Sunday, July 21, 2013

Free Will and Quantum Mechanics: Does Free-Will Exist for Us?

     As the days pass by and I sit and think about life and the concept of whether human beings possess the ability to determine their own destiny, ideas pass in and out my mind about how I feel while taking in the countless ideas of what other people, both laymen and scientific figures have to say, but in the end, I truly believe in myself and my own thoughts.  In the holy books that were spoken and passed on around a millennia ago, the prophets who are said to have gotten their ideas directly from the mind of God, but in reality they probably just retrieved them from their own conscience and conscious thought in their own mind, said that God allowed us, mankind, to have free will or the ability to think for ourselves while possessing the concept of right and wrong.  The creator shows us in our heart, soul, and mind what is the right path for each one of us to align to like the stars in the night sky, but just like gravitational attraction, rogue ideas just like rogue objects across the vast sea of space of consciousness and reality, upset this beautiful alignment of objects and ideas that shine in the vast portrait of the sky and mind alike, we can be knocked off course by bad thoughts and ideas that reign over our minds.  These rogue ideas can come upon our minds for variety of reasons have it be addiction: addiction to hate, mind-altering substances, self-interest, power, and greed.  In the end, what crosses my mind everyday as I sit alone, day after day, for I've separated myself from the world again to think in hopes that my thoughts take me in a direction that I wish to travel to is this, Do, we as self-aware beings, truly possess free will to think and make decisions for ourselves, or is our life and serious of events between our birth and death, already planned out by a higher power in the universe?

           Governments and economic powers on this great planet, for as far back as I can remember in history, have always tried to suppress free-thinking and independent thought.  This idea of free and open thought among members of society can and will bring about social, cultural, and economic change although it does not come with ease when ideas of change clash with the mountain of suppression among members of the status-quo.  Free will in my opinion, even if we as a race figure out its true existence in our realm of thought, will always be debated by all of mankind.  Those who think free will does not exist will live in a reality that suggests that thought while those who believe in their mind it does exist will live in a reality where free will does exist.  Is it possible that we as self-aware beings are the Creators that we worship in our own mind?

Quantum Mechanics is quite confusing for a variety of reasons.  When studying photons and other individual particles, they travel in directions known as vectors quantities.  When you release single particles within a box with detectors on all sides, one can calculate the direction and probability of where the particle will end up, and the total amplitude of the particular particle.  Most particles when released into a vacuum chamber with no forces acted on the box from within will go in a straight line, while a few will skew off in random directions while the probability is very low.  You can calculate algebraically such amplitudes of vectors or trajectories by calculating the directions along (x,y,z).  The vector is equal to the square root of the absolute sum along all 3 directions. (x,y,z)  With A being the vector, you would do |A| =
√Ax^2+Ay^2+Az^2

|A| = 3^2+3^2+9^2 =9+9+81 = 99
|A| = √99 = 9.95= the vector.
*Note vectors have magnitude and direction while scalars only have magnitude, but no direction.
As the particle bounces off the top of the box in a vacuum, it will continue in another vector trajectory which again can be calculated in the same manner, and |B| can be added to |A| to give the total amplitude of the particle we are talking about.  We can correlate the probability and amplitude of microscopic particles to macroscopic events of life.  Just as particles released into an event just as humans are, the probability of going in a straight trajectory, or in the case of a human, making the right decision for a given situation, is not always 100%, where the trajectory of a given vector or event has a limit from 1 to infinity where there is almost an infinite amount of trajectories or decisions in which one can go in.  In this situation, free-will is evident because it appears that man has the ability to choose his/her path along the line of life, where one can go along the right path, but at the same time, there is a probability that one may stray off the path that is perceived to be the right direction in which one should go in.
There are some that believe free-will, scientifically speaking, does not exist.  It is believed that at the beginning of the universe, all events that are to occur subsequently are all pre-determined.  Many say that God, or the creator, has a master plan for all of the cosmos, and that the lives of all of us are already pre-determined before they even happen making time and causality non-existent because it seems as though events all happen simultaneously because they already happen before they happen as if the past, present, and future are all manifestations of which the human mind perceives to be separate events in time because we move at relativistic velocities.  If this is true, how come humans, as intelligent beings, cannot see our future in its fullness or did the creator not intend us to see the events of our reality before they occur? At the same time, we all experience deja vu, where we dream both consciously and subconsciously of events that we foresee in the past that actual happen in the future as if the future happens before it happens.  After a reading a book by a famous neuro-scientist, I came to find out that the brain contains almost an equivalent amount of particles as the known universe. It seems as though in a quantum computational sense, that information can be calculated and determined instantly, making time non-existent, allowing the human mind able to calculate and foresee its own future before it even happens.  With that being said, free-will does exist because we once again are the creators of our own reality due to the computational power of the human mind, and that the ability of the human mind, once truly used to its fullest, has the ability to dictate its own events of the past, present, and future, but due to social and psychological conditioning of the human race, we allow society and individuals to dictate our thoughts rather than believing in our own thought process correlated with free-will.
In the end, who am I, just an average 24 year old young man, to determine the mind of the universe and each of our brains, and whether the events of whatever size and magnitude are able to be pre-determined within our minds nor will I ever try to tell someone their thoughts on the subject are right or wrong.  At the same time, whether probability rules or the Creator pre-determines our decisions, it is perceived within my mind that I live with the ability to have and use my free-will in determining my life's decisions.  It may be radical to think within my thought processes that we as humans, have the ability to calculate and subsequently create our own reality in our physical world prior to it happening, this ideology theorizes free-will either scientifically or philosophically does exist, but only if we believe it exists in each of our free and independent minds, but will the day come when we think as one world telepathically where our computational power together will exceed limits never imagined possible.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Are There Other Earths Out There and Can We Get To Them?

