Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Orch-Or theory of Penrose and Hameroff and new experimental findings about microtubules

The latest news in quantum biology is the claim about corroboration of the the Orch OR theory of Penrose
Hameroff (see this). To my humble opinion the news suffer from rather heavy hyping. If the observation of the group lead by Anirban Bandyopadhyay about detection of quantum vibration in microtubule scale - their lengths vary up to 50 μm - can be replicated, one can speak about breakthrough in quantum consciousness. The results do not however prove Orch OR, which involves poorly defined vision about quantum gravitational description of state function reduction so that most predictions are just order of magnitude estimates relying on Uncertainty Principle.

The biological half of the theory relies on microtubules and for this side of the theory the claimed finding would of course be a victory. Indeed, there is a meeting in Amsterdam devoted to Orch OR theory of consciousness motivated by this finding (see this) Unfortunately, I could not find any article about the findings of Bandyopadhyay in web. I managed however to find two years old Youtube talk of Bandyopahdyay summarizing earlier experimental results supporting the vision about microtubules as macroscopic quantum systems (see this) to be discussed below.

The findings reported in the talk give support for the general TGD inspired view about TQC and allow rather detailed model in the case of microtubules. The idea is that flux tubes from a 2-D coordinate grid consisting of parallel flux tubes in two different directions: say helical Fibonacci flux tubes and their mirror images. Crossing points would be associated with tubulins and the conformational state of tubulin could define a bit coding whether the braid strands defining coordinate lines are braided or not (swap or not). In this manner any bit pattern at microtubule defines a particular TQC program. If also conformations are quantum superposed one as "quantum-quantum computation". The flux tubes could form lattice of type A whereas microtubules form always a lattice of type B - a heavy objection against Penrose-Hameroff model. This picture generalizes in the fractal universe of TGD. One can form layers of 2-D coordinate grids and connect them by vertical flux tubes to obtain 3-D grid defining TQC. Brain is known to have grid like architecture and neurons could by quantum computation produce bit/qubit defining swap or not/superposition of swap and not-swap for a larger scale TQC. One would have fractal of TQCs.

One also ends up with a very crazy idea which turned out to have lifetime longer than the time it took to type it.

  1. If one piles up 2-D TQC:s one obtains 3-D TQC. In crossings one must have 4 bits to specify whether to swap or not since there are three planes for TQC and 4 pairs of crossing strands (12,13,23,23).

  2. If one further piles 3D TQC:s in 4-D one obtains 4-D one making sense in zero energy ontology because failure of strict non-determinism is basic element of TGD. Single crossing would in 4-D would involve crossings of four lines in orthogonal dimensions. TGD predicts also space-time regions with Euclidian signature in all scales (lines of generalised Feynman diagrams). I have proposed that any system corresponds to an Euclidian space-time sheet having its size and shape and behaving like quantum system. In these regions the fourth piling might really make sense!

  3. in 4-D This would make 6 crossing pairs corresponding to 6 planes in which particular TQC takes place - for which one must tell whether to swap or not (12,13,14,23,24,34). This makes 6 bits. DNA codons correspond to 6 bits! Could codons define crossing points of magnetic flux tubes arriving from 4 coordinate directions- perhaps at Euclidian space-time sheets? Could the planes correspond to 3 components of magnetic field and 3 components electric field. Magnetic flux tubes and electric flux tubes in 3 directions? In Euclidian regions magnetic and electric do not differ intrinsically.
Addition: The TGD inspired interpretation of the experiments of Bandyopadhyay in terms of flux tube coordinate grids making possible TQC architectures with tubulin dimers defining bits defining in turn TQC program looks rather natural. Coordinate grids can be fixed on basis of the experimental findings and there are 8 grids. The interpretation is in terms of different resolutions. The grids for A and B type lattices are related by 2π twist for the second end of the basic 13-unit for microtubule. An attractive interpretation for the resonance frequencies is in terms of phase transitions between A and B type lattices. If A type lattices can be generated only in phase transitions induced by AC stimulus at resonance frequencies, one could understand their experimental absence, which is a strong objection against Penrose-Hameroff model.

