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Thread: A scientific supernatural belief?

  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    Some people believe it is possible that gravity is caused by spacetime being warped into the 4th dimension. People will claim that this 'scientific' belief is supported by mathematical models. However, it seems unlikely science will ever prove or disprove that spacetime is a unified entity, or that a 4th dimension actually exists. So how is this belief significantly different than a belief that some god creates gravity?
    "Some people" = Einstein, mainstream physics for the last 100 years

    Spacetime is literally the term for a unified four-dimensional space. Three dimensional space is just called space.

    And it's supported by mathematical models that correctly predict real-world phenomena.

  2. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange View Post
    "Some people" = Einstein, mainstream physics for the last 100 years

    Spacetime is literally the term for a unified four-dimensional space. Three dimensional space is just called space.

    And it's supported by mathematical models that correctly predict real-world phenomena.
    Using your definition, ocean waves and sound waves occur in 4 dimensional spacetime. These waves can be described with no apparent need of a spacetime distortion to explain them. Why don't we treat gravitational waves the same way?

    From what I've read about Quantum Field Theory, some physicists believe gravity can be explained in terms of a gravitational field without any need for some kind of spacetime distortion. This may not be "mainstream physics" but it is an emerging field, and mainstream beliefs aren't always correct. It's too early to tell which, if any, of our current theories accurately describe reality. Relativity has a pretty good track record but has still fallen short of really nailing down 100 year old problems such as entanglement, wave/particle duality, and gravity. That's just my opinion.

  3. #63

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    Using your definition, ocean waves and sound waves occur in 4 dimensional spacetime. These waves can be described with no apparent need of a spacetime distortion to explain them.
    Yes.



    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    Why don't we treat gravitational waves the same way?
    Ocean waves travel through a material medium, while gravitational and light waves travel through spacetime itself as the medium. As such, the speed of propagation of ocean waves relative to an observer depends upon the speed of that observer relative to the ocean. A surfer "riding a wave" has temporarily established a relative velocity of nearly zero with respect to the ocean wave he's riding. A supersonic jet can outrun sound waves by exceeding the speed of sound through the air. In both cases, the speed of waves relative to their medium remains a constant, but the speed of waves relative to the observer changes if the observer moves through the medium.

    Spacetime itself is not material, and therefore it is not possible to define a velocity relative to spacetime. You could think of it as if every observer's speed through the medium of spacetime is always zero. So then, light (and gravity) always travel at the same speed relative to all observers, even if those observers are moving relative to one another. This necessitates that the observers must disagree on their measurements of time and of space.




    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    From what I've read about Quantum Field Theory, some physicists believe gravity can be explained in terms of a gravitational field without any need for some kind of spacetime distortion. This may not be "mainstream physics" but it is an emerging field, and mainstream beliefs aren't always correct. It's too early to tell which, if any, of our current theories accurately describe reality. Relativity has a pretty good track record but has still fallen short of really nailing down 100 year old problems such as entanglement, wave/particle duality, and gravity. That's just my opinion.
    Special relativity has been integrated with QFT. That is, QFT admits time and space distortions as described in this thread. QFT has not yet been integrated with general relativity however, which is the theory that best describes gravity. Relativity, being a classical theory of physics, does not in and of itself describe entanglement or Heinsenberg uncertainty at all. But QFT can't currently describe gravity: wiki. Both theories are, at best, incomplete descriptions of reality that have not yet been made compatible with one another.

    Finally, remember that all concepts — including theories of physics — originate from within. They are human creations. To think of any of them as true or correct requires placing faith in them, and if they don't happen to be right, that faith will hinder your ability to comprehend reality. Ironically, this is what happened to Einstein: he actually predicted the phenomenon of entanglement, but did so to show that the non-deterministic model of reality that QM embraces was ridiculous. In essence, he argued that "if reality is really probabilistic and not deterministic, then this crazy faster-than-light action-at-a-distance must occur, which is obviously absurd". The phenomenon wasn't verified to be real until much later. Einstein's faith in a deterministic reality — "God does not play dice!" — prevented him from advancing the field of quantum physics as he had the field of classical physics. The moral of the story is: if you're going to put faith into an idea, you'd better be sure that it's right, or else that faith will bite you… except then, the notion that there is any right answer to be found in the first place is itself a presumption that may be unwise to have too much faith in! ^.^

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    From what I've read about Quantum Field Theory, some physicists believe gravity can be explained in terms of a gravitational field without any need for some kind of spacetime distortion.
    Can you source this? Because everything I've read in physics a gravitational field is a synonym for spacetime distortion.



