Location: Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany

I'm a sort of creative person, seeking the meaning of life . Hard to capture the essence of the mind/brain/soul - but I delight in arguing with ultra-materialists on consciousness. Ah! the smell of a rose and its redness, the smell of a fine wine, a sunset, - great stuff, and all subjective. Oh yeah and actually am Scorpio by 4 hours according to expert astrologer friend - blogger auto-star-sign system missed the fact that I'm on the cusp. Though I agree with Casius when he said "the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings".

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dear Prof. Smolin,

I have enjoyed reading your 'Trouble with Physics'. One of the ideas I liked was that of the distinction between seers and craftspeople. The description of a seer fits very well with the story of Burkhard Heim. He too had a brilliant start to a potentially successful academic career only to retreat into his shell to be alone with himself for years. Except in his case it was not just 10 years, but 30 or 40. One might say that the originality of his analysis was correspondingly deep. But his eccentricity meant that he didn't trust anyone for many years. The theory was all in his head, thanks to his aedetic memory, so what he did eventually write down does not always fill in the gaps in his derivations. That's what students of his work are now trying to do.

Heim's brilliance was recognised by Pascual Jordan, who thought that if he developed his ideas he would be Nobel prize material. Jordan knew this as he was on the Nobel committee. But Heim wanted to perfect his unified field theory in isolation, partly due to his severe physical handicaps (almost blind and deaf, with no hands aftera n accident in the war) and partly because he was what you term a seer, in the tradition of his hero Einstein. The current LQG community must acknowledge Heim's prescience in quantising space with a quantum of area, Planck length squared, and using this as a basis for quantum gravity. His application of the correspondence principle then allowed objects in GR to define operators in his QG picture.

There are many aspects to his theory. One is that it is a form of hidden variables theory. Some of the extra time-like dimensions are involved in determining quantum probabilities. It avoids the problems of extra dimensions in Kaluza Klein theory as the time-like dimensions are extended. Also, as it is background independent, it avoids the problems of String Theory. As in LQG, there are no infinities: Heim actually used a form of differencing instead of standard calculus to bring out the natural way in which this non-occurrence of infinities was present. One of the tasks of the few physicists studying his work is thus to translate the differencing (' selector calculus' in Heim's parlance) into normal calculus.

Partial metrics on subspaces of the overall 12 dimensional Heim-space were already present in Heim's original formulation and were termed hermetries. Droscher recognised how these hermetries could map onto the forces of standard model. Only 2 extra forces arise - both of the gravitational variety. So there are 3 sorts of gravity in the theory. One of these has a repulsive component, and so one of the predictions of the theory was that rotating magnetic fields of a certain strength could cause photons to transform into 'gravito-photons' whose effect would be many orders of magnitude greater than predicted by GR.
The experiments of Tajmar et al. , with ESA and his physics group, almost certain to be reproduced by groups in Berkeley and elsewhere early in 2007, point to a revolutionary repulsive artificial gravity more than 30 orders of magnitude greater than predicted by GR. Droscher and Hauser have estimated the effect size in Tajmar's experiment with great precision, based on this gravito-photon theory.

More controversial are his mass equations. But the neutrino masses, predicted even before 1980, are still within the experimental limits and so remain another concrete prediction of the theory.

Thus I would appeal to you to consider Heim theory as the work of a seer who may have stumbled on some basic revisions of fundamental physics. If you are looking for revolutionary principles in the theory - there is no lack of those: It unifies matter and space as well as Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity. It has hidden variable theory in it. The extra time-like dimensions are associated with principles of order and meaning: so in this case they are apparent to us nad the old argument that extra extended dimensions would have been noticed is satisfied - they were under our nose all the time. His whole scheme is also one of complexity theory, called synthropy, where successive levels of organisation lead up from the metron, particles, atoms, molecules up to large animals, consciousness and 'pneuma'. the latter is maybe a bit too mystic for most physicists, but his theory of consciousness is not unlike that of some mysterians such as Colin McGinn. who postulate internal dimensions of subjective consciousness.