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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Paul Reed: on 10/18/12 at 7:31am UTC, wrote Daniel Sorry I missed this response, I happened upon it because I was...

M. Vasilyeva: on 10/5/12 at 22:55pm UTC, wrote Dear Daniel, your essay the most interesting and refreshing in this...

Viraj Fernando: on 10/4/12 at 22:43pm UTC, wrote Hi Daniel and Sergey, (My intention of going through Daniel's essay and...

Daniel Wagner Fonteles Alves: on 10/4/12 at 12:46pm UTC, wrote Sergey, I don´t understand that. Are you sure about this rating formula?...

Daniel Wagner Fonteles Alves: on 10/4/12 at 12:43pm UTC, wrote Peter I have read your essay few days ago (and already rated it very...

Peter Jackson: on 10/4/12 at 10:41am UTC, wrote Daniel Motion seems at the heart of misunderstanding in physics. I'm now...

Sergey Fedosin: on 10/4/12 at 6:45am UTC, wrote If you do not understand why your rating dropped down. As I found ratings...

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FQXi FORUM
February 7, 2023

CATEGORY: Questioning the Foundations Essay Contest (2012) [back]
TOPIC: Absolute or Relative Motion... or Something Else? by Daniel Wagner Fonteles Alves [refresh]

Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES wrote on Aug. 21, 2012 @ 14:29 GMT
Essay Abstract

Historically, motion has been conceived at the classical level either in a relationist or absolutist framework. It is argued that there may be other ways to conceive motion and that a systematic investigation of these different conceptions may produce new physics.

Author Bio

I´m a 23 years old student of mechanical engineering at the Universidade Federal do Ceará in Brazil. I took graduate and undergraduate courses in physics and studied independently for a long time. I now hold a scholarship from the brazilian government for studying physics.

Georgina Parry wrote on Aug. 22, 2012 @ 21:03 GMT
Dear Daniel,

Your essay is very well written, clearly set out and argued, going from the historical notions to possible future direction for further development. I am interested in understanding more about Julian Barbour's work. Your clear explanations are helpful with that. So good timing on your part. I think it is a fascinating enough question how we perceive what an object is let alone how it moves.Which is why, until recently, I have not given a great deal of thought to how best to describe a moving object. Other than a brief affair with Leonard Susskind's lectures on classical mechanics via FQXi resources. I like the way in which you have very clearly and simply set out your ideas on the matter.

My own work has been more to do with the separation of reality into an implicate and explicate types, (I have realised), the need for which is well described in ALGEBRAS, QUANTUM THEORY AND PRE-SPACE by F. A. M. FRESCURA and B. J. HILEY Department of Physics, Birkbeck College, London WC1E 7HX UK (Received In February, 22, 1984)

The question then of what an object -is- becomes more complicated as it depends upon whether the "object" in implicate or explicate reality is under consideration or the sensory data by which one might be converted into the semblance of the other. Which I currently think is even more fascinating than the simple concept of an object or shape (as we are accustomed to thinking of those concepts) in an abstract space; or the concept of an object in Newtonian space or Space-time.Which (Ie. implicate or explicate or data) is under consideration by scientists is very important, I think. At least it is very important to me whenever I think about what is going on.

At the end of my essay I have also suggested that category theory could be a useful way forward in developing a formal expression of the relationships identified. Its feels nice, reassuring perhaps, when there is an overlap in thinking about a subject by different people.I hope you get lots of interest in your work.

Good luck in the competition

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Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES replied on Aug. 23, 2012 @ 12:51 GMT
Dear Georgina

Thanks for the encouraging comments. I will soon read your essay and shares ideas and opinions. Best regards.

Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Aug. 27, 2012 @ 01:53 GMT
Dear Daniel

Congratulations for your learned and original essay on a very important topic.

I will have to read your essay more carefully to understand your conception, especially that I think visually (geometrically) rather than algebraically. Nevertheless I agree with you that a new way to think about motion is essential.

In my Beautiful Universe Theory (please see Figs. 19 attached, 20, 26) I have found that motion is the most complex and unintuitive process in my model! As you describe it, motion is a change of pattern. Exactly! In my my model it is the pattern of rotation and phase states in the individual nodes of a universal lattice, but the nodes themselves do not translate position. It is a bit like the pattern of lights in a marquee sign . Nevertheless within the (BU) model forward momentum arriving at an object create contraction even before motion starts, and both special and general relativity are interpreted in simpler more physically realistic ways.

