Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more ➡
Standard view
Full view
of .
×
0 of .
Results for:
P. 1
Can Mathematical Structure and Physical Reality be the Same Thing?

# Can Mathematical Structure and Physical Reality be the Same Thing?

Ratings: 0|Views: 2,434|Likes:
We try to demonstrate a simple mathematical structure's properties as an observable physical reality or toy universe. We determine the numerical value of the fine structure constant, alpha = 1/137, from first principles and a simple mathematical structure, propose a possible derivation of the other interaction constants like the gravitational constant and discuss how much observer participancy and interpretation is needed to link the model with physical reality. We conclude doubting the existence of a distinctly recognizable identity of mathematical structure and physical reality without interpretation.
We try to demonstrate a simple mathematical structure's properties as an observable physical reality or toy universe. We determine the numerical value of the fine structure constant, alpha = 1/137, from first principles and a simple mathematical structure, propose a possible derivation of the other interaction constants like the gravitational constant and discuss how much observer participancy and interpretation is needed to link the model with physical reality. We conclude doubting the existence of a distinctly recognizable identity of mathematical structure and physical reality without interpretation.

### Availability:

See More
See less

04/23/2013

pdf

text

original

(Revised version)
Can Mathematical Structure and Physical Reality be the Same Thing? –
An attempt to find the fine structure constant and other fundamental constants insuch a structure
Pinhas Ben-Avraham Thebock, 12/5 Rehov Rashi, Elad 48900, Israel
March 18, 2009; Revised October 7, 2009
Keywords:
Electric charge, fractional charge, fine structure constant, fundamental constants,dimensionality, uncertainty principle, mathematical universe, physical reality, Mach’s principle.
Abstract
We try to demonstrate a simple mathematical structure’s properties as an observable physical reality or toy universe.Commencing from properties of an n-dimensional Euclidean structure we develop the motion of a point within thatstructure into a means to determine one or more interaction constants for this point in its geometrical environment. Wediscuss the implications of dimensionality and try to find a reasonable minimum amount of interpretation to let themathematical structure resemble an observable physical reality without “plugging in” constants. Instead, we only “plugin” some elementary concepts of physics we try to keep to a minimum. We discuss, without any claim to completeness,in what way the mathematical structure could be conceived as a physical reality or whether it could be a physicalreality. In this exercise we find the fine structure constant to be the most naturally emerging constant.
1. Introduction
In 2006/7, Frank Wilczek [1, 2] stated that fundamental constants in physics, like for example interaction constants are purely numerical quantities whose values cannot be derivedfrom first principles, meaning, they are not derivable from equations describing certain physical theories, let alone real phenomena that also are not derivable from such equationswithout “plugging in” natural constants. He further stated that these natural constants makeup the link between equations and reality, and their values cannot be determinedconceptually.Arthur Eddington [3] tried for the greater part of his later life to find a geometrical principleto describe physics on the basis of the fine structure constant’s peculiar numerical value,1/137, to no avail. Koschmieder [4] uses lattice theory to explain the masses of the particlesof the Standard Model, concluding that “only” photons, neutrinos and electric charge areneeded to explain the masses of all the particles. He refers to MacGregor [5, 6, 7] who showsin three papers that the masses of the particles of the Standard Model depend solely on theelectron mass and the fine structure constant’s numerical value in natural units. Nottale et al.[8, 9] propose a model of “scale relativity” that solves the problem of the divergence of charges or coupling constants and self-energy with the fine structure constant, α = 1/137, onthe electron scale. They attempt to devise a geometrical framework in which motion laws arecompleted by scale laws. From these scale laws they obtain standard quantum mechanics asmechanics in a non-differentiable space-time
. In particular, in reference [8] Nottale
1
Email:  pinhas_ben_avraham@hotmail.com, Tel. +972-50-863.9107
2
They do not arrive at a discrete space-time, but rather postulate it.

