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CATEGORY: Questioning the Foundations Essay Contest (2012) [back]
TOPIC: The Universe - An Effect Without Cause by Philip Gibbs [refresh]

Author Philip Gibbs wrote on Aug. 8, 2012 @ 12:52 GMT
Essay Abstract

Through the history of science we have become accustomed to experiencing paradigm shifts in our fundamental understanding of the Universe. Previously-cherished principles have been abandoned by radical thinkers in order to free them of the constraints that were hindering progress. Copernicus ousted the geocentric worldview that had been the dogma for centuries and Einstein led us to abandon the absolutes of time and space introduced by Newton, then Heisenberg took away certainty leaving us to accept unavoidable unpredictability in the laws of nature. In each case the revolutionary move was met with strong resistance from the ruling guard of physicists, but eventually victory fell into the hands of a new generation of thinkers. Each of these revolutionary changes came as a surprise, but the next great shift in thinking will be different in that it has long been anticipated. Physicists already expect that some former assumptions will be tomorrow’s sacrifices in the battle to understand the nature of reality. They know that everyday senses, intuition and philosophical prejudice cannot be trusted when exploring the fundamental laws that prevail in physical regimes that are not part of our ordinary experience. They have seen it all before and all agree that something important has to give before the next breakthrough can be struck. I think it is clear that space and time will be the first casualties of this revolution. They will become emergent properties of a deeper reality. That is the easier part but with them, locality and causality must also fail. Of these it is temporal causality – the principle that every effect has a preceding cause – that is the hardest for scientists to lose. In this essay I discuss why this must happen and what can take its place.

Author Bio

Philip Gibbs has a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Glasgow. He has published papers in physics and mathematics as an independent scientist for over 20 years and is the founder of the viXra.org e-print archive for authors who cannot submit to arXiv.org

Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Aug. 8, 2012 @ 17:27 GMT
Hi Phil,

Good to see you here, and with an interesting topic. Personally; I'd scrap matter first, and I think time may be more fundamental than space, but I do believe the fabric of space is an emergent property of deeper realities. So; we'll probably have some points of agreement when I am done reading.

Good Luck!

Jonathan

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 8, 2012 @ 19:45 GMT
Hi Jonathan, good to join you here.

You seem to be in good company if you think time is more fundamental than space. Smolin, his followers and many cosmologists seem to agree. But I don't. I have tried to argue (in limited space) that relativity means we have to treat them as being on the same level and causality is not required as a basic principle. I know this will be met with resistance but that is what makes it a worthy assumption to question

My first thought was to write about emergent space and time but I decided against it. Firstly because I already covered that in my previous essays. Secondly because I think it is too widely accepted already. It is still an assumption of currently established physics that smooth spacetime is fundamental, but it is no longer an assumption of many people working in quantum gravity. Still I am sure an interesting essay can be written about it and there are some here who have done that. I have a lot of reading to do.

I think qubits could be fundamental but are they constituemts of matter and spacetime or are both things lost? That is just a quastion of semantics.

The paradox of this essay topic is that if you talk about something that most agree with you will probably score lots of points, but the topic invites us to try and argue for something that many people may not yet be ready to accept.

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Yuri Danoyan replied on Aug. 8, 2012 @ 20:40 GMT
In my humble opinion Philip's point of view close to Spinoza's philosophy a religion of nature.Nature - is the cause of itself(Causa sui)

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 8, 2012 @ 21:08 GMT
Yuri, that is not quite what I am saying. I am saying that we do not need to look for a cause of the universe, all we need is a consistent theory of how it works and produces the correlations we observe. To say that the universe cuases itself would be to acknowledge the need for a cause, even if it is not an external one. I am not doing that.

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Roger Schlafly wrote on Aug. 8, 2012 @ 18:38 GMT
I disagree with your statement that Einstein and Heisenberg were "met with strong resistance from the ruling guard of physicists". On the contrary, acceptance of relativity and quantum mechanics was extremely rapid. The papers were published immediately, and they were quickly followed by other papers by big-shots. The authors were promoted to being at the top of the profession. There may be other examples of new ideas being slow to catch on, but it is hard to imagine radical new ideas being adopted any faster than relativity and quantum mechanics.

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Jin He replied on Aug. 8, 2012 @ 23:07 GMT
A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

Max Planck quote:

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Max_Planck

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Hope He replied on Aug. 8, 2012 @ 23:15 GMT
Better trandlation from the Germany:

An important scientific innovation rarely makes its way by gradually winning over and converting its opponents; it rarely happens that Saul becomes Paul. What does happen is that it opponents gradually die out and that the growing generation is familiarized with the idea from the beginning.

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Alan Lowey replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 09:47 GMT
Yes, nicely put. An interesting point of view which isn't well known about I imagine.

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Aug. 8, 2012 @ 19:24 GMT
Dear Phil

Dear Professor Price

I will try to show concrete difference between the 2 approaches:

Parmenides and Heraclitus.

Suppose two options with the same content:

1. The written book (past,present,future)

2. The audio-recording of the same book.(We live in the listeniing regime,CD now spinning, rotates)

Written is...

view entire post

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 08:27 GMT
I like Price's ideas about the arrow of time but I am not convinced that backward causation can resolve the measurement problem. Interesting idea though.

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Yuri Danoyan replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 12:04 GMT
Phil

You didn't comment my Complementarity approach and ignoring Dirac's prognosis about sacrifice.

Price idea is boring.

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 14:39 GMT
Well it's all interesting. Dirac I think was talking about what we now call determinism. Hope of restoring that are slim as I explained in the essay, but it is no longer considered a rebuke to causality. That was restored by redefinition. The only sacrafice was a little integrity :)

I hope to read other peoples essays in time and comment in their own areas if I have anything to say.

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Philip Gibbs wrote on Aug. 8, 2012 @ 19:26 GMT
Hi Roger,

There were plenty of physicists who accepted the new ideas quickly but my point is that some of the older generation did not.

Relativity did face some opposition and was not widely accepted until the eclipse of 1918. Even then there was sufficient doubt that his 1921 Nobel did not cite relativity. Some older physicists such as Poincare did not accept his claim that the ether did not exist. There are many well documented doubters and debates. It was a radical claim. He was accepted back into accademia in 1908 three years after his mirical year, not all that quick, but his contributions to atomic physics and quantum theory were enough to ensure that, plus of course there was enough acceptance from his own generation of younger physicists.

As for Heisenverg, although quantum mechanics itself was accepted very quickly the uncertainty principle is another story. Most of the physicists of the 1925 quantum revolution were young and many accepted it without question but some older physicists such as Einstein certainly did not.

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Roger Schlafly replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 03:15 GMT
Poincare was actually bolder than Einstein, and rejected the aether beforehand. Poincare had the Lorentz group, spacetime, etc. The real reason that special relativity took off in 1908 is because that is when Minkowski's paper was widely circulated, not because of reluctance to accept Einstein's ideas. Minkowski spacetime became popular very rapidly.

Also, you do not convince me to abandon causality, but of course the purpose is to challenge our assumptions so you must expect people to disagree with your essay.

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 07:23 GMT
Yes I am prepared for some disagreement and relish the opportunity to debate it.

Poincare was an interesting case and is often misunderstood. People have quoted his writings pre-1905 in a way that make it look like he preempted Einstein. However, if you study his philosopjhical position of "conventionalism" more closely you find that this was not quite the case. He recognised that a preferred reference frame may not exist in nature but he thought that it was right to define one by some convention. It is a peculiar mid-way philiosophical position that is hard for us to appreciate with our hindsight. That is why it is often misunderstood.

In special relativity it seems like a pedantic distinction but his position on non-euclidean geometry was that if someone proposed a non-euclidean geometry for space it would make no sense because you could impose a Euclidean geometry by convention and it would be better because it was simpler. It is true that you can do that and locally GR can be reformulated as if spacetime is flat and gravity is like any other force, but we dont consider that simpler. Fruthermore it takes away the possibility to consider spacetimes with different topologies. I think Poincare would have ultimately seen the light because of that but he died before the implications of GR became clear.

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James Putnam wrote on Aug. 8, 2012 @ 21:45 GMT
Dr. Gibbs,

"It will be an acausal universe in which space and time are emergent. With them will come locality and causality, also both emergent features of the theory."

Emergence is acausal?

James

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 07:29 GMT
Yes, emergence is acausal. I find it hard to give a more elaborate answer because I dont know if or how you see it as causal.

