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Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

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Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest
December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020
Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation

What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation

Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
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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

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sridattadev kancharla: on 10/30/13 at 19:03pm UTC, wrote Dear Armin, I hope you will enjoy the following blog and videos in it. ...

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FQXi FORUM
September 17, 2021

CATEGORY: It From Bit or Bit From It? Essay Contest (2013) [back]
TOPIC: It, Bit, Object, Background by Armin Nikkhah Shirazi [refresh]

Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Jul. 8, 2013 @ 17:31 GMT
Essay Abstract

In recent years, the notion that information may be the basis for reality, rather than the other way around, has become more popular. Here we consider the issue within the context of a general relation between the role of physical objects against the background in shaping the pattern of distinctions that can then be translated into information. It is found that from this perspective, in classical physics substance is more fundamental than information, while in general relativity they are on an equal footing. Quantum superposition and collapse, on the other hand, introduce new considerations. A foundational principle is introduced to give an explanation for quantum superposition, and from this principle it becomes evident that to the extent that one frames the nature of quantum objects in terms of this dichotomy, in quantum theory information is more fundamental. This implies that the description of quantum objects in a superposition is dependent on features of the background, as these features set boundary conditions on such manifestations. Thus, if this principle really does underlie quantum mechanics, it means that the term "background independent quantum theory" has to be considered a contradiction, which has implications for the search for a quantum theory of gravity.

Author Bio

Passionate about understanding foundational questions about the nature of reality, Armin Nikkhah Shirazi has been working on a framework to make sense out of quantum mechanics after stumbling on a very simple realization wich is partly described in this essay. He is also a composer-pianist and a pharmacist. His physics works may be found in Deep Blue, the University of Michigan's repository and on Vixra. Some of his original music performances and physics talks may be viewed on his youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjxXL39uQxY7EGULNi3ddOQ

Downl

Alan M. Kadin wrote on Jul. 8, 2013 @ 23:07 GMT
Armin,

If my memory serves me correctly, you had the poster next to mine at the APS Meeting a few months back in Baltimore. I have also submitted an essay to this contest: "Watching the Clock: Quantum Rotations and Relative Time" , which covers some similar material to my poster in March.

report post as inappropriate
Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 03:50 GMT
Hi Alan,

Yes indeed, your memory serves you correctly. I just now have the time to read some of the essays (including yours) in depth and will leave my remarks on your post.

All the best,

Armin

Michel Planat wrote on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 10:03 GMT
Dear Armin,

Good to see a questioning of the role of bacground in physical theories. In my essay, the background is named context and a set of observables is contextual whenever it is non-classical (according to the Kochen-Specker rules).

As an experimentalist, I also found that (classical) measurements of oscillator frequencies and phases is background dependent and this allowed the recovery of the structure of rational numbers

http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/math-ph/0510044

This is why I fully agree with your general thesis.

Good luck,

Michel

report post as inappropriate
Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 09:12 GMT
Dear Michel,

Thank you for your encouragement. I agree that contextuality is a primary reason that we cannot assume that a quantum system had a definite value for an observable prior to a measurement.

In my paper I tried to go a step further and argue that this is because, prior to a measurement, a quantum system has no such thing as a "property" for which the observable is the quantum mechanical analog. If the default specification principle applies to this situation, then it would mean that we'd have to describe the pre-measurement state of a system in terms of all possible ways in which it could manifest itself if it were to attain that property, where "possible ways" depends on the features of the background. I see the role of contextuality in the fact that measurements of other observables of the system and/or of observables of entangled systems are among the determinants of such background features.

I read the paper you referenced and found the section about quantum phase locking the most interesting, as I was unfamiliar with some of the ideas it presented. I have also read your mathematically sophisticated entry to this contest, and will leave a brief comment on your column.

Best Regards,

Armin

Michel Planat replied on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 14:02 GMT
Dear Armin,

Thank you for the reply. I think that the possible ways your are talking about may be approached with Grothendieck's methodology accounted for in my paper.

Thanks and good luck,

Michel

report post as inappropriate

Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 14:48 GMT
Hello Armin,

No doubt one of the leading essays that will help answer conclusively the question posed, It from Bit or Bit from It? This is because you have looked at the question from all angles, Newtonian, GR and Quantum perpectives.

To be specific, I consider these as gems, "thinking of space as a background and...considering information as a deviation from the background". But you will get a thumbs down by saying, "There exists under this conception a subset of arrangements ...namely those associated only with space itself,..which cannot be expressed in terms of a pattern of distinctions".

We are all groping in the dark to identify the truth of physical reality. Suppose 'time' comes to your rescue, so that a discrete pattern can be described in the background? Perhaps, this might help resolve "the problem of the map"? I put forward some ideas, not as professionally done as yours but conveying some glimpse of how the 'map problem' can be resolved.

I leave you with a quote from Newton (also in my essay): "…And my account throws a satisfactory light on the difference between body and extension - i.e. between a body and a region of space. The raw materials of each are the same in their properties and nature, and differ only in how God created them".

A top rated essay and a gem.

