Friday, January 25, 2013

Psychology of time, A chain-reaction of electron-photon couplings


Back in September 2012 I wrote a book review (at Amazon) of one my favorite coming-of-age novels - The Merry Go Round in the Sea. In the novel a six-year-old boy, Rob comes to the realization that in his words “It will never be that minute again. It will never be today again.”

The concept of time has always been a recurrent matter for me. The notion of the passage of time, the arrow of time, our perception of time, our belief that times goes faster when we’re having fun, etc. And of course there is relativistic time, viz-a-viz Special Relativity.

Until the early 20th century when Einstein published his theory of Special Relativity our classical understanding of time was unambiguously framed within the fundamental structure of the universe, a dimension independent of events, in which events occur in sequence. This is sometimes referred to as a realist view. And unless when traveling at speeds approaching the speed of light (299,792,458 meters per second) the classical treatment of time is (have been) adequate.


When Rob made that remark he didn’t know the half of it. I don’t know the half of it. I’d like now to deal with an aspect of time closely linked to the infinities associated with electron-photon couplings as introduced in Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) and diverge from classical notion of time.

Renormalization was first developed in QED to make sense of infinite integrals in perturbation theory. Although renormalization was first seen as a provisional procedure by some of its originators, it is now embraced as an important and self-consistent tool dealing with arising infinities associated with electron-photon couplings.

A process creating new moments in time

Is it possible that infinities arising at these couplings are due to a lack of a more generalised and fundamental understanding of time? If for example time is not regarded as a smooth continuous flow then there may be a process that creates new moments in time and moments of infinity.

What if each electron-photon coupling represents such moments in time? This then may in itself explain the generated infinities that require cancellation through the renormalization procedure.

The idea is that from each electron-photon coupling Electro Magnetic Radiation radiates out in light spheres of quantized wave fronts until they come in contact with electrons on the surface of other atoms. At this point the wave function collapses into new quantum particles in the form of photons that will have their own position in time and space.

A quantum leap of energy creating new wave functions of future possibilities occurring in a continuous process (or stimulated emissions - in which an electron interacting with an electromagnetic wave of a certain frequency may drop to a lower energy level, transferring its energy to that field.) to generate a chain-reaction of electron-photon coupling.

Our world-time

This chain-reaction of electron-photon coupling may provide the substrate on which our world-time is based. Our world-time might be a kind of left over of light emitted by an atom (now) that is absorbed by another (later on) creating the time continuum. The momentum of time (as we know it) may therefore be a function of light (seemingly continuous) that is radiating outwards from its centre source.

A possible conclusion

We can choose when and where to collapse this wave function giving us the perception of free will in creating our own future. However, the uncertainty principle (Heisenberg principle) will apply to the us in any future event. The quantum particle will only have a position and time in space when the wave particle collapses. If on the other hand we don’t observe – i.e we don’t collapse the wave particle function into a moment of time then the quantum particle will only have the momentum of its own wave particle function.

Put simply, to observe a quantum particle we have to create an electron-photon coupling thus collapsing the particle wave function into a new quantum particle in space, and importantly a new moment in time. This action forms our created space-time experience.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Poker Machines in the world of mobile devices

For all the talk about gambling and the sometimes spiteful debate in Australia over poker machine (slot machine) reform legislation, which if successful, a trial of the pre-commitment technology would begin in the ACT – it is fascinating to discover that in 2012 the second highest grossing iPhone App Store is Slotmania.

It’s a Casino style app that gives the user a series of online-style slot machines that you can play directly from your mobile device. And just like the real poker machines, it has all the Sex and Sizzle graphics, sound, multiple machines, etc, etc. The games even look and “feel” like the real deal and have all of the advanced features, including bonus games, which players have come to expect.

As I say what really caught my attention isn’t so much the application, and/or the quality of the games – rather I’m so used to looking at say the top 20 free iPhone apps or the top 10 paid apps that I have never stopped to examine the top grossing apps.

Incidentally the top free iPhone apps in 2012 were:

·     YouTube
·     Instagram
·     Draw Something Free

The top 3 paid iPhone apps in 2012 were:

·     Angry Birds Space
·     WhatsApp Messenger
·     Draw Something

And, the top 3 grossing iPhone apps for 2012

·     Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North
·     Slotmania
·     Pokey

So there you have it, presumably people download the “game” for free and will then use real money to buy credits to use in these slots. Winnings cannot be converted back to real cash. Again, this happens to be the second most grossing app in 2012. It must be a great game.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Psychology and world-view in the new science

The more we attempt to make sense of reality the more we appreciate that it is perhaps beyond human perception and intuition. In other words, our rational mind and common sense are just not capable of understanding the true nature of reality.

