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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Armin Nikkhah Shirazi: on 10/4/12 at 19:03pm UTC, wrote Dear Daniel, I just discovered and read your essay and found it to be...

Sergey Fedosin: on 10/4/12 at 4:29am UTC, wrote If you do not understand why your rating dropped down. As I found ratings...

George Ellis: on 10/3/12 at 12:00pm UTC, wrote Dear Daniel, I like this essay - understanding the hierarchy of structure...

Jayakar Joseph: on 10/2/12 at 8:55am UTC, wrote Dear Daniel Porter, As the scale cannot emerge from single point,...

Sergey Fedosin: on 10/2/12 at 7:31am UTC, wrote After studying about 250 essays in this contest, I realize now, how can I...

Frederico Pfrimer: on 9/26/12 at 20:32pm UTC, wrote Dear Daniel, It was nice reading you essay. You write clearly and get to...

Helmut Hansen: on 9/21/12 at 12:51pm UTC, wrote Dear Daniel, I have read your paper - and I can share some of your...

Hoang Hai: on 9/19/12 at 13:47pm UTC, wrote Dear Very interesting to see your essay. Perhaps all of us are convinced...


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FQXi FORUM
May 22, 2019

CATEGORY: Questioning the Foundations Essay Contest (2012) [back]
TOPIC: Scale Is Different: From Mathematical Descriptions to Theories of Things by Daniel Porter [refresh]
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Author Daniel Porter wrote on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 11:32 GMT
Essay Abstract

The universe demands a unified description. In the past half-century, we have learned that this description cannot exist within our current mathematical descriptions alone. The fundamental research program must understand the limitations of mathematical descriptions and focus its efforts on describing what is "in-between" the two extremes of scale that the standard model and general relativity successfully describe.

Author Bio

Daniel Porter holds a B.A. in Physics from Cornell University and is a published researcher in the field of soft matter physics. He currently works as the lead editor, writer, and patent researcher for Patexia in Santa Monica, California.

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Frank Makinson wrote on Sep. 5, 2012 @ 16:32 GMT
Daniel,

You state the issue well, especially the footnote on page 8, "Though perhaps a puzzle without edges, a definite number of pieces, or a guarantee that we even can have all the pieces."

That is a subtle way of stating that we may not be permitted to know everything, without saying why.

You mention Kuhn in an earlier footnote, but Kuhn's concepts are the primary basis of your closing paragraph, "-paradigm shift". I cited Kuhn in my essay, 1294, but you apply Kuhn's concepts on a broader scale. The last sentence, "By understanding the limits of our mathematical descriptions, we can begin the search for a novel description of the universe that will carry us into the next stage of scientific progress.", is pointing toward a possible solution.

I would have added one small addition, "... or learn to apply mathematical descriptions in a different way... ." The IEEE paper cited in my topic, as a solution to an erroneous assumption, presents a different way to apply mathematics to physical law, and it is simple, but not too simple.

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Daniel Porter replied on Sep. 6, 2012 @ 23:50 GMT
Frank,

Thank you for your great comment, and your interesting points.

You are right that the question of whether or not we are permitted to know everything about the universe is one that I do not explicitly address in my essay. Though my argument runs up against this issue, I tried to stay away from that particular sort of epistemological claim.

I am inclined to say that a...

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Ted Erikson wrote on Sep. 7, 2012 @ 17:20 GMT
Quick skim of your essay outlines the problem of "scaling" nicely.. What works small doesn't work big. Seems that one needs a model that scales sizes without any change of the model.

In my To Seek Unknown Shores

   http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1409

is propose the equal "activities" of spherical and tetrahedral structures co-joined as proposed hold from a point to a cosmos.. Mass has a 6.25% probability to exist, while energy divides into 1-D and 2-D versions..

Might you destroy idea so I can sleep?

I'm tired, whatever, it is fun.

Good Luck to you..

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Sep. 8, 2012 @ 03:17 GMT
Daniel

Have you seen?

