"The future ain't what it used to be."

# Interesting article on Quantum Ether

Also Know As (AKA):

The Superfluid concept of Space!
RainmanTime

I must admit it would be interesting if this where so, as it almost does a full circle from Newtonian mechanics to quantum mechanics , where we learnt that newtonian laws don't apply, and back again, only to find that in some ways Newton is still on the money, even at a quantum level, where basic cause and effect, action and reaction still operates.

Yes, indeed.

And what a superfluid would suggest to me is that the very Newtonian/Machian concepts we use in fluid dynamics with regard to the speed of sound in a fluid, may have a very fractal (self-similar) relationship with the properties associated with the speed of light in our superfluid. If we were to express this fractal relationship in words, it might go something like:

A Mach (sound) wave is to the speed of sound (a), as a light wave is to the speed of light (c).

As a body exceeds (a) the sound waves compress along the direction of flight, which forms a shock wave. As the shock wave attaches to the body, the angle and strength of the shock wave is dependent upon how fast you go beyond the speed of sound (a). The stationary observer HEARS a sonic boom as the shock wave passes them.

If the analogy holds with light, and you could exceed the speed of light in the superfluid, what would a stationary observer SEE that is analagous to hearing a sonic boom? A luminal flash? See where I am going with this?

We thought the speed of sound was a barrier, and then we broke through it....

Discuss?
RainmanTime

Perhaps a gravity wave...

when speed of sound is broken, the "ether", in this case the atmosphere, is compressed. This can be heard, or more correctly felt, not only by our ears but our whole body if close enough. The very fabric of the frame of reference is distorted. Air particles move closer together as the sound wave passes, storing more energy than in a normal state, hence imparting kinetic energy on to the neighbouring objects such as ear drums.

I would imagine there would be a compression of the gravity field, but I am having diffculty imagining what it would look like as the compression wave passes. It would be preceded and followed by a visual distortion of some kind. If close by, I imagine the compression factor would be quite destructive.

The energy required to break the sound barrier is much greater for less aerodynamic designs (and more violent a process), so breaking the light barrier would be much easier if it was understood how to minimise friction generated when hitting the virtual particles in space.

"Nice shooting, Wedge" (Translation: Good post, Wedge!)

Perhaps a gravity wave...
I could buy that... or maybe a wave of sheer momentum, which can have mass, or may not need mass (photons)? I'd be interested in discussing the possibilities of this more with you.

when speed of sound is broken, the "ether", in this case the atmosphere, is compressed. This can be heard, or more correctly felt, not only by our ears but our whole body if close enough. The very fabric of the frame of reference is distorted.
Excellent. And yes, it can be heard AND felt, since hearing is just a higher-resolution mechanical sense to feeling. Both involve pressure waves. But in the case of the ear, the frequency response of the receptor (and therefore its discriminative capacity) is much higher than the frequency response of the skin's mechanical receptors.

I think the key realization here is this: The speed of sound, as demonstrated, is not a "barrier" but rather a phase transition point. As you rightly point out, the fluid composition of the atmosphere is what defines the characteristics of this phase transition point (sonic flow). The speed of light should be looked upon in the exact same manner, for it is nothing more than another phase tranisition, like the speed of sound.

Indeed, the fact that VELOCITY (scalar=SPEED) is the common theme between these two measures ought to be enough for us all to say "gee, they probably are similar transitions with respect to how they can be engineered." In aerodynamics for supersonic speeds, one of the parameters that characterizes flowfields is the "Ratio of Specific Heats" for the fluid medium that an aerodynamic vehicle is flying within. This ratio expresses the energetic characteristics of the fluid medium, in terms of its abilities to transmit and amplify energy in the form of PRESSURE and TEMPERATURE.

So...I imagine that similar types of measures could be defined for the "superfluid" or "ether" that is the space between planets, stars, and galaxies. But I don't think Pressure and Temperature are the pertinent independent variables when we are discussing the speed of light. Maybe we need to search for the analog of Pressure and Temperature in the lightspeed realm? Temperature is a statement of INTERNAL energy of the medium (fluid), and Pressure is a statement of EXTERNAL energy of the medium (fluid). Just thinking off the top of my flat head here... but it seems TEMPERATURE is still a good reference for internal energy of any light-generating source. The temperature of the sun does determine the amount and characteristic of light that it can generate. But I would think that a measure of external energy for light would be more along the lines of a measure of Power.

The energy required to break the sound barrier is much greater for less aerodynamic designs (and more violent a process), so breaking the light barrier would be much easier if it was understood how to minimise friction generated when hitting the virtual particles in space.
Right on! We have mastered supersonic and hypersonic flight by understanding the best shapes to make use of the medium. Dynamic pressures (the power-square law) are what generate the forces required to maneuver the vehicle. We must now do the exact same thing with the superfluid medium of background Space, and the speed of light as its defining "barrier" for phase transition.

You know that the shape of a teardrop is the most aerodynamically efficient shape for drag in a normal fluid... I wonder what the shape is for minimum "phase drag" when traveling in the superfluid ether of Space?

RainmanTime

The electro-magnetic field may carry momentum as a matter of course. Momentum may exist where-ever there is motion. The momentum of a body at rest (inertia) is simply momentum whose sum equals zero (the vibration of a particle at rest has an equal backwards and forwards momentum component (as the particle vibrates back and forth)which cancels eachother out.

This generates resistance to movement. Think how hard it is push a spinning top over - centrifugal and centripetal forces cancel eachother out. For the same reason a push bike when moving straight ahead stays balanced only because of these counteracting forces. If you hold the axel of a bicycle wheel in your hands and have someone else spin the wheel, then try and tip the wheel over - you will feel a strong force resist your efforts. Also, notice how a car sits flat when powering through a corner, yet leans over on it's side when coasting through the corner? Sorry this is physics 101, I'm just thinking aloud.

Momentum is stored energy. What effect does this stored energy have when transferred from a moving object in space to the virtual particles? There would be a compression as some particles are pushed closer together. This will cause a resistive force to act back upon the moving object. Some virtual particles may turn into 'real' particles (analogous to the water vapour produced by breaking the sound barrier, "liberated" from the atmosphere?)

As the ether is compressed (manifesting as gravity wave) in a dopler shape ahead and behind to the sides of the spaceship, a pulse of real particles (perhaps photons) spreads out in a circular pattern perpendicular to the craft. The virtual particles in the gravity wave have come closer together and at a certain point, will be so close together that they will explode outwards again, creating an outwards propogating gravity wave. By this time the craft has pushed ahead of the gravity wave and has left it behind (to continue the analogy: the gravity wave being the same as the atmospheric compression wave, ie: bang, resulting form breaking of the sound barrier).

Having left the gravity wave behind, the craft is no longer subject to external momentum affects! (gravity?) To avoid having to produce infinite power to reach the speed of light initially, perhaps some way of affecting the way the surface of the spacecraft reacts to virtual particles - for example energising the material of the spacecraft in some way that makes it far more permeable to virtual particles than normal?

Okay now I'm stretching!

I have also made a big assumption that gravity and momentum are implicitly interwined somehow. That one arises from the other. I'm stretching my knowledge at this point, and am relying more on my intuitive grasp of momentum etc for this post. I need to google some more!

Another good, thought-provoking post......... So here's my 2 cents:

Momentum may exist where-ever there is motion. The momentum of a body at rest (inertia) is simply momentum whose sum equals zero (the vibration of a particle at rest has an equal backwards and forwards momentum component (as the particle vibrates back and forth)which cancels eachother out.
Yes. The concept of "external momentum" of a body is exhibited by translational and rotational velocities (motion). We typically measure the "internal momentum" of a body by temperature, which is actually described as the average molecular velocity of the matter comprising that body. But I maintain there is another important measure of "internal momentum", and that is the natural (resonant) vibrational frequency of the body. Different bodies resonate at different frequencies. Therefore, if one wishes to modify "internal momentum" to achieve an imbalance with the body's external momentum, you ought to be able to do this by tweaking both the temperature and the resonant frequency of the body.

Are you with me here? If "internal momentum" is the same as inertia, and inertia is the slave of gravity, then you would want to decrease a body's "apparant inertia" to free it from its gravity slavery. Doing this would obviously create a momentum imbalance from internal to external, and thus would create motion. Increasing motion (velocity) is how we cause a body to escape the gravitational pull of a larger body. It seems to make sense to me.... you?

Sorry this is physics 101, I'm just thinking aloud.
Not even a problem! One reason I got the nickname Rainman is because I have a habit of repeating scientific facts to myself, as I am trying to solve an engineering problem! /ttiforum/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I have also made a big assumption that gravity and momentum are implicitly interwined somehow.
Yes, they are! As I inferred above, the basics of orbital mechanics tell us that we have to accelerate a body to a given velocity in order for it to be able to escape from the gravity well of a planet. In this we are simply increasing the external momentum of the body.

