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Author Topic: If you magnify, would a pointlike particle also become magnified?  (Read 9791 times)

Offline yor_on

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It's about shapes, actually. Started to wonder about the way we used to look at atoms, etc, as some spherical objects. then thinking of those 'electrons' photoed at Lunds university. Then thinking of that electron as consisting of a 'probability cloud'.  Then thinking that if I use magnifying as some standard for what is 'real', would it all dissolve?
=

and yes, what is the most probable shape we will see, assuming we 'back up' from that dissolving reality.
« Last Edit: 19/12/2014 19:20:04 by yor_on »


 

Offline CliffordK

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I thought the basic limitation of light magnification was the wavelength of light.  So, once you get down to about 700 nm, one reaches a point where the particle is not completely obstructing the light which can go around it. 

It would seem like one might be able to push the limits with coherent monochromatic light sources which would have greater predictability, as well as multi-frame interpolation that is available with digital photography.
 

Offline yor_on

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Yeah, think there are some ways around that one, that we mentioned before here? But it's some time since I saw it. You could also look at it as a question of why, if such an assumption now would be correct, certain chemistry is associated to certain geometries, and how far one could take such an assumption, magnifying constituents. I suppose it also becomes a question of limits, and maybe emergences?
=

Have one slightly cloudy argument for defining Etho's sphere as a possible good 'first' choice of what we would find, and that should be due to 'micro gravity' acting inside it. It' seems really hard to define a 'intrinsic' gravity to a 'point particle' though, although? you might want to argue that they are in 'motion' and by their 'energy' (expressed through time?) creating a mass? And a 'first' shape too? Take it for what it is :) me wondering.
« Last Edit: 19/12/2014 23:52:10 by yor_on »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Perhaps one should also do one's magnification at as close to absolute zero as possible.  Electro-magnetic traps?

It wouldn't work well to have an image interpolation process over several minutes, and particles flying through the frame at the speed of light. 
 

Offline syhprum

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By definition a point has zero dimensions so whatever you multiply it by you still get zero
« Last Edit: 20/12/2014 15:21:38 by syhprum »
 

Offline Bill S

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Quote from: Syphrum
By definition a point has no zero dimensions so whatever you multiply it by you still get zero

Isn't this another case, like nothing and infinite, that doesn't really mean what it says?

Surely, if something has zero dimensions, it doesn't exist as a physical object. 

Perhaps having zero dimensions means no more than that it is too small for us to measure.  Infinitesimal, but if you have enough of them they acquire dimensions, as a group?
 

Offline yor_on

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heh, now is this a case of semantics or a proposition Bill :) But yes, I'm also wondering about it, as well as I'm wondering of what a 'first shape' would become? Now assuming that there was one measurable, although that assumption might be very doubtful, as both Syphrum and Clifford pointed out. ( And then there was HUP :)
 

Offline yor_on

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If we assumed that we had perfect instruments of magnification, what would that tell us about 'point like particles'? assuming Syphrum to be correct. That they, or our universe, in some weird sense becomes as a fractal?
=

I'm thinking of it this way, assuming a 'perfect magnifying instrument', ignoring all other quantum effects, would you presume a limit to that magnification? If there isn't, and we still won't 'see/find' any point like particles, then?

you could also translate it into a question of dimensions, and so how something without those can influence something 'inside' our universe.
« Last Edit: 23/12/2014 04:43:31 by yor_on »
 

Offline lightarrow

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then thinking of those 'electrons' photoed at Lunds university.
Images? You refer to this one, for example?:

To se what becomes when magnified, you can simply reduce your monitor's resolution  :)

--
lightarrow
« Last Edit: 27/12/2014 12:10:34 by lightarrow »
 

Offline jeffreyH

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You need to triangulate you measurement sources. Having the particles as near to absolute zero is also helpful. Measuring the deflection due to triangulation would give a good indication of size. Whether the accuracy for such measurements is possible is debatable.
 

Offline SpaceMonkey

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Just an opinion, but no, I don't think you could ever completely "dissolve" reality by magnification, but could maybe get down to a point where it would seem
that way. Magnifying a single atom, or even a smaller subatomic particle would yield almost entirely images of nothing but empty space (though
the material significance of "empty" space cannot be overlooked.) If you could then separate out the dusting of images that were not empty and magnify those
even further, you would continually get the same result of >99% empty space. While it would seem like this is dissolving the fabric of reality it is essentially
ignoring those empty spaces, their dimensions and how they are morphed through force interactions. So maybe you would just find that on a small enough
scale all reality is truly invisible and sight and perception are illusions. That's not so unbelievable.

So far as the smallest shape you would see, my guess would be a spiral. It is the basic shape of all life, the massive and the minuscule, nature and the observable
universe.

