Questions and answers:

I’d like to dedicate this page to questions that anyone out there might have regarding the axioms, tenants, conclusions, or insights of quantum space theory. Please send me your questions and I will do my best to respond via video. My hope is that this forum will be a useful resource for those that have unanswered questions about quantum space theory.


Question 1: From Fred Goode

I’m interested in better understanding the 11 dimensions of the QST.

I understand that a dimension is an axis along which something can move without requiring any movement in another axis or dimension.
x, y, and z are obvious examples of (3) dimensions. I would say time is a 4th as you can move through time without moving in x, y, or z. I see time as being a dimension because there is direction. Past – present – future.
I also understand the tiny size of the planck. It’s really REALLY small. You describe in Conversations One that this is the smallest we can divide space into. Like the AU (gold) atom, if you divide it again, it’s no longer AU. But for a planck length, I don’t get this.
Is there no such thing as a 1/2 of a planck?  I look at the planck as a scale like a ruler. A ruler is 12 ” long, and has 12 single inch segments on it, with each inch being separated into some fraction of an inch. It is up to the manufacturer as to what fractional amount he wants to display.  1″, 1/2″, 1/4″, 1/8″, and very commonly, 1/16″ or even 1/64th inch. Why do we never see rulers with 1/128th inch increments? Because it’s too small to “eye ball”.  That does not mean the dimensions smaller than 1/64″ don’t exist. We measure them with other tools.  Just not with a ruler. How is the Planck scale different from what I describe?
Ok, question part 2. If the planck is a scale and quanta exists within this scale, you seem to be saying that because it’s sub-planck size, it can no longer adhere to the x, y, z dimensions to pinpoint it’s physical location. I think the problem for me is that I don’t yet get how distance (1 planck length) cannot be further divided. I understand this with the AU atom, but it’s not apples and apples. At least I don’t yet see it.
The other stuff falls into place for me fine as long as I accept this geometry as fact. I see what a black hole is, how time slows down approaching the black hole, why red shift occurs, what dark matter is, why quantum tunneling occurs, why the chicken crossed the road, and everything else. I just need help with describing this to other people in the area of “you cannot divide a planck’s length into a 1/2 planck”. WHY NOT??!!??!!   :)
Thanks for your time
Fred Goode


Click on the video below to view my response to question 1:


Comments (85)

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  1. Thad, a summary of my musings yesterday on your model in terms of wave dynamics. What do you think?

    Space may register to us only as the tips of standing three dimensional quantum-bit wave structures always only as a single quantum of one Planck length only above a certain threshold amplitude in representation of space, and individually vibrating as the smallest granularity of space-time and collectively vibrating as what we perceive as space and time. There is a superspace at higher resolution in which the full supervolume of these standing centers move around and through each other (but collisions happen at that super space-time scale at a far lower frequency than the frequency of vibrations of each spherical standing wave). Each of these spheres is a universe in itself with exactly the same characteristics relative to its resolution as ours, only at the next fractal resolution up. Similarly concerning our universe, the absolute direction into entropy may be simply a collapse to and through zero (if seen as sinusoidal wave). Another universe could move through us and screw everything up, but it happens far less frequently than the 100 billion odd years it could take to fall into complete entropy.

  2. Joe Fill says:

    Hello Thad –

    First off, let me say thanks for sending me your book. After watching your TEDx Boulder talk, I couldn’t wait to delve deeper into your theory, and I wasn’t disappointed.

    My formal scientific studies began and ended with my high school physics class in 1971, and I’ve never developed a feel for math beyond Euclidian geometry. However, I’ve tried to educate (or at least familiarize) myself in a variety of subjects, from quantum mechanics to cosmology to relativity. Your book went a long way to helping me understand the concepts from the Boulder talk, but I still have a few questions you might clarify.

    1) You talk about time as being defined by the resonance of the quanta. Does everything in the universe resonate, and if not, why do the quanta resonate? What exactly does it mean to have resonating quanta? Do the quanta change size or shape during this resonation?

    2) As the space quanta move around in superspace, do they maintain the the same X,Y,Z relationship to other quanta (although not the same distance)? Or are their X,Y,Z positions only defined on an average or macro scale?

    3) Possibly related to and answered by 2) above, if each quanta identifies (or is identified by) a unique X,Y,Z coordinate, and even the smallest bit of matter is many orders of magnitude larger than a single quanta, how is matter’s location specified? Am I correct that even a single electron would occupy billions of quanta of space?

    One concept that always bothered me, and which you address in your book, is the idea that movement through a continuous spacetime is logically impossible. In order to go from point A to point B, you’d have to leave point A, and before arriving at point B, you’d have to get to a point 1/2 way. But to get to the 1/2 way point, you’d have to get to a point 1/2 way to there, or 1/4 of the way to point B. For each point you’d have to get to, you’d always have to get to a point 1/2 way to that point, and you’d never to point B. Quantized spce solves this little problem.

    Thanks in advance for any insight you can give me on this, and I look forward to seeing the illustrations for Einstein’s Intuition.

    – Joe Fill
    Indianapolis, IN

    • Thad Roberts says:


      I recently finished going through the entire book for another round of edits, improving the flow quite a bit, correcting some errors, and adding many figures. If you are interested in the updated version send me an email and I’ll pass it along.

      As for your questions:

      1 – In this model all things in the universe are thought of as being made up of space quanta, but not all space quanta freely resonate. Quanta that are stuck together, touching, are, by definition, not able to freely resonate until they are separated again. Some quanta are only in this situation for a short duration while others might take it on for a long duration (duration here references the average number of free resignations that the average background quanta in empty space undergo while these quanta are stuck together). Also, in this model, each quanta is, to first approximation, an elastic sphere. Their elastic property, added to the fact that they are moving around and bumping into each other, is the reason that they are resonating. Resonation means a geometric contortion of the elastic sphere. If the universe were close to absolute zero, if the average superspatial velocity of each quanta was next to zero, then the expectation would be that the quanta would freely vibrate unto themselves, with less and less amplitude, until they ran out of energy (i.e. all the energy (geometric contortion) of resonation transferred internally). This would slowly change the signature of time in the universe.

      2 – As the quanta move around in superspace, they mix the x, y, z grid. So, no – they do not maintain the same x, y, z relationship to the other quanta. However, since all the quanta are identical, most effects from this mixing wash out as we approach macroscopic scales. Exact x, y, z positions are defined only for exact moments – snapshots of the entire grid at that point. Because the quanta are mixing about, specific points flicker around in position from the x, y, z perspective. This flickering, however, even washes out (it is generally confined to a relatively small region) as we zoom out.

      3 – There are two possible answers to this question. In the first possibility, the most fundamental mass particles may be as simple as being two (or three or four and so on) quanta stuck together (for any duration). This interesting thing about this possibility is that while the quanta are stuck together they act as the same unique location in the x, y, z metric. They no longer represent unique locations, so they, in effect take on the characteristics of being one location. Still, other quanta interacting with them will rebound in a different way then they would with quanta that are not stuck together, so the map around them warps – the average geometric connectivity warps. In this case, the location of this matter particle would be specified in reference to the collection of all the other quanta around it – just as it would if it were a single quanta. In the second possibility, matter may make reference to geometric eddies. If the metric of space is a perfect superfluid many forms of extremely stable eddies are allowed. These eddies might even be infinitely stable so long as they are not interrupted. If these swirling eddies in the metric reference mass particles, then mass particles only have positions in the more fuzzy sense – gaining resolution on larger scales. Still, one could imagine that in a stable eddy there is a center, and this center position could fill in as the meaning of the location of the particle.

      These are spectacular questions Joe. As you can tell, I’m still working out the ramifications of the last question. Excited to see where it takes us. :-)

    • Joe Fill, re. Q&A(3) above, matter as clumps of quanta or alternatively eddies in a super fluid. Geoffrey Haselhurst’s model consists of standing 3D point waves in an infinite medium, and matter as stable 3D lattice structures. http://www.spaceandmotion.com/

      • Thad Roberts says:

        The maintenance of 3D standing waves requires constant inputs that are perfectly tuned from every direction. An eddy in the superfluid, however, maintains itself because of the non-rotationality of the superfluid – its tendency to form quantized eddies. In a way what Geoffrey and I are moving towards is similar, but stability in the idea of a standing wave requires a very large coincidence for each particle. This leads to a problem when trying to explain how all electrons appear identical. If, instead, these lattice structures are explained as quantized eddies in the superfluid vacuum, this question is naturally accounted for.

  3. Aaron says:

    Hi Thad,

    I just discovered your TED talk yesterday evening and it blew my mind! After piecing it back together (my mind, that is), I decided to check out your website. I ended up spending several hours reading through the site (including your blogs) and watching the videos. Fascinating stuff! A few questions have popped into my mind, but I think many of them are probably answered in your book. In fact, after reading the synopsis of your book, I know that the answers to many of my questions are addressed there.

    I’d like to get a better handle on the work that’s already been done before asking any questions. Are you still emailing copies of your book? If so, I’d love to read through it. I’m not sure how close you are to print (it’s been a while since your last blog post), but if the book is already out, I’ll happily purchase a copy :)

    Anyway, thanks for sharing qst. I’ve come across a handful of TOEs over the years, and none of them have successfully been able to explain and account for all of the oddities that exist in the standard model — let alone provide an intuitive framework. I agree that all physical theories, their mathematical expressions apart, ought to lend themselves to so simple a description that, in the words of Einstein, “even a child could understand them.”


    • Thad Roberts says:

      I’ve emailed you a link to the pdf. Much progress has been made recently, inspiring some revisions in chapters 19-21 and improving the overall clarity. When you reach chapter 21 I recommend re-downloading the pdf to make sure you have the most updated version. If you feel anything in the book could be made more clear please let me know :-). I look forward to your feedback.

      • Aaron says:

        Hello again,

        Thanks for the link. I downloaded the pdf and just finished chapter 4. I’m really impressed by the sequence in which you’ve laid everything out. The hard work that you’ve put into this is plainly evident. So far, I’ve been able to follow everything easily, and I have prior knowledge of each of the concepts that you’ve discussed (with the exception of quasicrystals, which I did a little internet research on).

