Today is the Edge of Tomorrow…

Edge of Tomorrow

Recently I had the chance to see the new Tom Cruise movie which is out titled “Edge of Tomorrow” and it got me thinking in a quantum sense. Now in all fairness I am going to warn you up front of a spoiler alert. While it isn’t my intent to go deeply into the overall plot of the movie. To make the analogies to support my point I will have to share several key spoilers of the storyline so be forewarned if you read on.

The premiss which caught my attention was a plot sequence involving the lead character Major William Cage (played by Tom Cruise) where, while killing an alien he is covered in its blood and from that point on , upon his death the day is “reset”. While this might sound a bit like the classic movie Ground Hog Day, the difference is for Bill Murray was that the “day” itself restarted each day and was limited to one day. However for Cruise’s character it only “resets” at his death meaning so long as he lives the arrow of time moves forward be it minutes, hours or days.

With this there were two interesting parts from a thought experiment side. The first being that the Cruise character Cage got to see the “future” and quickly discovered this was the aliens advantage as if there was a negative outcome of a battle (for the aliens) they simply rewound time and did it over again until the outcome resulted in one which was favorable to them (the aliens). The second is that no one was aware of this “reset” so they simply existed within the loop unknowingly repeatedly both living and dying.

Yet, it was this first point which reminded me of Schrödinger’s Cat where the cat in the scenario is said to be both alive and dead until the point the box is opened and the result observed. The thought experiment which ran through my head as a result of the movie, was this was a loop which was playing though for the cat in the box repeatedly much like it was for Major Cage in the movie. As in my original view [of Schrödinger’s Cat] there was a [static] duality in the box where the cat was both alive and dead simultaneously.

However the movies plot concept changed this thinking as it made me realize there is more to it than just is the cat alive or dead (in fairness I thought of it more in the way of the double slit experiment in absolutes). As there are (and not to sound morbid) other factors to consider in the cat scenario. Such as how long did it take for the cat to die, which organs failed first and so on. In other words there is a sequence of events which happen to either which leads to the cat demise or survival.

This is what was happening to Cruise’s character in the movie as keep in mind when there was a “reset” (i.e. Cage would die), time went back to “zero” so in fact while all of these scenario’s happen in a “serial” fashion they were all in the same “space” of time which got me to thinking about Schrödinger’s box itself.

As what if you opened it 10 times, would the cat be alive 5 and dead 5 (as the poison has a 50/50 chance of releasing)? Or would it be asymmetrical as possibly you open the box before the cat expires changing the outcome? Also say the prior scenario where to happen [i.e. the cat live], would this not be luck? As think about it this way, all of these scenarios are happening in the same space of time, or simultaneously (at least in appearance) so the “realized” outcome would only occur at the moment it was observed. In other words, luck (good or bad) would be a result of the time the observance took place.

Moving to the second observation is the people other than Cage were unaware of the loop either existing or that there were various out comes. So in essence Schrödinger’s Box isn’t “limited”, it in fact is “unlimited” and the world we exist in today could be metaphorically viewed as in that “box”. Therefore is a the manifestation of “luck” simply that of the time of observation? If so, what determines the time of observation of that “time” over another?

In other words, lets say we are playing Black Jack and the dealer asks you if you want to be hit. Will the resulting card be different if you wait 3 second for the hit rather than 10 seconds? Now I know this sounds a bit outlandish, however if you think about it, it is really no different from the case of Schrödinger’s Cat as its state is only known at the point of observation and if you change the point of observation you again only know it from that point. In short, I can not think up a practical experiment in the physical world to test such a scenario.

Now I know you purists out there are rolling your eyes and mumbling about entropy, the arrow of time and the idea a “reset” would in fact violate the laws of thermodynamics. Yet before you jump to a quick judgement, keep in mind that are many strange things in the quantum world which are far from explainable. Therefore it would seem possible there some from of conservation which we are unaware of which might in fact allow a reset (actually numerous resets) to happen…

When Is A Movie Worth More Than Personal Liberties?

