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Rethinking Einstein: The end of space-time
NewScientist ^ | 8/9/10 | Anil Ananthaswamy

Posted on 08/09/2010 7:25:58 AM PDT by LibWhacker

Physicists struggling to reconcile gravity with quantum mechanics have hailed a theory – inspired by pencil lead – that could make it all very simple

IT WAS a speech that changed the way we think of space and time. The year was 1908, and the German mathematician Hermann Minkowski had been trying to make sense of Albert Einstein's hot new idea - what we now know as special relativity - describing how things shrink as they move faster and time becomes distorted. "Henceforth space by itself and time by itself are doomed to fade into the mere shadows," Minkowski proclaimed, "and only a union of the two will preserve an independent reality."

And so space-time - the malleable fabric whose geometry can be changed by the gravity of stars, planets and matter - was born. It is a concept that has served us well, but if physicist Petr Horava is right, it may be no more than a mirage. Horava, who is at the University of California, Berkeley, wants to rip this fabric apart and set time and space free from one another in order to come up with a unified theory that reconciles the disparate worlds of quantum mechanics and gravity - one the most pressing challenges to modern physics.

Since Horava published his work in January 2009, it has received an astonishing amount of attention. Already, more than 250 papers have been written about it. Some researchers have started using it to explain away the twin cosmological mysteries of dark matter and dark energy. Others are finding that black holes might not behave as we thought. If Horava's idea is right, it could forever change our conception of space and time and lead us to a "theory of everything", applicable to all matter and the forces that act on...

(Excerpt) Read more at newscientist.com ...


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: anilananthaswamy; einstein; electrogravitics; gravity; horava; mechanics; physics; quantum; science; space; stringtheory; time

1 posted on 08/09/2010 7:26:01 AM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

bump


2 posted on 08/09/2010 7:27:00 AM PDT by tophat9000 (.............................. BP + BO = BS ...........................Formula for a disaster...)
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To: LibWhacker

Particle Physics gives me a hadron.

Sometimes I think being smart enough to think about subjects like this beyond the realm of just understanding would be a great burden.


3 posted on 08/09/2010 7:30:40 AM PDT by IamConservative (You older gentleman ever sit on your testicles? WOW, that hurts!!)
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To: IamConservative

How did that electron meet up with that proton in the first place, and where did THEY come from?


4 posted on 08/09/2010 7:35:19 AM PDT by Shady (1)
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To: LibWhacker

OK, I’ve read the article ... now my head hurts.


5 posted on 08/09/2010 7:35:19 AM PDT by tx_eggman (Liberalism is only possible in that moment when a man chooses Barabas over Christ.)
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To: IamConservative
Sometimes I think being smart enough to think about subjects like this beyond the realm of just understanding would be a great burden.

Don't I know it.

6 posted on 08/09/2010 7:41:40 AM PDT by Richard Kimball (We're all criminals. They just haven't figured out what some of us have done yet.)
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To: Richard Kimball

It is a burden.


7 posted on 08/09/2010 7:43:24 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: LibWhacker

We have all heard that Einstein determined that space and time were actually aspects of the same thing: Spacetime. And we’ve all seen the “world-line” funnels, and the super-C forbidden action zones and suchlike, so we know in an important sense, space IS time.

Since from the Science of econimics we also know that time is money, does it follow that space, therefore is money?

[Another but related subject:]
My former partner was fond of observing that, “time is money, but it ain’t cash.”


8 posted on 08/09/2010 7:47:27 AM PDT by William of Barsoom (In Omnia, Paratus)
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To: tx_eggman
"OK, I’ve read the article ... now my head hurts."
What part don't you understand there pal >

9 posted on 08/09/2010 7:48:17 AM PDT by mainsail that ("A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights" - Napoleon Bonaparte)
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To: LibWhacker

I expect that the String Theory Lobby will not be happy with this development. Personally I like it since it is testable, a feature that seems to be lacking in ST.


10 posted on 08/09/2010 7:48:46 AM PDT by InterceptPoint
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To: LibWhacker

General Theory ver. 2.0!


