June 14th, 2004

People I know are finding my livejournal.

Strange experience. Last time I had a blog-like thing (back before the word "blog" was invented, in the mists of... 1997, I think), I'm pretty sure nobody actually READ the sucker. My main reason for writing it was (and still is) that a diary makes it easier to look back at your life and remember specific things that happened, and in what order. I'm writing this so _I_ can look back on it in a few years, I doubt most of it makes sense to other people.

But since other people seem to be reading it, ok. Lemme talk about physics for a bit.

Let's start with mass and energy being the same thing. This means that a solid object can become movement, and vice versa. How the heck does that work? It's actually fairly simple.

Take a push, and another push going the other way, and have them push against each other. If they're equal and opposite pushes, then they stop. The net motion is zero, but the pushes don't vanish, they just aren't going anywhere because each one's forcing the other one back.

So what do you have when you have energy pushing against itself, balanced out, and not going anywhere? You have a particle of matter. Disturb it sufficiently so that the bits of energy can slip past each other and continue on their merry way, and you get your free energy back. (Generally going "wham" in all directions.)

So let's back up and examine this. Energy, well there's usually lots of it and it's hard to understand large groups of things. So what would ONE piece of energy look like? Imagine the smallest possible piece of energy. Take a push and split it in half until you get down to something indivisible. (The mathematically inclined might want to think of a vector, but I'm not one of them.) I need to give this a name for purposes of discussion, so let's call it a "kineton" from the ancient greek word for "cream pie", hence the modern term "kinetic" which is the type of energy pies exert when they hit people in the face).

Now, if you release one of these suckers in a vacuum, it's energy. It's movement. Left to its own devices, it goes in a straight line at a constant speed. So obviously it's got three properties: speed, direction, and position.

Now, if you take a second kineton going head on against the first kineton and you get them to interact with each other, and according to our model above they smack into each other and each one pushes on the other one equally, then they sit there going nowhere, and we have the smallest possible particle, with a net momentum of zero and a mass of 2 kinetons.

Except this doesn't work. The interesting thing about kinetons is that they're indivisible, right? Atomic units of energy (using the original meaning of "atomic": "that which ancient greeks get excited about"). This means that if you speed one up, or slow it down, you change the amount of energy it contains. And we defined the suckers as indivisible. This means that their speed has to be constant. You can't speed them up or slow them down, by definition.

So speed is constant. And that means position is constantly changing. How about the other
property, direction? Can kinetons change direction? Well, we just proposed two kinetons
going in opposite directions, so it seems likely. They don't change direction on their own, but in groups? Well, the group as a whole can't change direction any more than an individual kineton can, but within the group kinetons can interact with other kinetons to change direction. However, any exchange of direction between two kinetons must be symmetrical, in order for the net momentum of the system as a whole (I.E. any given set of kinetons) to remain constant. So kinetons change directon via a symmetrical swap with other kinetons, that leaves net momentum of the group as a whole unchanged.

This means that for every degree that one kineton turns towards "down", another kineton must turn the exact same amount "up". So kinetons can interact with each other to symmetrically exchange direction, without violating anything we know to be true about the way energy behaves.

This means that kinetons need a fourth property, describing how they interact with each other. And based on what we know about mass and energy and all that, the closer they are the stronger their interaction. So let's say we have a simple inverse square type thing (like gravity and magnetism and all that), where kinetons have a tendency to attract each other, by which I mean they turn towards each other when they can. The closer they are, the faster they turn towards each other. Get two kinetons close enough to each other at the correct angles, and they could theoretically go into orbit around each other doing the whole yin/yang thing, spinning in a circle.

That's how you get your particle. The pieces of energy making up the particle are constantly moving, but since they're moving in a circle they aren't going anywhere. Energy is movement, but movement doesn't always result in traveling very far.

For completeness, there's a fifth thing we can say about kinetons. Size. Since mass is made out of energy and this is the smallest indivisible unit of energy, for all intents and purposes the size is the smallest size you can have, a mathematical point. So that's speed, direction, position, attraction, and size. The five properties of kinetons.

Now, back to our smallest possible particle, with a net momentum of zero and a mass of 2 kinetons. Supposing you add a third kineton, going any which way. Let's call it "up". It smacks into the particle in just the right way to avoid smashing it apart (thus freeing the kinetons to fly off in straight lines), and instead gets involved in their intricate little orbit.

The kinetons are still constantly exhanging direction with each other as they twirl around their loop, but now it's unbalanced. Before the thing was balanced, so that for each instant the component kinetons spent pointing in one direction, they spent the same amount of time pointing in the opposite direction. But now they spend 2/3 of their time twirling around the circle, and 1/3 of their time heading "up". So the net motion of the particle as a whole is to head up at 1/3 of the speed that the component kinetons move at.

Add another kineton heading "down" and the thing balances out again, with each kineton spending half its time heading "down" and half its time heading "up". Add another one going "up" and the net motion is 1/5 speed up. (Four kinetons of ballast, and one kineton's worth of upward momentum.) Notice what just happened: adding the the same amount of energy (one kineton's worth) resulted in less net momentum (1/5 as opposed to 1/3), because the particle was bigger. More mass means less acceleration, and now you know why.

So, backing up to the previous particle, with the 3 kinetons going up at 1/3 speed. This time add the fourth kineton going "up". This means you effectively have 3 "up" and 1 "down" kineton's worth of momentum in the thing, and if you cancel out one "up" and one "down" kineton you get 2 kinetons worth of upward momentum in a total mass of 4 kinetons, with the other 2 being dragged along as balast. So the net momentum is two out of four heading up, or 2/4 the original speed, which is 1/2 speed. Add a fifth one heading up and the net speed of the particle becomes 3/5. Add another you get 4/6 (which is 2/3), and add another you get 5/7, and so on.

Now notice a couple of things. Every additinal kineton provides less acceleration than the previuos one did. Going from rest to 1/3 speed is an acceleration of 1/3, going from 1/3 to 1/2 is 1/6 acceleration, going from 1/2 to 3/5 is 1/10th acceleration, and so on. It's less and less each time (for obvious reasons). When you get to 999/1000ths the original speed, the next kineton you add is only going to speed the particle up by a tiny amount. And no matter WHAT you do, you're never going to be able to get the particle up to the speed that kinetons go when they're unopposed, because you're never going to make that "down" kineton go away by adding more "up" kinetons.

It should be obvious by now that kinetons travel at the speed of light. This is why you can't accelerate things all the way to the speed of light by pushing on them. And why the mass of things increases as you accelerate them, to the point where the ratios get so watered down that any additional push just plain doesn't matter much anymore. (In fact, how stable are these orbitals going to be if they get that unbalanced? If you acceperate particles to the point where they're not really going in circles anymore, will clumps of kinetons start breaking off from the circles and going twang all over the place? Sounds like radioactive decay to me...)

Another fun little thing is that when the particles are bloated with acceleration and the ratios are watered down close up to the speed of light, the same amount of energy produces much less relative acceleration. Whether you push the particle "up", "down", "left, "right", or wherever, the amount of energy that used to push it away from its fellow particles at 1/3 the speed of light is now moving it at 1/9999th that speed. Meaning the amount of time it takes to move a given amount of relative distance is much longer. If all relative movements within the system are slowed down equally, then the amount of time any physical or chemical reaction takes to occur within this system is greatly extended. Thus time itself seems to slow down as you approach the speed of light, because relative motions take longer. Everything that a set of particles does to each other at these high speeds has to occur much more slowly.

And that's why time slows down as you approach the speed of light.

Now, let's back up. Take two of the smallest possible particles (each of which consists of just 2 kinetons, equally balanced), and put them right next to each other. The kinetons composing each one are going to attract each other, and the particles will drift towards each other. If you use bigger particles with 100 kinetons each, they exert a stronger pull on each other. But if they get close enough to each other to actually yank kinetons out of their orbitals to fly straight, jump across the gap, and slam into each other, suddenly the particles repel each other strongly. (Once when they lose "towards" momentum from the departing kinetons, and again when they receive "away" momentum from the kineton their opposite number lost.)

So at a distance, kineton attraction works like gravity, but when they get really close particles can repel each other.

Now, when we made particles we had two kinetons going in opposite directions. But suppose we have two kinetons heading in the same direction, in parallel. Can they interact and attract each other? Well, suppose both are heading directly "up". For one of them to turn twoards the other one, it would have to turn away from "up". Meaning the other one would have to turn more "up", and it's already heading straight "up".

