The Oak of Science 2

The continuing analogy of Science as an Oak tree

In case you missed it Part 1 here

The Oak of Science


Some ways in which the different disciplines of science, just like the branches of the tree are intrinsically connected, in ways which those in the field may not know
Anyone reading Science for the first time, [or any other discipline for that matter] will be struck by the fact that as one enters the arena, so one finds new words to add to their vocabulary
It may even be possible to transform some of the complex terminology into more down-to-earth everyday language
In attempting this topic, I am going to have to use some new terms even to myself, as I don't yet know how to explain some things, so I'll quote passages from authors, or pieces I rely on as illustrative, in keeping with the image of a journalist being both a wordsmith and an artist, painting on the backdrop of life
OK, so the painting so far, has washed the canvas, put in the background, showing some of the origins, a point from whence life springs, - like unto the hidden roots of the tree, added some texture, in the evolving theories upon which current belief systems are built, and posed a question or two, as to the nature of the life force.....
......and already there are a million people looking at the canvas and seeing different things

Greedy Mind

HA! That's because we cannot help ourselves. Our minds are greedy for more, and if it isn't readily supplied, the mind will simply embellish, and so many of you already have different pictures, maybe projecting where it may go next or adding some knowledge from your own speciality or personal interest, or simply doodling out of boredom

Well, hold up! This is my blog, and my analogy, and my Oak of Science, and it's still growing
Who knows how big it will get, as even I don't, LOL

The idea that there is an electromagnetic energy inherent in our universe was mooted by Einstein and continued by Otto Stern
Einstein and Otto Stern came close to deriving the blackbody function without assuming quantization but with the presence of zero-point energy. Nernst had previously claimed in 1916 that the universe was filled with zero-point energy. This line of investigation was abandoned with the advent of quantum mechanics, but the concept of zero-point energy soon re-emerged with a quantum interpretation.
“As Galileo first realised, all bodies have a curious in-built resistance to having their motion changed in any way. Bodies which are stationary want to stay stationary; bodies which are moving want to remain moving. On Earth this is not at all obvious because frictional forces always act to slow a body down. A car whose engine cuts out, for instance, travels only a short distance before grinding to a halt. In the empty vacuum of space, however, the tendency of moving bodies to keep on moving is very apparent. Newton distilled this idea into his first law of motion, which states: "A body remains in a state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force."
This stubborn opposition of mass to any attempt to change its motion is attributed to a property called "inertia". Every time we try to budge a fridge and it stubbornly opposes our efforts, physicists say we are encountering the fridge's inertia. This kind of mass - "inertial mass" - is the most familiar of all forms of mass.
However, what is the origin of mass? You would think physicists long ago figured out the answer to so straightforward a question. After all, they have deduced what the Universe was like in its first split-second of its existence - and that must have be an incomparably harder nut to crack. Appearances, however, can be deceptive. The embarrassing truth is that, at the beginning of the 21st century, one of nature's best kept secrets remains the origin of mass!”

In common parlance we think only of weight, which isn't mass at all, but the effect of gravity on a body at rest. Gravity. There's another acorn [rather than the conventional term 'peanut' in such circumstance, due to the tree in question]
“The mass that responds to gravity is referred to by physicists as "gravitational mass". And there is something very peculiar about it, first noted by Galileo and others, though it took Einstein to recognise its true significance for penetrating the mystery of gravity. The peculiar thing is that the force of gravity experienced by a body goes up exactly in step with its inertial mass. In other words, a body with double the inertial mass of another experiences twice the force of gravity; a body with ten times the inertial mass tens times the gravity; and so on. Recall, however, that a body's resistance to being moved also goes up exactly in step with its inertial mass. Because of this, a body that is twice as hard to move as another experiences a force of gravity twice as strong; one that is ten times as hard to move a force ten times as great. By some weird cosmic conspiracy, the effect of inertia and the effect of gravity compensate for each other perfectly. Consequently, all bodies falling under gravity pick up speed at exactly the same rate, no matter what their mass.
Galileo is said to have demonstrated this striking property of falling bodies by dropping different masses from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and seeing them hit the ground simultaneously. However, it was shown beyond a doubt in 1972 when Dave Scott, commander of the Apollo 15 spacecraft, dropped a hammer and a feather together in the air-resistance-free environment of the Moon. Two simultaneous puffs of dust on the fuzzy black-and-white TV pictures were indisputable evidence that the hammer and the feather had struck the lunar surface at the same time. “
How remarkable was that!
But mass is also Energy.
“Energy is actually a slippery concept to define but it comes in many forms - for instance, heat energy, sound energy and energy of motion. If you doubt that is energy associated with motion, step into the path of a speeding bicycle - or, better still, just imagine it!. As pointed out before, one of the central characteristics of energy - first appreciated by 19th-century scientists and enshrined in the law of conservation of energy - is that energy can never be created or destroyed, merely changed from one form into another.“

