The Future of Fundamental Physics

It is important that you view the contents of this blog in relationship to my new blog entitled: “The fundamental universe revisited“. This new blog is designed to be the master science referential blog for all my science blog postings in my website.

I share with my readers the ideas about physics of this distinguished theoretical physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed

The principle text can be found in this pdf file. I have extracted the quotes below from this paper in order to provide you with a guide to what the principle themes Nima Arkani-Hamed is promoting. The text speaks for itself.

Quotes:

“Abstract:

Fundamental physics began the twentieth century with the twin revolutions of relativity and quantum mechanics, and much of the second half of the century was devoted to the construction of a theoretical structure unifying these radical ideas. But this foundation has also led us to a number of paradoxes in our understanding of nature. Attempts to make sense of quantum mechanics and gravity at the smallest distance scales lead inexorably to the conclusion that space-time is an approximate notion that must emerge from more primitive building blocks. Furthermore, violent short-distance quantum fluctuations in the vacuum seem to make the existence of a macroscopic world wildly implausible, and yet we live comfortably in a huge universe. What, if anything, tames these fluctuations? Why is there a macroscopic universe? These are two of the central theoretical challenges of fundamental physics in the twenty-first century. In this essay, I describe the circle of ideas surrounding these questions, as well as some of the theoretical and experimental fronts on which they are being attacked…”

“…But there is a deeper reason to suspect that something much more interesting and subtle than “atoms of space-time” is at play. The problems with space-time are not only localised to small distances; in a precise sense, “inside” regions of space-time cannot appear in any fundamental description of physics at all…”

“…The fact that quantum mechanics makes it impossible to determine precisely the position and velocity of a baseball is also irrelevant to a baseball player. However, it is of fundamental importance to physics that we cannot speak precisely of position and momentum, but only position or momentum…”

“…This simple observation has huge implications. As discussed above, precise observables require a separation of the world into a) an infinitely large measuring apparatus and b) the system being studied…”

“…It should be clear that we have arrived at a bifurcatory moment in the history of fundamental physics, a moment that has enormous implications for the future of the subject. With many theoretical speculations pointing in radically different directions, it is now up to experiment to render its verdict!…”

“…Today, however, we confront even deeper mysteries, such as coming to grips with emergent time and the application of quantum mechanics to the entire universe. These challenges call for a bigger shift in perspective. Is there any hope for taking such large steps without direct input from experiment?…” [Emergent time relates to the concept of ‘NOW’ and its associated simultaneity].

“…Why should it be possible to talk about Newton’s laws in such a different way, which seems to hide their most essential feature of deterministic evolution in time? [Which I agree with] We now know the deep answer to this question is that the world is quantum-mechanical…”

“…There must be a new way of thinking about quantum field theories, in which space-time locality is not the star of the show and these remarkable hidden structures are made manifest. Finding this reformulation might be analogous to discovering the least-action formulation of classical physics; by removing space-time from its primary place in our description of standard physics, we may be in a better position to make the leap to the next theory, where space-time finally ceases to exist…”

Also see my blog entitled “The emerging crisis in physics. Will physics soon need to take a new course of direction?

Two respected scientists talk about life and nothing

It is likely most of my readers have heard about the views of Lawrence Krauss regarding cosmological nothing

I introduce you to what I consider to be a very important scientific and philosophical video that incorporates both Lawrence Krauss and Richard Dawkins. The video is a general discussion between these two great scientific and philosophical minds about not only reality but also what may be cosmological “nothing”. This program is now around six years old but I feel that its contents remain relevant today.

Because of what I consider to be the importance of the information contained within the conversation between these two scientists I have also prepared a pdf file of the same conversation. I feel that by me doing this that I am giving Mums, Dads, and Kids a better understanding of what these two men are both talking about as well as mean in terms of everyday life. If you find yourself enjoying this video presentation I also strongly suggest that you also view my blog entitled “Do some people think that science is a belief system?“. The themes between both videos are much the same, i.e. all three presenters are down to earth presenters of information relating to everyday life, the meaning of life and wider reality.

The video

The pdf file

Has Special Relativity been elevated to the level of fact, not theory?

Some scientists and members of the public seem to think this way

I present my readers with a pdf document entitled “Breaking Through Editorial: The Einstein Myths — Of Space, Time, and Aether“. The document is a discussion about the consequences of Einstein removing the concept of a universal “NOW” – the absolute simultaneity of events in different relativity moving frames of reference. The author is critical of special relativity theory being treated as fact. I think that the most telling words in his document are “…has special relativity been elevated to the level of fact, not theory…”. It is for this reason I have entitled this blog this way. Furthermore I agree with many of the author’s comments. If you elect to read my blog entitled “The day science lost its way” you will find why I have made this statement. Readers will find my views about the concept of a universal ‘NOW’ in my blog entitled “The question of NOW and absolute simultaneity“. You may agree that this is another reason why I agree with the general principles put forward in the author’s presentation.

