If you are aware of an interesting new academic paper (that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or has appeared on the arXiv), a conference talk (at an official professional scientific meeting), an external blog post (by a professional scientist) or a news item (in the mainstream news media), which you think might make an interesting topic for an FQXi blog post, then please contact us at forums@fqxi.org with a link to the original source and a sentence about why you think that the work is worthy of discussion. Please note that we receive many such suggestions and while we endeavour to respond to them, we may not be able to reply to all suggestions.

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

Contests Home

Previous Contests

**What Is “Fundamental”**

*October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018*

*Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation*

read/discuss • winners

**Wandering Towards a Goal**

How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?

*December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017*

Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.

read/discuss • winners

**Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics**

*Contest Partners: Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and The John Templeton Foundation*

Media Partner: Scientific American

read/discuss • winners

**How Should Humanity Steer the Future?**

*January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014*

*Contest Partners: Jaan Tallinn, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American*

read/discuss • winners

**It From Bit or Bit From It**

*March 25 - June 28, 2013*

*Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American*

read/discuss • winners

**Questioning the Foundations**

Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?

*May 24 - August 31, 2012*

*Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, SubMeta, and Scientific American*

read/discuss • winners

**Is Reality Digital or Analog?**

*November 2010 - February 2011*

*Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American*

read/discuss • winners

**What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?**

*May - October 2009*

*Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams*

read/discuss • winners

**The Nature of Time**

*August - December 2008*

read/discuss • winners

Previous Contests

read/discuss • winners

How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?

Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.

read/discuss • winners

Media Partner: Scientific American

read/discuss • winners

read/discuss • winners

read/discuss • winners

Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?

read/discuss • winners

read/discuss • winners

read/discuss • winners

read/discuss • winners

Forum Home

Introduction

Terms of Use

RSS feed | RSS help

Introduction

Terms of Use

*Posts by the author are highlighted in orange; posts by FQXi Members are highlighted in blue.*

RSS feed | RSS help

RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

**Vladimir Rogozhin**: *on* 10/7/12 at 10:57am UTC, wrote Dear Edward! Sorry could not read your essay before, during rating. 1....

**Benjamin Dribus**: *on* 10/5/12 at 2:53am UTC, wrote Dear Edward, You’ve written an excellent essay, in my opinion. I agree...

**Sergey Fedosin**: *on* 10/4/12 at 8:05am UTC, wrote If you do not understand why your rating dropped down. As I found ratings...

**Sergey Fedosin**: *on* 10/2/12 at 17:05pm UTC, wrote After studying about 250 essays in this contest, I realize now, how can I...

**Vladimir Tamari**: *on* 9/29/12 at 9:49am UTC, wrote Hello. This is group message to you and the writers of some 80 contest ...

**Vladimir Tamari**: *on* 9/29/12 at 9:47am UTC, wrote Dear Edward, Apology for the late reply I just saw your comment. In...

**Sergey Fedosin**: *on* 9/27/12 at 18:04pm UTC, wrote Dear Edward, In the Theory of Infinite Nesting of Matter (my essay) there...

**Hoang Hai**: *on* 9/26/12 at 3:42am UTC, wrote Dear Edward J. Gillis Very interesting to see your essay. Perhaps all of...

RECENT FORUM POSTS

**Joe Fisher**: "Dear Dr. Kuhn, Today’s Closer To Truth Facebook page contained this..."
*in* Can Time Be Saved From...

**Jorma Seppaenen**: "Dear Georgina, I think you are perfectly right about the estimate of age..."
*in* Why Time Might Not Be an...

**Joe Fisher**: "Dear Dr. Kuhn, Today’s Closer To Truth Facebook page contained this..."
*in* Can Time Be Saved From...

**Georgina Woodward**: "Yes. The estimate of age of the visible universe, and age of stars, other..."
*in* Why Time Might Not Be an...

**akash hasan**: "Some students have an interest in researching and space exploration. I..."
*in* Announcing Physics of the...

**Michael Jordan**: "Excellent site. Plenty of helpful information here. I am sending it to some..."
*in* Review of "Foundations of...

**Anonymous**: "Excellent site. Plenty of helpful information here. I am sending it to some..."
*in* Constructing a Theory of...

**Robert McEachern**: ""all experiments have pointed towards this and there is no way to avoid..."
*in* Review of "Foundations of...

RECENT ARTICLES

*click titles to read articles*

**Can Time Be Saved From Physics?**

Philosophers, physicists and neuroscientists discuss how our sense of time’s flow might arise through our interactions with external stimuli—despite suggestions from Einstein's relativity that our perception of the passage of time is an illusion.

**Thermo-Demonics**

A devilish new framework of thermodynamics that focuses on how we observe information could help illuminate our understanding of probability and rewrite quantum theory.

**Gravity's Residue**

An unusual approach to unifying the laws of physics could solve Hawking's black-hole information paradox—and its predicted gravitational "memory effect" could be picked up by LIGO.

**Could Mind Forge the Universe?**

Objective reality, and the laws of physics themselves, emerge from our observations, according to a new framework that turns what we think of as fundamental on its head.

**Dissolving Quantum Paradoxes**

The impossibility of building a perfect clock could help explain away microscale weirdness.

RECENT FORUM POSTS

RECENT ARTICLES

Philosophers, physicists and neuroscientists discuss how our sense of time’s flow might arise through our interactions with external stimuli—despite suggestions from Einstein's relativity that our perception of the passage of time is an illusion.

A devilish new framework of thermodynamics that focuses on how we observe information could help illuminate our understanding of probability and rewrite quantum theory.

An unusual approach to unifying the laws of physics could solve Hawking's black-hole information paradox—and its predicted gravitational "memory effect" could be picked up by LIGO.

Objective reality, and the laws of physics themselves, emerge from our observations, according to a new framework that turns what we think of as fundamental on its head.

The impossibility of building a perfect clock could help explain away microscale weirdness.

FQXi FORUM

May 25, 2019

CATEGORY:
Questioning the Foundations Essay Contest (2012)
[back]

TOPIC: Relativity Is Not About Spacetime by Edward J. Gillis [refresh]

TOPIC: Relativity Is Not About Spacetime by Edward J. Gillis [refresh]

Quantum measurement predictions are consistent with relativity for macroscopic observations, but there is no consensus on how to explain this consistency in fundamental terms. The prevailing assumption is that the relativistic structure of spacetime should provide the framework for any microphysical account. This bias is due, in large part, to our intuitions about local causality, the idea that all physical processes propagate through space in a continuous manner. I argue that relativity is not a guarantor of local causality, and is not about ontological features of spacetime. It is, rather, an expression of the observational equivalence of spacetime descriptions of physical processes. This observational equivalence is due to the essentially probabilistic nature of quantum theory.

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Colorado. I have worked as an engineer in the design of sensor systems for automotive applications, (both safety and engine control), and I have done powertrain and thermal modeling.

This is a singularly mature, sensible, well-thought-out, incisive, lucid, informed, original and challenging paper. It should go far.

report post as inappropriate

report post as inappropriate

Dear Edward,

Thank you for an interesting and well written essay. I look forward to following what is virtually certain to be an interesting and lively exchange of ideas between yourself and other readers who are more thoroughly steeped in the subtleties and nuances of relativity and quantum physics than myself. Your topic is indeed a fascinating one.

Good luck in the competition!

jcns

report post as inappropriate

Thank you for an interesting and well written essay. I look forward to following what is virtually certain to be an interesting and lively exchange of ideas between yourself and other readers who are more thoroughly steeped in the subtleties and nuances of relativity and quantum physics than myself. Your topic is indeed a fascinating one.

Good luck in the competition!

jcns

report post as inappropriate

Dear Edward

I found your essay well written and researched, but the only statement I could wholeheartedly and unreservedly agree with in it was "Whether through genetic endowment or constant habituation, nature has equipped us with deep intuitions about how the world works. These intuitions, together with the historical path of discovery, have induced us to grant spacetime geometry a special status." I wish I had you erudition to defend my ideas, but for what they are worth I have concluded that since 1905 this "historical path of discovery" for all its success, consists of a comedy of erroneous assumptions.

They 'work' to describe certain phenomena, but only because of the brilliant way Einstein and Born and others have developed them. Such assumptions as the photon-as-a-point and probability have led us astray from the simple causal local deterministic way that the "world works". I would be happy if you can read my fqxi essay and give your thoughts.

With best wishes, Vladimir

report post as inappropriate

I found your essay well written and researched, but the only statement I could wholeheartedly and unreservedly agree with in it was "Whether through genetic endowment or constant habituation, nature has equipped us with deep intuitions about how the world works. These intuitions, together with the historical path of discovery, have induced us to grant spacetime geometry a special status." I wish I had you erudition to defend my ideas, but for what they are worth I have concluded that since 1905 this "historical path of discovery" for all its success, consists of a comedy of erroneous assumptions.

They 'work' to describe certain phenomena, but only because of the brilliant way Einstein and Born and others have developed them. Such assumptions as the photon-as-a-point and probability have led us astray from the simple causal local deterministic way that the "world works". I would be happy if you can read my fqxi essay and give your thoughts.

With best wishes, Vladimir

report post as inappropriate

Vladimir,

Thank you for your post. I read your paper, and it is well written.

It covers a lot of ground, so I will not try to comment on all of it.

Regarding Q5, on the point particle vs. wave issue, I have not had a chance

to look at Eric Reiter's results, but it would be interesting to see how

the photon (or photon wave) was detected in two places. I assume that it

was a nondestructive detection, since an absorption of a single photon

in two places would violate conservation of energy. Aharonov and his colleagues

have described weak measurement techniques which in some cases can be interpreted

as (more or less) direct observations of the wave function, so some types of

double detections are possible.

Regarding Q6, you say that "the true explanation is that the two photons are in

the same state from beginning to end", but Bell's theorem shows that this

cannot be the case. Maudlin's book (Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity) gives an

excellent presentation of the argument, and there are several simple on-line

descriptions, for example, the Wikipedia entry on the Clauser-Horne-Shimony-Holt

(CHSH) inequality.

Thank you for your post. I read your paper, and it is well written.

It covers a lot of ground, so I will not try to comment on all of it.

Regarding Q5, on the point particle vs. wave issue, I have not had a chance

to look at Eric Reiter's results, but it would be interesting to see how

the photon (or photon wave) was detected in two places. I assume that it

was a nondestructive detection, since an absorption of a single photon

in two places would violate conservation of energy. Aharonov and his colleagues

have described weak measurement techniques which in some cases can be interpreted

as (more or less) direct observations of the wave function, so some types of

double detections are possible.

Regarding Q6, you say that "the true explanation is that the two photons are in

the same state from beginning to end", but Bell's theorem shows that this

cannot be the case. Maudlin's book (Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity) gives an

excellent presentation of the argument, and there are several simple on-line

descriptions, for example, the Wikipedia entry on the Clauser-Horne-Shimony-Holt

(CHSH) inequality.

Dear Edward,

Apology for the late reply I just saw your comment. In Planck's Loading Theory many waves impinge on an atom and it absorbs various portions of energy from each (not whole quanta and not a whole photon at a time). Emission occurs when a threshold is reached. Eric's detecting two events at once from a single quantum of gamma radiation shows that in each detector there was at least one atom almost at the emission threshold. No conservation laws are violated because the remaining energy is quietly absorbed in other atoms but not yet emitted.