        Just for the record, I’m not a trained scientist in any area, and my knowledge of cosmology, astrophysics, quantum mechanics, etc. comes from the few books that I’ve read and documentaries that I’ve watched. I have hopes of ultimately understanding the concepts, history, and math on a level equal to that of a researcher in the field, but I have a VERY long way to go. That being said, the fact that I can understand your book clearly up to this point gives me encouragement that I’m making progress on this goal.

        If I have any editing related suggestions, I’ll mention them through email.

        Thanks again. This is awesome!


  4. Laz says:

    Hi Thad,

    I have been always interested in our mysterious Universe. I enjoy reading ur website, watching ur videos. However, i did not notice that u mentioned the string or M theory before. What is ur view about it? Everything made up of vibrating strings which are 11 dimensional? What about 1 piece of space quanta which is 1 plank length (1.6 × 10 to the power of -35 metres), is it made up of 1 single string? According to some scientists, the size of a string can be somewhere between 10 to the power of -34 or -35. So maybe a piece of string as the same as a space quanta?

    Thank u for ur help :)
    and…It would be amazing if u could send me ur book as well.


    • Thad Roberts says:

      Thank you for your questions :-). I will email you a link to a copy of the book today. In response to your questions, I enjoy the efforts made by the developers of string theory to ontologically access a causal story behind the mysteries of quantum mechanics. However, I don’t think that such a story has been successfully achieved as of yet by that theory. Nevertheless, string theory, now extended into superstring theory and M-theory, does have some interesting and notable parallels that are highlighted by the assumption that the vacuum is a superfluid (quantized). Some of these are mentioned in ‘Einstein’s Intuition.’ I look forward to your feedback as you read.

  5. Laz says:

    Thanks a million Thad, i really appreciate ur reply and the great book!!!

    I will let u know if something is not clear for me for sure :)

    All the best,

  6. Chris says:

    Hi Thad,
    I just came across your TED talk video the other day. I’m just an amateur when it comes to physics and cosmology, but I love to listen to all these new, inspiring ideas. I’m very impressed with how much your theory was able to explain (especially that physical constants depend on the geometry of space itself, which I once speculated on… although ‘fantasized about’ would be probably a better choice of words). Anyway, I’m just writing to say: Thanks! and: Keep it up! :)

    Also, my mind just happened upon this question: is superspace also quantum in nature, or do you assume it’s infinitely smooth?

    • Thad Roberts says:

      Thanks for your question. In response to your question, the model we are working with assumes a perfect fractal structure, so yes it assumes that superspace is quantized, and that those quanta are composite entities of much smaller sub-quanta, and so on. If you are interested I can send you the book on this. Chapter 11 specifically covers this issue.

      • Chris says:

        Yes, thank you! I’d very much like to read more on this topic. I’ve watched the Conversations videos in the last few days, but some things are still not entirely, intuitively clear to me (blame my brain). It’s only fair if I first learn more about it, before I take any more of your time. One thing I’d like to ask ahead though is how the quanta of space transfer energy, if they’re not actually touching? Do they do it in our three spatial dimensions (where they’re presumably always in contact) as long as they’re not touching in superspace? (Sorry, if I mixed up something).

        Actually, I have also some other comments/questions about things I think I understood a little bit better:
        1. Gravitational lensing was explained by dark matter. You explained it by a phase change of space caused by differences of temperature in space. Would the lensing effect always be in a form of a circle? Even in galaxy clusters, like here?: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0b/Gravitationell-lins-4.jpg

        Ok, I’m not really sure it’s a perfect circle on that picture, but anyway, I imagined that if it all comes down to differences of temperature, then the lensing effect of the whole cluster should be probably much more… distorted, irregular? (Then again, it’s just my intuition which I learned not to trust fully 😉 ).

        2. You explained that the red shift of galaxies’ light is caused by loss of its energy due to kind of internal friction of space-quanta (hope I got that right) …anyway it’s lost to the space itself. You also talked about the universe from the time of the Big Bang till now. But wasn’t the red shift our only hint at the Big Bang from singularity (or something close to it) and inflation in the first place? If the energy of photons is ‘lost’ in space, then maybe there is no inflation at all, and the universe is basically static in size. Only there is more and more of that ‘friction’ in the space (or some parts of it) and so far we wrongly interpreted data as accelerating inflation?

        That would be all, for now anyway.
        Thanks again, Thad!

        • Thad Roberts says:

          Thank you for your questions. First, in this model the quanta do touch. They elastically interact in the superspatial dimensions, colliding and bouncing off of each other. I’ll try to eventually get a video of this up to make it more clear. Second, as for your question about gravitational lensing, there is no shape difference between the projections this theory makes and the traditional claims about dark matter. The dark matter haloes, or regions of phase transition, around even cigar shaped galaxies is spherical. Therefore, we do expect the lensing effect to be circular. There can be exceptions from that circular projected image. For example if there are other objects between the source and observer further distorting the image. The spherical shape found in Nature is not fully explained in the traditional explanation of dark matter. But if it is a phase chance then we expect this spherical shape because of how thermodynamic properties are communicated outward from their sources. You are right to suspect that ultimately there can in principle be a non spherical shape, but this will occur only as a grouping of other spherical shapes. So you might find something that approximates a 3D Mickey Mouse out there, but this would require a very specific placement of very specific galaxies, all at just the right temperatures and sizes and spacings. In general we just expect spherical measurements for the halo region. Your second question is awesome by the way. As it turns out, redshift is not our ONLY hint that the universe had a “first” moment. I use first here only in reference to an internally traceable chain of cause and effect – not a claim that it was an ultimate cut off on cause and effect. The most solid way to get to the claim that the universe must have had a beginning (in the sense we are taking about – a Big Bang) is to secure the second law of thermodynamics and to recognize that all of physics is time-reverse symmetric (some might suggest that the wave function collapse might escape this, but it can be shown that this claim is unnecessary – see Bohm’s interpretation of quantum mechanics). With these two conditions on board we fully expect that whenever there appears some measure of order in the universe it is extremely likely that both before and after the emergence of that order it was less. Imaging a pool table with no friction and no pockets. The balls have been moving around colliding for a long time before you looked at it. Note that you can take snapshots of the positions of the balls, but most of these pictures will show you just random orientations. This system has maximum entropy – minimum order. However, eventually all the balls will happen to collide all at once, packed into one corner. Clearly if we took a snapshot of that moment it would be obvious that the system had some order. Now the expectation. If we had access to pictures from before and after that point of order, what would we expect to see? We would expect to see the order decay in both directions in time. This is what it means to say that Nature is time-reverse symmetric. The second law of thermodynamics tells us that Nature behaves this way. The time-reverse symmetry encoded in our physics equations also supports this. But when we look into the world we also see many occurrences that seem to have time directionality to them. Events unfold one way far more than they do in the other way. Why? Well if the second law of thermodynamics holds, if time-reverse symmetry accurately describes the physics (these two claims are synonymous by the way) then there is only one conclusion. Our universe has not yet reached a maximum state of entropy. This means that the universe had a beginning. It was charged with extremely low entropy at some point, and that low entropy has not fully decayed yet.
          I explain this in detail in my book. If you’d like to read it just send me your email and request it. I’ll forward you a pdf. I also explain inflation in that chapter, and the accelerated recent phase of redshift. All of these effects are natural expectations of this model. That, of course, does not automatically make the model right, but it does make it interesting. The value here is that we may now have a model that explains our observations wholly, and in a way that is intuitively accessible. :-)

  7. Iiro says:


    Great work indeed!!!
    I have been watching most of your videos during last two days and I really like the simplicity and elegance of your approach. It will take some more time and reading for me to arrive in deeper understanding but there is one problem allready that I am not able to solve by my self and it is this:

    In your theory there is no need for gravitational force. Direct line is defined so that there is same amount of quanta passing by in all sides of a moving object. This leeds to a curved path (euclidean sence) when ther is more quanta (object with mass) in on side of an moving object. Now we run to a problem (it is most propably my monkey mind missing some simple thing because of late hours :-) because in this scenario the path that the object takes does not depend on its velocity. So if we douple the velocity, we should still have the same path which we no is not true.

    So please show me what I am missing so that I can move on!!!

    Thanks for bringing the common sense back to the basic science!!!

    • Thad Roberts says:

      Great question! You may be pleased to discover that this model does say that the path an object will follow depends on its velocity. With a density gradient of space in place, the straight path, the path an object will take, depends on its velocity. To see why, imagine an object that moves through flat space at a slow rate – let’s say 20 quanta per unit of time. When that object moves into a region with a density gradient it will take the path in which both sides still experience the same amount of space per unit of time. Let’s say that the gradient makes a difference in density such that a superspatial straight path would lead to 20 more quanta on one side than the other. This object will then follow a highly curved path (from the Euclidean perspective). However, if the same object entered the region moving at 1000 quanta per unit of time, then the 1020 vs. 1000 side to side would not create a path with strong curvature. I hope this addresses your question. Please elaborate if you have further questions :-).

  8. Martin says:

    Hi Thad, I’ve got a couple of questions:
    1. Can you help me envisage why a mass (like an apple) falls toward the Earth? In the absence of a force called gravity I’m guessing this must be happening because the apple has velocity (that of the Earth through space) in a density gradient… But I can’t quite picture it.
    2. What is it that is within a planck bubble that has co-ordinates described by the intra-spatial x,y,z?
    3. Sub-atomic particles are huge compared to the planck length so how do you picture a quark occupying space? Does it ‘occupy’ billions of planck bubbles? What does that ‘look’ like?
    4. What is the mechanism by which mass affects the density of planck bubbles? How does mass cause them to coalesce? I think what I’m trying to get at here is that, having done away with gravity, with what do I replace my conception of matter clumping together (to make planets etc…)
    5. I think you said a black hole had a size of 1 planck. Surely if you make planck bubbles coalesce as in a black hole, its ‘size’ is however many planck bubbles it has inside it. From your explanation, I imagine them densely packed (and not ‘resonating’)… and if more matter is sucked in, with more planck bubbles, I imagine the event horizon expands to accomodate more planck bubbles at some sort of maximum density.
    6. I never came across your explanation of how QST explains wave particle duality. I’d love to hear it.
    I’m enjoying how you convey the concept of QST as something I can actually imagine. Thanks.

