19 Nov 2007 6:43:26 UTC

Topic 193330

(moderation:

I watched this great documentary/movie on DVD a few months back called "What the Bleep, down the rabbit holeâ€?. It was very interesting and I have so many questions for all you smart crunchers. Before I shoot away with the questions I wanted to give those who havenâ€™t seen it a chance to look it over first. For those who have, Iâ€™d like to know what you thought about it and is their anything you could have added to the show to tie the different subject matters together.

Thanks and God Bless

Ernie

Team Art Bell

P.S. Just wanted to say hi to Mike Hewson,Chipper Q & HomeGnome.:-)

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## What the Bleep!!! Down the rabbit hole

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Greetings:

I saw it a few years ago. What I can remember.... Pros the documentary did not treat you like a complete idiot there are some interesting concepts; but... there was to much new age mysticism and pseudoscience for my tastes..

There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot. - Aldo Leopold

## RE: Greetings: I saw it a

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Rod,

What where those concepts that interest you?

Ernie

Thanks for your input, God bless you sir.

## RE: Rod, What where those

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What I can remember and if I can put this into words... What found interesting is that reality on a macroscopic scale is not realized until it is consciously observed.

Experiments in Quantum Mechanics have shown this at the sub atomic level in the case one can't determine the spin of electron or its position at the same time and also the dual nature of light. There are some systems that exhibit quantum effects on the macroscopic scale like lasers and super conductors but there is whole lot we don't understand. All you have to do is drop a water melon off a 10 story building just to show you how solid the real the world is. I think this will happen every time. But Some people would say that simply by consciously observing this I determined this reality. Hmmm. So How many water melons must I drop off this building before one will pass right through..

the water melon will be smashed.

The other concept I found interesting was that all matter and energy at the macroscopic level in the universe is connected some how. Experiments have shown some interconnection of matter at the sub atomic level (quantum entanglement) and even today there is technology being built on this principle like Quantum Cryptography and quantum computers.

But I am out of my league writing about both these concepts that I found intersting :-)

There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot. - Aldo Leopold

## RE: I watched this great

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Remember I'm a rookie

Ok question 1). What are the differeces between the Ground state wave function

and the Plank Scale?

Where does a grounded string and a graviton string come into play?

Ernie

## RE: Remember I'm a

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Hi Ernie!

I'm just a rookie too, so don't know how helpful this may be --

If you have an ensemble of matter/energy that is capable of absorbing/emitting energy then it would be in the ground state when it has no additional energy to emit, but can only absorb energy. The wavefunction is a way to describe the probability of finding something at a specific location/time.

The Planck scale describes things at the scale of the ensemble itself, sort of: quoting from the Wiki page, â€œAt this scale, the concepts of size and distance break down, and quantum indeterminacy becomes virtually absolute.â€?

Speaking of which, a movie of an electron has been made using a quantum stroboscope (from Lund University Faculty of Engineering in Sweden), way cool!

The 'grounded string / graviton string' is from M-theory?

Never a better time to be a rookie, especially if the scientists discover a new sport! :)

## RE: Thanks and God

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G'day Ernie, I missed your prior post - so HI! :-)

Now to task:

#1 With energy there are no absolute levels. Any physical measurement can only ever define the difference between levels, and any of the mathematics gives the same predictive result for a given E versus (E + constant). This behaviour can be related to a deep symmetry in the physical laws that describe nature - that they are constant over time. This seems to be the case for periods studied ( or deduced ) by science thus far. So 'ground state' refers back to an arbitrary, but in practice reasonable, choice of what is meant by 'zero' energy.

#2 Enter Mr Heisenberg, who allows a zero level, but physical systems cannot actually achieve an exact level of any magnitude - zero or otherwise. The Uncertainty Principle implies that any particle must have a minimal product of exactness in its 'conjugate co-ordinates'. These come in pairs like linear position & linear momentum, energy & time, angular position & angular momentum ..... Moreover there is 'orthogonality', such that for instance linear position/momentum have a minimal product in each spatial direction separately. Anyhows, regardless of any choice of 'zero' setting there are irreducible uncertainties. Unfortunately some explanations blur the important distinction between energy level/scale choices and energy level uncertainties, they are distinct concepts.

#3 Let's say you have, even classically, some bucket of gas which you measure all sorts of properties ( pressure/volume/mass ) with respect to it's interior kinetic energy. Take an 'ideal gas'. Then one can define a quantity ( T = PV/nM ) which has values for all manner of choices of gases. If you investigate over a wide range of the P/V/n/M parameters, then after a while you may deduce that one can extrapolate 'back' or 'down' to a hypothetical case where T becomes zero. Now try and achieve that state in practice - you won't. This 'T', as defined by this process, is the 'thermodynamic' temperature and all systems studied to date have never achieved an exact null value. This is explained as the 'ground' state being above zero by a small, but irreducible, gap.

#4 The ground state wave function then represents that bit of mathematics which is used to quantitatively describe said ground energy level. By the machinery of quantum mechanics it also yields the above uncertain behaviours - it falls out at the end - as it was designed to. For any given experiment however the number you get from any measurement process is going to reflect a distribution of results around an average or 'expected value' of that wave function. If you watch the system for a long time then the variation of your numbers around that average will gradually diminish and one's estimate of the energy level under study becomes more exact. This is a pragmatic meaning of energy and time being conjugate co-ordinates.

#5 The Planck scale is typically described as a distance, but can denote an equivalent energy/mass/momentum/time. It corresponds to the smallest theoretically possible uncertainty in position for the largest theoretically allowed momentum known. We're talking momenta for big bang scale energies now ie. corresponding to really massive/energetic events. Even much, much larger than your friendly neighbourhood billion solar mass black hole. If one were to hypothecate a particle accelerator to achieve that, it would span the known universe, and probably take a while to set up ..... :-)

#6 Perhaps the best way to describe the Planck scale therefore is: it is the smallest possible definable distance that could ever possibly be measured/deduced ( if quantum mechanics and other assumptions are true ).

#7 Strings are pretty well defined to have dimensions of about the size of the Planck length. If you subscribe to the idea that a length can only be what you can measure ( fair enough ) then you can't look 'inside' a string. They are truly atoms in the old Greek indivisible sense and we're never going to see them directly. We may construct a theory ( M or whatever ) that forms a unifying basis for other explanations at larger scales ( and lesser energies ).

Cheers, Mike.

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

## Here's good lecture from MIT

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Here's good lecture from MIT World called, â€œThe Universe is a Strange Placeâ€? that helps put things in perspective in terms of the Planck scale, and is probably particularly appealing to musicians as I don't think it could be stated better than how the speaker said it: the masses of the particles are not like, or similar to, or metaphorically suggested by â€“ they are the tones or frequencies of vibration patterns in dynamical voids.â€?

But this was the lecture (by the same speaker) that first caught my eye: â€œThe Origin of Mass and the Feebleness of Gravityâ€?. It has much of the same content as the other lecture but the effort to detect gravitational waves is mentioned in this one (during the Q&A after the lecture).

I have a much greater anticipation and appreciation for the upcoming experiments at the LHC too, after watching these lectures, and I have to say it's hard to see how the effort to extend symmetries and beautify equations would ever lead to disappointment... :)