Apr 15, 2015

Many people have ceased to claim that “thinking helps” as Hewlett-Packard say

Posted by in categories: existential risks, particle physics

I have simple thinking in mind – like visualizing a rotating wheel suspended from its hub without friction so it can be pulled up and down easily.

You can trust that angular momentum remains constant (nature has a knack for that). But the wheel is also a clock. So if you lower it, it must go slower down there and become faster again when retrieved. It thus makes for a beautiful mental plaything (a “hot” one as the young people would say). Angular momentum can be called “L’hombre” (a macho word which is not quite right in Spanish). Can you feel L’hombre in your hand while moving up and down your toy in your mind?

The word “L’hombre” allows one to remember “L = ω mr^2 ” for angular momentum L in one’s mind forever. Omega (or ω) is the rotation rate, m the mass of the wheel’s rim (with a virtually weightless hub for simplicity), and r is the radius. So the wheel is now transparent to us like glass, right? What happens if ω is halved for simplicity as on a neutron star?

Either m must be doubled, or else r must be increased by square-root 2, or both m and r must have changed somehow in a compatible manner. How about m halved and r doubled?

The latter option is the correct one. How can one be sure? Because of quantum mechanics, of all things. Light coming from below has half the frequency and energy when ω is halved. But photon energy and particle masses are locally inter-convertible. So all masses downstairs are halved since photon energy is halved. Hence L’ = ½ ω ½ m (2r)2 = L. High-noon L’hombre has won.

This is what the wheel told us. But: People know from special relativity that the transversal size of departing objects (at the bottom in our case) does not change. Fortunately, optical distortions are allowed. Hence the horizontal doubling of r that is implicit in L’hombre is real albeit masked from above. This implies that the constant speed of light c appears to be halved optically when watched from above even though it is not reduced. This halving was predicted by Einstein in 1907. So the present Noetherian picture – since Emmy Noether discovered the power of angular-momentum conservation in 1916 – is correct.

Unfortunarely, the L’hombre result retrieved by our letting the wheel go down and then up again in our minds lies so deep in the foundations of nature that its consequences cut very deep, too. It, for example, follows from this macho phantasy that certain experiments that still got planned before L’hombre was applied to our wheel need to be postponed: until the consequences of L’hombre on them have been investigated thoroughly. Otherwise those consequences could cause a big – nasty – surprise because L’hombre is so strong after his having sprung from a female phantasy.

I need not mention which experiment I have in mind that is presently being prepared under a communication curtain regarding its safety. L’hombre is ready to pull the false garment away.


Comment — comments are now closed.

  1. Otto E. Rossler says:

    I forgot to mention my co-authored book “Chaotic Harmony.”

    And I would like to mention ottorossler on as an opportunity for further exchanges.