1. Sign-up to become a member, and most of the ads you see will disappear. It only takes 30 seconds to sign up, so join the discussion today!
    Dismiss Notice

Our tax dollars now tell us that Star Trek's "transporters" are not possible.

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Jack Briggs, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. Kenneth

    Kenneth Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    Well that would be simpler (although I think having an infinite number of alternate realities is cooler and fits well with probability where there is always more than one outcome to a given event [​IMG] ). I am curious about one thing though, how would the universe not allow changes. If you can only travel in an incorporeal form you wouldn't be able to interact and thus can't change things, however, if you were traveling in corporeal form I am not sure how things could be prevented (the butterfly gets and extra flap to move right before you step on it; the gun jams when you try to shoot your ancestor; etc). Again, just curious. Personally I thought the alternate realities was simpler since it wouldn't matter if you changed something because all probabilities have already been included by allowing all outcomes to pre-exist simultaneously. Am I a bad engineer because I just love statistics and probability [​IMG]

    Kenneth
     
  2. RobertR

    RobertR Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 1998
    Messages:
    10,581
    Likes Received:
    941
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    I have no idea. Maybe the very act of time travel is what causes things to have happened the way they did. In other words, in trying to prevent the JFK assassination, you wind up doing something that helps cause it to happen, and it never would have happened if you had left well enough alone. It's speculation, of course. I forgot to add that not only is preventing changes simpler, it conserves stupendous amounts of energy, and the universe loves doing that.
     
  3. Kenneth

    Kenneth Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    I love it when the universe gets all anthropomorphic [​IMG] I am still worrying how lonely the universe would be if we were the only life in it [​IMG]

    Kenneth
     
  4. RobertR

    RobertR Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 1998
    Messages:
    10,581
    Likes Received:
    941
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    The essay is extremely enjoyable. He discusses aspects of time travel such as having to come up with new terms for time, because our current language is inadequate ("I'll see you last Thursday next Wednesday"). He also says that not only does it make sense that changes aren't allowed, but that even if there were infinite "dimensions" with infinite possibilities, that it makes sense to think that we're in one where time travel never takes place, simply because it would be the most stable.
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Actually Howe was known as having the sharpest elbows in the league and needed no enforcer—Orr had such a face and such style that no one could believe how tough he really was. But I think they would have to be playing in one of Double E’s far away galaxies for Howe to lose.
     
  6. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    6,531
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    5,610


    Yeah, I have to reluctantly agree. It's just that I love that Pie McKenzie quote so much. :b It was heard by noted Bruins fanatic and writer Clark Booth, over beers with a few Bruins alums in a Hartford barroom. Booth described the quote as one of the many outrageous things said about Orr. He also said that no one at the table refuted Pie, because in some ways it was probably true; meaning if Bobby tried to become the greatest fighter, he'd probably succeed with no more than a little effort. Things just looked easy for him.

    Another story about "elbows". When Wayne Cashman took over as coach of the Flyers(? I think), my father said "Cash as a coach? What can he teach them to do, 'Go in the corner, throw a few elbows and pass it to Esposito'"?
     
  7. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2000
    Messages:
    5,172
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Kevin Ray

    Understand that when I say "discoveries" I am talking about celestial, however in my "still in the crib/no stop-gap" statements I am basically referring to technology, not physics alone. Our technological growth has pretty much went on unabated for hundreds of years now, and with warfare a constant in the human experience I doubt it will stop anytime soon (a little bit of Harry Lime philosophy there for you). That is basically what I am referring to, not just scientific advancement, although I do think the two tend to go hand in hand pretty much all of the time.

    Do I believe that we are going to find 15 new elements around Altair 6 that will change the way we look at the periodic table and reality in general......not really, but I won't totally discount the possibility while accepting the reality of today. Let alone that I can't figure out how the hell we could get there to begin with. I guess that is my close mindedness.

    Still again I have to ask what is your reason for thinking we have reached a zenith, technological or otherwise?




    What is this "Hockey" you keep referring to?
     
  8. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    6,531
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    5,610


    Cmon, you are from St. Louis. The Blues played in the game that featured the most famous goal in hockey history! Of course, it was scored against them...
     
  9. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2000
    Messages:
    5,172
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Kevin Ray
    Hockey still exists? I thought it went the way of Discovision about a year ago....
     
