing else of that other where, we can say - and without fear of contradiction [ Wink ] - that it contained the possibility of our singularity appearing; that much knowledge we have at least.
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....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
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'Of course - you know you have.'
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
Is not the 'sideways' slice of time not something akin to that idea that I was banging on about some good period ago, that all time is effectively existent all of the time ..... errrrr ......ish? Wink

But lets say some other where was the place where our singularity popped into existance, even though we can say nothing else of that other where, we can say - and without fear of contradiction [ Wink ] - that it contained the possibility of our singularity appearing; that much knowledge we have at least.


On the first---no.
I mean, that may well be true...plenty of people/cosmologies describe it that way. [[I think that physicist Green hosted a PBS episode that described it basically that way. A river that looks flowing/liquid to us, but is really always already there and frozen.]]
But I was getting at something else that may or may not be literal.
There are String and Brane variations that solve certain paradoxes unsolvable otherwise by having two dimensions of time. And they are NOT opposite direction flows---any more than, in physical space, the second dimension is "opposite" the first, the third "opposite" the other two. They are all, in fact, SIDEWAYS to each other.
And, it seems to me:
Pretend you are traveling from London to Birmingham.
You can do the M1 most of the way, then hang a left [west].
Or you can go M40 most of the way, then hang a right-ish [north].
You've traveled in 2D. Beginning and end are basically the same. There are no opposites. But almost everything else, except the motion, is completely different.
So think of the time dimensions as different routes. People strictly limited to one or the other, for whatever reason, simply cannot understand each other, other than, for some mystical reason, agreeing that Birmingham is Northwest of London, without an outside/inclusive perspective.
Now..I'm not sure how physically the theories mean it. At least some mean it exactly literally.
But it's...I don't know...kinda like the Underpants Gnomes.
Step 1: Gather/steal underpants.
Step 2: ???????????
Step 3: Profit!

to the second: Hah---that attaches more or less precisely to the OTHER conversation. That "Nothing" is, in itself, always unstable. IF there is nothing, then something will come to be. And the more nothing there is, the more, and more likely, something[s] is/are.
[[[I'm not sure if that means nothing is always [pre]innately pregnant, or inherently suicidal]]]

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But does it mean that even nothing has properties (and can those properties {if it has them} be described as existent?
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....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
But does it mean that even nothing has properties (and can those properties {if it has them} be described as existent?

We're above my pay grade.
Is it like empty space, which apparently has some properties---it can be flat, stretch, bend despite not being "stuff" in any normal sense?
Or is it like darkness--which has no properties, it is simply the absence of the stuff called light?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm thinking that questions like the above sit in the grey area between physics and philosophy ........ And are much contingent upon definitions.
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....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
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'Of course - you know you have.'
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Empty" space isn't really empty since it is still "full" of quantum goodness. The thing you have to remember, though, is that 99% of the volume of an atom is empty space; therefore, by extension, you are 99% empty space. We aren't really solid objects but more like Sierpinski tetrahedrons.
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Hashi, if you thought you were wrong at times, evidently you were mistaken.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the space between the orbit of the electron and the nucleus of the same nature as the space between atoms or that of say deep space or in a vacuum chamber?
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....and the glory of the world becomes less than it was....
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'Then let it end.'

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. Empty is empty but still full of quantum spacetime.
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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.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do I remember that electron orbitals were different shapes [dumb-bell rings a bell [no pun intended]] and again IIRC, the shape was in someway related to the probability that the electron would be found somewhere within it's boundary. If this is correct, what then is the nature of space within this envelope of probability? does the electron effectively occupy the whole shape to the exclusion of space within the orbital - or is there a sort of space-orbital mix - or again can the electron still be considered as a virtual point of mass within an envelope of orbit shaped space?
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....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
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