If you could change the laws of physics...

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scratch123
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If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby scratch123 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:55 pm UTC

...which ones would you change? I think I would try altering the strength of gravity.

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby yurell » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:05 pm UTC

I'd twerk relativity to allow FTL (or an easy, cheap FTL that isn't likely to occur accidentally and hence screw up everything, anyway).
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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby AvatarIII » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:17 pm UTC

yurell wrote:I'd twerk relativity to allow FTL (or an easy, cheap FTL that isn't likely to occur accidentally and hence screw up everything, anyway).


yeah I'd go with that, changing gravity would be catastrophic. say make it so if you cool something to within 0.5k of absolute 0, it can go ftl, since nature can't cool anything that cold, yet, it would be pretty safe.

or perhaps make room temperature superconductors easy. or room temperature fusion.

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby mr-mitch » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:40 pm UTC

I might get rid of entropy.

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby Timefly » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:21 pm UTC

I'd lower the speed of light to 200mph.

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby mfb » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:54 pm UTC

>> If you could change the laws of physics
On which level?

Very fundamental, i.e. changing the speed of light modifies all binding energies and so on? In that case, I would change nothing in order to avoid total destruction. Or, hmm... maybe a change of the fine-structure constant of the order of 10^(-15) per year or something like that. Just enough to be noticed by the most precise experiments, to watch the show.

More like magic, that something would be different but somehow all other stuff would stay the same? I would introduce something with a negative gravitational mass which can be produced in large amounts. Space, here we come!

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby userxp » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:33 pm UTC

First I'd make sure they are all deterministic, then I'd allow infinitely fast computers, then I'd write a universe simulator in one of these computers and feed it the exact state of the current universe, thus creating a recursive infinite tower of universes.

And then all sorts of fun stuff.

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby Charlie! » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:50 am UTC

I suppose I'd make it more life-friendly. Maybe a quasi-steady-state universe, with no accelerating expansion? Maybe the scale of the universe could oscillate, but not dramatically enough to kill off prepared civilizations. Allowing for spontaneous entropy decrease would be good if we wanted our long-lived universe to not become a ball of iron.

So I'd modify general relativity or dark energy or something to provide a long-distance quasi-static arrangement of galaxies. And then to keep this arrangement dynamic I'd need to modify atomic physics to spontaneously turn high binding-energy elements into hydrogen, and probably modify gravity to get rid of black holes too.
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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby ekolis » Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:06 pm UTC

Timefly wrote:I'd lower the speed of light to 200mph.


You luddite! Now airplanes don't work :( Though I suppose it would also make nuclear weapons useless as well, seeing as E=mc2...
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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:45 am UTC

And the sun...
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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby WarDaft » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:04 pm UTC

I'd go the opposite direction - there is no speed of light at all, particles gain velocity and momentum at equal rates, photons will have mass as well, and so travel at specific but finite velocities. In other words, Newton all the way. Lots of other stuff would have to change to make this work, but it would be very convenient after we get all the fiddly bits right.


Also, I'd make big-bang-like conditions feasible to produce in the laboratory, so that you could have matter and energy (and an equal quantity of negative whatever energy that's pushing the universe apart to keep things conserved) just pop out of nothing right where you need it.


Then we have a potentially unbounded civilization that can explore to the furthest reaches of the universe and last forever.
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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby TestTubeGames » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:18 am UTC

I'd be interested in changing something to do with Quantum Mechanics. Perhaps significantly changing the value of h, to make quantum effects more visible on our scale. Or preventing ANY wave function collapse, though I'm not sure exactly what that'd mean practically. And really, that's the reason I'd want to do it. Not so much to make the world a better place, but just to SEE what would happen. QM is so strange, some hands-on experience would be fun.

Though that WOULD mean destroying all life as we know it, I suppose. Ah well, *mumble mumble* omlet *mumble mumble* eggs. Perhaps it'd be best just to visit that universe.

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby MichiK » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:07 am UTC

Cheap room temperature superconductors have already been mentioned and would be fun. Imagine streets made of that material and cars etc. with magnets on their bottom side!

