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

A Quantization isn't fundamental

  1. Dec 27, 2018 #121
    Whose book is online?
    Now this is indeed an intriguing possibility.
    I was being a bit derisive of them, they clearly aren't mere nonsense, but I would say that you yourself are making light of the statement that physics uses numbers; the fact that physics uses real numbers and complex numbers is quite profound in its own right, perhaps more so than the state space being measurable.

    My point is that no-go theorems which are about theories instead of about physical phenomena aren't actually theorems belonging to physics, but instead theorems belonging to logic, mathematics and philosophy; see e.g. Gleason's theorem for another such extra-physical theorem pretending to be physics proper.

    There is no precedent whatsoever within the practice of physics for such kind of theorems which is why it isn't clear at all that the statistical utility of such theorems for non-empirical theory selection is actually a valid methodology, and there is a good reason for that; how would the sensitivity and specificity w.r.t. the viability of theories be accounted for if the empirically discriminatory test is a non-empirical theorem?

    It is unclear whether such a non-empirical tool is epistemologically - i.e. scientifically - coherently capable of doing anything else except demonstrating consistency with unmodified QM/QFT. If this is all the theorems are capable of, sure they aren't useless, but they aren't nearly as interesting if QM is in fact in need of modification, just like all known theories in physics so far were also in need of modification.

    Physics is not mathematics, philosophy or logic; it is an empirical science, which means that all of this would have to be answered before advising or encouraging theorists to practically use such theorems in order to select the likelihood of a theory beyond QM in such a statistical manner. To put it bluntly, scientifically these theorems might just end up proving to be 'not even wrong'.
    I'll get back to this.
    If some necessary particular mathematical ingredients such as geometric or topological aspects are removed, physical content may be removed as well; what randomly ends up getting left may just turn out to be irrelevant fluff, physically speaking.
    Partially yes, especially given the lack of precedent for using theorems (which might belong more to mathematics or to philosophy instead of to physics) in such a non-empirical statistical selection procedure.
    There seems to be at least one link with BM, namely that Manasson's model seems to be fully consistent with Nelson's fully Bohmian program of stochastic electrodynamics.
  2. Dec 28, 2018 #122
    To get back to this:
    I said earlier that that was an intriguing possibility, but this is actually my entire point: monkeying with the topology and/or the fractality of (a subset of a) space may influence its measurability.

    Therefore prematurely excluding theories purely on the basis of their state spaces being (or locally seeming) measurable, is in theoretical practice almost guaranteed to lead to a high degree of false positive exclusions.
  3. Dec 28, 2018 #123


    User Avatar

    I agree that beeing "measurable" is a key topic in this discussion. In particular to consider the physical basis of what beeing measureable is. In a probabilistic inference the measure is essential in order to quantify and rate empirical evidence. This is essential to the program, so i would say that the insight is not to release ourselves from requirements of measurability, that would be a mistake in the wrong direction. I think they insight must be that what is measurable relative to one observer, need not be measurable with respect to another observers. This all begs for a new intrinsic framework for probabilistic inference, that lacks global or observer invariant measures.

    If we think about how intrinsic geometry originated from asking how a life form not beeing aware of en embedding geometry can infer geometry from local experiments within the surface; and translate that to asking how an information processing agent not beeing aware of the embedding truth, can infer things from incomplete knowledge confined only to its limited processing power: What kind of mathematics will that yield us? Then lets try to phrase or reconsturct QM in these terms. note this this would forbid things like infinite ensembles or infinite repeats of experiments. It will force us to formulate QM foundations with the same constraints we live with for cosmological theories.

    A side note: Merry Christmas :)

  4. Dec 31, 2018 #124
    Unless I seriously missed something in that article, it isn't very convincing at all. In particular, he describes this self organization as a self organization of the vacuum. However, without quantum field theory, you have nothing which defines a vacuum state and nothing to self organize.
  5. Dec 31, 2018 #125
    The author - without planning to do so - makes a (seemingly) unrelated mathematical argument based on a clear hypothesis and then spontaneously goes on to derive the complete dynamical spinor state set i.e. the foundation of Dirac theory from first principle by doing pure mathematics in state space based on purely empirical grounds.

    Quantum field theory, despite being the original context in which vacuum states were predicted theoretically and discovered experimentally, certainly isn't the only possible theory capable of describing the vacuum.

    After experimental discovery has taken place, theorists are free to extend the modelling of any emperically occurring phenomenon using any branch of mathematics which seems fit to do so: this is how physics has always worked.

