Expanding universe

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Re: Expanding universe

Postby SirDice » Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:48 pm

Energy and matter are interchangeable. Einstein pretty much proved that with his famous equation E=mc^2.
So it's not so much whether or not matter existed but where did the energy come from?
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Re: Expanding universe

Postby keezel » Sun Nov 08, 2009 4:36 pm

Right, I thought about that but figured you would know what I meant. Either the "stuff" (whether energy or matter) has always been around or something else that has always been around brought it into being.

It's really not a difficult decision for most people, but the decision must still be made. I just thought it was an interesting question.
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Re: Expanding universe

Postby Ignatius » Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:23 pm

Yes, I agree that the energy/matter question is really a matter of chicken or egg and the real question is "where did the "stuff" come from?". Whilst I am a scientist and believe in the scientific theory of a "big bang" rather than the typical Christian creation theory over a period of a few days, I do wonder "why?" and think that there *might* just be something in overall charge. As a side line, I feel it difficult to believe (it's almost arrogant) that we are the only (intelligent) life in the universe.
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Re: Expanding universe

Postby SirDice » Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:51 pm

I am what some might call an agnostic atheist. I believe there's no such thing as a deity or God but since nobody can prove or disprove the existence of one (or more) there might be something we haven't figured out yet. I view the Bible, Qu'ran and other religious works as great literary masterpieces but nothing more than that. Certainly not the word of a deity. I do believe in a natural order of things and a balance between them. But that's scientifically relatively easy to prove. Except for some of the 'new' sciences like astrophysics, quantumphysics and string theory but that's mainly because there's still quite a lot we do not understand.

I've always been interested in astrology and shows like The Universe really peaked my interest even further. Especially the astrophysics bit. The physics I got when I was at school was pretty advanced, quite a lot about relativity, special relativity and quantum mechanics. Unfortunately the school I attended before that the math classes were nowhere near as advanced as I needed them to be to make sense of it all. I had quite a lot of trouble keeping up with the math and therefor failed them miserably. The more technical classes I excelled in (mainly all the computer related stuff). Unfortunately in the end I failed on math and physics.

I still remember a lot though and I guess I'm just catching up just because it's a tough subject and I really need to stretch my brain to get it. I just wished there was some sort of crash course online so I can learn the necessary theories and formulas in a more structured way instead of just clicking around in wikipedia :)
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Re: Expanding universe

Postby Aspman » Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:07 pm

keezel wrote:
"before the big bang" there wasn't necessarily a before because there may not have been time as such. So how did anything happen.


I'll admit this is way over my head, but it seems illogical to me to suppose that prior to the big bang, time did not exist. It's difficult enough to wrap my head around the thought that up until the big bang, all matter was contained within a near infinitely dense point. To go further and suppose that prior to the "bang" time did not exist just seems illogical. Is it not more logical to suppose that this point existed in a vacuum for an indeterminable span of time?


I think 'our' version of logic breaks down when you get into cosmology and quantum physics. Our monkey brains can cope with xyz + before and after but to even think of a circumstance where that doesn't apply makes my brain hurt Homer style.

But tbh to imagine that 'before' the big bang there might have been a something, a timeless something with no before or after not only makes my noggin hurt but also makes a sort of sense.
There are lots of things that we just can't contemplate easily when 'logic' doesn't apply.

String theory deals with 1 dimensional entities and 11 dimensions of time
If you point two beams of light at each other they approach at 1C not 2C which is the logical answer.
String theory also deals with the branes that Dice mentioned, and that possibly the carrier of mass in our universe can cross branes outside of our universe or that their influence acts mostly outside of our 4 dimensions and that is why gravity is such a weak force.

No wonder physicists are so feckin wierd.
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Re: Expanding universe

Postby SirDice » Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:41 pm

Aspman wrote:If you point two beams of light at each other they approach at 1C not 2C which is the logical answer.

The 'logical' answer according to Newtonian law. But Newtonian law is only valid when speed is a mere fraction of C (light speed).

Things get really messy when you consider that the earth rotates and move through space quite fast too. Inertial reference frames still freak me out and I have a hard time with them.

Another nice brain twister, someone calculated that you can travel (theoretically) to the edge of the visible universe in about 30 years. Going back could pose a bit of a problem because it will be quite likely you "miss" the earth completely and get lost on the way back. But the biggest problem would be that even though our space traveler would only be 60 years older during the round trip, on earth about 140 million years would have passed due to relativity.

http://arxiv.org/abs/0909.1551v2
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Re: Expanding universe

Postby Aspman » Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:23 pm

SirDice wrote:
Aspman wrote:If you point two beams of light at each other they approach at 1C not 2C which is the logical answer.

The 'logical' answer according to Newtonian law. But Newtonian law is only valid when speed is a mere fraction of C (light speed).


Yup it all goes a bit Pete Tong when you either go very large or very small. Monkey brain V1 only copes with the middle ground.
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Re: Expanding universe

Postby Timaxe » Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:41 am

SirDice wrote:Things get really messy when you consider that the earth rotates and move through space quite fast too. Inertial reference frames still freak me out and I have a hard time with them.


I'm trying to learn this stuff at work. I'm not dealing specifically with them as an intern, but the department I'm in spends some time working with IMUs for aerospace...so there is a fairly steady amount of talk about reference frames and the like. Since I studied mechanical engineering and not aerospace...there is a lot going on with moving/accelerating/rotating coordinate systems I never had to actually learn about since with our normal systems it didn't have much effect. But since it is important with some of the stuff I'm around, I've been doing a bit to read up on this stuff to be better prepared in the future...lotsa reading...
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