1. What is light? How does it work?

2. What is gravity? Seriously, why do things fall towards massive objects like the Earth?

3. What is smaller than electrons and quarks?

update: Articles on two of the three puzzlez

2. Another.

3.

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Posted by Keith E. Buhler

8 Comments

  1. On a tangent, I think the concept of gravity leaves open the possbility of a potentially infinite source of energy.

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  2. Since the post was a follow up to a previous post, I’ll elaborate a little:

    If you have a mechanism that gives out more energy than is taken in, you can create a circle of these mechanism to get a continuous feed of energy from nothing.

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  3. The point of all that is this:

    From what I understand, it is a fundamental assumption of physics that there is a finite amount of energy in the universe. Consequently, this casts doubt, in my mind, on there being such a thing as a constant force in itself, i.e. gravity.

    Now, the only thing I know of that is capable of creating energy is the free-will. Therefore, if there does seem to be a constant force attracting two objects, I think this may actually mean that there are intelligent forces moving the objects by means of their free will.

    But, that is so far out sounding, I’m sure it is grieviously wrong. What be your opinion, Mr. Buhler?

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  4. Hm… I like your observation that free will seems to be a energy-creating device.

    Is it possible that God’s will is creating the energy in the universe?

    That’s a curious line of argument, but one I’m willing to venture down in the name of intellectual fluidity.

    If that’s the case, I doubt we could persuade him to supply our nifty “Energy Receptacle 3000” with the ChoiceJuice(TM) necessary to make it go.

    Theoretically, though, yes: If something produces more energy than it takes in, that would be the right place to start.

    On a side note, “the fundamental assumptions of physics,” as far as I can tell, are so up-for-grabs its not even funny. All those sober-faced physicists are bluffing. Bluffing, I tell you!

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  5. Well You asked for it.

    By the way, energy creation goes on all the time — the sun would be a great example. E=mc2 creates energy from mass, so do many chemical reactions…

    The concepts of conservation of mass and energy are useful on some levels, but they don’t work in the quantum/relativity world.

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  6. Keith, I’d just like to note that if we follow this line of argument we’ve reverted back to an Aristotelian/Platonic cosmology, where constant force (circular motion) is a sign of intelligence. Kinda cool partially realizing why the ancient cosmologies weren’t so wack afterall (providing my logic isn’t wack). Basically, it looks like gravity amounts to a self-mover, or a soul, since the force isn’t sapping energy from something.

    Of course, this brings us to the question as to why the intellect (or plural?) is moving stuff the way it is. What is its purpose? Now, that would be very interesting to figure out, even hypothetically.

    Just to be somewhat rigourous, here is my argument in a more analytic form:

    1. Gravity implies either an infinite amount of energy or the creation of energy.
    2. An infinite amount of energy is crazier than created energy.
    3. Therefore, energy is created.
    4. The only thing that creates energy is the free will.
    5. Therefore, gravity implies the activity of a free will.

    I think you can extrapolate this form of argument to apply to any constant force, i.e. magnetism, since all the spherical fields interact in the same way as the gravitational field. If so, there you have the grand unifying theorem for the different forces that all the scientists are looking for, kind of:) Plus, atheists are kinda screwed.

    Back to your original post, could you elaborate more on your light question? I’m sure that you are looking for something more than the standard explaination that John offered.

    Finally, the only suggestion for #3 I have is that we could try determining what the nature of the smallest element of matter would be, and then determining whether electrons and quarks meet that criteria. But, that’s not very helpful, and is stinking difficult.

    John,
    Yeah, I know that energy creation from mass goes on all the time, but I was using the term ‘energy’ broadly, since according to E=mc2 mass is, in a sense, energy. What I was referring to is a seemingly infinite source of energy, which, since the amount of mass in the universe is supposedly finite, mass cannot be.

    Also, the whole quantum physics thing opens up the other can of worms of what collapses the waveforms. Keith, maybe you could add that to your list.

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  7. John, thanks for the link. I read the article and hyperlinked to a web of other fascinating and bewildering articles on light, M-theory and gravity.

    “In some respects a photon acts as a particle, for instance when registered by the light sensitive device in a camera. In other respects, a photon acts like a wave, as when passing through the optics in a camera.”

    I don’t understand this.

    Aren’t particles and waves different sorts of things? How can light act as both…?

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  8. Unfortunately, my mechanism, unsurprisingly, doesn’t work, in case you were tracking with my post.

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