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just george
22nd-September-2013, 02:01 PM
Something has been bouncing around in my head for a while, and I thought to tap it out and see what you guys think.

When we talk about space, matter, and particles, people generally assume that they exist in some sort of isolation, whereby space is completely empty, and everything travels through it - a bit like space being an empty canvas, that you can technically put coordinates on to measure the movement of things through it.

I was thinking about what matter really is, and how it relates to space, particularly in relation to faster than light propagation, the behavior of fast moving particles, gravity etc.

So I thought what if space it actually a counterpart to matter that has an effect on the physical world greater than just a coordinate system. What if there is some kind of "drag", as things move through space.

If this were true, and we tried to find something similar to use as a perceptual crutch, we might imagine air as being something in the background that has a bit of drag, but really isn't that heavy in the context of, say, shooting a bullet through it.

When bullets go through air, they move laterally, in a long sort of wave.

Doesn't it therefore stand to reason that photons are in fact particles that are oscillating because of aether drag?

And if that is so, then wouldn't we consider photons to be matter, and therefore potentially useful in creating or altering elements, in the same way that we alter molecules via addition of electrons? (that don't exist.).

Further, if atoms move around, and affect the aether around them, then couldn't we say that a magnet is an arrangement of atoms that creates movement in the aether counterpart, a bit like a pump, which we then call a magnetic field?

Anyway, just thought to tap that out for the sake of memory and getting things straight in my head. Cheerios

SpaceYeti
22nd-September-2013, 10:02 PM
This idea, and theories similar to it, have been basically disproved throughout history. There are some more modern aether theories, but they always have problems describing reality as it's observed (or at best describe it just as well as Relativity except in a more complicated way). "Empty" space is the default idea because that's the idea that actually works to describe what we observe.

Now, that's not to say you're necessarily wrong. I frequently wonder if perhaps the quantum field is the equivalent of an aether when considered from a larger scale than quantum. Of course, it's functionally valueless on such a large scale. What's more, there's also the acceleration of space's expansion to consider. How could space be literally nothing if it's getting bigger and causing the red shift we observe? If there's nothing between two objects, then those objects are touching. Space must be some kind of thing, even if a non-traditional sort of thing.

I don't know exactly the math behind the universe's expansion such that it's accelerating is unexplained, but I intuitively realize that if a unit of space expands to twice it's original size in a unit of time, then in two units of time there's four times the length of space. We have three dimensions, though, so there's actually 64 times the area... unless there's some sort of elastic effect which would slow down the expansion. Of course, there's still the question of what's causing the expansion in the first place, and I think that's what the hubbub is mostly about. That just helps to place space as a very different animal than matter and energy, though, since they certainly don't expand, at least not as quickly as space. If they do expand, though, then all atoms being the same size, though continuing to expand at the same rate, may just be unobservable.

This, of course, is all pointless conjecture. Nothing more than fun ideas with an extremely flimsy basis in reality. If you want to get anywhere with it, start studying physics, go to grad school, and try to explain the universe seriously. I know just enough to understand that my fun ideas are nothing more than just my fun ideas, like the fictional worlds I create when I GM a roleplaying game.

Vrecknidj
23rd-September-2013, 12:58 AM
Arguing from the observed experiences of things moving through air to conjectures about how things might move through space isn't really a very productive analogy. Propagation through air and propagation through space aren't necessarily connected in the ways that are being anticipated here.

just george
23rd-September-2013, 08:46 AM
If you want to get anywhere with it, start studying physics, go to grad school, and try to explain the universe seriously. I know just enough to understand that my fun ideas are nothing more than just my fun ideas, like the fictional worlds I create when I GM a roleplaying game.

Me? Back to uni? LOL! My tactic is simply making something, throwing it at the physicists, and saying "ok hero - explain that".

Besides, I thought everybody already accepted that space was super dense

just george
23rd-September-2013, 08:47 AM
Arguing from the observed experiences of things moving through air to conjectures about how things might move through space isn't really a very productive analogy. Propagation through air and propagation through space aren't necessarily connected in the ways that are being anticipated here.

Why not? Bullets move up and down when they go fast. Photons act like particles and waves at the same time, also when they're going very fast.

I don't see why there is a problem with the idea.

SpaceYeti
23rd-September-2013, 09:54 AM
Me? Back to uni? LOL! My tactic is simply making something, throwing it at the physicists, and saying "ok hero - explain that".

This stuff is already explained, though. What are you talking about? The idea is to explain it better. I mean, if you're trying to come up with an alternate theory, anyhow, which it looks like you tried here.

Besides, I thought everybody already accepted that space was super dense"Super" dense? Not even remotely. It's still the closest to a vacuum there is, with several atoms per meter or so in intergalactic space.

Why not? Bullets move up and down when they go fast. Photons act like particles and waves at the same time, also when they're going very fast.

I don't see why there is a problem with the idea.
Because we know why bullets do that, and it can't really be simplified into "up and down". Due to rifling, bullets spin. This gives them angular momentum and they act like a top. Instead of the wind making them topple, they instead precess along the air. Their center of gravity, meanwhile, accelerates towards the ground almost as fast as if it were simply dropped, with variation only for wind, rain, and what-have-you. It doesn't travel in a wave by any means. Your analogy simply fails. A bullet cannot be likened to a photon because it doesn't behave like one.

just george
23rd-September-2013, 10:12 AM
This stuff is already explained, though. What are you talking about?

:)