MINERVA - read-only archives


Infiltrate. Reveal. Destroy. This forum is gone, but not forgotten.
It is currently Sun Jan 23, 2022 2:36 pm

All times are UTC





Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: The Science of the Half Life Universe
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 3:55 am 
Offline
Acolyte
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:44 am
Posts: 24
Location: 33 parsecs from the closest bathroom
First of all, sorry for my english...

In real life I'm just a guy that enjoys science, in particular non-basic science, like xenobiology, astrophysics, theorical physics, paleontology, etc. Plus, I love science fiction, and I love to link this with the forementioned interests.

I will try to explain some Half Life science, and correct some concepts. If you don't agree with me, got a question or want to add some info, do it in a nice way. Help is well received.

- Most people confuse universe, dimensions or timeline using alternate or parallel prefixes. Our Universe has determined physical/chemical properties, which will be the same everywhere (maybe not everytime), and nothing can break the rules (Floating Islands in Xen? - I'll talk about it later).
There could be a completely different universe with completely different laws (so different that you can't even exist in that universe); or a universe that would be different in one or three (not two) of these properties: charge (matter - antimatter), parity (left-handed - right handed particles) and time (tardions - tachyons) symmetry.
Dimensions are hard to define; but they aren't "places". You should always consider time as a 4th dimenstion, mensurable in length units (1 second 2,8exp9 meters), just multiply your favorite time unit with c, and you got it in length units. All dimensions are length mensurable.
I'm ignoring the quantity of dimensions, because that doesn't matter now.
Then what is Xen, if it is not an alternate universe or dimension?
Xen could be in a galaxy millions of parsecs away from the milky way, if we consider the three spatial dimensions we detect (because the others are just so big or so small), but it is just some few micrometers in a particular dimension. It just depends how do you see it. Imagine we see the three spatial dimensions of our universe represented in a flat paper. Then fold the paper once, and voilá, you have now a multidimesional two-brane universe. That means, Xen is in another brane than Earth (probably very close to multiple branes, so it can be called "borderworld", a relay station).

- Portals: Doesn't matter of what portal or game are we talking about, they work the same way. They are just shortcut that go through dimensions (including time), thus through branes, represented by a hole in the aforementioned folded paper. That is called Wormhole in popular culture, or Einstein-Rosen-Podolsky bridges. There are plenty of them in the equations of Einstein and in our universe, but they are highly unstable. It was believed that tachyons or "exotic matter" (they are known in Half-Life with this name) could stabilize these bridges (but it has been discovered recently that also an electromagnetic field can do that, I can not say more).

I'm not done yet... I want to say something about Xen, but later...

_________________
Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est


Top
 

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 5:47 pm 
Offline
Scribe
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 8:33 pm
Posts: 158
Location: Derby, UK
My reasoning for floating islands in Xen, other than poor level design, is that the naturally very low gravity of the Xen world (possibly some sort of gas cloud) is combined with thick atmosphere and naturally boyant plant matter causing the islands to seemingly float.

Hmmm... something about that doesn't seem right. I might be contradicting myself.

_________________
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

Image


Top
 

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:16 am 
Offline
Acolyte
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:44 am
Posts: 24
Location: 33 parsecs from the closest bathroom
Kastanok wrote:
My reasoning for floating islands in Xen, other than poor level design, is that the naturally very low gravity of the Xen world (possibly some sort of gas cloud) is combined with thick atmosphere and naturally boyant plant matter causing the islands to seemingly float.

Hmmm... something about that doesn't seem right. I might be contradicting myself.


Poor level design? I think it is very original...

Low gravity and thick atmosfere do not allow floating islands... There must be another mechanism... geological perhaps... artificial?...

I was thinking that the yellow cristals, which are common and natural in Xen, allows the islands to float.
These crystals somehow concentrates exotic matter or tachyons (read above)... This kind of matter cannot reach the speed of light, which is the lowest limit of speed for this matter. The "ordinary" matter (tardions) also have this limit, but c being the highest limit of speed.
Tachyons practically go back in time, and have an imaginary mass, that means the square root of a negative number.

But now I doubt is correct, because the "purest sample" in the start of HL1 is not floating around... and we don't know the behavior of conglomerated tachyons in a crystal in real life.



Can you explain the boyant plant matter? I can't interpret it.

_________________
Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est


Top
 

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:29 am 
Offline
Seeker
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:48 am
Posts: 105
Well, I'm no physicist, but I'll give you my theories.

We know Xen is a border world, ie it borders two or more other universes. These other, "main" universes would obviously be far, far more "massive" than a mere border world. Thus, Xen is caught in the middle of two or more "objects" of significantly more mass than itself.

