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Everything posted by eon_rider

  1. Totally agree. I was told you'll always understand it better if you can visualize why the math works this way. (By my math teachers) Perhaps at very high level maths this is not the way. I don't know. I think the desire to understanding something conceptually IS very valid and has merit. http://www.physicstoday.org/vol-57/iss-5/p10.html The above may be of interest to some on Richard Feynman famous phrase. best, Eon.
  2. Nothing wrong with SR or GR to date. Just because time is a conceptual apparatus in no way negates SR OR GR. Nor does it make time a fantasy or anything in the real world a fantasy. Time is real but is dependant on us. Being dependant on us to congnize it does not make time an illusion. As long as we are present then so is time. And times really important. Time has a 50/50 relationship with us. That does not make it a fantasy. Time and humans rely on each other to function. Time is not an illusion even if it is not a substance. It rides a middle ground that's real enough. Like the observer needs the observed to be an observer. Like an object needs an observer to recognize it as an object. So to is time very real regardless of being a conceptual device. So S.R and G.R are testable working theories that depend on us biological machines to be present, as much as we depend on them to work so that the GPS in my car works. Why does everyone call time a complete illusion just because it's a conceptual device? LOL. best, Eon. PS. Try getting to your next dozen appointments or classes with out time. You'll miss all your lectures and meetings. It won't work. Time is no fantasy. Even if it is a conceptual device. Feel free to disagree. I'm just taking up the conversation on what I think time is. I'm no expert on the nature of time.
  3. Sweet. Clearly put. Hopefully I'll retain it. Cheers. BTW... "a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants or a little soda water spilled on your clothing?" Is that right? Anyway...that's funny
  4. EDIT: Great point. I'll take it on board. I thought it was possible to assign a "relativistic mass" to a photon that depended on its wavelength. This must be a different thing, and I assume you must be refering to the proper mass of a photon? (not sure....still learning.) But I hear what you're saying. That's cool. Fair enough. It's all good. Respect, Eon. Can anyone clarify this? best again, Eon.
  5. I was going to edit my previous post. I didn't want to bump this post, but for some reason I can't edit my previous post. anyway.. If its helfpul to anyone I found this link. http://www.phy.syr.edu/courses/modules/LIGHTCONE/ from The Department of Physics at Syracuse University. It was very clear and helpful to read from start to finish. IMO - one the the best online presentations I've read so far for the non-scientist.
  6. It’s correct? After I read three million sources (exaggeration ) telling me this is not possible. Now two good people say we are all travelling at C. Is this some kind of paradox? A second question: Given that all movement of A wrt to B is relative (and Viceversa), then as a photon of light (A) travels towards us (B) at speed c, could we not just switch to the photon’s reference frame to show that we are travelling towards the photon at speed c? (light speed). To me, this supportes the idea that we are all travelling at the speed of light all the time but this can't be so. Is this another paradox? If NO or I’ve got it confused. Feel free to explain if you wish. Cheers. Also. I read that if you point a laser at the moon and then rotate it a few degrees, the laser appears to move across the moon at faster than light speed. If that laser point was considered to be a binary 1 then when you rotate it you are moving information from point A on the moon to point B on the moon also at faster than light speed. Correct? Feel free to let me know what I’ve misunderstood in either question. Hopefully with more then just “NO.” Or “Wrong” LOL. best, Eon,
  7. The Australian National University's relativistic visualization project group have done a great job. The pictures are amazing. It's a great site for visualizing aspects of S.R. I'll continue on, and see if I can find other sites that get into the logic of S.R. I'm also still reading slowely Einstein's original papers, and with each new concept searching for multiple examples or re-statements on the web at university web sites. But it's not always a straight forward learning process. You think you understand something, then you realize you didn't really get it properly, so then you go back again. But it's all good and remains interesting. EDIT: and at times frustrating! lol best, Eon.
  8. I didn't expect such a fast first response. I have been searching the web lots, but the web sites you've pointed out look great and I never found them with google. I'm heading to the URL's now. Thank you. Eon.
