Universe – Size and Age

I posted this question that was bothering me when I read that they found a galaxy at about 13 billion light years away. My understanding of that statement is: At distance of 13 billion light years, there was a galaxy 13 billion years ago, so that we can see the light from it now. Wouldn’t that mean that the universe is at least 26 billion years old? It must have taken the galaxy about 13 billion years to reach where it appears to be, and the light from it must take another 13 billion years to reach us.

In answering my question, Martin and Swansont (who I assume are academic phycisists) point out my misconceptions and essentially ask me to learn more. All shall be answered when I’m assimilated, it would appear! 🙂

This debate is published as a prelude to my post on the Big Bang theory, coming up in a day or two.

Mowgli 03-26-2007 10:14 PM

Universe – Size and Age
I was reading a post in http://www.space.com/ stating that they found a galaxy at about 13 billion light years away. I am trying to figure out what that statement means. 对我来说,, it means that 13 billion years ago, this galaxy was where we see it now. Isn’t that what 13b LY away means? 如果是这样的, wouldn’t that mean that the universe has to be at least 26 billion years old? 我的意思是, the whole universe started from one singular point; how could this galaxy be where it was 13 billion years ago unless it had at least 13 billion years to get there? (Ignoring the inflationary phase for the moment…) I have heard people explain that the space itself is expanding. What the heck does that mean? Isn’t it just a fancier way of saying that the speed of light was smaller some time ago?
swansont 03-27-2007 09:10 AM


Originally Posted by Mowgli
(Post 329204)
我的意思是, the whole universe started from one singular point; how could this galaxy be where it was 13 billion years ago unless it had at least 13 billion years to get there? (Ignoring the inflationary phase for the moment…)

Ignoring all the rest, how would this mean the universe is 26 billion years old?


Originally Posted by Mowgli
(Post 329204)
I have heard people explain that the space itself is expanding. What the heck does that mean? Isn’t it just a fancier way of saying that the speed of light was smaller some time ago?

The speed of light is an inherent part of atomic structure, in the fine structure constant (alpha). If c was changing, then the patterns of atomic spectra would have to change. There hasn’t been any confirmed data that shows that alpha has changed (there has been the occasional paper claiming it, but you need someone to repeat the measurements), and the rest is all consistent with no change.

Martin 03-27-2007 11:25 AM

To confirm or reinforce what swansont said, there are speculation and some fringe or nonstandard cosmologies that involve c changing over time (or alpha changing over time), but the changing constants thing just gets more and more ruled out.I’ve been watching for over 5 years and the more people look and study evidence the LESS likely it seems that there is any change. They rule it out more and more accurately with their data.So it is probably best to ignore thevarying speed of lightcosmologies until one is thoroughly familiar with standard mainstream cosmology.You have misconceptions Mowgli

  • General Relativity (该 1915 theory) trumps Special Rel (1905)
  • They don’t actually contradict if you understand them correctly, because SR has only a very limited local applicability, like to the spaceship passing by:-)
  • Wherever GR and SR SEEM to contradict, believe GR. It is the more comprehensive theory.
  • GR does not have a speed limit on the rate that very great distances can increase. the only speed limit is on LOCAL stuff (you can’t catch up with and pass a photon)
  • So we can and DO observe stuff that is receding from us faster than c. (It’s far away, SR does not apply.)
  • This was explained in a Sci Am article I think last year
  • Google the author’s name Charles Lineweaver and Tamara Davis.
  • We know about plenty of stuff that is presently more than 14 billion LY away.
  • You need to learn some cosmology so you wont be confused by these things.
  • Also a “singularity” does not mean a single point. that is a popular mistake because the words SOUND the same.
  • A singularity can occur over an entire region, even an infinite region.

Also thebig bangmodel doesn’t look like an explosion of matter whizzing away from some point. It shouldn’t be imagined like that. The best article explaining common mistakes people have is this Lineweaver and Davis thing in Sci Am. I think it was Jan or Feb 2005 but I could be a year off. Google it. Get it from your local library or find it online. Best advice I can give.

Mowgli 03-28-2007 01:30 AM

To swansont on why I thought 13 b LY implied an age of 26 b years:When you say that there is a galaxy at 13 b LY away, I understand it to mean that 13 billion years ago my time, the galaxy was at the point where I see it now (which is 13 b LY away from me). Knowing that everything started from the same point, it must have taken the galaxy at least 13 b years to get where it was 13 b years ago. 所以 13+13. I’m sure I must be wrong.To Martin: 你是对的,,en,还有更多的这种思路的不仅仅是暴和AGN飞机,,en,续集本文,,en,讨论了一些含义,,en,但这部续集太投机得到发表在什么像样的杂志,,en,我跟我的日常工作太忙,担心这些事情,,en,但是我希望要回物理学,,en,并且可能还要理念,,en,在几年,,en,干杯,,en, I need to learn quite a bit more about cosmology. But a couple of things you mentioned surprise mehow do we observe stuff that is receding from as FTL? 我的意思是, wouldn’t the relativistic Doppler shift formula give imaginary 1+z? And the stuff beyond 14 b LY awayare theyoutside” 宇宙?I will certainly look up and read the authors you mentioned. 谢谢.
swansont 03-28-2007 03:13 AM


Originally Posted by Mowgli
(Post 329393)
To swansont on why I thought 13 b LY implied an age of 26 b years:When you say that there is a galaxy at 13 b LY away, I understand it to mean that 13 billion years ago my time, the galaxy was at the point where I see it now (which is 13 b LY away from me). Knowing that everything started from the same point, it must have taken the galaxy at least 13 b years to get where it was 13 b years ago. 所以 13+13. I’m sure I must be wrong.

That would depend on how you do your calibration. Looking only at a Doppler shift and ignoring all the other factors, if you know that speed correlates with distance, you get a certain redshift and you would probably calibrate that to mean 13b LY if that was the actual distance. That light would be 13b years old.

But as Martin has pointed out, space is expanding; the cosmological redshift is different from the Doppler shift. Because the intervening space has expanded, AFAIK the light that gets to us from a galaxy 13b LY away is not as old, because it was closer when the light was emitted. I would think that all of this is taken into account in the measurements, so that when a distance is given to the galaxy, it’s the actual distance.

Martin 03-28-2007 08:54 AM


Originally Posted by Mowgli
(Post 329393)
I will certainly look up and read the authors you mentioned.

This post has 5 或 6 links to that Sci Am article by Lineweaver and Davis


It is post #65 on the Astronomy links sticky thread

It turns out the article was in the March 2005 issue.

I think it’s comparatively easy to readwell written. So it should help.

When you’ve read the Sci Am article, ask more questionsyour questions might be fun to try and answer:-)

Twin Paradox – Take 2

The Twin Paradox is usually explained away by arguing that the traveling twin feels the motion because of his acceleration/deceleration, and therefore ages slower.

But what will happen if the twins both accelerate symmetrically? 这是, they start from rest from one space point with synchronized clocks, and get back to the same space point at rest by accelerating away from each other for some time and decelerating on the way back. By the symmetry of the problem, it seems that when the two clocks are together at the end of the journey, at the same point, and at rest with respect to each other, they have to agree.

然后再, during the whole journey, each clock is in motion (accelerated or not) with respect to the other one. In SR, every clock that is in motion with respect to an observer’s clock is supposed run slower. 或, the observer’s clock is always the fastest. 所以, for each twin, the other clock must be running slower. 然而, when they come back together at the end of the journey, they have to agree. This can happen only if each twin sees the other’s clock running faster at some point during the journey. What does SR say will happen in this imaginary journey?

(Note that the acceleration of each twin can be made constant. Have the twins cross each other at a high speed at a constant linear deceleration. They will cross again each other at the same speed after sometime. During the crossings, their clocks can be compared.)


远见写道::时间是连续事件的速度依赖主观的措施,而不是根本性的东西 – 该事件标志着时间, 时间不庆祝活动. 这意味着的东西了还有空间,而不是时空, 和是一个 “醚” 主观时间遮掩.

我喜欢你的时间定义. 这是接近我自己的观点,即时间 “虚幻。” 因此能够处理空间作为真实和空间 - 时间作为不同的东西, 为你做. 这需要一些仔细的思考. 我将概述我的想法在这个岗位,并用一个例子来说明吧, 如果我的朋友们不要拉我出去吃午饭之前,我可以完成. :)

我们需要问自己的第一个问题就是为什么空间与时间似乎耦合? 其实答案太简单被发现, 它是在你的时间定义. 通过我们的速度的概念,我们的大脑的感知能力,运动时间和空间组合. 还有一个更深层的连接, 这是空间的光子投入认知表征我们的眼睛, 但我们会得到它后.

