Posts Tagged ‘Time’


May 19, 2017

Through Wave Collapse and the ensuing Entanglements it sometimes brings, QUANTUM PHYSICS CREATES A CAUSAL STRUCTURE, THROUGHOUT THE UNIVERSE, THUS, AN ARROW OF TIME.

Actually it’s more than a simple causal structure: it is an existential structure, as localization creates materialization, in the (Sub-)Quantum Theory I advocate. (It’s a theory where there are no dead-and-alive cats, but particles in flight are not particles… Contrarily to what Einstein thought, but more along the lines of Niels Bohr, horror of horrors…) It also means that time, at the smallest scale, is a nonlocal entanglement. This is not a weird new age poetry, but pretty much what the raw formalism of Quantum Physics say. I throw the challenge to any physicist to contradict this in any way. It’s completely obvious on the face of it.

You read it here first, as they say (although I may have said it before). Is time absolute? How could time be absolute? Where does the Arrow Of Time (Eddington) come from? Is there something else which grows with time?

The old answer is entropy, traditionally denoted by S.

Boltzmann’s equation S = k log P says that entropy augments during the evolution of a system. P indicates the number of states accessible by the system. Entropy was a construction from later Nineteenth Century physics, a successful attempt to understand the basic laws of thermodynamics (mostly due to Carnot).

A big problem for classical thermodynamics: what’s a state? That’s not clear.

However Quantum Physics define states, very precisely. However, very specifically: a situation, defined in space-time, what Bohr and Al. called an “experiment” (rightly so!) defines a number of possible outcomes: the latter become the “states”, a basis for the Hilbert Space the “experiment” defines.

Classical statistical mechanics does not enjoy such precisely defined states. So why not to use the states of Quantum Physics? Some could object that Quantum “experiments” are set-up by people. However Quantum Interactions happen all the time, independently of people. As in the Quantum experiments set-up by people, those Quantum Interactions grow something: Quantum Entanglement. ( Self-described “Quantum Mechanic” Seth Lloyd from MIT has also mentioned that entanglement and the arrow of time could be related.)

Quantum Entanglement has a direction: from where singularization (= localization = the collapse of the Quantum wave packet) happened first, to the distant place it creates the geometry of (yes, entanglement creates geometry, that’s why it’s so baffling to specialists!) 

Quantum Physics, Or, More Precisely, What I call QUANTUM INTERACTIONS are irreversible processes. Hence the Arrow Of Time

So we have two things which grow, and can’t be reversed: Time and Wave Collapse/Quantum Entanglement. I propose to identify them. (After all, Maxwell proposed to identify electromagnetic waves and light, just because they are both waves and went at the same speed; it turned out to be a magnificent insight.)

Quantum Wave function collapse is time irreversible (actually, the entire Quantum Wave deployment is time irreversible, because it depends only upon the geometry it’s deployed in). The mechanism of wave function collapse is philosophically a matter of often obscure interpretations, and arguably the greatest problem in physics and philosophy.

My position here is perfectly coherent: I believe the Quantum Waves are real. (So I do not believe the waves are waves of ignorance, and an artefact, as some partisans of Quantum decoherence have it). Those objective waves are real, although not always in one piece (that’s how I generate Cold Dark Matter).

By the way, it is the collapse of the Quantum Wave which “creates” the Quantum Entanglement At least that’s how the mathematics, the description of the theory has it! The picture it creates in one’s mind (first the wave, then the collapse, then the entanglement) makes sense. Actually I am arguing that this is how sense makes sense!

Quantum Entanglement is a proven experimental fact. All physicists have to agree with that. Thus the Quantum Wave has to be real, as it is the cause of the Quantum Entanglement! (I am pointing out here that those, and that’s now nearly all of them, who believe in Entanglement are incoherent if they don’t believe in the wave too!).

Jules Henri Poincaré had seen that time and space were not equivalent. That was meritorious, as Poincaré had proposed the original ideas of “local time” and “local space” theories, which are the fundamental backbones of Special Relativity (they are deduced from the constancy of the speed of light).

Even Einstein publicly frowned on the concept of “spacetime”, which identifies space and time; “spacetime” was proposed by Minkowski, Einstein’s own professor at the EHT… They may not have been friends, as Minkowski compared Einstein to a “lazy dog”; Einstein, of course, respected Poincaré so much, that he grabbed the entire theory of Relativity from him, including its name…

Quantum Physics does not outright treat time as equivalent to space, quite the opposite (although Quantum Field theorists have tried to, and do treat space and “imaginary time” as the same!). In fundamental Quantum Physics, time is a one parameter group of transformation, not really a dimension.

When a glass falls and shatters, Classical Mechanics is at a loss:’Why can’t it reassemble itself, with as little work?” Classical Thermodynamics mumbles:’Because Entropy augments’. (That may be a tenable position, but one will have to count the states of the glass in a Quantum way. Even then, the full energy computation will reveal a lack of symmetry.)

I say, simply:’A glass which has shattered can’t be reassembled, because Quantum Interactions, and ensuing entanglements happen.’ The resulting topology of cause and effect is more complicated than what one started with, and can’t be reversed. Quantum Interactions and ensuing effects at a distance they provide with, create a partial, nonlocal, ordering of the universe. Time. (Once a set has been physically defined, it has been thoroughly interacted with, Quantum Mechanically, and then it becomes a “well ordering”!)

So what’s time? The causal structure of the universe as determined by irreversible, causal Quantum Wave collapse and Quantum Entanglement.

Patrice Ayme’

Relativistic MASS FROM TIME Dilation

March 25, 2016

[Original research to make physics understandable to We The People.]

A reason for the stall of theoretical physics in the last 40 years? Physicists have not enough intuitive understanding of physics (in particular, of what is important in physics). The phenomenon affects both Relativity and Quantum Physics. Both Twentieth Century fields are more philosophically subtle than vulgar physicists think. One needs more context than the usual credo has it.

Here is my intuitive proof of the famous relativistic mass formula. It explains intuitively an observation made late in the Nineteenth Century (19C): when particles are accelerated, they augment in mass, rather than speed. Relativistic Mass Basic

Buridan contemplated “impetus”, which we now call “momentum” = MV. When A Force Is Applied Indefinitely, V, The Speed, Stalls, While M Keeps On Augmenting.

I reveal that: The basic reason for the augmentation of “relativistic mass” is that FORCE GETS DILUTED BY LOCAL TIME… DILUTION. (This apparent play on words reflects exactly what’s going on!)

The fundamental fact of The Theory of Relativity is TIME DILATION. Time Dilation says that, when something moves fast, time there runs slows. Time Dilation is shocking to those who do not understand where it comes from (I will treat it in another essay). Time Dilation in a moving frame is not an axiom in physics, because it can be easily demonstrated theoretically, or experimentally. It comes from the constancy of the speed of light (locally, in any frame of reference).

Relativity compares physics in the frame at rest R, with physics in the moving frame, M. (So Relativity is relative, but not as relative that some physicists, in particular Einstein, have made it sound. See my future “Time Dilation”.) Say v is the speed of M relative to R (as usual, c denotes the speed of light).

Time in the moving M slows down relative to time in the resting R:

Time of M = (Time of R) [Square Root (1- vv/cc)]. This is Time Dilation.

Basics Theorems Of Relativity. Time Dilation (the middle one) Implies The Other Two. Time Dilation Is Itself A Theorem

Basics Theorems Of Relativity. Time Dilation (the middle one) Implies The Other Two. Time Dilation Is Itself A Theorem

The Local Time Equation (Middle) Implies Both the Local Length Contraction Equation, and the “Relativistic Mass: Equation

What is a force? Anything which changes momentum. Say the force F consists into a flow of particles (a bit like quanta, in a way). Let’s call it the STRAFING. The particles have all equal mass, and the same momentum, they arrive at equal intervals, and they travel perpendicularly to the trajectory of the mass m.

If m was standing still, at rest in R (the “rest reference frame”), F would progressively accelerate m (BURIDAN law). Now suppose m is moving at rest in M, that is at v, relative to R. Now in M, time runs slow. This means that m gets hit a lot more by the STRAFING.

Because visualize this: the STRAFFING (= the application of the force F) is launched inside R, the “rest frame”. But it is received in M. So the frequency of hits in M is lower by [Square Root (1- vv/cc)]. That means the force on m, in M, is lower by that amount. In other words, m in M, viewed from R, behaves exactly as if its inertial mass was not m, but m/[Square Root (1 – vv/cc)] .   Here is my little theory in a drawing (the text below will explain the details):

Force Can Be Viewed As Transfer Of Momentum ("Impetus") By Quanta. Clearly Then It Is Received Slowly Because Time Dilation

Force Can Be Viewed As Transfer Of Momentum (“Impetus”) By Quanta. Clearly Then It Is Received Slowly Because Time Dilation

The application of force in the moving frame Is DILUTED by Time Dilation. So Inertial Mass appears larger by as much as Local time is dilated.

In the drawing above, I depicted the force as applied transversally. But it could be applied from any direction: the transmission of momentum impulses would still be diluted by slow local time. Also the assumption that momentum would be quantified is no different from, say the Riemann Integral in mathematical analysis: from F = d(mv)/dt, the Buridan equation (a generalization of Newton’s Second Law), one can view the integral of the action of F as the sum of these little impulses (understanding fully may require a familiarity with integral calculus).

Questions are welcome, and let’s recap: time runs slow in the moving frame, so force applies slow. Thus mass appears huge. In the end, time dilation blocks completely the application of force F, so the particle never reaches the speed of light. The explanation is transparent, from first principles.

It could be presented in a cartoon for primary school children, and be understood, the way all fundamental physics should be.

Patrice Ayme’  


January 18, 2016

What is time? Quantum Physics gives an answer, classical physics does not. Quantum Physics suggests that time is the set of all irreversible processes. This is a world first, so it requires some explanations. I have been thinking, hard, of these things all my life. Sean Carroll, bless his soul, called my attention to the new development that mainstream physicists are starting to pay attention to my little kingdom(so I thank him).



Sean Carroll in “Quantum Fluctuations”:

“Let’s conjure some science up in here. Science is good for the soul.”

Patrice Ayme’: Why is science good for the soul? Because the human soul is centered on finding truth. Science is truth, thus science is human. Nothing is more human than science. Science is what humans do. Another thing humans do is art, and it tries to both duplicate, distort, and invent new nature, or interpretations, interpolations, and suggestions, of and from, nature:

Claim: Quantum Interference Is An Irreversible Process, Time's Arrows All Over. Quantum Interference Goes From Several Waves, To One Geometry. Soap Bubbles Brim With Quantum Interference..

Claim: Quantum Interference Is An Irreversible Process, Time’s Arrows All Over. Quantum Interference Goes From Several Waves, To One Geometry. Soap Bubbles Brim With Quantum Interference..

SC: …what are “quantum fluctuations,” anyway? Talk about quantum fluctuations can be vague. There are really 3 different types of fluctuations: Boltzmann, Vacuum, & Measurement. Boltzmann Fluctuations are basically classical: random motions of things lead to unlikely events, even in equilibrium.