  10. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    6,531
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    5,610


    Going to a Junior game tonight. Probably see at least 3 fights. Just because the spoiled owners and players can't work it out, doesn't mean the game is dead. Besides, Junior hockey doesn't water down the sport to try to gain the same "new fans" the NHL has been trying to attract for the last 30 years.
     
  11. Brad Porter

    Brad Porter Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 1999
    Messages:
    1,757
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    "Zenith" is an overstatement, and I'll never agree to having endorsed such a notion. The origin(s) of the universe, the subatomic nature of matter, the nature of gravity, the emergence of human conciousness, and why women go to the bathroom in groups - these are the fundamental areas of study where we're still working to come to a definitive scientific conclusion that supports all observations. As for the rest of the known universe I think we have a pretty good grasp of what is going on. That is not to say that there aren't immeasurable strides to be made in the application of our understanding. Medicine, transportation, communications, remote observation, power generation and storage, and material sciences will all continue to see great advances as we apply our existing scientific knowledge to those subjects. But it is an application of existing knowledge to generate new technologies that exploit our understanding, not an entirely new understanding, that will enable our future technological progress.

    Do you understand the distinction that I am making?

    Brad
     
  12. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 1999
    Messages:
    2,563
    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Brian
    For the record, I keep up with sports only to the extent that doing so allows me to hang out with the sales people without getting a wedgie.

    Back to science stuff. Kenneth said:Now that you got me started, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    With regard to the time-travel paradox thing, it is important to know how a time machine would be constructed. It would consist of a wormhole whose endpoints are allowed to exist in different places and different times. And the time difference between the two ends would be necessarily fixed – a minor limitation. A Week-Ago time machine, for instance, would allow you to walk through a wormhole and come out the other end a week in the past. Going the other way, you would go a week into the future. Multiple trips though the wormhole would take you successive weeks into the past or future, depending on the direction you’re going. The main limitation is that you cannot go back to a time before the wormhole actually existed, so you can never hunt dinosaurs with any time machine constructed now or in the future.

    If we had the technology to create such a wormhole inside, say, a six-inch diameter PVC pipe about a foot long, and affix the endpoints of the wormhole to the openings in the pipe, then we could play with it by tossing billiard balls in one end of the pipe and watching them emerge in the past or future from the other end.

    Cut the pipe in half (separating the ends) and you can move the wormhole endpoints around anywhere you want. You could toss a billiard ball in one end on your desk, and have it emerge from the other end, in the past or future, wherever the other end happens to be. You could drop billiard balls on people’s heads from miles away so far into the future that you could never be caught. You could even position the pipe endpoints such that the billiard ball would continuously fall from one and enter the other, almost perpetually.

    And it will work with more than just billiard balls. You can stick your hand in one end and have it emerge from the other end in the past or future wherever the other end happens to be. You can scratch your own back or give yourself a neck massage the other day when you really needed it.

    And, for the voyeurs among us, you could even look in one end and see whatever the other end (past or future) is pointing at, no matter where or when it is.

    And if you really want to have some fun, you could take a little…

    Oh, right! Time travel paradoxes.

    Okay, so we have our two-piece PVC-pipe time machine and a few billiard balls on our desk. Let’s say that the time differential between the two endpointss is half a second. That means if we toss a billiard ball in End A, it will emerge from End B half a second in the past. And if we toss a billiard ball in End B, it will emerge from End A half a second in the future.

    Let’s concentrate on going into the past. If you go to the past and murder your father before you were born, you’ve created the classic paradox. Similarly, it would be paradoxical if you could position the PVC pipe endpoints such that when you drop a billiard ball into End A, it will emerge from End B in the past and strike itself as it’s dropping into End A so that it is prevented from ever entering End A.

    In other words, if you can get the billiard ball exiting the time machine in the past to knock its future self away from the time machine, thereby preventing it from ever going into the past in the first place, you’ve created a time travel paradox.

    That is your mission.

    To do this, you’re allowed to position the PVC pipe endpoints anywhere you want, toss or drop the billiard ball into End A at any angle and at any speed, and you’re even allowed to adjust the time differential between the two endpoints (though that actually requires a near-light-speed vessel to accomplish).

