Ildus Saetgalievich Nurgaliev is a theoretical physicist, at the same time an expert on secondary and higher education in the USA, his expertise is based on his own experience of studying at Boston University (specialty – “education management”), extensive research work at US universities, and wealth of experience in educational consulting for Russians.
Education: Boston University, Massachusetts, USA, specialty Education Administration, 1996; Graduate School of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Candidate of Physics and Mathematics, 1985; Kazan University, Diploma with Honors, 1981.
«Ptolemy made a universe which lasted 1,400 years. Newton also made a universe, which has lasted 300 years. Einstein has made a universe and I can’t tell you how long that will last.»
How satisfactory is the teaching program of the fundamental physics and mathematics (FPaM) in Russia?
FPaM as a scientific school is, on the one hand, the property of mankind, and on the other, a modern factor in the state intellectual leadership, a basis for competitive advantage in global competition, a tool for civilization management of attitudes and behavior of millions of people.
The tradition of using knowledge as a control tool goes back to ancient religious leaders, using their abilities to predict the ‘beginning of the end of the world’ in the form of ‘the solar disc being swallowed by a heavenly crocodile’ and later ‘liberating’ the sun from such misfortune by the power of sophisticated solemn prayer rituals addressed to powerful primary sources. Modern educated mankind has managed to comprehend this version of their apocalypse to the level of a junior high school natural science knowledge.
But the solar eclipse was replaced by a whole set of new problems: exhaustion of energy resources, climate change, planet pollution, information and asteroid safety threats, etc.; significant accumulation of genetic problems due to advances in medicine, which few people think about; inconsistency of political institutions in several countries to the degree of limiting their citizens access to objective information sources and so on. The pushing away of fundamental science to the bottom of state priority list, in particular, in the form of the closure of the theoretical physics departments at a number of universities in the Russian Federation indicates that modern high priests do not look too far ahead, and only care for their own interests, which puts a heavier burden on the fundamental nature of emerging problems.
What examples of external thought control do you know in the field of fundamental physics and mathematics?
A striking example of the leadership factor manifestation, in this case disorienting, is the case of cosmological singularity. The charisma and authority of remarkable British colleagues provided a tremendous amount of citation of theorems, named after them, which are preceded even in the most respected monographs with the words, approximately, “Penrose and Hawking proved a number of powerful theorems, from which it follows that the singularity is inevitable under very general conditions” (S. Weinberg. “Gravity and Cosmology.” Mir Publishing House, 1975, p. 637). In the meantime, the zero-vorticity Raychaudhuri equation is used as a lemma to prove these theorems. What are these “general conditions” then?! It is that we do not know, that the first Soviet satellite if it had not been accelerated to sufficient orbital velocity, but only launched vertically upwards at a velocity lower than the second cosmic velocity, then it would have flopped back to earth at a speed lower than the orbital velocity?! Why do other matter elements (like galaxies) have to behave differently?
Note that the General Relativity (GR), strictly speaking, has nothing to do with it here. The conclusion about the absence of cosmological singularity can be reached by confidently mastering ordinary Newtonian physics. Every schoolchild knows the satellite flight theory. It turns out that the theorems “power” lies in their focus on degenerate (vortex-free) special cases that have no chance to be used as a model of reality. The scientific community reaction to this conclusion is very instructive – judging by the individual confessions after the author’s reports in different countries, nearly everyone, and almost independently, already came to the same conclusion, but the position is yet to be aligned with the general mood inspired by the leaders…
The lack of sufficient fundamental characterization of the description of the right-hand side of the GR equation by Einstein is marked by unpleasant words that in contrast to the left (geometrized) part of the equations, which as beautiful as marble column, the right part is ugly as a rotten wooden pillar. But a rotten wooden pillar fully serves its cosmological modeling function, if you do not ignore, in contrast to the British authors, the vorticity with which the whole universe is filled and which overcomes gravitational attraction and does not allow the realization of a singularity. The impossibility of achieving unlimited cumulation in nuclear detonation is known as the E.I. Zababahin theorem (Unlimited Cumulation Instability / E.I. Zababahin // Letters in the Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics. 1979. v. 30, No. 2. P. 97–99).
