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RE: It's confirmed: Matter is merely vacuum fluctuations

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  • Alberto Monteiro
    ... Mercury s extra precession could be modeled using Classical Mechanics, it was just a matter of adjusting Sun s J2. The surprising thing was that, with GR,
    Message 1 of 16 , Dec 1, 2008
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      rob/xponent wrote:
      >
      > Models make predictions. And over time models have made predictions
      > with greater accuracy and that cover more situations that previous
      > models failed. Mercury anyone?
      >
      Mercury's extra precession could be modeled using Classical Mechanics,
      it was just a matter of adjusting Sun's J2. The surprising thing
      was that, with GR, Sun's J2 is negligible.

      Alberto Monteiro

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    • Ronn! Blankenship
      ... Yep. If the Sun indeed had turned out to be measurably oblate, or at least its gravitational field had turned out so, the very good match that exists
      Message 2 of 16 , Dec 1, 2008
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        At 05:14 AM Monday 12/1/2008, Alberto Monteiro wrote:

        >rob/xponent wrote:
        > >
        > > Models make predictions. And over time models have made predictions
        > > with greater accuracy and that cover more situations that previous
        > > models failed. Mercury anyone?
        > >
        >Mercury's extra precession could be modeled using Classical Mechanics,
        >it was just a matter of adjusting Sun's J2. The surprising thing
        >was that, with GR, Sun's J2 is negligible.
        >
        >Alberto Monteiro


        Yep. If the Sun indeed had turned out to be measurably oblate, or at
        least its gravitational field had turned out so, the very good match
        that exists between the prediction from GR and the measured excess in
        the precession of the perihelion of Mercury's orbit would have been
        much less good.


        . . . ronn! :)



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      • Dan M
        ... I m not arguing against modeling observation. Besides paying the bills, it s at the foundation of modern civilization. Without it, we d be little better
        Message 3 of 16 , Dec 1, 2008
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          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: brin-l-bounces@... [mailto:brin-l-bounces@...] On
          > Behalf Of Rceeberger
          > Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2008 9:47 PM
          > To: Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion
          > Subject: RE: It's confirmed: Matter is merely vacuum fluctuations
          >
          >
          > On 11/30/2008 5:30:23 PM, Dan M (dsummersminet@...) wrote:
          > > Rob wrote:
          > >
          > > > If physics were anything more than approximate, we would have final
          > > > answers to all our questions.
          > >
          > > How? All physics does is model observations.
          >
          > Models make predictions. And over time models have made predictions with
          > greater accuracy and that cover more situations that previous models
          > failed. Mercury anyone?
          >
          > Models also allow us to re-create phenomena for our own purposes.

          I'm not arguing against modeling observation. Besides paying the bills,
          it's at the foundation of modern civilization. Without it, we'd be little
          better off than they were 500 years ago.

          I was just pointing out that there are plenty of worthwhile questions that
          will not be answered by science.


          > > Physics was created out of
          > > Natural Philosophy by tabling the question of the reliability of
          > > observations.
          >
          > Which definition of "tabling" are you using here?

          Roberts Rules of Order :-)

          US

          > >
          > > Now, you can use the results of physics as a reliable model of what we
          > > observe when you do metaphysics. But, it is a really really good idea
          > to
          > > not confuse when you are doing physics and when you are doing something
          > > else. Otherwise you can wander off into the aether. :-)
          > >
          >
          > <G> I think the implication of what I wrote before is that for most of us
          > there really isn't much of a difference.
          > I would think it quite different when having a formal discussion.

          Sure, and I appreciate your position. But, I've hoped you remember one of
          the zillion times I remarked that there are a number of different
          interpretations of physics: many different realities that are all equally
          consistent with observations, and for which there is no empirical test short
          of finding the aether, or something equally startling, to differentiate
          between the interpretations.

          Thus, I take exception with a science magazine which states that the authors
          pet interpretation has been proven by a new discovery, when it hasn't.

