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Thread: Is our understanding of time and space lacking?

  1. #1 Is our understanding of time and space lacking? 
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    Moderator,I originally posted this as part of another thread. It got a bit lost however and never reached the audience I wished it to reach. Is it OK to start it as a new thread?

    The phenomenon of particles interacting instantaneously over distance (non-locality), is an observable verifiable fact. Despite decades of theorising and speculation by some of the greatest scientific minds however, a definitive explanation of the process at work when non-locality is observed remains lacking.
    Before someone inevitably states it, I don't buy the argument that we just don't understand yet. ​That if we keep looking we'll find an explanation eventually.The main reason why a definitive explanation remains lacking is that the phenomena appears to occur outwith the parameters of our present classical understanding of the nature of time and space. If an explanation of the process at work could be accommodated within the parameters of our present understanding of time and space, it would have been achieved before now.

    The mere verifiable fact that the non-locality of particles over distance has been observed at all, implies that the universe accommodates itís occurrence. This further implies that, regarding the true nature of space, time and reality, the universe works according to laws and principles which we do not yet fully understand. Whatever these laws are, they incorporate a wider 'bigger picture' set of parameters beyond those which we presently employ. The appearance of virtual particles which disappear at the same moment of their creation, is another example where the behaviour of particles defies our present understanding of space and time.

    The universe allows for the occurrence of non-locality and virtual particles. Our present understanding of space and time does not - and so cannot explain it. The latter is confined within the parameters that; the forward flow of time from past to future is dictated by cause and effect and the constant exchange and flux of energy as it changes from one state to another. The former however, represents the one ultimate true nature of reality. ( Or the way things actually are as opposed to what or how we perceive them to be). The wider parameters whereby non-locality and the appearance of virtual particles may be regarded as a legitimate and explainable part of the laws of nature would necessarily encapsulate the narrower parameters of our current knowledge of the nature of space, time and reality.

    Any model which encompasses both GR and QED, would naturally accommodate both, without prejudicing the validity of either. If our present understanding of space and time could be compared to the playing rules of draughts on a matrix of 64 black and white squares, the actual laws and principles which governs the process by which non-locality occurs could be compared to the fact that the same board matrix also allows the playing of chess. The analogy being that we are 100% confident that we are correct in our understanding of the rules of draughts/present understanding of space and time, ( and in this we are not wrong), yet at the same time unaware that the board matrix of 64 squares also accommodates the playing of the more complex game of chess.

    I think it would be fair to assume that any encompassing model is required to be the blueprint for the evolution of the universe throughout the whole of it's existence from the Big Bang to the present time. However, the laws of all that we know regarding time and space no longer apply at the embryonic stages of the early universe. That notwithstanding, the universe evolved at this time nonetheless. Understanding the laws which accomodated the evolution of the early universe may be a glimpse at the true nature of the bigger picture of reality.

    In order that the changes which were required in order to ensure that the early universe continued to grow and evolve, implies the existence of some bedrock overriding and ordered guiding principle. Each subsequent change to the state of the universe had to lead to the next 'improved' state of the whole, in order to facilitate the eventual appearance of hydrogen, helium and lithium. Every change represents the evolution of the universe. The changes which occurred during the early stages of the universe were certainly not restricted by the laws of GR. Changes would have been instantaneous. The speed of light would not have been the ceiling at which information can be transferred as light did not exist. Non-locality therefore appears to exist in a dimension/domain which is essentially timeless. 'Timeless' as in instantaneous. If so, this is the dimension/domain in which the early universe evolved. Is it therefore safe to assume that the universe has continued to evolve according to the self same laws which dictated how it evolved in it's embryonic stages? Is the non-locality interaction and the appearance of virtual particles which is observed in experiments, a glimpse of the dimension/domain of timelessness?

    In order for subsequent changes in the early universe to consistently be an improvement on the state which existed before, there firstly requires that some form of memory should be inherent in the model. It would be fair to assume that cause always precedes effect everywhere in the universe - even when it occurs in a dimension of timelessness.

    It would be a very arrogant person who asserts that they know everything - the fact that non-locality interactions between particles remains a 'phenomena' obviously proves that they donít. I have my own proposition as to what the parameters of the Ďbig pictureí may be. I would be interested meantime however, to discover other peoplesí opinions and views on what I have said so far.




