Dear Professor Greene

Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,145Member
edited August 2016 in Totally Not Guitars
Dear Professor Greene,  Having watched your documentary on Quantum Mechanics (most enjoyable) I have an idea (undoubtedly a distillation or misunderstanding of everything I've read on the subject so far): What if every possible outcome on the macro (human) scale is not played out in parallel universes but is actually played out simultaneously in this universe - an infinite number of parallel histories within this realm ? The observer can only see his own history as an infinite number of versions branch off into every possible direction. We accept that there is Spacetime - why not Metime ?  (Me-time - where we/me are not the same person from moment to moment just as space is not the same space from moment to moment.)
 This would (I think) explain the slit experiment whereby observation seems to fix the position of an otherwise locationally vague particle. It seems preposterous that just looking at something could set its position.  I posit the following instead: By the time the observer sees the particle its position is already historic (the time the light takes to travel to the laboratory sensor) therefore the observer has not affected the position of the particle but 'chosen' the historic position from which to view the particle - the same observer (but in another history) would see the particle in a different place which would accord to an aggregate of probable quantum outcomes.  Each observer (the same person, only different in different histories - in the same way as space is identified by its location in time) is unaware of the other as the histories take different branches.  Would there be too many observers (every sentient being in the Universe) fixing the position of too many things ?  Well this would give us some idea of the scale of infinity and the infinite number of outcomes that are needed to bring us the perfect picture of 'Now'.  Entangled particles (large distances apart) are observed to spin in unison with each other - choosing the position of spin of one, therefore, does not need distance to be a factor in determining the position of spin of the other as it is the history that is being chosen (not the state of the particle) and history applies to the whole universe and not to close proximity. The effect of choosing history rather than position is, of course, instantaneous (infinitely faster than the speed of light) regardless of distance.  Everything that can happen does happen at the sub-atomic scale... what if the same is so for the macro scale in this very universe, only that we are too close up to 'reality' (whatever that may be !) to see it ?  Would a gigantic observer (a universe sized person, the same scale to us as we are to sub atomic particles) see us behaving in quantum ways and not as we see ourselves ? I apologise if I have missed something in your book, The Fabric of the Cosmos - I enjoyed this very much too.  Kind regards  Kevin ----- (England) PS, I gather you must get lots of fan mail. I promise not to write uninvited again. Please don't feel the need to write back but I would like to know if I've been of help.  

Comments

  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,145Member

    No. Do these videos disprove my Timesausage theory ?  I'll explain if you wish. 

  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,698Member

    I can't quite bring myself to believe in the multi-verse, if that's the right phrase, despite the other Brian (Cox) seeming to think it's the most likely answer to a question I don't recall (maybe which is most likely: Derek will be able to play The Claw or Multi-verses exist?). I mean, for every milli-second of my life are we saying another version of me and my world springs into existence somewhere? And the same for everyone else? Within a second or two infinity would be filled up...

  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,057Member, Moderator
    Originally Posted by Derek_R:

    I can't quite bring myself to believe in the multi-verse, if that's the right phrase, despite the other Brian (Cox) seeming to think it's the most likely answer to a question I don't recall (maybe which is most likely: Derek will be able to play The Claw or Multi-verses exist?). I mean, for every milli-second of my life are we saying another version of me and my world springs into existence somewhere? And the same for everyone else? Within a second or two infinity would be filled up...

    What makes you think Infinity is not filled up?

  • BryBry Posts: 652Member

    If it could be filled up it wouldn't be infinite. Just very big.

  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,698Member

    I know infinity goes on forever, but if there's also bigger infinity, surely the smaller infinity would struggle to contain the larger infinity. That's if my understand of string theory is correct.

  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,145Member

    To your first question, Derek - YES. 

     

    You can visualise infinity and just how infinite it is by looking at a ball. Now imagine going to it's centre - go the the centre of that. Next go slightly to the left of the centre of that... and then to the centre of that. My point here is not just to go smaller and smaller but that just as you think you've reached a centre you can go to the left of it and then venture off to another centre. The fabric of the universe reduces down to a finite size according to physics - but the number of options for centring goes to infinity ... AND BEYOND !

