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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Al Schneider: on 4/17/15 at 16:51pm UTC, wrote Dear Sir: I began to read your paper. I got excited and scanned it to the...

Peter Jackson: on 4/17/15 at 15:16pm UTC, wrote Dear Al, Thanks for your refreshing essay which I found well structured,...

Al Schneider: on 4/6/15 at 3:27am UTC, wrote Dear Sophia, Thank you very much for your kind comments. However, I do not...

Al Schneider: on 4/6/15 at 3:22am UTC, wrote Dear Armin, Sorry for the length of this. I wrote a letter that occurs at...

Armin Nikkhah Shirazi: on 4/5/15 at 22:28pm UTC, wrote Dear Al, Your essay makes several sensible points to which I'd like to...

Sophia Magnusdottir: on 4/5/15 at 15:46pm UTC, wrote Dear Al, I think it is impossible to disagree with your conclusion :) I...

Al Schneider: on 3/24/15 at 5:14am UTC, wrote Some time has passed. I have reread your essay. I am even more impressed. I...

Al Schneider: on 3/3/15 at 18:10pm UTC, wrote Mr. Ojo: Thank you for responding to my essay. I am honored. I think you...


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FQXi FORUM
October 18, 2019

CATEGORY: Trick or Truth Essay Contest (2015) [back]
TOPIC: Modeling Reality with Mathematics by Al Schneider [refresh]
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Author Al Schneider wrote on Jan. 26, 2015 @ 21:49 GMT
Essay Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to show that the study of physics is limited when only mathematics is used to explain the phenomena in the world around us. The thrust of this paper is to suggest that mathematics is a language, like English, that describes reality but does not represent it. This paper further suggests appropriate behavior would be to use reality, modeling, and mathematics to study the phenomena that surrounds us. Two mental experiments are presented to bring this idea home. One is of a king's roses and the other examines special relativity from an alternate point of view.

Author Bio

Al Schneider began his interest in physics when eleven years old upon reading "ABC of Relativity" by Bertrand Russell. The study of theoretical physics became a lifelong interest. He acquired a B. S. in Physics from Wayne State University, Detroit, in 1969. Professionally he was a programmer working in industrial and scientific circles until retiring.

Download Essay PDF File

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Christophe Tournayre wrote on Jan. 29, 2015 @ 13:05 GMT
Hi, thanks for your essay. They are many points to look at. I tried to look at your main idea and questions came up to me.

In your essay:

"The first to look at is that the model universe contains only photons moving about. This makes the statement that our real universe is made only of photons. .... Another consequence: the appearance of virtual particles now becomes clear. Photons can randomly come together to form a particle if the area of photons is dense enough."

Here are my questions:

1. If the universe is made only of photon, what makes photon comes together?

2. If the universe is made only of photon, what is between photon so sometimes they are together or not?

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Author Al Schneider wrote on Jan. 29, 2015 @ 14:57 GMT
A secondary goal of this essay was to present a model of a universe that supports special relativity. To me, that model is a thread to a rug called universe. Once pulled the rug unravels. Let’s call the end of that thread concept A. Once A is mastered then one proceeds to B. Then C and so on. There are answers to both questions however; they are concepts like G and H. There is not space to go...

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Christophe Tournayre replied on Jan. 29, 2015 @ 15:57 GMT
My questions were on second part of your essay because I was curious to see more in details your arguments.

I value constructive models over relativism. In the first part of your essay, I found that you introduced a lot of relativism on mathematics. In the second part, you introduced a model.

In your book, is there a chapter where you explain your idea that entropy is due to random action? It is an idea that I would be very interested to read.

