Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Physics Theory is Required to do Three Things: describe, explain and predict (part 1) [UPDATED]

A physics theory is required to describe, explain and predict. Nothing less, nothing more.

There is, of course, a lot of politics surrounding the theoretical physics industry and other reasons why a theory will be accepted or rejected, or come into favour, even rise to become dominant only to fall out of favour when new experimental results come up. I will try here to stir away from the politics of physics and write about what makes a theory scientifically successful (as opposed to sociologically successful).

A physics theory must describe a certain class of phenomena, explain them satisfactorily and make predictions which can be experimentally or observationally confirmed.

I received an email a few days ago from a German physicist who was quite disturbed by the fact that, as he puts it, quantum-geometry dynamics, as explained in Introduction to Quantum-Geometry Dynamics, goes against much of the dominant theories of physics. Not only does it not fit with dominant theories, it approaches the problem of developing a fundamental theory of reality axiomatically rather than empirically.

He was right of course. QGD does question a number of notions and concepts which we have come to accept (often unconsciously) as absolute truths. For example, all dominant theories are based on the axiom of continuity of space. QGD is founded on the axiom of discreteness of space. Not only does QGD consider space to be discrete, it proposes that space be the result of the interactions between preons(-); one of only two types fundamental particles the theory admits. Thus space is dimensionalized by preons(-).

QGD can be understood as a physics theory of quantum-geometrical space that implies that the structure of space determines the structure of matter and not the reverse.

QGD explains that the constancy of the speed of light is a direct consequence of the quantum-geometrical structure of space and shows that time is a pure relational concept having no physical reality. This is in disagreement with special relativity.

QGD also considers that mass is a fundamental property of matter and proposes that all matter is made of preons(+), the second type of fundamental particles. So all the particles which physics considers fundamental are, according to the QGD model, composite particles. Even photons, are shown to be composite particles made of preons(+). Thus QGD is in opposition with the standard model of quantum mechanics.

Finally, since a direct implication of space being quantum-geometrical is that the Universe evolved from an isotropic state rather than a singularity, it is also doesn’t sit well with the Big Bang theory.

The examples above concede that QGD disagrees with dominant theories in physics. So what?

When working on QGD, one of my biggest concern was to follow the laws of the initial axiomatic set rigorously so as to avoid coercing the theory into agreeing with any other theory. In other words, I wanted to let the theory develop in a manner consistent with its axiom set. Also as important as avoiding coercing the QGD to agree with another theory, it was essential to avoid contriving it to agree with experimental and observational data (which is another mistake science makes), but instead only compare explanations and predictions which have first been rigorously derived from the axiom set.

All a theory of physics is required to do is describe, explain and predict the behaviour of physical systems. It needs to agree with physical reality, not with other theories however successful they may be. So the only important question about quantum-geometry dynamics should be: does it agree with reality? I’ll let you, patient reader, be the judge.

What QGD describes?

QGD is a theory of fundamental reality which not only describes systems at the most fundamental level but shows that all phenomena, at any scale of physical of reality, can be described in terms of its two fundamental particles and associated fundamental forces.

Also, while physics provides definitions for notions such as mass, energy, momentum, quantum-geometry dynamics forces us to rethink those notions. It also provides a clear physical explanation of laws of conservation.

What QGD explains?

QGD explains why space is quantum-geometrical (it is the largest structure in the Universe) and is emergent.

That gravity is a composite force of the two fundamental forces and shows in a manner consistent with its principle and observations that the electromagnetic, the strong and weak forces are in fact effects resulting from the two fundamental forces.

It proposes an equation for gravitational interactions from which all forces can be derived. Other effects that can be derived are the dark matter and dark energy effects, which are particular solutions of the equation, the mechanisms of the different forms of particles decay and more.

What QGD predicts?

Predictions, specifically original predictions, provide the only real test for a theory. Any number of models can be built that can satisfactorily explain observations a posteriori, but only a solid theory can make predictions that can be experimentally tested.

Some of QGD predictions which have received some encouraging though insufficient experimental validation are the exclusion of the Higgs boson, the inexistence of extra-dimensions and superluminal relative speed of neutrinos (not absolute superluminal speed, since QGD predicts that neutrinos, like photons, can only move at the speed of light).

Why no Higgs?

