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


Previous Contests

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

Florin Moldoveanu: on 11/3/09 at 5:30am UTC, wrote Mark, “"I did not get the lossy part. What do you mean by it?" Here is...

Mark Stuckey: on 11/2/09 at 17:38pm UTC, wrote Florin, "I have nothing to say about consciousness, but I feel really...

Florin Moldoveanu: on 11/1/09 at 15:34pm UTC, wrote Hi Michael, “1) Textbook NRQM which includes only: the claim that QM...

Michael Silberstein: on 10/31/09 at 6:45am UTC, wrote Hi Florin, I feel the need to jump in. Let me start with this: I don't...

Florin Moldoveanu: on 10/31/09 at 3:14am UTC, wrote Mark, I would like to say something memorable form Star Wars related to...

Mark Stuckey: on 10/30/09 at 20:10pm UTC, wrote Florin, I better clarify this statement, "There is no decoherence, there...

Mark Stuckey: on 10/29/09 at 19:45pm UTC, wrote Florin, Welcome to the dark side :-) I will respond to specific...


RECENT FORUM POSTS

Robert McEachern: "Coins always have two sides. Always. The fact that some observer has..." in Schrödinger’s Zombie:...

Georgina Woodward: "Robert, Re.measurement being considered the cause of subsequent effect; I..." in Schrödinger’s Zombie:...

Eckard Blumschein: "Steve, Darwin contradicted to the view of Parmenides, ..., and Einstein..." in First Things First: The...

Steve Dufourny: "Joe,do you understand that the universe is finite like our series of..." in First Things First: The...

Steve Dufourny: "this second law is so important,my theory of spherisation and these quantum..." in Mass–Energy Equivalence...

Steve Dufourny: "I must explain what is the real meaning of Spherisation in my theory.It is..." in Mass–Energy Equivalence...

Steve Dufourny: "lol no indeed it is not a lot,like I said I liked your general ideas.I have..." in The Demon in the Machine...

Steve Agnew: "There are three assumptions...is that a lot? The aether particle mass, the..." in The Demon in the Machine...


RECENT ARTICLES
click titles to read articles

First Things First: The Physics of Causality
Why do we remember the past and not the future? Untangling the connections between cause and effect, choice, and entropy.

Can Time Be Saved From Physics?
Philosophers, physicists and neuroscientists discuss how our sense of time’s flow might arise through our interactions with external stimuli—despite suggestions from Einstein's relativity that our perception of the passage of time is an illusion.

Thermo-Demonics
A devilish new framework of thermodynamics that focuses on how we observe information could help illuminate our understanding of probability and rewrite quantum theory.

Gravity's Residue
An unusual approach to unifying the laws of physics could solve Hawking's black-hole information paradox—and its predicted gravitational "memory effect" could be picked up by LIGO.

Could Mind Forge the Universe?
Objective reality, and the laws of physics themselves, emerge from our observations, according to a new framework that turns what we think of as fundamental on its head.


FQXi FORUM
October 15, 2019

CATEGORY: What's Ultimately Possible in Physics? Essay Contest (2009) [back]
TOPIC: The Possibility of Unification via a Global Adynamical Organizing Principle by Michael David Silberstein and W. M. Stuckey [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Author Michael David Silberstein wrote on Oct. 2, 2009 @ 10:53 GMT
Essay Abstract

In the current quest to unify physics, it is the combination of the principle of sufficient reason plus the dynamical perspective writ large that has in great part motivated the particular kind of unification being sought. We review the dynamical paradigm (dynamism) and the foundational problems it faces with unification. In particular, the problems dynamism has in providing a fundamental self-vindicating explanatory unification. We suggest a possible alternative model of unification based not on dynamical laws and differential equations, but on an adynamical global organizing principle. According to this “integralist” or extremum approach, fundamental reality is not being described via some fundamental entity or entities evolving in time according to dynamical laws against a spacetime background per certain boundary conditions. Instead, the most fundamental fact of reality is the boundary of a boundary principle which underlies the self-consistency of space, time and divergence-free sources (spacetimematter) at both the fundamental and classical levels to provide a self-explaining unification scheme. We avoid the problems posed for dynamism because we assume from the start that the entire enterprise is one of self-consistency writ large. Therefore, we believe it is ultimately possible that a global adynamical organizing principle can provide the basis for a strategy of self-consistency writ large whence a self-vindicating unification of physics.

