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March 20, 2018

CATEGORY: FQXi Essay Contest - Spring, 2017 [back]
TOPIC: What is "Fundamental" by Nainan K. Varghese [refresh]
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This essay's rating: Community = 5.3; Public = 2.7

Author Nainan K. Varghese wrote on Dec. 20, 2017 @ 21:39 GMT
Essay Abstract

Abstract: Only an entity that provides substance to all real entities can be the most fundamental. All others are derived from it. In material world, existence of matter is absolute truth. Therefore, matter qualifies as the most fundamental and it provides substance to all real entities.

Author Bio

Independent researcher.

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Jan. 2, 2018 @ 02:01 GMT
Hi Nainan, I like your premise and conclusion. I agree that existence itself is a fundamental for everything else, and I would add foundational, where the consideration of the universe ought to start. One could build a very elegant structure of multiple dimensions but without existence to occupy them it, the imagined universe, is nothing. You have put forward a very detailed lengthy argument in favour of your premise. (Sorry I couldn't make myself read all of it, but I might return to it another time.) I agree the existence is not just material things but what is around those things. Host to fields (and actualizations of the fundamental forces, I'd say), that are casual. I would add other kinds of disturbance of the host existence too, that mediate other kinds of interactions; and electromagnetism, which i think you didn't discuss, though I might have missed that. Thank you for standing up for existence : ) Kind regards Georgina

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Author Nainan K. Varghese wrote on Jan. 5, 2018 @ 09:26 GMT
Dear Georgina,


If any entity (which we currently consider as material or non-material) exists, it should have objective reality, irrespective of our ability to sense or observe them. Objective reality provided by substance. Matter is the only thing that can provide substance. Real entities have positive existence, form and structure, irrespective of our ability to appreciate some of them. All entities and actions, you mentioned (fields, actuators of fundamental forces, electromagnetism, natural disturbances, media of inter-actions, etc.), are all real entities or actions of real entities, made of matter. Our ability to observe them differentiates between material and non-material objects. Imaginary (functional) entities are invented by rational beings and they exist only in our minds and in mathematical analyses. They have no substance, real existence, form or structure but they fulfil all functions assigned to them. If interested in details, kindly refer to .

Regards, Nainan.

Joe Fisher wrote on Jan. 9, 2018 @ 16:00 GMT
Dear Nainan K Varghese,

You wrote: “In order to have fundamental laws of physics to hold true under all conditions, they should all be based on a single fundamental entity. All logical theories in physics should be based on a single assumption.”

My research has concluded that Nature must have produced the only real physical structure obtainable. The earth had a real visible surface millions of years before any English language fluent man, woman, child, or parrot ever appeared on the earth’s surface. It would be illogical for Nature to devise different physical conditions in different places at different times. The real Universe consists of only one single unified VISIBLE infinite surface occurring eternally in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated by mostly finite non-surface light.

Joe Fisher, ORCID ID 0000-0003-3988-8687. Unaffiliated

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Author Nainan K. Varghese replied on Jan. 10, 2018 @ 13:46 GMT
Dear Joe Fisher,

Thanks for the comment. You are very correct to conclude that “Nature must have produced the only real physical structure obtainable”. Such structures would have most fundamental constituents, which are real and definitely should have substance that makes them real. However, we, the three-dimensional rational beings, are not perfect and our abilities are limited to observe only 3D entities. Entities, which we do not sense or experience but have substance, are also real. Our inability to experience them would not make them unreal. Therefore, the universe consist of all real entities with substance (whether they are visible or not). Hence, the entity that provides substance to all real entities should be considered most fundamental of all other structures.

Best regards.

Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Jan. 17, 2018 @ 21:25 GMT
Dear Nainan K. Varghese,

I do believe you have focused on the most fundamental of the fundamental. You say "only an entity that provides substance to all real entities can be the most fundamental." Yes!

You then qualify this by saying "it is essential that all entities are developed from one type of fundamental constituent that has no definite property except its ability to exist." I would suggest that one more property is essential; the ability to interact with itself. As there is nothing else existing, interaction must be self-induced and self-sustained. This allows for dynamic evolution, and also yields a generalized change equation.

You distinguish between functional entities and real entities. The first are models or ideas and are treated by Korzybski, who says:

"The map is not the territory."