As we, human beings have evolved over time, our thinking processes have significantly changed.  As early land dwellers of the African Rift around 6 million years or so ago, our early ancestors were nomads who's only goal or thought process was to feed and protect oneself and one's family.  As time passed and our brains evolved, we became more logical creatures capable of many new things such as making weapons, creating a means of communication, and even exploring across the interconnected continents of what are now, Africa, Asia, and Europe.  From nomads we progressed into civilized beings who settled areas in which grew into communities, towns, and eventually mega-cities of which we are accustomed to living, commuting, or vacationing to today.  The ambition of the human race to explore our boundaries of this great Earth has showed no limits to our race across the sands of time and land.  We have endured great challenges and triumphs that have pushed our race to the limits of our very existence, but like any determined civilization we lived on to tell the tale of the history of mankind.  We lay at yet another forefront of our existence as intelligent creatures.  I'd like to think that mankind will live on for millions if not billions of years from now, but as always, time will only tell.  Will our barbaric, competitive, and overall cut-throat society evolve into a civilization that looks past our primitive mindset of hate, jealousy, and ignorance to see the light shine on such an amazing creation of which we truly are?  Each one of us is a diamond in the rough, yet few realize just how special each of us truly are.  This leads me think about Earth and just how special she really is, or is she? Is Earth apart of a rare breed of planets or one of trillions if not quadrillions of Earth-like planets in the known universe that we live in and whether we live in a multi-verse  of universes is speculation since we’ve never gone outside this realm of existence, but theoretically speaking there could be an infinite number of Earth-like planets with an infinite amount of intelligent life forms living within this multi-verse and this is absolutely mind-blowing to even ponder within our minuscule minds.
Is Earth the first, final, and only destination of the human race?  The first part of that question is quite puzzling for i do not know as much about ancient history of the human race as I should.  It comes with speculation that human beings have been inter-bred with alien races thousands of years ago to create hybrid human beings, but based on my knowledge of the subject i cannot say more simply because i am rather ignorant to the subject matter.  As we grow technologically and scientifically at such an alarming and in quite an awe-inspiring manner, one cannot help but contemplate the future inhabitants of us humans.  Will we go on to colonize space in the next half century?  It is only logical to think that in order we us as a race to live on, we must branch out from our origins just as our ancestors did millions of years ago from the African Rift.  Our planet is far too small, and our scientific advances far too advanced in terms of human life expectancy to have all of us stay on Earth forever, it just is not possible.  The question rises, who will get to go?  Will it be those who are significantly wealthy and powerful who get to branch out upon the last frontier of human exploration?  Will it be those who possess the tools and the knowledge to survive out on the wild frontier who first get to leave the gravitation grip of Earth for good? I read of a man who is designing the first stage of an interstellar space travel in which his craft will go 123,000 mph, give or take a thousand miles per hour.  I even designed a craft based off nuclear fusion and anti-matter that could maybe even surpass this speed, but anti-matter is rather expensive to produce, and even within a strong magnetic field , it is still hard to store it for long periods of time.  In order to get to a nearby star within our life-time we'd have to design and build a space-craft that traveled nearly half the speed of light.   

  t= t0/(1-v^2/c^2)^1/2

t = time observed in other reference frame on Earth
t0 = time observed by person in space
v = velocity of moving object
c= speed of light in a vacuum
So if an observer on the space craft is gone for 20 years is moving at .50c, then the solution would be
t = 20/(1-(.50c)^2/c^2)^1/2
t = 20/.75^1/2      (the c^2's cancel out during this step because .50c^2 cancels out c^2 so your left with .                          75^1/2)
t =  23 years of time elapsed on Earth, and that time grows larger for someone stationary on Earth as the space traveler moves towards the speed of light in the craft which is 186,000 miles per second.

In terms of special relativity, as one gets closer to the speed of light, one moves slower in time, yet as an object gets closer to the speed of light, the objects mass increases towards infinity as a function of velocity, yet one must accelerate and decelerate in an uniform velocity due to the gravitational forces exerted by the crafts propulsion system where acceleration can be seen as the same as gravity. Thankfully with new nuclear fusion technology, we may one day build a fusion reactor on a spacecraft that can create enough energy off from water or solar energy to create enough electricity to power lasers to start the fusion process, so that thought of interstellar travel or at least interplanetary travel isn't as far-fetched as one is led to believe.  In the end, if one is able to produce a spacecraft able that can create a magnetic field, and people are willing to procreate on board, and we have the financial backing, and the technology to do so, the stars are the limit for the human race.

