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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Jouko Tiainen: on 2/27/18 at 7:02am UTC, wrote Dear Don Thanks for reading my essay and the very useful comments you...

Peter Jackson: on 2/25/18 at 20:26pm UTC, wrote Don, Thanks for your comment on mine. I've responded as below; Don, You...

Peter Jackson: on 2/24/18 at 11:53am UTC, wrote Don, I understand and appreciate your concept, which it seems may well...

Donald Palmer: on 2/15/18 at 8:37am UTC, wrote Thank you for commenting, Peter I do not see how we will model multiple...

Peter Jackson: on 2/13/18 at 21:40pm UTC, wrote Don, You argue the case well and though I largely agree rather lost me...

Flavio Del Santo: on 2/13/18 at 19:25pm UTC, wrote Dear Mr. Palmer, thank you for your very interesting essay. It was a...

Joe Fisher: on 1/29/18 at 21:43pm UTC, wrote Dear Fellow Essayists This will be my final plea for fair treatment., ...

Satyavarapu Gupta: on 1/25/18 at 21:38pm UTC, wrote Hi Donald G Palmer Wondrful words “The current direction of physics is...


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FQXi FORUM
October 17, 2019

CATEGORY: FQXi Essay Contest - Spring, 2017 [back]
TOPIC: Is Physics Fundamental? by Donald G Palmer [refresh]
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Author Donald G Palmer wrote on Jan. 10, 2018 @ 20:51 GMT
Essay Abstract

The current direction of physics is toward smaller and smaller particles, however should we continue to believe a strict reductionist position that ‘fundamental’ refers to the smallest objects? We must also consider as fundamental the most important influences, which in more and more cases can only be understood using the concept of ‘emergence’ and of phenomena at a larger scale. These emergent phenomena appear to be converging upon some unifying structure along which they can be understood. An identification of this structure is proposed indicating we need to move beyond the limitations of our current tools and see these ‘emergent’ phenomena along the continuum of scale, which is a fundamental concept along which to locate these phenomena.

Author Bio

Trained as a mathematician, Donald Palmer has followed the world of computers in his career. He received a BA in Mathematics from Earlham College, then a Masters in Mathematics from Villanova University. He ran his own computer services and software development company for 11 years, before entering the bio-pharmaceutical world, where he now works designing software. He has worked on numeric representational concepts and written a short book on modeling of scale in the physical world.

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Marcel-Marie LeBel wrote on Jan. 11, 2018 @ 17:29 GMT
Palmer,

“How can we understand the large scale actions of this group of humans as being directed or “caused” by fundamental actions initiating back at that same particle level? “

The mixing up of different truth systems is a common philosophical mistake. The truths of each truth system are each defined by different constraints or limitations at the origin. This does not allow any comparison between the truths of two systems. For example, GR and QM can’t be reconciled because they each originate from different (strong postulated) truths; the derivable consequences of Heisenberg uncertainty and of the impossibility to distinguish inertia from gravity follow two different logical paths.

“In particular, we do not have a numeric representational system that can handle calculations across significant levels of scale.”

Logic is scale invariant. Numbers are on a “need to know” basis. Logical understanding can make it just with logic at all levels..

Best of luck,

Marcel,

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Author Donald G Palmer replied on Jan. 11, 2018 @ 21:45 GMT
Marcel-Marie,

If different truth systems cannot be reconciled, why even attempt to connect GR and QM? Why was there such a movement to reconcile electro-magnetism with the strong and weak forces?

Your comment suggests there is no point attempting to connect disparate systems, when that is very much what scientists have successfully done and are attempting to do today. Your comment does not appear to match with what scientists actually do.

The whole point of "need to know" with numbers is that they are limited in this way of having to set scale to them and that is why there is a need to expand what a number represents. Logic is what suggests we need to cross scale with out experiments and measurements.

Take care,

Don

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Marcel-Marie LeBel replied on Jan. 21, 2018 @ 03:10 GMT
Don,

They could connect GR and QM only at the cost of introducing a not internally derived concept of metaphysical nature common to both. Mathematics often plays that role. Finding something common should be easy since reductionnism has always been driven by a believed underlying simplicity or monism in which the “mono” or the one thing is still unknown.

All our descriptions, equations etc. are on a need to know basis i.e. the universe does not need to know those equations in order to exist and do what it does. The “fundamental” is what the universe is and does before we even look or think about it... I say, a bottom-up logical construction based on the rule of non-contradiction is a possible approach. Results can always be paralleled with the qualitative results of physics.

Thanks,

Marcel,

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Joe Fisher wrote on Jan. 16, 2018 @ 17:04 GMT
Dear Donald G. Palmer,

You wrote: “There are discussions about what is fundamental to all of reality, which physicists believe they are studying.”

I have concluded from my deep research that Nature must have devised the only permanent real structure of the Universe obtainable for the real Universe existed for millions of years before man and his finite complex informational systems ever appeared on earth. The real physical 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.

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

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Philip Gibbs wrote on Jan. 21, 2018 @ 10:31 GMT
You are spot on to question reductionism. Plato declared that the fundamental elements of nature were earth, air, fire and water. Later the word element was reused in chemistry, but when the atom proved not so indivisible they started to talk of elementary particles. As layers are peeled off the onion of reality we always think we have found the new elements, but the process continues towards smaller components. Each layer is seen as immutable until the next layer of found underneath. When the last layer comes off there will be nothing left inside. Then the only thing that matters is the information that described how it was put together. This information is routed in our own experience and our relationships with reality. The layers of the onion are part of the story of physics but it is not what is fundamental.

I found your essay very readable and thought provoking. Good luck with the contest.

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Author Donald G Palmer replied on Jan. 22, 2018 @ 11:07 GMT
Thank you for your comments, Phillip,

What I am hoping to see scientists consider more thoroughly is the entire onion and not each individual layer they find. It is in looking only at this or that layer that I think we are missing something fundamental - the entire onion.

I do not see information theory being considered as leading in this direction, although it could be applied across layers.

Take care,

Don

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Jan. 25, 2018 @ 21:38 GMT
Hi Donald G Palmer

Wondrful words “The current direction of physics is toward smaller and smaller particles, however should we continue to believe a strict reductionist position that ‘fundamental’ refers to the smallest objects?” Dear Donald G Palmer…… Consider…..

“The “Nightmare Scenario” as stated by Sabine Hossenfelder in her article, “Finding New Particles...

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Joe Fisher wrote on Jan. 29, 2018 @ 21:43 GMT
Dear Fellow Essayists

This will be my final plea for fair treatment.,

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 must consist 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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Flavio Del Santo wrote on Feb. 13, 2018 @ 19:25 GMT
Dear Mr. Palmer,

thank you for your very interesting essay. It was a pleasure to read it. I have myself argued against reductionism in my essay, and found the opposition of a large parte of the community here. I particularly appreciated when you stated that "It maybe that by believing in a reductionist perspective, where the most fundamental means the smallest, we are missing a fundamental aspect of our universe – a continuum of emergent phenomena...". This is very close to a quotation by David Bohm that you find in the first section of my essay (https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3017). I will be glad if you have a look into it and we could discuss more.

Congratulations, and I hope you get more visibility (I give you the best rate)

All good wishes,

Flavio

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Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 13, 2018 @ 21:40 GMT
Don,

You argue the case well and though I largely agree rather lost me with the 4th dimension to seemingly compete theoretically against 'time' for that slot.

I feel there are fractal 'pattern' heirarchies that repeat and encompass all scales very well. i.e. I identify some including Bayesian/Gaissian/Sine/Cos curve distributions, indeed Rob Phillips justified those more rigorously. Also the modal logic structure equivalent to the rules of brackets in arithmetic. Do you not feel it worth searching these out before inventing unfamiliar new ones?

I certainly agree your sentiments about looking in new ways at ALL scales but felt you may have 'dismissed' reductionism just a little to far. For instance in researching Bells insistance that there IS a classic solution to QM, and that it's about 'interactions' and 'fermion numbers'. Do you not agree unifying quantum and relativistic physics is a fundamental essential to advance understanding, and that better consideration of the smallest scales of matter may be key?

If so I hope you'll try to get to mine which does just that, but with the 'all scale' approach (see the experiment using geophysics). Convergence then also emerges. As a software designer you may also like Declan Traill's matching code and plot.

I think yours (and mine!) is far to low so have it down for a lift. Nice job.

Very best

Peter

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Author Donald G Palmer replied on Feb. 15, 2018 @ 08:37 GMT
Thank you for commenting, Peter

I do not see how we will model multiple scales, each developed as a 3-D space, except as a continuum that connects all levels. Building separate 3-D theories for different levels and then considering them all part of the same reality defines a 4th dimension. It is something the convergence of science has generated that will require a 4-D model to explain. You can call it an heuristic concept, but the geometry of stacking 3-D spaces at different scale levels generates a 4th direction, by definition. It is not something I am making up, it is something science will be required to use to model reality across scales.

The recursive nature of fractals generate patterns across levels that still conform to multiple levels being connected by an additional continuum. So fractals only support an additional continuum.

The question will become, how to adjust our current theories to include this dimension ‘right under our nose’. The reductionist perspective attempts to explain all levels through a single level. That is its flaw, which appears to have stymied physicists in their explanation of the wider multi-scaled reality that the rest of science is attempting to address.

I will endeavor to read your essay,

Don

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Peter Jackson replied on Feb. 24, 2018 @ 11:53 GMT
Don,

I understand and appreciate your concept, which it seems may well have legs (and I have the essay down for a lift.) However I point out first we haven't even got 3D and SR right yet!

Consider your car. At constant speed it's a 'rest frame' equivalent to the background frame around it and all other cars.

Does light from your radio dial go at c in your car with respect to a) Your car?, b) some other random car? c) The air outside rather than the air in it?

Clouds of gas moving in space are the same. Ewald-Oseen extinction just means it changes speed more gradually entering than it does at the glass of your car windows.

My previous (all finalist and inc scored 1 & 2) essays explain more technically with clear evidence. The shock classic QM mechanism this year came out of this 'discrete field' model.

Time is now short but I try to at least score all who make the effort to read mine, hope you get to it and comment. I find learning is from input not output.

Very best

Peter

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Peter Jackson replied on Feb. 25, 2018 @ 20:26 GMT
Don, Thanks for your comment on mine. I've responded as below;

Don,

You may be surprised but I agree entirely. If you read my other work you'll see how and why. (including in past essays scored 1st & second) So yes, the spherical momenta distribution is at ALL scales, indeed it's proof comes from geophysics as well as Poincares sphere. I also discuss what the rotation is 'made of' which can only be smaller rotations! My thought process is then 'scale invariant'.

I've also published on a cyclic evolution mechanism that includes galaxies as the mid/upper scale of a continuous fractal structure. www.academia.edu/6655261/A_CYCLIC_MODEL_OF_GALAXY_EVOLUTION_
WITH_BARS
See also my 'Law of the Reducing Middle' rationalising that 'fractal' recursion.

I'm now scoring, so no more time to discuss details now but expect a boost.

Very best

Peter

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Jouko Harri Tiainen wrote on Feb. 27, 2018 @ 07:02 GMT
Dear Don

Thanks for reading my essay and the very useful comments you left.

"Science involves the use of deductive reasoning" well in fact science relies mostly on INDUCTION not deduction, since induction is how we get the hypothesis's that we start the deductive process. So without induction we have no science.

Also truth isn't distributive across system since truth is based on the axioms and GR and QM use very different axioms so even if both systems have a "common" looking truth they cannot be equated.

I have rated your essay highly -- thanks Harri

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