This is a fundamental stumbling block to the ideas being touted all over the web as we have our energy crisis moment, that people are going to create a machine which will produce oodles of energy from so-called over-unity devices, which give more output than is put in
Well, we may have to derive a new theory of this intermingling of the vacuum, the inherent energy in the mass of the universe and even gravity itself, in order to achieve this, as far as I can see
However, here's an example of DIY over-unity electricity generation using magnetically coupled motor and generator

Explain it, I cannot, - see it, I can: 113Watts in, 227Watts out!

I can only suggest that maybe there is some energy being transferred by the magnetic field from the 'vacuum' of the space between motor and generator
Or it may just be a con..... but he doesn't give enough detail of the components to build a similar unit to verify the results, but there are many more.....


Another branch where  zero-point energy is being studied is in the biology of the mind...miles away from the 'boys with toys' world of physics and energy generation or transfer, and yet, curiously dependent on exactly the same history and discoveries from the past, and on the same trunk of the oak of science, just a different branch
My question is, are these different branches aware of their proximity and parallel research – I doubt it!

So where is the connection, I feel you asking in anticipation?

Well, we need to look into the world of the microscopic, to look at the energy and electromagnetics at the atomic level

Within each and every one of us, is a central nervous system, a bunch of nerves, connection to our brain atop the spinal column, all swimming in the soup of  amino-acids where nerve ending receptors fire and twitch to give us both motor functioning and reasoning
Now, I don't want to go into details here, but it was hypothesised that we are just stimulus response creatures, by Pavlov and later Skinner, to start what is now known as the Behaviourist school – and politicians love it – predictability of mass behaviour
So as a result, much research is done, even now into the fields of brain functioning, and methods to control 'non-conformist tendencies' – things like aberrant behaviour that makes people want to harm others around them

Our Brains

The cerebellum consists of two deeply-convoluted hemispheres. Although it represents only 10% of the weight of the brain, it contains as many neurons as all the rest of the brain combined.
There is a known link between serotonin, for example and depression and relates to the hippocampus part of the brain

image with captions

I find it sad, but it seems, 'progress' depends on lab tests, but so many rats have been electrocuted, or 'stimulated' to test theories about our brains, you would think depression would be a thing of the past, yet clearly the evidence is against that!

There are many links to serotonin in these SciBlog pages, for anyone needing them, though here are a few


It is estimated that the human brain contains 100 billion (1011) neurons averaging 10,000 synapses on each; that is, some 1015  connections. How to unravel the workings of such a complex system?
The electroencephalograph has long been the tool to examine these functions with, and having been connected up to one at a very early age, I have to admit to it feeling like a most uncomfortable experience, as bodies flew around the room, rushing to see what was happening as my brain decided to do things that apparently they weren't used to, and sent the needles flying off the scales of the feed paper
I had episodes of unexplained 'odd behaviour' when I was young and had out of body experiences, and visions and 'abilities' other people didn't understand. I've retained my quirky nature, but no longer have out of body experiences, or sudden 'electric shocks' up my spine, which I've never had explained.....though my energy field seems to be accepting of me these days LOL

Other Methods

Other methods for examining brain function are:

  •  CT = X-ray Computed Tomography, used to create 3D images of brain activity,

  • PET = Positron-Emission Tomography, - this imaging technique requires that the subject be injected with a radioisotope that emits positrons. Using either water labeled with oxygen-15, or deoxyglucose labeled with fluorine-18 to visualize active regions of the brain. 

