Everything is so relative and it only gets bigger and bigger.
While the red hypergiant (called red because red dwarfs and stars at the end of their life cycle are the coolest and therefore emit mostly red or infrared light) VY Canis Majoris is the biggest star observed at 1800–2100 solar radii (1 solar radius = radius of the Sun) it's "only" 30 to 40 solar masses. The most massive observed star is the blue hypergiant (the hottest stars emit mostly blue or ultraviolet light) R136a1 with an estimated 265–300 solar masses and a luminosity almost 9 million times greater than our Sun's luminosity. The reason VY Canis Majoris is so big is because it's in the final stage of its life cycle. During this stage, the star bloats up into a red giant and pushes out its Hydrogen mantle. Eventually the core collapses and the star goes supernova. Stars like our Sun which are below the Chandrasekhar limit (the maximum mass of a stable white dwarf) at 1,38 solar masses will end up in a white dwarf, a small "corpse" of a star the mass of our Sun but the radius of Earth which is mostly composed of electron-degenerate matter and held together by electron degeneracy pressure instead of fusion against gravitational collapse. Stars beyond this limit will end in either a neutron star (1,38–3,00 solar masses) or a stellar black hole (any star greater than 3 solar masses), so both VY Canis Majoris and R136a1 will definitely end up as stellar black holes.
Stars more massive than 20 solar masses — called Wolf-Rayet stars — often lose their mass rapidly by means of extreme stellar wind. R136a1 is a Wolf-Rayet star and as the star is middle-aged, it was even more massive in its youth. It's absolutely fascinating to get a sense of scale by comparing stars with each other: Wolf 359, the Sun, Sirius, Arcturus, Aldebaran, Rigel, Antares, Betelgeuse, Mu Cephei, VV Cephei A and the largest, VY Canis Majoris. That's nothing though.
While the most massive star is apparently nearly 300 solar masses, supermassive black holes are the real monsters. Just about every galaxy has a supermassive black hole at its core including the Milky Way (it's called Sagittarius A and weighs 3,7 million solar masses). The most massive supermassive black hole discovered so far is at the center of NGC 4889, the brightest galaxy in a supercluster of thousands of galaxies about 336 million light years away in the Coma constellation. This beast weighs a dazzling 21 BILLION solar masses. It should also be noted that supermassive black holes are proportional to the size of the galaxy they reside in. A typical galaxy contains around 400 billion stars.
So those are massive and gigantic cosmic objects, but perhaps a greater insight in the hugeness of everything is derived from zooming out all the way from Earth so each time we have a greater scale to compare with the previous: from Earth to the Sun, the Kuiper belt, the Solar system, the Hills cloud, the Oort cloud, the Orion–Cygnus Arm, the Perseus Arm, the Milky way, the Local Group (a group of 54 galaxies including the Milky Way), the Virgo Supercluster (a supercluster of more than 100 galaxy groups including the Virgo cluster and the Local Group) and eventually the grandest structures of superclusters.
The observable universe is 29 billion parsecs or 93 billion light years in diameter and that's likely to be a small portion of the total size of the universe. The reason we can't see all of the universe is because the universe is expanding. Nothing can go faster than the speed of light, though the cumulative expansion of space results in galaxies moving away from each other at greater speeds than the speed of light. As the space expands faster than the light can travel through it, light from the more distant objects will never reach us.
It's hard to grasp the tremendous scale of things as it and the universe are so unfathomable; I find it easy to see the universe as an endless fractal. The probability of the existence of our universe is very nearly 0 so statistically speaking I shouldn't be pondering this question; in fact, I shouldn't be. To fix this statistical anomaly you can state that our universe is just one of many, perhaps infinite amount of universes, in which case the existence of our universe is no longer a cosmological oddity (or the notion of intelligent design) . With so many oddities like quantum mechanics, particle/wave duality, wavefunction collapse or the strong evidence that our universe has a flat geometry, I don't think it's hard to imagine our universe being part of a multiverse or a (looping) fractal. Reality is tremendously bizarre.
