History and Philosophy of Physics


A Universe Made of Stories

Authors: Philip Gibbs

We know that some physical phenomena can be derived from a more basic substratum. Heat is a manifestation of the kinetic energy of atoms. Atoms are more fundamental than the laws of thermodynamics, but atomic physics in turn is derived from the interactions of more primitive components. Is fundamentality then a relative concept with no absolute bottom, or is there a fundament of physical law which is not derived from anything deeper? Does physics perhaps circle back on itself in recursive fashion? “Fundamental” is an adjective to describe a level of reality that is not derived from anything else. Fundamental laws are not in any way accidental or arbitrary. They must be as they are, because they could not be any other way. If such a level of reality exists, then how can it be explained? Do we just have to accept it as axiomatic? Does it emerge out of nothing? These questions seem unanswerable but we must not accept defeat so quickly. The universe exists, so there must be answers. Why would those answers be incomprehensible to us? I sketch some answers choosing information, events, symmetry, quantisation and stories as fundamental concepts.

Comments: 10 Pages. FQXi essay contest 2017

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[v1] 2018-11-17 04:27:34

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