Search FQXi


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.

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

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

Forum Home
Introduction
Terms of Use

Order posts by:
 chronological order
 most recent first

Posts by the author are highlighted in orange; posts by FQXi Members are highlighted in blue.

By using the FQXi Forum, you acknowledge reading and agree to abide by the Terms of Use

 RSS feed | RSS help
RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Rajiv Singh: on 5/28/20 at 6:01am UTC, wrote Dear Sara, I would appreciate to learn if you happened to read my post on...

Lawrence Crowell: on 5/18/20 at 11:58am UTC, wrote Paul Davies beat me to the punch on this. You wrote: What separates...

Rajiv Singh: on 5/18/20 at 9:13am UTC, wrote Hi Sara, Good story, nice idea. My comments are partly covered in your...

Vladimir Fedorov: on 5/18/20 at 6:47am UTC, wrote Dear Sara, I greatly appreciated your work and discussion. I am very glad...

Paul Davies: on 5/17/20 at 22:54pm UTC, wrote 'Whereas I cannot take charge and separate it from an electron.' The theory...

Harrison Crecraft: on 5/17/20 at 11:17am UTC, wrote Hi Sara, As a follow-up to my previous comment, a logical consequence of...

Satyavarapu Gupta: on 5/16/20 at 21:41pm UTC, wrote Hope you will reply your comments and have a look at my essay please Best ...

Rick Searle: on 5/16/20 at 15:16pm UTC, wrote Dear Professor Walker, Thank you for your thought provoking essay! The...


RECENT FORUM POSTS

Georgina Woodward: "That is about the 'anatomy"" of spacetime." in Anatomy of spacetime and...

Lorraine Ford: "So what exactly is WRONG with physics, apart from the fact that physics..." in The Present State of...

Georgina Woodward: "The perception generated of time difference relates to the potential..." in Anatomy of spacetime and...

Steve Dufourny: "Hello Jim, yes indeed in a sense we have these motions and we have invented..." in The Quantum Clock-Maker...

Jim Snowdon: "Hi Steve, Clearly we have motion in our Universe. It is not..." in The Quantum Clock-Maker...

Steve Dufourny: "You are welcome, thanks too for your words. I have never lost the faith..." in The Present State of...

Georgina Woodward: "Thank you. Good luck." in The Nature of Time

Lorraine Ford: "Rob, As you have not replied, I take it that you now concede that the..." in 16th Marcel Grossmann...


RECENT ARTICLES
click titles to read articles

The Quantum Clock-Maker Investigating COVID-19, Causality, and the Trouble with AI
Sally Shrapnel, a quantum physicist and medical practitioner, on her experiments into cause-and-effect that could help us understand time’s arrow—and build better healthcare algorithms.

Connect the Quantum Dots for a New Kind of Fuel
'Artificial atoms' allow physicists to manipulate individual electrons—and could help to reduce energy wastage in electronic devices.

Can Choices Curve Spacetime?
Two teams are developing ways to detect quantum-gravitational effects in the lab.

The Quantum Engine That Simultaneously Heats and Cools
Tiny device could help boost quantum electronics.

The Quantum Refrigerator
A tiny cooling device could help rewrite the thermodynamic rule book for quantum machines.


FQXi FORUM
September 17, 2021

CATEGORY: Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest (2019-2020) [back]
TOPIC: Mathematics is Physical by Sara Walker [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Author Sara Walker wrote on Apr. 25, 2020 @ 17:46 GMT
Essay Abstract

The advances of theoretical physics over the last several centuries have provided profound insights into the structure of reality at the smallest and largest scales in our universe. But they have fallen short of explaining the scale of our everyday experience, that is we cannot yet explain the existence of you or I or any life for that matter, or even more simply stated that mathematical objects are made real by ingenuity of some physical systems (i.e. us). Our current best explanations in physics tend to appeal to what amounts to fine-tuning: assuming the universe started in a low-entropy state that just so happened to have in its future this essay among other things. It is not difficult to think of examples where properties that are not exactly physical - well not in the sense of mass or charge or energy - can nonetheless be causal. These are ubiquitous phenomena that appears to pervade our perception of reality – basically anytime we perceive that information, or abstractions have causal consequences. It is however difficult to explain this beyond mere anecdote. In this essay I attempt to push thinking in that direction.