   Tangential thought: Is it possible that gravity is an expression of light undergoing condensation, and that mass is all condensed light?
   That would mean that photons are mass, even if they do not theoretically possess the property of mass individually.
   Then all physical forms would be an illusion.


    Or maybe I just need some sleep:/
  ?
« Last Edit: 27/12/2014 17:02:18 by SpaceMonkey »
 

Offline yor_on

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yea Lightarrow, that's the one :) Old now, but somehow still breathtaking in its simplicity. What is it they have on their film? In one way a very solid support for the idea of electrons, as having a shape and a 'solidity', but thought of the other way, as a probability? I know :) one can 'make it' both ways, but it still blows my mind. To me it has a lot to do with time, we live in in time and time is defined by outcomes, even when we find it not to change there has to be outcomes.
==

Ir's like shades of reality :) Good name for a book btw. The one we're in defined by outcomes, the other theoretical as there is no way for us to measure inside it. We need time for all measurements. Looked at that way the electron had to be measurable, as per Lund, but won't change the other definition in where it only exist as a probability.
« Last Edit: 28/12/2014 08:59:25 by yor_on »
 

Offline JohnDuffield

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Yor on, you're looking at this wrong. It's quantum field theory, not quantum point-particle theory. The electron's field is what it is. And it isn't a field of probability, it's an electromagnetic field.
 

Offline lightarrow

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yea Lightarrow, that's the one :) Old now, but somehow still breathtaking in its simplicity. What is it they have on their film?
I Really don't now what they (really) have on that film ...
Quote
In one way a very solid support for the idea of electrons, as having a shape and a 'solidity', but thought of the other way, as a probability? I know :) one can 'make it' both ways, but it still blows my mind.
It depends essentially on the way they made that measurement/film, don't give too much importance to that image(s).
Quote
To me it has a lot to do with time, we live in in time and time is defined by outcomes, even when we find it not to change there has to be outcomes.
[?]What do you mean?
Quote
Ir's like shades of reality :) Good name for a book btw.
If you write it I believe you could have some success  ;)
Quote
The one we're in defined by outcomes, the other theoretical as there is no way for us to measure inside it. We need time for all measurements. Looked at that way the electron had to be measurable, as per Lund, but won't change the other definition in where it only exist as a probability.
When you say "measure inside" are you sure there must be, inside, the property you would like to measure? Our macroscopic world is different because there are properties that don't exist in the micro world.
As a methaphor, there is no landscape in a single pixel of an image, only in the entire collection of pixels. Maybe, it's the same with properties like space, time, ...

--
lightarrow
« Last Edit: 28/12/2014 20:39:04 by lightarrow »
 

Offline yor_on

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Let's take that last first :)

a single pixel. that's one of the things that I wonder about and has wondered about for the longest time lightarrow. It's easy to see why we would like it to be a property of waves, not light quanta's, as waves present us more ways to define information. Then again, maybe the polarization of a light quanta? has something to do with it? It's not only 'spin up' and 'spin down', is there?

If you break it down even more then it's time to me, as in the time you measured something, defining it. You might want to define it as a property of a wave, but the closer you get to a shortest time, the more I would expect it to behave and look as a 'quanta'. Like we have different ways of 'magnifying' a reality, in time, and in 'dimensions'. but they seem to meet at those very short measurements, becoming simple snippets of information.

"Our macroscopic world is different because there are properties that don't exist in the micro world." Yep, it seems so.

Then, if a 'emergence' is something new, not track able, except by hindsight, to its constituents. how do they come to be? Has to be a guiding principle(s) somewhere, or else it becomes magic to me :)

properties Lightarrow, so close to magic for me, but? I don't think so :)

When it comes to outcomes, or no outcomes, it's a result of me wondering about time. I can imagine it two ways. One is the one in where you once again 'magnify' time, splitting it 'forever' into smaller chunks. would you expect it to end? Is there a 'quanta' of time? I bind it to 'c' myself, and so it becomes a question of motion too. The other way is the one in where you have something unchanging, does that mean that 'time' now has left? What if 'time' is a property, and a 'emergence'? That doesn't necessarily define it as a property of measurable 'quanta' though, although that is one way one might like to define it.
 

Offline yor_on

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Depends on definitions John, I find it to be probabilities myself, statistics defining the way it behaves. That's quantum logics to me.
 

Offline yor_on

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One of those really weird things I've started to wonder about is what a 'perfect vacuum' is. Something in its own right, or a necessary complement to 'particles'. Makes a difference to me. If a 'vacuum' needs, as a suggestion, rest mass, or if there is a way for it to exist without. Complementary principles should be able to translate into some sort of symmetry to me?
=

And 'c', isn't 'c' what defines a symmetry break?
=

One could also think of it this way. Imagine oneself able to observe a clock at a event horizon. To me this clock stands still, no change observed. Do you believe that my local definition of time also decides the 'time' (locally existing) over there, or do you think that all 'local clocks' keeps on ticking, no matter what I measure when comparing the far away clock to my own local definition?

