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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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jiya joseph: on 4/16/18 at 11:22am UTC, wrote Are you aware of the fundamental laws? There are many students who have...

Domenico Oricchio: on 2/24/18 at 17:57pm UTC, wrote I have finished voting for all those who deserve (for me) a high score, a...

Peter Jackson: on 2/24/18 at 12:07pm UTC, wrote Dominico Thanks for your comment on mine. The fundamental was 'motion'...

Domenico Oricchio: on 2/15/18 at 23:40pm UTC, wrote Excuse me, Silviu. I have other essays to read and vote. My time is...

corciovei silviu: on 2/14/18 at 14:20pm UTC, wrote Hello again Domenico, I read your comment and if you don't mind I still...

corciovei silviu: on 2/11/18 at 13:17pm UTC, wrote Silviu :))

corciovei silviu: on 2/11/18 at 13:09pm UTC, wrote Ma men, It was a gem. Far better than mine in terms of expressing...

Domenico Oricchio: on 2/11/18 at 1:08am UTC, wrote Finally an effective criticism. If the metrology has solved the...


Georgina Woodward: "Thinking observers are going to notice their own and the other's arms..." in Bonus Koan: Distant...

Georgina Woodward: "The acrobats central to the rotation of a platform, share the same type of..." in Bonus Koan: Distant...

Lorraine Ford: "Ian, I’m sorry for going overboard on the “physicists think that”..." in Measuring Free Will: Ian...

andrea gonzalez: "Interesting stuff to read. Keep it up. If want to collect free gift card..." in Memory, Causality and...

Ian Durham: "Well, Lorraine, if you insist on seeing it that way, I doubt anything I say..." in Measuring Free Will: Ian...

Joe Fisher: "Dear Dr. Kuhn, Today’s Closer To Truth Facebook page contained this..." in First Things First: The...

Poker Online: "" in Downward causation:...

Enquire us: "Your Ro system desires regular maintenance to confirm it’s continually in..." in Agency in the Physical...

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.

August 24, 2019

CATEGORY: FQXi Essay Contest - Spring, 2017 [back]
TOPIC: Fundamental Laws by Domenico Oricchio [refresh]
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Author Domenico Oricchio wrote on Dec. 20, 2017 @ 21:38 GMT
Essay Abstract

I think that each knowledge field have compact fundamental laws.

Author Bio

graduation: mechanical engineering degree: physics thesis: deterministic neural network and fuzzy neural netwoek master: advanced technology in communication and information research: -Genova,fractal dimensionality and experimental discrete equation -Marina di Ravenna, fluid dynamic and bacteria grow equation -Vietri sul mare, fluido dynamic model applied to soil pollution and associate bioremediation -Manchester (interrupted), Natural Gradient Descent and Indipendent Component Analysis

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Scott S Gordon wrote on Dec. 21, 2017 @ 02:03 GMT
Good definition of "what is fundamental" as it is applied in the literary sense to all fields.

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Gary D. Simpson wrote on Dec. 22, 2017 @ 02:09 GMT

I am thinking that you have once again presented a minimalist, almost abstract, bit of linguistic art that addresses the essay topic.

Well done.

Best Regards,

Gary Simpson

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Anthony John Garrett wrote on Dec. 22, 2017 @ 16:05 GMT

I agree that laws of what were called in the 18th century 'moral sciences' (ie, human sciences) are not going to be derivable from the 'natural sciences', such as physics. They have distinct ontologies and it is better to say so, as you have.


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Author Domenico Oricchio replied on Dec. 22, 2017 @ 18:30 GMT
Thank you, for the criticism and the reading.

If body of laws was unmodifiable, I would agree, but I have the opinion that the legal body experiments a continuous transformation, that modify the wrong parts, like a genetic evolution between historical eras; I think the poetry, the prose, the ethics and the technological body have had the same evolution, where the scientific experiment are replaced by the interaction with the historical populations: a body of knowledge that change in an optimal way in the time, to adapt to the population.

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Jan. 1, 2018 @ 21:11 GMT
Hi Domenico, I enjoyed reading your piece. It was succinct and very much addressed the topic question. It seems to me that, after the question 'what is fundamental?' comes the next question, fundamental to what, (or to whom)? You make a good point that, (to paraphrase), each subject area has different fundamentals, usually summarized in laws or rules, or such like.

It has made me think that even considering what is fundamental to a human being depends upon the context of the inquiry. At a social level the answer might be healthy relationships. At a whole organism level it might be shelter, water, food. At a cellular level it might be electrolyte balance and electron transport.

