a gravitation wave is what?

merle van osdol
merle van osdol
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Just to clarify my little

Just to clarify my little part in this. I do not necessarily believe in GW nor do I necessarily not believe in GW. I think science is and always will be for the foreseeable future an unfolding incomplete story always in the process of being revised. It is important for me to try and help to know if GW exits or not. It is very easy on that basis to join in the search. GW is not a religion to be taken on faith. Even though a am a lowly layman, this is what I believe.

merle

What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.

— Salman Rushdie

MAGIC Quantum Mechanic
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(you can see why I did what I

(you can see why I did what I did a few posts back......saved me from typing and checking it all first since even my own typos can make me go *mad scientist*)

merle van osdol
merle van osdol
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But even a lowly layman has a

But even a lowly layman has a right to speak his own mind. And I believe he should be able to speak if he is making a contribution to the project. Especially if his speaking is more or less in the form of a question.

merle

What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.

— Salman Rushdie

Mike Hewson
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RE: But even a lowly layman

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But even a lowly layman has a right to speak his own mind. And I believe he should be able to speak if he is making a contribution to the project. Especially if his speaking is more or less in the form of a question.


It's OK Merle, MAGIC is referring to me ! :-)

You are precisely correct. The scientific approach is to receive whatever ( well performed ) experiment yields. In fact all scientific theory is revise-able ( or falsifiable is the general term ) which becomes a strength & not a weakness. Science is a way of keeping up with the universe. But many are not the least bit comfortable with that and prefer some fixed internal ( ie. inside of their heads ) view that is untouched/blessed by external ( ie. outside of their heads ) events.

It is not necessarily a terrible thing to behave that way, far from it, but it must not gain the appellation/label of science. If one is going to do that in one's life then just call it something else. Language has plenty of other words available. So there is no need to implicitly substitute a contrasting semantic meaning beneath the word 'science'. That would be dishonest .... more to the point others may risk mistaking one for a person that resolves physical questions by ignoring clear hints from the extra-cranial Universe. :-):-)

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Robert Meckley
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Mike, Thanks for your very

Mike,

Thanks for your very excellent reply to my comment. I see you've thought about these matters before and really don't need my take on what the search for the GW is all about. Though I accept your reply in full, you included an 'aside' and a 'digression' that I find most interesting, and I simply must comment on them Please forgive the tardiness in getting back to you on this, but I've been occupied with other matters lately and have had little time to spend at my computer.

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[aside]Actually there is a very common shortcut like that which we use routinely while not necessarily recognising it's status in that regard. It is energy! Yup. To be very rigorous energy - in all of it's forms - is only ever a calculated thing. I could be even nastier and say that conservation of energy is likewise a useful supposition, much like Schrodinger's equation, that permits continuity across our explanations. And we have worked hard to retain it as a principle ie. expand on the ways in which energy may be calculated precisely in order to achieve that retention ! I don't know why you would, because it is such a tremendous simplification, but you could discuss much of physics prior to the Relativities at least ( and successfully predict & measure etc ) without touching the concept of energy at all. Mind you Frank Wilczek ( particle physicist & Nobel Laureate ) has published a book entitled 'The Lightness of Being' where he re-arranges the structure of physical theory - in the sense of re-basing what are the traditional axioms - to give 'energy' the central status and others hence become derived components. But I digress.[/aside]

I quite agree the conservation principle is a useful supposition and by treating the various forms of energy as calculated quantities, we can be sure we haven't missed anything, or as you put it, "it permits continuity across our explanations". This is precisely the view that Feynman puts forth in "The Character of Physical Law". (This is one of my all time favorite books, so far be it from me to disagree with Richard Feynman or Mike Hewson.) But could I think of Schrodinger's equation in the same way? Hmmm! I've always taken a Kantian view of the conservation principle myself. I see it as a RULE, a rule that we fully expect nature to obey. From the perspective of a knowing subject, it is an ideal, a means by which the world makes sense to us. From the perspective of nature, it's the proper way to conduct operations. As such, it's a principle that is neither true nor false, it can only be violated or misapplied. And one area in which I think we may possibly have a misapplication is that of entanglement. An entangled pair of particles, or singlet, is a definition, not a confirmed observation. It's one thing to declare spin a conserved quantity, but it may be quite another to assume that spacial separation is not a factor in maintaining conserved spin orientation. Applying conservation to a separated pair may be a misapplication. It's always wondered me why no one, at least no one that I'm aware of, has ever suggested that violation of the Bell inequalities might show that the concept of a singlet needs rethinking. But getting back to Schrodinger's equation, could it also be a rule? Does it describe proper conduct for nature? I'll have to think about this one, keeping in mind of course that "God does not play dice".

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Entanglement/coherence is a big challenge for the sub-light speed particle view. My very rough take on this area is that it necessarily implies some type of 'palimpsest' model. A digression : velum was processed calf hide used prior to good paper production. An expensive luxury to say the least ( medieval times here ). The scribes would re-use them by ablating prior markings and over-writing. But on close inspection one could define that previous use, to some degree at least. There is an equivalent word/phrase, which I don't recall, referring to the same sort of thing with paintings on canvases. Another way of expressing this is that there must be legitimate other dimensions that we can't directly measure. By legitimate I mean actually existing not as a convenient model now. So we are ducks upon a pond, as it were, that may deduce the depth below without ever diving. But this is no theory fit for any test as it stands, and certainly not the least bit novel. See 'Warped Passages' by Lisa Randall for a brilliant recent exposition, or Kaluza & Klein last century for that matter.

Oh, I really love the palimpsest image, and I cannot think of a better way to model all sorts of abstractions. This is great stuff! If you got this from reading Lisa Randall, you're a much more attentive reader than I am. But if you came up with this on your own, my hat's off to you. The palimpsest model is great for explaining extra dimensions, I agree, but it could also be used as a model for time itself. Each 'now' is a layer of reality and the past is just an endless series of 'now' layers, one on top of the other. If time travel is possible, something like this would have to be the case. After all, if we are to travel to the past, we have to know where it's at.

P.S.
I know of Frank Wilczek, but I've never read "The Lightness of Being". This is being remedied as I write this however, Amazon is sending me a copy. Thanks for the tip, I've enjoyed our chat immensely!

MAGIC Quantum Mechanic
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RE: It's OK Merle, MAGIC

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It's OK Merle, MAGIC is referring to me ! :-)


Cheers, Mike.

YEP........believe me I have written many of a long page on subjects like this over the decades but most of the time it is a book that once read is leaving a person days just to understand the many,many pieces of information.

And I know how you still like doing this so I leave it up to you unless I have lots of free time.

When you combine Einstein and the 3 CERN projects and just helping those projects work you can run out of keyboard fuel but I always have fun seeing you still doing it here Mike.

Sometimes I will make it hard to understand just by making a short sentence a link to a long page of information.

Which is why I consider you a friend here

Have a fine day!

Mike Hewson
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RE: I quite agree the

Quote:
I quite agree the conservation principle is a useful supposition and by treating the various forms of energy as calculated quantities, we can be sure we haven't missed anything, or as you put it, "it permits continuity across our explanations". This is precisely the view that Feynman puts forth in "The Character of Physical Law". (This is one of my all time favorite books, so far be it from me to disagree with Richard Feynman or Mike Hewson.)


I'm agreeing with him because his three volume set 'Feynman Lectures on Physics' is what has taught me. :-)

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But could I think of Schrodinger's equation in the same way?


Definitely. It's the Hamiltonian energy operator which is the key concept in state function evolution. If energy conservation breaks then Schrodinger's equation falls over too ...

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And one area in which I think we may possibly have a misapplication is that of entanglement. An entangled pair of particles, or singlet, is a definition, not a confirmed observation. It's one thing to declare spin a conserved quantity, but it may be quite another to assume that spacial separation is not a factor in maintaining conserved spin orientation. Applying conservation to a separated pair may be a misapplication. It's always wondered me why no one, at least no one that I'm aware of, has ever suggested that violation of the Bell inequalities might show that the concept of a singlet needs rethinking. But getting back to Schrodinger's equation, could it also be a rule? Does it describe proper conduct for nature? I'll have to think about this one, keeping in mind of course that "God does not play dice".


My suspicion is that entanglement experiments are merely those that we define as where it is self evident, and unadorned with other confounding effects. To generalise then : we are all entangled all of the time. Indeed time is the crux. You see it is not just that a selection of measurement 'mode' at one end of an entanglement scenario affects the measurement 'mode' applicable at the other : for it is the transmission of uncertainty levels which is superluminal. I reckon it is strictly time independent with our sub light speed messaging giving us the late call on that. This is another way of saying that time is an emergent property .... the delayed quantum eraser setups show that the demonstration of the entanglement 'signal' can be withheld quite arbitrarily.

