Reblogged from captkervin  4 notes
captkervin:

Coherence (2013)
mind-bending and tense. like a good episode of Twilight zone. screws your mind through quantum mechanics. basically, Schrodinger’s cat on crack. a bit for the science nut. i admit i got lost half-way lmao which just made me more glued. “the less you know, the better” lolhas indie feel. dialogue-driven, flowy and random. unique experience. pretty original.

captkervin:

Coherence (2013)

mind-bending and tense. like a good episode of Twilight zone. screws your mind through quantum mechanics. basically, Schrodinger’s cat on crack. a bit for the science nut. i admit i got lost half-way lmao which just made me more glued. “the less you know, the better” lol

has indie feel. dialogue-driven, flowy and random. unique experience. pretty original.

Reblogged from kingnyc  2 notes
kingnyc:

Quantum Mechanics: a theory of matter that is based on the concept of the possession of wave properties by elementary particles, that affords a mathematical interpretation of the structure and interactions of matter on the basis of these properties, and that incorporates within it quantum theory and the uncertainty principle — called also wave mechanics. [i]
Recognizing the common ground between science and spirituality can help us come to an understanding of what I call “the quantum field of consciousness”, and how we can use it to heal the soul of hurt and trauma.
First, let’s touch on the basic principles of quantum mechanics, which is the study of physics as it relates to the microscopic field. When we talk about ‘the observer effect’ in wave mechanics, we are talking about a very profound principle that sees wave particles change behavior based on whether or not someone is watching them. Think about that for a minute. It’s like the “does a bear shit in the woods” theory! [ii] But more importantly, when we become the observer or watcher of our own behavior, in that moment, we can also change the microscopic pattern of said behavior.


The emotions of the grieving process are relevant in our day to day “reality” as we continue to shift and grow in Consciousness, identifying and releasing those emotions, ideals and patterns that no longer serve our deeper Soul Purpose. Each pattern in our lives is like an energetic wave, and once we recognize the wave it changes its very behavior – just by being observed in the first place. In that, our conscious awareness sees us become the observer of our own patterns of behavior, all the way down to a quantum or microscopic level, and helps us to let go of those attachments.
The Quantum Field of Consciousness
We’ve heard it called the Akashic record, cosmic mind, tree of life, and book of life – depending on what you’re reading. I call it the “quantum field of consciousness”. This is an old and Universal idea, and is a common thread throughout ancient cultures and “religions”. It describes the concept that all of our experiences are recorded in the Universe and that we all have access to these records, sort of like an “emotional” Rolodex of our experiences which incorporates Consciousness on both sides of the “veil”. As we access the quantum field of Consciousness, healing can take place on a multi-dimensional level if we have an open mind and an open Heart. And as we heal the root of our tree – the traumas that we endured in our Earth life - we have the ability to Heal the astral realm too [iii].
When we have unresolved trauma surrounding the death of a loved one or unresolved hurt in our own lives, we tend to haul around unnecessary emotional and spiritual baggage — feelings like betrayal, anger and abandonment. This equates to the lower vibration or more “dense” emotions that we find when we haven’t completed the grieving process and come to a place of peaceful acceptance. Until we find acceptance, resolution or a state of grace, we haven’t completed the full process of experiencing and integrating loss – and the energy remains with us.
When we think of a loved one, we automatically get a feeling - whether it be love, anger, longing, joy, security, resentment, respect or guilt (just to name a few). We can feel the energy of these relationships in our bodies, and if we can feel them, we can also heal them!
Of course, truly experiencing grief can be a difficult process; two prevalent stages of the grief process are denial and bargaining, and it can become more challenging when we begin to bargain with ourselves, in denial of the circumstances or “trauma”. But if we can begin to find an awareness of our ROOT “traumas” – the fundamental experiences that shaped our current state – we can begin to change our patterns on a quantum level first, and then in our physical reality by extension, just by recognizing them in the first place.
For example, abandonment is (in my experience) the most common “trauma” we Spiritual Beings carry with us through this human experience. The vibration of abandonment shows up in human behavior as the “go away and come here” mentality – the ultimate “mixed message”. If we don’t resolve the trauma of abandonment, we experience love and fear at the same time, never quite trusting that we can love again without fearing we may be abandoned and ultimately keeping others at arms length. But if we can recognize the “go away and come here” pattern in our own behavior (the effect), we can begin to identify the trauma at its root (the cause) and ultimately open our Hearts to the vibration of unconditional love, bringing more trust and intimacy into our lives and our relationships.
Healing the Tree of Life
As we free our minds from the “matrix” system of control, we begin to see that the Earth’s vibration is connected to the vibration of humanity. Just as our negative, lower vibrational emotions consume us, they also consume our planet, our Mother. This means that to truly heal the planet we must heal ourselves. By acknowledging the existence of the quantum field of consciousness, we change how it behaves and how we connect with it, allowing us to begin changing our lower vibrational patterns. If we recognize our own baggage and find the root within it, through a conscious process of forgiveness and letting go of “negative” emotions and attachments, we can find acceptance and resolution in all our relationships and traumas, on a multi-dimensional level.
The Universal Law of Correspondence tells us “As above, so below; as below, so above”. This means that there is “harmony, agreement and correspondence” between the physical, mental and spiritual realms. That harmony and correspondence is expressed on all scales throughout our Universe, through microcosm and macrocosm, from the smallest electron to the largest star and vice versa. There is no separation since everything in the Universe, including you, originates from the One Source. All is One.