Patrice Ayme’: As we will see, or we have already seen in my own “Quantum Wave”, Quantum Fluctuations are just the Quantum Waves. Richard Feynman, at the end of his chapter on entropy in the Feynman Lectures on Physics, ponders how to get an arrow of time in a universe governed by time-symmetric underlying laws. Feynman:

“So far as we know, all the fundamental laws of physics, such as Newton’s equations, are reversible. Then where does irreversibility come from? It comes from order going to disorder, but we do not understand this until we know the origin of the order. Why is it that the situations we find ourselves in every day are always out of equilibrium?”

Patrice Ayme’: Is that really true? Are equations time-symmetric? Not really. First, equations don’t stand alone. Differential equations depend upon initial conditions. Obviously, even if the equations are time-symmetric, the initial conditions are not: the final state cannot be exchanged with the initial state.

Quantum Physics make this observation even more important. The generic Quantum set-up depends upon a geometric space S in which the equation(s) of motion will evolve. Take for example the 2-slit: the space one considers generally, S, is the space AFTER the 2-slit. The one before the 2-slit, C, (for coherence) is generally ignored. S is ordered by Quantum interference.

The full situation is made of: (C, S & Quantum interference). it’s not symmetric. The Quantum depends upon the space (it could be a so-called “phase space”) in which it deploys. That makes it time-assymmetric. An example: the Casimir Effect.



Sean Carroll: “Nothing actually “fluctuates” in vacuum fluctuations! The system can be perfectly static. Just that quantum states are more spread out.”

Indeed. Quantum states are, intrinsically, more spread out. They are NON-LOCAL. Why?

One has to go back to the basics. What is Quantum Physics about? Some, mostly the “Copenhagen Interpretation” followers, claim Quantum Physics is a subset of functional analysis. (The famous mathematician Von Neumann, one of the creators of Functional Analysis, was the founder of this system of thought; this scion of plutocrats, famously, yet satanically, claimed that De Broglie and Bohmian mechanics were impossible… Von Neumann had made a logical mistake; maybe that had to do with being involved with the satanic part of the American establishment, as, by then, that Hungarian had migrated to the USA and wanted to be called “Johnny”!).

The Quantum-as-functional analysis school became dominant. It had great successes in the past. It allows to view Quantum Physics as “Non Commutative Geometry”. However, contrarily to repute, it’s not the most fundamental view. (I have my own approach, which eschews Functional Analysis.)

But let’s backtrack. Where does Quantum-as-functional-analysis come from? A Quantum system is made of a (“configuration”) space S and an equation E (which is a Partial Differential Equation). Out of S and E is created a Hilbert Space with a basis, the “eigenstates”.

In practice, the eigenstates are fundamental waves. They can be clearly seen, with the mind’s eye, in the case of the Casimir Effect with two metallic plates: there is a maximal size for the electromagnetic wavelengths between the plates (as they have to zero out where they touch the metal).

The notion of wave is more general than the notion of eigenstate (Dirac pushed, successfully, the notion of wave so far that it created space, Spinor Space, and Quantum Field Theory has done more of the same, extending the general mood of De Broglie-Dirac to ever fancier Lagrangians, energy expression guiding the waves according to De Broglie scheme).

Historically, De Broglie suggested in 1923 (several publications to the French Academy of Science) that to each particle was associated a (relativistic) wave. De Broglie’s reasons were looked at by Einstein, who was impressed (few, aside from Einstein could understand what De Broglie said; actually De Broglie French jury thesis, which had two Nobel prizes, was so baffled by De Broglie’s thesis, that they sent it to Einstein, to ask him what he thought. Einstein replied with the greatest compliment he ever made to anyone: “De Broglie has started to lift the great veil,” etc…).

The De Broglie’s wave appears on page 111 of De Broglie’s 1924 thesis, which has 118 pages (and contains, among other things, the Schrödinger wave equation, and, of course, the uncertainty principle, something obvious: De Broglie said all particles were guided by waves whose wavelengths depended upon their (relativistic) energy. An uncertainty automatically appears when one tries to localize a particle (that is, a wave) with another particle (that is, another wave!)



Consider an empty space S. If the space S is made available to (classical) Boltzmann particles, S is progressively invaded by (classical) particles occupying ever more states.

Classical physicist (Boltzmann, etc.) postulated the Second Law of Thermodynamics: something called entropy augmented during any process. Problem, rather drastic: all classical laws of physics are reversible! So, how can reversible physics generate a time-irreversible law? Classical physicist have found no answer. But I did, knight in shining armor, mounted on my powerful Quantum Monster:



When the same space S is made available as part of a Quantum System, the situation is strikingly different. As Sean Carroll points out, the situation is immediately static, it provides an order (as Bohm insisted it did). The observation is not new: the De Broglie waves provided an immediate explanation of the stability of electronic waves around atoms (thus supporting Bohr’s “First, or Semi-Classical, Quantum Theory”.

What’s a difference of a Quantum System with a classical system? The classical system evolves, from a given order, to one, more disordered. The Quantum system does not evolve through increasing disorder. Instead, the space S, once accessed, becomes not so  much an initial condition, but a global order.

The afore-mentioned Hilbert Space with its eigenstates is that implicit, or implicate (Bohm) order. So the Quantum System is static in an important sense (from standing Quantum Waves, it sorts of vibrates through time).

Thus Quantum Systems have an intrinsic time-assymmetry (at least when dealing with cavities). When there are no cavities, entanglement causes assymmetry: once an interaction has happened, until observation, there is entanglement. Before interaction, there was no entanglement. Two classical billiards balls are not entangled either before or after they interact, so the interaction by collision is fully time reversible.

Entanglement is also something waves exhibit, once they have interacted and not before, which classical particles are deprived of.

Once more we see the power of the Quantum mindset for explaining the world in a much more correct, much simpler, and thus much more powerful way. The Quantum even decides what time is.

So far as we know, all the classical fundamental laws of physics, such as Newton’s equations, are reversible. Then were does irreversibility come from? It does NOT come, as was previously suggested, from order going to disorder.

Quite the opposite: irreversibility comes from disorder (several waves)going to order (one wave, ordered by its surrounding geometry). And we do understand the origin of the order: it’s the implicit order of Quantum Waves deployed.

You want to know the world? Let me introduce you to the Quantum, a concept of wealth, taste and intelligence.

Last and not least: if I am right, the Quantum brings the spontaneous apparition of order, the exact opposite picture which has constituted the manger in which the great cows of physics have found their sustenance. Hence the fact that life and many other complicated naturally occurring physical systems are observed to create order in the universe are not so baffling anymore. Yes, they violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. However, fundamentally, that violated the spirit, the principle of the universe, the Quantum itself.

Patrice Ayme’

Is “Spacetime” Important?

November 3, 2015

Revolutions spawn from, and contributes to, the revolutionary mood. It is no coincidence that many revolutionary ideas in science: Chemistry (Lavoisier), Biological Evolution (Lamarck), Lagrangians, Black Holes,, Fourier Analysis, Thermodynamics (Carnot), Wave Optics, (Young, Poisson), Ampere’s Electrodynamics spawned roughly at the same time and place, around the French Revolution.

In the Encyclopedie, under the term dimension Jean le Rond d’Alembert speculated that time might be considered a fourth dimension… if the idea was not too novel. Joseph Louis Lagrange in his ), wrote that: “One may view mechanics as a geometry of four dimensions…” (Theory of Analytic Functions, 1797.) The idea of spacetime is to view reality as a four dimensional manifold, something measured by the “Real Line” going in four directions.

There is, it turns out a huge problem with this: R, the real line, has what is called a separated topology: points have distinct neighborhoods. However, the QUANTUM world is not like that, not at all. Countless experiments, and the most basic logic, show this:

Reality Does Not Care About Speed, & The Relativity It Brings

Reality Does Not Care About Speed, & The Relativity It Brings

Manifolds were defined by Bernhard Riemann in 1866 (shortly before he died, still young, of tuberculosis). A manifold is made of chunks (technically: neighborhoods), each of them diffeomorphic to a neighborhood in R^n (thus a deformed piece of R^n, see tech annex).

Einstein admitted that there was a huge problem with the “now” in physics (even if one confines oneself to his own set-ups in Relativity theories). Worse: the Quantum changes completely the problem of the “now”… Let alone the “here”.

In 1905, Henri Poincaré showed that by taking time to be an imaginary fourth spacetime coordinate (√−1 c t), a Lorentz transformation can be regarded as a rotation of coordinates in a four-dimensional Euclidean space with three real coordinates representing space, and one imaginary coordinate, representing time, as the fourth dimension.

— Hermann Minkowski, 1907, Einstein’s professor in Zurich concluded: “The views of space and time which I wish to lay before you have sprung from the soil of experimental physics, and therein lies their strength. They are radical. Henceforth space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two will preserve an independent reality.”

This remark rests on Lorentz’s work, how to go from coordinates (x, t) to (x’, t’). In the simplest case:

C is the speed of light. Lorentz found one needed such transformations to respect electrodynamics. If v/c is zero (as it is if one suppose the speed v to be negligible  relative to c, the speed of light infinite), one gets:

t = t’

x’ = x – vt

The first equation exhibits universal time: time does not depend upon the frame of reference. But notice that the second equation mixes space and time already. Thus, philosophically speaking, proclaiming “spacetime” could have been done before. Now, in so-called “General Relativity”, there are problems with “time-like” geodesics (but they would surface long after Minkowski’s death).

Another problem with conceptually equating time and space is that time is not space: space dimensions have a plus sign, time a minus sign (something Quantum Field Theory often ignores by putting pluses everywhere in computations)

In any case, I hope this makes clear that, philosophically, just looking at the equations, “spacetime” does not have to be an important concept.

And Quantum Physics seems to say that it is not: the QUANTUM INTERACTION (QI; my neologism) is (apparently, so far) INSTANTANEOUS (like old fashion time).

As we saw precedingly (“Can Space Be Faster Than Light“), the top cosmologists are arguing whether the speed of space can be viewed as faster than light. Call that the Cosmic Inflation Interaction (CII; it has its own hypothesized exchange particle, the “Inflaton”). We see that c, the speed of light is less than CII, and may, or may not be related to QI (standard Quantum Physics implicitly assumes that the speed of the Quantum Interaction QI is infinite).

One thing is sure: we are very far from TOE, the “Theory Of Everything”, which physicists anxious to appear as the world’s smartest organisms, with all the power and wealth to go with it, taunted for decades.

Patrice Ayme’

Tech Annex: R is the real line, RxR = R^2, the plane, RxRxR = R^3 the usual three dimensional space, etc. Spacetime was initially viewed as just RxRxRxR = R^4.]What does diffeomorphic mean? It means a copy which can be shrunk or dilated somewhat in all imaginable ways, perhaps (but without breaks, and so that all points can be tracked; a diffeomorphism does this, and so do all its derivatives).

Time for Cause & Effect?

December 31, 2014

Cause, effect, and time are all mysteries at this point. As far as Physics is concerned.

When I was a young chicken, learning physics, pecking around the way chicken do, I came upon “the Arrow of Time”. At the time, the question about the nature of time was all about “Entropy” and the “Second Law of Thermodynamics”. How quaint it seems now that I got much wiser!

Entropy is about “states”. The “Second Law” says that processes augment the number of states, as time goes by.

The most basic question is then: ”What is a state?”

People in thermodynamics thought they had an answer. And, in a way, they do, like a car mechanics is full of answers about the state of your car.

Mechanics Getting Weirder: Are There Wormholes?

Mechanics Getting Weirder: Are There Wormholes?

