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This page is for discussing the contents of PROBLEMS IN STANDARD PHYSICS.


dont enter into this box:

2012-04-15 22:58:44   Thanks, Muneeb. This looks a great contribution to the site. Okay if I rejig it though to get it to fit our general guidelines? Your credit should be rather a citation something like this:


The original version of this page was written by Muneeb Faiq and the text posted here for wider discussion, minor amendment and comment.

- and the page will be open to others to potentially edit? As you know on PI that is not so many people and contributions will all be thoughtful and intended to be constructive. —docmartin

2012-04-16 10:58:56   I dont have any problem. You can put it any way you want. I want my ideas and thoughts heard.l would, however,like the citation the way it is put in my previous contribution Sex and the Origins of Consciousness. I believe that is Ok with the guidelines of PI. Thanks. —MuneebFaiq

2012-04-18 23:17:51   Can we ahve a BOX describing the oil drip expereiment, and do we need the lenghty description of Zeno, as below?

Suppose an object changes its position. Let its initial position be “A” and its final position be “B”. Now in order to undergo motion this object needs to move from “A” to “B”. Let the line joining “AB” be having a midpoint at “C” and “AC” be having midpoint at “D”. Now in order to move from “A” to “B”, the object essentially has to complete the path “AC” which would take it some time to traverse (of course, half of the time taken to complete “AB” in case of uniform motion). If the object has to move from “A” to “B”, it has first to move from ‘A’ to ‘C’. In order to move from ‘A’ to ‘C’, the object necessarily has to complete the path ‘AD’ first. Now in order to complete the path ‘AD’ the object has to complete half of ‘AD’ first. In the same way we can go on dividing the halves after halves and we can in principle divide the path into infinite number of small distances and each distance will take some time and infinite distances will take infinite time and, therefore, one cannot reach from ‘A ’ to ‘B’. It will, according to Zeno paradox, take infinite time for an object to move from one place to another and, therefore, confusingly we have to agree that motion is not allowed, Zeno paradox says that motion is not allowed but practically motion is the most independent phenomenon of the universe.


2012-04-18 23:18:29   This should be given as a reference, not in the text, please —docmartin

2012-04-19 07:34:47   We can, of course, put the required text in a box but I think it can not be erased. It is a definite importance to explian the concept here. Further I will try to prepare a diagram for the Oil Drop Experiment but I dont know how to upload figures on PI site. Thanks —MuneebFaiq

2012-04-19 07:34:52   We can, of course, put the required text in a box but I think it can not be erased. It is a definite importance to explian the concept here. Further I will try to prepare a diagram for the Oil Drop Experiment but I dont know how to upload figures on PI site. Thanks —MuneebFaiq

2012-04-19 19:53:44   Thanks for the editing. You have added life to the essay. I really appreciate your understanding of the subject and art of improving literary quality. —MuneebFaiq

2012-04-21 04:50:11   Link to to new page "Zeno paradox" is a sensible option. But that is to be re-written and is expected to take some time. A new page means an intorduction, base argument, thought anantomy and conclusions. So time is obviously taken in preparing. However, we would together try to get it done. —MuneebFaiq

2012-04-26 15:51:21   Everything takes time! That's why we have this P.I. concept of 'morsels' here! But let's try to get at least one of your ideas polished and finished, heh? Then it can join the not-so-hallowed status of 'featured page'! —NormanNitram

2012-04-28 08:45:53   Agreed! However I still feel that there is a need to modify the current essay in certain respects. I want a few notes on the scope and possibility of the grand unifying theory to be added to it either by me or someone else. That might sound irrelevant but that has to do with the applcability and linearity of the so far discovered laws. Thanks —MuneebFaiq

2012-04-28 22:41:53   That's a good idea, yes,. I think a box... I shall try to write something - but don't need wait for me if you get inspried! (I can always add to what you come up with.) Likely next week - okay? —docmartin

2012-04-29 15:37:11   Great! kindly allow me to wait for the stuff you are thinking to upload. It might give me some direction and open my vision towards untrodden concepts. I will also try to write something myself in the mean time. —MuneebFaiq

2012-04-30 21:43:26   Actually, just came across this... interesting take on the 'Red Shift' which I used to think (!) was 'unchallengeable'

Time Magazine carried this piece on Dec 14, 1936
H/T Joe Olson.

