Saturday, June 11, 2011

Solved Physics Mysteries

Updated: June 26, 2011
Binary mechanics (BM) [1] is a theory of everything based on simple postulates in which the universe is implemented with a single fundamental object called the spot unit consisting of two binary bits. Based on position parities in BM space (Table 1 in [1]), these two bits determine, among other things, electric and color charges for leptons and quarks (the mite bit) and direction of bit motion (the lite bit) according to four fundamental bit operations which define exact time-development of BM states (1-state bit distributions).

An interesting Wikipedia article titled "List of Unsolved Problems in Physics" [2] provides an opportunity to take stock of the development of the theory of BM to date. Hence, this article will follow the general outline of the Wikipedia article with several objectives -- (1) provide hopefully helpful commentary for students of BM, (2) suggest where unsolved problems may be successfully addressed by the theory of BM and its software simulation technology [3], and (3) tabulate as solved those items where BM may have already adequately addressed, in whole or part, particular unsolved problems.

Category sub-titles and indented text will be direct quotes from the Wikipedia article.

Quantum Gravity, Cosmology, and General Relativity

Vacuum Catastrophe.
Why does the predicted mass of the quantum vacuum have little effect on the expansion of the universe?
Translating the term "quantum vacuum" into BM basics, the perfect vacuum probably consists of a 1-state bit density of as much as some ten percent of absolute maximum bit density [4]. One may assume that most of these 1-state bits are trapped in lepton [5] and baryon (proton) [6] bit cycles.

One aspect of this unsolved problem may be the reported bit density threshold for gravitation-like effects [7]. Although gravity appears to be a secondary effect of the primary BM bit operations, gravity-like attraction remains a subject for study. A relevant speculation may be that the "predicted mass of quantum vacuum" is simply less than the gravity threshold as expressed in bit density units.

Another relevant question is the meaning of mass in BM as a force/acceleration proportionality constant for the difficulty or likelihood of object motion [8]. As described previously [9], incoming 1-state bits (energy) to lepton or baryon bit cycles will be promptly emitted only if sequential 1-state bits are established in the absorption process. Further, emitted 1-state bits not only play a role in electromagnetic (EM) radiation transmission, but also in observed particle motion [10].

Next, consider that incoming 1-state bits are less likely to form sequential 1-state bits in a bit cycle populated with fewer 1-state bits. This leads to the perhaps counter-intuitive result that mass, as an inverse function of particle motion probability, may actually be greater if fewer 1-state bits populate a particular bit cycle.
Status: Solution feasible using BM

Quantum Gravity.
Can quantum mechanics and general relativity be realized as a fully consistent theory (perhaps as a quantum field theory)? Is spacetime fundamentally continuous or discrete?
Answers: Yes; that "quantum field theory" is called BM where space-time is discrete.
Status: Solved
Would a consistent theory involve a force mediated by a hypothetical graviton, or be a product of a discrete structure of spacetime itself...?
Answer: The latter -- "discrete structure". Also, any force over a distance greater than the fundamental BM length constant d [1] [11] [12] is mediated by propagation of 1-state bits from source A to destination B. What else is there? Hence, gravitons, photons, Z and W particles, Higgs bosons and the like, all consist of 1-state bit patterns in BM space-time, where BM provides a simple irreducible representation as the playing field for particle theorists. Consider also that gravity appears to be a derivative, not primary, force [7] and thus has already lost much of its allure for theorists.
Status: Solved

Extra Dimensions.
Does nature have more than four spacetime dimensions? ... Are dimensions a fundamental property of the universe or an emergent result of other physical laws?
Answers: No and both, where BM postulates three fundamental spatial dimensions and observed results arise from the laws of BM.
Status: Solved

Arrow of Time.
What do the phenomena that differ going forward and backwards in time tell us about the nature of time? How does time differ from space?
With BM, theorists need not reinvent the wheel regarding time and space. The 1-state bit distribution in any volume at a time tick may be likened to data, namely the system state. As in computing, mechanisms presumed to reside in the spot unit process this data in a continuously cycling program executing a specific sequence of the four fundamental bit operations, one per tick, defining time-development. Hence, a 3-dimensional BM space defines where the data resides; spot unit data processing mechanisms alter the data over time. The clock setting tick time might be assumed to reside in the spot unit. In short, the difference between space and time is akin to the difference between data and processing of data. Aside from this clear qualitative difference, the three spatial dimensions and time may each be quantified in length and time units respectively.

At present, there is no provision in BM for backward or reversed data processing by spot unit assemblies. Until there is some plausible reason to assume that such a thing might occur, purported particle motion backwards in time might be little more than science fiction, no doubt created in service of unwarranted assumptions such as continuous space-time.
Status: Solved

Are there non-local phenomena in quantum physics? ... What does the ... absence of non-local phenomena imply about the fundamental structure of spacetime?
Consider that space and time are quantized which limits primary potentials and resulting forces (expressed by 1-state bit motion) to BM distance d.

