Saturday, March 20, 2010

FROM OVER THERE TO OVER HERE: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Movement as Emergent

by Steven Colyer
(Author of FROM OVER THERE TO STILL OVER THERE: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Position, or Why Mona Lisa Never Stops Smiling)

As a fellow happily-married man, I dedicate this book to this guy and his wife . . .
. . .  in the hope that they understand that satire is the sincerest form of flattery, as well as for Sean's wonderful book From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time and the nice blog he started to explain it, where the errors are noted by the readers.


I don't believe in Prologues. Screw them. Epilogues are cool though, I'll write one when I finish.


There are three things about Movement, three questions, which we take for granted. Unfortunately we only know the answer to the first two:

1) WHAT is Movement?              Answer: Self-evident.
2) HOW does Movement work?           Answer: Statics, Kinematics and Dynamics
3) WHY does Movement exist?            Answer: We don't know. (The attitude of the general public being: "It exists because it exists, who cares except you? Stop asking such deep friggin questions and do something constructive with your time like helping me move this pile of wood.")


Time! Movement!
We don't know why movement exists, but many fine minds are tackling the issue. In this book you will meet these fine minds and in the blog to follow after the book, you may ask them further questions.

Movement, defined, is a object moving from one place to another. Mathematically, L sub-2 minis L sub-1, or in vector notation (for those willing to dip their toes in the mathematical pool ... come on in the water's warm), B - A. It is quite the phenomenon, is it not?

But enough of the Introduction crap. I don't like Introductions either, unless they're short like this one. So, one last paragraph.

Prepare yourself for an epic journey. You are about to go places and learn things you never knew existed. You will meet men like Clausius, Carnot, and Boltzmann. You will learn that Statistical Mechanics aren't boring. You will question that everything you thought you knew about reality, may be wrong.


Chapter 1 - The Ancient Greeks


Chapter 2 - When Men Wore Long Powdered Wigs


Chapter 3: The 1800's - Humanity Starts To Kick Ass

If you ever wish to win an intellectual debate with an atheist, or least shut him up for a minute from going on and on about Dawkins, try stumping him with this question:

"OK, bright boy. If God doesn't exist then please explain how movement emerged from that crazy 'Quantum Fluctuations' insanity you keep spouting about and worship."

That should change the direction of conversation. Away from Dawkins, particularity. And what's bad about that?

In truth we do not know how Movement, that is to say Dynamics to give it its proper name, emerges. God or no God, that which we take most for granted turns out to be the spookiest thing of all. Scares the crap out of me, let me tell you. So much so, I  decided to write a book about it.

Our journey begins in the 1800's, in France and Germany, and from Scotland to the Mississippi River and a boy named Huckleberry ....

Section 3.1 End of the Dark Night: Movement Begins (Watt and Twain)

In Chapter 2 we explored the importance of France's Rene Descartes, his Cartesian Coordinates and views on Statics, Germany's Gottfried Leibniz and his views on Dynamics (as well as pre-saging both Relativity and Quantum Mechanics), and England's Isaac Newton's contrarian views on both, not surprising since Newton had a knack for knowing which side of the bread was buttered, and was a master debater therefore.

We saw that Leibniz was right where Newton was wrong, and that at least mathematically, Leibniz' and Descartes' views were complementary rather than adversarial.

In this section we will introduce where and when these origins were put into practice to the degree of obviousness a child can recognize, particularly with Scotland's James Watt, who perfected the steam engine for fun and profit of the capitalists of his day, and a child from Hannibal, Missouri by the name of Sam Clemens, later: Mark Twain, who would write with great astonishment of that most mobile of steam engine applications of his day: the Mississippi River steam-powered riverboat.

And so, if you'll pardon the pun, the Industrial Age gathers steam.

To be continued ...


Chapter 4: WHAT Movement Is and Isn't.

We will not concern ourselves with the HOW? and WHY? of Movement for the time being. Oh, we'll get there. For now we concern ourselves with the self-evident WHAT?, in which we wish to explore that it is not quite as self-evident as our Tom Sawyer-esque woodpile-mover friend would have us believe.

At first we take it for granted that without Time, there is no Movement. We can and we do. But should we?

The thing that made me question this were two seemingly unrelated concepts, those being electric charge and entropy.

For although we can talk of position (previously covered) as being time-static (hence the entire field of Statics), what we must also recognize is that at a particular moment in time, each system has a particular fixed electric charge, even if zero, and a particular fixed degree of randomness (entropy).

Although electric charge can change, it often doesn't. An electron will always be -1 e, and a positron and a proton +1 e. Entropy, on the other hand, is extremely time dependent, like velocity and acceleration. So they seem quite different.

But are they?

Here, let's use "examples" as a teaching tool, one of my faves.

To be continued ...


Iolaum said...


nice satyr!!

Steven Colyer said...

Oh, I'm only getting started. This will be book length, eventually, and thanks.

Jérôme CHAUVET said...

In some universe that would be without movement, you could not write the sentence "a universe without movement", whereas in a universe equipped with movement, you can write "a universe equipped with movement", because movement is needed to write about it, which means the latter is more interesting than the former.

This relates this theory to my own theory of universe, i.e., the theory of interestingness, which is revolutionary, and which states the more a theory is fun writing about it, the realer it is.

Was it clear enough, or shall I explain once more?

Steven Colyer said...

Yeah sure, explain it more. Write your own book. :-)

I like your first point. It makes me wonder: what is there NOT in our universe, that we cannot describe because it's not there (but is nevertheless possible in some Universe), like a movement-less universe couldn't describe movement because it doesn't exist there? Hmm.

Jérôme CHAUVET said...

A movement-less universe could be, but it could not become. Thus, it could not construct complexity and would irremediably remain simple, I mean, containing as less information as possible.

In case one considers the Universe as being everything that can exist, how could then everything be the least information ever?... Sounds absurd, doesn't it?