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Events and Realities

  1. Jan 31, 2004 #1
    To all science thinkers and philosophers,

    This thread will focus on the concept of events as describe in Einstein's theories of relativity (special and general).

    The concept of reality will be divided into two types:

    1. Mathematical reality.
    2. Physical reality.

    Events will be categorized into two kinds:

    1. Parallel events
    2. Serial events

    Anyone is welcome to start the discussion. Thanks.
    Will supply inputs in future posts myself. Philosophy is not my field. So I am a beginner.

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2004 #2
    Bits and Pieces

    Math realities can be the followings:
    The natural numbers: ordinal numbers, cardinal numbers, positive integers. In geometry: points, lines, planes, volumes, dimensions,
    degrees of freedom, sets.

    Physical realities can be the followings:
    Force, space, time, temperature, density, mass(?), directions, energy(?). (?)-needs further explanations.

    Events: World-points, world-lines, space-time, timelines, [tex]\psi[/tex] functions in quantum mechanics.

    There might be more that can be added to the above, can't think of any at the moment.

  4. Feb 1, 2004 #3
    Extensive Abstractions

    To same Intended Audience,

    By using extensive abstractions and operations: additions, multiplications, divisions (ratios), and exponentiations applying to the realities of math and physics, varieties of new realities and events are formulated in the forms of formulae, algebraic equations, differential equations, and integral equations, transformations, etc.

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2004
  5. Feb 1, 2004 #4

    Same Audience,

    The reality of dimension is widely known and used in physics and math. One use of dimension is to give concrete definitions to math objects: points, lines, planes, and volume. Points are defined as zero-dimension. Lines are 1-dim, planes are 2-dim, and volume are 3-dim.

    The reality of volumes give the definition for a sphere, a cube, a cone, a pyramid, a donut. These are all extensive abstractions of physical and math realities using other math realities of volumes. Depending on our point of view, the properties of these 3D objects changes. Take the cone as an example, looking at a cone from a side view, it appears as a triangle. From the bottom, it appears as a circle. From the top, it appears as a circle with a point at the center(assuming this point can be distinguished). These different views of the cone has transformed it to lower dimensions but the definitions of a cone remain the same. If we look at these volumes at very far distances, for all practical purposes, they appear as a point (0-dim).The properties of these volumes remain the same. The reality for the existence of physical objects like: atoms, electrons, protons and all the other elementary particles have the same problems when viewed from different perspectives. All volumes of electrons are indistinguishable, but their reality cannot be denied. Electrons are practically points particles. Electrons are the units of electricity that drive our modern technologies sustaning our lives and our existence. The electrons do have other properties that make them distinquishable: electric charge and spin. Spin is a quantum mechanical reality of the electrons while electric charge is a electromagnetic reality. Together with the physical reality of mass, these are all physical realities needed to make the electron distinct.

    to be continued...

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2004
  6. Feb 1, 2004 #5
    Charge to Mass Ratio

    To Same Audience,

    The charge and mass of the electrons cannot be determined directly. And before Maxwell's theory of the electromagnetic field, it was no sense talking about the existence of the electrons.

    In 1897, J.J. Thomson in the Cavendish Lab in Cambridge, England discovered the existence of the electrons by measuring its charge to mass ratio using Lorentz equation of the electromagnetic force.

    In addition to the physical realities of force and electric charge: the new physical realities are velocity, electric field, and magnetic field.

    To be continued...

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2004
  7. Feb 1, 2004 #6
    Reality of Mass

    To Same Audience,

    Isaac Newton in the 17th century introduced the physical realities of force, mass, acceleration and momentum. His differential equations do not need to define the differences of electrons and proton or atoms and molecules since for Newton, all particles are point particles. They all have zero dimensions and extensions. Later, this point-mechanics of Newton were improved formally into analytical mechanics pioneered by Lagrange, Euler, Bernoulli's brothers, Maupertuis transforming calculus into the calculus of variations.

    To be continued...

  8. Feb 1, 2004 #7
    System of Point Particles

    To Same Audience,

    The difference between Newton's point-mechanics and analytical mechanics is the definition of a new physical reality called a system. This system is made of many point-particles. Each of these point-particle has its own unique position and velocity at a specific time. At later time, measurement is made to find out what happens to the positions and velocities of these point-particles. The boundary conditions specify the initial values of position and velocity but it is impossible to measure these values for just one point particle. The invention of new physical realities: generalized coordinates and generalized velocity and the reduction of degrees of freedom circumvented the problem of having to measure one particle.