          One real problem, from my perspective, is that the average layman is trying
          to fit modern physics back into a classical box. To paraphrase one
          prominent physicist from the 20s when asked to comment on the correctness of
          someone's hypothesison a theory he thought was horrid, "Right? Right, he
          isn't even Wrong." This is what the first two paragraphs of the New
          Scientist article remind me of.

          Dan M.

          _______________________________________________
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        • xponentrob
          ... From: Dan M To: Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion Sent: Monday, December 01, 2008 10:03 PM
          Message 4 of 16 , Dec 1, 2008
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            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Dan M" <dsummersminet@...>
            To: "'Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion'" <brin-l@...>
            Sent: Monday, December 01, 2008 10:03 PM
            Subject: RE: It's confirmed: Matter is merely vacuum fluctuations


            >
            >
            >> -----Original Message-----
            >> From: brin-l-bounces@... [mailto:brin-l-bounces@...] On
            >> Behalf Of Rceeberger
            >> Sent: Sunday, November 30, 2008 9:47 PM
            >> To: Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion
            >> Subject: RE: It's confirmed: Matter is merely vacuum fluctuations
            >>
            >>
            >> On 11/30/2008 5:30:23 PM, Dan M (dsummersminet@...) wrote:
            >> > Rob wrote:
            >> >
            >> > > If physics were anything more than approximate, we would have final
            >> > > answers to all our questions.
            >> >
            >> > How? All physics does is model observations.
            >>
            >> Models make predictions. And over time models have made predictions with
            >> greater accuracy and that cover more situations that previous models
            >> failed. Mercury anyone?
            >>
            >> Models also allow us to re-create phenomena for our own purposes.
            >
            > I'm not arguing against modeling observation. Besides paying the bills,
            > it's at the foundation of modern civilization. Without it, we'd be little
            > better off than they were 500 years ago.
            >
            > I was just pointing out that there are plenty of worthwhile questions that
            > will not be answered by science.
            >

            Ummmmm....yeah. Though I have to admit I'm left wondering if you are talking
            about questions in the "soft" sciences (which can seem a bit arbitrary to my
            mind and subject to change for a variety of reasons), or if you are
            referring to "ultimate" questions that lay people tend to think physics aims
            for. (Just for clarity, I think we both agree when it comes to the subject
            of "Truth")

            >
            >> > Physics was created out of
            >> > Natural Philosophy by tabling the question of the reliability of
            >> > observations.
            >>
            >> Which definition of "tabling" are you using here?
            >
            > Roberts Rules of Order :-)
            >
            > US

            OK thanks!
            I'm not sure I understand your statement in that case. Fleishman and Pons
            observations were certainly called into question, as were their
            methodologies.Same with, say, creationists. So offhand I would expect that
            the reliability of observations is important, but recognise that you could
            be defining "observation" in a way I am not.


            >
            >> >
            >> > Now, you can use the results of physics as a reliable model of what we
            >> > observe when you do metaphysics. But, it is a really really good idea
            >> to
            >> > not confuse when you are doing physics and when you are doing something
            >> > else. Otherwise you can wander off into the aether. :-)
            >> >
            >>
            >> <G> I think the implication of what I wrote before is that for most of us
            >> there really isn't much of a difference.
            >> I would think it quite different when having a formal discussion.
            >
            > Sure, and I appreciate your position. But, I've hoped you remember one of
            > the zillion times I remarked that there are a number of different
            > interpretations of physics: many different realities that are all equally
            > consistent with observations, and for which there is no empirical test
            > short
            > of finding the aether, or something equally startling, to differentiate
            > between the interpretations.

            I recall that years ago there was a very lengthy thread here that dealt with
            metaphysical questions of the ultimate reality and why such philosophical
            discussion is pretty much meaningless. I wish I still had all those old
            files from my first few years here.


            >
            > Thus, I take exception with a science magazine which states that the
            > authors
            > pet interpretation has been proven by a new discovery, when it hasn't.

            Something has been demonstrated. I agree it is open to interpretation. I can
            think of other explainations that might satisfy the observations, leakage
            from tiny higher dimensions frex.


            >
            > One real problem, from my perspective, is that the average layman is
            > trying
            > to fit modern physics back into a classical box. To paraphrase one
            > prominent physicist from the 20s when asked to comment on the correctness
            > of
            > someone's hypothesison a theory he thought was horrid, "Right? Right, he
            > isn't even Wrong." This is what the first two paragraphs of the New
            > Scientist article remind me of.
            >
            Last year everything was all about strings (again), but the article seems to
            ignore all that and doesn't reference.


            xponent
            Modalities Maru
            rob

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          • Dan M
            ... I was thinking more of the latter, but the former also helps bring the problem into perspective. Take psychology. We don t really know what people are
            Message 5 of 16 , Dec 2, 2008
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              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: brin-l-bounces@... [mailto:brin-l-bounces@...] On
              > Behalf Of xponentrob
              > Sent: Monday, December 01, 2008 11:06 PM
              > To: Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion
              > Subject: Re: It's confirmed: Matter is merely vacuum fluctuations
              > >
              >
              >Ummmmm....yeah. Though I have to admit I'm left wondering if you are
              >talking about questions in the "soft" sciences (which can seem a bit
              >arbitrary to my mind and subject to change for a variety of reasons), or
              >if you are referring to "ultimate" questions that lay people tend to
              >think physics aims for. (Just for clarity, I think we both agree when it
              >comes to the subject of "Truth")

              I was thinking more of the latter, but the former also helps bring the
              problem into perspective. Take psychology. We don't really know what
              people are thinking. Experts in the field of psychology have been fooled by
              people who outgamed them. Still, empirical observations are made, and
              models of those observations (say fivethirtyeight's vote prediction) can
              prove quite accurate.

              >
              > OK thanks!
              > I'm not sure I understand your statement in that case. Fleishman and Pons
              > observations were certainly called into question, as were their
              > methodologies.Same with, say, creationists. So offhand I would expect that
              > the reliability of observations is important, but recognise that you could
              > be defining "observation" in a way I am not.

              I think I am defining "reliable" differently, partially because I'm rather
              familiar with the debates of the time when physics emerged. Pons and
              Fleishman made unrepeatable observations. Creationists use bad technique in
              evaluating phenomenon. But, Pons and Fleishman's problems were not the
              uncertainty of the empirical and only a small subset of creationists use
              idealism to question observations (as Berkley (sp) did).

              We can make detailed models of the empirical and have rigorous standards for
              good, repeatable experiments. But, we don't worry about what is really
              there, we "shut up and calculate". In a real sense, this Feynman statement
              is a culmination of what makes physics what it is.




              >
              > I recall that years ago there was a very lengthy thread here that dealt
              > with metaphysical questions of the ultimate reality and why such
              > philosophical discussion is pretty much meaningless.

              Actually, I'd argue that meaning is one of those metaphysical questions that
              cannot be determined empirically. I love the statement in the first preface
              to the Critique of Pure Reason on this.

              "HUMAN reason has this peculiar fate that in one species
              of its knowledge it is burdened by questions which, as prescribed
              by the very nature of reason itself, it is not able to
              ignore, but which, as transcending all its powers, it is also
              not able to answer."






              > >
              > > Thus, I take exception with a science magazine which states that the
              > > authors
              > > pet interpretation has been proven by a new discovery, when it hasn't.
              >
              > Something has been demonstrated. I agree it is open to interpretation. I
              > can think of other explainations that might satisfy the observations,
              >leakage from tiny higher dimensions frex.

