Search FQXi

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

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

Contests Home

Current Essay Contest

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

Previous Contests

Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.

Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
Contest Partners: Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and The John Templeton Foundation
Media Partner: Scientific American


How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
Contest Partners: Jaan Tallinn, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

Questioning the Foundations
Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, SubMeta, and Scientific American

Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American

What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008

Forum Home
Terms of Use

Order posts by:
 chronological order
 most recent first

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

By using the FQXi Forum, you acknowledge reading and agree to abide by the Terms of Use

 RSS feed | RSS help


John Merryman: "The problem is that we do experience reality as those discrete flashes of..." in The Quantum...

Thomas Ray: "(reposted in correct thread) Lorraine, Nah. That's nothing like my view...." in 2015 in Review: New...

Lorraine Ford: "Clearly “law-of-nature” relationships and associated numbers represent..." in Physics of the Observer -...

Lee Bloomquist: "Information Channel. An example from Jon Barwise. At the workshop..." in Physics of the Observer -...

Lee Bloomquist: "Please clarify. I just tried to put a simple model of an observer in the..." in Alternative Models of...

Lee Bloomquist: "Footnote...for the above post, the one with the equation existence =..." in Alternative Models of...

Thomas Ray: "In fact, symmetry is the most pervasive physical principle that exists. ..." in “Spookiness”...

Thomas Ray: "It's easy to get wound around the axle with black hole thermodynamics,..." in “Spookiness”...

click titles to read articles

Why Time Might Not Be an Illusion
Einstein’s relativity pushes physicists towards a picture of the universe as a block, in which the past, present, and future all exist on the same footing; but maybe that shift in thinking has gone too far.

The Complexity Conundrum
Resolving the black hole firewall paradox—by calculating what a real astronaut would compute at the black hole's edge.

Quantum Dream Time
Defining a ‘quantum clock’ and a 'quantum ruler' could help those attempting to unify physics—and solve the mystery of vanishing time.

Our Place in the Multiverse
Calculating the odds that intelligent observers arise in parallel universes—and working out what they might see.

Sounding the Drums to Listen for Gravity’s Effect on Quantum Phenomena
A bench-top experiment could test the notion that gravity breaks delicate quantum superpositions.

March 17, 2018

CATEGORY: Questioning the Foundations Essay Contest (2012) [back]
TOPIC: Dreaming in Geneva by Arjen Dijksman [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Author Arjen Dijksman wrote on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 11:15 GMT
Essay Abstract

A short journey through the history of science learns us that Geneva has always sparkled with scientific discussions and ideas concerning the origin of mass and gravitation. A Genevan physicist's dream evokes some dated insights ripe for rethinking.

Author Bio

I graduated in 1991 as Applied Physics Engineer at Delft University of Technology (Holland) after research work on radiation defects in tungsten. Until 2009, I worked as IT Project Manager in the Paris area until February 2009. I went back to graduate school, fulfilling a Master of Science program in Optics and Photonics at Institut d'Optique Graduate School, Palaiseau. I am currently PhD student at ESPCI, Paris, France. My research topic is the synthesis and characterization of colloidal quantum dots.

Download Essay PDF File

Bookmark and Share

Yuri Danoyan wrote on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 16:14 GMT

Are you agree with my abstract?

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Arjen Dijksman replied on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 19:07 GMT
Dear Yuri,

Could you please tell me, in relation with my essay, why I should agree with your abstract?



Bookmark and Share

Yuri Danoyan replied on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 19:52 GMT
Your quote "the standard model longs for the Higgs particle in order to be a sound theory'

To my opinion Hiiggs particle is just pseudoscalar meson like sound of string where proton is major tone and other particles just undertones and overtones.

See Phenomenon of 18 degrees for pseudoscalar mesons(an observation)

I get 18 x 7 = 126 close to Higgs.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Peter Jackson wrote on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 17:08 GMT

Great to read your essay. We both have a sense of theatre. I hope life is good for you.

