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Naglalaman ang kategoryang ito aking musings sa karamihan sikat na quote. Musings mused lalo na para sa Unreal Blog.

Hindi importanteng bagay Bye Einstein

Simula sa kanyang mga kahanga-hanga taon ng 1905, Einstein ay dominado sa physics gamit ang kanyang mga kahanga-hanga mga pananaw sa espasyo at oras, at sa mass at gravity. Totoo, nagkaroon ng iba pang mga physicists na, sa kanilang sariling kinang, na hugis at inilipat modernong pisika sa mga direksyon na hindi sana foreseen kahit Einstein; at hindi ko ibig sabihin upang trivialize wala ang kanilang sa intelektwal na nakamit o ang aming mga higanteng leaps sa pisika at teknolohiya. Ngunit lahat ng modernong pisika, kahit na ang kakaibang katotohanan ng kabuuan mekanika, na Einstein ang kanyang sarili ay hindi maaaring masyadong magkaayos sa, Binuo ang kanyang mga pananaw. Ito ay sa kanyang balikat na yaong dumating pagkatapos siya nakatayo para sa higit sa isang siglo na ngayon.

Ang isa sa mga maliwanag na mga kasama ng mga taong dumating pagkatapos cautioned sa amin Einstein upang bantayan laban sa aming mga bulag pananampalataya sa hindi pagkakamali ng lumang Masters. Pagkuha ng aking cue mula sa na pananaw, Ako, para sa isa, isipin na siglo Einstein ay sa likod sa amin ngayon. Alam ko, nagmumula sa isang non-pagsasanay pisisista, na ibenta ang kanyang kaluluwa sa industriya ng pananalapi, ito deklarasyon tunog mabaliw. Delusional kahit na. Ngunit akong sa aking dahilan upang makita ang mga ideya ng Einstein pumunta.

[animation]Magsimula tayo sa larawan ng isang tuldok na lumilipad sa kahabaan ng isang tuwid na linya Hayaan (sa kisame, kaya na magsalita). Ikaw ay nakatayo sa gitna ng linya sa ibaba (sa sahig, na). Kung ang tuldok ay gumagalaw mas mabilis kaysa sa liwanag, kung paano nais mong makita ito? Mahusay, hindi mo makita ang anumang bagay sa lahat ng hanggang sa unang ray ng ilaw mula sa tuldok naabot mo. Bilang ng animation palabas, ang unang ray ay maaabot mo kapag ang tuldok ay isang lugar na halos direkta sa itaas sa iyo. Ang susunod na ray nais mong makita ang aktwal na nagmumula sa dalawang iba't ibang mga punto sa linya ng flight ng tuldok — isa bago ang unang punto, at isa pagkatapos. Kaya, ang paraan na nais mong makita ito ay, hindi kapani-paniwala bilang maaaring mukhang ito sa iyo sa unang, bilang isa na tuldok na lumilitaw sa labas ng wala kahit saan at pagkatapos ay paghahati at paglipat sa halip symmetrically ang layo mula sa puntong iyon. (Ito ay lamang na ang tuldok ay lumilipad kaya mabilis na sa oras na makakuha ka upang makita ito, ito ay naka nawala na nakaraan mo, at ang ray mula sa likod at magpatuloy naabot mo sa parehong mga instant sa time.Hope pahayag na ginagawang mas malinaw, sa halip na higit nakalilito.).

[animation]Bakit sisimulan ko sa animation ng kung paano ang ilusyon ng isang simetriko bagay na maaaring mangyari? Mahusay, nakikita namin ng maraming mga aktibong symmetric na kaayusan sa sansinukob. Halimbawa, tumingin sa ang larawang ito ng Cygnus A. May “ubod” mula na mukhang pagmulan “mga tampok” na lumutang ang layo sa “lobe.” Hindi ito tumingin napaka pareho sa kung ano ang nakikita namin batay sa mga animation sa itaas? May mga iba pang halimbawa kung saan ang ilang mga tampok na mga puntos o mga buhol tila upang ilipat ang layo mula sa core kung saan unang lumitaw ang mga ito sa. Maaari naming makabuo ng isang matalino modelo batay sa superluminality at kung paano lilikha ito illusionary symmetric mga bagay sa langit. Maaari naming, ngunit walang saysay na tao ay naniniwala sa amin — dahil sa Einstein. Alam ko na ito — Sinubukan kong upang makakuha ng aking lumang kaibigan pisisista na isaalang-alang ang modelong ito. Ang tugon ay palaging isang variant na ito, “Kawili-wili, ngunit hindi ito maaaring gumana. Ito ay lumalabag sa Lorentz invariance, hindi ito?” Lv pagiging physics talk para sa paggigiit Einstein na walang dapat pumunta mas mabilis kaysa sa liwanag. Ngayon na neutrinos maaaring lumabag sa lv, bakit hindi ako?

Oo naman, kung ito ay lamang ng isang mapaghambing kasunduan sa pagitan ng simetriko hugis at superluminal mga bagay sa kalangitan, aking mga kaibigan pisika ay tama sa pagbalewala sa akin. May marami pang iba. Ang mga lobe sa Cygnus A, halimbawa, naglalabas ng radiation sa hanay ng dalas ng radyo. Sa katunayan, kalangitan tulad ng nakikita mula sa isang teleskopyo radyo mukhang di naiiba sa kung ano ang nakikita namin mula sa isang optical teleskopyo. Kaya kong ipakita na ang parang multo paglaki ng radiation mula sa superluminal bagay na nilagyan ng mabuti sa AGNs at isa pang klase ng mga pangyayari astrophysical, hanggang ngayon itinuturing na walang-kaugnayang, tinatawag gamma ray pagsabog. Sa katunayan, Mga pinamamahalaang ko upang i-publish ang modelong ito kani-kanina ilalim ng pamagat, “Sigurado Radio Mga Pagmumulan at Gamma Ray pagsabog Luminal Booms?“.

Ang makikita mo, Kailangan ko superluminality. Einstein pagiging mali ay isang paunang kinakailangan ng aking pagkatao karapatan. Kaya ito ay ang pinaka-respetado siyentipiko kailanman vs. iyo matapat, isang blogger ng imitasyon uri. Gawin mo ang matematika. 🙂

Ang nasabing mahaba logro, gayunman, na hindi kailanman nasiraan ng loob sa akin, at lagi kong isali kung saan ang mas marunong anghel takot sa pagtapak. Kaya hayaan mo akong ituro ang isang pares ng mga hindi pagkakapare-pareho sa SR. The derivation of the theory starts off by pointing out the effects of light travel time in time measurements. And later on in the theory, the distortions due to light travel time effects become part of the properties of space and time. (Sa katunayan, light travel time effects will make it impossible to have a superluminal dot on a ceiling, as in my animation above — not even a virtual one, where you take a laser pointer and turn it fast enough that the laser dot on the ceiling would move faster than light. It won’t.) Pero, as the theory is understood and practiced now, the light travel time effects are to be applied on top of the space and time distortions (which were due to the light travel time effects to begin with)! Physicists turn a blind eye to this glaring inconstancy because SR “works” — as I made very clear in my previous post in this series.

Another philosophical problem with the theory is that it is not testable. Alam ko, I alluded to a large body of proof in its favor, but fundamentally, the special theory of relativity makes predictions about a uniformly moving frame of reference in the absence of gravity. There is no such thing. Even if there was, in order to verify the predictions (that a moving clock runs slower as in the twin paradox, halimbawa), you have to have acceleration somewhere in the verification process. Two clocks will have to come back to the same point to compare time. The moment you do that, at least one of the clocks has accelerated, and the proponents of the theory would say, “Ah, there is no problem here, the symmetry between the clocks is broken because of the acceleration.” People have argued back and forth about such thought experiments for an entire century, so I don’t want to get into it. I just want to point out that theory by itself is untestable, which should also mean that it is unprovable. Now that there is direct experimental evidence against the theory, may be people will take a closer look at these inconsistencies and decide that it is time to say bye-bye to Einstein.

