“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
–Alfred North Whitehead

Gravity Is Love, And Other Astounding Metaphors : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR

This NPR article mentions one of my professors, cosmologist Brian Swimme. Here is my comment:

Dr. Swimme calls gravity love, and I think it is an apt metaphor. Anthropomorphic? Perhaps, but how else are we to really understand gravity unless we can relate it to our human experience of the universe? And it is not as if physicists haven’t always been morphing that “great apparition” (Emerson) called nature into something more down to earth so as to understand it: energy, for example, is defined as the ability to do “work,” which is a sociological concept. Similarly, Darwin’s whole theory of natural selection is built upon an analogy with human selection of domesticated animals. Physics is typically mechanomorphic, which is to say it understands the nature of the universe by analogy to a machine. The universe is not a machine, of course. Dr. Swimme’s poetic cosmology is an attempt to remind us of the cosmos’ more human dimension.

Gravity Is Love, And Other Astounding Metaphors : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR.







3 responses to “Gravity Is Love, And Other Astounding Metaphors : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR”

  1. socratus Avatar

    – Hallelujah !! String Theory !!
    Science has always been a source of heresy.
    Lee Smolin wrote:
    I have written this book in the hope that it will contribute
    to an honest and useful discussion among experts and
    lay readers alike.
    / ‘ The trouble with Physics’. Page XVIII. /
    I will take Smolin’s proposition and try to explain my
    amateur’s thoughts about that was called ‘String theory’.
    Three years ago I posted an article ‘ The Special Theory
    of Relativity’ I wrote:
    ‘ String theory acts in 11- D space.
    But if we don’t know what 1+1 = 2 is
    how can we know what 5+4 = 9 is?
    And if we don’t know what 4-D negative Mincowski space
    is how can we understand 11-D space ( String theory) ?’
    I wrote: . . . .
    ‘If I were a king, I would publish a law:
    every physicist who takes part in the creation
    of 4D space and higher is to be awarded a medal
    “To the winner over common sense”.
    Because they have won us using the
    absurd ideas of Minkowski and Kaluza. ‘
    This was a reason that I refused to read any information
    about ‘String theory’.
    And later on different forums I posted emails, trying
    to explain, that the point is only a shadow of real particle,
    that it is impossible to understand Physics and Nature
    thinking of particle as a point.
    I wrote: In 1915 Einstein connected Mass with Geometry.
    Maybe now, in 2010, somebody will try to understand the
    interaction between an elementary particle and geometry.
    I wrote:
    If physicists think about a particle as a ” mathematical point”
    the result can be only paradoxical. And I am sure if somebody
    takes into consideration the geometrical form of particle
    the paradoxes in Physics will disappear.
    Travelling in Scotland, by chance, in a secondhand shop
    I bought a book: ‘ The trouble with Physics’ by Lee Smolin.
    This book changed my opinion about ‘String theory’.
    Now I say: Hallelujah ! Hallelujah ! Why? Because
    ‘… particles could not be seen as points, which is how
    they always been seen before. Instead, they were ‘stringlike’,
    existing only in a single dimension, and could be stretched, . .
    And . . . they vibrated.’ / Page 103. / ‘ . . the idea of particles
    as vibrations of strings was the missing link that could work
    powerfully to resolve many open problems.’ / Page 124./
    It is nice. It is pleasant to read this idea.
    So, the string particle is a dynamic particle. And the string can
    have different geometric forms: ‘String can be both closed and
    open. A closed string is a loop. An open string is a line;
    it has ends’. / Page 106./ And now few physicists try to connect
    forces, movement and geometry of the quantum particle together.
    Hallelujah ! It is a progress. It is a step to truth.
    Now I say: the truth is hidden in the ‘ String theory ’.
    But there are many string theories. And the growing catalogue
    of string theories evokes trouble. Because one theory is better
    than the other one, but at the same time each new theory brings
    new problems. Maybe therefore Lee Smolin wrote:
    ‘ . . . at least one big idea is missing.
    How do we find that missing idea?’ / Page 308. /
    Interesting: What was missed by ‘ the brightest and
    best- educated scientists’ who worked very hard doing
    many complicated calculations ?
    New particle? New D ? New force? New idea?
    Where did they have an error?
    I will try to understand this situation.
    If I were professor I would great super – super 55D for
    explaining everything. But I am a peasant and the best way
    for me is to take the simplest reference frame – the Euclidean
    space ( 2D) . And maybe (who knows ?) Newton was right
    saying: ‘ Truth is ever to be found in simplicity,
    and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.’
    Now I will put a virtual- ideal particle in this 2D.
    The 2D is a thin and flat homogeneous space, so my particle
    also must be thin and flat and very symmetrical.
    Can it be a very thin and tiny limited line- string?
    No. In my opinion even this very thin and tiny line
    under good microscope will be looked as a rectangle.
    Can it be a very thin and tiny limited loop?
    No. The geometrical form of a loop is too complex,
    needs supplementary forces to create it.
    Can it be a very thin and tiny limited circle?
    From all geometrical forms the circle is the most symmetrical.
    The surface of a circle takes up the minimal area it can and
    I will write it by formula: C/D= pi= 3.14. (!)
    But I can put many particles there, for example,
    Avogadro’s number of particles: N(a). (!)
    What is my next step?
    If I were a physicist I would say that 2D must have some
    physical parameters like: volume (V), temperature (T)
    and density (P). Yes, it seems the idea is right.
    Then, volume (V) is zero,
    temperature (T) is zero
    but . . but density (P) cannot be zero if 2D is a real space
    then its density can approximately be zero.
    What can I do with these three parameters?
    I have only one possibility, to write the simplest formula:
    VP/T=R (Clapeyron formula !)
    What is R? R is some kind of physical state of my 2D.
    And if I divide the whole space R by Avogadro’s
    numbers of particles then I have a formula R/ N(a) = k,
    then k ( as a Boltzmann constant) is some kind of
    physical state of one single virtual- ideal particle. (!)
    But all creators of Quantum theory said that this space,
    as a whole, must have some kind of background energy (E).
    And its value must be enormous.
    But the background mass of every Avogadro’s particles
    in 2D has approximately zero mass, it is approximately
    massless (M).
    So, if I divide enormous energy (E) by approximately
    massless (M) then the potential energy/ mass of every single
    virtual- ideal particle ( according Einstein and Dirac) is
    E/M=c^2 (potential energy/mass E/M=c^2 ! )
    ( I don’t know why physicists call E/M= c^2 ‘rest mass’
    and never say potential energy/mass E/M=c^2 .)
    In potential state my particle doesn’t move,
    so its impulse is h = 0.
    My conclusion.
    I have virtual- ideal- massless particle which has
    geometrical and physical parameters:
    C/D= pi= 3.14 . . . . , R/ N(a) = k, E/M=c^2, h=0.
    All my virtual- ideal- massless particles are possible to call
    ‘ bosons’ or ‘antiparticles’ . These bosons are approximately
    massless but have huge potential energy/mass E/M=c^2 .
    But I have no fermions, no electric charge, no tachyons,
    no time, no mass, no movement at this picture.
    Smolin wrote: ‘ – the missing element – must have been
    one of the earliest triumphs of abstract thinking.’/page 102/
    Where was ‘the earliest triumphs of abstract thinking.’?
    In the hope to understand Smolin’s thought I will draw
    historical scheme: Quantum Theory —->
    —-> Thermodynamics —-> Theory of gases —-> Ideal Gas.
    So, ‘the earliest triumphs of abstract thinking.’ was connected
    with idea of an ‘Ideal Gas’. From Ideal Gas our trouble with
    physics begins. I think the ‘Ideal Gas’ cannot be an abstract
    hypothesis. In my opinion the ‘Ideal Gas’ must be a real model
    of vacuum: T=0K . We can use all laws of ‘Ideal Gas’ for
    explaining the situation in Vacuum: T=0K. The ‘ Ideal Gas’ as
    abstract as ‘ Vacuum ‘ and vice versa.
    Now, thinking logically, I must explain all the effects of
    motions. And. . . and I cannot say it better than Newton:
    ‘For the basic problem of philosophy seems to be to discover
    the forces of nature from the phenomena of motions
    and then to demonstrate the other phenomena from these forces.’
    How can one single virtual- ideal particle start its movement?
    At first, it will be right to think about some simple kind of
    movement, for example: my particle will move in straight line
    along 2D surface from some point A to the point B.
    What is possible to say now?
    According to the Michelson-Morley experiment my particle
    must move with constant speed: c=1 and its speed is independent.
    Its speed doesn’t depend on any other object or subject, it means
    the reason of its speed is hidden in itself, it is its inner impulse.
    This impulse doesn’t come from any formulas or equations.
    And when Planck introduced this inner impulse(h) to physicists,
    he took it from heaven, from ceiling. Sorry. Sorry.
    I must write: Planck introduced this inner impulse (h) intuitively.
    I must write: Planck introduced his unit (h) phenomenologically.
    At any way, having Planck’s inner impulse (unit h=1) my
    particle flies with speed c=1. We call it photon now.
    Photon’s movement from some point A to the point B
    doesn’t change the flat and homogeneous 2D surface.
    Of course, my photon must be careful, because in some local
    place some sun’s gravitation can catch and change its trajectory
    I hope it will be lucky to escape from the sun’s gravity love.
    My photon can have other possibility to move. This second
    possibility was discover by Goudsmit and Uhlenbeck
    in 1925. They said the elementary particle can rotate
    around its diameter using its own angular inner impulse:
    h * = h /2pi. So, when photon rotates around its diameter
    it looks like a string ( open string) and this string vibrates.
    My god, that is a strange technical terminology the physicists
    use: ‘ vibrate, vibration’.
    If I were a physicist I would say no ‘ vibrate, vibration’ but
    ‘ frequency’, ‘the particle rotates with high frequency’.
    The frequency is a key to every particle, by frequency we know
    the radiation spectrum of various kinds of waves.
    Now I can say: then my photon starts to curl its rotation
    goes with enormous frequency, faster than constant speed
    of photon. Now its speed is c>1. We call it ‘tachyon’.
    The tachyon’s spinning creates electric charge and
    electrical waves and now we call it ‘electron’ or ‘fermions’.
    So, in my opinion, virtual- ideal particle, photon, tachyon
    and electron are only different names of one and the same
    particle – quantum of light.
    The frequency of every string particle can change.
    ( The various states of vibration . . . Page 103.)
    The geometrical form of string can change.
    ( When they gained energy, they stretched; when they
    gave up energy, they contracted – Page 103.)
    Thanks to rotating movement the ‘massless’ of particles
    increased and it became real observed particle.
    Stop ! !!
    I have missed here something important.
    What have I missed?
    ( When they gained energy, they stretched; when they
    gave up energy, they contracted – Page 103.)
    What does it mean? What did Smolin want to say?
    How can I understand this process ?
    . . . . . . . . . . .
    My particle is a circle. When this circle started to curl around
    itself its form changed. Now it has volume and looks like a sphere.
    What is the law between particle’s volume and energy?
    I think: big volume – low energy, small volume – high energy.
    The more speed / impulse —-> the more particle (as a volume)
    compress —-> the more energy .
    And when the speed decrease – – the energy decrease too –
    but the volume of particle will increase.
    My particle behaves like ‘ a springy circle’ (!)
    This springy circle can curl into small sphere which must
