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TOPIC: Digital v Analog: Winners Announced! [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on Jun. 6, 2011 @ 12:40 GMT
We are pleased to announce the winners in the 2010/2011 Essay Contest, "Is Reality Digital or Analog?"



Top prize of $10,000 and FQXi Membership goes to ...

Jarmo Mäkelä from Vaasa University of Applied Sciences in Vaasa, Finland, for his essay "Is Reality Digital or Analog" recording a late-night conversation with Isaac Newton. In his essay, Jarmo reports that Newton decidedly told him "Digital, of course".

Our two Second Prize winners (who receive $5,000 each and invitations to Membership) are...

David Tong and Tobias Fritz.

David Tong's essay "Physics and the Integers" reverses a common belief about the foundation of mathematics and our world -- arguing that the integers are emergent, and that, "discrete mathematics is no better a starting point than the rules of scrabble".

Tobias Fritz's essay "Quantum Graphenity" does not offer a direct answer to the question, but argues that we can gain insight into fundamental physics and the universe by studying non-fundamental models of smaller systems. In his essay, David explores the lessons that emerge from studying graphene, the two-dimensional carbon substrate of the familiar graphite.

Visit this link to view the full list of winners.

A further five essays received Third Prize, receiving $2,000 each and a Membership invitation, and ten more received Fourth Prize and $1,000. The panel chose not to award any additional special commendation prizes, since the list of winners already includes a highly diverse set of winners, including non-physicists and those outside of academia.

I'd like to reiterate some points made last year by myself and Anthony Aguirre. The panel expressed a variety of opinions on all the essays, and even the highest rated did not receive unanimous praise. We should all keep in mind that the awarding of a prize signifies that the winner wrote a relevant and interesting essay: something well written, thought provoking, stimulating, fun, etc... The results do not mean that everyone, including the members of the panel, believe that the approach is complete, flawless, or unobjectionable!

Also, failure to win a prize does not mean an essay has something fundamentally wrong with it. Essays ended up off the list that at least one panelist or the Community on its own liked very much.

On behalf of all the FQXi administration, I want to thank our media partner Scientific American who helped organize and promote the contest. I also wish to think our co-sponsor The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, who helped provide the funding for the contest.

And finally, all of us at FQXi want to say thank you to all the participants. We were excited to see the depth and range of ideas that emerged, and the endless ways to answer a yes-or-no question without saying 'yes' or 'no'. Here's to the next contest!

[Edited on 24 June 2011 to add video clip of the prize-giving ceremony in New York.]

this post has been edited by the forum administrator

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Wilhelmus de Wilde wrote on Jun. 6, 2011 @ 16:13 GMT
Congratulations Jarmo Makela and all the other winners of this contest, it was great to participate and read (almost) all essays and posts, I am looking forward for the new contest.

Wilhelmus

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Paul Halpern wrote on Jun. 6, 2011 @ 17:41 GMT
Many congratulations to all the winners! It was a thought-provoking contest and fun to read so many outstanding essays.

-Paul Halpern

http://phalpern.com

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Christian Corda wrote on Jun. 6, 2011 @ 17:51 GMT
Best congratulations to all the winners!

Cheers,

Ch.

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John Merryman wrote on Jun. 6, 2011 @ 19:28 GMT
Congratulations to all those who placed and thanks to FQXi for the opportunity to share ideas and consider the broad range of thinking on the fundamental nature of physics.

Next contest: How about; The Nature of Space: Is dimensionality elemental or model?

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Jason Mark Wolfe wrote on Jun. 7, 2011 @ 01:19 GMT
Hurray! ...for the winners! Congratulations! Thank you FQXI for making this contest possible.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Jun. 7, 2011 @ 12:46 GMT
Congrats to the winners. I suppose we can now anticipate the next contest, which I suppose will start early next year.

Cheers LC

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Alan Lowey replied on Jun. 7, 2011 @ 12:59 GMT
Congratulations to all the winners, especially Peter Tong for a personally inspiring essay. I couldn't help feel a little disappointed after reading the statement "The Panel did not choose to award further Special Commendations, since it felt its views were still expressed well enough by the final results." It would have meant a lot to a small but dedicated number of amateur authors who have spent their lives devoted to the advancement of physics. Nevermind. Thank you anyway FQXi for the opportunity to getting our voices across and a special gratitude to those professionals who listened thoughtfully and kindly replied to my conjectures. Thanks again to all particpants.

Best wishes,

Alan Lowey

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Tommy Gilbertson replied on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 21:45 GMT
Hear, Here!

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Neil Bates wrote on Jun. 7, 2011 @ 16:20 GMT
First, let me second John Merryman's thanks about FQXi giving a forum for thinkers of various backgrounds to express creative explorations about nature and math. The forum is useful to those who might otherwise have difficulty because either

1. They are not professionals, or are not affiliated

2. Their ideas are too daring

or of course, both.

Also, I want to add my voice to Alan Lowey's disappointment about FQXi not awarding any amateur (etc.) commendations. I want to follow up on a suggestion by my Facebook Friend "Fdnl Quest Inst". First I thank her for replying to my initial question, posted 6/6 at her Facebook page:

"I thank FQXi for accepting my article, although it did not win anything. I didn't see any awards in the best non-professional (or amateur, etc.) category (which was offered as a possible action in the rules), to which I essentially belong. Comments, will that ever be awarded, how easy to categorize contributors, etc?" Fdnl Quest Inst [reply around noon today] included this welcome statement: "It's a good question and I think a lot of people will want to know the answer."

Third: Some of us proposed experiments, but that seemed to not generate much elevation relative to those "just" posing purely theoretical exercises. (I proposed a practical experiment to test a popular interpretation of quantum mechanics.) Many would say that experimental tests are the core of science, and it would be gratifying to see some more definite acknowledgment of their importance.

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Philip Gibbs replied on Jun. 7, 2011 @ 17:53 GMT
On the point about non-professional, I consider myself a non-professional independent physicist because I don't get paid for my research. Perhaps James McFarlane is in a similar position. I am not sure what the statement about the special prizes was trying to say, but perhaps they recognised us as non-professional, so they did not think it was necessary to award further special prizes.

Having said that, I know that there were other authors who did not have PhDs who might therefore have been considered even more non-professional/non-academic. Where should you draw the line?

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Philip Gibbs replied on Jun. 7, 2011 @ 18:08 GMT
I meant Thomas McFarlane, not James, sorry

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Neil Bates replied on Jun. 7, 2011 @ 19:46 GMT
Philip, your concerns about definitions and their applications are valid. However, I think FQXi could and should have made the effort and granted such award/s, especially since they mentioned the possibility in the beginning. Quote, from http://fqxi.org/community/essay:

"Special Commendation: The Judges will also have the option to award up to two prizes to the top essays from "non-professional and/or non-academic" entrants, based on the judging criteria set forth herein."

OK, "option;" but that implies the machinery was in place. One way to have better enabled that process: have a box to check etc, for "Do you consider yourself _____", and space to say why; per that description. However, I saw no such formal way to self identify (pardon me if I missed something) so I just noted it in my Bio.

Furthermore, I realize that "amateur" and qualitatively professional but "non-academic" (Garrett Lisi?) are not the same thing, which adds extra complexity to the issue. In any case, talented amateurs/non-academics need a way to get directly recognized for good work. To me that means a specific effort to find and reward them, not just hope it falls indirectly out of grading a large group that likely includes some of them. Isn't that part of what FQXi is supposed to be about? (As I continue to be grateful for at least having this forum.)

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 7, 2011 @ 18:01 GMT
Alan, Neil,

It is somewhat interesting there was no non-professional category. Several possibilities come to mind. One might be that SciAm withdrew their offer to publish such a piece. It might have just slipped by the time constraints of the judges.

If one is to try to put this little action against the broad framework of where science is today, there might be hints of a possible political reactivity to what is manifestly an unstable situation with current theory and an institutional desire not to open any more cans of worms than is necessary.

It is interesting that mostly digital descriptions were clear winners and even those with some favor to analogue tendencies still leaned strongly in favor of digital. Obviously this reflects the opinions of the judges and it's safe to say they would consider their views objective, so it should be thus, but that raises the issue of the relevance of the question in the first place.

I guess it goes to the inherent conservatism of the nature of the discipline of physics and its "shut up and calculate" proponents. If it can't be measured, it doesn't exist, but logically only the discrete can be measured. That seriously tilts the game though.

I can understand why the contest worked out the way it did, but I think there are still serious conceptual issues which physics will have to find a way to overcome, even if it involves..shudder... philosophy.

Do just statistics fill the gaps between the discrete, or is there some unmeasurable analogue glue holding it all together?

It was a good contest and a good question and its conclusion doesn't come close to resolving the issue.

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John Merryman replied on Jun. 7, 2011 @ 18:02 GMT
That last was me.

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Luigi Foschini wrote on Jun. 7, 2011 @ 18:39 GMT
My warmest congratulations to the winners, to all the participants, and a great thanks to FQXi for having organized this contest. It was a very exciting and intriguing experience and I hope that it will be replied next (this?) year.

Thank you again!

Luigi Foschini

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James Putnam wrote on Jun. 7, 2011 @ 19:04 GMT
Just in case my first message about the essay competition results was missed (it was posted under the original contest blog): I am not disappointed in the results. I congratulate the winners. They all have demonstrated the highest credentials to speak on the subject. It does not matter where I disagree. I like my views. However, my views are just my views until a significant number of professionals agree with them. That is not now the case. So, the judges used their knowledge to choose the best essays. They did just what I would do. therefore, their judgement is correct.

There was no recognition given to a non-professional. Maybe next year, as non-professional, I or someone else will say something worthy of recognition. I know that we each think we already have. I will try again should I be permitted; afterall, it is a privilege. One thing is for sure, the judges should not be non-professionals. I thank them for their valuable time and judgement. I also thank FQXi.org for allowing my opinons to be read before, during, and after the essay contest. I look forward to the next contest. I love participating.

James

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jun. 8, 2011 @ 00:07 GMT
The next contest needs to fundamentally, really, and truly be about reality and truth in physics.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jun. 8, 2011 @ 00:17 GMT
Will any contest here ever involve physics as it relates to the body? This is pathetic. Dreams are a bodily experience as well.

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 13, 2011 @ 08:31 GMT
How to obtain the main FQXi prize?

1) First you must be the professional PhD scientist. The rest of people never win the main prize and it is completely a waste of time for non-professionals.

2) Your essay must be the retelling of the accepted mainstream physics theory, which can be found in many books. Remember, FQXi never support any speculative/alternative physics theories. For example, you can tell very carefully about black holes or quantum mechanics in the framework of mainstream physics but try to eliminate all non-mainstream physics knowledge.

How FQXi can identify and reward top thinkers in foundational questions if they don't support the speculative/alternative theories? Now Jarmo Makela and Barbour are top thinkers in foundational questions and their essays are the example for us. Imagine, the next contest will be filled with similar essays (discussions with Newton) only.

So it would seem this forum is a waste of time for non-professional/non-mainstream physicists. FQXi is a closed club for mainstream professional scientists only.

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T H Ray replied on Jun. 13, 2011 @ 11:28 GMT
Actually,I see little difference between the judgments of the FQXi panel and that of the referees of a peer reviewed journal. Should there be? Why?

The competition to publish in prestigious venues is always fierce -- and when a competition attracts major international authors in physics and mathematics, it's bound to be fiercer.

Personally, I don't think that FQXi has anything left to prove about its openness to "speculative/alternative" theories. This has got to be one of the crankiest sites on the internet. My major complaint is that members hardly ever come forward to challenge the cranky "physics" that clearly contradicts objective knowledge -- but that's how science advances, by conjecture and refutation. One would think that the honor of belonging would imply some moral responsibilility of contributing.

Tom

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Lev Goldfarb replied on Jun. 13, 2011 @ 12:37 GMT
Tom,

I must fundamentally disagree with you!

I have not seen any evidence of really serious fundamentally new proposals, not the cute and absolutely silly ones like "timeless Universe" or absolutely ridiculous like "the integers are emergent".

Honestly, the only things I saw at FQXi is the decadence of science and no pointers to its rebirth.

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Anonymous replied on Jun. 13, 2011 @ 13:33 GMT
There certainly is cranky physics on these blog sites, but Tom's essay was good enough to deserve consideration for the non-professional award.

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Lev Goldfarb wrote on Jun. 13, 2011 @ 14:39 GMT
Tom,

"Personally, I don't think that FQXi has anything left to prove about its openness to "speculative/alternative" theories."

That is exactly the problem: it attracts "cranky physics" precisely because it capitalizes on it (wants to "make a living" out of this).

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T H Ray replied on Jun. 13, 2011 @ 15:16 GMT
I don't know what motivates the administrators. I can't imagine, though, that serious scientists want to be associated with incoherent nonsense. They probably don't see letting it go unchallenged as damaging to their own reputations.

Tom

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Neil Bates replied on Jun. 13, 2011 @ 16:48 GMT
At the risk of too much self-promotion or sour gripes (sic!), but it gets at the heart of some issues:

T H Ray replied on Jun. 13, 2011 @ 11:28 GMT:

"My major complaint is that members hardly ever come forward to challenge the cranky "physics" that clearly contradicts objective knowledge -- but that's how science advances, by conjecture and refutation."

My own paper was one of a few proposing an actual physics experiment - ! - well, two of them - to test some existing notions. I proposed a way to verify or refute the increasingly popular idea that decoherence explains our seeing collapse of the wave function. In particular, it would show if decoherence really turns superpositions into actual mixtures. That should be just what this business is all about, true?

Ironically perhaps, I was defending the old Copenhagen orthodoxy against a radical upstart. My plea that Nature may never let us find full and objective truth, as well as some sarcasm and harsh scolding for fallacious reasoning in DI, may have turned some people off.

And although some of the material was needlessly free-wheeling, there does need to be a forum - in principle - for challenging accepted ideas. I just wish it was more geared to how to *show* those accepted ideas might be inadequate.

So sure, I'm disappointed to get only a 3.6 community rating. But really, people - if the highest-rated essay rates only 5.4/10, how can anyone make proper distinctions that way? I got some complements for my essay, and some equivocal "that's interesting" etc. No one ever said it was not good, or explained why they gave me a low rating. Shouldn't voters have to explain their ratings? For all I know they just thought things like, give this guy a "two" so they can do better in relative terms. Would make sense as creepy "Survivor" logic to try and take down the *most deserving* essays, wouldn't it?

BTW I don't want to sound too hard on the admins, they IMHO meant well, and gave me a forum. I had some good discussion and made some connections. I wish some admins would reply to our concerns ...

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Wilhelmus de Wilde wrote on Jun. 13, 2011 @ 15:10 GMT
I think that FQXi has offered professionnal and non professionnal physicists and thinkers a way of expressing themselves , perhaps not all the alternate ideas are direct workable but the fact that we all are trying to move forward in science and all together can compare and discuss our viewpoints is already a big step forward, it is good that we are able to discuss and perhaps don't agree with the others, it is the only way to eveolve, the 162 participants are a world wide thinking tank and who knows what will come out of this in the future, the prizes awarded are the less important , the ranking which is a result of us all together plus the review of the judges gives us the scale of interest (and perhaps professionality) of the participants, but the most important thing is PARTICIPATE, thanks again for the chance FQXi.

keep on thinking

Wilhelmus

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Lev Goldfarb replied on Jun. 13, 2011 @ 16:26 GMT
I guess what are saying is something is better than nothing, and also that beggars can't be choosers. ;-)

Unfortunately, there is *some* truth in it.

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Lev Goldfarb replied on Jun. 18, 2011 @ 13:55 GMT
Correction: "you" is missing after "what".

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on Jun. 13, 2011 @ 23:28 GMT
Thanks everyone for the comments positive and otherwise. Your input always helps us think about how to change the contest next time.

On the Special Commendation Prizes -- I edited my original post a bit to better express the Panel's opinion on this matter. As I wrote there, the panel chose not to award any additional special commendation prizes, since the list of winners already included a highly diverse set of winners including non-physicists and those outside of academia. The winners include at least two clear 'amateur independents' by my count, and at least a few more who could give a good argument for qualifying.

I did see an suggestion somewhere here for a separate 'amateur/outsider' category. That's an intriguing idea I might discuss with the other organizers next time.

What does any one else think?

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Georgina Parry replied on Jun. 14, 2011 @ 01:49 GMT
Brendan,

thank you for asking the question. I think there is a danger of ending up running two competitions. One for the professionals and one for the others. One having all the prestige and serious interest and the other being for the wannabes and a bit of a joke.

I would have really liked to have been a finalist, just so I could say I was a finalist, (and I realize that it was my decision not to vote tactically which resulted in my essay being .1 away from that).I made a huge effort to read -all sorts- of other essays thoroughly and comment. Despite the difficulty and time commitment, as that is what I wanted other people to do with my essay. I would have liked my essay to have been selected as a finalist together with those of professional, highly qualified, competitors because of the kudos of being selected along side them and the possibility of being taken seriously. Being winner of the non professional wannabes in a separate category would not be the same thing at all.

For a competitor be awarded a consolation prize in the fully inclusive competition would be a nice thing because any recognition of effort nice and a cash prize is the icing on the cake. For spreading that feel good factor the more winners the better, even if it is just some kind of recognition with no cash value, imo.

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James Putnam replied on Jun. 14, 2011 @ 03:13 GMT
I agree with Georgina. My opinion is that I think my work is important. However, what I think does not matter to the professional world. What other amatuers think of my ideas, for or against, does not matter to the professional world. What matters is that my work prove to be correct and it is the professional that must say it. Therefore, I prefer to be ignored and criticised by professionals rather than win an amateur contest. When I enter the essay contests, it is with the purpose of convincing the professional judges that what I say is worthy of recognition. If they do not say so, it doesn't absolutely make me wrong, it just makes it necessary to try again. If I try a hundred times and do not earn recognition, then I might think that I am wrong; however, I don't think that I am wrong and I suspect that I will still be trying well after a hundred. In the meantime, I plead with the organizers to please not move my essays into an amateur section of contest. Push me to the bottom of the real contest, but please do not remove me.

James

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Alan Lowey replied on Jun. 14, 2011 @ 08:44 GMT
Thank you very much for your explanations Brendan, I feel much better for it. Could I offer a proposition of considering all the entries for a possible 'wild card' winning essay of special 'originality and interest' as specified in the judging criteria?

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f. dImEGLIO wrote on Jun. 14, 2011 @ 00:59 GMT
BALANCE INVISIBLE AND VISIBLE SPACE

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John Merryman wrote on Jun. 14, 2011 @ 03:11 GMT
Has anyone considered what the term " crank" means? It's a handle to start a process, machine, or turn a wheel.

I certainly realized there was no chance I would win anything, so I made use of my essay to take a shot at the current standard cosmology and in that vein I would like to post a link to the latest cover story of New Scientist:http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028161.300
-slim-and-beautiful-galaxies-too-good-to-be-true.html?page=1


" The results, published in November last year, were something of a shock. Of 19 large nearby spirals, at least 11 seemed to have no bulge, indicating that violent mergers didn't feature in their past. Among them were the seemingly exemplary Pinwheel galaxy - and the Milky Way"

Not a problem, if the universe is infinitely old and not having to explain everything in 13.7 billion years.

"nd it seems there is also no connection between the mass of the central black hole and that of the galaxy's bright central regions, blowing apart the idea that a black hole evolves in lockstep with its environment (Nature, vol 374, p 469). Some slimline galaxies seem to have tiny central black holes. The Pinwheel's, for example, is as little as one-thousandth the mass of the black holes of bulging galaxies of the same size."

Also not a problem, if the "black hole" is really just the vortex at the center. Think of a hurricane: The size of the "eye" isn't a consequence of the size of the storm, but its stability.

One more hole in the Big Bang Theory. Wonder how many multiverses will it take to patch it?

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 14, 2011 @ 15:35 GMT
Scientific American: Is Reality Digital or Analog?

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Georgina Parry replied on Jun. 14, 2011 @ 21:03 GMT
Brilliant!

Quote "In fact, whenever I tell people about the contest, many object to the word "reality." What does it even mean? Will we humans ever be able to grasp it? The deeper that physicists dive, the more the concept of reality keeps swimming away from them." George Musser, Scientific American.

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Lev Goldfarb replied on Jun. 14, 2011 @ 21:58 GMT
Georgina,

Please, let's not get infatuated with nice descriptions of the current predicament: we have more than enough of them. What we desperately need are (not just verbal) pointers to the new pathways.

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Georgina Parry replied on Jun. 14, 2011 @ 23:14 GMT
Lev,

Diagram on my essay thread for those that do not like verbal descriptions. Its not infatuation Lev, its amusement at the irony. As my essay was largely concerned with the question of reality and what it is, which must be decided before one can say if it is digital or analogue.

People can talk as much as they like about speculative things, theoretical models, imagined things and observed things and whether -they- are digital or analogue but unless they are talking about reality, because they have actually considered what reality is, and pinned it down, then they haven't answered the essay question.

From what I have been taught about essay writing, not answering the question should be a big negative. I had thought "reality" was deliberately placed in the question because "reality" is a problem for science that needs addressing. And by and large, judging from the essays I read, it wasn't.

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Bashir Yusuf wrote on Jun. 14, 2011 @ 23:51 GMT
Congratulations to all winners. I want also say Thank you to FQXI for organizing this Science community which is globally effective, and all other colleagues who entered essays, who offered their efforts and time to make it better.

Only thing I wish is to be better, I supposed that FQXI has more capacity than to collect a specific answer of a specific question, since there may even be more valuable answers to more valuable unasked questions.

FQXI should bear in mind that Science advances from the truth. In other words we should only accept what is true regardless who tells it, since the Reality is free from our individual interests.

I wrote my essay before the question of "Is the Reality Analog or Digital?" was announced. I was really focusing on some of the Natures fundamental questions toward particle theory in both form and function. I believe that we may be right or wrong.

Best wishes

Bashir

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Alan Lowey replied on Jun. 15, 2011 @ 15:26 GMT
"Only thing I wish is to be better, I supposed that FQXI has more capacity than to collect a specific answer of a specific question, since there may even be more valuable answers to more valuable unasked questions."

Well said Bashir and absolutely correct. There was so much work, inspiration and collective thinking by professionals and non-professionals alike to warrant a much greater appreciation of what was being discussed. There was a lot of good work by many individuals which has simply gone unnoticed. I'm surprised that Scientific American is happy to accept the disregard of the non-professional community by FQXi in this competition. Their magazine has been growing in the area of alternative ideas which are contrary to the established mainstream. Were they asked by FXQi about the forfeit of the two additional prizes for non-academics I wonder? If they had been, would they have said "Oh no, we think that the additional prizes are a good idea and something which reflects the outlook of the Scientific American magazine." I would like to think so.

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James Putnam wrote on Jun. 15, 2011 @ 17:40 GMT
With regard to including an amateur or non-professional category in the annual essay contest: What good is it? The reason I ask this question is: Everyone who participates does so, I think, because they believe they have something new and, more importantly, a correction to offer for professional theory. That is what I think about my work. That is the main reason why I enter the contest. I expect that it will be very difficult to win, so there is the subsidiary reason that my ideas will gain exposure. That exposure is valuable to me only because of the participation of professionals. Perhaps some professionals will read what I have to say and finally see value in it. Winning in a category that does not offer me either of these two possibilities has no attraction for me.

If there is an amateur category, what will winning it mean? Does it mean that the amateur contributed a well written, readable, although theoretically incorrect, essay? After all, if the essay demonstrates new theoretically important correct theory that decision must be made by professionals. If the category's purpose is to elevate an amateur's work to the level of acceptance by professionals, how would we know? If an amateur must win the amateur contest, then, that status cannot be interpreted as having won acceptance of new ideas by professionals. Anything less than acceptance by professionals strikes me as pointless. The only category where placing or winning means accomplishing that something for which we, I think, are all here participating is a single contest category as it is now.

James

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Anon replied on Jun. 15, 2011 @ 21:57 GMT
James,

You write: 'If there is an amateur category, what will winning it mean?'

Usually professional scientists NEVER read 'alternative theories' because they read peer reviewed journals like PRL only. Therefore professionals never read your 'alternative physics' essay. Hence, if your alternative theory wins then it will be examined or accepted by professionals; it is a 'green card' to enter in professional mainstream physics.

Another obstacle is that judges are afraid of their 'scientific reputation', therefore they never vote for alternative theory. Hence, we lose many useful ideas for physics simply because scientists are afraid of their reputations and they never read any alternative papers. FQXi may help SCIENCE to find useful ideas and theories if you add the 'Alternative Category'. In amateur category judges will be free to select the best ALTERNATIVE theory without risk for their 'reputations'. Thus, your essay can win in amateur category ONLY and it will be the green card to enter into professional physics. The amateur category will be the generator of new ideas for professional physics like NIAC from NASA. It is a great idea!

Brendan, now FQXi supports the same papers as peer reviewed journals. There are a lot of peer reviewed journals everywhere! Thus if FQXi will be the next journal then FQXi will NOT be popular. FQXi will be VERY popular and USEFUL for science if you create the amateur/alternative category. It will be the generator of new ideas for physics like NIAC. Many people dreams to be scientists and FQXi may help them. Thousand of authors will send their essays to FQXI!

OK, James, if you disagree with amateur category then I propose 'The Alternative Universe" category that is open both for professional and amateur physicists. The goal is to describe the physics of the Universe in a new way (outside of mainstream physics). For example, the authors can send the new physics theories which were NOT published in any peer reviewed journals about gravity and other forces, nuclear physics, quantum mechanics and so on. The panel will select the best LOGICAL theory without errors and contradictions. Our main rule will be that the new theory may contradict the orthodox theory but NOT the experimental data. If the new alternative theory is agreement with experiment and observation then it receives 'green card' for mainstream science. Otherwise the good idea dies because professionals never read alternative papers!

Brendan, please create the alternative (or non-mainstream) category. I'm sure this category will be very popular both for professionals and non-professional physicists. Moreover, I'm sure this alternative category will be more important and popular than our present category. FQXI must be like NIAC from NASA.

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James Putnam replied on Jun. 15, 2011 @ 22:06 GMT
Hence, if your alternative theory wins then it will be examined or accepted by professionals; it is a 'green card' to enter in professional mainstream physics.

"...Another obstacle is that judges are afraid of their 'scientific reputation', therefore they never vote for alternative theory. Hence, we lose many useful ideas for physics simply because scientists are afraid of their reputations and they never read any alternative papers. FQXi may help SCIENCE to find useful ideas and theories if you add the 'Alternative Category'. In amateur category judges will be free to select the best ALTERNATIVE theory without risk for their 'reputations'. Thus, your essay can win in amateur category ONLY and it will be the green card to enter into professional physics. The amateur category will be the generator of new ideas for professional physics like NIAC from NASA. It is a great idea!"

I think not! Plus I think that your message implies that you think that you have correct answers that will finally gain recognition if only the standards were lowered.

James

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James Putnam replied on Jun. 15, 2011 @ 22:31 GMT
To other non-PHD aspiring theorists: My opinion is that I must take the hard road. No easy-street answer will do. The hard road is: Gaining the acceptance of professional physicists. I have no interest in winning the acceptance of other non-professionals, not even one. Winning means gaining recognition by professionals on their terms. I do not agree with Einstein. I think he messed some things up but good. However, his work remains a standard in theoretical physics and he gained that status by gaining the recognition of professionals on their terms. My hat is off to him and others that find the 'narrow' road. The 'narrow' road is that which defines the standards by which physics theories are judged and maybe accepted.

James

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The reviewer of the peer-review wrote on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 07:05 GMT
Hi all,

IN AN IDEAL WORLD:

The panel reads your essay, asks questions on the forum to make sure they understand, and then provide each of you a review. The review contains specific statements, about specific points in your article. It does not contain generic stuff like "genial approach" (for the acknowledged authors) or "irrelevant, superfluous, not-even-wrong" for the "amateurs"....

view entire post


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Alan Lowey wrote on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 10:19 GMT
"Brendan, please create the alternative (or non-mainstream) category. I'm sure this category will be very popular both for professionals and non-professional physicists. Moreover, I'm sure this alternative category will be more important and popular than our present category. FQXI must be like NIAC from NASA."

I can't agree more with the author of the quoted post (anon). I would also urge people to send their complaints of unfairness in this competition to George Musser of Scientific American magazine.

Brendan: If a rectrospect alternative category prize is not awarded for this competition then I intend to take the matter further with a campaign aimed at informing the public of Scientific American's double standards. It would be in all our interests for this simple rectification to be enacted. If we don't get what we ask for then I intend to start a viral campaign starting one week from the date of this post. My apologies for being so necessarily assertive.

Alan Lowey

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Ray Munroe replied on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 13:16 GMT
Dear Alan,

I understand your frustration. My FQXi paper is being considered for publication by Pre-Spacetime Journal. FQXi has been reasonably fair to non-Professionals over the years. There is some question as to whether folks like Philip Gibbs (whose essay is very deserving of a prize IMHO) won "professional" or "non-professional" prizes. Because they gave 18 prizes (not 19 like the last contest, or 20 like the potential maximun of prizes) it appears that the "non-professional" category wasn't even considered. As others have pointed out here, no one really wants to take credit for winning the "non-professional" "consolation" category - perhaps an "alternative" category is more appropriate to FQXi's stated purpose:

"FQXi catalyzes, supports, and disseminates research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly new frontiers and innovative ideas integral to a deep understanding of reality, but unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources."