I like the implications of string theory, but mathematically it's downright ugly and the equations are tweaked to fit reality rather than being conform to Occam's razor and find the most simple solution which still describes reality. String theory is a hell as it can't be proven or unproven as there are no experiments to test it, and to make matters worse there are 5 different variants of string theory. On the other hand, the fact that there are 5 which perfectly describe reality makes me suspect there's truth in (super) string theory. Regardless, it's a brave attempt at connecting the fundamental forces together and I'm just not intelligent and knowledgeable enough to understand the implications of string theory.
> The more we find out the more amazed I am about space and whats beyond.
Same here, but I think the mystery behind it is even more fascinating. I actually look at the sun often and think of how amazing it is. Never mind the size and mass for now, but just the simple fact that the sun is a gigantic nuclear explosion held by gravity which keeps exploding for billions of years to warm up our planet and make life possible, but also the mother of our Sun which provided all the materials like carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, iron etc. in order to create the Sun, the planets and conscious life.
This morning I rolled a joint and smoked it while looking at the forest across the street from my parents' and I thought deeply about the universe and how amazing reality is. I'm not the kind of person who enjoys hiking and looking at nature, but if you consider the implications of that tree standing there and what the universe did to produce it, consciousness and intelligent life... it's just beyond words.
Of course being that its a Theory obviously suggests that its just that but its fun hearing them all and since the people that came up with it don't fully understand it, I wouldn't be too disheartened XD
I study a lot of spiritualism, religion, psychology and mythology so the "how" and "why" doesn't so much interested me as much as the what we as humans do with it. For instants, a human will spend their entire life trying to figure out or fight about why they exist and how they came to exist and waste that existance on a really insignificant issue. Now, if one goes out and lives life to the fullest and experiences every measure of the universe... that person will understand existance,the hows and the whys.
But yeah, when you think about how our very solar system hangs in a fragile balance of gravity that we can't do shit about... its pretty humbling for the human race. The fact the earth is in just the right place and with just the right amount of H2O, liquid, frozen and vaporous, to hardbor life, thats amazing.
Bosonic string theory — 26 dimensions
Superstring theory — 10 dimensions
M-theory — 11 dimensions
All those include 1 dimension of time so I suppose the documentary you've seen was about Super string theory only. M-theory has one extra dimension in order to unite all 5 string theories and supersede them.
> Of course being that its a Theory obviously suggests that its just that
In this case, yes. However, in science 'theory' has a very different meaning. I believe it indicates that it might not be complete, but many theories have been verified over and over again with observational data. A good example of this is the theories of general relativity and special relativity.'
> a human will spend their entire life trying to figure out or fight about why they
> exist and how they came to exist and waste that existance on a really
> insignificant issue.
Yeah and that's what's making my life difficult. I don't quite see the relevance of a personal life and thus I'm more focused on how and why than how humans relate to it.
> The fact the earth is in just the right place and with just the right amount of H2O,
> liquid, frozen and vaporous, to hardbor life, thats amazing.
I think the amusing notion here is that we forget about how amazing it all is; especially now we're discovering so many exoplanets and are now even discovering super Earths in habitable zones. I suppose it's especially hard for some religious people to accept that we're not the center of the universe, though that doesn't make the universe and all of its content any less amazing.
> while satan told Abraham to think and not do it
That's not the story I know. Satan appears as an old beggar on the day of celebration of Isaac's birth and accuses Abraham. When the sons of God presented themselves before the Lord, Satan was among them as an old man. When God asks Satan where he comes from, Satan responds with his wisdom of humanity and deceives God into testing Abraham's faith by requesting his son Isaac to be sacrificed. On the day of sacrifice while Abraham and Isaac are on their way to the mountain, Satan visits Abraham's wife Sarah (who has no idea of the sacrifice) and explains her and tests her faith. She says if this is God's wish, then this is what needs to be done. Satan then does the same to Isaac (whom also didn't know of the sacrifice) and eventually Abraham. At the point Abraham is ready to sacrifice Isaac, an angel of God stops Abraham. So Satan has deceived everyone into this whole phenomenon. Satan doesn't make Abraham wonder if he's doing something silly; he tries to make him disregard God, which doesn't work. The strange part is that the angel said to Abraham "now I know you fear God". I thought Abraham had to prove his loyalty to God; not prove that he is fearful of God.
