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williamgaylord

Quantum Gravity

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I'm working on an illustration of spin networks in Loop Quantum Gravity, a theory of quantum gravity that seems to be making substantially better progress than String Theory lately. (It is still in the realm of speculation so far, though, just as String Theory is...).

 

The basic idea is to quantize space-time. The result is very much like a "foam" in certain respects (as John Archibald Wheeler first imagined it might be). So...I'm working on a visual model of the foam to help illustrate the basic ideas and principles developed so far.

 

The quantized space is essentially like grains of space packed together like bubbles in a foam. It turns out the two most important quantized aspects are the volume of each "grain", and the area of each "facet" of area shared between two adjacent grains. This is the "low energy" model corresponding to the microscopic (quantum) character of space that leads to the macroscopic character of space-time we experience. (The "high energy" states (pre and barely post "Big Bang") are really--I mean REALLY--bizarre in that every grain becomes adjacent to every other grain, which means the whole idea of "space" breaks down, and only a very abstract "relational" concept survives.)

 

So I will be building a model something like the foam shown in the photo, with little spheres inside each "bubble" to represent each "node", and thin tubes interconnecting each node through each common bubble "facet" of area. One thing I plan to do by lighting sets of these links, is to illustrate how knots and braids that form by connecting chains of these links, lead to patterns that correspond to fundamental particles (photons, electrons, etc.). These continuous strings of links are the "loops" of Loop Quantum Gravity". So...I need to figure out how to make the links glow and how to turn each one off or on in the animation. "Particles" (knots or braids) of "on" links, can propagate as links change state--much like individual LED lights in an LED display can make a pattern scroll across the screen as the individual LED lights turn on or off.

 

A bit ambitious, but I think well within the wonderful capability of A:M!

rd_love_bubbles.jpg

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I will probably make the "network" the star of the show, though the foam make for a beautiful image.

 

Any suggestions on how to make tubes glow like neon lights?

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render as lines and turn on "Glow"

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My one suggestion would have been to create a myriad of cloth balls, drop them into a container and let them deform against each other, then export that as a model.

 

Tell me more about this idea. Can you perhaps do a demo? Would not have to be a whole "myriad"... ;)

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This will probably be unsatisfactory for what you are trying to do. Cloth doesn't like spheres because of the way the splines converge at the poles and it would take supercomputing power to do all the balls needed with a dense enough mesh to really carry the concept thru.

 

But here is the ball drop. I envisioned somehow slicing thru the clump of balls to see the cellular structure, but that's another battle.

 

Myriad_of_Balls.mov

 

Myriad_of_Balls04_Simmed.zip

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One idea I have is much like George Pal's "Puppetoon" type replacement part animation. I would build the "bubble" animation steps as sort of slices of bubbles that fit together. Most of the replaceable parts would be the same part replicated. The section with the "particle", and the transitional steps nearby, would replace the other "undisturbed" segments, in discrete steps, so it would simulate the propagation of the "particle" through the bubble foam. This way I can build a relatively small number of building blocks that would look random enough, but would be discrete blocks I can re-use easily.

 

Any comments? Any better suggestions? I'm all for saving as much work as possible to get the end result.

 

I think it will work if I build the matching faces of each block, then add bubbles in between to build a complete block. Then I just replicate these and fit them together. Then I would build a series of replacement blocks to simulate the propagating particle.

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I found a little Java applet demo that is a 2D version of what I want to do in 3D animation. What I would do would be more like a ripple that would look like a knot traced out by a constriction of bubbles or an expansion of bubbles in the 3D bubble foam. This knot pattern would keep its shape and would propagate in a straight path as a knot shaped ripple through the bubbles.

 

Quantum gravity foam...

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Any comments? Any better suggestions? I'm all for saving as much work as possible to get the end result.

 

The java applet looks a lot like the cellular noise combiner in A:M but I dont' know of any way to manipulate the combiner to get the disturbance in animation.

 

I notice that it's not just moving cells around but adds additional cells in the area of the disturbance. I'm not sure how to automate that in A:M.

 

If it were just squishing them around you could use a distortion box.

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Was going to try to see if I could get blobbies to work as a boolean cutter inside a block but for some reason I can't seem to be able to find booleans in the property menus in 15j.

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