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Current Essay Contest

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Previous Contests

Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest
December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020
Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation

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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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Juan Ramón González Álvarez: on 2/26/18 at 19:50pm UTC, wrote "For many centuries the goal of science has been to move towards more and...

Kamal Rajpal: on 2/22/18 at 14:02pm UTC, wrote Dear Samir D. Mathur, A black hole consists of Dark Matter, please read:...

Steven Andresen: on 2/22/18 at 6:58am UTC, wrote Dear Samir If you are looking for another essay to read and rate in the...

David Brown: on 2/20/18 at 15:11pm UTC, wrote "The conjecture of fuzzball complementarity allows us to recover, in an...

Satyavarapu Gupta: on 2/13/18 at 12:16pm UTC, wrote Respected Prof Samir D. Mathur Sab, Very nice OP and interesting...

Wayne Lundberg: on 2/11/18 at 16:25pm UTC, wrote Prof Mather, Samir, I thoroughly enjoyed your essay, which focuses on a...

Lawrence Crowell: on 2/7/18 at 20:02pm UTC, wrote Dear Samir, I enjoyed your paper. I have a paper in this contest that...

Narendra Nath: on 2/6/18 at 5:43am UTC, wrote I went through the text of the entire essay. It appears to describe the...

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FQXi FORUM
September 18, 2021

CATEGORY: FQXi Essay Contest - Spring, 2017 [back]
TOPIC: The fundamental questions for tomorrow by Samir D. Mathur [refresh]

Author Samir D. Mathur wrote on Jan. 31, 2018 @ 20:32 GMT
Essay Abstract

Most of the history of physics has been focused on the question: given a set of initial conditions, what is the future evolution of the system? But this quest will come to end at some point, when we would have found the laws governing such evolution. I argue that the really fundamental and interesting questions start at that point. These are questions of the following kind. What determines the initial state of the Universe? What principle fixed the laws of evolution to the ones that we have found? I will argue that there are places in physics today where we can start to explore such questions. In particular the recent progress in the quantum theory of black holes may offer novel ideas in these directions.

Author Bio

Samir D. Mathur is a physicist interested in black holes and string theory. He has an M.S. from IIT Kanpur, and did his doctoral work at the Tata Institute, Bombay. He has held postdoctoral positions at the Tata Institute and Harvard, and Assistant and Associate professor positions at MIT. He is currently a Professor of Physics at The Ohio State University.

Joe Fisher wrote on Feb. 1, 2018 @ 17:44 GMT
Dear Professor Samir D. Mathur,

FQXi.org is clearly seeking to confirm whether Nature is fundamental.

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

post approved

Joe Fisher wrote on Feb. 2, 2018 @ 16:34 GMT
Dear Fellow Essayists

This will be my final plea for fair treatment.,

FQXI is clearly seeking to find out if there is a fundamental REALITY.

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

post approved

Narendra Nath wrote on Feb. 6, 2018 @ 05:43 GMT
I went through the text of the entire essay. It appears to describe the develpments in Physics in a routinue mannar. There is casualness in treating a topic. Particle Physics connection with cosmology needs elaboration of how one may unite particle stuctures with things on the cosmic scale. There is need to discuss the four types of interactions that appear togovern the obseved processes. As one knows gravity still defies unification with others.Here,one can say something about the the universatility of relative field strengths as measured now with what one may expect in a period closer to creation of the universe. Do you think, the relative field strengths remained unchanged from the ealry universe till the present times billions of years later? What role the vacuum plays as one finds mass in an atom remain clustered within a minuscular nuclear volume . The same appears to e true even on the cosmic scale. Dominance of vacuum has any significance on the totality of the microscopic and macroscopic scenario?

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Feb. 7, 2018 @ 20:02 GMT
Dear Samir,

I enjoyed your paper. I have a paper in this contest that involves quantum hair on black holes. Quantum hair and fuzzballs are of course much the same category of physics.

I have a few comments and questions. The scalar fields adjust the cosmological parameter Λ(φ,dot-φ) such that as energy is larger the pressure is more negative. The roll off from inflation is a case where dot-φ < 0 and the cosmological parameter decreased slowly. Then reheating is a rapid drop with dot-φ

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Wayne R Lundberg wrote on Feb. 11, 2018 @ 16:25 GMT
Prof Mather, Samir,

I thoroughly enjoyed your essay, which focuses on a key topic for cosmology and its mechanisms, particularly the preservation of quantum information within a BH. I recognize that much of the current status points -again- to a need for a causal particle theory which _includes_ QC/ED.

You mention, near the end of sec.2 "..ask ..if the Std Model of particle...

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Feb. 13, 2018 @ 12:16 GMT
Respected Prof Samir D. Mathur Sab,

Very nice OP and interesting observation Prof Samir...." Most of the history of physics has been focused on the question: given a set of initial conditions, what is the future evolution of the system? But this quest will come to end at some point, when we would have found the laws governing such evolution....."

By the way Dynamic Universe Model...

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David Brown wrote on Feb. 20, 2018 @ 15:11 GMT
"The conjecture of fuzzball complementarity allows us to recover, in an approximate way, the classical dynamics of the black hole interior." What empirical evidence supports the hypothesis that a black hole has an interior of any type?

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Steven Andresen wrote on Feb. 22, 2018 @ 06:58 GMT
Dear Samir

If you are looking for another essay to read and rate in the final days of the contest, will you consider mine please? I read all essays from those who comment on my page, and if I cant rate an essay highly, then I don’t rate them at all. Infact I haven’t issued a rating lower that ten. So you have nothing to lose by having me read your essay, and everything to...

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Kamal L Rajpal wrote on Feb. 22, 2018 @ 14:02 GMT
Dear Samir D. Mathur,

Quantum Mechanics claims that an electron can be both spin-up and spin-down at the same time. In my conceptual physics Essay on Electron Spin, I have proved that this is not true. Please read: https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3145

Kamal Rajpal

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Juan Ramón González Álvarez wrote on Feb. 26, 2018 @ 19:50 GMT
"For many centuries the goal of science has been to move towards more and more fundamental laws that will explain all of nature". This is a very narrow (and wrong) conception of science. Only fundamental science has that goal.

"What determines the initial data for the evolution? What principle chooses the laws of dynamical evolution to be the one that we found?". Why would the...

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