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James Putnam replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 13:26 GMT
Dr. Gibbs,

Thank you for your response. My question had to do with clarifying the meaning of 'an effect without cause'. Perhaps physicists accept some effects as not having a cause or perhaps I do not understand the physics use of the word emergence. I wanted to avoid interjecting my own view. I fail to see justification for classifying an effect as acausal. I think I see a trend in the foundational science of physics where artificial end points are adopted into theory. An example would be 'self-organization' and another appears to me to be 'emergence'. My meaning of artificial-end-point is the practice of accepting an effect free of fundamental physical justification. The effect appears to me to be accepted as its own cause. Since my opinion is not really relevant to your essay, I say this only to clarify why I asked the question. I wondered if you accept either some effects or perhaps even all effects as their own cause. Is an acausal universe one that justifies itself?

James

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Yuri Danoyan replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 17:40 GMT
It seems the cause every new cycle of the Universe are fragments of Big Crunch from previous cycle.

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Aug. 8, 2012 @ 23:19 GMT
Dear Philip Gibbs,

I admire your mastery of most current fields of physics, and accept that you are extrapolating many current avenues of thought to their extreme consequences. To some degree this resembles climbing up the rope and then pulling the rope up after you, which might be consistent, but is probably not physical. The artificial structures, such as Lattice Gauge Theories, were built on the foundation of temporal causation, and now seem to wish to throw away this foundation, to end up dependent on their own progeny, which 'emerge' from your interpretation of these structures.

You note that "causality is never experienced directly" and one "can never prove it definitively." Do you claim that consistency can be experienced directly or proved definitively?

A final question I have is whether you hope, by throwing away temporal causality, to open things up to "free will" or simply hope to span the universe with a six inch net, declaring that nothing exists smaller than six inches?

It's an impressive essay -- good luck in the contest.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 08:25 GMT
Edwin, good to hear from you.

When you go to pull the rope up you find that it was never there in the first place.

Consistency is not something you need to experience. It is just a principle you need to apply when trying to formulate a theory. According to Geodel it cannot be proved in mathematics but if you assume mathematical consistency you can prove that a physical theory is logically consistent. Consistency with experiment is not proved rigorously of course but checks can be improved and it is obviously a firm requirement.

As for "free will", I dont think it can be defined in an operational sense, same for conciousness. If you can describe a physical test for them that everyone would accept I will reconsider, but otherwise I think they are illusions of our psychology rather than physical concepts. I know that many people disagree and will immediately go to rate me low for saying this but I am still waiting for their operational definitions of free will and conciousness. Depending on what they think these should be I may or may not agree that these things exist. :)

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 08:55 GMT
Thanks Phil,

I'm not sure how you get up the rope that wasn't there to begin with, but I think I get your gist. I also agree that "Consistency with experiment is not proved rigorously of course but checks can be improved", which is pretty much what I meant by the net. This year six inches, next decade five inches, etc.

Operational tests of consciousness or free will seem very unlikely to me, since such tests are better suited to purely objective reality whereas these are almost purely subjective. So I suspect consciousness will be one of those things that gets talked about but will never be hardcore physics. But I doubt anyone is assigning low marks based on comments accompanying an essay.

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Avtar Singh replied on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 20:57 GMT
Dear Phil and Edwin:

I would appreciate your review and feedback on the following thoughts on how to integrate Free Will or Consciousness into physics.

The clues to this come from some well-known phenomena that are non-causal or free-willed such as spontaneous decay/birth of particles, wave-particle duality, and free-willed physical laws that prevail in the universe without any...

view entire post

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Aug. 8, 2012 @ 23:29 GMT
I submitted an essay yesterday. I argue that locality and unitarity are relaxed. Unitarity is the time translation of a particle by a Hamiltonian H. Of course we also have interaction Hamiltonians as well, where we compute Greene functions and propagators. This tends to define often what is meant by causality in physics: a propagator within or tangent to a light cone. Without unitarity our standard notion of causality is lost.

Oh BTW, I have never had a tooth cavity in my life. I think genes play some role in that. My wife is far more fastidious about dental hygiene than I am, and we continually sink lots of money into her teeth 

Spacetime must in some ways be emergent. The Planck length L_p = sqrt{Għ/c^3} is such that metric elements g(L, L) := 1is such that its variation δg(L, L) ~ δL/L becomes comparable to the classical definition of the metric as L --- > L_p. The meaning of a distinct light cone becomes lost near the string or further the Planck scale.

Cheers LC

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 08:29 GMT
I look forward to seeing your essay Laswrence.

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 21:43 GMT
Unitarity is represented by a complex function e^{iHt} and so forth, which is analytic. The loss of unitarity does not mean there is a complete loss of everything; in particular quantum information can still be conserved. A simple analytic function of this sort describes standard quantum physics. Gravity as we know is given by a hyperbolic group, such as SO(3, 1) ~ SL(2,C), where the latter has a map to SL(2,R)^2. The functions over these groups have posed difficulties for quantum gravity, for they are explicitly nonunitary. The trick of performing a Wick rotation on time or with τ = it is a way of recovering the compact groups we know in quantum physics.

It does turn out I think that we can think directly about quantum gravity by realizing that the SL(2,R) is related to a braid group with Z --- > B --- > PSL(2,Z), and that the braid group is contained in SL(2,R). Braid groups have correspondence with Yang-Baxter relations and quantum groups. The group SL(2,Z) is the linear fractional group, which is an elementary modular form. An elementary modular function is

f(z) = sum_{n=-∞}^{n=∞}c(n)e^{-2πi nz}

which in this case is a Fourier transform. In this case we are safely in the domain of standard QM and QFT. In general modular functions are meromorphic (analytic everywhere but infinity) and analytic condition is held on the upper half of the complex plane.

Of particular interest to me are the Eisenstein series of modular functions or forms. These define an integer partition function, which is an acceptable partition function or path integral for a stringy black hole. I include a graphic here illustrating an Eisenstein function. This has a certain self-similar structure to it, or what might be called an elementary form of a fractal. In this picture unitarity is replaced with modularity. In this more general setting the transformation do no promote a field through time by some operator, but that the operator simply computes the number of states or degrees of freedom in a way that is consistent. Unitarity is then a special case of this, which happens to fit into our standard ideas of causality.

Gravity is as you say entropy increasing with the concentration of degrees of freedom. Gravity must then of course have some quantum aspect, for it is ultimately an accounting machine for degrees of freedom. These degrees of freedom are quantum field states, which means for gravity to be a “counter” of quantum states it must also be quantum.

I did not bring this part of my work in the paper I submitted here, except only with some sparse mention. My main thrust has been to argue how locality of quantum fields and unitarity are emergent.

Cheers LC

attachments: Eisenstein_14.jpg

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 10:16 GMT
Unitarity and locality are good ones to regard as emergent. I agree.

Unitarity just says that probabilities add up to one so if you have one state which evolves to another this has to be an exact result. You cant lose some of the probability. However, the fact that one state can evolve into another is itself emergent along with the meergence of time so unitarity emerges in conjunction with that.

Unitarity is reversible so it does not tell us that cause precedes effect, just that the total information is preserved whichever direction you go in. I this sense temporal causality is distinct from unitarity and emerges seperately, but the two things are related.

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John Merryman wrote on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 02:54 GMT
Philip,

Having followed your work, leading up to the discovery of the Higgs, I certainly respect your knowledge of physics. I must say though, that I'm one of those cranks who think much of the last century has been a wild goose chase. Intuition is a slippery fellow and we never quite know when it slips in unnoticed. We perceive time as a sequence of events and physics, in all its mathematical precision, re-enforces this assumption by treating it as a measure of duration. Logically though, it is not that the present that moves from past to future, but the changing configuration of what is, that turns future into past. To wit, the earth doesn't travel/exist along some vector from yesterday to tomorrow, tomorrow becomes yesterday because the earth rotates. It is not theory, but observation. Duration only exists within the present, not external to it.

The cat is not both dead and alive, because it is the collapse of probability which yields actuality.

Time then is an effect of action, similar to temperature. One is rate of change, the other is level of activity. Affect one and you affect the other. Say by accelerating atomic structure close to the speed of light and its level of activity slows, thus its rate of change slows.

We could use ideal gas laws to correlate temperature to volume, much as we use C to correlate distance and duration, but we don't because we understand temperature is a measure of action. While temperature underlays much of our biological and environmental functions, time, the sequence of events, from narrative to causality, underlays our mental functions. Not only is it intuitive, it is the foundation of knowledge.

So now our greatest minds have spent the last century constructing a modern form of epicycles, conceptually similar to the original. Instead of the sun appearing to move, it is the present which appears to move.

