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Previous Contests

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

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lami leese: on 4/10/17 at 8:46am UTC, wrote Thank you for your post, There are good post! Developed the Common Rail ...

Dizhechko Semyonovich: on 4/7/17 at 8:22am UTC, wrote Dear Sirs! Physics of Descartes, which existed prior to the physics of...

Peter Jackson: on 4/1/17 at 17:53pm UTC, wrote Peter, I found that an interesting, valid and well organized review of...

peter wanjohi: on 3/22/17 at 11:30am UTC, wrote Thanks a lot , i sure have also read your essay

peter wanjohi: on 3/22/17 at 7:58am UTC, wrote Thanks ,sure will...

peter wanjohi: on 3/22/17 at 7:57am UTC, wrote Thanks alot

peter wanjohi: on 3/22/17 at 6:39am UTC, wrote Dear Sir, I totally agree that experimental work (physical, mental as well...

Donald Palmer: on 3/12/17 at 14:45pm UTC, wrote Dear Peter, An interesting history of mathematics as it applies to...


Jason Wolfe: "Hi Steve, It sounds like we have similar interpretations of quantum..." in Schrödinger’s Zombie:...

Steve Agnew: "Yes indeed, a wavefunction represents a superposition of locations as well..." in Schrödinger’s Zombie:...

Jason Wolfe: "Science is motivated to sever the connection with Deity. They use fluff,..." in Constructing a Theory of...

Robert McEachern: ""But what do scientists hope quantum computers will be good for,..." in What Will Quantum...

Zeeya Merali: "Over the past couple of months there’s been renewed interest, and quite..." in What Will Quantum...

Jason Wolfe: "If I could write an unconventional model of reality, it would come with a..." in Alternative Models of...

Steve Dufourny: "the fuzzy spheres are very relevant in fact ,they are non commutative, I..." in Alternative Models of...

Jason Wolfe: "Joe Fisher, I'm not sure reality is sensible. But the NDE/ghost stuff is..." in First Things First: The...

click titles to read articles

First Things First: The Physics of Causality
Why do we remember the past and not the future? Untangling the connections between cause and effect, choice, and entropy.

Can Time Be Saved From Physics?
Philosophers, physicists and neuroscientists discuss how our sense of time’s flow might arise through our interactions with external stimuli—despite suggestions from Einstein's relativity that our perception of the passage of time is an illusion.

A devilish new framework of thermodynamics that focuses on how we observe information could help illuminate our understanding of probability and rewrite quantum theory.

Gravity's Residue
An unusual approach to unifying the laws of physics could solve Hawking's black-hole information paradox—and its predicted gravitational "memory effect" could be picked up by LIGO.

Could Mind Forge the Universe?
Objective reality, and the laws of physics themselves, emerge from our observations, according to a new framework that turns what we think of as fundamental on its head.

November 22, 2019

CATEGORY: Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017) [back]
TOPIC: SUBSTITUTING MATHEMATICS FOR NATURE by peter wamai wanjohi [refresh]
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Author peter wamai wanjohi wrote on Mar. 3, 2017 @ 19:20 GMT
Essay Abstract

The axiom of extensionality states that two sets which contain the same elements are the same set; therefore the converse of the statement “substituting mathematics for nature” is also true. This essay, as the title suggests, is an attempt to show that the study of mathematics and that of nature, especially its physical descriptions, are intertwined.

Author Bio

Lives in Nairobi.Holds a masters in Public Health and working in public health administration as head of health research and coordination. Have written research papers in health in the course of official duty and researched physical questions privately in search of meaning. Married with four children

Download Essay PDF File

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Chris Broski wrote on Mar. 7, 2017 @ 19:41 GMT
I was not clear how your thesis related to the topic: how mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention. Still, thank you for many interesting ideas in your essay. I enjoyed reading.

