BaalChatzaf

If modern physics is so wrong how come it is so right?

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Let us look at the score. The physicists have enable the engineers to come up with the technology and the seekers after causality have come up empty handed.

Game, set, match.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Well that's just a plain lie. Issac Newton was a causality-oriented physicist, and without him none of your concrete-bound formula-seekers would have been able to do a damn thing.

Shayne

Aside from not coming up with a cause for gravity, Newton did not produce a cause for inertia, or vis insita (in Latin). Newton did understand that mass was a measure of inertia, but he never postulated that as a cause. To this day no one knows from where inertial comes. There may be a better result for mass. According to the Standard Model particles acquire their mass from the Higgs Field. Alas, the Higgs Boson (which produces the field) has not yet been detected but there is some hope that the Higgs will be spotted in the LHC a multi-billion dollar projected built by philosophically corrupt, muddled, wrong-headed, incoherent physicists, the same kind that made the transistors in your computer possible.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf

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built by philosophically corrupt, muddled, wrong-headed, incoherent physicists,

As I write this it is presently culturally acceptable to send a SWAT team in to break down someone's door for the "crime" of having a certain kind of plant. It is also considered A-OK to chop off parts of a newborn baby boy's genitals. And that's just a few among a long list of morally-philosophically degenerate but culturally-acceptable things, things which I might add that are backed by establishment-sanctioned professionals with PhD by their name.

It should not be a controversial thing to observe that most of this culture is philosophically corrupt. You don't like it? Well, most barbarians don't like being called on their barbarous nature. Too bad.

Shayne

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Newton hypothesized no cause for gravity. "Hypothesis non fingo" Read Scholium of Book III of -Principia-.

Newton feigned no hypotheses for physics, but he did for metaphysics (he was religious).

Isn't mass a "formal cause" (Aristotle's usage) of gravity and inertia?

Edited by Merlin Jetton

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Not so sure about that conclusion. Time dilation is a simple and necessary consequence of the cosmic speed limit - no?

Bob

It mathematically results from the proposition that the speed of light is discerned as constant in all reference frames. Deriving the formulas from the proposition (a simple task) is different from explaining why the proposition is so.

Shayne

Sure, but the proposition here is the cosmic speed limit. This is where the "why" question is interesting. Time dilation is a simple consequence of this limit. There is nothing mysterious (at least to me) about time dilation in a causal sense (that is clear), it's the speed limit that is "mysterious" to me.

Edit: If the speed of light is constant, time MUST dilate, length must contract, mass must increase. This is easy (relatively - pun intended) to understand. It simply and directly follows from the postulate. Time is not what we think it is (and distance, and even mass) - cool! But the only cause in any sense (to me) is the speed limit. To me, it's like asking what "causes" 2+2 to equal 4? I don't find that an interesting question.

Bob

Edited by Bob_Mac

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built by philosophically corrupt, muddled, wrong-headed, incoherent physicists,

As I write this it is presently culturally acceptable to send a SWAT team in to break down someone's door for the "crime" of having a certain kind of plant. It is also considered A-OK to chop off parts of a newborn baby boy's genitals. And that's just a few among a long list of morally-philosophically degenerate but culturally-acceptable things, things which I might add that are backed by establishment-sanctioned professionals with PhD by their name.

It should not be a controversial thing to observe that most of this culture is philosophically corrupt. You don't like it? Well, most barbarians don't like being called on their barbarous nature. Too bad.

Shayne

You are beginning to foam at the keyboard. Control yourself.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Guys, I don't understand the problem some have over time dilation. If time is a measure of motion, how are you going to have a base standard for comparisons of motion *except* by means of light? By beats of sound? But sound requires a medium and is highly variable and doesn't travel in vacuum. I think it comes down to the need of a way of measuring in order to make any comparisons. If light indeed does travel without the need of a medium, and at constant speed in vacuum, then it's the one way (unless there's the possibility of information transfer at faster than light) by which we could measure motion, hence the deductions which follow from this base.

