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Current Essay Contest

Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.

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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

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Accounting for quantum fuzziness could help us measure space and time—and the cosmos—more accurately.

February 22, 2018

CATEGORY: Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017) [back]
TOPIC: The irrational side of reality by Gerold Gruendler [refresh]
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Author Gerold Gruendler wrote on Jan. 18, 2017 @ 21:47 GMT
Essay Abstract

Not all aspects of reality are ruled by "mindless mathematical laws". I argue that "aims and intention" are happening in just those aspects of reality, which are not subject to mathematical laws.

Author Bio

I'm a retired physicist, spent my professional life in the electronics industry. Since I retired, I am following up on some questions of physics, which preoccupied me since decades. The cosmological constant problem kept me busy for several years, until I detected that there exists a surprisingly simple solution which seems satisfying to me. Presently I am compiling a book for laymen, in which I want to present many beautiful experiments which addressed the conceptual foundations of quantum physics, and make visible to the public which impact these observations may have on our basic understanding of reality.

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Joe Fisher wrote on Jan. 19, 2017 @ 16:32 GMT
Dear Dr. Gruendler,

One real visible Universe must have only one reality. Simple natural reality has nothing to do with any abstract complex musings such as the ones you effortlessly indulge in. 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. Reality am not as complicated as theories of reality are.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Jan. 19, 2017 @ 22:36 GMT
Gerold Gruendler,

As your essay clearly shows:

- there are “aspects of reality, which are not subject to mathematical laws”;

- “The choice aspect of reality, present in each and every phenomenon, and showing up in each and every measurement process, is not subject to laws of physics”;

- “The violation of Bell’s inequality merely proves that there really is an irrational aspect of reality, and that consequently free will, aims, and intentions, which may impact the course of objective events, can not be excluded”.

I think that physicists need to stop pretending that all aspects of reality are representable as mathematical relationships. A rational theory of reality will be much more untidy than the extreme mathematical purists would like.

This is an interesting, well-written and well-reasoned essay, displaying a mature and thoughtful point of view.

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Joe Fisher replied on Jan. 20, 2017 @ 16:07 GMT
Dear Ms. Ford,

Visible physical reality cannot possibly have any invisible aspects.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Stefan Weckbach wrote on Jan. 21, 2017 @ 10:43 GMT
Dear Gerold Gruendler,

your essay is – at least for me – easy and enjoyable to read and a conceptually well-grounded investigation into the question where ‚aims and intention’ could have their natural places in contemporary physics.

Your conclusions are logically consistent and not biased by personal ‘aims and intentions’, so to speak. Therefore they can be considered –...

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Author Gerold Gruendler replied on Jan. 23, 2017 @ 13:34 GMT
Dear Stefan, ‘irrational’ should not be misunderstood as a pejorative or deprecatory notion. It merely means `not accessible to scientific analysis´. (‘capability’: is rational, analyzed by quantum theory. I guess you wanted to say ‘realization’.)

You say that "proving a nonformalizable phenomenon to be nonformalizable with the help of a formalized method ... is impossible"....

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Stefan Weckbach replied on Jan. 23, 2017 @ 17:38 GMT
Dear Gerold, i think your are right on this. I thought about it and indeed, even Gödel showed with his formalized results that formalizability has its limits. Although he did it from the point of view of a conscious, analytic human being, being independent from taking every axiom involved in his proofs inevitably at face value, he nonetheless could prove that the used axiomatic system must...

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Jan. 21, 2017 @ 22:31 GMT
Hi Gerold, I really enjoyed reading your essay. The arguments are clearly presented and the essay is very well written and an easy read overall. I think it is really nice the way you have incorporated Aristole's ideas and looked for where they fit in physics.

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Author Gerold Gruendler replied on Jan. 23, 2017 @ 13:36 GMT
Dear Georina, the credits for pointing out the importance of ancient greek philosophy, in particular the ideas of Plato and Aristotle, for the interpretation of quantum theory go to Heisenberg, who explicated this issue in many of his lectures.

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Georgina Woodward replied on Jan. 24, 2017 @ 09:56 GMT
It is your essay that I enjoyed reading, take the credit for a job well done.

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Jose P. Koshy wrote on Jan. 24, 2017 @ 10:40 GMT
Gerold Gruendler,

Your Essay 'irrational side of reality' is thought provoking. In a post above, you have clarified the meaning of 'irrational', and so your view is clear. But I have some difference of opinion regarding 'irrational' action at quantum level.

In my opinion, there are no physical laws. There are only physical properties. Motion and force being properties, systems...

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Author Gerold Gruendler replied on Jan. 24, 2017 @ 17:48 GMT
Dear Jose, I completely agree to your assertion that `particles and atoms have no freewill´. When I write that `the molecules of a gas choose to absorb or not to absorb a traversing photon´ and the like, this clearly is metaphoric wording. Who decides for or against absorption, and onto which reasons is the decision based? The best answer known to us is `Nature makes her choice, she decides...

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Jose P. Koshy replied on Jan. 25, 2017 @ 13:21 GMT
Gerold Gruendler,

Quoting you, "No!!! If 10^19 photons impinge a 50%/50% beam splitter, ...". Regarding variables, I meant different types of bodies/particles, not the number of particles of the same kind (I should have made it clear).

Quoting again, "But I do not consent ... freewill". Here, the difference persists, but not regarding the definition. I am of the opinion that particle-wave duality is not correct, and so there is no 'special'uncertainty at quantum level. Transmission or reflection of the single photon may depend on hidden parameters. I follow-up this argument with a new particle model of light: a ray of light is a stream of rotating particle pairs; thus it has a three-dimensional wave structure, and shows properties of waves. A 'photon' is a quantum containing a certain number of particle-pairs; it has a clear physical structure. This, at least, shows that alternate explanations are possible (though I would like to claim that my model is correct).