              None of that is needed. Just standard E=m works (I'm using good physicist
              units here where c=1. :-) ) That's what's frustrating for me; the New
              Scientist makes standard QM theory out to be a startling new discovery. The
              theory dates back to at least the early 30s. Nothing has been demonstrated
              except that QCD works numerically. If they failed with computers 100x as
              powerful, and everyone did, then that would be something new, because QCD
              would have been falsified.
              >
              >
              > >
              > > One real problem, from my perspective, is that the average layman is
              > > trying
              > > to fit modern physics back into a classical box. To paraphrase one
              > > prominent physicist from the 20s when asked to comment on the
              > correctness
              > > of
              > > someone's hypothesison a theory he thought was horrid, "Right? Right, he
              > > isn't even Wrong." This is what the first two paragraphs of the New
              > > Scientist article remind me of.
              > >
              > Last year everything was all about strings (again), but the article seems
              > to ignore all that and doesn't reference.

              That's at a layer below what was covered in the article...where theorists
              try to reconcile GR with QCD and the Electroweak...there strings (and now
              fuzzy space if 2 year old last reading of John Baez's online "This Week In
              Mathematical Physics" is current enough).

              Dan M.

              _______________________________________________
              http://www.mccmedia.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l
            • xponentrob
              ... From: Dan M To: Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2008 9:06 PM
              Message 6 of 16 , Dec 3, 2008
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                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Dan M" <dsummersminet@...>
                To: "'Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion'" <brin-l@...>
                Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2008 9:06 PM
                Subject: RE: It's confirmed: Matter is merely vacuum fluctuations


                >
                >
                >> -----Original Message-----
                >> From: brin-l-bounces@... [mailto:brin-l-bounces@...] On
                >> Behalf Of xponentrob
                >> Sent: Monday, December 01, 2008 11:06 PM
                >> To: Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion
                >> Subject: Re: It's confirmed: Matter is merely vacuum fluctuations
                >> >
                >>
                >>Ummmmm....yeah. Though I have to admit I'm left wondering if you are
                >>talking about questions in the "soft" sciences (which can seem a bit
                >>arbitrary to my mind and subject to change for a variety of reasons), or
                >>if you are referring to "ultimate" questions that lay people tend to
                >>think physics aims for. (Just for clarity, I think we both agree when it
                >>comes to the subject of "Truth")
                >
                > I was thinking more of the latter, but the former also helps bring the
                > problem into perspective. Take psychology. We don't really know what
                > people are thinking. Experts in the field of psychology have been fooled
                > by
                > people who outgamed them. Still, empirical observations are made, and
                > models of those observations (say fivethirtyeight's vote prediction) can
                > prove quite accurate.
                >
                >>
                >> OK thanks!
                >> I'm not sure I understand your statement in that case. Fleishman and Pons
                >> observations were certainly called into question, as were their
                >> methodologies.Same with, say, creationists. So offhand I would expect
                >> that
                >> the reliability of observations is important, but recognise that you
                >> could
                >> be defining "observation" in a way I am not.
                >
                > I think I am defining "reliable" differently, partially because I'm rather
                > familiar with the debates of the time when physics emerged. Pons and
                > Fleishman made unrepeatable observations. Creationists use bad technique
                > in
                > evaluating phenomenon. But, Pons and Fleishman's problems were not the
                > uncertainty of the empirical and only a small subset of creationists use
                > idealism to question observations (as Berkley (sp) did).
                >
                > We can make detailed models of the empirical and have rigorous standards
                > for
                > good, repeatable experiments. But, we don't worry about what is really
                > there, we "shut up and calculate". In a real sense, this Feynman
                > statement
                > is a culmination of what makes physics what it is.
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >>
                >> I recall that years ago there was a very lengthy thread here that dealt
                >> with metaphysical questions of the ultimate reality and why such
                >> philosophical discussion is pretty much meaningless.
                >
                > Actually, I'd argue that meaning is one of those metaphysical questions
                > that
                > cannot be determined empirically. I love the statement in the first
                > preface
                > to the Critique of Pure Reason on this.
                >
                > "HUMAN reason has this peculiar fate that in one species
                > of its knowledge it is burdened by questions which, as prescribed
                > by the very nature of reason itself, it is not able to
                > ignore, but which, as transcending all its powers, it is also
                > not able to answer."
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >> >
                >> > Thus, I take exception with a science magazine which states that the
                >> > authors
                >> > pet interpretation has been proven by a new discovery, when it hasn't.
                >>
                >> Something has been demonstrated. I agree it is open to interpretation. I
                >> can think of other explainations that might satisfy the observations,
                >>leakage from tiny higher dimensions frex.
                >
                > None of that is needed. Just standard E=m works (I'm using good physicist
                > units here where c=1. :-) ) That's what's frustrating for me; the New
                > Scientist makes standard QM theory out to be a startling new discovery.
                > The
                > theory dates back to at least the early 30s. Nothing has been
                > demonstrated
                > except that QCD works numerically. If they failed with computers 100x as
                > powerful, and everyone did, then that would be something new, because QCD
                > would have been falsified.
                >>
                >>
                >> >
                >> > One real problem, from my perspective, is that the average layman is
                >> > trying
                >> > to fit modern physics back into a classical box. To paraphrase one
                >> > prominent physicist from the 20s when asked to comment on the
                >> correctness
                >> > of
                >> > someone's hypothesison a theory he thought was horrid, "Right? Right,
                >> > he
                >> > isn't even Wrong." This is what the first two paragraphs of the New
                >> > Scientist article remind me of.
                >> >
                >> Last year everything was all about strings (again), but the article seems
                >> to ignore all that and doesn't reference.
                >
                > That's at a layer below what was covered in the article...where theorists
                > try to reconcile GR with QCD and the Electroweak...there strings (and now
                > fuzzy space if 2 year old last reading of John Baez's online "This Week In
                > Mathematical Physics" is current enough).
                >

