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A New Kind of Science: The NKS Forum (http://forum.wolframscience.com/index.php)
- Applied NKS (http://forum.wolframscience.com/forumdisplay.php?forumid=4)
-- Definition of simultaneity and ramifications for NKS (http://forum.wolframscience.com/showthread.php?threadid=1605)
Definition of simultaneity and ramifications for NKS
Here's a different take on my query from a couple of weeks ago:
Einstein, in his 1905 paper on special relativity, defined simultaneity through an assumption about the constancy of the speed of light for any observer. In his classic thought experiment, he described an observer mid-way between two mirrors on a set of train tracks. If lightning flashes fell on both mirrors such that the observer at the mid-point between the mirrors saw both at the same time, the lightning flashes would by definition be simultaneous. An observer moving toward one mirror, however, would receive that light earlier than the stationary observer, so would have a different experience of simultaneity. This is the basis for both special and general relativity: the relativity of simultaneity.
The problem is that there are many other ways to define simultaneity that don't require any assumption about the constancy of the speed of light for all observers (or even invoking the speed of light at all for that matter). For example, simply placing two accurate clocks at the two points where the mirrors are located in Einstein's thought experiment, and measuring the time at which the lightning flashes occurred, would allow for a definition of simultaneity that does not lead to a different conclusion of simultaneity for moving observers.
This re-conception (actually a return to pre-Einsteinian physics) allows for the validity of both absolute time and space. Absolute time and space are in my view more compatible with NKS than relativity theory, despite Wolfram's assertions otherwise. This is the case b/c we can envision the basis for reality as an infinite grid consisting of pure potentiality. This grid manifests actuality as either space or matter. "3-d pixels" is as good a conception as any in this model. Wolfram explicitly endorses this idea, allowing us to model the basic nature of reality through a determination of the set of rules for how each grid-point (3-d pixel) manifests in relation to its neighbors.
In this extension of Wolfram's model, however, energy is not a "thing." There are only space, matter and time in the actual world. The potential world consists of the grid/ether/ground of being. This allows a vast simplification of current physics, in which relativity theory is discarded and something like Lorentzian relativity replaces it (Lorentz believed in the reality of ether until his death, despite his endorsement of Einsteinian relativity in some regards).
Quantum theory's predictive framework is highly successful but its prevailing interpretations are highly problematic. An NKS re-working of quantum theory's Standard Model may allow a workable and simpler system of rules. It would also allow the legitimate rejection of "spacetime" as a single entity, which is much more in keeping with NKS thinking. Space is the manifestation of the grid, as Wolfram suggests, and time is the iteration of the set of programs that is the universe, as Wolfram also suggests.
I suspect that the ultimate solution I'm suggesting as an extension of Wolfram's thinking won't be quite as simple as a set of rules for how manifested matter changes over time, based on NKS formalisms. Rather, I suspect that a complete theory will require some deep insights into the rules of the grid/ether/ground of being itself, coupled with the rules of how matter changes over time in the actual world. Potentiality and actuality then interact in a constantly evolving loop of basic rules.
I also strongly suspect that some version of panexperientialism will have to be included in this model, giving rise to the possibility of free will from the most basic level of subatomic particles up to the macro world. Including panexperientialism in this model also avoids the deterministic outcomes that otherwise result from simple programs as the model for how the universe works. As Whitehead states: the so-called laws of nature should be thought of as more generally the habits of nature.
So my question is: Has anyone successfully translated the quantum field theory of the Standard Model into NKS programs? Wolfram hints at such in NKS, but I am not aware of a successful translation at this point.
Einstein, simultaneity, relativity, errors...
Hello, I'm new to NKS and looking forward to making a comment on this subject, though my real desire was to get feedback on my statistical theorem for randomized blocks. Still, I ventured into foreign waters (physics) to take issue with Einstein's logic and serious logical errors as I perceived them. I'm a bit tired right now and don't want to go on too much, but you may be interested in my critique of Einstein's take on simultaneity and my corrections of what I perceive to be his faults. I'm more proud and hopeful for my randomized block theorem, though. If you like, visit
thanks, alan foos
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