The Science of Existence – Physics Synopsis

Physics Synopsis

“The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.” ~ Albert Einstein

▫ Einstein was simpleminded in considering the cosmos comprehensible. The human mind makes sense of what it can and leaves the rest behind; rendering an illusion of apprehension by omission of what is not understood or not believed.

“Physicists have come to see that all their theories of natural phenomena, including the ‘laws’ they describe, are creations of the human mind; properties of our conceptual map of reality, rather than reality itself.” ~ Austrian physicist Fritjof Capra

▫ All theories amount to nothing more than mental maps. Whereas physics has progressed by questioning assumptions, the failure to understand the nature of existence lies in mental maps which take for granted what should not be assumed.

Physics Paradigms

▫ A paradigm is a conceptual template for comprehending related phenomena.

A system is an integral whole which has internal, related components with various degrees of interaction or interdependency.

▫ Causality may be bottom-up or top-down. Perceiving micro-to-macro cause and effect is bottom-up causality. Conversely, a conclusion that an overarching force effects changes at lower levels is top-down causality.

Top-down and bottom-up causality are not mutually exclusive. As existence is constantly emergent, Nature proceeds using bottom-up causality. By contrast, that Nature exhibits order by operating via algorithms is top-down causality. (Such natural algorithms are often called laws of Nature.) Top-down causality necessitates coherence as a force of Nature. The teleology of evolutionary adaptation is an example of top-down causality.

Constructal law claims that the design and evolution of everything in Nature – alive or inorganic – aims to optimize flow. Constructal law embodies top-down causality.

▫ Reductionism is the idea that a system is nothing more than the sum of its parts. While a piecemeal approach is convenient for basic understanding, no dynamic system is reductionist. Instead, dynamic systems are synergistic gyres. Synergy occurs in a system when its movements or effects cannot be explained via reductionism.

▫ A gyre is a vortex that forms a system interacting with its environment. The gyre is an apt paradigm for the dynamics of existence at every scale, from quantum to organic to cosmic. A gyre is beyond mathematical modeling, indicating that the vicissitudes of Nature cannot be bottled by equations.

▫ Some systems undergoing change possess self-organized criticality (SOC), where crossing a threshold sets off a nonlinear reaction. Gyral systems which practice homeostasis – feedback-based self-correction toward a balance – aim to avoid a point of breakdown criticality. Healthy organisms have homeostatic tendencies.

▫ Assumptions of symmetry underpin theoretical physics, yet phenomena manifest by breaking symmetry via decoherence.

▫ Theoretical physicists have begun to look at the universe as an encoding of information, while failing to appreciate that the coherent localized patterns of energy which encode existence are themselves informational. Energy is intrinsically a medium of information.

The Nature of Physics

“Physics is experience, arranged in economical order.” ~ Austrian physicist Ernst Mach

▫ Physics is an inquiry into the fundamentals of matter and energy, which is the impetus necessary to put matter into motion. Until the 20th century, that inquiry – classical mechanics – was confined to the ambient environment, in the 4 observable dimensions (4d): 3d space and time.

▫ A physical model is a mathematical characterization of a system. A physical theory expresses relationships among phenomena.

▫ Modern physics discovered that existence involves extra dimensions (ed), yielding a holistic dimensionality (hd) : 4d + ed = hd. Oddly, this key discovery is ignored in many models.

▫ Physicists insist that time is an illusion but treat it the same way we all do: a vector from past to future.

▫ In propagating most expeditiously, light waves typify all moving energy. Energy wave optimization, such as occurs during refraction, is only possible by there being an omniscient force of coherence behind Nature.


▫ In 1905, Albert Einstein posited special relativity, which twined space and time, and found equivalence between mass and energy. Einstein’s 1916 general relativity theory characterized gravity as an hd phenomenon, in warping space and slowing time. Gravity is not a force, like electromagnetism, but an entropic distortion caused by mass. In producing gravity matter shapes its spacetime environment.

