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Re: Universal Constants

From: Jonathan white <jw4@b...>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 1998 09:57:30 +0000
Subject: Re: Universal Constants

At 23:36 11/02/98 -0700, you wrote:
>With the tread of FT Background including a discussion about time, I
>though that I would throw out the following for discussion.
>Hypothesis: There is no universal measurement.
>Every measurement is relative, that is is defined in comparison to
>something else. Examples:
General relativity, I believe?

>states, Oscar's Razor comes into play. (Oscar's Razor states that you
>cannot tell both the energy state and position of an electron. This is
>because the act of observing an electron changes its state). Again,
>scaling up from subatomic to newtonian level presents a problem. *It
>be Oscam's Razor. My brain is fading now.
Almost :). I believe it's Hiezenberg's Uncertainty Priniciple (and even
I may have spelled his name wrong). Actually, as I remember, you can't
measure the amount of energy an electron of itself has - the energy
of an electron is down to where it's orbiting round an atom and you
the amount of energy it gives off when it changes orbits in the form of
radiation. These *are* (as far as I remember) universally constant. And
a I
think it's Occam's Razor, which is the 'if it quacks like a duck and
like a duck' one.

>Corollary: Since there are no universal measurements, there is no basis
>for communication. You say math is a constant? Math is good for
>describing facts, but unless you have a consensus on the measurements,
>it is less useful for describing theory. And how do you describe
>democracy, freedom, ownership and other such concepts mathematically?
You can't. But there *are* certain things which are apparently to us
actually constant. Two examples would be the speed of light (which stays
constant in the normal universe) and the ratio of a circle's radius to
circumference. Whether this allows you to communicate effectively with
alien species is a separate issue. In terms of the FT universe and
measurement you can have a standard measure of time - there are various
ways to do it like atomic decay rates etc. But if you have FTL comms you
can just have a universal speaking clock :). That's presuming you have
travel. If you only have very very near light speed ravel then your tim
up the kaibish too. ( I am presuming whatever FTL system you use doesn't
suffer from relativistic effects). even then, some of the newer
FTL' particle effects (like spin reversion) COULD be used to make for
standard time measurement regardless of distance.

"Reality never lives up to all that it used to be.."
	Beth Orton 'Best bit'
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