Author Bio

Michael Silberstein is a Professor of Philosophy of Science and Physics at Elizabethtown College and the University of Maryland, College Park, where he is also a faculty member in the Foundations of Physics Program and a Fellow on the Committee for Philosophy and the Sciences. He is the author of: “Reconciling Spacetime and the Quantum: Relational Blockworld and the Quantum Liar Paradox” in Foundations of Physics, 2008, Volume 38, Number 4, pp. 348-83, and “Why Quantum Mechanics Favors Adynamical and Acausal Interpretations such as Relational Blockworld over Backwardly Causal and Time-Symmetric Rivals” (SHPMP, V. 39,#4, Nov. 2008) with W.M. Stuckey.

Download Essay PDF File

Bookmark and Share



Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Oct. 4, 2009 @ 00:27 GMT
This was a pretty good essay I thought.

Lawrence B. Crowell

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


J.C.N. Smith wrote on Oct. 4, 2009 @ 10:53 GMT
Mr. Silberstein,

Thank you for this well written, thought provoking essay addressing divergent views on what must be one of the most fundamental and interesting questions currently being debated in physics, i.e., the dynamical vs. adynamical nature of our ultimate reality.

Your essay has caused me to step back mentally and try to put the whole enterprise of science writ large into a broader perspective. In doing so, I find myself wondering whether sometimes we humans might not be too clever by half for our own good. As we Homo sapiens evolved, we kindled and nurtured our increasingly sophisticated embodiments of science as a tool to help us understand the world in which we find ourselves.

One of our most primitive, fundamental, and persistent observations as sentient beings is that of being part of an evolving universe. So when the tool upon which we rely to understand our observations in essence tells us that we are not observing what we believe we are observing it should be, at a minimum, cause for concern and reassessment. Certainly we can be, and have been, misled by our senses and by our interpretations of our observations (a la geocentric vs. heliocentric worlds), but when the disconnect is of this magnitude (dynamical vs. adynamical) it must be run to ground and resolved.

In 'The Trouble With Physics,' Lee Smolin wrote, "More and more, I have the feeling that quantum theory and general relativity are both deeply wrong about the nature of time. It is not enough to combine them. There is a deeper problem, perhaps going back to the origin of physics." (p. 256) I am convinced that Smolin is exactly correct in this assertion. Collectively, we very gradually and inadvertently got ourselves off track in our thinking about time as a result of our inventions of the calendar and, especially, the clock. The problem arose through our careless use of terminology (specifically our less than rigorous use of the word "time") while making use of our calendars and clocks. I have spelled out some of the background of this problem, the ripple effects of which we are still obviously living with, in an essay which may be found here.

I believe that many problems of the sort which you address in your essay will become less intractable once we have returned to the scene of the crime, as it were, discovered where and how we went astray in our thinking about time, and taken remedial steps to get our thinking back on track.

Cheers

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Author Michael David Silberstein wrote on Oct. 6, 2009 @ 18:53 GMT
We realize this essay is only a promissory note. To see the gory formal details read our arXiv paper on our interpretation of QFT. Obviously, we deal primarily with the issues of QFT, but that paper does present material relevant to this essay. In particular, we

1. Provide the calculational details showing how K and J are obtained via boundary operators in the spacetime chain complex to produce the SCC.

2. Show how K has the same form as its counterpart for coupled harmonic oscillators.

3. Provide an explanation of how the graphical method gives rise to a nonseparable spacetime structure and how we expect it to relate to the simplices of Regge calculus in order to recover GR. Specifically, in this regard, see Figure 8 and comments pertaining thereto.

Let us know if you have any questions,

Michael & Mark

Bookmark and Share



Roy Johnstone wrote on Oct. 7, 2009 @ 05:25 GMT
Michael & Mark,

I found your essay very interesting, at least from a philosophical standpoint.

Can I ask you though,

a) Do you view the "time" element of your amalgam as *real* or only as an operational convenience, transported from GR & QM?

b) Could your "SCC" be formulated with a foundation, one element of which is a 4th dimensional, *spatially* relational, orthogonal vector, rather than "time"?

