Friday, January 16, 2009

It's illusion, really.

I’m no physicist, so it comes as a surprise to me that they consider it impossible to destroy ‘information’. That’s what a black hole is supposed to do: since nothing gets out it isn’t possible to find any information about the star that collapsed to form it. Although some now believe that the information might be encoded in the event horizon surrounding that black hole, so it isn’t lost.
The conservation of energy part is easy enough. The total amount of energy in the universe is constant. Sometimes it’s locked into matter, sometimes it’s free energy, but the total is always the same. It’s the ‘information’ part that interests me. What’s the definition of it, in this context?

Does anyone know?

My head holds a lot of information. Does physics declare that it’s not destroyed when I forget some of it, or when I die and rot away? Or is it merely the information that ‘I once existed’ that’s conserved? Where, and how?

More and more, these details of science support the idea that there’s more to the universe than we know. More and more, they support ideas that those referred to as cranks and lunatics have come out with for centuries. Note that there’s a definite scientific limit here: an idea is not a theory, it’s just an idea. Only when some kind of testable scenario appears can it be called a theory. No such scenario yet exists for most of the ideas, but some are reaching the point where they could be testable.

Quantum physics can interlink two subatomic particles in something called entanglement. These particles can then be separated and anything that affects one will instantly affect the other.

Theoretically, if they are separated by enough distance, the transfer of information between these particles will occur faster than the speed of light. It sounds impossible but quantum physics insists it’s true.

A theory I heard of a long time ago has resurfaced – that this three-dimensional universe is a projection from a two-dimensional surface that acts as the boundary of the universe. In effect, it’s the skin of a balloon and we’re inside it, but we’re not really. We’re on that skin and the reality we experience is merely the projection of the skin into the inside of the balloon. A sort of hologram. The idea is back because there’s now some experimental evidence to suggest it’s possible.

Scientists, and those who profess the scientific method but without scientific training, tell me that ghosts cannot be real because it offends their view of the logically structured universe they see.

Quantum physics and astrophysics are telling me that nothing is real. None of what we see, touch, taste, smell or hear is reality. It’s all illusion. A projection of pixels from the edge of space.

Information is conserved. Information can transfer faster than light speed. The whole universe is a holographic projection. So, the information in each of us might be conserved when these bodies die, because these bodies aren’t real anyway. That information could take the form of a ghost, or another form, or it could be dispersed throughout time and space. It could reside in the skin of that balloon until it gets re-projected as someone else. It needn’t take eternity to get here, either.

Those are ideas, not theories. They can’t be theories until there’s a way to test them. There won’t be a way to test them until after the physicists’ related theories are fully formed. So there won’t be an answer, or even a theory, tomorrow.

Still, theories come from ideas, and even if most ideas fall by the wayside, if there are no ideas then there’s nothing to investigate. The ideas here might be wrong but they might not be. It’s not so easy to tell at this stage.

There’s one thing I’ll always like about quantum physics though. It makes most of my ideas look positively banal.

(If you haven't seen this week's New Scientist, issue 2691, 17th January, take a look. All this and more is in there).


Southern Writer said...

Smoke and mirrors. That's my idea.

Romulus Crowe said...

You mean the world, or quantum physics? ;)

Southern Writer said...

Our lives.

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