# What Does it Feel Like to be a Bat?

It is a sensible question: What does it feel like to be a bat? Although we can never really know the answer (because we can never be bats), we know that there is an answer. It feels like something to be a bat. Bem, at least we think it does. We think bats have consciência and conscious feelings. Por outro lado, it is not a sensible question to ask what it feels like to be brick or a table. It doesn&#8217;t feel like anything to be an inanimate object.

# 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, por assim dizer. That’s how my blog was born. The motivation to continue blogging comes from the memory of how my first book, O Unreal Universo, 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. E, since the blog is rather public, you take some care and effort to express yourself well.

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. Por exemplo, 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, O Unreal Universo. 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?

No mundo de hoje, 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. Então, novamente, 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, embora, what I said about the irrelevance of philosophy can be said about, dizer, physics as well, despite the fact that it gives you computers and iPads. Por exemplo, 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. Finalmente, 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, por exemplo), 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.

Na minha opinião, 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. Então, novamente, of what practical use is life itself?

# Only a Matter of Time

Although we speak of space and time in the same breath, they are quite different in many ways. Space is something we perceive all around us. We see it (rather, objects in it), we can move our hand through it, and we know that if our knee tries to occupy the same space as, dizer, the coffee table, it is going to hurt. Em outras palavras, we have sensory correlates to our notion of space, starting from our most precious sense of sight.

Time, por outro lado, has no direct sensory backing. And for this reason, it becomes quite difficult to get a grip over it. O que é o tempo? We sense it indirectly through change and motion. But it would be silly to define time using the concepts of change and motion, because they already include the notion of time. The definition would be cyclic.

Assuming, for now, that no definition is necessary, let’s try another perhaps more tractable issue. Where does this strong sense of time come from? I once postulated that it comes from our knowledge of our demisethat questionable gift that we all possess. All the time durations that we are aware of are measured against the yardstick of our lifespan, perhaps not always consciously. I now wonder if this postulate is firm enough, and further ruminations on this issue have convinced me that I am quite ignorant of these things and need more knowledge. Ah.. only if I had more time. 🙂

Em todo o caso, even this more restricted question of the origin of time doesn’t seem to be that tractable, afinal. Physics has another deep problem with time. It has to do with the directionality. It cannot easily explain why time has a directionan arrow, por assim dizer. This arrow does not present itself in the fundamental laws governing physical interactions. All the laws in physics are time reversible. The laws of gravity, electromagnetism or quantum mechanics are all invariant with respect to a time reversal. Isto quer dizer, they look the same with time going forward or backward. So they give no clue as to why we experience the arrow of time.

Ainda, we know that time, as we experience it, is directional. We can remember the past, but not the future. What we do now can affect the future, but not the past. If we play a video tape backwards, the sequence of events (like broken pieces of glass coming together to for a vase) will look funny to us. Contudo, if we taped the motion of the planets in a solar system, or the electron cloud in an atom, and played it backward to a physicist, he would not find anything funny in the sequences because the physical laws are reversible.

Physics considers the arrow of time an emergent property of statistical collections. To illustrate this thermodynamic explanation of time, let’s consider an empty container where we place some dry ice. After some time, we expect to see a uniform distribution of carbon dioxide gas in the container. Once spread out, we do not expect the gas in the container to coagulate into solid dry ice, no matter how long we wait. The video of CO2 spreading uniformly in the container is a natural one. Played backward, the sequence of the CO2 gas in the container congealing to solid dry ice in a corner would not look natural to us because it violates our sense of the arrow of time.

The apparent uniformity of CO2 in the container is due to the statistically significant quantity of dry ice we placed there. If we manage to put a small quantity, say five molecules of CO2, we can fully expect to see the congregation of the molecules in one location once in a while. Assim, the arrow of time manifests itself as a statistical or thermodynamic property. Although the directionality of time seems to emerge from reversible physical laws, its absence in the fundamental laws does look less than satisfactory philosophically.

# Half a Bucket of Water

We all see and feel space, but what is it really? Space is one of those fundamental things that a philosopher may consider an “intuition.” When philosophers look at anything, they get a bit technical. Is space relational, as in, defined in terms of relations between objects? A relational entity is like your family — you have your parents, siblings, spouse, kids etc. forming what you consider your family. But your family itself is not a physical entity, but only a collection of relationships. Is space also something like that? Or is it more like a physical container where objects reside and do their thing?

You may consider the distinction between the two just another one of those philosophical hairsplittings, but it really is not. What space is, and even what kind of entity space is, has enormous implications in physics. Por exemplo, if it is relational in nature, then in the absence of matter, there is no space. Much like in the absence of any family members, you have no family. Por outro lado, if it is a container-like entity, the space exists even if you take away all matter, waiting for some matter to appear.

Então o que, you ask? Bem, let’s take half a bucket of water and spin it around. Once the water within catches on, its surface will form a parabolic shape — você sabe, centrifugal force, gravidade, surface tension and all that. Agora, stop the bucket, and spin the whole universe around it instead. Eu sei, it is more difficult. But imagine you are doing it. Will the water surface be parabolic? I think it will be, because there is not much difference between the bucket turning or the whole universe spinning around it.

