Nasty Little Truths About Physics
One is left to wonder, if so many celebrated physicists can be so wrong about their understanding of time and motion, what else have they gotten wrong? This is the page where I comment on more nasty little truths about physics. Over the coming weeks or months I will add new items, time permitting.
We have all been taught that there is no such thing as absolute motion or position or that every motion and position in the universe is relative. This unsubstantiated belief, which I have named exclusive relativity, has been around for centuries, even before the advent of Albert Einstein and the theory of relativity. It was not until early in the twentieth century, however, that exclusive relativity became in vogue. Nowadays most physicists consider the concept of absolute motion to be no more credible than the flat earth.
Simple Proof #1 That Exclusive Relativity Is Bogus
If all positions are relative, then we have a self-referential system in which every position is ultimately relative to itself. For example, suppose we have a two-body universe. Body A's position is relative to body B's position and vice versa. Since both positions are relative to the other and there are no other bodies, each body's position is ultimately relative to itself. Of course, it does not matter whether there are only two bodies or a billion. Since every position is relative to every other position, the system is self-referential.
Exclusive relativity amounts to saying things like, "you are as tall as you are" or "this sound is as loud as itself" or "pick yourself up by your own bootstraps." Of course this is silly but this is the sort of silliness we have to believe in if we accept exclusive relativity.
Simple Proof #2 That Exclusive Relativity Is Bogus
Suppose there is a force acting on a particle so as to accelerate it. The particle has as many relative velocities as there are possible frames of reference, an infinite number in fact. Which of the myriads of relative velocities does the force change? How does the accelerating agent know about them so as to change them all? Answer, it does not. Only one velocity is changed by the force because it has no access to the others. The others are abstract, i.e., non-physical.
Simple Proof #3 That Exclusive Relativity Is Bogus
Let's consider the motion of a particle. How does a particle "know" about its motion or rest relative to extrinsic frames of references so as to move or be at rest relative to them? Are particles psychic? I think not. No particle in the universe can make use of the relative because it has no access to it. It follows that the universe does not use the relative. The only properties that it can use are absolute ones.
The Nasty Little Truth
The nasty little truth turns out to be the exact opposite of what we have been taught to believe. The only type of motion or position in the universe is absolute. The relative is abstract and dependent on the absolute. Exclusive relativity is part of what I have been calling chicken feather voodoo physics, because if we subscribe to it, we have to believe that things happen as if by magic.
The Relativist's Objection
Exclusive relativists will immediately retort that if it cannot be measured or observed, it does not exist. Never mind for now that physics is bloated with concepts and models (time dimension, spacetime, curled up dimensions, etc...) that are impossible to test empirically.
First of all, it is a misconception that we measure the relative directly. We perceive only absolute sensations (such as photons impinging on the light detectors in the retina) and we interpret them as meaning that object A is moving relative to body B. Sure, it's a logical and sensible interpretation but it is an indirect one nonetheless. It must be inferred.
Second, a truth that can be deduced logically is just as valid as a truth that can be experienced first hand. Is it not more beneficial to know the fundamental truth of absolute motion than it is to bury one's head in the sand and act as if it does not exist? Which is better, ignorance or knowledge? And who knows what new insight may come out of it?
Does this mean that one should believe in an absolute space à la Newton? Absolutely not. In the physical universe there exist only particles, their properties and their interactions. Since all properties are intrinsic to particles, they are therefore absolute (independent) by virtue of being intrinsic. I'll have more to say about this when I discuss the next nasty little truth about physics. Besides, the absolute does not need a reference frame to be relative to. That is the definition of the relative. Absolute means independent.
We've already seen that spacetime cannot possibly be a model of reality. But what of space? Is there such a thing as a space in which we exist and move? Is space a collection of positions or points? Does matter occupy space? Ever since Newton legitimized the idea of space most physicists have believed in some sort of physical space existing separately from matter. To Newton, space was absolute. Einstein's revolution did not do away with the idea of an independent physical space but transformed it into the concept of spacetime.
The Nasty Little Truth
Physical space is given as a collection of positions. The idea is that, in order for any physical entity or property to exist, it must exist at a specific position in space. But if a position is a physical entity that exists, it too, must exist at a specific position. In other words, if space exists, where is it? As with time, one can posit a meta-space but this quickly turns into an infinite regress. The nasty little truth is that there is no such thing as space.
The concept of a space existing separately from matter has not been without its detractors. Sir Isaac's nemesis, none other than the great German mathematician and philosopher Gottfried Leibniz, rejected the concept of space, absolute or otherwise. Leibniz wrote that "space is nothing else but an order of the existence of things, observed as existing together; and therefore the fiction of a material universe, moving forward in an empty space cannot be admitted." Leibniz believed that the position of an object is not the property of an extrinsic space but an intrinsic property of the object. These properties, taken together, form an abstract order that he called space. I fully agree with Leibniz on this issue.
