Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Day 7 - Fundamentals of Physics - 1.1 - Standardized Quantities

In the following blogs I will be going back to basics, thus I will be walking a step by step process, through the textbook "Fundamentals of Physics Extended", 8th Edition, by David Halliday, Robert Resnick and Jearl Walker, and through the investigation of this book I will open up points as they come up in regards to how we can utilize the world of physics to derive common sense perspective that can, within application, support humanity to align ourselves with the law of physics, as we have been existing in separation from it and only using it to our benefit within manipulating the physical through our acquired knowledge and research, instead of co-existing with the physical, learning from it and projecting what we see in the physical onto ourselves to find inner insight as to how we can perfect ourselves as the physical within the law of physics works as perfection, as wholeness, as unity.

 Chapter 1.1 - STANDARDS OF LENGTH, MASS, AND TIME

The three basic quantities in Mechanics are length [L], mass [M], and time [T], while all other quantities in mechanics can be expressed in terms of these three. For instance, as has been shown in previous blogs, velocity is defined by how much length a body moves in a period of time, thus it would be expressed by length divided to time, thus [L]/[T], volume is three dimensions of length as height times width times depths, thus will be expressed by [L]^3, acceleration is the change in velocity through time and thus will be expressed as velocity divided by time which will give us [L]/[T]^2, and force as we've seen is mass times acceleration F=ma, thus force will be expressed as [M][L]/[T]^2.

Though, as we know all these quantities can be expressed in different units, length can be referring to a meter, a centimeter, a mile etc. mass can be described as a pound, a kilo, a gram etc. and time can be a second, a month, a year etc. Due to all the different options to express the same quantity, we can clearly see that a standard unit must be defined for effective communication within the scientific community and humanity as a whole - to be able to build a bridge over a river we must be able to communicate effectively as to how wide the river is, we must thus speak the same "language" of units, for this reason the scientific community was wise to create and define an international standardized system known as the SI System units, which defined the units of length (meters), mass (kilograms), and time (seconds), and other units for temperature, electric current and more.

It's important to emphasize that the units chosen are completely arbitrary from the perspective that they don't have any actual physical value nor any actual physical meaning - a meter is merely the distance between two lines on a specific platinum–iridium bar, it is a length chosen randomly, it was accepted historically and "stuck", same as with time - the duration of the day was divided to 24 hour periods and then every hour was divided to 60 minutes and every minute to 60 seconds, and this was convenient due to the era and how the measurements were done and it was accepted, though it could have been any other division of the day and the laws of physics would not have been interfered.

This next text is for you to be amused as I was when I read how some of these units came about, here is a glimpse of how arbitrary they are:

Copied from the textbook (pg. 4) - "In A.D. 1120 the king of England decreed that the standard of length in his country would be named the yard and would be precisely equal to the distance from the tip of his nose to the end of his outstretched arm. Similarly, the original standard for the foot adopted by the French was the length of the royal foot of King Louis XIV. This standard prevailed until 1799, when the legal standard of length in France became the meter, defined as one ten-millionth the distance from the equator to the North Pole along one particular longitudinal line that passes through Paris."

The practicality of having an international system for units is clear, yet it's interesting to see that to this day some countries and organizations are still not willing to let go their historical choice of units and to join the rest of the world in unison - there are some units that have proven to be more practical than others, for instance the metric / decimal system is very convenient for length as it goes in the power of 10, so mathematically and intuitively it's easy to deal with this unit and transition from different scales within it as from millimeters to kilometers and so on, you just multiply or divide by a power of 10 - despite the simplicity of the metric system, still today you will find the mile system being used even though it is much more complicated as there are 1760 yards in a mile, and 3 feet in a yard - the only reason this awkward system is still being used is based in ego, separation and money as those that insist to keep on using this system, as America for instance, are doing so from self interest reasons, not considering what would be best for the scientific, engineering and other professional communities and humanity as a whole, as they want to maintain their individuality within "respecting" their heritage or for other political and economical reasons, even though it doesn't make any sense and is actually dangerous as there have been many documented occasions over the years of mistakes happening due to the different unit systems, some fetal and some amusing, due to the confusion in unit conversions or a simple disregard to which unit is being used at the moment - some of these mistake are presented in this document.

Here is a chance for us, as humanity, to learn from this example and take in some supportive features as well as learn from the compromising aspects of this point - within creating the standardized units we are given both an example of applying a common sense principle that is best for all as having one standardized system of units for the entire world, as we all communicate and share information constantly and continually, and thus, having one system has many benefits as well as preventing misunderstanding as the link above clearly show exist, and thus acts within the principle of prevention is the best cure - on the other hand, we are simultaneously shown the nature of the human, as the human exist within self interest to keep an individualized self definition, as a unit system in this case, as the desire to hold on to ones individuality is greater than the practical common sense of all agreeing on one system that will benefit all and will through having one system prevent dangerous mishaps.

