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Thread: Philosophical views on the Unification Of Physics

  1. #1 Philosophical views on the Unification Of Physics 
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    PHILOSOPHICAL VIEWS ON THE UNIFICATION OF PHYSICS

    This thread i posted to share my logical views on the development of a complete unified theory that satisfies both quantum mechanics and relativity......

    Millions of dollars have been spent with an idea to discover that accelerated particles someday sometime could reach the speed of light.... A simple thought experiment by einstein showed that 'nothing could travel faster than or at the speed of light, because by the time it approaches, it would have infinite mass and have acquired infinite energy to get it there'...

    Based on the success of scientific theories, Laplace assumed that everything in this world is deterministic.... A simple logic by Heisenberg culminated in his 'uncertainty principle', which tells that everything is uncertain and indeterminate, and it had laid the foundation of quantum mechanics....

    We can anytime look to discover things, either by experiments or thoughts... Even a well performed research experiment could bow down before a logical thinking... Even a good thought experiment might be failed if an observation is incompatible with it......

    The major problem in Physics, (though i wont call it a problem), is that they say the two big theories "relativity" and "quantum mechanics" are incompatible with each other... And many are working on the scientific and mathematical principles to unite them, or to discover a theory which satisfies both,... by doing so, what they have in hand is, some new theories, like string theory, quantum field theory, loop quantum gravity, and so on... but none of them yet describes the complete universe in one go....

    Before working out on mathematical and scientific ways to unite them, does it cost much to use logical thinking?... Could there be a complete theory in future?..Do we really need it?... Are we able to discover it?... Does it worth discovering it? These are some major questions faced by science of today..

    First of all, we can predict the observations based on these partial theories.. so there is not any compulsive need for the unified theory... but science doesnt stop there. It would always look to search for the ultimate... And i would guess the attempt to find such a unified theory is meaningless... Before arguing regarding the existence of it, we must be aware of the concepts and predictions of each theory.. And i hope i know it basically... So here are the reasons why the attempt to find a unified theory is meaningless:

    1) Small scale and Large scale difference:
    Quantum mechanics(QM) describes everything in a very small scale like atoms, molecules, electrons and elementary particles.. On the other hand, relativity(Re) describes the space-time nature on a very very large scale.. Both theories have been confirmed in their limits, and each proves to be quite accurate and efficient.. The search for the unified theory is a problem here based on the scale difference... i would explain it..

    *Consider a point(geometrical).. we all know that infinite number of lines can pass through the point. hence, the region close to the point is very much clustered with lines. looks like the region has more density or intensity formed by the infinite number of lines thought it. but as we go away and away from the point, we could notice the distance between the lines increases.. however dense the region of point with lines, as we go away, we could always notice this.. so, at a good enough distance, there is good enough space between lines.. This is what 'the large scale effect' as i call it.. The high density area of the point, is the small scale sructure of the universe, where you could observe QM predictions, but with distance, the space between the lines offers the large scale effect, which parallels the curvature in Re, where although QM predictions exist, they dont appear on large scales...

    *Consider you were in a forest. you could see the individual trees and their parts in such a scale.. but as you go up and up above the earth, you could notice, at some height, the trees appear as points, and you could notice the shape or boundary of the forest. still higher, you could see the forest as a point. when you go into the space, the earth itself appears as a point.. that doesnt mean those tiny objects disappear.. It is 'the large scale effect'. those tiny objects ALWAYS EXIST, on a small scale as well as on a large scale, but nevertheless, they DONT APPEAR on a large scale!!

    *This is what happens with both theories.. QM predictions still exist, but they dont appear significantly, on such a huge scale... Same with relativity on a small scale.

    2)Forces and Curvature:
    Force and curvature are different. In QM, they have explanation for the three fundamntal forces(electomagnetic, strong and weak nuclear).. what they think it lacks is 'gravity'.. but, the fact is, gravity is not a force like others, but it is a consequence of curvature of space-time, the geometrical fabric of our universe.. and hence, it is meaningless to unite gravity of Re with forces in QM. and quantum mechanics deals with forces as 'interactions between particles', which could not fit their 'gravitons' to explain 'action at a distance'.. Even this curvature effect could only be observed around a massive body, it could not be appreciated in quantum level.. In addition, the strong forces at their level, could mask the curvature effects..

    3) Determinism and uncertainty:
    Not everything in this world is deterministic, as laplace thought.. Same way, not everything is uncertain, as Heisenberg thought.. The universe is a collection of "laws and randomness", that in certain cases you could appreciate determinism, and in others you could feel randomness.. and that is when probability plays its role.. (Einstein quoted 'god doesnt play dice'.) If everything is ruled by randomness, then we might only require probability, and no need of laws... And you could not argue with the determinism of Re, as well as with the randomness of QM, for both has got their important roles..


    CONCLUSION: I would like to stress upon "the large scale effect" as the important reason for unobservable effects of QM on large scales.. And again, the predictions of each theory ALWAYS EXIST even beyond their scale limits, but DO NOT APPEAR in those situations...

    Whats up??: The nature of matter puzzles a lot.. wave particle duality is the thing... we could always put some situations, and during such situations, we observe light as either particles or waves, but is there any other nature of light that we dont aware of..?? or at any point of time, without disturbing, what is the nature of light?? Physics has a lot of work ahead... And it doesnt simply end forever.. for otherwise, we would have known the MIND OF GOD!!...