I like your answer to Anton too, mentioning the way in which laws, which I take to mean specific kind of precise, succinct human knowledge, (not the legal kind), evolve. That they are able and allowed to is, I would say, in itself fundamental (to progress). Kind regards,Georgina

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Author Domenico Oricchio replied on Jan. 1, 2018 @ 22:01 GMT
Thank you Georgina, for reading my essay.

The sense of the essay is that each object, material or ideal, can be defined by a law.

If an object is defined by a law, then the observer is defined by a law; and this is the interesting point for me: each physical law have an interaction that constrain the object-observer existence, so that only if there is an interaction there is an object and an observer, in a time interval.

On the other hand, each theoretical field have building block, like atoms of the ethics: “thou shalt not kill”.

The definition of future objects of physics will be obtained from interactions between observable, through a theoretical physical law that will define the objects, or experimental hypotheses of possible interactions.

It seems trivial but the existence of objects is defined by our senses, that are subject to fundamental interactions, controlled by laws.



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Georgina Woodward replied on Jan. 1, 2018 @ 23:14 GMT
Hi Domenico, I think you are making an important point about the way we know about the world by interacting with it. I would almost agree that, as you say, "only if there is an interaction there is an object and an observer". The observer has to perform the act of observation to be an observer. The perception through the senses of there being an object only happens because of the act of observation. I said almost because I think the differentiation of the perceived object, from an independently existent one even though not itself perceived directly, is important. I think the existence of objects is certainly inferred by our senses, and represented by our senses; and the senses do function in particular ways, describable with 'laws'. However I think definition of objects involves other brain functions. I don't think it is trivial. Georgina

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Author Domenico Oricchio replied on Jan. 2, 2018 @ 11:33 GMT
Georgina, the discourse becomes interesting.

The dimension of the brain of the observer is not important, for example, a dog observe, but also an ant observe, so that a being with only a neuron observe; but a neuron without axons is a flow of charges, and if the flow is reduced to the minimum then it is a single electron movement: the minimum observation is a photon that strike an atom producing a electron transition: this seem to me the fundamental observation.

But we are in uncharted territory, so we're talking about opinions, not certainties.

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Aditya Dwarkesh wrote on Jan. 9, 2018 @ 12:22 GMT
Hi Domenico,

Despite how brief it was, I feel your essay comes closest to capturing the meaning of 'Fundamental'-my own train of thought took a similar path. (My own article will be uploaded now.)

I think how you speak of not meshing all these fields together and keeping them separate is very astute. What do you have to say about the fundamentality of the fields themselves, however? Can one field be said to be more fundamental than another?

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Author Domenico Oricchio replied on Jan. 9, 2018 @ 15:18 GMT
An interesting question.

In the field of physics (if my deductions are right), the fundamental constituent are the laws for the interaction between particles; so that, you ask what is the most fundamental law for a physics.

I have an old theory, and for me, the Einstein field equations are the fundamental laws, and with a small change also become the laws for the electromagnetic field; so that for me Einstein has solved the problem of the unification for gravity and electromagnetism, with a set of equations that describes each field as curvature of the time space.

The laws for the other fields have the same importance (in each field of knowledge) so that a comparison is not possible: for example, is it possible without a legal structure, or with a tyranny, or with a lack of ethics, or with the absence of art, or without economy, to have a cutting-edge scientific research?

Thank you


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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Jan. 17, 2018 @ 21:03 GMT
Dear Domenico Oricchio,

Short and sweet. Yours is a very succinct summary of laws, from fundamental Lagrangian physics, to firefighter's laws, all of which represent compact knowledge.

In one of your comments above you say Einstein solved the problem of unification of gravity and electromagnetism. There has been argument as to whether the speed of gravity is equal to the speed of light, but the recent detection of colliding neutron stars shows that these are exactly the same speed. I think this argues for electromagnetic waves being stress in the gravitational field, and I touch on this in my essay.

Interestingly you mention that special relativity postulates are unproven. Since my essay discusses the historical development of these unproven postulates, you might find it interesting. I hope you will read my essay and comment and score.

Finally, your last paragraph in response to Dwarkesh above is exquisite. It would've been the perfect conclusion for your essay. It's the best expression of complex reality that I've ever seen.

My very best regards,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Jan. 20, 2018 @ 04:40 GMT
Hi Domenico Oricchio,

Thank you for your nice essay on Fundamental Laws your concept is really nice covering STR and GTR, Probably you may have to limit some knowledge fields or laws or they may go infinite.…

I request you to please post your reply in my essay also, so that I can get an intimation that you replied

I also request you to please have a look at my essay also and give some of your esteemed criticism for your information……..

