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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Xavier Derkx: on 3/19/17 at 11:04am UTC, wrote Hello Gupta, Thank you for your comment. Here, I am not considering...

Xavier Derkx: on 3/19/17 at 11:03am UTC, wrote Hello Joe, Thank you for your comment. "Only nature could produce a...

Xavier Derkx: on 3/19/17 at 11:02am UTC, wrote Hello Erik, Thank you very much for your comment and sorry for the delayed...

Satyavarapu Gupta: on 3/14/17 at 8:18am UTC, wrote Nice essay Derkx, Your ideas and thinking are excellent like…. 1....

Joe Fisher: on 3/12/17 at 15:27pm UTC, wrote Dear Xavier Derkx, Please excuse me for I have no intention of...

Erik Hoel: on 3/6/17 at 20:34pm UTC, wrote Hello Xavier, I enjoyed your essay. I wanted to ask more detail about...

Xavier Derkx: on 3/6/17 at 17:31pm UTC, wrote Essay Abstract This brief essay is a contribution to the 2017...


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FQXi FORUM
March 28, 2017

CATEGORY: Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017) [back]
TOPIC: Wandering from complexity to the roots of Physics, via causality by Xavier Derkx [refresh]
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This essay's rating: Community = 4.2; Public = 4.0


Author Xavier Derkx wrote on Mar. 6, 2017 @ 17:31 GMT
Essay Abstract

This brief essay is a contribution to the 2017 edition of the FQXi Essay Contest on the theme “Wandering Towards a Goal – How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?”. We explore the relationship between complexity and Physics through the prism of causality.

Author Bio

Physicist, software developer by day, gentleman scientist by night.

Download Essay PDF File




Erik P Hoel wrote on Mar. 6, 2017 @ 20:34 GMT
Hello Xavier,

I enjoyed your essay. I wanted to ask more detail about this: "

Despite our attempt to get rid of it, causality appears to be a Gordian Knote. As causality is embedded in Einstein’s relativity but potentially irrelevant in quantum mechanics, we have to reconsider the foundations of Physics."

I was curious as to why you think causality is inherent to relativity? I ask because I know of the deflationary account of Bertrand Russell, who infamously said that causality doesn't exist. I think he proposed that theory while writing a book about relativity (or had recently) - so I was curious as to what made you say that causality is embedded in relativity? Is there some way causation is necessary for it, or can it be discarded as Russell suggested?

I'm interested in this because I also took a "causal approach" to the essay question in my own essay "Agents above, Atoms Below," so you might find it of intriguing.

Thanks so much for your time and your essay,

Erik P Hoel

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Author Xavier Derkx replied on Mar. 19, 2017 @ 11:02 GMT
Hello Erik,

Thank you very much for your comment and sorry for the delayed answer.

I'm not familiar with Bertrand Russell's points of view, so I can only try to clarify what I meant:

In Einstein's relativity there is an absolute upper limit to speed (the speed of light in a vacuum c0). Let's consider two events E1 and E2, whose positions in space-time are (x1,t1) and (x2,t2), with x for the spatial position and t for the time position. E1 and E2 can only interact if the spatial distance (x1,x2) can be covered in the time interval (t1,t2) with a speed below c0. From the maths, the time interval (t1,t2) can either be positive or negative (i.e. going backward in time). But in order to be able to interpret that in Physics, we only consider the positive time intervals, because it respects the causality principle. A chronological time (which requires an absolute time where everyone shares the same 'clock') is then replaced by a causal one (with the concept of light cone). Enforcing the causality principle is mandatory in the frame of relativity. As far I understand, there is no such constraints in quantum mechanics.

I hope I have answered your question.

I am looking forward to reading your essay...

Best regards,

Xavier




Joe Fisher wrote on Mar. 12, 2017 @ 15:27 GMT
Dear Xavier Derkx,

Please excuse me for I have no intention of disparaging in any way any part of your essay.

I merely wish to point out that “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) Physicist & Nobel Laureate.

Only nature could produce a reality so simple, a single cell amoeba could deal with it.

The real Universe must consist only of one unified visible infinite physical surface occurring in one infinite dimension, that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

A more detailed explanation of natural reality can be found in my essay, SCORE ONE FOR SIMPLICITY. I do hope that you will read my essay and perhaps comment on its merit.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Author Xavier Derkx replied on Mar. 19, 2017 @ 11:03 GMT
Hello Joe,

Thank you for your comment.

"Only nature could produce a reality so simple, a single cell amoeba could deal with it."

I'm afraid you're confusing the complexity of the rules governing the Universe with the complexity of their manifestation. Extremely complex systems can produce a simple interface to interact with. For example, a smartphone has a simple interface which allows a 2-year old to use it. Nevertheless, the technology behind, in terms of micro-electronics (e.g. the CPU), space technologies (e.g. for the GPS) and computer sciences (e.g. network and software) is extremely complex. There is no needs to understand quantum mechanics or relativity, in which some part of this technology relies on, to use a smartphone. In computer sciences, such a principle is called "encapsulation". A unicellular body follows the same principle: it doesn't need and doesn't have the capacity to understand its environment. But, locally, the interface is simple enough to allow it to interact with it.

"The real Universe must consist only of one unified visible infinite physical surface occurring in one infinite dimension, that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light."

I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean....

Good luck with your essay,

Xavier




Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Mar. 14, 2017 @ 08:18 GMT
Nice essay Derkx,

Your ideas and thinking are excellent like….

1. Complex systems are systems which “exhibit a distinctive property called emergence, roughly described by the common phrase ‘the action of the whole is more than the sum of the parts

2. Physics, built on different principles:

• a thermodynamic arrow (i.e. the second principle of the thermodynamics)...

view entire post


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Author Xavier Derkx replied on Mar. 19, 2017 @ 11:04 GMT
Hello Gupta,

Thank you for your comment.

Here, I am not considering whether or not the whole Universe is expanding. My point is that there is an emerging order from the principle used: expansion implies there is a direction, a "before" and an "after". The question is: how is this direction from expansion linked to, for example, the direction from thermodynamics? Is one the consequence of the other? Are they just the manifestation of a more fundamental principle? etc.

Good luck with your essay,

Xavier




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