Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Successful Grub Measures itself by its Knowledge

Random thoughts on reading Entanglement. This is a nice light introduction to the history of science. Last year I also enjoyed the Quark and the Jaguar. From Entanglement I gathered these 'facts'

  1. Light is a key concept - even the beginning of Torah expresses this accurately.
  2. Aristotle thought the sun was a perfect circle (O well - shows that science isn't always perfect.)
  3. Eratosthenes of Cyrene measured the circumference of the earth based on the angle of the sun at Aswan and Alexandria. And he got a good result c 25000 miles.
  4. Magnifying glasses are as old as 1000 BCE.
  5. Seneca knew about prisms.
  6. Galileo made the first successful attempt at measuring the speed of light. (Remember Aquinas thought that light was instantaneous. And it is of course, but it also measures time - so instantaneous doesn't mean much.)
  7. Descartes 'invented' the ether.
  8. Huygens and Hooke proposed light as wave but Newton said it was a particle.
It struck me that the canon was important in the formation of science. Thomas Young for instance had his early training in Scripture. He was the originator of the split beam experiment and RGB theory in the eye's receptors. He also was among the first to translate hieroglyphics.

The work of John Bell in clarifying the Einstein Podolsky Rosen paper was very well presented. His reductio ad absurdam that 1 = -1 is the conclusion that must happen if the assumption of locality is accepted. This is a fascinating stimulus to thinking about the imaginary idea of having less than nothing.

The conclusion that two entangled particles are not two but are 'really' one and the same particle in two places at once suggests to me that entanglement transcends time and space. Just as a two dimensional creature in time while studying the science of the very small might have to postulate a third spatial dimension, it seems to me that we creatures of 3 dimensions while studying the very small and the very large need to recognize that we don't know what we can't know (this is noted in Torah also - somewhere in that 5th book of Moses) and we must postulate a fourth space dimension.

Doug's marvelous celestial kiss posted yesterday led me to this article on dark energy, another fascinating option on a hidden power that holds up the universe.

Theory and explanation are only a part of life.To really know, you must also be known. Then the grub will measure success differently. Perhaps this is how we search for the author behind the words. And it may begin to approach the refining of some of Julia's questions today.

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