To some extent, the first item above may be seen as a trick question, since quantum physics is only an approximation at the microscopic level described by BM both in locality in space and in time. For example, evolution operators assume infinitesimal increments in space and time, which simply do not exist in BM. Thus, at more microscopic levels, fantasy in the time-development operators may produce fantasy in calculated results.

This problem is compounded by assuming infinitesimal changes in position (space) and if this is not bad enough, infinitesimal increments in time. For this reason, various discrepancies between experiment and quantum mechanical (QM) theory are being reported more frequently in physics literature, as smaller length and time intervals are probed. A source of such error may be found in evolution operators which attempt to define state changes in an infinitesimal time interval mostly by summing items purported to represent potentials or forces assumed to exist at infinitesimal points in space. In short, the mathematics used explicitly asserts that the effort is only an approximation of equivalent BM results.

On the other hand, while all potentials are local in BM over its length unit d, a sort of non-locality in both space and time may be allowed microscopically. Regarding space, d is a positive, non-zero value in meters, which itself may be seen as a degree of non-locality.

Further, in a single tick t, for any lepton or quark spot, zero to three simultaneous instances of the electrostatic (scalar) force may result in mite motion in the three spot units in a spot. This may be a microscopic example of non-locality in space. Then, magnetic (vector) potentials may similarly cause mite motion in a different tick interval in a single cycle of the four BM fundamental bit operations -- unconditional, scalar, vector and strong. Hence, a microscopic degree of non-locality in time may also be explicitly defined in BM.

The foregoing use of the term locality may or may not be relevant to considerations in different contexts such as quantum entanglement.

The solution is to use appropriate items in the mathematics toolbox. At present, quantum-level physics research generally assumes that events at slightly different locations and time intervals, as described by BM, occur simultaneously at the same location.

In retrospect, the key insight of James Hughes [1] was very simple, namely that the Dirac spinor matrix components actually represented events at slightly different adjacent vertexes in a cubic spatial lattice. One Hughes paper [available from the author] used two Dirac equations of opposite handedness to map spinor components, with simple matrix algebra, to eight points defining a cube.

This led the author to quantize space, throw in quantized time as well, and develop a small set of postulates for BM. As a direct consequence, six of the eight points in Hughes' original cube provided an initial basis to define quark behavior. Historically, the Dirac spinors were responsible for milestone advances in quantum physics concerning accurate predictions of electron behavior and the existence of positrons. Hence, it may be ironic that Dirac may have accomplished far more than anyone has thought, since Hughes' interpretation of the spinors, as developed in BM, implies that improved electron understanding depended all along on taking events in adjacent quark spots into account.

In contrast, assumption of continuous space-time leads to use of infinitesimal increments which in turn prevent accuracy and insight at extreme microscopic levels.

The evolution operations in BM require only a 1-bit calculator. For example, the electrostatic force is simply the product of two binary bits resulting in zero or one, equivalent to a simple AND logic. One might predict that investigators in atomic and nuclear physics will make substantial advances once appropriate mathematics is applied to theoretical problems. This prediction suggests more mathematicians should be hired in physics research projects. The first thing they will say is, "Physics uses math to express its laws so requirement number one is to use applicable math."

In brief, the time-development engine in BM simulation software [3] might well be the state-of-the-art for both quantum electrodynamic (QED) simulation and lattice quantum chromodynamics (QCD).
Status: Solved

High Energy Physics/Particle Physics

Higgs Mechanism.
Does the Higgs particle exist? What are the implications if it does not?
Answers: Theorists might define a spatial-temporal pattern of 1-state bits that satisfies their concerns about a Higgs mechanism. If not, the good news is that there may be no implications of any consequence in BM.
Status: Solved

Hierarchy Problem.
Why is gravity such a weak force? ... the electroweak scale ... Why are these scales so different from each other?
Both gravity and the so-called weak force(s) are not fundamental in BM. Gravity-like effects result from higher bit density between attracting objects compared to other directions from their respective centers of mass (bits) [7] [13]. The weak forces are thought to result from the unconditional bit operation and therefore are not additional or new fundamental forces [1]. Generally, observed force strength is thought to be proportional to the likelihood of relevant spatial-temporal bit patterns.
Status: Solved

Proton Decay and Unification.
How do we unify the three different quantum mechanical fundamental interactions of quantum field theory? As the lightest baryon, are protons absolutely stable? If not, then what is the proton's half-life?
EM and strong forces alone made the cut in BM as true fundamental forces represented by specific bit operations. Gravity and the weak force failed to make the cut and thus far have secondary or derivative force status in BM as presented briefly above.

