Tag Archives: la réalité physique

Sensory and Physical Worlds

Animals have different sensory capabilities compared to us humans. Cats, par exemple, can hear up to 60kHz, while the highest note we have ever heard was about 20kHz. Apparemment, we could hear that high a note only in our childhood. Si, if we are trying to pull a fast one on a cat with the best hifi multi-channel, Dolby-whatever recording of a mouse, we will fail pathetically. It won’t be fooled because it lives in a different sensory world, while sharing the same physical world as ours. There is a humongous difference between the sensory and physical worlds.

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What is Unreal Blog?

Tell us a little about why you started your blog, and what keeps you motivated about it.

As my writings started appearing in different magazines and newspapers as regular columns, I wanted to collect them in one place — as an anthology of the internet kind, pour ainsi dire. That’s how my blog was born. The motivation to continue blogging comes from the memory of how my first book, L'Unreal Univers, took shape out of the random notes I started writing on scrap books. I believe the ideas that cross anybody’s mind often get forgotten and lost unless they are written down. A blog is a convenient platform to put them down. Et, since the blog is rather public, you take some care and effort to express yourself well.

Do you have any plans for the blog in the future?

I will keep blogging, roughly at the rate of one post a week or so. I don’t have any big plans for the blog per se, but I do have some other Internet ideas that may spring from my blog.

Philosophy is usually seen as a very high concept, intellectual subject. Do you think that it can have a greater impact in the world at large?

This is a question that troubled me for a while. And I wrote a post on it, which may answer it to the best of my ability. To repeat myself a bit, philosophy is merely a description of whatever intellectual pursuits that we indulge in. It is just that we don’t often see it that way. Par exemple, if you are doing physics, you think that you are quite far removed from philosophy. The philosophical spins that you put on a theory in physics is mostly an afterthought, it is believed. But there are instances where you can actually apply philosophy to solve problems in physics, and come up with new theories. This indeed is the theme of my book, L'Unreal Univers. It asks the question, if some object flew by faster than the speed of light, what would it look like? With the recent discovery that solid matter does travel faster than light, I feel vindicated and look forward to further developments in physics.

Do you think many college students are attracted to philosophy? What would make them choose to major in it?

Dans le monde d'aujourd'hui, I am afraid philosophy is supremely irrelevant. So it may be difficult to get our youngsters interested in philosophy. I feel that one can hope to improve its relevance by pointing out the interconnections between whatever it is that we do and the intellectual aspects behind it. Would that make them choose to major in it? In a world driven by excesses, it may not be enough. Puis à nouveau, it is world where articulation is often mistaken for accomplishments. Perhaps philosophy can help you articulate better, sound really cool and impress that girl you have been after — to put it crudely.

More seriously, bien que, what I said about the irrelevance of philosophy can be said about, dire, physics as well, despite the fact that it gives you computers and iPads. Par exemple, when Copernicus came up with the notion that the earth is revolving around the sun rather than the other way round, profound though this revelation was, in what way did it change our daily life? Do you really have to know this piece of information to live your life? This irrelevance of such profound facts and theories bothered scientists like Richard Feynman.

What kind of advice or recommendations would you give to someone who is interested in philosophy, and who would like to start learning more about it?

I started my path toward philosophy via physics. I think philosophy by itself is too detached from anything else that you cannot really start with it. You have to find your way toward it from whatever your work entails, and then expand from there. Au moins, that’s how I did it, and that way made it very real. When you ask yourself a question like what is space (so that you can understand what it means to say that space contracts, par exemple), the answers you get are very relevant. They are not some philosophical gibberish. I think similar paths to relevance exist in all fields. See for example how Pirsig brought out the notion of quality in his work, not as an abstract definition, but as an all-consuming (and eventually dangerous) obsession.

À mon avis, philosophy is a wrapper around multiple silos of human endeavor. It helps you see the links among seemingly unrelated fields, such as cognitive neuroscience and special relativity. Of what practical use is this knowledge, I cannot tell you. Puis à nouveau, of what practical use is life itself?

Pourquoi la vitesse de la lumière?

What is so special about light that its speed should figure in the basic structure of space and time and our reality? This is the question that has nagged many scientists ever since Albert Einstein published On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies about 100 years ago.

In order to understand the specialness of light in our space and time, we need to study how we perceive the world around us and how reality is created in our brains. We perceive our world using our senses. The sensory signals that our senses collect are then relayed to our brains. The brain creates a cognitive model, a representation of the sensory inputs, and presents it to our conscious awareness as reality. Our visual reality consists of space much like our auditory world is made up of sounds.

