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Old 08-17-2011, 02:26 PM   #201
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Old 08-18-2011, 10:09 PM   #202
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Old 08-18-2011, 10:15 PM   #203
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:50 PM   #204
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Zapping the brain improves math skills

I saw a similar technique used on the science channel to improve the social skills of a highly gifted engineer with aspergers syndrome.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:25 AM   #205
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Interesting blog post about a different view on entropy and the big bang. It seems like more and more people are warming up to the idea of a cyclical universe
http://www.science20.com/hammock_phy...cond_law-81855
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Where does this leave us with the Second Law? Clearly when expressed a-la Clausius "The entropy of the universe can only increase" does not hold true. However, we can redefine the Second Law such that it does cover the observed bounce behavior:

"The entropy of the universe is a convex function of time."
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:14 PM   #206
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^^ interesting. I've been watching the trend away from the big bang for a few years now. Personally, I have always been suspicious of it. It just doesn't make any logical sense. All of this from nothing?

It's like how string theory is displacing point-particle physics. At least a string has some mass. A zed-point-particle has no mass. How do you base all of physics off a massless point? Makes no sense.
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:19 PM   #207
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^^ interesting. I've been watching the trend away from the big bang for a few years now. Personally, I have always been suspicious of it. It just doesn't make any logical sense. All of this from nothing?

It's like how string theory is displacing point-particle physics. At least a string has some mass. A zed-point-particle has no mass. How do you base all of physics off a massless point? Makes no sense.
But does saying that a string is a fundamental building block make any more sense? "Sorry, this is it, a string is a string and it isn't made of anything smaller than itself". The analogy I've read is "asking what a string is made of is like asking what a letter is made of, nothing. Paragraphs are sentences, sentences are words, and words are letters; there is nothing smaller"
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:25 PM   #208
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But does saying that a string is a fundamental building block make any more sense? "Sorry, this is it, a string is a string and it isn't made of anything smaller than itself". The analogy I've read is "asking what a string is made of is like asking what a letter is made of, nothing. Paragraphs are sentences, sentences are words, and words are letters; there is nothing smaller"
I think it does make sense. There must be some "smallest part." Plus, the math works out.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:01 PM   #209
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The math works in theory. As of yet, there is no way to test for the presence of strings; they're too small. Let's run with it though and assume string theory is correct. In the most simplified description, strings vibrate at varying frequencies which in turn give rise to a corresponding fundamental particle. What started the strings vibrating to begin with? What keeps them vibrating? Where did the strings come from? I know you can't answer any of that, and I'm not sure if anyone can, but if it does come to fruition as a TOE, we're going to need answers to those types of questions.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:22 PM   #210
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cowmoo you make my fuucking head hurt with all this sh1t
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:24 PM   #211
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Awesome. That means you're actually thinking about it. I had an art teacher in HS that made me take a simple drawing, turn it upside down, and draw that. I vividly remember my brain actually hurting from trying to figure out what I was looking at and how I was going to recreate it, same thing is going on here.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:30 PM   #212
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Awesome. That means you're actually thinking about it. I had an art teacher in HS that made me take a simple drawing, turn it upside down, and draw that. I vividly remember my brain actually hurting from trying to figure out what I was looking at and how I was going to recreate it, same thing is going on here.

Damit! cowmoo you edited it before I could comment
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:31 PM   #213
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:36 PM   #214
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Cowmoo, you bring up some great points!

I've read on string theory a little, but have a question.

According to my understanding of the theory, time is essentially "caused" by the strings' vibration. If that is true, and then temperature is the amount of vibration of the particles. Would it not hold true that temperature affects the passing of time?
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:46 PM   #215
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I haven't come across anything linking strings and the passage of time, do you have an article handy? Temperature can be seen as one measure of the vibration (vibration being a measure of the energy) of a system, but I don't really see how it could be linked to time. We know that entropy and time are related, if not one in the same, and that in the end everything will be a hot cloud of fundamental particles, but again, I don't see any other link between heat and time. Although...(forgive me, I'm thinking 'out loud' here) temperature is a direct result of energy, and energy warps spacetime, so you could maybe argue that one affects the other. I don't know the math well enough to say for sure though.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:51 PM   #216
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I haven't come across anything linking strings and the passage of time, do you have an article handy? Temperature can be seen as one measure of the vibration (vibration being a measure of the energy) of a system, but I don't really see how it could be linked to time. We know that entropy and time are related, if not one in the same, and that in the end everything will be a hot cloud of fundamental particles, but again, I don't see any other link between heat and time.
I cant recall the exact article, as it was quite a few years ago.

But this article alludes to the concept.

http://searchcio-midmarket.techtarge...rstring-theory

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According to string theory:
All forces and particles in nature are derived from variations in vibrations of strings. As an example, gravity is said to arise from the lowest vibration of a closed string.
There are ten dimensions in the natural world (nine spatial dimensions plus time), rather than the four of classical science (the three spatial dimensions plus time). What causes the extra six dimensions to be largely unnoticed is that they are considered to be compacted or curled up.
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:50 PM   #217
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I think you're reading into that too much. Time is necessary to describe the physical universe, so it's going to show up in any theory, and especially a TOE. But I would still love to read what you originally read suggesting that strings are responsible for the flow of time; I had never heard that idea.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:21 PM   #218
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I think you're reading into that too much. Time is necessary to describe the physical universe, so it's going to show up in any theory, and especially a TOE. But I would still love to read what you originally read suggesting that strings are responsible for the flow of time; I had never heard that idea.
You're probably right. It could of just been something that came across my mind.

I'll look around, but I dont anticipate myself finding that particular article.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:55 PM   #219
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The math works in theory. As of yet, there is no way to test for the presence of strings; they're too small. Let's run with it though and assume string theory is correct. In the most simplified description, strings vibrate at varying frequencies which in turn give rise to a corresponding fundamental particle. What started the strings vibrating to begin with? What keeps them vibrating? Where did the strings come from? I know you can't answer any of that, and I'm not sure if anyone can, but if it does come to fruition as a TOE, we're going to need answers to those types of questions.
I agree, up to a point. If the math ends up working as a TOE, there may be questions we won't be able to answer. However, if the math all works out, will we really *need* to answer those questions?
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Old 08-22-2011, 09:09 PM   #220
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I agree, up to a point. If the math ends up working as a TOE, there may be questions we won't be able to answer. However, if the math all works out, will we really *need* to answer those questions?
Without a doubt. A TOE must explain everything, whether or not that implies that it's time-invariant is up for debate. Here's my problem though: Either there is a paradigm shift or we'll never know the truth because let's say we arrive on a theory that does explain everything. It blends the accuracy and reliability of QM and the beauty of GR. Now, forget whether this theory says the universe came from a singularity or has always "been", and functions on the inflation-->crunch idea. Either way you look at it, the requisite energy had to come from somewhere/somewhen. And no matter how many levels you can explain, "Our universe is cyclical, but it originated from two higher dimensional membranes colliding. Those branes are the result of the uncurling of what was the 12th dimension" (one flavor of string/M-theory calls for 11 dimensions). That's all good and well, but what caused the 12th dimension to uncurl in the first place? Where did it get the energy to create the branes? IMO either we find a non-causal perspective of the universe/multi-verse/whatever, which rails against every observation we make in our daily lives (although so does QM), or we'll never really know.
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