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TOPIC: What is Ultimately Possible in Physics: Contest Results Announced! [refresh]

FQXi Administrator Anthony Aguirre wrote on Jan. 19, 2010 @ 19:02 GMT
FQXi is pleased to announce the winners in our Essay Competition, "What Is Ultimately Possible In Physics?" The Review Panel worked hard through the holidays debating the finalists. After lengthy discussions, they turned in their ratings, which we then combined with the original Community ratings to determine the final results.

The full list of winners and links to their essays can be found here. First Prize goes to: "Stardrives and Spinoza" By Louis Crane. In his essay, Louis examined a piece of far-out technology that might just be possible in the future: the construction of artificial black holes for use as power sources, and the potential side effect of creating new life! The essay touches on technical and theoretical issues, as well as the ethical and 'spiritual' implications. Judges praised this well-rounded essay for its insightful content, for tackling many different interpretations of the essay question, and for just being fun to read.

Second Prizes, including $5,000 and Membership in FQXi, goes to: "On the impossibility of superluminal travel: the warp drive lesson" By Carlos Barcelo, Stefano Finazzi & Stefano Liberati; and "At the Frontier of Knowledge" By Sabine Hossenfelder. The essay of Carlos, Stefano F. and Stefano L. discussed a piece of physics that first sounds implausible, then maybe possible, and then maybe not after all. Judges praised the essay for a rigorous discussion of an interesting topic, with an overview of old material and new speculations. The essay of Sabine attacks our presumption that anyone could answer the essay question, arguing that we can never know if we have hit a limit of scientific knowledge. Judges praised the witty and logical style and the author's creative questioning of the question. A further six essays received Third Prize, splitting the$10,000 pot evenly, and ten more received Fourth Prize and $1,000. (Again, full results are at here.) The Panel did not choose to award further Special Commendations, since it felt its views were still expressed well enough by the final results. The Panel's ratings had a strong effect on the results, since the ratings at the time of the Finalist cut were so tight, and because each Panelist was given the weight of 3.0 normal Community voters. This meant that there were considerable differences between the rankings at the cut and the final standings. Some essays that were front runners after the cut did not win prizes, and some that were not in the top twenty finished in the top ten. The final ratings were still close, though, with over ten essays missing Fourth Prize by a half point or less. It's agreed by many of the entrants, readers, and the panel that this was a hard question to answer (c.f. Sabine), and hence a hard contest to judge. The panel expressed a variety of opinions on all the essays, and even the highest rated were not unanimously praised. We should all keep in mind that the awarding of a prize signifies that the winner is a relevant and interesting essay: something that is well written, thought provoking, stimulating, fun, etc. It should not be construed to mean that everyone, including the members of the panel, believe that the approach is complete, flawless, unobjectionable etc.! On the flip side, failure to win a prize should not be construed as indicating that there is something fundamentally wrong with an essay; lots of essays that were very well liked by at least some panelists ended up off the list. Moreover, the Panel judges had a hard time knowing how to deal with differing levels of technical sophistication. Some of the essays, including a few of the winners, have a lot of equations and other technical material. The Panel members disagreed strongly on the readability of such essays and even the importance of readability. This situation shows us that for the next contest, we the organizers should be very clear about the expected level of sophistication. After what we've said here, we won't release additional information on the Review Panel's work, such as who the judges were, what their reviews said, what the rankings within the tiers were, etc. The important information is who won what prize, and anything else will detract from that. And far more important, we think, than who won what prize is the prime purpose of the contest: generating interesting material and lots of discussion! On behalf of all the FQXi administration, we say thank you to all the participants. It's been exciting to see the depth and range of ideas that have come out, and gratifying to see how supportive and interactive the community has been amongst itself. We've had fun and learned some things, and I hope you all have, too. Looking forward to the next contest question, Anthony & Brendan report post as inappropriate Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jan. 19, 2010 @ 19:22 GMT Greetings, First off, know that I thoroughly enjoyed participating in this contest, regardless of the outcome. As one of the top three essays before the judges weighed in, I was really hoping to know how my ranking was changed in the process of adjudication. You seem to be saying this will not ever be revealed, as this would show the 'ranking between the tiers, etc.' Am I to understand that I will never know how I fared? It would be nice to know how close I came, at least, but I appreciated the chance to compete regardless. All the Best, Jonathan J. Dickau report post as inappropriate J.C.N. Smith wrote on Jan. 19, 2010 @ 19:49 GMT Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to FQXi for sponsoring this competition. Will be looking forward to re-reading the winning essays and, hopefully, to another stimulating competition in the future. Cheers! report post as inappropriate Peter van Gaalen wrote on Jan. 19, 2010 @ 20:17 GMT I must say that I am very disappointed. The fundamental Question Institute overlooked an answer to a very fundamental question. Greetings, Peter van Gaalen report post as inappropriate James Putnam wrote on Jan. 19, 2010 @ 20:34 GMT Congratulations to the winners. Thank you to the organizers and the panel of judges. Most of all thank you to fqxi for including essays by persons like myself. Your latitude toward both the variety of essays included in the contests and the discussion blogs is rare and appreciated. The only disappointment I feel is that I have to wait months again for the next contest. James report post as inappropriate Ray Munroe wrote on Jan. 19, 2010 @ 20:58 GMT Congratulations to the winners! I would like to thank Anthony Aguirre, Brendan Foster, and FQXi for organizing this event, and thank Bruce and Astrid McWilliams for helping support it financially. I am somewhat surprised that two of the five most popular essays did not make the final cut of nineteen, but the final nineteen are all fine essays. Sincerely, Ray Munroe report post as inappropriate Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jan. 19, 2010 @ 21:28 GMT FQXi: You said: ....(of the winning essay): "Judges praised this well-rounded essay for its insightful content, for tackling many different interpretations of the essay question, and for just being fun to read." "And far more important, we think, than who won what prize is the prime purpose of the contest: generating interesting material and lots of discussion!" FQXi ALSO says: I. ABOUT FQXi "The Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi) is an independent, philanthropically funded nonprofit organization." "Our mission is to catalyze, support, and disseminate research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly new frontiers and innovative ideas integral to a deep understanding of reality, but unlikely to be supported by conventional sources." DO THE ESSAY CONTEST RESULTS REFLECT THIS? No, they clearly do not. I SAY: The ultimate and legitimate goal of truth, knowledge, and experience in general is the fundamental advancement and improvement of consciousness (and understanding) in conjunction with the healthy, natural, and instinctive extensiveness of experience. DO THE ESSAY CONTEST RESULTS REFLECT THIS? No, they clearly do not. report post as inappropriate Jason Wolfe wrote on Jan. 19, 2010 @ 21:40 GMT Congratulations to the winners!!! I liked the way the first and second place winners wrote about topics that are important to the physics community. Physics will eventually have to (get to) discover the secret of FTL propulsion technology. First place winner touched on some spiritual topics. I feel the physics community will eventually have to excuse itself as being unqualified to explore that manifestation of life and reality. report post as inappropriate Arjen Dijksman wrote on Jan. 19, 2010 @ 21:50 GMT Congratulations to the winners! I trust there's much to learn from them. Thanks Anthony, Brendan and other FQXi members for having given us the unique opportunity to share our personal interrogations and ideas about what's ultimately possible in physics. I hope discussions will continue and I'm curious to know about next essay's topic... Best greetings, Arjen report post as inappropriate Jarvis wrote on Jan. 19, 2010 @ 22:26 GMT There isn't one winner who is without phd. Given that they don't stand up to scrutiny, some of the selections are puzzling too. For example, Dean Rickle's essay. report post as inappropriate Georgina Parry wrote on Jan. 19, 2010 @ 22:36 GMT Congratulations to the winners. Well done FQXi judges in coming to a diplomatic and satisfactory outcome. Choosing two very good but not uncontroversial winners and splitting the 3rd and 4th prizes between a number of other very worthy contenders. The choice of 1st and 2nd winners does publicly demonstrate FQXi's consideration of novel ideas, when well presented. Sabine's essay, one that I expected might be one of the first choices, clearly explained the difficulty of the question but would have been a safe and less exciting choice. I think Brendan's post here clearly explains the inherent difficulty of judging this particular contest and I think the decision, although disappointing for some, is pleasantly surprising,IMO. report post as inappropriate Owen Cunningham wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 00:08 GMT Congratulations to the winners -- well deserved, all. But what about the three purely discretionary prizes? I didn't see them announced anywhere, even though their potential is mentioned in the contest rules. report post as inappropriate Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 01:14 GMT Congratulations to the winners. I think this was fun. We will wait for the next one, and this time I know what not to do. Cheers LC report post as inappropriate Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 01:18 GMT Hello again, I also congratulate the winners, and thank FQXi for both running the contest, and giving me the opportunity to participate. It was a pleasure and a privilege. I hope to take part in a few more, but I have a few thoughts to share now. During the closing panel comments at the Frontiers of Fundamental Physics conference (which a few FQXi members attended), in Perth last November, I made the statement that while from childhood I had always wanted to be a scientist - I spent most of my working life involved with Engineering not Physics. Then I said that we need to encourage people who wish to further their education or who would seek a career in Science to do so. And I went on to say that society encourages people to be productive, rather than seeking knowledge for its own sake - which remains essential for advancement in Science. It would have been nice had the discretionary awards been used to reward one or two people who do not already have a career in Science, but have a sincere wish for its advancement. Part of the wonder of what happened here is that it was hard to tell some of the amateur scientists apart from the career academics, based only on the content of their essays. It is my opinion that the 'urge to do Science' should be nurtured, and would argue that this is one of FQXi's primary goals. I ask simply "does the outcome of this contest foster any new careers in Science?" I'm not sure. I hope that future FQXi contests don't make people like myself ineligible, merely because they are not attached to any academic or research institution, as I would dearly like to try again. Perhaps next time will be different. Until the next contest, I shall continue to work for the advancement of Science, and to foster Science education, in every setting and to whatever degree I can. All the Best, Jonathan report post as inappropriate Stefan Weckbach wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 07:44 GMT Concratulations to the contest winners and thanks to all participants for exciting discussions over the last months! Last but not least thanks also to FQXI for offering the contest and announce prices. Looking forward to the next contest subject with much curiosity! Stefan Weckbach report post as inappropriate Peter van gaalen wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 08:00 GMT Before the contest, I wrote to different experts, but ussualy they don't talk with layman. FQXI was for me a change to be taken serious. But after the contest, I still don't know the opinion of the experts. What should I have done to be taken serious? proove that E = -mc2 ? Sorry, I did: E = m(ic)2 Proove that m2 = E2 - p2 is wrong? Sorry, I did. The scientific community missed the relativistic mass: it is m2 - s2 = E2 - p2. Proove that magnetic charge is the same as electromagnetic flux? Sorry, I did. Or suggesting that the fine structure constant is the ratio of two different planck constants? Sorry, I did. How more fundamental can it be? report post as inappropriate Cristi Stoica wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 09:50 GMT Congratulations to the winners! Congratulations to all other participants to the discussions, with or without being contestants. Many thanks to those who made all this possible, FQXi and those supporting it. This edition of the contest is a great achievement, like the first one. report post as inappropriate Constantin Leshan wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 11:56 GMT First I want to thank FQXi for offering the contest and announce prizes. Also I have a proposal for the next contest. Pay attention, all the winners’ essays lay in the field of the Standard Model only; I don't see any winner' essay outside of the Standard Model. Also all winners are professional scientists with PhD. Does FQXi support the Standard Model and professional scientists only? Maybe FQXi will support the essays from BAC collider to search for Higgs boson in the next contest? I participate at contest because FQXi said: "Our mission is to catalyze, support, and disseminate research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly new frontiers and innovative ideas integral to a deep understanding of reality, but unlikely to be supported by conventional sources." Therefore, I have a proposal for the next contest: in order to stimulate freethinkers, please add the special prizes for the essays which research physics OUTSIDE of the Standard Model. report post as inappropriate Christian Corda replied on Jan. 27, 2010 @ 08:32 GMT Judges have been very correct and the Essay Competition is OK as it is now. In fact, what is the bound between "Standard Physics" and "Alternative Physics"? I think that, for example, the beautiful First Prize Essay by Louis Crane is not totally within "Standard Physics" from an orthodox point of you. On the other hand, this Essay was VERY RIGOROUS from both of the logical and mathematical points of view. Thus, it STRONGLY DESERVED the First Prize even if it was not totally within "Standard Physics"!!! This is exactly the spirit of the FQXi Essay Competition! Unfortunately, in this Essay Competition there were also few essays which did not concern "Alternative Physics" but were a collection of absurdities and nonsenses without any scientific foundation. Thus, judges have been very correct in order to do not award such "essays". FQXi has been even too much generous in permitting them to participate to this Essay Competition. Sincerely, Ch. report post as inappropriate Steve Dufourny wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 12:10 GMT HIP HIP HIP HOURAA for the winners,congratulations. Congratulations FQXi too ... Friendly Steve report post as inappropriate Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 14:54 GMT To the FQXi, It must be tough to adjudicate a contest like the one just completed, and I must both praise and criticize the results. Having served on the board of a non-profit (the Center for symbolic studies) I am sympathetic to the fact that, in addition to serving the public, you must secure and maintain the support of both academic institutions and investors. You are trying to... view entire post report post as inappropriate Don Limuti (www.zenophysics.com) wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 15:24 GMT Another great contest! FQXi makes the best use of the internet to encourage science and human understanding. Bruce and Astrid McWilliams are supporting something very worthwhile. Anthony and Brendan, yea it is kind of messy but it works. Thanks Don L. report post as inappropriate James Putnam wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 17:55 GMT It is the participation of true experts with their PHDs that make this a legitimate theoretical physics contest. There are some of us that follow a different path from their work. The funny thing about that is that we each disagree with one another. It sort of reminds me of the question: What religion is the true religion? My point is that anyone, whether a professional or not, must gain the willing approval of professionals before their work gains respect and recognition. That recognition, should it ever come, must be willingly given by qualified others. I like the theoretical work I have done; however, I do not expect to win a contest against PHD's until they should decide for good reasons of their own that I deserve their support. In the meantime, having the opportunity to have my ideas made available alongside their work is a privilege. I worry more that that privilege might go away than that my work goes unrecognized by professional physicists. Even durring this last contest, my main concern was that the low ratings for essays by PHD's might discourage their participation. Fqxi should use their own judgement about what they need to do to continue to successfully attract PHD's while including quality essays by others. I have no complaints. I look forward to the next contest and simply hope that my next essay will also be accepted. James report post as inappropriate Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 17:59 GMT Hello yet again, I must also thank Bruce and Astrid McWilliams and echo Don's assertion that they have supported a worthwhile endeavor. And I should thank Anthony and Brendan too. It was a great contest, and you chose a topic that has been a favorite of mine for years! It was wonderful to be able to expound on the Ultimate Limits of Physics in such an erudite and eclectic forum. But, as Lawrence said above, I also know better what not to do for next time. I hope that this year's very successful contest inspires you folks to make this a yearly event, and encourages those who would give their support financially to foster FQXi's support for a larger and even more diverse group of winners in the next round! All the Best, Jonathan report post as inappropriate Steve Dufourny wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 18:05 GMT Hi dear Jonathan, It is so well said.It is the reason why I d like create a sciences center. The economic system is like that, it is our global reality but the real sciences always shall be on the road for ever because the foundamentals are the foundamentals. You know dear Jonathan ,when I see the experiments ,the centers of research and others systems ,I don't understand all ,why ,for what .....it is sad and the word is weak. All my life ,I will try to build this center,the real centralisation of universalists ,realists is possible.The individualism is not essential ,fortunaly. But the system is the system and the human nature is the human nature ,but we evolve too... Regards Steve report post as inappropriate Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 18:41 GMT Thank You Steve, I genuinely appreciate your vote of confidence, and support your idea for a Science Center to foster young people's (and others') discovery of the foundational topics in Science. I recently put a local Science educator, Floyd Holt, in touch with B.G. Sidharth who attended FFP10. Sidharth founded a Science Center in Hyderabad and Floyd is trying to create something very similar in upstate New York - Spaceship Discovery. I am also trying to help another local man who has created something called the Math Science Exploratorium. Any way that we - as individuals or in organizations - can foster a love of knowledge for its own sake, or create ways to help make learning about advanced topics in Science and Math more fun, this should be pursued. I am of the opinion that Theoretical Physics is ideally a playful pursuit, and that it should be exciting and fascinating to consider foundational questions. So I would say; go for it, or find someone who is headed in that direction to help and encourage. If more people knew just what a joy exploring Science can be, there would be a lot more good scientists on the planet! All the Best, Jonathan report post as inappropriate FQXi Administrator Anthony Aguirre wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 19:10 GMT All: Thanks to many commenters for your kind words -- it's a pleasure to be able to make these contests happen for the community, and I hope we can keep doing them, and keep doing them better and better. In a future post, I will solicit ideas for both topics and improvements for the next contest, hopefully to be launched before too long. Jonathan Dickau (and others): In terms of the question of 'professional-academic' versus other contributors, what I can say is that as far as I could tell, the panelists read the essays without any particular attention to the biographies of the entrants. Many of the winners were names unfamiliar to most or all of the panelists, and *after* the panel had finished, Brendan & I went back to check whether any 'non-professionals' had gotten prizes. I admit that I personally was a bit disappointed that none had, but I think the process was fair on that front. This perhaps raises two questions: (a) Was there some other, more hidden, bias against 'non-professionals' in terms of the language used, topics approached, etc.? Possible, though I'd be a bit surprised. (b) Should there be some sort of 'extra boost' or consideration or 'affirmative action' for non-professionals? I'm not sure of this either. At any rate, thanks again to all of the participants for making this contest fun and interesting, and hopefully the second of many! Anthony report post as inappropriate Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 21:05 GMT Thank you Anthony, I greatly appreciate the thoughtful response to the concerns I raised, as I was worried I might appear embittered. I did not want the heaviness of other events in my life to make it appear that way, as I had a positive experience with the contest overall, and I'd like to continue my participation in FQXi forums. I believe that things are working out well, or have worked out, and feel that the contest was a success for both FQXi and myself. The level of erudition and quality of writing of the winning essays is undeniable. I have not read all of them but thought that several were brilliant! Their level of excellence may be hard for any amateur to beat. So I offer my sincere congratulations to the winners and thanks to FQXi, while looking forward to the next round. Kind Regards, Jonathan Dickau report post as inappropriate FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 22:10 GMT Thanks to all from me, too, for your enthusiastic participation. And don't forget Thanks are due to our Program Officer Kavita Rajanna, and the webmaster Christopher Gronbeck. The smooth running of all the contest parts is due to them. report post as inappropriate Anonymous wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 22:23 GMT It could be one of the following: Either the quality of the essays by non professionals was very low or the panel was biased. I think the second is more probable but to be sure next time they should do a blind evaluation. report post as inappropriate FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 22:38 GMT An issue we debated behind the scenes is what it means to be a 'professional' in this context. I don't know that there is an easy or precise answer. If you mean, must be a Professor of Physics, then many of our winners are not pro's, including Louis Crane (he's a prof of Math). Several of the winners are not profs of anything, including 2nd prize winner Stefano Finazzi, who also does not have a PhD. A few other winners also do not have PhD's in physics, and a few do not earn money in a physics-related job. Perhaps most importantly, several are not experts in the particular focus of their essays. Sabine Hossenfelder may be a professor of physics, but I don't recall her ever publishing anything in Physical Review about the limits of scientific knowledge. So that's my question---is there a precise way to define 'professional' in this context? this post has been edited by the forum administrator report post as inappropriate James Putnam wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 22:44 GMT Dear Anonymous, Another possibility is that the essays by the winners were better in the opinion of the judges. I expect the judges to use their own judgement, the same as I would. They did their work. It is over. The next time the judges, whomever they may be, will hopefully again use their own judgements. James report post as inappropriate Anonymous wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 23:16 GMT Brendan, Anthony just admitted in his post that only professionals got prizes. He said specifically: "I went back to check whether any 'non-professionals' had gotten prizes. I admit that I personally was a bit disappointed that none had" So I think you must ask him to define the term 'professionals'. I just followed his words. report post as inappropriate FQXi Administrator Anthony Aguirre wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 23:39 GMT 'Anonymous': To clarify, my personal definition would be someone who is both outside of the academic establishment, and also lacking a PhD in physics or closely related field. This definition is imperfect (for example, there are excellent professional science writers without a PhD), but none of the winners, as it turns out, meet it. But to be clear, my definition is both personal and irrelevant, since this was not a criterion that figured into the judging in either direction. Anthony report post as inappropriate Anonymous wrote on Jan. 20, 2010 @ 23:56 GMT "including 2nd prize winner Stefano Finazzi, who also does not have a PhD." He is doing a Phd under one of his essay's co-authors. All of the first, second and third prize winners (the ones winning membership to FQXi) are professionals. The vast majority of the rest are too. All of the winners, with the exception of the above, have PhDs. Given some of the entries in the contest from non-professionals and non-phds, the results do smell a little bit of something. and I think it very likely that the judges did look at the author bios. If the judging was done blindly, I think the contest results would probably have been different. report post as inappropriate Cristi Stoica wrote on Jan. 21, 2010 @ 10:07 GMT The FQXi contests are really great, and probably they are one of the best possible investments of that money. Maybe this contest was not perfect, but it definitely was very good. It was said that the jury is biased. I cannot say this, because, being myself human, I am biased too. Isn't this what makes us humans? Anyway, we all had the chance to express our own biases by the ratings. The awarded essays were good, and many others were good as well. Every contestant received a reward, even if it is just by participating, and by having the opportunity to share their interesting ideas. They did not do this for the money, as it was suggested in a comment on another thread, because it is clear to me that in the time of conceiving, documenting and writing the essays, and discussing on the forums, they could do more money by having a second part time job, than by winning one of the prizes. I think that the participants (as well as the participants to discussions, which did not submit essays) are great people, who dedicate their time to enrich their and others understanding of the universe. It was a privilege for me to participate. report post as inappropriate Steve Dufourny wrote on Jan. 21, 2010 @ 12:51 GMT Hi all , Dear Jonathan , You are welcome. I thank you for your message. You know dear Jonathan,I will arrive to create it.And of