Agora, let’s imagine that we empty the universe. There is nothing but this half-full bucket. Now it spins around. What happens to the water surface? If space is relational, in the absence of the universe, there is no space outside the bucket and there is no way to know that it is spinning. Water surface should be flat. (De fato, it should be spherical, but ignore that for a second.) And if space is container-like, the spinning bucket should result in a parabolic surface.

Claro, we have no way of knowing which way it is going to be because we have no way of emptying the universe and spinning a bucket. But that doesn’t prevent us from guessing the nature of space and building theories based on it. Newton’s space is container-like, while at their heart, Einstein’s theories have a relational notion of space.

Assim, entende, philosophy does matter.

# Por que a velocidade da luz?

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.

Just as sounds are a perceptual experience rather than a fundamental property of the physical reality, space also is an experience, or a cognitive representation of the visual inputs, not a fundamental aspect ofthe worldour 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, smell and hearing) 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, de um modo geral, 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. Assim, 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, mas o que se vê ainda é um bilhão de anos mais velho do que o que os nossos olhos vêem. Our perceived reality, whether built upon direct sensory inputs or technologically enhanced, is a subset of electromagnetic particles and interactions only. 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 betweenbeing subject to” e “being able to sensegravitational 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. Given that the dark matter exerts gravitational force on the subject, 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. Por exemplo, 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. In the absence of EM interaction, 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, espaço e tempo. 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. The sanctity of light is respected only in our perceived reality.

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 e cosmological phenomena. When it comes to the physics that happens well beyond our sensory ranges, nós realmente temos que levar em conta o papel que a nossa percepção e cognição jogo em vê-los. 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. Por causa da velocidade finita do transportador de informações (os fótons), our perception is distorted in such a way as to give us the impression that space and time obey special relativity. Eles fazem, mas o espaço eo tempo não são a realidade absoluta. 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, O Unreal Universo.]

# O que é o Espaço?

Isso soa como uma pergunta estranha. Todos sabemos o que o espaço é, que está ao nosso redor. Quando abrimos nossos olhos, vemo-lo. Se é ver para crer, então a questão “O que é o espaço?” na verdade, é um estranho.

Para ser justo, nós realmente não ver espaço. Vemos apenas objetos que assumimos estão no espaço. Bastante, definimos o espaço como o que é que detém ou contém os objetos. Ele é a arena onde os objetos fazer as suas coisas, o pano de fundo de nossa experiência. Em outras palavras, experiência pressupõe espaço e no tempo, e fornece a base para a visão de mundo por trás das interpretações atualmente populares de teorias científicas.

Embora não seja óbvio, esta definição (ou assunção ou entendimento) de espaço vem com uma bagagem filosófica — que de realismo. A visão do realista é predominante na compreensão atual das teorias de Einstien bem. Mas o próprio Einstein pode não ter abraçado realismo cegamente. Por que mais ele disse:

A fim de romper com o aperto de realismo, temos de abordar a questão de forma tangencial. Uma maneira de fazer isso é através do estudo da neurociência e da base cognitiva da vista, que, afinal, fornece a evidência mais forte para o realismo do espaço. Espaço, de um modo geral, é a experiência associada à vista. Outra maneira é examinar correlatos experienciais de outros sentidos: O que é som?

Quando ouvimos algo, o que ouvimos é, naturalmente, som. Nós experimentamos um tom, uma intensidade e uma variação de tempo que nos dizem muito sobre quem está falando, o que se quebrar e assim por diante. Mas, mesmo depois tirando toda a riqueza extra adicionado à experiência pelo nosso cérebro, a experiência mais básico é ainda uma “som.” Todos nós sabemos o que é, mas não podemos explicá-la em termos mais básicos do que isso.

Agora vamos olhar para o sinal sensorial responsável pela audição. Como sabemos, estes são ondas de pressão no ar que são criados por um corpo vibrando fazendo compressões e depressões no ar em torno dele. Muito parecido com as ondas em um lago, estas ondas de pressão propagar em quase todas as direções. Eles são captados por nossos ouvidos. Através de um mecanismo inteligente, as orelhas realizar uma análise espectral e enviar sinais eléctricos, que correspondem aproximadamente ao espectro de frequência das ondas, para o nosso cérebro. Observe que, até agora, temos um corpo vibrando, ajuntar e propagação de moléculas de ar, e um sinal eléctrico que contém as informações sobre o padrão das moléculas de ar. Não temos ainda som.

A experiência de som é a magia o nosso cérebro funciona. Ele traduz o sinal elétrico que codifica os padrões de ondas de pressão de ar a uma representação da tonalidade e riqueza de som. O som não é a propriedade intrínseca de um corpo vibratório ou uma árvore que cai, é a forma como o nosso cérebro escolhe para representar as vibrações ou, mais precisamente, o sinal eléctrico que codifica o espectro das ondas de pressão.

Não faz sentido chamar soar uma representação cognitiva interna dos nossos inputs sensoriais auditivas? Se você concorda, em seguida, a própria realidade é a nossa representação interna dos nossos inputs sensoriais. Esta noção é realmente muito mais profunda que parece à primeira vista. Se o som é a representação, por isso é cheiro. Então, é o espaço.