Author Bio

Associate Professor, Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science and School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University. Associate Director, ASU-Santa Fe Institute Center for Biosocial Complex Systems.

Download Essay PDF File

Bookmark and Share


Robert H McEachern wrote on Apr. 25, 2020 @ 19:27 GMT
"information, or abstractions have causal consequences. It is however difficult to explain this beyond mere anecdote." Not so. It is trivial to explain, if you use Shannon's conception of "information", rather that the spurious conception employed by physicists.

"The experiment now needed is one that can probe the intersection of mathematics and physical reality –that is, the intersection...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Branko L Zivlak wrote on Apr. 25, 2020 @ 20:08 GMT
Dear Sara Walker

You wrote:

“We need to explain a transition from a physics where abstractions and relations are descriptive to one where they are also causal.”

I don't think we need to. This has already been done by the greats of the philosophy of nature before us. If you study Ruder Boskovic carefully you will understand the causes of causality.

Alsow your conclusion is interesting:

She expounds on all of this to me and then asks “When can you do the math and explain this to me?”

So you don't have to read poorly worded text in my essay, it's enough to understand or refute the formulas in the last lines of the essay.

Regards,

Branko

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Luis F Patino wrote on Apr. 26, 2020 @ 04:26 GMT
Dear Sara:

The title of your essay "Mathematics is Physical" instantly grabbed my attention and made it the first essay I read. It was so because my idea is that we are math -- this is the title of my essay, in fact. Thus, I also believe math is physical, but in a more profound and complete way: we and all reality are made of mathematics. Since the mathematicians Cantor, Gödel and Turing showed that non-computable numbers and mathematics are uncountably infinitely more than computable numbers and math, they allow for non-computable phenomena that could explain everything from radioactive decay to life, consciousness, feelings and intelligence. Please read my essay and let me know what you think.

Best,

Luis F Patino

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Apr. 27, 2020 @ 06:46 GMT
Dear Prof Sara Walker...

Your wonderful analysis in your essay is simple and straight forward... Your words.......... The first emerged in the scientific revolution of the 17th century with Newton’s mathematical formulation of laws of physics in terms of an initial state and fixed, deterministic laws.Here the laws/math is immutable and unchanging and are not part of the structure of reality.

The second emerged in the 20th century with an algorithmic view of nature, where the “laws” often depend, in part, on the current state of the system in a computational view, or the current objects in a more physical one.Thus far, these two perspectives have been applied to different domains of science: the Newtonian legacy for physical systems, and the more recent “algorithmic” or “state/object -dependent” view for complex biological and technological systems. .................

using the first part, Dynamic Universe Model gave lot os good results and prediction using it as a N-Body problem solution. May please have look at my essay A properly deciding, Computing and Predicting new theory’s Philosophy

In an similar way I want to do second part for quantum physics and consciousness...

Sara come on, lets do math for the 15 th model

Best Regards

=snp

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta replied on May. 16, 2020 @ 21:41 GMT
Hope you will reply your comments and have a look at my essay please

Best

=snp

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Malcolm Riddoch wrote on Apr. 27, 2020 @ 06:50 GMT
Hi Sara,

“To parallel the hard problem of consciousness, this is considered to be the hard problem of matter – we do not know in of itself what matter is beyond our mathematical descriptions of its interactions.”

