Sheldon: “Since this sensing is happening at the level of electron spins and excitation, it is an inherently QM [quantum mechanical] effect, hence the title of the article.” The spooky part is how finely tuned the bird’s sensitivity is: “Packing a $10,000 lock-in amplifier into a 2 micron cell.”
Experimental physicist Rob Sheldon says that, if we look carefully at the nature of sound, we will be able to see why we probably can’t somehow capture sound waves still reechoing in the world.
Ellis: Humans have demonstrably contemplated purpose and meaning and ethics for millennia and their existence is data on how things are. The existence of these possibility spaces is part of the deep structure of the cosmos, in the way that I have proposed above. In that sense, meaning is built into the foundations of existence.
Sheldon: Translating, Ethan is saying that the old 20th century materialism that says “entropy” or “information” emerges from the particles is being replaced by a 21st century view that “entropy” or “information” is fundamental and the material particles emerge from the immaterial field.
Sheldon: “… dark matter and dark energy (aka Λ) have become science fantasy with no shortage of storytellers. It’s time to tell everybody the party’s over.”
Sheldon: Quite surprisingly, such a theory is readily available for testing. Remember, dark matter avoids the center of galaxies, but neither does it condense into stellar-sized black holes (we looked). So if it is little balls created in the Big Bang, then it is indistinguishable from Primordial Black Holes that have been proposed for decades…
These specialty controversies are an interesting backdrop to the current war on math. Sabine Hossenfelder and Rob Sheldon would likely agree that 2 + 2 = 4. But survey the vast degreed hordes for whom such a statement is an instance of white supremacy and colonialism and we will see the real problem facing our civilization: Far too many people have degrees (and grievances!) but no insight into what knowledge is.
Sheldon: “… in computer science, it is very difficult to make a random number generator. Successive runs of the code should not produce the same numbers. But most generators do.”
Sheldon: Why should I be able to understand the universe? What characteristics do the designer and I share? Love of math? Love of order? Love of intricacy? When I feel like the designer is someone I could meet at an icebreaker and have a great conversation with, that’s when I know I’m on the right track.
What if they are so simple that they could survive in space, perhaps generating energy via available elements?
Rob Sheldon offers some thoughts on NASA and the unexplained phenomena that prompted the recent report
Readers may remember our recent note that the Pentagon is rethinking the practice of merely making fun of odd findings reported by pilots.
Our physics color commentator Rob Sheldon offers some thoughts:
Not to enflame the alien hunters out there, but videos of the UFO’s taken by jets show two characteristics:
a) high speed (altitude)
b) high acceleration.
The shape is less important, but being pill-shaped means you are not aerodynamically suited for high velocities in high density air.
Humans can go at these high speeds, Mach 25 for the space shuttle, but it takes an enormous amount of fuel and rocket power. Plus, the shuttle has to have special tiles to dissipate the heat. Tiles and fuel = heavy and bulky which these UFO’s are not.
Second is the acceleration. Pilots wear “g-suits” that tighten when maneuvering, so that all the blood does rush to the head or feet. Even so, 3-5 g’s is typically the maximum a pilot sustains and at 9 g’s they typically go unconscious. These videos show UFO’s that appear to be pulling 20 or more g’s. I’d have to analyse them frame-by-frame to get the actual acceleration. But if you or I were in that craft, they’d be scraping off the cockpit with a spatula. Most s/c instruments that I build for satellites cannot handle 15 g’s, so we prefer liquid fuel boosters.
So the observation is a light weight, non-aerodynamic high-speed, ultra-high acceleration object. Is it human made? Hardly. Is it weather phenomenon? Unlikely, though not ruled out. Is it US research? I wish. Is it little green men? Only if their biology is very unlike ours. Once again, having seen what extraterrestrial life looks like (cyanobacteria on comets) it is very likely that any ET is built like us, so I don’t think this is LGM. That leaves “other” as a category.
Where is this taking us? Well I think that these objects show purpose. Their motions aren’t random like Brownian motion or determined like meteor trails. So there is a rudimentary sensory/propulsion system apparent. But the need to handle high g’s means it is very rigid. The lack of rocket or fuel system suggests they are also very light. Their shape is also reminiscent of bacteria, where the surface/volume ratio is maximized. This leads me to think that they are biological, they are mostly air, and the biology is in a thin surface material or skin. Their energy source must be at high altitude, because they aren’t designed for thick atmosphere. The only energy sources at those altitudes are electric, with large electric potentials present over thunderstorms or in the aurora. Electrostatic forces can create very high forces, and that would be the form of propulsion. One way to check, is to see if the electric field is parallel to their motion, or if the magnetic field is perpendicular to their motion.
So in summary my best guess is that these are space cows, grazing on the energy in the high atmosphere and inflated by hydrogen. Perhaps if we knew what they ate, we could put a deer stand in the Space Station.
Once again, I let ID direct me toward biology, instead of knee jerk reaction the ID leads to mechanical space probes. It fits with what we know of biology, but is a compete projection of our insecurities when we think of it as a machine made by an alien race. Like Father Brown in GK Chesterton’s novels, who said “It wasn’t a ghost because I believe in ghosts”, likewise I think it is biological because I believe in human ID and biological ID, and it certainly isn’t human.
No, it’s not necessarily aliens. But smirk is not a good approach to science or any other body of knowledge.
See also: The Pentagon’s UAP (UFO) report signals a sharp attitude change The brass have committed themselves to going “wherever the data takes us.” No, they didn’t report UFOs. But they reported enough mysteries to stop merely debunking and discrediting… and follow the evidence.
Rob Sheldon explains, if nearly visible objects can be turned into waves — as was done recently — the wall between quantum and classical physics has moved.
Sheldon: Dawkins was part of the cancel culture 30 years ago “Christianity is like smallpox only harder to eradicate”. So the fact that the cancel culture turns on its own, is not surprising.
But the multiverse isn’t really about evidence or falsifiability. The theory is held in defiance of the demand for evidence and believed in such a way as to make falsifiability sound unCool. As Ball perceptively notes, “Even though most physicists dismiss or even deride it, it is often eagerly embraced by physics popularizers and their audiences.” Perhaps it is best described as a lifestyle choice.
Sheldon: If I recall correctly, the original definition of “functional” was whether that piece of DNA was turned into a protein, which depended on finding a “start” and a “stop” codon. The Human Genome Project reported that some 90% of the human genome didn’t have these “start/stop” features, and hence was “non-functional”. [“Non-functional” underwent considerable revision later.]