demonstrates a derivation of the fine structure constant by “running down” the formal QEDinverse coupling from the electron scale (Compton length) to the Planck scale by using itsrenormalization group equation
.The numerical value achieved by this procedure is prettyclose to reality. A shortcoming of this approach is it yields different values for the “barecharge” or “bare coupling”. Again, he needs to refer to experimental observation to choosethe “correct” or “physical” of the three possible solutions. Furthermore, specific length scaleslike the Compton and the Planck length have to be “plugged in” to come up with realisticvalues for the coupling constants he determines. Similarly, Garrett Lisi [10] needs to choosethe symmetry breaking and the action by hand to achieve an otherwise compelling proposalfor a “Theory of Everything” matching the Standard Model. Other approaches to derive thenumerical values of coupling constants, and in particular the fine structure constant, border on numerology or other “esotericapproaches bearing little resemblance of physicalreasoning that can be derived from observational experience underlying the construct of themathematical structures proposed.In our approach we try to avoid any input of numerical values for interaction or couplingconstants, but resort only to some fundamental concepts of elementary physics wherenecessary. By allowing generalized dimensionality we include the possibility of a fractal picture of space-time that seems to be, at least tentatively, justified by phenomena such asBrownian motion and
zitterbewegung
, the latter of the two showing true fractionaldimensionality, and by quantum theory itself that proposes the Planck length and Planck timeas a smallest scale. It shall, however, become clear in the course of our treatment of theunderlying mathematical structure we have assumed that such phenomena are the result of the underlying mathematical structure.The introduction of additional dimensions in Kalutza-Klein theories or string theory as wellas the above mentioned approaches seems to warrant two fundamental questions:1.Is there a fundamental connection of space geometry to at least one of the couplingconstants?2.What role plays dimensionality in the sense of Hausdorff’s extended view ondimensionality and fractional dimensionality in physical interactions?We attempt to shed light onto these questions considering some properties of spaces seen asmathematical structures containing, resembling or being such physical interactions withoutclaiming the identity of our structures with physical reality as such. We try to keep the physical reality as simple as possible to see how much “physical law” in form of properties of the underlying structure such simplistic example can produce, and how much additional inputin form of mathematical structure or its properties is needed to make our structure be arealistic “toy” universe.Max Tegmark [11] proposed in 2007 a mathematical universe hypothesis stating “Our external physical reality is a mathematical structure”, based on the assumption that “Thereexists an external physical reality completely independent of us humans”. He argues for theequivalence of a mathematical structure and the physical reality it describes and we observe,not merely the mathematical structure
describing
the physical reality. Despite his effort to
3
Such equation needs physical insight to be “derived”. A merely mathematical reasoning without referenceto phenomena or physical concepts is impossible.
2

encode numerically elements of language defining or describing mathematical entities or (partial) structures, at least one information theoretical problem remains: one need to agreeon the encoding. We do have no proof of a “natural” encoding mechanism that would be provably inevitable by emerging from the structure itself as a “by nature preferred encodingmechanism”. We hold against the quest for an absolutely mathematical nature of physicalreality that human language and its content may well be translated into mathematicalsymbolism or “language”, but cannot be immune against a decidedly willed, random or evenillogical treatment of that physical reality by humans. Furthermore, any distinctions withinthe structure are arguably man-made, except they would “automatically” emerge from thestructure itself. Thereby the choices made what to look for inside the structure may be alsoarguably man-made. Besides this caution we find it enormously interesting to try to build amathematical structure “from scratch” that describes or resembles a physical reality. We arenot insisting on what is the “ultimate scratch”, but are interested whether we will be able toargue in favor of an identity of mathematical structure and physical reality.We will try in the following to investigate a mathematical structure resembling a physicalreality using a simple example for such a reality. A central question we shall try to answer iswhether and how such structure can provide us with numerically acceptable unique valuesfor, say, conditions of minimal physical (inter-) action. The choice of our example cannot becompletely arbitrary and random. Hence, we try to determine from the properties of a simplestructure and first principles
whether we can find a physical (inter-) action we can observe.In section 2 we choose as a starting structure for our example Euclidean space
in arbitrarilymany dimensions. To include fractional dimensions into our discussion we construct an n-dimensional structure with
n
a real number. We further allege all physical reality should look the same in any arbitrarily chosen locality of that space. By the introduction of time weintroduce a structure similar to Minkowski space, but we shall use complementary spacessuch as momentum space as a basic structure to arrive there. In section 3 where we also try todefine what is movement and how time-like coordinates arise from it. In sections 4 to 6 weconstruct such complementary spaces and demonstrate some properties of “position space”and “velocity space”
, taking into consideration “acceleration space”, all in particuladependent on dimensionality. We use the conditions we found in those sections to derive a possible physical interaction in section 5. In sections 6 and 7 we attempt a discussion aboutthe physical meaning of dimensionality and a relativity of space-volume in n dimensions andtry to give an interpretation of a possible dependency of observed physical interactions ondimensionality by discussing velocity or momentum densities in different dimensions for identical movements taking “acceleration space” and “jerk space” into consideration, tofinally conclude in section 8 with a discussion of our findings and try to assess how muchinterpretation is necessary to find the physical reality in the mathematical structure. In a brief outlook we try to suggest a program for systematically exploring avenues towards thedevelopment of a TOE based on purely geometric considerations.
4
We try to limit these to the definitions of position, time, velocity, acceleration and higher time derivativesas specified in section 3.
5
NOT space-time!
6
Velocity space shall be at this stage identical with momentum space as we try not to define anything like amass yet.
3

## Activity (17)

### Showing

AllMost RecentReviewsAll NotesLikes