Dynamic Universe Model says that the energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation passing grazingly near any gravitating mass changes its in frequency and finally will convert into neutrinos (mass). We all know that there is no experiment or quest in this direction. Energy conversion happens from mass to energy with the famous E=mC2, the other side of this conversion was not thought off. This is a new fundamental prediction by Dynamic Universe Model, a foundational quest in the area of Astrophysics and Cosmology.

In accordance with Dynamic Universe Model frequency shift happens on both the sides of spectrum when any electromagnetic radiation passes grazingly near gravitating mass. With this new verification, we will open a new frontier that will unlock a way for formation of the basis for continual Nucleosynthesis (continuous formation of elements) in our Universe. Amount of frequency shift will depend on relative velocity difference. All the papers of author can be downloaded from “ ”



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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta replied on Jan. 21, 2018 @ 20:29 GMT
Thank you for posting on my essay

Your policy is very good that you don’t downgrade other entries, I also do the same, i will give good marks or none…

Thank you for saying my essay is a good essay, and it answers your question also- “What is Fundamental” – it is nothing but Gravitation of the Universe acting on that body at that time… or in other words UGF… the...

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Peter Jackson wrote on Jan. 26, 2018 @ 20:10 GMT
Hi Domenico,

Nice summary. I think you made the key points well in less words then some have made them less well. But how do we get laws to evolve correctly, or (in physics) even at all to resolve all the anomalies, paradoxes & unknowns. Do you think the mechanisms in place are adequate?

As an instance my essay shows, shockingly, that a classical derivation of QM's 'weird' predictions IS possible. Yes it seems what we have may now be to embedded for change.

Nice concise job.


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Author Domenico Oricchio replied on Jan. 26, 2018 @ 22:28 GMT
Thank you, Peter for reading my essay.

I wrote the essay thinking like a poetry: my first language is not English, so that I must weight every single word (exactly like a poet), but the rhyme is missing.

I think that the scientific method is the best option for the research, and the darwinian evolutionism of the ideas (through many different minds and artistic ways of thinking) will improve our knowledge of the world through the adaptation of ideas to reality through experiments.

Thank you to make express me these ideas with a right question.

I will try to find the time to read your essay, in the next days, although I went to read a first selection of essays, although not many essays have answered the question of the contest.



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Author Domenico Oricchio replied on Jan. 27, 2018 @ 11:33 GMT
I want be clearer.

I think a theory, a legislation, the arts, like an organism with an evolving deoxyribonucleic acid (a code that represent the knowledge) so that the code (the knowledge) change in the time in the real world adapting optimally: if it is so, we must fight to make the change possible listening to new ideas, and criticizing new ideas.



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Peter Jackson replied on Feb. 4, 2018 @ 13:03 GMT

So deeply true! I keep fighting, but this is the world of physics where even listening to new ideas is anathema to most with mainstream doctrine embedded.

i.e. I think my essay, with Declan Trails, clearly and irrefutably reveals a very important way ahead for the understanding of nature. It's there for falsification and critique. Few any authority even deign to look let alone criticise. Change isn't in the personal interests of most. That seems a sad comment on the present academic community.

Nice job on yours. I do hope you'll like and score mine.

Very best


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Philip Gibbs wrote on Jan. 30, 2018 @ 14:28 GMT
You are right that every discipline has its own fundamentals. Physicists like to think that everything can be derived from the laws of physics, but that is not the case. You can't derive the rules of jurispudence from physics. Everything has to be consistent with the laws of physics but sometimes more information is added to form new rules that cannot be derived because they are not uniquely determined. Some people have said that more fundamental laws have more information, but this is not necessarily the case. More information is lost than added when going down to more fundamental layers. The most fundamental laws are the ones with the least information and ultimately none.

Thanks for a nice succinct essay.

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Author Domenico Oricchio replied on Jan. 30, 2018 @ 15:32 GMT
Thank you for reading my essay.

It is my opinion that exist, for example in jurisprudence, for each population and for each historical era an optimal jurisprudence body (or equivalent jurisprudence); the interaction of the laws with the population (a statistical point of view) permit to obtain, in long time, the optimal jurisprudence body; with little modification of the jurisprudence and observing the effect on the population.

It is my opinion that is not so different from Physics, in this case the experiments are on the population, and the change are ever possible with the change of population opinion: it is not a dynamic law, but a statistical law that constraint the ethical dynamic of the population.