假设一秒钟,我们不得不说,在一个无限的速度运行第六感. 这是, 如果恒星爆炸在一百万光年距离我们, 马上就可以感受到它. 我们将 后,才一万年, 但是我们感觉到它立即. 我知道, 这是违反SR, 不可能发生,所有的, 但留在我的第二个. 现在, 思想一点点会说服你,那我们感觉到使用这个假设的第六感的空间牛顿. 这里, 空间和时间可完全解耦, 绝对时间可以被定义等. 从这个空间开始, 我们实际上可以工作了,我们会看到它使用的光,我们的眼睛, 知道光的速度是它是什么. 它会变成, 显然, 我们看到了延迟事件. 这是一个一阶 (或静) 效果. 二阶效应是我们感知运动中的物体的方式. 事实证明,我们将看到一个时间膨胀,长度收缩 (的对象远离我们。)

让我举例说明这一点再使用回声定位. 假设你是一个盲目的蝙蝠. 您使用声纳坪感觉你的空间. 你可以感受到一种超音速目标? 如果迎面走来,你, 通过时的反射平到达您, 它已经过去,你. 如果是从你要走了, 你坪永远无法赶上. 换句话说, 速度比声音出行 “禁止的。” 如果你多了一个假设, – 在ping的速度是它们的运动状态相同的所有蝙蝠不管 – 你得到的蝙蝠特殊相对论,其中声音的速度是空间和时间的基本属性!

我们必须挖得更深一些,并认识到,空间并不比时间更真实. 空间是一个认知结构创造出我们的感觉输入. 如果感测模态 (光我们, 响蝙蝠) 有一个有限的速度, 这样的速度 成为所得到的空间的基本特性. 空间和时间将通过感觉通道的速度耦合.

这, 当然, 是SR只有我自己谦虚的解释. 我想这张贴在一个新的线程, 但我得到的人是有点太执着在这个版面自己的意见,能听的感觉.

狮子座写:闵可夫斯基时空的洛伦兹变换的一种解释, 但其他的解释, 它与物质的波模型原有的洛伦兹 - 庞加莱©相对论和现代化版本 (LaFreniere 或关闭,或许多其他), 在一个完美的欧几里得三维空间工作.

因此,我们最终与工艺放缓和收缩物质, 但没有时间扩张或收缩的空间. 该转换是相同的,虽然. 那么,为什么一种解释导致张量的度量,而另一些则不然? 还是他们都? 我缺乏理论背景来回答这个问题.


如果定义公升运动中的物体的速度取决于变形, 然后就可以进行转型与时间的函数. 不会有任何变形和度量张量和东西的并发症. 其实我在我的书中确实是沿着这些线路的东西 (虽然不是很), 如你所知.

故障发生时的变换矩阵是向量的函数的变换. 所以, 如果你在一个四维时空定义公升矩阵运算, 你不能再让它的时间,通过任何的加速度比你更可以把它的位置的函数的函数 (如在速度场, 例如。) 时空扭曲是一种数学的必要性. 因为它, 你失去了坐标, 而我们学习的本科几年的工具不再足够强大的处理问题.

旋转, LT和加速

在 “哲学意蕴” 论坛, 有人试图用一些巧妙的微积分或数字技术把加速到洛伦兹变换. 因为一个颇为有趣的几何原因,这种尝试是行不通的. 我想我会发布洛伦兹变换的几何解释 (或者如何从SR遗传资源去) 这里.

先说一对夫妇的免责声明. 首先,, 接下来是我的LT / SR / GR的理解. 我把它张贴在这里与诚实的信念,这是对的. 虽然我有足够的学历来说服我犯错误的自己, 谁知道? 很多人比我聪明让每一天证明是错误的. 和, 如果我们有我们的方式, 我们将证明,甚至爱因斯坦本人是非在这个论坛, 不会,我们? :D 其次, 我写的东西可能是太基本了一些读者, 甚至侮辱等等. 我要求他们承担了它, 考虑到一些其他的读者可能会发现它照亮. 第三, 这个帖子是不是对理论的正确与错误的评论; 它只不过是什么样的理论说的描述. 或者更确切地说,, 我的版本是什么,他们说. 与免责声明闪开, 让我们开始吧…

LT是在4-D空间中时的旋转. 因为它不容​​易想象四维时空旋转, 让我们开始的2-D, 纯粹空间旋转. 几何中的一个基本属性 (如2-D欧几里得空间) 它是度量张量. 度量张量限定在空间中的两个向量之间的内积. 在正常 (欧几里得或平) 空间, 它也定义两个点之间的距离 (或一个矢量的长度).