    It turns out that even if your life depended on it, you wouldn’t be able to create such a paradox. Oh, you’d produce a few promising glancing blows and tantalizing near misses, but you won’t be able to knock the billiard ball completely out of the time machine. People have been trying (mathematically, I hope you understand) and have concluded that it cannot be done. Complicate the scenario with more time machines, more billiard balls, whoopee cushions, timed, spring-loaded actuators, or any other Rube Goldberg device, and the problem becomes more complex, but paradoxes still cannot be generated.

    The billiard ball experiment (mathematical in nature though it is) is thought to be sufficient to apply to all time travel situations. Thus, even introducing firearms and progeny into the equation will not aid in creating a paradox. If you were born, you will always be “were born”, and nothing you do in the past as a time traveler will be different from what has already actually happened.

    The interesting thing to consider is what this says about our universe. The most certain thing we can conclude from this exercise is that the past is inviolate. If you will someday go back in time, then you already have gone back in time and are already a part of history. And if you reverse the experiment, tossing billiard balls into End B hoping to create a paradox as they emerge from End A, then it becomes clear that the future is just as inviolate. All of time, it would seem, and all the events in it, appear to be set in stone. Nothing you do, even with the ability to time travel, will alter anything, past or future.

    But don’t we change the future all the time? Every decision I make of my own free will alters future events from what they could have been. Don’t I have free will?

    Well, yes, because the future hasn’t happened yet. And no, because in a sense, it already has. We’re not sure what it is about time that entices us to regard past and future so differently. We think we can change the future and accept that we can’t change the past. However, nothing in our theories or equations requires that time be divided into past and future. Time is treated just like space in that every position and every direction of movement is just as valid and just as reasonable as any other position and direction of movement. Indeed, nothing in our equations would blow up or otherwise be incorrect even if the flow of time were reversed. Yet it would grind against our sensibilities to see something “unexplode.” Strange as it may seem, nothing we can derive from what we’ve observed in nature suggests that there is anything wrong with “unexploding,” yet we just “know” it’s not right. Why is that?

    We perceive the universe as being dynamic because we are capable of experiencing only the present instant. Thus, we see things change from one moment to the next. But is it actually static and we just can’t see it for what it is because of this severe limitation in our perception?

    Remarkably, counter intuitively, and perhaps disturbingly, so far the universe seems to be telling us that we are more like characters in a novel than actors on a stage. If we could see every page at once, we may well have a completely different notion of time, free will, and destiny. And even if we develop the ability to turn to any page at will, which the universe does not seem to preclude, we will still not be permitted to rewrite any part of the novel in any fashion.

    Consider the irony: If the universe did not allow time travel, we would have no compelling reason not to call the present moment the “correct” present moment that divides the past from the future. Thus, our notions of the differences between past and future – and our corresponding notions of free will – would remain safely intact with no data to suggest otherwise. We would be actors on a stage, perfectly free to ad-lib our way through time.

    But that wasn’t good enough for us. We demanded the ability to exert our free will in the past as well as in the future, and the universe gladly accommodated us, telling us that time travel is indeed possible. Look at it this way: when you are allowed to travel to a different page in history, you then experience that page as the current present moment that divides the past from the future. Which page in history is the “correct” present moment, the one you traveled to, or the one you traveled from? The answer, of course, is that they are both equally valid. The consequence of this is that since the future from the perspective of one page is the past from the perspective of the other page, there is no difference between past and future since both – indeed all – perspectives are now equally valid. Therefore, all time is equally inviolate. We’ve gone from being actors on a stage to being characters in a novel, stagnant and unchangeable.

    So by granting our wish to have the ability to run amuck throughout the pages of history, the universe has actually curtailed our freedom, not extended it.

    How cruel is that?
     
  13. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2000
    Messages:
    5,172
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Kevin Ray

    Really? You made the claim that we are "mature", so how far along do you figure we are exactly? On a percentage point, 1% to 100%, how well would you estimate we have utilised our current resources as far as applicable science and technology goes.....in other words have we as a race utilised...say..50% of the possible combinations and/or applications that are possible using known & established physics, sciences and sundry technologies?

    On a percentage chart, where is the human race...in your estimation?
     
