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Fred Champion

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About Fred Champion

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  • Favorite Area of Science
    physics
  1. I've been trying to remember anything in the Star Wars movies that gave an indication of climate cycles. Mostly I remember sand and barren landscapes. Did they just avoid the issue? I'll bet if we ever do get around to colonizing other planets we will want to know all about the climate before we go.
  2. My argument for units of the smallest things: The one most obvious problem with string theory and most other "smallest unit" theories is that the string or unit is presented as changing from one identifiable state to another identifiable state. Any object that presents evidence of its change of state in any way other than simple displacement (changing position) must do so by presenting evidence of reconfiguration of some sort. Any such reconfiguration should be seen as evidence of internal structure, meaning the existence of smaller "stuff" inside the object. Thus the smallest thing that can be something should be identifiable only by the place it occupies, and the only changes associated with it should be changes in position.
  3. The one idea I have had on a model for communication through any sort of collective or shared consciousness is of a large apartment building where each individual has his/her own apartment. Each apartment has a window into the building's atrium. Individuals go to their window and call out and/or try to talk to others. The din would make meaningful communication seem impossible for those not practiced at it, but with some care one might make out certain, especially familiar, voices. The idea came from considering what mechanism might account for mothers' knowing a child was in distress far away, solving problems while asleep, efficacy of prayer and meditation, and similar experiences. Just one idea.
  4. Math and physics differ over almost everything. Math is imaginary; it was/is invented. Physics (all real science) is discovery; we discover only what is real. Math accepts no limits. Physics searches for/defines limits. Math provides the virtual state of an object. Physics cannot provide the real state of an object because only the current state can be observed. Place (and identity) are all that are observable currently. The first and second derivatives of place, speed and acceleration, as well as all other relative constructs, such as time and position, require multiple observations of the object and its surroundings which cannot be simultaneous. Thus physics provides an approximate history while math gives an exact virtual current state. The key here is the definition of virtual.
  5. Is there any evidence, apart from what I expect may be anecdotal reports, of communication among humans (by some sort of telepathic or esp type method) during sleep? I know this sort of communication while awake has been studied without (I think) any consensus conclusions. I have had what I believe to be that type of experience, getting some information and/or insight while asleep, resulting in problem solving.
  6. I wonder if you have ever considered what life would be like on a planet like Uranus. With the axis tilted almost 90 degrees to the orbital plane, the seasons would be so much different from Earth's. It could be that both winter and summer would be so extreme that the population would have to migrate back and forth over the equator. At the distance of Uranus a complete seasonal cycle would be just about an average lifetime. It would be interesting to see a history of navigation on such a planet (without a pole star). Good luck
  7. What makes a photon "active"? Is there any such thing as an inactive photon?
  8. We accept records of all kinds just as we accept our own memories. We seem to accept some records and "make sense" of them more readily than others. The time stamps on these posts make sense to us and give us the impression of the passage of time. Note that a first-time reader of the thread will have no way to determine whether or not the time stamps were posted correctly. Two pictures of an analog clock (the same or different clocks), whether or not they show the same "time", don't tell us much of anything other than what we may extrapolate from our memory of such clocks. I suggest that the state of any object is dependent upon interactions with its surroundings not the passage of time. If we could isolate an object completely from its surroundings, there would be no change it its state. Isolating an object completely is physically impossible of course, but the "thought experiment" should demonstrate that there is no agent called "time" acting on the object. Do we not consider all reactions to be the result of some action? Where is the reaction from time? It is not there because there is no actor which we would call "time". If we were to have no memory how could we have have any concept of the meaning of "simultaneous"? We would recognize only the current state, the present. A person with Alzheimer's disease may be the closest, albeit imperfect and probably unprovable, example I can think of. Non-sentient entities, objects, don't (as far as we know) have memory. It seems reasonable to me to believe that objects experience only their current state and thus time is not a factor in their existence. Is there any characteristic of any object which is dependent upon time and not upon interactions with the objects surroundings? Are not all increases in entropy the result of interactions among objects, and not the passage of time?
  9. Thanks for the links. Very interesting. My thoughts are not based on advanced study of physics. I just can't get interested in a an activity where I don't accept the basic premises. I believe time is an artifact of memory, not a real thing. All the fancy math doesn't show me any evidence of a physical existence of time. Therefore, theories and "proofs" which are dependent upon acceptance of a connection to time don't interest me. I believe what Einstein was really saying was that no object and be seen moving faster than the speed of light. This is not the same thing as saying that no object can move faster than the speed of light. I believe space is a thing, or rather a volume filled with things. I expect there is a smallest unit of some sort of stuff which can be something. I could accept that this smallest unit is a unit of space. I expect that everything we experience is a manifestation of the motion of these units of space or larger constructs formed by groups of those units moving together. Tornadoes are made of air. The most interesting part about the jets at black holes is that both jets direct material away from the black hole. If this were some sort of pumping action similar to what I expect for magnetism then there should not be two outflows. Something different is happening, and I don't accept any sort of "other universe" theme. I have been interested in gyroscopes for most of my life. Very strange behavior and not particularly well explained either. The notion of light as a particle is nuts to me. I accept it as a wave moving through the stuff of space. The notion that light could be produced inside a black hole doesn't seem right. If we accept the tearing apart of things entering a black hole wouldn't there be a point at which the dis-assembly was so complete that there would be no object capable of producing light? And of course, if the space stuff were being dragged into the black hole, that might prevent light from moving away. At the very least, wouldn't we see some sort of distortion? ----- I don't think we do understand the mechanism of producing the electric force or magnetism. Sure we can produce electricity, but do we understand what makes a chunk of iron with many of its atoms aligned in a particular way behave as a magnet? There must be something at the molecular level, or lower, happening. That's enough of speculations for now.
