Posts Tagged ‘Physics’

Entangled Universe: Bell Inequality

May 9, 2016

Abstract: The Bell Inequality shatters the picture of reality civilization previously established. A simple proof is produced.

What is the greatest scientific discovery of the Twentieth Century? Not Jules Henri Poincaré’s Theory of Relativity and his famous equation: E = mcc. Although a spectacular theory, since  Poincaré’s made time local, in order to keep the speed of light constant, it stemmed from Galileo’s Principle of Relativity, extended to Electromagnetism. To save electromagnetism globally, Jules Henri Poincaré made time and length local.

So was the discovery of the Quantum by Planck the greatest discovery? To explain two mysteries of academic physics, Planck posited that energy was emitted in lumps. Philosophically, though, the idea was just to extent to energy the basic philosophical principle of atomism, which was two thousand years old. Energy itself was discovered by Émilie Du Châtelet in the 1730s.

Quantum Entanglement Is NOT AT ALL Classically Predictable

Quantum Entanglement Is NOT AT ALL Classically Predictable

Just as matter went in lumps (strict atomism), so did energy. In light of  Poincaré’s E = mc2, matter and energy are the same, so this is not surprising (by a strange coincidence (?)  Poincaré demonstrated, and published E = mc2, a few month of the same year, 1900, as Max Planck did E = hf; Einstein used both formulas in 1905).

The greatest scientific discovery of Twentieth Century was Entanglement… which is roughly the same as Non-Locality. Non-Locality would have astounded Newton: he was explicitly very much against it, and viewed it, correctly, as the greatest flaw of his theory. My essay “Non-Locality” entangles Newton, Émilie Du Châtelet, and the Quantum, because therefrom the ideas first sprung.

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Bell Inequality Is Obvious:

The head of the Theoretical division of CERN, John Bell, discovered an inequality which is trivial and apparently so basic, so incredibly obvious, that it reflects the most basic common sense that it should always be true. Ian Miller (PhD, Physical Chemistry) provided a very nice perspective on all this. Here it is, cut and pasted (with his agreement):

Ian Miller: A Challenge! How can Entangled Particles violate Bell’s Inequalities?

Posted on May 8, 2016 by ianmillerblog           

  The role of mathematics in physics is interesting. Originally, mathematical relationships were used to summarise a myriad of observations, thus from Newtonian gravity and mechanics, it is possible to know where the moon will be in the sky at any time. But somewhere around the beginning of the twentieth century, an odd thing happened: the mathematics of General Relativity became so complicated that many, if not most physicists could not use it. Then came the state vector formalism for quantum mechanics, a procedure that strictly speaking allowed people to come up with an answer without really understanding why. Then, as the twentieth century proceeded, something further developed: a belief that mathematics was the basis of nature. Theory started with equations, not observations. An equation, of course, is a statement, thus A equals B can be written with an equal sign instead of words. Now we have string theory, where a number of physicists have been working for decades without coming up with anything that can be tested. Nevertheless, most physicists would agree that if observation falsifies a mathematical relationship, then something has gone wrong with the mathematics, and the problem is usually a false premise. With Bell’s Inequalities, however, it seems logic goes out the window.

Bell’s inequalities are applicable only when the following premises are satisfied:

Premise 1: One can devise a test that will give one of two discrete results. For simplicity we label these (+) and (-).

Premise 2: We can carry out such a test under three different sets of conditions, which we label A, B and C. When we do this, the results between tests have to be comparable, and the simplest way of doing this is to represent the probability of a positive result at A as A(+). The reason for this is that if we did 10 tests at A, 10 at B, and 500 at C, we cannot properly compare the results simply by totalling results.

Premise 1 is reasonably easily met. John Bell used as an example, washing socks. The socks would either pass a test (e.g. they are clean) or fail, (i.e. they need rewashing). In quantum mechanics there are good examples of suitable candidates, e.g. a spin can be either clockwise or counterclockwise, but not both. Further, all particles must have the same spin, and as long as they are the same particle, this is imposed by quantum mechanics. Thus an electron has a spin of either +1/2 or -1/2.

Premises 1 and 2 can be combined. By working with probabilities, we can say that each particle must register once, one way or the other (or each sock is tested once), which gives us

A(+) + A(-) = 1; B(+) + B(-) = 1;   C(+) + C(-) = 1

i.e. the probability of one particle tested once and giving one of the two results is 1. At this point we neglect experimental error, such as a particle failing to register.

Now, let us do a little algebra/set theory by combining probabilities from more than one determination. By combining, we might take two pieces of apparatus, and with one determine the (+) result at condition A, and the negative one at (B) If so, we take the product of these, because probabilities are multiplicative. If so, we can write

A(+) B(-) = A(+) B(-) [C(+) + C(-)]

because the bracketed term [C(+) + C(-)] equals 1, the sum of the probabilities of results that occurred under conditions C.

Similarly

B(+)C(-)   = [A(+) + A(-)] B(+)C(-)

By adding and expanding

A(+) B(-) + B(+)C(-) = A(+) B(-) C(+) + A(+) B(-) C(-) + A(+) B(+)C(-) + A(-)B(+)C(-)

=   A(+)C(-) [(B(+) + B(-)] + A+B C+ + AB(+)C(-)

Since the bracketed term [(B(+) + B(-)] equals 1 and the last two terms are positive numbers, or at least zero, we have

A(+) B(-) + B(+)C(-) ≧ A(+)C(-)

This is the simplest form of a Bell inequality. In Bell’s sock-washing example, he showed how socks washed at three different temperatures had to comply.