But did you identify which assumptions may be wrong? Am I way of base in suspecting that if the God particle did not exist we'd have to invent it?

Yet what of it's implications, my own essay points out the implicit truth that space in not 'nothing', and goes on the find some seminal consequences of the 'one on one' interactions you discuss (or equally waves on particle).

I agree Relativity should not 'get in the way', as it does at present, but is only a theory to describe observed effects that QM cannot, or has not managed to, describe. I'd be massively grateful if you would analyse my findings that the quanta can produce the effects of relativity, even the SR postulates, from you particleular (sic) viewpoint.

The model also suggests both Casimir and 'density/pressure' aspects to gravity, but you may anyway recall that as well as the kinetic aspects, now far more complete and better understood. (are you familiar with the Dynamic Casimir effect?)

I hope you enjoy reading my essay as much as I did yours, and will comment.

Many thanks and best wishes.


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Arjen Dijksman replied on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 19:38 GMT
Hi Peter,

I didn't intend to mention explicitly which of our assumptions are wrong. I preferred to focus on the positive counterpart: which ideas are ripe for rethinking? Assumptions are often determined by our cultural, educational and environmental context. Through my essay, I wanted to promote the fact that history of science already has enough food for thought.

I have opened your essay and saw that there are a lot of references and thus needs more time to apprehend. I'll post on your forum once I'll have read it.



Bookmark and Share

Don Limuti wrote on Sep. 4, 2012 @ 19:28 GMT

You have the most wonderful dreams and a dazzling essay. Glad you made the deadline.

Viva Geneva,

Don Limuti

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Arjen Dijksman replied on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 07:47 GMT
Hi Don,

Glad you're here. My dream didn't take me as far as Seattle. Maybe another time;-)

I saw you wrote something about the elephant in the room and increase of mass. I'll read it and leave a comment.



Bookmark and Share

Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 01:10 GMT
Hi Arjen,

I really enjoyed reading your essay. Framing the various ideas that people might want to think over in the context of a story in a dream made your essay a breezy read. Also, I did not know about the physics research of Allais and his prediction with respect to the Miller experiment. That seems very intriguing.

Great Job,


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Arjen Dijksman replied on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 07:56 GMT
I wrote underneath (missing the "Reply to this Thread")

Bookmark and Share

Author Arjen Dijksman wrote on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 07:53 GMT
Hi Armin,

I'm glad you appreciated. About Maurice Allais, what physicists should do, I think, is focus on experimental investigations, instead of trying to interpret directly from the current theoretical framework.

I'll have a look at your essay, I promise.



Bookmark and Share

Phil Warnell wrote on Sep. 15, 2012 @ 23:35 GMT
Dear Arjen,

Nice essay and in a style unlike many of others I've READ. Yes indeed it appears like the Higgs has much in common with Nicolas Fatio's take on matters. Still I find some things remain to wonder about here, with that particularly to do with neutrinos, as it seems they interact with the Higg's field yet very little as to wonder what it is that has one particle be less subject to its influence. Then there is this dark energy said to be having space to increasingly expand and yet the local influence of either the gravitational or the Higg's field doesn't appear to be diminishing with it. That is one would imagine as space is expanding than the concentration of Fatio's particles would diminish with such and thereby lessen the influence. None the less with all the questions it poses it gives one something to think about.

"By proposing my thoughts, I do not fear the objections that will be raised by little persons. I address only the Savants, in time, those who are both excellent Mathematicians and good Philosophers, such as, for example, Monsr. Hugens, Monsr. Newton, and a small number of others. Those who are only Mathematicians, but have never applied their reason to natural Philosophy, and especially those Philosophers who have no understanding of Mathematics, I do not regard them as my Judges."

