Sunday, January 29, 2006

Reduction of long length scale real physics to short length scale p-adic physics and vice versa

The number theoretic vision about physics (this, this, and this) relies on the idea that physics or, rather what we can know about it, is basically rational number based. Also a generalization of the notion of number is involved. Very roughly, real numbers and various algebraic extensions of p-adic number fields are glued together along common rationals to form a book like structures.

One interpretation would be that space-time surfaces, the induced spinors at space-time surfaces, configuration space spinor fields, S-matrix, etc..., can be obtained by algebraically continuing their values in a discrete subset of rational variant of the geometric structure considered to appropriate completion of rationals (real or p-adic). The existence of the algebraic continuation poses very strong additional constraints on physics but has not provided any practical means to solve quantum TGD.

This view leads to a very powerful iterative method of constructing global solutions of classical field equations from local data and at the same time gives justification for the notion of p-adic fractality, which has provided very successful approach not only to elementary particle physics but also physics at longer scales. The basic idea is that mere p-adic continuity and smoothness imply fractal long range correlations between rational points which are very close p-adically but far from each other in the real sense and vice versa.

1. The emergence of a rational cutoff

For a given p-adic continuation only a subset of rational points is acceptable since the simultaneous requirements of real and p-adic continuity can be satisfied only if one introduces ultraviolet cutoff length scale. This means that the distances between subset of rational points fixing the dynamics of the quantities involved are above some cutoff length scale, which is expected to depend on the p-adic number field Rp as well as a particular solution of field equations. The continued quantities coincide only in this subset of rationals but not in shorter length scales.

The presence of the rational cutoff implies that the dynamics at short scales becomes effectively discrete. Reality is however not discrete: discreteness and rationality only characterize the inherent limitations of our knowledge about reality. This conforms with the fact that our numerical calculations are always discrete and involve finite set of points.

The intersection points of various p-adic continuations with real space-time surface should code for all actual information that a particular p-adic physics can give about real physics in classical sense. There are reasons to believe that real space-time sheets are in the general case characterized by integers n decomposing into products of powers of primes pi. One can expect that for pi-adic continuations the sets of intersection points are especially large and that these p-adic space-time surfaces can be said to provide a good discrete cognitive mimicry of the real space-time surface.

Adelic formula represents real number as product of inverse of its p-adic norms. This raises the hope that taken together these intersections could allow to determine the real surface and thus classical physics to a high degree. This idea generalizes to quantum context too.

The actual construction of the algebraic continuation from a subset of rational points is of course something which cannot be done in practice and this is not even necessary since much more elegant approach is possible.

2. Hierarchy of algebraic physics

One of the basic hypothesis of quantum TGD is that it is possible to define exponent of Kähler action in terms of fermionic determinants associated with the modified Dirac operator derivable from a Dirac action related super-symmetrically to the Kähler action.

If this is true, a very elegant manner to define hierarchy of physics in various algebraic extensions of rational numbers and p-adic numbers becomes possible. The observation is that the continuation to various p-adic numbers fields and their extensions for the fermionic determinant can be simply done by allowing only the eigenvalues which belong to the extension of rationals involved and solve field equations for the resulting Kähler function. Hence a hierarchy of fermionic determinants results. The value of the dynamical Planck constant characterizes in this approach the scale factor of the M4 metric in various number theoretical variants of the imbedding space H=M4× CP2 glued together along subsets of rational points of H. The values of hbar are determined from the requirement of quantum criticality meaning that Kähler coupling strength is analogous to critical temperature.

In this approach there is no need to restrict the imbedding space points to the algebraic extension of rationals and to try to formulate the counterparts of field equations in these discrete imbedding spaces.

3. p-Adic short range physics codes for long range real physics and vice versa

One should be able to construct global solutions of field equations numerically or by engineering them from the large repertoire of known exact solutions. This challenge looks formidable since the field equations are extremely non-linear and the failure of the strict non-determinism seems to make even in principle the construction of global solutions impossible as a boundary value problem or initial value problem.

The hope is that short distance physics might somehow code for long distance physics. If this kind of coding is possible at all, p-adicity should be crucial for achieving it. This suggests that one must articulate the question more precisely by characterizing what we mean with the phrases "short distance" and "long distance". The notion of short distance in p-adic physics is completely different from that in real physics, where rationals very close to each other can be arbitrary far away in the real sense, and vice versa. Could it be that in the statement "Short length scale physics codes for long length scale physics" the attribute "short"/"long" could refer to p-adic/real norm, real/p-adic norm, or both depending on the situation?

The point is that rational imbedding space points very near to each other in the real sense are in general at arbitrarily large distances in p-adic sense and vice versa. This observation leads to an elegant method of constructing solutions of field equations.