Feel free to ignore the point. Just about everyone else does.

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Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 03:25 GMT
Dear Philip,

I could not follow many of the learned technical arguments you put forth concerning the very important concept of causality, but am impressed by your tracing its treatment historically in philosophy and physics.

In my own simple-minded way I am loath to let go of causality, both intuitively in general, and specifically within the structure of my Beautiful Universe Theory which describes a Universe operating locally and causally through a simple transfer of angular momentum in an ether lattice, like some 3D abacus. In my model both space and time are emergent. And so is the concept of quantum probability.

In such a model the sense of your statement that "If time is emergent causality can be emergent too" would become: "in a causal network, time is emergent".

with best wishes,

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 08:32 GMT
Vladimir, it is nice to see that you have entered the contest again, good luck.

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Frank Makinson wrote on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 11:58 GMT
Phil,

From your essay, "There is no general consensus yet on how to replace space and time but there is a widespread view that the space-time manifold as we knew it in general relativity is no longer the accepted starting point. It is just an approximation to some other unknown mathematical structure."

Space-time has become a distorted abstraction precisely because it did not have a proper mathematical structure. We have possessed the necessary knowledge, mathematical for 2,000 years, and physical law for 200 years, to establish the mathematical structure for space (distance) and time (event duration).

Some sixty years ago, the final piece of knowledge came into our possession that allowed the integration of space-time into a well established mathematical structure. The mathematical process, which I refer to as the "Methodology", was published in the July/August 2011 IEEE Potentials, titled, "A methodology to define physical constants using mathematical constants".

IEEE Methodology

Since Jan 2011, IEEE does not allow authors to post their IEEE published papers on their academic or personal websites. A post-print is available at:

Post-print Methodology

The concept in the Methodology is not taught in text books.

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 14:31 GMT
Hello Mr Gibbs,

I am insisting on the fact that the Universe possesses a central sphere !! so it exists a center.In fact all possesses a center. The Universe is causal indeed and is a kind of evolutive computing.But the qbits are more than our simple human perceptions. The singularities and their codes are causal and permit the geometrical building. The spheres permit to create all forms. The convergences with strings can be relevant if and only if the convergences respect our universal foundamentals. That said the oscillations seem relevant when we correlate with the rotations spinal and orbital.You can see also that the tori of stability are correlated with the volumes of the serie of uniqueness.

Regards

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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde wrote on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 15:38 GMT
Hi Philip, Very interesting essay, it is as if you are emerging from a deep thought, you and I fully agree, the end of infinie reductionism and the beginning of free emergent thinking, I hope you will have some time to read "The Consciousness Connection", which is my essay. Of course I do not have the proffessional scientific approach that you have, but it is just an interpretation that you may like. Good luck with your essay. Wilhelmus

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Jayakar Johnson Joseph wrote on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 15:42 GMT
Dear Philip Gibbs,

In a cyclic-universe the sequence of cause and effect is cyclic, in that, cyclic groups and subgroups are perceptible.

With best wishes,

Jayaker

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Joe Fisher wrote on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 16:30 GMT
Dear Doctor Gibbs,

Although I am a layman and did not fully understand many of the esoteric abstruse points of your brilliantly written essay, I would like to humbly offer an uneducated guess about causality. As best as I can tell, opposite physical and human mental states do seem to be attracted to each other. Similar physical and humanly devised imaginary states undoubtedly abide. Yet human theories and all physical conditions that seem to be on the point of becoming identical, after first attempting to swap constituencies collapse into forming a new state that has never existed before. As I have thoughtfully pointed out in my essay Sequence Consequence, although there are clearly attracted physical states of space and matter, it is the similarity in the nature of stars and space that allows them to persist. Yet like snowflakes, no two stars of the trillions that have been observed in the firmament are identical, and no two of the intervening spaces between all of the stars can be identical. Although I doubt that they actually happen, before two stars collide in a supernova, they would have to be on the point of becoming identical. I think they would have to swap energies a moment before the actual collision that would allow a new star with differing potential to emerge. I do hope you are not a Rangers’ fan.

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agd wrote on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 16:59 GMT
Dr. Gibbs, interesting proposal. But from a purely logical and phenomenological honestly can not see it.

First, if the universe is acausal, not cause it generates, then, I would like, if I might respond: mathematical laws governing the universe are sequential algorithms with inputs and outputs are observable properties, etc.

Any algorithm, even if it is of quantum type (qbits), you need a first cause, which are the inputs that allow the calculation later. The latter requires computation times. Infinite qbits require infinite memory to calculations at time zero. Where to stay, and that machine turin, which is causal, this computation is developed hypothetical and impossible?

On the other hand, I find a contradiction, that one, not cause there is a universe with space and time and causality.

The key is in the computability: any computable algorithm, ie, that with inflows generate a throughput, calculations. And this process itself is the causality of any possible universe, as if no algorithm can not be calculated, and therefore neither observable nor any possible universe.

With all due respect, is how I see it

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 09:10 GMT
In my last essay I described the universe as a quantum computer processing strings of qubits. The qubits and the stringy relations between them are fundemental in my opinion, but everything else is emergent. Space and time emerge and with it the quantum computer like structure with quantum code error correction that keeps the universe stable and coherent.

Our brains are also like computers (classical computers this time) but nobody sat down and wrote the prgrams and typed in the intial data before pressing the return key. Our brains evolved to run the way they do in response to our environment and this is possible because of the second law of dynamics which is an emergent law. The program structures which run the universe emerged much more quickly in the initial instant after the big bang, but it was not set in motion by some cause. The low entropy nature of the big bang is just due to the symmetries of nature that are manifest in the singularity and spontaneously broken as time progresses. This is all emergent from one overall block view of the universe with no causal input.

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Anonymous replied on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 14:26 GMT
Dear Doctor Gibbs,

With all due respect, it is your right to think that human brains are like computers, it is my right to know that my brain is nothing like a computer. As I tried to explain in my essay Sequence Consequence, I can only really see what I am looking at here and now. I can only really hear the noise that is in earshot here and now. I can only really smell the fragrances near my nostrils here and now. I can only really taste whatever I put in my mouth here and now. I can only really feel whatever is touching the sensitive surfaces of my body here and now. No clock will ever be built that could accurately record what time it really is now and realistically distinguish that real time from when then ends. No computer will ever be built that could really calculate the boundary line of here and satisfactorily indicate where there ceases. Reality can only take place here and now. Mathematics is only a pretentious religion that uses meaningless symbolic numbers.

Joe Fisher

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Steve Dufourny replied on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 16:37 GMT
Hello ,

the computing is a human invention, the Universe , no !

of course the informations can be correlated with good superimposings but we have several limits and incompleteness.But this incompleteness needs a pure rational road, a pure dterminism in the calculations.You cannot invent false laws.Just for a kind of mathematical plays implying confusions. The maths are there to help us to better understand our physical laws.They are not there to imply the confusions and still less for investors. After we shall ask all :but why this plaenet does not turn correctly. If already the high spheres are corrupted by an ocean of confusions. Oh My God, but what is this circus ?

That said,The artifial intelligence seems possible, and still more with biological superimposings and some algorythms. The informations are fasinating indeed.

Regards

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Philip Gibbs wrote on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 20:27 GMT
Thanks for so many comments. It is good to see so mnay people defending causality because it shows that I am making a point that says something worthwhile

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Yuri Danoyan replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 20:59 GMT
Phil

If you not familiar with Wittgenstein Tractatus my advise to read it

He is greatest thinker of XX century. Not big book.

Drew attention to his ladder idea.

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 08:21 GMT
Thanks for the tip. I will try to find a copy for holiday reading.

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Yuri Danoyan replied on Nov. 13, 2012 @ 14:51 GMT
Phil

Recently i read Freeman Dyson other review

Interesting his attitude to philosophy and Wittgenstein.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/n
ov/08/what-can-you-really-know/

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Avtar Singh wrote on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 23:43 GMT
Dear Philip:

I enjoyed reading your well-written and comprehensive paper on non-causality in the universe. I completely agree with your statements below that are thoroughly vindicated by the model and results presented in my posted paper - “ From Absurd to Elegant Universe”. (Please pardon me for a rather lengthy vindication below in two parts.)

PART 1:

Statement 1:...

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Avtar Singh replied on Aug. 9, 2012 @ 23:45 GMT
PART 2

Statement 2:

“I think it is clear that space and time will be the first casualties of this revolution. They will become emergent properties of a deeper reality. That is the easier part but with them, locality and causality must also fail……… So let me state my thesis. I don’t think that science needs temporal causality at the most fundamental level. The universe does...

