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A Quantization isn't fundamental

  1. Oct 26, 2018 #1
    This thread is a direct shoot-off of this post from the thread Atiyah's arithmetic physics.

    Manasson V. 2008, Are Particles Self-Organized Systems?
    The author convincingly demonstrates that practically everything known about particle physics, including the SM itself, can be derived from first principles by treating the electron as an evolved self-organized open system in the context of dissipative nonlinear systems. Moreover, the dissipative structure gives rise to discontinuities within the equations and so unintentionally also gives an actual prediction/explanation of state vector reduction, i.e. it offers an actual resolution of the measurement problem of QT.

    However, this paper goes much further: quantization itself, which is usually assumed a priori as fundamental, is here on page 6 shown to originate naturally as a dissipative phenomenon emerging from the underlying nonlinear dynamics of the system being near stable superattractors, i.e. the origin of quantization is a limiting case of interplay between nonlinearity and dissipation.

    Furthermore, using standard tools from nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory, in particular period doubling bifurcations and the Feigenbaum constant ##\delta##, the author then goes on to derive:
    - the origin of spin half and other SU(2) symmetries
    - the origin of the quantization of action and charge
    - the coupling constants for strong, weak and EM interactions
    - the number and types of fields
    - a explanation of the fine structure constant ##\alpha##:
    $$ \alpha = (2\pi\delta^2) \cong \frac {1} {137}$$
    - a relationship between ##\hbar## and ##e##:$$ \hbar = \frac {\delta^2 e^2} {2} \sqrt {\frac {\mu_0} {\epsilon_0}}$$
    In particular the above equation suggests a great irony about the supposed fundamentality of quantum theory itself; as the author puts it himself:
    Suffice to say, this paper is a must-read. Many thanks to @mitchell porter for linking it and to Sir Michael Atiyah for reigniting the entire discussion in the first place.
     
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  3. Oct 27, 2018 #2
    Btw, if there is any doubt, it should be clear that I realize that Manasson's specific model isn't necessarily correct, and I am in no way promulgating his views here as being absolutely true. I however distinctly believe that Manasson's theory isn't just your mere run of the mill pseudoscientific mumbo jumbo. Instead I believe that what he is saying is just so highly non-traditional that most readers - especially those deeply familiar with QT but relatively unfamiliar with either the practice of or literature on dynamical systems analysis - have an extremely high probability of just outright calling it heresy with regard to established contemporary physics. Manasson is after all literally proposing that conservation laws in QT might be an emergent phenomenon and that therefore everything physicists think and claim to know about the fundamental nature of symmetries, the Noether theorem, gauge theory and group theory is hopelessly misguided; if this doesn't strike one as heresy in the contemporary practice of physics, I don't know what does!

    There are other things which should be noted as well. Reading his paper critically for example, it is obvious his specific equations may be off by a small numerical factor; this however is almost always the case when constructing a preliminary model based on dimensional analysis and therefore shouldn't be a case for outright dismissal. His equations as of yet seem to have no known interpretation as geometric or as some known dimensionless group; this already shows that his specific equations are tentative instead of definitive. Also this should be obvious because he hasn't actually published this paper in a journal despite having submitted it 10 years ago to the arxiv. Curiously he doesn't have any other publications either on the arxiv and only one recent publication in a Chinese journal.

    Regardless of exact numerics however, Manasson's approach in this paper i.e. an approach to reformulating the axioms of QT based on identifying QT's a priori mathematical properties, as resulting from a limiting case of an exactly linearizable dissipitave nonlinear dynamical system is a very promising theoretical direction which is very much a novel but distinctly mainstream science approach (see e.g. Dieter Schuh, 2018 "Quantum Theory from a Nonlinear Perspective: Riccati Equations in Fundamental Physics"). Moreover, this particular qualitative theoretical method for example is constantly used with other theories, both within mainstream science and mainstream soft matter and biophysics but it is especially popular outside of physics; importantly, in the practice of dynamical systems this is literally the method of empirically establishing the qualitative mathematical properties of some extremely complicated system after which a particular NDE or some class of NDE may be guessed.

