虚幻宇宙 — Seeing Light in Science and Spirituality

我们知道,我们的宇宙是一个有点不真实. 星星,我们在夜空中看到, 例如, 是不是真的有. 他们可能已移动,甚至通过我们能看到他们的死亡时间. 这种延迟是由于需要为光从遥远的恒星和星系的时间到达我们. 我们知道这种延迟.

The same delay in seeing has a lesser known manifestation in the way we perceive moving objects. It distorts our perception such that something coming towards us would look as though it is coming in faster. Strange as it may sound, this effect has been observed in astrophysical studies. Some of the heavenly bodies do look as though they are moving several times the speed of light, while their “实” speed is probably a lot lower.

现在, 这种效应引发了一个有趣的问题–是什么 “实” speed? 如果眼见为实, the speed we see should be the real speed. 然后再, 我们知道光出行时间效应. So we should correct the speed we see before believing it. 那么是什么呢 “看” 意思? 当我们说我们看到的东西, 什么我们真正的意思?

Light in Physics

眼看涉及光, 显然. The finite speed of light influences and distorts the way we see things. This fact should hardly come as a surprise because we do know that things are not as we see them. The sun that we see is already eight minutes old by the time we see it. 这种延迟并不是什么大不了的事; 如果我们想知道现在是怎么回事太阳, 所有我们需要做的就是等待八分钟. We, nonetheless, have to “正确” 对于因光线的有限速度的扭曲,我们的看法,我们才可以相信我们所看到的.

令人惊讶 (而很少强调) 是当涉及到​​敏感的议案, 我们不能后台计算看不到太阳,我们采取了拖延的方式相同. 如果我们看到一个天体运动以罢课高速, 我们无法弄清楚它是如何快速和方向 “真” 移动未做进一步的假设,. 处理这种困难的一种方法是归于我们感知的扭曲物理学竞技场的基本性质 — 空间和时间. 另一个途径是接受我们的感知和底层之间的断线 “现实” 并处理它以某种方式.

Einstein chose the first route. In his groundbreaking paper over a hundred years ago, he introduced the special theory of relativity, in which he attributed the manifestations of the finite speed of light to the fundamental properties of space and time. One core idea in special relativity (SR) is that the notion of simultaneity needs to be redefined because it takes some time for light from an event at a distant place to reach us, and we become aware of the event. The concept of “现在” doesn’t make much sense, as we saw, when we speak of an event happening in the sun, 例如. 同时性是相对的.

Einstein defined simultaneity using the instants in time we detect the event. 检测, 他将其定义, involves a round-trip travel of light similar to Radar detection. We send out light, and look at the reflection. If the reflected light from two events reaches us at the same instant, they are simultaneous.
Another way of defining simultaneity is using sensing — we can call two events simultaneous if the light from them reaches us at the same instant. 换句话说, we can use the light generated by the objects under observation rather than sending light to them and looking at the reflection.

这种差异可能听起来像一个吹毛求疵的技术性, but it does make an enormous difference in the predictions we can make. 爱因斯坦的选择,导致有许多理想特性的数学图片, thereby making further development elegant.

The other possibility has an advantage when it comes to describing objects in motion because it corresponds better with how we measure them. We don’t use Radar to see the stars in motion; 我们仅仅感测的光 (或其他辐射) 他们来了. But this choice of using a sensory paradigm, rather than Radar-like detection, to describe the universe results in a slightly uglier mathematical picture.

在数学上的差异派生不同的哲学立场, 这反过来渗透到现实我们的物理图像的理解. 作为例证的, let us look at an example from astrophysics. Suppose we observe (通过射电望远镜, 例如) 在天空中的两个对象, roughly of the same shape and properties. The only thing we know for sure is that the radio waves from two different points in the sky reach the radio telescope at the same instant in time. We can guess that the waves started their journey quite a while ago.

For symmetric objects, if we assume (因为我们经常做的) 该波开始的旅程大致在同一时刻, we end up with a picture of two “实” 对称的叶片或多或少的方式看到它们.

But there is different possibility that the waves originated from the same object (这是在运动) 在两个时间不同的时刻, 在同一时刻到达望远镜. This possibility explains some spectral and temporal properties of such symmetric radio sources, which is what I mathematically described in a recent physics article. 现在, which of these two pictures should we take as real? 两个对称的物体,因为我们看到他们或一个物体以这样的方式移动,就好像给我们的印象? Does it really matter which one is “实”? Does “实” 意味着在这方面的任何?

The philosophical stance in implied in special relativity answers this question unequivocally. There is an unambiguous physical reality from which we get the two symmetric radio sources, although it takes a bit of mathematical work to get to it. 数学排除了移动以这样的方式单一对象的可能性,以模拟的两个对象. 从本质, 我们看到的是什么就在那里.

另一方面, if we define simultaneity using concurrent arrival of light, we will be forced to admit the exact opposite. What we see is pretty far from what is out there. We will confess that we cannot unambiguously decouple the distortions due to the constraints in perception (the finite speed of light being the constraint of interest here) from what we see. There are multiple physical realities that can result in the same perceptual picture. The only philosophical stance that makes sense is the one that disconnects the sensed reality and the causes behind what is being sensed.

这种脱节的情况并不少见思想的哲学流派. 现象学, 例如, 认为,空间和时间是不客观的现实. 他们只是我们的感知中. 所有这一切发生在时间和空间的现象仅仅是捆绑了我们的看法. 换句话说, 空间和时间是从知觉所产生的认知结构. 因此,, 所有我们所归诸于空间和时间的物理特性只适用于以惊人的现实 (当我们感觉到它的现实). 本体的现实 (持有我们的感知的物理原因), 相比之下, 仍超出了我们的认知范围.

The ramifications of the two different philosophical stances described above are tremendous. Since modern physics seems to embrace a non-phenomenalistic view of space and time, 它发现自己不符合哲学的一个分支,. 哲学和物理学之间的鸿沟已经发展到这种程度,诺贝尔得奖物理学家, 史蒂芬温伯格, 想知道 (在他的书 “终极理论之梦”) 为什么从哲学到物理学的贡献一直这么小得惊人. 这也提示哲学家做出类似声明, “无论是“本体的现实导致惊人的现实’ 还是“本体的现实是独立于我们的感知它’ 还是“我们感觉到现实的本体,’ 问题仍然是本体现实的概念,是一个完全冗余的概念,科学的分析。”

一, 几乎是偶然, 很难重新定义为光的空间和时间属性的有限速度的影响是,我们明白任何影响被迅速转移到光幻想的境界. 例如, 在看到太阳的八分钟的延迟, because we readily understand it and disassociate from our perception using simple arithmetic, 被认为是单纯的错觉. 然而, 在我们的观念中快速移动的物体扭曲, 尽管源自同一源被认为是空间和时间的属性,因为它们是更复杂.

We have to come to terms with the fact that when it comes to seeing the universe, 有没有这样的事,作为一个错觉, 这也许正是歌德指出,当他说, “错觉是光的真理。”

的区别 (或缺乏) 光学幻觉和真实之间,在哲学最古老的话题之一. 毕竟, 它是关于知识与现实之间的区别. 知识被认为是我们认为对的东西,, 在现实中, 是 “其实并非如此。” 换句话说, 知识是一种体现, 或外部的东西精神的形象, 如下面的图中.
Commonsense view of reality
在这张照片, 黑色箭头表示创造知识的过程, 其中包括感知, 认知活动, 并实行纯粹理性. 这是图片物理学已经接受.
Alternate view of reality
虽然承认了我们的看法可能是不完美的, 物理学假设,我们可以打通越来越精细的实验密切的外部现实, 和, 更重要的是, 通过更好的理论化. 相对论的特殊和一般的理论是这一观点的现实的辉煌应用例子,简单的物理原理是使用纯粹理性强大的机器的逻辑必然的结论,不懈地追求.

但还有另一种, 知识与现实的另一种观点认为已经存在了很长一段时间. 这是关于感知的现实,我们的感官输入的内部认知表示看法, 如下图所示.

在此视图中, 知识和感知的现实是内部认知结构, 虽然我们都来把它们作为单独的. 什么是外部并不现实,因为我们认为它, 但一个不可知的实体后面感觉输入的物理原因引起. 在图示的例子, 第一个箭头表示的感测的过程, 和第二箭头表示认知和逻辑推理步骤. 为了应用这一观点的现实和知识, 大家纷纷猜测绝对现实的本质, 不可知的,因为它是. 一个可能的候选人绝对现实是牛顿力学, 这给出了一个合理的预测为我们感知的现实.

总结, 当我们试图处理由于认知的扭曲, 我们有两个选择, 两个可能的哲学立场. 一种是接受的失真作为我们的空间和时间的一部分, as SR does. The other option is to assume that there is a “更高” 实际上从我们检测到的现实截然不同, 其属性,我们只能猜想. 换句话说, 一种选择是住在一起的失真, 而另一种是提出​​的猜测为更高的现实. Neither of these options is particularly attractive. 但猜测路径是相似的接受现象论的观点. 这也导致自然如何现实认知神经科学观察, 它研究的认知背后的生物学机制.

In my view, the two options are not inherently distinct. The philosophical stance of SR can be thought of as coming from a deep understanding that space is merely a phenomenal construct. If the sense modality introduces distortions in the phenomenal picture, we may argue that one sensible way of handling it is to redefine the properties of the phenomenal reality.

Role of Light in Our Reality

从认知神经科学的角度, 我们看到的一切, 感, 感受和思考,是我们大脑中的神经元相互联系和微小的电信号在他们的结果. 这种观点一定是正确的. 还有什么? 我们所有的思念与牵挂, 知识和信仰, 自我与现实, 生死 — 一切都在一个仅仅纹状体神经元半公斤糊糊, 我们称我们的大脑的灰色物质. 有没有别的. 无!

事实上, 这种观点实际上在神经科学的现象主义的确切回音, 它认为一切都感觉或心理构造的包. 空间和时间也认知结构在我们的大脑, 和其他事物一样. 他们是精神的图片我们的大脑编造出来的,我们的感官接收感觉输入. 从我们的感官知觉产生,我们的认知过程制造, 时空连续体是物理学的舞台. 我们所有的感官, 眼前是目前占主导地位. 感官输入映入眼帘的是光. 在由大脑创造出来的光落在我们的视网膜空间 (或在哈勃望远镜的光传感器), 这是一个惊喜,没有什么能比光速?

这个哲学立场是我的书的基础, 虚幻宇宙, 它探讨了共同的线索结合物理学和哲学. 这样的哲学沉思通常会得到来自美国物理学家一个坏名声. 物理学家, 哲学是一个完全不同的领域, 知识的另一种筒仓. 我们需要改变这个信念,欣赏不同的知识孤岛之间的重叠. It is in this overlap that we can expect to find breakthroughs in human thought.

This philosophical grand-standing may sound presumptuous and the veiled self-admonition of physicists understandably unwelcome; but I am holding a trump card. Based on this philosophical stance, I have come up with a radically new model for two astrophysical phenomena, and published it in an article titled, “为无线电源和伽玛射线暴管腔围油栏?” in the well-known International Journal of Modern Physics D in June 2007. This article, which soon became one of the top accessed articles of the journal by Jan 2008, is a direct application of the view that the finite speed of light distorts the way we perceive motion. Because of these distortions, the way we see things is a far cry from the way they are.