Regarding proton stability, BM simulation experiments show that proton life-time is infinite in an absolute vacuum [4]. If incoming 1-state bits enter the baryon bit cycles resulting in two sequential 1-state bits, the proton cycles so affected will emit one unit of energy (1-state bit). With enough directional incoming energy, the proton may move to a neighboring spot cube. In these situations, proton life-time remains infinite.

However, with a rather improbable configuration of incoming 1-state bits -- think "particle collider", fragmentation of the 1-state bit constituents is possible. Of course, fragments will be short-lived and most likely encounter and add 1-state bits to another spot cube, previously below proton particle threshold, resulting in another proton. In fact, speaking figuratively, if one blinks it might just appear that the proton moved from location A to location B. In summary, the extremely long proton half-life determined experimentally is an excellent indication of just how improbable proton fragmentation is. The short answer is that proton half-life depends on bit distribution in its immediate environment and therefore can vary from infinite to near zero.
Status: Solved

Generations of Matter.
Are there more than three generations of quarks and leptons? Why are there generations at all? Is there a theory that can explain the masses of particular quarks and leptons in particular generations from first principles (a theory of Yukawa couplings)?
Table 3 in [1] documents both the existence and number of generations of matter according to BM, which generally agrees with the Standard Model. However, compared to the Standard Model, the crucial theoretical difference is that these results of BM were derived as direct consequences of its basic postulates or first principles.
Status: Solved

Regarding elementary particle masses, BM simulation experiments of specific particles in defined electrostatic or magnetic fields are feasible to define mass ratios as discussed previously [8].
Status: Solution feasible using BM

Fundamental Symmetries and Neutrinos.
What is the nature of the neutrinos, what are their masses, and how have they shaped the evolution of the universe? ... What are the unseen forces that were present at the dawn of the universe but disappeared from view as the universe evolved?
Neutrinos may simply be one or more 0-state bits and theorists can define any desired pattern and name it. Mathematically, the neutrino distribution is the one's bit complement (logical NOT) of the energy (1-state bit) distribution.

By definition with the EM and strong forces, 1-state bit motion to a 0-state locus is coupled with a motion in the reverse direction of a 0-state neutrino bit. In this particular situation, one might speculate that mass of 1- and 0-state bits must be the same, as motion probability equals one for each bit. However, this situation accounts for a relatively small fraction of 1-state bit motion, because the unconditional bit operation causes most of it. In this operation, all bits are shifted in lite direction, regardless of the state of destination bit loci. In other words, when considering mass as assessed in BM, average neutrino mass over multiple ticks may be much less than that of particles defined by 1-state bits.

Whatever role neutrinos have had in the evolution of the universe, BM would stipulate it is the exact one's bit complement of the role of 1-state mites and lites. Hence, if the role of either 1- or 0-state bits in universe evolution is known to some extent, then the role of the logical NOT is also known by defintion.

Concerning the movie-theme question on disappearing "unseen forces", rest assured that BM has not yet postulated any nor does the author expect that mysterious "unseen forces" will reappear above your bed as you sleep.
Status: Solved

Empirical Phenomena Lacking Clear Scientific Explanation

Baryon Asymmetry.
Why is there far more matter than antimatter in the observable universe?
With consistently defined particle thresholds, baryons composed of right-handed matter quarks form at markedly lower 1-state bit densities than antibaryons composed of left-handed antimatter quarks [4]. Likewise, matter electrons form at much lower bit density than antimatter positrons.

Matter particles form at substantially lower bit densities than antimatter particles near or below standard conditions of temperature and pressure as might be found in our classrooms and laboratories, according to BM simulation experiments. Moreover, matter particles substantially out-number antimatter particles over almost the entire bit density range, from near zero (dubbed absolute vacuum) to absolute maximum density.

Mechanisms for this demonstrated matter asymmetry are somewhat different for leptons and baryons. For electrons, incoming 1-state bits are trapped in a 12 tick bit cycle [5] and therefore tend to rapidly reach particle threshold of two or three mites [9]. In contrast, 1-state bits in positron spots participate in three 84 tick cycles traversing adjacent spot cubes and therefore spend less time in the positron spot itself decreasing the odds that positron mite count will reach particle threshold.

A similar situation pertains to nucleons such as the proton with its 84 tick bit cycle. For this reason, the bit density threshold for proton formation is much greater than for electron formation. A further mechanism favoring baryon matter asymmetry is that 1-state bits spend more time in right-handed quark spots than in left-handed antimatter quark spots, within the proton's spot cube.