An important point is that provided the samples in the tests must give only one result from only two possible results, and provided the tests are applied under three sets of conditions, the mathematics say the results must comply with the inequality. Further, only premise 1 relates to the physics of the samples tested; the second is merely a requirement that the tests are done competently. The problem is, modern physicists say entangled particles violate the inequality. How can this be?

Non-compliance by entangled particles is usually considered a consequence of the entanglement being non-local, but that makes no sense because in the above derivation, locality is not mentioned. All that is required is that premise 1 holds, i.e. measuring the spin of one particle, say, means the other is known without measurement. So, the entangled particles have properties that fulfil premise 1. Thus violation of the inequality means either one of the premises is false, or the associative law of sets, used in the derivation, is false, which would mean all mathematics are invalid.

So my challenge is to produce a mathematical relationship that shows how these violations could conceivably occur? You must come up with a mathematical relationship or a logic statement that falsifies the above inequality, and it must include a term that specifies when the inequality is violated. So, any takers? My answer in my next Monday post.

[Ian Miller.]

***

The treatment above shows how ludicrous it should be that reality violate that inequality… BUT IT DOES! This is something which nobody had seen coming. No philosopher ever imagined something as weird. I gave an immediate answer to Ian:

‘Locality is going to come in the following way: A is going to be in the Milky Way, B and C, on Andromeda. A(+) B(-) is going to be 1/2 square [cos(b-a)]. Therefrom the contradiction. There is more to be said. But first of all, I will re-blog your essay, as it makes the situation very clear.’

Patrice Ayme’

Crazy Physics Helps With Overall Madness?

April 27, 2016

Quantum Physics has long been a circus. When De Broglie proposed his thesis, his  thesis jury (which comprised top physicists, including a Nobel Laureate) did not know what to make of it, and consulted Einstein. Einstein was enthusiastic, saying de Broglie “lifted a piece of the veil”. Three years later, de Broglie got the Nobel and proposed his pilot wave theory. Pauli made an objection, de Broglie replied to it with the consummate politeness of the Prince he was, and thus the reply was not noticed. Five years after, the great mathematician Von Neumann asserted a “proof” that there was no Quantum Mechanics but for the one elaborated in Copenhagen. De Broglie’s objections were not listened to. Another two decades later, David Bohm presented de Broglie theory at the Institute for Advanced Physics in Princeton. But Bohm was drowned by question about why he had refused to testify at the Committee on Anti-American Activities in Congress (the American born Bohm promptly lost his job at Princeton University and his US passport, and would leave the US forever).

The usual interpretation of Quantum Physics consider that the De Broglie Matter Waves therein are only probability waves. This idea of Nobel Laureate Born has eschewed controversy. However Einstein sourly remarked: “God does not play with dice.” To which Nobel Laureate Bohr smartly replied:”Stop telling God what to do!

Qubits Are Real. But The Multiverse Is Madness

Qubits Are Real. But The Multiverse Is Madness. And Madness Is Contagious.

De Broglie suggested a “Double Solution” theory, which was promptly forgotten as Dirac launched Quantum ElectroDynamics by starting from the simplest relativistic wave, and building the (spinor) space he needed to have said wave wave in it.  Bohm revived (some of) De Broglie’s ideas by proposing to guide an always well defined particle with a (nonlocal) “quantum potential”.

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And The Madness Set In:

Nowadays, descriptions of Quantum Physics are keen to assert that something can be in two places at the same time, that there are many worlds, or universes, created each time something happen, that cats are dead and alive, that the observer creates reality, etc…

All this derangement affecting physicists has something to do with a collective madness similar to the pseudo-scientific theories behind the Slave Trade, Stalinism, or Nazism.

No, I am not exaggerating. The theory behind enslaving Black Africans (going all the way back to the Middle Ages) was that Black Africans were, somehow, the missing link between man and ape. That’s why the Pope allowed the slave trade.

Neither am I exaggerating about fascism: the Nazis were actually obsessed by the new physics, a world where everything seemed possible. They called it “Jewish Physics”, and several Nobel laureates (Lenard, etc.), top mathematicians (say Teichmuller, who died on the Eastern Front in combat) were its opponents.

It contributed to suggest an overall mood:’if anything is possible, why not surrealism, fascism, Stalinism, Nazism?’

Germany has long led, intellectually (not to say France did not lead too, but it was the great opponent). Thus when top physicists became Nazis even before Hitler did, they no doubt impressed the latter by their attacks on “Jewish Science”.

The madness was not confined to the Nazis, stricto sensu. An excellent example is Max Planck, discoverer of the Quantum.

Planck accepted Einstein’s paper on “The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” without references… When it was sure that Planck knew about the work of Poincare’, Lorentz, Fitzgerald, Michelson-Morley, etc. on Relativity. Poincaré  was a star, and had toured the USA, delivering lectures on “Relativity” the year prior.

So what was Planck up to? Promoting the German arriviste to the cost of the most accomplished mathematician and physicist, because the latter was a Frenchman. (Poincaré , who was as elevated a character as can be found, nevertheless complained about Einstein plagiarism later.) Not only was  Poincaré French, but his family was refugee from the occupation of Lorraine by the Prussians. Raymond Poincaré, who was prime minister of France several times and president of the French Republic during World War I, was Henri’s cousin.

