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  1. #2251
    Quote Originally Posted by mojo
    But I think there's a popular misconception that there is no link at all between QM and GR - that the 2 models are totally incompatible - which is not the case.
    I certainly don't think they're incompatible because they're both clearly right. I guess I underestimated the progress we've made though. That'll be the result of a fairly limited education, and by fairly limited I mean PBS Spacetime and the occasional bit of half arsed research.

    Dude. I got this. It's not in the Standard Model of Particle Physics.
    Well that's the point, isn't it? If the SM is missing gravity, it's incomplete.

    It's in the Lambda-CDM model.
    Lambda for dark energy, CDM for Cold, Dark Matter.


    The Lambda-CDM model assumes Einstein's GR is correct and adds on some hypotheses about dark energy and dark matter.
    Found me something to half arsed research.

    I can't help but point out that string hypotheses
    haha I've found your kryptonite.
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  2. #2252
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    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    haha I've found your kryptonite.
    I got bad news for superman... The sun isn't yellow, it's white. It looks yellow because the sky is blue - in that when you remove blue light from white light, it looks yellow.

    Kinda the same thing as what I described earlier for why gold is yellowish in color, but by different physics that splits the blue/purple out from white.


    But yeah. I should remind myself that the people working on string hypotheses are, in fact, both smarter and more knowledgeable than I am. Grain of salt with my skepticism, but ... sheesh ... what "string theory" even is keeps getting redefined. strings, loops, branes, etc. They're not limiting anything to strings.
    You can find any pattern you want to any level of precision you want, if you're prepared to ignore enough data.
  3. #2253
    They kinda got me when they said the maths works but only if there's ten dimensions plus time.

    I mean, I always considered the "strings" to be the best word we have to give us some real world sense of what we're talking about. Loops are as much mathematical constructs as physical realities, you can see a mathematical loop with i. The word "loop" means something, just like "string". But these words are 1d to us, in the stringy quantum world they're presumably 10d, so of course the words we use are flawed. I think the word "brane" is short for "membrane", which is essentially a quantum field, no?
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  4. #2254
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    :/

    You may have been more right about these Planck Relic Black Holes than I was even aware of in our last conversation.

    They still didn't propose any mechanism by which the BH cannot radiate away the final photon to totally evaporate. They only said that if there is some mechanism, then these Planck Relics are possible.


    They also didn't give any strong reason to suspect the widespread formation of these in the Big Bang or shortly thereafter. They did say that some models make it plausible, though, and that's better than nothing.


    I don't understand why these Planck Relics can't collide with each other, and become a BH of 2x mass, and radiate away photons back to be a single Planck Relic, rather than 2. Their gravity is exceedingly tiny, but not 0. I expect there to be collisions between these if they are so numerous. Why do they not combine and annihilate back to 1?
    You can find any pattern you want to any level of precision you want, if you're prepared to ignore enough data.
  5. #2255
    Yeah I saw this, and it was a previous episode of PBS-ST that gave me the ideas I was talking about previously. Here they just go into more detail. It's nice they give a fuller explanation for Hawking radiation, rather than the simplified particle-antiparticle formation on the event horizon.

    I would imagine they don't collide because quantum mechanics forbids it. Something about them having to both share the same quantum state in order to actually collide. I'm guessing here but you'd have to imagine these things are moving at near light speed. Either quantum mechanics forbids it, or it's so ludicrously unlikely that they will collide that they basically don't.

    I've always wondered this with regular stellar black holes, when they collide. Here we have two singularities presumably merging into one. I've always thought it was more likely they would orbit each other at a Plank distance or something like that, rather than actually merge. I never could get comfortable with something that occupies the smallest space it's possible to occupy, colliding with something else of equal size. There's quantum effects here that are well beyond my grasp. I'm not sure an actual collision ever takes place, though it would seem like it to an observer who can't make perfect measurements.
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  6. #2256
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    IDK how to think about singularities. They are the limit as t-> infinity for all infalling particles.
    But t -> infinity is a long way off.

    According to PBS ST, the space and time coordinate flip axes when you cross an event horizon (EH), so that means you are free to move about in time, but inexorably moving in 1 direction in space. IDK what that even means. But it makes me question if there is a sensible way to talk about distances inside an EH.

    A black hole is an object whose diameter is incomprehensibly larger than its circumference. The extreme curvature of spacetime makes understanding distance a mind-bender for me.

    All we know for certain about the singularities (or whatever is inside the EH's) is that when they merge, 2 EH's become 1 EH.

    There is some confidence to be had that GR, which predicted EH's, can at least somewhat describe what is beyond an EH. But we cannot measure anything beyond an EH, so we cannot know for certain.
    You can find any pattern you want to any level of precision you want, if you're prepared to ignore enough data.
  7. #2257
    We've talked about the Planck scale before, I said I understood it as the smallest possible distance. Today PBS Spacetime covered this in some detail. Matt gives a pretty good explanation, using a lot of maths beyond my grasp, into why the Planck length is so important. There's a few angles from which to look at it from. One, which I think we've discussed before, is that to measure distances shorter than the Planck length, you'll need a photon with a wavelength shorter than a Planck length. The problem is that such a photon will have enough energy to create a black hole, the threshold is the Planck length. Heisenberg's UP plays an important role too, if we successfully measure a distance shorter than the Planck length, we have 100% uncertainty in momentum and energy. This gives rise to virtual particles pairs emerging from the quantum vacuum. Let's say we're trying to measure the precise location of an electron... if we compact the mass into a volume smaller than the Planck length cubed, electron/positron pairs emerge and collide, possibly with the original electron we're trying to locate. This gives rise to a fundamental uncertainty in the location of the electron... if we accurately measure it, it might disappear and reappear a Planck length or two away from where we just measured it.

    idk if that even makes any sense. It's way beyond me.

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  8. #2258
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    I've seen it.

    Of course, there are some significant ways there are problems with measurement of extremely small distances. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is going to mess with us if we try to push it to extremes.

    I still don't think the Plank Length is significant for the reasons you've been putting forward in the past, unless I've dramatically misunderstood your point(s).

    In the video what they're saying is that it's not so much the Planck Length that's significant as it is that the curvature of spacetime is more and more extreme in the vicinity of photons of ever-increasing energy.

    One significant thing Matt was saying is that this distortion of spacetime means that the concept of distance loses meaning. Like, a black hole is an object whose diameter is larger than its circumference... so knowing the apparent outside diameter of the black hole doesn't tell you the diameter measured within the black hole. I.e. distance has lost its colloquial meaning.


    What he did not say is that distances that small do not exist. What he did not say is that the universe has a "minimum step" distance that anything can move. What he did not say is that position is limited to points on a grid.

    These are the things I've thought you were claiming about the Planck Length.


    What he said was position-momentum uncertainty yields obscene levels of uncertainty in momentum when position is constrained to ever-decreasing sized volumes. So much that if you want to confine an electron to too tiny a volume (on the order of a Planck Length cube) that we can no longer be certain that there's exactly 1 electron in the volume.

    Note that he repeatedly says phrases like, "when this volume is close to the Planck volume" the energy uncertainty approaches the energy of the particle in question - indicating that the exact volume is a function of each particle, I think. I mean that the energy uncertainty is a function of volume, but it takes different amounts of energy to create different particles, so the volume for each particle would be different.


    Also note he does say it's just a trick of mathematics to get units of length out of other known constants.
    Also note that he uses h_bar in his Planck Length, instead of h. This is an arbitrary choice and leaves us a factor of 2pi discrepancy between 2 possible choices for the value of the Planck Length. Which is more physical h or h_bar? It's an empty question, they differ by a factor of 2pi. We don't tend to consider constant factors to be more or less physical. It the relationship shown by the factor that matters, not the value of the number, as such. So... why choose h_bar over h? Why choose h over h_bar? There's a difference of a factor of over 6.25 between them. If we're going to tie physical meaning to the Planck Length, then we should have a solid argument for which of those (h or h_bar) is correct.

    This was not done in the video. He didn't even mention that an arbitrary choice in there means we don't even know which value of the Planck Length is "the" value. All we are really saying is there's QM and GR weirdness when trying to discuss extremely tiny distances - distances on the order of a Planck Length. The Planck Length isn't really that significant, so much as there's a soft limit at the bottom where the universe simply refuses to define such small distances.
    You can find any pattern you want to any level of precision you want, if you're prepared to ignore enough data.
  9. #2259
    I still don't think the Plank Length is significant for the reasons you've been putting forward in the past, unless I've dramatically misunderstood your point(s).
    I've probably not used great language but I believe I was basically arguing that spacetime is quantised and the Planck is the base unit. That could of course be completely wrong.

    I mean, distance is weird already. It's FoR dependent and therefore not an absolute quantity. Distance changes just by accelerating. But does the Planck length change with acceleration? Or is this another "constant to all observers" thing? I kinda feel like it's the latter, like the speed of light. And in fact, I don't think that comparison is something to dismiss. Just like the speed of light is critical to General Relativity, to the macro, the Planck is critical to QM, the micro. There's an important relationship between the Planck and c that we haven't yet figured out, understanding that relationship is the key to quantum gravity. Planck is space, speed of light is time... space and time... spacetime.

    What he did not say is that distances that small do not exist. What he did not say is that the universe has a "minimum step" distance that anything can move. What he did not say is that position is limited to points on a grid.

    These are the things I've thought you were claiming about the Planck Length.
    If they're discussing if space is quantised, then we're talking about if distances that small exist or not. Obviously he didn't say there are no smaller distances, but he is saying that the Planck seems to point us in this direction of thinking. The title of the video is exactly this question... can space be infinitely divided?

    This is an arbitrary choice and leaves us a factor of 2pi discrepancy between 2 possible choices for the value of the Planck Length.
    It's interesting that this factor is 2pi. I mean, earlier you were talking about the diameter and circumference of a black hole. It seems to me that the "arbitrary" choice of h or h-bar depends if you're applying the value to a straight line or a flat plane.

    I mean, I really don't know why there's two different values, and which one is "right". But the fact the ratio between the two is 2pi means it's very probably got something to do with geometry. They're both right in different contexts.
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    ongies gonna ong
  10. #2260
    Fun fact - protons taste sour.
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  11. #2261
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    The takeaway I got from the video is not that the Planck Length is a minimum distance something can move or anything about position existing on a grid of any kind. What he said was that photons that could elucidate such tiny distinctions in position would be so high in energy that they would distort spacetime to the point where "distance" loses meaning.

    I thought for a moment about implications to QM if the distance between particles cannot be known exactly in any frame, and I came up with a kind of irrelevance to that kind of thing in QM. What matters is the many fields incident on a particle and the available paths (under all applicable conservation laws) that the particle can take to change its quantum state. The fields incident on the particle - or more specifically the fields interacting with the particle's wave function - may originate from other particles or their movements, but that's kind of a 2nd order association.

    So did I just kick the ball down the road to what happens in the fields?
    I don't think so, but it's a whole - one problem with GR and QM is that GR assumes you can know the exact position of ... well, stuff... in spacetime and QM emphatically says you cannot.

    And this is right there on the boundary where QM weirdness (the Planck Length) and GR weirdness (warping of spacetime) come together in a way that causes us to scratch our heads.

    I'm wondering if there are other ways to probe such a small distance, like perhaps gravity waves. I wonder how close the 2 black holes ina merger get before they merge into a single entity. I wonder if there's a way to tease anything about that out of the gravitational waves we're picking up, now.

    ***
    The factor of 2 pi comes from making an arbitrary choice of whether you choose h as a "fundamental" constant or of you choose h_bar as one. What you choose as "fundamental" constant has been under debate in the physics community for a long time. It is an arbitrary choice. We could have chosen the distance from the Earth to the Sun as a fundamental unit of length, and then the "Planck" Length would just be that distance - the juggling of numbers in the powers of fundamental constants to tease a length unit out of it would be bone simple. There would be a length unit that is considered fundamental already.

    In choosing fundamental constants, you get the same units from either h or h_bar, as those only differ by a factor of 2pi. So if you choose to include either as a fundamental unit of action (this is widely regarded as an epicaly good move), then as far as the completeness of your dimension space (a math term that means you can get ANY needed unit from juggling the fundamental units) - as far as that goes, it's identical.

    So you have an arbitrary choice within your game of arbitrary choices that lets you pick whether or not to include that factor of 2pi with no mathematical ramifications to the completeness of your units in your "fundamental" constants.

    I've explained this to you before, and provided links to pages explaining the Buckingham Pi method of juggling numbers. You can see in that method that there is not necessarily physical meaning in that number juggling. Maybe there is, but the mere presence of a number that comes out of it being "large" or "small" is as likely coincidental.

    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    Fun fact - protons taste sour.
    I saw that. I freaking love Steve Mould's YouTube channel.
    You can find any pattern you want to any level of precision you want, if you're prepared to ignore enough data.
  12. #2262
    I don't think so, but it's a whole - one problem with GR and QM is that GR assumes you can know the exact position of ... well, stuff... in spacetime and QM emphatically says you cannot.
    GR seems to be an incredibly accurate approximation. Only when we get to the Planck scale does this accuracy break down. It of course doesn't mean GR is wrong, just that it is yet to incorporate QM.

    But there must be a way for GR and QM to unite. The universe is proof of that.

    I'm wondering if there are other ways to probe such a small distance, like perhaps gravity waves.
    Maybe, though it seems the necessary measurement accuracy is ridiculous and well beyond what we can hope for any time soon, if ever.

    Gravity waves propagate at the speed of light. That kinda implies that these waves behave similar to light. Gravity waves are a form of energy, just like light, and so maybe they're the same thing at the fundamental level. Maybe gravity waves are photons. If so, then gravity waves aren't helping us any more than light.

    I wonder how close the 2 black holes ina merger get before they merge into a single entity.
    We've talked about this before. I'm unconvinced any such merger actually happens. I'm inclined to think they basically orbit each other forever at the speed of light (or close to). How do two singularities collide? Of course this is based on nothing more than a sense of intuition, which is kinda ridiculous in these extreme conditions, but if a singularity takes up precisely zero volume, then no such collision seems possible. Rather, they continuously miss each other.

    The factor of 2 pi comes from making an arbitrary choice of whether you choose h as a "fundamental" constant or of you choose h_bar as one.
    Ok, I don't get any of this to be honest. I don't understand why there's debate about which of these values is "right". The Planck constant is derived from the relationship between photons and energy. The Planck length is derived from this constant. idk why there would be two possible values. But the Planck constant is... constant.

    I saw that. I freaking love Steve Mould's YouTube channel.
    I really like Steve Mould. He has the glazed look of a man that has enjoyed his life. I suspect he used to have a cocaine problem. There's something about him that makes him... interesting? idk, I don't intend to glorify cocaine use, but he looks like he's partied at university, let's just say that.

    Veritasium, on the other hand, is clean as a whistle.
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  13. #2263
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    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    GR seems to be an incredibly accurate approximation. Only when we get to the Planck scale does this accuracy break down. It of course doesn't mean GR is wrong, just that it is yet to incorporate QM.
    Remember that QM is as accurate (more in some aspects) as GR.

    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    But there must be a way for GR and QM to unite. The universe is proof of that.
    This is now my favorite quote.


    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    Maybe, though it seems the necessary measurement accuracy is ridiculous and well beyond what we can hope for any time soon, if ever.

    Gravity waves propagate at the speed of light. That kinda implies that these waves behave similar to light. Gravity waves are a form of energy, just like light, and so maybe they're the same thing at the fundamental level. Maybe gravity waves are photons. If so, then gravity waves aren't helping us any more than light.
    According to QM, if gravity has a quantum particle, a graviton, it wont be a photon.
    Photons are spin-1 and gravitons (though not yet observed) are spin-2.

    I believe if anyone can perform a repeatable experiment in which it is shown that a massless particle of spin-2 exists, that will earn them a Nobel for the discovery of the graviton.

