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The ToE: Unification or Replacement?

  1. Oct 11, 2003 #1
    When people talk about the Theory of Everything, they usually think of the theories that are trying to unify GR and QM (such as SMT and LQG), since this is what the majority of Theoretical Physicists are working toward, unification. However, I've just begun reading Smolin's Three Roads to Quantum Gravity, and have been wondering: What do you all think about replacing General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics with theories that are more compatible?

    When I first heard that there were actually people working towards this, I thought they must just be some crackpots who were trying to be unique...but now I realize that there are actually quite a few very good scientists working on this problem.

    So, what do you think? Can GR and QM be replaced with better theories? Could that turn out to be the Theory of Everything? Also, exactly what theories/hypotheses do you know of that have been put forward as possible replacements?

    Any response is appreciated. :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 11, 2003 #2
    Personally, I think that there is too much in GR, and QM, that does actually work now, hence replacing isn't what I would think would be done, enhancing or extraoplating perhaps, but I doubt that anything needs replace the parts of the currently "known theories" that DO work.

    Perhaps a "New theory" that simply is new in it's completeness, still incorporating GR and QM, but brought out under a better, more complete, title, hence ToE.
  4. Oct 11, 2003 #3
    I don't know enough about QM and GR to say if they can be replaced or not, however I do think that everything can put in a much easier way (although Einstein did a very nice job on GR), so maybe they can't be replaced but just "re-defined".
  5. Oct 11, 2003 #4
    I agree with Astrophysics. Einstein did a nice job on GR and if scientists just took it out of context, it really wouldn't be worth the wasted effort.
  6. Oct 11, 2003 #5


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    I do think there is an alternative that isn't being tried. Mate the Standard Model to the loops of loop quantum gravity, and work out the physics of that. It would become a new branch of theoretical physics, just as lattice quantum theory is. Like lattice theory, it could be done "non-perturbatively" which means it could handle large energy interactions. Like string theory it would be free of the quantum infinities tha come with classical geometry.
  7. Oct 11, 2003 #6
    Writing the Particle Nature in Loops

    http://superstringtheory.com/forum/extraboard/messages8/39.html [Broken]

    Draw a circle on this practicum, go to the next thread and understand the energy values of building in the Monte Carlo.

    We have discussed these issue before. Understanding .Greg Egan's site and the loops inside, was most helpful.

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  8. Oct 12, 2003 #7


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    I am afraid you didn't understand me Sol. It isn't about geometry, and the loops in LQG aren't geometric loops, they'r quantized, with eigenvalues. And the questions are about quantum dynamics, and states in Hilbert (rather Fock) space, and operators thereon. The point of background free dynamics is that the particle states and the loop states wil combine.
  9. Oct 12, 2003 #8
    More Study Then:)

    I will look into this deeper and research for better clarity. Any points that you could expand on here to help orientate?

    I would point out that the descriptions I gave in the post above was speaking to the idea of energy and how it is used to describe movement of particle natures(Yours as well). If such energy determinations can be garnered fron each particle state, then how would we have described them but by using complex ways in which to see this.

    Remove the coordinated system of Greg Egan's site and you are left with the loop and its energy differences along the length of the loop. Remove the distinct line of the practicum and we are left witha energy value in a loop. Remove the idea of the triangulated shapes of the monte carlo method and see how the energy plot is being used to describe the construction?(hope that made sense)

    Ths has been the jest of seeing the envelope in place of matter distinctions. It allows us, if this can be done(Spectral Analysis and Gravitatinal Calibrator ) The undertanding that energy values describe the movement in the envelope and represents the aspect of the dimensional significance of the early universe, compared to condensation in planetary formations.

    Symmetry is directly related to dimenison and so is gravity?

