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Big Bang Could Be Recreated Inside a Metamaterial

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the never-met-a-material-i-didn't-like dept.

Math 113

KentuckyFC writes "Metamaterials are substances with a permittivity and permeability that has been manipulated in a way that allows fine control over the behavior of light. They have famously been used to create an invisibility cloak that hides objects from view. Now Igor Smolyaninov, a physicist in the US, has calculated how metamaterials could be used for a much more profound demonstration: to reproduce the behavior of light in various kinds of spacetimes, in particular a (2+2) spacetime (one having two dimensions of space and two of time). His method is to show that there is formal mathematical analogy between the way metamaterials and spacetimes affect light. He goes on to show how a phase transition in a (2+2) spacetime leads to the creation of a (2+1) spacetime filled with photons, an event analogous to the Big Bang." Here are the abstract and the preprint (PDF).

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big bang up a faggots ass (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156785)

hey linux fags! go suck another faggots dick and eat the shit out of his ass.

faggots are filthy bitches who are a drain on society. for the good of all they need to be done away with.

Re:big bang up a faggots ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29157189)

Go away Ballmer

I'm confused (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156813)

Wasn't that a porn flick?

Re:I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29157105)

I checked your mother's IMDB site, and yes, it was her break-out role.

Re:I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29159669)

I think there may have been a spark there, but you pretty much ruined it when you implied people had their own "IMDB sites".

I misread the title... (1, Funny)

brennanw (5761) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156815)

... but you have to admit, "Big Bang could be recreated inside a Metamucil" is every bit as intriguing.

Re:I misread the title... (1, Funny)

LittlePud (1356157) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156901)

Metamucil might cause big bangs in most situations...

Re:I misread the title... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156987)

... but you have to admit, "Big Bang could be recreated inside a Metamucil" is every bit as intriguing.

More like "Big Bang in pants Caused by Metamucil."

Anonymous Coward (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156821)

WTF?

Anonymous Coward (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156827)

I CALL SHENANIGANS!

metamaterials are just periodic structures (3, Informative)

salesbot (1524011) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156847)

and they don't work at wide bands. setting mu_r and epsilon_r to -1 in an equation is not the same as making a physical metamaterial.

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (5, Interesting)

Landak (798221) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157011)

Saying "metamaterials are just periodic structures" is like a circular argument - perfectly valid, but not very interesting. It so happens that currently all of the structures we've manufactured with a refractive index that is negative somewhere, have that 'somewhere' outside of the visible spectrum. This is due entirely - it is theorised - due to our aqueous origins when we were evolving eyes and doesn't make the materials any less fascinating! As the understanding behind these structures grows, we might be able to produce more and more exotic 'period structures' that have a refractive index closer to glass (i.e. a real refractive index in the visible that rapidly becomes purely imaginary [dissipative] elsewhere). The same is true of Type II superconductors - just because they're periodic structures that we don't understand fully yet doesn't mean that they're not useful to society at large!

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29157187)

Not to nit-pick, but how is a circular argument "perfectly valid?" A circular argument is the opposite of valid. A circular argument is an argument made in support of the proposed proof of a claim by presenting the original claim in said support. That's the opposite of valid.

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157401)

Not to nit-pick, but how is a circular argument "perfectly valid?" A circular argument is the opposite of valid. A circular argument is an argument made in support of the proposed proof of a claim by presenting the original claim in said support. That's the opposite of valid.

Erm. The parent poster was saying that calling the metamaterials periodic is tautological, but not untrue; it wasn't implied that circular reasoning is a valid form of logic.

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (1)

salesbot (1524011) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157985)

calling metamaterials periodic structures is NOT tautological: a great many periodic structures (as in all most all of them) are not metamaterials, and metamaterials are created by repeating metalic small metalic structures close enough to each other that certain wavelengths of EM radiation see perfect magnetic conductors (which are the same as perfect electric conductors, but a quarter-wavelength away.) this required periodicity is inherently narrow-band, because only a select range of wavelengths will be subject to the quarter-wavelength condition. ...the long and short of it is that you don't get a cloak of invisibility, because metamaterials are just periodic structures and as such are very much narrow band.

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29162503)

It is, though.

A circular argument can be collapsed to "if p, then p". Perfectly correct, tautological, not very interesting.

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (2, Insightful)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 5 years ago | (#29158163)

Actually, you're confusing "valid" with "sound". An argument is [i]valid[/i] if the truth of its premises guarantees the proof of its conclusion. Since a circular argument assumes its conclusion is true, it is [i]necessarily true[/i] that any circular argument is also a valid argument. However, it's not necessarily a sound argument, and it's certainly not a good argument.

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29159937)

Actually, you're confusing "HTML" with "BBCode". ;)

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (0, Troll)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 5 years ago | (#29158621)

It so happens that currently all of the structures we've manufactured with a refractive index that is negative somewhere, have that 'somewhere' outside of the visible spectrum. This is due entirely - it is theorised [sic] - due to our aqueous origins when we were evolving eyes and doesn't make the materials any less fascinating!

Okay, now does all that still apply using the premise that we didn't evolve? Quit assuming with every other theory that the evolution theory is always correct. It will cloud your judgment and screw up your research data and hypotheses.

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29160059)

Quit assuming with every other theory that the evolution theory is always correct.

No, thanks. I'm 99.9% sure it's correct and have stopped inquiring into that particular field. Until someone else finds something at fault with it, I'll just stick to it. Also, care to enlighten me how a theory can sometimes be correct? I was operating under the assumption that it either is or isn't.

Hi! Welcome to Earth. Please enjoy it here. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29162095)

1) "Theorised" is a perfectly valid spelling of that word. Putting "sic" after it demonstrates that you are a cretin.
2) Evolution is a well-tested fact. You're welcome to look it up yourself; I've decided not to argue with the feebleminded any more.

Re:Hi! Welcome to Earth. Please enjoy it here. (1)

brendank310 (915634) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163329)

I wish you weren't a liar.

Re:Hi! Welcome to Earth. Please enjoy it here. (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168633)

1) "Theorised" is a perfectly valid spelling of that word. Putting "sic" after it demonstrates that you are a cretin.

Hey, I'm only doing what Firefox told me to do. Send your complaints to a Firefox developer. I presume you prefer to put extra letters in "aluminum" considering it sounds like you are from the UK (using "s" rather than "z"). Your insults demonstrate you are an ass and lack the ability to debate.

2) Evolution is a well-tested fact. You're welcome to look it up yourself; I've decided not to argue with the feebleminded any more.

Well your reply is typical of someone who believes in evolution which is to demean the opposition and act elitist towards them. The following quote is from another post [slashdot.org] I made a few hours before I wrote the post to which you replied and it describes your reply exactly: "Evolutionists just close their ears and act like a child not wanting to hear the other side of the debate because they are elitist by thinking they are right and everyone else is either insane or just stupid for disagreeing. I'll personally listen to arguments for evolution, as long as they aren't biased." By the way asswipe, if you are going to call me a cretin then you should hyphenate "feeble-minded" otherwise your insults about spelling don't mean anything but you do prove who the real cretin is. Thank you for that and thank you for proving true my claim about evolutionists.

Re:Hi! Welcome to Earth. Please enjoy it here. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169701)

"Evolutionists just close their ears and act like a child not wanting to hear the other side of the debate because they are elitist by thinking they are right and everyone else is either insane or just stupid for disagreeing."

Bullshit! - Anyone who calls someone an "evolutionists" is simply too dogmatic and religiously biased to contribute to a rational conversation and therefore is not worth listening to.

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (1)

Ruie (30480) | more than 5 years ago | (#29160109)

This is due entirely - it is theorised - due to our aqueous origins when we were evolving eyes and doesn't make the materials any less fascinating!

An additional consideration is water absorption spectrum [wikipedia.org] which has a big dip right where "visible" light is (in a wide sense - it extends a bit to UV and infrared). So being sensitive to Sun's rays (say for navigation) requires sensitivity to visible light, regardless of whether you live in water, air or dry land, as Suns spectrum is filtered by the atmosphere early on.

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157027)

The very idea of two time planes makes my head hurt. Who the hell thought this could be something that can interact with our universe, or rather, our perception thereof?

For all intents and purposes, we're firmly locked in our own time. Maybe dreams, meditation, etc. are an exception to this, but afaik science doesn't care about those.

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (3, Insightful)

kjllmn (1337665) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157059)

Perhaps two dimensions of time is like you could go not only forward and backward in time (not that you can), but also up and down, moving "within" what we now think of as a unit of time. I can imagine such a concept could come in handy to explain mysterious things like action at a distance (gravity, QM).

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (2, Interesting)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157283)

Perhaps two dimensions of time is like you could go not only forward and backward in time (not that you can), but also up and down, moving "within" what we now think of as a unit of time.

I can imagine it, but I probably won't ever understand how we can interact with it if we create it. We're not even capable of altering our speed in this time plane, let alone our direction, even if nothing in quantum mechanics even hints at time being unidirectional.

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (2, Informative)

EdZ (755139) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157321)

We can easily alter our relative flow of time ('speed in time plane') by altering our relative velocity.

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157439)

That's relative time, and relative velocity, and as the name implies, relative only to something else. Your subjective time only changes when you don't pay attention.

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29157949)

Well obviously it's relative, what else would it be? Your subjective time is going to keep going at constant pace because, as it has been put, wherever you go, there you are.

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#29159053)

We can easily alter our relative flow of time ('speed in time plane') by altering our relative velocity.

Relative speed. The direction of motion is irrelevant, only the magnitude.

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (5, Interesting)

beguyld (732494) | more than 5 years ago | (#29161727)

And we can alter the perceived flow of time quite easily.

As Einstein explained: "When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it's longer than any hour. That's relativity."

And more seriously, some people have had time "slow down" considerably under extreme circumstances. I have had that experience during a motorcycle crash at 60 mph. I have a very vivid recollection of what happened in a split second seeming like slow motion and remembering each perception and thought and action. For all intents and purposes, the flow of time from my perspective was different than normal.

If consciousness is perhaps more than a chemical reaction in a "meat machine" then perhaps there is something else going on in those situations....

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (1)

dizzydogg (127440) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164083)

Thats just your mind filtering all other distractions and focusing on as much detail of the current situation as possible, and is a trick caused by your memory. For more info: http://www.livescience.com/health/071211-time-slow.html [livescience.com]

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (1)

beguyld (732494) | more than 5 years ago | (#29166317)

That is the thesis of ONE experiment, involving how many subjects? A video link showed a total of 4. A friend told me he had read this only happens to this degree to a subset of the population. Perhaps 15%. The subjects of that experiment only estimated their fall as 1/3 longer than observing others. My experience more like an order of magnitude. At the speed I was traveling, it would have been no more than 1/4 second, but the perception was more like 2-3 seconds. If you read some of the comments to the article you linked to, you'll find that other people have experiences which suggest that something different was going on than the researchers in a contrived experiment measured. For me, it was not just impulse reaction. There was a thought process, including an evaluation of the situation and choosing the best course of action. This situation was like a faster thought process and perception. And actually, time itself is sort of an illusion. It's just a comparison of some sequence of events vs some other sequence. Such as the definition of a second being the duration of 9,192,631,770 cycles of radiation corresponding to the transition between two energy levels of the caesium-133 atom. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_clock [wikipedia.org] ) (Under the Big Bang theory, time is also a measure of entropy. But not everyone agrees...) All that said, there is probably also something the idea that these events trigger more brain activity and memory being activated. But from my experience, that's not quite all of it... In fact as I get older (over 50 now) I notice this effect more and more, such as when something is about to fall and my hand is under it well before it is actually falling. Like some of the commentators on the article you linked to, I had some martial arts training; though it was 30 years ago now. Probably didn't hurt, though it might be that people who pursue that training have something in common. So causality is not established by the training itself. I attribute it to my mind being more quiet now. Meaning more able to be quiet until needed, like a cat waiting for prey, attentive to its environment. Then a burst of action when needed (though unlike a cat, also capable of sustained bursts of effort for many hours) And that comes from seeing the "personality machine" for what it is, and not confusing it with who and what I actually am. When the monkey chatter calms down, we are more able to respond to real events rather than imagined ones.

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (1)

beguyld (732494) | more than 5 years ago | (#29166333)

Sorry, I had HTML formatting on by mistake, as the preview didn't seem to be working properly yesterday and I had to muck with formatting manually... (and it still never showed me in preview mode what it actually looked like after submitted)

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (1)

suffe (72090) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164661)

For all intents and purposes, the flow of time from my perspective was different than normal.

More likely, your memory of the event as you look back at it makes it seem like time was slower. As I understand it, the brain has something very much like a short buffer memory that it can use for instant replays. You notice this in situations like when someone at the table next to you say your name. It's not like you react to every word starting with 'b' or 'be'. Instead, the brain is playing it back to you (and in your case probably with a slower speed than the actual event).

Thus, the memory you now think you have of the event is more likely a memory of the instant replay that your brain did for you. Some childhood memories are like this too. You don't actually remember the even itself but you have a memory of a memory. The brain is a strange place.

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (1)

beguyld (732494) | more than 5 years ago | (#29166525)

I definitely agree that the brain is a strange place, and memory is most often unreliable. It will make up an appropriate story to try to explain feelings and events. I'm sure it's a survival advantage to try to model the world and make sense of it.

Though in this case, there were physical actions associated with the memory, and because I was going through gears at an rpm I did hundreds of times on that bike, and hit some gravel at the very instant I was shifting gears, I knew the speed I was traveling very closely. (which is why I'm using it as an example). And decisions were made based on an evaluation of the situation.

Until then, I never understood how people could react fast enough during high speed events. My dad told me a story of riding his motorcycle and also going down at about 60 mph, and getting of top of the bike to ride it as it scraped along the pavement. At that speed things happen fast enough, it seemed impossible. But then he saw something coming, and I had no warning until the bike was already far enough out of control there was no way to save it.

I only had about the minimum time for measured human reaction speed available, and I could only decide to purposely put the bike down on its side and push it away with my foot, rather than allow things to finish randomly and perhaps get all tangled up with a 400 lb bike.

I also remember noticing that I was sliding and that I wasn't wearing leathers, and purposely rolling. This started immediately after the bike went down, and from the distance and speed would have been well under 1/2 second from the time of the very first indication that something was wrong (hit some gravel and the bike started to move "wrong")

Guess I'm just saying that the way time flows is not exactly rigid. Either that or I was just going so fast that Relativity comes into play. Must have been that new flux capacitor system I was testing...

Re:metamaterials are just periodic structures (2, Interesting)

Karma Bandit (1305259) | more than 5 years ago | (#29162723)

Metamaterials don't need to be periodic. They are made up of small (compared to the wavelength of light they work with) nano-fabricated structures, but even if they are randomly distributed it will have the desired effect. Just like both periodic structures (crystals) and amorphous ones (glass) have "normal" dielectric constants, so can metamaterials.

Some people say "periodic" when they just mean "made up of small stuff". If that was your complaint, then I challenge you to find something with any index of refraction that isn't "made up of small stuff."

on physics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156861)

Physics started as a beautiful branch of mathematics, took a detour into reality from mid-C16 to mid-C20, and appears to be returning to its initial home.

Re:on physics (1)

Alamais (4180) | more than 5 years ago | (#29160329)

Need a "troll mathematician" mod choice.

Good news everybody! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156869)

I've accidentally created a parallel cowboy universe!

Typical Bad Title (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156903)

an event analogous to the Big Bang.

Analogus To is not the same is Identical To. This article's title is badly in need of an accuracy correction.

Re:Typical Bad Title (1)

inamorty (1227366) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156943)

"An event Analogous to the Big Bang Could Be Recreated Inside a Metamaterial" while more accurate is less attention grabbing.

Re:Typical Bad Title (1)

Tailsfan (1200615) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157193)

So that means being only analogous to, it will not blow up the world. I mean what could possibly go wrong.

Re:Typical Bad Title (3, Informative)

lbalbalba (526209) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157137)

From the referenced article : " ... What Smolyaninov is describing is an optical analogue of the Big Bang in which a spacetime is created along with the particles to populate it. "The characteristic feature of this phase transition appears to be a kind of toy "big bang"," he says. In principle that's an experiment that could be done in the lab in which you could watch the Big Bang in action. ... " ... which is 'close enough' for me...

Re:Typical Bad Title (1)

brianc (11901) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157393)

This article's title is badly in need of an accuracy correction.

You're new around here, aren't you?

