The Nature of Consciousness

Piero Scaruffi

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These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"

Euclidean Quantum Gravity

"Euclidean Quantum Gravity" is a term that refers to the idea that space and time are treated as equals, and that spacetime at any point in time is the superposition of all the possible shapes of spacetime. This model is wildly unstable. However, the Danish physicist Jan Ambjorn and the German physicist Renate Loll ("Non-perturbative Lorentzian Quantum Gravity, Causality and Topology Change", 1998) removed the "Euclidean" clause and introduced the time arrow in the building blocks (or "simplices") of spacetime. In that case the building blocks tend to assemble themselves in the kind of spacetime that we observe (notably, the four dimensions). Basically, a four-dimensional spacetime emerges spontaneously through a process of self-organization similar to the one that yields crystals and many biological systems. The catch is that all building blocks (simplices) must share the same arrow of time (i.e., causality must be encoded at the smallest level of organization).

The Czech physicist Petr Horava ("Quantum gravity at a Lifshitz point", 2009) proposed to solve the contradictions of Quantum Physics and General Relativity by separating space from time at high energy. Basically, at high energy Einstein's spacetime would decompose into Newton's separate dimensions for space and time. The idea is intuitive enough: General Relativity is about gravitation, which is a low-energy phenomenon, whereas Quantum Physics is about particles and waves, which are high-energy phenomena. Each one has a preferred "domain" of competence. Horava's theory simply finds a compromise between the two, assuming that one emerges from the other depending on the level of energy.

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