Should we let imagination define our reality? If so how much should we allow science to dependent on it?
Most if not all explanatory models of reality rely to some extent on ones imagination because they use unobservable quantities to support them.
For example Einstein used the concept of a space-time dimension to define gravity. However no one has ever directly observed a space-time dimension.
Similarly quantum mechanics describes the interactions of particles in terms of the mathematical probabilities associated with a wavefunction which like a space-time dimension is also unobservable.
In other words both of these theories have imagination as a core component of their explanatory structure.
However there is distinct difference in how they apply it to the environment they are attempting to explain.
For example Einstein in his the “General Theory of Relativity” uses imagination and mathematics to expand a curvature in our observable three-dimension environment to define a four-dimensional space-time universe.
In other words even though its explanatory mechanism is based the existence of a space-time dimension that can only exist in our imagination he was able by using Riemannian geometry mathematically connect to our observable environment.
Similarly Quantum mechanics also uses imagination and mathematics to very accurately describe the particle interaction based on probabilities.
But unlike Relativity it uses a mathematical construct know as the wavefunction to describe the mechanism responsible for the future position of a particle which has no counterpart in our observable environment.
As Steven Weinberg mentioned in his book “Dreams of a Final Theory” the reason this difference in methodology is important is because mathematics in itself is never the explanation of anything because it is only the means by which we use one set of facts to explain another. This is true even though it may be the only the language in which we express them. In other words mathematics should not be used to justify the mathematics of an explanatory model.
However as was just mentioned quantum mechanics uses the mathematics associated with a wavefunction to explain the mathematical mechanism it assumes is responsible for particle interaction.
Why then when mathematics in itself is never the explanation of anything do so many tell us that the mathematical properties of a wavefunction explain the quantum environment.
They do so because to this date it is the only way available to explain and predict how, among many other things chemical process occur and why the particles that were present in the Big Bang, evolved to create the universe we live in even though its entire theoretical structure is based purely on the imagination of those who developed it.
Some may question using the term imagination to describe the mathematical properties of the wavefunction. However its definition of “being the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses” is applicable to them.
This is true even though science can use its abstract mathematical properties to accurately predict the evolution of particle system.
However as we have shown throughout the The Road to Unification there may be more to the wavefunction than just mathematics. In other words by using the imagination one may be able to explain or expand the abstract mathematical properties of the wavefunction to the observable properties of our environment similar to how Einstein was able to expand a curvature in our observable three-dimension environment using Riemannian geometry to define a four-dimensional space-time universe.
For example in the article “Why is energy/mass quantized?” Oct. 4, 2007 it was shown one can understand how and why energy/mass is quantized in terms of the observable properties of resonant systems in our three dimensional environment.
Other articles like “Quantum entanglement: a classical explanation” July 15, 2015 clearly shows that the “spooky action at a distance, as Einstein called it can be explained in terms of the laws of classical causality. In other words it is merely an illusion resulting from a lack of understanding of a classic physicality of a quantum environment
Many of the 250 articles published in the The Road to Unification over the past nine years show that one can apply the classical laws of our observable environment to a quantum one to explain hoe the mathematical properties of the wavefunction physically describe how particles interact.
Imagination as was mentioned earlier is a critical component of all modern theoretical models of physics. But we must not allow it to be only the only one because it can result in defining an environment that does not describe the reality we are attempting to define.
In other words similar to how Einstein was able to expand a curvature in our observable three-dimension environment to define a four-dimensional space-time universe one must, as we have tried to do make an effort to expand the physical properties of our observable environment to explain the world of quantum mechanics and the wavefunction that defines its environment.
Copyright Jeffrey O’Callaghan 2016
The universe’s most powerful enabling tool is not
knowledge or understanding but imagination
because it extends the reality of one’s environment.
However its scientific effectiveness is closely
related to how strongly it is
anchored in the reality it defines.