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1554

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Daniel Porter replied on Sep. 9, 2012 @ 21:00 GMT
Yuri,

Thank you for passing on this reference. I think the sort of scaling analysis can be very useful. This is the sort of research I suggest there should be more of at the end of my essay.

As an undergraduate I did research investigating the fluid dynamics of droplet breakup (http://pre.aps.org/abstract/PRE/v85/i4/e041701), and there scaling laws of exactly the sort you mention are a very powerful tool for understanding the dynamics of droplets from the millimeter scale to sub micrometer scales. I argue that fields like complex matter physics will be as important as elementary particle physics in our search for a "fundamental" understanding of the universe.

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Sep. 8, 2012 @ 06:48 GMT
Dear Daniel,

What is your opinion about Scale dimension and SPF symmetry of physical laws at different levels of matter? Similar problem are investigated in the Theory of Infinite Hierarchical Nesting of Matter (my essay).

Sergey Fedosin Essay

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Member Benjamin F. Dribus wrote on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 20:17 GMT
Dear Daniel,

I enjoyed your essay. I think that the subject and focus are quite important and timely; never before have we had so much experimental evidence of the importance of scale as we have today. I think the problem is actually bigger than relativity and quantum theory; after all, relativity works on large scales only if you fudge in dark matter and dark energy, which may be the right way to go, but aren't exactly on a solid footing at present. I think that there are at least five evident scales, where the different "forces" dominate: the weak-strong scale, electromagnetic scale, ordinary gravity scale, dark matter scale, and dark energy scale. Likely enough there are more, but they are too small or too large for us to see. I discuss this a bit further in my essay here On the Foundational Assumptions of Modern Physics if you're interested.

Regarding the possible inadequacy of mathematics: as you know, math has its own completeness/consistency issues, as pointed out by Godel, etc. If the universe is infinite, then it will at the very least exhibit the same issues involving undecidability etc. as the natural numbers. I do think math still has a lot more to offer physics, however. Take care,

Ben Dribus

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Daniel Porter replied on Sep. 12, 2012 @ 21:40 GMT
Ben,

Thanks for the comment. The points you raise are excellent ones; the problem is most certainly "bigger" than general relativity and QM. I chose these examples because, as you mention in your essay, "these two theories represent our deepest understanding of fundamental physics." I think the difficulties we encounter with these two theories are indicative of a broader methodological difficulty. It may even be beyond the discussion of length and time scales (complexity and emergence, for example also appear in systems where the number of components goes through a "scale transition" but the size of the system does not).

I think Godel's incompleteness and associated ideas are intimately linked to my ideas, you're right. In some sense, this tells us that mathematical descriptions are not, and cannot be, "complete." It doesn't tell us if the universe is or not. If it is not, then the best we can do are a bunch of descriptions that get close in certain situations. If it is, then we need a description that is more than mathematics. Either way, I completely agree that math has plenty more to offer physics. I simply point out that we as a research community do not get caught up in mathematics as the ONLY description that has a lot to offer physics.

Thanks again, and best of luck!

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Member Benjamin F. Dribus replied on Sep. 17, 2012 @ 05:58 GMT
Daniel,

Yes, in any case, the physical ideas ought to come first, and the math ought to be whatever is necessary to get the job done (if possible). Also, I appreciate you looking at my essay. Take care,

Ben

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Sep. 13, 2012 @ 18:21 GMT
Very interesting confirmation slogan of Anderson ...

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Vasily Kletushkin wrote on Sep. 16, 2012 @ 15:00 GMT
Dear Daniel. You touched on an interesting topic. What kind of science, physics? Mathematically possible to describe physical phenomena? Mathematics - one method. Abstract - another method. Abstract description of the car explains all the cars. Mathematical model abstraction. Formula - abstraction. Numbers and numbers - mathematics. Planck's constant - multiples, making it possible to write an abstract model. The universe can not be described, but you can write a mathematical model is not the entire universe, and its area. Details can be found in my essay and comments. Good luck in the contest.