There was a time, a more naive time, when classical physics explained matter and energy at scales familiar to our experience. We began to think all that can be learned is learned. We even gave ourselves a suitably appropriate, although somewhat premature and greatly optimistic name for the period. It was the Age of Enlightenment.

In 1915, Einstein introduced a new way of looking at the physical properties of the universe (theory of relativity). The Newtonian constraints of absolute time and space were abandoned. Time and space were unified and made relative, it formed a continuum that curved and enfolded about itself. Gravity was a distortion of this continuum caused by the presence of mass.

And work examining the nature of the atom in the first few decades of the twentieth century first threated to undermine our understanding of a deterministic universe (Einstein for example was quoted as saying “I am convinced that He (God) does not play dice” and “God is subtle but he is not malicious” and then came the realization that we do indeed live in a universe underpinned by uncertainty and probability viz-a-viz Quantum Mechanics.

Theories that describe the behavior of matter and its interactions with energy on the scale of atoms and subatomic particles and how these phenomena could be related to everyday life is the realm of Quantum Mechanics. The problem with this theory is that it is hideously difficult to describe and more so difficult to understand.

As an example, until a subatomic particle (say an electron) is observed by a conscious being, that particle exists in potentia everywhere and everywhen in the entire universe. Upon observation this smeared out particle collapses to a single point in space for the moment of conscious observation. String these moments together one after the other and you create the illusion of time and a physical reality. So reality is not mechanical. There is room for activity of conscious human beings.

One of my heroes, Richard Feynman who incidentally won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in relativistic quantum field theory, Quantum Electro-Dynamics and no ordinary genius had this to say:  I think it is safe to say that no one understands Quantum Mechanics.”

And he goes on; “One does not, by knowing all the physical laws as we know them today, immediately obtain an understanding of anything much. The more you see how strangely Nature behaves, the harder it is to make a model that explains how even the simplest phenomena actually work. So theoretical physics has given up on that.”

And in the 1960’s the label “Chaos” was coined by Jim Yorke and Chaos Theory became a field of study in mathematics, with applications in many disciplines including physics, engineering, economics, biology, and philosophy. Chaos theory studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions, an effect which is popularly referred to as the butterfly effect.

It is in essence a reversal of the classical view that the physical laws are what count, and local disturbances are relatively trivial. In chaos theory local disturbances can be ultimately overwhelming and, just as important, we cannot tell when they are about to overwhelm us.

A strange concealed order has been revealed by chaos theory. If we run large numbers of variations of simple equations on a computer, patterns emerge. The most famous of these patterns is the Mandelbrot set. Every magnification of the pattern reveals more elaborate layers made up of shapes like gingerbread men linked together in swirls, repeating in more and more complexity. These patterns seem to illustrate infinity, and the gingerbread men seem to represent the incredible creative and energetic complexity of reality.

Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Chaos, (as well as String theory, Super String theory, M-theory and other emerging theories) the world is indeed stranger than anything our rational mind can grasp and the universe infinitely more bizarre. The more we learn about the universe the more illusory our universe seems to be. Reality is quite simply an illusion.

What I am reminded by this is the Eastern concepts such as those of the Maya, Zen and philosophies such as Samkhya, Vedanta, and Tantra, relating mind, matter and consciousness. Here there is an emphasis on proper life and spiritual self-realization. Seeking to liberate individuals from false beliefs and attachments and the belief that we are conscious because we are connected to spirit. Interestingly, if consciousness and matter are truly intrinsic to reality then what does that say to our sense of psychology, and how do we make sense of our world-view.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Recruitment - Good looks matter for men

A study by a Melbourne University and a former Australian National University economist, suggests that men whose looks are rated as above average earn 22 per cent more than men whose looks are below average. So the "plainness penalty" is more important than the "beauty premium". It turns out that for women the effect is smaller and harder to measure.

Also, men with below-average looks were 15 per cent less likely than normal to be employed and were typically employed for a 9 per cent lower wage. They were also less likely to be married and less likely to be married to a woman of high income.

Whilst the findings about men remained constant in two surveys in 1984 and again in 2009 the findings for women changed, with looks now more important than in the past when it came to securing a job and getting married.

The authors put forward "It's probably that the labour market for women is a whole lot different than a quarter of a century ago," and "Nothing much has changed for men but with many more women being employed there's more opportunity for 'lookism' to matter.

And, perhaps wisely, “I am not confident enough to speak about why looks are mattering more for women in the marriage market."