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 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

Current Essay Contest

Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.

Previous Contests

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.

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


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

It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

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

Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American

What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008

Forum Home
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


John Merryman: "The problem is that we do experience reality as those discrete flashes of..." in The Quantum...

Thomas Ray: "(reposted in correct thread) Lorraine, Nah. That's nothing like my view...." in 2015 in Review: New...

Lorraine Ford: "Clearly “law-of-nature” relationships and associated numbers represent..." in Physics of the Observer -...

Lee Bloomquist: "Information Channel. An example from Jon Barwise. At the workshop..." in Physics of the Observer -...

Lee Bloomquist: "Please clarify. I just tried to put a simple model of an observer in the..." in Alternative Models of...

Lee Bloomquist: "Footnote...for the above post, the one with the equation existence =..." in Alternative Models of...

Thomas Ray: "In fact, symmetry is the most pervasive physical principle that exists. ..." in “Spookiness”...

Thomas Ray: "It's easy to get wound around the axle with black hole thermodynamics,..." in “Spookiness”...

click titles to read articles

Why Time Might Not Be an Illusion
Einstein’s relativity pushes physicists towards a picture of the universe as a block, in which the past, present, and future all exist on the same footing; but maybe that shift in thinking has gone too far.

The Complexity Conundrum
Resolving the black hole firewall paradox—by calculating what a real astronaut would compute at the black hole's edge.

Quantum Dream Time
Defining a ‘quantum clock’ and a 'quantum ruler' could help those attempting to unify physics—and solve the mystery of vanishing time.

Our Place in the Multiverse
Calculating the odds that intelligent observers arise in parallel universes—and working out what they might see.

Sounding the Drums to Listen for Gravity’s Effect on Quantum Phenomena
A bench-top experiment could test the notion that gravity breaks delicate quantum superpositions.

March 17, 2018

CATEGORY: Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017) [back]
TOPIC: Intelligent species from first principles by Hans van Leunen [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Author Hans van Leunen wrote on Jan. 10, 2017 @ 21:50 GMT
Essay Abstract

Look around and you become easily convinced from the fact that all discrete objects are either modules or modular systems. With other words, the creator of this universe must be a modular designer. His motto is “Construct in a modular way”. However, also non-discrete items exist. Universe contains continuums and these continuums appear to relate to the discrete objects. Further, we as intelligent observers of these facts, want to place everything into an appropriate model, such that we can comprehend our environment. This model appears to be capable to generate intelligent species.

Author Bio

Hans van Leunen. Born in 1941 in Helmond in the Netherlands. Applied physics at TUE (Eindhoven), Chemistry, Software expert. Career in high-tech industry. Now retired. Started a personal research project "The Hilbert Book Model" in 2009 that investigates the foundation and the lower levels of the structure of physical reality.

Download Essay PDF File

Bookmark and Share

Gary D. Simpson wrote on Jan. 12, 2017 @ 16:25 GMT

I agree completely that the universe is composed of modular pieces and that these pieces can be combined into larger structures of increasing complexity.

I also agree that quaternions provide a method of analyzing these structures. The difficulty that I have at this point is that to my knowledge, there does not yet exist an operator such as a LaGrangian for quaternion functionss that can be used to determine an optimal path. It seems to me that the needed Mathematics has not been fully developed.

You might be interested in my essay submission for this contest and for the previous contest.

Best Regards,

Gary Simpson

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Hans van Leunen replied on Jan. 12, 2017 @ 18:23 GMT
Elementary modules are point-like objects and would not have many properties if the location of that point-like object would be quite stationary. Instead, at every progression instant, the elementary module gets a new location that is provided by a private stochastic mechanism. Consequently, the elementary module hops around in a stochastic hopping path and the hop landings form a location swarm. The swarm is characterized by a location density distribution. The Fourier transform of this distribution equals the characteristic function of the stochastic process that is applied by the mechanism that generates the hop locations. Therefore, the swarm owns a displacement generator and consequently at first approximation the swarm moves as one unit. The location density distribution of the swarm equals the squared modulus of the wavefunction of the elementary module.

The swarm contains a huge number of elements. Compared to the vigorous hopping of the elementary module, its representing location swarm moves quite steadily.

The Hilbert Book Model contains a section about a multi-mix algorithm that starts from the hopping path and the fact that the location swarm owns a Fourier transform. The algorithm results in an equivalent of the Lagrangian and the Hamiltonian. In fact, the multi-mix algorithm takes the reverse of Feynman's path integral, which starts from the Lagrangian. The HBM does not take all possible paths. Instead, it takes the stochastic hopping path.