Could you also explain why you said that Smolin's solution is..."just a multiverse in time rather than space" and..."the first-order laws and other fundamental facts change over time"? I don't see how in this sense (evolution laws) Smolin's dynamical finite space of evolving states would necessarily differ from a "Block World" view. I assume you are saying that your "BBP" can describe or at least constrain, let alone *explain*, a final boundary condition simultaneously as per the Tralfamadorians? I admittedly had trouble with the mathematics & would appreciate clarification of how the SCC either guarantees invariance of the physical laws at all points in the BW, or can "self-explain" variation of those laws without dynamical causation?

It seems to me that if you want a BW, to stay adynamical and retain time, you are necessarily describing an external "God-like" view. If you want BW, stay adynamical and remove time, you are still "God-like" but describing a Wheeler-DeWitt type quantum cosmology, basically the same as Julian Barbour's *static* "Platonia". I have trouble with that type of model for Darwinian reasons among others.

Thanks for the essay and good luck.

Cheers

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Author Michael David Silberstein wrote on Oct. 8, 2009 @ 03:42 GMT
Dear Roy,good questions, replies below:

a) Do you view the “time” element of your amalgam as *real* or only as an operational convenience, transported from GR & QM?

Time at the level of graphs (the amalgam) is merely the ordering over, and identification of, some subset of the vector J that creates “one” source.

b) Could your “SCC” be formulated with a foundation,...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share



Terry Padden wrote on Oct. 9, 2009 @ 13:45 GMT
Michael & Mark

Well argued but I am unconvinced. An initial comment:

You write " relativity theory by itself suggests a BW (per the relativity of simultaneity and lack of a preferred foliation)(11):"

SR & GR can suggest lots of models. It is Minkowski's (extremely effective) maths and rhetoric which convinced Einstein and every physicist thereafter that the 4D continuum model was the only acceptable one. So much so that Einstein, it is said, became convinced that the Present is an illusion. Oh the folly of clever men. Please don't go down that road. As philosophers i assume you are above such prejudice.

All that SR & GR mandate is that measurements of Space and Time are observer relative but compatible and any observers reference frame is as good as any other. There is nothing in SR & GR to prevent valid 3 space & 1 time models - just that measurements vary with the observer. Every observer that has ever lived observes a 3 & 1 universe, naturally but relatively "foliated" by an instantaneous - not extended - Time. That there is no preferred foliation does not imply that a foliation free model is compulsory.

Dirac among others was attracted to a many times formalism - one per observer. That no one, yet has been able to construct one does not invalidate the concept. Tying yourselves to the 4D formalism bandwagon negates the power of your arguments for me. As philosophers I expect you to be more open.

in my essay I present a case for deficiencies in all available formalisms and hope for a major revision in the foundations of maths to enable more effective formalisms. A many times formalism may be the / one answer.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Author Michael David Silberstein wrote on Oct. 10, 2009 @ 17:01 GMT
Hi Terry, thanks for the questions, responses below:

You are righ that neither SR nor GR ENTAIL BW. Note also that the point of this essay is not argue that they do. For an extended argument that BW is the best interpretation of relativity see the attached which is forthcoming in: Peterson, D., Silberstein, M.: Relativity of simultaneity and eternalism: In defense of the block universe. In: Petkov, V. (ed) The Nature and Ontology of Spacetime. Springer, Germany (2009. The thrust of this essay is a new approach to unification via the SCC and the problems it might solve. We greatly appreciate your suggestion that we are too conservative in our thinking, that's not the reaction we typically get. But rest assured we don't adopt BW because we are afraid of weirdness or because of any appeal to authority, but primarily because of what we can explain with it, see for example the papers I made mention of in my bio where we show how to use BW to resolve mysteries in QM, likewise the link we have to our QFT paper.

Cheers,

Michael

attachments: RoSandBlockworld.pdf

Bookmark and Share



Terry Padden wrote on Oct. 12, 2009 @ 23:09 GMT
MIchael

Thanks for a comprehensive and REASONED reply - especially the first sentence which should be inscribed in bold largest font over the portals of every science & philosophy faculty - and every book or paper on Relativity. How Minkowski got away with it I don't know. He could sell investments to Madoff.

I do not say you are too conservative. Au contraire, you are too extreme. By adopting BW you take the most radical step I can imagine - as i tried to emphasise - you eliminate "NOW" the one thing we all share. Whereas the BH is unobservable. How can that be physics ? How radical can you get ? If there are any Logical Positivists left you should avoid them. They would have your guts for garters.

You may not be afraid of weirdness, but I am. I favour the unification of Reason and Rationality. Is that what you would call "weird" ? Or do you think Naive Realism is ?

