Chapter X - The Future
The first person to achieve a heat of 1,750 degrees Celsius was the 18th century French scientist Antoine Lavoisier, who achieved it with sunlight focused thru hollow glass lenses filled with wine (hiccup!) Not much later, the French socialist revolutionaries lopped off his head, having in their opinion no need for scientists. TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT No man is an island, genius of today stands on the shoulders of those who have gone before. Genius functions best when relieved of encumbrances of normal day-to-day life that can be handled by the ordinary man. But the ordinary man cannot fill-in for genius. Professor Seth Lloyd, of MIT, presents in his book Programming the Universe the premise that the entire universe is a quantum computer, that the atoms that comprise the stars, and our bodies, are not so much physical objects as they are bits of interactive information. If we learn how to "hack" the programming, we may be able to create, or do... Anything? The idea that the universe we perceive, is NOT made of the solid objects we perceive, is not a new, or far fetched concept. There are teachings in ancient philosophy and religion that things are not really solid, a belief “verified” by scientific determinations that atoms are mostly empty space. Delving deeper, we find that the “particles” dividing that empty space are themselves potentially just standing waves of energy. Quantum physics appears to tell us that at the well below the atom level, “things” appear and disappear all the time. In 1900, Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck calculated a minimum amount of energy, and laid the groundwork for quantum mechanics. There are calculated minimums units for energy, distance, even time, which fit with experiments and observations to date. The minimum energy level is very tiny:
6.62565 x 10-34 watt
If every photon of electromagnetic energy (light) has the same energy (infrared to xray), why the difference? The physical difference is the length of the photon, which determines what other wavelengths it readily interacts (resonates) with, and the wavelength also determines how many “hits” an ongoing “beam” of energy imparts every second (or shorter time period). For wavelength, think a quick punch, vs a drawn out slow push, each with the same energy, and add to it if the energy is in an ongoing beam, the quick punches follow each other in rapid succession, while the slow pushes follow each other over the longer time of the push. The same energy per photon is imparted, but in the short wavelength the area impacted does not have time to cycle and re-emit the energy before it is hit again. Traditional science tells us that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. It was astronomy which provided the first clues that light had some limited speed, as planets did not appear to be in the right positions, or moving as expected, based on known "laws" of gravity, physics, etc. When a reasonably accurate speed for light to reach us from such objects is accounted for, the motions come out right. But doesn't that mean that the planets orbits are calculated as though the forces acting on them are instantaneous? In our solar system, everything is in motion relative to something else. Even the sun is in motion. But while the light from the sun may take around 8 minutes to reach the Earth, our orbit around the sun is NOT centered on where the sun was 8 minutes ago. We orbit where the sun IS at the moment the calculation is made. What's the significance? I've read that any delay in the propagation speed of gravity, in a moving system would cause unstable orbits. Somehow the masses of the Earth and the sun, objects millions of miles apart, are interacting as though there was either no distance, or that gravity effects travel far faster than anything we can measure. Physics continues to be a contradictory subject. How can electrons "do" what we use them for, if they are what we believe them to be? If atoms and the electrons in "orbit" are as small and fast moving as we are told, how is it that light is reflected or absorbed? How do mirrors, or other reflections, work? Light is an electromagnetic wave. When the energy strikes an electron, IT DOES NOT REFLECT as we think of such. The energy of the electron is increased, and re-radiated. If the "reflecting" object is rough, the "reflected" light is scattered. If smooth, the light is re-emitted in a particular direction. How? A wave of visible light is something like 5,000 times as "long", as an atom is "wide", and moving at, well, the speed of light. Why doesn't it "miss" all atoms? How does a tiny, thin wire antenna pick up a radio signal? There are theories, and factual methods, to electronically (what really IS electronics?) make an antenna appear to incoming signals to be MUCH larger that it physically is. Within a chunk of copper at room temperature there are extensive loose electrons, moving randomly over short distances, but at an average velocity of 106 meters per