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Thread: M-theory

  1. #1 M-theory 
    Forum Freshman antimatter54's Avatar
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    could there really be a sub-atomic particle for gravity (graviton) like this theory says?
    or sparticals for every sub atomic particle (such as electrons and gravitons)
    which are heavier


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    I'm opened minded about gravitons, yet would only be persuaded of their existence if they showed how they curved spacetime, thus still allowing Einsteins geometric representation of gravity to continue.


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  4. #3 Re: M-theory 
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    Quote Originally Posted by antimatter54
    could there really be a sub-atomic particle for gravity (graviton) like this theory says?
    or sparticals for every sub atomic particle (such as electrons and gravitons)
    which are heavier
    Its kind of like a world of blind people with an understanding of the theory of light and mirrors. They know the reflections should be there in the mirrors even though they cannot see them.

    Supersymmetry has been around for quite a while, and there never has been any alternative to the way these supersymmetry solves a great deal of mathematical difficulties in making quantum physics work for the theory of gravity. Now I am no expert on M-theory (only knowing some of the basic ideas), but it does occur to me that now we that see the world as populated not just by point particles as resonant frequencies on strings but also by higher-dimensional branes, it may be that these supersymmetric "particles" may be represented exclusively by the latter, who knows?


    Gravitons have been around even longer and provided that it is possible to quantize gravity at all, they must exist.
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  5. #4  
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    well the idea of graviton would be the same as say the caloric theory wouldent it? I mean if graviton were real then it would be a reality of humans creating artificial gravity. To me it just seams like a far fetched idea.
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    Is it possible that gravitons might be used as a way to deal with the level of "curviness" surrounding matter due to the geometric distortions experienced as gravity? I mean that they might not exist as physical particles, but might be usefull as a way to provide a quantized base to work from when considering gravitational systems?
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Is it possible that gravitons might be used as a way to deal with the level of "curviness" surrounding matter due to the geometric distortions experienced as gravity? I mean that they might not exist as physical particles, but might be usefull as a way to provide a quantized base to work from when considering gravitational systems?
    So it's a mathematical metaphor?
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Is it possible that gravitons might be used as a way to deal with the level of "curviness" surrounding matter due to the geometric distortions experienced as gravity? I mean that they might not exist as physical particles, but might be usefull as a way to provide a quantized base to work from when considering gravitational systems?
    So it's a mathematical metaphor?
    That’s what I want to find out. I think string theory treats it as an actual particle, but I am wondering whether it absolutely has to be treated as such for string theory to work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Is it possible that gravitons might be used as a way to deal with the level of "curviness" surrounding matter due to the geometric distortions experienced as gravity? I mean that they might not exist as physical particles, but might be usefull as a way to provide a quantized base to work from when considering gravitational systems?
    So it's a mathematical metaphor?
    That’s what I want to find out. I think string theory treats it as an actual particle, but I am wondering whether it absolutely has to be treated as such for string theory to work.
    For that matter all particles are "mathematical metaphors" in the sense that it is the mathematics that counts, however we may envision it in our heads. So the question is whether the mathematics of the graviton is really any different than the mathematics of other particles. One difference in the most current version of M-theory is that while other particles are "tied down" to our four-dimensional space time the gravitons are not. So do you think you can construe this being a particle in a higher dimensional space-time as "not being an actual particle"?
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    For that matter all particles are "mathematical metaphors" in the sense that it is the mathematics that counts, however we may envision it in our heads. So the question is whether the mathematics of the graviton is really any different than the mathematics of other particles. One difference in the most current version of M-theory is that while other particles are "tied down" to our four-dimensional space time the gravitons are not. So do you think you can construe this being a particle in a higher dimensional space-time as "not being an actual particle"?
    I am actually wondering whether gravitons can be thought of as the amount of tension (level of curviness) in that point in the space-time fabric. So what I mean with “not an actual particle” is that it might be something in the line of phonons and the moving positive ions of conventional current. That is, they are only treated as particles for convenience’s sake. You say that current M-theory thinks of gravitons as not being bound to the 4 dimensions of “normal” space-time, but would that not be a feature of a purely geometric interpretation of gravity as well?
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I am actually wondering whether gravitons can be thought of as the amount of tension (level of curviness) in that point in the space-time fabric. So what I mean with “not an actual particle” is that it might be something in the line of phonons and the moving positive ions of conventional current.
    All this prejudice against the phonon in suggesting that it is not a "real" particle. He he he.

