. April 08 . May 08 . June 08 . July 08 . August 08
. September 08 . October 08 . November 08 . December 08 .
. Top 100 Blog Entries of 2008 . May 09 . June 09 . July 09
. August 09 . September 09 . October 09 . November 09 .
. December 09 . Top 100 Blog Entries of 2009 .
. January 10 . February 10 . March 10 . April 10 . May 10 .
. June 10 . July 10 . August 10 . September 10 . October 10 .
. November 10 . December 10 . Top 100 Entries of 2010 .
. January 11 . February 11 . March 11 . April 11 . May 11 .
. June 11 . July 11 . August 11 . September 11 . October 11 .
. November 11 . December 11 . Top 100 Entries of 2011 .
. January 12 .
Based upon number of views, here are the top blogs for the last thirty days.
1. Duality and Consciousness
2. What is Life?
3. Why Only Ten?
4. New video - Imagining the Second Dimension
5. Psychedelics and Surprises
6. Wrapping it Up in the Tenth Dimension
7. We are All Quanta
8. New video - Imagining the Third Dimension
9. Rob on the Peake Experience
10. Observers and Addictions
And as of February 26th, 2012, here are the twenty-six Imagining the Tenth Dimension blog entries that have attracted the most visits of all time. Items marked in bold are new or have risen since last month.
1. Jumping Jesus (1)
2. What's Around the Corner? (2)
3. The Pencil Visualization (6)
4. Mandelbulbs (3)
5. Is Reality an Illusion? (4)
6. The 5th-Dimensional Camera Project (5)
7. An Expanding 4D Sphere (7)
8. Just Six Things: The I Ching (8)
9. Gravity and Love (9)
10 Bees and the LHC (11)
11. Light Has No Speed (12)
12. Vibrations and Fractals (10)
13. 10-10-10 Look Before You Leap (13)
14. Time Travel Paradoxes (14)
15. Changing Your Brain (16)
16. Roger Ebert on Quantum Reincarnation (15)
17. Our Universe Within the Omniverse (17)
18. Magnets and Morality (18)
19. How to Time Travel (19)
20. Creativity and the Quantum Universe (20)
21. Dancing on the Timeline (21)
22. Simultaneous Inspiration (22)
23. Complexity from Simplicity (23)
24. What is Reality? (25)
25. Photons and Free Will (new)
26. Monkeys Love Metallica (24)
Which means that this worthy entry is leaving our top 26 of all time list this month.
Polls Archive 54 - Is Time Moving Faster? (26)
By the way, if you're new to this project, you might want to check out the Tenth Dimension FAQ, as it provides a road map to a lot of the discussions and different materials that have been created for this project. If you are interested in the 26 songs attached to this project, this blog shows a video for each of the songs and provides more links with lyrics and discussion. The Annotated Tenth Dimension Video provides another cornucopia of discussion topics to be connected to over at YouTube. Also, a lot of people are enjoying discussing these ideas with me on my facebook page: facebook.com/rob.bryanton .
Enjoy the journey!
Next: Time Crystals
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Posted by Rob Bryanton at 5:21 AM
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Speaking personally, I fall in the camp of people who suspect that these faster-than-light indications will eventually be shown to be the result of some sort of measurement error. Nonetheless, I have to suggest that if this faster-than-light evidence were eventually confirmed without a doubt, I believe that rather than requiring a re-write of the existing laws of physics (and more specifically Einstein's special theory of relativity), this would finally be a confirmation of the existence of extra dimensions: the conclusion we should reach is that these neutrinos were somehow using the "fold" of the next dimension up to arrive at their destination just a tiny bit sooner than Einstein's "speed of light" limit allows.
How much are we talking about when we say a tiny bit here? In the European experiment called OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion-Tracking Apparatus), these neutrinos appear to have traveled from CERN in Geneva to an underground lab in Italy 60 billionths of a second faster than the speed of light would allow! Such a miniscule amount, but still amazing if it were true.