虽然度量张量有可怕的 “张量” 字在其名称, 一旦你定义了一个坐标系, 它仅仅是一个矩阵. 用于与x和y坐标的欧几里德2-D空间, 它是单位矩阵 (两个1的沿对角线). 让我们把它叫做ğ. 向量A和B之间的内积AB =反(一) G B, 它的工作原理证明是 a_1b_1+a_2b_2. 距离 (或A的长度) 可以被定义为 \sqrt{A.A}.

到目前为止,在后, 度规张量看起来相当无用, 不仅因为它是为欧氏空间中的单位矩阵. SR (或LT), 另一方面, 用闵可夫斯基空间, 其具有可以写入用度量 [-1, 1, 1, 1] 沿对角线与所有其他元素为零 – 假设时刻t的坐标系统中的第一组分. 让我们考虑一个二维闵可夫斯基空间的简单, 随着时间的推移 (吨) 和距离 (x) 轴. (这是一个有点过于简单化,因为这个空间不能处理打圈, 这是在某些线程流行。) 在单位,使C = 1, 你可以很容易地看到,使用这种度量张量不变的距离 \sqrt{x^2 - t^2}.


虚幻宇宙 — 讨论与纪伯伦

Hi again,You raise a lot of interesting questions. Let me try to answer them one by one.

You’re saying that our observations of an object moving away from us would look identical in either an SR or Galilean context, and therefore this is not a good test for SR.

What I’m saying is slightly different. The coordinate transformation in SR is derived considering only receding objects and sensing it using radar-like round trip light travel time. It is then assumed that the transformation laws thus derived apply to all objects. Because the round trip light travel is used, the transformation works for approaching objects as well, but not for things moving in other directions. But SR assumes that the transformation is a property of space and time and asserts that it applies to all moving (inertial) frames of reference regardless of direction.

We have to go a little deeper and ask ourselves what that statement means, what it means to talk about the properties of space. We cannot think of a space independent of our perception. Physicists are typically not happy with this starting point of mine. They think of space as something that exists independent of our sensing it. And they insist that SR applies to this independently existing space. I beg to differ. I consider space as a cognitive construct based on our perceptual inputs. There is an underlying reality that is the cause of our perception of space. It may be nothing like space, but let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that the underlying reality is like Galilean space-time. How would be perceive it, given that we perceive it using light (one-way travel of light, not two-way as SR assumes)? It turns out that our perceptual space would have time dilation and length contraction and all other effect predicted by SR. So my thesis is that the underlying reality obeys Galilean space-time and our perceptual space obeys something like SR. (It is possible that if I assume that our perception uses two-way light travel, I may get SR-like transformation. I haven’t done it because it seems obvious to me that we perceive a star, 例如, by sensing the light from it rather than flashing a light at it.)

This thesis doesn’t sit well with physicists, and indeed with most people. They mistakeperceptual effects to be something like optical illusions. My point is more like space itself is an illusion. If you look at the night sky, you know that the stars you see are not “实” in the sense that they are not there when you are looking at them. This is simply because the information carrier, namely light, 有一个有限的速度. If the star under observation is in motion, our perception of its motion is distorted for the same reason. SR is an attempt to formalize our perception of motion. Since motion and speed are concepts that mix space and time, SR has to operate onspace-time continuum. Since SR is based on perceptual effects, it requires an observer and describes motion as he perceives it.

But are you actually saying that not a single experiment has been done with objects moving in any other direction than farther away? And what about experiments on time dilation where astronauts go into space and return with clocks showing less elapsed time than ones that stayed on the ground? Doesn’t this support the ideas inherent in SR?

