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Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest
December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020
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What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
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It From Bit or Bit From It
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Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
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Is Reality Digital or Analog?
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Benjamin Dribus: on 10/5/12 at 18:13pm UTC, wrote Dear Mark, Thanks. I find a lot of aspects of QFT a bit opaque to...

Mark Stuckey: on 10/4/12 at 18:00pm UTC, wrote Thanks for your input, Ben. I will certainly read your essay. As for...

Sergey Fedosin: on 10/4/12 at 6:50am UTC, wrote If you do not understand why your rating dropped down. As I found ratings...

Benjamin Dribus: on 10/1/12 at 18:18pm UTC, wrote Dear Michael, I like your paper. There are a lot of structural elements...

Hoang Hai: on 9/19/12 at 13:53pm UTC, wrote Dear Very interesting to see your essay. Perhaps all of us are convinced...

Ken Wharton: on 9/12/12 at 17:52pm UTC, wrote Michael and Mark, Nice work on this; I'm impressed to see how far it has...

John Merryman: on 8/21/12 at 3:26am UTC, wrote Michael, I certainly respect your qualifications, but the whole acausal,...

John A. Macken: on 8/21/12 at 2:28am UTC, wrote Michael, Your first sentence says, "A current obstacle to unification is...


Steve Dufourny: "Hi Dr Chiang, I see this GR like this, in fact these EFE , the hilbert..." in Anatomy of spacetime and...

Dr Narayan Bhadra: "STRUCTURE FORMATIONS OF BIOMOLECULES We study a Nano-Structural..." in Alternative Models of...

Steve Dufourny: "Hi Jim,hope you are well, You could be interested to read some papers on..." in The Nature of Time

Javier Soto del Valle: "As Arieh Ben-Naim [1] says, time does not appear in entropy expressions...." in First Things First: The...

Jim Snowdon: "Picture a single photon moving in space? Where on the photon does time..." in The Quantum Clock-Maker...

Jim Snowdon: "Good Morning Steve! Happy New Year! I can hardly wait..." in The Nature of Time

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Nicholas hosein: "Iwrote the above when I had perfect clarity." in Good Vibrations

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January 29, 2022

CATEGORY: Questioning the Foundations Essay Contest (2012) [back]
TOPIC: Unification Rebooted: Graphting Spacetime and Matter by Michael David Silberstein [refresh]
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Author Michael David Silberstein wrote on Aug. 20, 2012 @ 15:09 GMT
Essay Abstract

We believe one of the main obstacles to unification has been a form of ‘spacetime-matter dualism.' Herein we propose unification based on spacetimematter, finishing Einstein’s dream so to speak. In order to accomplish this, we are proposing two changes to the standard view of fields – having them reside on a graph rather than a differentiable manifold and acknowledging that their dynamical attributes (energy, momentum, mass, etc.) necessarily entail a metric. Specifically, space, time and matter are co-constructed per a global constraint equation using path integrals over graphs in an attempt to derive matter and spacetime geometry ‘at once’ in an interdependent and background independent fashion from something underneath both GR and QFT. The global constraint equation takes the form of a self-consistency criterion (SCC), not a dynamical equation. The use of an SCC implies physics is adynamical and acausal at the fundamental level, in stark contrast to the reigning paradigm of dynamism. Dynamism encompasses three claims: (1) the world, just as appearances and the experience of time suggest, evolves or changes in time in some objective fashion, (2) the best explanation for (1) will be some dynamical law that “governs” the evolution of the system in question, and (3) the fundamental entities in a TOE will themselves be dynamical entities with intrinsic properties evolving in some space however abstract. We believe that general relativity, non-relativistic quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, and the failures of unification generally are giving us clues that all the assumptions of dynamism might be false. In this essay we want to demonstrate how an alternative adynamical approach involving acausal global constraints as fundamental might help solve some longstanding problems. This reboot of unification has potentially profound and sweeping consequences for all of physics including foundational issues in: quantum mechanics, cosmology and astrophysics.

Author Bio

Michael David Silberstein is Full Professor of Philosophy at Elizabethtown College and permanent Adjunct in the philosophy department at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he is also a faculty member in the Foundations of Physics Program and a Fellow on the Committee for Philosophy and the Sciences. His primary research interests are foundations of physics. He, along with his co-authors has published papers in Foundations of Physics, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, Classical and Quantum Gravity, etc. They have also given many talks at prestigious venues world wide.

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Peter Jackson wrote on Aug. 20, 2012 @ 22:59 GMT

A novel route around the common objections that I hope works as I feel it's fundamentally fresh approach is essential for progress, whether entirely correct or not. Certainly I found sense and agreement with most, including;

" a current obstacle to unification is the lack of a true marriage of spacetime with matter... the "metric") is subject to quantization distinct from the matter and gauge fields." "...fields account for both the metric and the matter-energy content.."

also; "A "particle"... is simply a collection of detector hits..." and "...describe how individual detectors (including those in nature) react to specific Sources... the 'essential' properties of Particles, such as mass and charge, are not intrinsic but relational or contextual." and "there is no accelerating expansion," but only in that context that "there is no need of a cosmological constant..."

However, You say "...our choice of an SCC results statistically in dynamical, causal physics." which I agree absolutely should be the case, but a real mechanism seems not yet defined, and you identify "dynamism" as the incorrect assumption. I do not fully understand the distinction, including with your points 1-3. I find logical consistancy to be the key, both dynamic (PDL) and the precise hierarchical structure of Truth Propositional Logic applied to real and bounded inertial frames.