Information-Energy Quantum Balance by Vasily Kletshkin

14 posts • created by Vasily Kletshkin • Aug. 30, 2012 @ 12:08 GMT

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Sep. 17, 2012 @ 23:32 GMT
For better clarification my approach

I sending to you Frank Wilczek’s 3 keen articles

http://ctpweb.lns.mit.edu/physics_today/phystoday/Ab
s_limits388.pdf

http://ctpweb.lns.mit.edu/physics_today/physt
oday/Abs_limits393.pdf

http://ctpweb.lns.mit.edu/physics_toda
y/phystoday/Abs_limits400.pdf

All the best

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Sep. 19, 2012 @ 13:47 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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Helmut Hansen wrote on Sep. 21, 2012 @ 12:51 GMT
Dear Daniel,

I have read your paper - and I can share some of your thoughts, especially your final statement, that is, understanding the limits of our mathematical descriptions, we can begin the search for a novel description of the universe that will carry us into the next stage of scientific progress.

Metaphysics is the most criticized discipline inside modern physics, but it is - as conceived by me - the most promising one, because it deals with something that is fundamental by its very nature. This entity is commonly defined as an all-embracing and unconditioned foundation. But this foundation seems to be scientifically ungraspable because it can neither be described mathematically nor be detected experimentally.

Just this transcendent nature of the metaphysical foundation turned out to be a scientific barrier that could not be overcome until today. But there is a way to do this. Actually a universe with a transcendent foundation must be described in a very specific way. This transcendent description points in a direction that is very similar to yours.

In the FQXI-Contest 2009 I have presented this idea of a transcendent description. The title of my essay: Taming of the ONE.

Good Luck for Your Paper.

Kind Regards

Helmut

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Frederico Pfrimer wrote on Sep. 26, 2012 @ 20:32 GMT
Dear Daniel,

It was nice reading you essay. You write clearly and get to the point without unnecessary complications. We have many ideas in common. The ideal of unification is one of my deepest ideals as a physicist. But it does not imply reductionism. Like you, I also think there are times we have to fit the theories together instead of thinking that one can be reduce to the other. I also believe we will get to a hierarchical structure of theories where one theory is the base for the others but the others cannot be reduced to this one. For sure, understanding concepts like mind and conscience would require a new level in this hierarchy. In my article, “On the Nature of Reality”, I describe it as a hierarchy of final theories. Here I prefer the concept of final theory than theory of everything. I also believe that our current mathematical theories are not enough for unifying physics, actually I’m working on new mathematical frameworks and the connection between math and language. You might find my essay interesting: The Final Theory and the Language of Physics . There I discuss on the nature of physical theories discussing the its many aspects: mathematical formalism, interpretation, language, postulates, ets. Take a look and rate it please.

Best regards! and Good Luck!

Frederico

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 2, 2012 @ 07:31 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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Jayakar Johnson Joseph wrote on Oct. 2, 2012 @ 08:55 GMT
Dear Daniel Porter,

As the scale cannot emerge from single point, assigning the fundamental matter as a sting-segment between two points that is described in Coherently-cyclic cluster-matter paradigm of universe, is supportive of your concept of ‘uni-field’ of universe; whereas in this paradigm, continuum of matter is expressional that is unified.

With best wishes

Jayakar

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Member George F. R. Ellis wrote on Oct. 3, 2012 @ 12:00 GMT
Dear Daniel,

I like this essay - understanding the hierarchy of structure is indeed what physics should be about, not just understanding the foundations. Well done.

Best wishes

George Ellis

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Sergey G Fedosin wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 04:29 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.

Sergey Fedosin

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Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Oct. 4, 2012 @ 19:03 GMT
Dear Daniel,

I just discovered and read your essay and found it to be clearly and well written. I liked how you "zoomed out" at each stage of your paper, it reminded me a bit of the "Powers of 10" and the beginning of Ohanian's intro text book.

I found several similarities between the ideas in your paper and in mine. In particular:

1. That scale has something to do with the...

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