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John Merryman wrote on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 01:24 GMT
Philip,

A question regarding causality:

Say I throw a ball, accepting my throw is acausal to the trajectory of the ball, isn't the ball traveling the earlier part of its path causal to the continued travel of the ball? As Newton said of inertia, "A body in motion stays in motion, unless acted on by another force."

Now take that to the LHC: With those particles traveling around that track, wouldn't the same issue arise? Isn't their trajectory and momentum causal to their continued travel? Isn't the collision causal to the spray of subatomic particles and their paths of travel?

It just seems to me that if we eliminate causality, then any coherent function is just happenstance and we are dealing in a realm of mystery far beyond logic.

It seems more likely there is an acausal break in your chain of reasoning, given the amount of debate the issues raised tend to engender.

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 08:13 GMT
Our universe exhibits a very strong causal nature as you describe but the point is that this is emergent rather than fundamental. We observe that past causes have future effects but this is not built into the laws of nature. It is a statistical phenomenon governed by the second law of thermodynamics which is an emergent law valid for macroscopic processes. It works only because of the influence of...

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James Putnam replied on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 14:39 GMT
Dr. Gibbs,

"It is rather sad that although the laws of nature support his thinking, most people still do not recognise that causality is a concept programed into the mind and only exists as an emergent law of nature."

I don't think it is sad. I think it is good to depend upon and learn from empirical evidence and avoid philosophical drifting. Not time nor space nor cause nor intelligence are natural parts of physics equations. The equations of physics are not about the nature of the universe, they are about patterns in changes of velocity of objects.

James

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Yuri Danoyan replied on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 15:08 GMT
James

There is my point of view.

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 11:52 GMT
Phil

Who coined term "emergent"?I can't grasp clear senыe this word.

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 12:42 GMT
According to Wikipedia it was coined by George Henry Lewes in the 19th century but it has become more widely known recently from complexity theory. Thermodynamics is a perfect example of emergence because it is not written into the fundamental laws but appears at a macroscopic level from the complex interactions of simpler components.

When we talk of emergence of space and time we just mean that these things are not written into the fundamental laws of physics but must emerge at a higher level.

Suggest you read wikipedia for a better understanding than I can give in a few words.

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Yuri Danoyan replied on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 18:28 GMT
Phil

How you going for answer to next question:

“Emergence of Cause or Cause of Emergence?“

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 11, 2012 @ 09:02 GMT
Emergence of cause is what my essay is about. I am concentrating on temporal causality rather than ontological causality a.k.a reductionism and emergence does not have to be a temporal process.

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 14:07 GMT
I knew it, but for me it is not enough.I know more about emergency vs reductionism dilemma.I don't understand why space -time can be emergent phenomenon.

Anderson: “The central theme of emergence over reductionism: that large objects such as ourselves are the product of principles of organization and of collective behaviour that cannot in any meaningful sense be reduced to the behaviour of our elementary constituents.” The origin of this idea is Anderson himself, in a widely quoted article from 1971 – "More is different."

_PWA.pdf

Even the great guru John Wheeler relied on the phrase.

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Yuri Danoyan replied on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 14:56 GMT
To my opinion dichotomy "emergency vs reductionism" can be united by bootstrapping idea:top-dawn & dawn-top.

Surprisingly, the container(space-time),theoretical content(fermions-bosons), casual content (energy-matter) obey the same law 3:1.

http://www.fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/946

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Avtar Singh wrote on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 15:49 GMT
Dear Philip:

EMERGENCE vs. CAUSALITY

Phil/Yuri: I would appreciate your feedback on the following conceptual representation:

Emergence implies appearance over time and space. What emerges was not existent before it emerges to be noticed or seen. Hence, emergence implies a kind of evolution of greater complexity over time. Since time and evolution are implied, emergence can be easily confused with causality. What emerges from some earlier state seems to be causal and effected by an external cause.

I would like to suggest EQUIVALENCE (aka complementarity) rather than EMEGENCE to represent a non-causal or free-willed phenomenon or event. Because EQUIVALENCE exists independent of time as an eternal law, it is non-causal. For example, an entity exists in EQUIVALENT states of wave and particle; a wave does not EMERGE from a particle or vice-versa. As I have described in my paper - “ From Absurd to Elegant Universe”, various relativistic states of the mass-energy-space-time continuum of the universe exist as EQUIVALENT states and not EMERGENT states evolving in time and space. Only those states (V much smaller than C) wherein the relativistic effects are negligible are experienced as Newtonian or CAUSAL states. In the limit, when V approaches C, pure non-causal state of fully dilated mass, space, and time exists as the pure kinetic energy (also known as dark energy). Hence, so-called dark energy is not an EMERGENCE from matter state but an EQUIVALENT state free from time and causality.

Regards

Avtar

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Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Aug. 10, 2012 @ 18:17 GMT
philip. The nature of fundamental reality/experience is FUNDAMENTALLY incomplete without the following:

Uniting inertia and gravity is the key to generally unifying and balancing attraction and repulsion -- dreams and waking -- and the body and eye does this. This fundamentally stabilizes distance in/of space. Space manifesting as electromagnetic/inertial/gravitational energy, with the observer included. And gravity cannot be shielded. NOW, dreams do all of this. Dreams are typical/ordinary experience; and, obviously, dreams are physics.

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 11, 2012 @ 08:22 GMT
Frank, thank you it is a beuatiful idea

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Aug. 11, 2012 @ 04:17 GMT
Roger Penrose conception about the Second Law

of thermodynamics and Big Bang.

http://accelconf.web.cern.ch/accelconf/e06/PAPERS/THESP
A01.PDF

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 11, 2012 @ 08:19 GMT
Yuri, this is a very good extra reference for my essay. Penrose has been the one who has most clearly highlighted the paradox of low entropy at the big bang. The first two pages give a readable summary of the problem and the last two describe his solution (Conformal Cyclic Cosmologies) which is much more controversial. His solution fits into the collection of attempts to explain cosmology in causal terms which is what I am criticising.

My solution as described in my essay is that there is a very large and rich symmetry in nature that is restored at singularities such as the big bang. It is a complete symmetry, meaning that there is one dimension of symmetry for each field degree of freedom making everything in the bulk redundant. This explains the hologrpahic principle and Penroses low entropy paradox. It is an incomplete theory but it is a natural conclusion from holgraphy which is driven by the need for consistency rather than wild speculation.

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Yuri Danoyan replied on Aug. 11, 2012 @ 12:48 GMT
Phil,why you criticize any attempts to explain cosmology in causal terms?

Very large and rich symmetry in nature that restore at singularities.

I introduced and call metasymmetry. See my essay in the last competition.

S.Weinberg:

One could imagine “... that specifying the symmetry group of nature may be all we

need to say about the physical world, beyond the principles of Quantum Mechanics.”

Elementary Particles and the Laws of Physics, The 1986 Dirac Memorial Lectures

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 11, 2012 @ 13:06 GMT
Yuri, It is because causality is an emergent phenomema. There is no indication that it is built into the fundamental laws of physics and therefore no reason to think that cosmological models that go beyond the observable universe are required to be causal. There is especially no reason to think that we need a cause to explain why the universe started at the big bang. The physical extraploation based on consistency tells us only that time and space break down at the big bang. Instead we should just be looking for theories that are consistent. It is a good enough constraint that we dont need to look further.

Of course there is no reason why people should not speculate about cosmological models of all kinds but if they are not required for logical consistency or observation than I am skeptical that they have much likelihood of being correct.

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Aug. 12, 2012 @ 00:15 GMT
Every Universe is the cause of the next Universe.Time is the circle.

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Yuri Danoyan replied on Aug. 12, 2012 @ 02:08 GMT
As far as I'm sure that Time is a circle,I suspect that the Space obeys to tangent curve.No dimensions.Only angles.

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Robert L. Oldershaw wrote on Aug. 12, 2012 @ 00:26 GMT
Personally, I think that causality is far more fundamental than the so-called "fundamental laws of physics" since:

Conventional physics requires that 26 fundamental parameters be put into the “standard model” by hand.

Conventional physics has not been able to resolve the vacuum energy density crisis.

Conventional physics cannot explain the fine structure constant.

Conventional physics cannot specifically identify the universal dark matter.

Conventional physics cannot predict the masses of fundamental particles.

Conventional physics cannot reconcile General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics.

Conventional physics cannot explain why galaxies exist, or why they come in radically different flavors like ellipticals and spirals.