  14. Kenneth

    Kenneth Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz......snork cough cough ... I'm sorry I dozed off during the disertation [​IMG] I can buy into the past being inviolate part of the argument but I am going to have problems with the future being equally inviolate.

    I don't subscribe to the philosophical version of Predestination and I'm certainly not going to willingly buy into a scientific version of it either. I am going to take a page from the Book of Steve and say that if we think we understand time well enough to create a scientific version of Predestination then we don't understand time properly yet :p)

    Maybe it's just my Monkey Boy arrogance to think I actually have free will but that's my theory and I'm sticking to it, no matter how many mathematical proofs are involved. But of course since the future is fixed you already knew I was going to say that [​IMG]

    To test your theory, how would the Somewhere in Time paradox work:

    Woman gives man a watch and then dies. Man discovers he visited woman in past and time travels back to see her. Man gives woman the watch and then returns to the future and dies.

    Paradox: If she gives the watch to him and he gives the watch to her, who makes the watch?

    [​IMG]

    Kenneth
     
  15. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 1999
    Messages:
    2,563
    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Brian
    Are you kidding? Consider yourself lucky! Since I've been posting from my web-enabled phone using my thumbs on a credit card-sized keyboard, my posts have been unusually short lately. [​IMG]

    Actually, I'm quite surprised that nobody took me up on the violation of conservation of energy thing.
     
  16. Brad Porter

    Brad Porter Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 1999
    Messages:
    1,757
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    ...but apparently one whose endpoints are not fixed to an absolute time since you are able to observe the endpoints as you move forward in time (at the normal rate). Can the endpoints move through time at different rates (different than each other) or is the relative time between start and end always fixed?

    Brad
     
  17. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 1999
    Messages:
    2,563
    Likes Received:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Brian
    The relative time between the endpoints is always fixed.

    Sorry, I put the cart before the horse. The way you build a time machine is to perform the following steps:

    1. Build a wormhole that takes you from one place in the universe instantly to another. It's perfectly all right (perhaps even preferable) if both endpoints are located in the same room.

    2. Take one end of the wormhole and put it aboard your near-light-speed ship.

    3. Run the ship at top speed for a week.

    4. Return home and remove the wormhole end from the ship.

    Ta-da!

    The relativistic speed of the end of the wormhole that rode in the ship will have caused time to pass much more slowly for it than for the other end of the wormhole that you kept in your lab. The end of the wormhole that rode on the ship is almost a week younger than the end that stayed at home. So you now have a wormhole whose endpoints are separated by almost a week in time. If you enter the wormhole opening that stayed in your lab, you will exit the other end a week in the past. Going the other direction will move you a week into the future.

    I hope that's clearer.
     
  18. RobertR

    RobertR Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 1998
    Messages:
    10,581
    Likes Received:
    941
    Trophy Points:
    9,110

    Welll said! I'd add that the promotion of such a belief is part of the "dammit, I want this to be true, and I hate those persnickety scientists for raining on my parade and telling me it's not" attitude. They want it to be true so bad that they'll abandon reason and try very hard to discredit science and scientists (as we've seen in this thread) to hold on to the belief.
     
  19. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    6,531
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    5,610



    Hell, that's what I was trying to say! Since both Robert and I were labeled "arrogant" for (trying) to say it, I guess we are wrong. I promise to be humble for the rest of my life if all scientists will do the same. I will from this point on accept everything non-scientists say is "fact" in order to keep the peace. I'll probably have to answer a whole lot of questions that begin with "this project is late", but at least I'll be called "cooperative". We may live in a very boring world that will absolutely, positively never see a "transporter" (even if it is possible), but I will be humble... [​IMG]
     
  20. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Lead Actor
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2000
    Messages:
    7,996
    Likes Received:
    1,443
    Trophy Points:
    9,110


    Odin's watchmaker? I'm sure the answer lies with the question, "what do you get when you multiply six by nine".I think your paradox also has some strange affinity with the number 42. I will have to consult with Deep Thought who, through some strange paradox, is residing in my basement recreation room.

    If you ever figure out the answer please meet me at the Restaurant At The End of The Universe and explain it. I am making my reservation now and depositing my penny so I can pay for the meal. I hear the floor show is spectacular but strangely disturbing.
     

Share This Page