 Figura: Ilustração do processo de representação do cérebro de inputs sensoriais. Os odores são uma representação das composições químicas e níveis de concentração nossos sentidos nariz. Os sons são um mapeamento das ondas de pressão de ar produzidos por um objecto vibratório. Em vista, nossa representação é o espaço, e possivelmente vez. Contudo, não sabemos o que é a representação do.

Podemos examiná-lo e compreendo perfeitamente o som por causa de um fato notável — temos um sentido mais poderoso, ou seja, a nossa visão. Vista nos permite compreender os sinais sensoriais da audição e compará-los com a nossa experiência sensorial. Com efeito, vista nos permite fazer um modelo que descreve o que é som.

Por que é que nós não sabemos a causa física por trás espaço? Afinal, sabemos das causas por trás das experiências de cheiro, som, etc. A razão para a nossa incapacidade de ver além da realidade visual está na hierarquia dos sentidos, melhor ilustrado através de um exemplo. Vamos considerar uma pequena explosão, como um fogo de artifício saindo. Quando experimentamos essa explosão, vamos ver o flash, ouvir o relatório, cheirar os produtos químicos em chamas e sentir o calor, se estamos perto o suficiente.

Os qualia dessas experiências são atribuídos ao mesmo evento físico — a explosão, a física dos quais é bem compreendida. Agora, vamos ver se podemos enganar os sentidos em ter as mesmas experiências, na ausência de uma verdadeira explosão. O calor eo cheiro são bastante fáceis de reproduzir. A experiência do som também pode ser criada usando, por exemplo, um sistema de home theater high-end. Como é que vamos recriar a experiência da visão da explosão? A experiência de home theater é uma reprodução pobre da coisa real.

Em princípio, pelo menos,, podemos pensar em cenários futuristas, como o holideck em Star Trek, onde a experiência da visão podem ser recriados. Mas no ponto onde a visão também é recriada, há uma diferença entre a experiência real da explosão e da simulação holideck? The blurring of the sense of reality when the sight experience is simulated indicates that sight is our most powerful sense, and we have no access to causes beyond our visual reality.

Visual perception is the basis of our sense of reality. All other senses provide corroborating or complementing perceptions to the visual reality.

[This post has borrowed quite a bit from my book.]

# Luz viagem no tempo efeitos e recursos cosmológicos

Este artigo não publicado é uma sequela para o meu artigo anterior (também postou aqui como “É Rádio Fontes e Gamma Ray Bursts Luminal Booms?“). Esta versão de blog contém o resumo, introdução e conclusões. A versão integral do artigo está disponível como um arquivo PDF.

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Abstrato

Os efeitos do tempo de viagem Luz (LTT) são uma manifestação óptica da velocidade finita da luz. Eles também podem ser considerados limitações perceptual para a imagem cognitiva do espaço e do tempo. Com base nessa interpretação de efeitos LTT, que apresentou recentemente um novo modelo hipotético para a variação espacial e temporal do espectro da Gamma Ray Bursts (GRB) e fontes de rádio. Neste artigo, tomamos a análise mais e mostrar que os efeitos LTT pode fornecer um bom quadro para descrever tais características cosmológicas como a observação redshift de um universo em expansão, ea radiação cósmica de fundo. A unificação desses fenômenos aparentemente distintas em muito diferentes escalas de comprimento e tempo, juntamente com a sua simplicidade conceitual, podem ser considerados como indicadores da utilidade curioso deste quadro, se não a sua validade.

#### Introdução

A velocidade finita da luz desempenha um papel importante na forma como percebemos a distância ea velocidade. Este fato dificilmente deve vir como uma surpresa, porque nós sabemos que as coisas não são como nós os vemos. O sol que vemos, por exemplo, já é de oito minutos de idade no momento em que vê-lo. Este atraso é trivial; se queremos saber o que está acontecendo no sol agora, tudo o que temos a fazer é esperar por oito minutos. Nós, no entanto,, tem que “correto” para essa distorção em nossa percepção, devido à velocidade finita da luz antes que possamos confiar no que vemos.

O que é surpreendente (e raramente destaque) é que, quando se trata de sensores de movimento, não podemos voltar a calcular da mesma forma que tirar o atraso em ver o sol. Se vemos um corpo celeste se movendo a uma improvável alta velocidade, não podemos descobrir o quão rápido e em que direção é “realmente” movimento sem outros pressupostos. Uma maneira de lidar com essa dificuldade é atribuir as distorções na nossa percepção de movimento para as propriedades fundamentais da arena da física — espaço e tempo. Outra linha de ação é aceitar a desconexão entre a nossa percepção ea subjacente “realidade” e lidar com ele de alguma forma.

Explorando a segunda opção, assumimos uma realidade subjacente que dá origem à nossa imagem percebida. Nós modelo ainda mais essa realidade subjacente como obedecendo a mecânica clássica, e trabalhar a nossa imagem percebida através do aparelho de percepção. Em outras palavras, não atribuem as manifestações de velocidade finita da luz para as propriedades da realidade subjacente. Em vez, nós cuidamos da nossa imagem percebido que este modelo prevê e verificar se as propriedades que nós observamos podem se originar a partir desta restrição perceptual.

