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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

John Crowell: on 3/30/20 at 20:22pm UTC, wrote Emily I loved your essay. To me it is “on stream”. Probably because it...

Emily Adlam: on 3/23/20 at 20:25pm UTC, wrote Thank you, this sounds very interesting? I presume it's discussed in your...

Emily Adlam: on 3/23/20 at 20:24pm UTC, wrote Thank you very much for your comments! Yes indeed, I've thought a lot...

Emily Adlam: on 3/23/20 at 20:16pm UTC, wrote Thank you very much, you're very kind!

Emily Adlam: on 3/23/20 at 20:15pm UTC, wrote Thank you very much! I'll have a look at your essay as soon as possible.

Emily Adlam: on 3/23/20 at 20:15pm UTC, wrote Thank you for your comments! Your third way out of the problem sounds very...

Emily Adlam: on 3/23/20 at 20:14pm UTC, wrote Thank you! Yes, I certainly agree that it's important to recognise that our...

Emily Adlam: on 3/23/20 at 20:12pm UTC, wrote That's interesting - I certainly agree that we have been too quick to jump...


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FQXi FORUM
April 5, 2020

CATEGORY: Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest (2019-2020) [back]
TOPIC: Putting the 'Pre' in 'Unpredictability' by Emily Christine Adlam [refresh]
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This essay's rating: Community = 5.5; Public = N/A


Author Emily Christine Adlam wrote on Mar. 16, 2020 @ 16:44 GMT
Essay Abstract

Making predictions is a fundamental part of doing physics. Or is it?

Author Bio

Emily Adlam studied Physics and Philosophy at Oxford University and then did a PhD in quantum information and foundations at Cambridge University.

Download Essay PDF File

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Yehonatan Knoll wrote on Mar. 16, 2020 @ 20:40 GMT
A well written essay!

You may be interested in my concrete proposal for such a non mechanistic universe (ECD). It shows that we have been looking wrongly not only at QM (as you anticipate), but also at almost everything else.

A crucial feature of ECD, being an `all at once' ontology, which you have ignored in your essay, is quasi-locality. PDE's, being local, guarantee that apples are localized solutions irrespective of almost anything. You want to, at most, replace the constraint imposed by a PDE on the variables in an infinitesimal neighborhood of a spacetime point, by a constraint in a finite (but small enough) neighborhood.

With quasi locality, the universe becomes fundamentally non mechanistic (non IVP in my terminology) as opposed to the superficially non mechanistic Lagrangian formulation of classical mechanics. I think that the notion of `retrocausality' can them be more easily sold to the general physics community, as it is no longer a statement about machines, which just propagate in time their initial conditions, oblivious to any interaction in their future.

Yehonatan Knoll

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Yehonatan Knoll replied on Mar. 17, 2020 @ 12:32 GMT
Let me be more accurate with regard to quasi locality: In discretized form, a PDE relates finitely many dynamical variables in the neighborhood of a spacetime point, all (almost) equally weighted. The ECD generalization involves infinitely many such variables, but those are highly non uniformly weighted, with weights rapidly decreasing with covariant distance to that point. This allows only for an approximate, rather than deterministic, time propagation of a system based only on its past and present states. The degree to which such an approximated local propagation departs from the exact solution is determined by its measure of `chaosity'.

Note, nonetheless, that even if you somehow got access to the future state of a system (you `remembered' its future as well) which would allow you propagate it exactly, that information about the future would be represented in your present, so you would still be pre-dicting the future in a strict sense.

Yehonatan

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Author Emily Christine Adlam replied on Mar. 23, 2020 @ 20:25 GMT
Thank you, this sounds very interesting? I presume it's discussed in your essay? I will take a look!

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H.H.J. Luediger wrote on Mar. 16, 2020 @ 21:39 GMT
Dear Emily,

"Of course, this way of thinking does depend on the assumption that there exists an external reality and there are objective facts about the laws governing it. If you don’t believe this, we’re unlikely to have much common ground."

I'd like to encourage you to think of the meaning of EACH of the the obove 39 words and then restate that " there exists an eternal reality and there are objective facts...".

Heinz (nonbeliever)

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Author Emily Christine Adlam replied on Mar. 23, 2020 @ 20:08 GMT
I'm impressed that you counted the number of words in that footnote! Which word in particular do you object to?