I would be grateful if you (and if you can invite Dr. Barbour to do so) will evaluate my essay, also at my fqxi paper my fqxi essay Fix Physics! .

I wish you all the best.

attachments: BUFIG19.jpg

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Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES replied on Aug. 30, 2012 @ 16:39 GMT

The path I visualize to find new conceptions of motion is by finding the meaning of our statementes about motion. How can we define time, space, motion and objects? How new definitions may create new physics and known physics? I will read you essay and share some ideas and opinions.

Best regards.

Peter Jackson wrote on Aug. 28, 2012 @ 17:30 GMT
Daniel

I agree the most pertinent question today is to accurately analyse "objects that constitute a physical system and their evolution in time", and their effects. I have myself applied this and used pattern recognition to find a unification to "meaningfully describe the universe."

Your essay is well written, shows excellent understanding and rejection of the assumptions most students stridently defend. Well done. Certainly a good score is due.

Like Vladimir I am not a mathematician, and have identified a weakness in using algebraic vector space to accurately describe motion with Cartesian systems. Yet I suspect you may love my essay, or at least the relationships you may glean by considering the meaning kinetically. I hope you may also help better rationalise my findings.

Best of luck.

Peter

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Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES replied on Aug. 30, 2012 @ 16:55 GMT
Dear Peter

Thanks for the encouraging comments. I will read your essay soon, and try to find out the relationship between our works.

Best regards.

Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Aug. 28, 2012 @ 19:32 GMT
Dear Daniel Wagner Fonteles Alves,

I found your essay on Absolute or Relative motion absolutely fascinating. You do an excellent job of explaining Barbour's work in the context of Mach and show how the question of absolute or relative motion is still worthy of investigation. I recommend Daryl Janzen and Israel Omar Perez's essays for fresh insight on absolute frames of reference and also...

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Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES replied on Aug. 30, 2012 @ 18:13 GMT
Dear Edwin

I have now read your essay. First of all, I would like to say that the proposal of deriving QM weirdness from classical physics is an outstading task and that I have not followed all the details of your essay, but there are some questions I´d like to ask here in the interface between our works.

First, you say that the fact that the C-field has been measured implies an...

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Aug. 31, 2012 @ 20:47 GMT
Dear Daniel,

Thanks for the thought you've put into my essay. In answer to your first question, it is not the fact that the C-field has been measured that implies an absolute frame of reference. Rather, the fact that the field is real seems to imply that its energy cannot be transformed away by transforming to a frame in which velocity is zero. The analogous case for electromagnetic fields...

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Helmut Hansen replied on Sep. 1, 2012 @ 12:22 GMT
Dear Daniel,

I have read your essay with great interest, especially because it dicusses an unsolved fundamental problem of modern physics: What is the cause of inertia?

I would like to draw your attention to a point that is often overlooked, but is of great importance with respect to our understanding of motion: The Law of Inertia implies a causal paradox of classical mechanics, which we still do not find resolved in modern physics. This paradox is even scarcely recognized as such.

In particular, setting the force, which is assumed to be the cause of the change of state of motion, equal to zero, there are still solutions with constant velocity.

According to the physicist Carl Friedrich von Weiszäcker one avoids the linguistic appearance of a paradox by appropriately calling force not the cause of motion but the cause of acceleration, and letting the state of motion be described by position and velocity (or momentum).

In brief, this state of motion varies in time although the condition F = 0 is given. In other words, there is no external influence that might be regarded as the cause of this persistent change of state.

V. Weizsäcker summarizes this as follows: "In contrast to the sensitive causal conscience of Aristotle and the scholastics, who searched for an explanation of the continued motion of a freely thrown body, in modern times we have simply renounced such an explanation of inertial motion. This renunciation is not a resignation in principle regarding causal explanation; it is none other than surrender in the face of an unsolved problem."

(in: The Structure of Physics, Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, p. 24)

May be you will find this "paradox" somehow interesting. It is closely related to the notion of relational versus absolute motion.

Good luck for your well-written paper.

Kind Regards

Helmut

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Sep. 1, 2012 @ 14:58 GMT
Dear Daniel,

I think if the equation of physics are written with the help of vectors and tensors they can be truly for absolute reference frame. Then if we have truly transformations of coordinate and time to any relative reference frame we will have truly picture in this frame. Then we have absolute and Relative Motion in different reference frames and both are equivalent to each other. The example of absolute reference frame is in Extended special theory of relativity, one concept of the Theory of Infinite Hierarchical Nesting of Matter in my Essay.

