Friday, February 15, 2013

moar science

this is a tiny bit more advanced than previous posts. but only slightly. and it's something that someone pointed out to me today so i'll just do an overview of the idea. an idea rooted in special relativity. it's quite a good name for the type of relativity, as it's general relativity's special brother. (more basic and often wrong).

the idea of relativity is that time is also relative. so you're familiar with the concept that different people are in different locations, and no one location is more correct than another. thus you can choose any location to be the origin (to borrow the maths term). relativity says that time is also relative. this goes against our everyday understanding that time is the same for everyone. so a simultaneous event, in relativity, is no longer the same as our common experience of it. different things can happen at different times for different people. a feature that does get retained is cause and effect, where the effect is always seen after the cause.

that's off to a slight tangent. i want to write about the effect that time is in some ways like another dimension of space. so if you got rid of one space dimension and replaced it with a time dimension you could then picture a 3 dimensional image where one dimension is time.

this analogy is even simpler where you think of a 2 dimensional space. like a square. if you travel across a 1 mile square at 1 mile an hour along the line from the bottom left corner to the bottom right corner it will take one hour. if you went spent an hour travelling aiming along the diagonal you wouldn't reach it because you have further to travel in the same amount of time.
now, imagine that the bottom line represents time and the vertical represents space. so in the first example you travel no distance in space and one hour in time. in the second you travel some amount in time, and less amount in space. ie you have a set amount of travel and it's shared between space and time.

so then, you take it to the extreme so you travel the full distance in space and not at all in time. but is this possible? the answer is yes, if you have no mass and travel at the speed of light. not possible for humans, but something which particles of light (photons) do. these travel at the speed of light and so do not travel in time. they literally never age. when a photon is created in a light bulb, as far as it is concerned, when it reaches your eye and is absorbed, no time occurred between those two events. crazy.

there are many many weird things about this i do not understand or comprehend, yet there's only one more thing i want to share which amazed me.

almost all particles have a 'half life'. This is just like radioactive particles which decay over time. some particles have very short lifetimes and decay in fractions of a second.
it is conceivable that the photon also has a minuscule half life but will not have had a chance to decay since it doesn't travel through time. what would happen if there was a glitch in the matrix so that photons experienced a brief moment of time, long enough to decay? all the photons would be gone and you'd have to wait for new ones to be created. in the mean time, they stars would be invisible. the sun would be gone for 8 minutes. and loads of other weird things i haven't yet contemplated.

ps weight up to 79kg. 1kg from target! still thin though. may have to target 82kg instead.

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