This is of some import, in the understanding of ideas, to this day: Poincaré  discovered the idea of gravitational waves, and explained why all interactions should go at the speed of light. Scientists who published (stole) the same ideas later could not copy all of  Poincaré ’s arguments, it would have been too obvious (that they stole the ideas), so those important details of  Poincaré  have been forgotten… And this haunts physics to this day

I believe that this is how the extremely all too relative, theory of Relativity a la Einstein appeared: Einstein could not duplicate all of  Poincaré’s details, so he omitted (some of) them… Resulting in a (slick) theory with a glaring defect: all classes of frames in uniform motion are supposed to be equivalent, a blatant absurdity (as even the Big Bang theory imposes a unique class of comoving frames). This brought a lot of (on-going) confusion (say about “rest” mass).

Planck did not stop with stealing Relativity from  Poincaré, and offering it to the Great German empire.

Planck endorsed the general excitement of the German public, when Germany attacked the world on August 1, 1914. He wrote that, “Besides much that is horrible, there is also much that is unexpectedly great and beautiful: the smooth solution of the most difficult domestic political problems by the unification of all parties (and) … the extolling of everything good and noble.”

Planck also signed the infamous Manifesto of the 93 intellectuals“, a pamphlet of war propaganda (while Einstein at the academy in Berlin, retained a pacifistic attitude which almost led to his imprisonment, although he was saved by his Swiss citizenship). The Manifesto, ironically enough, enumerated German war crimes, while denying (‘not true’) that they had happened. It did not occur to the idiots who had signed it, that just denying this long litany of crimes was itself a proof that they had occurred… And it’s telling they had to deny them: the German population obviously was debating whether those crimes had happened, now that the war was not doing well.

Planck got punished for his nationalism: his second son Erwin was taken prisoner by the French in 1914. His eldest son Karl died at Verdun (along with another 305,000 soldiers). When he saw Hitler was destroying Germany, Planck went to see the dictator, to try to change his mind, bringing to his attention that he was demolishing German universities. But to no avail. In January 1945, Erwin, to whom he had been particularly close, was sentenced to death by the obscene and delirious Nazi “people” court, the Volksgerichtshof. Because Erwin participated in the failed attempt to make a coup against the criminal Hitler in July 1944. Erwin was executed on 23 January 1945 (along with around 5,000 German army officers, all the way to Feldmarshal).

So what to think of the “Multiverse”, “Dead and Alive Cats”, Things which are in different places at the same time, etc.? Do they have to do with suggesting, even promoting, a global reign of unreason?

I think they do. I think the top mood contaminate lesser  intellectuals, political advisers, even politicians themselves. Thus political and social leaders feel anything goes, so, next thing you know, they suggest crazy things, like self-regulating finance, trade treaties where plutocrats can sue states (apparently one of the features of TPP and TTIP), or a world which keeps on piling CO2, because everything is relative, dead, thus alive, and everywhere is the same, here, there and everywhere, since at the same place, in space, time, or whatever.

Physics, historically, was not just a model of knowledge, but of rational rectitude. This has been lost. And it was lost from technical reasons, discarding other approaches, in part because of sheer nationalism.

In the 1960s John Bell, the Irishman who was director of theory at CERN, published a book with his famous theorem on nonlocality inside:”Speakables and Unspeakables in Quantum Mechanics”. A title full of hidden sense.

Patrice Ayme

With Physics Like That, Who Needs Reality?

June 9, 2015

The quest for reality has been exemplified by science. However:

From a recent New York Times op-ed, “A Crisis at the Edge of Physics:”

“DO physicists need empirical evidence to confirm their theories?

You may think that the answer is an obvious yes, experimental confirmation being the very heart of science. But a growing controversy at the frontiers of physics and cosmology suggests that the situation is not so simple.”

In December 2014 famous physicists George Ellis and Joseph Silk, published in the journal Nature…Scientific Method: Defend the Integrity of Physics…Attempts to exempt speculative theories of the Universe from experimental verification undermine science.”

Science is immensely old. I pointed this out for dogs in “Very Ancient Relationships“. The Ancient Greeks had more than six breeds of cattle which had been evolved in Greece, specifically, to genetically modify them in a suitable manner:

Obtained By Ancient Greece Artificial & Natural Selections

Obtained By Ancient Greece Artificial & Natural Selections

[The Greeks were famous for their mix of natural and artificial selection of cattle.]

Ellis and Silk wrote that:

“This year, debates in physics circles took a worrying turn. Faced with difficulties in applying fundamental theories to the observed Universe, some researchers called for a change in how theoretical physics is done. They began to argue — explicitly — that if a theory is sufficiently elegant and explanatory, it need not be tested experimentally, breaking with centuries of philosophical tradition of defining scientific knowledge as empirical. We disagree. As the philosopher of science Karl Popper argued: a theory must be falsifiable to be scientific.

Actually, Ellis and Silk are completely wrong there. The theory that the Earth turned around the Sun, originated by Aristarchus of Samos (a Greek island in sight of Anatolia, presently swamped by refugees). Its competitor was the geocentric theory. However, there was a strong argument against geocentrism: it stretched credulity. Indeed, the Greeks could compute that the Sun was much much larger than the Earth. It made sense that the little thing turned around the big thing as Buridan pointed out (around 1330 CE). To this geocentrists could only reply with silly arguments such as: man and his creator are big, etc.

So Karl Popper was also wrong. In the most spectacular case.

The Heliocentric Theory was a full blown scientific theory, so was the Geocentric Epicycles. However only a careful study of the illumination of the phases of Venus showed definitively that the the latter was wrong. This happened only in the mid-Seventeenth Century.

