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#1 2006-02-05 10:25:39

MathsIsFun
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Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,534

Time may have a geometry

Alexander Mayer of Stanford University is proposing that we re-think how time behaves at a local level.

Have a read! http://www.stanford.edu/~afmayer/


"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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#2 2006-02-05 10:49:39

mikau
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Registered: 2005-08-22
Posts: 1,504

Re: Time may have a geometry

That kinda stuff creeps me out. No thanks! lol.


A logarithm is just a misspelled algorithm.

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#3 2006-02-05 14:36:45

God
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Registered: 2005-08-25
Posts: 59

Re: Time may have a geometry

I believe the universe is a 256-dimensional space/time hyper-space that vaguely resembles the structure of a 256-dimensional hyperbola rotated around a 256-dimensional hypersphere perpendicular to the axis of the hyperbola. A warping of the space time continuum actually just shifts the foci in the 32nd, 64th, 96th, 128th, 160th, and 192nd dimensions.

Do I win?

(Where's my name in scientific American?)

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#4 2006-02-05 15:48:29

Ricky
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Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: Time may have a geometry

I am exteremly skeptical, especially when it comes to:

A number of outstanding scientific mysteries are definitively solved, including observations that lead to the concepts of 'dark energy' and 'dark matter'.

But I'll have to read all the pdfs/powerpoints in great detail before I can comment further.  It might take some time.


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#5 2006-02-05 19:26:13

krassi_holmz
Real Member
Registered: 2005-12-02
Posts: 1,908

Re: Time may have a geometry

I beleive that our space is "infinitly difficult", so never we'll learn it out.
Something like geodel-s proof about the full logical systems: in they there are infinity number of axioms, so they're unreachable. So the best theory is a theory, that doesn't uncludes any axiomes. I think we'll never find that, too.


IPBLE:  Increasing Performance By Lowering Expectations.

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#6 2006-02-06 04:28:00

God
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Registered: 2005-08-25
Posts: 59

Re: Time may have a geometry

There is a law that says it is impossible to accurately observe anything you are not independent of. For all you know, we could just be part of a huge matrix of data that is constantly being changed by means of various complex functions. We cannot observe our own universe accurately past a certain point.

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#7 2006-02-06 05:41:50

Ricky
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Re: Time may have a geometry

There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

- Douglas Adams

There is a law that says it is impossible to accurately observe anything you are not independent of.

It is impossible to observe anything without interacting with it, period.  For example, you can only observe your computer screen because electrons are hitting phosphorus (possibly another chemical) creating photons, which hit your eyes, change protiens in your eyes, which send an electrical impluse to your brain where even more freaky stuff happens.

But because you must change a system to observe it, you have already changed what you wished to observe and are no longer observing the previous state of the system.

Now, none of this matters until you get down to the level of trying to observe a single photon or electron.  That's where quantum physics comes in.

The following quote is from Dave W. at the SFN, which I now also share:

Time to whip out the Crackpot Index again, only because of the guy's style. There are a whole bunch of points right on the main (short) Web page, and he starts out talking about how long he's been working on his theory! Why is he doing lectures and writing a book instead of publishing articles in the appropriate journals? Why is he citing unpublished work?

Emphasis from the original.

Last edited by Ricky (2006-02-06 05:42:48)


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#8 2006-02-06 10:31:31

irspow
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Registered: 2005-11-24
Posts: 455

Re: Time may have a geometry

I, bleary-eyed and spent, have managed to sift through all 90 slides there.  Opinion?  At this point interested, but will have to wait for the people with the data and experience to pick it apart thoroughly before getting too excited.  With my limited knowledge in this area, everything stated seemed at least rational.  So I reserve judgement.

  It is refreshing to see something presented which argues against the Big Bang Theory.  I never did like it because it seemed strange to keep a theory around which created so many results that failed to be explained by all of our current physics understanding.  Basically, I liked the way he attacked ideas like dark matter and energy, because I too find those ideas ridiculous.

  On the other hand, it is odd that an idea this revolutionary isn't making larger noise.  No offense, MathsIsFun, but wouldn't a thoery as large as this be all over the place not needing MathsIsFun to point the way?