  9. Non-expert question: I’m trying to understand time dilation and length contraction better within the context of Einstein’s Special Relativity. I found some good descriptions at about.com and on several science forum threads but it seems I came up just shy of understanding it clearly. I thought I had it understood clearly then somehow my understanding got obfuscated again. I’ve heard some great analogies for both time dilation and length contraction. (One being the tilting “1meter stick/ruler” analogy.) EG. Due to the tilt of the ruler (representing a person travelling at very high speed) an observer on the other side of the room might see the meter stick appear to be only “half a meter long”, due to it’s tilting away from him or her. But this seems like just perspective creating the illusion of length contraction. So can length contraction and time dilation logically and conceptually be explained in other ways? I’m aware and trust in the atomic clock experiments done on planes and how GPS will be way off each day with out taking in account for time dilation but accepting and trusting this experimental evidence is not the same as understanding time dilation and length contraction logically and conceptually. I don't believe that S.R is counter intuitive. I think it becomes intuitive with practice and looking at the concepts again and again, so I'm hopeful I can get it clearly one day. LOL. (beyond just plugging in the numbers to the S.R. equations and getting correct results) Does anyone know any good web resources that explain time dilation and length contraction in a logical progression from first principles? Or does anyone want to give it a shot in this thread? It might be helpful for others too. All the best, Eon.
  10. EDIT: trying to shorten and hopefully clarify my post ParticleOne: Very interesting stuff. Hope this makes some sense. I agree with multiple definitions of time, one being "that which is measured by clocks" which is quoted most often as a standard definition of time. IN S.R. time dilates. (I'm still trying to understand time dilation clearly) but as you say that's another topic. Anyway. I've seen it written in books, also heard it said on this board that time is "just a conceptual apparatus." And that's one of my favourite notions of time. I can't remember the sage that first said it on this board. Anyway...it's a good definition IMO In the end I agree with more than one definition of time as they all work depending on the discussion or the area of science or philosophy or the area of everyday life one is taking part in. Not every definition works, but more than just one works IMO. If we are doing the imagining, then we are present. In the above quote you've said "you are not present" but you've put yourself right back next to that "single point of energy" as soon as you used the word imagine. One can't really say "(but you are not present)" then further analyse anything. Because if you or I are not present then “Who's doing the analysis? “ Not a big deal. Repeating myself here, but again I think time does exist but only with respect to human existence and perception. One seems to need to stop any analysis as soon as one says we are not there or our memory is erased. A “not there person” or “erased-memory-person” can't discuss time. "What's a clock?" without human cognition to provide a definition "What's an atom?" without human cognition to provide a definition "What is time" without human cognition to provide a definition. I don't know. But I think without humans present or without human cognition, the best definition of "what is time" becomes unconcludable. Unknowable. Took a shot at addressing your interesting thoughts. I think I need to find another good book on "what is time" like one of the previous posters suggested. best Eon. PS. Hope my musings about time made some sense. If not, my apologies.
  11. Charge density maps are interesting. Thanks for that link. No they didn't have that technique when I was in university. The images are refined by computer and the unwanted data is culled by a small computer program but yes that’s pretty close to direct observation so it's very cool. I'm convinced, and consensus in the scientific community on the technique appears to be strong. The computer assisted parts of the process don't seem to interfere too much with the original observations. Very Interesting stuff. Thanks. Eon
  12. Thanks for the thoughts. It's all very interesting. I'm no expert but I remember studying the many different electron orbits in university long ago and the subject is still fascinating. Right now I'm reading some papers on "Relational Quantum Mechanics" defined by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy as: "an interpretation of quantum theory which discards the notions of absolute state of a system, absolute value of its physical quantities, or absolute event." best, Eon.
  13. No beef with Q.M. here. It's great best. Eon. But I have a further question. Perhaps Swansont might care to answer or any expert. I might be way off base. Not sure. My understanding is that an orbital (in the sense of this is how an electron travels around a nucleus) is not a physically viewable or verifiable thing. Unless it's computer generated to be viewable or drawn onto a graph. Rather an orbital is a mathematical function that puts electrons into a three dimensional world. But the actual electrons may move (fly? spin? appear?) differently from the numerical mathematical function that describes them. Again. An orbital is a mathematical function, (nothing more, nothing less) not a physical thing itself but it does attempt very well to describe chemical bonds, shells and other things that must be of a physical nature. Is my understanding correct? best again, Eon.