     

    The Universe is expanding. Some call it The Big Bang, others call it the Big Inflation. 

     

    I call it The Big Suck. That is, as space inflates all matter is drawn out into the newly created vacuum of space. 

     

     

  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,698Member

    It's been a while since I read Brian Greene's book but I recall the end of it making me feel quite melancholy for a future many billions of years hence when the universe, which (IIRC) is expanding faster than the speed of light will eventually mean we will never be able to travel anywhere else (in space - it's all moving away from us) but neither will we be able to see any of it (it's all moving away faster than light) and so our little planet / solar system will be suspended in the middle of nowhere, all alone. Forever. It makes me thinks of some gigs I've done in the Forest of Dean.

  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,145Member

    I was at Cinderford this weekend... 

     

    Aaaargh !

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member
    Originally Posted by Kevin Peat:

    You can visualise infinity and just how infinite it is by looking at a ball. Now imagine going to it's centre - go the the centre of that. Next go slightly to the left of the centre of that... and then to the centre of that. I call it The Big Suck. That is, as space inflates all matter is drawn out into the newly created vacuum of space. 

     

     

    Actually you can't truly visualise infinity it would take your entire life and then you wouldn't be done.  If you lived forever you still would never be done.  But you can't live forever (see my response to Derek below).  You can only try to explain it and then use "..." or "etc" as implied in your note above.  I'm not being picky I have a point.  My point being (philosophical, not scientific) that I believe the human mind's complete inability to truly comprehend infinity other than at a conceptual level is one of the causes of religions to emerge.  Superstitious beliefs are easier to comprehend than infinity.

     

    Originally Posted by Derek_R:

    It's been a while since I read Brian Greene's book but I recall the end of it making me feel quite melancholy for a future many billions of years hence when the universe, which (IIRC) is expanding faster than the speed of light will eventually mean we will never be able to travel anywhere else (in space - it's all moving away from us) but neither will we be able to see any of it (it's all moving away faster than light) and so our little planet / solar system will be suspended in the middle of nowhere, all alone. Forever. It makes me thinks of some gigs I've done in the Forest of Dean.

    Our sun is about halfway through it's life Derek.  Another 14 billions years and it'll head into it's red giant phase and subsume the solar system.  That'll occur before your scenario.  Of course, if you think our race will survive to see that you're actually more of an optimist than me.  One theory suggests that beyond that (like trillions of years) everything will run out of energy, even at the sub atomic level.  Everything is inert, effectively nothing exists.  Maybe that is the end of infinity?  But by definition, linking back to my comment to Kev above, you couldn't live to see it.  That to me is even more depressing than your solar system alone scenario.  Of course alternative theories exist, the big collapse being one of them (i.e big bang in reverse - it's all a cyclical event).  Either way I fully support every penny, cent, euro, yen, whatever, spent anywhere in the world on pure scientific and space research.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • The23rdmanThe23rdman Posts: 1,560Member

    Isn't MeTime another word for solipsism? I don't eat sausages any more. 

     

    If I've missed the point it's probably because I only read a third of it. I'm getting old. 

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    I agree 23rd.  Kev's theory as I understood it (maybe not correctly) relies on sentience (i.e. "Me"time).  Whereas most other parallel whatever theories are universal and independent of individuality with the "observer" merely being a convenient descriptor.

     

    Of course, I am actually the only sentient being in existence.  You all only exist in my thoughts and imagination.  Therefore maybe Kev's theory is correct and just bubbling up from my sub-conscious as part of my concept of self.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,698Member

    Yep, fully aware that the sun will one day envelope us all in its dying last hurrah. Don't they reckon the only things to survive will be Keith Richards and cockroaches?

     

    But I still have this sad vision of a universe where everything is so far apart and still expanding that every tiny rock in space is all alone.

     

     

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    And possibly Joan Collins - one more facelift and she'll have a beard.

     

    Conceptually I quite like your scenario of everything so spread out nothing can interact.  It'll be a bit difficult to start a war.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,163Member
    Originally Posted by Kevin Peat:

    No. Do these videos disprove my Timesausage theory ?  I'll explain if you wish. 

    I have no idea, only posted those links because they are good (IMO) and about the same subject area. There is a bit re entanglement, where they talk about how Einstein couldn't accept the instantaneous "communication" thing, and instead proposed that the spin (or whatever property) or the two entangled particles was actually already fixed, and we just don't know what it is. And then they explain why he was proved wrong about that, but I don't think that's necessarily what you are talking about.

     

    Anyway, go on if you like, I'm game - explain Timesausage theory! image

  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,145Member

    Metime is exactly the same as Spacetime. Except that space has ME in it. 

     

    You can define Space as a volume of space. Scientists go further and say "Ah. But are we talking about a geographically fixed space at 12.00hrs or that 'same' space at 23.00hrs ? They are not the same place." and I would agree. 

     

    Time is like a flicker book. Each page represents a moment which is separated and distinct from all others. The space at 12.00 is on a different page to the space at 23.00. They join together to look like they flow and are whole. A person inside of the space-time continuum would see themselves walking down the street in a series of moves. A person outside of that continuum would see the whole of history at once - the person walking down the street would resemble a sausage as their line of motion is melded together in the direction of travel - hence my Timesausage theory. (In reality the whole Cosmos and Earth's history would look like a load of blobs)

     

    Going back to Spacetime and our newly thought up Metime. If we extend this Spacetime to a person living in it - and we say that space at 12.00hrs is not the same space at 23.00hrs then is the person occupying that space the same person too ?  I would suggest not following the previous line of thought. 

     

    Back to the flicker book - what if everything (we included) is nothing but a series of recreations of the universe moment to moment made innevitable because of the sheer amount of infinity and the cosmic levels of probability that that creates ?

     

    Reg - I'm not trying to show you what infinity looks like. I'm just giving an example which proves it exists. At least in the number of directions we can take on the voyage to the fabric of the cosmos - there really is no limit. I only choose it as an example.

     

    There may be an infinite amount of stuff out there - but there doesn't have to be for my theory to hold. What counts is probability combined with infinite possibility which is why we are here - we couldn't NOT exist. 

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    I know you weren't try to show what infinity looks like - I was just using your comment as a springboard to one of my own philosophical thoughts, hence why I deliberately said I wasn't being picky

     

    I like your flicker book analogy in one way, and I don't like it in another.

     

    The way I like it, which is different from how you use the analogy, is it can illustrate that time might not be constant - you can speed up the flicker book and slow it down when you are the observer from outside the continuum.  However, I have issues with the concept of time not existing in some linear form (albeit faster or slower, or more variable, or even direction) outside the continuum whereby all of history could be observed at once.  The flicker book could still only be observed a page at a time, no?

     

    The other thing I don't like about it, mainly because I'm so literal, is that time is actually continuous, we merely segment it into slices for convenience.  Time slices as in your flicker book example is a similar discussion (actually the same discussion) as infinity - you can never drill down to a lowest denominator of time because it is continuous, albeit the rate may or may not vary.  As I said, I'm being literal!

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • The23rdmanThe23rdman Posts: 1,560Member

    It's all meaningless anyway. Spacetime is always Metime because there is only one here. 

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member

    Prove it

  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,145Member

    Reg - Then why was Einstein so keen to meld space with time to create Spacetime ? 

     

    This was a way making each moment in space distinct from others. 

     

    Time is not just a division - it is a dimension. You want to find a friend ? You say:

     

    I'll meet you at place X along, Y up and Z in .... at (insert time here)

     

    Get any of those wrong (particularly time) and you may as well be in a different place - essentially because you ARE. The locations in time are on different pages like chapters. 

     

    I edited the former btw since you read it. 

     

     

  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,145Member

    Reg - you know I can't prove it. 

