Intelligent Design News Physics

Loophole in laws of physics enables light speed to increase?

Spread the love

Further to “If spacetime is a superfluid, light speed could vary (that’s a new one in “Everything changes”!), Shaun Maguire explains at Quantum Frontiers,

Scharnhorst effect enables light to travel faster than in vacuum (c=299,792,458 m/s): this is about the grandaddy of all laws, that nothing can travel faster than light in a vacuum! This effect is the most controversial on my list, because it hasn’t yet been experimentally verified, but it seems obvious with the right picture in mind. Most people’s mental model for light traveling in a vacuum is of little particles/waves called photons traveling through empty space. However, the vacuum is not empty! It is filled with pairs of virtual particles which momentarily fleet into existence. Interactions with these virtual particles create a small amount of ‘resistance’ as photons zoom through the vacuum (photons get absorbed into virtual electron-positron pairs and then spit back out as photons ad infinitum.) Thus, if we could somehow reduce the rate at which virtual particles are created, photons would interact less strongly with the vacuum, and would be able to travel marginally faster than c. But this is exactly what leads to the Casimir effect: the experimentally verified fact that if you take two mirrors and put them ~10 nanometers apart, then they will attract each other because there are more virtual particles created outside the cavity than inside [low momenta virtual modes are inaccessible because the uncertainty principle requires \Delta x \cdot \Delta p= 10nm\cdot\Delta p \geq \hbar/2.] This effect is extremely small, only predicting that light would travel one part in 10^{36} faster than c. However, it should remind us all to deeply question assumptions.

After reading this, I hope that the next time you encounter an inviolable law of nature, you’ll apply the hacker mentality and attempt to strip it down to its essence, isolate assumptions, and potentially find a loophole. But while you’re doing this, remember that you should never argue with your mother, or with mathematics!

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG Mug’s eye view: Inviolable law of nature that has never been violated: If someone states an inviolable law of nature, someone else will come up with an apparent violation.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

4 Replies to “Loophole in laws of physics enables light speed to increase?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    I seriously don’t know exactly what point they were trying to prove in regards to memory, but as to the fact that memory, though it may be encoded on a material basis, is, ultimately, transcendent of any material basis,,,, well that Theistic position is well supported by the following:

    it is now found that,,,

    Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth – November 2010
    Excerpt: They found that the brain’s complexity is beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief, says Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology and senior author of the paper describing the study: …One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor–with both memory-storage and information-processing elements–than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-2708.....2-247.html

    Yet supercomputers with many switches have a huge problem dissipating heat,,,

    Supercomputer architecture
    Excerpt: Throughout the decades, the management of heat density has remained a key issue for most centralized supercomputers.[4][5][6] The large amount of heat generated by a system may also have other effects, such as reducing the lifetime of other system components.[7] There have been diverse approaches to heat management, from pumping Fluorinert through the system, to a hybrid liquid-air cooling system or air cooling with normal air conditioning temperatures.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....chitecture

    But the brain, though having as more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth, does not have such a problem dissipating heat,,,

    Appraising the brain’s energy budget:
    Excerpt: In the average adult human, the brain represents about 2% of the body weight. Remarkably, despite its relatively small size, the brain accounts for about 20% of the oxygen and, hence, calories consumed by the body. This high rate of metabolism is remarkably constant despite widely varying mental and motoric activity. The metabolic activity of the brain is remarkably constant over time.
    http://www.pnas.org/content/99/16/10237.full

    THE EFFECT OF MENTAL ARITHMETIC ON CEREBRAL CIRCULATION AND METABOLISM
    Excerpt: Although Lennox considered the performance of mental arithmetic as “mental work”, it is not immediately apparent what the nature of that work in the physical sense might be if, indeed, there be any. If no work or energy transformation is involved in the process of thought, then it is not surprising that cerebral oxygen consumption is unaltered during mental arithmetic.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....4-0127.pdf

    Does Thinking Really Hard Burn More Calories? – By Ferris Jabr – July 2012
    Excerpt: So a typical adult human brain runs on around 12 watts—a fifth of the power required by a standard 60 watt lightbulb. Compared with most other organs, the brain is greedy; pitted against man-made electronics, it is astoundingly efficient.
    http://www.scientificamerican......d-calories

    Moreover, one source for the heat generated by computers is caused by the erasure of information from the computer in logical operations,,,