    A quantization of the "level of curviness" is exactly what the graviton is, of course. But if M-theory is correct then something similar is true of all particles: they are all just a quantizations of different types of vibrations of the same 11 dimensional space-time "fabric".

    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    That is, they are only treated as particles for convenience’s sake. You say that current M-theory thinks of gravitons as not being bound to the 4 dimensions of “normal” space-time, but would that not be a feature of a purely geometric interpretation of gravity as well?
    Well of course, but again that is true of all particles. We treat them as particles when that is convenient and as waves when that is what is convenient.

    Of course. The reduction of all physics to the geometry of higher dimensional space time is the general trend of unified field theory.
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  12. #11  
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    Ok, cool. So do gravitons exclusively from part of string related theories or do they form part of the standard model as well?
    We treat them as particles when that is convenient and as waves when that is what is convenient.
    Ok. (TANGENT WARNING) Now you have read some of my hypothesis that (probably naively) suggests that particles themselves might essentially be folded up or curled up space-time fabric. Meaning that particles would essentially be complex waves, explaining particle wave duality by suggesting that when wave properties are observed it is the wave aspects of the particles interacting with its environment as a wave should, while when classic particle properties are observed it interacts as a classic particle should. Duality then is observed as a result of the particles being subjected to either wave-type interactions or particle-type interactions. So then this would go towards the trend of unified field theories as you suggested.END

    M-theory works from the premise of the existence of vibrating, Planck sized (I think) strings. Where did this idea arrise from, or what suggested the existence of these strings? What are they exactly?
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Ok, cool. So do gravitons exclusively from part of string related theories or do they form part of the standard model as well?
    No! Of course not! gravitons are what is missing from the standard model and are in fact what all the fuss is about -- how to get gravity into a quantum field theory - this is what string theory is trying to attempt. To make this clearer I think it would help if you understood something that happened right after general relativity was discovered. It was a discovery of a guy named Kaluza who just out of curiosity tried to see what happened if you did General Relativity in 5 dimensions instead of 4. Big surprise. Can you guess? Out popped Maxwell's Field Equations for Electric and Magnetic fields. Perhaps this will help you understand why scientists are so sure that the goals of unified field theory (i.e. quantizing gravity) must be possible.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    M-theory works from the premise of the existence of vibrating, Planck sized (I think) strings. Where did this idea arrise from, or what suggested the existence of these strings? What are they exactly?
    Actually I think it first originated in an attempt to describe the strong nuclear force, that was superceded by quark theory. But later in the attempts to quantize gravity in various numbers of dimension there were so many problems that various terms in the equation kept coming out as infinite. Supersymmetry was a big help allowing these supersymmetric particles to cancel out a lot of these infinities. Then it was realized that a lot of the problems were related to the fact that particles were dimensionless points and that is when the work on strings was revived and found that it not only took care of a lot of the infinites but that all the different kinds of particles matched up perfectly to the different vibrational modes of these strings.

    The biggest problem was that there was not just one string theory but several of them.

    But M-theory not only connected up these different string theories making them convertable to each other but also provided a way of reviving 11 dimensional supergravity (GR+supersymmetry+quantization in 11 dimensions) as another related theory. In other words, the strings basically appear as mathematical artifacts when you convert the 11 dimensional supergravity (by a mathematical process called compactification) into a 10 dimensional theory.

    All of this sounds really neat, but of course there are a LOT of unanswered questions, not the least of which are how to test this theory and how to make any use of it.
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  14. #13  
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    Ok, this might leave you with a big What!?-expression on your face, but here goes.

    So you said that supersymmetry solved a lot of problems. Now, let’s say that particles or the various types of spatial distortions associated with them (forces) have some sort of a fractal nature. Would that be a form of supersymmetry? Supersymmetry of what exactly are talked about when referring to string-theory? When you talk about vibrational modes, what do you mean exactly? Frequency, amplitude?
    Out popped Maxwell's Field Equations for Electric and Magnetic fields. Perhaps this will help you understand why scientists are so sure that the goals of unified field theory (i.e. quantizing gravity) must be possible.
    Wow, that is really interesting. Why did it advance to 11 dimensions then?
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Ok, this might leave you with a big What!?-expression on your face, but here goes.

