Lost Papers #1 and #2

In a previous post entitled The Lost Papers of Highgate Hill I described my project to restore some old and long lost works. I have just put up two of these on arXiv:

UM-P-91/45: The Classical Schroedinger Equation

UM-P-91/47: On Quantization, the Generalized Schrödinger Equation and Classical Mechanics

At this time, the Internet was young and arXiv was a dream. The preprint system was largely paper based. This means that the fossil record has a few gaps which will certainly challenge future historians of science.

In my case, the two published articles:

Classical Mechanics as an Example of Generalized Quantum Mechanics

General method for deforming quantum dynamics into classical dynamics while keeping hbar fixed

were based on more detailed work done at the University of Melbourne in 1991. I just uploaded these to arXiv after restoration from floppy disk.

If you look at the references in the first paper from PRD you will find two references to preprints: UM-P-91/45 and UM-P-91/47.

Each of these was sent out for peer review and received hostile referee reports. The first I withdrew for a rewrite pending a clearer physical interpretation and the second was rejected and later rewritten to appear as the second paper above, in PRA. However, the rewrite of UM-P-91/45 never happened.

I did come up with the physical interpretation in a PRA article entitled The Exclusion of Intrinsically Classical Domains and the Problem of Quasiclassical Emergence, but The Classical Schroedinger Equation never made it to print.

Over time, I had so many rejected works in this area that I actually assumed that UM-P-91/45 had been rejected also.

In fact, as I now know from my records, I withdrew it from the Annals of Physics after the initial hostile review. All of this, including the original LaTeX source, got lost and forgotten for twenty years as I moved house, left physics and misplaced my notes.

The notes and files got boxed up at my late parent’s house in Queensland and then followed them around as they moved all over. Only now is everything back in the one place after my parents passed away and I found the lost material in their garage.

It has taken a little time to sort out the old electronic storage media and obsolete file formats but I can now bring the material back to life.

I suspect there are many people out there with the same problem. When you get through the slog it is worth it.

In my case, I has long assumed that The Classical Schroedinger Equation was rejected from the Annals of Physics.

It wasn’t. I withdrew it, lost it and then forgot what I intended to do with the manuscript.

Life is funny sometimes.

Towards Agile Physics

Something struck me the other day.

Why is it so damn difficult to progress Physics?

Some would argue: That is because the ways of Nature are Subtle and Difficult!

With that I would agree, but I think there is more to it than that.

I think perhaps the Physical Sciences could learn something from Software Development.

In the software industry, new ideas are constantly floated and rigorously pursued to failure and exhaustion. It seems to me that Software Developers very well understand that the Nature of Computing is Subtle and Difficult. Further, they are over feeling bad when a project did not work. They simply junk the source code and move on. There is no shame there, just a thing learned and a new brick in the foundations of the discipline.

What then of Physics?

Things do not work this way in the Physical Sciences. There is Precious Reputation to be defended. There are Ivory Towers to be built, and Gilt Ramparts to defend. Mostly there is Hierarchy and there is Orthodoxy. There are Popes and Priests and Cardinals. There are fancy cloaks, titles and prizes. Perhaps even funny hats and Ermine Collars.

In short, there is a bunch of Ceremony and Puff-Penguin Nonsense there for the Crowd and not Progress. It is Ritual Blather to dissuade anyone from Perspicacious Inquiry.

You see, Physics is a difficult enough Science that we manage to Canonize each faltering step forward. The moment one pushes a toe forward we have to canonize that and halt all further progress for a century or two.

It is the most agonizingly hide-bound Science on the Planet.

Think about it.

Right now we have grown Men and Women running around declaring that Many-Worlds is Gospel and Everything Happens at Once. They deny the very existence of the individual events on which accumulated evidence the theory is founded.

This is a Divine Comedy worthy of the Middle Ages.

Yet there are few voices raised against such nonsense.

It is Canon.

It is Gospel.

It is Law.

However, in my world it is Pure Bunkum.

Let us move forth in Agile Fashion.

Fork the Physics Kernel. Try new things. See what works.

Quasipapers from Kingsley

This site collects previously published, and many unpublished, research papers from my earlier career as a mathematical physicist and theoretician.

The academic world has opened up greatly in the sixteen years since I left university and government research. Like many PhD graduates of the 1990s era I boxed up my old work in the basement and built a rewarding career in the finance industry. These days I am an active entrepreneur, and hedge fund manager. As luck would have it, many of the current opportunities that I pursue involve some kind of scientific knowledge or understanding.

I also find that I continue to generate interesting (to me at least) mathematical questions. When you spend a lot of time on planes and in airport lounges there is nothing more satisfying than to pick up a push pencil and a notebook and scribble some math.

Call me weird, but I enjoy that!

I will be sharing some of these results in Quasipaper form on this blog.

Quasipaper is my word for a recreational scientific article that tests or extends some aspect of my own understanding. During my time in academia, I generated a body of original research in: quantum information theory; quantum inference; the nature and interpretation of the classical limit; and quantum nonlinear dynamics.

While I did publish some twenty or more refereed scientific articles, the really original material never appeared in print. For this reason, I am reviving some of that, in freshly revised works, which treat more fully the connections across modern physics.

They will be released under a modification of the Creative Commons license so feel free to download, distribute or otherwise get involved. The only requirements are: 1) attribution if you make derivative works; 2) you notify me if something based on this work is submitted to an academic journal. I further reserve the right to submit modifications or expansions of these articles as formally submitted research papers at any time.

With that out of the way, please enjoy.

Best regards,

Kingsley Jones, PhD