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The universe, contemplated

The universe, contemplated
August 07, 2008, 01:45:26 AM
Quote
Imagine a rubber sheet stretched taut. If you take, say, five dinner
plates and set them close to each other on the sheet, they create a deep
valley. If instead you spread the plates farther out on the sheet,
they'll make a shallower valley.

Now add the astronomy: the plates are the galaxies of a gigantic
supercluster 500 million light-years across. The sheet is space-time,
and the galaxies in it move apart from each other because space-time is
expanding like stretched rubber. (That's what astronomers mean by
"expansion of the universe.") Dark energy speeds up the rate of this
expansion.

A photon from the far background travels toward you though space-time
like a marble rolling on the sheet. It falls down one side of the
supercluster's valley, thereby gaining a little energy. In a
non-expanding universe, the photon would use up that same amount of
energy when it climbed the opposite side, with no net effect.

But in an expanding universe, space-time stretches and the
supercluster's valley flattens out during the photon's 500-million-year
journey across the valley. When the photo arrives at the other side, the
hill it climbs up is shorter than the hill it first went down. So the
photon keeps some of the energy that it gained when falling in. This
difference appears as a temperature increase . in this case, a change of
ninety millionths of one kelvin (i.e. really really small).

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/26336764.html

True relativity in action: the more stuff in a universe, the more it influences the fabric of time and space itself. It's like data interacting in a competition for computer memory, with a greater amount of stuff forcing a different kind of memory storage.

It puts to bed any thoughts of dualism. In a universe constructed of relatives, there is no sense to another perfect sphere being created. But there is a sensibility to properties emerging from physical reality that reflect a higher degree of organization, which is only visible to those who can perceive the invisible by predicting the structural interactions of objects, forces, minds...

A wonderful playground for all of G-d's children ;)

Re: The universe, contemplated
August 07, 2008, 03:28:50 AM
Although I know that scientists have observed this for decades,I find it extremely difficult to think of space and time as a single interconnected entity in my day to day life.Perceiving space and time as seperate forces seems to be intrinsic to human understanding on a personal level. Can anyone name a culture where this is not the case? I'm curious to know.

 I think it might have to do with something Einstein showed: that regular physics works well for everyday situations, because they are not at extreme speeds, but at higher speeds, our physics breaks down. "Everday situations" seem to have persisted until we developed means of shooting things into space, but might it be the case that more holistically thinking individuals in the future will have an easy hold on the topics of space-time and relativity?



A related question: Is dualism not pragmatic? The example of the Greeks comes to mind.

Cigno

Re: The universe, contemplated
August 07, 2008, 05:54:52 AM
Perceiving space and time as seperate forces seems to be intrinsic to human understanding on a personal level. Can anyone name a culture where this is not the case? I'm curious to know.

Nahua people, the ancient culture of Mexico, understood time not horizontally, but vertically, because the saw the living growing upwards from the ground and returning downwards to the Earth. I think that is a physical perception close to understand time and space as the same object. I believe that's a very sensible observation of nature, while horizontal perception is much more abstract, and farther from space.

Re: The universe, contemplated
August 07, 2008, 10:46:41 AM
I think it might have to do with something Einstein showed: that regular physics works well for everyday situations, because they are not at extreme speeds, but at higher speeds, our physics breaks down. "Everday situations" seem to have persisted until we developed means of shooting things into space, but might it be the case that more holistically thinking individuals in the future will have an easy hold on the topics of space-time and relativity?

The crux of the matter is that all measurement / observation of time is dependent on matter (or light) interacting with matter (or light) in a different location. Plus we have measured that the interaction between particles itself happens at a certain speed. This means that whether the observer and the observed are separated by space (being in different locations at the same time) or time (being in the same location at different times) they need interaction to establish any relation. So you could visualize space and time as just two dimensions of interaction. Imagine that basically at each moment as much as you are interacting with space and choosing to engage with matter located to the left or to the right, you are also interacting with time by choosing your SPEED of engaging with matter. And as much as we are limited by physical possibilities in acting towards matter, so is there a limitation in choosing the time/speed.

Space cannot be measured without interacting also in two separate time points and time cannot be measured without interacting also in two separate spatial points.

I am under the impression that mystics, yogi, buddhists and magicians have reached these impressions by practices of meditation and mind control, where it easily becomes apparent that the whole sensation of time and space is dependent on the interaction with matter outside the body and also the state of mind, which can also be described as matter/light interacting, neurochemically.