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Thread: Paradox, a reality or just misinformation

  1. #1 Paradox, a reality or just misinformation 
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    I have thought on the idea of paradox for some time and consider all paradox to be the product of people not wanting to investigate the possibilities that surround said paradox.

    I have grown up with the belief that anything that is can be explained in one form or another to where you can come out the end with an adequate answer to best describe what it actually is.

    Is a paradox nothing but the contradictory or does a paradox even truly exist?

    Thanks in advance.


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  3. #2  
    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    Is a paradox nothing but the contradictory or does a paradox even truly exist?
    I don't actually believe it does. I give two examples :

    1. The "Twin Paradox" in relativity. This may appear to be a paradox at first, but upon closer inspection one finds that due to the presence of acceleration there is no actual requirement for the clocks to agree. Thus there is no paradox in the first place.

    2. Delayed choice experiments in quantum mechanics. Again, initially it looks like there is a paradox here since it appears that later choices influence earlier outcomes; however, upon closer inspection it turns out that correlation does not necessarily imply causation, and the paradox disappears.

    I believe that all paradoxes stem either from us misunderstanding the situation, or from wrongly applying physical laws.


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  4. #3  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    I agree with Markus but what about logical paradoxes of the "this statement is untrue" variety?

    Although, whether they actually "exist" is another question ...
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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  5. #4  
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    The grandfather paradox where a guy travels back in time to kill his grandfather before his grandfather met his grandmother. If one of the guys parents were not born, would mean the guy is not born and therefore the guy could not travel back to do it and the situation has negated itself.

    However if the guy was born then how would such a situation arise in the first place even if it were only a thought? and where would such a paradox arise from? The idea of the guy travelling back in time can not be supported due to the fact that the guy is alive in the present. Correct?

    The twin paradox is one that has fascinated me. I understand the concept of time dilation but wonder if the results would be the same if for example the twins were digital clocks. Even by having one stationary clock and the other moving, logically it makes sense that both will still show the same time. However, this is not the case.
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  6. #5  
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    1. The "Twin Paradox" in relativity. This may appear to be a paradox at first, but upon closer inspection one finds that due to the presence of acceleration there is no actual requirement for the clocks to agree. Thus there is no paradox in the first place.

    Is acceleration the only external factor difference?
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  7. #6  
    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConstantConsciousness View Post
    1. The "Twin Paradox" in relativity. This may appear to be a paradox at first, but upon closer inspection one finds that due to the presence of acceleration there is no actual requirement for the clocks to agree. Thus there is no paradox in the first place.

    Is acceleration the only external factor difference?
    Sorry, I am not entirely sure what you mean by that.
    Basically, in the real universe it is not possible for a spaceship to reach any non-zero speed without acceleration. Also, in the twin paradox scenario the travelling twin returns back to Earth after some time; this implies the ship must have reversed its course, also necessitating acceleration ( to change travelling direction ). Because acceleration is involved, this scenario can no longer be treated under Special Relativity - a General Relativistic treatment is required. And under General Relativity there is no requirement for clocks to agree, thus there is no paradox for the two twins to be of different age when they meet again.
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  8. #7  
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    I think that paradox's can occur and they can be understood. I think the problem we have with them is our liniar way of thinking. We can't seem to understand how a paradox works in the physical world, but whole point of a paradox is it doesn't need a physical component, even through theorectically the gravity of a large black hole could curve time enough to create one. To mentally picture a paradox, we have to imagine a time line, take out of the time line the part of that covers all the events of the paradox and loop it into a circle. It has no beginning and no end as it just keeps eventually circling back.
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