You agree with Einstein that space is an imaginary container – "there is no space absent of field." and you note "action-at-a-distance" is incorrect. Your idea of lower dimensional states of matter as medium of interaction is very interesting and innovative. I don't think it's necessary, nevertheless, I will try to imagine how one might mathematically describe such media.

You don't mention time, but I assume you do not think that every moving object has its own time dimension, stretching from minus eternity to plus eternity. My essay reviews the historical development of Einstein's "relativity of simultaneity". I hope you will read it and comment on it.

Your essay is short, but well reasoned and well stated. It deserves more attention. With the exception of the lower dimensional matter-particles, our ideas are much alike. In fact when you say that these particles behave as a perfect fluid, we agree on that too.

Best regards,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Nainan K. Varghese replied on Jan. 18, 2018 @ 13:18 GMT
Dear Edwin Eugene Klingman,

The most fundamental entity with more than a single property is bound to cause circular reasoning in the long run and make the concept liable to falsification. Anyway, a single property of ‘ability to exist’ (envisaged in my concept), endows minute matter-particles with ability for dynamic actions within themselves and ability to interact between each other. Simple mechanism, required for this, is inherent in the ability to exist.

A medium is essential to avoid ‘action at a distance through empty space’. This medium has to be fully effective and at the same time it has to avoid senses of rational beings and observation by their instruments. As our sense organs and instruments are devised to detect only entities in 3D spatial system, the medium has to exist in a different spatial system and act on 3D entities. Thanks for your offer for mathematical enquiry.

Time denotes interval between cause and effect or between different states of a body. Time, measured by clocks, is always related some or other kind of motion of physical entities. In fact, we are measuring interval between two states of a body and standardizing the measurement of interval in the name ‘time’ with respect to a reference interval. In fact, we are not measuring time, but comparing two intervals, one of them being the standard. Regrettably, I don’t consider ‘time’ even as an independent entity. You may have many mathematical arguments against this simple view (by bringing in history of events) but you cannot discard it altogether. I shall shortly read your essay and any other literature by you, available on the web, to understand more of your view.

Lower-dimensional matter-particles do not behave like perfect fluid but the medium formed by them does. In case, you are interested, you may find more of my concept at

With regards,


Joe Fisher replied on Jan. 27, 2018 @ 22:00 GMT
Dear Nainan K. Varghese,

Reliable evidence exists that proves that the surface of the earth was formed millions of years before man and his utterly complex finite informational systems ever appeared on that surface. It logically follows that Nature must have permanently devised the only single physical construct of earth allowable.

All objects, be they solid, liquid, or vaporous have always had a visible surface. This is because the real Universe consists only of one single unified VISIBLE infinite surface occurring eternally in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated mostly by finite non-surface light.

Only the truth can set you free.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Jan. 22, 2018 @ 14:23 GMT
Hi Nainan K. Varghese

I was having a good friend and colleague C.J. Varghese about 40 years back in Bhilai steel plant. We are in still in contact….. Your idea “Only an entity that provides substance to all real entities can be the most fundamental. All others are derived from it. In material world, existence of matter is absolute truth……………” is really nice and leads to the...

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Philip Gibbs wrote on Jan. 29, 2018 @ 12:16 GMT

Thanks for your essay and its straightforward message that substance is fundamental. In your view, where does space and time fit in this picture? Are they real? Do they emerge from matter?

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Author Nainan K. Varghese replied on Jan. 29, 2018 @ 16:48 GMT
Dear Philip Gibbs,


Space is an imaginary container of infinite extent, envisaged by rational beings, whenever they think of real entities. That is; however far one goes, he can find 3D matter-bodies there and beyond. It has neither substance nor structure. Space can become real only when it is filled by an all-encompassing medium. This medium is structured by quanta of matter and fills entire space outside most basic 3D matter-particles. In this case, space and the medium become synonymous. Space is not real but the medium (structured by matter) is real. As the medium has objective reality and positive existence, it has a structure and form. Medium (space) emerges from matter and can deform, act or be acted upon.

Time is another functional entity devised by rational beings to relate cause and effect. Cause precedes effect or effect follows cause. Time measures interval between cause and effect or interval between two states of a body with reference to a standard (assumed) interval. It cannot exist without being related to certain motion or similar actions. By measuring time, we are in fact relating this motion with respect to a standard motion. As time is a functional entity, it can neither expand nor dilate.