The ancient Greek Temple of Apollo at Delphi refers to this great Law of Correspondence in its inscription “Know thyself and thou shalt know all the mysteries of the Gods and the Universe”.[iv]

When we heal the root of our trauma, we also heal our relationships that were affected by the manifestation of that trauma energy. As above, so below.
To be of service to the planet and humanity, to heal the Tree of Life, we must start within and heal our root traumas.
When we heal the root, we heal the Self, on the physical and astral planes, while also raising the vibration of Mother Earth and the rest of Humanity by extension. As we amplify our own “State of Grace” we raise our vibration to one of Love, setting in motion the butterfly effect of healing across the entire interconnected Universe – on both sides of the veil! By healing our self and our relationships, we place ourselves in a higher and more objective emotional place where we can flow with the Universal flow of energy. By caring for and nurturing our self and the root of our very own Tree, we gradually become more energetically efficient, emotionally intelligent and spiritually enlightened, and at the same time, we become of service to the planet and all of humanity. It’s a spiritual mission, should we chose to accept it, and an important part of our shift into a new era of spiritual enlightenment.
Heal the root and the rest will follow.

The Quantum Field of #Consciousness and the Healing of the Tree of Life. #quantumphysics

kingnyc:

Quantum Mechanics: a theory of matter that is based on the concept of the possession of wave properties by elementary particles, that affords a mathematical interpretation of the structure and interactions of matter on the basis of these properties, and that incorporates within it quantum theory and the uncertainty principle — called also wave mechanics. [i]

Recognizing the common ground between science and spirituality can help us come to an understanding of what I call “the quantum field of consciousness”, and how we can use it to heal the soul of hurt and trauma.

First, let’s touch on the basic principles of quantum mechanics, which is the study of physics as it relates to the microscopic field. When we talk about ‘the observer effect’ in wave mechanics, we are talking about a very profound principle that sees wave particles change behavior based on whether or not someone is watching them. Think about that for a minute. It’s like the “does a bear shit in the woods” theory! [ii] But more importantly, when we become the observer or watcher of our own behavior, in that moment, we can also change the microscopic pattern of said behavior.

The emotions of the grieving process are relevant in our day to day “reality” as we continue to shift and grow in Consciousness, identifying and releasing those emotions, ideals and patterns that no longer serve our deeper Soul Purpose. Each pattern in our lives is like an energetic wave, and once we recognize the wave it changes its very behavior – just by being observed in the first place. In that, our conscious awareness sees us become the observer of our own patterns of behavior, all the way down to a quantum or microscopic level, and helps us to let go of those attachments.

The Quantum Field of Consciousness

We’ve heard it called the Akashic record, cosmic mind, tree of life, and book of life – depending on what you’re reading. I call it the “quantum field of consciousness”. This is an old and Universal idea, and is a common thread throughout ancient cultures and “religions”. It describes the concept that all of our experiences are recorded in the Universe and that we all have access to these records, sort of like an “emotional” Rolodex of our experiences which incorporates Consciousness on both sides of the “veil”. As we access the quantum field of Consciousness, healing can take place on a multi-dimensional level if we have an open mind and an open Heart. And as we heal the root of our tree – the traumas that we endured in our Earth life - we have the ability to Heal the astral realm too [iii].