Best regards,

Akinbo

report post as inappropriate
Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 10:47 GMT
Hello Akinbo,

Thank you for taking the time to read my essay. Yes indeed, time does come to the rescue, so to speak, to help with the map problem, but once we allow it to come to our rescue, we are no longer talking about Newtonian Physics.

In Newtonian physics, time is absolute; clocks (properly calibrated) tick the same for every observer. One way I like to think of this is in...

view entire post

Akinbo Ojo replied on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 08:27 GMT
Thanks Armin for your detailed explanation. I scored you high because I thought you were open to all ideas from classical to GR to Quantum theory as exemplified in your essay. But it appears you may still have an undue affection for Lorentzian relativity, which in my opinion is unjustified by all you said in your essay. This is your right though.

In Lorentzian relativity space is denied any background/substantival quality whatsoever. GR tends to re-introduce this in a way.

However, by decoupling time from space we both come again to common ground. Take a look at my amateur essay before deciding whether time can in a way introduce a pattern to the otherwise smooth space. Whether we both agree or not, your essay was very rich.

Best regards,

Akinbo

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Antony Ryan wrote on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 15:58 GMT
Dear Armin,

I enjoyed reading your essay and found the approach very well thought out. Am I correct in summary that in classical mechanics

Bit from It, then in General relativity It and Bit are as fundamental, finally in Quantum Mechanics we have It from Bit? This seems a good and logical accompaniment with historical discovery and I think what you say about background independence implications for Quantum Gravity ring true.

Hopefully you get chance to look at my essay - there are so many now! It's based around Black Holes, Entropy and the Fibonacci sequence.

Best wishes,

Antony

report post as inappropriate
Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 11:40 GMT
Dear Antony,

Yes, this is a rough summary but as with any question rich in nuances it is not possible to point out all the subtleties involved in a short paper, so let me take a moment to point out some of the considerations that could modify the "first order" conclusion but were omitted for the sake of brevity:

1. Newtonian physics can also be described in terms of the relationist...

view entire post

Antony Ryan replied on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 14:16 GMT
Dear Armin,

I think you present these answers very thoroughly and it's interesting to see how our views of reality and information have evolved over time. You've explored the question much more objectively than some, which is how it ought to be.

I wish you all the best in the contest - I've also replied on my page too.

Regards - pleased to "meet" you!

Antony

report post as inappropriate

Hi Armin,

Very good essay indeed. I rated it very high, one simple reason, my theory is the concrete implementation of your idea. I postulate that reality is nothing but a mathematical structure, then I end up with a line and do whatever is possible on it, and bang, QM is born along with space , matter and energy. One advantage in my system is that time becomes just a change of state.

I do disagree with the last two paragraphs, but they are relatively minor issues, and I am ready to discuss that and others if you like. Please take a look at my website you will be happy. I hope you can do basic programming.

The programs are at my website

http://www.qsa.netne.net

please make sure you unzip the file properly, the code is in JavaScript, the programs are very simple. also see the posts in my thread for some more info.

you can find my essay at this link

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1877

Thank you.

P.S. my ancestors are from Pars province. I listened to you piano piece. Why do Iranian music sound so sad even when they are meant to be happy ? I guess it is superposition!!

report post as inappropriate
Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 12:23 GMT

Thank you for your comments. I think it is quite possible that one day physics and mathematics will be unified. I am not sure which paragraphs you are referring to, because the last paragraph sums my entire paper. I will shortly give my own comments on your paper in your column. I am glad that you enjoyed my music, I have two persian style pieces on youtube, I'd be curious which one you thought sounded sad.

All the best,

Armin

Member Giacomo Mauro D'Ariano wrote on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 06:05 GMT
Armin,

taking "distinctions to be a prerequisite for the definition of information" you assume Bit from It. No wonder that quantum theory cannot be background independent.

Best

Mauro

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Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 11:48 GMT
Dear Giacomo,

Thank you for reading my essay and for your comment. I must admit that I do not see where in that sentence I assumed Bit from It. All it expresses is that one can have at minimum a bit of information if it is possible for something to take on distinct values. To me, that observation seems to be independent of the main theme of this contest.

I would certainly be glad if you could elaborate why you think that requiring distinctions for the definition of information assumes bit from it.

All the best,

Armin

Sreenath B N wrote on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 07:25 GMT
Dear Armin,

Regards and good luck in the contest.

Sreenath BN.

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1827

report post as inappropriate
Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 11:53 GMT
Hi Sreenath,

All the best,

Armin

Hoang cao Hai wrote on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 09:21 GMT
Dear Armin

Wishing you success and happiness always.

And to change the atmosphere "abstract" of the competition along with demonstrate for the real preeminent possibility of the Absolute theory as well as to clarify the issues I...

view entire post

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Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 11:02 GMT
Dear Hoang cao Hai,

The answer to the theme of the contest given by my essay is: It depends.

It depends on which domain of physics you are considering, and once you consider the domain of quantum mechanics, it depends on whether you are willing to dichotomize the relationship between pre-measurement and immediate post-measurement states in terms of information versus substance.

The concluding paragraph of my essay expresses all this in sufficient detail as succinctly as I could.

