OpinionYou have an area of mainstream science which you disagree with (we'll exclude climate change for a change - don't vote/comment based on it, please). The big bang theory is an example of mainstream - it is the most supported by evidence/observation.
      – Lee J Haywood, 2009-10-05 at 20:02:57   (26 comments)

On 2009-10-05 at 20:06:06, Lee J Haywood wrote...
My assertion is that the aquatic ape theory is well-supported by the anatomical evidence. It explains a great many aspects of our evolution. And whilst mainstream science rejects it, it fails to provide an alternative. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquatic_ape_hypothesis http://ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/607
On 2009-10-05 at 21:01:26, BorgClown wrote...
I know I do, but can'r seem to recall right now. I'll have to give this one more thought.
On 2009-10-06 at 16:27:23, DigitalBoss wrote...
Please add any details about how your theory could be used to quench capitalism, increase the size and power of government, cause an increase in unemployment, and distribute monies from rich countries to poor countries. Oh, and give us a warm and fuzzy feeling.
On 2009-10-06 at 19:55:43, BorgClown wrote...
I have a pet peeve: The speed limit on information travel. I know it's supported by lots of work on quantum physics, but it must be too arcane to me since I remain unconvinced. I mean, why particle entanglement (or more recently, molecule entanglement) occurs instantaneously, yet it can't be used to instantaneously carry information?
On 2009-10-06 at 20:19:50, BorgClown wrote...
This somehow explains it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-communication_theorem
On 2009-10-06 at 22:04:54, Melchior wrote...
I have no idea what any of that means... But the speed limit on information travel reminds me of something I've considered before. Consider a lighthouse, it projects a beam of light which rotates at a given speed. At a far enough distance away, the end of the beam of light is "moving" faster than the speed of light - hooray, faster than light travel. Except no, the actualy photons still only go at light speed. You have a potentially ridiculous bitrate, but ping still > 0. Hmm. After typing that I guess it doesn't have anything to do with much at all. Well I'm not deleting it, so there :P
On 2009-10-07 at 03:28:22, BorgClown wrote...
@Melchior: Exactly the same crazy thought I had as a kid, but with a laser pointer instead. It amazed me when I realized that the laser beam had become a giant laser arc.
On 2009-10-07 at 09:53:24, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@BorgClown: I can explain it to you. When you measure a quantum property, e.g. spin, of a large number of particles, you typically find that for half the spin is up and for the rest it is down. If you entangle two particles, however, when you later measure each you discover that they have the same spin - even if you've separated them first. The trick is that you didn't know the spin of either before you measured them, and you didn't set the spin - you effectively only measured what was there before you separated them. If you and I had an entangled pair of particles and measured their spins, we'd get the same result but would only be able to confirm this if we communicated about it the old-fashioned way (no faster than the speed of light). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement
On 2009-10-07 at 09:56:55, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@Melchior: There's another analogy that makes more sense, and is to do with patterns travelling faster than the speed of light (which does happen). Imagine you have a very long line of drummers, each of which is beating a pattern but each one is slightly out of step/time with the others. You can imagine it as a wave passing along the line, which each drummer moving fractionally after the one before them. The trick here is that the pattern depends on the timing of the drummers and not communication between them, so if you set it up right then the pattern will appear to travel faster than the speed of light. This happens with exploding stars, where the shockwave causes patterns of ripples in the surrounding gas that appears to go faster than is possible.
On 2009-10-07 at 13:23:13, DigitalBoss wrote...
I have always had doubts of Einstein's theory of General Relativity which involves gravity and curved spacetime. I haven't ever spent the time to noodle it out, one day I will.
On 2009-10-07 at 14:45:19, Lee J Haywood wrote...
General Relativity is extremely successful. Initially it was able to explain the discrepancy between the actual orbit of Mercury and the predicted path you get from Newton's equations. It also correctly predicted the phenomenon of gravitation lensing, and is still holding up well in other areas. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_lens http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tests_of_general_relativity Today your GPS devices wouldn't work if the system hadn't been designed to take account of General Relativity, since they use precise timings to measure distance and the motion and velocity of the satellites affects those timings considerably (i.e. time runs slower on a fast-moving object). The big problem is that what we see in our solar system isn't the same as what we observe in the wider universe. Either gravity works differently at large scales (MOND) or there's some dark matter whose location has to be inferred. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modified_Newtonian_dynamics
On 2009-10-07 at 15:46:03, DigitalBoss wrote...
I believe that some other force, could also cause lensing as well, besides curved space. The fact that the light gets bent doesn't mean that curved space is bending it.
On 2009-10-07 at 20:27:04, BorgClown wrote...