Thank you for your comments about my views about Bell's Theorem. I may be wrong, but I think that all discussions of Entanglement and Bell's Theorem , including EPR, accept from the start that a photon's state is probabilistic from the start, not only due to the state of the detector atom.

Best wishes,

Vladimir

report post as inappropriate

Apology for the late reply I just saw your comment. In Planck's Loading Theory many waves impinge on an atom and it absorbs various portions of energy from each (not whole quanta and not a whole photon at a time). Emission occurs when a threshold is reached. Eric's detecting two events at once from a single quantum of gamma radiation shows that in each detector there was at least one atom almost at the emission threshold. No conservation laws are violated because the remaining energy is quietly absorbed in other atoms but not yet emitted.

Thank you for your comments about my views about Bell's Theorem. I may be wrong, but I think that all discussions of Entanglement and Bell's Theorem , including EPR, accept from the start that a photon's state is probabilistic from the start, not only due to the state of the detector atom.

Best wishes,

Vladimir

report post as inappropriate

Edward,

In his SEP article on the Copenhagen Interpretation Jan Faye says this, which I immediately thought of when I read your paper:

"In general, Bohr considered the demands of complementarity in quantum mechanics to be logically on a par with the requirements of relativity in the theory of relativity. He believed that both theories were a result of novel aspects of the observation problem, namely the fact that observation in physics is context-dependent. This again is due to the existence of a maximum velocity of propagation of all actions in the domain of relativity and a minimum of any action in the domain of quantum mechanics. And it is because of these universal limits that it is impossible in the theory of relativity to make an unambiguous separation between time and space without reference to the observer (the context) and impossible in quantum mechanics to make a sharp distinction between the behavior of the object and its interaction with the means of observation (CC, p. 105)."

Just curious as to whether you see it as analogous to your own approach. Incidentally, I was also led to download your longer July 2011 paper from the Arxiv and am chewing on it.

report post as inappropriate

In his SEP article on the Copenhagen Interpretation Jan Faye says this, which I immediately thought of when I read your paper:

"In general, Bohr considered the demands of complementarity in quantum mechanics to be logically on a par with the requirements of relativity in the theory of relativity. He believed that both theories were a result of novel aspects of the observation problem, namely the fact that observation in physics is context-dependent. This again is due to the existence of a maximum velocity of propagation of all actions in the domain of relativity and a minimum of any action in the domain of quantum mechanics. And it is because of these universal limits that it is impossible in the theory of relativity to make an unambiguous separation between time and space without reference to the observer (the context) and impossible in quantum mechanics to make a sharp distinction between the behavior of the object and its interaction with the means of observation (CC, p. 105)."

Just curious as to whether you see it as analogous to your own approach. Incidentally, I was also led to download your longer July 2011 paper from the Arxiv and am chewing on it.

report post as inappropriate

This is an excellent question (and therefore not an easy one to answer).

I would not agree with the analogy that Bohr was trying to draw. Although I am

arguing that we need to adopt a substantially new perspective toward relativity,

Bohr was working in the context of the standard spacetime view of relativity. It

is against this viewpoint that we have to judge his attempts to interpret quantum

theory. The standard view of relativity as a description of spacetime is logically

coherent, even if, ultimately, it cannot be successfully merged with quantum theory.

For all his struggles to do so, I don't think that Bohr succeeded in constructing

a logically coherent interpretation of quantum theory. Although relativity had some

surprising consequences (particularly regarding the nature of time), it is fully

comprehensible (as a classical theory). We cannot make an unambiguous separation

between time and space, but we understand fully why this is so.

In interpreting Bohr's views it is important to keep in mind that he was

writing before Bell demonstrated the radically nonlocal nature of what occurs

during some quantum measurements. Clearly, In the wake of the EPR paper, and in

formulating his reply to it, Bohr had some rough idea of the challenge posed by

nonlocality, and Faye makes the point that Bohr appears to have seriously changed

his interpretation of the quantum formalism in response to the challenge. But it

does not appear that he fully grasped the need to explain the nonlocal correlations

that Bell (later) clearly identified.

As I said, this is a very good question, and it probably will require

more discussion.

I would not agree with the analogy that Bohr was trying to draw. Although I am

arguing that we need to adopt a substantially new perspective toward relativity,

Bohr was working in the context of the standard spacetime view of relativity. It

is against this viewpoint that we have to judge his attempts to interpret quantum

theory. The standard view of relativity as a description of spacetime is logically

coherent, even if, ultimately, it cannot be successfully merged with quantum theory.

For all his struggles to do so, I don't think that Bohr succeeded in constructing

a logically coherent interpretation of quantum theory. Although relativity had some

surprising consequences (particularly regarding the nature of time), it is fully

comprehensible (as a classical theory). We cannot make an unambiguous separation

between time and space, but we understand fully why this is so.

In interpreting Bohr's views it is important to keep in mind that he was

writing before Bell demonstrated the radically nonlocal nature of what occurs

during some quantum measurements. Clearly, In the wake of the EPR paper, and in

formulating his reply to it, Bohr had some rough idea of the challenge posed by

nonlocality, and Faye makes the point that Bohr appears to have seriously changed

his interpretation of the quantum formalism in response to the challenge. But it

does not appear that he fully grasped the need to explain the nonlocal correlations

that Bell (later) clearly identified.

As I said, this is a very good question, and it probably will require

more discussion.

"But it does not appear that he fully grasped the need to explain the nonlocal correlations that Bell (later) clearly identified."

No he did not. Bell, however, did. In his last paper (1991) he scoffs at reconciliatory attitudes towards quantum non-locality and points to a GRW type resolution of the quantum measurement problem.

In my view, however, the resolution of quantum non-locality comes from identifying the error Bell made in the very first equation of his famous paper. You can find a full discussion of Bell's error in my book, and a one-page refutation of his theorem in the attached paper.

Good luck with the essay contest.

Joy Christian

attachments: 17_disproof.pdf

report post as inappropriate

No he did not. Bell, however, did. In his last paper (1991) he scoffs at reconciliatory attitudes towards quantum non-locality and points to a GRW type resolution of the quantum measurement problem.

In my view, however, the resolution of quantum non-locality comes from identifying the error Bell made in the very first equation of his famous paper. You can find a full discussion of Bell's error in my book, and a one-page refutation of his theorem in the attached paper.

Good luck with the essay contest.

Joy Christian

attachments: 17_disproof.pdf

report post as inappropriate

Joy.

I have looked at your paper, and at Richard Gill's refutation. I have also downloaded your rebuttal of Gill. It will take a while to go through all of the arguments.

In the meantime, I have constructed a somewhat pedantic, but pretty explicit derivation of the Clauser-Horne-Shimony-Holt version of Bell's inequality. This is the core of Bell's theorem. Could you...

view entire post

I have looked at your paper, and at Richard Gill's refutation. I have also downloaded your rebuttal of Gill. It will take a while to go through all of the arguments.

In the meantime, I have constructed a somewhat pedantic, but pretty explicit derivation of the Clauser-Horne-Shimony-Holt version of Bell's inequality. This is the core of Bell's theorem. Could you...

view entire post

Hi Edward,

this is an interesting and nicely written essay. I have the following thought for you: when one takes the different physical scales involved, things may look different. Example: I can make an apparatus where when I press a switch, an impulse is sent down two signalling paths that have been very carefully manufactured to be identical in length, to reach identical activators, say 5cm apart, that each send out a laser pulse when they receive the signal. These pulses will be emitted simultaneously if the signalling paths are equal to sufficient accuracy. From the micro-viewpoint this will look acausal (light is emitted simultaneously from spacelike separated objects), but from a macro viewpoint there is no problem; it is the macro structure that has enabled the simultaneity at the microlevel (and that chain of causation can off course be traced at the micro level). This is an example of the interscale effects that can occur in quantum physics: from the Copenhagen view you just regard the macro apparatus as a single entity whose internal workings are of no concern, and then macro apparatuses can reach down in an a-casual way to the micro level.

Overall the comment is that any physical description has averaging scales associated with it. The interscale interactions resulting can be interesting.

George Ellis

report post as inappropriate

this is an interesting and nicely written essay. I have the following thought for you: when one takes the different physical scales involved, things may look different. Example: I can make an apparatus where when I press a switch, an impulse is sent down two signalling paths that have been very carefully manufactured to be identical in length, to reach identical activators, say 5cm apart, that each send out a laser pulse when they receive the signal. These pulses will be emitted simultaneously if the signalling paths are equal to sufficient accuracy. From the micro-viewpoint this will look acausal (light is emitted simultaneously from spacelike separated objects), but from a macro viewpoint there is no problem; it is the macro structure that has enabled the simultaneity at the microlevel (and that chain of causation can off course be traced at the micro level). This is an example of the interscale effects that can occur in quantum physics: from the Copenhagen view you just regard the macro apparatus as a single entity whose internal workings are of no concern, and then macro apparatuses can reach down in an a-casual way to the micro level.

Overall the comment is that any physical description has averaging scales associated with it. The interscale interactions resulting can be interesting.

George Ellis

report post as inappropriate

Professor Ellis:

Thank you for your interest.I have long admired your work in cosmology and your willingness to deal with controversial scientific issues. Your work outside academia is truly laudable.

Your essay on top-down causation is interesting and insightful. You present a very nice explanation of how causation on different levels operates by defining constraints.

I would agree with your overall comment that "any physical description has averaging scales associated with it", and that the interscale interactions are interesting. But I think that it is important to be able to explain, at least in principle, how these interactions work. My problem with the Copenhagen Interpretation (C.I.) is that it says that we really cannot analyze what happens across the micro-macro interface. Your example of the two simultaneously firing lasers illustrates this nicely. It is clearly causal on a macroscopic scale, and it is true that at least some versions of C.I. would treat the apparatus as a single "black box",so that the precise operation on a micro level might be viewed as acausal. However, as you point out, the chain of causation can be traced at the micro level. So we can construct a locally deterministic account of the process in which all influences propagate within the light cone. There is no genuine superluminal or acausal influence in this case, even if some versions of C.I. suggest this.

In contrast, Bell-EPR correlations indicate that, in certain situations,

there are real superluminal effects. To explain these on a micro level we need to revamp our understanding of spacetime structure to allow for these nonlocal

processes. I believe that we can do this and still preserve the relativistic

description of spacetime because of the symmetric character of the probabilistic law governing these processes [ P(A|B) = P(B|A) ].

Ed

Thank you for your interest.I have long admired your work in cosmology and your willingness to deal with controversial scientific issues. Your work outside academia is truly laudable.

Your essay on top-down causation is interesting and insightful. You present a very nice explanation of how causation on different levels operates by defining constraints.

I would agree with your overall comment that "any physical description has averaging scales associated with it", and that the interscale interactions are interesting. But I think that it is important to be able to explain, at least in principle, how these interactions work. My problem with the Copenhagen Interpretation (C.I.) is that it says that we really cannot analyze what happens across the micro-macro interface. Your example of the two simultaneously firing lasers illustrates this nicely. It is clearly causal on a macroscopic scale, and it is true that at least some versions of C.I. would treat the apparatus as a single "black box",so that the precise operation on a micro level might be viewed as acausal. However, as you point out, the chain of causation can be traced at the micro level. So we can construct a locally deterministic account of the process in which all influences propagate within the light cone. There is no genuine superluminal or acausal influence in this case, even if some versions of C.I. suggest this.

