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Instantaneous Velocity in Brownian Particles Observed

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posted on May, 21 2010 @ 08:00 PM
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Instantaneous Velocity in Brownian Particles Observed, a Century After Einstein Said It Would Be Impossible




"This is the first observation of the instantaneous velocity of a Brownian particle," says Raizen, the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Regents Chair and professor of physics at The University of Texas at Austin. "It's a prediction of Einstein's that has been standing untested for 100 years. He proposed a test to observe the velocity in 1907, but said that the experiment could not be done."

....

"We've now observed the instantaneous velocity of a Brownian particle," says Raizen. "In some sense, we're closing a door on this problem in physics. But we are actually opening a much larger door for future tests of the equipartition theorem at the quantum level."

There, he expects that equipartition theory will break down, leading to new problems and solutions surrounding the quantum mechanics of small particles composed of many atoms.
Science Daily


Science fiction author Douglas Adams raised the visibility of Brownian Motion in popular culture when he included it in his description of a Finite Improbability Generator in his work The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Said generator required a source of truly random motion and this was provided by an atomic vector plotter suspended in "a nice hot cup of tea".
Brownian Motion

Finally, we can make the Finite Improbability Generator a reality!


What I found most interesting was that Einstein made another erroneous prediction. I'm not sure exactly what this means though. Anyone knowledgeable in this area care to clue us in?




posted on May, 23 2010 @ 07:11 AM
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reply to post by sirnex
 


Einstein also said that while he had proven that a small amount of matter is equivalent to a huge amount of energy, it is so tightly locked up that it would never be harnessed.

He didn't believe in black holes either.

He was completely and utterly mistaken on the matter/energy conversion but the impossibility of black holes is easy to see if one understands the true (apparent ) nature of black holes (unless the second law of thermodynamics is flawed of course......as in the creation of the universe....).

Brownian Motion eh? Sounds like a load of crap....



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 07:27 AM
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reply to post by OZtracized
 


What do you mean Brownian motion seems like a load of crap? I don't know much about it, but I thought it was interesting that they said they discovered it to have instantaneous velocity and what not. If you can explain it better, I would be greatly appreciated!



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 07:36 AM
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reply to post by sirnex
 


That was meant to be a joke actually, like a had a brownian motion this morning...

I'm sorry, it was bad.



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 09:58 AM
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Originally posted by sirnex
reply to post by OZtracized
 


What do you mean Brownian motion seems like a load of crap? I don't know much about it, but I thought it was interesting that they said they discovered it to have instantaneous velocity and what not. If you can explain it better, I would be greatly appreciated!


It's really bizarre. I think I was about 8 or 9 years old when I saw it for the first time and I realized the world was a strange and mysterious place. There was a bowl of water and I had shaken something dusty over the bowl. When the dust particles reached the surface of the water, I could see them dancing around almost like a pinball bouncing around in a pinball machine. It's one of my most vivid childhood memories. It wasn't until years later that I learned about Brownian motion and what caused that:

plus.maths.org...


In 1828, the British botanist Robert Brown studied the random motion of small pollen particles on the surface of water. This random motion is due to the fact that small particles (that is, water molecules) hit the pollen randomly.


Einstein may also have been wrong about the "cosmological constant", which he came up with and later called one of his biggest mistakes. What's interesting about that, is that in 1998 observations were made about the expansion of the universe accelerating, and some scientists believe that the cosmological constant might account for that. So maybe it wasn't one of his biggest mistakes after all.

Einstein DID have a problem with black holes too. But like any other scientist, his ideas are subject to verification. And we do see stars orbiting around a point in the sky where we can't see anything. So as far as we can tell, there must be a black hole or something there that we can't see for those stars to orbit like that. And we can tell the mass of what they are orbiting around is more than 4 times more massive than our sun, which is the lower end of mass for a gravity black hole to form.



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 10:12 AM
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reply to post by OZtracized
 



He was completely and utterly mistaken on the matter/energy conversion


Are you a nuclear weapons denier?



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 10:15 AM
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Originally posted by DJW001
reply to post by OZtracized
 



He was completely and utterly mistaken on the matter/energy conversion


Are you a nuclear weapons denier?


Read his whole post, you took that one statement out of context.


Einstein also said that while he had proven that a small amount of matter is equivalent to a huge amount of energy, it is so tightly locked up that it would never be harnessed.


This is what Einstein was mistaken about in that regards.