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David Brown wrote on Mar. 16, 2020 @ 22:58 GMT
"Where and how does the mathematics required to determine the dictates of the laws of nature actually get performed? Most physicists shy away from these questions, and not without reason – they are very difficult questions, and we don’t really need to answer them if our only concern is to produce correct empirical predictions." Consider 2 hypotheses: (1) If quantum probability distributions are irreducible then we get string theory with the infinite nature hypothesis. (2) If quantum probability distributions can be explained in terms of Fredkin-Wolfram information then we get string theory with the finite nature hypothesis. Have the string theorists underestimated Milgrom (as well as Fredkin and Wolfram)? What are the 2 greatest scientific predictions of the 21st century? My guess is that the answer to the preceding questions is the following: (1) The Riofrio-Sanejouand cosmological model is (approximately) empirically valid. (2) dark-matter-compensation-constant = (3.9±.5) * 10^–5 — contradicting Newton and Einstein (who assumed that this constant = 0). The vast majority of experts believe the Gravity Probe B science team — and not me — concerning the 4 ultra-precise gyroscopes — but are these experts correct?

"At Long Last, Gravity Probe B Satellite Proves Einstein Right" by Adrian Cho, 4 May 2012, Science

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Author Emily Christine Adlam replied on Mar. 23, 2020 @ 20:10 GMT
Thank you for your comments! Some interesting things to think about there.

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John C Hodge wrote on Mar. 17, 2020 @ 14:11 GMT
I suggest Survival is a goal of humanity. To act on another major goal is to fail at surviving. Knowledge about our surroundings aids survival. Animal behavior demonstrates they have some ability to know and predict events in their world. Humans study science and religion to better predict and then to cause events because it aids survival. Thus we get TV, cars and guns. History (another study area that helps predict social events) has demonstrated those that advance (make better predictions ) physics tend to survive and conquer other societies that don't advance science.

In the advance of physics, whenever a new set of observations is found, the first attempt at prediction is statistical. Thus when studies of disease started in the early 19th century, statistics help address the cholera disease before a microbe model was created. So to has Quantum Mechanics been created while awaiting a smaller particle model. The basic experiment to be explained is Young's double-slit (interference) experiment. The STOE (my model) has a computer simulation of a deterministic nature of Young's and other experiments that reject wave models of light.

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Author Emily Christine Adlam replied on Mar. 23, 2020 @ 20:12 GMT
That's interesting - I certainly agree that we have been too quick to jump to the conclusion that quantum mechanics is inherent probabilistic, but how does your model deal with the Colbeck-Renner theorem and similar results?

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John C Hodge wrote on Mar. 17, 2020 @ 14:32 GMT
I noted your paper "Underlying Assumptions in physics:..." on RG. The STOE also suggests the universe is NOT adiabatic isolated which follows the Quasi Steady State Cosmology (QSSC).So, the universe is NOT time symmetric. The STOE has yet to address entropy but I'm thinking about it. The one study I did looked at the CMB temperature. A feedback model was formed which calculated (the only model to do so) the Temperature to be withing a few microkelvin of the measured value. This model suggests the input of energy (also suggested by the QSSC) balances the outpu. Hence, "time symmetry" is really input energy balances output in physical systems.

I'll be loooking at a few more of your papers.

Thanks

Hodge

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Mar. 19, 2020 @ 10:16 GMT
Hello Dr Adlam,

I liked your general analyse , it is well said about these unpredictabilities and uncomputabilities due to our limitations. Limitations that we must accept with wisdom after all.It d be pretentious and odd to beleive that we have all the answers, we just know a so small part of our universal quant and cosmol problems. But we improve our knowledges each day after all in respecting a kind of pure universal determinism. Wish you all the best in this Contest, regards

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Author Emily Christine Adlam replied on Mar. 23, 2020 @ 20:14 GMT
Thank you! Yes, I certainly agree that it's important to recognise that our perspective on the world is limited and thus the laws of nature we are able to write down are not necessarily identical to the `true' laws of nature (whatever that means!)

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Harrison Crecraft wrote on Mar. 19, 2020 @ 15:20 GMT
Hi Emily,

Thank you for a well-written and thought-provoking essay. You present an excellent analysis of the problem of a purely predictive physics within the orthodox conceptual model of physics. Your examples (references [37, 38]) are very telling. Both cases “prove” that what nature does (or likely does) cannot be algorithmically decided in finite time. You offer two potential...

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Harrison Crecraft replied on Mar. 19, 2020 @ 21:04 GMT
Someone who reads to the end of my comment might rightfully conclude that an interpretation of physical reality that is objective, local, and causal violates Bell's theorem. I respond that the notions of locality and causality, described in my essay's reference [12], are more nuanced than in Bell's theorem, and that such an interpretation is fully compatible with Bell.

