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FQXi BLOGS
February 20, 2017

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Announcing Physics of the Observer Grant Search Results [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on Aug. 5, 2016 @ 17:38 GMT
Last October, FQXi announced its new program on Physics of the Observer, including a request for proposals on research and outreach projects. We asked applicants to consider questions like, what does it mean to be an observer? What sort of systems can act as observers? And, how does the concept of an observer play into the nature of physics?

We are now happy to reveal the results of our proposal review. From an initial list of over 250 short proposals, our review experts have read, analyzed, and discussed applications, and finally recommended 23 proposals for funding. You can consult the full list here.

As always, the total amount we had available in this round — $2,000,000 — is tiny within the world of physics funding (and compared to the total amount requested), and we were not able to support many other excellent, worthy submitted proposals. This made for a painful process for the reviewers, though this pain was at least assuaged by how interesting the proposals were to read!

Each of the projects recommended by our review team has something novel, interesting, and important to offer on the topic of Physics of Observers. Just to mention a few examples:

Lidia del Rio and Renato Renner, Many Worlds, Many Times will connect the nature of observers with the nature of time, within the framework of the "many-worlds" interpretation of quantum theory. The aim is to study how to relate the experience of different observers across the "worlds," and possibly define a notion of common time.

Christopher Fuchs and Christopher Timpson, Does Participatory Realism Make Sense? seek to "dissect" interpretations of quantum mechanics that place the observer as a primary, fundamental element. The PIs have strongly opposed opinions on the material they will dissect, so the project is structured as a collaborative dialogue between the two viewpoints. Let the duel of the Chris's commence!

Markus Mueller, Emergent Objective Reality, asks, "What if the notion of ‘observation’ is truly fundamental, and physics is an emergent phenomenon?" This ambitious project will look at this question and others related to the nature of observers using techniques from information theory and theoretical computer science, applied across diverse topics in physics.

Chanda Prescod–Weinstein and Sarah Tuttle, Epistemological Schemata of Astro|Physics, will examine issues of diversity in physics, with a focus on assumptions and biases hiding in common notions of the "detached" or "unbiased" scientific observer. The project will create a discussion of critical issues that connect physics with society at large, while relating to fundamental questions in science.

We again congratulate our new grantees, and express our gratitude to everyone who applied, especially those who were invited to submit full proposals — which took a great deal of time and resources to prepare. We also thank our donors, and especially the John Templeton Foundation, for making this and other FQXi programs possible.

To everyone, please stay tuned to the FQXi blog, our articles, and the most excellent podcast, for updates on the projects as the Observer program continues.

On behalf of FQXi,

Brendan & Anthony

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Aug. 5, 2016 @ 17:52 GMT
Hello Mr Foster,

Happy to see the results.Congratulations to winners.Regards

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Georgina Woodward replied on Aug. 5, 2016 @ 21:45 GMT
Thank you for sharing the research proposals funded. It is an interesting bunch. 'Many worlds, many times' strikes me as fun but unlikely to produce something really useful-I could be wrong. 'Does Participatory Realism make sense?'I would say definitely yes, but it will be interesting to see the approach of the researchers and what they conclude. 'Emergent objective reality'(what if the notion of observer is truly fundamental?) I think there is a good chance they will conclude 'yes'. As I see it, a large part of what we regard as objective reality (that is agreed upon) is produced by observers. Meaning by that the outputs of information processing by observers. It will be good to see how they go about answering the question. 'Epistemological Schemata of Astro-Physics'.A very different, surprising choice, but potentially very useful project that may uncover biases that lead to assumptions that may hinder progress. I'm sure it was not an easy task to choose, so well done for being decisive. Good that its a varied selection and not all focused around a similar idea.

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Gary D. Simpson wrote on Aug. 6, 2016 @ 20:07 GMT
Congratulations to all the winners. This is very exciting! Perhaps now the essay contest might begin?

Regards,

Gary Simpson

this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

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Pentcho Valev wrote on Aug. 13, 2016 @ 16:02 GMT
Markus Mueller's project is not even wrong:

"The notion of an “observer” is also omnipresent in several other puzzling problems of science, for example in the Philosophy of Mind, when we ask what a person would observe if we simulated her brain on a computer. Here we suggest to pursue a radically unconventional idea: maybe objective reality is only an approximation, and it is instead observers and observations which are truly fundamental? By formulating this idea in terms of a rigorous mathematical theory..."

