The Krone Experiment

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Re: The Krone Experiment

wheel wrote:Well, chin up! I didn't mention that in scrambling for an explanation of how one could
suspend a proto-black hole while you grow it to 10^14 gm, I waved my hands at
extra dimensions, string theory, physical magical realism. This was another place where
I punted in The Krone Experiment, but I had fun throwing in such ideas in the sequel.

"Physical magical realism", now that sounds like an interesting place to start. I can feel a new theory of everything percolating up from below the hippocampus. Something from the reptilian part of my brain. Perhaps I'll take it for a walk through the forum on the end of a bit of string theory. Scientific validity on the cosmic scale has never concerned me much. I figure if a theory can't be disproven empirically, only mathematically, it's still worth sticking on the fridge. Who knows, it might become part of the plot of a science fiction novel.

Gregorygregg1
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Re: The Krone Experiment

Alt-theories is the fridge to stick it, especially string-t.

Watson
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Re: The Krone Experiment

Lincoln wrote:GG1:

Ah....you have fallen into the all too common trap of confusing what a theory says with what physicists believe. This is a common affliction if you read books and articles written by theorists.

In general relativity, we talk about a singularity, which is matter existing at a mathematical point. Nobody takes this approximation as literally true. It's not. However, it IS a good approximation for many calculations. Thus you shouldn't forget it entirely...just realize that it's a convenient approximation in the same way one can treat individual stars as pointlike if you're calculating the evolution of the shape of a galaxy.

Black holes have a size which is unknown, due to our inability to generate a theory of quantum gravity. This size should be considered to be very small; this is the singularity approximation.

However, these black holes certainly do have mass...lots of it. In this case, the size of a black hole means the event horizon. This is the radius within which light cannot escape. A black hole with the mass of the Earth will have an event horizon of 9 millimeters. A black hole with the mass of the Sun has an event horizon at about 3 kilometers.

That's ordinarily what people talk about when discussing the size of a black hole. In the book under discussion, the event horizon is the size of a proton (as I recall from the author's assertion above). However even outside the event horizon, the gravity is enormous. According to the author, the radius at which the gravitational attraction is stronger than the molecular structural integrity is 1 centimeter.

Thus when discussing the size of a black hole, one must specify exactly what dimension is being discussed.

In any event, the answer to the bulk of your question is that you shouldn't believe the whole "size = 0" thing.

Interesting. So you might say that E=MC^2, or evolution, or Quantum theory are approximations and shouldn't be confused with what scientists really believe. This raises the question, "why pay any attention to current scientific theory if it isn't what scientists believe?" Most average humans are generalists. We count on specialists, like scientists and theorists to provide us with food for thought. What good is it if the food we are given is just an approximation of food? You tell me the real stuff is what scientists "believe", not the theory that informs their beliefs. I get feisty here because, being an average Joe, My mind is picking up all this stuff and trying to fit it into a logical picture. Every time I think I have a working hypothesis it gets shot down by this kind of argument. I am willing to concede to the specialists, but this is frustrating to a generalist who wants to have thoughts informed by correct information.

Gregorygregg1
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Re: The Krone Experiment

I understand your frustration. However I several points which I hope will be helpful. As you read this, keep in mind that I am coming at it from two perspectives. The first is as a Ph.D. researcher who spends his time perpetually on the boundary of known and unknown. The second is as a science popularizer (I have written several books for the public, boatloads of online posts, YouTube videos, etc.) who tries to bring as modern ideas as possible to the public. Note the underline...that's important.

The problem with popularizing is the knowledge base of the reader. In the context of this question (gravity), some people have an idea of Newtonian gravity. The fraction of people who have absorbed general relativity (even qualitiatively) is smaller. Quantum mechanics is also a smaller group. Those who understand the problems associated with trying to wed quantum mechanics and general relativity is a smaller group still. The people who understand the ongoing, knowledge-frontier, level of quantum gravity is exceedingly small. I would argue that there are few people without advanced physics training that can really know what the discussion is.

But to get to the end process, you need to understand the steps that go into it. You need to know what general relativity says...it's an awesome representation of reality...it just fails when pushed into a particular spot of applicability. On the other hand, as you approach the event horizon, you don't need to know diddly poo about quantum gravity. The difference between a proper quanutm gravity and general relativity is just negligible. It's just like to understand the motion of a baseball launched from a bat can assume a constant gravitational field...you don't need to invoke all of Newton's law, with its dependence on the inverse of the radius squared.