    Will be back...

  9. Feb 2, 2004 #8
    Millikan's Experiment

    Around 1910, Robert Millikan did the so called oil drop experiment that shows without a doubt the quantization of electric charge. Both Thomson and Millikan were awarded the Nobel Prize for their works.

    Inserting the independent value of charge into the charge-mass ratio, the mass of the electron is determined.

    Both the experiments (Thomson and Millikan) use the physical reality of a scalar field, in contrast to a vector field. In a scalar field, all force vectors are zeros. This means forces exist but are in an equilibrium configuration.

    For Thomson, it was the equilibrium of electric and magnetic forces.
    For Millikan, it was the equilibrium of electric and gravity forces.


    Postsript: There were other attempts to determine the mass of electron using other physical realities: Rydberg constant, fine-structure constant, speed of light, and Planck constant. See Physical Review Letters, Volume 88, Number 1, January 7, 2002.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2004
  10. Feb 2, 2004 #9
    There are two different approaches to the Philosophy of Science.
    Hawking, Bohr, Einstein (to some degree), Feynman etc... fall into the first one.
    1.) The role of Science and its intended goal is to accurately predict the outcome of observed phenomena. It is not necessary for the hypotheses to reflect the underlying truth and reality of what is happening. Actual reality is treated as subjective and relative to the observer. This approach blurs the line between the absolute and the abstract. It mixes philosphy and science.
    2.) The role of science and its intended goal is to discover the underlying objective fundamental truths behind what we observe. Personal realities may be subjective and relative, however, that is no more than the objective truth filtered through our fallible subjective human perception.

    I prefer approach #2.

    I do see the value of approach #1 but as no more than a tool to reach #2.
    When people forget that, they end up having things they can't explain, and rather than question the basis of their hypothesis, they invent Gods to fill in the spaces. (String Theory, Branes, Virtual Particles, Parallel Universes etc.) It doesn't matter if the result is realistic or verifyable as viable option, all that matters is that the math balances.

    Quantum theory, in my opinon, fits perfectly in this.
    They took a basic precept (wave/particle duality) and built an entire field upon it.
    The problem, I think, is that the basic precept was formed as a result of experiments (most notably M&M and two-slit) that weilded results that were not only inconclusive but they seem to suggest other than the accepted conclusions.
    Other experiments and observations (see blueshift and redshift of stars, bending of light around massive objects and others) are cited as evidence supporting these observations, however, depending on the way the observations are interpreted, they could just as easily (and I think more plausibly) suggest that the accepted hypotheses are less than accurate depictions of reality.
    However, that doesn't matter as long as the math balances.

    Modern physics is looking for equations.
    I think it should be looking for reality.
  11. Feb 2, 2004 #10

    Thanks for your reply.

    Besides you and me, who prefer approach #2, can you think of any scientist, living or dead, who, like Einstein to some degree, would prefer the #2 approach to science?

    Last edited: Feb 2, 2004
  12. Feb 2, 2004 #11
    Principle of Directional Invariance

    Einstein’s reply to his critics, in the book edited by Paul Arthur Schilpp entitled ‘Albert Einstein, Philosopher-Scientist,’ elucidated that in general theory of relativity, the concept of time remains a problem when one tries to understand its vector ‘nature.’ The arrow of time cannot be determined aside from that of the thermodynamic increase of entropy, which is a macroscopic property of irreversible processes, while microscopic ones are reversible.

    In the special theory of relativity, the Lorentz transformations for time give different times for different frames moving at constant velocity. The physical reality of a constant velocity implies the homogeneity and isotropy of space and time. This says that an inertial frame exists. And any ‘force-free’ motion in this inertial frame takes place with constant velocity in both magnitude and direction. This is a direct assertion for the law of inertia.

    The [tex]\psi[/tex] function of quantum mechanics is a physical reality abstracted from the magnitude part of a radius vector. The absolute value of the product of [tex]\psi[/tex] and its conjugate gives the probability amplitude. This is an area under the Gaussian (normal) curve of any probability function.

    All physical theories share a common abstraction. This is the physical reality of the concept of direction.

    When force is equated to zero, it means that its direction is ignored. When time is zero, it means that its arrow (direction) cannot be determined. When the radius vector is zero, it means its direction is not defined uniquely and its magnitude can be mapped onto the surface of a given sphere where the magnitude of the radius vector is a multiple of the unit radius.