11 posted on 08/09/2010 7:53:14 AM PDT by bigbob
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To: LibWhacker; SunkenCiv

the list ping


12 posted on 08/09/2010 7:55:03 AM PDT by stefanbatory (Insert witty tagline here)
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To: LibWhacker; Constitution Day; Lazamataz
Freepers have known for years that space/time is not where the real mysteries reside. It is well known on this site that the real answers will be found in the mǿǿse/cheese continuum.

Ask Laz or C.D.

13 posted on 08/09/2010 8:01:32 AM PDT by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the next one...)
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To: Mad Dawgg
"the mǿǿse/cheese continuum"


14 posted on 08/09/2010 8:04:51 AM PDT by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality: Marxism is Evil.)
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To: LibWhacker

I don’t think GR and Quantum mechanics can be reconciled by such tricks. We’re missing some facts, some kind of measurement needed to reconcile the two theories.


15 posted on 08/09/2010 8:08:10 AM PDT by TheThinker (Communists: taking over the world one kooky doomsday scenario at a time.)
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To: Mad Dawgg
Freepers have known for years that
space/time is not where the real mysteries reside.

timetravel....HA! HA!
staying on FR over two hours....real time travel!


16 posted on 08/09/2010 8:14:23 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (Zer0 to the voters: "Here's my DeathCARE Plan"...now....just die (quicky), please. :^)
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To: Shady

Two hydrogen atoms walk into a bar.

One says, ‘I think I’ve lost an electron.’

The other says ‘Are you sure?’

The first says, ‘Yes, I’m positive.’


17 posted on 08/09/2010 8:15:21 AM PDT by mikrofon (It's all about Chemistry...)
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To: LibWhacker

Oddly enough, the value of this idea is less that it might provide a great theory, than that it challenges existing theory, and forces its reexamination.

This is the underlying problem with such theories. As soon as they are accepted, they become barriers, like walls. All you can do is to build up the wall further. You cannot transcend it without destroying it. Fortunately, the taller a wall gets, the less stable it becomes, contributing to its own destruction.

And this is a great general theory of knowledge, by the way.

As far as the subject goes, I rather like the idea of space-time, and I think that this theory gives it short shrift, in the quest to discover the gravity particle, which may or may not exist.

Just because mass and gravity affect time-space doesn’t mean they are the same things. In fact, it implies that mass and gravity transcend time-space, and affect space-time so strongly that it is bent into their mass and gravity dimension.


18 posted on 08/09/2010 8:23:29 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: mainsail that

19 posted on 08/09/2010 8:28:04 AM PDT by mikrofon ("That's my Theory, and I'm sticking to it!")
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To: IamConservative
"Particle Physics gives me a hadron."

You should be pants'd for saying that.

20 posted on 08/09/2010 8:33:38 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Amber Lamps !"~~)
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To: LibWhacker
...things shrink as they move faster.

Are there any Purdue grads on this thread? Doesn't mass increase with speed?

21 posted on 08/09/2010 8:41:56 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: mainsail that

LOL Clear as a bell except for that last term in the Effective Lagrangian. ;)


22 posted on 08/09/2010 8:45:13 AM PDT by InterceptPoint
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To: InterceptPoint
Personally I like it since it is testable, a feature that seems to be lacking in ST.

Agreed. It also sounds easier to understand than String Theory. It always bothered me that String Theory does not seem to be teachable in a conceptual way, to the layman, in the way Special and General Relativity can be. I can't get my head around ST at all. But the thought experiments Einstein used to explain Relativity are not too difficult to grasp and kind of fun.

23 posted on 08/09/2010 9:06:12 AM PDT by Upstate NY Guy (Gen 15:16 The iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.)
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To: LibWhacker
If it will finally rid us of the pseudo-science of Silly String Theory, I'm all for it.


Frowning takes 68 muscles.
Smiling takes 6.
Pulling this trigger takes 2.
I'm lazy.

24 posted on 08/09/2010 9:18:54 AM PDT by The Comedian (Evil can only succeed if good men don't point at it and laugh.)
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To: mikrofon

That one is always a real knee slapper.


25 posted on 08/09/2010 10:15:44 AM PDT by AFreeBird
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To: LibWhacker

ping


26 posted on 08/09/2010 10:34:05 AM PDT by BrandtMichaels
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To: stefanbatory; AdmSmith; bvw; callisto; ckilmer; dandelion; ganeshpuri89; gobucks; KevinDavis; ...
thanks stefanbatory!