course my credibility will be stronger if this center is created.My main aim is the production of adapted solutions on ground ,like mini plants, powders for soil, system of purification of water, my sphere of composting, foods, medicaments, education system....locally.The fat to ptroduce for NGO or others is essential. My aim is only simple like that, united people and put them into synergies and complementarrities by adapted productions for our fellow men. All the universalists, the humanists, the real scientists are welcome of course if some points are respected evidently.The universalists on FQXi I am persuaded, have understood this simple fact about the solutions.If they can't understand or they don't want to understand ,thus the time is precious and my communication must be more efficient here and in an other place ,virtual or real. The hummanity is like a rainbow ,a diversity of colors united ,unified in the light.....it is difficult to turn off a big fire with one water drop, nevertheless a whole of drops makes the Ocean...... Best Regards Steve report post as inappropriate Anonymous wrote on Jan. 21, 2010 @ 13:33 GMT It's a closed club and even if they don't admit it they treat non-professionals with contempt. They have nearly zero chance of winning. report post as inappropriate Steve Dufourny wrote on Jan. 21, 2010 @ 14:09 GMT Hi dear Anonyme , Everyhere the systems are like that, it is a global reality due to some past and bad habits,the people are always stronger in team and thus you can understand the system of clubs. The people must live in this system and they must pay their house,car,education of children, ...thus the people helps together and it is logic when we see the global earth system and its parameters. It is well like that. All becomes a little bizare on this Earth,we must pay all ,soon we shal pay the air ,this 02, it is a big problem at this moment because this simple fact implies an individualism and a kind of life non universal. These clubs are not bads ,of couse it exists bad people everywhere but it is the global system which is here the main cause . Of course the envy of monney exists but it exists too universalists where the monney is a joke ,an error ,... I think strongly what the scientists are not the problems, but indeed the system and the bad people.Criminality more corruption imply chaos .Like say a friend Education+prosperity=peace....where is the main problem thus dear friends ....in the heart of humans in fact, some people have a good heart ,others are unconscious simply .The responsability takes all its sense thus with this simple reality. A scientist invents ,creates ,works ....and the business man utilizes their ideas to make monney ,it is not a new,even with Watt with his machine ,in fact with all .....dear scientists ,you are not the problem ,in fine ,I hope ! Take care dear friends and let's pass above the frontiers to create ,to invent,to optimize in our ecosystems. Steve the crazzy spheric man from belgium report post as inappropriate Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jan. 21, 2010 @ 14:51 GMT Hello again, I think I can make sense of this discussion by offering that a central question for many of us is "what does it take to keep us in the game?" Some need money or other compensation, others need recognition or the acknowledgment of their accomplishments, while still others are happy just being allowed to continue playing. According to some experts, like Joseph Chilton Pearce and Michael Mendizza, playing is perhaps the only way we learn - and at least the most important and effective way. But in order to participate, or to continue playing, people need to have a sense that real play is possible, and that they have a fair chance of a beneficial outcome - should the game offer some benefit outside the playing of it. So the question of fairness comes in, as a natural part of any game or contest whatsoever. So for some, there is a legitimate concern with the question "is there a genuine chance for recognition or compensation, if I make a heroic effort?" In a contest like the one just ended here at FQXi, a truly heroic effort is required to make the cut, and having the winning essay may be beyond the capabilities of many of us - despite perhaps some of the most heroic efforts in our lives. It's mind-boggling to me - to see some of the content on the forums, and to imagine the huge amount of time some people must put in - just so they can leave or respond to one more comment or question. And of course, the number of essays people had to read - so they would have something to say - is also quite impressive. I am sure the time and effort of some, on the contest essay and forum, was considerably greater than my own - perhaps by several times. There were many who tried to respond to each new comment or question about their essay - as soon as it popped up. So; the contest generated a tremendous amount of interest and participation - even from non-participants. There was an excitement that built over time, and a lot of people had high hopes despite the fact their chances were slim. And it is kind of disappointing (especially for finalists who failed to win a prize) to run a race - then never get to know how you did. I'm sure some perceived that as a 'low blow,'in that those who craved recognition will not get to know what there level of recognition really is. So it's natural too, that some would perceive the outcome as unfair - even if the judges did their jobs with pure impartiality. It can be seen as a rule change after the fact. So the organizers need to be aware of what instills a sense of fairness, and encourages those who would participate to stay in the game. I spoke to people who were in the first FQXi contest, who said they would never do it again. So; there is something to examine here. As it turns out; I'm actually writing a book on playing, and what keeps people in the game, so I have perhaps learned a little about this. All the Best, Jonathan report post as inappropriate Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jan. 21, 2010 @ 15:14 GMT Hello again, Looking at my last post. Gee; I said 'so' a lot. I apologize. Or perhaps I should say I am sorry (which also begins with 'so'). All the Best, Jonathan report post as inappropriate Ray Munroe wrote on Jan. 21, 2010 @ 15:24 GMT Dear Jonathan, You make your point well. I was somewhat surpised that two of the five most popular essays (yours and mine) did not make the final cut of nineteen, but I understand the Judges were scoring about 42 good papers, and there was the expectation that the results would be changed and shaken-up by the Judge's descision. I have a doctorate in high-energy physics phenomenology, but I left full-time academia eleven years ago. I don't need the money, but I do need the recognition. My condolences on the loss of your friend this past Tuesday. Thank you once again to Anthony Aguirre, Brendan Foster, Bruce and Astrid McWilliams, Kavita Rajanna, and the Christopher Gronbeck. Sincerely, Ray Munroe report post as inappropriate James Putnam wrote on Jan. 21, 2010 @ 15:40 GMT This is what I think. The judges played a decisive role in elevating the winners. This effect was not of their doing. They were given weighted votes, but even that was not the major reason for the strength of their impact on the results. The reason, as I see it, was that the number of votes of the contest participants and members of fqxi were almost meager compared to what they could have been. If community voters played a lessor role in effecting who the winners would be, it is because, as a group, they or we played a lessor role in participating in voting. James report post as inappropriate Steve Dufourny wrote on Jan. 21, 2010 @ 19:04 GMT Hi, You know ,there is a wonderful fact ,it is this innovant platform in a total transparence ,the competitions or essays are not importants, the communication becomes revolutionary with the wireless and the live communication transparent,the new generation arrives ,it exists SO MANY CREATIVE MINDS on this Earth ,this kind of platform is a real innovation for the sciences community.I am persuaded the future will be exciting. Best Regards Steve report post as inappropriate Constantin Leshan wrote on Jan. 21, 2010 @ 21:18 GMT If the judges are adepts of the Standard Model, the essays about alternative physics never win. Because the scientist is convinced that the standard theory only is true, and he will delete all concurrent theories as false. The standard and alternative physicists disagree with one another. It sort of reminds me of the question: What religion is the true religion? Therefore, please add some judges who are adepts of alternative physics. There are many people who consider the Standard Model as erroneous; it is a mathematical model only which can compute only and explain nothing. It is impossible to publish the paper about alternative physics in the mainstream journals; it is the dictatorial regime of the majority that pursues dissidents. I propose to nominate separate prizes for the Standard Model and Alternative Physics to stimulate freethinkers. Best Regards Constantin report post as inappropriate Christian Corda replied on Jan. 27, 2010 @ 08:31 GMT Judges have been very correct and the Essay Competition is OK as it is now. In fact, what is the bound between "Standard Physics" and "Alternative Physics"? I think that, for example, the beautiful First Prize Essay by Louis Crane is not totally within "Standard Physics" from an orthodox point of you. On the other hand, this Essay was VERY RIGOROUS from both of the logical and mathematical points of view. Thus, it STRONGLY DESERVED the First Prize even if it was not totally within "Standard Physics"!!! This is exactly the spirit of the FQXi Essay Competition! Unfortunately, in this Essay Competition there were also few essays which did not concern "Alternative Physics" but were a collection of absurdities and nonsenses without any scientific foundation. Thus, judges have been very correct in order to do not award such "essays". FQXi has been even too much generous in permitting them to participate to this Essay Competition. Sincerely, Ch. report post as inappropriate Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jan. 21, 2010 @ 23:02 GMT Now there's a notion.. A separate prize specifically for Alternative Physics theories would probably lead to a lot of interesting entries, some of which would offer real answers but require a shift of mindset. I went to the Crisis in Cosmology conference, a few years back, where many of the participants believe the notion we've entered an era of 'precision Cosmology' is premature. What I saw is that there are any number of ways to explain the same data in a self-consistent way, if one was willing to set aside or modify certain key assumptions. Three presenters advanced different theories which relaxed the linearity of time constraint. Another showed how Lobachevskian space solved a number of problems. Cold Big Bang, Machian Universe, and Plasma Cosmology were all shown to have regimes where they explain the data quite well. So; thank you Constantin. Perhaps certain answers - which the scientific community has settled on - are really, or should be considered, open questions. In an arena like Cosmology - where there are any number of theories which explain some if not all the data - perhaps we are ripe for yet another revolution. The problem in that field is that we really can't go far enough out there yet, to verify the answers to some questions more directly. Nor can we bring the cosmos into the laboratory. Not yet, anyhow. Ergo; there should probably be some attempt to nurture Alternative Physics, as it's likely certain alternative theories will one day overturn those in the mainstream. We just don't know which ones they are yet. All the Best, Jonathan report post as inappropriate Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jan. 21, 2010 @ 23:32 GMT Hello again, There is perhaps a better alternative to the suggestion above, which is to devote an entire contest to alternatives. So I have another suggestion - a topic for the next contest might be something like this. "How can changing one little part of our view help us explain the entire Cosmos?" All the Best, Jonathan report post as inappropriate James Putnam wrote on Jan. 21, 2010 @ 23:39 GMT Dear Jonathan, What if there had been such a contest this time and I had won it? What would you say? James report post as inappropriate Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jan. 22, 2010 @ 00:56 GMT Dear James, I don't think I read your essay for this contest, but the idea of unity being something we should start with - rather than work in later - is a great idea, and having a good imagination appears essential to progress in theoretical Physics. So if what I can glean from your abstract is a clear indicator, at least you had something good to say - or a couple of good ideas anyhow. I believe there is a kind of unity to a universe without form, as a truly empty space is undivided - being without distinctions that would create separation. The constructivists in Math feel that an absolutely empty space is of indeterminate dimensionality. But if you add some objects and observers a determination of the dimensions of objects and environment becomes possible. So if you are starting at the very beginning a kind of unity exists. But even with the advent of Background Independent theories like Loop Quantum Gravity, and pre-geometric theories like the Quantum Graphity idea of Fotini Markopoulou, the notion we have to explain how dimensions emerge has been slow to take hold. At FFP10; Marni Shepheard stated in her lecture that Nima Arkani-Hamed has been pushing this notion, and being a constructivist myself I'd like to know more. I shall read your essay from this time, and wish you luck for next time. All the Best, Jonathan report post as inappropriate James Putnam wrote on Jan. 22, 2010 @ 01:09 GMT Dear Jonathan, Excellent answer. I did not think that you should agree that I deserved to win. You strike me as a fair minded person who wishes to have a chance to prove your own ideas in a contest that encourages different new ideas. You might be chosen or someone else might be chosen. Nice to meet you. Good luck in your work. James report post as inappropriate Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jan. 22, 2010 @ 01:09 GMT Thank you Ray! I really appreciate the sympathies and the encouragement. Like you, I need some of that to keep going with activities like this. Good Luck for next time and Have Fun! All the Best, Jonathan report post as inappropriate Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jan. 22, 2010 @ 01:19 GMT Thank you James. I also appreciate the encouragement from you. It is nice to be heard! It is good to make your acquaintance, as well. May you have the best of luck in future contests, should you participate, and may you feel encouraged to do so. All the Best, Jonathan report post as inappropriate Helmut Hansen wrote on Jan. 22, 2010 @ 16:38 GMT Congratulations to all winners! I have a technical question: Is it now possible to publish a submitted paper elsewhere? report post as inappropriate Steve Dufourny wrote on Jan. 22, 2010 @ 17:50 GMT Hi all , Dear Jonathan , I like read your posts but these words imply confusions just because the referential is false ,all has a form dear Jonathan . You say I believe there is a kind of unity to a universe without form,it is a personal perception correlated with ideas of some people and of course all is free to think what he wants but this definition for me and it is personal,that has no sense with our reality in 3D.An unity is correlated with a form and the sphere is not divisible ,without a specific dynamic like this one ,it is impossible to extrapolate inside a finite system with this kind of reasoning.It is the sphere and its form which is indivisible ,not the empty space.It doesn't exist this empty space furthermore. An other point is the difference with reals maths and imaginaries.The method is not the problem but the lack of limits.The Higgs and extradimensions are falses and never we shall find them ,it is not a reason to accept ,no these maths are just falses in their whole.Just because the maths wants become the driving force of our physicality.An apple falls down always like it falls down ,that is the gravity ,and the maths help to encircle this effect ,but you can't change the laws,even with complexs imaginaries .The irrationals has no place in the physics. Best Regards Steve report post as inappropriate Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jan. 22, 2010 @ 18:27 GMT I think I understand, Steve, Spheres are very, very cool. They are the very model of perfect symmetry. But an unbroken space - not populated by any boundaried form whatsoever - still remains a mystery, an indeterminate or ambiguous space, and therefore its precise dimensionality is uncertain. Now this is admittedly an abstraction, because we don't observe perfect a vacuum - even when we do evacuate all of the form and try our best to isolate our test chambers. But the alternative to dimensional indeterminacy, or emergent dimensionality in Physics, is an empty space that does have particular dimensionality, like Minkowski space. Does that seem more realistic to you? Aren't you still curious where the dimensions had their origin, why we observe 3-dimensional space and time, and so on? Was it always the same? It does appear that the dimensionality of space is different near the Planck scale. So we need to consider a broader definition, at least in some arenas. I'll leave off here for now. All the best, Jonathan report post as inappropriate Steve Dufourny wrote on Jan. 22, 2010 @ 18:40 GMT You know dear Jonathan , I think strongly it exists irreversibilities and limits, just before the Planck scale all is like that too. Thus why "to want" these extradimensions.These laws are irreversibles like the time, it is foundamental in fact dear Jonathan ,really and humbly, it is not new, the laws are the laws. Even the last sphere for me is in this logic, the only variables are them what we know like the velocity ,the temperature,the pression ,.......but not our 3D and this time constant ,it is really the biggest error in physics. The relativity, it is that in fact. Let's take too E=mc²....in 3D too, the gravity polarises the light in this time constant.....all that is purely irreversible. Thanking you Steve report post as inappropriate Author Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Jan. 22, 2010 @ 19:56 GMT Anonymous said: "It's a closed club and even if they don't admit it they treat non-professionals with contempt. They have nearly zero chance of winning." This was my experience here, including the judging of my essay. I will no longer be participating here. Florin, Dr. Corda, Ray, and Georgina were especially unprofessional, slick, misleading (if not lying outright), disrespectful, dismissive, overly-critical, etc. The credibility of this contest has, no doubt, been diminished. Many of my posts were deleted, although "replies" were allowed to remain. So much for the contest being a record of fact. My posts were carefully deleted from Florin's and especially Giovanni's essays, and others as well. Is this a coincidence too? FQXI, also, I do not write for your entertainment. It is your job to disseminate, and not to conceal and deny, great and foundational truth(s). Your laziness is also evident in the results. report post as inappropriate Christian Corda replied on Jan. 27, 2010 @ 08:36 GMT Judges have been very correct and the Essay Competition is OK as it is now. In fact, what is the bound between "Standard Physics" and "Alternative Physics"? I think that, for example, the beautiful First Prize Essay by Louis Crane is not totally within "Standard Physics" from an orthodox point of you. On the other hand, this Essay was VERY RIGOROUS from both of the logical and mathematical points of view. Thus, it STRONGLY DESERVED the First Prize even if it was not totally within "Standard Physics"!!! This is exactly the spirit of the FQXi Essay Competition! Unfortunately, in this Essay Competition there were also few essays which did not concern "Alternative Physics" but were a collection of absurdities and nonsenses without any scientific foundation. Thus, judges have been very correct in order to do not award such "essays". FQXi has been even too much generous in permitting them to participate to this Essay Competition. If Mr. Di Meglio and other few people will no longer be participating here it means that GOD EXISTS! Sincerely, Ch. report post as inappropriate Ray Munroe wrote on Jan. 22, 2010 @ 20:24 GMT Dear Frank, Thank you for not listing me first, because I don't want you to think I'm Public Enemy #1. I will admit that there have been times that I have tried to listen to your reasoning, and other times when I was frustrated with your contempt of all mathematical models. Perhaps I am 'lazy' in your opinion because I choose not to consider the relevance of Psychology on Physics, but you are likewise 'lazy' in my opinion because you reject the relevance of mathematical models on Physics - even relevant models such as Edwin Eugene Klingman's. I wasn't trying to be glib or funny - I seriously think you could improve your idea by using Gravity fields, Dream fields, etc. along the lines of Ed's models. That doesn't mean I would necessarily agree with you, but it would be a better way to present your model. I know you feel that your ideas are original enough that you deserve to win. But seriously, yours was one of the least popular essays. I suspect some of your unpopular votes were triggered by your overbearing demeanor. Still, I don't want to be your enemy, and if you want to join us in the Monday MetaPhysics Club, you are certainly welcome. I can tolerate Dream Unification once a week if you can tolerate my crazzy (to use Steve's misspelling) multi-dimensional ideas. Have Fun! Dr. Cosmic Ray report post as inappropriate Constantin Leshan wrote on Jan. 22, 2010 @ 21:12 GMT Dear Anthony Aguirre and Brendan Foster, I afraid that the flux of professional scientists will transform FQXi into the usual academic institution. The professional scientists will grab all prizes and non-professionals and alternative physicists will leave FQXi because they do not have chance of winning; If the judges are professional scientists and supporters of the Standard Physics then they will reject all the alternative physics essays. To prevent such events, please add a separate prize for Alternative physics essays. A separate prize specifically for Alternative Physics theories would lead to a lot of interesting entries, some of which would offer real answers but require a shift of mindset. For example, at “Nature of time” contest the judges must select the best essay on Standard physics base and the best essay on Alternative physics base. Best Regards Constantin report post as inappropriate Christian Corda replied on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 19:29 GMT Dear Anthony Aguirre and Brendan Foster, in my opinion, judges have been very correct and the Essay Competition is OK as it is now. In fact, what is the bound between "Standard Physics" and "Alternative Physics"? I think that, for example, the beautiful First Prize Essay by Louis Crane is not totally within "Standard Physics" from an orthodox point of you. On the other hand, this Essay was VERY RIGOROUS from both of the logical and mathematical point of view. Thus, it STRONGLY DESERVED the First Prize even if it was not totally within "Standard Physics"!!! This is exactly the spirit of the FQXi Essay Competition! Unfortunately, in this Essay Competition there were also few essays which did not concern "Alternative Physics" but were a collection of absurdities and nonsenses without any scientific relevance. Thus, judges have been very correct in order to do not award such "essays". You have been even too much generous in permitting them to participate to this Essay Competition. Cheers, Ch. report post as inappropriate Member Ian Durham wrote on Jan. 22, 2010 @ 22:18 GMT First, I'd like to correct some of the misconceptions about at least one winner - me. Yes, I have a PhD, but it's in Math - and it was highly unconventional in terms of both substance and how I completed it. But look up my publication record and what I do for a living. I'm far from an insider. In fact, read my blog (Quantum Moxie) which has a slew of posts regarding my own personal trials with the academic establishment. I've never published a single word in Physical Review. First and foremost, I'm a teacher who teaches at a small, Catholic college that no one has ever heard of (until now, I guess). And yet I got a third prize (which nearly gave me a heart attack when I found out - I'm still having a hard time believing it). I am flabbergasted and overjoyed and so very thankful. I understand the frustration of those who didn't win and who think they're "outside" academia. I know what it's like and I doubt that by winning this award I'm suddenly going to become an insider. But I at least have faith that FQXi carefully reads and listens to unconventional ideas (and, trust me, they're unconventional because I've given a couple of talks based on my essay to academics and received a tepid response each time). > Pay attention, all the winners’ essays lay in the field of the Standard Model > only; I don't see any winner' essay outside of the Standard Model. I specifically noted a potential problem with the Standard Model in my essay. In fact, that formed a large chunk of the essay. this post has been edited by the author since its original submission report post as inappropriate Christian Corda replied on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 19:40 GMT Dear Ian Durham, your beautiful Essay is a confirmation of my previous post which replied to Mr. Leshan. You STRONGLY DESERVED your Award. My best congratulations. If Alternative Theories are well endorsed from logical and mathematical points of view they are quite welcome! Cheers, Ch. report post as inappropriate Member Ian Durham replied on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 22:19 GMT Dear Christian, Thank you for your kind words! Ian report post as inappropriate Christian Corda replied on Jan. 27, 2010 @ 12:15 GMT Dear Ian, I well understand your situation. I'm a independent researcher and I am far from an insider too. In fact, even if I obtained results that have been recognized by the Scientific Community, see my web-page within the site of the International Society of General Relativity and Gravitation: http://hyperspace.aei.mpg.de/author/cordac.galilei@gmail.com / I have strong contrasts with the Italian academic establishment which hates me for such results. Thus, I strongly admire courageous people like you, but I often emphasize that people like you and me have to be distinguish from other people who are not only outside academia, but also outside the Scientific Community because they do not realize science, but only science-fiction, absurdities and nonsense without any scientific relevance. I strongly hope that such "essays" will never win this Competition Cheers, Ch. report post as inappropriate James Putnam wrote on Jan. 22, 2010 @ 22:29 GMT Dear Ian Durham, Thank you for participating in the contest. I think that your essay was a valuable contribution. I think your winning a prize is great. Most of all I think it is helpful to hear personally from you. I admire persons like you. Contests always can be debated by those who think they should have won. I would have liked to have been chosen to win; but, I do not think that I deserved to win more than did you or the other winners. I don't know where I ended up in the ratings; however, it does not matter. What matters is that this quality contest continues. James report post as inappropriate Member Ian Durham wrote on Jan. 22, 2010 @ 22:43 GMT James, Thanks, and well-said. Ian report post as inappropriate Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jan. 22, 2010 @ 23:01 GMT My honest congratulation to the jury for avoiding inappropriate winners. While I do not share the opinion that decisive foundational questions can better be revealed and possibly even resolved just but including likewise speculative alternatives to the standard model, I am not sure whether investors should go on trusting in overly optimistic expectations, e.g. concerning FTL drives, quantum computing, results from LHC, unification of theories, and all that. Doesn't voting for realism require readiness to look for mistakes even in foundational questions, find them, and consequently reveal possible implications, no matter how premature, unwelcome, and hurting they might be? The discussion at FQXi led me to the book Mathematik im Abendland by Helmuth Gericke, Springer 1990. I infer from page 296 that a correct definition of numbers which was used by Wallis, Newton, and Leibniz, and it was replaced in the 19th century by an untenable one. Eckard Blumschein report post as inappropriate Owen Cunningham wrote on Jan. 23, 2010 @ 00:05 GMT Anthony or Brendan, what became of the three purely discretionary prizes of$1000 that the judging panel had the option of awarding? Did they choose not to award any? I didn't see them anywhere on the results page. Thank you.