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 10:20 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


Thanks for the link, I just started reading it now.

As for Einstein, I don't personally think the guy got it right. The minute we noticed there wasn't enough mass according to his model and we needed to invent invisible explanations which are usually reserved for religions, was the day we should have scrapped his theory and took a new look at the problem.



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 10:20 AM
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reply to post by sirnex
 



Read his whole post, you took that one statement out of context.

Einstein also said that while he had proven that a small amount of matter is equivalent to a huge amount of energy, it is so tightly locked up that it would never be harnessed.


This is what Einstein was mistaken about in that regards.


Sorry. My bad.



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 01:45 PM
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Originally posted by sirnex
reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


Thanks for the link, I just started reading it now.

As for Einstein, I don't personally think the guy got it right. The minute we noticed there wasn't enough mass according to his model and we needed to invent invisible explanations which are usually reserved for religions, was the day we should have scrapped his theory and took a new look at the problem.


The Earth isn't invisible. It's just really, really hard to see from a great distance. In fact for the same reason, we really haven't seen the other planets we've discovered, so you could say they're invisible too, or "not visible" would be technically more accurate.

But I don't think Einstein was infallible, just pretty darn good in the way Newton was pretty darn good. It turns out Newton wasn't 100% right and I'm sure we'll find that about Einstein too, but still both of their theories have withstood the test of time and many, many observations.

I'm going to have to research this "equipartition theory" mentioned in the OP though, I'm not familiar with it, or at least it's not ringing any bells.



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 03:08 PM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 



The Earth isn't invisible. It's just really, really hard to see from a great distance. In fact for the same reason, we really haven't seen the other planets we've discovered, so you could say they're invisible too, or "not visible" would be technically more accurate.


Aye, but you know what I mean.


But I don't think Einstein was infallible, just pretty darn good in the way Newton was pretty darn good. It turns out Newton wasn't 100% right and I'm sure we'll find that about Einstein too, but still both of their theories have withstood the test of time and many, many observations.


Agreed, and I've mentioned this elsewhere, Einstein may have gotten some of it right, but as a whole, the theory just fails, hence it's requirement to invent things that aren't observed nor implied to exist by observation and are wholly unfalsifiable. You can't prove an invisible invention, it's like trying to prove God is real.


I'm going to have to research this "equipartition theory" mentioned in the OP though, I'm not familiar with it, or at least it's not ringing any bells.


Ditto, it's a new one for me as well. Can't wait to learn some more about this!



posted on May, 23 2010 @ 03:31 PM
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Originally posted by sirnex


What I found most interesting was that Einstein made another erroneous prediction. I'm not sure exactly what this means though. Anyone knowledgeable in this area care to clue us in?





From here:


In 1907, Einstein likely did not foresee a time when dust-sized particles of glass could be trapped and suspended in air by dual laser beam "optical tweezers." Nor would he have known that ultrasonic vibrations from a plate-like transducer would shake those glass beads into the air to be tweezed and measured as they moved in suspension.

"This is the first observation of the instantaneous velocity of a Brownian particle," says University of Texas physicist Mark Raizen. "It's a prediction of Einstein's that has been standing untested for 100 years. He proposed a test to observe the velocity in 1907, but said that the experiment could not be done."

The research, published in Science, is the first direct test of the equipartition theorem for Brownian particles, one of the basic tenets of statistical mechanics. It is also a step toward cooling glass beads to a state in which they could be used as oscillators or sensors.




A 5-micrometer glass bead levitated in air by a single laser beam from below. This optical trap is formed by the balance between the scattering force from the laser beam and the gravitational force on the bead. Tongcang Li, et. al. used a similar optical trap to study the Brownian motion of a trapped bead in air with ultra-high resolution.

(Photo Credit: Tongcang Li, the University of Texas at Austin)




The equipartition theorem states that a particles' kinetic energy—the energy it possesses due to motion—is determined only by its temperature, not its size or mass.

University of Texas physicist Mark Raizen says the study proves that the equipartition theorem is true for Brownian particles




(emphasis mine)So Einstein was only wrong that this couldn't be tested. To be fair it's hard to predict something like that (over 100 years ago no less; as noted in my linked article). He was, however, correct about the results with respect to the equipartition theorem and Brownian particles. Guess that title wouldn't be as sexy. *shrug*

So,..



What's up with all the Einstein bashing as of late? Something in the air maybe?

[edit on Sun May 23 2010 by Rren]




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