All the best,

Armin

basudeba mishra wrote on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 12:55 GMT
Dear Sir,

You are absolutely correct that “each general domain relates a physical object differently to the background against which it exists”. We have extended this concept to the Universe in our essay “INFORMATION HIDES IN THE GLARE OF REALITY by basudeba mishra http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1776” published on May 31.

The central idea of QM that “a physical...

view entire post

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Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 05:26 GMT
Dear Basudeba,

Thank you for reading my essay. What is really going on behind the scenes in quantum mechanics has not yet been universally settled, so each of us entitled to their own views.

Let me just suggest that if you want to bring the "mind" into play, and wish for others to take that possibility seriously, you will have to find a way to formally incorporate it into the...

view entire post

basudeba mishra replied on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 12:28 GMT
Dear Sir,

Thank you for the explanations which give us more food for thought and we will pursue those. Incidentally, if you read our essay, you will understand our ideas better. We have brought the concept of mind not as in psychology or metaphysics, but as a mechanical operator following the laws of physics. When you discuss information, you cannot avoid conscious mind – whether you...

view entire post

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Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 05:44 GMT
Dear Basudeba,

You wrote: "We want clarity of our thought by asking questions that we feel important."

Good, from your response it is evident to me that unfortunately you misunderstand the meaning of the spatial derivative and the Schroedinger equation. I will try to explain, and hope that you will receive my explanations in the spirit of the words you wrote.

First, on the...

view entire post

Than Tin wrote on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 19:21 GMT
Hi Armin

I believe that Nature is tolerant in the sense that it provides for redundancies to occur. Without the redundancies or the existence of alternative ways of doing things, I doubt that we or anything else in the universe could have existed. Linguist Noam Chomsky has shown how children were able to acquire automatically their native tongues, even under parental circumstances that are worlds apart. In the context of physics, Richard Feynman has proved that his all-paths formulation of quantum mechanics is the same as Schrodinger formulation.

In my essay “Analogical Engine”, Wheeler’s “It from Bit” can be represented as a duality similar in form to “same-difference”, or to “wave-particle”, or to “quantum-classical”, or to “order-disorder.” After adopting the premise “What quantum is to classical” is similar to “What same is to difference”, I have concluded that the Planck constant is the Mother of All Dualities, and a necessary condition of existence for thoughts and things.

Since your essay topic is about similarities (as required by superpositions) and differences (as required by distinctions), I wonder whether the Constant in your Eq. (1) has similar role that the Planck constant had in quantum theoretical developments. As you know, the Planck constant is obtained historically by the interpolation between low- and high-frequency regimes of the black-body radiation.

I hope I’ve more to say while I continue to digest your excellent essay.

Regards

Than Tin

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Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 05:41 GMT
Hi Than,

Equation (1)is different from ordinary equations in that it is more a template for equations than an equation in the usual sense. If you substitute Planck's constant you will still need to specify at least one other term to allow it to specialize to a known equation. Of course, two candidates for (arrangement of substance) come immediately to mind: Energy and momentum. In that case (using the inverse of Planck's constant), you get on the left the frequency and wavelength for a quantum object i.e. a photon. I had actually not thought about it in this way before, but off the top of my head I don't see any reason why one could not think of those relations as special cases of equation (1).

All the best,

Armin

M. V. Vasilyeva wrote on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 21:46 GMT
Armin,

bravo. What a fine, well argued essay. It is very well written -- your best by far! Even the non-specialist like myself could follow easily and understand. I hope this year your ideas will finally find the recognition they deserve. IMHO your logic is infallible.

I read your essay the next day after it was posted and started writing my comments, but then was distracted and...

view entire post

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Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 08:26 GMT
Dear Marina,

As far as Prof. D'Ariano's comment is concerned, I hope he did read the entire essay and not just the first part, because from reading his essay I found that in some aspects our views do not seem that far apart, though you are of course correct concerning the aspect of background-dependence. Thank you for calling my attention to pror. Boroson's essay, I will read it shortly.

Thank you also for your honest critique. All too often I find in the author's columns comments that are little more than either (spam) requests to read their (the commenter's) essays or attempts to ingratiate themselves with the authors to get a high score, so it is refreshing that you don't fall into that category. I try not to either, even though I am sure that it will have earned me some low scores, but, oh well, so be it. As for section 2, well I regard it as the set-up on which the development subsequent sections rest, but I agree I could have enlivened it some more. I will experiment with the paragraph layout to see whether in future essays I can improve this aspect.

Thank you again, and I wish you all the best,

Armin

Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 22:37 GMT
Dear Armin

Thank you for presenting your nice essay. I saw the abstract and will post my comments soon. So you can produce matter from your thinking or description of matter called information from nothing. . . .?

I am requesting you to go through my essay also. And I take this opportunity to say, to come to reality and base your arguments on experimental results.

I failed...

view entire post

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Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 13:10 GMT
Hello Satya,

You said:"So you can produce matter from your thinking or description of matter called information from nothing..?"

If that's what you think my essay claims then you have completely misunderstood it. I don't even know where to start. I'll let you read my essay first before I enter a discussion.

