What is the world made of?

What is the world made of?


  • Total voters
    28
Demystifier
Science Advisor
Insights Author
2018 Award
10,453
3,240

Main Question or Discussion Point

In your opinion, what theorethical objects are the most likely to represent the most fundamental constituents of nature?
 

Answers and Replies

I'm missing one alternative: none of the above. Anyway, I voted for fields, but I really think that it is made up of jets, which essentially contain information about both the fields and the observer's position, cf http://www.arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0701164 . More precisely, the idea is to expand all fields in Taylor series, which encode the fields as Taylor coefficients and the observer's position as the basepoint.
 
marcus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
24,712
783
I'm missing one alternative: none of the above...
I agree. And I would say that "fields" and "spin networks" are essentially the same option, because a spin network is just a way to describe a field without committing to a prior choice of background geometry.

A spin network is a background independent means to describe a field. Since you don't explicitly mention that general category, one supposes that spin network the one example which stands for the whole class.
 
648
3
What makes us thing that we have a complete description of the Universe at this point in time? The Universe probably consists of neither, although our best models and theories of the Universe does. There is always room for further explorations. I believe that something similar is said in "Relativity: The Special and General Theory" by Einstein.
 
Demystifier
Science Advisor
Insights Author
2018 Award
10,453
3,240
I'm missing one alternative: none of the above.
Maybe I should slightly reformulate the question:
Which *of known* theorethical objects is most likely to be the most fundamental?
 
Demystifier
Science Advisor
Insights Author
2018 Award
10,453
3,240
I agree. And I would say that "fields" and "spin networks" are essentially the same option, because a spin network is just a way to describe a field without committing to a prior choice of background geometry.
This, indeed, is how LQG is usually formulated. Such a formulation assumes that continuous topology is prior to fields, metric, and spin networks.

However, there are some LQG suggestions that continuous topology does not really exist at the fundamental level. In this case a local field A(x) also does not exist at this level. Consequently, spin networks are more fundamental than fields. (Personally, I do not like such approaches, but they exist.)
 
I would like to suggest a write in candidate: bits.
 
marcus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
Dearly Missed
24,712
783
This, indeed, is how LQG is usually formulated. ...
That's right! The usual LQG version is that the world is made of fields..

This was how Rovelli pictured it in his 2004 book Quantum Gravity which I think is still the defining reference.

With him, it's fields defined on fields. Spin networks are one of several possible devices used to describe fields in a background independent way.

But you exclude Rovelli's interpretation of LQG---according to you, the spin network option in your poll refers not to usual LQG but I suppose to some more recent work. Do you mean some new papers by Thiemann where he uses the term "algebraic quantum gravity"? That is interesting, but it was just last year and i haven't had enough time to assimilate the new direction. Perhaps the AQG approach really does describe fields, but in a new way, so that it has the same basic ontology.

I'm afraid the poll was a bit confusing. If you don't allow that spin networks are simply a way (that avoids certain problems) to describe the gravitational field, then I should have selected "fields" in the poll.
 
Last edited:
452
0
everything in that list is a different method of modeling systems of causal interactions- thus the Universe is "made" of interactions with Itself-

edit: and the simplist and most complete way to describe these interactions is with bits
 
Last edited:
Demystifier
Science Advisor
Insights Author
2018 Award
10,453
3,240
Do you mean some new papers by Thiemann where he uses the term "algebraic quantum gravity"? That is interesting, but it was just last year and i haven't had enough time to assimilate the new direction. Perhaps the AQG approach really does describe fields, but in a new way, so that it has the same basic ontology.
In the not-so-new lectures written by Thiemann (gr-qc/0210094), at page 44 he writes: "One may spaculate that the discrete structure is fundamental and that the analiticity assumptions that we began with should be unimportant, in the final picture everything should be only combinatorical."

Anyway, at the moment, the "spin network" option has more votes than "strings" for example, so perhaps this option was not so inappropriate.
 
Demystifier
Science Advisor
Insights Author
2018 Award
10,453
3,240
1,596
0
In your opinion, what theorethical objects are the most likely to represent the most fundamental constituents of nature?
That is pretty much a useless question.
 
Chronos
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,398
738
'Fields' is a bit evasive, but the most qualified option. Current theory requires 'fields' to permit the existence of 'particles' in the observed universe. It's a really awkward question, though, IMO. I will take the cowards way out and blame it all on Einstein for creating this mess to begin with.
 
vld
38
0
There is a missing option "spacetime", so I have voted for "fields", which is the closest one (but not identiical).
 
371
1
In your opinion, what theorethical objects are the most likely to represent the most fundamental constituents of nature?
Time as a one dimensional object, or if you would time with any duration, is the most fundamental part of our universe. I think of a point not as being a zero dimensional object but as being a single duration of time. I voted for particle, now if you would like to add one more dimension, motion, you could show a field durning this same expanding duration.
 
Demystifier
Science Advisor
Insights Author
2018 Award
10,453
3,240

Related Threads for: What is the world made of?

Replies
10
Views
3K
Replies
8
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
3K
  • Last Post
4
Replies
86
Views
25K
  • Last Post
Replies
21
Views
8K
Replies
2
Views
919
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
290
Views
111K
Top