Love of Wisdom

Philosophy means love wisdom. But it enjoys none of the glamor that its definition would imply. Halimbawa, in one of the board games that I played with the kids recently, the chance card that would make you bankrupt actually read, “Turn into a philosopher and lose all your money!” This card was particularly troubling for me because I do plan to take up philosophy seriously, hopefully soon.

The lack of correlation between wisdom and worldly rewards is unsettling, especially to those who are foolish enough to consider themselves wise. Why is it that the love of wisdom wouldn’t translate to glory, riches and creature comforts? The reason, as far as I can tell, is a deep disconnect between philosophy and life — as a wise (but distinctly unphilosophical) friend of mine put it in one of those hazy late-night stupors of the graduate years, “Philosophy to real life is what masturbation is to sex.” Oo, the masses see the love of wisdom as pointless intellectual masturbation. This view is perhaps echoed in what Russell said once:

Philosophy busies itself with things that seem obvious, to come up with something grandiose. This apparent obsession with trivialities is a false impression. Dispelling this impression is the purpose of this post. Let me start by pointing out one fact. Philosophy is at the root of everything that you do. You live a good, moral life? Or even a lousy, greedy one? Your behavior, choices and reasons are studied in Ethics. You are a quant, or do stuff technical or mathematical? Logic. Into physics and worship Einstein? You cannot then ignore the metaphysical aspects of puwang at oras. Lawyer? Oo, Rhetorics. Knowledge worker? Epistemology defines what knowledge is. Artist? Fashion designer? Work in the movie industry? We got you covered in Aesthetics. Ang makikita mo, every avenue of human endeavor has a philosophic underpinning to it.

Pointing out this underpinning is, sa katotohanan, not as big a deal as I make it out to be. It is merely a matter of definition. I define philosophy to be whatever it is that “underpins” all aspects of life, and then point out this underpinning as evidence of its importance. The real value of philosophy is in structuring our thoughts and guiding them, halimbawa, in perceiving the speciousness and subtle circularity of my underpinning-therefore-important argument. Philosophy teaches us that nothing stands own its own, and that there are structures and schools of thought that illuminate questions that befuddle us. There are scaffolds to support us, and giants on whose shoulders we can stand to see far and clear. Upang maging sigurado, some of these giants may be facing the wrong way, but it is again the boldness and independence that come with philosophy that will help us see the errors in their ways. Without it, learning becomes indoctrination, and in our quest to assimilate information into wisdom, we get stuck somewhere in between — perhaps at the level of knowledge.

All this discussion still doesn’t give us a clue as to the disquieting connection between philosophy and bankruptcy. For when a great man voices his existential anguish as, “Sa tingin ko, samakatuwid Ako,” we can always say (as we often do), “Good for you mate, whatever works for you!” and go about our life.

Love of wisdom perhaps facilitates its acquisition, and the purpose of wisdom is only wisdom. It is very much like life, the purpose of which is merely to live a little longer. But without philosophy, how do we see the meaning of life? Or lack thereof?

Change the Facts

There is beauty in truth, and truth in beauty. Where does this link between truth and beauty come from? Oo naman, beauty is subjective, and truth is objective — or so we are told. It may be that we have evolved in accordance with the beautiful Darwinian principles to see perfection in absolute truth.

The beauty and perfection I’m thinking about are of a different kind — those of ideas and concepts. Paminsan-minsan, you may get an idea so perfect and beautiful that you know it has to be true. This conviction of truth arising from beauty may be what made Einstein declare:

But this conviction about the veracity of a theory based on its perfection is hardly enough. Einstein’s genius really is in his philosophical tenacity, his willingness to push the idea beyond what is considered logical.