We may be tempted to think that we can escape such perceptual constraints by using technological extensions to our senses such as radio telescopes, electron microscopes or spectroscopic speed measurements. 毕竟, these instruments do not have “感悟” per se and should be immune to the human weaknesses we suffer from. But these soulless instruments also measure our universe using information carriers limited to the speed of light. We, 因此, cannot escape the basic constraints of our perception even when we use modern instruments. 换句话说, the Hubble telescope may see a billion light years farther than our naked eyes, but what it sees is still a billion years older than what our eyes see.

Our reality, whether technologically enhanced or built upon direct sensory inputs, is the end result of our perceptual process. To the extent that our long range perception is based on light (and is therefore limited to its speed), we get only a distorted picture of the universe.

Light in Philosophy and Spirituality

扭曲光线和现实的故事是,我们似乎已经知道这一切很长一段时间. Classical philosophical schools seem to have thought along lines very similar to Einstein’s thought experiment.

Once we appreciate the special place accorded to light in modern science, we have to ask ourselves how different our universe would have been in the absence of light. 当然, light is only a label we attach to a sensory experience. 因此,, to be more accurate, we have to ask a different question: if we did not have any senses that responded to what we call light, would that affect the form of the universe?

The immediate answer from any normal (就是说, non-philosophical) person is that it is obvious. If everybody is blind, everybody is blind. But the existence of the universe is independent of whether we can see it or not. Is it though? What does it mean to say the universe exists if we cannot sense it? Ah… the age-old conundrum of the falling tree in a deserted forest. Remember, the universe is a cognitive construct or a mental representation of the light input to our eyes. It is not “out there,” but in the neurons of our brain, as everything else is. In the absence of light in our eyes, there is no input to be represented, ergo no universe.

If we had sensed the universe using modalities that operated at other speeds (echolocation, 例如), it is those speeds that would have figured in the fundamental properties of space and time. This is the inescapable conclusion from phenomenalism.

光在创造我们的现实,还是宇宙中的角色是西方宗教思想的心脏. 宇宙缺乏光线的不只是您已经关掉了灯的世界. 这的确是一个宇宙缺乏自身, 一个不存在的宇宙. 正是在这种背景下,我们必须明白的声明背后的智慧 “该地是, 和无效的” 直到神使光线是, 说 “要有光。”

可兰经也说, “真主是天地之光,” 这是反映在古印度的著作之一: “从黑暗走向光明带领我, 从虚幻到真实带领我。” 光从虚幻的虚空把我们的角色 (虚无) 以现实确实理解了很长, 很久. 难道古代的圣人和先知知道的事情,我们现在才开始发现我们所有的知识应该进步?

我知道我可能会急于在天使不敢涉足, 对于重新诠释经文是一个危险的游戏. Such foreign interpretations are seldom welcome in the theological circles. 不过,我投靠的是,我要找同意灵性哲学的形而上学的观点, without diminishing their mystical or theological value.

The parallels between the noumenal-phenomenal distinction in phenomenalism and the Brahman-Maya distinction in Advaita are hard to ignore. This time-tested wisdom on the nature of reality from the repertoire of spirituality is now reinvented in modern neuroscience, 它把现实,由大脑产生一种认知表征. 大脑使用感觉输入, 内存, 意识, 甚至语言成分在炮制我们的​​现实感. 这种观点的现实, 然而,, 是物理的东西是没有来的条款. 但是在某种程度上,它的舞台 (空间和时间) 是现实的一部分, 物理学是不能幸免的哲学.

由于我们的知识的界限推向越走越, 我们开始发现人类努力的不同分支之间迄今没有料​​到,常常令人惊讶的互连. 在最后的分析, 怎么能对我们知识的不同领域是相互独立的,当我们所有的知识存在于我们的大脑? 知识是我们的经验认知表征. 但随后, 这样的现实; 这是我们的感官投入认知表征. 这是一个谬论认为知识是一个外部的现实我们的内部表示, 因此,与此不同的. 知识和现实是内部认知结构, 虽然我们都来把它们作为单独的.

Recognizing and making use of the interconnections among the different domains of human endeavour may be the catalyst for the next breakthrough in our collective wisdom that we have been waiting for.