    So you said that supersymmetry solved a lot of problems. Now, let’s say that particles or the various types of spatial distortions associated with them (forces) have some sort of a fractal nature. Would that be a form of supersymmetry?
    Ok, that might be a bit of a "what". Fractal symmetry is what I would call a symmetry of scale. The Mandlebrot set has this symmetry because you can find smaller things that look like the whole Mandlebrot set inside the Mandlebrot set. Symmetry of scale is already being used in string theory, supersymmetry is something else which is far less intuitive.

    Perhps it helps to realize that 11 dimensions makes it possible to have a lot of different kinds of symmetry.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Supersymmetry of what exactly are talked about when referring to string-theory?
    It is like the symmetry between positive and negative charges, or between particles and antiparticles. It is saying that there is some other quality of particles which can be plus or minus and we just see the plus particles because one of the asymmetrical developments of the universe makes the plus particles low mass and minus paticles very high mass.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    When you talk about vibrational modes, what do you mean exactly? Frequency, amplitude?
    It is like when you make waves in a chain or a slinky between your hands (or between the hands of two different people) You can make slow waves with one hump, faster waves with two humps, even faster waves with three humps, and so on. It is also like how you can get different tones on a bottle by blowing accross the top depending on how hard you blow. These are different vibrational modes - that is vibrations at different energies (or other quantities).

    Frequency is part of it, but multiple dimensions adds other factors, like in the waves on a slinky in our prevous example there three directions for the wave displacements (one in the direction of slinky for longitudinal waves). There is an integer number of modes but like the slinky example sometimes there is a degeneracy (more than one mode for the same energy) and these modes mix continuously in linear combinations, in which case like the choice of coordinate axes, the choice of independent modes can be somewhat arbitrary. Without gravity there is a degeneracy between horizontal and vertical displacements and thus the choices of the different modes is arbitrary in that case.

    The different electron orbitals in an atom are the same thing. Since electrons can be considered waves, when the nucleus of an atom ties an electron to itself it can vibrate on that "tether" with different vibrational modes. But here the only difference isn't just energy. There is electron spin and orbital angular momentum too. This is why you have two elements in the first row of the periodic chart and six in the next row. At the higher energy level there are a lot more vibrational modes for the electrons due to more possible orbital angular momentums.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Out popped Maxwell's Field Equations for Electric and Magnetic fields. Perhaps this will help you understand why scientists are so sure that the goals of unified field theory (i.e. quantizing gravity) must be possible.
    Wow, that is really interesting. Why did it advance to 11 dimensions then?
    Because you want to account for the other forces of the universe and not just gravity, electric and magnetic force. There are also the strong and weak nuclear forces, which account for the bulk of these additional dimensions. Then as I expained above 1 more dimension can account for the strings of string theory. The result is a purely geometric theory (although geometry in 11 dimensions is no piece of cake). But still, very cool indeed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    All this prejudice against the phonon in suggesting that it is not a "real" particle. He he he.
    By the way, I did not intend to suggest that you were wrong. I was just joking around. Phonons are indeed considered "pseudo-particles". But all this means is that they are not considered "fundamental". They are not constituents of matter but more phenomenological. You could compare them to beat frequencies, and so are perhap wave-like entities on a higher level - like a wave made out of waves, or a wave on top of other waves.
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    OK. I read somewhere (and I might have misunderstood), that a line in one dimension would be a dot in the second dimension, a line in 2D would be a dot in the 3D and so forth. That would mean that all points in a 3D space would be interconnected in a 4th spatial dimension. Is that right? If it is true, then why does the strong force act over such short distances?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    OK. I read somewhere (and I might have misunderstood), that a line in one dimension would be a dot in the second dimension, a line in 2D would be a dot in the 3D and so forth.
    I would say that you misunderstood and have it backwards. When representing something in a higher dimension by a map to a lower dimension some objects will lose dimensionality. Thus for example, in such a map from 3D to 2D some planes will become lines and some lines will be come points. Turning this around in the reverse process, this means that every point in 2D space will become a line in the 3D space and every line in the 2D space will become a plane in the 3D space.

