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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Jonathan Dickau: on 4/19/17 at 18:41pm UTC, wrote He has been somewhat insular.. Steven is reluctant to re-engage, mostly...

Thomas Ray: on 4/19/17 at 16:11pm UTC, wrote Jonathan, Did you hear from Steven?

Jonathan Dickau: on 4/19/17 at 15:48pm UTC, wrote I like this thread but.. There has been some irrelevant content lately. ...

Anonymous: on 8/13/13 at 20:55pm UTC, wrote Given the Theory of Knowledge we at some point must simply accept that to...

Zeeya Merali: on 7/8/13 at 16:42pm UTC, wrote Hi Rodney, Thanks for your feedback on my article and for sharing your own...

Rodney Bartlett: on 6/30/13 at 9:32am UTC, wrote Reply to "Confronting the Dark" by Zeeya Merali (Discover magazine - May...

Gene Barbee: on 6/8/13 at 23:26pm UTC, wrote Jonathan, I posted a paper over in the "It for Bit" essay contest. Since...

T H Ray: on 4/7/13 at 13:45pm UTC, wrote Hi Steven, My turn to apologize. As you know, I've been preoccupied. You...



FQXi FORUM
September 25, 2017

CATEGORY: Cosmology [back]
TOPIC: A Self-Gravitational Upper Bound on Localized Energy [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Mar. 4, 2013 @ 14:46 GMT
Jonathan Dickau has requested a new thread to discuss a recent arXiv paper by Stephen Kenneth Kauffmann, titled: "A Self-Gravitational Upper Bound on Localized Energy, Including that of Virtual Particles and Quantum Fields, which Yields a Passable "Dark Energy" Density Estimate."

From the paper's abstract: "The self-gravitational correction to a localized spherically symmetric static energy distribution is obtained from an upgraded Newtonian model which is energetically self-consistent, and is also obtained from the Birkhoff-theorem extension of the unique "Newtonian" form of the free-space Schwarzschild metric into the interior region of its self-gravitationally corrected source. The two approaches yield identical results, which include a strict prohibition on the gravitational redshift factor ever being other than finite, real and positive. Consequently, the self-gravitationally corrected energy within a sphere of radius r is bounded by r times the "Planck force", namely the fourth power of c divided by G. Even in the absence of spherical symmetry, the same bound, to within a factor of two, is shown to apply. That energy bound rules out any physical singularity at the Schwarzschild radius, and it also cuts off the mass deviation of any interacting quantum virtual particle at the Planck mass. Because quantum uncertainty makes the minimum energy of a quantum field infinite, such a field's self-gravitationally corrected energy essentially attains the Planck force times that field's boundary radius r. Roughly estimating r as c times the age of the universe yields a "dark energy" density of 1.7 joules per cubic kilometer. But if r is put to the Planck length appropriate to the birth of the universe, that energy density changes to the enormous Planck unit value, which could quite conceivably drive primordial "inflation". The density of "dark energy" decreases as the universe expands, but more slowly than the density of ordinary matter decreases. Its evolution suggests "dark energy" has inhomogeneities, which may be "dark matter"."

Jonathan, please let us know why you this paper is of particular interest to you.

this post has been edited by the forum administrator

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T H Ray replied on Mar. 4, 2013 @ 16:03 GMT
Nice.

No singularity at the Schwarzchild radius not only confirms the quantum nature of the cosmological initial condition, it implies non-quantization of classical spacetime. For if the quantum field does not collapse, the universal wavefunction, which is continuous (Kauffmann concludes, " ... only the universe itself, with its cosmological redshift, is actually capable of 'containing' the arbitrarily high frequencies of a quantum field") is physically real and dark energy isn't.

The understatement of the century: "It would be a relief if something so elusive ultimately turned out to not have an independent existence."

Congratulations, S. K. Kauffmann! Good eye, Jonathan!

Tom

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Mar. 4, 2013 @ 16:16 GMT
Thank you Zeeya,

Frank Wilczek wrote an open letter to the Physics community a few years back, about the centrality of understanding vacuum energy density. If we compare estimates from Quantum Field Theory and the cosmological value from astrophysical measurements, the disparity may be as much as 120 orders of magnitude. While renormalization allows us to still do real Physics at various levels of scale without understanding this matter, it is only by plugging in known values that we are able to obtain a good fit. Gerard 't Hooft has pointed out that there is a need for theories which provide a reasonable model of reality, without a lot of adjusting factors put in by hand. He has suggested, in papers and lectures, that we may need to put gravity back into our formulations in order to obtain the desired result, rather than regarding it as inconsequential to quantum-scale interactions.

