Particle Physics Isn't That Hard Actually

Talk about anything not related to Transcendence.
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digdug
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Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:17 pm

Then in accepting Z, you affirm to yourself that the rest of them must also be true because Z is true.
That's circular logic, every scientist is strongly recommended to avoid it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_logic
In this text there is also the desiderata "Qualitative Correspondence with common sense". This is often what is lacking. To quote yet another great movie quote "Is stupid. Is stupidest theory I ever heard." At the end of the day the theory has to not sound ridiculous when compared with common sense.
Scientists are avoiding "common sense" since quantum mechanics emerged around 80 years ago as experimental observations proved them wrong.

When I teach to undergraduates I usually tell these phrases quickly to show that common sense should not be followed:

"The cat is dead AND alive" (uncertainty principle)
They make transistors and lasers thanks to this, today.

"The particle can be outside the impenetrable energy barrier box" (quantum tunneling)
They make microscopes with this today.

"Every electron in your atoms in your body has a non-zero probability to be found in any corner of the universe" (Schrödinger equation and molecular orbitals)
This is modern chemistry.

In the end, I wouldn't be using my laptop today to write this post if some people just stopped at declaring the Heisenberg principle stupid. And trust me, in common sense, it is darn stupid.
Instead, scientist decided to disprove it with experiments. Read well, disprove it, not prove it.
All we do is design experiments that would make the theory collapse, just one little tiny detail that will make the Jenga tower go down.
80 years later, it's still there and kicking, so we use it. We will use it to describe the world around us until a new theory will come out that will describe the world even better. This is science.

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Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:38 pm

Vachtra wrote:In the process of reading. I don't think I'm going to learn anything new here but just in case.
How much have you read since then and did you learn anything?
In the mean time I would like to also know why you don't think I'm getting it.
In the case of probability theory as extended logic it was your use of absolutist statements like "proof", "fact" and "speculation" in an area where they don't apply (epistemology/science as opposed to the public categorization of scientific findings). Hell, even "exist" becomes too vague when the topic is virtual particles (there are a number of possible meanings of "exist" at that level corresponding to separate intuitions).
In this instance if you take terms A, B, C, D, E, F, G etc until Z and you build each one on the next what you get is a tower of acceptance as true due to perceived extreme plausibility. Then in accepting Z, you affirm to yourself that the rest of them must also be true because Z is true.
Even rank amateurs know to avoid this: http://lesswrong.com/lw/ik/one_argument ... t_an_army/
Probing at the bottom bits of the tower is what undergrads are encouraged to do (I often challenged my professors after class with possible alternatives to the theory being built and every time they both recognized the theory I proposed and gave a summary of why it ended up discredited and where I could find out more details).
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Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:45 am

Transcendi wrote: Even rank amateurs know to avoid this: http://lesswrong.com/lw/ik/one_argument ... t_an_army/
Thanks for this link, I didn't know the website and it is a good want-to-avoid-work-for-some-minutes site.

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Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:40 pm

If scientists are trying to disprove what they think then why do people still believe in time dilation?
The classic example of how this works (moving parallel lines with the a signal bouncing between them) does not show time dilating but rather shows that the medium through which the signal moves is not moving along with the instrument used to measure the dilation. This does show that the speed of light didn't change since the light took longer to catch up with the instrument. Or do you think air is the medium of light?
What people keep confusing is that the signal is not time. It's only a signal being used to try to measure time.

I'm not trying to say that all these wonderful inventions don't exist that people have come up with but I just don't believe they fully understand why they work. I don't have to understand how a shovel is put together for it to be useful.

Oh and the cat isn't alive and dead, he's alive OR dead. The first is rediculous where the second is uncertianty.
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Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:59 pm

Vachtra wrote:If scientists are trying to disprove what they think then why do people still believe in time dilation?
Time dilation is nothing exotic, it is just a result of how things work. You do realise that GPS satellites make corrections for time dilation in order to keep themselves synchronized with the surface of our planet? But than again, maybe this is one of the 'common sense is not helping you' cases.

