Invisible College II - The Blind Spot <$BlogRSDUrl$>
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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

G--ateway to A--lchemy

Ancient alchemy perports to transmut one physical element into another. Modern chemistry has traditionally asserted that this is impossible... until one reviews the works of nobel prize winning chemists for the last ten years.

posted by NEXUS  # 5:47 PM


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Development Of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy For Determining The Three-Dimensional Structure Of Biological Macromolecules

Living cells consist of myriads of molecules. The large molecules, which include the proteins, interact with one another and with other molecules in a never-resting molecular machinery. How can we understand what is happening inside the cell? One important step is to develop tools to "see" with. With mass spectrometry we can now quickly identify a substance in a sample by accurately determining its molecular mass. With NMR the three-dimensional structure of different substances can be studied. Unlike the alternative method, X-ray crystallography, NMR can be applied to molecules in solution.
This is a great advantage since the natural environment of the protein is the living cell. If one knows all the measurements of a house one can draw a three-dimensional picture of that house. In the same way, by measuring a vast number of short distances in a protein, it is possible to create a three-dimensional picture of that protein. As so often in biochemistry, form and function are intimately connected. By showing what the protein looks like at the atomic level, how it functions can also realised.

posted by NEXUS  # 2:23 AM


Monday, May 16, 2005

Discovery and Development of Conductive Polymers

At the beginning of the 1970s Shirakawa was studying the polymerisation of acetylene. In his reaction vessel polyacetylene appeared in the form of an unremarkable black powder. On one occasion a visiting researcher accidentally added one thousand times more catalyst than usual. Imagine the researchers' surprise when a beautiful silvery film formed on the surface of the liquid in the vessel. The obvious question was: "If the plastic film shines like a metal, can it conduct electricity, too?"

posted by NEXUS  # 11:10 PM


The Nobel Prize in Physics 2004 Awarded for
Completion of the Standard Model of Particle Physics

David Gross, David Politzer and Frank Wilczek have through their theoretical contributions made it possible to complete the Standard Model of Particle Physics, the model that describes the smallest objects in Nature and how they interact. At the same time it constitutes an important step in the endeavour to provide a unified description of all the forces of Nature, regardless of the spatial scale – from the tiniest distances within the atomic nucleus to the vast distances of the universe. The fantastic and unexpected discovery of asymptotic freedom in QCD (fig. 5) has profoundly changed our understanding of the ways in which the basic forces of Nature in our world work.

posted by NEXUS  # 1:11 PM


Sunday, May 15, 2005

Quantum Metaphysics


HP1. *The whole has more dimensions than each of its constituent parts.*
In our simple example, the whole crystal form has three, the parts only two dimensions.

HP2. *Each part is an aspect of the whole, seen from a lower order.*
When we put our mind into the frame of the 2-D order, then we perceive each plane as a separate, individual part.

HP3. *The whole encompasses all its parts.*
The 3-D crystal form encompasses all its 2-D side planes.

HP4. *The whole is invisible from the orders of its parts.*
To the 2Ds, the whole crystal is not visible, because they do not perceive 3-D space. They don't even know about the existence of their fellow 2Ds in the other planes of the crystal.

HP5. *The whole is an undivided and homogeneous entity, while its parts appear as separate individual entities in their order.* The 3-D space within the whole crystal form is continuous and homogeneous. In contrast, the parts exist as discrete 2-D entities.

HP6. *The whole and its parts are one and the same, viewed from different dimensional orders.* From the 3-D point of view, we see the whole crystal, and we consider its surfaces as mere aspects of the same thing. From a 2-D point of view, we have discrete, individual planes. Another analogy for HP6 is David Bohm's fish-tank with TV cameras. The important point in holistic thinking is to distinguish carefully between observations made from different orders.

HP7. *Both the whole and its parts are real, but the whole has a more profound reality.* There should be no disagreement that a 3-D form is more profound than a 2-D plane.

HP8. *The parts are wholes in their own right at a lower order.*
Each plane is an entity of its own in the 2-D order. In turn, the lines are 1-D aspects of the 2-D planes, yet they are entities in their own right within the 1-D order. And so are the points aspects of the lines, but they can also be seen as entities in their 0-D order.

