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Quantum Physics, anyone?
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Infinity is boring.
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The Victim Here



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snorri wrote:
Infinity is boring.
It's also the colour of an empty glass.
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Fhqwhgads



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And even though I can't explain it
I already know how great it is Razz
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timmccloud



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fhqwhgads wrote:
This website that someone brought up on a different thread brings up infinity a number of times while discussing the higher dimensions, but even when you pull the infinities out of the concepts, the concepts still stand. Actually they make even more sense without them. At least to me.


I brought it into the discussion, and I'm certainly glad you enjoyed it. I shared it with some mundanes in my office (programmer geeks) whom I thought would get a trip out of it, and was left with blank stares.

I am just glad that we can have intelligent discourse on the subject - sometimes the mundanes really depress me.
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Jinx



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flion wrote:
You are actually adding a complication to the thought experiment by arbitrarily discarding dimensions and turning it into a perceptual question. You should be using the entire set of dimensions rather than a subset; if you assume three spacial dimensions total then the problem is easy to visualize but it should hold true no matter how many dimensions there are.


I'm not. Sorry, but I didn't really follow through on the thought, though Fhqwhgads hit on it.

My line of thought is that our 3-D universe is curved through another dimension, as the surface of a sphere is a 2-D universe curved through another (3rd physical) dimension. Thus, our universe can be finite, but there does not have to be a boundary beyond which there is something else. The "something else" exist along another dimension.
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Fhqwhgads



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

timmccloud wrote:
I brought it into the discussion, and I'm certainly glad you enjoyed it. I shared it with some mundanes in my office (programmer geeks) whom I thought would get a trip out of it, and was left with blank stares.

Oh are you kidding? This thing rocked my world. I'm pimping it to anybody I can get to listen to me.
Coder geeks, bah. It takes an OS geek. Razz
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Flion



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jinx wrote:
Flion wrote:
You are actually adding a complication to the thought experiment by arbitrarily discarding dimensions and turning it into a perceptual question. You should be using the entire set of dimensions rather than a subset; if you assume three spacial dimensions total then the problem is easy to visualize but it should hold true no matter how many dimensions there are.


I'm not. Sorry, but I didn't really follow through on the thought, though Fhqwhgads hit on it.

My line of thought is that our 3-D universe is curved through another dimension, as the surface of a sphere is a 2-D universe curved through another (3rd physical) dimension. Thus, our universe can be finite, but there does not have to be a boundary beyond which there is something else. The "something else" exist along another dimension.

And I'm saying that there is no other dimension to be considered. If the 'universe' has 5 dimensions then you consider all 5 together, not a subset of 4 and, oh by the way, the 5th allows you to create a special condition. (I'm not saying there are as many or as few as 5 dimensions, stick any number you want in there). There can be no extra dimensions because all dimensions are part of the universe. To use your sphere analogy, the 2-d denizens might not be aware of the third and therefore unaware of the boundary upon which they live, but the third exists and so does the boundary. In fact, in the 'true' 3-d universe, the '2' dimensions of a sphere's surface are not actual dimensions, so dimensional space is not distorted despite the perceptions of the flatlanders. The unbounded finite surface is a clever topology but does not apply here because we are not discussing topology but rather a volume.
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HamletSr



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

that thing with the jewish cat blew mind really really badly. I had to stop reading "quantum: a guide for the perplexed" after I got to that part.
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bun bun
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
Daugaard wrote:
I just read part of the Wikipedia article on Schrödinger's cat... Am I the only one that really don't get how observing the cat can in anyway change its state? Confused


it doesn't change it's state - only our knowledge of its state. in my opinion (once i worked it out) it's written oddly. the fact of the matter is, from the cat's perspective, it's immediately clear whether it is alive or dead. we, from outside the box, can't say whether it's alive or dead though, so for us, it's state is uncertain.

although as i read the wiki article - schroedinger himself set this thought experiment up not as a way to demonstrate the impossibility of determining the state of the cat, but the fact that, whether or not we know what it is, the cat has a definite state. apparently there were people arguing quantum mechanics who failed to understand our inability to determine a certain state does not mean that that particular state exists.

i expect someone to come along momentarily and demolish this argument.