  Thanks MathsIsFun, it was a good read though.

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#9 2006-02-06 12:00:50

MathsIsFun
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Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,534

Re: Time may have a geometry

It is an interesting theory, but just a theory of course. Time will tell (excuse the pun) smile


"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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#10 2006-02-06 16:09:28

Ricky
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Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: Time may have a geometry

I never did like it because it seemed strange to keep a theory around which created so many results that failed to be explained by all of our current physics understanding.

Can you give some examples?

Basically, I liked the way he attacked ideas like dark matter and energy, because I too find those ideas ridiculous.

But we have even found dark matter!  All three types of neutrinos are dark matter.  A team of scientists (international effort) in France are building the largest particle collider which is theoretically supposed to be able to detect gravitons, another type of particle which has yet to be detected.

On the other hand, it is odd that an idea this revolutionary isn't making larger noise.  No offense, MathsIsFun, but wouldn't a thoery as large as this be all over the place not needing MathsIsFun to point the way?

A better question is why are these ideas going into a book and not a peer-reviewed journal?

That's how almost all science progresses, in scientific circles.  Not the public.

Last edited by Ricky (2006-02-06 16:19:42)


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#11 2006-02-06 16:40:11

Ricky
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Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: Time may have a geometry

irspow, if I read something that I don't disagree with, I argue against it.

It has nothing to do with beating up on you.

edit: but let's take a closer look at my post:

First, I just asked you for some examples of what you claimed.  Nothing wrong with that, is there?

Next, I was noting that we already know of dark matter that exists, something you said you didn't like the idea of.  Should I not have said anything?

Finally, I agreed with your question.

So what part of that post did you think I was attacking you?

Last edited by Ricky (2006-02-06 16:44:49)


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#12 2006-02-06 17:19:10

MathsIsFun
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Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,534

Re: Time may have a geometry

OK, you guys definitely need to use smilies more smile

See? It shows the intent behind the comment ...

.. or not sad


"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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#13 2006-02-06 17:25:30

MathsIsFun
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Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,534

Re: Time may have a geometry

Ricky wrote:

... why are these ideas going into a book and not a peer-reviewed journal?

That does seem odd ... I guess he stands to make money if he is right or wrong.

Probably more if he is wrong as it will attract greater media attention!


"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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#14 2006-02-06 17:42:57

ryos
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Registered: 2005-08-04
Posts: 394

Re: Time may have a geometry

Hey Ricky, aren't neutrinos mostly massless (as in, massless as photons, or more)?

I thought that the dark matter theory was invented to explain why calculations (based on gravitic interactions) of the mass of the universe come out much larger than the observed electromagnetic luminosity of the universe. It seems to me that an excessively large amount of neutrinos would be required to make up the deficit, but I admit to a degree of ignorance here.


El que pega primero pega dos veces.

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#15 2006-02-06 17:46:14

Ricky
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Posts: 3,791

Re: Time may have a geometry

That does seem odd ... I guess he stands to make money if he is right or wrong.

Historically, it is those who wish to advance science that publish it in journals, and those who wish to make money that publish it in books.  It is also those who publish it in books who are normally wrong.

Of course, that doesn't have to be the case here, but it certainly doesn't add to credability.


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#16 2006-02-06 17:58:53

Ricky
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Re: Time may have a geometry

Hey Ricky, aren't neutrinos mostly massless (as in, massless as photons, or more)?

You are correct about neutrinos.  They have such a small mass that they were able to go undetected (but theoretically proposed) for 30 years.  But they do have mass.

Photons, on the other hand, have 0 mass.

I thought that the dark matter theory was invented to explain why calculations (based on gravitic interactions) of the mass of the universe come out much larger than the observed electromagnetic luminosity of the universe.

Again, you are correct.  Gravitational models of the universe did not correctly explain what we are seeing.  So dark matter was suggested as a solution to this problem.

It seems to me that an excessively large amount of neutrinos would be required to make up the deficit, but I admit to a degree of ignorance here.

Again, right.  But the one thing you seemed to have missed is that there is an extremely vast amount of neutrinos coming out of a single nuclear power plant, let alone the sun, let alone all of the stars in the universe.

