Anti-electric universe

March 28, 2019

The Elegant Universe Part Deux

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidlpf @ 5:53 pm



Now let us talk about particles. There are three families of fermion particles of four particles each family contains a neutrino, two quarks and an electron or variant of the electron. A quark is a subatomic particle there are 6 quark particles called up, down, strange, charm, top and bottom. Since quarks were discovered after the electron and the proton and whole charges were assigned on a first come first serve basis quarks are give partial charges of -1/3 and 2/3. Quarks are what make protons and neutrons 3 quarks in each of them, for the proton it has two up and one down an up with a charge of 2/3 and a down has a -1/3. a neutron is two down and an up. The quarks are held together by the strong force particles called gluons, they come in what is referred as colors (not really colors but just a name) of red, green and blue. Another particle in each family is a flavor of a neutrino, a neutrino can be so small as be mass less (I wish that worked for me) but the other two versions might have mass these two are called Tau neutrino and muon neutrino. There is a flavor of the electron in each family the election the Tau and the muon. Soon after the electron was discovered it was found to have magnetic properties and thru Maxwell equations a moving electric charge has a magnetic field, for the electron to have the magnetic properties it must be spinning always, this quality was called spin. Most particles have a spin, the force carrying bosons have a spin of multiple hole numbers like 0,1,2, the fermions have a spin of multiples of 1/2. Along with all the normal matter particles there are the antiparticles which have the same mass and spin but there charge is the opposite so an electron anti-particle is the positron. When particles and anti-particles come into contact they eliminate each other completely just producing energy. Plus there is what is called supersymmetry which gives more particles the election partner in that theory is called the selectron.


String theory came about during the 60’s a physicist in Switzerland was trying to figure out the strong force. He applied a certain math function to it and it starting giving results that matched the results but over time more experiments showed some flaws in the theory and it was put on the shelf for a while. But in the equations eventually showed that there was a mass less spin 0 particle that matched what was expected for the graviton. So in the ’80s a new wave of research came about.


But what is String Theory. Imagine all the particles in the universe are tiny strings like a guitar or piano strings. Some strings vibrate with a high frequency and others are much lower and if you change the frequency you can change the particle from a photon to an electron or a quark. At present we can not do this because the energy required to do so is so much more then what we came produce.The first strings only included the bosons but for it to work as a theory the fermions had to included and after that they were referred as superstrings. Soon after relativity came out Kaluza and Klein thought that the three spatial dimensions weren’t enough so the came up with another dimension. This dimension is actual about a Planck length or about 10-42 m is a loop or cylinder. After a while string theorists came up with more dimensions up to 5 other dimensions to get the vibrations to represent the different properties of the particles. Eventually another dimension came out of the maths as one the dimensions turned into two dimensions like a string turning into a band. The shape that comes out of these dimensions remind of phrase from Doctor Who, Timey wimey, wibbley wobbley. The strings if they are loops and not open ended strings they can wind around the dimensions. At the moment there are 6 different versions of string theory that have been discovered, if you include a version called supergravity.


At the moment there is no real way of testing these theories to see if they are actually a scientific theory. There is one way we can test whether one theory is valid and that is Hawking Radiation. In the near vacuum of space pairs of particles come in and out of existence all the time, these are called virtual particles. If this happens near the event horizon of black hole one of the particles may go into the black hole and they other one escapes off into deep space. If there are more of these interactions it means that energy binding these particles together is lower then if there were fewer of these interactions would give a clue to which theory is correct.


What does this to everyday life, nothing much at least for now. It might be able to solve some of the questions that bug physicists and astrophysicists. One might be is explaining what is going inside a black hole because might be warped in the membrane of space time and isolates from the universe. Also another it might solve is stuff like entanglement. Particles seem to have a partner that if the spin is said to be up another will be down and if the first particle has a spin of down the other changes to be up, no matter how far about they are . String theory might come up with a particle that could transmit this information across the cosmos thru these tiny dimensions. Math is a tool that is used to express all this, the math I know are like the tools to build rough objects and the math the string theorists us are the tools to make fine furniture. There was a TV series that is based off of this book and was very good and cane still be found online and I if you are interested in this subject both the book and show are recommended.


March 18, 2019

From The Earth To The Moon

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidlpf @ 11:25 pm

From The Earth To The Moon

Let’s begin from the beginning:

This speech started the decade long race to the moon between the Americans and the Soviet Union. The series deals with the American program which started with the Mercury program, then Gemini and finally Apollo. This series was produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg after they made Apollo 13 which was about the failed mission to the moon but a successful return of three astronauts. They also did a similar thing after Saving Private Ryan came out with Band of Brothers, both really recommended. The set that I have is 5 DVD set, the first 4 have 3 episodes each and the final one is a special features DVD including a behind the scenes feature. In the feature there are interviews of the technical experts, Dave Scott, Gemini and Apollo astronaut, Jim Lovell Gemini and Apollo astronaut, been in space 4 times, twice to orbit the moon (I think there some frequent flyer programs that were glad they weren’t around then,) and Gunter Wendt Launch Pad leader during the Apollo program. Plus Tom Hanks is some what of an expert because he has built things like the back packs that the astronauts used. Also a lot of the props in the series were the actual things used during the space race. The simulators, control panels and manuals were the ones used by the astronauts. The detail in the modules were so exact that the astronauts remembered them in the same spot as when they were doing it 50 years ago. Also the actors contacted the astronauts they portrayed often and there was a story that one astronaut asked the actor over so dinner the first time that episode aired.