Armin

Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta replied on Jul. 29, 2013 @ 23:57 GMT
Dear Armin,

I am sorry in the delay in replying you. I did not check the replies.

It was my proposition, it was not an inference to your essay. What I mean is that we should be more close experimental results for our propositions.

I think we form a picture of anything in our mind, and keep them in our memories. We communicate about that picture to others, which we call information. When we die we loose all these pictures and memories.

Now in this context, can we create material from information...?

You can discuss with me later after this contest closes also.

Best

=snp

snp.gupta@gmail.com

report post as inappropriate

Hi Armin,

I am reposting because maybe you forgot about me. I am really interested in your opinion about whether our theories have anything in common or not. I don't care for the rating. But if you are busy sorry for bothering you.

Very good essay indeed. I rated it very high, one simple reason, my theory is the concrete implementation of your idea. I postulate that reality is nothing but a mathematical structure, then I end up with a line and do whatever is possible on it, and bang, QM is born along with space , matter and energy. One advantage in my system is that time becomes just a change of state.

I do disagree with the last two paragraphs, but they are relatively minor issues, and I am ready to discuss that and others if you like. Please take a look at my website you will be happy. I hope you can do basic programming.

The programs are at my website

http://www.qsa.netne.net

please make sure you unzip the file properly, the code is in JavaScript, the programs are very simple. also see the posts in my thread for some more info.

you can find my essay at this link

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1877

Thank you.

P.S. my ancestors are from Pars province. I listened to you piano piece. Why do Iranian music sound so sad even when they are meant to be happy ? I guess it is superposition!!

report post as inappropriate
Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 04:34 GMT

I did not forget about you. After I went to your website, I was impressed that you had written a program to simulate basic standard QM results, and I wanted to take more time to understand your approach more deeply before I comment, especially because you start out with lower-dimensional objects, a central part of the framework that I am working on.

With all the essays it is a little overwhelming just to answer the ones authored by the people who have posted on my column, but I will post a response soon.

Armin

Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 12:17 GMT

Armin

Salvish Goomanee wrote on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 07:28 GMT
Dear Armin,

I congratulate you for this very interesting essay. I was a pleasure reading your writings and very interesting to see how you applied Wheeler's conception of the it and bit to all fundamental areas of physics.

Best of luck,

Salvish

report post as inappropriate
Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 13:14 GMT
Dear Salvish,

Thank you very much for your compliments. It looks like our essays were posted almost at the same time, I will shortly leave a comment in your column.

All the best,

Armin

Philip Gibbs wrote on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 15:35 GMT
Armin,

You are very well informed on the philosophy of foundational physics and have presented a very valuable contribution to the debate on information.

You have made a good case that information comes from the underlying spacetime rather than the matter. Do you think that spacetime itself could be emergent?

Phil

report post as inappropriate
Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 13:32 GMT
Dear Philip,

Yes, absolutely I think that spacetime is emergent. But as you know, this in and of itself is not such a new idea. Where I think my approach might differ those of others is that 1) I assume that the pre-emergent objects exist in a lower-dimensional analog of spacetime and 2) I try into account how the pre-emergent objects would manifest themselves to spacetime observers. I believe the default specification principle I mentioned in my entry is a key to understanding why lower dimensional objects would manifest themselves in terms of a superposition of the spacetime objects into which they could emerge as a actualizable possibility, where the physical process of 'actualization' is currently called a measurement.

I have incorporated this principle in a framework in which it is applied to the worldlines: The worldline of an object in a 2+1 analog of spacetime cannot be the same kind as a spacetime worldline because it is made out of fewer quantities. But if such objects lack spacetime worldlines, then, by the application of the default specification principle, they would have to manifest themselves to spacetime observers in terms of the superposition of all possible world-lines that connect two 'actualization' events. This is already the 'sum over histories', but one can also find an explanation for the existence of the phase factor e^(iS/hbar) from this. The short, 5-page paper can be found here:

http://proceedings.aip.org/resource/2/apcpcs/1508/1/422
_1

But I also uploaded it to ViXra.

It would make me very glad if you took a look at it.

Best wishes,

Armin

Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 13:59 GMT
I noticed the link I gave did not work, here is another attempt:

A Novel Approach to 'Making Sense' out of the Copenhagen Interpretation

Armin

Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 04:27 GMT
Dear Armin

I read parts of your paper, and am writing this whilst listening to your lovely piano music on your YouTube channel. In fact halfway through the reading I stopped to make a painting, inspired by the nice combination of the encouraging physics and the flowing music.

I say encouraging because the question of background independence in Special Relativity, and as you demonstrate in Quantum Mechanics, has been a stumbling block in physics. Ever since Einstein arbitrarily decided that c was constant and therefore banished any idea of a background, the concept of an aether has become almost a dirty word in physics. This is regrettable not only because Einstein (Leyden 1920) said it was needed in GR, but because in recent years it has become obvious that QM requires some sort of vacuum 'substance' wherein the zero point energy resides.In fact you did not mention the ether in your essay either.