@DigitalBoss: Magnetism can, but if it was that, it would be detectable with the current instruments. So far the only things not directly detectable are gravity and "dark matter". In fact, the so called "dark matter" is postulated to explain the stronger than expected gravity measures. Indirect measures.
On 2009-10-07 at 20:42:26, BorgClown wrote...
@Lee J Haywood: I understand that entangled particles lose their entanglement as soon as you measure them, and the measure alone is meaningless because it's single random value. So for one particle you have only one measure of only one random value. Now imagine two entangled and static photons, one surrounded by a light detection screen. How about if you measure one of them in a way to maximize its momentum? The entangled counterpart must also change momentum and be detected on the screen. That could make a faster-than-light alarm system. Hell, entangle 8 photons and you could transmit a byte. The only reason for this not to work would be that detecting unentanglement is impossible.
On 2009-10-07 at 22:54:47, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I'm not sure if the momentum is relevant. If you separate them then they'll obviously have to have different momentums by definition, so presumably that's not a part of the entanglement? There have been recent experiments where partial detection of quantum states has been possible, without completely breaking superpositions (as is usually the case in the double-slit experiment), but it's a statistical thing and I doubt it'd apply to individual pairs of entangled particles. It seems unlikely that you or I would think of anything that full-time scientists haven't already covered though!
On 2009-10-08 at 01:14:23, BorgClown wrote...
I know. Specially with quantum computing, there's been lots of creative approaches to quantum mechanics. Like I said, it's something very counterintuitive I don't quite get, and consequently can't heartily agree with.
On 2009-10-08 at 01:17:55, BorgClown wrote...
Like how a classical channel can't transmit quantum information, and yet it does. The trick is not having complete certainty, and using instead error-correcting algorithms in the receiving end. Maybe with enough entangled particles you could have a FTL information transfer with an acceptable error margin. Redundant channels could aid with error correction.
On 2009-10-08 at 01:19:04, BorgClown wrote...
And maybe it's just my ignorance speaking. As I also said, QM is too arcane for me to comprehend, I had trouble with special and general relativity.
On 2009-10-08 at 18:38:52, DigitalBoss wrote...
I can understand the idea behind curved space when it is represented in two dimensions, but how would you explain, or show it in three? It seems to me that the term curved space is really a metaphor for a weak force. I have never examined the equations that Einstein used to predict the lensing effect, but I will dare to say it all involved mass and the speed of light and not some magical curved space coefficient.
On 2009-10-08 at 20:55:15, BorgClown wrote...
Curved space is a strange notion too, not something we see in our daily lives. Including mass in the equations is enough, because mass is directly proportional to gravity, which is just the degree of curvature of the space. A light beam leans toward a massive body, and you could think of it as either being pulled by gravity or carried along the curvature of space. On a side note, if mass can implode space and attract matter, you can (mathematically at least) inflate space and repel matter, aka antigravity. Since Earth's huge mass is powerless to fight me from lifting a foot, I wonder what kind of visuals would an antigravity device capable of hovering around would produce.
On 2009-10-08 at 21:11:38, Bensci wrote...
I have a few areas of mainstream science that I am unsure on. Lots of new things are purely for political or economic benefit through studies that can be cited in advertisements or campaigns.
On 2009-10-09 at 10:08:58, Lee J Haywood wrote...
It's a question of scale - we're limited to what we can see here on Earth, and both time and space seem relatively simple (at low speeds and on small scales). Space itself is expanding and is curved by gravity, which we cannot see, and if you tried to measure it with a ruler then the ruler itself would be stretched. For gravity, it means that the distance travelled (as well as the direction) is affected by the curvature of space - you're trying to go in a straight line but end up somewhere other than you'd predict if not for curvature of space. If gravity were just a force as you say, then Mercury's orbit could be predicted by Newton's laws alone. But Mercury is so close to the sun's immense gravity that the very small effect of curved space comes into play. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_expansion_of_space http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curved_space
On 2009-10-09 at 16:26:24, DigitalBoss wrote...
Which is just a matter of how close one is to weak force. Same for a black hole, when approaching the event horizon, the effect of the weak force grows, until it becomes overwhelming and irresistible.
On 2009-11-08 at 17:35:16, Lee J Haywood wrote...
@DigitalBoss: http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/teaching/HPS_0410/chapters/general_relativity/index.html#Geometry The index is here... http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/teaching/HPS_0410/chapters/index.html
On 2009-11-08 at 23:53:49, BorgClown wrote...
Of course you already know, that idea has been around long enough for star Trek to use it: http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Romulan_technology#Propulsion
On 2009-11-08 at 23:55:35, BorgClown wrote...
Disregard my last post, wrong topic.