Is the current theoretical physics just one equation away from perfection? Or are the hypotheses of superstrings, multi-dimensional branes, infinitely many bubble universes and dark energy rather to be seen as evidence of advanced disorientation?
I tend to the second assumption. The diagnosis is loss of reality, and the cure is not a new equation but ontology.
What does that mean? The following: In the development of physics, ontological questions – questions such as: "What is an electron? What does it consist of?" or: "Why does mass curve the space-time continuum?" – have been dismissed and ontological principles have been ignored, and the current state of theoretical physics is the final result of these omissions.
On this website, I present the type of physics that develops if ontological considerations are included in the formation of physical hypotheses. In this way, an ontological structure unfolds by which the formal part of the most important physical theories can be derived and understood. The result is a kind of physics, which is formally identical or at least closely related with the prevailing physics, conceptually, however, completely different, because it is built upon an ontological basis.
Here, I will try to outline the main features of this process by going into the most important concepts in the development of theoretical physics and taking into account ontological principles.
First to the ontological principles themselves:
(A1) On existence: Everything that exists exerts effects. (Something that does not interact with anything else does not exist.) Effects must emanate from something. So there must be a carrier of the effects. Carrier and effect cannot be separated from one another. (An example: the earth. It cannot be separated from its gravitation. It is there only with gravitation.)
In the concept of existence, both – carrier and effect – are inextricably linked with each other. The carrier alone does not exist, the effect alone does not exist.
(A2) What exists claims its place in space and time exclusively for itself. Two entities cannot exist simultaneously at the same position.
(A3) If an object exerts an effect upon another – spatially distant – object, then this effect must be mediated by something, which means: something must exist by which this mediation is performed.
(A4) What is outside of space and time cannot be the cause of spatiotemporal changes.
Each hypothesis, which contradicts one of the ontological principles, is wrong.
Now to the implementation.
Newton's Theory of Gravitation contradicts (A3): it lacks the mediating element. An effect that acts across the empty Newtonian space is impossible. Therefore the theory is wrong. Why is it still so successful? Because formally it is an approximation of a theory in which the ontological contradiction is eliminated: Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. Here, space and time are the entities which perform the mediation: a differential spatiotemporal causal chain leads from the influencing object to the influenced object.
It is important to understand that – due to the act of assigning change to them – space and time themselves turn into entities, into something that exists. (Something which does not exist cannot change.) By this very act they are freed from their shadowy ontological status as entia rationis or forms of perception and raised to existence. Previously, they have been just the stage for the unfolding reality, but now they are themselves actors.
Maxwell's equations of the electromagnetic interaction produce waves – light waves. In the second half of the nineteenth century, it was presupposed that these light waves need a medium for their propagation, the so-called ether. At the end of this century, the ether-hypothesis was considered to be secure knowledge. (Maxwell himself tried for many years to derive his equations from the dynamics of the ether.) However, the certainty that the ether exists was eventually put into question by the fact that the measured value of the light speed was always identical, independently of the motion of the earth relative to the postulated ether.
In his Theory of Special Relativity, Einstein abandoned the ether. "Ether waves" turned into electromagnetic waves, periodic alterations of the amplitudes of an ether-oscillation became periodic alterations of the values of the electric and magnetic fields.
Now something of fundamental importance must be noted:
1. What is a field? The assignment of numbers to space-time points. These numbers express the strength (and direction) of the effect of the field in the respective point. This means: the field represents only the effect.
Therefore, according to (A1) applies:
S1: A physical field is an instrument of description, but it does not exist: Existence can be assigned to it only in connection with its carrier, with which it is inextricably linked. According to (A3), however, electromagnetism needs something existing for its mediation. Therefore, the medium of the light waves is only formally superfluous, ontologically, however, it is necessary. The carrier cannot simply be replaced by the effect that emanates from it. From an ontological point of view, the abandonment of the medium is not permitted.
2. Spacetime is the medium that transports gravitation. Therefore it exists. From the fact that space and time are themselves entities, the following conclusions can be drawn:
According to (A3), all interactions require a medium for their transport. This medium, however, cannot be something that fills the space, as was assumed of the ether. With Newton's empty space, this would have been possible, after space has risen to existence, however, it is ontologically wrong: According to (A2), nothing can exist where already something exists. But space exists everywhere, and for this reason there cannot be any further entity by which another effect between objects is mediated.
From this follows:
S2: Any interaction is mediated by spacetime. Any field must be defined by alterations of spacetime.
So the medium of electromagnetism is also spacetime.
(In the current theory of the electromagnetic interaction, this is not the case. I will come back to this further below.)
3. Let us now look at elementary objects. They exist, and therefore applies, according to (A2): Wherever they are, nothing else can be at the same time. This is also true for space and time, which exist too.
This means: Where an object is, there cannot be spacetime. Thus space and time exist outside of objects, and objects exist outside of space and time. With this, however, we have arrived at a contradiction with (A4): Something which is outside of the time, cannot exert effects on something which is in the time. The spatiotemporal causal chain, which is required for the transport of an interaction, cannot begin at something which is without time.