    All this means is that every point in 3D space is represented by a higher dimensional object in the higher dimensional space which the 3D represents, a ring in 4D space, a sphere in 5D space, a 4-hypersphere in 6D space, etc... (this assumes the space is unbounded, and these are only the simplest possible shapes even in that case)


    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    That would mean that all points in a 3D space would be interconnected in a 4th spatial dimension. Is that right?
    I am not sure what you mean by this. But the only way I can even make the remote sense of it is this: when we go from a lower dimensional space to a higher dimensional space boundaries can lose their bounding qualities. What I am talking about is the fact that a circle which separates 2D space into inside and outside, ceases to do so in a 3D space. Thus we know that likewise a sphere which separates 3D space into inside and outside, ceases to do so in a 4D space. Just as you cannot make boundaries in 3D space with curved lines, you cannot make boundaries in 4D space with surfaces - that would require something 3 dimensional.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    If it is true, then why does the strong force act over such short distances?
    Well I am not sure what you mean, but if you are asking why the strong force does not operate over larger distances (also known as quark confinement), it is because the force is so strong that the potential energy exceeds the mass energy of particles and thus creates particles to prevent a longer range operation. If you try to pull the quarks in a proton apart, new quarks are quickly created and you end up with a two composite particles like a proton and a neutral meson, or a neutron and a postive meson.
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    Cool, thanks for the detailed replies!

    Is time still considered a dimension in M-theory? I mean these 11 dimensions are all spatial dimensions, no? How is movement dealt with then?

    I read that the extra dimensions are somehow "wrapped up" inside particles. That is why we have difficulty with an intuitive understanding of these dimensions, since we have ever only observed and experienced 3D in our evolution. Is that accurate?

    Now. [Tangent]Let’s say you grip a Planck sized portion of space and started twisting and turning, let go and the distortion stayed there. How would the innards of that distortion be considered dimensionally? I mean it becomes difficult to think about, since it is not a piece of rubber that gets twisted where there are portions where folds touch each other. When these rubber folds are forced apart, a vacuum forms. But with the space-time fabric, no such vacuum can exist. So how could that work?[End]

    What are particles then exactly?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Is time still considered a dimension in M-theory? I mean these 11 dimensions are all spatial dimensions, no? How is movement dealt with then?
    Yes time is a dimension, and it IS included in the 11 dimensions.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I read that the extra dimensions are somehow "wrapped up" inside particles. That is why we have difficulty with an intuitive understanding of these dimensions, since we have ever only observed and experienced 3D in our evolution. Is that accurate?
    Yes this was an idea of another scientist named Klein back when Kaluza did his calculation with 5 dimensional GR. It was Klein's idea that we did not see the 5th dimension because it is very small. (Thus some of the earliest unified field theories were called Kaluza-Klein theories).

    It is kind of lke a piece of paper is really a 3 dimensional object because it does have a thickness even if that thickness is really small. The difference from the paper, however, is that the universe does not have boundaries - you go enough in one direction and you come back to where you started. In the 5th dimension that is a VERY VERY short journey. Like I said, a point in 4D space-time becomes a small Plank sized circle in the 5D space-time (where that extra dimension is very small).