Therefore, I consider space and time as two functional derivatives from existence of matter.


Richard L Marker wrote on Jan. 31, 2018 @ 19:35 GMT
Nainan Varghese,

Thank you for producing an interesting and thought-provoking essay. Your descriptions of "functional entities" and "real entities" provide a good basis for considering what is most fundamental.

I particularly like your section discussing "real entities" on pages 2 and 3.

At the end of page 3 you mention "...these gaps are considered empty." "Empty" may have...

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Author Nainan K. Varghese wrote on Feb. 1, 2018 @ 10:22 GMT
Richard Marker,

Thank you for your comments.

......... At the end of page 3 you mention "...these gaps are considered empty." "Empty" may have more than one meaning. It could mean space that does not contain matter. Alternatively, it could mean a total void or "nothing".........

This remark, “However, large and small gaps can be observed between even the smallest...

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Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 18, 2018 @ 12:04 GMT

That was all music to my ears, nicely written with clarity of concept and explanation, also so close to and consistent with my own.

Interestingly 'substance' is a term Minkowski used apparently differently, “The substance at any world-point may always, with the appropriate determination of space and time, be looked upon as at rest.” but not not really when we ask the forgotten question; "what is 'matter' made of?"! (I glanced at your link p.1 but will read it properly) and as you conclude; Entire universe is filled with matter (without voids), in various spatial forms.

I think you hit the key fundamental matter (lol) and put your case well so the essay deserves to be higher up the list, which I'll facilitate. I hope you my read mine and comment my thoughts on ever smaller spin states, but I mainly show the power oif dealing with the smalles 'condensed' matter scale in deriving a classical reproduction of QS'd predictions, so removing the need for 'action at a distance!' Hope you can follow the ontology. See also Declan Traill's for the confirmation code and plot, and also Gordon Watsons.

I may revert after the contest about your web paper.

Very Best


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Author Nainan K. Varghese replied on Feb. 20, 2018 @ 06:36 GMT
Dear Peter Jackson,

Thank you very much for your comments and unusual compliments.

By substance or stuff, I mean the real physical matter an object consists of and by which every real entity is formed – its literal meaning. As every object in material world is attributed to matter, I presume that matter provides substance to all real entities, whether they are observable or not. Matter is the tangible substance that goes into the makeup of a physical object. It creates all real entities. Creation cannot have direct knowledge of its creator. Therefore, matter is beyond definition by material objects, like us. However, many of its attributes can be inferred by intelligent analyses and deductions of apparent interactions between different observable material bodies (creations) with respect to their environment. Space and time, themselves, are attributes of matter.

Most of your essay went above my head. But I gather your statements imply that fundamentality is somehow centric about ‘actions’ or ‘movements’. This, in turn, raises all questions mentioned in your essay, answers to which point towards existence of substance. Without substance there will not be any real objects that move or act. Moving objects require their own existence and existence of a moving mechanism. Both of these requirements depend of existence of substance.

With regards,


Vladimir Nikolaevich Fedorov wrote on Feb. 22, 2018 @ 07:48 GMT
Dear Nainan,

I highly appreciate your well-written essay in an effort to understand.

It is so close to me. «Only an entity that provides substance to all real entities can be the most fundamental. All others are derived from it. In material world, existence of matter is absolute truth». «In order to have fundamental laws of physics to hold true under all conditions, they should all be based on a single fundamental entity». «Entire universe is filled with matter (without voids), in various spatial forms».

I hope that my modest achievements can be information for reflection for you.

Vladimir Fedorov

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Author Nainan K. Varghese replied on Feb. 22, 2018 @ 16:57 GMT
Dear Fedorov,

Thank you very much for your kind words. If you are interested to find out more about my concept, kindly refer to .

Frankly, I did not understand much of your article. Although you mentioned ‘toroidal gravitational waves’ as the single (fundamental) entity, many other undefined entities like: ‘rigid and superfluid medium of the physical vacuum’, energy, etc. are subsequently brought into the essay. There seems to be no relations between phenomena mentioned. The name, ‘toroidal gravitational waves’, itself, indicates an entity that has definite structure, composition and movement. With these qualities, the proposed single entity cannot be qualified as fundamental. There are more fundamental entities, which provide its structure and motion.

Best wishes,


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