    Each point on the surface of the sphere defines a direction for one radius vector. There are infinite number of points on the sphere hence there should be an infinite number of directions. The ability of each radius vector to choose a particular direction is the principle of directional invariance. By choosing a direction, all other points choose its own unique directions and keeping these directions forever. The ability to choose happens only once. And it will take infinite amount of energy for one point to change its direction and choose another because all the infinite directions are already taken by all the other infinite points.
  13. Feb 2, 2004 #12
    Hello Antonio,

    I see you have another fine thread going. I wanted to bounce this off of you.

    You said "By choosing a direction, all other points choose its own unique directions and keeping these directions forever. The ability to choose happens only once."

    In my work, I have used the statement "all wavelengths are pre-determined". This seems very similar to what you're saying. When an event happens with energy of x, the reaction follows the laws of physics. Unless there are different kinds of photons, then they must all contain the potential to be white light, or any other color, even if they are seen to be, say red for instance. There is also part of the wave that is "not the wave" or value as we describe it. UV or infra-red for example.

    I don't recall who it was, but a scientist was working on spectral analysis, discovered the UV value "on a hunch", and took readings that were "off the chart" and got the predicted result.

    So, if their wavelength & frequency, and direction & speed are all constant, or predetermined, then isn't it obvious that their path would be as well? How could they follow these pre-set rules and not travel on a pre-set path? Especially when there is most often, a value that precedes the "object". The preceding object will always arrive at point before the lower frequency value. These two values are only two because of our perception, and subsequent cataloging. In reality, they are one continuous wave. Because of this, it should not be out of the question that if the front part comes up against a barrier, it could instantly communicate this (through its' new path for example) to the rear part. This would cause more of a reaction (harder to predict) than if the object just kept going straight, oblivious to the upcoming collision.

    In everyday terms, this is like knowing the difference between a "fly by", a nibble, and a strike, when fishing. This is all communicated through the semi tight line. Not knowing this will cause you to "miss" when attempting to set the hook.

  14. Feb 3, 2004 #13

    Thanks for your reply.

    When I moved from the other threads in Theory Development, I left without closing our discussions. This is because I want to get away from getting into arguments in experimental point of view. You should have noticed by now that I am a theoretician and not an experimentalist. I like to work with ideas (hypotheses) and numbers. From the previous reply given by One_Raven, this kind of thinkers is the minority. At the moment, it seems I am the only one.

    Since I respect you as an true born experimentalist, It's no contest to argue with you on something I know nothing about.

    To keep the concept of continuity, if we associate a magnitude to a particular direction, there should also be an infinite number of 'vector' with this particular direction. This is the definition of a vector. It has a magnitude and a direction. In EM waves, we are really dealing with the concept of double-infinity. One infinity for direction and one for magnitude.

    The wavelength can be the magnitude and the wave vector is the direction. But how do we explain the idea of frequency? My 2 cents idea of frequency is that it has to do with motion, vibration, from here to there, from there to here, etc. This motion already been classified in physics as transversal and longitudinal. There is no other classifications. EM waves are always transversal, and sound waves, seismic waves are always longitudinal. Longitudinal waves are pressure waves. It needs a medium to transmit this pressure of force per unit area. The velocity of a longitudinal wave depends on the physical properties of the medium such as temperture and density and state of motion (wind factor).

    I am hoping this reply will give you an idea where I stand as a thinker. My purpose of joining this forum is to sell two hypotheses to the scientific community. (1) the concept of directional invariance. (2) The two directions of time. And from these ideas, a new meaning for the concept of mass.

  15. Feb 3, 2004 #14

    I will start a new thread for a continuation of Experimentalist vs. Theoretician that One Raven brought up. I have questions and comments.

    For whatever reason, I seem to be following this thread more easily than some of the others. You do a very good job of breaking things down into "quantum thoughts" - small and easy to digest!

    I think perhaps I was afraid of being too phlisophical in the other forum. But in that perspective, I agree that Zero = Balance. Sytems in balance are static, and systems not in balance (having one force greater than the other) produces change. Direction, velocity, and time, would be examples of this.

    Can you expand a little on "Spin is a quantum mechanical reality of the electrons" ?

    Also, what directions are implied when you state "the two directions of time" ? Is it always forward and backward, through time as we know it?