Since it's now over five months since this evidence was first presented, let's look at some of the most recent musings about what this all could mean. First of all, here's a recent article interviewing Lyn Evans, the former director of the LHC, in which he discusses the results of the OPERA experiment. Lyn says this:
I’m working on an independent experiment that should start in a few months and we should have the results by the end of summer. If that gives the same result then we start to worry about extra dimensions.So Lyn would appear to be in agreement with my thoughts on this topic. But he's certainly not the only scientist interested in trying to confirm or refute the evidence of these extra-speedy neutrinos. A recent Scientific American blog entry writes about experiments being planned at the Fermilab facility in Batavia, Illinois:
Fermilab has its own cutting-edge neutrino experiment that should be able to confirm or (as most suspect) refute the OPERA claim—as well as probe other puzzles of these particles. MINOS (Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search) shoots a beam of neutrinos through two detectors, one at Fermilab and one in a Minnesota mine some 735 kilometers away... A planned project called NOvA will succeed MINOS, extending the baseline of the neutrino experiment to about 800 kilometers and adding a much larger detector on the Minnesota end.The scientists responsible for the first test have already repeated their experiment and found the same small but significant faster-than-light evidence, as reported in this arxiv.org submission. In fact, there were some scientists who participated in the first experiment but were not willing to have their names attached to the results. But because the second experiment was conducted in an even more stringent setup to help reject some possible sources of measurement errors, most of those scientists were now willing to have their names added to the second paper, after this more refined experiment was unable to disprove the existence of these faster-than-light-speed neutrinos.
The controversy continues. As reported in this article from the November 2011 Wired:
Tommaso Dorigo, a physicist at CERN, noted on his blog that there are still other possible sources of error. For instance, the OPERA collaboration’s clock might not have a fine enough resolution to determine exactly when the neutrinos arrived. “The measurement therefore is only a ‘partial’ confirmation of the earlier result: It is consistent with it, but could be just as wrong as the other,” he wrote.Today, just as I was about to publish this entry, I see that there is a new buzz that it was a faulty connection on a GPS cable which caused the observed measurement error. Here's a link to the update from New Scientist:
Ultimately, the only thing that would convince many in the field is if another team upholds the findings in an independent experiment. Plunkett, co-spokesperson for the Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search (MINOS) experiment at Fermilab, says that his collaboration expects to have results checking the OPERA findings in the spring of 2012.
In this article you'll see that CERN is already planning confirmation tests for May, and that the OPERA team plan to release an update to their position on this controversy tomorrow. Needless to say, I'm keeping my eye on this one!
Enjoy the journey,
Update: Here's a very interesting article published by Physics Today on February 23rd 2012 which discusses the original carefully worded news release showing that there are two factors being called into question, one of which would have have magnified the faster-than-light result, and one of which would have diminished it, and hence the need for more tests to be run in May. The article shows how most mainstream science news reports spun this information into articles, and in particular headlines, which had been crafted to give the impression that these scientists were already saying they had found an error which disproved the faster-than-light result, and that's simply not the case. So patience everyone, let's find out what's really happening here before we jump to one conclusion or the other!
Additional update, April 11th 2012: despite many previous claims saying that the results had already been officially debunked, it was only in the last two weeks that the scientists involved in the project made it official - the results were erroneous, and caused by a faulty fibreoptics cable and an inaccurate master clock. Neutrinos have not been proven to be able to travel faster than light, end of story.
Next: Time Crystals
Monday, February 20, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Even though it comes from a different starting point, it's interesting to think about how this is a similar question to Poll 87, which asked this question:
"Physicist David Deutsch says that calling Everett's Many Worlds an interpretation "is like talking about dinosaurs as an 'interpretation' of the fossil record". Do you agree with him?" In that case 60.8% agreed with Dr. Deutsch, and in this case an even higher number agreed with Dr. Greene.
What I like about the Brian Greene statement is it gives us a nice reminder of the holy grail scientists continue to search for: what are the building blocks, the underlying steps, that reveal how a universe such as ours is created? That desire to find the elegantly simple process that explains how the beautiful and complex reality we see around us could arise is at the root of any TOE. or Theory of Everything. In past entries like Cymatics, Gravity and Light, Love and Gravity, and Strength of Gravity, Speed of Light, we've looked at some of my project's explorations of what this underlying simplicity might be. I've talked before about Dr. Erik Verlinde's proposal that just as there are no "liquidons" imparting the quality of liquidity to a fluid, there are no "gravitons" imparting gravity to matter. Since gravity is the only force, physicists tell us, that exerts itself across the extra dimensions, what we begin to imagine is that there are places within the underlying information that becomes reality where things tend to be grouped together more strongly - where gravity's strength is stronger - and places where the grouping order is less strong.