Ellis and Silk: “Chief among the ‘elegance will suffice’ advocates are some string theorists. Because string theory is supposedly the ‘only game in town’ capable of unifying the four fundamental forces, they believe that it must contain a grain of truth even though it relies on extra dimensions that we can never observe. Some cosmologists, too, are seeking to abandon experimental verification of grand hypotheses that invoke imperceptible domains such as the kaleidoscopic multiverse (comprising myriad universes), the ‘many worlds’ version of quantum reality (in which observations spawn parallel branches of reality) and pre-Big Bang concepts.”

In other words, many leading physicists are arguing for leaving behind the search for evidence, the old fashion way, leaving no stone unturned, just like smart prehistoric men did. Instead:

“These unprovable hypotheses are quite different from those that relate directly to the real world and that are testable through observations — such as the standard model of particle physics and the existence of dark matter and dark energy. As we see it, theoretical physics risks becoming a no-man’s-land between mathematics, physics and philosophy that does not truly meet the requirements of any.

The issue of testability has been lurking for a decade. String theory and multiverse theory have been criticized in popular books1, 2, 3 and articles…. In March 2014, one of the founders of inflation theory, theorist Paul Steinhardt wrote5 in Nature that “the theory of inflationary cosmology is no longer scientific because it is so flexible that it can accommodate any observational result”.

As I said above, Popper was wrong: falsifiability is neither necessary, nor sufficient to qualify a theory as scientific.

Another example of untestable theory was biological evolution through natural selection: they Greeks knew it to be true. One can read the theory explicitly stated in Lucretius’ giant poem about the universe. However the Greeks did not. know how to test it. The only tests they knew were indirect, they had to do with ARTIFICIAL selection.

Still biological evolution was a valid scientific theory, although untestable for millennia, and perhaps even hundreds of thousand of millennia. Many a shaman is bound to have stumbled upon it.

New York Times: “Implicit in such a maneuver is a philosophical question: How are we to determine whether a theory is true if it cannot be validated experimentally? Should we abandon it just because, at a given level of technological capacity, empirical support might be impossible? If not, how long should we wait for such experimental machinery before moving on: ten years? Fifty years? Centuries? …

Are superstrings and the multiverse, painstakingly theorized by hundreds of brilliant scientists, anything more than modern-day epicycles?”

Not even that. Epicycles were useful and observable. They actually are true in some sense, because they reflect Fourier Analysis of periodic motions.

Today’s most brandished “scientific” theories have nothing good about them, and worse of all, they don’t pass the smell test. Just as the Geocentric Theory did not pass the smell test. Just much worse. Theories were a gazillion universes get created in every cubic millimeters are just insane. Arguable even more insane as the worst from Daesh.

And guess what? Both insanities are related. If all what our supposedly best minds, our most rational, most scientific minds can produce, and brandish, is sheer insanity, why can’t Islam Fundamentalists, Saudi despots, North Korean dictators, and hordes of degenerated plutocrats not be crazy too?

So why not go with the flow? There are jobs to be had there. Saudi Arabia is looking for more eight more executioners to execute those who “insult Islam“. No experience necessary. Just a willingness to whip and “amputate”.

Patrice Ayme’

MATH AS NEUROLOGY, NEUROLOGY AS PHYSICS

April 22, 2015

 

After demolishing erroneous ideas some 25 centuries old, some brand new, I explain why Mathematics Can Be Made To Correspond To A Subset Of Neurology. And Why Probably Neurology Is A Consequence Of Not-Yet Imagined Physics.

Distribution of Prime Numbers Reworked Through Fourier Analysis: It Nearly Looks Like Brain Tissue

Distribution of Prime Numbers Reworked Through Fourier Analysis: It Nearly Looks Like Brain Tissue

SOCRATISM, PLATONISM ARE WRONG:

Einstein famously declared that: “How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought which is independent of experience, is so admirably appropriate to the objects of reality?”

Well, either it is an unfathomable miracle, or something in the premises has to give. Einstein was not at all original here, he was behaving rather like a very old parrot.

That the brain is independent of experience is a very old idea. It is Socrates’ style “knowledge”, a “knowledge” given a priori. From there, naturally enough aroses what one should call the “Platonist Delusion”, the belief that mathematics can only be independent of experience.

Einstein had no proof whatsoever that”thought is independent of experience”. All what a brain does is to experience and deduct. It starts in the womb. It happens even in an isolated brain. Even a mini brain growing in a vat, experiences (some) aspects of the world (gravity, vibrations). Even a network of three neurons experiences a sort of inner world unpredictable to an observer: https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2015/03/15/three-neurons-free-will/

Latest Silliness: Smolin’s Triumph of the Will:

The physicist Lee Smolin has ideas about the nature of mathematics:

Smolin:

“the main effectiveness of mathematics in physics consists of these kinds of correspondences between records of past observations or, more precisely, patterns inherent in such records, and properties of mathematical objects that are constructed as representations of models of the evolution of such systems … Both the records and the mathematical objects are human constructions which are brought into existence by exercises of human will; neither has any transcendental existence. Both are static, not in the sense of existing outside of time, but in the weak sense that, once they come to exist, they don’t change”

Patrice Ayme: Smolin implies that “records and mathematical objects are human constructions which are brought into existence by exercises of HUMAN WILL; neither has any transcendental existence”. That’s trivially true: anything human has to do with human will.

However, the real question of “Platonism” is: why are mathematical theorems true?

Or am I underestimating Smolin, and Smolin is saying that right and wrong in mathematics is just a matter of WILL? (That’s reminiscent of Nietzsche, and Hitler’s subsequent obsession with the “will”.)

As I have known Smolin, let me not laugh out loud. (“Triumph of the Will” was a famous Nazi flick.)

