Hossenfelder, author of *Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray,* asks whether anything in nature can be smaller than the Planck length?:

What’s so special about the Planck length? The Planck length seems to be setting a limit to how small a structure can be so that we can still measure it. That’s because to measure small structures, we need to compress more energy into small volumes of space. That’s basically what we do with particle accelerators. Higher energy allows us to find out what happens on shorter distances. But if you stuff too much energy into a small volume, you will make a black hole …

What does this all mean? Well, it means that we might be close to finding a final theory, one that describes nature at its most fundamental level and there is nothing more beyond that. That is possible, but. Remember that the arguments for the existence of a minimal length rest on extrapolating 16 orders magnitude below the distances what we have tested so far. That’s a lot. That extrapolation might just be wrong. Even though we do not currently have any reason to think that there should be something new on distances even shorter than the Planck length, that situation might change in the future.

Sabine Hossenfelder, “Does nature have a minimal length?” atBackRe(Action)

Well, hey, if it’s Hossenfelder, you know there won’t be any absolute goofiness involved with this…

*See also:* Let Us Now Praise Normal Science: Chad Orzel Responds To Sabine Hossenfelder

Huh?

🙂

From my personal experience listening to the beautiful ladies that surround me: my wife, my daughters, my granddaughters, listening to Dr Hossenfelder talk about heavy theoretical physics stuff makes me wonder that perhaps she’s a rare case? 🙂

She has a good point about extrapolating 16 orders of magnitude in size, without any experimental evidence. It is similar to extrapolating back in time N orders of magnitude from the cosmic background radiation evidence, to some femtosecond (or less) at the start of the Big Bang. Of more to the point for UD readers, it is similar to extrapolating five or more orders of magnitude in time from thousands of years of “observed” micro-evolution to hundreds of millions of years of supposed macro-evolution. without any definitive evidence.

Although Hossenfelder claims that “That extrapolation might just be wrong.”, nevertheless she does concede that Max Planck was basically right when he said, it’s the only unit of dimension length you can create from the fundamental constants, c, the speed of light, G, Newton’s constant, and (Planck’s constant), and “these would be natural units that also aliens would use.”

The exact quote from Max Planck about aliens is “These necessarily retain their meaning for all times and for all civilizations, even extraterrestrial and non-human ones, and can therefore be designated as ‘natural units.'”

Thus, if Hossenfelder is going to hold that “That extrapolation might just be wrong”, and since the Planck length is derived directly from those fundamental constants, then she must also hold that one or more of the constants are flawed in some fundamental way. She has not shown this and indeed she herself concedes that the “If you combine quantum mechanics with gravity, then the Planck length seems to set a limit to the resolution of structures. ”

In other words, she has not given us any reason other than her own personal opinion that the “extrapolation might just be wrong.”

Myself, I personally think that, since the Planck length is ” the only unit of dimension length you can create from the fundamental constants, c, the speed of light, G, Newton’s constant, and (Planck’s constant)”, and since Planck’s length has popped up again and again from a few different methods of analysis,,, I personally think, contrary to Hossenfelder’s personal opinion, that we have very good reasons to be confident that the extrapolation of the Planck length from the fundamental constants is indeed correct. Whereas again, she can give no valid reason, other than her own personal doubt, for why she might question its validity.

The reason that I bring up the fact that Hossenfelder has not really given us a valid reason, other than her own personal doubt, for us to doubt the validity of the Planck length, and that we in fact have fairly good reasons to hold that the Planck length is valid, is because the Planck length also turns out to be important for us in deriving where the ‘geometric mean’ of the universe is.

In the following video physicist Neil Turok states that ““So we can go from 10 to the plus 25 to 10 to the minus 35. Now where are we? Well the size of a living cell is about 10 to the minus 5. Which is halfway between the two. In mathematical terms, we say it is the geometric mean. We live in the middle between the largest scale in physics,,, and the tiniest scale [in physics].”

The following interactive graph, gives very similar ‘rough ballpark’ figures, of 10 ^27 and 10-35, to Dr. Turok’s figures.

Whereas Dr. William Demski, in the following graph, gives a more precise figure of 8.8 x 10^26 M for the observable universe’s diameter, and 1.6 x 10^-35 for the Planck length which is the smallest length possible.

Dr. Dembski’s more precise interactive graph points out that the smallest scale visible to the human eye (as well as the size of a human egg) is at 10^-4 meters, which ‘just so happens’ to be directly in the exponential center, and/or geometric mean, of all possible sizes of our physical reality. This is very interesting for the limits to human vision (as well as the size of the human egg) could have, theoretically, been at very different positions rather than directly in the exponential middle and/or the geometric mean. Needless to say, this empirical finding directly challenges, if not directly refutes, the assumption of the Copernican Principle. (which is the assumption that the earth in general and humanity in particular have no special status in this universe).

Moreover, besides the geometric mean, I can also appeal to independent lines of evidence from General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, (our two most powerful theories in science), as well I can appeal to ‘anomalies’ in the Cosmic Background Radiation, to overturn the false assumption of the Copernican principle:

One final note, Hossenfelder, as well as every other theoretical physicist in the world, wants to find a purely ‘mathematical’ theory of everything. It is hoped that this purely mathematical theory of everything will eventually be able to describe all phenomena in the universe, apparently including every action that we ourselves may take. As Weinberg explains, the mathematician envisions “a world governed by impersonal physical laws that control human behavior along with everything else”, and ” we want to understand the relation of humans to nature, not just assuming the character of this relation by incorporating it in what we suppose are nature’s fundamental laws, but rather by deduction from laws that make no explicit reference to humans.”

Hossenfelder herself has argued against free will and for ‘superdeterminism’. The irresolvable dilemma with this purely deterministic/mathematical view of reality is that it directly suggests that the mathematicians themselves are not really discovering the equations that describe the universe but that the equations are somehow inexplicably discovering themselves and informing the mathematician(s) of the discovery after the fact.

As George Ellis pointed out, “if Einstein did not have free will in some meaningful sense, then he could not have been responsible for the theory of relativity – it would have been a product of lower level processes but not of an intelligent mind choosing between possible options.”

For George Ellis to say this “does not seem to make any sense” is an understatement. The denial of free will by determinism undermines all reason, rationality, and the denial of free will therefore undermines all of science itself:

Indeed, this plays right into the debate for Intelligent Design in that, “the famous “Turing test” for artificial intelligence could be defeated by simply asking for a new axiom in mathematics. Human mathematicians are able to create axioms, but a computer program cannot do this without violating information conservation. Creating new axioms and free will are shown to be different aspects of the same phenomena: the creation of new information.”

Moreover, it is not as if we do not have empirical evidence for free will. Both evidence from neurology and from quantum mechanics have both given us ample proof for the reality of free will.

Moreover, ‘rightly’ allowing free will and/or Agent causality into the laws of physics at their most fundamental level has some fairly profound implications for us personally.

First and foremost, allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned,,,, (Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, and Max Planck, to name a few of the Christian founders),,, and as quantum mechanics itself now empirically demands (with the closing of the free will loophole by Anton Zeilinger and company), rightly allowing the Agent causality of God ‘back’ into physics provides us with a very plausible resolution for the much sought after ‘theory of everything’ in that Christ’s resurrection from the dead provides an empirically backed reconciliation, via the Shroud of Turin, between quantum mechanics and general relativity into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything”.

To give us a small glimpse of the power that was involved in Christ’s resurrection from the dead, the following recent article found that, ”it would take 34 Thousand Billion Watts of VUV radiations to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.”

Verse: