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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Anonymous: on 3/17/11 at 11:21am UTC, wrote So, it it seem Herrn Zeilinger has his own reality which is that the world...

Anonymous: on 3/17/11 at 0:12am UTC, wrote Dear Janko, I did not have the time to study this paper but let me give...

Janko Kokosar: on 3/16/11 at 23:06pm UTC, wrote This unclear sentence bother me also. But, I understand it, that it is more...

Anonymous: on 3/16/11 at 20:28pm UTC, wrote Dear Janko, I do not know Zeilinger's views, I have only heard that indeed...

Janko Kokosar: on 3/16/11 at 17:36pm UTC, wrote Dear Johan Maybe I cannot ask properly. My question is what you think...

Anonymous: on 3/16/11 at 15:52pm UTC, wrote Dear Janko, The question is what you mean by finite volume, volume of...

Janko Kokosar: on 3/16/11 at 14:34pm UTC, wrote Dear Johan Noldus Your work is probably very mathematically demanding,...

Edwin Klingman: on 3/12/11 at 16:49pm UTC, wrote Dear Johan, Yours is perhaps the most 'dense' essay in the contest, in...


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FQXi FORUM
October 14, 2019

CATEGORY: Is Reality Digital or Analog? Essay Contest (2010-2011) [back]
TOPIC: How to Learn to Ask Good Questions in Physics by Johan Noldus [refresh]
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Author Johan Noldus wrote on Feb. 15, 2011 @ 11:45 GMT
Essay Abstract

We argue in detail why spacetime geometry (or pregeomtry) is most likely analog. While there are many negative arguments against discreteness and all positive reasons appear to be severely misguided, the continuum is necessitated by the principle of locality. I give a detailed expose why locality is our best guiding principle in a search for unified laws of nature.

Author Bio

The author did a bachelor in physics and mathematics, as well as a masters in physics at the university of Leuven. Later on, he did a PhD in theoretical physics at the university of Gent followed by a postdoc position in Utrecht. Since then, he has held several postitions in the private/public sector.

Download Essay PDF File

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Fra wrote on Feb. 23, 2011 @ 15:42 GMT
Hello Johan,

It was interesting to read your paper to try figure out your reasoning and find motivation for your starting point of the I think I've come to conclude that I don't share the general guide you use to construct your theory, but I do share several notes of yours.

"but what is never said is that quantum eld theory is a theory of hidden variables. Indeed, reality consists...

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Author Johan Noldus replied on Feb. 23, 2011 @ 18:42 GMT
Dear Fra,

The hidden variable perspective in QFT is in my opinion a deep consequence of relativity. Indeed, relativity forces the hidden variable perspective upon us (for example, the notion of a particle becomes contextual), something which Einstein deeply realized and is entirely absent in the Eculidean world. Furthermore, you do not seem to realize that classical gravity is a theory of hidden vanables; likewise is classical Maxwell theory. Moreover, all these theories do not even specify at all what is being measured and we certainly do not measure a metric or measure stick.

Concerning your arguments of information, they are as misleading as all the others I have discussed for several reasons:

(a) nobody knows what information is, for that you need to know the fundamental atomistic degrees of freedom and go over to a density matrix instead of a state description. Doing this requires already an artificial split between entity and the rest of the universe. But the universe is holistic and identities are emergent, not fundamental at all.

(b) Nobody says that one needs to be able to measure or know information. While such attitude is certainly minimalistic, it is utterly wrong. For example consciousness is a hidden variable which has no materialistic interpretation.

(c) There is not reason why local information is finite; actually it should be infinite otherwise you break local Lorentz covariance; a principle which should still be valid in quantum gravity (because it has been tested experimentally on earth).

In that respect, why would you think that we cannot grasp infinity? For sure, everything we can write in a symbolic language is finite, but there is no good reason to suspect that we cannot create things which require an infinite amount of basic information. For example, writing the figure 1 on the blackboard is such an activity (at least if you consider the number one quantum mechanically).

Furthermore, you have clearly not read the entire text: I started out by questioning those reasons to abandon the continuum, but I have also offered deep reasons FOR the continuum.

Concerning the underdevelopment of discrete techniques, this is not a matter of an insufficient number of people working on it, but an inherent limitation of discreteness. Alas, 10 pages do not allow me to explain all this in sufficient detail.