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Oh, I really love the palimpsest image, and I cannot think of a better way to model all sorts of abstractions. This is great stuff! If you got this from reading Lisa Randall, you're a much more attentive reader than I am. But if you came up with this on your own, my hat's off to you. The palimpsest model is great for explaining extra dimensions, I agree, but it could also be used as a model for time itself. Each 'now' is a layer of reality and the past is just an endless series of 'now' layers, one on top of the other. If time travel is possible, something like this would have to be the case. After all, if we are to travel to the past, we have to know where it's at.


The palimpsest is my visual aide for the brane/bulk business that Lisa discusses. It's not new, just a personal scramble for a human dimension analogy for something which we fail to visualise well ie. 4+ dimensional spaces.

Now the interesting part of speed is an often unstated aspect ie. over what path ? For without a path description there is a potential problem. A simple calculation of distance divided by time is strictly incomplete. Example : when I was some 40 years younger and in rude health I was a long distance runner. Part of my training was shorter distance sprints usually over 200m at full tilt. One day - to wind up my trainer - I did the following, having got him to state where on the oval track the stop-watch would be started/stopped, then come trial time I ran across the infield and not along in the running lanes. You can beat any record that way ! For my cleverness I got some extra km's to burn off my 'bad attitude' though. :-)

I'm emphasising that with only start & finish points as data inputs then who can really say ? So our light speed limit, in a palimpsest scenario, is only obtained from that part of the totality which we have access to measurement. Are there shortcuts about ? You can talk all day of wave functions etc, but calculus requires continuity to perform a limit process. So when you say a quantum state function is subject to a differential equation you have implicitly injected a real-number-line substrate into the discussion. Paths imply continuity, as brilliantly formulated in the path integral scheme for quantum electrodynamics (QED).

Hence coming back to a Young's two slit setup the effect of 'which way' questions are now rather acute. My point in mentioning the equivalence of the interference patterns ( being irrespective of time for equal total energy flux from source to detectors ) is to highlight that we didn't look at paths at all to get any of that. Heisenberg's crucial & very successful breakthrough, to depart from the Bohr description of electrons on hydrogen atoms ( with Sommerfeld's elliptic path variations ), was to discard the path concept entirely. Just focus on the measurable outcomes, in this case the frequencies of light emitted under the reasonable assumption of those being the disclosure of energy differences b/w states.

[ Thus is born the very silly 'quantum jump' punchline of popular repute, which in fact is not an assertion at all. It is really a 'no comment' about paths. ]

In any case there is AFAIK concern about the singlet approach. But no one knows what to do about that ie. the alternative model. My feeling is that if one is going to 'attack' the definition/explication of time then energy has to be re-thought also.

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Thanks for the tip, I've enjoyed our chat immensely!


Beware ... I could go on all day if you encourage me. Hence the mildly perverse signature that I use. :-)

Cheers, Mike.

( edit ) Sorry, I should have stated : when one says 'conservation of so-and-so' that is a comment based on a time substrate ie. any quantitative differential before and after ?

( edit ) Sorry to fire off another bazooka load at you :

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Hmmm! I've always taken a Kantian view of the conservation principle myself. I see it as a RULE, a rule that we fully expect nature to obey. From the perspective of a knowing subject, it is an ideal, a means by which the world makes sense to us. From the perspective of nature, it's the proper way to conduct operations. As such, it's a principle that is neither true nor false, it can only be violated or misapplied.


... for a great insight upon how conservation laws relate to continuous symmetry transformations then see Emmy Noether's take on the topic. She enlarges upon the classical variational principles. For instance with QED to achieve the 'best fit' classical path to approximate the transmission of a quantum particle like a photon, then you can assume that the total 'action' summed along said path is minimised ( with respect to adjacent alternates ). This recovers Fermat's Principle of Least Time in optics, say. Action has units of angular momentum ie. the very units of Planck's constant .... that's just gotta be a great clue. I just don't know what of .... :-)

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

Mike Hewson
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RE: .... you can run out of

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.... you can run out of keyboard fuel but I always have fun seeing you still doing it here Mike.


Indeed. Thank you kindly. I am fulfilled! :-)

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Which is why I consider you a friend here .... Have a fine day!


And you too, Sire! :-)

Cheers, Mike.

I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal

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