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Author Topic: Planck Scale  (Read 10215 times)
Description: What's wrong with education today.
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Timeroot
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« on: February 04, 2010, 01:04:27 AM »

Well, the forum says it can be just mathematical/scientific jokes, not necessarily fractal related...sadly, this is taken from experience.

A science teacher is lecturing students on the Metric system. Why it's so easy to convert from one unit to another, how just about every country besides the USA uses it, it's the system of science, etc... and that in science class, they must use the Metric system - no Imperial units. One student asks:
    "Why do we use the Metric system, isn't it pretty arbitrary?" The science teacher responds,
    "But it's has to be arbitrary; there's no set unit."
    "Couldn't we use a Planck length instead, and base all our units off that?"
    "Well, yes, we could.... but who would decide how big the plank is? 30 cm? 1 ft?"

This was the day I almost cried about my educational system.  sad
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kram1032
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2010, 02:25:20 AM »

Oh my haha cheesy
Seems he never heard of Planck Units sofar... smiley

The correct answer would have been that the Planck distance is just too tiny for most purposes, making it impractical.
That's the one thing.
The other thing is, that the gravitational constant, which is one of the needed constants to get to all those Planck units, is quite inaccurate. Seems like that one is pretty hard to measure.
In comparison, the Planck constant is pretty accurate and easy to measure smiley
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David Makin
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2010, 03:24:26 AM »

What I want to know is if the Planck constants are really the limits, i.e. the universe is really quantized, then is it true to say "we live in a digital universe" ? Or "there's no such thing as analog" ?
If so then lending considerable weight to the idea that we're just part of a very large computer program - probably fractal based wink
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2010, 10:30:59 AM »

If the universe is quantized is I think a question that has no clear answer, although the Planck's lenght seems to be the limit, with our current knowledge, which could be very primitive after all. It's probably a mix of quantas, probabilities (what is the role of random in the Universe?...), and of course fractals. I believe fractals are one of the useful tools to analyse the structure and behaviour of our universe(s), but it's only an interpretation, a diagnosis if you will. The profound nature of the universe (and of the consciousness) will probably remain unknown as long as scientists and philosophers ask themselves more and more questions smiley
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kram1032
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2010, 11:37:19 AM »

if you compare quantum physics with digital vs analog, things are a bit different:
If the Planck Units are some kinds of upper or lower limits (The speed of light after all *is* an upper limit and one of the Planck Units, just found already earlier^^), you could (for the lower limts) say, those are "bits". However, those digital elements have a very analog rounding (total randomness in quantum scales), making the "floating point errors" totally smooth.
Also, what's about the upper limits? How would we interpret them?
They're rather like float-bits or inverse bits...
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Timeroot
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2010, 05:27:29 PM »

I think one could say the upper limits are just the reciprocals of the lower limits; if we defined "speed" in time/distance, then the speed of light is the lower limit. Anything higher, and it takes longer to move (but it moves slower).
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Someday, man will understand primary theory; how every aspect of our universe has come about. Then we will describe all of physics, build a complete understanding of genetic engineering, catalog all planets, and find intelligent life. And then we'll just puzzle over fractals for eternity.
stigomaster
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2010, 06:10:13 PM »

The speed of light is (1 Planck length) / (1 Planck time), I think. I've wondered if stuff moving slower than light moves less than one Planck length per planck time.. tongue stuck out
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kram1032
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2010, 09:34:45 PM »

interesting pun cheesy

Well, I guess so, yes smiley

There are two possibilities:

Either, it will look like a step function (instead of constantly moving, stop moving for a time, move again, stop, move, stop, ...) or it might be that at that scale, anything moves with speed of light, however the direction jitters, causing microscopic heat-energy which macroscopically has an ordered direction which we then can translate into a velocity.

However, don't forget:
if you know something's location with the accuracy of a Planck length, the knowledge of its impulse, that is, directed velocity and mass, becomes absolutely zero (= infinitely uncertain)
So basically, at that scale, the thing will move in any direction at any speed between zero and speed of light or, considering entanglement effects, maybe even instantaneous. (So basically infinitely fast)
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jehovajah
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« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2010, 10:29:00 AM »

Well, the forum says it can be just mathematical/scientific jokes, not necessarily fractal related...sadly, this is taken from experience.

A science teacher is lecturing students on the Metric system. Why it's so easy to convert from one unit to another, how just about every country besides the USA uses it, it's the system of science, etc... and that in science class, they must use the Metric system - no Imperial units. One student asks:
    "Why do we use the Metric system, isn't it pretty arbitrary?" The science teacher responds,
    "But it's has to be arbitrary; there's no set unit."
    "Couldn't we use a Planck length instead, and base all our units off that?"
    "Well, yes, we could.... but who would decide how big the plank is? 30 cm? 1 ft?"
This was the day I almost cried about my educational system.  sad

Planck or plank the teachers reply holds an essential truism: You cannot define a planck length without first defining a standard for measurement. So which is it to be ft or cms?
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kram1032
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« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2010, 01:51:12 PM »

The idea would be to set the planck lenght as standard measurement.
So, one planck lenght == 1

The problem with that is, that the constants you need to calculate it, especially the gravitational constant, lack of accuracy..
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Timeroot
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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2010, 10:19:53 PM »

I believe they calculated the Planck length to almost as much accuracy as the specification of a gram. (I was shocked at what it was!  angry) Really, using Planck units wouldn't reduce accuracy much at all. When in engineering/physics would one need more than, say, 8 digits of accuracy? (NSH)
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Someday, man will understand primary theory; how every aspect of our universe has come about. Then we will describe all of physics, build a complete understanding of genetic engineering, catalog all planets, and find intelligent life. And then we'll just puzzle over fractals for eternity.
kram1032
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« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2010, 10:59:04 PM »

probably true, lol.
But that's the other problem smiley
planck lenghts are so way beyond our everyday life experiece scales (not counting fractal scales cheesy), it produces just impossibly huge values... I personally would like it but most people would find it unusable and just odd.
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jehovajah
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« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2010, 04:10:35 AM »

Procedurally one would have to define a dimensionless constant linked to a desired standard quantity, so planck ratios are a good candidate. It is a curious thing that many of our observations and consequent dimensions are based on observed ratios, or equivalences. Historically we as a culture have often traded the exact ratios for approximations of one of the comparitors in the ratio. Doing this too soon in the process of a calculation can introduce progressive errors in the final result.

You may get your wish for the planck unit, at least in the determination of the  mass standard. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SI_base_unit.

These standards are extraordinarily subtle in their impact and beg the question of linear dimensional independence, but that is for another thread as the humour in this topic has been sucked dry and i would not want to put my foot in it! embarrass
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kram1032
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« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2010, 11:29:18 AM »

You know, that actually happened.
However, not with lenght but rather with time.
It's based on the speed of light smiley

Ok, I now propose 32!/4 planck lenghts to be exactly one meter.
65782709233423382541804503040000000 planck lenghts, that is...
We'll just scratch the 6,3 cm grin
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Timeroot
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« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2010, 07:55:18 PM »

What about pi^70 planck lengths? Sure, 70 is a bit arbitrary, but 2.1 cm is a lot closer...

Or, for a slightly for insane definition, one could have ((1+e*fine structure constant)^4096)*2/e planck lengths in meters . It comes out somewhat inaccurate, though....

After much dedicated tinkering, I came up with (((1+2*fine structure constant)^6000)/(e^(4+Fransen constant))). Not only is 1.7 cm away from a meter, it's almost exactly 40 inches (only of by 0.1%!) I propose that 1/40 of this is the "planck inch", and that the "planck meter" shall be defined by the standard inch-meter conversion ratios. What say ye?  Azn
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Someday, man will understand primary theory; how every aspect of our universe has come about. Then we will describe all of physics, build a complete understanding of genetic engineering, catalog all planets, and find intelligent life. And then we'll just puzzle over fractals for eternity.
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