My theory, then, is that the islands of Xen are within a massive Lagrangian point between the universes. That's why the distribution of islands is relatively flat, ie an infinite void above you and below you; the L-point of the two universes allows a field of matter to remain gravitationally suspended, caught between the universes which Xen borders.

Read more about Lagrangian Points here.


(Edited for correction of homonymic errors.)


Last edited by Terrapin on Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:05 pm 
Offline
Horseman of the Apocalypse
User avatar
 WWW  Profile

Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:46 pm
Posts: 251
Location: Warsaw
Tiny little message from the apologetic spelling police:
boarder
border

Please do not let this public service broadcast interrupt the exquisite discussion.


Top
 

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:35 pm 
Offline
Acolyte
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:14 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Ingerlarnd
Interesting ideas from Wikipedia page of Xen:


Quote:
Compared to the gravitational pull experienced on Earth, Xen is notable for having somewhat reduced gravity. However, given that Xen is comprised of low mass asteroids, it is surprising that there is any appreciable gravitational pull at all, let alone a sufficiently strong pull to retain the breathable atmosphere encountered there. Another noticeable feature is that gravity is always directed downwards, rather than towards the asteroid, so that one can actually fall off an asteroid into the void below. While it is possible that the "islands" are small chunks orbiting a larger and unseen planetoid, these unusual physics strongly suggest that Xen occupies an alternate dimension where conventional physics may not fully apply.


An idea I had is that perhaps the asteroids are all gravitationally linked. Maybe their individual gravities combine to create a large field around the entire cluster, and perhaps the crystals is what does this. It could explain why it had such an extreme reaction to an (anti)mass spectrometer.

Edit: Actually, after re-reading others posts and realising that if the asteroids did have a shared general gravity field, they would probably all pull in to one planetoid, perhaps the crystals exert something similar to a magnetic field, and the islands are in a state of perfect balance with each other, giving the "float" to them, but also have the shared gravity field.

_________________
Help my minicity to grow. Visit daily!

http://idiotown.myminicity.com - population
http://idiotown.myminicity.com/ind - industry
http://idiotown.myminicity.com/tra - transport


Top
 

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:32 pm 
Offline
Acolyte
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:44 am
Posts: 24
Location: 33 parsecs from the closest bathroom
I wrote this days ago, but I couldn't do it, because of internet problems... I have some similar ideas....

Procyon of 2 days ago wrote:

Sounds perfect, but there is only one thing I don't like... you mean a brane instead of a universe? right? read the first post...

That makes sense with the strings theory and gravity... Gravitons (force particles) consist of closed strings, so they can go through branes, because they aren't attached to branes... The rest of the bosons that are the force interaction particles (photons, gauge bosons) and the fermion matter, are open strings, attached to a certain brane. Notice that this still works with space-time deformation...
(This is another theory for the Dark Matter in real life)

So Xen is located in a brane, adjacent to multiple branes of higher mass, forming a Lagrangian point. Nice theory...

But there is gravity, low, but it is still there... and the player and creatures do not float, like the islands, which are more massive.

I doubt that there is void below, for the same reason... The islands are orbiting a planet... and this planet is orbiting a star (in some maps we can see a "Sun" in the horizon...in Blue shift).


Xen: what we know...

- Presence of gravity
- Floating islands, defying gravity
- High presence of tachyons (yellow crystals)
- Adjacent to multiple branes (borderworld)


So a new and simpler hipotesis: Electromagnetic repulsion, high enough to counter gravity? Caused by the yellow crystals?


so EM seems the most appropiated thing now... but is not anti-mass, is imaginary mass

_________________
Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est


Top
 

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:48 pm 
Offline
Seeker
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:48 am
Posts: 105
Firstly, yes, I did mean brane, not universe. However, as to gravity, lets suppose that one particular brane bordering Xen is significantly more massive than the other(s). There can still be Lagrangian points even if the two objects are of very different masses, as I assume you know. As far as I know, if brane A is far more massive than brane B, they still form a Lagrangian point, but gravity would still be toward brane A due to it's mass.

However, there could very well be other explanations. It seems possible, if not likely, that there is a larger body, likely a planet, below the islands of Xen, due to all creatures not floating as you pointed out. However, we really have no idea how Xen works. To quote Wikipedia, Xen's "unusual physics strongly suggest that Xen occupies an alternate dimension where conventional physics may not fully apply". So EM, tachyons, portals, gravity, Lagrangian points, and every other idea of physics may work in totally different ways, or not at all.

