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Notions on a String:
A Request to Mathematicians

from Win Wenger, Ph.D.
#

Strange as it may seem, to this non-mathematician it looks, on a conceptual basis, that general systems theory might have an unexpectedly large bearing on larger issues of physics.

I've talked elsewhere about homeostasis and selection factors and other bases of systems behavior.

Years and years and years ago it seemed to me that, if the quantum notion were correct and we had to look at subatomic particles as waves of energy and not particles, we might need to look at complex homeostasis as defining the stability and continuance and ubiquity of those standing waves we call subatomic particles.

More recently, since string theory has made more sense to my perspective than have most of the other branches of physics, it has been occurring to me that if it's not the string determining particle behavior but the "form of the wiggle" that determines that characteristic behavior, we even more may have a requirement for complex homeostasis. What preserves the wriggle-characteristic of individual strings while these are interacting, unless they are manifesting complex homeostasis?

I think there are probably some equations in general systems theory, including mathematical descriptions of complex homeostasis. I'm no mathematician, but you are. This might only be piling speculation on speculation, or it might be a point of inquiry with some consequence to science. Would you care to explore whether the math for complex homeostasis and the math for string theory could be brought together onto the same playing field?

Of course, another possibility is that it's the wiggles themselves that are the basic component; we don't need the strings. But that leaves us back in the same absurdity as subatomic particle physics, and I think we all hope for better elegance than that. — And even were that the case, we might need general systems behavior to account for the existential stability of all these different wiggles.

The same objections seem to apply if we bring in eleven extra dimensions whose shrivelled-up (from our perspective) shape, from instance to instance, accounts for the stability of the various wiggles. Back to inelegance!

Another question all this raises for me:   What if this search, for a basic component thing, is an illusion caused by our false-to-reality Indo-European language replete with temporal tenses, nouns and subject-predicate relationships, and that we need an entirely different set of presumptions and perspectives from which to proceed.....?

As I watched Michael Greene's "Elegant Universe" on public television, very nicely done but popular level treatment of elements of string theory, I was reminded of some of these points of inquiry that I have. The program's frequent screen-full of looped squiggly energy-strings bouncing around, though that was more for the viewer's convenience than perhaps scientific accuracy of description, did keep rubbing my nose in the notion of these squigglers interacting; and that, in turn, kept reminding me of the possible need of something on the order of complex homeostasis to account for those squiggles' retaining their characteristics stably despite their interactions. Hence this letter.

Another heresy or so:   is the quantum realm all that different from our own, or is the dichotomy between that and Einsteinian/Newtonian mechanics another confusion of language, a confusion of map with territory, as with Schroedinger's cat? — Multilocation and collapsing probability waves, for example. If we note that there is a map-and-territory difference between actual photon or actual particle and our idea of it, our ways of measuring and detecting it, it doesn't seem so startling that the effects we associate with such a particle show up in several different places before the particle itself reaches its resting-place.

Another heresy or so, this one again based in part on general systems theory:   assuming the Big Bang — some color-prism fraction of the stuff of the universe, out of all the chaos of possibilities, gets "stuck" into patterns which are longer-lasting arrangements which "work," sets of natural laws and constants as we (think we) know them today, possibly a complex homeostasis all its own on a grander scale than we are used to thinking in terms of... Just a notion....

Anyhow, what I am asking you to look into is the possibility that complex homeostasis might indeed describe much of the pertinent behaviors observed in the quantum and subatomic and string theory realm. I've not heard the idea voiced elsewhere, and if it is something more substantial a possibility than just my own fevered speculation, to explore it might help advance some fundamental science. Do please let me know what you think.

Win Wenger




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