Archives for posts with tag: mathematical universe hypothesis


this is maths and theoretical physics

more evidence of the significance of the connections between math and physics

more evidence that mathematical principles are natural laws

⚫ and ⚫⚫ makes ⚫⚫⚫ (physical quantity)

1 + 2 = 3 (human number)

each of the ‘equations’ describes the same relationship; each is based on the same principles

each expresses inviolable laws which govern the combination of identical entities into groups

natural numbers are physical constants

Part of the reason that the formal, natural connections between mathematics and physics are rejected as significant by most physicists is because the the two fields are so firmly intertwined at the most basic levels that the epistemological becomes confused with the ontological.

In fact, it is not that mathematics underlies physics and it isn’t that they look the same because mathematics is only our tool to examine physics with. It’s that the same fundamental principles – laws which are both natural AND mathematical – underlie them both. But we shouldn’t be surprised at this.

Human concepts of number and maths developed from experience and observation of the real world: geometry can be developed from both theory AND by measuring the physical world; counting systems are based on measuring and comparing the physical properties of different groups of the same or equivalent physical objects.

It’s not so much that either maths or physics underlie the other, it’s more that they develop from the same first principles, and are parts of the same thing. There’s only a single ‘sum total of existence’: you can define the mathematical concept 1, physically. And the first law of thermodynamics can be expressed as 1a+2a=3a.

Issues of efficiency act as constraints on how mathematical complexities develop naturally from first principles into a physical spacetime. These constraints are the difference which leads to a separation of human abstract mathematics from physical mathematicality.

Quantum Mechanical Derivation of the Wallis Formula for

Further evidence that the connections between mathematics and physics are non-trivial.

Peter Woit, University of Columbia, ‘Towards a Grand Unified Theory of Mathematics and Physics’.

A paper which outlines some of the already established connections between number theory and physics, acknowledges that there are as yet no satisfactory explanations for these connections, and concludes it is an area which deserves much more attention.

What seems to be the central reason preventing mathematicians and physicists from acknowledging the significance of the connections between their respective fields is a fundamental, but understandable, misunderstanding about the nature of number systems. Numbers are considered to be abstract inventions of pure human imagination, and mathematical formulations are seen therefore as being based in nothing more than abstraction. As a consequence, the idea that number theory and physics are formally connected is rejected – even as the evidence for formal connections between the two fields is being examined and analysed as profound mystery.

This is a crucial mistake.

Number systems are at their most basic level, founded on the concretely physical property of quantity. Numerical relationships are quantitative relationships, and quantitative relationships are at the heart of physics.

Quoting the same page as the last post, watch how it sums up the resistance in the scientific community, against maths and physics being formally linked. This resistance leads to complete cognitive dissonance, where evidence for formal connections is explicitly referenced followed immediately by the denial that any formal connections are possible.

“…the surprising thing is that often some newly discovered abstract formulation in mathematics turns out, years later, to describe physical phenomena which we hadn’t known about previously…”

“…physics cannot be derived from mathematics alone…”

The first statement undermines the second statement.

the law of conservation of energy is precisely described in mathematics


where ‘a’ is anything

A playfully serious theory of everything isn’t really an attempt to offer answers to the detailed question of how number theory and maths are connected to physics. Exploring the various ways physical entities emerge from, and are governed by, the operation of laws of quantity – that is, laws which are absolutely and naturally mathematical – is not what this theory is about.

What a playfully serious theory of everything seeks to explain is WHY those connections exist.