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Friday, February 29, 2008

Phrases from Daniel Faraday's Chalkboard and Notebook [Updated]

[Updated March 1, 2008 with Wikipedia references and quotations, plus other information and questions]

In Season 4 Episode 5, "The Constant," we get to see Daniel Faraday in 1996 doing time travel experiments with a lab rat's consciousness. He has a chalkboard on which he has written a number of equations and diagrams. Later on the island, we see closeups of his journal, which includes still more equations, diagrams, and interesting phrases. Sledgeweb [1][2] and DarkUFO [1][2][3] have some screencaps of Dan Faraday's chalkboard and notebook. Some of the notable phrases that I've been able to pick out are as follows:
  • "Kerr metric"
    • Wikipedia: Kerr metric
      • describes the geometry of spacetime around a rotating massive body
      • the Kerr metric permits closed, time-like loops in which a band of travelers returns to the same place after moving for a finite time by their own clock; however, they return to the same place and time, as seen by an outside observer
        • Could this explain what's going on with the time difference on the island?
  • "Kerr might work! Can it evade Hawking's chronology protection conjecture?"
    • Wikipedia: Chronology protection conjecture
      • a conjecture by the physicist Professor Stephen Hawking that the laws of physics are such as to prevent time travel on all but sub-microscopic scales. ...the aspects of physics which make time travel impossible at macroscopic scales, thus apparently preventing time paradoxes. He says: "It seems that there is a Chronology Protection Agency which prevents the appearance of closed timelike curves and so makes the universe safe for historians."
        • An example of a time paradox is the grandfather paradox, in which a time traveler goes back in time and kills his own grandfather before his father was conceived. If the time traveler succeeded in his mission, then the time traveler never would have existed in the first place, so how could he have traveled back in time to kill his grandfather?
      • In 1996, Li-Xin Li published a paper in which he postulates the anti-chronology protection conjecture: "[Under specific circumstances, t]he chronology protection conjecture might break down, and the anti-chronology protection conjecture might hold: There is no law of physics preventing the appearance of closed timelike curves."
        • What specifically does Dan mean that "Kerr might ... evade Hawking's chronology protection conjecture"?
  • "Cone theory combining trinity to infinity"
  • "Relative quantum mechanics"
    • Wikipedia: Introduction to quantum mechanics
      • Quantum mechanics (QM, or quantum theory) is a physical science dealing with the behaviour of matter and energy on the scale of atoms and subatomic particles / waves. QM also forms the basis for the contemporary understanding of how very large objects such as stars and galaxies, and cosmological events such as the Big Bang, can be analyzed and explained. Quantum mechanics is the foundation of several related disciplines including nanotechnology, condensed matter physics, quantum chemistry, structural biology, particle physics, and electronics.
    • Wikipedia: Relational quantum mechanics
      • Relational quantum mechanics (RQM) is an interpretation of quantum mechanics which treats the state of a quantum system as being observer-dependent, i.e., the state is the relation between the observer and the system.
  • "Temporal sloshing"
  • "Temporal double-well"
  • "Space-time interval"
    • Wikipedia: Spacetime
      • Spacetime entails a new concept of distance. Whereas distances in Euclidean spaces are entirely spatial and always positive, in special relativity the concept of distance is quantified in terms of the space-time interval between two events, which occur in two locations at two times ... Space-time intervals may be classified into three distinct types based on whether the temporal separation or the spatial separation of the two events is greater
  • "The Lorentz invariant"
  • "Relativistic mass of the particle as measured"
    • Wikipedia: Mass in special relativity
      • The term mass in special relativity usually refers to the rest mass of the object, which is the Newtonian mass as measured by an observer moving along with the object.
  • "Imaginary space"
  • "Imaginary time"
    • Wikipedia: Imaginary time
      • Imaginary time is a concept derived from quantum mechanics and is essential in connecting quantum mechanics with statistical mechanics. Imaginary time is obtained from real time via a Wick rotation
Are there any physicists or readers familiar with space-time theory who can try to explain some of these phrases in layman's terms? If so, please post in the comments section of this article and enlighten the rest of us. =)

I'm planning to do a special space-time theory podcast at some point during a break or hiatus with Curt Yanko from the Black Rock Podcast, Steve from the Smoke Hatch, and others. We'll be discussing Stephen Hawking's book A Brief History of Time and how it ties in with the show, as well as other time travel related subjects. Details on the date and time are still being worked out. In the mean time, please e-mail me at thelostmeister+timetravel at gmail dot com if you would like to participate, if you have any MP3 comments, or if you want to write in with any theories or thoughts about time travel on LOST.

If you have a product or service that you'd like to market to thousands of LOST fans, find out how you can become a sponsor of this blog and podcast! Send an e-mail to thelostmeister+marketing at gmail dot com.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

the diagram with the circles is looking at the interaction between realative brains which is touched on by Hawkins in his book.

As for imaginary time and Imaginary space these are normally used in mathematical constructs and behave opposite to certain numbers.

It then gets complicated.

Brief history of time covers most the areas ou mentioned and you can find good sources in COSMOS by Carl Sagan also.


Friday, February 29, 2008 12:09:00 PM  

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