April 17, 2018 Q: Quantum
The word QUANTUM has an interesting history and comes from the same root as the word QUANTITY. In The Experiment, a quantum is the smallest unit that makes up some distribution. In a self-ordering phenomena like our expanding droplet, a quanta says something about the frequency of the oscillation of the droplet and the resulting number of wave crests or fingers that stabilize on its boundary.
What most physicists mean when they speak of quantum theory is the way it is theorized that, for example, atoms end up with a certain discrete quantity of protons and electrons (their atomic number). The expanding droplet experiment at a slow flow rate, straight line expansion (conduction) and rotation (convection) is given by the TGEE, an expanding system can end with a discrete number of boundary units.
It is said the universe has no form until we collapse it (Gary Zukav in The Dancing Wu Li Masters). Like David Bohm believed (Wholeness and the Implicate Order), all things exist as potential until observed explicitly through a specific perspective until we explain it in our perspective with thoughts in words or numbers, for example.
How do we collapse things into what we think they are (What Is (to us))? That all depends on perspective.
The two major perspectives we can observe are space and time, or form and function (in time), or potential and flow (in time). The Uncertainty Principle says that when we’re looking from one perspective we can’t see anything from the other perspective (position is observed from one pov, but velocity needs to be observed from two or more povs).
So when we see an offset expanding droplet from our point of view it looks like a circular boundary just like it did when it began expanding, But when a fluid expands, how it expands depends on what its expanding into (how it sees a push back on itself from other fluid in its environment, another fluid that it wants to penetrate.
The expanding universe, an expanding droplet, and an accretion disc (whether stable or unstable) periodically move and oscillate about their original centers. Why do they do that? Why don’t they vibrate like a raindrop on a car window? The drop of rain, because of the surface tension in the water seems to maintain a stable, half circular shape. Really, all fluid droplets are always vibrating, because of random perturbations they see, because of error existing everywhere.
As the droplet oscillates in one direction, it appears to us to be an offset (still a perfect circle) but an offset is an illustration of both a particle (with position) and a sine wave (illustrating change in position). Those who see a perfect circle when observing a droplet in offset mode 1 are viewing from a human-centered perspective. But the droplet reacts to the fact that it’s source or centroid is no longer at its center. Eventually with each oscillation to the side, more sine waves (troughs and crests) are incident on its boundary until the expanding droplet boundary reaches a stable number of wave crests and fingers that are symmetric about its entire boundary. [See the picture above showing five crests or five troughs. Saturn’s polar region has six shallow sine waves appearing like a hexagon. The vertices are crests/the flat areas, troughs.]
An example of a seven-crested system (or seven-trough system) is, Trappist I, the small sun 40 light years away from us had an accretion disk that spawned seven approximately equal-sized Earth-sized planets. The experiment that spawned seven, equally spaced troughs around its boundary and Trappist I’s solar system are examples of how a system can form a discrete number of units or quanta.
Below see the analog of the viscosity contrast (Saffron-Taylor Instability in the radial domain) to the density contrast within an accretion disk. The most dense planets form closer to their sun (black dot/red center). The less dense planets form farther from their sun. Notice the higher curvature of the first troughs/space produce the larger/denser/most massive planets. Notice the more shallow curvature of the secondary troughs/space produce the smaller planets. All masses/troughs are stable (have inertia to the outward expansion of space). But the larger planets have a lower outward curvature against which space may have an easier time of expanding, which may cause the larger planets to move outward after formation.