Monday, February 21, 2011

Special Relativity I

Before I talk any more in the science department I guess I should talk about relativity. I'm going to skip over Newtonian physics because it's pretty basic and obvious to grasp in most casses, but I will probably go back and talk about it during this post if it requires it. Relativity is a very strange and non obvious way to see the world, and i admit I still have trouble understanding everything about it (this post is also a test to see how my relativistic skills are, cuz the best way to learn something is to teach it(or blog it in this case)). I might not go into some aspects to deeply and completely explain relativity in this post but whatever, if I can perfectly explain relativity to people on the internet in one post i think i deserve a Nobel prize. Once again if someone here actually has a PHD or something in anything I'm talking about and notices i say something wrong PLZ comment saying something.

Any ways as probably anyone knows the person who came up with relativity was Albert Einstein. And as you know he came up with this stuff in a patent office, not that he was not educated though. He did go to college to learn about physics so he's not some guy who knew nothing. He started thinking about what a wave of light would look like if you were speeding along side it. He thought that that was such a silly thing to imagine, but soon he realized that it would be physically impossible to go at the speed of light, that no matter how fast you're moving light would always appear at the same speed.

Pretty much just with this assumption came all of his theories of Special Relativity. It's pretty trippy. One of the implications of this is the distortion of time. For this we shall set up the classic thought experiment, The Light Clock! Pictures would be helpful for this, TO GOOGLE IMAGES!
Excellent. So how the light clock will work is that it will send a photon from the source and it will hit the mirror and bounce back and hit the sensor, then the number of ticks will increase and then it will instantly send out another photon. Well say you're chillin in a train station with this light clock the size of a grandfather clock for no reason. Well you know the train is going to come in exactly 15 minutes and since you know the speed of light and the distance between the the the mirror and the sensor you know how long the photon will take to travel from the source back to the sensor. So you know exactly how many ticks it will take for the train to come. Every fifteen minutes the number of ticks will increase by the same amount.  So know you understand how the clock works right?

Well since that explanation took fifteen minutes the train's coming down the track now! But NO! The conductor is drunk at the wheel or whatever and the train barrels by without slowing down at all(yes this is how relativity is taught every where). But some passerby notices your clock and takes a gander at it. To him the clock is moving as the same speed the train looks like it is moving to you. So by the time the photon is shot out and hits the mirror the mirror has moved the by some amount and it appears that the light is moving at some diagonal angle as shown in the picture above (b).  So the distance the light has to travel is longer when you are moving than when it is still. However the photon to the passenger still looks like it is moving at the same speed. So it will take more time for it to travel this distance so that each tick will, to the passenger, take longer than the ticks for you. There fore time looks like it is going the slower outside of the train than inside for the passenger.

However if he perchanced to have his own light clock to you it would appear to move slower than your clock, so to you everything happening in the train would appear to move slower than outside even though the passenger is experiencing quite the opposite!

See relativiety is quite trippy indeed. Now Ima let that sink into your heads and also I'm tired of writing so I shall pick this up in my next post, good bye Nobel prize :'(

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Definitions: Nothing Is True, Everything is permitted

Sorry for the video game quote, but even before I played assassin's creed I've always had an idea similar to that. What this post is about is something that's important and that I think allot of people should understand. In a way it's the definition of definition.

When the universe was created it was just a pile of particles and energy. Everything was just guided by mathematics, maybe just a handful of equations, or maybe just one. Nothing really meant anything particles whizing about doing their thing. Eventually the universe cooled allowing particles to come together to form subatomic particles, electron, protons, etc. Then they came together forming hydrogen atoms, and then they in turn came together form stars allowing heavier atoms to form (I'm pretty sure I know where I'm going with this). After a few generations enough heavy elements where made to form rocky planets around the stars. At least on one of these planets molecules came together in such a way that they could make reproductions of themselves. Sometimes the molecules would make a mistake when copying themselves often making the molecule to be unable to continue on it's path, but ever so rarely the mistakes allowed it to have more complexity and reproduce it self better(trust me just hold tight). Eventually molecules banded together forming single cell bacteria, and as they evolved bacteria came together each one performing a specific job to help the whole. After millions of years later the complexity kept on building on it self and a plethora of different types of species formed. One of the species found it's evolutionary edge being intelligence, having excellent memory, problem solving skills, and creativity. Eventually this species found it helpful and necessary to pass it's ideas, tricks, skills to live. Luckily enough they had a dexterous mouth able to form many types of sounds. Soon they started linking certain sounds to certain objects, "la" means sky, "hui" means ground, "jup" means sun, so on and so forth(this is actually what the first humans spoke, trust me). In a parallel with the evolution of life language also evolved in complexity and over different geographical areas into different languages, not necessarily evolving onto the one path to perfection or that there even is a perfect language, but just in random unique paths like life.