I knew that my paper's paradigm was controversial, but I'm not a "play it safe" kind of guy.

IMHO, If you think they are being unfair now, then the proper response is to ignore them, not to war with them. You are welcome to e-mail me anytime you need a friend or a second opinion - my e-mail address is on my papers.

Have Fun!

Dr. Cosmic Ray

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Neil Bates replied on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 13:35 GMT
Folks, I caution against conflating "non-professional" and "alternative" (as in theoretical content) and/or different standard of excellence. Amateurs can produce good work within accepted norms, they just don't have the same status. As I said, reviewers (and it should be real reviewers, not the submitters!) can look for "good" amateur papers as such, and award a separate prize (unless the amateur paper really is best overall too, then that would suffice to make the same point, I see now.)

I continue to be perplexed by high acceptance here of the community rating system, lack of concern over low overall ratings, etc.

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Christian Corda replied on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 14:16 GMT
Dear Alan,

it is not simple to understand where we can exactly put the boundary between mainstream and non-mainstream physics. My essay, which concerns extended theories of gravity, was founded on 16 papers published in various international peer-reviewed journals and/or Conference Proceeding, plus a Ph.D Thesis. Such journals are Phys. Rev. D, J. Cosmol. Astropart. Phys., Astropart. Phys, Phys. Lett. B, Int. Journ. Mod. Phys. D, Mod. Phys. Lett. A, Gen. Rel. Grav., Europhys. Lett., AIP Conf. Proc. ect. Therefore, in principle my essay should be within the mainstream physics. But actually it should be within the non-mainstream category too, because mainstream physics consider only General Relativity, various attempts to quantize it through string theory, loop quantum gravity, super-gravity etc., plus Dark Matter and Dark Energy. This is the Standard Picture, all outside this, like extended theories even if viable, is not considered interesting within mainstream physics. Therefore, if FQXi will create the alternative (or non-mainstream) category, where should I submit my work, in mainstream category or in non-mainstream category?

Cheers,

Ch.

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Alan Lowey wrote on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 14:19 GMT
Hi Ray,

thank you for your concerns, much appreciated. You say FQXi has been "reasonably fair to non-professionals" over the years, which may be true but isn't enough imho. There is a difference between your type of essay and my type of essay. I'm on the extreme end of alternative and non-mainstream thinking, something akin to the viewpoint of Roger Penrose, who has stated that all of modern physics is fundamentally flawed. This isn't a trivial point of view or one from someone not worthy of making such a judgement. FQXi and Scientific American have therefore failed twice in their quest for "new frontiers and innovative ideas".

I don't think that it's right for Brendan to simply right-off this mess-up and state that things will be better next time. Sort this out now. Just ask Scientific American to chose an additional prize winning essay from all the entrants. It's obvious that the extreme alternatives will only rate other essays which have the same basic assumptions, otherwise they think another alternatives' essay is simply 'wrong'. This is why another category is needed with alternative more rounded judges without too many pre-conceptions.

P.S. I'm not too distraught by it all just disappointed at the lack of professionalism. I was ear-marked to be the leading authority on intelligent missile system technology at the end of my Defence Research Agency career. People don't even know what Simulation Modelling is, they just assume it's to do with programming the skills of a mathematician(!). Honestly, I thought FQXi was something different than the norm. It's a shame it's turned out to be another sham..

Cheers anyway,

Alan

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Lev Goldfarb replied on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 15:15 GMT
Alan,

I agree with you completely. But, in addition, I can try to clarify the unfortunate situation some of us find ourselves in.

I believe now that it was conceived as a club for the (science) celebrities, and as such its originators expected to gain the same status for themselves.

Fortunately for them, the celebrities are getting something out of this game: decent size grants and lavish conferences. But unfortunately for all of us here, attracted like butterflies to the bright light, due to the narrow visionary views of the FQXi originators and their priorities, the "public" arm of FQXi--including the contests, blogs, forums--get the short end of the stick.

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Dr. Cosmic Ray replied on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 15:24 GMT
Hi Alan,

Your idea is ancient and novel at the same time. Have you yet figured out how to vary the screw thread (or screw density? Gauss' Law can easily model screw density with geometry, but how would the individual screws connect?) of your Archimedes' screw? I think that this is necessary to describe distance-related forces such as Gravitation and Electrostatics.

This essay contest is yesterday's news. Even if they awarded an amateur and/or alternative prize at this point, it would seem anti-climatic. Jonathan Dickau and I are working on what could be an awesome project. LOOK OUT!

Keep moving forward, and

Have Fun!

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Lev Goldfarb replied on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 15:29 GMT
Correction: in the second paragraph, "it" refers to FQXi.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 16:44 GMT
To deny truth, in like measure, is to deny reality.

Dreams are an "overdose" of truth, reality, physics, and bodily experience.

Sorry, but I like the most difficult problems in physics, psychology, and philosophy.

You need to start listening to my ideas. Don't take the easy, narrow-minded, and acceptable/puppett way out so frequently FQXI.org and participants. Maturity, strength, NATURAL EXPERIENCE, endurance, seriousness, TRUTH, beauty, love, devotion, and love of humanity -- they matter.

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John Merryman wrote on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 17:03 GMT
I want to thank FQXi for providing the opportunities which it does. It is the nature of any structure or organization to have core foundational principles and purposes, as well as outreach to intended constituencies and audiences. While there are many competing interests to be juggled, it is reliant on its foundational support for its immediate survival and on its potential constituencies for its long term survival. While this gap might not be easily bridgeable, it has to be attempted.

Yes, FQXi does not always come through on its promises, but this is a fact of life. There is a scientific process which is compelled to explain its observations and while some might not agree with the interpretations, time will decide their efficacy. FQXi provides an opportunity not available to many, of registering views of what might be possible alternatives. It is time which will be the ultimate arbiter, not immediate peer review.

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James Putnam wrote on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 20:56 GMT
I diassociate myself completely from the criticisms I have read. I don't think they are valid. In any case, I am not going anywhere else unless administrators here tell me to go away. The reason is simple: I know of no other forum or blog site, moderated or unmoderated but especially moderated, on the Internet worth posting at. It is not my practice to tell the 'teacher' what they want to hear. The 'teachers' get very offended elswhere. I am tolerated here and I appreciate it.

I like my ideas better than anyone else's. However, I do not expect others to like my ideas better than theirs. I do not expect that professional judges should jump on the chance to recognize the incredibly important work that I have produced. I wish they would, but, first I am glad that there are professionals willing to serve as judges. I do not care what the type of contest one may enter into, judging is thankless. There are always those who did not win that know clearly that they should have won.

Perhaps we should leave it up to community votes? Afterall, we all agree that good new ideas should be valued, and, we are the best to know what a good new idea is. Just ask any one of us about our own ideas. What would the results would be if we each had just one community vote and we could vote for our own essay? I think the result is clear: We don't need judges, we could do the voting and all tie for first place.

James

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Tommy Gilbertson replied on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 21:32 GMT
Wow, talk about burning bridges lol. Except you're going just a little further: destroying the road on each size, and razing the cities that the roads lead to! I'm taking the circumspect path. NOt that I don't agree with you; just that if I aired my true opinions about my horribly-placed (but also important) Essay, you would probably be making the same comment about my rant. I'm checking out your Essay next. The winners can wait as I allot my precious little time to reading the most promising ones. And with such bold statements, your's must needs be pretty good?

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James Putnam replied on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 21:52 GMT
Tommy Gilbertson,

Hi:

"...And with such bold statements, your's must needs be pretty good?"

Actually, I wasn't comfortable with this subject. The reason I gave and give here is that: I think one should be well versed in quantum physics for the purpose of answering the essay question. I was not and still am not ready to take on quantum theory. I am working on it. I consider an important first step to be to usefully critique the Uncertainty Principle. So, I wrote an essay that avoided quantum physics. I offerred a correction to Einstein's energy equation that I think made an important point in favor of 'Analog'.

I also offered a path one might follow to understand the existence of human free will, a product of 'analog'. It was all necessarily abreviated. In other words I did what I could to submit an essay that gave important new information and a broadness to the subject. The truth is though: If the reader does not accept my correction of Einstein's energy equation, then, I don't think they would have been impressed. Personally, I think that what I had to say about the path to human free will was the more important. Thank you for your reply.

James

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Georgina Parry replied on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 23:00 GMT
Re leaving it up to the community voting:

With such a diversity of essays it was very hard for me to decide what the essays deserved. There were essays that I really liked, and said so, but that I didn't vote for in the end. There were essays that I was unsure about but that I thought really should be considered by the judging panel, that I perhaps voted higher than I should have on their merit alone.

Some guidance was given in the rules as to how voting should be conducted but I think everyone was using their own system. Ray has mentioned his particular way of assigning votes. I would actually appreciate a more definite guide as to what each level of vote represents.

Eg. 1. incomprehensible or incoherent or insufficient. 2 Poorly written or definite important mistakes or irrelevant....... 9.Excellently constructed and relevant and no obvious mistakes in logic or maths. 10 Excellently constructed and highly relevant and no obvious mistakes and offering new insight into foundational questions.

Everyone would then be using their votes in the same way. Also with this clear guidance it should be obvious if votes are not assigned fairly, within the spirit of the competition, and such votes could be deleted from the final tally.

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Tommy Gilbertson wrote on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 21:36 GMT
At least you're not known as the Witch-Doctor! In my blindingly optimistic view in here, what I hear is: honorary Doctorate, in the Science of Wicca. Not what was intended probably, but I like to hear what I wanna hear. Hear, Hear!

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Lev Goldfarb wrote on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 23:33 GMT
Hello everyone,

My apology for spoiling a bit the end of the contest party, but at least I was very honest and tried to convey my deep dissatisfaction with the mismatch between the external FQXi image and "promise" and what I encountered internally. Who knows, this might help a bit.

I wish you fun and luck here at FQXi.

The thing is, as many of you suggested, we need something like FQXi, but ...

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Lev Goldfarb replied on Jun. 17, 2011 @ 00:56 GMT
And of course, as others also mentioned, thanks to Tom (T.H. Ray) for his extensive participation.

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Dan T Benedict wrote on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 23:57 GMT
I believe the entire process would benefit if it were mandated that comments from the judges would be posted (anonymously, if necessary) for all essays considered for judging. Both positive and negative feedback could be used by the authors to strengthen their position(s) and should aide them in future endeavors. Perhaps the judges could also respond to a limited number of questions on the author's forums. I gained immensely from the small number of correspondences with other authors, much of which I had to solicit. In particular, I would like to personally thank Tom, aka T H Ray, for his spirited discussion.

Also, is it too much to ask of a FQXI member to insist that it is their duty to participate, either as judges, participants, or respondents to (a limited number of) essays? Why does membership come with no responsibility? They may even come to find that obligatory participation is rewarding on its own merit.

Dan

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James Putnam replied on Jun. 17, 2011 @ 00:07 GMT
Dear Dan,

"...the entire process would benefit if it were mandated that comments from the judges would be posted (anonymously, if necessary) for all essays considered for judging. Both positive and negative feedback could be used by the authors to strengthen their position(s) and should aide them in future endeavors. Perhaps the judges could also respond to a limited number of questions on the author's forums."

Dan, this would lead to no conclusion other than the author arguing into the limitless future. When the judges give up responding, then, we would return to the point that we are at now.

James

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Dan T Benedict replied on Jun. 17, 2011 @ 02:15 GMT
James,

Do you you see no benefit from knowing exactly what the judges liked or disliked about your essay? Perhaps you were unclear on a particular aspect or were misunderstood. Perhaps they thought it was too speculative or was just off topic. Perhaps they thought it provided an unusual insight, not found in the current literature.

Their comments would support their decisions providing clarity and feedback. Anonymous comments, at the very least, could be ignored or accepted as each author saw fit. The questions would only be used to clarify the comments and could be answered at each judge's discretion. I'm not suggesting for the judges to engage in a ongoing correspondence with every author. That would be too much to expect, but might spontaneously occur in a very limited number of cases.

Dan

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James Putnam replied on Jun. 17, 2011 @ 02:34 GMT
Dan,

My point did not have to do with the value of judges comments. Yes they would be welcome. I have received such comments elsewhere. I read them and then I moved on. Moving on did not include dragging the reviewers into prolonged discussions about why I was correct all along. My comments here were directed at hopefully avoiding the 'oh so often' persistence of the amateur.

The stakes are high and the emotions run even higher. Unfortunately, the emotional level is not clearly associated with correctness. So, what I had in mind with my comments was that judges should not have to put up with ad infinitum conversations with participants who know better than them. If the judges did leave comments, I would appreciate that. I probably would not agree, but, I definitely would not complain about it. I would thank them for their honest, professional opinions.

James

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Alan Lowey wrote on Jun. 17, 2011 @ 09:19 GMT
It's in the on-line news: Physics Fiasco & Scientific American Magazine, FQXi mess-up cash competiton in physics. Okay, it was written by myself and won't ammount to much. That's as far as I'm taking my frustrations with it all. I'm leaving it at that. Bye all and best wishes for the future.

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Alan Lowey replied on Jun. 18, 2011 @ 10:07 GMT
Brendan and FQXi are suffering from a lack of creativity imo, way too conservative Creativity is akin to insanity, say scientists who have been studying how the mind works. This article seems wholely relevant to the current situation of fundamental physics.

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Alan Lowey replied on Jun. 18, 2011 @ 10:43 GMT
Here's something which was mentioned earlier, which FQXi should try and aspire to: NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC).

[quote]NIAC is back!

NASA is pleased to announce the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program. This will be a new program for 2011, and the re-establishment of an earlier effort, the NASA institute for Advanced Concepts. The original NIAC ran from 1998-2007, inspiring and nurturing revolutionary concepts that could transform future aerospace endeavors.

Like the original, the new NIAC will fund early studies of visionary, long term concepts - aerospace architectures, systems, or missions (not focused technologies). The intended scope is very early concepts: Technology Readiness Level 1-2 or early 3; 10+ years out.

The goal of NIAC is to give visionary ideas a chance. NASA recognizes that concepts to transform the future may come from innovators across the nation, so this exciting program is open to everyone. If you have a revolutionary concept that NASA should consider, you are encouraged to submit a NIAC proposal. [end quote]

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Peter Jackson wrote on Jun. 18, 2011 @ 14:14 GMT
Alan

I have to say I have some sympathy with your view. As a non academic professional (though member of a couple of prestigious Royal Institutions) I was quite bemused by the failure to identify the best non professional entrant/s, which I see as a serious failure in meeting the fundamental aims of the foundation.

