Should we let imagination define our reality? If so how much should we allow science to dependent on it?
Most if not all explanatory models of reality rely to some extent on ones imagination because they use unobservable quantities to support them.
For example Einstein used the concept of a space-time dimension to define gravity. However no one has ever directly observed a space-time dimension.
Similarly quantum mechanics describes the interactions of particles in terms of the mathematical probabilities associated with a wavefunction which like a space-time dimension is also unobservable.
In other words both of these theories have imagination as a core component of their explanatory structure.
However there is distinct difference in how they apply it to the environment they are attempting to explain.
For example Einstein in his the "General Theory of Relativity" uses imagination and mathematics to expand a curvature in our observable three-dimension environment to define a four-dimensional space-time universe.
In other words even though its explanatory mechanism is based the existence of a space-time dimension that can only exist in our imagination he was able by using Riemannian geometry mathematically connect to our observable environment.
Similarly Quantum mechanics also uses imagination and mathematics to very accurately describe the particle interaction based on probabilities.
But unlike Relativity it uses a mathematical construct know as the wavefunction to describe the mechanism responsible for the future position of a particle which has no counterpart in our observable environment.
As Steven Weinberg mentioned in his book "Dreams of a Final Theory" the reason this difference in methodology is important is because mathematics in itself is never the explanation of anything because it is only the means by which we use one set of facts to explain another. This is true even though it may be the only the language in which we express them. In other words mathematics should not be used to justify the mathematics of an explanatory model.
However as was just mentioned quantum mechanics uses the mathematics associated with a wavefunction to explain the mathematical mechanism it assumes is responsible for particle interaction.
Why then when mathematics in itself is never the explanation of anything do so many tell us that the mathematical properties of a wavefunction explain the quantum environment.
They do so because to this date it is the only way available to explain and predict how, among many other things chemical process occur and why the particles that were present in the Big Bang, evolved to create the universe we live in even though its entire theoretical structure is based purely on the imagination of those who developed it.
Some may question using the term imagination to describe the mathematical properties of the wavefunction. However its definition of "being the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses" is applicable to them.
This is true even though science can use its abstract mathematical properties to accurately predict the evolution of particle system.
However as we have shown throughout the Imagineer’s Chronicles there may be more to the wavefunction than just mathematics. In other words by using the imagination one may be able to explain or expand the abstract mathematical properties of the wavefunction to the observable properties of our environment similar to how Einstein was able to expand a curvature in our observable three-dimension environment using Riemannian geometry to define a four-dimensional space-time universe.
For example in the article "Why is energy/mass quantized?" Oct. 4, 2007 it was shown one can understand how and why energy/mass is quantized in terms of the observable properties of resonant systems in our three dimensional environment.
Other articles like "Quantum entanglement: a classical explanation" July 15, 2015 clearly shows that the "spooky action at a distance, as Einstein called it can be explained in terms of the laws of classical causality. In other words it is merely an illusion resulting from a lack of understanding of a classic physicality of a quantum environment
Many of the 250 articles published in the Imagineer’s Chronicles over the past nine years show that one can apply the classical laws of our observable environment to a quantum one to explain hoe the mathematical properties of the wavefunction physically describe how particles interact.
Imagination as was mentioned earlier is a critical component of all modern theoretical models of physics. But we must not allow it to be only the only one because it can result in defining an environment that does not describe the reality we are attempting to define.
In other words similar to how Einstein was able to expand a curvature in our observable three-dimension environment to define a four-dimensional space-time universe one must, as we have tried to do make an effort to expand the physical properties of our observable environment to explain the world of quantum mechanics and the wavefunction that defines its environment.
Copyright Jeffrey O’Callaghan 2016
The universe’s most powerful enabling tool is not
knowledge or understanding but imagination
because it extends the reality of one’s environment.
However its scientific effectiveness is closely
related to how strongly it is
anchored in the reality it defines.
Vol. 5 — 2014
Is time travel possible?
The laws of physics in the microscopic world suggest that it is because the physical processes they define at the subatomic level appear to be either entirely or mostly time symmetric. In other words the theoretical statements that describe them remain true if the direction of time is reversed. However, the opposite is true in the macroscopic world in that there is an obvious direction (or flow) of time. In others words, process in our macroscopic environment are observed to be asymmetric with respect to the direction of time appearing to rule out the possibility of traveling backwards in it.
Therefore, one way to understand why we as a civilization have been unable devise a mechanism for traveling back in time may be to understand difference between the macroscopic and microscopic worlds with respect to it because in one it seems possible while in the other it appears not to be.
Entropy appears to be the only quantity in the macroscopic world that "picks" a particular direction for time. As one goes "forward" in time, the second law of thermodynamics says the entropy or disorder of an isolated system will increase when no energy is consumed. In other words many in the scientific community believe the reason a system composed of multiple units must always move in forward with respect to time because to go back to a previous configuration one must add energy to it.
However, one cannot apply the concept of entropy to the microscopic world of atoms to determine its direction with respect to time because the entropy or relative disorder of system composed of signal entities such as an atom does not spontaneously increase as it moves through it. Therefore, one cannot use it to define its direction in microscopic systems because it does not quantifiably change as one "moves" through time.
Yet both these definitions define the direction or flow of time in terms of the physical configuration of its spatial components. For example, entropy or relative disorder of system composed of a signal atom does not spontaneously increase as it moves through time because its spatial position can only be reference to itself. This differs form systems that contain multiple entities in that the spatial configuration of its units can be compared to others in that system. The only difference between them with regards to defining their entropy with respect to the movement of time is what their spatial locations are reference to.
However the fact that we have been unable to move backwards in time in the microscopic universe suggests the casualty of time in that environment may not be related to the physical movement of an entity but to the causality of a quantifiable change in the spatial components of a system similar to the one that gives us direction for time in a macroscopic system.
For example in a multiunit system the causality of the increased entropy associated with the forward movement of time is directly related to its thermodynamic energy because it is what quantifies the direction of the changing spatial disorder in a system. Similarly in a single component system the sequential ordering of the causality of it moving to the left and then to the right will always define the direction of time in terms of its changing spatial position. In other words on can define the direction of time in both in terms of the causality of the systems spatial components.
As was mentioned earlier the second law of thermodynamics which defines the passage of time in the macroscopic world is based on a statistical definition was developed by Ludwig Boltzmann does not hold with strict universality: any system can fluctuate to a state of lower entropy.
However scientists have observed billions of particle collisions in which two particles collide to produce other particles however they have never observed two particles spontaneous coming together to form one particle even though statistically speaking they should happen much more often than in multi particle systems because they have considerably less complexity.
Therefore understanding the causality of the change in the position component of entities in both macro and microscope system may tell us if travel time travel is possible.
As was shown in the earlier article "Defining what time is" Sept. 20, 2007 defining the direction of time in terms of the sequential ordering of the causality of events would a provide a consistent direction for time in all environments because the causality of an atom moving to the left in both single or multiple component system would always be proceeded by the causality of that the same atom moving to the right; even though, as was mentioned earlier the behavior of the atom is not qualitatively different in either case. This would be true in both our physical and mathematical perceptions of time.
In other words defining it in terms of the sequential ordering of the causality of an event is consistent with the observation that events appear to always move forward in time in both the macroscopic universe and the microscopic world of particle accelerators because the casualty of particle breaking up into different parts must always proceed those parts coming together.
Some might think that it is not possible to tell the order in which events occurred without using time as a reference. However one can use the spatial properties of a system to determine it because the first event in a series would only be connected to the one before it while all other would be connected not only to that one but to the one after it. In other words one could determine the order in which the events occurred by referencing them to the one that has only one spatial connection and following the single line of events back towards there origin.
However this also rules out any possibility of one traveling through time because if it is only a measure of the sequential ordering of the causality of events then similar to all measurements it does not have physical properties so because one cannot travel through or in something that does not have a physical structure time travel is physically possible.
Copyright Jeffrey O’Callaghan 2016
Vol. 5 — 2014