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Cristi Stoica: on 3/9/09 at 12:18pm UTC, wrote Dear FQXi, Thank you for the opportunity, and congratulations to the...

Cristi Stoica: on 1/15/09 at 6:56am UTC, wrote Dear Dr. McGucken, Thank you for rereading my essay. I also reread yours....

Cristi Stoica: on 1/15/09 at 6:53am UTC, wrote Dear Dr. Narendra Nath, Thank you for your kind answer, coming from your...

Dr. E (The Real McCoy): on 1/13/09 at 18:13pm UTC, wrote Hello Cristi, I just reread your paper, and I was wondering if you could...

Narendra Nath: on 1/13/09 at 17:58pm UTC, wrote Dear Crist, your response comes from the spontaneity of your thoughts and...

Cristi Stoica: on 1/10/09 at 10:16am UTC, wrote Dear Dr. Narendra Nath, I agree with you that mind and soul need food and...

Narendra Nath: on 1/9/09 at 13:58pm UTC, wrote Nice to see your response. Science and Humanity ( Spirituality)are...

Cristi Stoica: on 1/9/09 at 12:40pm UTC, wrote Dear Dr. Narendra Nath, Thank you for your last two comments. From my...


Gary Simpson: "Happy B-Day FQXi. Many thanks for creating a forum where anyone can..." in Happy 10th Birthday FQXi!...

Pentcho Valev: "Nowadays most theoreticians reject, explicitly or implicitly, Einstein's..." in Happy 10th Birthday FQXi!...

Georgina Woodward: "Hi Lorraine, I appreciate your apology. I don't claim expertise re...." in Physics of the Observer -...

Georgina Woodward: "Hi Joe, there are different meanings of the term "invisible" eg. it can..." in Collapsing Physics: Q&A...

Pentcho Valev: "Einstein's False Postulate That Killed Physics (3) Clever Einsteinians..." in New Podcast: A MICROSCOPE...

Joe Fisher: "Georgina, You are confusing invisible with out-of-sight. The real..." in Collapsing Physics: Q&A...

Lorraine Ford: "Georgina, I’m sorry about my offensive remark 2 posts ago: my comment..." in Physics of the Observer -...

Steve Dufourny: "Hi Georgina, I am understanding,we imporve after all our models and..." in New Podcast: A MICROSCOPE...

click titles to read articles

Collapsing Physics: Q&A with Catalina Oana Curceanu
Tests of a rival to quantum theory, taking place in the belly of the Gran Sasso d'Italia mountain, could reveal how the fuzzy subatomic realm of possibilities comes into sharp macroscopic focus.

Dropping Schrödinger's Cat Into a Black Hole
Combining gravity with the process that transforms the fuzzy uncertainty of the quantum realm into the definite classical world we see around us could lead to a theory of quantum gravity.

Does Quantum Weirdness Arise When Parallel Classical Worlds Repel?
Quantum mechanics could derive from subtle interactions among unseen neighboring universes

Wrinkles in Spacetime
Searching for defects in the fabric of the cosmos could help physicists home in on the correct theory of quantum gravity.

Blurring Causal Lines
Quantum experiments mix past and future on the microscopic scale—opening the door to faster computers and revising our notion of causality.

June 1, 2016

CATEGORY: The Nature of Time Essay Contest [back]
TOPIC: Flowing with a Frozen River by Cristinel Stoica [refresh]
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Cristinel Stoica wrote on Nov. 26, 2008 @ 11:19 GMT
Essay Abstract

For discussing foundational questions, like the nature of time, we need a framework. Ideally, this would be provided by a Theory of Everything. Until the discovery of TOE, I propose a mathematical structure that can be used to represent theories of Physics in a unitary framework, similarly to the way in which the group actions represent various geometries in the Erlangen program. This construction extracts essential aspects of various theories, concerning the space, time, physical law, and causality. I introduce a causal structure and apply it to models of time and time travel. I propose an argument, based on causality, for the initial singularity of the Universe, and for the physical reality of gauge potentials (all three related in an unexpected way). Then, I discuss a new version of Quantum Mechanics, that replaces the discontinuous wavefunction collapse with delayed initial conditions, and has significant implications on time and causality. After presenting the arrows of time as emergent phenomena, I discuss the mind and its perception of time as flowing, in the context of the block spacetime. Then, I apply the previous observations to analyze the possibility of free-will. I propose a hypothesis about the free-will, and a crucial experiment that can confirm or reject it.

Author Bio

Cristi Stoica has a master’s degree in Differential Geometry with applications in Physics, and is enrolled in a doctoral program on the Fiber Bundle Geometry. He works as a computer programmer in the field of Computational Geometry. The present essay is based on the author’s independent research.

Download Essay PDF File

Dr. E (The Real McCoy) wrote on Nov. 26, 2008 @ 20:08 GMT
Hello Cristi,

Loved your essay!

Love your introduction which establishes the duality of time--"As our understanding of the Universe increases, the

time becomes more and more geometric. Initially be-

ing only a parameter in the equations of Mathematical

Physics, it proved to be more related to the space than we

expected, mixing together in the structure...

view entire post

Cristi Stoica wrote on Nov. 27, 2008 @ 20:45 GMT
Hello Dr. E,

I am glad that you are interested in my research.

Thank you for your nice words. I look forward to read your essay.



Narendra Nath wrote on Nov. 30, 2008 @ 10:55 GMT
Dear Cristi,

Your entry was so late , with many alte comers, really didn't give time to old timers in the contest to view your contribution. In fact, came to your site after seeing your good last post on the essay of P.N. Tiwari.

Looking at your background, you have done a good job. But your view is restricted too like that of many in this competition, confined to computation and geometry, your field of interest and activity. The nature of Time is a very broad theme, encompassing the mysteries of nature, the working of human mind as a scientist and much more. As the competition closes, not much can be done to discuss your contribution in specific details. Any way, i commend your effort as one of the youngsters who have joined the competition. Best of luck.

Cristi Stoica wrote on Nov. 30, 2008 @ 15:22 GMT
Dear Narendra,

Thank you for your kind thoughts. About entering late in the contest, I will do my best to read and appreciate all the essays, to learn from them, and from the comments I will receive.

Best wishes,

Cristi Stoica

Narendra nath wrote on Nov. 30, 2008 @ 16:10 GMT
Dear Cristi,

Very best wishes to you. It certainly will be educative for you to go through the essays but also the posts on them. Yoour own essay and posts on other essays are the contributions i appreciate. Wish you all success in your future career!

Cristi Stoica wrote on Nov. 30, 2008 @ 16:48 GMT
Dear Narendra,

You said “your view is restricted [...], confined to computation and geometry, your field of interest and activity”.

But is there anything else but computation and geometry?

Surely I’m joking. Although I trained myself to let aside my ego, and to learn from critical comments, I have to answer to this observation, because it may hurt the way my work is perceived.

As a scientist, I try to formalize my ideas. Let me explain this in your reference frame (I saw that in your essay you quote Patanjali).

According to him, the knowledge comes from 1) experience, 2) authorized persons, and 3) logical deduction. Experience is a) subjective or b) objective. In constructing a theory, there are some steps. The first is the creation of the hypothesis, which is based mostly on 1) and 2). Then, the theory must be formalized, corresponding to step 3). We then submit it to peers, which try mostly to test our theory by applying 1 b) (objective experience), and 3) (logical deduction). This is according to Karl Popper; Thomas Kuhn on the other hand, suggests that 2) (which extend to authorized paradigms) still weights much in the acceptance of new theories.

The differential geometry and computation are not a limitation. I used them at purpose, to formalize my ideas. These ideas go beyond geometry and computation, and are not limited by them, exactly as Patanjali’s ideas are not limited by the Sanskrit language.

Cristi Stoica

F. Le Rouge wrote on Dec. 1, 2008 @ 09:12 GMT
- As your 'Geometry' is just computation or information (see Gunn Quznetsov on this forum) you could as well say 'Is there anything else than computation?' Cristi Stoica.

- I see you have a master in 'differential Geometry': God damn it! What is DIFFERENTIAL Geometry? This is Arithmetics! The problem of Geometry is: 'Where is the Unity of matter -sphera for instance- coming from?

The arrow of Time and the wave function are not 'emergent phenomena' as you say, they are just very very old ideas that are puting you under water.

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 1, 2008 @ 10:26 GMT
Dear F. Le Rouge,

Thanks for your observations.

I am not using the term “emergence” in a fundamentally reductionistic way. The reductionist “emergence” said that “this” occurred from “that” and it is caused by “that” only. The sense I use is that “this” is constructed over “that” by adding only additional rules, and no additional elementary objects. I wouldn’t say that music can be reduced to musical notes, for instance.

If you want to be reductionist in this manner, you may say “God damn it! What is DIFFERENTIAL Geometry? This is Arithmetics!”. But you are wrong. DG is arithmetic at most as we are a bunch of atoms.

Best wishes,

Cristi Stoica

Narendra Nath wrote on Dec. 1, 2008 @ 13:18 GMT
Dear Cristi,

I have enjoyed going through your essay. When i used the term 'restricted', it was not a criticism of your approach.It is just that one needs to keep the broadest vision while contemplating about a problem. his helps one get to know the dominating or most significant factors that are playing the role in a process we wish to understand. Variables are to be kept minimum but at the same time we need to forget not any variable that may be significant. To me Time is an important concept , as the entire Physics is all about motion of one or the other kind. The change of position with time just can't be replaced with any other alternative. However, my queries arisere. its linearity and scaling! What may happen if the 'c' is not a constant'. The realtion x4 = ict then assumes special significance. Similarly, E = mc^2 faces questions re. the concept of Energy. In my essay, i have discussed the early universe and the consequence of marked shift of the value of 'c' to be on higher side for the light coming from source 12 billion years away! How would your attempt take care of such possibilities?

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 1, 2008 @ 13:41 GMT
Dear Narendra,

Thank you for reading my essay, and for clarifying your position. I will post on your discussion thread my answer to the interesting question you raise about the speed of light, since it is not related to my essay, but rather to your inquiries.

Best wishes,

Cristi Stoica

F. Le Rouge wrote on Dec. 1, 2008 @ 19:33 GMT
This is about Music indeed. Symmetry, Infinity and Differential are coming from music and sound phenomenon.

Music as well as the Looney Tunes gives the illusion of Time and the binary structure of Algebraic Geometry is included. If I was not afraid by your irony I would tell you that Riemann’s non-Euclidian ‘Geometry’ as he says makes me think about a saxophone.

The opposition between Geometry and Algebraic Geometry was still there in Greek Science six centuries B.-C. and may be before. And when Algebraic Geometry triumphated in History on Geometry, it was always linked with the triumph of Music. European XVIIth is a good recent example of that.