Shift on Shift

The brilliant, whimsical popularizing of Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington has made ”the expanding Universe” almost a household word. But the telescopic observations of a universe which seems to be blowing up like the fragments of an explosive shell have come mainly from Mount Wilson Observatory’s brilliant Astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble. Beginning in 1928, Hubble and his coworker, Milton LaSalle Humason, showed that the light from the most distant nebulae (clouds of stars) which he could photograph in Mount Wilson’s giant telescope was shifted far toward the red end of the spectrum. Such a redshift is observed in the light of a star known to be retreating from Earth, so it was assumed that the distant nebulae were retreating in all directions. On these observations, and on the theoretical expanding universes formulated by de Sitter and Lemaitre before any observations were made, the case for the expanding universe rested.

Sir Arthur has never lost his enthusiasm for this cosmic soap bubble. But the speeds indicated by the amount of redshift, some of which now equal 25,000 miles per second, have made many astronomers doubt. Other causes for the redshift were suggested, such as cosmic dust or a change in the nature of light over great stretches of space. Two years ago Dr. Hubble admitted that the expanding universe might be an illusion, but implied that this was a cautious and colorless view. Last week it was apparent that he had shifted his position even further away from a literal interpretation of the redshift, that he now regards the expanding universe as more improbable than a non-expanding one.

To the National Academy of Sciences Dr. Hubble communicated the results of his most recent survey of the distant nebulae. The distribution of these bodies in space forced him to conclude that a non-expanding universe theory “is more economical and less vulnerable.” If the red-shifts do not really indicate velocity, he wrote, one has a “rather simple and thoroughly consistent picture of a universe in which . . . the large-scale distribution of nebulae is uniform throughout the sample available for inspection.” On the other hand, to assume that the shifts really indicate receding velocity forces one to adopt a very curious model of the universe. “The model is closed and very small—a large fraction can be observed with existing telescopes—and is packed with matter to the very threshold of perception—. The rate of expansion has been slowing down so that the past time scale is remarkably limited. In short, the necessary adjustments and compensations suggest that the model may be a forced interpretation of the data.” In plainer language, this meant that Astronomer Hubble is now willing to abandon the expanding universe to mathematical cosmologists and philosophers, pending a further development of theory, or the erection in 1940 of Caltech’s 200-inch super telescope, which may finally settle the question.

[Quote ends] —docmartin

2012-05-01 03:46:07   "We can’t even imagine both the properties that is wave and particle, simultaneously because it violates the logic and Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle does not allow us to do so. This argument clearly indicates that somewhere in discovering the properties of say an electron, an imprecise logical deduction clearly lies."

Hello Muneeb, impressive and challenging page. Concerning this quote, I'd like to suggest that the de Broglie-Bohm line of thinking reconciles notions, both wave and particle = see Quantum potential. Have you examined this old hypothesis that is coming back into favour? —PerigGouanvic

