December 4, 2010
Stephen Hawking, Einstein, and my ideas…
Thinking about time and relativity it just passes my own thinking that Hawking has merely made accessible most of the elegant yet incomprehensible genius of Einstein. But thinking more about this it also occurs to me that Einstein was not thinking in terms in which S. Hawking or anybody explaining his theories was.
Nevertheless Hawkings work is in itself the work of a genius because explaining these not so simple (after all) work of Einstein can only be achieved by a genius of Hawkings caliber. Hawkings clarity, wit and unimaginable access to all the physical ideas of our Universe and comprehensibility is a trademark, a sign of uniqueness.
On the other hand truth be told Einstein’s was not the last words on Physical world neither were they any, the highest kind, as is often understood by general massive popularity. To shed light on how Einstein actually thought and his own account, I had come across it more than a decade ago and I still remember, thankfully to my own nature, in a book written by Einstein himself, which I had never owned so I really do not have a copy by myself.
Truth be told, Feynman was a greater greater genius than Einstein himself, and he actually thought in ways which had no space, time, quantum parallel, therefore his genius is still debatable and his works are only but a tiny account of what he was. How was Einstein actually thinking?
The humor is Einstein was thinking in ways loved by every woman on earth, even those that did not know him, so a true account is only achievable by his own women of whom he had a few, and these accounts are pretty well documented as well.
But given that there are signatures of how a man (and a woman if you may) thinks, in his own works and in his own words, here is my account of it, from the way Einstein thought about it and the way Hawking thought about it to my own ways. (My own ways I can always talk about as long as I am alive, it does not need special arts works, just needs a little thought)
Hawking in his recent Grand Design, of which I have a copy by my side but I do not bother opening, I have read through its chapter 5, theory of everything and I proudly own this marvel, but here is what I read.
Some of the accounts in this book is also sometimes found in many other texts so we scientists are a bunch of folks who often do not have the facilities to come up with strikingly new explanations and new paradigms, in case of Hawking though; he comes up like two or three every page.
So before going into the idea of special relativity I jump with elation into his explanation of what a so-called M Theory is M may stand for Mad or Marvelous per your taste. In this he describes how our universe is one among a billion, billion of such, as proposed, albeit timely and temporarily, by M Theory.
But given that we at least see one, he proceeds to describe the multi dimension world of ours, where the unproven yet state of the science idea of 11 dimensions is a proposition.
He takes a very ordinary yet worldly example of a straw in a glass of Blue Hawaiian (was it or was it Ruh Afza, those who did not know, Blue Hawaiian used to be one my fave that’s why I mentioned it) and put that picture in three instances, close, farther, farthest or from the waitresses account as understood by Hawking as farther, closer, closest.
In the close, closest scenario, that is one where Hawking is sitting and drinking, the straw has a 2 dimensional reality. If an ant is gradually crawling up the straw it would have to make a longitudinal movement as well as a circular movement so very merrily without any mindfulness of Hawkings watch on his wrist the ant goes round and round and may be reaches the surface of ecstasy.
In the farther, farther scenario, Hawking sees the longitudinal reality of the straw quite well; the circular reality is obscured by a significant factor but still seeable from its distance. So Hawking thinks may be the ant is still crawling up the straw. But he needs a magnifying device, like a powerful digital camera or a telescope, which has a chance to find this ant, given its on a horizon accessible by the device.
But in the last scenario the situation is quite different. First of all it’s a string theoretic view of the reality. Here enters the social activist as well. Lets say the most honorable one, you name him. And he or she proclaims to be reading a great deal of scientific manulets, in college after which he got embroiled in vicious social dimensions, and forgot what it is all about.
Then he comes forth in his old age and sees Hawking explaining a new scientific understanding, and exhilarates with the prospect of taking part. Hawking then explains. Although by common sense, I know that it’s the same straw that’s put at different place, and in this case by the waitress, the intelligent design is quite clear and acceptable.
But the distance distorts the view of reality, the circular reality of the straw is suppressed and the ant may be present which we do not necessarily know. Now the two dimensional straw is coming out as a one-dimensional object of reality.