Look at Report of the Hilbert Book Model Project

Bookmark and Share

Author Hans van Leunen replied on Jan. 12, 2017 @ 18:32 GMT
Sorry, I appear not to understand the FQXi link system well. The above link is contained in or you can search for "the Hilbert Book Model"

Bookmark and Share

Joe Fisher replied on Jan. 13, 2017 @ 16:48 GMT
Dear Hans,

As I have thoughtfully pointed out in my brilliant essay, SCORE ONE FOR SIMPLICITY, the real Universe consists only of one unified visible infinite surface occurring in one infinite dimension, that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light. All visible modules have surfaces Hans.

Joe Fisher, Realist

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Feb. 8, 2017 @ 21:10 GMT
Eigenvalues and eigenvectors are used here ... this modular concepts are really complex, we are not designing the universe, trying understand it

How they lead to intelligence ?

Mathematical concepts using imaginary numbers give rise to solutions which are non comprehensible and are not real…..

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Hans van Leunen replied on Feb. 8, 2017 @ 21:27 GMT

The fact that numbers are called imaginary does not make them unrealistic. It only means that in such number systems the square root of -1 exists as a member of the number system.

In Hilbert spaces, operators map Hilbert vectors onto Hilbert vectors. If the map of a normed vector lands on the same vector, then the inner product of the source vector and the map results in a value that is called the eigenvalue, which belongs to the source vector and that source vector will be called eigenvector. The eigenvectors of a normal operator are mutually orthogonal. They form an orthonormal basis of the Hilbert space. The set of rays that are spanned by individual base vectors represents a set of atoms of an orthomodular lattice. This lattice is thought to be the foundation of physical reality.

Bookmark and Share

Eckard Blumschein replied on Feb. 17, 2017 @ 12:37 GMT
Didn't Hilbert's program prove untenable?

Incidentally, do you share Pauli's opinion concerning avoidability of i? I gave the reference in my essay.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta replied on Feb. 17, 2017 @ 13:19 GMT
Thank you for explaining eigen values and vector nicely....Can you give some physical examples for these....

Best Regards


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Feb. 10, 2017 @ 14:00 GMT
Dear Hans,

I read with great interest your essay deep with important conclusions:

My high score. I invite you to see and appreciate my version of the simplest dialecticо- ontological model of the Universum as the eternal hierarchical process of the structures generation.

Yours faithfully,

Vladimir Rogozhin

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Feb. 10, 2017 @ 14:02 GMT
Dear Hans,

I read with great interest your essay deep with important conclusions:

"The nice thing about this situation is that the deepest foundation of reality must be rather simple and therefore it can be described in a simple way and without any formulas. For example, if the observed signature characterizes physical reality, then the most fundamental and most influential law of physical reality can be formulated in the form of a commandment: “THOU SHALT CONSTRUCT IN A MODULAR WAY” This law is the direct or nearly direct consequence of the structure of the deepest foundation. That foundation restricts the types of relations that may play a role in physical reality. That structure does not yet contain numbers. Therefore, it does not yet contain notions such as location and time.

This law is intentionally expressed in the form of a commandment. It is not possible to express this law in the form of a formula… The impact of the commandment is far more influential, than the impact of these famous formulas."

My high score. I invite you to see and appreciate my version of the simplest dialecticо- ontological model of the Universum as the eternal hierarchical process of the structures generation.

Yours faithfully,

Vladimir Rogozhin

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 17, 2017 @ 23:14 GMT

I was pleased for the chance to penetrate your Hilbert Book model again and did so. Being more familiar with your language and terminologies now makes it easier. I rather warm to your 'swarm' characterization.

It seems your scores have fallen foul of the direction in the guidelines to 'not use the essay as an opportunity to write about your pet theory' but clearly most here must and do write from their own worldview. We agree we also need to progress understanding from the smallest scale upwards to tackle the topic effectively, which I think we're both doing well, so I don't think your scores so far value your essay highly enough. I think mine will do so.

We also agree the solution should be far simpler than the present theoretical confusion suggests. On that vein I hope you'll read mine which I think takes some small quantum leaps in that direction. I'm interested in to what extend you can understand, connect and agree its parts.

Very best wishes for the contest.


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Hans van Leunen replied on Feb. 20, 2017 @ 17:10 GMT

High scores only help to win the contest. Instead, the critics onto the document interest much more.

The Hilbert Book Model considers all discrete objects in the universe as modules or as modular systems. The model also considers all discrete objects as observers. This consideration means that all modules have some degree of consciousness. Sophisticated modules and modular systems show a higher degree of consciousness. Intelligent species exist that own a very high degree of awareness.

Observers only get access to information that the continuum, which embeds them transfers to them. This information reaches the observers from the past. Thus, observers perceive only a very tiny part of the information that the creator stored into the model.

Bookmark and Share

Peter Jackson replied on Feb. 24, 2017 @ 11:03 GMT

That now sounds like having far more similarities with discrete field dynamics and classical QM than the very tiny part of the information I've previously perceived. Indeed if a 'module' bounded by free fermions can be a galaxy, train, human or detector then we seem in close agreement!

Now the last bit of logic; Q; Does the velocity of each hop relate to the rest state (frame) of each point hopped from or to the rest state of some others in relative motion elsewhere?

I'm interested in your claim that "Intelligent species exist that own a very high degree of awareness." exist. I know the evidence of alien visitations is becoming quite overwhelming but it still seems considered by most as verging on crackpottery to say intelligent species exist out loud (though less so than claiming it's us!).

I see you also now seem to firmly come down on the side of 'God'. I found nothing wrong with that. Do you suggest he may perhaps be the highly intelligent being you invoke?

I hope you'll get to read mine and discuss the hops. i.e.Do you included cascades? Best


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Hans van Leunen replied on Feb. 24, 2017 @ 17:08 GMT

I consider humans as intelligent species. I do not consider the creator as God. God is supposed to care about his creatures. The creator only created them.

I was once involved in modular software generation and saw the power of modular design and construction in the competition with monolithic construction. In hardware industry, the modular method works. Software industry still does not apply modular design and construction.


Bookmark and Share

basudeba mishra wrote on Feb. 20, 2017 @ 15:25 GMT
Dear Sir,

We wish you could have defined physical reality (many different definitions are going round, but none satisfactory) and the scope of mathematics as a language. Language is the transposition of some information/command on the mind/CPU of another person/operating system. Mathematics tells us how much a system changes in the right hand side, when the parameters of the left hand side...

view entire post

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Hans van Leunen wrote on Feb. 20, 2017 @ 21:32 GMT
Physical reality is what the creator created and stored in a repository. Observers can perceive the stored information that the continuum which embeds them transfers. This information not only arrives from the past, the information transfer also affects the format of the information.

All discrete objects in the creation are modules or modular systems and all modules are observers. All modules are embedded in a continuum.

The role of the Hilbert space is to act as a repository. Operators that map the Hilbert space onto itself can impersonate the action of functions and their eigenspaces can play the role of storage places for discrete data as well as for continuums. In this way, the Hilbert space represents a powerful machinery that implements the play garden for the dynamics of the universe. See for a complete picture of this environment.

Bookmark and Share

Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Mar. 4, 2017 @ 00:50 GMT
Greetings Hans,

I like your premise that nature is modular in its design principles. And I am somewhat familiar with the Hilbert Book Model, from your earlier papers on viXra. But I am rather disappointed that you were not able to make a more compelling case for your essay thesis. It would have been a better essay, if some of the technical details were placed later, and the material on page 3 presented sooner.

It is better, I think, to present what you are talking about first, and then the details of the context. The way you wrote it; it looks like your argument hinges on the rising and falling of the HBM, but I see this is only partly true. The work of Steven Adler in Quaternionic Quantum Mechanics sets the standard, but substantially validates your premise in this essay.

As it turns out; Adler validates the premise of my essay as well. I also mention the quaternions prominently, but I try to place them in a larger context - and I would appreciate your feedback. My view is that we need to consider the whole of Math, because nature is already putting it to use. For what it's worth, I think the quaternions have more than a passing appeal, and like the other division algebras they are fundamental.

All the Best,


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Hans van Leunen replied on Mar. 4, 2017 @ 21:31 GMT

The quaternionic model offered by Adler differs considerably from the Hilbert Book Model and not only the quaternions make that difference. Adlers model is merely a quaternionic copy of current physics. The HBM offers a fundamentally different approach.

In the HBM the creator stores his results into a separable quaternionic Hilbert space that acts of a repository of dynamic...

view entire post

Bookmark and Share

Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Mar. 4, 2017 @ 21:59 GMT
Thank you for explaining!

I hope other participants will find your work, and will mine some of your comments for explanations where the text was insufficient to permit full understanding. I wish you the best of luck in the contest as well.

Warm Regards,


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Edward Kneller wrote on Mar. 7, 2017 @ 19:01 GMT
Mr. van Leunen,

Thank you for the well written essay that takes us from a Base Model to Modular Construction.

There were a couple statements that really caught my attention in the Modular Construction section:

‘The ability to configure modular systems relies heavily on the ability to couple modules and on the capability to let these modules operate in concordance.’

‘The modular design method becomes very powerful when modules can be constructed from lower level modules.’

‘Modular systems and modular subsystems are conglomerates of connected modules. The constituting modules are bonded.’

These statements fit very well with my definition for Precise Formations of Matter (PFMs) given in my essay, ‘The Cosmic Odyssey of Matter’. Precision Formations are defined by their components (modules) that are connected in precise configurations. The definition allows us to identify a distinct progression of ‘modular’ assembly, leading to life and social organizations.

If you have a few minutes, I would very much appreciate your comments on my essay.

