Subject: Now... what happened in the first second after the Big Bang?
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 18:07:35 +0200
From: Dimi Chakalov <>
To: JCB <>
BCC: [snip]

Six unsolicited comments on the question in the subject line; available online at

Soon on CD ROM "Physics of Human Intention".

1. John Baez (June 1, 2003), This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics (Week 196),

Now... what happened in the first second after the Big Bang?

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

2. John Baez (March 23, 2003), This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics (Week 195),

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.

2. See the comments by L. Smolin in hep-th/0303185 v2 of Fri, 11 Apr 2003 02:53:05 GMT: "This is a review and it will be updated from time to time"

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",

3. Michael Weiss and John Baez, Is Energy Conserved in General Relativity?

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.

3. I think it is a huge can of worms, since it leads to the problem of continuum,

and to the nature of gravity,

4. Open Questions in Physics, Original by John Baez, Updated June 1997 by JCB,

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.
What happened at or before the Big Bang?  Was there really an initial singularity? Of course, this question might not make sense, but it might.  Does the history of the Universe go back in time forever, or only a finite amount?
Is spacetime really four-dimensional?  If so, why--or is that just a silly question? Or is spacetime not really a manifold at all if examined on a short enough distance scale?
Is there some missing "Dark Matter"?  If so, is it baryonic, neutrinos, or something more exotic?  If not, is there some problem with our understanding of gravity, or what?
The Big Question (TM)

This last question sits on the fence between the last two categories above:
How do you merge Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity to create a quantum theory of gravity?  Is Einstein's theory of gravity (classical GR) also correct in the microscopic limit, or are there modifications possible/required which coincide in the observed limit(s)?  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.

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.

5. John C. Baez (March 10, 2001), The Meaning of Einstein's Equation, Sec. Preliminaries,

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,

6. John Baez (October 24, 1997), The Square Root of Complex Conjugation - A Puzzle,

(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)'.

Good luck.

Dimi Chakalov
The series is divergent; therefore we may be able to do something with it
Oliver Heaviside


Subject: J. Baez, quant-ph/0404040 v1
Date: Thu, 08 Apr 2004 07:45:48 +0300
From: Dimi Chakalov <>
To: Bob Coecke <>

Dear Bob,

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' [5], 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
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 03:14:18 +0100
From: "Dimiter G. Chakalov" <>

Hi John:

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!


(last update 28 November 2001)

Suubject: Re: Feedback?
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 10:37:03 +0200
From: "Dimiter G. Chakalov" <>
BCC: [snip]
References: 1

On Mon, 14 Jan 2002 16:37:33 -0800 (PST), Message-ID:
<>, wrote:

> You write:

> > I haven't heard from you lately.

> I've repeatedly requested that you not send me email.
> You can save both of us some trouble by taking me off your list.

> Sincerely,
> John Baez

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:

J. Baez. Open Questions in Physics,

"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
I find the idea quite intolerable that an electron exposed to radiation should choose of its own free will, not only its moment to jump off, but also its direction. In that case I would rather be a cobbler, or even an employee in a gaming-house, than a physicist.

A. Einstein, Born-Einstein Letters, 29 April 1924


Subject: Think deeply of simple things
Date: Mon, 03 Jun 2002 00:48:34 +0100
From: Dimi Chakalov <>
BCC: [snip]


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


Subject: Re: Think deeply of simple things
Date: Thu, 09 Feb 2006 04:09:58 +0200
From: Dimi Chakalov <>
To: Jeffrey Morton <>

> I see here a quote from Carlo Rovelli.

Anything else? Scroll up a bit, please.

>> But I'm not interested in "(approximate) classical". I want an *exact*
>> solution to the measurement problem, which would produce *points*,
>> as we use them since the time of Archimedes,
> This is what I'm unclear on.  WHY do you want this?

Again, the link is

More at

RE the nature of "points" in diff geometry, see the Thompson lamp
paradox at

> Simply because it's been assumed for thousands of years that there are
> exact space/time locations?

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
> evidence for empirically.

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
> in any of these links) for insisting on recovering *exact* points
> (rather than recovering a *theory* with exact points as a limiting case
> of the more-nearly-physical theory, in this case QM, or more to the
> point, some as-yet nonexistent quantum theory of gravity), you also
> have no good reason to expect that this question has an answer.

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
heard from his was on Mon, 14 Jan 2002 16:37:33 -0800 (PST). I included
his email address in the CC: list for pure netiquette.

Good luck with your Ph.D. Thesis.



Subject: Re: Think deeply of simple things
Date: Thu, 09 Feb 2006 14:39:40 +0200
From: Dimi Chakalov <>
To: Jeffrey Morton <>


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
question.  The closest thing here seems to be an assertion that this is,
in fact, what you are hoping to recover.

You quote John's remark that there is a problem with trying to do
physics without ANY background structure - which is not relevant to the
issue of why that background structure should be a continuum spacetime
with infinitely precise points, etc.

D, current: The new background structure is NOT "a continuum spacetime
with infinitely precise points". It is the hypothetical 'global mode of
spacetime'. The hypothetical 'local mode of spacetime' is indeed "a
continuum spacetime with infinitely precise points".

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
least) two different kinds of "stuff" in the world - quantum and
classical - and that you want to have a theory that explains how they
interact (among other things). Is this a correct interpretation of what
you're saying?

D, current: No. There are two different kinds of reality: physical
(local mode of spacetime) and potential (global mode of spacetime). The
latter is introduced with 'potential points'. See the link above.

More on quantum gravity at

J, current: This theory goes by any number of names, but "metaphysical
dualism" is a popular one.

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.