This object of reality is not to be confused with an object of desire, which is like a pay hike for a shoddy piece of work, or your most likable sexual imagery. So this is just one example of how, we may have a view of reality that does not confirm with reality itself, nevertheless we are pretty sensible in discussing this.
That’s what these string theorists or M theorists are doing, they are pretty sensible guys although in circumstances as visible to the roughly common populace in any community they are a kind of activists of modern day holy grail, the unification syndrome that persisted through 8.5 decades.
But the comprehension that’s come forth to us non string lings, is we live in a world the reality of which is actually 11 dimensional and whose 1 dimension is time, 3 dimensions are spatially encroachable by us all and the 7 dimensions are little turns and curves at a scale so suppressed that the only sensible example we can give is the straw of Hawking or a membrane of drum on which an ant can experience musical spanking.
For little time the ant jumps onto air without knowing its feet are detached from the fibrous membrane that clutched its tiny feet. It may then be so small that the various dimension of the world reality at that scale show up in dramatic power and the ant struggles and learns a new game of random walk.
We might have learned a little game of random walk ourselves when we were all babies, except we are a bunch of intelligent design ourselves because papa brings in home a wheeled fun cart or bicycle on which Munna and Belinda can enjoy papas elation in seeing his babies move, instead crawl.
But imagine a world of a different civilization, we just don’t know what it would be like, may be the baby jumps every other way, crawls up the walls and roof, well down under the roof, like a spider creature and shouts vulgarities at papa and pees to the sky because gravity is repulsive, who ever knows, what the reality of a different universe is.
So here is the idea of special relativity that Hawking tried to explain through various constructs that are pretty much found in many science popular. Like the All-pervasive ether of the Maxwellian age and its recounted experimentation by Michelson Morley set up.
He explains the relativity of time, by a set up, in which a light ray travels back and forth between two bounds and in one scenario this is at rest because the observer is not moving with respect to this set up. In the other scenario the observer and the clock, this time a light ray traveling back and forth between the two bounds are in relative motion, that is they are in motion wrt each other.
Now consider Einstein’s account, he straight away came with the physical insight, call it an assumption as well, but its elegance can never be overruled, that space and time are equivalents, that is, if we define time to be a process, then it involves a space.
It only makes sense how much length is traversed and that in itself is equal to how much time passes by. If velocity keeps on changing then time interval and space distance adjust themselves. He then dropped another assumption, to the world, which is the speed of light of electromagnetic communication, cosmic radiations etc, a constant speed at which natural relays of information, and disturbances take place.
Together the space and time equivalence, that is their equal validity, and equal reality as far as they occur as a natural process, and the speed of light as a universal constant is the speed at which natural information relays itself or speed of field disturbances is summed up as a new theory or physical understanding of our universe and its called special theory of relativity, as a more general understanding that emanates from Einstein’s genius is available to scientists called as the general theory of relativity.
To summarize, time was, before this understanding, held as an absolute quantity. That is time Asses on its own. Time is an independent hole in the workings of the natural design. Actually, humor apart, I meant time passes on its own.
This is the basis of the adage, time and tide waits for no one. But hang on; if you have come up to this point in this article, you will see how no one waits for time either. Why this is the day-to-day implication of special theory of relativity and why I am regarded as a truly mad scientist.
(well I may not be regarded like that it all depends on how someone would like to see you and it all subjective, I am just going to move on here unabated)
So what’s absoluteness of time, it means time is there on its own, by its own, for its own. Time like it or not flows like that hence must be regarded independent of what we think of it, how we measure it, etc. eg if I can measure time from two different scenarios.
Once when the car was moving and I am sitting in the car and the other instance in which I get down at a stop and check my wrist watch, in each instance, I thought my watch ticks at the same rate, at least that was the notion until Year 1900, when Einstein’s work in 1905, the so called anus mirabilis (Year of miracle), this understanding or notion as you may, received a severe blow via the new understanding that time in itself does not make a physical sense.
It only makes a sense in connection with all other physical variable, therefore space as well. Something, which most physicists forget or never knew, is that time is equivalent not only to space but equivalent to momentum, for example.
