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Theories of Everything
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 07-06-2013 16:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

How to test Weinstein's provocative theory of everything
23:14 31 May 2013
by Jacob Aron

Physicists have a problem, and they will be the first to admit it. The two mathematical frameworks that govern modern physics, quantum mechanics and general relativity, just don't play nicely together despite decades of attempts at unification. Eric Weinstein, a consultant at a New York City hedge fund with a background in mathematics and physics, says the solution is to find beauty before seeking truth.

Weinstein hit the headlines last week after mathematician Marcus du Sautoy at the University of Oxford invited him to give a lecture detailing his new theory of the universe, dubbed Geometric Unity. Du Sautoy also provided an overview of Weinstein's theory on the website of The Guardian newspaper to "promote, perhaps, a new way of doing science".

For a number of reasons, few physicists attended Weinstein's initial lecture, and with no published equations to review, the highly public airing of his theory has generated heated controversy. Today, Weinstein attempted to rectify the situation by repeating his lecture at Oxford. This time a number of physicists were in the lecture hall. Most remain doubtful.

Most physicists working on unification are trying to create a quantum version of general relativity, informed by the list of particles in the standard model of physics. Weinstein believes we should instead start with the basic geometric tools of general relativity and work at extending the equations in mathematically natural ways, without worrying whether they fit with the observable universe. Once you have such equations in hand, you can try to match them up with reality.

Weinstein says his approach follows in the footsteps of Albert Einstein, Paul Dirac and Chen Ning Yang, the physicists' whose equations he is attempting to unify. "The principal authors of all three of our most basic equations subscribe to the aesthetic school, while the rest of the profession had chased the consequence of beauty with adherence to data," he says.

For example, Dirac predicted the existence of the positron based on the symmetries of his equation describing the electron. He was led by the beauty of the mathematics, not the data at the time, which said such a thing did not exist, says Weinstein.

At the heart of Weinstein's theory is the "observerse", a 14-dimensional space that contains our familiar four-dimensional world (three dimensions of space plus one of time). The extra dimensions arise naturally by extending the mathematics of the original four, which appear in general relativity as the diagonal entries in a four-by-four matrix, he says.

The mathematical symmetries of the resulting equations predict three families, or generations, of particles, just as described by the standard model, though the third generation belongs in a different framework in Weinstein's theory.

His work also predicts new, as yet undiscovered particles, along with mirror images of all of these particles. This group of particles could account for dark matter, the mysterious stuff thought to make up about 80 per cent of matter in the universe.

The trouble is that we should already have seen some of Weinstein's new particles, if they exist, says physicist Joseph Conlon of the University of Oxford. Properties of some of the predicted particles mean that they should be linked to the strong force, one of the four fundamental forces and the one that binds protons and neutrons.

Experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland, have been smashing particles together at high enough energies to overcome the strong force, creating a spray of other more elusive particles, such as the Higgs boson. Weinstein's new particles should therefore have been detected in the resulting particle shower.

In addition, any modification to the central equations of physics would have to give results that are only a slight correction to existing theories – just as Einstein's equations offer very similar answers to the approximations of Newton's equations, says John March-Russell. Right now, equations and experiments are agreeing to 1 part in 10 billion, so Weinstein's theory would have to be a very small tweak indeed, and he has yet to reveal its size.

Perhaps more fundamental yet, it should be possible to perform a calculation called anomaly cancellation on Weinstein's equations, says Conlon. This checks whether a list of particles is a consistent extension of the standard model, much like the digits of a credit card number can be added in a certain way to confirm their validity. If the predicted particles fail the test, the theory is wrong. "It would take an hour and a half," Conlon said to Weinstein at the lecture.

"Can I ask you to do that?" countered Weinstein, who admitted that he did not have answers to these and other questions raised by his talk, but said he would like to discuss them further. He also has remained vague about when and where his equations will appear in print.

In some sense, though, it is a happy resolution to the media storm. Weinstein has found some physicists who are perhaps willing to listen and guide him, and his theory will face the scrutiny that should be applied to any good scientific idea. Geometric Unity could turn out to be a theory of everything – or just a nice bit of mathematics.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23632?cmpid=NLC|NSNS|2013-0706-GLOBAL&utm_medium=NLC&utm_source=NSNS
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PostPosted: 20-11-2013 11:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do we live in the Matrix? Scientists believe they may have answered the question
Just like in The Matrix, we may too be living in a simulation generated by an all powerful computer, according to research
By Lucy Kinder
9:43AM GMT 20 Nov 2013

If you believe The Matrix franchise, what we think is our everyday life is in fact a simulation generated by an all-powerful computer.
However this idea may not simply be science fiction and 'cosmic rays' could reveal that we are indeed living in a simulated universe.
According to Discover magazine, physicists can offer us the ability to test whether we live in our own virtual Matrix, by studying radiation from space.

