Author Topic: I just wrote a paper for middle school science class. ANY IDEAS APRRECIATED  (Read 783 times)

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Offline Dr H

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Re: I just wrote a paper for middle school science class. ANY IDEAS APRRECIATED
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2013, 04:26:04 PM »
What IS space?
The final frontier.  :)

But seriously folks...

Depending on which theory you subscribe to, space is:  the underlying geometric foundation of the universe; a dimensional component of spacetime; quantum foam; vacuum zero-point energy; or any of several other insteresting postulates.

That's a lot of "stuff" for "nothing".  :blank:

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Then nothing I said was false. Absolute zero is an artificial construct. Space is nothing.
Absolute zero is a mathematically asymptotic energy state, much like the speed of light is a mathematically asymptotic velocity for mass.  You can get as close as you like to it, but you can't actually get there.  Eventually you get to a point where the remaining zero-point energy of the system is below the Plank Limit, and if it's even possible to manipulate energy beyond that limit, you can't measure the effect you're having, if any.


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You believe in the fairytale of dark matter? How is that different than the fairytale of God?
Dark matter differs from stories of God in that the theory of dark matter is falsifiable.  A wealth of observational evidence supports the concept (cosmic microwave background radiation; baryonic acoustical oscillation; gravitational lensing; COBE and WMAP imaging; and several others).  Unlike God, the dark matter proposal is also falsifiable, and a number of direct-detection experiments have been proposed, and several are currently underway (SNOLAB; Canfranc; Gran Sasso;  DUSEL; Boulby).  Additionally, mathematical models of candidates for dark matter particles are being empirically tested at the Large Hadron Collider.

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There are all kinds of theories but no proof.
The only proof you will see in science is negative proof -- proof that a proposed theory is wrong.  What you will see in support of theories is evidence, and for the best theories, a great deal of evidence.

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Math is a language. Language can be falsified or used for lying...or obscuring the truth.
I'm not sure I'd call math a "language".  It's a formal symbolic system.  Language is pretty much an informal system, anthough for purposes of analysis you can formalize parts of it.

And in math you can have positive proofs, which makes the suggestion that math could be "falsified" somewhat problematic.  A mathematical proposition is either proven or unproven.  If it is unproven, you can establish whether it is in fact provable within a given formal system, even though you may not have yet arrived at the proof.

It seems to me that what you're really thinking of is the application of math to real world problems.  Plenty of things are provable in mathematics that, as far as we know right now, are completely abstract.  When it comes to mapping real world events mathematically, or finding mathematical correspondences in the real world, that is where interpretation comes in, and yes, misinterpretation is possible.

Dr H

"I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry."
                                                           -- John Cage

Offline Dr H

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Re: I just wrote a paper for middle school science class. ANY IDEAS APRRECIATED
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2013, 04:38:02 PM »
I don't know what space is.  I'm just reasonably sure it's not nothing, because nothing wouldn't have properties like temperature.
Space doesn't have temperature.  Temperature is one means of measuring radiation passing through space.

But space does have structure.  In Einsteinian physics space is the structure which underlies everything in the universe.  Matter and energy are just functions of the local geometry of spacetime.

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And actually, I wasn't saying that matter doesn't move.  Although, I can see why you would say that, since one interpretation of quantum theory is that gravity is simply the curvature of space-time (which again brings up the question of just what space is).  But even without that, we still have electromagnetism, which also creates motion.
All "motion" is motion relative to some reference point.  Depending on which reference you pick, something is either in motion or at rest with respect to it.  One of the fundamental principles of Special Relativity is that there is no prefered reference frame.  There is no absolute motion, but there isrelative motion.

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I'm not married to the concept of either dark matter or dark energy.  They make sense, at least in context, but I ran across a really interesting article last night which said that the existence of singularities within a model of physics indicates that something in that model is broken.  In my opinion, they're simply us grasping at a way to explain why things in the universe happen the way they do.
Dark matter is a theory; it will be tested.  If the evidence disproves the theory it will be discarded in favor of a new theory, which will be tested in turn.  Right now, dark matter works with certain mathematical models, and seems to be suported by a great deal of observational evidence.  Experimental evidence is currently minimal and inconclusive, but a number of experiments are still in progress.  We will know more when the results of those experiments are in.
Dr H

"I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry."
                                                           -- John Cage

Offline Dr H

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Re: I just wrote a paper for middle school science class. ANY IDEAS APRRECIATED
« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2013, 04:44:01 PM »
Here's an analogy that might help you to envision it.  Take a rulerstick, and use it as an example of space.  So imagine that each second, the space between each inch marker doubles.  So the 0-inch mark would be twice as far away from the 1-inch mark after one second.  But it would be twelve times as far away from the 12-inch mark after the same time frame - thus it would seem to be moving twelve times faster even though none of the relevant points moved at all.  Stack up enough inches, and you'd end up with something that seemed to be moving faster than the speed of light from the perspective of the original 0-inch marker.
That's actually a pretty good analogy.

The key, though, is to think of space as a geometry, or a "dimension", and not as a object. 
In your analogy, "space" is not the ruler; it's the distance between marks on the ruler.  Those marks are just a convenience that allows us to quantify the distances.

Dr H

"I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry."
                                                           -- John Cage

Offline Dr H

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Re: I just wrote a paper for middle school science class. ANY IDEAS APRRECIATED
« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2013, 04:47:07 PM »
I got a 97%! I used at least one of everyones suggestions. Thank you so much for helping me. You guys are the best! I appreciate all of you taking the time to read my paper :D

-Shaffy
Good job, boss.

Not only that, but you seem to have started a discussion on the nature of reality in the forum, on the side. ;D
Dr H

"I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry."
                                                           -- John Cage