This would fit very nicely with the general vision about frequencies as passwords inducing not only directed attention but activities in target - also TQCs! The increase of Planck constant could be associated with the phase transition to A-phase making possible high Tc dark super-conductivity for which evidence is observed! One can even deduce estimates for heff/h=n if one requires that AC photons have energy above thermal threshold: n= fvisible/fAC would be the estimate. For biophoton energies one would obtain something like n≈ 108-109, which pops up in different contexts in TGD framework.

For details see the chapter Quantum Mind, Magnetic Body, and Biological Body or the article "Orch-Or theory of Penrose and Hameroff and new experimental findings about microtubules".

Monday, January 20, 2014

Are microtubules macroscopic quantum systems?

There has been a lot of buzz about the claimed discovery of quantum vibrations in microtubules: see this. I have been working for two days trying to understand the work of Anirban Bandyopadhyay. Certainly, the experimental finding- if true - would be a breakthrough for quantum consciousness but certainly not for Orch-OR. Therefore I was surprised for the heavy hyping of Penrose-Hameroff theory. The result only tells that microtubules are macroscopic quantums systems, it says nothing about Orch-OR.

I did not find any article about experiment. I found and listened the earlier talk (2111) of Anirban Bandyopadhyay whose group might discovered the quantum vibrations. The talk was also was about experiments done with microtubules and looked very interesting. See this .

I got the impression that he is excellent sharply thinking experimentalist and had identified the signatures for what he interpreted in terms of Froehlich B-E condensation, topological qubit, superconductivity like state of electrons inside microtubules, and so on. One can interpret the findings differently and I have been working with TGD interpretation assuming that basic findings are correct.

What was frustrating was the fuzzy terminology: for instance, he talked about conduction pathways at micro tubular surface as topological qubits and did not explain when asked about this issue. Excellent experimentalist need not be a theorist: was this the reason? Or was the unclarity purposeful?

Also the interpretation of experiments seems to be internally inconsistent and I got the impression that it reflects his own theories. It might rely on the earlier proposal of Penrose and Hameroff, which I did not find as freely available article. The only article mentioning conduction pathways that I found from web did not help: I have the feeling that they have no detailed model but want to give the impression that they have.

The wrong interpretation need not mean catastrophe: as a good experimentalist he is looking for signatures of these phenomena, and if he has found them, there are all reasons to take the findings under serious discussion.

I also looked for the Penrose Hameroff theory. As a professional I known that the Penrose's contribution relating to speculations about gravitation does not tolerate daylight and the only calculations are just dimensional analysis involving Uncertainty Principle. I had thought that Hameroff's microtubule contribution is on less shaky grounds. I learned within few hours that this is not the case. For instance, the assumption that microtubules in brain are of type A, is simply wrong: all microtubules in living matter seem to be of type B, in particular in brain this is the case. See this .

Therefore the proposal of Penrose and Hameroff for microtubules as topological quantum computers relying on Fibonacci conduction paths (with periodicity 3,5,8, or 13) possible only for A-type microtubules is simply wrong. The same is true about Hameroff's and indian theorists Gupta's later proposal suggesting that MAPs act as quantum gates. As a matter of fact, the abstract of the article contained horrible terminological errors: I tried to explain this by language but why Hameroff did not check the language? See this .

Now Penrose and Hameroff propose explanation for the origin of EEG based on beat phenomenon for MHz frequencies: it seems that they are trying to mimic what I have done in TGD and get the honour for discovering quantum theory of consciousness;-).

I must say that I am confused. Certainly the discovery that microtubules are macroscopic quantum systems would be wonderful if true, and the claimed earlier findings of Indian experimentalist support the TGD based picture based on the identification of braids as magnetic flux tubes. But can I trust to experimentalist without name when I cannot trust on namy theorists?

To sum up, these are my first impressions after two day's listening and reading. I might have misinterpreted and misunderstood. I am writing a summary about TGD based interpretation of the earlier experiments of the group of Bandyopadhyay -assuming that experimental findings are correct (I do not believe that the interpretation is correct) - and give a link to the article later.

Addition: I wrote a short analysis of the talk of Bandyopadhyay.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Little but important step in the understanding the arrow of time

"Fractality from your blog" posed an interesting question about possible asymmetry between boundaries of causal diamond CD. The answer to the question led to recall once again the incomplete understanding of details about how the arrow of time emerges in zero energy ontology (ZEO).

