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Current Essay Contest

Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American

Previous Contests

Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest
December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020
Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation

What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation

Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.

Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
Contest Partners: Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and The John Templeton Foundation
Media Partner: Scientific American


How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
Contest Partners: Jaan Tallinn, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

Questioning the Foundations
Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, SubMeta, and Scientific American

Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American

What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008

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rain smith: on 11/2/18 at 5:54am UTC, wrote It's a very nice topic about digital and analog, I like your post. Anyone...

sherapova smith: on 12/10/17 at 17:00pm UTC, wrote After all, the unique designs and colors will set them apart from the rest...

Jasmine Conradd: on 8/23/17 at 14:54pm UTC, wrote Sure, it cannot. You would not ask this question if you new physical laws...

Steev Dufourny: on 3/19/11 at 18:26pm UTC, wrote :) cool that,you know I see spheres everywhere me, logic it's my theory!!!...

Ray ASCHHEIM: on 3/18/11 at 13:47pm UTC, wrote Hi Steve I haven't deleted any of your posts. If my theory seems not...

Steve Dufourny: on 3/16/11 at 11:51am UTC, wrote In this condition, if my posts are derleted, I stop to discuss with you. I...

Ray Munroe: on 3/15/11 at 22:08pm UTC, wrote Dear Ray, Thank you for explaining your ideas. You really have looked...

Steve Dufourny: on 3/15/11 at 17:54pm UTC, wrote still computing, any real physical sense. Pay attention dear all...


Franco Nori: "Non-Hermitian Systems / Open Quantum Systems are not only of fundamental..." in A Summary of Some of our...

Georgina Woodward: "Hi Jim, 'dark side' is really a misnomer. It means obscured or hidden from..." in The Nature of Time

Jim Snowdon: "What if we lived on the dark side of the Moon? We would never see the..." in The Nature of Time

John Cox: "Georgi, I don't know." in The Present State of...

Georgina Woodward: "Hi john, I've watched a video explaining that the 'pinball' idea of current..." in The Present State of...

Amrit Sorli: "We have only 2 times in the universe: - psychological time that has its..." in Can Time Be Saved From...

Lorraine Ford: "The minimum requirement for any mathematical system. Remember? Remember all..." in Consciousness and the...

olivier denis: ""I d like to know more about your general philosophy of this universe, what..." in Alternative Models of...

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'Artificial atoms' allow physicists to manipulate individual electrons—and could help to reduce energy wastage in electronic devices.

December 6, 2021

CATEGORY: Is Reality Digital or Analog? Essay Contest (2010-2011) [back]
TOPIC: Hacking Reality Code by Raymond Aschheim [refresh]
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Author Ray ASCHHEIM wrote on Feb. 16, 2011 @ 14:13 GMT
Essay Abstract

Can reality emerge from abstraction, from only information ? Can this information be self emergent? Can a structure be both the software and the hardware? Can it be ultimately simple, just equivalent to a set? Can symmetry spontaneously appear from pure mathematical consideration, from the most symmetric concept, a platonic “sixth element”? Would this symmetry be just structuring all the particles we know? Can all this be represented? Can standard physics be computed from this model? Eight questions: eight times yes. So this model is definitely DIGITAL, and is postulated to be reality.

Author Bio

Raymond Aschheim is a French mathematician, with management and research background at VP level for an IT startup, now part of IBM. He holds an MBA from HEC Entrepreneurs and graduated from Supelec. After inventing advanced human-computer interfaces, like computer pen, graphics components, and 3D mouse, he built Polytopics project to further explore Wheeler’s “it from bit” concept. He investigates E8 Lie algebra and 24-cell polytope convergence, as a set and information theory based quantum gravity framework.

Download Essay PDF File

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Alexander Lamb wrote on Feb. 17, 2011 @ 23:18 GMT
Hi Raymond,

Nice to see you in the competition! The depth of your theory seems to have grown significantly.


