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Everything posted by Andeh

  1. Is planck length a property of particles or a property of space? In other words, is there such a thing as planck length because space is only "accurate" to that distance (almost like how GPS are only accurate to a few feet, and therefore can't distinguish between two objects closer than that), and if so, what could cause this? Or is there such a thing as planck length because even after a particle's wavefunction has been collapsed, it still has uncertainty of location down to planck length? Or is it due to something else entirely?
  2. thanks for the advice. I agree completely that learning should be done for the sake of learning, and not nececerily money. I will try to study physics in college. but whatever happens, I'll probably have to start now to make up for my lousy math education.
  3. here's my situation: I want/need to learn more about modern physics. Until recently I was planning on studying this in college. My parents, however, that this is a stupid ambition...stupid enough for them not to fund my education in that feild. I am, however, allowed to study biology and chemistry, since then i'll have the potential to make money in pharmaceuticals. I'm happy enough to do that, but I still want an education in physics. I love thinking about, and the fundemental nature of the subject appeals to me. My only option, therefor, is to teach myself. so can anyone who's been in my situation recommend any books/online courses for me? my education in math is up to calculus, and I've only taken one year of physics which taught us up to light, and included the basic equations. Still, admittably I find completely abstract/unaplied math hard to follow, so a book that is conceptual and eases me in to the more "hard-core" math would be perfect. thanks in advance for the help.
  4. So virtual particles can be thought of as having an "energy debt". The greater the energy of the virtual particles, the shorter ammount of time it exist for. I've never discreetly read this...but I'm assuming that if a virtual particle has an energy debt of planck energy, than it will exist for planck time. Therefor planck energy is the maximum energy that a virtual particle can "owe", since having more would mean existing for shorter than planck time, which is impossible. Am I correct to assume this?
  5. I understand that a photon is it's own antiparticle. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's quite different than there being an antiparticle that is a different particle entirely. I never claimed that a photon wasnt an elementary particle. I was comparing it to a neutron in a different way. I'm not completely ignorant of all this. If chargeless and nuetral charge are the same thing, could you explain why neutral elementary particles are their own antiparticle (unlike neutral "composite" particles)? I don't thing you understood my point. "Charge is conserved during pair production", in other words, the 2 photons are neutral before pair production, and the electron-positron pair are neutral after pair production, since their charges cancel out. But why should the electron and positron even have charge? Why can't 2 neutral photons produce 2 massive, neutral particles? Thank you for the suggestion. I've already bought the book and will begin it as soon as I finish this post.
  6. Yes, it does sound a lot like the copenhagan interpretation (I'm assuming that's what you mean by "the mainstream view")... But does the copenhagen interpretation explain time in a similar way? It's been unclear to me what it's stance on time is, or if it even adresses the question of time at all.
  7. From what I've gathered, the MUI states that the reality "splits" during wavefuntion collapse, where the wavefunction collapsed into each of it's possible states in each reality. It implies that everything began with a single reality, then divided like a branching tree as time went on. But why not go the other direction?... Every possible reality already exists; that is the default state. In other words, reality isnt confined to any one universe until wavefunction collapse. There is no past or future...the movement of time as we see it arises (somehow) from the fact that every possible reality exists, including ones that we would view as being in the past or future. p.s., I'm not nececerily educated enough to have an opinion, but I don't really like the MUI. It's too idealistic and has too many gaps that calabi and questionposer have already pointed out. But sometimes its fun to be idealistic.
  8. Why can't the differences be nearly identical? If every possible reality exists, then there exists ones that are nearly identical to ours.
  9. maybe he's not talking about mass curvature, but the theorized curvature that charge causes on 5-d space.
  10. perhapse because inflation was accelerating at some point. The universe is estimated to be 150 billion light years across, but only 14 billion years old...suggesting that it was accelerating faster than the speed of light at some time in the past (?).
  11. I have pictures, it might be a while though with my spastic technology.
  12. Doesnt it have to do with quantum mechanics and wave functions, since wavefunctions are probability amplitudes, and probability (at least regarding location) is dependant on the timescale? And what do you mean by instantaneous vs. integrated?
  13. I've seen this insect on two occasions, months appart. I've been searching for months, and have been unable to identify it. It looks to be a member of protura: twelve segmented hexopods that are classified as insects, but evolutionarily are an intermediate stage between hexopod and isopod. However, it bears no resemblance to any more common protura. Protura are soft-bodied, small creatures that live a few inches underground. This creature, was slightly over a centimeter, hard-bodied, and in both cases were seen on the trunks of beech trees. Likewise, it's anatomy is completely different than that of protura. It's legs had one less segment than protura and are attached to it's body differently, for one thing. And it's head was completely different. It's head was a soft, fleshy appendage that it could pull into it's front-most segment through a small hole (in fact, the first time I mistook the front-segment for the head, since the first specemin was dead, with the soft tissue decomposed). It should also be noted that I'm fairly certain that it is not a larvea of some ordinary insect (they often have more than 3 segments), since the first one was found to have died mid-molt. I'm not hoping anyone can identify it, im just posting because its so interesting. It's legs appear more primitive than other protura's, having one less segment...and yet, it's head is so complex and bizarre. It's ancestry with other protura, perhaps, is only distant. Therefor, it retains more primitive (?) legs, but has evolved a unique head.
  14. most definitions (especially ones in a less-fundemental feild like biology) are completely arbitrary--a reflection of the human desire for order, where often there isnt. This is because there are always fringes...we group an evolutionary line into seperate species, but of course there are intermediate stages. Do you consider viruses alive? and even more extreme, do you consider replicating molucules alive, which can "reproduce", compete, and mutute. defining life is like saying that at some point abiotic became biotic--and materialistically, that never happened, since biotic and abiotic are just labels. All that happened was that the "proto-organism" "learned" some new chemical tricks. In short, you can't define life. But like mr skeptic said, it's education to try, since it makes us try to understand it better. try writing that for the answer to that question on a biology test!!
  15. That reminds me of a slightly off-topic thought. I didn't know that this was argued before...I was considering if photons were neutral in charge or if they were chargeless. They seem to mean the same thing, but by neutral I just mean having negative and possitive charge in equal parts (i.e. a neutron...neutral in charge but with charged constituents that cancel out) and by chargeless, I mean completely without any representation of charge. Since there isnt such a thing as an anti-photon, as there is an anti-neutron, I beleive that photons are chargeless. You seem to beleive the same thing...has this been validated? This raises the question of how charge arises during pair production. If photons had positive and negative constituents that just canceled out, I would hypothesize that they just "split" during pair production, but they DONT--charge seems to come from nowhere. Perhapse it actually does arise from nowhere. Perhaps it arises so that the system can have time-symmetry, i.e. so that the particle-antiparticle pair can anihillate back into photons. In other words, charge arises because it HAS to.
  16. One more: If I were to be traveling at high speed, I wouldnt be able to observe my own time dilation. My watch, or any other device that measures time by counting interection that happen at a constant rate, wouldnt appear to run slower because it's motions are also being dilated. Only to an outside observer would it appear that time is running slower for me. The same could be said for space. If measured two points with a ruler to be four inches appart, then somehow expanded space, the points would still appear to be four inches apart internally. Even though, to an outside observer, the distance between them grew, so did the internal observer's measuring device. here's where I'm going with this: We say the universe is expanding because we can see things moving away from each other. That expansion has been described as space itslef expanding. But considering what I said above, even if space were expanding, we shouldnt be able to observe it. So why, then, can we observe the universe to be expanding, which it almost certainly is? explainations?
  17. Please correct me if I don't have my facts straight at any point in this... >an object's wavefunction expresses the probability of finding that object in a particular location. >the probability of finding an object in a particular location increases when that location is observed longer. I.e. the probability of me teleporting to Mars at some time in the next ten minutes is very low, compared to the probability of me teleporting to Mars some time in the next ten million years. >Therefor, the shape of a wavefunction (and general behavior of it's object) will vary dramatically depending on the length of the time-frame. Across an infinate time-frame, all events, no matter how improbable, would have the same probability. This is clearly not true. Does this imply that there is something confining wavefunctions to a certain timeframe. Or does it imply that our model of wavefunction is incorrect, or that our model of time is incorrect? Basically, how can you have just raw probability without the element of time--and so what dictates that element of time.
