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April 17, 2014

CATEGORY: FQXi Essay Contest - Is Reality Digital or Analog? [back]
TOPIC: Continuum and Discrete Features of Nature From a Canonical Science Perspective by Juan R. González-Álvarez [refresh]
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Author Juan Ramón González Álvarez wrote on Feb. 4, 2011 @ 10:14 GMT
Essay Abstract

Is Reality digital or analog? After a short historical introduction to the answers given to this old question, we argue that Nature is neither completely digital nor analog but a wise mixture of both. We show, using the canonical theory, that many macroscopic processes studied in physics, chemistry, and biology could not happen in a purely analog Universe, because these processes are the outcome of trillions and trillions of elementary processes directly related to the microscopic structure of matter. Next, we show that the "exotic" processes observed at the nanoscale, and needed for a fundamental understanding of the basic mechanisms of life and for the development of the nanotechnology, could not exist in an analog Universe. Some examples are the recently discovered "exotic" flows of heat from cold to hot regions or the tiny difference in the pressures of a gas and a nanogas at mechanical equilibrium. We present a fundamental concept of time and show how the more conventional concept of dimensional time associated to the spacetime arises from several approximations. The current emphasis by many physicists on that spacetime would be quantized and that its discretization would introduce a fundamental understanding of causality and other aspects of Nature at the Planck scale does not hold up on close inspection. The limitations and deficiencies of theories as general relativity and quantum field theory, inherited by further developments as quantum general relativity and superstring theory, are highlighted; with the conclusion of that no discrete spacetime can reproduce the mathematics and physics associated to our fundamental concept of time. The relation of our approach with the SHP theory and its use on recent generalizations of superstring and brane theories are noted. Other foundational questions asked in this "FQXi ESSAY CONTEST" are answered in a final section.

Author Bio

The author studied physics and chemistry at the University of Vigo. He worked on scientific bodies as the Ilustre Colegio de Químicos de Galicia and was a CSIC research assistant in biogeochemistry and hydrodynamics of Rias, participating in several conferences, reports, and monographs. Dissatisfied with the usual working environment for academic research, he founded the Center for Canonical Science, from which has been developing a unified formulation of physics, chemistry and biology with a hot reception from mathematicians, biochemists, string theorists, physical chemists, physicists, nuclear chemists, philosophers, allergists, computer scientists, and others (

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Dan T Benedict wrote on Feb. 12, 2011 @ 21:33 GMT
Dear Juan,

You have written a beautiful, unique, and thought provoking essay! I always suspected that the problems in the fundamental theories of physics were due to a lack of consensus on a meaningful definition of time. Your essay demonstrates this explicitly. Congratulations, on a fine accomplishment. It is definitely worth the highest of scores.



Author Juan Ramón González Álvarez wrote on Feb. 14, 2011 @ 20:43 GMT
Dear Dan,

Thank you for the kindly words about my Essay.

Effectively, your intuition about the problems of physics was correct!

A better understanding of the concept of time is involved in solving many basic problems in the fundamental theories of physics. In this Essay I cited the famous problem of the absence of time in quantum gravity, but due to lack of space I could not cite others as the measurement problem, the arrow of time problem,...

I gave some details on how the canonical theory solves the two last problems cited above, with generalized Schrödinger equations as those proposed by Adler and coworkers arising as 'crude' approximations from the canonical equation of motion, in my recent comment on Dr. Tejinder Pal Singh's Essay.

Member Tejinder Pal Singh wrote on Feb. 15, 2011 @ 04:53 GMT
Dear Juan,

I am grateful to you for your detailed and insightful remarks on my essay, and for the comparison with your own very interesting work. Since your comments are extensive, I will take a few days to respond.

One quick remark : part of the contents of the Ref. 11 in my essay [in preparation] are the same as in the end-note calculations in the essay [Analog matrix dynamics : an example]

Also, I am curious : what is your view on the quantum measurement problem?

Kind regards, and good luck in the contest.


Author Juan Ramón González Álvarez replied on Feb. 16, 2011 @ 14:23 GMT
Thank you for the compliments.

Regarding your question, I have studied the broad literature on the quantum measurement problem and agree with mathematician Neumaier on that many-worlds is "a smokescreen without a consistent mathematics behind", agree with physicist Adler on that decoherence has not solved the measurement problem, agree with chemist Prigogine on that Gell-Mann consistent histories formalism just hides the difficulties rather than addressing them...

