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Math Science

Big Bang Could Be Recreated Inside a Metamaterial 113

KentuckyFC writes "Metamaterials are substances with a permittivity and permeability that has been manipulated in a way that allows fine control over the behavior of light. They have famously been used to create an invisibility cloak that hides objects from view. Now Igor Smolyaninov, a physicist in the US, has calculated how metamaterials could be used for a much more profound demonstration: to reproduce the behavior of light in various kinds of spacetimes, in particular a (2+2) spacetime (one having two dimensions of space and two of time). His method is to show that there is formal mathematical analogy between the way metamaterials and spacetimes affect light. He goes on to show how a phase transition in a (2+2) spacetime leads to the creation of a (2+1) spacetime filled with photons, an event analogous to the Big Bang." Here are the abstract and the preprint (PDF).
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Big Bang Could Be Recreated Inside a Metamaterial

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  • Typical Bad Title (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @03:01PM (#29156903)

    an event analogous to the Big Bang.

    Analogus To is not the same is Identical To. This article's title is badly in need of an accuracy correction.

  • by kjllmn ( 1337665 ) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @03:29PM (#29157059)

    Perhaps two dimensions of time is like you could go not only forward and backward in time (not that you can), but also up and down, moving "within" what we now think of as a unit of time. I can imagine such a concept could come in handy to explain mysterious things like action at a distance (gravity, QM).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 22, 2009 @04:54PM (#29157521)

    The more I've studied mathematics the more I've come to think that one should never underestimate the power of analogies. You could summarize this as two things are alike precisely to the extent they can be described by the same language.

    When you can describe greatly different things with the same words or equations, without sacrificing the important details, there's a good chance you're on to something important.

  • by osu-neko ( 2604 ) on Saturday August 22, 2009 @06:15PM (#29158163)
    Actually, you're confusing "valid" with "sound". An argument is [i]valid[/i] if the truth of its premises guarantees the proof of its conclusion. Since a circular argument assumes its conclusion is true, it is [i]necessarily true[/i] that any circular argument is also a valid argument. However, it's not necessarily a sound argument, and it's certainly not a good argument.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming