A couple of days ago, I posted a tweet suggesting that the most basic constituents of reality may not be fixed unchanging bits of stuff but sequences of actions, events. (It was more concise when I tweeted it.)
Bryan Johnson wrote to say explicitly what I vaguely knew: “your description of fundamental reality describes elementary particles quite well. The lifetime of an elementary particle is a miniscule fraction of a second; its detection in an experiment can be viewed simply as an event, and is often referred to as that by scientists. After it has left a track in a cloud chamber, a particle simply doesn’t exist anymore. In addition, a fundamental property of elementary particles is a quantity referred to by scientists as action. The action of a particle is its energy divided by its frequency, and thus it reflects the wave (or undulatory, as some of the older quantum physicists called it) nature of matter. It’s really more accurate to think of elementary particles as oscillations, musical notes if you will, rather than billiard balls.”
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 6:36 am
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