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

Contests Home

Current Essay Contest

*Contest Partners: 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

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**What Is “Fundamental”**

*October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018*

*Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation*

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**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/discuss • winners

**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/discuss • winners

**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*

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**It From Bit or Bit From It**

*March 25 - June 28, 2013*

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

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**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*

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**Is Reality Digital or Analog?**

*November 2010 - February 2011*

*Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American*

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**What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?**

*May - October 2009*

*Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams*

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**The Nature of Time**

*August - December 2008*

read/discuss • winners

Current Essay Contest

Media Partner: Scientific American

Previous Contests

Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation

read/discuss

read/discuss • winners

How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?

Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.

read/discuss • winners

Media Partner: Scientific American

read/discuss • winners

read/discuss • winners

read/discuss • winners

Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?

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Introduction

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

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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

**Franklin Potter**: *on* 4/23/15 at 18:52pm UTC, wrote Hi Jonathan, Thanks for reading my essay and for your comments. I found...

**Jonathan Dickau**: *on* 4/23/15 at 3:56am UTC, wrote I think I used the word hope too many times.. Glad you could participate...

**Jonathan Dickau**: *on* 4/23/15 at 3:54am UTC, wrote Wow.. From the binary dihedral groups to the Monster and Weyl E8 x Weyl E8...

**Joe Fisher**: *on* 4/7/15 at 15:39pm UTC, wrote Dear Franklin, I think Newton was wrong about abstract gravity; Einstein...

**Joe Fisher**: *on* 3/11/15 at 19:14pm UTC, wrote Dear Dr. Potter, In the abstract of your essay you wrote: “I explain how...

**Ed Unverricht**: *on* 3/8/15 at 2:41am UTC, wrote Dear Franklin Potter, Enjoyed your modelling of the SU(2) and the SU(3)...

**Jose Koshy**: *on* 3/6/15 at 12:31pm UTC, wrote Dear Franklin Potter, It was interesting to know how a veteran, still in...

**Yuri Danoyan**: *on* 3/5/15 at 18:19pm UTC, wrote Very interesting text. Thank you Michel

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Physicists are using optogenetics techniques to make a rudimentary agent, from cellular components, which can convert measurements into actions using light.

Investigating how quantum memory storage could aid machine learning and how quantum interactions with the environment may have played a role in evolution.

A proposed quantum set-up that could predict your game-playing strategy resurrects Newcomb’s classic quiz show paradox.

Investigating how the quantum measurement process might be related to the emergence of intelligence, agency and free will.

Why do we remember the past and not the future? Untangling the connections between cause and effect, choice, and entropy.

FQXi FORUM

June 3, 2020

CATEGORY:
Trick or Truth Essay Contest (2015)
[back]

TOPIC: How Mathematics dictates All of Physics, without the hot air! by Franklin Potter [refresh]

TOPIC: How Mathematics dictates All of Physics, without the hot air! by Franklin Potter [refresh]

I explain how the Universe is mathematical, in direct contrast to simply being described by mathematics. With no handwaving, I demonstrate which mathematical fundamentals dictate eternal laws or rules in Nature that are absolute. I propose that the lepton and quark states represent specific discrete symmetry subgroups of the Standard Model local gauge group and from first principles derive the neutrino mixing matrix PMNS and the quark mixing matrix CKM as well as the weak mixing angle. These derivations by themselves should be sufficient to verify that fundamental mathematics dictates the fundamental physics. However, I show also that many other physical properties follow directly from the fundamental mathematics such as particle mass values, maximal parity violation, exact color symmetry, particle decays, and the existence of anti-particles. Moreover, one can now combine the Standard Model gauge group with Lorentz transformations to form the unique discrete group Weyl E8 x Weyl E8 = 'discrete' SO(9,1), a 10-D mathematical result related to our 4-D physical world. In fact, all of physics seems to be dictated by the Monster Group and its j-invariant function. I suggest that a discrete mathematical lattice at the Planck scale leads to a possible source of quantum mechanics and an emergent gravitation via a particle model that derives Feynman's path integral approach. Therefore, I provide a coherent case for fundamental mathematics dictating the fundamental physics of our one Universe with no need for the questionable default to an anthropic approach, landscapes, and multiverses. The existence of a 4th quark family at the LHC will lend further credence to my discrete geometrical approach and our mathematical Universe.

