See the sibling comment for another version of this argument, but finding the weird mathematical coincidences between the competing mathematical theories of nature is very useful. In other words, there are mathematical and logical tests that can be as important as experimental tests for the progress of our understanding of nature.
It turns out it is the exact opposite: general relativity effects prevail . Thanks for forcing me to check!
> Special Relativity predicts that the on-board atomic clocks [...] should fall behind clocks on the ground by about 7 microseconds per day [...] due to the time dilatation effect of their relative motion.
> Further, the satellites are in orbits [...] where the curvature of spacetime due to the Earth's mass is less than it is at the Earth's surface. A prediction of General Relativity is that clocks closer to a massive object will seem to tick more slowly [...]. A calculation using General Relativity predicts that the clocks in each GPS satellite should get ahead of ground-based clocks by 45 microseconds per day.
> The combination of these two relativitic effects means that the clocks on-board each satellite should tick faster than identical clocks on the ground by about 38 microseconds per day (45-7=38)!
We use scientific models because they are useful not because they are fact. Even if our model does not always match our observations it can still be a useful model in some circumstances. It's very important when talking about science that we understand that it isn't fact. It is a model. It might be a good model. It might be a bad model. It might be a useful model for our application. It might be a poor model for our application. That's it.
When you see a headline that says "X is Y" and it's about a scientific model, what that means is "If our model is consistent with the real world then the model predicts that we should find that X appears to be Y in the real world". But that's a bit too long to put in a headline and you would have to do it for every scientific conversation.
It is extremely unfortunate that on the first day of junior high school when you start doing "proper" science classes that they don't sit people down and explain what a scientific model is. Mostly I think it's because the teachers don't know, because their teachers never taught them.
This is a sincere question, and I care to hear your opinion: do you believe that a reader of phys.org would need more than a glance at the article to know this is a discovery about the mathematics of general relativity, not an engineering breakthrough in the creation of a scifi-like hyperdrive?
That's an overstatement. Measurements are more important than theory. We cannot form theories without measurements, and yes theories inform our measurements, but science always begins and moves forward with measurements.
Double-plus goodthink, comrade!
There are some results around QG, such as holography, which seem to be universal. That is, they make sense with strings, loop quantum gravity or any of about ten other
lines of work that people can do quantum gravity calculations with today.
If you can prove that all of those have to say the same thing, that is a powerful result and probably means something about our world.
It seems pretty reasonable that wormholes could exist so long as they don't form closed-timelike curves, so I think these people are getting at the quantum roots of the "cosmic censorship principle".
"Wormholes" are two entangled black holes that have been subsequently moved light years apart, preserving the entanglement during the move. They are a great mathematical toy for exploring the nature of entanglement.
But that's it. We have trouble preserving the entanglement of just a few ultra cold particles for a few milliseconds. I am far^^^far more likely to fall onto the floor by quantum tunnelling through my chair than a useful wormhole ever appearing. Postulating they actually exist is not in the slightest bit reasonable.
Here is a fantastically interesting article that maybe has some new insight on the nature of spacetime; top comment on HN thread about it is some person loudly and incredibly pretentiously mistaking their own misunderstanding of the intricacies of 'truth' in science (and how there are different levels) for some flaw in the work itself.
You know, the underlying sentiment here is a good one. How do we know what we know, what do our theories really tell us, etc. All excellent questions. But you didn't express that at all, instead you say these things shouldn't be 'touted as discoveries about the real world.'
That's all you man! No theorist ever has wanted people to think this of their work, it slaughters the beautiful intricacies of it and leads to public relations disasters like this.
Don't go misunderstanding shit and then confidently be blaming it on other people man. Rhetoric matters.
The whole "it's just a theory" thing has done so much harm to public understanding and appreciation. It's an impossible starting point for a conversation, if you think "it's just a theory", you're not wrong, as much as entirely missing the point. How do you start with that and get to an understanding that things aren't always absolutely right or wrong, that contexts and assumptions matter, that things can be true in one setting (the math) and uncertain in another (the real world). That for most things what we are more than anything is uncertain. That there are many different kinds of uncertainty.
How are the subtle intricacies of things (that the answer to almost everything starts with "well, that depends...") supposed to survive forums where conversations are heavily selected for ability to grab attention? Not a rhetorical question, if you got ideas I want to hear them.
PS noobermin, I don't mean to be overly-critical of you although it sure sounds like it. I'm using 'you the pronoun'. Just something I think about a lot that you catalyzed me into trying to express...
This, to me, shows a rather sophisticated understanding of scientific truth, namely that we should demand that a scientific theory (as opposed to a mathematical construction) should be falsifiable. AFAIK, there is no question that the mathematics of string theory et. al is sound; the question is whether these theories are physical, and whether they are falsifiable. These are the exact objections the top-level comment makes when referring to "unestablished and untested theories".
From a sibling comment:
> There are some results around QG, such as holography, which seem to be universal. That is, they make sense with strings, loop quantum gravity or any of about ten other lines of work that people can do quantum gravity calculations with today.
> If you can prove that all of those have to say the same thing, that is a powerful result and probably means something about our world.
OTOH, it does matter if you are able to make a statement of the form "Any mathematical construct that accurately describes X must have property Y." It is not clear that quantum gravity (or the linked article) meets this latter standard.
Here are a few premises on which I based my statement (I will pick one particular venue of scientific research, so I will not speak in all generality. You can of course disagree and say that it does not generalize at all, but I think this would be a philosophical discussion, i.e. it does not matter at all that we have different opinions, as both are equally valid ways of pursuing scientific truth):
1. Computational complexity is a science on its own. Computational complexity also makes useful statements about the limits of the physical laws in our universe (a la "extended Church-Turing thesis" or Aaronsons "NP-complete problems and physical reality").
2. NP=P vs NP!=P is a question that has a definite answer within the relm of science but we do not know the answer yet. The answer will constrain what the permitted laws of physics are due to point 1 above.
3. There are a lot of clues that NP!=P coming from very separate disjoint fields of math. Mainly because we already know there are a lot of "phase transition"-like phenomena when we apply approximate algorithms to problems that can be parameterized to be NP-complete only if some ε is larger than some critical value.
4. These "phase transitions" are purely mathematical constructs, but due to the previous points they constrain what is permitted in the universe as strongly as any 5-sigma measurement in a particle accelerator.
To bring this back to the discussion of speculative theories of quantum gravity: if all of the competing theories of quantum gravity (all of them being very speculative and unproven) have a handful universally agreed on predictions (although derived in completely separate ways), this is as strong of a constraint as any 5-sigma measurement in a particle accelerator or cosmological observation.
Or if you permit me to attempt to phrase is it in yet another way: there are a ton of theory assumption behind any 5-sigma (or 10-sigma) experimental measurement. These assumptions are the same ones that inform the purely mathematical constraints. If both the math constraints and the interpretation of an experiment are based on the same assumption, why are you taking the interpretation of the experiment any more seriously than the pure math.
Sorry for the length of this text - I am finishing my dissertation this week (doctorate in physics), so this is very much on my mind at the moment.
The fact that its theoretical is mentioned in the article for anyone that bothered to read past the first few paragraphs. For the rest of us, it just makes for interesting party conversation whether the theory pans out or not (which couldn't be proven by actually transiting a wormhole within any of our lifetimes)
So no harm, no foul -- anything that makes theoretical science interesting in the popular press is a win in my book.
"The new theory was inspired when Jafferis began thinking about two black holes that were entangled on a quantum level, as formulated in the ER=EPR correspondence by Juan Maldacena from the Institute for Advanced Study and Lenny Susskind from Stanford. Although this means the direct connection between the black holes is shorter than the wormhole connection—and therefore the wormhole travel is not a shortcut—the theory gives new insights into quantum mechanics."
Why is the wormhole not a shortcut?
EDIT: Here is the lecture I'm referring to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEDFh8ma9zM
That sounds a lot like how entangled particles can't be used to communicate faster than light.
While you can make observations immediately, you can't turn them into useful information about the other end, at least not until you get missing data which has to reach you by normal means.
Hence the focus on using entangled particles as a kind of tamper-detector or "reusable random one-time pad", rather than for transmitting information.
Two entangled wormhole apertures function as Star Trek style transporter pads. Feed mass into one hole, scanning it as it goes in. Transmit the pattern to another aperture of the hole, using electromagnetic energy at the speed of light, and when that end ejects a mass, apply the pattern to it, so it resolves into an exact copy of what you put in.
The distance the mass travels may be shorter than the distance the energy travels, but it can't resolve exiting mass as that object until the information--that had to travel at the speed of light--arrives.
So you could potentially use a wormhole as a suicide machine that transports a copy of you, that thinks it actually is you, to a distant location no faster than the speed of light, in zero subjective time for the thing that will then think it's you.
Is that a reasonable interpretation?
Edit:Lol, someone else also had this link as a reply to a similar thought.
doesn't our universe expand at the same speed?
At least theoretically we should be able to receive signals from arbitrarily far away no matter the expansion of the universe. They'll be redshifted like hell though, as you say.
Space is dynamical. It can stretch and expand and even break, but it doesn't move. The result of this is a cosmological horizon that prevents these objects from communicating, because the distance between them is growing faster than light can cross it. This is the same reason you can't escape a black hole.
If you speed up, you can finish the race in the same amount of time. Light always finishes the race in the same amount of time from each observer's perspective. It can always speed up because it's massless, but you have mass and there is a limit to how much you can speed up. According to general relativity, an observer outside of the racetrack won't see light change speed, nor will you. But both of you will perceive distortions of space and time to accommodate light's "change in speed" to make it look as if nothing's changed.
Back to the cosmological horizon... We don't see a big jump in the racetrack because the distance between 100m and 200m isn't too massive; likewise, gravity and other forces hold objects together even though space is expanding and pulling them apart.
But there is a certain distance where gravity and other forces can't keep things together. Where that 1000k becomes a 10000k. The pull from one galactic cluster to another is just too weak. Anything past this point is moving away from us. That's why only galaxies close to us aren't redshifting away. But any observer anywhere in the universe would observe that they are at the epicenter of an expansion where everything is moving away from them.
Going there and back again, and telling your pals how things are 1000LY away is likely impossible.
Expanding your civilization to more and more habitable celestial bodies, slowly but relatively surely, is entirely possible. This is how e.g. plants colonize vast spaces, being limited by the speed of their growth often by inches per lifetime. (You should also consider the amount of resources the plats dedicate to it, and their success rate.)
Unlike plants, through the power of electromagnetic communications and a culture based on shared knowledge, humans will know the others exist, even though that interaction will be slow with likely little-to-no-influence on their local evolution.
There would be huge cultural meaning even despite the lack of immediacy. Imagine living in a world where you know that there are other humans like you in space, living on other worlds light-years away. You might not be able to communicate immediately, but you know that they are there, and the universe is not so empty to you. You could look to the night sky and reminisce on your great(*n) grandpronoun whose progeny have built a thriving colony among the stars. Entire institutes would exist dedicated to collating and outlining the historical expansion of mankind among the stars, even if that knowledge takes centuries or millennia to accrue.
Also we can not say those other humans may as well not exist, because there is no telling what each new colony will go on to achieve. Their cultural, scientific and philosophical development independent of the influence of Earth's history and challenged by new environments could yield new perspectives, ways of thinking and practical inventions whose value far outweighs the large delay in communications.
If we're talking galactic scale, then the creatures who ultimately wind up on the other side of the Milky Way two hundred thousand years from now would likely bear only a passing resemblance to the humans who expanded from Earth. However barring a catastrophic event that erases their knowledge of their history, they would owe their existence in their history books to this tiny planet.
Finally, the fear that we are the only planet with human life would be vanquished, so even if we all died from pollution or meteorite, we'd know that somewhere the legacy of our species (and selected companion lifeforms) would continue, which I don't think is useless or meaningless either.
Yes, and as humans are to plants, so our space faring descendents will be to us.
I'd be pretty surprised if the jump between galactic groups is much worse.
Let's say you get to 96% C. You would experience 28% of the journey. Taking into account the the time to speed up and slow down from C, you're looking at over 290k years from the perspective of the passengers.
At 99% C, you would experience over 14% of the journey (About 142k years).
Not so much.
Try this thought experiment. Let's say you had a magic Bussard Ramjet rocket which scoops up energy and reaction mass from space and can accelerate forever. There are no special reference frames. So what happens if the rocket accelerates then shuts off its engine at the point where the "relativistic mass," as measured by an un-accelerated observer, should make the rocket disappear behind an event horizon?
From the POV of people on the rocket, they accelerated, then stopped accelerating. From the observer's POV, the rocket turned into a black hole? One reference frame now seems "privileged" or different somehow. How do we square this with relativity? Also, what happens if the rocket turns around, then decelerates? Wouldn't that constitute them returning from inside of an event horizon?
The answer, is that "relativistic mass" is actually just a pedagogical fiction.
