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New Science Fiction Series on TV


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Posted on Sep 28, 2011 5:22:32 AM PDT
http://www.firstscience.com/home/articles/big-theories/is-time-travel-possible_1741.html

TIME TRAVEL JUST MIGHT BE POSSIBLE!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 28, 2011 6:38:43 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 28, 2011 6:39:43 AM PDT
M. Helsdon says:
"TIME TRAVEL JUST MIGHT BE POSSIBLE!"

There's nothing new in that article that requires hysterical capitals, and basically, other than vague 'speculations', the answer is still 'no', other than the way we are all moving from the past, via the present into the future.

Posted on Sep 28, 2011 7:34:42 AM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
(Oh well, at least she *tried* to be relevant.)

Posted on Sep 28, 2011 7:48:55 AM PDT
Cheyanne says:
I thought that the reason was there is an extinction level event in dinosaur period that is going to happen that makes the possibility of their action going back to the past altering the future not a danger.

Posted on Sep 28, 2011 8:03:52 AM PDT
I guess the cyber-parasites were in such a hurry to diss my post, that they missed the article's sub-headline on First Science: "Not all scientists agree, but according to Einstein and quantum theory, time travel COULD BE POSSIBLE"

And this was written in 2006. If the faster-than-light neutrino can get corroboration, Einstein Physics will have to be rewritten anyway.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 28, 2011 8:17:44 AM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
"And this was written in 2006."

Hence MH's observation that THERE IS NOTHING NEW IN IT. (How long did you search for something saying "time travel is possible!" before settling on this one?)

"If the faster-than-light neutrino can get corroboration, Einstein Physics will have to be rewritten anyway."

No it won't. Again you demonstrate how little you understand what you post about.

(Still got nothing to add about the TV show, huh?)

Posted on Sep 28, 2011 9:07:34 AM PDT
John G. Hemry,

"I'm still unclear as to how, if it's a one-way portal, they can tell where it goes and when it goes..."

I'm pretty sure I heard during the episode Jim (the dad) ask Commander Taylor why he has not told the folks in the future about the "Sixers" rebels, and he said that he didn't know who to trust in the future so he wasn't going to tell them yet. They must have some way of sending signals through the portal.

Some of the reviews have mentioned that Taylor 'chose to stay' for those 118 days alone, so maybe there is also a way to pass back through? I'm not sure I like the idea of their having a way back if this is the case. It seems like a cop out.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 28, 2011 9:09:34 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 28, 2011 9:11:48 AM PDT
M. Helsdon says:
"I guess the cyber-parasites were in such a hurry to diss my post"

Always charming how you call people names... Do you consider this a valid means of engaging in a discussion?

"Not all scientists agree, but according to Einstein and quantum theory, time travel COULD BE POSSIBLE"

You obviously missed the word 'could'.

Einstein's special and general theories of relativity allow time to proceed forward at different rates, and general relativity allows for wormholes with a different date at each end, but general relativity does not include quantum effects. Hawking's Chronology Protection Conjecture suggests very strongly that time travel is impossible on all but the very sub-microscopic scale. Even at the smallest scale, whilst particles might travel back in time, information does not.

"And this was written in 2006."

Precisely. It was all very old material, unless the world of physics is completely new to you.

"If the faster-than-light neutrino can get corroboration, Einstein Physics will have to be rewritten anyway."

Other experiments at CERN agree with the predictions of relativity to better than one part in a trillion. The claimed variation in the arrival time of the neutrinos is incredibly tiny, and even if valid -- for instance this class of neutrino might be found to be the fastest particles because they are points of matter/energy and follow a straight line wheras photons are fatter and slower. 8-)

However, the results are looking a little suspect, because the conclusion relies not on the measurement of one neutrino leaving the accelerator and hitting the detector but by matching up the rising and falling edges of the neutrino pulse at both ends, but the edge at CERN will be different from that received at the detector because the beam derived from the photon burst will fan out across the intervening 730 kilometers. The receiving edge will be very distorted compared with the tranmitting edge, and not factoring this in would offer a considerably greater variation in accuracy than the 10ns the experiment assumes.

And one major flag over the OPERA result is that four of the senior experimenters have removed their names from the author listing, and one did not sign it at all.

