|Posted by Mandy Ryan - DES Center Director on May 9, 2016 at 8:55 PM|
The Metaphysics of Energy by MoJo
Scope: Quantum Metaphysics- What follows is not to be considered scientific. Claims may be made strongly which have strong metaphysical arguments, but little or no scientific evidence. This is a discussion outside the realm of what may be said to be scientifically true, while utilizing what IS scientifically true as support for metaphysical arguments. What is scientifically true follows closely along the lines of the classical philosophies of Realism, Materialism, Determinism, Reductivism (or Reductionism), in purely objective terms. A rudimentary familiarity of these philosophies is all that is required to understand the importance of this distinction. It is the defining line between "Fair" and "Foul" when it comes to what can be considered "Scientific" reasoning, evidence or thinking. The scope of this text crosses this line, as well as looking at the line itself. The author aims to point out where that line is crossed, where we have departed from Science and wandered into Metaphysics.
This line can be blurry at times.
Between Science and Metaphysics
The Science of Energy
Every physical object with an atomic structure, from fluid (gas or liquid) to solids emit electromagnetic energy. This is to say, all physical structure, falling into the classical descriptions of the philosophies of Realism and Materialism, emit electromagnetic energy.
The force carrier of electromagnetic energy is the photon. This is to say, "Light: in its physical, particulate form." Light, at its most fundemental level of existence, according to the definitions of Materialistic Reality, is called "Photons". This is the quanta of light, at the moment of its interaction with matter, by which it may be sensed (observed). Without this interaction of light and matter, light cannot be sensed: and wherever light is sensed, it is by this interaction with mass that it can be sensed. The Kasimir experiment very elegantly demonstrates this in action. If the reader is unfamiliar with this experiment, I highly suggest you familiarize yourself with it. Light also has behaviour which is in contradiction to classical ideas of particulate (read: Material Reality) forms. This behaviour is more wave-like in its expression, and cannot be directly observed without bringing it into material existence as a photon...as an interaction between energy and matter. What we infer scientifically about this kind of behaviour of light may be summarized as follows:
Light is not particulate in nature, until it is. The conditions of this "state" requires an interaction with matter which leaves a mark, by which the nature of that state may be inferred by the mark that is left behind. This is to say: "Observing light makes it be". What we learn from these marks, the information that these marks leave behind, is that light acts according to the patterns of statistical math. And it is by statistical math which we get the language and term "Probability". Since the behaviour of light while it is unobserved is more accurately predicted according to this branch of mathematical relationships, we may safely say that light is a probability wave when it is not interacting with matter. As the interaction between light and matter IS now our definition of scientific observation, we may safely say that light becomes "real" only when it is "observed", and while it is not observed, it just might be an elephant.
While this absurdity is highly unlikely, it is not impossible, and this is significant.
What is more significant is that this "probability" can be calculated as a reasonably accurate estimate, and that no matter how unlikely it might be that light may coalesce into mass which we may recognize as an elephant, this is possible.
If the universe is infinite in any scope, in its mass or energy, in its expanse or duration, its charge or momentum, any possibility becomes inevitable. In such a universe, all possibilities must eventually occur.
Whether or not the universe is truly infinite however, may not be possible to scientifically observe.
But it may be scientifically inferred.
What we discover is that what is scientifically real, given the classical understanding of reality, is made up of something which cannot be considered "real" by this accepted definition. Through scientific understanding, however, we may infer what cannot be observed by what can be observed.
In the past, what could be scientifically observed was a matter of expertise, not possibility.
In the present, however, what cannot be scientifically observed is now a matter of possibility, not expertise.
This is called the "Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle".
This border between scientific observation and inference is so sharp, that the finest of laser light cannot cut so accurately. Beyond this border we are no longer talking about scientific observation, but of scientific inference. This goes beyond empirical data. Empirical data must be gathered by making observations. We are now talking about how Matter and Energy behave when we aren't looking. So by definition, Empirical Data cannot be gathered. Once we go beyond scientific observation, we are already over the line between science and metaphysics. Which is to say we can only guess. The accuracy of this"guess" itself is sharper than anything we can actually observe.
And we can demonstrate it, reliably, with a resolution never before known by man.
We measure this with an equation known as the "Shchrodinger Wave Function."
The calculation of this equation becomes increasingly difficult with each additional element. This is to say; "The more particles you include in this calculation, the greater the complexity of its calculation increases." The complexity of this calculation increases so greatly that "Exponential" would be an understatement, and the Schrodinger Wave Function cannot currently be calculated with more than a few such particles.
The gap between calculating what a particle may do in the presence of a few other particles, and what a particle may do in the presence of laboratory equipment designed to leave the marks which make our observation of those particles...
Is an abyss.
And yet it still works.
Quantum Theory, Quantum Field Theory, Quantum Electrodynamics, Bohmian Mechanics, String and M Theory, Holographic Universe Theory have all crossed the line of what was once considered scientifically real, pushing us past this line and forced us to accept that there is STILL more in the universe than is included in our philosophy.
We are Horatio.