Tout comme les sons sont une expérience perceptive plutôt qu'une propriété fondamentale de la réalité physique,,en,l'espace est aussi une expérience,,en,ou une représentation cognitive des entrées visuelles,,en,pas un aspect fondamental de,,en,le monde,,en,nos sens essayent de sentir,,en,L'espace et le temps forment ensemble ce que la physique considère comme la base de la réalité,,en,La seule façon de comprendre les limites de notre réalité est d'étudier les limites de nos sens eux-mêmes.,,en,À un niveau fondamental,,en,comment fonctionnent nos sens,,en,Notre sens de la vue opère en utilisant la lumière,,en,et l'interaction fondamentale impliquée dans la vue tombe dans le électromagnétique,,en,MS,,pt,catégorie parce que la lumière,,en,ou photon,,en,est l'intermédiaire des interactions EM,,en,L'exclusivité de l'interaction EM ne se limite pas à notre sens de la vision à longue distance,,en,tous les sens à court terme,,en,toucher,,en,goût,,en, space also is an experience, or a cognitive representation of the visual inputs, not a fundamental aspect of “the world” our senses are trying to sense.

Space and time together form what physics considers the basis of reality. The only way we can understand the limitations in our reality is by studying the limitations in our senses themselves.

At a fundamental level, how do our senses work? Our sense of sight operates using light, and the fundamental interaction involved in sight falls in the electromagnetic (EM) category because light (or photon) is the intermediary of EM interactions. The exclusivity of EM interaction is not limited to our the long range sense of sight; all the short range senses (touch, taste, odeur et audition,,en,sont également EM dans la nature,,en,Comprendre les limites de notre perception de l'espace,,en,nous n'avons pas besoin de mettre en évidence la nature EM de tous nos sens,,en,L'espace est,,en,le résultat de notre sens de la vue,,en,Mais il est utile de garder à l'esprit que nous n'aurions pas de détection,,en,et en effet pas de réalité,,en,en l'absence d'interactions EM,,en,Comme nos sens,,en,toutes nos extensions technologiques à nos sens,,en,tels que les radiotélescopes,,en,microscopes électroniques,,en,mesures redshift et même lentilles gravitationnelles,,en,utiliser les interactions EM exclusivement pour mesurer notre univers,,en,nous ne pouvons pas échapper aux contraintes de base de notre perception, même lorsque nous utilisons des instruments modernes,,en,Le télescope Hubble peut voir un milliard d'années-lumière plus loin que nos yeux nus,,en,Notre réalité perçue,,en,si construit sur les entrées sensorielles directes ou technologiquement améliorées,,en) are also EM in nature. To understand the limitations of our perception of space, we need not highlight the EM nature of all our senses. Space is, dans l'ensemble, the result of our sight sense. But it is worthwhile to keep in mind that we would have no sensing, and indeed no reality, in the absence of EM interactions.

Like our senses, all our technological extensions to our senses (such as radio telescopes, electron microscopes, redshift measurements and even gravitational lensing) use EM interactions exclusively to measure our universe. Ainsi, we cannot escape the basic constraints of our perception even when we use modern instruments. The Hubble telescope may see a billion light years farther than our naked eyes, mais ce qu'il voit est encore un milliard d'années de plus que ce que nos yeux voient. Our perceived reality, whether built upon direct sensory inputs or technologically enhanced, est un sous-ensemble de particules électromagnétiques et d'interactions seulement,,en,C'est une projection de particules et d'interactions EM dans notre espace sensoriel et cognitif,,en,une projection éventuellement imparfaite,,en,Cette déclaration sur l'exclusivité des interactions EM dans notre réalité perçue est souvent rencontrée avec un peu de scepticisme,,en,principalement en raison d'une idée fausse que nous pouvons sentir la gravité directement,,en,Cette confusion provient du fait que nos corps sont soumis à la gravité,,en,Il y a une belle distinction entre,,en,être soumis à,,en,être capable de sentir,,en,force gravitationnelle,,en,Cette différence est illustrée par une simple expérience de pensée,,en,Imaginez un sujet humain placé devant un objet entièrement fait de matière noire cosmologique,,en,Il n'y a pas d'autre matière visible nulle part le sujet peut le voir,,en. It is a projection of EM particles and interactions into our sensory and cognitive space, a possibly imperfect projection.

This statement about the exclusivity of EM interactions in our perceived reality is often met with a bit of skepticism, mainly due to a misconception that we can sense gravity directly. This confusion arises because our bodies are subject to gravity. There is a fine distinction between “being subject to” et “being able to sense” gravitational force.

This difference is illustrated by a simple thought experiment: Imagine a human subject placed in front of an object made entirely of cosmological dark matter. There is no other visible matter anywhere the subject can see it. Étant donné que la matière noire exerce une force gravitationnelle sur le sujet,,en,Sera-t-il capable de sentir sa présence,,en,Il sera tiré vers lui,,en,mais comment va-t-il savoir qu'il est tiré ou qu'il se déplace,,en,Il peut éventuellement concevoir un engin mécanique pour détecter la gravité de l'objet de la matière noire,,en,Mais alors, il va sentir l'effet de la gravité sur une certaine matière en utilisant des interactions EM,,en,il peut être en mesure de voir son accélération inexpliquée,,en,effet de la gravité sur son corps,,en,ce qui est EM question,,en,par rapport aux objets de référence tels que les étoiles,,en,Mais la partie sensible ici,,en,voir les étoiles,,en,implique des interactions EM,,en,Il est impossible de concevoir un engin mécanique pour détecter une gravité dépourvue de matière électromagnétique,,en,La détection de la gravité dans nos oreilles mesure à nouveau l'effet de la gravité sur la matière électromagnétique,,en, will he be able to sense its presence? He will be pulled toward it, but how will he know that he is being pulled or that he is moving? He can possibly design some mechanical contraption to detect the gravity of the dark matter object. But then he will be sensing the effect of gravity on some matter using EM interactions. Par exemple, he may be able to see his unexplained acceleration (effect of gravity on his body, which is EM matter) with respect to reference objects such as stars. But the sensing part here (seeing the stars) involves EM interactions.