Kind regards,

Johan

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Fra replied on Feb. 24, 2011 @ 06:52 GMT
Dear Johan,

While I respect your original ideas but I got more confident now that we have quite different ways of reasoning.

It will not change anything, but maybe the discussion here might invite others to comment!

> The hidden variable perspective in QFT is in my opinion a deep consequence of > relativity. Indeed, relativity forces the hidden variable perspective upon...

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Steve Dufourny replied on Mar. 1, 2011 @ 11:23 GMT
Hi all,

It's interesting your point of vue dear Fredrik, these hidden variables are just a false road. The strings are al a false road. The problem is in fact the lack of pure correlations with the pure objective reality.The maths are a tool, which helps to see and proof the physicality and its properties. The universal logic inside this universal doamin and its laws is rational in the quantum scale and in the cosmological scale.Relativelly speaking with the evolution and the increase of entropy. The determinism is a road important showing the real proportionalities in their pure rotations and motions. If we are still far of our walls, there is a reason due to evolution, the hidden vaiables are just different scales in 3 dimensions and the laws rest universal.It's the real sense of entropy and its max in all things at these walls.The violations of Bells .......see Zeilinger and Christian about the rationalism of our axiomatization towards the real series. The universe rests logic and rational at all scales in 3D .....

It's always the same problem about Copenaghen and on the otehr side, the parodoxs due to a bad understanding of the relativity,general and special.

Just a thought

Steve

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Author Johan Noldus wrote on Feb. 24, 2011 @ 08:42 GMT
Dear Fra,

An intrinsic measurement theory will contain hidden variables: {}the devil is in the details and you should think it through.

Furthermore, it is clear that there is no unique rational interference based on available evidence. This will lead to multiple logics, each with their hidden rules and therefore we are in the same situation again.

Concerning the emergence of local Lorantz covariance. Experimental evidence suggests that no violation of Lorentz covanriance may even happen on scales of 10^{-20} meters. And probably, it will be so for much higher scales too. The problem is that nobody knows how to make this even precise and it are all buzzwords so far.

You do not seem to have actively worked with discrete structuresz, I have. I can guarantuee you that after 30 years people still cannot free themselves from the continuum. For example, in discrete theories, one should not even use the number Pi, since that one is tied to the continuum. The problem of discretenesz is the lack of locality and this is not merely a cosmetic property you know.

There are plenty of good ideas regarding discreteness. It is however so that the most natural ones all give the wrong answers ! But some people appear to ignore this fact due to religious reasons.

Kind regards,

Johan

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Fra wrote on Feb. 24, 2011 @ 11:03 GMT
Dear Johan,

> An intrinsic measurement theory will contain hidden variables

I'm not sure what you mean, I guess it depends on what we mean by hidden variables. The intrinsic measurement theory doesn't exists yet, so I guess you judge your expectation of this.

But I might guess and the the hidden variables/structures are in my view not hidden ad hoc, they are rather...

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Author Johan Noldus replied on Feb. 24, 2011 @ 12:58 GMT
So, you should read the draft of my book. Then you will discover that the continuum and local Lorentz covariance pose no problem; the evil reszides in interacting QFT. Sometimes, you should put you philosophical prejudices aside and listen to more convincing and conservative arguments, although judgement is and will always be a subjective game.

Johan

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Peter Jackson wrote on Mar. 2, 2011 @ 22:56 GMT
Johan

I hadn't noticed your essay until now. I had missed a brilliant analysis (expect to see your position improve!) I believe it conceptually goes to the heart of the issue in more than one way. As much seems to be setting up my own essay I can hardly think differently!

In particular; "a new way of treating interactions" I believe is very incisive, and I hope you will consider reading my essay which I beleive proves you correct. And even more pertinent;

"Einstein's formulation in terms of the fi eld equations is a truely local one and suggests more a boundary value point of view rather than an initial value perspective. The manifold is not fi xed at all in this picture and may be seen as an evolving entity by pasting together local coordinate patches."

(It's the pasting that's the secret). ..And too many others to quote.

But mine is a physical 'coalface' theory based on logic and evidence without mathematical abstraction, no moving points or lines to invalidate geometry, Bell and Lorentz validity are tamed, and it has high predictive power and falsifiability. (2020 Vision...).

