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What Is “Fundamental”
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How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
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It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
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Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
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Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Steven Andresen: on 2/23/18 at 13:26pm UTC, wrote Dear David If you are looking for another essay to read and rate in the...

peter cameron: on 2/5/18 at 13:26pm UTC, wrote Hello David, Glad to see the interest in Clifford algebra in this year's...

Joe Fisher: on 1/31/18 at 16:26pm UTC, wrote Dear Fellow Essayists This will be my final plea for fair treatment., ...

David Peterson: on 1/31/18 at 14:37pm UTC, wrote Dear SNP Gupta, Your unconventional essay was very challenging and hard...

Satyavarapu Gupta: on 1/30/18 at 22:33pm UTC, wrote Hi David Lyle Peterson Well said …”In addition, there is probably a...

David Peterson: on 1/24/18 at 17:46pm UTC, wrote Dear Marcel Yes, and your rule of non-contradiction (RNC) is supported by...

Eckard Blumschein: on 1/23/18 at 17:51pm UTC, wrote Dear Dave, I intended explaining as simply as possible why I don't...

David Peterson: on 1/22/18 at 22:02pm UTC, wrote Dear Hans, Thank you for your comments. I can easily believe the...


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FQXi FORUM
May 23, 2019

CATEGORY: FQXi Essay Contest - Spring, 2017 [back]
TOPIC: What Fundamental Should Mean by David Lyle Peterson [refresh]
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Author David Lyle Peterson wrote on Jan. 17, 2018 @ 21:54 GMT
Essay Abstract

Abstract. The quest for future deep foundations of physics should continue to pursue greater unifications, should incorporate “hypercomplex numbers” or the name “Clifford algebras” in describing its quantum realm; develop a language for discussing in what way “quantum-waves” could be considered “real;” and should always be capable of expressing the formulation and interpretation of any fundamental theory so that humans might believe it is isomorphic to Nature’s actual mechanisms. That is not yet the case for present-day quantum mechanics nor quantum field theory. In addition, there is probably a limit to testably-assured knowledge perhaps three to six orders of magnitude in particle energy above present capabilities. If “ultimate reality” lies beyond that, we will never have confidence in identifying it.

Author Bio

David Peterson holds a BS and MS in Physics from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with further graduate studies in the departments of Biophysics and then in Mathematics. He worked as an Engineer and mathematical modeler in computer data storage for magnetic tape and hard disk drives for thirty years with publications mainly in the IEEE Transactions on Magnetics and the Computer Measurement Group (CMG). He is now retired but still has an ongoing active interest in modern physics and cosmology.

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Marcel-Marie LeBel wrote on Jan. 18, 2018 @ 16:39 GMT
David,

All descriptions, models, mathematics are on a need to know basis. The universe need not to know any of it in order to happen.

The Universe only needs to be logical; the boundary condition is simply the rule of non-contradiction. That is fundamental.

Marcel,

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Author David Lyle Peterson replied on Jan. 24, 2018 @ 17:46 GMT
Dear Marcel

Yes, and your rule of non-contradiction (RNC) is supported by the dovetailing of mathematics with physics. [I like your writing. It reminds me of Krishnamurti (long ago) in the good sense of profound simplicity]. In physics, substance existence was once based on mass and then on energy/momentum (with m = E/c squared). Existence for mathematicians is more logical and goes with total self-consistency. The “stuff” and flow of the universe must be something “isomorphic” to the relevant mathematics.

While it is true that Newtonian gravity (slow and weak-field) is due only to the curvature of time (your pg. 5), space is also curved. The “bending of starlight” is due to both space and time – half each. And “least time” later became “least action.” A problem, although I’m not fond of it, is that quantum people strongly believe in non-causal “intrinsic pure randomness” in events. And digging down in “reality” via higher interaction energy seems to reveal strongly increasing complexity rather than any hoped-for hint of simplicity.

Regards, Dave.

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jan. 22, 2018 @ 01:56 GMT
Dear David Peterson,

You are offerng to "understand" from your excellent summaries the deep and deeper fundamental physics, up to what? ToE?, SUSY?, GUTs?

I appreciate you explaining what you learned: "Quantum mechanics began with discrete “action” [Bohr atom, 1913] along with E=hν and with p=h/λ" and adding "a wave has phase φ=kx-ωt=(1/h_bar)(px-Et). Complex numbers then entered for convenience." You did indeed focus on an essential.

However, I would like to ask whether or not complex and hypercomplex numbers are always used and interpreted properly. Moreover I doubt that "deeper and deeper" constructs will ever reach an ultimately deepest fundament.

While I don't expect you immediately agreeing with the attitude of mine in all nine FQXi essays, I hope you have good counterarguments.

