volume II: Synopsis
section VI: Divine Dynamics
page 31: Physics
To me the recognition that the Universe is divine seems to be a momumental step forward, but since I seem to spend most of my time worrying about details I miss the big picture. From the marketing point of view, however, it is the big picture that counts.
We are infinitely susceptible to dreams and fairy-tales. We may buy the car or the cigarette because the advertisers have managed to cast such a spell over it that it becomes, for a profitable number of people, something they must have. Many people are disappointed when the stories are revealed to have a down side: the lung cancer that comes with the sexy he-man smoker.
I want to make natural religion a must have for everyone on the planet. This means that its formal content must be not only accessible but also desirable to everyone, in other words it has to address our human symmetry. It must also be grounded in reality rather than just a story dreamt up by monarchs to help manage their subjects.
We begin the campaign by choosing the human ability to communicate as the fundamental symmetry of humanity. Our senses are continually pouring information into our system. We decode this information as best we can and act on the picture thus revealed. By symmetry we mean sameness, the absence of observable difference. We all go about our lives in the same manner, seeing, thinking, acting.
Our basic hypothesis that this communication based symmetry is not peculiar to humanity, but operates at every point in our divine Universe. Every point shares symmetries (communication channels) with its environment and sends and receives messages using the symmetry as a channel. We are not exceptions in this world, special creations or chosen people, we are totally embedded in it and must know it to survive.
A first step toward understanding the Universe is to understand its physical implementation. We are talking about the communication of information, and we make the assumption that all information is encoded physically. That tear rolling down your cheek says a lot. Rolf Landauer
We have now seen physics in two guises: the classical dress first designed by Galileo and Newton, and then modern quantum field theory, which models the Universe with outstanding precision although we do not fully understand it. Let us turn to our new picture, the transfinite network, and bring it down to earth. Here we model the Universe as a computer network and understand quantum field theory as a set of communication protocols. Computer network - Wikipedia
We do this by postulating that the symmetries or conservation laws of physics are images of the boundaries imposed on the transfinite network by self-consistency, that is by communication.
For much of its history, physics has been the study of 'dead' matter, and it has been believed that something extra ('soul') must be added to matter to create life. Here we take the view that the whole Universe is alive, and that physics, as we experience it, is simply the conversation of the simpler elements of the Universe. The recursive nature of these converations allows them to build upon one another to form more and more complex entitites, such as those we normally call life, including ourselves.
The physical Universe is built upon three fundamental symmetries, called conservation of action, energy and momentum. We connect conservation and symmetry through Noether's theorem. Emmy Noether - Wikipedia, Noether's theorem - Wikipedia, Emmy Noether, Neuenschwander
Noether's theorem applies to continuous groups. A group is a set of elements that can interact with one another in pairs, the result of that interaction always being another member of the group. The actions defined in a group never lead outside the group. It is like a closed society. Group - Wikipedia
A continuous or Lie group is a group which is also a differentiable manifold. Instead of the elements of the group being conceived as distinct objects, they are modelled as a continuum, like the geometric line, and all operations in the group are smooth.
From an information point of view however, continuity means 'nothing happens': there is no change. Shannon showed that error free communication required messages to be discrete. Continuity denies the presence of discrete changes, and so denies the presence of information. This notion is identical to the notion of symmetry: turn a perfect cube over and it looks just the same. Continuity and symmetry are the absence of observable definition. Lie Group - Wikipedia
Science seeks to document the symmetries of the Universe, those fixed points where nothing happens. Such points ('laws') can be represented in static text, 'the literature'. Mathematics is an important tool for scientists because it connects various fixed points together by theorems, which are 'logical chains' binding certain pairs of points in symbolic space.
The symmetries of the Universe tell us the common features of the world. We might say that any symmetry has two states: intact or broken. While a coin is spinning in the air its symmetry is (for practical purposes) intact. One cannot tell which side is up. When it lands and comes to rest, however, the symmetry is broken. One side is up: an indefinite situation has become definite.
In the network model, we identify a symmetry with a communication channel. In communication theory, a channel is an abstract transformation of a string of data designed to ensure that the data coming out of the channel is identical to the data going in. We might say that each channel corresponds to a language or protocol. The Internet Protocol, for instance, binds us all together in the internet.
We represent symmetries by probabilities. In a perfect symmetry, like a fair die, all possibilities are equiprobable. We can use these probabilities to compute the entropy of a symmetry (or source). Actual signals are broken symmetries, the choice of one of the points in the symmetry: once we have withdrawn the ball from the urn, black and white are no longer have a certain probability, we have a black or a white in our hand. The information gained by making the choice is equal to the entropy of the space of possibilities from which the choice was made. So a good communication channel faithfully treats each member of its symbol alphabet equally, transmitting it without error regardless of its specific identity.
This idea is captured by the physical notion of 'gauge symmetry'. Physicists recognise four fundamental forces known as gravitation, electromagnetism, strong, and weak. Each of these is a channel of communication (influence, force) in the physical Universe. These forces are mediated by particles called bosons, and act between fermions. Gauge theory - Wikipedia, Boson - Wikipedia, Boson - Wikipedia, Fermion - Wikipedia
The transfinite network is layered. Unlike artificial communication networks, which have up to seven layers, the transfinite network may have an infinity of layers, each building on the complexity of the layers beneath it. We propose that lowest, countable layer of the transfinite network corresponds to the quantum mechanical description of the physical world.
The lowest layer of the transfinite network is also that of highest energy per state. One of the discoveries of quantum physics is that many of the internal states of any system do not manifest themselves until one reaches a certain energy level. Thus a hydrogen atom can be treated as a simple particle in interactions less than about 10 eV which do not disturb its internal states. At higher energies, the electron in the hydrogen atom is likely to be moved to a new state, and the atom will behave as a composite object.
The modern trend in particle physics has been toward higher and higher energies, so revealing more and more internal structure in the particles it studies. At the present energy levels, we are faced by a set of particles which appear to have no internal structure, quarks, gluons, electrons, photons and neutrinos. It may be that at very high energies these too will manifest internal structure. However we predict that there will be an energy scale, corresponding to the countable level of the transfinite network, where no further internal structure is manifest.
This scale may be the Planck scale, named for the the quantum of action discovered by Max Planck. We observe that there are no observable event measuring less than a quantum of action. We cannot therefore observe any sub-events within such a one quantum event, since this observation would involve less than a quantum of action. Planck scale - Wikipedia
The Planck scale corresponds to the finest and deepest level of detail available in the Universe. We imagine it to be the scale of the initial singularity with which the Universe began. The structure of this singularity, an unbroken symmetry, is an element of all more complex structures in the Universe. It corresponds, in modern physics, to the ancient idea of an absolutely simple God. We might say that the initial singularity, represented by the hardware layer of the transfinite network, is the fundamental building block of the Universe.
Thus we see the initial singularity as a point communicating with itself, talking about itself (since it has nothing else to say). This ideas is already present in the ancient theory of the divine Trinity. We begin to model this, following Gödel, with arithmetic talking about arithmetic. Cantor's theorem shows us that, to avoid contradiction, it is necessary for this to grow into a Universe of unlimited complexity. Physics leads us toward the low entropy layers of the Universe, where the energy per state is high. We now turn to metaphysics, the high entropy layers of the Universe, where the energy per state is low. Big Bang - Wikipedia, Trinity - Wikipedia
(revised 26 May 2013)