Experiments are always interpreted in the light of a theory. 这是 always a model based interpretation. I know that this is not a convincing argument for you, so let me give you an example. Scientists have observed superluminal motion in certain celestial objects. They measure the angular speed of the celestial object, and they have some estimate of its distance from us, so they can estimate the speed. If we didn’t have SR, there would be nothing remarkable about this observation of superluminality. Since we do have SR, one has to find anexplanation for this. The explanation is this: when an object approaches us at a shallow angle, it can appear to come in quite a bit faster than its real speed. Thus the “实” speed is subluminal while the “明显的” speed may be superluminal. This interpretation of the observation, 在我看来, breaks the philosophical grounding of SR that it is a description of the motion as it appears to the observer.

现在, there are other observations of where almost symmetric ejecta are seen on opposing jets in symmetric celestial objects. The angular speeds may indicate superluminality in both the jets if the distance of the object is sufficiently large. Since the jets are assumed to be back-to-back, if one jet is approaching us (thereby giving us the illusion of superluminality), the other jet has bet receding and can never appear superluminal, 除非, 当然, the underlying motion is superluminal. The interpretation of this observation is that the distance of the object is limited by thefactthat real motion cannot be superluminal. This is what I mean by experiments being open to theory or model based interpretations.

In the case of moving clocks being slower, it is never a pure SR experiment because you cannot find space without gravity. 除了, one clock has to be accelerated or decelerated and GR applies. 否则, the age-old twin paradox would apply.

I know there have been some experiments done to support Einstein’s theories, like the bending of light due to gravity, but are you saying that all of them can be consistently re-interpreted according to your theory? If this is so, it’s dam surprising! 我的意思是, no offense to youyou’re obviously a very bright individual, and you know much more about this stuff than I do, but I’d have to question how something like this slipped right through physicistsfingers for 100 年.

These are gravity related questions and fall under GR. 我的 “theory doesn’t try to reinterpret GR or gravity at all. I put theory in inverted quotes because, to me, it is a rather obvious observation that there is a distinction between what we see and the underlying causes of our perception. The algebra involved is fairly simple by physics standards.

Supposing you’re right in that space and time are actually Galilean, and that the effects of SR are artifacts of our perception. How then are the results of the Michelson-Morley experiments explained? I’m sorry if you did explain it in your book, but it must have flown right over my head. Or are we leaving this as a mystery, an anomaly for future theorists to figure out?

I haven’t completely explained MMX, more or less leaving it as a mystery. I think the explanation hinges on how light is reflected off a moving mirror, which I pointed out in the book. Suppose the mirror is moving away from the light source at a speed of v in our frame of reference. Light strikes it at a speed of c-v. What is the speed of the reflected light? If the laws of reflection should hold (it’s not immediately obvious that they should), then the reflected light has to have a speed of c-v as well. This may explain why MMX gives null result. I haven’t worked out the whole thing though. I will, once I quit my day job and dedicate my life to full-time thinking. :-)

My idea is not a replacement theory for all of Einstein’s theories. It’s merely a reinterpretation of one part of SR. Since the rest of Einstein’s edifice is built on this coordinate transformation part, I’m sure there will be some reinterpretation of the rest of SR and GR also based on my idea. 同样, this is a project for later. My reinterpretation is not an attempt to prove Einstein’s theories wrong; I merely want to point out that they apply to reality as we perceive it.

总体, it was worth the $5 I payed. Thanks for the good read. Don’t take my questions as an assault on your proposalI’m honestly in the dark about these things and I absolutely crave light (he he). If you could kindly answer them in your spare time, I’d love to share more ideas with you. It’s good to find a fellow thinker to bounce cool ideas like this off of. I’ll PM you again once I’m fully done the book. 同样, it was a very satisfying read.

谢谢! I’m glad that you like my ideas and my writing. I don’t mind criticism at all. Hope I have answered most of your questions. 如果没有, or if you want to disagree with my answers, feel free to write back. Always a pleasure to chat about these things even if we don’t agree with each other.

Best regards,
– 手


狮子座写:我有一些问题,但在导言部分, 当你面对光的传播效应和相对论变换. 你正确指出所有感性的幻想已经被清除了狭义相对论的概念, 但你也可以说,这些感性的幻想依然作为狭义相对论的认知模式的一种潜意识的基础. 我明白你的意思还是我搞错了?

感性的影响是已知的物理; 他们被称为轻旅行时间的影响 (LTT, 煮了的缩写). 这些作用被认为是对被观察物的运动的光学错觉. 一旦你采取了LTT影响, 你得到的 “实” 物体的运动 . 这种真正的运动应该服从SR. 这是SR的电流解释.