    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    We've talked about this before. I'm unconvinced any such merger actually happens.
    My bad. I was talking about the distance between the event horizons the moment before they combine into a single event horizon. Though, now that I say it that way, I suspect we have the same problem with the extreme curvature of spacetime making the notion of distance meaningless.

    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    Ok, I don't get any of this to be honest. I don't understand why there's debate about which of these values is "right". The Planck constant is derived from the relationship between photons and energy. The Planck length is derived from this constant. idk why there would be two possible values. But the Planck constant is... constant.
    That relationship is E = hf, where E is the energy of a photon, h is Planck's Constant, and f is the frequency of the photon.

    So if we're using that equation as the origin of h, then we should not use the reduced constant, h_bar, in calculating the Planck Length, and yet... we find that when anyone talks about the Planck Length, they've used h_bar in the calculation, and not h.

    Why?
    Because h_bar seems to capture something about angular momentum in it. The units are the same, but it comes up with the reduced constant in many QM equations, like Schroedinger's Equation. And that seems relevant.

    And when picking which constants are "fundamental" ... that's a human game. The universe has these constants. They are inter-related. There are way more of them than are strictly needed, in a mathematical sense, to define everything. Mathematically, these constants are not all independent. So we can play a game in which we determine the minimum number of constants such that they are all independent, yet form a complete set by which ANY constant could be calculated.

    Like in SI. We consider the fundamental constants to be meter, second, kilogram, Ampere, Kelvin, mole, and (totally unnecessarily, as it is redundant, dependent on other constants already) candela. Candela is even dumber than the Planck Length, so don't get me started. Candela is so dumb, even spellcheck rejects it.

    So in SI, the "Planck" length is 1 meter. The "Planck" energy is 1 kg m^2/s^2 = 1 J. OK, so what am I getting at? Maybe it's more clear to look at electric charge. The "Planck" charge is 1 As (amp-second), which is 1 Coulomb, or 1.6(10)^19 times the charge of a proton. What is the significance of this charge? History, really. Our ability to measure currents, kinda... when the definition of an Ampere and a Coulomb were invented.

    So the mathematical method of deriving "Planck" units is just a game to be played.
    Playing the game with base units of c, the fine structure constant, h or h_bar, the charge of a proton, the Boltzmann constant, etc.. when you do that, we expect some cool surprises. Like to find meaning in the Planck Length, because the units we've chosen as fundamental aren't tied to humans aside from our ability to accurately measure them.

    BUT, the meaning in those things is not guaranteed. And just because we can juggle some measurable numbers to come up with a length unit doesn't mean the magnitude of that length unit is relevant to the universe as a limit.

    As Matt said in the video, it's not *at* the Planck Length that the QM weirdness suddenly happens. The quantum wierdness happens when the certainty in a finite volume containing a particle over-constrains a volume to the point that the number of particles in the volume becomes uncertain happens "near" the Planck Length, but its exact volume varies for each particle.

    So the exact value of the Planck Length may not be meaningful, even if there is a meaningful something going on near that length scale. The juggling of numbers to derive the Planck Length is not based on physics, but math. The numbers being juggled are based on physics, but the way they're being juggled is not.

    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    I really like Steve Mould. He has the glazed look of a man that has enjoyed his life.

    Veritasium, on the other hand, is clean as a whistle.
    LOLOL.
    I know exactly what you mean.

    BTW, the wind car on Veritassium stirred up a whole lot of controversy in the physics world, with qualified doctorates in physics betting thousands of dollars against each other that the other was wrong. Apparently, Derek from Veritassium is about to receive a $10k payout from Alex Kusenko.

    https://docs.google.com/presentation...0eb9892c_0_180

    The green pages are Kusenko's critique of the claim in the Veritassium video. The white pages are the rebuttal to the critique.
    You can find any pattern you want to any level of precision you want, if you're prepared to ignore enough data.
  14. #2264
    I'm about to go to bed so I'm not replying in depth yet, but I just want to ask you a question.

