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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Tapio Salminen: on 4/14/15 at 12:44pm UTC, wrote Dear Vladimir, Thank you for your interest, kind words and most of all for...

Vladimir Rogozhin: on 4/14/15 at 12:23pm UTC, wrote I'm sorry, the correct link T.Romanovskaya"Sovremennaya phizika i...

Vladimir Rogozhin: on 4/14/15 at 11:37am UTC, wrote Dear Tapio, I have read your extremely important essay with great...

Tapio Salminen: on 4/12/15 at 10:59am UTC, wrote Dear Sylvain, Thank you for taking the time to read my essay and...

Sylvain Poirier: on 4/11/15 at 7:43am UTC, wrote Dear Tapio, I tried to understand your view but it does not seem all clear...

Joe Fisher: on 4/8/15 at 15:40pm UTC, wrote Dear Tapio, I think Newton was wrong about abstract gravity; Einstein was...

Tapio Salminen: on 3/11/15 at 16:56pm UTC, wrote Bonjour Michel, Thank you for reading my essay! I noticed you also have an...

Michel Planat: on 3/10/15 at 15:16pm UTC, wrote Dear Tapio, Your essay is well constructed, well written and coherent. I...


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FQXi FORUM
October 22, 2019

CATEGORY: Trick or Truth Essay Contest (2015) [back]
TOPIC: Truth or Dare: Possible Mathematical Representation of Reality by Tapio Salminen [refresh]
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Author Tapio Salminen wrote on Mar. 7, 2015 @ 21:50 GMT
Essay Abstract

In this essay I consider reality as understood in verificationism or in pragmatism such that it is “the end of enquiry”. In this framework reality can be given a one to one correspondence with the ontology of a hypothetical best possible theory of physics capable of answering all possible questions as long as “best” includes the condition of being the simplest. If this theory can be written in the language of mathematics, as will be motivated by its need to describe information, then reality admits a mathematical representation.

Author Bio

I hold a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Helsinki. After my thesis work I did a postdoc in Marseille and am now back in Helsinki. Lately I have been looking into studies on the nature of time in various fields and their connections.

Download Essay PDF File

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Kimmo Rouvari wrote on Mar. 9, 2015 @ 13:17 GMT
Hi Tapio,

Nice to find another Finn from the contest. Did I understand correctly based on your essay that the mysterious connection between math and physics is due to the fact that information is physical?

In my essay, Mathematics, Physics and Nature there is presented another angle to the topic, also very much "physical". It would be interesting to hear your opinion about it and of course rating would be nice.

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Author Tapio Salminen replied on Mar. 9, 2015 @ 16:20 GMT
Hi Kimmo,

Thanks for reading! I'll be sure to read yours and comment as soon as I'm back to work next week.

My essay amounts to saying that (the verifiable) reality consists of (verifiable) physical things, and if these can be fully described in terms of information then reality admits a mathematical description. I further make the claim that information needs to correspond to something physical and from this there follow limits on the possible extent and form of 'reality' as understood in this way. Of course you can consider instead an absolute reality, but then you have the disadvantage that a full description of it would be physically impossible.

All the best,

Tapio

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Mar. 9, 2015 @ 14:34 GMT
Hello Tapio,

I have just read your interesting contribution. Your views are Machian from what I see. From your opinion that "We have considered reality in the sense of being composed of only verifiable things"... May I ask:

- Can 'verifiable things' perish or are they eternally existing?

- If verifiable things can perish, how can this information be represented mathematically in the way you suggested?

Regards,

Akinbo

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Author Tapio Salminen replied on Mar. 9, 2015 @ 17:02 GMT
Hi Akinbo,

And thanks for reading!

I think whether anything can perish (or be created) depends on your philosophy of time and to what degree you consider past and future things to exist - it's definitely an interesting question.

In the framework of information considered here, I'm inclined to say that the set of verifiable things for an observer can indeed change from one time slice to another, for example if things are pushed beyond the horizon of the observable universe. The array of bits representing information is abstract and there should be no problem in taking it to be time dependent.

Good luck in the contest!

Tapio

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Michel Planat wrote on Mar. 10, 2015 @ 15:16 GMT
Dear Tapio,

Your essay is well constructed, well written and coherent.

I agree that "Every physical system is an equivalent observer" (i) that is a minimal condition to reach a scientific description of physics. Also "Information needs to be encoded in something physical" (j). Here I am surprised that you do not mention quantum information theory and the lessons taken from it, and the "strange" phenomena, at least with respect to classical viewpoint, no-cloning, entanglement, teleportation, non-locality and so on. You do not mention how the information is erased (Landauer's principle).



Mathematical reality: I would have expected more under this heading. Myself I still don't know the difference between mathematical and physical reality. Does you approach has something to say? Here (i) works but not (j), or in a very different sense, that would correspond to a form of "cognitive" quantum reality.

All the best,

Michel

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Author Tapio Salminen replied on Mar. 11, 2015 @ 16:56 GMT
Bonjour Michel,

Thank you for reading my essay! I noticed you also have an entry in the contest, I'll be sure to read it once I get back to work next week.

I think your critique is spot on in the sense that this is the direction I would've expanded the essay had time and space been more allowing - I'm sure that there would be plenty that quantum information theory could illuminate...

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Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 8, 2015 @ 15:40 GMT
Dear Tapio,

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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Sylvain Poirier wrote on Apr. 11, 2015 @ 07:43 GMT
Dear Tapio,

I tried to understand your view but it does not seem all clear to me.

You wrote that you try to defend yourself against "objections such as “Idealism!” ". Do you sincerely reject idealism by your own conviction or is it only a result of social pressure, like in the tale of Emperor's New Clothes ? My own position, which I expressed in my essay, can be roughly...

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Author Tapio Salminen replied on Apr. 12, 2015 @ 10:59 GMT
Dear Sylvain,

Thank you for taking the time to read my essay and commenting on it so thoroughly. Also, it's remarkable that you still have the energy to comment on and rate so many essays after noticing the obvious "absurdity of community rating". I contacted the organizers to comment on this frustrating fact, but they never replied and I have been slightly discouraged from this contest...

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Apr. 14, 2015 @ 11:37 GMT
Dear Tapio,

I have read your extremely important essay with great interest. I can not agree with some of your conclusions, but I want to say that we have an opportunity with you in-depth dialogue on the ontological basis of Mathematics and Physics. Tthe basic science is in a deep existential crisis, "crisis of understanding" ("Advances in Physical Sciences" K.Kopeykin "Souls" of atoms and...

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Vladimir Rogozhin replied on Apr. 14, 2015 @ 12:23 GMT
I'm sorry, the correct link T.Romanovskaya"Sovremennaya phizika i sovremennoe iskusstvo – paralleli stilya" / "Modern physics and contemporary art – parallels of style").

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Author Tapio Salminen replied on Apr. 14, 2015 @ 12:44 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

Thank you for your interest, kind words and most of all for reading my essay! I can see already from the quotations you have chosen that our views and interests have a lot in common. The quote from Wheeler is one of my favourites and (as you no doubt noticed) I agree that Occam's razor should be sharpened (or at least thought about) when it comes to ontology.

I will proceed to read your essay and get back to you with any thoughts that arise.

All the best,

Tapio

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