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Discussion Starter #1
During the time spent while recovering I have watched quite a bit of youtube videos.

One subject that has really gotten my attention is Quantum Physics. Physists have learned a lot about what matter is make up of. Wood which we as woodworkers spend so much time messing with is mostly empty space or so we are told. One statement that I read said that if all of the empty space in the Empire State Building were removed from the structure, what would be left would be about the size of a grain of rice.

Another statement that got my attention had to do with the orbit of an electron around the nucleus of an atom. The statement was that the ration between the diameter of the nucleus and distance between the nucleus and orbit was the same as is one second to a million years.

So, there stuff going on that is beyond what my brain can understand, but while I can't grasp it, it sure is interesting.

Jerry
 

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Yup, it sure is. My brother is a retired physics professor. He is really into the math part, but after much disucussion with him, I've come to the notion that the only difference between matter and energy is the difference in (relative) speed. The "particles" in the nucleus are moving at a maximum speed of about 40,000 mps. But it's hard to define the difference between a nucleus particle and an electron since both consist of a wave front of a bit of energy.

I don't buy that God particle stuff. That when you add a Higgs Boson, a slurry of energy becomes matter. Gotta be simpler than that. Same with String theory. 11 dimensions? Come on, it doesn't fit with the principle of Ockham's razor. Looks like they added dimensions until the definition pretty well matched the phenomenon.

I'm with you on how fascinating it all is though.

Not quite as practical as a table saw, however. :wink:
 

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The extra dimensions have been deduced mathematically but may be somewhere between difficult and impossible to detect. When I was majoring in physics the standard was to observe and then try to fit what you saw into a mathematical formula that could be used to predict other situations. Now it's becoming the standard to do the math first and then try to find an observable example of it, hence the search for the Higgs Boson.

The birth of quantum physics may have originated with the results of this experiment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-slit_experiment The quantum explanation is a real mind bender.
 

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Years ago, when we had Siberian Huskies (3 of 'em at a time), and lived in our two bedroom suite, people would say "How can you fit three dogs in your apartment?"
Simple physics; when one moved that space was now empty, and available for one of the others...and so on and so on. :)
 

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@Cherryville Chuck A friend of mine wrote a book, "Biomythology" in which he makes the case for science today being done by coming up with an idea, then searching for some support for it being true. There are problems with math, for example, there both zero and infinity by definition have no specific numerical value, however, in computations in physics, they are often assigned values. I think this calls into question some of the computations. And yes, the double slit experiment is a mind bender. I'm an arts guy at heart, but the world of physics is intriguing.
@Jerry Bowen I recall reading that the average density of the observable universe is something like one atom per cubic meter. Thin gruel to be every thing there is. Many years ago it occurred to me that the only possible origin of every thing had to be an interval of there being no thing. The potential energy of a void is the only naturally occurring source of all the potential energy needed to has "congeal" into everything there is, and to account for expansion into the infinite void, which is no thing. Bends one's mind.

I recall reading that Richard Feynman had a similiar theory of origin, but insistend the energy was borrowed from the future. Hmmmmmmm.
 

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It's true Tom that neither zero nor infinity exist in reality. They are abstract concepts that help define humans as being sentient. I've had trouble believing that black holes can absorb matter without becoming more than the singularity they are predicted to be. Currently, unless the physics I learned has changed, only the diameter of the event horizon increases with the mass that is absorbed. The idea that this can happen indefinitely is a hard concept to swallow in a real universe. I would be far more comfortable with the concept of that mass no longer existing in our time and space. But it's only a theory which is most of what all of this still is.
 
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I've been interested in this stuff for years, even if I cannot understand it.

Another thing that really was eye opener for me was the video by Rupert Sheldrake. I new here so have not done enough posts to add a URL so if you look up Rupert Sheldrake banned ted talk on youtube.....

As others have indicated in this thread, this shows ways where our science seems to have more than a few issues.

Larry
 

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I have a much easier time visualizing the concepts than derriving meaning from math. Einstein was intuitive and visualized, then did the math. I know the official line is that science starts with observation, then moves toward proof. But i think a lot of what's going on in science is someone coming up with an idea, then searching for evidence for it, then doing the math. If they jump directly to the math, then it may well be that the phenomenon doesn't really exist in nature. The concepts that are most difficult for me are those around time. I generally think in terms of intervals, but much of the discussion occurs to me as intervals relative to other intervals, perhaps, but not exclusively, in different places in space.

The conversion of matter to energy is one thing, but it is really strange to consider the conversion of energy to matter...left over (or spent) photons? Hummmmmmmm. That's where it occurs to me that speed of movement is the key, not the Higgs Boson (yet another odd behaving particle caught between one state and another).

