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Current Essay Contest

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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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Tejinder Singh: on 5/21/20 at 9:20am UTC, wrote Dear Raiyan Reza, Thank you for your very kind comments. And never label...

Tejinder Singh: on 5/21/20 at 8:55am UTC, wrote Dear Lawrence, It is good to meet you here again, and thanks so much for...

Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza: on 5/19/20 at 4:41am UTC, wrote Dear Dr. Priyanka Giri and Professor Tejinder Pal Singh, I am yet to read...

Lawrence Crowell: on 5/18/20 at 22:16pm UTC, wrote I read your essay a couple of times. If I understand properly, the...

Tejinder Singh: on 5/18/20 at 17:24pm UTC, wrote Continued..the locality for macroscopic systems here, which obey general...

Tejinder Singh: on 5/18/20 at 16:35pm UTC, wrote Dear Jochen, Thanks so much for reading my essay, and asking deep...

Jochen Szangolies: on 5/18/20 at 16:10pm UTC, wrote Dear Tejinder, you present an interesting essay, where lots of connections...

Tejinder Singh: on 5/18/20 at 15:30pm UTC, wrote The determinism that underlies quantum indeterminism And the story of John...


John Cox: "A proposal for dealing with errors in quantum computers by harnessing a..." in Quantum information...

Steve Dufourny: "There is no proof that the universe can be explained like this like an..." in Schrödinger’s A.I....

Georgina Woodward: "'verisimilitude' is a nice word." in Can We Feel What It’s...

R.H. Joseph: ""[H]ow consciousness plays with quantum mechanics, our theory of the very..." in Can We Feel What It’s...

Jim Snowdon: "If Earth rotated once a year, rather than once every 24 hours, every..." in The Nature of Time

Jim Snowdon: "The constant rotational speed of San Diego is 1,408 kilometers per hour. ..." in The Nature of Time

Steve Dufourny: "If we don t change the global system, we shall add an ocean of chaotical..." in Global Collaboration

Steve Dufourny: "Hi all, The world must absolutelly find adapted solutions , here is the..." in Global Collaboration

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Schrödinger’s A.I. Could Test the Foundations of Reality
Physicists lay out blueprints for running a 'Wigner's Friend' experiment using an artificial intelligence, built on a quantum computer, as an 'observer.'

Expanding the Mind (Literally): Q&A with Karim Jerbi and Jordan O'Byrne
Using a brain-computer interface to create a consciousness 'add-on' to help test Integrated Information Theory.

Quanthoven's Fifth
A quantum computer composes chart-topping music, programmed by physicists striving to understand consciousness.

The Math of Consciousness: Q&A with Kobi Kremnitzer
A meditating mathematician is developing a theory of conscious experience to help understand the boundary between the quantum and classical world.

Can We Feel What It’s Like to Be Quantum?
Underground experiments in the heart of the Italian mountains are testing the links between consciousness and collapse theories of quantum physics.

October 2, 2022

CATEGORY: Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest (2019-2020) [back]
TOPIC: The pollen and the electron: a study in randomness by Tejinder P. Singh [refresh]
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Author Tejinder Pal Singh wrote on Apr. 22, 2020 @ 20:25 GMT
Essay Abstract

Simple questions can have profound answers and profound implications. We ask: why is a chair never seen in more than one place at the same time? Remarkably, the answer implies limits on unpredictability, and a fundamental upper bound on computability.

Author Bio

Priyanka Giri is a graduate student at the EGO-Virgo collaboration and at the Department of Physics, University of Pisa, affiliated with Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Pisa, Italy.  She is currently working on the Advanced Virgo+ commissioning. Her interests are in tests of general relativity, future GW detectors, and fundamentals of quantum mechanics and gravitation, and understanding the problem of time. She also enjoys discussing philosophy of physics. Tejinder P. Singh is Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India. He has recently proposed the theory of Spontaneous Quantum Gravity, a promising new candidate theory of quantum gravity.