Steven Kenneth Kauffmann does exactly this in the paper Zeeya has cited above. By putting the self-gravitation factor back in to the equation, and running it back to the Planck scale, it is found that those terms become dominant - and are not inconsequential at all! To my mind; this is a profound and significant result, which has broad implications across the field of Physics. It is one of those insights that seems obvious, once you have fully grasped the setup of the problem, and it leaves you wondering why great minds have not seen this before. Perhaps the answer was too simple to be obvious. But the existence of an upper bound on concentrations of energy, due to self-gravitation, removes a lot of thorny problems like the conundrum of an initial singularity, offers a mechanism for inflation, and provides a 'passable' estimate of the cosmological value for dark energy.

I am gratified for the opportunity to discuss this important work, here on the FQXi Forum.

Have Fun!

Jonathan

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Mar. 4, 2013 @ 16:35 GMT
Thanks also Tom,

Your keen insight bespeaks the true potential of this discovery. A profoundly simple result, but it has many implications. I am thinking the difference between the spherically-symmetric formula and the final equation (a factor of two) suggests a geometric analogy. The maximally-asymmetric case is where the instantaneous energy distribution is concentrated in a lobe just to one side of the nominal or overall center. But this concentration cannot itself exceed the spherical bound regardless.

Anyhow; if lobes to either side of a nominal center are regarded as the first in a progression of spherical harmonics, one can see a possible analogy with electron orbitals in an atom - and so on. This likely leads to a connection via Hartle-Hawking to a modified Wheeler-Dewitt equation. But I have not yet worked that out formally. But since I've spoken of energy spreading as a driver for inflation in several papers already (including my last essay), you can see why I find this to be an appealing result.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Mar. 4, 2013 @ 19:04 GMT
Hi Folks,

I wanted to attach the open letter from Frank Wilczek "Centrality of Understanding Vacuum Energy Density" which I have on file. For the record; I first became aware of this open problem - and its extraordinary severity - at the 2nd Crisis in Cosmology conference, in Port Angeles, WA. This became somewhat of a running joke at that event, as an indicator of how much we don't know for sure.

I should probably note that one of the speakers at that conference, Phil Mannheim, presented a conformal theory of gravitation addressing this problem, that was featured in 't Hooft's Foundations of Physics paper calling for theories with no adjustments put in by hand - DOI 10.1007/s10701-011-9586-8 - which I mentioned above.

All the Best,

Jonathan

attachments: wilczek.pdf

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Mar. 5, 2013 @ 00:44 GMT
Jonathan,

Congratulations on starting an interesting new topic. I haven't absorbed Kauffmann's paper yet, but I looked at t'Hooft's. While I fully agree that we need elementary particle models without any adjustable real parameters, he says that his 'top-down' theory will have difficulty formulating any firm predictions about physics at energies as low as the TeV domain. That's a problem, as far as I'm concerned. We currently have far too many blue-sky ideas about multiverses, and other metaphorical schemes, usually involving infinity or infinities, yet there are several anomalies for which good data exists that are ignored.

Last week, at a Stanford physics colloquium on the 'Firewall' problem, Nobelist Laughlin asked Polchinski whether the quantum gravity workers (and similar) were not headed to a place where a number of contradictory theories exist, NONE of which can possibly be backed up by actual data, now or in the foreseeable future. That may make those who like to talk blue sky happy, but I believe that physics still needs to be based on measurements.

I look forward to understanding what Kauffmann has to say.

Best,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Mar. 5, 2013 @ 03:38 GMT
Thanks Ed,

I think Laughlin's comments speak to the problem of information silos that have formed because people must focus on the important information within a single discipline or area of specialization, in order to learn it all. And even if one wants to take an interdisciplinary approach, because it is seen to be more likely to bear fruit, one is often compelled to declare a specific focus within an established theoretical branch or community. Ben Dribus communicated to me that he thought it might be better if researchers could pursue the approach that they believe is most likely to bear fruit instead. But this is rare.

One can make an analogy to the Music business, where it is a rare artist who can create a new genre, because the whole marketing and delivery machine is geared to delivery through specialized channels. There are Country music stations, and Rock and Roll channels. In places that still sell Albums or CDs - there are rows or aisles for different categories and styles. Even if they wanted to sell your music; how would people find you if your album can't be filed in any existing category because your work is so different? But of course; musicians do combine styles - it happens all the time - but until the Internet leveled the playing field, most of that music was never heard by the public.

Regards,

Jonathan

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Mar. 5, 2013 @ 03:49 GMT
Oh I meant to add..