     

    Hey ! It's time I wasn't here. I've lots of jobs to do and a meeting to get to. 

     

    *Star Trek teleporter sound*

  • The23rdmanThe23rdman Posts: 1,560Member
    Originally Posted by Reg Sox:

    Prove it

    Some things are beyond the mind. image

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member
    Originally Posted by Kevin Peat:

    Reg - Then why was Einstein so keen to meld space with time to create Spacetime ? 

     

    This was a way making each moment in space distinct from others. 

     

    Time is not just a division - it is a dimension. You want to find a friend ? You say:

     

    I'll meet you at place X along, Y up and Z in .... at (insert time here)

     

    Get any of those wrong (particularly time) and you may as well be in a different place - essentially because you ARE. The locations in time are on different pages like chapters. 

     

    I edited the former btw since you read it. 

     

     

    Sorry, I think you misinterpreted my response regarding the flicker book (I did say I was being literal).  I fully subscribe to Einstein's notion of space time.  It was the literal interpretation of the flicker book I was questioning.  Einstein was referring to a theoretical notion of a specific point in time.  In reality, because time is continuous you can't actually represent it in any physical way, like your flicker book.  In your flicker book, however short the exposure time is there will be blurring because time is continuous.  Take a photograph of of a lump of iron an the floor.  Even with no camera shake the object isn't still  - zoom in far enough (if the resolution will allow) and because time is constant, however short the exposure, sub atomic particles that make up the atoms of the lump of iron will be blurred because time is constant. 

     

    Sorry, I know what you're getting at with the flicker book example, I'm just being anally literal.  Or just generally being an arse - your choice, I'll accept your decision as binding

     

    Originally Posted by Kevin Peat:

    Reg - you know I can't prove it. 

     

    Hey ! It's time I wasn't here. I've lots of jobs to do and a meeting to get to. 

     

    *Star Trek teleporter sound*

    In this case I was responding to 23rd's comment immediately above that response.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member
    Originally Posted by The23rdman:
    Originally Posted by Reg Sox:

    Prove it

    Some things are beyond the mind.

    Perhaps now, but not forever.  Through putting forward theories and then trying to disprove them (pure scientists don't try to prove theories, they try to disprove them by testing all other scenarios), then we can learn.  If we don't do that it's just religion.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member
    Originally Posted by Derek_R:

    Hey, I'd volunteer.  Beats a trip to a Swiss clinic when the time comes (can't afford that now since they've unpegged the Franc).

     

    Maybe that's where all the missing matter in the Universe is - all tied up in wormholes.

  • The23rdmanThe23rdman Posts: 1,560Member
    Originally Posted by Reg Sox:
    Originally Posted by The23rdman:
    Originally Posted by Reg Sox:

    Prove it

    Some things are beyond the mind.

    Perhaps now, but not forever.  Through putting forward theories and then trying to disprove them (pure scientists don't try to prove theories, they try to disprove them by testing all other scenarios), then we can learn.  If we don't do that it's just religion.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

    That's what I'd expect a mind to say. 

     

  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,698Member

    I have a few plectrums that have vanished into thin air. Now I know where to go and look for them.

  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,057Member, Moderator

    I am all that exists and only in my mind. The rest of you are just figments of my mind, like dreams passing by. There is no universe, alternate or otherwise. Just me. Nowhere.

    And all this talk is confusing me and preventing me from playing my new guitar, which also only exists in my mind. Why I can conjure up all you talented musicians in my mind, but that same mind has me playing crap, I don't know. If there was anyone else in my nowhere I'd ask them. But there is no one. Not even me.

  • Reg SoxReg Sox Posts: 3,121Member
    Originally Posted by Reg Sox:

    Of course, I am actually the only sentient being in existence.  You all only exist in my thoughts and imagination.  Therefore maybe Kev's theory is correct and just bubbling up from my sub-conscious as part of my concept of self.

     

    Cheers, Reg.

    Sorry Jocko, see my post from 5 hours ago.  I made you think that.

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