Anyway I have a theory a work-in-progress Beautiful Universe Theory also found here in which the background is identical to the 'it' of physics - i.e. the medium is the message. I agree with you that 'the quantum object can be represented 'in terms of a superposition of these, and formatted in terms of information it is called a qubit'- - however in my theory that qubit is the very 'it' in a universal lattice - so it=qubit.

With best wishes

report post as inappropriate
Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 13:43 GMT

Thank you for your comments and I am so happy that my work in two different fields has inspired you to make a painting. This is really flattering. I hope that soon I will have more youtube videos of my music (I have composed about 100 works) and also one recent physics talk I gave in Sweden posted.

I happen to take the constancy of the speed of light at face value. In fact, my entry to the very first FQXi essay contest was entitled "A Derivation of the Speed of Light Postulate". I don't know if it will change your mind, but perhaps you will find it interesting.

As for an aether, I know that in general relativity spacetime is sometimes treated like a fluid. In fact, there are mathematical arguments that the Navier-Stokes equations of hydrodynamics can be used in general relativity. So, I agree that this is all very suggestive of an aether. I have my own ideas about how this is possible, but they are far from ready for prime time. Let me just mention that I don't see an aether in the usual sense as a solution to this conceptual problem.

I will take a look at your paper and post my comments/questions there.

Again thank you for your feedback and all the best,

Armin

PS. Will you let us see the painting when it is finished?

Vladimir F. Tamari replied on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 03:23 GMT
Dear Armin This is separate from the stimulating physics discussions we have had both here and on my fqxi essay page.

Here attached is the painting I made inspired by your quiet yet vibrant music. It is just a personal impulsive image not a direct 'translation' of your music.

BTW a a reminder about rating the essays as the contest period is closing soon.

With best wishes

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 12:38 GMT
Dear Armin,

You ask me a couple of head scratching questions over at my blog, let me "retaliate". Talking of backgrounds, about which you know so much, particularly section 4 of essay:

1). When a celestial body curves the space around it according to GR, is this curved space carried along with the orbiting body's motion?

Or

2). Does the body leave this space behind, thereby uncurving it, while curving the previously uncurved space in its new orbital location?

Or

3. Is there a third consideration?

If you answer positively to 1), would this not be important to experiments like the Michelson-Morley expt?

If it is 2) you answer positively to, will such a space capable of being curved and uncurved, not be a 'substantival' background? Taking note, that with the action-reaction principle, something can only be said capable of being acted upon IF it can also react. Then as you ask me will this reaction be instantaneous?

Regards,

Akinbo

Permit me to copy Peter Jackson (he has a theory) and Edwin Klingman (focused on gravity). I also invited Bram Boroson when I saw your post.

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Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 16:57 GMT
Dear Akinbo,

I hope I did not offend you with my tough questions. In my view, perhaps the most valuable function a contest like this can serve is that we can provide each other constructive feedback. Compliments and such are nice, but how much do we really learn from them?

My purpose in asking those questions was not to put your idea down, but to suggest areas which, if they are...

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Akinbo Ojo replied on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 10:21 GMT
No no no! I Love your criticism, with a capital L. In fact most of what obtains here amounts to mostly unmerited flattery. I am equally guilty. Hardly would one see comments like yours that make you scratch your head. A few say their mind, one of whom is Joe Fisher. Uses the word codswallop to tell you if he feels what you say is not okay with him. ITS ALL A GAME!

Lets enjoy it.

Best regards,

Akinbo

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Anonymous wrote on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 01:03 GMT
Hi Armin,

Thanks for your detailed response in my thread, really much appreciated. Of course you are right about the presentation(last minute jobs are always lousy), I will prepare some material for you in the next day or so and see if I can be more convincing.

Regards,

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Anonymous replied on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 01:06 GMT

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Not sure what is going on.

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KoGuan Leo wrote on Jul. 15, 2013 @ 00:06 GMT
Dear Armin, what an excellent essay and as I noted in your answer to Giacomo, you wrote; "All it expresses is that one can have at minimum a bit of information if it is possible for something to take on distinct values." I agree completely with this assessment and may I point out that in KQID, this one bit is the Wang Yangming one bit as the unity of Giving and Taking. I did reply to your...

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KoGuan Leo replied on Jul. 15, 2013 @ 08:13 GMT
Dear Armin, very perceptive of you to notice that KQID can be "practically implemented as a philosophy for living". KQID is designed as an operating meme that is looking for WILLING hosts to adopt it and allow the meme living within and operates the task of helping the hosts to decide using Wheeler's series of questions a yes, or a no or maybe. This way to assist the host to realize his/her dreams...

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Sreenath B N wrote on Jul. 15, 2013 @ 03:15 GMT
Dear Armin,

I read your lucid essay with enthusiasm and found myself surprised to know that we both share common views in analyzing the relationship between It & Bit in all three fields of physics. Yours’ is an elegantly written essay by analyzing the relationship existing between the ‘back ground material’ on one hand, and It & Bit on the other. I am curious to know how you make use of ‘default specification principle’ in your further research work to solve amicably the problem existing between It & Bit in both classical physics and the quantum one. Because of similarity in our ideas, I would like to rate your essay with maximum honors.