· List topics · post a topic · subscribe · Google ·

27 posted on 08/09/2010 4:11:11 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: IamConservative

Take a boson and call me in the morning.


28 posted on 08/09/2010 4:27:22 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Dem voters, believing they cannot be deceived, it is impossible to convince them when deceived.)
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To: mikrofon; betty boop; Alamo-Girl
"C" is 'the law' because we are constructed in such a way that we and our current scaled universe are limited by linear time. Thus the photon, which exists in the present only, is able to transmit to our sensory apparatus the present of whatever we sense or our instruments sense. [You sense nothing in the actual present of the event, but you have a 'thing' which transmits the present of the event to your sensory apparatus, yet upon arrival of the data, the event is already a past occurence. ]

Our universe exists int he planar present as now expressed, and entire of creation exists in the volume of time. There are strong clues that the limits we endure are not a hindrance to certain beings, like Jesus who left the tomb without rolling away a heavy stone and entered a closed room without using a door or window, just materialized there and vanished from there. [Also, see fifth chapter of Daniel, for another interesting hint at the 'volume of time' and a being who reached from that where/when into the where/when of a Babylonian king and his party animals.]

29 posted on 08/09/2010 4:34:54 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Dem voters, believing they cannot be deceived, it is impossible to convince them when deceived.)
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To: mainsail that

That made my brain hurt.


30 posted on 08/09/2010 4:41:05 PM PDT by rdl6989 (January 20, 2013- The end of an error.)
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To: LibWhacker

Interesting comments by Julian Mann at the end of the article.


31 posted on 08/09/2010 5:00:15 PM PDT by samtheman
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To: cripplecreek

OK smartie, now you have to explain the article to me!


32 posted on 08/09/2010 5:16:08 PM PDT by brytlea (Jesus loves me, this I know.)
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To: mikrofon

OK, that’s funny AND I got it. :)


33 posted on 08/09/2010 5:21:45 PM PDT by brytlea (Jesus loves me, this I know.)
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To: mikrofon

“I was going to attend the clairvoyant’s meeting, but it was canceled due to unforeseen events.”


34 posted on 08/09/2010 6:49:34 PM PDT by RachelFaith (2010 is going to be a 100 seat Tsunami - Unless the GOP Senate ruins it all...)
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To: MHGinTN

Great Post.

Isa 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.


35 posted on 08/09/2010 6:52:40 PM PDT by RachelFaith (2010 is going to be a 100 seat Tsunami - Unless the GOP Senate ruins it all...)
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To: LibWhacker
"removed Lorentz symmetry"

Why is that a valid thing to do? Seems whimsical, like a theory based on Alice in Wonderland.

36 posted on 08/09/2010 7:10:22 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: samtheman

I wonder what the very last comment said (Zotted).


37 posted on 08/09/2010 7:12:51 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: MHGinTN

Thank you so much for sharing your insights, dear brother in Christ!


38 posted on 08/09/2010 9:04:39 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: LibWhacker

I’ve been saying for a long time that relativity needs to be revisited. Here are some of the articles I’ve posted on FR.

Rethinking relativity: Is time out of joint?
Monday, November 02, 2009 9:29:43 PM · by Kevmo · 58 replies · 2,519+ views
New Scientist ^ | 21 October 2009 | Rachel Courtland

Re-Analysis of the Marinov Light-Speed Anisotropy Experiment
Friday, June 12, 2009 11:25:41 PM · by Kevmo · 27 replies · 1,652+ views
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0612/0612201v2.pdf ^ | Reginald T. Cahill

The Suppression of Inconvenient Facts in Physics
Sunday, June 07, 2009 7:50:26 PM · by Kevmo · 80 replies · 2,374+ views
Suppressed Science.Net ^ | 12/06/08 | http://www.suppressedscience.net/

The End of Snide Remarks Against Cold Fusion
Friday, June 05, 2009 5:56:08 PM · by Kevmo · 96 replies · 2,393+ views
Free Republic, Gravitronics.net and Intrade ^ | 6/5/09 | kevmo, et al

