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Reality and Theory


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#1    sepulchrave

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 05:42 AM

I want to get UM forum member's opinions on this.

We live in a world that is full of "theoretical concepts", many of which are highly abstract. Things like logical deduction (e.g. the Principle of the Excluded Middle: something is either A or not A), pure mathematical theory (e.g. the Pythagorean Theorem, a2 + b2 = c2), and physical law (e.g. Newton's Law, F = ma) definitely appear to govern the way the world works.

The question is: Do these theoretical concepts exist independent of the world, or are they somehow contained or encoded in our reality?

If there was a separate universe, it could easily have different fundamental constants and different physical laws. Might it also have different laws of mathematics? For example, could pi = 4.3212? Or perhaps could pi be proportional to the diameter of the circle? Or are the laws of mathematics external to our local existence and perhaps always true?

I ask this because it seems in many of the religious-oriented (anti- or pro-) threads on this forum many of the posts indicate that the posters seem to have a clear answer to the above question, and indeed, think that the answer is obvious. (It seems like most people think that theoretical concepts are independent of our reality.)

I'm not sure that the issue is so cut-and-dried, and am interested in hearing people's thoughts on the matter.


#2    BabelPlatz

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 06:04 AM

Yes and no. Yes in that Mathematics is a metaphysical construct dependent on the existence of human intellect to have ever been devised at all. It would be moot to discuss a theoretical universe which "contains" math but no mathematicians. Mathematics is according to some schools of thoughts an extension (and further abstraction) of the building blocks of our language :mathematics depends to a great degree on deduction lets say, think of this as fleshing out some of the basic components of language like conceptually discreet entities acting upon others, context and sets etc. Math is an entirely mental construction, while physical constants may exist in the universe without observers, math itself is not the physical constant -merely a rough measurement thereof. "2" did not exist until someone came along and said "2!". It may help to think of the tree in the woods: If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
No. While it may cause ripples through the air, waves that travel it would never actually become sound until it registered as such in an ear; a sound would not exist without an ear. See?

However we would be wrong to somehow think of the mental (because math is entirely mental) as somehow outside the universe, even if it is entirely metaphysical. Though it may be implemented in the human mind, it is, as sheer phenomenon, quite real. Let us say that all things are phenomena, everything from stars to children to paintings -they are THINGS that exist. Does a painting exist if there is no painter? No. Yet we cannot deny that paintings exist and its reality is not in any way lessened by being the product of human minds.

Human minds are the naturally occurring product of the universe, in and of it, one with it. Math is the result of human minds and hence also a natural growth of the universe -from the dumbest, silent matter through the forests of increasing complexity and the substrate of the human brain to the lightness of purest abstraction!


#3    Virtual Particle

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 06:36 PM

Hi sepulchrave good to see you have returned yes.gif. Abstract concepts are fun to work with. So is debating the validity of things we have had no direct experience with but there existence is inferred or proven in the case of theories and theorems.

Beyond that, BabelPlatz seems to have the "bull by the horns" in relation to a response to your question.


Any thoughts?


Time is a form of communication
Consciousness transcends all states
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Matter communicates its existence
to consciousness through time        
Man is infinite
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Black Hole Creates Spectacular Light Show

#4    Virtual Particle

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 08:43 PM

sepulchrave since you are asking with respect to the nature of matter there is something that I though would be interesting to discuss with you.


http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/article.php?id=944

Would not a transition of 3 trillion times per second be a threshold, which is actually faster than that of light ?

If it is not understood that way then why?

Any thoughts?

Edited by Triad, 20 July 2009 - 09:18 PM.

Time is a form of communication
Consciousness transcends all states
that can be perceived as matter
Matter communicates its existence
to consciousness through time        
Man is infinite
God is more
Black Hole Creates Spectacular Light Show

#5    sepulchrave

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 12:46 AM

Triad on Jul 20 2009, 02:43 PM, said:

sepulchrave since you are asking with respect to the nature of matter there is something that I though would be interesting to discuss with you.


http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/article.php?id=944

Would not a transition of 3 trillion times per second be a threshold, which is actually faster than that of light ?

If it is not understood that way then why?

Any thoughts?