This may be due to the way I've been viewing my own derivation of something very similar, described in my essay, but under the 'kinetic state' heading, and analysing the effects of the temporal evolution of interaction, which you appear to dismiss, as able to produce SR from a known quantum mechanism, which you seem to agree with. Do you have any mechanism not specified?

We certainly agree both Relativity and QM must be re-interpreted to achieve unification, and I think are more consistent than some of your terms may indicate. I hope you may read my own essay and comment.

I wish you well and am sure you will score as highly as deserved.


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John A. Macken wrote on Aug. 21, 2012 @ 02:28 GMT

Your first sentence says, "A current obstacle to unification is the lack of a true marriage of spacetime with matter." I could not agree more. I have also been working on the concept that spacetime is fundamental to everything. In fact, I extend this to the limit and maintain that all particles, fields and forces are made out of the single building block of 4 dimensional spacetime. (See my book available for download here). One of the successes of this spacetime based approach is that it leads to not only particles with the correct spin and inertia but it also leads to the derivation of gravity and the electromagnetic force from first principles. Going further, these insights show a previously unknown connection between gravity and the electromagnetic force. This connection is the subject of my essay.

You offer a valuable different perspective into modeling the universe from spacetime. I believe this convergence on spacetime will develop into a new field of physics.

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John Merryman wrote on Aug. 21, 2012 @ 03:26 GMT

I certainly respect your qualifications, but the whole acausal, non-dynamic, static, information/math based view of physics is what has it in the current fantasy world of multiworlds to multiverses.

My contention is that the intuitive sense of time as a series of events has been embedded in physics by treating time as a measure from one event to the next. Much as epicycles sought to explain the movement of the sun, current physics is tangled up trying to explain the movement of the present. Just as it isn't the sun actually moving, but the earth, it isn't the present which moves, but the events. The earth doesn't travel/exist along the fourth dimension from yesterday to tomorrow, tomorrow becomes yesterday because the earth rotates. It is not information creating the illusion of movement, but movement creating transitory information.

Not that I expect you to take me seriously, but time has a way of consuming all that it creates. Without motion, nothing exists. With motion, nothing exists forever.

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Member Ken Wharton wrote on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 17:52 GMT
Michael and Mark,

Nice work on this; I'm impressed to see how far it has come, especially on the cosmological front. I agree with your assessment that my essay makes for an introduction to some of your more in-depth analysis, mainly because there's quite a strong overlap by what you mean by "Dynamism" and what I mean by the "Newtonian Schema".

In fact, this is probably the best-developed example of what I'm pushing for when I talk about the "Lagrangian Schema". I guess you've both been beating that drum far longer than I have; I've only recently come over from the position that one could get QM by simply imposing two-time boundaries on classical, dynamic equations. Still, I hope my own essay will make your work more accessible. And of course I also hope to have a smooth-spacetime model at some point in the near future to give your discrete viewpoint some competition... :-)

Again, nice work!


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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 13:53 GMT

Very interesting to see your essay.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Regard !


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

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Member Benjamin F. Dribus wrote on Oct. 1, 2012 @ 18:18 GMT
Dear Michael,

I like your paper. There are a lot of structural elements in common with my own favorite approach (e.g. path integrals over graphs), but also some interesting and important differences: you achieve causal structure statistically, while I take it to be fundamental.

One thing I have thought about is whether Lie group symmetries ought to survive at all at the fundamental level when one sacrifices the manifold structure. Covariance, for instance, can be re-interpreted in terms of order theory rather than local group symmetry (I discuss this in my essay here). Of course, the gauge groups of the standard model are another matter entirely; maybe these groups, or some generalization of them, really are fundamental.

I any case, I will have to think carefully about your approach. You certainly have given deep consideration to the principal foundational issues. Take care,

Ben Dribus

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Mark Stuckey replied on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 18:00 GMT
Thanks for your input, Ben. I will certainly read your essay.

As for whether certain group symmetries will ultimately prove fundamental, I suspect not. Why U(1)xSU(2)xSU(3)? It seems a bit ... random. But, as we point out in the essay, if we consider actions based on complex numbers, quaternions and octonions, then we have a clear pattern.

Of course, there's no guarantee Nature cares about such patterns, so experimental evidence will ultimately dictate the answer :)

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Member Benjamin F. Dribus replied on Oct. 5, 2012 @ 18:13 GMT
Dear Mark,

Thanks. I find a lot of aspects of QFT a bit opaque to intuition, but one has to respect it because as far as we know things actually behave that way in the lab!

By the way, I see I called you "Michael" for some reason... sorry about that! Take care,


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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 06:50 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
was the quantity of people which gave you ratings. Then you have
of points. After it anyone give you
of points so you have
of points and
is the common quantity of the people which gave you ratings. At the same time you will have
of points. From here, if you want to be R2 > R1 there must be:
In other words if you want to increase rating of anyone you must give him more points
then the participant`s rating
was at the moment you rated him. From here it is seen that in the contest are special rules for ratings. And from here there are misunderstanding of some participants what is happened with their ratings. Moreover since community ratings are hided some participants do not sure how increase ratings of others and gives them maximum 10 points. But in the case the scale from 1 to 10 of points do not work, and some essays are overestimated and some essays are drop down. In my opinion it is a bad problem with this Contest rating process. I hope the FQXI community will change the rating process.

Sergey Fedosin

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