Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and Softice
by Pantheon (October 1998)
With an additional critic by Rancid Moth (November 2000)
Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and Softice... such a title! Of course I
liked this essay! BTW, soon or later any reality cracker will have to swallow
Heisenberg's cats (and everything correlated), so you better
right now, dear
readers... have a good trip in the uncertainity of science, will take quite a while till you'll be back...
see you here in a
couple of years :-)
Is immortality the lack of events? I don't believe this: immortality is A LOT of events... it is also, maybe, the simple satisfaction that you believe in what you are doing and learning because you see that it works... at least in my -admittedly biased- opinion :-)
If I may add a personal note about our friend Pantheon's 'signing out' line... well: Nietzsche was right (it happened at times) and God wrong, of course...
I just now, after about 2 years of visiting this site, managed to read articles from your "Reality Cracking" section, and I admit, I think I read most of them. So... here is my own candidate for publication. (I wrote this with edit.com, so there'll probably be some funky CRs) The exact science of guessing. Futility of argument. It is comforting to know that some things in life are certain; Milk does a body good, Diamonds are forever, and the universe is rapidly and continually expanding. I pause a moment to let the reader convince himself of these thoughts. To truely crack reality, one must put aside what is "known" -- I used the quotes to signify that we know for certain absolutely nothing. Confuscious said "To know that we know what we know, that is true knowledge"; I disagree. "To understand that we cannot know what we think we know" is a more enlightened statement. We "know" that time passes at a constant rate. Siddhartha may have summed up this argument with a single phrase: "time is not real"; the concept of time is distorted, it's new meaning has evolved from circular reasoning. Time is generally considered to be an interval that perpetuates life into the future. Life is measured in time. Time was created by the thought that events happen in an order, not all at one. The sun rose, I ate Lunch, the sun set. The idea of order required an event to seperate the other events of daily life. From the rather simplistic example above, the notion of infinite events was born. I woke, the position of the sun changed a little, it changed a little more...ad infinitum. In this sense, life was measured in events. Each time a set of events repeated, man marked off another portion of his life gone. Where is the guarantee that the sun moved across the sky at a constant rate? The only indication would be that man felt roughly the same ammount of fatigue at the end of each cycle. From this view it would be indiscernable whether the rate of the sun's travel influenced the fatigue of the man, or whether the man had accomplished roughly the same number of events, of course whether or not he started each cycle with the same ammount of energy was in question, as well as the nature of energy itself. It is possible to take any event or "truth" and find where an unjustified assumption was made, merely because is fit the current paragigm. Let us not forget that fire was once believed to be the release of a substance called "phlogiston" from the "burning" material, solely because there was a visible trail(smoke) and the weight of the object was decreased by burning; this held until a material was found that became heavier once burned. Now we believe that fire is the bonding of oxygen to another substance, even though fire is hot, and heat is generally considered to be from the breaking of molecular bonds. Also some materials become lighter once burned, thus the combination of oxygen must cause a molecule to become less dense, while other burned substances become more dense. This is explained by the theory that "bonds" (also a theory) are of different lengths because the "electrons that are bonding" (also a theory) are located at different heights from the nucleis (another theory). Even experimentation is invalid based on Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle which basically states that through examination of any subject, we modify it's behavior. A familliar example: Softice. We use Softice to follow program flow, by setting a break-point, we actually alter flow to another program, never being 100% certain that the program we were previously running had not altered the breakpoint handler to point to itself, giving us a bogus set of data. Here we believe that we necessarily are in softice, just because we've never seen a program do such things before. We may assume whatever conventions make our tasks easier, but when we find our selves stumped by an apparent impossibility, we must not hesitate to toss what we "know" out the window. An important principle in discovering the Theory of Relativity is the constancy of the propagation of light in vacuuo. Light moves at a constant speed no matter what the velocity of it's emitter. I made a reference earlier to the "fact" that the universe is constantly expanding. This was determined by the frequency of the light emitted by far away stars. Doppler shift