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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Steven Andresen: on 2/22/18 at 6:24am UTC, wrote Dear Mozibur If you are looking for another essay to read and rate in the...

Steve Dufourny: on 2/18/18 at 19:41pm UTC, wrote You are welcome, with pleasure Dear Mozibur Ullah, My theory of...

Mozibur Ullah: on 2/16/18 at 20:20pm UTC, wrote Dear Steve Dufourny Your theory sounds most intriguing. Thanks also for...

Mozibur Ullah: on 2/16/18 at 20:18pm UTC, wrote Dear Don Limuti, Thank you very much for your kind comments, they were...

Steve Dufourny: on 2/16/18 at 15:44pm UTC, wrote Hello from Belgium, I loved lol logic I work about my theory of...

Anonymous: on 2/15/18 at 1:44am UTC, wrote Hi Mozibur, A very enjoyable read. I think you may enjoy my website:...

Mozibur Ullah: on 2/14/18 at 23:07pm UTC, wrote Dear Satyavarapu Gupta Thanks very much for comment. I just want to point...

Satyavarapu Gupta: on 2/14/18 at 2:50am UTC, wrote Hi Dr Mozibur Rahman Ullah Yes you are correct ...at the time of...


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FQXi FORUM
May 24, 2018

CATEGORY: FQXi Essay Contest - Spring, 2017 [back]
TOPIC: Socrates, Atoms, and Being: A Dialogue by Mozibur Rahman Ullah [refresh]
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Author Mozibur Rahman Ullah wrote on Feb. 2, 2018 @ 19:35 GMT
Essay Abstract

Socrates, Theaetetus and Polydorus gather in the the house of Theaetetus to discuss the meaning of atoms, being and what is understood by the word fundamental.

Author Bio

Has studied mathematics at Oxford and Physics at Imperial College London. Worked as a software engineer in finance. Currently an independent researcher in the philosophy and history of physics.

Download Essay PDF File

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a l wrote on Feb. 3, 2018 @ 10:12 GMT
Well done! Hofstadter became famous by showing that 3 emblematic names point at the same idea, while your essay (and mine, for that matter) try to show that there are 3 most general distinct worldviews. Dealing with the question why 3 and not 4 or 2 might also be interesting. And let me mention that your contribution is fun to read: people around here apparently do not notice that fundamental begins with fun.

Best.

a.losev

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Author Mozibur Rahman Ullah replied on Feb. 6, 2018 @ 20:27 GMT
Thanks, I made an effort to make the dialogue entertaining as well as informative. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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Francesco D'Isa wrote on Feb. 5, 2018 @ 21:01 GMT
Dear Mozibur Rahman Ullah,

a very pleasurable essay, really in Plato's style, thank you for sharing!

> It seems that we are agreed that law is fundamental. There is no law except there is no law and this is what is fundamental.

I'm sorry to admit that I didn't catch the final part. Do you mean that there's not only one law? That there's no fundamental law a part of this one?

All the best,

Francesco

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Author Mozibur Rahman Ullah replied on Feb. 6, 2018 @ 20:33 GMT
Dear Francesco,

I believe you've caught a typo on my part that made it past my proof-reader! Its too late now to obviously correct. The last line should read: There is no law except the is no no law and that is what is fundamental. There ought to be a double negative in the penultimate sentence. Essentially I'm saying that there cannot be a world without a law of some kind. Thanks for catching this, by the way.

Best,

Mozibur Ullah

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Francesco D'Isa replied on Feb. 6, 2018 @ 22:19 GMT
Now I get it! You are very welcome!

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Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Feb. 5, 2018 @ 22:17 GMT
Dear Mozibur,

What a refreshing approach! You did an excellent job emulating Plato while keeping the dialogue interesting and entertaining. I think it is an ingenious idea to clothe some modern concepts related to fundamentality in ancient Greek clothes, and the execution was flawless.