I present this paper for you to consider. Although the document is well outdated I believe that the general philosophical contents of the paper remain much the same today.

The quantum mind-body problem

The quantum mind–body problem refers to the philosophical discussions of the mind–body problem in the context of quantum mechanics.

Some interpretations of quantum mechanics posit a special role for consciousness in the process of quantum measurement

I am presenting you with an extensive work written by an academic at Princeton University. Within this work I also briefly describe my opinion as to how this problem may be better understood. You will find that I do this in paragraphs 5 and 6 of the attached pdf file. I feel that many laypersons may find this document is difficult to understand.

pdf file

Do some people think that science is a belief system?

It is important that you view the contents of this blog in relationship to my new blog entitled: “The fundamental universe revisited“. This new blog is designed to be the master science referential blog for all my science blog postings in my website.

It seems that they do

I will introduce you to a very popular science lecture presented by Rupert Sheldrake. It was banned for a time because of its contentious nature within science circles. Readers will find that I have cited Sheldrake’s ideas in different blogs in my website because I find them interesting and provocative. If you elect to view this video I feel you that you will understand why I have made this comment. I think my readers should also know that many of Sheldrake’s science theories and ideas were built upon those of the highly respected philosopher, logician, mathematician, and scientist, Charles Sanders Peirce. I feel that  you may care to acquaint yourself with Peirce’s ideas as well.

The Sheldrake video is here

If you like what you heard Sheldrake say I suggest you also peruse the contents of another one of my blogs entitled “Two respected scientists talk about life and nothing“. By you understanding the contents of both these blogs I feel you may then better understand my way of scientific and philosophical thinking about not only life but wider reality as well. Furthermore for my readers who have a strong interest in physics I further suggest that you read the pdf file entitled “Morphic Fields and the Implicate Order“. I feel that you will be happy if you do this. If you have not heard of David Bohm before you may care to visit the blog I have created about Bohm.

Can science create a visible quantum object?

It is important that you view the contents of this blog in relationship to my new blog entitled: “The fundamental universe revisited“. This new blog is designed to be the master science referential blog for all my science blog postings in my website.

It seems that it can

In a breakthrough experiment an object has been created that is visible to the unaided eye, but has been shown to be in two places at the same time

If this is the case it seems to me that this is another good example as to how metaphysical science plays such an important role in understanding wider reality.

The video

Amazing 1929 flying boat

The Dornier Do X was the largest, heaviest, and most powerful flying boat in the world when it was produced by the Dornier company of Germany in 1929. It had twelve engines

I was amazed when I first discovered this video link I had no idea such large and powerful passenger aircraft were being introduced into service as early as 1929. I feel you may be as surprised as I was.

The video

A Wikipedia article that describes the history of this aircraft that was groundbreaking for its time

Is an environmental disaster looming in the Arctic?

I think you may find this is a story to be concerned about

It seems this may be the case but not immediately. An abandoned 1950s US (nuclear powered) military camp is being progressively exposed though ice from Greenland’s receding icecap.

This camp’s tunnels had a total length of 3,000 metres (1.9 mi), and these tunnels also contained a hospital, a shop, a theater and a church.

It seems as the ice caps melt the camp, including it’s portable nuclear reactor, will become progressively exposed sometime late this century, if not sooner. The camp is relic of the cold war between the Soviet Union and the United States. For more information I will quote an extract from a wider article relating to the subject cited further below.

Quote:

“…At the height of the cold war, as the US and the USSR were engaged in a terrifying standoff over the deployment of Soviet missiles in Cuba, the US army was considering the construction of a vast subterranean extension of Camp Century…” Readers may see original footage of the Camp being constructed here.

“…A system of about 4,000 kilometres of icy underground tunnels and chambers extending over an area around three times the size of Denmark were to have housed 600 ballistic missiles in clusters six kilometres apart, trained on Moscow and its satellites.

Eventually the engineers realised Iceworm would not work. The constantly moving ice was too unstable and would have deformed and perhaps even collapsed the tunnels.

From 1964 Camp Century was used only intermittently, and three years later it was abandoned altogether, the departing soldiers taking the reaction chamber of the nuclear generator with them.

They left the rest of the camp’s infrastructure – and its biological, chemical and radioactive waste – where it was, on the assumption it would be “preserved for eternity” by the perpetually accumulating snow and ice.

Thus far their assumption has proven correct. Up to 12 metres deep at the time it was abandoned, the ice covering Camp Century has since thickened to around 35 metres and will continue to deepen for a while yet.

Climate change, however, looks certain to reverse that process, Colgan and his six-strong team from Canadian, US and European universities said in their report, which was published last month in Geophysical Research Letters…”

The wider article

Additional media article:

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/06/camp-century-global-warming/