Form, Substance and Dynamics
Back to basic analysis:
- There are three categories of terms in physics:
- existential terms
- formal terms
- about the structure & static properties of what exists
- dynamical terms
Examples of Formal Terms
- shape, number, form, relation, configuration, symmetry
- function, field, oscillation, wave, flow,
- point, length, area, volume, amplitude,
- vector, matrix, operator, Hilbert space, bra, ket,
- ratios, relative frequency, probability, ...
Examples of Existential Terms
- particle, material, matter, corpuscle, body,
- fluid, ether,
- substance, actuality, reality,
- event, interaction, outcome,
- person, experience, observation, sensation, thought, feeling, ...
- (we know we exist!)
- world, universe, ...
Examples of Dynamical Terms
- cause, propensity, disposition, power, capability, potentiality,
- energy (kinetic and potential),
- mass, charge, field coupling,
- force, pressure, momentum, impetus, elasticity/rigidity,
- (for people: intention, motivation, skill, desire, intelligence, …)
Summary of the Three Categories
|1. shape, number, form, relation, configuration,
2. function, field, oscillation, wave, flow,
3. point, length, area, volume, amplitude,
4. vector, matrix, operator, Hilbert space,
5. ratios, probability, relative frequency.
|1. mass, particle, material, matter, corpuscle, body,
2. fluid, ether,
3. substance, actuality, reality,
4. event, interaction,
5. experience, observation,
6. world, universe.
|1. cause, propensity, power, disposition, capability,
2. energy (kinetic and potential),
3. mass, charge, field coupling,
4. force, pressure,
5. momentum, impetus, elasticity/rigidity.
What makes a Complete Physical Theory?
- Our challenge is to describe the quantum world in existential and dynamical
terms, not just formally.
- That is, talk of ‘wave function’ or ‘probability amplitude’ is not really
- Existence must contain/imply some dynamics!
- We want to say ‘what exists’ as well as ‘what form’ it has:
What exists with the wave function as its form?
What is its dynamics?
New idea: ‘Dynamic substance’
Try to derive ‘existence’ from ‘dynamics’
- ‘electromagnetic force field’,
- ‘potential energy field’
- ‘matter is a form of energy’
- wave function is a ‘propensity field’
Propensity (of some kind)
- propensity to interact, or
- propensity to choose actual outcome