Any model or theory in physics akin to "Law without law"?

In summary, John Wheeler proposed the idea of "Law without law" where he suggests that at the beginning of the universe, there were no laws, only chaos, and the laws emerged from randomness when the universe was created. He believes that the laws of physics are ultimately based on blind chance and that the universe is organized in a way that is not really organized at all. He also wonders if any other physicists have published models or theories related to this notion, aside from Ilya Prigogine and Holger Bech Nielsen. However, some argue that the universe is actually very simple, with only four forces and a limited number of particle types, and that these laws are not chaotic but rather designed to work together. Lee Smolin has
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Suekdccia
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Is there any theory of model in theoretical physics akin to Wheeler's idea of "Law without law"
When trying to explain from where did all the laws come from, John Wheeler proposed the anaphorism of "Law without law". He proposed that at the "beginning" there were no laws whatsoever, only pure chaos, and that they emerged from randomness and chaos when our universe was created. In his own words:

Every law of physics must be at bottom like the second law of thermodynamics, higgledy-piggeldy in character, based on blind chance. Physics must be in the end law without law. Its undergirding must be a principle of organization which is no organization at all

My question is: Has any other physicist published any model or theory closely related to this notion? (Apart from perhaps Ilya Prigogine and Holger Bech Nielsen)
 
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  • #2
'Law without law' as you call it would be preposterously laborious and complex for the universe to do, because every single individual entity would have to make up its own properties just for itself.

The reason laws arise, and arise early, is because the universe is very simple. Very simple. There's only four forces in total.

All protons are identical; all electrons are identical. Put them within range of each other anywhere in the universe, and they will behave exactly the same.

Same with all forms of energy. Photons of a given frequency, when encountering an atom anywhere in the universe, will behave exactly the same.

That's all that "laws" are. Lots of very simple things doing their very simple things, the same way, everywhere, all the time.
 
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  • #3
Suekdccia said:
(Apart from perhaps Ilya Prigogine and Holger Bech Nielsen)
:oldlaugh:
 
  • #4
Pure chaos would have been an infinite number of particle types emerging from the Big Bang, each with random masses, charges, etc. In such a scenario, interactions would be chaotic. However, the universe only allows certain types of particles to exist, and these particles interact in a shockingly predictable manner, almost as if they were designed to do so. Each particle type seems to have a function, and we know of no particle that doesn’t interact in some way with other particles. If anything, Wheeler has it backward. Three basic particle types are the building blocks for the entire physical universe. This seems the opposite of chaos.
 
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Demystifier said:
:oldlaugh:
?
 
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Suekdccia said:
?
Those two guys are geniuses, but are also known for some rather farfetched ideas. (BTW, Nielsen was my officemate for a couple of months in Croatia.)
 
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I'm trying to imagine a variation on "natural selection" for laws of physics, with different sets of laws fighting for supremacy. Even then, there must be a law for how laws mutate into the next generation of laws.
 
  • #8
PeroK said:
I'm trying to imagine a variation on "natural selection" for laws of physics, with different sets of laws fighting for supremacy. Even then, there must be a law for how laws mutate into the next generation of laws.
Lee Smolin wrote a book on it. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0195126645/?tag=pfamazon01-20
 
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Related to Any model or theory in physics akin to "Law without law"?

1. What is "Law without law" in physics?

"Law without law" is a concept proposed by physicist Paul Davies, which suggests that the fundamental laws of physics may not be fixed and unchangeable, but rather emerge from a deeper underlying structure or principle.

2. How does "Law without law" differ from traditional physics theories?

Traditional physics theories, such as Newton's laws of motion or Einstein's theory of relativity, rely on fixed laws that govern the behavior of the universe. In "Law without law," the laws themselves are not fixed, but rather emerge from a deeper level of organization.

3. What evidence supports the idea of "Law without law" in physics?

There is currently no direct evidence for "Law without law" in physics, as it is still a theoretical concept. However, some physicists argue that this idea could help explain certain phenomena that are not fully understood by traditional theories, such as the origin of the universe or the behavior of quantum particles.

4. How could the concept of "Law without law" impact our understanding of the universe?

If "Law without law" is proven to be true, it could revolutionize our understanding of the universe and how it operates. It could also have practical implications, such as enabling us to better predict and control complex systems, or leading to the development of new technologies based on the underlying principles of the universe.

5. Are there any criticisms of the concept of "Law without law" in physics?

Yes, there are some criticisms of this concept. Some argue that it is too speculative and lacks empirical evidence. Others argue that it undermines the concept of causality and the predictability of the universe. However, these criticisms do not necessarily disprove the idea, and further research and evidence may help clarify its validity.

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