In your publications in the Metaphysics journal, you demonstrate the universal overcoming of gravitational compression by the vorticity of a converging flow. Can you comment on this?
The close proximity of a very specific extremely practical task, such as using the nuclear explosion cumulative detonation on the one hand and modeling a cosmological scenario on the other, should not surprise anyone. In fact, nuclear reactions were successfully calculated for the first time precisely for stellar depths. The laws of physics are universal. No one, oddly enough, discusses the phenomenon of external thought control in the field of fundamental physics and mathematics. What does it mean? Do scientific schools of such importance, that from whose results the course of human history and the fate of the state depend, really do not deserve more attention?!
How should we constructively apply the basics of fundamental physics and mathematics?
The universality of the fundamental physics and mathematics foundations is wider than the “simple” physics reach. It covers everything, especially social phenomena, human behavior, and subjects studied by the sciences called humanities. It is about finding an adequate mathematical explanation of the phenomena described. If a social and humanitarian phenomenon can be adequately described mathematically, then it is nothing else than physics.
Humanitarian physics, if you like, we can say, social, humanitarian φυσική. For example, econophysics, sociophysics, psychophysics, and others. A very concrete example is the successful result of theoretical demography using methods previously developed by chemical physics (I. Nurgaliev, “New Risks Vorticities Require Development Strategies Revision”). Отсутсвует ссылка
This also includes the crowd dynamics description, and much more, including rumor circulation, deliberate misinformation and fake news that recently became acutely relevant. In terms of the latter phenomenon, pay special attention: terms such as Fifth Dimension Operations and even Fifth Dimension of Warfare have already been found and introduced into the spoken-English, specifically among professional community, meaning information attacks carried out in a measurement complementary to ordinary physical ones, the concept of which is borrowed from FPaM.
While “we” are closing theoretical physics departments, “they” are introducing FPaM concepts into the military arsenal. Time and again, as it was with nuclear physics, genetics or cybernetics. But the applicability of mathematical methods in this format and direction is already visible in the answer to the question about the allegedly inexplicable effectiveness of mathematics in describing reality, in the article “Mathematics, Physics and Mythology” discussed by the author in one of the last issues of “Metaphysics” (2019, 2 (32)).
We suffer from the inability to launch a synergistic effect between our great individual competitive advantages, which every now and then, instead of helping to counter external challenges together, result in internal competition.
A particularly vivid and dramatic example is that of the four Leningrad young and cheerful nuclear “musketeers” of the 1930s who would have made a much greater contribution to the discussed direction if it wasn’t for such an unequal, counterproductive confrontation between them and the security forces. (Making Nuclear Physics Industrial Engineering Science: Talented Soviet Physicist with Troublesome Character and Career // American Journal of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Volume 2, Issue 3, May 2017, Pages: 144-149).
In this regard, there is an urgent need to create a research institute, preferably international, of this profile in addition to recognizing the domestic FPaM school existence. Its creation can go through an intermediate stage where it could function as a scientific and educational club, supplementing Moscow seminars and conferences with field events with a wider audience (thematically and geographically), based on the support structures that share the same values. But this is already a topic for a discussion in a different format.
I would like to draw the attention of the self-thinking readers to the fact that it’s time to replace the hundred-years long stagnation of ideas about the singular universe and especially the last literally “dark” cosmological decades with a completely natural and simple model without unnecessary “epicycles” in the form of dark components. The “good” tradition, dating back to the ancient priests, uses the acquired exclusive knowledge about the Sun and Moon eclipses to accurately predict the ‘end of the world’, which later is ‘prevented’ by properly praying for one’s salvation to the right God under the right and competent leadership of the priesthood. Nowadays we have the issues such us of the Earth climate change analysis and other global problems shifting to consideation by right scientific groups properly related to the right international financial institutions.
How did modern space-time concepts arise?
General Relativity (GR) is a new understanding of gravitational forces or fields that this theory gives: gravity is a space-time curvature manifestation. Thus, it turns out that the deepest and most powerful roots of this theory grow from Russia. The fact is that the first non-Euclidean geometry was created at Kazan University by Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky (1792-1856). The role of Karl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855), the greatest mathematician of that time, the young Hungarian mathematician Janos Bolyai (1802-1860) and the deeply dramatic fate of Lobachevsky are well described, accessible in Russian and instructive. The basis for general relativity theory was the geometry of the German mathematician Riemann (Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann, 1826–1866). Of particular note is the Italian geometers’ school that prepared this breakthrough.