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Author Al Schneider wrote on Jan. 29, 2015 @ 16:36 GMT
Christophe Tournayre

My book does not do well with this subject. The idea that entropy is due to random action comes from the study of entropy in standard texts on the subject. It also comes from a study of Boltzmann’s theories of the subject. In essence, consider an ideal gas: space between little hard balls that are perfectly elastic in an elastic container. There are many combinations of position and speed of these particles. Consider all of the gas in one half of the container. There are many more combinations of gas distributed throughout the container than in one half of the container. Therefore, through random action, the gas will fill the container and entropy increases (The gas losses its ability to do work.). That is a snapshot of it all and a basis for the laws of thermodynamics. I may error in this and hope there is someone reading this that can clarify it better. I believe that Boltzmann’s concepts are vital to an understanding of the universe and extremely fascinating.

Al Schneider

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basudeba mishra wrote on Feb. 18, 2015 @ 18:43 GMT
Dear Sir,

Congratulation for such a brilliant essay. You deserve the best.

Though our views of numbers, infinity and zero (discussed elaborately in our essay) are different from that of Deepak Chopra, we hold that infinities are real and not a very big number. The number of infinities is not infinite, but only four. Zero is the absence of something at here-now that is known to exist...

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Author Al Schneider replied on Feb. 18, 2015 @ 20:48 GMT
A beginning comment in your post is, “…we hold that infinities are real and not a very big number.”

“…we hold…” is not a mathematical nor physics form of science.

There are many flaws in your following explanations. However, it suffices to point out that the phrase, “…infinities are real and not a very big number,” indicates your unwillingness to face reality or the projection of consciousness that manifests what we call reality. Ergo, the remainder is null and void.

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Author Al Schneider replied on Feb. 19, 2015 @ 00:17 GMT
I have reread your post several times. I am confused. Who is “we”? Is it the physics community or the Deepak community? Next, you have made a statement about infinity. It is presented as the ultimate fact, “…we hold…” Since the purpose of the contest is to discuss the aspects of mathematics, such a statement is inappropriate. I can understand stating your side but would it not be better to write up your opinion and submit it as I have.

The third issue is about politeness on forums. Submitting a number of statements is inappropriate. This is a technique Deepak uses often in his discussions with others. He throws out a fistful of points or what he considers truths and the other party has no time to discuss any of them. Then he puffs his chest out as if he is the winner. It is very impolite.

I am worried that if I respond to each of your comments you will respond to each with a multiplicity of responses. It is a cheap trick to bury someone without making progress.

I would like to respond to your statements but not as if I am being attacked.

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basudeba mishra replied on Feb. 19, 2015 @ 04:37 GMT
Dear Sir,

Decorum is a part of our culture. We beg to be excused if you feel otherwise. Our post did not "attack" you, but supported and expanded your views in many areas.



You have rightly said that "the purpose of the contest is to discuss the aspects of mathematics". For this purpose, we want to keep out I from the discussion to make it a collective effort to find the truth. We would be grateful if you could educate us about our faults by justifying your statements.

Regards,

basudeba

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Author Al Schneider wrote on Feb. 19, 2015 @ 10:40 GMT
I would eagerly read your essay if I knew what it was.

Second, I have essentially given up on this contest.

It appeared that the popular authors were getting all the attention.

I am honored that some have given me credit.

Actually, I am ecstatic.

If you would let me know which essay is yours, I will read it and we can continue.

Now I am curious what you have to say.

All the best.

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basudeba mishra replied on Feb. 20, 2015 @ 05:28 GMT
Dear Sir,

Kindly see REASONABLE EFFECTIVENESS OF MATHEMATICS: by basudeba mishra @

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2325

We agree with your other comments.

Regards,

basudeba

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Author Al Schneider wrote on Feb. 19, 2015 @ 13:28 GMT
The purpose of this post is to reiterate the thesis of this essay.

Present Operation:

At present the physics community values real world experimental data and a mathematical explanation. It abhors mechanical models used to relate experimental data to the mathematics. This author believes that this breeds incomplete understanding.

Desired Operation:

Understanding can be...