It's all premature speculation until the results are checked over.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 28, 2011 9:19:21 AM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
Oh, but didn't you see that she wrote "if"? LOL

If pigs had wings, we could discuss the aerodynamics of pork! :D

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 28, 2011 9:22:55 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 28, 2011 9:24:40 AM PDT
M. Helsdon says:
"Oh, but didn't you see that she wrote "if"?"

Yes, though Marilyn may not have appreciated that it completely countered her other statements. However, the 'if' is irrelevant, because the statement "Einstein Physics will have to be rewritten anyway" is inaccurate.

"If pigs had wings, we could discuss the aerodynamics of pork!"

Pigs can fly; they just don't land very well. Recall reading about a tornado that caused assorted farm animals to take off, but the outcome wasn't pretty.

Posted on Sep 28, 2011 3:48:54 PM PDT
Hey, guys. Let's not gang up. Time travel and faster-than-light (FTL) are two of those areas where flat pronouncements are often made that exceed what science actually can say. Einstein himself suggested a number of ways to exceed the speed of light using concepts like frame of reference. General relativity (GR) says you can't accelerate to the speed of light. But Special relativity introduces other concepts. And quantum mechanics and GR are not compatible. Which matters because the CERN experiments cited are using particles. The experimental results need more looking at, but so far the CERN people seem to have gone to great lengths to explain the results in any other way and came up with no good answers. It's an interesting development, and I give the scientists credit for being willing to say "we can't explain this any other way" after doing their best to find errors.

In terms of time travel, the equations do work both ways. Nothing new there, yes. But statements that "time travel is impossible" are no more proven than the opposite. That's worth remembering. There is an amazing amount of things we do not know. For example, the CERN people produced those possible FTL results while looking for the Higgs Boson, the so-called "god particle" that has to exist in the Standard model to explain why the universe is the way the universe is. But the CERN people are saying they are increasingly doubting that the Higgs Boson exists because it's nowhere it was expected to be. Without the Higgs Boson, the Big Bang can't explain our universe. There are already alternate models out there, but they don't support the Big Bang and some contradict it.

We're a long ways from knowing all of the answers. James Burke ( of Connections fame) wrote a fine book called "The Day the Universe Changed" about how greatly our vision of how things work can alter.

None of which excuses sloppy writing. Unlike reality, fiction needs to be consistent and make sense.

Posted on Sep 28, 2011 5:46:06 PM PDT
K. Rowley says:
Couple problems I had with the show -

1) No personal communication devices? Come on, even today most kids have cell phones and spend hours texting each other. I don't believe that in 130+ years there won't be gizmos that have at least the same capability as a iPhone has today instead of the CB radio that they seem to be using. The stranded kids should have been able to call back to base and the people searching for them should have had a way of pinpointing their locations.

2 Dealing with the attacking dinos - every rover should be equipped with some sort of emergency device that emits both a sonic blast and a light strobe (which would have been a beacon for the searchers). If a high frequency pulsing sound wave isn't enough to drive off a particular critter - then record the sound that a larger predator makes when attaching and broadcast that.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 28, 2011 5:51:30 PM PDT
K. Rowley says:
"We're a long ways from knowing all of the answers. James Burke ( of Connections fame) wrote a fine book called "The Day the Universe Changed" about how greatly our vision of how things work can alter."

Another good book that was co-authored by James Burke is,
The Axemaker's Gift A Double Edged History of Human Culture

Posted on Sep 28, 2011 6:05:06 PM PDT
One (of many) curiosities in the show is that for all their special effects glory, the weapons have less 'oomph' than those currently in the field, because they were ineffective (at close range) against the dinosaurs.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 28, 2011 6:10:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 28, 2011 6:11:21 PM PDT
K. Rowley says:
"One (of many) curiosities in the show is that for all their special effects glory, the weapons have less 'oomph' than those currently in the field, because they were ineffective (at close range) against the dinosaurs."

I think cuz they are shooting tranquilizers - not bullets. I wondered why they would do that - but then figured they didn't want a dead carcass near their camp where it would attract scavengers.

Posted on Sep 28, 2011 6:55:36 PM PDT
getalife says:
They have no real hunters as writers on the show and they're scared to tick off peta.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2011 1:03:13 AM PDT
M. Helsdon says:
John,

"For example, the CERN people produced those possible FTL results while looking for the Higgs Boson,"

No, this was from the OPERA experiment, which studies neutrino oscillations.

