View Full Version here: : Uncertainty
11-07-2011, 09:19 AM
Why is "Uncertainty" a Principle. Before you grab the keyboard and tell me "How can anyone be so stupid as not to know about the "Uncertainty Principle"; THERE I have said it for you!! so put your thinking cap on and look into it.
11-07-2011, 09:51 AM
It is something so obvious it needs to be set out as a reminder of the reality of the quantum world and to remember solutions should contain the reallity that probability is the rule.
11-07-2011, 11:35 AM
Uncertainty is a principle because it's one of the basic tenets which underlies QM (Quantum Mechanics). It governs the behaviour of matter on the scales that QM deals with. An example, with electrons....it deals with the uncertainty in the determination of both the position an electron has at any given moment in its orbit of the nucleus, and the direction (momentum) in which it's moving. If you try to accurately determine one of those values you find that you cannot know what the other is, for any certainty. So, you may know the electron is in position X, but you cannot know exactly where it is moving to. In actual fact, it could be moving in every direction simultaneously. Conversely, if you know it's moving in direction Y, the electron could be in all positions of its orbit simultaneously.
It's all because of a little thing known as quantum superposition or the superposition of state. What this means is until a quantum system is observed, the whole system is in a state of flux such that all the possible paths or events which can occur within that system are equally liable to be occurring all at the same time. In other words, there's an infinite number of probable states that the system can be in simultaneously and it's only when that system is observed that the system collapses into the state that the observer observes it in. Collapses meaning that the most probable state the system can be in, is the one the observer sees or chooses to see that system in. All those other states will either disappear (the Copenhagen Interpretation) or exists as parallel realities (Many Worlds Interpretation or Relative State Formulation) which exist as probabilities of decreasing value the further away from the ground (or collapsed) state they are. Another thing to remember is that the observer can be anything either within or outside that system, be it someone looking at it or a particle within that system interacting with anything within the system. For a system to be in quantum superposition there must be absolutely no interaction with or within it, the moment there is it becomes what the observation tells it to be or sees it as.
I hope that has cleared things up:)
11-07-2011, 07:51 PM
I'm certain I've got a headache after all that, .... probably... :confused2:
11-07-2011, 08:03 PM
That was the simple explanation:)
11-07-2011, 10:23 PM
I thought it also had something to do with the following. The photon of light used to make the observation of the particle interacts with the observed particle influencing its observed position?? If the particle wasnt being observed, there would be no interaction with the photon, and so its position and spin would be different?? Or maybe thats an explanation for the masses.
12-07-2011, 12:08 AM
It doesn't have to be a photon with which you make the observation. Just thinking about what to make of the observation will cause the electron (or subatomic particle) to behave accordingly. The observer and the observed can be thought of as the one system. The observer and the observed influence one another...it's like they change positions/rolls.
If the observer didn't make the observation of the particle, then that particle would exhibit the characteristics of all its possible states, including the one in which it found itself in after being observed. So would the photon that was going to be used to make the observation...and so would the observer, from the perspective of the particle and photon. In a very real sense, the observer would not exist at all for the observed particle, because of the effects of quantum superposition. And vice versa...the particle would only come into existence when it was observed. So, in a very real sense, the observer and the observed create one another. The act of observation is an act of creation.
12-07-2011, 05:33 AM
... of one bit (or more) of information.
12-07-2011, 08:37 AM
Always be careful of any 'science' on utube as it is generally quacks that want your money. But as an old fart physicist can I recommend this BBC series.
Here is episode one. Reality - science - nothingness
There is more.
If this does not scare your complacency then nothing will.
12-07-2011, 09:21 AM
This is also very worthwhile viewing
It really shows that real genius is a fleeting phenomena that can border on loss of 'reality'. The irony here is that the search for reality can ruin the apparent one.
Woody Allen said that Infinity is really big especially near the end!
12-07-2011, 09:53 AM
I don't believe the speculation that information is created through observation is consistent with the quantum view. :question:
Like energy, information is neither created nor destroyed in QM physics.
Carl's idea I think, is meta-physcial.