P.S. Jonathan Dickau is the man!

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Anonymous wrote on Jan. 23, 2010 @ 08:13 GMT
Owen, it seems that:

- FQXi/jury did not find any good essays other than those awarded, so none of the discretionary prizes was awarded.

- Apart from the awarded entries, FQXi did not find any interesting idea in the essays, such that they did not make at least one comment of acknowledgment. Were all of them really that bad?

Were some of the essays, top ranked by the community, so bad that they had to be systematically sorted out by the panelists, even if this required higher weight for their ratings?

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Arjen Dijksman replied on Jan. 30, 2010 @ 22:45 GMT

I know of one, check the discussion at my essay.

Arjen

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Anonymous wrote on Jan. 23, 2010 @ 08:24 GMT
"Some of the essays, including a few of the winners, have a lot of equations and other technical material. The Panel members disagreed strongly on the readability of such essays and even the importance of readability."

Although I generally disagree with his strong opinions, let me quote from Lubos Motl (http://motls.blogspot.com/2010/01/rise-of-populist-pseudosc
ience.html):

Many people have been taught to uncritically "okay" the kind of science that is taught at schools - which is usually correct, at least morally. But whenever you seriously investigate what they really think, deeply in their souls, about the "right" laws of physics to be found, you find out that

- they think that there should be virtually no maths in it because they - the normal people (and sometimes even not-quite-ordinary people) - dislike maths, they always did, and they were never quite good at it, so it "must" mean that maths is unimportant

- they think that there should be no quantum strangeness in its pillars because the postulates of quantum mechanics and its inherently probabilistic character disagrees with their experience

- they don't really like relativity either because it makes the measurement of time and space problematic; in particular, time fails to be centrally organized. Again, the everyday experience suggests a simpler way of thinking: there must be a preferred frame, right?

- the laws of physics should allow some really ambitious conclusions such as wormholes, time that is running backwards, communication with parallel worlds or the deity, or anything else that can be described in the media as a sensation that every single ordinary person can understand

In other words, they want a simple-minded picture of reality - which is free of maths, quantum mechanics, relativity, as well as any other modern physics, i.e. something similar to the classical chaos in their cup of coffee - to be directly connected with some of the most far-reaching dreams they have such as immortality.

Sorry, ordinary people, but Nature just doesn't work like that.

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Constantin Leshan wrote on Jan. 23, 2010 @ 10:52 GMT
Dear Anonymous,

There are a lot of scientific foundations that supports the professional scientists and mathematical papers, for example the European Science Foundation, NSF. Can you allow at least FQXi to support the ordinary people?

All scientific foundations supports the mainstream physics; Can you allow at least FQXi to support the alternative physics?

Also, You can find here essays which explain quantum mechanical phenomena very well without math.

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Christian Corda replied on Jan. 31, 2010 @ 16:36 GMT
Dear Anonymous,

Mr. Leshan is a good science-fiction's writer.

But the key point is that FQXi is a foundation where physics and cosmology are discussed, while science-fiction is not discussed. Thus, Mr. Leshan should turn to foundations which discuss and found science-fiction in order to obtain consideration. More, he should stop to lament if, correctly, FQXi does not consider his ideas, because such ideas have not physical foundation.

Cheers,

Ch.

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Constantin Leshan replied on Feb. 4, 2010 @ 00:20 GMT
Dear Dr. Christian Corda,

I was convinced that all physicists create the physical theories for analysis and criticism. All new theories needs criticisms, it is the foundation of physics. Therefore I had a goal to criticize all FQXi essays without dependence of the author's names; Also I welcome the critique for my essay. It is the normal physics discussion; I analyze your essay and i expect the criticism for my essay. However, there are some authors which allow the praise for their essays only and forbid any critique.

I was SURPRISED that you are so vindictive. Dr. Corda pursues me for my critique of his essay. What Dr. Corda expect? Do people must praise your theory only? You do not allow any criticism for your essay? First of all pay attention that my criticisms was CORRECT. I have found that your essay is very "mathematical" for our contest and Brendan confirms it: «Some of the essays, including a few of the winners, have a lot of equations and other technical material. The Panel members disagreed strongly on the readability of such essays and even the importance of readability". Thus, my criticism was CORRECT. Therefore I do not understand your threats for FQXi Panel members and me. Please understand, it is an open forum. Everybody can criticize your theory.

Dear FQXi community, you see, Dr. Corda's case shows us that all the critique in the contest must be ANONIMOUS. Otherwise the authors like Christian Corda will revenge to the reviewers. Probably, Dr. Corda hopes to win the contest by help of threatening behaviour.

If you are convinced that my essay is wrong then please show me the errors; We can discuss my theory by e-mail qphysics25@gmail.com. Please show me the “absurdities and nonsenses without any scientific foundation”. Without proofs your declarations about my essay are senseless.

I repeat that I had no the intention to offence you. I published the criticisms for many essays including your without observing the names.

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Ray Munroe replied on Feb. 4, 2010 @ 01:22 GMT
Dear Constantin Leshan,

I stood up for you a couple of days ago with this blog (elsewhere on this thread):

Dear Christian Corda,

You referred to Constantin Leshan as a good science fiction writer. I think he had a good idea that was not well-presented. If it is OK for Hans-Thomas Elze to write about Discrete Spacetime (he won a prize for his essay), then it also seems appropriate for Leshan to write about Holes in said Spacetime. I didn't think that Leshan needed to appeal to a Descartes vacuum, but rather he should have emphasized the similarities between a Spacetime Hole (which MUST be a quantum effect related to Elze's ideas) and the Higgs boson.

What if the LHC does not discover a Standard Model Higgs? It will leave us scrambling for alternative ideas, and Leshan's idea might be a good alternative, but he needs to present it better.

Have Fun!

Dr. Cosmic Ray

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Anonymous wrote on Jan. 23, 2010 @ 12:11 GMT
It's not a consolation for those who didn't receive an honour or prize but here is how Feynman thought about honours, prizes and closed groups of aristocrats:

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jan. 23, 2010 @ 16:36 GMT
I wrote:"... a correct definition of numbers which was used by Wallis, Newton, and Leibniz, and it was replaced in the 19th century by an untenable one." Please ignore either "which" or "and it". Let me explain what is wrong in the new definition by Dedekind: The old definition follows Euclid and treats numbers like measures, not like points.

Dedekind and Gericke mistook it as geometric. Gericke writes: "Descartes and his interpreter van Schouten adapted geometrical constructions to the arithmetic operations and did therewith consider the unit not as a point but as an arbitrarily assumed piece of a line ... Leibniz stresses that this definition includes all kinds of [real (added by Gericke)] numbers [Mathem. Schriften, ed. Gerhardt, Bd. 7, S. 24]: Ex his manifestum est, Numerum in genere integrum, fractum, rationalem, surdum, ordinalium, transcendentem generali notione definiri posse, ut sit quod homogeneum est Unitati, seu quod se habet ad Unitatem, ut recta ad rectam". Gericke adds: "About the same definition can be found in Newton's Arithmetica universalis [1732, S.4]. Only in the 19th century one did look for and found a new definition that is independent from geometry."

Actually it is Dedekind who started with the geometric notions point and line. This cut is a point, not a number, and he wrote: The cut creates a number.

I blame Dedekind for two naive mistakes documented in §3 of Stetigkeit und Irrationale Zahlen:

- "Entspricht naemlich der Punkt p der rationalen Zahl a ..."

- "Die Gerade L ist unendlich viel reicher an Punktindividuen , als das Gebiet R der rationalen Zahlen an Zahlindividuen:"

Eckard Blumschein

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jan. 23, 2010 @ 17:09 GMT
Checking back in,

I was wondering if there would be some response to my comments and I'm happy to see lively debate with both thoughtful and critical remarks. I wish some of the responses could be more positive, but I am encouraged by what I see here - in part because I see meaningful criticism and objections (instead of tacet acceptance or blind anger).

I must thank you Owen, for...

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jan. 23, 2010 @ 18:19 GMT
Hello once again,

I wanted to add that I've seen there are good suggestions in some of the comments others have made above too. And I should also state that I am curious to what extent the contest will stimulate us to undertake what Professor 't Hooft advises us to do, in the comment cited above.

Will we see a greater collaboration, or cooperation, between physicists of differing emphasis, mathematicians, philosophers, programmers, engineers, and technologists - that arises between the participants as a result of this contest? Time will tell.

Regards,

Jonathan

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Owen Cunningham wrote on Jan. 23, 2010 @ 19:07 GMT
Jonathan, you're right on target about what this contest has left me with. In fact it has prompted me to think seriously about going back to school to study physics. I can't wait for the next FQXi contest -- hopefully it will be some topic that I can meaningfully comment on. I really didn't like the way this year's theme was stated -- there was an ambiguity to it that made it unclear whether we should be considering the limits of physical reality or the limits of the scientific discipline of physics.

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Anonymous wrote on Jan. 23, 2010 @ 19:31 GMT
Florin, didn't your essay need to, as Frank said, address the mathematical union of Maxwell's theory and Einstein's GR, since you were attempting to prove in your essay what is ultimately possible in physics mathematically?

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Albert Einstein wrote on Jan. 23, 2010 @ 20:00 GMT
"It is true that the grasping of truth is not possible without empirical basis. However, the deeper we penetrate and the more extensive and embracing our theories become the less empirical knowledge is needed to determine those theories."

"Look deep, deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."

"After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are always artists as well."

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited;

imagination encircles the world."

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

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Ray Munroe wrote on Jan. 23, 2010 @ 21:06 GMT
Dear Anonymous,

Please don't give Frank more credit than he deserves.

Florin's paper was a good theoretical start towards a GUT/ TOE - it was not a GUT/ TOE by itself. Florin read my "A Case Study..." paper and thought I should enter this contest. Of course, that paper was too long, so I had to trim it down substantially. In contrast to Florin's, I thought my paper was a good phenomenological/ geometrical approach towards a GUT/ TOE, but it lacked some of the theoretical motivations that may eventually fall out of Florin's research. Cristinel Stoica's approach towards a GUT was another interesting phenomenological approach.

There were many papers that discussed the IM-POSSIBILITY of Unification (the negative to the primary question - What is Ultimately Possible in Physics?). Though I agree that we will NEVER 'know everything', I do not consider it impossible to unify the known forces and the known particles along with the Quantum and Classical Worlds. Whether you like the expression or not, physicists before me called that the "Theory of Everything (TOE)". And Garrett Lisi came so close to accomplishing a geometrical TOE that he shocked the mainstream Physics world. Distler was forced to tear down Lisi's ideas or admit that a surfer-physicist beat him to the TOE. Is it a theory of everything in that we will finally understand the emergence of intelligence, consciousness and dreams? Probably Not! But it would represent a significant step forward in our understanding of the Universe.

Leave my friend Florin alone. He deserves the recognition.

Have Fun!

Dr. Cosmic Ray

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Bohr, et al wrote on Jan. 23, 2010 @ 21:29 GMT
"How wonderful that we have met with a paradox. Now we have some hope of making progress."

"Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony." Heraclitus

"Everything that happens in all material, living, mental, or even spiritual processes involves the transformation of energy...Every thought, every sensation, every emotion is produced by energy exchanges." J. G. Bennett

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Florin Moldoveanu wrote on Jan. 24, 2010 @ 01:12 GMT
Dear Anonymous,

You say: “Florin, didn't your essay need to, as Frank said, address the mathematical union of Maxwell's theory and Einstein's GR, since you were attempting to prove in your essay what is ultimately possible in physics mathematically?” In fact I did answer his questions, (but now the record of discussion is mostly lost) and please check my post on Oct. 8, 2009 @ 01:10 GMT on my essay page.

In that posts I am making 2 points: 1. unification of electromagnetism with gravity is wrong, as we already know that electromagnetism is unified first with the weak force. 2. Unification in dreams is not a mathematical explanation.

The problem with posting anonymous is that we do not really know if the posts above belong to the same person. So let’s assume that it is. Then I would challenge Mr. Anonymous to tell us his opinion of Lubos.

Dear Ray,

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Anonymous replied on May. 4, 2010 @ 19:03 GMT
Florin, do not worry about who is doing the posting(s). The message is to advance and address the truth -- and NOT to go after the messengers because the message is contrary to you likes, interests, capabilities, and agenda. Georgina and Ray clearly have this problem as well.

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Ray Munroe replied on May. 4, 2010 @ 19:27 GMT
Dear Anonymous,

I suspect that you are my FQXi friend Frank Martin posting anonymously. I have no problem with you (or Frank Martin) personally. If you want to present Frank Martin's ideas, I would ask that you (he) do it once and do it well. I, for one, would read it and try to give constructive critiques. Please reduce the number of unnecessary postings.

I agree with FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster that the kind of discussions posted here over the last few days are inappropriate for this website.

Have Fun!

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Stefan Weckbach wrote on Jan. 24, 2010 @ 08:45 GMT
My personal impression of the contest results was, that the jury really had a hard time in deciding which of the 42 essays to take into the winning realms.

As for an Institute with so much famous members it can't be expected that they take any essays to win that are highly speculative without underlying mathematical/ sophisticated theoretical validation in it.

The issue of...

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Peter van Gaalen wrote on Jan. 24, 2010 @ 11:32 GMT
So now my disappointment is over it's highest level, I want to congratulate the winners. I understand that the judges had a difficult task.

Lee Smolin about Feyerabend: "If your ideas are right and you fight for them, you'll accomplish something. Don't waste time feeling sorry for yourself or waxing nostalgic about Einstein and Bohr. No one but you can develop your ideas, and no one but you will fight for them."(p291)

I don't think that I will join another contest because the only good idea I ever had I used in the last contest. The only thing I can do is implanting those memes into the brains of others, so my ideas will proliferate. And that is what I am going to do. So I give it a last try:

m2 = E2 - p2 is wrong. It must be: m2 - s2 = E2 - p2:

Restmass and relativistic mass:

$m_0 = \sqrt{\dfrac{E^2}{c^4} - \dfrac{p_x^2}{c^2} - \dfrac{p_y^2}{c^2} - \dfrac{p_z^2}{c^2} } \ \ and \ \ m_{rel} = \dfrac{m_0}{\sqrt{1-\dfrac{v^2}{c^2}}}$

$\sqrt{m_{rel}^2 - \dfrac{m_{rel}^2 v_x^2}{c^2} - \dfrac{m_{rel}^2 v_y^2}{c^2} - \dfrac{m_{rel}^2 v_z^2}{c^2}} = \sqrt{\dfrac{E^2}{c^4} - \dfrac{p_x^2}{c^2} - \dfrac{p_y^2}{c^2} - \dfrac{p_z^2}{c^2}}$

This can be described by two opposite quaternions. The same we can do for the Minkowski metric. The combination of those two results in my octonion model of gravity.

Peter van Gaalen

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Arjen Dijksman replied on Jan. 30, 2010 @ 22:15 GMT
Hello Peter,

Your post made me think of James Fergason, one of the inventors of LCD, saying: "Don't think this one idea is the only one you're ever going to get and it was an epiphany." I think your idea will generate other good ideas.

Arjen

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Cristi Stoica wrote on Jan. 24, 2010 @ 15:18 GMT
Dear Ray,

Thank you for your kind words.

Dear Florin,

First, let me congratulate you for the prize. Second, I don't see why Mr. Anonymous and Frank consider you should have addressed the unification of EM and GR, but since you said "unification of electromagnetism with gravity is wrong, as we already know that electromagnetism is unified first with the weak force", a question pops up in my mind (off-topic and uninvited). My default opinion was that the unification is somehow "associative", such that

GR unified with (EM unified with weak force) = (GR unified with EM) unified with weak force = GR unified with EM unified with weak force

Historically, more or less successful (but classical, not quantum) attempts to unify EM with GR are much earlier than the electroweak unification, due to Weyl, Rainich (rediscovered by Misner and Wheeler), Kaluza-Klein and Einstein-Cartan. (They are not entirely successful, but we can say the same about the electro-weak unification.) So, we can say that EM-GR existed already, to some extent, before the electro-weak theory, but the former did not prevent the latter to exist. Why exactly do you think that EM-GR unification is wrong?

Best wishes,

Cristi

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Anonymous wrote on Jan. 24, 2010 @ 18:36 GMT
Modern physicists are excessively reducing, controlling, restricting, and fragmenting both our experience and our understanding.

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Shimon Malin wrote on Jan. 24, 2010 @ 18:39 GMT
" There are essential aspects of the whole that can only be grasped by the experience of the whole. The analysis of the parts and the experience of the whole are complementary...both are needed for a complete understanding."

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Anonymous wrote on Jan. 24, 2010 @ 18:55 GMT
FQXi and the physics' community are not benefitted by a consensus/improvement of physical understanding -- on the contrary, disagreement and a multiplicity of fragmented/different/divergent/lesser ideas translate into more money, more grants/funding, and more PhD physicists.

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Anonymous wrote on Jan. 24, 2010 @ 19:28 GMT
Cristi, Florin, and Stefan, space is not only three dimensional; clearly, must not the interior and transparent space of the eye/body be included as well? Indeed, this space is gravitational/electromagnetic, is it not?

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Plotinus wrote on Jan. 24, 2010 @ 19:43 GMT
"Never did eye see the sun unless it had first become sunlike..."

"...the object known must be identical with the knowing act [or agent]...Truth cannot apply to something conflicting with itself; what it affirms it must also be." This is the requirement of absolute truth.

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Ray Munroe wrote on Jan. 24, 2010 @ 20:44 GMT
Dear Florin, Cristi and Friends,

Though our knowledge of Electroweak implies that there may be sub-GUT's or secondary unifications, that should not distract from the idea of a Grand Unification or TOE. Rather, I think it should reinforce the idea of a full and Grand Unification. This classic reference by Amaldi, de Boer and Furstenau helps to demonstrate my point.

Have Fun!

Ray Munroe

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Florin Moldoveanu wrote on Jan. 24, 2010 @ 21:25 GMT
Dear Stefan,

Thank you for your kind words. I think there is a misconception of how FQXi selected the winners. In this day and age we are faced with information overload. Some time ago Brendan and Anthony asked our opinion on how to pick out the good ideas from the bad in a very cost effective way. From this point of view, Ginsparg’s archive is a success story (clouded by allegation of blacklisting and censorship). Now the contests do offer a very cost effective way of selecting good ideas (albeit with some bad ideas nicely packaged). Then the job of FQXi is greatly simplified and in my opinion they should concentrate on separating the scientific valid from the scientific invalid papers. Judging from the final results, one invalid essay got in (I will not name it) and two very good scientifically valid essays remained on the outside (I will not named them either). How do I know this? Because I became very familiar with all top half essays during the many months of the contest. The panel on the other hand had only a relatively small amount of time to rank a lot of finalists, and mistakes can happen.

Now I put myself in their shoes and speculate. If I were to run this contest, I would do it in two steps. The first pass should be to select the (scientific) good from the bad. The second pass should rank the good ones. With a very limited amount of time, it is physically impossible for any panel to understand each essay in depth and rank it. So how will I do it? For example by looking at the track record of the authors to hedge my bets to avoid public embarrassment later on. If this were to happen, it can kill future funding, especially for the top 1 and 2 prizes. I am not saying this is how they did it, but if one looks into the archive and for each essay author extracts the citation and download factor, then you see a strong correlation between the final order and those scores.

What FQXi should do to promote new ideas is to offer support to disseminate the good ideas further. This means for example endorsing essays for the archive when requested. The archive itself does not require the work to be correct, so there should be no problem in principle, but in practice there are political realities. For example, this is how Lubos talks about Lisi’s paper on his blog: “the preprint was re-classified from the professional hep-th archive to gen-ph, general physics, an archive mostly dedicated to laymen's fantasies.” So I am not suggesting that FQXi should endorse for hep-th (although it would be very nice), but for the quantum archive or other appropriate archives. (Endorsing for the “layman’s fantasies” gen-ph from an organization with Nobel prize winners is rather embarrassing, as well as useless, because this kind of endorsement is very easy to get).

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Florin Moldoveanu wrote on Jan. 24, 2010 @ 21:53 GMT
Dear Cristi,

Thanks for your kind words. Now to your question, why is the GR-EM unification wrong? Very simple. Because nature says it is wrong, and not any mathematical or physics authority. Unifying EM with weak force led to the prediction of neutral currents which were later experimentally confirmed.

Now you may counter with the argument that nature is unique and it does not matter which road to unification one takes when arriving at the same destination. But the road does matter. Of course we do not have the final theory and any direct arguments (of why the road matters) can look as pure belief unsubstantiated by proof. Therefore I will give you an indirect argument. Suppose that GR-EM is correct. We also know that EM-Weak Force(WF) is correct, as validated by nature. Then it is rather straightforward to obtain a GR-EM-WF theory. But no such self-consistent theory exists because gravity is non-renormalizable in standard perturbation theory.

Let me give you another example. Suppose we do not know anything about Maxwell’s unification of electricity and magnetism. Suppose also there is this unification of Electricity and Newtonian gravity. This is not fantasy; it can be done quite easily based on Gauss’s law. Can then one claim that the final unification: electricity+ magnetism + gravity is independent of the unification road? Of course not. EM leads to relativity which is incompatible with Newtonian gravity. And EM is the correct theory as validated by nature (radio waves, light, etc).

From the example above, it is clear now why the (EM-GR) + WF is wrong. Because GR has to be modified to make it compatible with quantum mechanics. (In the example above, Newtonian gravity has to be modified to be compatible with relativity.)

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Florin Moldoveanu wrote on Jan. 24, 2010 @ 22:46 GMT
Dear Ray,

What is unification? You combine two theories into a single one. So what is the big deal then, why are not all the forces already unified? It is because the current theories are mathematically incompatible and something has to give. In this case it is the tension between quantum mechanics and general relativity. What do we modify? Is it quantum mechanics as ‘t Hooft suggests, or GR as string theory suggests? I say it is a very safe bet that QM is here to stay as is and GR has to be modified. Now GR as we know it destroys information (Lawrence would say to us that this is due to the Ricci curvature), while QM does not and preserving information is a core principle of nature.

I would say that achieving the GUT is far easier than adding gravity into the mix where we still lack a good approach beside the landscape non-answer.

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Cristi Stoica wrote on Jan. 24, 2010 @ 23:45 GMT
Dear Forin,

Thank you for the answer. I understand from your first argument that you disagree with unification of gravity and other forces because gravity is not renormalizable. In fact, this doesn't show that gravity is incompatible with electroweak force, but rather that it cannot be quantized by the same recipe as the electromagnetic, weak and strong forces. And why would we want so much to do this, considering that the renormalizability is required for validating an approximation technique, developed mostly for quantitative predictions? Maybe there are better ways to deal with quantum fields. Some of them are provided by cut-off schemes (as in string theory or in discrete models of quantum gravity), but there are also other possibilities.

Gravity is different than the other forces in one important aspect: it is sourced by all other fields. The energy-momentum tensor is quadratic in the fields associated to particles (leptons, quarks and the intermediate bosons) or their derivatives. Trying to unify them on equal footing is like trying to unify on equal footing the components of a vector with its length (whose square is quadratic in the components as well). We can do this, for example by identifying the vector with an (n plus 1)-dimensional null vector, but why would we do this? The components of a vector and its length are "already unified". Similarly, whatever we do to the particle fields, the energy-momentum tensor is affected. For example, canonically quantizing them requires an energy-momentum tensor having as components operators. One standard approach is to take their expectation values to obtain the curvature by Einstein's equation. In addition to this possibility, there may be others (such as a quantum theory which is gentler with general relativity).

Your example with Newton's gravity only shows that the history of the unification is different. But the reality is the same, and in both histories we would be forced to reconsider Newton's gravity.

P.S. I see your answer to Ray. It may be an illusion that black holes destroy information in GR. But in QM, a discontinuous wavefunction collapse destroys/creates information. So, for your bet to work, it may be needed to have a quantum mechanics without discontinuous collapse. This is possible, and it is one of my requirements for a QM gentler with GR.

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Lev Goldfarb wrote on Jan. 25, 2010 @ 00:07 GMT
Dear Shimon,

I agree with you.

But as you are well aware, in science, everything begins with the appropriate *formalism*. So we need a formalism that allows us to "grasp the whole and the parts", and this is precisely the formalism we have been developing for many years (see my essay in this contest).

However, it appears that such change of formalisms requires us to start *completely* anew, which, especially given the present 'busy' lifestyles, is not an option that the vast majority of scientists are comfortable with (as at least two participants in this contest mentioned).

Moreover, independent of my concrete proposal, as I also mentioned in my essay, to address the issue of "the whole and the parts"--i.e. the issue of structural representation--it appears that, in spite of warning by many past and present philosophers, collectively we are not ready for this by far the most radical change science has seen since its emergence several thousands of years ago.

Thus, as I see it, we are in a precarious state precisely because, on the one hand, there is no sufficient understanding of the magnitude of the jump that is *required*, and the other hand, for obvious reasons, the vast majority of us are extremely uncomfortable with radical changes.

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Ray Munroe wrote on Jan. 25, 2010 @ 00:13 GMT
Dear Florin,

James Putnam thinks there is only one force and we have defined all of our theories wrong such that we can't see that. I'm not starting there. As a Particle Physicist, I am well-aware of the many differences between the Standard Model and General Relativity (and the link I provided above only applies to a Strong-Electro-Weak Unification, it does not include GR). I feel honored to be collaborating with Lawrence Crowell - between his knowledge of GR and Black Holes, and mine of the SM and SUSY, we should be able to work out something reasonable.

My professional and philosophical opinion is that we have defined a Universe that includes a macroscopic relativistic Spacetime, a microscopic quantum 'Hilbert Space' (Can I call it 'Hyperspace' without starting a revolution?), and 'particles' that carry specific 'properties' (why? how does an electron know that it always has a rest mass of 511 KeV/c^2, an intrinsic spin of 1/2 h-bar, an electric charge of -1e, and a color charge of neutral?), but we refuse to admit that we have artificially introduced extra degrees-of-freedom (and therefore extra-dimensions) into all of our calculations. The calculations work, therefore we don't spend enough time questioning the basis.