Espaço, os objetos nele, e seu movimento são, de um modo geral, o produto de percepção óptica. Um tende a tomar como certo que a percepção da realidade surge como um percebe. Neste artigo, tomamos a posição de que o que percebemos é uma imagem incompleta ou distorcida de uma realidade subjacente. Mais, estamos tentando out mecânica clássica para a realidade do subjacente (para a qual nós usamos termos como absoluta, realidade noumenal ou física) que faz com que a nossa percepção para ver se ele se encaixa com a nossa imagem percebida (que podemos nos referir à realidade como detectado ou fenomenal).

Note-se que não estamos dando a entender que as manifestações de percepção são meras ilusões. Eles não são; eles são de fato parte da nossa realidade detectada porque a realidade é um resultado final de percepção. Essa percepção pode estar por trás a famosa frase de Goethe, “Ilusão de ótica é a verdade óptica.”

Nós aplicamos essa linha de pensamento a um problema de física recentemente. Nós olhamos para a evolução do espectro de um GRB e achei que fosse notavelmente semelhante ao de um estrondo sônico. Usando este facto, apresentamos um modelo para GRB como a nossa percepção de um “luminal” árvore, com o entendimento de que é a nossa imagem percebida da realidade que obedece a invariância de Lorentz e nosso modelo para a realidade subjacente (fazendo com que a imagem percebida) pode violar física relativista. O acordo marcante entre o modelo e as características observadas, no entanto, prorrogada para além GRBs a fontes de rádio simétricas, que também pode ser considerado como efeitos perceptivos de booms luminais hipotéticas.

Neste artigo, olharmos para outras implicações do modelo. Começamos com as semelhanças entre o tempo de viagem de luz (LTT) efeitos e a transformação de coordenadas em Relatividade Especial (SR). Estas semelhanças não são surpreendentes porque SR deriva, em parte, com base nos efeitos LTT. Nós, então, propor uma interpretação da SR como uma formalização de efeitos LTT e estudar alguns fenômenos cosmológicos observados à luz desta interpretação.

#### Semelhanças entre a luz viajar no tempo Efeitos e SR

A relatividade especial visa coordenar uma transformação linear entre sistemas de coordenadas em movimento em relação ao outro. Podemos traçar a origem da linearidade de um pressuposto oculto sobre a natureza do espaço e do tempo construída em SR, como afirmou Einstein: “Em primeiro lugar, é evidente que as equações deve ser linear, em virtude das propriedades de homogeneidade que atribuímos a espaço e tempo.” Devido a essa suposição de linearidade, a derivação original das equações de transformação ignora a assimetria entre aproximando e se afastando objetos. Tanto a aproximação e recuo objectos pode ser descrito por dois sistemas que são sempre de recuo de cada outra coordenada. Por exemplo, se um sistema $K$ está em movimento em relação a um outro sistema $k$ ao longo do eixo X positivo de $k$, em seguida, um objeto em repouso $K$ a uma positiva $x$ está se afastando enquanto outro objeto em um negativo $x$ está se aproximando de um observador na origem da $k$.

A transformação de coordenadas no trabalho original de Einstein é derivado, em parte, uma manifestação do tempo de viagem luz (LTT) efeitos e por consequência a imposição a constância da velocidade da luz em todos os referenciais inerciais. Isso é mais evidente no primeiro experimento de pensamento, onde os observadores se deslocam com uma haste de encontrar os seus relógios não sincronizado, devido à diferença nos tempos de viagem de luz ao longo do comprimento da haste. Contudo, na interpretação atual da SR, a transformação de coordenadas é considerado uma propriedade básica de espaço e tempo.

Uma dificuldade que surge a partir desta interpretação de SR é que a definição da velocidade relativa entre os dois quadros de inércia torna-se ambígua. Se for a velocidade da trama em movimento, conforme medido pelo observador, em seguida, o movimento superluminal observado em jatos de rádio a partir da região do núcleo torna-se uma violação do SR. Se for uma velocidade que temos a considerar os efeitos deduzir por LT, então temos que empregar a suposição ad-hoc extra que superluminality é proibido. Essas dificuldades sugerem que pode ser melhor para separar os efeitos de luz tempo de viagem do resto do SR.

Nesta secção, vamos considerar espaço e tempo como uma parte do modelo cognitivo criado pelo cérebro, e argumentam que a relatividade especial aplica-se ao modelo cognitivo. A realidade absoluta (de que o SR-como o espaço-tempo é a nossa percepção) não tem de obedecer às restrições da SR. Em particular, objectos não são restritas a velocidades subluminal, mas eles podem aparecer para nós como se eles estão restritos a velocidades subluminal em nossa percepção do espaço e do tempo. Se separar os efeitos LTT do resto do SR, podemos compreender uma grande variedade de fenômenos, como veremos neste artigo.

Ao contrário de SR, considerações baseadas em efeitos LTT resultar em conjunto intrinsecamente diferente de leis de transformação para objetos que se aproximam um observador e os afastando dele. Mais geralmente, a transformação depende do ângulo entre a velocidade do objecto e a linha de visão do observador. Uma vez que as equações de transformação com base em efeitos LTT tratar aproximando e se afastando objetos assimetricamente, eles fornecem uma solução natural para o paradoxo dos gêmeos, por exemplo.

