Sunday, May 14, 2006

Inflationary Theory, Take Two

This week’s podcast is going to be covering Inflationary Theory again. After writing my paper I feel a bit more confident in my knowledge, which I will try to present as clearly as possible. The Creationist Claim this week is going to be discussing the arbitrary division of macro and microevolution by Creationists.
Inflationary Theory, Take Two

Graph of Old Inflation Model

Horse evolution

Whale evolution


Blogger todangst said...

Hi Lucretius.

I'm so glad you took this topic on, gonna listen right now, I will come back to comment.

7:30 PM  
Blogger isefra said...

What does this mean by a false vaccum from the 2nd link?

5:56 PM  
Blogger Lucretius said...

False vacuum is a state that seems stable, but if the slightest fluctuation occurs, it rapidly cascades to a true vacuum state.

False vaccums are basically semi-stable states that still have potential energy. For instance, a stretched rubber band is in a false vacuum state. It seems stable, but let it go, and it will rapidly give off it's potential energy to reach a true vacuum state of rest.

10:33 PM  
Blogger isefra said...

So a true vaccum state is a constant steady state? It's very hard for me to see constancy in a constant state of evolutionary flux in states of matter.

1:19 PM  
Blogger Lucretius said...

Well, due to the nature of spacetime, a TRUE vacuum isn't really attainable, but a close-to-true vacuum is. The close-to-true vacuum contains practically zero potential energy. Quantum fluctuations in spacetime make total zero potential energy rather impossible.

7:39 PM  
Blogger isefra said...

I just don't see how one that is 'close to true' is true, if how that's any different from a false state, if it's not completely 'true'. Like say, you have a .000000000000045 potential energy, that's considered a 'true energy' but what if its like---I guess my question is- what's the highest record of a 'true vaccum' that one would label a 'true' vaccum?

7:27 AM  
Blogger Lucretius said...

We call the state true because it's as close to perfectly true (no potential energy) as is physically possible. While a false vacuum state can still physically get closer to a true vacuum state because it has a lot of potential energy it can rid itself of, there is an inherent amount of potential energy that displays itself as the quantum foam that we cannot get rid of. This means, the closest we can get to a true vacuum is going into the deep recesses of space where there is no permanent matter. However, particles will always be spawning out of nothingness, and it's not physically possible to stop this.

3:34 PM  
Blogger isefra said...

I hardly understand anything you say. lol. I'm in highschool. I'm going to ask this anyway. I'm sorry if I am bothering you.

A true vaccum has no potential energy. How can it be without the potential energy, if it isn't permanent? How can matter be created or destroyed? doesn't everything have potential energy?

It would seem that if it were to die, that would be espousing the very energy that you have stated that it doesn't have the potential
for. Doesn't the process of dying have energy too? Doesn't everything have this potential?

Perhaps I am miss-reading you and you are saying that, the 'true' vaccum, in theory, is this is what it would do, in theory, but we don't have an exact physical model of this phenomenon.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Lucretius said...

Let's do a bit of review, because I think you're confusing terms:

False Vacuum: A state that seems stable, but contains a lot of potential energy. The slightest disturbance to it will allow to rapidly release potential energy, until it gets to a true vacuum state.

True Vacuum: A state that, in theory, contains no potential energy.

Matter can be created and destroyed and we see this all the time in the particle world. You must recall Einstein's equation E=mc^2. For instance, take a positron and an electron. The positron is the electron's antiparticle. When the two collide, all of their mass is released as energy.

Also, not everything has potential energy. Photons are purely kinetic energy because they are stuck travelling at the speed of light; nothing more nothing less.

In order to realize any physical process energy is needed. Dying, breathing, colliding; we all need energy.

3:44 PM  
Blogger isefra said...

So from what I remember, kinetic energy is energy that is being used. And potential energy is being used in this process... but not everything has potential energy. So how do we determine potential energy?

It's interesting. I've always been taught that matter cannot be created or destroyed.

I guess, it seems that if it were truly destroyed, than---say, if I burned a marshallow, even if that particular formation was still destroyed, it still has its parts just in a different formation: soot.