When we already play around with relativity and such, I would like the possibility of local time dilatation without high speed or massive gravitation. Just a box inside of which the time advances very slowly. Put a cold beer or a hot meal in it, leave it there for a few days, get it out and it will be fresh like prepared just a few seconds ago. Of course, one could build this thing a little larger and walk in there, come out after an hour and hey future, here I come!

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby TestTubeGames » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:22 am UTC

Just take care as you put things into / bring them out of your time machine. It would be strange to have hands that are decades younger than your body!

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby Proginoskes » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:21 am UTC

scratch123 wrote:...which ones would you change? I think I would try altering the strength of gravity.


Another problem with altering gravity is that the speed of light is related to G ...

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:10 pm UTC

In what way?
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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby Soralin » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:19 pm UTC

MichiK wrote:When we already play around with relativity and such, I would like the possibility of local time dilatation without high speed or massive gravitation. Just a box inside of which the time advances very slowly. Put a cold beer or a hot meal in it, leave it there for a few days, get it out and it will be fresh like prepared just a few seconds ago. Of course, one could build this thing a little larger and walk in there, come out after an hour and hey future, here I come!

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby Proginoskes » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:27 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:In what way?


I seem to remember an equation relating G, [imath]\varepsilon_0[/imath], and c all appearing in it, without any other phyisical constants ... I couldn't find anything on the Net about it.

(Maybe I was remembering this formula instead: Image ... It's been a few years.)

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby mfb » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:53 pm UTC

G and c are not coupled, unless you fix the planck mass and similar units. Changing the planck mass might have other issues.

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby ikrase » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:07 pm UTC

Hmmmm. First, I think I would do something to steadystate the universe.

Second, I would create Element Zero (a la Mass Effect)

Third I would set up 'magic' (based on specific arrangements of matter) to override normal laws of physics, such as providing FTL, or generating/disappearing matter.

Do we even know if room temp superconductors are impossible?
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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby SlyReaper » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:23 pm UTC

I'd double the speed of light.

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby ImagingGeek » Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:08 am UTC

I'd rewrite everything non-ensteinian (i.e. quantum, m-theory, etc) so that I could understand them :D
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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby Sizik » Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:57 am UTC

Make c exactly 3*108 m/s
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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby speising » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:20 pm UTC

Sizik wrote:Make c exactly 3*108 m/s


You get a recursion problem there, since the meter is defined in c.

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:28 pm UTC

Sizik wrote:Make c exactly 3*108 m/s

I'd make c exactly 3*108 m/s2

That's right, I just turned the speed of light into an acceleration. Let's see how the fabric of reality handles that one. :mrgreen:
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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby Klear » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:19 pm UTC

I would make it possible for everybody to be happy all the time.

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby Ringer » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:25 pm UTC

Timefly wrote:I'd lower the speed of light to 200mph.


That would be terrifying. Not just disorienting, but imagine trying to drive the Autobahn and looking around. Bright white light in front of you, a distorted halo of blue to red environment surrounding you, and all-consuming blackness behind you.

I would just make brussels sprouts taste better, or solar energy more easily attainable or something people (read: I) could benefit from. What would it be like if water were combustible but had as many of the other same properties as possible? We'd suddenly have (more or less) infinite fuel, but anyone might blow up at any time if they light a cigarette

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby SlyReaper » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:12 pm UTC

Klear wrote:I would make it possible for everybody to be happy all the time.

I think turning the speed of light into an acceleration is more feasible.
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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby Klear » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:21 pm UTC

Wait... turning the speed of light into acceleration isn't a way to make everybody happy?

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby SlyReaper » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:27 pm UTC

It would make everybody dead.
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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby Роберт » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:36 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:It would make everybody dead.

So nobody would be sad anymore?
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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby mfb » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:42 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:It would make everybody dead.

So nobody would be sad anymore?

Oh, the fun of ethics.

ikrase wrote:Do we even know if room temp superconductors are impossible?

Could be possible. If not, make it possible!

Timefly wrote:I'd lower the speed of light to 200mph.

Problably bad for the internet. Signals would need hours to days to reach their destination. But I think that would be a minor problem compared to all the other issues in our solar system.