12-07-2011, 11:00 AM
You misinterpret what I've written....the information is always there, just not in a form you or I can interpret, when the system is in quantum superposition. The act of creation I am referring to is the collapse of the system into the dominant (most likely) state when the observation of that system is made.
It's like building a castle out of Lego blocks...in all the possible realities in which you and the blocks exist, you have an infinite number of choices as to what to build out of those blocks. They all have an equal probability of existence, so long as a choice isn't made as to what to build. What's more, they have always existed, but have not been realised through making the observation of the system (creating the castle). The act of choosing is the observation of the system and the act of creation. You chose to build a castle.
In a very real sense, there is no distinction between the quantum world and macroscopic reality....they're one and the same.
12-07-2011, 11:15 AM
Ok .. that's cool.
We should be careful using the term 'creation' … 'reassembled in a new form' is closer to the mark.
I think bojan interpreted Carl's words in the same sense as me …
We get twitchy using the term 'creation'.
12-07-2011, 11:39 AM
Creation is nothing more than a word. It's what your culture has led you to believe it means is the problem. If we keep having to tippy toe around fools sensibilities just because we don't want to upset their little apple cart, then we'll end up destroying the English language and our society in the process. Let them have their delusions and we will continue on as per normal.
12-07-2011, 12:34 PM
Creation is only a word that simple folks use. I prefer an infinite unknown. I will not lose my mind as some of my antecedents have. I have no conflict with irrational religious beliefs as I find them both simplistic and total drivel.
The impoderable is when a majority of humanity in our western society really complain when the things that they do not how how they are made or work start complaining how us scientists have got it all wrong!
They can be led by absolute fools who label themselves as Lords.
Let us hope this photon pharks off!
12-07-2011, 12:49 PM
It's like someone who's illiterate and has a car engine manual telling a mechanic how to do his work and then berates him for getting it wrong!!!:):P
12-07-2011, 10:42 PM
I found AVANDONK'S reference http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdPqi...eature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdPqin1KFi4&feature=related) helpful in explaining the history of particle physics a most interestiong documentary, and I will be looking at it a few more times. It may be that the explanation of Quantum Mechanics might have been superseded and that "Uncertainty " is not a Principle. However, a lucid explanation seems still to be wanting. From the little I know, mathematics provides the key to predicting the results of "Wave"- "Particle" experiments. It is the interpretation of those results that invokes "Uncertainty", not the result of the experiments.
I'm hoping that "this Photon pharks OFF" does not refer to me??!, but I'll do it anyway.
Thanks to All, Ernie.
13-07-2011, 12:17 AM
Once again Ernest dismisses a whole field of science with a wave of his hand, and no explanation. Could it be Ernest thinks he is better then Popper? For those playing at home it's called the Uncertainty Principle for two reasons. It is considered a observation rather then a theory, and it's a principle rather then a law because "laws" are so 17th century.
13-07-2011, 01:36 AM
I would suggest to you to forget about trying to figure out something you clearly don't have the capacity to understand. Several of us have tried to explain to you in simple terms what is meant by the Uncertainty Principle, why and how it's applied and a simple explanation of the underlying physics. It would be pointless of us to try and go any further if it appears, as it seems, that you still don't get it.
That documentary, which I have seen before, in no way invalidates anything about QM, least of all uncertainty.
If you have trouble with the nuts an bolts of it all, don't mess with the metaphysics of QM...you'll get totally lost and even more confused.
The Internet is loaded with useful references clearly explaining these things. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_principle) is always a good start.
Almost every explanation posted online nowadays does nothing more than paraphrase such sources, so cut out the middle-kiddies and go straight for the originals.
13-07-2011, 08:50 AM
I see no evidence that the explanation of QM might have been superseded.
The Uncertainty Principle is a tenet upon which QM Theory is built. If QM requires an explanation, then The Uncertainty Principle is a key part of that.
If you are questioning QM Theory you should research for evidence that QM Theory has been successfully re-inforced time, and time again as a productive tool. It is directly or indirectly responsible for producing technologies upon which we all depend. Your computer wouldn't be there if QM Theory couldn't be made to work by humanity. Your life may someday depend on QM theory, being interpreted by others, to save it.