In connection with the idea of the conditionality of geometry by the physical world, we should mention the English mathematician and philosopher Clifford (William Kingdon Clifford, 1845-1879). He not only studied non-Euclidean geometry, the works of Riemann and, especially, Lobachevsky, whom he called Copernicus of geometry, but in his work “On the Space-Theory of Matter” (1870) he advanced the idea, ahead of his time, that matter and gravity are the space-time curvature manifestation, features of spatial geometry. This idea gained relevance under the name “geometrodynamics” in the 20th century.
When covering the history of GR emergence, we are dealing with a happy case, where the author consciously took care of the public perception of his theory, which is especially important as the role of the sciences increases and, unfortunately, is often neglected by modern scientists. Despite the fact that some popularizers reveal the GR creation history in quite fascinating and talented way, it is unlikely that anyone will do it more accurately than Einstein himself in terms of the evolution of the ideas. The fact is that in 1932 Einstein received an invitation to present an honorary doctorate in law from the University of Glasgow. The subject area associated with the degree does not matter much – it’s the highest and most honorable academic degree that this university, following the tradition of Western universities, can assign to a well-known authority. In addition to the degree, he was also offered to run for the university rector post, which he refused, as well as further refused the proposal to run for the President of Israel.
Before receiving the degree, on June 20, 1933, on the eve of diploma receipt ceremony, he gave a lecture on his work and on the GR creation. This was the first lecture from honorary series by guest distinguished speakers, named Gibson.
In this regard, it is pertinent to note that until the beginning of the last century, the study of Riemannian geometry and the properties of nonmetric spaces geometry were without close connection, not in a single context. The possibility of a unified approach to these geometries – metric and nonmetric – arose only in the 20s of the 20th century, just when the GR creators had already decided on Riemannian geometry, and when it became clear that these spaces can be considered as fiber spaces special cases, on which differential geometric connectivity is given. Unsurprisingly, the fiber space actual definition as an independent mathematical object appeared even later – in the second half of the 30s of the 20th century. Until then, the fiber concept was understood intuitively and not strictly. A general definition of connectivity in layered space as a mathematical concept was given by Ehresmann only in the 40s of the 20th century.
How do you rate the age and mathematical models of the universe evolution?
The most impressive application of GR, now the common space-time theory, are cosmological solutions, i.e. the universe evolution mathematical models. If the young individually-minded intellectual does not uppressed by the modern aggressively compulsory education system, then the Universe age of 14 billion years should cause rejection. Indeed, even the Greek philosopher Melissus (V century BC) said: “Nothing can exist from a nonexistent”. This idea is found further in many philosophers, and is fixed in Latin as Nil de nihito fil – “Nothing arises from nothing.” With common sense, this thesis is quite harmonious. This sounds for materialists: matter is eternal. It is true that centuries further innovations arose with their charismatic leaders – modern Abrahamic religions, in whose depths creationism is cultivated. It is important to note that in earlier religions the universe was eternal also. For example, the cyclic incarnations of the universe itself, like the phoenix bird, are in the Vedas, in ancient texts sacred to Hindu practices and traditions, as well as in Buddhism. Eternal cycles of pre-religious beliefs and some ancient myths are also close to common sense. Note that Alexander Alexandrovich Fridman, known by his cosmological solutions of GR equations, on which modern cosmology is based, also refers to Hindu myths and the eternal oscillating Universe.
The following chain of events is also worthy of the science historians pen. Young and cheeky bold cosmologists, one after the other, “bent” after the discovery of the cosmological redshift by the most authoritative theorists and observers, towards the reality of the singularity, not differed by the physical science, but just a symbol of the mathematical phantom responsible for the construction of the Universe model too simple (too symmetrical), in contrary to Einstein’s famous requirement that the model should be as simple as possible, but not simpler.
How reliable and scientifically sound, in your opinion, are the GR foundations and conclusions about the initial stages of the universe development based on GR?
