Archive for January, 2013

What is Space-time?

Special relativity (SR) is based on  the relativity of simultaneity, that the order in time of two spatially separate events cannot be determined  absolutely, but instead depends on the motion of the observer. Thus it is impossible to order two events in time if they occur in different places (hence difference frames of reference). There is no preferred inertial frame in SR.

English: Schematic view of Einstein's train th...

English: Schematic view of Einstein’s train thought experiment, with two lightnings striking both ends of the moving train simultaneously (as perceived in the stationary observer’s inertial frame). Event simultaneity differences are shown for both inertial frames, supported by Minkowski diagrams (not in scale). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Cordus theories of time and the fabric affirm SR’s principle of the relativity of simultaneity, that time can flow at different speeds for people in different situations. However there are some deeper implications from the Cordus perspective.

The first is that time is not an inherent property of space. Cordus rejects the General relativity (GR) idea of spacetime having a substantial dimensional status comparable to the three geometric axes, and instead sees the fabric as being the relationships between bodies.  Complementary to this is another implication, that time is a property of matter rather than space. Recall that the Cordus theory is that the fundamental level of time is the frequency oscillation of the particule, and the assembly of multiple particules.

This has a further implication that each assembly of matter has its own time (SR: frame of reference) which via the fabric blends discretely into that of other neighbouring matter. Hence the connectedness of the cordus fabric, which provides a mechanism whereby spatially separated bodies appraise each other about their position and state. This corresponds loosely to the GR concept of a smooth spacetime, except that the Cordus fabric is made up of discrete field elements that only appear to be smooth at the macroscopic level. A further implication is that spatially separate bodies have their own time, and Cordus provides a mechanism whereby that fundamental time aggregates into the physical behaviour of a clock. So the question of how time, as measured by say an atomic clock or mechanical timepiece connects to the underlying time, is answered.

This leads to another implication of the Cordus theory, which is that all the separate bodies in the universe, hence also clocks and frames of reference, were once synchronised  in the past.  The primary synchronisation was at the genesis of matter,  when matter was formed from photons. There is a Cordus explanation for this asymmetrical baryogenesis too.  As this matter separated in the formation of the universe, so it carried its clocks with it. Thus there is a branching of times (SR: frames of reference), and this also means they can all be traced back in a family tree. Therefore Cordus only conditionally supports the SP principle of relativity of simultaneity. Cordus suggests that there is a temporal relationship between different frames of reference, that the time for each body (collection of particules) represents its cumulative journey through past space and time (i.e. world-line) and that all frames can therefore be referenced back to the primal genesis event. Not that mere inspection of the matter in any one frame reveals that journey, only the sum thereof. So Cordus suggests that the temporal relationships between inertial frames of reference are not really arbitrary, but rather unapparent. Thus the relationship between two inertial clocks is not simply a convention, though it can be for convenience if the observer is willing to accept the differences as a calibration offset. While the two separate inertial clocks may each have their own time, it is generally not possible to see what this is, so the simultaneity can in practice be set by the observer’s choice. So Cordus rejects the conventionality of simultaneity in principle, but allows it in practice.

What does this mean? Well, it shows that it is possible to connect relativity (both special and general) with particle physics. We achieve this through a specific non-local hidden-variable (NLHV) solution called the cordus conjecture.

This integrates the apparently conflicting nature of the different times suggested by  quantum mechanics, electromagnetic theory, and relativity. Surprisingly, it is not so much that one of these theories is correct and the others wrong, but instead it is shown that they all have a piece of truth. The Cordus theory shows that time is all of particle-based vs. spacetime, relative vs. absolute, local vs. universal. However it is not simultaneously all of those, but rather depends on the level of assembly being considered. We therefore suggest that none of the existing physical theories have got time quite right, even if they are all right in part. Instead Cordus suggests that there is a deeper common causality.

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Time as a property of matter (rather than space)

Our newest paper is out and it explores *time*. We start off reconceptualising time at the fundamental level, by proposing it is nothing more than the frequency cycles of the particules of matter. This is where the fastest tick of time arises. This is comparable to the de Broglie frequency for a particle.