The central idea reminds me strongly of that in Stefan Weckbach's essay, and also a little in Olaf Dreyer's. However, you add an additional contextual commentary, not by stating it outright anywhere but by demonstrating it, in a manner usually associated with the literary arts: our understanding of fundamentality has evidently not sufficiently advanced over the last two and a half millenia that a discussion about it today could not have been conducted by the ancient Greeks. And this raises the obvious question: is that due to the inherent nature of fundamentality, or is it due to our lack of progress in this area?

Outstanding job!

My essay also has a strongly philosophical underpinning: usually we associate the subject of interpretation of a theory with quantum mechanics, but I believe, and try to demonstrate, that actually even something elementary taught in freshman physics, Length contraction (and in the second paper, time dilation) admit of more fundamental interpretations which yield new insights with genuine physics content.

All the best to you, and I hope you write more dialogues!

Armin

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Author Mozibur Rahman Ullah replied on Feb. 6, 2018 @ 20:41 GMT
Dear Armin,

Thank you for your generous comments! I tried hard to emulate the style of the original dialogues and I'm glad to see that work paid off. I enjoyed working on it and I am contemplating writing another dialogue on cosmology for the fun of it.

I'll definitely check out your essay.

Best regards

Mozibur Ullah

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corciovei silviu wrote on Feb. 6, 2018 @ 22:27 GMT
Nice writing, it was like a delightful dessert served for free. Thank you, indeed



Silviu

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Author Mozibur Rahman Ullah replied on Feb. 7, 2018 @ 12:00 GMT
You're welcome. It was meant to be an enjoyable essay to read - short & sweet to carry on with your dessert analogy!

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Member Tejinder Pal Singh wrote on Feb. 7, 2018 @ 02:26 GMT
Dear Mozibur,

Compliments on a beautiful essay! :-)

Tejinder

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Author Mozibur Rahman Ullah replied on Feb. 7, 2018 @ 12:02 GMT
Dear Tejinder, Thank you for your kind remark. Much appreciated! - Mozibur

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Jouko Harri Tiainen wrote on Feb. 7, 2018 @ 03:28 GMT
I have to say this is a beautiful essay -- showing that our 2-1/2 thousand year ideas can still be cast using the Ancient Greeks philosophical ideas. I was wondering about the last line but reading the above comments cleared up my confusions. Yes maybe we need a new clearing out of the old ideas which don't seem to change over the millennia.

Thoughtful, insightful and delightful to read. I have rated your essay highly. Thank you for entering the essay competition.

If you have time my essay What is fundamental is the area of the imaginary unit" uses a different basic idea of what a geometric number is -- instead of a number being a length such as 3 meters long, we start with a number is a (square) area... which doesn't sound like a big change but it does have profound implications for qm and relativity.

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Author Mozibur Rahman Ullah replied on Feb. 7, 2018 @ 11:49 GMT
Dear Jouko Harri Tiainen,

Thank you for your perceptive comments, they were much appreciated. I'll definitely check out your essay. I don't think it is appreciated enough that QM is the first physical theory that makes fundamental use of the imaginary.

Best Wishes

Mozibur Ullah

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Author Mozibur Rahman Ullah replied on Feb. 7, 2018 @ 11:58 GMT
For some reason the site strips out line breaks on posts for which I apologise.

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Narendra Nath wrote on Feb. 7, 2018 @ 04:47 GMT
The essay has been put in a dialogue format between three Greek thinkers if i may say so. It is just one old culture that preceeded christianity in the west. There are other ancient cultures that have originated on the Indian sub continent. Ancient Hinduism which were postulated through annonymous authorship of saints like Patanjali and his predecessors, Buddha and later on by several reformists...

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Author Mozibur Rahman Ullah replied on Feb. 7, 2018 @ 11:56 GMT
Dear Narendra Nath

For sure. Love & compassion are fundamental to the world. And of course there are many other interesting discussions of ancient cosmologies that still have something to teach us. For example, the ancient Buddhist discussions of atomism. However discussing this would have taken me further away from the subject matter of the essay. I did at one point contemplate moving the discussion from law to justice and to the good as in the traditional discussion of the forms in Platos dialogues but the page count and the time frame was too short.