Uncertainty may not be a principle you subscribe to, but hey … the universe doesn't care about anyone's beliefs.
Wanting for what purpose ?
So what ?
What is your explanation of those experimental results ?
13-07-2011, 12:21 PM
Ok … I've just watched the excellent BBC Doco referred to by Bert, (and presented by Jim Al-Khalili … of the awesome BBC Doco: "The Secret Life of Chaos").
It seems that my thinking, on this topic, fits into the same bin as cited by Al-Khalili … ie: the somewhat impolitely stated: "Shut up while you calculate" category.
For those who haven't seen the doco, what this means is that our interpretations of experimental results in Science, are far outweighed in value, by the translation of them into something useful which can serve humanity. This should not necessarily be to the exclusion of the interpretations, (or stories), we invent about what it all means, but these 'stories' should take a 'backseat' to the quest of making something useful of it all.
The ultimate 'truth' about what constitutes the real nature of the universe will, forever, be beyond our grasp (by definition). The 'dream' of disproving this however, seems irresistable for humans.
Gotta keep interpretations separate from the translations though … this is crucial and yet seemingly, very difficult for many on the internet thesedays.
Interesting that all of these views have been expressed, in some form or another, in this discussion, right here.
Thanks for the heads-up on the doco, Bert .. another 'nugget of BBC gold'.
13-07-2011, 03:36 PM
Don't you think your language is arrogant? Who are you to say to someone else "forget about trying to figure out something you clearly don't have the capacity to understand."
13-07-2011, 04:24 PM
No, it's matter of fact. If after trying to explain something in simple terms to someone, they still don't understand what you're trying to explain to them, then what is the point of going on with the subject. They obviously don't have the capacity to understand the science or the description of that science, so why would it be necessary for them to confuse themselves even more by trying to wade through it. Some people can do things and other things they can't. Some have an aptitude for science, some don't. Some are great pilots, others you would even step in an elevator with.
And who am I to say something like that....someone with several degrees, including a masters degree in astrophysics and 20 years experience as a geologist. As well as part time/casual teaching in geology and astronomy. Soon I'll be starting a PhD (with a bit of luck) in astrophysics and going onto full time research/teaching.
It's uncommon to find somebody who "can't" understand science. Usually they just can't be bothered to understand it, or actively resist understanding. And many times those who congratulate themselves for their level and depth of understanding are often grossly overestimating their abilities.
14-07-2011, 08:43 AM
I agree with this.
However, the role of the people who do understand science and are in position to provide correct explanations is to do it in acceptable form.. the number of attempts is not important, however frustrating it may be for some individuals.
But what is even more important is to understand that usually people who don't understand science are the ones who are paying scientists (or authorise payments in this or that form - politicians for example... or just ordinary taxpayers).
To drive those people even further away from proper understanding of science might prove to be a straight shot in the foot.
14-07-2011, 10:48 AM
A symbiotic relationship. It works both ways. Those authorising payments understand the value science brings .. even if they don't understand the science.
In this case, we have no acknowledgement of any value so far generated by value-laden answers .. only:
i) judgements about the scientific process ie: "Uncertainty" is not a Principle and;
ii) vague judgements based on expectation ie: "a lucid explanation seems still to be wanting".
I remain open-minded, but I'm starting to get a distinct whiff of anti-science sentiment.
14-07-2011, 11:08 AM
This has been an excellent thread. It is so exciting to see these discussions and I am sure they are of great benefit to so many who follow the stuff herein.
It is interesting to note that the term and concept of a photon is not yet 100 years old and we are particularly fortunate to be within a generation or two of so many of the developments of physics in general.
Although we think of a photon as a single unit I have no doubt that its makeup will be found to be of a complexity we currently can not entertain as possible.
We talk about a photon as being a wave and a particle when we should be saying that a photon can be observed and in so doing it exhibits characterists of a wave and or a particle... yet I suspect a photon is neither a wave or a particle in the sence we use to describe it... thankfully our observations nevertheless tell us something but it would be prudent to refrain from the arrogance of an assumption that the subject is closed and we know all we will ever know about a photons behaviour or indeed the behaviour of the whole particle family.