"The speed of light" is a velocity, in distance per unit time. "3 trillion times per second" is a frequency, in cycles per unit time. If one cycle corresponds to a distance appropriately less than that of the speed of light, then we are fine. Although this field of physics isn't really my area of expertise, I suspect that the matter/antimatter transitions are occurring in a space less than the Bohr radius (i.e. mean radius of a ground state hydrogen atom). In fact I bet it is an order of magnitude smaller than that, but it doesn't really matter. Since the speed of light is 0.3 billion m/s, as long as the matter-antimatter separation is less than 1/10000 th of a metre it doesn't violate special relativity. Now 1/10000th of a metre is 100 microns - which is an absolutely enormous distance on the scale of sub-atomic particles. The Bohr radius, as you might be aware, is less than 1/10000000000th of a metre (it's about 0.00005 microns). So on that scale, "3 trillion times per second" is peanuts.

To put things in perspective, red light has a wavelength of about 0.7 microns, and is obviously moving at the speed of light. This means that red light oscillates about 430 trillion times per second.


#6    Virtual Particle

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 12:54 AM

Ok now with respect to the above article the precision is about 2 percent but my real questions are in relation to the issue of similarities between gluons and photons. A good friend once argued with me that the reason they seem to both appear to be welcome around matter and anti-matter is that they are oscillating as well but at or near the speed of light??

What is your impression of that conclusion?

Any thoughts?


Edited by Triad, 21 July 2009 - 01:22 AM.

Time is a form of communication
Consciousness transcends all states
that can be perceived as matter
Matter communicates its existence
to consciousness through time        
Man is infinite
God is more
Black Hole Creates Spectacular Light Show

#7    sepulchrave

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 12:56 AM

Interesting points, BabelPlatz, but I gotta disagree on some issues.

BabelPlatz on Jul 20 2009, 12:04 AM, said:

Yes in that Mathematics is a metaphysical construct dependent on the existence of human intellect to have ever been devised at all. It would be moot to discuss a theoretical universe which "contains" math but no mathematicians. Mathematics is according to some schools of thoughts an extension (and further abstraction) of the building blocks of our language :mathematics depends to a great degree on deduction lets say, think of this as fleshing out some of the basic components of language like conceptually discreet entities acting upon others, context and sets etc. Math is an entirely mental construction, while physical constants may exist in the universe without observers, math itself is not the physical constant -merely a rough measurement thereof.

No way. The behaviour of `physical constants' in our universe is totally dependent upon math. The earth, for example, orbited the sun in an elliptical orbit long before Newton figured out what possible orbits could occur between two mutually attracting bodies.

BabelPlatz on Jul 20 2009, 12:04 AM, said:

"2" did not exist until someone came along and said "2!".

The symbol 2 didn't exist, but the quantity represented by that symbol certainly did. Are you suggesting that a dog has an arbitrary number of legs unless a human is around to count them?

BabelPlatz on Jul 20 2009, 12:04 AM, said:

It may help to think of the tree in the woods: If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
No. While it may cause ripples through the air, waves that travel it would never actually become sound until it registered as such in an ear; a sound would not exist without an ear. See?

I'll agree with what you are saying here (or rather, what you are defining `sound' as). But the tree still falls, even if there is no observer. The tree still accelerates under the normal force of gravity even if there are no mathematicians to derive the possible trajectories of a rigid body experiencing a roughly uniform downwards force.




#8    sepulchrave

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 01:06 AM

Triad on Jul 20 2009, 06:54 PM, said:

Ok now with respect to the above article the precision is about 2 percent but my real questions are in relation to the issue of similarities between gluons and photons. A good freind once argued with me that the reason they seem to both appear to be welcome around matter and anti-matter is that they are occilating as well but at or near the speed of light??


Well photons are light, so they obviously do everything `at the speed of light'. I think people generally believe that gluons also do things at the `speed of light', but I'm not sure about that. Gluons are pretty tricky creatures.

The main reason, I think, why these two particles seem to be common around matter and anti-matter is because they are their own anti-particle. An anti-photon is a normal photon.

Charged particles basically use photons to keep track of their electromagnetic interactions. Two matter ions moving along together are almost constantly exchanging photons back and forth. Two anti-matter ions would therefore be exchanging anti-photons.

A bunch of matter and anti-matter on a collision course can therefore exchange photons (since anti-photons are the same as normal photons) right up until the point where they smash into each other and mutually disappear. All that is left is a huge bunch of photons and anti-photons, zipping off into space.

I assume you could construct a similar analogy for gluons, but I don't know a lot about them.


#9    Virtual Particle

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 01:17 AM

As I understand it the differences are related to charge, the gluon has one, while the photon has not.