[Yes, these distorted things are distant galaxies, viewed through the wormhole. The picture, from the excellent movie “Interstellar” depicts how a wormhole in spacetime would appear at close range; the little flower is the rotating spaceship. Interstellar represents an Earth where society has pursued its way down the abyss, thanks to the anti-science, anti-rationality movement in evidence nowadays. NASA went underground… Something not far removed from its present state, where tantalizing clues for life on Mars are left unexamined, because of the anti-nuclear movement… Long story, another time.]

However, nature is a Quantum car. And mechanics have nothing to say about it. Quantum Physics has its own notion of state. Moreover, in the meantime, the very notion of time and causality came under attack. From an unexpected corner.

It was simple enough when Lorentz and Poincaré introduced the notion of “local time”. Time was relative (Poincaré Relativity Principle, 1904): it depended upon one’s state of motion. In a local frame moving fast, time slows down (relative to the friend who did not get on that speedy rocket).

Einstein then observed that if a local time was accelerated, it would also slow down. Einstein somehow hoped to extract from this “General Theory of Relativity” a cause for inertia, but he failed (and could only fail, as GTR is local, not global). He ended up with just a Theory of Gravitation (Fock), a better and much improved version of the one of 1700, true… But still GTR is articulated basically the same equation arising from Ismael Bullialdus considerations in 1645 (and then Huygens, Borelli, Hooke, etc.)

Enter Quantum Physics. There time is absolute (oops). Locally absolute over an extent. Why? Because each Quantum processes are logically and mathematically analyzed in a particular space, relative to said process, and GLOBALLY therein (here is that global concept Einstein was desperately searching for, as he craved for inertia as a global phenomenon, following Newton and Mach).

That particular space relative to that particular process is not just two dimensional (as in the famed double slit experiment), it can be pretty much anything that can be depicted as a Hilbert space (consider Dirac Spinor space).

In the past, before 1904, one could consider that if something A preceded something else B, in time, A could have “caused” B. However local time already messes up with that situation (consider closed time loops in GTR; reference: just released movie Interstellar, a respected relativist, Thorne, made discoveries while consulting for the movie).

Quantum Physics makes causation a worse consideration than ever. As it stands, the Quantum is Non-Local. No need to get into Spin and Bell, to figure that one out: the analysis in Quantum Hilbert space uses time only as a one parameter transformation group, it’s intrinsically Non-Local (hence the famed “Collapse of the Wave Packet).

If a physicist changes a spin axis on Earth, does it do something to the second member of the entangled photon pair he sent to Beta Centauri? Instantaneously? Really? No one knows for sure (and I don’t believe the “instantaneous” part), but the present Quantum formalism (sort of) says it does.

Paradoxically, all of this debate about cause and effect has become very practical, in the most fundamental domain possible, Quantum Physics. As real physics moves away from the multiverse derangement syndrome, it ponders using, as nature and biology, and even evolution do, the Quantum.

Indeed, even biology uses the Quantum to compute, and find best solutions (as was demonstrated in the case of the chlorophyll molecule; much more examples are on the way, including that will demonstrate how a type of Lamarckian evolution works).

However “what causes what” has stood in the way of making Quantum Computers. Real physicists and engineers have been trying to get a handle on causation. One wants to isolate the process of computation, yet get it impacted by complicated inputs, and only these.

Time to spend some money on all this (that means re-direct the economy that way).

Patrice Ayme’

Time Flies For Flies

July 14, 2014

I am an intellectual. I believe we are all intellectuals. Even animals and plutocrats think. It’s Descartes, upside down: Animals Think, Therefore They Survive.

I developed my idea that “INSTINCT IS FAST LEARNING.”

Time perception can only reflect how rapidly an animal’s nervous system processes information. To test this, researchers show animals a flashing light. If the light flashes quickly enough, animals perceive it as a solid, unblinking light: this is the principle of the movies.

Beyond 60 frames per second humans see a continuous motion; yet, anyone who has tried to catch a fly or a lizard know they move, and decide to move, faster than humans.

Time Is Relative In More Ways Than One

Time Is Relative In More Ways Than One

This gives a window for a lot of learning to happen in a bee, that looks like instinct.

The animal’s behavior or its brain activity reveal the highest frequency at which each species perceives the light as flashing. Animals that detect blinking at higher frequencies perceive time in a more frequent manner. Movements, events, learning itself, unfold more slowly to them—think slow-motion bullet dodging as recent movies.

The smaller the animals, the easier it is to turn them into dinner. So the more reactive they have to be, to dodge the bullets. Thus one would expect that species perceiving time more slowly to be smaller and have faster metabolisms. This is (roughly) was is observed (although some of the results are dissonant, maybe an experimental artifact: rats may be slow visually, but fast olfactively, say).

“Ecology for an organism is all about finding a niche where you can succeed that no-one else can occupy,” Andrew Jackson, an author of the study in Animal Behavior said. “Our results suggest that time perception offers an as yet unstudied dimension along which animals can specialize and there is considerable scope to study this system in more detail. We are beginning to understand that there is a whole world of detail out there that only some animals can perceive and it’s fascinating to think of how they might perceive the world differently to us.”

Flies, or plutocrats, may not think deep, but they think fast. And they cannot think deep, because they think fast. The most exploitative philosophy is thus the fastest, and shallowest. That is no doubt why, in one of his variants, the Devil, Pluto, Belzebuth, was represented as Lord of the Flies.

Patrice Ayme’

(Connoisseurs of Nazi philosophy will appreciate the connection with Heidegger’s “Sein Und Zeit“. Time is, indeed, the Dasein. As with a computer clock: no clock, no computer.)


June 17, 2014

No subject is more important than time. Time rules the universe, thus wisdom. Just announced research breakthroughs in rejuvenation (at least in cells and mice) give hope to those who view aging as the disease it is. Eternal life, will, no doubt, make higher wisdom more precious.