    • Thad Roberts says:

      1. Of course. ☺ First let me say that the difficulty would be to explain how a force called gravity causes an apple to fall toward the Earth. Forces are used in lieu of explanations. Therefore, when we rely on “forces” our understanding of the world is empty. When it came to gravity, Einstein overcame this stumbling block by reducing the effects of gravity to consequences of a geometric property (that nobody had previously imagined). According to Einstein, the metric of spacetime curves in conjunction with the presence of mass. As a result, objects like the Moon orbit the Earth because this orbit is the straight path through spacetime (despite our naïve Euclidean expectations). Once we comprehend spacetime in its full geometric splendor the mystery of forces dissolve. Since the Moon is going straight, there is no deep mystery.

      We can use our qst model to fully understand the geometric property of spacetime curvature. In our model, curvature is represented by the radial density gradients that extend from massive objects. Once we have these radial density gradients our solution falls into place by considering what it means to call a path “straight” in space. An object that is moving straight experiences equal amounts of space. In other words, its left side moves through the same amount of space as its right side (and all other sides). Imagine extending your hands as you drift in space. If your left hand transverses the same amount of space as your right hand during some interval of time, then you are moving straight. Now imaging an object entering a region of space that supports radial density gradient. In order for the object to continue going straight it must continue to follow the path that has it interacting with the same amount of space on its left side and its right side. The radial density gradient perturbs this path from Euclidean projections. Can you imagine it now?

      2. If we assume that space (the x, y, z we are familiar with) is actually a superfluid made up of many quanta of space, then the individual quanta of space become the smallest contributions to the metric that portrays the relative arrangements of those quanta. The quanta themselves are made up of a volume, but that volume cannot coherently participate or contribute to the metric of x, y, z. Therefore, their metric is uniquely separate. As an analogy, let’s imagine that you were asking what is within the molecules of water in a lake. A collection of these molecules defines water, and they can allow waves to propagate through the medium, but inside the molecules themselves the notion of “water” is nowhere to be found. The reference has entirely changed, even though the molecules of H2O make up water. Does that help?

      3. Great question. Particles of mass in this model turn out to be little vortices in the superfluid vacuum. In this sense they are stable metric distortions that possess the ability to be locally defined (at least on scales larger than the vortex in question).

      4. Mass/energy exists any time there is a metric distortion. This means that whenever the quanta are not perfectly arranged into an evenly spaced lattice, matter/energy is present. On the quantum scales this is always the case, but as you zoom out the average density evens out (so long are there is not a radial density gradient present), giving rise to the appearance of emptiness (leaving only zero point energy, the spontaneous creation and annihilation of particles in pairs, which are described on the smallest scales only). What you appear to be getting would be best elucidated by a rich understanding of superfluids. In superfluids stable quantum vortices can form and remain without dissipation. This formation is the creation of ‘matter particles’ and the metric swirls that extend from them give rise to the effects of the electric force etc. I expand on this in my book, in the Forces chapter.

      5. When we are talking about x, y, z size, yes all black holes have an effective size of one Planck length. That is because they represent only one unique location in the x, y, z metric. However, superspatially black holes are much more than this. A black hole’s superspatial size is a function of how many quanta make it up. The rest of what you said sounds accurate to me.

      6. Please go to http://www.EinsteinsIntuition.com and select the pull down menu titled ‘What is qst?’ and select the formalism page. This should give you a great overview of how wave/particle duality is required by the assumption that the vacuum is a superfluid. Also, chapters 12 and 13 in my book introduce these concepts with less math.

      • matt says:

        I don’t think you answered Martin’s #1 question fully. In the apple, the left and right ‘hands’ will ‘expe­ri­ences equal amounts of space.’ I came to Q&A looking for an explanation of the apple falling from the tree, not orbiting the earth! As to how the (familiar) potential energy changes to kinetic energy (the moment the stem breaks) , I guess we’d consider the density gradient front-to-back but i can’t think of what makes the apple want to fall…

        • Thad Roberts says:


          Please excuse the delay in reply, I’ve been exploring Central America. I believe my response to your reworded question below addresses your question. If it does not please let me know.


  9. matt says:

    After some reckoning I simplified the question thus: What causes acceleration in an orbiting object? Because an apple breaking from a tree is the same as a satellite at the apex of a flat-elliptical path.

    Objects in an elliptical orbit experience a reversal of acceleration when its path is perpendicular to a radial line of the density gradient. All other moments it will experience (de/a)cceleration because of the gradient from ‘front’ to ‘back’. Is this because the ‘front’ experiences less time resonations than the ‘back’ which pushes it forward?

    Does that mean (familiar) inertia is an illusion?

    Is the inertia in superspace an illusion better explained by goings-on in supersuperspace?

    • Thad Roberts says:

      Thanks for the clarification Matt. In response let me begin by pointing out that an orbiting body is only “accelerating” from an Euclidean perspective. For any perspective that reveals the curvature of spacetime there is no acceleration involved at any time (no force either). In short, by switching to a frame that includes spacetime curvature we dissolve the “force” of gravity. So yes, in part, familiar inertia is an illusion. Because it is a function of mass and velocity, an Euclidean painting of velocity introduces the illusory part. From a perspective that includes spacetime curvature the inertia of an orbiting body does not change. It remains traveling straight through spacetime. This illusion, along with the illusions of the other “forces” is elucidated best, to my knowledge, by the “goings-on in superspace”. Chapter 20 in my book covers this topic in greater detail. If you would like a pdf copy let me know.

  10. Nick Grover says:

    I have a similar question as other people on this forum, I searched a bit and couldn’t find the answer so here goes.

    If the moon were (hypothetically) stopped in it’s orbital path, why would it fall towards the Earth?

    • Thad Roberts says:

      Great question. I assume that it makes sense to you why an orbit follows from a density gradient in space – why the moon orbits instead of flying right by. To tie the rest of the picture together we need to remember that elementary particles in this model are quantum vortices in the superfluid vacuum. Particles combine to form atoms and larger groups via the rules of combining quantum vortices. So we can imagine the Moon as a large collection of these swirling vortices. When it is in the presence of a density gradient (like the one that surrounds the Earth) the straight path for each vortex depends on that gradient. And, since the vortices are held in combination, by balancing fluid dynamic interactions, the fate of the collection is for the most part shared. Therefore, if the moon were stopped in its orbital path it would follow the only straight path available. Each vortex that makes it up would swirl about such that the distortion parts of its swirling action (the phonons that make it up) share identical experiences of space. The combined effect of this exposure to the Earth’s spatial density gradient (spacetime curvature), and the stabilization between the vortices making up the matter of the Moon, brings the whole thing straight towards the earth.

      Please let me know if I can attempt to make this more clear.


      • matt says:

        that explains the apple falling (not that i fully understand)… I would appreciate a link to your book.

        • Thad Roberts says:

          I’ve sent you the link. Please let me know if you have any problems opening it. I look forward to your feedback.

  11. Ron says:


    I’ve been waiting for the apple to fall! Thanks for that response. May I get a copy of your book also?

    I had wondered if the reason the apple would fall is because of the time differences in the gradient. It seems that molecules vibrating “up and down” in the gradient would move slightly slower relative to the molecules directly above them, tending to pull the ones above them down. But the time gradient probably isn’t steep enough to produce the effect that we think of as weight. And I haven’t heard of super cold materials having less weight than the same material at room temperature. So your answer is very satisfying. Would the molecular vibration in the time gradient have any effect at all on the motion of the apple, even very slightly?

    Great videos, great site. Can’t wait to read the book.

  12. Viktor says:

    Hi Thad!

    I watched your talk on TEDx – Boulder and I was very inspired. I would like to get a copy of your book in order to dig deeper in to the idea. I have a few questions concerning the 11-dimensions you talk about.

    1. Is 11 dimension a simplified picture? Have I understood it correctly if you believe that we live in an infinitely dimensional world? Does more dimensions pop up as we look closer?

    2. Is the super space including super time a E^4 space, and if so, what reason do we have to believe that?

    3. What forces are changing the path and shape of the space quanta, or is that just a geometric effect of even deeper lying dimensions?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Thad Roberts says:

      1. Yes, the 11-dimensional picture is a simplified picture. The complete picture relies on spatial structure that mimics a perfect fractal, each level resolving more internal parts that interact with the same set of rules.
      2. Superspace is only approximately an E^4 space in this model. This is a self-consistent necessity within the model because of the difference in size of the sub quanta to the quanta. The scale difference forces the expectation of a near E^4 structure.
      3. In this model there are no “forces” because all effects come with a complete causal story, negating any need to pull in a magical entity responsible for strange occurrences. I just emailed you a link to the book. To get a more complete answer to this question, read the superfluid chapter.

  13. matt says:

    i’m almost through the book; i’ll email it back to you with corrections (typos, formatting, few comments)

    I was disappointed at the way you have the qst recursively overlapping — subspace in frame B is superspace in frame C…

    did you even try to make it overlap so that familiar space in frame B is superspace in frame C?

    maybe I just like to imagine receiving jounce from a higher dimension.

    • Thad Roberts says:

      Technically the structure of the map is reflexive, meaning the order is mirrored. Look through Chapter 11 again, and if this isn’t clear please let me know.

  14. trollthetrolls says:

    hi thad i have a question about red shift,im wondering the system or star that they say is accelerating does it automaticly mean the hole universe is accelerating or perhaps just that portion .How many observances of this phenomena have they observed . Is it possible there is an enormous mass in front of this system that is pulling it faster,maybe a black hole .are the distant systems that are heading towards us ??? curious .