Re:Typical Bad Title (1)

weicco (645927) | more than 5 years ago | (#29162865)

Yes but now if only we could simulate the Big Crunch [wikipedia.org] we don't have to build a restaurant at the end of the universe [wikipedia.org] . What a saving in resources!

Transition appears to be a kind of toy "big bang" (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156917)

Batteries not included.

Re:Transition appears to be a kind of toy "big ban (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157313)

Some of us don't need battery powered toys to create a Big Bang.

The experiment will be performed in 2012... (4, Funny)

CptNerd (455084) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156931)

Somebody will probably experiment with this sometime in December, 2012...

Big Bang or Bust.... (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157015)

So....is somebody saying the Big Bang was a bad thing?????

Re:Big Bang or Bust.... (4, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157337)

Well, it has make a lot of people very angry.

Re:Big Bang or Bust.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29157517)

Well, it has make a lot of people very angry.

Even the ones with digital watches?

Re:Big Bang or Bust.... (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157369)

So....is somebody saying the Big Bang was a bad thing?????

That's what she said, too!

Re:Big Bang or Bust.... (1)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157403)

Yes, I am. And a new one won't be a bad thing. We need to be replaced by a security update.

Re:The experiment will be performed in 2012... (1)

Copernicus1234 (1613137) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157049)

Thats what I was thinking... :)

Re:The experiment will be performed in 2012... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#29158217)

With this and LHC, the Darwin Award [wikipedia.org] people should certainly have a planetary award prepared and ready to go.

Re:The experiment will be performed in 2012... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29158703)

2012? Dude! I just experimented with this last night in my bed! My girlfriend seemed satisfied with the outcome of the big bang.

Not Really Nitpicking (1)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156933)

>there is formal mathematical analogy

can an analogy be formal? is a mathematical analogy a mathematical description? an explanation can be said to be formal; but can the same be said of a description? does analogy have a special maths meaning? i dunno, i got the rest tho

Re:Not Really Nitpicking (1)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156967)

ok, so any maths is necessarily formal, so the formal part is redundant and the analogy is like a correspondence mapping... i think therefore i'm confused.

Re:Not Really Nitpicking (1)

kjllmn (1337665) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157021)

Wild-guess-answer: A hypersphere and a torus share a formula (don't recall for what though, volume perhaps), though they are not the same thing. Perhaps there's a formal mathematical analogy somewhere in there?

Re:Not Really Nitpicking (1)

aqk (844307) | more than 5 years ago | (#29160443)

It's not a torus; it's a Klein bottle.
And it's full of Pinoqachole.
Now, - how do you drink from it? Go figure.
The world, as we know it, has not yet ended.
Not yet...

What we mean by formalism (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163897)

Mathematicians and physicists sometimes use the term "formal" to mean without certain types of rigor. One frequent example is where one formally manipulates series without regards to convergence. If at the end of the day one ends up with something clearly convergence then "formally" what one has done is likely ok. This isn't always true. But physicists are especially fond of this sort of argument and then leave it to the mathematicians to fill in the gaps. This sometimes takes a very long-time. One example of this is formal work in calculus with dx and dy treated as variables. Physicists acted this way well before anyone had justified why you could treat them as symbols separate from an ntegral or derivative itself.

Re:What we mean by formalism (1)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 5 years ago | (#29165023)

Thanks for the response. It reminded me of the late, Danish physicist, Per Bak's narrative, (IIRC in his book describing his 'sandpile model of self-organized criticality') about the quick and dirty maths physicists employ much to the chagrin of mathematicians. I took the word formal to have a connotation more akin to maximized rigor.

I'm probably going to have to revisit 'The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences' by Eugene Wigner and 'The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics' by R. W. HAMMING. Both articles spring to mind in light of your post. One of the two contains the phrase "long chains of close reasoning", a favourite of mine, but also suggestive of why I took the use of the term formal to imply the greatest possible rigor.

Is this time travel? (0, Offtopic)

Kugrian (886993) | more than 5 years ago | (#29156965)

I'm pretty ignorant. And Back to the Future II was on TV a couple hours ago. And I've had a few beers. And I *really* want Duke Nukem to not be vaporware.

2-dimensional time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29156969)

I'm having a bit of a problem wrapping my mind around the concept of 2-dimensional time. Can anyone suggest a reference/thought experiment to help us uninformed EEs?

