Macs and SETI

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by mischief, Apr 16, 2002.

?

Are we unique in all the Universe?

  1. No, it's mathematically impossible.

    11 vote(s)
    84.6%
  2. No, but there are so few others it's pointless to consider.

    2 vote(s)
    15.4%
  3. Yes, chances of other habitable planets are so low.....blah blah blah.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Yes. Cuz we are God's pet project.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #1
    I was curious what people think about whether or not all us Fire-Apes are unique in all the universe or perhaps there are other enhabited mudballs out there.:D
     
  2. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #2
    Re: Macs and SETI

    Don't you ever watch StarTrek Voyager? where the hell is ensign paris? he can tell you about M class planets, on last night's episode they got stranded on one. there were primatives there. Not to mention all those other alien races, and of course, lest we forget Star Wars...

    ;)

    Seriously tho, i don't think that whole "spark of life" thing in the beginning of evolution just happened to us... Probably happens whenever the conditions are right on a planet... And just because the 8 other planets in our solar system don't support life doesn't mean there isn't at least one on the other side of the galaxy...

    That's not to say we'll necessarily make contact, unless we make a lot of sci-fi theories a reality, like folding space or traveling along galactic strings... But who knows. I'm running SETI@home right now, have been in some form since it came out. Can't hurt to try.

    pnw
     
  3. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago
    #3
    I thought Contact was an OK movie. It wasn't great or anything, but I enjoyed it. But there was one thing I did really like in the movie, and that was the quote that goes something like:

    I don't know if we are alone in the universe. But if we are, it seems like an awfully big waste of space.

    Thats my sentiment exactly. All this huge amount of matter in the universe in this vast amount of space...all for us who occupy only a itsy-bitsy little planet. It just doesn't seem right.

    Matthew
     
  4. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #4
    Until we've searched every square parsec, we won't really know now will we?

    To boldly go when no man has gone before....

    I wonder if this will turn into as big a debate as the other thread? So far everyone who voted has picked the first option.
     
  5. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #5
    Every CUBIC Parsec.

    Don't let Star Trek confuse you into thinking this is a 2 dimensional Universe.

    :D :eek: ;)
     
  6. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #6
    Re: Every CUBIC Parsec.

    How could I possibly believe that? You might have misunderstood me.

    I totally believe the quote Taft put up

    I don't know if we are alone in the universe. But if we are, it seems like an awfully big waste of space.

    All I was saying it might take some time, a lot of time, before we find anything.:D
     
  7. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #7
    Theorems.

    No serious pokes intended........just being picky.

    I realized recently some things physicists love to ignore:

    Light has a minute mass, therefore it must be subject to entropy over long distances.

    Light is bent and even "lensed" by large gravitational fields......therefore it only stands to reason that no measurements made from DEEP within the gravity well of both our host star and our home planet can be called accurate.

    It's quite likely that Light travels considerably faster in open space cuz it has no gravitational "lag". This suggests a much smaller local map than ever previously guessed.
     
  8. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago
    #8
    Re: Theorems.

    I'm no physicist, but your theory seems to be not quite accurate.

    First, many physicists think that light is not only bend by gravitational fields, but in the case of very large fields (like black holes) it is bent into the field and cannot escape. However, it doesn't mean the light is necessarily slowing down. It could be speeding up. We don't know because the light doesn't escape so that we can measure it.

    How could it speed up? The sling effect is one way in which matter can speed up when effected by a gravitational field. This is when matter approaches a gravitational field and is pulled towards the field, but not enough so that the matter stays within the field, instead it is flung off of the field with greater speed.

    Also, if light was travelling in such a way as to be travelling directly towards the field, wouldn't the strength of the field speed it up rather than slowing it down. Travelling with the field should add velocity (or more likely not change velocity), not subtract.

    I just don't think its likely that the scientific community has so seriously misjudged the distance/speed/size of celestial bodies.

    I think there are a lot of things that you might not have considered when coming up with this theory. (A bit off-topic, but...) Just as I think that there are many complexities to combatting AIDS/HIV that you may have overlooked. I'm no physicist (or biologist), but there are a lot of scientists (in fact most) who would strongly disagree with your theory on both subjects.

    And don't get me wrong, I love hearing new theories about these kind of things. New ideas are important and drive innovation and human progress. These theories completely disagree with current thinking on these subjects and so I don't agree with them. But maybe you'll prove us all wrong.

    I think it would be cool if you did. :)

    Matthew
     
  9. Falleron macrumors 68000

    Falleron

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    As we are talking about SETI, I wish that they would optimise it for the G4's Altivec!! Its really annoying that the program does not take advantage of the chips advantages! I might as well have a G3 (for seti at least). However, I am still sending back a unit every 3 hours or so on my dual 1ghz powermac!
     
  10. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #10
    Re: Re: Theorems.

    Actually in the year or so since I first thought of this the Scientific community has been grudgingly coming to similar conclusions. Dig through Astronomy magazine for the year or do a Sherlock for "new discoveries" involving Hubble. They recently admitted that physics seems to be WAY less Universally absolute than locally viable. Also in the last year Hubble and other space tellescopes have been seeing farther than was supposed to be possible.
     
  11. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #11
    Hubble is starting to see back to what scientists are calling the "beginning of the Universe"...

    I'm not sure about light slowing down in gravitational fields, but it definitely will be deflected/bent by encountering masses in space. For the sake of an easy example, picture the Universe as a plane (even though we know there are 3 dimensions at play here. This plane is made up of a firm, yet pliant material, such as lightweight rubber. Masses (planets, stars, asteroids, etc.) when placed in this plane will cause gravitational dips or deformations in the surface. When another particle or mass moves across the plane it will move along the path until it encounters such a dip, and then follow the laws of physics and be diverted by the change in the surface.

