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  1. Ralph Dratman

    I The Simulation Theory and the dangers of pop-science

    @Jarvis323 Your request for formalization is spot on. "What is a simulation, and how is it different than a non-simulation?" That is the exact kind of question that needs to be asked in this, as in many "philosophical" problems. For example, long discussions of free will should be prefaced with...
  2. Ralph Dratman

    I The Generalized Chain Rule

    That is a much better way of looking at it!
  3. Ralph Dratman

    I The Simulation Theory and the dangers of pop-science

    Thanks very much for that information! I didn't know there was some feeling that the values of the physical constants were a problem. And Sabine Hossenfelder is adding fuel to that fire? I will have to find that video if she has one. I watch her from time to time. (I personally often go to Las...
  4. Ralph Dratman

    I The Simulation Theory and the dangers of pop-science

    It is not even a(n) hypothesis unless it has specifics.
  5. Ralph Dratman

    I The Simulation Theory and the dangers of pop-science

    My point is that vague speculation is not a scientific theory.
  6. Ralph Dratman

    I The Simulation Theory and the dangers of pop-science

    In order for any kind of computer to simulate our universe, the computer would have to exist in a "real" universe at least several times larger than our own. Well, it must be larger if we assume it takes more than one "real" atom to simulate a simulated atom, and also the computer would not...
  7. Ralph Dratman

    A BOT Fools Humans on Reddit

    I beg to differ. But don't take it to heart. Actually, I know you won't.
  8. Ralph Dratman

    I Isn't it terrifying that AI can become smarter than any Mathematician?

    in actual history, when computers enter a new field, they have always helped people do their existing jobs. Actually replacing people is rare, as far as I can see. At worst, I suspect mathematicians will be enabled to spend more time asking challenging questions and combining new answers with...
  9. Ralph Dratman

    Insights I Know the Math Says so, but Is It Really True?

    I don't see the problem with some individual not believing something in physics. Anyone is free to disbelieve. Why not? I suppose one might worry that such an opinion could become widespread, something like vaccine rejection. Personally that does not worry me either, because disbelief in a...
  10. Ralph Dratman

    I Unconventional methods for pumping down a vacuum chamber?

    I do not see how you could pull any kind of vacuum, good or bad, in something light enough to be used as the lifting body of an airship. It is the pressure of the hydrogen or helium in a rigid-body airship that keeps the lifting body from imploding, as it would if the gas were not there.
  11. Ralph Dratman

    Are harmonics "real" in a vibrating string?

    I agree with Ibix that the answer depends on what you take as "real" or "not real". Nevertheless I think I understand the motivation of the question, as I have often wondered whether, for example, a sharp click sound is "really" a combination of many different high frequency "tones" -- as the...
  12. Ralph Dratman

    Feeling the Earth rotate

    Great answer! What a fascinating thought.
  13. Ralph Dratman

    Wouldn't using AC to power a lamp result in flickering?

    There is a measurable 120 Hz flicker in US incandescent lighting, a stronger flicker at the same rate in fluorescent illumination, and a maximal on-off flicker in AC-driven LED light. However, the cyclic variation of brightness is too fast for most people to perceive without a device to count...
  14. Ralph Dratman

    A Space is "Entangled", says Leonard Susskind

    Could you please explain what you mean by "observer dependent"? Thank you.
  15. Ralph Dratman

    I Fundamental laws time reversal

    To see the effects of time reversal in classical mechanics you just have to change the sign of all velocities -- that is, reverse their direction. In a gravity field the original, un-reversed falling object would be speeding up, falling faster and faster. Imagine you reverse the velocity. Now...
  16. Ralph Dratman

    I Sorry but it's wave particle duality again...

    Sorry, I don't understand. Why do you say a photon does not have a position observable?
  17. Ralph Dratman

    I What 'Collapses' the Wavefunction of the Universe?

    Assuming finite periodic boundary conditions for the time axis, the Big Bang would be more than adequate to decisively collapse the wavefunction of the universe once an eon.
  18. Ralph Dratman

    B Instantaneous Clothes Dryer

    One could dry clothes entirely in ethanol as long as the concentration of water in the ethanol mixture did not get too high. But then how would you recycle the ethanol once it got too wet? You could distill it, but if the point was to save time, energy and complexity, that is not progress.
  19. Ralph Dratman

    B Ideal Base for a Number System

    I think you hit it with twelve. Shall we use A and B for the extra digits? I like this already. About the only sad part is that we have 21 new multiplication facts to learn. I fear that would have broken me in 4th grade. I can remember crying over the multiplication table even in the old ten...
  20. Ralph Dratman

    B Ideal Base for a Number System

    Why can you not edit your posts?
  21. Ralph Dratman

    B Ideal Base for a Number System

    But base 60 has fifty new "digits" beyond 0-9 for the K-12 math committee to invent, along with 1725 new multiplication facts that every child has to learn. I think in that case very few people would ever pass 4th grade. Certainly I never would have.
  22. Ralph Dratman

    How to test a Bi-Directional Triode Thyristor

    This thread reminds me of browsing TV repair anecdotes and tricks in Popular Electronics circa 1963, when I was 12 years old. The shop lingo was exotic. "Back porch", "color burst", "horizontal sweep", "video amplifier", "AGC" and the like all stimulated my imagination, as tales of pirates or...
  23. Ralph Dratman

    Intro Physics The Final Verdict on the Feynman Lectures?

    My recollection (from about 45 years ago) is that I did not get a look at the Feynman books until I had finished one or two semesters of undergrad physics. My feeling has always been that the lectures are fascinating and informative, but that they are almost impressionistic accounts, not...
  24. Ralph Dratman

    A Smolin: Lessons from Einstein's discovery...

    I would say reductionism fails where there is intrinsic complexity that cannot be avoided or bypassed on the way to a theory. Then if you try to sum a quantity over terms that are more and more complicated, you may get an infinity that cannot be eliminated. Is that the idea?
  25. Ralph Dratman

    A Smolin: Lessons from Einstein's discovery...

    "Mathematical treatments invariably consider [time] to be a dimension, yet empirical evidence overwhelmingly shows this not to be the case." This is a very interesting point. I want to make sure I understand you. You say that time is not a dimension. Is this because, for example, objects cannot...
  26. Ralph Dratman

    Can QM interpretations be reconciled?

    Your idea sounds interesting, but I have no idea what you mean by spacetime-stamps-labeling. Explain, please.
  27. Ralph Dratman

    Decoherence and apparent collapse

    That is an excellent paper which delivers on the promise of a clear explanation.
  28. Ralph Dratman

    Insights The Case for Learning Complex Math - Comments

    I agree about using ordered pairs. If one considers a vector space of two dimensions equipped with a specific multiplication operation (vector * vector -> vector) corresponding with complex multiplication, the concept of an "imaginary" something goes away, while leaving notation and computation...
  29. Ralph Dratman

    B How far outward can we rule out intelligent life?

    Or, successful technological civilizations use radio only for a few decades to a few centuries, because there is a better method of communication we do not know about yet.
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