Although he is living in a musical epoch, P. Picasso after the event can be seen as a materialist and a geometrician against subtle poetry of some impressionist painters before him.

About ‘free-will’ idea at least that you seem to estimate as much as I do: what do you think about G. Vico (‘New Science’ – 1725) opinion? As History is made by people contrary to Nature that is made by God, Vico is suggesting to study Science History to avoid misunderstandings. I personally think that this immersed idea is not that bad.

Venerando wrote on Dec. 1, 2008 @ 21:25 GMT
Dear Cristinel,

I think that mathematics is an increasingly crucial tool in the human aim of understands the universe. This is much truer because other more physical methods such as observation and experimentation are more difficult to perform each time; men are reaching its limits in these aspects. This is one of the arguments I take in my essay to argue on the convenience of a machine such as “simuverses” for calculating places, times and events not reachable by other means. Then, to have a deep knowledge of physic phenomena and to have the appropriated mathematical tool will be both invaluable and unavoidable.

Yours seems to be an in deep effort to manage an ideal tool. I am not able to criticize it more technically.



Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 1, 2008 @ 22:10 GMT
Dear Venerando,

Thanks for your beautiful comments. Mathematics is, in a way, similar to your passion, Science-Fiction. In both, the author takes several ideas, and then develops them to the extreme, constructing, in the imagination, an entire world, with its own logic. Only that Science-Fiction has the difficult task to express important and difficult problems to the reader, to ask deep questions, under an entertaining form. Both Science-Fiction and mathematics can construct worlds that someday will become real, or that may remain forever a dream.

Best regards,

Cristi Stoica

Bogdan L. Scoromide wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 03:55 GMT
Noroc, Cristi! Felicitari pt. eseu, l-am citit cu mare interes.

"The thermodynamic time arrow is an emergent law. It doesn not arise from the physical laws, rather from the highlt improbable initial conditions of the Universe. The Universe evolves naturally to more probable states, and entropy increases.

The thermodynamic arrow is at the origin of the psychological time arrow: remembering the past is a thermodynamically irreversible process."

Excellent passage. Indeed, evolution as we understand it, is nothing but the direction towards probable states. It's either that or "nothing".

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 05:41 GMT
Dear Bogdan,

Thank you for your interest in reading my essay, and for the appreciation. I look forward to read yours too.

Good luck,

Cristi Stoica

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 08:28 GMT
Dear reader,

I decided to add several observations about the ideas in my essay on this forum. I was motivated by the impression that on these posts is preferred a particular subject, which is not the main idea of my article, being just a more or less known part of my larger argumentation. I will not blame the reader for missing my main points, because I am fully aware that it is my responsibility to make them clear. I tried in this essay to concentrate some of my ideas in less than 5000 words, which was a difficult task. Although this contest is a good opportunity to propose them, I don’t consider appropriate to spread my ideas on other contestant’s threads. These threads should be for discussing other contestants’ ideas. My purpose is to submit these ideas to the critical review of other researchers, and this is a good opportunity for doing so.

I will use my own thread to present them.

Cristi Stoica

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 08:28 GMT
1. A mathematical framework for foundational discussions

Discussing about foundational things like time, space, physical law, causality, requires a framework, for example a theory of everything. In waiting for such a ToE, I propose a mathematical structure which I consider general enough to support such discussions and reasoning, without assuming the final form of the ToE. We can discuss at an abstract level, but in concrete terms, which, in my attempt, are mathematical. I consider this a feature, because anyway physicists are trying to move the discussions on mathematical realm.

To understand my approach, think at the geometries of the XVIII century. Klein managed, at the Erlangen program, to put all of them in the form of a set, endowed with transformations. The properties studied by each geometry are in fact defined as the invariants of the corresponding transformation (symmetry) group. My idea is much larger than that, generalizing the geometry such that it contains in a nontrivial way each theory of Physics. In I present largely this World Theory, and show that it can be particularized on the currently available theories.

One important issue is that of causality, and I tried to define it in a general way, in the framework of the World Theory I proposed. I generalized it to local causality, in order to provide a basis for discussing branching and cyclic times, and to provide a mathematical framework for discussing the time travel and what appear to be paradoxes related to it.

Cristi Stoica

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 08:29 GMT
2. The Strong Causality Principle

I propose a principle requiring the initial data to be independent in each point on the data at other points. This SCP is not respected by an important class of PDE in Mathematical Physics. I showed that this principle can be respected if:

A. The Universe started with a particular type of singularity. This argument is an alternative to the Singularity Theorems discovered by Penrose and Hawking. I believe that my approach is based on fewer hypotheses, and it arises naturally as a consequence of the SCP.

B. An alternative solution is to consider the Maxwell and Yang-Mills potentials as having physical reality, rather than the corresponding fields, as it was believed before Aharanov and Bohm proposed their celebrated experiment.

Cristi Stoica

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 08:29 GMT
3. The Smooth Quantum Mechanics

Although it is not stated in my essay, in the World Theory I introduced a way to select the matter field, which generalizes the standard PDE + initial/boundary conditions approach. My way also emphasizes the idea that the initial conditions should be made invariant on the initial hypersurface and the particular values of the fields, when restricted to that hypersurface.

Starting with this idea, I realized that the discontinuous collapse in Quantum Mechanics can be eliminated, if we replace it with appropriate initial conditions for the evolution equations. In order for this mechanism to work, we cannot limit ourselves to the observed system. But, if the apparatus used in the previous measurement is taken into consideration, it can supply the free parameters required for the next measurement.

Because the initial conditions used in this solution converged towards the eigenstates of the observable, I decide to name them “delayed initial conditions” (as a reference to the well-known idea of delayed-choice experiment).

Consequently, the Smooth Quantum Mechanics allows new measurements of the same system, without requiring to discontinuous jumps. It is a deterministic theory, but doesn’t contradict the free-will, as it is usually believed in other deterministic theories. Moreover, not only SQM is compatible with a deterministic Many Worlds Interpretation, but also suggests such a possibility, if we remember that the solution is selected from a sheaf representing the physical law, and that in Quantum Mechanics this selection is not established by an initial condition, but by the measurements. The observer cannot make use of this hidden determinism, but he/she has access only to a limited set of measurements (therefore, of delayed initial conditions). Consequently, although my version of MWI des not allow the world to split, the data collected by the observer (the “registry”) can be completed in many incompatible ways, providing splitting of this registry.

Cristi Stoica

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 08:29 GMT
4. Minds flowing in the Frozen River, and a Free-Will Hypothesis

This part is constructed around the current theories about the time arrows, and how the mind perceives the flowing of time. Its purpose is to prepare the reader for the next part.

I show that, if the world is reducible to the block space-time view, the free-will is limited to disappearance. In a physical world, the only sources of our decisions are the computation and the random inputs. We may or may not accept that everything in the physical world is computable, but what works for an algorithm works for the matter structures too. An algorithm can be deterministic, or indeterministic, in which case it uses for decisions a random number generator. But neither the necessity of decisions, which are consequence of a deterministic evolution, nor the randomness, which is the manifestation of indeterminism, can support the free-will.

Yet, there is another possibility. I propose a free-will hypothesis based on convergence. In this hypothesis, our decisions can select the appropriate (delayed) initial conditions that lead by time evolution according to the physical laws, to those particular decisions.

Here, if the reader has a particular sympathy for the free-will, or an antipathy, will judge me consequently. The reader who believes in free-will will consider that I should not question the free-will, and that I am a reductionist. The reader who considers that there is no place for the free-will in science will consider that I introduce mystical thinking in Physics.

Yet, I am neutral. My scientific skepticism makes me presenting the hypothesis of convergence-based free-will, together with an experiment that can confirm or reject this hypothesis. I will not claim that I proved or disproved the free-will, nor I will claim that we should accept it or reject it. All I propose is just a hypothesis. Let us be reserved, and let the experiment decide.

Cristi Stoica

F. Le Rouge wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 16:37 GMT
Frame is done for Painting and not Painting for Frame.

Framework question drives to Method question: but old 'Adaequatio rei et intellectus' problem is not solved by the new 'Adaequatio intellecti et intellectus'.

(-In case I explained on your friend Gambini's forum why 'free will' is still 'Time in the Frame' or why your Framework is skipping the question of the Nature of Time.

-I intend to make a comment too as soon as possible about what you call the 'dicontinuous collapse in Quantum mechanics' that what still there in XVIIth Century trigonometry -another proof that the worm is in the apple or the frame from the very beginning of Differential Science.)

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 18:33 GMT
Dear F. Le Rouge,

“Frame is done for Painting and not Painting for Frame.”

This is nice, and I totally agree with you. If you considered otherwise, then perhaps you assumed that I made claims that I haven’t. Once, you said something about my irony. I don’t think that I used irony, with you or anybody on this forum. I try to be clear, and if sometimes my words sound like irony, I regret, it is not at purpose.

I like your comments, and I appreciate your interest. They are difficult for me to grasp, because you are using metaphor, and I am accustomed to discuss with the premises on the table, but I try to keep up with you.

Best wishes,

Cristi Stoica

J. Smith wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 19:28 GMT
Dear Cristi,

your contribution is based on the assumption that spacetime is something real. You implicitly use several time-dependent concept, in particular when you try to say something about the arrow of time. I'm not sure you can define it without using time-related concept. I will appreciate if you can tell us, at the end of the day, what is time according to your contribution.


Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 20:31 GMT
Dear John,

Thank you for your observations.

“your contribution is based on the assumption that spacetime is something real.”

I don’t know whether spacetime is real or not, and I haven’t used this assumption. I am just trying to capture the relations between spacetime events, and these relations are mathematical. Spacetime may be reality or illusion, but from the...

view entire post

Anonymous wrote on Dec. 2, 2008 @ 23:47 GMT
"I don’t know whether spacetime is real or not, and I haven’t used this assumption. I am just trying to capture the relations between spacetime events, and these relations are mathematical. Spacetime may be reality or illusion, but from the viewpoint I presented, it doesn’t matter, because the relations are still relations. "

John probably meant that you implicitly use spacetime as a whole. It becomes clear also in your 3. : the word "collapse" implies a time evolution, but which time? The time you are trying to speak about with the collapse itself? I don't have the anwser, like you also admit, but it sounds that the approach contains a loop and does not work.

report post as inappropriate

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 05:39 GMT
Dear John,

Addendum: I don’t know what is the nature of time. I don’t know the nature of anything. What I study are only relations.

Cristi Stoica

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 06:00 GMT
Dear anonymous,

Thank you for pointing out this expression I used, and for providing the opportunity to clarify it. The collapse is part of the quantum description of the world, which is temporal. Also you may find the expression “time evolution”. You can view the same world in two ways: 4-dimensional, and 3+1-dimensional. In the 4-d view, the time is included in the geometry, and the “collapse” or “time evolution” can be recovered by decomposing back the spacetime into space and time.