I have a completely different perspective. “Human will” cannot possibly determine mathematical right and wrong, as many students who are poor at mathematics find out, to their dismay!

So what determines right and wrong in mathematics? How come enormously complex and subtle mathematical objects, which are very far from arbitrary, exist out there?

I sketched an answer in “Why Mathematics Is Natural”. It does not have to do with transcendence of the will.

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AXONAL LOGIC IS MATHEMATICAL LOGIC, NEUROLOGY IS MORE:

Neurology, the logic of neurons, contains what one ought to call axonal logic, a sub-category.

Axonal logic is made of the simplest causal units: neuron (or another subset of the brain) A acts on neuron (or brain subset) B, through an axon. This axonal category, a sub-category, corresponds through a functor, from neurology to mathematical logic. To A, and B are associated a and b, which are propositions in mathematical logic, and to the axon, corresponds a logical implication.

Thus one sees that mathematics corresponds to a part of neurology (it’s a subcategory).

Yet, neurology is vastly more complicated than mathematical logic. We know this in many ways. The very latest research proposes experimental evidence that memories are stored in neurons (rather than synapses). Thus a neuron A is not a simple proposition.

Neurons also respond to at least 50 hormones, neurohormones, dendrites, glial cells. Thus neurons need to be described, they live, into a “phase space” (Quantum concept) a universe with a vast number of dimensions, the calculus of which we cannot even guess. As some of this logic is topological (the logic of place), it is well beyond the logic used in mathematics (because the latter is relatively simplistic, being digital, a logic written in numbers).

The conclusion, an informed guess, is that axons, thus the implications of mathematical logic, are not disposed haphazardly, but according to the laws of a physics which we cannot imagine, let alone describe.

And out of that axonal calculus springs human mathematics.

***

HOW TO PROVE THAT MATHEMATICS IS NEURONAL PHYSICS?

If my hypothesis is true, mathematics reduces to physics, albeit a neuronal physics we cannot even imagine. Could we test the hypothesis?

It is natural to search for guidance in the way the discovery, and invention, of Celestial Mechanics proceeded.

The Ancient Greeks had made a gigantic scientific mistake, by preferring Plato’s geocentric hypothesis, to the more natural hypothesis of heliocentrism proposed later by Aristarchus of Samos.

The discovery of impetus and the heliocentric system by Buridan and his followers provides guidance. Buridan admitted that, experimentally heliocentrism and “scripture” could not be distinguished.

However, Buridan pointed out that the heliocentric theory was simpler, and more natural (the “tiny” Earth rotated around the huge Sun).

So the reason to choose heliocentrism was theoretical: heliocentrism’s axiomatic was leaner, meaner, natural.

In the end, the enormous mathematical arsenal to embody the impetus theory provided Kepler with enough mathematics to compute the orbit of Mars, which three century later, definitively proved heliocentrism (and buried epicycles).

Here we have a similar situation: it is simpler to consider that mathematics arises from physics we cannot yet guess, rather than the Platonic alternative of supposing that mathematics belong to its own universe out there.

My axiomatic system is simpler: there is just physics out there. Much of it we call by another name, mathematics, because we are so ignorant about the ways our mind thinks.

Another proof? One can make a little experiment. It requires a willing dog, a beach, and a stick. First tell the dog to sit. Then grab the stick, and throw it in the water, at 40 degree angle relative to the beach. Then tell the dog to go fetch the stick. Dogs who have practiced this activity a bit will not throw themselves in the water immediately. Instead they will run on the beach a bit, and then go into the water at an angle that is less than 90 degrees.

A computer analysis reveals that dogs follow exactly the curve of least time given by calculus. Dogs know calculus, but they did not study it culturally! Dogs arrived at correct calculus solutions by something their neurology did. They did not consult with Plato, they did not create calculus with their will as Smolin does.

It’s neurology which invents, constructs the mathematics. It is not in a world out there life forms consult with.

Patrice Ayme’

Why Mathematics Is Natural

April 21, 2015

There is nothing obvious about the mathematics we know. It is basically neurology we learn, that is, that we learn to construct (with a lot of difficulty). Neurology is all about connecting facts, things, ideas, emotions together. We cannot possibly imagine another universe where mathematics is not as given to us, because our neurology is an integral part of the universe we belong to.

Let’s consider the physics and mathematics which evolved around the gravitational law. How did the law arise? It was a cultural, thus neurological, process. More striking, it was a historical process. It took many centuries. On the way, century after century a colossal amount of mathematics was invented, from graph theory, to forces (vectors), trajectories, equations, “Cartesian” geometry, long before Galileo, Descartes, and their successors, were born.

Buridan, around 1330 CE, to justify the diurnal rotation of Earth, said we stayed on the ground, because of gravity. Buridan also wrote that “gravity continually accelerates a heavy body to the end” [In his “Questions on Aristotle”]. Buridan asserted a number of propositions, including some which are equivalent to Newton’s first two laws.

Because, Albert, Your Brain Was Just A Concentrate Of Experiences & Connections Thereof, Real, Or Imagined. "Human Thought Independent of Experience" Does Not Exist.

Because, Albert, Your Brain Was Just A Concentrate Of Experiences & Connections Thereof, Real, Or Imagined. “Human Thought Independent of Experience” Does Not Exist.

At some point someone suggested that gravity kept the heliocentric system together.