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Author Ray ASCHHEIM replied on Feb. 20, 2011 @ 23:06 GMT
Hi Alex,

Nice to see you too. It is very interesting that you can modelize Young slit experiment using jellyfish and expanders. Do you get interference at the detectors?

As we discussed together in Bloomington, your simple yet poweful algorithm may be used on my model for fermion propagation involving participation of a team of bosons, mainly higgs bosons, around the fermion, interacting together to give (at a higher scale) a mass and a velocity independant of lattice directions. That gives a program of think experiment on my hyperdiamond network with elementary fermions and bosons grouped as jellyfish, but it will be very computation intensive. Since them, I finished defining the precise structure of each particle. I still have to work on how to encode velocity, because I have some but not a unique choice.



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Alan Lowey wrote on Feb. 18, 2011 @ 11:30 GMT
Hi Ray, I was most impressed with your underlying considerations of structure and geometry despite being an avid mathematician. The spherical topology diagram was intersting. I can't help but feel that you could learn something useful from my own conclusions and combine them with your obvious technical abilities. Best of luck.


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Author Ray ASCHHEIM replied on Feb. 20, 2011 @ 23:09 GMT
Hi Alan,

Reading your essay I see that you have feeling that the topology of universe is not an infinite euclidean space, and you are intensively searching which is the real topology. We both share a good reference on universe topology: "The Wraparound Universe", your reference [4], is the same of my reference [14], "L'univers chiffonné", from Jean-Pierre Luminet, original french version translated as Wraparound Universe.

The metric of the universe, our way to measure if our space is curved or flat, convex or hyperbolic, and how many dimension it has, is in my model only an emergent property. The final under-metric topology is a trivalent network, where nodes dont needs to have coordinates.

A local topology of immediate neighborood appears with hypersphere S3 topology, but discretized to the 24-cell polytope (having 24 vertices regularly placed on a S3 hypersphere). This explains the particles we have, their symmetries, linked to quantum physics, and directly points to 240 E8 roots as 8 dim quantum numbers of Garrett Lisi's TOE. This, with its internal structure and encoded data, plays the role of Calabi-Yau variety in string theory. A higher scale topology emerges when gluing together all this "supernodes" as a regular lattice, the four dimensional F4, a sublattice of the trivial 4 dim integer lattice. Because it is also a network, the most natural emergent topology is to glue together opposite faces, so it becomes finite and closed but without any center or boundary, and get a T4 (four dimensional tore) topology. I will later explore your concept of Archimede screw and put a post on your wall. All the best,


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T H Ray wrote on Feb. 18, 2011 @ 16:59 GMT

Nice! I'm sure I'll be reading for deeper comprehension. Because of our shared interest in the number 24 and networks, I thought you might be interested in a preprint of mine found here. Just skip to sidebar 1, p. 24, for technical details.

(I have an essay in the competition, but it goes in the nontechnical direction.)



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Author Ray ASCHHEIM replied on Feb. 20, 2011 @ 23:14 GMT
Hi Tom,

Yes I was not aware of the Sophie Germain's primes (p=6k-1) and "safe primes" (p=12k-1) that you mention in your paper. They are maybe some relations with the numbers which emerges from the 24-cell symmetry in my essay and are often multiple of 12, like 24,48,72,144,240...

The "24" lecture of John Baez which is my last and 24th reference gives a lot of other emergent presence of this number in exceptional mathematics, but also in concrete physics. The Holy Bible is also full of references to 24. Even if we are not making numerology here, that fact may have a sense.

And back to Sophie Germain numbers, 23 got a movie, having too a lot of hidden sense.

So 24 open many doors to metaphysic.

But finally what gives real interest to my theory is that, 1) it is impossible to find a simplest component than a set element, 2) it is impossible to find a simplest structure than a trivalent network for buildind a space 3) the reality finally emerges as all the known particles 4) general relativity emerges too through loop quantum gravity

My goal is to explain physics not only with a model but with a concept which can be the reality itself (the trivalent network), so that physics can expand to metaphysics.