    • Thad Roberts says:

      These are good questions. For a more in depth answer than I will be providing here, please see my Chapter on Dark Energy in Einstein’s Intuition. If you do not have the book send me a request by email. The short answers are… When we observe redshift there are many possible (valid) explanations for this effect. The most popular explanation, is called the Doppler effect, which characterizes a change in observed wavelength due to motion of the emitting object. If from within the reference frame of the emitting object it is putting out a yellow light, but is moving away from you very rapidly, then from your reference frame you will see a color that is shifted towards the red end of the light spectrum. The amount of shifting depends on the speed. If it is moving towards you then the light will be blue-shifted. This effect is undoubtedly real. When we look at systems far away that are spinning rapidly, the edge moving towards us exhibits blue shift, while the edge of the system moving away from us exhibits red shift. The question is, does the general red shift we observe for all distant systems imply recession velocities? The answer is that it does not necessarily imply this. There are other options. I explore one particularly beautiful and simple option in that chapter if you’d like to understand another option. How many observations of red shift are there? Many. In fact, at large distance every system is redshifted. I suppose technically it is possible that they all have enormous masses behind them pulling them faster away from us, causing the doppler effect, but the odds of this would be extremely low for two reasons. The first reason is that all of those objects would have to be strategically placed such that they were exactly opposite of the object from our location, which doesn’t seem to have any motivation or explanation, seems contrived and statistically completely unexpected, and the second is that there is no reason to expect that all distant objects would be paired in this way.

  15. miles says:

    Only a newcomer to this theory, having only seen the “visualizing 11 dimension” ted talk and reading some of the content on the site. What intrigues me the most is an extrapolation from the acceptance that spacetime is a superfluid; the idea of vortices appearing on a quantized level (i.e rather than all the water in the bucket spinning around a central axis, quantised vortices appearing within the superfluid). Could the quanta themselves be defined as vortices in 11 dimensions, and could this further imply that it is the motion of the superfluid spacetime as a whole that causes these vortices to occur? Just as in the superfluid in the bucket, within which the system as a whole is moving causing these quantised vortices to appear. That is to say, that the spacetime that makes up the entire universe has some fundamental motion as a whole which in turn gives rise to these vortices which we experience as particels and charge.

    • Thad Roberts says:

      This is a beautiful insight. Yes, this model leads to the expectation that the quantized vortices internal to the system are manifestations of some external motion (left over from the big bang). But the vortices are not the quanta themselves, instead the vortices are made of of the superfluid that the quanta construct. The quantized vortices instead become, as you suggest in your last sentence, the fundamental particles of mass. If you’d like to read more on this, I recommend my Chapter 21 – Superfluidity and Chapter 22 – Quantized Vortices.

  16. Peter says:

    You mention that mass generation can be described as a symmetry breaking event, but the primary literature is pretty dense. Is there an easier way to conceptualize “mass” in qst, and from that, better understand how mass might alter the density of ‘space-bubbles’ and hence, gravity? The popularized notion of gravity as a “charge” of mass–which results from particle interaction with the higgs field–doesn’t seem to mesh well with qst. help!

    • Thad Roberts says:

      Dear Peter,
      Yes, this model does offer an easier way to conceptualize “mass.” Here’s an excerpt that should help make the connection (if you’d like to see this discussion with its references, figures, and equations, send me a request for the book via email):

      The word mass references the presence of a geometric distortion in the metric – specifically the presence of a localized distortion in the vacuum of increased density. Distortions that are not localized, distortions that require transverse propagation in order to be sustained, are referred to as light, or more generally as energy. Distortions with a decrease in density are referred to as negative energy.

      In a fluid metric, the total geometric magnitude of each distortion will vary depending upon speed. When a mass particle (a localized vacuum distortion) is not moving, the magnitude of that distortion chacterizes the particle’s rest mass, also known as its intrinsic mass. When the particle moves, a wavefront builds up in front of it, adding to the total distortion of the vacuum’s geometry. The faster it moves the greater the distortion. The additional distortion characterizes the particle’s kinetic mass. As it approaches the propagation speed of the medium, the total metric distortion approaches an infinite value. This is why it takes an infinite amount of energy to accelerate a particle with non-zero rest mass to the speed of light.

      Once we assume that the vacuum is quantized (like air), the notion of relativistic mass, whose value depends on velocity, automatically follows. Once we have particles with rest mass, it is trivial (given vacuum quantization) to explain kinetic mass (also known as relativistic mass). But how do we explain the emergence of rest mass? How do those localized regions of increased density form? Why do they only come in certain sizes – specifically prescribing the elementary particles we find in Nature? What makes these quantities of mass so special?

      In reference to these questions, Frank Wilczek, a physics Nobel Laureate, noted that William Thomson (also known as Lord Kelvin) postulated one of the most beautiful ‘failed’ ideas in the history of science when he suggested that atoms might be vortices in an aether that pervades space. Believing in aether, an invisible medium in spacetime that sustained electromagnetic waves, Thomson became intrigued by the work of Hermann Helmholtz, who demonstrated that “vortices exert forces on one another, and those forces take a form reminiscent of the magnetic forces between wires carrying electric currents.” As he explored this connection he recognized that vorticity was the key to obtaining a model that could explain how a few types of atoms, each existing in very large numbers of identical copies, could arise in Nature.

      To get his theory of vortex atoms off the ground, Thomson assumed that the aether was endowed with the ability to support stable vortices. Following Helmholtz’ theorems, he then noted that distinct types, or “species,” of vortices would persist in the medium, and that these fundamental vortices could aggregate into a variety of quasi-stable “molecules.”
      Thomson’s idea is quite appealing – the idea that stable quantum vortices, whose topologically distinct forms and sizes are naturally and reproducibly authored by the properties of the medium itself, are the building blocks of the material world. Sadly the idea has faded into obscurity, cloddishly dismissed and rejected, because the aether, the background fluid that these vorticities were thought to critically depend on, has been abandoned. Scientists assumed that if the aether is out, then Kelvin’s quantized vorticities are also out. They mistakenly threw the baby out with the bath water.

      Providentially, the elegance of Thomson’s quantized vorticities is resurrected when we trade the aether assumption, that there is a medium in the vacuum that supports electromagnetic waves, for the assumption that the vacuum itself is a superfluid medium with a metric that is macroscopically describable by the wave function. The assumption that the vacuum is a superfluid, also called a quantum fluid, instinctively establishes vortex stability. It also leads to the expectation that the structure of the material world is written into the substrate of the vacuum itself, that as quantized vortices form in the vacuum, supersymmetry is broken and subatomic particles emerge with very specific properties.

      We are just beginning to explore some of the promising new possibilities offered by quantum fluids. Current research is focused on, among other things, theoretically understanding the formation of quantum vortices in Bose-Einstein condensates (and how they combine to form stable unions), linking those quantum vortices to a concept of matter origins, and using BEC’s to model black holes and their related phenomena in the lab.

      If vortices in the vacuum correspond to particles then “concentrated energy in empty space can transform virtual particles into real ones.” If this is what is going on then the mechanism behind this transformation (the Higgs mechanism) needs to be explained. We need to explore how massless particles with two physical polarizations acquire a third stable polarization in the longitudinal direction. We need to figure out how the property of mass (locally maintained geometric distortions, or quantized vortices) spring into existence.

      To push us towards an answer, we note that if we spin a beaker containing a superfluid we end up with an array of vortices scattered about in that fluid. (The number of vortices introduced is proportional to ħ/m.) Interestingly, superfluidity breaks down within each of these vortices, while everywhere else the fluid retains its superfluid characterization, and remains still (in the macroscopic sense). Therefore, the rotational energy of the external rotation becomes contained within these quantized vortices. The differences in response to rotation can be more precisely quantified by noting that the tangential velocity of the quantized vortices has a modulus that decreases with r:
      (Equations did not fully copy – see Chapter 22 – Quantum Vortices for equations and figures.)

      whereas the tangential velocity of a rigid rotator has a modulus that increases with r: v = Ω × r.

      This is what allows us to claim that the vortices are localized. This, combined with the fact that vortices are defined as certain geometric distortions in the vacuum that spontaneously break or hide the underlying higher symmetric state, makes them perfect candidates for particles that inherit their rest mass via the Higgs field. Vacuum superfluidity, therefore, gives teeth to the Higgs field hypothesis.

      The Higgs field (also called the Higgs boson, or the God particle) is used to codify the mysterious fact that particles possess rest mass. It is held responsible for causing certain geometric distortions in the vacuum and thereby spontaneously breaking or hiding the underlying higher symmetric state of spacetime. How this field spontaneously breaks the symmetry associated with the weak force and gives elementary particles their mass, how it lowers the total energy state of the universe, or how viscosity is introduced into the system, is not yet clear.

      The Higgs boson was introduced into the electroweak theory as an ad hoc way of giving mass to the weak boson. Even with this insertion the electroweak theory fails to solve the mass generation problem because it does not explain the origin of mass in the Higgs boson. Instead, the theory introduces this mass as a free parameter via the Higgs potential, making the value of the Higgs mass ultimately just another free parameter in quantum mechanics.

      Matters are further complicated by the fact that the value of this Higgs parameter has only been indirectly estimated. Many different estimates for the value of the Higgs have been posited by the standard model (and its extensions). But even if theorists knew how to pick among these values, even if the mass of the Higgs boson were theoretically fixed, we would not have a fundamental solution of the mass generation problem. The Higgs postulation only reformulates the problem of mass generation, pushing the question back to ‘How does the Higgs boson get its mass?’

      This is where vacuum superfluidity comes to the rescue. Vacuum superfluidity naturally postulates a fundamental mechanism for mass generation, without explicitly forbidding the existence of an electroweak Higgs particle. In short, it has been shown that elementary particles can acquire their mass due to an interaction with the vacuum condensate – much like the gap generation mechanism in superconductors or superfluids. Therefore, if the Higgs boson exists, then vacuum superfluidity explains the origin of its mass by providing a mechanism that can generate its mass. If the Higgs boson does not exist, then the weak bosons acquire their mass via direct interaction with the vacuum condensate. Either way the mass of the weak boson is a by- product of the fundamental mass generation mechanism encoded by vacuum superfluidity, not a cause of it.

