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Author Topic: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)  (Read 33409 times)

Telgin

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #585 on: January 16, 2020, 09:26:39 am »

Yeah, I was thinking that first of all, it would be fun and interesting if light still traveled at 300,000,000 m/s, but that was decoupled from the speed of cause and effect such that it was possible to outrun light.  Or presumably gravity, electromagnetism and so on.  Maybe light's speed was relative to its emitter speed such that there is no exact speed for a photon, meaning that there's no red and blueshift but instead lasers and light in general just travel at different speeds.

And the knock on effects become profound and too much to consider.  Like, if E=MC^2 isn't true, what is the new rule?  Do you just not have any mass to energy conversion?  That breaks literally everything in our universe, but it's interesting to think about things like nuclear reactions no longer producing energy.

The suggestions earlier to just allow FTL travel and communications with some basic rules laid down that I follow without explaining them is the best approach.  As long as things follow naturally from the deviations I lay down, that's probably as good as I can make it.
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Reelya

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #586 on: January 16, 2020, 10:25:17 am »

You can take any equation that has "c" as a component and consider the implications as c approaches infinity as a limit. For example "E=MC2" implies that in a universe with an infinite speed of light you could extract infinite energy from a finite amount of mass, and the characters in the story could discuss this "known fact", which powers their space ship.
It wouldn't make sense to do that, since you wouldn't have that equation in a universe where c is not finite. You probably wouldn't have people either, come to think of it.
It's not like the equations of physics exist by themselves, like some platonic ideals. They represent something about the workings of the world. The finite speed of light pops up in Maxwell's equations, so it says something about the workings of everything involving EM interactions, from propagation of signals to chemistry. That there is a universal speed limit is also telling us something about cause and effect relationships between events in space-time, and about the evolution of the entire universe.
These are fundamental rules that make the world what it is and getting rid of them is a sure way to unmake it completely.

I actually did think of that, but remember that Special Relativity was completely developed as a thought-experiment. The equations come out of the assumptions. Someone in a universe where it's wrong could still do the thought experiment and come up with the equations. So, you get E=MC2 if you assume a finite speed of light that's invariant. Someone in the story could laugh at whoever came up with that idea that's completely wrong in their universe, but correct in ours. For example, their version of Maxwell's equations could have proven that the speed of light is invariant in all frames of reference, and their version of Einstein could have worked out Special Relativity from that. But then the scientific debate would have been whether the speed of light is infinite (instantaneous) or finite, with the consequences that the equation E=MC2, which is true in both universes implies you can build perpetual motion machines or somesuch in their universe. That aspect of the story could revolve around them discussing that since the speed of light was first proven to be invariant then naturally it all made sense when it was found to be infinite, and how silly the universe would be if the "finite speed of light, yet somehow invariant to all observers" people had their way. I mean, it wouldn't be hard to write a non-relativity universe story where they say the same thing you are saying, and say that a universe where relativity is true is to silly for words and how could any living beings possibly live in a universe where time and space were so distorted.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 10:37:54 am by Reelya »
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Magistrum

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #587 on: January 16, 2020, 04:26:17 pm »

Will Any Crap We Put into Graphene Increase Its Electrocatalytic Effect?

"It has become almost a paradigm that the once fantastic graphene for electrocatalysis is not so fantastic anymore and that we need to add something to it to make it great again."

Also, they actually used crap in their demonstration of the truth of their position. Bravo, good sirs and/or madams.

I thought it was a joke. It works.
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Iduno

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #588 on: January 20, 2020, 01:51:05 pm »

Will Any Crap We Put into Graphene Increase Its Electrocatalytic Effect?

"It has become almost a paradigm that the once fantastic graphene for electrocatalysis is not so fantastic anymore and that we need to add something to it to make it great again."

Also, they actually used crap in their demonstration of the truth of their position. Bravo, good sirs and/or madams.

I thought it was a joke. It works.

It is grade A trolling, and I love it.
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Reelya

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #589 on: March 07, 2020, 08:09:24 am »

https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/03/paper-that-claimed-the-sun-caused-global-warming-gets-retracted/

"Paper that claimed the Sun caused global warming gets retracted"

Boiling this down, the paper claimed the sub wobbles around due to the gravitational effect of the major planets, and this would cause it to be either further or closer from Earth, and that supposedly accounts for all the global warming.