We then propose that the next level of time arises with the bonding of particules into atoms, molecules and bodies. This time beats slower than the fundamental time. We call this the assembly of matter. This is also where irreversibility arises, and the arrow of time too. We explain how.

So in this way we offer a solution for how the time that emerges at the level of atomic clocks  is transferred to the world at large.

One of the objectives of the paper is to explain how the human perception of time arises. We show how time operates at the level of chemical interactions and hence physiology. Then we use that to speculate how the brain then constructs a cognitive meaning for the one-wayness of time.  We can also explain why time appears to be universal and smooth, even though it need not be so at the deeper levels.

Regarding the philosophical question of what is the NOW (the present moment), we suggest it is a cognitive effect associated with consciousness, memory, and the process of thought.

This  Cordus theory shows that time is all of particle-based vs. spacetime, relative vs. absolute, local vs. universal. However it is not simultaneously all of those, but rather depends on the level of assembly of matter under consideration. We therefore suggest that none of the existing physical theories have got time quite right, even if they are all right in part.

The paper is unorthodox in its implication that that time is not an inherent property of space but is of matter, hence spacetime is not really a dimension but only looks that way at the macroscopic level of general relativity.

Read more here:

Pons, D.J. (2013) What really is time? A multiple-level ontological theory for time as a property of matter. vixra, 1-40 DOI:

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The deeper mystery of matter

Forget particles and waves. When it comes to the true guise of material reality, what’s out there is beyond our grasp

So says Anil Ananthaswamy in the New Scientist article ‘Quantum Shadows’ (2013). The problem under consideration is the way light behaves in the double-slit experiment: it can be like a photon or a wave, depending on how it is observed.

There has been a lot of work exploring this behaviour, and some recent research by Peruzzo et al (2012)raises ths issues again. Specifically, they explored Wheeler’s  delayed-choice thought experiment, where a photon passes through a double-slit experiment, and only after its passage does an observer decide whether to measure it as a wave or a particle. They replaced the delayed choice of the observer with nonlocal entanglement. They concluded that they ‘observed strong nonlocal correlations, which show that the photon must simultaneously behave both as a particle and as a wave.’

There has been quite a buzz about this on the blogs. Generally people infer from the experiment that hidden-variable solutions are non-viable. However this is incorrect: all that this particular experiment shows is that nonlocality occurred. Well, that’s not a surprise. One is welcome to infer from that the photon ‘must’ be both a particle and a wave, but doing so is simply a matter of belief.

There is another way to interpret these results: that reality might be better described by a non-local hidden-variable solution (as opposed to the zero-dimensional point idea of QM).

All the results only limit local hidden variable solutions, not non-local hidden-variable (NLHV) theories. This is not contentious, though often overlooked. It is worth picking up on this, if only because the greatest opportunities for breakthrough are in the margins which others have rejected because of their tacit assumptions. Specifically, it is still possible that non-local hidden-variable (NLHV) solutions might exist, including some that are different to the de Broglie-Bohm theory. Our Cordus conjecture is such an example.

The gist of the argument from orthodox physics is  that the photon must be both a wave and particle, and is highly unlikely to  have internal structure. However from our perspective we show that  there is a solution with one particular NLHV structure. It gives natural explanations to many problematic phenomena in fundamental physics, including wave-particle duality, entanglement, and contextual measurement (which is the problem explored in this New Scientist article). It offers explanations for many other effects too, such as asymmetrical baryogenesis (i.e. why the universe is made of matter rather than antimatter).

You can read our paper on the resolution of wave-particle duality here, or the preprint here We call this unorthodox idea the Cordus  conjecture.

The photon is proposed to have two ends, each of which goes through a slit.

The photon is proposed to have two ends, each of which goes through a slit.

Coming back to the NS article, if the cordus explanation is correct, then  the photon is neither a particle nor a wave, but rather a specific structure with discrete fields. We can explain why its behaviour depends on how it is observed, which is also fascinating.  When looked at from the Cordus perspective, the behaviour of the photon is perfectly natural. The weirdness is not because reality is weird, but only because quantum mechanics is not a true description of reality: it simply does not have the necessary concepts. We now think we have both the words and the concepts to express what the photon really is. At least at the next deeper level of physics below QM.

Read the paper and tell us whether you think we have got this right or wrong.

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