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Quantum Physics, anyone?
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The Victim Here



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

H2 O for the win.
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Major Tom



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Major Tom wrote:

so, to take a step back -- is molecular structure a quality of a physical thing?


WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Of a molecule, maybe.


to vic's point, and just so the word doesn't 'slide through', i'm wondering about qualities not limited to atoms, but molecules -- a quality that applies to an O2 thing the same way it applies to a hydrocarbon chain.



so we have mass, charge and, maybe, molecular structure as qualities of a physical thing. maybe we can qualify the 'maybe'.

unless i misunderstood, you suggested that you would categorize "mass" and "charge" similarly -- that there is something common they share in how they describe or relate to a physical thing.

would "molecular structure" fit in the same category? does it relate to or describe a physical thing in a way similar to that of "mass" or "charge"?
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Lemontree



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Michael



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Major Tom wrote:
i'm exploring a thought - maybe that molecular structure has a relationship that is more complex than just the how it interacts with the individual particles; possibly it interacts with "space".

which has implications for the existance of space itself and by extention, dimension.

but it might be cyclical reasoning as stated, so i want to come at it from your angle...


so, in that light -- is molecular structure a "quality" in the same sense as mass or charge, or is it somehow a different type of quality, or a different thing altogether?


if you like I think you can use molecular structure as a quality (on a macroscopic level) but it'd just explain some relations between other properties like hardness thougness mass etc.
As for molecular structure changing space... According to the fancier gravity models every bit of mass makes a dent in spacetime so yeah they influence it. How this affects dimensions I really don't see.

In maths a dimension is simply the space in which you can move a certain variable and I tend to think of 'dimensions' like this. For instance the problem of how far you can drive on a full tank of gas is a two dimensional problem since it involves the factors gas and mileage.
As for 'dimensions' in your sense I guess you're using them as 4D space-time IE 3 spatial dimensions and one for time. In that case they exist as long as they're a meaningful way to describe things in. So the answer is yes until it doesn't work out anymore.
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timmccloud



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lemontree wrote:


Gotta love that. Thanks Lemonhead! That comic made my rather shitty day bearable.

Mundanes...

This has been my day:

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Lemontree



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

timmccloud wrote:
Gotta love that. Thanks Lemonhead! That comic made my rather shitty day bearable.

Mundanes...

This has been my day:


Thank Wikipedia for it. Found the link through their Schrodinger's Cat article. (Its in the humor section at the bottom of the page, including the quote, "Curiousity might've killed the cat, but Schrodinger only killed half of it.")

Hope your day gets better!
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Major Tom wrote:
Major Tom wrote:

so, to take a step back -- is molecular structure a quality of a physical thing?


WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Of a molecule, maybe.


to vic's point, and just so the word doesn't 'slide through', i'm wondering about qualities not limited to atoms, but molecules -- a quality that applies to an O2 thing the same way it applies to a hydrocarbon chain.

It's the atoms what govern the properties of molecules they make up, though. If you replaced an O with an H you get a completely different molecule with completely different properties, and resultingly a completely different structure (probably more than one, now). The charge of the ions and their valence shells determine how many bonds they can make, and at what angles. Structure follows from there. I'd say molecular structure is an emergent property of lower structures found within the atoms, which are themselves determined by forces working on another scale. Molecular structure is and appropriate quality for molecules, but not for atoms.

Quote:
so we have mass, charge and, maybe, molecular structure as qualities of a physical thing. maybe we can qualify the 'maybe'.

Unless that physical thing is, say, an atom, or a subatomic particle. So no, that doesn't really work.

Quote:
unless i misunderstood, you suggested that you would categorize "mass" and "charge" similarly -- that there is something common they share in how they describe or relate to a physical thing.

They're characteristics of the most basic constituents of matter, for one thing. Even neutrinos have a charge, it's just charge neutral, and even the Higgs boson probably has mass. They're not something that only apply on a certain scale. Similarly, space as a concept works on all levels, for all "things."
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Major Tom



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

good - your response deserves to be considered point by point. i'm too tired (or maybe lazy, honestly) at the moment to do so properly, so i apologize for that.

as a reaction, then, instead of a proper response, i'll say this:

-- yes, molecular structure is not a proper term to use to consider atoms, or any sub-molecular particles. still, "structure" might have value as a quality of a physical thing at any level of thing-ness.

-- yes molecular structure relates to atomic structure, in that there are mechanics that seem to limit the number of options that exist in the known or observed universe when given certain elements to put together.

however, is "structure" any more 'emergent' than "mass" since, say, atomic mass is only an artifact of the individual subatomic particles that combine to form the atom?

-- regarding (chemical) properties governed by the atomic makeup...is this an absolute?

how about isotopes -- isn't structure directly participant in the properties of the physical thing in this regard?
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Obviously "Molecular structure" would be more emergent than "atomic structure," since it is derrived from the latter. Now that we're talking about "structure" in general more than "molecular structure," perhaps a better word would be "Orientation?" After all, some particles seem to have next to no "radius," i.e. electrons, and can a photon even have a structure? Perhaps this quality of "structure" is, in fact, an emergent property of the Space quality and other qualities like charge.
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Some Guy!



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agamemnon wrote:
I love Quantum Theory. Some Guy! loaned me a video that greatly helped explain string theory (facinating!) I have since seen this show on the science channel a few times. I don't remember the name, so if SG sees this, maybe he can tell us the title.

At any rate, I'll have to get into this more when I have more time. It's a subject I love discussing.


...

Naturally this thread would come along when I was on a week hiatus from Sinfest.

The name of the show was Parallel Universes, an episode of the Horizons series on BBC. [edit - Whoa, what's crazy is I went out to see if there was a torrent for this show, and I found one. The availability was VERY low, but I went for it anyway, thinking I might get it in a month or so. I woke up this morning and it was finished. If anyone wants the torrent, I'll seed it and fire it your way. The sound sync is off by about a half second and there are eastern language subtitles, but it's all there, if not the best of quality.]

As for what the Bleep, philosphically, it is a load, if you ask me. Putting lables of bad words on bottles of water leading to the change the physical characteristics of the water contained, and then not discussing in any means how those photographs were produced? That's where the film lost me.

The organization seems to me to be a pretty pseudo science one, but at least they try to stay within the bounds of reality more than others, and for that, they get a few points in my book.
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