04 February, 2014

Revolving Spins

Review: New Scientist (2951)

There are problems with a spinning electron!

We can treat it as something like an orbit – delivering thereby a magnetic effect perpendicular to the spin-plane (in other words along its axis of spin), but this would either involve an asymmetric positioning of the charge, or its even distribution throughout the volume of the entity, or, thirdly, the move-ability within that volume, so that, due to mutual repulsions, would situate the distributed charge on the surface only.

And, at the present time the indivisibility of the “unit charge” is considered unimpeachable, so these are not considered as at all possible. There is a fourth possibility, and that is that the electron of a joint particle made up of two components – a larger neutral component, relatively stationary with a smaller negatively charged component orbiting around it. Such a system would have to involve another force pulling the electron towards the central component, which doesn’t seem to exist.

Now, these seem to exhaust the possibilities, which might gallow the electron to have a classical spin, with its predictable effects. But, in addition, the quality that the electron does seem to possess, which is called its “spin”, is most certainly NOT classical spin, but something else. Nevertheless, this doesn’t seem to stop theorists allocating some of the features of classical spin to this property when it turns out to be convenient.

So, let us attempt to differentiate this “spin” from the classical property.

First it seems to be quantised into only TWO possible states or modes, which are conveniently called “up” and “down”. It is as if the spin can only take a single speed and be orientated in only two opposite directions.

I am absolutely sure that in considering these things , we inevitably trip up over our prior conceptions and characterisations . For example, we know that electrons (in a current), if directed throuch a circular wire (actually a coil), will deliver a magnetic field along its axis.

But, surely, “spin” cannot be the same, for, instead of a stream of charges having an effect, as they move through space in a particular way, The idea of a single particle’s spin, can only involve a single charge, and the impossibility of dividing that charge, seems to imply that we cannot distribute it in any way within the particle.

Now after this necessary preamble, perhaps we can get to the New Scientist (2951) article, which seems to be allocating ALL the magnetic effects to “electron spin”. (This is usually called having your cake and eating it, isn’t it?).

The key phenomenon that they use to substantiate this theory is that of the coursing of a current of electrons with a random mix of the two possible spins through a magnetised piece of iron, which actually transforms (“polarises”) all the electrons in the current to the same “spin”. Also, from these investigations, we know that a “polarized” (all-the-same-spin) current can reverse the magnetism of a magnet when passed through it. We know that a soft iron core within a magnetic coil will not only increase the effect, but will vanish when the current is truned off. Clearly that type of magnetism is temporary, whereas the single-spin current flow through a piece of iron is permanent. We always explained that phenomenon as being due to the circular motion of the electrons, whatever their individual “spins”

NOTE: So we have some interesting recursive phenomena here.

A current through a magnet will align all its electrons to have the same “spin” It will become “polarized!

If a polarized current is sent through a permanent magnet it can flip the magnetisation to the opposite polarity.

Presumably, a polarized current through an un-magnetised piece of iron will magnetise it.

These constitute an interesting set of possible recursive sequences and interesting possible results are implied by these “facts”.

We also know that if we stroke a piece of iron with a permanent magnet enough times it will also become permanently magnetised.

But, the old explanation in this scenario was that this organised all the electron orbits in the iron atoms to no longer be in random orientations, and to instead line-up to give a net magnetic effect instead of cancelling out.

Can both explanations be integrated?

For, the problem arises with two apparent causes of magnetism – the orbits of charged electrons, and their individual spins. It immediately makes you ask, “How would the spins perform in an orbit of the electron?” 

Clearly, if the direction of the axis of spin could be in any of the two allowed directions, that might have various effects, depending on whether its orientation remained the same independently of its position in an orbit. 

NOTE: in many areas of research of this author the possibility of recursions have been essential in explaining certain phenomena. And, the question is posed whether the position of an electron in an orbit might cause its spin to be changed by the direction of motion of the orbit, and thereafter the changed spin then deliver its magnetic effects, which was not happening, when that electron was moving freely in space. (There might be a correlation with the spins of planets in the Solar system, but there are even there odd exceptions.). But, certainly any allowed mix of different electronic spins within orbits would overall have a negligible magnetic effect.

But, once more comparing things with astronomy, we get synchronicity with a parent’s spin (in a planet, say), and that in its moon, so that the latter always presents the same face to the planet

The problem may arise from our conception of charge as a point-entity, with no extension , and inevitably produce concentric shells of influence around it in three dimension.

[But, even that is questionable in totally Empty Space, and things might be considerably different, if it was established that these is a re-active universal paving of that Space]

Magnetic effects, on the other hand, do not have that nature. Instead of perfectly even concentric shells over three dimensions, we have two distinct Poles, which define the axis of spin, and crucially impose a unique pattern of influence with lines-of-force seemingly going from one of the two poles out in a curve and back to re-enter at the other.

Immediately, we wonder at the fields of influence of a single spinning charge.

For it would seem to have two very different spheres of influence both, somehow, caused by the unit charge contained within it.

For, if it does, this is a very complex pattern of influence, and we even name them differently, with the concentric spheres as electrostatic, and the bipol;ar as magnetic.

Now, as will be seen later, it matters in what these extended influences are made. To suggest that they are there in totally Empty Space seems inconceivable. But, to consider the presence of some sort of Paving of Space by related individual particles would make these fields comprehensible. We would have units of the paving, which would be individually affected by the presence of the electron, and also affect each other to build the suggested and appropriate fields. (more of this later.)

Now, if we limited our considerations to an isolated single electron moving through Space, we might be able to disentangleany interactions – it either causes a change in, or is affected by, other entities in the vicinity.

But, the consideration of such a spinning electron in an orbit around a bigger entity of opposite charge, immediately complicates the pictures considerably. And, to make matters worse, we would have to explain the quantized orbits that the electron is most certainly limited to in that context.

Finally, when an orbiting electron, in an atom, is demoted to a lower-level energy orbit, it somehow emits a “disembodied” gobbet of pure electromagnetic energy, which we call a Quantum, and this can actually move, at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second) right across Empty Space.

Such pheneomena again seem to imply some sort of paving capable of handling these quanta, and propagating them, bucket-brigade fashion, to the furthest reaches of the Universe.

So, from such a complex entity as an orbiting electron (with spin?), we also have to explain its various interactions with such a universal paving. Not only directly, but also indirectly by that paving to other affected entities.

Now, this has been an attempt by this theorist in a particularly problematic case – the so-called Double Slit Experiments, which so confounded those involved in sub atomic Physics, that they abandoned the long-standing philosophical position of scientists as incapable of dealing with the anomalies revealed there, and therefore, took an entirely different approach relying solely upon the overall patterns produced.

Explanation in that context was abandoned completely!

Yet by alternatively having a moving electron affecting a universal paving of Space, and later, in turn, being itself affected by that paving, after both its disturbances and the electron had passed through the slits. The resultant phenomena were indeed fully explained (including the almost unbelievable vanishing of one result, to be replaced by a very different one, just by an attempt to observe what was going on beyond the slits).

Now, whether ot not, this new explanation will continue to stand up, it most certainly does effectrively tackle important questions such as we are beginning to have to deal with, and which the renowned Copenhagen stance certainly cannot!

Crucially, in the theory, the electron does cause disturbances in the Paving, which then can deliver wave-like phenomena, yet these paving units can also react back on the electron (in a subtle recursive manner) , for the disturbances were transformed by the Double Slit arrangement, so that when the paving finally reacted back they had been significantly changed.

Clearly, if such things can occur, we cannot simply rely upon reductive reasoning in our analyses, for, with recursion, we must be getting something more than one-way causation, and the result becomes a mixture of caused effects in both directions , which together produced the finally observed result.And, of course, this certainly could not be simply derived by pluralistic additions of the entities involved and their “constant & separable” qualities.

Now, of course, Mankind had to start somewhere, and that would be where simple relations could be at first glimpsed, and then later organised for, so that they couldbe investigated and their interactions quantified.

But such a purely first-order investigation, would, of necessity, be incomplete and certainly artificially oversimplified. And as Mankind consider ever more and very different phenomena, he would be, to an important extent, blinkered if continued to maintain this first-order approach as being adequate to deliver the full story. Clearly, such simplifications would tend to lead him in diverse directions, and studies would unavoidably split into ever slimmer and separate areas of investigation, if consistency was to be maintained.

At some point an holistic approach would have to overturn the plurality of the usual first-order methods.

NOTE: Some years ago, my son became interested in such things, and immediately cottoned-on to the fact of these processes of recursion in all kinds of development being completely unavoidable, AND hence undeliverable by the usual reductionist techniques, for such effects didn’t only happen once, but became crucial improving processes in all kinds of changes. He was, of course, correct, and now is a colleague in these endeavours.

And it seems to be here, in the hierarchy of interactions involving a single electric charge, that we should start...

03 February, 2014

Naming Things

What is it?

Let us consider an entity involved in some sort of process of change!

It could be either changing in its position (moving), or it could be changing its actual nature (transforming) into something else.

Now, we have to ask, “Is the former a meaningfully possible conception?”, for, it will surely depend upon what it is moving with respect to, whether something other than itself, or even some substrate through which it is moving? And, in addition, we have to deal with the apparent fact that absolutely everything is always moving, so to isolate an apparent stationary state, or any particular relative movement cannot be the full revelation of its movement anyway.