    According to QM, if gravity has a quantum particle, a graviton, it wont be a photon.
    According to the Standard Model, I believe. Do you believe the graviton exists? GR tells us gravity is merely (lol) warped spacetime. That is, it's not a "thing" like a photon. It's an illusion, like the g-force you get when you accelerate (which I always thought should be called the i-force for inertia, but I digress). Does the g-force have a particle? That sounds ridiculous. So why would gravity? I've never been comfortable with the idea of a graviton.

    I'll read your post properly tomorrow after work.
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    ongies gonna ong
  15. #2265
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    I'm about to go to bed so I'm not replying in depth yet, but I just want to ask you a question.



    According to the Standard Model, I believe. Do you believe the graviton exists? GR tells us gravity is merely (lol) warped spacetime. That is, it's not a "thing" like a photon. It's an illusion, like the g-force you get when you accelerate (which I always thought should be called the i-force for inertia, but I digress). Does the g-force have a particle? That sounds ridiculous. So why would gravity? I've never been comfortable with the idea of a graviton.

    I'll read your post properly tomorrow after work.
    No, my gut says there wont be a graviton, but there is room in the Standard Model to account for such a particle.

    It's hard as a scientist to say something doesn't exist. Just because it hasn't been observed, yet, it could just be that we're bad at observing some things. We've only been able to observe gravitational waves for a few years, now. Maybe if we knew exactly how to look for particle nature in those waves, we may elucidate something.

    Like, could we find a way to perform Young's Single- or Double-Slit experiment on ripples in spacetime? What could we conceivably use as a boundary?
    You can find any pattern you want to any level of precision you want, if you're prepared to ignore enough data.
  16. #2266
    Remember that QM is as accurate (more in some aspects) as GR.
    QM and GR are both incomplete on their own. But together they seem to describe the universe as accurately as we're able to measure. They must be compatible.

    My bad. I was talking about the distance between the event horizons the moment before they combine into a single event horizon. Though, now that I say it that way, I suspect we have the same problem with the extreme curvature of spacetime making the notion of distance meaningless.
    Distance is "meaningless" anyway. We don't agree on distance unless we're moving with exactly the same velocity. Distance is entirely relative. You're in USA at a different latitude to me. You are therefore spinning at a different rate to me. Our velocities are different. So we observe different distances to the moon, for example. Of course, the discrepancy is completely unmeasurable to us without serious equipment, but there is a discrepancy. So what does distance mean even in the classical universe?

    It just becomes more meaningless as velocity increases, or space decreases. But it was already meaningless.

    btw, "meaningless" is probably the wrong word. Not sure what the right word is though. But distance has meaning in your own frame of reference.

    Why?Because h_bar seems to capture something about angular momentum in it. The units are the same, but it comes up with the reduced constant in many QM equations, like Schroedinger's Equation. And that seems relevant.
    Yeah this is well beyond me. But so long as the Planck constant remains constant, then all is well. idk which of the lengths is "right". It's interesting this is related to angular momentum though. That's usually a 3D thing, but the 2pi ratio is very much a 2D thing. You're turning a line into a circle (radius to circumference), but not into a sphere. Curious.

    We consider the fundamental constants to be meter, second, kilogram...
    I understand why these "fundamental" constants are arbitrary. I also understand that once one arbitrary value is chosen, that affects others. Like the millilitre and kilo, a gram is the weight of a millilitre of water. Change a millilitre, and you need to change the gram, too, which in turn changes the kilo.

    But the Planck isn't like this. The Planck is derived though equations, it's not arbitrary (at least when we talk of the constant rather than length). So there's something more fundamental about the Planck constant than the meter.

    So the exact value of the Planck Length may not be meaningful
    Ok, but the exact value of the Planck constant certainly is meaningful.

    BTW, the wind car on Veritassium stirred up a whole lot of controversy in the physics world
    I saw this vid, it's interesting that it caused a stir in the physics community. I'll look into this.

    No, my gut says there wont be a graviton, but there is room in the Standard Model to account for such a particle.
    The graviton doesn't make sense to me. If such a particle exists, then surely these particles are produced whenever anything accelerates. To argue that the graviton only exists because of gravity is to argue that Einstein's equivalence principle is wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong

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