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Watsisname
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21 Jan 2019 00:43

This photo (taken within 1 minute of maximum eclipse) could probably be used to estimate my location relatively accurately (ignoring that it's shown in my profile).  But perhaps more interestingly, if there are other people with photos showing the stars near the Moon taken at the same time and from very distant locations, then they could be used to estimate the distance to the Moon. :)
 
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21 Jan 2019 03:19

Watsisname wrote:
Source of the post But perhaps more interestingly, if there are other people with photos showing the stars near the Moon taken at the same time and from very distant locations, then they could be used to estimate the distance to the Moon.

Isn't it? Trigonometry is awesome.
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30 Jan 2019 14:13

In SE I've found some gas planets that have "Arial Life". How does that work? I thought life needed water to form, or can it form in a certain kind of gas as well?  :?
 
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30 Jan 2019 18:00

Gas-giants have water in their atmosphere, especially at the higher levels. Many exoplanets that are Jupiter-class or larger in orbits that give them a warmer air temperature have been spectrographied and H2O has been detected in their atmospheres. The idea that life can evolve in these conditions is theoretical, but possible under known physics and biology. Just Google Carl Sagan "Jupiter Floaters" as Sagan was the first to propose this idea.
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31 Jan 2019 01:04

Wats, what do you think of this new-ish idea of Quantized Inertia by Mike McCulloch (PhD)? Placing the word "Quantum" before the name of your pet theory seems to be vogue nowadays, but I'll admit this one intrigues me.

If you don't know what I'm talking about (or if others reading this want to know a bit more), then here are the relevant links:

The original paper by McCulloch: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1302.2775.pdf

The Tedx Talk:




A more in-depth video by McCulloch:



DARPA is investigating it (as they always do :P): https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/7x3ed9/darpa-is-researching-quantized-inertia-a-theory-of-physics-many-think-is-pseudoscience


On a related note, I just came out of researching the Electric Universe "theory" after encountering it in one of those random YT videos. Ughhh - what a mire of ignorance and arrogance.
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31 Jan 2019 01:54

On a related note, Joe Scott's thoughts on fringe theories is interesting:

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31 Jan 2019 02:37

Stellarator wrote:
Source of the post Wats, what do you think of this new-ish idea of Quantized Inertia by Mike McCulloch (PhD)?

I didn't find it convincing, nor did most physicists and astronomers.  It claims to solve any number of things, but it does this by mixing a few wild ideas together and connecting them to tenuous (I would even say falsified) experimental results like the EM drive.  It claims to explain the Pioneer anomaly, yet the Pioneer anomaly is already understood without new physics.  It claims to explain dark matter as a result of modified gravity (non-Newtonian in small values of accelerations), yet this contradicts other observational evidence of dark matter such as the Bullet cluster, the formation of structure, and large scale curvature.

I think fringe ideas in general are fine to pursue if the investigator understands the pros and cons and can maintain a cautious and skeptical scientific approach to it.  They have a low chance of developing into a successful theory, but if it works it could be one of great significance.  That's also a risk, because it can lead to a strong desire to think "it must be right!" despite evidence that it isn't.
 
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31 Jan 2019 05:52

The problem is until we actually discover the nature of dark matter and what it is, it will be a hypothetical and be open to this kind of attack.  I thought LHC would discover it via supersymmetry but that hasn't happened yet.

Life doesn't necessarily need water or carbon for that matter.  Just because that's how it is here doesn't mean it needs to be that way elsewhere.
 
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31 Jan 2019 20:46

Watsisname wrote:
Source of the post It claims to solve any number of things, but it does this by mixing a few wild ideas together and connecting them to tenuous (I would even say falsified) experimental results like the EM drive.

It claims to explain dark matter as a result of modified gravity (non-Newtonian in small values of accelerations), yet this contradicts other observational evidence of dark matter such as the Bullet cluster, the formation of structure, and large scale curvature.

Could you please elaborate on this criticism? Where exactly does QI fail in predictions and measurements more then MoND or even the Standard Model?

I have read all the information on this theory available online, the concept itself and the critiques thereof. Whilst not enamoured of it to the extent I'll incorporate it into my worldview - I do find QI's depiction of dark matter within the Standard model congruent with the proper application of the Scientific Method - how is adding mass to the algorithm for the purposes of reverse-engineering an equation to equal what we observe in the universe not UN-scientific?

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Life doesn't necessarily need water or carbon for that matter.  Just because that's how it is here doesn't mean it needs to be that way elsewhere.

Indeed. Chauvinisms of Water or Carbon aren't helpful to solving the answer to a problem in which the only answer we know of (life on Earth) suffers from single-samplism. Unfortunately it's all we got, so life like ours will be the first we'll discover, invariably. Certainly other forms can exist (perhaps even on our planet - see the theory of the "Shadow Biosphere"). 
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31 Jan 2019 20:58

Stellarator wrote:
Source of the post Could you please elaborate on this criticism? Where exactly does QI fail in predictions and measurements more then MoND or even the Standard Model?

Both QI and MoND, which model dark matter as a modification to how gravitation works from the known arrangement of normal matter, fail to explain the separation of matter from dark matter that is observed in galaxy cluster collisions.  I recommend my earlier post here for a more detailed explanation of this observation.

Another essential test of dark matter is the form of the acoustic peaks observed in the CMB angular power spectrum.  The relative heights of those peaks are affected by the amount of dark matter as weakly interacting particles, since if those particles don't interact except by gravity then they "slosh" around more in those gravity wells.  That then changes the shape of the well, and the way that photons move through them, which then affects the angular power spectrum.  More detail on that can be found in the video lecture I link here, and there is also a good (though mildly technical) explanation of the angular power spectrum and its physics on this webpage by the University of Chicago.


In short, it is not difficult to modify our understanding of gravitation (or acceleration, as QI does) to explain galactic rotation curves or the motions of celestial objects in other bound systems.  But there is no unique modification that is consistent with all cosmological observations without requiring additional matter anyway.  Dark matter as additional weakly interacting matter by itself does work very well with all observations, and so cosmologists incorporated it in the standard model of cosmology.
 
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01 Feb 2019 00:17

Watsisname wrote:
Source of the post  Dark matter as additional weakly interacting matter by itself does work very well with all observations, and so cosmologists incorporated it in the standard model of cosmology.

Thank you for your clarification. From what I've understood from this, McCulloch mischaracterised dark matter in his theory as an arbitrary variable adjust of the observed effects of this non-luminous matter - but rather it is a largely self-sufficent theory that interacts with normal matter and the Standard model via the processes you linked and discussed above. In this context, it would seem to me that the QI theory made dark matter something of a straw-man in it's argument against it.

Although I understood about 75% (probably an over-estimation on my part :P) of what you wrote in those links, my chief problem right now is communicating that to others in my daily life. It does not happen often - but every now and again I'm asked something like "what is dark matter and how do we know it exists?" or something similar, since I've gained a reputation of being a 'science-guy' at my workplace (whether that is justified remains to be seen). When they ask something like that, my first reaction is to gauge just how scientifically literate they are. If I detect that I need to catch them up to 100 years of astrophysics without otherwise going over their heads, then I'm sorely tempted to just say "It's complicated". Distressingly, most people at that point lose interest in the question they asked, no matter how serious they were before hand. They become convinced that if something cannot be explained within five minutes, it clearly not worth consideration and does not accurately represent the phenomena of the universe.
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02 Feb 2019 03:50

It's quite interesting that we may be creating aritificial intelligence based on silicon- considering how similar silicon is to carbon ;-)

Have we discovered any particle candidates for dark matter and if so or if we do in the near future, would we one day be able to utilize them for energy or fuel or make some other use of them in the lab?
 
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02 Feb 2019 12:21

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Have we discovered any particle candidates for dark matter and if so or if we do in the near future, would we one day be able to utilize them for energy or fuel or make some other use of them in the lab?

