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

Previous Contests

Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest
December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020
Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation

What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation

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

Dizhechko Semyonovich: on 4/7/17 at 8:31am UTC, wrote Dear Sirs! Physics of Descartes, which existed prior to the physics of...

William McHarris: on 4/5/17 at 15:41pm UTC, wrote Dear Don, Thanks for your kind words. I found your "short dialog"...

William McHarris: on 4/4/17 at 18:53pm UTC, wrote Dear David, Thanks for your comments. They — and your essay —...

William McHarris: on 4/3/17 at 20:34pm UTC, wrote Dear Alan, Thanks for your comments. I truly appreciate them and the fact...

Peter Jackson: on 3/27/17 at 16:06pm UTC, wrote Bill, You'll recall calling my 2103 essay 'Remarkable' and me similarly...

William McHarris: on 3/24/17 at 18:40pm UTC, wrote Response to Joe Fisher: I agree with Einstein that "Everything should be...

Don Limuti: on 3/21/17 at 5:37am UTC, wrote Hi William, I agree with your aim to raise the question of the possible...

David Brown: on 3/11/17 at 14:43pm UTC, wrote "The inherent unfalsifiability of string theory — almost all of it beyond...


Steve Dufourny: "Hi Georgina and Mr Sturm, Mr Sturm , sad that you have a problem with..." in The Present State of...

Deserdi Chapas: "Hi FQXI Members: We found the courage to asymptotically take one step..." in Alternative Models of...

Georgina Woodward: "I'd like to share with you a thoroughly revised version of the shorter..." in The Present State of...

Steve Dufourny: "I have improved a lot this theory of spherisation withe quantum and..." in Alternative Models of...

David Vognar: "Quantum physics isn't the end of reality; we just need better rulers that..." in Quantum Physics and the...

algo rrithm: "A digital marketing agency in India is showcasing that happens through Web..." in Dark matter effect on the...

algo rrithm: "A branding agency in delhi is a firm having some expertise in the key and..." in The secret of planets’...

algo rrithm: "Advanced advertising assists brands with arriving at their interest group..." in Dark matter effect on the...

click titles to read articles

The Entropic Price of Building the Perfect Clock: Q&A with Natalia Ares
Experiments investigating the thermodynamics of clocks can teach us about the origin of time's arrow.

Schrödinger’s A.I. Could Test the Foundations of Reality
Physicists lay out blueprints for running a 'Wigner's Friend' experiment using an artificial intelligence, built on a quantum computer, as an 'observer.'

Expanding the Mind (Literally): Q&A with Karim Jerbi and Jordan O'Byrne
Using a brain-computer interface to create a consciousness 'add-on' to help test Integrated Information Theory.

Quanthoven's Fifth
A quantum computer composes chart-topping music, programmed by physicists striving to understand consciousness.

The Math of Consciousness: Q&A with Kobi Kremnitzer
A meditating mathematician is developing a theory of conscious experience to help understand the boundary between the quantum and classical world.

January 29, 2023

CATEGORY: Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017) [back]
TOPIC: Wandering Nonlinearly towards a Different Unification by William C. McHarris [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Author William C. McHarris wrote on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 19:20 GMT
Essay Abstract

Resolving the distinction between classical and quantum mechanics might be termed a unification of sorts — receiving less attention than unification of the fundamental forces, although it is now attracting renewed interest. Here I propose that Bell-type inequalities, one of the major arguments against classical mechanics, compare correlated versus uncorrelated systems rather than quantum versus classical mechanics. Certain nonlinear classical systems, such as hurricanes, do contain correlated elements, and I try to demonstrate that such systems can also violate Bell-type inequalities. If quantum mechanics were to contain nonlinear elements, it could be a start toward resolving the incompatibilities between quantum and classical mechanics. Nonlinear dynamics, including deterministic chaos, could provide a bridge between Einstein and Bohr: It is deterministic, so dear to Einstein, yet it must be interpreted statistically, in line with the ideas of Bohr.

Author Bio

Wm. C. McHarris is Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Physics/Astronomy at Michigan State University. He received his BA from Oberlin College and his PhD from the Univ. of Calif., Berkeley, then coming directly to MSU as Asst. Prof., becoming Prof. at age 30. He did research in nuclear chemistry/physics for over 40 years at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at MSU. He is also a published composer, church organist/choir director, and award-winning ragtime pianist.