Newton claimed it was himself, with his thought experiment of the apple. However it is certainly not so: Kepler believed gravity varied according to 1/d. The French astronomer Bulladius then explained why Kepler was wrong, and gravity should vary as, the inverse of the square of the distance, not just the inverse of the distance. So gravity went by 1/dd (Bulladius was elected to the Royal Society of London before Newton’s birth; Hooke picked up the idea then Newton; then those two had a nasty fight, and Newton recognized Bulladius was first; Bulladius now has a crater on the Moon named after him, a reduced version of the Copernic crater).

In spite of considerable mental confusion, Leonardo finally demonstrated correct laws of motion on an inclined plane. Those Da Vinci laws, more important than his paintings, are now attributed to Galileo (who rolled them out a century later).

It took 350 years of the efforts of the Paris-Oxford school of mathematics, and students of Buridan, luminaries such as Albert of Saxony and Oresme, and Leonardo Da Vinci, to arrive at an enormous arsenal of mathematics and physics entangled…

This effort is generally mostly attributed to Galileo and Newton (who neither “invented” nor “discovered” any of it!). Newton demonstrated that the laws discovered by Kepler implied that gravity varied as 1/dd (Newton’s reasoning, using still a new level of mathematics, Fermat’s calculus, geometrically interpreted, was different from Bulladius).

Major discoveries in mathematics and physics take centuries to be accepted, because they are, basically, neurological processes. Processes which are culturally transmitted, but, still, fundamentally neurological.

Atiyah, one of the greatest living mathematicians, hinted this recently about Spinors. Spinors, discovered, or invented, a century ago by Elie Cartan, are not yet fully understood, said Atiyah (Dirac used them for physics 20 years after Cartan discerned them). Atiyah gave an example I have long used: Imaginary Numbers. It took more than three centuries for imaginary numbers (which were used for the Third Degree equation resolution) to be accepted. Neurologically accepted.

So there is nothing obvious about mathematical and physics: they are basically neurology we learn through a cultural (or experimental) process. What is learning? Making a neurology that makes correspond to the input we know, the output we observe. It is a construction project.

Now where does neurology sit, so to speak? In the physical world. Hence mathematics is neurology, and neurology is physics. Physics in its original sense, nature, something not yet discovered.

We cannot possibly imagine another universe where mathematics is not as given to us, because the neurology it is forms an integral part of the universe we belong to.

Patrice Ayme’

More On Quantum Consciousness

September 5, 2014

Human brains are built from ideas. Any change in such ideas is lots of work, thus pain, and is always resisted. Often viciously. The greater the change, the more vicious the backlash.

A contributor, “Disagreeable Me” (who had published an extensive essay on consciousness, Sept 1, 2014) rose strident objections to my thesis (found in preceding comments; such stridency is not new: I am used to violent critiques against Quantum Consciousness, in the last few decades that I have dragged this pet around). Here is some of the dialogue, raw (co-sent to Scientia Salon):

 

Disagreeable Me: “Most people seem to assume that their consciousness is in some way located in their brains. Personally, I agree with you that it is not a localized thing, but this is because I think consciousness is a property of a mind, and that a mind is an abstract object. 

That’s quite different meaning of the word, however. In quantum mechanics, non-locality means that effects seem to work instantaneously at a distance. I don’t see any reason for believing that consciousness has these attributes unless you want to bring up woo such as remote viewing or clairvoyance or mind-reading.”

Patrice: One could argue that all “objects” are “abstract” (or at least abstractions, in the mathematical sense Alonso Church gave that in the 1930s; Church was Turing’s thesis adviser). Abstraction is characterized by the stripping of secondary, inessential characteristics. So one may, indeed, loose localization. That’s vague (joke intended: vague = wave -> delocalized).

However, my point about localization is different. And precise. Brain delocalization is biologically grounded. The brain is, physiologically, a delocalized object.

The brain is made of many neighborhoods, and subsystems. Is the brain the temporal lobe? The cerebellum? The right brain? The frontal cortex? Clearly much of the brain is working all over, much of the time. Some parts get active, others go to sleep, other parts never stop (say those watching over basic functions such as breathing or neurohormonal cycles).

So, when we consider the brain, we consider something spatially spread out. Yet, the conscious feeling that emanates from it, what we call consciousness, somehow, is centralized. Consciousness is one, not multiple, not spread out, at any instant of time.

How to make one, out of many? This is a question that arises naturally when considering both brain, and consciousness.

One could object that the same can be said about a bridge. A bridge is an abstraction of many characteristics. Yet, what makes the perception of a bridge one? Consciousness.

If one focuses on one’s breathing and heart rate, as conscience can do, and commands them, the mind is then just about that. Conscience focuses on a (few) characteristic(s). One could say that conscience collapses on particular points.

Now think about the way a Quantum process enfolds: it’s about something wavy spread about that is processed, to become, in the end, just one.

This sole sentence abstracts the basic set-up of Quantum physics: “something wavy”: the wavefunction, the “spread about” is a Hilbert space; “processed” is about time as an evolution parameter; “in the end” is about collapse/decoherence; “the one” is the so called “particle state” that results.

The analogy with the contrast of the delocalized brain in an union with a focused, localized consciousness, free to localize inside the brain wherever it wills, jumps at me.

 

DM: …”the following sentence makes your meaning clearer. “If consciousness were not Quantum, it would have to be “classical”, that is, not fundamental.” So, you’re argument is that everything that is fundamental is quantum, and it is completely stupid to imagine that consciousness is not fundamental. 

This is largely meaningless to me. I don’t know what you mean by fundamental, and it is not obvious to me that everything that is fundamental is quantum. I might, for instance, claim that logic (i.e. the law of non-contradiction) is fundamental, but it would seem to be very strange to claim that logic is Quantum, whatever that would mean.”