The problem comes down when writing with the public that you have to write generally enough to be interesting to a broad segment of the readership. If you write too precisely, the publishers will (rightly) reject publishing what you put together because it is commercially not worthwhile to go through the costs associated with disseminating your work. In short, clear commercial considerations dominate what is available and what is not.

By the way...E = mc2 isn't what scientists believe or, more correctly, it's a special case. The actual formula is E = $\gamma$mc2. But that extra $\gamma$ term opens up a whole additional can of worms. Just getting out the E = mc2 thing is quite a challenge.

You should pay attention to current theory. You just shouldn't believe that what is found in popularizations is the current theory. Keeping up with current theory takes work.

You, as a layman, can best keep up by having a decent background reading the popularizations and then reading magazines like Scientific American or Discover (although my spies tell me that Discover is about to downgrade tremendously in quality). If you have a little more gumption, you might try to read Science (from AAAS). That's how scientists keep up with developments in other fields. Be warned that Science is a real fire hose of information. It's hard to keep up.

Or you find a place like this and bug the experts there. Most of us will try to explain the status as we understand it. Usually (as I did with you), we read what you write, figure out where you are on the spectrum of knowledge and try to bring you to the next step. (You should be aware that in the quantum gravity realm, there are more considerations beyond what I've told you [and, frankly, there are considerations beyond what I know, and I have a Ph.D. in physics and going on three decades in the field].) Such is the nature of thinking about the knowledge frontier.

Lincoln
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Re: The Krone Experiment

Since I don't really know anything, other than the popularly published stuff, there are a lot of trees I may not see. It has been reported that beyond the event horizon of a black hole even the physicists are in the dark. Pun intended. Since all my dilatant thought about it is for naught anyway, perhaps you can shed a bit of light. If, as you say the zero dimension at the center of the singularity is only theoretical, what actually is thought to happen in a gravitational field so strong that quarks, leptons and bosons are squeezed into the same space? It seemed to me they would mutually annihilate, in which case we would have a literal concept of nothing: a state of maximum gravity in which mater and space cannot exist. If the amount of mass necessary to create such a state is known, perhaps the value of maximum gravity would be a finite derivative of that mass and represent a limit equivalent to the speed of light.

Gregorygregg1
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Re: The Krone Experiment

Since I don't really know anything, other than the popularly published stuff, there are a lot of trees I may not see. It has been reported that beyond the event horizon of a black hole even the physicists are in the dark. Pun intended. Since all my dilatant thought about it is for naught anyway, perhaps you can shed a bit of light. If, as you say the zero dimension at the center of the singularity is only theoretical, what actually is thought to happen in a gravitational field so strong that quarks, leptons and bosons are squeezed into the same space? It seemed to me they would mutually annihilate, in which case we would have a literal concept of nothing: a state of maximum gravity in which mater and space cannot exist. If the amount of mass necessary to create such a state is known, perhaps the value of maximum gravity would be a finite derivative of that mass and represent a limit equivalent to the speed of light.

Gregorygregg1
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Re: The Krone Experiment

This is a long post, ranging farther than a direct response to your proposed model. But, given the thread and the recent conversation, it just begs for a bigger picture perspective. I trust you will indulge me.

Your question is an interesting one on lots of levels. First, there is an answer. Second, the answer is not known. Third, there are informed versions of speculation on the topic. And fourth, the question reveals absolutley perfectly why amateur speculation is usually not very valuable. (I'm not picking on you personally....put me in a speculative environment involving microbiology and I'm totally hopeless....)

So let's take these on, one at a time. The first one is easy. In the absence of some sort of a subjective dreamworld or somesuch, which I accept as logically possible, but reject as both uneconomical and totally unsupported, there is an objective answer as to the conditions as one approaches what we can loosely call the (non-existent) singularity. If anyone wishes to argue about objective reality, I always suggest that the strongly believe that they are invincible and then step in front of a bus. The experiment should settle the conversation.

The second one is also easy. The answer is not known. Any one who tells you otherwise is either a charlatan, a liar or a fool. Any answer you read in a popularization is a speculation of some sort, or an explanation of what this theory or that says. If you read the general relativity stuff, you'll encounter zero radius singularities. That is just what relativity says, but isn't what really happens. Other theories might actually be what happens, but we know that GR is internally inconsistent and makes unphysical predictions in this realm, so that particular theory is definitely wrong. Others may not be. The bottom line is that we have no empirical evidence as to the conditions near the center of a black hole. Any firmly-held position is a sign of self-delusion or mental deficiency.