  • MRI = Magnetic Resonance Imaging, uses powerful magnets to detect magnetic molecules within the body. These can be endogenous molecules or magnetic substances injected into a vein. - Most recently,

  • fMRI = Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging exploits the changes in the magnetic properties of hemoglobin as it carries oxygen. Activation of a part of the brain increases oxygen levels there increasing the ratio of oxyhemoglobin  to deoxyhemoglobin.  and

  • Magnetoencephalography (MEG) which detects the tiny magnetic fields created as individual neurons "fire" within the brain. It can pinpoint the active region with a millimeter, and can follow the movement of brain activity as it travels from region to region within the brain. It is noninvasive requiring only that the subject's head lie within a helmet containing the magnetic sensors.

Biotech - Is is sinistre?

However, one post from these hallowed threads, makes me just slightly nervous of the sort of Skynet/Big Brother type human-robot synthesis future, that some film makers predict
Given the Secret Service/military's past habits, who can say for sure that  it doesn't exist already?
A team at the Max Planck Institute say they have solved the problem and
describe the coupling of a receptor to a silicon chip by means of a
cell–transistor interface
. True bioelectronics at its most basic level.

.....and things are still developing......injectable nanobots
Ray Kurzweil speculates in an interview with Good magazine that nanotechnology could simulate travel because an injection of nanobots could trick your neurons into thinking that you’re really traveling someplace you aren’t.
If it sounds a bit like taking psychedelic drugs, it is. You get pretty much the same effect, but these nanobots are technically robots, not drugs
The 1966 science-fiction movie Fantastic Voyage famously imagined using a tiny ship to combat disease inside the body. With the advent of nanotechnology, researchers are inching closer to creating something almost as fantastic. A microscopic device that could swim through the bloodstream and directly target the site of disease, such as a tumor, could offer radical new treatments. To get to a tumor, however, such a device would have to be small and agile enough to navigate through a labyrinth of tiny blood vessels, some far thinner than a human hair.

Researchers at the École Polytechnique de Montréal, in Canada, led by professor  of computer engineering Sylvain Martel, have coupled live, swimming bacteria to microscopic beads to develop a self-propelling device, dubbed a nanobot
Micro Swimming Robots

A truly microscale (characteristic length of the robot doesn't exceed
100 um) swimming robot

Goal: Developing a microscale swimming robot which
operates in stagnation/low velocity flow field.

Approach: Although advances in micro/nano-fabrication
have led to realization of various miniature mobile robots; the most
significant bottleneck for further miniaturization of mobile robots down
to micrometer scale is the miniaturization of the on-board actuators
and power sources required for mobility.
Bioactuators are far superior to man-made actuators for
micro/nanorobotics purposes. They are compact, efficient, and capable of
producing complicated motions. However, isolating these actuators from
living organisms and reconstituting them is an elaborate process with a
very low yield. To circumvent this problem, in this project we use
flagellar motors inside the intact cell of S. marcescens
bacteria for controlled propulsion of a microscale swimming robot.
Harvesting the motility of microorganisms, we have shown the feasibility
of a novel technique for on/off controlled actuation at microscale.

You get the connection? Biotech robots + receptor-chip interfaces.......some part of me is shuddering.....


Before going too far down that route, there is another area of the brain which seems to be connected with my broader field of interest – esotericism, and that part of the brain representing in eastern traditions, the crown chakra,
 - the seat of wisdom, the pineal gland or hypothalamus
It is probably the most important of the endocrine glands, sitting aloft the adrenal cortex, adrenal medulla, the thyroid, parathyroid, testis/ovary and the pancreas [sorry this is not my field, so if I oversimplify, I'm just an artist, here, with a broad brush, so if you see a five legged monster – don't shoot, it might be me]

However, I'm now going to let you gaze at the sunset on this growing oak, and more anon,
as they say, as I delve further into this fascinating topic....more to come, hopefully a few surprises, yet