Rebel Physics

Peter J. Carroll

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  • Unknown knowns

    The three Mandragora Autumnalis roots awoke around Samhain as usual to produce green shoots, so now after their repotting they reside on a window ledge soaking up the faint autumn sunshine. Perhaps the largest one will flower and produce some seeds this year; they certainly seem to take their time about it.

    We serious British pagans don’t do Halloween, that awful American tradition of teaching children to extort with menaces and mock at Death. We do Samhain respectfully on the closest Sunday evening.

    Bonfire night passed with a splendid conflagration which did not include an effigy of the Pope this year, as for the first time in centuries we seem to have a decent bloke in the post.

    Meanwhile a life size statue of Hercules takes shape in the garage using the old clothing mannequin and Jemsonite trick. He will eventually stand with Flora, the pair flanking an old rustic doorway in the walled garden. He will have a spade and a chainsaw as a modern touch. Pic to follow eventually.


    And now to some “Unknown Knowns”. Stuff we don't realise that we already know. This Apophenic concept takes its inspiration from the missing part of Rumsfeld’s Theory of Known knowns, Known unknowns, and Unknown unknowns. (His excuse for the screw up in Iraq.)

    We probably already have more than enough of data and theories from which we could distil a much more accurate and useful description of the universe. However the trick lies in intuiting what to select from it all, and how to interpret the bits which apparently don’t fit in a way that they might.

    Why do this? Why write The Octavo? What the heck has magic and esoterics got to do with cosmology and quantum physics?

    Perhaps everything: - The Natural Philosophers and Wizards of old did not shy away from science in terror of the mathematics, rather in pursuit of a philosophy of nature in its entirety they sought to leave nothing out. Hermes Trismegistus (who may have consisted of a committee), John Dee, Giordano Bruno, Paracelsus, Isaac Newton and all the rest of them, took a keen interest in the workings of the material world and only the most myopic of contemporary quantum and cosmological physicists fail to muse and speculate upon the metaphysical implications of their disciplines.

    A Speculation: - Hypersphere Cosmology depends on spacetime curvature. The hypothesis of Three Dimensional Time depends on torsion (spin). Einstein-Cartan theory includes both curvature and torsion. EC theory remains unfalsified and in play, though few theorists reference it today, except perhaps to remove the nonsensical spacetime singularities that arise in the conventional big bang theory and in the black holes that straight general relativity predicts. Instead EC theory proposes that mater particles have a minimum size rather than a point like nature and that they resist compression beyond this, so instead of a big bang singularity we may have a universe which bounces back and forth between a very small and a rather large size, yet the theory does not usually get used to eliminate ‘ordinary’ black holes, although it does eliminate possible pesky little black holes of less than 1016kg, the mass of a substantial asteroid.

    In EC theory, particles have a spin or torsion component which gives them a minimum spatial displacement, the Cartan Length lCA.

    Where lCA3 = Gh2/mc4 where h = Planck’s constant.

    Interestingly, we can decompose the Cartan ‘volume’ lCA3 above into: -

    Cartan volume = Planck area (Gh/c3) x Compton length (h/mc)

    And/or/or possibly both…….

    Cartan volume = Compton area (h/mc)2 x Hypersphere length (Gm/c2)

    (Note that hypersphere length lH differs from hypersphere external radius r,( lH = pi r)

    These components may in some way correspond to the wave/particle duality and can confirm that particles do indeed have some kind of hypersphere properties.


    Another Speculation: - Hypersphere Cosmology seems capable of explaining quite a lot of the structure and behaviour of the universe using rather different assumptions and interpretations of the data than the popular standard Lambda Cold Dark Matter Big bang theory uses. Both approaches still have their problems and require further modifications before we can tell which seems the least wrong.

    Hypersphere Cosmology has taken flak over the issues of Metallicity and Black Hole build-up.

    Basically cosmologists refer to all the chemical elements heavier than hydrogen (and sometimes helium as well) as ‘metals’ as most of them have metallic qualities. These elements get formed in stars by nuclear fusion (although according to BB theory a lot of the helium got made at the BB.) Now if stars continually fuse hydrogen to heavier elements and no mechanism to break those heavier elements back down exists, then the Perfect Cosmological Principle implied by a finite and unbounded universe hyperspherical in space and time that should appear pretty much the same on the large scale at all points in space and time, seems violated.

    The Perfect Cosmological Principle also becomes violated if all the matter in the universe will eventually become sucked into black holes from which it can never escape.

    Several observed and hypothesised phenomena may solve the metallicity and black hole problems.

    Neutron stars almost certainly exist. Metallic elements falling into neutron stars will get broken back down into neutrons. Neutrons which escape into space rapidly undergo beta decay creating electrons and protons which recombine eventually to form hydrogen. But can they escape?

    Pair-Instability Supernovae may well occur. In these events the gravitational collapse of a sufficiently heavy star results in a very powerful gamma ray flux in the core. The gamma rays interact with matter particles initiating electron-positron pair production; this causes the pressure to drop in the core and further collapse to occur. This initiates electron-positron (matter-antimatter) annihilation which explodes the star completely into space leaving no remnant core. Astronomers have observed several possible examples of such an event.

    Neutrons may act as Marjorama rather than as Dirac fermions under extreme conditions. In other words they may act as their own antiparticles and annihilate to gamma rays under conditions of extreme compression and temperature.

    We do not know what mechanism creates Gamma Ray Bursts, but about once a day one goes off somewhere in the universe. These titanic GRB explosions appear to liberate the energy equivalent of the masses of entire planets or entire stars in brief moments.

    Massive and very dense objects of multiple solar masses seem to exist in the universe and most galaxies appear to contain objects of thousands or millions of solar masses at very high densities in their cores. Whether any of these objects have actually formed black holes remains undecided. The maths breaks down at black holes and we cannot directly observe them.

    Black holes may not actually exist at all if some mechanism like the above or perhaps some other mechanism limits their maximum density and consigns them to eventually explode, recycling the matter of the universe.


    Lastly: - Whilst musing upon ‘Theory of Mind’ it occurred that perhaps Autistic people would not suffer from The God Delusion.

    If the god delusion arises from the application of Theory of Mind to find agency or mind or essence not just in people but also in inappropriate phenomena or basically everywhere; and if Autistic people don’t make much use of Theory of Mind, then one would expect Atheism of them.  A quick googling of the topic confirmed this hypothesis in general terms.

    Perhaps we Chaoist-Neo-Pagan-Pantheists have a surfeit of theory of mind, we tend to see multiple sources of agency even within ourself(s)!  


    Written on Wednesday, 18 November 2015 21:05 in Blog Read 301 times

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