The third statement is useful, because it reminds us that not all speculation are equal. For instance, embedded in your question is a misconception which I will address when I turn my attention to #4. However, there is a myriad of theoretical speculations available, mostly in the particle physics community, which will have relevance here. For instance, just as electrons get forced into protons, resulting in neutrons (and neutron stars), it is possible that quarks and leptons will be forced together sufficiently-closely so as to create a hybrid particle called leptoquarks. Leptoquarks are a credible scientific idea that you should treat as interesting. There is no direct evidence that they exist. However, if they did, it would be the first step in the process you describe. A second theoretical speculation (my favorite BTW) is that quarks and leptons are themselves composite objects. Thus, in this scenario, your question of what happens with the close proximity of quarks and leptons is a misguided one, as these extended objects would eventually be compressed to the point of losing their identity. The hypothetical progenitor particles of quarks and leptons are called preons. You would then change your question to talk about pushing preons together. But there is no reason to think that preons are the end of the line, if indeed they exist at all. Thus, in this case, there are a series of ever-smaller building blocks, each governed by different rules. Any speculation on what happens at the tiniest scales is foolish, given that we don't understand the principles governing the intermediary steps. (BTW, while I think this is the case, I don't believe it. Good scientists are sufficiently disciplined to not believe what they think.)

A third credible idea is that of superstrings. Under this hypothesis, the smallest building blocks are small, vibrating strings. In this scenario, there is no scale with near-zero size. Superstrings are smallest at the Planck scale and grow in size when the energy scale is increased further. At this level, space and time are themselves quantized, leading to a radical change in the rules. Superstrings may be wrong or they may be right. But, in either case, they remain a disciplined speculation.

So this brings us to the last one. Now don't take this personally, but you don't know enough to really speculate fruitfully on the subject. I don't want to discourage you by the way. Your ignorance is only a matter of degree compared to mine. There are many things I don't know either...mostly because nobody does. This doesn't stop me from speculating. The important point when one speculates at the boundary of knowledge is to be totally open to new information. You should invent and discard ideas willy-nilly. Almost every idea you ever have on this subject is silly. Again, don't take it personally. I have ten brilliant ideas every day before breakfast. By noon, eleven ideas are tossed in the trash can, to be forever forgotten. (There are eleven discarded ideas, because at least one of the ten turned out to be so stupid that it needed to be thrown away twice.)

Getting to the problems with your current thinking. You mention quarks, leptons and bosons. Quarks and leptons are members of the class of particles called fermions. These have spin 1/2. Bosons have integral spin and the bosons of relevance here have spin 1. Bosons don't need any compression to exist in the same space. Bosons are thoroughly happy to be intermingled in a great particle orgy. Fermions, on the other hand, are cats of the quantum world. They don't like to be near one another. Pushing them together is hard...you can look up Fermi Pressure in the wikipedia. It is what governs the behavior of neutron stars and overcoming that is part of the process that makes (maybe) a quark star. Quarks are fermions, so that Fermi pressure must be overcome to make a preon star and eventually a black hole.

So putting bosons in the same space is simple. Fermions are harder. So moving on to other problems. Quarks and leptons cannot mutually annihilate. It violates lepton number conservation, baryon number conservation, charge conservation, etc. You need an intermediary (like preons or leptoquarks) before that can happen. And we don't know squat about the physics of the intermediary. So speculation about this process is a nearly-meaningless exercise, like contemplating the ecosystem in the gut of an alien squid on a planet circling Rigel.

In addition, you mention matter. Matter, to first approximation, doesn't exist in a form that is intuitive. All matter is really just energy and forcefields. So to focus on matter entirely misses the point. One must consider really the interaction of various forms of force and energy. Matter is a 17th century concept that has lost its utility on the boundary of knowledge.

This is a long post and I'm sorry about that, but it was a beautiful set up to discuss the interplay of the bigger question here. The details of this model or that are really secondary. What matters is the method by which one distinguishes between speculation and informed speculation and the fumbling in the dark that is really how this kind of knowledge is advanced.

We can talk about your specific idea here, but before that is a valuable exercise, you need to incorporate modern ideas on fermions/bosons, quantum conservation numbers and the nature of matter. Until that happens, it's all just so many empty words.

Lincoln
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Re: The Krone Experiment

I thank you again for your patience. The illusiveness of matter is not lost on me. I also have only passing attachment to any idea that originates in my head. Being human however, I can't keep myself from playing with this stuff.

Gregorygregg1
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Re: The Krone Experiment

That is a fantastic place to be. The problem is when one falls in love with one's own ideas. As long as one can come up with an idea, say "hey, what about this one?" and then toss the idea if it has a fatal flaw, one should think about this sort of stuff as often as they want.

Lincoln
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