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Thread: Tough decisions?, quantum physics to the rescue

  1. #1
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    Tough decisions?, quantum physics to the rescue

    Heard about this on public radio. Universe splitter, Face a tough decision and use this method to choose. I do not understand the math but quantum physics says that using a single photon bouncing off a random mirror is like a magic eight ball decision maker but... Using such a small unit it actually goes both ways at the same time and creates two separate universes. Identical in all ways except for that one choice you made.
    So you do it one way, the other you does it the opposite way, and both universes are happy. Saves a lot of worry since you are actually doing both options at the same time.
    Bill D.

    http://cheapuniverses.com/universesplitter/

  2. #2
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    I heard that story too, Bill. So much cooler than flipping a coin. I planned to have all my bills delivered to one of the universes where I'm filthy rich. Unfortunately, the zip code system doesn't accommodate alternate universes (yet), and neither does the email address system.

    Kidding aside, I don't begin to grasp all the details of advanced physics, but love to read about it and try to understand.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  3. #3
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    I do understand the reasoning behind electronics can not be shrunk too small or they are no longer reliable. Doing something with only one electron means it will not follow the normal rules of physics maybe one in a billion times. Which is often enough to cause a problem in a high speed computer.
    For example electrons always go to the negative pole and doing so will send a yes signal. When it is several hundred in a package one oddball will get ignored. But measure one at a time and one will behave wrong and send a bad message along.
    This is the same reason Boeing aircraft should use three airspeed senders, not just one, and ignore the one that seems out of range. Or at least let the pilot know there may be something wrong with the sensor or the plane.
    Bill D

  4. #4
    I'm pretty good at basic arithmetic but in high school I failed algebra badly. One of my classmates who failed along with me told me some years later he went to college to learn algebra which ended up really helping him with his home-building livelihood. So one day I'm watch college algebra classes on the public TV station, and watch the prof go thru about 4 rows of calculations on the blackboard, and after all that, his answer was:

    "Zero. Or, minus two".

    now I'm sorry, but I've never been able to make $2 in debt turn into zero debt with anything less than a courtroom appearance. Just can't seem to do it with even a really good calculator!
    (and no one's ever been able to satisfactorily explain the 2 answers to me)

    So, being able to lob a one-sided photon off a random(?) mirror where it bounces 2 ways at the same time with end result being 2 identical universes--? All I can say is, 'show me'

    One weird 'universe' anomaly that actually makes sense to me (that I read in a book from the planetarium ) there is a point between a black hole and its event horizon that you must travel the speed of light to stand still. And at that point, you're now able to move any direction you want in TIME. However, you only get one chance because you can only move one direction in time... that's what the book said! Which if true means, as I understand it, time travel is pretty much out of the question...unless you have a really really fast space ship and can get to another black hole to change your course in time again...

    this stuff makes my brain hurt!
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    I'm pretty good at basic arithmetic but in high school I failed algebra badly. One of my classmates who failed along with me told me some years later he went to college to learn algebra which ended up really helping him with his home-building livelihood. So one day I'm watch college algebra classes on the public TV station, and watch the prof go thru about 4 rows of calculations on the blackboard, and after all that, his answer was:

    "Zero. Or, minus two".

    now I'm sorry, but I've never been able to make $2 in debt turn into zero debt with anything less than a courtroom appearance. Just can't seem to do it with even a really good calculator!
    (and no one's ever been able to satisfactorily explain the 2 answers to me)

    So, being able to lob a one-sided photon off a random(?) mirror where it bounces 2 ways at the same time with end result being 2 identical universes--? All I can say is, 'show me'

    One weird 'universe' anomaly that actually makes sense to me (that I read in a book from the planetarium ) there is a point between a black hole and its event horizon that you must travel the speed of light to stand still. And at that point, you're now able to move any direction you want in TIME. However, you only get one chance because you can only move one direction in time... that's what the book said! Which if true means, as I understand it, time travel is pretty much out of the question...unless you have a really really fast space ship and can get to another black hole to change your course in time again...

    this stuff makes my brain hurt!
    The equation x2 + 2x = 0 has two answers: 0 and -2

    Simplifying the equation gives:
    x2 + 2x = 0
    x(x+2) = 0

    In order for the equation to equal zero, either x or (x+2) must be zero.

    Solving for the first value of x:
    x = 0 :done

    Solving for the second value of x:
    (x+2) = 0
    x + 2 - 2 = 0 -2
    x = -2 :done

    Therefore x = 0, -2

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    I'm pretty good at basic arithmetic but in high school I failed algebra badly.
    Many people have difficulty with algebra. And, unfortunately they get discouraged and the system labels them in a negative way ( even causing some to drop out of school ). Some have debated that we put too much importance on the subject area and we ignore other important intelligences such as in the fine arts or language/social skills.

  7. #7
    Physics and algebra are decidedly different topics. Physics is weird and unexpected in so many ways. Algebra is entirely predictable. Some of the most wonderful discoveries of physics have happened in our lifetimes. Here are some good ones. There is a continuous microwave hum everywhere in the universe. It comes from the Big Bang. Plot twist. What we think we know about physics says the microwave field should be uniform but it isnít. The intensity varies a tiny little bit and no one knows why.