1- this reminded me of charles and ray eames video hehe.
2- in recent experiments neutrinos have surpassed the speed of light; this has been re-tested and is yet to be disprooved, but there's still a long way of experimentation in order to rule out every possible mistake being made.
3- i like to imagine that "size" is a loop in a way that once once you get to the infinite you get to the infinitesimal.
2. I've been fascinated by these experiments but I never believed them. The implications of something going faster than the speed of light are too great. I wouldn't deny them if this experiment would be proven to be true but I have a lot of confidence in Einstein's theory of special relativity. Besides, I've read countless of times that the experiment was most likely flawed and although obviously a lot of physicists became enthusiastic, the whole thing was hyped so much it's not strange people start believing such unlikely results. Here's a recent article on the findings: [link]
3. What I think is odd is that the smallest particles are this strange world with an atom nucleus consisting of quarks (consisting of protons and neutrons) and gluons and electrons orbiting that central mass in quantum leaps. Of course everything this small follows the laws of quantum mechanics, but at the same time there's always a spin and an orbit and I just find it so strange that while the electron orbits the atom nucleus, the moon orbits the Earth, the Earth orbits the Sun, the Sun orbits Sagittarius A and maybe galaxies would even orbit without the expansion of space. My point is that the smallest bits of matter and the biggest cosmic constructions are distinct but to a large extent also seem the same. I don't know what it is about orbits and spin.
2. What I've learned so far, is that throught out the ages, though some theories have been disprooven others were found to be just small cases, were the new theory covers a wider spectrum of similar events. I can't obviously say that neutrinos are faster than light, because I've not studied physics in 5 years I'm not even aware todays reality in the field; however when i was thought special relativity the first thing that occured to me was: what makes this guy say lightspeed is the speed limit, and in highschool there aren't answers for those kinds of questions, and since I've always distracted I never bothered to research. If it's only about the grandfather paradox oh well, by the time the first flying plane was being tested books were being written explaining how man would never be able to fly.
3. I think more about things i like this "were are we expanding to?"; "is there a space limit for this Space?" I find amazing how much confort physics take from accepting Moebius concept; "what if the universe is a sandbox and we're not but a way for another reality to get answers faster?".
Well, make more entries like this please, they stimulate me.
2. Well, in most cases science keeps calling something 'theory' even though it's observed and verified over and over again. The issue is that many of these theories may be correct, but incomplete. As far as I can tell this has no relevance in regard to the neutrino speed results because if neutrinos would indeed be faster we get a lot more problems to solve. We would experience certain phenomena before we could see them. Besides, as far as I know photons are virtually massless while neutrinos have the slightest mass, so if neutrinos could go faster even though they have more mass I think we would have to introduce crazy new physics which negates a lot of physics we've been working with for a century.
3. Where our universe is expanding into is a very good question but it seems impossible to answer without knowing exactly what space and reality is. Even if you know that, there's no way to look outside of the universe, so that's one of those questions I don't think we will ever be able to answer, nor whether there's a limit to space.
Could you elaborate on the Moebius concept and what you say about the sandbox analogy?
sandbox: i thought about this when i read about singularity. one concern about the development of an AI superior to human intelligence is that it could take us over (since the purpose of that AI is to create other AIs superior to itself). some people suggested those AI's to be put within a sandbox, a limited virtual space they couldn't perceive to be virtual.
I see this be possible if those AIs were developed as (faster) human brain emulators, for they would also have neural transmissors and the same process of perceiving reality; that being we could control and induce stimuli and contain those AIs within that SandBox. But if I admit that possibility I can wonder if ourselves aren't in an emulated "unreal" world.
I hope i made myself clear.
> one concern about the development of an AI superior to human intelligence is that
> it could take us over (since the purpose of that AI is to create other AIs superior
> to itself)
How can that be the purpose? AI superior to human intelligence has no implications in regard to negative urges like greed and arrogance. Anyway, I guess that's not relevant to your point. Let's assume they're like humans but superior to them.
I think I understand your point but the context is a bit strange. I've been pondering the nature of god for a long time now and I consider the universe itself to be god. As for intelligent design, it's as naive for me to accept God as an entity and creator as it is to deny it. As Carl Sagan said: "An atheist has to know a lot more than I know. An atheist is someone who knows there is no god. By some definitions atheism is very stupid." But that brings me to the possibility I think you're describing in a way. There could still be a God as an entity but he would be a an advanced, superior race with the knowledge of how to create these extra realities embedded into their own. In a sense they caused the spark which became our universe (or perhaps just our consciousness and the illusion of our universe) and they don't necessarily need to be able to watch over us or even be aware of what they did. Is that what you're referring to with the sandbox?
Also, how do you know you're not dreaming? I could be the imaginings of an other "Martin". I find consciousness to be a strange thing. I'm sure I won't go to heaven or hell after I die but I can't deny the possibility that my consciousness will somehow remain; perhaps I die and open my eyes in an other reality as if I just woke up.
the purpose of creating a first superior AI is for it to create other AIs superior to itself. why? why would we create something more advanced than we? for it to solve problems we can't solve. These AIs are machines, so basicly the purpose would be to have machines designing other machines, better machines that do things better than ourselves. If we can create something better intellectualy than we are, so will our product.
The reason for it to be a threat to humans is not about greed or any other feelings, but the fact that it could figure, that for it to keep existing it is better off without us, due to our current destructive endeavours. the same way we terminate ants and rats for they disturb our homes.
From my faint relationship with other people (which means I don't relate to them I just eavesdrop) I came to realize that faith is something that most of times is unrelated with intelligence.
A good analogy for the sandbox is The Sims or SimCity, you control them by they don't know you're there, you're separated.
I used to think about that too, not so much anymore. I find consciousness not to be so strange, but self-awareness to be somewhat of a torture and the only purpose of existing at the same time (maybe you were refering to self-awareness by saying consciousness?).
> to itself. why? why would we create something more advanced than we?
We do and we don't. Obviously we're trying hard to create AI which matches our capabilities, however, do you really think we want to create something superior to us which can think for itself? I think only if we severely limit several aspects, which in effect makes its computing power and memory beyond ours but other than that it won't be superior to us. Besides, if we are at the point where we have the technology to create superior beings I'm sure we would rather invest that in ourselves. I think we will sooner be bio-digital hybrids than creating AI as good or better than us.
> The reason for it to be a threat to humans is not about greed or any other feelings,
> but the fact that it could figure, that for it to keep existing it is better off
> without us, due to our current destructive endeavours.
The way you say things it's like you push the 'on' button and the AI starts thinking for itself in such a human way that it wants to get rid of us. First off, we're its creator, so it's not completely logical to get rid of us. More importantly though, we have to program it, so we decide what it does. It will be AI and it will think and do for itself, but we create its boundaries.
> the same way we terminate ants and rats for they disturb our homes.
No, we don't terminate ants and rats because they disturb our home. We terminate them because they disturb our home and they're so far below us that it's hard to associate with it and be empathic. This AI will be human-like, so I can't imagine it will see us as vermin. And again, we would have to program the capability to look at us with disgust. Why would we invent something which destroys us? I personally don't think a scenario like in the second Terminator movie can happen.
> From my faint relationship with other people (which means I don't relate to them I
> just eavesdrop) I came to realize that faith is something that most of times is
> unrelated with intelligence.
I'm the same. I've always known that some religious people are incredibly intelligent, however there's always something about it which makes me cringe. I think a certain stubbornness or narrow-mindedness is required to be intelligent and religious.
> A good analogy for the sandbox is The Sims or SimCity, you control them by they
> don't know you're there, you're separated.
Ahh that's a good analogy for what I said as well, though in my version The Sims can control themselves. You might get into the same discussion as with AI though. I suppose if we can consciously create this virtual world than we could also specify the parameters, so it's indirect control.
> (maybe you were refering to self-awareness by saying consciousness?).
Yes and no. I find consciousness alone amazing already, but yes, self-awareness is the most bizarre of it. I don't know if self-awareness is the only purpose, though I do have a lot of difficulty living with myself in that regard because I want to know a purpose; getting a job, wife, house and kids does not count as a purpose to me.