Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A couple of technical details, MQED and brain/noosphere

============ 1. MQED

First, on how the universe works mathematically, an email I sent just now to an Israeli physicist:

In the clear light of morning, I realize I was too quick in my previous reply to you on Lamb shift, anomalous magnetic moment and so on. I apologize. When I work on anything for too long, and start to live the subject, I take things for granted.  The same is true for leading mainstream people like Coleman.

You are quite right that any corrected QED (MQED) absolutely MUST be able to replicate the great, pivotal achievements of earlier QED in correctly predicting those phenomena. Modern textbooks on general relativity proper (like Adler) are animated by a deep respect for clarity, for objective reality and for the scientific method -- which require grounding the work in the key experimental results, and tracking logically which theoretical axioms imply the right predictions. It is unfortunate that a lot of the literature on quantum field theories is not so strict, not so animated by concise mathematical statements. So far as I know, the old book by Mandl (the original version of Introduction to Quantum Field Theory) is the best we have in concisely stating the three key pieces of decisive empirical data, and concisely stating how they are correctly predicted, using the normal form Hamiltonian.

My specific proposal for a modified QED, MQED1, in my new unpublished paper clearly relies on that same normal form Hamiltonian, which is responsible for the correct predictions. Thus the correct predictions are preserved... but there is a shocking caveat.

The shocking caveat is that the correct historical predictions of Lamb shift (in Mandl and in what I saw directly from my old teacher Schwinger who got the Nobel Prize for it) rely heavily on a self-energy calculation which, in the words of Coleman, is "intuitively obvious." It is obvious that this self-energy calculation is the right thing to add, and Schwinger spent some time explaining the intuition about self-consistency which underlies it. Yet in my recent paper on Glauber-Sudarshan mathematics (published in IJBC and arxiv), I found that the self-energy self-consistency correction follows from the spectral theorem I derived from realistic statistics and not from the usual eigenvalue calculation which people initially claim to be performing! It is analogous to the Fermi golden rule calculation for spontaneous emission, a common-sense new axiom added at the last minute to get the right results, an assumption which does not actually follow from the theory which is supposedly being assumed! In other words, it is a grand exogenous tweak, a bit like tweaks I used to see in econometric models by people who did not have principled ways of understanding and fixing the initial failure to fit reality. Since use of correct spectral results in part of the MQED1 specification, it also fixes that problem. (It is a problem in the usual version of KQED, but may or may not exist in axiomatic Feynmann path, to the extent that this is not an oxymoron.)

I have not yet studied the details of what you mention about two terms in radiation... but part 3 of the new MQED paper describes how the structure of MQED1 (as simple as conventional QED) follows as the zero-radius limit of the two components you are talking about. It makes it clear that MQED itself is still only an approximate theory (as radius is not in fact zero), but all of modern electronics and photonics relies on having that kind of good approximation, and it is enough that it is mathematically well-defined, if only as a limit (involving tempered distributions rather than functions proper). The corrections involve nuclear kinds of effects which might be too dangerous to turn over to the insane politics we see every day on this world, not able to make responsible use of the nuclear technology they already have. 

Again, I also agree with your concerns about population problems, with similar concerns about what oil money is buying all over the world, and with concerns about insanity and entropy in the world political process. The problems include but are larger than population instabilities (several key variables, not just one), and I do not see an easy path. I do know that some of what was tried in Israel was based on a somewhat politically correct filtered version of the original hard core fertility research and principles, just as Feymann path stuff is a politically correct filtered version from another system not so grounded in the tough discipline of objective reality and scientific method. I suddenly think of an analogy between Trump and 'tHooft.

Best regards,


========================= 2. brain/noosphere

In my most recent blog post, on observations from the day watch, I mentioned that I myself am just a witness or occasional messenger, "not police or judge," in the noosphere connections.

It is interesting that the cerebral cortex, which accounts for 55% of the mass of the human brain, is also largely just a witness/messenger... which mainly tracks and predicts what comes to the brain and develops an understanding of how the environment works... but has an additional function in mammal brains beyond what exists in lower brains: the creation of options, for consideration by the "judges" in the basal ganglia and limbic systems. 
I have described it it at times as "the university of the brain" (which reminds me of just how huge the tragedy is when psychopathic ideologies and oil company apparatchiks now threaten the integrity of university systems in so much of the world).  This is part of my theory of how brains work, but is not just speculation. For example, Steve Grossberg has done a very thorough review of the mainstream literature here; whatever else you may agree or disagree on, he has shown clearly that we know that the "go/no-go" decisions are made more in basal ganglia,
albeit with input from the "university of the brain." In the noosphere... there are some pretty scary options now on the table.

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