All the best,


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Anonymous replied on Feb. 22, 2011 @ 14:23 GMT
and now John Baez in the team and also he is from supelec I suppose.No But frankly! You make sciences or what????

ps The higgs do not exist but frankly , what are your courses in physics at universities.It is time to learn your foundamentals.

First the Higgs has an external cause of mass,thus of course that doens't respect our standrard model and its newtonian fractalization of mass and correlated fields.

I think you confound the computing with the reality and of course we understand thus why you bad superimpose your laws and methods ....You confound the business and the sciences, you confound the rationalism with the illogism.You confound the research of truths and truth with a pseudo research of nothing for nothing.

Furthermore a string is not foundamental and of course we understand thus why you confound all, probably due to some nodes and bad habits.

Strings, multiverses, and higgs and tachyons and ...all that ocean of stupidities and ironies for the rational part of the sciences community.And be sure they exist.



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Author Ray ASCHHEIM replied on Mar. 13, 2011 @ 16:48 GMT
Hi Steve,

A man who love spheres can not be totally bad. You suppose more facts than me. Its my method: minimize hypothesis. I just suppose that information is real and more elementary than matter and forces in our real world. Then, the best tool to modelize our world from this basis is set theory, the ultimate simple math. And topology and graph theory are used just after, in a way that even a non scientist can understand, to generate a spin network encoding information. I prove that this information encodes also the gravitational field of Quantum Gravity as a "Tetrad" implicit field, and the extended standard model from 24-cell symmetry. If my universe is not based on spheres, its based on its best discrete approximation, the 24 cell. You understand why spheres I like are S0,S1,S3 and S7 ?

I searched for your paper on spherization but didnt find it anywhere.

All the best


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Yuri wrote on Feb. 20, 2011 @ 23:41 GMT
Nature of the Universe is discrete.

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Author Ray ASCHHEIM replied on Feb. 21, 2011 @ 00:23 GMT
Hi Yuri,

We agree, nature of the Universe is discrete. And I guess that here in this Forum we are a majority, but maybe not outside the forum.

I too agree with your essay's focus on the 3:1 ratio importance.

For some examples I think that the explanation is just in the quaternion nature.

1 real part and 3 imaginaries.

And because quaternion algebra is the highest dimensional associative division algebra, we get this ratio at key positions in nature.

(But to completely understand it we have to finish with non associative octonions)

Quaternions is the best scientific discovery, thanks to Lord Hamilton.

Maxwell equations were written with quaternions.

My Nvidia graphics card computes faster using quaternions.

We get one lepton and three quarks in each family.

Best regards


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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 21, 2011 @ 16:53 GMT
Well , first of all hello dear manager,

Interesting strategy but about sciences and realism ...Nada .I invite you to learn the foundamentals and our rationalities, you know it exists many good books about our equations and ITS INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE.

I invite you to insert a good SOA and a good sorting of your algorythms.MBA you say , I am seeing!

Well to your boss and chiefs at IBM, he searches in the bad road .....thus of couse you must rethought some things.A big joke your mixings and ironical pseudo sciences what is this circus.Frankly ,let's be serious a little.You know the Occham Razor and hop all is easier.It is true what, you think what , that watson lab is going to search these ironics extradimensions of nothing for nothing.



Really ironic

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 22, 2011 @ 17:31 GMT
they compute faster...what they accelerate it's that ahahah because you insert quaternionic algorythms, it is that,it's

The best discovery yes and me I am the queen of England.No but frankly it's just a tool.We dream in live.What are you saying there.

you must rethought your method of approximation.In fact you confound really the things.

A tetrahedron quaternionic and 3 imaginaries and 1 but frankly already that te tetrahedron is not foundamental four our entanglement, already that the time is not a vector in this tetrahedrom...and now the quaternion who says to the octonion that galois and lie are friends perhaps also....where are your foundamentals????

That lacks of realsim all that.and of course we have infinie dimensions and opur universe is infinite as our expansion but frankly.