Cosmic rays are the fastest particles that exist and originate in far-flung galaxies. They always arrive at Earth with a specific maximum energy of 1020 electron volts.
If there is a specific maximum energy for particles then this gives rise to the idea that energy levels are defined, specific and constrained by an outside force.
Thus, according to the research, if the energy levels of particles could be simulated, so too could the rest of the universe.

The 'cosmic ray test' was developed by Silas Beane, a nuclear physicist at the University of Washington and involves scientists building up a simulation of space using a lattice or grid.
They calculated that the energy of particles within the simulation is related to the distance between the points of the lattice and that the smaller the lattice size, the greater the energy that the particles can have.

There have been many efforts to discover the truth about the universe and simulated reality.
In 2003 philosopher Nick Bostrom put forward the idea that we may live in a computer simulation run by our descendants but it was Beane and his colleagues who suggested that a more concrete test of the simulation hypothesis should be carried out.

Last year Beane told of his plans to recreate a simulated reality using mathematical models known as the lattice QCD approach.
If we do indeed live in a simulated universe akin to The Matrix, Beane has a warning.
He told the magazine that the 'simulators' who control our universe may well be simulations themselves; a 'dream within a dream' type effect which could render the entire scientific study meaningless. Psychout
He said: "If we’re indeed a simulation, then that would be a logical possibility, that what we’re measuring aren’t really the laws of nature, they’re some sort of attempt at some sort of artificial law that the simulators have come up with".

Some academics are sceptical of the 'Matrix theory'. Professor Peter Millican, who teaches a philosophy and computer science degree at Oxford University, believes it could be ultimately flawed.
He said: "The theory seems to be based on the assumption that ‘superminds’ would do things in much the same way as we would do them.”
"If they think this world is a simulation, then why do they think the superminds – who are outside the simulation – would be constrained by the same sorts of thoughts and methods that we are?"

"They assume that the ultimate structure of a real world can't be grid like, and also that the superminds would have to implement a virtual world using grids.
"We can’t conclude that a grid structure is evidence of a pretend reality just because our ways of implementing a pretend reality involve a grid."

Professor Millican did, however, add that he believed it was beneficial to conduct research into such theories.
"It is an interesting idea, and it’s healthy to have some crazy ideas. You don’t want to censor ideas according to whether they seem sensible or not because sometimes important new advances will seem crazy to start with."

"You never know when good ideas may come from thinking outside the box. This matrix thought-experiment is actually a bit like some ideas of Descartes and Berkeley, hundreds of years ago.

“Even if there turns out to be nothing in it, the fact that you have got into the habit of thinking crazy things could mean that at some point you are going to think of something that initially may seem rather way out, but turns out not to be crazy at all."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/10451983/Do-we-live-in-the-Matrix-Scientists-believe-they-may-have-answered-the-question.html
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 20-11-2013 11:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect that multidimensional, multiverse foam, would also give the appearance or illusion of a grid, when viewed from the correct perspective.
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 19-12-2013 18:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

A New Scientist analysis:

What is reality?

This consists of several articles - I just give the Titles and sub-headings:

DEFINITION
Even trying to define what we mean by "reality" is fraught with difficulty.

STANDARD MODEL OF PARTICLE PHYSICS
The bedrock of it all
Can we explain reality purely in terms of matter and energy?

MATTER
Is matter real?
It's relatively easy to demonstrate what physical reality isn't. It is much harder to work out what it is.

MATHEMATICS
Is everything made of numbers?
Dig deep enough into the fabric of reality and you eventually hit a seam of pure mathematics.

INFORMATION THEORY
A universe of information
What we call reality might actually be the output of a program running on a cosmos-sized quantum computer.

CONSCIOUSNESS
How does consciousness fit in?
Some theories hold that reality and consciousness are one and the same. Is the universe really all inside your head?

EPISTEMOLOGY
How can we know reality exists?
Proving whether or not reality is an illusion is surprisingly difficult.

SIMULATION
The future
It's possible that we live in fundamental reality. Future beings almost certainly won't.

