Can we influence reality? Some misguided scientists think we can.
For example the Copenhagen model of Quantum Mechanics suggests the act observing an environment defines its reality as is shown by its interpretation of Thomson’s double-slit experiments because it holds that the myriad of probabilities it defines are unreal and only become real when their outcomes are observed.
In other words they feel reality is an emergent property of observation because it suggests that before one is made an environment does not exist or is unreal and only appears after being observed.
This is because, in the case of the double slit experiment many assume that the classical concepts of "particle" and "wave" cannot be used to fully describe the wave particle behavior of quantum-scale objects exposed by this experiment Therefore many interpretations of quantum mechanics explain this paradox as a fundamental reality of the Universe.
In other words they feel that the act of observing creates its reality because as was mentioned earlier according to most quantum mechanical models an object does not exist as a particle or wave before it is observed and that its final reality, whether it is particle or wave is dependents on the act of observe it.
This prompted Einstein to say “I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it”.
However it would not be necessary to for anyone to assume that the moon was not there if they were not looking at it if it was possible to explain in terms of classical properties of space and time the wave/particle behavior of quantum-scale objects.
As mentioned earlier Thomson’s double-slit experiment clearly demonstrates the wave/particle behavior that is associated with the reality of a quantum mechanical environment.
This may be why Richard Feynman the farther of Quantum Electrodynamics believed Thomson’s double slit experiment provided the perfect mechanism for its understanding because it clearly demonstrates their inseparability.
However, as of yet no one has been able to explain in classical terms the behavior of the quantum environment encompassed by this experiment.
Yet Einstein may have given us a clue as to why when he said "If a new theory was not based on a physical image simple enough for a child to understand, it was probably worthless."
For example Einstein told us that our physical environment is made up of four dimensional space-time yet no one has ever observed the physicality of time or a space-time dimension.
Granted Einstein’s theories give us a very detailed and accurate description of how an interaction of time with the three *spatial* dimensions is responsible for the "reality" our world and he was able to give us a clear physical image how a curvature in space-time can be responsible for gravity by extrapolating the image of an object moving on a curved two dimensional "surface" in a three dimensional environment to four dimensional space-time. However this image only contains reference to the physicality of the spatial dimensions and not a time or space-time dimension.
However, the fact that most humans perceive or define reality in terms of the physicality of the spatial dimensions instead of a time or space-time dimension suggests that one may be able to form a physical image of how and why the quantum world is what it is by viewing our universe in terms of its spatial instead of its time properties.
Einstein gave us the ability to do this when he used the constant velocity of light to define the geometric properties of space-time because it allows one to convert a unit of time in his four dimensional space-time universe to a unit of a space that is physically identical to those of our three-dimensional space. Additionally because the velocity of light is constant it is possible to defined a one to one correspondence between his space-time universe and one made up of four *spatial* dimensions.
In other words by mathematically defining the geometric properties of time in his space-time universe in terms of the constant velocity of light he provided a qualitative and quantitative means of redefining it in terms of the geometry of four *spatial* dimensions.
The double slit experiment is made up of "A coherent source of photons illuminating a screen after passing through a thin plate with two parallel slits cut in it. The wave nature of light causes the light waves passing through both slits to interfere, creating an interference pattern of bright and dark bands on the screen. However, at the screen, the light is always found to be absorbed as discrete particles, called photons.
When only one slit is open, the pattern on the screen is a diffraction pattern however, when both slits are open, the pattern is similar but with much more detailed. These facts were elucidated by Thomas Young in a paper entitled "Experiments and Calculations Relative to Physical Optics," published in 1803. To a very high degree of success, these results could be explained by the method of Huygens–Fresnel principle that is based on the hypothesis that light consists of waves propagated through some medium. However, discovery of the photoelectric effect made it necessary to go beyond classical physics and take the quantum nature of light into account.
It is a widespread misunderstanding that, when two slits are open but a detector is added to determine which slit a photon has passed through, the interference pattern no longer forms and it yields two simple patterns, one from each slit, without interference. However, there ways to determine which slit a photon passed through in which the interference pattern will be changed but not be completely wiped out. For instance, by placing an atom at the position of each slit and monitoring whether one of these atoms is influenced by a photon passing the interference pattern will be changed but not be completely wiped out.
However the most baffling part of this experiment comes when only one photon at a time impacts a barrier with two opened slits because an interference pattern forms which is similar to what it was when multiple photons were impacting the barrier. This is a clear implication the particle called a photon has a wave component, which simultaneously passes through both slits and interferes with itself. (The experiment works with electrons, atoms, and even some molecules too.)"