It is impossible to design any mechanical contraption to detect gravity that is devoid of EM matter. The gravity sensing in our ears again measures the effect of gravity on EM matter. En l'absence d'interaction EM,,en,il est impossible de sentir la gravité,,en,ou toute autre chose d'ailleurs,,en,Les interactions électromagnétiques sont responsables de nos entrées sensorielles,,en,La perception sensorielle conduit à la représentation de notre cerveau que nous appelons la réalité,,en,Toute limitation dans cette chaîne conduit à une limitation correspondante de notre sens de la réalité,,en,Une limitation de la chaîne des sens à la réalité est la vitesse finie du photon,,en,qui est le boson de jauge de nos sens,,en,La vitesse finie de la modalité sensorielle influence et déforme notre perception du mouvement,,en,Parce que ces distorsions sont perçues comme faisant partie de notre réalité même,,en,la cause profonde de la distorsion devient une propriété fondamentale de notre réalité,,en,C'est ainsi que la vitesse de la lumière devient une constante si importante dans notre espace-temps,,en, it is impossible to sense gravity, or anything else for that matter.

Electromagnetic interactions are responsible for our sensory inputs. Sensory perception leads to our brain’s representation that we call reality. Any limitation in this chain leads to a corresponding limitation in our sense of reality. One limitation in the chain from senses to reality is the finite speed of photon, which is the gauge boson of our senses. The finite speed of the sense modality influences and distorts our perception of motion, l'espace et le temps. Because these distortions are perceived as a part of our reality itself, the root cause of the distortion becomes a fundamental property of our reality. This is how the speed of light becomes such an important constant in our space time. Le caractère sacré de la lumière n'est respecté que dans notre réalité perçue,,en,Si nous faisons confiance à la perception imparfaite et essayons de décrire ce que nous ressentons aux échelles cosmologiques,,en,nous nous retrouvons avec des vues du monde telles que la théorie du big bang dans la cosmologie moderne et les théories générales et spéciales de la relativité,,en,Ces théories ne sont pas fausses,,en,et le but de ce livre n'est pas de leur prouver le contraire,,en,juste pour souligner qu'ils sont des descriptions d'une réalité perçue,,en,Ils ne décrivent pas les causes physiques derrière les entrées sensorielles,,en,Les causes physiques appartiennent à une réalité absolue au-delà de nos sens,,en,La distinction entre la réalité absolue et notre perception de celle-ci peut être développée et appliquée à certains,,en,astrophysique spécifique,,en,phénomènes cosmologiques,,en.

If we trust the imperfect perception and try to describe what we sense at cosmological scales, we end up with views of the world such as the big bang theory in modern cosmology and the general and special theories of relativity. These theories are not wrong, and the purpose of this book is not to prove them wrong, just to point out that they are descriptions of a perceived reality. They do not describe the physical causes behind the sensory inputs. The physical causes belong to an absolute reality beyond our senses.

The distinction between the absolute reality and our perception of it can be further developed and applied to certain specific astrophysical et cosmological phenomena. Quand il s'agit de la physique qui se passe bien au-delà de nos gammes sensorielles,,en,L'univers tel que nous le voyons n'est qu'un modèle cognitif créé à partir des photons tombant sur notre rétine ou sur les photodétecteurs du télescope Hubble,,en,notre perception est déformée de manière à nous donner l'impression que l'espace et le temps obéissent à la relativité restreinte,,en,Ils ne sont qu'une partie du,,en,c'est notre perception d'une réalité inconnaissable,,en,Ceci est encore un extrait édité de mon livre,,en,expérience perceptuelle,,en,entrées visuelles,,en,réalité visuelle,,en,Entrées sensorielles Archives,,en, nous devons vraiment prendre en compte le rôle que notre perception et le jeu de la cognition à les voir. The universe as we see it is only a cognitive model created out of the photons falling on our retina or on the photo sensors of the Hubble telescope. En raison de la vitesse limitée du support d'informations (à savoir photons), our perception is distorted in such a way as to give us the impression that space and time obey special relativity. Ils le font, mais l'espace et le temps ne sont pas la réalité absolue. They are only a part of the unreal universe that is our perception of an unknowable reality.

[This again is an edited excerpt from my book, L'Unreal Univers.]