Also from within the hard problem of consciousness, we do know for sure that phenomenal matter is what it is—it has a phenomenal thatness and a whatness such that knowing it directly we can categorise it, count it, put it in different piles and manipulate it. And that is all phenomenal information, or phenomenal patterns, that we can remember and pass on to the next gen and the next until suddenly we’ve gone from stone axes to ejecting matter into space!

I really enjoy your open minded take on information, evolutionary biology, and physics, and it’s fascinating how phenomenal patterns can be communicated over and over via so many different material media, from the neuronal structure of our CNS to body language, vocal acoustic patterns, rock markings to the latest online quirk circuits emulating a quantum computer. I understand mathematical patterns as the most abstract and so the most cross-cultural of phenomenal pattern making in general. And I’d like to think of ‘physical reality’ as somehow fundamentally a reality of patterns/information that requires pattern observers in order for the universe to become a real pattern. So the potential for patterns must pre-exist biology but somehow also need biology to organise the patterns …!

How far have you got thinking through the relation between our observed information structures and a new physics that can describe that observational feedback loop?

Cheers,

Malcolm Riddoch

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Chidi Idika wrote on Apr. 27, 2020 @ 12:30 GMT
Dear professor Walker,

concluding your essay you state:

“We need to explain a transition from physics where abstractions and relations are descriptive to one where they are also causal.”

Permit my lengthy response.

Now, assuming that Newtonian physics is a “descriptive” model of nature and quantum mechanics is a “causal” model, my response to your task has...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


BASILEIOS GRISPOS wrote on Apr. 27, 2020 @ 18:12 GMT
Dear Professor. I. S. Walker

It’s nice to participate again on this contest with an excellent essay, like the one you wrote some years ago with the title “Is life Fundamental”, I keep it in my record and read it again and again.

Your new essay reminds me the Platonic world of ideas or to put it differently the Platonic world of mathematical forms, which as you write “being driven into existence by technology”

I wonder if mathematics is a human invention or they exist by themselves and remain to be discovered by us? Does a perfect circle exist somewhere in the world of ideas? Does the number pi (π) exist by itself or is an Archimedean artifice?

Your essay opens new perspectives and ideas to be discuss.

Best Regards

Basileios Grispos

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Michael James Kewming wrote on Apr. 28, 2020 @ 02:32 GMT
Hi Sara,

I really enjoyed the format of your essay. I completely forgot it was a dialogue until the last sentence.

You mentioned that ``a transformation that cannot be caused... amounts to the physical equivalent of an uncomputable function''. If I understand correctly, a universal constructor cannot construct the necessary physical transformation---given it's resources---without violating a particular symmetry, then this is equivalent to an uncomputable function? In this sense, a universal constructor abides by the Church-Turing-Deutsch principle?

If so, do you think a local universal constructor exist without violating the second law of thermodynamics, which for an open system does not exhibit time reversal symmetry?

I had touched on some very similar ideas in my essay Noisy Machines.

Thanks!

Michael

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


S.E. Grimm wrote on Apr. 28, 2020 @ 11:19 GMT
Dear Sara Walker,

It is quite a relief to read an essay about insightful thoughts. Unfortunately much theoretical physics is influenced by the masculine nature. Too much focused on irrelevant details, in combination with the bad habit to uplift these details – with the help of the authority of previous physicists – to the desired status of a hypothetical “new corner stone” (actually, it is too much influenced by the love of competition). This in contrast with the opinion of ancient meta-physicists who argued that every thought must be true (in relation to the properties of the creating underlying reality).

It is the scientific culture that forces everyone to express the own thoughts in a way that can be exchanged as “valid information”. But it is a hindering straitjacket too and it is limiting scientific progress. So I really like your essay! ;-))

With kind regards, Sydney

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Lachlan Cresswell wrote on Apr. 28, 2020 @ 14:50 GMT
Dear Sara,

Congratulations on such a fine essay. Your essay is information dense and deserves a second reading. I kept picking up on ideas that I had previously missed or hadn’t fully connected.