    For the vacuum this proliferation of models has already occurred, i.e. the vacuum isn't a unique feature of QFT anymore; any theory aiming to go beyond QFT has to describe the vacuum as part of nature; how it does so depends on the underlying mathematics.
  6. Dec 31, 2018 #126
    Sure, but the vacuum belonging to a theory must be part of that particular theory. I really do not see where the paper develops the "stuff" (for want of a better word) from which anything self organizes. One cannot discuss self organizing without in some way, defining what it is that is self organizing, what it's properties are, etc. The author's aims are not to go beyond qft, but to replace it, given that the thrust is that quantization isn't fundamental. In qft, quantization is fundamental.
  7. Dec 31, 2018 #127
    He describes the process of how the equation should look qualitatively; doing this is standard methodology in dynamical systems research. This is because of the prototypicality of types of equations for their class, especially given Feigenbaum universality which he also derives from his Ansatz.
    He posits that the vacuum field, an experimentally established phenomenon, has inner dynamics which makes it self-organizing. Establishing the mathematical properties of this dynamical system is at this stage more important than establishing the actual equation; moreover, his argument is so general that it applies to any equation in this class, if they exist.
    'Going beyond' and 'replacing' are often used as synonyms in this context. For example, GR went beyond Newtonian theory and replaced it; arguing this point any further is purely a discussion on semantics.

    The point is that any kind of vacuum field - fully of a purely QFT type or otherwise - assuming it has a particular kind of internal dynamics, automatically seems to reproduce Dirac theory, SM particle hierarchy & symmetry groups, coupling constants and more; if anything this sounds too good to be true.
  8. Dec 31, 2018 #128
    I left out this bit in the previous post:
    The core idea is that a vacuum field with a particular kind of internal dynamics, has necessarily a particular state space with special kinds of attractors in it, which will automatically lead to a display of quantized properties for any system in interaction with this field, i.e. for particles; this makes the experimentally determined quantum nature of particles, their properties, orbits and possibly even their very existence, fully an effect of always being in interaction with the vacuum field.
  9. Dec 31, 2018 #129
    It might be useful to look at self-organizing systems in their better-known habitat. There are 350-some genes and certain cell functions that are present in every living thing on earth, plant and animal. Biologists have triangulated their origin back three billion years to a hypothetical single celled organism identified as the “last universal common ancestor,” (LUCA). So here is a dissipative dynamical system that has not only long endured, but radically extended its phase space.

    Is there a LUCA analogue for physics? Is there a dynamical seed from which all else follows? It would needs be an iterative process with a timeline rather than a one-off event. Note that, in an iterative process the distinction between cause and effect and the notion of retro-causality become less meaningful. Can one identify the fundamental origin of iterative processes?
  10. Dec 31, 2018 #130


    User Avatar

    I agree that physicists has alot to learn from analyzing evolution on life. What are the analogies to "laws", "observers" and "experiments" in the game of life?
    I think this is a good thought, and this is something ive been thinking about for quite some time, but what will happen is something like this:

    You need mathematical abstractions of observers and their behavior which correspond to "lifeforms". Then ponder about the mechanisms for these abstractions to interact and to be each others enviroment. Then try to see how total theory space can be reduced in complexity and the origin of things?

    The phase i am currently in is abstractions that are like interacting information processing agents and dna of law can be thought of as the computational code that determines the dices that are used to play. But each dice is fundamentally hidden to other agents whose collective ignorance supports acting as if they did not exist so that is does not quailfy as a hidden variable model. Agents also has intertia associated to the codes. This is how volatile codes can easily mutate but inertial ones not.

    No matter how conceptually nice there is a huge gap from this toy model to making contact to low energy physics as we know it.

    Conceptually the abstrations here are at the highest possible energyscale. But they trick to avoid getting lost in a landscape of possible high enegy models - given the low enegy perspective, is to also consider the observer to be in the high enegy domain - not in the low energy lab frame from which we normally do scattering statistis in qft.

    Noone is currently interested in toy models along these lines though, this ia why the "activation enegy" for this approach to publish something that normal physicists can relate to is huge.

    Perhaps if there was a new discipline in this direction there would be a community for partial progress to see the light.

