I'm here to learn about topics on the sciforums


Valued Senior Member
These forums seem to be both better content and better moderated than certain others.

Such forums are bound to attract some trolls and other zanies. I expect as much, and have noted them.

The most important thing for me is to learn both new things and to benefit from other points of view about subjects in which I have an interest.

I've already met one member who has more than just a small talent for turning out really good prose.

I've already had the pleasure of having good moderation, judiciously applied, and it is well appreciated. This is not sarcasm. You have no idea just how bad the "moderation" on those other forums can be. I think part of the problem might be that some schools offer academic credit for high reputation scores on the other forums. This does not interest me, but apparently such incentives are very much to the detriment of discussion forums. Some people are not above ripping your carefully worded responses asunder, and later recrafting them into their own responses to receive accolades. A little too competitive, and for the wrong reasons. I knew people who would do this in a work environment too. Hanging would be too good for 'em, not to put too fine a point on it, but simply not hanging out with them is almost as good.

I pledge to try to be sensitive to everyone's concerns about their personal beliefs, knowledge or lack thereof. Don't be bashful about telling me if it seems that I have forgotten this pledge. If for whatever it's not working out, I can and will simply leave and never ever post again.

Thanks for all the great posts
Welcome danshawen - as always, anyone who is pursuing knowledge for the sake of knowledge is welcome in my book!
Don't leave if you make a mistake either by your own doing or directed at others because we all make them from time to time. Welcome aboard and have fun.
I've just read a great book. "Time Reborn" by one of my favorite authors, Lee Smolin of the Perimeter Institute, who was mentored by both Wheeler and Dewitt.

Skip the history if you already know it (there are a few nuggets there as well. Check out chapter 15, Emergence of Space. The premise is that quantum mechanics associated with the Standard Model has eliminated time as something fundamental in favor of calculating probabilities. Smolin shows why this is a tactical mistake as well as a theoretical dead end. Like Sean Carroll's 'From Eternity to Here', Smolin's book predates the discovery of the Higgs boson. On quantum scales, nothing like inertia exists, but constant buffeting from virtual particles, some of which are now known to be able to occupy the same SPACE at the same time, requires a quantum reformulation of the idea equivalent to simultaneity in Special Relativity. Smolin details how there were conflicts at every turn between the Standard Model and Special Relativity, and this is very likely why. Now that the Standard Model is complete and we understand what motion it is that makes time (as opposed to space) a fundamental property at all scales and in all domains, it's a very good time for time to be reborn in physics, indeed.
I've just read a great book. "Time Reborn" by one of my favorite authors, Lee Smolin of the Perimeter Institute, who was mentored by both Wheeler and Dewitt.

Firstly, what Kittamaru said in his previous post.

Secondly you may be interested in the following which I have posted from time to time, in debates about time and its reality...or otherwise.

Experiments continue to show that there is no 'space' that stands apart from space-time itself...no arena in which matter, energy and gravity operate which is not affected by matter, energy and gravity. General relativity tells us that what we call space is just another feature of the gravitational field of the universe, so space and space-time can and do not exist apart from the matter and energy that creates the gravitational field. This is not speculation, but sound observation.
Sten Odenwald:

I think it says it all.
A virtual Higgs boson gives itself mass before rapidly decaying. Am I mistaken in thinking that it requires no matter or energy in order to do so? To put it another way: would you posit that the Higgs field does not permeate space where there is neither matter nor energy,other than the energy of the vacuum itself?

Even if it did not, apparently there are virtual mesons (paired quarks / antiquarks exchanging color charge) in the vacuum. That's a lot of activity; more than enough to make me think that Smolin is onto something when he suggests that time is something fundamental, and space is something that is emergent.
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This seems to be working. I've learned a lot, and even found a few book recommendations. You guys are awesome. Please stay.