....although, along schroedinger's lines, i suppose if i refuse to ever open this thread again, then my explanation both will and will not be demolished....

OK, Shroedinger's cat (canNOT be arsed with the umlaut) is pretty widely misinterpreted.

Shroedinger did not believe in the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Period. According to Heisenberg, it was particles that are uncertain in their state, because the constant he derived, h, is dependent on mass. So, you don't observe the principle when viewing objects larger than say, an atom.

However, Shroedinger was not happy with this, so he derived the thought experiment with the cat, which goes as follows (in case you don't want to follow the links)
1. Put a cat in a box, with a vial of poisonous gas (no kidding).
2. Rig the vial to break if one particular atom of a radioactive substance decays.
3. Wait.

The Heisenberg uncertainty principle states that the atom, because its effects are not being observed, will remain in a decayed/not decayed state. (Of course, Shroedinger didn't count the cat as an observer. Duhhhhh...) Thus, because the cat's health hinges on the atom's decay, the cat will also be in a dead/not dead state, where two realities exist simultaneously.

Of course, Shroedinger and an advocate for Heisenberg, I forget whether or not it was Heisenberg himself, argued about this via letter for a long time. Heisenberg eventually won out.

Interestingly enough, Einstein got involved, with his famous quote "God does not play dice," even though relativity theory itself was what sparked Heisenberg's calculations.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flion wrote:
And I'm saying that there is no other dimension to be considered.

When we consider the "geometry of the universe," we're typically talking about the "geometry" of space and how it "curves" in the fourth dimension, which is usually time. When we're talking about the expansion of the universe, to use the old analogy, we're talking about the expansion of space itself, where in relation to the shape of the universe space would be a balloon and the fourth dimension beyond space would be the air in and around it.

Quote:
If the 'universe' has 5 dimensions then you consider all 5 together, not a subset of 4 and, oh by the way, the 5th allows you to create a special condition.

The fifth dimension represents the frame of reference that allows us to consider the other four, just as we occupy the third dimension and observe the expansion and shape of an inflating balloon, whose skin represents the lower two dimensions. We're seeing the effects of all three dimensions, but if we were a 2D observer in the surface of the balloon then we couldn't get the whole picture of the 3D universe, just as we in the 3D + Time universe can't step into a frame of reference that allows us to see the overall shape and expansion of the universe directly from the time dimension in real life, just how it affects the dimension we use as our reference in the real world.

That's what we're talking about with the shape and nature of the universe, how it behaves within certain dimensions with another one as a frame of reference.
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Flion



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*sigh* Yes, Wheels, what you say is true as far as it goes. But your games with the 'curvature' of spacetime work only because 1) you have an observer who is percieving n dimensions as n-x dimensions (3 as 2 in the sphere example), and/or 2) you are setting aside 1 or more dimensions as a 'frame of reference, thereby excluding them from consideration. But, since those dimensions are part of the universe of discourse, they cannot be excluded when considering whether or not the whole (the universe) is infinite or not.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was my understanding that dimensions didn't exist within the universe, but vice-versa.
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Flion



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, I see. I am using the word 'universe' loosely to mean 'everything that is'. Perhaps continuum would be a better word. I never liked the semantic idea that something could exist 'outside the universe'. If that was true, then it's not a universe, is it? Razz But it is true that many people use the word to mean only the perceptual universe. My bad.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well it's more about whether dimensions "exist" or not. THAT's the philosophical part. I usually considered them more like qualities than things.
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maniac_wolfman



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Well it's more about whether dimensions "exist" or not. THAT's the philosophical part. I usually considered them more like qualities than things.


I always felt that dimensions, as well as time, are merely a human construct we overlay against the universe in an attempt to make sense of the world around us. The universe operates fine without such quantifiers.

Spluh.
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