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Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest
December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020
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What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
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How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
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Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
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Media Partner: Scientific American

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How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
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It From Bit or Bit From It
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Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
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Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
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What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
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The Nature of Time
August - December 2008
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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Jud: on 12/31/08 at 12:18pm UTC, wrote Thank you for your comments, Professor Nath. As I noted in my response to...

Narendra Nath: on 12/24/08 at 12:25pm UTC, wrote Dear Jud, Sorry to respond so late to you free thoughts due to your...

Jud: on 12/16/08 at 15:53pm UTC, wrote Thanks for the kind words, Sherman. I don't have nearly the ego required...

Sherman Jenkins: on 12/14/08 at 5:26am UTC, wrote Jud, Your limited recent experience with math and standard theory physics...

Jud Fink: on 12/3/08 at 10:03am UTC, wrote Essay Abstract As the Earth, solar system, and our galaxy were seen...


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FQXi FORUM
July 16, 2020

CATEGORY: The Nature of Time Essay Contest (2008) [back]
TOPIC: Speculation Regarding a Limited Role in the Universe for (Space-)Time by Jud Fink [refresh]
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Jud Fink wrote on Dec. 3, 2008 @ 10:03 GMT
Essay Abstract

As the Earth, solar system, and our galaxy were seen as central to historic cosmologies, space-time is seen as central to the cosmology and fundamental theories of today. Even those theories that posit "extra" dimensions assume that they are additional space-time dimensions. This essay examines the consequences on a number of fronts of the speculation that space-time is not quite so central or special. Topics such as the arrow of time, time travel, quantum gravity and the beginning of time are discussed along the way.

Author Bio

I'm a 54 year old lawyer (just helping to make the world a better place) with an active layperson's interest in fundamental physics. Given this (lack of) background, I full well understand the near certainty that my essay will turn out to be "not even wrong." Given that likelihood, the piece is at least mercifully brief. In the vanishingly unlikely event that anything I've written triggers worthwhile thoughts among people smarter than I - well, that would be wonderful.

Download Essay PDF File

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Sherman Jenkins wrote on Dec. 14, 2008 @ 05:26 GMT
Jud,

Your limited recent experience with math and standard theory physics may give you advantage in seeing things in a new light. Perhaps in your profession the forest is sometimes lost due to the convenient nearness of the trees and leaves; and justice goes begging after standard legal operating procedure. It does, at times, seem that Physics is stuck in the woods with a habit of wandering in circles.

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Jud wrote on Dec. 16, 2008 @ 15:53 GMT
Thanks for the kind words, Sherman. I don't have nearly the ego required to think my lack of important background gives me an advantage. Though I haven't seen anything in the simplified, metaphorical language that physicists use when writing for the general public that tells me my speculation is wrong (which is the reason I've submitted the essay, with some trepidation), if there is some kernel in what I've written that is helpful to people who do physics for a living, I would consider that a tremendous stroke of luck.

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Narendra Nath wrote on Dec. 24, 2008 @ 12:25 GMT
Dear Jud,

Sorry to respond so late to you free thoughts due to your limitations in Physics/Maths. In fact i enjoyed reading your brief presentation much. You have some unique ideas like non-quatum nature of gravity versus the other three known force fields , to account for the difficulty in unifying gravity with the common origin of all the fields, the Unified field.

Also, you talk of other dimensions than the four space /time dimensions, which are independent of both space and time. You postulate interesting manifestations of such extra dimensions. In fact, your imagination is correct, as Unified Theoriesn in Phyiscs, like the Super String and others do talk of higher dimensions if one has to explain the entire range of physical processes in a single theory. However, no such theory is yet successful.i for one, also believe that there has to be such a theory. i also don't like the separation between classical physics for the macro-world and quantum mechanics for the micro-world of atoms, nuclei and particles. Afetr all these are all constituents of the same matter!

You confirm my belief that persons who think independently of the existing knowledge fund are the ones who are most likely to bring innovation in any field of science, Physics most of all, being a fundamnetal science. Maths is a mere tool in Physics and the latter needs to work out detailed solutions of the problems . But precepts and concepts of Physics are based purely on observed facts and intuitive analysis of the same in depth by the human mind, including high degree of self-criticality. The latter along with logic lays the foundation of rationality needed to do science.

I commend your frank, nascent attempt in presenting your ideas fearlessly, what more can one hope for , if one is a conscientious person.

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Jud wrote on Dec. 31, 2008 @ 12:18 GMT
Thank you for your comments, Professor Nath. As I noted in my response to Sherman, I certainly don't claim any special insight based on "thinking independently of the existing knowledge fund." I frankly recognize my lack of background as a handicap, though I do hope the topics covered in my essay might stimulate productive thought from readers.

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