Tegmark suggests the Universe is a mathematical structure. I, on the other hand, believe the Universe is purely physical, and it is our job to discern the laws, which we do by constructing...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


John David Crowell wrote on Apr. 28, 2020 @ 21:35 GMT
Sara interesting essay — “caused” me to think about causes and other items in your essay. 1.your desire to “probe the Intersections of mathematics and physical matter. In my essay I introduce a self creating process that produces “all ordered existence” which includes all intelligence, the complete physical world and the self creation that produces all three. It is a very different...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Alyssa Adams wrote on Apr. 30, 2020 @ 21:49 GMT
Hi Sara!

This is a wonderfully written essay! I very much enjoyed the thought experiment as well, that was very funny. Actually, last year I had been led down a similar coding problem that says "Write the best algorithm that exactly calculates pi." But on a computer, or in physical reality, a perfect circle doesn't really exist so any answer would be an approximation.

I wonder if the discrepancy between our mathematical laws and ideas and physical reality is due to the state space we choose. I'd almost argue that physical reality does not have an inherent state space, but instead humans and other biological entities create their own state spaces to interact with reality. I'd be really interested to see what you think about these ideas that I outline in my essay.

In general, I think that constructor theory hints at a need to embed "knowledge", which I interpret as being a way to encode states in a particular state space. Do you have any thoughts about this? Particularly if constructor theory could offer insight on how humans/agents create these state spaces and encode states within them?

Cheers!

Alyssa

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Alyssa Adams replied on Apr. 30, 2020 @ 21:53 GMT
PS! I think the two fundamental descriptions of the world are very related to the two figures I drew in my essay! I found an extremely interesting bridge between them from Marr: http://psych.colorado.edu/~oreilly/cecn/node11.html

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Yutaka Shikano wrote on May. 4, 2020 @ 16:53 GMT
Dear Sara,

I like the style of the essay. On the concept "Information is physical", this topics was discussed in the previous essay contest "It From Bit or Bit From It?". I wrote the essay as the selected essay of the publication finally. As pointed out in the previous essay, this concept was developed in Leon Brillouin, who wrote the book "Science and Information Theory". What do you think about this concept?

In this time, I wrote the similar sense of the thought as seen my essay. This was pointed from the viewpoint between computation (not math) and physics. I hope that you enjoy reading my essay as well.

Best wishes,

Yutaka

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


John Joseph Vastola wrote on May. 5, 2020 @ 19:48 GMT
I agree that mathematics/information is physical, and want to note something I thought of while reading your essay (that I'm sure you already thought of long before me).

It's easy to argue endlessly about whether mathematics or mathematical objects exist in some Platonic realm. But our ideas about mathematical objects are most certainly physical, in the following sense. When I think of a perfect circle, the neurons in my brain fire a certain way: there is some physical configuration of my brain associated with thinking about a perfect circle, or any other mathematical object I'm familiar with. When other people think about perfect circles, their neurons might fire in a different way, so that the 'same' information is stored differently. Regardless of how each of us stores that information, we can all access and output it in different forms, like as lines on paper or algebraic equations on a blackboard. Someone else can learn about circles by studying these different representations, and store their own representation of one. The mathematical idea of a perfect circle physically exists as the collection of all instantiations of the associated information.

How much energy is spent every day on the storage, retrieval, and communication of some mathematical idea? I wonder.

It's a little mind-bendy to think about abstract ideas having causal power in a physical universe. But it makes more sense to me when I remember that information, mathematical or otherwise, must be stored in some physical configuration of matter. Only physical things can have causal power in a physical universe, I think.

Appreciate the beautiful, deliberate writing. The beginning felt like a novel, and I got 'hooked' for the rest of your essay.