    have volume and therefore can be describe as a
    ‘stringlike particle with vibrations’ only approximately .
    Springy particle – it means the particle is able to spring back
    into its former position. In my opinion this is the meaning of
    ‘ The Law of mass/energy conservation and transformation’
    Once more.
    Quantum of light has potential energy (- E=Mc^2 ).
    When it starts to curl around its diameter the potential energy
    (- E=Mc^2 ) is hidden and we can observe its electronic
    energy ( E=h*f).
    But there is situation when this hidden potential energy goes
    out and we can see its great active power ( + E=Mc^2 )
    looking the destroyed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
    In my opinion the particle’s transformation from one state into
    the other was legalized as ‘ The Law of mass/energy
    conservation and transformation’.
    Different geometrical forms of string particle
    ( open – closed ), different frequencies of string particle are
    reason of different radiation (from ultraviolet to infrared ),
    are also reason of new situation in 2D.
    Now the surface of my 2D in local area is changed.
    On one hand it is electromagnetic field now,
    on the other hand the spinning electron
    changed the temperature of the surface in local area.
    Now this local area has Debye temperature: Q(d)= h*f(max) / k.
    Maybe in this space a grain of gravity theory is hidden.
    Who knows?
    My conclusion.
    It is no bad idea to ask question:
    what are physical parameters of your new super D?
    It is possible to understand many things using 2D.
    The missing ‘big idea’ in ‘String theory’ is hidden in the
    simple question: ‘ What was the form of particle before
    it started to curl?’
    The time appears as a period of electron’s action.
    I ‘mix bosons with fermions’ (page 105) without using
    any supersymmetries.
    And I have:
    a) In potential state the impulse of particle is h = 0. ( boson)
    b) Having Planck’s inner impulse (unit h=1) my
    particle moves straight with constant speed c=1. ( photon)
    c) Having Goudsmit / Uhlenbeck inner angular impulse
    h * = h /2pi. the particle rotates around its diameter.
    ( electron/ tachyon/ fermion).
    Maybe the different conditions of (h) is the key to all
    other phenomena.
    Maybe this process can explain ‘the dualism of particle.’
    Maybe this interpretation can explain where the energy comes from.
    Maybe, if the space of my circle curls and changes then we need to
    use Riemann geometry .
    Maybe, if the speed of the particle is independent and self-contained
    then we need to use nonlinear equations.
    Maybe . . . . .
    Maybe it is time to end now.
    I reread my article. It is not bad, not bad for amateur,
    who thinks about philosophy of physics for 28 years.
    Of course, my interpretation is only scheme. And if
    I were a physicist I would make from this scheme a theory:
    ‘ Elementary particle as a springy circle’.
    But as a peasant I can only hope that maybe somebody
    from Smolin’s ‘few . . . most talented and accomplished
    physicists’ will do it. Who knows? Why do I doubt?
    Because I read Smolin’s opinion: ‘ Not that every scientist
    is a seeker, most are not.’ (!) Ce la vie !
    Now I must go to my farm, to my garden.
    I want to plant some trees and flowers today.
    All the best.
    Israel Sadovnik Socratus
    Einstein spent his life trying to construct a ‘unified field theory‘.
    He tried to explain electromagnetism using geometry just as he
    had done with gravity.
    De Broglie and Heisenberg tried to unite different forces
    using constants ( h) and ( h*).
    The year 2010: particle as a springy circle + ( h) and ( h*) +
    + Riemann geometry + nonlinear equations . . . . ?!?!
    …the more a subject is understood,
    the more briefly it may be explained.
    / Thomas Jefferson,
    letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816 /
    You do not really understand something unless
    you can explain it to your grandmother.
    / Albert Einstein /
    And Rutherford said, if you understand something
    you can explain it to barmen woman.
    And somebody wrote : Of course , if I understand
    something I can explain it to my son.