Kauffmann's result is obtained specifically because it takes pieces from both inside and outside Quantum Physics, rather than working within that silo. One could argue that anyone who takes the basic tenets of QFT as gospel could never have seen this, where someone with exposure to a broader base of Physics knowledge can grasp Kauffmann's point more immediately. As for myself; it took some time to sink in, before I realized just how profound Steven's main point in this paper is.

I think Gerard 't Hooft was talking about his CA based QG theory, when he made comments about adding gravity back in to our formulations, in order to obtain the correct result. But it is seen that this is what Steven Kauffmann did here too, as it is putting the self-gravitation term for energy back in that makes things work out.

Regards,

Jonathan

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Mar. 5, 2013 @ 06:43 GMT
Jonathan,

I also meant to thank you for the Wilczek letter. I agree with him that the 123 orders of magnitude error in vacuum energy is a really big deal, with significant consequences for 'virtual particles'. It *is* potentially as important for 21st century physics as black body radiation was for 20th century. I've argued with some physicists who seem to think it's no big deal. I think they're whistling past the graveyard. You can't have a change of 123 orders, probably the biggest number in physics, and not have repercussions on theories that depend on this for their basic concepts. This ties in with the fact that almost ALL current theories depended on SUSY, and that's going away too. It's actually a great time to be a physicist, if one is concerned with real things, i.e., things that are measurable.

Best,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Constantinos Ragazas wrote on Mar. 5, 2013 @ 23:19 GMT
All,

What is "self-gravitation"? Do I dare ask! Only physical explanations that make sense, please!

Constantinos

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T H Ray replied on Mar. 5, 2013 @ 23:28 GMT
"What is 'self-gravitation'?"

I would hazard to guess that it's the coalescing field of all particles possessing nonzero mass toward the center of the greater mass according to the inverse square field law that governs both gravitational and electromagnetic interactions.

Dare to ask.

Tom

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Mar. 6, 2013 @ 01:49 GMT
Hi Constantinos,

You ask, "What is "self-gravitation"?".

Einstein said that "there is no space absent of field" and today there are dozens of (supposed) fields, fermion fields, boson fields, gravity and electromagnetic fields, and gauge fields in general ( and if you count the 'multiverse', which I don't, then add several hundred more fields, per Susskind. One question that...

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Constantinos Ragazas replied on Mar. 6, 2013 @ 03:59 GMT
Edwin, Tom

Thank you for your thoughts re:self-gravitation. Pardon my doubting self. I am skeptical of everything! Down to gravity and beyond! But I am more inclined to favor Edwin's view on this, however. Is it mass that produces gravity or gravity that produces mass? Is it the Law of Gravity that produce elliptical orbits or elliptical orbits that produce the Law of Gravity? What if the Universe "just is" as it is. With no universal laws but certain self-similar (self-interacting) patterns that emerge. Just like ripples in the desert sand. And all we say and know about "what is" is what we create in our own minds to fit our own understanding of our experiences. Any problem with that? Just asking!

In my view, there are no 'physical laws' per se. Only 'mathematical identities' camouflaged as 'physical laws'.

Constantinos

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Fred Diether wrote on Mar. 6, 2013 @ 01:40 GMT
Hi Jonathan, all,

A quick note here. Christoph Schiller had explored some of this about maximum force in nature a few years ago in this paper arXiv:physics/0607090, "General relativity and cosmology derived from principle of maximum power or force". And derives Einstein's field equations from it. I believe that he also talks about it in his comprehensive physics textbook.

Of course this is all subject to if you believe that Planck length, etc. is some kind of law in nature. I'm still on the fence about that.

Best,

Fred

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Mar. 6, 2013 @ 17:13 GMT
Thanks Fred,

I forwarded a copy of Schiller's paper to Steven Kauffmann, along with a few comments. My view, after quickly skimming the Schiller paper, is that it is largely complementary to Kauffmann's work - affirming the existence of a bound but approaching the problem from a different angle. A profound result, how ever you interpret it.

I'll have to read for detail, before I say too much more.

