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If you are aware of an interesting new academic paper (that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or has appeared on the arXiv), a conference talk (at an official professional scientific meeting), an external blog post (by a professional scientist) or a news item (in the mainstream news media), which you think might make an interesting topic for an FQXi blog post, then please contact us at forums@fqxi.org with a link to the original source and a sentence about why you think that the work is worthy of discussion. Please note that we receive many such suggestions and while we endeavour to respond to them, we may not be able to reply to all suggestions.

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Contests Home

Current Essay Contest


Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation

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
read/discusswinners

What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation
read/discusswinners

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.
read/discusswinners

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

read/discusswinners

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
read/discusswinners

It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

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
read/discusswinners

Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American
read/discusswinners

What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams
read/discusswinners

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008
read/discusswinners

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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Sue Lingo: on 10/20/20 at 5:37am UTC, wrote Hello Jonathan... Thank you for your astute observation of "the structure...

Vladimir Fedorov: on 5/16/20 at 9:41am UTC, wrote Dear Jonathan I greatly appreciated your work and discussion. I am very...

Jonathan Kerr: on 4/14/20 at 21:42pm UTC, wrote Thanks Edwin, I appreciate the high score you gave my essay. I think...

Edwin Klingman: on 4/14/20 at 17:02pm UTC, wrote Jonathan, I gave you a score to get rid of that stupid one someone hands...

Jonathan Kerr: on 4/7/20 at 10:00am UTC, wrote Dear David, Thank you. I refer to the Frauchiger-Renner paper, and also to...

David Brown: on 4/7/20 at 9:01am UTC, wrote “Three aspects of quantum mechanics suggest we don't have all the pieces...

Jonathan Kerr: on 4/6/20 at 21:54pm UTC, wrote Hello Edwin, Thanks, I'll read your essay. Just to clarify one point, the...

Edwin Klingman: on 4/6/20 at 18:56pm UTC, wrote Dear Jonathan Kerr, You start off with a bang, identifying the assumption...


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FQXi FORUM
December 2, 2020

CATEGORY: Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest (2019-2020) [back]
TOPIC: To find the origin of these no go areas, quantum mechanics is the main question, as the rest is often limitations of the mathematical description. For the deep randomness in QM, missing concepts must be found, as in a new interpretation published in 2019. [refresh]
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Author Jonathan Kerr wrote on Apr. 6, 2020 @ 14:59 GMT
Essay Abstract

With most forms of unpredictability, the limitations are not with the universe, but with the systems we use to describe it. Sometimes mathematics itself is limited, sometimes it's a lack of information, but either way, the description is incomplete. But then there are grey areas. Recent work shows that some chaotic systems, such as in the three-body problem, simply can't be computed, due to limitations set by the Planck length[1]. Is it the universe or the description that creates the limitation there? It can be shown that both are involved. But the main question is whether the universe is ever unpredictable in a way that is entirely unrelated to the description, and that can only be answered via quantum mechanics (QM). Here it is argued that three aspects of QM suggest there are missing concepts: the basic unpredictability, non-locality, and no consensus on how to interpret the theory. Some clues and ways to search for missing concepts are outlined, then a new interpretation for QM, in the hope that it sheds light on the unpredictability.

Author Bio

Jonathan Kerr is an independent researcher, published in peer reviewed journals, who worked mainly on the conceptual foundations of physics for twenty five years. A recent paper, 'An interactions-based interpretation for quantum mechanics', and the book 'The Unsolved Puzzle: Interactions, not measurements' were part of the subject of a 2019 documentary, The Interactions Avenue, in which he discusses the general avenue of thought on interactions, and a new interpretation for quantum mechanics, with some well-known physicists who also lean towards the interactions approach.

Download Essay PDF File

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Apr. 6, 2020 @ 18:56 GMT
Dear Jonathan Kerr,

You start off with a bang, identifying the assumption that mathematics is synonymous with what it describes. I think this is probably the biggest problem in physics. I refer to it as projecting structure onto physical reality and then believing that the universe has that structure. In the same first paragraph you mention problems with time.

My essay discusses time and concludes that QM time is more appropriate than special relativity time.

You also identify non-locality as part of the puzzle. I believe Bell, in his first equation, projected a qubit structure onto the Stern-Gerlach atom, insisting on A, B = +1 or -1 when that is not what the S-G data showed, but what QM insists on. The result: non-locality. [i have not analyzed the physics of photons, which all the experiments are based on.]