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Mark Stuckey wrote on Oct. 13, 2009 @ 18:50 GMT
Terry,

Do you actually think physics has anything to say about the subjective, e.g., "NOW?" That's where I, as a physicist, disagree. Physics is about the objective, not the subjective. As Wheeler once said, "Suppose you write an equation to describe the universe on a tile of the floor, then you write another that you think is a better description and so on until you get to the door standing outside the room. If you take up a wand, wave it over the floor and command the equations to fly, not one will get up and fly. The universe flies, there's a life to it that no equation has." Taken from "The Creation of the Universe," Northstar Productions, 1985.

Thanks for your comments,

Mark

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Terry Padden wrote on Oct. 14, 2009 @ 05:16 GMT
Mark

You erect a Straw Man and, surprise, knock him over with a heavyweight. Unless you want to include all our thoughts as being Subjective (which presumably they are), there is a difference between "Subjective" and "Relative" that science has noticed and has a lot to say about. Our "Nows" are Relative, not Subjective. They are Positions in/of Time. They are indispensable to science. The Relativity of Simultaneity is all about relative Nows. The problem is they are transient and we don't know how to express transient time.

That so far science has little to contribute to our understanding of "Now" is my point. Perhaps in the future it will. I don't think Wheeler or anyone would want to be invoked as defending the perpetuation of ignorance. See my quote from Wheeler. Anyway one half of my essay is about making the point Wheeler makes. The other half is complementary. He & I are in concert.

I am glad you appreciated my comments.

PS Perhaps one day I will write an equation.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Mark Stuckey wrote on Oct. 14, 2009 @ 16:29 GMT
Terry,

Write your equation and wave your wand. Good luck!

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Author Michael David Silberstein wrote on Oct. 14, 2009 @ 18:42 GMT
Hi Terry,

I would make Mark's point like this: what exactly do you mean by the problem of the NOW? What exactly are you calling on physics to explain? If it's the EXPERIENCE that some there is a moving now while other events are past then this is a sub-set of the hard problem of consciousness and thus beyond the purview of physics; should physics also explain the feeling that you have free will? If you are simply asking us to explain how BW could be true given that we don't experience the world that way, we have written on that and will send you the work if you like, as have several other defenders of BW. But the bottomline is this, as per many other facts about experience, there is no reason to think that our experience of time and change corresponds to any FUNDAMENTAL PHYSICAL FACTS about the nature of time. And while physics must be consistent with experience at the end of the day, there is no reason to think that it must underwrite or agree with all of our folk-beliefs and the manifest image.

Cheers,

Michael

Bookmark and Share



Terry Padden wrote on Oct. 17, 2009 @ 05:36 GMT
Mark

Your quotation from Wheeler

"Suppose you write an equation to describe the universe on a tile of the floor, then you write another that you think is a better description and so on until you get to the door standing outside the room. If you take up a wand, wave it over the floor and command the equations to fly, not one will get up and fly. The universe flies, there's a life to it that no equation has." Taken from "The Creation of the Universe," Northstar Productions, 1985.

struck a chord. I had read something similar recently, but my faculties work very slowly these days. i have just recollected what it was. Someone recently wrote the same thing as Wheeler (without knowing your quote) in different words as follows:

"We should note here "the complete irrelevancy of Proof". According to Wikipedia there are 365 proofs of Pythagoras. Even if they are all found to be flawed and the Theorem discredited as irrational, the builders could, and today still do, construct walls that are reasonably perpendicular to each other just by using their empirical knowledge of triples. The proof of the pudding is in the reasonable empiricism of the eating and the cooking, not the rational theory of the recipe."

This is in the 2nd para. of section D from "Ultimately, in Physics the Rational shall become Reasonable !" an essay by Terry Padden in the FQXI competition.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Anonymous wrote on Oct. 17, 2009 @ 07:16 GMT
Michael

Let me back up a bit before addressing your post. Originally I made 2 comments on your essay.

1. That it was very well argued - but I was unconvinced. A compliment and a simple personal opinion.

2. I pointed out a technical error - which I accept is not particularly germane to your theme - but which is almost universal. It needs correcting. I corrected it in...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Mark Stuckey wrote on Oct. 17, 2009 @ 18:44 GMT
Terry,

You can't write an equation (or, in general, an explanation) that conveys to me the knowledge of my seeing red. No matter what you write, if I haven't perceived the color red, I will gain knowledge when I actually see red that I didn't have by reading your equation/explanation alone. Likewise, any equation you write attempting to convey NOW will fail to change the NOW I perceive. No matter what I do with your equation, it will not allow me to perceive other NOW's.