    Energy values speak directly to the nature of curvature, and is the basis of energy determinations(strings) and the applicable means in which we are attempting to describe its values? Seeing Loop's is a little more difficult for me, but I have placed it in the determinations as language development option:)

    Sorry for misconstruing:)

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2003
  10. Oct 13, 2003 #9
    I'm inclined to agree with you, Parsons, but I still find it interesting that some people have actually taken it upon themselves to defy (probably the wrong word, as GR and QM are not royal decrees or anything) the two most established theories of modern Theoretical Physics.
  11. Oct 13, 2003 #10
    But would this solve the contraversy between GR and QM? The loops of LQG are background-independent, so that is taken care of, but how does one go about "mating" the Standard Model with the background-independence of loops to make a theory?
  12. Oct 13, 2003 #11


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    Darned good question. I was only suggesting a direction, not proposing a method :)

    Some indication would be to look at the way they "put the standard model on the lattice" (I love physicists' terminology, the lattice, not a lattice). This is a twenty year old technology, so there should be some very experienced folks out there. The difference would be that the lattice does not participate in the physics any more than Minkowski spacetime does in the regular version. (We-e-ll the sides of the cells are momenta, but the spacing is unchanged over the physics, so they can meaningfully take it to zero after all is said and done)

    How to cover the background freedom? I think of it (Kaku style) as tensoring the spacetime states with the particle states. Ashtekar & Co. show that their state object CYL, basically the linear functions on the loop network, can be fed into the Fock space with the particle states (they only do scalar "proof of principle" particles). But they need more work on this basic math.
  13. Oct 14, 2003 #12
    Interesting. I suppose this is a creditable approach (even if the actual method is still unknown...heck, Newton invented a whole new branch of mathematics for the Classical Mechanics).
  14. Oct 25, 2003 #13

    Dear Mentat,

    I too have read Smolins "3 Roads to Quatume Gravity" and "Life of the Cosmos" in last year.
    More recently hive just finished Earnest Sternglasts "Before the Big Bang."

    Sternglasts thing is that it ALL is based on electron-positron pairs and their subsequent
    roatation and splittings. The following link is the latest confirmation attesting to the Lematrie
    primeval electron-positron atom as proposed in Sternglasts book.


    How I understand LQG, Sting, QM and GM via my recent readings is that Bohr and Hesignberg
    belived only in a mathematical approach to knowing the nature of Universe whereas Broglie
    and Einstein belived there must also be a causal based geometric visual for that understanding.

    This is where ive extrapolated out from Bucky Fullers Synergetics what i feel is a more complete and
    unifying understadning of the nature of Universe using Euclidean and quasi-Euclidean polyhedra. By
    beginning at the top --i.e. most generalized and comprehesive nature of the Universe-- and working towards the bottom --i.e. the more particular/special-case-- i think ive furtherd Fullers hopes of indentifying cosmic particles via geometry.

    The key here lies the realtionship of and between fermions and bosons ergo of and between 4 and 5-fold polyhedral geometries.

    Im sorry i do not have a decent web site with my set of others graphics to visualy explain the details.
  15. Oct 25, 2003 #14
    Ponder this:

    There is someone alive at this moment who possesses knowledge on how physics can be patched up. The theory is not highly abstract, in fact it is winding the clock back to the relatively simple days of the past. This person has a degree in mathematics, but works in a lowly job, spending all his available time developing the theory. He has accumulated a wealth of results, but knows that the establishment will find it very hard to accept them. But he wonders whether it is even appropriate to publish the results, and prefers to use it to for the sake of personal development. After all, anyone who is truly interested in personal development will uncover the same knowledge in one form or another. Besides, why should knowledge be handed out openly to a culture that will make a dog's dinner of it?

    I wonder how many people there are like this living on the planet at this moment?
  16. Oct 25, 2003 #15
    Ive attached the quasi(semi)-Euclidean viewpoint of my "Rybonic Standard Model" to this post.

    Attached Files:

  17. Nov 2, 2003 #16
    I wish Einstein were around so I could ask him...

    Why isn't distance a component of Energy? He includes mass and speed, but no distance. Isn't Energy a result of a balancing act of these three forces?
  18. Nov 2, 2003 #17
    I agree 100% about distance, so you explain what you mean, and see if you can explain it better than I can. If we are anywhere near the same idea, maybe we can formulate a plan.
  19. Nov 2, 2003 #18
    Because I'm speaking intuitively and not as a result of my knowledge of math and physics this may be difficult. However, as I see it all energy systems (atoms, planets, solar systems, galaxies, universe, etc.) are composed of rotating (speed component) matter (mass component). The resulting size (distance) of the system depends on the ratio of rotational speed to its own mass.

