It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Stephen Hawking incorporates the saying into the beginning of his 1988 book A Brief History of Time:
A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: "What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise." The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, "What is the tortoise standing on?" "You're very clever, young man, very clever," said the old lady. "But it's turtles all the way down!"
Two years ago, physicists at the University of Chicago were greeted with fireworks—atoms shooting out in jets—when they discovered a new form of quantum behavior. But the patterns underlying the bright jets were difficult to pick out from the noise.
"In understanding complex quantum dynamics, we start to be limited by our intuition, but machine learning could be a new tool for understanding such systems," said lead author Cheng Chin, a professor of physics at the University of Chicago and a pioneer in using ultracold experiments to study the quantum phenomena that underlie the behavior of the smallest particles and the universe.
In the original study, Chin's lab cooled particles down to nearly absolute zero until they all condensed into the same quantum state, called a Bose-Einstein condensate. Next, they applied a magnetic field, and were surprised to see atoms shooting out in bright jets.
The algorithm picked out a correlation in a shape that resembles a turtle: a ring around a central source that forms the "shell;" four secondary points that appear like feet around it; and two extended points as the "head" and "tail." "If you see a particle going in one direction, there's always another at a 45-degree angle," Feng said. Essentially, it's a series of chain reactions: The first particles interact close to the source, bouncing off each other; the next ring forms as those particles interact, and so on. The physics behind the phenomenon is termed high-harmonic generation.
"In essence, each image consists of many such turtle patterns," Cheng added. "It is turtles all the way down."
This is the image burned in my brain of "turtles all the way down", so I'm going to have to contemplate why the actual data doesn't match this pre-conceived notion:
originally posted by: TEOTWAWKIAIFF
a reply to: Lazarus Short
I like the tiger, elephant, tortoise one myself! No plate! No flat earth! Just one of those coincidences that I had thinking about it being turtles all the way down and was going to post something to that effect on another thread but somebody beat me to it. Then this showed up and made me smile!
Since the actual data doesn't seem to match the turtles drawing, one or the other must be wrong, but whichever one that is, I have to say my drawing of turtles looks more like turtles.
originally posted by: whereislogic
Not much of a turtle though...
originally posted by: edmc^2
I believe what they discovered is just another form of Mandelbrot's Fractal Zoom distribution.