    The reason I am posting Manasson's theory, is because I couldn't find any earlier threads on it and I believe that this approach definitely warrants further investigation, whether or not it will turn out to be correct in the end. Lastly, other very prominent theorists have suggested very similar lines of reasoning as Manasson is doing in his paper without actually giving a mathematical model, in particular both Roger Penrose (1. in the form of a nonlinear reformulation of the linear characteristics of QM being necessary in order to unite it with GR, and 2. the idea that the fundamental laws of physics should be less symmetrical instead of more symmetrical) and Gerard 't Hooft (in the form of the idea that a dissipative theory might underly QM); moreover as both Richard Feynman and Lee Smolin have remarked, what may turn out to be wrong with the practice of theoretical physics is the assumption of the timelessness/ahistorical nature of (some) physical laws; dynamically evolved laws, e.g. in the form that Manasson is proposing here, would address these points as well. These coincidences only make me more curious about Manasson's proposal. Incidentally, it also reminds of something Feynman said about symmetry:
    As we can see from Feynman's points, it would definitely not be the first time in the history of physics that an ideal such as symmetry would end up having to be replaced; not simply by some small fix-up like symmetry breaking, but more radically, by finding some underlying dynamical theory. It goes without saying that chaos theory and nonlinear dynamics only really came into their own as large highly interdisciplinary fields of science after Feynman stopped doing physics/passed away; suffice to say it would have been incredibly interesting to know what he would've thought about them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
  4. Oct 28, 2018 #3

    Fra

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    Its a bit depressing to always have too little time for things, I didnt yet read the paper in detail and i have no opinion of the author but but your description here makes me bite.

    First a general comment: If questioning the constructing principles following from timeless symmetries on which most modern understanding of physics rests on is heresy, they I would say the next genious that physics needs to trigger a paradigm shift needed to solve open questios are likely a heretic by definition. So no shame per see to be labeled a heretic.
    I have a different quantitative starting point but some of the core conceptual ideas of the paper are fully in line with my thinking. And indeed its very hard to convince different thinkers of the plausability of these ideas, because they are indeed a heresy to much of constructing principles of modern physics. And even discussing this unavoidable gets into philosophy of science discussions which immediately makes some people stop listening. This is why, what it takes is for some of the bold heretics to make progress in the silent, and then publish it at a state that is mature enough to knock doubters off their chairs although that is an almost unhuman task to accomplish for a single person.

    1) The idea that elementary particles (or any stable system for that matter) are the result of self organisation in a chaotic environment, is exactly what evolution of law also implies. In essence the population of elemetary particles and their properties, implicitly encode the physical laws. So the stability of laws in time, are just another side of the coin of determining the particle zoo.

    The challange for this program is to first of all, explain the stability of physical law, if we claim its fundamentally chaotic - here is where the supersattractors come in. Attractors is a better word than equilibrium, but they are related. Ie. one needs to relaxe the laws, without introducing chaos at the macrolevel, and here SOS is the key. I fully share this view. But the mathemtcail details are a different story.

    One way to understand also the stabilizing mechanis of how elemetary particles encode, reduced information about its environment, is to consider the topic of compression sensing, which is commonly used technique in signal processing (fourier analysis) and also how neuroscientists believe the brain works, ie. the brain is not a datarecorder, it reencodes information and stores it in a way that increases the chance of survival considering the expected future.

    This is the exact analogy if how conceptually an elementary particles internal structure, mass and charges are tuned to be maximally stable agains a hostile (noisy, challaning) environment. Once you really understand the depth of this i find it hard not to be comitted.

    This if course also another way to integrate the renormalization processes with physical interactions, and with that the formation of stable self organised information processing agents we later label elemetary particles.

    My personal approach here is that i have pretty most abandoned the idea of trying to convince who do not want to understand. Instead i have taken on the impossible task of trying to work this out on my own.And likely there are a bunch of other heretics out there that have similar thinking, and hopefully someone will get time to mature things into something worth publishing. The risk of pulishing something too early is obvious.

    What is needed is to take ideas from toy models and toy dimensions and make contact to contemporary physics and make explicit pre or postdictions about relations between some of the parameters of the standard models or find a consistent framework of QG that is still lacking etc. Anything less than this is likely beeing shoot down immediately by those that defend the conventional paradigm. The first impression from just skimming the paper is that it seems to be a qualitiative toy model mor ethan anything else. But like Auto-Didact says, there is no reason to let incomplete details haze our view of a clear conceptual vision.

