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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

fally jonash: on 9/3/18 at 21:24pm UTC, wrote Thanks a lot for the post. It has helped me get some nice ideas. I hope I...

Luca Valeri: on 4/17/15 at 11:59am UTC, wrote Hi Frank, Your essay reminds me to Heisenbergs closed theories: He...

Joe Fisher: on 4/10/15 at 14:35pm UTC, wrote Dear Frank, I think Newton was wrong about abstract gravity; Einstein was...

Frank Pohlmann: on 4/4/15 at 13:33pm UTC, wrote Dear Rick, thank you for your comments and sorry for delay in reply(was...

Frank Pohlmann: on 3/31/15 at 11:38am UTC, wrote Dear Alan, I was delighted by your response to my essay. Yes, you do...

Vladimir Tamari: on 3/28/15 at 15:27pm UTC, wrote Hi Frank I liked the way you presented your ideas, condensed, yet in a...

Alan Kadin: on 3/28/15 at 2:33am UTC, wrote Dear Frank, I have been reading many of these essays, and due to the...

Joe Fisher: on 3/26/15 at 14:37pm UTC, wrote Dear Frank, As I see it, I have a complete skin surface. Every real object...


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FQXi FORUM
May 21, 2019

CATEGORY: Trick or Truth Essay Contest (2015) [back]
TOPIC: Darwin for physicist : mathematical physics as evolutionary process by Frank Pohlmann [refresh]
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Author Frank Pohlmann wrote on Mar. 12, 2015 @ 13:05 GMT
Essay Abstract

Physics is described as a Darwinian process, exploring a network of local realities. Mathematical objects, for example Lagrange-functions, are subjected to selection processes similar to DNA in biological evolution. Mathematics plays a fundamental role in this Darwinian process, but without the unfounded assumption of the 'mathematical universe'.

Author Bio

Frank Pohlmann studied physics,mathematics and philosophy in Heidelberg/Germany.....and then turned to the arts. Today he is living as an independent artist in London. You can see his artwork here ( unrelated to this essay) www.holorealism.com

Download Essay PDF File

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Jacek Safuta wrote on Mar. 13, 2015 @ 10:52 GMT
Dear Frank,

I have studied carefully your very interesting essay a couple of times. It is interesting for me because it discusses the isomorphism between mathematical structures and physical reality. I study all pros and cons.

I agree with your extended Darwinian view as I also implement it in my concept. However, in my opinion, this view does not exclude the isomorphism between...

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Author Frank Pohlmann replied on Mar. 13, 2015 @ 22:22 GMT
Dear Jacek,

thanks for getting in touch and I found your essay very thought provoking.

Yes, I do agree, I can not completely rule out the possibility of a mathematical structure to be isomorphic to a given physical system. In my essay a stated a sufficient condition for this to be true. As far as I can see no current physical theory fulfills this condition. For that reason the succcess of physics can not be explained by an isomorphism, a faithful representation of reality.

Dropping the assumption of an isomorphism (in the above sense) leads one to consider a pluralistic view of reality, as opposed to the 'one-reality' of the Greek tradition.

Thanks for your interest in my artwork. Indeed, I do like to connect science and art in my work and certainly will try to visualize more abstract geometries. Have a look at one of my past projects.Timelab at Royal Institution

kind regards

Frank

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Jacek Safuta replied on Mar. 14, 2015 @ 08:33 GMT
Dear Frank,

Your art is beautiful. As far as I know many scientists and especially mathematicians love art. We can recognize beauty also in mathematics. I guess that this is due to geometry being a background.

Regards,

Jacek

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Member Rick Searle wrote on Mar. 22, 2015 @ 19:45 GMT
Dear Frank,

I really enjoyed your essay and largely agree with you: that to even approach the "truth or trick" question we have to have some idea of the historical development of physics along with physics relationship to the other sciences. I also like your comparison of mathematical information in physics with the evolution of genetic information.

Although, I make a very different point, I'd appreciate your thoughts on my essay and your vote:

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2391

Best of luck in the contest!

Rick Searle

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Author Frank Pohlmann replied on Apr. 4, 2015 @ 13:33 GMT
Dear Rick,

thank you for your comments and sorry for delay in reply(was moving house).

I very much enjoyed reading your essay, even if I have to disagree with your main thesis.

The distinction map/territory or picture/reality ( which can be traced back to Descartes) is a false dichotomy and should be abandoned completely. Mathematics can be useful for physics without being in any way in a one-to-one relation to physical reality.

Consider the concept of 'absolute Musik', that is music which is emotionally powerful without the use of words. Absolute Musik ( think of Beethoven's 5th) can convey emotions to the listener, without BEING emotion or being in a one-to-one relation to emotions, or having any meaning whatsoever.

In the same way, mathematics ( without having any meaning), can transmit information about physical systems, without being isomorphic to that physical system.

regards Frank

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Joe Fisher wrote on Mar. 26, 2015 @ 14:37 GMT
Dear Frank,

As I see it, I have a complete skin surface. Every real object appears to have a complete surface of one form or another. one must conclude that all of the stars, all of the planets, all of the asteroids, all of the comets, all of the meteors, all of the specks of astral dust and all real objects have only one real thing in common. Each real object has a real material surface...

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Alan M. Kadin wrote on Mar. 28, 2015 @ 02:33 GMT
Dear Frank,

I have been reading many of these essays, and due to the similarity of many of them, it’s starting to get a bit boring. The biological insight provided by your essay is a refreshing alternative, one that does not come naturally to most physicists and mathematicians.

Following this train of thought, could one evolve a mathematical formalism/physical theory that might be...

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Author Frank Pohlmann replied on Mar. 31, 2015 @ 11:38 GMT
Dear Alan,

I was delighted by your response to my essay. Yes, you do understand me correctly, all physical theories are dead like a dodo, so to speak.

But first let me comment on your essay. Maybe you are right and it is possible to model quantum mechanical phenomena with solitons. But does that mean that the mathematics is less abstract? You seem to imply that (mechanics of...

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Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Mar. 28, 2015 @ 15:27 GMT
Hi Frank

I liked the way you presented your ideas, condensed, yet in a clear systematic way and using a conversational Galilean Q&A method.

I was attracted to your essay by the use of Darwinian evolution in the title. In the course of reading it I learned a new word isomorphism which exactly fits my idea of why mathematics is so effective - nature is built on the smallest scale in...

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Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 10, 2015 @ 14:35 GMT
Dear Frank,

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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Luca Valeri wrote on Apr. 17, 2015 @ 11:59 GMT
Hi Frank,

Your essay reminds me to Heisenbergs closed theories: He describes the history of physics as a succession of closed theories (some time before Kuhn), where the newer theory contains the older one as a limiting case. And not only. The older theory is needed to understand the newer theory. This looks like your “paasing on of genetic information from parents to offspring …”.

As a physicist I never liked the sociological look to our science, since I always felt, physics is uncovering some truth about reality, which is independent from its genesis. So also your essay makes me a bit uncomfortable. However the evolution of science and its success is also an empirical fact and so it should be accessible to scientific analysis. And I think Darwin is a good choice. Although in the biological evolution the evolutionary process leads to a great diversification, whereas if we restrict science to physics we hope for one unified theory.

I wonder if you know the writings of Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker. I'm sure you would like his writings as a physicist, a philosopher and as an artist. You may also read my essay as a brief introduction to von Weizsäcker.

Best regards

Luca

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fally jonash wrote on Sep. 3, 2018 @ 21:24 GMT
Thanks a lot for the post. It has helped me get some nice ideas. I hope I will see some really good result soon.

Bullet force

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