There is no excuse for that, unless the site is to be swallowed by the morass sycophants, where it will loose it's purpose, any uniqueness, and become irrelevant.

My own was among a dozen I felt worthy of mention, and I'd have applauded any of those winning, as they put great thought and effort into responding the the FQXi invitation. Great for science. To exclude all from mention sends the worst possible message in terms of the ethos of the site. I certainly took it as such myself, and do not imagine the judges would believe anyone could not. For judges to do this from behind the protection of anonymity is beneath ...any respect.. for a professional. It's no wonder scientists get such a poor press!

Next year there must either be the promise of 'non professional' prize (a poor option) or include it as a 'will' not a 'may'. There is no reason why not, and they should also stay in one overall category. Getting one degree and a job at a university does not suddenly make you way brighter than someone who gets another, and/or works elsewhere in the professions!

If the problem is 'Scientific American' then they should be dropped like a hot cake, and if a sponsor is needed find someone who supports the open, inclusive and fundamental scientific ethos the site must aspire to re-attain. NS etc. seem to have left them behind recently anyway. I've just re-read the 'Universal Code of Ethics for all Scientists' from one of my own societies, and, prima fascia, this process, while well intended and organised, has seemingly not quite managed to fully meet them all. It's important FQXi exists, but also important to get it right and set an example.

Easily solved with a professional approach and a little more thought guys. And my sincerest congratulations to all the winners, which unfortunate shortcomings at the death should not be allowed to detract from in any way.

Best wishes

Peter

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Alan Lowey replied on Jun. 19, 2011 @ 14:13 GMT
Hi Peter,

Thanks for the post which shows a similarity of thought that many here share in one way or another. You say towards the end that it's "Easily solved with a professional approach and a little more thought guys". Yes, this is the final message which FQXi should take away from this thread imo. Here's to the future and a clearing of the mists of misinterpretation. Here's to a TOE in the very near future thanks to people like us.

Best wishes,

Alan

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Peter Jackson replied on Jun. 19, 2011 @ 17:26 GMT
Thanks Alan, John & Neil.

A typo was; ..there should either be the promise of NO non-professional prize..a poor option..

This Pro/Am attitude is telling. Many professions encourage inclusivity, physics is headed the other way at present, which is sad. All the eminent physicist in history have said similar things about; 'finding new ways of thinking', or looking at things, and how much we really don't know. Only poorer non eminent physicists want to put up barriers and pretend that getting a degree in a physics history that we know is wrong in at least some areas and far from complete, gives ownership of nature to the exclusion of all others.

It seems we may have just seen some of that attitude creeping into the judging. I hope we can trust you Brendan to remind the judges of the ethos of the foundation and keep them in line!

It it's desperate desire to only divvy the cash out within academia that's fine by me, let's have non financial amateur 'prizes' in that case. I have enough cash and kudos thanks, my only reason d'etre is improved understanding of nature, the ethos behind all corinthian entries I'm sure. Isn't that what FQXi should be about? - rather than judges effectively saying to 'amateurs' "none of you were worth a prize, sod off and leave them to us professionals". It may be that the money helped slightly taint things anyway. Let's all reconsider that 7 point ethical code and get this right. It's worth it.

Peter

Peter

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Dr. Cosmic Ray replied on Jun. 20, 2011 @ 01:28 GMT
Dear Peter,

I've been thinking about the lack of balance between semi-final rankings vs. final rankings.

Neil has concerns about the author votes, and we know that those are somewhat defective (I liked Philip Gibbs' suggestion for potential improvement in that area). Neil argues that all of the winners were professionals. Consider that FQXi awarded Julian Barbour $123,280 in grants last year - that is "professional" IMHO regardless of degrees or affiliation. I have a physics doctorate, but haven't earned a living in Physics since 1999. Philip Gibbs isn't affiliated with a University, but his connection with viXra makes him a valuable ally to FQXi. I liked both papers - Julian's and Philip's - but those winning papers had significant similarities with non-winning papers by Thomas Ray (compare with Julian's) and Lawrence Crowell (compare with Philip's).

I think that the Judges should have final say over the winners because they know more physics than the average author.

But I also think that *ANY* paper that makes - say - the top 4 in the semi-final rankings (Edwin Klingman's paper was #2 this contest, Jonathan Dickau's paper was #3 last contest, and neither won any awards) should earn an automatic "bye" into the final top 18 - based on community popularity. Even if the Judges think these papers are garbage (I didn't think that of either of those two papers), they could award them 4th prizes of $1,000, and that would leave plenty of good awards for 14 more winners from semi-final rankings #5-35.

It would be great if FQXi would/ could define best amateur, best alternative and/ or best gedanken experiment papers, and award small ($1,000) prizes for those.

Peter - Your FQXi essay was good, but I think you could rewrite it and make it very good after all of the suggestions that were posted on your blog. (Please don't overlook ghost loops in Feynman diagrams - this concept connects your view of relativity to "normal" particle physics considerations). Have you contacted Pre-Spacetime Journal or viXra for publication?

Alan - "Springy screws" may be a different way to describe qubits of strings (especially if those strings are twisted on each other).

Have Fun!

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John Merryman wrote on Jun. 18, 2011 @ 15:58 GMT
To put it bluntly, there are a lot of crank theories out there and some of the crankiest are fully mainstream. So we might like FQXi to get its act together, but the academic reality in which it exists certainly isn't perfect in the first place.

Given that this situation could well continue for years before it is generally accepted that patching flawed theories doesn't make them correct and there needs to be a general house cleaning of much of the conceptual cobwebs, so FQXi is as about as good a soapbox as alternative views are going to get.

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Neil Bates replied on Jun. 18, 2011 @ 20:15 GMT
John, and this speaks to Peter Jackson just above: the process isn't just about either defending conventional theories or promoting one's own "crank theories" or independent perspectives. Indeed, there's the important job of cleaning out "cobwebs", like challenging semi-orthodox views (such as "decoherence explains why we don't see macroscopic superpositions.") This attempt to find loose ends, holes, etc. in existing theory is also much defended against.

Also, anyone who has a somewhat pessimistic view of prospects for knowledge is scorned or misunderstood by the community here, which likes optimism, enjoyable feelings of clever insight, etc. They want hopey-changey stuff. They don't appreciate when someone is - like me and some others - taking a wrecking ball to something we consider mistaken in the *ordinary sense* of badly done (rather than just not the really cool even better strange new theory.) It's even worse if you don't offer an alternative, but just leave problems hanging (as they often must be for now!)

It isn't just considered "wrong," but it seems aggressive to say "science is making a flawed effort here." If one doesn't offer better options, the criticisms are seen as pointless - but of course they aren't, meanwhile. We need to have flaws exposed, wrong ideas tested (like for example, hidden variable theories.) That's why professionals need to step in and look for people who can *falsify* other ideas, not just provide fun excursions and new constructions. Yeah, Karl Popper comin' at ya'.

Finally, I am just baffled by the sycophantic spinnings of the well-meaning but IMHO scantily insightful interlocutor James Putnam above (OK, I like word play, consider it "entertainment" - and don't take it too hard James if you see this ;-) He just doesn't get, that for the highest CR to be only 5.4 is pitiful and absurd, and means that the contributors are either: 1. good producers but poor judges. 2. good judges but poor producers, or 3. poor at both. Really, just touchy-feely psychobabble about who am I to judge their judging etc. People - get over thinking I or whoever can't "get over" our own poor score etc. The process can be intelligently judged, it should be, and some of us are doing that.

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

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James Putnam replied on Jun. 19, 2011 @ 03:30 GMT
Neil,

And so you have the last word "...and don't take it too hard James..."

James

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John Merryman wrote on Jun. 19, 2011 @ 02:54 GMT
Neil,

Thank you for the reply. I didn't add my own ideas to that post, as having offered up a fair number of them over the years, I don't want to sound like a broken record any more than necessary.

I did enter in two of the contests.

The first: Explaining Time by John Brodix Merryman

And the latest: Comparing Apples to Inches by John Brodix Merryman.

It's not that I'm pessimistic about the long term direction of science, just that I realize in the short term, there is the inevitable inertia which regulates the process. For those of us who feel the problem isn't one of sufficient progress in the current direction, but a necessary review of some of the assumptions already baked in, it is a matter of waiting until the observational anomalies can no longer be patched over with one more ad hoc theory, such as inflation, multiworlds, etc. and the "theoryquake" occurs.

If you really want my thoughts on the various subjects, I'm always willing to rant on.

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Neil Bates wrote on Jun. 19, 2011 @ 21:36 GMT
[See an apology, and some corrective notes below. All edits to original are in brackets.]

Well, before we are sure about how many "amateurs" were recognized let's review Brendan's statement, quoted below:

FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on Jun. 13, 2011 @ 23:28 GMT

"

Thanks everyone for the comments positive and otherwise. Your input always helps us think about how to change the contest next time.

On the Special Commendation Prizes -- I edited my original post a bit to better express the Panel's opinion on this matter. As I wrote there, the panel chose not to award any additional special commendation prizes, since the list of winners already included a highly diverse set of winners including non-physicists and those outside of academia. The winners include at least two clear 'amateur independents' by my count, and at least a few more who could give a good argument for qualifying.

I did see an suggestion somewhere here for a separate 'amateur/outsider' category. That's an intriguing idea I might discuss with the other organizers next time.

What does any one else think?

"

He says there were some non-professionals [commenter Philip Gibbs properly chastised me below for not accepting the non-professional status of some of the contest winners. Brendan did not even use that phrase, and I should have said "amateurs" instead - even that is debatable, see my comment below. It was logged as "Anonymous" due to me being unaware of timeout.] among the winners, but when I look at the bios at http://www.fqxi.org/community/essay/winners/2011.1, I don't see any really "non" pros in the list. It is mostly real professors etc, with several degreed but "unattached folks" and AFAICT only one almosts like "post-doc", no one below that. And "independent physicists" at the level of Barbour, are "pros" (he's a Visiting Professor anyway.) Am I missing something? Do you know who the "two clear 'amateur independents'" refers to? If degreed, they're not really amateurs.

But I do thank Brendan for wanting to consider a dedicated separate prize. Please, just don't make it community rated. Thanks.

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

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Philip Gibbs replied on Jun. 20, 2011 @ 07:28 GMT
I have no funding for my work and no affiliation with and kind of research institution or academic institution. I have not had any academic funding or affiliation since 1987. In what way am I professional or academic in your eyes? I deeply resent this being called into question as I am proud of having obtained a prize without these credentials.

Although Barbour is "independent" in the sense that he does not answer to anyone about what research he does, he is not non-professional or non-academic because of his funding and affiliations. He may have been so a few years ago. Nobody is claiming otherwise.

However, there are others who may have claims to be non-professional and/or non-academic such as Thomas Mcfarlane. Even the winner can be regarded as a non-professional with respect to the work he did for this eassy. He has said that he now does his physics in his spare time while teaching engineering students.

It is ridiculous to claim that someone is professional or academic because they have a PhD or they were a postdoc in the distant past. What level of qualification are people allowed to have and still be counted as amateur in your eyes?

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Anonymous replied on Jun. 20, 2011 @ 14:55 GMT
Philip, I admit to careless confusion in usage between "amateur" and "non-professional," and apologize for that. I conflated them in my comment, which was intended to focus on "amateur" recognition. Conflation and confusion are unfortunately also intrinsic to the semantics. Brendan Foster wrote "... a highly diverse set of winners including non-physicists and those outside of academia." (He didn't...

view entire post


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Neil Bates replied on Jun. 20, 2011 @ 14:58 GMT
That "Anonymous" at Jun. 20, 2011 @ 14:55 GMT was me. I just waited a long time and it logged me out. I also corrected my comment above it, in brackets.

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Christian Corda wrote on Jun. 20, 2011 @ 08:50 GMT
Even if I am Editor in Chief and Editorial Board Member ov various International Journals I am a non academic professional too!!! I recently founded a Research Centre, the Institute for Theoretical Physics and High Mathematics (IFM) Einstein-­Galilei, in Prato, Italy but I am finding enormous hurdles in order to obtain financial funds for my research.

Best wishes,

Ch.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio replied on Jun. 20, 2011 @ 19:26 GMT
This attempt at containing and confining the "non-academics" or "amateurs" is yet another attempt to justify the confinement, reduction, misdirection, and control the what are the inconclusive, various, and failed discussions and conclusions that are arrived at (and rewarded) here.

Still evading my fundamental unification of physics FQXi.org?

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Neil Bates wrote on Jun. 20, 2011 @ 15:41 GMT
The issue of recognizing "amateurs" has gotten the lion's share of argumentative attention here, and maybe too much from me. I'm thinking more and more that giving explicit recognition to experimental proposals might be a more relevant suggestion to focus on. Maybe more people can agree, that would be a good thing?

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Tommy Gilbertson wrote on Jun. 20, 2011 @ 20:50 GMT
Hmm, perhaps I'm wrong Objectively about the Quality of my own Essay. Maybe it sux lol.

However, it is still almost certain that Subjectively, it's the best. And contains kernels I continue to use specifically.

Most of my own Thoughts are rebounding around these threads (probably due to a whole lot of Independent Invention, which seems to be accelerating like a Wisdom-Virus lately, communicable by conscious existence), even though my Essay or Name is not bandied about in the Least. Hence the first sentence.

I retire from this until some feedback one way or the other is profferred. Or we can all just assume the first sentence is True lol?

Quantum Facebook and Inventions are now 'entangled Quantum-Encrypted pages' avaliable to friends and family, offering the largest bargains on everything useful. Quantum Auto Parts is online publically, out-competing all other public businesses. The Virtual BSc Continues...

Quantum Auto Parts

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Tommy Gilbertson replied on Jun. 20, 2011 @ 21:37 GMT
This entire site was created when the impetus was found to generalize the concept of what it means to be "conscious".

Turns out it Is Special--take that Brian Green!--and all that makes up what you are... Is not only in the Order of the Particles that make you up, but also the Duration of that magnificent Assembly of Entangled and SuperGravity-infuenced field, which was defined as an equation in my Essay.

All that led to theoretical speculations that have created their own Results, frighteningly! Now the site is a View of the very near future. Offers everthing for pratically nothing to all select friend and family members. And offers better discounts and deals (potentially) than any competitors (because we don't care about Profit in the same way--remember Trek)...

