Quicyclists Published Elsewhere

FROM ATOMS TO HIGGS BOSON:
Voyages In Quasi-Spacetime

Chary Rangacharyulu & Christopher Polachic

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The announcement in 2012 that the Higgs boson had been discovered was understood as a watershed moment for the Standard Model of particle physics. It was deemed a triumphant event in the reductionist quest that had begun centuries ago with the ancient Greek natural philosophers. Physicists basked in the satisfaction of explaining to the world that the ultimate cause of mass in our universe had been unveiled at CERN, Switzerland. The Standard Model of particle physics is now understood by many to have arrived at a satisfactory description of entities and interactions on the smallest physical scales: elementary quarks, leptons, and intermediary gauge bosons residing within a four-dimensional spacetime continuum.

Throughout the historical journey of reductionist physics, mathematics has played an increasingly dominant role. Indeed, abstract mathematics has now become indispensable in guiding our discovery of the physical world. Elementary particles are endowed with abstract existence in accordance with their appearance in complicated equations. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, originally intended to estimate practical measurement uncertainties, now bequeaths a numerical fuzziness to the structure of reality. Particle physicists have borrowed effective mathematical tools originally invented and employed by condensed matter physicists to approximate the complex structures and dynamics of solids and liquids and bestowed on them the authority to define basic physical reality. The discovery of the Higgs boson was a result of these kinds of strategies, used by particle physicists to take the latest steps on the reductionist quest.

This book offers a constructive critique of the modern orthodoxy into which all aspiring young physicists are now trained, that the ever-evolving mathematical models of modern physics are leading us toward a truer understanding of the real physical world. The authors propose that among modern physicists, physical realism has been largely replaced―in actual practice―by quasirealism, a problematic philosophical approach that interprets the statements of abstract, effective mathematical models as providing direct information about reality. History may judge that physics in the twentieth century, despite its seeming successes, involved a profound deviation from the historical reductionist voyage to fathom the mysteries of the physical universe.

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ZERO TO INFINITY:
The Foundations of Physics

Peter Rowlands

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Unique in its field, this book uses a methodology that is entirely new, creating the simplest and most abstract foundations for physics to date. The author proposes a fundamental description of process in a universal computational rewrite system, leading to an irreducible form of relativistic quantum mechanics from a single operator. This is not only simpler, and more fundamental, but also seemingly more powerful than any other quantum mechanics formalism available. The methodology finds immediate applications in particle physics, theoretical physics and theoretical computing. In addition, taking the rewrite structure more generally as a description of process, the book shows how it can be applied to large-scale structures beyond the realm of fundamental physics.

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KNOTS AND PHYSICS
Louis H. Kauffman

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This invaluable book is an introduction to knot and link invariants as generalized amplitudes for a quasi-physical process. The demands of knot theory, coupled with a quantum-statistical framework, create a context that naturally and powerfully includes an extraordinary range of interrelated topics in topology and mathematical physics. The author takes a primarily combinatorial stance toward knot theory and its relations with these subjects. This stance has the advantage of providing direct access to the algebra and to the combinatorial topology, as well as physical ideas.The book is divided into two parts: Part I is a systematic course on knots and physics starting from the ground up, and Part II is a set of lectures on various topics related to Part I. Part II includes topics such as frictional properties of knots, relations with combinatorics, and knots in dynamical systems.In this new edition, articles on other topics, including Khovanov Homology, have been included.

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