Particle Physics

“According to quantum mechanics, what we can observe about the world is only a tiny subset of what actually exists.” ~ Sean Carroll

▫ Breaking matter down into its constituent parts has turned into ratchets of scaling down, from atoms into an abyss of the infinitesimal; a Matryoshka doll of incrementally smaller constituents. Atoms were the smallest thing until 1897, when J.J. Thomson sussed electrons.

This led to discovering that an atom has a nucleus, comprising nucleons (protons and neutrons), with electrons whirling about in an orbital cloud. Ernest Rutherford played a leading role in this discovery.

In the next doll down, nucleons were found to be made of even smaller bits: quarks, which are supposedly elementary quanta. The quark model was independently proposed by Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig in 1964.

▫ At the beginning of the 20th century, Max Planck discovered the limits of phenomena at the smallest scale. The Planck quantum of action, commonly called the Planck constant, characterizes the level at which Nature quantizes fields into phenomenal existence.

▫ Fields naturally localize and granulate, creating the seeming particles which compose Nature. A quantum is not a particle, like some infinitesimally tiny billiard ball, but instead a segmented field phenomenon that deceptively appears particulate.

▫ Quantum mechanics is bedeviled by inherent uncertainty. Localized fields emergently quantize. Before they do, their actualization is uncertain. Quantum uncertainty is a property of Nature, not just a measurement difficulty.

▫ The Standard Model (SM)  is the conventional model of quantum mechanics, focused on interactions of elementary particles, which are particles supposedly lacking constituents, not comprised of smaller particles. According to SM, fermions are the elementary particles of matter, while immaterial bosons are force carriers. Bosons impart on fermions the attributes that make matter function as it does.

“The Standard Model cannot possibly be right because it cannot predict why the universe exists. That’s a pretty big loophole.” ~ American physicist Gerald Gabrielse

SM is a 4d fictional account. Every subatomic particle entrains an entourage of virtual particles which define particle properties. Virtual particles are hd particles that constantly make transitory 4d appearances in near-Planck time.

“Many independent lines of evidence now suggest that most of the matter in the universe is in a form outside the Standard Model of particle physics.” ~ English astrophysicist David Harvey et al

▫ Particle physics models all posit symmetries which do not exist. To account for actuality, quantum theories apply a patch: spontaneous symmetry breaking (SSB). Resorting to SSB as a bandage indicates that quantum theory is at best a coarse approximation.

“When quantum mechanics was discovered, we realized that classical mechanics was just an approximation. We’ll see that continuous quantum mechanics is itself just an approximation to some deeper theory.” ~ Swedish American cosmologist Max Tegmar

▫ Under the principle of locality, interactions between quanta are bound by the speed of light. Relativity forbids superluminal effects. But nonlocality occurs. What Einstein called “spooky action at a distance” has been demonstrated by entanglement: quanta far apart behaving synchronously. Entanglement has even been shown in subatomic particles that do not exist at the same time. This demonstrates that time, as well as space, is emergent: spontaneously coming into existence coherently.

▫ The non-mainstream quantum pilot wave theory postulates pilot waves which guide the emergence and activities of quanta. This apt theory invokes a coherence in Nature, provides for deterministic order, and is consistent with known physics.

Theory of Everything

“One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.” ~ English novelist J.R.R. Tolkien in the novel The Lord of the Rings (1955)

▫ Natural philosophers and physicists have long sought a theory of everything, which is realized by recognizing that matter is energy transposed, and that all energy is entangled. That energy is nothing but an abstraction means that any theory of everything explains nothing about the nature of existence. Like energy, ironies never cease.


Existence incessantly emerges from the quantum realm via decoherence of natural entanglement. The world appears only through perception – a product of the mind, made possible by each individual consciousness entangled within an enveloping field of Ĉonsciousness. In simplistically explaining some basic mechanics, physics provides a rough sketch of Nature’s sophistication.

“I am now convinced that theoretical physics is actually philosophy.” ~ Max Born in 1954