Everything Is Absolute
The most immediate consequence of nonspatiality is that all physical properties in the universe are absolute. The relative is abstract (in our minds) and is dependent on the absolute. The reason is that, since there is no space, all properties are intrinsic to (belong to) individual particles. They are absolute by virtue of being intrinsic. We've been told that absolute motion and position do not exist and that only the relative exists. The truth is that the relative is abstract and only the absolute exists.
Paradoxes That Never Were
All of the nasty problems and paradoxes associated with the existence of space disappear in one fell swoop. We no longer have to ponder the notion of an impossibly infinite space or whether or not it has an edge. Of course if space was finite, the impossible question would be, what's on the other side? None of these things are of any importance any longer because space is a mere illusion that arises from the properties and interactions of particles. It does not exist. Particles do not move from one location in space to another. Motion is just a type of change, a change in the intrinsic positional property of a particle.
Quantum Nonlocality and Nonspatiality
In the early eighties physicist Alain Aspect and colleagues performed an experiment that confirmed the so-called Bell's Inequality Principle. Without going into the details of the experiment, I'll just say that it proved a major prediction of quantum theory, one that Einstein objected to in a famous paper describing a thought experiment that became known as the EPR (Einstein, Podolsky, Rosen) paradox. Two entangled photons can be millions of miles apart and yet, if the polarity of one photon flips, the other will flip simultaneously. To a lot of classical physicists such as Einstein, the existence of nonlocal phenomena would mean that the two photons are communicating at superluminal speeds which is a no-no. Einstein called it "spooky action at a distance." Many have refused to accept the completeness and even the correctness of QM for this reason. But the superluminal objection is flawed in my opinion, because it assumes the physical existence of space.
As soon as one realizes that there is no space then it is easy to see that there is no superluminal or any sort of communication taking place between the entangled photons. Particles do not exist in space, they just exist. There is no spooky action at a distance because there is no distance between particles. This is not the same as saying that the distance is zero; distance simply does not exist: it is abstract. More precisely, it is the abstract vector difference between two positional properties. The entangled polarities are facets of the same coin. In other words, nonlocality is equivalent to nonspatiality. Nature is able to apply its principles of conservation "everywhere" because the universe is one. Not one in the sense of a single point or location (there is no location) but one in the sense of yin-yang complementarity.
Exciting Consequence of Nonspatiality
By far the most exciting consequence of nonspatiality is that it should be possible for a particle to move almost instantly from one position to any other without going through the intervening positions. Normally a particle moves by making a quantum jump, i.e., its intrinsic positional property changes from one discrete value to another. This fundamental abstract distance is on the order of the Planck Length (about 10^-35 meters *), a very minute distance. However, there is no reason to suppose that the positional property of a particle cannot change by amounts larger than the fundamental value. Note that this is not the same as moving faster than light. Superluminal motion only means that a quantum jump happens at a speed faster than c. This is not the case with long distance jumps because the particle does not travel through the distance between departure and destination positions.
We are already seeing evidence of nonspatiality and instant long distance travel in the phenomenon known as quantum tunneling. In certain circumstances, particles are observed going through barriers in ways that defy classical physics. Interestingly, they seem to do so at speeds greater than the speed of light. Of course, according to this author's hypothesis, there is really no faster-than-light movement taking place because the particles never travel through the intervening positions.
What's even more exciting about this is that it opens up the future possibility of visiting other star systems and even other galaxies hundreds of light years away without having to go into stasis during the voyage. Closer to home, long distance jump technologies would revolutionize our way of life by eliminating conventional modes of transportation. Imagine waking up in New York City and having breakfast in Paris or Rome and lunch in Rio de Janeiro! What kind of world would we have?
This form of travel, which should be called quantum transportation, is not to be confused with teleportation. The latter, popularized by the Star-Trek television series, consists of deconstructing individual atoms and reconstructing them at a different location. In quantum transportation, by contrast, the actual body is physically moved from one position to another, almost instantly, regardless of distance jumped.
Is Nonspatiality Too Wild?
I have received several emails from people who agree with most of my arguments against a temporal dimension but consider my ideas on nonspatiality to be as wild and as far fetched as wormholes and time travel. Let me point out that I argue against time travel and the like, not because they look or sound far fetched, but because they are illogical. I find the existence of space just as illogical as the existence of a time dimension.
