|Subject: Now... what happened in the first second after
the Big Bang?
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 18:07:35 +0200
From: Dimi Chakalov <email@example.com>
To: JCB <firstname.lastname@example.org>
CC: Dominik.Schwarz@cern.ch, David.Miller@cern.ch,
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
Six unsolicited comments on the question in the subject line; available online at
Soon on CD ROM "Physics of Human Intention".
Now... what happened in the first second after the Big
1. I'm afraid you're looking for the right answer to the wrong question,
Your question involves a self-referential logical paradox, as explained at
I've been talking to lots of people here, including Lee Smolin, who just came out with this review article on quantum gravity:
2) Lee Smolin, How far are we from the quantum theory of gravity?, available as hep-th/0303185.
He compares all the main approaches, with an emphasis
on loop quantum gravity and string theory.
Again, there is a logical contradiction: if Lee Smolin was on the right track, there is no way that he could update his hep-th/0303185 "from time to time",
Indeed, the issue of energy in general relativity has
a lot to do with the notorious "problem of time" in quantum gravity...
but that's another can of worms.
and to the nature of gravity,
People have said a lot of very intelligent things about
many of these questions. So do plenty of research and ask around
before you try to cook up a theory that'll answer one of these and win
you the Nobel prize! You can expect to
really know physics inside and out before you make any progress on these.
This last question sits on the fence between the last
two categories above:
4. Regarding The Big Question (TM): please follow the links in the previous comment No. 3, and recall that "curvature" is defined "over" a mathematical point,
Hence "curvature" is a self-contradictory concept, I'm afraid. But let's see your interpretation of Einstein's equation below.
It is hard to imagine the curvature of 4-dimensional spacetime,
but it is easy to see it in a 2-dimensional surface, like a sphere. The
sphere fits nicely in 3-dimensional flat Euclidean space, so we can visualize
vectors on the sphere as 'tangent vectors'. (...) Because of this analogy,
in general relativity vectors are usually called 'tangent vectors'.
However, it is important not to take this analogy too seriously. Our curved
spacetime need not be embedded in some higher-dimensional flat spacetime
for us to understand its curvature, or the concept of tangent vector. The
mathematics of tensor calculus is designed to let us handle these concepts
'intrinsically' -- i.e., working solely within the 4-dimensional spacetime
in which we find ourselves. This is one reason tensor calculus is so important
in general relativity.
5. I believe the story goes back to St. Augustine,
Tangent vectors are like 'instantaneous velocity at point t_n'. In order to build a *continual* trajectory of spacetime hypersurfaces, you need the phenomenon of transition, about which St. Augustine wrote many years ago.
Surely the medium needed for these transitions requires a new kind of spacetime,
The local mode of spacetime could really be a manifold embedded in the global mode of spacetime, but "flat Euclidean space" won't work, I'm afraid,
(P.S. - You don't need to tell me the answer. I already
know what I think the answer is.)
6. Of course you do! But how about the question in the subject line? Just please recall the motto of the Ross Summer Mathematics Program: Think deeply of simple things. I found it two years ago in your web site, now I searched for it but it is gone.
Have you decided *not* to think deeply of simple things? I hope you will reply in 'This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics (Week 999)'.
Subject: J. Baez,
John Baez mentioned your name in his quant-ph/0404040, and I'm wondering if you support his ideas:
"The big difference is that in topological quantum field theory we cannot measure time in seconds, because there is no background metric available to let us count the passage of time. We can only keep track of topology change."
Only we can't. Tensor products are not like those nice comprehensible cartesian products, and we cannot keep track of them:
"However, the situation changes drastically when we switch to quantum theory! The states of a quantum system can still be thought of as forming a set. However, we do not take the product of these sets to be the set of states for a joint quantum system. Instead, we describe states of a system as unit vectors in a Hilbert space, modulo phase. We define the Hilbert space for a joint system to be the tensor product of the Hilbert spaces for its parts.
"The tensor product of Hilbert spaces is not a cartesian product in the sense defined above, since (...)."
What physical clock could read some animal made of tensor products?
He also wrote: "This paper is best read as a followup to my paper 'Higher-Dimensional Algebra and Planck-Scale Physics' , since it expands on some of the ideas already on touched upon there."
Here I fully agree. Here's is a quote from his 'Higher-Dimensional Algebra and Planck-Scale Physics', gr-qc/9902017:
"To make matters worse, experts often fail to emphasize the difference between experimental results, theories supported by experiment, speculative theories that have gained a certain plausibility after years of study, and the latest fads. Philosophers must take what physicists say about quantum gravity with a grain of salt."
I cannot send my detailed critical comments to J. Baez, since he has asked me not to send him my critical remarks.
Anyway, I think John Baez is doing ornamental physics,
What do you think?
Subject: Think deeply of simple things
I like the motto of the Ross Summer Mathematics Program.
