Search FQXi


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.

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


Previous Contests

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

Forum Home
Introduction
Terms of Use

Order posts by:
 chronological order
 most recent first

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

By using the FQXi Forum, you acknowledge reading and agree to abide by the Terms of Use

 RSS feed | RSS help
RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

sherman jenkins: on 4/22/15 at 5:20am UTC, wrote I post a little here to address some questions. A little tongue in cheek...

Peter Jackson: on 4/21/15 at 17:45pm UTC, wrote Sherman, At this late stage shorter essays are often merciful, I was left...

Joe Fisher: on 4/10/15 at 14:31pm UTC, wrote Dear Sherman, I think Newton was wrong about abstract gravity; Einstein...

Edwin Klingman: on 4/9/15 at 22:56pm UTC, wrote Dear Sherman Jenkins, I agree with you that FQXi is about thinking outside...

Vladimir Rogozhin: on 4/9/15 at 15:26pm UTC, wrote Dear Sherman, Very important conclusions for search of a ontological basis...

sherman jenkins: on 4/9/15 at 6:22am UTC, wrote Dear Edwin Eugene Klingman I certainly do not wish to suggest that you and...

Sujatha Jagannathan: on 4/2/15 at 7:18am UTC, wrote Your essay is co-juncture of thoughts blending one upon the other like a...

Edwin Klingman: on 3/31/15 at 21:25pm UTC, wrote Dear Sherman Loran Jenkins, I enjoyed your essay wherein you state that...


RECENT FORUM POSTS

Steve Dufourny: "I must explain what is the real meaning of Spherisation in my theory.It is..." in Mass–Energy Equivalence...

Georgina Woodward: "Hi Robert, thank you. I now understand the difference between decisions and..." in Schrödinger’s Zombie:...

Robert McEachern: "Making a decision, means selecting between discrete, a priori established..." in Schrödinger’s Zombie:...

Steve Dufourny: "Hi Eckard,you seems persuaded by your Words and thoughts.I don t understand..." in First Things First: The...

Eckard Blumschein: "In Darwinism/Weismannism there is no first cause, just a causal chain...." in First Things First: The...

Steve Dufourny: "lol no indeed it is not a lot,like I said I liked your general ideas.I have..." in The Demon in the Machine...

Steve Agnew: "There are three assumptions...is that a lot? The aether particle mass, the..." in The Demon in the Machine...


RECENT ARTICLES
click titles to read articles

First Things First: The Physics of Causality
Why do we remember the past and not the future? Untangling the connections between cause and effect, choice, and entropy.

Can Time Be Saved From Physics?
Philosophers, physicists and neuroscientists discuss how our sense of time’s flow might arise through our interactions with external stimuli—despite suggestions from Einstein's relativity that our perception of the passage of time is an illusion.

Thermo-Demonics
A devilish new framework of thermodynamics that focuses on how we observe information could help illuminate our understanding of probability and rewrite quantum theory.

Gravity's Residue
An unusual approach to unifying the laws of physics could solve Hawking's black-hole information paradox—and its predicted gravitational "memory effect" could be picked up by LIGO.

Could Mind Forge the Universe?
Objective reality, and the laws of physics themselves, emerge from our observations, according to a new framework that turns what we think of as fundamental on its head.


FQXi FORUM
October 15, 2019

CATEGORY: Trick or Truth Essay Contest (2015) [back]
TOPIC: Math vs. Physics? by sherman loran jenkins [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Author sherman loran jenkins wrote on Mar. 12, 2015 @ 13:05 GMT
Essay Abstract

No problem with Math. Physics is not the problem. The trouble is with human nature and social herd instinct. The problem is human nature.

Author Bio

Sherman Jenkins has studied Physics and Mathematics at the University of Missouri, Washington University and the University of California.

Download Essay PDF File

Bookmark and Share



Alan M. Kadin wrote on Mar. 12, 2015 @ 14:39 GMT
Dear Mr. Jenkins,

Your essay is very concise and very clear. Human nature leads people to believe, and one type of belief in the modern world is a belief that a mathematical model must be correct. But widespread acceptance of a particular model, even for a hundred years, does not make it any more valid.

I agree, and my own essay, "Remove the Blinders: How Mathematics Distorted the Development of Quantum Theory", focuses on a particularly egregious example of how an incorrect mathematical model became accepted as reality, despite obvious "paradoxes". I argue that contrary to universal belief, a simple realistic picture of the microworld is possible, completely avoiding the paradoxes that plague orthodox quantum mechanics (including entanglement). QM is not a universal theory of matter; it is rather a mechanism for distributed vector fields to self-organize into spin-quantized coherent domains similar to solitons. This requires nonlinear mathematics that is not present in the standard Hilbert-space formalism. This also makes directly testable experimental predictions, based on little more than Stern-Gerlach measurements. Remarkably, these simple experiments have never been done.