I am a physicist retired from UC Irvine but continuing my physics research. I pursue alternative geometrical approaches toward understanding the Standard Model, with many key ideas presented in my essay. The discovery of a 4th quark family would verify my emphasis on discrete symmetries. In astrophysics, transforming the general relativistic Hamilton-Jacobi equation and applying the Schwarzschild metric leads to angular momentum quantization per unit mass for all orbiting bodies. A check of 79 multi-planetary systems verifies this prediction. In fact, I can show that the Oort Cloud dictates the allowed large planet spacings in our Solar System!

Dear Franklin,

Integers 108 and 1748 appear in the combination of invariants for the octahedron and the icosahedron (in Klein's lectures) and you claim that they have physical significance for the ladder of particle masses, may be. Then, in a nutshell, you do a fantastic jump writing that since the j-invariant is related to the Monster group [this is called Monstrous Moonshine, and in passing one has j(i)=1728] then the universe is mathematical. Dyson had "the sneaking hope" that the Monster would play a role in the structure of the universe, I see that you are suscribing to his hope. You will just have to substantiate your arguments a lot, in my opinion. I wish you good luck.

Michel

report post as inappropriate

Integers 108 and 1748 appear in the combination of invariants for the octahedron and the icosahedron (in Klein's lectures) and you claim that they have physical significance for the ladder of particle masses, may be. Then, in a nutshell, you do a fantastic jump writing that since the j-invariant is related to the Monster group [this is called Monstrous Moonshine, and in passing one has j(i)=1728] then the universe is mathematical. Dyson had "the sneaking hope" that the Monster would play a role in the structure of the universe, I see that you are suscribing to his hope. You will just have to substantiate your arguments a lot, in my opinion. I wish you good luck.

Michel

report post as inappropriate

Dear Franklin Potter,

It was interesting to know how a veteran, still in the game, views the unfinished game. You say, “I argue that this j-invariant connection dictates the lepton mass ratios to be 1:108:1728, values very close to the actual charged-lepton mass values 0.511:105.7:1776.8.” Thus, in fact, what you have provided is just a correlation between mathematics and physics at the particle level. Can this be sufficient reason to assume that 'fundamental mathematics dictates the fundamental physics'?

A mathematical relation can have different physical interpretations. The difference may be sometimes very thin. I would explain the above relation as follows: 'Given the fundamental properties of matter, mathematics dictates the structures'. Regarding laws, my opinion is that the physical world has no laws of its own. The laws applicable to it are mathematical, and these are “eternal and absolute”.

You ask, “Have I convinced you that the fundamental particles as well as we humans are mathematics instead of simply being described by mathematics?” Here also a slight change: Given the fundamental properties of matter, the mathematical laws dictates the emergent structures, and now human structures are present in the universe (the laws not just describe, but dictate).

I request you to read my essay A physicalist interpretation of the relation between physics and mathematics and visit my site finitenesstheory.com. I would appreciate your comments.

report post as inappropriate

It was interesting to know how a veteran, still in the game, views the unfinished game. You say, “I argue that this j-invariant connection dictates the lepton mass ratios to be 1:108:1728, values very close to the actual charged-lepton mass values 0.511:105.7:1776.8.” Thus, in fact, what you have provided is just a correlation between mathematics and physics at the particle level. Can this be sufficient reason to assume that 'fundamental mathematics dictates the fundamental physics'?

A mathematical relation can have different physical interpretations. The difference may be sometimes very thin. I would explain the above relation as follows: 'Given the fundamental properties of matter, mathematics dictates the structures'. Regarding laws, my opinion is that the physical world has no laws of its own. The laws applicable to it are mathematical, and these are “eternal and absolute”.

You ask, “Have I convinced you that the fundamental particles as well as we humans are mathematics instead of simply being described by mathematics?” Here also a slight change: Given the fundamental properties of matter, the mathematical laws dictates the emergent structures, and now human structures are present in the universe (the laws not just describe, but dictate).

