Are we... at all?


(gupyuson) #1

While theorists attempt to discover the most fundamental constituent of the universe (photons, strings, etc), they are led to questions of the very nature of space itself. Is it fluid, granular; is space itself the fundamental particle? Yet, as the quest leads to ever smaller manifestations, it would seem a given that time, the other part of the equation, is simply composed of infinite units (moments) that can be divided into infinity. The question of how short a moment can be seems as unnecessary as how high one can count if given forever.

And, so, if space and time are intimately connected, it would seem that space (and matter, which could simply be seen as an event there in) can be divided into infinity.

The jist:

If time is simply an infinite number of infinitely small moments, and space is likewise composed of an infinite number of infinitely small units, then the logical conclusion would be unity.

x * 1/x = 1
infinity * 1/infinity = 1

Suggesting that time itself is but a single moment and space a single point.

Then, what is the distinction? IS there a true separation from one moment to the next, from one point in space to the next, or even between two moments or points that seem separated by the vastness of space and time itself?

Think Heisenberg. How can a there be a probability that a photon generated by the light in my kitchen could suddenly appear on the other side of the universe? Einstein didn’t go for that, because it denied the logical structure of the universe. Yet, current theories and observations suggest it is possible (though very, very unlikely).

And, if one must contend that the universe is ultimately ordered and logical, the most obvious answer may be that there is no actual separation.

Yet, the universe is, or seems to be, undeniably vast, and time to be flowing unstoppably into the past. The only piece left untouched in this age of science and proof, is thought. Consciousness itself. If logic leads us to a conclusion that the vastness of space and time do not, in fact, exist, then the only discerning element is perception itself.

I think, therefore, I am?


(Dittohead) #2

A good something to think about.


(acasto) #3

I have worked on this problem before. I studied mathematical and geometrical models in search for common simularities between units of one. This is what I figured out:

Space can have a theoretical MAX, but not a MIN. This MAX, for us is defined by the speed of light in a vacum. Without light, space would no exsist. Because if we can not observe it, it can not be measured. And if on the human time scale, we can observe it, light has already propagated it. So now through this ever expanding medium, we now have an ultimate speed. Through a ratio, we then have our speed. Wich then the units of time that we observe daily are born. Through these fractional units of MAX time, we now have distance between objects bcause it would take time to travel the distance since we are not traveling at MAX speed.

As for the electron appearing on the other side of the universe. That would be more of the topic of quantum entaglement and the possibilties of the theorectical einstein-rosen bridges. I think Einstein reffered to it as “spooky interaction at a distance”. :slight_smile:


(sofort99) #4

string theory says the smallest unit is a planck length (1.6x10-35), and the smallest unit of time is planck time (10 to the minus 43rd sec) the length of time it takes a photon to go a planck length. Oddly enough relativity falls apart below this size.The whole “quantum foam” deal is just an artifact of trying to measure smaller than is possible. The inability of relativity and quantum mechanics to agree at a small scale has been the elephant in the living room in classical physics.every one knows that its there, but no one wants to talk about it. I think that makes a pretty good arguement for string theory :wink:


(acasto) #5

Forgot about planck… thanks for posting it :wink:

That is pretty small, isn’t it. Once I asked the question in physics, “what effect would viagra have at the speed of light?”


(rwv01) #6

If you eliminate the physical universe in this way then who is around to preceive anything?


(blengine) #7

while some people waste time trying to understand things and make them logical, others go out and live things, dream about them, and use their time wisely by trying them, instead of explaining them :wink:

thats why we have scientists AND astronauts… a split of the groups, thinkers and doers, god bless the both but i wanna be a doer =D


(sofort99) #8

And that sounds like a nice, simple way to view things. Until you realise astronauts ARE engineers and scientists… 8)


(Ecks) #9

Hey imgranpaboy…in which movie did you get that sentence? A yea…in Jurassic Park3…yea cool one!


(valarking) #10

ugh, remind me to never major in physics…


(pofo) #11

physics is ok, keep away from philosophy though. They tend to think too much of why instead of how :wink:

  1. pofo

(gupyuson) #12

Thanks for th input!

Agreed that the maximum speed of light is observed. But why does space depend on light to exist? If light is a localized, descernable event, then there would appear to be areas of space between such occurences that do not contain the event of light, but that the light then travels through on its way from point A to B. If, beyond probability, an area of space was never touched by light or any other form of energy/matter, it could never be observed directly, yet it would seem to still exist as a piece of the whole.

Point taken about the maximum unit of time, time being equivalent to change, which is governed by the ultimate speed of light. But this maximum unit lies between a minimum and infinity, or the sum of each subsequent moment.

As to einstein-rosen bridges, this certainly suggests a maliability to space and time. To what extent can this maliability be taken? If one point can be stretched and pulled to connect to another not conventionaly right next to it, could not many or all points be simultaneously interconnected?
(Logic pending on this assertation)

On string theory in the next response, sounds good that a minimum unit can be derived from the time it taked a photon to travel a set distance, but, by definition, if something takes time to travel a given distance, either there are incramental steps inbetween (smaller units) or light just takes some time to think about it before instantaneously blinking from one point to the next, which I would also entertain.