So why the whole universe's life history just to lead up to that. Well I guess I just want to emphasize that as life, consciousness, humans, or languages, came to be nothing really changed in the universe. Some heap of plasma didn't suddenly become "STAR" some positively charged particles didn't become "PROTON", the universe is still just some unknown stuff that follows the laws of physics.

The laws of the universe doesn't state anywhere that a pattern of vibrations in the air means a set of matter composed in some way, or that the squiggles on your screen mean anything. Words, letters, and language is just an attempt to bring one human's ideas to another's. All these patterns that we are trained to recognize don't really mean anything just what each human has associated to those words. And a key feature is that what each human associates with those words. A language is just an attempt to regulate the meaning and the association of words but any one can see that languages are truly true. If I'm talking to someone who doesn't understand English he won't get my Ideas and meanings even though I'm speaking perfectly clear. He doesn't have any associations of the patterns I'm giving him. And even in the same language I have some trouble trying to understand what British people mean (those buggers). Slang comes up, words die away, definitions change, languages are far from perfect.

Each person has there own definition to a word. To some "a couple" could mean 2-4 while to others it's just two. Each person doesn't necessarily have the same exact definition to each word. And of course with metaphors, similes, innuendos, and other literary devices languages get even more complicated. Everybody interprets every word uniquely, especially when it comes to sentences and story's. Two people can read a book and come up with two completely different meanings. What a book means is nowhere defined in the universe, and if there was a definition made by humans then that would also be up to interpretation it self.

I guess that was a simple concept but I come up against a few problems with other people where that wouldn't have if more people would understand what I'm trying to say now, can't think of any examples now but trust me. Oh I got one although it's not really a problem. When I talk to somebody sometimes I skip a word or miss pronounce one and people annoy me about that even though they know what I'm trying to say and in that case since I was saying earlier there is no perfect way to explain something with arbitrary patterns, it doesn't really matter how I say it as long as my point gets across (logic can also be applied to Grammer Nazi's not needed to being so Grammer Nazi-ish(not real english but you get my point (get it?)) and why I don't really care to spell check my blogs).

An a similar note, just like how the words don't really exist but neither there definitions. To elaborate if you get the color yellow, most everybody would call it yellow. Now add a little bit of blue so that you cant humanly notice, most people will still call it yellow. But if you keep on adding blue eventually it will be green. Where is the magic line between yellow and green? Answer there is none just a matter of opinion. A solution however could be to add more classifications to colors. Add a yellow-green between yellow and green, but then when is it no longer yellow and now yellow-green, well we'll add yellow-yellow-green and so fourth. The letters Y,E,L,L,O,W in that sequence don't truly mean yellow, and there is no such thing as yellow. And this can really be applied to much any term in the world. First off lets agree that a proton is not a pancake right, come on just agree with me for now, if you want to you can but lets stay within the Webster's definitions for now. Well what if I split a pancake into to two? If a half a pancake still a pancake, well no one's really determined that, much less what the size or volume a full pancake is. Well if we keep splitting a pancake it'll be a crumb, is that still a pancake, I can so yes it is you can say no, neither are right nor wrong. Well either way if you keep splitting a crumb you come down to a molecule, maybe water, maybe sugar, i don't know, is that still a pancake? Well if you split that you get atoms and then a proton. But earlier we agreed that that is not a pancake? Well where is the line? Well hopefully no more examples are needed and I hope you get the point. Everything description made by human's is just some made up thing, maybe at the fundamental level there are fundamental particles, but even protons and neutrons are things we made up to describe something, but they don't truly exist.

