Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Dark Compliment

I’m reading about the philosophy of physics (see previous post), so I happen to be thinking of Bohr's wave-particle complimentarity... and resonance:
......An empty bottle, for example, emits a low tone when you blow over it because the tiny vibrations that are the disturbance of the air caused by that blowing all mount up if (and only if) they have a wavelength that fits nicely into the extent of the bottle (much as how, when you give a swing a sequence of little pushes, the swing swings with a larger and larger amplitude). I’m thinking that because the universe has a finite size, so there might be resonance. Maybe the universe is still ringing like a bell from the Big Bang. It is clearly permeated by background radiation (the lingering whisper of that explosion), so maybe there is also resonance. (The universe is growing, so the resonant notes would be lowering their tone.)
......Where is the resonant ringing? Well if the resonance was like a sound wave, we would expect to see bands of denser particles and less dense particles (that being what sound is), those particles being galaxies perhaps, or clusters of galaxies. And if you think of the waves being in spacetime then again, matter would tend to congregate in the troughs. Small ripples move over ocean swells much as they do over calm seas, so we would not necessarily notice anything locally; but such clustering as though in troughs is indeed observed at the largest scales. And most of the wave energy is in those huge swells, which reminds me of the dark matter that, whilst being unobservable (whence the term 'dark'), is thought to make up over 80% of the matter of the universe.
......Galaxies seem to need more mass than we can see, in their stars and dust, to account for how compacted together are those stars and that dust. So my thought is that dark matter might be the energy associated with such huge universal swells. It would be directly unobservable as matter because such swells would be too big to look much like particles to us, much as electrons are too small to look like waves (except when that aspect proves invaluable, e.g. in electron microscopy). Maybe not of course, but I was wondering if any reader knows whether or not the maths of that analogy works out?

5 comments:

Jeff said...

Space is mostly a vaccuum, as you know. Would such a resonance occur where the density of molecules is so low?

Enigman said...

My mixture of analogies was messy (whence deceptive) but the picture should have been, not so much sound waves as the space itself being not flat but curved. The resonance is in that curvature (oceanic swells over which move the little ripples that are the usual bending of space by stars and such:)

Einsteinian physics is often illustrated with the picture of a sheet held by its corners between two people, and an orange plopped into the middle of it, to represent the sun, bending space into a dip in which it sits. A marble (cf. a planet) flicked along the sheet might orbit the orange, its tendency to fall down the dip in the sheet towards the orange (the sun) being compensated for by its momentum forwards in a straight line...
Gravity, in other words, is like the bending of space. Rather than gravity being an attraction at a distance, it is a local bending of spacetime, which is propogated further by some natural resiliance of space. Space is rather substantial on this Einsteinian view, although interactions can also be described by the exchange of virtual particles (and matter is, on the Bohrian view, as much wave as particle:)

The gravitational effect of the dark matter might be to produce a spatiotemproal standing wave, causing normal matter to clump together in its troughs or dips. The dark matter would have its wavelengths dictated by the demands of resonance and so they would have precise momenta but very imprecise position. Similarly in chemistry, electron 'orbits' in atoms are shells, with energies corresponding to whole numbers of wavelengths going round the whole orbit...
The dark matter near one clump of galaxies might therefore be the same matter as that near another clump. Dark matter interacts with normal matter (causing it to be more clumped together) not from a definite position (as normal matter does) but from a definite momentum. What matters for an interaction is that the wavefunctions collapse to some extent, I think, not how they do that (although I have yet to look into the maths of this:)

Enigman said...

Oops, I notice I forgot to say why I was thinking about resonance. I often lose sight of the origins of my trains of thought (rediscovering them as justifications for the oddities I end up with:) ...I was reading about the origins of Bohr's atom (which explained Chemistry), about how the idea of the orbit of an electron around a nucleus became the idea of an electron shell, a standing wave, which resembles resonance:

Like a wire stretched between two fixed ends, which can vibrate only with a wavelength that is a simple multiple of the length of the wire (a picture you're probably familiar with), the demand of coherence, that around a whole orbit the vibration must match up, means that the electronic wave can have only certain wavelengths (and hence only certain frequencies and energies:) ...I was then thinking that if the negatively charged electron is not oribiting the positively charged nucleus (attracted to the nucleus, away from its tangential motion, and equally and oppositely attracting the nucleus to its position at any time) then why, I was wondering, should it be circling the nucleus at all?

Presumably the resonant electron wave is interacting with the nucleus, cancelling out its positive charge even though its possible positions are uncollapsed. After all, its possible wavelengths (and hence frequencies and energies) are collapsed. Maybe collapse is never the collapse of an abstract thing to an actual thing (as Bohr thought), but is the partial collapse of one spread of possibilities into another spread, which naturally spreads out over time. After all, the real world around us is a phenomenal world, the product of interactions, a world of propensities (as Popper put it), and a world that is primarily personal rather than physical if theism is right (as Bayesian reasoning indicates)...

Enigman said...

...incidentally (I should probably rewrite this post) I wonder if the resonant waves might be made of antimatter. That would explain where all the antimatter went, and would parallel the electrons better (galaxies like positively charged nuclei within the electron shells). It might explain why the interaction is between collapsed wavelengths (resonance waves) and collapsed positions (galaxies and such:)

Enigman again said...

I really should write another post on this, but I’ve lots of more interesting stuff to look at at the moment (and then it's Xmas:) If anyone has any ideas about this (the naiver the better, I always think) or has seen any ideas vaguely resembling it elsewhere (even if you can’t recall where) do please let me know below...

I’ve noticed that dark energy is gravitationally repulsive in its effects (and by current theories would be about 70% of the mass), which seems to suit the idea of antimatter standing waves; a bit like electron shells attracted round a nucleus, but rather pushed away from matter, and where else but into a different collapsed state, with wavelengths fixed (initially by the size of the universe perhaps) rather than positions (the fixing of which might be due to soul-brain interactions, and initially—at least—by the external Creator:)

Some dark matter might be in collapsed objects (black holes and such) and in weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) as well. The idea of 50% antimatter might tidy up the rather asymmetric empirical proportions. I think that the antimatter standing waves would induce extra structure into clumping matter (following some original induction the other way round, perhaps). The net effect, of relatively more repulsion away from clumps of matter, would be as of additional attractions within the clumps. It would be like that due to rings of matter around the clumps, rather than in the centre (e.g. in black holes:)