Do please read it if you can and give me your honest views. It will test your conceptual powers to picture and manipulate multiple dynamic variables and observer frames, but I think you are better equipped than most.

Very best wishes, and good luck.

Peter

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Author Johan Noldus replied on Mar. 3, 2011 @ 08:15 GMT
Don't worry about my position, it is the ''expert-rating'' which matters... It requires ''special layman'' to appreciate specialist work but such people do exist, there are just very few of them. Could you please summarize in a few lines how you see the issues of local Lorentz covariance and quantum mechanics ?

Regards,

Johan

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Mar. 12, 2011 @ 16:49 GMT
Dear Johan,

Yours is perhaps the most 'dense' essay in the contest, in terms the concepts you cover and the depth of treatment. I am trying to read as many essays as possible, but after this contest closes I may try to read your new book.

In an above comment you make several very interesting points: "classical gravity is a theory of hidden variables; likewise is classical Maxwell theory." I do not understand your meaning but would like to.

You also state: "nobody knows what information is...". This is a point that I have made several times in these threads. There are certainly some who seem to think they know what it is.

I also agree with you that "the universe is holistic and identities are emergent, not fundamental at all." My essay develops this theme.

And you say, "consciousness is a hidden variable which has no materialistic interpretation." My previous essay was an unorthodox treatment of consciousness, not unrelated to my current essay.

I like that you "started out by questioning those reasons to abandon the continuum, but ... have also offered deep reasons FOR the continuum."

And finally, "Alas, 10 pages do not allow me to explain all this in sufficient detail." Amen.

At this point, there is too much in your essay for me to digest and comment on specifically, but I do believe that we agree on the major issues of continuity and locality.

Johan, your level of treatment is such that I almost hesitate to ask you to read my essay, but I would appreciate feedback from you. I use the ten pages for an overview at a much lower level of mathematical sophistication than you use, but my goal is to try to convey a physical picture, to develop physical intuition and explanatory power, not deepest abstract representation. Some participants who are extremely wrapped up in symmetries do not appreciate my view, but I would nevertheless hope you will find time to look at my essay and provide your opinion.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Janko Kokosar wrote on Mar. 16, 2011 @ 14:34 GMT
Dear Johan Noldus

Your work is probably very mathematically demanding, similarly as all quantum gravity. So, before I will deepen in it, I please you for one answer. What is your position about Zeilinger, Brukner, Feynman, Weizscaker... that finite volume carries only finite information? And what is your position about connection between continuity and information?

I have also two articles. The first one is speculative and the second one is not:

http://vixra.org/pdf/1103.0025v1.pdf

I claims that special relativity is enough to claim, that space does not exist without matter. We do not need General covariance.

http://vixra.org/pdf/1012.0006v3.pdf

Any comment will be useful.

As you can see, it follows a model that elementary particle is a superposition of zero mass and planck's mass.

Best regards

p.s.

I was in Gent university in 2008 in conference about magnetic materials. Is this your building?

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Anonymous wrote on Mar. 16, 2011 @ 15:52 GMT
Dear Janko,

The question is what you mean by finite volume, volume of what?? If you would tell me that a finite region in space-time as a 4 dimensional manifold has only a finite information content, then I would say no. This is just like Plato's cave where we can see fairly elementary shadows but the reality behind them could very well be infinite. Furthermore, I feel very uncomfortable about the word information because I have not really a good idea how to define it in a canonical way; perhaps you care to elaborate on your own words?

Your words about mass baffle me because mass is usually thought of as a quantum number and not an observable; this actually follows from representation theory of the universal cover of the Poincare group. One can only superpose particles of equal mass to obtain another ''particle'' with ill defined energy-momentum / mass relationship. So, if you want to create particles of new mass you have to compose them instead of superpose them.

Kind regards,

Johan

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Janko Kokosar wrote on Mar. 16, 2011 @ 17:36 GMT
Dear Johan

Maybe I cannot ask properly. My question is what you think about Zeilinger views? One example of his reference is

Brukner Caslav and Zeilinger Anton 2003 Information and Fundamental Elements of the Structure of Quantum Theory Time, Quantum, Information ed L Castell and O Ischebeck (Berlin, Springer) p 323 preprint quant-ph/0212084

But it seems to me that you have a different view. But it is not a problem. I have also different views as mainstream ones.