PHEW! Also, a video.

http://www.newscientist.com/special/reality?cmpid=NLC%7CNSNS%7C2013-1219-GLOBAL&utm_medium=NLC&utm_source=NSNS&

(You have to be registered to read the articles.)
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SameOldVardoger
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PostPosted: 19-12-2013 21:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

If reality isn't real, what IS real? Psychout
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PostPosted: 20-01-2014 21:30    Post subject: Cosmic 'Web'... Reply with quote

Cosmic 'web' seen for first time
By Simon Redfern, Reporter, BBC News

The hidden tendrils of dark matter that underlie the visible Universe may have been traced out for the first time.
Cosmology theory predicts that galaxies are embedded in a cosmic web of "stuff", most of which is dark matter.

Astronomers obtained the first direct images of a part of this network, by exploiting the fact that a luminous object called a quasar can act as a natural "cosmic flashlight".
Details of the work appear in the journal Nature.

The quasar illuminates a nearby gas cloud measuring two million light-years across.
And the glowing gas appears to trace out filaments of underlying dark matter.
The quasar, which lies 10 billion light-years away, shines light in just the right direction to reveal the cold gas cloud.

For some years, cosmologists have been running computer simulations of the structure of the universe to build the "standard model of cosmology".
They use the cosmic microwave background, corresponding to observations of the very earliest Universe that can be seen, and recorded by instruments such as the Planck space observatory, as a starting point.
Their calculations suggest that as the Universe grows and forms, matter becomes clustered in filaments and nodes under the force of gravity, like a giant cosmic web.

The new results from the 10-metre Keck telescope in Hawaii, are reported by scientists from the University of California, Santa Cruz and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg.
They are the first direct observations of cold gas decorating such cosmic web filaments.

The cosmic web suggested by the standard model is mainly made up of mysterious "dark matter". Invisible in itself, dark matter still exerts gravitational forces on visible light and ordinary matter nearby.

Massive clumps of dark matter bend light that passes close by through a process called gravitational lensing, and this had allowed previous measurements of its distribution.
But it is difficult to use this method to see very distant dark matter, and cold ordinary matter remains tricky to detect as well.
The glowing hydrogen illuminated by the distant quasar in these new observations traces out an underlying filament of dark matter that it is attracted to it by gravity, according to the researchers' analysis.

"This is a new way to detect filaments. It seems that they have a very bright quasar in a rare geometry," Prof Alexandre Refregier of the ETH Zurich, who was not involved in the work, told BBC News.
"If indeed gravity is doing the work in an expanding Universe, we expect to see a cosmic web and it is important to detect this cosmic web structure."

He added: "What is expected is that the dark matter dominates the mass and forms these structures, and then the ordinary matter, the gas, the stars and everything else trace the filaments and structures that are defined by the dynamics of the dark matter."
"Filaments have been detected indirectly before using gravitational lensing, which allows us to see the distribution of the dark matter.
"Part of the ordinary matter has formed stars, which we can see, but another component is the gas. If the gas is very hot it emits X-rays and can be seen using X-ray telescopes. Other techniques to detect cooler gas now include the method described here."

Sebastiano Cantalupo, lead author of the article, and others have used the same method previously to look for glowing gas around quasars, and had seen dark galaxies.
"The dark galaxies are much denser and smaller parts of the cosmic web. In this new image, we also see dark galaxies, in addition to the much more diffuse and extended nebula," Dr Cantalupo, from UCSC, explained.
"Some of this gas will fall into galaxies, but most of it will remain diffuse and never form stars.

"The light from the quasar is like a flashlight beam, and in this case we were lucky that the flashlight is pointing toward the nebula and making the gas glow. We think this is part of a filament that may be even more extended than this, but we only see the part of the filament that is illuminated by the beamed emission from the quasar."

While the observations support the cosmological simulations' general picture of a cosmic web of filamentary structures, the researchers' results suggest around 10 times more gas in the nebula than predicted from typical computer simulations.
They postulate that this may simply be due to limitations in the spatial resolution of the current models, or, more interestingly perhaps, may be because the current grid-based models are missing some aspect of the underlying physics of how galaxies form, evolve, and interact with quasars.

"We now have very precise measurements of the amount of ordinary matter and dark matter in the Universe," said Prof Refregier.
"We can only observe a fraction of the ordinary matter, so the question is what form the remainder takes. These results may imply that a lot of it is in the form detected here."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25809967
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PostPosted: 20-01-2014 21:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is pretty amazing stuff. I'm just boggled!
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PostPosted: 17-03-2014 17:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cosmic inflation: 'Spectacular' discovery hailed
By Jonathan Amos, Science correspondent, BBC News

Scientists say they have extraordinary new evidence to support a Big Bang Theory for the origin of the Universe.
Researchers believe they have found the signal left in the sky by the super-rapid expansion of space that must have occurred just fractions of a second after everything came into being.
It takes the form of a distinctive twist in the oldest light detectable with telescopes.
The work will be scrutinised carefully, but already there is talk of a Nobel.

"This is spectacular," commented Prof Marc Kamionkowski, from Johns Hopkins University.
"I've seen the research; the arguments are persuasive, and the scientists involved are among the most careful and conservative people I know," he told BBC News.

The breakthrough was announced by an American team working on a project known as BICEP2.
This has been using a telescope at the South Pole to make detailed observations of a small patch of sky.
The aim has been to try to find a residual marker for "inflation" - the idea that the cosmos experienced an exponential growth spurt in its first trillionth, of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second.

Theory holds that this would have taken the infant Universe from something unimaginably small to something about the size of a marble. Space has continued to expand for the nearly 14 billion years since.

Inflation was first proposed in the early 1980s to explain some aspects of Big Bang Theory that appeared to not quite add up, such as why deep space looks broadly the same on all sides of the sky. The contention was that a very rapid expansion early on could have smoothed out any unevenness.

But inflation came with a very specific prediction - that it would be associated with waves of gravitational energy, and that these ripples in the fabric of space would leave an indelible mark on the oldest light in the sky - the famous Cosmic Microwave Background.

The BICEP2 team says it has now identified that signal. Scientists call it B-mode polarisation. It is a characteristic twist in the directional properties of the CMB. Only the gravitational waves moving through the Universe in its inflationary phase could have produced such a marker. It is a true "smoking gun".

"Detecting this signal is one of the most important goals in cosmology today. A lot of work by a lot of people has led up to this point," said Prof John Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and a leader of the BICEP2 collaboration.

The signal is reported to be quite a bit stronger than many scientists had dared hope. This simplifies matters, say experts. It means the more exotic models for how inflation worked are no longer tenable.

The results also constrain the energies involved - at 10,000 trillion gigaelectronvolts. This is consistent with ideas for what is termed Grand Unified Theory, the realm where particle physicists believe three of the four fundamental forces in nature can be tied together.
But by associating gravitational waves with an epoch when quantum effects were so dominant, scientists are improving their prospects of one day pulling the fourth force - gravity itself - into a Theory of Everything.

The sensational nature of the discovery means the BICEP2 data will be subjected to intense peer review.

It is possible for the interaction of CMB light with dust in our galaxy to produce a similar effect, but the BICEP2 group says it has carefully checked its data over the past three years to rule out such a possibility.

Other experiments will now race to try to replicate the findings. If they can, a Nobel Prize seems assured for this field of research.
Who this would go to is difficult to say, but leading figures on the BICEP2 project and the people who first formulated inflationary theory would be in the running.

"I can't tell you how exciting this is," said Dr Jo Dunkley, who has been searching through data from the European Planck space telescope for a B-mode signal.
"Inflation sounds like a crazy idea, but everything that is important, everything we see today - the galaxies, the stars, the planets - was imprinted at that moment, in less than a trillionth of a second. If this is confirmed, it's huge."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26605974
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 18-03-2014 22:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

Audio File:
Stephen Hawking 'wins inflation debate'
18 March 2014 Last updated at 09:34 GMT

Scientists say they have extraordinary new evidence to support a Big Bang Theory for the origin of the Universe.
Researchers believe they have found the signal left in the sky by the super-rapid expansion of space that must have occurred just fractions of a second after everything came into being.

The BBC's Tom Feilden discusses the significance of this new evidence, before Professor Stephen Hawking speaks to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, placing the latest discovery in the context of his previous work.

Professor Neil Turok also speaks to presenter Sarah Montague about a long-standing bet he has held with Mr Hawking, and how this latest discovery affects this.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26625791
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PostPosted: 08-04-2014 08:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dark matter hunt: LUX experiment reaches critical phase
By Rebecca Morelle, Global science correspondent, BBC News
[video]

The quest to find the most mysterious particles in the Universe is entering a critical phase, scientists say.
An experiment located in the bottom of a gold mine in South Dakota, US, could offer the best chance yet of detecting dark matter.
Scientists believe this substance makes up more than a quarter of the cosmos, yet no-one has ever seen it directly.
Early results from this detector, which is called LUX, confirmed it was the most powerful experiment of its kind.
In the coming weeks, it will begin a 300-day-long run that could provide the first direct evidence of these enigmatic particles.

Beneath the snow-covered Black Hills of South Dakota, a cage rattles and creaks as it begins to descend into the darkness.
For more than 100 years, this was the daily commute for the Homestake miners searching for gold buried deep in the rocks.
Today, the subterranean caverns and tunnels have been transformed into a high-tech physics laboratory.

Scientists now make the 3km (1-mile) journey underground in an attempt to solve one of the biggest mysteries in science.
"We've moved into the 21st Century, and we still do not know what most of the matter in the Universe is made of," says Prof Rick Gaitskell, from Brown University in Rhode Island, one of the principle investigators on Large Underground Xenon (LUX) experiment.

Scientists believe all of the matter we can see - planets, stars, dust and so on - only makes up a tiny fraction of what is actually out there.
They say about 85% of the matter in the Universe is actually dark matter, so called because it cannot be seen directly and nobody really knows what it is.
This has not stopped physicists coming up with ideas though. And the most widely supported theory is that dark matter takes the form of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles, or WIMPs.

Prof Gaitskell explains: "If one considers the Big Bang, 14bn years ago, the Universe was very much hotter than it is today and created an enormous number of particles.
"The hypothesis we are working with at the moment is that a WIMP was the relic left-over from the Big Bang, and in fact dominates over the regular material you and I are made of."

The presence of dark matter was first inferred because of its effect on galaxies like our own.
As these celestial systems rotate around their dense centre, all of the regular matter that they contain does not have enough mass to account for the gravity needed to hold everything together. Really, a spinning galaxy should fly apart.
Instead, scientists believe that dark matter provides the extra mass, and therefore gravity, needed to hold a galaxy together.

It is so pervasive throughout the Universe that researchers believe a vast number of WIMPs are streaming through the Earth every single second. Almost all pass through without a trace.
However, on very rare occasions, it is thought that dark matter particles do bump into regular matter - and it is this weak interaction that scientists are hoping to see.

The LUX detector is one of a number of physics experiments based in the Sanford Underground Research Facility that require a "cosmic quietness".
Prof Gaitskell says: "The purpose of the mile of rock above is to deal with cosmic rays. These are high-energy particles generated from outside our Solar System and also by the Sun itself, and these are very penetrating.
"If we don't put a mile of rock between us and space, we wouldn't be able to do this experiment."

Inside a cavern in the mine, the detector is situated inside a stainless steel tank that is two storeys high.
This is filled with about 300,000 litres (70,000 gallons) of ultra-purified water, which means it is free from traces of naturally occurring radioactive elements that could also interfere with the results.
"With LUX, we've worked extremely hard to make this the quietest verified place in the world," says Prof Gaitskell.

At the detector's heart is 370kg (815lb) of liquid xenon. This element has the unusual, but very useful, property of throwing out a flash of light when particles bump into it.
And detecting a series of these bright sparks could mean that dark matter has been found.
The LUX detector was first turned on last year for a 90-day test run. No dark matter was seen, but the results concluded that it was the most sensitive experiment of its kind.

Now, when the experiment is run for 300 days, Prof Gaitskell says these interactions might be detected once a month or every few months.
The team would have to see a significant number of interactions - between five and 10 - to suggest that dark matter has really been glimpsed. The more that are seen, the more statistical confidence there will be.

However, LUX is not the only experiment setting its sights on dark matter.
With the Large Hadron Collider, scientists are attempting to create dark matter as they smash particles together, and in space, telescopes are searching for the debris left behind as dark matter particles crash into each other
.

Mike Headley, director of the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority, which runs the Sanford laboratory, says a Nobel prize will very probably be in store for the scientists who first detect dark matter.
He says: "There are a handful of experiments located at different underground laboratories around the world that want to be the first ones to stand up and say 'we have discovered it', and so it is very competitive."