"Rigorous mathematical theory" implies clearly defined postulates and conclusions validly deduced from them. Where is Markus Mueller going to take the postulates from? From the Philosophy of Mind? Can we see the postulates?

Pentcho Valev

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Markus P Mueller replied on Aug. 15, 2016 @ 04:12 GMT
It is worth considering - and this is true for *all* projects - that only short summaries are published here. There is significantly more substance, for example in the long project proposals.

Short answer to your comment: Yes, a rigorous theory needs clearly defined postulates. No, they will not be taken from the Philosophy of Mind. And I disagree with your first sentence: this project has all chances of being proven wrong. In fact, part of the postdoc's job will be to try to do exactly that. :)

this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

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Georgina Woodward replied on Aug. 15, 2016 @ 08:21 GMT
Markus, thank you for stopping by and defending what you will be doing. I think it is a very good point about trying to disprove what is produced. Having good ideas is probably easier than the work it takes to find out if they can work and if there are flaws in them. Bit like panning for gold. having to sift through the gravel first. I think you are doing an interesting project but I expect I might not understand what you produce. It would be nice to get updates on how it is going and if successful to hear about your results

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Aug. 17, 2016 @ 13:48 GMT
Pentcho, Markus,

I don't trust in singularities "in terms of a rigorous mathematical theory", and I reiterate my request for pointing me to recent opinions in excess of Katz, Spalt, Bedürftig, and Mückenheim.

Do you agree on that there is only one conjetured reality but many possible observer. Often the notion observer has been confused with a target.

++++

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Steve Agnew wrote on Aug. 13, 2016 @ 17:17 GMT
The observer is a very important concept and one well worth the time and effort of this project. However, focusing on just a photon and its possible observers as a single event leaves out the source and that is a mistake. The project should take pains to include the source as well as the photon and observer.

Without the source, analysis loses site of the quantum bond between source and observer mediated by the exchange of those single photons. Both space and time emerge from the quantum exchange bonds between sources and observers. The common presumption that space and time have causal meaning beyond the matter and action from which space and time emerge is the rabbit hole in which science now finds itself...

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sridattadev kancharla wrote on Aug. 21, 2016 @ 15:10 GMT
Dear All,

To answer the question what is an observer? we need to first answer the question what is not an observer? We will soon realize that everything is observing everything else, only the scale and magnitude of observation varies. Observation is not a one way process, it is a two way process. What is being observed is indeed observing what observes it. We as human sentient beings often consider the act of observation from uni directional perspective and share this information with other fellow humans to confirm our observations. What if we took the perspective of what is being observed and imagine how that entity is participating in the act of observation, would we fully understand what is going on. There definitely seems to be levels of empowerment in the acts of observation, as some observers can cause others to behave in the way they want to. An act of observation causes a quantum fluctuation in the unified field and results in the collapse of the infinitely probabilistic wave function and material manifestation of what the observer wishes to exist. What this implies is that the world we live in is a manifestation of our own wishful thinking. But to just answer the fundamental question what is an observer? let us try to find what is not an observer and we will have our answer. Please visit Any Body Can Derive Everything From Geometry .

Love,

Sridattadev Kancharla.

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sridattadev kancharla wrote on Aug. 24, 2016 @ 13:21 GMT
Dear All, Zero = I = Infinity is

G enerator

O rganizer

D estroyer

is never

D one

E njoying

A ll

D eeds

I thinks therefore we(v) are(R), Virtual Reality.

Love,

Sridattadev Kancharla.

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Pentcho Valev wrote on Sep. 3, 2016 @ 15:00 GMT
If science is deductive, statements involving observers are consequences of some postulates. For instance, Einstein's 1905 (false) constant-speed-of-light postulate entails this statement:

Banesh Hoffmann, Relativity and Its Roots, p. 105: "In one case your clock is checked against two of mine, while in the other case my clock is checked against two of yours, and this permits us each to find without contradiction that the other's clocks go more slowly than his own."

If statements involving observers cannot be deduced from postulates, then they are empirical, without any importance. I am afraid most (if not all) funded proposals contain such statements.

Pentcho Valev

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Lee Bloomquist wrote on Sep. 6, 2016 @ 22:33 GMT
Here's a hypothesis that a good neuro-imaging lab might be interested in testing:

https://leebloomquist.wordpress.com

Perhaps surprisingly, it addresses a practical, even political, problem.