I will provide you an example. Imagine a classical charged particle, which doesn’t change its position in space, and that there is nothing else in this space. This is a static world, so we will use only 3 dimensions. If I say “as you go closer to the particle, the electric potential increases”, this description is temporal, but applies to a static world. There is no need to be somebody who goes closer to the particle, and the potential doesn’t change in time, but vary with the distance only. But this is a way to describe the variation of the potential with the distance. It implies the use of verbs, but it does not describe time by appealing to a meta-time. Similarly, in a 4-d spacetime, we can speak about “time evolution” or “collapse” as a dependence of the fourth dimension, but this does not mean that we appeal to a meta-time. In the geometric view there is no circular reference, it is only the language that employs verbs to express the dependence of one variable on the fourth coordinate. Ideally, for avoiding such misunderstanding, the physicists may develop alternative words and expressions, and a dictionary to translate between 3+1-d language to 4-d language and back. I am not aware of such development, and I think that I will not employ it, because it will complicate the things. The physicists could survive without it simply because, once they understand the geometric picture, they can go back and forth between the two models, and overcome this vagueness of the language.

Thank you for the remark,

Cristi Stoica

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 08:21 GMT
Dear anonymous, Dear John,

Dear John, if you agree with the comment made by anonymous, please read.

I will explain below the block spacetime paradigm (or the frozen time), assuming that the reader doesn’t know it. I haven’t explained it in my essay, because for physicists is well known, and there are many good explanations in both popular and advanced texts.

Once the block spacetime paradigm is understood, it becomes clear that there is no circular reference in it. Yet, after understanding it, several problems can be raised, and I mention here a part of them. In my essay I assumed it well known, and I proposed a broader version, as well as some observations about the related problems.

1. How the irreversible changes can be explained within the block spacetime paradigm?

2. How can this view account for the flowing time, which is so vivid for humans? How can a block universe contain minds like ours, experiencing the flow time?

3. Is there a place for the free-will in the block spacetime?

For the reader who understands the mathematical background of relativity and quantum mechanics, I recommend my essay, and other essays presented here. For the reader who wants a simple explanation of the block spacetime paradigm, I propose the next post.

Cristi Stoica

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 08:22 GMT
The block spacetime

This idea is natural if you understand how the physical phenomena are expressed by mathematical equations of evolution in time. But I will try to explain it without appealing to mathematics.

Imagine a movie, made by frames. Each frame is a static 2d image, a snapshot, and running them fast enough creates the illusion of motion. If we cut the film and arrange the frames in a deck, like a deck of cards, we obtain a 3d object, made of many 2d frames. All the motion is contained in this deck. The movie can be recovered unambiguously from this deck.

A mistake that we can do now when we try to recover the movie from this deck is to imagine that at any instant, one of the frames in the deck is highlighted. We can do this to understand that the deck contains the motion, but then we have to remember that highlighting each frame at a time makes reference to a meta-time. Here occurs the circular reference in the definition of time.

To avoid it, we have to assume that the snapshots contain also the minds states of the characters in the movie. For example, if John is one of the characters, we will have many Johns: John1, John2, …, for each frame one version of John. Each of these John have different ages. John perceives himself as experiencing the time flow. In fact, at any instant there is another John, whose mind state contains the think “I am John at the instant n, and I remember things about me at the instant n-1”. John_n identifies himself with all the previous Johns, but in fact they are different, occupying different places in the deck of frames. John_n will not be able to experience any change, because his mind is in one frozen state. He will not be able to experience that he is static, because this experience is temporal. He will just contain the state of mind which thinks “I am John at the time n, remembering things about John at n-1, and n-2,...

If you play in your mind with this kind of stuff, you may be able to understand it. Yet, if you do this, several problems will arise, and I listed some of them in the previous post. At request, I will detail them.

On the other hand, if the reader still can’t accept this paradigm, maybe he/she will formulate the possible problems.

I think that there is no circular reference about time in this view, but I am willing to listen to arguments. I am not aware about a result proving such circularity. This discussion may have to outcomes: either the reader understands it, or the reader brings new arguments into discussion, which may open new directions of research.

I want to mention that this is the basic block spacetime paradigm. In my essay I introduce a broader class. Maybe some of the reader’s questions, together with the problems I raised in the previous post, can find their answer in this class.

Cristi Stoica

Narendra ath wrote on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 14:14 GMT
i am an experimentalist with limited awareness of intricacies of mathematics being increasingly involved in solving the unsolved physical aspects. Quantum gravity found necessary to explain the black holes introduced such considerations that were not earlier associated with Gravity, the oldest force/field that came out of the 'Unified field' that lasted till very very early moments of the Universe. Then, followed the strong nuclear to synthesize nuclei. The atomic and molecular structures required electromagnetic to separate it from electro-weak. All this follows the original logic behind the Creation of the Universe, that we don't know in entirety as we continue to unravel the mysteries of the Universe( may be you read my little contribution in this competition). The implications about the non-constancy of the Physical Constants (like 'c') can affect the concept of 'time' we have thus far accepted. Similarly, the varying relative strengths of the four force/fields appears o be needed in order to understand the first billion years of the universe. Unfortunately, cosmological data is currently confined to 12 billion years back, eevn confirming that value of 'c' was a small fraction higher than our currently accepted value. How do you perceive such eventualities, a per your approach in this essay!

Please treat me as rather poor in understanding mathematics involved!

Congratulation to Stoica wrote on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 14:27 GMT
Congratulation to Stoica, which collected more than all the other competitors summed toghether in only three days, as you can see from the attached table.

I believe that self-voting is not a good practice.

I'd like to know the ratio between downloads and votes, and whether multiple votes came from the same IP. I'd also like to know if multiple submission came from a single IP, so a dummy alterego could vote the main contribution as a participant, since self voting is not allowed for restricted votes. I'd also like to know if members of FQXi are allowed to vote twice, as participants and as members.

attachments: FXQivotesdays.JPG

Anonymous wrote on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 16:27 GMT
"Congratulation to Stoica, which collected more than all the other competitors summed toghether in only three days"

I highly doubt that you've read all the essays posted here.


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Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 17:39 GMT
Answer to the two previous anonymous posts.

First post.

I am very happy about the restricted votes, and I wish to thank to the contestants who generously offered them. Although you may be surprised, I haven’t used the practice of self voting. Please make an inquiry to the foundation and take all the data you want, and please post it here. As far as I know, one contestant cannot vote twice the same contestant, and is not allowed to self-vote. I don’t know personally any of the contestants. I am, like you, also a little surprised about the public votes, but being subjective, I tend to believe that they were people who were attracted to read the essay by the title, which I consider inspired, and who liked what I wrote. I am sharing my ideas from years to my friends and colleagues, and perhaps some of them also voted me, when I presented them the essay. I also explain partially my success on the conjuncture that I submitted few days before the deadline, and right before the high wave of postings in the last few days. As I remember, there were two-three days right before closing when my essay was the newest, and perhaps the “older” contestants had the time to read my submission.

Second post.

Unfortunately, I was only able to read forty-fifty essays from other contestants. My intention was to read all of them before 15, and to post to everyone to whom I have something to say. I took several days off to finish them, when they were only about 70. Considering the large number of last-minute submissions, I hardly doubt that I will be able to read them, at least with the same attention, before December 15. I sincerely regret this, because I found so far very interesting essays. At least I may hope to read them after the closure, and if I will not be able to do this, I will definitely read the winning essays.

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 17:55 GMT
To “anonymously written on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 16:27 GMT”

A friend suggested me that your message may not be addressed to me, but a response to the previous post. I am sorry if I made a confusion, but I am happy to have the opportunity to express my regret for not reading all the essays in the competition.

Best regards,

Cristi Stoica

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 18:10 GMT
Dear Dr. Narendra,

I read a lot of theoretical physics, mostly Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, and QFT, and much mathematics, which is inevitable for understanding these subjects. I have the tendency to think a lot about the fundamental problems. Unfortunately, this, and my day job, left me with little time for other areas of Physics. I consider that I neglected an important and fundamental part, concerning the beginnings of the Universe. In fact, this gap in my research can be seen from my essay, in which I propose just one contribution to the beginnings, in the section III. B. Therefore, with all my good willing to discuss with you about the beginnings, I have serious limits here. The only thing that occurred to my mind was that we can locally rescale the time, such that ‘c’ remains constant. I don’t exclude at all the possibility to be wrong about this. Moreover, my rescaling proposal will not explain other values that were considered constant, and appear not to be.

Best regards,

Cristi Stoica

matthew kolasinski wrote on Dec. 5, 2008 @ 00:03 GMT
hello Chris,

in your post, 12-02, you wrote:

"I don’t know whether spacetime is real or not, and I haven’t used this assumption."

my compliments on your honesty.

we're all in the same boat there.

warm regards,


matt kolasinski

SW wrote on Dec. 5, 2008 @ 00:09 GMT

Your essay does not show how the change is possible in the frozen block universe. You just assume it.


matthew kolasinski wrote on Dec. 5, 2008 @ 00:12 GMT
hello again Cristi,

ach, i should at least get your name right.

my appologies, so many papers, getting to be a bit of a blur.

matt k.

F. Le Rouge wrote on Dec. 5, 2008 @ 10:31 GMT
Once again the problem is that you are justifying here 'Empiricism' by 'Empiricism', C. Stoica, that is to say a method which consists in including Time in the framework of Physics from the beginning. And why? For ballistic reasons that have nothing to do with Physics.

Triumph of algebraic Geometry in the XVIIth century is mostly due to ballistic experiences.

What I am saying on my own essay -not against C. Stoica, C. Rovelli or Gambini but against Empiricism- is that A. Einstein or M. Planck cannot be taken as serious Scientists because they do not event look out the Empiricism reference as if Science could not exist out their own idea of Science. It is something like 'Absolute Science' although my opinion is that there must be a choice in Science or Art. If you do not choose, you are a slave, and worst than a slave: something who does not even know he is chained.

Skepticism but one cannot doubt about Descartes method. Relativity but Einstein is absolute.

About metaphysics one must add that if Anglo-Saxon Science doez not tolerate that one let the Time on one side, it is because Light is behind Time and God behind Light. One must add it for scientific reasons: because today Metaphysics is incorporated in Physics. Einstein's Theories are as much 'religious' than they are 'scientific'.

Anonymous wrote on Dec. 5, 2008 @ 11:57 GMT
4 out of 5 sources in your essay are papers you wrote. Are the papers peer reviewed? What is the thesis of your essay? Is it TOE?

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Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 5, 2008 @ 13:49 GMT
Dear anonymous,

Thank you for reading my paper and for the interest you show.