So one could completely obliterate a particle? Not just change it--but like---completely destroy it in the process?

I don't know how matter could stop being matter, even if one would mold it to change its physical form marshmallow, into soot.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Lucretius said...

Mass is just a highly concentrated form of energy. For instance, 3 kg of mass is equivalent to 2.7x10^17 Joules of energy (by E=mc^2). If a 3kg object ran into it's antiparticle, all of the mass could be released in an annihilation event that would release 5.4x10^17 Joules of energy. All mass is gone, but the energy still exists.

It is the First Law of Thermodynamics that says ENERGY cannot be created or destroyed. Mass has no such hindrance.

8:16 AM  
Blogger isefra said...

But how is energy not matter?

Are you saying that you could delete a particle? I don't think that's possible because if matter is defined by the energy it displays then it couldn't EVER be destroyed. It could only be changed in its way that it displays itself. Kind of like if you replicated a DNA strand and mutated it, it didn't DESTROY the matter, it simply changed it.


em, of course that's just how I can see it anyway.

Thanks for your answers, a lot of people hardly take the time.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Lucretius said...

Something is matter because it is massive, correct?

Mass is simply highly concentrated energy. We know this from the equation E=MC^2. E is energy. M is mass, and c is the speed of light. How else would photons be affected by gravity, if they are massless? That is, because the equation for gravitational attraction depends on mass, and photons are massless, how else can gravitational attraction of photons be explained aside from a mass-energy relationship?

Energy can also be converted. Mass energy can, for instance, be converted into kinetic energy. This is a well-established notion and can be demonstrated by the following process (this process has been observed in laboratories). We begin with a particle called a pion. The most common observed decay of this particle is into two photons. Now, the pion has mass, but the photons don't, so naturally you're going to ask where the mass went.

The mass of this pion is 2.4x10^-28kg. Yet, this mass is equivalent to 135MeV/c^2 (MeV means mega-electron volts, an amount of energy measured in terms of electrons, notice the c^2, which is part of our equation E=MC^2, in fact… E/c^2 = M! Notice: 135MeV/c^2=2.4x10^-28kg! It's the exact same form; demonstrating the mass-energy relationship!)

135MeV = E
c^2 = c^2

The mass energy of the pion is then given to these two photons: yet we see a conversion occuring. The pions mass energy is converted into purely kinetic energy. The overall energy is the same! Yet, the energy has changed forms: from mass energy to kinetic energy.

I hope this helps: it's a bit of an uncomfortable concept at first, yet it violates no physical laws and is verified by experiments in particle physics.

10:12 PM  
Blogger isefra said...

Hmm. Lol. I’m sorry if I do not understand you correct. I know nothing concerning these equations you provided in your response. Unfortunately I haven’t taken calculus yet…lol

But let me tell you what I’m thinking while reading this:

Mass is composed of energy, right…
Energy cannot be created or destroyed.
Therefore mass cannot be created or destroyed…

I was just kind of following that logic, and I guess I’m wondering now how I’m illogical in thinking that way.

Let me try following you:

Photons don’t have mass, but they have the energy of the pion…So the mass is being converted into an energy equivalent to the mass of the photons….equating to a sort of kinetic energy. I guess, what I was thinking here was that the kinetic energy was composed of a mass or matter in motion, not just energy. I was thinking of something like a ball being rolled down a hill, or a car moving. We see from these examples, a mass used in promotion to the motion of energy being spent, and not just energy, but matter...It just seems difficult how one should determine energy without by the parts of mass and matter.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Lucretius said...

You wrote: " Mass is composed of energy, right…
Energy cannot be created or destroyed.
Therefore mass cannot be created or destroyed…"

This is the crux of the matter. Mass is a form of energy,, energy cannot be created or destroyed.


Energy can change forms, but the TOTAL energy in the universe remains constant. Kinetic can change to potential, mass energy can change to kinetic, etc. as long as the total energy (sum of kinetic, potential, mass, etc.) remains constant.

