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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

sherman jenkins: on 2/25/18 at 8:13am UTC, wrote Time is not Fundamental; but is very near the fundamental. Time is the...

Steven Andresen: on 2/22/18 at 6:26am UTC, wrote Dear Henri If you are looking for another essay to read and rate in the...

Don Limuti: on 2/19/18 at 2:28am UTC, wrote Hello Henri, I enjoyed your essay and I think few would disagree with its...

Dizhechko Semyonovich: on 2/18/18 at 7:33am UTC, wrote Dear Vonn Henri De Roule, Time – it's a synonym for total movement....

Satyavarapu Gupta: on 2/14/18 at 2:42am UTC, wrote Hi Henri Vonn De Roule Wonderful discussion sir...."For instance in...

Georgina Woodward: on 2/13/18 at 1:37am UTC, wrote Hi Henri, your essay is really nice, easy reading, covering some...

James Hoover: on 2/11/18 at 17:45pm UTC, wrote Henri, Thanks for your kind words about my essay, As I indicated before, I...

Henri De Roule: on 2/7/18 at 23:41pm UTC, wrote Thanks for your feedback. I love math and will look at and rate your paper....


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FQXi FORUM
August 25, 2019

CATEGORY: FQXi Essay Contest - Spring, 2017 [back]
TOPIC: Elusive Fundamental? by Henri Vonn De Roule [refresh]
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Author Henri Vonn De Roule wrote on Feb. 2, 2018 @ 19:19 GMT
Essay Abstract

Throughout time “fundamental” meant various things in different disciplines. For instance in physics, the ancient cultures Greece and India prior to the advent of structural physics, the atom was thought to be the fundamental particle of matter. They were trying to answer questions of philosophy and theology. Experimentation was crude and the equipment for examination and experimentation did not exist so these were what we now call thought experiments. It was not until the 19th century, some 500 years from the start of the Renaissance, that we were able to develop equipment that could provide crude measurements of predicted phenomena. However it was not until the latter half of the 19th century that it was discovered that the atom (which was until then considered “fundamental”) was found to consist of an electron and a nucleus and therefore not fundamental at all. Things when downhill (or uphill) from there at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, and today we have the Standard Model of physics which is our best current understanding of the universe. One should note: it has holes.

Author Bio

Mr. De Roule has cofounded seven companies in two countries and has served on numerous boards. His background is in semiconductors and systems integration. He participated in the Danube Conference in Vienna, Austria in 1991 at the invitation of the United States and Austrian Departments of Commerce. At age nine he was on the radio discussing the future of space travel. At fourteen he built his own short-wave radios. He presented a paper at and was on the discussion panel on advanced semiconductor processing at the 1983 VLSI conference in Trondheim, Norway. His latest venture is The Science Experience.

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Juan Ramón González Álvarez wrote on Feb. 3, 2018 @ 14:09 GMT
The current standard model of particles is misleading. E.g. bosons are not fundamental. One can eliminate photons or gravitons and describe all the known physics with the same accuracy and precision. The same happens with antiparticles and virtual particles; so you are rigth they are just "breaking things into inconsequential pieces".

Chemistry does not only deal with atoms. H+ is a fundamental part of chemistry, but it is not an atom. Nuclear chemistry has existed for a while...

The properties of individual atoms do not make up a substance. The keyword here is emergent properties. We could study the properties of a single atom during all our life and know nothing about properties of molecules that contain that atom: "The whole is more than the sum of its parts".

Those emergents properties which don't exist on the lower level invalidate the idea that "all the sciences is physics – specifically particle physics". I recommend reading the article More is Different by P.W. Anderson.

Dark energy and dark matter do not exist. Dark matter is the modern analog of the old Vulcan planet. Astronomers and astrophysicsts use dark matter because it helps to fill a hole in their equations.

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Author Henri Vonn De Roule replied on Feb. 4, 2018 @ 22:18 GMT
Thank you for your information and reference. I have just downloaded a copy of your recommendation and will read it later today.

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Author Henri Vonn De Roule wrote on Feb. 4, 2018 @ 22:20 GMT
I just realized that I left out the elephant in the room - time. As I am sure FQXi members know, there is a raging debate as to whether or not it exists. Is time fundamental?

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Feb. 7, 2018 @ 01:04 GMT
Henri,

The problem of time is that since we experience reality as flashes of cognition, we think of time as the point of the present, "flowing," past to future. Physics codifies this as measures of duration, between events. A simpler and more effective explanation is that it is change turning future to past, as in tomorrow becoming yesterday because the earth turns. Different clocks can run at different rates because they are separate actions. A faster clock/action uses more energy. As an animal with higher metabolism ages quicker than one with a slower rate, yet both remain in the same present. Duration is simply the state of the present, as events coalesce and dissolve. Time is asymmetric because action is inertial. The earth turns one direction, not both. This makes time an effect of activity, similar to temperature. Which is no small issue. One could say the left, linear, sequential hemisphere is the brain is based on time, while the right, emotional, intuitive side is based on temperature and thermodynamic feedback. We could correlate measures of volume and temperature, using ideal gas laws, but temperature is not conceptually foundational to narrative, logic, history and civilization, only to our emotional, bodily and environmental reality, so we assume we are more objective about it. Obviously it goes to other issues as well, such as determinism, since events have to occur, in order for their input to be fully calculated, therefore the future remains probabilistic.

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sherman loran jenkins replied on Feb. 25, 2018 @ 08:13 GMT
Time is not Fundamental; but is very near the fundamental. Time is the mechanism that regulates all physics at the same base rate throughout the universe. The structure of the vacuum is that universal mechanism.