    Have to go. I'll try and come up with something a little more descriptive of my thoughts and post it later.
  20. Nov 2, 2003 #19
    How would rotating planets and galaxies affect the energy of atoms and elements? And yet, atoms and elements look like rotaing galaxies and planets, so what if what you are intuitively seeing happens at a much smaller scale?

    Here is what I see. Start in the pre-existence, before time. All the matter in universe is a sea surrounded by the concept of nothingness. The concept of nothingness does not contain the concept of space. All the matter is being pressed together because there is no space around it; only nothingness.

    What does matter look like? Does it look like a hard rock? A hard rock is difficult to pull apart. But matter looks like water. It is easy to pull apart and hard to compress. Matter is all in one place because it is being pressed in by nothingness. There is no space in nothingness. This has the appearance of an ocean held in place by gravity, but the force is not the weight of the ocean, but the fact that there is no space surrounding it, and the concept of nothingness is keeping it in. There is nowhere for it to go.

    The amount of force that it takes to pull matter apart is the weak force. So take a drop of matter and force it into the nothingness. Here is where distance comes in. The farther you force the drop of matter into the nothingness, the stronger the nothingness (vacuum) resists and wants to snap the piece of matter back to the ocean of matter.

    Imagine a hollow tube between the drop of matter and the surface of the ocean. This hollow tube does contain the concept of space. How do we describe a string? It is a thick hollow tube like a garden hose, with walls that have no thickness. We have an ocean of matter and one drop of matter. They are connected by a fat hollow tube that has walls with no thickness. On each end of the tube is a piece of matter. In this case, on one end is all the matter in the universe, and on the other end is one drop of matter. A kind of hollow tube connects them, which is nothingness being expanded into. A string is said to be a two-dimensional tube with a tension that is the strong force.

    Now we have created a string. It is matter expanding into nothingness. Each piece of matter has size but each is considered a dimensionless point. They are connected by a mainfold that is like a fat hollow tube, which contains the concept of space and distance, bored into the concept of nothingness by the two points of matter. I'll continue later.
  21. Nov 3, 2003 #20
    John, you ask what matter looks like pre-big bang. If Einstein is correct, then energy is transmutable into mass and speed (and I would add distance). Therefore, pre-big bang there is no matter, only energy. Now, as to what that energy looks like, your guess is as good as mine. At this point in our (human) experience, I don’t think we have enough knowledge to accurately model pure energy.

    MASS: Creates gravity-wells that attract other matter. A key point is that matter is pulled in along the “shape” of the gravity-well that is funnel-like or circular in pattern. As the mass increases, so does the pull of its gravity or the size of its gravitational well. The Big Bang created the most massive gravity-well, and the black holes at the center of galaxies are current examples of “stable” gravity-well systems. In my opinion, no system is entirely stable because gravity wells extend into infinity. They only seem stable relative to our (human) time reference or experience.

    SPEED: Created by the Big Bang and also by the gravity-wells of massive objects. The faster a mass moves relative to the center of the gravity-well, the longer the distance to that center is maintained. In fact, the speed of a moving mass can increase the distance relative to the gravity-well until equilibrium is achieved. Therefore…

    DISTANCE: is the sand (using an hourglass analogy) that separates the inevitable reunification of all matter (in one glass) subject to its speed (in the other glass). The greater the distance, the slower the speed necessary to maintain a distance or stable system. With a shorter distance, greater speed is necessary to stave off the “fall” toward the center.

    Mass pulls other masses toward itself. Speed of moving matter is the force that maintains distance or props up the existence of space. The distance of masses at certain speeds defines how long that system will continue to exist before it collapses upon itself. Atoms were the first stable systems to form and became the building blocks upon which all subsequent matter grew and will be the last to go.

    Speed and distance are the only forces that slow the collapse of matter upon itself.

    As you can see, I’m still not communicating my thoughts very clearly. I’ll keep widdling away at them until I can accurately express myself and hpefully come up with a more thoughtful post.
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