Sergey Fedosin Essay

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Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES replied on Sep. 1, 2012 @ 19:57 GMT
Dear Sergey,

Thanks for your interest in my essay. I did not understand the points you are trying to make. You say: ''I think if the equation of physics are written with the help of vectors and tensors they can be truly for absolute reference frame.''

The whole business of using tensors suggest background independence because tensors have an existence independent of any basis in which their components may be written. I don´t understand what you mean.

Sergey G Fedosin replied on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 14:33 GMT
Dear Daniel,

I supposed that in the beginning we have only one frame which is absolute reference frame. Then we discover vectors and tensors in this frame. After it we discover such transformation of coordinates and time that we can study phenomena in relative reference frames using the same vectors and tensors but with relative coordinates and time.

Sergey Fedosin Essay

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Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES replied on Sep. 6, 2012 @ 18:59 GMT
Dear Sergey

Mach once pointed out: ''what would be of our law of inertia in the middle of an earthquake?''

Due to the fact that we are used to live in a relatively stable enviroment, it is very natural to introduce an absolute frame. But when we find out that the whole background is not so stable (the earth moves, the sun moves, the galaxy moves) it really becomes compelling to look for background independent or backgroundless formulations for physics. We have almost a ''historical reason'' to look for such theories: newton´s absolute physics could well be an accidental mistake due to our stable enviroment.

Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES wrote on Sep. 1, 2012 @ 19:36 GMT
Dear Edwin, thanks for the reply.

I think the whole confusion comes from the fact the C-field equation is written in a particular basis, but it should be diffeomorphism invariant if it comes from GR. If you can explain that to me, we can understand each other points more easily.

Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Sep. 1, 2012 @ 20:11 GMT
Hi Daniel,

The weak field approximation I use is derived in Hobson, Efstathiou and Lasenby's book, "General Relativity, An Introduction for Physicists" page 491. Another treatment begins on page 313 in Moller's "The Theory of Relativity".

I do not, as a matter of first choice, think in terms of diffeomorphisms, and, with all of the questioning in current essays of the interpretation of General Relativity and its relation to Quantum Mechanics, I don't plan to focus on diffeomorphism invariance. Upon reading your essay it appeared to me that it bore some relation to mine, but it looks as if this relation will die from the lack of a common vocabulary and common expertise. Thanks again for your efforts, and good luck in the contest.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES replied on Sep. 1, 2012 @ 20:56 GMT
Edwin,

I don´t think any lack of expertise of my own should be a problem because my question is very simple. Unfortunately I could not find your references.

Let me put it in this way: The C-field is not a 4-vector (certainly because the curl operator is defined only for 3 dimensions). I´m just asking you to provide the tensorial version, i.e. the covariant version of the C-field equation.

Then I´m sure we can have a good talk.

Best regards

Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Sep. 1, 2012 @ 22:17 GMT
Daniel,

Due to the high degree of non-linearity in the field equations a general solution for arbitrary matter distributions is "analytically intractable". One approach to this is to linearize general relativity, and an excellent treatment of this is provided beginning on page 467 of the Doran reference given above and continuing to page 497. [An equivalent treatment begins on page 313 in Moller, as noted.] The key equation is probably the metric equation (17-4) on page 469, based on infinitesimal transformations (of the form given in equation 17-2) that apply to changes in scalar, vector, and tensor fields, but the claim is that these can be ignored in all quantities except the metric, "where tiny deviations from eta-sub-mu-nu contain all the information about gravity. Equation (17-4) is considered as analogous to a gauge transformation in electromagnetism, and hence has the form of the tensor F-sub-mu-nu given on page 4 in my previous essay, that I already referenced above.

I'm sure that you are quite competent, but if the linearized form of General Relativity is unfamiliar to you, I doubt that a comments blog is the place to remedy this. And, as I noted above, I don't wish to invest more effort into GR field equations, since I have doubts about the ultimate interpretation of GR and I currently find the Maxwell form of the equations much more useful for analogies with electro-magnetism, which I believe most applicable to the quantum approach I am currently interested in. Thanks yet again for your efforts.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Israel Perez wrote on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 01:10 GMT
Dear Daniel (part 1)

I enjoyed reading your clear and well written essay. I would like to make some comments so you can understand some nuances in how we should understand absolute motion. As I argued in my reply to you in my entry, I hold that space is some sort of aether which for modern convenience we can call it quantum vacuum or better the zero-point field (ZPF) and therefore it can be...

