My Articles

Elementary Human Concepts and their Manifestations in Nature
by Carl R. Littmann, written 10-2-2002


This article attempts to draw some analogies between crude human concepts and some basic natural phenomenon.

Subject 1: The different states of matter ("solid", "liquid", "gas") are addressed by comparing each to actions of "billiard" balls. We contemplate one ball, sitting on top of four others, to form a "pyramid array", and the top ball having different vibrations. (click Illustration 1).(Allow some time for "PDF Illustration" to download.)

Subject 2:  (Revised 7-30-2007)  I have revised the topic of ‘The Different Forces in Nature’:  The ‘strong forces’ (i.e., nuclear); ‘weak forces’ (i.e., gravitational); and the ‘medium strength ‘exotic' forces’ (i.e., forces ‘between’ positive and negative charges).

Please refer to my article, ‘Particle Mass Ratios and Similar Geometric Volume Ratios’; and go especially to the ADDENDUM near the end of that article -- for discussion of the forces.  Then, perhaps, back to my Home page; and if one wishes -- return to this article to continue.

(Although my previous analogy and illustration was ‘picturesque’ and perhaps addressed some repelling and attracting phenomena in our universe; it was too far from the likely cause of ‘electrostatics’ -- compared to the new link I have now substituted, see above.)  

OPTIONAL Preliminary Remarks:

My approach is a bit unusual because it only attempts to draw analogies between crude human concepts and basic natural phenomenon. Some scientists may claim that such analogies have no "rightful" place in science, and that an analogy is not a very accurate description of reality nor a suitable substitute. The latter criticism has some merit, but I believe analogies still serve an appropriate role in science. In some cases, good analogies have lead to useful "analogue computers". In other cases, good analogies have lead to concise, useful representations, even though somewhat "physically false" or imperfect. Perhaps, in the least good cases, they merely provide useful "memory tricks". So we'll just let the reader judge any merit of what now follows. ((Regarding different natural forces, J. C. Maxwell cautioned that any attempt, similar to "mine", would not be helpful to many readers. But it is my attempt to provide more "completeness", anyway.))

DISCUSSION 1: An Analogy for Solids, Liquids, and Gases, (See Illustration 1)

Let us imagine four touching "billiard" balls on a pool table with a billiard ball sitting on top of the four. Imagine several sets of these touching each other. Imagine a light- weight cloth (pool table cover) draped over these.

The "Solid" absorbs heat: Let us imagine that a ball, on top of a set of four, begins vibrating up and down, and increases its vibration until it could, if also pushed sideways, just jump up and over the "passage" (formed by two adjacent balls below it). Let that be an analogy for a solid, absorbing more and more heat, softening, and reaching the melting point.

The "Heat of Fusion": Let us next imagine that instead of the balls jumping still higher, (such that if we were to pushed it sideways, it could easily clear the pass)-that the following must first occur. One ball begins to drift over toward one nearby passage and hits a ball doing the same from the opposite direction. Each ball recoils back down and around toward the opposite passage. Thus we can imagine that a "sideways" vibration must develop and absorbs energy, before further "higher" vertical movements resume. (i.e., all balls must first develop this "sideways vibration" by absorbing considerable energy.) Let that be an Analogy for the melting occurring, when much heat is added; but without further temperature rise until the "melting is complete".

The "Liquid" absorbs heat while its temperature increases: Let us next imagine that all the "top" balls now jump higher and higher as they absorb more and more energy. Finally a substantial number can jump well beyond just up and over the (easy) "short-cut" pass (i.e., the pass between any pair of adjacent balls below them). Some can even jump up and over the highest peak of any of the four balls below it. (That is assuming we also push it sideways it that direction). Let that be an Analogy for a liquid absorbing more and more heat, and increasing its temperature to its boiling point.

The "Heat of Vaporization: Let us next imagine that most of the "top" balls do not jump substantially higher than the peaks of the balls below them until the following occurs: Some balls also drift over in the actual direction of the steeper, more difficult route. They collide and recoil from some balls from the other side of the peak, and another "direction of vibration" (and energy absorption mode) is developed. Thus, further vertical amplitude of vibration (and associated temperature increase) does not occur until all the balls absorb sufficient additional energy associated with this latest "freedom" (i.e., the newest movement described). Let that be an Analogy for the following: Heat is added to liquid which, at first, is not boiling vigorously, and which can incur no great rise in temperature until it has absorbed enough heat so that all of it is boiling very vigorously.

Further adding of heat (beyond this "heat of vaporization") will cause a "massive turbulent separation of the liquid and it will splash over the cover onto the stovetop".

OPTIONAL Remarks (Reader may skip to Discussion 2; i.e., subject 2):

It might be noted that the energy required to heat a gram of (H2O) ice from near absolute zero to near melting is about 80 calories; then from its near melting to thoroughly melted about another 80 calories; then from its very cold water to near boiling about 100 calories.

Without attempting to advance too far from the "crude", I will just speculate that the "game" of "very cold ice, melting it, and heating the water to near boiling" would seem to relate to the following: There seems to be somewhere many small spheres and "imaginary" boxes around them, and some sort of "roaming-freedom game" is being "played" involving the relative sizes of their structural parts. (I think these various structures are, "magnitude-wise", not far different). I think a somewhat similar "paradigm" occurs for quite a few other solid substances when heated.

It also appears that when cooling hot water from near boiling to near freezing, (a decrease of nearly 100oC), that a volume contraction of about 4% occurs. When we continue to take heat away from the very cold water until it freezes, we discover the following, (which is unusual for most freezing solids): When the ice (or "iceberg") is formed, its volume has expanded about 10% relative to the water's volume, and thus "the iceberg floats on the water". Finally, when we decrease the temperature of the cool ice from near-melting.. down to nearly -273o C (i.e., "Absolute Zero"), it decreases its volume about 4%. It seems to me amazing, that in this universe, "material" can change so drastically in behavior (between solid-liquid-gas) with so little volume changes! ((Because of this (and few other factors in a previous article by me), I believe the following: A rather small region around the atomic nuclei is sensitive to a rather narrow electron flow (or aether flow) crisscrossing it in various directions.1 But that, admittedly, may seem bazaar, and departs beyond the proper scope of this article. Also I may have erred somewhere in the above data, calculations, and speculations.))

Generally, metals which expand the least, per increase in temperature, achieve the highest temperature without melting. (As mentioned in a previous article, those metals with emit the greatest "heat" per volume, when solidifying, generally have the highest tensile strengths.2)

The following may also be noted: Suppose we have a gas consisting of two million atoms in a container, and each atom is going an average of, say, 1000 mph. Then merely removing half of them, but allowing the remainder to maintain their 1000 mph-will not change the gas temperature. (This reminds us a little of a solidifying solid, when heat of fusion is being given off and removed, and it does not change its temperature either.)

(I realize that when our "top billiard ball" began its additional "sideways" and "forward and backwards" movements; it was as if the sides of our containers may automatically have to adjust its pressure as the mass inside changes state. Since we imagine that the cover and wall pressures arise mainly from a very subtle "aether pressure", we try to imagine that the above can occurs here.)

In this article, I have tried not to just invoke the "algorithm" that "unlike charges attract". I do not believe that unlike charges "innately" attract each other. But rather, such "fancy end-effect" is the result of more basic "behind-the-scenes" actions.

((More "Optional": Many solids exhibit significant tensile strength, that is, they maintain their structural integrity under seemingly "pulling stresses", (not just "pushing stress" or pressure). I think there is a "shortcoming" in standard science textbooks which often show 3-dimensional "P-V-T" surface graphs of solid, liquid and gas states. One seems to "fall off the cliff" as one follows the solid's pressure "P" from a low pressure to zero, and onward into what should be a "Negative pressure region". (In that "graphic example", we allow "V" to also vary with "P", but we stay on a constant "T" line, say "T" equals room temperature.) A solid cube should expand its volume slightly if tugged outwardly from all six of its faces. (Thus my term "negative pressure" region.) Since I believe in external "aether pressure"; I wonder if the "standard P-V-T surface graph" unjustly masks the question of a solid's integrity under "pull forces", (by addressing only "push"), and thus masks the possibility of a complex, non-visible aether.))

DISCUSSION 2:An Analogy for the Various Forces in Nature.

Please refer to the link already given under the heading, ‘Subject 2’, near the beginning of this article. 
Some additional details are also given in my article, ‘What We See and What We Don’t See’; and especially by going to ‘Addendum 3’ near the end of that article.  Then, perhaps, back to my Home page; and if one wishes -- return to this article.  The remainder of my article, below, was written before that ‘Addendum 3’, and may not be as helpful.

IMPORTANT, a few more thoughts about Gravity:

We now compare some numerical Ratios found in nature, and note their rather similar magnitudes. I doubt if the similarities are merely a coincidence.

The Ratio of the strength of "gravitational attraction" to "nuclear attraction" (as given in physics books4) is approximately 10-38 to 1. (Now, a little background, before proceeding further: In a previous article, I mentioned that I agreed with Democritus' criticism and departure from the Greek "Eleatic school of thought".

In effect, Democritus held that incompressible, non-porous, matter occupied a certain amount of volume in this seeable universe, but there was also "absolutely empty space" in between the matter, (not occupied by the matter.)

Based on empirical evidence in this world and my interpretation of it, I estimated (in a previous article5) that the Ratio of the "volume occupied by incompressible matter" to the volume of "real (empty) space"-was also 10-38 to 1, approximately. (Also, that the ratio of an "aether particle's average mass" to a proton's mass was also about 10-38 to 1. Also that the Square of the Ratio of "the spinning speed of a proton (i.e., approximately light's speed) to an average aether particle's speed" was also about 10-38 to 1, in magnitude. (Those were my estimates even before I realized the 10-38 to 1 ratio for gravitation to nuclear forces.) Henri Poincare probably thought it very unlikely that particles could exceed light's speed by that much. Still, he mentioned that such high ratios (necessitating such super-high particle speeds) would be required, if the "Le Sage-Lomonosov theory of Gravity" were to be believed.6 (That was even before "nuclear forces and spin" were addressed by physicists in great detail.)

((In my opinion, the "fraction of total space occupied by incompressible matter", the "density of a 'speck' of such matter", and the relative "average speed" of such matter-may be the most important basic "determinates" in the universe. (Of course, I was not around and "consulted" ""if and when those plans were laid out"").))

(Added 1-20-2005:  Also important is the “absolute average angular momentum” of the countless spinning regions in space. I address that topic more, about halfway through my separate article about the Greeks; see my homepage.)

Changing the subject some, the Ratio of so-called "electromagnetic forces" (associated with charges) to nuclear forces is about 1/137 or roughly 1/100, as given in physics textbooks.7 I think that if a neutron were made of a conjoined proton and electron, each of the same density and spherical, that the Ratio of their surface areas would be approximately 1/150. That is my rough approximation of the above, in case "surface area" happens to be relevant to the above paradigm (even though very speculative).8

Miscellaneous Remarks, Limitations, and Disclaimer:

In this article, I have used clauses like, "one material particle 'hits' another material body or particle". I realize that this is, at best, a "short cut" for what is really happening. For example, historically a depth charge could deliver an effective "hit" (or punch) to an "enemy submarine" without an actual hard "metal-to-metal" contact. So my article is filled with descriptions which (at best) only approximate the subtleties in nature. And, of course, an "elementary particle" does not likely consist of a simple "hard" sphere surrounded by a uniform "rarified" aether. But instead, likely a complicated "transition" region and interim densities with their motions, and other non-simple modifications to such simple model-is more realistic.

I think that the equilibrium forces that maintain an entity's existence, (so-called nuclear forces), are "primary" and required, even before "gravitational" or "charge forces" can manifest themselves. As one might have guessed, when a charged entity gets very close to a nucleon (where forces might interfere with each other) the following occurs: The charge's ("coulombic') force behaves as if it is suddenly "choked off", ceases to increase and likely decreases, and the "nuclear force" dominates.

(Optional speculation) H. Hertz once remarked that ultimately: "Potential energy is the energy of hidden motion". I believe, like Democritus, that it is ultimately the nature of "pure mass" to maintain "incompressibility" without containing such "potential energy" (i.e., without hidden internal motion). I think, however, that Einstein's relativity allows mass to be "squeezed into nothingness-out of existence", providing it first transfers high speed relative motions or energy to other masses or entities at a distance. The latter, without "aether", may lead to appealing mathematical simplifications, calculations, and descriptions. But one complaint I have with it is this: It seems to require that the human brain maintain a special relative calculated sum: (mass + energy); instead of the "outside aether mass and bodily mass" maintaining the calculations by their ongoing vigorous interaction and stalwart existence. So at least "early Einstein relativism" requires far too much "idealism-type philosophy" for me.

Other Disclaimers:

Any errors or problems residing in this article are solely my fault, and may be partly due to my accidentally misinterpreting others' ideas, incorrectly stretching beyond them, not fully comprehending them, or etc. Any constructive ideas in this article are largely due to my borrowing others' ideas, as I may correctly remember them, from miscellaneous websites, journals, or from presentations at science demonstrations.

Footnotes and comments:

1. See my Homepage and my other article there entitled, "A Simplified Approach to Tensile Strength Using Concepts of Guericke and Venturi". (Near the end of that article is my summary, and near the middle of that summary, I describe a related concept. That concept is how tensile strength may relate to the venturi effect and narrow regions.)

2. Ibid., except see the first part of my summary, as it relates to Guericke.

3. This sort of approach dates back to at least the days of Georges-Louis Le Sage and Mikhail Lomonosov, and their ideas. (Also, see footnote below regarding Radzievskii and Kagainikova.)

4.   Semat, H., Introduction to Atomic and Nuclear Physics, 4th ed.; Holt, Rinehart & Winston: New York, 1962; Chapter 15, Topic 22, p. 536.

5. See my Homepage and my other article there entitled, "What We See and What We Don't See". See the paragraphs near the end of Part IV, "Discussion". Note values are estimated near end of Part V, "Summary", and also near the beginning of the article.

6. See footnote 5. Also, regarding historical theories of gravity, one may see Radzievskii, V. V. and Kagalnikova, I.I., "The Nature of Gravitation". Vsesoyuz. Astronomo.-Geodezich. Obshchestva. (Moscow) Byull., 26, (33), 3-14. (1960). Translation in U.S. Govt. tech. Report FTD-TT-64-323; TT 64 11801 (1964), Foreign Tech. Div., Air Force Systems Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. (For more history, see Edwards, M. R., Pushing Gravity, C. Roy Keys Inc. Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2002. Articles by various experts also presented there.)

7. See footnote 4.

8. The applicability, here, of the following reference is very speculative, but it is as follows: See my Homepage and my other article there entitled, "Particle Mass Ratios and Similar Geometric Volume Ratios". ((Although that paper addresses volumes, not surface areas, it may be that surface area (or "comparably squeezed" surface area) may relate to "medium strength forces")).

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Carl R. Littmann

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