When we have unresolved trauma surrounding the death of a loved one or unresolved hurt in our own lives, we tend to haul around unnecessary emotional and spiritual baggage — feelings like betrayal, anger and abandonment. This equates to the lower vibration or more “dense” emotions that we find when we haven’t completed the grieving process and come to a place of peaceful acceptance. Until we find acceptance, resolution or a state of grace, we haven’t completed the full process of experiencing and integrating loss – and the energy remains with us.

When we think of a loved one, we automatically get a feeling - whether it be love, anger, longing, joy, security, resentment, respect or guilt (just to name a few). We can feel the energy of these relationships in our bodies, and if we can feel them, we can also heal them!

Of course, truly experiencing grief can be a difficult process; two prevalent stages of the grief process are denial and bargaining, and it can become more challenging when we begin to bargain with ourselves, in denial of the circumstances or “trauma”. But if we can begin to find an awareness of our ROOT “traumas” – the fundamental experiences that shaped our current state – we can begin to change our patterns on a quantum level first, and then in our physical reality by extension, just by recognizing them in the first place.

For example, abandonment is (in my experience) the most common “trauma” we Spiritual Beings carry with us through this human experience. The vibration of abandonment shows up in human behavior as the “go away and come here” mentality – the ultimate “mixed message”. If we don’t resolve the trauma of abandonment, we experience love and fear at the same time, never quite trusting that we can love again without fearing we may be abandoned and ultimately keeping others at arms length. But if we can recognize the “go away and come here” pattern in our own behavior (the effect), we can begin to identify the trauma at its root (the cause) and ultimately open our Hearts to the vibration of unconditional love, bringing more trust and intimacy into our lives and our relationships.

Healing the Tree of Life

As we free our minds from the “matrix” system of control, we begin to see that the Earth’s vibration is connected to the vibration of humanity. Just as our negative, lower vibrational emotions consume us, they also consume our planet, our Mother. This means that to truly heal the planet we must heal ourselves. By acknowledging the existence of the quantum field of consciousness, we change how it behaves and how we connect with it, allowing us to begin changing our lower vibrational patterns. If we recognize our own baggage and find the root within it, through a conscious process of forgiveness and letting go of “negative” emotions and attachments, we can find acceptance and resolution in all our relationships and traumas, on a multi-dimensional level.

The Universal Law of Correspondence tells us “As above, so below; as below, so above”. This means that there is “harmony, agreement and correspondence” between the physical, mental and spiritual realms. That harmony and correspondence is expressed on all scales throughout our Universe, through microcosm and macrocosm, from the smallest electron to the largest star and vice versa. There is no separation since everything in the Universe, including you, originates from the One Source. All is One.

The ancient Greek Temple of Apollo at Delphi refers to this great Law of Correspondence in its inscription “Know thyself and thou shalt know all the mysteries of the Gods and the Universe”.[iv]

When we heal the root of our trauma, we also heal our relationships that were affected by the manifestation of that trauma energy. As above, so below.

To be of service to the planet and humanity, to heal the Tree of Life, we must start within and heal our root traumas.

When we heal the root, we heal the Self, on the physical and astral planes, while also raising the vibration of Mother Earth and the rest of Humanity by extension. As we amplify our own “State of Grace” we raise our vibration to one of Love, setting in motion the butterfly effect of healing across the entire interconnected Universe – on both sides of the veil! By healing our self and our relationships, we place ourselves in a higher and more objective emotional place where we can flow with the Universal flow of energy. By caring for and nurturing our self and the root of our very own Tree, we gradually become more energetically efficient, emotionally intelligent and spiritually enlightened, and at the same time, we become of service to the planet and all of humanity. It’s a spiritual mission, should we chose to accept it, and an important part of our shift into a new era of spiritual enlightenment.

Heal the root and the rest will follow.

The Quantum Field of #Consciousness and the Healing of the Tree of Life. #quantumphysics

Reblogged from txchnologist  125 notes

How Quantum Mechanics Helps Us Breathe

txchnologist:

image

by Peter Gwynne, Inside Science

Why don’t we suffocate whenever we try to take a breath? An international team of scientists has used quantum mechanics – the science that usually deals with events at the level of the ultra-small – to solve this human-sized mystery.

Quantum mechanics has long proved its value in understanding such phenomena as the behavior of electrons and in classifying subatomic particles. But in recent years theorists have increasingly shown how it applies to all facets of life, large and small.

The new research, led by Cédric Weber of Kings College, London and reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, confirms that point.

"This work," said team member David O’Regan, a physicist at Ireland’s Trinity College, Dublin, "helps to illustrate the fact that quantum-mechanical effects, which may sometimes be viewed as somehow very exotic or only relevant under extreme conditions, are at play in the day-to-day regimes where biology, chemistry, and materials science operate."

Read More

Reblogged from startrailsiv  4 notes

What’s Behind the Science in Science Fiction? Part 5: The Matter – Consciousness Interface

startrailsiv:

Now we’re getting to the good stuff and I hope you can see why I gave you all that background information leading up to it.  In order to fully appreciate something, whether it’s good music or literature, you need a foundation, no matter how rudimentary it may be.  And believe me, it was, even though your eyes may have glazed over.  My previous posts were a whirlwind tour of physics for dummies but you are now much better informed than most people out there, assuming you read it.  Congratulate yourself!  I will try to reward your efforts by building on that information so that anyone who skipped it will be entirely lost and need to go back and suffer through it like the rest of you.

Quantum theory was mind-blowing because it introduced the possibility that an observer could influence how light and even matter behaved.  This, of course, was only proven on a very small scale, yet the influence was there.  Suddenly the world of physics and metaphysics were starting to overlap.

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One of my heroes in the physics world is Richard Feynman because he demonstrated an interest in so many things besides physics.  I believe he was as brilliant as he was to the point of winning a Nobel Prize was because he was so open-minded and had the courage to see things differently.  That is how breakthroughs come about.  I’ll be forever grateful to him for his “Lectures on Physics” which helped tremendously when the textbooks fell short.

imageimage

Another great physicist who seemed to grok the concept that there was more to life than one’s own very specific discipline was Werner Heisenberg, also a Nobel Prize winning physicist with an actual phenomena named after him that relates to quantum theory, i.e. the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.  He stated, “It is probably true quite generally that in the history of human thinking the most fruitful developments frequently take place at those points where two different lines of thought meet. These lines may have their roots in quite different parts of human cultures, in different times or different cultural environments or different religious traditions: hence if they actually meet, that is, if they are at least so much related to each other that a real interaction can take place, then one may hope that new and interesting developments may follow.”

imageimage

Hello?  Ya think that maybe quantum theory would be a good one for collaboration with other disciplines?  Scientists need to talk to one another!  Here we have physicists scratching their heads over whether consciousness and matter interact while we have psychologists such as Dean Radin researching psi phenomena which may well be the mechanism that causes that interaction between consciousness and matter.  Rather than treating these researchers with about the same respect at Dr. Venkman (played by Bill Murray) in Ghostbusters, maybe they should get together over a pitcher of margaritas and see what they come up with. 

Quantum entanglement is the term used to describe two particles which become tied up with each other enough, kind of like atomic soulmates, that even when they are separated by long distances, if something happens to change the state of one, the other reacts also.  This happens instantaneously, i.e. the communication occurs faster than the speed of light, a barrier that was never supposed to be breached.  Psi is also instantaneous.  Does this imply that we become entangled with others at the quantum level?  This is especially enticing when you think of the stories of identical twins who originated with the same genetic material and are also connected at the psychic level.

Along similar lines is the concept known as NLP or neuro-linguistic programming.  It has also been called “the power of positive thinking,” and described in a movie called “The Secret” and promoted by a plethora of motivational speakers who declare that you can create your future by visualizing what you want on an consistent basis such that you will eventually draw that situation to you from the Universe at large.  If psi has the power to manipulate matter and create not only matter but circumstances, doesn’t that sound as if it has something to do with quantum theory?

Weird, you bet.  But it works.  We can, indeed, draw circumstances to us in this manner.  Which bring me to favorite quote of mine from science fiction author, Arthur C. Clarke: “Technology sufficiently far advanced is indistinguishable from magic.”  What would Isaac Newton think of your smartphone?