    Thus even if space-time is really 11-dimensional, it is so thin in 7 of these dimensions that it is effectively only a 4-dimensional universe. The other 7 dimensions are only seen in all the particles and forces that inhabit our 4 dimensional universe.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Now. [Tangent]Let’s say you grip a Planck sized portion of space and started twisting and turning, let go and the distortion stayed there.
    But it would not stay there but bounce back and forth in a vibration of some sort that I think we would observe as one or more particles.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    How would the innards of that distortion be considered dimensionally? I mean it becomes difficult to think about, since it is not a piece of rubber that gets twisted where there are portions where folds touch each other. When these rubber folds are forced apart, a vacuum forms. But with the space-time fabric, no such vacuum can exist. So how could that work?[End]
    The difference from the rubber is that the rubber is a surface embedded in a larger space. The mathematics of GR demonstrated that space-time curvarture did not require one to think of space-time as being embedded in a larger space. The curvature or twisting as you call it has a clear mathematical description as a property of space-time itself without any reference to a larger space. Whether we can visualize it or not, the mathematics is unambiguous, and for REAL physics that is all that matters.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    What are particles then exactly?
    So in a "purely geometric theory", particles would basically be quantizations of waves (vibrations) in the fabric of space-time itself.
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    Yes time is a dimension, and it IS included in the 11 dimensions.
    So is it still considered as only a measure of relative movement?
    But it would not stay there but bounce back and forth in a vibration of some sort that I think we would observe as one or more particles.
    That is an interesting point! [T]Then the more massive a particle (larger distortion), the longer it would take for a cycle to complete. I would guess that these occilating distortions would not be confined to a precise spherical area, but would create 3D distortions in surrounding space that would dissapate with distance. The shapes of these secondary distortions would depend on the particles of its making. Kind of like pinching a piece of cloth in the middle and twisting it, making spiral patterns in the surrounding cloth. [E]
    So in a "purely geometric theory", particles would basically be quantizations of waves (vibrations) in the fabric of space-time itself.
    So my little hypothesis is not so far from current theory after all? Now for the question: What is the space-time fabric? Not simply the space between objects, surely? Quantum foam?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Yes time is a dimension, and it IS included in the 11 dimensions.
    So is it still considered as only a measure of relative movement?
    Time is a variable and dimension in mathematical equations of physics. Any discussion of what time is beyond that is not really physics but philosophy.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I would guess that these occilating distortions would not be confined to a precise spherical area, but would create 3D distortions in surrounding space that would dissapate with distance.
    Yes the billiard ball image of particles is wrong. Yes particles do dissipate into surrounding space like a wave, but then interactions with large numbers of particles will make this wave collapse into a point again in a manner that is not governed by any equation of physics or determined by any preceding variables of physics. It is not just that these variable are not known to physics for it has been experimentally proven that they cannot even exist within the theoretical framework of physics. See "Bell's inequality".

    A cloud chamber will prevent such a dissipation for any of the particles with a charge. Allowing us to make a picture of the tracks they make as they move through it. It is by studying such tracks that the physicist studies particle interactions and the result of the big colliders that convert kinetic energy into high energy particles.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    The shapes of these secondary distortions would depend on the particles of its making. Kind of like pinching a piece of cloth in the middle and twisting it, making spiral patterns in the surrounding cloth.
    Yes the kind of distortion would determine the kinds of vibrations produced and thus the types of particles produced.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    So my little hypothesis is not so far from current theory after all? Now for the question: What is the space-time fabric? Not simply the space between objects, surely? Quantum foam?
    That is not a physics question. All that signifies in physics is the mathematical role of these dimensions. The physicist will visualize them in whatever manner he likes, but unless this has an impact on the mathematics it has no physical significance.
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    Time is a variable and dimension in mathematical equations of physics. Any discussion of what time is beyond that is not really physics but philosophy.
    Yes, that is what I mean: a variable in equations. This variable then relates to the RATE of change. My knowledge, though, only extends to time related to 3D, but how does it feature in equations dealing with 11 dimensions? Is time then one of the 11 Dimensions, or is it always added after the initial spatial dimensions, i.e. let's say motion in 4 spatial dimensions is being considered. Does time then feature as the 5th dimension as the rate of change?
    It is not just that these variable are not known to physics for it has been experimentally proven that they cannot even exist within the theoretical framework of physics.
    If I understood the Wikipedia article on Bell's inequality, hidden variable theory is given as a consequence of relativity, with the alternative being QM and non-locality. The article mentions certain loopholes that still have to be accounted for? Also, that not all the experimental results confirmed the QM explanation, although confirmatory results were attained upon repeating of the experiment. Another thing mentioned is the less than 70% accuracy of the equipment that still leaves some room for hidden variable explanations, although tenuous. Is that the gist of it?

    Now, I hope you (and me too ) understand what I mean when I put this out there: Is it possible that a particle can physically exist in between defined states? When it interacts with another particle (the secondary spatial distortions), the two particles affect each other in such a way that they line up to the nearest defined state available? I mean, that particles exist in a state where it would statistically be more likely to be measured as being in a defined state. The area of probability would then be affected by the entanglement of the particles. That would mean that the odds might have the characteristic of apparently confirming the QM stance in most circumstances. I think that only 8 experiments to test Bell's inequality have been done? My proposal would suggest that a probability curve would start to emerge after completion of many more experiments. How far from a possible mark am I on this?

    The physicist will visualize them in whatever manner he likes, but unless this has an impact on the mathematics it has no physical significance.
    What I am asking is what physical attributes have been assigned to space that warrant the current treatment with mathematics?