#### Conclusões

Como o espaço eo tempo são uma parte de uma realidade criada a partir de insumos de luz para os nossos olhos, algumas das suas propriedades são manifestações de efeitos LTT, especialmente na nossa percepção do movimento. O absoluto, realidade física, presumivelmente, gerando as entradas de luz não tem que obedecer as propriedades que atribuímos ao nosso espaço e tempo percebido.

Nós mostramos que os efeitos LTT são qualitativamente idênticos aos do SR, observando que SR considera apenas quadros de referência recuando um do outro. Esta semelhança não é surpreendente, porque a transformação de coordenadas no SR é derivado com base, em parte, os efeitos LTT, e, em parte, na hipótese de que a luz viaja à mesma velocidade com que diz respeito a todos os inerciais. Em tratando-o como uma manifestação de LTT, nós não abordou a principal motivação de SR, que é uma formulação covariante das equações de Maxwell. Pode ser possível separar a covariância da eletrodinâmica a partir da transformação de coordenadas, embora não seja experimentada com este artigo.

Ao contrário de SR, Efeitos LTT são assimétricas. Esta assimetria fornece uma solução para o paradoxo dos gêmeos e uma interpretação das violações de causalidade assumidas associado com superluminality. Além disso, a percepção de superluminality é modulada por efeitos LTT, e explica $gamma$ explosões de raios e jatos simétricos. Como mostramos no artigo, percepção do movimento superluminal também tem uma explicação para os fenômenos cosmológicos, como a expansão do universo e microondas radiação cósmica de fundo. Efeitos LTT deve ser considerada como uma restrição fundamental em nossa percepção, e, consequentemente, na física, ao invés de uma explicação conveniente para fenômenos isolados.

A transformação de coordenadas no SR pode ser visto como uma redefinição do espaço e do tempo (ou, mais geralmente, realidade) a fim de acomodar as distorções em nossa percepção do movimento, devido aos efeitos de tempo de viagem luz. Pode-se ser tentado a argumentar que se aplica ao SR “reais” espaço e tempo, não a nossa percepção. Essa linha de argumentação levanta a questão, o que é real? A realidade é somente um modelo cognitivo criado em nosso cérebro a partir de nossas entradas sensoriais, inputs visual que é o mais importante. O próprio espaço é uma parte deste modelo cognitivo. As propriedades do espaço são um mapeamento dos limites da nossa percepção.

# The Philosophy of Special Relativity — A Comparison between Indian and Western Interpretations

Abstrato: The Western philosophical phenomenalism could be treated as a kind of philosophical basis of the special theory of relativity. The perceptual limitations of our senses hold the key to the understanding of relativistic postulates. The specialness of the speed of light in our phenomenal space and time is more a matter of our perceptual apparatus, than an input postulate to the special theory of relativity. The author believes that the parallels among the phenomenological, Western spiritual and the Eastern Advaita interpretations of special relativity point to an exciting possibility of unifying the Eastern and Western schools of thought to some extent.

– Editor

Key Words: Relativity, Speed of Light, Phenomenalism, Advaita.

#### Introdução

The philosophical basis of the special theory of relativity can be interpreted in terms of Western phenomenalism, which views space and time are considered perceptual and cognitive constructs created out our sensory inputs. A partir desta perspectiva, the special status of light and its speed can be understood through a phenomenological study of our senses and the perceptual limitations to our phenomenal notions of space and time. A similar view is echoed in the BrahmanMaya distinção em Advaita. If we think of space and time as part of Maya, we can partly understand the importance that the speed of light in our reality, as enshrined in special relativity. The central role of light in our reality is highlighted in the Bible as well. These remarkable parallels among the phenomenological, Western spiritual and the Advaita interpretations of special relativity point to an exciting possibility of unifying the Eastern and Western schools of thought to a certain degree.

#### Special Relativity

Einstein unveiled his special theory of relativity2 a little over a century ago. In his theory, he showed that space and time were not absolute entities. They are entities relative to an observer. An observer’s space and time are related to those of another through the speed of light. Por exemplo, nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. In a moving system, time flows slower and space contracts in accordance with equations involving the speed of light. Luz, portanto,, enjoys a special status in our space and time. This specialness of light in our reality is indelibly enshrined in the special theory of relativity.

Where does this specialness come from? What is so special about light that its speed should figure in the basic structure of space and time and our reality? This question has remained unanswered for over 100 anos. It also brings in the metaphysical aspects of space and time, which form the basis of what we perceive as reality.

#### Noumenal-Phenomenal and Brahman–Maya Distinctions

No Advaita3 view of reality, what we perceive is merely an illusion-Maya. Advaita explicitly renounces the notion that the perceived reality is external or indeed real. It teaches us that the phenomenal universe, our conscious awareness of it, and our bodily being are all an illusion or Maya. They are not the true, absolute reality. The absolute reality existing in itself, independent of us and our experiences, é Brahman.

A similar view of reality is echoed in phenomenalism,4 which holds that space and time are not objective realities. Eles são apenas o meio de nossa percepção. Neste ponto de vista, all the phenomena that happen in space and time are merely bundles of our perception. Space and time are also cognitive constructs arising from perception. Assim, the reasons behind all the physical properties that we ascribe to space and time have to be sought in the sensory processes that create our perception, whether we approach the issue from the Advaita or phenomenalism perspective.

