Archive for March, 2013

I would like to bring to your attention the last couple of paragraphs of my Inaugural Lecture.  This explains why I believe we live in a Matrix Universe.

It really is very strange that mathematics should describe our physical world so well.  There is after all no good reason why certain mathematical functions should so precisely describe what goes on in our physical world, unless there is of course some hidden link between these two sciences.  In fact some people find this so peculiar they have written papers on the subject, as Eugene Wigner first did with  “The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the physical sciences”.

Einstein is said to have remarked, “The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.”  And I think this guy knew what he was talking about.

To quote Wigner:
“The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.” 

Is this one of those cases where you introduce complexity when it isn’t really there, or is there something deep and meaningful here?  Why should mathematics be able to describe physical events so well?  As any Mathematician will tell you, the maths is already “out there” it has an existence of its own independent of us, all we do is occasionally turn over a new stone and find a new piece of maths that had always “been in existence” independent of us.  Likewise with our physical measurements and experiments, the results of these experiments has always “been there” we just came along at this particular point in time to uncover some of them.

If you were to apply Occam’s Razor to this problem, where Occam’s Razor states that the simplest most logical answer is usually the right one – you might be led to conclude – as some people firmly believe, that the reason mathematics so “unreasonably” describes the “real” world we live in is because we really are “living” inside a computer simulation – the Matrix had it right all along!

Thank you for listening, have a good evening, and let’s hope the program doesn’t decide to crash tonight!

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Noel Carboni combined the Hyperstar III and mini-WASP data for this image.

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The Big Bang was when the simulation was first started.

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Today’s Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD) is Hind’s Crimson star acquired at the New Forest Observatory and processed by Noel Carboni in Florida U.S.A. 🙂

 

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You can see a new bunch of fractal renders on the Scientific Artist web site:

http://www.scientificartist.com/

 

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A recent image of Sirius shows something new in the vicinity.  A type III civilisation has constructed a Dyson sphere around our brightest star.

 

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Managed to get out for just a few minutes last night and as Leo was in a good position I focused up on Regulus and let the mini-WASP do its thing.  Rather disturbing news when I processed the data this morning, looks like we have some unwelcome visitors right on our doorstep 🙁

 

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Noel Carboni processed the recent Tania Australis data, and as you can see, he made a much better job of it than me 🙂

 

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Friday February 15th was a very eventful day for astronomers world-wide.  Simon Parkin had already arranged to broadcast the weather live from the New Forest Observatory that evening due to the near miss asteroid DA14 that was due in our skies that evening.  What nobody had expected was the huge Russian no-near-miss-at-all asteroid that crash landed that morning.  Typical, you wait for over a Century and then two come along on the same day.  Anyway, here is some YouTube footage of the broadcast from the NFO.  Yes I did get West mixed up for East (the asteroid came up from low in the East) – I put this down to my two years in New Zealand where up is down and left is right and it has absolutely nothing to do with my age 🙂  Video footage is Copyright Meridian News & Weather.

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Managed a full half-hour of imaging using 3-minute subs and all three cameras on the mini-WASP array last night.  Nice bright red star Tania Australis and nearby spiral galaxy NGC3184 in Ursa Major were the objects of attention.  Need a lot more time and some longer subs on this interesting area, lots of background faint fuzzies to be had as well.  Tania Borealis lies in the frame above this one and I’d like to get that as well to create a nice two-framer of this region.  But with the weather we’ve had here over the last 4-months I’m not holding my breath.

 

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