Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Foundations argument: Silberstein et al engage Hiley-channeling-Bohm

  1. Apr 10, 2012 #1

    marcus

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    "Foundations" argument: Silberstein et al engage Hiley-channeling-Bohm

    Foundations of Physics (ed. 't Hooft) has accepted this Silberstein et al paper for publication.
    http://inspirehep.net/record/922919?ln=en which seems to me to resurrect some Bohm trends of thought, perhaps in a new form, and engage those ideas with contrasting ones of the authors.

    Several of us here (and maybe also in Cosmo forum) have an interest in the often very original ideas of David Bohm (expat American physicist 1917 - 1992) and might find it fun to check this out. Hopefully those who understand Bohmian thought better than I will correct any mistakes on my part.

    Just for background: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Bohm
    Warning about what seems to me a tendency in Bohm's work toward mysticism decently clothed in abstract language:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implicate_and_explicate_order_according_to_David_Bohm

    Basil Hiley's work is in some sense part of the Bohm legacy. Hiley co-authored with Bohm
    (e.g. http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0612002 ) after the latter moved to University of London's Birkbeck College.

    Make no mistake, this is real Foundational stuff! It won't be to everyone's taste, by a long shot. They are speculating about what if anything could underlie the geometry and algebra of existence. And Silberstein et al have their own "pre-geometry" block universe to constrast with the Basil Hiley Bohmian view. A block universe that is not made of the familiar 19th Century differential manifold with its familiar Riemannian 4D continuum machinery, but is instead woven of relationships. It is a "relational blockworld" (RBW) universe which they refer to as "spacetimematter".
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 10, 2012 #2
  4. Apr 10, 2012 #3

    marcus

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Re: "Foundations" argument: Silberstein et al engage Hiley-channeling-Bohm

    Incidentally some interesting-looking Bohm links:
    http://www.bbk.ac.uk/lib/about/bohm
    Basil Hiley seems to have been instrumental in preserving and assembling some of this.
    Some Basil Hiley papers:
    http://www.bbk.ac.uk/tpru/BasilHiley/ASQT.html
    (interesting titles, and some links to PDF files)
    Paul Davies introduces this as a 1981 paper by him, Bohm, and Hiley:
    http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0612002
    Algebraic Quantum Mechanics and Pregeometry
    D.J. Bohm, P.G. Davies, B.J. Hiley
    which Davies, for completeness, later (2006) posted on the arxiv.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  5. Apr 10, 2012 #4
    Re: "Foundations" argument: Silberstein et al engage Hiley-channeling-Bohm

    Thanks for that reference - it was indeed fun - and I come down on the Hiley's Monism side of things - "mind and matter are formed from, or reducible to, the same ultimate substance or principle of being"

    And that ultimate "principle of being" would, for me, be information processing.

    Most computers agree with me if they could posit things I feel sure.
     
  6. Apr 10, 2012 #5

    marcus

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

  7. Apr 10, 2012 #6

    marcus

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Re: "Foundations" argument: Silberstein et al engage Hiley-channeling-Bohm

    Keep an eye out for the PF member called "RUTA" he knows about some of this stuff.
    About what computers would tell us if they could speak "from the central processor" I have to plead intellectual modesty and caution.
    I'm glad you found the links fun.:biggrin:
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  8. Apr 10, 2012 #7
    Re: "Foundations" argument: Silberstein et al engage Hiley-channeling-Bohm

    I find it difficult to envision how stuff like qualia/subjectivity/the mental can emerge from stuff we would consider material/physical (now or by a future physics) or even informational? Although getting a clear definition on what information is no easy task in itself? I found this quote below interesting. The author takes Russell's/Eddington's argument that since we are "blind" with respect to the intrinsic properties of "matter", we will likely never make much progress:

    Mind as an Intrinsic Property of Matter
    http://users.utu.fi/jusjyl/MIPM.pdf [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  9. Apr 26, 2012 #8

    RUTA

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Re: "Foundations" argument: Silberstein et al engage Hiley-channeling-Bohm

    Alas most people find RBW difficult to comprehend. Jeffrey Bub said it took him three epiphanies to understand RBW and each epiphany would require a week of lecture to teach grad students.

    Essentially, we work with a blockworld approach where past, present and future are all equally 'real' (see for an explanation of blockworld). Since we're working with 4D instead of (3+1)D, we're not thinking in terms of 3D entities or substances evolving in time. Rather, we understand that one needs to compute the probability for 4D regions "as a whole," i.e., without breaking it up into a time-evolved story about 3D 'things'. This is to say, we take the Feynman path integral approach literally. When you view QM like this, the mysteries disappear (as noted by Feynman -- sorry, I don't have the citation). Accordingly, there are no quantum 'entities' moving through the experimental equipment to cause detector clicks. Rather, such clicks are evidence of the relations that compose the equipment involved in this particular experimental procedure.