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David Brown wrote on Apr. 23, 2020 @ 10:54 GMT
"We well know that the gravitational effects of bodies are described by Newton’s inverse square law of gravitation. Or, in the relativistic case, by Einstein’s general theory of relativity." Is something seriously wrong with Newtonian-Einsteinian gravitational theory? I say that Milgrom's MOND has many empirical successes and requires a new paradigm in physics.

"The MOND paradigm of modified dynamics" by Mordehai Milgrom, Scholarpedia

Perhaps the most important unanswered question is: What is relativistic MOND?

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Luca Valeri wrote on Apr. 30, 2020 @ 19:35 GMT
Hi Tejinder and Priyanka,

you (Tejinder) invited me in the blog of Stephen Klein to see your essay, because I asked, where the randomness, that is so fundamental in some of our main theories, comes from. Thanks for that.

But I also wrote, that I was looking for an explanation, where the randomness is not merely epistemological. But it seems to me, that is exactly the case in your...

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on May. 4, 2020 @ 09:17 GMT
Thanks so much Luca, for reading our essay.

There indeed are predictions from my quantum gravity theory:

1. The phenomenon of spontaneous localisation.

2. Minimum length uncertainty: If a device is used to measure a length L, there will be a minumum uncertainty, which grows as L^(1/3).

3. Dark energy is predicted to be a quantum gravitational phenomenon.

4. An explanation as to why a charged rotating black hole has the same gyromagnetic ratio as the electron.

If you would like to see a detailed basic introduction to this theory, kindly see this preprint Spontaneous Quantum Gravity, arXiv:1912.03266 And for more details you could please visit my website

As regards randomness in my theory, it is only a consequence of not probing the underlying deterministic theory precisely enough. Precisely as in coin-tossing.

Thank you for pointing me to your essay which I will now read.

Best wishes,


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Luca Valeri replied on May. 4, 2020 @ 20:29 GMT
Dear Tejinder,

Thanks for your reply. And also for your questions in my blog to which I tried to answer. I certainly will have a look at your arxiv article.

I slowly started to incorporate objective collapse theories into my framework in my replies to Flavio Del Santo and Christinel Stoica. Although maybe not in the way you would.


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Michael James Kewming wrote on May. 3, 2020 @ 23:39 GMT
Hi Tejinder and Priyanka,

Thank you both for an engaging and well written essay. I think you both are considering an interesting line of enquiry considering the notion of predictability at the limits of our physical theories. There are certainly some very big (and very small) numbers floating around!

I'm curious to know how your discussion might fit into the broader conversation of quantum contextuality? In an SG experiment, assuming the electron and measurement procedure are drawn from classical local hidden variable distributions, you should be able to uncover this classicality in non-contextual . However, experimental results would suggest this is not the case and QM is non-contextual. How do you reconcile your results with those of contextuality, given that you wrote ``We have shown that fundamentally,

nature is deterministic and predictable''?

In liue of this comment, I am very interested in your ideas and I think you might find the discussion around the induced decoherence when a quanitsed mass is coupled to a gravitational field very helpful! I made reference to this in my essay.

Good luck in the competition!



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Author Tejinder Pal Singh wrote on May. 4, 2020 @ 13:18 GMT
Thanks so much Michael, for reading our essay. Your comment is very interesting, and gives us authors an opportunity to highlight an important point - quantum contextuality despite underlying determinism.

