First of all, the point of this post is to give my impressions of Thad’s quantum space theory and his book, “Einstein’s Intuition”. Admittedly this will not be “scientific”. Admittedly I am not a “scientist” in the professional or academic sense. I am what might have been called a natural scientist in the nineteenth century, or perhaps even a renaissance man a century earlier. I am interested in biology, astronomy, chemistry and, of course, the great foundation of sciences, physics. I am also interested in philosophy, the visual arts, literature, technology and the like. While I consider myself a sort of jack of all trades and master of none, I have learned a few things in my years on this planet. As such, I hope to ground my subjective take in a multi-disciplinary context. If I fail, the fault is mine, not the theory’s or Thad’s.
I heard Thad lecturing about his new “theory of everything” under less than ideal circumstances, but what struck me immediately was the intuitive accessibility of QST, its explanatory breadth and the passion it fostered both in its author Thad Roberts and the motley crew of attendees. After hearing Thad talk for about two hours, it became clear to me that I was hearing something new, something (dare I say) profound. In that short time, many of the problems and vagaries of quantum mechanics dissolved. This was amazing to me. I have studied quantum mechanics for years and have always been left with a sour taste from its lack of explanatory power. Yes, it predicts events and effects with amazing accuracy, but when asked why a certain thing happens it abdicates the throne telling us that that is a meaningless question. I, for one, have never been able to reconcile with this epistemological failure. Thad was the first person to give me even a remotely plausible explanation for why things are the way they appear to be. After the lecture, I approached Thad and asked to read the draft of his book, “Einstein’s Intuition”. Later that week I was given the first couple of chapters. I began a journey then, one that I continue on still. As I read the book, it became clear that my first impressions were correct — this was an important work. I then became, for lack of a better term, Thad’s editor.
At that time (about three years ago), Thad’s theory was fairly complete, but still needed polishing, in that there were several big questions that plague modern physics that Thad had not yet fully integrated, for example, “what is dark matter” and how exactly does quantum space theory account for its effects let alone describe why it “exists” at all, that is, why is dark matter a necessary constituent of Nature? I was fairly far along in revising the first part of the book which outlines the raison d’être for QST, when Thad came excitedly to me with an explanation for the mystery of dark matter. He was, to use the cliché, positively glowing. He then went on to elaborate, proposing that dark matter can be thought of as a phase transition in the fabric of spacetime itself. As we move out from the warmer interiors of galaxies, the quanta of space change densities radically (think of the transition from steam to water), creating a sharp gradient, this gradient is literally gravity. So, in this transition region, an apparent mass exists, but it is invisible or “dark” because there is nothing there but space (quanta). There are no traditional particles with traditional mass, simply a gravitational influence brought on by this dramatic change in spacetime density.
What I found most interesting about this explanation of dark matter was not so much the explanation itself, but rather that Thad’s general theory required no modification to explain the phenomenon. That is, Thad had taken QST and explained something that the theory was not specifically designed to explain. This reconciliation of theory to observation was in essence a priori, in that the theory by its very nature offered up an explanation for a disparate, historically puzzling observation. Any good “theory of everything” should have this hallmark. You should be able to take the general idea and deductively apply it to the specific circumstance with no modification to the original. If you have to go back and recast the theory, then the theory obviously was not right in the first place. These epiphanies happened several times over the following year as Thad finished the later chapters of the book. One by one, the great puzzles of physics fell as Thad arrived at a description of an underlying cause, based solely on the implications of quantizing space and allowing for higher dimensions. The observations were no longer contingent, but necessary because of the structure of the underlying system. It was quite remarkable to witness first hand.
During the period when Thad was finishing up the rough draft of the book and I was following behind doing the first edit, we had many long discussions. A subject that we touched upon both directly and tangentially was that of emergent behavior. The basic idea is that a system with many small, simple parts (or parts that obey simple rules) will often exhibit very complex behavior when those parts interact in multitudes. An example might be a neuron — a neuron is a relatively simple component (in its basic comunicative and processing actions, not internally, where it is almost inconceivably complex) but a huge network of neurons will display astoundingly intricate behaviors (think of the difference between the behavior of a single nerve cell and the dizzying array of behaviours we as humans exhibit.) I am very interested in how this supervenient relationship actually works, particularly if and how the intermediate levels of the hierarchical system feedback to each other. I suppose that most complex systems have mechanisms that cross between the various levels their components operate upon. To me, one of the very interesting ideas found in QST is that of hierarchy, in particular dimensional hierarchy. I have the feeling that this layering of dimensions allows for complex behavior to emerge that a flatter structure would preclude. This is just a feeling. But, it seems that similar ideas are emerging in fields as diverse as linguistics, computer science, sociology and microbiology. What at first to me seemed a weakness of QST (its potentially infinite regress of dimensional hierarchies) now seems an almost necessary strength. I see layeredness as the very foundation of everything in the universe (quite literally). I see matter made possible by the cross-dimensional interactions allowed by this layeredness.
At the center of all this is, of course, Mr. Thad Roberts. He’s a strange character deserving at least a paragraph here. He is, first of all, a dear friend. He is also the creator of this theory that potentially explains some of the greatest mysteries of modern physics. While some of the ideas incorporated into the theory are not new (which can be said for just about any encompassing theory — science does not happen in an intellectual vacuum), the synthesis he provides is startlingly simple in its concept and refreshingly novel. It allows even the lay person to grasp what’s going on under Nature’s hood. But all that aside, Thad is a wonderful mix of the inquisitive child and the wise old man. There is an innocence about him (though the U.S. Department of Justice might see that differently) that is contagious. His curiosity is boundless. He is interested in just about everything. He has a thirst for adventure, which sometimes gets him in to trouble, but it is fair to say he lives every day to its fullest, something I truly admire in him. Even if his theory is proven wrong, he has at the least started a conversation that could lead science back to its roots — one where deduction, theory and explanation reign again and the fact collectors and collators are seen again as technicians (necessary, but different in kind not degree).
I invite you to read the first part of Thad’s upcoming book, “Einstein’s Intuition”, which lays out the historical landscape and the reasons a new theory is needed. I also invite you to join in the conversation, both supportively and critically.