And extensions of conventional physics have taken a severe beating at the LHC.

If you are basing your conclusions (such as that "emergence is more fundamental than causality") on the heuristic, model-building that nowadays passes for fundamental physics, then I suggest that you are building upon a foundation of plastic.

Note how willing the postmodern pseudoscientists are to discard something as elegant and well-tested as General Relativity in favor of rubbish like Verlinde's "emergent gravity" and related untestable blather like "backwards causation" and giving up spacetime for comic book fizzics..

Robert L. Oldershaw

Discrete Scale Relativity

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 12, 2012 @ 11:15 GMT
Robert it is good to see you over here. Here are a few points that you are welcome to argue with.

- I agree about the unsolved problems you list. All theoretical physicists are aware of these things and are looking for further enlightenment to understand them better. There have always been further problems to solve in physics and it may be a long time before we reach the bottom of them.

- I am promoting consistency (not emergence) as a replacement for csusality. Many things become emergent in physics as we peel back the layers towards the more fundamental core. I dont think it makes sense to attack emergence as a general feature of physics because it is everywhere.

- I am not promoting Verlinde's emergent gravity. It has some interesting features but his comoslogical inetrepreations seems pretty wild to me and I have mentioned this on vixra log before now. The subject is not mentioned in this essay, neither is backward causation which I reamin skeptical about.

- None of the points you made explain why you think temporal causality is fundamental. I would genuinely like to hear why people think it is so fundamental. It seems to me that it is just an assumption that people are not willing to give up.

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Robert L. Oldershaw replied on Aug. 12, 2012 @ 14:55 GMT
Hi Philip,

Don't take it too personally. Every time I see what I think is hype that over-sells our current understanding of nature I respond with a counter-balancing rant about how much we do not know. It has become reflexive behavior for those on both sides of the issues.

Here's one major question I have: Are causality and emergence (whatever that is specifically) mutually exclusive? What would be the reasoning for a positive answer?

You ask for people to explain their confidence in the fundamentality of causality. Well, everything empirically known through direct testing supports this confidence. Evidence for violations of causality are all tellingly in the unobersevable past (e.g., the beginning of the expansion of our metagalaxy) or in the microcosm where direct observations are impossible and we rely on inferences backed by copious suspect assumptions.

Please don't tell me that quantum mechanics demands acausality. I agree with Feynman that 'no one really understand what QM says about nature, even if it gives the right answers heuristically'. There are many mutually excusive interpretations of QM and the "experts" argue continually and with considerable heat about which version is correct.

How can you flatly say that "emergence is more fundamental than causality"?

That is the question. What motivates this conjecture?

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 12, 2012 @ 17:33 GMT
Robert, thanks but,

I have not said anywhere that "emergence is more fundamental than causality" I did not say it using those words as suggested by your quotes and I did not say it indrectly either. It is not in any sense something that I have said.

What I have said is that causality is emergent. This is a completely different thing to say.

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Aug. 12, 2012 @ 15:05 GMT
For Robert and Philip

Freemen Dyson about unsolved problems in physics(The Future of Physics, Phys. Today 23 (9) (1970)

"To my mind there are only two things that would really would be disastrous for the future of physics. One is if would solve all of the major unsolved problems. That would be indeed be a disaster, but I am not afraid of it happening in the foreseeable future.

The other disastrous thing would be if we become so pure and isolated from the practical problem of life that none of brightest and most dedicated students wants any longer to study physics"

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Israel Perez wrote on Aug. 12, 2012 @ 21:11 GMT
Dear Philip

I enjoyed reading your very interesting essay. It is well structured and well written. I would not hesitate to give a high score. I agree with your view of causality, I think that causality it is just a construction of the mind to try to predict a forthcoming event. To achieve this, the mind tries to find correlations among possible factors that may lead to a particular effect. If the universe were causal if would be deterministic and thus predictable. This also presupposes that the laws of physics either existed before the creation of the universe or were created along with the universe.

You said: There is no general consensus yet on how to replace space and time but there is a widespread view that the space-time manifold as we knew it in general relativity is no longer the accepted starting point. It is just an approximation to some other unknown mathematical structure.

My essay has something to say in this respect though my thesis does poses a view that does not go along with the current trends in physics. Vesselin Petkov claims in his essay that gravity is not a force, this claim, I believe, would have profound implications in the present notion of space-time. My line of research is condensed matter. Within the literature of this field I have found a series of reports that hold that the vacuum resembles more a condensed state of matter, which suggests itself that space is more a material fluid than just geometry as modeled in relativity. I am in agreement with this view but I reached this possibility following another line of reasoning. In my essay I claim that when theoretical physics cannot move forwards is because it has to go backwards and reconsider some old conceptions that could be helpful to solve our present problems. Vesselin and many theoretical physicists holds that there is a crisis in physics and that in these moments of desperation any possibility is valid. I do agree. Though I am aware that my proposal can be amply view as heretic for contemporary physics I am confident that conceiving space as a material fluid is the correct path to get out of the present puzzle. So, I invite you to read my work and I would be grateful if you could leave some comments.

Best regards and good luck in the contest

Israel

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Yuri Danoyan replied on Aug. 12, 2012 @ 21:49 GMT
Dear Israel

i am also supporter of opinion that gravity is not a fundamental force. It seems to me that Sakharov's view about elasticity of space close to truth.

See detail my article "What Wolfgang Pauli Did Mean?"

http://vixra.org/abs/0907.0022

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 13, 2012 @ 16:56 GMT

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Aug. 12, 2012 @ 22:36 GMT
Dear Philip Gibbs,

I just commented on your essay within topic 1364 because it makes my arguments hopefully easily understandable.

Respectfully,

Eckard

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Robert L. Oldershaw wrote on Aug. 12, 2012 @ 23:14 GMT
You are right, technically.

But when you say: "Yuri, It is because causality is an emergent phenomema. There is no indication that it is built into the fundamental laws of physics and therefore no reason to think that cosmological models that go beyond the observable universe are required to be causal.", what is one supposed to infer.

You are hardly saying that causality is fundamental. Looks to me like you are saying quite the opposite.

But I will move on to other issues.

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Azzam AlMosallami wrote on Aug. 13, 2012 @ 02:47 GMT
Dear Philip

The Higgs boson and The COMALOGY http://vixra.org/abs/1206.0002

In my theory I consider the beginning of existence or the universe at t=0 is from energy not mass. Mass is created from energy. I name this state is the infinity state, it is the state of infinity energy and zero mass. At this state The spacetime length equals to zero. the light system is located at the infinity. At this state there is no past or future, there is only present. All the information that I live in my material world is coming from the infinity by the spacetime length. Since we have the mass, thus mass is creating the spacetime length greater than zero. Mass is a reluctance to receive all the information elements of all my life history in a zero spacetime length or at the same present. The higgs boson is creating this reluctance and creating the mass and the spacetime grater than zero. If there is no Higgs boson the particle will own rest mass equals to zero and thus its location will be in the infinity state same as the light beam. This illustrating why the particle without Higgs boson will move with speed of light in vacuum. The speed of light c is measured relative to a system which owns rest mass greater than zero, and c is locally constant. c is related to mass. The origin of the universe is not the mass, it is the energy. at t=0 everything in the universe was energy, and by existing the Higgs field it is created the mass and the speed of light c and the space and time what we know now, all of that are created at the time equals to blank time. Blank time is the time separation between the mass and energy. If I could leave my mass, and I transferred to energy, I'll find all my life history in the infinity state with me at the same present without future or past. The God particles forbidden me to reach that, they created my mass, time, space, and then past and future. Please read my paper http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1272 that interpreting what is the time and space according to our mass, and how I receive my information elements which are exited in the infinity state, and what is the meaning of the wavefucntion and the collapse of the wavefunction, all of these definitions are creater by mass.

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Peter Jackson wrote on Aug. 13, 2012 @ 17:12 GMT
Phil

Nice essay, I think. I hung on all the way until 'diffeomorphism invariance' emerged through 'geometrogenesis', so I fell at the last! a shame as I was trying to glimpse what you felt the solution looked like.

If it means the change between equivalent spaces has a structure based on matter centred frames and apparent causality evolves between them, then I entirely agree. If it means something entirely different then I may of course entirely not do so!

I agree space-time will have a different form to our current interpretation of Minkowski's conception, but this competition is not about what we may or may not agree with. Your essay is well written and argued and deserves a good score.