Contextuality arises during a quantum measurement because we need to take into account the underlying Planck scale dynamics at the moment the interaction between a quantum system and the apparatus takes place. To help us visualise, let us consider a set-up such that over some time interval, say T, the measuring apparatus pointer has a (at Planck scales) periodic evolution in which a variable q of STM atoms completes one oscillation. Since the measurement is happening at energies below Planck energies, we have no knowledge of evolution of this variable q. It does not change at all, as far as we can tell. So the *time of arrival* of the electron at the SG is irrelevant in QM. But for the deterministic dynamics, what outcome will ensue upon measurement depends exactly when during this oscillation period T, did the electron arrive. In our example, we can assume that if the electron arrives during 0 to T/2, the outcome is spin-up, and if it arrives during T/2 to T, the outcome is spin down. Contextuality arises by way of the time of arrival - this will determine which path of the matrix dynamics gets chosen. We may want to think of time of arrival as the hidden variable, except that its not really hidden - a Planck scale probe would measure the exact time of arrival [there is something interesting going on here too..any such probe becomes a black hole, and cannot convey the information that sense, to answer Luca's query above, the randomness IS NOT merely epistemic].

Thanks again for bringing up this important point. I will surely see your essay soon.



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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde wrote on May. 6, 2020 @ 09:35 GMT
Dear Tejinder and Pryanka,

It was a pleasure reading your contribution.

We are all struggling with the essence of our reality, being time, space and gravity. You approached the subject in a new and clear way in your “Proposal for a new quantum theory of Gravity”.

“Randomness is a consequence of coarse-graining”. All mini influences that are at the origin of sequence...

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on May. 10, 2020 @ 09:21 GMT
Dear Wilhelmus,

Thanks so much for reading my essay and for your detailed comments on it. I think we are in agreement on many things, even if not all.

So I have a time-reversible matrix dynamics at the Planck scale, evolving in Connes time tau. Maybe this can be thought of as what you refer to as TOTAL SIMULTANEITY? I definitely do not have a past, present and future here.

When coarse-graining is done, quantum theory emerges. This also is time-reversible dynamics. However, if sufficiently many d.o.f. are entangled, rapid spontaneous localisation occurs. That is because the anti-self-adjoint part of the Hamiltonian, originally negligible, now becomes significant, because of enormous entanglement.

I believe you can have total simultaneity here too, only, it is hidden under the coarse-graining, I think.

I am reading your essay - thanks for pointing me towards it.

Take care Wilhelmus.

Kind regards,


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David Jewson wrote on May. 8, 2020 @ 07:38 GMT
Dear Tejinder and Pryanka,

Thanks for your essay. I found it really very interesting. Your deductions are completely sound, but they are based upon a particular interpretation of the maths of Quantum Theory. This interpretation was originally built around the electron which is quite a complicated particle, and is an interpretation which, after nearly a hundred years of thinking, is generally accepted as the one that fits the best.

However, if you take the simplest particle, the photon, it is possible to build a completely different interpretation of what is really happening but still uses exactly the same maths (and is based on Schrodinger's idea that the wavefunction is something real rather than a mathematical device). This is is a totally unexpected surprise. Moreover, there are good reasons to then believe that this alternative interpretation has the potential to apply to the electron and to other particles as well.

What I think is really interesting is that a simple reinterpretation of the maths like this can have really profound effects on further thinking. Indeed, I think, if you were a proponent of this reinterpretation, you would have written a completely different essay. As each interpretation uses the same maths the question then becomes which essay to write.

If you are interested, there are further details in my essay. What do you think?

All the best,


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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on May. 10, 2020 @ 11:46 GMT
Dear David,

It is very kind of you to read my essay and comment on it. Thanks so much. For me as well, the wave-function is more than a mathematical device. I woud say the wave-function is the same thing as the thing it describes! :-) At the deepest level, nature does not distinguish between the material world, and the mathematics that describes it, in my opinion.

I shall surely read your essay soon.

My best wishes,


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Lachlan Cresswell wrote on May. 9, 2020 @ 13:56 GMT
Dear Priyanka and Tejinder

Thanks for a very well written essay whose basic conclusion I agree with.

However, you stated: ”A large collection of STM atoms, together with their dynamics, defines the fundamental universe. This dynamics is deterministic and time-reversible. Predictability is regained at the Planck scale!”