    /Fredrik
     
  5. Oct 28, 2018 #4

    Fra

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    I will throw in some conceptual things here in how i understand this:

    I think of the the "dissipation" of a small system in a chaotic environment as a consequence of that a small information processing agent can not encode and retain all information about its own "observations", it will rather - just like we think human brains do - make a compressed sensing - and retain what is most importat for survuval, and dissipate the rest (discard). This what is discarded is what this observer considers to the "random noise". This has deep implications also for understanding micro black holes, bcause the "randomness" of the radation, is observer dependent. This is no such thing as objective randomness. Unly unabilities of particular observers to decode it.

    During this process the information processing agent i evolving and either gets destabilised, or stabilised. Over time, the surviving structures will in some sense be in a steady state where simply information processing agent are in a kind of agreement with the chaotic environment; relative to the existing communication channel. In this sense once can consider the "theory" encoded by the small elemetary particle a naked version of the renormalized theory, that is encoded in the environment. So the question for unificaiton, where we think that the laws will the unified at TOE energies, are the analog of this. The TOE energy scale is where the energy is so high that there are evolved information processing agents are disintegrated. So evolution of law is what happens during cooling down the universe, with the exception that is probably wrong to thinkg of this cooling process in terms of thermodynamics, because there is no outside observer. The trouble is that we have only an inside view of this. This is where one often sees fallacious reasoning as one tries to describe this as per a newtonian schema (to use smolins words). It's how i think of it. The "formation" of the first "proto-observers" in this process as we increase complexity of observers, is where one needs to make contact eventually to elementary particles. So there should be a one-2-one relatrion between the particle zoo, and the laws of physics. MY personal twist here is that i also associate the "particle zoo" with the "observer zoo". This is how you get the intertwining mix of quantum foundations and self organisation.

    These ideas themselves does not rule out say string theory, these ideas could be compatible to string theory as well if you understand the comments in the context of evolution in the landscape and maye even as a pre-string era.

    This way of thinking leads to a number or "problems" though, such as a circular reasoning, and the problem of meta law. See smolins writings on this to see what he means by meta law. How do you get a grip on this? this is a problem, and not an easy one. This is why its easier to put things in by hand, so at least you have a starting point. In an evolutionary picture, what is the natural starting point?

    /Fredrik
     
  6. Oct 28, 2018 #5

    stevendaryl

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    It seems to me that any attempt to explain quantum mechanics in terms of something more fundamental would run into the problem of accounting for Bell's Theorem. How can self-organizing systems explain EPR-type nonlocal correlations?
     
  7. Oct 28, 2018 #6
    Glad you asked. Back in 2016 there was an experiment by Neill et al. which seemed to show an experimentally based mathematical correspondence between the entanglement entropy of a few superconducting qubits on the one hand and the chaotic phase space dynamics in the classical limit on the other hand. This implies that entanglement and deterministic chaos are somehow linked through ergodicity and offers interesting insights into non-equilibrium thermodynamics, directly relating it to the notion of an open dissipative nonlinear dynamical system as proposed here.

    I posted a thread on this particular experiment a year ago, but unfortunately got no replies (link is here), and I haven't done any followup reading since then to see if there has been any new experimental developments. In any case, if you want to read the paper describing that particular experiment I'd love to hear your thoughts. In any case, as is, I think it might already go a fairly far way in 'explaining' entanglement purely on chaotic and ergodic grounds.
     
  8. Oct 28, 2018 #7

    stevendaryl

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    If you go through Bell's argument leading to his inequality, it seems that the class of theories that are ruled out by EPR would include the sort of self-organizing systems that you're talking about, as long as the interactions are all local. Whether the dynamics is chaotic or not doesn't seem to come into play.
     
  9. Oct 28, 2018 #8
    That simply isn't necessarily true if:
    a) there is a nonlinear reformulation of QM which is inherently chaotic in some spacetime reformulation like 2-spinors or some holomorphic extension thereof like twistor theory, which after geometric quantization can reproduce the phenomenon of entanglement,
    b) there exists a mathematical correspondence between entanglement and chaos,
    c) some special combination of the above.

    The only way one can argue against this point is to assume that linearity and unitarity are unique, necessary axioms of QT and then view QT as an unalterable, completed theory, something which it almost certainly isn't. This is of course the standard argument most contemporary physicists do make, i.e. they rely on a premature axiomatization of physics based on unitarity and then elevating symmetry to a fundamental notion.

