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I pose an alternate system of physics at the tiny scale. The goal is to refine it so that large particle accelerators are fraudulent devices as part of a government conspiracy, but as an earlier version of this question described it, the changes were too encompassing and required a conspiracy involving basically everyone.

So let's stick to the vaguest details for now. At some level, perhaps the quark level, what we think to be 3-dimensional is actually 4-dimensional (4 space and 1 time). We have different particles, and their different properties are related to how much they stretch into the 4th spatial dimension, and what is going on there. The 4th dimension accounts for what we thought was quantum irregularities and the gravitational influence of Dark Matter; this is my Fixion.

Governments are aware of the 4th dimension, and they have reason to believe it is filled with resources and possibly lifeforms. So the large hardon colliders are actually experiments to gather enough force in one place to overcome the gravity-like force keeping all observable matter confined to 3D space, and explore what lies off in the direction we cannot see.

For this setting, I am relying heavily on the fact that particles on the atomic scale and below are almost never directly observed, and that all of our models of chemistry, electromagnetism, etc., are just models that explain why different substances behave some way under certain circumstances.

My original idea was to make atoms themselves pure fiction, but that breaks too much of physics and resets our understanding to the 19th century. I am now considering quarks, or rather the sub-atomic scale, as the limit: anything smaller than an atom is false. Every paper ever written on quantum mechanics was either deliberate fiction or unwittingly based on fictitious models and assumptions. The government tells everyone to believe in quarks and bosons, and "invents" devices that "detect" such entities, like the Higgs particle, to further the conspiracy.

Assuming everything on the sub-atomic scale is a fraud and there is actually a 4th spatial dimension, who needs to be in on the conspiracy? Which of our models would have to be not just horribly misguided but deliberately made up, in order to allow for this dimension? The question is not whether a conspiracy can be maintained or not, the question is only to serve which branches of science and which technological devices I need to make deliberately fictitious. Everything else can just continue operating on working models that happen not to match the underlying reality.

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  • $\begingroup$ Up to u story, nothing special. I mean those groups depend on the actual differences u attach to the elongated atoms. Because if they quack and duck like regular athoms most of the times, then who knows maybe they are indeed 4d objects, we are just do not know yet. If electron microscops are sufficient, then basically all branches of science has to be in, since about 1900, diy guys as well. U can observe athoms with diy equipment with homemade tunel microscope, it will cost u about 200\$ in parts or less do not recall exactly. So whole scientific community, or nobody(as they do not know yet) $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    May 29 at 14:01
  • $\begingroup$ So put u handwavium lock on how to observe that, in u q, or on your own, and then u get special groups which do know howto, and u typical trope, special secure labs, hydra higher ups, mad scientists, etc etc pick ones u like. It quite good handwavium, go with it directly, with those who have to know, as there no ways to put some rationale who would know without knowing what actual difference is, and even then it will be something out of I wrote above. As security and stuff take any nuclear program as a template. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    May 29 at 14:04
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    $\begingroup$ You are of course aware that particle accelerators are (or at least, used to be) commonplace? That is to say, if particle accelerators are a hoax, how come that we had ubiquitous cathode ray tube (CRT) television sets, oscilloscopes, computer monitors and so on? (That is, electron guns are particle accelerators, and we are absolutely 100% sure they work.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    May 29 at 17:05
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    $\begingroup$ "Particles on the atomic scale and below are almost never directly observed": they are most certainly directly observed when it is useful to observe them directly. And some subatomic particles, such as electrons, are directly observed very often, as part of the operation of very commonplace devices, such as any cathode ray tube, and amplifier valve. (Note that nowadays it is very fashionable to use low-fidelity vacuum tube amplifiers for "acoustic warmth".) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    May 29 at 17:08
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    $\begingroup$ I think the problem is that we don't have a common understanding of the word "real". The only real things are phenomena, that it, measurable effects of measurable causes. If you can make a working mathematical model of where a flash of light will appear on a fluorescent screen when energizing an electron gun, and this model involves four-dimensional calculus, that's perfectly fine. It does not make the 4D calculus any more or less real than the excitations of a quantum field model. Electrons are not little balls, they are not quantum excitations, etc. -- they are electrons and nothing else. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    May 29 at 18:22
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All of science, at this level, is basically "what might explain what we observe (with the eye or with instruments)". These theories are then tested to breaking point, to try and deliberately find where they break.

Its also easy to think that a lot of particle/subatomic physics is esoteric and can be modified without much breaking. But that's just not the case. Break quantum mechanics, and semiconductors and lasers worldwide - and many/most things including them - fails. So do many biological processes, needed for life. Break general/special relativity and GPS and satnav fails. And so on. And those are just the easy catches.

The upshot is, your modified world has to produce virtually the same real world observations as actual science, in all areas. If it didn't, too many people would observe it, and too much wouldn't work. Every science grad student or new tech researcher would have anomalous findings. The answer then is, everyone has to be in on it, which kinda ruins it.

So the problem is, you could have a completely different physics, but you just couldn't hide it. It's not hide-able for such broad effects.

Your better bet is misdirection.

In the same way that Newton's laws are a simplified version of laws that we now know are more accurate, maybe these things do exist, do behave as stated, but their interpretation is deliberately simplified. It misses out a whole layer of other behaviours that are "off the radar" and hence not widely known or observed. They behave as expected when constrained to a 3D surface for example, like our universe. Science doesn't study them in circumstances that unconstrain them, so science simply doesn't notice the extra behaviours they are capable of, exhibit or enable.

Problem solved. All you have to do is hide the fact that they can be "unconstrained" in some way, and then they will exhibit a ton of other properties, and can be better understood as (whatever other way you want them seen). Not many people know that. Not many will find it by chance.

But while constrained, they act like wave-particles, and appear so, to us.

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Everyone, and most of the devices, or nobody and none of them.

The thing about science is that it requires you to question. If you don’t get a result that matches the theoretical model then you ask yourself why and come up with further questions.

If atoms don’t work as described then pretty much every model in physics, chemistry and some bits of biology begins to fail for one reason or another. That leads to discrepancies, which lead to questions. Even macro scale experiments would be off, and given how accurate some experiments are they would be off by margins too great to be error. So everyone needs to be brought in on it.

Unless, of course, the fictional model describes the behaviour of our constrained 4d system pretty damn well. Then nobody needs to be in on it, they just need to be pointed away from experiments that might hint at the truth.

But here’s where we come to the great joy of science: science isn’t about what’s true. It’s about what works. Newtonian mechanics is fundamentally wrong, but it works. Relativity is fundamentally wrong, but it works. Quantum mechanics is...

You get the drift.

If the constrained 4d model is fundamentally wrong but works then it isn’t actually wrong, it’s just incomplete. Atoms (as a conceptual framework through which to interpret the world) must exist, because every experiment you can do to show that’s true is in agreement with theory. The fact that atoms also do not exist is immaterial.

If the constrained 4d model is so wrong that no experimental result actually matches then every single scientist needs to be in on it in some way, shape or form.

So: Everyone. Or No-one. Or somewhere in between...

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    $\begingroup$ You are correct that if my 4D particles behaved like atoms in every way, then all of scientists would be misled and there wouldn't be much need for a conspiracy. But they do behave differently, to an extent that governments can detect, and that compels them to build hadron colliders and try to move in 4D. My best way to specify that extent is that direct observation of the atom would reveal the conspiracy, so electron microscopes are out, and that the large scale physics (e.g. orbital mechanics) which doesn't really allow for a 4D universe has to be false. $\endgroup$
    – KeizerHarm
    May 29 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ "some bits of biology begins" do not be shy, biology for ages is not what it was in 18th century, it will fall apart in big way, especially microbiology branches(with medical applications) as they in atom constructs all day long, maybe even more than any chemistry branch, because every molecule is a machine there, and u sole purpose to understand how the heck it works and how to use it to get rich. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    May 29 at 14:19
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    $\begingroup$ @KeizerHarm: If atoms operate sufficiently differently to theory that electron microscopes don’t work then we’d still be operating under the ‘plum pudding’ model, and your conspiracy would include every physicist, chemist, electrical engineer, molecular biologist, material scientist, doctor etc etc the list is basically everyone. $\endgroup$
    – Joe Bloggs
    May 29 at 14:23
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeBloggs Ok. I may need to refine the setting so that atoms are still okay but quarks are 4D? The biggest thing I want is for particle accelerators to be conspiracy, and they are always operating at the forefront of physics so that wouldn't require a conspiracy involving everyone, I think. $\endgroup$
    – KeizerHarm
    May 29 at 14:29
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    $\begingroup$ @KeizerHarm A 4D universe doesn't simply mess up orbiting spacecraft. It precludes orbits, period. Orbits like the Earth around the sun, the moon around the Earth. Electron clouds around atoms. In other words, the whole world as we know it. $\endgroup$ May 31 at 4:55
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One person.

You meet her with 3 pages left in the story. She knew you were coming to meet her and has taken a break from her gardening to receive you. She lets you in on how things really work. She is amused and pleased in the telling, delighted to share and also in the thing itself. She is unconcerned about the prospect of some vast conspiracy being uncovered.

He set down his pencil and pushed his damp hair back out of his eyes, and then it fell back down as he shook his head. She watched him with a twinkle in her eye. "Was there something else?", she asked.

He watched a colorful fly visit a flower. The flower bent as it landed. The world seemed different now. "No. I think that was enough."

She laughed out loud. "Really? That wasn't even why I thought you had come! I was wrong!" Then she looked at him more closely. "Or maybe not." She picked up her trowel and stood up, and she smiled at him. "But you can come back."

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    $\begingroup$ I am confused... $\endgroup$
    – KeizerHarm
    May 29 at 18:39
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    $\begingroup$ "He watched a colorful fly visit a flower. The flower bent as it landed. The world seemed different now. "No. I think that was enough."" This is soo good, lol. Very fine vodka, tnx))) That scene sketch is very good. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    May 29 at 19:38
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Just a handful

Any secret depends on people not telling or letting on. The moment more people know, therecis a higher chance it's told to someone else. Told to a spouse or kid, a dissident, someone forgetting their papers or a hack of the servers. However it happens, the more people know the more information is available. Digital, physical or in a person's head, all are subject to chance or on purpose extraction or giving away of the information. Eventually either all any secret gets public, or is (partially) lost.

What you need to do is reduce that chance so much that each information source is still able to be controlled. That is why scientific research is carefully guided to do experiments that also might contain valuable data for 4D research hidden within.

Most rather you want someone that is elected to never know this information. Besides that they can change every few years, thus more people will know, the ability to keep those secrets can't be vetted. So a few higher officials on fixed posts will know in the government, together with a handful of scientists. That is the only way.

Caveats

I would very much doubt that all the world's governments are in on it if some scientists make honest and mistaken quantum theory papers. Especially the smaller/less developed countries are very much in doubt, as well that all are trying to get there. There's too few people with scientific knowledge and abilities in most that every country can know it, nor are there enough particle accelerators throughout the world to suggest this is the case. Likely only a few of the governments know.

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