Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Spooky Panentheist Physicists

Remember when the Large Hadron Collider melted down last year? Well, there is an article in the NYT about a group of physicists who theorize that this is not a coincidence. That
"the troubled collider is being sabotaged by its own future. A pair of otherwise distinguished physicists have suggested that the hypothesized Higgs boson, which physicists hope to produce with the collider, might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one, like a time traveler who goes back in time to kill his grandfather."

Before you dismiss it as a bunch of crazy people, read the whole article...


Blogger B. Spinoza said...

from the article: “For those of us who believe in physics,” Einstein once wrote to a friend, “this separation between past, present and future is only an illusion.”

meaning, I thought, that the past and future exist at once. every moment is in reality timeless. this would speak against the idea of time travel. because there is no future, past or present, how can there be time travel?

October 14, 2009 8:32 PM  
Blogger B. Spinoza said...

think Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five rather than Siren's of Titan

October 14, 2009 8:35 PM  
Blogger Baal Habos said...

That was a great article!

>because there is no future, past or present, how can there be time travel?

On the contrary, the separation being an illusion would faciliate time travel. No?

October 15, 2009 8:33 AM  
Blogger Baal Habos said...

Posting again just to subscribe to comments.

October 15, 2009 8:34 AM  
Blogger evanstonjew said...

Why is this panentheist?

October 15, 2009 11:18 AM  
Blogger B. Spinoza said...


the way I understand the implications of Einstein's theory is that all moments of time exist at once. What you consider happened yesterday or 20 years ago really exist right "now" they are still going on eternally. What you think of as a future event is also happening "now". You as an observer only think it didn't happen yet, but you are wrong and living in an illusion.

Take for example a movie. the characters in the movie (if they could think and feel) would believe that they could die at any time. they don't know what's going to happen at the end of their movie life. But you, the viewer, know that whatever happens in the movie was already preordained before the movie even started. because the beginning, middle and end of the movie is already on the film before the movie played in the theater. we, the viewers, merely suspend our belief to enjoy the show. A movie such as Back to the Future has time travel. but that's not real time travel. just the appearance of time travel in the film.

I linked to a long article on my blog explaining this idea.

October 15, 2009 11:19 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...


"Panentheist" in the sense that it seemed to me that the universe had some kind of consciousness based on the way that article was phrased.

B/Spin and BHB,
I always thought what they were talking about is the fact that you can reverse the direction of time and all the laws of physics still work the same way, but this notion of simultaneous events seems to be a different concept...

October 15, 2009 2:40 PM  
Blogger Tobie said...

Sometimes, physics freaks me the heck out.

That is all.

October 15, 2009 3:49 PM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

>Why is this panentheist?

Also, because the Higgs boson is called "The God Particle" :)

October 15, 2009 8:19 PM  
Blogger B. Spinoza said...

here's a rather lengthy article discussing time based on Einstein's theory:

October 16, 2009 10:34 AM  

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