  18. <I apologize if this seems like a disjointed collection of thoughts. That's just how my brain works.> I was thinking about quantum entanglement, and came to the idea that entangled particles share the same wavefunction. I've read nothing that validates this, but it seems like common sense to me: since a wavefunction is the superposition of states, and if two particles are made to become entangled they would share the same possible states...resulting in two wavefunctions that line up perfectly when overlapped, and can therefor be treated as one wavefunction. I feel like someone should have had this idea before, so is there anything that disproves this? Moving on, I was also considering a seemingly unrelated topic: of what determines the number of photons that represent a light wave. That thought led to a really far fetched idea: that a light wave is the wavefunction of a collection of entangled photons (going back to the first paragraph on entanglement, since the entangled particles would make up one wave: the light wave that we see), since that eliminates the need for the question posed above (the number of photons are, simply, the number of photons that are entangled). This suggests that the particle state is the "defualt state" of things, and that the wavefunction arises from that somehow...but I dismissed that idea, since at least to my knowledge neither the wave-state nor the particle-state is the defualt. So my final question is, that if a light wave is not a collection of entangled photons, what determines that number of photons that represent it?
  19. I dont really have a dignified point. I'm not suggesting that this is the cause of the behavior of charge. I'm just interested/astounded that this is the only way that things could work--like the universe is just put together perfectly. It's not like alternative history, where if x event didnt happen, history would be completely different...but that the universe could not exist any other way; it's physically impossible.
  20. I was wondering why opposite charges attract and like charges repel, so I considered what would happen if they didn't... So in pair production, two photons of neutral charge can create an electron (negitive charge) and a positron (possitive charge.) This entire process is conserved, in other words it can be reversed, so that an electron and positron can anhillate and produce two photons. Since the particles are of opposite charge, they attract, then anhillate. But if opposite charges didnt attract--if they repeled, this wouldn't happen. The eletron and positron would repel instead of attract, and so they couldnt anhillate. This would violate conservation laws, and would be impossibe--the universe simply can't work that way!
  21. I think that this problem is called the "black hole information paradox" I've always thought of it like this: from the perspective of an object falling into a black hole, it would enter the black hole and be destroyed. But from the perspective of an outside observer, the object's motion would slow as it neared the event horizon because of time dilation, and NEVER ACTUALLY REACH THE EVENT HORIZON, in other words, it would not be destroyed. So for all intents and purposes, it's information is not destroyed. And imaatfall, I thought that Hawking radiation was caused by virtual particles forming near a blackhole so that one goes into the blackhole and one is released. How does that have to do with "giving back the matter"?
  22. Thank you. So that's the simplest explaination that there is? I suppose I'll have to learn the math then.
  23. This is really speculative. So speculative that it's probably going to piss people off even though it's in the Speculation section. Likewise, I have no idea how to test it, so it's not scientific. But whatever... First, some backgorund info. In pair production, two photons (chargeless) can create an electron (negative charge) and a positron (positive charge), so the charges cancel out, and the whole system is neutral. Likewise, if there is extra energy (more energy than the rest mass of the particles) it becomes kinetic energy after pair production, and the electron and positron move in opposite directions--therefor the motion also cancels out. I had the idea of applying that logic to the entire universe. In other words, the big bang created 2 universes. The expansions of both universes cancel each other out, and the net expansion is zero. Time "moves", as it were, in opposite direction, and so the net "motion" of time is zero. Also, I thought that perhaps one of the universes is dominated by antimatter and the other by matter, but I dismissed this. Since after all, the first particles were photons (which are their own antimatter equivilants) and so barygenesis happened (somehow) after those photons gave rise to other particles. Anyway, this just simplifies things a bit.
  24. 1 more question about wavefunctions. I understand what wavefunctions are (for the most part), but I still don't understand why they are waves. And yes, I know that the Schrodinger equation is a wave-equation...but is there any way for anyone to explain why wavefunctions are waves without bringing the schrodinger equation into this? Thanks, this question has been bugging me for ages.
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