SubQuantum Kinetics, wide ranging unifying cosmology theory by Dr. Paul LaViolette
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 12:00:43 PM · by Kevmo · 68 replies · 1,785+ views
THE STARBURST FOUNDATION ^ | January 2007 | Dr. Paul LaViolette


39 posted on 08/09/2010 11:38:51 PM PDT by Kevmo (So America gets what America deserves - the destruction of its Constitution. ~Leo Donofrio, 6/1/09)
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To: Mr. Lucky
(sorry for the day late reply)

*** Are there any Purdue grads on this thread? Doesn't mass increase with speed? ***

Yes it does.
Another tiny stumbling block in 'us' ever achieving travel at or near Light Speed .

And no I didn't go to Purdue, but I know someone who did :-)

40 posted on 08/10/2010 3:35:48 AM PDT by Condor51 (SAT CONG!)
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To: steve86; All

It really is not whimsical. What Petr did in his initial paper is justified, and, in retrospect, it is suprising that none of us thought of doing it earlier. It is not really possible to go into the full details of this in a forum such as a blog, but the main point is that, at “finite temperature” (this the jargon we use to refer to physical systems at temperatures above zero), Lorentz invariance (”Lorentz symmetry,” as it is referred to in the article) is automatically violated. The reason is that the mere statement that there is a finite temperature at all implies that there is present in the problem a large number of particles in the “background” that together make up what is referred to as a “heat bath.” The word “temperature” actually refers to a statistical measure associated to this background heat bath. However, this is the reason that Lorentz invariance is broken: the aggregate properties of the large number of particles that, together, make up the heat bath, among many other things, implicitly pick out a so-called “preferred direction” in spacetime. This “preferred direction” (technically, this is the direction in spacetme towards which the velocity 4-vector of the heat bath points) intrinsically breaks Lorentz invariance. What Petr did in his paper is technically justified. Other physicists later showed (as described in the article) that the original paper didn’t properly reduce to general realtivity (whcih DOES exhibit Lorent invariance) at low temperatures, but that defect of the original Horava idea has since been fixed. This is all still very much research in progress.


41 posted on 08/10/2010 11:32:35 PM PDT by E8crossE8
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To: E8crossE8

Thanks for the explanation. “E8” — I’ve seen that before! (Lisi)


42 posted on 08/11/2010 8:03:12 AM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: steve86

Thanks for the explanation.

My pleasure.

“E8” — I’ve seen that before! (Lisi)

The "E8" in my name refers to a so-called "Lie group," a type of mathematical structure that plays an important role in the physics of elementary particles (Lie groups have many other uses in other fields, as well). "E8 cross E8" refers to what is called the ("semi-direct") tensor product of two copies of this Lie group - this product of groups has played a crucial role in string theory. My use of this as a name is in this context.

43 posted on 08/11/2010 5:18:40 PM PDT by E8crossE8
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To: LibWhacker

I should point out that this article, as is the case with far too many popular science articles, has various misleading and inaccurate statements. To wit:

And so space-time - the malleable fabric whose geometry can be changed by the gravity of stars, planets and matter - was born. It is a concept that has served us well, but if physicist Petr Horava is right, it may be no more than a mirage.

This is astoundingly wrong. Petr's work implies no such thing. His explicit calculations simply take account of the fact that, based on an assumption that there was a very high average temperature in the early universe, Lorentz invariance is violated at finite temperature. As a result, he makes use of a set of techniques that are together called "finite temperature quantum field theory," in which Lorentz invariance is violated, rather than zero temperature quantum field theory, in which Lorentz invariance is not violated. (Both finite- and zero-temperature QFT are very well known. The fact that Lorentz invariance is broken in finite temperature QFT is also very well known. Basically (oversimplifying things a bit), the new idea was to apply this method to the explicit calculation of interactions involving gravitons in the early universe.) There is certainly no notion, quantitatively or qualitatively, either in the original Horava paper or in any of the subsequent papers that cite it, of spacetime being a "mirage." The author of the popular article should have had his article vetted by a physicist prior to releasing the final copy. (Petr Horava would never have put things the way the author of the popular article did.)

44 posted on 08/11/2010 5:41:41 PM PDT by E8crossE8
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