❓ If you have five apples and subtract or “take away” six, what is the result?
Although the context of the numbers in a problem such as this is arbitrary, in reality a negative result does not mean it is the antithesis of the measured item. A practical interpretation is that you are indebted a positive value of those quantities to someone else!
This condition is even more apparent in algebra:
This is because the negative sign is not reflective of the number value itself. A negative value, again, is not an anti-value. In algebra, it is simply an absolute value in the opposite direction!
Being a frequent error made in manual computation, I’ve seen it suggested as a best practice to treat all values in algebra as positive and resolve the minus signs apart from the numbers. One can separate minus signs from their attached values by converting all negative values to their absolute (positive) values multiplied by (-1). This allows one to consolidate and more simply monitor all of the “direction changes” often simplifying the computation of the equation.
Again, the minus signs are not themselves intrinsic to the numeric value.
When computed values are graphed or placed on a number line, the point or slope or curve is referenced from an arbitrary (0,0) point. Whether the origin has meaning, it is ultimately relative to the solution being sought. A negative position on a Cartesian plane does not mean reality at that location is in reverse! Those points are simply left-of-center relatively.
We tend to view physical reality in relativistic terms which is convenient. And from a young age we are taught that concepts like left and right, hot and cold, or fast and slow are intrinsically “opposites”. But science shows us that the universe is fundamentally comprised of only absolute values. Negatives or opposites do not in fact exist being relativistic interpretations of phenomena.
But what of antimatter? Surely the most expensive and volatile substance known to man which we synthesize in hadron colliders must prove that there is a true negative potential in the universe. I would agree if when matter and antimatter collide only empty space is observed. Instead, their brief interaction results in a massive release of energy (not anti-energy which, interestingly, does not exist). The result of their interaction is a positive value result equivalent to the absolute sums of their potentials.
Antimatter is, therefore, a false antithesis since it is an exotic state or configuration of matter that is unstable in proximity to what we consider typical “matter”. And simply because the materials are not stable in the presence of one another does not mean the one has an inverted existence. That would be like calling Cesium “antiwater” since it’s submersion in H2O has explosive results.
Being that we are trying to describe the functions of the universe from within the experiment, we are not afforded the convenience of an outside perspective from an absolute position. However, the conflation of relativistic measurement and scientific absolutes can be confusing. But rest assured, the universe is not a zero sum game.
Although this may sound more like Descartes than Einstein, we exist because we exist. There is no negative value doppelgänger or a down side to our wave of existence that, when our paths cross, will negate our existence leaving no trace of our former selves.
There is no “zero sum” in the universe. Only positive sum!
The universe is full of energy that can never be canceled. Nowhere in the universe is truly dark since light (in one form or another) is everywhere!
At the most fundamental scale, nothing in the known universe can erase you from existence. We are made up from ancient stardust, and will persist in some form for eternity. And that is a scientific fact!
And I will end on that positive note.
To get an idea how much positivity exists in the universe, check out this article where we use a novel calculation method to estimate the real standard model particle density of the universe!
No Code Website Builder