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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

Shawn Halayka: on 5/23/20 at 23:41pm UTC, wrote Dear Mike, I also have an essay in the running. It is very short, and to...

Michael Bradley: on 5/22/20 at 17:07pm UTC, wrote Thanks Shawn, glad to you enjoyed the essay and glad to have a local...

Michael Bradley: on 5/22/20 at 17:06pm UTC, wrote Thanks David for your comments & post. -Cheers, Mike Bradley

Michael Bradley: on 5/22/20 at 17:05pm UTC, wrote Thanks Alan for your comments. Re: Quantum Computing you raise some very...

Michael Bradley: on 5/22/20 at 16:59pm UTC, wrote Thanks very much Yutaka for your note and for pointing out the possible...

Shawn Halayka: on 5/22/20 at 3:33am UTC, wrote Very interesting, if not a little sombre, essay. I am from P.A., SK. -...

Alan Kadin: on 5/12/20 at 23:35pm UTC, wrote Dear Prof. Bradley, I read your essay with great interest. I noted in...

Yutaka Shikano: on 5/4/20 at 21:54pm UTC, wrote Dear Michael, I enjoyed reading your essay. On the connection to the...


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FQXi FORUM
September 28, 2021

CATEGORY: Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest (2019-2020) [back]
TOPIC: Predictable and un-Predictable in the Universe and the Mind by Michael Patrick Bradley [refresh]
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Author Michael Patrick Bradley wrote on Apr. 25, 2020 @ 14:58 GMT
Essay Abstract

In this essay we review the historical buildup to the idea of predictability in physics, and the idea of a clockwork universe. The implications of the work of Gödel, Turing, and the impact of quantum mechanics and chaos are discussed. Some conclusions for the future development of the subject are drawn.

Author Bio

Michael P. Bradley is a Professor in the Department of Physics & Engineering Physics at the University of Saskatchewan. He holds a Ph.D. from MIT in experimental physics, where his thesis work involved trapping single ions in a Penning ion trap and using them to make precision measurements of the fine-structure constant. He has worked in numerous areas of precision measurement and experimental physics, and recently served as the Chair of the Division of Plasma Physics of the Canadian Association of Physicists.

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David Brown wrote on Apr. 25, 2020 @ 15:49 GMT
"Fundamental physics, and in particular the philosophy of extreme reductionism which motivated it, and the ideas derived therefrom, may have somewhat run its course. Far from this being the end of science, it is simply a time in which the scientific mantle will be passed, and reductionism and extreme reductionists will no longer reign supreme." I say that Milgrom is the Kepler of contemporary cosmology — on the basis of overwhelming empirical evidence. My guess is that MOND has an explanation either in terms of string theory with the infinite nature hypothesis or in terms of string theory with the finite nature hypothesis. What empirical evidence rules out any (or all) of the following 7 ideas:

The Seven Sagacities of String Theory with the Finite Nature Hypothesis: (1) There is a profound synergy between string theory with the infinite nature hypothesis and string theory with the finite nature hypothesis. (2) Milgrom is the Kepler of contemporary cosmology — on the basis of overwhelming empirical evidence (implying dark-matter-compensation-constant = (3.9±.5) * 10^–5). (3) The Koide formula is essential for understanding the foundations of physics. (4) Lestone's theory of virtual cross sections is essential for understanding the foundations of physics. (5) The idea of Fernández-Rañada and Tiemblo-Ramos that atomic time is different from astronomical time is correct. (6) There is genius in the ideas of Riofrio, Sanejouand, and Pipino concerning the hypothesis that the speed of light in a perfect vacuum steadily decreases as our universe ages. (7) Quantum information reduces to Fredkin-Wolfram information, which is controlled by Wolfram's cosmological automaton in a mathematical structure isomorphic to a 72-dimensional, holographic, digital computer.

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Author Michael Patrick Bradley replied on May. 22, 2020 @ 17:06 GMT
Thanks David for your comments & post.

-Cheers, Mike Bradley

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Yutaka Shikano wrote on May. 4, 2020 @ 21:54 GMT
Dear Michael,

I enjoyed reading your essay. On the connection to the analytic prediction, the negative result is in the three-body problem solved by Poincare. This is related to the chaos theory as mentioned in the previous section. The relationships among the sections seem to be more stronger by the scientific evidences.

Best wishes,

Yutaka

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Author Michael Patrick Bradley replied on May. 22, 2020 @ 16:59 GMT
Thanks very much Yutaka for your note and for pointing out the possible connections to the 3 body problem.

-Very best regards, Mike Bradley

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Alan M. Kadin wrote on May. 12, 2020 @ 23:35 GMT
Dear Prof. Bradley,

I read your essay with great interest.

I noted in particular your fundamental distinction between analog physics and digital computing.

One topic that you did not address is quantum computing, which is the new hot topic in computing R&D.

In my own essay, ”The Uncertain Future of Physics and Computing”, I point out that the developing technology of quantum computing provides the first significant application of quantum entanglement, and therefore provides a major test of quantum foundations. But the experimental measurements thus far in quantum computing have been designed to confirm the orthodox theory, not to test it.

I predict that the entire technology of quantum computing will fail catastrophically within a few years. This may provide an opportunity for a reexamination of the foundations of quantum mechanics.

Alan Kadin

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Author Michael Patrick Bradley replied on May. 22, 2020 @ 17:05 GMT
Thanks Alan for your comments. Re: Quantum Computing you raise some very good points. It will be interesting to see what progress is made vs. what barriers are encountered in the next few years, and whether this will lead to a re-think of the foundations of QM.

-Cheers, Mike Bradley

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Shawn Halayka wrote on May. 22, 2020 @ 03:33 GMT
Very interesting, if not a little sombre, essay.

I am from P.A., SK.

- Shawn

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Author Michael Patrick Bradley replied on May. 22, 2020 @ 17:07 GMT
Thanks Shawn, glad to you enjoyed the essay and glad to have a local audience.

-Cheers, Mike Bradley

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Shawn Halayka replied on May. 23, 2020 @ 23:41 GMT
Dear Mike,

I also have an essay in the running. It is very short, and to the point.

https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3430

- Shawn

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