Regards,

Jonathan

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Fred Diether replied on Mar. 7, 2013 @ 03:31 GMT
Hi Jonathan,

You're welcome. For sure, Schiller's work supports what Steven is presenting. I think Steven took it a bit further. However as I alluded to above, I suspect there is more to maximum force than what Planck units might be showing us. I believe there probably is a maximum force in nature but it probably is not quite so clear cut as c^4/4G. With the advent of Joy's work and also Michael Goodband's work, we probably should account for extra spatial dimensions. And torsion. I am hoping that this will actually pull down Nature's maximum force from the Planck scale. Realistically, there is no experimental evidence at all that Planck length, etc. mean anything whatsoever. And Newton's G is one of the poorest known constants over a limited range. So we may have a long way to go here but speculation is always fun. And... have fun we must. :-)

Best,

Fred

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Steven Kenneth Kauffmann replied on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 08:10 GMT
With many thanks, indeed, Fred,

I've now added a lengthy "Introduction: gravity theory from Newton to Einstein to Schiller" to the beginning of my article,

http://arxiv.org/abs/1212.0426

My background in gravity theory is anything but deep (I've only recently begun learning some things from Steven Weinberg's justly famous 1972 textbook), so this overlong "Introduction" is...

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Peter Jackson wrote on Mar. 6, 2013 @ 16:39 GMT
Constantinos,

"What is "self-gravitation" You may well ask. In words of 5 syllables it seems to be;

The gravitational attraction between individual electrons and protons.

This seems fair enough as most massive bodies are made of them. But it's the distribution pattern effects that are being considered here. It seems to me it's mainly making some theory consistent with much...

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Constantinos Ragazas replied on Mar. 6, 2013 @ 17:40 GMT
Peter,

Easy for you to say! For me ... more googly-gook!

Constantinos

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Mar. 6, 2013 @ 21:56 GMT
Hi Peter,

Much as I appreciate your contributions, I don't think that it's the gravitational attraction between electrons and protons that Kauffmann is discussing. I've added additional interpretation in a comment below. Also, you object to his "spherically symmetrical field". As you go through the paper you'll find that he does this for simplicity, but then he generalizes this to 'any static energy density tensor', specifically refraining from the assumption of spherical symmetry (on page 9 in his relativistic treatment).

His is a pretty dense treatment with lots of implications, including dark energy. I hope this article gets the attention it deserves, and am grateful that FQXi has decided to allow us to bring topics of interest to new threads.

Best,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Peter Jackson replied on Mar. 7, 2013 @ 10:24 GMT
Edwin, and Jonathen.

Thanks, I'd read it only once, quickly. Always limiting.

A lovely apparent dichotomy seems to emerge; that dark energy contributes gravitational potential as well as the opposite expansion force. Is that a fair point?

I actually find much agreeable. Indeed I've also suggested, for instance, the Unruh effect is nothing to do with 'acceleration' per se but motion through the medium, so resolves to propagation of matter (yes, virtual or 'photoelectrons') via photoionization, so speed dependent. I'm only able to do so as I've allowed the QV, Higgs field etc and dark energy a local kinetic identity.

If gravity then emerges topologically, i.e. as a dark energy density gradient, then does not the 'cold spot' cluster theory also fit nicely into place? Do you have any particular citations for that one Jonathen? I haven't picked it up in that way. I'm months behind with my AAS & RAS paper reviewing, but I think it's just a good different characterisation I've missed that seems to fit the topographical 'energy density' model. In a nutshell, the energy fro matter is provided locally - leaving a 3D Dirac/Newton/Yukawa shaped 'cold zone'.??

Edwin, thanks re morphology. I should have focussed my comment more on the dynamic aspects. As in the 'Montevideo interpretation' of QM it's incalculable, but I'm quite convinced we're missing an important trick resolving anomalies by ignoring it's effects.

Finally Jonathen I agree. ArXiv as most science is rather too parochial to academia, and Steven's excellent work is a proof.

Best wishes

Peter

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Mar. 6, 2013 @ 17:51 GMT
Let me jump in,

People don't normally talk about gravitation in terms of energy, or apply gravity to energy, but this does not mean it can't be done. Mass-energy is a unified quantity near the Planck scale, and becomes more differentiated into mass associated with matter and expansiveness associated with energy over time. It took a while, though; as I recall it was some 500000 years of interchangeability before matter and energy underwent decoupling to go their separate ways.

For the record; I agree with you Peter, that plasma streaming and eddys were a major shaper of large scale structure in that era (largely unappreciated for their formative role). But recent studies have found that mapping CMB cold spots allows the location of galaxy clusters to be discovered. Several new clusters have been found through this technique. So I wonder if the variations in vacuum energy predicted by Steven Kauffmann have a similar distribution to those observed in the CMB.

More later,

Jonathan

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Mar. 6, 2013 @ 18:12 GMT
I should add..