2012-05-01 10:13:45   Regarding Hubble's observation, I am reminded of one of my ill written articles in 1998 in a local daily newspaper in Srinagar -Kashmir Monitor-. The title was "A Scientist's Intention". It dealt with the problem of how scientists can go wrong while interpreting their data and observations. I tried to make a distinction between "observation" and "reality". My point was to prove that human mind often falls prey to what is the immediate explanation of things and in this disguise may be barred from knowing reality. The said article was highly criticised by the many reputed scientists of my city. Let me give you an example of the 1965 accidental observation about the cosmic (microwave) ray background which was same in all directions. Scientists interpreted it as the afternoise of the big bang and the observation bagged a Nobel Prize. However in a next few billion years, this background will not be there and we will not be able to give a substantial proof of the big bang. What does it mean? It means that if the current civilization would have been born at that time (few billion years from now), we would never predict that there was a big bang. Means that it is the observation now that will lead us to postulate the big bang singularity and if the same reasoning would be applied at few billion years from now, big bang will be like a wrong theory without any rational basis. Hubble's observation of a red shift may or may not be a doppler effect and by the way I have seen no scientist providing an alternative troubleshoot explanation for the redshift Hubble observed using his telescope. Stephen Hawking also has carried the same heritage of traditional explanations in his book "The Theory of everything". Einstein had to add a cosmoligal constant in order to account for the gravitational collapse of the universe because the universe at that time was thought to be stationary (not expanding). Later Einstein himself accepted it as the greatest mistake of hislife. Science that way is becoming an act of faith day by day. As far as I can see stephen Hawking and many others think of the theory of gravity as well as the relativity as the greatest truth that every theory to be developed will have to accept these theories as axioms. I believe mathematics can come to our rescue but it should be handled by both physicists as well as philosophers.

And Yes Perig! I should thank you for the kind note. The suggestion you have put forward is very much valid. Bhom has added many interesting interpretations to observed physics. Toa of Physics, Gamow series, Feynman's Lectures were all (justifiably) a great fashion till two decades earlier. deBroglie wave particle duality seems to be a good explanation but again it is not a reconcillation of the quantum and classical mechanics. What he wants to say is that there is a correlation between wave and particle nature of matter with certain constant called the Plank's constant. He discusses the frequency, wavelength, speed of light and momentum of particle in his equation and that is very beautiful and more a work of philosophy rather than core physics. However his postulates dont seem to be convinsing as he says that nature is symmetrical etc. which again is the same axiom where from he starts without proving its validity. —MuneebFaiq

2012-05-03 11:41:54   Perhaps a paragraph on this aspect Perig raises, and do add a bit on what you mention just - on red shift and background radiation, which fits in with what I quoted just on those 1936 'doubts' about the Big Bang( all interesting aspects too (or a box...)?

Some more skeptical issues are raised here":


Maybe worth a quick look? (It's a good site and interesting to join in. I just added a comment, in fact from 'us' as it were.) —docmartin

2012-05-04 06:33:37   Sure! I would try as soon as I find some quantas of time! —MuneebFaiq

2012-05-09 07:43:11   Hope to see a box on GUT soon! Eagerly waiting for the intellectual pearls by someone. —MuneebFaiq

2012-05-09 20:32:44   Well, you know, thing about Grand Unifying Theories is you have to think a bit. But I am working on it! —docmartin

2012-05-16 10:19:54   Your few words in this regard will help me to orient my thoughts. I am mathematically weak so need a sound theoretical basis of my speculation. However, a little mathematics and basic calculus is OK. Let me wait to see your comments about GUT. I am working very hard on the same and I believe I have started understanding something very much worthwhile which I am sure will add substantially to the current perspectives of world physics on cosmology. Thanks

2012-05-19 23:04:39   I'm still at the 'thinking' stage on the grand unifying theory... kinda slow, but bear with me. Great to know you're still focussed on the task. It's easy to get a bit distracted! —docmartin

2012-05-23 18:27:53   One thing that bother me often is; What does beauty mean in mathematics. Like Paul Dirac- the criteria he puts for any mathematical derivation and equation to be a true description of universe is that it should be beautiful. Einstein seems to believe that any methmatical description of the Universe should be simple. What does the word "simple" mean here? What should a grand unifying theory look like and what is is supposed to do? What is the mathematical proof that there is a GUT? These are some of the questions that my mind in hovering around. Any comment out there!

