Real Life Glitches

For the discussion of the sciences. Physics problems, chemistry equations, biology weirdness, it all goes here.

Moderators: gmalivuk, Prelates, Moderators General

Real Life Glitches

Postby Glmclain » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:07 am UTC

So we've all been playing a video game and a glitch occurs. Perhaps it's a floating object, or just some random thing (walking through walls etc.) that's kind of interesting.

If the universe runs like a big computer, are there glitches? Are there events that have happened that can't be explained by science as anything other than "a glitch in the universe?"

I've been thinking about this all day, and it's awfully interesting methinks. I'm not much of a scientist though...
You Samoans are all the same! You have no faith in the essential decency of the white man's culture!
User avatar
Glmclain
 
Posts: 443
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 12:51 pm UTC
Location: Cape Cod MA.

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby poxic » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:24 am UTC

There's this thing, about a hundred years old, called quantum theory...
TEAM SHIVAHN
Pretty much the best team ever

Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched.
- Guy de Maupassant, short story writer and novelist (1850-1893)
User avatar
poxic
Eloquently Prismatic
 
Posts: 4107
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:28 am UTC
Location: Left coast of Canada

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby Gaza » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:27 am UTC

Life
Gaza
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 5:25 am UTC

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby squareroot1 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:11 am UTC

Glmclain wrote:Are there events that have happened that can't be explained by science as anything other than "a glitch in the universe?"

When science breaks, you make better science, not throw your hands up in the air.

As for things that are still being worked on or the theories modified:
Matter-Antimatter Imbalance.
Dark Energy.
Explaining gravity and the other interactions within a single framework.
And others I'm too tired to recall.

And where keys and unpaired socks like to disappear to; little devils.
User avatar
squareroot1
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:27 pm UTC

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby Ulc » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:09 am UTC

Glmclain wrote:If the universe runs like a big computer, are there glitches?


Why would you assume that it does?

The universe is governed by the laws of nature (Even if we don't understand them completely yet, and likely never will). If something doesn't work per the laws of nature as we understand them - it's our understand, not the laws of nature that is broken.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it - Aristotle

A White Russian, shades and a bathrobe, what more can you want from life?
User avatar
Ulc
 
Posts: 1303
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:05 pm UTC
Location: Copenhagen university

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby mercuryseven » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:19 am UTC

From the way I interpret the OP. The universe doesn't glitch by definition, because any "glitch" we see will be accepted as a law of nature (because we are living inside this universe, and that is what we observe). in other words, a buggy code is still the "law" inside its own program. Since there is nobody* to "debug" it, the glitch stays there so it's left inside as a law of nature. Hmm...maybe that's what quantum mechanics really is...

At first the thought that occurred to me was (glitch = miracle). But as a scientist (okay grad student, anyway), any anomalous event should be an indication of new undiscovered science. So it shouldn't even be called a miracle anyway.

*I shan't get into the "does-God-exist" discussion. There's a thread for that in SB, as I recall...
User avatar
mercuryseven
 
Posts: 208
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:36 am UTC

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby Coffee » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:49 am UTC

Glmclain wrote:Are there events that have happened that can't be explained by science as anything other than "a glitch in the universe?"

Well there was that one time a couple of years ago that the Sox won the World Series.
Far away boys, far away boys, away from you now.
I'm lying with my sweetheart, in her arms I'll be found.
User avatar
Coffee
 
Posts: 638
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:56 am UTC
Location: Far away

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby sikyon » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:17 pm UTC

Computer game glitches are just programmer mistakes.

How are we to know, as part of the program, whether something is a glitch or a feature?
sikyon
 
Posts: 346
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:45 pm UTC

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby Technical Ben » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:17 pm UTC

A glitch is a mistake in the program. There does not appear to be any mistakes in the universe. In that, the beginning set of of rules, work perfectly together. Then the universe is extrapolated from there ( just add a few billion years ;) ). The universe also uses real numbers, so does not "over run" into negative numbers, or other common technical limits that computers face. Perhaps when we figure out a unified theory for forces and quantum physics and gravity and stuff, we will then see what the "programming" is. Basically, the universe does not have the same problems a computer has.
It's all physics and stamp collecting.
It's not a particle or a wave. It's just an exchange.
Technical Ben
 
Posts: 2989
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 10:42 pm UTC

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby Lord Hammer » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:13 pm UTC

Ulc wrote:
Glmclain wrote:If the universe runs like a big computer, are there glitches?


Why would you assume that it does?