However, there was one rather large problem that comes down to one, little three-letter word: EGO.

Scientists tend to have tunnel vision when it comes to their own field of study.  I remember hearing once that as a person comes closer to a PhD that their IQ actually goes down.  This does not mean that they are losing brain cells from overwork and losing intelligence.  The typical IQ test assesses how much a person knows about a broad spectrum of knowledge and as a person narrows their interests down to the level required to pursue a PhD they get in the realm where they know a lot about a little which actually jeopardizes their IQ.  This also means that they start blocking out anything that doesn’t relate to their chosen subject.  They can become arrogant as they become experts and sabotage their colleagues who are seen as competitors for needed research funding.  There is also the status issue.  If you’re proven wrong you are probably through.  After all that work getting to that pinnacle, the last thing you want is some upstart to push you off.

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Breaching this obstacle is likely to require what has been described as “progress by funerals.”  In other words, as the old farts die off and those new upstarts take over, things will move along much faster. 

At least until the upstarts scale that pinnacle and replicate the cycle.

Reblogged from startrailsiv  2 notes

What’s Behind the Science in Science Fiction Part 4: Light Behaving Badly

startrailsiv:

image

Last time this blog covered how sometimes light behaves like a particle and others like a wave along with how the double-slit experiment was used to demonstrate these properties.  For example, if a steady light comprised of numerous individual photons hit a plate with one tiny slit to allow them through, rather than getting a line that matched the slit on the opposing wall it would be spread out in a pattern that was concentrated toward the center and fuzzy around the edges.  (See picture below.)

image

When they used a plate that had two slits a single photon would leave a dot, as expected, but by continuing to release them one at a time they would eventually form an interference pattern, the same as what resulted from a steady light source.  It was as if each photon had a mind of its own yet collectively they would arrange themselves in a certain pattern.  While exactly where each photon would arrive couldn’t be predicted, the pattern itself could be, based on the wavelength of the light.  Thus there was a certain probability that a photon would arrive in a certain place, some more than others, but which exact one would go where was unknown.

image

It was apparent they couldn’t predict exactly where a single photon would land but if it was a discrete particle of light then it followed that it would go through one slit or the other.  (Remember that the interference pattern resulted because there were two slits so the waves could overlap.)  Thus, scientists, the first of whom was Thomas Young (1773-1829), decided to find out which slit of the two choices each photon went through.  To do so they polarized the light going through each slit in a different way with the detector on the other side capable of telling the difference.  The photon could still theoretically “choose” which slit (or both) it would go through, but they would be able to tell which one by its polarization when it arrived on the detector. 

Sneaky.  But outsmarting Mother Nature is not an easy task. 

Much to their surprise, when they sent one photon at a time toward the slits where it was polarized the interference pattern did not emerge!

 Whoa!  

Instead, they got random spots of light which indicated individual particles.  Polarizing the light did not destroy its ability to build interference patterns so this didn’t make sense.  The results implied that when they set things up so that they’d know whether the photon went through one slit or the other that the individual photons lost their right to choose and behaved like a particle.  In other words, the probability wave function had collapsed when the final result would be determined.

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In other words, the photon can change from a wave to a particle when someone is trying to figure out exactly what it’s going to do.  When someone is watching, it behaves like a particle that not only goes through one opening or the other but loses its wave properties as well. 

Say what? 

Back then the expression WTF? didn’t exist yet, but something along those lines was definitely what was going through numerous scientific minds.  By all appearances, if someone was watching, i.e. measuring the outcome, then the probability wave collapsed and the photons acted like particles.

Thinking perhaps this was because they were polarizing the photons before they went through one slit or the other, even though they knew that didn’t stop the light from forming an interference pattern, they rigged things up to determine which slit it had gone through afterwards.  Much to their surprise they got the same result as before, a rain of itinerant particles, as if each photon had either known in advance or perhaps even went back in time, deciding how to behave.

This introduced the concept of an observer affecting the outcome.  Suddenly consciousness was part of the mix, or at least seemed to be since there was no other explanation.  Of course physicists who deal exclusively with the physical world were less than enchanted by all this woo-woo stuff.  Thus began the philosophical notion of whether or not a tree that fell in the forest made a sound if no one was there to hear it.  May I remind you that these are very intelligent people we’re dealing with here and while some of them may not be wrapped to tight as they walk the genius-insanity interface; nonetheless, they are a whole lot smarter than the rest of us.