    The problem with such an axiomatic stance w.r.t. unitarity is that physical theory is incomplete and - because physics is an experimental science wherein the outcomes of future experiments are unknown - there can never truly be a point where one may validly conclude that physical theory has actually become complete. Therefore such an in principle axiomatization will in practice almost always be invalid reasoning in the context of (fundamental) physics; this is extremely confusing because the exact same argument is valid reasoning in the context of mathematics, precisely because mathematics is completely unempirical in stark contrast to physics.
     
  10. Oct 28, 2018 #9

    stevendaryl

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    I don't see how Bell's proof is affected by chaos.
     
  11. Oct 28, 2018 #10
    You misunderstand my point: entanglement wouldn't be affected by chaos, instead entanglement would be itself a chaotic phenomenon instead of a quantum phenomenon, because all quantum mathematics would actually be linear approximations of chaotic mathematics. Bell's theorem doesn't exclude non-local hidden variables; in essence some kind of Lorentzian i.e. conformal spacetime formulation like projective twistor space would enable exactly such non-locality per GR.

    This is entirely possible given that dynamical systems theory/chaos theory is still an immensely large open field of mathematics where daily new mathematical objects are being discovered pretty much everyday, unifying widely different branches of mathematics ranging from complex analysis, to fractal geometry, to non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, to modern network theory, to bifurcation theory, to universality theory, to renormalization group theory, to conformal geometry, and so on.

    Manasson's point is precisely that the actual underlying origin of quantization i.e. quantumness of phenomenon in nature is really at bottom a very particular kind of chaotic phenomenon based in supercycle attractors, i.e. and that standard linear quantum mechanics is simply a limiting linear case of this underlying nonlinear theory.
     
  12. Oct 28, 2018 #11

    Fra

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    I only share traits of the idea mentioned in the paper, but at least what I had in mind, does not involve restoring realism at all. Actually relaxing the deductive structure (which i consider to follow from what i wrote before) suggests removing even more of realism. QM removes some realism, but we still have realism left as in the objectivity of physical law, which is assume timeless, eternal truth. The "realism" conditions in the bell argument is a deductive rule from a a hidden variable to outcome. What i have in mind means that this deductive link itself is necessarily unceratain, not to mention what a totally chaotic dependence would imply. It would imply that the function, representing realism in the proof would not be inferrable, due to chaos. To just assume it exists, while its obvious that its not inferrable from experiments, is to me an invalid assumption.

    Anyway, in my eyes this was not the interesting part of the idea. I do not see lack of realism as a problem. I rather see the realism of physical law as we know it, as a problem because it is put in there in an ad hoc way by theorist ;-) Emergence aims to increase explanatory power by finding evolutionary and selforganisational reasons for why the laws are what they are.

    /Fredrik
     
  13. Oct 29, 2018 #12

    DarMM

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    I agree with @stevendaryl , Bell's theorem doesn't really use QM, just the assumptions of:
    1. Single Outcomes
    2. Lack of super-determinism
    3. Lack of retrocausality
    4. Presence of common causes
    5. Decorrelating Explanations (combination of 4. and 5. normally called Reichenbach's Common Cause principle)
    6. Relativistic causation (no interactions beyond light cone)
    I don't see how chaotic dynamics gets around this.
     
  14. Oct 30, 2018 #13

    Fra

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    I dont see that the purpose is to attack Bells theorem.

    As I see is, the idea of particles and thus physical law that evolves to represent a kind fo maximally compressed encoding of their chaotic environment, leads to the insight that there can be observer dependent information that are fully decoupled and effectively isolated from the environment due to the mechanism of compressed encoding. But this does not mean that one can draw the conclusion that hidden variable theories are useful, it rather oppositely says that they are indistinguishable from non-existing hidden variables, from the point of view of inference, and part of the evolved compressed sensing paradigm means that any inference is "truncated" respecting the limited computational capacity.

    This rather has the potential to EXPLAIN quantum weirdness, but NOT in terms of a regular hidden variable theory that are forbidden by bells theorem, but in terms of a picture where subsystems are selforganised compressed sensing structures which means that information can be genuinley hidden as in observer dependent.