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Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:04 pm

They aren't making corrections for time dilation. They are making corrections for variations in the signals they are receiving which people have called time dilation. The same thing is happening on the satellites as happens in the experiment. The outcome of the experiment is correct and useful in application, just the interpretation is incorrect.

I have already gone over time dilation and the inevitable contradiction it would create.

It has been stated that you can't go faster than the speed of light. If time dilation exists then you could in fact not go faster than approximately 70% the speed of light since at this point you would feel you were going, due to time dilation, almost at the speed of light.

Another point being the claim of what time dilation affects. Consistently it is applied to a moving object saying that relative movement makes the dilation. Since everything is moving, all movement must be accounted for. This is clear when we look at not only two but multiple objects.
If a plane takes off then it should have time dilation affecting it relative to the earth. If a passenger then jumps out of said plane he would have time dilation relative to the plane which is relative to the earth. This would only increase dilations by compounding them. Even after the person landed on the ground his dilation would be from the point he accelerated from the plane. Do this enough times and the man would be dilated so much he would be out of sync with society. This sounds ridiculous I know but that's because it is. This is the model we're presented with though, they just haven't drawn it out to it's logical conclusion.
If on the other hand time dilation is due to differing vectors of objects, which is what would fix this problem, then another problem comes up. the leaving and returning vectors would cancel each other out and there would be no perceived time dilation. This is because earth's vector would be taken into account and when earth's vector had a greater magnitude the object would be experiencing time faster rather than slower.

This is unfortunate since this is an integral part of the theory of relativity.
Last edited by Vachtra on Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:12 pm

Vachtra wrote:They aren't making corrections for time dilation. They are making corrections for variations in the signals they are receiving which people have called time dilation. The same thing is happening on the satellites as happens in the experiment. The outcome of the experiment is correct and useful in application, just the interpretation is incorrect.

I have already gone over time dilation and the inevitable contradiction it would create.
Then how do you explain the results of two atomic clocks, being confirmed to run at the exact same speed, where one was taken on a fast flying air plane. When the plane returned, the clock that took to the skies was slower by exactly the amount Einstein's equations predicted?

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Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:37 pm

This is because his predictions were good calculations but not about time. They are applicable to the movement of electromagnetic signals.
These clocks were tested on the ground and on the ground they work exactly the same. When one was sped up it was being flown through earth's magnetic field and thus altered it's reliability.
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Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:51 pm

Vachtra wrote:This is because his predictions were good calculations but not about time. They are applicable to the movement of electromagnetic signals.
These clocks were tested on the ground and on the ground they work exactly the same. When one was sped up it was being flown through earth's magnetic field and thus altered it's reliability.
Then how do you explain the results of two atomic clocks, being confirmed to run at the exact same speed, where one was placed 33 cm above the other. Where the clock placed further away from the ground runs faster than the one placed closer to the ground? (Again, by exactly the amount Einstein's equations predicted) as measured by NIST and described in the Sept. 24, 2010 issue of Science?

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Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:02 pm

Again it isn't time that is changing, merely the instrument. The calculations are still valid but in reference to the signals being observed.

A second is not really defined by a clock. A clock measures it's own movement and time can then be estimated by the observation.
A second is 1/86400 of an average day. We just do our best to track it.
Last edited by Vachtra on Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:12 pm

I am so glad I started this thread. *Jay2Jay grabs a handful of popcorn and eats it, then drinks from his coke*

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Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:12 pm

I am so glad I started this thread. *Jay2Jay grabs a handful of popcorn and eats it, then drinks from his coke*

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Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:29 pm

I hope that's mexican coke. The real sugar tastes so much better. Someone should really give the guy who decided to use corn syrup a good talking to.
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Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:15 pm