  1. Select a rational point of the imbedding space and solve field equations in the real sense in an arbitrary small neighborhood U of this point. This can be done with an arbitrary accuracy by choosing U to be sufficiently small. It is possible to solve the linearized field equations or use a piece of an exact solution going through the point in question.

  2. Select a subset of rational points in U and interpret them as points of p-adic imbedding space and space-time surface. In the p-adic sense these points are in general at arbitrary large distances from each and real continuity and smoothness alone imply p-adic long range correlations. Solve now p-adic field equations in p-adically small neighborhoods of these points. Again the accuracy can be arbitrarily high if the neighborhoods are choose small enough. The use of exact solutions of course allows to overcome the numerical restrictions.

  3. Restrict the solutions in these small p-adic neighborhoods to rational points and interpret these points as real points having arbitrarily large distances. p-Adic smoothness and continuity alone imply fractal long range correlations between rational points which are arbitrary distant in the real sense. Return to the first step and continue the loop indefinitely.

In this manner one obtains even in numerical approach more and more small neighborhoods representing almost exact p-adic and real solutions and the process can be continued indefinitely.

Some comments about the construction are in order.

  1. Essentially two different field equations are in question: real field equations fix the local behavior of the real solutions and p-adic field equations fix the long range behavior of real solutions. Real/p-adic global behavior is transformed to local p-adic/real behavior. This might be the deepest reason why for the hierarchy of p-adic physics.

  2. The failure of the strict determinism for the dynamics dictated by Kähler action and p-adic non-determinism due to the existence of p-adic pseudo constants give good hopes that the construction indeed makes it possible to glue together the (not necessarily) small pieces of space-time surfaces inside which solutions are very precise or exact.

  3. Although the full solution might be impossible to achieve, the predicted long range correlations implied by the p-adic fractality at the real space-time surface are a testable prediction for which p-adic mass calculations and applications of TGD to biology provide support.

  4. It is also possible to generalize the procedure by changing the value of p at some rational points and in this manner construct real space-time sheets characterized by different p-adic primes.

  5. One can consider also the possibility that several p-adic solutions are constructed at given rational point and the rational points associated with p-adic space-time sheets labelled by p1,....,pn belong to the real surface. This would mean that real surface would be multi-p p-adic fractal.

    I have earlier suggested that even elementary particles are indeed characterized by integers and that only particles for which the integers have common prime factors interact by exchanging particles characterized by common prime factors. In particular, the primes p=2,3,.....,23 would be common to the known elementary particles and appear in the expression of the gravitational constant. Multi-p p-fractality leads also to an explanation for the weakness of the gravitational constant. The construction recipe for the solutions would give a concrete meaning for these heuristic proposals.

This approach is not restricted to space-time dynamics but is expected to apply also at the level of say S-matrix and all mathematical object having physical relevance. For instance, p-adic four-momenta appear as parameters of S-matrix elements. p-Adic four-momenta very near to each other p-adically restricted to rational momenta define real momenta which are not close to each other and the mere p-adic continuity and smoothness imply fractal long range correlations in the real momentum space and vice versa.

4. p-Adic length scale hypothesis

Approximate p1-adicity implies also approximate p2-adicity of the space-time surface for primes p≈ p1k. p-Adic length scale hypothesis indeed states that primes p≈ 2k are favored and this might be due to simultaneous p≈ 2k- and 2-adicity. The long range fractal correlations in real space-time implied by 2-adicity would indeed resemble those implied by p≈ 2k and both p≈ 2k-adic and 2-adic space-time sheets have larger number of common points with the real space-time sheet.

If the scaling factor λ of hbar appearing in the dark matter hierarchy is in good approximation λ=211 also dark matter hierarchy comes into play in a resonant manner and dark space-time sheets at various levels of the hierarchy tend to have many intersection points with each other.

5. Does cognition automatically solve real field equations in long length scales?

In TGD inspired theory of consciousness p-adic space-time sheets are identified as space-time correlates of cognition. Therefore our thoughts would have literally infinite size in the real topology if p-adics and reals correspond to each other via common rationals.

The cognitive solution of field equations in very small p-adic region would solve field equations in real sense in a discrete point set in very long real length scales. This would allow to understand why the notions of Universe and infinity are a natural part of our conscious experience although our sensory input is about an infinitesimally small region in the scale of universe.

The idea about Universe performing mimicry at all possible levels is one of the basic ideas of TGD inspired theory of consciousness. Universe could indeed understand and represent the long length scale real dynamics using local p-adic physics. The challenge would be to make quantum jumps generating p-adic surfaces having large number of common points with the real space-time surface. We are used to call this activity theorizing and the progress of science towards smaller real length scales means progress towards longer length scales in p-adic sense. Also real physics can represent p-adic physics: written language and computer represent examples of this mimicry.

For more details see the chapter TGD as a Generalized Number Theory I: p-Adicization Program of TGD.

Matti Pitkanen

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