Anyway, I highly estimate your essay.

With kind regards,

Eckard Blumschein

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Author David Lyle Peterson replied on Jan. 22, 2018 @ 20:26 GMT
Dear Eckard,

You made me think again about the utility versus necessity of complex numbers (and you address some of this in your essay). Electrical engineering and quantum physics have similarities in their use of complex numbers and their level of difficulty. Yet we say that complex variables in EE are for convenience and simplicity (but we won’t do without them) while in quantum mechanics they are necessary-- that sounds biased doesn’t it. I mentioned that QM really needs complex numbers first for Pauli spin matrices (which are hypercomplex). But, in general, in the representation of hypercomplex numbers by matrices using complex numbers, we might double the size of the matrix and use real numbers in it instead (Example: quaternions H can be represented by 2x2 matrix with complex entries or 4x4 matrix with real elements). We could calculate with huge matrices but strongly prefer to use smaller ones. Does Nature have the same “desire” for parsimony? My inclination is yes, but I can’t prove it.

Your revealing something to be “fundamentally wrong” is similar to Flavio Del Santo’s “demolishing prejudices” – and I notice you had discussions with him.

I completely agree with your doubts about "deeper and deeper constructs will ever reach an ultimately deepest fundament.” But Karen Crowther commented that “we can try to be optimistic that the theories may eventually be indirectly testable, potentially yielding some novel predictions in regimes that are accessible to us.”

Regards, Dave.

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Jan. 23, 2018 @ 17:51 GMT
Dear Dave,

I intended explaining as simply as possible why I don't consider causality a prejudice:

- Any mysticism has proven futil. Alleged experimental evidence for Wigner's delayed choice gedanken don't persuade me.

- I am confident having largely revealed very basic unseen ot ignored inconsistencies in mathematics and physics that gave rise to call causality and...

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jan. 22, 2018 @ 02:10 GMT
Addition:

Still reading in your essay, I would like to add my inverse view on the notion fundamental:

Revealing something as "fundamentally wrong" might often be more promising although usually unwelcome and rarely rewarding.

E.B.

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Hans van Leunen wrote on Jan. 22, 2018 @ 13:40 GMT
Dear David,

Reality has structure. This structure has a foundation and that foundation must be simple and thus easily comprehensible.

In your approach, I miss the efforts of Garrett Birkhoff and John von Neumann to establish a fundament that emerges into a suitable modeling platform. In their 1936 paper, they introduced a relational structure that they called quantum logic and that...

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Author David Lyle Peterson replied on Jan. 22, 2018 @ 22:02 GMT
Dear Hans,

Thank you for your comments. I can easily believe the advantages of your focus on Quaternionic Hilbert Spaces – a deeper and richer level than textbook QM. I am very impressed with your giant “Hilbert Book Model Project” and that you have written 87 papers on Vixra! I wasn’t aware of the systematic depth of your work. And wikiversity is another portal I’ve not explored.

Regards, Dave

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Jan. 30, 2018 @ 22:33 GMT
Hi David Lyle Peterson

Well said …”In addition, there is probably a limit to testably-assured knowledge perhaps three to six orders of magnitude in particle energy above present capabilities. If “ultimate reality” lies beyond that, we will never have confidence in identifying it.”….dear David Lyle Peterson……..….. very nice idea…. I highly appreciate your essay and hope...

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Author David Lyle Peterson replied on Jan. 31, 2018 @ 14:37 GMT
Dear SNP Gupta,

Your unconventional essay was very challenging and hard for me to follow or understand. It represents a completely different mindset from mine making it difficult for me to judge. What’s important is that this has been your project for nearly two decades using your knowledge of engineering and software, and your efforts have given you personal satisfaction. It is your own creation and represents your understanding of how the world works. Everyone should strive to do that.

Best Wishes,

David

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peter cameron wrote on Feb. 5, 2018 @ 13:26 GMT
Hello David,

Glad to see the interest in Clifford algebra in this year's competition, tho awareness of the 'geometric algebra' interpretation that has grown out of the work of David Hestenes remains less common. Matrix formalism of Dirac equation is much less intuitive, makes it difficult to connect the math with the physics.

The little book of Hestenes from back in 1966, 'Spacetime...

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Steven Andresen wrote on Feb. 23, 2018 @ 13:26 GMT
Dear David

If you are looking for another essay to read and rate in the final days of the contest, will you consider mine please?

A couple of days in and semblance of my essay taking form, however the house bound inactivity was wearing me. I had just the remedy, so took off for a solo sail across the bay. In the lea of cove, I had underestimated the open water wind strengths. My...

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