The basic vision is following.

  1. CDs form a fractal scale hierarchy. Zero energy states possess a wave function in moduli degrees of freedom characterizing sizes of CDs as well telling what Lorentz boost leaving boundary invariant are allowed for them. Boosts form by number theoretic constraints a discrete subgroup of Lorentz group defining analogs of lattices generated by boosts instead of translations.

  2. The arrow of subjective time maps to that of geometric time somehow. The origin of arrow comes from the fact that state function reductions can occur to either boundary of given CD and reduction creates time-asymmetric state since second boundary of CD is in a quantum superposition of different sizes and there is a superposition of many-particle states with different particles numbers and quantum number distributions.

  3. Subjective existence corresponds to a sequence of moments of consciousness: state function reductions at opposite boundaries of CDs. State function reduction reduction localizes either boundary but the second boundary is in a quantum superposition of several locations and size scales for CD. This predicts that the arrow of time is not constant. In fact, there is considerable evidence for the variation of the arrow of time in living systems and Fantappie introduced long time ago the notion of syntropy to describe his view about the situation.

  4. The first very naive proposal was that state function reductions occur alternately to the two boundaries of CD. This assumption would be indeed natural if one considered single fixed CD rather than superposition CDs with different size and state function reduction localizing their either boundary: restriction to single CD was what I indeed did first.

  5. This assumption leads to the question about why do we do not observe this alternation of the arrow of time all the time in our personal experience. Some people actually claim to have actually experienced a temporary change of the arrow of time: I belong to them and I can tell that the experience is frightening. But why do we experience the arrow of time as stable in the standard state of consciousness?
One possible way to solve the problem - perhaps the simplest one - is that state function reduction to the same boundary of CD can occur many times repeatedly. This solution is so absolutely trivial that I could perhaps use this triviality to defend myself for not realizing it immediately!

I made this totally trivial observation only after I had realized that also in this process the wave function in the moduli space of CDs change in these reductions. Zeno effect in ordinary measurement theory relies on the possibility of repeated state function reductions. In the ordinary quantum measurement theory repeated state function reductions do not affect the state in this kind of sequence but in ZEO the wave function in the moduli space labelling different CDs with the same boundary could change in each quantum jump. It would be natural that this sequence of quantum jumps give rise to the experience about flow of time? This option would allow the size scale of CD associated with human consciousness be rather short, say .1 seconds. It would allow to understand why we do not observe continual change of arrow of time.

Maybe living systems are working hardly to keep the personal arrow of time changed - living creatures try to prevent kettle from boiling by staring at it intensely. Maybe it would be extremely difficult to live against the collective arrow of time.

For details and background see the chapter About nature of time of "TGD Inspired Theory of Consciousness".

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Recent View about Kähler Geometry and Spin Structure of "World of Classical Worlds"

The construction of Kähler geometry of WCW ("world of classical worlds") is fundamental to TGD program. I ended up with the idea about physics as WCW geometry around 1985 and made a breakthrough around 1990, when I realized that Kähler function for WCW could correspond to Kähler action for its preferred extremals defining the analogs of Bohr orbits so that classical theory with Bohr rules would become an exact part of quantum theory and path integral would be replaced with genuine integral over WCW. The motivating construction was that for loop spaces leading to a unique Kähler geometry. The geometry for the space of 3-D objects is even more complex than that for loops and the vision still is that the geometry of WCW is unique from the mere existence of Riemann connection.

The basic idea is that WCW is union of symmetric spaces G/H labelled by zero modes which do not contribute to the WCW metric. There have been many open questions and it seems the details of the earlier approach must be modified at the level of detailed identifications and interpretations. What is satisfying that the overall coherence of the picture has increased dramatically and connections with string model and applications of TGD as WCW geometry to particle physics are now very concrete.

  1. A longstanding question has been whether one could assign Equivalence Principle (EP) with the coset representation formed by the super-Virasoro representation assigned to G and H in such a manner that the four- momenta associated with the representations and identified as inertial and gravitational four-momenta would be identical. This does not seem to be the case. The recent view will be that EP reduces to the view that the classical four- momentum associated with Kähler action is equivalent with that assignable to modified Dirac action supersymmetrically related to Kähler action: quantum classical correspondence (QCC) would be in question. Also strong form of general coordinate invariance implying strong form of holography in turn implying that the super-symplectic representations assignable to space-like and light-like 3-surfaces are equivalent could imply EP with gravitational and inertial four-momenta assigned to these two representations.