“4 out of 5 sources in your essay are papers you wrote”

My first draft of this essay had 7500 words, and contained about 30 referenced to peer reviewed papers of various authors. I wanted to present as much as I can about my work related to the subject, but in the meanwhile I wanted to have under 5000 words. During the process of compression, the style become very laconic, some of the arguments were omitted, together with most of the references. Though, for these details I insisted to keep the references to my papers, where I provide details and the omitted references.

“Are the papers peer reviewed?”

Although I performed my research in many years, and I have many drafts, it is only this autumn when I started to write them as articles, and posted at an eprint archive. The oldest of them, “Smooth Quantum Mechanics”, is presently under peer review at a review of Physics. I intend as soon as possible to submit to various reviews the other articles, but lately I was concerned most of the time with this essay.

“What is the thesis of your essay? Is it TOE?”

My essay is not about TOE (it is much more modest). One section, based on one of my papers, introduces the World Theory, which, as I wrote in the essay, is a framework for dealing with aspects related to time, space, physical laws and causality, until the TOE will be discovered. I try to make the least hypotheses, such that any current candidate theory to fit the definition of the mathematical structure which I named “world”. I used this general picture to discuss more formal about time and causality, without knowing exactly the final form of the TOE. On the other hand, I used also more particular results from QM and Relativity to construct an image of time, of how we can understand the time flow in a block universe, and whether or not there is a place for free-will, and how can we test this experimentally.

Best regards,

Cristi Stoica

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 5, 2008 @ 13:50 GMT
Dear Matt,

I appreciate your kind comments, thank you.

Best regards,

Cristi Stoica

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 5, 2008 @ 14:36 GMT
Dear SW,

Thank you for being interest in my essay.

“Your essay does not show how the change is possible in the frozen block universe. You just assume it.”

The frozen block contains time evolution, in the following way (which is not the point of my essay, it is a well-known picture which I assumed in the essay already understood). Consider it a 4-dimensional spacetime as in...

view entire post

Eckard Blumschein wrote on Dec. 5, 2008 @ 22:58 GMT
Christi Stoica,

You are eloquently and polite enough as to enough as to meet the public taste. I read your essay in order to check to what extent you are aware of possible mistakes at the very basics.

While an other leading candidate did not answer a seemingly

simple question of mine, you did not even mention a complex Ansatz. To accept or refute the main point of my essay would require serious and unbiased reasoning.

What about the word frozen in mathematics, you might know Fraenkel 1923.

I realized that you mentioned non-Hausdorff in connection. with smooth. So far, I did not exclude to be the almost only one who disdains Cantor's paradise.

If you need someone who supports your PhD program, I recommend John Baez. I doubt however he will appreciate your thought experiment instead of a little bit more mathematical background.

Good luck,

Eckard Blumschein

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 6, 2008 @ 09:01 GMT
Dear anonymous who wrote “anonymously written on Dec. 6, 2008 @ 06:51 GMT”,

You can check the submission date of the articles referenced in my essay at the eprint archive between 19-23 November 2008. Please acknowledge that there are two weeks since then, and not publishing them in such a short time does not mean that they are not publishable. I wrote them very recently, to backup my essay, because I knew that I cannot explain everything in 5000 words. Since it is allowed to have new and unpublished ideas at this contest, I took this opportunity to submit some of my ideas to this jury and contestants for peer reviewing.

One of them is a second version, the first one dating from the end of September, when I submitted it to a respectable physical journal. Following the suggestions of the reviewer, I obtained the second version, which is cited in the essay. Now I wait the reviewer’s comments on the second version. The editor informed me that in the case of that journal it takes 3-6 months for a decision.

You are just rejecting on general basis my ideas, instead of pointing out where are the mistakes. I acknowledge that I may have some errors, and your help will be valuable. On the other hand, you cannot use the principle of peer-reviewing to reject new ideas, because any new idea is, initially, not peer reviewed.

Best regards,

Cristi Stoica

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 6, 2008 @ 09:32 GMT
Dear Eckard Blumschein,

Thank you for pointing out a potential error. Fortunately, it was not an error, as you can find exemplified in some differential geometry books. Please refer to the following entries:

In your defense, I may say that perhaps the name Hausdorff made you thinking at fractal sets, hence the confusion.

I appreciate your effort,

Best regards,

Cristi Stoica

F. Le Rouge wrote on Dec. 6, 2008 @ 10:09 GMT
Comparison between a computer and a brain is the point. If you prove that the brain works as a computer, you prove that the Time does exist and that Algebraic Geometry or Empiricism method is Science.

But if the brain has nothing to do with the binary computation of informations, you are entirely wrong.

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 6, 2008 @ 10:39 GMT
Dear F. Le Rouge,

You referred to the final part of my essay. I do not claim that the brain is entirely equivalent to a computer. What I said is that, assuming that someday in the future this equivalence will be proven, then this will rule out the free-will as is usually understood, by reducing all our decisions to either determinism, or randomness. But I say further that, even in these hard conditions, there exists a last possibility for the free-will, and I propose an experiment for verifying this hypothesis. I do not claim that free-will exists or not, nor that the brain is, or is not, a computer, since I don’t know how to prove such claims. I just propose a hypothesis and an experiment.

Cristi Stoica

Eckard Blumschein wrote on Dec. 7, 2008 @ 01:03 GMT
Dear Cristi Stoica,

You are formally correct. Perhaps you nonetheless did not get my point because of lacking time for reading my essay

"Let's benefit from special mathematics for elapsed time".

I am mainly pointing to improper interpretation of complex domains that possibly are to blame for serious mistakes.

The reason for me to read Hausdorff's 1914 textbook "Grundzuege der Mengenlehre" was to find the reason for unresolved mathematical questions that relate to the notions point (something that does not have parts) and continuum (something every part of which has parts). An integral transform maps points on continua and vice versa.

I know that Hausdorff admittedly followed Cantor's naive set theory, and I guess having found the questionable point: The Peirce-continuous "real" line is ordered but not numerically metrizable.

Aren't Buridan's donkey and Schroedinger's cat both based on the same illusion? You certainly know that topology is unable to perform a symmetrical cut.

When I asked mathematicians how to deal with t=0 between past and future, I got as many mutually excluding suggestions as possible. I hate unfounded arbitrary definitions.

As a way out I am suggesting to understand the reals as useful hybrids but what I would like to call irreal numbers the non-Dedekind union of irrationals and non-canonically embedded rationals.

I am arguing that embedding into irrationals makes rationals likewise unapproachable "indiscrete" numbers being lumped together in indiscrete topology. Neither past not future time lacks the nil because points do not have an extension.

Eckard Blumschein

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 7, 2008 @ 07:44 GMT
Dear reader,

In Dec. 2, 2008 @ 08:28 GMT I wrote several posts presenting very briefly the main points of my essay: a mathematical framework for foundational discussions (the World Theory), the Strong Causality Principle, the Smooth Quantum Mechanics and delayed initial conditions, minds flowing in the Frozen River, and a Free-Will Hypothesis.

In this essay, I intended to put...

view entire post

Florina Manuela Pirvulescu wrote on Dec. 8, 2008 @ 11:03 GMT
Congratulations on your essay, Cristi! What you wrote proves that this is your concern for a long time and this contest was only an opportunity to make your ideas more known than before. I am glad you were given this possibility and I congratulate you for your diplomacy and open spirit proven during discussions about your essay! All the best to you, too

Ken Sasaki. wrote on Dec. 9, 2008 @ 05:30 GMT
Dear Cristi:

I have taken a look at your article; but unfortunately, I don't have the background vocabulary to follow your reasoning. Sorry about that. I hope that you are able to progress with good results, in the future.

Take care,


Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 9, 2008 @ 06:50 GMT
Dear Ken,

Thank you for being interested in reading my essay, and for your wishes.

Best regards,

Cristi Stoica

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 9, 2008 @ 06:53 GMT
Dear Florina,

Thank you for your appreciation, and good luck with your research and explorations.

Best wishes,

Cristi Stoica

Robert Sadykov wrote on Dec. 9, 2008 @ 16:35 GMT
Dear Cristi Stoica,

One of many questions in the essay "Flowing with a Frozen River": is time discrete, or continuous? Or in other words: whether time has the quantum nature? In the essay "The Theory of Time, Space and Gravitation" the time is created by the motion, and properties of the motion define properties of time. Therefore, discrete character of the motion in principle can form discrete time. But, all it is not so simple. The continuous motion forms the causal effect, which we observe, and the inertial mass here plays a large role. The causal effect in turn forms the arrow of time. In case of the discrete motion the causal effect is not obvious. The moving material point actually disappears in one spatial cell and afresh appears in the next cell. In this case all Universe periodically disappears and again is born in a somewhat changed form. Each material point should be in the separate cell of space some minimal time. Here we observe the second problem: it is impossible to find a physical meaning to minimal time, when any motion, i.e. any change of a state of the material system is absent. The third problem consists in necessity of renunciation of laws of conservation of energy and momentum because of the contradiction with the discrete time and discrete motion. Acceptance of the minimal space and minimal time can be caused by necessity to exclude infinitely large and infinitesimal values, for example, the infinitesimal sizes of the electron and infinitely large potential energy of the electromagnetic field of the electron. But, for this purpose there are other solutions (see essay Thus, contrary to the general tendency to quantize all, we accept the continuous space, continuous time and continuous motion because of absence of any contradictions.

Yours faithfully

Robert Sadykov

Peter Lynds wrote on Dec. 10, 2008 @ 02:54 GMT
Dear Cristi,

Your essay is very well written. Given your interpretation of block time (the standard one), however, I don't think your argument relating to frozen time flowing makes sense. Saying that time merely seems to flow (or if one doesn't believe in time, that motion and change merely seem to happen) because we also think in frozen instants, doesn't add up, because it doesn't explain how such thoughts (or "states") are able to progress from one frozen instant to the next. That is, based on such an interpretation of gr and block time, all motion and change – including neural processes or continuous algorithms running on a computer – would not be possible.

I think the problem lays in your and the standard interpretation's assumption of the physical existence of instants, spatial points, and space-time points (and as such, time, space, and space-time). Although I believe that we do think within the context of frozen instants, such things have no foundation in Nature. As soon as one recognizes this, motion and change (including neural processes) suddenly become possible, and can be seen to be completely compatible with gr and the block view, with all times (those shown by a clock) sharing equal footing.

Best wishes


Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 10, 2008 @ 05:25 GMT
Dear Robert,

Thank you for reading my essay, and for the comment. Your essay contains interesting viewpoint, and arguments for the continuity of spacetime. In my essay, I introduced a general framework in which I tried to avoid the assumption regarding continuity or discreteness, because I wanted to deal on the same footing with a large class of theories, including the continuous and discrete ones.


Cristi Stoica

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 10, 2008 @ 05:39 GMT
Dear Peter,

I appreciate that you read and comment my essay. I observe that the most discussed aspect on my thread is the one of block spacetime, which is not one of the central points of my essay. You may have read my two posts detailing the standard view, and you may have observed that in my essay I introduced more general ideas of block world. Anyway, returning to your remark about the standard block spacetime, I want to mention that the “frozen instants” are related by the topology and the equations, which provide the processes required. However, if we insist to consider that the “frozen instants” contain (referring to point-like particles) only the positions of the particle, we cannot, indeed, link the successive states. But, as soon as we remember to include also the velocities or the momenta, everything becomes obvious. Perhaps in your essay, considering its name, you provide more arguments for your affirmations, and I look forward to read it.

Best regards,

Cristi Stoica

FQXi Administrator Kavita Rajanna wrote on Dec. 10, 2008 @ 21:01 GMT
In response to questions regarding Essay Contest voting:

Thanks for giving some thought to some general voting issues in this Essay Contest, which as you can imagine are tricky. In answer to the issues raised, which concern ALL ESSAYS, we would advise all entrants that the provenance of all votes is being recorded. These records for potential essay contest winners will, after voting closes, be carefully examined for consistency with the stated rules that (a) one should not vote for oneself, (b) members or authors can vote for three essays as a restricted voter, and (c) a given author can only submit one essay. Non-adherence to these rules may be grounds for disqualifying votes and/or essays from consideration.


K Rajanna


this post has been edited by the forum administrator

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Peter Lynds wrote on Dec. 10, 2008 @ 22:57 GMT
Dear Cristi,

Thanks for your reply.

"However, if we insist to consider that the "frozen instants" contain (referring to point-like particles) only the positions of the particle, we cannot, indeed, link the successive states. But, as soon as we remember to include also the velocities or the momenta, everything becomes obvious."

What becomes obvious? If positions are assumed to be instantaneous, so will velocities and momenta (as they are also assumed to in the standard interpretation). Also, by now presumably suggesting that velocity and momenta mean succession, you seem to be negating your original position regarding block time and change.

Best wishes


PS Please don't possibly interpret my words as harsh. They are not intended to be.

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 11, 2008 @ 08:06 GMT
Dear Peter,

Thank you for your explanations.

You say: “Please don't possibly interpret my words as harsh. They are not intended to be.”

I appreciate very much that you sustain your ideas, I think that this is what you should do, and I like this.

The initial conditions (for example instantaneous positions and momenta), together with the evolution laws, contains all the information needed for restoring all the fields and their evolutions. They contain both the states and the processes.

You say: “by now presumably suggesting that velocity and momenta mean succession, you seem to be negating your original position regarding block time and change”.

I do not deny my original position; I deny your original understanding about what my position is.

Best wishes,

Cristi Stoica

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 11, 2008 @ 19:21 GMT
Dear Kavita Rajanna,

Thank you for watching the consistency with the contest’s rules, for reminding us these rules, and for clarifying the situation.

Best regards,

Cristi Stoica

Peter Lynds wrote on Dec. 11, 2008 @ 19:23 GMT
Dear Cristi,


"The initial conditions (for example instantaneous positions and momenta), together with the evolution laws, contains all the information needed for restoring all the fields and their evolutions. They contain both the states and the processes."

Ok, but as you would agree, such a situation is static; it is incompatible with motion and change. Yet, you talk about evolutions. These are mutually exclusive and it can only be one or the other.

"There is no change, only that each instantaneous observer identifies himself as the flowing observer."

In relation to your original position, I see it as being encapsulated by the above. Again, though, given such an interpretation of block time, there can clearly be no succession from one instant to the next for the observer either, nor can one imply any evolution (as you seem to be trying to do).

Best wishes


Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 11, 2008 @ 19:59 GMT
Dear Kavita Rajanna,

I think that some people may misinterpret your message. They may misunderstand that you find an inconsistency with the contests rules. Please clarify the situation.

Best regards,

Cristi Stoica

FQXi Administrator Kavita Rajanna wrote on Dec. 11, 2008 @ 21:57 GMT
Dear Cristi,

I have edited my above post to make clear that this message was intended for all essay contest voters, not just those voting for your essay.

At this point we have not looked into any possible voting inconsistencies; we will do so after voting finishes on December 15. Until then we encourage everyone to vote for their favorite essays if they haven't already done so. A refresher on the voting guidelines is available at


K Rajanna

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S. Baron wrote on Dec. 12, 2008 @ 02:44 GMT
Wonderful work. At the end, the experiment to test free will...right now the input data does cause us, the player to get ahead (if I understand you correctly). The input data from our senses is not random, it is specialized to be useful to us. The outside player is the self-organizing developmental process (again, evolution). Is this player outside the physical world? In a sense it is, as an organizing principal.

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 12, 2008 @ 15:01 GMT
Dear S. Baron,

Thank you for reading and posting your nice comments. I think that you caught the idea, and this is indeed the free-will hypothesis which I propose for testing. It is partially based on the quantum phenomena that seem to suggest that the initial conditions are established with delay. I look forward to read your essay.

Best wishes,

Cristi Stoica

Anonymous wrote on Dec. 15, 2008 @ 20:46 GMT
To Kavita Rajanna:

Just want to clarify: Is the contest ending date December 15 (as was stated in your comment above and as originally posted in the rules section), or Jan 1 (as stated now in the rules section)?


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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Dec. 16, 2008 @ 04:08 GMT
I found your paper pretty interesting. What is of considerable interest is the strong causality principle:

On the same spacelike hypersurface (corresponding to an instant of time t0), the value of the matter field at a point must not depend on its value in other point

Much of how quantum physics is formulated this does not obtain. It is the standard approach that one must select a spatial surface, with equal time commutators specified and a coordinate time vector which fixes the Hamiltonian. This is an infinite amount of data, needed to provide data for partial differential equations.

There a version of this however is possible. The simple fact is that with general relativity the only time which corresponds to a real measurement is proper time ds = sqrt{g_{ab}dx^adx^b}. Quantum wave equations on the other hand are written according to the coordinate time t, which in general relativity is just a metric bookkeeping device. As such the strong causality principle might be looked upon as:

On the same spacelike hypersurface the value of a field at a point under all conformal transformation must not depend on its value in other point.

So for a metric g_{ab} ---> Omega^2g_{ab}, the field data specified by coordinate variables can be deformed by a set of conformal transformations into a reduced set. This would then define the a causality condition of the form which you write conformally. For the Anti-deSitter spacetime and its fields this would hold on the AdS ~ CFT equivalency or duality, similar to Maldacena's theory.

I wrote the paper #370 which illustrates some elements of what I am working on with respect to a similar vein. My paper here discusses how in this setting time is a scaling principle for quantum fields within a universal phase or quantum critical point.


Lawrence B. Crowell

Anonymous wrote on Dec. 16, 2008 @ 05:10 GMT
a word of warning to anyone who does not know better: in addition to someone voting for this essay around 80 times in 3 days, it has received now 7 restricted votes. some more information: cristie has gone around most of the essays giving highly complimentary but content free comments to each single one of them. this includes essays that can be classed mystical or are one page into this what you wish

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Anonymous wrote on Dec. 16, 2008 @ 08:01 GMT
I also found it a bit suspicious that Cristinel Stoica's essay is getting so many votes, considering that his essay is only full of technical jargon but with little real scientific content. Even though I don't agree with Rovelli's thesis, his work is definitely of a much higher quality than Stoica's.

Since I can't imagine so many informed voters voting for this essay, the votes may be explained by one or more of the following:

1. The voters are mostly uninformed and cannot distinguish good science works from bad ones.

2. Stoica has done a good PR job of convincing people to vote for him.

3. There may be multiple bogus essays submitted by the same person in order to gain more votes...

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Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 16, 2008 @ 09:28 GMT
0. Maybe some contestants really liked my essay, at least as their third option.

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 16, 2008 @ 09:29 GMT
Dear Dr. Crowell,

Thank you for the interesting and insightful comments you made about the Strong Causality Principle, I confess that I did not expected such implications. I haven't read yet your essay, but I look forward. Thank you very much for reading and appreciating my essay.

I wish you all the best,

Cristi Stoica

Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Dec. 16, 2008 @ 13:48 GMT
I thought of a number of ways in which the SCP could be formulatated. The possibility of a conformal version of this struck me first. I have not given this any deep analysis of course, but assume you have a base metric h_{ab} where the field theoretic content satisfies the SCP. This base metric defines other metrics g_{ab} = O^2h_{ab} by conformal transformations. Then on a metric where field content is dependent point to point, that dependency is due to the conformal choice one has imposed on the metric.

This might feed into the discussion on the prepration of quantum states in an experiment. Such perparations are a matter of the experimenter's choice, which can include the Wheeler Delayed Choice (WDC). So with the {0, 1, (0, 1)} topology space this would indicate that the SCP holds for quantum bits "transmitted" on the interval on a spatial surface.

This might connect to specifications of fields that determine the I^{oo} of the AdS. If CFT data in the AdS, and particularly CFT on the horizon of a BTZ black hole in the spacetime. If field theoretic content on the black hole is holographically projected into the spacetime from a base which obeys the SCP to the conformal boundary of AdS where it is again recovered then the deformations away from a SCP in the intevening spacetime are due to a set of all possible conformal transformations which exist there.

I will need more time to think about this to be sure I have this idea right.

As for some criticisms of this essay, I will say that it suffers in part from a problem mine does. I thought the deadline was Jan 1, and then discovered in the last week of November it was Dec 1. So I wrote mine in three days, and there are some gaps and what I admit are disconnects. In some ways the reasoning from SCP to the issues of quantum states and WDC is a bit disconnected.

However, over all this essay was intersting to read and raised some interesting points.

Lawrence B. Crowell

amrit wrote on Dec. 17, 2008 @ 17:08 GMT
Dear Christi

You say: After presenting the arrows of time as emergent phenomena, I discuss the mind and its perception of time as flowing, in the context of the block spacetime.

I would say: I the universe we perceive only motion in space that is atemporal. Time is a mind model into which we experience motion into atemporal space

motion--perception--mind midel of time--experience

yours amrit

attachments: 4_Relation_Between_Time_Mind_and_Consciousness.pdf

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 17, 2008 @ 21:31 GMT
Dear Dr. Crowell,

I think that the conformal version of the SCP, and the connections you made with the AdS/CFT duality, are very interesting. I also had in mind a relation between SCP and the holographic principle, on a slightly different nature, which I did not develop it in the present essay. Like you, I need some time to think at the subjects you raised. Thank you for your interest, and the insightful and constructive observations.