Let’s take an example. Let’s say you are in a cruising airplane. If you close the windows and somehow block out the engine noise, it will be impossible for you to tell whether you are moving or not. This inability, when translated to physics jargon, becomes a principle stating, “Physical laws are independent of the state of motion of the experimental system.”

The physical laws Einstein chose to look at were Maxwell’s equations of electromagnetism, which had the speed of light appearing in them. For them to be independent of (or covariant with, upang maging mas tumpak) motion, Einstein postulated that the speed of light had to be a constant regardless of whether you were going toward it or away from it.

Ngayon, I don’t know if you find that postulate particularly beautiful. But Einstein did, and decided to push it through all its illogical consequences. For it to be true, space has to contract and time had to dilate, and nothing could go faster than light. Einstein said, mahusay, so be it. That is the philosophical conviction and tenacity that I wanted to talk about — the kind that gave us Special Relativity about a one hundred years ago.

Want to get to General Relativity from here? Simple, just find another beautiful truth. Here is one… If you have gone to Magic Mountain, you would know that you are weightless during a free fall (best tried on an empty stomach). Free fall is acceleration at 9.8 m/s/s (o 32 ft/s/s), and it nullifies gravity. So gravity is the same as acceleration — voila, another beautiful principle.

World line of airplanesIn order to make use of this principle, Einstein perhaps thought of it in pictures. What does acceleration mean? It is how fast the speed of something is changing. And what is speed? Think of something moving in a straight line — our cruising airplane, halimbawa, and call the line of flight the X-axis. We can visualize its speed by thinking of a time T-axis at right angles with the X-axis so that at time = 0, the airplane is at x = 0. At time t, it is at a point x = v.t, if it is moving with a speed v. So a line in the X-T plane (called the world line) represents the motion of the airplane. A faster airplane would have a shallower world line. An accelerating airplane, samakatuwid, will have a curved world line, running from the slow world line to the fast one.

So acceleration is curvature in space-time. And so is gravity, being nothing but acceleration. (I can see my physicist friends cringe a bit, but it is essentially true — just that you straighten the world-line calling it a geodesic and attribute the curvature to space-time instead.)

The exact nature of the curvature and how to compute it, though beautiful in their own right, are mere details, as Einstein himself would have put it. Pagkatapos ng lahat, he wanted to know God’s thoughts, not the details.

Malaking pagkakamali ng Diyos

Scriptures tell us, in different ways depending on our denomination and affiliation, that God created the world and everything in it, including us. This is creationism in a nutshell.

Standing in the other corner, all gloved up to knock the daylight out of creationism, is science. It tells us that we came out of complete lifelessness through successive mutations goaded by the need to survive. This is Evolution, a view so widely accepted that the use of capital E is almost justified.

All our experience and knowledge point to the rightness the Evolution idea. It doesn’t totally preclude the validity of God, but it does make it more likely that we humans created God. (It must be just us humans for we don’t see a cat saying Lord’s grace before devouring a mouse!) At, given the inconveniences caused by the God concept (wars, crusades, the dark ages, ethnic cleansing, religious riots, terrorism and so on), it certainly looks like a blunder.

No wonder Nietzsche said,

Sa kabilang banda, if God did create man, then all the stupid things that we do — wars, crusades etc. plus this blog — do point to the fact that we are a blunder. We must be such a disappointment to our creator. Sorry Sir!

Larawan ni Ang Library of Congress

Kasarian at Physics — Ayon sa Feynman

Pisika napupunta sa pamamagitan ng edad ng kasiyahan paminsan-minsan. Kasiyahan ay nagmumula mula sa isang pakiramdam ng pagiging kumpleto, isang pakiramdam na natuklasan namin na ang lahat ng bagay doon ay upang malaman, ang path ay malinaw at may mahusay na maunawaan ang mga pamamaraan.

