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Ground-Breaking Work In Understanding Of Time


Ground-Breaking Work In Understanding Of Time

A young New Zealand researcher appears to have solved Zeno's motion paradoxes, the solution to which have puzzled some of history's greatest scientists since their original conception almost 2500 years ago.

A bold paper which has highly impressed some of the world's top physicists and been published in the August issue of international journal Foundations of Physics Letters, seems set to change the way we think about the nature of time and its relationship to classical and quantum mechanics. Much to the science world's astonishment, the work also appears to provide solutions to Zeno of Elea's famous motion paradoxes, almost 2500 years after they were originally conceived by the ancient Greek philosopher.

In doing so, its unlikely author who originally attended university for just 6 months, is drawing comparisons to Albert Einstein and fielding enquiries from some of the world’s leading media. This is contrast to being sniggered at by local physicists when he originally approached them with the work, and once aware it had been accepted for publication, one informing the journal of the author's lack of formal qualification in an attempt to have them reject it.

In the paper, "Time and Classical and Quantum Mechanics: Indeterminacy vs. Discontinuity", Peter Lynds, a 27 year old broadcasting school tutor from Paremata, Wellington, establishes that there is a necessary trade off of all precisely determined physical values at a time, for their continuity through time, and in doing so, appears to throw age old assumptions about determined instantaneous physical magnitude and time on their heads. A number of other outstanding issues to do with time in physics are also addressed, including cosmology and an argument against the theory of Imaginary time by British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.

"Author's work resembles Einstein's 1905 special theory of relativity", said a referee of the paper, while Andrei Khrennikov, Prof. of Applied Mathematics at Växjö University in Sweden and Director of ICMM, said, "I find this paper very interesting and important to clarify some fundamental aspects of classical and quantum physical formalisms. I think that the author of the paper did a very important investigation of the role of continuity of time in the standard physical models of dynamical processes." He then invited Lynds to take part in an international conference on the foundations of quantum theory in Sweden.

Another impressed with the work is Princeton physics great, and collaborator of both Albert Einstein and Richard Feynman, John Wheeler, who said he admired Lynds' "boldness", while noting that it had often been individuals Lynds' age that "had pushed the frontiers of physics forward in the past."

In contrast, an earlier referee had a different opinion of the controversial paper. "I have only read the first two sections as it is clear that the author's arguments are based on profound ignorance or misunderstanding of basic analysis and calculus. I'm afraid I am unwilling to waste any time reading further, and recommend terminal rejection."

When asked how he had found academia and the challenge of following his ideas through, Lynds said it had been a struggle and that he’d sometimes found it extremely frustrating. "The work is somewhat unlikely, and that hasn’t done me any favours. If someone has been aware of it, my seeming lack of qualification has sometimes been a hurdle too. I'm not a big fan of quite a few aspects of academia, but I'd like to think that whats happened with the work is a good example of perseverance and a few other things eventually winning through. It's reassuring to know that happens."

Lynds' plans for the near future include travel to Europe, the publication of a paper on Zeno's paradoxes by themselves, and a paper relating time to consciousness. He also plans to explore his work further in connection to quantum mechanics and is hopeful others will do the same.

A more detailed release is available at

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-07/icc-gwi072703.php

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