  2. The detailed identification of groups G and H and corresponding algebras has been a longstanding problem. Symplectic algebra associated with δM4+/-× CP2 (δM4+/- is light-cone boundary - or more precisely, with the boundary of causal diamond (CD) defined as Cartesian product of CP2 with intersection of future and past direct light cones of M4 has Kac-Moody type structure with light-like radial coordinate replacing complex coordinate z. Virasoro algebra would correspond to radial diffeomorphisms.

    I have also introduced Kac-Moody algebra assigned to the isometries and localized with respect to internal coordinates of the light-like 3-surfaces at which the signature of the induced metric changes from Minkowskian to Euclidian and which serve as natural correlates for elementary particles (in very general sense!). This kind of localization by force could be however argued to be rather ad hoc as opposed to the inherent localization of the symplectic algebra containing the symplectic algebra of isometries as sub-algebra. It turns out that one obtains direct sum of representations of symplectic algebra and Kac-Moody algebra of isometries naturally as required by the success of p-adic mass calculations.

  3. The dynamics of Kähler action is not visible in the earlier construction. The construction also expressed WCW Hamiltonians as 2-D integrals over partonic 2-surfaces. Although strong form of general coordinate invariance (GCI) implies strong form of holography meaning that partonic 2-surfaces and their 4-D tangent space data should code for quantum physics, this kind of outcome seems too strong. The progress in the understanding of the solutions of modified Dirac equation led however to the conclusion that spinor modes other than right-handed neutrino are localized at string world sheets with strings connecting different partonic 2-surfaces.

    This leads to a modification of earlier construction in which WCW super-Hamiltonians were essentially 2-D flux integrals. Now they are 2-D flux integrals with super-Hamiltonian replaced Noether super charged for the deformations in G and obtained by integrating over string at each point of partonic 2-surface. Each spinor mode gives rise to super current and the modes of right-handed neutrino and other fermions differ in an essential manner. Right-handed neutrino would correspond to symplectic algebra and other modes to the Kac-Moody algebra and one obtains the crucial 5 tensor factors of Super Virasoro required by p-adic mass calculations.

    The matrix elements of WCW metric between Killing vectors are expressible as anticommutators of super-Hamiltonians identifiable as contractions of WCW gamma matrices with these vectors and give Poisson brackets of corresponding Hamiltonians. The anti-commutation relates of induced spinor fields are dictated by this condition. Everything is 3-dimensional although one expects that symplectic transformations localized within interior of X3 act as gauge symmetries so that in this sense effective 2-dimensionality is achieved. The components of WCW metric are labelled by standard model quantum numbers so that the connection with physics is extremely intimate.

  4. An open question in the earlier visions was whether finite measurement resolution is realized as discretization at the level of fundamental dynamics. This would mean that only certain string world sheets from the slicing by string world sheets and partonic 2-surfaces are possible. The requirement that anti-commutations are consistent suggests that string world sheets correspond to surfaces for which Kähler magnetic field is constant along string in well defined sense (Jμνεμνg1/2 remains constant along string). It however turns that by a suitable choice of coordinates of 3-surface one can guarantee that this quantity is constant so that no additional constraint results.

See the new chapter Recent View about Kähler Geometry and Spin Structure of "World of Classical Worlds of "Quantum TGD as Infinite-dimensional Spinor Geometry" or the article with the same title.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Magnetic hysteresis, super string sociology, catastrophe theory, Higgs mechanism, and ferromagnets in many-sheeted space-time

Ferromagnets are simple but fascinating systems and spontaneous magnetization represents a situation analogous to Higgs mechanism. In the following I will discuss the hysteresis phenomenon for ferromagnets on basis of thermodynamical description: hysteresis model applies also to phenomenon of mass hysteria in sociology. This all is standard but the understanding of ferromagnets in many-sheeted space-time involves some new elements: in particular the possibility that the magnetic fluxes of permanent magnets consist of monopole fluxes.

