Posts Tagged ‘New Science’

DARK MATTER-ENERGY, Or How Inquiry Proceeds

September 7, 2016

How to find really new knowledge? How do you find really new science? Not by knowing the result: this is what we don’t have yet. Any really new science will not be deduced from pre-existing science. Any really new knowledge will come out of the blue. Poetical, and, or, emotional logic will help before linear logic does.

A top lawyer, admitted to the US Supreme Court, and several countries. told me that the best judges know, emotionally, where they want to go, and then build a logical case for it.

The case of Dark Matter is telling: this increasingly irritating elephant in the bathroom has been in evidence for 80 years, lumbering about, smashing the most basic concepts of physics. As the encumbering beast did not fit existing science, it was long religiously ignored by the faithful of the church of standard physics, as a subject not worthy of deep inquiry by very serious physicists. Now Dark Matter, five times more massive than Standard Model matter, is clearly sitting heavily outside of the Standard Model, threatening to crush it into irrelevance. Dark matter obscures the lofty pretense of known physics to explain everything (remember the grandly named TOE, the so-called “Theory Of Everything“? That TOE was a fraud, snake oil, because mainstream physics celebrities crowed about TOE, while knowing perfectly well that Dark Matter dwarfed standard matter, and while being completely outside of the Standard Model).

Physicists are presently looking for Dark Matter, knowing what they know, namely that nature has offered them a vast zoo of particles, many of them without rhyme or reason. or symmetries to “explain” (indeed, some have rhyme, a symmetry, a mathematical group such as SU3 acting upon them; symmetries have revealed new particles, sometimes). 

Bullet Cluster, 100 Million Years Old. Two Galaxies Colliding. The Dark Matter, In Blue, Is Physically Separated From the Hot, Standard Matter Gas, in Red.

Bullet Cluster, 100 Million Years Old. Two Galaxies Colliding. The Dark Matter, In Blue, Is Physically Separated From the Hot, Standard Matter Gas, in Red.

This sort of picture above is most of what we presently have to guess what Dark Matter could be; the physical separation of DM and SM is most telling to me: it seems to indicate that SM and DM do not respond to the same forces, something that my Quantum theory predicts; it’s known that Dark Matter causes gravitational lensing, as one would expect, as it was first found by its gravitational effects, in the 1930s…

However, remember: a truly completely new (piece of) science cannot be deduced from pre-existing paradigm. Thus, if Dark Matter was really about finding a new particle type, it would be interesting, but not as interesting as it would be, if it were not, after all, a new particle type, but instead, a consequence from a completely new law in physics.

This is the quandary about finding truly completely new science. It can never be deduced from ruling paradigms, and may actually overthrow them. What should then be the method to use? Can Descartes and Sherlock Holmes help? The paradigm presented by Quantum Physics helps. The Quantum looks everywhere in space to find solutions: this is where its (“weird”) nonlocality comes in. Nonlocality is crucial for interference patterns and for finding lowest energy solutions, as in the chlorophyll molecule. This suggests that our minds should go nonlocal too, and we should look outside of a more extensive particle zoo to find what Dark Matter is.

In general, searching for new science should be by looking everywhere, not hesitating to possibly contradict what is more traditional than well established.

An obvious possibility to explain Dark Matter is, precisely, that Quantum Physics is itself incomplete, and generating Dark Matter, and Dark Energy, in places where said incompleteness (of the present Quantum theory) would be most blatant: large cosmic distances.

More precisely, Quantum processes, stretched over cosmic distances, instead of being perfectly efficient and nonlocal over gigantically cosmic locales, could leave a Quantum mass-energy residue, precisely in the places where extravagant cosmic stretching of Quanta occurs (before “collapse”, aka “decoherence”). (I call this theory of mine SQPR, Sub Quantum Patrice Reality.)

This would happen if what one should call the “Quantum Interaction” proceeds at a finite speed (much faster than c, by a factor of at least 10^23…). It’s enough.

The more one does find a conventional explanation (namely a new type of particle) for Dark Matter, the more likely my style of explanation is likely. How could one demonstrate it? Not by looking for new particles, but by conducting new and more refined experiments in the foundations of Quantum Physics.

If this guess is correct, whatever is found askew in the axioms of present Quantum Physics could actually help future Quantum Computer technology (because the latter works with Quantum foundations directly, whereas conventional high energy physics tend to eschew the wave aspects, due to the high frequencies involved).

Going on a tangent is what happens when the central, attractive force, is let go. A direct effect of freedom. Free thinking is tangential. We have to learn to produce tangential thinking.

René Descartes tried to doubt the truth of all his beliefs to determine which beliefs he could be certain were true. However, at the end of “The Meditations” he hastily conclude that we can distinguish between dream and reality. It is not that simple. The logic found in dreams is all too similar to the logic used by full-grown individuals in society.

Proof? Back to Quantum Physics. On the face of it, the axioms of Quantum Physics have a dream like quality (there is no “here”, nor “there”, “now” is everywhere, and, mysteriously, the experiment is Quantum, whereas the “apparatus” is “classical”). Still, most physicists, after insinuating they have figured out the universe, eschew the subject carefully.  The specialists of Foundations are thoroughly confused: see Sean Carroll, http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2013/01/17/the-most-embarrassing-graph-in-modern-physics/

However unbelievable Quantum Physics, however dream-like it is, physicists believe in it, and don’t question it anymore than cardinals would Jesus. Actually, it’s this dream-like nature which, shared by all, defines the community of physicists. Cartesian doubt, pushed further than Descartes did, will question not just the facts, the allegations, but the logic itself. And even the mood behind it.

Certainly, in the case of Dark Matter, some of the questions civilization has to ask should be:

  1. How sure are we of the Foundations of Quantum Physics? Answer: very sure, all too sure!
  2. Could not it be that Dark Matter is a cosmic size experiment in the Foundations of Quantum Physics?

Physics, properly done, does not just question the nature of nature. Physics, properly done, questions the nature of how we find out the nature of anything. Physics, properly done, even questions the nature of why we feel the way we do. And the way we did. About anything, even poetry. In the end, indeed, even the toughest logic is a form of poetry, hanging out there, justified by its own beauty, and nothing else. Don’t underestimate moods: they call what beauty is.

Patrice Ayme’

Is Philosophy The New Science?

November 5, 2014

A provocative title, assuredly, while science is everywhere, and philosophy, in appearance, some will say, nowhere. But actually our world owes even more to philosophy than to science: after all, according to my convoluted theories, the rise of Europe is greatly due to the push of the Franks against slavery, and towards less sexism. (It will not escape the cognoscenti that the great dynasty of the Tang in China, in the same period, was marked by powerful empresses.)

Science and philosophy are basically methods at both extremities of the same spectrum.

The age of science is upon us, thus the age of philosophy.

Science is about what is true. Philosophy is about what could be true.

Science is about realistic circumstances, philosophy is about imagining them. Science is about knowing, philosophy about guessing.

Neither goes without the other, since there have been baboons, and they think.

Homotherium Kept Yesteryear’s Thinkers Honest

Homotherium Kept Yesteryear’s Thinkers Honest

All animals with advanced brains have to be scientific enough to catch dinner, have sex, play hard to get, and they have to be a bit philosophical. However both science and philosophy took gigantic dimensions, once the genus Homo made culture into, well, a science.

With its intricate brains, Homo Sapiens could create, in said brains, entire world of ideas, neurological structures constructed by experiences, the world of tangibles, the world of truth, science. But it could also instruct, from the same, more free form structures, the world of imagination, where philosophy feeds at the trough.

In particular, 10,000 religions blossomed, and many a virgin perished in their names.

So what now?

Some say philosophy is dying. What they mean, is that they are dead.

This is the age of science, the age of truth. Much is known, but it’s nothing relative to what is coming. What is coming is automatic science. It’s not yet here, but some computer scientists are working on machines to prove theorems, automatically.

That does not mean mathematics would become meaningless, impotent, just the opposite. Mathematicians will devote themselves to the imagination, in other words, to the philosophy. Machines will see if it (mathematical philosophy) works.

In the myth of the singularity, dear to some “futurists”, science starts to progress so fast, that all becomes a blur. We are not yet there: electronic chips’ speed has stalled (from overheating), and multi-core programming is hard. However, even with slower progress, all mundane intellectuals tasks will fall to machines pretty soon.

And all over the world of inquiry, so it will be. Even in law, machines (computers) will be able to fill in all the details, check, in advance what are the consequences of imaginable laws.

All over, the imagination will be the specific human impulse. In other words, philosophy.

If one considers prehistoric man, one is considering a scientist: knowing what was true allowed survival. Being seriously wrong did not mean one’s “paper” would be rejected by a prestigious journal, but that one would be torn apart by a Homotherium pack.

There was little time and inclination for wild guesswork about the nature of the universe. Now is just the opposite: Homotherium has got extinct 10,000 years ago, with a whole panoply of terrible predators. Machines, increasingly, bring food and medicines.

We have all the time in the world to go on a rampage of guesswork.

This is already happening in physics: Strings, Superstrings, Supersymmetry, and their ilk are theories that were launched on the thinnest philosophical fumes.

For example, symmetries allowed to guess the existence of a few particles. So why not suppose that there is a symmetry (whatever that means) means the two main types of particles, Fermions and Bosons? That would remove an “infinity” or two which plagues the computations. Thus the idea of “Supersymmetry’.

Here is another example of stealth, wild philosophizing in physics, the idea of “A Universe For Nothing”.

(That’s described in the eponymous book of a professional salesman, Lawrence Krauss.) Wild guessing, if there ever was any. It makes Middle Age theologians, with their angels on pinheads, sound boring.

The Universe-for-nothing folks have prestigious chairs in the most prestigious universities in the world, and got multi-million dollars prizes (from plutocrats, of course). They use, in their despair, a completely idiotic argument about potential energy. Or, let’s say, a philosophical argument. That allows them to pretend it should cost nothing, energy-wise, to create a universe. Or a zillions of them per nanometer, actually, in every instant of time.

15,000 years ago, thinkers that crazy, arguing that Homotherium was created from nothing, would have been promptly swallowed by a pack of the saber tooth, social felids.

Science used to keep us alive, now we can afford to live by ridiculous philosophies. All the more reason, as the Seventh Extinction, the one of the Anthropocene, looms, to create some which are as serious as our ancestors needed to be.

And to those who thought our ancestors were not brainy: it seems their brains, all things equal, were 10% larger. Fortunately, things are going to get very serious, very soon. And while machines will do most of the science, our thinking, and guessing, will have to be wilder and deeper, than ever.

Philosophy is the new science.

Patrice Ayme’