Best Wishes

Mozibur Rahman Ullah

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Narendra Nath replied on Feb. 7, 2018 @ 14:20 GMT
Well, i can understand your limitations in the text of the essay. But now in the discussions, you can pu tan addendum while explaining your theory, as desired in my query comment above!

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Andrew Beckwith wrote on Feb. 7, 2018 @ 15:13 GMT
quote

Theaetetus: Nature is a geometer and she loves to geometrise.

Polydorus: You say that because you are a geometer and you see everything geometrically. I do not

see geometry speaking but a geometer.

end of quote

This, is actually the best line of your essay, i.e. that nature and physics is geometry

Is this what YOU think?

You can see what I did, in my essay December 21st, about the cosmological constant, where in fact what I was doing is actually ALSO linked to geometry

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Author Mozibur Rahman Ullah replied on Feb. 7, 2018 @ 20:58 GMT
Dear Andrew Beckwith

Funnily enough I was thinking about this earlier today. Theaetatus here is elaborating the Pythagorean doctrine and I have Polydorus countering that he is saying this because he is a geometer. I'd liked him to go on and say, were you a painter then you would say that Nature is an artist and paints the world in many colours. Phenomenology is an attitude towards the world that takes qualia as fundamental too. Its centered on the human perspective and I think that this is fundamental too. My own perspective is that ontology is multi-faceted and pluralist, so an aspect of nature is geometry, number and neccesity but another aspect is qualia and freedom.

Best Wishes

Mozibur Ullah

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Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 7, 2018 @ 16:29 GMT
Mozibur,

Great job, nicely conceived and written, fun to read, and got to the nub of the topic. (I picked up the no no law).

Do yo agree the simple fundamentality of 'change' implies a simpler law of 'motion', so with no motion nothing can exist? If so you may like my essay which finds great value in that, at a SUB atomic scale, closely examining your simple sphere are spherical motion. Very different to yours but I hope showing it's surprising worth.

As also an architect and geometer I liked your approach on those but mostly; "They say, whence comes change? For change is all around us." And could there BE any 'around us' without 'change'?!

Well done,

Peter

Peter

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Author Mozibur Rahman Ullah replied on Feb. 7, 2018 @ 21:05 GMT
Dear Peter,

Thanks very much for your kind comments. I shall look up your esay and if I have anything worth saying will comment on it.

The notion that physics is the study of change and that motion is the primary sense of change is something that I took from Aristotle. He begins his book with a discussion of this, for example:

>And because everything which has matter is mobile, it follows that mobile being is the subject of natural philosophy. For natural philosophy is about natural things, and natural things are those whose principle is nature. But nature is a principle of motion and rest in that in which it is. Therefore natural science deals with those things which have in them a principle of motion.

I find it interesting, given how closely tied Physics today is tied with mathematics, that in Ancient Greece, in Athens and earlier in Miletus, physics was discussed qualitatively.

Best Wishes

Mozibur Ullah

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Feb. 14, 2018 @ 02:50 GMT
Hi Dr Mozibur Rahman Ullah

Yes you are correct ...at the time of "Socrates, Theaetetus and Polydorus" atom is the most fundamental." Now.....

I hope you will not mind that I am not following main stream physics...

By the way…Here in my essay energy to mass conversion is proposed...……..….. yours is very nice essay best wishes …. I highly appreciate hope your essay...

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Author Mozibur Rahman Ullah replied on Feb. 14, 2018 @ 23:07 GMT
Dear Satyavarapu Gupta

Thanks very much for comment. I just want to point out that I don't have a doctorate, so calling me doctor is not quite appropriate! I will take a look at yor essay and if I have anything useful to say I will leave a comment.

Best Wishes

Mozibur Ullah

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Anonymous wrote on Feb. 15, 2018 @ 01:44 GMT
Hi Mozibur,

A very enjoyable read. I think you may enjoy my website: -www.digitalwavetheory.com- It uses Zeno's denial of motion to explain quantum mechanics. Just look at the first page and you will get the notion.