About a century ago, the Theory of Relativity caused a huge ruckus, mostly because of its prediction of TIME DILATION. Now we got used to time extension from fast motion: it has been thoroughly checked experimentally, big time. Yet, it is important to understand that Time Dilation is NEARLY A TRIVIAL OBSERVATION, once the correct axiomatics is in.

Light Clock, Universal Clock

Light Clock, Universal Clock

[The picture above, going back conceptually to the Michelson-Morley experiment of 1887 CE, also basically holds during acceleration: then the straight lines just become stretchy and curvaceous!]

Having the correct axiomatics is crucial, for further advances in philosophy and physics. Correct axiomatics allows to observe the true facts and the important theorems. Axiomatics is the metalogic: it is more important than the logic it gives rise to.

In both philosophy and physics, the understanding of time, even by supposedly top notch researchers, seems to be lagging.

When a train passes by at speed v, the time therein does not just appear slow, it is slow. It is easy to understand why. At least, so I claim, and I will demonstrate.

Suppose Alice and Sophia are on the ground (visualize a flat Earth of infinite extent, to simplify the context). They measure time, each with their personal light clock.

A light clock is an idealized clock consisting of two mirrors, between which light, a bunch of photons, is reflected. One simply counts the beat of reflecting photons, and call that time. The light clock is a time constructor. (See: Constructing Time, for the basics. Light Clocks are the conceptually simplest of the four known types of clocks.)

By letting some of the light leak, my style of light clock comes with a pulsating tail of light.

(It could be some sort of permanently pumped laser, at a fixed frequency, f. Then all can see the photon beats pulsate outside.)

Let Sophia take off for space. What does that mean? She accelerates (say with constant acceleration A). The light tail of her clock elongates, stretches. From Alice’s viewpoint, the beat of Sophia’s light clock goes down.

Why? Count the beats of Sophia’s clock: S0, S1, S2, S3, … Sn, S(n+1), … With S0 being take-off. The corresponding beats of Alice’s clock are every dt, with A0 = S0. When S1 occurs, Sophia’s clock is at distance (1/2) a(dt)^2. So the reception of the beat of Sophia’s clock is not instantaneous: it is delayed by the time light takes to cover that distance, namely:

(1/2c) a(dt)^2.

The situation is even worse with the next beat, at time 2(dt).

And so on and so forth. So, from Alice’s point of view, Sophia clock slows down ever more, as long as Sophia is accelerating away at acceleration A.

What happens when Alice looks within Sophia’s spaceship? The same situation exactly. As the photon bunch comes down to meet the on-rushing mirror, and it meets it early, the mirror it came from recesses, by as much (we assume everything in Sophia’s spaceship is hyper rigid). So when the photon bunch catches up with the starting mirror, to complete the beat, it has to cover double that, PLUS the supplementary distance covered by the initial mirror, due to the on-going acceleration.

So Sophia’s time, as observed by Alice, is slow and getting ever slower, as long as the acceleration A persists.

When the acceleration stops, Sophia’s time stops slowing down. It is now just slow. By as much as it slowed down during the acceleration (that’s why the usual approach of Relativity textbooks is dumb: they neglect the accelerative process, so students cannot understand how the slowing down arose).

Once Sophia has reached her cruise speed V, a precise computation (found in all serious relativity books) involving only the speed V, shows  that Sophia’s time is Alice’s time, multiplied by:

Square Root (1- VV/cc).

The effect has to do with the light in the moving frame having to cover a distance than is ever greater, the greater the speed V of the moving clock. The mathematics is Babylonian level (Pythagoras theorem was discovered earlier, in Egypt, and Babylon).

So when V approaches c, Sophia’s time slows down enormously.

The effect has been checked on elementary particles that decay after a set time. When they travel very fast, their lifespan augments by:

1/square root(1-VV/cc).

An arbitrarily large number as V approaches c.


Some may wonder: if Time Dilation is such a triviality, what the big noise about it, and where is the “Relativity” in all this?

Relativity” is hidden below the surface in two ways:

1.In the fact that Henri Poincaré’ s law of the constancy of the speed of light was implicitly used during the computations… Which indeed had to do with relative speeds, or relative accelerations.

2.In identifying light clock time with time in general. Otherwise Sophia could tell, from within the spaceship, without looking outside, whether she is moving uniformly. That would violate the “Principle of Relativity” of Galileo according to which such a motion is not detectable (Henri Poincaré generalized to electromagnetism what he baptized at the time the “Principle of Relativity” in 1904, while he was lecturing among the savages of the New World; unsurprisingly, they don’t remember, and attribute the work to Einstein, ironically enough).

The direct approach above is primary school level. It also directly makes the so called “Twin Paradox” into an absurdity.  Instead, of just hand waving that said paradox is not valid, as Feynman does in his excellent Lectures on Physics, because one twin was accelerated, and the other not, I tackle that from the start, as it should be.

The simpler, the deeper.

Patrice Aymé

Constructing TIME

June 3, 2014

How does one usually define time? Well, I will argue, it’s constructed by machines.

This has major consequences in physics, to be evoked some other time: Cosmic Inflation theory uses time, but has forgotten to define it. Thus a philosophical-historical review is in order.

The concept of time was developed experimentally over several millennia.  Time was important in agriculture: it allowed predicting when to do some specific activities essential to agriculture (planting, irrigation works, etc.).

Mayan Calendar: No Time, No Hydraulic Civilizations

Mayan Calendar: No Time, No Hydraulic Civilizations

The Mayas, and the Babylonians discovered that astronomy, observing stars and planets, allowed to predict the seasons. Thus, they defined time. The Mayan civilization depended upon highly technological seasonally constrained hydraulics, so time was of the essence. The Mayans thrived for millennia before an inordinate drought brought ecological catastrophe and the consequential mayhem (7C to 9C).