But if an object – as cause of spatiotemporal changes – cannot be outside of space and time, then it must be a part of spacetime, it must consist of space and time.
Therefore, objects are states of spacetime.
S3: Objects are stationary (or approximately stationary) states of spacetime. From this follows: they are attractors of the dynamics of the spacetime continuum.
Thus attributes of objects – like mass or charge – can be reduced to alterations of spacetime.
From S1, S2 and S3, the following proposition ensues:
(S) There is nothing but spacetime. Every object, every interaction, every process – in short, everything is change of space and time. This is the ontological basis from which the theoretical physics has to proceed.
(In order to advance to the foundation of reality and its description, it is actually necessary to go a step further. But this can not be discussed here.)
What kind of physics arises from this basis? Although the previous conclusions seem to contradict many assumptions which are held for granted in the new physics, it is still largely the same physics. In this short preface, however, I can give only some hints to the required trains of thought – the detailed presentation remains reserved to the papers listed on the page Physics.
The Special Theory of Relativity follows almost immediately from (S). The way is to first separate space and time and to assume only a space-continuum. In this continuum, there are then only waves with light speed. Other velocities must therefore be considered as superpositions of waves with light speed. From these assumptions, Lorentz transformation and Minkowski space can be derived.
For the description of gravitation, it is necessary to attribute to the spatial continuum local metric changes of the length (changes of the length measure), which cause longitudinal metric flows. These flows are gravitation. Again, as in the case of special relativity, space and time are at first separated – in the flow, the time is always constant – and only due to the transition from a local to a global view, the local time changes according to the General Theory of Relativity.
Mass is a local metric length-deformation, which – provided there is no disturbance – causes a steady, accelerated metric flow directed towards the mass. Here, the results correspond with those of the Theory of General Relativity.
Matter and antimatter are opposite metric deformations. In the case of matter, the metric flow is real, in the case of antimatter, it is imaginary.
The electromagnetic interaction follows from local metric changes of the angle (changes of the angle measure), which cause transversal metric flows.
Electric charge is a local metric angle-deformation that causes a stationary, rotating metric flow around the charged object.
Positive and negative charge are opposite metric deformations. In the case of positive charge, the metric flow is real, in the case of negative charge, it is imaginary.
The strength of gravitation depends in the same degree on the causing length deformation as the strength of electromagnetism on the causing angle deformation. In this sense, both interactions are therefore equally strong. However, as the two deformations differ by more than 40 orders of magnitude in electrically charged elementary objects, gravitation and electromagnetism remain separated in virtually all real situations.
What about the quantum mechanical revolution, by which physics has been fundamentally transformed in the early decades of the twentieth century?
Again, the hypothesis (S) proves itself in the following way:
From (S) ensues that the world is a world of waves. Based on this assumption, the fact of a fundamental quantization of reality can be understood and derived. The structure of the quantum mechanical formalism becomes ontologically evident. The non-local correlations between spatially separated systems, which have already been considered a proven fact, turn out to be artifacts of wrong presuppositions.
In short: (S) permits a local and objective interpretation of Quantum Theory.
The list of changes of existing and derivations of new physical hypotheses based on (S) could be continued much further. But since it is not about completeness here, I will stop at this point and turn to the second subject of my website instead:
On our path to knowledge, we are always in an epistemological circle. We set up hypotheses and test them by comparing them with the reality. Either the reality confirms our hypotheses – within the measurement accuracy – or it opposes them. If the latter is the case, then we have to revise the respective hypothesis or try it with another one. Validation is the criterion by which the scientific kind of hypothesis-formation differs from other ones. Natural science owes its enormous theoretical and technical success to this criterion.
This thought can be generalized. Science cannot be limited to purely specialist questions. It replaces other explanation systems – for example religious or esoteric ones – and becomes the basis of a worldview. What has just been said about individual hypotheses applies also to this worldview: either our understanding of the world proves viable – which means: in its comprehensive application no incorrectable explanation gaps and contradictions occur –, or the reality turns out to be resistive by confronting us with problems that defy our attempts at explanation. Then we have to revise our view of reality or try it with another one.
There are indeed some questions, which elude an explanation based on natural science in its current form. The list of these questions is short, the questions themselves, however, are of utmost importance. They read as follows:
Why is there something and not nothing?
What is being?
What is the origin of the General?
Why are there laws of nature? (The so-called "induction problem")
How is sensation possible? (The problem of the "qualia")
Does free will exist?
(There are several other questions which at present cannot be fully answered due to the limitations of our knowledge. One of these is the question of how life arises. Also our knowledge of self-organization, evolution and ontogeny is restricted. In all these cases, however, we can fill in the gaps with scientific hypotheses, and the problems do not appear as insurmountable obstacles on principle but merely as technical difficulties.)