I would argue that the dynamics of space-time-matter particles is not time-reversible as commonly thought, as all charged particles radiate when in motion and the radiation is governed by Maxwellian rules and is divergent in nature. (See my essay,

I also make other arguments for and against determinism.

You ask the question: ” Is the quantum mechanical description of nature like how we describe water as a thermodynamic fluid, and is there a deeper deterministic microscopic theory underlying QM, same way as atomic theory underlies the fluid that is water?” to which I would answer absolutely yes. My branch of physics, structural physics, looks at the basic preon structure of protons, neutrons and electrons, and shows how this structure can explain many things beyond QM. The basic quantum numbers of particle physics can be totally simplified and this leads to a much better understanding of particle interactions, removing many so called violations of quantum numbers. In this case I would argue that reductionism works, and there is an end to the ‘stack of turtles’.


Lockie Cresswell

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on May. 9, 2020 @ 16:50 GMT
Dear Lockie,

Its very kind of you to read our essay and comment on it. Thanks so much. It is wonderful that we agree that there is a deterministic theory underlying quantum indeterminism. We will definitely read your essay and compare notes.

Regarding whether the deterministic dynamics is time reversible or not: actually there is no disagreement between us, because the level that you are referring to (radiation from a charge) is an emergent level in our theory. The underlying Planck scale dynamics is deterministic in our case. However, the emergent dynamics, based on our expanding universe, in all likelihood, arose from an asymmetric initial condition [at the big bang] in response to a spontaneous localisation event. These asymmetric and time-irreversible initial conditions give rise to the expanding universe, an arrow of time, and the so-called retarded solutions in Maxwell's electrodynamics. These ought to account for radiation (as opposed to absorption) from an accelerating electric charge.

Hope we are in agreement about this now.

Our best wishes to you in this contest.


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Cristinel Stoica wrote on May. 9, 2020 @ 19:18 GMT
Dear Priyanka and Tejinder,

Very impressive essay, with a lot of ideas which are not just ideas, but well developed into a physical theory which connects many aspects of physics. I liked the idea to obtain the spontaneous collapse from a more fundamental theory, I find this a good point because I think the original GRW idea is quite artificial. But even if I think the original idea of GRW was artificial, it's brilliant and brave, and it seems to work well as an interpretation of QM, and makes testable predictions, unlike other interpretations that try to fly under the radar. I like to have the dynamics and the collapse emerge from a single law, rather than being distinct and even conflicting laws. I didn't continue with reading Adler's book, which I started at some point, but I think the idea of trace dynamics is great, and if it can connect with Alain Connes's noncommutative geometry then this is something! Also, the ideas you discuss about a quantum computer at Planck scale, and the relations with computability and predictability, are very thought provoking. I also have a question, do you have a way to recover spacetime from this theory?

I wish you all the best in this contest!



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Author Tejinder Pal Singh wrote on May. 10, 2020 @ 13:09 GMT
Dear Cristi,

Thanks so much for your kind comments and good wishes. You write so well in this post - its a pleasure to read your writings, and I am enjoying reading your essay currently.

About the recovery of space-time: yes, we do. Space-time and gravity arise from the spontaneous localisation of material bodies, and actually this is shown mathematically. In a simplistic way, we say - space-time arises from collapse of the wave-function, or, space-time is what is left behind / generated, when macroscopic objects undergo the GRW localisation. More precisely, each space-time-matter atom in the matrix dynamics can be thought of as a sum of a bosonic part and a fermionic part. When a large number of STM atoms get entangled, their fermionic part undergoes rapid spontaneous localisation, giving rise to macroscopic bodies, and leaving behind the net bosonic part as classical space-time / gravity.

It was always a worry for me that QM and GRW take an external classical space-time as given, and for the latter to exist the universe must be dominated by classical (macroscopic) objects. But these objects are supposedly classical because of GRW. So it is like...GRW depends on GRW, which of course is not satisfactory. Now though, classical spacetime and classical objects emerge concurrently, from a state in which neither were present, through spontaneous localisation. In my theory, space-time does not have to be present a priori, for material localisation to be formulated.