Yet as mentioned earlier one may be able to understand the wave particle duality of quantum objects such as a photon as is demonstrated in Thomson’s double slit experiment in terms of our classical reality if one converts or transposes Einstein’s space-time universe to four *spatial* dimension equivalent.
For example the article, "Why is energy/mass quantized?" Oct. 4, 2007 showed that one can explain and understand the physicality of the wave and particle properties of quantum object’s by extrapolating the laws of classical resonance in a three dimensional environment to a matter wave moving on “surface” of a three dimensional space manifold with respect to a fourth *spatial* dimension. It also explains why all energy must be quantized or exists in these discrete resonant systems when observed.
Briefly it showed the four conditions required for resonance to occur in a classical environment, an object, or substance with a natural frequency, a forcing function at the same frequency as the natural frequency, the lack of a damping frequency and the ability for the substance to oscillate spatial would occur in a matter wave moving in four *spatial* dimensions.
The existence of four *spatial* dimensions would give a matter wave the ability to oscillate spatially on a "surface" between a third and fourth *spatial* dimensions thereby fulfilling one of the requirements for classical resonance to occur.
These oscillations would be caused by an event such as the decay of a subatomic particle or the shifting of an electron in an atomic orbital. This would force the "surface" of a three-dimensional space manifold with respect to a fourth *spatial* dimension to oscillate with the frequency associated with the energy of that event.
However, the oscillations caused by such an event would serve as forcing function allowing a resonant system or "structure" to be established in four spatial dimensions.
As was shown in that article these resonant systems in four *spatial* dimensions are responsible for its quantum mechanical properties.
However, it does not explain in classical terms why the energy of these waves not continuously distribute throughout space instead of being package in discrete units we call particles.
In classical physics, a point on the two-dimensional surface of paper is confined to that surface. However, that surface can oscillate up or down with respect to three-dimensional space.
Similarly an object occupying a volume of three-dimensional space would be confined to it however, it could, similar to the surface of the paper oscillate "up" or "down" with respect to a fourth *spatial* dimension.
The confinement of the "upward" and "downward" oscillations of a three-dimension volume with respect to a fourth *spatial* dimension is what defines the spatial boundaries of the resonant system associated with all quantum objects including a photon in the article "Why is energy/mass quantized?".
This provides the ability to understand, in terms of our classical reality the inseparability of the wave-particle duality of energy/mass because clearly demonstrates how the one is dependent on the other.
However, it also defines why the interference patterns remains in Thomson’s double slit experiment when one photon at a time is fired at the barrier with both slits open or "the most baffling part of this experiment" is because, as mentioned earlier it is made up of a resonant system or "structure" therefore it occupies an extended volume which is directly related to the wavelength of its particle system.
This means a portion of a particles energy could simultaneously pass both slits, if the diameter of its volume exceeds the separation of the slits and recombine on the other side to generate an interference pattern.
It also explains why the interference pattern disappears, in most cases when a detector is added to determine which slit a photon has passed through. The energy required to measure which one of the two slits it passes through interacts with it causing the wavelength of that portion to change so that it will not have the same resonant characteristics as one that passed through the other slit Therefore, the energy passing thought that slit will not be able to interact, in most cases with the energy passing through the other one to form an interference pattern on the screen.
However it also explains why, as was mentioned "there are ways to determine which slit a photon passed through that will cause a change in the interference pattern but will not completely wiped it out.
The fact that the interference pattern can still occur even if a measurement is made is because if the energy passing through one of the two slits is altered by a relatively small amount compared to what it originally was, classical wave mechanics tells us it will be able to interact to form a slightly different resonant system with a slightly different interference pattern on the other side than would be the case if no measurement was taken.
It should be pointed out that the fact that an interference pattern can be observed when a detector is added is a direct contraction of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. It demands when a detector is added to the experiment to determine which slit a photon has passed through the interference pattern can no longer form.
However, this also means there should be a quantifiable minimum value of interaction between a measuring device and a photon that will permit the interference pattern to be reestablished on the other side after measuring which slit the photon passes through.
It also defines in classical terms the reason, why the measurements always takes the form particles and not waves in Thomson’s double slit experiment
As mentioned earlier, the article "Why is energy/mass quantized?" showed energy must be propagated through space in quantized resonant systems if one applies the concepts of classical reality to a matter wave on "surface" of a three-dimension space. Therefore, because its energy must be propagated through space to be observed the energy impacting the screen always will have the discrete non-wavelike characteristics of a particle.