Kaluza-Klein theory didn't work for multiple reasons: 1) it didn't include the Nuclear forces, 2) fundamentally, I think that Electromagnetism is a quaternionic effect, whereas General Relativity is an octonionic effect, and 3) I don't think 5 dimensions are enough - so much for minimalism and trying to generate a simple theory.

You worry so much about the differences between quantions and Pauli matrices that you should understand that improperly framed theories cannot yield unification - even if there is an underlying unification present. Personally, I think that the real Universe has more than the visible macroscopic 4 dimensions, and the real Universe includes both 2-D quantions AND 2-D Pauli matrices (AND 4-D Dirac matrices, etc. ...). In another blog, I was suggesting a 28-dimensional G2 triality of 2-D quantions and/or Pauli matrices.

The unification of the SM with GR requires us to recognize that Spacetime and Hyperspace are both real and separate. Cristi accounted for this with an effective 'curvature' term. That is not fully satisfactory for me because we still haven't addressed the philosophical errors that have been swept under the rug by more-or-less ignoring Hyperspace, but it is another effort - comparable to Kaluza-Klein - to deduce the phenomenology of a GUT/ TOE.

I still hope that your theoretical research will one day support the phenomenological/ theoretical research that Lawrence and I are working on.

Have Fun!

Ray Munroe

p.s. - Its a shame you didn't get that special-colored member button that Ian got. I was cheering for you and Emile! Congratulations Florin, Ian and the other winners!

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Lev Goldfarb wrote on Jan. 25, 2010 @ 00:56 GMT
I can see now that unfortunately I was not responding to Shimon, but to some 'anonymous' siting Shimon, parts of whose book (Nature Loves to Hide) I enjoyed. ;-)

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Member Ian Durham wrote on Jan. 25, 2010 @ 01:38 GMT
@Peter:

> I don't think that I will join another contest because the only good idea I

> ever had I used in the last contest.

Who says you won't come up with another interesting idea next week? Don't give up! I haven't had a chance to read through your paper yet (there are just so many papers), but I plan to since I find the idea behind it intriguing (my PhD thesis was on Eddington's Fundamental Theory which seems to have some superficial similarities to your ideas, though I'm only judging from a cursory glance).

@Anonymous:

> Modern physicists are excessively reducing, controlling, restricting, and

> fragmenting both our experience and our understanding.

It's all part of our evil plan. Mwaaaahaaahaaaa! ;)

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Peter van Gaalen replied on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 06:16 GMT
Dear Ian,

I really appreciate what you said, but good ideas are not easy.

In my essay I made some typos and some other clumsy mistakes but not the main idea, the general metric. This general metric is either right or wrong. In case the general metric is wrong I like to understand why it is wrong.

Regards,

Peter van gaalen

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Member Ian Durham replied on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 22:25 GMT
Dear Peter,

I'll take a closer look at the metric you derived. If I have any questions I'll let you know.

You are correct that good ideas do not come easily. But you never know when a good idea may strike you.

Ian

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Florin Moldoveanu wrote on Jan. 25, 2010 @ 02:40 GMT
Dear Cristi,

Wavefunction collapse does not destroy/create information, and does not break unitarity. Why? Because of the peculiar dimension of a Hilbert space N^2 for N orthonormal complete pure states (dimension of U(N) = N*N). Because of this, composite states may not be factorizable resulting in entanglement: a state where the knowledge of the whole can be complete, while the knowledge of the parts is incomplete. Now in a measurement, the system is entangled with the measurement device: state A is entangled with the measurement device dial at “A”, state B is entangled with the measurement device dial at “B”, etc. So the extra information that appears to be lost is actually hidden in those extra degrees of freedom. Now if we are talking only about pure states, a pure state stays a pure state, but in entanglement, a pure state can evolve into a mixed state via a superoperator evolution which does preserve information (see http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/9604023v1).

About renormalizability, this is not optional. Why? Because for abelian groups like electromagnetism one has the Landau pole, but renormalization does work. For non-abelian groups the interaction strength decreases with distance from antiscreening and the theory is well defined in the UV region. From string theory, S-duality teaches us that theories with superunitar coupling constant is equivalent with a theory with 1/coupling constant. This means that perturbation theory is actually well defined.

So why do we want field theory in the first place? We are forced to consider it because of QM and relativity. In QM knowing position makes the momentum unknown. Zooming in a very small area, leads to large energy uncertainty past to the creation point of particle pairs. Same thing in gravity, but increasing the energy uncertainty past a point results in a black hole and any naïve quantum gravity theory produces only infinities.

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Florin Moldoveanu wrote on Jan. 25, 2010 @ 02:50 GMT
Ray,

Give me some time, and I will get the colored member button. I made great progress recently (and I also have all the pieces of the non-relativistic paper I was advertising in the essay). Good luck to you and Lawrence.

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Florin Moldoveanu wrote on Jan. 25, 2010 @ 03:37 GMT
Cristi,

I forgot to add, wavefunctions have no objective reality, but they represent the observer knowledge of the system. If wavefunction have objective reality, then either the universe splits itself into many copies, or there is some sort of dynamical collapse. The problem with any dynamical collapse is that it does alter QM and the structure of the Hilbert space is very rigid: any change renders the theory inconsistent. And in the Bayesian approach, the wavefunction collapse is trivially understood as the observer gaining knowledge.

Collapse exists also in classical mechanics, but the critical difference in QM is that between any two pure states there exists a continuous transformation (think of the difference between a bit and a qubit). Because of this difference, in classical mechanics pure states (discrete points) are immune from collapse and only mixed states do collapse. Nobody had felt the need to invent any dynamical explanation of the collapse of mixed states in classical mechanics, but this is exactly what you get from a dynamical collapse in QM using the correspondence principle.

Another argument against the objective reality of the wavefunction is that one can do QM just fine in the algebraic framework with no concept of a Hilbert space at all and be guaranteed to obtain the same results as another person working with a Hilbert space based on the GNS construction/theorem.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Jan. 25, 2010 @ 03:54 GMT
Florin,

With regards to your statements about quantum measurement and information, I agree with you. I will also say that two weeks ago I wrote on this, saying that ultimately the process is unital, entanglement phases are carried off by reservoir states so the loss of entanglement entropy is an "illusion," and so forth. I will also say my butt is still sore from the considerable kicking it got.

When it comes to renormalixation with gravity there is a "friend" which helps IMO. The black hole time dilates quantum fields from the perspective of a stationary observer. The UV divergence is then dilated by a factor exp(-t/4GM) so that the UV divergent portion of the theory becomes IR.

Cheers LC

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Florin Moldoveanu wrote on Jan. 25, 2010 @ 04:54 GMT
Lawrence,

I finally got to understand Zurek’s envariance ideas and his Bayesian derivation of the Born rule. This was the argument that put the missing piece in the informational interpretation of QM for me.

I am also making good progress on the relativistic QM front; I think I have a good approach for obtaining Haag’s theorem and for the emergence of the Yang-Mills local symmetry in quantions. I do need to refresh my QFT knowledge particularly about generalized Ward identities which I think play a major role in quantionic QM. My hope is to be able to extract them from quations, and if this is successful, I would have guaranteed renormalizability and another axiomatization of QFT. To review the Ward identities, I just ordered Peskin and Schroeder on Amazon. I never use it or read it in the past, it was recommended by wikipedia. Have you read it before? Is it a good book? It had some mixed Amazon reviews.

Recently I read some paper about real Hilbert spaces and the author noted that in this case negative probabilities can occur. Now I know that negative probabilities occur in weak measurements, and was wondering if weak measurements with time evolution from the past and from the future can be cast in a real Hilbert space formalism. At some point I need to get and read Mackey’s QM book.

Regards,

Florin

PS: who was disagreeing with you?

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Florin Moldoveanu wrote on Jan. 25, 2010 @ 05:08 GMT
Lawrence,

Here is a naïve question. If gravity is carried by the spin 2 graviton, and if inside the event horizon nothing can climb out including light, how is the graviton emitted by the mass at the center of the black hole be able to escape and tell the rest of the world outside of the event horizon about the presence of the black hole mass?

Now I do know that the graviton does actually continue to climb out but space time falls in at a rate faster than the speed of light, and the previous question was only to help frame the next question. What is the meaning of gravity as an exchange process? Virtual particles can go faster than the speed of light, and is this why you have a tachyonic condensate in string theory for black holes? I honestly do not know the answer, but this is how I am attempting to understand it.

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Cristi Stoica wrote on Jan. 25, 2010 @ 07:27 GMT
Dear Ray,

The Hilbert space is too large, even standard QM admits it. The macroscopic level of reality indicates that the real life physical states are an even smaller part of the Hilbert space. I think that the entanglement and measurement can be explained by a tiny part of the Hilbert space, which also happens to be compatible with GR. It is true that the full Hilbert space is spanned by that small part, and the time evolution operator acts linearly and unitarily on it. But I think it hides the good behaved physical states under a large pile of weird Schrödinger cats and spooky actions at distance, which are not physical. Eliminate them, and you still have an explanation of quantum effects, but which is more compatible with GR and with the macroscopic level.

Best regards

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Cristi Stoica wrote on Jan. 25, 2010 @ 08:07 GMT
Dear Florin,

The wavefunction was proposed to represent the observer's knowledge, and not some objective reality, precisely because of the discontinuous collapse. A "wave of knowledge" can collapse, a physical one can't. But, if we want to understand/interpret QM, we should be allowed to search an ontological support. In my opinion, there is an ontological wavefunction, which respects the unitary/continuous evolution, and there is also the "knowledge wave", which is subjective and can collapse discontinuously and not unitarily. When the knowledge wave collapses, it becomes identical with the ontological state. Then it evolves unitarily, but since we don't know the complete state, the knowledge wave becomes distinct than the ontological one, until we collapse it again. IMO, the ontological wavefunction can account for observed entanglement and apparent collapse, being in the same time compatible with GR.

It is often said (you say it too) that the loss of information due to the collapse is fixed by considering the full wavefunction (superposition of the relative states). We know only about the physical effects of the observed branch of the wavefunction (our relative state). At this level the discontinuous collapse is allowed, so long as it doesn't happen in the total wavefunction. But we don't observe physical effects of the other branches. We should detect at least gravitational effects.

Let's say that we obtain a |dead> Schrödinger's cat, and that it is just a part of the cat's total wavefunction . The "invisible" |alive> component does not leave any tracks around us. So, we see that the death of the cat did not violate the conservation laws, not even in our branch only, and we have no sign about another branch of the total wavefunction. The |alive> cat disappeared with the missing information, and there is no way to catch it.

Instead, if the apparatus imposes the "delayed initial condition" to the observed system, by requiring it to be in an eigenstate, this would preserve the information even at the relative state level (of course, this would made unnecessary the total wavefunction).

Best regards

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Jan. 25, 2010 @ 13:51 GMT
Florin,

The occurrence of negative probabilities (quasi-probabilities) in Dirac theory and the Wigner function has its form in determining other probabilities. I suspect that with weak measurements this is related to negative probabilities from the Dirac sea and the matter of the Hardy paradox. This is actually something to ponder.

Ward identities are ways of expressing correlations between gauge covariant quantities or symmetries which are invariant in renormalization theory. In particular the longitudinal mode of the field, set to zero with other gauge restrictions, remains so. I have not read Peskin and Schroeder, and I will confess to having a limited experience with Ward identities.

When it comes to gravitons escaping the black hole as a field that interacts with the outside world, this is not exactly the way to think of it. The black hole absorbs mass-energy and fields and by the delay coordinate of the metric is observed by an exterior observer to never enter the BH. Instead these fields time dilate and redshift as they approach the event horizon, but never are observed to reach it. Now the event horizon is a null boundary, but all the field theoretic content of a black hole approach a membrane which is a Planck or string length from the horizon. As such everything which composes the black hole is observed to exist on this timelike membrane, which Susskind calls the stretched horizon. This holographic universe means that all the field theoretic information we observe connected to the black hole in the space (3-d) around us is a hologram of fields on this stretched membrane. So the exterior universe observes the interaction of the black hole with the rest of the universe according to the timelike membrane, which is connected to Dp-brane theory as well.

This is in contrast to the exterior observer, who sees none of this and observes fields causally interacting with the singularity, so the S-matrix causal domain of support is entirely different. This is however, dual to the description of the physics observed by the exterior observer. This duality involves the so called black hole complementarity, and a relationship between to S-matrix configurations (or equivalently different string descriptions) which depends upon the observer’s choice of measurement. This has unital description if the black hole is quantum mechanical, say a tiny particle sized black hole, where there is a quantum superposition of states corresponding to the horizon.

Cheers LC

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 01:22 GMT
In the last paragraph I wrote "This is in contrast to the exterior observer," when I meant infalling observer or the observers who enters the interior.

Cheers LC

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Florin Moldoveanu replied on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 04:02 GMT
Lawrence,

Weak measurements have nothing to do with relativistic QM or the Dirac sea. You prepare the state and perform a partial measurement which does not collapse the wavefunction, but alters it a bit. Then you reason about the intermediate states between preparation and final weak measurement.

In a different post you talk bout the UV divergence becoming an IR divergence. This reminds me of the Moyal plane and non-commutative geometry, maybe the two are linked, I don’t know.

Florin

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Jan. 27, 2010 @ 01:49 GMT
Sorry for the confusion with the Dirac probabilities. I just mentioned that by way of comparison, or to mention that negative probabilities are nothing unusual in physics.

The Moyal product, which is just a generalization of the Stone-von Neumann theorem, plays a role for a quantum group (q-deformed system) which describes the S-matrix on one causal domain of support, For the observer at a constant distance from the black hole the coordinates are determined by the delay coordinate. If one constructs the Moyal product (computing the quantum torus etc) the spacetime transformations along the BH spacetime is a form of noncommutative geometry. The transverse coordinate of a string is determined by a scalar field

$z_i^2 = \Big({{gL_p}\over{R^2}}\Big){1\over N}\phi^2$

for an SU(N) group. For the AdS spacetime N = 4, and the group structure is hyperbolic as SU(2,2). The noncommutative structure of coordinates is inherited by the commutators of fields

$[\phi_i,\phi_j] = i\theta_{ij},$

where θ_{ij} is a symplectic matrix. The spacetime transformations, time dilations of the UV quantum correction terms may be equivalently thought of as being absorbed by a quantum uncertainty (commutation) relationship. This is similar in a way to the uncertainty principle in removing the classical divergence of the hydrogen atom, or the electron’s catastrophic in-spiral and a UV pulse of radiation.

The coordinates for the infalling observer are though entirely different. There is again a similar process, but this time it involves tachyon condensates on the M2-brane, which classically is the singularity of the black hole. This is where nonassociativity enters the picture.

Cheers LC

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jan. 25, 2010 @ 15:13 GMT
All Cristis, my suggestion of a bra-cut is perhaps not by chance close to your |alive> cat.

Let me fist translate and then discuss what I called Dedekind's first mistake:

- "Entspricht naemlich der Punkt p der rationalen Zahl a ..."

He wrote: "If the point p corresponds to the rational number a ..."

This deviated not just from Euclid's definition but also from...

view entire post

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on Jan. 25, 2010 @ 15:23 GMT
I thought we were discussing the contest...

Owen---sorry you had to ask twice--the Panel debated additional Special Commendations, but in the end, voted against awarding any.

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jan. 25, 2010 @ 18:41 GMT
Dear Brendan Forster,

You wrote:I thought we were discussing the contest...

I understood the aim of the contest as follows:

"Encourage and support rigorous, innovative, and influential thinking about foundational questions in physics and cosmology",

and I uttered some aspects of my admittedly not yet recognized view in topic 525 and in Bee's (Sabine Hossenfeld's) blog. Shouldn't we also look for seemingly wrong most basic reasons, which might cause the obvious gaps between mathematics and physics, between theory and experiment? I would appreciate ongoing access to most controversial essays not just of winners.

Sincerely,

Eckard Blumschein

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FQXi Administrator Anthony Aguirre replied on Jan. 25, 2010 @ 23:12 GMT
Dear Eckard,

You will surely appreciate that there is something worthwhile in keeping the comments close to the subject of the original posting, rather than veering off into extended side-discussions, even if interesting.

However, recognizing how tempting this veering is, we have implemented a technical fix! To the blog, forum, etc., we have added the capability to 'reply to thread', which will in effect make your post a new thread with its own conversation. (There are not threads-within-threads, however). This present posting is an example.

We provide this new feature with the hopes that it will be used to organize things better, so that replies to the main blog/forum post will remain the focus, while replies to those replies have a natural place.

Anthony

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 15:47 GMT
Eckard---I wasn't sure from your message, but you might have been asking, will we leave all of the essays on the website for public access? Yes, we plan to keep all the essays and the forums available.

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James Putnam wrote on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 00:21 GMT
Dear Anthony Aguirre,

I suggest that what is needed in the forums section is a listing of recent comments along with the change you have just implemented.

Post Script: My suggestion was motivated by the ongoing interesting discussions between professional physicists and possible joint authorships of the same. I thought that this occurrence was special and perhaps unique to fqxi. In my opinion it is one of its successes.

James

this post has been edited by the forum administrator

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FQXi Administrator Anthony Aguirre replied on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 03:59 GMT
James:

Apologies, I accidentally messed up one of your posts, so I added the text to the other. Sill trying to get the hang of this system...

Anthony

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Florin Moldoveanu replied on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 04:09 GMT
Anthony,

Nice idea with separate threads, but a bit user unfriendly. A collapsable tree control would work much better IMO.

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James Putnam wrote on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 04:19 GMT
Dear Anthony Aguirre,

No apology necessary. You perform a great service. We get to suggest, that is the easy part. I agree with Dr. Florin Moldoveanu's added suggestion. Implementing these suggestions is the hard part. Thank you.

