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Thread: Where do these things come from?

  1. #1 Where do these things come from? 
    Forum Senior Weterman's Avatar
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    idk if they have a name, but things like light, sound, scents, where do they come from? Are there some things like this that we cant detect?


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    I'm not sure dark energy can be detected.


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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weterman View Post
    Are there some things like this that we cant detect?
    If we can't detect something how would we know if it exists?
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    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weterman View Post
    idk if they have a name, but things like light, sound, scents, where do they come from? Are there some things like this that we cant detect?
    The things you mentioned are all very different.

    Light consists of photons. Sound consists of pressure waves moving through air (which we hear because our inner ear converts the mechanical energy to electrical impulses). Scent is based upon how we perceive particles in the air we breathe when they interact with chemoreceptors on our tongues and olfactory receptors in our olfactory system.

    There are a great many things we cannot detect. In terms of light, we can only see the very narrow, and aptly named, visible spectrum. In terms of hearing, we cannot detect certain frequencies. Our sense of smell is fairly pathetic compared to something like a dog.
    Last edited by Flick Montana; December 13th, 2013 at 05:27 PM.
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weterman View Post
    idk if they have a name, but things like light, sound, scents, where do they come from?
    I suppose "sensation" is the most general term; if you mean things we can detect ourselves with our senses (it is no coincidence that sense and sensation sound similar).

    Are there some things like this that we cant detect?
    Do you mean detect directly with our senses? (In which case there are many, such as X-rays, ultrasound, etc.) Or do you mean with instruments?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Weterman View Post
    Are there some things like this that we cant detect?
    If we can't detect something how would we know if it exists?
    This is where hypothesis applies. Especially in theoretical and experimental physics. This year the most remarkable case was the discovery of the Higgs particle. The standard theory of particle physics implied it existed and it was sought out and found.
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Then we can detect it, no?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Weterman View Post
    idk if they have a name, but things like light, sound, scents, where do they come from?
    I suppose "sensation" is the most general term; if you mean things we can detect ourselves with our senses (it is no coincidence that sense and sensation sound similar).

    Are there some things like this that we cant detect?
    Do you mean detect directly with our senses? (In which case there are many, such as X-rays, ultrasound, etc.) Or do you mean with instruments?
    i mean with our own senses, not machines
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    Neutrinos?
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  11. #10  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    He said with our own senses.
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    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Ah, okay.
    Atoms.
    The sound of a dog whistle.
    X-rays.
    UV light.
    IR.
    Radio waves.
    Gamma, alpha and beta radiation.
    Other people's thoughts.
    There's probably more things we can't detect with our natural senses than there are that we can.
    (Visible light for example is, apparently, only 3.5x10-26% of the EM spectrum).
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    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Ah, okay.
    Atoms.
    The sound of a dog whistle.
    X-rays.
    UV light.
    IR.
    Radio waves.
    Gamma, alpha and beta radiation.
    Other people's thoughts.
    There's probably more things we can't detect with our natural senses than there are that we can.
    (Visible light for example is, apparently, only 3.5x10-26% of the EM spectrum).
    I think the designation itself is a bit silly. Is not seeing the data a usage of the senses?
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    Physicality is Reality
    "No law of Physics is surprising & can not beat commonsense until it does not give enough explanation logically or I did not understand it rightly or simply it is wrong "
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    UV light
    Well, that's an odd one. Our retinas can actually detect UV, but our lenses block it. Some artificial corneas don't block the UV and patients can see into the ultraviolet range. Cool!

    Real-world superpowers

    Monet's Ultraviolet Eye

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmonroe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    UV light
    Well, that's an odd one. Our retinas can actually detect UV, but our lenses block it. Some artificial corneas don't block the UV and patients can see into the ultraviolet range. Cool!
    If true that sounds like a really bad idea for the long term health of the retina.
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  18. #17  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Yes, I wonder if our small, tree-dwelling ancestors evolved from nocturnal to diurnal, perhaps becoming more predator and less prey? Aren't more predators active by day, because attacking requires superior eyesight (discriminating prey, judging depth perception ,etc)? And it's more difficult to make tools at night, right? If so, instead of losing our UV-sensing abilities, which might have been too drastic/improbable of a change because our retinas are supposedly part of our brains, so I have read, then an alternative meant somehow protecting the retinas.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  19. #18  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weterman View Post
    i mean with our own senses, not machines
    There is a myriad of things we cannot detect with our senses. The amount vastly outweighs the things we can detect.

    If you just look at the EM spectrum, the portion we can detect resides in a very narrow band and doesn't include many things potentially very harmful to us (x-rays, gamma rays) primarily because there wasn't any kind of biological pressure which selected for those of us who couldn't detect them.

    Some animals such as hammerhead sharks and some migratory birds are able to detect variations in the Earth's magnetic field. They use this ability to travel accurately across long distances. We don't have a natural equivalent of such an ability.

    While we can detect smells in the air, other animals can be hundreds of times more sensitive to smells than us because it was important to them in regards to finding food or mates or even in designating territories.

    It goes both ways, though. We obviously have better visual acuity than many cave-dwelling animals. Of course, we may lack the ability to sense minute changes in air pressure or use sounds to determine where obstacles may be around us. There are almost always trade-offs.
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  20. #19  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weterman View Post
    idk if they have a name, but things like light, sound, scents, where do they come from? Are there some things like this that we cant detect?
    FYI, I was just reading along on a topic totally unrelated and found this about you wondering if these things have a name. From the Almagest, a 2nd-century mathematical and astronomical treatise on the apparent motions of the stars and planetary paths written by Claudius Ptolemy, a Greco-Roman writer of Alexandria, known as a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet ...

    The division (of theoretical philosophy) which investigates material and ever-moving nature, and which concerns itself with ‘white’, ‘hot’, ‘sweet’, ‘soft’ and suchlike qualities one may call ‘physics’
    So, there you have it, the answer — physics — in the "Greatest Treatise" as if, from 1,800 years ago, Ptolemy himself had read your post. ... or more precisely, as we would call it today, physical attributes.
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