If, in some cataclysm, all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generation of creatures, what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words? I believe it is the atomic hypothesis (or the atomic fact, or whatever you wish to call it) that all things are made of atomslittle particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into another.The Feynman Lectures on Physics (1963), Vol. I, §§ 12, 41 and 44.
...we shall now examine one of the most basic laws of physics, the conservation of energy. ¶ There is a fact, or if you wish, a law, governing all natural phenomena that are known to date. There is no known exception to this lawit is exact so far as we know. The law is called conservation of energy. It states that there is a certain quantity, which we call energy, that does not change in the manifold changes which nature undergoes. This is a most abstract idea, because it is a mathematical principle; it says that there is a numerical quantity which does not change when something happens.
Inside a spring or a lever, there are crystals which are made up of lots of atoms ... Ordinarily when things roll, there is bumping and jiggling because of the irregularities of the material, and the atoms start to wiggle inside. So we lose track of that energy; we find the atoms are wiggling inside in a random and confused manner after the motion slows down. There is still kinetic energy, all right, but it is not associated with visible motion. What a dream!
"all ordinary phenomena that happen everywhere in the Universe, so far as we know, can be explained. ... For example, life itself is supposedly understandable in principle from the movements of atoms, and those atoms are made out of neutrons, protons and electrons. I must immediately say that when we state that we understand it in principle, we only mean that we think that, if we could figure everything out, we would find that there is nothing new in physics which needs to be discovered in order to understand the phenomena of life. ... In fact, I can say that in the range of phenomena today, so far as I know there are no phenomena that we are sure cannot be explained this way, or even that there is deep mystery about."Feynman, Character of Physical Law (1965) at 151.
The First Law of Thermodynamics. The first law of thermodynamics is the law of conservation of energy. It states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Energy can, however, be converted (transduced) from one form to another. ... Regardless of the transduction process, the total amount of energy in the universe remains constant.Gerald Karp, Cell and Molecular Biology / Concepts and Experiments (5th ed. 2008) at 86 and 87.
According to the second law of thermodynamics, every event is accompanied by an increase in the entropy of the universe.
...the mathematical scheme which governs the structure of the universe...Roger Penrose, The Emperor's New Mind, 433.
Marvin Minsky, Society of Mind (1986) 30.6.
According to the modern scientific view, there is simply no room at all for "freedom of the human will." Everything that happens in our universe is either completely determined by what's already happened in the past or else depends, in part, on random chance. Everything, including that which happens in our brains, depends on these and only these:
There is no room on either side for any third alternative. Whatever actions we may "choose," they cannot make the slightest change in what might otherwise have beenbecause those rigid, natural laws already caused the states of mind that caused us to decide that way. And if that choice was in part made by chanceit still leaves nothing for us to decide.
A set of fixed, deterministic laws. A purely random set of accidents.
Everything is contained in The Yoonieverse. There cannot be anything that is not contained in The Yoonieverse. The Yoonieverse is one single thing.
Scientists have proved that The Yoonieverse is governed by Laws of Physics. In other words, Laws of Physics correctly describe all events that occur in The Yoonieverse, to the extent description is possible. Any different description is false, like saying that "the Earth is flat." You prove the falsehood by comparing such a different description with Laws of Physics, e.g., proving that there cannot be "spirits" (spirits would not be made of atoms) or "free will" (such a hypothesis is contrary to rigid and random Laws of Physics).
The Law of Gravity is a good example of a Law of Physics. Everybody understands the Law of Gravity when they fall down and the Law of Gravity skins their knees. Like all Laws of Physics, the Law of Gravity is expressed by differential equations. Newton's differential equations for the Law of Gravity were perfect and Einstein's differential equations for the Law of Gravity are even more perfect. Anybody who doubts that The Yoonieverse is governed by differential equations should be reminded of how the Law of Gravity skins their knees.
As explained by Feynman, everything is made of atoms that move around in perpetual motion. Galaxies, stars and atoms all move around perpetually. Science has also investigated movements of mid-sized bodies, like animal bodies, that are not obviously perpetual but where motion appears to "run down." In such bodies, as explained by Feynman, when motion appears to "run down," the atoms continue to move around perpetually, and even move around faster, if randomly, so the general principle of perpetuity is maintained.