HP9. *The whole is immanent in each of its parts.*
Our 2-D creature analogy is more representative if we picture the 2Ds as crosscuts of billiard balls, as figure 2 shows. They still have 2-D "bodies", but their real self is invisible to them in 3-D space, as ours is for us in M-D space. Asked about the location of their real selves, they would say that they are inside their bodies but transcendent to them. The term used for inside while simultaneously transcendent is "immanent".

HP10. *A change of any part goes simultaneously with a change of the whole, and a change of the whole goes with changes in its parts.*
A change of any crystal plane goes with a change of the whole crystal form, including other planes. One has to be careful here not to assume too easily a cause and effect relationship. From the lower-order environment of the parts we might conclude that one part pushes its adjacent parts around, causing them to change. But, viewed from the higher dimensional order of the whole, the whole is undergoing a change that is reflected in its aspect-parts, perhaps without us being able to say where the change originates. From the whole's point of view, there is no difference between the whole and its parts (HP6). It makes no sense to differentiate between a cause coming from a part or the whole. For instance, when faced with the problem of fitting a crystal into a non-yielding mounting, it makes no difference whether one changes the length of lines, the shape of planes, or the form of the crystal. All goes together simultaneously. More will be said about causality within a holon in section 4.
It is very important to understand how change is transmitted within a holon. Suppose one part changes in some way. This is associated with a corresponding change of the whole. Now, since the whole is immanent in all its parts, they are all affected, their inner disposition is changed, affecting their future trend. The communication between the parts via the whole occurs because the whole is homogeneous, undivided.

HP11. *It is impossible to perceive simultaneously more than one aspect of a whole undistorted from a lower order.*
Assume that we take a photo of a crystal, with the camera film parallel to one of its planes. Only this plane appears with its correct shape on the photo, all other aspects appear either distorted or not at all. The 2-D photo is in a lower order than the 3-D crystal.

HP12. *The holon principles 1 through 11 apply to all dimensional orders.*
The reader may want to verify each holon principle for the case that the crystal planes are the wholes and the lines their parts. Then repeat the same for the lines as wholes and the points their parts. (Note that points can change only their positions). Having established that the principles are valid for all three transitions from 0-D through 3-D, the best assumption we can make is that they are also valid for all higher dimensional orders. HP12 is postulated as a reasonable hypothesis.

HP13. *The holon principles 1-12 are aspects of one master holon principle.*
The holon can be experienced directly, without passing sequentially through the principles 1-12 one at a time. This writer had this experience spontaneously as a young person. It was impossible to describe the holon directly without braking it down into discrete, individual principles. Even then, something is still missing: the homogeneity, the depth, the integrity, the vitality of the holon. The holon principles are an interrelated group. A mathematician might be able to formulate a single expression for the holon, from which the individual holon principles can be derived. We shall apply the holon principles as a "holistic logic" to research the M-D reality.

posted by NEXUS  # 11:25 PM


Saturday, May 14, 2005

The Story of Everything
The Descent from Symmetry to Insanity

Put aside what you think you know. Imagine for a moment that for your entire life, you have heard not the simple truth, but a carefully crafted tale. Your whole understanding of history is based on that fabrication, and it is just the latest version of a lie that has been told for generations. You continually see the clues, because like any lie, there are countless loose ends and absurdities that become obvious to anyone who opens their eyes and wonders why ...
There is an inner sense telling you that something is askew. Your rational mind doesn’t know what to do with the hunch. You try to ignore it, and are left with a slight cognitive dissonance that clouds your perceptions in subtle ways.

posted by NEXUS  # 12:53 PM


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Motorized Couch

MIT student, Adam augmented this sofa with a two-stroke gasoline engine. Soon to be fitted with a virtual X-Box station, and the 'Emergency Pizza Button', this feat of MIT imagineering genius is sure to be harolded as a major advance in the reclaiming of the American male persona. Adam's future plans include a trip to the local drive in with a 'hot date'.

posted by NEXUS  # 12:33 AM


Thursday, May 05, 2005

SIMS Universe

Maxis' is trying out several new plugins for their famous SIMS game. Among the most popular themes are the University expansion pack, and the Makin' Magic expansion as well. In these virtual realities, the game player can now explore many more worlds that were previously unavailable to them.

posted by NEXUS  # 12:16 AM



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