Ellen

___

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If light indeed does travel without the need of a medium, and at constant speed in vacuum, then it's the one way (unless there's the possibility of information transfer at faster than light) by which we could measure motion, hence the deductions which follow from this base.

Ellen

___

Exactly. The deductions are interesting, but no mystery surrounds their causality. It's the premise that's the most intersting.

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Not so sure about that conclusion. Time dilation is a simple and necessary consequence of the cosmic speed limit - no?

Bob

It mathematically results from the proposition that the speed of light is discerned as constant in all reference frames. Deriving the formulas from the proposition (a simple task) is different from explaining why the proposition is so.

Shayne

Sure, but the proposition here is the cosmic speed limit. This is where the "why" question is interesting. Time dilation is a simple consequence of this limit. There is nothing mysterious (at least to me) about time dilation in a causal sense (that is clear), it's the speed limit that is "mysterious" to me.

Edit: If the speed of light is constant, time MUST dilate, length must contract, mass must increase. This is easy (relatively - pun intended) to understand. It simply and directly follows from the postulate. Time is not what we think it is (and distance, and even mass) - cool! But the only cause in any sense (to me) is the speed limit. To me, it's like asking what "causes" 2+2 to equal 4? I don't find that an interesting question.

Bob

It's not interesting that the speed of light has identity. What is interesting is that it's constant in all reference frames. That it is constant in all frames leads to certain easy to produce deductive conclusions, but not to a causal theory of what it is in the nature of reality that causes this intimate relation between light and matter. Time dilation is an effect. What is the cause? Not the math. The math is just another way of looking at the effect contained in the premise.

Shayne

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Guys, I don't understand the problem some have over time dilation. If time is a measure of motion, how are you going to have a base standard for comparisons of motion *except* by means of light? By beats of sound? But sound requires a medium and is highly variable and doesn't travel in vacuum. I think it comes down to the need of a way of measuring in order to make any comparisons. If light indeed does travel without the need of a medium, and at constant speed in vacuum, then it's the one way (unless there's the possibility of information transfer at faster than light) by which we could measure motion, hence the deductions which follow from this base.

Ellen

That is an exceedingly weird way of looking at it. Measurement is a function of consciousness. It has no place in this category of physical description.

Shayne

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Newton hypothesized no cause for gravity. "Hypothesis non fingo" Read Scholium of Book III of -Principia-.

Newton feigned no hypotheses for physics, but he did for metaphysics (he was religious).

Isn't mass a "formal cause" (Aristotle's usage) of gravity and inertia?

Newton "feigned" an hypothesis for gravity (the discussion of which is where he makes that misleading claim) -- instantaneous action at a distance. Questions were raised about the claim before the second edition, but Newton was stubborn and insisted he meant by "hypothesis" something posited for no reason, like the Descartians. See I. Bernard Cohen's discussion in the 1999 re-translation with commentary of Newton's Principia - Amazon link.

Ellen

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Not so sure about that conclusion. Time dilation is a simple and necessary consequence of the cosmic speed limit - no?

Bob

It mathematically results from the proposition that the speed of light is discerned as constant in all reference frames. Deriving the formulas from the proposition (a simple task) is different from explaining why the proposition is so.

Shayne

Sure, but the proposition here is the cosmic speed limit. This is where the "why" question is interesting. Time dilation is a simple consequence of this limit. There is nothing mysterious (at least to me) about time dilation in a causal sense (that is clear), it's the speed limit that is "mysterious" to me.

Edit: If the speed of light is constant, time MUST dilate, length must contract, mass must increase. This is easy (relatively - pun intended) to understand. It simply and directly follows from the postulate. Time is not what we think it is (and distance, and even mass) - cool! But the only cause in any sense (to me) is the speed limit. To me, it's like asking what "causes" 2+2 to equal 4? I don't find that an interesting question.

Bob

It's not interesting that the speed of light has identity. What is interesting is that it's constant in all reference frames. That it is constant in all frames leads to certain easy to produce deductive conclusions, but not to a causal theory of what it is in the nature of reality that causes this intimate relation between light and matter. Time dilation is an effect. What is the cause? Not the math. The math is just another way of looking at the effect contained in the premise.