While mass-energy was a unified quantity near the Planck scale; I should state clearly that the differentiation of matter and energy does not just happen at the moment of decoupling / recombination - when the CMB is released. Rather differentiation begins with the appearance of the first particles, and continues to proceed as hundreds of thousands of years of decoupling unfold. Then at the point the matter-energy soup becomes transparent, we see the final decoupling and the energy associated with the CMB is released into the universe of matter.

So the question on the table involves how does the self-gravitation of undifferentiated mass-energy influence things - due to the fact that even pure energy partakes of gravitation. Of course; anywhere but at the Planck scale, this effect is incredibly small, and can be ignored. But in the realm of the incredibly small, or at the outset of the universe's story, this effect is dominant or deterministic.

Have Fun!

Jonathan

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Mar. 6, 2013 @ 21:40 GMT
Everyone seems to first apply their own idea of what the title means, as did I above. After studying Kauffmann's paper I'd like to add to my above remarks. First, he is talking about the interaction of gravity with energy (including the energy of the gravitational field.) But more specifically he is saying that localized energy -- such as the 'virtual' particles of infinite energy that appear in...

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Mar. 7, 2013 @ 00:55 GMT
Yes indeed Ed,

Your detailed description in the first paragraph above is spot on. It's not extra energy, but the portion effectively converted to gravitation, which would otherwise be unaccounted for. And I agree it helps to read his papers on 'Orthodox quantization of Einstein's gravity' and 'Nonperturbational "Continued Fractions"' if one seeks a detailed understanding of this paper. The continued fractions paper explains in detail the way he arrives at the final equation in the 'Self-gravitational upper bound' paper.

I agree Steven would be an asset to these discussions, and also that his knowledge is both deep and broad. I've got a working hypothesis that there is a cognitive advantage to being a mature or elder scientist today - with a broader understanding of a subject like Physics - when the object is to consider foundational questions. Having a detailed understanding within a single area of specialization does not confer the same degree of interdisciplinary awareness. This thread will continue in a bit...

Regards,

Jonathan

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Mar. 7, 2013 @ 02:20 GMT
I'll start a new thread here..

Perhaps an elder scientist like Steven Kauffmann is better equipped to be an innovator - in some areas of Physics - than most younger researchers, simply because is knowledge is both broad and deep, with sufficient mastery of Maths essential to his purpose. Plus; as you pointed out Edwin, he no longer has a university affiliation to safeguard, and is somewhat more free to explore what topics he may.

At the end of FFP11, Physics professor Jaime Keller asked me "Why at a major conference with Nobel laureates and other top scholars speaking, were there so many dumb questions?" and I told him about RPI Chemistry prof John Carter's experience, where his students did not even want to hear the explanation of why things work as they do - but instead wanted only to know the equations to memorize, and answers for the test.

Unfortunately, Jaime is no longer with us. During his life; Keller started out in Chemistry, wanted to know how things work so learned Physics, then delved into Maths for a deeper understanding still - becoming an advocate of Clifford algebras in Physics. Given the time investment per subject; I guess that only a mature researcher could follow such a path. But it may be the only way to learn some subjects adequately.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Mar. 7, 2013 @ 02:40 GMT
I wanted to add this;

It sadly happens too often that researchers in Physics approach their retirement with ideas to develop, and the hope that the extra time will afford them opportunities to hone some works for publication - only to find out that is a difficult road for a retired scientist. I too am glad the arXiv folks continue to let Steven post his papers as pre-prints, even if some never see publication in journals. The quality of his work is almost always excellent, and indeed worthy of publication.

Regards,

Jonathan

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Robert H McEachern wrote on Mar. 7, 2013 @ 15:39 GMT
At the beginning of the article, Kauffmann notes that :

"But the uncertainty principle of quantum theory can manifest a disconcerting predilection to throw up infinite energies, and if we understandably quail at abandoning so firmly established a principle, it behooves us to at least try to ponder its self-gravitational implications."

I do not believe that the uncertainty principle needs to be abandoned. But I do believe that it is time to recognize that few physicists are familiar with its mathematical origins, the assumptions built into it, and the consequent limited circumstances to which it can be applied. Its predilection to throw up all sorts of quantum oddities, is larger due to misapplying and/or misinterpreting it, usually by violating one of the assumptions, deep within its foundations.

Rob McEachern

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Mar. 7, 2013 @ 18:30 GMT
Rob,

I agree that the uncertainty principle is based as much on Fourier analysis as on physics. I believe the key aspect of 'reality' underlying this principle is the apparent fact that nature does nothing below a certain threshold of action. This, in my view, is what keeps the whole thing together. I've tried to imagine a universe with no minimum action, where anything goes, at any level down to zero (all noise, no signal?), and it's inconceivable to me that structure would survive in this situation.