  11. Jan 1, 2019 #131
    Last time I checked (~2010), the mathematics behind this (i.e. evolution by natural selection) hadn't been properly straightened out yet apart from gross simplified models which weren't necessarily generalizable. If it has been worked out, the analogy might be clearer.
    The author of this model proposes that there is a LUCA for the next two generations of fermions, with the vacuum field being the ancestor to all. There is an illustration of this in the paper (Figure 1). I'm sure in high energy particle physics there are tonnes of models which have such structure.
    Actually a one-off time event is sufficient, given the fundamentality of the system: if a universe exists with nothing else but a dynamical vacuum field, any perturbation of this field capable of causing feedback to the field could lead to the scenario the author describes. The existence of the dynamical field alone then already fully determines the state space of the vacuum including all its attractors.
    I see no reason why not, precisely because they can be fitted to mathematical models of iteration and then the origin can be worked out by studying the model.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
  12. Jan 2, 2019 #132
  13. Jan 2, 2019 #133

    Buzz Bloom

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Hi AD:

    I found the following value for δ:
    This gives
    α = 2πδ2 ~= 136.98 .​
    This is ~= 1/α rather than ~= α.

    Might you have a typo? Perhaps you should have
    α = 1/ 2πδ2 .​

    What is the physics implication of the approximation error of ~0.06 in 1/α using the formula with δ.

    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
  14. Jan 2, 2019 #134
    yeah, it is a typo, should've been $$\alpha = (2\pi\delta^2)^{-1} \cong \frac {1} {137}$$I immediately wrote up and posted this thread from my smartphone directly after I finished reading the paper, without checking the (LaTeX) equations.

    I actually spotted this typo when I reread the thread for the first time later that day after I had posted it, but I couldn't edit it anymore.
  15. Jan 2, 2019 #135
    My first hunch would be that this numerical discrepancy arises from the existence of an imperfection parameter in addition to the bifurcation parameter, i.e. the proper level of analysis for addressing the numerical error is by using the methods of catastrophe theory to study cusps in the surface in the higher dimensional parameter space consisting of the state ##\psi##, a bifurcation parameter ##r## and an imperfection parameter ##h##.
  16. Jan 4, 2019 #136
    Thanks, I appreciate your response.

    "Last time I checked (~2010), the mathematics behind this (i.e. evolution by natural selection) hadn't been properly straightened out yet apart from gross simplified models which weren't necessarily generalizable. If it has been worked out, the analogy might be clearer."

    The need for scientific rigor is understood, but still a phenomenon may be real without an exacting mathematical description. In the case of LUCA, I believe there is a shovel-worthy trail of bread crumbs leading to its approximation.

    "Actually a one-off time event is sufficient, given the fundamentality of the system: if a universe exists with nothing else but a dynamical vacuum field, any perturbation of this field capable of causing feedback to the field could lead to the scenario the author describes. The existence of the dynamical field alone then already fully determines the state space of the vacuum including all its attractors."

    This is interesting. I don’t want to waste your time, but I have questions. You present what I take to be a schematic of a kind minimal, prototypical universe and identify its necessary ingredients. Setting them on the lab bench we have a dynamical vacuum field, a perturbation and its associated feedback.

    I read that fields were the first quantities to emerge from the initial flux and they seem like elegant dynamical constructs to arise at a time of maximal stress unless strongly driven by an underlying principle.

    And feedback itself is not a given in an outwardly dispersing wave impulse without a displacement constraining boundary condition. Where does that arise?

    For reasons above, are the dynamics of quantum fields an ‘integrative level’ of description that arises from the phenomena of a lower level?

    This is a rather large question, but it does affect the substrate upon which Manasson’s model would be operating.
  17. Jan 4, 2019 #137
    I'm not too keen on speculating when exactly the scenario which the author describes might have occurred; without giving explicit equations, anything going further than just stating that the author's picture is mathematically consistent seems to me to be baseless speculation.
    Due to the conservative nature of the initially chargeless field itself, any fluctuation which has a non-neutral charge will lead to a polarization of the charge of the surrounding field into the opposite end; this balancing act is limited by the speed of light and therefore will lead to interaction between the charges, i.e. feedback.
    If by 'an integrative level of description' you mean 'emergent from underlying mechanics', then the answer is yes.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  18. Jan 7, 2019 #138
    Hi, not having read everything here, but would any possible results from the tests proposed by Bose et al. and Marletto and Vedral for gravitationally induced entanglement likely pose any problems for this picture?
  19. Jan 7, 2019 #139
    The model as constructed only incorporates forces under the SM.

    Suffice to say it might be generalizable to include gravitation, but that would probably make the model less natural, e.g. modifying the correspondence between the three generations of known particles and bifurcations as well as predict a wrong gravitational coupling constant.
  20. Jan 8, 2019 #140
    Ok, thanks very much for the interesting response, Auto-Didact.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?