Shayne

"Time dilation is an effect. What is the cause?"

I guess I don't really disagree other than I see time dilation as a simple deduction rather than an "effect". The speed limit is an effect where the cause is interesting.

Bob

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That is an exceedingly weird way of looking at it. Measurement is a function of consciousness. It has no place in this category of physical description.

Shayne

So are you thinking of time as absolute, like Newton thought of space, a something which exists in which relationships happen? Or what?

Ellen

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"Time dilation is an effect. What is the cause?"

I guess I don't really disagree other than I see time dilation as a simple deduction rather than an "effect". The speed limit is an effect where the cause is interesting.

Bob

If time dilation were not an effect then there'd be no way to experimentally confirm it.

Shayne

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That is an exceedingly weird way of looking at it. Measurement is a function of consciousness. It has no place in this category of physical description.

Shayne

So are you thinking of time as absolute, like Newton thought of space, a something which exists in which relationships happen? Or what?

Ellen

No.

The case is that as something approaches the speed of light, the chemical reactions etc. within that object slow down. This isn't a "measurement", this is an effect. One can say that "time" slows down, but that'd just be another way of saying that all the motions at all levels of scale slow down. The latter way of looking at it is a bit more direct but both say the same thing.

Shayne

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The case is that as something approaches the speed of light, the chemical reactions etc. within that object slow down. This isn't a "measurement", this is an effect. One can say that "time" slows down, but that'd just be another way of saying that all the motions at all levels of scale slow down. The latter way of looking at it is a bit more direct but both say the same thing.

Shayne

Slow down relative to what? Only relative to something not moving at that speed, yes? If all the motions are occurring at the same scale internal to the system, two systems moving at different speeds wouldn't have internal clues of one going slower than the other. Without the external reference provided by the speed of light, how could any faster/slower comparison be made?

Ellen

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The case is that as something approaches the speed of light, the chemical reactions etc. within that object slow down. This isn't a "measurement", this is an effect. One can say that "time" slows down, but that'd just be another way of saying that all the motions at all levels of scale slow down. The latter way of looking at it is a bit more direct but both say the same thing.

Shayne

Slow down relative to what? Only relative to something not moving at that speed, yes? If all the motions are occurring at the same scale internal to the system, two systems moving at different speeds wouldn't have internal clues of one going slower than the other. Without the external reference provided by the speed of light, how could any faster/slower comparison be made?

Ellen

What is happening, and how you are aware that it is happening, are two entirely different things.

Shayne

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What is happening, and how you are aware that it is happening, are two entirely different things.

Shayne

Different, but related. The link is the senses and the brain which integrates data from the senses.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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One think that has always bothered me wrt physics (and I have a physics education) is that there seems to be an unwarranted metaphysical distinction between Mathematics and Reality. Not that I assert that all Math is "real" whatever that might mean, but rather the somewhat easier to defend (I think) idea that all that is Real is Math.

Or in other words, I have a problem with the general (but not universal) perception by physicists (or experimentalists at least) that Math, while being an incredibly usefool tool, is only a descriptive tool, and there's 'something else' that Math is describing. That doesn't work for me. To me, the Math doesn't stop. There's no particular place where we can say that Math doesn't work anymore. Even those that hold the idea of metaphysical separation nevertheless continue to search for deeper Mathematical truths. I don't think you can defend the position that Math must be disregarded at some point. What point does Math fail? I don't think it does. Is our universe just the Mathematical variation (or one of many) of initial conditions and "physical" laws that must necessarily produce sentience? Seems to be the most likely explanation.

Ba'al says turtles all the way down. I think it might be Math all the way down. The choice to adopt or believe only parts of the Math seems arbitrary and

Hawking subscribes to M-Theory which is a String Theory variant (or superset?) that suggests an 11-dimensional Mathematical multiverse inside an even greater multiverse. So, he sees a very "Math-Intensive" universe but I don't think he addresses how far he thinks the Math goes. The laws of Math (pure math, not physical laws) would seem to exist separately, outside of the multiverse it describes.