The canonical theory can be used to obtain Stochastic equations as the used in objective collapse theories, except that we can go beyond their limitations, for instance considering non-Markovian corrections...

Member Tejinder Pal Singh replied on Feb. 16, 2011 @ 15:47 GMT
Dear Juan,

I have tried to respond to the questions raised by you, on my post.

It is very interesting for me to know that in your approach you can derive stochastic equations relevant to objective collapse. Could you point me to a reference I can study?



Author Juan Ramón González Álvarez replied on Feb. 18, 2011 @ 19:36 GMT
Dear Tejinder,

I got the mathematical techniques for irreversible and stochastic processes very recently and I have not written a formal reference still...

However, we can obtain BAS methods and those methods have been applied to collapse. See appendixes F and J in the chapter 1 of the ref. 1 cited here for specific models of collapse).

We can also obtain both the Lindblad and stochastic Schrödinger equations. You may know relevant publication by Adler and others using both equations for the study of collapse.

Peter Jackson wrote on Mar. 1, 2011 @ 11:34 GMT

An excellent essay, certainly worth a high score. You seem to have a better grasp on logic than many, and identify the key issues well.

I'd be most honoured if you could help me falsify a naively simply resolution of the SR/GR issues you refer to with a Quantum mechanism, given in my essay (2020 Vision..). Only a few have followed the logic, and all who have seem to support it, so it still needs someone to both understand and find the weaknesses or faults. I do hope you can, but please don't try to 'scan' it too quickly as the logical steps need absorbing and the important implications thought through. It's not yet mathematical as it needs no abstraction to confuse the logic. Please give all criticism you can, or ask questions.

Thanks, and best of luck with your own essay.


Author Juan Ramón González Álvarez replied on Mar. 5, 2011 @ 14:09 GMT
Thank you for the compliments and the good desires.

I have read his Essay and I regret avoiding to comment on it.

I only want to say you that my Essay explains how general relativity and quantum electrodynamics must be considered approximations to the canonical theory. As a consequence, no fundamental theory of Nature can be built over "Minkowskian spacetimes", "EM waves", "discrete fields", "scattering", "plasma shocks around"... neither this Contest's basic question can be answered using such non-fundamental theories.

Author Juan Ramón González Álvarez replied on Mar. 5, 2011 @ 14:18 GMT
Sorry by the typo: "read his Essay" --> "read your Essay".

Author Juan Ramón González Álvarez wrote on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 10:56 GMT
Due to size limitations I could not explain all the advantages of the canonical theory.

I explained in Dr. Corda Essay forum how from the canonical theory we can obtain the equation (2) in Corda Essay; how, unlike him, we can compute the new term T_ab^(EXTRA); and how this gives a value in excellent agreement with observation, solving the Dark Energy problem. The so called biggest mistake ever in physics!

I explained also how our new theory offers solutions to dark matter mysteries; and how we can already explain observational data that cannot be explained neither by GR plus DM, nor by other models as MOND, TeVeS, PCG...

Alexander Arkadievich Shagaev wrote on Mar. 13, 2011 @ 03:33 GMT
Dear Juan,

Your assay is the example of excellent, interesting scientific paper. This assay shows your high scientific level. It is very interesting and useful (for me) to read this excellent assay. I agree with most of your conclusions, concerned with the scientific discussion. I have only some doubts, concerned with a space quantum. Your paper is very cognitive, interesting and it forces us to think about such general questions of world order, nevertheless. Your assay deserve very high scientific evaluation. I have read the assay with great pleasure. Thank you for the the excellent assay.

basudeba wrote on Mar. 20, 2011 @ 06:03 GMT
Sub: Possibility of manipulation in judging criteria – suggestions for improvement.


We had filed a complaint to FQXi and Scienticfic American regarding Possibility of manipulation in judging criteria and giving some suggestions for improvement. Acopy of our letter is enclosed for your kind information.

“We are a non-professional and non-academic entrant to the Essay...

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Author Juan Ramón González Álvarez wrote on Mar. 19, 2012 @ 09:25 GMT
My affiliation has changed and now you can find me at juanrga

In the above Essay I noticed that general relativity could be obtained as a approximation to a field theory of gravity. The details can be found now in the work General relativity as geometrical approximation to a field theory of gravity

This and other works by mine can be found using Scholar

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