Vachtra wrote:If scientists are trying to disprove what they think then why do people still believe in time dilation?
The classic example of how this works (moving parallel lines with the a signal bouncing between them) does not show time dilating but rather shows that the medium through which the signal moves is not moving along with the instrument used to measure the dilation. This does show that the speed of light didn't change since the light took longer to catch up with the instrument. Or do you think air is the medium of light?
What people keep confusing is that the signal is not time. It's only a signal being used to try to measure time.
Time dilation is simply the name (do you have a better one?) given to the observation that an object accelerated up to a fast speed (relative to observer) then decelerated will have it's clocks (and everything else!) slowed by a constant now. Special Relativity provides a nice and simple model for this and other phenomena.
To be honest physics cares very little for interpretations, who cares whether you ascribe to Copenhagen or Many Worlds? Theories are all about the hard math and predictions, what particular metaphors you use to understand these concepts are quite simply irrelevant. Calling one metaphor correct and another incorrect is Not Even Wrong!

I didn't take any relativity course at university, but did you know the dependency list for Mathematics for General Relativity at MIT is: Differential Equations, Single Variable Calculus, Multivariable Calculus, Linear Algebra, Electromagnetism II, Physics III
General Relativity is a lot more complicated than pop sci would have you believe.
Even MIT's Special (not General) Relativity lecture notes say "Many of you may think you know it all from books, other courses, ect. Don't get lulled into a false sense of security! This may be your first real departure from intuitive physics."
Interestingly it also says this:
"_________ <- (your theory here)
* Think for yourself.
* Question authority.
* Don't dismiss ideas just because they sound weird."
Oh and the cat isn't alive and dead, he's alive OR dead. The first is rediculous where the second is uncertianty.
Saying the state is either a|0> or b|1> gives different results mathematically to saying the state is a|0>+b|1>. Experiments have determined that the former is wrong and the latter is the case.
The best metaphor for this in terms understandable to the layman is NOT "the cat is either alive or dead", it's "the cat is alive and dead".

Our common sense is excellent (unsurpassed even by our best AIs and algorithms) in the domain it was built for (whether by evolution or deity), which is at the metre, second-to-decade and second per metre scale. The further we got from this domain the more likely it was that we'd encounter something unintuitive and eventually we did (several such things in fact).
In fact, we eventually encountered things that our imagination simply couldn't model, every attempt to visualize or use metaphors just failed to encapsulate the entirety of the model (and thus failed to anticipate the observed results) and in the end what was actually used was purely mathematical constructs.
Vachtra wrote:It has been stated that you can't go faster than the speed of light. If time dilation exists then you could in fact not go faster than approximately 70% the speed of light since at this point you would feel you were going, due to time dilation, almost at the speed of light.
If a passenger then jumps out of said plane he would have time dilation relative to the plane which is relative to the earth. This would only increase dilations by compounding them. Even after the person landed on the ground his dilation would be from the point he accelerated from the plane.
Until this point I still considered it possible you did, in fact, understand the subject matter and there had just been a repeated series of miscommunications...
These quotes are just wrong and show a complete lack of understanding of what Special Relativity actually says. You seem to have no understanding of what a reference frame actually is. Acceleration matters and changes reference frames. Reference frames do not necessarily agree about other reference frames.
You're attacking a strawman because you don't understand relativity. This can be corrected fairly easily, there are textbooks on Special Relativity and MIT's Open Courseware has lecture notes and handouts available for free (you can go through them in less than a day, though it wouldn't be enough to let you take the exam).

I'll steal this bit of advice from Stuart Armstrong (the one that isn't a footballer):
"Brilliant people have tried and failed to disprove these theories for generations. No matter how brilliant I think myself, it would be unlikely for me to have found a simple proof where everyone else had failed."
Don't give in to the temptation to join the ranks of the cranks.
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Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:49 pm

The term "time dilation" asserts that time is not constant and is relative between objects. "Signal dilation" would be appropriate.

And yeah, this is where I usually loose people.
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