This week I must say it was not with surprise, yet disappointment which I read the story of a Columbus, Ohio man who was pulled out of a movie for wearing Google Glasses.  On top of it, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents “yanked” the glasses from the man’s face.  In my mind this raised the question, where is the line between the value of a “movie” and one’s personal liberties?  Will we have ICE agents now stationed at every movie theater door paid for by our tax dollars?

Also before going further, after lengthy discussions and providing he was not using the glasses for nefarious actions such as copying the movie he was released.   So again, no wrong deed was occurring other than him wearing the glasses and becoming persecuted for such and this is what concerns well in fact scares me the most.  As we are now enter entering age of “Techno-Persecution” as be it Google Glasses, cell phone cameras, etc.  The establishment is taking a hard line on these devices and our liberties to our freedoms with it.

While there can be long arguments on this topic, there appears to be several fundamental flaws.  The first being our tax dollars paying for “movie storm troopers” as really?  The motion picture industry makes billions, yet our tax dollars must fund their “commercial protection”?     I am simply at a loss for words, as ok piracy is stealing no question, however if you steal a DVD from a store it’s a misdemeanor, yet torrent it and its $250,000 fine?  Also did the ICE agents stop the movie from being copied no, as the man was not copying it in the first place and two will bet you dollars to donuts that if you check there are copies of “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit “ all over the cyber-sphere so we as tax payers had our money wasted for nothing and too a man’s liberties were compromised because of only his eyewear.

There is no question change breeds fear and the cusp of technological advancements which we sit upon today, we must fear the “Victorian” systems of beliefs which run the risk of placing us all under house arrest as Galileo Galilei was for committing heresy against the Catholic church

Absolute Zero

Many years ago in high school chemistry, the idea of absolute zero entered my world of understanding. As the teacher (Mr Robinet) shared the fact that while an interesting concept, the reality was not achievable. He explained should you truly achieve this to a level of say even one molecule, than a chain reaction would occur as other matter would attempt to fill the void as the molecule which reached absolute zero would have collapsed on itself (as at 0 Degrees Kelvin all motion stops and the electrons would fall into the nuclei and the nuclei’s would all fall together) .

The first thing in my mind which was conjured up was a new James Bond theme if you would as the villain would hold the world hostage with an absolute zero bomb. Yet in more realistic terms I did wonder where all this energy did come from (to prevent absolute zero at all costs), and while dating myself this was before the popularity of string theory. Which on the other hand (IMHO) this lends credence to string theory, yet that’s for another post.

As what has me waxing today is an article in Scientific America discussing the idea that the paradoxes of quantum mechanics are in fact only in our heads. In other words, we as humans conjure the concept that a paradox exists in our consciousness and not in fact reality. Yet this is where I become troubled with the whole thing.
As with our telescopes we peer back in time, as for those unaware. When peering through a telescope, you are actually looking backwards in time as the light you see is from what has been and not what is today. The plethora of galaxies seen in the Hubble deep sky survey no longer exist, as we only see the light of what was and not what is as the photons which created that image left not much after the big bang took place.

As in Hubble`s new challenge they are attempting to look even further back to the big bang, now this is to my point. We will never get to see the big bang no matter how hard we look as it is much like attaining absolute zero, this is an impossibility, yet why? To me the answer is simple as one cannot observe the origins of a system which they are part of. Thus as we peer into the depth of the atom, or the darkness of space, we face imposed limits of being part of the system we are trying to understand.

This is why it’s hard to buy into the concept that quantum paradoxes are all in our heads as our heads are in fact part of what creates the paradox, as its only in our heads were this paradox becomes a paradox. Much as which came first the chicken or the egg, as the existence of both are mutually and paradoxically joined together, yet today we have both.

As be it the dark recess of the atom, or the coldness of space there comes a point where sciences and spirituality cross paths.