Coming Through in Waves

Some help, please.

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Coming Through in Waves

#1  Postby hackenslash » Mar 09, 2022 2:06 am

Ok, so I'm in the middle of a grand unification, of sorts. I don't know how many still (or ever did) read my output, but I started a while ago on a series aimed at demystifying notation, and another series defining expertise as the intuition for variables in a given field. I also did a lot of stuff a long time ago on waves, and on quantum mechanics, and other disparate but related areas in physics. I'm starting to tie it all together.

I'm writing a lot about the mythology surrounding intuition, and common sense, and I wanted to expose some of where my own intuitions come from. In particular, it's no secret that I'm borderline ignoramus when it comes to mathematics. I've been working hard in recent months to rectify some of that, but it's mostly been in the course of researching this post so that I can describe in a technical manner how my intuitions intersect with reality and the technical language. I don't need Fourier's Theorem to understand composite wave construction, interference fringes, uncertainty, superposition and so on, but I need Fourier's Theorem to talk about why it makes sense to me without it.

So, I've written a fair bit about this in the past, about things like how waves work, how they combine, how interference works, how harmony works, etc. I've also written a good lot about quantum mechanics, and how the de Broglie relations show symmetry between physical observables.

So, in this post - one of several pinging about my somewhat lepidopteran brain - I'm describing the anatomy of a wave. Previously, I've shown what overlaying sine waves looks like with their structure intact, like this:

Image

This diagram was constructed, of course, for a very specific purpose, namely to show that the periodicity in any regular confluence of wave forms explained harmony. This post will essentially conduct a complete anatomical examination of a wave, and then a population of waves, and then the evolution of waves. It's going to be a pfrankinfrickinwetdreamstein of a com,plete explanation of the universe, including the Big Bang, cosmic inflation, baryon acoustic oscillations in the CMBR, Turing's analysis of the distribution of pigmentation in animal pelts, why Peter Andre is an unmusical, talentless waste of bandwidth, climate change, my the universe is - all at the same time - periodic, random, predictable and chaotic, why guitar pickups hum and where the hum comes from, why photons, and light, and electrons, and charge, and protons and matter and all the whole fucking shitshow is fuck all but waves.

The rubes were all blown away when Max fucking Tegmark said the entire universe was numbers. He was talking shit. He thought that because the universe can be quantified. And why can it be quantified?

Because π.

I know, right? The physics bods and maffs geeks will already see where I'm going, I suspect.

I've done very little about the ubiquitous myth that Einstein "predicted gravitational waves in his 1915 paper on General Relativity", which just ain't true, by a long, long stretch*, so that's my opening gambit, but what I need help with is this.

I have oodles of examples of where waves manifest in reality. Where I need help is in identifying areas I haven't come across where waves are a fundamental part of somebody's thinking but in which they might not have made the connection to all the things that waves and wave equations explain. I'm reluctant to make a list of the terrain I'm going to cover because, in my considerable study of what happens to humans when asked to think of an example of something that excludes part of the terrain, the terrain ends up less complete by considerably less than the excluded amount. If it isn't obvious whether such an explanation might apply, there's a simple question to ask:

Is this a distributed process?

If there's a distributed process you can understand, it can best be modelled as waves.

If it looks necessary, I'll ask for strict moderation. This shouldn't be a remotely contentious topic, and it's aimed primarily at extending my understanding so that I can extend that understanding to my meagre but dedicated readership. Please respect the intent. PM me if you have objections, or start a peanut gallery thread if you think it should be public, though I won't be drawn in public into answers that might influence people's thoughts.

*there have been a couple of really good books about fake knowledge released in the last few years; Fake History, by Otto English, is truly excellent, and especially explodes many of the myths about 'Tommy spirit' and all the WWII hurrah camaraderie bullshit that drives a lot of the Brexit narrative. There are other examples. Among the many ideas for a book I've toyed with over the years since it became clear that my original idea was going to be a problem was one entitled 'Fake Science: Things Everybody Knows About Science That Just Ain't True', but it was too big, so I tried to trim it, and got down to 'Fake Physics:...'. Eventually I got down to 'Fake Einstein:...' and it was still a colossal undertaking. I still might take some iteration of this on one day, but my focus is elsewhere for the moment.

I'd be happy to answer any questions here by PM. I tried something like this elsewhere recently on a forum run by a former member here, and the response just made me feel like I was trying to sneak up somebody's scrotum, or that I had some trollish motivation. I'm hoping my motivations are understood sufficiently here at least to avoid that sort of thing, but PM me and I'll answer any pertinent questions as long as it doesn't impact the responses. This is a principle garnered over many years of research into human behaviour, and in particular study on human reactions to cognitive stimuli. If anybody has doubts, ask about me. I'm serious, and this neither a trivial question nor a trivial undertaking. I'm really trying to learn as much as I can to do the best job I can at presenting it. I'm still truly aiming at finishing a book, if it kills me.

some members may remember my button experiment, wherein I had an image in my signature with a big red button and the caption 'do not push this big red button' and how many clicks it registered in a very short space of time.
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Re: Coming Through in Waves

#2  Postby Macdoc » Mar 09, 2022 7:19 am

I'm still in wonderment that a particle suspended in an ocean wave stays mostly in place while the monstrous architecture of an open ocean roller traverses 5,000 miles.

Good luck. :coffee:
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Re: Coming Through in Waves

#3  Postby newolder » Mar 09, 2022 8:37 am

Macdoc's comment brought back memories of an undergraduate physics course @ Liverpool and its recommended textbook by I.G.Main: Vibrations and Waves in Physics The front cover shows the near circular patterns of motion below a propagating wave quite well...
I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops. - Stephen J. Gould
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Re: Coming Through in Waves

#4  Postby hackenslash » Mar 09, 2022 12:53 pm

Oooh, thank you.
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Re: Coming Through in Waves

#5  Postby BWE » Mar 11, 2022 4:42 am

I did marine sciences back in another life where there was really a heavy emphasis on waves in various equations. Even though I can imagine seeing a sort of bring it all together sort of post using waves, I think you would just run into chaos before hitting much utility. We didn't know the term chaos much at the time but it's familiar to everyone now. There is a point where you end up with what is essentially white noise. Maybe an analogy to holographs?
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Re: Coming Through in Waves

#6  Postby hackenslash » Mar 11, 2022 8:20 am

To be fair, it's not really a unifying theory of everything, I was being slightly facetious for the benefit of a specific poster. It's more a glimpse into where my intuitions come from, and the anatomy of waves and their myriad applications in modelling and understanding dynamic systems even in places where it isn't clear. In answer to your query at TR, for example, I don't really think you could do useful political analysis with waves, though I do think you could model trends in politics - placement of the Overton Window and underlying trends in media, for example - using waves.

TBH, the post is mostly just an excuse to extend my notation series and to try to build better intuitions for quantum theory. I want to move into more advanced areas than I've covered so far, so it's groundwork for what's to come.
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