Now, just to be clear, it's not to say that the SI unit is the most effective and practical system that can be, though the decimal system has proven itself to be very effective and easy to use, it's the principle of having one system for all, just as the common sense in having one language for all as English is the accepted scientific language, and thus scientist can communicate and share findings through this common language. Once all agree on a system, the system can be adjusted and improved to perfection, and thus form the one most effective system that all work with.

The principle of having a standardized system will have an economic and ecological effect as all equipment for any industry will be geared to one system, so we will not need to produce the same equipment in different unit scales, as well as all the accessory equipment to go with it. Standardizing allows us to put our efforts in perfecting the chosen standard and improving it as new research and data allow us - this type of common sense is suggested in the equal money system, as having the best and highest standard for everything we need, thus for instance, we will have only one best cell phone charger that will be suitable for all phones, this will allow the highest standard taking into consideration all knowledge in the field, and will eliminate all the extra production we are now creating with many different chargers, as each phone uses a different charger and when you change your phone, all the accessories have to change with it because nothing is yet to be standardized. Another example is electricity, there isn't an international standard in electricity so in every country you have to have converters to use your electronic shaver, or laptop, and thus you need to purchase more "accessories" to you equipment, and thus more needs to be produced, and thus more energy is wasted and more pollution is being created - all because we have not standardized.

But as long as we are working with many systems, we will have all equipment in all different units, thus we now see that standardization has an economical effect and thus economic interests are pulling the strings, and not the interest of humanity as a whole, as many people have a profit based interest to keep the different standards alive, because it requires more factories, and thus more jobs and more money flow - this might sound like a good thing, but this is actually a good thing only to those that benefit from the capitalistic system, and it is seen as good only through the narrow sighted mind of capitalism, thus, I suggest investigate the equal money system, as there is explicit and detailed information as how we can create a system that actually support us within being aligned with all that is here, and thus creating a system that is aligned with the law of the physical, as one with the physical as all life that is here, which should be the goal of the science of physics, as this is the only way we can walk with the forces of nature and not against them - as we can be sure that if at war with nature - nature will eventually win, if not the temporary battle, than certainly the war. Thus, we must align ourselves, use all the insight physics is providing us, use the brightest brains according to the system, and apply them to create an entire system that in all aspect supports us as humanity through aligning ourselves to support and walk with all that is here.

Having said that, another point to look at and consider is that, as I've said, the individual quantities and their units have no value in the physical, what does have value is the relationships and interactions between them. Humanity, and scientists as representatives and main influencers on our belief system, have been emphasizing the quantity as what has value instead of looking at and investigating further the relationships and interactions - they have considered these three quantities as mass, length and time to be stable and constant and have gone to great measures to standardize them, but then came along Einstein's special theory of relativity, which I will expand on in later blogs, but in short, what Einstein had found is that all these quantities are relative from perspective that their value changes according to the velocity they are moving in, and according to the frame of reference they are being looked at from, and thus he demonstrated that even mass, length and time are relative, and thus exist within a relationship to their velocity, which means that their property as their value is aligned and defined according to their relationship and interaction with the rest of existence and are not in fact standing stable and independent as initially they have been considered to be.

Yet, the general perspective hasn't changed all that much in over 100 years since relativity and it's implications were discovered - we as humanity, thanks to the paradigm that we exist within, thanks to the scientists that have become like gods in the modern world and their word and perspective of reality has been valued to such an extent due to their influence on our economy and life in all arenas, still view the world within a starting point of individual quantities while disregarding the interconnectedness, relationships and interactions between all these quantities that we so thrive to measure, compare and perfect.

As long as we hold onto the starting point of defining a quantity by it's value, and thus looking for the value of a quantity and disregard it's relationship and interaction with everything else in existence we are disregarding the essence of the world in which we live in, we are ignoring the actuality of reality as everything is in fact in a constant interaction and cannot be isolated and defined as an individualized quantity - this is clearly seen in the education system, as we educate children to compete and achieve good grades as the value given to their studies, but there is no emphasis in teaching them to relate with their environment, there is no attempt to teach them about real intimate communication with each other, the whole education system, as a reflection of our society, is directing our children towards competition, as isolated individual with a value defining them, not through their ability to interact and thus not educating them to interact, but through standardized test, a quantity, a grade, a number - ignoring who they are as life, and looking only at the standard.

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