This analysis of the importance of light in our reality naturally brings in the metaphysical aspects of space and time. In Kant’s view,5 space and time are pure forms of intuition. They do not arise from our experience because our experiences presuppose the existence of space and time. Assim, we can represent space and time in the absence of objects, but we cannot represent objects in the absence of space and time.

Kant’s middle-ground has the advantage of reconciling the views of Newton and Leibniz. It can agree with Newton’s view6 that space is absolute and real for phenomenal objects open to scientific investigation. It can also sit well with Leibniz’s view7 that space is not absolute and has an existence only in relation to objects, by highlighting their relational nature, not among objects in themselves (noumenal objects), but between observers and objects.

We can roughly equate the noumenal objects to forms in Brahman and our perception of them to Maya. Neste artigo, we will use the terms “noumenal reality,” “absolute reality,” ou “realidade física” interchangeably to describe the collection of noumenal objects, their properties and interactions, which are thought to be the underlying causes of our perception. Da mesma forma, we will “phenomenal reality,” “perceived or sensed reality,” e “perceptual reality” to signify our reality as we perceive it.

As with Brahman causing Maya, we assume that the phenomenal notions of space and time arise from noumenal causes8 through our sensory and cognitive processes. Note that this causality assumption is ad-hoc; there is no a priori reason for phenomenal reality to have a cause, nor is causation a necessary feature of the noumenal reality. Despite this difficulty, we proceed from a naive model for the noumenal reality and show that, through the process of perception, we can “derive” a phenomenal reality that obeys the special theory of relativity.

This attempt to go from the phenomena (espaço e tempo) to the essence of what we experience (a model for noumenal reality) is roughly in line with Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology.9 The deviation is that we are more interested in the manifestations of the model in the phenomenal reality itself rather than the validity of the model for the essence. Through this study, we show that the specialness of the speed of light in our phenomenal space and time is a consequence of our perceptual apparatus. It doesn’t have to be an input postulate to the special theory of relativity.

#### Perception and Phenomenal Reality

The properties we ascribe to space and time (such as the specialness of the speed of light) can only be a part of our perceived reality or Maya, em Advaita, not of the underlying absolute reality, Brahman. If we think of space and time as aspects of our perceived reality arising from an unknowable Brahman through our sensory and cognitive processes, we can find an explanation for the special distinction of the speed of light in the process and mechanism of our sensing. Our thesis is that the reason for the specialness of light in our phenomenal notions of space and time is hidden in the process of our perception.

Nós, portanto,, study how the noumenal objects around us generate our sensory signals, and how we construct our phenomenal reality out of these signals in our brains. The first part is already troublesome because noumenal objects, por definição, have no properties or interactions that we can study or understand.

These features of the noumenal reality are identical to the notion of Brahman em Advaita, which highlights that the ultimate truth is Brahman, the one beyond time, space and causation. Brahman is the material cause of the universe, but it transcends the cosmos. It transcends time; it exists in the past, present and future. It transcends space; it has no beginning, middle and end. It even transcends causality. For that reason, Brahman is incomprehensible to the human mind. The way it manifests to us is through our sensory and cognitive processes. This manifestation is Maya, the illusion, que, in the phenomenalistic parlance, corresponds to the phenomenal reality.

For our purpose in this article, we describe our sensory and cognitive process and the creation of the phenomenal reality or Maya10 as follows. It starts with the noumenal objects (or forms in Brahman), which generate the inputs to our senses. Our senses then process the signals and relay the processed electric data corresponding to them to our brain. The brain creates a cognitive model, a representation of the sensory inputs, and presents it to our conscious awareness as reality, which is our phenomenal world or Maya.

This description of how the phenomenal reality created ushers in a tricky philosophical question. Who or what creates the phenomenal reality and where? It is not created by our senses, brain and mind because these are all objects or forms in the phenomenal reality. The phenomenal reality cannot create itself. It cannot be that the noumenal reality creates the phenomenal reality because, in that case, it would be inaccurate to assert the cognitive inaccessibility to the noumenal world.

This philosophical trouble is identical in Advaita também. Our senses, brain and mind cannot create Maya, because they are all part of Maya. Se Brahman created Maya, it would have to be just as real. This philosophical quandary can be circumvented in the following way. We assume that all events and objects in Maya have a cause or form in Brahman or in the noumenal world. Assim, we postulate that our senses, mind and body all have some (unknown) forms in Brahman (or in the noumenal world), and these forms create Maya in our conscious awareness, ignoring the fact that our consciousness itself is an illusory manifestation in the phenomenal world. This inconsistency is not material to our exploration into the nature of space and time because we are seeking the reason for the specialness of light in the sensory process rather than at the level of consciousness.

Space and time together form what physics considers the basis of reality. Space makes up our visual reality precisely as sounds make up our auditory world. Just as sounds are a perceptual experience rather than a fundamental property of physical reality, space also is an experience, or a cognitive representation of the visual inputs, not a fundamental aspect of Brahman or the noumenal reality. The phenomenal reality thus created is Maya. O Maya events are an imperfect or distorted representation of the corresponding Brahman events. Desde Brahman is a superset of Maya (ou, equivalently, our senses are potentially incapable of sensing all aspects of the noumenal reality), not all objects and events in Brahman create a projection in Maya. Our perception (ou Maya) is thus limited because of the sense modality and its speed, which form the focus of our investigation in this article.