I tend to agree with you that the wave function is real and informational at the same time. I agree with Rovelli that interaction ‘entangles’ the two particles, and they retain the correlation. This leads [for spins] to Bell correlations without non-locality. I’ll need to study your approach more to see if you’re saying what I think you are.

I invite you to read my essay and comment: Deciding on the nature of time and space.

I found your essay very interesting and worth rereading.

Best regards,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Jonathan Kerr replied on Apr. 6, 2020 @ 21:54 GMT
Hello Edwin,

Thanks, I'll read your essay. Just to clarify one point, the idea that an interaction entangles two particles didn't come from Rovelli, it came from decoherence. That is known to happen from theory and experiment - decoherence came directly out of QM. One of the things that came from Rovelli, both in the conversation and in notes surrounding RQM, was that without suggesting a cause, he thought that an interaction causes an 'exchange of relational information'. That says more, and led to one part of the DQM interpretation.

Jonathan

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David Brown wrote on Apr. 7, 2020 @ 09:01 GMT
“Three aspects of quantum mechanics suggest we don't have all the pieces of the puzzle in front of us. The basic unpredictability, non-locality, and no consensus on interpreting the theory: all suggest missing conceptual pieces.” Is quantum field theory one theory or infinitely many theories? I say it is infinitely many theories. Precisely how many fundamental quantum fields exist? What precisely is a quantum probability amplitude in terms of mathematical axioms? Is infinity a semi-theological concept? How might quantum field theory fail? How can quantum field theory encompass quantum gravitational theory?

Note that Frauchiger and Renner’s article has no mention of Migrom or MOND. I say that Milgrom is the Kepler of contemporary cosmology — on the basis of overwhelming empirical evidence.

Frauchiger, Daniela; Renner, Renato. “Quantum theory cannot consistently describe the use of itself.” arXiv preprint arXiv:1604.07422 (2016).

He, Guang Ping. "Quantum theory has no problem consistently describing the use of itself." arXiv preprint arXiv:1810.06858 (2018).

Rizzi, Anthony. "How the Natural Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics Avoids the Recent No-go Theorem." arXiv preprint arXiv:1910.10131 (2019).

I conjecture that the Copenhagen Interpretation is philosophically wrong but empirically irrefutable.

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Author Jonathan Kerr wrote on Apr. 7, 2020 @ 10:00 GMT
Dear David,

Thank you. I refer to the Frauchiger-Renner paper, and also to a paper from last year showing that it was supported by experimental evidence from a similar setup. The result provided strong evidence for interpretations set in an observer-dependent framework, and that was my reason for mentioning it in passing.

Jonathan

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Apr. 14, 2020 @ 17:02 GMT
Jonathan, I gave you a score to get rid of that stupid one someone hands out so freely. It also brought my average down. Please rate me also. I’ll respond to your comment on my page. Thanks for reading my essay and commenting.

I don’t know why you have so little traffic but I suspect it’s tied to your title, which is not inviting.

Best regards,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Jonathan Kerr wrote on Apr. 14, 2020 @ 21:42 GMT
Thanks Edwin,

I appreciate the high score you gave my essay. I think you're right that the title was a mistake - I tried to make a point in the title, but titles aren't for that!

We've had a very interesting conversation on your page, which I won't go into here, but thanks again, and for your kind comments.

Best wishes, and here's wishing you good luck,

Jonathan

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Vladimir Nikolaevich Fedorov wrote on May. 16, 2020 @ 09:41 GMT
Dear Jonathan

I greatly appreciated your work and discussion. I am very glad that you are not thinking in abstract patterns.

"In DQM, the structure of the dimensions is the bedrock from which everything arises, aseverything consists of vibrations in its fabric. The ether that was falsified by experiment130 years ago was seen as a different kind of medium, behaving like matter".

While the discussion lasted, I wrote an article: “Practical guidance on calculating resonant frequencies at four levels of diagnosis and inactivation of COVID-19 coronavirus”, due to the high relevance of this topic. The work is based on the practical solution of problems in quantum mechanics, presented in the essay FQXi 2019-2020 “Universal quantum laws of the universe to solve the problems of unsolvability, computability and unpredictability”.

I hope that my modest results of work will provide you with information for thought.

Warm Regards, `

Vladimir

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Sue Lingo wrote on Oct. 20, 2020 @ 05:37 GMT
Hello Jonathan...

Thank you for your astute observation of "the structure of the dimensions as the bedrock from which everything arises", and for recognizing its relevance to my work with the UQs GEOMETRY MODEL.

If a distinction can be made between GEOMETRY MODEL... i.e. "structure"... as a configuration of graphic elements... e.g. nodes, lines, planes, volumes... and mathematically...

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