我的论点是,LTT效果是如此相似,SR,我们应该想到的SR作为LTT只是一个形式化. (事实上, 稍微错误的形式化。) 原因很多说法:
1. 我们不能disentagle的 “视错觉” 因为许多潜在的配置产生相同的感知. 换句话说, 从我们看到的是什么引起了我们的看法将是一个一对多的问题.
2. SR坐标变换部分地基于LTT效果.
3. LTT效果比相对论效应更强.

大概由于这些原因, SR是什么呢,是说我们所看到的就是真的很喜欢. 然后,它会尝试用数学描述我们所看到的. (这就是我的意思被formaliztion. ) 后来, 当我们想通了,LTT的影响并没有完全与SR匹配 (如在观察 “明显的” 超光速运动), 我们认为我们必须 “取出” 在LTT效果,然后说,底层运动 (或空间和时间) 遵命SR. 什么我建议在我的书和文章,是我们应该只是猜的底层空间和时间都喜欢和什么工作我们的看法将是 (因为去的另一种方式是一个病态1对多的问题). 我的第一个猜测, 自然, 是伽利略时空. 这个猜测的结果暴和DRAGNs的相当整洁和简单explantions鲁米繁荣及其后果.

试论每日邮报 (联合王国)

On the Daily Mail forum, one participant (所谓 “whats-in-a-name”) started talking about 虚幻宇宙 on July 15, 2006. It was attacked fairly viciously on the forum. I happened to see it during a Web search and decided to step in and defend it.

15 七月, 2006

Posted by: whats-in-a-name on 15/07/06 在 09:28 AM

Ah, Kek, you’ve given me a further reason to be distracted from what I should be doing- and I can tell you that this is more interesting at the moment.I’ve been trying to formulate some ideas and there’s one coming- but I’ll have to give it to you in bits.I don’t want to delve into pseudoscience or take the woo-ish road that says that you can explain everything with quantum theory, but try starting here: HTTP://theunrealuniverse.com/phys.shtml

该 “Journal Articlelink at the bottom touches on some of the points that we discussed elsewhere. It goes slightly off-topic, but you might also find the “哲学” link at the top left interesting.

Posted by: patopreto on 15/07/06 在 06:17 PM

Regarding that web site wian.One does not need to ead past this sentence

The theories of physics are a description of reality. Reality is created out of the readings from our senses. Knowing that our senses all work using light as an intermediary, is it a surprise that the speed of light is of fundamental importance in our reality?

to realise that tis web site is complete ignorant hokum. I stopped at that point.

16 七月, 2006

Posted by: whats-in-a-name on 16/07/06 在 09:04 AM

I’ve just been back to read that bit more carefully. I don’t know why the writer phrased it like that but surely what he meant was:(我) “Our perception of what is real is created out of the readings from our senses. I think that most physicists wouldn’t argue with that would they? At the quantum level reality as we understand it doesn’t exist; you can only say that particles have more of a tendency to exist in one place or state than another.(ii) The information that we pick up from optical or radio telescopes, gamma-ray detectors and the like, shows the state of distant objects as they were in the past, owing to the transit time of the radiation. Delving deeper into space therefore enables us to look further back into the history of the universe.It’s an unusual way to express the point, 我同意, but it doesn’t devalue the other information on there. In particular there are links to other papers that go into rather more detail, but I wanted to start with something that offered a more general view.

I get the impression that your study of physics is rather more advanced than mine- as I’ve said previously I’m only an amateur, though I’ve probably taken my interest a bit further than most. I’m happy to be corrected if any of my reasoning is flawed, though what I’ve said so far s quite basic stuff.

The ideas that I’m trying to express in response to Keka’s challenge are my own and again, I’m quite prepared to have you or anyone else knock them down. I’m still formulating my thoughts and I wanted to start by considering the model that physicists use of the nature of matter, going down to the grainy structure of spacetime at the Plank distance and quantum uncertainty.

I’ll have to come back to this in a day or two, but meanwhile if you or anyone else wants to offer an opposing view, please do.

Posted by: patopreto on 16/07/06 在 10:52 AM

I don’t know why the writer phrased it like that but surely what he meant was:

I think the write is quit clear! WIANyou have re-written what he says to mean something different.

The writer is quite clear – “Once we accept that space and time are a part of the cognitive model created by the brain, and that special relativity applies to the cognitive model, we can ponder over the physical causes behind the model, the absolute reality itself.