Bottom line is I think that the best explanation of "why" reality exists is that Mathematics requires it. But if this is wrong, we need a justification somewhere, somehow to abandon Math.

Bob

Edited by Bob_Mac

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One think that has always bothered me wrt physics (and I have a physics education) is that there seems to be an unwarranted metaphysical distinction between Mathematics and Reality. Not that I assert that all Math is "real" whatever that might mean, but rather the somewhat easier to defend (I think) idea that all that is Real is Math.

Or in other words, I have a problem with the general (but not universal) perception by physicists (or experimentalists at least) that Math, while being an incredibly usefool tool, is only a descriptive tool, and there's 'something else' that Math is describing. That doesn't work for me. To me, the Math doesn't stop. There's no particular place where we can say that Math doesn't work anymore. Even those that hold the idea of metaphysical separation nevertheless continue to search for deeper Mathematical truths. I don't think you can defend the position that Math must be disregarded at some point. What point does Math fail? I don't think it does. Is our universe just the Mathematical variation (or one of many) of initial conditions and "physical" laws that must necessarily produce sentience? Seems to be the most likely explanation.

Ba'al says turtles all the way down. I think it might be Math all the way down. The choice to adopt or believe only parts of the Math seems arbitrary and

Hawking subscribes to M-Theory which is a String Theory variant (or superset?) that suggests an 11-dimensional Mathematical multiverse inside an even greater multiverse. So, he sees a very "Math-Intensive" universe but I don't think he addresses how far he thinks the Math goes. The laws of Math (pure math, not physical laws) would seem to exist separately, outside of the multiverse it describes.

Bottom line is I think that the best explanation of "why" reality exists is that Mathematics requires it. But if this is wrong, we need a justification somewhere, somehow to abandon Math.

Bob

On my view math is merely about numbers. It's about various ways of counting. It's only in your head. Reality is not numbers, it's far more rich than that. Of course I don't expect to be able to convince you, the area we're getting into divides major schools of thought. How often would one shift from being a Platonist to being an Aristotelian? Is it possible? When I was young and my philosophical ideas were unformed, I had been influenced by religion, so there was a degree of Platonism foisted upon me, but I don't think I was a Platonist to the core. Philosophical plate tectonics seem to be required to shift from one school to another, not sure how or if that is possible. I've never noticed it happening to anyone. It probably does but is a geological process, hard to perceive.

Shayne

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On my view math is merely about numbers. It's about various ways of counting. It's only in your head. Reality is not numbers, it's far more rich than that. Of course I don't expect to be able to convince you, the area we're getting into divides major schools of thought. How often would one shift from being a Platonist to being an Aristotelian? Is it possible? When I was young and my philosophical ideas were unformed, I had been influenced by religion, so there was a degree of Platonism foisted upon me, but I don't think I was a Platonist to the core. Philosophical plate tectonics seem to be required to shift from one school to another, not sure how or if that is possible. I've never noticed it happening to anyone. It probably does but is a geological process, hard to perceive.

Shayne

Modern mathematics is primarily about structures which consist of objects and abstractly defined relations between objects. The prime example of this is category theory which is not primarily about numbers and measurement. Also there exist non-metric geometries in which incidence relations are the primary stuff of the geometry. Projective Geometry is a prime example of this. A projective spaces does not have a metric (i.e. distance measurement) associated with it.

Formalized logical theories are not about numbers qua theories although there are formalized versions of arithmetic.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_theory

and from the wiki article on Projective Geometry:

Overview

Projective geometry is an elementary non-metrical form of geometry, meaning that it is not based on a concept of distance. In two dimensions it begins with the study of configurations of pointsand lines. That there is indeed some geometric interest in this sparse setting was seen as projective geometry was developed by Desargues and others in their exploration of the principles of perspective art[1]. In higher dimensional spaces there are considered hyperplanes (that always meet), and other linear subspaces, which exhibit the principle of duality. The simplest illustration of duality is in the projective plane, where the statements "two distinct points determine a unique line" (i.e. the line through them) and "two distinct lines determine a unique point" (i.e. their point of intersection) show the same structure as propositions. Projective geometry can also be seen as a geometry of constructions with a straight-edge alone[2]. Since projective geometry excludescompass constructions, there are no circles, no angles, no measurements, no parallels, and no concept of intermediacy[3]. It was realised that the theorems that do hold in projective geometry are simpler statements. For example the different conic sections are all equivalent in (complex) projective geometry, and some theorems about circles can be seen as special cases of these general theorems.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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On my view math is merely about numbers. It's about various ways of counting. It's only in your head. Reality is not numbers, it's far more rich than that. Of course I don't expect to be able to convince you, the area we're getting into divides major schools of thought. How often would one shift from being a Platonist to being an Aristotelian? Is it possible? When I was young and my philosophical ideas were unformed, I had been influenced by religion, so there was a degree of Platonism foisted upon me, but I don't think I was a Platonist to the core. Philosophical plate tectonics seem to be required to shift from one school to another, not sure how or if that is possible. I've never noticed it happening to anyone. It probably does but is a geological process, hard to perceive.

Shayne

While I don't agree that Math is merely about numbers, I am not firmly convinced about anything either way. My issue is that, as far as we know, the mathematical modelling of our universe both on the large scale and the very small doesn't stop. If, and that's a big 'IF', the Math doesn't stop, then we cannot formulate any logically based separation between reality and Mathematics no?

I don't see the rationale for separating Math from 'Reality', but I'd love to hear opposing views.

Bob

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While I don't agree that Math is merely about numbers, I am not firmly convinced about anything either way. My issue is that, as far as we know, the mathematical modelling of our universe both on the large scale and the very small doesn't stop. If, and that's a big 'IF', the Math doesn't stop, then we cannot formulate any logically based separation between reality and Mathematics no?

I don't see the rationale for separating Math from 'Reality', but I'd love to hear opposing views.

Bob

Can reality be both Euclidean and non-Euclidean? Yet both kinds of geometry are part of mathematics. Which one is "real" and which is not?

Ba'al Chatzaf

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While I don't agree that Math is merely about numbers, I am not firmly convinced about anything either way. My issue is that, as far as we know, the mathematical modelling of our universe both on the large scale and the very small doesn't stop. If, and that's a big 'IF', the Math doesn't stop, then we cannot formulate any logically based separation between reality and Mathematics no?

I don't see the rationale for separating Math from 'Reality', but I'd love to hear opposing views.

Bob

Can reality be both Euclidean and non-Euclidean? Yet both kinds of geometry are part of mathematics. Which one is "real" and which is not?

Ba'al Chatzaf

Good question. The thought here is that both are real, but what is 'real' to us, are the laws, constraints, and Mathematical constructs that necessarily lead to sentient constructs like us. The rest 'exists' elsewhere in the multiverse.

Bob

Edited by Bob_Mac

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On my view math is merely about numbers. It's about various ways of counting. It's only in your head. Reality is not numbers, it's far more rich than that. Of course I don't expect to be able to convince you, the area we're getting into divides major schools of thought. How often would one shift from being a Platonist to being an Aristotelian? Is it possible? When I was young and my philosophical ideas were unformed, I had been influenced by religion, so there was a degree of Platonism foisted upon me, but I don't think I was a Platonist to the core. Philosophical plate tectonics seem to be required to shift from one school to another, not sure how or if that is possible. I've never noticed it happening to anyone. It probably does but is a geological process, hard to perceive.

Shayne

While I don't agree that Math is merely about numbers, I am not firmly convinced about anything either way. My issue is that, as far as we know, the mathematical modelling of our universe both on the large scale and the very small doesn't stop. If, and that's a big 'IF', the Math doesn't stop, then we cannot formulate any logically based separation between reality and Mathematics no?

I don't see the rationale for separating Math from 'Reality', but I'd love to hear opposing views.

Bob

I think the thing needing a rationale is the Platonism. How is it that if you have 5 balls in front of you, there's the number 5 there in reality?

Shayne

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I think the thing needing a rationale is the Platonism. How is it that if you have 5 balls in front of you, there's the number 5 there in reality?

Shayne

The balls are Out There and five is in our heads.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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