(acasto) #13

I started thinking about this when I was trying to imagine traveling at the speed of light. If you could attain the full speed of light, then the whole universe and time, would become a single unit of one. Because you could instaneously be at any point. So point A, point B, and point C would then become a single point.

As for light defining the exsistance of space, I believe that there is infinite space within the bounds of the dimension in which a universe exsists. But relative to us, there could be gaps in which no measurement exists. But relative to light, it would be a unit of one and thus no gaps.


(rwv01) #14

Oh don’t worry about gup. He’s a good mix of both.
He’s a true Renaissance man if there ever was one! :slight_smile:


(Waffler) #15

Theoretical physics have always been one of the things I wanted to really get into, but for some reason I could never do it. There are several reasons, but mostly it is because of how much reading is involved. I am good at understanding pretty much anything I’m reading, but I always get a nagging feeling that I should be doing something else, such as drawing, music composing, writing, computer programming, etc. It’s odd. If there isn’t any physical evidence to my actions I always end up feeling guilty - as if I hadn’t done anything at all.

Also, there is just too much to read before any real understanding of the topic could be achived. In all actuality, even if someone did read everything, and delve deep into mathematics it would still be impossible to truly understand the universe. There is just too much to concider.

Still, I very much envy you guys. It would be fun to look into such material. I really wouldn’t know where to begin.


(Nahtanoj) #16

Begin with Mechanics and ray optics and work your way through it. At this level you can easily carry out some of the most important experiments done by scientists in the past from things that you find in your house. Just use your imagination. That way you’ll see the physical evidence that caused the theories to be developed in the first place.


(acasto) #17

Some can see things that way, but other people may be able to look at from a mathematical standpoint, or even geometries can be used also.


(Nahtanoj) #18

once the geometry and mathematics are implemented in the right way so that they match the experimental evidence. And once it does prediction can take place and thats how mathematician and experimentalists share nobel prizes etc. :slight_smile:


(CubeFan973) #19

No idea of why, but I watched “Waking Life” (a cool film that’s basically about people’s philosophies on all sorts of things) and didn’t think, “Enough of the ‘why,’ get to the ‘how.’” There was one person who was talking about language, and she was talking about WHY it was invented. One scene with a man that burns himself (don’t ask, just watch the film) has him talking about how man wants, maybe even NEEDS the chaos we create. He never said, “It’s all because…” He was talking about HOW it’s simply a part of our survival. (PS: Simply because I know you’ll ask, to make his point, he douses himself in gasoline and lights a match. FOOM! Thankfully, the guy didn’t really light himself on fire–it’s an animated film, so they could get away with anything.)

Relativity… can’t grasp the basics of it, but like it anyway, even if it makes a mistake about the 4th dimension. (Not time. Time isn’t spatial.) Game theory… I get that part of “A Beautiful Mind” where John is talking about group stuff, but that’s all I know about it. (Yeah, yeah, it’s mathematics, not physics. They’re pretty close, as far as I can tell.) Chaos theory… that stuff about the weather is cool, but just what is the point?! (Yeah, yeah, math again. Weather is physics more than math, right?)

Twin Paradox: Two twins born at the same time are a certain age old. One gets on a spaceship, goes to a star, turns back, and gets to Earth again. (However he’d do this–you can’t really do that in a reasonable amount of time.) However, he is younger than his twin, who has aged! (There was a symmetry between the twins, and the turning back broke it.)

Father Paradox 1: A man goes back in time and kills his father. The father doesn’t concieve him, and he isn’t born, but if this happens, the father wasn’t killed, and he was born!

Father Paraodox 2: A man goes back in time and concieves a kid with some girl. This kid is himself! To make things weirder, the guy goes even farther back, and gets a sex change. “She” concieves with “himself,” and… headachey yet? Because I have I can’t grasp the rest!

Beethoven Paradox: Someone goes back in time and gives Beethoven sheet music. This sheet music impresses him so much, he uses it for one of his symphonies. Where did it come from?

“What if you are in a car going the speed of light… and turn on your headlights?”

“Answer truthfully (yes or no) to this question: Will the next word you say be no?”

“A man is drowning in the fountain of eternal life.”

“There is a kid whose nose is like Pinocchio’s (it grows when he lies) but whenever he tells the truth it grows shorter. If he says, ‘What I’m saying right now is a lie,’ what happens with his nose?”

:x Not even that smilie can get these paraodxes!

(smilie’s head explodes) Get an umbrella!


(acasto) #20

Relativity… can’t grasp the basics of it, but like it anyway, even if it makes a mistake about the 4th dimension. (Not time. Time isn’t spatial.) Game theory… I get that part of “A Beautiful Mind” where John is talking about group stuff, but that’s all I know about it. (Yeah, yeah, it’s mathematics, not physics. They’re pretty close, as far as I can tell.) Chaos theory… that stuff about the weather is cool, but just what is the point?! (Yeah, yeah, math again. Weather is physics more than math, right?)

Relativity makes a mistake in the 4th dimension? Time isn’t spatial?

We can’t guarentee the truths, but one also can not quarentee it’s false.

<Yoda looks at cubefan>

Much to learn you still have.

</yoda>