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Israel Perez replied on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 02:12 GMT
Part 2

You also discuss the nature of time and take as a departure for your argumentation Newton's absolute notion. Indeed Newton's time appears to be unaffected by the motion of objects, it is a continuous flow that never stops, nor accelerates. I agree with you that the precursor of time is change/motion (CM) of things, this is what makes us feel the passage of time. I think that...

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Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES replied on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 03:09 GMT
Dear Israel

Thank you very much for taking your time to read my essay and my arguments on your own essay. I am a little bit busy with my university now so I may take a few days to reply your posts. Come back here until thursday and I will analyze your arguements carefully, both here and on your essay´s thread.

Once again thanks for an awesome discussion.

Daniel

Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES replied on Sep. 6, 2012 @ 19:38 GMT
(Part1) Dear Israel

You state that: ''Because relative to this ZPF all objects move (including light). If we have an object at rest this object is absolutely at rest otherwise it is in absolute motion''

That seems true, but it is not! That is because you cannot indentify space points with field values. I have argued for this before, but I will try to be clearer now. Suppose we have a...

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attachments: barbours_arrow.png

Member Giovanni Amelino-Camelia wrote on Sep. 6, 2012 @ 00:11 GMT
dear Daniel

I will post this also in reply to your post concerning my essay.

I enjoyed it very much.

Of course we are pursuing different objectives, but there is a common drive toward seeking the building blocks of space-time notions in your essay and mine.

I am trying to take a certain leap in the (conceptually) unknown: doing physics without space, time, motion,,,,only particle detections and relationships among detectors,,,,this is after all what we really do operatively and I am intrigued by the possibility that if we stick to this minimalistic description, if we get read of the extra luggage of space-time inferences, perhaps we might travel more comfortably toward addressing some of the foundational issues we are facing

and by the way to me a clock is a box Alice gives to Bob: when the box is materially connected, in appropriate ways, to Bob's particle-detector box" the combination of the two boxes produces readouts which assign a certain number, "time", to each particle detection,,,,,it seems to me this is what is actually done by the objects we call clocks,,,

if we found a steady source of particles in nature, let me call them particles of type A, it could be all in one box: detector distinguishes two types of particles and uses number of particles detected of type A as time whereas it handles number of particles detected of type B as its actual detections, so it times the detections by producing readouts of pairs of numbers, correlations n_A,n_B (had value of the counter B equal to n_B in correspondence of the value of the counter A equal to n_A)

best wishes for the competition

Giovanni

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Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES replied on Sep. 6, 2012 @ 20:17 GMT
Dear Giovani

Thank you very much for your interest and comments in my essay! I feel that if one focus to build physics on operational procedures, he would inevitably arrive at something close to mach´s philosophy. For instance, positions are usually defined in relation to absolute space, but we operationally always measure it against some objetc (we don´t use an invisible frame to define positions because we can´t see it!). How is the relation of your proposal with this?

Also, I see a problem with your clock definition: it must rely, as you put, on a steady source of particles in nature. How can we characterize if the source is steady if we don´t have a clock?

Best regards,

Daniel

Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Sep. 9, 2012 @ 00:27 GMT
Dan,

I liked your essay. The Barbour’s shape dynamics is almost a form of dynamic triangulartion in a classical setting. This does give some operational notion of time. I will have to think about the meaning of this definition of time. I might imagine we could quantize this problem.

The Schrodinger equation describes the evolution of a wave function according to a Hamiltonian which is the generator of time translations. The Hamiltonian in classical gravity is zero, or NH = 0, for N the lapse function. This is a standard result of ADM general relativity. We then use Gauss’ law to evaluate the amount of mass-energy in the space, but there is no boundary sphere around the universe by which one can integrate out the mass-energy contained within. This argument can be posed according to the nature of coordinate time in general relativity, where this is a frame dependent quantity and physics should not depend upon it. So the Schrodinger equation

i∂ψ/∂t = Hψ = 0

is seen to be zero on both the left and right hand side in a consistent manner. This is the Wheeler-DeWitt equation Hψ = 0, which is the quantum form of the Hamiltonian constrant NH = 0. The inability to define mass-energy means there is no concrete definition of time.

The time evaluated from the Jacobi variational principle

δt = sqrt{m_iδx_iδx_i/(E-V)}

is related to a proper time, or an interval. This is different from the notion of time in quantum physics, which is a coordinate time. So for a particle sitting on a spatial surface its proper time is then something similar to Wheeler’s discussion of a “bubble time” in the book he coauthored “Gravitation.”

If you have time you might want to read my essay if you are interested in quantum gravity issues at all.

Cheers LC

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Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES replied on Sep. 20, 2012 @ 00:14 GMT
Dear Lawrence

Thank you very much for the comments. Barbour and his collaborators are trying to bring the relational conception of motion to quantum mechanics to create a full machian quantum gravity. I don´t know their work in details, but you may like to take a look at Barbour´s and Sean Gryb´s essays and ask them directly.

Best regards,

Daniel

Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Sep. 20, 2012 @ 21:04 GMT
I just read Barbour's paper. It along with his video on FQXi makes reference to similar work you have. I suggested a way to think about this using null rays on his blog site.

Cheers LC

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Paul Reed wrote on Sep. 13, 2012 @ 07:24 GMT
Daniel

As per your request on my blog

Forget the theories, and just consider the fundamental nature of physical reality as is manifest to us. There being no other, unless one resorts to belief/assertion.

Motion is the incremental alteration in relative spatial position. As with any such attribute, it can only be calibrated by using a reference. Any reference can be selected, but having done so, that must be used consistently so that results are comparable. So, by definition, motion can only be known in relative terms. We are unable to transcend our existence.

To establish motion (and other features such as size, etc) we conceptualise reality as being in a spatial grid. The distance from one point to another on this grid being the equivalent of the smallest ‘thing’ in reality. Thus at any given point in time, A is deemed to occupy X configuration of spatial points, whilst B occupies Y. As at each subsequent point in time any alteration can be identified. That is the easy bit to say! In practice I doubt if this could be achieved. But our failure to be able to discern physical reality at its properly differentiated level does not mean we can then just embark on a false approach.

There is no existent phenomenon which corresponds with space, it is only ‘things’ which exist. Neither is there any time in physical reality, because the concept of timing relates to the rate at which change occurs. That is, it is associated with a feature of alteration between realities (ie speed of alteration), not of any given one.

Paul

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Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES replied on Sep. 20, 2012 @ 00:24 GMT
Dear Paul

''As with any such attribute, it can only be calibrated by using a reference.''

I feel motion can only be defined using a reference. When we say something has moved, it must have moved in relation to some other thing, even if it is in relation to the invisible absolute space.

''To establish motion (and other features such as size, etc) we conceptualise reality as being in a spatial grid.''

This grid is unobservable and the question immediatly comes: can we make physics without that grid? Barbour´s research argues that we can.

''As at each subsequent point in time any alteration can be identified.''

Maybe we don´t need the grid to identify alterations, as Barbour´s research has argued. The question then becomes ''what is the most fruitful conception of motion?''

Daniel

Paul Reed replied on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 07:31 GMT
Daniel

Sorry I missed this response, I happened upon it because I was looking for a post by Ben Dribus.

The ‘grid’ is conceptual. But, by definition, it must always underpin any relevant analysis. For example, how does one conceive of the relative shape/size (ie spatial footprint) of any given entity, or indeed a subsequent alteration thereto, without it? Where is the reference? Motion is the incremental alteration in relative spatial position.

Paul

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Pentcho Valev wrote on Sep. 14, 2012 @ 16:44 GMT
Daniel,

You wrote: "...quantum mechanics uses a mathematical and conceptual formalism suitable for an absolutist picture while general relativity is almost perfect relational."

The opposite is true: Quantum mechanics uses Newtonian concepts according to which any motion (speed), even that of light, is relative. In Einstein's relativity the motion (speed) of light is absolute. If...

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 13:52 GMT
Dear

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 !

Hải.Caohoàng of THE INCORRECT ASSUMPTIONS AND A CORRECT THEORY

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

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Member Benjamin F. Dribus wrote on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 17:29 GMT
Dear Daniel,

Excellent writeup! A few remarks come to mind. First, regarding relational theories:

1. I would like to point out that there are at least two very different types of relations that play crucial roles in fundamental physics. Shape dynamics deals principally with symmetric relations, since the separation between two points has nothing to do with their order; X is a...

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Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES replied on Sep. 20, 2012 @ 00:08 GMT
Dear Bejamin

Thanks for the comments, I´m really glad to see your post and I think we can have a very interesting discussion. I will adress each of your points.

''1. I would like to point out that there are at least two very different types of relations that play crucial roles in fundamental physics. Shape dynamics deals principally with symmetric relations, since the separation...