  16. Feb 3, 2004 #15


    Spin is a property of all elementary particles. This property is related to the concept of rotation in classical physics - like the spin of the earth around its axis. The earth's spin is continuous, while the quantum spin is quantized. it has only two possible states, spin up and spin down. Its magnitude is half of Planck constant divided by 2 pi. Fermions are odd multiples of the spin, while bosons are even multiples.

    Fermion's spin takes value: 1/2, 3/2, 5/2, 7/2, 9/2, 11/2, ...
    Bosons's spin takes value: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, ...

    The existence of spin is used to explain the hyperfine structures of spectra. And the strangest property of quantum spin is shown by the behavior of all fermions. If the earth rotate in space thru 360 degrees, it returns to where it started. But if a fermion rotates thru 360 degrees, it arrives at a quantum state which is measurably different from its starting state. In order to get back to where it started, it has to rotate thru another 360 degrees, making 720 degrees, a double rotation, in all. One way of explaining is that all fermions see the universe differently from how we see it. What we see if we turn thru 360 deg twice are two identical copies of the universe, but the quantum particles are able to discern a difference between the two copies of the universe.

    This double rotations of all fermions indirectly implied the existence of two directions of time if we view the process from here to eternity. The existence of antiparticles also vindicates the existence of two timelines. If the structure of space, such as concept of space-time in SR and GR, is connected to time, the meanings of backward, forward, past, present, and future is lost. Generally speaking, bosons such as the photons are timeless.

  17. Feb 3, 2004 #16

    So, is it correct to say, in relativistic terms, that direction has no meaning to time? We only have the way we see something, and an opposite way? OR we see it one way, and there are infinite other ways to see it?

    Also, re: Spin. Have you seen a wave diagram for a circular orbit? The symmetrical path dictates that the value of the starting point and ending at the start point would produce consonance (destruction), but at the second revolution, resonance (continuation with replenished momentum). In simple math terms, this is dividing 360 by an odd number (decimal point), then multipling by 2 to convert back to an even number value (whole #/fraction). This is more reasoning behind the number 13 to describe "planck intervals".

  18. Feb 3, 2004 #17

    What I really mean is that the two directions of time cannot be both detected by us. We can only detect one time's direction (increase of entropy). And the anti-we can detect the other direction. The universe is actually two universes. Each has its own time direction. At the point where these two worlds meet time is zero.

    I am beginning to think that the waves you are repeatedly describing are standing waves like that found inside musical instruments, while the waves I am talking about are continuous waves or travelling waves, EM waves and sound waves. The de Broglie's waves in quantum mechanics are really standing waves.

    Both EM waves and sound waves can become standing waves in a resonating cavity. LASER is an example of a resonating cavity for EM waves. And all musical instruments are example of resonating cavities for sound waves.

  19. Feb 3, 2004 #18

    I think we are in agreement on time. Wouldn't the opposite of entropy, or destruction, be creation? If you agree with that, then one would say that we can detect both directions - just not at the same time (on same object).

    I am trying to talk about a theoretical quantum similarity to all types of waves (planck qty.). With the general definition of a wave as "symmetrical oscillation (vibration) from a center line or ray" (zero point between polars, or set of opposing values)

    Even time could be looked at this way. "Now" can be described as the zero point between the oscillation of past and future.

    Is it reasonable to say that "the vacuum" is a resonating cavity for the photon? Where it slows down in any other medium more dense.

  20. Feb 3, 2004 #19

    Entropy in thermodynamics is deltaQ/T, the change in heat divided by the temperature. The lost of usable energy. The tendency of the universe to reach an equilibrium homogeneous state of uniform temperature at maximum entropy. The heat death. the global direction of entropy is from order to disorder, a macroscopic property. There are orders in the microworld, the existence of elementary particles (quarks and leptons) and their properties. Entropy does not really apply to bosons like photons. Because photons are really energy in different clothings.

    Quantum field theories say that vacuum does not exist. What we called the vacuum does contain infinite amount of energy! We can borrow some of these energies and it's already proven by experiments when scientists created the positroniums (an atomic structure of electron and its antiparticle, the positron) out of the vacuum.

  21. Feb 3, 2004 #20

    Yes, I put quotations around vacuum because I believe it is only " a lab idea". Not really out there. This is usually where I'm coming from when I say NO Zero. (nothing)

    I speak very, very generally about entropy. I just mean that on "average", doesn't the Universe have to have a near equal amount of creation characteristics and destructive ones? I wouldn't think we would be here right now, after billions of years, if this were not true.

    Is the "positronium" a stable particle?

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