Having left the gravity wave behind, the craft is no longer subject to external momentum affects! (gravity?)
If so, this is where the analogy to aerodynamics and the speed of sound seems to fall apart. While aerodynamic forces do begin to reduce after Mach 1 (and eventually level off), the body is never completely free from the momentum effects of the fluid.

Still, I like your thinking. And I keep thinking that the internal/external momentum thing is the solution to one form of "antigravity". And if I am correct regarding resonant frequencies, then there may be some truth to ancient mystical knowledge that SOUND at certain frequencies can reduce a body's inertial response to gravity. Rumor has it that Edward Leedskalnin used sound energy to levitate the giant coral rocks he used to construct his coral castle.

Hmmmmm.....
RainmanTime

The way time breaks down around a rotating cosmic string has given Mazur and Chapline a clue to resolving this issue. The CTCs form in regions close to the cosmic stringâ€™s axis, which means relativity breaks down in the cores of tiny "gravitational vortices" while continuing to apply everywhere else. "This is very suggestive of a vortex in a superfluid," says Mazur.

Forgive this simplified but hinting statement and correct me if I'm wrong;
Fluid = Motion = Energy + Motion = Vortex
(Not energy times motion because of the nature of a spiral at it's perceived beginning or end (both interchangeable)).

Not all rotary motions are vortices. Water draining from a bathtub in a spiral path is a vortex.The angular velocity of the fluid increases inward to a faster and faster spin. Angular velocity increases inward. Newton ruled out this type of motion for planetary motions around the sun.

A spinning disc (rotating as a solid) shows a different kind of rotary motion. The outside edge of disc has a faster 'orbital' velocity than the center. The whole disc has the same angular velocity. :D

I don't think that the state of the superfluid would be the same as in breaking the speed of sound vs. the relativistic state of the speed of light. The superfluid changes and speed of sound (breaking sound) is not the same as breaking spacetime (speed of light).
/ttiforum/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I completely agree. They are different in magnitude from one another. But they are also similar to one another in that they are velocity singularities, at two related scales.

RMT

when speed of sound is broken, the "ether", in this case the atmosphere, is compressed. This can be heard, or more correctly felt, not only by our ears but our whole body if close enough. The very fabric of the frame of reference is distorted.

Which is why the analogy with light is not a good one. An airplane pushes air in front of it......a sonic boom is largely the result of the air not being able to get out of the way fast enough.

In a vacuum, on the other hand, an object moves THROUGH space. I see no evidence that such an object 'pushes' the space in front of it. This would surely constitute 'drag'....and we'd certainly notice that with things like cosmic rays ( which are basically protons, neutrons ). If I saw an article that showed that cosmic ray speeds declined with the distance of the source....that would be some evidence for such drag, though it would be skewed by the tendency of the galaxy's own magnetic field to alter speeds.

Also......if you are going to speculate that virtual particles create drag, then one has to wonder how the Earth has remained relatively stable in it's orbit for 4 billion years......when the 8000 mile wide Earth ploughing through that virtual field should have had some impact. I would argue that this alone shows that even if the drag does exist...it must be tiny.

Some people quote the Casimir effect as evidence that virtual particles could create drag.....but it is apples and oranges....really not the same thing.

Actually, if virtual particles DO cause drag.....I would expect a measurable effect :-

Virtual particles come in particle and antiparticle pairs. Now if one of those particles hits the Earth.....and thus causes drag....then there can be only 1 possible outcome :-

The virtual particle, in causing drag, has to steal energy from the Earth's own motion. BUT....that means it is now more energetic than it's antiparticle....so when the two annihilate each other there then ought to be a very small excess of energy. In other words.....one OUGHT to be able to detect a surplus of virtual photons on the side of the Earth that is moving into the 'ether'. Effectively, such drag should be converting the Earth's kinetic energy into radiation energy. This is not unlike Hawking radiation for black holes !

I suspect, though, that even if this effect existed it would be extremely small. Would be better tested with a fast moving object in a vacuum. Maybe a spaceship............at sufficient speed I'd say this effect would lead to a noticeable glow.

Hmm.....I'm not aware of anyone ever having predicted that. Could be a first for TTI....a scientific prediction.

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