In summary, it can be argued that the noumenal-phenomenal distinction in phenomenalism is an exact parallel to the BrahmanMaya distinção em Advaita if we think of our perceived reality (ou Maya) as arising from sensory and cognitive processes.

#### Sensing Space and Time, and the Role of Light

The phenomenal notions of space and time together form what physics considers the basis of reality. Since we take the position that space and time are the end results of our sensory perception, we can understand some of the limitations in our Maya 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.11

The exclusivity of EM interaction is not limited to our long-range sense of sight; all the short-range senses (touch, taste, smell and hearing) are also EM in nature. In physics, the fundamental interactions are modeled as fields with gauge bosons.12 In quantum electrodynamics13 (the quantum field theory of EM interactions), photon (or light) is the gauge boson mediating EM interactions. Electromagnetic interactions are responsible for all our sensory inputs. To understand the limitations of our perception of space, we need not highlight the EM nature of all our senses. Space is, de um modo geral, 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, red shift measurements and even gravitational lensing) use EM interactions exclusively to measure our universe. Assim, 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, mas o que se vê ainda é um bilhão de anos mais velho do que o que os nossos olhos vêem. Our phenomenal reality, whether built upon direct sensory inputs or technologically enhanced, is made up of a subset of EM particles and interactions only. What we perceive as reality is a subset of forms and events in the noumenal world corresponding to EM interactions, filtered through our sensory and cognitive processes. No Advaita parlance, Maya can be thought of as a projection of Brahman through EM interactions into our sensory and cognitive space, quite probably an imperfect projection.

The exclusivity of EM interactions in our perceived reality is not always appreciated, mainly because of a misconception that we can sense gravity directly. This confusion arises because our bodies are subject to gravity. There is a fine distinction betweenbeing subject to” e “being able to sensegravitational force. The gravity sensing in our ears measures the effect of gravity on EM matter. In the absence of EM interaction, it is impossible to sense gravity, or anything else for that matter.

This assertion that there is no sensing in the absence of EM interactions brings us to the next philosophical hurdle. One can always argue that, in the absence of EM interaction, there is no matter to sense. This argument is tantamount to insisting that the noumenal world consists of only those forms and events that give rise to EM interaction in our phenomenal perception. Em outras palavras, it is the same as insisting that Brahman is made up of only EM interactions. What is lacking in the absence of EM interaction is only our phenomenal reality. No Advaita notion, in the absence of sensing, Maya does not exist. The absolute reality or Brahman, no entanto, is independent of our sensing it. Mais uma vez, we see that the Eastern and Western views on reality we explored in this article are remarkably similar.

#### The Speed of Light

Knowing that our space-time is a representation of the light waves our eyes receive, we can immediately see that light is indeed special in our reality. In our view, sensory perception leads to our brain’s representation that we call reality, ou Maya. Any limitation in this chain of sensing leads to a corresponding limitation in our phenomenal reality.

One limitation in the chain from senses to perception 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, espaço e tempo. 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.

The importance of the speed of light, no entanto, is respected only in our phenomenal Maya. Other modes of perception have other speeds the figure as the fundamental constant in their space-like perception. The reality sensed through echolocation, por exemplo, has the speed of sound as a fundamental property. De fato, it is fairly simple to establish14 that echolocation results in a perception of motion that obeys something very similar to special relativity with the speed of light replaced with that of sound.

#### Theories beyond Sensory Limits

The basis of physics is the world view called scientific realism, which is not only at the core of sciences but is our natural way of looking at the world as well. Scientific realism, and hence physics, assume an independently existing external world, whose structures are knowable through scientific investigations. To the extent observations are based on perception, the philosophical stance of scientific realism, as it is practiced today, can be thought of as a trust in our perceived reality, and as an assumption that it is this reality that needs to be explored in science.

Physics extends its reach beyond perception or Maya through the rational element of pure theory. Most of physics works in thisextendedintellectual reality, with concepts such as fields, forces, light rays, átomos, partículas, etc, the existence of which is insisted upon through the metaphysical commitment implied in scientific realism. Contudo, it does not claim that the rational extensions are the noumenal causes or Brahman giving raise to our phenomenal perception.

Scientific realism has helped physics tremendously, with all its classical theories. Contudo, scientific realism and the trust in our perception of reality should apply only within the useful ranges of our senses. Within the ranges of our sensory perceptions, we have fairly intuitive physics. An example of an intuitive picture is Newtonian mechanics that describe “normal” objects moving around at “normal” speeds.

When we get closer to the edges of our sensory modalities, we have to modify our sciences to describe the reality as we sense it. These modifications lead to different, and possibly incompatible, theories. When we ascribe the natural limitations of our senses and the consequent limitations of our perception (and therefore observations) to the fundamental nature of reality itself, we end up introducing complications in our physical laws. Depending on which limitations we are incorporating into the theory (e.g., small size, large speeds etc.), we may end up with theories that are incompatible with each other.

Our argument is that some of these complications (e, esperançosamente, incompatibilities) can be avoided if we address the sensory limitations directly. Por exemplo, we can study the consequence of the fact that our senses operate at the speed of light as follows. We can model Brahman (the noumenal reality) as obeying classical mechanics, and work out what kind of Maya (phenomenal reality) we will experience through the chain of sensing.