All the best in the essay contest,

Sreenath

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Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 15, 2013 @ 11:27 GMT
Dear Sreenath,

Thank you for your comments. The paper that introduces the framework that is based on the default specification principle can be found here:

A Novel Approach to making sense out of the Copenhagen Interpretation

If you cannot it download it from there, you can also find on public repositories it by just googling the title.

This paper only presents the first step, as there is still much to do. Here are some of the areas where I need to do more work:

1. Tighten the mathematical connection between the axioms and the derivation of the path integrals

2. Derive path integrals for situations other than the free particle.

3. Connect this framework directly to the Born Rule

4. Generalize the framework to quantum fields

5. Derive precision predictions that distinguish the theory empirically from others

As you can hopefully see, this is a full-blown research program, but right now I am pursuing it on my own time with my own funds part-time. For that reason progress is not going to be nearly as fast as I would like, but I believe that even already what I have now is stronger and more promising than the ideas that are pursued in mainstream research. Of course you would expect me to say that, but I invite you to read and try to really understand the framework so that you can check for yourself.

All the best,

Armin

Sreenath B N replied on Jul. 16, 2013 @ 05:25 GMT
Dear Armin,

All the best,

Sreenath

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 10:09 GMT
Dear Armin,

This does not really apply to you as I have rated you high already. Moreover I will be revisiting your blog after the contest. Meanwhile...

As the contest in Wheeler's honor draws to a close, leaving for the moment considerations of rating and prize money, and knowing we cannot all agree on whether 'it' comes from 'bit' or otherwise or even what 'it' and 'bit' mean, and as we may not be able to read all essays, I pose the following 4 simple questions...

"If you wake up one morning and dip your hand in your pocket and 'detect' a million dollars, then on your way back from work, you dip your hand again and find that there is nothing there…

1) Have you 'elicited' an information in the latter case?

2) If you did not 'participate' by putting your 'detector' hand in your pocket, can you 'elicit' information?

3) If the information is provided by the presence of the crisp notes ('its') you found in your pocket, can the absence of the notes, being an 'immaterial source' convey information?

Finally, leaving for the moment what the terms mean and whether or not they can be discretely expressed in the way spin information is discretely expressed, e.g. by electrons

4) Can the existence/non-existence of an 'it' be a binary choice, representable by 0 and 1?"

Answers can be in binary form for brevity, i.e. YES = 1, NO = 0, e.g. 0-1-0-1.

Best regards,

Akinbo

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Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 20, 2013 @ 15:07 GMT
ok, 1110

On 2) I assume you meant to say "...can you in principle 'elicit' information?"

On 4)I actually have a paper in preparation, tentatively called "Quantum Mechanics and Existence" in which I challenge the binary conception of existence.

All the best,

Armin

Bram Boroson wrote on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 19:50 GMT
Hello Armin,

I mean to read your paper in much more detail. You left a nice comment by mine, and someone else mentioned your paper as well. There are some similarities. I thought I'd start with the very general philosophical issues that may be confusing.

In your section 2, you imagine a world without distinctions, described by a single arbitrary number, or a number repeated. Such a world, without distinctions you claim, does not need any information to represent it. I am wondering if the situation may be a little more slippy.

In my essay, I started out with the claim that a Bit is essentially symmetric because it represents a distinction but just what is it that is separated by that distinction is irrelevant. Now maybe people now have two concepts of Bit in their heads, the Shannon ideal that it summarizes something else and thus communicates information, and the practice of computing, in which the user of the computer has access to inquiring, given an address, to whether a 0 or 1 is present.

So back to your situations. What if you had a world without distinctions and you chose the number 0 to represent it (you say the # can be arbitrary.) And then what if instead you chose the number 1, as you say repeated arbitrarily. You say that there is no information to distinguish and yet you've produced a bit (choice between 0 or 1).

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Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi replied on Jul. 20, 2013 @ 15:56 GMT
Dear Bram,

Thank you for your post, you raise a rather subtle point. I agree with you that "just what is it that is separated that distinction is irrelevant". Where we seem to part ways is that once you have fixed some kind of meaning to the representation of one of the possibilities, however arbitrary a distinction it represents, the representations of alternatives are then immediately...

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Colin Walker wrote on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 23:23 GMT
Hi Armin,

Your comment at the end of the essay "the boundary conditions are due to actual spacetime objects ... [which] must be counted as features of the background" brought to mind deBroglie's pilot wave theory. He could account for phenomena like the double-slit experiment by assuming that the slits themselves had a quantum potential which guided the path of the photon or particle. I suspect a good part of the reason pilot wave theory was neglected until Bohm's rediscovery of deBroglie's work in the 1950s was that it implicitly allows a quantum potential for the background by the argument you noted. Bohm called the background the implicate order, which is aptly vague. Pauli's famous quip "It isn't even wrong" was made about Bohm's paper, which tells you how it was received at the time.

I am not sure how this might relate to the premise of your essay, but it does concern the question of background. If you are interested, Mike Towler's lectures on deBroglie's pilot wave theory and the foundations of QM are at this website. (Select "Lectures and slides".) The slides from the introductory lecture give a nice overview of the theory with many of the details laid out. Towler makes an excellent case, and it is an interesting bit of history.

