Monday, September 27, 2004

Spinning objects by Christian deWilde

Title: Spinning objects
Author: Christian deWilde
Affiliation: Emergent Minds

Consider the possibility that objects spin in self-defense. Spinning objects are naturally selected for survival because their spin affords them greater protection from environmental threats than objects which don't spin. Over the long haul, objects that don't spin end up being shattered (into smaller spinning parts) by those that do... Over time, spinning objects tend to gradually become spherical as protruding areas get worn down or chipped off.
Let's say that two non-spinning billiard balls collide in a zero gravity vacuum:
Unless they hit precisely head on (exceedingly unlikely), the impact will cause one or both of them to spin as they glance off one another:
Consider what happens if you shoot a bullet directly at the center of a stationary (non-spinning) cue ball. If the cue ball is perfectly still (not spinning), it will simply explode when the bullet strikes. (In fact, it will explode into a number of smaller chunks, many of which will be spinning from the impact... We'll come back to this unfortunate cue ball in a moment.)
Now consider what happens if you shoot a bullet at a spinning cue ball: The faster the cue ball is spinning, the greater the chance the bullet will glance off or be deflected by the "centripetal force-field" created by the spin - the spinning ball drags the air molecules surrounding it in the direction of spin, which in turn causes counter-rotation of the next farthest layer of air molecules (Bernoulli Effect). This creates a mini-atmosphere, which serves as a protective buffer around the cue ball:
Say you are a spinning sphere (or, if you have trouble visualizing that, imagine you are spinning around the surface of a sphere such as Earth) - the atmosphere created by your spin allows you to drag inbound elements into an orbit around you.

These inbound elements can be anything - information, physical objects, waves, etc... If an inbound element is traveling faster than your atmosphere, then your atmosphere will have a slowing effect on the inbound element. (Imagine shooting a bullet into a whirlpool of molasses - the bullet slows to "digestible" speed as it enters the whirlpool...) If the element is traveling slower than your atmosphere, then your atmosphere will have the effect of speeding it up. Now imagine flying a paper airplane into a tornado - the airplane picks up speed but its shape is not well-suited for spinning, so it is quickly shredded into tiny pieces, which in turn get broken down into smaller and smaller pieces until they are so small that they can spin effectively. As these pieces are getting smaller, the tornado, which just ate a paper airplane, is getting stronger - It has broken the paper down into tiny orbiting atmospheric projectiles which are now serving to chew up any new paper airplanes which might enter into its energy field.

We have fairly compelling evidence that our hapless victim, the cue ball, stands a better chance of survival if it is spinning - in fact, we can safely say that up until the point that its rate of spin jeopardizes its own structural integrity, the ball's chances of surviving impact increase directly with its rate of spin.
...But what about the bullet? Does our predatory projectile gain or lose any naturally selective advantage by spinning? It would seem so (and here's where I think things get really interesting) - The bullet seems to have the best chance of penetrating the centripetal force-field of the cue ball and making contact if its axis of spin is aligned with its direction of travel - in other words, if it drills into the cue ball). Not only does it have a better chance of making contact, it has a better chance of surviving contact as well, because as we showed above, it can better deflect atmospheric projectiles whirring around the cue ball which might otherwise pose a threat.
A related effect of spinning is that it maximizes absorption of inbound elements by distributing any inbound elements over the entire sphere... So we know that our planet spins almost orthogonally to the sun's light, thereby maximizing distribution of heat and light over the surface area of the sphere... More to come on the implications of differing ratios of volume to surface area for different 3-D geometric shapes...
(Random musings...)
You are the center of your own universe, and you have a multi-dimensional, multi-layer atmosphere around you. If this doesn't make sense, think about the implications of having a "circulatory" system...) If you are standing still, the counter-rotating spheres around you will tend to align such that each successive sphere radiating out from the center is spinning either with it axis of spin exactly aligned with or completely orthogonal to axes of spin of the ones above and below it. When all the axes of a hypershpere align, there is a myelinated communication conduit formed along the axis of the poles, protected by the spinning atmosphere. Could it be that neurotransmitters simply cause a polar alignment between the spheres at the end of axons and dendrites, and as soon as those poles align, they exchange signals through the emergent tunnel until their spins once again become destabilized and block off further communication during the refractory period?
Each of the 3 quarks (up, down, and strange: labels referring to direction of spin) corresponds to a geometric axis (x, y, and z), since each of these types of spin are natural consequence of the other two. Might this circular dependency represent the essence of perpetual motion? More on this later...
There is also a naturally selective advantage to having mountainous terrain on the surface of a sphere, since an uneven surface creates more drag on the air molecules, creating a richer atmosphere. Note the dimples in a golf ball. This advantage is offset by the naturally selective pressure to achieve faster spin, which generally requires (and results in) a somewhat smooth surface. Now look at craters on the surface of planets or moons... As planets survive small impacts, they gain the mountainous surface contours that help to effectively gather an atmosphere... Some planets are heavily volcanic, and perhaps more likely to have a rich atmosphere... and therefore more likely to harbor life?
Have you ever seen an analog music storage system that doesn't rely on spin for playback? Records, eight tracks, cassettes, and even digital/optical media such as DAT and CD players all work by passing an endless stream of information over some "perceptron" (needle, tape head, laser reader, etc.), and this endless stream is best organized in a self-contained circular form.
Could it be that the reason that sound, for example, seems to travel in a wave pattern, is because of the positional shifts that occur as a natural consequence of passing through sequential counter-rotating fields? If you're moving away from the source of sound, you get carried back and forth by each surrounding field layer.


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