Download Essay PDF File

Bookmark and Share

John C Hodge wrote on Mar. 4, 2017 @ 21:12 GMT
All that is needed to explain entanglement classically is to have a wave in space with the characteristic of one of the entangled particles to have a velocity much greater than the speed of light. van Flandern measured such a speed for gravity waves.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author William C. McHarris replied on Mar. 6, 2017 @ 20:29 GMT
True, this would create entanglement. However, this is the very problem (in reverse) that I address in the quantum Alice-Bob situation. There entanglement implies faster than light signals, and Van Flandern proposed faster than light signals to imply entanglement. Both situations are incompatible with relativity. It's much less radical to think of nonlinear systems, with their self-organized biases for populating different regions of phases space, as creating the appearance of action-at-a-distance (superluminal signals). Van Flandern was undoubtedly a brilliant fellow, but he got a kick out of promoting far-out, non-mainstream ideas. I wish this one were true, but until we get some sort of clear-cut experimental verification, I fear it must remain speculative. I appreciate your bringing this topic up.

Bookmark and Share

Joe Fisher replied on Mar. 9, 2017 @ 17:14 GMT
Dear Professor William C. McHarris,

Please excuse me for I have no intention of disparaging in any way any part of your essay.

I merely wish to point out that “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) Physicist & Nobel Laureate.

Only nature could produce a reality so simple, a single cell amoeba could deal with it.

The real Universe must consist only of one unified visible infinite physical surface occurring in one infinite dimension, that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

A more detailed explanation of natural reality can be found in my essay, SCORE ONE FOR SIMPLICITY. I do hope that you will read my essay and perhaps comment on its merit.

Joe Fisher, Realist

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta replied on Mar. 10, 2017 @ 23:18 GMT
Nice essay Prof McHarris,

Dynamic universe model also showed that it is theoretically possible to have super-luminal neutrinos. You can see that paper in viXra archieves.

For your information Dynamic Universe model is totally based on experimental results. Here in Dynamic Universe Model Space is Space and time is time in cosmology level or in any level. In the classical general relativity, space and time are convertible in to each other.

Many papers and books on Dynamic Universe Model were published by the author on unsolved problems of present day Physics, for example ‘Absolute Rest frame of reference is not necessary’ (1994) , ‘Multiple bending of light ray can create many images for one Galaxy: in our dynamic universe’, About “SITA” simulations, ‘Missing mass in Galaxy is NOT required’, “New mathematics tensors without Differential and Integral equations”, “Information, Reality and Relics of Cosmic Microwave Background”, “Dynamic Universe Model explains the Discrepancies of Very-Long-Baseline Interferometry Observations.”, in 2015 ‘Explaining Formation of Astronomical Jets Using Dynamic Universe Model, ‘Explaining Pioneer anomaly’, ‘Explaining Near luminal velocities in Astronomical jets’, ‘Observation of super luminal neutrinos’, ‘Process of quenching in Galaxies due to formation of hole at the center of Galaxy, as its central densemass dries up’, “Dynamic Universe Model Predicts the Trajectory of New Horizons Satellite Going to Pluto” etc., are some more papers from the Dynamic Universe model. Four Books also were published. Book1 shows Dynamic Universe Model is singularity free and body to collision free, Book 2, and Book 3 are explanation of equations of Dynamic Universe model. Book 4 deals about prediction and finding of Blue shifted Galaxies in the universe.

With axioms like… No Isotropy; No Homogeneity; No Space-time continuum; Non-uniform density of matter(Universe is lumpy); No singularities; No collisions between bodies; No Blackholes; No warm holes; No Bigbang; No repulsion between distant Galaxies; Non-empty Universe; No imaginary or negative time axis; No imaginary X, Y, Z axes; No differential and Integral Equations mathematically; No General Relativity and Model does not reduce to General Relativity on any condition; No Creation of matter like Bigbang or steady-state models; No many mini Bigbangs; No Missing Mass; No Dark matter; No Dark energy; No Bigbang generated CMB detected; No Multi-verses etc.

Many predictions of Dynamic Universe Model came true, like Blue shifted Galaxies and no dark matter. Dynamic Universe Model gave many results otherwise difficult to explain

Have a look at my essay on Dynamic Universe Model and its blog also where all my books and papers are available for free downloading…

st wishes to your essay.

For your blessings please…………….

=snp. gupta

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Héctor Daniel Gianni wrote on Mar. 9, 2017 @ 19:42 GMT
Dear William C. Mc Harris

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.