The universe is governed by the laws of nature (Even if we don't understand them completely yet, and likely never will). If something doesn't work per the laws of nature as we understand them - it's our understand, not the laws of nature that is broken.


If we don't understand a "Law of Nature" e.g. don't know it, how can you say that it is a "Law of Nature"? If you don't know something, how can you know what it is? But that's kindof a philosophical debate I guess.
User avatar
Lord Hammer
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:14 am UTC
Location: Leiden, The Netherlands

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby meatyochre » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:26 pm UTC

When I was younger and first heard about relativity, it sounded like a glitch to me. How can two people, one traveling at relativistic speeds and the other standing still, feel their own time passing normally, but one of them ages faster than the other?

I dunnnnoooo! Seems pretty glitchy.
Dark567 wrote:"Hey, I created a perpetual motion device"

"yeah, but your poster sucks. F-"

Image
User avatar
meatyochre
 
Posts: 1524
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:09 am UTC
Location: flying with the Conchords

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:53 pm UTC

Lord Hammer wrote:If we don't understand a "Law of Nature" e.g. don't know it, how can you say that it is a "Law of Nature"?
If the universe is self-consistent, there are laws of nature. If the universe isn't self-consistent, then you can't say anything at all useful about it to begin with, so who cares?
Treatid basically wrote:widdout elephants deh be no starting points. deh be no ZFC.


(If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome)
User avatar
gmalivuk
A debonaire peeing style
 
Posts: 22166
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby Ulc » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:14 am UTC

Lord Hammer wrote:If we don't understand a "Law of Nature" e.g. don't know it, how can you say that it is a "Law of Nature"? If you don't know something, how can you know what it is? But that's kindof a philosophical debate I guess.


First, assume a self-consistent universe, which considering this is a science forum, is a reasonable assumption.

Then a law of nature is a description of a certain behaviour.

This behaviour is independent of human observation (otherwise the universe is not self-consistent), and the description is therefore also independent of human knowledge.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it - Aristotle

A White Russian, shades and a bathrobe, what more can you want from life?
User avatar
Ulc
 
Posts: 1303
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:05 pm UTC
Location: Copenhagen university

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby Vieto » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:33 am UTC

Wouldn't a glitch still technically be physics? I mean, when a computer game 'glitches', all it means is that the program did something that was exactly as it was programmed to do, even though it was not what the programmer intended the program to do.
a.k.a. Cazador
User avatar
Vieto
 
Posts: 1558
Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:44 pm UTC
Location: Canada

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby Link » Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:42 am UTC

Perhaps the most glitch-like thing that could occur in real-life is a macroscale violation of the second law of thermodynamics. Their occurrence is completely random, and they are exceedingly rare, but they do have a nonzero probability of occurring. Similarly rare and completely preposterous "glitches" include complex structures forming from particles created from vacuum fluctuations, and macroscale quantum tunnelling. There really isn't anything but pure probability preventing such things from happening, but the odds are so small that they would be rare even in the time span of many times the current age of the universe.

Other possible glitches (which are purely theoretical, and may not be as crazy as we currently think they'd be): naked singularities, closed timelike curves, cosmic strings.
User avatar
Link
418 I'm a teapot
 
Posts: 975
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:33 am UTC
Location: ᘝᓄᘈᖉᐣ

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby Patashu » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:33 pm UTC

We can imagine two classes of glitches: 'software' glitches where the program behaves in a way not expected by either the developer or the player, but is a natural occurrence given how it was written. e.g. being able to zip through ceilings in mega man 1 by pushing your head into them using the magnet beam.
'hardware' glitches where the program does something not determined by the program because there's an error in the hardware that means the program and the 'contract' between the program and hardware isn't carried out. i.e. if your NES gets too hot it might start to behave erratically.

When you think of a real life glitch, which kind are you thinking of?

One problem with applying the idea of glitches to the universe is that it is probabilistic, if quantum physics is true - with staggeringly low enough odds, anything could happen - it would be unintuitive, but follow naturally as a result of the universe's probabilistic implementation, just as you could get 10 critical hits in a row in pokemon without it being a glitch. On the other hand, if a physical constant suddenly and abruptly changed we might have reason to suspect foul play.