    Note: None of this is a direct challenge against what you’re telling me. It is only my way of trying to make sense of all this. Every time you shoot down something, I learn from it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Yes, that is what I mean: a variable in equations. This variable then relates to the RATE of change. My knowledge, though, only extends to time related to 3D, but how does it feature in equations dealing with 11 dimensions? Is time then one of the 11 Dimensions, or is it always added after the initial spatial dimensions, i.e. let's say motion in 4 spatial dimensions is being considered. Does time then feature as the 5th dimension as the rate of change?
    A rate of change is a derivative and you can calculate such a rate of change or derivative with respect to any variable. The only connection with time would only be that rates of change with respect to time are the ones that we are most familiar with.

    I am not sure exactly what you are asking here. Time is the fouth dimension. Period. To the 4 large visible dimensions including time, all the others are added. When you absorb the lessons of relativity especially and quantum field theory, you think of time as a variable and a dimension - the fourth one. Its not space and then add time to it to get motion, its space-time. The reason for this is that the common sense Euclean conception of time of 3D instance snapshots of the universe, like a motion picture film, is abandoned as wrong. The essense of Euclean geometry is that the variables are completely independent, but in the locally Minkowsky geometry of relativity, this is not the case, and in fact, in GR, there is a degree of arbitrariness in choosing your time axis such as when you choose what intertial frame to work in.

    Nevertheless there is a mathematical difference in the treatment of time as a dimension variable in this Minkowsky geometry. It is a factor of i = square root of -1. But this suggests that is actually this Minkowsky geometry that distinguishes time from the other dimensions.

    Also remember that this idea of motion as something different from anything else vanishes in modern physics. Motion is just another form of energy like everything else, convertable into mass or light.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    It is not just that these variable are not known to physics for it has been experimentally proven that they cannot even exist within the theoretical framework of physics.
    If I understood the Wikipedia article on Bell's inequality, hidden variable theory is given as a consequence of relativity, with the alternative being QM and non-locality.
    Hidden variable theory was an attempt to explain away the wierdness of quantum physics. Bell's inequality is indeed a consequece of relativity. But physicists are not going to abandon relativity. That's crazy. Thus non-locality is outside the framework of physics and is basically on the same footing with spritual explanations I think.

    Of couse you can believe what you like. There are a lot of Trekkies out there who refuse to believe in relativity (without really understanding it).



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    The article mentions certain loopholes that still have to be accounted for? Also, that not all the experimental results confirmed the QM explanation, although confirmatory results were attained upon repeating of the experiment. Another thing mentioned is the less than 70% accuracy of the equipment that still leaves some room for hidden variable explanations, although tenuous. Is that the gist of it?
    You have to understand how much people have been fighting this result. There are many on the fringe that do not want to accept it. However, if the so-called loop-holes are untestable then they will be ignored. And from what I have seen, it is pretty clear that efforts in this direction are leading to one dead end after another. Regardless of what a stubborn few may insist, the evidence is pretty conclusive. Frankly the stubborness of the determinist die-hards fighting against QM reminds me of the Creationists fighting against evolution. People want to believe what they want to believe.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Now, I hope you (and me too ) understand what I mean when I put this out there: Is it possible that a particle can physically exist in between defined states? When it interacts with another particle (the secondary spatial distortions), the two particles affect each other in such a way that they line up to the nearest defined state available? I mean, that particles exist in a state where it would statistically be more likely to be measured as being in a defined state. The area of probability would then be affected by the entanglement of the particles. That would mean that the odds might have the characteristic of apparently confirming the QM stance in most circumstances. I think that only 8 experiments to test Bell's inequality have been done? My proposal would suggest that a probability curve would start to emerge after completion of many more experiments. How far from a possible mark am I on this?
    I don't know what to say, but that this is a reach. Maybe in spite of all the evidence, the earth really is only 6000 years old and created in 6 six days, but I don't think so. Like the vast majority of the physics community, however, my money is on the favorites, QM and relativity, which is miles and miles ahead of any contenders (which seem to show up occasionally only to drop out eventually).



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    What I am asking is what physical attributes have been assigned to space that warrant the current treatment with mathematics?
    How do you define physical attributes?

    How to answer this?...