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Joe Fisher wrote on Sep. 7, 2016 @ 14:35 GMT
Dear Dr. Foster,

I can prove that the real observable Universe is the simplest of physical constructs, for I have observed that it consists only of ONE UNIFIED INFINITE SURFACE THAT AM ALWAYS ILLUMINATED BY INFINITE NON-SURFACE LIGHT. You did not approve of giving me a grant of $10,000 to pursue my research of observable reality. Instead you have approved grants to 23 people to produce reams of abstract codswallop about invisible phenomena. Shame on you. Please remember this: Ignorance might be bliss, but knowledge is ecstasy.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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sridattadev kancharla wrote on Sep. 7, 2016 @ 14:57 GMT
Dear All,

It's not only the observer that's important, but also the vantage point of observation as well. There are several levels of consciousness from which an observer can make an observation. Please see the attached diagram or click the link Consciousness.

Love,

i.

attachments: 1_Consciousness.jpg

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Anonymous replied on Sep. 8, 2016 @ 14:36 GMT
Dear Kancharla,

All real observers will only ever see real unified visible infinite surface that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light. Only pretentious pseudo scientific scribes will write codswallop propaganda about the supposed importance of abstract invisible observers observations.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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renuka chauhan wrote on Sep. 14, 2016 @ 11:54 GMT
After reading your article I was amazed. I know that you explain it very well. And I hope that other readers will also experience how I feel after reading your article. I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

SCS is focused on providing the most comprehensive, heterogeneous, integrated IT

Enterprise Messaging Solutions

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sridattadev kancharla replied on Sep. 14, 2016 @ 13:15 GMT
Dear Renuka,

If you are referring to Any Body Can Derive Everything From Geometry and the sub topics in it, I am thankful for your appreciation and I request you to kindly share it with all your loved ones. My goal is to bring about love, peace and joy to the world through my self realization of the universe.

Love,

i

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sridattadev kancharla wrote on Sep. 14, 2016 @ 13:10 GMT
Dear All,



Relative reality is wave particle duality governed by QM & GR.

Absolute reality is wavticle singularity of i governed by conscious mechanics.

Absolute truth is relatively paradoxical.

Love,

i.

this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

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sridattadev kancharla wrote on Sep. 20, 2016 @ 22:40 GMT
Dear All,

Universal i brings forth thyself in to being with

M ind

A t

T rue

H igh

Universal mathematical equation of zero = i = infinity = square root (e power (i * pi)) can be geometrically represented by Riemann Sphere.

Love,

i.

this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

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Amrit Srecko Sorli wrote on Dec. 14, 2016 @ 19:21 GMT
The observer has the origin in consciousness.

Nobody says that and 2milions was spend.

My compliments.

yours amrit

attachments: 7_On_the_origin_of_the_observer.pdf

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Amrit Srecko Sorli wrote on Dec. 24, 2016 @ 07:48 GMT
We publish the paper in NeuroQuantology SCI, impact factor 0,6 "Advanced Relativity: Unification of Space, Matter and Consciousness" in December issue where we show that the origin of the observer is timeless consciousness which is n-dimensional. Time exists only in 3D reality. We solve the question of time and the question of the observer in details. For the research on the subject of time and the observer, FQXI spent around 3 million dollars. Reading all the papers I do not see significant results. Do we get the grant for our work from FQXI? Yours Sincerely, Amrit Srecko Sorli, Foundations of Physics Institute, Slovenia

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Steve Dufourny replied on Dec. 26, 2016 @ 10:59 GMT
Hi Amrit ,

Have you already thought about these particles ofgravitation which are not baryonic? If the aether is gravitational from the main central BH of our universe.That seemsintriguing about the recycling of matter, energy,bodies,souls....We die electromagnetically speaking ,not gravitationally.The relevance is really to considerthat our standard model is encircled by this gravitation...

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Hans van Leunen wrote on Jan. 17, 2017 @ 16:20 GMT
A proper model of physical reality must allow multiple views. For example, it should provide a storage view and an observer's view. In the Hilbert Book Model, the storage view offers access to all stored dynamic geometric data, irrespective of the timestamp that is contained in these data. Thus the view offers access to the history, the current static status quo, and the future. Observers only get information from the past and it is transmitted to them by the fields that embed them. The information is stored in quaternionic and thus Euclidean format. The observers get their information in spacetime format that features a Minkowski signature. The Lorentz transform converts from Euclidean to spacetime format. The observer's view concerns the information that observers perceive. Here observers are all discrete objects in the universe that range from elementary particles to intelligent species.

See: docs.com/hans-van-leunen for more details.

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