Best wishes,

Cristi Stoica

William Wharton wrote on Dec. 17, 2008 @ 21:32 GMT

You say “The only hope for humans to have free-will is that the real “player”, the real “I” is outside the physical world. You also say that you limit your study to relations between things. In light of this I assume you mean by “physical world” anything which can be studied by physics (natural science). I assume that you view a relationship between the non-physical and physical as off-limits to your study.

You talk about your desire to have an alternative to the standard discontinuity of the wavefunction in QM. In my FQXi paper I argue that this discontinuity, which occurs with a measurement, is a first cause in newly created causal chains. Anyone thinking about causality must also consider first cause(s), which by definition doesn’t itself have a deterministic physical cause. This seems to mean that first causes, if they exist, must come either by chance or from the non-physical world. Clearly the study of “first causes” and the possibility of free-will are one and the same.

Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Dec. 18, 2008 @ 18:02 GMT
An interesting paper here to read is by Wiltshire. He makes an argument I compltely agree with that general relativity may not apply for cosmology appropriately. He argues for a cosmological equivalence principle based on conformal theory.

A metric is often modified by some scale factor Q so that g_{ab} ---> Q^2g_{ab}. There there is the issue of what is conformally invariant, which in GR is the Weyl curvature. So for the metric line element

ds^2 = g_{ab}dx^adx^b

for a diagonal system we have that the conformal transformed element is

ds^2 = -Q^2(u)(du^2 - dr^2 - r^2dOmega^2).

Now I write the time part as u, because suppose that Q^{-2) = du/dt, then we can write this as

ds^2 = -dt^2 + Q^2(dr^2 + r^2dOmega^2),

where for this conformal factor Q^2 = exp(sqrt{L/3}t), (L = CC) this gives the deSitter spacetime. So this time dependent conformal transformation can in a special setting define the deSitter cosmology. So this means that in the cosmology the equivalence principle is extended to frames which are conformal. So the comoving frame, which "surfs" on the expansion (Q-dot/Q)^2 = L/3 = H^2(Omega)/c^2, is in effect on a local inertial frame with the expansionary factor. We might call this a cosmological equivalence principle, which generalizes the notion of how we define frames globally.

There are some subtleties with this, for the Minkowski spacetime has four Killing vectors defined globally (K_i = partial_i) while for cosmologies this is an approximation. Cosmologies as type O Petrov-Pirani solutions have no Killing vectors. This is because different regions have different "time vector fields," for lack of a better term, and how a local inertial frame is defined is now generalized.

If we think in a reciprocal scale, think as a solid state physicist with Briollioun zones etc, then in this inverse space something similar may obtain. In string theory the structure of gravity assumes higher order terms, which suggests that something similar in an inverse setting is taking place. These higher order terms are I think similar to stimulated emission in laser physics, or its classical analogue of a microphone-amplifier feedback.

Now suppose that there is a parameter p associated with the deviation from standard general relativity in cosmology. Similarly suppose there is an order parameter q for deviations from GR in string theory. We might postulate that pq = constant. If I were so bold I might go so far as to say that constant is hbar.

Lawrence B. Crowell

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 20, 2008 @ 07:23 GMT
Dear Prof. Wharton,

Thank you for your comment. I understand that you associate the discontinuities with the “first causes”. The first causes work as well with the delayed initial conditions in Smooth QM. Eliminating the need for discontinuities does not eliminate the possibility of first causes, nor of the free-will. The difference is that they no longer start to apply at the moment of choice, but from the very beginning of time. On the other hand, in standard QM, the first causes also start to apply before the choice is made, as we can see from the delayed choice experiments. I see no incompatibility between the smooth QM and free-will, and first causes, which can be allowed by the delayed initial conditions. The smooth QM is based on deterministic equations, but it is not deterministic in the standard way, because the initial conditions are determined more with each new choice.

Best wishes,

Cristi Stoica

F. Le Rouge wrote on Dec. 20, 2008 @ 18:52 GMT
Difference between determinism and randomness is in your Mind, C. Stoica (not only yours I must admit). Symmetry is proving the determinism. Reflex of C. Stoica in a mirror is determinism; reflex of C. Stoica in a concave mirror is randomness, as ballistic as the determinism before.

Now, why are you making a difference, trying to find a free-will in randomness? My hypothesis is that you could not live with the subjective idea that you are a robot, so you make an arrangement.

Therefore the fact that you are specialized in Algebraic Geometry drives you to focus on the difference and to abstract the main thing (the mirror).

You are not starting from the idea of free-will but from the one of determinism. Notice that the father of new Algebraic Geometry, French R. Descartes deduced before that animals were robots.

Genetic is not far away from your idea. Where are the first datas that a baby needs to analyze coming from? Would not they be in the DNA? Problem is that computer or robots do not have babies.

As an Artist I feel that the hypothesis of 'free will' and Life (against Time idea) is the more logical. Determinism is not in Nature but in robots and every binary system.

The fact that human body or mind can imitate robots does not prove determinism but that one can make a choice between being a robot or being an artist.

Cristi wrote on Dec. 20, 2008 @ 20:23 GMT
If you would be a rose, would you believe that lilies and tulips are weeds?

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 20, 2008 @ 20:37 GMT
Dear Dr. Crowell,

It happens that I also liked that paper. I think that GR’s ideas can be applied to a better understanding, so that the dark energy is explained without extra hypotheses. Your comments and the connections you make around that article are interesting.

Best wishes,

Cristi Stoica

Lawrence B Crowell wrote on Dec. 21, 2008 @ 19:44 GMT
The equivalence principle dictates that local inertial frames are indistinguishable from Minkowski spacetime. Yet I think there is a general extension of this to conformal spacetimes, where not GR is formulated according to a conformal or cosmological equivalence priniple.

Comsologies resist having a Killing vector field which defines conservation principles. Yet in this setting a conformal Killing vector field can be defined. In this setting the conformal energy is conserved, but energy defined according to coordinate time is not. However, that is not really a problem for coordinate time in general relativity is not a physical time.

This is an aspect I think of dark energy and how the exponential expansion of the universe can "perform work" by pulling apart galaxy clusters.

With general relativity the Lagrangian for the motion of a particle is mc^2 int ds, where ds is the invarant interval. The action, would in general be Lds = pdq - Hdt, if we think of there being potentials and the like. This is a curious thing, for the action of GR motion including potentials, or mc^2 = k^2 - E^2 etc with DG equations, then we have an intertwiner between the proper time s and the coordinate time t. A Hamiltonian requires the imposition of a spatial surface (a part of a contact manifold) with a coordinate time. Yet in relativity this is a matter of a coordinate condition, similar to a gauge, and this defines a different notion of time entirely.

The Hilbert-Palatini action int d^4x(-g)^{-1/2}R has that determinant of the metric which will give an overall conformal term to the action for g_{ab} ---> Q^2g_{ab}. Hence the concept of energy conservation only holds at best according to tensor densities, and if certain symmetries can be applied to the system. The Ricci curvature scalar there is also

R = pi^{ij}dg_{ij} - NH - N^iH_i + boundary terms,

and includes no apriori notion of time at all. Without the notion of time the concept of a Hamiltonian as the generator of time translations is lost. All this H does above is to define a soldering form between spatial surfaces.

For an Einstein space g_{ab} ~ R_{ab} (such as deSitter spacetime) and the Ricci scalar is then proportional to a proper time. So the H-P action reduces to a similar Lagrangian as for particle motion. So the action defines some proper time or inteval, which we regard as measurable in GR, but now for gravitational variables the Hamiltonian has no coordinate notion of time at all!

Ultimately we have an problem of two time variables, a proper interval which is tied to GR variables, and a coordinate time which is gives quantum wave dynamics, but is not physically relevant in GR.

Lawrence B. Crowell

Narendra Nath wrote on Dec. 22, 2008 @ 13:00 GMT
Issues are raised about the basic nature of all physical phenomena being random in nature, i.e., no one can predict when the next event shall take place exactly. On the other hand , the whole process of the evolution of the Universe shows a logical design, formation of first nucli, atoms, molecules, birth of first star, galaxies,.. and finally on earth we had stone age, plants, animals and then humans.. How can everything be so random or by chance. Where is the reality in all these. Can the 'design'signal remains cleverly hidden without detection in the 'disorderly' nature of individual events of a process? There is a chi-square test in the theory of probabiloity that detects any regular signal taht may get mixed with random events, or in a competed Experimental set-up measuring a rare phenomena, one can detect instrumental dyfunctioning! Are we missing that 'guiding logic signal' somewhere in this strange mixture of measurement limitations!

Varaition in h, c and fine -structure constant have been claimed in more than one or two experiments over the lifetime of the Universe. What do you feel, the Physics we have build up in the past few hundred years may not be sufficient to study or explain phenomena over the space /time expanse of the Universe, as we confine measurements bound to the earth!

Narendra Nath wrote on Dec. 23, 2008 @ 02:40 GMT

in the above post , there are a few spelling mistakes that come inadvertently in typing the text direct from the mind!For example,it is 'complicated' and not 'competed' Experimental set-up, 'taht' is actually 'that', etc.\ nn

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 23, 2008 @ 12:08 GMT
Dear Dr. Narendra Nath,

Your questions deserve careful consideration. Please see the attached document.

Best regards,

Cristi Stoica

attachments: global_convergence.pdf

Narendra nath wrote on Dec. 23, 2008 @ 16:07 GMT
seen, life has many interpretations and your is certainly is one possibility. let us respect the individual faiths / beliefs of one another and continue to lead a life that is not only useful for the self but of all others associated with us.

Science is a profession, a noble one, but humanity and life are far bigger in perspectives. It is humanity that has permitted us to become scientists , not just for our sake but for the good of society and the world we live and belong to.

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 23, 2008 @ 16:25 GMT
Dear Dr. Narendra Nath,

Nice words, I agree with what you said.

Best regards,

Cristi Stoica

Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Dec. 24, 2008 @ 12:59 GMT
I have through another venue been in a debate over whether constants change, in particlar the speed of light, but also hbar. I will make this brief, but I argue then do not change at all. The reason is that if you consider Planck units, such as L_p = sqrt{G hbar/c^3} any change in c is not apparent. The fine structure constant is unchanged as well, since in Planck units e = sqrt{4pi eps c}, and e^2/hbar-c reamins the same.

The speed of light is involved with the projective system called light cones. These define the psl(2,C) group, or the projective Lorentz group. Similarly the unit of action hbar is a measure for the projective map in geometric quantization. In particular the phase phi = sqrt{(H^2) - (H)^2}t/hbar, here I use parantheses for the bra-ket terms. So in keeping with the nature of projective geometry, where a point is a line modulo length, any rescaling of c and hbar leaves things invariant.

Lawrence B. Crowell

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 24, 2008 @ 13:50 GMT
Dear Dr. Crowell,

Although in principle may be possible, I see no reason for admitting a time or space dependence of the fundamental constants.

