Sunday, June 05, 2011

Stronger than the universe

Two weeks ago, we had hail here in Stockholm. At that time I was homewards bound on the highway, and that's where I would be staying for half an hour while rescue crew scratched a motorbike off the middle lane. On the radio run "Heartbreaker" by Dionne Warwick. It's one of these songs I've heard a million times but never listened to, girl in love, guy who doesn't call, same old story. "Why do you have to be a heartbreaker, When I was bein' what you want me to be?" I probably wouldn't call her either. There's Swedish "nyheter" on the other frequencies, but I already knew the weather was sucking greatly, the highway was clogged, and the rest I wouldn't understand anyway, that being the state of my Swedish. Hail drumming on the car roof, Dionne sang "My love is stronger than the universe," and the physicist in me couldn't avoid asking WTF is that supposed to mean? (It's not a four letter word. No, it isn't.)

Okay, so the universe is supposed to have a strength. It springs to mind the gravitational force exerted by all the mass in the universe. Since you can't place yourself outside the universe (probably where Dionne's guy sits) the question is what's the force acting on you while inside, caused by the expansion of the universe? Well, we know that bound systems up to galactic scales don't take part in the expansion, but let's forget that for a moment and pretend the universe would try to rip lovers apart on planetary surfaces. If Dionne's non-caller was as far away from her as he could possibly get on Earth, ie 10,000 km or so, the force comes to 10-26N. Not very impressive. The laws of attraction might get you into trouble, but actually gravity is even weaker than the weak force.

No, we have to think about this differently. We should be asking what's the strength of the structure of the universe? So, as everybody knows, the universe is made of strings, and a string has a tension which is something like the square of the Planckmass, take or give some orders of magnitude. Putting all dimensionful units back in, that comes out to be about 1044N. We could compare this to the force acting on Dionne on the surface of a neutron star, which is a measly 1014N. Yes, clearly, there's string theory on the radio. Though I suspect you'd get pretty much the same answer asking what it takes to break a link in a fundamental spin network.

Passing by the accident zone I contemplate the lack of friction and the forces at work. The radio plays Tori Amos, Little Earthquakes. It doesn't take much to rip us into pieces.


  1. Clearly, the problem with really strong forces, like Dionne's love, is that it too easy for them to create a bunch of particles to decay into. A durable love needs to be based on some weaker forces -

  2. I sense a disturbance in the theorist. Sweden needs some Sammy Hagar, or
    Via gravis is good music!

    as everybody knows, the universe is made of strings Uncle Al will apologize if the vacuum lacks an empirically demonstrable discontinuous symmetry footnote,
    Chemists seek yield not drylabbing.

    the force acting on Dionne on the surface of a neutron star Quadrupole tidal forces, too. What about Dionne's spaghettification thereupon?
    Half way down.

  3. Most cosmological models are perfectly isotropic, so the force exerted by the universe on anything is exactly zero. Something to bear in mind when people say that dark energy is "forcing" the universe to accelerate.

    Yes, I know SH is joking.

  4. Hi Rastus,

    Only partially joking. Isotropy doesn't prevent you from having pressure gradients. It is right though, it is very misleading to speak of 'forces' (pushing the universe apart etc) since gravity isn't actually a 'force' in the Newtonian sense. Best,


  5. Hi Bee,

    With so much attention given to the danger posed by the distractiveness of cell phones, little is said about car radios;-) It is interesting though this seeming contradiction between the attraction of gravity on one level and the repulsion that appears to have it denied on another. Oh this yin and yang of the universe, what does it truly mean?

    But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

    -Khalil Gibran “The Phophet” p-15 (1926)



  6. Anyway, the love is an attractive, long distance force, which exhibits charge symmetry... Maybe you should start to think in this direction...

  7. Hi Phil,

    I have the radio buttons on the stirring wheel. Somebody at Saab did some thinking! Best,


  8. Hi Bee,

    As usual the Europeans are way out in front on this one. Currently though I’m still bound up in my contemplations of your most recent paper, which are now entangled with those of a Toronto researcher having experimental significance in regards to the general subject. I do try however to curtail such thoughts while I’m stuck in traffic, as I’ve found another thing being placed on the steering wheel which others use to remind me when I have inadvertently done so :-)



  9. >It is also renormalizable

    Cool. In language of AWT it would mean, the love exchanges both longitudinal, both transverse waves in arbitrary ratio, nevertheless their Hamiltonian is relatively fixed and quantized and it leads into stepwise excitations (commonly called the "steps in relation").

    Transverse waves represent deterministic, so-called the direct evidence of love (like the presents, money and regular body fluids exchange in both directions), longitudinal ones are these subconscious and indirect one. But the feelings itself aren't enough, every love needs a tangible evidence too.

