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Could this be of any importance for research nowadays?

  1. Apr 11, 2014 #1
    Could this be of any importance for research nowadays?
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/gr-qc/9710064v1.pdf

    Steps towards an axiomatic pregeometry of space-time

    Santiago E. Perez Bergliaffa, Gustavo E. Romero, Hector Vucetich
    (Submitted on 11 Oct 1997)
    We present a deductive theory of space-time which is realistic, objective, and relational. It is realistic because it assumes the existence of physical things endowed with concrete properties. It is objective because it can be formulated without any reference to cognoscent subjects or sensorial fields. Finally, it is relational because it assumes that space-time is not a thing but a complex of relations among things. In this way, the original program of Leibniz is consummated, in the sense that space is ultimately an order of coexistents, and time is an order of succesives. In this context, we show that the metric and topological properties of Minkowskian space-time are reduced to relational properties of concrete things. We also sketch how our theory can be extended to encompass a Riemmanian space-time.
     
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  3. Apr 18, 2014 #2
    I don´t see why no one answered
     
  4. Apr 19, 2014 #3

    mathman

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    The abstract sounds (to me) like verbal garbage.
     
  5. Apr 19, 2014 #4
    did you read the paper?
     
  6. Apr 19, 2014 #5
    That doesn't mean anything.
     
  7. Apr 19, 2014 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    Considering that in 17 years this paper has received only 2 citations in publications not written by the authors, it's probably safe to say the answer is "no".
     
  8. Apr 19, 2014 #7

    strangerep

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    I have skimmed the paper.

    I daresay lots of philosophical papers sound like "verbal garbage" to anyone who is not well-versed in philosophy, just as most math papers sound like "verbal garbage" to anyone who is not well-versed in math.

    But it's curious why this has been written by physicists (I assume that's what they are, given their affiliations). They draw heavily from the extensive treatises of Bunge on basic philosophy. IMHO, this paper treads near to the boundary of the PF "no-philosophy" rules.

    If they actually say anything new that could be useful for real-world physics, I failed to notice it. Near the end, in their section 5.4 on "the nature of spacetime", they seem to encapsulate their main emphasis in the following point:

    But anyone who has studied GR beyond a superficial level surely understands this already.

    Modern work of relational ideas by Rovelli is probably closer to actual physics and more worthy of study.
     
  9. Apr 20, 2014 #8

    marcus

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    Here's the link:
    http://inspirehep.net/record/449638?ln=en
    It's suggestive that aside from the authors' own self-citations there is so far only ONE PUBLISHED article that cites it, and that article is published in a journal called:
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
    Here's the link to that one:
    http://inspirehep.net/record/664187?ln=en

    Actually, aside from self-citations, there were THREE pieces of writing that cited the one in question. The two unpublished ones were a Finnish PhD thesis, and an essay in German discussing various approaches to a quantum theory of spacetime. The German essay quotes Rovelli a lot and talks about both LQG and Causal Sets, among other things. It has a large, wide-ranging bibliography and does not seem especially focused on the paper we consider here.

     
  10. Apr 20, 2014 #9

    Vanadium 50

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    Three? In 17 years? Well, that changes everything!
     
  11. Apr 20, 2014 #10

    marcus

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    Hardly :biggrin:
    Note that I am not arguing that the paper that Twistor introduced to us could have any importance for research nowadays. We know where we stand on that, I think. Having only ONE peer-review publication cite the paper (in 17 years) suggests the reality, but what I'm pointing out in addition is that this publication was in HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY of Modern Physics. IOW whatever importance the Perez Romero Vucetich might have (if it has any) is most likely in the philosophy of physics. So I'm confirming what strangerep said.

    This is born out by an inspection of the unpublished 270-page monograph in German that also cites Perez et al. Here's the monograph:

    http://arxiv.org/abs/arXiv:1101.1835
    http://inspirehep.net/record/883892?ln=en
    English title: Spacetime in Quantum Gravity
    by Reiner Hedrich

    Hedrich's institutional affiliations are:
    Institut für Philosophie und Politikwissenschaft
    Fakultät Humanwissenschaften und Theologie Technische Universität Dortmund
    reiner.hedrich@udo.edu

    Zentrum für Philosophie und Grundlagen der Wissenschaft
    Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen
    Reiner.Hedrich@phil.uni-giessen.de

    As Strangerep said:
    Indeed, the very first thing Hedrich puts after his title page is this quote from Rovelli's book Quantum Gravity:
    "I am convinced [...] of the utility of the dialog between physics and philosophy. [...] I think that most physicists underestimate the effect of their own epistemological prejudices on their research. [...] today foundational problems are back on the table, as they were at the time of Newton, Faraday, Heisenberg and Einstein.[...] I wish contemporary philosophers concerned with science would be more interested in the ardent lava of the fundamental problems science is facing today." (Rovelli (2004) 305)

    The page reference is to page 305 of the free online early draft of the book. This corresponds to page 415 of the Cambridge UP published 2004 edition.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
  12. Apr 20, 2014 #11

    MTd2

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    I don't know if citations is meaningful all the time. Sometime real jewels are scattered, like Mendel's work on genetics (I always liked it more than Darwin's!) and the twistor program, which got most of its citation for over 30 years, from a pretty much closed small group, before Witten's paper "Twistor Strings".
     
  13. Apr 20, 2014 #12

    ftr

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    But this idea is exactly the idea of Roger Penrose who tried to implement it with spinors and then later with twisters. Actually, I spent four hours yesterday reading the fascinating story in this book. I couldn't agree more!


    https://www.amazon.com/Superstrings-Search-Theory-Everything-Peat/dp/0809242575
     
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