Best regards,

Cristi Stoica

Narendra Nath wrote on Dec. 25, 2008 @ 07:43 GMT
Regarding Crowell comments on 'c' and 'h' constancy, experiments though few already seem to confirm that the value of 'c' was higher for cosmic objects 12 billion years away. The same also hold for the value of alpha. Thus maintaining 'e' constant, 'h' may also change correspondingly. In fact i feel that closer one may go to the birth of the Universe, say within 1 billion years, the changes in these magnitudes may even be even more significant. Time and space concepts can still hold, but the nature of space in early universe may come out to be different from what it is presently. i have indicated in another post to an essay that curved space is already a fact from Theory of General Relativity. Being concepts generated by mind to understand the physical phenomena, space and time are not directly verifyable experimentally except through the consequences. The same stands established thus far. But one can still play with curvature of space and time to explain/ understand what still remains as a 'mystery'.

Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Dec. 26, 2008 @ 14:41 GMT
When it comes to the variability of the two constants hbar and c, or measurements of the fine structure constant e^2/hbar-c have from my understanding not revealed any change. There are occassional reports of such changes, usually attempts to detect hyperfine splittings of very distant atoms, but these have so far under close examination been found to be unrepeatable results.

When it comes to the variability of the speed of light, it must realized that this constant is really a way of telling us how to measure one coordinate variable with a certain ruler and how to convert those measurements to another coordinate measured by another ruler (clocks and rods). So in that sense it is a conversion factor, which in naturalized units is dimensionless. The speed of light is similar to a rule that tells us how to convert measurements of depth and length into consistent units.

It takes a bit of work, but if you consider the Planck units of lengths and adjust the speed of light you find that what changes occur are consistently cancelled out. Such as the Bohr radius of an atom might change with the expansion of the Planck length, but since everything else also scales accordingly there is no detectable change. This is similar to what Poincare indicated over 100 years ago with an invariance of length scalings.

Hbar and c are measures on a projective blow up of a point. In the case of relativity this projective blow up in spacetime are light cones, and in QM the projective blow up of a classical point in phase space gives units of fundamental action.

Lawrence B. Crowell

Narendra Nath wrote on Dec. 27, 2008 @ 09:21 GMT
To Lawrence B. Cromwell,

Your explanations are apparently valid toaccoount for variation in the value of the physical constants as seen recently in a few experiments. However, i have doubts from another angle that the measurements may well be correct. The situation in early stages of the universe were much more volatile relative to the near universe. All our present day Physics accounts for currently observed phenomena. The early universe conditions appear to be far too divergent . There is no theoretical reason that the physical constants and for that matter the relative strengths of the four force/fields should remain constant for the universe at birth or closer to it!In fact, it is well nigh possible that gravity was repulsive in nature around the Big Bang when entropy was very low and mass distribution homogenous. Present conditions are just on the other side. It is quite possible that early universe atoms were mesonic rather than electronic. It is the experiments done carefully for that period that will indicate the truth. We develop Physics to conform the nature's behavior and not that the nature must follow what we have developed in Physics, unless we can create a tiny bit of universe ourselves!

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 27, 2008 @ 19:45 GMT
This essay contest managed to bring together a wide diversity of people who seriously thought about time: from well-known physicists to less known but interesting thinkers; from scientist, to philosophers, from professionals, to amateurs. I really enjoyed this diversity of opinions orbiting the nature of time. I had the opportunity to meet very interesting persons, and to understand and appreciate viewpoints that are different or even opposed to mine. I am glad for this.


Lawrence B. Crowelll wrote on Dec. 28, 2008 @ 13:01 GMT

The speed of light is a measure of the projectivizaton of Lorentzian coordinates, the light cone. The Planck unit of action is a measure of the blow-up of a point (projectivization) in phase space. The scale of projectivization is an independent parameter,

PR^n = R^n/(x ---> cx,c=!0).

Further, if one where to consider Planck units of action, any rescaling of the speed of light leaves things invariant. Remember that even though units such as the Bohr radius changes with L_p, so does everything else. The fine structure constant is invariant as well for while alpha = e^2/hbar-c, the electric charge is e = sqrt(4pi eps c), and this remains the same under any rescaling of c. The gauge parameter of interest is then really the dielectric constant eps.

Other constants of nature scale with energy in renormalization group systems of running parameters. This is a more subtle issue, for the value of these constants depends upon an energy scaling. The point of my essay on #370 is to show that this scaling is determined by a correspondence between the conformal fields and the conformal boundary of AdS.

Lawrence B. Crowell

Narendra Nath wrote on Dec. 28, 2008 @ 16:16 GMT
Dear Lawrence,

May i take it that the concepts evolved and Maths. used in Physics thus far controls the Physical processes that are no longer taking place in the present universe. As indicated by me and others who observed the very early universe, experimentally measured that the light signal coming from an object 12 billion away from us , indicated that 'c' was higher than what one has measured for our present universe. You need to change the concepts involved along with the Mathematics neded to explain such a behaviour. i prefer to believe the published results reported only in the past 2 years in this regard. The explanations are still to come in that sense of understanding such results. Alpha measurements from similarly placed distant objects also show the variation.

i fail to understand energy or time scaling chsnged only in the early universe and then it stopped changing for most of its subsequent evolution?Even the value of h may well have changed, but the same has or could not be measured for a distantly placed cosmic object!

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 28, 2008 @ 22:05 GMT


The paradigmatic example of a world governed by determinism is provided by a system of differential equations (DE), or, more generally, of partial differential equations (PDE). In Physics, the PDE are required to have as solutions functions of position and time. In Newtonian Mechanics, the position is a point in the...

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Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 29, 2008 @ 12:49 GMT


In Newtonian Mechanics, the world evolves deterministically. The time is a parameter similar to the space coordinates. The PDE describing the evolution respect symmetries at orthogonal transformations of space, and at time translation and time reversal. Another symmetry is related to the speed of the inertial reference frames: the...

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Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 29, 2008 @ 20:26 GMT


Seeing that the equations are symmetric at time reversal, we may legitimately wonder why the time has a direction. Boltzmann answered this question long time ago, when he explained the entropy, but since then, many felt that the things are not clear yet.

If at microscopic level the laws are symmetric to time reversal, why...

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Narendra wrote on Dec. 30, 2008 @ 05:24 GMT
Dear Cristi,

please continue your flow, itt si an enjoyable flow. Hope it never stops. Some streams/rivers flowing have dried up or their beds have been discovered underground now. That is the life and creation. It offers mysteries and wonders and that is why science can flourish as a profession. But we need to remember that when explaining anything particular we keep the broadest of scenario open to ourselves.

Most of the material of your last few postings is above my comprehension. i have limited knowledge, compared to the total knowledge about the Universe. i do believe that totality is available in this very universe. How to tap it it is not that easy- we do need a quiet, egoless and bias free mind to unravel the mystery of the Big Mind.

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 30, 2008 @ 06:47 GMT
Dear Dr. Narendra Nath,

Thank you for following my posts, and for your encouragement. I spent many days trying to grasp what is time, and space. This contest, hosting so many interesting views about time and Universe, provided me the opportunity to continue learning. You modestly say “Most of the material of your last few postings is above my comprehension.”. Although you don’t point to this, my belief is that I have presented some of the topics very succinctly, and perhaps I did not explain them very well. Moreover, my knowledge is limited to explaining the small part I understand from what us, as human beings, managed to explain about the mystery of time. Compared to the marvelous world in which we live, maybe our knowledge is very little, therefore I can say, with you, that “I have limited knowledge, compared to the total knowledge about the Universe.”. And I also agree with you that, even the small amount of knowledge we, humans, have, was gained only by having, at least for some moments in our enquiries, “a quiet, egoless and bias free mind”. Perhaps this is the condition for learning, and for capturing even the simplest pattern in the way our world works. This is why the main purpose of my series of posts is not to solve the time’s mysteries, but rather to understand where may be the limitations of our understanding. As a guess, I believe that the main mysteries of time are tightly related to the mysteries of the human mind, which, perhaps, is even less understood.

I am happy for yours and Dr. Crowell’s beautiful flow of thoughts, and I wait impatiently the continuation.

Best wishes,


Narendra wrote on Dec. 30, 2008 @ 12:38 GMT
No need at all to wait for my comments at least. i believe that science is different from an indivdual's life. It goes on where others have left. I have full confidence that you are going on the right path, to build the ideas, evolve the concepts, implement the goemetry/maths required and reach intermediate conclusions. Check them with experiment and then proceed again to rebuild the cycle with fresh amendments/new concepts, etc. I very much like your attempt to diffuse the quantum discontinuities. The human mind helps a lot when it is not distracted with other than we intend doing at the moment. Here and Now of Kyle Miller is a good philosophy to persue in . scientific efforts. Similarly i like the paradigm concept of arrangements by Brian Beverly.Sometimes we quietly learn from one another and then even forget the source of knowledge/information/idea and start claiming te same as our own. ( i just had a few peanuts )and that reminds me that i may well be a peanut really! Many of posts on different essays seem repetitive to me, as i feel some of the matter is worth repeating fro one's own sake! To conclude my post, Crisyi proceed full speed with your own self-conscience and have maximum overlap with the cosmic consciousness and don't think science dominates Nature, it simply attempts to understand the Nature as one perceives.

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 30, 2008 @ 20:44 GMT


After the Special Relativity, Einstein tried to express various physical laws in this formalism. Basically, their mathematical form is required to be invariant at Lorentz transformations. The main difficulty he encountered was to express Newton’s gravitation field in this way. After many years of research, Einstein...

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Narendra wrote on Dec. 31, 2008 @ 04:24 GMT
Dear Cristi , i enjoyed very much going through your last post. i could comprehend it almost entirely. i have yet to crystalize some of the ideas further. The flow also needs a rest for the river of the human mind. The time continues even during such a rest. Its restlessness is what the humans should not imitate. However, its value is what we should constantly remember, it is the most precious commodity for the human being, having a very finite life. i.e. time at our disposal. i admire some greatmen who achiebed a lot even during short span of their lives. On the other hand we know of people living lives but their contribution to the society amount to very little. We live in such a world and need to have the patience and tolerance for all such variations. Also, we need to have compassion in plenty for people who are deprived, sick or otherwise living life in a miserable way while others have plenty of goodies and still desire to accumulate more and more. We forget that all our possessions don't go with us when we die, only our good deeds remain to the extent of the degree of their genuine goodness. Sorry, for all this philosophy, as i feel like recollecting in order to improve our actions yet to be undertaken!

Cristi Stoica wrote on Dec. 31, 2008 @ 08:43 GMT
Dear Dr. Narendra Nath,

Thank you very much for continue going through my posts, and for the feedback. I really like your comments, they are full of nice thoughts.