(EDIT: Also, a lot of the redonkulousness in the thought experiment sneakily comes from rockets that can magically accelerate without worrying about where the fuel and energy come from. If you worked out how much fuel and reaction mass would be needed by a real rocket to perform such a feat, you'd get "unphysical" amounts of matter.)
Uh, I think it's the other way around: the energy you pump in becomes additional mass.
Hit pause so the journey takes a fraction of a second, or spend 1000Y in a VR - do whatever you want. I don't see a future where we're this advanced yet still content with our frighteningly fragile bodies.
Uploading a consciousness into a computer and have it remain "you"? That's completely foreign to what we know today. I'm not saying it's categorically impossible; to your point, if a civilization has advanced to the point where the above is ship is feasible, surely they must have picked this up along the way? Maybe, but maybe not. We don't even know if it is possible. But keep a shitload of people alive in space for a long time? Sounds plausible, even if it is enormously difficult.
We don’t even know where to start replacing our bodies. AI? Genetics? Cybernetics?
Add some check processes which periodically restore an old backup and have a conversation to see if the backup agrees to a merge as the moral monitoring system.
"We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far." -- H.P. Lovecraft, 'Call of Cthulhu'
We're just a random species of ape too smart for its own good, only here to ponder the universe at all because an asteroid happened to wipe out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. The universe doesn't owe us anything.
At least we have telescopes and science fiction, though. The dinosaurs didn't have either.
Also, there are theories of FTL:
The last wormhole conversation I had with someone, I imagined a weapon using a short-distance wormhole with the ends opposed 180 degrees, and using a star's own gravity to tear chunks out of it. Everybody dies from massive solar flares.
Of course time travel books, wormhole researchers, and myself all make the same mistake over and over: If you made a wormhole or traveled in time, why do we assume that the frame of reference of the system is our star? Sol is whirling around our galaxy and an alarming rate, and that's moving through the universe at a huge velocity. Why would the hole you're trying to make in space move along with our solar system?
If I traveled back to five minutes ago I'd die in hard vacuum. I'd have just enough time to realize how stupid I am. Similarly, every time I try to use the same wormhole it would be farther from where I am and the other end farther from where I want to be.
The picture of a wormhole as a bell-shaped indentation in a sheet, like the graphic on this article, is an artifact of trying to explain 4-d concepts in 3-d shapes (in 2-d images). For a being in the 2-d sheet, the wormhole is a circularly symmetric spot of weird-shaped space. In real 3-d space, a wormhole is a spherically symmetric spot of weird-shaped space.
You could still drop one end of the hole into the sun... (and I’ve just realized this was a Farscape plot and therefore how the idea got into my head in the first place)
Could you elaborate?
Looking into energy conditions further, they are literally assumed restrictions on the equations because physicists felt some predictions were unphysical.
I’d really like if someone could explain if there’s any justification to what I was responding to beyond “well, because we assumed it should work that way”.
I think it behooves the physics community to be honest which claims are conclusions and which are their assumptions, and the specific reasoning that leads from assumption to conclusion.
I will try to give a better explanation later today! Funny enough, I am off for the section for the QFT2 that Daniel teaches right now, hah. I can also ask him personally questions later in the week.
White holes would be relatively hard to miss, because they must be shining very brightly. One of the current theories suggests that the big bang (or "a big bang") was a white hole: every black hole is a white hole producing a big bang a parallel universe. We've already had ours, and are lucky enough to still register its echo as the CMB.
This piece of math shows that it may still be possible to build a wormhole which isn't shorter than that distance. Obviously that wouldn't be much of a shortcut, but the potential research and (maybe) real-world applications are still impressive.
I was asking about the particular usage of the average null energy condition as justification to rule out wormholes: why isn’t that just begging the question by assuming your conclusion? and how does that particular assumption actually lead to the conclusion there can’t be wormholes?
It’s interesting the downvotes for asking someone to support a scientific claim, and be clear where they’re making assumptions versus reaching empirical conclusions.
1) Assume the mathematical theory is too permissive, and rule out the things you have no reason to exist, and hope to find a more elegant theory (on the controversial metaphysical assumption that simpler/elegant theories are more likely to be correct)
2) Assume that the mathematical theory is pointing you in a direction to search for a new phenomenon, and build things like superconducting supercolliders to search for empirical evidence.
