Stephen P. King (email@example.com)
Thu, 26 Aug 1999 12:47:37 -0400
Here is a post from Mark William Hopkins to sci.physics.research...
I am appaled that Mark Hopkins is saying this! But I must be open to
the possibility of error in my thinking. The only problem I have is that
I fail to see how the information is organized within the "4-dimensional
universe" in the first place! The undecidability and NP-Completeness
problems are ignored!
attached mail follows:
We live in a 4-dimensional universe and as Minkowski was the first to
point out, there is no space or time, only spacetime. And spacetime
does not happen. It's all already there.
There are events, but nothing happens. There is birth and death, but
nobody is born or dies.
There is motion, but nothing moves. Time is a dimension, not a process,
though one may insistently try to grip on to this last vestige of
Newtonian cosmology (e.g. by trying to impose a layered structure on
spacetime and treat the 4-dimensional continuum as a 'changing' 3-D
For an excellent treatment of Quantum General Relativity written by a
seasoned professional (who I could swear is none other than Cartan
in disguise come back from the grave), with extremely lucid critiques
on the state of the art in QFT & GR (including fatal criticisms against
the covariant quantization and canonical quantization approaches), I
would recommend the "Principles of Quantum General Relativity" by
This is a book that no serious practicioner in QFT or GR should be without
and is the outgrowth of numerous articles in the Journal of Mathematical
Physics of his.
It is only the 2nd time I've ever seen a thorough and rigorous treatment
of QFT (and/or GR) with appropriate attention paid to the *actual* meaning
of the various items being formulated (as opposed to the folklore meanings
commonly attributed by text authors). Particularly of interest is his
explication of Einstein's equivalence principle, the microcausality
postulate, the Heisenberg uncertainty relation; and the numerous
mathematical no-go results which put nails into numerous coffins of
popular (and still pursued) programmes.
The other time? An excellent treatment of QFT by the author of one
of the monographs in Physics called "Finite QED" or something of the
like (1989) -- who not only shows that the whole renormalization programme
is unnecessary, that not only can QFT be formulated consistently from
the outset in a completely divergence-free manner, and not only comes
up with a simple proof (simple = under 10 pages) of the normalizability
of QED (that's *normalizability* not *renormalizability*!), but isolates
The culprit? The improper splitting of distributions borne of the
outdated Newtonian conception of time (i.e. particularly the overkill
brought about by the use of the theta functions which contain implicit
within it the outdated notion of simultaneity).
Which brings us back full circle: not only is this idea of time as a
process (presumably in which space evolves) inappropriate, being nothing
more than a vestige of the older Newtonian cosmology that inexplicably
refuses to die away; but it turns out to be the very culprit which
kept people from being able to do QFT the right way in the first place
until 1989! (Nowithstanding the hack we call 'renormalization').
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