Mass is one form of energy, and can change to kinetic, like we saw with the pion decay. Mass can be "destroyed" when it becomes kinetic energy. Just like when I drop a ball and it hits the ground, all of it's potential energy is "destroyed" and it all becomes kinetic on the moment of impact.

I'm not going to give up until you understand! :)

11:09 AM  
Blogger isefra said...

Oh! You mean the potential energy of the massed object is destroyed, not the massed physical portion of the object itself!

That's what I was thinking before, when you referred to the deletion of the photons of the pion atom. But now, I think you were just employing the potential state being destroyed. lol...I could agree with all that.


But one more problem that I have, that I believe you inferred that the universe is in a constant state of energy rate potential, and that it must be in constancy, in order that these potential conversions of energy would be made possible.

The problem with this is, I am having trouble seeing how it would be constant, with which we could determine such a constancy. I mean, energy is determined by heat right? But temperature flunctuates constantly. And things like ozone depletion and the temperature rising steadily...doesn't help your case.


Unless: You were to state a contant rate of change, then I could possibly agree with you.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Lucretius said...

Uh oh, I don't think you quite understood…

The TOTAL energy in the universe is constant: we have various types of energy (kinetic, potential, mass, etc.) Adding up all of these types of energy we get a number. This number is a constant. Even though we might lose potential energy, for instance, we gain kinetic energy and the number remains the same.

So, for our massive pion, all of the mass energy is converted into kinetic energy of the two photons! Even though mass disappears, the mass energy is converted into kinetic energy, and so the total energy in the universe remains constant!

I don't quite understand your last inquiry, perhaps you can rephrase?

9:40 PM  
Blogger isefra said...

Umm. I don't know. Lemme try grasping this first.

But how do we know the number in constancy remains the same? What's this number particularly? :S

It seems like people will just say that there's this world at a constant, and I don't understand how we could determine that with the changing constants that we percieve in the Universe...

unless, like I've said from previous, you were to say we are at a constant rate of random change, which I'm still not too sure if that's what we'd have...

But, I mean I can understand there are particular constants in the Universe that have been around for some time.

Like, just like when you throw a bowling ball and a bouncy ball, at the same distance in height, and with different masses, and yet they pertain to the same velocity in speed, right?


But what if one day it didn't do that? Then we'd never know. And yet there's always the possibility that things could change. So we don't know.

It's like opening the trunk in my car to keep checking if there isn't an elephant inside.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Lucretius said...

We have valid reasons to believe that the number doesn't change. First, it would violate physical law. Second, every experiment to date has demonstrated conservation of energy.

Of course, anything's possible, but then again, science is not capital t truth.

The First Law has never been violated in any experiment, and it's quite reasonable to conclude (in fact, unreasonable to draw a different conclusion) that Conversation of Energy is a violable principle.

4:03 PM  
Blogger isefra said...

And I'm still lost with the matter energy thing. lol. Oh well.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Lucretius said...

It must not all be in vain!

I'll simplify it as much as I know how:

Energy can take different forms.

One of these forms is mass.


Energy can change forms.

SInce mass is a form of energy, and energy can change forms, mass energy can change into, for instance kinetic energy.

The mass of a pion, for example, will disappear, but this doesn't mean the energy disappeared. It simply means the mass energy of the pion was converted into the kinetic energy of the two photons. The total amount of energy (mass + kinetic) is the same, so we don't violate the First Law of Thermodynamics.

Mass Energy + Kinetic Energy = C (some constant)

Now, with a stationary pion, all of the energy goes into the mass, and none into kinetic.

Our equation is M + K (zero) = C

Afterwards, with the massless photons, all of the mass energy changes into kinetic energy.

Our equation is M (zero) + K = C.

As you might have inferred: M (pion) = K (two photons).

This is how the mass can disappear: it's simply energy that can change forms.

4:42 PM  
Blogger isefra said...

Well now...if you just said that before... :P

Ehh... how depressing!

4:50 PM  
Blogger Lucretius said...

I've done it! Eureka!

5:07 PM  

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