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Constantinos Ragazas: on 4/22/15 at 13:56pm UTC, wrote Good to hear from you again Edwin! And thank you for your good wishes....

Edwin Klingman: on 4/21/15 at 2:48am UTC, wrote Dear Constantinos Ragazas, I continue to be very impressed by your...

Peter Jackson: on 4/17/15 at 15:23pm UTC, wrote Kostas, Just as good at 2nd glance. Maths is the tool not the product! I...

James Hoover: on 4/16/15 at 3:36am UTC, wrote Constantinos, As Peter mentions above, you communicate a great deal in few...

John Cox: on 4/11/15 at 20:41pm UTC, wrote Constantinos, I'm glad we got to a point of some mutual understanding,...

Constantinos Ragazas: on 4/11/15 at 1:38am UTC, wrote Dear JRC, I am pleased my simple mathematical derivation of Planck's Law...

John Cox: on 4/9/15 at 18:46pm UTC, wrote Constantinos, Well...its started to rain on me, so I've had a little time...

John Cox: on 4/5/15 at 16:40pm UTC, wrote Constantinos, I,ve reread the photoelectric proportion and want to give...


Rick Lockyer: "Our discussion is smogging up Singh’s blog, so I will leave you with..." in Towards the unification...

Stefan Weckbach: "Rick, I have facts, not opinions. One fact is that browsing here and at the..." in Towards the unification...

Georgina Woodward: "This is a repeat of earlier posts. Scott, your thinking is currently..." in Understanding...

Steve Dufourny: "The technological environmentalism seems a key also. The potential of our..." in Global Collaboration

Lorraine Ford: "Thanks Steve." in Understanding...

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Time to Think
Philosopher Jenann Ismael invokes the thermodynamic arrow of time to explain how human intelligence emerged through culture.

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Grounded physicists are exploring the use of online and virtual-reality conferencing, and AI-controlled experiments, to maintain social distancing. Post-pandemic, these positive innovations could make science more accessible and environmentally-friendly.

Is Causality Fundamental?
Untangling how the human perception of cause-and-effect might arise from quantum physics, may help us understand the limits and the potential of AI.

Building Agency in the Biology Lab
Physicists are using optogenetics techniques to make a rudimentary agent, from cellular components, which can convert measurements into actions using light.

Think Quantum to Build Better AI
Investigating how quantum memory storage could aid machine learning and how quantum interactions with the environment may have played a role in evolution.

January 23, 2021

CATEGORY: Trick or Truth Essay Contest (2015) [back]
TOPIC: The 'man-made' Universe by Constantinos Ragazas [refresh]
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Author Constantinos Ragazas wrote on Mar. 12, 2015 @ 15:32 GMT
Essay Abstract

The purpose of this brief and hurried essay is to initiate discussions with others here and elsewhere on some ideas that have been fermenting in my mind for a very long time. Many of these ideas have in various forms appeared in my previous FQXi Contest Essays, A World Without Quanta? (2010) and The Metaphysics of Physics (2012); and in my Chapter, The Thermodynamics in Planck's Law. In this essay I introduce The Anthropocentric Principle: Our Understanding of the Universe is such as to make Life possible.

Author Bio

Retired from teaching, but not from learning. I am Free and Independent to the core! Among my many and varied intellectual interests and pursuits are Art, Philosophy, Physics and Archeology. In recent years I have written on and participated in various online discussions on Stonehenge, Gobekli Tepe, The Phaistos Disk, The Great Pyramids and others. In frustration, I have given up on Politics.

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Author Constantinos Ragazas wrote on Mar. 13, 2015 @ 01:58 GMT
Let's be clear about this. Though the title intents to provoke, I am not arguing for a "dream-state" Universe. Or for Existence in the Mind of Buddha. Nor am I arguing against this. Since ultimately no one knows anything for sure. I do believe in a Universe independent of our Mind and Will. One that is "there" whether we know it or not like it or not. A Universe that "is". But "what is" that I argue we cannot know in essence. But can only know what we think we know and sense. To think otherwise is "metaphysical".