Atoms belong to the more general class of "particles" and Laws of Physics that govern The Yoonieverse are stated in terms of particles. (The particles of the Law of Gravity are not quite perfectly defined at this time, but that's just a loose end that will be tidied up soon.) A solid and enduring material body, like the body of a human being, is made of molecules; and molecules are made of atoms; and atoms are made of particles known as electrons, protons and neutrons; and protons and neutrons are made of particles known as quarks. You are made of molecules, which are made of atoms. Nothing but atoms. There are also lots of particles, atoms and molecules perpetually flying around. The Yoonieverse is made of empty space and particles, including atoms and molecules, and nothing else. Molecules and human beings are mostly empty space since quarks are very little when compared to molecules that are made of atoms.
According to the modern scientific view, all the movements of all the bodies in The Yoonieverse are governed by differential equations. In other words, differential equations generate the numbers and other symbols that describe movements of particles. Movements are transient but differential equations are perpetual. Differential equations are the most perpetual components of the modern scientific view and that is why mathematics governs the structure of The Yoonieverse. Every movement of every particle and every body in The Yoonieverse from tiny and transient to large and solid is described by numbers and by symbols that resemble numbers, making a set of "numerations." The Yoonieverse is fully described by such numerations and by the differential equations that organize numerations. Numerations and differential equations are the only correct description of The Yoonieverse.
One important kind of numerations is Energy numerations. At any particular moment, every particle in The Yoonieverse has an Energy numeration. (A few questions remain on how to define a "particular moment" over The Entire Yooniverse, but that's a side issue.) Energy numerations of different particles can be added to get a sum. In other words, different particles have varying numerations of Energy but they can be added together. All the Energy numerations in The Yoonieverse can be added up: the sum is Constant. Scientific authorities agree that if the sum of Energy numerations of one set of particles gets bigger, the sum of Energy numerations of all other particles in The Yoonieverse must get smaller; and the increase on the one hand is the same amount as the decrease on the other hand. The numbers are equal and opposite. This fact describes every event in The Yoonieverse.
All the Energy in The Yoonieverse adds up to a Constant. This is the Yoonieversal Law of Energy Constancy. The Constant Sum of All the Energy in The Yoonieverse was set at the moment of the Big Bang that started The Yoonieverse (if not before) and it has been Constant ever since. Perfectly, exactly, continuously, perpetually Constant. All the Energy in The Yoonieverse. Constant. Can't be anything other than Constant.
Another important kind of numerations is Entropy numerations. Just like Energy numerations, Entropy numerations can be added up. Unlike Energy numerations, the sum of Entropy numerations doesn't stay Constant. It keeps increasing. At least when added up over The Entire Yoonieverse. It is possible for Entropy numerations to decrease at one spot in The Yoonieverse; but then Entropy numerations have to increase even more at other spots in The Yoonieverse. The Yoonieverse is one single thing and the sum of All the Entropy in The Yoonieverse has to keep increasing. This is another Yoonieversal Law.
Recently, scientists have proved that there are many possible solutions to differential equations that describe a single Yoonieverse and that, therefore, there must be many Yoonieverses. Of course, we are stuck in a Yoonieverse that is one single thing and we cannot travel between Yoonieverses. When our Yoonieverse obeys differential equations that have multiple possible solutions, a random process decides which future Yoonieverse we will inhabit. Random means that all the possiblities are equally likely. It's the same as throwing perfectly cubic dice. The numerations that describe possibilities, called "probabilities," have to be equal. That's the Yoonieversal Law of Probabilistic Yoonieverses. Random possibilities have a perfectly, exactly, continuously, perpetually equal likelihood. Can't be anything but equal.
More Yoonieversal Laws have been discovered, such as Snell's Law, Lenz's Law, Ohm's Law, Kirchoff's Current Law and the Law of Large Numbers. All the Yoonieversal Laws add up and they control everything that happens in The Yoonieverse. Because The Yoonieverse is one single thing made of particles with movements described by numerations and implied by perpetual differential equations, everything that happens in The Yoonieverse is determined by rigid Yoonieversal Laws and random processes. Can't be anything else.
Imagine there's no Yoonieverse(with thanks to John Lennon and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. ("brooding omnipresence in the sky"), who I think would have granted their leave)
It's easy if you try
No Eternal Energy
Brooding in the sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...
Copyright © 2015 Robert Kovsky
Creative Commons Attrib-NonComm-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License