The dimensional aspect of ( M*L*L ) / T leads to convenient formulas in terms of position-momentum and energy-time and angular momentum and the ability to describe energy as h/T fits in perfectly with Fourier frequency analysis. But in my mind there is no necessity to generate infinite energy based on this fact, yet I resist postulating a "minimum time", so I've not been quite certain where the Fourier "prediction" breaks down for such high frequency components, as it must. I rather like Kauffmann's natural approach to self limiting energies

Of course much of this problem is predicated on the possibility of virtual particles, which may have made sense with a vacuum energy 123 orders of magnitude greater than seems to be the actual case, but which I find to be highly unlikely. Yet assuming there is some corner of the universe where these energies actually exist, say some future super-super-LHC, it's still nice to know that there's a natural limiting mechanism.

As you can tell by my previous comments, I find Kauffmann's work fascinating (probably because he is so in line with my own bias) and I think you would also. I would be interested in any comments you might have after looking at some of his other work.

Best,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Robert H McEachern replied on Mar. 8, 2013 @ 12:46 GMT
Edwin,

Let me be more specific about the nature of the problem. The uncertainty principle is a statement about how much information an observer can obtain from an observation; it says the minimum number of bits obtainable is 1, anything less, and an observation has failed to occur, which is of course possible. It is not a statement about *any* characteristic, attribute or property of the entity being observed. It is merely a statement about observations of such properties.

Now consider Kauffmann's statement, on page 7, that:

"Upon quantization, each such oscillator has a minimum positive energy...being completely mandated by the quantum uncertainty principle...always has infinite energy."

The uncertainty principle mandates *nothing* of this sort. It is a statement about how much information about the oscillator energy can be *observed* (how many significant bits are contained within the energy measurement), not how much energy the oscillator *has*. Consequently what the principle mandates, in this situation is:

*IF* you can successfully make an observation of each oscillator's energy, *THEN* that observation must, of necessity, contain a minimum of one bit of information about the amount of energy detected, *BUT*, you may fail to succeed in making any such observation, and thus obtain 0 bits of information.

The correct use of the uncertainty principle cannot enable one to deduce "infinite energy". There is no "infinite energy", that must somehow be explained away.

Rob McEachern

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Mar. 8, 2013 @ 14:31 GMT
I beg to differ;

The uncertainty principle refers to how pairs of measurements yield a result that depends on the order in which two observations are made, such that any one definitive measurement clouds subsequent measurements of other quantities and there is thus a minimum uncertainty in the product of the two. Of course; this is a non-commutative relation, where the two measurements are usually taken to be orthogonal properties - say position and momentum.

However; experiment shows we can bend the rules somewhat, by taking repeated weak measurements, as explained in this article by Steinberg et al..

In Praise of Weakness from Physics World

There is some question in my mind, though, about whether uncertainty is a property intrinsic to sub-atomic particles. Is there, in fact, a situation of their being loosely defined - except in relation to other forms? We have a kind of observer bias, from the fact that any definitive measurement we make is taken from a platform that occupies a certain location in space at a particular moment in time. While one could argue that observation is irrelevant to the state of a system, one can also say that the system's state is defined by its interactions with its surroundings.

More on this later,

Jonathan

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John Merryman wrote on Mar. 8, 2013 @ 15:02 GMT
Jonathan,

"We have a kind of observer bias, from the fact that any definitive measurement we make is taken from a platform that occupies a certain location in space at a particular moment in time. While one could argue that observation is irrelevant to the state of a system, one can also say that the system's state is defined by its interactions with its surroundings."

It seems to me that all perception requires some form of frame. Such as taking pictures requires specific speed, filtering, aperture, direction, distance, lensing, etc. Otherwise there is blurring, washing, etc., as the amount of available information quickly goes to infinity and the result is white noise.

This goes to the relationship of energy to information and that while information defines energy, energy manifests information. So when we combine energy, there are the resulting canceling effects, so combining the resulting information also causes canceling. Much as a top down/generalized view tends to blend the details and a bottom up specialized view cannot see the larger context.

So locating a particle means having to filter out its motion and measuring motion means blurring its details.

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Mar. 8, 2013 @ 17:18 GMT
Thanks John,

I think the camera analogy is rather appropriate here. There is always a question about what you are trying to capture or emphasize. Is sharpness of focus on the subject more important, or is the depth of field paramount because we need to see the background to establish context? Is sharpness of time definition of greatest value, as when determining the winner of a race, or do do you want to preserve the blur of motion for artistic effect, and leave the shutter open longer?