is a principle easily detectable by the ear, a train whistle approaching has a higher frequency than one travelling away from you, the electromagnetic wave is shifted by the motion of the emitter toward one end of the spectrum. The frequency of light from far away stars is also shifted toward one end of the spectrum -- thus, they are rapidly traveling away... correct? Not according to the law of propagation of light in vacuuo; which, by the way was upheld by the man who did much work with the aforementioned atomic theory, Albert Einstein. It should be noted that the propagation of light as such necessitates the Theory of Relativity, which makes such bold claims as to say that a man on a train travelling at 40 mph, if walking in the direction of the train's travel at 5 mph, has an overall speed NOT equal to 45 mph. This is due to the slowing of time for accelerated bodies...So much for time as a constant. Thus is it valid to revert our measure of life to a number of events before death? And then is immortality the lack of events? I think not. Humans ultimately are arrogant creatures, claiming to control even that which they cannot possibly understand. We can afford to take nothing at it's face value. Reality crack where you believe necessary, compromise at only what MUST be cracked, lest your quota of events expire before you can jot down your findings. Forgive me for having been longwinded, Seek Enlightenment, therein lie some truths. Ayin (Pantheon) (Px21) P.S. I like the new artwork on the site...classy. -- God is dead. -Nietzsche Nietzsche is dead. -God
fravia+, I have noticed an article on your site that for me as a mathematical physicist has faults, and while it is a noble pursuit to propagate and advance free knowledge (especially the "flavour" of knowledge your site seems built around), it is another thing to publish articles that hold scientific inaccuracies. I refer to the "Heisenbergs Uncertainty principle and softice" written by Pantheon, as I am sure you probably have guessed by now. I am quite positive that Pantheon had only the best intentions with such a piece, and the faults are simply due to a higher mathematical understanding of the theories he/she writes about, not being present. This is in no way a gripe or a personal dig at the author, but merely just a review of the article to get his/her ideas on a more stable footing. I feel if this is done, the article will become a little more illuminating and more importantly, correct (as far as the theoretical physics goes). So I hope you don't think I am being rude. I will not recite the whole article but rather paraphrase certain sections and add my comments beneath for your reflection. contents in square brackets are simply markers for later referral. "We "know" that time passes at a constant rate[I]. Siddhartha may have summed up this argument with a single phrase: "time is not real"; the concept of time is distorted, it's new meaning has evolved from circular reasoning. Time is generally considered to be an interval that perpetuates life into the future. Life is measured in time. Time was created by the thought that events happen in an order, not all at one."  This is a perfectly respectable Galilean point of view. it served many a great scientist, and the reason for this is that it is basically a linear description for the flow of events. And as a starting point for the "invention" of such a parameter, its ok. Its a concept that can more intuitively be defined by a periodic event in an absolute reference frame, that can measure the occurrences of all other events. however we physically know this is incorrect, and we have a mathematical theory that describes what we actually observe in nature (and describes it very well). And in order to describe what we actually observe...what actually comes out of physical experiment....time can not be a linearized global phenomenon. And because of that, the above description , particularly [I], is false. As a counter example, consider the experiments involving the ammonia molecule NH3, where the nitrogen atom has two states that we will call up and down. these states arise because of the potential configuration of the atoms comes out to be a double well. so the molecule has its largest probabilities of being in either the left hand side of the double well, or the right hand side of the double well...hence two states (more accurately, energy splitting of the states). and what's more, you can make it flip-flop, with extraordinary accuracy...then it becomes an atomic clock. These clocks have been physically observed running at less clicks in higher gravitational fields, as was predicted by Einstein's General Relativity. This is direct physical proof that time is very much a non-linear, one measure fits all, concept, but rather a complicated non-linear description of events that is tied directly to the amount of matter in the localised space where the measurements are being taken. One only has to study the basics of the Special Theory to uncover some deep truths as to the connections between time, space and the speed of light. Again another Theory that is verifiable by physical observation, and again proves [I], and more generally  to be inaccurate. "Also some materials become lighter once burned, thus the combination of oxygen must