What also crosses my mind quite often these days since a group of my students asked me awhile back if I thought there were Earth-like planets out there in the galaxy or universe.  I replied to them that statistics alone rules that there must be other Earth-like or habitable planets out there.  Each star has its own Goldi-Lock zone in which the temperature of a given planet is just right in which it is capable of having liquid water, which in my opinion, is a necessity for life.  I told my students that day I would go home and do the math for them to see how many Earth like planets there are in the universe, and the number is absolutely crazy.  Given the fact that not all galaxies are the same size and some are much more hostile considering there are galaxies that are in their infancy or colliding/merging with other galaxies the number is just a ballpark estimate, but here's the basic math: 6 X 10^10 habitable planets in our galaxy(60 billion) x 1x10^11(100 billion galaxies) = 6 x 10^21 possible habitable planets in the known universe.  6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 possible planets exist In the universe that could harbor life if they don’t already do.  Although not every habitable planet may not be suitable for us to live on, it is completely irrational to think that we could not diffuse the human race across the nearby galaxy.  In the realm of physics, matter tends to move from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration, so why shouldn't this law not apply to human beings, it seems only logical to increase the chances of the survival of us as intelligent beings?

The newly discovered exoplanet is actually about 1.5 times bigger than Earth, so it’s known as a ‘super-Earth’. The planet, KOI (Kepler Object of Interest) 172.02, is following an orbit that is well within the habitable zone of a star that is rather similar to our Sun
Read more at http://planetsave.com/2013/01/11/twin-earth-discovered-koi-172-02-most-earth-like-planet-yet-found/#AzIWxHZ2yyuGcovU.99 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Is Powering Africa with Tax Payer Money More Important Than Stabilizing College Interests Rates?

In this modern day and age, power and energy are a fundamental need for each of us.  Each month, according to the United States Energy Administration(EIA), an average household uses about 940 kilowatthours(kwh).  Many of us, even myself included, take for granted the ability to have our everyday life lit up and powered by our advanced and ever growing electricity infrastructure.  I can remember on my 23rd birthday, we experienced a horrible storm that brought horrible downpour and reported wind gusts exceeding 80 mph in some places, and subsequently, my home and nearly all the homes in my town of Vineland, were without power for a week if not longer.  Living without power for the week really made me appreciate the luxuries we have in this country of ours.  In Africa, whole countries live without consistent and reliable power and electricity.  Because of this electricity issue, the economic stability and even growth is stunted because of such issues.  As a result, Obama started the initiative, "Power Africa" in which he has allocated funds from tax payer money to G.E. to help bring some 10,000 megawatthours of electricity to the sub-Saharan.  Although i find this to be of great importance to bring Africa up to par with the rest of the world, I find this to a trending theme for the U.S. government:  they help other countries before they seem to take care of their own people.

While were in the midst of one of the greatest debt crisis in American history in terms of college loan debt, we continue to allocate tax payer money to fund projects across the globe.  While Congress has not figured out a way to decrease or stabilize our interest rate for hard working college students and graduates, our government decides to go out and help countries who make excessive profits in terms of natural resources such as crude oil.  Africa is full of corrupt governments who have enough money to bring about proper infrastructure modernization yet we give free money to them.  I am all about helping other countries better their stance in this world economy, but why is it a growing trend to help big business make money with our tax payer dollars while us college graduates and students get the short end of the stick?  I have met my fair share of first and second generation  Africans, and they are some of the hardest working and very intelligent people I know because of the fact they take advantage of what we have to offer them in America, but their governments back home are so corrupt that make their people suffer while they reep the benefits of the sweet crude of which they are fortunate enough to possess underneath their land.  While our nation's leaders are playing global super-hero, we are left to pay more and more back to BIG BROTHER because we want to better our stance and knowledge in an economically evolving world.

While I am somewhat angered by the thought of Congress not taking any action on our College loan crisis, I deeply admire the world working together to integrate Africa into the world economy by bringing them onto the global power grid, so they can effectively use their large source of water, gas, and crude oil resources.  Countries such as the U.S., Japan, and China as well as scores of private investors are working together with ideas and billions of dollars to help bring power to such a vast continent.  In a world that is becoming ever so modernized on a daily basis, it is only right to allow all of God's people to have this inalienable right to power and electricity.  Allowing for better infrastructure for Africa will not only bring great promise economically, but it will also bring great joy to the people of this grand continent.  Children will no longer have to sit in the dark by candle light to read a book, or businesses won't be setback by days or even weeks without electricity.  \

Although I am quite angered by Congresses inability to stabilize and lower interest rates for an education that is basically a must have in our changing economic system, our Congress and the President do nothing to help its own citizens from seeing increasing debt pile up over our lifetime, I feel it is a must to offer a helping hand to Africa to see the people of that continent get to enjoy the light that we in this country take for granted each day.