Blah Blah Blah!

The writer, 手Thulasidas, is an employee of OCBC bank in Singapore and self-described “amateur philosopher”. What is he writes appears to be nothing more than a religiously influenced solipsistic philosophy. Solipsism is interesting as a philosophical standpoint but quickly falls apart. If Manoj can start his arguments from such shaky grounds without explanation, then I really have no other course to take than to accept his descriptions of himself asamateur”.

Maybe back to MEQUACK!

什么是真正的? 与朗高讨论.

This post is a long email discussion I had with my friend Ranga. The topic was the unreality of reality of things and how this notion can be applied in physics.

Going through the debate again, I feel that Ranga considers himself better-versed in the matters of philosophy than I am. I do too, I consider him better read than me. But I feel that his assumption (that I didn’t know so much that I should be talking about such things) may have biased his opinion and blinded him to some of the genuinely new things (在我看来, 当然) I had to say. 不过, I think there are quite a few interesting points that came out during the debate that may be of general interest. I have edited and formatted the debate for readability.

It is true that many bright people have pondered over the things I talk about in this blog and in my book. And they have articulated their thoughts in their works, probably better than I have in mine. Although it is always a good idea to go through the existing writings toclear my head” (as one of my reviewers suggested while recommending David Humes), such wide reading creates an inherent risk. It is not so much the time it will take to read and understand the writings and the associated opportunity cost in thinking; it is also the fact that everything you read gets assimilated in you and your opinions become influenced by these brilliant thinkers. While that may be a good thing, I look at it as though it may actually be detrimental to original thought. Taken to the extreme, such blind assimilation may result in your opinions becoming mere regurgitation of these classical schools of thought.

除了, as Hermann Hesse implies in Siddhartha, wisdom cannot be taught. It has to be generated from within.

Ranga’s words are colored Green (或 Blue when quoted for the second time).

Mine are in White (或 Purple when quoted for the second time).

Mon, 五月 21, 2007 在 8:07 PM.

我, to different extents, familiar with the distinction philosophers and scientists make in terms of phenomenal and physical realitiesfrom the works of Upanishads, to the Advaitas/Dvaitas, to the Noumenon/Phenomenon of Schopenhauer, and the block Universe of Special Relativity, and even the recent theories in physics (Kaluza and Klein). The insight that what we perceive is not necessarily what “是”, existed in a variety of ways from a long time. 然而, such insights were not readily embraced and incorporated in all sciences. There is a enormous literature on this in neuroscience and social sciences. 所以, it is indeed very good that you have attempted to bring this in to physicsby recollecting our previous discussion on this, by reading through your introduction to the book in the website and understanding the tilt of your paper (could not find it in the journalhas it been accepted?). To suggest that there could be superluminal motion and to explain known phenomena such as GRBs through a quirk (?) in our perception (even in the physical instruments) is bold and needs careful attention by others in the field. One should always ask questions to cross “perceived” boundariesin this case of course the speed of light.

然而, it is quite inaccurate and superficial (在我看来) to think that there is some “absolute” reality beyond the “现实” we encounter. While it is important to know that there are multiple realities for different individuals in us, and even different organisms, depending on senses and intellect, it is equally important to ask what reality is after all when there is no perception. If it cannot be accessed by any means, what is it anyway? Is there such a thing at all? Is Absolute Reality in the movement of planets, stars and galaxies without organisms in them? Who perceives them as such when there is nobody to perceive? What form do they take? Is there form? In applying philosophy (which I read just as deeper and bolder questions) to science (which I read as a serious attempt to answer those questions), you cannot be half-way in your methods, drawing imaginary boundaries that some questions are too philosophical or too theological for now.

While your book (the summary at least) seems to bring home an important point (at least to those who have not thought in this direction) that the reality we perceive is dependent on the medium/mode (light in some cases) and the instrument (sense organ and brain) we use for perceiving, it seems to leave behind a superficial idea that there is Absolute Reality when you remove these perceptual errors. Are they perceptual errorsaren’t perceptual instruments and perceptions themselves part of reality itself? To suggest that there is some other reality beyond the sum of all our perceptions is philosophically equally erroneous as suggesting that what we perceive is the only reality.

All the same, the question about reality or the lack of it has not been well incorporated into the physical sciences and I wish you the best in this regard.