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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Inger: on 10/6/12 at 15:44pm UTC, wrote Dear Georgina! I'm very glad you like my essay! Best regards! Inger

Inger: on 10/6/12 at 15:36pm UTC, wrote Dear Daniel! How wonderful to get your detailed comments! I'm so very...

Georgina Parry: on 10/5/12 at 7:07am UTC, wrote Dear Inger Stjernqvist, An intriguing mix of personal experience and deep...

Daniel Wagner Fonteles Alves: on 10/5/12 at 3:20am UTC, wrote Dear Inger You have done an excellent job! I really enjoyed reading your...

Inger: on 10/4/12 at 14:54pm UTC, wrote Dear Peter, Thank you for making me very glad! Yes, we certainly have more...

Inger: on 10/4/12 at 14:40pm UTC, wrote Dear Sergey, Since I'm an amateur in both physics and mathematics, I...

Peter Jackson: on 10/4/12 at 9:40am UTC, wrote Inger Excellent, very enjoyable and pertinent essay. We have Shakespeare...

Sergey Fedosin: on 10/4/12 at 5:44am UTC, wrote If you do not understand why your rating dropped down. As I found ratings...


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FQXi FORUM
July 19, 2019

CATEGORY: Questioning the Foundations Essay Contest (2012) [back]
TOPIC: Every Why Hath a Wherefore by Inger Stjernqvist [refresh]
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Author Inger Stjernqvist wrote on Aug. 31, 2012 @ 11:02 GMT
Essay Abstract

My essay contains three main chapters (2-4). In chapter 2, I put forward a row of queations to which I (an amateur theoretical physicist) haven't found - or understood - the answers. In chapter 3, I explain my doubts about the (self-)sufficiency of mathematics in theoretical physics. Hasn't there been comparably too little conceptual reflection and too much calculation since the mid seventies? A similar question might be asked - but on completely different grounds - about the use of mathematics and language in quantum mechanics, which I discuss in chapter 4.

Author Bio

In 1970 I took my B Sc in mathematics and theoretical physics at the University of Lund, in 1993 a Master's degree in marketing communications, and in 2005 I earned my Ph D in media technology at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. My work-life experience is long and broad - tecnical consulting, business development, copywriting, and scientific writing. Through the years I have worked for a majority of the leading Swedish technology companies. Theory, practice, and a never-ending curiosity have given me broad, and partly deep, insights into science and technology.

Download Essay PDF File

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Constantinos Ragazas wrote on Aug. 31, 2012 @ 15:55 GMT
Dear Inger,

Thank you for your essay. It is an enjoyable and comprehensive read of what is wrong with modern physics. And written with personal conviction that comes from your broad background and interest to make sense of the mathematical formalism of modern physics. I especially agree with that. In my 2011 FQXi essay and it my current essay, “The Metaphysics of Physics”, I write,

"We can have beautiful mathematical results based on any view of the Universe we have. … But if the view leads to physical explanations [based on mathematics] which are counter-intuitive and defy common sense ... than we must not confuse mathematical deductions with physical realism. Rather, we should change our view! And just as we can write bad literature using good English, we can also write bad Physics using good Math. In either case we do not fault the language for the story. We can't fault Math for the failings of Physics.

The failing of Physics is in not providing us with a 'physical view' that makes sense"

Read my essay and comment if you like. You will find in it much that we agree on.

Best wishes in the contest,

Constantinos

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Inger replied on Sep. 1, 2012 @ 20:23 GMT
Dear Constantinos,

Thank you for your kind words about my essay. You cannot believe how glad they make me. Today I have read yor own essay twice with great interest, thought it over during a wonderful concert, and will read it once more tomorrow, before I get back to you with my comments/questions. Until then, good night! Best wishes to you too in this contest!