"the so-called "god particle" that has to exist in the Standard model to explain why the universe is the way the universe is."

The standard model is only one of several competing models, several of which are Higsless.

"But the CERN people are saying they are increasingly doubting that the Higgs Boson exists because it's nowhere it was expected to be."

They are looking across a wde range of masses; by the end of 2012 they will have completed, to a fairly high percentage, checks across the masses between 114 GeV and 600 GeV.

"Without the Higgs Boson, the Big Bang can't explain our universe."

No, the Higgs Boson is employed in one model to explain why matter won out over antimatter. There are other models that suggest other mechanics. So no Higgs doesn't mean no Big Bang.

"It's an interesting development, and I give the scientists credit for being willing to say "we can't explain this any other way" after doing their best to find errors."

Until their results have been checked out and duplicated, they've been very premature in publishing this. This isn't the first time ftl particles have been apparently detected, but on subsequent analysis they are found to be caused by systemic errors.

The situation is very like that earlier this year, when reports of finding Higgs were in circulation, which were based on unofficial unreviewed results.

Posted on Sep 29, 2011 4:48:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 29, 2011 4:49:19 AM PDT
John -

Excellent post. Thank you!

MH -

"Until their results have been checked out and duplicated, they've been very premature in publishing this." So what autocratic world have you come from?

Like John, I applaud scientists who research a startling result from all possible angles, then are willing to step up and say "This shocked us too, but here it is." This opens up the startling-result to more scientific minds, and corroborating experimentation. This is the way science is supposed to work on this planet!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2011 6:44:11 AM PDT
"No, this was from the OPERA experiment, which studies neutrino oscillations."

OPERA being conducted partly by CERN. You're right that it wasn't directly related to the Higgs search.

Otherwise, most of the physicists that I've talked with consider the lack of finding of the Higgs Boson to date to be very important. The fact that the Higgs Boson is often refered to as the "holy grail" of modern physics indicates how important it is considered to be. Yes, other models exist than the Standard, but the Standard is supposed to be the right one, and things like CERN were built to test and confirm it. CERN cost about $8 Billion just to build because something like that was needed to search for the Higgs Boson and do other fundamental research, and (again) most of the physicists I've talked with and researched believe the Higgs Boson is critical to currently accepted models and to make the Big Bang still work. Of course, some physicists feel differently, and there's nothing new about physicists having different views of things. Einstein hated quantum mechanics ("God does not play at dice", leading to Bohr's rejoinder that "Einstein should stop telling God what to do").

I disagree that the CERN scientists were "premature." Every report I've seen says they made every possible effort to find error and explain the results otherwise before they published the results. If there is some error their exhaustive efforts have not identified, then only by publishing the work so others can go over it can that error be found.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2011 6:53:52 AM PDT
M. Helsdon says:
John,

"I disagree that the CERN scientists were "premature." Every report I've seen says they made every possible effort to find error and explain the results otherwise before they published the results. If there is some error their exhaustive efforts have not identified, then only by publishing the work so others can go over it can that error be found."

They were premature to present a news release prior to their findings being published in a professional journal subject to peer review and subject to independent verification. This is why they've provided their data to two other labs qualified to assess their methodology. Given that several senior researchers have now removed their names from the publication, and one refused to sign it from the outset, there's obviously a growing realisation that this news may ultimately damage their credability.

However, publishing it to the press in the way they did simply repeats the problem with the erroneous earlier announcement of the discovery of a Higgs candidate, and feeds the fringe who don't understand how science works and think this will somehow support time travel and faster-than-light travel for the flying saucers they believe in.

"CERN cost about $8 Billion just to build because something like that was needed to search for the Higgs Boson and do other fundamental research,"

Hunting for the Higgs is only one aspect of CERN's research.

"and (again) most of the physicists I've talked with and researched believe the Higgs Boson is critical to currently accepted models and to make the Big Bang still work."

That conflicts with sources I've read...

Posted on Sep 29, 2011 7:20:38 AM PDT
CERN sat on their neutrino discovery for three years, testing their "startling results" from all possible angles, before going public.