And Physics as we know is full of metaphysical beliefs. Much to the dismay of "true believers" that Physics is not Metaphysics. Any view of "what is" (as for example "atoms") ultimately conflicts with our sense experience. And puts Human Life under stress of exclusion. This view is encapsulated in this Anthropocentric Principle: "We Know the Universe so as to make Life possible". Certainly psychologists will agree we do! I argue so should physicists.

I believe in mathematical truths and sensible reasoning. I argue Physics can be founded on Mathematics entirely. And thus not be "metaphysical" in its view of the physical. All Universal Laws of Physics, I demonstrate, are Mathematical Truisms. This view aligns well with the Mathematical Universe Hypothesis. But differs also from such Ontology. I don't believe the Universe is made of Mathematics. Just our Knowledge of the Universe consists of mathematical truths. But this may be changing! With greater advances in computational methods replacing mathematical reasoning.


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Peter Jackson wrote on Mar. 16, 2015 @ 22:16 GMT

For a quick essay I find it exceptionally good and valid. I think you nailed the subject admirably, getting as much if 5 pages as many do in 9. Certainly a top scorer in my book!

I like your indentification that we tend to find what we're looking for, including in mathematics. (I need to study your reasoning again to commit it to memory). We also findonly what we're looking for. The rest hides under our noses and before our eyes, entirely invisible.

And thanks for the citation. I'm sure you'll agree with and like my effort this year even more.

Best of luck


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Georgina Woodward wrote on Mar. 20, 2015 @ 05:18 GMT
Hi Constantinos,

you talk such a great deal of good sense in this essay that it is hard to find anything worth arguing about. If there is one thing it is your condemnation of the idea of a multiverse. I also used to argue against them until I watched one of Max Tegmark's talks in which he described many different kinds of multiverse. Some I disliked. Such as many Big Bangs giving many...

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Author Constantinos Ragazas replied on Mar. 20, 2015 @ 22:39 GMT
Hello Georgina,

Just when I was beginning to believe "Georgina", for some mysterious reason, is a very popular name for FQXi participants, you reveal to me "Parry in disguise"! Thanks for your comments. And good wishes.

As in our past discussions, what initially seem to be differences between our views turns out to be differences in our understanding of our views. And that may be the...

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Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Mar. 20, 2015 @ 13:30 GMT
Dear Constantinos

Like you I find one of the more interesting things about these contests is the ensuing discussions and over the years we become friends following an internet-thropic principle in action! Hello Peter and Georgina too ! Apart from re-reading some of your sensible and hard won ideas for example about photon emission and absorption, it is very refreshing to sense your solid attitude towards realism in physics. Reading physics discourse these days makes you feel diminished as a human being - not only the scale of the discussion (which is inevitable of course in cosmology) but the near-magical non-sensical concepts that have come to be adopted. Sure "probability density" works but what if that is a smokescreen hiding a much more intricate and interesting physical reality?

I liked your bon mots likening mathematics to english to tell the story, and learning that 'theory' means 'divine view'.

All the best with friendly good wishes


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Author Constantinos Ragazas replied on Mar. 20, 2015 @ 23:24 GMT
Vladimir, my friend

You write, "... Is a smokescreen hiding a much more intricate and interesting physical reality?". I agree! The mathematical smokescreen of Modern Physics becomes the "magician's trick" that fools even the magicians! In my view, the more interesting physical reality the Math may be hiding is that we cannot know "what is" that physical reality! Physics becomes Metaphysics in believing we can! And believing the "physical view" we are given IS "what is".

A "physical view" leads to an anticipated outcome. And when the Math produces something else, "magic happens". This is every magicians secret ploy of deception. And as long as we hold firmly to a theory of "what is", we will always be tricked and deceived.

The only way out of this "rabbit's hole" of Modern Physics is to formulate Physics based on Mathematical Truisms devoid of any view of "what is". And relying only on our measurements and observations of "what is". Always adhering to the Anthropocentric Principle: our knowledge and understanding of the Universe is such as to make Life possible in a 'man-made' Universe.

As 'man-made' let's make it Beautiful!