Can you give me an opinion on this; I've found a difference between real and apparent causality. Apparent is what is found on TV, where the image of what happened arrives later than the fact and any consequence experienced in real time. We find this in 'gravitational' lensing, where delayed light from a source arrives at the same time as light emitted later, so events may commonly appear to be reversed. Of course in reality causality holds, but apparent time may be different to 'Proper Time', by the standard definition. Is this the 'causality breach' you allow?, or do you suggest a real effect before a cause?

I also hope you may read and comment on my essay which I hope offers a fuller ontological foundation of what space time might really look like. It's dense and serious content given theatrical metaphors to also hopefully amuse.

Best of luck

Peter

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Philip Gibbs replied on Aug. 15, 2012 @ 08:40 GMT
Peter, it was not possible to explain the mergence of diffeomorphism invariance fully in this essay because I ran out of space. It is not a complete theory yet either.

In special relativity light cones have nice simple shapes but in general relatciity where light is bent they are more complex than you might think. This is due to effects like the gravitational lensing that changes the topology of the light cone in the distant past if you could trace it back. This does not efect causality so long as there are no closed timelike curves. Same principle applies to the way we receive information via various communication channels such as TV.

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Peter Jackson replied on Aug. 15, 2012 @ 10:10 GMT
Phil

Yes, space, the final frontier of all essays! I not only agree with perturbed GR light cone topology via lensing delays (of over 3 years) but you'll find it referred in papers of my own (including a copy lodged on an excellent web archive here; http://vixra.org/pdf/1007.0022v8.pdf)

Of course there ARE apparent closed curves where delayed light arrives at an observer after direct light. My essay points out that this is not however possible when using 'Proper Time', which implies 'apparent' speeds and time are also fine and dandy and in a different class to 'LOCAL REAL' speed and time. The Quantum mechanism allowing this resolution of SR's issues is presented.

It's densely layered so beware, but I greatly look forward to your views.

Peter

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Avtar Singh wrote on Aug. 13, 2012 @ 21:28 GMT
Dear Phil and Edwin:

(You may have missed my reply above; hence I am posting it again here. I would appreciate your response. Thanks)

I would appreciate your review and feedback on the following thoughts on how to integrate Free Will or Consciousness into physics.

The clues to this come from some well-known phenomena that are non-causal or free-willed such as spontaneous...

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Aug. 14, 2012 @ 00:53 GMT
Dear Avtar Singh,

Philip has stated that "As for "free will", I don't think it can be defined in an operational sense, same for consciousness." I tend to agree with him. One can, through subjective experience of consciousness, postulate a number of things, and perhaps reach some conclusion, but operational definitions are another thing. How does one distinguish free-will based action from random action? And how does one prove it, objectively?

I have my own definitions that I believe are appropriate to discussions of this topic and I presented these in my first FQXi essay on 'Ultimate Physics", so I am not opposed to discussion of these topics in terms of physics. But, lacking an operational definition, I suspect that one will persuade only the already persuaded.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Avtar Singh replied on Aug. 14, 2012 @ 23:16 GMT
Dear Edwin and Phil:

Let us not get hung up on the operational definition of “Free Will” so as not to miss the crucial physics that is missing from current theories. Let us focus on the degree of freedom that is well observed in the universe but not included in the current theories.

What is missing from physics and cosmology today is a lack of this degree of freedom to allow a mechanistic conversion of mass to energy and space to time to allow a complete implementation of the equivalence principle into the current theories. Hence, the missing physics leads to singularities (general relativity) and paradoxes such as dark energy, dark matter, quantum gravity, quantum time, measurement paradox, unknown and unverifiable particles, multi-dimensions, multi-verses etc. etc…..For example, when the mass of a galaxy or universe is confined to a point-like volume singularity is experienced in general relativity because no spontaneous mass to energy conversion and subsequent evaporation is allowed. Once this is allowed, as shown in my paper, the singularity goes away. Second example, the accelerated expansion of the universe is not predicted by general relativity because of the missing physics wherein the mass evaporates into the relativistic kinetic energy that provides the observed accelerated expansion. This provision naturally provides the mechanistic physics of expansion rather than the currently used Einstein’s blunder fudge factor – cosmological constant.

The point (as described in my paper- -“ From Absurd to Elegant Universe” ) I would like to bring to the attention of scientists in this forum that the fundamental reality of the universe is the Zero-point state of the mass-energy-momentum-space-time continuum and fundamental dynamic process that governs the manifested universe is the spontaneous (Free-willed) birth and decay of particles. Neither the Particles/strings nor space-time nor biological evolution are fundamental in themselves but their overall state of the wholesome continuum. There is a lot of focused discussion in this forum on the artifacts –inconsistencies and paradoxes of the missing physics but a lack of focus on the missing most fundamental state and processes that govern the universe at its core. As shown in my paper, once the missing physics is properly included in current theories, the artifact questions and inconsistencies disappear along with artifact paradoxes listed above leading to a coherent and simple/elegant universe.

We must cure the disease (missing fundamental physics) and not focus on merely eliminating symptoms (artifact assumptions, inconsistencies, paradoxes, mysterious phenomena etc.). The castle (universal TOE) cannot be built upon missing fundamental foundations. We must not get lost in trees (artifacts) so as not to lose the vision of the forest (fundamental universal reality).

Best Regards

Avtar

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Aug. 14, 2012 @ 02:04 GMT
Dear Philip Gibbs,

Space and time lead to structure, and I have claimed in my previous essays and developed in "The Automatic Theory of Physics" that logic and math emerge from structure, with examples of RNA/DNA, silicon logic gates, neural networks, and analog equivalents.

Lawrence Crowell, in his essay, argues that "beyond a certain point, our probe creates black holes that hide the information..." and thus "space-time is a barrier to complete specification of an observable." But to go beyond observables one must put "math beyond physics", since physics based on observations is self-limiting.

But since logic and math emerge from space-time structure, it is not at all clear that one can abolish space-time structure and yet believe that logic and math (both typically dependent on temporal causality) can still be used beyond this abolition. Since I believe that consistency is meaningless without logic, it is not clear that consistency does not emerge post the emergence of logic. Of course I suppose that the religious approach of 'belief in a Platonic realm of math' can be offered, but I would reject that approach.

I have nothing at all against the use of logic or math in "what if" pursuits, just as I have nothing against mathematicians or philosophers, but I do wonder whether one should call such musing past the limits of observation "physics". As I see it, Frank de Meglia has as valid a claim to this territory as anyone.

As I remarked above, to presume that logic and math (and hence 'consistency') are preserved after space and time are abolished is similar to climbing the rope and then pulling the rope up after you. Your surely can't take this kind of logic to the bank.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Lawrence B Crowell replied on Aug. 14, 2012 @ 15:46 GMT
I suppose I would maybe take issue with the idea that logic is dependent on structure. The emulation of logic by physical or mechanical systems may depend on structure. Further, logic has a basis: S1: If x then y, S2 x, S3 conclude y, where when this modus ponens is accessed by a brain the if comes before y in a tensed fashion, and S1, S2 and S3 occur in a temporal sequence according to how the brain reads this. However, this in a set theoretic setting is x\in A and y \in B with A\subset B is not time ordered. The time ordering comes with how we solve a syllogism or with how a machine might compute a logical problem with gates. I am not a set theory maven, but with my tangential knowledge of the subject I would suspect that mathematics hangs on logic. Mathematics involves relationships between objects and structures, and those relationships are consistent according to logic.

I would then say that one can abolish causality, or temporal sequences and still say that logic exists. In my my response to your post on my essay page I illustrate how this is connected to a correspondence between QCD and spacetime physics. Further, I argue based on the BCFW recursion (a subject that requires some effort to understand --- sorry that’s just the facts of life) that there are QCD amplitudes which are not explicitly local or with reference to spacetime, which means that the gravity sector is “quantum gravity without spacetime.” This further still has structure, both physical and mathematical. It is not as if we are in a pure nothingness that has no description. However, this is a vacuum state model with a huge reduction in the number of degrees of freedom. It is then closer to what we might call nothingness.

Cheers LC

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Aug. 14, 2012 @ 16:56 GMT
I agree that mathematics hangs on logic. And while it is certainly true that "the emulation of logic by physical or mechanical systems may depend on structure" of course you can 'maybe' take issue with the idea that "logic is dependent on structure." But to assume that when space and time are abolished ("close to what we might call nothingness") somehow logic and math still exist is to assume a lot. I believe it is a wrong assumption.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Jason Mark Wolfe replied on Aug. 16, 2012 @ 21:24 GMT
What if part of nature is not at all logical? For example, physics and predictability seem to stop at quantum mechanics where eigenstates cannot be predicted. Is it possible that within this unpredictablity, within the uncerttainty, nature still has form and function, yet defies logic?