It is interesting that in a particle form the uncertainty principle is observed.. I am sure it was Suskin who said similar behaviour would be observed in a bowling ball but on a smaller scale... scale appears to effect behaviour but not the principle.
Anyways great thread.
It is a priveldge to be able to read everyones thoughts and understandings.
14-07-2011, 11:19 AM
NASA is just one of the first in a series of collateral victims of people who don't understand science but control money ("is this 'science' something you can eat?").. others will follow, unfortunately.
At the same time we have introduction of "Creationism" in some of the primary schools in US (or is this still on the drawing board? - in the name of "free choice".. probably some pople are thinking of the same here in Oz), setting the stage for more things to come when the affected generations come of age.
14-07-2011, 11:45 AM
On the latest NASA/JWST appropriations bill, Phil Plait says …
.. It ain't over yet !
NASA has had it pretty good for a long while. Everyone has to tighten their belts at some time … its part of growing up !
I'll admit that I haven't kept up with this issue but from memory, each time this issue has come up in the US, it has been rejected. (I may stand corrected on this, however). It came up here, in NSW, many years ago and was (obviously) rejected, also.
Whilst I'm not saying that science 'undervaluers' don't exist, it appears that key decision making bodies still uphold its value, and decide in favour of real science.
I understand and agree with your overall point, however … if we, in IIS, are a community who really care about fostering and propagating an understanding of science, then we should be cautious about the strategies and tactics we employ in achieving that goal.
14-07-2011, 12:14 PM
14-07-2011, 12:19 PM
Well I can tell you now, there's a lot I still don't understand, but I get by with what I know and that's enough for me.
14-07-2011, 12:35 PM
You've got to be kidding me, Craig, if you think that. NASA gets the crumbs of the annual budget in the US.....they receive, on average, $18.5 billion a year. Less than 0.5% of the budget. They waste more money in a week in Afghanistan than they spend on the space program. That's for starters. They get barely enough to keep what programs they have running at any one time, alive. You only have to look at the number of canned projects over the years to see just how well off they are. Now, they (the pollies) are thinking of cutting the NASA budget even more. The whole process of governance in the US is screwed up...and not just in the case of NASA. Other agencies like education and health are just as bad. If the Republicans get back in, it'll be dire.
14-07-2011, 03:00 PM
Well, this is now way off track. However, the point of our recent temporary divergence from the original Uncertainty Principle topic, has been focused on expressing concern about judging others' capacities for acquiring an understanding of non-intuitive science topics.
There is still something hanging in the air about this, which is yet to reach closure.
Whilst I also have opinions about US governance, I find it completely presumptuous to assume that I could ever put myself into the position of the entire US Government and come to the conclusion of it being 'screwed up'. This conclusion also bears a distinct resemblance to the current topic at hand.
I also find it irrelevant to Science Forum discussions, as are my own opinions about NASA's belt tightening capacities.
14-07-2011, 03:47 PM
Well, this has everything to do with the Uncertainty Principle....people get taxed and the money goes to the government. Now, if you observe that money, you can find two characteristics of that money....How much and where it goes. Now, if you can observe exactly how much it's worth, you'll find that you can't really tell where it might be going because it might go to any number of things. Conversely, if you know where it's going precisely, you may not know how much is going where because it's hard to tell how much there really was to deal out in the first place!!:):P
Uncertainty Principle at work:):P
Throw in political whim and bias, and that makes things even worse.
14-07-2011, 04:59 PM
Thinking such as we find with the uncertainty principle was probably a bit hard to take if you consider where learning had come from... The Platonic desire for purity would have been the norm so any of these ideas that suggested humans may not be in control would have been met I suspect with caution and a general rejection ... it never sits well with humans that things are not ordered and the thinking around uncertainty perhaps suggested a lack of order that was not welcome in the mathematical or even the philisophical construct.