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Sep. 20, 2012 @ 23:52 GMT
One can look at this according to how one axiomatizes a space. If you have a space in n dimensions one can represent the positive tensor dimension as ||| …|•ε = 0, where | represents an element such as a vector or spinor and the set |||…| means an exterior product of these. The ε means a Levi-Civita symbol and this is a skew product. This can be seen equivalently as a skew symmetrization of the |||…| in a higher dimensional space. If this is zero, then the space of tensors is symmetric. This system however requires there to be the |||…|•g, where g is a symmetric tensor. This way of thinking is what might be called Penrose-ology. Again this is equivalent to a symmetric trace in a higher dimensional space. The “dimension of these tensors” are n and –n respectively. They correspond to the symmetric and antisymmetric sets of tensors, which have a duality.

This duality between symmetric and skew symmetric elements, or for two tensors products of the sort

{ψ^a, ψ^b} = g^{ab}

[φ^a, φ^b] = ω^{ab}

involves supersymmetry. In the case of spacetime the generators of supersymmetry Q_a and \bar-Q_b construct Lorentz boosts

[Q_a,\bar-Q_b] = iσ^μ_{ab}∂_μ.

The relationship between the symmetry and antisymmetric approaches, say shape dynamics and causal set theory, might then have functors to Fermi-Dirac fields and boson fields, and a system which includes both might then have a graded Lie algebra with Grassmann generators that connect the two.

Cheers LC

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Member Benjamin F. Dribus replied on Sep. 21, 2012 @ 15:58 GMT
Daniel,

I will have to think carefully about what you said and wrote about semantic completeness and observation. One of the weak points in my knowledge that has come up over and over again on this forum is the original ideas of Mach, although it seems that much of this involves covariance/equivalence principles, which I have thought about. Part of my task is just understanding the terminology, since I come mostly from the math side. Take care,

Ben

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Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES wrote on Sep. 22, 2012 @ 01:19 GMT
Dear Lawrence and Ben

Unfortunately, I must admit I still don´t have enough technical language to participate in the discussion you have proposed, but please, feel free to discuss those matters as you wish.

Ben, sorry, I think I was not clear enough, but tomorrow I will prepare a more elaborate reply to you to explain those machian and extensions of machian thoughts I mentioned.

Daniel

Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES wrote on Sep. 22, 2012 @ 18:20 GMT
Dear Ben

I will now try to explain the point I was trying to make. Let´s place ourselves in the 17th century and try to build physics from the scratch, that is, for the sake of the argument, let´s ignore any complications due to modern physics. I must firts say that Mach´s thoughts are philosophical. For someone coming from a math background this may seem extremely vague. But Mach´s...

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Member Benjamin F. Dribus replied on Sep. 24, 2012 @ 18:14 GMT
Dear Daniel,

I have been thinking a bit more about the last few sections of your paper. I am in the process of trying to learn several new things at once (and also write a dissertation about something completely unrelated!) so you'll have to forgive my delayed response.

First, I appreciate your explanation in the previous post; I think I have a better idea now of how you are using...

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Anonymous replied on Sep. 25, 2012 @ 18:16 GMT
Dear Ben,

''It seems that these two possibilities are interchangeable: if you have redundancy, you can eliminate concepts one by one until the redundancy disappears and the remaining concepts are undefined. Conversely, you can define new concepts in terms of the fundamental (undefined) concepts and...

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Steve Dufourny Jedi replied on Sep. 25, 2012 @ 18:51 GMT
and one redundance and one for the sortings of datas and informations, and now you are going to make some logarythms for the sortings, we know we know.

and after a mthematical universe proof of course of course.

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Chris Fields wrote on Sep. 25, 2012 @ 21:51 GMT
Dear Daniel,

I completely agree that "if the appearance of observation in the semantic functor could bring us any closer to quantum mechanics" since I see "observation" as a mapping from physical states to recorded experimental outcomes, i.e. to descriptions encoded in some memory medium using classical information. So observation is itself a functor, from a category in which the objects are quantum states and the morphisms are unitary transformations to a category in which the objects are descriptions encoded in classical information and the morphisms are formal operations defined on those descriptions. The criterion for descriptive coherence is precisely diagram commutativity. But this is not your "semantic functor" which you have defined as a category automorphism. It is the function that tests whether two physical configurations "mean" the same thing from some observer's point of view.

