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

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Current Essay Contest


Contest Partners: Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and The John Templeton Foundation
Media Partner: Scientific American


Previous Contests

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

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

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

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

read/discusswinners

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
read/discusswinners

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

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
read/discusswinners

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

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

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008
read/discusswinners

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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Joe Fisher: on 4/7/15 at 15:30pm UTC, wrote Dear Carsten, I think Newton was wrong about abstract gravity; Einstein...

Jacek Safuta: on 3/11/15 at 15:52pm UTC, wrote Hi Carsten, As a student of physics you are supposed to be very open...

Thierry PERIAT: on 3/6/15 at 16:31pm UTC, wrote Sir, Thanks so much for your essay. I did appreciate the presentation and...

Edwin Klingman: on 3/4/15 at 22:47pm UTC, wrote Dear Carsten, Your essay is magnificent, and most of your conclusions are...

Carsten Spanheimer: on 3/4/15 at 17:23pm UTC, wrote Essay Abstract I propose to ask mathematics itself for the possible...


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FQXi FORUM
June 3, 2020

CATEGORY: Trick or Truth Essay Contest (2015) [back]
TOPIC: A Mathematical Approach to Physical Realism by Carsten S.P. Spanheimer [refresh]
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Author Carsten S.P. Spanheimer wrote on Mar. 4, 2015 @ 17:23 GMT
Essay Abstract

I propose to ask mathematics itself for the possible behaviour of nature, with the focus on starting with a most simple realistic model, employing a philosophy of investigation rather than invention when looking for a unified theory of physics. Doing a 'mathematical experiment' of putting a least set of conditions on a general time-dependent manifold results in mathematics itself inducing a not too complex 4-dimensional object similar to our physical spacetime, with candidates for gravitational and electromagnetic fields emerging on the tangent bundle. This suggests that the same physics might govern spacetime not only on a macroscopic scale, but also on the microscopic scale of elementary particles, with possible junctions to quantum mechanics.

Author Bio

The author, born in 1964, having a background of electronics, software engineering and general problem solving, is currently a student of physics at the University of Tübingen, Germany.

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Mar. 4, 2015 @ 22:47 GMT
Dear Carsten,

Your essay is magnificent, and most of your conclusions are probably true. You began with math as our language to describe logical behavior. I believe that logic is a key feature of physical reality and that physical reality supports AND and NOT logic at every level of structure, and thus math applies at every level.

Your approach based on two axioms and the...

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Thierry PERIAT wrote on Mar. 6, 2015 @ 16:31 GMT
Sir,

Thanks so much for your essay. I did appreciate the presentation and at a deeper level the paragraph concerning the quaternions.

I agree with the idea that quaternions (and probably octonions) play a central role in the "fabrication" of a given geometry because they can be directly related to the gravitational term appearing in the Lorentz-Einstein law.

Perhaps my own approach (which is only one made by an amateur) can be helpfull for your own research:

The Differential of the Triad and the Extended Lie Products

Like you, I have presented an essay here.

Thierry PERIAT

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Jacek Safuta wrote on Mar. 11, 2015 @ 15:52 GMT
Hi Carsten,

As a student of physics you are supposed to be very open minded. You ask questions and you are not attached to the existing paradigms. You propose: “…we know in advance that this will effectively come out as a (3+1) spacetime.” You are looking for axioms in physics. There were many attempts to formulate axioms in physics (D. Hilbert, J. von Neumann, L. Nordheim, H. Weyl, E. Schrödinger, P. Dirac, E. P. Wigner and others). All these efforts failed . That is a pity however a deductive system can consist of axioms or other, already established theorems. As far theorems were reserved exclusively for mathematics. That means that we can use theorems only if we accept that the reality is isomorphic to mathematical structures. (Not necessarily vice versa). I think you agree to that point.

My proposal is to use the geometrization conjecture, proved by Perelman (so it is a theorem). We have the set of 8 Thurston geometries. We can treat them as a space-like, totally geodesic submanifolds of a 3+1 dimensional spacetime… and get all interactions and matter.

If you are interested you can find details in my essay

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2452

I would appreciate your fresh view and comments. Thank you.

Jacek

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Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 7, 2015 @ 15:30 GMT
Dear Carsten,

I think Newton was wrong about abstract gravity; Einstein was wrong about abstract space/time, and Hawking was wrong about the explosive capability of NOTHING.

All I ask is that you give my essay WHY THE REAL UNIVERSE IS NOT MATHEMATICAL a fair reading and that you allow me to answer any objections you may leave in my comment box about it.

Joe Fisher

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