    In GR space-time has a metric, which defines a measure of distance between points, but also allows for the calculation of something called curvature which is how GR explains the force of gravity - it is a purely geometric concept. Now in Einstein's field equations (his version of a law of gravitation), the metrict is calculated from the stress-energy tensor which contains all the information about the energy, momentum and pressure densities in space. Thus the non geometric part of GR is contained in this Stress-energy tensor. A purely geometric theory wouldn't have this, though it might have constants of some sort.
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    This al is pretty much to get my little laymen head around! I guess I am trying to intuitively understand some things that might only be possible to do with mathematics. I am holding on to what I guess is a common interested laymen idea, which is that when a proper GUT or TOE is eventually developed that it would once again be possible to evaluate something in your mind by exactly picturing what happens. I can’t help but think that we should be able to visualize, say, a particle and all that acts on it once we know for certain exactly what it is.

    I would dearly love to be able to study physics. It is difficult to define a clear incremental path towards knowledge to progress down when not being given it by a University. Many of the fundamental terms completely fly over my head, so when I try and describe a product of thought on this forum I usually devise my own terms, which only serves to confuse the issue. For instance, I was pretty amazed that you were able to make sense of my naïve proposal of the possible emergence of a probability curve after repeated experiments (or am I presuming too much?). I guess my proposal is something that has been considered and rejected as improbable a long time ago.

    Now, were would you say is the boundary between GR and QM? Do they overlap or is there a definite dividing line?

    Thus the non geometric part of GR is contained in this Stress-energy tensor. A purely geometric theory wouldn't have this, though it might have constants of some sort.
    A purely geometric theory as in M-theory I guess? The Stress-energy tensor is defined as the force vectors present at a designated point in space? I am sorry if I am coming across as obtuse. I really appreciate your efforts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    This al is pretty much to get my little laymen head around! I guess I am trying to intuitively understand some things that might only be possible to do with mathematics.
    I can hardly blame you. Clearly physics has some crucial things to say about the nature of reality - and reality is certainly everyone's business.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I am holding on to what I guess is a common interested laymen idea, which is that when a proper GUT or TOE is eventually developed that it would once again be possible to evaluate something in your mind by exactly picturing what happens. I can’t help but think that we should be able to visualize, say, a particle and all that acts on it once we know for certain exactly what it is.
    Wouldn't that be nice. However the indications are just the opposite - that instead we will have to use every bit of esoteric mathematics to understand such a theory. For example, we've been talking about what a point in 4D space becomes in a higher dimensional space, like a sphere in 6D space, well it could actually be a torus (a donut) instead and it seems that these different possibilities have different implications for physics. We need a sophistocated branch of mathematics called topology to understand these differences.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    For instance, I was pretty amazed that you were able to make sense of my naïve proposal of the possible emergence of a probability curve after repeated experiments (or am I presuming too much?). I guess my proposal is something that has been considered and rejected as improbable a long time ago.
    I understood you to mean that maybe Bell's inequality is only violated most of the time with a certain probability. But frankly the proof of the inequality is only that if hidden variable theory is true then the inequality must always be satisfied, so I don't think we can draw any different conclusion even IF what you are suggesting was found to be the case. So although I don't think I have heard that particular suggestion before, I think it is because there is no relevance.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Now, where would you say is the boundary between GR and QM? Do they overlap or is there a definite dividing line?
    They, GR and QFT (quantum field theory), most definitely DO NOT overlap. GR is what we call a classical theory. It is purely determinstic. The whole point of a TOE like M-theory is to bridge this gap and make a quantum theory of gravity. In other ways there are similarities in the fact that both are rather broad theoretical frameworks that can describe things that may not exist at all. It is only in particular applications like the Schwartschild solution (application to spherical masses) for GR and like the Standard Model for QFT that these are doing real physics.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Thus the non geometric part of GR is contained in this Stress-energy tensor. A purely geometric theory wouldn't have this, though it might have constants of some sort.
    A purely geometric theory as in M-theory I guess?
    Well now that I think it over I am not so sure that what I said was correct. I think maybe GR is exactly what I mean by a purely geometric theory. I think the point is that GR doesn't explain everything and so must be complemeted by an understanding of the contents of space that produce the energy, momentum and pressure densities that make up the stress-energy tensor, and it is these things which add a non geometric element to theory. Thus I think the answer your question with a yes, M-theory is such a purely geometric theory because it is an 11 dimensional supersymetric GR, but it is not only purely geometric like GR but also explains everything without the need to add any particles or strings or anything to put inside the space to account for the stress-energy tensor or whatever its 11-dimensional equivalent may be.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    The Stress-energy tensor is defined as the force vectors present at a designated point in space? I am sorry if I am coming across as obtuse. I really appreciate your efforts.
    The stress energy tensor is like a matrix of variables, including energy density, momentum density, energy flux, viscosity, pressure and momentum flux. I think the idea is basically to account for all the directional aspects (various derivatives with respect to the different dimensional variables) of the basic (energy) content of the space. Clearly it has obvious connections to fluid mechanics and the study of a stellar body is one of the obvious applications.