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Jose P. Koshy wrote on Mar. 23, 2015 @ 05:26 GMT
Dear Constantinos Ragazas,

Our opinions about 'mathematics' and 'modern physics' nearly converge: 'Writing bad physics using good mathematics leads to counter-intuitive physical explanations', and 'modern physics does not provide physical explanations that make sense'.

The existing convention is that we arrive at certain 'mathematical relations', verify these with experimental results, and based on these arrive at conclusions regarding 'the nature of the physical world'. This may appear to be the right path. But mathematics can trick us. A unique mathematical relation can have different physical interpretations, from which we have to select the right one. But from the time of Newton, physicists habitually selected the interpretation that looked 'mathematically simple and beautiful'. They did not care whether there can be other interpretations. The net result is that we have arrived at wrong conclusions that does not make any sense.

What I propose is a physicalist approach: Out of the possible interpretations based on a certain equation, select 'one' that has a clear physical meaning. And it is possible to do so. The equations of Newtonian mechanics, Quantum mechanics and Relativity mechanics can be interpreted in alternate ways to obtain physical explanations having sense. Please go through my essay: A physicalist interpretation of the relation between Physics and Mathematics.

Regarding energy, I would like to ask a question: What is energy? My answer is that fundamental particles of matter move at speed 'c', or motion is a fundamental property of matter. Energy is a measure of this motion, and is always discrete. If you feel interested, please visit my site:

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Author Constantinos Ragazas replied on Mar. 25, 2015 @ 20:49 GMT
Dear Jose P. Koshy,

I too believe in a physical reality independent of our Mind and Will. I have also often argued in the past we cannot know the Truth of "what is" that physical reality. But only know our measurements and understanding of "what is". Where physicists often go wrong is believing we can and they know! Or they nearly know and will know more for sure with their next best model of "what is". I have characterized all such ventures as Metaphysics.

I am not interested in Metaphysics. And physicists also reject Metaphysics, even as they unwittingly practice it.

I have proposed a way out of this dilemma. Measurement being the essence of Physics, all Basic Law of Physics should be Mathematical Identities that describe the interactions of measurements. Such MUH however differs from Tegmark's idea in that it is not an Ontology. The Universe is not made up of Mathematics. Just our knowledge of the Universe is made up of Mathematics. But even this would likely change. As we come closer to the limits of such mathematical methods.

In my view, QM is such mathematical foundation. So we are nearly there! All we need to do is realize it. And clean up some past gross misconceptions and physical assumptions we have made. Like the existence of energy quanta. Or believing Planck's Law is a Law of Physics which proves the existence of energy quanta used in its derivation. This simply is not true!

Planck's Law is actually a mathematical identity! Like the Pythagorean Theorem, also used in making measurements. It can be mathematically derived without the assumption of energy quanta.

You ask, "what is energy"? In terms of the quantity 'eta' in my formulation, energy is the time rate of 'eta'. But I know you mean more than that. You seek a "physicalist' explanation of energy! I don't see such need.


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Jose P. Koshy replied on Mar. 28, 2015 @ 15:38 GMT
Dear Constantinos Ragazas,

I am interested in alternate theories; and curious to know their viewpoints. Summing up your viewpoits, I get this: The physical world is real; but we have to be content with the mathematical equations that describe the interactions; any attempt to go further is metaphysical in nature, or we cannot expect to understand the real nature of physical reality. Am I right?

Based on the above, let me ask you another question. With or without quanta, Planks equation is correct; then why do you opt for 'without-quanta' model? I think the reason is metaphysical than physical.

Have you developed your theory further? Can I assume that at present you are somewhat sure that QM as visualized bu you can incorporate the equations that describe the interactions at cosmic level?

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Author Constantinos Ragazas replied on Mar. 28, 2015 @ 17:17 GMT
Hello Jose,

We can only know our measurements, observations and understanding of "what is". We can have an understanding of the Universe. But not understand the Universe. This is self-evident. No less evident than not truly knowing another human being. Such understanding is not limited to mathematical equations, however. Though these at this time provide the most objective reasoning and self-consistency.

But we should not confuse our understanding with "what is" the Universe. And yes, any claims that we know "what is" the Universe are metaphysical and lead to intellectual "religious wars". You write, "we cannot expect to understand the real nature of physical reality. Am I right?". That is my view. We can't in essence.

Planck's Law I have shown is a mathematical identity. As any mathematical result, it can be derived using various methods. Planck originally derived it using what he thought was a mathematical trick. Einstein latter proposed the physical existence of energy quanta in his derivation of this Physical Law. But Planck's Law is a mathematical truism and not a physical law that depends on the assumption of the physical existence of energy quanta. The issue here is not whether we can derive Planck's Law "with or with-out quanta". But rather between mathematical truths and physical laws. I am arguing Physics can and should be based on mathematical identities.

There are many interesting results that come out of this. Please read my Chapter for details. “The Thermodynamics in Planck's Law”.

But let me highlight two here.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics: all physical events require some positive duration of time to occur

"If the speed of light is a constant, then light is a wave"


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Author Constantinos Ragazas wrote on Mar. 25, 2015 @ 03:16 GMT
John R. Cox,

All measurements require an interaction between the 'observer' (and their instruments) and the 'observed' (being measured). 'Measurement' happens when an equilibrium is obtained. Measurement being the basis of Physics, all Basic Law of Physics should mathematically describe the interaction of measurement; or define physical quantities and their measurable qualities and relations.

I argue all such Basic Law can and should be Mathematical Identities. Such foundation of Physics will free Physics of Metaphysics by not making any physical assumptions (like the existence of energy quanta). And, yes, QM in my opinion can be viewed as a mathematical theory that describes interactions of measurement. In fact, Schroedinger's Equations in my formulation define energy and momentum of a system. In my formulation, the quantity 'eta' (accumulation of energy or action) is the basic and undefined physical variable. Planck's constant h is such a quantity, for example.

My formulation is far from complete. Gravity, for example, has yet to be dealt. But I have some very promising ideas how this can be done. Like Fermat's Last Theorem, however, this can't be squeezed in the margins of these pages! But I am convinced formulating Physics in the manner I have argued is the only way of avoiding mathematical models of "what is" and physical assumptions that invariably lead to counter-intuitive conflicts and metaphysical beliefs.


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John R. Cox replied on Mar. 25, 2015 @ 16:52 GMT

In encountering comments of yours on a number of occasions, I've found myself in agreement with you but have not been at all certain why. That is not uncommon for me, and makes me try to think.

What you propose is a very strict discipline of methodology in theoretical definition of terms, and I think that is a necessary principle in any logical pursuit. It is not how much we can expand the meaning of a definition, it is how strictly we can limit the meaning, that gives definition.

I want to read the thesis for which Steve Sax provided a reference, before getting into a deeper discussion because it is generally helpful for my understanding to have a peg to hang my hat on. And the Rubidium phenomenon might be a good start point. Like Steve, I'd like to see how the application of your methodology works. Give me a little time to digest the link you gave on Planck, and the Rubidium paper. I'll be back. jrc

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Author Constantinos Ragazas replied on Mar. 25, 2015 @ 19:54 GMT

You write, "*In encountering comments of yours on a number of occasions, I've found myself in agreement with you but have not been at all certain why. "

Maybe because I make sense?

Take your time with the rest. I do. Best to let the sensible truth emerge from the fog of theorizing, that impose such 'truth' of our theories on others.


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John R. Cox replied on Mar. 26, 2015 @ 20:15 GMT

I've read through your Chapter, and waded into the Rubidium thesis. Let's just concentrate some on the accumulation of energy in your paradigm.

The point is well made that any observation is a matter of some sort of detection and black-body emission in the original experimentation was deduced from detection, and the same assumption was made then as you have that conservation applies in the transfer of energy. There is a necessity that measurement 'here' is faithfully represented 'there' if at all. And, yes indeed, your eta equation is the same identical form as Planck's.

I did get bogged down on the list of conditional criteria of 'if and only if' but that probably wouldn't be a problem for mathematicians. Where I don't follow your arguments is where the sensor determines discretion, as depicted on the saw-tooth graph. While I agree that that a continuous, and non-varying, input of energy would accumulate in exponential fashion as a function of time, isn't that time period present in the frequency term of your equation? How does the sensor know it has finished receiving one wavelength of a one dimensional wave? Am I misunderstanding something, or completely?