    Landauer’s principle
    Of Note: “any logically irreversible manipulation of information, such as the erasure of a bit or the merging of two computation paths, must be accompanied by a corresponding entropy increase ,,, Specifically, each bit of lost information will lead to the release of an (specific) amount (at least kT ln 2) of heat.,,, Landauer’s Principle has also been used as the foundation for a new theory of dark energy, proposed by Gough (2008).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L....._principle

    And any computer, that has anything close to as many switches as the brain has, this source of heat will become prohibitive:

    Quantum physics behind computer temperature
    Excerpt: It was the physicist Rolf Landauer who first worked out in 1961 that when data is deleted it is inevitable that energy will be released in the form of heat. This principle implies that when a certain number of arithmetical operations per second have been exceeded, the computer will produce so much heat that the heat is impossible to dissipate.,,,
    ,, the team believes that the critical threshold where Landauer’s erasure heat becomes important may be reached within the next 10 to 20 years.
    http://cordis.europa.eu/search....._RCN=33479

    Thus the brain is either operating on reversible computation principles no computer can come close to emulating (Charles Bennett) (which in a physical scheme would erase information anyway), or, as is much more likely, the brain is not erasing information from its memory as material computers are required to do, because our memories are stored on a ‘spiritual’ level rather than on a material level,,, Research backs up this conclusion,,,

    A Reply to Shermer Medical Evidence for NDEs (Near Death Experiences) – Pim van Lommel
    Excerpt: For decades, extensive research has been done to localize memories (information) inside the brain, so far without success.,,,,So we need a functioning brain to receive our consciousness into our waking consciousness. And as soon as the function of brain has been lost, like in clinical death or in brain death, with iso-electricity on the EEG, memories and consciousness do still exist, but the reception ability is lost. People can experience their consciousness outside their body, with the possibility of perception out and above their body, with identity, and with heightened awareness, attention, well-structured thought processes, memories and emotions. And they also can experience their consciousness in a dimension where past, present and future exist at the same moment, without time and space, and can be experienced as soon as attention has been directed to it (life review and preview), and even sometimes they come in contact with the “fields of consciousness” of deceased relatives. And later they can experience their conscious return into their body.
    http://www.nderf.org/NDERF/Res.....sponse.htm

    To add more support to this view that ‘memory/information’ is not stored in the brain but on a higher ‘spiritual’ level, one of the most common features of extremely deep near death experiences is the ‘life review’ where every minute detail of a person’s life is reviewed:

    Life After Life – Raymond Moody – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel, The Light, The Life Review – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z56u4wMxNlg

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Thus the evidence strongly supports the common sense conclusion that humans are not Turing Machines and that the memory of a person’s life is not stored on a physical basis but on a ‘spiritual’ basis!

    Of related note to the second law’s relation to consciousness:

    That consciousness did not ‘emerge’ from the entropic forces of the universe is perhaps most easily demonstrated by the ‘Quantum Zeno effect:

    Quantum Zeno effect
    Excerpt: The quantum Zeno effect is,,, an unstable particle, if observed continuously, will never decay.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_Zeno_effect

    i.e. Why in blue blazes should conscious observation put a freeze on entropic decay in this universe, unless consciousness was/is more foundational to reality than entropy is? And seeing that entropy is VERY foundational to explaining events within space-time, I think the implications are fairly obvious that consciousness precedes the 1 in 10^10^123 entropy of the universe!

    Quote, Verse, and Music:

    ‘Men became scientific because they expected Law in Nature, and they expected Law in Nature because they believed in a Legislator. In most modern scientists this belief has died: it will be interesting to see how long their confidence in uniformity survives it. Two significant developments have already appeared—the hypothesis of a lawless sub-nature, and the surrender of the claim that science is true.’
    Lewis, C.S., Miracles: a preliminary study, Collins, London, p. 110, 1947.

    Romans 8:20-21
    For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

    Phillips, Craig & Dean – When The Stars Burn Down – Worship Video with lyrics
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPuxnQ_vZqY

  3. 3
    Querius says:

    Regarding the speed of light, I’ve sometimes (wildly) speculated what it would be like if the speed of light were actually infinite, but slowed by being absorbed and re-emitted by virtual particles of various wavelengths, and (drumroll) dark matter. 😉

    -Q

  4. 4
    Dionisio says:

    Loophole in laws of physics enables light speed to increase?

    I thought loopholes were only in the tax laws 😉

Leave a Reply