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New here. Just seeking feedback on my fuzzy understanding of physics.

  1. Jun 8, 2012 #1
    After reading Jason Padgett's (the dude who became a genius mathematician after getting kicked in the head) description of the structure of spacetime (link omitted due to Noob Requirements of PhysicsForums), I decided to indulge in Brian Greene's "The Elegant Universe". The Elegant Universe outlines how String Theory has become the dominant (albeit not uncontested) "Theory of Everything" in modern physics. While my understanding is fuzzy in some areas, this is what I gather:

    1) Time and velocity (or motion) have a similar relationship to that of hardness and malleability. You can have an object with both qualities to varying degrees, but the harder an object is, the less malleable it is -- and vice versa. Similarly, the faster an object is, the less time it "burns" -- and vice versa. That's why photons, traveling at the speed of light, burn ZERO time; everything happens in an instant at the level of photons. Every time you move, you are (albeit infinitesimally) making an exchange; you are trading time for velocity.

    2) Imagine playing a guitar that creates vibrations with wavelengths so super dense, so super frequent (the speed of light squared), that instead of creating sound, it creates a mist of mass particles (what we call "quarks") as well as all other forms of energy. Now imagine further that the guitar strings are vibrating at the speed of light, creating a roaring mist of quarks.That's string theory. What we think of as "solid" or "hard" or "mass" is really just another form of energy, not unlike sound waves traversing through airspace creating "music".

    3) Motion, if my intuition is correct about string theory, is somewhat illusory. When you wave your hand in the air, you might think that there exists a mass of flesh, bone, and blood moving around, but in fact, you're really just causing strings to change their vibrational frequency according to however you play them; before you waved your hand in the air, the strings were playing a different tune to what we call "air" or "empty space". As you wave your hands, the strings play a new, different tune, i.e. "air with a hand waving around in it." Instead of objects "moving", strings are changing their tune. In fact, in "The Elegant Universe" Brian Greene points out that even electromagnetic radiation, at least when analyzed mathematically at the Planck level, is not a "smooth" state; it occurs in steps, much like the waves you see in this music game: (link omitted; search for sembeo.com). The grid in that game is analogous to the grid-like structure of spacetime, as beautifully illustrated by Jason Padgett above.



    Okay. That's how I would "profess" my understanding. Now, how far off am I? :)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 9, 2012 #2

    Bobbywhy

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    CuriousApe, Welcome to Physics Forums!

    You have asked for feedback on your understanding of Physics and then described your very strange emotional theories. Members here are highly educated, highly experienced, or both. We help others understand real science.
     
  4. Jun 9, 2012 #3
    To me it just a like human.
    A man or a woman will behave differently when alone as they are in a group.
    Likewise a particle behaves differently when they are as molecules.
    But i guess the majority prevail. Studying behavior for just a single man truely a daunting task.
     
  5. Jun 9, 2012 #4
    Bobby, that's not me trying to push some pet theories, I should clarify that this is just the way I learn: by trying to "explain" what I understand as if I were teaching it. So I apologize if this post came off as preachy. I want to understand nature, but to do that, I must know where I am right and where I am wrong. Hence my post.
     
  6. Jun 9, 2012 #5
    Something that is important to keep in mind when learning physics is that often popular books try to explain very complex mathematical ideas by analogy to common every day experiences. The problem with this is that the analogy can only go so far, and it is really difficult to get a good intuition about physics without first understanding the mathematical framework.

    For example, I've heard some people say that quantum mechanics implies that electrons can be in two places at once. However, when you learn a bit of the math behind the idea, it shows that we really have to modify our conventional understanding of the "position" of the electron. The original statement isn't really right or wrong, it just doesn't have much precise meaning.

    When people talk about string theory, it really is a string in an abstract mathematical sense. Your words in 2. and 3. are beautiful, but they are hard to discuss scientifically, because they don't actually convey any mathematical ideas. Your ideas in 1. are pretty accurate, but there are a lot more complications.
     
  7. Jun 9, 2012 #6

    Bobbywhy

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    CuriousApe, You claim you are trying to understand nature by describing fantastic imaginary scenarios that have no connection with scientific reality. You say you learn by trying to explain what you understand as if you were teaching it. That could be done if you would base your lesson plan on reality and not the fictional stories you make up using your intuition. That is not the way science is learned.

    Your three opening paragraphs would be appropriate in some fiction novel, and not here on PF where we attempt to describe nature the way it is by observation and measurement. Since you have asked where you are right and where you are wrong I have taken your OP second paragraph and will attempt to show where you are incorrectly describing nature.

    “2) Imagine playing a guitar that creates vibrations with wavelengths so super dense, so super frequent (the speed of light squared), that instead of creating sound, it creates a mist of mass particles (what we call "quarks") as well as all other forms of energy. Now imagine further that the guitar strings are vibrating at the speed of light, creating a roaring mist of quarks. That's string theory. What we think of as "solid" or "hard" or "mass" is really just another form of energy, not unlike sound waves traversing through airspace creating "music".”

    “vibrations with wavelengths so super dense” Wavelengths cannot be super dense; they are the linear measure from one peak to the next peak.

    “so super frequent (the speed of light squared)” “Super frequent” makes no sense. How or why does the term “speed of light squared” apply to guitar vibrations?

    “it creates a mist of mass particles (what we call "quarks")” A “mist of mass particles”? Where did that terminology come from? What is your reference or source to write this outrageous conjecture about quarks?

    “as well as all other forms of energy” What all other forms of energy?

    “guitar strings are vibrating at the speed of light” This would violate special relativity.

    “creating a roaring mist of quarks. That's string theory.” C’mon, CuriousApe, that is not “string theory” at all. Post one mainstream reference or paper about string theory that uses the descriptive terms you have used. You cannot.

    “What we think of as "solid" or "hard" or "mass" is really just another form of energy, not unlike sound waves traversing through airspace creating "music".” So you claim solid, hard, or mass are really just forms of energy? This is totally wrong, as the first two are physical characteristics and mass is a property of all matter-not forms of energy. And, those things are definitely unlike sound waves in air, so your conjectures are completely and totally mistaken.

    You seem be trying to deliberately deceive folks here by pretending you really want to learn about nature while you insist in inventing fantasies and creating nonsensical descriptions. Your reference to sembeo.com and Jason Padgett the savant mathematical artist give your true position away. No serious scientific person can learn about how nature works by making up imaginary processes and fictitious scenarios. I would apply similar comments to your paragraphs one and three also, if I was willing to spend my time but I am not. If it’s really your desire to learn about string theory, light, and motion then please use mainstream textbooks and papers as source material. Then if you have doubts or questions come right back here and post your questions using the commonly used terminology and the accepted language of science. I’m sure members here will assist you along your long, very long journey towards some basic understanding of science.
     
  8. Jun 9, 2012 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    "Here's what I think - prove me wrong" is a very, very inefficient way to learn physics, and a in our experience does not lead to productive threads. This thread got off to a bad start, so let's start over.
     
  9. Jun 9, 2012 #8

    ZapperZ

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    To add to what Vanadium has said, please note that the PF Rules that you had agreed to strictly prohibit such type of speculation.

    There are better ways at trying to learn physics. This is not it.

    Zz.
     
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