With wormholes, we're a bit stuck in that we are decades to centuries away from empirically testing the theories, so physically the Average Null Energy Condition is moot -- it's fine math to do, as groundwork/scaffolding for future physics, but it doesn't say anything physically until we get empirical evidence for or against it.
Prof. Stephen Hawking has explained the Casimir effect in hist last book 'Brief Answers to the Big Questions' in the chapter talking about Time Travel with Wormholes.
"Imaging that you have two parallel metal plates a short distance apart. The plates act like mirrors for the virtual particles and anti-particles. This means that the region between the plates is a bit like an organ pipe and will only admit light waves of certain resonant frequencies. The result is that there are a slightly different number of vacuum fluctuations or virtual particles between the plates than there are outside them, where vacuum fluctuations can have any wavelength. The difference in number of virtual particles between the plates compared with outside the plates means that they don't exert much pressure on one side of the plates when compared with the other. There is thus a slight force pushing the pates together. This force has been measured experimentally. So, virtual particles actually exist and produce real effects.
Because there are fewer virtual particles or vacuum fluctuations between plates, they have a lower energy density than in the region outside. But the energy density of empty space far away from the plates must be zero. Otherwise it would warp space-time and the universe wouldn't be nearly flat. So the energy density in the region between the plates must be negative"
This makes me wonder, if there is the potential for our beings (or things) be able to be vaporized and then recreated to original form.
If we are just mass and particles, this should be possible?
Your question has philosophical implications beyond just the mechanics, however.
You still need energy, and you still need something to print with (not just the printer, but whatever substrate provides the atoms,) and the process is going to be somewhat inefficient due to thermodynamics. 3D printing a vegetable, likely, would still consume more resources than simply growing one in a garden. Plenty of room there for scarcity.
Even aside from that -- it's unlikely to be practical to scan something down to the smallest level level of matter, because the tools we use to manipulate things can't manipulate things smaller than their own finest details.
So there's a "glass wall" in that you can only replicate things less finely detailed than the replicator. That works fine for macroscopic things (that's why you can buy a 3D printer today), but is implausible for things that we believe to be as finely detailed as our machines.
That depends on what "the pattern" is. You can make an "exact" copy of a digital file, but that's because the semantics of digital data don't depend on the fine details of the physical representation (that's the whole point of going digital). We don't yet know what level of detail of our physical state actually matters. If you take a single atom in your brain and move it somewhere else, does that matter? Probably not. What about ten atoms? Again, probably not. But at some point as the number goes up the answer must change. We don't know where the boundary is, and we don't know how close it is to the theoretical and technological limits of copying. But I don't think we can rule out the possibility of cloning a human brain in principle based on current knowledge.
What I came up with was the idea that the scanning stage doesn't need to gather exact data because it really doesn't matter. You just need to get averages, and then build up a model that matches the statistics... (you don't need to discover the exact energy and momentum of every particle, just measure the temperature)
Basically you get teleporter jpeg compression... good enough to fool you, just don't use it too many times without keeping the raw data:)
On the other hand, if you could run even a simple computer program in such a context, it opens interesting possibilities. In "The Jaunt" they describe some of the periods lasting up to billions of years - imagine you could keep a simple algorithm (say prime factorization) running for that long, without the associated energy costs and get the results instantaneously from your point of view.
BTW, of course people from Orions Arm have put together something similar but actually remotely physically plausible using a concept called "Tipler Oracle":
No information is lost. A copy of it can very well fall into the BH (and it does).
that is only true in one direction though, right?
From the point of view of something further away watching the thing falling in, it takes forever. I think. Time dilation is easy to lose track of.
However, you'd still be spaghetti.
This has always made me wonder that if this is true: "From the point of view of something further away watching the thing falling in, it takes forever." Then how does a black hole increase in mass from the pov of "something further away," as things fall into it? Is it just the light coming from the captured object that gets stopped in time, and the mass does get absorbed increasing the black hole's mass in a more normal time frame?
it feels almost meme like that from an observer’s point of view, a black hole will have a bunch of stuff “stuck” on its horizon. i haven’t ever seen elaborations of how it would actually look though.
Gates disintegrate objects that pass their event horizon, transmit the energy and "pattern" of the object to the exit gate which rebuilds them.
Essentially everyone in that universe that has stepped through a Stargate has "died" and it's their copies currently walking around.
it appears thus, most humans are inconsistent with quantum gravity :D:D