Standard definitions

Let us begin with basic definitions. The magnetic field H is defined in terms of magnetization M and magnetic induction B (often called just magnetic field) via he formula H= B/μ0-M quite generally. For historical reasons different units are used for B and H but in vacuum they are essentially one and the same thing. In the case of magnets the situation changes.

Paramagnets and diamagnets are linear: M= χm H in good approximation. The sign of χm determines whether the behavior is diamagnetic (induced magnetization reduces the external field inside magnet) or whether its paramagnetic (induce magnetization increases the external field inside magnet). For the ferromagnets the behavior
is non-linear and M is non-vanishing for vanishing H.

The behavior at the boundary between magnet and external world is important for understanding magnets. If the exterior of the magnet is vacuum, one has H=μ0M and the fields H and B are one and the same thing. Inside magnet magnetization implies that the two fields are not same. By the absence of magnetic charges the normal component of magnetic field is continuous. Therefore the normal component satisfies Bn(in)= μ0Hin+M= Bn(out)=μ0Hout.

Hysteresis for ferromagnets

For ferromagnets the relationship between H M is non-linear and many-valued, and one has hysteris so that the effects of increasing and decreasing the magnetic field are different in saturation. The hysteresis cycle characterizes this behavior quite nicely.

  1. The plot can be understood easily when one realizes that magnetization M corresponds microscopically to the density of magnetic dipoles typically realized as electrons spins. The field H corresponds essentially to the difference between external magnetic field and that caused by magnetization. As one starts from H=0 to increase the magnitude of H, M gradually increases as for paramagnets but above some critical value M starts to increase and reaches the saturation value. The interpretation is that electron spins change they direction in phase transitions producing magnetized regions. This behavior can be understood only quantum mechanically and can be seen as an outcome of exchange interaction for spins relating to fermion statistics. Essentially collective behavior is in question: when the number of spins in direction of external field is large enough all other spins "follow the fashion".

  2. One can also gradually decrease the value of H in saturation. Now M decreases smoothly as some spins here and there change their direction but no phase transition like reduction of M occurs since "follow the fashion" behavior is possible only when the number of reversed spins is high enough. Therefore one proceeds along the lower part of the hysteresis cycle: inside the cycle the behavior is reversible for small enough changes of H and irreversibily occurs only near the ends.

  3. At some point one has a situation in which the added external field vanishines: H=0. There is a net magnetization and the normal component of external field is essentially this magnetization at the surface of the magnet. This field is known as remanescence. This corresponds to a magnetization without any added external field H.

  4. As H is reduced further so that its sign changes, eventually "follow the fashion" behavior sets in and most spins change their direction to opposite and the direction of magnetization changes. The magnitude of the magnetic field at which this occurs is known as coercivity. Coercivity and remanescence characterize the magnetic in the first approximation.

  5. The mathematical description of Higgs mechanism is very similar to the idealized description of spontaneous magnetization. In spontaneous magnetization one has however large number of magnetized regions which means that the direction of magnetization does not change instantaneously since the analog of overheating and overcooling are possible for all these regions.

Hysteresis (and hysteria) in sociology

The hysteresis model applies also in sociology. Superstring fashion represents an excellent example about hysteresis phenomenon in the sociology of science. There are two kinds of people involved: those who really understand (H) and those who just follow the fashion (M). Some fraction p of those who understand, believes in superstrings. The remaining fraction 1-p does not. H dould correspond mathematically to the difference (p-p0)/p0, where p0 is a critical propability analogous to remanesence in ferromagnetism. As p increases a sudden phase transition occurs at critical fraction satisfying p-p0=Δ pcr, and everyone suddenly believes that super strings are not only a promising theory but even the only possible one. Δ pcr is analogous to coercivity.

The return along upper part of hysteris curve means that the per cent of the believers who really understand starts to decrease as people who have not suffered the fate of becoming a string guru are learning about the deep problems of the theory and start to worry about them publicly. Eventually the number of the non-gurus who understand and do not believe becomes so high that the followers of fashion make the decision to not believe anymore on superstrings, and everyone suddenly "knows" that super strings are pseudoscience. Except certain billionaire who decides to make super string theorists millionaires;-) . This billionaire does not follow the fashion, which is nice. He does not even follow those who understand, which is not so nice. To my humble opinion, it would be more rational to build an institute supporting the study of alternatives for super string models than drowning theoreticians to money which is not even their primary interest.