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Avtar Singh wrote on Aug. 15, 2012 @ 22:04 GMT
Hi Phil:

Following up on my earlier posts above, I would greatly appreciate your comments on my paper - -“ From Absurd to Elegant Universe” since it strongly vindicates the conclusions of your paper and provides a validated mathematical model of the universe that mirrors your recommendations.

Also, I would greatly appreciate your views regarding Emergence vs. Equivalence described in my post above.

Best Regards

Avtar

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Frank Makinson wrote on Aug. 16, 2012 @ 20:53 GMT
Phil,

Time, space-time and gravity take up a lot of space in the essays, including yours. I responded to a comment about TIME in Kelvin Marshall's essay, Topic 1382, (post Aug. 15, 2012 @ 23:20 GMT) with the statement, "TIME is a manifestation of the existence of energy," and I provide a supporting argument.

Gravity is covered in Marshall's essay, and a statement about action-at-a distance prompted me to post a comment (Aug. 16, 2012 @ 19:44 GMT) and a link to my viXra article, "The helical structure of the electromagnetic gravity field". I mention that a number of versions of the paper had been submitted to five peer reviewed publications and that the viXra paper is an iteration of the various submissions.

Helical Electromagnetic Gravity Field

I do not attempt to describe the quantum structure that is responsible for the EM force of gravity, just how the EM fields produce the force.

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james r. akerlund wrote on Aug. 19, 2012 @ 02:08 GMT
Hi Phil,

I've read your essay and I must say I liked the new directions in thought that you advocated. I will try to summarize my understandings of what you wrote. Math in order to advance goes through two stages. A mathematical concept is first proposed as a conjecture if no proof available and then it exists as this conjecture and some people build on that conjecture or try to disprove it. The concept is finally accepted into math when a proof is given and math is advanced. But you know all of that. What I got from your essay is that you want to do the same thing to physics except instead of using proof as the final verifying event you want consistency to be the final verifying event. This brings up a question; what is consistency to where it can be equated with mathematical proof, if that is possible?

You know, physics has already done a variation of this already, except the standard was "beauty" and it was applied to string theory and look where that got us, the "landscape" and lots of people thinking physics has lost its direction.

Are you prepared for the "landscape" version of consistency? I am of the opinion that consistency is an attribute not a guiding principal of physics, because what may seem inconsistent from one vantage point maybe completely consistent from a different vantage point.

Anyway, I want to thank you for keeping the world up to date concerning the Higgs experiment results before July 4th.

Jim Akerlund

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Anton W.M. Biermans wrote on Aug. 19, 2012 @ 08:24 GMT
Dear Philip,

Though you know an awful lot more about physics than I do and your excellent essay is written much better than mine, I do think, with all respect, that I'm a few crucial steps ahead of you.

Causality only makes sense in a Big Bang Universe. The problem is that a BBU lives in a time continuum not of its own making, so the concept of cosmic time refers to an imaginary...

view entire post

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Avtar Singh wrote on Aug. 21, 2012 @ 22:43 GMT
Hi Phil/Edwin/All:

“Operational Definition/Framework for Consciousness or Free Will” - A response to your earlier comment.

Phil and Edwin have stated in an earlier post here that "As for "free will", it can’t be defined in an operational sense, same for consciousness."…….. How does one distinguish free-will based action from random action? And how does one prove it,...

view entire post

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James Putnam replied on Aug. 21, 2012 @ 23:16 GMT
Dear Avtar Singh,

"Since Free Will cannot be bounded in space and time, the state of Free Will is described by a fully dilated space and time with no clocks or distances."

This appears to me to be a mechanical perspective. Is your approach to free-will basically a theoretical physics model? I understand it to be lack of preciseness in predictability.

" The Cosmic Free Will or Universal Consciousness is represented mathematically and physically by the Zero-point State (ZPS) continuum of the universe. This fundamental state that represents the un-manifested totality or wholesomeness or everything-ness of the universe is most ironically known as the vacuum or the “Nothingness” in the commonly known terminology of physics and cosmology.

The most fundamental process leading to the manifested universe or creation of matter, space, and time is the spontaneous or non-causal or free-willed birth of particles or creation of matter borne out from the fundamental Zero-point State (ZPS). "

I cannot tell where intelligence enters into this description. I presume that your meaning of cosmic consciousness means a form of probability? Perhaps that which has occured at the beginning, which itelf is unpredictable? In other words, it is due to mechanical effects that are not yet predictable?

I remember you mentioned free-will at the end of your essay indicating that your physics view allowed for an explanation. It appeared to me then to be referring to a physics definition of a mechanical free-will. Do you view human free-will as a mechanical abberation?

I acknowledge that I do not view the mechanical versions of free-will as being free, and, more importantly not being related to intelligence. That being said, I am interested in further explanation of your understanding of human free-wil if it is related to the physics version. Thank you.

James

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Avtar Singh replied on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 16:31 GMT
Hi James:

Your Comment 1: “This appears to me to be a mechanical perspective. Is your approach to free-will basically a theoretical physics model? I understand it to be lack of preciseness in predictability.”

Response:

Cosmic Free Will is neither mechanical nor EM. It represents a...

view entire post

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Anonymous replied on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 00:04 GMT
Dear Avtar Singh,

James

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Jeff Baugher wrote on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 19:22 GMT
Philip,

Reading through your essay and may be getting a grasp of how I could interpret your concepts into my essay.

My essay is basically stating that any multiple of the metric
$g_{\mu\nu}$
(i.e. Lambda or Omega or what have you) is technically mutually exclusive to the Einstein tensor
$G_{\mu\nu}$
if we do not relax the assumption that
$R_{\mu\nu}=0$
. Thus, in the case I present of
$\Omega g_{\mu\nu}-L_{\mu\nu}$
, if
$L_{\mu\nu}= 0$
then there would be no structure to spacetime and thus no concept of "time". Would you view this as an emergence of time?

Regards,

Jeff

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Leo Vuyk wrote on Aug. 25, 2012 @ 15:31 GMT
Dear Phil,

You wrote:

“Complete symmetry will be an important element “

And further:

“The difficulty is to show that such structures can underlie string theory.

I think that recent work on the holographic principle and higher spin symmetries indicates that this may be possible.”

Do you think that complete symmetry could happen if the big bang produced “fully entangled CP symmetric copy universe bubbles at a long distance”

Entangled even down to the Planck scale?

Then our universe is not any more unique and even humans have to deal with a shared consciousness with our anti-matter copy brothers and sisters over there ( inside the raspberry shaped multiverse)

See:

The Bouncing CP Symmetrical Multiverse, Based on a Massless but Energetic Oscillating (Non SM Higgs) Vacuum Particle System.

http://www.fqxi.org/data/essay-contest-files/Vuyk_131
21461.pdf_The_bounc_1.pdf

or:

http://www.fqxi.org/community/fo
rum/topic/1412

Leo Vuyk.

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Aug. 25, 2012 @ 20:01 GMT
Phil

I put a new improved version of an essay that is very different from that which in vixra.

Thanks for the shelter of crazy ideas.

Yuri

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Cristinel Stoica wrote on Aug. 30, 2012 @ 12:31 GMT
Dear Phil,

Beautiful essay. Definitely causality changed after the discovery of relativity, but after the advent of quantum mechanics, it truly became something else :)

I concur with your affirmation "Correlations and consistency are all that can be counted on if we want to understand the foundations of physics."

About the survey aiming to prove correlation between smoking and tooth decay, maybe the common cause is a careless behavior. I was amused when I heared about another research, claiming that reading while sitting on the toilet causes constipation -- the converse seems a much simpler explanation :).

Congratulations for the deep and well-explained observations about causality.

Cristi Stoica

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Anonymous wrote on Sep. 1, 2012 @ 09:01 GMT
I don't necessarily agree with the idea, but the essay was a very good read.