And, of course, any variation in distance from something else will vary the effect that our object will have upon it and vice versa, so even separating out movement is leaving aside such changing interrelationships.

So clearly, apart from totally internally caused changes within our entity, all others will be indissolubly linked with relative positions to other affecting things.

Yet, it is clear, all our conceptions of a thing always actually extract it from its real, full context, and, by doing so, remove it from what makes it what it is. Hence, by defining it in that way, we are turning it into an eternal something, identified only by its then appearance and what we decide to call it!
Can we do that without distorting it in a fundamental way?

Of course, not! When something is removed entirely from its real context, what is there left to determine it? Most certainly, there are its inter-relationships, and hence also its properties too. So, in even conceiving of such a totally isolated state, we can only talk about its appearance, if subject to absolutely no effects outside of itself.

Now, such an approach would appear to be impossible, or at best “ideal”.

The conception of something, independent of all external affecting factors, can only deliver an idealisation of the thing! For, in ignoring those causations, we are making it eternal, or, as-it-is-now, for we will never be in a position to predict all future forms. And, this will also be of NO value when it comes to it having any relations with anything else.

So, let us suppose, therefore that as a first approximation, we can isolate it in this way. If we could, what exactly would we have? Surely, only its appearance to us by whatever means we have to observe it? And, what will have given it that appearance?

There will be only those things still within it (and, of course, its now unavailable history). If considering it without any recourse to these will only allow a Naming and Describing, in order to recognise it when we see it again, and nothing more. We certainly don’t by any means understand it!

NOTE: This sounds very much like the patterns we discern in its appearance by our means of observing it, and nothing more! And it is these forms and patterns, that we measure and relate in scientific experiments, where we assume that we have removed all external distorting influences, and are getting only what we can from it alone.

The easiest of such measureables is surely Position.

And we measure this “ideally” with reference to some totally inert, non-affecting reference frame (which by definition cannot change it in any way at all). This was Newton’s method!

Now, the relation of a series of positions with respect to different times (another absolute reference system) gives us a relation, and it is possible that an Equation might be found to fit those data. But, in such, could there be any explanation of why it moved in that way? Of course not: it could be any number of things that caused it to follow that path. The equation can only be a description of the result of it being moved – an answer to “How?”, but certainly not to “Why?” And when we do so, and infer that there is a cause of the movement completely defined by the equation alone, it has to be total nonsense! Forms, which occur in innumerable contexts, cannot possibly ever deliver explanations, only the differently caused recurrences of universal formal patterns.

Now, we know that things appear to be totally unchanging for long periods, and therefore can as a first approximation, assume that they are constant. We also know that interludes of significant qualitative change are bound to occur – Emergences, when the thing will become, at first a whole series of intermediaries, until a new stability is finally established, when our thing will have become something else, which will then seem to be entirely constant once more!

So, though we might get away with, during periods of stability, a conception of any one thing being constant (or even eternal), it will not be the truth!

For, to get to the inevitable transforming period, things must have been getting slowly to a position where the constancy of many things is being undermined, so that the nature of the given entity, along with many others, will be rapidly coming into question.

Surely, the nearest thing to getting an accurate generally applicable conception of the thing must be when it is visibly changing, for only then are the things that are changing it revealed.

Yet, we insist in treating it in the very opposite way, and characterising it when it is temporarily constant. In doing this we are ignoring all the significantly contributing factors that are involved, and which will, at some point, change it into something else!

Indeed, we could use that characterisation generally, but have the details swamped by one or another dominance, that for a time will hide the many still present processes that continue to be present, and give once more the illusion of permanence to its current appearance.

Indeed, only careful analysis, moment-by-moment, during an emergent interlude, will reveal a host of affecting factors with each and every temporary mix, resolving into one temporary dominance after another. And, such a tumultuous sequence, will, in the end, have exposed a whole series of affecting factors, which can, and do, affect our entity, but varying in dominance in the differing sequence of contexts. And this set will even be true during its time as an apparently constant thing, during each period of stability.

Now, the observant reader will have noticed a set of assumptions, by the writer, as to “things-in-general” and “over time”, and that is indeed true! No matter what we do, we will always bring to our observations such basic assumptions. But, they are not the usual ones assumed by the majority of the human population. They are the assumptions extracted from a host of experiences, which have concentrated upon qualitative changes, and not, as is usually the case, assumed constant or even eternal factors!

And, it must also be admitted, that the most important generalisation has been the realisation of unavoidable alternate periods of Stability and Significant Change (Emergences) that characterise all development. And in these periods of change – the Emergent Episodes, there always arises the absolutely New.

Now, the key template Emergence, to be used as a general model for these episodes, has to be the Origin of Life on Earth, but there are innumerable others in the history of the Cosmos, all the way from the supposed Big Bang to the Emergence of currently living entities today.

Now, it was useless characterising something entirely from its apparently eternal features during some period of stability, and instead finding what constituted it during an Emergent Event would certainly be considerably better, but we will still have been totally unable to include what has emerged as totally new, within that complex transformation.

So, several questions are bound to arise!

Can we determine such brand new features, by studying the situation before the changes occurred?

The answer to this can only be, “No!” There will always be absolutely no trace of it prior to the transformation that produced it!

Can we, alternatively, therefore, study the situation, after the change, and trace our identified new factor back to its actual moment of birth?

Sadly, the answer to this will also be, “No!” And this is because the nature of such an origin is never a simple, linear causal sequence. On the contrary, it is the result of a complex, holistic mix that hasn’t exactly as such ever have occurred before, and a whole trajectory of changes delivering a myriad of temporary phases, all happening simultaneously and affecting each other, until some sort of final emergence of a new stability, containing these new features finally come to be.

Once again, the only place to have any chance of finding and studying the trajectories, which led to these new features, will be within the Emergence itself!

Now that, I am sure you will agree, is well nigh impossible! For, in almost all of these episodes, the process has already finished, before we discern its revolutionary new contents. How could we possibly investigate such things?

Well, surprisingly, there have been such interludes that were so investigated, though they happened at the Social level of organised matter: they were, in fact, Social Revolutions – particularly that which occurred in Russia. For there, the main revolutionary faction of the Russian Social Democratic Party was a Marxist organisation, and had this standpoint as the ground and method for understanding what was happening in the midst of revolutionary changes.

Now, these are not common occurrences, and when they do, the chances of there being an organisation involved capable of addressing these crucial questions would be extremely unlikely – especially as those current parties that profess such a standpoint have, in fact, long since abandoned it.

And, of course, such experiences are only very indirectly applicable in other areas of study.

The question of what to do in all these very different areas is what we have also to address. How can we investigate such Emergent Episodes?

Well, we have to actually construct a mini Emergence, and study that! And there are scientists who have attempted to do it.

Perhaps the most significant was Stanley Miller, in the experiment he devised and constructed based upon the known contents of the primaeval Atmosphere of the early Earth.

For, he was successful in his attempt, and at the end of only one week, he was able to show that amino acids had been produced, some of the most important building bricks of Life. Now admittedly, he couldn’t take his experiment further, nor could he reveal a single process that had occurred within his system. He could not penetrate his apparatus without destroying its natural systems. But, we can do this now!

This author has already re-designed a new version of Miller’s Experiment, but with defined physical paths for the movements of the substances involved to follow, and with time-based analytic tools positioned throughout. With such a set up, it would be possible to begin to disentangle the various active processes taking place and their sequences, and to do it for several simultaneous strands too – all related to a master timing system.

And, such experiments are not the only possible forms for Holistic Science.

Yves Couder decided to move the phenomena that continue to cause chaos in Physics from their Sub Atomic level with all its inherent difficulties, into a possible analogous situation at the macro level, where analogous phenomena could be much more easily investigated. His artificially conceived-of set up was of course nothing like that at the micro level, but he reasoned that such situations must involve the interactions of various different oscillations, involving both resonances and recursions. So, he constructed a surprising set up for his investigations. He started with a basis for his required structures, which was a shallow tray of silicone oil constantly subject to a given vertical vibration. He then released a drop of the same liquid onto the surface of this vibrating substrate. Of course, it was merely absorbed in the substrate. Yet, by varying the few parameters under his control, he managed to get the drop to not only cause a wave in that substrate but also bounce upwards again. Now, the upwards moving drop slowed down under gravity, until it reached zero velocity and began to fall again, to again to once more come into contact with the substrate. But, again merely by the available adjustments he found he could ensure that it not only bounced again, but would thereafter continue to bounce by always coming into contact with the substrate wave coming up. Such a permanent, continually repeating cycle could only be achieved by getting the required energy from the forced vibration of the whole substrate, and causing recursively a forced oscillation of the drop too. A Local Zone of the surface of the substrate had become a kind of standing wave, and the system of drop and standing wave (termed a “walker”) could move about across the surface of the substrate, and several phenomena that were similar to those at the sub atomic level were made to occur.

This was a remarkable kind of experiment.

It based itself on analogies and purposive constructions in the most amenable of areas, to attempt to reveal comparable situations to other currently impenetratable phenomena at the sub atomic level. What could be extracted from Couder’s experiments were indeed remarkable.

But, clearly the efforts of Darwin, Miller and Couder are merely the very first steps in developing a new approach to Science, which no longer insists upon both stability and total control to reveal “essences of Reality”, but purposely attempts to ride the tiger, and investigate Emergent Episodes as delivering the real truths about Reality.