Patrice: That’s indeed my argument. Although it’s not yet clear how exactly, all of Classical Mechanics, Relativity, and Thermodynamics have to emerge from Quantum Physics, I believe. I would call that Ultimate Unification (UU). (GUT, Grand Unified Theories, are less ambitious: they unify only at high energies; UU is a conjecture, right, but so is Langlands program in mathematics; nobody sneers at that.)

Right now, experimental research is exploring the transition from QM to CM, and has been honored with the 2012 Nobel Prize. (Haroche in Paris, for counting photons without disturbing them, and his colleague Wineland in Boulder, for doing quantum computing with ions, among other things.) We are very far from a full picture on how to implement UU (the Nobel committee recognized Haroche and Wineland’s works as first timid steps to the Quantum computer).

Logic is a vast subject. In 1936, two of the most advanced mathematicians (Birkhoff and Von Neumann) invented something they called Quantum Logic, doing away with the distributive law. I do not doubt, though, that logic is a form of empiricism (whether the one gets from reality, or… the imagination).

It’s curious that you mention the law of non-contradiction as fundamental (as Aristotle held, in contradiction with Heraclitus). Quantum Physics is well known to enjoy things that are alive and dead simultaneously. It seems rather contradictory to me that some don’t appreciate the contradiction.

 

DM: “What you call freedom I call randomness. Randomness is not freedom, but if nature is indeterministic then all objects are random anyway. Chaos theory suggests that small perturbations in complex systems such as brains can lead to radically different outcomes. “

Patrice: Agreed. Except that I do not confuse freedom and randomness. Randomness can help freedom, and vice versa, but they are not the same. Schopenhauer famously claimed he could not will what he willed. I beg to disagree: the wise will will what she wills, such is her definition. Higher reflectivity, and detachment from contingency, is what intelligence is all about.

I thank Disagreeable Me for giving me the occasion to become more conscious in the matter of consciousness (and offering me the occasion to make a quantum jump of understanding, etc.)

Patrice Ayme’

Aphorisms March 2014: Putin, Plutos, Malta, Math, Brain

March 29, 2014

Whip Stops Baffled Bear Momentarily:

Wonderful! Dictator Putin suggests he won’t invade anything today, if a number of changes are made to Ukraine’s constitution, friends, hopes.

Specifically, Putin let it be known that he wants demonstrations in Ukraine, which, says Putin, have been disrupting him for six months, to come to a stop. Demonstrations are a bad example to Russians: too many demonstrations make the kleptocrats flee. There was actually 50,000 people demonstrating against Putin, in Moscow, because he had annexed Crimea.

Speaking of stopping, Putin will stop, if, and only if, he is persuaded that horrendous consequences are coming his way, otherwise. It’s not going to be easy, considering that some German minister said this week that Europe could not do without Russian gas, for the foreseeable future.

And considering that Londongrad is a mighty ally of Putin… In a West ruled by plutocrats. So this is not just about Putin going crazy, it’s about him realizing he is confronting weak and divided democracies, rotten from inside.

Thus, as in the 1930s, plutocrats are playing both sides, hoping for the best. Just as in 1930s, the dictator (Hitler then, Putin now) feels in command of enough plutocratic power in the West to get what he wants, without a world war. Hitler was astounded, on September 1, 1939, when the French Republic and Britain gave him an ultimatum. He had come to believe what his Anglo-American plutocratic friends had told him, that it would never happen, because they, the plutocrats, controlled everything.

***

I Bank Therefore I Tank:

How come Putin has momentarily come to his senses? Sanctions. By closing Rossiya, a bank close to Putin, at a distance, the USA left 495,000 Russian clients without a bank. And that was just a warning shot. Visa, MasterCard and company control the essentiality of Russian banking. Also banks need some international cooperation, and that was going down too.

It goes without saying that the USA, under corrupt president Roosevelt not only did nothing of the sort, but the exact opposite. As France and Britain were in total world war against Nazism, and 45 French division tried to crash through the Siegfried Line, the USA was busy aiding and abetting Hitler’s fascist dictatorship. In a crucial way (lead tetraethyl story).

Not only were Hitler and his followers encouraged, but the German generals who wanted to arrest the Nazis, got very confused: was the USA allied to the Guide, or not?

This time, the early, swift opposition of the president of the USA to tank-born fascism, is not just the most important thing Obama did, but the most important thing any government of the USA did, in generations.

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Heavens For Sale:

Malta has put for sale 1,800 passports and nationality. First condition: pay 650,000 Euros for the head of the family, at least 250,000 Euros of investment on top of that, plus more per family member. The stratagem is expected to bring in more than one billion Euros. Reassuringly, Malta announced that it did not expect the new Maltese citizens to spend the year there (they will be free to roam the European Union).

Malta is notorious for refusing Maltese nationality, even for those who have resided there more than twenty years, and the EC is not happy about that.

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Your Pain Is Our Ecstasy:

The main problem of the socio-economy is plutocracy, though. Plutocracy wants the starvation of the People’s economic activity. That allows to increase the gap between the haves and have-nots, which is the plutocracy’s raison d’être, and ultimate value.

Hence the obsession fabricated by the Main Stream Media against deficits, without saying they are directly related to the plutocracy not been taxed enough. Or the insistence that the People has no skill (thus, presumably ought to be starved in all ways, including access to public education).

Referring to: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/29/the-skills-zombie/

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Food Madness:

2.4% population growth in the 1960s. That was the excuse for the creation of massive food exportation machinery then. In the 1980s, that over-production was massively exported to poor countries and frozen European chicken destroyed local food production in poor countries.