Such "observation" functors are very familiar: they define the semantics that we associate with computer hardware. We pretend that "classical" computers are classical. This is of course nonsense; they are quantum systems just like everything else. Nonetheless, when we look at them, we assign a semantics under which their physical dynamics is mapped to formally-specified execution traces of classical algorithms. In my view, this is what ALL observation is.

My PhD advisor, Rob Cummins, used to tell us all to imagine that our PCs grew up overnight in our back yards. I agree: this forces us to think about the semantics we assign to physical events in a coherent way.

Cheers,

Chris

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Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES replied on Sep. 26, 2012 @ 12:22 GMT
Dear Chris

''So observation is itself a functor, from a category in which the objects are quantum states and the morphisms are unitary transformations to a category in which the objects are descriptions encoded in classical information and the morphisms are formal operations defined on those descriptions.''

I see we have slightly different views. To describe a ''quantum system'' or a ''classical system'' we need to use structures like space and time. However, these structures may come with a large degree of redundancy, depending on how we conceive motion in the first place, as I have explained in my essay. So there should be a functor connecting all those semantically ambiguous states, and the outcome of physical process should not depend on how we describe it. This is where the diagram commutes in my view. And the functor that connects all the semantically ambiguous states should be built by using a criterion of ''meaning upon observation'' to fulfill the principle that ''empirical indiscernibles are physical indiscernibles'' (as Robert Spekkens put). My hope is that this would have relational physics and GR as a sub-product. But I see the process I have in mind could be greatly enhanced by first characterizing observation as a functor in the first place, as you said. I will have to think more about that.

Best regards,

Daniel

Eckard Blumschein wrote on Sep. 26, 2012 @ 04:08 GMT
Hi Daniel,

To be honest, I doubt that it is reasonable to follow Barbour and somehow replace time. Your age refers to the time of your birth which is certainly not likely to be chosen as reference point for an absolute time. May we conclude that there is no absolute zero of time? I do not suggest referring to the hypothetical moment of a Big Bang. Being an old engineer, I see only the actual border between past and future a natural fix point suited to refer to in an non-arbitrary manner. You might try and find some flaw in my criticism .

As for mathematics, it would not be unreasonable to completely avoid non-zero integration constants by agreeing on a definition of integration that always refers to the lower border zero.

Eckard

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Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES replied on Sep. 26, 2012 @ 12:32 GMT
Dear Eckards

Barbour´s research on time deals exactly with the following redundancy: if eveything speed up in the universe, including clocks, we could never tell the difference. So, why not consider time an abstraction from motion instead of an invisible parameter?

This is the relational view of time, and by combining with a relational view of space, one gets a completely different mathematical and physical structure than those of absolute view of motion. So the point is that distinct conceptions of motion may lead to distinct physics, and I have argued in the essay that maybe we´re not limited to absolute or relational conceptions.

Best regards

Daniel

Eckard Blumschein replied on Sep. 26, 2012 @ 18:09 GMT
Dear Daniel,

The contests solicited to reveal wrong assumptions. As an engineer I know how to describe an invention. Accordingly my essay begins with a list of obvious shortcomings. Will your suggestions provide solutions to such enigma and suspected flaws?

I do not deny that Barbour's approach might be reasonable to some extent. I merely doubt that it will help for instance to overcome Einstein's tense-less view. I rather see it a step in the wrong direction. See 1364.

Best regards,

Eckard

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Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES replied on Sep. 26, 2012 @ 22:47 GMT
''The contests solicited to reveal wrong assumptions. ''

As I say in the abstract, ''It is argued that there may be other ways to conceive motion and that a systematic investigation of these different conceptions may produce new physics. ''

''Will your suggestions provide solutions to such enigma and suspected flaws?''

Who knows. Everybody is speculating to some extent here.

''I rather see it a step in the wrong direction.''

Even if it is a step in the wrong direction, my conclusion remains: different conceptions of motion at the classical level may lead to distinct physics.

Best regards

Daniel

Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Sep. 27, 2012 @ 02:47 GMT
Dear Daniel

Reading your essay I could see you have the talent, mental stamina and imagination to discover new physics. The problem of understanding motion is a very interesting one. You promote Barbour's theory which I value for relegating time to an emergant status, but think the SS idea unnecessary theoretical complication. Mach's ideas are very interesting, but there are many ways to interpret them.