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Einstein called this “spooky action at a distance” and didn’t believe it, even though he was the one who theorized that energy and matter were essentially the same as expressed by his famous equation E=mc2. To this day people are still arguing about this aspect of quantum theory with different conclusions.  Is it possible that an observer or some form of consciousness can influence physical matter?  Do we, indeed, create our own reality?

What do you think?

(Diagrams courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)

Reblogged from startrailsiv  3 notes

What’s Behind the Science in Science Fiction - Part 3: The Mystery of Light

startrailsiv:

The Double-Slit Experiment

You would think if you shine a light through a barrier with two slits in it that the wall on the other side would show two slices of light.  This is not what happens, however, as Thomas Young discovered in the early 1800s.  Rather than two distinct lines it created an interference pattern, indicating light behaved like a wave. 

You can get a better understanding of interference as it relates to wave behavior by dropping a pebble into a puddle and watching how the waves expand in a circle from the center point. Then drop two pebbles at the same time a few inches apart and watch how the waves interact.  What results is called constructive and destructive interference as some waves get bigger and others cancel out.  This is similar to the interference pattern of light which leaves dark spaces alternating with light bands which create a striped effect.

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But as scientists continued messing around with the properties of photons, inconsistencies appeared.  In 1887 Heinrich Hertz discovered that light could stimulate electrons on a metallic surface and thus create electrical current but the effect was related to the frequency of the light.  In 1905 Albert Einstein explained that this was because light energy was carried in discrete, quantized packets and eventually won the Nobel Prize for it in 1921, which was the beginning of the quantum revolution.

As theorized by Isaac Newton and believed throughout the 1700 – 1800s, this supported the theory that light consisted of particles which were called photons.  The particle theory made sense since it had been discovered that a photon absorbed by an atom increased its energy level and when it dropped its energy state then a photon was emitted, showing a release of energy.  When photons interact with matter they act like tiny particles.

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So what was going on?  Was light a particle or a wave?  It was in pursuing the answer that quantum theory was further established as scientists continued to study the results of the double-slit experiment.When laser light is passed through two tiny slits it forms what is called a diffraction pattern on the other side, similar to what Thomas Young saw back in the early 1800s and is shown in Figure 2.  This behavior supports the idea that light is a wave since particles would not arrange themselves in such a way.

When a single photon is released it behaves like a particle and leaves a single dot of light on the other side.  If you continue releasing single photon from the same source and location, however, they eventually form a diffraction pattern.  Say what?  How could light know how to arrange itself in a pattern? They weren’t interfering with one another when they were released one at a time so how could this occur?  (See the figure that includes 5 views of electron buildup into a diffraction pattern.)

This led to the idea of a probability wave meaning that the photons would land somewhere within a given area with some places more likely than others.  But this completely blew the idea of prediction out of the water which was the premise of classical physics and presumed if you knew all the conditions involved you could predict the outcome.  Suddenly science was having to deal with probabilities, or the likelihood of subatomic particles behaving in a certain way, as opposed to being able to calculate the precise answer when they knew all the parameters. 

Ooops! With that revelation, classical, i.e. Newtonian, physics went out the proverbial window.  It obviously couldn’t solve any problem and most certainly couldn’t predict future events.  This, in turn, eventually influenced the philosophy of the day regarding life and the concept of free will.  The implications suggested that while some outcomes were more likely than others, exactly which one it would be was no longer possible to determine. 

As if the dual nature of light wasn’t mysterious enough, it soon became even stranger when someone was watching.

(Insert Twilight Zone music here….)

Stay tuned.

(Figures courtesy of Wikipedia.org)

Reblogged from startrailsiv  2 notes

What’s Behind the Science in Science Fiction Part 2: Atomic Theory

startrailsiv:

image

I know you’re anxious to get to the good stuff like other dimensions and time travel, but you need to be patient just a little longer.  After all, this blog is about what’s behind the science in science fiction, not the final result.  Think of it as similar to those documentaries you see on TV which explain how they do the special effects in your favorite movies.  I don’t know about you, but knowing how they do that makes me appreciate the movie even more.  If you couldn’t care less, then you’re probably reading the wrong blog and need to just go back to reading sci-fi novels.  Those who are left need to just bear with me a little longer as I explain the basics of atomic theory which is more relevant than you may think.  Ready?  Okay, here we go.