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Feb. 5, 2018 @ 06:27 GMT
Henri,

As you mention, "fundamental" varies by subject and does change with each discipline studied and does also change as our understanding of science advances. That perception is also important in my essay for the perception of "fundamental" seems to be a moving target in all discipline: the four forces of nature are bound to change as knowledge grows; the nature of gravity changed with Einstein; the hydrogen element has a new state; Jupiter is not what we though before the latest probe, etc.

Hope you get a chance to read my essay as well. I am at the survey stage in my reading.

Jim Hoover

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Author Henri Vonn De Roule replied on Feb. 5, 2018 @ 18:40 GMT
Thank you for your kind words. I would love to review your article but I can't find it. Can you send a link or the title?

Regards,

Henri

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James Lee Hoover replied on Feb. 5, 2018 @ 20:07 GMT
Henri,

The hyperlink to mine:

https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3035

Jim Hoover

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Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Feb. 6, 2018 @ 01:37 GMT
Dear Henri,

Your essay felt to me like a leisurely walk through the gardens of biology, chemistry and physics, touching on some of the key fundamental ideas in each discipline, and coming to the conclusion that fundamentality remains "a moving target". I agree, to the extent that I believe fundamentality is a profoundly context-dependent concept. As we learn new things, the context becomes refined, and this, in turn, influences how we conceptualize the meaning of "fundamental". I believe that, as described by Thomas Kuhn, every once in a while our fundamental understanding of the world changes dramatically, and this effects a concomitant dramatic change in our understanding of the meaning of that word. In particular, the "target" may at that point move on an entirely different plane.

All the best,

Armin

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Jouko Harri Tiainen wrote on Feb. 7, 2018 @ 04:30 GMT
Wow Henri -- a moveable feast of what is basic -- couldn't agree more it is ALL about "context" as to what fundamental is.

Oddly you didn't mention what is fundamental in MATH (number, numbers, set, set membership,.....) so many things were thought fundamental but have gone away.

Also logic is left out, because all relies on the logic system you use. Is the excluded middle basic or its negation basic -- should of been addressed as well.

Also the ending is lacking any "force" as in its conclusion.

Overall a good essay, I have marked it accordingly. Cheers Harri

If you have time my essay What is fundamental is the area of the imaginary unit" considers numbers as fundamental though in a very unusual way.

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Author Henri Vonn De Roule replied on Feb. 7, 2018 @ 23:41 GMT
Thanks for your feedback. I love math and will look at and rate your paper.

Regards,

Henri

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Feb. 11, 2018 @ 17:45 GMT
Henri,

Thanks for your kind words about my essay, As I indicated before, I feel every concept contributes to an understanding of “fundamental,” so I am reviewing my own sketchy evaluations to help my understanding and see if I have rated them. I find that I rated yours on 2/4 reflecting my high regard for your contribution.

Jim

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Feb. 13, 2018 @ 01:37 GMT
Hi Henri,

your essay is really nice, easy reading, covering some interesting aspects of the various sciences. I have always been amazed by the periodic table. It was nice to see the alternative representations.

About viruses not being classified as life: It is not that a bacterium is more fundamental but it is more complete. A virus lacks the cellular apparatus to reproduce itself but must hijack a host cell's apparatus. The host, which is a life form in its own right reproduces the virus, it is not the virus that does that. As reproduction is one of the characteristics of living things, the virus falls between complex chemistry and life, as it is most usually considered and taught.

I think time is important but your essay was fine without considering it. It is not something easy to discuss well in a few sentences. You got across the idea that many different aspects of science can be considered as possibly fundamental. We are a bit spoilt for choice when considering the question, like choosing what to put in the shopping basket at the supermarket. I like your choices, though different from my own.

Kind regards Georgina

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Feb. 14, 2018 @ 02:42 GMT
Hi Henri Vonn De Roule

Wonderful discussion sir...."For instance in physics, the ancient cultures Greece and India prior to the advent of structural physics, the atom was thought to be the fundamental particle of matter. They were trying to answer questions of philosophy and theology. Experimentation was crude and the equipment for examination and experimentation did not exist so these were...

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Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich wrote on Feb. 18, 2018 @ 07:33 GMT
Dear Vonn Henri De Roule,

Time – it's a synonym for total movement. Fundamental is what has Foundation. Physical space, which according to Descartes is matter is the Foundation for fundamental physical theories. I'm here to urge researchers to develop theory of everything, the French philosopher, mathematics, physics Descartes in the light of modern science. Look at my essay, FQXi Fundamental in New Cartesian Physics by Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich Where I showed how radically the physics can change if it follows the principle of identity of space and matter of Descartes. Evaluate and leave your comment there. Do not allow New Cartesian Physics go away into nothingness, which wants to be the theory of everything OO.

Sincerely, Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich.

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Don Limuti wrote on Feb. 19, 2018 @ 02:28 GMT
Hello Henri,

I enjoyed your essay and I think few would disagree with its conclusion: "So, what is “Fundamental”? We do not yet know. All of our experiments –both thought and real –have identified only a fraction of all of the matter that we speculate exists. So for right now, “Fundamental” remains a moving target.

I stretched mysel a bit and have gone after dark energy and dark matter. Very speculative stuff, but I think you will enjoy my essay. Do take a look.

I also like your organization, "The Science Experience" which I just browsed and hit this quote:"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” —Goethe

Really nice work in a variety of areas,

Thanks,

Don Limuti

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Steven Andresen wrote on Feb. 22, 2018 @ 06:26 GMT
Dear Henri

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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