In contrast, Bell-EPR correlations indicate that, in certain situations,

there are real superluminal effects. To explain these on a micro level we need to revamp our understanding of spacetime structure to allow for these nonlocal

processes. I believe that we can do this and still preserve the relativistic

description of spacetime because of the symmetric character of the probabilistic law governing these processes [ P(A|B) = P(B|A) ].

Ed

Dear Edward Gillis,

A well written essay. I think you are correct that both space-time, relativity and non deterministic physics have to be accepted. How they can co-exist without contradiction has been an interest of mine for a long time. I agree with Vladimir Tamari in particularly liking your conclusion.

Good luck in the competition.

report post as inappropriate

A well written essay. I think you are correct that both space-time, relativity and non deterministic physics have to be accepted. How they can co-exist without contradiction has been an interest of mine for a long time. I agree with Vladimir Tamari in particularly liking your conclusion.

Good luck in the competition.

report post as inappropriate

Edward,

"But, in order to make current theory logically coherent, we need to realize that relativity is rooted as much in the indeterminism that characterizes quantum theory as in the structure of space and time."

Do time and space both have a role in relativity's indeterminism and are causal relationships dubious or non-existent as time passes?

I'm somewhat confused.

Jim

report post as inappropriate

"But, in order to make current theory logically coherent, we need to realize that relativity is rooted as much in the indeterminism that characterizes quantum theory as in the structure of space and time."

Do time and space both have a role in relativity's indeterminism and are causal relationships dubious or non-existent as time passes?

I'm somewhat confused.

Jim

report post as inappropriate

Jim,

Thanks for your question. I believe that we should look at space as a 3 dimensional manifold that evolves in time. This would disrupt the (partial) unification of space and time that is achieved in conventional views of relativity, but it makes it possible to understand what happens in quantum measurements. Bell's work and subsequent analysis have shown that the effects of measurements are both nonlocal (superluminal), and nondeterministic. These are extremely difficult to fit within a conventional 4-dimensional relativistic spacetime. Fortunately the form of indeterminsism that occurs is regulated by a special probability rule (the Born Rule). This rule has the special property that it is symmetric with respect to possible outcomes of measurements. So if 2 spacelike-separated measurements are made on an entangled system, the probability of a B outcome of measurement 2, given that an A outcome of measurement 1 has already occurred, is equal to the probability of an A outcome of measurement 1, given that a B outcome of measurement 2 has already occurred. This means that there is no way to determine which of the 2 measurements occurred first. So the relativistic description of spacetime which allows us to sequence spacelike separated events in either order remains consistent with all physical observations. It is the special form of indeterminism that insures this consistency.

Ed

Thanks for your question. I believe that we should look at space as a 3 dimensional manifold that evolves in time. This would disrupt the (partial) unification of space and time that is achieved in conventional views of relativity, but it makes it possible to understand what happens in quantum measurements. Bell's work and subsequent analysis have shown that the effects of measurements are both nonlocal (superluminal), and nondeterministic. These are extremely difficult to fit within a conventional 4-dimensional relativistic spacetime. Fortunately the form of indeterminsism that occurs is regulated by a special probability rule (the Born Rule). This rule has the special property that it is symmetric with respect to possible outcomes of measurements. So if 2 spacelike-separated measurements are made on an entangled system, the probability of a B outcome of measurement 2, given that an A outcome of measurement 1 has already occurred, is equal to the probability of an A outcome of measurement 1, given that a B outcome of measurement 2 has already occurred. This means that there is no way to determine which of the 2 measurements occurred first. So the relativistic description of spacetime which allows us to sequence spacelike separated events in either order remains consistent with all physical observations. It is the special form of indeterminism that insures this consistency.

Ed

Ed,

"I argue that relativity is not a guarantor of local causality, and is not about ontological features of spacetime." What impact would this have on my belief that the forces of gravitation might be cancelled, at least by advanced civilizations? Are message carriers like the graviton and the embedded anti-graviton -- assuming they exist -- possibly discontinuous?

Jim

report post as inappropriate

"I argue that relativity is not a guarantor of local causality, and is not about ontological features of spacetime." What impact would this have on my belief that the forces of gravitation might be cancelled, at least by advanced civilizations? Are message carriers like the graviton and the embedded anti-graviton -- assuming they exist -- possibly discontinuous?

Jim

report post as inappropriate

Jim,

I don't think that what I am saying has any direct implications one way

or the other concerning possible ant-gravity effects. There was a very nice

paper by Scott Menary posted on the physics archive this past week,

explaining why we are fairly sure that there are no anti-gravity effects:

http://arxiv.org/abs/1207.7358.

Concerning "messenger" particles: they generally have to propagate in a

continuous manner.

Ed

I don't think that what I am saying has any direct implications one way

or the other concerning possible ant-gravity effects. There was a very nice

paper by Scott Menary posted on the physics archive this past week,

explaining why we are fairly sure that there are no anti-gravity effects:

http://arxiv.org/abs/1207.7358.

Concerning "messenger" particles: they generally have to propagate in a

continuous manner.

Ed

Your paper makes a salient point. I will be posting an essay here in the near future which touches on this problem. I think the question that needs to be raised is how fundamental is locality. Quantum mechanics has a representation according to configuration variables in spacetime, or the momentum conjugate, but quantum state are fundamentally independent of such representations. Quantum wave equations are partial differential equations which define an oscillator at every point on a spatial manifold. Locality is “imposed” by assigning equal time commutators on this spatial slice. However, the wave equation is defined according to partial derivatives with time ∂_t which is a local time direction determined by the frame of an observer. If we were to quantize spacetime itself there would be no manner in which a Born rule exists in general. The reason is that light cones near the Planck scale become indistinct. A propagator of quantized spacetime according to standard QFT propagates this on spacetime, which runs into trouble.

I think then that spacetime is emergent from nonlocal or noncommutative geometry on a deeper level. In the reasoning of noncommutative geometry, geometry is replaced with groups. Underneath spacetime I think exists a quantized system of nonlocal amplitudes. At lower energy with the emergence of spacetime this enforces the Born rule for quantum waves at this larger scale.

report post as inappropriate

I think then that spacetime is emergent from nonlocal or noncommutative geometry on a deeper level. In the reasoning of noncommutative geometry, geometry is replaced with groups. Underneath spacetime I think exists a quantized system of nonlocal amplitudes. At lower energy with the emergence of spacetime this enforces the Born rule for quantum waves at this larger scale.

report post as inappropriate

Lawrence,

I look forward to reading your paper. What you say about the Born

rule is interesting. I would agree that the rule applies at the level of

macroscopic observations, and that it should be explainable in terms of more

fundamental processes. One key feature of it, however, is its symmetry: the

probability of A, given a B outcome is equal to the probability of B, given

an A outcome. I believe that this symmetry at a macroscopic level probably

stems from some more fundamental symmetry principle.

The possibility that spacetime is emergent is interesting to

consider. I have not really addressed it here, other than to speculate that

the partial unification of space and time that is achieved in relativity is

dependent on the probabilistic nature of quantum theory.

Ed

I look forward to reading your paper. What you say about the Born

rule is interesting. I would agree that the rule applies at the level of

macroscopic observations, and that it should be explainable in terms of more

fundamental processes. One key feature of it, however, is its symmetry: the

probability of A, given a B outcome is equal to the probability of B, given

an A outcome. I believe that this symmetry at a macroscopic level probably

stems from some more fundamental symmetry principle.

The possibility that spacetime is emergent is interesting to

consider. I have not really addressed it here, other than to speculate that

the partial unification of space and time that is achieved in relativity is

dependent on the probabilistic nature of quantum theory.

Ed

Edward,

While your essay is quite dense for those of us with little formal education in physics, it does contain some interesting insights and seems to go in the right direction in terms of correcting the various misconceptions built into the current structure. I especially found your analogy of information with temperature quite interesting, since it mirrors some of my own perceptions and thus provides some deeper insight into the issue of non-locality, which seems to be a bit of a mathematical artifact, but difficult to unravel. I do think the concept of temperature is greatly overlooked, as a window into non-linear systems. While the focus is usually on its formal molecular definition, everything from cosmic background radiation, to economic statistics could be thought of as forms of temperature. E.O. Wilson described the insect brain as a thermostat and it could be argued that radios, as well as many other forms of electronic devices are also, as your profession suggests you well understand.

My own essay goes into a slightly different form of sensory misconception, the perception of time. We experience it as a series of events, from past to future and physics re-enforces this assumption by treating it as a measurement, but the actual physical process is the changing configuration of what is extant, collapsing probabilities into actualities. The future becoming the past. This makes it an effect of action(rate of change), similar to temperature(level of activity). Digging down into this, time dilation is due to changes in the level of atomic activity affecting the rate of macroscopic change.

Spacetime is then correlation of distance and duration, not causation of action. One could easily use ideal gas laws to formulate "temperaturevolume," but we don't confuse the needle with the scale, as we do with time.

Good luck.

report post as inappropriate

While your essay is quite dense for those of us with little formal education in physics, it does contain some interesting insights and seems to go in the right direction in terms of correcting the various misconceptions built into the current structure. I especially found your analogy of information with temperature quite interesting, since it mirrors some of my own perceptions and thus provides some deeper insight into the issue of non-locality, which seems to be a bit of a mathematical artifact, but difficult to unravel. I do think the concept of temperature is greatly overlooked, as a window into non-linear systems. While the focus is usually on its formal molecular definition, everything from cosmic background radiation, to economic statistics could be thought of as forms of temperature. E.O. Wilson described the insect brain as a thermostat and it could be argued that radios, as well as many other forms of electronic devices are also, as your profession suggests you well understand.

My own essay goes into a slightly different form of sensory misconception, the perception of time. We experience it as a series of events, from past to future and physics re-enforces this assumption by treating it as a measurement, but the actual physical process is the changing configuration of what is extant, collapsing probabilities into actualities. The future becoming the past. This makes it an effect of action(rate of change), similar to temperature(level of activity). Digging down into this, time dilation is due to changes in the level of atomic activity affecting the rate of macroscopic change.

Spacetime is then correlation of distance and duration, not causation of action. One could easily use ideal gas laws to formulate "temperaturevolume," but we don't confuse the needle with the scale, as we do with time.

Good luck.

report post as inappropriate

John,

Thanks for your comments. I read your essay, and you make some

interesting points. The possible connections between time and thermodynamic evolution are well worth exploring.

Ed

Thanks for your comments. I read your essay, and you make some

interesting points. The possible connections between time and thermodynamic evolution are well worth exploring.

Ed

Ed,

Thanks for the appreciation.

Unfortunately physics will have to look beyond its current static modeling to really understand the relationship between time and thermodynamics. That's why I keep droning on about this particular point about time not being an essentially static vector from past to future, but the dynamic process by which the future becomes past.

report post as inappropriate

Thanks for the appreciation.

Unfortunately physics will have to look beyond its current static modeling to really understand the relationship between time and thermodynamics. That's why I keep droning on about this particular point about time not being an essentially static vector from past to future, but the dynamic process by which the future becomes past.

report post as inappropriate

Edward,

I agree, human intuition has played a very active part in our understanding of nature. Human intuition is partially due to our human knowledge as well as fundamental facts of nature as they appear in different context in human observations.

The main task of physics/ Pico-physics is to bring forward the facts of nature in such a fashion that they are universally applicable (and not contradicted in any context). This may result into one or more set of universally applicable laws. The completion of the set is determined by complete explanation of human knowledge.

