B2 High-Intermediate 8 Folder Collection
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Welcome to Space News from the Electric Universe,
brought to you by The Thunderbolts Project™
at Thunderbolts.info
The following presentation is an adaptation of the Mel Acheson Picture
Of the Day article: Matter, Charge and Conjecture.
The link to the article may be found in the description box of this video.
Electricians know the electric force is thirty nine orders of magnitude
stronger than gravity, and the graviticians know the gravitational force
is 40 orders of magnitude stronger than electricity.
This misses the point.
On the purely mathematical level, you can plug
numbers into the equations to get any magnitude of force you want.
The gravitational force between two 10 kilogram lead spheres
placed one meter apart is the figure on your screen.
To equal that force with electricity, the spheres
would have to be charged to this figure:
This could be achieved with a current of one
micro ampere in less than a millisecond.
The technology of nylon rods rubbed over cat fur can transfer
enough static charge to overcome the gravitational attraction of lead spheres.
But can you get electricity to move planets?
That would require a lot of cats.
The question is not relative strengths of forces but rather whether it's
possible to accumulate enough charge and
move it with enough power to toss planets around like electrons.
Irving Langmuir could provide some enlightenment here.
He's dead, but his discoveries linger on.
One discovery was that just a few ions in a substance
can cause it to behave in unexpected ways.
It forms cells and filaments.
Charges separate into double layers that insulate cells from each other.
The filaments twist around each other.
They writhe and radiate.
They seem almost alive--which is why Irving called the substance a plasma.
An accumulation of charge inside one cell doesn't interact
with that in another cell until the double layers break down.
Then they interact with tremendous power.
Another discovery (maybe this wasn't Langmuir's)
was that plasmas exhibit the same behavior over large ranges of scale.
From millimeter-sized sparks in a lab that last a millionth of a second to
kilometer-long lightning bolts that last several
seconds, the same properties can be observed.
A long list of investigators has tried to draw attention to the
similarities between certain astronomical
phenomena and these lab and terrestrial plasmas.
Just on a theoretical level, it seems rather simple
to scale up a lightning bolt that can
toss around our lead spheres to the size
of an interplanetary bolt that can toss around planets.
But does it actually happen?
We can't clip the leads from a planet-sized voltmeter
across the solar system and measure the voltage drop.
So we're left arguing about similarities.
And we all know argument from analogy is fallacious.
That doesn't mean it's necessarily wrong, only that it's uncertain.
The idea of gravity tossing planets around is
familiar, the idea of plasma doing it isn't.
Much of our preference for one idea over another is simply the business of familiarity.
Much of the work required to reach a new understanding of
something is just this effort to make the unfamiliar familiar.
By analogy with argument from analogy, argument from familiarity is also fallacious.
After allowing for the preference for familiarity,
gravity is in no better shape than plasma.
We see large accumulations of matter-which we could just as easily
see as large accumulations of charge if that idea were familiar.
We assume an identity between the ideas of a large
accumulation of matter and a large accumulation of mass, but mass is a
property--that's not necessarily identical with quantity of matter.
The Machian idea of inertial mass being the relationship of a particle of matter
to all other particles within its sphere of communication implies
that a newly created particle increases its mass as it ages.
The Meta Model idea of gravitational mass being the shielding effect of other
matter within the mean collisional distance of gravitons implies an upper
limit of matter accumulations beyond which mass remains constant.
We can't hatch a Machian chicken and see if it grows without feeding it corn,
nor can we stick a large toothpick into cakes of Meta
matter to see if there's uncooked mass in the middle.
What we're stuck with is a conflict of paradigms.
Each explains overlapping sets of data in different ways.
We won't know for sure if the universe is electric until we
travel to a Seyfert galaxy and stick our finger in the socket.
Nor will we know for sure if it's gravitic until
we drop a Newton's apple off the Leaning Tower of M87.
The question of what's the truth is premature.
The truth is this: no paradigm is believable, that is to say, none are certain.
Being stuck with a conflict of paradigms is really an opportunity.
We can choose whichever conjecture strikes our fancy and follow
its implications to see if we can invent something
new to make our lives more comfortable and exciting.
It's not necessary to choose; it's an opportunity to choose.
We're better off having more conjectures to choose from than having less.
It's time to scrap the outworn philosophy of physics based on an illusory certainty.
Instead, a more biological philosophy based on
conjectures and refutations (Karl Popper's phrase) or blind variations with
selective retention (Donald Campbell's phrase) would be more appropriate for
small soft creatures living on a speck of
terrestrial dirt and prancing around the cosmos.
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Gravity vs Plasma – Matter, Charge and Conjecture | Space News

8 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on January 6, 2020
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