Quantum physics deals a lot with changes of state. Something is either one state or another. This is so common that Feynman invented his symbols to note a change of state in computations. That's why I think the Higgs Boson is a backwater, and that the report of finding one in Cern is specious at best. Particle hunting is a bit cartesian reductionism to me.

Not that any of this will improve your dovetail joints. but for some of us, it is a terrific amusement.
 

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Zero is something that occasionally appears in my checking account.
It seems that there are always debates about matter, existence, etc. I like the philosophy class final exam. The professor wrote "Why?" on the board. The student that wrote "Because!" got an A for the class.

Why do rednecks make such good astronauts?
Because they took up space in school.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
From the posts to this thread, it appears that quantum physics pretty much exposed the fact that there things going on that are not yet understood by science which leave the door open to the possibility that science is often is more of a philosophy than real science.

I read, and in my case it is true, that the human mind cannot grasp the concept of no time and/or no space. At the same time it seems that it is also true that there was no time and no space before the universe was came into existence. Now that can really be a mind bender depending on one's view of reality.

Jerry
 

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When I studied electronics everything made sense and could be demonstrated and was useful knowledge!
Harry,

Are you implying that quantum physics does not provide useful information? I thought the same thing when I first started looking at it.

What I read about quantum physics is that the knowledge gained through it is what gives us our computers, cell phones, GPS service and much more in the hight tech relm. That seems to make quantum physics the newest knowledge useful as well the material that was used in the past.
 

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From the posts to this thread, it appears that quantum physics pretty much exposed the fact that there things going on that are not yet understood by science which leave the door open to the possibility that science is often is more of a philosophy than real science.

I read, and in my case it is true, that the human mind cannot grasp the concept of no time and/or no space. At the same time it seems that it is also true that there was no time and no space before the universe was came into existence. Now that can really be a mind bender depending on one's view of reality.

Jerry
Science starts out as philosophy but to be true science it has to be able to be described by a mathematical formula which can then be used to accurately predict things about the phenomena. Some things may never be truly more than philosophy but if we can devise formulas based on what we observe then we can deduce things about it and if those deductions prove accurate over time then we have reson to believe that the philosophy might be science.

Black holes are an example. We can't see them and we'll never be able to explore them in any way. But when they were theorized a number of deductions were made that had to apply if they in fact did exist. One was that if we could find a star that was almost directly behind a suspected black hole that it's light would be both bent and slowed as it carried on towards us which would affect its visible light spectrum. If we viewed that when our orbit around the sun put us at a tangent to it and we recorded the data then 6 months later when we were 186 million miles away at the other tangent we would get a different set of data for the same star. When it was closest to being behind the black hole its spectrum would be red shifted compared to 6 months later. Eventually observations were made that confirmed the deductions.

Another involved finding a binary star system where one of the stars was a black hole. Predictions were made about the visible stars perturbations in movement and changes to its spectrum and luminosity. This has also been observed. So even though we can't see a black hole we can be pretty confident that they exist.

You are correct about time and space not existing pre big bang Jerry. Time can only be measured when things change and pre big bang everything was in a steady state that never changed so there was nothing to measure. It also occupied no space so there was no space to measure.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
If wood is empty space, then why does it hurt when I drop empty space on my foot? Why does empty space have splinters?
John,
Either you are kidding, which I am pretty sure that you are, or you have not read much on the matter. Your statement, probably made in jest, suggests another question, what does "hurt" mean and why does it hurt. I suggest that reality is much more complicated than we realize.

I should add that your body John, just like mine by the way, is also empty space according quantum mechanics, but then what makes my bathroom scale show so much more weight than I would like, for that matter, any weight at all.

By the way, if you are like I am John, reading won't clear things up much unfortunately. But it is an interesting subject to read about and try to understand.

Jerry
 

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Harry,

Are you implying that quantum physics does not provide useful information? I thought the same thing when I first started looking at it.

What I read about quantum physics is that the knowledge gained through it is what gives us our computers, cell phones, GPS service and much more in the hight tech relm. That seems to make quantum physics the newest knowledge useful as well the material that was used in the past.
During my long career in the servicing of consumer electronics I started with tube radio, then tube monochrome TV, followed by wire then tape recorders, the first tapes were made from paper. Transistor radios followed then tube colour TV followed by solid state colour TV and the compact cassette then in about 1980 the CD and soon after the DVD and plasma TV followed by LCD TV. All these technologies were understandable. Where Jerry did quantum physics take a part in the development of these technologies?
 
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