Kasaysayan, mga bouts ng kasiyahan ay sinundan ng mabilis na mga pagpapaunlad na revolutionize ang paraan ng pisika ay tapos na, pagpapakita sa amin kung paano namin ang maling naging. Ito humbling aralin ng kasaysayan ay marahil kung ano ang prompt Feynman sasabihin:

Ang nasabing isang edad ng kasiyahan umiral sa pagliko ng ika-19 siglo. Sikat personas tulad Kelvin remarked na ang lahat ng iyon ay iniwan upang gawin ay upang gawing mas tumpak na sukat. Michelson, na nag-play ang isang mahalagang papel sa rebolusyon upang sundin, ay pinapayuhan na huwag magpasok ng isang “patay” patlang tulad ng pisika.

Sino sana ay naisip na sa mas mababa sa isang dekada sa ika-20 siglo, Gusto naming kumpletuhin baguhin ang paraan sa tingin namin ng space at oras? Sino sa kanilang isip ang tamang sasabihin ngayon na muli namin baguhin ang aming mga iba pang bagay-espasyo at oras? Gagawin ko. Pagkatapos muli, walang tao ay kailanman inakusahan sa akin ng isang karapatan isip!

Ang isa pang rebolusyon naganap sa panahon ng kurso ng huling siglo — Quantum Mechanics, kung saan ginawa ang layo sa aming paniwala ng determinism at Aaksyunan isang malubhang pumutok sa sistema-tagamasid Huwaran ng pisika. Katulad revolutions ang mangyayari muli. Hindi na kumapit sa aming mga konsepto bilang immutable Hayaan; ang mga ito ay hindi. Hindi na sa tingin ng aming lumang Masters bilang infallible Hayaan, para hindi sila. Bilang Feynman ay ang kanyang sarili ituro, pisika nag-iisa hold higit pang mga halimbawa ng fallibility ng mismong lumang Masters. At sa tingin ko na ang isang kumpletong rebolusyon sa pag-iisip ay overdue na ngayon.

Maaaring nag-iisip kung ano ang lahat ng ito ay may kinalaman sa seks. Mahusay, Lamang naisip ko sex ay magbenta ng mas mahusay na. Ako ay kanan, ay hindi ko? Ibig kong sabihin, ikaw pa rin dito!

Sinabi din Feynman,

Larawan ni "Maninira sa lungga Chuck" Coker cc

Einstein on God and Dice

Although Einstein is best known for his theories of relativity, he was also the main driving force behind the advent of quantum mechanics (QM). His early work in photo-voltaic effect paved way for future developments in QM. And he won the Nobel prize, not for the theories of relativity, but for this early work.

It then should come as a surprise to us that Einstein didn’t quite believe in QM. He spent the latter part of his career trying to device thought experiments that would prove that QM is inconsistent with what he believed to be the laws of nature. Why is it that Einstein could not accept QM? We will never know for sure, and my guess is probably as good as anybody else’s.

Einstein’s trouble with QM is summarized in this famous quote.

It is indeed difficult to reconcile the notions (or at least some interpretations) of QM with a word view in which a God has control over everything. In QM, observations are probabilistic in nature. Iyon ay upang sabihin, if we somehow manage to send two electrons (in the same state) down the same beam and observe them after a while, we may get two different observed properties.

We can interpret this imperfection in observation as our inability to set up identical initial states, or the lack of precision in our measurements. This interpretation gives rise to the so-called hidden variable theories — considered invalid for a variety of reasons. The interpretation currently popular is that uncertainty is an inherent property of nature — the so-called Copenhagen interpretation.

In the Copenhagen picture, particles have positions only when observed. At other times, they should be thought of as kind of spread out in space. In a double-slit interference experiment using electrons, halimbawa, we should not ask whether a particular electron takes on slit or the other. As long as there is interference, it kind of takes both.

The troubling thing for Einstein in this interpretation would be that even God would not be able to make the electron take one slit or the other (without disturbing the interference pattern, na). And if God cannot place one tiny electron where He wants, how is he going to control the whole universe?