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    Personally, I am not convinced by the theories in Quantum Physics. I'm aware of the results of experiments, but I am not necessarily convinced that some of the conclusions made, which have no bearing on the equations that predict the behavior of reality, are correct. I also refute your claim that "If an explanation of the process at work could be accommodated within the parameters of our present understanding of time and space, it would have been achieved before now. " I see no reason to assert such a thing. Any step forward in our understanding of the nature of reality is a refutation to this claim, as I understand it.

    When I see quantum entanglement, for example, I don't quite know what to make of it, but the current suggestions for what is happening, to me, appear to be wild speculation in an area we simply don't know enough about.


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    Quote Originally Posted by imetheman View Post
    It would be a very arrogant person who asserts that they know everything - the fact that non-locality interactions between particles remains a 'phenomena' obviously proves that they don’t. I have my own proposition as to what the parameters of the ‘big picture’ may be. I would be interested meantime however, to discover other peoples’ opinions and views on what I have said so far.
    I note that you have raised this discussion before in other threads and wonder why they are raised again? Maybe these questions were asked in the Physics sub-forum? Not sure........ but this would be the place to discuss them in "New Hypothesis and Ideas".

    I think your detailed explanation above is an excellent and intriguing starting point for a discussion. I like your analogy regarding the Chess board and I concur that any discussion on a Theory of Everything needs to be able to incorporate asymmetric notions such as cause and effect into the agenda.

    Hopefully this thread lasts the distance where we can share some whacky ideas. Here is one of mine below in relation to this matter. (*put's on crackpot hat*)....Philosophical hand waving incoming............

    I understand your questions regarding non-locality, but the heart of this dillema in my opinion rests on the notion of seperate particles (or interactions) in spacetime. I find that I can quickly dispatch any conundrum associated with non-locality by simply taking quantum superpositions literally. Particles pop out at me when I try to visualise interactions in our classical spacetime context. In my mind I dig into an underlying quantum superposition in abstract space (where notions of spacetime do not exist) to extract particular variables (or states) such as charge, spin, rest mass etc. and begin to map out in a hypothetical spacetime arena what is taking place to faithfully describe an interaction in our classical sense. This thought process constructs a classical world for me. The reality in this context is the underlying universal wavefunction. As I construct my classical world I need to embed cause and effect into this map to observe the rules of this constructed chessboard. Each variable plucked from the quantum world needs a context to faithfully observe the rules of this chessboard.

    As I progress in constructing my classical reality, what starts as a single variable plucked from he quantum world then becomes more complex with a further variable added to the mix. Dependencies between variables need to emerge to allow for cause and effect, times arrow and the notion of relativism is born describing the relationship between these variables in a classical spacetime context. You can see that this philosophiocal musing ultimately manifests itself in more and more variables (information) being plucked from the quantum world to create our classical sense of an inflating universe. The ultimate result is a tree of information emerging from a single point (or the root) to where we are now with the branches. What appears disparate and non-local is actually born from this philosophical construction. Everything actually is connected to the root through causality.

    The interesting notion however in my musings here is that the reality is fundamentally timeless. I have however created the notion of spacetime, times arrow, inflation by virtue of the information plucked from this realm and its relationships that is causally connected. This in my mind is simply a coordinate transformation effectively of a deeper timeless notion of a universal quantum wavefunction.

    In this philosophical rant you would deduce that this is all about information theory. As a biological organism I process this information in a consecutive linear order giving rise to perceptions of time and space. My memories retain this order and I sit here *scratching my head* thinking perhaps it really is just information processing that gives rise to you, this forum and this classical universe and this time ........and just to give me peace of mind that I am not simply nuts (which I probably am) I seek solace in weird QM interperations such as "The Many Minds Interpretation". But then given that I really don't know anything, I reserve my right to change my mind at any time

    :-))
    Last edited by Implicate Order; December 8th, 2013 at 02:06 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by imetheman View Post
    The phenomenon of particles interacting instantaneously over distance (non-locality), is an observable verifiable fact.
    Is it? I assume you are referring to quantum entanglement. How do you know the entangled particles are non-locally interacting? Quantum mechanics describes entanglement differently. There we have two-particle (or multi-particle) states that are in quantum superposition. This provides the correlation between remote particles along with counterfactual indefiniteness that appears to be non-local in effect, but no actual interaction between the particles.
    There are no paradoxes in relativity, just people's misunderstandings of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja Pancakes View Post
    Personally, I am not convinced by the theories in Quantum Physics. I'm aware of the results of experiments, but I am not necessarily convinced that some of the conclusions made, which have no bearing on the equations that predict the behavior of reality, are correct. I also refute your claim that "If an explanation of the process at work could be accommodated within the parameters of our present understanding of time and space, it would have been achieved before now. " I see no reason to assert such a thing. Any step forward in our understanding of the nature of reality is a refutation to this claim, as I understand it.
    Any advance in our understanding of the nature of reality, if it was garnered through widening the parameters relating to our understanding of time and space, does not refute the claim that any such advance may not be achievable whilst continuing to apply the restricted parameters by which our present understanding of time and space is based.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Implicate Order View Post
    I understand your questions regarding non-locality, but the heart of this dillema in my opinion rests on the notion of seperate particles (or interactions) in spacetime. I find that I can quickly dispatch any conundrum associated with non-locality by simply taking quantum superpositions literally. Particles pop out at me when I try to visualise interactions in our classical spacetime context. In my mind I dig into an underlying quantum superposition in abstract space (where notions of spacetime do not exist) to extract particular variables (or states) such as charge, spin, rest mass etc. and begin to map out in a hypothetical spacetime arena what is taking place to faithfully describe an interaction in our classical sense. This thought process constructs a classical world for me. The reality in this context is the underlying universal wavefunction. As I construct my classical world I need to embed cause and effect into this map to observe the rules of this constructed chessboard. Each variable plucked from the quantum world needs a context to faithfully observe the rules of this chessboard.

    As I progress in constructing my classical reality, what starts as a single variable plucked from he quantum world then becomes more complex with a further variable added to the mix. Dependencies between variables need to emerge to allow for cause and effect, times arrow and the notion of relativism is born describing the relationship between these variables in a classical spacetime context. You can see that this philosophiocal musing ultimately manifests itself in more and more variables (information) being plucked from the quantum world to create our classical sense of an inflating universe. The ultimate result is a tree of information emerging from a single point (or the root) to where we are now with the branches. What appears disparate and non-local is actually born from this philosophical construction. Everything actually is connected to the root through causality.

    The interesting notion however in my musings here is that the reality is fundamentally timeless. I have however created the notion of spacetime, times arrow, inflation by virtue of the information plucked from this realm and its relationships that is causally connected. This in my mind is simply a coordinate transformation effectively of a deeper timeless notion of a universal quantum wavefunction.
    You are spot on that everything is connected through causality. Cause and effect in a timeless domain - how can this be explained?

    It may be useful if we think of what it would be like to ride on a photon at the moment of it’s creation. Relative to our observations, a photon takes 8 mins. or so to travel from the Sun to Earth. Travelling at the speed of light however, time -if we correctly apply GR- for the photon, has effectively stopped. The photon’s perspective of what happens at the moment of it’s creation, is that travelling at the speed of light it exists in a timeless dimension. The moment of it’s creation coincides with the photon instantaneously connecting with an electron on Earth. Relative to the photon -and travelling at C- there is no passage of time in between. This remains true for the photon regardless of the distance travelled in our classical reality.