Historically, it is seen that collection of human knowledge has preceded the formulation of laws. Scientists are trying there best to change this sequence, being upbeat on observation. Cold fusion, neutrino traveling faster than light, Higgs boson are all examples of this urge to be able to change the sequence (laws follow collection and organization of knowledge). This will be possible when the set of laws is complete.

For Cat and laser pointer, and relationship to continuity of path, I believe it is due to conservation as seen in collected knowledge base, that intuitively brain even in animals with limited memory has a strong perception of continuity of path. It is not other way round; continuity of path is due to human intuition. The example only proves the point; universal laws are independent of object and observer.

Thanks and Regards,

Vijay Gupta

report post as inappropriate

I agree, human intuition has played a very active part in our understanding of nature. Human intuition is partially due to our human knowledge as well as fundamental facts of nature as they appear in different context in human observations.

The main task of physics/ Pico-physics is to bring forward the facts of nature in such a fashion that they are universally applicable (and not contradicted in any context). This may result into one or more set of universally applicable laws. The completion of the set is determined by complete explanation of human knowledge.

Historically, it is seen that collection of human knowledge has preceded the formulation of laws. Scientists are trying there best to change this sequence, being upbeat on observation. Cold fusion, neutrino traveling faster than light, Higgs boson are all examples of this urge to be able to change the sequence (laws follow collection and organization of knowledge). This will be possible when the set of laws is complete.

For Cat and laser pointer, and relationship to continuity of path, I believe it is due to conservation as seen in collected knowledge base, that intuitively brain even in animals with limited memory has a strong perception of continuity of path. It is not other way round; continuity of path is due to human intuition. The example only proves the point; universal laws are independent of object and observer.

Thanks and Regards,

Vijay Gupta

report post as inappropriate

Vijay,

Thanks for your comments. You make some good points. In discussing human (and feline) intuitions about continuity, I was trying to make the point that we have a very deeply ingrained tendency to believe in local causality, and it obviously describes a great deal about how our world works. But there might be limits to how far the concept can be pushed. There are other "laws", i.e., generalizations that hold for a wide class of phenomena, but are not truly universal (Hooke's "law", Ohm's "law", etc.). Clearly, the notion of local causality has a much wider application than these examples, but that does not imply that it is truly universal.

Ed

Thanks for your comments. You make some good points. In discussing human (and feline) intuitions about continuity, I was trying to make the point that we have a very deeply ingrained tendency to believe in local causality, and it obviously describes a great deal about how our world works. But there might be limits to how far the concept can be pushed. There are other "laws", i.e., generalizations that hold for a wide class of phenomena, but are not truly universal (Hooke's "law", Ohm's "law", etc.). Clearly, the notion of local causality has a much wider application than these examples, but that does not imply that it is truly universal.

Ed

Ed,

Re: locality. As you're probably aware, the Bell's Theorem debate has found its way here, as was doubtless inevitable, with the JC and THR ensemble noisily unreconstructed. The best response to this intransigence IMO is to double down.

Do you see the Leggett inequality violations in the experiments by the Zeilinger and Gisin groups, coupled with the long and vast history of Bell violations, as relevant to your own thesis? If you want you could also bring in the Gisin group's moving reference frame experiment(s) specifically directed at relativistic Bohm, and Antoine Suarez' Before-Before gedankens. Also there's Charles Tresser's papers which argue that the locality assumption is unnecessary for violation of Bell.

The above pretty much exhausts my knowledge of the avant-garde stuff. Quite conceivably there's more. I don't know what essayist apart from yourself in the current crop thus far might both want and be able to address even part of it.

report post as inappropriate

Re: locality. As you're probably aware, the Bell's Theorem debate has found its way here, as was doubtless inevitable, with the JC and THR ensemble noisily unreconstructed. The best response to this intransigence IMO is to double down.

Do you see the Leggett inequality violations in the experiments by the Zeilinger and Gisin groups, coupled with the long and vast history of Bell violations, as relevant to your own thesis? If you want you could also bring in the Gisin group's moving reference frame experiment(s) specifically directed at relativistic Bohm, and Antoine Suarez' Before-Before gedankens. Also there's Charles Tresser's papers which argue that the locality assumption is unnecessary for violation of Bell.

The above pretty much exhausts my knowledge of the avant-garde stuff. Quite conceivably there's more. I don't know what essayist apart from yourself in the current crop thus far might both want and be able to address even part of it.

report post as inappropriate

nmann,

Yes, I had seen the commentaries on Bell's theorem, and I admire your willingness to engage on this issue. I have avoided it until now because the disputes tend to become heated, and time is severely limited.

My first response to the challenges (maybe not the best) is to write out and post as explicit and clear a derivation of the CHSH version of Bell's inequality as I...

view entire post

Yes, I had seen the commentaries on Bell's theorem, and I admire your willingness to engage on this issue. I have avoided it until now because the disputes tend to become heated, and time is severely limited.

My first response to the challenges (maybe not the best) is to write out and post as explicit and clear a derivation of the CHSH version of Bell's inequality as I...

view entire post

Dear Edward J. Gillis,

Yours is a most impressive essay, well thought out and well argued. It assumes Bell's inequality is valid -- an assumption I reject -- but yet I agree with your conclusion that "in order to make current theory logically coherent, we need ... indeterminism...".

You point out that our brains, "figuring out what we can control" have biased our intuition in favor of determinism. Again, I agree to an extent, but I do not find free will fitting into a deterministic view and yet my intuition is comfortable with it.

As I recall Bernard d'Espagnat noted three assumptions: realism, inductive reasoning, and locality (linked to speed of light). Believers in Bell tend to retain logical inference at the expense of local realism. Perhaps this should be reconsidered.

Several essays in this contest suggest that space-time, locality, unitarity, and causality are "emergent", that is, not fundamental, but artefactual, emerging from deeper fundamentals, akin to temperature emerging from statistical ensembles of particles. Yet they apparently assume that logic and math survive even when space-time, locality, and causality have vanished (coming 'as close to "nothing" as possible').

I have presented logic and math as emergent from real structure (in 'The Automatic Theory of Physics') and if I am correct, then one cannot assume that one can banish spacetime, locality, and causality and yet retain logic and math. [To do so one must be a 'Platonist', having a religious belief in some realm of 'math' not unlike religious belief in a 'Heavenly realm'.]

Thus my intuition and my experience tell me that reality is both 'real' and 'local' while they also inform me that logical coherency is not universal. For instance this FQXi contest contains a number of 'logical maps' that span various regions of the 'territory' [physics], but they are logically inconsistent with each other [and potentially contain logical inconsistencies within themselves.] If anything, this problem grows worse daily, as new math and new physics ideas branch in new directions. Despite the claims of various schools of physics, there is no coherent 'Theory of Everything', nor does one seem to be in sight. Many deny even the possibility of such. Given this state of affairs, I am ever more inclined to believe that the Bell'ists have made the wrong bet, trading local realism for logic, and losing on both counts.

Although is is incompatible [to that extent] with your essay, I invite you to read my essay, The Nature of the Wave Function, for one approach that assumes local realism is fundamental.

Best of luck in the contest,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

report post as inappropriate

Yours is a most impressive essay, well thought out and well argued. It assumes Bell's inequality is valid -- an assumption I reject -- but yet I agree with your conclusion that "in order to make current theory logically coherent, we need ... indeterminism...".

You point out that our brains, "figuring out what we can control" have biased our intuition in favor of determinism. Again, I agree to an extent, but I do not find free will fitting into a deterministic view and yet my intuition is comfortable with it.

As I recall Bernard d'Espagnat noted three assumptions: realism, inductive reasoning, and locality (linked to speed of light). Believers in Bell tend to retain logical inference at the expense of local realism. Perhaps this should be reconsidered.

Several essays in this contest suggest that space-time, locality, unitarity, and causality are "emergent", that is, not fundamental, but artefactual, emerging from deeper fundamentals, akin to temperature emerging from statistical ensembles of particles. Yet they apparently assume that logic and math survive even when space-time, locality, and causality have vanished (coming 'as close to "nothing" as possible').

I have presented logic and math as emergent from real structure (in 'The Automatic Theory of Physics') and if I am correct, then one cannot assume that one can banish spacetime, locality, and causality and yet retain logic and math. [To do so one must be a 'Platonist', having a religious belief in some realm of 'math' not unlike religious belief in a 'Heavenly realm'.]

Thus my intuition and my experience tell me that reality is both 'real' and 'local' while they also inform me that logical coherency is not universal. For instance this FQXi contest contains a number of 'logical maps' that span various regions of the 'territory' [physics], but they are logically inconsistent with each other [and potentially contain logical inconsistencies within themselves.] If anything, this problem grows worse daily, as new math and new physics ideas branch in new directions. Despite the claims of various schools of physics, there is no coherent 'Theory of Everything', nor does one seem to be in sight. Many deny even the possibility of such. Given this state of affairs, I am ever more inclined to believe that the Bell'ists have made the wrong bet, trading local realism for logic, and losing on both counts.

Although is is incompatible [to that extent] with your essay, I invite you to read my essay, The Nature of the Wave Function, for one approach that assumes local realism is fundamental.

Best of luck in the contest,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

report post as inappropriate

Edwin,

Thanks for your post. I have read your essay. I do believe that logic and math are more certain than physical laws. If we give up logical coherence, then we can believe that local causality is both true and false. we can conclude anything that we want, and no experiment can rule out anything. Obviously, I accept Bell's result, and I will continue to do so until someone can explain very clearly what is logically wrong with the straightforward derivations of his inequality.

Thanks again for your comments, and good luck.

Ed

Thanks for your post. I have read your essay. I do believe that logic and math are more certain than physical laws. If we give up logical coherence, then we can believe that local causality is both true and false. we can conclude anything that we want, and no experiment can rule out anything. Obviously, I accept Bell's result, and I will continue to do so until someone can explain very clearly what is logically wrong with the straightforward derivations of his inequality.

Thanks again for your comments, and good luck.

Ed

Hi Ed,

You say, "I do believe that logic and math are more certain than physical laws." I do also. What I do not believe is that logic and math underlie physical existence! Some seem to think that physical existence emerges from logic and math, and others in this contest seem to be saying that if you get rid of space and time and causality (etc?), coming 'as close as possible to "nothing"', that math and logic will still be there. This is the assumption I question.

You say, "If we give up logical coherence, then we can believe that local causality is both true and false. we can conclude anything that we want..." It is my opinion that that state of affairs already holds, although usually not in the same physicist's mind. Even above, while quoting Tresser, you note: "it appears to contain a flat-out logical contradiction". It's possible that you and Tresser conclude different things. And, beyond a certain point, I'm not sure that such things are resolvable. Joy and his competent opponents have certainly not been able to resolve such. Anyway, I do not reject logic, but I probably would do so before giving up local realism. Even then I would continue to believe in the efficacy of logic for most things, just as math approximations are useful even in the case of unsolvable problems.

For both experiential reasons, intuitive reasons, and because my local realistic theory (of which my essay represents just the tip of the iceberg) seems to answer unresolved questions, I choose to work with local realism. If I am wrong, then I can consider it a hobby. I am not yet convinced I am wrong.

Thanks again for your excellent essay and for hosting such stimulating comments on your thread.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

report post as inappropriate

You say, "I do believe that logic and math are more certain than physical laws." I do also. What I do not believe is that logic and math underlie physical existence! Some seem to think that physical existence emerges from logic and math, and others in this contest seem to be saying that if you get rid of space and time and causality (etc?), coming 'as close as possible to "nothing"', that math and logic will still be there. This is the assumption I question.