When in 2011 this article was first posted, I wrote that the axiom set of quantum-geometry dynamics excluded the existence the Higgs boson and the necessity of the Higgs mechanism. Since then, two independent experiments at the CERN’s large hadron collider claimed the discovery of the Higgs boson. The discovery was recognized by the international physics community and by the Nobel Foundation who awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in physics to two of the theorists who predicted its existence (Peter Higgs and Fran├žois Englert). At first glance, one would be correct to assume that the discovery of this particle which was given the name of Higgs falsifies QGD’s predictions of non-existence of the Higgs boson and Higgs mechanism and refute QGD’s fundamental assumption that mass is an intrinsic property of matter, but a closer examination of the discovery says otherwise.

While it would be hard to argue that a particle was found which appears to possess some of the characteristics predicted for the hypothetical Higgs boson by the standard model of particle physics, none of these characteristics can be linked to the Higgs mechanism, which, if the model is correct, explains why particles have mass. In other words, nothing indicates that this particle which was given the name of Higgs, does anything it is purported it must. In fact, though everyone in the field assumes the discovered particle named Higgs to be that particle which gives mass to other particles, nothing except a leap of fate supports the assumption it does what the Higgs must do in order to impart mass (mass, according to the standard model, is an extrinsic property).

Contrary to the standard model, QGD’s assumption about mass is that is a fundamental and intrinsic property of matter. The mass of an object, expressed in fundamental units, is simply the number preons(+) it contains (and energy, the number of preons(+) times the fundamental unit of kinetic energy). So since mass is a property of the fundamental particle of preons(+), it doesn’t require the existence of the Higgs boson or anything similar to the Higgs mechanism to convey mass. In fact, unlike gauge theories where many physical properties are extrinsic, the properties displayed by each of the only two fundamental particles predicted by QGD are intrinsic to them. The question then is, what supports QGD’s assumption in regards to the nature of mass.

For one, QGD explains how that mass manifests itself is through the gravity for example. The readers might find interesting that Newton’s law of universal gravity follows naturally from the QGD’s axiom set. Below is a brief discussion of the relationship between mass and gravity (a complete explanation can be found in Introduction to Quantum-Geometry Dynamics):

Preons(+) are the fundamental particle of matter. They have two fundamental properties. They are strictly kinetic and their motion is described by the momentum vector \vec{c}. Preons(+) also interact with each other via the fundamental attractive force I call p-gravity and the interaction between two preons(+) is the fundamental unit of p-gravity.

Preons(-), the second and last fundamental particle predicted by QGD, is the fundamental discrete unit of space. It possesses two fundamental properties. The first fundamental property is that the preon(-) is strictly static. The second is that preons(-) interact with each other via the fundamental repulsive of n-gravity.

P-gravity and n-gravity are the only two fundamental forces predicted by QGD. It follows all observed forces must be conjugated effects of these two forces. That includes gravity which we discuss below.

Considering any two gravitationally interacting objects a and b, we have all the preons(+) of structure a interacting with all preons(+) of structure b. It follows from the definitions given above that p-gravity contribution to the gravitational effect is simply the number of n-gravity interactions between a and bmultiplied by the unit of p-gravity. That is; it is the product of the number of preons(+) ofa by the number of preons(+) of b. In more familiar terms, it is the products of their masses times the unit of p-gravity. We thus have {{m}_{a}}{{m}_{b}} units of p-gravity.

We take into account the effect of distance in a similar way by counting the number of preon(-) interactions between any two preons(+) belonging respectively to a and b . The number of interaction between any two preons(+), one belonging to a and the other to b, is \displaystyle \frac{\left( {{d}^{2}}+d \right)}{2}. And since there are {{m}_{a}}{{m}_{b}} interacting preons(+) pairs, the total number of n-gravity interaction between a and b is equal to \displaystyle {{m}_{a}}{{m}_{b}}\frac{\left( {{d}^{2}}+d \right)}{2}.

From the number of p-gravity and n-gravity interactions between, we can derive QGD’s equation for gravity

\displaystyle G(a;b)=k{{m}_{a}}{{m}_{b}}-\frac{{{m}_{a}}{{m}_{b}}\left( {{d}^{2}}+d \right)}{2}


\displaystyle G(a;b)={{m}_{a}}{{m}_{b}}\left( k-\frac{\left( {{d}^{2}}+d \right)}{2} \right)

where d
is the distance generated by preons(-) between a and b and
is the proportionality constant between the fundamental forces associated with preons(-) and preons(+), respectively n-gravity and p-gravity (see Introduction to Quantum-Geometry Dynamics for detailed explanation).