I think the order no doubt exists but our ability to observe as great as we have taken it still will not reveal the complex detail of the quantum world.
However close enough is often good enough otherwise we would throw out calculus and although probability is the game we can narrow expectations to fit within probable outcomes ...
14-07-2011, 05:11 PM
I can't help but feel the synergies between Chaos Theory (which addresses the appearance of both order and chaotic behaviours from complex systems) and the indeterminism of QM/QFT/QED.
Someday, perhaps someone might find more than just synergies !
14-07-2011, 05:21 PM
Another explanation might be that you have been unable to make your explanation understandable. No matter how many degrees you have, I don't see that you have the right to put someone down in the way you have unless you are prepared to be seen as arrogant.
14-07-2011, 05:36 PM
Craig I will surprise you...math can predict anything...we simply can not do the math that nature can ..nature has its order and it works to mathematical precission but for us to observe it can show us only a little .... even though we have a grasp the math of nature is probably hidden to us... even if we take the universe as finite ( and in the sence of an observ able Universe finite is still so big that to a human it is practically infinite) ...er finite that is we can only ever give small descriptions of our observations... we measure, and relate and get a glimpse ..but to think we get more is perhaps getting carried away with what little knowledge we have.
But to take the time to consider the universe with whatever knowlegde you have accumulated and make some sence of it is a wonderful endeavour... it is so exciting to see all the men who think about such things ..both now and in the past.
One day we will have a theory of everything...I have one that works for me but I mean one that all scientists are content with and such that the smallest of mysteries are understood by us...
Studying physics (and I have been studying) is just so rewarding and it is great so many now follow the call.
14-07-2011, 05:44 PM
Y'know Alex, I think this ranks as one of the best conversations I've ever had with you.
Lay back and have a few more drinks .. (if that's what's brought this on ;) )
PS: Then again .. you did say you've been studying .. Physics .. and Maths ? :)
14-07-2011, 05:47 PM
Why I quote these fine BBC documentaries is that they do a far better job of explaining problems and some solutions that have needed our best minds to figure out than I ever could.
I have always found that teaching a subject alerts me to my own ignorance.
My mental model of the Universe is that all the complexity we see about us comes from very simple rules.
Finding these 'SIMPLE' rules is the tricky bit.
Watching those documentaries brings to life the men and women who's names you find littered in all the scientific texts and papers.
If all human knowledge was in English say then a fundamental rule would be all knowledge was fully described by twenty six letters and ten numbers.
It is not that simple! You need many more rules for grammar syntax etc and that is just for the language! All the mathematical operators also present a large zoo of things. We all have to agree on all the rules on how to record and read this information. We are not there yet!
You end up with many levels of complexity produced by simple rules. Education is the understanding of these rules.
Strange things also happen. Poetry, song and literature appear out of meaningless symbols that now transmit all human emotions and ideas.
The sum of the parts is far less than the whole structure.
It is like describing a new baby as 3kg of atoms.
14-07-2011, 05:47 PM
We can appear different here... haste pressure in the outside world etc...
but never take it personal... a fella tried to fight me at the pub... it wasnt me he would have tried to fight anyone.... and sadly he is a nice guy just bending under the pressure of a hard day.
I think Carl does a great job here... it can be frustrating trying to make folk understand stuff you know so well...we are all human with the weakness that goes with being human... Given time Carl will expalin things so even a mug like me can understand ... but please lets not get carried away ..we are all friends here I would like to think.
14-07-2011, 05:56 PM
You are wise Bert.
You have kept a balance and retained a perspective that must have been hard to do.
If there is one thing I have learnt it is that the more I learn the more I realise I and the rest of the bunch know little... it is hard to be proud of your acxhievements yet balance ones insignificance etc.... the funny thing I have found is that I dont want to tell folk what I know or think I know etc... realising perhaps my relationship to time and space...a blink of insignifficance ..and not to be bothered by that findingt.
14-07-2011, 06:04 PM
Alex we are all only up to our ankles in the very large sea of knowledge. You should be commended for attempting to go deeper. All teaching is, is to shorten this journey for the student. I know I have done my job with my students when they wade way past me!
14-07-2011, 06:05 PM
I've taught both high school students and undergrads at uni. In both cases I've been commented on very favourably about how I can put across complex issue in terms that people can understand quite readily. If someone doesn't have the capacity to understand a subject then they don't. Telling them as much is only saving them the trouble of trying to wade through something they will just not get. You can only help people so much and explain things to them, but if they don't get it, they just don't.
Putting someone down is being nasty and derogatory towards them....calling them names and deliberately going out of your way to hurt them. Telling them what their limitations might be in order to save them any further confusion or angst with regards to a subject is going out your way to help them.
Put it this way....how often does someone have to explain something in terms a person should understand, only to have that other person show through their responses that they've never understood what was being said, or they've gone off on tangents completely at odds with what was taught because they haven't grasped it to begin with. There are limits to what anyone has the capacity to understand and it's up to them to figure that out, or have it pointed out to them by those that can see their limitations.
14-07-2011, 06:08 PM
Most of us have barely dipped out toes into the water.
14-07-2011, 06:22 PM
Carl I try to avoid getting in over my head. But I fail even at this.
14-07-2011, 06:37 PM
Bert, the sand gives way rather easily under foot. It's quite easy to find yourself in the deep water channel, in a rip:)
14-07-2011, 06:41 PM
I find folk think we now have all the answers so time to go home...
Is it not wonderful to have lived in this era to have outrageous ideas and yet see them evolve without your own input...you know I worked for a man (a great man ) who was born before humans flew..my point is what a section of history we have enjoyed and witnessed...the gravity trip you have witnessed me upon showed me so much.... science has taught me more about religion than I could have expected I once thught the two were seperate but all fight for recognition... the direction ideas progress pulled by logic and politics and yet an outcome survives... to think for no gain or reason has been a luxury I never thought I would enjoy few can think with no regard for production or recognition.
I had some time with my daughter, showed her omega cent... etc... she has it ..such a mind and only starting out... and in 15 minutes all I can tell her is everything I know... if you cant explain it to a kid what is the point... it is not easy looking down the barrel of life from this end etc...so she has already more than I could give her ..past the insignificant to understand trivial is trivial but can interest you nevertheless.
14-07-2011, 09:10 PM
OK, I was never a teacher in a formal sense.. but during my high school days and as a student on Uni I was helping my school mates to understand what our math and physics teachers are trying to tell us.. I was lucky because I "got it " faster than others in many cases..
Sometimes just a different use of words or another analogy triggers the process of understanding in others.. and I was good at that.
The role of the teacher is never to give up on pupils and definitely not to try and discourage others, no matter what. Otherwise you are not a (good) teacher.. it is easy to teach when your audience already understands what you are talking about.
Then again, maybe I am handicapped here - my background is not the same as yours and I simply can't understand this English (?) attitude ("be happy where you are and don't bother big boys").
Anyway... this is a matter of personal approach to teaching... and quite OT in fact.
14-07-2011, 09:36 PM
OK, so that makes me stupid, coz I've never heard of it.
15-07-2011, 01:26 AM
True, sometimes different words or turns of phrase will help some people to "turn on the light bulb" so to speak. However, when you can see that someone will have trouble no matter what you try, then it's upto the teacher to realise this and make the appropriate decisions as to how to go about informing that student they'd be better off doing something else. There's no point in allowing someone to bash their heads, metaphorically, up against a brick wall. It's true a good teacher never gives up on their students, but it's also equally as true that a good teacher recognises the potential of their students and sees that if one of them can't handle the subject at hand, then they move that student onto something else.
You can't force a person to learn a subject if they don't want to or just can't seem to grasp it. You also can't make an A grade student out of a D grade student if they don't have the capacity to increase their understanding beyond what they already know or don't know as the case may be. Trying to wring something out of someone or keeping them at doing something they don't like and/or don't understand only hurts that person. They end up hating the subject at hand, and that in turn affects all the other learning that they do. That is no uncertainty. I've seen it first hand.
It's not about bothering the big boys and such....it's about not seeing someone get in over their head and making a fool of themselves or becoming a person who hates a subject just because they don't have the capacity to understand it. That's where and why a lot of people are turned off science. There are many reasons why, but that is just one of them.
15-07-2011, 10:39 AM
The fundamental issue I see here is that the observational evidence shows that no-one has specifically requested anyone here, to be their 'teacher' or their 'coach'.
The absence of such a request and acceptance of such by the requestor, can easily lead to extreme resentment when someone assumes the posture of 'teacher' or 'coach'.
Our respective roles in this place, whilst assumed, are not necessarily automatically accepted. The reality is that we are simply disembodied brains with fingers and keyboards .. nothing more.
15-07-2011, 01:47 PM
Better still, how do we even know the other person really exists??!!!:P
Now then....all we can say is that we can be uncertain about uncertainty:)
15-07-2011, 06:25 PM
Sorry I missed this last night Craig.
I have had the pleasure of quiet a few days in the bush without humans contact, news, bills etc I like to think about stuff and need a couple of uninteruppted hours but that sometimes leaves me strange when I drop back into the world. I dont like drinking only do it at the pub in an effort to seem normal..I do need to go out and socialize and to do so you have to drink I guess... but I dont go to the pub anymore. Busy doing real stuff in the real world.
Yes studying... I know so much of it but it does not hurt to read more. Interestingly I had been going over Heisenberg,s uncertainty principle.. and I still dont know how to multiply one triangle by another...thats a joke based on the way the equation is written:D and we know what the triangle is:D... anyways:P ..that the cat in the box material the science not the metaphore, photoelectric effect, Planck,s law,the Copenhagen thing, Paulis excusion principle,the EPR paradox, Feynman diagrams...and finally but ever so briefly ..string theory...just because I am suspicious of it does not mean I cant learn about it... I cant remember what maths I have covered but its all pretty ordinary stuff it is just a language really so you just need to know the terms and symbols etc.... happily all I read confirms I am not being too outrageous ...got to check this out but apparently the conmological constant still is in one of the field equations...hope so as that will save writting a lot of new stuff....
AND those movies Bert suggested I looked at them today ... extrememe thinking should not send you crazy but wow look at the numbers...infinity is past where they have it..but that is something else.
15-07-2011, 06:40 PM
I often wonder Carl ..the other day I rang a "phone company" with a small problem. The "person" on the other end of the line was too dam helpful to have been human...when I tried to go they wanted to help me more..add to that the voice had a sort of metalic tone.... and when I thought back the voice just kept helping until I decided to hang up....
I was uncertain but pretty certain that it could have been computer generated.
I have learnt Heisenberg invented probably the first form of quantum mechanics ,,matrix mechanics in 1925 and received the Nobel Prize in 1932... so he was real it seems of that we can be certain....or can we...
15-07-2011, 06:46 PM
Well I am happy to nominate for the role of student...I know what I know I want to know what others know...
It is surprising how feathers get ruffled ... there is no need ... things just are ...but if you have a bad day I guess it is easy to take it out on a passer by maybe...I hate conflict.
16-07-2011, 09:58 PM
There is nothing wrong with being ignorant, It just means there's lots to learn, and that's exciting. It's when people don't want to learn and don't respect the people that cut the path so far.
16-07-2011, 10:18 PM
I love finding out new stuff ..new to me.. and if there is one thing I learnt on my gravity trip was the enormity of the accumulated knowledge and how hard won each step was for them...and the breakthroughs ...anyways all good.
18-07-2011, 10:25 PM
When you look at the night sky, and knowing where to look you set up your instrument and take a look, and there it is. Could it be that in the act of looking you initiate a wave from your end so the photon has a path?
19-07-2011, 08:45 AM
Er yes it could but stay out there a little longer and you realize you probably dont count all that much.
Think of how many paths you are opening up and how much photon traffic you are dealing with...mmm interesting..
19-07-2011, 11:14 AM
Yep .. just deleted my previous post … not particularly constructive .. will rethink and reword later.
19-07-2011, 12:17 PM
I deleted what I thought may have offended you Craig. One mans humour is anothers nonsence.