The biggest point I'll make in this post which is just a special case of my above point is the non-existence of good and evil. I first realized this pretty early whilst watching cartoons and movies of good guys versus the bad guys and realized it's really us versus them. Good and evil in this scenario was dependent on what side your on. Then I switched my definitions of good to someone who helps others without helping themselves and evil as someone who hurts others without helping them selves. But then later I looked at human interactions in another way. No one in the world does anything without good reason. Every person acts on their personal definitions of good or evil, maybe they don't do things they think are good, but no one does anything they truly think is evil. The people we consider evil either have a completely different definitions of good or evil, like in the movie "Rampage" where a guy kills everybody in this small American town to lower population levels, or we don't truly understand the situation like in "Fable III" where the king oppressed the people through taxes and child labor to make an army to defend his people from an unknown imminent attack. Even the Nazi's (not that I'm defending anyone and I'm sorry if I'm offending anyone, but they are history's de facto evil) thought they were helping the world by spreading the German glory and eliminating what they though were lesser humans weighing the rest of the world down. Any act that can be considered evil can be broken down into lesser neutral parts. No one can consider my finger muscles contracting muscles contracting evil, nor a small gunpowder exploding, nor a piece of lead flying at several hundred meters per second, body tissues being torn evil. The appearance of evil only appears in complicated circuits.

Another way of thinking of things is again just pieces of matter and energy obeying the laws of physics. Some rock falling because of gravity onto a person isn't evil by anyones standards(I hope) since it has no control over how it falls it's just falling due to it's attraction to the earth, even a lion eating a person because it's its nature to kill and eat for survival. So why a human killing another evil? Because humans have  intelligence choice, and consciousness? Once again evil appears out of a complicated system.  The mans decisions come out of a neural network of a billion braincells. Which cell is sending evil signals to other ones and to muscles out of pure malice, which electron is evil as it fly's down the nerves to signal the muscles? The brain is just full of particles whizzing about with no control on their own. Decision and choice is just an illusion we see. I, in fact, have to type this blog right now due to chemical reactions in my brain that no one can predict.

All actions in the world are just between bits of matter interacting with each other, no one can be seen as evil or good, only their collection of actions that we so loosely try to term.

However I myself have my one perception of good and evil which I try to follow when it doesn't harm myself interests to much (one can be good to ones self!). Humanity has worked hard on our civilization and I liked what we have done as a whole so far, not that I like every single aspect of human civilization. So my definitions of good and evil a based around what would best help or hurt my community as a whole in the longterm, which will hopefully help progress our civilization to wherever it may go.

You may not agree with my opinions of definitions, but I at least hope that you understand my view and maybe open your mind with some possibilities of the world. I've always wanted to say these things to somebody for most of my life so it's really nice to finally have a place to voice my mind about these sort of things that I've been thinking about for years by myself. Of course don't hesitate to leave any comments or opinions in the comments section once some people start following me!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Shape of the Universe

Well since this blog is called "Standing in Front of the Universe" I guess it should be appropriate to start it off by talking about that.

But before that let me explain my knowledge of these subjects. If you read my profile thing I have said that I am a college student, at the current age of 19. However this college is DigiPen which is a small school dedicated to video games. So all my knowledge about basic rudimentary physics like kinematics and circuits and stuff like that came from high school, the more higher level stuff I just learned about from reading books mostly. So I'm not some kid at Havard learning from one of the founders of string theory or something and allot of the stuff I might talk about is my own opinions or theories. So if you disagree with something I say or think I'm wrong just say something cause either I can explain what I meant or learn something new which is always fun.

Kay lets start this... I guess I can start explaining the dimensions of the universe and it's shape n stuff. I think everybody in the world can understand that there are three spatial dimensions, you know the directions that we can move our selves physically, Up-Down, Left-Right, and Frontwards-Backwards. Now these three axis' don't point in a particular direction, it's just that three spatial coordinates are needed to define a unique point in space. If I want to say where my house was I would give you the longitude, latitude and the altitude, and you would know exactly where my house is (not that I am going to). And using these coordinates one could get the unique location anywhere in the universe theoretically. But of course there is nothing special about the earth, which took us humans a decent amount of time to find out, so there is no reason to make the center of the earth the origin, the point where the three coordinates would be 0, 0, 0 which actually wouldn't be the center of the earth since 0 altitude is sea level but u get my point, of the universe. This brings me to my next point  that took humanity a while to realize as well, that spatial coordinates are essentially relative to what you measuring.

So anyone can can essentially make any coordinate system they would like. I could make my house the origin of my coordinate system and set my three axis' to be East-West, North-South, and Up-Down, so I can say my house would be (0,0,0) (0 feet East of my house, 0 feet North of my House and 0 feet above my house) while my friends house would be (100, -200, 10) (100 feet East, of my house, 200 feet south of my house, and 10 feet above my house) and no one could argue with me. At a single point there is no magic coordinate number that describes it it's only this far away relative from some other object that you're measuring.

So now we move to the next dimension, time. Hopefully now in our modern age almost one hundred years after Einstein's discovery of time as another dimension most of us can see how time can be a dimension. An easy way to explain is if I want to meet some one and I just give them the spatial coordinates (most normally given as an address) the will come only to get frustrated by the fact that I was not there since I came an hour later since I forgot to give them the time that I would be there. So to give someone a proper position I would be I need to give them four coordinates, three spatial and one time-al (itza word). So now we know that the world is four dimensional. What is the differences between space and time? Are theres more spatial and more time dimensions? Are there even other types of dimensions? Ah-ah-ah little ones. I shall explain, or hope to explain that later.

Now that we know that time is a dimension we can see that it also applies to the same rules as space. In respect to aligning our axis there is not much room since time is one dimensional, forwards in time and backwards in time. But the position of our origin can be moved to any when we want it. Most people describe time as the years starting 2011 years 43 days days ago because some really nice guy was lived at that time. But as I said there is nothing special about that time(although I'm sure many would disagree but ima not  go into that kinda stuff (at least not in this post)). No one can argue about the Jewish calender that sets it's origin many thousands ( about 3 ) before the Christian one. But no one can argue with them and there are many calenders used by numerous civilizations across the earth.  Once again it's just a nice point that many people can use reference against. Any one can say that they just ate breakfast about 4 minutes ago or that they got married 3 years after meeting each other.

With just these rules (and a few others that I'll talk about later) Einstein and some other scientists that you wouldn't remember ( cause you know, I totally remember there names) came up with special relativity, general relativity, subatomic physics, and string theory. So if you're going in your bed going "well this is all obvious" i just want you to know that time it took for humanity to realize these truths and the implications they eventually brought with them.

Now Ima go talk about something a little less obvious and something I heard on TV allot but they never really explained it well and I had to think about it for a while to understand what they where trying to say. For thousands of years ever since the dawn of humanity trying to figure out what was up above beyond our reach, we always thought that the earth was the center of the Universe. I mean, given the times it's undoubtable that even the most wise being then would come to that assumption. But over time Copernicus,  Kepler, and Galileo showed that we are definitely not the center of the solar system, then we saw that we wear no where near the center of the galaxy, and now we know that there are numerous amounts galaxies in the Universe. AND some scientists theorize there might be an infinite amount of Universes!?!? Where will it end!?

Any ways, well if the earth isn't there center of the universe that doesn't mean there isn't one, I mean the universe started out as a single point in space so why can't we go there and just call that the center, if everything blew up in equal directions from that point the only logical thing is that that is the center right? Well in a way yes but kinda no? What? Exactly!

This is where the people on the tube and in some books try to explain the exact shape of the universe but didn't completely explain what they meant. According to Einsteins theory of relativity the math showed that the universe should be continuously expanding in all directions and even though Einstein didn't like that idea Hubble showed that the universe really was expanding (I won't go into how he showed that now since it's not really integral to my story but if some one wants to I can explain in the comments). Hubble showed that that every galaxy was moving away from us in every direction and the farther the galaxy was from us the farther it was moving away. AHA! So our galaxy is at least the center galaxy! Booyah! MILKY WAY! MILKY WAY! Hey now don't get carried away. To explain whats happening the balloon analogy works well. If you take a balloon and draw a bunch of dots on a balloon and blow it up(with your breath preferably not explosives) you'll see that each dot is moving away from each other as the "Space"(balloon) expands and the farther away two dots are the faster they move away from each other.

And here is where the people on the TV always stopped explaining. Every time I saw this I'm like "But the balloon has a center!!!" But how I imagined is that the balloon was some filled thing that there where stars n galaxies inside of it since we live in a 3d space and balloon s are 3d but the tricky thing is is that the Universe isn't a 3D balloon but a four dimensional balloon and all of the galaxies and stars and planets and us are stuck on the out side of it. Just like how a 3 dimensional balloon has a 2D surface the Universal Balloon has a 3dimensional balloon on it. I know it's tricky to imagine but once again our aged ancestors thought the world to be a 2dimensional plane with edges that you can fall off of the we thought that the universe was just  3 dimensional with boundaries that we have know idea what could be beyond.

So techniquely there is a center of the universe but since we are stuck on the edge of the universe we can't go up or down. Imagine it like the earth if it had no mountains or valleys, perfectly flat. It is a 3 dimensional object but every point that we can go to (the surface of the earth) can be described by 2 points (essentially longitude and latitude). What this means is that we live in a 3D  world with no boundaries, just like if you went straight west for a long time and you tried your best not to turn in any direction you would end up in the same point even though all your measurement s said you went in a perfectly straight line. This also implies to our 4 dimensional balloon if I went straight and didn't turn up-down, or left-right, in the slightest possible way no matter what space wont end and I would come back to the same point as when I left.

However the is an edge of universe and there is a center of the universe it's just perpendicular to all the three axis'; left-right, up-down, and forwards-backwards(i said frontwards before right? that was weird), so we will never be able to go past the edge or towards the center, at least with our understanding of the universe. And we would have no Idea what it would mean to do such a thing. If you saw someone go one of these directions you would just see them disappear in front of your very eyes! But now this leads to more questions: is this other dimension time? Is it another space dimension? IS IT A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TYPE OF DIMENSION?!?!?! For that you will have to subscribe to my blog! Or just wait until i can actually answer that question myself or most likely when I have a weird discussion about it to myself and i just put my thoughts onto this blog.

And hopefully this gives me a bit of credibility to my blog since as of current I only have to followers, my friend and my self and this is my first actual post.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

First Post!

Hello everybody, this is my first time blogging anything at all, and so far I like it.

What this blog is about: Uhhmmm... I guess me just talking to my self as I engage in conversations about a varied amount of subjects or things and you can come in and listen if you want. I often find myself talking to my self about sometimes interesting things and since everybody on the internet already likes telling the world who they are I figured it couldn't hurt to give it a go.

I'll try to make this a kinda intelligent place to put idea's into people thoughts. And of course I'm not going to know everything so if someone thinks I'm wrong, has a different opinion than me or just wants to add to the conversation just comment whatever who feel like. I'm a probably won't talk to formally and try to more free ball it so I can type my ideas faster and keep on a train of thought, cause that tends to happen allot when I'm typing, including multiple times in this post alone.

I think the subjects that the posts will be about are mostly going to be history, philosophy, and physics, cause a like thinking about those things and I don't want to talk about anything I don't wanna talk about. If anyone wants to suggest a topic for the next blog you can go ahead if you want.

So just so you know I is a college student so I will have a lot of work to do and might not be able to blog all the time, 'specially around midterms and finals. I guess summers would be good for me since I won't have anything to do. Also all grammatical errors will either be on purpose cuz i feel liek it, or I just don't care enough, I've actually been contemplating about whether I should capitalize my i's cuz it's taking to long to press shift!

Well ne-ways hopefully this will be an interesting blog with a descent amount of ppl following  where y'all can think and ponder bout stuff. But who knows cause even if we lived in a deterministic (spelled it right first try!)
universe the Heisenberg uncertainty principle does not allow us to gather enough information to make such a precise prediction about the future. BAM!