cause a molecule to become less dense, while other burned substances become more dense. This is explained by the theory that "bonds" (also a theory) are of different lengths because the "electrons that are bonding" (also a theory) are located at different heights from the nucleus [II] (another theory). "  Some materials do become lighter, or heavier when they undergo the process of combustion. this is far far away from my area of expertise, so I will not infringe on the comment about the length of bonds, but I am assuming it to be an inaccurate description as length at this scale doesn't mean anything. what I can tell you is that [II] is completely wrong. Electrons do NOT have a measurable distinct height from the nucleus of an atom. its a common mistake that students make, they see an ENERGY diagram with various increasing bars, indicating certain energy states of electrons surrounding the nucleus, and assume that it also corresponds to a relative distance. This stems from a rather poor description that is fed to students (particularly chemistry students) of the shell model for an atom, where they talk about inner and outer most electrons. What they mean is the electrons that occupy the lowest and highest energy states. This whole situation is rather bleak in the education systems, where books are still being published with these inaccurate, interpretations of what can be a very clear and intuitive theory, IF taught properly with an ounce more knowledge and dedication than that which comes from a bachelor of education degree! "The frequency of light from far away stars is also shifted toward one end of the spectrum -- thus, they are rapidly travelling away... correct? [III] Not according to the law of propagation of light in vacuuo;[IV] which, by the way was upheld by the man who did much work with the aforementioned atomic theory, Albert Einstein. It should be noted that the propagation of light as such necessitates the Theory of Relativity, which makes such bold claims as to say that a man on a train travelling at 40 mph, if walking in the direction of the train's travel at 5 mph, has an overall speed NOT equal to 45 mph.[V] " (3) [III] yes correct. you get red Doppler shifting of the spectrum indicating the recession of the galaxies. [IV] not correct. Here Pantheon, I assume is referring to the fact that the speed of light is constant. The fact that the speed of light is constant, and that it incurs a frequency shift via Doppler effects has nothing to do with one another. the Doppler effect is only modifying the lights frequency and not its speed! [V] is not such a "Bold" claim, In fact its a very logical and well proven experimental fact. One of the main intuitive reasons why the speed of light has to be a constant in all frames, is simply the conservation of causality. imagine if you will, two bicycle riders, approaching each other at some cross roads. there is also an observer in a tree "above" the crossroads. now, if one of the bicycle riders were to travel faster than the speed of light. lets also say that they collided, what would the observer see?, he would see one of the bicycle riders topple over apparently from nothing!, since the "image" of the other rider is still chasing the actual physical presence due to the fact that he is moving faster than light. so where is the cause and effect? and the answer is, you no longer have any...the second law of thermodynamics is violated and we now no longer have a definite direction for time! physical proof? again atomic clocks perfectly synchronised, one stayed on earth, and one went whizzing around in a satellite at huge velocities. when they retrieved both of them, they were no longer in synch. this not only proves the lorentz transforms (I.e. time, mass and length, change when travelling at high speeds) but also disproves the well known flawed, twin paradox, physically! "So much for time as a constant" by the article's own definition, it was never a constant...rather I think this should read "So much for time passing at a constant rate", in which case the author is now contradicting the first definition he/she gave...refer to arguments for (1). These corrections might seem rather pedantic, but fortunately that's how mathematics, and physics are. They are both the very very pedantic quest for finer and finer details, and more elegant explanations. The scientist must apply a certain amount of dispassionate, and impartial rigour to arguments and theory, which is exceptionally difficult to do and is in it self an art. but in order to do this, one must first have a strong grasp on the fundamental ideas and principles of the theory, and I think Pantheon is confused on a few issues. you might tell me that "hey...maybe he is right and you are wrong, after all these are just theories and opinions, and thus no one opinion is right or wrong!" To which I would have to answer, that while yes, one can argue to a certain degree that in general there is no right or wrong opinion or theory or natural philosophy about the world, there is however physical fact! And the definitions in the article generate natural philosophy that is INCONSISTENT to physical observations and thus negate the majority of its arguments simply from proof by contradiction. regards Rancid Moth [rancidmoth(ALT+64)yahoo.com]