    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    This may not be "mainstream physics" but it is an emerging field, and mainstream beliefs aren't always correct. It's too early to tell which, if any, of our current theories accurately describe reality.
    Well yeah, but it's mainstream for a reason. There's more evidence for it than the alternatives. Accurately describing reality isn't a zero-sum game where it's either completely accurate or completely wrong-- in ANY system there WILL be paradoxes, it's the one with the LEAST contradictions, theoretically and experimentally, that is considered to describe most accurately.



    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    Relativity has a pretty good track record but has still fallen short of really nailing down 100 year old problems such as entanglement, wave/particle duality, and gravity.
    To tack on to what sapphyre said, general relativity is only detectable in really big things while quantum theory is concern with really, really small stuff. (hence the name) It's nearly impossible to overstate how ludicrously computationally complex it would be to model or track an object large enough to exhibit detectable gravitational behaviour at the quantum level. There's not even close to enough computers in the world to model relativistic action on enough discrete particles, and there are hard limits on how small of things you can observe without introducing interference, a problem that's multiplied a billion-fold if you were to try to look the entirety of a large object on a quantum scale. But the bottom line is that that are forces that eclipse the force of gravity thousands of times over at the quantum level. General relativity isn't the droid you're looking for to explain entanglement, but that doesn't mean it is incorrect by that virtue alone.



    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    That's just my opinion.
    I'm turnt tf up rn so forgive me if I sound like a tactless dick, but why endeavour to have an opinion on something you don't really know about? Be interested in it all you want, but imho opinions and science go together like oil and water.

  5. #65

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    Practical application of the quantum and other unified force, unified field, whatever gets put in for the F part of the title, include maneuvering drones from a base near Omaha Nebraska to South Africa or New Guinea or northern Europe is accomplished using a formula started as a parlor game in Hollywood California, Degrees of separation between one person randomly selected and the cinema-television actor Kevin Bacon. Then the numbers in the calculations to use (without necessarily knowing the math) swarm theory. Which birds like starlings and insects like grasshoppers/locusts beating their wings synchronized, and if a predator dives in and scooping a few birds or locusts the synchro effect falls back in nanoseconds to the original configuration of the swarm. Or if part of the swarm swerves around an obstacle to the right or left, up or down, in sync. And you know they're not consciously manipulated. Crickets chirping in sync over many cubic kilometers. The impossible is done, over and over.
    In the early 90s an experiment is reported to send an email from Oxford England to Auckland New Zealand and it was instantly received. The impossible because under Special Relativity the speed of light is the limit. Except it wasn't. Theories which seemed and still seem to be diametrically opposed, mutually exclusive, give the same result.

    The same paradigm allows almost autonomous navigation in crowded airspace, in mountains, wind differential and without having a microsecond of the distance per time.
    Even at the speed of light. It shouldn't work But It Does. Flash to the civilization which brought us binary and decimal and hex math and have a religious belief that the center of each unit of mass, space, time and energy (like consciousness) exists at the same point in the universe, perfectly in sync. Works for wave or particle. Religious or atheist. The evidence so far shows a shared consciousness at every point in the cosmos. People in worship seems to have the same dynamics and if it can't be understood it also IS. If science ever shows a pure pattern of existence that works in all conditions it will still work.

    Einstein, in his attempt at Unified Field just up and said "can't be done" and quit. That was completely opposite to his usual obsessive pattern of understanding. My thought, without any evidence than that, is that he had seen what was done with the Relativity equations, realized who would have sole possession of that knowledge and would kill anybody else who brought fire from heaven (Prometheus) and they would realize that knowing how existence is held together would also have the knowledge to take it apart, and across the cosmos. People who look on everything as a potential gun. And this would be the biggest baddest gun in the history of all existence. And they would use it.

    It's easy to believe because he had some obvious pacifist tendencies. Sure there's cons as well as pros equally spread. But if it's resolved in our lifetimes, we'll know about it.

  6. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange
    Can you source this? Because everything I've read in physics a gravitational field is a synonym for spacetime distortion.
    The book I'm currently reading is - Fields of Color: The theory that escaped Eintstein, by Rodney A. Brooks, who the book claims has a Phd in physics from Harvard.

    Two of the many things Brooks claims Quantum Field theory has accomplished are :

    "In QFT (and in general relativity) gravity is a force field, not curvature of space-time."
    And
    "QFT (and general relativity) explains gravity waves as oscillations in this field".



    ...but why endeavour to have an opinion on something you don't really know about?
    Everybody here is offering opinions on things we don't know about because it's something some of us like to do. The physicists themselves don't "know" about these things, either, but they do know about experimental results that defy human logic. Fortunately, some of them understand the layman's interest in these things and are willing to try to explain them, as much as possible, in nontechnical terms.

    I first read about Quantum Mechanics 40 years ago and, even though a number of predicted particles have been confirmed since then, the 120 year old 'paradoxes' still remain to be explained. It seems like expanding our knowledge about atoms raises more questions than answers. The popular belief that physicists are in agreement over which theory best describes reality is false.

    Things I like* about QFT are**:
    QFT explains the paradoxes of special relativity ([as] a natural consequence of the way fields behave).
    QFT is compatible with general relativity (although there are calculational difficulties).
    In QFT time is different from space (in accord with our natural perception).

    * "like" is a scientific term that indicates a reasonable degree of accuracty
    ** According to Brooks' book.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Quote Originally Posted by LittleSissieJolie
    Then the numbers in the calculations to use (without necessarily knowing the math) swarm theory. Which birds like starlings and insects like grasshoppers/locusts beating their wings synchronized, and if a predator dives in and scooping a few birds or locusts the synchro effect falls back in nanoseconds to the original configuration of the swarm. Or if part of the swarm swerves around an obstacle to the right or left, up or down, in sync. And you know they're not consciously manipulated.
    So, going by this, the answer to "If all you friends jumped off a cliff would you jump too?" should be - YES. (Actually, a good argument could be made for this)

    Your post made my head smoke, but thanks.

  7. #67

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    okay,
    no.1: No. Every person on the planet that accepts science knows this to be true. It's displacement of spacetime, and we know how this works because of boats in water. if a boat is placed in a lake, it will displace water away from the boat. It's not just math that backs this up, it's the exact same thing but with dark matter.

    no.2: Spacetime is a singular thing. Einstein proved this to be true when he tested moving objects speeding up time. This distorts spacetime, to compensate for the speed.

    no.3: I don't know exactly how scientists have proven other dimensions to exist, but they more than likely have to. Beings in a dimension can percieve their current reality, as well as the lower dimensions. But it is difficult, if not impossible to understand higher dimensions. This is because their fundamental structure relies upon measurements that don't even exist in our world. Not to mention that people now understand a reflection in a... mirror, say, to be a reflection across 4d space.

    no.4: Believing in something with not even a shred of factual evidence beind it is giving up.

    no.5: Yes, actually, you did create a 4d structure. It being digital means nothing. The digital world is just a supercompressed version of the analogue world. Even if the digital world isn't REALLY real, you still proved it exists because you created a 3d representation of it.

    check your facts.
    Last edited by NothingToSeeHere1; 19-Jan-2018 at 03:44. Reason: missing info, wording

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by NothingToSeeHere1
    no.1: No. Every person on the planet that accepts science knows this to be true. It's displacement of spacetime, and we know how this works because of boats in water. if a boat is placed in a lake, it will displace water away from the boat. It's not just math that backs this up, it's the exact same thing but with dark matter.
    Water is more or less noncompressable so it needs to be displaced to make room for an object placed in it. We have no reason to believe space is the same. For years many people believed that empty space was a vacuum.

    Physicists now question if there is such a thing as "empty" space. Some believe fields are a property of space and exist everywhere throughout the universe. But even if space is full of these fields it still doesn't need to be displaced to make room for matter. The fields would exist in matter the same as they exist in space.



    no.2: Spacetime is a singular thing. Einstein proved this to be true when he tested moving objects speeding up time. This distorts spacetime, to compensate for the speed.
    I've never heard of Einstein "proving" anything, and I don't believe he conducted his own tests. Others have conducted tests that support his theories but do not prove them.


    no.4: Believing in something with not even a shred of factual evidence beind it is giving up.
    Quantum field theories use basically the same evidence that is used to support relativity or quantum mechanics.


    check your facts.
    I did. They're all still fat and sassy.

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    The book I'm currently reading is - Fields of Color: The theory that escaped Eintstein, by Rodney A. Brooks, who the book claims has a Phd in physics from Harvard.

    Two of the many things Brooks claims Quantum Field theory has accomplished are :

    "In QFT (and in general relativity) gravity is a force field, not curvature of space-time."
    And
    "QFT (and general relativity) explains gravity waves as oscillations in this field".
    Oh we're doing quantum field theory? Lol, I missed that. Blame klonopin and ketel one.

    Here's where I step out of my depth a bit, having not read the book, but I feel like it's a little bit of a misleading argument to make on the author's behalf that in general relativity gravity is a force field and therefore not curvature of spacetime. In general relativity gravity is described as fictitious force, an analogue for the curvature of spacetime doing its thing converting that potential energy into kinetic. Now, I see how he got there, seeing as it's mathematically similar to electromagnetic fields (i.e. the F in EFE). However, being they're modeled in a similar way mathematically does not necessarily imply that they describe the exact same phenomena, (That's on some UFT shit) and does not refute the idea of gravity arising from curved spacetime. Have you ever heard the joke about the topology professor taking a bite out of his coffee cup? Same idea.