Jose P Koshy

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Feb. 2, 2017 @ 00:43 GMT
Thank you for nice discussion starting from Aristotle’s four causes for ANY PHENOMENA to the irrational aspects of reality, which are not subjected to the laws of physics and which are not subject to mathematical laws.

Why do you think the present day knowledge in physics and mathematics is not sufficient to explain these aspects. There are many computational subjects like “Artificial intelligence” which mathematically co-relate knowledge databases from physics….

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta replied on Mar. 18, 2017 @ 10:00 GMT
Dear GG

I want you to ask you to please have a look at my essay, where ……………reproduction of Galaxies in the Universe is described. Dynamic Universe Model is another mathematical model for Universe. Its mathematics show that the movement of masses will be having a purpose or goal, Different Galaxies will be born and die (quench) etc…just have a look at the essay… “Distances,...

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Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 16, 2017 @ 21:19 GMT

A very nicely written essay, covering very salient points well and pleasurable to read.

However I think you will like to read my essay as two new mechanisms are identified which, shockingly, can make logical (classical) sense of QM. (Though of course no quantum physicist will accept removal of it's wierdness!)

The mechanism agrees with Bell and (with EPR) that "each photon must arrive at the beam splitter with a complete program for correct behavior (transmission or reflection) at arbitrary values of γ1 and γ2" which I'd quite forgotten and thank you greatly for the reminder.

I think your score of 3 is a travesty. Trolls lurk. Mine's been hit with 1's twice when at or near the top! Be assured I have you down for one far higher which I think is well earned.

I may have questions but I suspect when you've read mine we can have a far better discussion.

Well done and thank you


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Don Limuti wrote on Mar. 12, 2017 @ 09:01 GMT
Hi Gerold,

Excellent essay. A clear look at some historical misinterpreted phenomena. If you would, take a look at my easy to read essay.

Also check out my website (the section on EPR). I come to your conclusions with a slightly different method.

One of the better essays. Thanks,

Don Limuti

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Héctor Daniel Gianni wrote on Mar. 12, 2017 @ 22:21 GMT
Dear Gerold Gruendler

I invite you and every physicist to read my work “TIME ORIGIN,DEFINITION AND EMPIRICAL MEANING FOR PHYSICISTS, Héctor Daniel Gianni ,I’m not a physicist.

How people interested in “Time” could feel about related things to the subject.

1) Intellectuals interested in Time issues usually have a nice and creative wander for the unknown.

2) They usually enjoy this wander of their searches around it.

3) For millenniums this wander has been shared by a lot of creative people around the world.

4) What if suddenly, something considered quasi impossible to be found or discovered such as “Time” definition and experimental meaning confronts them?

5) Their reaction would be like, something unbelievable,… a kind of disappointment, probably interpreted as a loss of wander…..

6) ….worst than that, if we say that what was found or discovered wasn’t a viable theory, but a proved fact.

7) Then it would become offensive to be part of the millenary problem solution, instead of being a reason for happiness and satisfaction.

8) The reader approach to the news would be paradoxically adverse.

9) Instead, I think it should be a nice welcome to discovery, to be received with opened arms and considered to be read with full attention.

11)Time “existence” is exclusive as a “measuring system”, its physical existence can’t be proved by science, as the “time system” is. Experimentally “time” is “movement”, we can prove that, showing that with clocks we measure “constant and uniform” movement and not “the so called Time”.

12)The original “time manuscript” has 23 pages, my manuscript in this contest has only 9 pages.

I share this brief with people interested in “time” and with physicists who have been in sore need of this issue for the last 50 or 60 years.


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Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich wrote on Mar. 14, 2017 @ 03:54 GMT
Dear Gerold Gruendler!

I agree with you. New Cartesian Physic irrational point is the point of being, as it always has a length of and width of, and their combination form a continuum. Rational point has neither width nor length and height, nor their combination does not form a continuum. I appreciate your essay. You spent a lot of effort to write it. If you believed in the principle of identity of space and matter of Descartes, then your essay would be even better. There is not movable a geometric space, and is movable physical space. These are different concepts.

I invite you to familiarize yourself with New Cartesian Physic

I wish to see your criticism on the New Cartesian Physic, the founder of which I call myself.

The concept of moving space-matter helped me: The uncertainty principle Heisenberg to make the principle of definiteness of points of space-matter; Open the law of the constancy of the flow of forces through a closed surface is the sphere of space-matter; Open the law of universal attraction of Lorentz; Give the formula for the pressure of the Universe; To give a definition of gravitational mass as the flow vector of the centrifugal acceleration across the surface of the corpuscles, etc.

New Cartesian Physic has great potential in understanding the world. To show this potential in 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. Note my statement that our brain creates an image of the outside world no inside, and in external space.

Do not let New Cartesian Physic get away into obscurity! I am waiting your post.


Dizhechko Boris

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Peter Jackson wrote on Apr. 6, 2017 @ 10:45 GMT

You didn't reply to recent comments including mine so I hope you're well. I confirm I found your essay full of important points in agreement with mine.

Your understanding of QM seems excellent and I really hope you'll comment on my identification of a ('quasi')classical derivation in compliance with Bell. (Even after the scoring deadline.)

In the meantime, as your excellent contribution is vastly under rated and time is running out it's about to get the score boost it deserves.

Very best wishes.


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