    To FULLY explain this will require nothing less than solving the problem of course which contais alot of hard subproblems. But I personally think its easy to see the conceptual visions here, but i also understand that different people have different incompatible visions.

    /Fredrik
     
  15. Oct 30, 2018 #14

    stevendaryl

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    I guess I'm repeating myself, but it seems to me that self-organizing systems IS a regular hidden variable theory. So it's already ruled out by Bell. Unless it's nonlocal (or superdeterministic).
     
  16. Oct 30, 2018 #15

    DarMM

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    I definitely don't think that he is attacking Bell's theorem, it's just that in a sense Bell inequality violating correlations are the most perplexing feature of QM. We know other aspects of quantum mechanics, e.g. superposition, interference, teleportation, super dense coding, indistinguishably of non-orthogonal states, non-commutativity of measurements, measurements unavoidably disturbing the system, etc can be replicated by a local hidden variable theory. However post-classical correlations cannot be.

    So anything claiming to replicate QM should first explain how it achieves these post-classical correlations. Replicating anything else is known to pose no problems.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  17. Oct 30, 2018 #16

    Fra

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    Ie the reason that
    If this is your view, I understand your comments; so at this level we have not disagreement.

    But what I have in mind with evolved partilces is NOT a regular hidden variable theory. Let me think how i can briefly explain better.

    /Fredrik
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  18. Oct 30, 2018 #17

    stevendaryl

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    But "regular hidden variable" theory INCLUDES "extremely non-linear" systems. Bell's notion of a hidden-variables theory allows arbitrary interactions, as long as they are local. Nonlinearity is not ruled out.

    (Actually, "nonlinear" by itself doesn't mean anything. You have to say what is linear in what.)
     
  19. Oct 30, 2018 #18
    Again chaotic dynamics doesn't have to get around any of that. I will try to answer each point, by stating what I am assuming/hypothesizing:

    1) Analyticity/holomorphicity making single outcomes a necessity per the conventional uniqueness and existence arguments.
    2) No assumption of superdeterminism.
    3) No assumption of retrocausality of matter or information. What may however 'travel' in either direction in time is quantum information; this is a very unfortunate misnomer because quantum information is not a form of information!
    4 & 5) The physical common cause is the specific spacetime pathway connecting some EPR pair: quantum information (which is not information!) 'travels' on this path. Actually 'traveling' is an incorrect term, the quantum information merely exists non-locally on this spacetime path. An existing mathematical model capable of capturing this concept is spin network theory. For those who need reminding, spin network theory is a fully spaceless and timeless description wherein quantum information exists on the edges of the network.
    6) All matter and information can only follow timelike and lightlike curves, respectively traveling within or on the light cones. Quantum information existing non-locally across the entire spacetime path connecting any entangled EPR pair doesn't violate this, being neither a form of matter or information. A relativistic generalization of spin network theory capable of describing this - in which this non-locality is inherently explicit - is twistor theory. Twistor theory moreover utilizes a symmetry group which is both compatible with relativity theory and has a representation theory which is semi-simple (in contrast to the Poincaré group), namely the conformal group which is an extension of the Poincaré group.

    An important point to make is that Manasson's theory, being dissipative in nature, then automatically provides an underlying theory capable of explaining state vector reduction i.e. wave function collapse, implying that is a physically real phenomenon as well. This would automatically imply a psi-ontic interpretation i.e. that the wave function is a really existing phenomenon in nature.

    Notice that I am not saying that the above arguments are correct per se, but merely a logically valid possibility which is mathematically speaking completely conceivable and possibly even already directly constructable using existing mathematics.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  20. Oct 30, 2018 #19
    It seems you are prematurely viewing the concept of self-organization from a very narrow viewpoint.

    Moreover, entanglement is or at least can be understood fully as a non-local phenomenon; this isn't inconsistent with GR either.
    In order to make this argument one actually doesn't need to explicitly specify linearity in what per se, but instead merely assume that the correct equation is or correct equations are nonlinear maps e.g. (some class of coupled) nonlinear PDEs instead of a linear PDE like the Schrodinger equation or coupled linear PDEs like the Dirac equation.
     
  21. Oct 30, 2018 #20

    stevendaryl

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    I haven't made any assumptions about self-organization, so I'm viewing it by the very broadest view---it could mean anything at all. Bell's theorem doesn't make any assumptions about whether the dynamics is self-organizing, or not.
     
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