So while mathematics can provide important insights into physics, an incorrect mathematical model that becomes established may be seen as virtually religious dogma which is not to be questioned. That prevents further progress.

Alan Kadin

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author sherman loran jenkins replied on Mar. 20, 2015 @ 06:57 GMT
Alan,

I have read your essay “......Blinders…...” and agree. I would like to paint a picture of my vision of the “self-organization of microscopic fields.” Well, -- possibly just a sketch. I see at the bottom of the Planck scale vacuum only one kind of stuff. The Universe filled with this one type stuff under tremendous pressure as all the individual bits mutually repell all other bits. This gives a crystal like structure. Each field cell (dynamic charged particle) takes the shape that packs best. This yields a Higgs field with a slight twist that is the orrigin of left handed chirality in our part of the universe. Just the right quantum of energy will dislodge sets of bits which are more or less stable and leave corresponding missing bits in the vacuum structure. What we call matter is collections of these sets and the missing sets moving together through the universal vacuum structure. You can see a little more of this vision at my entry to the first FQXI Essay Contest on The Nature of Time.

Sherman Jenkins

Bookmark and Share



Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Mar. 16, 2015 @ 08:29 GMT
Dear Sherman,

Your essay is a contender for the shortest one in this contest, and you seem to have a way of expressing yourself very succinctly. In fact I had the sense that you were intending to communicate "between the lines", so to say. For example, your last remark seems rather cryptic unless one remembers your statements about volume, from which I take it that you were expressing in a very subtle way a criticism of cosmic inflation in addition to the big bang.

I agree with your remarks about human nature, but I think also that there are good reasons why in science people don't immediately jump on the next idea that comes along. As I see it, it is a question of a delicate balance, and yest, often we don't get it right.

Best wishes,

Armin

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author sherman loran jenkins replied on Mar. 25, 2015 @ 04:38 GMT
Armin,

Yes, I did put the spotlight on “volume” for a reason. A lot of locked-in follow the pack math + physics is off course due to a weak concept of the dimensionality of space. And I do agree that in science as in most areas of interest it is usually better to select a steady course than to jump from fad to fad with no real understanding.

Bookmark and Share



Joe Fisher wrote on Mar. 24, 2015 @ 16:27 GMT
Dear Mr.Jenkins,

I have no wish to be disrespectful to you or to your essay, but I think abstract mathematics and abstract physics have nothing to do with how the real Universe is occurring for the following real reason:

Do let me know what you think about this: This is my single unified theorem of how the real Universe is occurring: Newton was wrong about abstract gravity; Einstein...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author sherman loran jenkins replied on Mar. 25, 2015 @ 05:26 GMT
Joe,

I do agree that the real universe can stand alone. And appreciate your essay. Last night I was up very late and enjoyed a fantastic dinner of roasted wild duck (and ate every spec - even the bones were totally consumed), a delicious salad (the only thing that I recognized was fiddle neck fern shoots), wild mushrooms, fresh razor clams, a wild berry concocsion that seemed sweet but wasn’t, pine nut crackers with fish…….the servings were small but just kept coming….and tea and more! I think it was mostly due to the late night and long conversations but whatever -- today my eyes are foggy and my mind is muddy. I read your essay twice and must try again in two or three days.

Bookmark and Share


Joe Fisher replied on Mar. 25, 2015 @ 15:54 GMT
Dear Mr.Jenkins,

Thank you for not reporting my comment to FQXi.org as being inappropriate. The moderator would have classified it as Obnoxious Spam and removed it.

Gratefully,

Joe Fisher

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Mar. 31, 2015 @ 21:25 GMT
Dear Sherman Loran Jenkins,

I enjoyed your essay wherein you state that one can "just wait for someone else to look at the problem in a new way" while noting that "our basic nature works both to stymie progress and to hold a steady course", combined with "a seeming need to join a crowd and follow a leader." There must be something comfortable about the ruts. I very much agree with your emphasis on intuition, and I discuss such in my essay, which I hope you will read and comment on.

In one of your comments you say "I see at the bottom… only one kind of stuff." I too see only one kind of 'stuff'. If you have not read Marcel Lebel's 2009 essay on the logical justification for such [the first 5 pages], you might enjoy it. The interesting thing is that while the three of us agree that there is substantial unity, we vary in our concept of the substance.

Thanks for your brief essay, and best wishes.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author sherman loran jenkins replied on Apr. 9, 2015 @ 06:22 GMT
Dear Edwin Eugene Klingman

I certainly do not wish to suggest that you and I should “just wait for someone else to look at the problem in a new way.” Most of the people here at FQXI are trying to think outside the box, trying to get out of the ruts. But it is often difficult to recognize the rut by which we are ourselves guided. Total chaos would result if we did not rely on habits and training and the teachings from the past. We can easily spot the errant paths of others; but our own conflict with reality is difficult to see.

The ‘stuff’ at the bottom (or at the tip of the pyramid--the stuff from which all else is made) is not time. That is not consistent with the nature of reality. Time is very closely connected to the Universal vacuum and the ‘stuff’ from which this structure is made. I describe this relationship in my essay for the first FQXI contest on THE NATURE OF TIME.

I base my view that the ‘stuff’ from which the vacuum and all matter is made is of one form only on math. Two types of stuff does not work. This stuff, From a math point of view as a field, may have characteristics of the “Higgs field” or similar there to. If this basic field is limited to ones that can be viewed as arising from or producing particles with a single and a simple nature with which we are familiar then we can view this basic stuff as either a structured field or as particles under pressure.

I read your essay early on and wanted to give others a read before commenting or rating; all thumbs up. Did also want to inquire as to your concept of the nature of the basic ‘stuff.’

Thanks

Sherman Jenkins

Bookmark and Share


Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Apr. 9, 2015 @ 22:56 GMT
Dear Sherman Jenkins,

I agree with you that FQXi is about thinking outside the box, not 'waiting for someone else to do it'. The problem, as you indicate, is that there are more 'new' ideas than 'correct' ideas, so it would be unwise to follow every new idea. This yields an inertia of old ideas or resistance to new ideas that is frustrating, but absolutely necessary.

I agree that the substance or 'stuff' is not time. That's why I said "the first five pages", in which Marcel presents the logic of substantial unity without yet giving his concept of it. And I agree that two types of 'stuff' does not work. My own preferred 'stuff' is the gravitational field, interpreted as a field, not as geometry. It is impossible to justify this in a comment, but I've touched on it in previous essays, and have done extensive work on it. The field has energy, hence mass, and it interacts with mass, hence itself, in non-linear fashion. With very few exceptions, physicists don't 'do' non-linearity. In my opinion non-linearity at high energy densities (such as are present at the big bang and in LHC-type collisions) has neither been analyzed nor appreciated. I believe it is a serious mistake to think the gravitational field is only relevant in weak field situations, such as between planets, or astronomically large situations, such as galaxies or black holes, and I have derived some fascinating results based on high density, rather than large size. I really hate to present such a radical idea in a short comment, but you asked my concept of the nature of the basic stuff, and that's it. I much prefer to lay out the details as I have done in Bell's case, and that is not possible at this stage of my results.

Thanks for reading my essay and commenting.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Sujatha Jagannathan wrote on Apr. 2, 2015 @ 07:18 GMT
Your essay is co-juncture of thoughts blending one upon the other like a Sandwich.

Good paper!

- Sincerely

Miss. Sujatha Jagannathan

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Apr. 9, 2015 @ 15:26 GMT
Dear Sherman,

Very important conclusions for search of a ontological basis of fundamental knowledge:

"Time is something totally different and still time is a characteristic related to the volume of space."

"Intuition, observation and a heap of data suggest that at the most fundamental level; universal reality is simple and highly symmetrical. We can puzzle over these facts or entertain the possibility that there is a primary symmetry in a very basic universal structure."

I invite you to see my analysis of the philosophical foundations of mathematics and physics, the method of ontological constructing of the primordial generating structure, "La Structure mère" as the ontological framework, carcass and foundation of knowledge, the core of which - the ontological (structural, cosmic) memory and information - polyvalent phenomenon of the ontological (structural) memory of Universum as a whole. I believe that the scientific picture of the world should be the same rich senses of the "LifeWorld» (E.Husserl), as a picture of the world poets and philosophers.

Kind regards,

Vladimir

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 10, 2015 @ 14:31 GMT
Dear Sherman,

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

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Peter Jackson wrote on Apr. 21, 2015 @ 17:45 GMT
Sherman,

At this late stage shorter essays are often merciful, I was left wanting for more from yours. I strongly suspect our self deception by putting too much trust in maths due to lack of intuitive comprehension has been disastrous. I analyze one important example in my own essay, which I think you'd like.

You cover an important topic, hit the salient points, and I can say don't over-labour it's self apparent truths. Well done.

Peter

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Author sherman loran jenkins wrote on Apr. 22, 2015 @ 05:20 GMT
I post a little here to address some questions. A little tongue in cheek but serious none the less.

Not so long ago the answer was Elephants first standing on the back of Turtles and Turtles all the way down. Now we hear that it is like Ants twirling around wires.

About Richard Feynman: He did certainly advocate getting on with quantum mechanics to solve problems but he also was very much in favor of learning why - while working with what works. Note his call to theoretical physicists to post the fine structure constant on the wall where they can look upon it every day.

You can see additional at my entry to the first FQXI Essay Contest on The Nature of Time.

Bookmark and Share



Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Please enter your e-mail address:
Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.