Inger

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Jeff Baugher wrote on Sep. 2, 2012 @ 03:49 GMT
Inger,

A fellow searcher with the same philosophy! You stated here: "The best way to find the right answer is to ask the right question. But to ask the right question you need to be fairly close to the answer already. Otherwise you have to reflect upon a chain of questions before (if ever) you arrive at the final one; every why hath a wherefore. Since I am not a professional theoretical physicist, I feel free to ask as many silly questions as I like - and make a fool of myself repeatedly, if needed."

My essay is based also on a silly question which I asked myself. If the function F1 is the Newtonian gravitational field strength, then F1' is the gravitational force. How do we know we have been anti-differentiating the Newtonian field correctly since we could have just been mistaking F1' for (C-F2)' following the rules concerning arbitrary constants of integration. This should lead back to a substitution in the Einstein field equation of
. If the constant term is equated to the potential energy of the vacuum, then the Luv term is just equated to the dynamic residual energy tensor. This would seem to solve the cosmological constant magnitude problem, make it look like gravity is attractive but also allow for a repulsion after a certain radius.

Let me know if this shakes anything loose while you pontificate on what forces actually are.

Regards,

Jeff

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Inger replied on Sep. 2, 2012 @ 15:34 GMT
Yes, Jeff! It does shake something loose. The conclusion in your essay is more than interesting. If it raises more questions than can possibly be answered in an essay, I hope that you will soon find the scope to evaluate it somewhere else. Please do let me know!

Best regards, Inger

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Sep. 2, 2012 @ 11:13 GMT
Hi Inger.

In my opinion a lot of problems disappear if we say that Big Bang never took place. All cosmological effects may be explained without the Big Bang. See for example the paper: Fedosin S.G. Cosmic Red Shift, Microwave Background, and New Particles. Galilean Electrodynamics, Spring 2012, Vol. 23, Special Issues No. 1, P. 3 - 13. Big Bang is denied in the Infinite Hierarchical Nesting of Matter . There is no black holes, singularities, inflation of Universe, magnetic monopoles, vacuum energy, quarks are nor real particles bur quasi-particles, strong gravitation acts in the same way for bosons and leptons and with Gravitational torsion field and electromagnetic forses is instead of colour forses of particles. Bosons of weak interaction are quasiparticles. In reality particles reaction and decays with weak interaction are similar to the picture of transformation of substance of stars at the level of stars. For example decay of pion into muon is similar to transformation of low-mass neutron star into white dwarf. Some more about it see and evaluate my essay. In principle I can explain other questions of your essay if you want.

Sergey Fedosin Essay

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Inger replied on Sep. 2, 2012 @ 15:55 GMT
Hi Sergey,

The best thing with this essay contest - for an amateur like me - is the opportunity to learn a lot from others. If you can explain some of the questions in my essay, it would be wonderful. The trouble is - would I be able to understand? I know nothing at all about Infinite Hierarchical Nesting of Matter, but will try to follow the likns in your essay to find out.

Best regards, Inger

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Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 06:39 GMT
Hi Inger,

You have written an enjoyable essay which asks questions that, far from making a fool out of you, demonstrate your perspicacity regarding some of the most important problems in fundamental physics.

As a very small correction, allow me to mention that 'From Here to Eternity' was written by Sean not Lewis Carroll (Although given how strange some of our most fundamental theories seem, you might as well think we live in some kind of wonderland, Ha!).

Even though you are not an active researcher, you seem to have a strong interest in foundational physics. In case you did not know, the longest running conference series on the foundations of quantum mechanics takes place in Vaxjo (next year will be the 15th). I went this year for the first time, and while some of the talks were quite technical, some of the others were accessible to non-experts. Should you be interested in finding out more, here is the website:

http://lnu.se/institutioner/institutionen-for-datavetenskap-
fysik-och-matematik/konferenser/quantum-theory-reconsiderati
on-of-foundations/qtrf6

The title of the conference changes each year, but I was told that its content is substantially the same.