sec. In one cubic centimeter of such copper in electrical terms the power driving this motion is 4 billion billion watts. What about claims from Tesla, Morray, etc, of the ability of their small devices to receive a great deal of power? TIME Science, including reports of high-tech particle accelerators, tell us that the faster something goes, time slows down, and the object gains mass. Supposedly, at the speed of light, time stops, and an object becomes of infinite mass. The time slowing has been shown by experiments. As particles go zipping around, it also seems to take more energy to push them faster, or make them change direction, which we are told is because they are heavier. But, since we've already pushed tiny things up to nearly the speed of light, if the theory of gaining mass was right, they should have weighed enough to strain the mountings of the devices. Could it be that the pushing / turning problem is one of time? If time is moving slower on the fast particle, then when we push hard for "X" seconds, to the particle, it was only pushed for some brief instant, not enough to have any effect. The energy went into changing the particle's time rate even further? If atomic and smaller particles right next to each other can experience time at a different rate, than what we experience as the passage of time must be an average of the input to our body. ELECTROSTATICS Electrostatic force holds the electrons of atoms "in orbit". "Sharing" of electrons, via this force, allows atoms to gather into molecules, and the arrangement of atoms determines the properties of the molecule. Matter, everything from the stars to the DNA and other materials of our bodies are made up of molecules that use these electrostatic based properties to allow life. The atoms are themselves mostly empty space and moving electric charges, with the electrons and protons themselves perhaps being only electrically charged waves. Iron, element 26, has the maximum electrostatic binding force. Power Generation - Electrostatic force can drive particles to fusion. In late 2006, Dr. Robert W. Bussard, formerlly of the Atomic Energy Commission, announced online that his modest company had achieved controlled, sustained fusion, by the use of electrostatic fields, in a device that is simple, compared to the fusion experiments using magnetic "bottles". Dr. Bussard points out that the concept is not only relatively simple, it is not new. He refers to a paper on the topic published in 1924. - Could the hydrogen nucleus, stripped of electrons, be pressed together tight enough by a conventional explosive to fuse? He proposes an approach where the fusion process generates NO NEUTRONS or radiation, it does generate electrons and protons, that might be captured and converted in a shell to electricity at potential efficiency of 98%. Levitation. Like charges repel. There are numerous claims that appropriately configured plates, charged to high enough electrostatic voltage, will lift from the earth and hover. Atomic hydrogen torch. There are numerous claims that if hydrogen is passed thru a spark gap, then burned, it burns a great deal hotter than hydrogen so treated, well beyond any energy that could have been added by the electricity. Could this be tied to what Dr. Bussard presents, that stripped of their electron, and in the midst of chemically exploding hydrogen, the bare hydrogen nuclei are forced together to the point of fusion? The formulas of James C Maxwell appear to indicate a relationship of electromagnetic and electrostatic force which seems ignored by current science. NEW MATERIALS New materials, such as further advances in carbon fiber, might allow us to construct a "space elevator". The ability to put people and materials in orbit, with the expense and waste of current rockets, could permit resource exploration of the solar system. University of Maryland Professor Igor I. Smolyaninov and his colleagues are reported to have "altered" light from a three-dimensional wave, to a two-dimensional one that can essentially adhere to the surface of an object. A use for the discovery is the ability to see details that are smaller than the wavelength of the illuminating light. Several other facilities are experimenting with the concept, including Duke University which in October 2006 demonstrated an "invisibility cloak".
The concept is reported as having the potential for an entire new "spectrum" of devices which use light instead of electricity to perform functions, perhaps new ones that have heretofore been "science fiction" (or perhaps Harry Potter's invisibility cloak).
Stem cell research offers the promise of new treatments for disease, injury, and perhaps even old-age. PERSPECTIVE In the early trans-Atlantic cable, attempts to push high pulsed power thru the cable resulted in high induced currents, heating, and eventually melting of the insulation. Follow on signal attempts used a thimble of water, a single drop of sulfuric acid, and two different metals as the battery, and successfully sent trans-Atlantic morse signals.