That's what I meant by "write your equation and wave your wand." Nothing will happen, no matter what formalism you use.

Mark

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Terry Padden wrote on Oct. 18, 2009 @ 06:34 GMT
Mark

I assume you are not just talking about "my hypotheiical " equation but any equation that refers to one or more NOWs, directly or indirectly. I think there are lots of such equations. In fact every equation that refers to Time in some way.

As I stated in my last message, my view is that any such equation - even those derived from 4D continua, e.g your BW - IMPLICITLY refer to lots of NOWs because they are the source elements of the Set which constitutes the Time variable.

Taken at face value your statement applies to all such equations. Are you saying that all such equations are vacuous ? What happens to physics then ?

I accept the philosophic issues surrounding "qualia" but physics is not philosophy. I have stated that the NOWs are different for every observer - which is why I mentioned the many times formalism; but in physics an acceptance that we can and do share the same universe and can communicate about the same things (using suitable formalisms like Lorentz transformations to specify equivalences for things like NOW) is a pre-condition for doing physics.

Otherwise your comment applies and we squat in the dust contemplating our navels not knowing if your red is the same as my red. That is not physics as I understand it.

I don't know if you are familiar with Lakoff's work. I think that his findings do more to explain how we can share our Reds than the philosophic view you express. We can share our views of Red, or NOW, because we share the same world, in a Naive Realistic way.

PS Maybe, just maybe, new foundations for our formalisms will enable a scientific treatment, as opposed to philosophic, of qualia. After all we don't really have a proper theory of colour yet, do we. See my quote from Weyl.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Anonymous wrote on Oct. 18, 2009 @ 15:09 GMT
Terry,

Correct, I don't see any equation capturing NOW. If that's what you mean by "vacuous," then they're vacuous. [Not how I would use the term, but it's semantics.] The situation is exactly as you say, the equations refer to many NOW's, none of which captures its qualia (that NOW is now, no I mean now, no I mean now, ...).

Perhaps it comes down to this simple disagreement: You believe it possible to capture this qualia in an equation and I don't. In my opinion, physics is the a lossy product of consciousness that cannot account for all aspects of consciousness, e.g., qualia. As a physicist, I can live with that. To complete my worldview I'll have to go beyond physics (specifically, I'll need a theory of consciousness). Yes, that's blasphemy in some circles :-)

Mark

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Peter Jackson wrote on Oct. 23, 2009 @ 13:31 GMT
Dear M&M

Super essay, and very sound thinking. I've just added a more deserved scoring.

I hope I may have helped prove you right already, look under the (what have ben termed;) 'layers' of my own essay 'Perfect Symmetry' (and the link article) and you'll find a new organizational principle that works. It's a bit veiled at present as it's not for general consumption yet, but working on that now in collaboration.

The thought process is different, I'd be interested in your thoughts.

Best wishes

Peter

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Terry Padden wrote on Oct. 25, 2009 @ 00:25 GMT
Mark

I like the way you pose the problem of "now". I have not posed a solution, but do hope scientists, especially physicists, will not just shy away from the problem; and I urge them to take up the challenge.

I believe all productive arguments (will) eventually reduce to semantics or syntax - especially syntax.

By addressing the issue through the abstract formalism one does not have to go beyond physics. Merely outside for a while. On return one may have a generally applicable formalism not restricted to the physics of Time. After all isn't that the point of our formalisms (Logic & Maths) ?

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Florin Moldoveanu wrote on Oct. 29, 2009 @ 03:52 GMT
Mark,

I am continuing our discussion on your thread.

I’ve read “Stuckey, W.M., Silberstein, M., Cifone, M.: Reconciling spacetime and the quantum: Relational Blockworld and the quantum liar paradox. Foundations of Physics 38(4), 348-383 (2008).”, but I did not double check the math myself. I think I understand now your position, but I believe that there is a case where your RBW interpretation cannot fully answer the measurement problem: what happens after decoherence?

All the examples you give, I can explain them in the Bayesian formalism just fine. But in this interpretation, it is clear that one cannot explain the emergence of superselection rules as Bayesian gain of knowledge, because this is outside the traditional non-relativistic QM which incidentally can be obtained by the Bayesian interpretation. Proving superselection rules from Bayesian interpretation amounts to inconsistency.