All the best to you,

Colin

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Author Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Jul. 20, 2013 @ 16:09 GMT
Dear Colin,

Thank you so much for reading my paper. The statement you quote is actually an oversimplification of what I really think, but trying to explain the nuances of that idea would have taken more space than was allowed under the contest rules (I was only about 100 characters under the limit).

I must say that any connection between Bohmian mechanics and my framework escapes me. If my rudimentary understanding is correct, there the quantum potential serves to guide the particles which are "hidden" so to say, behind the wave function. As you know, in my framework there is no underlying "particle" (at least in the sense of a spacetime object), the wave function is really it (at least for us spacetime observers). It is possible that I might arrive at some similar pieces of mathematics, but if so, the meaning would be completely different. At any rate, I believe a truly detailed and representative account can only be given in terms of field theory, and I am still (very unfortunately) quite a bit away from that. Thanks again,

All the best,

Armin

sridattadev kancharla wrote on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 00:35 GMT
Dear All,

It is with utmost joy and love that I give you all the cosmological iSeries which spans the entire numerical spectrum from -infinity through 0 to +infinity and the simple principle underlying it is sum of any two consecutive numbers is the next number in the series. 0 is the base seed and i can be any seed between 0 and infinity.

iSeries always yields two sub semi...

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Helmut Hansen wrote on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 05:37 GMT
Dear Armin,

Physics concerns what we can say about nature...just this philosophy is underlying the line of thought "It from bit", but I am convinced that we can know Nature's last secrets. To me the most promising way to unveil these secrets is a Modern Metaphysics, because the ONE (i.e. an omnipresent and transcendent field) is the most fundamental level of reality.

If we know how...

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Than Tin wrote on Jul. 25, 2013 @ 05:12 GMT
Dear Armin

Richard Feynman in his Nobel Acceptance Speech (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/19
65/feynman-lecture.html)

said: “It always seems odd to me that the fundamental laws of physics, when discovered, can appear in so many different forms that are not apparently identical at first, but with a little mathematical fiddling you can show the...

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jul. 25, 2013 @ 12:46 GMT
Dear Armin,

I know you are a multi-talented person, so let me ask you this question which I want to ask other professional physicists.

Is it being implied by the relational view of space and as suggested by Mach's principle that what decides whether a centrifugal force would act between two bodies in *constant relation*, would not be the bodies themselves, since they are at fixed distance to each other, nor the space in which they are located since it is a nothing, but by a distant sub-atomic particle light-years away in one of the fixed stars in whose reference frame the *constantly related* bodies are in circular motion?

You can reply me here or on my blogmy blog. And please pardon my naive view of physics.

Accept my best regards,

Akinbo

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JOSEPH E BRENNER wrote on Jul. 25, 2013 @ 16:31 GMT
Hello, Armin,

I liked your approach and agree with much of it. Perhaps you have just not gone far enough in its implications. If information requires a background which can be a substance, that means, to me an energy. Hence energy is primitive, QED ;-)

I hope you will read and rate my Essay, It, Bit, Both or Neither.

Best regards,

Joseph Brenner

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Sreenath B N wrote on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 03:34 GMT
Dear Armin,

Because of similarity of thoughts between our essays and also for presenting your essay in an elegant manner, I have rated your essay with maximum possible honors.

All the best,

Sreenath

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Sreenath B N wrote on Jul. 28, 2013 @ 01:26 GMT
Dear Armin,

I have rated your essay with maximum honors on 25th of July; if you have not yet rated my essay, would you, please, rate my essay accordingly and inform me of it? Expecting positive reply from you.

Best wishes,

Sreenath

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Peter Jackson wrote on Jul. 31, 2013 @ 13:48 GMT
Armin,

thanks for your very logical analysis including; "the term "background independent quantum theory" has to be considered a contradiction," which agrees with my own thesis, as does;

"The very fact that speed is a relational concept logically demands at least a local background". I analyse why there's no logical reason to abandon local backgrounds with the one 'absolute' one, so allowing a 'condensate'. Your proposal is intriguing, but I propose may be unnecessary. (This of course matter little with regard to rating).

I also comment you on Superposition; "The absence of an explicit specification entails all possible default specifications." I hope and believe my essay may offer a possible intuition. I hope you have time to read it before the deadline.

Congratulations on yours.

Best wishes.

Peter

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john stephan selye wrote on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 22:02 GMT
Having read so many insightful essays, I am probably not the only one to find that my views have crystallized, and that I can now move forward with growing confidence. I cannot exactly say who in the course of the competition was most inspiring - probably it was the continuous back and forth between so many of us. In this case, we should all be grateful to each other.

If I may, I'd like to...

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 14:28 GMT
Hi Armin,

Your essay is very important because it clearly shows possible associations of objects with information and background.

In your essay conclusion we can find: “whereas in classical physics information is associated with objects, in quantum physics it is associated with the background, which has itself the characteristics of a substance.”

Let us carry out a simple...

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Jacek Safuta replied on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 14:30 GMT
The login duration time is unpredictable.