P.S. The Pyramids are (among other Things) weather-modification stations. These have to be activated immediately as a stop-gap measure to building at least one sort of Space Elevator. I have results that indicate the Geometry involved and materiel needed for several sites. Some would only need Platinum Capstones of suitable Shape that once placed, would immediately begin to function as energy-dissipation earth-to-ground capacitative systems. They would be passive super-capacitive systems that didn't necessarily control weather-patterns, but remove Energy from them to lessen later impacts on locations worldwide. It is worth a try.

Quantum Widgets

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Lev Goldfarb wrote on Jun. 21, 2011 @ 17:43 GMT
I guess, I should give at least a hint of justification for my deep disappointment with the very poor *quality* of the essay contest. I didn't want to bring out concrete essays, but it appears I have to.

Let me take, just *as an example*, the second prize essay "Physics and the Integers" by David Tong, whose main point is "that the integers are emergent". The point is absolutely ridiculous from the scientific point of view.

He begins the essay as follows

---------------------------------------------

"God made the integers, the rest is the work of man" — Leopold Kronecker [1]

I have never really understood this quote. It may be fine for mathematicians, but it doesn't seem to gel with how I understand the laws of physics. In part, the purpose of this essay is to explain why.

I recently learned that it's not just me who disagrees with Kronecker. At the time, everyone disagreed with him!"

---------------------------------------------

First, of all the last statement is both historically and even today is *absolutely* wrong: no mathematician in his right mind was questioning or now questions the above truism (cleaned, of course, of the theistic overtones)! Natural numbers are the very foundations of mathematics, and that is how *all* the relevant courses are structured today: natural numbers --> integers --> rationals --> reals --> complex numbers etc.

Later in the essay we find

"It is not, a priori, obvious that the integers have any role to play in physics."

This is an unbelievable statement for a professional scientist. Thus, my second point, physics is *completely* based on mathematics: this was explicitly stated during the Scientific Revolution of the 17th-18th centuries and even more true today. For example, the central concept of a field does not have any substantive meaning outside the mathematical context. The same is true of mass, acceleration, energy, etc. So no integers means no field, no mass, no acceleration, etc. and, in general, no physics as we know it.

So what are we left with if *professional* standards were not applied during the evaluation process? We are left with the incompetence and the nebulous non-professional "cuteness" criterion, and hence my earlier posts. (By the way, I don't blame David Tong, I blame the panel.)

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Georgina Parry replied on Jun. 21, 2011 @ 21:27 GMT
Lev,

I am surprised that you have said this when you yourself are suggesting an alternative qualitative representation of reality, which you consider revolutionary. Eugene Klingman's response to David Tong's essay; Quote: "You have truly written a masterful essay. Simple enough to be read and enjoyed by all visitors to FQXi and yet insightful enough to teach experts a few things. Thank you for your excellent contribution." I also read it, although after the competition ended, and found it very interesting and comprehensible (at the time).Being accessible to the well educated non specialist was one of the criteria mentioned in the rules.

I think that it is complexity and growth (positive and negative ) that may be most important aspects of reality. Which are describable with fractal dimensions, often fractions, and rates that are related to e which is an irrational number. Ignoring complexity and growth and measuring only isolated snippets of reality might make the integers seem more important than they are. Maybe I am blithering nonsense because I have not learned enough maths but perhaps I can at least make the point that what seems -obviously- incorrect may just be looking at things in a different way. FQXi is trying to encourage fresh ways of looking at the problems of physics, so it is not unreasonable that they have recognized this essay both for the accessible way in which it is written and for the matters discussed within that essay.

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Lev Goldfarb replied on Jun. 21, 2011 @ 22:23 GMT
Georgina,

I'm afraid there is absolutely no room for give-and-take on the question that I raised.

In ETS, I'm proposing the structural *generalization* of natural numbers, and would never claim that their are emergent.

Since I was educated as a professional mathematician, there is no way I can utter such, forgive me, nonsense that "integers are emergent". Te reason the latter is absolute nonsense is this: since reals and complex numbers are built on top of integers how can foundations emerge out of what was built on top of this foundation? Things out of which everything was built, simply by definition of "emergent", cannot be emergent. ;-)

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Neil Bates replied on Jun. 21, 2011 @ 23:01 GMT
I'll admit I don't have time to read the Tong essay, but in terms of Platonic actual math: sure, he's wrong. He may have been trying for smart- alecky cleverness, in the sense of fields etc. don't have "numbers" attached to them. But "number" does matter, like in atomic orbitals. In any case, this shows that "cleverness" in concept and writing, and not "contribution" was the key to getting a high CR, and winning. A person who did the dirty important work of proposing an experiment to test a popular view in QM, wasn't worth a hoot.

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 21, 2011 @ 19:37 GMT
Lev,

I propose to introduce new category not for amateurs but for alternative physics which will be open both for professionals and amateur physicists.

Brendan,

You'll never find any top thinkers in foundational questions because FQXi supports the academic/mainstream physics only. Notice, top academic thinkers send their innovative papers to Physical Review Letters and Nature but not to FQXi. For this reason, you can find top thinkers in alternative/non-mainstream area only. However, since FQXi rejects all alternative physics theories then you'll never find any top thinkers and you must remove these FQXi goals: "Encourage and support rigorous, innovative, and influential thinking about foundational questions in physics and cosmology; Identify and reward top thinkers in foundational questions'.

Jarmo's essay is neither innovative nor influential. In my view, the panel selected Jarmo's essay in order to save their 'scientific reputations' because it is scientifically correct. FQXi and his panel will never support any 'suspect' alternative theory because they are afraid for reputation.

This problem has one solution only: you must create the alternative category for non-mainstream/non-academic physics theories. In such conditions the panel will be able to vote for alternative theories without any risk for their 'scientific reputations'. By non-mainstream/non-academic theories I mean all physics theories which were not published in peer reviewed journals. From this point of view, Lev Goldfarb' and Christian Corda's theories are not alternative because these papers were published in peer reviewed journals. To obtain the alternative prize you, for example Lev Goldfard must write the completely NEW theory which was NOT published in any peer reviewed journal. Thus, the alternative prize will receive an author of the best NEW physics theory that was NOT published in any peer reviewed journals. The 'alternative' category will be open both for professionals and amateur physicists. I'm sure this alternative category will be most popular and interesting and it may help FQXi to move to its goals.

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Dr. Cosmic Ray replied on Jun. 21, 2011 @ 20:08 GMT
Dear Anon,

Just to play the "devil's advocate", I think that this "alternative" category can be "stretched" as much as the "non-professional" one can. IMHO, there were only a handful of papers in the top 37 that were as "alternative" as mine. But just because it is alternative does not guarantee it is a correct view of Reality. Papers that are too far out of the mainstream would present a significant challenge for the Judges to review and properly score.

I've been thinking about this a lot. The regular bloggers on this site were ignored - either accidentally or intentionally - I do not know the Judge's thought-processes.

But I strongly feel that any paper that is as popular amongst the bloggers as was Edwin Klingman's (#2 after semi-final cut) should earn an automatic bye into the winner's bracket. The Judges should have the authority to rank these popular papers as low as 4th prizes if that is their decision, but - in the name of fairness and voting balance - the Judges should not be able to dismiss these popular papers all-together. What then is the purpose of a community vote? Dr. Klingman should have won some sort of prize - whether or not his paper was 100% correct or mainstrean - based soley on its popularity on this blog site.

That is my opinion. But opinions are like belly buttons - everyone has one, but some are "fuzzier" than others.

Have Fun!

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Georgina Parry replied on Jun. 21, 2011 @ 22:08 GMT
Ray,

I don't think the community vote is to select the winners but to cut down the field of contenders to a manageable number, without FQXi admin/judges having to do that themselves. The essays could very easily be screened upon submission into potential finalist and others on the basis of quick check against the criteria in the rules.

Giving the initial screening to the community undermines the suspicion of some inherent bias of the admin/judging panel that might exclude certain types of essay from ever reaching final consideration. Though it just substitutes one -potential- problem with other very real problems.

I don't think FQXi should be criticized for trying to encourage community participation. The involvement of the community is beneficial as ideas are discussed and encouragement is given, and the excitement and anticipation is maintained. For most other essay competitions, the essays are submitted and nothing more is heard until the results are announced. Which is far less fun.

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Neil Bates replied on Jun. 21, 2011 @ 23:06 GMT
Georgina, I think the flaws of community rating are enough that it shouldn't be *the* deciding factor in getting [into the finalists to enable] a prize, but it can be had both ways: have referees screen all papers for promising ones (like, experimental proposals) and pick out a set. But also, let CR decide one or two for the top circle as well. BTW IIRC you said you were only 0.1 point from making the finalists, or someone else?

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Christian Corda wrote on Jun. 22, 2011 @ 14:50 GMT
Thanks Georgina. Brendan further clarified this point to me in a private email. The set of finalists did include 37 rather than 35, since there was a

4-way tie at positions 34-37. Brendan also told me that FQXi should be sure in the future to let people know if they are a finalist, in case there is confusion.

Cheers,

Ch.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jun. 22, 2011 @ 15:05 GMT
Enjoining and balancing visible and invisible space with equivalent and essentially constant force/energy is not only the requirement of quantum gravity, but it is the requirement of unifying gravity, inertia, and electromagnetism as well.

I have demonstrated its actual occurence as well.

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Lev Goldfarb replied on Jun. 22, 2011 @ 15:52 GMT
Frank,

PLEASE, get some help!

Don't you have ANY respect for yourself and others?

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Alan Lowey replied on Jun. 23, 2011 @ 08:56 GMT
I second this advice Frank. I've been through the process and I can guarantee that you'll feel much more contented after it. Your theories will have a much better chance of reaching people if you do.

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Jun. 23, 2011 @ 02:16 GMT
I wish to thank those who awarded me a high community score and those who have argued for my essay.

FQXi is based on the recognition of severe problems in physics. Either these problems will find resolution within the current framework of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, or not. If not, then we need a new theory, ideally starting from first principles, 'downward compatible' with GR and QM, and explaining today's physics anomalies. My essay attempted to tie my theory to real physical anomalies and to suggest physical experiments that can actually guide physics beyond 'expert opinion'.

I'm grateful that FQXi provides a platform on which one can record theories, predictions, explanations of current anomalies and suggestions for experiments. Unless one believes that we are in a stasis which will never change, then we can expect the LHC to find evidence of the Higgs (or not, as I predict) and others to find evidence supporting "particle AND wave' (as I claim) versus 'particle OR wave'.

For example, less than a month after being informed that I was 'bringing disgrace on my theory' by even mentioning de Broglie and Bohm, a beautiful new experiment by Steinberg shows "Our measured trajectories are consistent ... with the realistic but unconventional interpretation of quantum mechanics of such influential thinkers as David Bohm and Louis de Broglie,"

And in the 9 June 2011 issue of Nature, Lundeen et al. describe the "Direct Measurement of the Quantum Wavefunction". Most of those who have argued against me in these forums seem to perceive a 'mystical' wavefunction and argue against my contention that the wavefunction is a real field (based on the C-field).

Such physical evidence is piling up and will either vindicate my theory or show me to be wrong. For six years my predictions have been coming true and I believe (and certainly hope) this will continue to be the case. FQXi provides an 'audit trail' that I value highly.

I'm happy to participate in a forum where so many intelligent people invest their efforts to inform their peers and I feel honored that my co-authors, all of whom are pushing their own competing theories, saw fit to reward me a high place in the community.

Thanks to my supporters and to my sincere opponents, whose arguments make me work harder.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Alan Lowey replied on Jun. 24, 2011 @ 08:51 GMT
Hi Edwin,

I was wondering whether you had a opinion on David Tong's second summation about chirality. Do you think that chirality is fully represented in the Standard Model or is there room for improvement?

Thanks,

Alan

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Author frank Martin DiMeglio replied on Jun. 25, 2011 @ 19:31 GMT
FQXi and Edwin, you curiously avoid my ideas, although they clearly are a major breakthrough in physics:

To summarize, space manifests in/as the middle distance in/of space in conjunction with half gravity and half inertia, and space is contracted/flattened and stretched/expanded in keeping therewith. A smaller space is then made larger, and a larger space is then made smaller. Quantum gravity is present with balanced/equivalent attraction and repulsion, in keeping with equivalent/balanced inertia and gravity; as this all relates to/involves the middle distance in/of space. Dreams achieve electromagnetic/gravitational/inertial equilibrium.



This is the theoretical AND actual unification -- that I have demonstrated -- that you are seeking.

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Philip Gibbs wrote on Jun. 23, 2011 @ 06:23 GMT
The best way to address some of the concerns here would be to reintroduce the community prizes that were awarded in the first contest. Under the present system these could be given to the top few essays that did not get a main prize.

The concept of non-professional or non-mainstream work is too subjective and too contentious to be used as a criteria in my opinion. Awarding community prizes would have rewarded the ones most inline for these titles without the subjective criteria.

Yes, the community rating is not perfect, some very deserving essays missed the final round. Some other adjustments to the rules could address that.

Some people criticized the community rating system saying that authors did well because they made friends and promoted their work through the comments. I think it is a positive thing if people are willing to discuss their work and other peoples in the forums provided. I also think their essays still had to be good for this to work for them. These people deserve at least a community prize for that effort.

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 23, 2011 @ 22:07 GMT
John,

you said to Lev, "I'm afraid FQXi is a bit of an empty store front, in which we squatters are debating around a fire. You are certainly welcome, but conventional rules are not strictly enforced." It can be more than that. Its an experiment in its infancy.

Quotes from "Turbulent Mirror" by John Briggs and F. David Peat. Quote "Networking has always existed in some form, as a means for people to communicate outside of the usual hierarchies. But the new networking organism is conscious and entirely feedback driven. Its sudden evolution appears to come from a growing realization that in our complex world old societal hierarchies and reductionist control structures are not working" Referring to Roy Fairfield it says: Quote "His vision is that through networking something creative will happen. He sees networking as a way of maintaining a low level chaotic substrate so that -as in the brain- the chaos will from time to time give birth to an intellectual self-organizing structure."

It might not have very many active "neurons" at present but it does not require poking and interfering from outside to develop as it will.Quote " Evidently good networking requires hard work and dedication to the faith that something will come of all the sometimes meandering non linear activity."

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Georgina parry replied on Jun. 23, 2011 @ 22:11 GMT
That Anonymous was me.

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Lev Goldfarb replied on Jun. 23, 2011 @ 23:33 GMT
Unfortunately, I think John was exactly right. Nothing more, nothing less. The rest is wishful thinking. ;-)

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Georgina parry replied on Jun. 24, 2011 @ 00:17 GMT
Lev, I would rather say optimism than wishful thinking.It can be more- but won't necessarily fulfill that potential. (There does seem to be more complaining than positive suggestions for improvement.)