Re:2-dimensional time? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29157073)

Sure!

Imagine time as a line. Now imagine that the line is actually 2-dimensional.

Re:2-dimensional time? (1)

assert(0) (913801) | more than 5 years ago | (#29162247)

IOW, imagine time has an imaginary component!

Re:2-dimensional time? (2, Interesting)

kjllmn (1337665) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157141)

Imagine being on a spot in spacewise 2-dimensional universe. One kind of time could be like moving within this area, time passing, the other like not moving spacewise but only timewise, so that you'd walk through the "absolutely" same spot, but through time, not space. Imagine popping from frame to frame in the Game of Life-simulation, not moving sideways but only to the next frame, and the next. I dunno if this was clear though...?

Re:2-dimensional time? (3, Funny)

Rip Dick (1207150) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157831)

Can I buy pot from you?

Re-created, but... (2, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157009)

The analogy between the physics of superfluid helium and general relativity is well known. The mathematics that describe these systems are essentially identical so measuring the properties of one automatically tells you how the other behaves.

A caveat is that if either general relativity or our science's understanding of the physics of superfluid helium have issues, or if there are other factors involved that don't have a direct equivalent comparison, then the analogy may have issues.

Our lack of understanding of how the big bang might of worked may cast doubt on how predictive or valid relativity was.

So if the result is extreme and unsurprising what gets doubted first? Well, the complex metamaterial...

Amazing graphene flake (5, Interesting)

modrzej (1450687) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157051)

Graphene [wikipedia.org] (which is a single sheet graphite in made of) displays somewhat analogous electronic properties. Its electrons travel with speed comparable to to speed of light and act as they've got no effective mass. In particular they can be described by modified Dirac equation, which is relativistic equation for a single particle. Thus, the story is not the only example of formal (mathematical) similarity between physical objects that seem to have absolutely nothing in common. it's the power of mathematical abstraction to see what's essentially similar when your senses say it can't be.

Re:Amazing graphene flake (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29157521)

The more I've studied mathematics the more I've come to think that one should never underestimate the power of analogies. You could summarize this as two things are alike precisely to the extent they can be described by the same language.

When you can describe greatly different things with the same words or equations, without sacrificing the important details, there's a good chance you're on to something important.

Re:Amazing graphene flake (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#29159345)

Shannon discovering that information density uses the same equations as entropy. To the degree that he called information density "entropy" and that's still the term used for it.

Need better drugs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29157063)

We're supposed to nod and go on with our lives, aren't we?

OMG ... literally (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29157075)

"... a (2+1) spacetime filled with photons ..."

'and God said, "Let there be light".'

Re:OMG ... literally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29159187)

"... a (2+1) spacetime filled with photons ..."

'and God said, "Let there be light".'

and Dr. Erickson replied, "Do you have to be so bloody over-dramatic about everything?" Dr. God heard this, and ye, he was displeased, for next he spake "Don't be a douche, Fred. This experiment might very well make another Universe out of photons; I think some drama is called for." But verily, Dr. Erickson did grow tired with the discord, for next he quoth "Yeah, whatever. Anyway, looks like we're done for now. Let's go get some beer."

And there was light.

Re:OMG ... literally (1)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164765)

The Big Bang theory: God spoke and BANG! It happened.

Creating a new big bang? (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157099)

Wouldn't this be a universally bad idea?

Thanks you, thank you! I'll be here all week! ...unless they create a new big bang...

2+2 spacetime? (1)

VanessaE (970834) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157253)

Ok, regular 3+1 spacetime I understand, and multiple dimensions I comprehend well enough, but two dimensions of space and two of *time*?

My brain hurts!

Re:2+2 spacetime? (1)

sexybomber (740588) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157453)

OK, I think I've got it. It's a series of parallel Flatlands. One can move backwards and forwards through time, just like "normal", but one can also cross the parallels. Maybe? Possibly? That's some seriously twisted, mind-bending stuff there.

Re:2+2 spacetime? (1)

SnoopJeDi (859765) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157469)

Well, my favorite way to think about 3+1 spacetime as a relatively inexperienced student is as a "loaf" of bread (a la The Elegant Universe [wikipedia.org] ). If a "slice" of the loaf contains the 3 conventional space dimensions, and different slices represent different placement in time, then you have a basis for any particular event (4 coordinates that allow you to locate it perfectly).

