Archive for category Overview, general cordus principles

FQXi essay contest: Questioning the Foundations

The purpose of the Foundational Questions Institute is to encourage ‘innovative ideas integral to a deep understanding of reality’.  Their 2012 essay contest invites authors to identify Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?

In our submisison we use cordus to show that the 0-D point premise can be challenged, and is likely to have profound consequences for physics when it falls. There are many things for which cordus offers explanations, and for this essay we had to focus on some and not cover others. Basically we decided to focus our essay on the conventional assumption that particles are merely points. From there we explore the alternative options and show how cordus offers a viable solution.

You can see and discuss our submission here.

Why not join in and see what new ideas are surfacing? There are some really interesting essays there, and  something for everyone whether you like the mathematical approach to physics, the descriptive, or the philosophical.



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Paper published: ‘Wave–particle duality’ in Physics Essays

One of our papers, ‘Wave–particle duality: A conceptual solution from the cordus conjecture’, has been published in the journal Physics Essays.

What’s it about?

The paper addresses one of the fundamental problems in physics; wave-particle duality, by applying design thinking:

‘This work comes at the issue from a totally different approach: it applies design thinking to the problem.’

Yes, that’s right! The principles of engineering design are used to come up with a  candidate solution for resolving that paradox:

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Based on File:Refraction_internal_reflection_diagram.PNG on the English Wikipedia. Original description: The critical angle is when the light is refracted precisely at an angle such that t transmission is along the boundary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘The cordus concept is used to explain the path dilemmas of the single photon in the double-slit device, and the wave behaviour of light including the formation of fringes by single photons and beams of light. In addition it provides a tangible explanation for frequency. It also yields new quantitative derivations for several basic optical effects: critical angle, Snell’s law, and Brewster’s angle.’

The full paper is here:


About the journal

The journal Physics Essays is open-minded about novel ideas and not afraid of publishing content that might be contrary to the established orthodoxy:

‘Different points of view will be accepted as long as they are logically sound and well balanced in their exposition’

The journal  focusses on fundamental problems in physics, and articles are peer-reviewed:

‘Physics Essays is an international journal dedicated to theoretical and experimental aspects of fundamental problems in physics and, generally, to the advancement of basic knowledge of physics’


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Limits of Coherence

Surprisingly, quantum mechanics (QM) does not apply to reality at our macroscopic level of existence, nor to the universe at large. Strangely, it does apply so well to the particle level.

More specifically, quantum behaviour such as superposition of location, is only evident in particles and some microscopic objects of pure composition, cooled to close to absolute zero temperature. Or in warmer objects (e.g. pure diamonds) but only for a tiny fraction of a second. QM suggests should it should be attainable in larger and warmer objects, but this has proved difficult to achieve. It is not clear where the boundary is between the quantum world of particles and the macroscopic world, and quantum mechanics itself cannot identify why there should be a boundary, nor where it would be. Hence one of the great mysteries of physics: why a theory that works so well at the tiny scale does not scale up to the large.

What causes quantum discoherence?  Where are the limits of coherence? What is coherence?

Clearly there is a discontinuity in the physics between the small and large scales of nature. Enter the cordus conjecture, which we have been using to determine where in the scale of things the transition occurs between coherence and discoherence, and why the limits are where they are.

The  results of our thinking are shown in the paper we’ve published here

Briefly, the reasons for discoherence are proposed to be internal shear velocity of the body, temperature phonons, and complexity of assembly (particularly purity of composition). The upper limit for coherence is expected to be at currently achieved levels of material complexity, or slightly beyond. However cordus rules out coherence for warm macroscopic objects and living creatures. 

If this is correct, and of course the cordus conjecture is only a conjecture, then there are some implications for physics. And also for philosophy.

For physics: The theory of QM has created an expectation that coherence is the norm and therefore should be found in macroscopic bodies. Cordus suggests that we should instead view discoherence as the normal state, and coherence as a special state of extended application of the strong force into bonding.

For philosophy:  There has been much philosophical speculation about the role of measurement, including human observation, on the future of behaviour of particles and coherent bodies.  See ‘Schrodinger’s Cat’. Cordus refutes those ideas, and instead suggests that in those rare cases where coherence of macroscopic objects is attainable, this does not mean that the object has two futures, only that it can have two locations. So cordus refutes the Many-Worlds interpretation and Parallel Universe theory.

It seems we only have one universe and only one of each of us in existence. No doppelgangers. Make the most of the time you have been given!

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