One thing that looks suspicious is the K4-NRQM because this clearly does not satisfy the Lorenz transformation, but again, I did not double checked your math and I am not sure to what degree you are using this. I am very familiar with the path integral approach, but I have never worked in this area myself.

About the BW interpretation, I simply cannot agree with it. In this interpretation there is no freedom and all future history is pre-determined. Non-relativistic QM is perfectly compatible with this interpretation, but not relativistic QM. (Check out A. Connes and C. Rovelli, Von Neumann algebra automorphisms and time-thermodynamics relation in general covariant quantum theories, arXiv:gr-qc/9406019 (1994).) A BW interpretation is time independent and this runs aground of the Tomitza-Takesaki theorem which provides a God-given time parameter.

Florin

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Mark Stuckey wrote on Oct. 29, 2009 @ 19:45 GMT
Florin,

Welcome to the dark side :-) I will respond to specific statements/questions, but let me start with a general explanation.

Whether you like BW or not, this is the case concerning the spacetime of GR (which subsumes SR):

"There is no dynamics within space-time itself: nothing ever moves therein; nothing happens; nothing changes. In particular, one does not think of...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Mark Stuckey wrote on Oct. 30, 2009 @ 20:10 GMT
Florin,

I better clarify this statement, "There is no decoherence, there is no collapse. Nothing happens in spacetime." There are "decoherence" experiments and those experimental configurations and outcomes are certainly couched in spacetime. I'm saying that there is no "quantum/screened-off system" in spacetime. All we have in spacetime are Sources, beam splitters, mirrors, diffraction gratings, polarizers, detectors, non-screened off particles (amenable to worldlines), etc. These things don't exhibit "quantum" behavior, e.g., entanglement, interference, etc., unless you introduce causal or constitutive non-locality. Bohmian Mechanics chooses causal non-locality. I would say backwards causation chooses to violate causal locality by allowing causation to be bi-directional in time. RBW chooses constitutive non-locality.

It seems to me that you can avoid this discussion altogether if you couch your interpretation in configuration space, and I have the impression that's where you're coming from.

Much of this is semantics, I'm afraid. But continued dialogue will help us overcome language barriers.

Mark

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Florin Moldoveanu wrote on Oct. 31, 2009 @ 03:14 GMT
Mark,

I would like to say something memorable form Star Wars related to the fact that I was really busy at work recently and I had to ignore FQXi for a bit, but funny quips can be easily misinterpreted, so I pass. Besides, I could not find anything really funny, besides: “busy at work I’ve been, nice to be back it is”

I have nothing to say about consciousness, but I feel...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Author Michael David Silberstein wrote on Oct. 31, 2009 @ 06:45 GMT
Hi Florin,

I feel the need to jump in. Let me start with this: I don't know many knowledgeable physicists or philosophers who denies the following:

1) Textbook NRQM which includes only: the claim that QM applies to everything, Schrodinger dynamics, the Eigenstate-eigenvalue link and the Born rule leads to the measurement problem (MP).

2) If you want to solve the MP head-on you...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share



Florin Moldoveanu wrote on Nov. 1, 2009 @ 15:34 GMT
Hi Michael,

“1) Textbook NRQM which includes only: the claim that QM applies to everything, Schrodinger dynamics, the Eigenstate-eigenvalue link and the Born rule leads to the measurement problem (MP).”

I agree.

“2) If you want to solve the MP head-on you must modify NRQM in some way such as Bohm or GRW. Otherwise, you can go Everett or some kind of statistical...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Mark Stuckey wrote on Nov. 2, 2009 @ 17:38 GMT
Florin,

"I have nothing to say about consciousness, but I feel really strongly about free will."

I'm not concerned with preserving the notion of "free will" in the formalism of physics.

"I did not get the lossy part. What do you mean by it?"

Here is a definition from the internet: "A term describing a data compression algorithm which actually reduces the amount of...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Florin Moldoveanu wrote on Nov. 3, 2009 @ 05:30 GMT
Mark,

“"I did not get the lossy part. What do you mean by it?"

Here is a definition from the internet: "A term describing a data compression algorithm which actually reduces the amount of information in the data, rather than just the number of bits used to represent that information." See the Rickles essay.”

I know what lossy means. I did not understand why it was...

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.