You can, Not specify the momentum, or the velocity of an object, to arbitrary accuracy without making at the same instant (time instant!!) a large error on how much time this requires to be noted on your data entry book. Eg, in physical reality if you have a force, which is only as feeble as the kick of an ant, you don’t talk about a momentum of that kick that brings Lalu Prasad Yadav on his knees, except, if the ant were doing something else to him.
It would take infinite time for the ant to kick Yadav so hard that he realizes his granny. (thats a tribute to the great stateman Bihar produced where I have lived couple years, and the realizing granny is an idiom all over India)
That’s because all physical equations have to be consistent. So some of the equations have been formulated just to check the consistency or lack of it. There are a plenty that haven’t ever been formulated, they are always in need of brilliant physicists like Feynman.
That’s why we learn about the famed uncertainty equations, which relates position (distance) with momentum, time with energy and angular distance to angular momentum. But there are actually numerous others and in reality everything is mixed up with everything else. Except the ones that we know are exactly like that and no change is allowed there.
The basic idea of quantum mechanics is to allow all possibility and not allow any inconsistency and this is something that was actually noted by Feynman himself. SO the ideas should be used because they are easy to remember and understood and then painstakingly everything is worked out before a new invention or discovery can be made.
Those who start with equations will meet an obscure kick in their ass for being too much of nothing. It better be a little of everything working backwards and achieve something sensible. But those who are masters of falsification (see my article on falsification), which includes all scientists, need the equations as well to counter shoddy conclusions.
So equations must all be worked out and those who do so as a matter of profession are called the theoretical physicists or the theoreticians. On the other hand I am an experimental physicist and most of my insight goes into the details of how to carry the extensive jobs.
But in preferential terminology we are all physicists and we know how to alter ranks. So Feynman was a great thinker and theoretician while he knew how to do certain experiments better than professional experimentalists. On the other hand world hasn’t seen much of my theoretical bent of mind, at least how much I know how to solve the problems like a hardcore theoretician. (I am saying because I am just passionate to do some of these things on a more serious basis)
Einstein was a theoretician by profession and he formulated and widely used many thought experiments or Gedanken experiments because all experiments can’t be carried out. A simple example is how a person would experience free fall if the string of the elevator were cut off.
You don’t want a real person to be in that predicament because it means gravitational splash but in an imaginary experiment like this you can still go ahead and think through all the consequences of the laws without being inconsistent with anything.
One of the situations where Feynman’s ideas to take all possibilities and discard the inconsistent ones, are the Particle Physics processes. The theory side is filled up with situations where one draws the so-called Feynman diagrams and the experimental side is filled up with situations where one considers many processes and discards the ones that do not make a qualification for some way or other.
These processes are inherently quantum mechanical in nature therefore, by employing such simplistic ideas of inconsistency after taking all possibilities, we arrive at effective solutions and interestingly impressive ones much quicker. If we were to use up, famous equations, we may not even see a signal nevertheless these may be used up to invalidate something or as a constraint to reduce the background processes, the ones which hides true signal processes.
Now let us go back to the idea of relativity of time. Einstein’s idea is therefore time is relative, that is, it makes sense wrt how its measured, who measures, a person traveling really fast measures this or a person moving slow or standing still wrt to time measures it. Now this idea of moving wrt time (not wrt clock but time) isn’t heard of, because that’s my idea. Patented. But I will unpatent it soon.
Lets go back to Einstein’s idea, if the clock is placed in the train in which you are present since you and clock aren’t actually moving wrt each other the rate at which time flows is fastest. Time is fastest in rest frame, faster in a slower frame of reference, and slower in a faster f.o.r.
In the 1st instance, space is as much as you see it, hence time clicks at a rate which is more than it would if space is elongated or widened because you are moving wrt space, so my idea is you are moving wrt time because space and time are now equal, somebody can say you are moving wrt space and this is S. Hawking.
What Hawking says is since in a frame in which you are moving wrt space, which corresponds to the time you want to measure, the delay in relay of information going back and forth between the ends of space points are going to be increased, hence time is slower, it takes more time each time to tick cric cric cric, that is time is slower wrt a fast moving person.