  10. A chalk board example about love not being gravity comes to mind right around the time the PI Institute was giving it's first tours?

    Well I have indeed stuck to Einsteins conclusion about the observer and time(not outside of it). I had extended it "to mean" as a reference to a colorimetric, and not a calorimeter position within the configuration space, with regard to our place in time of this universe. Our mental state.

    So it all extends to the weight of something we can apply, and the "truth in comparison weighted" as to "now," that there is an extension of this thinking to me in our mental states which we can occupy according to our choices. Our labels.

    For one minute look through glasses in front of you, your eyes, and switch on as if the whole world is in such a gravity color spectrum, and what is it that your bias have left for you as to the footprints/labels in that configuration space?

    You see, songs have this current and undertone that is like a metrical language itself, that is appeasing not only in the choice of linguistics, but in the way such sounds can be fluid toward meaningful expression? The emotive heart songs the soul like to sing?


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  12. That's what we do, we kick start others to bring forward their thinking and their ideas?

    This is the most important song I’ve ever written, it's a time capsule song. I will listen to it every day of my life if I need to. It's honest to God the most important song I’ve ever written in my life, and it has the fewest words. I was in LA, and I was there for the summer, just writing tunes, and I was in the shower. And I don't know where it came from, but it's the damn truth you know, and I just sang, " working against me.Gravity (John Mayer song)


  13. Related to Phil's comments regarding having resd Bee's new paper - I also am reading it. Apparently my thoughts on the measurement of path vs final destination in the double slit experiment and hidden variable possibly being the cause of it had an impact. I'm glad Bee could translate the idea into the language of physics better than I could.

    Though I haven't read the whole paper yet one thing has
    struck me. In it Bee mentions the motive for making repetitive measurements before the path or channel has time to dissipate. I really think this idea is the connection to what I mentioned before about frame dragging in GR. In fact I think it is the "smoking gun" phenomenological connection between QFT and GR.

    If one thinks of the special case of frame dragging of a body spinning rather than orbiting the frame dragging effect would be especially pronounced. If one thinks of a planet spinning in an inertial frame in space each molecule on the surface of the planet would be creating a circular path in the hypothetical medium composed of hidden variablrs. But before the path has time to dissipate a new molecule adjacent to the first molecule rotates onto position and stabilizes the path through the medium. Because a planet is so big compared to typical microscopic quantum effects the overall mathematics is best suited to gravitational mathematics that are represented by large classical statostical averages that GR represents rather individual particles and their probabilities. Just my two cents.

  14. Oops! Frame dragging is a prediction of GR but I don't think they have actually detected it yet. Could be wrong.


  15. And theories hypothesizing Lorentz Invariance violations appear to have struck out yet again.


    Accepted at Phys. Rev. D
    "Rapid Communication"

    Improves limits on "LIV" by 4 orders of magnitude.

  16. arxiv:1106.1068 ""Constraints on Lorentz Invariance Violation using INTEGRAL/IBIS observations of GRB041219A""

    LIV is tested by massless boson photons. Billion lightyear pathlengths exhibit no refraction, dispersion, dichroism, or gyrotropy to date. LIV for photons is difficult: arxiv:0912.5057, 0905.1929, 0706.2031; 1106.1068.

    LIV is tested by massed fermion Equivalence Principle (EP) violation, also arising from vacuum chirality. Atomic mass distribution geometry offers remarkable tests of spacetime geometry - through chemistry.

    Given a left foot, socks and left shoes are not diagnostic. A right shoe detects a left foot by fitting with different energy - chiral photons or chiral mass distribution. 24 hours in two calorimeters at ~45° latitude: (/_\energy/mass> is c^2 more sensitive toward LIV than an Eotvos experiment (/_\mass/mass),
    Opposite shoes fitting onto a vacuum left foot, 93.43 atoms/nm^3. Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

    OTOH, Bob, Bee riffed on romantic love. Gyroptropy is naught but a good screwing. "8^>)

  17. If you think you have a reasonably adequate understanding of what Quantum Mechanics teaches us about the discreteness of the physical world , and what it does not say about this topic, then I highly recommend a careful reading of the following paper, which won 3rd prize in a recent contest.


    1. What is candidly revealed about QM in the above-linked paper,
    2. Surprising new two-slit experiment results,
    3. Recent bending of the uncertainty relations, and
    4. Recently published observations of wavefunctions,

    one might infer that the Platonic versions of Quantum Mechanics are under concerted attack by those who prefer scientific realism and empirical testing.

    Too bad Einstein and Schrodinger are not around to see these exciting developments, but of course they knew this had to come some day.

  18. A chalk board example about love not being gravity comes to mind right around the time the PI Institutes giving it's first tours?

    Ah! I found it?

    "Gravity cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. Albert Einstein"

    Mod. settings on later posts?



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