My essay:

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1609

Anonymous (Jacek Safuta)

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Than Tin wrote on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 19:03 GMT
Dear All

Let me go one more round with Richard Feynman.

In the Character of Physical Law, he talked about the two-slit experiment like this “I will summarize, then, by saying that electrons arrive in lumps, like particles, but the probability of arrival of these lumps is determined as the intensity of waves would be. It is this sense that the electron behaves sometimes like a particle and sometimes like a wave. It behaves in two different ways at the same time.

Further on, he advises the readers “Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it. ‘But how can it be like that?’ because you will get ‘down the drain’, into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.”

Did he says anything about Wheeler’s “It from Bit” other than what he said above?

Than Tin

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Aug. 4, 2013 @ 11:12 GMT
Dear Armin,

Very interesting essay, deep analysis to the essential spirit of Descartes, new concepts, ideas and eidoses, their parametric definition and conclusions.

It is extremely important conclusions:

«We need distinctions before we can have information. Given that the presence of matter and energy introduces distinctions in our world, intuitively the relation between...

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CS Unnikrishnan wrote on Aug. 4, 2013 @ 12:48 GMT
Dear Armin,

Tough you were one of the first to write to me about my essay and about some of the similarities of our views on the relation between matter and information, I might be one of the last to write comments to you - I was away from work for almost a month, and got back only now.

In you well written essay, you make the point that the relation in question depends on the domain in which one explores it, with matter taking priority in classical physics, equal status in GR and information taking a conditional primary role in quantum physics. I am perhaps much more 'material' asserting the primacy of matter all through. However, I can see some of the similarities you mentioned, especially since you mention 'material arrangements'. However, I think we will start disagreeing on many things starting from you section 6, when quantum physics is discussed. For me, since 'background' is also matter, its state needs to be specified and treated in the same theory. Thus the theory should not make a distinction, even though standard quantum theory does make a distinction just as it does for system and apparatus. Perhaps we can have an extended discussion on another occasion.

With regards,

Unnikrishnan

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eAmazigh M. HANNOU wrote on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 23:17 GMT
Dear Armin,

We are at the end of this essay contest.

In conclusion, at the question to know if Information is more fundamental than Matter, there is a good reason to answer that Matter is made of an amazing mixture of eInfo and eEnergy, at the same time.

Matter is thus eInfo made with eEnergy rather than answer it is made with eEnergy and eInfo ; because eInfo is eEnergy, and the one does not go without the other one.

eEnergy and eInfo are the two basic Principles of the eUniverse. Nothing can exist if it is not eEnergy, and any object is eInfo, and therefore eEnergy.

And consequently our eReality is eInfo made with eEnergy. And the final verdict is : eReality is virtual, and virtuality is our fundamental eReality.

Good luck to the winners,

And see you soon, with good news on this topic, and the Theory of Everything.

Amazigh H.

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Charles Raldo Card wrote on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 04:05 GMT

I am sending to you the following thoughts because I found your essay particularly well stated, insightful, and helpful, even though in certain respects we may significantly diverge in our viewpoints. Thank you! Lumping and sorting is a dangerous adventure; let me apologize in advance if I have significantly misread or misrepresented...

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Cristinel Stoica wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 07:34 GMT

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Michael Helland wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 16:16 GMT
Interesting. I rated it ten

http://www.fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1616

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Paul Borrill wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 18:55 GMT
Dear Armin,

I have now finished reviewing all 180 essays for the contest and appreciate your contribution to this competition.

I have been thoroughly impressed at the breadth, depth and quality of the ideas represented in this contest. In true academic spirit, if you have not yet reviewed my essay, I invite you to do so and leave your comments.

http://fqxi.org/data/forum-attachments/Borrill-TimeOne-
V1.1a.pdf

(sorry if the fqxi web site splits this url up, I haven’t figured out a way to not make it do that).

May the best essays win!

Kind regards,

Paul Borrill

paul at borrill dot com

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Aug. 9, 2013 @ 01:27 GMT
Good luck Armin,

I am glad you made the finals, and I hope the judges treat you well.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Aug. 9, 2013 @ 09:19 GMT
Hello Armin,

I was praying for you while the shark attack was going on as I believe your essay has much to offer. I look forward to future exchanges on how the background I am proposing will influence Quantum theory, an area I am not expert like you. By background I mean a space that is not only discrete but participates in motion.

Congrats and best regards,

Akinbo.

*By the way the sharks almost ate me up too but I think I survived.

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Aug. 11, 2013 @ 10:45 GMT
Hi Armin,

Visited Deep Blue. Your two modes of existence, actualizable existence and actual existence can analogously stand for 'point' and 'monad' and can be interpreted as the binary choices, from which "Wheeler's space" can arise, a space-time that derives its meaning, function and existence from binary choices (bits). Pls see the judgement in my blog, as one of my next intentions is to see how this "Wheeler's space" can influence the Quantum World.

I got your email so I will correspond directly.

Regards,

Akinbo

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sridattadev kancharla wrote on Oct. 30, 2013 @ 19:03 GMT
Dear Armin,

I hope you will enjoy the following blog and videos in it.

Any Body Can Derive - Everything From Geometry

Love,