      This idea is not entirely novel to a superfluid vacuum theory. Nevertheless, this topological explanation for mass generation elevates this theory to a construction that is at least ontologically on par with braid theory or loop quantum gravity. The assumption that the vacuum is a superfluid makes it possible to describe the symmetry-breaking relativistic scalar field (which is responsible for mass generation) in terms of small fluctuations in the background superfluid. Under certain conditions these fluctuations come together to take on the properties of elementary particles.

      As vacuum fluctuations come together to create stable metric ‘braids,’ as twisting vortices form and stabilize, they become capable of taking on mass particle characteristics – a third polarization state and the property of being localized. (Not all fluctuations will combine into stabilized vortices.) This opens up the possibility of topologically interpreting electric charge as twists that are carried on the individual ribbons of a braid. Likewise, color charge can be interpreted topologically as the available twisting modes.

      All of this suggests that matter generation is explicitly related to quantum vortex formation in the superfluid vacuum (or the generation of dark solitons in one-dimensional BEC’s). Superfluid vortices are allowed for by the non-linear  term in the Gross-Pitaevskii equation.
      These plaits of quantized angular momentum are most naturally represented by a wavefunction of the form  , where ρ, z, and θ are representations of the cylindrical coordinate system and l is the angular number. In an axially symmetric (harmonic) confining potential this
      is the form that is generally expected. To generalize this notion we determine  by minimizing the energy of  according to the constraint  . In a uniform medium this becomes:
      where: n2 is density far from the vortex, x = ρ / l ξ, and ξ is healing length of the condensate. For a singly charged vortex (l = 1) in the ground state, has an energy  given by:
      where b is the farthest distance from the vortex considered. (A well-defined energy necessitates this boundary b.)
      For multiply charged vortices (l > 1) the energy is approximated by: .
      Such vortices tend to be unstable because they have greater energy than that of singly charged vortices. There may, however, be metastable states, that have relatively long lifetimes, and it may be possible for vortices to come together and create stabilized unions.

      Dark solitons are topological features in one-dimensional BEC’s that possess a phase gradient across their nodal plane. This phase gradient stabilizes their shape even during propagation and interaction. Because these solitons carry no charge they are prone to decay. Nevertheless, “relatively long-lived dark solitons have been produced and studied extensively.”

      When it comes to the mass generation problem vacuum superfluidity has become a thriving contender among a swarm of competing theories. Because it explains mass and energy strictly in terms of geometry it has positioned itself as the contender with the most ontological potential.

      – I hope that helps.


  17. Carnoy Aurelien says:

    hello dear Thad

    I am not sure this is the right place to post my comment,
    so feel free to move it if you need too. ty

    i hear you say all electrons look alike
    would it help you to hypothesis that they are all the same one?
    what i mean by this is: an electron is a place in space time
    that phenomenon is the same one ,
    we just observe it from different points of view

    I’m not saying it is reality
    it is just a tool
    to nicely illustrate
    how one can consider realty

    an other example of that tool would be
    the similarity between black/white whole and the big bag theory
    though many different point of vue on what we are talking about
    can lead people to disagree 😛

    This is why i used the electron example
    as it seemed simpler
    (i hope my English convey my meaning
    as i an French)

    i hope to hear from you
    take care

    • Thad Roberts says:

      Dear Carnoy,
      The idea that there is only one electron in the Universe manifesting itself in many places (with many complex stories for how it gets to all of those places) has already been proposed. What people are trying to achieve in this proposal is an explanation for the uniformity between all electrons. Personally I find the simplest story to be most likely, and most explanations I’ve heard for how one electron manifests itself in multiple places in space and time have been very complex. The simplest explanation I know of so far is that there is a property in the vacuum itself that inscribes the properties of the elementary particles (including the electron). If the vacuum is a superfluid, then the quantum eddies that form due to superfluidity, which only come in very specific states (eddie 1, 2, 3… but no eddies with properties between those), are natural expectations. If those eddies are the elementary particles, than that would be the most simple explanation possible. This is not to say that I am discouraging the idea you are suggesting. All ideas have value in science, and science needs people that are willing to use their creative imaginations to come up with new ways of seeing things.

  18. eric says:

    i have listen to your tedx talk with a lot of interest.i have a few question that i cant realy grasp with this consept. if the space is made of `something` you still endup with something empty between those little space, what is empty made of? if all the space touch at some point and allow thing to move from a space to another space whitout having to pass into something that dont exist/empty it would ease my mind but dont allow for 3 dimention you talk about. at what level of the atom do the space interact to create gravity? how can we manipulate space from the atomic point of view to test that theory?
    thank you

    • eric says:

      i forgot to ask how energy intereact with space?
      thank you

    • Thad Roberts says:

      Thank you for your questions. The TED talk did not go into much depth. Let me provide a little more here. The full structure of this model assumes a fractal geometry, meaning that it assumes that the vacuum is made of parts, and that those parts (and the medium that separates them) are made of smaller parts, and so on. Due to this hierarchical structure, the exact model we are discussing depends upon the resolution we choose to focus on. If we stick to 11 dimensions, then the vacuum is made of quanta, each of which contain interspatial volume, the vacuum quanta are separated by superspatial volume, and the entire collection fills out the familiar spatial volume. Your first question asks what the superspatial volume is, or perhaps what it is made of. The model ultimately assumes that superspace is, in a self-similiar way, made of sub-quanta, and therefore has fluid properties of its own. The sub-quanta are not resolved in our 11 dimensional resolution, but if we want to resolve them we simply jump to the next level of resolution, which is a 30 dimensional map (27 spatial dimensions, and 3 temporal dimensions). Also, in the model the vacuum comprises all the “furniture of the world” or everything that manifests in space. Quantum vortices in the superfluid vacuum are the fundamental matter particles, and the density gradients that surround them are the gravity fields. All forms of energy are marked by metric distortions, differences in the distributions of the quanta that make up the vacuum. These distortions can be propagating waves, or phonons, like sound waves through air, or they can be quantum eddies, gaining what physicists call a third polarization – making it possible for the distortion to be maintained without necessarily having to move through the metric. The vacuum is more fundamental than atoms of matter. Many vacuum of quanta choreograph together to make quantum vortices, which form the fundamental particles, like quarks, which combine to make protons and neutrons, and eventually atoms. As for testing the theory, there are several ways to test this theory, as it makes clear departures from traditional projections in cosmology, general relativity, and quantum mechanics. First off, it posits that Lorentz symmetry is not an exact symmetry of Nature but instead a symmetry that manifests in the low momentum regime. The prediction, then, is that with enough energy and momentum we should be able to detect Lorentz-breaking corrections. To do this we need energies and momenta that extend beyond the excitation threshold of the superfluid vacuum. Also, it offers an explanation for red-shifted light in cosmology, which, of course, leads to completely different claims about dark energy. Also, its quantum mechanical predictions insert a nonlinear term in its wave equation, whereas the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics sticks with the linear term only (which is why it remains restricted from wrestling with the phenomena of general relativity). If you’d like to look into this in greater depth, feel free to send me a request for a free copy of the book.

  19. eric says:

    sure, thank you

  20. Stolrael Dowell says:

    You touched on it. But I really want an elaboration on how matter moves from one quantum of space to the next. You said quanta can touch superspatially, but do they have to be?

    • Thad Roberts says:

      Matter particles are quantum vortices in this model, which means that even fundamental quarks are made up of many quanta of space. For matter particles to move through space the collection of vortices that make it up, or at minimum the vortex that makes it up, moves through the medium in a way very similar to how a whirlpool moves through water. To begin exploring the basics of this kind of motion I suggest looking up phonons, otherwise known as quasiparticles, which can be defined as collective excitations in the periodic, elastic arrangements of atoms or molecules of a medium (in this case the quanta of the superfluid vacuum). These phonons can take on different forms, but they all represent excited states in the medium. When these excited states become quantum vortices, they represent matter, instead of energy in the form of light, but the motion of these vortices is still determined by the parameters of the elastic medium.

  21. Nathan Duke says:

    Dear Mr. Roberts,

    1. Are Quanta physically real, material objects (as in substantive components of a superfluid)? Or are they rather, like a Euclidian coordinate plane, a conceptual representation of space (with the additional property of representing the confluence of the five constants of nature within any given unit of space) to be superimposed upon it, for the purpose of standardizing a base unit of measure so that we can more clearly perceive it’s properties and more completely & accurately analyze & explain it’s behavior?

    2. If so, do Quanta have mass?
    3. Is the “space” between Quanta quantiz(ed/able)?
    4. If quanta are indivisible, how then are they comprised of “sub-quanta and so on, ad infinitum”?

    As R.B. Fuller once said, “All truths are omniinteroperable.” Please help me reconcile these seemingly non-interoperable assertions of truth on the part of your theoretical framework. I am a lay person with only the most rudimentary grasp of this material. But since you state that QST offers an intelligible view of these normally inscrutable concepts, I write to you in the spirit of understanding (or at least aspiring thereto!).

    Thank you.

    P.S. Your alternate explanation of red-shift gave me the first glimmer of hope for the future of the cosmos since Edwin Hubble’s entropic prophecy seemingly sealed it’s doom. I still have some questions about that, but I’ll leave those for later…

    Best regards,
    Nathan Duke
    Lead Designer
    949-468-5688 cell
    619-567-0000 office
    619-916-3630 fax

    • Thad Roberts says:

      Hi Nathan,

      Thanks for your questions. I’ll attempt a concise set of answers here and point you towards my book for a richer explanation. (I’ve just emailed a pdf copy of it to you.)

      You asked, “Are we to understand that Quanta are literally real material objects? Or, like a Euclidian coordinate plane, are they simply a conceptual representation of space (with the additional property of representing the confluence of the five constants of nature within any given unit of space) to be superimposed upon it for the purpose of standardizing a base unit of measure so that we can more clearly perceive it’s properties and more completely and accurately explain it’s behavior?”

      I am aiming at the former of these options, as the superfluid vacuum model of quantum space theoy is meant to provide a complete ontology. However, I would not object to someone fleshing out an interpretation based on the latter, but I suspect it would not carry as much explanatory import.