The above article demonstrates why it is not necessary for anyone to assume that observing a quantum environment influences or changes its reality to explain the results of the double slit experiment because it clearly shows they can be explained in terms of the unchanging reality of our classical physical environment.
Copyright Jeffrey O’Callaghan 2014
Before the discovery of Dark Energy cosmologists had two models of how the universe’s expansion would end.
In first scenario, there would be enough matter in the universe to slow the expansion to the point it would come to a halt and gravitational forces would cause it to begin contracting which eventually would result in a fiery death called the "Big Crunch.
In the other scenario, there would be too little matter to stop the expansion and everything would drift on forever, always slowing but never stopping. This would end in a vast, dark, and cold state: a "Big Chill," as the stars faded and died out.
However the discovery of a force causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate called Dark Energy opened up the possibility that the galaxies, solar system, stars, planets, and even molecules and atoms could be shredded by the ever-faster expansion. In other words the universe that was born in a violent expansion could end with an even more violent expansion called the Big Rip.
Most scientists would agree that the best way of determining which one these scenarios defines its ultimate fate would be to understand the forces involved based on the most successful theories we have regarding the macroscopic properties of the universe.
However modern theories only address two of them. For example the laws of thermodynamics which defines the forces associated with heat early in the universe and Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity which defines the gravitational forces which effect its evolution are two of the most success theories we have. Unfortunately neither of them, in their present form addresses the expansive force called Dark Energy.
This is true even though Einstein foresaw the existence of Dark Energy when he added a cosmological constant to his General Theory of Relativity to make it conform to his belief in a static universe.
Granted he added it in an "adhoc" manner to force it, in keeping with physicists thinking at the time to predict a stationary universe. However when it became clear that the universe wasn’t static, but was expanding Einstein abandoned the constant, calling it the “biggest blunder" of his life.
But lately scientists have revived Einstein’s cosmological constant (denoted by the Greek capital letter lambda) to explain this mysterious force which as mentioned earlier is causing the expansion of our universe to accelerate even though they have been unable to Einstein integrate it into the theoretical structure of his General Theory of Relativity.
However we may find clue as to why by observing how our universe is expanding.
For example observations of the universe’s expansion tell us that three-dimensional space is expanding towards a higher spatial dimension not a time or space-time dimension.
Therefore, to explain the how the expansive force called dark energy is accelerating the spatial expansion of the universe one would have to assume the existence of a another *spatial* or fourth *spatial* dimension in addition to the three spatial dimensions and one time dimension that Einstein’s theories contain to account for that observation.
This would be true if Einstein had not given us a means of qualitatively and quantitatively converting the geometric properties of his space-time universe to one consisting of only four *spatial* dimensions.
He did this when he defined the geometric properties of a space-time universe in terms of a dynamic balance between mass and energy defined by the equation E=mc^2 and the constant velocity of light because that provided a method of converting the displacement in space-time manifold he associated with energy to its equivalent displacement in four *spatial* dimensions. Additionally because the velocity of light is constant he also defined a one to one qualitative and quantitative correspondence between his space-time universe and one made up of four *spatial* dimensions.
In other words by defining the geometric properties of a space-time universe in terms of mass/energy and the constant velocity of light he provided a qualitative and quantitative means of redefining it in terms of the geometry of four *spatial* dimensions.
The fact that the equation E=mc^2 allows us to quantitatively derive the spatial properties of energy in a space-time universe in terms of four *spatial* dimensions is the bases for assuming as was done in the article “Defining energy” Nov 27, 2007 that all forms of energy can be derived in terms of a displacement in a "surface" of a three-dimensional space manifold with respect to a fourth *spatial* dimension instead of one in a space time manifold.
As mentioned earlier one reason why it is difficult to integrate the accelerated special expansion of three-dimensional space towards a higher space dimension into Einstein space-time universe because it does not define one.
However it is easy to do if one redefined it, as was done above in terms of four *spatial* dimension because that higher spatial dimension would become an integral part of its theoretical structure.
Yet it also allows one to understand how and why Dark Energy is causing the accelerated spatial expansion of the universe and what its ultimate fate will be in terms the laws of thermodynamics and the concepts of Einstein’s theories.
We know from the study of thermodynamics that energy flows from areas of high density to one of low density very similar to how water flows form an elevated or "high density" point to a lower one.