I request you to read my essay A physicalist interpretation of the relation between physics and mathematics and visit my site finitenesstheory.com. I would appreciate your comments.

report post as inappropriate

Dear Franklin Potter,

Enjoyed your modelling of the SU(2) and the SU(3) world. Regarding your comment "If my predicted 4th quark family is discovered, I would like to hear your argument denying so!", you wont hear a denial from me as I agree with you.

Not sure if you get a chance, but my essay also revolves around modelling the particles of the standard model and if you get a chance to have a look, I would enjoy your comments.

Your essay was a great read and thank you for putting it forward.

Regards, Ed Unverricht

report post as inappropriate

Enjoyed your modelling of the SU(2) and the SU(3) world. Regarding your comment "If my predicted 4th quark family is discovered, I would like to hear your argument denying so!", you wont hear a denial from me as I agree with you.

Not sure if you get a chance, but my essay also revolves around modelling the particles of the standard model and if you get a chance to have a look, I would enjoy your comments.

Your essay was a great read and thank you for putting it forward.

Regards, Ed Unverricht

report post as inappropriate

Dear Dr. Potter,

In the abstract of your essay you wrote: “I explain how the Universe is mathematical, in direct contrast to simply being described by mathematics.”

Your explanation of an abstract universe is quite erroneous. This is how the real Universe is occurring:

Please behold the true nature of the real Universe. Accurate writing has enabled me to perfect a valid...

view entire post

In the abstract of your essay you wrote: “I explain how the Universe is mathematical, in direct contrast to simply being described by mathematics.”

Your explanation of an abstract universe is quite erroneous. This is how the real Universe is occurring:

Please behold the true nature of the real Universe. Accurate writing has enabled me to perfect a valid...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Dear Franklin,

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

report post as inappropriate

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

report post as inappropriate

Wow..

From the binary dihedral groups to the Monster and Weyl E8 x Weyl E8 in only a few simple steps! This is worthwhile perspective not available anywhere else. I think you realize the aims of the contest organizers, in great measure. I hope your model bears out. Let's hope for evidence of a 4th quark family, when they re-start the LHC. I hope this contest has brought some more visibility to your work. Dr. Planat, who responded above, has expertise in some areas that overlap with your work in a non-trivial way, and I expect to be comparing notes with him on research of mutual interest after the contest wraps up.

All the Best,

Jonathan

report post as inappropriate

From the binary dihedral groups to the Monster and Weyl E8 x Weyl E8 in only a few simple steps! This is worthwhile perspective not available anywhere else. I think you realize the aims of the contest organizers, in great measure. I hope your model bears out. Let's hope for evidence of a 4th quark family, when they re-start the LHC. I hope this contest has brought some more visibility to your work. Dr. Planat, who responded above, has expertise in some areas that overlap with your work in a non-trivial way, and I expect to be comparing notes with him on research of mutual interest after the contest wraps up.

All the Best,

Jonathan

report post as inappropriate

I think I used the word hope too many times..

Glad you could participate Frank.

Regards,

Jonathan

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Glad you could participate Frank.

Regards,

Jonathan

report post as inappropriate

Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for reading my essay and for your comments. I found your essay quite informative also. As you noticed, the detection of two additional quarks at the LHC will verify my discrete symmetry approach within the framework of the Standard Model, thereby simplifying our understanding of fundamental particle physics immensely and its universal physical consequences instead of adding more complications and mathematical speculations. My goal is simply to understand Nature at the deepest levels possible and to make testable predictions which have yes/no answers. If the effort leads to dictating that we humans are mathematics, so be it!

Thanks for reading my essay and for your comments. I found your essay quite informative also. As you noticed, the detection of two additional quarks at the LHC will verify my discrete symmetry approach within the framework of the Standard Model, thereby simplifying our understanding of fundamental particle physics immensely and its universal physical consequences instead of adding more complications and mathematical speculations. My goal is simply to understand Nature at the deepest levels possible and to make testable predictions which have yes/no answers. If the effort leads to dictating that we humans are mathematics, so be it!

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