During the interviews you hear several stories about where some of the actors were during the landing like Bryan Cranston who was in store by a bank of TV’s at the time saw everyone stop everything thing they were doing at the time. Or Gunter saying he thought about being stow-away in one of the missions and saying, “What are they going to do when get back fire you.” Their are the actors telling of stories of how they tried to be astronauts, like Cranston saying he jump off the roof of his house with a parachute. Or another actor who as a kid built a cardboard rocketship and slide it down the staircase of his house (I would imagine a lot stuff like this going in the ’70’s). Dave Foley who plays Alan Bean, says he saw as not only just the Americans but humans as a species going to the moon.


The rest of disk 5 has the trailers for the TV series, the above speech and several things like a history of the moon, the astronauts and a few other features.


It has been 47 years since there has been a human on the moon but it looks like there a new race to the moon. The new race is between the Americans (with the Canadians and other partners), the Chinese, the Indians and maybe the forming space agency in Africa. Maybe this is what we need to drive interest in going to space is some competition. Hopefully this will be a friendly competition to the Moon and to the rest of space, there is plenty of it out there, I hear new space is being created each day.


March 7, 2019

The Elegant Universe

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidlpf @ 3:45 am

By Brian Greene

(This a partial write-up on the book so far hopefully have the full review by early next week. I’ve really better back on schedule. )

The book is about why and string theory came about. The why is there was a conflict between relativity and quantum mechanics, well the two theories of relativity special and general relativity. Special relativity deals with things as their velocity approaches the light. Imagine that in a totally dark region of space there is you and an object in the far distance, like a cube. Now one you is suddenly travelling toward each other at a constant velocity. Now since you don’t have any reference points to compare your motion to. As you pass each other you notice that the length of the cube has shrink and from the cube point of view you have shrink in direction of motion. Now to measure the amount of time has passed you make a simple clock. You have two mirrors with the reflecting surfaces facing each other and you drill a hole for a laser and a receiver. You shine the laser and one trip from the laser to the other mirror you make that equal to one unit of time. Now when are travelling near the speed of light with the clock travelling with you. You notice instead of going straight up and down the light beam is travelling at an angle and the distance it takes is longer so it each unit of time is longer so the amount of time that passes by is slower. Also as a consequence of this the amount of energy it takes to accelerate things closer to the speed of light gets exponentially higher to the point near the speed of light where there is not enough energy in universe to accelerate the object.

General relativity came about because Einstein who came up with special relativity realized that when an object came into the the influence of a larger objects gravitational field the force would have to travel faster than the speed of light. He realized the fabric of the universe was a four dimensional grid consisting of three spatial dimensions and time. A simplistic way to think about it is to stretch out a rubber sheet of garbage bag out. Now you place something like a bowling ball or a basketball in the center and then roll a smaller object onto the sheet and it will eventually follow a path into the larger object. Now in real life the shape that the objects make is much more complicated because it is in for dimensions and also the smaller object if it has enough velocity it will orbit around the larger object.

Quantum mechanics deals with things on the very small scales and the motions are more based on probability than how things work in macroscopic we are use to. Quantum mechanics actually describes 3 out 4 forces in nature these are electromagnetic, weak and strong force. These forces have particle that transmit the force between particles. The photon or light particle has no mass and transmits the electromagnetic force. The weak force and transmitted by the gauge bosons and they have a mass, this keeps the atoms together. Finally there is the strong force which keeps particles called quarks together using particles called gluons.

One thing that started the journey into the quantum world was black body radiation. A black body is a perfect absorber and emitter of radiation. One example I am very use to is an old fashioned wood fuelled kitchen stove. In the firebox portion of the stove you start and build a fire, the metal shell of the stove absorbs the radiation on the inside of the stove and emits the radiation in the form of heat into the room. In most of these stoves you have an oven which is an empty space that is closed off and if take out all the air in the oven the only way energy is transmitted is by radiative heating. When physicist originally did the calculation on the system there would be an infinite amount of energy in the system. They eventually found that no matter the wavelength they all had the same amount of energy. Max Planck made a guess that the energy came in clumps. If the wavelength of a wave had little energy in each wave then there were more waves then waves with more energy. If the wave had to much energy than that wave was not in the system. In space objects like asteroids, comets, planets and moons absorb radiation form the nearby star and emits it back into space.

Another experiment that led to the discovery of quantum mechanics was the photoelectric effect. If you set up an simple circuit with a lamp hooked to a battery and on one wire to the lamp you cut the circuit and attach part of the wire to each plate and place the plates facing each other. No you shine a light with a filter on it, so you only get on wavelength like red coming out, you notice the light bulb does not come on, you try different filters until you get the light bulb to shine. It did not matter how bright the light shinning on the plate it only depended on the wavelength. Why is it certain only wavelengths turned on the bulb. Einstein figured that you needed a certain amount of energy to allow an electron to leave the plate and it was dependent on the wavelength of the light.

A third experiment that started to shine a light on the quantum realm was Youngs double slit experiment. You just need a light source, a screen with at least two slots in it that you block the slots and a detector (a wall can be used). You set up the experiment with the light source one side of the screen and the detector on the other. First you open one slot and shine the light and you notice a band of light in front where the slot was on the screen. Then you close the slot and open the other and you notice something similar on the other side. Then you open both slots and notice there are more than two bands. What is interesting is if can just send pulses of light you notice spots on the detector than you see a pattern starting to appear, it is the same as you let in all the light in at once. So there was no way to predict exactly where each particle would fall at each moment.

The conflict arose you have quantum mechanics that seems to work on small particles with discrete amount of energy that you couldn’t really predict with certainly where they would go but you could predict within a certain probability of where they would land. On the other hand you had large objects that seem to attract each other depending how much they warped spacetime.

(sorry that is all for now.)

Blog at