Some phenomena are too faint to photograph without a long exposure, and others are too swift for anything but the shortest exposure possible. So you correctly point out that even a single observation involves a trade-off of sorts. I'll have to think more on this.

Regards,

Jonathan

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John Merryman replied on Mar. 9, 2013 @ 00:43 GMT
Jonathan,

There is complexity in simplicity and simplicity in complexity.

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Mar. 8, 2013 @ 23:15 GMT
I'd like to recap here, one of Edwin's comments above..

Steven Kauffmann "is talking about the interaction of gravity with energy (including the energy of the gravitational field.) But more specifically he is saying that localized energy -- such as the 'virtual' particles of infinite energy that appear in QED -- will have a mass equivalence that generates its own gravitational field, and this field, if energy is to be conserved, will not be 'extra' energy added to the situation but will be energy of the particle that is effectively 'converted' to gravitational energy."

This has the effect of restoring the sense of physical realism to our picture of the world. I think Kauffmann would agree with Rob that the infinities arising from the point particle assumption plus QFT do not appear to be a physically realistic possibility, and this may be part of why he sought a reason things could be resolved otherwise.

Have Fun,

Jonathan

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Paul Reed replied on Mar. 9, 2013 @ 07:40 GMT
Jonathan

"point particle assumption"

Exactly. There is a tendency to presume something, and then it is caused to alter, but that cause is not attributed to a specifically physically existent something. Whereas the logic indicates that what determines any given physically existent state, which is what is being investigated, is whatever is innately altering, of which there may be different types. In other words, there may well be no 'inert substance', this just being our misconceptualisation of what is manifest.

Paul

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Paul Reed wrote on Mar. 9, 2013 @ 07:45 GMT
Stephen

“It now remains to puzzle out what conceivable “real world” physics could relate to the mathematical abstraction of the quantum fields’ bounding radius r…The universe’ cosmological redshift…appears to serve as the “containment” for all that we can hope to survey. Therefore a not altogether implausible crude estimate of the quantum fields’ “bounding radius” r ought to be given by the age of the universe times the speed of light”.

But light is merely the physical phenomenon which enables sentient organisms to be aware of the existential reality, in one particular form (the subsequent processing of the received physical input being irrelevant to the physics of the circumstance). With the evolution of the recipient sensory system (eg sight), light has acquired the functional role of providing an independent representation of what occurred, because it is created by interaction with what occurred. So, apart from not being reality, the precise nature of that interaction, and possibly with different forms of whatever constitutes reality, needs to be understood, so that reality can be discerned. There can be no presumption, and probably no actual likelihood, that the physical effect know as light provides a completely comprehensive and/or accurate representation of the existential sequence.

Paul

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Steven Kenneth Kauffmann replied on Mar. 18, 2013 @ 20:28 GMT
"There can be no presumption, and probably no actual likelihood, that the physical effect known as light provides a completely comprehensive and/or accurate representation of the existential sequence."

Nothing about either physical theory or other ways we humans attempt to acquire knowledge about our surroundings can be expected to be "completely comprehensive and/or accurate". In the case...

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Paul Reed replied on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 05:45 GMT
Steven

My point was a lot simpler than I think you have understood it as.

First, the physical existence we are investigating is definitive. That is, leaving aside practicalities(!), potentially it is entirely definable, either as a result of direct experience or hypothesis based on that. Because we can only investigate what it is possible for us to know (ie as opposed to invoke a...

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Steven Kenneth Kauffmann replied on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 14:42 GMT
Paul

Those observationalists/experimentalists who use physical probes to try to gather information tend to be highly aware of pitfalls such as the delay, non-receipt, deficiency, and alteration issues that you point out (although they might use different jargon such as "signal-to-noise", "distortion", "resolution", "interference", "bandwidth", etc.), and constantly try to think of ways to...

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John Merryman wrote on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 18:37 GMT
Steven,

I've often wondered how the speed of light can be used as a scale for expanding space. Doesn't a stable speed of light necessitate a stable dimensional medium? Say two galaxies are x lightyears apart and by whatever means, they were to grow to 2x lightyears apart. Wouldn't that be an increased amount of a stable dimension of space, rather than "expanding" space?

What seems...

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John Merryman replied on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 19:44 GMT
Ps,

Redshift being predicated on light traveling as a point particle, thus the only way for it to be redshifted in a vacuum is by recession of the source, but if light expands out, redshift could be explain by optical means.