      In response to your other questions:

      1. Do Quanta have mass?

      No, quanta do not have mass. Mass is a distortion in the geometric arrangements of the quanta. It is a collective property and therefore cannot be attributed to a single element of the collection – just as one molecule of air cannot have pressure.

      2. Is the space between Quanta quantiz(ed/able)?

      Yes it is, but on a completely different scale – the same scale on which the quanta themselves are quantized. Chapter 11 should help with these concerns/questions. If it doesn’t resolve them please let me know.

      3. If quanta are indivisible, how then are they comprised of “sub-quanta and so on, ad infinitum”?

      Quanta are not indivisible. They are merely the smallest units if space. The same applies to gold. It can be divided down to one atom if gold and still be gold. We cannot divide one atom of gold and still have gold, but this doesn’t ultimately or logically stop us from dividing it. The division is possible, but it requires moving beyond the properties and definition of the medium (gold). The claim here is that the same applies to space as a medium.

      I hope that helped. While you read the book please keep a list of your questions and comments and send me any unresolved questions or constructive comments. If you find any particular section unclear I would like to know. Your critical analysis is valuable to me as the aim of my book is to make these topics accessible to everyone with a sharp mind regardless of their level of training in physics.

      Thank you.


      P.S. Questions related to your postscript comment are covered in Chapter 28 of my book. Enjoy.

  22. Thad,

    Watched your TEDx Youtube video last night and was blown away. I spent this morning reading your web site and would now like to see the technical details of your QST book.

    My background is BSc Physics, MM Mathematics. I spent my working life in computing and am now retired.

    I left grad school (UMd, College Park ) in quantum physics because of a deep dissatisfaction with QM: I understood the math – but had grave doubts about the epistemology. I have tried to keep current over the past 50 years ( my God, has it been that long? ) reading as much as possible on current theories.

    Your ideas – if I understand them correctly – are utterly wonderful. I have believed for some time that whatever reality is – it is emergent with infinite complexity derivable from simple recursive rules.

    I spent some time a few decades ago exploring the world of fractals ( see https://www.flickr.com/photos/hortonheardawho/4482226023/ for a sample of my Mandelbrot set animations ) and am particularly excited that you recognize the deeper fractal nature of reality.

    I also happen to have many of the same personal interest as you ( PADI Divemaster, Space enthusiast, Fossil hunter, amateur geologists. )

    Looking forward to an exciting read and hope I can provide you with some useful feedback.


    • Jeff Chapple says:

      Thad is abroad at the moment, so I’m not sure how long it will take him to respond.

    • Thad Roberts says:

      Hi Marvin,

      I apologize for taking this long to respond. I’ve been abroad for several months, traveling with a quantum physicist and then a philosopher of physics. It seems that you and I do have much in common, and I look forward to exploring that with you. Throughout the book my main goal remains to return us to an investigation that does not turn its back on epistemological concerns, so I would very much appreciate it if one of the lenses you evaluated my book through was the epistemological lens. Let me know if it holds up a satisfactory epistemological argument. Of course, there is no requirement that you end up believing that Nature perfectly conforms to the model, as keeping our doubt around in healthy doses is important, but it is important that whatever route we explore does not turn it back on ontology and epistemology. If you have any thoughts as you read, or think any particular parts could be improved, please let me know. I’m sending you a copy of the book to your email. I very much look forward to your feedback and starting a dialogue with you.


  23. Dr. Morozov says:

    Hello Mr. Roberts,

    I have only one question without a good answer to which it would be impossible for me to accept that space is quantized.

    The problem is that any quantized structure automatically makes space anisotropical. In other words some directions in space become “favorable”.

    I suppose in the case of no distortion the “space” quantums you introduce would form a 3d grid, packed in nice rows along the 3 mains axis. As long as you move along an axis everthing is fine – the distance traveled is equal to the number of space “quantums” passsed.

    But suppose you were to go in a right angle triangle with its sides along the axises along the hypotenuse. If you are hoping over “quantums” you will have to do this in a stepped-like manner, gathering the same number of steps as the sum along the sides. Obviously according to the Pythagorean theorem this can not be true.

    • Thad Roberts says:

      Dr. Morozov,

      As you might recall isotropy is defined macroscopically, like pressure. In this sense there is no inherent anisotropy inscribed by quantization. For example, if we have a container of gas, which we believe to be made of quantized parts (atoms or molecules) and we are in space with no measurable gravitational field, then the gas will display uniformity in all directions, having no preferred arrangement one way versus another and having equal density throughout. In other words, it will be isotropic. Isotropy could be introduced into this system of gas, however, if we put a cold sink in the middle. Then we would find that the gas was denser near the cold sink and radially less dense as distance from the cold sink increased. This would create anisotropy in the system. The same is an option for quantized space, and such anisotropic regions represent gravitational fields, or Einstein’s curved space.

      To your second point, you are right to recognize that the Pythagorean theorem is challenged by quantization, at least in its theoretical limit. And as it turns out, it is already well established that the Pythagorean theorem does not ubiquitously hold in Nature. Wherever space is curved the Pythagorean theorem no longer holds, the greater the curvature the more it fails to represent the system. Also, on microscopic scales it may not hold unless we take time averages with significant spans.

      Your points are quite insightful. I address them to much greater lengths in my book. If you’d like a copy please let me know.


  24. Ben says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your ideas. I would love a link to your book

  25. Vivek says:

    Hello Mr. Roberts,

    I recently watched your TED talk and am fascinated by the idea. The explanation of gravity was very elegant! However, I still have a few questions:

    1. I didn’t quite understand the explanation of redshift. Could you please elaborate?

    2. Does the theory predict an expanding universe? The big bang?

    3. What is the fate of the universe if this theory is correct?

    4. Does it have any connection to string theory?

    5. Why 11 dimensions?

    Also, could you please email me a copy of your book?

    Thanks much.

    • Thad Roberts says:

      Hi Vivek,
      I’m sending you the book. Let me provide short answers here and direct you to the sections of the book that answer your questions in more depth.
      1,2 – I agree, the TED talk was very rushed and short – there is much to elaborate on. Redshift in this model is accounted for in two ways. The doppler effect (a function of relative motion between source and observer) causes light to become red (or blue) shifted, as the relative motion lengthens or shortens the received wavelength. Redshift also occurs for waves in a medium if the pressure of that medium decreases as those waves travel through it. Therefore, if the vacuum is a fluid medium, then plane wave phonons (light) that travel long distances through it will become redshifted as the pressure of the vacuum looses pressure. This decrease in pressure is explained by the fractal structure of the vacuum. Because the vacuum is made up of quanta, which are in turn made up of sub-quanta, and so on. Collisions between two quanta rearrange the internal sub-quanta, and this geometric distortion draws some energy from the motion of the quanta. The difference in size between levels (between the quanta and the subquanta) is very large, so the amount of energy lost to the internal degrees of freedom is very small, but over many collisions the energy loss becomes noteworthy. The model predicts a Big Bang, and inflation, but because it accounts for redshift geometrically it does not follow that observations of redshift suggest that the universe is expanding. See Chapter 28.
      3 – The fate of the universe is to eventually suffer another external collision, causing the universe to reset in low entropy and high energy. The internal laws and constants of nature will remain the same, but the starting state may be different, directing its evolution until the next collision. See Chapter 27.
      4 – Yes there is some overlap with this theory and the ideas held by string theory, but its conceptual foundations differ significantly. Nevertheless, the branes of string theory might be considered to be what is modeled by the surface areas of the vacuum quanta. (See pages 33, 35-36, 53, 186-187, & 318-319.)
      5 – 11 dimensions is a geometric consequence of vacuum quantization. This is covered in Chapter 11.
      Please let me know if your questions are satisfied when you read the book, and if more questions come up, please share. The book has greatly improved in response to questions shared by others.

  26. Vivek says:

    I had a few more questions I forgot to ask:

    Does the theory have any probabilistic aspects at all?

    Does it get rid of quantum theory entirely?

    What does it say about virtual particles? quantum tunneling?

    What exactly do you mean when you talk about the fractal structure of the theory?


    • Thad Roberts says:

      The theory reproduces quantum mechanics is a deterministic way (just as Bohmian mechanics does). Probability is captured as a reflection of our ignorance of the actual state of space at any given moment. Specifying a specific exact state leads to a deterministic evolution to another exact state at a different time, but in practice we cannot access the exact state of space, so probabilistic projections come from deterministic physics. (See pages: 32, 79, 113-116, 204-214, 226-229, 243-245, 289-299, 382-391.) Virtual particles is briefly mentioned on page 362, quantum tunneling is covered in Chapter 14, an the fractal structure of the theory is fully explained in Chapter 11.

  27. P.Dingen says:

    Dear Thad,

    Thank you for sharing your ideas with our world. Could you send me a link to your book, would love to read more about your theory. Thanks in advance!

  28. Cosmin says:


    I’m a Physics passionate and I’d very much like to know more about your model and it’s consequences. Are there PDF copies of your book still available ?

    Thank you.

    • Thad Roberts says:

      I just published it yesterday, but since you asked before that, sending you a pdf now 😉

      • Cosmin says:

        Thank you, I’ll come back with comments and questions.

        What I can say for now is that my next point of interest is to understand what consequences has the mobility of quanta, as opposed to a static grid arrangement, on the movement of matter/energy.

        If I understand correctly from what I’ve read so far on your site, the (super)fluidity allows for stable vortices that correspond to “material” particles. But what I try to understand is the impact said mobility of quanta has on the movement (as in translation) of those “particles”.

        Does the vortex move like a propagating wave (at each moment the vortex is made up of different quanta), or do the quanta actually translate with respect to the rest of the “sea” of other quanta. This is probably a simple question of (super)fluid dynamics, but nevertheless I try to understand what the consequences of this model are.

        Thanks again and keep up the good work. :)

        • Thad Roberts says:

          It sounds like you’ll really enjoy the Superfluidity Chapter in my book.
          It was just published, available through Lulu.com in hardcover full color interior.
          Softcover full color will be available soon through Amazon, and the iBook and audiobook will follow.