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Ray Munroe wrote on Feb. 21, 2011 @ 23:00 GMT
Hi Ray,

I briefly skimmed your essay, but admit that I need to study it closely. I like to study all models that are this similar to Lisi's.

Some questions come to mind:

1) How do we build-up this model from the 48 outcome possibilities of Figure 10a to the 240 roots of E8? My models expect a 5-fold "pentality" symmetry (such as may arise from a 4-D Pentachoron basis) to provide the origin of fermionic mass.

2) Could the "sixth element" be tachyons? I expect tachyons to be involved in the origin of mass.

3) Lawrence Crowell and I think that TOE may be a SUSY E8xE8*~SO(32). Lubos Motl challenges the validity of an E8 TOE because it doesn't have complex representations, but SO(32) does...

If you get a chance, I would appreciate your opinion of my essay @ #816.

Have Fun!

Dr. Cosmic Ray

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 22, 2011 @ 10:30 GMT
ahahaha you are also in this pseudo strategy of Ex for what ....a prize.

Good luck aftr all you have a chance as you are very skilling in business strategy....please HARVARD LAW WHERE ARE YOU ?????



To you


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Ray B Munroe replied on Feb. 22, 2011 @ 17:35 GMT
p.s. - Ray - I thought that E8 implied Octonion algebra, which is equivalent to a Real Quaternion "twisted together" with an Imaginary Quaternion.

Have Fun!

Dr. Cosmic Ray

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 22, 2011 @ 17:50 GMT
HIHIHI LET S GO FOR A REVOLUTION OF A CRAZZY BELGIAN pay attention at this momment I don't take my meds,thus don't be offensed of course ,thus we know the team now Th , Ray 1,Ray2,Lisi...they like the Rays.Lubos and Lawrence..Yuri no don't say me you are with them with Mr Baez.hihihi let's have fun...hihihi Dr cosmic Ray, revolution.let's go for a comportment of paranoiac baby

Oh lalalala the poor thinkers.....Lubos is a comic in fact and they just make pub for something which is already finished.If them they are rationals , me I am still the queen of England.Oh lalala this sad papper which governs our lifes, the monney is like the vanity, an error.

In fact it exists How many rationalists on this Earth frankly?? How many people knows the real meaning of the relativity.Frankly it is bizare.And the most impressing is the fact that you insist as if you were right.As if you were real scientists.And you repeat still and always your stupidities ,and you are happy furthermore,it's ironic to see pseudos scientists affirming that they know sciences,It is not possible when I see your conclusions and visions of our objectivity.A real wind, a real joke...a false friendship, a false patriotism...just a band of frustrated by lack of recognizing, that's all.I am not crazzy it is God who says me that, he says me , Steve Pay attention and don't hesitate to be direct because unfortunally the human nature is young and makes errors.



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Steve Dufourny wrote on Feb. 22, 2011 @ 17:55 GMT
ahahahaha as that you shall say , you are seeing all "Steve when we speak of quatern and octo and lie ande Ex ...he reacts immediately ahahahaha interesting .they want to destabilize me,hihiih

Friendly crazzy thinkers


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Author Yuri Danoyan+ wrote on Feb. 23, 2011 @ 19:28 GMT
You right, Ray!

The discrete physics has many opponents

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 24, 2011 @ 10:51 GMT
amen !

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Jasmine Conradd Conradd wrote on Aug. 23, 2017 @ 14:54 GMT
Sure, it cannot. You would not ask this question if you new physical laws Check this students blog to get a full answer.

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sherapova smith wrote on Dec. 10, 2017 @ 17:00 GMT
After all, the unique designs and colors will set them apart from the rest of the mail and envelopes that a person receives. fifty fiveprinted

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rain smith wrote on Nov. 2, 2018 @ 05:54 GMT
It's a very nice topic about digital and analog, I like your post.

Anyone face printer issue printer is in an error state THEN VISIT HP TEAM TO RESILVE IT.

printer is in an error state

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