John

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Flavio Del Santo wrote on May. 5, 2020 @ 23:14 GMT
Dear Sara,

thanks for thought-provoking, stimulating essay. I am glad to notice that there are also several elements of agreement between our ideas, mostly based on the fundamental limitation of information (if you have time, I would be glad to receive your feedback on my essay). But your idea that mathematical abstraction can have causal consequesnces is indeed very interesting, although not spelled out in full detail.

Anyways, great job, I hope you will get the visibility your essay deserves. From my side, I gave you the highest rate.

All good wishes!

Flavio

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Michael muteru wrote on May. 6, 2020 @ 09:05 GMT
Beautiful essay there on Human cognition.rated you accordingly.Does cognitive selection Bias play a role.in our view of the universe ? please read here https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3525.All the Best in the contest.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Jeffrey Michael Schmitz wrote on May. 9, 2020 @ 20:08 GMT
Dear Sara,

This essay is well written. You help the reader by setting up a scene, introducing characters and telling a story in the course of explaining complex concepts. There are still points I need help understanding.

Please tell me if I have this correct. Current physics is deterministic as an example; two objects collide due to their speed and direction. Life is not deterministic as an example; two birds or two humans with the same speed and direction as inanimate objects destine for a collision miss, because of knowing action. Ideas have a physical component be it brain chemistry, marks on a page or electrical states of a silicon chip. Mathematics is physical and therefore must reflect the physical world. Physics of inanimate objects, such as Newtonian mechanics, falls short because the actions of life (Biology) are not included. Instead of working Physics up to life, we should work Biology down to Physics.

I have not yet rated this (or any other essay), but I will give your essay high marks.

Sincerely,

Jeff Schmitz

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on May. 11, 2020 @ 16:06 GMT
Dear Prof Sara

I got a very nice introduction to you from Prof. Malcolm Riddoch, this post is about furthering that discussion...

This is my second post

I mainly worked in cosmology , I am yet to enter into the world of Quantum Physics, i will do that in discussion with you and your friends...

Meanwhile he asked me about my possible fundamental...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Syed Raiyan Nuri Reza wrote on May. 13, 2020 @ 18:44 GMT
Dear Professor Walker,

This was a delightful and thought provoking essay.

Sincerely,

Rastin Reza

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Michael Alexeevich Popov wrote on May. 15, 2020 @ 09:57 GMT
Sara,

I'd like to remark only that such sort of ideas of Nature as Symmetry and Homochirality can be easy found even in pure number theory ( Riemann problem and problem of nonexistence of odd perfect number). It could be considered as additional arguments for your thesis?

Best

Michael Popov

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Member Kevin H Knuth wrote on May. 16, 2020 @ 07:16 GMT
Dear Sara,

I really enjoyed your essay! You got me thinking and changed my thinking, for which I am extremely grateful.

To be honest, I had a difficult time accepting your title. I think of mathematics as a precise description, a precise language. Later in your essay, you discuss this. But I couldn't accept mathematics as being physical.

But you really got me to think more carefully about what it means to be physical. Your focus on causality was brilliant as it was undeniable. Can non-physical things be causal? I would have to argue they couldn't be. Conclusion reached! Bravo!

Near the end of your essay, you discuss CPT and the second law, and note that the constraints placed by physics are not quite comparable to constraints placed by Godel, because "the laws of physics are formulated by us." I don't think that it is that simple. In some cases, the laws of physics are so constrained by mathematical symmetries (eg. associativity and distributivity) that they are essentially dictated by those symmetries. (see my essay for example as well as the paper by John Skilling and myself: https://arxiv.org/abs/1712.09725).

And with that understanding, it strikes me that perhaps it is possible that Godel's theorem could constrain our physical laws. This is a fascinating thought that had not really sunk in until after reading and thinking about your essay. I am surprised that it hadn't occurred to me at that level because I go as far in my essay to discuss how Tarskii's Theorem makes probability theory generally applicable. But understanding comes in degrees or levels, and after reading your essay, I feel that I have a deeper understanding.

Thank you again!

