See : Interstellar - Trailer - Official Warner Bros. UK
"Everything objective, extended, active, and hence everything material, is regarded by materialism as so solid a basis for its explanations that a reduction to this (especially if it should ultimately result in thrust and counter-thrust) can leave nothing to be desired. But all this is something that is given only very indirectly and conditionally, and is therefore only relatively present, for it has passed through the machinery and fabrication of the brain, and hence has entered the forms of time, space, and causality, by virtue of which it is first of all presented as extended in space and operating in time."The German materialist and atheist anthropologist Ludwig Feuerbach would signal a new turn in materialism through his book, The Essence of Christianity (1841), which provided a humanist account of religion as the outward projection of man's inward nature. Feuerbach's materialism would later heavily influence Karl Marx.
In the twentieth century, physicalism has emerged out of positivism. Physicalism restricts meaningful statements to physical bodies or processes that are verifiable or in principle verifiable. It is an empirical hypothesis that is subject to revision and, hence, lacks the dogmatic stance of classical materialism. Herbert Feigl defended physicalism in the United States and consistently held that mental states are brain states and that mental terms have the same referent as physical terms. The twentieth century has witnessed many materialist theories of the mental, and much debate surrounding them.
—George J. Stack, Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Then came our Quantum theory, which totally transformed our image of matter. The old assumption that the microscopic world of atoms was simply a scaled-down version of the everyday world had to be abandoned. Newton's deterministic machine was replaced by a shadowy and paradoxical conjunction of waves and particles, governed by the laws of chance, rather than the rigid rules of causality. An extension of the quantum theory goes beyond even this; it paints a picture in which solid matter dissolves away, to be replaced by weird excitations and vibrations of invisible field energy.
Quantum physics undermines materialism because it reveals that matter has far less "substance" than we might believe. But another development goes even further by demolishing Newton's image of matter as inert lumps. This development is the theory of chaos, which has recently gained widespread attention.
Davies' and Gribbin's objections are shared by proponents of digital physics who view information rather than matter to be fundamental. Their objections were also shared by some founders of quantum theory, such as Max Planck, who wrote:— Paul Davies and John Gribbin, The Matter Myth, Chapter 1
As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.
— Max Planck, Das Wesen der Materie, 1944
|Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) Graphic of proposed IRIS spacecraft. The IRIS instrument is a multi-channel imaging spectrograph with a 20 cm UV telescope. IRIS will obtain spectra along a slit (1/3 arcsec wide), and slit-jaw images. Credit: NASA|
The Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) is a NASA solar observation satellite. The mission was funded through the Small Explorer program to investigate the physical conditions of the solar limb, particularly the chromosphere of the Sun. The spacecraft consists of a satellite bus and spectrometer built by the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory (LMSAL), and a telescope provided by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. IRIS is operated by LMSAL and NASA's Ames Research Center.
The satellite's instrument is a high-frame-rate ultraviolet imaging spectrometer, providing one image per second at 0.3 arcsecond spatial resolution and sub-ångström spectral resolution.
NASA announced on 19 June 2009 that IRIS was selected from six small explorer mission candidates for further study, along with the Gravity and Extreme Magnetism (GEMS) space observatory.
The spacecraft arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on 16 April 2013 and was successfully launched on 27 June 2013 by a Pegasus-XL rocket. IRIS achieved first light on 17 July 2013. NASA noted, "IRIS's first images showed a multitude of thin, fibril-like structures that have never been seen before, revealing enormous contrasts in density and temperature occur throughout this region even between neighboring loops that are only a few hundred miles apart." On 31 October 2013, calibrated IRIS data and images were released on the project website. A preprint describing the satellite and initial data has been released on the arXiv.
NASA's newest sun-watcher, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, launched in 2013 with a specific goal: track how energy and heat coursed through a little understood region of the sun called the interface region. Sandwiched between the solar surface and its outer atmosphere, the corona, the interface region is where the cooler temperatures of the sun's surface transition to the hotter temperatures above. Moreover, all the energy to power the sun's output -- including eruptions such as solar flares and the sun's constant outflow of particles called the solar wind -- must make its way through this region. See:
NASA's IRIS Helps Explain Mysterious Heating of the Solar Atmosphere
What are black holes? What are they made of? What is string theory? Is everything we see just vibrations of strings? How are string theory and black holes related? What are the fundamental laws of Nature?
For decades, since the discovery of quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of relativity, scientists have been trying to combine the two perspectives of the world into one single unified theory. One of the results was string theory: where the strangeness of quantum reality and the weirdness of relativity theory come together and create something even more puzzling - a world with extra dimensions
String theory says that there is only one fundamental object in the universe: the string. Much like the strings in a guitar give rise to different sounds when you pluck them, the strings of string theory give rise to the different constituents of the observed reality when you make them vibrate at different energies. Is everything in the world made of strings? If so, what is a black hole? SEE: Black Holes, String Theory and the Fundamental Laws of Nature with Andrew Strominger
Who are we? And what is our role in the universe? Information technology is radically changing not only how we deal with the world and make sense of it, or interact with each other, but also how we look at ourselves and understand our own existence and responsibilities. Philosophy Professor Floridi ( @Floridi ) will discuss such impact of information technology on our lives and on our self-understanding; he will take us along the Copernican revolution, the Darwinian revolution, the Freudian revolution right up to speed with the Turing revolution: a world of inforgs in a global environment ultimately made of information. Floridi will talk about expanding our ecological and ethical approach to both natural and man-made realities, in order to cope successfully with the new moral challenges posed by information technology. Ready for some philosophy? You bet!
“ It is undeniable that some organisms are subjects of experience. But the question of how it is that these systems are subjects of experience is perplexing. Why is it that when our cognitive systems engage in visual and auditory information-processing, we have visual or auditory experience: the quality of deep blue, the sensation of middle C? How can we explain why there is something it is like to entertain a mental image, or to experience an emotion? It is widely agreed that experience arises from a physical basis, but we have no good explanation of why and how it so arises. Why should physical processing give rise to a rich inner life at all? It seems objectively unreasonable that it should, and yet it does. ”
Moreover, it must be confessed that perception and that which depends upon it are inexplicable on mechanical grounds, that is to say, by means of figures and motions. And supposing there were a machine, so constructed as to think, feel, and have perception, it might be conceived as increased in size, while keeping the same proportions, so that one might go into it as into a mill. That being so, we should, on examining its interior, find only parts which work one upon another, and never anything by which to explain a perception.Isaac Newton wrote in a letter to Henry Oldenburg:
to determine by what modes or actions light produceth in our minds the phantasm of colour is not so easie.T.H. Huxley remarked:
how it is that any thing so remarkable as a state of consciousness comes about as the result of irritating nervous tissue, is just as unaccountable as the appearance of the Djin when Aladdin rubbed his lamp.