Parallel kinetons can't attract. It would change the net momentum of the system as a whole. There's no differing direction for them to exchange.

Now, supposing that they weren't perfectly aligned, but were at a slight angle to each other. They'd exchange as much motion as they could (which doesn't work in two dimensions but does in three, with them twirling around a bit), until they were heading slightly towards each other. Then they're stuck until they pass by each other. (Even passing through each other; after all, how does a mathematical point hit another mathematical point?) And then once they'd swung past, they'd have more direction to exchange, so they'd swing back towards each other, go past, swing back around again... It would repeat a bit like the circular orbit of particles, except it would be a pair of mirror image sine wave paths. And any large group of almost but not quite parallel kinetons would either fly apart or else stabilize into a regularly expanding and contracting group doing the parallel sine wave thing.

Hands up everybody who's recognized photons. The more kinetons they have, the shorter their repeating period. The fewer they have, the longer their wavelength. Stable ones can spread out flat (just like the spinning discs particles form), but they can flatten out along different axes, and thus you get differently polarized bits of light. (And they can even stabilize going in a DNA-helix like spiral, hence the oddity known as spiral polarity.)

And of course electrons are a lot like really big photons, since most if not all of the kinetons in them are going the same direction. And this leads to an oddity, in that the alignment considerations come into play again. Parallel kinetons can't attract because they have nothing to exchange, and because of this the angle at which electrons pass by each other affects how strongly they interact. Since electrons are flipping HUGE (lots and lots of kinetons in each one), and they're so focused with a big group of kinetons in more or less the same place, going more or less the same direction, the interactions between them are noticeably different than the normal scattered activity of the spinning disks where alignment considerations are washed out.

And thus we get magnetism, where the kineton alignment considerations cause large aligned groups of electrons to disporportionately attract other simiarly aligned groups of electrons, and even repelling each other (probably by pulling them out of their orbitals so they want to go straight at just the wrong moment, when they're swinging around to head the other way. It doesn't seem likely they're jumping the gap because you'd get an electric current heading in both directions, which would be really easy to detect).

Notice that there are no "gravitons" required, or anything like that. Kinetons may distort space to interact, but it's probably instantaneous. (It has to happen significantly faster than they move or else photons couldn't stay together. If their attraction was in some kind of "wake" behind them, it wouldn't catch up with the kinetons running paralell on each side, and they'd drift apart a fraction of a degree out of alignment until the component kinetons were scattered far and wide.)

Another interesting little item here is that if gravity is just the background attraction large groups of kinetons have for each other over great distances, then gravity can accelerate particles all the way to the speed of light, no problem. It's not affected by that time slowing down stuff (since it's not a question of relative motion), and it actually CAN remove the opposing kinetons (by redirecting them to point towards the source of gravity).

Also, acceleration caused by gravity won't affect the mass of the object being accelerated at all. It's not actually adding or removing kinetons, just changing the direction of the ones that are already there...

And the question of "photons having no mass" is stupid. Photons have no REST mass, which is the same as saying they have no pairs of opposing kinetons. If you removed all the unbalanced kinetons, you wouldn't have a particle left because a photon is composed entirely of unbalanced kinetons. But those kinetons respond to other kinetons just like anything else does; the background attraction of the huge amount of kinetons in the sun or the earth bends their path just a bit (making them turn towards that big lump), and there's got to be a symmetrical turning of the kinetons in the big lump towards the photon, it's just to small to easily detect.

As for traveling faster than the speed of light to go back in time... Well, now that you know what's going on that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, does it? If you want to go faster than the speed of light, find a shorter space to move through. If kinetons are distorting space somehow, maybe it's possible to have large groups of them behaving in a focused manner (like electrons and magnetism) do something interesting to create ripples or bubbles or tunnels (wormholes) something. Beats me, I'm not big into advanced math and topology and such.

Anyway, this is _my_ explanation for all this stuff. (There's more, but it's all details you should be able to work out yourself.) Your mileage may vary, I came up with it on the living room couch back when I was in high school. (My physics teacher couldn't answer my questions.) I tried to get the opinions of a couple physics teachers in college, but never found one who would listen long enough to give me an opinion. (I haven't got a doctorate, you see. I wasn't even a graduate student. No point listening to someone like that, I guess...)