Murphy All The Way

Some of what you’re about to read is actual science, and some is actually just me. You may decide for yourselves, if it even matters in the least.

The laws of the universe are mostly beyond all of us. String Theory tries to explain how quantum mechanics, and astrophysics can be molded into a universal field of everything. The nature of space / time seem to be simple laws, that we still can’t figure out. And it would seem Murphy’s law, plays it’s part in all of the theoretical fields too.

Murphy’s law at it’s simplest form states anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. No matter how you plan for the unknown variable, something is always missed. Murphy’s law is kin to Chaos theory, and helps to predict how a butterfly beating it’s wings in the Amazon, can spawn a hurricane on the east coast.

When we get to String Theory, and Quantum mechanics, it seems Murphy gets in the way again. The closer we can get to discovering how a particle reacts to a stimuli, we get in the way of the results, by altering the shape of space, trying to make better measurements.

It also seems a particle can occupy two places in the universe at the same time. That seems to put a little wrinkle in the previous theories. Also we can only measure quantum length down to a Planck length. and we can’t get a better resolution, as we are limited by our equipment

It also turns out that the universe acts one way, on a cosmic scale, and acts quite differently at Planck length scales. Einstein also had a problem with this very nature. Space / Time seems to be predictable over great distance and time, and incoherent at infinitesimal lengths, and the closer we come to an absolute measurement, the more we screw up the results.

Murphy’s law will not allow us to learn more from our limited perspectives. We will have to stand outside of the universe making measurements, with gear that can view the instance, without altering the space being measured. We are probably still a hundred years behind that spot, and Murphy wins again.

The Planck length? What is that? The “Planck length” is the unit of length in Planck units, and it’s \ell_P = \sqrt{\frac{\hbar G}{c^3}} = 1.616\times 10^{-35} meters. Which is small. I don’t even have a remotely useful way of describing how small that is. Think of anything at all: that’s way, way, way bigger. A hydrogen atom is about 10 trillion trillion Planck lengths across (which, in the pantheon of worldly facts, ranks among the most useless).

That last little scientific bit was brought to you from

So, thanks to our foe Murphy, we can’t go very much farther with all of the newer ideas on String Theory. It seems to be too difficult for the testing and measuring tools we have currently at our disposal. It’s another case of us not being able to get there from here.

Almost 100 years ago physicists Werner Heisenberg, Max Born und Erwin Schrödinger created a new field of physics: quantum mechanics. Objects of the quantum world – according to quantum theory – no longer move along a single well-defined path. Rather, they can simultaneously take different paths and end up at different places at once. Physicists speak of quantum superposition of different paths.

At the level of atoms, it looks as if objects indeed obey quantum mechanical laws. Over the years, many experiments have confirmed quantum mechanical predictions. In our macroscopic daily experience, however, we witness a football flying along exactly one path; it never strikes the goal and misses at the same time. Why is that so?

“There are two different interpretations,” says Dr. Andrea Alberti of the Institute of Applied Physics of the University of Bonn. “Quantum mechanics allows superposition states of large, macroscopic objects. But these states are very fragile, even following the football with our eyes is enough to destroy the superposition and makes it follow a definite trajectory.”
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