So this is the story of light, the force carrier for the Electromagnetic Force. The electromagnetic force at its fundamental level is defined by specific relationships between energy, matter and spacetime. While the relationship between the first two, and the last is difficult to define apart from abstract reason and mathematics, there exists, nonetheless a relationship between Mass/Energy and Spacetime. The Electromagnetic Force is a million, billion, billion, billion, billion times more powerful than gravity, however. This overwhelming discrepancy between electromagnetic forces (relationships between mass and energy), and gravitational forces (relationships between energy/mass and spacetime) allows us to disregard the effects of the curving of spacetime to simplify this relationship. While the following relationships almost entirely ignore the effects of gravity, we may do this in a coarse description of the Electromagnetic Force. This does not happen without the cost of accuracy, and a paradox springs up eventually, but only when a sufficient force of gravity (enough mass) is squeezed down to the very tiny distances and durations where the Electromagnetic force is dominant. As this commonly takes a Black Hole to occur, we only need to remember that disregarding the effects of gravitational forces upon electromagnetic interactions only becomes a problem in extreme circumstances.
At all other times we may make the following three assumptions.
1) A photon (light) moves from point A to point B
2) An electron (mass) moves from point A to point B
3) A photon is absorbed by an electron, which increases its energy state, and then later the electron releases the photon, dropping back into a lower energy state.
These interactions between energy and mass is the quantum interaction of electromagnetic forces. By quantum, we mean that energy, mass, and momentum all occur in discrete packages which are themselves not further reducable to smaller packages. These "packets" of energy, mass or momentum cannot occur in fractional values. This is a proven observation worked over by centuries of argument and experimentation before it was demonstrated by Albert Einstien as the "Photo-Electric Effect". Einstien won the Nobel Prize for this demonstration, and this contribution to our understanding is often regarded more important than his subsequent Special and General Theories of Relativity, for which he is more famous for.
So, we have regarded what is scientiifically considered "real", and forayed quite a bit beyond this line into what is merely possible. The line itself, however, is only drawn within our minds, and crossing over this line is only a matter of departing from the limitations of Scientific Reasoning. We are now in Metaphysical discussion of energy, and telling the story of the nature of its discovery. Before we had the expertise to detect that mass, energy and momentum were quantized, we assumed that it was instead a contuiumm.Which is to say, we assumed energy, momentum, space and time expressed themselves as Analog in nature, and not integral (only occuring in integer values, without fractional or irrational parts). It is for this reason that Pi is calculated to so many decimals that we can calculate the circumference and area of the observable universe with far more precision than it can be measured in. This was the age of classical physics, classical reason, and it was in this age in which the definition of what is considered science, and what is not was forged.
If we did not forge it in this fashion, I suspect that we may have never discovered that it was not so. The drive for greater and greater precision of measurement and observation, based on the assumption that the resolution of the universe itself was in some way infinite in detail, at least in concerns with measurements of Space and Time, we may not have developed the expertise to detect that this was not entirely the case.
While we have no direct evidence that space and time are NOT infinitely divisible, every expression of distance and time that has any "Real" meaning, must be done including descriptons of Mass, Energy, or Momentum.
And all three of these expressions of Spacetime are themselves quantized.
And where they are not quantized, we cannot directly look without quantizing them.
Observation remains not only the border between what can be called "real" and what cannot, it is very deeply implied that it may be the mechanism by which potentia becomes an expression which CAN be called real.
This, however has not been proven, due to difficulties in solving the Shrodinger Wave Function equation in a system which could be said to include an observer. This is only an interpretation of the data we can directly measure. It is not inferred, only interpreted.
This is called the "Copenhagen Interpretation" of Quantum Mechanics.
What we can say definitively about the nature of this interaction between energy and mass, which we call the "Electromagnetic Force" is thus:
Electromagnetic Forces are a relationship between matter and energy, in which energy becomes one with mass, raising the vibration of its energy until which time it releases this energy again, and returns to its previous energy state. This is the moment both mass and energy are "Real", and at no other time may they be considered "real" as they cannot be observed apart from this interaction.
As either energy and mass are observed, it is always observed as a particle of integral value, never fractional or irrational.
Any method of measurement of any one property of mass or energy obscures the measurement of any other property of the same mass or energy, and this is in relationship to the accuracy of the measurement.
In short, the more accurately you know one property, the less you can know about another.
This is not a limitation of expertise. This is a limitation of principle.
The state of particles while they are not being observed may not be directly determined, but inferred by the nature of the information it leaves behind when it is observed. Both the interaction of matter and energy and the leaving behind of information about the nature of this interaction are required before the particle can be said to have been observed. The "Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser" experiment demonstrates this, that both interaction and data must occur, for when interaction occurs, but data is obscured, the particulate nature of energy and mass vanishes, and it acts once again more as a wave of probability, according to the mathematics of statistics, than that of a particle.
