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Space = Matter etc.

  1. Jun 9, 2007 #1
    I've been debating a fellow who makes all sorts of physics claims which counter my limited understanding of physics, so i wanted to run some by you.

    (1)All matter is energy and all energy is matter. There is no significant difference between "bound" states with confinement energy(what is usually called matter), and unbound states like light and heat. This is proved because they can be changed back and forth.

    (2) Space = Energy. Energy = Matter. Therefore, space = matter. There is no indication of particular time in which matter has not existed, because matter and energy are the same.

    (3)In the standard model of cosmology, there is no support for origin of matter - rather the contrary, it posits that matter has always existed, given the matter/energy equivalence.

    (4) Bound/confinement energy cannot be said to have evolved from unbound states, as if unbound is a more primitive form of energy.

    (5) There is no indication of an origin of space/time.
    ---------------

    thanks,
    sad
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 9, 2007 #2
    Actually I think these statements are not particularly bad. :smile:
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2007
  4. Jun 9, 2007 #3
    I'll give it a whirl. First question: Is your friend a physicist? If not then why should his knowledge of nature be better than yours?

    I have never personally held that view, although its true that most physicists do. My reasons are is that energy and mass are defined differently and therefore have different units and can thus not be identical to each other. E.g. We know how to define mass. Its just the "m" in p = mv. But no acceptable definition of energy has ever been given and no acceltable definitions of matter have failed, although some have been given.

    On what basis do you accept the axiom that space = energy. That's a very silly thing to say in physics. Also "energy = matter" is not quite correct if you can't can't define "matter". While I'm sure your friend will gladly give you his notion of a definition, we don't accept a definition because someone defines one.
    Actually nobody knows what happened at the exact moment of the Big bang. We have theories, yes. But there are no cold hard facts. Nobody has ever claimed that they knew what came before the Big Bang except for the people who support the Pre-Big Bang scenario.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2007
  5. Jun 9, 2007 #4

    pervect

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    It's not our general policy to debunk ill-formed claims on this forum, per the PF guidelines. I think this material may be appropriate for skepticism and debunking forum, though, so that's where I'm going to move it. (I'll see if I get any complaints from the moderator there, Ivan Seeking).

    The problem from my POV is that "your friend" hasn't actually offered a well-formed theory. A theory is supposed to make some actual experimental predictions. The "theory" your friend offers is just a bunch of words at this point, it doesn't actually offer any predictions.

    The reason it's hard to refute is that it doesn't actually say anything - at least not anything that is experimentally testable. A good theory should make it explicit how the theory can be tested (falsified). Without the ciritical element of testability, the "theory" isn't specific enough to be of any use to anybody.
     
  6. Jun 9, 2007 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    We try to stick with potentially unexplained phenomena only in S&D. I think this works okay in GD though.
     
  7. Jun 9, 2007 #6

    Evo

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    :grumpy: Yes, the PF round file.
     
  8. Jun 9, 2007 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    I know...sorry. When does a question like this qualify as promoting a crackpot theory? Sometimes it's hard to judge.

    In either case, we are phenomenal in S&D. :biggrin:
     
  9. Jun 9, 2007 #8
    I dunno, maybe hes just more erudite or comprehensive of modern evidences than me.
    I asked him to explain how matter = the capacity of matter to do work, but he dismissed it as semantics. I'll ask him to define energy, maybe it will present a flaw.
    I'm assuming he was drawing from a hypothesis called "dark energy", or maybe from "energy of a vacuum".
    Just as i suspected, but he says that every indication/evidence is that matter always was and always will be. He says the big bang theory propounds this.
    None, but apparently i'm extremely ignorant of cosmology to assert that unbound energy is a primitive state from which bound energy evolved. Is there proof/logic in favor of this idea?
    Can you reference a link for me?
     
  10. Jun 10, 2007 #9
    In which case, you could pretend as if each assertion is instead presented as a question, and then answer them for me. Thats what i'm really wanting.
    He is claiming that his theory is the standard big-bang model of cosmology.
    So you are saying nothing claimed here is actually reasoned form direct evidence. You are saying it is all conjecture? Is there any pro or con evidence for any assertion? Please help.
    thanks,
    sad
     
  11. Jun 10, 2007 #10

    pervect

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    My general reaction is that this person is terminally confused, and mangling standard definitions in ways that aren't particularly useful.

    The debate is in large part about semantics - what do words mean? I generally am not that interested in debating semantics, though a certain amount of commonality of understanding is needed to communicate.

    I'd much rather focus on the physics than the semantics. And the point I'm trying to make is there ISN'T ANY physics here. It's all just word games. There isn't any physics here because no predictions are being made about the physical world. The burden of making predictions falls on the person proposing the theory, not on the listener.
     
  12. Jun 11, 2007 #11
    Ah, ok. Thanks for your help. Apparently he is positing the existence of virtual particles as proof that space = energy. Thoughts?
    I might be posting more direct questions about his claims since this thread didn't give me much for/against arguments. Do you know of any "physics philosophy" forums?
    cheers,
    sad
     
  13. Jun 12, 2007 #12

    Evo

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    Sorry, but this thread really isn't going anywhere. Your friend is wrong and the burden of proof is his. Tell him to prove what he says, he won't be able to.
     
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