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Alan M. Kadin wrote on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 03:23 GMT
Dear Prof. McHarris,

I read your essay with great interest, and I will read it more carefully later.

I recall your earlier FQXi essay on a similar subject, but the present essay seems to go further. I am particularly intrigued by your suggestion that measurements claiming to demonstrate quantum entanglement may instead reflect correlations in nonlinear classical systems.

You may recall that I have been critical of the foundations of orthodox quantum theory in previous FQXi essays. My current essay “No Ghost in the Machine” is mostly on a different topic (the evolution and structure of the mind), but I address quantum theory in the End Notes. In particular, I refer to a recent (unpublished) paper questioning the foundations of quantum computing. As you may be aware, quantum computing has recently become a worldwide billion-dollar research area, particularly involving superconducting circuits (my own area of research). But some of my colleagues have shown that virtually all of the experimental “proofs” of superconducting qubits can be alternatively explained using classical dynamics of coupled nonlinear Josephson junctions. That may place into question the entire field.

Alan Kadin

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author William C. McHarris replied on Apr. 3, 2017 @ 20:34 GMT
Dear Alan,

Thanks for your comments. I truly appreciate them and the fact that not everybody is swept up by the siren tides of quantum computing. I found your essay very well written and thought-provoking, and especially for me, the End Notes. Even more intriguing was your paper, "Proposed Experiments to Test the Foundations of Quantum Computing."

As you are aware, much of the...

view entire post

Bookmark and Share

David Brown wrote on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 14:43 GMT
"The inherent unfalsifiability of string theory — almost all of it beyond the possibility of present or future experiments — has produced considerable controversy." According to Roger Penrose, "Fashion, Faith, and Fantasy in the New Physics of the Universe", page 63, "It appears that, to some extent, there is a view among string theorists that it is not too important to have a clear view of what the dimensionality of space-time actually is. In some sense, this dimensionality could be supposed to be an energy effect, so that it could become possible that more spatial dimensions become accessible to a system as the energy increases. Accordingly, the view could be taken that there are hidden dimensions, more of which are revealed as the energy gets higher. The lack of clarity in this picture is somewhat disturbing to me, especially with regard to the question of the functional freedom that is intrinsic to the theory." My guess is that conventional string theory with the infinite nature hypothesis implies higher dimensions at high enough energy-densities, supersymmetry and no MOND, while string theory with the finite nature hypothesis implies MOND, no supersymmetry, and no higher dimensions at any energy-densities whatsoever. I have conjectured the Milgrom Denial Hypothesis: The main problem with string theory is that string theorists fail to realize that Milgrom is the Kepler of contemporary cosmology. Is the Milgrom Denial Hypothesis wrong? Can string theory predict both supersymmetry and MOND-chameleon particles? (MOND-chameleon particles are, by definition, hypothetical particles that have variable effective mass depending upon the nearby gravitational acceleration.) Suppose that there are two Higgs fields: one Higgs field for ordinary matter and another Higgs field (the MOND-chameleon-Higgs field) for the superpartners of the ordinary particles. Does M-theory rule out a MOND-chameleon-Higgs field?

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author William C. McHarris replied on Apr. 4, 2017 @ 18:53 GMT
Dear David,

Thanks for your comments. They — and your essay — certainly raise questions, although the answers at this point in time seem rather speculative. I read the paper by Milgrom et al., and it raises important, intriguing questions, as well. I am not well-versed enough in cosmology to critique it properly, but superficially it seems to substitute one set of difficulties with another. Does adding a new field really solve the problem, or does it simply add another set of numerical values to play around with?

As for Wolfram: When "A New Kind of Science" first came out, I studied it extensively, and it contains many important ideas. The trouble is, Wolfram really oversold his ideas — according to him, cellular automata are the be-all, end-all for all of science, so naturally there was a backlash. His ideas are mostly correct, however, and they involve nonlinearity — cellular automata are the epitome of feedback systems. And feedback in nonlinear systems is fundamentally more straightforward (in keeping with Occam's Razor) than adding new fields, new dimensions, or MOdified Newtonian Dynamics. [For those of you who have problems with Wolfram's book, I would recommend "Cellular Automata: A Discrete Universe," by Andrew Ilachinski. It covers much of the same material, but in a more down-to-earth, less speculative manner.]