I will think about your words. But if you will have time, I please for some words about article:

http://vixra.org/pdf/1012.0006v3.pdf

It is conservative, but it is a foundations for speculative articles.

Regards Janko

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Anonymous wrote on Mar. 16, 2011 @ 20:28 GMT
Dear Janko,

I do not know Zeilinger's views, I have only heard that indeed he proposes such finite information theory like you mentioned. However, just reading the abstract makes me already feel uncomfortable; when he states that there is a difference between saying what the world is and what we can say about nature. There is no distinction between these two sentences at all, it depends all upon what we mean with to be and we. All quantum physics says is that the states are, it is just never specified with respect to what or who these states are. That this must be with respect to something is clear, otherwise the theory would have no interpretation. Now, the only problem with this view is that you could utter that if you change observer the Hilbert spaces might not be equivalent; I know a way out of that and it is all in my book.

The same thing is true for the point particles in classical theories and for space-time in relativity. The quantum revolution was that what is, is not what we see and moreover, what we perceive as local is nonlocal. So quantum mechanics is a very holistic theory and Einstein and Mach should have been happy about it. What quantum field theory teaches us is that there are no elementary constituents of nature of finite extend; all pure momentum particles are nonlocal and those happen to be the natural states for the quantum Hamiltonian. Just too many people do not want to understand this fact and it is too bad. If I have time tonight, I will look at the paper.

Kind regards,

Johan

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Janko Kokosar wrote on Mar. 16, 2011 @ 23:06 GMT
This unclear sentence bother me also. But, I understand it, that it is more 'political'. My translation is: What you measure is what exist, or something still more precisely said.

Regards

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Anonymous wrote on Mar. 17, 2011 @ 00:12 GMT
Dear Janko,

I did not have the time to study this paper but let me give you the following thoughts on what you say. By what physical principle do you define the information density? How would you ''tensor'' the information associated to the different questions ? How many letter should a question have? In what language is it written? For example if the limit were 11, then I could ask the question: ''do you love me?'' in English but not in German. Furthermore a question requires a dictionary, so the whole information gathered in the past should be available to you in this region no matter how small it is. For example English would be the standard language and I would say, in Timbuqtoe, ''lala li?'' suppose now ''lala li'' is by accident a sentence of 100.000 lines in English, would you then say that a few bits contain 100.000 other bits? So I ask you what is information ? Information is attached to meaning, words have meaning and nobody can define what that is. If I think about love, immediately I perceive, sex, body, girl, breasts, legs, feet, brain, nose, face,... and so on my experience of the world love is more than just 5 bits.

I have learned from relativity that everything you can ask about nature is dynamical and likewise it should be for the information content in a finite region, where information is expressed in your favorite language. if this attitude is correct then the potential information available in a region should be infinite.

Cheers,

Johan

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Anonymous wrote on Mar. 17, 2011 @ 11:21 GMT
So, it it seem Herrn Zeilinger has his own reality which is that the world is about yes and no questions you can ask. Moreover, he puts in by hand that in a finite spacetime-volume only a finite number of ''pointer-questions'' exist. This is realism of the old school and goes straight in the face of quantum mechanics in many ways. Let me just mention a few ... how to combine the questions ? I mean an ordinary tensor product is not realistic, perhaps these innocent pointer questions do automatically generate an infinite dimensional algebra which does not have a finite dimensional representation? For example a Von Neumann algebra of type II or III? There are many people who have written about the inadequacy of the ordinary tensor product for quantum gravity. Furthermore, why not letting the dynamics decide about what happens at the Planck scale ? This reminds me of a kind of Van der Waals type of calculation where you simply replace atoms by hard balls of say 10^{-10} meters diameter. By now, we have a very different view on ''atoms'', we actually know that they are retrieved from a continuum formalism and that what we perceive as an atom depends upon the way we look. Also, in the quantum formalism, we have a complete freedom of asking any questions we like; and we know that these questions are grounded in an infinite dimensional space. It has to be, because of the Heisenberg commutation relations. Now, of course, you may think about tampering with those by hand. But that is not how good physics works. Good physics starts from principles about the vacuum and you are free to derive all the mathematical consequences of that.

Kind regards,

Johan

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