My best guess, assuming all laws of physics apply as we know them, which as I mentioned may not be correct, is that the islands of Xen, are in fact, "orbiting" the adjacent branes, but are repelled by electromagnetic force. They are stuck in a fine balance between gravity (pulling them toward the far more massive branes) and electromagnetic repulsion (pushing them away), in a sort of hybrid-Lagrangian-point. Not sure if this would actually work at all, but it seems to make sense.


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: The Science of the Half Life Universe
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:17 am 
Offline
Acolyte
 Profile

Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:11 am
Posts: 104
Location: Chicago
Sorry, I'm a bit late here but...

Wasn't the "Xen World" supposed to be a completely different DIMENSION. If so wouldn't that kind of negate any laws of reality that we hold dear?


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: The Science of the Half Life Universe
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:19 pm 
Offline
Acolyte
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:14 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Ingerlarnd
Thats pretty much the general consensus answer, but it's always fun to deconstruct things further than that and work out exactly what is different and how it could work. This is a pretty scientifically minded forum after all ;)

_________________
Help my minicity to grow. Visit daily!

http://idiotown.myminicity.com - population
http://idiotown.myminicity.com/ind - industry
http://idiotown.myminicity.com/tra - transport


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: The Science of the Half Life Universe
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:55 pm 
Offline
Acolyte
 Profile

Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 8:11 am
Posts: 104
Location: Chicago
and by all means don't et me stop you, I was more or less asking for my own knowledge


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: The Science of the Half Life Universe
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:46 pm 
Offline
Acolyte
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:44 am
Posts: 24
Location: 33 parsecs from the closest bathroom
It's my idea, or some replies have been deleted?


I repeat... Xen is not another DIMENSION. A DIMENSION is just...mmhh... another (than the 4 known) coordinate in space-time, if you like. A DIMENSION is not another universe, is not a place, is not a brane, doesn't use the same place of another thing (because a dimension is a concept not a tangible thing), etc.



I wanted to talk about another half-life science fact, but I forgot what... *scratches head*... ...it was about what breen say in the later levels of HL2...

Terrapin wrote:
However, we really have no idea how Xen works. To quote Wikipedia, Xen's "unusual physics strongly suggest that Xen occupies an alternate dimension where conventional physics may not fully apply". So EM, tachyons, portals, gravity, Lagrangian points, and every other idea of physics may work in totally different ways, or not at all.


It seems more probable that Xen follows the rules of the game; we are the ones that don't know ALL the rules.

_________________
Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: The Science of the Half Life Universe
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:51 am 
Offline
Seeker
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:48 am
Posts: 105
Procyon wrote:
It seems more probable that Xen follows the rules of the game; we are the ones that don't know ALL the rules.


Quite right - remember in the final chapter of HL2, when you first enter the teleport shaft, Breen says:

Quote:
Doctor Freeman, you really shouldn't be out there. At the moment of synapse as I teleport this chamber will be bathed in deadly particles that have yet to be named by human science. Perhaps when I have the leisure to do the work myself, I'll name one of them after you; that way you won't be completely forgotten. When the singularity collapses, I will be far away from here - in another universe, as a matter of fact. You on the other hand will be destroyed in every way it is possible to be destroyed, and even in some, which are essentially impossible!

We know science is sufficiently more advanced in the Half-Life universe (e.g. teleports), and even then, there's a lot that isn't known. For all we know, current particle theories, or even brane theory itself, may be flawed, or just plain wrong. So of course we're going to have to take liberties with known physics, because, like you said, we don't know, precisely, what we don't know.


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: The Science of the Half Life Universe
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:17 pm 
Offline
Acolyte
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:44 am
Posts: 24
Location: 33 parsecs from the closest bathroom
That has happened in our history a lot of times....

In a few years more, astrology, parapsicology, ghost and all that esotheric things could be explained by science...

Just look for the PEAR project... something about collective conciusness and probability...
http://noosphere.princeton.edu/homepage.html

One step to destroy superstition and reach an enlightened humanity... (Yeah, I know I sound like Breen)

_________________
Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est


Top
 

 Post subject: Re: The Science of the Half Life Universe
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:15 pm 
Offline
Acolyte
User avatar
 Profile

Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:14 pm
Posts: 51
Location: Ingerlarnd
I just want to know how long it will be before we can use Zero Point Energy like the force

_________________
Help my minicity to grow. Visit daily!

http://idiotown.myminicity.com - population
http://idiotown.myminicity.com/ind - industry
http://idiotown.myminicity.com/tra - transport


Top
 

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC



You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group