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Author Domenico Oricchio replied on Feb. 1, 2018 @ 12:37 GMT
I have a problem with the real minimum simplification of the knowledge to a minimum information: the standard model is huge, is complex, so that the current knowledge have not the minimum information; it seem that the reality is more complex than we think. However, is there the possibility of a minimum information of the standard model? I am thinking that there are infinite Lagrangian that have the standard model like a low order approximation, so that a Lagrangian could exist with a minimum number of symbols (a compact form), that is renormalizable and self-consistent in the low order approximation.

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Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 9, 2018 @ 10:27 GMT

You have a great penchant for cutting straight to the nub and expressing key points most concisely. Interesting identification of the concept of the successor, and of solutions as trajectories. I agree the importance of both.

Shame you didn't expand a bit, but there's beauty in simplicity so I've noted yours down for rather higher score than at present.

I hope you'll get to read mine, finding massive value in the most ridiculous simplicity.

Very best


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Peter Jackson replied on Feb. 9, 2018 @ 12:34 GMT
Hi Domenico, (copied from my thread)

Thanks for looking. The fundamental requirement for all and any matter is identified as 'motion' which is a relative concept. Motion then requires some entity, some time period and a background. Without those there can be no matter and no universe at all! Condensed matter (fermion pairs) is then the simplest spherical rotation.

I thought I'd got that across in stating it, but then went on to derive how unbelievably powerful that simplest action could be, the mechanism classically reproducing QM, so removing weirdness!

I'm disappointed but not surprised so few even seem to understand the stupidities of QM and need to resolve them. Ce la vie. Perhaps the solution (Penrose called the 'holy grail) will be lost in space!

Very Best


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Peter Jackson replied on Feb. 24, 2018 @ 12:07 GMT

Thanks for your comment on mine. The fundamental was 'motion' (always 'relative'). Without that there would be NO MATTER (no rotation) and NO UNIVERSE! Is it not then fundamental?

I then show it's simple power; Simple momentum transfer between spherical rotations producing a CLASSICAL derivation of QM! so unified with the rationalised SR you've agreed with in past essays.

One quick read isn't enough. Most do struggle to hold the sequence in mind as they 'scan read' but it has 8 stages to reconstruct! I've just put a simple check list on my posts to help. I never think superficial reading passes critical information.

Hope you get to look a bit closer. I'm applying scores now. I hope you find mine worth a similarly high one, but at least get to understand more from it.

Very best


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Anonymous wrote on Feb. 11, 2018 @ 00:08 GMT
Hi Domenico,

First my contestant pledge:

You make a good point very succinctly: There is something about our universe that encourages both the preexistence (in physics) and emergent formation (in language) of "compact description[s] of ... knowledge and fundamental objects."

Thus your answer to the FQXi challenge question is (I think) that "fundamental" means any...

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Author Domenico Oricchio replied on Feb. 11, 2018 @ 01:08 GMT
Finally an effective criticism.

If the metrology has solved the fundamental quantities, the measure units, then this science is closer to the definition of fundamental, that the contest ask for a science in general.

The fundamental quantities are obtained in metrology using a set of rules, the definition of units, that are the laws of metrology: so that, for me, the metrology has solved the problem of the fundamental (with only an increase of the precision) with a set of laws: an assertion, for example, that the meter is obtained using an particular experiment.

The Special relativity assume two postulates: invariant of the physics laws in inertial system and the constancy of the light velocity; these are experimentally true, but an experiment does not prove a theory with certainty, it can only falsify it with centainty. I call these postulates the laws, and these laws can only be falsified, and these laws are true until proved otherwise.

I wanted to say more clearly that any scientific theory is based on assumptions, foundations, which cannot be proved with certainty, and from which everything descends with the mathematics and logic.

Thank you for in-deepth reading.


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corciovei silviu wrote on Feb. 11, 2018 @ 13:09 GMT
Ma men,

It was a gem. Far better than mine in terms of expressing simplicity. good job again


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corciovei silviu wrote on Feb. 11, 2018 @ 13:17 GMT
Silviu :))

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corciovei silviu wrote on Feb. 14, 2018 @ 14:20 GMT
Hello again Domenico,

I read your comment and if you don't mind I still need your opinion on my reply


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Author Domenico Oricchio replied on Feb. 15, 2018 @ 23:40 GMT
Excuse me, Silviu.

I have other essays to read and vote.

My time is limited, and I cannot spend too much time on just one essay, I must read another hunrdred: everyone deserves at least one reading, and some at least one good vote.



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Author Domenico Oricchio wrote on Feb. 24, 2018 @ 17:57 GMT
I have finished voting for all those who deserve (for me) a high score, a few days ago, in a weighted and correct way.

I have already finished commenting on those that interested me.

Any request to vote, or to read essays, is useless.



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