Which Way For Physics?

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Presenter: Brian Josephson

Published: July 2014

Age: 18-22 and upwards

Views: 718 views


Type: Lectures

Source/institution: Lindau-Nobel

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This talk describes a new approach to the problem of characterising physical reality, one with the potential to fill in gaps in the conventional understanding of nature. It is based on a different view from the usual one of structure at the finest levels, which structure is taken to be highly irregular, as in systems at the ‘edge of chaos’, but with self-organisation leading to the emergence of more regular behaviour at higher levels including those familiar in today’s science. In this picture the basic processes involve collections of agents cooperating to create, and survive in, a ‘lifeworld’, which can be viewed as a biological equivalent to the kinds of cooperative processes familiar in the context of physic This picture is characterised by the infusion of meaning (identified with the ways in which the various agents cooperate through information exchange) into a domain that, through the lack of a clear interpretation of quantum indeterminacy, is normally regarded as a no-go area for physics. Since meaning seems to be an essential part of our experience, the new perspective could well have the status of correcting a previous incomplete view of nature so as to include for example our subtler human capacities. In any event, the way ‘agents’ emerge naturally in this picture already serves to clarify key issues in the quantum realm, such as the postulated ‘observer-participancy’ of Wheeler.

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