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(Wired)   Today's word of the day: amplituhedron   (wired.com) divider line 82
    More: Cool, quantum systems, gluons, learning, quantum field theory, virtual particles, quantum gravity, higher dimensions, Richard Feynman  
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8475 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Dec 2013 at 1:50 PM (30 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-12 04:26:28 PM

BafflerMeal: [assets1.ignimgs.com image 850x478]


They brought back the original costume:
i.imgur.com
 
2013-12-12 04:28:50 PM

asmodeus224: So then...this guy had it right?

[www.timecube.com image 528x359]


"What cube?"

Where's my check?
 
2013-12-12 04:29:30 PM

BafflerMeal: Aliens:  Wow!  Look at you guys.  You've really come a long way.  How did you do it?

Us: Well, we derived a mathematical model of the universe.

Aliens:  Oh.  Math.  We tried that.  Turns out it's ultimately a dead end.


Isn't that pretty much what happened on an episode of SG-1 when they met a more advanced civilization?  I think Carter explained quantum physics and the 'alien' just chuckled and replied "Ah yes...I remember when we went down that dead end."
 
2013-12-12 04:30:22 PM
Does anyone have a link to the English-language version of that article?
 
2013-12-12 04:31:05 PM
Still won't connect with Gravity.
There's a reason...
 
2013-12-12 04:35:30 PM

Gone to Plaid: BafflerMeal: Aliens:  Wow!  Look at you guys.  You've really come a long way.  How did you do it?

Us: Well, we derived a mathematical model of the universe.

Aliens:  Oh.  Math.  We tried that.  Turns out it's ultimately a dead end.

Isn't that pretty much what happened on an episode of SG-1 when they met a more advanced civilization?  I think Carter explained quantum physics and the 'alien' just chuckled and replied "Ah yes...I remember when we went down that dead end."



No idea.  Got it from a book a physicist wrote.  Basically talking about how ultimately everything we do even down to things like f=ma are basically just mathematical descriptions of what we understand today and that ultimately a lot of these 'things' we talk about as 'forces' are just the mental model we use for repeatability and understanding.  It could all be turned over tomorrow if someone came up with a better model, since that's all it is really, a model.
 
2013-12-12 04:35:30 PM
So...... is this a breakthrough that I should wish I was fully able to understand or should it be dismissed as witchcraft of some kind?
 
2013-12-12 04:38:49 PM

Marcus Aurelius: nmrsnr: I'm cautiously optimistic that this thing will actually lead to new ways of thinking about/understanding/teaching particle physics, similar to how Feynman diagrams simplified and made abstract concepts more concrete.

Theoretical physicists are more conservative and resistant to change than any known force in the universe.


Except Tea Bagger physicists. Wait, Tea Baggers don't believe in physics. Because Jesus. nevermind.
 
2013-12-12 04:42:31 PM

Danger Avoid Death: Marcus Aurelius: nmrsnr: I'm cautiously optimistic that this thing will actually lead to new ways of thinking about/understanding/teaching particle physics, similar to how Feynman diagrams simplified and made abstract concepts more concrete.

Theoretical physicists are more conservative and resistant to change than any known force in the universe.

Except Tea Bagger physicists. Wait, Tea Baggers don't believe in physics. Because Jesus. nevermind.



To be fair, Schrodinger's Jesus is a complicated thought experiment for most people.
 
2013-12-12 04:49:38 PM
I have no idea what I just read.  But it seems interesting.
 
2013-12-12 04:59:10 PM

BafflerMeal: Danger Avoid Death: Marcus Aurelius: nmrsnr: I'm cautiously optimistic that this thing will actually lead to new ways of thinking about/understanding/teaching particle physics, similar to how Feynman diagrams simplified and made abstract concepts more concrete.

Theoretical physicists are more conservative and resistant to change than any known force in the universe.

Except Tea Bagger physicists. Wait, Tea Baggers don't believe in physics. Because Jesus. nevermind.


To be fair, Schrodinger's Jesus is a complicated thought experiment for most people.


I just don't have time for Schrodinger's Jesus. I have to find the umlauts.
 
2013-12-12 05:18:46 PM

chumboobler: I am still in the anti "time" camp. I think it should be decay of solvency. Time is a fictional thing that man made up to track things.


Time is an illusion.  Lunchtime doubly so.
 
2013-12-12 05:23:05 PM

ciberido: chumboobler: I am still in the anti "time" camp. I think it should be decay of solvency. Time is a fictional thing that man made up to track things.

Time is an illusion.  Lunchtime doubly so.