    The most important point is that the photon loses no energy in it's journey- in classical reality- from source to destination. The 'cause and effect' relationship with the electron occurs when the energy inherent in the photon affects the orbit of the electron around the nucleus of it's parent atom.The photon- whether it is observed as a single point in space or as part of a waveform- remains fundamentally a vibration at a certain frequency. ( If it originates in the sun, chances are it will represent the wavelength of hydrogen in the spectrum of light). Energy is only exchanged from the photon to the electron at the 'now' of that moment. One second before it happens in our classical world, the consequence of the interaction between the photon and electron is impossible to predict. ( The electron has an infinite number of possible future paths which it can take at the moment of it's interaction with the photon). At the same moment of this interaction between the photon and electron, the event is already in the past- in our classical 'one directional' time perceived perception of reality. The sum of the amount of energy which existed in the universe 1 sec ago in the past, is irrelevant to the amount of energy which exists in the universe now. There is no communication/connection between the past and the future which exists in the now of the moment in our perception of the physical world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by imetheman View Post
    Any advance in our understanding of the nature of reality, if it was garnered through widening the parameters relating to our understanding of time and space, does not refute the claim that any such advance may not be achievable whilst continuing to apply the restricted parameters by which our present understanding of time and space is based.
    I honestly have no idea what you said here, can you rephrase it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by imetheman View Post
    You are spot on that everything is connected through causality. Cause and effect in a timeless domain - how can this be explained?
    I tend to seperate out my thinking into the relevant domains (eg. when QM is applicable to when SR/GR is applicable etc.). In my musing above when discussing the universal quantum superposition I was in the Quantum Domain discussing the notion of a 'timeless' universal wavefunction in an abstract space. In constructing my classical world from plucking variables from a universal quantum superposition of state vectors. I was philosophically creating the foundations of a classical world in a classical spacetime context respecting the notion of quantum uncertainty through the conversion from an abstract space to a 3D1T context. The classical mapping process I was undertaking was to select a variable from a quantum superposition (an infinite array of state vectors in Hilbert space), the result being that when mapped to a classical spacetime context, the variable took classical form (collapsed from its prior superposition) and furthermore attributed non-commutative properties to this variable through this conversion to a familar spacetime context. Note that at this time, the notion of time (spacetime) first emerged to give the variable classical form. From hereon the notion of causality was borne (and SR and GR) as I progressively built the classical system. EDIT: Note also to preserve the integrity of the universal wavefunction through the progressive removal of a subset of variables from the Quantum world, I would need to take account of this 'removal' impact on the universal wavefunction by using Schrodingers equation given that in our classical world with a notion of time, the wavefunction that gave rise to this subset evolves in agreement with this equation. I therefore explain cause and effect as being an 'emergent' classical outcome from this process. Please note again that this is just speculative musings from part and in no way can be considered scientific fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by imetheman View Post
    It may be useful if we think of what it would be like to ride on a photon at the moment of itís creation. Relative to our observations, a photon takes 8 mins. or so to travel from the Sun to Earth. Travelling at the speed of light however, time -if we correctly apply GR- for the photon, has effectively stopped. The photonís perspective of what happens at the moment of itís creation, is that travelling at the speed of light it exists in a timeless dimension. The moment of itís creation coincides with the photon instantaneously connecting with an electron on Earth. Relative to the photon -and travelling at C- there is no passage of time in between. This remains true for the photon regardless of the distance travelled in our classical reality.
    While I agree with you that the photon is timeless, I have had it beaten out of me a long ago that it is not worth considering 'riding a photon' to undersand what it sees from it's rest frame (as SR states that the photon has no rest frame as it travels at c) Note that I am only saying using SR in this context has limited value as a measurement is not possible from the FOR of a photon (as there is literally no time or space to conduct it). The domain that you may be interested in in relation to a timeless quantum is QM. I would encourage you to read some of Victor Stenger's ideas. It also gives a good account of Bell's Theorem and 'non locality'.

    Quote Originally Posted by imetheman View Post
    The most important point is that the photon loses no energy in it's journey- in classical reality- from source to destination. The 'cause and effect' relationship with the electron occurs when the energy inherent in the photon affects the orbit of the electron around the nucleus of it's parent atom.The photon- whether it is observed as a single point in space or as part of a waveform- remains fundamentally a vibration at a certain frequency. ( If it originates in the sun, chances are it will represent the wavelength of hydrogen in the spectrum of light). Energy is only exchanged from the photon to the electron at the 'now' of that moment. One second before it happens in our classical world, the consequence of the interaction between the photon and electron is impossible to predict. ( The electron has an infinite number of possible future paths which it can take at the moment of it's interaction with the photon). At the same moment of this interaction between the photon and electron, the event is already in the past- in our classical 'one directional' time perceived perception of reality. The sum of the amount of energy which existed in the universe 1 sec ago in the past, is irrelevant to the amount of energy which exists in the universe now. There is no communication/connection between the past and the future which exists in the now of the moment in our perception of the physical world.
    I am a bit lost here and need more time to ponder this as you have progressed in your thought train from a point I couldn't follow. :-))
    Last edited by Implicate Order; December 9th, 2013 at 07:22 AM. Reason: Changes to some blitherings of mine
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