    **************** your suggestions and ideas are welcome*****************


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  3. #2  
    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arun karthik View Post
    First of all, we can predict the observations based on these partial theories
    No, there are scenarios where a full theory of quantum gravity is needed, e.g. gravitational collapse, or the era immediately after the Big Bang.

    Quantum mechanics(QM) describes everything in a very small scale like atoms, molecules, electrons and elementary particles.. On the other hand, relativity(Re) describes the space-time nature on a very very large scale
    That's not really correct. QM covers both the microscopic and the macroscopic domain; it's just that in the macroscopic domain quantum effects can be neglected, and so the theory reduces to classical mechanics ( that's called the correspondence principle ). Likewise, relativity ( at least Special Relativity ) applies to both the macroscopic and the microscopic domain; e.g. we have the Dirac equation, which is a fully relativistic wave equation for elementary spin 1/2 particles.

    What we do not yet have is model of quantum gravity - that's currently an area of active and ongoing research.

    QM predictions still exist, but they dont appear significantly, on such a huge scale
    Agreed.

    Same with relativity on a small scale
    No, not really. Relativistic effects are definitely important in particle physics, and need to be accounted for.

    gravity is not a force like others
    You are right in that gravity cannot be formulated as a "normal" QFT - attempting to do so leads to unphysical infinities.


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  4. #3  
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    I still don't get it. The above does not satisfy the title#

    What did you say about the philosophical aspect? Nothing#

    You just asked the why(s).......
    "I am sorry for making this letter longer than usual.I actually lacked the time to make it shorter."###
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  5. #4  
    KJW
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    Quote Originally Posted by arun karthik View Post
    Millions of dollars have been spent with an idea to discover that accelerated particles someday sometime could reach the speed of light
    Well, no... The purpose of larger particle accelerators is to increase the energy of the particle interactions so as to explore the physics at such high energy scales and test hypotheses concerning such energy scales. Current technology has a long way to go to reach the grand unification energy, and even further to explore the Planck region.


    Quote Originally Posted by arun karthik View Post
    Small scale and Large scale difference:
    Quantum mechanics(QM) describes everything in a very small scale like atoms, molecules, electrons and elementary particles.. On the other hand, relativity(Re) describes the space-time nature on a very very large scale.. Both theories have been confirmed in their limits, and each proves to be quite accurate and efficient.. The search for the unified theory is a problem here based on the scale difference... i would explain it..
    I fully agree that the issue is scale. Quantum mechanics is about scale, whereas relativity is essentially scale-invariant (gravitation (specifically, the Weyl conformal tensor) is conformally invariant, a stronger form of scale-invariance).


    Quote Originally Posted by arun karthik View Post
    *Consider you were in a forest. you could see the individual trees and their parts in such a scale.. but as you go up and up above the earth, you could notice, at some height, the trees appear as points, and you could notice the shape or boundary of the forest. still higher, you could see the forest as a point. when you go into the space, the earth itself appears as a point
    Yes. I think this is an interesting aspect of scale transformations.


    Quote Originally Posted by arun karthik View Post
    Force and curvature are different. In QM, they have explanation for the three fundamntal forces(electomagnetic, strong and weak nuclear).. what they think it lacks is 'gravity'.. but, the fact is, gravity is not a force like others, but it is a consequence of curvature of space-time, the geometrical fabric of our universe.. and hence, it is meaningless to unite gravity of Re with forces in QM. and quantum mechanics deals with forces as 'interactions between particles', which could not fit their 'gravitons' to explain 'action at a distance'
    I agree with this and believe that the non-renormalisability of gravitation is a reflection of an incorrect quantum view of gravity.


    Quote Originally Posted by arun karthik View Post
    Even this curvature effect could only be observed around a massive body, it could not be appreciated in quantum level.. In addition, the strong forces at their level, could mask the curvature effects

    There is a relationship between distance scale and mass scale such that gravitational effects will become important at very small distance scales.


    Quote Originally Posted by arun karthik View Post
    Not everything in this world is deterministic, as laplace thought.. Same way, not everything is uncertain, as Heisenberg thought.. The universe is a collection of "laws and randomness", that in certain cases you could appreciate determinism, and in others you could feel randomness.. and that is when probability plays its role.. (Einstein quoted 'god doesnt play dice'.)
    The many-worlds interpretation provides an interesting perspective of this by regarding the randomness as only being from the perspective of the observer and not due to a physical process.


    Quote Originally Posted by arun karthik View Post
    If everything is ruled by randomness, then we might only require probability, and no need of laws.
    No. Laws are still needed to determine the probability (even in the many-worlds interpretation, the probability is still objectively determined).


    Quote Originally Posted by arun karthik View Post
    CONCLUSION: I would like to stress upon "the large scale effect" as the important reason for unobservable effects of QM on large scales.. And again, the predictions of each theory ALWAYS EXIST even beyond their scale limits, but DO NOT APPEAR in those situations
    Classical physics is the large-scale limit of quantum physics, and since the Planck constant is the scale constant, it becomes negligible at large scale, and the resulting equations become independent of the Planck constant and scale-invariant.
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    There are no paradoxes in relativity, just people's misunderstandings of it.
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  6. #5  
    KJW
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    Let

    Consider the Klein-Gordon equation:









    In the limit of , the second term provides the equation, , which is the corresponding classical Hamilton-Jacobi equation. Note that there is no dependence on for this term, and is thus scale-independent, and that only appears in the first term that corrects the classical equation for scale-dependent quantum effects.
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    There are no paradoxes in relativity, just people's misunderstandings of it.
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