You say, "If we give up logical coherence, then we can believe that local causality is both true and false. we can conclude anything that we want..." It is my opinion that that state of affairs already holds, although usually not in the same physicist's mind. Even above, while quoting Tresser, you note: "it appears to contain a flat-out logical contradiction". It's possible that you and Tresser conclude different things. And, beyond a certain point, I'm not sure that such things are resolvable. Joy and his competent opponents have certainly not been able to resolve such. Anyway, I do not reject logic, but I probably would do so before giving up local realism. Even then I would continue to believe in the efficacy of logic for most things, just as math approximations are useful even in the case of unsolvable problems.

For both experiential reasons, intuitive reasons, and because my local realistic theory (of which my essay represents just the tip of the iceberg) seems to answer unresolved questions, I choose to work with local realism. If I am wrong, then I can consider it a hobby. I am not yet convinced I am wrong.

Thanks again for your excellent essay and for hosting such stimulating comments on your thread.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

report post as inappropriate

E.E.K.:

"As I recall Bernard d'Espagnat noted three assumptions: realism, inductive reasoning, and locality (linked to speed of light). Believers in Bell tend to retain logical inference at the expense of local realism. Perhaps this should be reconsidered."

It'd be neat to see some cites for this other than the insistence of Tom Ray and Joy Christian. Here's from page 6 of "An experimental test of non-local realism," the concluding paragraph of the Zeilinger group's experiment which violated the Leggett Inequality (and those guys are nothing if not Bell aficionados ... Leggett can be thought of, roughly, as an extension of Bell):

"We believe that the experimental exclusion of this particular class indicates that any non-local extension of quantum theory has to be highly counterintuitive. For example, the concept of ensembles of particles carrying definite polarization could fail. Furthermore, one could consider the breakdown of other assumptions that are implicit in our reasoning leading to the inequality. These include Aristotelian logic, counterfactual definiteness, absence of actions into the past or a world that is not completely deterministic[.]"

Also if you checked out the link I posted on your thread to David Harrison's U of Toronto site (he's another one of them) you'd discover that he specifically brings up the logic assumption and notes that it too may fail in Bell tests. You really ought to familiarize yourself more with the thinking and writing of people who believe in BT instead of accepting on faith what its detractors say about those people and their opinions.

report post as inappropriate

"As I recall Bernard d'Espagnat noted three assumptions: realism, inductive reasoning, and locality (linked to speed of light). Believers in Bell tend to retain logical inference at the expense of local realism. Perhaps this should be reconsidered."

It'd be neat to see some cites for this other than the insistence of Tom Ray and Joy Christian. Here's from page 6 of "An experimental test of non-local realism," the concluding paragraph of the Zeilinger group's experiment which violated the Leggett Inequality (and those guys are nothing if not Bell aficionados ... Leggett can be thought of, roughly, as an extension of Bell):

"We believe that the experimental exclusion of this particular class indicates that any non-local extension of quantum theory has to be highly counterintuitive. For example, the concept of ensembles of particles carrying definite polarization could fail. Furthermore, one could consider the breakdown of other assumptions that are implicit in our reasoning leading to the inequality. These include Aristotelian logic, counterfactual definiteness, absence of actions into the past or a world that is not completely deterministic[.]"

Also if you checked out the link I posted on your thread to David Harrison's U of Toronto site (he's another one of them) you'd discover that he specifically brings up the logic assumption and notes that it too may fail in Bell tests. You really ought to familiarize yourself more with the thinking and writing of people who believe in BT instead of accepting on faith what its detractors say about those people and their opinions.

report post as inappropriate

Hi nmann,

I'm happy to hear that others are thinking the same way that I am. I try to keep up with Nature, Science, and Phys Rev Lett every week,and arXiv's as I become aware of them, but if I waited until I thought I was up-to-date on every last word, I would never post. I'm spending most of my time working out the details of the work in my essay. You are mistaken to imply that I am following Joy and Tom's lead, as I don't accept his model, only his framework (as do his harshest critics).

And as happy as I am to hear that others are questioning even logic, I am, as far as I know the only one who has developed a theory of emergent logic and math based on physical structure, so I've gone beyond merely mentioning the possibility. You might try to familiarize yourself with my arguments before commenting as above.

And having decided for myself that Bell is incorrect, I do not feel the need to faithfully follow those who are still in his spell. As Feynman noted in his Nobel acceptance lecture, "Since they had not solved the problem, I did not have to pay too much attention to what they did." [probably not his exact words, but the lecture's online.]

Anyway, thanks for making me aware that others are now thinking this way.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

report post as inappropriate

I'm happy to hear that others are thinking the same way that I am. I try to keep up with Nature, Science, and Phys Rev Lett every week,and arXiv's as I become aware of them, but if I waited until I thought I was up-to-date on every last word, I would never post. I'm spending most of my time working out the details of the work in my essay. You are mistaken to imply that I am following Joy and Tom's lead, as I don't accept his model, only his framework (as do his harshest critics).

And as happy as I am to hear that others are questioning even logic, I am, as far as I know the only one who has developed a theory of emergent logic and math based on physical structure, so I've gone beyond merely mentioning the possibility. You might try to familiarize yourself with my arguments before commenting as above.

And having decided for myself that Bell is incorrect, I do not feel the need to faithfully follow those who are still in his spell. As Feynman noted in his Nobel acceptance lecture, "Since they had not solved the problem, I did not have to pay too much attention to what they did." [probably not his exact words, but the lecture's online.]

Anyway, thanks for making me aware that others are now thinking this way.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

report post as inappropriate

Just for the information of other readers, Edwin's model is NOT based on my framework. Whatever it is based on, it has nothing to do with my framework.

report post as inappropriate

report post as inappropriate

" ,,, You really ought to familiarize yourself more with the thinking and writing of people who believe in BT instead of accepting on faith what its detractors say ...:

nmann, people who "believe in" BT or any other theorem or theory are not doing science in defending their beliefs. They are doing science only by demonstrated correspondence between the theory and the physical result. When the fundamental assumptions of the theory (probability measurement schemata based on infinite domain and range) only guarantee a result (nonlocality) consistent with the assumption -- one had better question the science, because the logic of double-negation has no chance of meeting the scientific standard of objective knowledge.

That's all we detractors are saying.

An observer-created reality is not rational -- this irrational tenet can only stand uniquely alone among the results of objective science when there is no alternative. If one replaces the assumptions of probability with a specifically constructed domain of defined limit, the nonlocality of quantum correlations is an illusion, and the locally real alternative is in evidence. It's sound math, it's sound physics, it's good science -- and Joy Christian has done it.

Edward Gillis, even though I disagree with your assumptions, I appreciate your competence in seeing them through to their logical conclusion -- and wish you the best in the contest.

Tom

report post as inappropriate

nmann, people who "believe in" BT or any other theorem or theory are not doing science in defending their beliefs. They are doing science only by demonstrated correspondence between the theory and the physical result. When the fundamental assumptions of the theory (probability measurement schemata based on infinite domain and range) only guarantee a result (nonlocality) consistent with the assumption -- one had better question the science, because the logic of double-negation has no chance of meeting the scientific standard of objective knowledge.

That's all we detractors are saying.

An observer-created reality is not rational -- this irrational tenet can only stand uniquely alone among the results of objective science when there is no alternative. If one replaces the assumptions of probability with a specifically constructed domain of defined limit, the nonlocality of quantum correlations is an illusion, and the locally real alternative is in evidence. It's sound math, it's sound physics, it's good science -- and Joy Christian has done it.

Edward Gillis, even though I disagree with your assumptions, I appreciate your competence in seeing them through to their logical conclusion -- and wish you the best in the contest.

Tom

report post as inappropriate

Dear Edward,

I like the logical presentation of your essay. You say that "Relativity is an expression of the observational equivalence of spacetime descriptions of physical processes. This observational equivalence is due to the essentially probabilistic nature of quantum theory."

But finally, in your opinion, which of our basic physical assumptions are wrong in Relativity or in Quantum Theory?

G S Sandhu

+ + +

report post as inappropriate

I like the logical presentation of your essay. You say that "Relativity is an expression of the observational equivalence of spacetime descriptions of physical processes. This observational equivalence is due to the essentially probabilistic nature of quantum theory."

But finally, in your opinion, which of our basic physical assumptions are wrong in Relativity or in Quantum Theory?

G S Sandhu

+ + +

report post as inappropriate

G S

Thanks for your comments, and your question is a good one. I believe that the assumption that is wrong is that the most fundamental laws should be formulated in a relativistic spacetime. Of course, the majority of people doing research in quantum gravity would say something similar, so it might not sound very original. My point is that, even without worrying about unifying gravity and quantum theory, the problems in understanding quantum measurements indicate that we should look for a different framework. It might have less structure, or at least a different structure from standard Minkowski space. The standard relativistic description would then be reconstructed by considering the class of coordinate systems that are compatible with our observations. Our observations are consistent with the full set of relativistically allowed coordinate systems because the lack of complete determinism makes it impossible to trace which of many sequences of events actually occurred.

Although I do not think that he would agree with many of the points that I make, Julian Barbour, has also posed the question of how much spacetime structure we could strip away, and still recover current theory. I find his work extremely interesting.

Thanks again,

Ed

Thanks for your comments, and your question is a good one. I believe that the assumption that is wrong is that the most fundamental laws should be formulated in a relativistic spacetime. Of course, the majority of people doing research in quantum gravity would say something similar, so it might not sound very original. My point is that, even without worrying about unifying gravity and quantum theory, the problems in understanding quantum measurements indicate that we should look for a different framework. It might have less structure, or at least a different structure from standard Minkowski space. The standard relativistic description would then be reconstructed by considering the class of coordinate systems that are compatible with our observations. Our observations are consistent with the full set of relativistically allowed coordinate systems because the lack of complete determinism makes it impossible to trace which of many sequences of events actually occurred.

Although I do not think that he would agree with many of the points that I make, Julian Barbour, has also posed the question of how much spacetime structure we could strip away, and still recover current theory. I find his work extremely interesting.

Thanks again,

Ed

Hi, E.E.K.,

Well, questioning logic became unavoidable post-Gödel.

You, of course, following (I accept this on faith) d'Espagnat, specifically noted inductive logic. Which is notoriously slippery, only partially codified and thus certainly more open to challenge than deductive logic. But to whatever extent Bell's thinking, as adapted by d'Espagnat and Harrison (see below) was inductive, the result's Venn-provable. Take the formulation (presented here without the official inequality or plus signs, sorry):

Number of (A, not B) plus Number of (B, not C) is greater than or equal to Number of (A, not C) --

and then construct a tripartite Venn diagram with circles or ovals A, B and C. (Instead of "Number" think "Amount of Space"). For simplicity try it first with the shapes separated with no overlap:

(1 [because no A is within B]) plus (1 [because no B is within C]) is greater than (1 [because no A is within C]) ... 2 is greater than 1. Good so far.

Now, continuing with the maximally simple, do it with complete overlap:

(0 [because all A is within b]) plus (0 [because all B is within C]) is equal to (0 [because all A is within C]). ... 0 plus 0 = 0. Still good.

Next play with the degree of overlapping however you want. Try overlapping two to whatever extent you wish while putting one aside. The inequality still holds. (We need to assume both that d'Espagnat's derivation from Bell is valid and that Harrison's tweaking of d'Espagnat is also.)