James

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Florin Moldoveanu wrote on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 05:54 GMT
@Brendan,

OK, we went off course, so here are three relevant topics of interest:

- how can we achieve separation of the good ideas from the bad in the most cost effective way

- how can more FQXi members be engaged to participate on this forum?

- and a hot potato issue, quality control vs. inclusion of ideas

So let’s debate them from the contest’s...

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this post has been edited by the forum administrator

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 16:10 GMT

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 12:34 GMT
Dear Florin Moldoveanu,

May I ask you for the topic number of Grgin's essay? It is not among the winners and therefore not available from the list of winners. I vaguely recall that he dealt with history of science. However, I did not realize a groundbreaking result.

Regards,

Eckard

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Florin Moldoveanu wrote on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 12:49 GMT
Dear Eckard,

It is: http://www.fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/529 His most remarkable result was the structural unificaton of relativity and quantum mechanics by obtaining the unique generalization of complex mumbers to a nondivision algebra. For a technical overview, please read: http://arxiv.org/abs/0901.0332

Among other things, this unification is possible only in a 4-dimensional space-time, and this is the first solid mathematical clue (beside stability of planet orbits) why our universe has 3+1 dimensions.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 13:00 GMT
I second Florin's comments here. There were a number of authors of reasonable essays who abandoned ship here because they grew tired of arguing with preposterous nonsense advanced by various people, who seemed eager to knock others down with their fatuities. Some of these people have characteristics of incompetence syndrome . I am not going to name names of those who retreated away or those who advanced silliness, often with a combative attitude indicating their cognitive dissonance. I do think that the acceptance of papers as entries in these contests should be subjected to at least some cursory review. This review should seek to determine if papers have at least some measure of reasoning based on a thesis statement of some scientific relevancy and where that reasoning points to a conclusion or a question. Papers which are little more than loose threads of nonsense should be filtered out and not accepted.

Cheers LC

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 15:45 GMT
Lawrence---I think you make two statements--First, that it was sometimes difficult to maintain a coherent discussion in the essay topic forums. I agree, and we expect that the new forum feature (witnessed here) that allows you to reply directly to specific posts will help.

Second, you thought some of the entries were of low quality. Well, if you didn't like the ones you saw, you should've seen the ones we rejected (there was a dirty limerick, I recall). We did in fact have a minimal bar of acceptance, and I suspect you must have been one of the lucky few who didn't run into trouble with my virtual Red Pen of Revision. Most of the requested changes were made, but in some cases the essays were not accepted.

True, though, the filter was minimal and mostly concerned with technicalities (and appropriateness for the workplace). Our attitude behind the scenes was, it was not the Admin's place to judge the quality of the entries---it was the place of the Community of readers to do that.

And I might add, the Community did an excellent job.

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 19:31 GMT
Thanks for the reply. I suppose it would be interesting for comic relief to see the ones which got rejected :-) Some papers were of pretty high quality, such as Corda's, but I suppose it might have been of too high a technical level for the contest's purposes.

Cheers LC

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 16:36 GMT
Dear Anthony Aguirre,

Thank you for the option. Hopefully it will work as you suggested. I have to apologize for my not well-rounded hint to the perhaps not entirely outdated original understanding of the expression "foundational questions". For my feeling, most of the essays dealt more or less proficiently with the n-th or n+1-th floor of mathematically based physics rather than with its basement. Admittedly, the situation is not much different in FOM. One reason for me to not blindly respect experts like G. Cantor, Hilbert, Jordan, Gentzen, and Rompe lies outside science in my personal experience. Errare humanum est. Wouldn't any revelation of foundational mistakes be overly unwelcome, in particular if it explains a lot of notorious discrepancies altogether?

Uncle Al claimed having falsified the really foundational equivalence principle. I dislike his style, and I suspect, he might be wrong in his conclusion while his arguments are possibly worth mentioning and a scrutiny.

Eckard

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 16:51 GMT
Eckard---I want to sneak in and remind you that you can use our new Forums feature to reply directly to Anthony's message. Just click 'reply to this thread' under the message, rather than 'start a new post'.

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Christian Corda wrote on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 17:21 GMT
My best congratulations to all the winners of the Second FQXi Essay Competition, "What Is Ultimately Possible In Physics?"

Cheers,

Ch.

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Cristi Stoica wrote on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 19:15 GMT
Dear Anthony, Brendan and Christopher,

This forum feature is very useful. But there is a drawback: you have to check in more places to see if you got a reply. This is why I think that it may be useful to have the possibility to get an email notification when a new comment is added on a particular thread (including the main one).

Best regards

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on Feb. 2, 2010 @ 15:43 GMT
Cristi---There is a system to check: select the 'most recent first' option at the top left. Then, messages will be displayed grouped in threads, but the threads will be listed in order of the most recent post in the thread. If someone has replied to your comment, the thread will be towards the top of the list. Since reply will be grouped with original comment, it should actually be easier to detect a response than with our older 'unthreaded' system.

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 22:20 GMT
Thank you Florin for 529. Perhaps many voters and also the panel did not take seriously some of G's claims. While my rejection is based on different reasons, to me too the following conclusion on p. 8 sounds a bit demanding: "In the absence of a structural unification of quantum mechanics and relativity, we have no rational basis for looking into the future", in particular in combination with G's claim to furnish such unification.

Bendan Forster,

I tried to do so, clicked and double clicked on "reply to this thread", perhaps with no avail.

Eckard

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Florin Moldoveanu replied on Jan. 27, 2010 @ 02:57 GMT
Eckard,

You are welcome. The original quote was: “The great amount of relativistic quantum physics condensed in the Standard Model ought to suggest what to expect in the future, but it does not. It generates more questions than insights. For example: Where does the mathematically unbelievable but physically fundamental gauge group U (1)_SU (2)_SU (3) come from? Two extreme answers have been suggested: (1) It is a property of the particular universe which happens to be hospitable to homo sapiens (the anthropic view); (2) it

is a slice of the group SU (5) (the supersymmetric view). In the absence of a structural unification of quantum mechanics and relativity, we have no rational basis for looking into the future.”

Therefore the “no rational basis for looking into the future” was referring to the 2 extreme answers: anthropic principle and GUT, and this is correct. Anthropic principle tends to dismiss any search for a deeper understanding because all is understood just as an accident. If GUT is achieved, there is no need to any deeper explanation either.

Granted, Grgin’s essay is not very flashy and there are better written essays. Also his mathematical ideas are not easy to understand; it took me more than a year to fully comprehend them. But an expert in those topics can appreciate it right away and this is what a peer review system provides. If a journal can do it, why not FQXi? There is enough talent in the pool of FQXi members.

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Florin Moldoveanu replied on Jan. 27, 2010 @ 03:42 GMT
One clarification. When I say better essays I mean essays that fires up imagination, like the possibility to travel the stars using black holes. But unifying QM and relativity can fire just as much the imagination the same way as solving Fermat’s Last Theorem did. The problem is that this is not popular mathematics or physics.

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on Jan. 27, 2010 @ 14:28 GMT
Eckard---There may still be some bugs in the system, which you have found. I will mention it to the webmaster.

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Jan. 26, 2010 @ 22:30 GMT
Correction: Brendan Foster, not Bendan Forster,

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Dr. Elliot McGucken wrote on Jan. 27, 2010 @ 17:38 GMT
A big thanks to fqxi!! To Anthony, Brendan, et al.!

Thanks for putting all the time into running, and moderating, and (even awarding/rewarding participants in a truly open discussion regarding foundational questions in physics. :)

The whole contest is premised on humility--that there is so much we do not yet know, and that a patent clerk, somewhere, has as much right to seek the...

view entire post

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J.C.N. Smith wrote on Feb. 1, 2010 @ 12:38 GMT
Has anyone else noticed that the "most recent posts" to this thread are not the same when the thread is viewed in chronological order as compared to when viewed in reverse chronological order? When viewed in chronological order the most recent post is dated 27 Jan; when viewed in reverse chronological order the most recent post is dated 23 Jan.

I suspect that if I thought about this with sufficient care I'd be able to show how this inconsistency confirms the thesis of my own FQXi essay, i.e., that time travel is not possible.

In the meantime, the phenomenon might merit some attention from the webmaster?

jcns

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J.C.N. Smith replied on Feb. 1, 2010 @ 12:53 GMT
Yes, the most recent posts, regardless of viewing order, are now my posts of 1 Feb; I was referring, of course, to the most recent post prior to my 1 Feb posts; those remain inconsistent. Time can be a subtle and tricky thing.

jcns

this post was moved here from a different topic

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on Feb. 2, 2010 @ 15:28 GMT
jcns---You stumbled upon a subtlety inserted by the webmaster that even I had missed. If you select the 'most recent first' option, messages are still displayed grouped in 'threads'---but the order of threads is determined by the date of the most recent post in the thread, which will be the last post, not the first. This way, you can still keep track of recent posts in the forum, even though they are dispersed amongst the threads.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Feb. 1, 2010 @ 19:53 GMT
Christian Corda,

To claim that Frank is a good philosopher is insulting to all philosophers. I say that not to insult Frank but to point out what appears to be an error of judgement in my opinion. I think that philosophy requires logical reasoning and argument. Not just repeating the same statements, claiming that this is proof and berating anyone who gives up their time to point out possible errors, oversights or to question the logical reasoning or scientific evidence behind those ideas.

Putting a collection of statements together and then claiming that they are a great truth and that anyone not seeing that is stupid is not philosophy. It shows arrogance, rudeness and a lack of understanding of the purpose of language in conveying understanding to other people. It is my personal opinion that the man is neither scientist nor philosopher. Some of his posts appear to demonstrate to me the lack of basic social intelligence necessary to distinguish between appropriate criticism and questioning of his ideas and the manner of their presentation and personal insult. I have nothing more to say to Frank because I do not like people insulting me.

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Christian Corda replied on Feb. 5, 2010 @ 13:09 GMT
Dear Georgina,

I agree with you. However, the point is not if Mr. Di Meglio is s a good philosopher or a bad philosopher. The point is that people like Mr. Di Meglio and Mr. Leshan insulted various good authors with the lowest goal of obtaining consideration for their nonsenses and absurdities without any physical relevance. In my opinion, Mr. Di Meglio and Mr. Leshan should choose other foundations and other Essay Contests and they also should stop to disturb physicists who choose the FQXi Essay Contest for discussing concrete physics.

Cheers,

Ch.

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Ray Munroe wrote on Feb. 1, 2010 @ 20:44 GMT
Dear Christian Corda,

You referred to Constantin Leshan as a good science fiction writer. I think he had a good idea that was not well-presented. If it is OK for Hans-Thomas Elze to write about Discrete Spacetime (he won a prize for his essay), then it also seems appropriate for Leshan to write about Holes in said Spacetime. I didn't think that Leshan needed to appeal to a Descartes vacuum, but rather he should have emphasized the similarities between a Spacetime Hole (which MUST be a quantum effect related to Elze's ideas) and the Higgs boson.

What if the LHC does not discover a Standard Model Higgs? It will leave us scrambling for alternative ideas, and Leshan's idea might be a good alternative, but he needs to present it better.

Have Fun!

Dr. Cosmic Ray

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Christian Corda replied on Feb. 5, 2010 @ 10:49 GMT
Dear Ray Munroe,

there are two fundamental differences between Thomas Elze and Mr. Leshan. First, Thomas Elze mathematically proved his ideas. Second, Thomas Elze does not try to obtain consideration by offending and slandering other authors.

More, I am an independent researcher, who often had controversies versus official and academic entourages. But, exactly like Thomas Elze, I always demonstrated my results with mathematics proofs and I never offended and slandered other authors who obtained recognized results

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Ray Munroe replied on Feb. 5, 2010 @ 13:50 GMT
Dear Christian Corda,

I understand about Leshan's somewhat arrogant personality. My essay was "A Geometrical Approach Towards A Theory of Everything". Leshan 'jumped' on me saying that a TOE is impossible. I realize that many physicists believe that, and he was simply expressing a thought that others probably had, but politely kept to themselves.

So I read his paper, and started trying to pick it apart. I did not think that his vacuum concept was presented very well (I think there is a language disconnect), but the concept of a Spacetime 'Hole' is very interesting. He did not derive it rigorously, but we should consider the applications of hole-like phenomena in Solid State Physics and the Dirac Sea of Particle Physics. I think his idea has potential, and is better than his presentation.

I am also an independent researcher, and I understand being ignored by or at odds with the scientific establishment. I received my Doctorate in High Energy Physics Phenomenology from Florida State University in 1996. I taught at a small University for three years, and performed Cosmic Ray research with NASA over the Summers. But I left academia 11 years ago to go into business, and the professional physicists don't take me seriously anymore.

I apologize that I never read your paper - there were so many!

Have Fun!

Dr. Cosmic Ray

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Feb. 5, 2010 @ 14:06 GMT
Ray,

C. Corda's paper is one of the better writes in the lot. It is somewhat technical, and involves some detailed mathematics, but it reads well. I suspect the technical elements of it are what in part kept it from winning a prize.

Cheers LC

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Malin, DiMeglio, Plotinus, et al wrote on Feb. 1, 2010 @ 22:23 GMT
"...the object known must be identical with the knowing act [or agent]...Truth cannot apply to something conflicting with itself; what it affirms it must also be." -- Plotinus. This is the requirement of absolute truth...

...This idea is consistent with this: "The ability of thought to describe or reconfigure sense is ultimately dependent upon the extent to which thought is similar to sense." -- DiMeglio.

"Never did eye see the sun unless it had first become sunlike..." -- Plotinus.

Shimon Malin -- "There are essential aspects of the whole that can only be grasped by the experience of the whole. The analysis of the parts and the experience of the whole are complementary...both are needed for a complete understanding."

The physicists on this forum do not properly understand truth as it relates to and describes experience in general.

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Ray Munroe replied on Feb. 1, 2010 @ 22:43 GMT
Hi Frank,

Have you studied Ed Klingman's paper? His 'G' field is a modified Newtonian Gravity. His 'C' field is a complementary field - Ed called it 'Consciousness', but it could be the 'Dream', the 'Higgs', etc. Also, Ed assumed no 'C' monopole (equivalent to no magnetic monopole in Electromagnetism, but this is not the most general form of the equation). I think you could improve the presentation of your ideas by studying the analogies between Ed's ideas and Electromagnetism.

Have Fun!

Dr. Cosmic Ray

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Feb. 2, 2010 @ 22:24 GMT
I agree: The whole and its parts complement each other.

Shimon Malin -- "There are essential aspects of the whole that can only be grasped by the experience of the whole. The analysis of the parts and the experience of the whole are complementary...both are needed for a complete understanding."

Euclid: The whole is larger than its parts.

This only holds for finite entities, not for infinite sets according to G. Cantor's untenable definition as an entity of single elements. One cannot distinguish every single element of an infinite amount. Stifel and Galilei still used and interpreted bijection correctly. There are not more real numbers as compared with the rational ones.

Addition of negative infinite extension to a positive one does not provide an additional degree of freedom. N and Z are both unity-related and therefore countably infinite. R are uncountably infinite, not more than infinite.

Given one decides to predict something just up to a future horizon, then it is impossible to simultaneously predict it beyond it.

In other words, it is not only impossible to have measured something that will happen.

It is also unnecessary to use negative elapsed time in any concrete case of anticipation. Consequently, complex Fourier transform of a single quantity only differs by additional redundancy from simpler real-valued cosine transform.

Do not fear the consequences.

EB

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Anonymous wrote on Feb. 1, 2010 @ 23:00 GMT
The physicists on this forum do not properly understand truth as it relates to (and describes) experience in general. This point is quite disturbing, important, true, and quite clear.

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Anonymous wrote on Feb. 2, 2010 @ 20:11 GMT
You are jealous of Frank DiMeglio at FQXi

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Dr. Cosmic Ray replied on Feb. 2, 2010 @ 20:19 GMT
Frank - LOL! How could I be jealous of an old dog who won't/ can't learn new tricks? Either take my recommendations seriously and study Ed Klingman's ideas or get a life!

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James Putnam wrote on Feb. 2, 2010 @ 21:19 GMT
Dear Ray,

Maybe an old dog can learn a new trick or two. Its the third and even worse the fourth trick that gets challenging. How many tricks are there anyway? You physicists aren't even talking English anymore. Is that a trick? I am going to try to learn your tricks. If I can't learn them, maybe my old dog will learn them. He is lying here on the floor near me, taking all of this in. By the way, he is ahead of me in studying Dr. Klingman's ideas.

(Dr. Klingman if your looking in that's not really true. I think you have presented the best case put forward, that I have seen, for lifting ourselves above the level of mechanical thoughts. My mind tends to be dominated by my own ideas, but, I am trying to study both Dr. Ray's works and yours.)

James

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Ray Munroe replied on Feb. 2, 2010 @ 22:12 GMT
Thanks James,

The third and fourth tricks do get harder. Lawrence is the resident math-phys expert - without his help, I would have a difficult time pushing my ideas forward. My old dogs (a 12-year-old Cocker Spaniel mix, and an 8-year-old Newfoundland mix) are sweet, but they don't know many tricks.

Ed Klingman's ideas are radical and interesting. I'm still reading his book. I would be interested if someone can derive General Relativity out of general versions of his 'G' and 'C' fields.

Have Fun!

Dr. Cosmic Ray

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James Putnam replied on Feb. 2, 2010 @ 22:55 GMT
Dear Ray,

Attention Dr. Klingman,

"Ed Klingman's ideas are radical and interesting. I'm still reading his book. I would be interested if someone can derive General Relativity out of general versions of his 'G' and 'C' fields."

Dr. Klingman, If you are reading this: I am tempted to write about this myself; however, you are better able to address this question. I would end up speaking in terms of my own ideas. I, and probably others, would prefer hearing your thoughts instead.

Ray, I think having Dr. Klingman's answer is important. It would certainly be different and interesting.

James

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Georgina Parry wrote on Feb. 4, 2010 @ 04:08 GMT

please could you help by explaining how to add posts to the conversation of choice. Since the changes, which I understand will be an improvement, I do not seem able to get my posts to go in the correct place. If I click on reply to this thread nothing happens, when I click submit new post afterwards it goes to top or bottom depending how you look at it but not where intended. What should I be doing? Also the "preview post text" seems to no longer work. I am also actually finding it harder to follow what is going on, as I have to jump around rather than just scrolling through the chronological postings and ignoring the replies that are not relevant to the discussion in which I am participating. Perhaps it is just a matter of getting used to it but right now its not working better for me. Thanks, in anticipation of your assistance.

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Ray Munroe replied on Feb. 4, 2010 @ 13:19 GMT
Dear Georgina,

It might depend on which internet browser you are using. These thread replies seem to work for me on Internet Explorer, but not on Mozilla Firefox.

Have Fun!

Dr. Cosmic Ray

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Feb. 4, 2010 @ 04:24 GMT
Dear James Putnam and Ray Munroe,

Thanks for your comments. One of the comments asked whether someone can derive General Relativity out of general versions of my 'G' and 'C' fields.

In thinking about an earlier comment (on Tegmark's 'Mathematical Universe thread) that Florin Moldoveanu made, I would like to suggest the following:

My G-C equations are a slightly modified version of Maxwell's GEM equations that have been shown by others to derive from linearized General Relativity equations.

In addition, in my book "Gene Man's World", I derive the FLRW perfect fluid equation (also known as the "Friedmann acceleration equation") of General Relativiry from my C-field circulation equation. In this derivation the C-field corresponds to the cosmological constant term.

So, in at least these two instances, the C-G equations are compatible with General Relativity.

I have not done the following, but I suggest it as an interesting exercise:

In my FQXi essay on 'A Fundamental Physics of Consciousness' I begin by stating that I do not believe that an anthropological version of 'the King's Laws' apply to our universe. Like John Archibald Wheeler, I believe that the laws are 'built-in' to the physical universe. This leads to the conclusion that whatever 'operator' on fields applies, must actually be the interaction of the field with itself. This leads to my Master Equation,

O.F=F.F

where O is the operator, and F is the field, and the dot ('.') is the appropriate 'multiplication'. As I show in the essay, this quickly leads to a formal similarity with Newton's equation such that the operator O is assumed to be the divergence and the field F is then gravity. By translating into a rotating frame I find the C-field and the (modified) GEM equations are then derived, along with a quantum flow principle.

My suggestion is this: Begin at a higher level with the Master equation. Let the F be a tensor and the O be a tensor operator, and see where this takes one. Since I have already shown two cases in which my equations are compatible with General Relativity, I would be surprised if one cannot reach Einstein's field equations rather quickly, especially given the hint that the cosmological constant term, lambda, is proportional to the square of the C-field.

Thanks again for your interest and all of the kind remarks.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Georgina Parry wrote on Feb. 4, 2010 @ 19:10 GMT
Thank you very much Ray.

That's the problem then. I have been using Firefox. Internet explorer has caused me too many problems in the past. Do also have Google chrome. I wonder if that will work.

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on Feb. 5, 2010 @ 17:07 GMT
I use Firefox, though, so the problem must be elsewhere. I'll direct your comments to the webmaster. He did tell me earlier about two possible problems. Javascript must be enabled in your browser---but since other features work, that's probably not it. And, there could be a short delay at the server, which keeps the 'reply to' window from appearing instantly. Try 'reply to this thread' and give it a few seconds to see if anything happens.

As for finding new posts, at the upper left of the page, you should find an option to display posts 'most recent first'. With this option, the posts are still grouped in threads, but the threads are ordered by date of their last post. Try it, and see if it helps.

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Christian Corda wrote on Feb. 5, 2010 @ 10:46 GMT
Dear Mr. Leshan,

you are telling slandering lies. I did not send threats for FQXi Panel members: I EXPLICITLY TOLD THAT judges, i.e. FQXi Panel members, have been very correct on this Essay Competition. Thus, you are a poor liar.

I did not send threats for you too, I only emphasized that your nonsenses are well outside of this Essay Competition.

Regarding the possibility of discussing your collection of absurdities and nonsenses without any scientific foundation (the word "theory" is not correct for your absurdities...) by e-mail, I have no time to lose with a science-fiction's writer who never published a single word in a single scientific journal and who tries to obtain consideration by offending and slandering other authors.

Dear Ray Munroe,

there are two fundamental differences between Thomas Elze and Mr. Leshan. First, Thomas Elze mathematically proved his ideas. Second, Thomas Elze does not try to obtain consideration by offending and slandering other authors.

More, I am an independent researcher, who often had controversies versus official and academic entourages. But, exactly like Thomas Elze, I always demonstrated my results with mathematics proofs and I never offended and slandered other authors who obtained recognized results

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Constantin Leshan replied on Feb. 5, 2010 @ 23:59 GMT
Dear FQXi community,

Now Dr. Corda uses the intimidation of the contestants in order to force us to praise its essay. No criticism is allowed; After that I published a critique of his essay he published a lot of insults and threats for me. For example, he wants to remove my essay from the competition.

Dr. Corda's pursue me in order to intimidate all contestants. According to Dr.Corda's plan, in the next contest all contestants will praise only his essay.

Therefore, I ask all readers to examine the next Dr.Corda’s essay and publish the criticism. Dr. Corda must understand that we are the free citizens and not slaves. We live in the free democratic countries and we are free to criticize the scientific essays. Even if I’ll not participate at competition I promise to examine Dr. Corda’s essay and publish a very qualitative criticism. No dictatorship in science.

By definition, all scientists publish the new theories for critique and analysis. However, it is very strange that such scientist as Dr. Corda tries to avoid criticism.

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James Putnam replied on Feb. 6, 2010 @ 00:13 GMT
Anyone at any time is free to criticize my essays or posts or ideas in the manner that they choose within the guidelines of fqxi. If will not be taken personally. Thank goodness that this is possible at fqxi. The freedom of expression here is to be highly valued and preserved.

James

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Christian Corda replied on Feb. 6, 2010 @ 23:35 GMT
Dear FQXi community,

Mr. Leshan tells lots of lies.

Kindly notice that I never said to remove Mr. Leshan's "essay" from the competition. I only said that the "ideas" of Mr. Leshan are not a theory, but a collection of nonsenses, absurdities and idiocies without any scientific foundation. In fact, Mr. Leshan NEVER PUBLISHED A SINGLE WORD IN A SINGLE SERIOUS INTERNATIONAL PEER-REVIEWED JOURNAL.

I never used the intimidation of the contestants in order to force them to praise my essay, this is totally false!!!

It is also totally false that I pursue Mr. Leshan in order to intimidate all contestants!!! I have lots of changes of ideas with lots of people within this community, and I never intimidated anyone! I never sent threats to Mr. Leshan too!! I only emphasize that he is not a scientist, but a science-fiction's writer. This is not intimidating a person, this is to claim that this person should make another job! The truth is that now Mr. Leshan has fear because lots of people within FQXi understand that Mr. Leshan claims to do science while he realize idiocies...

I only agree with Mr. Leshan regarding a point: I also ask all readers to examine my next essay and publish the criticism. But I also ask all readers to examine Mr. Leshan's next essay and see if it will represent science of idiocies.

Cheers, Ch.

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Anonymous wrote on Feb. 5, 2010 @ 16:27 GMT
It is easier/clever to pick the weaker approach -- to any unification of gravity and electromagnetism/light -- when you don't want any of those theories/approaches to gain recognition, isn't it?

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Ray Munroe wrote on Feb. 5, 2010 @ 16:56 GMT
Dear Frank,

You seem to be an intelligent person. Why are you so stubborn? I honestly think you could improve your ideas by reading Edwin Eugene Klingman's ideas. I would recommend that you read his book "The Chromodynamics War" and then read his essay. The paperback book is \$39.95 on Amazon with free super saver shipping (and you would probably enjoy the cover).

Personally, I would prefer to build a more general model than Ed's, but his ideas may be the bridge between your ideas and mainstream physics.

IF YOU ARE CORRECT, then you will need to build a mathematical-physical model that mainstream physics can accept.

Keep Saving Lives, Don't take yourself too seriously, and HAVE FUN!

Dr. Cosmic Ray

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Anonymous wrote on Feb. 5, 2010 @ 17:16 GMT
MANY of DiMeglio's posts were deleted from Florin's and Giovanni's essays -- and from elsewhere as well. So much for these essays containing a record of fact. (Georgina is still not finished exposing herself either.) It is not DiMeglio's credibility/truthfullness/abilities that are legitimately in question here, but the credibility and reliability of FQXi (and of some of the participants here) that is to be questioned. Remember Jonathan Dickau said that the more he listened to DiMeglio's ideas (versus the others), the more he thought that DiMeglio was right. Anyone care to post Jonathan's prior post on this?

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Feb. 11, 2010 @ 23:51 GMT
Hello friend,

It is best to let my comments speak for themselves and garner their own audience, rather than artificially inflating the value of my words - when I gave encouragement to a fellow contestant. When many people are traveling on the same road, as with this contest, opportunities crop up for various levels of sympathetic and unsympathetic reflection and debate.

Let us be respectful of the intents of others, as words meant to reassure are not the same as an enthusiastic or wholehearted endorsement. I am not an 'us against them' kind of guy, as I feel that nobody has all of the answers, but many have something valid to contribute. So I tend to stop short of belief, preferring having ideas and finding alternate explanations, so therefore I attempt to refrain from endorsements entirely. But if I do endorse someone's work outright, it is because I feel it is truly excellent.

all the best,

Jonathan

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Georgina Parry wrote on Feb. 5, 2010 @ 19:38 GMT
Brendan Foster,

thank you for your reply. Bother, I thought it might be something simple. Let that be a lesson to me! I have updated Java but still the same. The reply to thread turns orange but nothing else happens as far as I can see. Preview post text still not working.

I have already been using the see latest post feature. I don't find it that easy because now all the latest posts are not together in one place. I know this will make it easier to follow whole uninterrupted conversations. Which I can see is beneficial, especially when a conversation splits into several different branches involving different participants or even the same ones talking about different things. I may just need to get used to using it.

I think it would help though if the very latest post in each thread was in a different coloured box from the remainder or highlighted in some other way. So that it possible to spot them easily when scrolling down quickly.I can see that they are superimposed, so the top most one of the stack is the newest. However because they are all the same colour it is not immediately apparent, to me, which is the newest. I would like the new posts to either be all together or to jump out at me and say "here I am", so to speak.I do not know if that would be possible but it is on my wish list. Thank you.

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on Feb. 5, 2010 @ 20:53 GMT
That is curious--I wrote to the webmaster for advice.

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on Feb. 8, 2010 @ 15:25 GMT
Georgina---if you would like to send me your email address, to foster at fqxi.org, I will put you in contact with the webmaster. We'd like to figure out this most curious problem.

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Anonymous wrote on Feb. 6, 2010 @ 18:03 GMT
Dear Mr. Leshan,

now, you do as you pleases and you asks to stop the conflict, but I well remember that you started the conflict. You tell lowest lies when you tell that your criticism on my essay concerns that it is very "mathematical" for our contest. Actually, you strongly attacked my essay telling that it was very poor and that there were no revolutionary physics within it. Such an attack was so violent that FQXi Administrators deleted it. At the time in which you attacked my essay, it was the essay with the higher rate within FQXi Community.

My essay was slightly different from the one which was an Honourable Mention Winner at the 2009 Gravity Research Foundation Awards, which is the world's most important competition regarding essays in the fields of gravitation and cosmology. The essay was founded by more than 10 papers published by the world's most important international peer-reviewed journals in the fields of physics, gravitation and cosmology. Such papers were also the world's most cited within the Astroparticle Publication Review of ASPERA during 2007. Clearly, your cowardly criticism on my work was due by the envy of a person who never published a single word in a single important international peer-reviewed journal in the fields of physics, gravitation and cosmology.... If "Concepts of Physics" is an important international peer-reviewed journal in the fields of physics, gravitation and cosmology I am Spider Man...

Your are not a scientist, you are a science-fiction writer without any scientific competence. The point is not that I am not able to see the good ideas, the point is that a good idea has to be derived rigorously. You do not have the competences to make this, thus, your "good ideas" are rubbish from a scientific point of view.

Be sure that I always will be an enemy of people like you, who tell that they do science while they realize idiocies and offend and slander scientists who obtained recognized results. This is a bad way in order to obtain attention on your nonsenses

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Christian Corda replied on Feb. 6, 2010 @ 18:04 GMT
I sign previous post,

Christian Corda

this post was moved here from a different topic

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Constantin Leshan replied on Feb. 6, 2010 @ 21:22 GMT
Dear Dr. Corda,

You see, now you started the scandal (conflict) on this page; Remember, I'll NOT participate in yours scandals and I'll not respond you.

I do not started any conflicts. I only criticized your essay. All physicists have the right to criticize your essay. If you'll not stop the scandals, I'll publish the criticism for your next essay.

The first prize in 2009 Gravity Research Foundation Awards was obtained by the Russian Alexander Burinskii. You have not obtained any money or important prizes in 2009 Gravity Research Foundation. You are not listed even in the first 5 prizes; The “Honorable Mention” is not important for me. Thus, I don't see any important results for you.

Since you are not capable to understand my essay I have nothing to discuss with you; you are more mathematician than physicist; I have nothing to discuss with the mathematicians.

These words are not my words: 'they do science while they realize idiocies'. These words were invented by you. I only defend my ideas and criticize other theories as all physicists.

Also I must mention that Frank's DiMedlio theory is not the Alternative physics, It lays in area of the Standard physics. I'm absolutely sure that his theory is wrong. Therefore you must compare Frank with you, but not with me.

Since you do not have the competences to understand the simple physical ideas from my theory I also do not consider you as scientist.

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Christian Corda wrote on Feb. 6, 2010 @ 23:15 GMT
Dear Mr. Leshan,

you are a poor science-fiction writer without any scientific competence and without any serious research published. Here the only scandal is that you call "ideas" yours ridiculous idiocies, nonsenses and absurdities without any scientific foundation. Be sure the nobody with a minimum of scientific competence will never consider such idiocies for a prize or fund. I WILL BE HONOURED IF YOU WILL publish the criticism for my next essay. As you understand NOTHING about maths, physics and science in general, such criticism will be only lowest rubbish and such a rubbish will show your lowest envy and will endorse my next essay...

I well know Alexander Burinskii, and other famous Russinas Physicists like A. Starobinsky, L. Grishcuck, A. Polnarev, S. Odintsov. Be sure that a lowest person like you has nothing to do with great scientists like them...

Sincerely

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Constantin Leshan replied on Feb. 8, 2010 @ 08:22 GMT
Dear Dr. Corda,

You are telling slandering lies: "Kindly notice that I never said to remove Mr. Leshan's "essay" from the competition". I can show your words: 'I strongly suggest you to withdraw your essay from this FQXi Essay Contest'. This post was deleted by FQXi administrator but my reply to you still exists on my page.

If you are the serious scientist you must show proofs for your accusations. Do you have any proofs that I'm a science fiction writer? Since you don't found any errors in my theory you cannot accuse me.

You know the math and gravitational waves only and you are not capable to discuss other theories. I saw your list of publications; During your life you discovered NOTHING important. All your life you searched for gravitational waves and you have found nothing.

Sincerely

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Christian Corda wrote on Feb. 8, 2010 @ 11:56 GMT
Dear Mr. Leshan,

you continue to tell lies: I suggested YOU to to withdraw your ridiculous "essay" but I never asked the FQXi Community to remove it as you previous said. The difference is ENORMOUS.

I do not have time to loose in searching errors in your ridiculous "theory". You NEVER published a single word in a SERIOUS international peer-reviewed journal, thus yours cannot be a theory, but a collection of ridiculous absurdities.

However, just the title of your ridiculous "essay" shows your total ignorance: creating an absolute vacuum and a perfectly isolated system IS TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE, non only, as you tells, according to modern scientific knowledge, but also according to PHYSICS. It is in contrast with the UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE, that you surely DO NOT KNOW.

Thus, please, stop to annoy the FQXi Community with your idiocies without any physics relevance. You only look a lowest envious and ridiculous poor man.

Sincerely

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Feb. 8, 2010 @ 13:39 GMT
Christian,

Your comments about Leshan's notion of isolating a system or vacuum occurred to me last fall when I first looked at Leshan's paper. The problem as I see it is that you are trying to wrestle with a pig, and as the saying goes all that happens is you get all muddy and really piss off a pig.

I repost something I wrote on an astronomy blog in response to the assessment of...

view entire post

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Ray Munroe wrote on Feb. 8, 2010 @ 13:24 GMT
Dear Christian Corda and Constantin Leshan,

Shouldn't we be gentlemen here? In my humble opinion, you should drop your feud. Leshan 'attacked' my idea the same way, but I hold no ill will towards him. Time and physics community feedback will eventually tell which ideas are good and which are not. Neither one of you had the worst essay in this contest. And, unfortunatley, neither one of us won this contest.

Sincerely,

Ray

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Christian Corda wrote on Feb. 8, 2010 @ 13:44 GMT
Dear Ray Munroe,

I do not know if Mr. Leshan attacked you with the same violence that he used for attacking me. I am not sure that neither one of me and Mr. Leshan had the worst essay in this contest... Mr. Leshan's "essay" is SURELY the lowest collection of idiocies and nonsenses that have been written in this essay competition.

On the other hand, time, physics community feedback and PUBLICATIONS have previous told which ideas are better between the mine ones and Mr. Leshan's ones.... I find that compare RECOGNIZED RESEARCH with Mr. Leshan's idiocies is not a scientific, honest comparing.

However, I will follow your advice and I stop here my polemics: Mr. Leshan envy and his lowest "ideas" does not deserve further discussion.

Cheers,

Ch.

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Ray Munroe replied on Feb. 8, 2010 @ 14:14 GMT
Dear Christian,

I understand. Leshan's 'attacks' on both of our papers (my essay was topic #520) were deleted, but my 'nice' responses on his blog site from Sept 28 to Oct 4 still exist.