Regards, Ed Kneller

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Willy K wrote on Mar. 14, 2017 @ 06:40 GMT
Dear van Leunen

I was really enthused to read your account of modular construction since that seems to describe the basic approach that is present in my modeling of intelligence. Without getting my hopes too high, I think the Constitutional nation state I have modeled could be representative of the modular system archetype you have referred to in the essay.

Needless to say, I am in total agreement with all three of your commandments. But I can’t pretend to have understood the explanation with regard to quaternions that you gave at the start of the essay. This is undoubtedly because I have discovered the complex number system of quaternions only very recently, via the essays of Yanofsky and Dickau published on this forum.

Given that scanty background, if it is presumptuous of me to comment on the mathematics of the quaternions and octonions, please do forgive me! But I found it really interesting.

Warm Regards, Willy

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Hans van Leunen replied on Mar. 14, 2017 @ 11:56 GMT

The elementary modules are pointlike objects. The only properties a dynamic pointlike object can have are their spatial location and the corresponding timestamp. This data construct fits nicely in a quaternion. The other advantage of this data container is that it is a member of a number system that for every nonzero member comprises a unique inverse. This feature is an important precondition for the existence of a mathematical repository that can hold huge amounts of these data containers in a structured fashion. The repository in question is an infinite dimensional separable quaternionic Hilbert space. Another important fact is that this repository possesses a unique companion repository in the form of a quaternionic non-separable Hilbert space that can embed the separable Hilbert space. An ongoing stochastic process that embeds the elementary modules as a function of their timestamp and their location in an embedding continuum realizes the embedding. Therefore the elementary module hops around in a stochastic hopping path that results in a coherent hop landing location swarm. Both the hopping path and the location swarm characterize the elementary module. Thus, the dynamic behavior, which the stochastic process controls, characterizes the type of the elementary module. Physical theories ignore this stochastic process.

Bookmark and Share

Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich wrote on Mar. 17, 2017 @ 23:35 GMT
Dear Hans van Leunen

I inform all the participants that use the electronic translator, therefore, my essay is written badly. I participate in the contest to familiarize English-speaking scientists with New Cartesian Physic, the basis of which the principle of identity of space and matter. Combining space and matter into a single essence, the New Cartesian Physic is able to integrate modern physics into a single theory. Let FQXi will be the starting point of this Association.

Don't let the New Cartesian Physic disappear! Do not ask for himself, but for Descartes.

New Cartesian Physic has great potential in understanding the world. To show potential in this essay I risked give "The way of The materialist explanation of the paranormal and the supernatural" - Is the name of my essay.

Visit my essay and you will find something in it about New Cartesian Physic. After you give a post in my topic, I shall do the same.


Dizhechko Boris

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Vladimir Nikolaevich Fedorov wrote on Mar. 29, 2017 @ 05:30 GMT
Dear Hans,

With great interest I read your essay, which of course is worthy of the highest praise.

I am glad that you are

«investigates the foundation and the lower levels of the structure of physical reality.»

Your assumptions are very close to me

«niverse contains continuums and these continuums appear to relate to the discrete objects.»

«The foundation of physical reality must necessarily be very simple and therefore its structure must be easily comprehensible by skilled scientists.»

You might also like reading my essay , where the fractal principle of the device of matter is substantiate.

I wish you success in the contest.

Kind regards,


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Apr. 8, 2017 @ 03:54 GMT
Dear Hans

I enjoyed reading your paper, although I approach physics geometrically and mechanistically rather than algebraically. One faqxi member explained to me that octonians represent a perspective transformation in geometrical terms. Is there such a geometrical equivalent for quaternions? So while I did not understand the algebra I could read your intention and view your vision of a neat causal world not too different than my own vision.

In Fig. 31 of my Beautiful Universe Model I interpret the Miller indices of the 3D crystal-like arrangement of nodes in my model as planar Fourier components explaining Heisenburg uncertainty. Is there an equivalent Hilbert interpretation of such a model?

With all best wishes,


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Hans van Leunen wrote on Apr. 8, 2017 @ 22:17 GMT

Hilbert spaces can only cope with number systems that are division rings. Only three suitable division rings exist. They are the real numbers, the complex numbers, and the quaternions. These numbers are used to specify inner products and eigenvalues of operators. Octonions and bi-quaternions are not division rings. Quantum physicists apply Hilbert spaces to model their theories.

Elementary particles are elementary modules and pointlike objects. At every instant, they take a precise spatial location. Thus they hop around in a stochastic hopping path. The hop landing locations form a coherent swarm. That swarm owns a location density distribution. The hop landing locations are generated by a stochastic process that owns a characteristic function, which is the Fourier transform of the location density distribution and acts like a displacement generator. The characteristic function and the location density distribution lead to Heisenberg's uncertainty relation. Elementary modules configure higher level modules. There, similar relations between swarms and characteristic functions exist.

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.