All the best,

Armin

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Inger replied on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 12:24 GMT
Hi Armin,

Thank you, I'm very glad that you like my essay! And - oh- how very ashamed I am to have "renamed" Sean! I cannot believe how it could happen, since I have read his book several times. About the conference in Vaxjo - how odd that i haven't heard of it before. As it happens, Vaxjo is my old hometown, which i often visit. The next conference I will be sure to attend.

Best regards,

Inger

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M. V. Vasilyeva wrote on Sep. 6, 2012 @ 20:55 GMT
Inger, I loved your essay. I read it when it came out and again today (since I could not post until my essay was accepted). You write very well and you ask important questions.

Re : "My point against the "shut up and calculate" promoters is that when you retreat from human language it becomes hard to build mental pictures of what the equations are based on, what goes on within them and what they have to say about the world."

Well said!

Re : "Not with malicious pleasure - yet with some kind of pleasure - I wonder: How come that the ability to create substantial predictions in theoretical physics have decreased during the same time as calculation capacity has increased exponentially, to levels that were unbelievable in the mid seventies?"

haha, exactly!

Re: "And the question still remains: What is waving? Could it be that the Copenhagen (non?)interpretation of quantum mechanics postponed a deeper conceptual interpretation, partly due to the difficulty to put the theory into words...?"

I have an idea that the difficulty lay in our reluctance to seriously consider the reality of a 4th spatial dimension. Because once you accept it, everything falls into place, including QM weirdness (which comes due to 4D->3D projections -- I briefly touch on it in my essay here.) Wonder what you think.

Good luck with the contest!

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Inger Stjernqvist replied on Sep. 7, 2012 @ 12:57 GMT
Dear M. V. Vasilyeva,

I'm very glad you like my essay! I have fast-read your own essay and am very much attracted by your references to the history of ideas - not to mention that you also go back to the history of arts. I will re-read your essay with afterthough and come back to you within soon. Until then, I wish you too good luck in this contest!

Best regards,

Inger

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Member Benjamin F. Dribus wrote on Sep. 17, 2012 @ 18:33 GMT
Dear Inger,

I really enjoyed your essay. I think you make a good point about supersymmetry... I'm not such a fan of it myself, but if it is true, maybe we are looking for the superpartners on the wrong level. After all, no one looks for shydrogen or soxygen.

Regarding spacetime curvature at the fundamental scale, I'd expect curvature would have to be an emergent concept. For example, something like an icosahedron is approximately a sphere, which has positive curvature, but the icosahedron itself has zero local curvature everywhere the local curvature is defined.

Take care,

Ben Dribus

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Inger Stjernqvist replied on Sep. 18, 2012 @ 19:08 GMT
Dear Ben,

Thank you! What you say about the icosahedron makes good sense to me.

Best regards,

Inger

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 15:22 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.

Regards !

Hải.Caohoàng of THE INCORRECT ASSUMPTIONS AND A CORRECT THEORY

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

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Inger replied on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 18:20 GMT
Dar Hoang Cao Hai,

Thank you for having read and commented on my essay! Perhaps I'm not the right person to give a definition of weight, but spontaneously I would say that the weight of a certain unit of mass is a local property. The reasult of the weighing varies, depending on where you carry out the measurement (e.g. on the Earht, at the Moon or in outer space). In other words, weight depends both on the mass and the impact of gravity. Different to weight, mass (that is, the rest mass according to Einstein's formula E=mc2) is a universal property - the same everywhere, as I see it.



Best regards!

Inger

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Member Benjamin F. Dribus wrote on Oct. 1, 2012 @ 18:37 GMT
Dear Inger,

Looking over your essay again, I had a couple more remarks:

1. On monopoles and inflation, Torsten Asselmeyer-Maluga and Jerzy Krol have essays on this thread about a type of structure (“exotic smoothness structure”) that could “serve some of the same purposes as magnetic monopoles” in some respects (charge conservation, etc.) If you read their papers, be prepared for some steep mathematics (I couldn’t wade through it in one sitting!)