Finding dark matter would transform our understanding of the Universe, and usher in a new era in fundamental physics.
However, there is also a chance that it might not be spotted - and the theory of dark matter is wrong.
Dr Jim Dobson, based at the UK's University of Edinburgh and affiliated with University College London, says: "We are going into unknown territory. We really don't know what we're going to find.
"If we search with this experiment and then the next experiment, LUX Zeppelin, which is this much, much bigger version of LUX - if we didn't find anything then there would be a good chance it didn't exist.
He adds: "In some ways, showing that there was no dark matter would be a more interesting result than if there was. But, personally, I would rather we found some." Cool

Prof Carlos Frenk, a cosmologist from Durham University, says that many scientists have gambled decades of research on finding dark matter.
He adds: "If I was a betting man, I think LUX is the frontrunner. It has the sensitivity we need. Now, we just need the data.
"If they don't [find it], it means the dark matter is not what we think it is. It would mean I have wasted my whole scientific career Shocked - everything I have done is based on the hypothesis that the Universe is made of dark matter. It would mean we had better look for something else."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26819792
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PostPosted: 08-04-2014 09:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting, one small point one mile is about 1.7 km.
Quote:
Scientists now make the 3km (1-mile) journey underground in an attempt to solve one of the biggest mysteries in science.
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PostPosted: 08-04-2014 19:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ronson8 wrote:
Interesting, one small point one mile is about 1.7 km.
Quote:
Scientists now make the 3km (1-mile) journey underground in an attempt to solve one of the biggest mysteries in science.


It's a quantum mile. Smile
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PostPosted: 22-04-2014 08:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another Telegraph story I can't copy with this machine:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/10778507/Max-Tegmark-Its-goodbye-to-the-universe-hello-to-the-multiverse.html

Interesting article. The multiverse has been around for decades, but now, it seems, almost all physicists accept it as a precise and testable mathematical way of describing the world.

(No equations, etc, in the article, though, it's just text.)
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PostPosted: 22-04-2014 09:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

rynner2 wrote:
Another Telegraph story I can't copy with this machine:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/10778507/Max-Tegmark-Its-goodbye-to-the-universe-hello-to-the-multiverse.html

Interesting article. The multiverse has been around for decades, but now, it seems, almost all physicists accept it as a precise and testable mathematical way of describing the world.

(No equations, etc, in the article, though, it's just text.)


Heres a teaser.

Quote:
Max Tegmark: It’s goodbye to the universe – hello to the multiverse

A leading theoretical physicist is fast unravelling long-held beliefs on the worlds about us - with huge significance for the future of humankind
Data from a European Space Agency light map gives a revised reading for the age of the universe - about 80 million years older than previously thought

Data from a European Space Agency light map gives a revised reading for the age of the universe - about 80 million years older than previously thought Photo: AFP/GETTY

What is the universe made of? The ancient Greeks conceived of the “atom”, the indivisible unit of matter. Today’s physicists talk of smaller particles – quarks and electrons, neutrinos, Higgs Bosons and photons. Understand them – and the forces that hold everything together – and we may finally get a handle on what makes it all tick.

The trouble is, the more we drill down into the subatomic world, the more complexity we find. The bedrock of reality seems as elusive as ever. Perhaps, says a leading theoretical physicist, we do not live in a world of particles and forces at all – but of pure mathematics.

Max Tegmark, professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, claims that at the heart of everything are numbers. On one level this is uncontroversial; the whole point of physics is that we can use mathematics to describe the world around us.

But Tegmark goes further. His Mathematical Universe Hypothesis (MUH) states that not only does maths describe the world we live in, it is the world we live in. “If you grant that both space and everything in space is mathematical,” he says, “then it begins to sound less insane that everything is mathematical.”
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PostPosted: 23-04-2014 09:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

ramonmercado wrote:
rynner2 wrote:
Another Telegraph story I can't copy with this machine:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/10778507/Max-Tegmark-Its-goodbye-to-the-universe-hello-to-the-multiverse.html

Interesting article. The multiverse has been around for decades, but now, it seems, almost all physicists accept it as a precise and testable mathematical way of describing the world.


Heres a teaser.

Quote:
Max Tegmark: It’s goodbye to the universe – hello to the multiverse

Perhaps, says a leading theoretical physicist, we do not live in a world of particles and forces at all – but of pure mathematics.


Searcingh for something else entirely (not even anything scientific), I stumbled across a 2001 thread which examines similar ideas:

The Case For Infinity
http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1629&postdays=0&postorder=asc

On page two I posted this:
Quote:
Oh goody, yet another article on the universe as computation! This one is titled "God Is the Machine"
Quote:

The spooky nature of material things is not new. Once science examined matter below the level of fleeting quarks and muons, it knew the world was incorporeal. What could be less substantial than a realm built out of waves of quantum probabilities? And what could be weirder? Digital physics is both. It suggests that those strange and insubstantial quantum wavicles, along with everything else in the universe, are themselves made of nothing but 1s and 0s. The physical world itself is digital.
etc.


http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=138156#138156
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