What is space-and-time?

posted on Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Is Arkani-Hamed right? Is space-time “doomed”?

Nima Arkani-Hamed[1] of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton says, “Almost all of us believe that space-time doesn’t really exist, space-time is doomed and has to be replaced by some more primitive building blocks.” 2 That quote is from 06 minutes, 11 seconds of a lecture Arkani-Hamed gave in 2014 at the Perimeter Institute in Ontario. Max Tegmark of MIT and Stephen Hawking of Cambridge want to throw out infinity, yet none of them are ready to throw out the big bang theory.

From within my naïveté, I think that’s where we all need to begin.  The theory defies three most basic principles in science and mathematics: (1) a simple start, (2) a simple logic, and (3) a simple logical start for complex topics like infinity, indeterminacy, fluctuations, incompleteness, and imperfections.

Communicating with leading scholars, in December 2011 the Big Board-little universe project began. By 2014, we began to question the voracity of the big bang theory. [2] We had multiplied the Planck units by 2, over and over and over again and in that process we discovered that 202 base-2 steps to go from the first moment of creation to the Age of the Universe.  By focusing on the fractional seconds of the early life of the universe, Notations 1 to 143,  it was straightforward to identify the evolution of each of the big bang epochs, but without a bang.  Not even a little bang. There is a natural inflation and it provides a more ordered, quiet expansion of the universe.

Multiplying and dividing by 2 is called base-2 exponentiation. In this model, space and time become finite, quantized and derivative.  We were all taught space and time were infinite. It was just commonsense (thanks to Sir Isaac Newton). Instead of throwing out infinity, we should try to redefine it.  Perhaps we could try something like this: Infinity is continuity and symmetryContinuity captures our numbers – that creates an initial ordering,  and symmetry captures our geometries – that creates our initial relations.

That is a paradigm shift for the universe. These numbers create a very different and a new picture of the universe.  There’s no bang, but the big bang epochs actually remain as defined. One might say base-2 from the Planck units is a scripting language that simulates the big bang without-the-bang and defines the epochs better than they’ve already been defined.

How can we explore the universe if some of our most basic assumptions are off?

Revisit The Nature of Space & Time

In 1716 Gottfried Leibniz died; as a result, he lost the de facto debate that he was having  with Isaac Newton about the nature of time and space. Absolute or relational? Current work by theoretical physicists,  Carlo Rovelli and Richard Muller (Berkeley), side with Leibniz. “Eventually,” Camber comments, “I think everybody will abandon Newton. It may take a few generations. The key challenge will be to redefine infinity if space and time are understood to be finite, discrete, quantized and derivative.”

Max Tegmark of MIT appears to be leading the attack on infinity.  He just wants to stop using the concept altogether. I say, “No, no, no, let’s redefine it. I think continuity (numbers) and symmetry (geometries) could easily replace time and space. We shouldn’t abandon infinity. It is a key part of mathematics and physics and science in general. Every non-repeating, never-ending number — I’m told there there may be as many as 300 such constants —  are the access paths between the finite and infinite. We just need to find out how to plug them into all 202 notations.

There are 202 columns and ten rows of numbers that currently define the Big Board-little universe. If taken as a given, these numbers demonstrate how space and time are thoroughly quantized, finite and discrete. So, of course, there is more to come.

Please note: This summary was originally a report about the NASA SpaceApps Challenge, April 29-30, 2017 (187 locations, 69 countries,  25,000+ participants).

A little background:

1977: Invited and visited with John Bell at CERN to discuss the Einstein Podolsy Rosen (EPR) paradox.  1980: More pointedly studied this thought experiment with O. Costa de Beauregard and JP Vigier in Paris. Also, as a resident theologian at The American Church in Paris, there was too much physics for religion and too much perfection for physics. Standing on the sidelines for 30 years, finally recognized the importance and relational character of base-2, combinatorial geometries and the Planck units. The Big Board-little universe (BB-lu, pronounced “bib-blu”) matrix was the result. Until 2011, nobody had see the universe mapped with Planck numbers, simple geometries and simple math.  In 1986 the Princeton physicist, John Wheeler, may have anticipated such a development when he said,  “Behind it all is surely an idea so simple, so beautiful, that when we grasp it — in a decade, a century, or a millennium – we will all say to each other, how could it have been otherwise?


From the previous report, April 30, 2017, NASA Hunstville, Alabama:

“It was a first. The ever-so-simple and all-natural process of multiplying and dividing by 2 was taken to a new level. Called base-2 exponentiation, this resulting map of the universe opened unknown territories, secret doors, and unexpected challenges. It appears that this Big-Board, base-2 model simulates the big bang epochs but without a bang. It’s a natural inflation, a quiet expansion. Everything is necessarily related to everything. It’s an integrative model that just might address our cultural nihilism and solipsism throughout this world.