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## Re: [Amps] "Conventional" current flow

 To: Re: [Amps] "Conventional" current flow "Jim Garland" <4cx250b@miamioh.edu> Sun, 20 Nov 2016 22:01:32 -0700 mailto:amps@contesting.com>
 ```Hi Gang, I'm finding this a very interesting discussion, since it illustrates how a simple question (how current flows in a vacuum tube) quickly morphs into much more profound issues once the surface is scratched. To me, that's the way science progresses. Here are a few of my thoughts on comments raised by some of our distinguished list members: > > So the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is still uncertain? I feel it's > obvious once the process is measured, the process is changed. > The main bang in my bag is gravity. What is it??? > 73 N7RT I don't think there's anything obvious about the uncertainty principle. Hardy is correct that measuring the property of e.g., the position of an electron, always causes it to move a little bit. As he says, "once the process is measured, the process is changed." True enough, but before the uncertainty principle, it was always assumed that the "change" in the process could be made arbitrarily small by using more an ever more sensitive measuring instrument. The uncertainty principle says that there's always a minimum change which cannot be made smaller, no matter how delicate and sensitive the measuring device. In other words, the change is quantized, and there's nothing obvious about that! The uncertainty principle comes out of quantum mechanics, which says that small objects, like electrons, are described by a probability wave, and that the frequency of the wave is a measure of the electron's kinetic energy (or speed). The peak in the probability wave is the most probable location of the electron. To get any wave to peak up, however, you have to add together waves of different frequencies, and the sharper the wave peaks, the more waves have to be added together. It's analogous to the key clicks that occur when a CW signal turns on and off too quickly. The sharper the keying envelope, the wider the frequency spread of the key click. With the probability wave of an electron, the sharper the peak, the broader the spectrum of waves that have to be added together, and since the frequency of a wave component corresponds to the speed of that component, then the electron's speed becomes increasingly uncertain. In other words, the more precisely you try to the position of an electron (or anything else), the more likely you are to give it a large, uncertain speed. Now, to gravity. Bill W6WRT asserts that > "Einstein's description of gravity as a "distorting of space" is typical [of a fixation on the math and losing > > sight of what is real.] Gravity is simply a force which is poorly understood, not a distortion of anything." Sorry to disagree with you, Bill, but actually gravity is very well understood. Our understanding comes out of the general relativity field equations, and the equations have been verified by experiment thousands of times. Every GPS detector depends on the equations, as do precise time bases, and measurements of light deflected by stars, and satellite trajectories, and on and on and on. Here's the intuitive explanation given in beginning relativity courses about how a distortion of space can seem like an ordinary force. We live in a three dimensional universe, but imagine a two dimensional flat universe, which we can envisage as the surface of a large flat mattress. All motion in our 2D universe then corresponds to moving around on the surface. Now place two heavy bowling balls near each other on the mattress. The weight of the bowling balls causes a depression in the mattress, which will cause the balls to roll into each other. In other words, the distortion of the mattress into the third dimension looks just like a force on the balls that draws them together. It's the same idea in our 3D universe. The mass of the earth distorts our 3D universe into a 4th dimension, causing masses to fall toward the earth.. You may have heard recently about the discovery of gravitational waves, predicted by Einstein. A friend of mine worked on the experiment for thirty years, (He had a lot of help. More than a thousand scientists and engineers worked with him.), and it's probably the most amazing experiment in the history of the human race. Basically, when masses collide, they cause space around the collision site to reverberate, like striking a gong, and ripples in space radiate out from the collision at the speed of light. The experiment detected the propagating gravity waves from two black holes that spiraled into each other over a billion years ago, traveling more than a billion light years to reach us. One of the cool things about the experiment is that the colliding black holes spiraled into each other at an audio frequency. The resulting gravity waves were thus in the audible range, and to a listener sounded like an audio sound wave chirp. The two detectors, which were spaced a thousand miles apart, each heard the chirp as the wave passed by. You owe it yourself to read about this experiment, called LIGO. Here's the website: https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/news/ligo20160211 One final comment, pertaining to the role of mathematics in physics. Bill W6WRT is completely correct that math is just a method for describing the laws of the universe, and he's also correct that physics equations can be error-free mathematically, but still hugely wrong if they're based on faulty premises or bad data. That's why all science ultimately rests on data and experiment. By the way, the best theory in the world, in terms of how accurately it explains real laws, is called "quantum electrodynamics." The equations of the theory have been tested against experiment out to ten digits, with no measurable error. Many people worked it out, but Richard Feynman probably gets most of the credit. Heck of a smart guy. 73, Jim W8ZR _______________________________________________ Amps mailing list Amps@contesting.com http://lists.contesting.com/mailman/listinfo/amps ```
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