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Author peter wamai wanjohi replied on Mar. 22, 2017 @ 07:57 GMT
Thanks alot

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Joe Fisher wrote on Mar. 10, 2017 @ 16:50 GMT
Dear peter wamai wanjohi,

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

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Author peter wamai wanjohi replied on Mar. 22, 2017 @ 07:58 GMT
Thanks ,sure will...

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 19:41 GMT
Nice essay Prof Wanjohi,

You have written a nice essay on mathematics telling mathematics and nature are not different from each other, very good idea indeed!

……………… Dynamic Universe Model is a mathematical model for Universe. These mathematics show the bodies movement will be having a purpose…just have a look at my essay… “Distances, Locations, Ages and...

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Author peter wamai wanjohi replied on Mar. 22, 2017 @ 11:30 GMT
Thanks a lot , i sure have also read your essay

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Donald G Palmer wrote on Mar. 12, 2017 @ 14:45 GMT
Dear Peter,

An interesting history of mathematics as it applies to physical reality.

Not sure how this relates to 'aims and intentions' unless it is your final statement that "mathematics produces a representation of physical reality."

I would disagree with this conclusion since no mathematical equation gives precisely and exactly the measurements of any experiment, to any degree of accuracy.

I will suggest mathematics is a generalizing science, which takes what is the same between objects or situations - between two sticks and two sheep and two stars (the concept of 'two' comes from this). It is the ability to generalize across many apparently different situations that gives mathematics great power, when applied to reality. However this same generalizing ability suggests it may not provide the uniqueness we find everywhere in reality.

You also leave out a number of issues with mathematics over history. Decimals did not appear in general use until about 500 years ago and the Pythagorean did not count sqrt(2) as an irrational number, as irrational numbers were not considered numbers until much more recently. There is also the 300 year discussion of how an infinity of infinitely small non-numbers can become a number (or value) that raged against the calculus. Mathematicians do not agree on many things, especially when infinity is involved (which comes into play with calculus and many more recent aspects).

Mathematics is not as pure nor as exact as you make it appear.

A good read about a number of aspects of mathematics and physics, just need to keep perspective that mathematics is another human endeavor with it's own problems and failures.


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Author peter wamai wanjohi replied on Mar. 22, 2017 @ 06:39 GMT
Dear Sir,

I totally agree that experimental work (physical, mental as well as innovation) usually does it for man's quest in generating new knowledge ,solving problems and advancing technology.The argument i tried to present is that mathematical law often also lead to specific aims and intentions. This interchangeability between general and particular lawfulness means mathematics is an underlying principle. It is mostly the measurement that fails,not the mathematic e.g at the quantum scale due to uncertainty and at relativistic scale due to the distances involved.In those boundary conditions mathematics becomes the only viable option ;for example using differential equations to make physical predictions and thereby generate new physical laws.

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Peter Jackson wrote on Apr. 1, 2017 @ 17:53 GMT

I found that an interesting, valid and well organized review of what seems like the yin and yang of the universe.

Do you think the real universal link here may be what we term 'geometry'?

I identify dynamic geometry a very valuable in decoding nature at ALL scales (me essay identifying an apparent important 3D dynamic extension of Pythagoras' theorem!)

I think your essay deserves a rather higher place and my score will help.

Best wishes


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Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich wrote on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 08:22 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

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lami leese wrote on Apr. 10, 2017 @ 08:46 GMT
Thank you for your post, There are good post! Developed the Common Rail fuel system for heavy duty vehicles and turned it into practical use on their ECD-U2 common-rail system.Modern common rail systems, whilst working on the same principle sensor are governed by an engine control unit (ECU). The design was acquired by the German Common Rail Shim & Gasket kit companyRobert Bosch GmbH for completion of development and refinement for mass-production Common Rail Nozzle . In hindsight,As the new technology proved to be highly profitable. The Common Rail Injector Valve had little choice but to sell, however,In 1997 they extended its use for passenger cars Common Rail Injector .The first passenger car that used the common rail system.

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