The only time is party time, are we clear?
 
2013-12-12 06:12:59 PM

BafflerMeal: ciberido: chumboobler: I am still in the anti "time" camp. I think it should be decay of solvency. Time is a fictional thing that man made up to track things.

Time is an illusion.  Lunchtime doubly so.

The only time is party time, are we clear?


And you've to fight for your right to party.
 
2013-12-12 06:19:02 PM
This is pants-on-head backwards.   This dude doodled a curve and then said he reversed engineered calculus.  Uh huh.
 
2013-12-12 06:28:06 PM
Beautiful
 
2013-12-12 07:22:50 PM
Look, I don't know about you guys, but I read that article twice, and I don't understand it, therefore my human default is to burn the heretic/witch/alien being. I'm a bit busy at the moment, but I have a couple hours next Wednesday after lunch.

WHO'S WITH ME?!
 
2013-12-12 07:25:05 PM

TheWhoppah: This is pants-on-head backwards. This dude doodled a curve and then said he reversed engineered calculus. Uh huh.


He did something far more profound.

keithgabryelski: didn't some surfer physics guy have a similar idea a couple/few years ago?



No, his idea involved a symmetry group and basically writing out physics using that symmetry group. That is a massive gross oversimplification of what was going on but it was an entirely different approach.

Marcus Aurelius: Theoretical physicists are more conservative and resistant to change than any known force in the universe.


www.superscholar.org

Questions your underlying assumption and will have a 20 page demonstration of how it doesn't work ready by lunch tomorrow.
 
2013-12-12 07:27:23 PM

GanjSmokr: So...... is this a breakthrough that I should wish I was fully able to understand or should it be dismissed as witchcraft of some kind?


If the math holds up, it's a pretty huge big deal.
 
2013-12-12 07:47:37 PM
This is awesome, and has some very interesting implications for both our understanding of, and practical ability to work with, fundamental physics.


Iknhaton: nmrsnr: I'm cautiously optimistic that this thing will actually lead to new ways of thinking about/understanding/teaching particle physics, similar to how Feynman diagrams simplified and made abstract concepts more concrete.

Oh yeah.  Feynman Diagrams really cleared things up for me.


Lol.  As brutal as it is to do any practical work with Feynman Diagrams, I'm not sure we had a better method of understanding -- much less working with -- the interactions of fundamental particles before they existed.  That said, having already explored the tiniest tip of the QCD iceburg in a High Energy class... The idea that a comparatively simple geometric way to analyze those interactions might make Feynman Diagrams (and the exponentially huge pile of gigantic equations that go with them) obsolete is incredibly exciting.


chumboobler: If we give up time as an absolute, we will progress. It varies greatly depending on what and where you are.


Dude, that's old news -- Einstein-era physics.  We've known for ages that time is flexible and non-absolute, and have already mathematically quantified the implications of it.  Except for inside black holes that is.  That shiat is weird.
 
2013-12-12 07:50:00 PM
Has anybody asked Ben Stein about this?  Because it can't be true if Ben Stein doesn't understand it.
 
2013-12-12 07:53:10 PM

WhyteRaven74: GanjSmokr: So...... is this a breakthrough that I should wish I was fully able to understand or should it be dismissed as witchcraft of some kind?

If the math holds up, it's a pretty huge big deal.


Agreed.  This isn't just a useful mathematical method for doing old calculations more quickly (which would still be very cool), this is a brand-farking-new understanding of some very fundamental principles of physics.  My first thought was that circumventing locality is a big wide road to an explanation for entanglement, which is some pretty mysterious shiat at this point.
 
2013-12-12 08:36:42 PM

Gawdzila: which is some pretty mysterious shiat at this point.


Yep. Nothing like being able to observe something and having fark all idea just how it really works. What interests me the most is that they've managed to get it to where apparently the proper terms just come out of working with it. At least that's what it seems like it does, not sure I'm ready it all right though.
 
2013-12-12 09:12:16 PM
But how can you tell if the other guy is having more fun than you?
 
2013-12-12 09:58:15 PM
Iknhaton:Oh yeah.  Feynman Diagrams really cleared things up for me.

You're being sarcastic, but the fact that there's something close to a standardized diagrammatic notation for energy-level and particle interactions at all is the only reason a lot of non-physicists make it through enough of the lower-level classes and have the vaguest idea what anyone's talking about.

I mean, I had to look up what a Feynman diagram is because only physics nerds call them that (and because I'm a chemist and we've been using something similar just as long to simplify orbital mechanics) but from what Wikipedia tells me they encompass you're looking at a teaching tool that's almost up there with Lewis dots/ochem skeletons as far as undergrad-teachin' power goes.

