Stephen Wolfram: The Path to the Fundamental Theory of Physics

  • Hans Moog brought this to my attention on Twitter:

    Money Quote:

    Quote

    @stephen_wolfram just released an extremely interesting new model about how the universe evolves from a few really simple rules. In their simulations, they see how space and time come into existence, are able to derive things like the formulas for special relativity and their model even explains why and how Quantum Mechanics works.


    Stephen Wolfram (et. al.), the founder of Wolfram Research (and Wolfram Alpha) has developed an extremely simple model from which the currently know physical model can be derived:


    https://writings.stephenwolfra…hysics-and-its-beautiful/

  • The fact that GR equations come out of it naturally is significant.


    The fact that the scales don't match: particles are much larger scale than the quantisation needed for this thing to work is a big negative.


    I see this as like the quantum entanglement generates spacetime stuff. Cast iron proof that both GR and QM spookiness are emergent phenomena from some underlying mechanism which relates to causality determining the structure of spacetime


    You can see that the SR derivation can be got from any number of systems that have local propagation of causality (which implies c).


    So I actually like this stuff a lot, but not because I think the underlying model is good. Instead I think the higher level derivations indicate something profound which will, in the end, with a different underlying model, win out. And that the QE people are the closest to this at the moment.


    However, all this is why I particularly feel the "model electron semi-classically but if needed with more complex geometry" memes here are on the wrong path, quite apart from the lack of predictivity (elementary mass ratios give you too few bits of info).

  • The fact that GR equations come out of it naturally is significant.


    I very much like the approach as I did invest at lot in the basic underlying math of category/graph- theory.


    Of course you will see some classic GR-like structure if you restrict the sets to 4 elements = max 4 dimensions of connectivity.


    But key of the Wolfram idea is: Computer science/information theory is more fundamental than physics and you need to represent all interactions/particles as programs. This is what I explain since months as the reason why SM, being a closed formalism, fails.


    It will be interesting to see what happens when they once go to 6D (SO(4)) or 8D - Octonions.

  • Hmmm .... entanglement IS spooky.

    I skimmed (read quickly) the summary and introduction. Rang a lot of bells in my memory (I spent several years in graph-related activities), and I've been following strings and loop quantum gravity (etc) for a while.

    Emergent vs intrinsic is a big topic.

    While refreshing my memory I came across this rather interesting (philosophical) review:
    String Theory, Loop Quantum Gravity and Eternalism

    https://www.researchgate.net/p…um_Gravity_and_Eternalism

    Analysing "final" (actually, a large number of iterations) states of universes, Wolfram comes up with 2.7 dimensions, e=mc^2 etc.

    It just struck me that you could plot the dimensionality vs iterations and WATCH space "emerging".

    I think I have to go off and play in the Wolfram cloud for a while.

  • Analysing "final" (actually, a large number of iterations) states of universes, Wolfram comes up with 2.7 dimensions, e=mc^2 etc.


    The base of the natural logarithm 2.718281828459045 can be used for the construction of the Plank quantum. There are some quite interesting hidden reactions that need to be sorted out!


    Exponents in rotation space are just the linear coupling (of total Energy!) of the average number of rotating mass waves.

  • Of course you will see some classic GR-like structure if you restrict the sets to 4 elements = max 4 dimensions of connectivity.


    The concept here (which as I've said above I don't much agree with, because it naturally exhibits underlying quantum effects at completely the wrong scale) is not about connectivity in that way. For example, Wolfram shows that 3D-like structures you can be made using a recurrence that if you look at the pictures splits nodes locally into multiple different classes, each with different relationship to adjacent nodes. The dimension is an emergent phenomenon from this mess.


    The idea is that asymptotically a given Cellular Automata like recurrence may create a density of nodes that varies with distance (path-length) as some polynomial power of path-length. In that case the polynomial power represents the dimension.


    This is much more subtle than the idea that each node is connected in n dimensions to other nodes (and therefore would have 2n connecting edges). That is because nodes are not homogeneous. The pattern created by a CA rule is structured and complex so you need to look at a whole local group of nodes to determine how they are connected.


    Many of you may have played with Penrose's Puzzle pieces which exhibit related fractal behaviour in a different domain.


    Anyway Wolfram's idea is very neat, but almost certainly wrong.


    However, the derived results about causality, SR, GR and QM are indications of deep fundamental structure of the universe. They do not need all the CA machinery to work: the quantum entanglement generates spacetime people have a different way to obtain similar results.


    Exciting times for those who want a theory of everything.

  • In the current mainstream we see photons as a wave/particle duality and electrons in an atom as a fuzzy distribution of random locations with an uncertain probability of structure. A semi-classical electron structure allows so much more detail and certainty in dealing with electrons in condensed matter. The electron orbits become likened to reasonant cavities, structural fields and such. The transition from electron energy level ionisation and photon emission becomes more intuitive.


    I actually have no problem with the standard model until it is used as a jobs program for theories that maybe inefficient. Also when it blocks the way to considering experimental results that potentially draw scrutiny to currently pushed paradigms. Experimental results in the LENR category, those from Mills, Dufour and others in Japan etc who don't use the nuclear fusion explanation can be substantiated in one pile when not limited by clubhouse rules.


    Again new energy source approaches do not require the death of the standard models foundation just a more detailed approach. They might require it though. Pay attention to the gaps in the energy density continuum from chemical to matter annialation. What knowledge or re-application of various proccesses we already understand can allow denser alleviation of atomic bond potencial energy?

  • I actually have no problem with the standard model (SM) until it is used as a jobs program for theories that maybe inefficient. Also when it blocks the way to considering experimental results that potentially draw scrutiny to currently pushed paradigms. Experimental results in the LENR category, those from Mills, Dufour and others in Japan etc who don't use the nuclear fusion explanation can be substantiated in one pile when not limited by clubhouse rules.


    SM is only applicable for high energy scattering - may be interesting for cosmology, military but not for any dense matter physics.

    SM in respect to particles is a toy model and not at all serious as it has been developed in constant violation of its foundation = rigid momentum operator = mass energy equivalent of rotting mass. This e.g. a notion of spin "0" is absolute nonsense ... This only reflects the limit of the scattering behavior not the intrinsic particle behavior.