    Another one, galaxies rotate and should obey the ordinary laws on celestial mechanics. The mass of the galaxy can be estimated from size and velocity of rotation. The mass in the galaxies can also be estimated from the brightness of all the stars. Fun fact. The two estimates are different by a lot. Like a factor of 140. No sources of unaccounted for normal mass could possibly explain the difference. Current theories argue the existence of dark matter. The idea is that dark matter only interacts with normal matter by gravitation. Supposedly, there is a huge lump of dark matter in most galaxies affecting their orbits.

    What good is it you might ask to figure this stuff out? Well it turns out that people give lectures on this stuff and put it on YouTube. These lectures are the cure, the absolute best remedy, for insomnia known to man. I highly recommend them if you suffer as I do. Good night, sleep tight, donít let the bedbugs bite.
    Last edited by Thomas Wilson; 04-18-2021 at 4:11 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Wilson View Post
    Physics and algebra are decidedly different topics. Physics is weird and unexpected in so many ways. Algebra is entirely predictable. Some of the most wonderful discoveries of physics have happened in our lifetimes. Here are some good ones. There is a continuous microwave hum everywhere in the universe. It comes from the Big Bang. Plot twist. What we think we know about physics says the microwave field should be uniform but it isnít. The intensity varies a tiny little bit and no one knows why.

    Showing evidence of that was how one of my best friends won the Nobel Prize in Physics. He gave a Ted Talk on Quantum Physics. I helped him, the night before, to make a slit that would work for part of the demonstration.
    Last edited by John K Jordan; 04-21-2021 at 12:47 PM. Reason: fixed end quote tag

  9. #9
    [QUOTE=Tom M King;3115422]
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Wilson View Post
    Physics and algebra are decidedly different topics. Physics is weird and unexpected in so many ways. Algebra is entirely predictable. Some of the most wonderful discoveries of physics have happened in our lifetimes. Here are some good ones. There is a continuous microwave hum everywhere in the universe. It comes from the Big Bang. Plot twist. What we think we know about physics says the microwave field should be uniform but it isn’t. The intensity varies a tiny little bit and no one knows why.


    Showing evidence of that was how one of my best friends won the Nobel Prize in Physics. He gave a Ted Talk on Quantum Physics. I helped him, the night before, to make a slit that would work for part of the demonstration.
    I knew I liked you.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    So, being able to lob a one-sided photon off a random(?) mirror where it bounces 2 ways at the same time with end result being 2 identical universes--? All I can say is, 'show me'
    You must be KevMinus. I had this identical conversation with KevPlus, and he didn't have any problem with it.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
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  11. #11
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    Discussions like this serve as constant reminders of how ignorant and stupid (different things, I’m just lucky to be both) I am. Yet I find the topics of physics and astronomy fascinating if totally beyond my comprehension. I hope I live long enough to read about some of the discoveries to be made by the James Webb telescope. Of course those will just raise more questions and complexities. And so it goes.
    Last edited by Michael Weber; 04-19-2021 at 12:31 PM.
    My three favorite things are the Oxford comma, irony and missed opportunities

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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kreinhop View Post
    The equation x2 + 2x = 0 has two answers: 0 and -2

    Simplifying the equation gives:
    x2 + 2x = 0
    x(x+2) = 0

    In order for the equation to equal zero, either x or (x+2) must be zero.

    Solving for the first value of x:
    x = 0 :done

    Solving for the second value of x:
    (x+2) = 0
    x + 2 - 2 = 0 -2
    x = -2 :done

    Therefore x = 0, -2

    now put that into a real world situation, please
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    now put that into a real world situation, please
    The equation and solutions likely do not have any real world application. However, this can be used to demonstrate how to reduce a problem to manageable elements and solve the elements. I used to teach algebra, and I can't remember how many times I heard something similar to "How will I ever use this in real life?". My answer was usually "I have no idea because I don't know what you will be doing in real life."

  14. #14
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    I've always liked math but not the way it was taught in school when I was a kid. They really didn't focus much on the benefits of learning it would be in the real world. Any time that "two train" word problem came up my first response was, who cares unless they are on the same track? Algebra and geometry are fun to me although I didn't see much use for them when I was in school. Geometry is very useful when woodworking (unless all you ever make is square objects). It was calculus that really had me wondering why I would need it in the real world. Figuring out the area of a cone bisected at an angle?

    When I hear about a scientist talking about something like using a photon to make a decision I picture the nerds high talking about perpetual bigness on a beach when Ogre (Revenge of the Nerds 2) says "What if C A T really spelled dog"?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kreinhop View Post
    The equation and solutions likely do not have any real world application. However, this can be used to demonstrate how to reduce a problem to manageable elements and solve the elements. I used to teach algebra, and I can't remember how many times I heard something similar to "How will I ever use this in real life?". My answer was usually "I have no idea because I don't know what you will be doing in real life."
    While my example isn't quite exactly the equation you're using, the Laplace domain math describing the un-driven motion of a one-dimensional damped harmonic oscillator is very similar: some particular configuration could be described by the equation s2 + 2s + 5 = 0 (where "s" is the Laplace operator).

    Real life? There are many examples: just a few would be vehicle suspension, stringed musical instruments, and RLC circuits.

    In quantum physics? In the words of one of my grad school professors, in both quantum mechanics and classical mechanics everything is a harmonic oscillator.

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