- Nicolas Fatio

Best Regards,


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Arjen Dijksman replied on Sep. 16, 2012 @ 17:16 GMT
I wrote underneath (missing the "Reply to this Thread")

Bookmark and Share

Author Arjen Dijksman wrote on Sep. 16, 2012 @ 17:15 GMT
Dear Phil,

Thank you for your reaction. I am glad you enjoyed the essay. I thank you also for Fatio's quote which I didn't know of before and which made me look at some other sources about Fatio. It's always interesting to dig into history of science and find that there are more people than the "giants" like Newton, Maxwell or Einstein who had interesting things to say about Nature and who may nurture our own reflections.

Kind regards,


Bookmark and Share

Hoang cao Hai wrote on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 14:43 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.

Regards !


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

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Peter Jackson wrote on Sep. 24, 2012 @ 19:10 GMT

I agree we certainly have a glut of good food for thought, and not just from the 'superstars'. Much important stuff is missed.

Which brings me to my own essay, where I've been looking forward to your analytical view and comments. I do hope you have time to read it properly put together the kit of moving parts, and perhaps find the hidden but giant pot of gold.

Best wishes


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Hoang cao Hai wrote on Sep. 26, 2012 @ 08:53 GMT
Your story is interesting entertainment.

Hope to know what happens after that dream.

Regards !


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

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Yuri Danoyan wrote on Sep. 30, 2012 @ 14:40 GMT
Foucault pendulum is fun show!

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Member Benjamin F. Dribus wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 16:22 GMT
Dear Arjen,

Interesting and enjoyable essay. Thanks in particular for pointing out the article by Phillip Ball. It's quite striking how complex and nonintuitive this is; for instance, he points out that if the spheres have the same size and charge they continue to repel. This of course leads one to think about differences between the interaction of identical particles and distinct particle types with respect to charge...

I remember planning to watch the Higgs announcement, but I fell asleep! Unfortunately, I didn't dream about anything interesting. Take care, and good luck in the contest,

Ben Dribus

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Steve Dufourny Jedi replied on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 16:48 GMT

I have several ideas in all humility.The spheres are unique Mr Dribus it seems to me!

At my knowledge, indeed all cosmological spheres are unique also.

Why it will be different for the quantum uniqueness.

If the infinite light implies that we have a diffusion of informations with spheres.

So we can consider indeed the smallest spheres like bosonic informations. The fact that each information is unique shows an interesting road for the encodings correlated with my equations.

The volumes are so complex. The higgs are part of the system of uniqueness, so the central sphere is the most important volumle. The smallest spheres are very numerous for the system of uniqueness.see that this number is the same that our cosmological number of spheres.


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Anonymous wrote on Oct. 6, 2012 @ 01:14 GMT
Mr. Dijksman,

a thoroughly enjoyable essay! In your excellent historical overview, I found the following 2 quotes especially intriguing. First is a refreshing approach:

"... do we really need to talk about "forces". With hindsight, a force seems such an outdated concept. It can more conveniently be seen as a consequence of one to one quantum interactions. "

In this regard, what do you think about shape dynamics, the concept authored by Dr. Barbour, well written about by Daniel Wagner Fonteles (topic 1399)? The idea is new to me, having just learned it from Daniel's essay. Instinctively, I feel like this is the way to go.

Another quote from your essay about the Casimir force resonates with my geometrical approach to physics (in 4D geometry):

" The attractive force is inversely proportional to the fourth power of the distance when both objects are plates. Between a plate and a sphere, the force follows an inverse cube law. When both objects are spheres, it is an inverse square proportionality, like gravitation. Therefore, it seems rewarding to try to unify gravitation with the Casimir force[11]. "

My conception is that space, energy and time are 3 aspects of one and the same, a process, evolving locally, with either one being the expression of the other two (thus shape dynamics appears to fit the modeling requirements). My approach to physics is visual and I see physics at low energies of our own experience in 4D. Because you are so learned and hang out with Tommaso, whose blog I enjoy immensely, I would very much value your feedback on my essay, especially since it will be already past the ratings and we then be relaxed ( ) Thank you!

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Please enter your e-mail address:
Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.