I know that you have a deep understanding of these matters. So your appreciation means a great deal to me. Thank you Cristi. Despite COVID, hope we meet again soon.



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Author Tejinder Pal Singh wrote on May. 14, 2020 @ 03:45 GMT
Dear Reader,

Kindly have a look at this new related essay of mine which I have posted on the arXiv today:

Nature does not play dice on the Planck scale

Thank you,


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Author Tejinder Pal Singh wrote on May. 16, 2020 @ 14:46 GMT
Dear participants,

I am in this unenviable situation that all the comments on my essay are glowing and positive, but my score is going down and down. A participant just gave me a 4.0

Whereas all the essays I have rated thus far, I have rated in the range 7-10. Strange are the ways of some participants :-) Sometimes I wonder if an Indian participant in the midst of many Western brothers and sisters comes in for special treatment, despite being an FQXi member?! May truth speak for itself, no matter which part of the world it comes from.

I and my coauthor have presented a new deterministic theory that underlies quantum indeterminism.

Thank you, and best wishes to all participants for success in this contest,


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David Jewson replied on May. 16, 2020 @ 16:59 GMT
Dear Tejinder,

I wouldn’t worry too much. I’m an archetypal Westerner but my essay is scoring considerably less than yours. You might like to know that it is at least clear to me that you are saying something quite radical and interesting: that, although at a larger scale the Universe appears not to be deterministic, at the Planck scale it is actually deterministic, just as Brownian motion appears random but is deterministic. If that’s correct it’s obviously of major importance. I wanted to understand it all in more detail, but some of the crucial parts of what you say depend on things which I don’t know about (my fault, not yours). I often wonder if there are wonderful, insightful, and revolutionary ideas that are just lost because they are never recognized as such.

This is the first time I’ve entered a FQXi contest. I’ve enjoyed reading the essays, they’ve really made me think, even if some don’t seem to hang together very well and others I don’t understand. It’s good to be able to encourage people and suggest a few more things they could think about. It’s has also been good to have some feedback on my own ideas, even if some of it is rather challenging. Writing the essay has also really helped develop my ideas and given me lots more to think about. Despite my fairly low score, I’m still proud of my ideas, just like I’m sure you’re proud of yours.

As to marking, I haven’t a clue how to do it, and have given up after marking one essay. I think it’s great you have given people high marks – it’s good to reward the enormous effort that most of the contributors have clearly made.

Anyway, you could still win the contest!

All the best,


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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on May. 16, 2020 @ 17:25 GMT
Dear David,

Thank you, that is very kind of you, to put it like that. I am very happy that you see it clearly that there is a new idea here - it builds on Stephen Adler's work I should say: he was the first (I think) to propose that Planck scale determinism underlies quantum indeterminism. I added gravitation to his framework.

I agree the scoring has little to do with eastern or western, it is what it is. I am sorry I got carried away.

I adopt the philosophy that good new ideas, once created, belong to humanity, not so much to the person who created them. So if I have a good idea, I expect other experts to look at it and examine it, no matter who gave it. How soon that will happen unfortunately depends on who proposed it. An influential physicist from a top-ranking university will have it heard much more easily than otherwise. I think eventually radical new ideas find their way into the mainstream, but the sociological path is quite random :-)

I appreciate your honest conversation, and it is good to have participants such as you in the contest. And like you rightly said, we are proud to have gotten the ideas we had, notwithstanding the ratings. I also totally agree that each and every participant here has worked very hard on their essay, and everyone needs a fair appraisal - nobody deserves low scores like 1 and 2 on their hard work.

My best wishes,


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James Lee Hoover wrote on May. 16, 2020 @ 20:20 GMT

I can understand your concern about scoring of essays. I have the same concern about scoring for superior essays like yours. I have experienced the same frustration. My scores range from 5 that are 4 or less to 4 10s, and my essay does not rival yours.