Thank you again for your candor sepulchrave its not every day one meets same. thumbsup.gif

Quote

Gluons are the exchange particles for the color force between quarks, analogous to the exchange of photons in the electromagnetic force between two charged particles. The gluon can be considered to be the fundamental exchange particle underlying the strong interaction between protons and neutrons in a nucleus. That short-range nucleon-nucleon interaction can be considered to be a residual color force extending outside the boundary of the proton or neutron. That strong interaction was modeled by Yukawa as involving an exchange of pions, and indeed the pion range calculation was helpful in developing our understanding of the strong force.

Gluon interactions are often represented by a Feynman diagram. Note that the gluon generates a color change for the quarks. The gluons are in fact considered to be bi-colored, carrying a unit of color and a unit of anti-color as suggested in the diagram at right. The gluon exchange picture there converts a blue quark to a green one and vice versa. The range of the strong force is limited by the fact that the gluons interact with each other as well as with quarks in the context of quark confinement. These properties contrast them with photons, which are massless and of infinite range. The photon does not carry electric charge with it, while the gluons do carry the "color charge".

Within their range of about a fermi, the gluons can interact with each other, and can produce virtual quark-antiquark pairs. The property of interaction with each other is very different from the other exchange particles, and raises the possibility of gluon collections referred to as "glueballs". The internal state of a hadron is viewed as composed of a fixed net number of quarks, but with a dynamic cloud of gluons and quark-antiquark pairs in equilibrium.


Quote

Quarks and gluons jiggle around inside at nearly light-speed, ... This “oscillation” from one neutrino type to another demonstrates that neutrinos have mass .


Source link

Any thoughts?

Edited by Triad, 21 July 2009 - 01:45 AM.

Time is a form of communication
Consciousness transcends all states
that can be perceived as matter
Matter communicates its existence
to consciousness through time        
Man is infinite
God is more
Black Hole Creates Spectacular Light Show

#10    Virtual Particle

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 02:37 AM

Quote

Properties
The gluon is a vector boson; like the photon, it has a spin of 1. While massive spin-1 particles have three polarization states, massless gauge bosons like the gluon have only two polarization states because gauge invariance requires the polarization to be transverse. In quantum field theory, unbroken gauge invariance requires that gauge bosons have zero mass (experiment limits the gluon's mass to less than a few MeV). The gluon has negative intrinsic parity and zero isospin. It is its own antiparticle.

Mass of a Gluon:0 MeV/c2 (Theoretical value)[4]
< 20 MeV/c2 (Experimental limit)


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Any thoughts?




Time is a form of communication
Consciousness transcends all states
that can be perceived as matter
Matter communicates its existence
to consciousness through time        
Man is infinite
God is more
Black Hole Creates Spectacular Light Show

#11    PsiSeeker

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 03:36 AM

Quote

The question is: Do these theoretical concepts exist independent of the world, or are they somehow contained or encoded in our reality?


To be perfectly honest the entire idea of "theory" is misleading.  Its a simplification process intended to be utilized for constructive purposes of ideas.  Something transcribed from perceivable reality into mathematics(which we associate certainty with.)  However in order to accurately transcribe something you need to be completely aware of everything contained within that from which your transcribing.

I'm of the opinion that theories exist independent of the world for the reason that we don't know everything.  However they can be accurately applied in practice provided you only use the section of reality you derived them from. (the "+C" (reference to deriving) unfortunately is lost, information has a way of sneaking off, though its still "THERE..." so to speak.)

Anyways, the man that understands reality has no need of theories its all already all there.

An illusion is an illusion.  The key difference between the two is that one is limited by time and the other by perception.

#12    Virtual Particle

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 01:28 AM

Aspirin leaves can treat headaches if know how to prepare them in the old fashion way.

New ideas can lead to new ways to deliver aspirin leaves for the treatment of headaches.

Why can't I get an aspirin tree?

If I go to where they keep the aspirin trees will let me have one or can I get a thousand at $100 each?

How about a thousand dollars each?

A million?

What do you mean Bayer?

That is a part of our reality?

In theory, would you like some aspirin trees?

Any thoughts?

Edited by Triad, 25 July 2009 - 01:29 AM.

Time is a form of communication
Consciousness transcends all states
that can be perceived as matter
Matter communicates its existence
to consciousness through time        
Man is infinite
God is more
Black Hole Creates Spectacular Light Show

#13    Virtual Particle

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 01:48 AM

What is the maximum altitude of the F-15 SE,

You know the SR-71 Blackbird leaked fuel while it was on the ground.

Any thoughts?

Edited by Triad, 25 July 2009 - 01:55 AM.

Time is a form of communication
Consciousness transcends all states
that can be perceived as matter
Matter communicates its existence
to consciousness through time        
Man is infinite
God is more
Black Hole Creates Spectacular Light Show




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