A further quote from "Turbulent Mirror" John Briggs and F, David Peat; Quote: "Networking organisms have dies by the hundreds from disuse and they appear to be delicate and transient entities. Perhaps the feedback coupling in these creatures is too weak or loose. Or a fleeting life is the natural fate for a network , allowing its members to move to other networks. Its also possible that we have not yet have evolved this cooperative species in its most viable form."

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jun. 24, 2011 @ 08:04 GMT
Please correct me. I am still looking for arguments that might contribute solutions to open and perhaps truly foundational questions, which were finally acceptable to all panelists. Well, the contest intended to find out and reward best essayists, not necessary so far ignored alternative approaches. However, I guess: The chance to successfully deal with truly foundational questions must not be underestimated.

Eckard

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Peter Jackson wrote on Jun. 24, 2011 @ 12:21 GMT
Eckard

May I put a question to you, and anybody else who may wish top give a view. It is quite fundamental.

But firstly I confirm agree; "The chance to successfully deal with truly foundational questions must not be underestimated."

And also that the Law of Least Action is important. There are many effects out there we do not yet understand, but all doing something efficiently!

The question is;

Do inertial frames (As Cartesian co-ordinate systems) have to 'overlap', as our present mathematical interpretation of Special Relativity assumes.

or might they be 'Mutually Exclusive'? (from clusters right down to particles).

Peter

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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Jun. 24, 2011 @ 15:15 GMT
I've just added video footage of the essay contest prize-giving ceremony in New York to Brendan's original post. Please check it out.

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Georgina Parry replied on Jun. 25, 2011 @ 12:50 GMT
Thank you it was a nice touch to add it. It was really good that the prize winners were given that extra public recognition of their achievement at the festival and here on this thread.

Prof. Max T.could have mentioned that the essays are still available to see on the FQXi web site, just for those at the festival who might not have known and would be interested. Perhaps that information was available elsewhere.

(I don't know how much use was made of the festival as a PR opportunity for FQXi, would seem a good venue for potential supporters.)

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jun. 25, 2011 @ 20:06 GMT
Gravity balances and enjoins visible and invisible space. Full gravity involves full mobility in conjunction with, and in relation to, distance in/of space. Gravity, invisible and visible, is key to distance in/of space.

I have successfully incorporated all of this as well FQXi.org.

FQXi.org, you are lying. I have proven it. And your credibility is ruined. How many of your large grants would terminate if you admit that my ideas are correct? Is that the problem?

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM FQXI.ORG???? The proof is overwhelming FQXi. You cannot even begin to counter it.

You didn't even know what gravity fundamentally/truly was. (I proved this too.)

I have proven the following with an abundance of clear and detailed thinking:

To summarize, space manifests in/as the middle distance in/of space in conjunction with half gravity and half inertia, and space is contracted/flattened and stretched/expanded in keeping therewith. A smaller space is then made larger, and a larger space is then made smaller. Quantum gravity is present with balanced/equivalent attraction and repulsion, in keeping with equivalent/balanced inertia and gravity; as this all relates to/involves the middle distance in/of space. Dreams achieve electromagnetic/gravitational/inertial equilibrium.

I already gave the all of the details here FQXi.org.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jun. 25, 2011 @ 20:13 GMT
Quantum gravity requires that space be both invisible and visible in a balanced fashion -- I showed this too FQXi.org.

MIDDLE distance in/of space is then consistent with the MIDDLE force/energy of BOTH inertia and gravity -- I showed this too FQXi.org.

Again, stop lying. You have been totally outsmarted, now admit it!

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jun. 25, 2011 @ 20:16 GMT
FQXi.org -- Dreams unify gravity, inertia, electromagnetism, and quantum gravity.

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Anonymous replied on Jun. 25, 2011 @ 20:25 GMT
in your dreams

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jun. 25, 2011 @ 20:21 GMT
We're waiting FQXi.org.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jun. 25, 2011 @ 20:34 GMT
Is the purpose of FQXi.org to advance truth in physics, or is it to fund as many lies, antiquated ideas, and insignificant/erroneous ideas as is possible?

Truth or money -- what's it gonna be FQXi.org?

Reality/truth OR money and escaping from/replacing reality/nature? What's it gonna be FQXi.org?

You are so clearly lying/denying at this point that it is sickeningly and undeniably obvious.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jun. 25, 2011 @ 20:41 GMT
FQXi.org, do not act so ashamed that I have totally outsmarted you. Just man up and admit it.

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Jun. 25, 2011 @ 22:37 GMT
Alan asked if I think that chirality is fully represented in the Standard Model or if there is room for improvement. The Standard Model does not explain the existence of only left-handed neutrinos and requires a Higgs boson to account for mass. There are other problems that I treat in "Chromodynamics War". My theory predicts no right handed neutrinos, no Higgs, no SUSY, no WIMPs, no new particles, period. Since I first made this prediction on FQXi about two years ago there have been at least a hundred searches for such particles published in Physical Review Letters. Nothing has been seen. Most extensions to the Standard Model require SUSY. At some point one must question why nothing is being found despite the world's resources being applied to the problem.

John Merryman said: "filters are either going to be set on very fine and big ideas are not going to get in, or they will be set wide open and you will get buried in all the crap that does get in."

Professionals are constrained to "color within the lines". They will ignore anomalies that threaten their current theories until, as John says, they reach "the point where the big reset button gets pushed by anomalies too large to be patched over and a new platform has to be constructed."

Therefore I focus on the anomalies as the only valid indicator of new physics and test of new theories of physics. But going outside the established theories one guarantees being ignored. Nevertheless, FQXi provides a wonderful platform for recording what I called "the audit trail".

Eckard described the situation as a variant on the well known three apes as follows: "We do not see a solution, we did not hear that someone else does so, and we must by no means say this, in order not to lose our funding."

Anyone who believes that they have a worthwhile theory should apply the theory to currently known anomalies in physics, that is, real physics that does not fit into current theory. If the anomalies are explained by your theory, then I suggest you ignore 'expert opinion' and pursue your theory. Feynman in his Nobel lecture: "since they didn't get a satisfactory answer to the problem I wanted to solve, I don't have to pay a lot of attention to what they did do."

They haven't solved the anomalies. See if you can.

But don't expect the 'professionals' to pay attention. Physics is a giant industrial-political-establishment with hundreds of thousands earning a nice living within its boundaries. It's not going to change just because you may have a better idea. It's foolish to think otherwise. 'Non-professionals' are in it for love, not money, and the freedom that this allows will only mean frustration if you think that the physics industry should turn on a dime and follow you. That's delusional.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Alan Lowey replied on Jun. 26, 2011 @ 11:25 GMT
Thank you for the response Edwin, I found it very informative. I've taken onboard your advice about "Anyone who believes that they have a worthwhile theory should apply the theory to currently known anomalies in physics, that is, real physics that does not fit into current theory." I remember that you touched upon the Pioneer gravity anomaly in your essay and I too have been interested in this as well as other satellite trajectory anomalies. Again, these I believe can be explained by a 'new physics'. The summary of my own view is that there is an extra gravitational 'kick' on the narrow equatorial plane of a spinning solar system massive body, such as the Sun, Earth and at least some planetary moons. It isn't a trivial conclusion which I have come to and it's one which has taken me a lifetime of dedication to achieve. I mentioned in your essay posts that Slava Turyshev of NASA JPL replied with an email expressing an interest in my idea to explain the Pioneer anomaly of which he is the leading authority on. Could you explain in a nutshell what your explanation for the anomaly is and how it relates to your own vision of a 'new physics'?

P.S I totally agree with the rest of your post.

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Dr. Cosmic Ray replied on Jun. 26, 2011 @ 15:57 GMT
Dear Edwin and Alan,

Please consider these facts and reasonable conclusions:

1) Super-Kamiokande discovered neutrino-flavor oscillations in 1998.

2) The most popular explanation of these oscillations is that neutrinos have mass, and mix flavors via their masses.

3) If a left-handed neutrino has any mass - regardless of how small - it must always travel slower than the speed of light - say 0.999999 c for a certain energy neutrino.

4) Now Lorentz transform ahead of the neutrino - say at 0.9999991 c, look back at the neutrino, and you will observe an opposite-spinning neutrino - a right-handed neutrino.

5) This right-handed neutrino does not couple to color, electromagnetic, or "standard" left-handed Weak charges. It may only couple to Reality via very weak gravitational interactions, and (maybe?) via a right-handed-coupling Z' or W' (if such exists - LHC keeps going back and forth over the possible experimental confirmation of a "leptophobic" W' - any leptonic decays that produce right-handed neutrinos would be tricky to properly identify). It would be difficult to observe such a right-handed neutrino, and this could account for some of the Dark Matter.

Within the Standard Model, right-handed neutrinos look like their quantum numbers are all zeros. This is illogical. How can "something" emerge from "nothing"? Check out "A 4-Simplex Of Gravi-Weak" in my 2009 FQXi essay. This paper builds a reasonable framework capable of defining right-handed neutrino charges, and capable of explaining fermionic mass (which - for the most part - is significantly smaller than the Z or W masses that the Higgs is supposed to explain).

Edwin - The "mainstream" is too chicken to put their necks on the chopping block. Those "professionals" stand to lose too much via their reputations by supporting too controversial an idea. But you and I have nothing to lose. MWAHAHAHA!

Have Fun!

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Anonymous replied on Jun. 26, 2011 @ 16:52 GMT
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chirality_(physics)#Chirality_a
nd_helicity

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 27, 2011 @ 04:31 GMT
Few years ago, I heard about FQXi as if it is the first foundation that supports the alternative science. However, the list of winners shows that FQXi supports official science only. I am disappointed in the results.

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John Merryman replied on Jun. 27, 2011 @ 09:59 GMT
Anon,

You heard wrong. "foundational" and "alternative" have entirely different meanings. Consider the questions the contests have asked: nature of time, what is physically possible, is reality analog or discrete.

These are not about alternative answers, so much as questioning the basic assumptions. I would have to say the effort has been valiant and the results have been quite interesting, but the current paradigm largely stands.

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Lev Goldfarb wrote on Jun. 27, 2011 @ 11:55 GMT
Dear Ray,

"Quite honestly, I'm tired of arguing with Lev. We have all offered suggestions as to how the system might be improved, and Lev keeps talking like the system is beyond repair."

Yes, Ray, the system is beyond repair, and this should have been obvious by now, when you look at the quality of the *third* essay contest. (We are not talking about the first essay contest, but already about the third one!)

But since, apparently, it is not obvious, let me spell it out, yet again. What should one expect from an essay contest organized by such a "lustrous" organization as FQXi, with so many "cool" scientists as its members? The least I would expect is that each essay would be, first, carefully selected and second, *seriously* and *intensely* discussed at least by the members themselves. It goes without saying, that the organization of the contest must be oriented in that direction from the very beginning.

Since there is absolutely nothing complicated about such a contest organization and we have not seen anything of the kind, it tells me that either the gulf is too big to be bridged, or the contests are originally thought of as a gimmick that does not require any effort. In either case "the system is [practically] beyond repair". ;-)

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John Merryman replied on Jun. 27, 2011 @ 16:51 GMT
Lev,

While physics and math might be based on the search for absolute order, it doesn't exist in human affairs, even in the disciplines of physics and math.

A large part of the problem is that we make assumptions about "order" which do not stand up to reason. Nature is its own most complete model and anything less will have flaws, yet we are manifestly incapable of contemplating nature in its entirety, so we have to construct these limited models in order to function.

FQXi is just such a limited model of how to group think through some of these perplexities. It has its strengths and its weaknesses. You need to keep in mind the old saying that: "The perfect is the enemy of the good." There are always cross currents to any endeavor and compromise is necessary in order to get anything done. The fact is this is the peanut gallery and quite a generous one at that, given the rest of the internet, but if you want to take it up a few notches, why not consider applying for a grant to examine your ideas:http://www.fqxi.org/grants

It seems in hiatus at the moment though.

You want my most reductionistic theory of everything? "Stuff happens." Pretty much covers it all.

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Alan Lowey wrote on Jun. 27, 2011 @ 12:02 GMT
Ray and Edwin,

the issue of chirality and helicity is at the nub of understanding particle physics as you've both shown. I don't have the indepth knowledge of the two of you but I can begin to see what you're both saying. In addition to the Wikipedia quote it should also mention that the possibility of a wraparound universe will also make circularly travelled helical gravitons (if they exist) appear to behave like anti-gravitons i.e. making objects move away from an observer, although the gravitons are still attracting the object, just in the opposite direction from which they were emitted. No-one else has made this connection as far as I'm aware a.k.a dark energy. The same principle can also be applied to the notion of electrical current in a closed loop or circuit. It should be included in the Wikipedia entry, although there is only my rather lame essay as a reference. I've added it to the discussion page for good measure. This page is a good place to see just how much confusion there is on the subject.

I'm currently following the story of Goeppart-Mayer and hope to achieve a simulation model to explain her magic numbers of 'nuclei shells' (2,8,20,28 etc). I can't believe in the excellent book I'm currently reading that people are still happy to assume that the electron bonds of matter are independent of the nucleus. It's so ludicrous a concept. Only a full common-sense dymanic geometry of matter will provide the insight necessary to formulate a TOE. I'm confident that I can make significant progress. The mathematics is said to be very challenging. Maths without the dynamic geometry is a big problem area for physics imo.

P.S This has just caught my attention "In 2007, Jozsef Garai from Florida International University proposed a mathematical formula describing the periodicity of the nucleus in the Periodic System Based On The Tetrahedron" (see amazing schematic attached)

P.P.S I've just discovered something which I did myself many years ago just after my big epiphany of the creation model I talk about in the essay. The representation of the periodic table as a helix. Periodic Table 1862 Telluric Helix or Screw. [quote]The French geologist , Alexandre-Émile Béguyer de Chancourtois was the first person to make use of atomic weights to produce a classification of periodicity. He drew the elements as a continuous spiral around a metal cylinder divided into 16 parts. The atomic weight of oxygen was taken as 16 and was used as the standard against which all the other elements were compared. Tellurium was situated at the centre, prompting vis tellurique, or telluric screw.[end quote]

attachments: Periodic_Table_Secrets.png, telluric.jpg

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Dr. Cosmic Ray replied on Jun. 27, 2011 @ 14:47 GMT
Hi Alan,

You said "the issue of chirality and helicity is at the nub of understanding particle physics", and I have been developing my own "crazzy" ideas based on simplices for several years. The tetrahedron is very important because it is a 3-simplex (see my 2009 FQXi essay), it is the basis of the Face-Centered-Cubic Close-Packing lattice (see my 2011 FQXi essay), and there may be an isometry between the Georgi-Glashow SU(5) GUT and the Tetrahedral Point Group (see my book).

I have been looking closely at ideas like Gingras' Spin Ice (also see the related 2011 FQXi essay by Vladimir Tamari), and how these spinning tetrahedra might be related to 4-qubits of string (and potentially related to Quaternions).

p.s. - Someone (was it Edwin?) claimed that lattice models of chiral fermions were defective. Consider that QCD lattice models have been used for decades. Certainly these calculations aren't perfect, but the non-linear nature of the Strong Force makes calculations better than ~5% error pretty much impossible. My suggestions of "Cooper-pair" composite phenomena occuring at a smaller Scale may fix some of these errors (see my recent PreSpacetime Journal article "The Interrelationship of Spin and Scales").

Also consider Garrett Lisi's attempt to build a TOE out of the minimal 8-D E8 Gosset Lattice. IMHO, the arguments against Lisi's model are NOT that this can't potentially be accomplished, but that Lisi has improperly embedded the three generations of chiral fermions, and that bosons should not coexist with fermions in the same lattice.

Have Fun!

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Dr. Cosmic Ray replied on Jun. 27, 2011 @ 15:44 GMT
p.s. - Regarding that last statement "bosons should not coexist with fermions in the same lattice", consider that in QCD lattice calculations, the fermions (quarks) are lattice points (direct lattice vectors), and the bosons (gluons) are connector struts between lattice points (reciprocal lattice vectors).

So the boson and fermion lattices should be dual / reciprocal (also see my 2011 FQXi essay) to each other, and an E8 TOE should actually require a minimum of an E8xE8* with dual 8-D Gosset lattices. Is that 8-D or 8+8-D? I think the latter, and it doesn't necessarily include our 4-D Spacetime.

Have Fun!

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Jun. 27, 2011 @ 17:51 GMT
Ray,

You may be correct that it is the non-linearity of the strong force that limits QCD to about 5 percent. But the recent discovery that the proton radius of muonic hydrogen is also off by about 5 percent from the QED calculation suggests to me that an incorrect model of reality can be forced, through clever mathematical manipulations, to approximate almost any physical system to an accuracy of about one in twenty.

In the case of QED the 'forcing' is accomplished through 'virtual particles' that pop into existence from the vacuum and are used to tune the calculation. The gold standard of this is the anomalous magnetic moment in which, over decades, the value of the magnetic moment and the fine structure constant are brought into agreement to a dozen or more decimal places. But then this finely tuned result leads to a 4 percent error in proton radius. An incorrect model can be tuned at one place but will bust loose at another. Only the correct model will fit everywhere. I believe both the QCD 'Standard Model' and the QED 'virtual model' are both incorrect. In fact, since QED depends upon the 'virtual' appearance ALL of the particles, the discovery of SUSY or any other new particles will necessarily change ALL previous calculations. What then for the vaunted anomalous magnetic moment?

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Sridattadev wrote on Jun. 30, 2011 @ 16:15 GMT
Dear All,

Absolute truth

is with in everyone, we only differ in the ways we express it to each other. I am very happy and thankful for the wonderful organization of fqxi which is providing this opportunity for all the brilliant minds in the world, irrespective of their academic backgrounds, to come together and express their thoughts in search of the absolute truth. I hope that we all with our colloborative research and knowledge of the singularity or absolute truth, can share our understanding and realization of the absoulte with several generations to come on this planet in to duality by posting in such free spirited organizations like fqxi so that everyone can learn about the absolute truth and live in love and peace.

Be in Love to Rest in Peace,

Sridattadev.

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Alan Lowey replied on Jul. 1, 2011 @ 10:53 GMT
Dear Sridattadev,

It's nice to hear someone expressing the overall humaness of our endeavours and the goodwill we all have to towards one another in respect for a more peaceful world of the future. Thank you for your kind words.

attachments: Epiphany.jpg

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Steve Dufourny replied on Jul. 1, 2011 @ 11:01 GMT
The respect....saysthat to our governments, the corruption and the power.Because if the world is not in peace, it's due to them simply.

The real humility is when we are the head in the soil when the light is in our eyes. The rest is vain ....

A peace world....yes if they understand the spherization .

PS some people understands the universal love, others no !!!

Steve

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sridattadev replied on Jul. 1, 2011 @ 17:11 GMT
Dear Lovers,

I am filled with joy to share the knowledge that I found with in my self with wonderful beings like you. Responsibility lies with every realized one to spread the absolute truth of universal love and one day the darknesss in human minds will be no more or the humans as we know them will be no more. The choice is ours to make and I am starting to spread the message of love in my humble way and I want you to share the love with all your loved ones.

Wisdom is more important than imagination is more important than knowledge

for all that we know is just an imagination chosen wisely.

Love,

Sridattadev.

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John Merryman wrote on Jun. 30, 2011 @ 16:56 GMT
Strong argument for analog over digital:

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-06-physics-einstein
.html


"GRB 041219A took place on 19 December 2004 and was immediately recognised as being in the top 1% of GRBs for brightness. It was so bright that Integral was able to measure the polarisation of its gamma rays accurately.

Dr Laurent and colleagues searched for differences in the polarisation at different energies, but found none to the accuracy limits of the data.

Some theories suggest that the quantum nature of space should manifest itself at the ‘Planck scale’: the minuscule 10-35 of a metre, where a millimetre is 10-3 m.

However, Integral’s observations are about 10 000 times more accurate than any previous and show that any quantum graininess must be at a level of 10-48 m or smaller.

“This is a very important result in fundamental physics and will rule out some string theories and quantum loop gravity theories,” says Dr Laurent."

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Jul. 1, 2011 @ 00:31 GMT
John,

Thanks for pointing that out. I've been thinking in this direction lately because it is compatible with my theory, but this is the first actual data-based analysis that I'm aware of.

By the way, while not accepting your "Big Bang-less" cosmology, I have nevertheless been enjoying many of your recent philosophical observations very much.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Peter van Gaalen replied on Jul. 1, 2011 @ 07:28 GMT
Hard evidence is better than FQXI essay's! We still don't know what the real fundamental questions are.

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Neil Bates replied on Jul. 1, 2011 @ 13:38 GMT
Yes, hard evidence is great and I wish there had been more interest here in anyone trying to find it. I proposed an experiment to test the claim that decoherence leads to finding a classical world out of quantum wave functions, one of a very few essays proposing *doable* empirical tests. Most comments were supportive, but it didn't help in the end. (BTW I keep asking, why wouldn't low raters at least try to justify their choices, along with why the low overall ratings - 5.4 for "top rated" - !) FQXi needs to also support experimental proposals from the same community they solicit essays from.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jul. 2, 2011 @ 21:17 GMT
Enjoining and balancing visible and invisible space is quantum gravity, and it unifies gravity and electromagnetism as well -- in keeping with inertial and gravitational equivalency and balancing (as this involves balanced attraction and repulsion as well.)

Force/energy is never fundamentally consistent with distance in/of space without electromagnetic/inertial/gravitational equilibrium.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jul. 2, 2011 @ 21:22 GMT
FQXi.org -- You do know that I demonstrated middle force/energy (of inertia and gravity) that is fundamentally consistent with middle distance in/of space in keeping with the following, correct?:

Enjoining and balancing visible and invisible space is quantum gravity, and it unifies gravity and electromagnetism as well -- in keeping with inertial and gravitational equivalency and balancing (as this involves balanced attraction and repulsion as well.)

I showed all of this in/as dream experience.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jul. 2, 2011 @ 21:28 GMT
Reality is not digital or analog FQXi.org, it is fundamentally as I have shown it to be.

I showed the dream to be a linked center of body experience that involves the middle distance in/of space and unifies gravity, inertia, electromagnetism, and quantum gravity.

My description clearly accounts for/describes instantaneity as well.

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Anonymous wrote on Jul. 5, 2011 @ 00:08 GMT
Dear Alan, Eckard and All,

The winning essay of this contest concludes that nature is digital (discrete).

And now, I wonder following;

Isnt the photon the Nature most elementary particle, and the Light its Gravitational interaction?

Hasnt the nature same fundamentals?. Particles?

I have tried to explore a broad area in physical science in different aspect and...

view entire post


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Bashir Yusuf wrote on Jul. 5, 2011 @ 00:15 GMT
Dear Alan, Eckard and All,

The winning essay of this contest concludes that nature is digital (discrete).

And now, I wonder following;

Isnt the photon the Nature most elementary particle, and the Light its Gravitational interaction?

Hasnt the nature same fundamentals?. Particles?

I have tried to explore a broad area in physical science in different aspect and...

view entire post


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Steve Dufourny replied on Jul. 12, 2011 @ 10:26 GMT
Dear Bashir,

Do you like my theory of spherization? lol I see that yes,

Happy to see people who focus on spheres.

QUANTUM SPHERES ....COSMOLOGICAL SPHERES....UNIVERSAL SPHERE.

ps the photon possesses an entanglement and then a number....the volumes take all their meaning and sense, and insert also E=(c²o²s²)m and mvV constant for all physical spheres. I invite you to APS linkedin also, we could discuss there also. I explain some thoughts on this platform also. People are interesting also. Several international rationalists speak about our foundamentals. The net is wonderful.

Regards

Steve

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jul. 5, 2011 @ 16:25 GMT
Gravity and electromagnetism enjoin and balance invisible and visible space in conjunction with:

1) Balanced and equivalent attraction and repulsion.

2) Balanced and equivalent inertia and gravity.

This is the requirement of middle force/energy that is equivalently expressed as/with middle distance in/of space. ALL of this occurs in dream experience.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio replied on Jul. 5, 2011 @ 16:30 GMT
FQXi.org, when are the facts the facts? What is your answer? We're still waiting. If you can explain why my unification is wrong, then do it. You cannot even begin to do this against the weight of evidence that I have proven/provided.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jul. 5, 2011 @ 19:16 GMT
The ultimate understanding of REALITY/physics combines and includes opposites. Dreams combine and include opposites. Is this another one of the NUMEROUS "coincidences" that all lock in place so well as dream experience FQXi.org?

Why ignore the fundamental truth of physics FQXi.org? Answer: Money, grants, power, control, funding, more articles, more "experts", confusion, the exposure of the the math games and folly, the conveyance of authority/credibility to me, error, more physicists, lies and distortions of nature/reality/truth, replacement/removal/denial of reality, etc.

Your credibility FQXi.org is basically destroyed.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jul. 5, 2011 @ 19:38 GMT
Instantaneity and/together with the FUNDAMENTAL equivalency of force/energy with distance in/of space makes GRAVITATIONAL/ELECTROMAGNETIC LIGHT (and it is equally, and both, visible and invisible) a reality in dream experience.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jul. 5, 2011 @ 19:53 GMT
The [theoretical] unification of force/energy with distance in/of space requires instantaneity.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jul. 6, 2011 @ 16:13 GMT
FQXi.org learn how to think. You twist and distort reality, nature, and truth -- alas, you get only more confusion and folly/error. You need to understand the basics. Your approach is largely erroneous, frivolous, and generally unsound/unproductive. I have proven this. Admit it -- but there is the problem -- what are your intentions FQXi.org? What are the intentions of modern physics? I would love to hear the answer to that for starters.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jul. 7, 2011 @ 16:36 GMT
Instantaneity requires that larger and smaller space be combined, balanced, and included.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jul. 7, 2011 @ 16:43 GMT
Fundamentally and truly uniform gravitational/electromagnetic force/energy ("field") requires balanced and equivalent attraction and repulsion and equivalent and balanced inertia and gravity. This includes instantaneity and is quantum gravitational. Opposites must be combined, balanced, and included.

Instantaneity requires that larger and smaller space be combined, balanced, and included.

Dream experience is all of this.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jul. 7, 2011 @ 16:57 GMT
FQXi.org -- you need to make a decision.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jul. 7, 2011 @ 17:38 GMT
FQXi.org -- so much truth contrary to your interests. What should you do? Keep lying?

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Anonymous wrote on Jul. 7, 2011 @ 17:57 GMT
I guess I'll have to hope evidence to show the universe is far older than current cosmology allows rises from current studies and telescopes:

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/science#

US Congress pulls the plug on James Webb Space Telescope

07 July 2011

A draft spending bill from the US House of Representatives has terminated funding for the replacement to Hubble, the James Webb Space Telescope.

The appropriations panel which oversees Nasa's budget has cut the funding for the US space programme by $1.6 billion to $16.8 billion, nearly two billion dollars less than requested by President Barack Obama in his 2012 budget request for Nasa.

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Tommy Gilbertson wrote on Jul. 8, 2011 @ 05:17 GMT
Wow: still here sitting back and trying to absorb this Threadology. It meanders quite interestingly from shrill ejaculations to insightful input. Like it was written by a genius with a mental illness, but with a heart of Gold...

Anyway, hello fqxi hello Scientific American. I'm looking for a job now. Maybe web Development? Or a little writing? Consulting? Don't make me look for another technician job (I've had 2 now since 2002), and waste away some more of my relative youth for the love of money. My advisor could have grabbed me by the collar and shook me when I graduated in 2002 and said, " the only way to make money with a physics degree is to stay in academics, get an even higher degree, and stay in that world. or you'll be doomed to practice some subset of Physics by being a technician forever..." So all you undergraduates out there, take heed to this wisdom, which wasn't shared vehemently enough with me.

As a demonstration of my web-erly Kung Fu, search my full name in a google search. Third relevant hit is this thread, right here [well, JB's actually]. It ain't another coincidence, you know. (Won't last, now it's said out loud!)

And as an individual, with no relation to my job experience, in addition to my normal duties in a new position, I offer for purchase any kind of battery whatsoever, any kind of auto part, any kind of translator, backpack, software, tools, oils, rfid-blocking apparel; all at the lowest prices on Earth and free shipping. Even cheaper than from the sites themselves!

All of these extra skills were acquired and developed in response to, and in retaliation for, the horribly abysmal performance of my essay in this contest. And all are consequences of said horrible essay. There I feel better now it's said. So keep up the non-recognition, and I'll keep on developing consequences. Wish someone would stop me: it's inevitable, if current trending continues, that the site will eventually offer absolutely everthing useful at absolutely the lowest prices. Quick, hire me before I collapse the world monetary system. It' sgoing to happen relatively soon, I'll wager, anyway. But why let me accellerate this process for all the wrong reasons?

Quantum Auto Parts

Traveller's Companion

P.S. Look forward to checking out the video of the winners...