The modeling of the noumenal world (as obeying classical mechanics), claro, has shaky philosophical foundations. But the phenomenal reality predicted from this model is remarkably close to the reality we do perceive. Starting from this simple model, it can be easily shown our perception of motion at high speeds obeys special relativity.

The effects due to the finite speed of light are well known in physics. Sabemos, por exemplo, that what we see happening in distant stars and galaxies now actually took place quite awhile ago. A moreadvancedeffect due to the light travel time15 is the way we perceive motion at high speeds, which is the basis of special relativity. De fato, many astrophysical phenomena can be understood16 in terms of light travel time effects. Because our sense modality is based on light, our sensed picture of motion has the speed of light appearing naturally in the equations describing it. So the importance of the speed of light in our space-time (as described in special relativity) is due to the fact that our reality is Maya created based on light inputs.

#### Conclusion

Almost all branches of philosophy grapple with this distinction between the phenomenal and the absolute realities to some extent. Advaita Vedanta holds the unrealness of the phenomenal reality as the basis of their world view. Neste artigo, we showed that the views in phenomenalism can be thought of as a restatement of the Advaita postulates.

When such a spiritual or philosophical insight makes its way into science, great advances in our understanding can be expected. This convergence of philosophy (or even spirituality) and science is beginning to take place, most notably in neuroscience, which views reality as a creation of our brain, echoing the notion of Maya.

Science gives a false impression that we can get arbitrarily close to the underlying physical causes through the process of scientific investigation and rational theorization. An example of such theorization can be found in our sensation of hearing. The experience or the sensation of sound is an incredibly distant representation of the physical causenamely air pressure waves. We are aware of the physical cause because we have a more powerful sight sense. So it would seem that we can indeed go from Maya (som) to the underlying causes (air pressure waves).

Contudo, it is a fallacy to assume that the physical cause (the air pressure waves) é Brahman. Air pressure waves are still a part of our perception; they are part of the intellectual picture we have come to accept. This intellectual picture is an extension of our visual reality, based on our trust in the visual reality. It is still a part of Maya.

The new extension of reality proposed in this article, again an intellectual extension, is an educated guess. We guess a model for the absolute reality, ou Brahman, and predict what the consequent perceived reality should be, working forward through the chain of sensing and creating Maya. If the predicted perception is a good match with the Maya we do experience, then the guesswork for Brahman is taken to be a fairly accurate working model. The consistency between the predicted perception and what we do perceive is the only validation of the model for the nature of the absolute reality. Além disso, the guess is only one plausible model for the absolute reality; there may be different suchsolutionsto the absolute reality all of which end up giving us our perceived reality.

It is a mistake to think of the qualities of our subjective experience of sound as the properties of the underlying physical process. In an exact parallel, it is a fallacy to assume that the subjective experience of space and time is the fundamental property of the world we live in. The space-time continuum, as we see it or feel it, is only a partial and incomplete representation of the unknowable Brahman. If we are willing to model the unknowable Brahman as obeying classical mechanics, we can indeed derive the properties of our perceived reality (such as time dilation, length contraction, light speed ceiling and so on in special relativity). By proposing this model for the noumenal world, we are not suggesting that all the effects of special relativity are mere perceptual artifacts. We are merely reiterating a known fact that space and time themselves cannot be anything but perceptual constructs. Thus their properties are manifestations of the process of perception.

When we consider processes close to or beyond our sensor limits, the manifestations of our perceptual and cognitive constraints become significant. Portanto, when it comes to the physics that describes such processes, we really have to take into account the role that our perception and cognition play in sensing them. The universe as we see it is only a cognitive model created out of the photons falling on our retina or on the photosensors of the Hubble telescope. Por causa da velocidade finita do transportador de informações (namely light), our perception is distorted in such a way as to give us the impression that space and time obey special relativity. Eles fazem, but space and time are only a part of our perception of an unknowable realitya perception limited by the speed of light.

The central role of light in creating our reality or universe is at the heart of western spiritual philosophy as well. Um universo desprovido de luz não é simplesmente um mundo onde você apagou as luzes. Na verdade, é um universo desprovido de si, um universo que não existe. It is in this context that we have to understand the wisdom behind the notion that “a terra era sem forma, and void'” até que Deus fez a luz para ser, dizendo “Haja luz.” Quran also says, “Allah is the light of the heavens.The role of light in taking us from the void (o nada) to a reality was understood for a long, há muito tempo. Is it possible that the ancient saints and prophets knew things that we are only now beginning to uncover with all our advances in knowledge? Whether we use old Eastern Advaita views or their Western counterparts, we can interpret the philosophical stance behind special relativity as hidden in the distinction between our phenomenal reality and its unknowable physical causes.

#### Referências

1. Dr. Manoj Thulasidas graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, em 1987. He studied fundamental particles and interactions at the CLEO collaboration at Cornell University during 1990-1992. After receiving his PhD in 1993, he moved to Marseilles, France and continued his research with the ALEPH collaboration at CERN, Genebra. During his ten-year career as a research scientist in the field of High energy physics, foi co-autor de mais de 200 publicações.
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