Harrison

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Author Emily Christine Adlam replied on Mar. 23, 2020 @ 20:15 GMT
Thank you for your comments! Your third way out of the problem sounds very interesting and I'll read your essay as soon as possible.

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Mar. 21, 2020 @ 07:35 GMT
Hi Prof.Emily Christine Adlam,

Well written essay, after seeing your words .......after all, even if you are only interested in making predictions, you will most likely be able to make better predictions if you are using a theory which comes closer to the true laws of nature..................in the finishing part of the essay,

I thought I should ask you to see the predictions of Dynamic Universe Model's that came true. For that you dont mind seeing my essay “A properly deciding, Computing and Predicting new theory’s Philosophy” and give your learned comments please

Best

=snp.gupta

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Author Emily Christine Adlam replied on Mar. 23, 2020 @ 20:15 GMT
Thank you very much! I'll have a look at your essay as soon as possible.

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S.E. Grimm wrote on Mar. 21, 2020 @ 21:01 GMT
Emily, when I read the title of your essay some days ago I thought it was about the usual “stuff”. Nevertheless, I read your essay today and I am really impressed. I didn’t keep my code to rate essays but in my opinion it is a 10.0.

With kind regards, Sydney

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Author Emily Christine Adlam replied on Mar. 23, 2020 @ 20:16 GMT
Thank you very much, you're very kind!

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Dale Carl Gillman wrote on Mar. 21, 2020 @ 23:46 GMT
Hello Dr. Adlam,

- I enjoyed your essay. What are your thoughts on (local and non-local) hidden variables? (“…there are still physicists who argue that the conclusion of Bell’s theorem can be avoided, for example by the rejection of the statistical independence assumption[13], and if they’re correct then perhaps we can actually have both locality and determinism…”

- Do...

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Author Emily Christine Adlam replied on Mar. 23, 2020 @ 20:24 GMT
Thank you very much for your comments!

Yes indeed, I've thought a lot about retrocausality. Basically, I think there are two different `types' of retrocausality - either you can have both a forward and backward arrow of time, or you can just have global laws (e.g. optimizing some constraint over the whole of history) which implies that what happens at one moment affects what happens at all other moments, past and future. I agree that the first type leads to contradictions of the type you mention, but I think the second type avoids that problem because the global equations will necessarily be solved in a consistent way.

Yes, I enjoyed Dr Hossenfelder's essay very much. It's a very interesting question to determine exactly which problems of pure maths translate over into physical reality - I'm sure there are many applications which we are yet to discover!

Hmmm, interesting - my intuition is that undecidable problems would become decidable if you allow yourself infinite time to solve them, but I'm not aware of any results one way or another on this question!

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Flavio Del Santo wrote on Mar. 22, 2020 @ 09:59 GMT
Dear Emily, thank you for a very creative, well-argued and provoking essay. Although quite speculative, the ideas you introduce are remarkable and perhaps could help to oppose some form of scientific reductionism and take into serious account the possibility of more "holisitic" (in the sense of inputting the whole history of the Universe), as you say: "Insisting that all theories should...

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Author Emily Christine Adlam replied on Mar. 23, 2020 @ 20:07 GMT
Thank you very much for your incisive comments!

With regard to the arrow of time - this is a good point, and I certainly agree that the arrow of time does need to be explained. However, I don't agree that `predictive' (i.e. temporally directed) laws of nature are the only possible explanation for this phenomenon - it could, for example, arise from global time-symmetric laws together with...

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John David Crowell wrote on Mar. 30, 2020 @ 20:22 GMT
Emily I loved your essay. To me it is “on stream”. Probably because it describes what I did in developing the Successful Self Creation theory described in my essay. I got rid of all of the laws, rules, impossibles, etc. of current physics, started from a very different beginning and developed a theory with causes, retro causes and global causes in every SSC progression. In doing so I was able to derive a complete, mathematically consistent, explanation of the creation process that provides measurements that match the “generally accepted as true” measurements of the visible universe as well as the Planck measurements and the measurements of the major components solar systems, galaxies, etc.. In my derivation, I did not assume the laws and constants of physics were wrong - they just were not in existence before the beginning and are not in effect everywhere, all of the time and never change. The are created by the process as a component of the observed results. If you want to see your ideas put into actions and results read my paper. “Clarification of Physics: A Derivation of a Complete, Computable, Predictive Model of “Our” Multiverse”. While the paper may seem simplistic, the differences from current theories are profound. For example the process makes its own mathematics as a component of the processing, gets rid of infinities and zero which allows for a complete mathematical explanation. I would appreciate your comments. John

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