Best regards,



I decided to post this series also on my blog Unitary Flow: 1. Time and Determinism, 2. The Geometric Time, 3. The Time's Arrows, 4. Time and General Relativity. My previous posts on the blog were related to illusions: The Illusion of Center and The Spinning Dancer's Mistery.

I would like to make time to detail and clarify some parts of the posts, based on the feedback I receive.

Best wishes,


Narendra wrote on Jan. 1, 2009 @ 13:19 GMT
Dear Cristi,

i find that there are two aspects in your post that deserve study in detail. One concerns the curvature of space versus the evolution of the Universe. One may well start with a degree of curvature and then work out both ways towards increasing/decreasing curvatures to meet the evolutionary parameters. The other point is concerned wit the theories of the Universe. Do we wish to put all our thoughts entirely on the Big Bang? The other alternatives were (1) collision between expanding and contracting 'existing' universes (2) matter/ anti matter universes colliding. May be there are others too! Until our cosmic experiments are conducted far into space beyond Earth, i don't feel putting all our eggs in one basket. Even there can be a possibility of more than one mechanism operating in the existing of our currently observed universe! WMAP needs to be extended into space for us to learn more about the early universe? i am not much in favor of LBC type machines to let us know the secrets of the ulyimate blocks of matter. Everything worth knowing already exists in the universe itself.

Singularity of the birth is more serious with the Big bang than with the other two alternatives mentioned.What actually happened at the beginning is yet to be understood in depth!

Cristi Stoica wrote on Jan. 1, 2009 @ 16:14 GMT
Dear Dr. Narendra Nath,

I agree with you that I gave very little attention to the origin of the Universe. I referred to the simplest hypothesis we may have when we run backwards the observations about the expansion of the Universe. Since this seemed to reveal that all the matter expands from a common small region, at high speeds and energies, it was called Big Bang. Of course, it is hard to be sure how the things really happened, and the alternative explanations you mention for the initial explosion, based on high energy collisions between universes, are equally possible. In fact, a finite age of the Universe is not the only possibility.

The singularity seems to result from the theorems due to Hawking and Penrose. But these theorems are based on energy conditions, which are in general violated by the Casimir effect (who respect only the averaged version). Another argument for the initial singularity may come from the Strong Causality Principle, as in my essay. But who knows what really happened then?

Thank you for your interesting completions.


Narendra wrote on Jan. 2, 2009 @ 03:08 GMT
Continue unabatted along the lines of your deepest flow of 'innermost ' thoughts - it is not like a frozen river but a flowing one. However, one does require pausing frozennes. That is what i mean by the quiet moments in our thoght processes. These are most valuable as the sense of Time goes away in such moments.

Cristi Stoica wrote on Jan. 2, 2009 @ 14:44 GMT


Nonrelativistic Quantum Mechanics describes a system by a vector, named state vector, from a complex Hilbert space (a special type of complex vector space, endowed with a special type of scalar product). To the classical quantities, we associate selfadjoint operators on the Hilbert space. The space differs from the time, because there...

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Narendra Nath wrote on Jan. 4, 2009 @ 15:07 GMT
Cristi, i like your attempt at working out 'smooth QM' that becomes deterministic , but the initial conditions are yet complete and build with additional nw experiments. I wonder what will happen to the the concept of duality, under 'delayed initial conditions'. Unitarity seems possible only if we reach the final truth. Otherwise, duality continues to dodge the the micro-world picture.

Cristi Stoica wrote on Jan. 4, 2009 @ 20:53 GMT
Dear Dr. Narendra Nath,

Thank you for your interesting question. If I understand well, you refer to the duality between waves and point-like-particles.


In Smooth Quantum Mechanics, there are only (entangled) waves.

In standard QM, the particle behavior is manifest when the observable is a position operator acting on the Hilbert space. In this case,...

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Narendra Nath wrote on Jan. 6, 2009 @ 05:37 GMT
Thanks, Cristi. i am able to ollow the specific distinction of the 'smooth' QM against the conventional. The probabiity character appears in measurement only, o/c unknown initial conditions. Thus, in reality the order exists but it remains hidden as the measurement is made. The reason is that the system gets disturbed as soon as the measurement is attempted. It helps me understand better the quote from Patanjali Yogaashtra that says " The cognizer, the process of cognition and the object being recognized all need to merge if the reality is to be seen". That is not possible in a scientific measurement, but the same is realizable through an Experience in the State of yogic Meditation that an individual observes!

Narendra Nath wrote on Jan. 7, 2009 @ 03:02 GMT
Just like adding a sentence here; life and time are entwined in a way that requires a fuller understanding. Creation and life are also the same. Even an inanimated object may have life at very low level of consciousness, to which we are currently insensitive!

Cristi Stoica wrote on Jan. 9, 2009 @ 12:40 GMT
Dear Dr. Narendra Nath,

Thank you for your last two comments. From my viewpoint, the problems you raise, regarding life and consciousness, are very difficult. I am willing to understand them better, but I don’t know what to say about them. Maybe unanimated objects, for example crystals, can grow, or can exhibit interesting properties that can be associated with life. Maybe computers can, at least in principle, exhibit properties that can be associated with consciousness. But perhaps all these signs of life and consciousness depend upon our definitions. The occidental thinking and modern science are based on definitions of life that seem to be limited to the object of Biology (which seems fair enough for our present knowledge). On the other hand, there are modern scientists who define consciousness in terms of behavior, which can in principle be simulated by algorithms. I am not able to sustain a scientific argument in these situations, since I don’t understand what life and consciousness are, and I don’t know a good definition of them.


Narendra Nath wrote on Jan. 9, 2009 @ 13:58 GMT
Nice to see your response. Science and Humanity ( Spirituality)are apparently diverse fields. However, as we are humans first and scientist later, we can see/ experience interfaces between the two, provided we believe in the totality of human knowledge and not separate these apparently different fields of activity in our own mind. i posted on my essay, a MSS entitled ' Sceince Interface with Spirituality '. That was the beginning of such an interconnection, so late in my own life, at the age of 72 yrs, about 5 years back. It is that work that led me to postulate the 'Inconstancy of the Physical Constants... ', another MSS i have attached as post at the start of my FQXI Essay postings. These two then led me to prepare my essay " Mysteries of the Universe - a perspective'. All through i maintained the sanctity of my active career as a Low Energy Nuclear Physicist ( Experimental ).

i attribute the change in my mindset to the Yoga and Meditation activity i have been practicing on the personal side, to have contributed towards it. i don't see that it has affected my scientific activities adversely. In fact, the same got sharpened, as i could convert my later experiences through visit to Industries into Patents only because of my R & D experience in Physics. Hope this may help you understand my observations better!

Cristi Stoica wrote on Jan. 10, 2009 @ 10:16 GMT
Dear Dr. Narendra Nath,

I agree with you that mind and soul need food and exercise, like the body does. Exercising the mind by logical thinking and by meditation may be very helpful to scientific research. Nourishing our spirit with music and poetry, with play and love, are also indispensable to a harmonious and healthy mind, able to make scientific discoveries. It is very unfair the...

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Narendra Nath wrote on Jan. 13, 2009 @ 17:58 GMT
Dear Crist,

your response comes from the spontaneity of your thoughts and i attach importance to such thinking. If are spontaneous we are less likely to be associated with cunningness, lies that hurt others, manipulation as we just didn't have time to do so. Please keep spontaneity, one may make a mistake occasionally as we are human and liable for it. then, we can equally well apologize spontaneously. That kind of evenness is what one needs to live a meaningful life. Many a times i feel we give so amny references in our scientific papers. Why, are we sure that those particular scientists have done that job entirely on their own or have borrowed a quite a bit from others they don't wish to acknowledge! It is all concerned with ethics and to me scientific values need to be as ethical as our behaviour as a person/human being.

About the inanimate objects ( supposedly lifeless in science) has been considered in depth by ancient Indian saints/philosophers. It is they who believe that all material objects have consciousness levels in varying degrees. The inanimate have such low levels that we living beings can not sense or perceive the same. In fact, awareness isn just cinsciousness that is confined to normal body senses. But human beings are capable of building much much higher levels of consciousness that can even match that of the 'Creator of The Universe'> That is the meaning of the phrase often used ' God created Humans in his own image!'. It is here thatb the technique of yoga cum meditation as evolved by Saint Patanjali. You have quoted the word ' Vivek'. Literally, it means 'discriminatory quality'. You can easily see from human behaviourial analysis taht the degree of 'vivekness' can vary hugely.That is where the trick lies, as science can only improve the knowledge of 'relative truths'. The absolute truth is in fact so abstract that words are inadequate to express the realization of It. Thus both scienc eand spirituality can help complement each other in reaching higher and higher levels of consciousness/awareness. Yes, primordial soup is what i contemplated about through my idea of very very heavy neutral quarks, that are not projectable from current level of scientific knowledge!They were born under unified field that no longer exists but its four components!

Dr. E (The Real McCoy) wrote on Jan. 13, 2009 @ 18:13 GMT
Hello Cristi,

I just reread your paper, and I was wondering if you could summarize its novel postulates and equations, representing hitherto unsung features of physical reality.

MDT's novel postulate: The fourth dimension is expanding relative to the three spatial dimensions at c.

MDT's novel equation: dx4/dt=ic

MDT's myriad of consequences: all of relativity, time and...

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attachments: 1_MDT_MOVING_DIMENSIONS_THEORY_EXAMINES_THE_GRAVITATIONAL_REDSHIFT_SLOWING_OF_CLOCKS.pdf, 1_Moving_Dimensions_Theory_Einstein__Heros_Journey_Physics.pdf

Cristi Stoica wrote on Jan. 15, 2009 @ 06:53 GMT
Dear Dr. Narendra Nath,

Thank you for your kind answer, coming from your experience and wisdom.

Best wishes,


Cristi Stoica wrote on Jan. 15, 2009 @ 06:56 GMT
Dear Dr. McGucken,

Thank you for rereading my essay. I also reread yours. Thank you for the brief summary of your paper. The summary of mine is largely identical with its abstract, which is on the top of this page.

Best regards,


Cristi Stoica wrote on Mar. 9, 2009 @ 12:18 GMT
Dear FQXi,

Thank you for the opportunity, and congratulations to the winners. Congratulations to everybody, since there were many great ideas in many other essays.

In this thread, I was accused that I submitted multiple essays, and voted for myself. In response to these accusations, Kavita Rajanna wrote on Dec. 11, 2008 @ 21:57 GMT:

“At this point we have not looked into any possible voting inconsistencies; we will do so after voting finishes on December 15.”.

This shadow was let above me during the entire contest. Now, the results being made public, I want to remind you to clarify this situation: did I break the rules? Did I submit multiple essays under different identities and vote for myself? Please, at least now, clarify this situation.

Best regards,


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