                Of Interest:
                http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16095-its-confirmed-matter-is-merely-vacuum-fluctuations.html

                Once again, the comments *on* the article are more interesting than the
                article itself.

                This gem from Vendicar Decarian for instance:

                "What is and isn't matter is all relative to the observer.

                What is real particle and what is a virtual particle is also relative to the
                observer.

                For example:

                Theoretically - and indicated but not positively proven through experiment -
                acceleration causes some portion of the vacuum energy to be observed as real
                thermal radiation.

                This radiation was first postulated by a physicist named uhnru I believe,
                and became the basis for the theorized Hawking radiaiton that is emitted by
                the vacuum around black holes.

                The thinking goes that if acceleration produces a realization of thermal
                radiation then the acceleration experienced by the vacuum near a black hole
                should do the same thing under the principle of equivalence.

                It's not really productive to worry too much about what is real and what is
                virtual, since there is no firm basis for the categorization. Particles are
                a quantized bias in the field fluctuations that compose reality, and as such
                they are transient. In their position but well defined in terms of their
                detection.

                When an atom emits an electon for example, it loses a quantized amount of
                energy, spin, momentum, charge, etc. But that "stuff" just falls into the
                vacuum. Eventually some of these lost properties will pop up somewhere else,
                perhaps with some additional properties, and they will interact with a
                "real" particle that we will observe and think, because of the observation
                that we have observed the movement of this electron to another place, when
                in fact the electron never existed in the first place. It was a name given
                to the quatized bundle of properties that were combined with the field
                fluctuations that make up the churning properties of the vacuum."


                Amazing stuff in comment sections.

                xponent
                Primary Maru
                rob

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              • Nick Arnett
                ... One man s meat is another man s positron? Nick _______________________________________________ http://www.mccmedia.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l
                Message 7 of 16 , Dec 3, 2008
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                  On Wed, Dec 3, 2008 at 3:28 PM, xponentrob <xponentrob@...> wrote:

                  >
                  > It's not really productive to worry too much about what is real and what is
                  > virtual, since there is no firm basis for the categorization. Particles are
                  > a quantized bias in the field fluctuations that compose reality, and as
                  > such
                  > they are transient. In their position but well defined in terms of their
                  > detection.


                  One man's meat is another man's positron?

                  Nick
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