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Richard Lewis wrote on Feb. 19, 2015 @ 15:47 GMT
Hello Al,

I love your conclusion section:

Math is a language that can describe reality. When used to describe reality there should be a model accompanying the math. The model and math should be compared to reality to test the validity of the math and model. If these three things are not in harmony, we do not understand the phenomena and need more research.

I totally agree and it is amazing that the interpretation of quantum theory has remained unresolved for so long.

I have a great sense that Albert Einstein was outvoted and sidelined in the quantum theory debate when all along the issues that troubled him were totally valid.

I hope you will get a chance to read 'Solving the mystery' where I have tried to provide a descriptive model that matches reality.

Regards

Richard

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Author Al Schneider wrote on Feb. 19, 2015 @ 18:10 GMT
I understand that Einstein, Schrodinger, and deBroglie believed there was something real about the equation and all were "outvoted". I suspect they were outvoted by a particular individual that had power and had his own ideas about the reality of the universe. It is incomprehensible to me that the three men that really made it all work were pushed aside. I get the feeling that if you are right you don't count. I have studied the history of physics and have found this common. I feel for people like Avagadro and Carnot. I am going to read "Solving the mystery."

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Alan M. Kadin replied on Feb. 21, 2015 @ 14:56 GMT
Dear Mr. Schneider,

Your comment about Einstein, Schrodinger, and de Broglie echoes the introduction to my own essay, "Remove the Blinders: How Mathematics Distorted the Development of Quantum Theory". I argue that premature adoption of an abstract mathematical framework prevented consideration of a simple, consistent, realistic model of quantum mechanics, avoiding paradoxes of indeterminacy, entanglement, and non-locality. What’s more, this realistic model is directly testable using little more than Stern-Gerlach magnets.

But questioning the foundations in this way is considered heretical, and is unpublishable in physics journals.

Alan Kadin

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Author Al Schneider replied on Mar. 24, 2015 @ 05:14 GMT
Some time has passed. I have reread your essay. I am even more impressed. I believe your comment, "But questioning the foundations in this way is considered heretical, and is unpublishable in physics journals." is true. Then I believe, when the truth is out, there will be an earthquake in the physics community.

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Peter Martin Punin wrote on Mar. 1, 2015 @ 17:55 GMT
Dear Mr. Schneider

Being myself involved in model theory, I read your article with great interest. And I fully agree with you that the understanding of physics is not exclusively a question of math. On the contrary, here in France and in Europe, many of us are grateful especially to Richard Feynman for his way to revolutionize the pedagogy of physics.

However, if the understanding of...

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Author Al Schneider replied on Mar. 2, 2015 @ 22:10 GMT
Peter Martin Punin:

After reading this post and your essay, here is a few words that jump out at me.

“For all these reasons I think that math have "something" that other languages do not have. Regarding the nature of this "something", there is a great mystery, and this mystery is in my opinion the main motivation for the present contest.”

I can explain this mystery. The many believe that math is the great and perfect descriptor of the all. Since it clearly fails, the many are dismayed, perceive a mystery, and search for some deeper meaning. There is none.

In all of history, great leaders have gathered thousands of men and gone to war. Thousands on both sides in many battles have died. The great declare themselves the winner. Have those that died on the right side also won? It all depends upon one’s point of view.

All I am saying is that dependence on math does not automatically yield a correct description of reality. I am not questioning how it does it. Whether it is good or bad depends upon one’s point of view.

I have read your response and attempted to read your essay several times. Your education is superior to mine. I cannot extract understanding from the sophisticated language you use.

Al Schneider

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Mar. 3, 2015 @ 15:05 GMT
Dear Al,

You have presented the theme for this year's essay in a very entertaining and very informative way. In fact, if the remaining of the essay was as interesting and factual as the first five and a half pages, your essay would have been one of those to beat in this year's competition.

The way you started by pointing out the scenes as the drama has unfolded was really good....