Hysteresis in magnets cannot be understood microscopically without introducing quantum effects. One can of course ask, whether also hysteresis involves quantum mechanics but now in macroscopic length and time scales applying in sociology.

Ferromagnetism, catastrophe theory, and Higgs mechanism

The model for magnetism can be also understood in terms of catastrophe theory using cusp catastrophe. This applies to Higgs mechanism (not the manner in which particle massivation is described in TGD) too. Catastrophe theory brings in also the temperature as external parameter besides H. This is the simplest interesting catastrophe and involves two parameters/control variables: (temperature T and added external field H) plus one behavior variable (magnetization M). Above certain critical temperature (Curie temperature) there is no magnetization. Below Curie temperature there is a magnetization in certain range for field H. As the magnitude of H is increased, one reaches at critical magnitude of H (coercivity) a situation when the only possible manner to continue is to jump from the boundary of the cusp to the sheet below or above it. A sudden phase transition like change changing the sign of magnetization takes place.

Above we have assumed that the external contribution H to the field is in the same direction as magnetization. What happens if this is not the case? And what happens when the external field H changes the direction of magnetization: is it enough apply the basic criterion to the vector sum H= B/μ0-M. Presumably this is the case. If it were not, it would be mentioned in Wikipedia!

Catastrophe theory provides a rough description and does not say anything about the microscopic mechanism of hysteresis. In the case of Higgs mechanism one can expect the same to be true: there should exist a microscopic thermodynamical description replacing Higgs mechanism, which is only capable of reproducing the particle masses but not predicting them and suffers from un-naturality. In TGD framework p-adic thermodynamics provides this microscopic thermodynamical description.

Since QFT is in rough sense square root of thermodynamics, one can argue that also p-adic thermodynamics must have also square root and characterizes single particle states rather than ensembles. This is the case. In zero energy one can say that quantum theory is square root of thermodynamics. U-matrix characterizes the physics. I call the rows Mi of unitary U-matrix M-matrices, which are products of mutually orthogonal hermitian square roots Pi1/2 of density matrices Pi with a unitary S-matrix S. One has MiMj= Piδij and Tr(MiMj)=δij. U defines negentropic entanglement in time direction. In p-adic thermodynamics the Hermitian matrix Pi1/2 corresponds to a diagonal matrix defined by the square roots of eigenvalues of mass squared operator expressible as vibrational part of scaling generator L0 of conformal algebra. The unitary matrix S is the counterpart of the ordinary S-matrix.

Permanent magnet in many-sheeted space-time

How could one understand permanent magnet in the framework of many-sheeted space-time?

  1. It seems that one must consider two space-time sheets. That of magnet at which magnetization M alone defines the magnetic field B10M and that of external world at which external added field defines the magnetic field B20 Hin. Test particle has topological sum contacts on both space-time sheets and effectively experiences the sum B1+B2: the fields do not however sum at same space-time sheet - only their effects on spins are additive so that '+' is replaced with a set theoretic union inTGD. This applies quite generally and saves TGD from the catastrophe caused otherwise by the fact that linear superposition of fields is not possible at given space-time sheet even approximately.

  2. The spins inside the space-time sheet of magnet also experience B2 and when B2 is above critical value (coercivity), a phase transition changing the direction of spins occurs and magnetization is generated. It seems that TGD does not add much to the model of how spontaneous magnetization takes place and what is behind the hysteresis.

  3. The notion of magnetic field in TGD differs from that in Maxwell's theory. In TGD Universe it is quite possible that the flux tubes have closed cross section (sphere) instead of disk and that they carry a monopole flux. One would have magnetic flux tube without a circulating current at its boundary generating the magnetic field inside it as in the case of electromagnets, which are typically flux tubes with current carrying helical wire. Could the static magnetic field of permanent magnet consist of monopole flux tubes with a closed rather than disk-like cross section requiring no circular currents at their boundaries?

    If this kind of flux tubes are possible, one could understand why cosmos is populated by magnetic fields in all scales. In Maxwell's theory this is not possible since coherent currents defining flux tubes are not possible in primordial cosmology. In superconductors the flux quanta associated with this monopole like fields would become visible as they penerated the super-conductor.