"Grouping order", of course, is how Gevin Giorbran liked to refer to the underlying organizing process that reveals itself within timelessness. If I throw a coin ten times and write down H or T for heads or tails, the highest possible grouping order would look like this: HHHHHTTTTT (or TTTTTHHHHH). The other possible extreme would be HTHTHTHTHT (or THTHTHTHTH), which Gevin referred to as being the highest possible "symmetry order". Both of those orders are, when viewed as a whole, identical: they represent a perfectly balanced symmetry, the "zero" that we start from and the "zero" that our universe returns to. The idea that our universe or any other springs from a breaking of symmetry is not unique to Gevin though. Cosmologists refer to symmetry breaking all the time as the answer to this simple question. "Why is there something rather than nothing?"
In the video for Imagining the Eight Dimension, I refer to the idea I've been promoting that ties so nicely to what Dr. Verlinde is proposing, and which Gevin Giorbran also showed us as a way of understanding: gravity is the underlying organizing principle that pulls things together, and the speed of light is the underlying organizing principle that divides things apart, through the planck frames that create our observed reality. As physicist Julian Barbour likes to describe it, each of those frames is unique and separate: and if we were in a part of the underlying information where gravity had nothing in opposition to it, we would be at the highest grouping order version of that information, the HHHHHTTTTT. On the other hand, if we were at the position where there was no gravity, and only the dividing apart that the speed of light reveals, we would be in the highest symmetry order, the HTHTHTHTHT.
Is there a simple process similar to Darwinian Natural Selection that causes our universe or any other to be selected from an underlying timeless whole, an Ultimate Ensemble, an Omniverse? And is Everett's Many Worlds Interpretation an important part of understanding what that simple process would be? 78.5% of the visitors to this blog were willing to agree with that idea.
For those of you who haven't watched the video for Imagining the Eighth Dimension yet, let's take a look at it now to finish today's entry.
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDNO6vv1SjE
Next: New video - Imagining the Ninth Dimension
Friday, February 10, 2012
"Phase Space" is definitely a phrase I wish I had known about back when I created this project, because its definition conveys so perfectly what we're talking about with not just the sixth dimension, but all of the dimensions as we're visualizing them here. Each dimension has its own unique set of possibilities, each is apparently infinite, and yet each is also a subset of the ones that follow.
If the "point" we start from represents a position within a system, then the "system" defines the nature of each of those points. Many times people visualize a point as only being of infinitesimally small size, which is valid but it's only one possible interpretation: so even a single geometric point, by virtue of being of indeterminate size, has an infinite quality to it, since a point of indeterminate size can be of any size you care to assign to it. So no matter what dimension you're visualizing, there's a way to think of a point within that system as encompassing the entire dimension, while still being only a subset of the possibilities contained in a system where further dimensions are added. Is that hard to visualize? Let's try it from the beginning.
A one-dimensional line is a simple system, which can have a phase space of possible states, or points, that lie upon the line. A two-dimensional plane would have a phase space with even more possible states, or points, that lie within the plane, and the phase space of the first-dimensional line we looked at could be a tiny subset of the second-dimensional phase space. This continues with each additional dimension, and the mind-boggling leap in possibilities from one dimension to the next quickly overwhelms us if we try to hold more than a few adjacent dimensions in our minds at once. Nonetheless, taking this logic one step at time, building one gigantic concept and then letting it become a tiny subset of the following one, is something our brains are more easily adapted to.
The video for Imagining the Sixth Dimension may help you to visualize further what we're talking about here, so for those of you who haven't seen it yet, let's take a look:
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdnhKE95AqM
Enjoy the journey!
Next: Poll 89 - Is Many Worlds as True as Natural Selection?
Saturday, February 4, 2012
As I said recently in Imagining the Fifth Dimension, I have the utmost respect for David Deutsch, who has been a strong proponent of Everett's theory for many years. The quote we're talking about here was found in Peter Byrne's excellent The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III: Multiple Universes, Mutual Assured Destruction, and the Meltdown of a Nuclear Family, a book we've talked about in this blog before, including in an entry called The Quantum Observer.