Have Fun!

Ray

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Christian Corda wrote on Feb. 8, 2010 @ 13:54 GMT
Dear Lawrence,

I follow your advice and I stop my polemics: as I previous told to Ray, Mr. Leshan's envy and his lowest "ideas" does not deserve further discussion.

Your last post is quite interesting, I recently found a DIRECT CONNECTION between the Inflaton Field and the amplitude of Relic GWs in a paper that has been published by General Relativity and Gravitation. If you like, you can see the pre-print at http://arxiv.org/abs/0909.4133

Cheers,

Ch

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on Feb. 9, 2010 @ 01:36 GMT
The analysis you do on page 6 is similar to some calculations I did with respect to holography a few months ago. Gravity waves are perturbations on the conformal structure of the universe which has fields holgraphically projected on the cosmological horizon, though in my case I worked in Anti-de Sitter spacetime.

Thanks,

LC

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Georgina Parry wrote on Feb. 8, 2010 @ 23:08 GMT
I am a great admirer of the work of Tim field in educating the public about bullying.Useful summary of Narcissistic personality traits

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Georgina Parry wrote on Feb. 8, 2010 @ 23:15 GMT
That's a pity the link feature now does not appear to be functioning for me.

www.bullyonline.org/workbully/npd.htm This is the web page I was trying to link to. It appears to me to be highly relevant to the discussions that have been taking place here.

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Feb. 9, 2010 @ 18:30 GMT
Dear Brendan,

I have a small problem, all days I like speak with Jayakar or Peter on the contest forum , but since this day I can't continue because the 2010 contest has disappeared.

Could you explain me why please?

Regards

Steve

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 9, 2010 @ 18:35 GMT
no no I become crazzy , an error it is ok now, sorry.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Feb. 10, 2010 @ 10:36 GMT
Useful summary of narcissistic personality traits

Just thought I would try to link this again as I spotted my error.

Fascinating correlation.

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 10, 2010 @ 11:37 GMT
Dear Georgina,

Do you think what the Narcissism is for the men only?

In the mythology, Narcisse loved his image, and he falls down in the water and a beautiful flower appears and the love disappears, just because he forgot the essential.The flower is the Narcisse, a beautiful flower furthermore.

What is the real humility, personally I see always above me before acting.

The vanity is the sister of the pretension.

The society is a pure society where the vanity is a driving force unfortunally.

Vanity of vanities, all is vanity .....but we evolve dear Georgina.

You are a woman and I d like have your point of vue about the sciences community and of course its number of men, vanitious, pretentious, .....like what the hormons have a rule in this analyze.

Viva the women ......yes the complementarity is better than the actual system of pure hormonal direction.

I think what only a few people understands and accepts their own vanity, we are all like that thus anybody is better than its fellow man.To be or not to be.........

Best Regards

Steve

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Georgina Parry wrote on Feb. 10, 2010 @ 21:32 GMT
Steve,

You asked "Do you think what the Narcissism is for the men only?" absolutely not. There are most definitely women narcissists and bullies. I do not have any data to suggest that the number of narcissists within the scientific community is any larger than in society as a whole. However I do suspect that science attracts people who think logically and mathematically and may, having a left hemisphere thinking preference, at times miss social cues causing people's feelings to be hurt unintentionally. That is being insensitive not narcissistic or bullying.

Self esteem and pride in ones abilities or achievements is healthy, when it is in realist proportion to actual objective facts. The narcissist has arrested development of an appropriate sense of self. Therefore continuing to have the egocentric viewpoint of a toddler. That is, that they are the most important person in the universe and everything revolves around them. Everything is related back to the self. It is either reinforcing the distorted veiwpoint of self or it is in conflict with the distorted veiw of self. Positive reinforcement is actively sought and any input that is perceived as in conflict with the distorted view of self is attacked as a terrible personal insult. Most of all the narcissist craves attention whether negative or positive because this reinforces the notion of importance. That is why the best thing to do is ignore them and so not reinforce the narcissistic belief.

Hormones (and brain structure) are most definitely responsible for gross control of personality and behaviour. In the case of bullying it is dopamine that seems to be the major player out of the hormones, (although the levels of numerous hormones are relevant). Winning a conflict raises dopamine levels and rewards the winner, making adversarial and adventurous behaviour more likely in future. Dopamine level drops in the looser of the conflict but serotonin ultimately rises making this animal more placid and prepared to accept a subordinate position. This translates to development of human alpha and beta personality types. The combination of alpha personality and narcissistic arrested development of appropriate sense of self may produce a bully. (That is not saying all bullies are narcissists. There are other causes of bullying behaviour too.)

The narcissist has not chosen that personality and therefore to a certain extent can not help behaving inappropriately. It is important that the public is educated to recognise this behaviour and see it for what it is. That of a adult person with a frustrated toddler ego, nothing more.

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 11, 2010 @ 10:01 GMT
Hi dear Georgina,

You know Georgina, here in Belgium the winner or the looser has no sense(perhaps for some capitalists but ....is it the universality ?no fortunally), the life is not a fight because all is the same and all is equal, if some people doesn't undertand this universality, thus they must beleive about their spirituality, because there it is a serios global problem.

In the sciences community, many continues to rest in their line of reasoning, it is logic in fact to have this kind of comportment because people needs recognizing, simply.But sometimes it is frustrating this lack of rationality about our foundationals laws.

Friendly

Steve

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Feb. 11, 2010 @ 23:35 GMT
Hello again,

Just checking in, and I see many interesting comments above.

To Anonymous and others; I see what appears to be the claim of an endorsement, and I gave none. While I feel the need to be open minded out of respect for the work involved in crafting a good contest essay and defending one's work, I don't feel that this is the same as endorsing a particular author and their essay.

Let the record speak for itself, friend, and the reader will know if they look - whether the words I've written are an agreement in part, an accommodation, an acceptance of the whole in principle, or an outright agreement with what is said. The contest forum has provided a delightful platform for that sort of thing.

Perhaps the nuances offered by my words of encouragement were not totally grasped, as such, and were assumed to be an endorsement. But I clearly offer thoughtful regard, as I feel that all of us who worked so hard are entitled. Beyond that; I will likely make it more plain, when I feel that someone's work is truly of note, perhaps by referencing their work in my next essay.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 12, 2010 @ 17:18 GMT
Hello dear Jonathan,

hhihihi and a person says"Hi all , welcome at this important strike ,and he says .first claim,..... ACCEPT all our claims ! That s all hihihi

Steve

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Jason Mark Wolfe wrote on May. 1, 2010 @ 22:39 GMT
Dear Anonymouse,

You said, "Jason, some would say that your belief in "God" is gutless or cowardly/delusional. "

Gutless - lacking courage, daring or persistence.

Delusional- a persistent and false believe that is not substantiated by sensory or objective evidence.

As for delusional, I have built a powerful mental construct out of physics, mathematics and logic. I power it with occult magic and tools of alchemy; and I occasionally snack on the pride of anonymice. The physical laws of nature do not allow me to definitely prove the existence of spiritual and occult laws. If you think I am delusion, it is the energizing and productive kind.

As for me being gutless? Come here little anonyouse; that I may feast on the egos of cowards. I added my middle name to distinguish me from all others because I feel emboldened by your fear, your cowardliness.

A couple of years ago, which feels like an eternity to me, I challenged the Christian dogma that practitioners of the occult will burn in Hell. I combined my tools of alchemy with the presence of the Holy Bible. My intent was to ask a Higher power, the Supreme God of the Bible, if white magic, when performed by an honorable and good person with sincere intent and a desire to help other, if white magic is an offense to the Creator. What I experienced was amazing. I was healed by Blood Magic. It was the blood of Christ, mixing with my magic. It was obscene and beautiful, and it healed me. I watched the flow of energy, now reddened by the blood of Christ. I didn't know how to make sense out of it. I knew that there was a malevolent form of blood magic, but I didn't want to pursue that.

Since then, I have seen and have been led by the hand of God. These have been the most beautiful and happy experiences of my life. I have set Christ aside for now as something I eagerly look forward to. I want to relish the experience when the time is right.

So, anonymouse, you can call me delusional if you wish. But to call me cowardly is to make yourself look foolish to everyone here. You are free to go little man-mouse.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on May. 2, 2010 @ 20:54 GMT
I don't think that ignoring and editing DiMegio is the right response; that would be a recapitulation of intellectual arrogance. I would ask DiMeglio to be open and honest about his identity. Confidence and respect of others is not won by sneaking around, using different hats.

Quite simply, Frank needs to defend his beliefs, openly and honestly. Personally, I also believe that consciousness, sensory perception, and the soul are a manifested within physics itself. I would happy to defend my views, if requested. But Frank needs to accept the communication standards of this forum of thoughtful exchange.

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Lawrence B. Crowell replied on May. 2, 2010 @ 23:57 GMT
Ignoring what DiMeglio writes is to editing what off is to a TV channel.

Cheers LC

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Georgina Parry wrote on May. 3, 2010 @ 01:57 GMT
Jason,

Frank has demonstrated, through the wording of his posts, that he is not capable of defending his ideas through intellectual argument or rewording. Though at the same time he feels that he has something very important to communicate to the community. We are all different in our abilities and viewpoints. Frank has not been prevented from posting. So we can still see whatever he has to say.

In my opinion it is best not to reply to Frank for the following reasons. To avoid further annoyance to Frank. To prevent the respondent wasting a lot of time and getting abused for his trouble. To save the FQXi community from being over run by pointless, non constructive bickering. This is not arrogance but the only practical approach. It is not kind or constructive to harass or "play around" with -anyone- who appears to have communication and social etiquette difficulties, imo.

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Jason Wolfe wrote on May. 3, 2010 @ 03:31 GMT
Georgina,

You said, "It is not kind or constructive to harass or "play around" with -anyone- who appears to have communication and social etiquette difficulties, imo. "

OK, harassment is wrong. But what do you mean by "playing around" with someone? What is wrong with giving someone attention? It is cold and sterile to ignore someone out of a misguided sense of being principled. If you were struggling to communicate in a forum or community, would you want to be ignored? Treated like an intellectual pariah? The lofty arrogance that mathematics/physics breeds has left it's wounds upon the philosophical underdogs, century after century. I have talked with many people who think outside of the box, yet, they find themselves shunned and ignored. They are treated like intellectual trash. There are those who hide in there ivory towers, hiding from the trolls, hoping they will eventually go away.

Is that your definition of "being kind"?

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Georgina Parry replied on May. 3, 2010 @ 08:29 GMT
Jason,

I do not consider myself misguided in this particular situation. Whether it is kind to give attention depends on the purpose behind your attention and how it will be perceived by the other party. If it is really to pursue the worth of his ideas and help him to develop them then that is positive attention. I do not think that kind of assistance will be regarded as a kindness by Frank. I doubt that such an endevour will be productive and a worthwhile use of anyone's time since Frank in my opinion only seeks acceptance of his ideas as they have been presented and narsissitic supply. He may well consider you entirely unworthy of his ideas and incapable of improving upon them.

From malignant self love by Dr. Sam Vaknin "We all search for positive cues from people around us. These cues reinforce in us certain behaviour patterns. There is nothing special in the fact that the narcissist does the same. However there are two major differences between the narcissistic and the normal personality.The first is quantitative. The normal person is likely to welcome a moderate amount of attention - verbal and non-verbal- in the form of affirmation, approval, or admiration. Too much attention, though, is perceived as onerous and is avoided. Destructive and negative criticism is avoided altogether. The narcissist, in contrast, is the mental equivalent of an alcoholic. He is insatiable. He directs his whole behaviour, in fact his life, to obtain these pleasurable titbits of attention. He embeds them in a coherent, completely biased, picture of himself. He uses them to regulates his labile sense of self-worth and self-esteem."

In my opinion giving Frank attention will just encourage him to continue posting. If you think that giving him attention will be beneficial to you, Frank or this site then go ahead and try to engage in constructive discussion of his work.I stand by my decision not to talk to him, because I think that is what is best for all concerned.

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georgina Parry wrote on May. 3, 2010 @ 08:33 GMT
Jason ,

It is difficult to communicate with a person who is liable to respond with hostility and abuse. So I agree that it is another good reason not to engage in conversation.

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Ray Munroe replied on May. 3, 2010 @ 12:22 GMT
Dear Georgina,

Did you have an opportunity to read my ideas?

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Georgina Parry replied on May. 3, 2010 @ 20:26 GMT
Ray,

which ideas? If you mean your positive encouragement to Frank to read similar ideas by others, to write in more appropriate language and to post once and well rather than multiple times with different names, then yes I have. I think that the advice was positive and well intentioned. Though the most recent posts were less subtly worded than is the usual for you. I hope that Frank understands why you have given that advice and pays attention to it.

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Ray Munroe replied on May. 3, 2010 @ 20:52 GMT
Dear Georgina,

I tried to send some notes to you via Facebook. Did I pick the wrong Georgina Parry who is also a friend of Steve Dufourny's, or did the message crash?

I enjoy teaching. I'm certain that others on FQXi have completely given up on Frank Martin. I am trying to challenge him into improving the presentation of his ideas. He will never convince anyone that he is the towering genius of FQXi if he keeps repeating himself beligerantly, and if he doesn't improve his presentation and/or idea.

Have Fun!

Ray

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James Putnam wrote on May. 3, 2010 @ 21:40 GMT
A thought: The Blogs section has the advantage of the Recent Blog Comments list, so, it attracts the most attention and involvement for discussion. The discussions often digress from the subjects of each blog. I have no complaint about this, because, it is the easiest location at FQXi to follow active discussion. However, the Forums section has a real value also. It is far easier in the Forums section to maintain subject continuity. My point is: Many messages in the Blogs section could be simultaneously posted, under the best subject heading, in the Forums section. Then, there would be both the sometimes disjointed discussions in the blogs section and yet an ongoing cohesive record of each poster's contributions to specific subjects in the Forums section. If subjects are missing from the yet underdeveloped Forums section, then they could be added if requested. It would be easy for posters in the Blogs section to refer others to their previous contributing posts in the Forums section.

James

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on May. 4, 2010 @ 14:40 GMT
Discussions of the character of other forum users [as though other users can't also "hear" the conversation about themselves] are not welcome in this forum, or anywhere else on the FQXi website. I ask all of you to move your current discussion somewhere else.

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Georgina Parry replied on May. 4, 2010 @ 20:24 GMT
Brendan,

Although I understand that Frank might feel offended by my recent posts, it is important for him and others to understand -why I- will not reply to him. My opinion is based on observation of his posting behavior, attitude towards myself other contributors, demonstrated inability to reword or explain his work and the content of his posts. Not due merely to an arrogant disregard for the content of his writings or dislike of his writing style. Of course I may have misjudged him. However, on the basis of my own observation, I do not believe that I am incorrect and stand by my current opinion. There are more important things to discuss, so I will say no more on this subject.

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Georgina Parry replied on May. 4, 2010 @ 22:31 GMT
Brendan,

I refer you to the post on this topic by Anonymous May 04 19.03 GMT

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James Putnam wrote on May. 4, 2010 @ 16:52 GMT
Dear Cosmic Ray,

Just thinking about e=mc2. If the speed of light was not a constant, would the equation not be derivable? I allow for the possibility that an analogous and just as useful form might still be derived. Would you say that a variable speed of light theory could not reproduce e=mc2 even in an analogous form. Would we lose its mathematical success in any form? I ask this even though I have my own opinion. I was wondering about an expert's opinion. What would happen to e=mc2?

James

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Ray Munroe replied on May. 4, 2010 @ 17:12 GMT
Hi James,

I know that Jason wants to change the speed of light. This isn't my primary focus. But if there are different speeds of light, they are separated from us via Inflation and/or Black Holes (a 'quantum gravity' event). This would also apply to different Planck constants, etc. If the speed of light varied slightly, we would either 1) measure that new speed of light, or 2) observe anomalous effects that might imply a changing speed of light. IMHO, it is more likely that the fine structure 'constant' and/or the gravitational 'constant' have changed over time rather than the speed of light. The attached file by the Particle Data Group basically claims an accuracy of the speed of light to 9 decimal places - past that, it is incorporated into the definition of length (the meter).

Have Fun!

attachments: Particle_Data_Group.pdf

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James Putnam replied on May. 4, 2010 @ 18:03 GMT
Dear Ray,

My question wasn't prompted by the thoughts of others. It was prompted by my thought that measuring as a constant and being a constant are not necessarily the same thing. I thought only in terms of the speed of light varying everywhere within this universe. I understand from your answer that your perspective is that the speed of light is definitely a universal constant in free space. My question then becomes purely rhetorical as if it does not pertain in any real way to our universe. Thank you for that link to accurate measured values.

James

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Steve Dufourny replied on May. 4, 2010 @ 18:25 GMT
Hello all,

Dear James,

In my humble opinion, it's important to have this c for a correct perception of our 3D.

It's a gauge in fact....we can't change this light....the light can be fractalized by the gravity and decreases its velocity but never we can change it.It's a correlation of evolution

Of course we speak in our referential and its intrinsic laws.

If we analyze for exemple the space time, we see different referentials where probably the constants are differents,

but in our perceptibility these constants are there for a correct complementarity of all mass which evolve and are invariants.

The past analyze is simply a correct perception of the evolution of the" space time matter light" system , thus we can perceive differents referentials but we can't change them simply.Thus it exists a corrrect serie of evolution where probably the constants evolve too and linked between all... Time,space, matter (this gravity),and the light.That implies thus an evolutive perception where the present is the same in its refrential in all points of the universal space.

The past also and thus the future....linked but differents simply, the irreversibility is thus a good partner to encircle this evolution.

These extrapolations permit to see the evolutive serie.

In resume,A c can be different in the past but do not change in its referential , and in the present is the same in all points of the referntial in 3D.

In fact the relativity is an evolutive point of vue.

Regards

Steve

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