So where do you get this idea that their announcement was "premature"?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2011 7:32:40 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 29, 2011 7:35:18 AM PDT
M. Helsdon says:
"So where do you get this idea that their announcement was "premature"? "

As previously noted:
* Not peer reviewed.
* Not independently verified.
* Senior researchers not supporting or withdrawing their names as authors.

There have been similar premature announcements from CERN and Fermilab, which on futher analysis proved to be due to systemic or statistical errors.

The researchers at CERN are already embarrassed by some of erroneous statements made in the media. Their paper actually says 'Despite the large significance of the measurement reported here and the stability of the analysis, the potentially great impact of the result motivates the continuation of our studies in order to investigate possible still unknown systematic effects that could explain the observed anomaly. We deliberately do not attempt any theoretical or phenomenological interpretation of the results.'

Your statement "CERN sat on their neutrino discovery for three years" is inaccurate, because it isn't yet a discovery, simply a set of results, which may subsequently be found to be in error.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2011 7:53:32 AM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
"Like John, I applaud scientists who research a startling result from all possible angles, then are willing to step up and say 'This shocked us too, but here it is.' This opens up the startling-result to more scientific minds, and corroborating experimentation. This is the way science is supposed to work on this planet!"

BRAVO, Marilyn!

This way you have of turning it completely around, of turning your ignorance and misunderstanding around in your own mind and convincing yourself that you had it right the whole time, is TRULY IMPRESSIVE. I applaud YOU!

Posted on Sep 29, 2011 12:41:43 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 29, 2011 1:08:20 PM PDT
Well, I wouldn't say that their announcement was 'premature' but for a different reason. My understanding is that the CERN guys released (not announced) the paper to see if other scientists could figure out where or if they were going wrong somewhere. And well they should have.

Having read the paper and looked at their charts, I can sum it up this way -- it seems (to this admittedly non-physicist but with a pretty good background) like a Rube Goldberg set of timings. The key to the whole presentation is something like this. Light speed meant the neutrinos should take 1,048 nanoseconds. But they very very precisely measured all the delays in their measurements and have come up with 988 nanoseconds for the neutrinos. That leaves 60 nanoseconds difference. And they can't spot any more places to correct, so it seems that neutrinos were 60 nanoseconds faster.

My own analogy of how they measured: Hans yells to Fritz to fire the shotgun. The shotgun pellets fly and hit a bag of BB's. The BB's (neutrinos) fly across the Lake. Giovanni on the other side of the Lake sees the ducks scatter when the BB's go by them and flashes a picture. They measure the speed of the BB's by accurately timing how long it took for the sound from Hans to reach Fritz, how long it takes him to pull the trigger, how far it is to the bag of BBs, how far it is to the ducks, the distribution of the ducks scattering, how long it takes Giovanni to flash a picture, and compare the clocks that Hans and Giovanni have.

You can read the paper at-> http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1109/1109.4897.pdf
You can see their charts at-> http://indico.cern.ch/getFile.py/access?resId=0&materialId=slides&confId=155620
Pay attention to charts 40, 49 and 50. Chart 50 shows the calculation 1048-988, and chart 49 where they got the 988 from (all the delays between the different systems):
dt = TOFc-TOFn= (1048.5 ± 6.9 (stat.)) ns - 987.8 ns = (60.7 ± 6.9 (stat.) ± 7.4 (sys.)) ns

[TOFc is time of flight of light and TOFn is time of flight of neutrinos]
With such a complex method with all of these 'corrections' due to delays, is it any wonder that scientists are skeptical??

[Post has been edited to add the TOFc explanation, which I misread at first]

Posted on Sep 29, 2011 1:27:34 PM PDT
To net out the above:

They never actually measured the speed of the neutrinos. They calculated how long it WOULD have taken for all the various signals and particles to pass through their different systems and then send a light beam to the other detector and get measured there. When they did it with neutrinos the time was faster than they thought it would be. They tested as much as possible the delays between their various components, and think they've accounted for all of them. If they missed a delay somewhere (like a signal going from one subsystem to another), or a delay between one of the systems is less than they think, then their FTL calculation goes POOF. Their paper was basically, we measured this delay, we measured this delay, etc etc and we can't see where any more corrections can be.

Too bad they can't actually fire a light beam through the Earth to see what their signals would tell them the time actually is.
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Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
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Initial post:  Sep 11, 2011
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