But then other physicists noted that the Earth also wobbles around due to the same gravitational sources, and they showed, with detailed simulations, how that completely neutralized the so-called effect. The paper's author then responded:

Quote
“Oh dear, You suggest that the Earth does follow in its orbit this solar inertial motion? And its orbit is not stable? You have to have a very vivid imagination assuming that the Earth moves like a drunken men...[sic]”

So, author publishes a "The Sun is wobbly" theory, and others point that the Earth's motion is also wobbly, and she smacks them down for their fanciful "Earth is wobbly" theory.

EDIT: BTW reading the comments now, this is apparently an actual quote from the Astrophysics professor who authored said paper:

Quote
Currently, the sun moves closer to the Earth during summers and autumns in the Northern hemisphere. This is why we feel higher temperatures in the summers and autumns and colder one in the winter and springs. In the Southern Hemisphere the situation vice versa, of course.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2020, 08:21:57 am by Reelya »
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Il Palazzo

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #590 on: March 07, 2020, 08:17:50 am »

I remember that paper and the discussion on PubPeer around it (the last hyperlink in the article sends to it). The author has acted childishly throughout.
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McTraveller

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #591 on: March 07, 2020, 02:30:40 pm »

From time to time I ponder quantum mechanics.  The one thing I can't wrap my head around is - what "evaluates" the probabilities of wavefunctions?  Or perhaps phrased differently, in what space is the probability distributed?

What I mean is this:  when you are rolling a six-sided die, the rolling and settling "samples" the probability distribution.  But if the entire universe just consists of dice - what is varying? How would the dice "evaluate" each other?  So when we say "the probability of finding a particle at this location with this momentum is X" - what "die" is being rolled to determine if we see it or not?

I've tried to come up with a thought experiment and can't really think of a good one. Closest I can think of is kind of a classical analog: you have a wheel that is spinning, and on it there is a dot.  The probability of the dot being in a given position is equal at all points on the circumference (assuming you don't know the time at which the spinning started).  The "die" rolled is "the time the sample was taken."  If that sounds too deterministic, take instead a chaotic system like a double pendulum: you can again assign probabilities of finding the pendulum at a given position, but the "die" is "when" you take it.

So what is the "die" that is rolled when we are taking quantum measurements, from which the probability is sampled?
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Trekkin

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #592 on: March 07, 2020, 03:27:41 pm »

From time to time I ponder quantum mechanics.  The one thing I can't wrap my head around is - what "evaluates" the probabilities of wavefunctions?  Or perhaps phrased differently, in what space is the probability distributed?

The measurement problem is outstanding, and closely related to the other outstanding problem of whether those probabilities are fundamental or just descriptors of a deterministic system.
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Ziusudra

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #593 on: March 07, 2020, 03:59:22 pm »

The "die" rolled is "the time the sample was taken."  If that sounds too deterministic, take instead a chaotic system like a double pendulum: you can again assign probabilities of finding the pendulum at a given position, but the "die" is "when" you take it.
This reminds me of how in software a pRNG is usually "randomized" using at least part of the current time.

I don't think we're in a simulation, but it sure is easy to use the idea as explanations for so many real world questions.
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Telgin

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #594 on: March 07, 2020, 10:12:17 pm »

From time to time I ponder quantum mechanics.  The one thing I can't wrap my head around is - what "evaluates" the probabilities of wavefunctions?  Or perhaps phrased differently, in what space is the probability distributed?

The measurement problem is outstanding, and closely related to the other outstanding problem of whether those probabilities are fundamental or just descriptors of a deterministic system.

And scientists have pretty good reason to believe it's not a hidden deterministic system at this point, since based on my understanding having a deterministic system with hidden variables would imply FTL signaling for some reason.
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Reelya

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Re: Science Thread (and !!SCIENCE!! Thread!)
« Reply #595 on: March 07, 2020, 10:20:42 pm »

That's from Bell's theorem, and a quick look at it explains the reasoning. You have entangled particles, and Bell showed that if you try to explain it with local hidden variables only, then that wouldn't give results compatible with entanglement.

First, this doesn't prove there aren't local hidden variables that we haven't measured, they just can't explain the specific observations that Bell's Theorem looks at. Second, it doesn't exclude non-local hidden variables that could explain everything deterministically. What seems random to us may be interacting with trillions of other particles that caused it to act like that, and we can't take account of that.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2020, 10:30:38 pm by Reelya »
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Iduno

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Naturegirl1999

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