Monday, May 28, 2012

Does thermodynamics have a representation at the level of space-time geometry?



R. Kiehn has proposed what he calls Topological Thermodynamics (TTD) as a new formulation of thermodynamics. The basic vision is that thermodynamical equations could be translated to differential geometric statements using the notions of differential forms and Pfaffian system. That TTD differs from TGD by a single letter is not enough to ask whether some relationship between them might exist. Quantum TGD can however in a well-defined sense be regarded as a square root of thermodynamics in zero energy ontology (ZEO) and this leads leads to ask seriously whether TTD might help to understand TGD at deeper level. The thermodynamical interpretation of space-time dynamics would obviously generalize black hole thermodynamics to TGD framework and already earlier some concrete proposals have been made in this direction.


One can raise several questions. Could the preferred extremals of Kähler action code for the square root of thermodynamics? Could induced Kähler gauge potential and Kähler form (essentially Maxwell field) have formal thermodynamic interpretation? The vacuum degeneracy of Kähler action implies 4-D spin glass degeneracy and strongly suggests the failure of strict determinism for the dynamics of Kähler action for non-vacuum extremals too. Could thermodynamical irreversibility and preferred arrow of time allow to characterize the notion of preferred extremal more sharply?


It indeed turns out that one can translate Kiehn's notions to TGD framework rather straightforwardly.

  1. Kiehn's work 1- form corresponds to induced Kähler gauge potential implying that the vanishing of instanton density for Kähler form becomes a criterion of reversibility and irreversibility is localized on the (4-D) "lines" of generalized Feyman diagrams, which correspond to space-like signature of the induced metric. The localization of heat production to generalized Feynman diagrams conforms nicely with the kinetic equations of thermodynamics based on reaction rates deduced from quantum mechanics. It also conforms with Kiehn's vision that dissipation involves topology change.

  2. Heat produced in a given generalized Feynman diagram is just the integral of instanton density and the condition that the arrow of geometric time has definite sign classically fixes the sign of produced heat to be positive. In this picture the preferred extremals of Kähler action would allow a trinity of interpretations as non-linear Maxwellian dynamics, thermodynamics, and integrable hydrodynamics.

  3. The 4-D spin glass degeneracy of TGD breaking of ergodicity suggests that the notion of global thermal equilibrium is too naive. The hierarchies of Planck constants and of p-adic length scales suggests a hierarchical structure based on CDs withing CDs at imbedding space level and space-time sheets topologically condensed at larger space-time sheets at space-time level. The arrow of geometric time for quantum states could vary for sub-CDs and would have thermodynamical space-time correlates realized in terms of distributions of arrows of geometric time for sub-CDs, sub-sub-CDs, etc...
The hydrodynamical character of classical field equations of TGD means that field equations reduce to local conservation laws for isometry currents and Kähler gauge current. This requires the extension of Kiehn's formalism to include besides forms and exterior derivative also induced metric, index raising operation transforming 1-forms to vector fields, duality operation transforming k-forms to n-k-forms, and divergence which vanishes for conserved currents.

For background see the chapter Basic Extermals of Kähler action of "Physics in Many-Sheeted Space-time" or the article Does thermodynamics have a representation at the level of space-time geometry?.

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