Friday, June 23, 2006

Hello world!

  • Q: What is the point of opening this blog?
  • A: I would like to discuss here some fundamental problems in theoretical physics.
  • Q: Like what?
  • A: What is Minkowski space-time? Can one modify quantum mechanics? What are quantum fields? Is renormalization necessary? Is Maxwell's theory an accurate description of classical electrodynamics? What is the meaning of the gauge invariance?
  • Q: Isn't it easier to pick up a textbook and find the answers there?
  • A: Yes, if you believe that textbooks give you complete and precise answers. I have some doubts about that. I believe there are grey areas and lots of unanswered questions.
  • Q: Why do you think these issues are important?
  • A: It is not a secret that modern theoretical physics is in crisis. I believe that we cannot move forward without full understanding of foundational questions.
  • Q: Crisis?.. What crisis!? Do you know about the Standard Model and Einstein's General Relativity which precisely describe all observable phenomena?
  • A: Yes, I know about impressive results of these theories. However, I also know about some flaws and inconsistencies there. I would like to discuss them at this blog.
  • Q: Are you going to offer a solution to the problem of quantum gravity?
  • A: I have some ideas about that. However, I think, before moving into that territory it is important to reexamine the foundations: Special Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, and their unification.
  • Q: What is the point of doing that? Very smart people worked on these issues for more than 100 years. Everything that can be solved and understood is already solved and understood. Special Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are happily united in Quantum Field Theory and, ultimately, in the Standard Model.
  • A: Well, if everything is so cool, then why the unification of SM and GR is such an intractable problem? Something should be wrong in our present understanding of Nature. Let us review what has been done in the last 100 years. Maybe we will find some unexplored areas and some new ways of looking at things.
  • Q: What do you think about string theory?
  • A: No comments.
  • Q: What do you think about loop quantum gravity?
  • A: No comments.
  • Q: What do you think about Axiomatic (Algebraic) QFT?
  • A: No comments.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Eugene Shubert said...

Eugene,

I can’t imagine why the meaning of Minkowski spacetime is a fundamental problem in theoretical physics. If Minkowski’s formulation causes a problem somewhere, then maybe we should discuss the most general concept of a spacetime that is definable and easily conceivable, where all inertial frames of reference consist of Euclidean spaces?

Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 2:58:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Eugene Stefanovich said...

Putting space and time together in one 4D continuum was a brilliant idea. And I am sorry that this idea turned out to be wrong. This idea was based on the assumption that boost transformations of observables are independent on interactions in the physical system. There is absolutely no justification for this assumption. Moreover, it can be shown that this assumption contradicts the fundamental Poincare group properties. More detailed explanations are in section 11.2 of my book. Make sure you use the latest edition http://www.arxiv.org/abs/physics/0504062v13

Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 3:13:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Eugene Shubert said...

Eugene,

I’ve starting reading from the beginning of chapter 11. I see that your Sherlock Holmes’ quote is incorrect. I believe it should be, How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?

Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 3:31:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Eugene Stefanovich said...

Thank you. This quote will be fixed in the next version of the book.

Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 4:08:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Eugene Shubert said...

Eugene,

I must retract. After thinking about the possibility of a “Lorentz-transformation interaction,” I see that such a thing couldn’t possibly exist. The clincher for me was in thinking about gravitational time dilation and in realizing that there is simply no natural “Lorentz-transformation” way to explain it.

I like the idea of trying to model particle on particle interactions in Euclidean spaces using approximately relativistic non-instantaneous action-at-a-distance. I can also accept the principle that gravity acts instantaneously, but only if it is expressed in terms of an absolute frame of reference. I believe that it’s easy to conceptualize the possibility that only some of the laws of physics are Lorentz invariant and that other physical laws are not.

For a more difficult problem in physics, I once played with a generalized Lorentz transformation to see if I could model 2-dimesional gravity with it but have never got beyond the question of how to interpret physics with that particular generalized Lorentz transformation or with any general nonlinear group (except for one).

I found a line in your book that I disagree with strongly. On page 421, you wrote, “Second, they postulate the isotropy and homogeneity of space around these points. It is true that these assumptions imply linear universal character of Lorentz transformations…

My paper on The Quintessence of Axiomatized Special Relativity Theory refutes that popular belief with a specific counterexample. See section 5 on nonlinear Lorentz transformations. In section 6, I compute time dilation from the nonlinear time equation and get the standard answer.

http://www.everythingimportant.org/relativity/special.pdf

Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 7:37:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Eugene Stefanovich said...

Hi Eugene,

Thank you for the comments. I was a bit confused by your 2nd paragraph. You wrote:

I like the idea of trying to model particle on particle interactions in Euclidean spaces using approximately relativistic non-instantaneous action-at-a-distance.

Are you talking about my approach or about somebody else's theory? My approach can be characterized as "exactly relativistic instantaneous action-at-a-distance".

I can also accept the principle that gravity acts instantaneously, but only if it is expressed in terms of an absolute frame of reference.

Again, I am not sure if you are referring to my book here. I don't entertain the idea of an "absolute frame of reference". The principle of relativity (=the equivalence of all inertial reference frames) is exactly valid in my approach.

I believe that it’s easy to conceptualize the possibility that only some of the laws of physics are Lorentz invariant and that other physical laws are not.

Here I am not sure what you mean by "Lorentz invariant". If you are saying that laws are the same in all inertial frames of reference, then I am with you. If you are saying that physical quantities transform between frames by universal Lorentz formulas, then I don't agree.

Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 12:58:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Eugene Shubert said...

Eugene,

I was commenting on our lesser differences in the context of our greater mutual understanding. You characterize your approach as "exactly relativistic instantaneous action-at-a-distance". When I used the term approximately relativistic, I was trying to imagine a complicated transformation group that could represent a distribution of particles that would also approximate the Lorentz group in some sort of mathematical limit. By "Lorentz invariant," I mean a theory that is invariant under the Lorentz transformation.
http://www.physics.indiana.edu/~dermisek/QFT_09/qft-I-2-4p.pdf

I’m the one that believes it’s possible to combine a concept of instantaneousness with Lorentz invariance.

Isn’t electromagnetism a Lorentz invariant theory?

Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 8:26:00 PM PDT  

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