2012-05-26 23:58:17   Yes, it's a good question, isn't it? Clearly the human mind has some sort of bias towards 'simplicity', so that (in terms of theories) one GUT is better than several others with auxilary axioms, for example, governing applicability.

Do you know the 'Game of Life'? It's a nice example of complexity arising from simplicity


Then, of course, we have the theory of natural selection which claims that the incredibly complex world around us 'could' be governed by just a few simple rules - that the Boeing 747 could be constructed out of scrapyard junk after a tornado hits - to use the metaphor of the creationist doubters.

I read that most equations of the kinds that we learnt how to solve in school, actually don't have solutions - any solutions. The examples we solved were kind of 'odd ones out'. But the effect is to create the impression that we can solve everything and the universe obeys certain simple rules.

I suppose this all leads on to fractals, and our fascination with them. The way that you can 'zoom in' on the images and certain patterns appear, disappear and reappear. Of course, only humans are going to see it - after al, they are not actually repeating at all.

Why is self-similarity interesting to humans? But it is. Here's one of my favorite Escher pictures, printed in 1956 long before fractals were I think invented!

2012-06-01 06:52:14   Yes. That is true. In fact I think physics is now an allien language for those who academically take on to the subject. Neither they themselves nor anyone else understands it because it most of the physics is probably not true but just a cooked fantasy to show the worlr that physicists are performing.

2012-06-01 22:14:35   Yes, that sounds plausible... especially when you looka tht eway the 'models' have taken over from reality in fields like economics, or claimate science, or...

I'm still working on a little page on the Grand Unifying Theory though... it's a piece of the puzzle, isn't it? —docmartin

2012-06-06 09:42:05   Hmmm! You know I have contacted more than a dozen internationally recognized physicists and asked theory what the "M" of the famous M-Theory stands for. Believe me, I got no answer. In fact nobody seems to know what does this M-stand for. Now I have started fantasizing that "M" stand for "Magic", "Muneeb", "Mango" etc. Haha...

2012-06-07 22:34:54   Grat question... sort of 'Emperor's New Clothes\ syndrome, if you know what I mean.

The blogosphere says it stands for 'Membrane or Magic '

But what do they mean, 'or?

I prefer, Muneeb-theory,. Mind you, we have to write it first! —docmartin

2012-06-11 09:46:02   May be Martin-theory also. In either case we have to write it first. However, I am not sure what mathematics should it involve..... I am trying to understand some concepts to peep into what it should look like. —MuneebFaiq

2012-06-11 23:19:50   Mmmm that's good - 'someone should do it', but I'm a mathophobe! —docmartin

2012-06-13 02:37:25   I am myself not a mathophile but I think there is no way to escape mathmematics. Symbolic respresentation of one's understanding has become inevitable. However, I must put a caveat here that most of the mathematics is either more complicated that human reach of understanding or is wrong. Anyway! greviances are not going to help us escape this inescapable realm. Let us see how things take their course. I think I should write a page on the asymmetries in amthematics first. How about that?

2012-06-14 21:47:17   Er... it 'could' be really interesting. How about trying it and see where we get? Personally, I'd be interested if you followed your idea about the aesthetics of maths driving 'the facts'. —docmartin

2012-06-15 11:59:48   This is a quote from the C20 philosopher, Isiah Berlin, talking really about social science and politics. But I thought it also speaks well for what we have been discussing, with the assumption that the Grand Unifying Theories of science must be similarly simple and 'elegant'.

2012-07-04 20:16:39   Congrats! Experimental physicists have fooled the world about the existence and experimental confirmation of a superhyped, mathematical jugglery engineered particle Higg's Boson nicknamed for some odd reasons as God particle when its inference is itself anti-God. They have fooled the world! On 4th july 2012 the spirit of science was betrayed.


2012-12-27 09:52:33   I'm adding a bit more on the red shift 'controversy' now. See redshiftNormanNitram

2013-01-22 06:59:44   Will see .. Thanks —MuneebFaiq

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