This equation, is in agreement with Newton’s law of gravitation at the non-fundamental scale, that is, when the quantum-geometrical distance between two objects is such that n-gravity and p-gravity are in near equilibrium but positive. Thus Newton’s law of gravitation is an approximation of the QGD equation when the following are satisfied.

\displaystyle k-\frac{\left( {{d}^{2}}+d \right)}{2}\approx 0 and \displaystyle k-\frac{\left( {{d}^{2}}+d \right)}{2}>0

Note: for those who aren’t familiar with QGD (which is most of you at this time), the constant k is one of one two constants required by the theory (the other one being c ).

Thus, QGD’s assumption that mass be intrinsic links mass and gravity in a simple way that is consistent with observations (something that the standard model fails to do, even with the inclusion of the Higgs boson and mechanism).

Why QGD excludes of extra-dimensions

From space being an emergent property of preons(-), it follows that all dimensions of space must be physically equivalent (preons(-) don’t exist in space, they generate it). Since all dimensions (the mutually orthogonal directions from any point in physical space) are similar, motion in all along all existing dimensions must be possible and observable. Hence, if space is quantum-geometrical as defined by QGD, there can’t be any hidden or otherwise inaccessible dimensions.

Let us assume for a moment that space consists of more than three dimensions. If space has 3 + n dimensions then, since all emergent dimensions must be physically similar, it should be possible to draw sets of 3+n mutually orthogonal lines through any point in space (preon(-)). And, we should be able to move along any of the 3+n physical dimensions. But, observation and experiments confirm that we can’t create sets consisting of more than three mutually orthogonal lines so it follows that n=0 .

So, because all physical dimensions within our physical reality must be visible and since there can be only three visible dimensions, quantum-geometrical space, hence the Universe, must be tridimensional.

That said, extra dimensions are not entirely excluded (we certainly possess the mathematical models to describe them), but should they exist, their existence cannot be inferred from any interactions within the physical geometry of our universe. Hence, it does not matter whether extra dimensions exist. Their existence, if space is quantum-geometrical, is irrelevant to the physics of our reality.

Of course, string theory proposes strong arguments to the contrary and I encourage readers to review them as well.

About Superluminal Speeds

Although QGD’s shows speed to be an intrinsic property of a particle or material structure, it predicts superluminal relative speed . Relative speed being what we usually refer to when we talk about the speed of an object. So though recent results of the OPERA group that indicated measurement of neutrinos moving at superluminal speed have been dismissed as having been caused by an experimental error, if as QGD suggests, neutrinos, like photons, can only move at the intrinsic speed of light, then the fluctuations found in the speed of neutrinos of the OPERA experiment and the independent experiments which refuted its results of the OPERA group must be attributed to variation in their speeds relative to apparatus used to detect them, which relative speed is shown by the data to be superluminal for some of the sampled neutrinos.

Note: Relative speed is the rate of displacement relative to a reference system. It is the function of time v=\frac{d}{t}where d is the displacement and t the elapsed time. Since QGD considers time to be a purely relational concept, that is, it doesn’t correspond to any physical aspect of reality, it shows speed to be an intrinsic property and, as a consequence, is independent of any frame of reference. The speed of an object a is defined as {{v}_{a}}=\frac{\left\| \sum\limits_{i=1}^{{{m}_{a}}}{{{{\vec{c}}}_{i}}} \right\|}{{{m}_{a}}} where the numerator is the momentum of a and {{m}_{a}} its mass in preons(+), the fundamental particle and unit of matter, and {{\vec{c}}_{i}} the momentum vectors of each of its component preons(+).

This concludes the first part of this blog. In the second part, I will discuss a number of predictions that are original with quantum-geometry dynamics and which can be tested experimentally. And as most of QGD predictions, the reader is forewarned that no efforts have been made to make them fit dominant theories or the observational and experimental data a posteriori. All predictions of QGD are direct consequences of its axiom set which can and should be compared to observational and experimental data (not the unavoidably biased theoretical interpretations of data).

(Introduction to Quantum-Geometry Dynamics can be downloaded from here. Click here to read part 2 of the article.

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