Did you receive my email sent in the past six months? I'm trying to speculate on some quantum gravitational degrees of freedom, by introducing two modes of time, local and global. I suppose that the latter may vary in (0, infinity), in which case, by setting the global time mode to tend asymptotically toward zero, you may recover classical mechanics and Einstein GR.
Would you like to try it? Please don't hesitate!
On Mon, 14 Jan 2002 16:37:33 -0800 (PST), Message-ID:
I have no recollection of such requests from you.
It is true that you did not reply to my email from Thu, 29 Nov 2001 03:14:18 +0100, Subject: Think deeply of simple things. The latter phrase is taken from your front web page. I offered you to try my hypothesis for solving *your* problem:
"Is gravity really curvature, or what else -- and why does it then look like curvature? An answer to this question will necessarily rely upon, and at the same time likely be a large part of, the answers to many of the other questions above."
In other words, I am trying to help you. If you believe can make it, please go ahead. Just do it.
I would like to quote your last email in my book "Physics of Human Intention".
I hope you don't mind, do you?
Dimiter G. Chakalov
A. Einstein, Born-Einstein Letters, 29 April 1924
Subject: Think deeply of simple things
In three consecutive postings from July 1999, you made some shocking revelations about the reality of 'now',
J. Baez (3 July 1999) There really are lots of "nows"
J. Baez (2 July 1999) There really is no "now"
J. Baez (1 July 1999) There really is no "now"
It seems to me that your deep insights are in perfect harmony with a profound statement due to Bob Geroch: "There is no dynamics within space-time itself: nothing ever moves therein; nothing happens; nothing changes." ("General Relativity from A to B", p. 20.)
Now, in my email from Tue, 15 Jan 2002 10:37:03 +0200, which you can read at my web site,
I asked the following question:
"I would like to quote your last email in my book "Physics of Human Intention". I hope you don't mind, do you?"
I very much hope that you will give me permission to quote your email mentioned above. I believe have offered a simple solution to your problems: the phenomenon of transience. It needs what I call 'global mode of time',
Without it, you and many respected physicists such as Bob Geroch will spread out shocking statements which are mathematically justified and yet utterly wrong. You simply need new mathematical ideas, I think.
Why are you wrong? You can read this email and did produce three consistent postings on July 1st, July 2nd, and July 3rd 1999, correct? If true, your brain has memory and your self did NOT change, contrary to your postings.
Unless of course you're some ghost, in which case your statements could be true, but I may not hear from you. Hope you're real and will say something real. It's about time, isn't it?
Dimiter G. Chakalov
Anything else? Scroll up a bit, please.
>> But I'm not interested in "(approximate)
classical". I want an *exact*
Again, the link is
RE the nature of "points" in diff
geometry, see the Thompson lamp
> Simply because it's been assumed
for thousands of years that there are
No. It's all about background-free quantum gravity; read your mentor at
"Personally I think one can dig oneself into a hole by trying to do physics without any background structure - it's a bit like trying to paint a painting without any canvas."
We simply need a new "background" and "back bone",
> Exactness and infinitely small
"points" are not things that we have any
We can't get any empirical evidence that you or John would translate in math, I'm afraid. The only way to get those "points" is by your brain,
More on quantum gravity at
> I would argue that unless you have
a good reason (which I haven't seen
Sure, I have no good reason to expect that this question has an answer. All I want is to recover *exact* points + their brand new (to you and John, it seems) background + a brand new (to you and John, it seems) solution to the "dark" stuff,
I suppose your mentor doesn't care
about what I suggest; the last time I
Good luck with your Ph.D. Thesis.
Subject: Re: Think deeply of simple
D: Anything else? Scroll up a bit, please.
J, current: I see plenty more, but
nothing that bears on what I was
D, current: I was talking about the
most basic feature of quantum
You were talking about Rovelli: "This is pretty much the view he takes in his big blue book "Quantum Gravity", where he talks about this stuff in chapter 5."
Okay, I stay with Einstein and Schrödinger, you stay with Rovelli,
J: This is what I'm unclear on. WHY do you want this?
D: Again, the link is
J, current: Nothing here is recognizable
by me as an answer to that
You quote John's remark that there
is a problem with trying to do
D, current: The new background structure
is NOT "a continuum spacetime
You placed all my efforts in the past 32 years in "etc."
J, current: Here you are talking about consciousness
D, current: Wrong.
J, current: It seems to me like you
are suggesting that there are (at
D, current: No. There are two different
kinds of reality: physical
More on quantum gravity at
J, current: This theory goes by any
number of names, but "metaphysical
D, current: See why an Eskimo cannot comprehend the notion of "trunk",
Final quote from the first link above,
"If we ignore these issues, we're destined to do calculations like Harry."
Click on Harry, and you'll read
Good luck with your math, Harry.