Scientists make startling discovery

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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby Xenix » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:07 pm

theckhd wrote:I'll tell you what, speculate all you want, I'll give you $1000 USD if this ends up leading to a true causality violation, and isn't just a simple particle wavefunction reshaping effect.


Heh - that requires the posting of today's xkcd comic about this subject:
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On the subject of faster-than-light travel without breaking general relativity, the main two things I've seen (not an expert) are

a) somehow transfer your vehicle/information/whatever to another universe/dimension/whatever where that limit is higher, then come back (essentially saying GR in the -other- universe isn't broken) - this is generally used in most sci-fi books.

or

b) making a stable macroscopic wormhole, possible under GR but requiring matter with negative mass/energy. While you wouldn't exceed the speed of a beam of light going through said wormhole with you, you'd get to the other end faster than a beam of light that didn't take the wormhole. Also,if you could accelerate one end of the wormhole up to relativistic speeds, you could also theoretically travel through time as well, going back/forth an amount of time equal to the difference in apparent time between the two ends of the wormhole. (and lots of other fun stuff, no doubt)
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby Treck » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:23 pm

theckhd wrote:Are you sure about that? Is manipulating spacetime even possible, outside of a black hole or some other singularity? I'm asking honestly here, because I don't know - I have very little experience with General Relativity, which is where warping spacetime would come into play. But I was under the impression that even in GR with highly-warped space time, Einstein causality was preserved.

The most popular explanation for spacetime manipulation currently involves exotic matter such as negative mass, and yes mathematicly possible, it hasnt been observed or measured.
Actually manipulating spacetime is incredibly easy, by moving any object you are in effect manipulating spacetime.
As space and time are related, and since any object in space has a gravitational pull, its affecting spacetime.
So by creating an object with a high enough gravitational pull we can manipulate spacetime accordingly.
Working with negative mass you can surround yourself in a spacetime bubble that propells forward at some speed, without actually moving.
The bubble of space would be moving with you in it, and since your not moving in the space you are in, you would not defy GR.
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby Xenix » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:15 pm

Oh yeah - forgot about that one. cHere's the Wikipedia link to it (with all the nice sources cited at the bottom for reading material).
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby Dantriges » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:18 pm

I don´t think that someone thinks low of your knowledge Theck.

It´s more that announcing you discovered FTL is a sure way to attract media attention and close peer review. And it´s probably a good way to dump your reputation and credibility.
Seems that they see it the same way. They distanced themselves as far as possible from the results. They more or less posted them and said, must be an error.

So this lab is part of Cern or was part of the experiment conducted at CERN at least. CERN probably has many top qualified scientists there working in the field for decades. They probably have the budget to have the time to fine comb their results, lab equipment and whatever else for possible mistakes. And the connection to scientists with possible helpful knowledge they could contact without making an announcement that even laymen register and the media will probably exaggerate quite a lot.

You can bet that there will be some guys who will call the whole thing a failure, combine it with the "Black Hole could devour us all" stuff and call the whole affair of CERN a failure for political brownie points. At least CERN will lose reputation in the process, at least in the laymen area, if it´s a simple mistake.

As laymen we have no idea how exotic your knowledge is, so the first reaction is that people refuse to believe that the answer comes from a guy who posted it in an internet forum about WoW in general and paladin tanking specifically.

You will probably check your idea with your peers and the guys who review your defense, too.

And well the media will probably make you a genius prodigy student, if you found the answer to this riddle because you don´t have your Ph.D. yet and ridicule the guys at CERN who have I don´t know a hundred Ph.Ds together and a not yet one had to show them . :wink: .

The yellow press probably makes it "WoW player found answer CERN did not. Is WoW good for the education of your child."

Thanks we could need some positive rep. :D
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby sahiel » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:33 pm

Personally my knowledge of physics is older, unused mostly, and in a somewhat different field (geophysics), so whilst the discovery of new ways the universe functions would be amazing, I'm strongly expecting someone to find an error, mistake, whatever, but something overlooked that explains it, it seems the most likely explanation and as has been said, the scientists involved are practically saying "Someone figure out what happened, cause this can't be right". That said, some relatively serious scientists are weighing in on the quality of the experiments so it seems that if that is the case it might be something pretty esoteric.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn2 ... tered.html

Regardless though, science in the news, and in a positive light and even some of the reports being mostly factual and not "OMG FTL travel is here!!!!111" is always something I look forwards to.
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby theckhd » Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:20 pm

Treck wrote:
theckhd wrote:Are you sure about that? Is manipulating spacetime even possible, outside of a black hole or some other singularity? I'm asking honestly here, because I don't know - I have very little experience with General Relativity, which is where warping spacetime would come into play. But I was under the impression that even in GR with highly-warped space time, Einstein causality was preserved.

The most popular explanation for spacetime manipulation currently involves exotic matter such as negative mass, and yes mathematicly possible, it hasnt been observed or measured.
Actually manipulating spacetime is incredibly easy, by moving any object you are in effect manipulating spacetime.
As space and time are related, and since any object in space has a gravitational pull, its affecting spacetime.
So by creating an object with a high enough gravitational pull we can manipulate spacetime accordingly.
Working with negative mass you can surround yourself in a spacetime bubble that propells forward at some speed, without actually moving.
The bubble of space would be moving with you in it, and since your not moving in the space you are in, you would not defy GR.


I probably should have been clearer there; obviously you warp spacetime simply by having mass. But that warping isn't enough to create a situation where FTL is allowed - that takes a much more significant manipulation, like the one you described. As far as I'm aware (which isn't very far, again, GR isn't really my area), the only way to create a manipulation that would allow FTL effects involves things that for all practical purposes don't exist, like negative mass or wormholes or what not.
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby Sagara » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:29 pm

Unrelated, but I think my respect for theck just skyrocketed AGAIN.
Right now I'm considering that this respect is a proper allegory as to what the CERN guys tought they did with the speed of light.
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby Treck » Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:29 am

theckhd wrote:But that warping isn't enough to create a situation where FTL is allowed - that takes a much more significant manipulation, like the one you described. As far as I'm aware (which isn't very far, again, GR isn't really my area), the only way to create a manipulation that would allow FTL effects involves things that for all practical purposes don't exist, like negative mass or wormholes or what not.

You are correct, the energys you would have to create for this kind of FTL travel would be something like the energy of a sun infront of you, and an equally large ammount with negative matter behind you.
It will basicly be easier to create a manmade black hole, not to mention that negative matter hasnt been confirmed to exist in our universe.
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby Klaudandus » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:06 pm

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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby sahiel » Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:12 pm

Klaudandus wrote:Where we're going, we won't need eyes to see.

Love that movie :D
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby Brekkie » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:43 pm

Thanks for your insights Theck. I was hoping to hear your take on this. God I love how eclectic a community this is. From the Osama bin Laden raid to particle physics to politics in Russia, we always seem to have somebody who can give direct insights from experience.

They would not publish this if they knew what went wrong.
And while i dont know exactly what Thecks physic's education entails, i still think (and hope) the scientists working with this on Cern would have a better idea on what they are suppose to be doing.


That's not how science works.
The entire culture is specifically one of constant questioning. You don't publish results because you are certain of them. You publish them in large part so that the entire scientific community can weigh in and check you work and see how it may apply to or connect with theirs.

Plus, as already mentioned, they DIDN'T publish yet.
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby Sagara » Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:01 pm

FOr anyone who has played Mage: the Awakening, I remember a sidenote that was basically this: There is no "proven" theories, only theories that are supported by evidence.

WhHen new evidence comes up that disproves a theory, either you disprove the evidence, or you seek a theory that accounts for the extra data - but no amount of evidence can "prove" a theory.

Which in turns reminds me why I have some faith in science: it's doesn't have faith in itself :p
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby theckhd » Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:23 am

Sagara wrote:Which in turns reminds me why I have some faith in science: it's doesn't have faith in itself :p


Or to put it another way: it has faith in the method, which is to constantly question and re-evaluate based on the evidence.

Also, Nukees ran a pretty amusing comic on the subject today:
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby Sagara » Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:32 am

theckhd wrote:Or to put it another way: it has faith in the method, which is to constantly question and re-evaluate based on the evidence.

Also, *strip*


Now that more mean towards the press than fair towards science :) Bad Theck!

Still had a good laugh.
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby Malthrax » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:37 am

Brekkie wrote:Plus, as already mentioned, they DIDN'T publish yet.


Exactly. They didn't publish their findings as fact, they basically said "huh.. this is funky, and we can't figure out where the error is. sum1s plz halp!!"
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby Treck » Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:30 am

I meant that they published the article, never said they published their finds as facts.
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby theckhd » Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:17 am

Treck wrote:I meant that they published the article, never said they published their finds as facts.


They didn't publish the article. They uploaded it to the arXiv, which makes it publicly available. Saying they "published" the paper implies it was published in a peer-reviewed journal, which isn't the case. That may seem like a subtle distinction, but it's an important one; peer-review is an important part of the scientific process, and having something published in a peer-reviewed journal indicates that other experts in the field have checked your work/methodology and decided that you haven't missed something obvious.

In some sense, by putting their results on the arXiv, they're offering it up for peer-review by everyone.
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby Sagara » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:18 am

In WoW terms: they're beta-testing their results after F&F alpha tests, but before release?
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby Treck » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:20 am

Marking words now?

At the point when they made this public, they obviously didnt find a simple explanation for it.
SOMEONE published the article so people could read it, and they wouldnt have been able to do so if the team working with this project knew what was the cause of this, and since they do not they made the information public for everyone to review.
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby theckhd » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:12 pm

Treck wrote:Marking words now?

At the point when they made this public, they obviously didnt find a simple explanation for it.
SOMEONE published the article so people could read it, and they wouldnt have been able to do so if the team working with this project knew what was the cause of this, and since they do not they made the information public for everyone to review.


I'm not "marking" words. In the scientific community, "publishing" generally carries a very specific meaning - namely being submitted, accepted and printed in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. It implies a degree of reliability and that the results and have been scrutinized by an external reviewer.

Peer review:
The lack of peer review is what makes most technical reports and World Wide Web publications unacceptable as contributions to the literature. The relatively weak peer review often applied to books and chapters in edited books means that their status is also second-tier, unless an author's personal standing is so high that prior achievement and a continued stake in one's reputation within the scientific community signals a clear expectation of quality.

The emergence of institutional digital repositories where scholars can post their work as it is submitted to a print-based journal has taken formal peer review into a state of flux. Though publicizing a preprint online does not prevent it from being peer reviewed, it does allow an unreviewed copy to be widely circulated. On the positive side this change has led to faster dissemination of novel work within the scientific community; on the negative it has made it more difficult to discern a valid scientific contribution from the unmeritorious.


That is not the case for this work, yet - that's the entire reason they uploaded it to the arXiv for everyone to read and peer review. Hell, the very last line of the paper is a giant disclaimer:
Despite the large significance of the measurement reported here and the stability of the
analysis, the potentially great impact of the result motivates the continuation of our studies in
order to investigate possible still unknown systematic effects that could explain the observed
anomaly. We deliberately do not attempt any theoretical or phenomenological interpretation of
the results.


The ironic thing is that this is a very stupid point to argue about, because I have no doubt that they could have simply published the data in a peer-reviewed journal without any interpretation. They just chose not to, presumably because making it freely available on the arXiv will get it wider exposure and be more likely to identify their error, if one exists. If the 30 or so scientists on the paper couldn't find an error, what's the likelihood that 2-3 reviewers who have less direct knowledge of the experiment would find one?
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby Treck » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:32 pm

theckhd wrote:I'm not "marking" words. In the scientific community, "publishing" generally carries a very specific meaning - namely being submitted, accepted and printed in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. It implies a degree of reliability and that the results and have been scrutinized by an external reviewer.

English is not my native language, and i might not be the best at it, but from my knowledge "Publish" means to make it known to the public.
One word can mean a lot of things while a lot others can mean the same thing.
They made it public, nomatter how they did it, i take that as they published their findings, so others could take part in their troubleshooting.
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby Levantine » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:39 pm

Treck wrote:
theckhd wrote:I'm not "marking" words. In the scientific community, "publishing" generally carries a very specific meaning - namely being submitted, accepted and printed in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. It implies a degree of reliability and that the results and have been scrutinized by an external reviewer.

English is not my native language, and i might not be the best at it, but from my knowledge "Publish" means to make it known to the public.
One word can mean a lot of things while a lot others can mean the same thing.
They made it public, nomatter how they did it, i take that as they published their findings, so others could take part in their troubleshooting.

You'd be 100% wrong in the science world. Publish has a very specific meaning in this instance, and what they have done isn't publishing.
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby Sabindeus » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:44 pm

Treck wrote:
theckhd wrote:I'm not "marking" words. In the scientific community, "publishing" generally carries a very specific meaning - namely being submitted, accepted and printed in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. It implies a degree of reliability and that the results and have been scrutinized by an external reviewer.

English is not my native language, and i might not be the best at it, but from my knowledge "Publish" means to make it known to the public.
One word can mean a lot of things while a lot others can mean the same thing.
They made it public, nomatter how they did it, i take that as they published their findings, so others could take part in their troubleshooting.


Yeah just to echo what theck and Lev already pointed out, since English is not your native language, this is a nuance you may not be aware of. "Publish" has a specific jargon meaning for the scientific community which doesn't mean what you're taking it to mean.
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby Jeremoot » Mon Sep 26, 2011 5:22 pm

Treck wrote:English is not my native language, and i might not be the best at it, but from my knowledge "Publish" means to make it known to the public.
One word can mean a lot of things while a lot others can mean the same thing.
They made it public, nomatter how they did it, i take that as they published their findings, so others could take part in their troubleshooting.



This reminds me of people who take theory in "theory of evolution" too literally.
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Re: Scientists make startling discovery

Postby Koatanga » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:03 pm

You would figure that people smart enough to unravel the secrets of the universe would be capable of creating terms to describe what they actually mean.

But I guess if they could adequately express themselves, they'd be dating and having offspring instead of unravelling the secrets of the universe...

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