To summarize,

(1) Where is antimatter? Consider that 1-state bits cycle through antimatter quark and lepton (positron) spots in ordinary protons. An antiproton is therefore not much more than a less likely and shorter-lived grouping of 1-state bits in left-handed antiquark spots. Such events require only sufficient transfer of 1-state bit energy to detectors to achieve antiproton observation, according to the same mechanisms which make protons observable. Antiproton life-time depends on lack of further 1-state bit inputs into its baryon cycles which could alter this particular grouping (phase) of bits in the cycles.

In spite of severe limitations from use of inapplicable mathematics tools in quantum physics described above, brilliant minds have nonetheless produced ideas with substantial merit. For example, consider the entry or absorption of a 1-state bit into a baryon bit cycle. After a cycle time of exactly 84 ticks, it may be rather appropriate to say that this energy input to the spot cube may result in quark-antiquark pairs, since both types participate in baryon bit cycles, in which each 1-state bit occupies quark or antiquark spots at different intervals during the 84 tick baryon cycles. That is, various hadron resonance phenomena are both predicted and explained in exact detail with BM.

In general, BM explains mechanisms underlying many quantum physics ideas and observations. In some respects, 1-state bits in baryon cycles below proton particle threshold in perfect vacuum may be regarded as a "sea" of virtual (potential) quarks. A similar thought process also allows for virtual leptons. In each case, "virtual" is equivalant to states below particle threshold, where particle threshold is operationally defined as easily detectable by energy transfer to sensors.

Bit cycles populated with only one 1-state bit are not detectable since that bit remains in the cycle unavailable to transfer energy to a detector. Only sequential 1-state bits result in emission of a unit of energy, enabling possible detection of a "particle". Existing 1-state bits in a cycle may form sequential pairs when an EM force changes phase of a single bit or when incoming 1-state bits are absorbed in required spatial-temporal synchronization to 1-state bits already in the cycle [9].

(2) BM postulates including the fundamental bit operations qualitatively explain matter asymmetry in exact detail allowing quantification of particle formation in terms of 1-state bit density in a spatial volume. The next step is to further quantify these basic mechanisms to further match BM results with experimental values.
Status: Solved

Dark Matter and Dark Energy. A recent article proposed mechanisms for dark matter and energy based on principles of BM [9]. The next step would be a quantitative evaluation of the permutations of these mechanisms to determine whether expected theoretical values match estimates of dark matter and energy based on physical observations.
Status: Proposed BM mechanisms; quantitative analysis pending

Epliptic Alignment of CMB Anisotropy.
Some large features of the microwave sky, at distances of over 13 billion light years, appear to be aligned with both the motion and orientation of the Solar System. Is this due to systematic errors in processing, contamination of results by local effects, or an unexplained violation of the Copernican principle?
Or is this anisotropy evidence supporting BM space postulates? Time will tell.

Indeed, in every case where BM explains the underlying mechanisms of well-known physical phenomena, those phenomena may be viewed as supporting evidence. For example, if Special Relativity had not been crafted by Einstein, the basic postulates of BM would require its formulation taking quantized velocity [10] into account. If confirmed, a possible special role of the fine-structure constant α [12] in conversion of length measurements between BM and observational spaces might qualify as supporting evidence as well.
Status: Possible supporting evidence for BM

This Part 1 of solved physics mysteries might conclude with several notes. A recent article "Physics Glossary" [13] may be helpful regarding terminology usage in BM and further elaboration of topics discussed above. "Status: Solved" above indicates substantial progress on a topic with the implication that much more work is needed. Thanks for reading and to the author of the Wikipedia article [2].

[1] Keene, J. J. "Binary mechanics" J. Bin. Mech. July, 2010.
[2] Wikipedia. "List of unsolved problems in physics" June, 2011.
[3] Keene, J. J. "Binary mechanics simulator updated" J. Bin. Mech. March, 2011.
[4] Keene, J. J. "Vacuum thresholds" J. Bin. Mech. March, 2011.
[5] Keene, J. J. "Physical interpretation of binary mechanical space" J. Bin. Mech. February, 2011.
[6] Keene, J. J. "The central baryon bit cycle" J. Bin. Mech. March, 2011.
[7] Keene, J. J. "Gravity looses primary force status" J. Bin. Mech. April, 2011.
[8] Keene, J. J. "Captives in a binary mechanical universe" J. Bin. Mech. March, 2011.
[9] Keene, J. J. "Dark matter and energy" J. Bin. Mech. May, 2011.
[10] Keene, J. J. "Electron acceleration and quantized velocity" J. Bin. Mech. April, 2011.
[11] Keene, J. J. "Fundamental physics constants" J. Bin. Mech. June, 2011.
[12] Keene, J. J. "Fine-structure constant alpha" J. Bin. Mech. June, 2011.
[13] Keene, J. J. "Physics glossary" J. Bin. Mech. May, 2011.
© 2011 James J Keene