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Blutwölfin
Sunday, June 25th, 2006, 09:27 AM
International scientists will recreate the immediate aftermath of the "Big Bang" in a bid to uncover the mysteries of the universe, a world physics summit announced.

The laboratory experiment will take place in Europe next year with the collaboration of US, Japanese and Russian scientists to increase scientific knowledge of dark energy and matter, said summit organizer Carlos Montufar, of Ecuador's San Francisco University.

"The idea is to generate a clash between particles similar to what happened a thousandth of a second after the Big Bang and see what it could tell us about the standard model of matter," Montufar told AFP.


Read the full story (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060622/sc_afp/scienceastronomy_060622190651;_ylt=AkgDu qEUlCQjlxywYqTY9g_POrgF;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJ vMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA--)

Gorm the Old
Monday, June 26th, 2006, 04:39 PM
The article is totally uninformative and the title is totally misleading. The physical conditions of the "Big Bang" are unreproduceable on Earth (thank God !) The encounters between particles occured at unimaginable pressures and densities. We do not really know how matter behaves under such conditions and any experiment conducted with particle accelerators ( for example) under laboratory conditions, will give us no insight into the bevaviour of matter at extreme densities and pressures. Most particle beams produced by accelerators are about as dense as a good laboratory vacuum, the very antithesis of the "Big Bang" conditions.

Sigrid
Monday, June 26th, 2006, 05:12 PM
Thanks Egil. That has always worried me. Can you create the "immediate aftermath" of something if you can't create its predecessor? Do you need to create its predecessor in this case?

Gorm the Old
Tuesday, June 27th, 2006, 07:44 PM
The physical conditions existing 1/1000 second after the "Big Bang" cannot be greatly different from those at the time of the Big Bang. They are unlike anything which has ever existed or can exist on this planet. If we could reproduce this superdense, superhot environment on this planet, it would closely resemble a black hole. It would quickly absorb mass from its surroundings until it was capable of wrapping the planet around it (assuming that this natural gravitational tendency were not defeated by some mythical "black force"), thus destroying the planet. Yet, in the absence of the unknown kinds of interactions between particles which might occur in a superdense, superhot environment, the experiment described would accomplish nothing and prove nothing.

Sigrid
Wednesday, June 28th, 2006, 06:52 AM
I notice a lot of this is now keyed into co-ordinates on PCs and the scientist kind of pops up with the "cataclysmic moment" co-ordinate and then proceeds to tell you from this computerised formulation what the aftermath of something will be. This is obviously employing mathematics to stand in for what would be an attempt to present a logical argument in philosophy. My question is, are these insta formulas valid? I would presume some are because they can actually be validated mathematically, but what is their utility in predicting something that is as yet untestable?

I am not a scientist so I have no argument with scientists and learn a lot by listening to their knowledge of mathematics and logic and using it to help me in my own experience of what they are investigating. All theories being "valid" until another one comes along that replaces of modifies the earlier, of course. Scientific investigation is organic in this respect, obviously. But some theories, like Einstein's on energy or time seem to have been validated by pure maths, so do these people now punch in these kinds of co-ordinates and try to predict a scenario like the Big Bang or orbital distortions of time or whatever it is they are investigating?

It would seem to me that the computer and its advanced programs that allow theories to be tested more efficiently by number crunching with less margin for error may be very useful in this regard.

(I remain your humble servant, my lord, in these matters as I have the mathematical capability of the average dormouse. For some reason it left me almost entirely at the age of fourteen and was replaced by words and pictures :D )

Gorm the Old
Wednesday, June 28th, 2006, 07:53 PM
Mathematics has always been my bęte noir. If it were not so, I should probably have become an astronomer. However, it is important to understand that mathematics is a language which expresses the highly abstract concepts of a purely deductive logical system. It can be APPLIED to the real world (if one does not demand a perfect fit) but, in and of itself, it has nothing to do with physical reality (nor metaphysical reality, for that matter, because it is devoid of values.)...Being as abstract as the rules of chess, mathematics can be used to create unreal worlds. This is the major occupation of mathematical physicists. They endeavour to generate mathematical models intended to resemble reality, in the hope that one of them will be so close an approximation to reality as we know it, that it can be used to predict the behaviour of matter in the real world. And, within the mathematicl model it is possible to perform Gedanksexperimenten which would be either too difficult or too dangerous to perform in the real world....Recreating the physical conditions existing during the "Big Bang" is impossible and, as I have pointed out previously, incredibly hazardous. However, the mathematical physicist can create a mathematical model of the Big Bang and, using the laws of physics, extrapolate from it to the physical state of the universe at subsequent instants until one is found which can be physically reproduced. At .001 sec. after the BB, every particle of matter and every quantum of electromagnetic energy in the , still inconceivably compact universe, interacts with every other particle and/or quantum. A physical experiment in which particles encounter each other in isolation, unaffected by the rest of the universe is so unreal as to have no bearing on the conditions within the cosmic fireball of .001 sec. post-BB....Mathematical physicists have a quasi-religious faith in the validity of their mathematical models. They have lost sight of a very important fact: Nature is not obliged to conform to their mathematical models, Rather, to be of any value except as an exercise in mathematics, the model must conform, as closely as possible to Nature....The temptation to "cook" the physical data to agree with the model can be almost irresistible, and there have been examples of such intellectual dishonesty....In summary, then, the proposed experiment is NOT an attempt to "recreate the Big Bang." Rather, it is an attempt to recreate some particle interactions which might occur after the beginning of the BB, but while it was still well underway .

Sigrid
Wednesday, June 28th, 2006, 08:12 PM
Thank you, Egil. I understand these things perfectly when they are explained by someone else but cannot do calculations personally. I wanted very much to be a microbiologist and was thwarted horribly by my inability to do maths. I wanted to be a doctor and ditto. I was on my way to becoming a psychologist when statistics felled me as you now have to do this subject to be able to help people with emotional and psychological disorders :rolleyes: . So now you have arithmetical genii trying to talk to people who need therapists with a high EQ not IQ. God knows how that will ultimately work out. :mad:
(Besides which they told me if I got past Honours I would be refused a chance to do a Masters in Clinical Psychology because I was the wrong colour for the "equity" programme.) Aargh.