  14. Very nicely said. Things like motion can appear to be absolute from a specific reference frame, but ultimately the above is the bottom line. (IMO)
  15. The above makes sense to me. Sounds right on. Cheers. Interesting! Very respectfully, I don't think time is a packet of energy. This, to me, causes confusion as ParticleOne pointed out so well. Just my non-expert opinion. Feel free to disagree. Time is a man made concept. It's not some kind of independent entity waving it's arms yelling "Hey look at me. I (Mr. Time) exist in this particular immutable way" Time is dependant on a measurer. (us - humans) Even a surface look shows that the word time depends on human language and thought. Also, the concept of time depends on the human brain/body to give it function and meaning. That thing behind the concept that we try to measure is the same. Our measurement, our use of time, and our conceptual understanding of time is a conflation of human neural processes onto a "so-called something" that actual nature is unknowable or just different with out us to give it meaning, form, and function. I'm not saying time does not exist. That's stupid. I'm saying the larger universe is filtered through the human organism and so what we know about the universe must always be a function or subset of human thought and brain/body structure. So time is a reflection of our physiological processes mixing with the relational universe outside us. Ironically, as we evolve so will the laws of the universe (yes physics too) evolve with us, and the very shape and form of the universe itself change. And I think that will be reflected as new mathmatics, new discoveries, and new scientific insights. Just M.O. Feel free to comment or not. Interesting topic. best to all, Eon.
  16. Einstein's general relativity says that all the planets and our earth actually travel in a "straight line" within a curved space-time. Put another way....GR can show that the earth is not orbiting the sun, rather the earth is travelling a straight path and space/time is wrapped/curved around the sun. So gravity = space-time curvature. What are some good non-mathematical ways to conceptualize "space/time" curvature around an large "mass/energy" like the sun? (other than the bowling ball and trampoline analogy that I keep running into when googling the subject) Thanks, Eon.
  17. Yes of course, Star Wars, Star Trek, E.T., Close Encounters, What more proof do you need???
  18. Both good points, and interesting theories. I like the cyclic universe theory being worked on at Princeton and other places. But with a less intense big crunch and big bang period. Perhaps a mild crunch and mild expansion cyclic universe. This could cycle forever with out creating any problems for GR or QM as long as we acknowledge that we are now in a very long expansion phase, and can find proof that there was once a contraction phase. Could some residue matter or energy such as "light matter" prove this? I dunno. But it might lessen the extreme notion of an infinitely compressed singularity as a starting point. But it's all interesting. Eon.
  19. The below extract is the end part of a great interview between Brian Greene and NOVA. It tells me he is intelligent, humble, cool, honest, and a million times smarter than me. LOL. (but that's not too hard ) Whether I, as a lay person, agree with strings or not, I wish him all the best with his research. And the cat understanding relativity analogy is great. IMO. Brian Greene Books include: The Elegant Universe, Professor of Physics and Mathematics at Columbia. Educated at Harvard and Oxford
  20. Wow. That's fantastic. Very clear. Very cool. Thank you both, best, Eon. PS. It seems a few photons, over vast distances, might be the last members in a relay race from "very far away" to us. But most photons would be the original ones.
  21. I'm reading that photons get absorbed by electrons which then emit new photons. (electrons in cosmic gasses or other mediums) So the photons that reach us are not the photons that started out the journey. Is this true?
  22. I agree with the quote above. I studied the big bang like everybody else in school. And it all sounded great at the time. But now I'm not so sure. I am aware of the observed cosmic microwave background radiation that scientist have picked up and the red shift, but to me, that's not exactly a huge body of evidence. How does an almost infinitely large universe start off as a very small singularity? It makes no common sense. How did this theory get its legs? Why has it stuck around for so long? Can’t space/time be curved or circular? Don’t we have a better model? One that makes more sense? If one goes out side and looks at the stars and sees the massive expanse of the universe it seems impossible that it started out as something I imagine to be the size of an atom, or at largest a planet. What did I miss? Is the big bang proven in the maths or something? BTW...I do try to be open minded, so I'm assuming I've missed something. Nothing against the Big Bang Theory, just trying to understand it better. Best, Eon. PS. I'm not a creationist. I have no issues with creationists either, But I'm asking a science question here. EDIT: I found some alternative theories (eg: Quasi Steady State, Steady State, Plasma Cosmology, others?) but most of them are out of favor as most of them fail to account for the abundance of deuterium in the cosmos or have other problems. So for now it's 1) First there was nothing really. 2) Bang! 3) There was everything or at least 10 or 20 light years worth of everything expanding outwards. 4) This happened pretty much instantly.
  23. good sir. (Einstein2) You could..... Take all that hand written work, go down to your local university, ask to see a physics professor, and share with him/her your research history, then you and the young professor can publish your work as Einstein2 et al....right? best, Eon.
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