I guess you could consider it a 'glitch' if an otherwise unassailable law of nature could be wholescale, effectively breached using roundabout methods - e.g. if we could construct a machine that violated the second law of thermodynamics consistently. Its glitchy nature would be implied by the fact that it seems to everyone like the universe was made to hold this as a law, but then a loophole was found.
User avatar
Patashu
Answerful Bignitude
 
Posts: 377
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:54 am UTC

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby YoungStudent » Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:02 pm UTC

Black hole is a glitch, as universe's database wasn't meant to handle negative mass.
Okay, quote me - We try to explain magic, presence of spirits and supernatural with science, which only explains 'the physical world' that we observe. It's like blind earthworm declaring that there is no light.
YoungStudent
 
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 10:14 am UTC

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby MisterCheif » Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:14 pm UTC

sikyon wrote:Computer game glitches are just programmer mistakes.

How are we to know, as part of the program, whether something is a glitch or a feature?


I believe a quote regarding bugs temporary features in Dwarf Fortress is necessary here:

If it doesn't crash the game it's a feature, not a bug.


I'm not sure if I got the wording exactly right there, but it gets the same idea across.

More on topic, anything that could be considered a glitch in the universe is more of something that cannot be explained by science, and so, not really understood by us at the time. That will change with time. In the past it was things such as the movement of the sun across the sky. Now, like has been mentioned before, it is stuff such as dark matter. I am sure that eventually, there will be a plethora of new things that cannot be explained, and those that exist now will have been explained.
I can haz people?
lulzfish wrote:Exactly. Playing God is a good, old-fashioned American tradition. And you wouldn't want to ruin tradition. Unless you hate America. And that would make you a Communist.
MisterCheif
 
Posts: 254
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:24 am UTC

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:25 pm UTC

YoungStudent wrote:Black hole is a glitch, as universe's database wasn't meant to handle negative mass.
What do black holes have to do with negative mass?
Treatid basically wrote:widdout elephants deh be no starting points. deh be no ZFC.


(If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome)
User avatar
gmalivuk
A debonaire peeing style
 
Posts: 22166
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby meatyochre » Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:37 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
YoungStudent wrote:Black hole is a glitch, as universe's database wasn't meant to handle negative mass.
What do black holes have to do with negative mass?

Well once you go through it and come out the other side, you'll end up in the esrevinu, which is the universe in reverse.
Dark567 wrote:"Hey, I created a perpetual motion device"

"yeah, but your poster sucks. F-"

Image
User avatar
meatyochre
 
Posts: 1524
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:09 am UTC
Location: flying with the Conchords

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby Patashu » Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:51 am UTC

meatyochre wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
YoungStudent wrote:Black hole is a glitch, as universe's database wasn't meant to handle negative mass.
What do black holes have to do with negative mass?

Well once you go through it and come out the other side, you'll end up in the esrevinu, which is the universe in reverse.

Do you mean something like this? http://casa.colorado.edu/~ajsh/schww.html

Wormholes exist as solutions to the equations in general relativity, but that doesn't mean they're possible - you can plug in negative, imaginary or even complex values to an equation, but maybe the version the universe uses has a domain only over the positive reals.
User avatar
Patashu
Answerful Bignitude
 
Posts: 377
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:54 am UTC

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby meatyochre » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:02 am UTC

Patashu wrote:
meatyochre wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
YoungStudent wrote:Black hole is a glitch, as universe's database wasn't meant to handle negative mass.
What do black holes have to do with negative mass?

Well once you go through it and come out the other side, you'll end up in the esrevinu, which is the universe in reverse.

Do you mean something like this? http://casa.colorado.edu/~ajsh/schww.html

Wormholes exist as solutions to the equations in general relativity, but that doesn't mean they're possible - you can plug in negative, imaginary or even complex values to an equation, but maybe the version the universe uses has a domain only over the positive reals.

How do you know? You've never been to a black hole.

(I was making a funny, btw)
Dark567 wrote:"Hey, I created a perpetual motion device"

"yeah, but your poster sucks. F-"

Image
User avatar
meatyochre
 
Posts: 1524
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:09 am UTC
Location: flying with the Conchords

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby Gammashield » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:31 am UTC

Actually, if I was going to name something that struck me as a 'universe glitch' in the history of science experiments, it would be the the Valentine's day monopole. It's a great little story: an unreproducible, but well-substantiated, one-off detection of a single particle of a type that, er, doesn't seem to actually exist. If that's not the universe glitching out on us for a moment, I don't know what is.
User avatar
Gammashield
 
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:41 pm UTC

Re: Real Life Glitches

Postby ikrase » Thu Jul 22, 2010 5:30 am UTC

I think they mean glitches that are more inconsistent.
[bibliography]XKVCBDOSLDMSD[/bibliography]
ikrase
 
Posts: 316
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 3:22 am UTC


Return to Science

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Copper Bezel and 10 guests