2. Personally, I think it would be nice to describe “dark matter” and “dark energy” in terms of dynamical effects rather than mysterious “stuff.” One of the interesting things about dark matter and dark energy is that they “work in opposite directions,” one to “strengthen gravity,” and the other to weaken it. I also think it’s interesting how different interactions dominate at different scales; we have the weak/strong scale, the EM scale, the gravity scale, the dark matter scale, the dark energy scale…

3. Regarding “new kinds of mathematics,” I have some ideas about this myself… I qualitatively describe some of this near the end of my essay here.

Take care,

Ben

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Inger replied on Oct. 2, 2012 @ 12:13 GMT
Dear Ben,

I very much appreciate your comments and will surely follow them up.

Best regards,

Inger

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 2, 2012 @ 08:32 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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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 05:44 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
and
was the quantity of people which gave you ratings. Then you have
of points. After it anyone give you
of points so you have
of points and
is the common quantity of the people which gave you ratings. At the same time you will have
of points. From here, if you want to be R2 > R1 there must be:
or
or
In other words if you want to increase rating of anyone you must give him more points
then the participant`s rating
was at the moment you rated him. From here it is seen that in the contest are special rules for ratings. And from here there are misunderstanding of some participants what is happened with their ratings. Moreover since community ratings are hided some participants do not sure how increase ratings of others and gives them maximum 10 points. But in the case the scale from 1 to 10 of points do not work, and some essays are overestimated and some essays are drop down. In my opinion it is a bad problem with this Contest rating process. I hope the FQXI community will change the rating process.

Sergey Fedosin

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Inger replied on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 14:40 GMT
Dear Sergey,

Since I'm an amateur in both physics and mathematics, I cannot expect other than low to medium ratings, so I don't worry very much about rating tactics. I'm here to gain knowledge rather than ratings.

Best regards,

Inger

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Peter Jackson wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 09:40 GMT
Inger

Excellent, very enjoyable and pertinent essay. We have Shakespeare in common; 'Much ado about (the quantum vacuum)' http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1330 Copenhagen is logically explained by the Prince of Denmark (all about detection), and also in more detail here; http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1390 I'm pleased to give you top marks, and hope you'll also read and score mine.

I agree with all you say, including yes we do need better maths, but also better conceptions first, and to explore the underlying mechanisms of reality themselves, not abstractions (I assume you are of course well aware that Carrol's Wonderland is a parody of maths by Oxford's Charles Dodgeson).

Best wishes

Peter

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Inger replied on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 14:54 GMT
Dear Peter,

Thank you for making me very glad! Yes, we certainly have more than Shakpespeare in common. I read your essay for the first time more than a week ago and liked it very much - not least your excellent sonnet. I have your essay among my favourite ones to read thoroughly, with pen in hand, trying to understand as much as I can. I get back to you!

Until then, my best wishes,

Inger

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Daniel Wagner Fonteles Alves wrote on Oct. 5, 2012 @ 03:20 GMT
Dear Inger

You have done an excellent job! I really enjoyed reading your essay. First of all, you focus on questions, not on awnsers. And even your proposal are questions. If we are talking about the universe I feel we should always say ''what if?'' instead of ''that´s the way it is''. It could help to treat assumptions as what they are: assumptions. You ask ''How far is it possible for...

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Georgina Parry wrote on Oct. 5, 2012 @ 07:07 GMT
Dear Inger Stjernqvist,

An intriguing mix of personal experience and deep questions. Not sure you have said which basic assumption is wrong but you have 'turned over a lot of ground' in the essay. Interesting to see your thoughts on a wide range of subjects.

Kind regards Georgina : )

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Inger replied on Oct. 6, 2012 @ 15:44 GMT
Dear Georgina!

I'm very glad you like my essay! Best regards!

Inger

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Inger wrote on Oct. 6, 2012 @ 15:36 GMT
Dear Daniel!

How wonderful to get your detailed comments! I'm so very glad. I really look forward to read your essay, as soon as I'm back from holidays in rural Sweden - and an Internet that hardly exists. Until then,

Best Regards!

Inger

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