Shortly after the equal sign was invented (circa 1500 CE), time appeared in the equations of the Seventeenth Century physics. Time was fundamental to the equations of classical mechanics that described both how mechanical forces and gravitation-imparted trajectories: every dynamical phenomenon was a function of time, and its acceleration, the double derivative relative to time, was the force.

This classical time allowed to determine longitude in navigation. The more precise the time, the more precisely navigators knew where they were in the middle of the ocean. This (new) mechanical notion of time had grown from astronomical time, and was found, de facto, to be identical with astronomical time.

Mathematics and physics were deeply entangled. Time is truly an injection of the Real Line into the space(s) the equations are about. The concept of Real Line is implicitly central to calculus. Calculus was developed for physics.

However, in the Nineteenth Century, equations were derived for a force that was not found in Classical Mechanics, Electromagnetism.

(17 C) Gravitation is what one could call (until 1916!), a “point force”: a planet of mass M can be replaced by a point of mass M (that’s Gauss theorem; it caused lots of trouble to Newton).

Electromagnetism was more complex than gravitation.  Faraday drew lines of force lovingly (and was despised for it). Maxwell transformed them into “field” equations.

A “field”, just as a field of wheat. The Electromagnetic field could turn in circles on itself, or make lobes.

Sometimes, electric charges behave like “point forces” too. But magnetic charges could not be found: they were never like point (“monopoles” in modern jargon). However, electricity would turn into magnetism, and varying magnetism into electricity. Electromagnetism was exasperatingly complicated.

A journalist asked Faraday what use the fact that a varying magnetic field created electricity had. Faraday retorted: ”What’s the use of a new born baby?

All our industry now rests on this new born baby. (By the way, Michael Faraday was directly supported personally by the top plutocrat in Britain, the king.)

A field is non local. Whereas it looked as if gravitation did not need to be described by a field (an impression Einstein would change, but that’s besides the points made here), it was certainly not the case for electromagnetism.

Any force generates an acceleration, hence a dynamic, hence a trajectory. So classical mechanics generated a notion of time (it had turned out that time from a mechanical force, a spring, was the same as from gravitation).

Similarly for electromagnetism: it’s a force, so it defines a notion of time. However, even classically, electromagnetism was non-local. So the clocks defined by electromagnetism are non-local. I call them holonomic. (Adjusting classical time to electromagnetic time is called Special Relativity; it turned out that gravity needed to be made into a field, and that time needed to vary with speed so that physics was independent of speed.)

This notion of non-local time, it turned out, was another excellent torpedo against Cosmic Inflation, and the naivety that helped built it. More later…

Patrice Aymé


Quantum Trumps Spacetime

August 8, 2013

Abstract: simple considerations of a philosophical, non computational, nature, on Space, Time and the Quantum show that the former two are not basic (and that some apparently most baffling traits of the Quantum are intuitive!). Progress in knowledge of the interdependence of things should not be hampered by traditional prejudices. (Not an easy essay: readers are encouraged to jump around it like kangaroos!)


What is time? Today’s physics does not answer that question, it just computes with the notion as if it were obvious. To find out what time could be, a little bout of metaphysics different from the tentative one in today’s understanding of nature, is needed.

Einstein amplified the notion that the universe is about spacetime (x,t) in a reference frame F. He, and his friends Hilbert and Besso used the mathematical, and physical ideas, created by Riemann (and his Italian successors: Ricci, Levi-Civita, etc.)

"Solitary and Uncomprehended Genius"

“Solitary and Uncomprehended Genius”

Lorentz discovered one had to assume that (x’,t’) in a moving frame F’ cruising by at a steady speed v is related to (x,t) in frame F according to the Lorentz transformations.

Lorentz got the Nobel Prize, for finding these (thanks to the recommendation of the towering Henri Poincare’); I am not pointing this out to compare the relative merits of celebrities, but to establish the hierarchy of the discoveries they made, and thus the logic therein. (Poincare”s 1904“Principe de Relativite’” was firmly established before Einstein showed up on the scene, and the latter’s contributions, although enlightening, have been vastly overestimated.) 

Not that the initial logic of a discovery always perdures, but sometimes it’s important. The Einstein cult has been obscuring reality; Einstein would have been the first one to decry it (Einstein basically ran away with the idea of Poincare’ that the constancy of the speed of light, c, being always observed, was thus a fundamental law of physics, and made it the foundation of what Poincare’ called “Relativite'”).

Only by using the Lorentz transformations are the equations of electrodynamics preserved. In other words: only thus is the speed of light measured to be c in both F, using (x,t) and F’, using (x’,t’).

So what is time t?

According to the scheme in Relativity, it’s simple: given the sanctity of the speed of light, c, and space x, time can be measured by having a photon of light going between two perfect mirrors, and counting the impacts (that’s what is called a light clock; it’s very useful to derive most equations of Relativity).

Indeed space is measured by the time it takes light to go back and forth. This sounds like a circular logic: time is needed to measure space and space is needed, to measure time.

Does that mean one of the two, say, time, is derivative?

I used to think so (propped by the lack of time in Quantum Theory, see below). But, actually, no.

Indeed, time can be localized down to the proton scale.

One can measure time at that scale with how long it takes some elementary particle to decay. Or because to any particle is associated its De Broglie wave, hence a frequency (and that particle can be confined in as small a space as a proton).

Basically time can be measured at a point.

However, space, by definition is… non local (space is always an extent, all the more if time is used to measure it, thanks to c; technically my idea is that space depends upon the holonomy group, time does not; thus Minkowsky’s “spacetime” belongs to the dustbin!).