As far back as 400 BC or so early Greek philosophers pondered what constituted matter and decided that it could only be divided down so far, from which atomic theory was born.  The term “atom” even originated with their adjective atomos, which means indivisible.  Back then the elements were believed to be water, air, earth and fire.  Clearly they are all important, particularly to life, but not a one of them is an actual element in the chemical sense. 

However, proving it was another story and it wasn’t until the 18th - 19th century that scientists gradually discovered that water was comprised of hydrogen and oxygen; air is mostly nitrogen with hydrogen, oxygen and various others in the mix; earth is made up of too many elements to count; and fire is a process that involves oxygen and thus called oxidation but isn’t an element in and of itself.  As they confirmed that certain chemicals could only be broken down so far the Periodic Table of the Elements was born.   Periodically more are added (pun intended) though in most cases they are manmade.

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By the early 20th century experiments involving electromagnetism and radioactivity revealed that, would the truth be known, the atom was not indivisible after all, but consisted of other particles which were identified as protons, neutrons and electrons.  These were suitably dubbed subatomic or elementary particles and scientists conveniently ignored the fact that the etymology of the word “atom” no longer applied, figuring most people didn’t know Greek, anyway.

How these subatomic particles were arranged was a matter of debate that went through numerous speculations.  J. J. Thomson’s idea was sometimes referred to the “plum pudding” model where protons and electrons were lumped together in a glob of positively charged fluid.  After that, Ernest Rutherford decided that the positive charge as well as most of the mass were concentrated in the center with the electrons surrounding it in some unknown way. 

In 1913 Danish physicist, Niels Bohr, proposed his version of the hydrogen atom which remains the mental image many retain today, i.e., a nucleus in the center with electrons revolving around it much as the planets orbit the Sun as shown at the beginning of this blog.  Bohr still believed that electrons orbited the nucleus but he placed restrictions on them to certain discrete distances or allowed orbits so that it would agree with what experiments thus far had revealed.  At this point they considered the electrons to be itty-bitty particles that orbited the nucleus according to the laws of classical mechanics, in other words like the planets orbit the Sun.

The electrons would change orbits based on either emitting or absorbing a photon, as shown in the animation.  This was getting closer, but still had problems.  Nonetheless, the idea of specific orbits was a definite step toward quantum theory and the fact that only specific energy states were allowed.  The real problem was thinking of electrons as tiny specks of matter which behaved according to Newton’s Laws pertaining to gravitation.  WRONG!

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In 1924 a scientist named Louis de Broglie (pronounced de-broy) proposed that all moving particles could exhibit wave-like behavior.  Erwin Schrodinger liked this idea and developed it further, into a probability wave.  This theory helped explain behaviors that previous ones couldn’t but still didn’t cover everything.  This was ultimately solved by Max Born (no relation to Jason Bourne) who theorized that Schrodinger’s equation represented all possible positions where the electron might possibly be.  This conveniently reconciled the two ideas and the wave/particle duality of electrons was born (pun intended).

However, trying to figure out the atom was not taking place in the proverbial vacuum (though admittedly some experiments were).  During this same time numerous other scientists were hard at work investigating what interested them most and ultimately led to so many different scientific disciplines.  Things were getting too complicated for any one person to have a firm grip on everything anymore.

Light was also under scrutiny since it was apparent that atoms and electromagnetic radiation (a.k.a. light) were related.  If you’re scratching your head on where that came from, it derived from having established that atoms emit a photon when they change states, like that cute little animation shows.  And in case you’re wondering, yes, even the Sun, our greatest source of energy and light, is no more than a giant glob comprised mostly of hydrogen atoms which bond with each other under pressure to become helium at which time a photon is emitted.  Lots of them, true, but that’s the process.  Simple. 

Most people think of light as what we can see which is conveniently broken down into its various colors by a prism or in some cases a rainstorm that occurs when the Sun is out and thus produces a rainbow.  Visible light, however, is but one small portion of what is known as the “Electromagnetic Spectrum.” It also includes various other wavelengths that span a vast variety of wavelengths and energies ranging from radio waves and infrared (heat) on one side to ultraviolet, x-ray and gamma radiation on the other.  In the picture you can see the rather small portion of visible light in the middle where it looks like a rainbow.