The simplest definition is the one in where all clocks, far away or not, have a same temporal direction/pace locally, no matter my own (local) measurement of it. and there is one example of 'no change', as found locally measured. Actually I would expect it possible to exchange 'same direction' to a 'equivalent pace', and so implying that it should be possible to define the local arrow as some sort of equivalent quanta, all from some ideal local definition. And that is weird too :)
« Last Edit: 01/01/2015 10:34:06 by yor_on »
 

Offline yor_on

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'c' as the symmetry break.

anyone that want to argue?
 

Offline chiralSPO

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Going back to the original question, I would like to add that time-frame is also a crucial component. Very small objects (like nanoparticles, molecules, atoms and subatomic particles) move very quickly (and the smaller they are the more quickly they move). On any timescale perceivable to humans most observations are only time-averages. Just like the blades of a propeller plane appear to take the form of a disk when the engine is operating. Molecules jiggle, bend and spin at incredible rates (on the order of about 1013 Hertz), so we must be careful which observations are made how they are made, because what may look like a uniform disk or sphere may actually have fine structure that is only observable by special techniques.

With particles as small as electrons this problem is more problematic. Because their mass is so low, the average speeds are incredibly high, so even an extremely fast snapshot would probably only show a smear. Unfortunately, as explained by Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle, we can't get both high spatial resolution and high temporal resolution.

We can directly "image" particles as small as single atoms using present-day technology, but without major changes in accepted quantum theory and significant technological advances, I'm afraid this discussion will remain more a philosophical question.
 

Offline yor_on

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Would you agree that our time of observation defines a shape? Chiral?

As if time decides.
 

Offline chiralSPO

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I think it boils down to how many observations go into constructing the image. We typically think of visual images--like what we would see with our eyes or capture with a camera. These are collections of a huge number of photons: a lense with an area of about 10 cm2 will collect about 1016 visible photons in 1/120 of a second exposure in daylight ( an order of magnitude). Trying to get an image of something moving/changing very quickly would require taking a shorter (temporally) slice of the image (a faster shutter speed/shorter exposure time). Trying to take a picture with THz resolution would require an exposure time of less than 1012 seconds, so only a few million photons would be collected, or roughly one photon per pixel (for a few megapixel camera), and therefore the signal to noise ratio would be problematic.

There is a very similar problem when trying to image something very small. The smaller the subject of the image is, the fewer photons it will interact with--so one must increase the exposure time or increase the intensity of light. As was mentioned earlier in this string, visible light has wavelengths between 400 and 800 nm, so it is difficult to get sub-micron resolution with visible light anyway (but not impossible!--see 2014 Nobel prize in chemistry for more details). However imaging using x-rays, which have much shorter wavelengths, or relativistic electrons, which have even shorter wavelengths (see electron microscope) still follow the same sort of rules of optics as visible light, just with greater spacial resolution.

If one wants to image an atom or subatomic particle, trying to get picometer and picosecond (pico = 1012)resolution would require incredible amount of energy to be focused on the atom--quite likely destroying it, and almost certainly disturbing it during the course of observation.
 

Offline chiralSPO

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Would you agree that our time of observation defines a shape? Chiral?

As if time decides.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "time decides," I would say "Duration of observation defines perception of a shape." And this doesn't have to be visual observation. When driving over a rough road (or a choppy sea) at a slow speed each individual bump (or wave) is jarring; but at very high speeds, they blend together into a constant vibration, and at extremely high speeds would be almost imperceptible.
 

Offline yor_on

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Yeah, seems correct to me, shapes as a result of time over distance. But it doesn't need to be connected to my 'speed'. If you assume that you can connect a time to your local measurement of 'c' then there is a threshold for 'shapes'.
 

Offline PmbPhy

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It's about shapes, actually. Started to wonder about the way we used to look at atoms, etc, as some spherical objects. then thinking of those 'electrons' photoed at Lunds university. Then thinking of that electron as consisting of a 'probability cloud'.  Then thinking that if I use magnifying as some standard for what is 'real', would it all dissolve?
=

and yes, what is the most probable shape we will see, assuming we 'back up' from that dissolving reality.
I can't understand what it is that you're talking about here at all. The radius of an electron is zero so when you magnify it, it will always look like a point.
 

Offline yor_on

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I'm thinking of it like this Pete, purely naively now. We exist as matter in a universe populated by measurable matter, time and dimensions. Then we magnify, as per QM, and matter may become part of a field. And it started me wondering if there was some shape 'preferred', when it came to those first constituents. It's a weird idea but I can't help but finding it interesting. As for point like particle you're perfectly correct, and it also makes me wonder if there is a size defined to those photos of 'electrons' taken at Lunds university? Somewhere we should have a first geometric shape, one that 'dissolves' when magnified, if it all is a field?
 

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