I agree that physics — and perhaps science in general — is in need of a new paradigm. But one has to tread most carefully and keep speculation to a minimum. And most important, not let far-out theory override experimental guidance.

Bookmark and Share

Don Limuti wrote on Mar. 21, 2017 @ 05:37 GMT
Hi William,

I agree with your aim to raise the question of the possible existence of fundamental nonlinearities in quantum mechanics. I believe this is essential. The Schroedinger equation defeated Heisenberg's matrix mechanics because it was (is) a linear equation. And everyone jumped for joy. Matrix mechanics could not be handled easily with the available math whereas the Schroedinger equation was "understandable". From a historical viewpoint this was unfortunate.

As you indicate chaos theory is a good candidate for a non-linear wave-function. If I may introduce another candidate: a discontinuous wave-function (I call it wavelength-hopping)(see And yes, an interesting feedback system could be created with a non-linear wave-function. I think that the feedback could result in everything causes everything.

Thanks for your most interesting essay and the analysis of Bell's theorem. I give it high marks. Do checkout my short essay.


Don Limuti

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author William C. McHarris replied on Apr. 5, 2017 @ 15:41 GMT
Dear Don,

Thanks for your kind words. I found your "short dialog" delightful — and full of insight about determinism and free will. My essay for the previous ("It from Bit or Bit from It?") contest (also appearing as the final chapter in the book of winning essays) touches on the question of determinism vs free will. In a chaotic system with infinite regression (even one as simple as the logistic map), there is determinism in the sense that a given initial condition leads deterministically to a definite final state. However, remember that in an infinite regression one can NEVER be certain about the initial conditions ahead of time — and this might be equivalent to free will. Most of us — even so-called trained and experienced scientists — cannot grasp intuitively the implications of an INFINITE regression. As an illustration of this, I invite readers to watch one of the many videos probing the Mandelbrot set, some to amplifications greater than the size of the known universe, that appear on YouTube. It is one thing to speak of such regressions in the abstract, quite another to experience them in motion. They emphasize the extraordinary difficulties and ramifications of trying to distinguish between free will and predestination.

I also found your on-line textbooks at to be very informative and down-to-earth. I'm still trying to grasp the implications of your "wavelength-hopping" ideas, but they could well be another contender for updating quantum theory. Keep up the good work!

Bookmark and Share

Peter Jackson wrote on Mar. 27, 2017 @ 16:06 GMT

You'll recall calling my 2103 essay 'Remarkable' and me similarly yours; "I think we're onto something very important for progress and certainly paradigm changing". My 2014 essay progressed the work; Do Bob & Alice have a future? (+ see the Figs, partly derived from yours) just as yours progresses it here.

I agree pretty well all you write, and so well explained, yet QM turns many off. I've now received 11 '1' scores! and I'll bet yours has had some too. A well deserved 10 is now coming, but far more importantly...

Last year I finally identified not only a fundamental nonlinearity in 'quantum mechanical' interactions but also (prepare to be shocked) a complementary orthogonal nonlinearity, and, wait for it.. also an already known mechanism (in QCD) which squares the cosine values produced at the modulator!

A new paper is part written, and see the video here ClassicQM video or 100sec glimpse here. The essay format & topic didn't allow a detailed derivation but see the long string conversation with Stefan (March4).

My own derivation arose from testing a solution for SR, so unification would be implicit, and, yes, shows both Einstein and Bohr were right in their debates (but neither quite ALL right!). We talked 2yrs ago of collaboration, well now's the time as I'm not competent alone to present it well enough to overcome embedded belief. My essay's doing OK as some DO understand parts, but that means little as last years finished top to zero effect!

Very well done. I greatly look forward to discussing further, on both strings.


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich wrote on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 08:31 GMT
Dear Sirs!

Physics of Descartes, which existed prior to the physics of Newton returned as the New Cartesian Physic and promises to be a theory of everything. To tell you this good news I use «spam».

New Cartesian Physic based on the identity of space and matter. It showed that the formula of mass-energy equivalence comes from the pressure of the Universe, the flow of force which on the corpuscle is equal to the product of Planck's constant to the speed of light.

New Cartesian Physic has great potential for understanding the world. To show it, I ventured to give "materialistic explanations of the paranormal and supernatural" is the title of my essay.

Visit my essay, you will find there the New Cartesian Physic and make a short entry: "I believe that space is a matter" I will answer you in return. Can put me 1.


Dizhechko Boris

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

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.