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Thread: When do neutrinos, black holes, quarks, dark matter, and dark energy become real?

  1. #361
    Join Date
    May 2004
    How about this definition - if something is coupled with your universe in any way (ie - interacts, produces an effect on its state variables), either now, in the past, or in the future, then it is real, and a part of that universe.

  2. #362
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    It begs the question-- how do you define "something" if not "somthing real"?

  3. #363
    Join Date
    May 2004
    "something" - a series of laws governing interactions, and state variables
    "something real" a series of laws governing interactons, and state variables that are coupled with your universe.
    "something not real" - a series of laws governing interactions, and state variables that are not coupled with your universe.
    "universe" - a set of things that interact either directly, or through arbitrary chains of indirectness with each other. Includes all members which interact with any part of the set. Does not include members which do not interact with any part of the set.

    I don't know. It could work.

  4. #364
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Grand_Lunar View Post
    The idea I had behind it was this: Say one doubts that a slow approaching car is real. They hold their doubt until it hits them, causing the person pain, not to mention knocking that person on their butt. Could that person still doubt the car is real?
    It sounds like you are defining that which is real as that which is observed. The problem with that is we generally need to go beyond the observations to create useful concepts like "car", we need to seek unifying principles that are fuzzy. No matter what the definition of a car, there will always be gray areas-- was it a truck, was it a sport coupe, a Hummer, an SUV? What if you get hit by something that eludes your definitions, are you any less hurt? It's easy to tell when something real happened, but it's hard to find infallible labels for those things. That's the issue with "when is an electron real", it's a question about the label not the reality. It is the question, when does our label for a concept become the label for something real? But it never does, it is always a label for a concept.

    I assume that with fatal amperage, that the greater amount of electrons means more of a field to cause harm?
    Yes, if we are modeling current as a flux of electrons then it will take a lot of them to hurt us!

  5. #365
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Ocean Shores, Wa
    The quantum world is governed by wave mechanics. Whether or not a neutrino 'particle' will be observed in a given space is a statistical argument, just as the decay of a specific neutron requires a statistical answer. Whether or not these are 'particles' or 'waves with particle attributes' is an important distinction when trying to predict future events.

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