Transhumanist

A BILLION TIMES SLOWER THAN SLOW: ARISTOTLE WRONG AGAIN

Well, by now we should all know -if we've been listening to Galileo and not the Church - that the redoubtable authorities Ptolemy and  Aristotle is very doubtable, this time in latter's metaphysical principle that an object cannot possess contrary attributes at one and the same time. It's one of those little Galileo moments showing the futility of dogmatic systems, including systems of scientific dogma:

How slow is slow? EXO knows

Now, let that article, notwithstanding all its technical aspects, sink in for a moment, because this really caught my eye and imagination. First, we have an experiment demonstrating extraordinary stability properties, properties so stable, in fact, that the decay rate is much longer than the entire age of the universe (if postulated on the big bang model), and that in turn, like it or not, raises some questions about that cosmological model, a model that some scientists dispute. The implications of this, I submit, are profound if one lets the mind and imagination play with it, for it means that some types of information endure for a very long time, even on the cosmological scale. It means, too, that types of material configurations at certain scales also endure for a very long time.... metaphysicians will, I am sure, have fun with this one.

But there is a second thing that caught my eye in this article, namely, that constant interplay within modern experimental and theoretical physics between the experiment on the one hand, and the model by which one interprets it, as exemplified in the following statements:

"What the EXO 200 team wants to find is another decay process – one that is not only even more fantastically rare than 2nubb, but that no one is certain even exists. It's called zero-neutrino double-beta decay, or 0nubb, and it is decidedly not a Standard Model process.

"In 0nubb, two neutrons once again decay into two protons and two electrons, but the antineutrinos are nowhere to be found. They must have been there; the IRS has nothing on Nature for keeping the books balanced. The two antineutrinos must have annihilated each other, like positrons and electrons can annihilate each other, or protons and anti-protons, or any particle and its antiparticle.

"This means in order for 0nubb decay to happen, neutrinos must be their own antiparticles.

"Odd as this sounds, the possibility of a particle that could be both itself and its anti-self was hypothesized by an Italian theoretical particle physicist named Ettore Majorana in 1937. Such particles are called Majorana particles, and if they exist physicists would need to get busy revising the ."

Obviously, they are a long way off from finding experimental confirmation of Majorana particles, but part of me hopes they do, if only for one more case of an example that dogmas, even those of Aristotle, are never secure. In the meantime, wait for word of this experiment to percolate through the communities of philosophers and metaphysicians, and wait for the field day of wild New Age speculations about its meaning to emerge. Brace yourself.

 

5 thoughts on “A BILLION TIMES SLOWER THAN SLOW: ARISTOTLE WRONG AGAIN”

  1. Yes I have read about the CERN experment that seems to show that there might not be a speed of light barrier if this is true send Einstein to the wast paper basket along side Aristotle and throw open the possiblity of intersellar travel. Both men ideas have been used to shakel humanity mind and led us down the path of fruitless SETI program to the profit of our elites and has allow for the forty year dog and pony show in man space flight and as you have written in you books along with other authors about the suppession of advance technologies to their benfit it is ironic that science fiction is more on the ball than the so called establish scientist. They like their religious counter parts are tied to their own dogmas that blind them to the truth.

  2. Dr Farrell: I found it so coincidental that this blog was posted only two days before ZeroHedge wrote about something that happened on the other end of the scale of Time this past week. I was going to pass this article by, but here I am four days later and your blog and their article are both nagging me in the back of my mind. This idea of something being both “itself” and its own “anti-self” is probably a concept that is flowing all around us, including the financial sector. Can a stock market trade be both itself and its anti-self? Here is something freaky that has happened in the world of High Frequency Trading, or, HFT:

    Headline: It’s Official: HFT Breaks Speed-of-Light Barrier, Sets Trading Speed World Record … Adds a new unit of time measurement to the lexicon: fantaseconds.

    from: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/its-official-hft-breaks-speed-light-barrier-sets-trading-speed-world-record

    First paragraph: “On September 15, 2011, beginning at 12:48:54.600, there was a time warp in the trading of Yahoo! (YHOO) stock. HFT has reached speeds faster than time itself. Up to 190 milliseconds into the future, or 0.19 fantaseconds is the record so far. It all happened in just over one second of trading, the evidence buried under an avalanche of about 19,000 quotations and 3,000 individual trade executions. The facts of the matter are indisputable. Based on official exchange timestamps, there is unmistakable proof that YHOO trades were executed on quotes that didn’t exist until 190 milliseconds later!”

    1. Together with the CERN announcement today that they’d detected particles exceeding the speed of light, we may now have the answer to the question Steven Wright posed, “If you travel at the speed of light, what happens when you turn on your headlights?”

Comments are closed.