Theoretical Physics & Cosmology, A Challenge
Theoretical Physics & Cosmology, A Challenge

Theoretical Physics & Cosmology, A Challenge

Not Alice's World

Somewhere between the delightful and intriguing feeling of pondering what exists and the precarious and awkward feeling of applying artificial reality constructs is science at its best. At its worst, we are treated to politically-backed prediction stampedes and buzz-word driven technology sinks. It should come as no surprise to hear from me that we may be suffering from confusion-inducing existential impudence on the part of science as well.

Over the last century, the heavy burden, the tautologically self-important nightmare, of formal existential inquiry shifted largely from its invisible but well-grounded philosophical roots to one slim, visible branch that dared to balance it -- theoretical physics.

Such strange balancing acts are perhaps nowhere better demonstrated than in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. We go down a rabbit hole -- or out on a limb -- when we   favor believability or relatability over existential accountability. Such situations, while at first thrilling, quickly become overwhelming. Soon, we are looking for the exit.

Over the last half century theoretical physics and cosmology have developed a staggering number of strange, though in their own way believable or relatable, unobservables. Accountability has been reduced to mathematics and machine output, yet the only existential thing that such output attests to is the internal consistency of artificial "phase spaces" (equation's system) or of the programming application.

The paradoxical truth is, there is no such thing as an unfalsifiable fact about unobservables. Existential fact and fiction both are imagination-dependent.

Without direct witnessing of atomic level phenomena we turn to experience. We do our best to create formalizations that reflect reality - the shared experience of the collection of phenomena at various scales of interest, including but not limited to minute scales such as the atomic. We also inevitably find our way to incomplete, storied principles that perhaps even become carriers of unconscious preferences and fears.

I say, give up Wonderland and embrace our own connection to and capacity for existential wonder.

We benefit from putting our imaginations to work within useful contexts. Countless great discoveries throughout history have depended on it.

Imagination can be responsive, but it can also be reactive. "How dare the universe give me chaos! I will temporarily enter a fantasy world to escape the discomfort I feel," is a common context for reactive imagination.

To be of benefit, reactive imagination has to be seen for what it is: an expression of discomfort.

Conversely, when we condemn imagination as if it is a crime against our theories, we criminalize existential inquiry and end up in a court of the ridiculous. Whether release from guilt in such a court looks like an opportunity or a crisis depends on our tolerance for confusion and capacity for responsive imagination.

In the middle of the 20th century, one small but influential community of theoretical physicists did much the same thing as Alice. Finding their otherwise analytic discipline in a state of metaphysical chaos, they adopted the reactive mantle of existential uncertainty.

Now the discipline is in a state of existential dissonance -- out of sync among theories and between theories and repeatable, experiential reality.

In the physics I talk about, I keep it as responsive as possible. For starters, I describe what I need to largely in terms of six physico-cosmic phenomena that are broadly familiar to most people: wave-form light, dark energy, heat, gravity, photons, and elements.

It's not that there cannot be not more analyzing/formalizing of cosmological and physical phenomena than what I name. It's just that the named phenomena are essential, in the sense of being a special class of phenomena. Their inter-relatedness, which runs parallel to the structure of ONT, is what informs cosmological-level, autocatalytic, scaling behaviors such that rich, coherent existential feedback processes are experienced as arising naturally.

A Different Kind of Nothingness

From Fundamentals of ONT, you are familiar with the function of tension states. As we reach a new depth of inquiry, we notice that there is a point in the minuteness of existence where tensions cease their relationships with individuals and systems. The interaction of selves and systems of selves becomes simply a question of how does something come from nothing and why does nothingness exist? How do novel things arise (and sometimes persist) and redundant things persist (only to sometimes fall away), each in seeming contraction with the other?

M.C. Escher, Three Spheres II, 1946
M.C. Escher, Three Spheres II, 1946

A sort of cosmological optical illusion is at work, shown symbolically in Escher’s Three Sphere’s II. The illusion suggests that non-existing is more than space-filler. It contains the basis of existential being. Specifically, wave-form light and dark energy are dynamic, "awaiting" precursors to extant forms that carry mass and/or energy. As such, existing and non- existing are in flow with each other in a way that also directly gives rise to pressures and appearances.

What I am describing is an ongoing present moment condition rather than an early universe creation condition.

Its illusoriness also suggests a multi-factorial complementarity. Referring again to Figure 1, the cosmological origins of no-self behavior (clear sphere on left, symbolic of wave-form light) and no-system behavior (solid sphere on right, symbolic of dark energy) are so   similar as to be identical in shape and size. Still, the sphere that exists is the central sphere, and in it are reflections of the other two. The others are real but in a state of awaiting the conditions for existence, that is, for expressing mass and/or energy.

No Such Thing as an Empty Complement

The landscape for the cosmological complementarity I propose is not new but itself quite commonly accepted among physicists. Radiation, or wave-form light, carries cosmologically dense positive pressure. Dark energy, also known as quintessence when discontinuous (“lumpy”), carries cosmologically dense negative pressure. Both are given mathematical and existential significance as ephemeral, open-to-variation empty space fillers along with the much murkier (to me) dark matter.

Apropos that such perspectives should be hiding in plain sight, awaiting.

Another generally understood complement is that between wave-form light and photons, or particle-form light. Wave-particle duality is a principle that is significant to what I posit. That said, the connection becomes somewhat obvious so I will not belabor it.

To arrive at extant form from awaiting using the Fig. 1 imagery, allow the clear sphere (B) and solid sphere (C) to touch and two reflective spheres (A & D) to join, one at either side of the awaiting states.

In the resulting connected, boundary-defining state, B and C resolve into new extant form (not shown). They can also unresolve into awaiting (under different circumstances).

At this point the big picture is no doubt hard to follow with the various existing and non- existing, reals and awaitings, something and nothing. It even sounds, perhaps a bit cartoonishly, as if existence arises and recedes from sandwiches of light and dark.

Remember my goal here is to invite cosmological flow, not to reconcile all broader phenomenology or reality constructs. It's not that such work is not a worthy pursuit, just not possible in one email. So I'll be (perhaps too) brief with the rest.

The six special case physico-cosmic phenomena named in the previous section, including both wave-form light and photons, are cataloged in Table 1. The table reveals how certain phenomena assume one “side” of an existential behavioral tension. In each case, a novel behavior complements a redundant behavior. You can quickly glean as well that the complementarity suggested is not simple but complex. As such, the potential surfaces for comprehension of a complex, undetectable, interchangeable dance between mass- and energy-rich phenomena and density- and pressure-rich empty space.

Summary of MK McGee’s “Novel View” of physico-cosmic, flux-level phenomena
Summary of MK McGee’s “Novel View” of physico-cosmic, flux-level phenomena

What happens to the cosmological pressure associated with each of the awaiting states when it resolves into extant form? What does positive and negative even mean in the emptiness of space? That is the source of the second existential behavior-tension given in the summary table above -- "what perpetuates pressure."

The pressure from resolved wave-form light disperses, giving rise to heat-related phenomena. The pressure from resolved dark energy gathers, giving rise to gravity- related phenomena.

Finally, in row three of the table, we see "what appears and disappears," which is attributable to the behavior of cosmological energy density. Particle behavior refers to extant form and arise from the energy density of complementary awaiting vessels that form transiently, as in photons, or persistently, as in elements (as in periodic table of elements).