Physically, I think energy propagating through space would occupy a volume, and accumulate in a volume, not at a point. Which is really behind my question about using 'e' as the index of light velocity, which I had used successfully long before learning the Convention against it. So we have some similar views, but also some which are diametrically opposed.

Hope I'm not too much a disappointment. jrc

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Author Constantinos Ragazas wrote on Mar. 30, 2015 @ 14:53 GMT

Briefly, Planck's Law in Physics as it is currently thought is NOT a mathematical identity! Because its derivation assumes the physical existence of energy quanta. My derivation of Planck's Law IS a mathematical identity. Because no physical assumptions are made in its derivation. Just math. The quantity E that appears in it can be anything. Originally, and for the historical record, E was "earnings" in an equation I was deriving at the time for my Investment Club members to help us make good investment decisions!

Why is this important? Because it was and is believed that Planck's Law "proves" the physical existence of energy quanta. I am proving it does not! Further, as a mathematical identity, my derivation EXPLAINS why the Cosmic Blackbody experimental spectrum fits so identically the theoretical curve based on Planck's Law. Whereas, and in a typically twisted reasoning, this fit is used by physicists to "prove" the physical existence of energy quanta Planck's Law is thought to be based on!


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James Lee Hoover wrote on Apr. 16, 2015 @ 03:36 GMT

As Peter mentions above, you communicate a great deal in few pages, deserving a higher rating. Your views are similar to my own though with a more open mind (MUH). Math is a tool and the language of objective reasoning but we do model and look for presupposed things, like BICEP2 looking for inflation mincroseconds after the BB, which is also presupposed.

I argue the effectiveness of connection mind, math, and physics and offer proof and stellar achievement in quantum biology, DNA mapping and simulation of the BB with LHC. . I hope you get a chance to look at mine:


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Peter Jackson wrote on Apr. 17, 2015 @ 15:23 GMT

Just as good at 2nd glance. Maths is the tool not the product! I hope you might now have a chance to also look closer at mine and perhaps even now collaborate by giving input and taking on the maths side!?

Now applying scores, and hope you climb into the finalists.

Very best wishes.


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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Apr. 21, 2015 @ 02:48 GMT
Dear Constantinos Ragazas,

I continue to be very impressed by your analysis of 'energy accumulation' and 'action'. In reviewing your earlier essays, I noted comments from Ray Monroe about the partition function for bosons ("photons") and fermions. Have you ever analyzed his objections? That is, have you explained the difference and partition functions? I believe this would help your argument.

I've had some recent thoughts on the issues involved, which are premature at the moment, but I hope to spend some time in the future pursuing these. I also hope that you continue to push this idea, as you are clearly onto something.

I had forgotten to rate your essay, so I'm pleased to be the 10th person to rate it, which I believe is necessary to qualify.

My very best regards,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Constantinos Ragazas replied on Apr. 22, 2015 @ 13:56 GMT
Good to hear from you again Edwin! And thank you for your good wishes. Always appreciated and reciprocated.

I see the Partition Function and the Equipartition of Energy as seeking to allocate otherwise continuous energy to discrete particles (entities). IMHO, this current paradigm of physics (this metaphysics) is ultimately unsustainable and has to change. I have shown, for example, Planck's Law can more easily be derived using continuous processes and not needing to assume energy quanta. Further, I show Planck's Law more generally is in fact a mathematical identity (much like the Pythagorean Theorem) and not a physical law as such.

I am arguing all of Physics can and should be similarly formulated! And our formulation of Physics be guided by The Anthropocentric Principle! Which simply states, "our Knowledge and Understanding of the Universe is such as to make Human Life possible". Few can argue the current Understanding of Physics makes "human Life" possible. To the contrary! It has become counter-intuitive and nonsensical.

This approach I am taking has lead to some very interesting revelations. Including a direct connection between entropy and time. And the recognition the Second Law of Thermodynamics is fundamentally about "time" and secondarily about "entropy". It should be modified to read "every physical event takes some positive duration of time to occur". This, to me, makes perfect sense! As for "bosons" and "fermions", I'll let others untangle that "mixed paradigm".


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