          In short, the vortices move like propagating waves, at each moment made up of different quanta. Nevertheless, even in regions of the vacuum that have no vortices, the vacuum itself has a dynamic equation. This is also very similar to Bohmian mechanics, so you may enjoy reading Chapter 24 in the book also.

    • Thad Roberts says:

      I think that an investigation sounds reasonable. They aren’t denying that Americans went to the moon, but they want some accountability as to what happened to the moon rocks. From personal experience I can say that the American government can take this quite seriously, so they might as well be consistent and be concerned about this accountability issue also.

  29. Dan D says:

    There have been several articles recently about a working electromagnetic propulsion drive and how it shouldn’t work based on the law of conservation of momentum. In my mind, I keep thinking of your theory of quantized space and am wondering whether space quanta is what is being propelled by the engine to gain velocity. Do you have any thoughts?

    • Thad Roberts says:

      I’ve read these papers and don’t think the effect can be teased apart from the noise yet. There is more work to be done, but I worry that the theoretical explanation at hand so far doesn’t have much weight to it. It is important to keep an open mind, but part of this means reading the material ourselves instead of just following the public hype. The jury is still out.

  30. Lee says:

    Fantastic! How does QST view the idea of a holographic universe? Do the extra dimensions potentially connect us directly to locations that are light years away in the old spacetime?

    • Thad Roberts says:

      Qst relates to the holographic concept – the idea that the dynamics of the 3D bulk are coded on a 2D surface, or a collection of 2D surfaces – by modeling the quanta of space as the base constituents of that bulk. A good approximation of the dynamics of that system can be captured simply by elucidating any single state of the system and the interaction properties between the quanta. This second part can be approximated as a description of the surfaces of the quanta. As for your macroscopic wormhole question, no. In quantum space theory the larger a wormhole is the less likely (and more energy costly) it is. Microscopic wormholes become common place, but large ones (connecting distances a micrometer apart for example) are extremely rare. An entire meter is unbelievably rare, and lightyears are just astronomically rare and energy expensive.

  31. Andre K. says:

    My question is: if the space is quantized and the theory goes further to establish space and dimensions that are within the quanta, does that in itself undermine the postulate that there is no smaller “length”or “measure” than the quanta.. If one breaks down the quanta itself into volume with dimensions, would those be yet even smaller than the smallest?
    thank you,
    Andre K.

    • Thad Roberts says:

      Great question Andre. The claim is that there is a minimum length of space, which is analogous to saying that there is a minimum amount of gold. Once you cut down to one atom of gold you cannot cut further and still have gold. That doesn’t mean you cannot theoretically cut further, it just means when you do you transcend the definition of gold, and therefore must be talking about something else, something that does not have the intrinsic properties of gold, etc. Pushing this to our picture of quantized space, it means that the medium of space itself has minimum discrete parts, but those parts can be further resolved. So yes, there are things smaller than the smallest amount of space, but those things have no existence in the fabric of x, y, z, t spacetime. Does that make it more clear?

  32. Sean says:

    If all constants of nature can be derived from the two dimensionless numbers pi and zhe and the five fundamental units, then doesn’t that mean that EVERY universe in the infinite fractal ladder is governed by the SAME laws of physics? If that is true then QST has the fine tuning problem that the traditional multiverse theories escape by allowing an infinite number of cosmological constants. That is to say, if any one of these constants are off by only a few parts per million then the universe produced would be completely devoid of life, stars, galaxies, etc. So the fact that we are here to postulate this question means:

    1) The constants just happened to be fixed on values that produce a fruitful universe (including all sub and super universes), with a probability that is so small we might as well coin the term ‘plank probability’

    2) Zhe is not constant from universe to universe and has a non-deterministic value

    3) You introduce a supreme being and/or prescribe to the simulation/matrix theory

    4) QST is fundamentally wrong

    Personally I don’t think it’s #4 as QST has an aesthetic beauty/symmetry for it to be outright wrong. I’m not saying it’s 100% correct but I think it will be in small company when the true TOE is worked out.

    I personally like the matrix theory because the smaller we resolve our universe the more and more things start to resemble pixels and you see highly optimized structures like fractals; both of which you would expect from an advanced memory-bound simulation if we were to build ones observes. /fringe-theory

    I’m curious your opinion on this Thad

    • Thad Roberts says:

      Hi Sean,

      The anthropic principle (either the strong or weak version) is often presented as a way to avoid or escape the fine tuning problem, but it is at best a cop out. It doesn’t buy us anything of value. Let me explain. Both versions of the anthropic principle assume that the physical parameters in our universe, or our corner of the universe, just came into existence randomly. They also assume that it is possible for all of the physical parameters of Nature to wildly vary either from universe to universe, or within different regions of the same universe. Yet there is no compelling evidence supporting either of these claims.

      Of course, it appears to be true that if the physical parameters of our universe had been different by just a few percent, then the development of life (as we know it) would not have been possible. But this statement overlooks the question of whether or not those physical parameters are able to vary. It is possible that the physical constants of Nature are identical in every universe. It just might be the case that an underlying physical law circumscribes them. In fact, without evidence against this possibility, it may be argued that this condition is even more likely.

      “The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order…” ~ Stephen Hawking

      The blind assumption that the values of the physical parameters of our universe just sprang into existence by some random process contradicts the main corpus of our scientific knowledge. This assumption is deceptively used to make us think that the question of how things ended up the way they are has been resolved. It creatively persuades us to ignore the question by embracing a logical contradiction.

      The claim that the physical parameters of our universe were randomly selected, assumes that a selection process exists—that some kind of process is responsible for that exact assignment (like a random number generator). But if events are selected, then they are caused. They may appear random, but this is merely an illusion that presents itself to those that remain ignorant of the full causal process. Simply put, it is a contradiction to assume that something is randomly selected. Events, phenomena, occurrences, etc., cannot be randomly caused. They may appear to be randomly connected to any observer that remains sufficiently ignorant of the variables in play, but they cannot be ultimately random. Random number generators are deterministic programs—they aren’t truly random. Causes are deterministic.

      Because we have no reason to expect that our universe is special, it would be very satisfactory to discover a theory that reveals a mechanism that determines the physical parameters—requiring them to have the values we observe. If vacuum quantization can make general relativity and quantum mechanics commensurable, can it explain the constants of Nature? If vacuum quantization is responsible for the constants of Nature, then we no longer need to use the anthropic principle to avoid the real questions, or to hide our ignorance—we can have a real answer.

      To escape this drain of circular logic we need to address the question of how the constants of Nature came to have the values they have. And as you have noted, vacuum quantization licenses the possibility that the geometry of the vacuum is responsible for setting the constants of Nature.

      If the axiomatic parameters of quantization turn out to dictate the constants of Nature, then the laws of physics are exquisitely inscribed by the axiomatic structure of the vacuum itself. This is the only way to overcome the fine-tuning problem. In other words, there is no fine-tuning here at all. The quantization itself directly determines the values, and within each scale quantization sets the constants to all have the exact same relationships. We don’t even have to know the value of each parameter (in any units) to know that all of the constants in each universe will have the same self consistent relationships, because they are all set by the geometric constraints of quantization.

      The point is that the constants of Nature are reflections of a deeper symmetry hidden in Nature—the symmetry of quantization and dimensional hierarchy. The physical parameters of our universe are not randomly ascribed. They did not obtain their specific values by pure chance. On the contrary, the values of the physical parameters of our universe (and within all universes) are governed by the geometry of space itself. The constants of Nature supervene on the intrinsic spatiotemporal properties of the metric. They are written by the texture of the superfluid vacuum.

      Lee Smolin writes that in science, “we aim for a picture of Nature as it really is, unencumbered by any philosophical or theological prejudice.” Part of the beauty of a quantized vacuum is that it offers us a picture unencumbered with arbitrary constants—it gives us a way to understand what it means to say that a universe only 13.7 billion years old is governed by laws that are eternally true. Vacuum quantization reveals these laws, telling us that throughout the countless universes, the conditions necessary for life are ubiquitous.

      “No adequate theory or explanation can contain any brute, crude, unexplained facts.” ~ Douglas J. Socio

      The ontological value of this claim artfully intertwines with the reductive process—the way in which we explain the phenomena of our world. Traditional (satisfactory) scientific explanations tend to heavily rely on the reductive process of explanation, where high-level or complex phenomena are explained in terms of more basic phenomena. For example, biological phenomena are explained in terms of cellular phenomena, which are explained in terms of biochemical phenomena, which are explained in terms of chemical phenomena, which are explained in terms of physical phenomena.

      Ultimately then, our explanation of biological phenomena relies on our understanding of the underlying physical mechanisms. Because our explanations assume a reliance on the reductive process, we cannot truly say that we have an understanding of those physical phenomena (the underlying physical laws, such as the physical constants of Nature) unless we can explain them in a reductive sense also. A consequence of this is that we will never gain an ultimate explanation of any phenomena unless we discover an echoing symmetry that enables us to reductively explain the emergence of all phenomena infinitely. As long as there is some lower level to our explanation, which has to be taken as brute, our ladder of explanation is truncated and, therefore, is incomplete.

      The symmetries revealed by the dimensional hierarchy in our map remove this truncation. These symmetries connect us to an unencumbered, complete route of reductive explanation. Through this, for the first time, we gain access to infinitely echoing explanations of the phenomena in our world. Our answers no longer end with the statement, “Because of the physical constants of Nature, which just are as they are.” With the help of dimensional symmetries (hierarchical quantization), we become able to explain those constants in terms of more basic phenomena and trace those phenomena through the infinite geometric cascade of a fractal. Through this we stand to gain a looking glass of determinism.

      Returning to your main worry here, let us note that many people have come to believe that the “fine-tuning” argument can be taken as evidence for a theistic or deistic God. The “evidence” they refer to is based on the assumption that, in the absence of any way to explain the constants of Nature, we must assume that the constants could have had any random value. It is then assumed that the precise values for the constants of Nature that are found in our universe (which are clearly necessary for life as we understand it), were fine-tuned.