Most people assume that all particles must have size. Their rationale is that if something could reduce to zero size, it would cease to exist. This is a fallacious reasoning because few people stop to consider that size introduces an infinite regress problem as seen below.
The Nasty Little Truth
If a particle has size, what is it composed of? And if the components have size, what are they composed of? and so on, ad infinitum. The infinite regress forces us to accept the counter-intuitive notion that particles have no size and that size is a macroscopic illusion that arises from the way groups of particles interact. If we stop to think about it, is there a law in nature that requires entities to have a size in order to exist? Such a law would be illogical because it introduces the infinite regress problem as seen above. Note that this argument could just as easily be used to prove the non-existence of space.
Newton's first law states that a body at rest will remain at rest and a body in motion will continue in motion with constant speed in a straight line, as long as no unbalanced force acts on it. Most people assume that Newton's first law means that motion is acausal, that is to say, that bodies stay in motion for no reason at all. They are quick to dismiss Aristotle's conjecture that a body cannot move unless it is caused to move by something else. This assumption is so taken for granted and so universal among physicists and the lay public that it is not even debated. In fact it is mentioned as one of the great insights of Newtonian physics over Aristotelian logic. But is it true? Should we accept without question that particles move for no reason at all, as if by magic? After all, a change in position is an effect in need of a cause just as much as any other effect. If a particle at rest is caused to move in a certain direction, what keeps it moving in the same direction after the initial force is taken away? Can a particle move itself? Can an effect be its own cause? Of course not.
The Nasty Little Truth or Aristotle Redux
It is important to think of motion as a series of quantum jumps whereby the position of a particle continually changes from one discrete value to another. If the particle is set in motion from a rest position, it must make the first jump. Suppose the cause of the initial jump is immediately removed. What causes the particle to take the next jump and the ones after that? My rationale is that every jump is an effect and every effect must have a cause. This is required by the law of causality, the most corroborated law in the history of science.
Obviously a moving particle must have some property or a set of intrinsic properties that represents or is associated with, not only the direction of its motion, but also its magnitude. However, these properties are passive properties, i.e., they merely indicate the velocity/momentum attributes of the particle. By themselves they cannot cause the particle to jump from one position to the next. The nasty little truth is that something else is needed for that. That something else is an interaction with another particle. In a future article, I will explain what an interaction is. For now, suffice it to say that an interaction is an imbalance, i.e., a violation of a conservation principle which must be corrected.
The consequences of causal motion are enormous for the future of physics. Since nothing can change without being caused to change, the motion of any particle can only be sustained by a series of discrete interactions. The interactions cause the particle to jump from one discrete position to an "adjacent" position. It follows that all matter must be moving in an immense sea of wall-to-wall particles! My thesis is that these energetic particles are associated with EM phenomena and form an enormous crystal-like 4-D lattice (more on that in a future article) in which we move. Yes, this means free energy, vehicles that can move and negotiate right-angle turns at prodigious speeds and all that crackpot/sci-fi stuff. One day soon, we will learn how to navigate and manipulate this sea of energy but first, we must deduce its composition, the properties of its constituents and the manner in which they interact with normal matter.
We are all accustomed to believe that everything is made of something. We are taught that matter consists of molecules and that molecules are made of atoms which are themselves made of even smaller components. This line of reasoning makes sense initially but, as seen below, it cannot be sustained.
The Nasty Little Truth
As with size and space, the notion that matter is made of something quickly leads to an infinite regress. If something is made of other things, what are the other things made of? And so on, ad infinitum. We are left with no choice other than to accept the nasty little truth that matter is made of nothing. But how can this be? How can something be made of nothing? What is the logic?
The Yin-Yang Universe
The best way to understand the logic behind an ex-nihilo universe is to use an analogy. Just as zero is the sum of all positive and negative numbers, nothing is the sum of everything positive and negative. It sounds absurd but nothing is, in reality, everything. This means that all properties/things must come in complementary/opposite pairs so as to sum up to nothing. It follows that any imbalance (a non-zero sum) must be corrected so as to conserve nothing. Change/motion is thus nature's way of correcting a violation of the mother of all conservation principles, the conservation of nothing. This law is applied universally, i.e., non-locally. The universe is one, as its name implies.
There are many exciting and surprising consequences to a yin-yang universe, not the least of which is that the universe is discrete and nonlocal. As I will show in the next nasty little truth about physics (coming soon), a discrete universe is necessarily a probabilistic universe. Other surprising aspects of an ex-nihilo universe is that it is necessarily four-dimensional (no more and no less) and there is only one universal speed (nothing moves slower or faster!). More to come...
* I have my doubts about the Planck length being truly fundamental because it was obtained, not from first principles, but through dimensional analysis.
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