Like "interpretation", words like "theory" can mistakenly fall into similar territory: in the general public, after all, theory has a fairly loose definition. I could say "I have a theory about what happened to my missing sock" but there's nothing rigorous implied by that statement. A scientific theory, on the other hand, is not just a guess for what might explain the phenomena being studied. As it says in wikipedia:
A scientific theory is a set of principles that explain and predict phenomena.Scientists create scientific theories with the scientific method, when they are originally proposed as hypotheses and tested for accuracy through observations and experiments. Once a hypothesis is verified, it becomes a theory.
So what we're left with here is Dr. Deutsch's sly swipe at the Creationist argument that the world was created less than 10,000 years ago, and the fossils must therefore have been placed in the earth at that time. Is that an "interpretation" of the fossil record? Sure it is, whether you agree with it or not. Particularly in the US, this viewpoint does have many supporters as we see in the wikipedia article on level of support for creationism:
According to a 2007 Gallup poll, about 43% of Americans believe that "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so."In that same article we see that while creationism has strong support in the US, there is a sliding scale of other countries around the world where this is not as prevalent a belief (for instance, about 20% believe this in Italy, sliding down through Norway, Spain, the U.K., Denmark, Sweden, France, and Japan, to Iceland, where less than 10% hold this belief). We also see that amongst persons in the US with education in the relevant earth and life sciences, the level of support for creationism is much much lower: according to a 1987 Newsweek poll of 480,000 scientists, creationism was given support by only 700 respondents, which represents about 0.146%.
So. If one approaches the fossil record from the pre-conceived notion that the earth is only thousands of years old, then a particular interpretation becomes more likely to occur. Why am I going on about all this?
From the outset of this project, I've said that I want to show people ways in which science and spirituality, physics and philosophy, can find common ground. But all of the above appears to point out one of the places where this is not really achievable: either you believe dinosaurs walked the earth millions of years ago or you think the earth was created a much shorter length of time ago than that. Isn't it clear that there's no easy meeting place where those two viewpoints can be reconciled?
Personally, I believe the universe really can be traced back to 13.7 billion years ago. But I've also said that the big bang is an illusion, and the extraordinary initial events of inflationary cosmology are better described as being a part of the process that selects a universe such as ours, though symmetry breaking, from a timeless whole that we might call the omniverse, or which Tegmark calls the Ultimate Ensemble. Still, you may be surprised that there actually is a way to find a meeting between these two viewpoints. Here's what I said in my book back in 2006:
What we’re saying, then, is where you actually began to observe becomes irrelevant. If it tickled your fancy, you could place that first observer at, for example, 6000 years ago. To do so would mean that prior to that time all potential physical realities remained possible within the wave function, and that at that point the observer turned their attention upon our universe and collapsed the quantum wave function into the reality we see around us, complete with the impression that time had actually extended out for billions of years prior to that. But why stop there? It could also be possible then that the universe didn’t actually exist until one second ago, which is when the observer turned their attention upon our universe and collapsed the probability wave function into what we now perceive as our reality, complete with a history which each of us believes we remember. Whether the observer came into existence 13.7 billion years ago or one second ago, the result will be the same: out of all the possible timelines which could have existed prior to this moment, through the act of observation we are now experiencing one of them as our own present, and our own history.
But if quantum particles can't discriminate between things that affect them forward and backward in time, that means specifying a final condition can determine what happens before it. "Mathematically, there's no reason why final conditions can't be 'givens' as well and everything has to follow logically from them," Steinberg says.
"This may seem laughable, but without the multiverse our finest theories predict that empty space should contain about 10 to the power of 123 times more energy than it actually does."
Is there more than one parallel universe resulting from the quantum wavefunction? Is there a multiverse of other universes, perhaps ten to the power of five hundred other universes as some string theorists have predicted? This is the interpretation that makes the most sense to me, and this is what Everett's Many Worlds Interpretation also tells us.
Where does that leave us? If you don't believe in the multiverse, then my project is not likely to find much that resonates for you, and you and I are going to have to simply agree to disagree. There is a multiverse of other universes, and there are multiple pasts and futures which connect to any particular "now" you or I are observing. While I'm all for finding common meeting grounds between different belief systems, this is where I have to draw the line.
Enjoy the journey,
Next: Poll 88 - Is the Sixth Dimension our Phase Space?