    Ain't gravity a trip?
     
  12. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #12
    We're argueing the same point

    Basically: Because light has mass and can observably be effected by gravity it's velocity must not be a constant from point A to point B. One can also think of Time/Space as "thickening" around large masses. Because nothing exists as a true vacuum it's safe to say that there going to me proportionately more "stuff" floating around.
     
  13. Quark macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
    #13
    Speed of light is a based on faulty premiss

    Light doesn't actually travel. It is a constant in the universe.

    What we observe to be the "speed of light" is really the speed of space.

    Space and time are intertwined and cannot be separated. Einstein wrote a great deal on the subject, including a way to prove it... but you need a really, really, really large star....


    I think I have one around here somewhere......


    Quark
     
  14. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #14
    I'd be happy to debate Relativity Theory with you...but I think the idea that the speed of light is limited to spacial constraints is ludicrous...

    What about black holes? If light is travelling at the maximum speed allowed by space-time, then why can't it escape from them?
     
  15. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #15
    Einstein also burned his notes.

    While working on the Unified Field theory Einstein had a conversation with Imanuel Velikovski on the subject (they were contemporaries and friends) after which he burned his notes. Both men took the conversation's goings-on to their graves.
     
  16. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #16
    Einstein didn't believe in black holes.

    And I agree that the speed of light is a constant, not some variable determined by spacial/gravitational forces.

    A couple of books for good reading on the subject

    Steven Hawking's - A Brief History of Time

    And Kip Thorne's Black Holes and Time Warps : Einstein's Outrageous Legacy

    They're not filled with lengthy equations and actually do a good job of explaining things in terms most people can understand.
     
  17. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago
    #17
    Re: Einstein also burned his notes.

    It is well known that Einstein considered his lack of a unified theory his great failure. And many people are also calling into question the possibility of a unified theory given our current set of theories. But others are working on unifying electromagnetic theory and gravity through observable experiments--just to show you how diverse thought is on these subjects.

    Other discoveries I've seen, like very old and far away galaxies preiously not known to exists are observable through effects explainable by Einstein's theories. I don't know of any large movement in the scientific community that is calling into question the global effects of physics. I certainly haven't heard of any groundbreaking or unknown discoveries in the understanding of light.

    Please point me to an article if you've got one because I could not find any in the sources you mentioned.

    Matthew
     
  18. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #18
    Re: Re: Einstein also burned his notes.

    The hunt to 'view' gravity waves is a big obstacle here. We might not be able to do it effectively on the planet and have to set up something in 0-g and over huge distances, much larger than the diameter of the earth. Viewing light as it bends around distant stars won't be enough.

    All this means is that it won't happen any time soon.
     
  19. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #19
    Even Stephen Hawking has vacillated about black holes (great book recommendation BTW, one of my favorites)...but until we come up with some other explanation/name for the phenomenon, we're stuck with what we have...
     
  20. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago
    #20
    Re: Re: Re: Einstein also burned his notes.

    I've heard this, but I think some are looking in other areas for evidence. Take this:

    http://www.astronomy.com/Content/Dynamic/Articles/000/000/000/786lpgan.asp

    Its not the most scientific article ever written but it shows an interesting approach to this problem.

    Matthew
     
  21. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #21
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Einstein also burned his notes.

    I saw an article in a magazine on this. But the multi-dimensionality of the universe is a really wild thing. Go look on Amazon for some of Kip Thorne's other books on the subject.

    It would make sense why we're having such a hard time 'seeing' gravity. Ah, science and the quest for knowledge....
     
  22. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago
    #22
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Einstein also burned his notes.

    Fun, ain't it?

    I read two of Stephen Hawking's books, and they were pretty good. Accessible physics. There are also a few good books out there that cover Einstein's theories of relativity in great detail.

    I used to be really into this stuff. It almost makes you want to be a physicist. Until you get half-way through your introductory physics class and realize you might go insane getting to the part of physics that is actually interesting.

    Matthew
     
  23. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #23
    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Einstein also burned his notes.

    I've taken my share of physics classes. I called it quits at Quantum Mechanics. Some good quotes

    "Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it"
    - Niels Bohr

    "If [quantum theory] is correct, it signifies the end of physics as a science." - Albert Einstein

    "I think I can safely sat that nobody understands quantum mechanics." - Richard Feynman
     
  24. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #24
    Quantum mechanics is ****.

    It's continuing "rock breaking" as a "Science" well beyond reason.

    All that has come of it since the advent of exceptional long-range imaging has been covering holes in a flawed, Victorian Kluge.Einstein was brilliant, as are many others but the standing theories have been badly oversimplified.

    Modern sub-atomic and quantum physics nearly completely ignore the harmonic simplicity of the rythm in the periodic table. The thought that perhaps an Atom is simply a standing wave confounds and threatens physicist Zealots because it requires (dare I say it ) FAITH.

    The contest between particle and wave theories in the fourties didn't end, it's champions died. The vast majority of academics preferred Particle because it's easier to understand and doesn't embarass them. The super-string theory is a some what tongue in cheek attempt at compromise.
     
  25. Taft macrumors 65816

    Taft

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago
    #25
    Richard Feynman

    Have you read any of the books on or by Richard Feynman? I recently read "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman?" Its a really good read. I hear his book on physics essentials is a really good read. He seems like an incredible teacher.

    Matthew
     

Share This Page