  2. socratus Avatar

    – What is the Source of the Universe ?
    Where did Existence come from?
    Now we have three ( 3) sources of the Universe:
    Big bang , vacuum and God.
    Which of them is correct ?

    About big band and God my opinion is:
    the action, when the God compressed all Universe
    into his palm, physicists had named -a singular point
    And action, when the God opened his palm,
    physicists had named – the Big Bang
    And about vacuum Paul Dirac wrote:
    ‘ The problem of the exact description of vacuum, in my opinion,
    is the basic problem now before physics. Really, if you can’t correctly
    describe the vacuum, how it is possible to expect a correct description
    of something more complex? ‘
    In the book “Evolution of Physics” Einstein and Infeld wrote:
    “ We have the laws, but we are not aware what the body
    of reference system they belong to, and all our physical
    construction appears erected on sand ”.
    They are right. Why?
    Because :
    The Universe ( as a whole ) is Two- Measured,
    there are two Worlds: Vacuum and Gravity.
    What was before Vacuum or Gravity ?
    Does Gravity exist in Vacuum or vice versa?
    No answer.
    == .
    Fact and Speculation.
    The detected material mass of the matter in the Universe is so small
    (the average density of all substance in the Universe is approximately
    p=10^-30 g/sm^3) that it cannot ‘close’ the Universe into sphere and
    therefore our Universe as whole is ‘open’, endless Vacuum.
    But what to do with the infinite Universe the physicists don’t know.
    The concept of infinite/ eternal means nothing
    to a scientists. They do not understand how they could
    draw any real, concrete conclusions from this characteristic.
    A notions of ‘more, less, equally, similar ’ could not
    be conformed to a word infinity or eternity.
    The Infinity / Eternity is something, that has no borders,
    has no discontinuity; it could not be compared to anything.
    Considering so, scientists came to conclusion that the
    infinity/eternity defies to a physical and mathematical definition
    and cannot be considered in real processes.
    Therefore they have proclaimed the strict requirement
    (on a level of censor of the law):
    « If we want that the theory would be correct,
    the infinity/eternity should be eliminated » .
    Thus they direct all their mathematical abilities,
    all intellectual energy to the elimination of infinity.
    Therefore they invented an abstract ‘dark matter and dark energy’.
    They say: ‘ 90% or more of the matter in the Universe is unseen.’
    And nobody knows what it is.
    Unknown ‘dark matter ‘ it is matter which makes up the difference
    between observed mass of a galaxies and calculated mass……
    which….will …’close ‘ ….the Universe into sphere, as …….
    as……the astrophysicists want.
    How can the 99% of the Hidden ( dark ) matter in the Universe
    create the 1% of the Visible matter ?
    ========================== . .
    Now it is considered that Newton / Einstein’s laws of gravitation
    are basis of physics, the first laws / source of Universe.
    But the detected material mass of the matter in the Universe
    is so small that gravitation field, as whole, doesn’t work
    in the Universe.
    So, the Newton / Einstein’s laws of gravitation are correct only
    in the small and local part of Universe and we cannot take them
    as the first ones.
    What can the first law of the Universe be?
    All galaxies , all gravitation fields exist in Vacuum (T=0K).
    Gravitational effects took place only in a small area of Infinite Vacuum.
    It is impossible to use GRT to the Universe as a whole.
    Vacuum is “ The first law of the Universe.”
    The Physics first of all is Aether / Vacuum.
    Vacuum is the Source of the Universe .
    Vacuum is the Absolute Reference Frame.
    Without Eternal, Infinite Vacuum Physics makes no sense.
    Best wishes.
    Israel Sadovnik. Socratus.

    ======================== .
    Although we are used to thinking of empty space as containing
    nothing at all, and therefore having zero energy, the quantum
    rules say that there is some uncertainty about this. Perhaps each
    tiny bit of the vacuum actually contains rather a lot of energy.
    If the vacuum contained enough energy, it could convert this
    into particles, in line with E-Mc^2.
    / Book: Stephen Hawking. Pages 147-148.
    By Michael White and John Gribbin. /


  3. Charlie Brown Avatar

    I thought Brian’s contribution was less to anthropomorphize the cosmos than to cosmologize a phenomenon often relegated to the sphere of poetry: we use the word “love” to represent connection, allurement, attraction, yet we don’t know why we are brought together. “Love” is a signifier signifying the mutualism and inextricable union of seemingly disparate entities.

    Love is not an emotion, it is a verb–a process. We do not feel “love” the way we feel sadness. We do and make love. We love and feel loving, in that we are more able to open ourselves up and bridge gaps of initial disconnection. Love is what goes on in a relationship–the binding force. It is felt, i.e. converted into emotional thought forms and feelings, but it is a tangible, physical process that is observed and produced, giving rise to emotion; the source of sadness, jealousy, rage…(emotions). It is what we sense in the relationships that define community–the energetic capacity for the sum of all action

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