That’s why if you are on Satabdi Express or Shinkansen all your life you live it a little longer only a little longer to say Aram Haram Hai (Laziness is despicable), you have been Not making any slack in your duties, you are so fast, but like a joke you die the next instant, because that’s the only time you saved by being fast enough.
So who says time and tide waits for none, Einstein now says it’s also the other way round. No one waits for time (or tide), if time is slow because I am moving fast, I am actually not waiting for time, SO always move faster.
Now this was not Einstein’s idea, as Einstein thought out, how he thought of this is as I have said this before, space and time are equivalent therefore if you are moving wrt space faster it means space is moving faster wrt you so time is moving faster wrt you, now why he came up with this idea, time and space are equivalent, that nobody can say not even his legitimate wives, but that’s just characteristic of him.
(and how did I come up with this explanation, nowhere else you would have seen this explanation, if you move fast wrt space since space and time are equivalents you are actually moving fast wrt time therefore time and you are on relatively quick motion, if you know its you that is moving fast, time is slower and if you know you are slow time is fast)
Why would Feynman think of what he would think, Arlene cant say, Gwyneth cant say, neither the nude women on his portrait. Feynman said as much he could then he left us, so read his accounts. What Hawking says are Hawkings characteristics.
My idea is not only we move wrt time but that time happens like a wave, it happens like a particle too and time can dilate or elongate like space does, if you have a momentum which is precisely known it means time has to be imprecise, or correct me if you can, but time is anyhow related to energy and energy precision would mean time window is quite large, therefore something moving really fast is almost unseeable, the correct time window it permits is quite small, if you don’t see in that small time you missed it.
If it’s a baseball or cricket ball, that’s moving really fast then you need to see it with intense light, then its complete trajectory shows up, like in a base ball match or cricket match, else its just a little here and then little there.
If its an elementary particle then it’s a bizarre scene, intense light will sufficiently alter the motion of the particle itself, less intense light wont help at all, as its momentum is really small, there is a trade off as it is consistent with the uncertainty equations, all of the eqns, plus the ones that we don’t know so far.
(I tend to think there are actually more equations of uncertainty that we know, well the commutation relations extend to more variables that nobody computed all of them, only if one can invent new home work problems, Physics is intrinsically difficult because there is just so much)
Now this is all quantum mechanics. Where is the idea of time in relativity? Well as I said time is like a particle, which means time in itself is measurable because there is say an electron or any other elementary particle. The electron and the photon and all the other little bunnies they all jump, swivel, wobble and dance like they would, permitted by Natures laws, but they all pertain to time.
Since time is like a matter particle if you move really fast wrt an electron the electron is moving fast wrt you therefore the relative motion wrt each other, time (electron) and you, is faster.
What’s the use of such an idea, that time is like physical matter itself. Its to say there may be an inherent and multitude of new laws just hiding there which our great masters of science might have hinted to but we all have so far not been able to find them out.
We haven’t taken enough pain to clearly see something and work them out so that there is something really as interesting as a new quantum mechanical phenomenon and its equations. This is the present situation with all of physics. We are boastful of huge machines and huge missions into cosmos but we don’t have a satisfying answer to some of our most desired quest about nature, the likes of unification included.
One of the use of this electron working like a sense of time itself is in another subject I tried to touch, without any further serious thinking or work, is the magnetic monopole. (See my article about magnetic monopole) Here I have tried to imagine that two electrons only when they move wrt each other even if infinitely apart or just be there, they do start making any sense of time what so ever.
Without that, that is with just a single electron, time would be absolute so it’s not even touching the knowledge of special theory of relativity. But when there are two whether or not they move wrt each other a sense of time develops.
This is all speculative but without going through all the calculations much in the Feynmanistic way we don’t see what problems of inconsistency we face with the present understanding. So now these are two electrons or two electric charges. The equations of electricity are symmetric wrt to each other. But the magnetic charges or monopoles are not seen in reality.
In reality there are always dipoles, as known so far. That means the magnetic dipoles somehow distort the equations of electricity by altering the way time is pictured with separate electric mono charges. It’s just speculative again, but this is characteristic of me. I don’t need a wife to remember this and tell you, I just mention as I go.