In science, the existence of laws of nature is indeed taken for granted, but it cannot be justified. The origin of the General is completely unclear. The existence of qualia even seems to point to a fundamental incompleteness of the scientific worldview: This view includes only information processing – the jump from information processing to a quale remains completely incomprehensible. For the hope of the engineers of artificial intelligence, it would happen one day – so to speak by itself – as a result of increasing complexity of simulations of mind, there is no rational reason.
This means: As long as these problems are not resolved, we do not know to what extent we can trust the scientific worldview.
The current scientific view of reality provides no way to clarify the issues listed above. However, if one starts from the previously outlined kind of science – the science that is built on an ontological basis –, then all these questions can be solved.
One of the questions has already been answered in this preface – the question: What is being? The answer was: Everything that exists is change of space and time. Every object is an attractor of the continuum dynamics, a pattern of space-time changes that preserves its form over time.
I cannot answer the other questions here – this will be done in full detail only in the papers listed on the page Philosophy – but I can at least outline the basic ideas of the answers. The following considerations, however, are so reduced that they are probably more suited to arouse interest than to establish understanding.
Why is there anything and not nothing? Every being can be or not-be. However it can be shown that the origin of everything does neither exist nor not-exist. Its ontological status is thus neither being nor not-being, but necessity – simply because putting it aside mentally would mean to ascribe to it the ontological status not-being, which has just been excluded. Hence the origin of everything is necessary, and with it that what emanates from it, that is: being.
What is the origin of the General? The world consists exclusively of individual cases. But the validity of physical laws requires the existence of the General over these individual cases. Whence does it come? The answer is as follows: A necessary condition for the possibility to distinguish the Individual from the General, is the existence of scales, in other words: the definition of units. A necessary condition of scaling is the reference to being. (For example, the unit of length is defined by the wave-length of a material object.) Therefore, the origin of the General must lie before every being, i.e. where Individual and General are indistinguishable due to the lack of scales. Therefore, the origin of everything must also be the origin of the General.
Why are there laws of nature? Actually there is only one single law: the one that produces the reality. All other laws are derived from it. Why does this singular law exist? The answer follows from considerations on the origin of everything. However, these considerations cannot be shortened so far that they could find room here.
How is sensation possible? This can be derived from the difference between what the things are in themselves and what they are for us, i.e. from the difference between reality and description of reality, which has already been illustrated here using the example of the physical field: from really existing objects effects emanate, from objects in a description of reality no effects emanate. Real things are active, things in descriptions are passive. Now the following can be shown: As a consequence of the evolution of mind, the metaphysical quality activity of the things that belong to the physical reality transforms into the metaphysical quality sensation.
Does free will exist? Yes, it exists, and the proof can be outlined using an example which – despite its simplicity – is yet more than a metaphor, because it contains essential elements of the explanation.
Consider a vessel made of glass. When it is struck, then it vibrates and a tone can be heard. There is only one possible oscillation pattern, which always develops, regardless of how and where the vessel is struck. The movements of the constituents of the vessel – the glass molecules – are therefore determined by this pattern. Causality acts from the whole to the particular, from the vessel to its constituents, and not vice versa.
The same is true for a neuronal network that brings forth mind. The network contains a number of possible activity patterns and transitions between these patterns. The activities of the elements of the network – the neurons – are determined by these patterns and transitions. Causality acts from the whole to the particular, from the network to its components, and not vice versa.
Mental states, however, are nothing other than such activity patterns. Thus neuronal activities are determined by mental activities and not vice versa.
Now we need only the following: The neuronal network is permanently altered by its own activity. Therefore, the rules change which the sequence of mental states obeys. In other words: the mental activity changes its own rules. However this means that, in the case of a decision, only by the decision-making process itself is determined what will happen. To the question of why a (sane) person has decided so and not otherwise, there is then only one permissible answer:
Because he/she wanted it that way.
That concludes this brief orientation. Finally, a list of the topics of this website.
- the answer to the question of why anything exists at all
- the answer to the question of what that which exists actually is
- the derivation of the fundamental process that generates reality
- the clarification of the origin of the natural laws
- the actual explanation why reality is relativistic
- the local and objective interpretation of quantum theory
- the solution of the quantum mechanical paradoxes
- a local description of entangled photons
- the description of the basic mechanism of gravitation
- the elimination of the natural constant G (the gravitational constant)
- the description of the basic mechanism of electromagnetism
- the unification of gravitation and electromagnetism
- the geometric definition of antimatter
- the substantiation of the asymmetry between matter and antimatter
- the geometric explanation of the atomic structure
- a geometric substantiation of some important physical relations
- an alternative cosmology
- an explanation of dark matter and dark energy
- the explanation of the connection between the Individual and the General
- the solution of the induction problem
- the answer to the question of what mind is
- the description of matter and mind by one and the same concept of nature
- the substantiation of free will
- the explanation of qualia
- the explanation why information processing systems cannot produce mind
- the explanation why information processing systems cannot feel