    Anyway, according to this view, GR must be modified because we don't have empty spacetime, i.e., space, time and matter are co-constructed in our approach per a self-consistency criterion (SCC). While we do need to modify GR, Einstein's equations (EEs) are an excellent example of an SCC, since you can't specify the stress-energy tensor (SET) on the RHS without the metric (g) and you can't specify the Einstein tensor (function of g) on the LHS without SET on the RHS. You can understand the 4D "self-consistency" nature of GR by doing Regge calculus, i.e., discrete graphical approach to GR. Therein a solution is a value of SET and g on each link of the graph which satisfy a system of equations (one equation for every link of the graph), i.e., graphical counterpart to EEs. Once you have such a 4D solution, you may or may not be able to read off a (3+1)D story about entites moving in space as a function of time. If one understands the 4D solution as fundamental, rather than any particular (3+1)D story it allows, then one has no problem accepted 'uncaused' events such as the big bang. Anyway, that is what we advocate -- 4Dism. And, worse, 4Dism where relations (represented by graphical links) are the fundamental constituents not 3D 'things' with worldlines.

    So, you build a graph that satisfies the SCC and represents your experimental process (to include a particular outcome) and use it compute the probability of that particular outcome. Probability is then interpreted per 4D frequency of occurrence in the blockworld. It's just the path integral approach taken literally as applied to relations in 4D instead of 3D 'things' evolving in time.

    We used this idea to modify the Regge calculus Einstein-deSitter model and account for the large z supernovae data without accelerating expansion, i.e., no cosmological constant in a decelearting universe. That paper appeared in Class. Quant. Grav. last month (http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.3973). So, the interpretation has consequences elsewhere in physics.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  10. Apr 26, 2012 #9
    Re: "Foundations" argument: Silberstein et al engage Hiley-channeling-Bohm

    I can comprehend an expanding block universe but think its unnecessary.

    If we consider the universe is related to a computer simulation (which many do) then time is similar to how it would appear in a such a simulation.

    All simulations require a ticking clock so that data / instructions can be added and cause the simulation to 'happen' at the output of its registers. So all movements on a screen (as in a normal computer) are actually discrete jumps and not continuous. The 'rate' of processing is clearly dictated by the clock tick rate.

    So passage of time could be measured by counting ticks. The number of ticks has no meaning in itself - there is nothing that transcends that tick - data changes are then 'perceived' as a flow of time. But its an arbitrary final data state minus an initial data state counted in discrete steps.

    I believe this cuts through many ontological issues.
     
  11. Apr 26, 2012 #10

    RUTA

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Re: "Foundations" argument: Silberstein et al engage Hiley-channeling-Bohm

    How does this solve the measurement problem and how does it account for violations of Bells inequality?
     
  12. Apr 26, 2012 #11

    DrChinese

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: "Foundations" argument: Silberstein et al engage Hiley-channeling-Bohm

    I would hope that folks would take note of this point. Here we have an interpretation of QM (and apparently GR effectively) that makes a specific prediction - one which I could imagine as being testable.

    Wow! :smile:
     
  13. Apr 27, 2012 #12
    Re: "Foundations" argument: Silberstein et al engage Hiley-channeling-Bohm

    Can you remind me what 'the measurement problem' is referring to? I am a bit out of practice at present ...
     
  14. Apr 27, 2012 #13

    RUTA

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

  15. Apr 28, 2012 #14
    Re: "Foundations" argument: Silberstein et al engage Hiley-channeling-Bohm

    That reference above assumes that is are real physical objects in space-time. May not be the case! Now look at the simulation model:

    A red spot on a computer screen travels from left to right.
    Lets look closely at that.
    The red spot travels in discrete 'jumps' from one location to another. When it is 'jumping' it is not on the screen at all. It only appears (for the refresh rate duration) for a brief time and then appears at the next location.

    If we apply that model to the Universe then a 'particle' jumps in a similar way. Except for our Universe it only appears when required. It decoheres when the registers output a value in the Heisenberg area. When not decohering its not physically *there* at all - its a calculation and not a physical object. A pixel is not a physical object - it is a color value outputted at a location x,y,z,t - a number that we interpret as a red square object.



    Its analagous to one pixel on a screen that is only outputting color values at its calculated location on the screen. When it is not outputting - or jumping, then it is not on the screen at all - its a calculated result of an algorithm in the background - not on the screen at all.

    If we are in a simulation (and many say we are) then there are no physical objects at all and everything is - like Pythagoras said - number.

    Your reply?
     
  16. Apr 28, 2012 #15
    Re: "Foundations" argument: Silberstein et al engage Hiley-channeling-Bohm

    I am slightly rusty on Bells inequality but lets try it:

    Two entangled particles in superposition output correlated results that violate Bells inequality.
    So the polarizations of coupled photons at different locations do this and Bell's proves it cannot be due to hidden variables in the particles. Hope I am right there.

    So how can it happen? - The two particles are pointers to the same memory location - so they both have knowledge of each others state. The pointers of the particles are not separated by physical distance because they are simply in memory. (In a computer the memory is a small chip)

    So when one entangled particle decoheres revealing a random state the other particle 'knows' what that revealed state is because they are both referring to the same memory that defines them both.

    I am hoping that Bell's inequality would be solved by such a set up and that I am not contradicting a fudamental here. Maybe I am wrong and such a system could not violate Bell's inequality. Any experts on Bell's here?



    What do you think?
     
  17. Apr 28, 2012 #16

    zonde

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: "Foundations" argument: Silberstein et al engage Hiley-channeling-Bohm

    This works just fine as far as Bell is concerned. This is called "spooky action at a distance". Or in your model we can call it spooky connection of single memory cell to two different sets of adjacent memory cells.
     
  18. Apr 28, 2012 #17

    RUTA

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Re: "Foundations" argument: Silberstein et al engage Hiley-channeling-Bohm

    I didn't have time to respond. Thanks for stepping in, zonde.
     
  19. Apr 28, 2012 #18
    Re: "Foundations" argument: Silberstein et al engage Hiley-channeling-Bohm

    But if it's not a physical object and just a calculation, how does one explain quantum interference?

    I thought I'd post this other paper on RBW that may be useful for trying to make sense of this model:

    Reversing the arrow of explanation in the Relational Blockworld: Why temporal becoming, the dynamical brain and the external world are all "in the mind"
    http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/3249/1/ZiF_05_stu.pdf
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  20. Apr 29, 2012 #19

    zonde

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: "Foundations" argument: Silberstein et al engage Hiley-channeling-Bohm

    But turning 3D dynamical world into 4D static blockworld does not change physical laws.
    Instead of moving billiard balls we have spaghetti like objects extending in timelike directions (so obviously timelike directions differ from spacelike direction in 4D blockworld).

    So we see as "normal" patterns those that are extending in timelike directions and (rather very limited) patterns extending in spacelike directions can emerge only as secondary patterns from timelike ones. And then "uncaused" events are just as strange in 4D blockworld as they are in 3D dynamical world.

    Then we have this statement that relations are more fundamental than 'things'. Fine, but to claim that it makes some difference (in a consistent way) we would like to compare it with more classical approach by converting these patterns of relations into 3D dynamical representation. Or alternatively we can convert 3D dynamical laws into 4D static patterns. But it seems to me that mathematically there is no big difference between two representations and the only difference is how you visualize it.

    So my question is what is this brand new thing about RBW? I don't see it.
     
  21. Apr 29, 2012 #20

    RUTA

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Re: "Foundations" argument: Silberstein et al engage Hiley-channeling-Bohm

    In current thinking, the billiard balls are made of molecules (with spagetti-like worldlines) and the molecules of atoms (again, with worldlines), etc. In fact, what particle detectors do in part is find the worldlines of fundamental particles, then the curve fitting parameters yield particle properties such as mass and charge. In RBW, the fundamental constituents are relations, not particles with worldlines, so the fundamental rule is not a dynamical law about particles (as it is with particle physics via interacting fields). The entire enterprise is thus different, we must find this fundamental adynamical rule for relations that does result statistically in dynamical laws for things with worldlines.

    Here is a good way to understand how this difference is manifested conceptually in an experimental situation. In current thinking, the experimental outcome of a high-energy particle experiment includes particle tracks in the detector. The actual data is thousands of individual detector clicks so that the particle tracks are constructed by curve fitting through detector clicks. The particles/curves are then the fundamental entities according to the theory. In RBW, the individual clicks are fundamental -- or more precisely, they represent individual relations which are fundamental. See how this changes the game dramatically?

    Anyway, the FoP paper just accepted (topic of thread) explains our new approach to fundamental physics. A self-consistency criterion (SCC, Kv = J) governs the construct of graphs whence transition amplitudes for various processes (K and J are constructed from boundary operators on the graph, v is the vector of vertices). As an analogy, think Regge calculus (graphical version of GR), where one uses the resulting graph to compute transition amplitudes. The paper shows how the proposed SCC (which follows from the boundary of a boundary principle, dd = 0, as do GR and EM) necessarily yields gauge invariance (and, therefore, gauge fixing) and divergence-free sources, and how it yields the 'spagetti-like world' statistically.

    The paper also uses this idea to resolve QM mysteries. I'll let you read the paper, but hopefully it will be clear that we are proposing a very different way to 'explain' reality.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook