Born to do Math 41 — Metaprimes (Part 7)

In-Sight Publishing
Born to do Math 41 — Metaprimes (Part 7)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen & Rick Rosner

April 17, 2017

[Beginning of recorded material]

Rick Rosner: So if you go to the two-slit experiment, and it doesn’t have to be just two slits or two holes, it could be a Swiss cheese experiment, where if you shoot a photon at a screen that has a bunch of holes in it and then you measure that there’s a screen and there’s your target, the screen is between the gun and the target. The screen has holes. These holes are the only holes the photons could go through.

Say it is sheet metal with holes punched through it, a detector behind the metal screen. It turns out that this setup — if you don’t have individual detectors on each of the holes to tell you which specific hole the photon passes through, then you will get an interference pattern on your target wall that shows that each photon more or less, to some extent, passed through every hole on the way to the target.

Given that photons tend to travel, roughly — well, I mean, if there’s a hole that’s like 10 miles away, you won’t get the much of the photon passing through the distant hole. But if the holes are a few centimeters or millimeters away, and you’re shooting from a couple ten meters away, and if you’re shooting each bullet of light one at a time, each goes through a hole. Which says informationally that if you don’t have any way to determine by setting up your detectors which hole the photon went through, it will go through all of them.

So that information only exists to the extent that in the universe it is defined by its relationship with other things in the universe. To the extent that everything is defined in the universe, everything is defined by objects’, particles’, mutual interactions. It is a bit like the number line thing. I suspect there are an infinite number of twin primes because there is not enough information in the mutual interaction among the various prime values to stop there from being an infinity of twin primes.

Similarly, you can’t have enough interactions to infinitely precisely define every object in the universe. You can set up an experimental apparatus to really pin down particles or the aspects of a particle. Its position and velocity. Some things can’t be really precisely defined. But you can define some particle or system if you hang enough scientific apparatus on it, on a system, then you can detect a heck of a lot about it.

But this is at the expense of the universe. By focusing on some particles, other stuff will be less defined. You have a choice about what you want to define. Everything in the universe is roughly defined to the same extent in just normal interactions due to random action. Like the molecules in a gas are, generally, somebody would do a statistical analysis, but there is an average definition of a particle in space. Particles define one another via their interactions.

[End of recorded material]


Rick Rosner American Television Writer


Rick Rosner

Scott Douglas Jacobsen Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing


In-Sight Publishing


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Originally published at on April 27, 2018.

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