And neutrinos are only one type of dark matter.  Other types may exist, and here is something where I, too, have to claim ignorance.  I believe matter inside a black hole may count as well, but I'm not entirely sure of that.


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#17 2006-02-07 11:54:34

Ricky
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Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: Time may have a geometry

Let me start out by saying that I try to correct people when I think they are wrong (notice the emphasis on the word think).  I do it in math here on this forums, but it doesn't just stop there.  I do it all the time, no matter the subject.  That's all I'm doing when I reply to your posts.

Since anyone can propose a theory, why don't we make this the official "Theory's that are good, because there is no evidence against them yet forum"?

I understand this was a joke.  But there is an underlying implication that I think you missed or aren't aware of.  All science works this way.  It's known as falsificationism.  Theories are suggested, put to the test, and are either not falsified (kept) or falsified (thrown away).  Now it's a heck of a lot more complicated than that, but that's the very basics of it.  But to keep it simple, that which has yet to be falsified is known as "correct" in the scientific context.

Oh, and one additional requirement is that a theory must be falsifiable and testable.  So no theory can escape testing, otherwise it isn't a theory.

I just never like the way they came up with the big bang theory to explain why the universe was expanding.  I don't think that it is good science.  Whenever some clown just decides to invent something just to explain something else that he does not understand, it just makes my skin crawl.

I don't think you know how the Big Bang Theory came about.  It was first observed that spiral nebula were moving away from us.  The Big Bang (although not in its current form) was proposed.   Then it was observed that not only are (almost) all stars moving away from us, they are doing so at a proportional speed to their distance from us.  Such evidence is only explained by the Big Bang.  Then we observed cosmic background radiation.  Such evidence is only explained by the Big Bang.  Furthermore, it is once again only the Big Bang which explains the abundance of lighter elements in our universe.

Many different parts of cosmology are only explainable through the Big Bang.  It is the unifying theory of astronomy.  It is much more than conjector or hypothesis, it is a theory, just like the Einstein's Theory of Relativity and the Theory or Evolution.

And besides, as of right now, there is no other explanation which even comes close to the explanatory power of the Big Bang.  We'll have to see how this new theory develops, but if its anything like every other scientific theory published in books, it will be an udder flop.

What really troubles me is that it has lasted so long now that people treat the theory as if it were reality, when the fact remains that no one knows how the universe began or if it even had one at all.

The first part is correct.  The Big Bang makes no predictions as to how the universe started.  All we know is that "something" happened.  But we know the entire history of the universe very shortly after this something.  And we do know it happened.  We understand the Big Bang more than we understand the Theory of Gravity.

What I tried to say was ridiculous was the proposition that there must be dark matter and energy in order to support the unfounded big bang theory.

You may say it's ridiculous, but it turned out to be right, didn't it?


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#18 2006-02-07 12:49:35

Ricky
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Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: Time may have a geometry

My "This is the winner" theory above does just as well as the big bang theory, and I didn't even have to invent fictional forces to support it.

As for the falsificationists, they can use my third theory above, I won't charge them a dime.

I took that theory how I thought you intended, as a complete joke.  But the quotes above, joke or not, are flat out wrong.  Not observable, not testable, not falsifiable, and doesn't explain a single thing that the Big Bang does, come to mind.

Like I said earlier, a theory should only be used to guide future experiment, not as scientific knowledge.

What about theories like Relativity?  Or the Theory of Evolution?  These are treated almost universally like facts in the scientific community.  Which is the same way the Big Bang is treated.

Last edited by Ricky (2006-02-07 12:49:59)


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#19 2006-02-07 13:37:36

Ricky
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Registered: 2005-12-04
Posts: 3,791

Re: Time may have a geometry

You can't imagine that everything in our universe was once contained within an atom of a much larger scale?

Imagination has nothing to do with it.  And besides, I don't have to imagine anything.  Technically speaking, a neutron star is a huge atom about the size of chicago.


"In the real world, this would be a problem.  But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist.  So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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#20 2006-04-01 23:46:49

MathsIsFun
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Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,534

Re: Time may have a geometry


"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..."  - Leon M. Lederman

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