Population growth is only 1.3% now. That’s still about 100 million added, a year.

That does not mean that shocks to the world food system are not coming. They are, thanks to the global warming and weirding.

***

Mathematics = Physics

Many modern thinkers have wondered at the remarkable efficiency of mathematics in physics. Galileo said physics was written in mathematics, Plato viewed knowing math as a prerequisite to advanced thinking.

The latter point of view is the correct one. Better: thinking, advanced or not, is, intrinsically, mathematical. Neurology is math.

Mathematics is just a more abstract physics. So if physics is hard, so can mathematics be too. The best avenue to explore what these abstract thoughts mean, is the history of Euclidean geometry. One physical simplistic simplification that Euclid made was flatness. When mathematicians realized that flatness did not have to be, Riemann soon got the idea that geodesic distanciation was equivalent to force (vulgar physicists believe Einstein got the idea).

Euclid also made many other simplifying assumptions about the nature of continuity and … And Quantum Physics violate them, starting with the notion of points.

Patrice Aymé

MORALITY AS PHYSICS

July 19, 2010

 

MORALITY AND HEAVENS ARE ANIMATED BY THE SAME LAWS.

Morality Is Revealed To Be An Application Of The Principle Of Least Action.

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Main idea: Not only is biology is a type of Quantum nanotechnology. So is morality.

***

In an interesting albeit challenging essay, Peter Railton asks in the New York Times: "Moral Camouflage or Moral Monkeys? Is the great show we make of morality just a civilized cover for our selfish opportunism? [NYT electronic edition, July 18, 2010].

Railton, a salaried philosopher from an American university, makes an analogy with philosopher Bertrand Russel’s ironical verdict about the American university:“Remarkable. As near Oxford as monkeys can make.”

Having thus humbly confessed to an important insight, to keep in mind, professor Railton quotes Immanuel Kant on his amazement for morality: “Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe … the starry heavens above and the moral law within.”

Railton then points out that studies on primates and the influence of genes on behavior have brought a less heavenly aura on the moral law: "Today many who look at morality through a Darwinian lens can’t help but find a charming naïveté in Kant’s thought. “Yes, remarkable. As near morality as monkeys can make.”"

Science has basically already established that monkeys have evolved, and are made, from the same laws which give rise to the heavens. However, the laws of heavens are now known to be much more complicated than they were in Kant’s time. Laws of heavens include powerful and mysterious, all encompassing Quantum Mechanics, which sits prominently at the controls of the hearts of suns and the planets.

Indeed, does anything escape physics? What of the mind? I hold that: The laws of heavens, and the laws of morality, are, ultimately, of the same nature.

Why? For several reasons pertaining to what the Greek called "physis" (nature). Some of these reasons have to do with the deepest ideas in the foundations of physics, some with quantum physics, some with evolution theory (both biological evolution theory and spiritual evolution theory, both having to do with power).

The word and concept of "morality" comes from the "mores", in other words the traditional ways, the customs, the manners, those which perdure, in Latin. [Coined by philosopher Cicero, translating straight from the Greek; see note 1].

What is traditional is what has long worked, in other words, what is sustainable. Morality, by definition, is what survives, and thus what allows to survive. How did it work so long indeed? By managing power for the best. By surviving better than the alternatives. And survival means power, again. The virus that kills overpowered its host.

Now physics is all about energy. Modern physics as we know it, is a vast application of the Principle of Least Action [note 2]. Power is energy divided by time, in its physical definition. The laws of physics are the laws of biology, ultimately, thus making natural selection all about power, in a vast, but nevertheless, strict physical sense.

It was obvious all along that the laws of natural selection are all about power. The one being eaten transmit power to the eater (literally, in the form of stored energy known as fat, carbohydrates, i.e., fuel). The one being terminated surrenders its power to the terminator.

The same goes with ideas: ideas are not so much about beauty (as Paul Dirac had it). More precisely ideas are about power, and the beauty is in the power. The Dirac equation is beautiful, because, in a few symbols abstracting amazing spaces and concepts, it represents so much power (the behavior of electrons, the prediction of anti-matter).

Ideas are subject to natural selection, and so are all moral systems. The best survive, the worst get terminated, and it is this struggle which defines the meaning of "good", "better", "bad", and "worse".

Nazism was a set of ideas which got terminated after a mighty struggle of natural selection, because, well they were so weak, being so wrong. That struggle had been started by France and Britain, because they were offended by Nazi morality (or lack thereof, more exactly). France and Britain turned out to be super predators in the realm of ideas, who devoured Nazism, and reproduced mightily; all of Europe now being a vast republic along the lines of the revolution of 1789 and the principles of the Enlightenment.

Empathy and altruism allow the group to survive better, so they, too, find their root in power management.

Quantum Mechanics makes possible biological miracles such as photosynthesis and vision, using effects so subtle, they can be described, but not under-stood (nothing stands under). Quantum Mechanics is God-like, because it has many of the attributes of the legendary God: omnipresence, omnipotence, action at a distance, tunneling through matter, multiple reality, presence without existence etc. No wonder Quantum Mechanics can reach the moral law.

Morality, ultimately is a set of neurological structures which reproduce by concert and concertation. They are transmitted, as all ideas by speech, and example. At any given time, morality is a set of mental structures (abstracted digitally in books). Thus, morality is actually a physical phenomenon, just as real, but more complex and delicate, as the moon. Thus even more admirable. The moral law within is animated by the same laws as the starry heavens above.

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Patrice Ayme

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