I dont understand really but I am sorry
19-07-2011, 07:04 PM
Alex nothing you wrote offended me … no need to apologise .. I deleted my own post because I wanted to express the same points in a different way.
I've chosen some more considered words on the same topic, and an example of what I was on about, in Steven's 'Anti Science thread (see my post #47).
20-07-2011, 09:35 AM
Thank goodness :):)::)
I never want to offend anyone let alone you Craig.
This math material that I am covering has given me an insite as to how frustrating for good people like yourself and others here to have someone hint that math is somehow corruptable.
Clearly this is not the case and strangley I have always believed such although various positions I take must appear that I have no regard for it at all. But the simple reality my formal math and science training ended at high school so I feel very privledged to read the discussions here. I do worry that I must annoy folk however the perceptions I must generate I deserve what I get I suppose:shrug:.
Er I seem to becoming obsessive with my maths even this early:eyepop:.
20-07-2011, 09:55 AM
I guess anything is corruptible .. but I think you'll find that the major predominant issue around the traps thesedays, is not so much that the internal workings of mathematics lacks integrity, but the application of mathematical models to the physical world is open to interpretation.
Its a very interesting area, and mainstream scientists skim over much background theory when they use that phrase … err .. what is it ? .. errr .. oh yes … "consider".
I find this phrase just about always starts a mathematical chain of rigourous analysis. So much is hidden in that little phrase .. "consider the following", eh ?? .. :)
20-07-2011, 11:37 AM
As someone used to say...
"Why is it so??":):P
20-07-2011, 12:20 PM
A wonderful man I loved his shows.
I ask the question often .... he inspired me when I was still in high school expecting at that point a caree in science.
I would like to think I express concerns about application of math rather than its integrity... I suuppose you can make numbers lie but if your are honest with inputs they tell the truth...in the simplest of applications numbers suggest at least highly probably outcome...if your shop has to sell 1000 items a day you kid yourself if passing traffic is 30 people on their way to the homeless shelter... but surprisingly folk open business because they came up with a neat name and somehow with magic as their only hope profits will flow..not even overheads will be met... the folk who would pick a number out of the air when valuing real estate got me .. you have evidence to point to a reasonable price expection but expection was never related to the science of predicting market range expectation.
20-07-2011, 12:26 PM
The man in question:)
20-07-2011, 12:30 PM
Note the evolution of the hairstyle to the Albert Einstein look.:lol:
20-07-2011, 12:34 PM
I am too casual. I know the maths will always support any of my ideas so I never fear it:lol::lol::lol:...Craiig I dont need endless calculations to know I am always right and that helps;)... as I said my level is high school in fact it is not that these days I cant remember much at all ...I went to explain a chemistry reaction...caustic soda on alluminium..I could not remember what castic soda was...and I think that says it all really...first the body then the mind...enthropy at work in its most comon form.
20-07-2011, 12:39 PM
Well, he was one of Albert's students:)
Hasn't got the tongue poke perfected, though:):P
20-07-2011, 12:39 PM
Got 'em, mixed up Carl … can you replace your photo with one of Julius ?
PS: I think we finally found you an Avatar !!
20-07-2011, 12:42 PM
I was just thinking along the same lines!!!!:):P
20-07-2011, 12:50 PM
:lol: :rofl: :rofl:
.. the next Brian Cox … (but Sir Carl is just too damned good looking) !
20-07-2011, 12:53 PM
On the subject of physical appearances I had a professor in Applied Maths who was a pupil of Paul Dirac (see attachment) the Nobel prize winner in Physics and the man who predicted the existence of antimatter.
Not only did Dirac pass his knowledge but also the hairstyle.:lol:
We thought his hairstyle was an example of symmetry breaking.
20-07-2011, 12:54 PM
Your new Avatar !!
I think we've hit on Science Forum theme ! At last ! Something we all share in common !! :P :)
20-07-2011, 12:56 PM
You have got to be joking.:P
20-07-2011, 01:14 PM
I think more than just symmetry was broken by that photo:):P
Looks like he's been in a centrifuge:):P
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