Perhaps a second dimension of 'time' (which is a slightly incorrect notion, as far as I understand) allows another degree of freedom (like the Copenhagen interpretation)?.

On an unrelated note, this guy is from UMCP, that's sweet!

Re:2+2 spacetime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29159245)

I might be way off here but I think two dimensions of "time" is being over interpreted. Spatial dimensions and time dimensions are different by virtue of the fact that there are light cones due to impossibility of travel faster than the speed of light, anything outside this lightcone is "elsewhere", the center line of the cone is the time dimension, if there were two time dimensions there would simply be two dimensions with such restrictions.

Re:2+2 spacetime? (4, Informative)

Squiffy (242681) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157505)

It probably just means the spacetime metric has two positive terms and two negative terms. Instead of

ds^2 = dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2 - dt^2

you have

ds^2 = dx^2 + dy^2 - dt^2 - du^2

Can a real physicist speak to this?

Re:2+2 spacetime? (2, Informative)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#29159585)

It probably just means the spacetime metric has two positive terms and two negative terms

That is correct. The paper points out that "due to causality restrictions the analogy is purely formal" or words to that effect.

As someone else pointed out above, the /. article title, which uncritically apes the title of the linked article, is false. A correct title would be "Toy Model Analog of Big Bang Could Be Created Inside Metameterials." As it stands the title is as correct as "Supertanker can float in bathtub" when linked to a story about the latest Fisher Price supertanker bathtub toy.

Good. Now people can stop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29157361)

... worrying about the LHC and start worrying about this.

Not RTFA, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29157499)

Trust the scientists to try to wipe the universe again, now that we're still around after LHC!

Re:Not RTFA, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29162123)

Well how do you think we remade the universe after the LHC? Pity the prototype was lost in the incident but we're almost ready for another go.

And by analogy... (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 5 years ago | (#29157569)

you'd have a flashlight...

oblig. stand-up routine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29157805)

time goes through a metamaterial like this....

but space goes through a metamaterial like this

I have some metamaterial... (1)

Jeff Archambeault (41488) | more than 5 years ago | (#29158471)

it's been in my fridge for an unknown period of time.

"Could be meat, could be cake.... It looks like... meatcake!"

Someone must be saving it for something. Who would have known that ./ers fridges could be of real scientific value? ;)

Re:I have some metamaterial... (1)

Pikoro (844299) | more than 4 years ago | (#29168101)

"and hey! who stole the frozen banana guacamoli?!"

W00fT fp?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29158489)

people's faces at A BSD box that contaminated while perform kkeping and that the floor is mired in an

Turns out we were wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29158979)

With things like the LHC around, we've been worried about scientists destroying everything. Turns out we need to worry about them *creating* everything.

Better than re-making mammoths! (1)

WheelDweller (108946) | more than 5 years ago | (#29159567)

OK, so scientists....who get their truths by NOT KNOWING WHAT WILL HAPPEN...are going to start an unproven singularity. HOW CAN THAT GO WRONG?!?!?!?

I always wondered how the world would end. If it's by starting out the same way 90% of the lame, one-named titles running on "SyFy" do, I'll be quite disappointed.

Does everyone here have such blind faith in these over-educated dorks? Ya know they're not gonna do this in deep space- it'll probably be done in France. Isn't that, too, an unsafe distance from the planet? :>

"moving through time" with two time dimension (1)

capologist (310783) | more than 5 years ago | (#29166331)

We don't "move through time" at all in our 3+1 spacetime. Our sensation of motion through time is an artifact of a certain property of systems like our brains: at time t0, we have memories of events at times t < t0, and no memories of events at times t > t0.

I don't know whether it's possible for a conscious mind to exist in a spacetime with more than one macroscopic time dimension. If it is possible at all, such a mind certainly would not experience consciousness in the same way we do.

My Misconception (1)

PingPongBoy (303994) | more than 4 years ago | (#29169265)

Somehow I always labored under the idea there were 3 dimensions of space. The Big Bang only creates 2 dimensions?

Theories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29169327)

So in the end, Big Bang is ultimately a theory based on a lot of speculation.

When it comes to where and why everything exists, science still doesn't have any answers.

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