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tybomb

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**"Fingerprint of God" type physics; what's meant and what qualifies?**

Hello everyone, I've been watching a lot of documentaries lately (understanding very little) and I decided to join this forum so I could actually ask questions in what will probably be a vain attempt to make sense of the physical world in my head.

I've been trying to come to some sort of understanding with Einsteins theory of relativity but it seems like every time I think I've got it even partially I end up with more questions then when I began thinking.

Anyway, first things first. I keep hearing physicists, mathematicians, bioligists etc make reference to a beauty and simplicity in the world. For instance I just watched one talk from the Ted convention where a physicist said that they always know which theory is correct because it's always the one that is amazingly simple and needlessly elegant (paraphrasing).

Two examples stand out in my mind. One is the formula for fractals and another is of course Einsteins theory of relativity. The excitement I guess comes from the fact that the simplicity and beauty hints at some sort of higher mystery and every new discovery confirms this and adds to that mystery. Pretty much how my sister describes watching Lost.

Unfortunately I'm not a genius (kindegarten to grade 4 made sure of that) and I don't have a very good grasp as to why all these things are so gorgeous and simple. I can recognize that a formula might be shorter then another but in physics what are the little fascinating things that don't necessarily have to work out but for some reason do?

I want to think outside the box here and I might be COMPLETELY wrong but here's an example and it's really simple (maybe too simple).

I've been watching videos on time dilation. Given the example of the two ships bouncing a laser off one another as they travel. I had a moment of either lucidity or stupidity where I started wondering why it would work out perfectly that as the ships moved the laser would always bounce off the exact same spot and return to the exact same spot (so long as the ships were going the same speed and didn't stray). Thus giving the appearance to the ships captains that everything is occurring as though they were standing still whereas to an observer the beam is traveling farther in a giant V pattern.

When I really think about it there's no reason why math and physics should work out in such an orderly way. Couldn't it just as easy have been that if the ships moved uniformily and bounced the laser it would end up in virtually any other place other then it's originating point? The rules are made so that as long as you follow them in a pure way things will work out not only in a predictable manner but in a way that allows for order.

Another "moment" I had was learning about the discovery that if you double the speed of something it quadruples it's impact (can't remember what this is called). E=MV^2 ? Does that make sense? But my question, is there any conceivable reason why it would be exactly 4 times it's velocity? Is it something we take forgranted because we're so used to things working out to "whole numbers" and in meaningful ways? Couldn't it just as easilly have been 3.68 times its velocity? In fact wouldn't there be considerable odds against the formula being so simple supposing a person was new to the universe and had to guess at what would happen and assuming all things were the result of blind chance and randomness?

I don't know if these are among those "simple and elegant" things that I'm always hearing about or if I'm imagining all this intrigue due to sheer ignorance.

But if they aren't then what are?

I've been trying to come to some sort of understanding with Einsteins theory of relativity but it seems like every time I think I've got it even partially I end up with more questions then when I began thinking.

Anyway, first things first. I keep hearing physicists, mathematicians, bioligists etc make reference to a beauty and simplicity in the world. For instance I just watched one talk from the Ted convention where a physicist said that they always know which theory is correct because it's always the one that is amazingly simple and needlessly elegant (paraphrasing).

Two examples stand out in my mind. One is the formula for fractals and another is of course Einsteins theory of relativity. The excitement I guess comes from the fact that the simplicity and beauty hints at some sort of higher mystery and every new discovery confirms this and adds to that mystery. Pretty much how my sister describes watching Lost.

Unfortunately I'm not a genius (kindegarten to grade 4 made sure of that) and I don't have a very good grasp as to why all these things are so gorgeous and simple. I can recognize that a formula might be shorter then another but in physics what are the little fascinating things that don't necessarily have to work out but for some reason do?

I want to think outside the box here and I might be COMPLETELY wrong but here's an example and it's really simple (maybe too simple).

I've been watching videos on time dilation. Given the example of the two ships bouncing a laser off one another as they travel. I had a moment of either lucidity or stupidity where I started wondering why it would work out perfectly that as the ships moved the laser would always bounce off the exact same spot and return to the exact same spot (so long as the ships were going the same speed and didn't stray). Thus giving the appearance to the ships captains that everything is occurring as though they were standing still whereas to an observer the beam is traveling farther in a giant V pattern.

When I really think about it there's no reason why math and physics should work out in such an orderly way. Couldn't it just as easy have been that if the ships moved uniformily and bounced the laser it would end up in virtually any other place other then it's originating point? The rules are made so that as long as you follow them in a pure way things will work out not only in a predictable manner but in a way that allows for order.

Another "moment" I had was learning about the discovery that if you double the speed of something it quadruples it's impact (can't remember what this is called). E=MV^2 ? Does that make sense? But my question, is there any conceivable reason why it would be exactly 4 times it's velocity? Is it something we take forgranted because we're so used to things working out to "whole numbers" and in meaningful ways? Couldn't it just as easilly have been 3.68 times its velocity? In fact wouldn't there be considerable odds against the formula being so simple supposing a person was new to the universe and had to guess at what would happen and assuming all things were the result of blind chance and randomness?

I don't know if these are among those "simple and elegant" things that I'm always hearing about or if I'm imagining all this intrigue due to sheer ignorance.

But if they aren't then what are?

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