    Force is not even a part of this physics, and it is the field equations which take the place of this idea of a gravitational force. Its role is to calculate equations of motion (due to gravity alone in the case of GR) and these are derived from geodesics which are another geometric property of the metric.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress-energy_tensor
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    I can hardly blame you. Clearly physics has some crucial things to say about the nature of reality - and reality is certainly everyone's business. It seems to me that it would be particularly crucial for the naturalist/atheist who thinks that what physics describes is actually all there is.
    Why did this have to enter this discussion? I disagree completely. None of this has any bearing on belief or religion, not to me at least.
    Wouldn't that be nice. However the indications are just the opposite - that instead we will have to use every bit of esoteric mathematics to understand such a theory. For example, we've been talking about what a point in 4D space becomes in a higher dimensional space, like a sphere in 6D space, well it could actually be a torus (a donut) instead and it seems that these different possibilities have different implications for physics. We need a sophistocated branch of mathematics called topology to understand these differences.
    Yeh, I mean it’s like if you throw a ball against the wall. You know it will bounce back, but need specific information and the necessary math to know exactly what it will do. Topology deals with manifolds of different varieties, I think? As in 3D shapes, like the enclosed angles of a tri-angle comes to more than 180<sup>o</sup> on a 3D surface.

    I am starting to think that once we have a complete mathematical framework, that it might be possible to envisage what happens in a given situation, but that we would not have the necessary intellect to do so. We will need faster computers (quantum computers are inching closer to fruition all the time).
    Clearly it has obvious connections to fluid mechanics and the study of a stellar body is one of the obvious applications.
    Ah! Are you saying that a form of fluid dynamics is or could be used to describe the dynamics of the space-time fabric? Curvature could then take the place of density in the equations?
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I can hardly blame you. Clearly physics has some crucial things to say about the nature of reality - and reality is certainly everyone's business. It seems to me that it would be particularly crucial for the naturalist/atheist who thinks that what physics describes is actually all there is.
    Why did this have to enter this discussion? I disagree completely. None of this has any bearing on belief or religion, not to me at least.
    Apologies. Comment deleted from original post. You are absolutely right!


    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Yeh, I mean it’s like if you throw a ball against the wall. You know it will bounce back, but need specific information and the necessary math to know exactly what it will do. Topology deals with manifolds of different varieties, I think? As in 3D shapes, like the enclosed angles of a tri-angle comes to more than 180<sup>o</sup> on a 3D surface.
    No topology deals with differences that cannot obtained only by stretching and bending. No amount of stretching and bending will turn a sphere into a torus (donut), you have to cut and paste. So a triangle, a square and a circle are topologically equivalent.



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    I am starting to think that once we have a complete mathematical framework, that it might be possible to envisage what happens in a given situation, but that we would not have the necessary intellect to do so. We will need faster computers (quantum computers are inching closer to fruition all the time).
    Hmmm... There was a recent Scientific American article explaining that for most tasks quantum computers would not be a substantial improvement. Did you see it?



    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER
    Clearly it has obvious connections to fluid mechanics and the study of a stellar body is one of the obvious applications.
    Ah! Are you saying that a form of fluid dynamics is or could be used to describe the dynamics of the space-time fabric? Curvature could then take the place of density in the equations?
    No. I think the point is that a fluid has all the different kinds of possible energy dynamics that can affect the curvature of space-time. A purely geometric theory would reduce all physical phenomena to a changing metric in this higher dimensional space - which would include the curvature and geodesics in the 4 larger dimensions representing gravitational force and quantized vibrations in 11 dimensions representing particles and the other 3 fundamental forces.
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