Kevin Knuth

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Harrison Crecraft wrote on May. 16, 2020 @ 12:20 GMT
Hi Sara,

A wonderful, thought-provoking essay. You describe two distinct descriptions of nature: 1) the mathematical formulation of laws (e.g. Newton’s laws), and 2) the algorithmic view. For the mathematical formalism, laws apply to initial states. They are deterministic, they are fixed, and they are independent of physical reality. Mathematical formulations typically interpret physical...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Member Rick Searle wrote on May. 16, 2020 @ 15:16 GMT
Dear Professor Walker,

Thank you for your thought provoking essay!

The line that really stuck with me was this:

"The power of mathematics is precisely in that it is information that can berobustly copied, meaning we can readily see its structure across very different systems, giving it’sumph in the scientific arena."

It left me wondering if this could be an explanation of the difficulties biologists encounter when applying mathematics to the living world (at least compared with the glaring success of mathematics in physics). For what one never sees in biology is precisely this copy fidelity. No child cell is an exact duplicate of its parent.

Best of luck in the contest!

Rick Searle

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Harrison Crecraft wrote on May. 17, 2020 @ 11:17 GMT
Hi Sara,

As a follow-up to my previous comment, a logical consequence of the contextual interpretation that I described is a definition of functional complexity and a principle of spontaneous self-organization. See my Medium essay, The Arrow of Functional Complexity. I use the term homeostate in the essay, but it is identical to David Deutsch’s constructor.

Harrison

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Member Paul Davies wrote on May. 17, 2020 @ 22:54 GMT
'Whereas I cannot take charge and separate it from an electron.' The theory of weak quantum measurements can lead to so-called Cheshire cat states, where the electron is over here and the charge over there. But only in a statistical post-selection context. Not sure if this affects your argument. Second comment: the concept of infinity has an uncertain status. Does it have causal power? Example: Hawking predicted black hole radiance with a Bogoliubov transformation between in and out modes of a quantum field. To get his famous thermal result, he had to integrate to infinity. If the integral is truncated at, say, the Planck frequency, the black hole just emits a puff of radiation and not a steady flux. So all the paraphernalia of black hole entropy and the associated research flowed from the use of infinity as if it is a real thing operating in the real world. Is this an act of faith, a pragmatic assumption or a comment on the deep nature of physical reality?

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Vladimir Nikolaevich Fedorov wrote on May. 18, 2020 @ 06:47 GMT
Dear Sara,

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

"While unification of these two formalisms is not necessary for the domains of science where each is independently valid, it is essential for some of the most difficult frontiers in science such as the emergence of life, which arguably occurs when our traditional Newtonian approach to physics based on initial states and fixed, deterministic “laws” of physics must yield the to path-dependent, historical narratives characteristic of the object-dependent dynamics of the biosphere. We need to explain a transition from a physics where abstractions and relations are descriptive to one where they are also causal. She expounds on all of this to me and then asks “When can you do the math and explain this to me?”"

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

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Rajiv K Singh wrote on May. 18, 2020 @ 09:13 GMT
Hi Sara,

Good story, nice idea. My comments are partly covered in your essay, yet I wish to extend it for further clarification.

> .. that information, or abstractions have causal consequences. It is however difficult to explain this beyond mere anecdote.

No, it is not so difficult to see why information has causal consequence, only that we have to understand reality of...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Rajiv K Singh replied on May. 28, 2020 @ 06:01 GMT
Dear Sara,

I would appreciate to learn if you happened to read my post on your essay. No, reading is not a requirement, only the information.

Rajiv

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on May. 18, 2020 @ 11:58 GMT
Paul Davies beat me to the punch on this. You wrote:

What separates information from other physical attributes such as charge or mass? Take for example the charge of an electron. It is often considered to be a physical attribute because every electron in the universe has a charge and because the charge cannot be separated from the electron. It is for this reason that charge is considered...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Please enter your e-mail address:
Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.