As I've noted elsewhere, the formulation works with all sets of separable physical objects as long as you can define three parameters. If you had dogs running around in a fenced parking lot full of automobiles you could define such a set because dogs and cars have weight, length (or height) and color, and are animate or inanimate, black or not, have fur or not, are or aren't predominately metal etc. Or take a paragraph of text. Make the individual words your set members and three specific letters your parameters. Still works. In English, Russian, any alphabetical language. Then take your existing data table and switch the parameters around ... make A into C, C into B and B into A. Still works. Pretty profound, actually.

Now, it's the macroscopic world we're doing this in, and the logic is classical. BT is (BT and Leggett are) formulated as classical logic because that's the logic we know. It's entirely conceivable that BT is experimentally violated because classical logic doesn't cut it when you're experimenting with microscopic entities. Theorists tend to give that possibility less weight because BT (and its spinoffs such as Bell Entanglement) are based the same logic and general formalism that makes nuclear bombs explode and semiconductors semiconduct but still it could be.

Naturally we'd probably need a whole new logic and mathematics to deal with the microworld in that case.

report post as inappropriate

Well, questioning logic became unavoidable post-Gödel.

You, of course, following (I accept this on faith) d'Espagnat, specifically noted inductive logic. Which is notoriously slippery, only partially codified and thus certainly more open to challenge than deductive logic. But to whatever extent Bell's thinking, as adapted by d'Espagnat and Harrison (see below) was inductive, the result's Venn-provable. Take the formulation (presented here without the official inequality or plus signs, sorry):

Number of (A, not B) plus Number of (B, not C) is greater than or equal to Number of (A, not C) --

and then construct a tripartite Venn diagram with circles or ovals A, B and C. (Instead of "Number" think "Amount of Space"). For simplicity try it first with the shapes separated with no overlap:

(1 [because no A is within B]) plus (1 [because no B is within C]) is greater than (1 [because no A is within C]) ... 2 is greater than 1. Good so far.

Now, continuing with the maximally simple, do it with complete overlap:

(0 [because all A is within b]) plus (0 [because all B is within C]) is equal to (0 [because all A is within C]). ... 0 plus 0 = 0. Still good.

Next play with the degree of overlapping however you want. Try overlapping two to whatever extent you wish while putting one aside. The inequality still holds. (We need to assume both that d'Espagnat's derivation from Bell is valid and that Harrison's tweaking of d'Espagnat is also.)

As I've noted elsewhere, the formulation works with all sets of separable physical objects as long as you can define three parameters. If you had dogs running around in a fenced parking lot full of automobiles you could define such a set because dogs and cars have weight, length (or height) and color, and are animate or inanimate, black or not, have fur or not, are or aren't predominately metal etc. Or take a paragraph of text. Make the individual words your set members and three specific letters your parameters. Still works. In English, Russian, any alphabetical language. Then take your existing data table and switch the parameters around ... make A into C, C into B and B into A. Still works. Pretty profound, actually.

Now, it's the macroscopic world we're doing this in, and the logic is classical. BT is (BT and Leggett are) formulated as classical logic because that's the logic we know. It's entirely conceivable that BT is experimentally violated because classical logic doesn't cut it when you're experimenting with microscopic entities. Theorists tend to give that possibility less weight because BT (and its spinoffs such as Bell Entanglement) are based the same logic and general formalism that makes nuclear bombs explode and semiconductors semiconduct but still it could be.

Naturally we'd probably need a whole new logic and mathematics to deal with the microworld in that case.

report post as inappropriate

Hi nmann,

I don't wish to use Ed's thread for this.

You mention the logic that "makes nuclear bombs explode". I have at least twice on these threads quoted Norman Cook, who has submitted an essay on nuclear dynamics. He points out that the main theories of nuclear structure are incompatible, and have been for over 50 years. I'm not sure what this proves about logic.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

report post as inappropriate

I don't wish to use Ed's thread for this.

You mention the logic that "makes nuclear bombs explode". I have at least twice on these threads quoted Norman Cook, who has submitted an essay on nuclear dynamics. He points out that the main theories of nuclear structure are incompatible, and have been for over 50 years. I'm not sure what this proves about logic.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

report post as inappropriate

Hi, E.E.K.,

I should have noted that the Venn circles don't need to be the same size. More on the order of a Euler diagram. That brings the exercise more in line with physical reality.

You are not -- how can I put this? -- dealing with the real issues of BT. You've admitted you don't really know all that much about BT. JC (not the Second Person of the Trinity in this case) has accused you of not understanding the material he advances in relation to BT, maybe not even BT itself. But still you reject Bell's Theorem.

Also waiting for Ed.

report post as inappropriate

I should have noted that the Venn circles don't need to be the same size. More on the order of a Euler diagram. That brings the exercise more in line with physical reality.

You are not -- how can I put this? -- dealing with the real issues of BT. You've admitted you don't really know all that much about BT. JC (not the Second Person of the Trinity in this case) has accused you of not understanding the material he advances in relation to BT, maybe not even BT itself. But still you reject Bell's Theorem.

Also waiting for Ed.

report post as inappropriate

Wait ... a truly excellent post yesterday.

I hate the layout of this site. The honchos apparently believe it's more logical than straight chronological order. That's because nobody ever told them you can number posts for reference.

report post as inappropriate

I hate the layout of this site. The honchos apparently believe it's more logical than straight chronological order. That's because nobody ever told them you can number posts for reference.

report post as inappropriate

nmann,

Thanks for your post. In my reply to you on Sunday I inadvertently erased a sentence that should have gone before my remarks on Tresser's work. It normally would be no big deal, but it makes it sound as though I am attributing some of the errors that Tresser makes to Zeilinger's group, and that was definitely not my intention.

After criticizing the Z group for their characterization of realism, it should have read:

" Zeilinger's group is very clear that they are ruling out certain classes of nonlocal, deterministic models, and they do NOT make the mistake of supposing that one could decide to abandon realism, and thus save local causality.

Unfortunately, Tresser appears to make exactly this mistake."

I have a high regard for the work that the Vienna group has done, and I don't want to criticize them unfairly. I do think that they, and many other people, are sometimes a little too quick in considering what assumptions we might start throwing out. Giving up local causality is a huge step in itself, but Bell's analysis appears to force us in that direction. I also advocate accepting limits on determinism, but we are not logically compelled to take that step.

de broglie-Bohm theory gives a deterministic nonlocal account of the quantum correlations. It's just that if we take that route we have to either accept the fact that (as Elitzur and Dolev say) "hidden variables must be forever hidden", or look for possible violations of signal causality (as Valentini has pointed out).

It just seems to me that we should take things a step at a time, before we start giving up on logic, and our belief in an objectively existing external world. It's true that we need to be open-minded, but we also need to be clear-headed and careful.

It's time to get on with my day job,

Ed

Thanks for your post. In my reply to you on Sunday I inadvertently erased a sentence that should have gone before my remarks on Tresser's work. It normally would be no big deal, but it makes it sound as though I am attributing some of the errors that Tresser makes to Zeilinger's group, and that was definitely not my intention.

After criticizing the Z group for their characterization of realism, it should have read:

" Zeilinger's group is very clear that they are ruling out certain classes of nonlocal, deterministic models, and they do NOT make the mistake of supposing that one could decide to abandon realism, and thus save local causality.

Unfortunately, Tresser appears to make exactly this mistake."

I have a high regard for the work that the Vienna group has done, and I don't want to criticize them unfairly. I do think that they, and many other people, are sometimes a little too quick in considering what assumptions we might start throwing out. Giving up local causality is a huge step in itself, but Bell's analysis appears to force us in that direction. I also advocate accepting limits on determinism, but we are not logically compelled to take that step.

de broglie-Bohm theory gives a deterministic nonlocal account of the quantum correlations. It's just that if we take that route we have to either accept the fact that (as Elitzur and Dolev say) "hidden variables must be forever hidden", or look for possible violations of signal causality (as Valentini has pointed out).

It just seems to me that we should take things a step at a time, before we start giving up on logic, and our belief in an objectively existing external world. It's true that we need to be open-minded, but we also need to be clear-headed and careful.

It's time to get on with my day job,

Ed

nmann,

The question is not about liking or not liking BT, or liking or not liking entanglement, or liking or not liking non-locality. The question is about whether these ideas, or unicorns or UFOs, have any relevance for the real physical world, or for the future theory of physics. We had a perfectly cogent concept known as phlogiston---a truly beautiful concept. Unfortunately it turned out that it had absolutely no relevance for the real physical world. Similarly, BT, entanglement, or non-locality has no relevance for the real physical world. As Tom says in different words, in the real physical world what matters are the correlations among a set of measurement events---or among the clicks of a set of detectors.

Now Bell claimed that for local functions of the form

A(a, L) = +1 or -1 with 50/50 chance for any a in R^3

and

B(b, L) = +1 or -1 with 50/50 chance for any b in R^3,

together with

AB(a, b, L) = A(a, L) x B(b, L) = -1 when b = a,

it is mathematically impossible to construct a model that can reproduce the correlation

E(a, b) = -a.b.

It turns out that Bell was wrong (but not trivially so). It *is* possible to mathematically reproduce the correlation E(a, b) = -a.b if we take the physically and mathematically correct co-domain for the functions AB(a, b, L), A(a, L), and B(b, L), namely a unit parallelized 3-sphere. The proof can be found in the attached paper.

It is scandalous to continue to believe in BT despite this explicit one-page proof showing exactly what Bell thought was mathematically impossible. Further details and implications of the proof can be found in my book.

attachments: 18_disproof.pdf

report post as inappropriate

The question is not about liking or not liking BT, or liking or not liking entanglement, or liking or not liking non-locality. The question is about whether these ideas, or unicorns or UFOs, have any relevance for the real physical world, or for the future theory of physics. We had a perfectly cogent concept known as phlogiston---a truly beautiful concept. Unfortunately it turned out that it had absolutely no relevance for the real physical world. Similarly, BT, entanglement, or non-locality has no relevance for the real physical world. As Tom says in different words, in the real physical world what matters are the correlations among a set of measurement events---or among the clicks of a set of detectors.

Now Bell claimed that for local functions of the form

A(a, L) = +1 or -1 with 50/50 chance for any a in R^3

and

B(b, L) = +1 or -1 with 50/50 chance for any b in R^3,

together with

AB(a, b, L) = A(a, L) x B(b, L) = -1 when b = a,

it is mathematically impossible to construct a model that can reproduce the correlation

E(a, b) = -a.b.

It turns out that Bell was wrong (but not trivially so). It *is* possible to mathematically reproduce the correlation E(a, b) = -a.b if we take the physically and mathematically correct co-domain for the functions AB(a, b, L), A(a, L), and B(b, L), namely a unit parallelized 3-sphere. The proof can be found in the attached paper.

It is scandalous to continue to believe in BT despite this explicit one-page proof showing exactly what Bell thought was mathematically impossible. Further details and implications of the proof can be found in my book.

attachments: 18_disproof.pdf

report post as inappropriate

Joy,

The issue here is whether some individual or group out there with the money to spare might consider you a potential Lavoisier and you and that person or group could then obtain the cooperation of a reputable and qualified team of credentialed experimentalists who judge your proposed physical experiment to be in fact do-able and then conduct it.

I'm sorry, but I can't help you there. If I could I well might. Not so much to help you personally, mind, but simply to get the issue sorted and savor the drama. Having followed your recent online career, however, one has to wonder if you'd accept an experimental verdict that went against Christian's Theorem.

report post as inappropriate

The issue here is whether some individual or group out there with the money to spare might consider you a potential Lavoisier and you and that person or group could then obtain the cooperation of a reputable and qualified team of credentialed experimentalists who judge your proposed physical experiment to be in fact do-able and then conduct it.

I'm sorry, but I can't help you there. If I could I well might. Not so much to help you personally, mind, but simply to get the issue sorted and savor the drama. Having followed your recent online career, however, one has to wonder if you'd accept an experimental verdict that went against Christian's Theorem.

report post as inappropriate

I reread your essay and a agree that nonlocality is commensurate with the Lorentzian spacetime theory. Nonlocal connections between entangled states only “communicate” noise, or no signal, because no experimenter is able to control what the outcome is. It does have to be pointed out that nonlocal connections can be between states anywhere in spacetime. This can include timelike separations. The Wheeler Delayed Experiment illustrates that a measurement at one time T can adjust the wave function at a time T’ \lt T on a timelike separation.

Nonlocality only implies nondeterminism in the case of a measurement, and with recent developments on weak measurements and such experiments, this really means a “hard” measurement. Quantum wave functions for entangled states evolve by Schrodinger dynamics in a perfectly deterministic fashion. The role of nonlocality in nondeterminism focuses on the issue of measurement and various quantum interpretations.

In my essay I discuss a different from of nonlocality. In quantum field theory field amplitudes on a spatial manifold are local with respect to zero commutations of their operators. However, if spacetime itself is quantum mechanical, say with fluctuations and the rest, then quantum fields (including gravity itself) are nonlocal with respect to this definition. This means we need to refocus our definition of quantum field theory in a manner which remove locality, and even more unitarity. Unitarity must be replaced by modularity, or some structure which preserves quantum information.

Cheers LC

report post as inappropriate

Nonlocality only implies nondeterminism in the case of a measurement, and with recent developments on weak measurements and such experiments, this really means a “hard” measurement. Quantum wave functions for entangled states evolve by Schrodinger dynamics in a perfectly deterministic fashion. The role of nonlocality in nondeterminism focuses on the issue of measurement and various quantum interpretations.

In my essay I discuss a different from of nonlocality. In quantum field theory field amplitudes on a spatial manifold are local with respect to zero commutations of their operators. However, if spacetime itself is quantum mechanical, say with fluctuations and the rest, then quantum fields (including gravity itself) are nonlocal with respect to this definition. This means we need to refocus our definition of quantum field theory in a manner which remove locality, and even more unitarity. Unitarity must be replaced by modularity, or some structure which preserves quantum information.

Cheers LC

report post as inappropriate

LC,

You are correct that (at least given the structure of current theory) nondeterminism and nonlocality only enter when measurements are considered. Between measurements wave functions evolve deterministically. Since unitarity guarantees the conservation of probability during the deterministic evolution, it is quite conceivable that if we succeed in unifying our description of deterministic andd nondeterministic processes, unitarity will have to give way to some more general notion. The other manifestations of nonlocality that you discuss might shed considerable light on this subject.

Your essay covers a very wide range of topics, and it was very interesting to read. Good luck.

Ed

You are correct that (at least given the structure of current theory) nondeterminism and nonlocality only enter when measurements are considered. Between measurements wave functions evolve deterministically. Since unitarity guarantees the conservation of probability during the deterministic evolution, it is quite conceivable that if we succeed in unifying our description of deterministic andd nondeterministic processes, unitarity will have to give way to some more general notion. The other manifestations of nonlocality that you discuss might shed considerable light on this subject.

Your essay covers a very wide range of topics, and it was very interesting to read. Good luck.

Ed

I am pleased that you appreciate my work. I gave a brief tutorial in the blog section for my essay on the BCFW recursion relationship. This forms a major part of the work I have been doing. It is a way of working Feynman diagrams without explicit reference to either locality or unitarity. There are scattering processes in QCD which were found to reduce to this simple form by standard techniques, and this has revealed a whole new way to think about scattering physics.

I generally vote on essays towards the closing period when I have a sense of most of the better one’s. I will give your essay a high mark.

Cheers LC

report post as inappropriate

I generally vote on essays towards the closing period when I have a sense of most of the better one’s. I will give your essay a high mark.

Cheers LC

report post as inappropriate

Edward,

We think about the universe as something we can, in our imagination, observe from without: as in this view the universe has a beginning and evolves, as a whole, in time, a concept like cosmic time (the time passed since the bigbang) makes sense. In this view, i.e., in a Big Bang Universe, it is the same time everywhere, so here it takes light to go from A to B, the problem being...

view entire post

We think about the universe as something we can, in our imagination, observe from without: as in this view the universe has a beginning and evolves, as a whole, in time, a concept like cosmic time (the time passed since the bigbang) makes sense. In this view, i.e., in a Big Bang Universe, it is the same time everywhere, so here it takes light to go from A to B, the problem being...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Edward,

I found your essay a very enjoyable read. I have a few questions/remarks.

1. I am not sure to what extent you are questioning the nature of spacetime structure at the fundamental level, and to what extent you are merely not relying upon it for certain explanatory purposes. The geometry of spacetime in conventional physics has many other consequences; for example, the Poincare symmetry group of Minkowski space goes a long way toward determining the possible particle types in quantum field theory, and these restrictions correspond well to observation. Are you questioning the validity of SR and GR, or simply their interpretation?

2. There is another way to deal with locality/causality issues, and that is to define "spacetime structure" in terms of what actually happens, rather than to assume that what happens is governed by spacetime structure. I am not merely talking about allowing spacetime to interact dynamically with matter-energy as in GR, but to completely deny the existence of a separate metric structure that could cause clashes. If A directly affects B, then A and B are local, and B is in the future of A. The causal set theorists take this view, and to that extent, I agree with them. I discuss this in my essay:

On the Foundational Assumptions of Modern Physics

3. I am also wondering what your preferred interpretation of quantum theory is. If you are questioning spacetime structure, then this becomes relevant because the Hilbert spaces in ordinary quantum theory are often interpreted as "function spaces" on spacetime.

Take care,

Ben Dribus

report post as inappropriate

report post as inappropriate

I found your essay a very enjoyable read. I have a few questions/remarks.

1. I am not sure to what extent you are questioning the nature of spacetime structure at the fundamental level, and to what extent you are merely not relying upon it for certain explanatory purposes. The geometry of spacetime in conventional physics has many other consequences; for example, the Poincare symmetry group of Minkowski space goes a long way toward determining the possible particle types in quantum field theory, and these restrictions correspond well to observation. Are you questioning the validity of SR and GR, or simply their interpretation?

2. There is another way to deal with locality/causality issues, and that is to define "spacetime structure" in terms of what actually happens, rather than to assume that what happens is governed by spacetime structure. I am not merely talking about allowing spacetime to interact dynamically with matter-energy as in GR, but to completely deny the existence of a separate metric structure that could cause clashes. If A directly affects B, then A and B are local, and B is in the future of A. The causal set theorists take this view, and to that extent, I agree with them. I discuss this in my essay:

On the Foundational Assumptions of Modern Physics

3. I am also wondering what your preferred interpretation of quantum theory is. If you are questioning spacetime structure, then this becomes relevant because the Hilbert spaces in ordinary quantum theory are often interpreted as "function spaces" on spacetime.

Take care,

Ben Dribus

report post as inappropriate

Ben,

These are very good questions. I will try to deal with the first two together.

I am NOT questioning the validity of either SR or GR. I am arguing that the symmetries that define these theories are not (only) a result of spacetime structure. So they provide very limited information about that structure. We should not assume that relativistic structure governs all...

view entire post

These are very good questions. I will try to deal with the first two together.

I am NOT questioning the validity of either SR or GR. I am arguing that the symmetries that define these theories are not (only) a result of spacetime structure. So they provide very limited information about that structure. We should not assume that relativistic structure governs all...

view entire post

Ed,

In your last paragraph above you state your preferred interpretation of quantum mechanics, which makes it clear where you are coming from. You state: "I believe that quantum states describe real processes that behave nondeterministically. Wave function collapse is a real, nonlocal, nondeterministic phenomenon."

I held similar views some ten years ago, under the influence of my...

view entire post

In your last paragraph above you state your preferred interpretation of quantum mechanics, which makes it clear where you are coming from. You state: "I believe that quantum states describe real processes that behave nondeterministically. Wave function collapse is a real, nonlocal, nondeterministic phenomenon."

I held similar views some ten years ago, under the influence of my...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Ben, you wrote to Ed:

"If you are questioning spacetime structure, then this becomes relevant because the Hilbert spaces in ordinary quantum theory are often interpreted as "function spaces" on spacetime."

Ed noted: "The wave functions, which live in Hilbert space, are intended to give the best account possible of our observations, so, natuarally, they are defined with reference to a Lorentzian spacetime (or configuration spaces based on Galilean spacetime)."

That's correct. However, the underlying assumption of the Hilbert space as a metric space that invokes complex conjugation leaves the wave function incomplete. Among the beauties of Joy Christian's framework is its algebraically closed structure (octonion algebra closed under multiplication) that allows a measurement function continuous from the topological initial condition; by this explicit structure, one realizes an implicit demonstration of the theorem that all real functions of a real valued variable are continuous.

Wave function collapse is thereby obviated as a real physical phenomenon. The best account possible is not probabilistic; it is mathematically complete. Classical.

Tom

report post as inappropriate

"If you are questioning spacetime structure, then this becomes relevant because the Hilbert spaces in ordinary quantum theory are often interpreted as "function spaces" on spacetime."

Ed noted: "The wave functions, which live in Hilbert space, are intended to give the best account possible of our observations, so, natuarally, they are defined with reference to a Lorentzian spacetime (or configuration spaces based on Galilean spacetime)."

That's correct. However, the underlying assumption of the Hilbert space as a metric space that invokes complex conjugation leaves the wave function incomplete. Among the beauties of Joy Christian's framework is its algebraically closed structure (octonion algebra closed under multiplication) that allows a measurement function continuous from the topological initial condition; by this explicit structure, one realizes an implicit demonstration of the theorem that all real functions of a real valued variable are continuous.

Wave function collapse is thereby obviated as a real physical phenomenon. The best account possible is not probabilistic; it is mathematically complete. Classical.

Tom

report post as inappropriate

Dear Edward,

The central idea of your well-written essay is one I had not encountered before and it is interesting how it shifts perspective. It appears to me, though, that there may be potential problem with the conclusion you draw from your argument, and I would be grateful if you could clarify.

Before mentioning the objection, let me paraphrase the gist of what I understand your...

view entire post

The central idea of your well-written essay is one I had not encountered before and it is interesting how it shifts perspective. It appears to me, though, that there may be potential problem with the conclusion you draw from your argument, and I would be grateful if you could clarify.

Before mentioning the objection, let me paraphrase the gist of what I understand your...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Armin,

Thanks for your comments. Your characterization of my argument is generally correct, but I would qualify it in a couple of ways. I hope that you won't mind if I take this opportunity to restate the basic argument in outline form.

Lorentz invariance (LI) can be looked at as the defining feature of special relativity, and that is how I am viewing it. LI implies that...

view entire post

Thanks for your comments. Your characterization of my argument is generally correct, but I would qualify it in a couple of ways. I hope that you won't mind if I take this opportunity to restate the basic argument in outline form.