I wonder how a spacetime would look like where accelerations are the same in every reference frame.

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby Klear » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:04 pm UTC

What about increasing the speed of light, like they did in Futurama..?
It would make the prospects of exploring the universe much less depressing.

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby Ringer » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:28 pm UTC

Klear wrote:What about increasing the speed of light, like they did in Futurama..?
It would make the prospects of exploring the universe much less depressing.


"FASTER than light? Heavens no, we just made it faster back in 2360."

That show is a brilliant mishmash of pop culture and actual science jokes. I almost can't remember life before BEG BENG THORY.

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby Soralin » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:50 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
Klear wrote:I would make it possible for everybody to be happy all the time.

I think turning the speed of light into an acceleration is more feasible.

Nah, it doesn't seem like it would be that hard: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wirehead_% ... fiction%29 :)

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:17 pm UTC

Soralin wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:
Klear wrote:I would make it possible for everybody to be happy all the time.

I think turning the speed of light into an acceleration is more feasible.

Nah, it doesn't seem like it would be that hard: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wirehead_% ... fiction%29 :)

I know you're kidding, but it will never be that easy. Human brains are infuriatingly adaptable. If you exist in a constant state of happiness, your brain will simply adjust itself so that that constant happiness becomes the neutral norm.

Simply put, a human being will never be happy with its lot. It always wants more than it has. Even the happiest person in the world will always be cursed to desire more happiness.
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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby Klear » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:24 am UTC

SlyReaper wrote:I know you're kidding, but it will never be that easy. Human brains are infuriatingly adaptable. If you exist in a constant state of happiness, your brain will simply adjust itself so that that constant happiness becomes the neutral norm.

Simply put, a human being will never be happy with its lot. It always wants more than it has. Even the happiest person in the world will always be cursed to desire more happiness.


So how about wiring your brain to give you progressively more happiness with time? With the increases being big enough to keep you genuinely happy, we might hit some sort of limit soon, but it's worth a shot.

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby Роберт » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:27 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:[ Human brains are infuriatingly adaptable. If you exist in a constant state of happiness, your brain will simply adjust itself so that that constant happiness becomes the neutral norm.

If we're allowed to change laws of physics, surely we're allowed to change the human brain.
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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby Klear » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:21 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:[ Human brains are infuriatingly adaptable. If you exist in a constant state of happiness, your brain will simply adjust itself so that that constant happiness becomes the neutral norm.

If we're allowed to change laws of physics, surely we're allowed to change the human brain.


On the other hand, while you're at it, it might be easier to just wipe out all sentient life and be done with it.

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Re: If you could change the laws of physics...

Postby Ringer » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:40 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote: Human brains are infuriatingly adaptable. If you exist in a constant state of happiness, your brain will simply adjust itself so that that constant happiness becomes the neutral norm.


It depends what you mean by "state of happiness". Neurochemically, happiness is just dopamine and serotonin. If you somehow stimulated their production and uptake on the long term, I don't think it would be possible to experience anything resembling unhappiness or depression.

However, as soon as we refer to happiness as something like "my conscious self is subjectively experiencing happiness", or try to divest the emotion from its neurological substrates, I don't think we're able to talk about it scientifically. Dave Chalmers (if I remember/understand anything he wrote) seems to think dualism is reasonable, but I don't think it's possible to describe a psychic state like 'happiness' as anything other than derived from physical processes, unless you're referring to the supernatural, i.e. a soul. And 'supernatural' really means "inherently impossible to understand, free of the laws of the Universe, and outside of the realm of science", which I've always thought sounds more like a historical excuse for "we just don't get it yet".

I'm calling it. If we're allowed some new control over physical laws or specific phenomenon, and Klear says "let serotonin and dopamine fill every synapse", we are all going to be pretty damn happy. Unfortunately it would also be a lot like being stoned all the time, and we would lose the motivation to do anything (including eat or reproduce). The human race would die with giant smiles and a long-ass 'To Do' list.

EDIT:
Klear wrote:On the other hand, while you're at it, it might be easier to just wipe out all sentient life and be done with it.

Oh, wait.


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