      For some, this line of thought is used to necessitate a fine tuner—some process or entity to do the fine-tuning, who presumably has a personal interest in the evolution of life and consciousness. Put succinctly, a theistic or deistic God is postulated to explain fine-tuning. Those who are not persuaded by this reasoning tend to use the anthropic principle to escape it, but the fine- tuning argument and the anthropic principle are both inherently flawed. These popular arguments just distract people from discussing what is really responsible for encoding the constants of Nature.

      Our new axioms overthrow the fine-tuning argument with the same insight by which they erode the anthropic principle. We are no longer in a situation wherein we have no way to explain the exact values of Nature’s constants. Therefore, we can no longer reasonably assume that the values of the constants of Nature came about randomly. As a consequence, we can no longer logically rationalize an attempt to explain why things are as they are via theistic and deistic concepts.

      Quantization automatically and naturally dictates the values of the constants of Nature, and these constants in turn fix the character of the laws of physics that have led to the evolution of life and what we call consciousness. No other postulate is needed. Indeed there is no room for any other postulate. The reduction of Nature’s constants to combinations of the vacuum’s geometric parameters is the simplest and most beautiful explanation we could seek.

      Does this answer your question?


  33. Sean says:

    First, thank you very much for taking the time to write a detailed response to my question; it’s quite refreshing to be able to have a thought-provoking physics discussion without condescension getting in the way.

    The claim that the physical parameters of our universe were randomly selected, assumes that a selection process exists—that some kind of process is responsible for that exact assignment (like a random number generator).

    By choosing the word ‘selected’ I feel you setup a false dichotomy here in that all random processes under the hood are, in fact, deterministic pseudo-random generators who’s values are knowable given the starting seed value. Certainly PRNG’s exist but I don’t yet buy into the fact that NO truly random process exists.

    I can picture a scenario a few planck seconds after the big-bang in which a truly random process causes one or two constants to take on a discrete — but not singular — value that then cause a cascade effect locking the other constants into place.

    Lets take the potential function for the higgs field as an example. To the best of our knowledge, the potential value of the higgs is in a metastable state, i.e. there is a lower ground state potential valley that exists. In this sense the value of the potential of the higgs field is quantized to take on values of local minima but there is no singular value since more than one minima exist.

    It could be that your calculated value of Zhe (or pi) is in a meta-stable local minima upon which all constants of nature fall out from. Other universes may have these dimensionless constants settle at different values and thus different laws of physics.

    it would be very satisfactory to discover a theory that reveals a mechanism that determines the physical parameters—requiring them to have the values we observe

    If true, that means that all processes are deterministic and we are all puppets acting out a pre-written play and the notion of conscious choice is nothing but smoke and mirrors. Although I can appreciate that obtaining the fundamental answer of the WHY in and of itself is quite exciting, I’m not sure how satisfied I would be with that answer after the fact — ignorance might just be bliss.

    Quantization automatically and naturally dictates the values of the constants of Nature, and these constants in turn fix the character of the laws of physics that have led to the evolution of life and what we call consciousness.

    This just sounds to me like a modified anthropic principle with the probability of the constants being what they are set to 1.

    “The anthropic principle (from Greek anthropos, meaning “human”) is the philosophical consideration that observations of the Universe must be compatible with the conscious and sapient life that observes it” ~ Wikipedia

    Given the axiom of QST that the constants of nature can be nothing else than what they are and we are here to observe this fact, then it logically follows that “the Universe must be compatible with the conscious and sapient life that observes it”; does it not?

    • Thad Roberts says:

      Hi Sean,
      You are certainly not alone in holding to a possibility of truly random processes. My position is that they do not exist, but the reason may be more important than the end claim. Usually people invoke the notion of random processes, and then proceed to claim that they cause something. A universe based on cause and effect, a deterministic universe, is completely coherent, whereas one that acts deterministically most of the time but every now and then has something truly random (without being caused by anything) occur is not so obviously coherent. One pressing question might be, if something can occur without being caused, if it truly completely escapes any connection to cause and effect, why does it then suddenly switch to being part of the chain of cause and effect. That’s a bit schizophrenic. Its such a doubtable claim that merely asserting it is not enough. It would be much more reasonable to claim that random processes are to be taken as real and coherent, only if they are truly random at all points in time. That is, jumping out and into the causal world is not random, it is pseudo random, and more subject to disbelief than either truly random or deterministic.

      That said, I’d love to hear an articulate argument for how stochastic (truly random) processes might be made coherent and self-consistent.

      In your example about the potential function for the Higgs field, you start by noting that “to the best of our knowledge”… This is a starting point I can’t so easily overlook. The claim that the universe is deterministic pushes the argument that events that appear stochastic are signatures of how incomplete our knowledge is. In other words, additional variables are required to fully specify the exact state of the world and therefore predict its accurate evolution. When we represent the world (via a state vector for example) as an ensemble of states instead of an exact state, we are already carrying our ignorance into the calculations.

      As for your proposal about the value of zhe, the claim in my work is that zhe represents the maximum limit of curvature, just as pi represents the minimum limit (zero curvature). That value is not arbitrary, it is explicitly set by quantization. Therefore, any universe whose vacuum is quantized will internally measure the same limit.

      As for your reaction to a deterministic universe, well that’s an age old reaction among many. Determinism may expose the illusion of agency, but in doing so it may also uncover better paths for action. It doesn’t remove your experience of feelings to discover that your feelings are controlled by cultural, biological, chemical, physical processes. In the same sense, unveiling the mechanisms behind choice does not remove your experience of feeling alignments or contradictions in those choices. Also, I get that being satisfied is a powerful aim, but its a pretty safe bet that nearly everyone from the deep past would find themselves very dissatisfied about the implications of things we have all now accepted. Along the way getting closer to the truth has offered us new amplified ways to blossom. There is no reason that further steps towards new great insights should be avoided simply because we suspect they might contradict what we currently want to be true. Following the truth has always offered new paradigms by which the beauty of those truths can be appreciated. That’s my take at least.

      To end, yes, given that the constants of Nature are precisely fixed by quantization it does logically follow that “the Universe must be compatible with the conscious and sapient life that observes it.” This, however is an empty truth. No new information is gained, nor does anything significantly hinge on this point. A geometric explanation of the constants of Nature actually counts as an explanation. We never know if our theories are right in science, but we can know when they are wrong. The claim that the constants can be account for by looking around and noting that we are here to observe does nothing to actually explain the constants in the universe. In fact, it suggests that they could have been differently and therefore begs an explanation of how they came to be as they are.

  34. jules says:

    from where does a dimension (or geometry)originate? Is dimension an emergent property? why should space have geometry?

    • Thad Roberts says:

      Hi Jules,

      Interesting questions. Let’s parse them out. First off, “Where does a dimension originate?” is a very interesting thing to ask. Note that the interrogative “where” suggests the pre-existence of dimension (otherwise there would be no locations that qualified as an answer). Dimensions are what allow meaning to positions and geometry is at its core a collection of possible positions and the relationships between those positions (their arrangements, how many positions lie between them, etc.). So asking where dimensions originate is perhaps self-defeating. However, you may be wondering why there are dimensions at all, instead of no dimensions? To respond to that question, note that if there were no dimensions there would also necessarily be no existence, because dimensions are necessary precursors to existence. In short, dimensions are the foundation for positions (a spatial metric, some spacetime, a manifold that can be assigned a state that dictates available positions and their arrangement…). Without them there is nowhere for anything to exist.

      Your last question, “why should space have a geometry?” is easiest to answer. Just try to imagine removing geometry from space. That is, imagine having multiple unique positions without any relationships between them. In other words, try to imagine that there are unique positions available, while guaranteeing that there is no difference between being located at one of those spots versus the other, that it means nothing to move from on to any other. To force that claim we would need to remove the uniqueness of all possible locations, meaning we would have to collapse all the possible positions to one position. That’s what it would take to have a space without a geometry. It would have to have only one unique location. (Note: that with a little semantic creativity we are licensed to say that our universe only had one unique location at the moment just prior to the big bang. And this insight gives substance to your intuition behind these questions – how did the universe go from having only one unique location to many many unique locations? That’s a question that is handled by the qst model: See Chapters 27 & 28 in Einstein’s Intuition.)

      As for your question “are dimensions an emergent property?” I’d say that the metric of space, or its state is an emergent (and evolving) property, but that dimensions are the fundamental parameters that allow that emergence (and evolution). No matter how the geometry of spacetime changes the dimensions that allow those changes remain.

      I hope that helps.

  35. jules says:

    do you believe in an idea that the whole universe/multiverse is an infinite amount of possibilities & the fact why we live in one universe or generally speaking why we perceive the occurrence of only one effect to a cause ,as we pass through time , is due to collapse of some wavefunction in higher dimensions resulting from a measurement by a higher dimensional being? Or what is your take on that?

    • Thad Roberts says:

      No. I’m in the additional variables camp, like Bohmian mechanics, holding the state vector as an ensemble of states that reflect our ignorance of the actual state. If we knew the exact vacuum state it would evolve deterministically, always being a precise state. The many possibilities represented by the state vector are only shadows of our ignorance. So in quantum space theory there is no wave function collapse, just as in other additional variable approaches. For more on this, see The State Vector section in Chapter 12 of Einstein’s Intuition.

  36. jules says:

    Everywhere we perceive entropy is increasing. We also see that time only moves forward. But why should that suggest that entropy is the cause for the arrow of time? Indeed recently, scientists have successfully demonstrated to make entropy decrease at microscopic levels, though only for a short period of time.

    • Thad Roberts says:

      Of course entropy decreases in small regions, or over short durations. Locally entropy decreases all the time, which is how systems build order, but globally it always increases over the entire closed system. But that claim is time-reverse symmetric. That is, the second law of thermodynamics tells us that a system of order always tends towards disorder, no matter which direction in time we look. When this isn’t the case it strongly suggests that there was some external event that set order to the system, like the big bang, and that the system hasn’t relaxed to its maximum entropy since then. In short, the second law best applies to a system that has already reached equilibrium. Entropy is a consequence of the substratum of reality always mixing. Time is an elastic expression of independence of position within that system. See Chapter 7 – Time, and Chapter 26 – Entropy in Einstein’s Intuition.

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