Lorentz invariance (LI) can be looked at as the defining feature of special relativity, and that is how I am viewing it. LI implies that...

view entire post

Dear Edward,

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Your summary has indeed helped me better understand your argument, and it is evident to me now that whatever I did not understand before may have been because of a possible difference in how we apply the notion of causality. How do you define causality? Do you consider the apparently non-local effects, say, as confirmed by Aspect et al., as...

view entire post

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Your summary has indeed helped me better understand your argument, and it is evident to me now that whatever I did not understand before may have been because of a possible difference in how we apply the notion of causality. How do you define causality? Do you consider the apparently non-local effects, say, as confirmed by Aspect et al., as...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Armin,

Your definition of "cause" is a reasonable one, Obviously, for such an important concept, additional discussion would be required. Maudlin, in his excellent book, describes the nonlocal changes in quantum states that are brought about by measurements as superluminal causation. I agree with his analysis, but I have avoided using the term "cause" for these situations. The reason is...

view entire post

Your definition of "cause" is a reasonable one, Obviously, for such an important concept, additional discussion would be required. Maudlin, in his excellent book, describes the nonlocal changes in quantum states that are brought about by measurements as superluminal causation. I agree with his analysis, but I have avoided using the term "cause" for these situations. The reason is...

view entire post

Edward,

Einstein did indeed base special relativity on the idea of a continuous electromagnetic field but at the end of his life he suggested that this idea had in fact killed physics:

You wrote: "In the nineteenth century, the work of Faraday and Maxwell fully established the idea of continuously propagating electromagnetic fields, and suggested to some the existence of a...

view entire post

Einstein did indeed base special relativity on the idea of a continuous electromagnetic field but at the end of his life he suggested that this idea had in fact killed physics:

You wrote: "In the nineteenth century, the work of Faraday and Maxwell fully established the idea of continuously propagating electromagnetic fields, and suggested to some the existence of a...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Dear Edward J. Gillis

Very interesting to see your essay.

Perhaps all of us are convinced that: the choice of yourself is right!That of course is reasonable.

So may be we should work together to let's the consider clearly defined for the basis foundations theoretical as the most challenging with intellectual of all of us.

Why we do not try to start with a real challenge is very close and are the focus of interest of the human science: it is a matter of mass and grain Higg boson of the standard model.

Knowledge and belief reasoning of you will to express an opinion on this matter:

You have think that: the Mass is the expression of the impact force to material - so no impact force, we do not feel the Higg boson - similar to the case of no weight outside the Earth's atmosphere.

Does there need to be a particle with mass for everything have volume? If so, then why the mass of everything change when moving from the Earth to the Moon? Higg boson is lighter by the Moon's gravity is weaker than of Earth?

The LHC particle accelerator used to "Smashed" until "Ejected" Higg boson, but why only when the "Smashed" can see it,and when off then not see it ?

Can be "locked" Higg particles? so when "released" if we do not force to it by any the Force, how to know that it is "out" or not?

You are should be boldly to give a definition of weight that you think is right for us to enjoy, or oppose my opinion.

Because in the process of research, the value of "failure" or "success" is the similar with science. The purpose of a correct theory be must is without any a wrong point ?

Glad to see from you comments soon,because still have too many of the same problems.

Kind Regards !

Hải.Caohoàng of THE INCORRECT ASSUMPTIONS AND A CORRECT THEORY

August 23, 2012 - 11:51 GMT on this essay contest.

report post as inappropriate

Very interesting to see your essay.

Perhaps all of us are convinced that: the choice of yourself is right!That of course is reasonable.

So may be we should work together to let's the consider clearly defined for the basis foundations theoretical as the most challenging with intellectual of all of us.

Why we do not try to start with a real challenge is very close and are the focus of interest of the human science: it is a matter of mass and grain Higg boson of the standard model.

Knowledge and belief reasoning of you will to express an opinion on this matter:

You have think that: the Mass is the expression of the impact force to material - so no impact force, we do not feel the Higg boson - similar to the case of no weight outside the Earth's atmosphere.

Does there need to be a particle with mass for everything have volume? If so, then why the mass of everything change when moving from the Earth to the Moon? Higg boson is lighter by the Moon's gravity is weaker than of Earth?

The LHC particle accelerator used to "Smashed" until "Ejected" Higg boson, but why only when the "Smashed" can see it,and when off then not see it ?

Can be "locked" Higg particles? so when "released" if we do not force to it by any the Force, how to know that it is "out" or not?

You are should be boldly to give a definition of weight that you think is right for us to enjoy, or oppose my opinion.

Because in the process of research, the value of "failure" or "success" is the similar with science. The purpose of a correct theory be must is without any a wrong point ?

Glad to see from you comments soon,because still have too many of the same problems.

Kind Regards !

Hải.Caohoàng of THE INCORRECT ASSUMPTIONS AND A CORRECT THEORY

August 23, 2012 - 11:51 GMT on this essay contest.

report post as inappropriate

Dear Edward,

In the Theory of Infinite Nesting of Matter (my essay) there is the idea of Scale dimension as a fifth dimension of spacetime and SPF symmetry . It means that there must be principle of relativity for observers at each level of matter, and motion along scale axis does not change physical equations. Macro spacetime and micro spacetime have the same properties. What do you think about it?

Sergey Fedosin

report post as inappropriate

In the Theory of Infinite Nesting of Matter (my essay) there is the idea of Scale dimension as a fifth dimension of spacetime and SPF symmetry . It means that there must be principle of relativity for observers at each level of matter, and motion along scale axis does not change physical equations. Macro spacetime and micro spacetime have the same properties. What do you think about it?

Sergey Fedosin

report post as inappropriate

Hello. This is group message to you and the writers of some 80 contest essays that I have already read, rated and probably commented on.

This year I feel proud that the following old and new online friends have accepted my suggestion that they submit their ideas to this contest. Please feel free to read, comment on and rate these essays (including mine) if you have not already done so, thanks:

Why We Still Don't Have Quantum Nucleodynamics by Norman D. Cook a summary of his Springer book on the subject.

A Challenge to Quantized Absorption by Experiment and Theory by Eric Stanley Reiter Very important experiments based on Planck's loading theory, proving that Einstein's idea that the photon is a particle is wrong.

An Artist's Modest Proposal by Kenneth Snelson The world-famous inventor of Tensegrity applies his ideas of structure to de Broglie's atom.

Notes on Relativity by Edward Hoerdt Questioning how the Michelson-Morely experiment is analyzed in the context of Special Relativity

Vladimir Tamari's essay Fix Physics! Is Physics like a badly-designed building? A humorous illustrate take. Plus: Seven foundational questions suggest a new beginning.

Thank you and good luck.

Vladimir

report post as inappropriate

This year I feel proud that the following old and new online friends have accepted my suggestion that they submit their ideas to this contest. Please feel free to read, comment on and rate these essays (including mine) if you have not already done so, thanks:

Why We Still Don't Have Quantum Nucleodynamics by Norman D. Cook a summary of his Springer book on the subject.

A Challenge to Quantized Absorption by Experiment and Theory by Eric Stanley Reiter Very important experiments based on Planck's loading theory, proving that Einstein's idea that the photon is a particle is wrong.

An Artist's Modest Proposal by Kenneth Snelson The world-famous inventor of Tensegrity applies his ideas of structure to de Broglie's atom.

Notes on Relativity by Edward Hoerdt Questioning how the Michelson-Morely experiment is analyzed in the context of Special Relativity

Vladimir Tamari's essay Fix Physics! Is Physics like a badly-designed building? A humorous illustrate take. Plus: Seven foundational questions suggest a new beginning.

Thank you and good luck.

Vladimir

report post as inappropriate

After studying about 250 essays in this contest, I realize now, how can I assess the level of each submitted work. Accordingly, I rated some essays, including yours.

Cood luck.

Sergey Fedosin

report post as inappropriate

Cood luck.

Sergey Fedosin

report post as inappropriate

If you do not understand why your rating dropped down. As I found ratings in the contest are calculated in the next way. Suppose your rating is and was the quantity of people which gave you ratings. Then you have of points. After it anyone give you of points so you have of points and is the common quantity of the people which gave you ratings. At the same time you will have of points. From here, if you want to be R2 > R1 there must be: or or In other words if you want to increase rating of anyone you must give him more points then the participant`s rating was at the moment you rated him. From here it is seen that in the contest are special rules for ratings. And from here there are misunderstanding of some participants what is happened with their ratings. Moreover since community ratings are hided some participants do not sure how increase ratings of others and gives them maximum 10 points. But in the case the scale from 1 to 10 of points do not work, and some essays are overestimated and some essays are drop down. In my opinion it is a bad problem with this Contest rating process. I hope the FQXI community will change the rating process.

Sergey Fedosin

report post as inappropriate

Sergey Fedosin

report post as inappropriate

Dear Edward,

You’ve written an excellent essay, in my opinion. I agree with your agnosticism about spacetime structure (well, actually, I like to go much further and try to replace the manifold structure with something else at the microscale, but I admit it’s speculative). Some of your reflections potentially raise substantial challenges to my own favorite ideas about the role of...

view entire post

You’ve written an excellent essay, in my opinion. I agree with your agnosticism about spacetime structure (well, actually, I like to go much further and try to replace the manifold structure with something else at the microscale, but I admit it’s speculative). Some of your reflections potentially raise substantial challenges to my own favorite ideas about the role of...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Dear Edward!

Sorry could not read your essay before, during rating.

1. For setting a new conceptual structure of the world, which means the space-time, we need a new deep ontology. It is necessary to get to the farthest depths of meaning, seize ABSOLUTE FORM of existence of matter. Assistant may be only dialectical logic, the logic of Heraclitus and Cusa: "coincidence of opposites" and the ancient principle of "what is at the top, there is a at the bottom».

2. Quantum mechanics and general relativity is operational theory, but without the ontological foundation. They work in some parts of the whole world. Mathematics - science also not ontologically grounded. So now the main problem of fundamental physics - the problem of FOUNDATION KNOWLEDGE. And for that we need a new ontological revolution.

3. You correctly captured category “information». FORM first essence (Aristotle). This is all the more necessary in the Information Age.

4. Many physicists want to "kill time". But to «kill time» is to kill the "memory." There is only one way: a new model of the universe is a model of an ETERNAL UNIVERSE. Here mathematics (especially geometry) comes to the fore as the language of nature. Sincerely, Vladimir

report post as inappropriate

Sorry could not read your essay before, during rating.

1. For setting a new conceptual structure of the world, which means the space-time, we need a new deep ontology. It is necessary to get to the farthest depths of meaning, seize ABSOLUTE FORM of existence of matter. Assistant may be only dialectical logic, the logic of Heraclitus and Cusa: "coincidence of opposites" and the ancient principle of "what is at the top, there is a at the bottom».

2. Quantum mechanics and general relativity is operational theory, but without the ontological foundation. They work in some parts of the whole world. Mathematics - science also not ontologically grounded. So now the main problem of fundamental physics - the problem of FOUNDATION KNOWLEDGE. And for that we need a new ontological revolution.

3. You correctly captured category “information». FORM first essence (Aristotle). This is all the more necessary in the Information Age.

4. Many physicists want to "kill time". But to «kill time» is to kill the "memory." There is only one way: a new model of the universe is a model of an ETERNAL UNIVERSE. Here mathematics (especially geometry) comes to the fore as the language of nature. Sincerely, Vladimir

report post as inappropriate

Login or create account to post reply or comment.