Your essay more clearly describes the quantum world and its transition to the classical world than any explanation I've seen. The pollen and the electron is the perfect metaphor and you use it skillfully. And you are not wedded to one interpretation such as the Copenhagen. I like that. Also like your quantum gravity discussion. I hope you share your descriptive capabilities with students. You have a great penchant for teaching. Saying that quantum unpredictability is only a consequence of our ignorance of the Planck-scale world like the pollen grain is an effective comparison. I make note of research that effectively links quantum and classical world in my essay. I hope you can read it: My rating is a 10 and is your 10th. Ambushers usually take advantage of comments to strike.


Jim Hoover

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on May. 17, 2020 @ 05:10 GMT
Dear James,

Greetings, and thanks so much for your very kind comments, appreciation, and evaluation. I am glad we agree that there is a possibility of an underlying determinism beneath quantum mechanics.

I will read your essay now. Thanks for pointing me to it.

Best wishes to you for this contest,


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Peter Jackson wrote on May. 17, 2020 @ 01:46 GMT
Dear Tejinder & Priyanka,

A nice essay but I confess I wasn't inspired by your perception this year. Yet perhaps recoverable, if you can give me your analysis of this new analysis of Stern Gerlach type 'measurements', giving me a better idea of your physical understanding than the chair can;

What if the randomness were only in original (pre-splitter) polar axis orientation, then the pair retained the (anti) parallel axis until meeting the A,B polariser electrons. Now THESE axes are chosen by A and B, treated as Poincare spheres, so with 'Curl' +1 and -1 momentum at the poles and zero at the equator. But now here's the insight. There's also a LINEAR momentum distribution MAX at the equator, 0 at the poles, so INVERSE! Now we know orbital 'surface' speed varies by Cos Theta latitude. (up or down depending on North pole left/right orientation)

'Curl' momentum is then the same but inverse over 90 degrees and reversing polarity on the other hemisphere. So these 2 distributions are SUPERPOSED on the surface! each entirely uncertain at 90 degrees. Vector additions dictate amplitude (actually major elliptical axis orientation)

Now we also have the photomultiplier electrons to be absorbed by, which will have the same distribution, so output intensity is Cos^2Theta, so dictating which channel 'clicks'. That then reproduces QM's output with no A,B communication required, the Dirac equation and Bell inequality. (independently verified by computer plot).

A sphere has the THREE degrees of rotational freedom required to do so. Uncertainty remains, at both equator and poles (i.e. you cant answer the questions is the equator rotating clockwise or anticlockwise?)

Very best.


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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on May. 17, 2020 @ 09:14 GMT
Dear Peter,

It is so nice to meet you again.

What I have shown is: There is a deterministic matrix dynamics at the Planck scale, from which quantum theory and its indeterminism are emergent, after coarse-graining over time scales much larger than Planck time. This implies that if one takes any set-up involving a quantum system + measuring apparatus + apparent wave function collapse, this can be mapped to a deterministic solution of the underlying Planck scale matrix dynamics. The apparent random wave function collapse comes about because we have ignored the change taking place in the d.o.f. that have been coarse-grained. There is a collapse, but it is not random: it *is* deterministic.

I am really sorry I am unable to comprehend the set-up you describe. Its beyond my reach, because it seems so sophisticated. But if it is a solution of qm, it can in principle always be mapped to the deterministic matrix dynamics.

Kind regards,


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Author Tejinder Pal Singh wrote on May. 18, 2020 @ 15:30 GMT
The determinism that underlies quantum indeterminism

And the story of John and his dog Bax Morn

John the wood-cutter lives in a hut in the forest with his faithful dog Bax Morn. The hut has two doors, left door and right door, and a call bell on the outside of the hut, in between the two doors.

Every morning John goes out to the woods to cut wood, and comes back in the evening...

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Jochen Szangolies wrote on May. 18, 2020 @ 16:10 GMT
Dear Tejinder,

you present an interesting essay, where lots of connections are hinted at, and many intriguing aspects of your larger program introduced. I understand that it is essentially an appetizer for this larger program; in that, by leaving me wanting more, it has achieved its aim. However, focusing on some single core claim might have made the essay more accessible.

For one, I...

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on May. 18, 2020 @ 16:35 GMT
Dear Jochen,

Thanks so much for reading my essay, and asking deep questions, whic I try responding to.

With regard to nonlocality, I start by copy-pasting here a question that Markus Mueller asked me on his page, followed by my response there:

"Dear Tejinder,

thanks a lot for your kind words!

Let me ask you a question on your approach. If dynamics at the Planck...

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh wrote on May. 18, 2020 @ 17:24 GMT
Continued..the locality for macroscopic systems here, which obey general relativity, holds to a great accuracy, but only in an approximate sense, not in an exact sense. I think one can say - just as you do - that the emergent stochasticity that keeps macroscopic objects classical - washes away signalling, on averaging. This is just as it happens in the GRW theory of spontaneous...

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on May. 18, 2020 @ 22:16 GMT
I read your essay a couple of times. If I understand properly, the stochasticity of QM is not inherent to QM, but rather with the subject of decoherence or measurement. I would agree with this. The collapse of a wave function is not something that is determined by the dynamics of quantum waves, but is due to a spontaneous event. You then say that the random process is something that can be removed if we understood physics down to the Planck scale. I tend to agree with you on this.

I would say that one does not necessarily need to go to the Planck scale. Your appeal to holography appears to make a similar statement. With Hawking radiation, I maintain that the apparent loss of quantum information stems from the semi-classical treatment of the metric and the back reaction. If this is included into the process this should be accompanied with the emission of gravitons. The quantum phase or qubits lost is then carried away by these quanta of gravity but are too weakly interacting for us to measure.

great essay

Cheers LC

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on May. 21, 2020 @ 08:55 GMT
Dear Lawrence,

It is good to meet you here again, and thanks so much for your kind comments.

In proposing a deterministic matrix dynamics at the Planck scale, I have followed in the footsteps of Stephen Adler. In his theory of trace dynamics, described in his book `Quantum theory as an emergent phenomenon' he proposed a deterministic matrix dynamics at the Planck scale. Here the matrix valued [equivalently operator valued] canonical variables obey Hamilton's equations of motion, obtained by starting from a Lagrangian dynamics. This is instead of the quantum theory's Heisenberg equations of motion, and now there are no quantum commutation relations.

I showed how to include gravity in trace dynamics, by using concepts from Connes' non-commutative geometry programme. From this theory, after coarse-graining over many Planck times, quantum theory and general relativity, as well as quantum indeterminism, emerge as low energy approximations.

As for Hawking radiation, there is no information loss paradox in my theory, because the full Hamiltonian at the Planck scale is not self-adjoint. It results in non-unitary evolution during black hole formation, and during evaporation, the correlations are hidden as Planck scale corrections to the thermal spectrum.

Thanks again for your kind interest,


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Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza wrote on May. 19, 2020 @ 04:41 GMT
Dear Dr. Priyanka Giri and Professor Tejinder Pal Singh,

I am yet to read your submission in detail, but found your essay title and the analogy you present to your unique interpretation of QM to be poetic and beautiful!

Excited to see how determinism is regained in what seems to be a very well thought out argument even though if the technical details may elude a lowly undergrad as I.

Best Wishes,

Raiyan Reza

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Author Tejinder Pal Singh replied on May. 21, 2020 @ 09:20 GMT
Dear Raiyan Reza,

Thank you for your very kind comments.

And never label yourself as lowly because you are an undergrad. Every scientist was once an undergrad like you, and undergrads like you are the scientists of tomorrow.

My best wishes,


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