    Not being intimately versed in QFT I'm not really at liberty to go into a bunch of detail, but from where I stand it's hard to say that QFT has really accomplished those claims yet, given that nobody's found any field quanta for gravity. In fact, this is the first I've heard of curved spacetime and quantum field gravity being necessarily incompatible. Going back to your earlier point about four dimensions though, all quantum field theory work I've read ends up in Minkowski space at the end of the day. Curvature of spacetime causing gravity or not it doesn't argue that spacetime isn't a unified four-dimensional entity.



    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    Everybody here is offering opinions on things we don't know about because it's something some of us like to do.
    Eh, I feel a dick reading that now. I channeled too much of my anger at the internet phenomenon of people opining on subjects that they have don't have the background to contextualize on about how the status quo/common knowledge/expert consensus is wrong into you (essentially, aggravation at speaking from mount stupid) and I apologize. Still, I feel like the answers to a lot of issues are out there already.



    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    The physicists themselves don't "know" about these things, either, but they do know about experimental results that defy human logic.

    Fortunately, some of them understand the layman's interest in these things and are willing to try to explain them, as much as possible, in nontechnical terms.
    Yeah, but pop physics is pretty much pop psychology for nerds-- fun conversational fodder at a dinner party but not very scientifically useful. Physicists themselves have the background knowledge to contextualize these experiments into the wider discipline, whereas us mortals generally should refrain from extrapolating beyond the stated results and our areas of expertise if we want to be scientific about it.



    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    I first read about Quantum Mechanics 40 years ago and, even though a number of predicted particles have been confirmed since then, the 120 year old 'paradoxes' still remain to be explained.
    As I said in part of the post you didn't quote: "Accurately describing reality isn't a zero-sum game where it's either completely accurate or completely wrong-- in ANY system there WILL be paradoxes, it's the one with the LEAST contradictions, theoretically and experimentally, that is considered to describe most accurately." The bit underlined is a mathematical fact that you really can't get around.

    Also, damn, I thought you were in your mid-to-late-twenties. No wonder I always found your opinions to unusually well-founded and thought out. :P (That and I might be biased as I'm basically a 60-year-old man in 23-year-old body.)



    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    It seems like expanding our knowledge about atoms raises more questions than answers.
    That's kinda just how knowledge works in general though.



    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    The popular belief that physicists are in agreement over which theory best describes reality is false.
    Physicists may be still be working out whether the Copenhagen interpretation is at all useful and argue the merits of Quantum Bayesianism over Objective Collapse, but that doesn't mean they're not in broad agreement over a large set of facts, such as that reality has at least four dimensions and that general relativity is at least as good of a description of reality as Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation.



    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    Things I like* about QFT are**:
    QFT explains the paradoxes of special relativity ([as] a natural consequence of the way fields behave).
    QFT is compatible with general relativity (although there are calculational difficulties).
    General relativity is curved spacetime though. I'm really struggling with how you figure it's compatible with Brooks' QFT while simultaneously saying that it's two biggest concepts are incompatible with it.



    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter View Post
    In QFT time is different from space (in accord with our natural perception).
    You missed me on that one. Explain how it's different?

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orange
    Also, damn, I thought you were in your mid-to-late-twenties. No wonder I always found your opinions to unusually well-founded and thought out. :P (That and I might be biased as I'm basically a 60-year-old man in 23-year-old body.)
    Many famous physicists made their greatest achievements in their mid-twenties. You have the advantage on me there.


    General relativity is curved spacetime though. I'm really struggling with how you figure it's compatible with Brooks' QFT while simultaneously saying that it's two biggest concepts are incompatible with it.
    I'm not qualified to explain it. I'm simply pointing out what a seemingly qualified physicist has written. No doubt there are differing hypothesis within QFT.

    I never even heard of QFT until Tiny had me look at this YouTube video last year. David Tong gives an entertaining lecture. I know entertainment doesn't equal science, but I like QFT on an intuitive level despite not understanding the math or science behind it.

    I personally don't believe people will ever be able to adequately describe the ultimate buildong blocks of the universe with words or formulas, but I'm still fascinated by what scientists are saying.



    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter
    In QFT time is different from space (in accord with our natural perception).


    Quote Originally Posted by Orange
    You missed me on that one. Explain how it's different?
    The difference is that I can easily change my position in three dimensional space, but I have no control over my 'position' in time. This is my "natural perception" anyway.

    Also, "time" is a much more difficult subject to understand on a philosophical level. I find it difficult to think of time as being the same as a spatial dimension. I have a rough understanding of what 4 dimensional space would be like, and can see the possibility of our universe somehow being curved in 4 dimensional space if such a thing exists, but I would picture it as being 4D + time. That's just me though.

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