When modern developers of the “initial” stages of the Universe “birth”, with details of quantum fractions of a second, itemize this scenario in front of amazed public, the Newton’s reaction to Galley’s irony about Newton’s development of such theological themes as the Apocalypse, described by Mach, comes to mind, Newton responded bluntly: “I studied these things, but you did not”. So the modern public, which does not know quantum field theory and the general theory of relativity, has to trust that those who study it know what they are talking about… We hasten to add that the remarkable authors of the mentioned “initial” stages are not in any way creators of modern myths for dogmas, but talented and honest naturalists who put their theories to the kind of strength test, using the “Beginnings” imaginary experiment, that can be compared to tests that airplane and car designers perform when they place the first experimental samples under a press, to find places of greatest fragility.
The role of principles in physics resembles the role of axiom in mathematics: these are statements that we accept without evidence, without the possibility of direct experimental verification and we rely on them to derive new laws.
Sometimes we compare the new theories’ conclusions for consistency with generally accepted principles (for example, the causality principle in cosmological models with rotation). We can say that the principles are dictated by metaphysics, in its modern sense. Nonetheless, the, very important, experience that forms the metaphysics of science, encourages us, scientists, to believe in the principles. Therefore, we note one more principle, which is perhaps the most important in physics, the scientific accuracy principle. The statement circulating in hundreds of books and thousands of articles about the Universe emergence from a singular point contradicts the scientific principle.
So, there is a departure from the scientific principle of transferring scientific methods tested on Earth and in laboratories, convincing us that there is always a factor that, successfully competing with the compressing factor, provides a non-singular beginning of expansion (yes, actually, of any process), without raising any question about the mystical prime cause of birth.
But Hawking-Penrose theorems should be treated as follows. To prove the inevitability of singularity, one has to use the unrealistic assumption of the absence of vorticity, which indicates the inevitable absence of singularity. By formal logic, this statement is not proof of the opposite. They are presented in the Raychaudhuri equations of terms that conquer the compressive forces of gravity and associated with vorticity, torsion, quantum corrections, hypothetical fields of unification theories. By the “actual” logic, for the colleagues of Hawking and Penrose, the above statement is to be either refuted or accepted.
Consequently, it is appropriate to formulate a relation to the historical significance of Einstein’s assessment of the cosmological constant as “the most annoying mistake of life” (I believe that estimates have come down to us and got replicated, with exaggerated weight, after they were mentioned in a conversation with Gamow). Modern interpretations of the cosmological constant are corrections of Einstein’s classical equations in the form of computable addends, such as the contribution of vacuum polarization, taking into account scalar fields – components of unified field theories, and so on. We will put forward here, not so fashionable, but quite simple, not to say archaic, cosmological term interpretations, for its appropriateness, naturalness, and necessity. The cosmological term is the return to Einstein’s equation of those terms that dropped out, mostly, due to the simplified (symmetric) nature of the model (precisely homogeneity and isotropy). We lost these conditions due to the fact that we did not carry out a consistent averaging procedure to obtain a simple cosmological model, but nonetheless we wanted to have this simplified model, amenable to our exhaustive mathematical analysis by our not very developed mathematical tools and ideas. The cosmological term is similar to the knots on the reverse side of the embroidery of a skilled embroiderer. We would like to embroider the pattern with a single thread, but we do not know-how.
Deep Space is Ours!
To those colleagues who other explosions will call related to “not ours” multiverse universes, we recommend that you join us all the same, then they will be yours. Nearby fridmon too, is part of the universe, which is one and only. For this reason, all is ours. Moreover, not only in the sense of the slogan “Cosmos Is Ours!” carried by a demonstrator after Gagarin’s arrival, from Red Square chronicle, but in a wider space, our deep space!! All, and completely ours, without a chance to be pulled by washing without obscurantism by hook and by crook: first in the form of a singular beginning, then in the form of “afterlife”. The whole universe is ours!!! Our pride scale, as you can see, is not limited to miserable interstate geopolitics, our scale is cosmological.
A renewed, unified worldview may allow our civilization to already develop in this evolutionary cycle to satisfy Tsiolkovsky’s fuller dream — to successfully exit as a mankind from our cradle and continue development beyond it.
The interview was prepared based on the report from the Third Russian Conference “Fundamental Physics and Mathematics Foundations “, PFUR, November 29-30, 2019.
Interview: Ivan Stepanyan