Even when the particle is observed, and that this point its state is "known" (or manifest), it still does so in a statistical fashion, being more often in states which are more likely, and less often in states which are less likely. This behavior has been determined by repeated experiments which match observations over time. The probabilities rule the eventualities, but are never seen as probabilistic in any single measurement. While the activity of any specific particle cannot be repeatably and reliably accurately predicted, the probability of states is may be in CAN be predicted, and the resolution of this prediction is very precise.
It is because of this behavior, found in both energy and matter, that we speak of "Particle-Wave Duality", as if it is both, even though it is never actually both at the same time. This nature of existence is experimentally verifiable, and yet defies entirely any classical logical evaluation.
It is not a wave.
It is not a particle.
It isn't NOT a wave.
It isn't NOT a particle.
It is not a particle AND a wave.
It is not a particle OR a wave.
There are no more classical logical descriptions left. Yet this state is clearly observed and retested. With the above in mind, quantum reasoning requires us to expand logical reasoning to include something which is apart from all other reasoning. We call this "Superposition". Superposition follows the logical structure of the above statement. Not only does Superposition challenge logical reason, it challenges also our intuition about the nature of the world around us, for no matter how often one speaks of probabilities, uncertainties and observers, cheese remains very happily being cheese. And it is cheese because of these interactions. Reliably so.
In this reliable observation, we come to realize that the border between what is scientific and what is metaphysical only exists in our perception. It is useful that this border exists so, but only with the understanding that nature itself regards no such bias at all, and is simply as it is, no matter how we think of it. Once we begin speaking of "observation", no matter how we define it, it becomes difficult to disregard the role of Consciousness as fundamental to reality, rather than being a by-product or benefit of it. When we do this, however, so far as the author can tell, we have left scientific reasoning behind and must begin to speak of things in metaphysical terms, rather than in the terms of physical science.
Within this context, we may say that Matter is Energy, and Energy is a potentia of Probability. It is also reasonable to state that the universe exists because it can, and for no other reason. One may say that if a thing is possible, we have no reason to question its existence once it has been observed, no matter how unlikely its possibility may be.
In a universe of any infinite quantity, we can say that any probability, no matter how small, would instead be a near certainty. It would still be possible for it not to exist even in an infinite expanse. If we could verify that something which was possible in an infinite universe did not ever actually occur, it would certainly be stranger than if it had.
So far we have only discussed Quantum Theory and Quantum Electrodynamics, and focused solely upon details pertaining to Electromagnetism. The author does not discuss the "Force" of Gravity in detail because General Relativity describes Gravity not as a force, but as the geography of Spacetime. It should be noted that General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics tend to erupt nonsense whenever one tries to incorporate one into the other. This is also why detailed discussions about Black Holes are absent from this text, because despite the fact that they do exist, describing what they exist as is a challenge at best. Also absent are discussions about Quantum Chronodynamics, which is the study of the Strong Force, which is also an energy. The Strong Force, or Strong Nuclear Force, is a billion, billion, billion times more powerful than the Electromagnetic force. This is the force which binds quarks into the stable forms which we call Protons and Nuetrons. These also exist as Quanta, and the above quantum behavior still applies, but in even stranger ways than I can describe. The author does mention these forces now for one reason: To illustrate another scientifically known tendency of energy.
The stronger the force, the more limited its distance of effect is.
The weaker a force, the more expansive its distance of effect is.
This relationship between forces allows Gravitational forces to influence its environment to a significant degree at distances beyond the degree that the Electromagnetic Force has dissipated its power. Over longer distances, Gravity can be felt without being drowned out by the vastly more powerful Electromagnetic force. Planets can be held in orbit around stars. Moons around Planets, and you firmly to the ground because of this.
Likewise the Electromagnetic Force may influence its environment at distances in which the Strong Nuclear Force has become negligible. For this reason, Chemistry, Biology, Life, Structure, and Heat can happen, despite the enormously more powerful Strong Nuclear Force.
I invite you to research any of the above topics. To give the topic fair treatment involves the writing of many more books than I have read. A great deal has been glossed over, or left unsaid only because there is so much detail and so much to say. To this end I suggest the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy (in four parts, upon which a fifth was added, along with the Addendum titled "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency"). This is the short version, and upon my most recent reading, I certainly cannot say that it isn't true. Douglas Addams is a genius. For more serious treatment of the subject, Brian Green and Richard Feynman are both excellent authors who give fair treatment to the subject. Brian Green also has a remarkable way of describing the very same theories in subsequent books in ways which are enlightening and different from his previous work. A new book by Brian Green is fully a new book, even if you are familiar with his treatment on the same topics in previous books. Brian Green is always worth reading. Richard Feynman's contributions have been argued to be on par with even Einstien's. His description of Quantum Electrodynamics is both easy to follow with no prior knowledge, and rich in deep implications of the nature of the universe. Richard Feynman is always worth another read. If you follow this advice, after two books, you will recognize the next book you should read because of the name of its title.
This concludes the first part of this topic, The Science of Energy. In Part 2, we will discuss the Metaphysics of Energy, and what we commonly mean when we refer to Energy on a Metaphysical understanding, and why this understanding is different than a Scientific one.
Categories: Joseph's Musings