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Joel Rice wrote on Sep. 7, 2012 @ 14:41 GMT
Interesting that you include 'consistency with experiment'. There is the Rub ! That justifies singlets for right handed fermions, in the absence of some algebraic reason for it, but leaves one wishing there were an explicit algebraic reason. Perhaps the emphasis on Lie algebras has drawn attention away from the algebra that the Lie algebra lives in. Hamilton had a lot to say with quaternions without knowing about SU(2). The really peculiar thing is that useful statements can be made with quaternion arithmetic to add up "force vectors" - but the gross oversimplification was essential to the evolution of physics. Ditto for Maxwell. Anyway, I suspect that this Consistency business ultimately depends on the design of the universe being some algebra. I don't know whether a notion of 'emergence' clarifies or confuses the issue. At least algebra leads to asking important questions. Like - what does it mean that in real Clifford algebra the +--- signature is in a different algebra than the -+++. And complex octonions have both. To make things more confusing, consider a direct product of octonions - because it includes direct products of quaternions you get Clifford algebras ! Maybe sometimes the Lorentz signature does not necessarily refer to spacetime - it might have multiple meanings, like pauli matrices and Spin - or Weak Isospin. Oh well - it is sort of amusing that the universe is such that Hamilton did not have to derive classical mechanics from chromodynamics, or we would be in worse shape than at present.

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Anton W.M. Biermans wrote on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 10:09 GMT
Ed,

''Quantum measurement predictions are consistent with relativity for macroscopic observations, but there is no consensus on how to explain this consistency in fundamental terms.''

My essay is a sketch of a much more extended investigation about how a universe might create itself out of nothing (see my website www.quantumgravity.nl). In this study I have proposed a mass...

view entire post

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Sep. 20, 2012 @ 06:20 GMT
Phil,

A very interesting discussion but how do you use "consistency" in in discovering the properties of or explaining how gravity works? The example of the discovery of the the Higgs boson speaks of the Standard Model and quantum physics. Gravity is a strange and mysterious bird. I could only refer to empirical evidence and a few studies to even begin to explain it.

Jim

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Author Philip Gibbs replied on Sep. 20, 2012 @ 19:21 GMT
Gravity is an excellent example of how consistency can lead to progress. General Relativity was formulated out of the necessity to form a theory of gravity that is compatible with the principles of relativity. There was essentially no prior experimental input that came direct from observations of gravity beyond Newtonian dynamics. Of course the experimental confirmations that were recognised or...

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James Lee Hoover replied on Sep. 20, 2012 @ 21:35 GMT
True enough, Phil, but how do you identify a consistency with GR in light of dark energy, black holes, and a gravitational force too weak to fit into the Planck world?

Jim

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Sep. 24, 2012 @ 17:43 GMT
Dear Philip,

What is your opinion about SPF symmetry and Scale dimension , which are found in the Theory of Infinite Nesting of Matter (subject of my essay)?

Sergey Fedosin

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Member Hector Zenil wrote on Sep. 25, 2012 @ 05:18 GMT
Dear Philip,

You touch upon a fundamental topic, that of actually putting in question causality as foundational, as it has been done for other properties such as as locality and reality. If I understand you don't reject causality as a property of reality but you do so as a fundamental property, in other words causality is an emergent property given the emergent property of both space and time from general relativity. I couldn't fully get whether "complete symmetry" was perfect symmetry, and how the process of symmetry breaking is explained in your proposal, such as chiral properties at various levels of organisation of matter. I explain quite well several concepts that deserve attention, such as the holographic principle and the theories of information around black hole theoretical research.

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Sep. 25, 2012 @ 09:08 GMT
Dear Philip Gibbs

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...

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Amanda Gefter wrote on Sep. 29, 2012 @ 07:38 GMT
Hi Phillip,

I really enjoyed your thoughtful essay, and its emphasis on the import of symmetry and consistency. In my journalistic work I've written quite a bit about the holographic principle as well as the potentially fractal distribution of large scale structure and am always intrigued by connections drawn between the two. If you are not already familiar with it, you may find Jonas Mureika's work interesting.

My essay here deals with holography in an entirely different context, but in case it is of interest to you, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Regards,

Amanda

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Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Sep. 29, 2012 @ 11:30 GMT
Dear Philip I hope this finds you well

----

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.

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Author Philip Gibbs replied on Sep. 29, 2012 @ 18:08 GMT
Vladimir, It's good to see you here again and doing so well. We have many other viXra authors in the contest too. I love the range of ideas that people have brought to this contest

Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 2, 2012 @ 14:36 GMT
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

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Anonymous wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 04:17 GMT
Dear Philip,

I am just asking you to check mine work if you can find time

essay (Vixra.org)

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 07:23 GMT
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
$R_1$
and
$N_1$
was the quantity of people which gave you ratings. Then you have
$S_1=R_1 N_1$
of points. After it anyone give you
$dS$
of points so you have
$S_2=S_1+ dS$
of points and
$N_2=N_1+1$
is the common quantity of the people which gave you ratings. At the same time you will have
$S_2=R_2 N_2$
of points. From here, if you want to be R2 > R1 there must be:
$S_2/ N_2>S_1/ N_1$
or
$(S_1+ dS) / (N_1+1) >S_1/ N_1$
or
$dS >S_1/ N_1 =R_1$
In other words if you want to increase rating of anyone you must give him more points
$dS$
then the participant`s rating
$R_1$
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

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Philip Gibbs replied on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 08:07 GMT
Yes if someone is rated low their position goes down, its a terrible problem with the system LOL.

I never expeted this essay to do even as well as it is doing now because many people think wrongly that temporal causality is fundamental and vote accordingly. I am happy that I made the point nevertheless.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 18:03 GMT
You might notice that your essay jumped up in the community rating. I am voting for some essays today, where some that are a tad below the level they should be at are getting high scores from me. Your essay if fairly commensurate with what I wrote.

Cheers LC

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Philip Gibbs replied on Oct. 5, 2012 @ 06:30 GMT
Thanks, I voted for you some time ago. There is a lot of movement at the moment, good luck

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Oct. 5, 2012 @ 18:04 GMT
Your essay might just be in the level to where it could be judged by the final panel. Indeed things have been moving around a lot. According to Brendan the system has a glitch. I dropped from #2 to #106, then up to #54 and am now below #70. I think the system has been hacked. Supposedly it is to be "put back together," but I don't think that really happened. The contest in the last 24 hours has been corrupted. I am passed up now by a fair number of complete nonsense essays. I have thrown in the towel on the whole thing at this point. I was hanging around #20-25 for a couple of weeks, which I think was then an honest rating. I was hoping that it would at least go back to that. It appears a lot of damage is being permitted to remain, so why should I care at this point?

Cheers LC

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Oct. 6, 2012 @ 00:40 GMT

And I also noticed a lot of jumps in ranking. I saw Lawrence at #1 for a while, then down in the seventies a few hours later. This does seem unlikely to be a natural occurrence, but I hope they can sort it out.

Good Luck!

Jonathan

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Philip Gibbs replied on Oct. 6, 2012 @ 08:43 GMT
If the present standings hold up I think there are eight people tied in 35th place including you and LC, so well done if that is correct. I dropped quite a few places near the end but with the numbers so close it would not have taken many votes to make that happen and perhaps I had been helped by some of the votes that were discounted. In any case I am happy to have taken part and there are some great essays in the top places so I think it is a worthy result.

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Philip Gibbs replied on Oct. 6, 2012 @ 18:27 GMT
Scrub that. It is all change again.

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Oct. 9, 2012 @ 02:39 GMT
My sympathies Phil,

I was a bit surprised at the final outcome, having been ranked in the 70s most of last week. I guess some folks who liked my essay waited until late on the final day to vote. It appears that - unless some of the higher ranked papers are disqualified - only one of us made the cut. Although I gave both you and Lawrence 8s, I almost feel like I should apologize for edging you out, but I will boldly carry the torch forward.

Who knows? Maybe some of the odd fluctuations at the end was Ray 'flexing his muscles' on the other side, to help assure that one of us two would someday get into the winners circle - since we both came close twice before. I will doubtless carry forward his belief that Physics should be fun (it is!), and I do champion one or two of his ideas in my essay, so that would probably be motivation enough.

However; you have my appreciation, as here in the physical realm, you are almost certainly one of those people who helped to put me in the running for the final phase of the contest. Thank you!

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Marcel-Marie LeBel wrote on Dec. 4, 2012 @ 03:00 GMT
To Phil Gibbs,

I just read your essay. I did not understand everything but see where you are going; getting rid of causality. Wow! It is a risky one.

Kick a ball and the cause is your foot. You could concatenate to the Big bang and... I leave that to a certain bread of philosophers. The cause here is evident. But sometimes the cause has no foot. This is where we should look for...

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Paul Sebastian Cairns wrote on Mar. 15, 2015 @ 22:48 GMT
"The Relativistic Rocket" [at http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/SR/rocket.h
tml]

Hi, I hope this is being or can be read by Philip Gibbs who (I understand) originated the UCR article with the above title in 1996. Thanks very much to both Philip and editor Don Koks, for this readable and rigorous article .