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jul. 8, 2011 @ 15:55 GMT
Instantaneity requires extremes of size/distance -- as balance and completeness (incl. extensiveness) go hand-in-hand -- indeed, the ultimate understanding of physics combines and includes opposites -- this means combine and include larger and smaller space.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jul. 8, 2011 @ 16:02 GMT
The physicists here would be much benefitted by improving their ability to think generally and fundamentally. You have to study philosophy and the great thinkers. You cannot just study physics if you intend to contribute fundamentally, significantly, and meaningfully to physics.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jul. 8, 2011 @ 16:15 GMT
The space program is a great failure. Technology has proven itself to be, fundamentally, generally, and significantly, a destructive power. As Aldous Huxley said: "Technology is a faster way of going backwards." There is no escape from reality/natural experience. We can outsmart reality in fact; but we can also destroy ourselves. We already are. Many of you on here are, more than you would like to think, brainwashed. Also, very great thinking ability is very rare. Another fact.

I lead the true unification of physics. Admit it FQXi.org.

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jul. 13, 2011 @ 16:51 GMT
Dreams link our center of body ORIGINATION with our full experience (WAKING) by fundamentally demonstrating both force/energy and the laws of physics in keeping with HALF force/strength inertia and gravity and the MIDDLE distance in/of space. I proved this in great and clear detail.

FQXi.org -- action!

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Anonymous wrote on Jul. 16, 2011 @ 06:30 GMT
Given the interest of FQXi in this topic, it is strange that they don't discuss this hot experiment which seems to prove that there are no grains of spacetime, down to the scale of 10-12 of the Plank length:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128204.200-di
stant-light-hints-at-size-of-spacetime-grains.html


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Alan Lowey replied on Jul. 16, 2011 @ 09:39 GMT
Thanks for sharing, that was an interesting read. It shows just how ludicrous the current state of affairs is imo. Modern physics can't even account for the flyby anomaly, which must be the biggest and most experimentally obvious contradiction to the standard model there is! How can spacecraft gain energy from a flyby of the Earth I hear you ask. Well, here's my explanation:

The NEAR spacecraft must have a higher percentage of ferrous metals compared to the others to give the greatest increase in energy w.r.t. distance above the surface of the flyby. A supermagnetic effect must be emitted from the Earth which is affecting the craft as they traverse the plane of rotation imo. The explanation for this is from solid metastable metallic hydrogen deposited by comets. More comets were deposited over time along the equatorial regions due to the effect of the Moon. Metallic hydrogen is a state of hydrogen which results when it is sufficiently compressed and undergoes a phase transition; it is an example of degenerate matter. Solid metallic hydrogen is predicted to consist of a crystal lattice of hydrogen nuclei (namely, protons), with a spacing which is significantly smaller than the Bohr radius.

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John Merryman replied on Jul. 16, 2011 @ 14:54 GMT
Anon,

I did post the Physorg article on this, further up the thread, June 30, but is seems the moderators have been on summer break.

It's good to see New Scientist giving it some attention, as I suppose various theorists are getting a case of whiplash from it, likely including some of the judges of the recent contest.

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Georgina Parry replied on Jul. 20, 2011 @ 22:24 GMT
Ray, Thanks for explaining that.

I did start out thinking time must be multidimensional but have moved away from that. I also used to think that the imaginary time line had to be a scalar spatial dimension of the Object Universe. However it can't be because what lies along it does not exist except at uni-temporal Now.

Why extra time dimensions? How have you found them useful? Can extra time dimensions work to explain -more- than just 1 space-time time dimension as is currently and an imaginary time line (not geometric dimension) of sequences of unobserved arrangements of matter and particles within timeless space? Or are they necessary because you are working with a model TOE which has 12 dimensions and that itself complicates time? Could it be that you trying to incorporate the unobserved quantum space into space-time and so the imaginary historical time line and the geometric time dimension need to both be there conflicting with each other? I just would like to understand your preference for complicated and mysterious.

(PS I am not deliberately ignoring the article you linked, but you grabbed my attention by saying time is mysterious.)

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Wilhelmus de Wilde wrote on Jul. 16, 2011 @ 14:53 GMT
I read the article in the NEW SCIENTIST, that the "grain scale" of space time is smaller as the Planck Length is of course possible, and the strange thing is that we OBSERVED this length, which means that an interaction on the scale of the grains gave a reaction in our scale, does this mean that non causality (the limit where we can no longer measure anything) is changed also ? In my opinion not because these grains need not to be causal, so interfere with each other in our time scale, we are entering here the field of string theory because they pose that strings are appearing after the planck length (10^33cm) .

keep on thinking free

Wilhelmus

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Alan Lowey replied on Jul. 17, 2011 @ 11:11 GMT
The spacing is significantly less than the Bohr radius in crystal solid metallic hydrogen. A graviton model can lead to the concept of 'supermagnetism', which can explain dark matter, gravity anomalies etc. Okay, I'm talking to myself, I know

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Alan Lowey replied on Jul. 17, 2011 @ 11:14 GMT
I meant to mention that the spacing is more comparable with the de Broglie wavelength of the electron.

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Georgina Parry replied on Jul. 20, 2011 @ 03:37 GMT
Ray why is it mysterious? Yes positions in space-time have spatial and temporal component. That is one kind of time. Whether something is in the experienced present of an observer or former present(now past) or predicted future is due to experiencing the universe with a temporal dimension incorporated due to the way in which observation occurs through receipt of sensory data. That structural...

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John Merryman wrote on Jul. 21, 2011 @ 02:40 GMT
Ray,

I have to admit that I strongly suspect the veracity of current cosmology. Not only does it have an increasingly ad hoc nature, with the various patches added over the years to bring it in accordance with observation, but the are increasing numbers of holes which haven't been patched. One of which is that pulsars in apparently sizable galaxies have been discovered 13.2 billion light years out.

Whether or not there are acceptable alternatives, the current model really should be put back in the speculative category. Even Paul Steinhardt, in a cover story in SciAm, is questioning Inflation.

Not trying to start a debate over it, as I realize so many theorists have incorporated it into their models, but if I was one who has, I might consider preparing for a potential earthquake.

My dig at the shut up and calculate philosophy was aimed at Tom.

To join in on your conversation with Georgina about the nature of dimensionality, I have reservations about describing space as three dimensional, since three dimensions really are just the most reductionistic coordinate system possible. As you say, buried under the real numbers are the complex numbers, so it might make more sense if we were to consider space as infinitely dimensional in the first place and the real numbers are only the distillation of this whole.

It seems to me the complex geometry boils down to incorporating different fields/frames/coordinate systems into a larger structure. Yet it would make more sense if we view the process from the opposite direction. Rather than seeing it as building reality up from the math/geometric coordinate systems, we are in fact distilling these coordinate systems out of the complex reality.

Thus these multidimensional framing devices don't imply multiple realities, but clarify the fact that our own reality can only be subjectively perceived.

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Dr. Cosmic Ray replied on Jul. 21, 2011 @ 13:40 GMT
Dear John,

I'm not offended by anyone questioning anything (such as the Big Bang or Inflation). It really shouldn't be dogma unless you witnessed it yourself. We are simply trying to piece together fragments of a puzzle - a new puzzle piece may overthrow everything we think we know [consider that the cosmic background radiation overthrew the steady state model of the Universe].

I think that many physicists have not taken Laurent Nottale seriously, but he has been working on Scale Relativity for decades. I have been trying to mesh scale relativity into cosmology and a TOE. General Relativity predicts the Big Bang and the Black Hole core to be 'infinite singularities', but we live in a finite Observable Universe, so SOMETHING doesn't quite jibe. However, I see possibilities for scale relativity and/or quantum gravity to correct these 'errors'.

I still like Inflation because phase transitions fit perfectly with scale invariance, but an 'infinite' Big Bang should have produced an 'infinite' Multiverse.

You did not invent "Shut up and calculate!" That expression probably originated with Feynman or Mermin (about Feynman). If the math simply represents the physics, then we need not look for philosophy in our equations, and should simply calculate the results. This is a common paradigm within the physics community. But I think that some of this math IS MORE than 'just' math as my prior post explains.

Have Fun!

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John Merryman replied on Jul. 21, 2011 @ 18:40 GMT
Ray,

I realize it is all "more than just math." The question is one of interpreting what the math is saying. The math is like a machine which provides organizational structure to complex problems. If, for instance, it says reality branches out into multiple versions with every quantum indeterminacy, do we always assume the result must reflect some deeper aspect of reality, or do we also...

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Dr. Cosmic Ray replied on Jul. 21, 2011 @ 19:27 GMT
Dear John,

It is a complex puzzle, but you seem to have a grip on which questions to ask, and the relative importance of physics vs. philosophy vs. math. You should study Scale Relativity and its relation to fractals.

Have Fun!

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T H Ray wrote on Jul. 21, 2011 @ 14:06 GMT
John,

What he said.

Tom

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John Merryman replied on Jul. 22, 2011 @ 03:34 GMT
Tom,

Ray might well think I'm just a crazy fool, but he is willing to humor me by taking some consideration of what I say. It opens up new thought processes for me, possibly even gives him something to think about. You, on the other hand, are like a backboard. Good practice, but extremely predicable.

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T H Ray replied on Jul. 22, 2011 @ 12:50 GMT
Unfortunately, you ignore what that predictability should tell you. As when my nephew was teaching me to play golf -- "You take these practice swings that are wrong, then hit the ball as if you expect your shot will work out even though you keep doing those same wrong things."

Tom

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John Merryman replied on Jul. 22, 2011 @ 12:58 GMT
Tom,

What irony. I was thinking exactly the same thing. Multiworlds is a good example. Effectively it's like buying a ticket on every horse in the race and claiming you've picked the winner. It doesn't resolve how the reality does pick the events, just claims they all happen. What is the problem? The theorists keep running the equations and coming to the same conclusion. Does that prove there must be multiworlds, or does it mean they keep repeating the same mistakes?

As for my ideas, you keep insisting they are wrong, but can't seem to explain why.

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sridattadev wrote on Jul. 22, 2011 @ 19:30 GMT
Dear All,

The absolute mathematical truth of zero = i = infinity can be deduced as follows.

If 0 x 0 = 0 is true, then 0 / 0 = 0 is also true

If 0 x 1 = 0 is true, then 0 / 0 = 1 is also true

If 0 x 2 = 0 is true, then 0 / 0 = 2 is also true

If 0 x i = 0 is true, then 0 / 0 = i is also true

If 0 x ~ = 0 is true, then 0 / 0 = ~ is also true

It seems that mathematics, the universal language, is also pointing to the absolute truth that 0 = 1 = 2 = i = ~, where "i" can be any number from zero to infinity. We have been looking at only first half of the if true statements in the relative world. As we can see it is not complete with out the then true statements whic are equally true. As all numbers are equal mathematically, so is all creation equal "absolutely".

This proves that 0 = i = ~ or in words "absolutely" nothing = "relatively" everything or everything is absolutely equal. Singularity is not only relative infinity but also absolute equality. There is only one singularity or infinity in the relativistic universe and there is only singularity or equality in the absolute universe and we are all in it.

Love,

Sridattadev.

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Jul. 23, 2011 @ 20:48 GMT
It's good to remember that these conversations are not occurring in a vacuum. Vast sums are being spent to prove some of us right, some of us wrong.

For example, the latest bump in the data at LHC is claimed to represent an 8% chance that they have found the Higgs, and the claim is that they will definitely know by October. My theory predicts no Higgs, so I predict by November this will disappear, just as did the Tevatron bump that was recently hailed as a possible Higgs but was not seen at other colliders.

As for SUSY, my theory also predicts no super-symmetry -- an ingredient needed by most other theories today. The LHC reports:

"Perhaps the most troubling finding of the LHC so far is that supersymmetric particles [arising from new quantum dimensions of space-time] have not been seen."

In addition, new quantum mechanical measurements support my arguments for a "particle AND wave" basis of reality versus the current "particle OR wave" interpretation. The reported 'de Broglie-Bohm'-like trajectories match my predictions, which were rejected by others in these columns.

As others have pointed out, the new 'Integral' polarization results yield a 'graininess' at least 13 orders of magnitude finer than the Planck length, probably consigning 'quantum loop' theories of gravity to the junk heap.

These are interesting times. An LHC spokeman claims "within the next year we will have, one way or another, a completely different view of nature."

For all the focus on "Fundamental Questions", it is interesting to see how many essays actually predict anything. FQXi's 'audit trail' spans several years in which major changes are occurring in physics and records predictions based on these theories. I hope others who actually predict the future take advantage of this forum to remind us of ongoing experimental reality, versus the "you don't agree with my definition, so you're wrong" conversations that occupy so much time here.

Real theories have been proposed here, with real analyses of current anomalies, and with real predictions about the nature of reality. From SUSY, to quantum wave-functions, to QED anomalies, to gravito-magnetism, my predictions are coming true. I continue to be grateful that FQXi supports a platform where non-establishment-approved theories can be presented, debated, and judged by the community.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Ray Munroe replied on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 00:43 GMT
Hi Edwin,

I have been following these exotic 'near-discoveries' and 'non-discoveries' at the viXra log, and at Lubos Motl's blog. It is quite annoying that one group will produce a plot that might represent the 'near-discovery' of a Higgs (Standard Model or SUSY) or a Stop Squark, and then all other data works against it. The early versions of some of the latest Higgs search plots had a larger signal deficit at 340-350 GeV than had a signal surplus anywhere. Does that indicate new physics related to a SUSY Higgs [Lubos proposed a negative Higgs contribution. I proposed negative interference between a SUSY Heavy Higgs and a SUSY Pseudoscalar Higgs in the same mass range(at the least, these different Higgs would have different Parity properties)] and/or the Top quark (Tony Smith proposes a Goldstone/Higgs-like condensate of top-top-bar quarks and this mass range is twice the top mass)? But then a 3 sigma deficit disappeared in later graphs...

I recall something similar with possible Light Stop Squark signals, and with possible leptophobic Z' signals in the last few months. It is quite frustrating.

It appears that most of SUSY has been forced into the TeV mass range (this is not necessarily a problem - 'New' Physics has generally been called TeV Physics for decades), and we might not have a highly constrained SUSY model (also not necessarily a problem - we know that we are dealing with broken symmetries). IMHO, SUSY's best chance of 'discovery' in these lower energy regions depends on the discovery of multiple Higgs, or a lightweight Stop Squark.

Even the lack of new discoveries (how do we explain mass without Higgs, how do we explain Weak-scale stability without SUSY?) implies new physics. Perhaps we will soon exclude many of the competing theories.

Have Fun!

Ray

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Jul. 24, 2011 @ 03:50 GMT
Ray,

Not really surprising that many want to 'jump the gun'. If they can later say "we found it first" I guess that outweighs the possibility of having to say "false alarm".

I really can't argue with SUSY in some future energy range. That's always an out. If it takes infinite energy to dispute SUSY, then I guess there will always be a SUSY!

The point I've made over and over...

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