Thus the conceptual universe in which bask electromagnetism makes it look as if, somehow, time was more fundamental.

The situation is the exact opposite in Quantum Theory. Quantum Theory is full of entangled situations. Measure such a situation somewhere, and it changes all over. “Measure such a situation somewhere, and it changes all over” means that a Quantum Process is all over it. Whatever “it” is. Einstein called that “spooky interaction at a distance”. I call it the QUANTUM INTERACTION.

Einstein tried to escape the spookiness. Instead, I claim it should be embraced. After all, Quantum spookiness makes life possible.

We indeed know now that this spooky Quantum interaction is fundamental to life. It allows life to be more efficient than any understanding from classical mechanics could have it. Vision and the chlorophyll molecule use Quantum spookiness at a distance. This recent discovery did not surprise me at all. I fully expected it, just as I fully expect that consciousness will be revealed to be a Quantum effect (an easy prediction, at this point, in this Quantum universe!)

A computer using the Quantum Theory would be more efficient, for the same reason: the Quantum computer computes all over, in a non local way. (The computers we have now are just sleek electron-using versions of the classical computers the ancient Greeks had, with their little teethed wheels; the Quantum computer is founded on a completely different process.)

This “spooky” non locality has alarmed many a thinker. But notice this simple fact: space itself, even the classical space used in electromagnetism, is non local (as one uses light travel, plus time, to determine space).

So it’s only natural that space in Quantum Theory be non local too.

The “spookiness” is easily understood thus: spacetime physics a la Einstein and company singles out a particular interaction, electromagnetism, and the sanctity of c, to measure the universe with. Why this one, and not another of the fundamental interactions we know?

Quantum Theory (QT) gets out of this would-be choice by choosing none of the traditional forces to measure space with!

As QT has it, as it stands, QT does not need to measure the universe. (I believe it does, using the Quantum Interaction, and I can support that with impossible simultaneous measurements at great distances, but that’s another, more advanced set of considerations.)

Those who think thinking is reduced to computing will object that it is not the same type of non locality (the one I claim to see in classical space and the “spooky” one of Quantum space). Whatever: the non locality in quantum Theory does not depend upon light speed. That’s the important point.

There, the lesson cannot be emphasized enough: on the face of it, the basic set-up of Quantum Theory tells us that light, and, in particular light speed, is NOT fundamental.

This few observations above should they prove to be as deep and correct as I believe they are, show the power of the philosophical method, even in today’s physics. Some will scoff, but not consider carefully all the philosophy behind spacetime a la Einstein.

A warning for those who scoff about the importance of meta-physics: the founding paper of differential geometry in mathematics, and physics, was a lecture by Bernhard Riemann. It’s full of metaphysics and metamathematics, for the best.

The paper had just one equation (and it is a definition!)

That lecture was entitled “Über die Hypothesen welche der Geometrie zu Grunde liegen” (“On The Hypotheses Which Underlie Geometry“). (Call these “hypotheses” meta-geometrical, metamathematical, or metaphysical.)

The lecture was published in 1868, two years after his author’s death (and 14 years after he gave it). Riemann’s main idea was to define manifolds and curvature. (Riemannian) manifolds were defined by a metric. Curvature ought to be a tensor, Riemann said, not just a simple number (scalar; as Gaussian curvature).

From top to bottom: positive, negative and no curvature.

From top to bottom: positive, negative and no curvature.

Riemann generalized the notion of curvature to any dimension, thanks to the Riemann Curvature Tensor (the simplified Ricci form of which appears in Einstein’s gravitational field equation).

Here is for some meta-physics; Riemann: “It is quite conceivable that the geometry of space in the very small does not satisfy the axioms of [Euclidean] geometry… The properties which distinguish space from other conceivable triply-extended magnitudes are only to be deduced from experience.

Gauss, Riemann’s teacher, knew this so well that he had tried to measure the curvature of space, if any, using a triangle of tall peaks. Gauss found no curvature, but now we know that gravitation is best described as curved spacetime.

(This lack of Gaussian curvature shows that it’s not because situation is not found under some conditions that it is not there under other conditions; in biology the proof by Medawar that Lamarckism was false, using mice, for which he got the Nobel (being British, ;-)) comes to mind: no Lamarckism in Medawar experiments did not prove that there would be no Lamarckism in other experiments; now four Lamarckist mechanisms are known!)

Twentieth Century physics, in particular the theory of gravitation, exploits the following fact, understood by Riemann as he laid, dying from tuberculosis in Italy. Force is a tautology for geodesics coming closer (or not). Thus curvature is force.

Einstein remarkably said: “Only the genius of Riemann, solitary and uncomprehended, had already won its way by the middle of the last century to a new conception of space, in which space was deprived of its rigidity, and in which its power to take part in physical events was recognized as possible.”

(I find this statement all the more remarkable and prophetic in that it is not in Einstein’s physics, and could not be, but rather in the one I would like to have, where fundamental dynamic processes literally create space…)

The fact that a tautology is at the heart of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity means that it explains nothing much! (Relativity fanatics are going to hate that statement!…although it describes very well what happens to objects evolving in spacetime, especially GPS, let it be said in passing.)

“Only to be deduced from experience”, said mathematician Riemann. What’s the ultimate experience we have? Quantum Theory. And what did we find QT said? You can’t measure with space, you can’t measure with time (although clearly the Quantum depends upon the differential topology of the situation, see the Bohm-Aharanov effect! where, by the way, the space metric is made fun of once again!)

Last splendid idea from Riemann (1854-1866):

“Researches starting from general notions, like the investigation we have just made, can only be useful in preventing this work from being hampered by too narrow views, and progress in knowledge of the interdependence of things from being checked by traditional prejudices.”



Patrice Ayme