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Author Al Schneider replied on Mar. 3, 2015 @ 18:10 GMT
Mr. Ojo:

Thank you for responding to my essay. I am honored. I think you have pointed out that the beginning of my essay is on track. In viewing the second half you have pointed out what you think are flaws. In reaction to that, I would like to point out that when I talk of the things that are not modeled correctly, one would be the wave theory of light. In writing the paper I had considered addressing special relativity or the travesty of present understanding of light. I chose special relativity. I expect responses like yours and value it. Incidentally, the criticism of zero point particles was shown me by the director of a physics department of a significant university when I presented my idea to him. He didn't like my idea either.

I will go take a look at your essay.

Thank You

Al Schneider

Before I go however, I must point out that I wrote a book titled "New Age Quantum Physics" available on amazon dot com. It addresses the questions you have posed.

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Sophia Magnusdottir wrote on Apr. 5, 2015 @ 15:46 GMT
Dear Al,

I think it is impossible to disagree with your conclusion :) I don't think though that there exists presently any reason to rule out that reality ultimately is mathematics and the model that you speak about is too, so that we are just looking at self-similarities. I really like the focus of your argument though, it is well done. I wish you good luck with the contest,

-- Sophia

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Author Al Schneider replied on Apr. 6, 2015 @ 03:27 GMT
Dear Sophia,

Thank you very much for your kind comments. However, I do not expect to place in this contest. The material presented by those here is of such a caliber and from such distinguished individuals, I feel small by comparison. I am very happy to present my ideas with the simple idea that people like you will read it and contemplate it a bit. In this, I am very honored.

Al Schneider

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Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Apr. 5, 2015 @ 22:28 GMT
Dear Al,

Your essay makes several sensible points to which I'd like to give the following comments:

I agree that mathematics is a language which can sometimes describe things which are not real. It seems to me though that already in everyday contexts which seem rather far removed from mathematics. If you do me a favor and I say that "I owe you one", this does not prima facie have...

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Author Al Schneider replied on Apr. 6, 2015 @ 03:22 GMT
Dear Armin,

Sorry for the length of this. I wrote a letter that occurs at the end of this post. Then, I went over your post line by line. Here are my thoughts.

I am rewarded by your initial comments.

[If you do me a favor and I say that "I owe you one", this does not prima facie have anything to do with math, yet it could be modeled as me being in possession of -1 favors from...

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Peter Jackson wrote on Apr. 17, 2015 @ 15:16 GMT
Dear Al,

Thanks for your refreshing essay which I found well structured, easy to read, right on topic and very agreeable in content. I entirely agree your postulates, (and indeed demonstrate how maths can be misused in my own essay on the great red/green sock switch con trick!). As with most essays in this ilk it will doubtless be overlooked by the judges. I'm pleased not to have overlooked it and will score it very well.

I'm certain you'll also like mine, and once scoring is over (quite soon!) I hope you may look at my recent past essays (2011 on) which I think are consistent with and achieve your own objective of a logical model incorporating SR (and now QM).

I must also say I was greatly relieved the 2nd truck didn't charge the gardener to remove the first lot of roses!

Best of luck in the last few days.

Peter

PS If you like physical models and have 9 mins to spare do check this out;

Proposed resolution of Cosmic Redshift, CP Violations, Unification etc.. yes I know we'll agree it sounds crazy at first but "is it crazy enough to be correct?" (Bohr).

PPS ..and I think in context Bohr was saying; look, it aint' logical OK, but it happens and the maths work.' (check out my last 2 essays and Academia paper).

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Author Al Schneider replied on Apr. 17, 2015 @ 16:51 GMT
Dear Sir:

I began to read your paper. I got excited and scanned it to the end. Then I have this intense desire to write you. When I calm down later I will study your paper closely. First, your point of view rings true to my ears. Second, I think I have an important ability to address this issue. I hope you don’t mind my sharing it with you. I happen to be one of the world’s experts on...

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