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Albert Einstein theorized that similar to matter, light could also only be broken down so far, the smallest unit of which was ultimately called a photon. He even proved it and received the Nobel Prize for his paper on the photoelectric effect, which stated that a photon could change an atom’s energy state and that principle is used widely today with all those automatic doors you encounter everywhere from the grocery store to Wal*Mart. 

Physicists conducted numerous experiments with light which revealed that it, too, had both wave and particle characteristics.  Since photons originate with atoms the fact that they share some of the same characteristics shouldn’t be any more surprising than the fact your have your father’s nose or your mother’s smile.  True, photons are massless, but electrons aren’t.  Nonetheless, they also show wave and particle traits. 

This is a good place to ponder Einstein’s famous equation, E=MC2, which states energy is equal to mass times the square of the speed of light.  If you rearrange it algebraically you have energy divided by the square of the speed of light is equal to mass, which essentially declares that mass and energy are the same thing.

Now we’re getting into the good stuff.  So give that some thought until next time when I introduce you to the true beginnings of weird science which originated with something called the double-slit experiment.

See you then.

© Copyright 2014 by Marcha Fox

All Rights Reserved

Reblogged from startrailsiv  2 notes

What’s Behind the ‘Science’ in Science Fiction?

startrailsiv:

Part One

You don’t have to be a scientist to enjoy science fiction.  If you’re lucky, you may learn a few scientific facts painlessly while enjoying a good read, or at least that’s my goal as a science fiction author.  But what exactly lies behind stories categorized as science fiction? 

Science, of course, but it goes beyond that because it often addresses the impact of technology on society.  Science alone is a real snoozer if you don’t combine it with how it affects your life.  Unless you happen to be a rocket scientist, however, much of the actual science in science fiction stories often gets lost in the plot.  But guess what?  Then you’re missing a lot of the fun, too.  If you’re someone who thinks that science is really cool stuff, you may want to know more about the actual science behind such things as time travel, teleportation, other dimensions and telepathy. But here’s the bad news.  You needed to learn to crawl before you could walk or run and know the alphabet before you could read, so before you can get to the good stuff you need to know the basics.

In the Beginning there was Classical Physics

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Originally physics only dealt with, big surprise, physical phenomena.  It related to mass, motion and time, things which were apparent in the world around us.  Math was used to create formulae to calculate their relationship to one another. Using algebra, if you knew two of the quantities you could figure out the third.  A common example is D=vt (Distance equals velocity times elapsed time) which when rearranged become v = D/t.  If that sounds vaguely familiar maybe it’s because in a more familiar form, velocity = miles/hour or miles per hour.

Classical physics derived from D=vt.  To do so gets into higher math called calculus which is an interesting subject in and of itself.  It was invented simultaneously way back in the 17th century by Isaac Newton and Gottfried Liebniz in order to solve more complicated problems such as orbital dynamics.  More on that some other time.  For now just file away the notion that the world of classical physics mostly involves the movement of objects in your everyday world such as how long it takes to get to work or school, how much momentum a baseball has when hit by a star player or how much energy there is in a garbage truck moving at 65 mph.

For a long time scientists thought that these basic formulae could explain everything in the universe.  After all, they do a pretty good job of dealing with everyday life.  They also thought that if you took everything down to the most fundamental level you could predict anything that might happen in the future.  This was called determinism and in many ways reinforced the concept of fate and denied the idea of free will.  This was the philosophy of the day, as noted in the movie “A Knight’s Tale,” where it was pointed out that it was extremely difficult if not impossible to “change your stars.”  You were dealt a certain hand in life that you had to play.  Period.

As is often the case, however, when an individual or group of like-minded people think they know everything there is to know, they eventually find out otherwise.  Indeed, life isn’t that simple and toward the end of the 1800s and early 1900s new discoveries showed that indeed they were flat-out wrong.  Not just a little wrong, but really wrong. For starters, the elements definitely did not consist of air, water, earth and fire. 

More on that next time when we get into atomic theory.  Stay tuned.

© Copyright 2014 by Marcha Fox

All Rights Reserved