// the geometry described... or rather, annoyingly  not actually described in TFA is a calculating tool, probably not a physical description.  Since a lot of science at that scale runs on iterative models, lowering the calculating power of a few steps in the calculation can save you orders of magnitude on time.
 
2013-12-12 10:58:38 PM
"I'm not joking, and don't call me Shirley." - Richard Feynman
 
2013-12-13 05:48:29 AM

Ambitwistor: syrynxx: I thought there was someone who had a geometrical solution to the particle model long ago.  It doesn't mean this is a bad thing; I'd rather see a good idea rehashed every six months.  Like the Eightfold Path, the Standard Model has models slapped on to it, but nobody knows why.  Experimental physicists care about 'how' before 'why', and I never did like the concept of 'renormalizing infinities'.  "Oh, the math says this integral goes to infinity.  But we know the probability can't be more than 100% so we'll just spackle over the holes in the mathematics."

Renormalization is less weird when viewed from a modern context (see Anthony Zee's text for a good intro).  Basically, introducing a cutoff into the theory isn't some ad-hoc procedure merely to remove infinities.  It's an acknowledgment that the theory will break down at high energies.  But then you remove the cutoff to recover precisely the physics that doesn't depend on high-energy details, i.e. the part that's useful in practice, in the absence of a better theory.  From this perspective, renormalization is actually expected, not a kludge, and it points the way to theories (precisely the renormalizable ones) that are useful approximations.


It's a kludge. If we persist in being lenient and saying "it's sort of right because its close enough to be useful" then we'll never make any progress. And that means better physics (which will be EVEN MORE useful) will never be discovered.
 
2013-12-13 06:28:31 AM

BafflerMeal: Gone to Plaid: BafflerMeal: Aliens:  Wow!  Look at you guys.  You've really come a long way.  How did you do it?

Us: Well, we derived a mathematical model of the universe.

Aliens:  Oh.  Math.  We tried that.  Turns out it's ultimately a dead end.

Isn't that pretty much what happened on an episode of SG-1 when they met a more advanced civilization?  I think Carter explained quantum physics and the 'alien' just chuckled and replied "Ah yes...I remember when we went down that dead end."


No idea.  Got it from a book a physicist wrote.  Basically talking about how ultimately everything we do even down to things like f=ma are basically just mathematical descriptions of what we understand today and that ultimately a lot of these 'things' we talk about as 'forces' are just the mental model we use for repeatability and understanding.  It could all be turned over tomorrow if someone came up with a better model, since that's all it is really, a model.


There's a little gag in one of David Brin's Uplift novels about an engineer who is considered to be superstitious because he believes in math.  Computer simulations were the "real" way to understand the universe.
 
2013-12-13 10:20:21 AM

Marcus Aurelius: nmrsnr: I'm cautiously optimistic that this thing will actually lead to new ways of thinking about/understanding/teaching particle physics, similar to how Feynman diagrams simplified and made abstract concepts more concrete.

Theoretical physicists are more conservative and resistant to change than any known force in the universe.


I think  Richard Feynman might be considered a counterexample.
 
2013-12-13 10:54:29 AM

Gawdzila: WhyteRaven74: GanjSmokr: So...... is this a breakthrough that I should wish I was fully able to understand or should it be dismissed as witchcraft of some kind?

If the math holds up, it's a pretty huge big deal.

Agreed.  This isn't just a useful mathematical method for doing old calculations more quickly (which would still be very cool), this is a brand-farking-new understanding of some very fundamental principles of physics.  My first thought was that circumventing locality is a big wide road to an explanation for entanglement, which is some pretty mysterious shiat at this point.


What'sreally fascinating is the picture that emerges if you consider TFA's conclusions (I like the original article at Quanta better; also, here are Trnka's original slides), along with the new evidence that time is an emergent phenomenon, and the new additional evidence of a holographic universe.
 
2013-12-13 01:20:36 PM
Reading that article kinda makes me sad I went out into the real world to make money rather than entering academia.

/I buy them beers now instead, poor farkers
 
2013-12-13 01:58:04 PM

Iknhaton: nmrsnr: I'm cautiously optimistic that this thing will actually lead to new ways of thinking about/understanding/teaching particle physics, similar to how Feynman diagrams simplified and made abstract concepts more concrete.

Oh yeah.  Feynman Diagrams really cleared things up for me.


Well, they certainly cleared things up for people who previously had to know which path integrals to do for a given interaction just based on a page of calculations.
 
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