  10. When you say the information needed to define an event, as used in physics, aren't you really saying the information required to describe our observations of an event? If we limit physics to describing what we observe, then your definition is quite adequate. What then are we to do if we want to describe our experience of a thing and not just relate what it appears to be? What I have tried to get across is that the one thing we experience with all physical things is volume; there is no other "dimension" inherent in an object. The volume of an object, and the exclusive occupation of that particular volume, is the basis for displacement which is the basis for all physics. The identification of an object, which is our most basic and limited description of that object, depends not at all on the position of that object relative to any other object. The event we describe by identification of the object is our recognition of the object's existence. Any other information about our observations of the object are relative. I think I have said all I need to say about this. I give you and others the last words. Peace.
  11. My posts have been consistent. I have posted only about physical objects and the physical world. The term "dimension" can be used in a variety of ways, the length of a line in mathematics, the color of a woman's hair, the canon of a religion, and many others. Since you don't like my assertion that volume is the only dimension inherent in physical objects and in the universe they comprise, please let us know what the three dimensions you and some others seem to believe are actually inherent in the universe.
  12. The first thing that suggested the idea of gravity as a flow to me was when I watched an automatic swimming pool cleaner do its thing. It was connected to a small hose and powered by water pressure. It sucked in water and debris all around its perimeter at low velocity and moved about by emitting a higher speed very narrow stream offset just a bit from the hose connection. It wandered around the pool in an apparently random pattern. If you will, imagine a number of these things in the pool at the same time. I think it possible that the low pressure area around each unit could cause them to tend to clump together as they came close to one another. If this clumping were to happen I expect the faster narrow streams could cause individual units, or even groups of units, to rotate and probably some random motion in the clump preventing a static state. The second thing that suggested this idea was a picture of a black hole. It showed what appeared to be a very narrow stream of something being emitted from both poles. As i remember it, one explanation for the streams was that the black hole had reached some particular or critical size and/or couldn't continue to absorb material at the rate the material was presented. I don't remember whether this was thought to be a transient condition. I have had some experience with pumps and fans of various types. The lines shown by iron filings in a magnetic field show exactly what one would expect for the field generated by pumping a fluid or a gas in an otherwise static environment. The push, or displacement, seems to be the only force we understand well. I just don't see an objection, other than the source of the energy, to gravity and magnetism (and perhaps other forces) being manifestations of displacement. In fact the thing that gets our attention with both gravity and magnetism is displacement and/or the potential for displacement. This connection seems way too obvious to be ignored. Happy New Year
  13. "Common use" is an interesting term. Perhaps you could provide us with another term for that portion of the universe occupied by individual physical entities such that we can put it into common use in place of "volume"? I think this term, or one which can replace it, is important, somehow, in the definition of matter and in what at least some believe is the basic thing that allows us to distinguish one entity from another. Can you provide an example of a physical entity that does not occupy a volume? How about a physical object that has only area and no volume, or one that has only length with no volume? How about a physical entity that can merge with another physical entity in such a way that the two together occupy the same, or less, volume that either occupies by itself and still maintain their separate identities? Certainly it is a 60 degree thing. The basic construct is an equilateral triangle. A geometry for this configuration would include a definition of the "right" angle or "perpendicular" as 60 degrees not 90 as in a cubic configuration. Note also that the labels for the 3 cubic coordinate axes, commonly x,y,z, would be replaced with labels for each of the 7 coordinate axes formed by the intersections of the 7 planes.
  14. Well of course the ratio we call pi means something. The meaning is defined as a mathematical ratio, not a physical ratio. There is no physical meaning. Circles, arcs, paths, sine waves, other sorts of smooth (continuous) curves and straight lines, and ratios are mathematical concepts, not physical entities. Mathematical constructions may take on whatever form is consistent with the math system used. Physical constructions are consistent with the current state of the physical environment. The most widely adopted math uses continuous concepts to describe and approximate (to a useful degree) observed physical conditions and behavior. Physical constructs are not continuous and are in no way dependent upon any mathematical description. Mathematics doesn't "do" anything. If we write every known symbol and equation in every configuration we can think of on a blackboard and then sit back and contemplate our efforts, what will happen? No amount of conjuring or number of incantations will bring forth activity from all that "math". The chalk may eventually lose adhesion and drop off and the blackboard may eventually crumble onto the floor but the math will have had no effect on anything. There is no magic in it. So many people seem to be absolutely convinced that the universe really is physically 3-D. Not so. 3-D is actually three plane geometry. The universe has only one physical dimension which is what we call volume. Physical volume cannot be reduced to physical "area" nor to physical "length". Area and length are wonderful and useful concepts but are not physical things. Why a geometry of 3 planes or 3 "dimensions"? Because 3 orthogonal planes is the minimum number required to describe the physical dimension of volume, and is the simplest to visualize. Most of us have studied (I expect) other systems of geometry such as spherical and cylindrical. I have reminded that it is possible to set up 4, 5, 6 and 7 plane geometries in addition to the common 3-D. The 7 plane is more interesting because it is symmetrical. "Why" is usually not a good question; we usually can't get a satisfactory answer.
  15. Does this mean that space should be considered a gas? Gasses are particles; is space? If space is/behaves like a gas, wouldn't we see objects moving faster with less "drag", and light moving slower, in less dense regions? The gas idea seems to give support for a wave model of light.
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