For example, if the walls of an above ground pool filled with water collapse the molecules on the elevated two-dimensional surface of the water will flow or expand and accelerate outward towards the three-dimensional environment surrounding it while the force associated with that expansion decreases as it expands.
Additionally we know from observations of the cosmic background radiation that presently our three-dimensional universe has an average energy component equal to about 3.7 degrees Kelvin.
However this means that according to concepts developed in the article “Defining energy" (mentioned earlier) the three-dimensional "surface" of our universe which has an average energy component of 3.7 degree Kelvin would be elevated with respect to a fourth *spatial* dimension.
Yet this means similar to the two dimensional surface of the water in the pool the particles that occupy that elevated region of three-dimensional space and the space they occupy will accelerate and flow or expand outward in the four dimensional environment surrounding it and that the force associated with that expansion will decline as it expands.
This shows how reformulating Einstein’s theories in terms of four *spatial* dimensions allows one to use the laws of thermodynamics to explain what the force called Dark Energy is and why it is causing the accelerated expansion of the universe in terms of those theories.
Many feel that because space is everywhere, the force called Dark Energy is everywhere, and its effects increase as space expands. In contrast, gravity’s force is stronger when things are close together and weaker when they are far apart.
However if the above theoretical model is correct than the magnitude of Dark Energy relative to gravitational energy will not continue to increase as the universe expands but will decrease because similar to the water in a collapsed pool the accelerative forces associated with it will decline as it expands. et because the mass of the universe remains constant throughout its history the gravitational potential associated with it will also.
Therefore the gravitational contractive forces associated with it will exceed the expansive forces associated with Dark Energy even though its components may be separated by extremely large distances because as just mentioned the force associated with dark energy will decease relative to gravity as time goes by.
However the equivalence between mass and energy defined by Einstein tells us that energy also possess gravitational potential.
Therefore, just after the big bang when the concentration of energy and mass was high, gravitational force would predominate over Dark Energy because the distance between both its energy and mass components was relatively small.
However as the universe expands the gravitational attractive forces will decrease more rapidly than the expansive force associated with Dark Energy because they are related to the square of the distance between them while those of the expansive forces of Dark Energy are more closely related to a linear function of the total energy of content of the universe.
Therefore after a given period of time the expansive forces associated with Dark Energy will become predominate and the expansion of the universe will accelerate.
However as the universe expands and cools that force will decrease because as mentioned earlier similar to the two-dimensional surface of the water in a collapsed pool, the forces associated with that expansion will decrease as it expands.
This means that eventually gravitational forces will overcome those of Dark energy because, as mentioned earlier the laws of thermodynamics tells us the total accelerative forces associated with it will decease and therefore will eventually approach zero, while the total mass content and the gravitational attractive forces associated with it will remain constant as the universe expands even though they may be separated by a greater distant.
However this is not the end of the story for our universe because after a certain point in time the heat generated by its gravitational collapse will raise its temperature to the point where its expansive properties will exceed gravitational forces causing it to reexpand.
Yet many cosmologists do not accept the cyclical scenario of expansion and contractions because they believe a collapsing universe would end in the formation of a singularity similar to the ones found in a black hole and therefore, it could not re-expand.
However, according to the first law of thermodynamic the universe would have to begin expanding before it reached a singularity because that law states that energy in an isolated system can neither be created nor destroyed
Therefore because the universe is by definition an isolated system; the energy generated by its gravitational collapse cannot be radiated to another volume but must remain within it. This means the radiation pressure exerted by its collapse must eventually exceed momentum of its contraction and therefore it would have to enter an expansion phase because its momentum will carry it beyond the equilibrium point were the radiation pressure is greater that the momentum of its mass. This will cause the mass/energy of our three-dimensional universe to oscillate around a point in the fourth *spatial* dimension.
This would be analogous to the how momentum of a mass on a spring causes it spring to stretch beyond its equilibrium point resulting it osculating around it.
The reason a singularity can form in black hole is because it is not an isolate system therefore the thermal radiation associated with its collapse can be radiated into the surrounding space. Therefore, its collapse can continue because momentum of its mass can exceed the radiation pressure cause by its collapse in the volume surrounding a black hole.
In other words if this theoretical model is correct our universe has never ending future which exists between an icy death caused by Dark Energy and a fiery rebirth created by gravity.
There can be no other conclusion if one accepts the validity of Einstein’s theories and the laws of thermodynamics because the theoretical arguments presented are a base solely on their validity.
Copyright Jeffrey O’Callaghan 2014