Starting from very different premises developed in my 2005 Beautiful Universe Theory on which I based my fqxi essay Fix Physics! . I concluded that motion is the translation of a pattern (a concept you use) in the energy and orientation of dipolar nodes making up a universal lattice. In my theory general relativity becomes very simple, but motion involvs a self-convolution of the pattern not only of the object involved but (a la Mach) the nodes making up the surrounding gravitational field, on to those of the entire universe. For example a force on matter causes the pattern to compress first, and then start moving with its length contracted, 'pushing' the external gravitational node pattern ahead as well. This combines Newtonian SR and GR notions. I attach a figure from the BU paper to explain this qualitatively.

I wish you all success, and urge you to stick close to simple physical concepts - one can easily get too abstract using clever mathematics.

attachments: 2_BUFIG26.jpg

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Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES replied on Sep. 27, 2012 @ 23:39 GMT

Thank you so much for these encouraging comments! I have read your essay and though I must say there a lot of points of divergence between my thoughts and yours, you´ve written in a very clear and concise way. Good luck.

Daniel

Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 2, 2012 @ 11:22 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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Daniel Wagner Fonteles Alves replied on Oct. 2, 2012 @ 22:01 GMT
Thanks!

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 06:45 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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Daniel Wagner Fonteles Alves replied on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 12:46 GMT
Sergey, I don´t understand that. Are you sure about this rating formula? That would mean that giving an essay 10 ratings of ''1'' and 1 rating of ''10'' would be the same thing!

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Viraj Fernando replied on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 22:43 GMT
Hi Daniel and Sergey,

(My intention of going through Daniel's essay and the discussion thread was to involve in the discussion, but I accidentally saw your question about the scores. So I thought of putting my two cents worth).

Suppose an essay had an aggregate score of 150 from 20 ratings (average rating 7.5). Now someone gives 10. Avergage goes up to 7.62. Someone else gives 1 the average becomes 7.32. (Fluctuation 0.3)

Another esssay has an aggregate of 45 out of 6 ratings (average 7.5), Some one gives 10, average shoots up to 7.86 Someonelse gives 1. Average 7.0.

(Fluctuation 0.86).

For the folk who have got a lot of ratings done already, a stray lower rating does not make their average fluctuate much. The ranking might go down a few places.

For those with a lower number of ratings, even a single low score makes a big difference in the rankings, it can go down 30 to 40 places.

Thus if Sergey gave 3 to everybody the effect is not uniform to all.

The Fundamental Questions Institute must address the fundamental question of how to establish a fair, impartial and a uniform rating process.

Solution - (1) No Prizes, that will bring down the number of essays, only those who have serious stuff will tend to enter the competition. (2) Essayists should not be allowed to rate others' essays. (3) Prohibit solicitations of mutual high scores. (4)Prize money diverted to an independent panel to select and rate essays. (5) All "shoe horned" essays not dealing with "Wrong Assumptions" per se to be rejected.

Best regards,

Viraj

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Peter Jackson wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 10:41 GMT
Daniel

Motion seems at the heart of misunderstanding in physics. I'm now re-reading those I've not yet scored and am pleased to say yours still stands out. You did undertake to read mine, and I hope you will as I'm very interested in your comments (and score!). Very well done for yours. I hope you find we have a rich common vein.

Best wishes

Peter

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Daniel Wagner Fonteles Alves replied on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 12:43 GMT
Peter

I have read your essay few days ago (and already rated it very positively). Sorry for not leaving any comments before, I was in the middle of a big hurry with university and work projects. But I will post some remarks right now.

Daniel

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M. V. Vasilyeva wrote on Oct. 5, 2012 @ 22:55 GMT
Dear Daniel,

your essay the most interesting and refreshing in this contest. You introduce many new and stimulating ideas. I also very much enjoyed reading your discussion with Dr. Israel Perez and side entirely with you.

I very much liked how you introduced the ideas about time, space and motion. I am intrigued by shape dynamics and intuitively feel that this is the right way to go. My conception is that space, energy and time are 3 aspects of one and the same, a process, with either one expressed in terms of the other two.

Because you are so well-read on what to me appears as the avantguard in physics, I would very much value your feedback on my essay, which, thankfully, will be after the ratings, so we all can relax speak our mind without worrying about the consequences (which your honest replies indicate were never your concern). My topic is 1547.

Again, thank you for your most stimulating and well-written essay!

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Author DANIEL WAGNER FONTELES ALVES replied on Oct. 6, 2012 @ 01:41 GMT
Dear Vasilyeva

Thank you so much for your comments! I will read your essay for sure. This competition spirit here is annoying me. Hepefully we will all be able to discuss our ideas freely and without any kind of worries.

Daniel