Not that I know of.  A way that dark matter could be evident in particle accelerator experiments may actually be not by a direct detection of the particles, but by mass/energy not being conserved in certain collisions in a consistent way, as the dark matter particles carry it away undetected.  Over many experiments, this could pin down the mass of the dark matter particles.  So far, experiments have only been able to rule out certain ranges of masses that the dark matter particles can have.

If we could generate it in the lab, it's pretty hard to imagine how it would be useful, precisely because it is so weakly interacting.  There could be dark matter particles passing through us all the time, just as there are many neutrinos doing the same.
 
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03 Feb 2019 00:08

Watsisname wrote:
Source of the post Not that I know of.  A way that dark matter could be evident in particle accelerator experiments may actually be not by a direct detection of the particles, but by mass/energy not being conserved in certain collisions in a consistent way, as the dark matter particles carry it away undetected.  Over many experiments, this could pin down the mass of the dark matter particles.  So far, experiments have only been able to rule out certain ranges of masses that the dark matter particles can have.

From what I understand of it, dark matter cannot be replicated in a lab because it's properties are intrinsic of it's position relative to other matter and the size thereof. Laboratory conditions would not be able to replicate this, it is a matter of extrapolation. Computer programs can calculate it because within their algorithms there are no constraining physical laws that apply. Unless of course your laboratory is the size of a mass in which dark matter is measurable, like a whole galaxy.

Do you think that it'll ever be possible to physically simulate dark matter in a 'condensed' form in the lab Watsisname? Might it not be actual dark matter, in the sense of the word, but a derivative of it accounting for the scale down? Would it's power be completely diluted by this scale-down?

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post It's quite interesting that we may be creating aritificial intelligence based on silicon- considering how similar silicon is to carbon

Most think that it's only one side of the same coin - life and it's processes (or simplifications or exaggerations thereof) are being replicated in silicone switches and lines (AI) to mirror the neural pathways of carbonaceous matter like ourselves. But it is a fairly vague difference - one that owes it's blurry differentiation to the fact that if metalloid/metallic machines that simulate sentience (or life in general) are 'artificial' and 'mechanical', with the organic bodies and sentiences of carbon being 'natural', how then does synthetic 'wet-ware' AI or technology become classified? Would this clarification between artificial and natural, between machine and organism be a pointless effort as this line is further breached by encroaches with technology?

A paradox lies here - are machines (specifically AI, discussed in a computational context) inherently biological because we have made them to mirror the efficient biological processes of our minds? They are conceived of our minds, and thus it would seem that this bestows upon them a certain likeness to biology - since at their inception we were capable of imagining nothing else outside what our minds can think of.

Or, are biological processes inherently mechanical because each system relies on some arrangement of factors to equal its sum purpose - certainly a mechanical way of working.

Moreover though, I don't think this differentiation is relevant. Each (artificial/organic) is of the same quintessence and to make separate, arbitrary words for each and their substrates is meaningless, since both are the same, just expressed through different mediums. Each are bits of matter in this universe, motivated by ultimately united physical forces encoded in space/time. 

I'm curious as to what the forum thinks of this.
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03 Feb 2019 00:44

Stellarator wrote:
Source of the post From what I understand of it, dark matter cannot be replicated in a lab because it's properties are intrinsic of it's position relative to other matter and the size thereof.  

That sounds very wrong.  If its properties depended on its position relative to normal matter and so forth, then that would add enormous and unnecessary complexity to Lambda-CDM cosmology.  Dark matter is mysterious, but it is not that complicated. :)  

Stellarator wrote:
Source of the post Do you think that it'll ever be possible to physically simulate dark matter in a 'condensed' form in the lab Watsisname?

Particles that weakly interact are hard to condense.  Condensed matter in general requires some type of interactions between the particles that would bring them together into a stable or at least semi-stable configuration.  If the only significant interaction the particles have is through gravity, then "condensing" them means to make a bound gravitating system of them.  The closest analogue would probably be a globular cluster of stars, since they are so unlikely to physically hit each other that you can treat them as interacting only by gravity.  In fact such a star cluster is a pretty good model for a dark matter halo, if you ignore the light emission.

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