From Parmenides: "You will know the aether’s nature, and in the aether all the/ signs, and the unseen works of the pure torch/ of the brilliant sun, and from whence they came to be,/ and you will learn the wandering works of the round-eyed moon/ and its nature, and you will know too the surrounding heaven,/ both whence it grew and how Necessity directing it bound it/ to furnish the limits of the stars."

You presented a very fundamental dialog! Although I wonder if the Greeks had the sense of humor you presented.

Thanks,

Don Limuti

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Author Mozibur Rahman Ullah replied on Feb. 16, 2018 @ 20:18 GMT
Dear Don Limuti,

Thank you very much for your kind comments, they were much appreciated. I think every people have a sense of humour, even the Germans who proverbially don't! Socrates was known for his sense of irony and so I felt a touch of humour in the dialogue would be appropriate - besides it was fun - and I felt that it made it more appealing. One commenter said, it put the fun back into fundamental, which was a good joke.

What a wonderful web-site. I'm envious. Its a wonderful resource for those curious about physics at a high level. Its great that you got an endorsement from Barry Mazur too. I haven't read his book on Zeno, but I will at some point.

I particularly enjoyed your discussion of infinities in mathematics/physics and the arrow of time. Quite recently I was discussing the first with a mathematician and it came as a surprise to me how difficult it was for him to contemplate physics doesn't endorse infinities as easily as mathematics. I was reminded of a story in one of Feynmans books where he pointed out to some mathematician friends that physics wouldn't endorse the Banach-Tarski pardox - infinite divisibility doesn't hold.

As for the discussion of the arrow of time you might be interested to know that I came across a book by Bernard D'Espagnat recently, called Philosophy & Physics, where he asked the question whether the collapse postulate in QM gave an arrow of time. This was refreshing as the same thought had struck me but I hadn't come across a discussion of it. I was pleased to see you had referred to John Baez, I found his series of blogs quite wonderful in the way it explained the mysteries of what people were up to in quantum gravity. In fact it inspired me to go and get a masters in the subject.

I also liked the photograph of the baby elephant in a hole. It seems to me that humour is fundamental, even and especially when we do physics...! Tutti Fantastico!

Best Wishes

Mozibur Ullah

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Feb. 16, 2018 @ 15:44 GMT
Hello from Belgium,

I loved lol logic I work about my theory of spherisation with quantupm and cosmological sphères Inside the universal sphere in optimisation of mater energy due to encdings of evolution, beautiful philosophical essay Mr Ullah, congratulations, they turn so they are after all :)

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Author Mozibur Rahman Ullah replied on Feb. 16, 2018 @ 20:20 GMT
Dear Steve Dufourny

Your theory sounds most intriguing. Thanks also for your kind comments, they were appreciated.

Best Wishes

Mozibur Ullah

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 18, 2018 @ 19:41 GMT
You are welcome, with pleasure Dear Mozibur Ullah,

My theory of spherisation is very simple in its generality, I consider that particles are 3D psheres and universe also.I try to formalise all this in having invented the spherical geometrical algebras but it is not easy with the vectors and scalars.I have also several hyptheisis and an equation intuitive hypothetical also considering ths dark matter non baryonic, Here is this equation, I don't know if this matter exists but if yes, it becomes relevant E=m(b)c²+m(nb)l² m(nb) is this matter not baryonic and l is the linear velocity of theser particles, I beleive that thie quantum gravitation can be explained with this matter but it is hypothetical still, I must test and experiment also. The spherisation of the universal sphere is in fact an optimisation of this matter energy of this universal sphere with these cosmological and quantum sphères due to encodings of evolution in nuclei.They turn so they are after all ,

I am wishing you all the best in this contest and researchs,

spherically yours

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Steven Andresen wrote on Feb. 22, 2018 @ 06:24 GMT
Dear Mozibur

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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