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Steven Kenneth Kauffmann replied on Mar. 27, 2013 @ 04:23 GMT
John,

I think you are trying to challenge the Robertson-Walker metric and related orthodox cosmological ideas. Unfortunately, my knowledge of orthodox cosmology is weak to nonexistent beyond the extreme basics of Hubble's Law and the like. Maybe I should read the relevant basic orthodox cosmology sections in Steven Weinberg's celebrated 1972 textbook on General Relativity and Cosmology,...

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John Merryman replied on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 02:20 GMT
Steven,

The very simple observation that necessitates my trying to explain cosmological phenomena in a non-standard form is that we include the time factor as a foundational dimension, in spacetime, thus giving space the property of variability.

Now rather than viewing time as the present moving from past events to future ones, along a narrative dimension, if we treat it simply as...

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Anonymous wrote on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 06:21 GMT
John,

You talk as if the future is real -- it somehow exists. It only exists in your mind. Nature does not arrange itself so that it must accommodate your ideas. What exists is NOW, with the momenta and energies that define physical existence at this moment. Also existing is your memory of a past, no longer existent, and your imagination of a future, which does not now exist. Should any...

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Paul Reed replied on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 06:25 GMT
Edwin

Well put. There is only ever an existent present.

Paul

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John Merryman replied on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 11:41 GMT
Edwin,

Did you actually read anything I wrote?

Here is what I wrote:

"Now rather than viewing time as the present moving from past events to future ones, along a narrative dimension, if we treat it simply as an effect of action, then it is the events being created and replaced, ie. going future to past. Think of it as two objects, cars, subatomic particles, whatever, hitting each other. This creates an event. While the physical objects go from prior events to succeeding events, thus past to future, these events form and disperse, ie. go future to past. Only what is present is physically real."

Now how did you manage to conclude that I "talk as if the future is real?"

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John Merryman replied on Mar. 28, 2013 @ 11:47 GMT
Keep in mind that I specifically argue against blocktime, which you have commented that many physicists take for granted and the last time we discussed this, we seemed to be in agreement that it is nonsense. Which it is, so how now am I accused of thinking any such thing?

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Gene H Barbee wrote on Jun. 8, 2013 @ 23:26 GMT
Jonathan, I posted a paper over in the "It for Bit" essay contest. Since it is about cosmology, it is not attracting any attention there. I will repost below but after reading the commentary regarding Steven Kauffmann's article I realized that there was more work I needed to publish. This resulted in another paper entitled "comments about quantum gravity and black holes". I would appreciate comments on these two papers.

attachments: 1_Kinetic_and_potential_energy_during_expansion.pdf, Comments_about_Quantum_gravity_and_about_black_holes.pdf

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Rodney Bartlett wrote on Jun. 30, 2013 @ 09:32 GMT
Reply to "Confronting the Dark" by Zeeya Merali (Discover magazine - May 2013)

I couldn’t find any other place to contact Zeeya. There’s no entry for that name in FQXi’s member list. I did submit this article to Discover but I never heard anything, so I assume it fell into a black hole there. On the chance that Zeeya would appreciate some feedback regarding “Confronting the Dark”,...

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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali replied on Jul. 8, 2013 @ 16:42 GMT
Hi Rodney,

Thanks for your feedback on my article and for sharing your own thoughts on the origin of dark energy. I have also copied your comments to the podcast thread because we have an edition with an interview with Brian Schmidt, over there -- and that seems like a good place to continue the discussion.

Zeeya

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 13, 2013 @ 20:55 GMT
Given the Theory of Knowledge we at some point must simply accept that to begin with we must start from some bald assumption. Constantinos Ragazaz choice of mathematical identity over physical law demonstrates this and is quite valid. But really, both constructs are artifacts of human intellect just as it is we mere mortals whom choose what we consider to be a bit of information.

What I...

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Apr. 19, 2017 @ 15:48 GMT
I like this thread but..

There has been some irrelevant content lately. It appears the individual posting about quantum antigravity does not wish to engage folks here, or even talk about his supposedly exciting results, but only to lure people to his site and increase his number of page views. So I deleted that entry, but I do hope people find this discussion for other reasons.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Apr. 19, 2017 @ 16:11 GMT
Jonathan,

Did you hear from Steven?

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Apr. 19, 2017 @ 18:41 GMT
He has been somewhat insular..

Steven is reluctant to re-engage, mostly because he has been battling ill health, but he is gearing up for another volley. He found out he had 're-invented the wheel' after a comment by Stan Robertson led him to an old paper by Schwarzschild, and I imagine he is woodshedding but will re-emerge soon.

More later,

Jonathan

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