Martin Vajsar wrote:When experiments prove existing theories, they are fruitless...
Winston Gutkowski wrote:And I'll go further. Science (or technology) is the "religion" of the 21st century. It is the arbiter against which all things are now argued and measured; and if it doesn't compute, it is simply dismissed.
Campbell Ritchie wrote:The fact that Fermat was a good mathematician counted as evidence for Wiles' belief that the theory could have been proven.
fred rosenberger wrote:
Robert D. Smith wrote: Not the actual theorem, but that the expression only applies to a2 + b2 = c2 and will not work on any other expression (i.e. a3+b3=c3).
This is not quite correct. What you are talking about is known as "Fermet's Last Theorem", which went unsolved for around 450 years. What it ACTUALLY states is that for any integer exponent greater than 2, there are no integer solutions.
But even a near‑but‑flawed attempt is evidence to support a belief in a correct proof.
Matthew Brown wrote: . . . I don't think many mathematicians think Fermat genuinely had a correct proof. More likely he'd come up with one of the close-but-flawed attempts . . .
Martin Vajsar wrote:Coincidentally, just a few days ago a major observation in the fields of cosmology (and indirectly also in the General Relativity Theory) was published: the folks at BICEP2 were able to identify "imprints" of gravitational waves in the patterns of the cosmic background radiation caused by so called Inflation (not to be confused with the monetary ones; there hasn't ever been -and never will be- an inflation on a comparable scale in the fiscal sphere ). The Economist has a better article about it than I would be able to put up here, so if you're interested, have a look.
The inflation theory was invented in the 1980 to, as The Economist puts it, "explain away some inconvenient facts about the universe". It deals with things that happened some 10^-36 seconds after the Big Bang, and now we're presumably able to detect these events, some fourteen billion years later. Isn't science wonderful?
Henry Wong wrote:This means that, in theory, I can move an object from one location to another, in a fashion that looks like it is faster than light by warping the space from the source to the destination. Or in other words, the warp drive engine (as described in Star Trek) is theoretically possible...
Martin Vajsar wrote:I see the analogy, but let me point out that lots of well-tested physical theories actually say that faster-than-light travel is impossible, which is not the case of the faster-than-sound travel...
Martin Vajsar wrote:First: while I don't have the knowledge to perform the computations or formal proofs myself, I still think the space warping has serious problems with physical laws as we know them nowadays. Warping space itself isn't hard. You really just need some mass, or even just concentrate some energy. But we're talking about some mass and/or energy! And even if you concentrate a lot of ordinary mass, all you can get this way is just a star, or, ultimately, a black hole. Not very useful for interstellar travel.
Martin Vajsar wrote:
Third: we have some compelling evidence for the existence of black holes, and black holes, as their name suggests, are pretty hard to spot. On the other hand, white holes are different beasts. It should be really hard for astronomers to miss them. But all we have are some speculations that some gamma ray bursts might perhaps be white holes, if you squint at them. Wormholes, then, are a beautiful phenomena, but the equations require -wait for it- negative mass to support them , which brings us back to the first point.
Martin Vajsar wrote:
Edit: I should have better researched my arguments about while holes/wormholes. If I find anything interesting to say about them, I'll revisit the topic. Meanwhile, thanks for the discussion, I really hope you're enjoying it like I do.
Martin Vajsar wrote:I personally do believe the dark matter is proven to exist. You're right that we don't know much about dark matter. But, unfortunately for the concept of warp drive, there is one thing we know pretty sure about it - it has positive mass. If it didn't have, it couldn't do its job of keeping galaxies together. And similarly, the equations of the warp drive don't say anything about the exotic matter that would be needed, except that it would have to have negative mass. So, we don't know much, true, but we already know enough to say that the dark matter, as we understand it today, cannot power a warp drive.
Martin Vajsar wrote:
The exotic matter needed to power the warp drive is really, really strange, even from philosophical point of view. Its "negative mass" property cannot be easily hand-waved away. According to the Einstein's famous equation (E=mc^2), it would have negative energy as well. So if you took minus one gram of exotic matter (yes, this is right, "minus one gram") and combined it with one gram of our ordinary matter, they would simply cancel out. You wouldn't get the bang you get by combining a gram of matter with a gram of antimatter. Nothing. Zero. Nil. This has further implications. If this was possible, there isn't anything that would prevent the matter and negative matter to pop out of nowhere - in the vacuum of space, in my fridge, in my body - because you wouldn't need any energy for this to happen. We already know for sure that if some process is energetically feasible, it's going to happen. So, why isn't the exotic matter popping out in my fridge? Well, there are some weird things in my fridge, so scratch that. So, why isn't the exotic matter popping out in my body? I would probably know it's happening, even if I wouldn't be experiencing it for long, that's pretty certain.
Henry Wong wrote:IMO, I don't think that we need to introduce the concept of negative mass, and then try to shoot it down in a strawman argument.
The idea of Dark Energy already introduces the concept of anti (or opposite of) gravity. This means that I can negatively warp a field of space. Of course, you can argue that dark matter and dark energy can't exist together, but since we know very little about about either, we also can't make a case to dismiss the concept.
On the other hand, even if you can introduce negative mass matter, why do you need to see it? You can't see dark matter, yet, it makes up the majority of mass in the universe.
I think you are confusing your "negative matter" with anti-matter.
Martin Vajsar wrote:So if you took minus one gram of exotic matter (yes, this is right, "minus one gram") and combined it with one gram of our ordinary matter, they would simply cancel out. You wouldn't get the bang you get by combining a gram of matter with a gram of antimatter. Nothing. Zero. Nil.
I don't think that antimatter have anti-gravity affects -- or more correctly, it is assumed to behave similarly to regular matter (in terms of gravity), but haven't really been tested because there haven't been enough anti-matter generated for long enough period to test it.
Henry Wong wrote:My only problem here is that you are disagreeing with Star Trek. That seems to be sacrilegious. What's next?
Martin Vajsar wrote:I don't think of myself as a rebel, but I must admit that years ago I got accepted to certain club and got expelled for lack of respect towards that club's memorabilia the same evening.
Martin Vajsar wrote:
I wouldn't rule out that space warping and faster-than-light travel could be achieved locally, inside some powerful device, using some weird quantum effect, while causality outside that device would remain preserved. I'd be very surprised if it was achieved outside of the device generating it (which is what you need to construct an autonomous, faster-than-light travelling ship). But again, this is just my belief.