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Space and time could be seen as generated by mass and energy. A system of description assuming the existence of space and time already in the axiomatics, for this reason, is likely not to be suited for understanding a primary system, for which it might seem to be necessary to develop reduced physics, giving up the notions of space and time in the axiomatics. This would mean avoiding all statements and questions including “where and when”, leaving only the mentioned notions of mass and energy, quantum numbers, the dualism, and a few laws, as for instance, the exclusion principle, as well as eventually an uncertainty relationship.

Minimal Physics Without Space And Time

Modern natural philosophy [1] may be suited to give an enlarged framework for the existing modern sciences without falling into dogmatism and at the same time to open ways to inclusion of aspects of modern arts and modern religion. It might be possible to achieve this by filtering from the abundance of natural laws a few ones being able to just give a simple basic view of Nature. Behind this endeavor there is the conviction that the world is essentially simple. This is in agree­ment with the conviction expressed by the principle of Occam's razor that simplicity is an important guiding principle.

Which natural laws, however, have such a basic character that could be called simple? For the time being no exact rules can be given. Intuition cant be seen as a possible allowed way and should not be despised.

Dualism as a first such basic law means the possibility of two completely different states. Principally an existing version may split up into two new ones. Development in gradual steps of generations seems to be typical. Each new generation means an additional new realization. It seems reasonable to suspect that quantum numbers play a primary role when building up smaller parts to bigger ones and possibly, as well, finally when splitting up bigger parts into smaller ones. This may be the background for the fractal character of the world (Mandelbrot 1975, 1982, [2] ). An important example for such dualism is that certain observations (e.g. light) can be described either as particles or as waves (de Broglie 1923, 1924, [3] ). Life on earth like anything else in the universe seemingly developed in such a dualistic way leading to many consequences which cannot be explored more thoroughly at this point.

Similar considerations lead to the concept of cultural dualism. We have an Eastern and a Western world. The strongest expression of this fact is found in completely different types of languages. The Eastern languages are largely free of grammar and allow by their tonal properties a more integral communication being fast and uncomplicated, but tending to renounce on details. In contrast the Western languages (essentially Indo-European, reaching till India) have a precise grammar making them strongly structured and slower, but allowing a much more exact description.

As a further basic law the Einstein formula indicates the possible mutual transformation of mass and energy. The relativity theory not only refers to changes of time in presence of a mass, but in addition seems to show that space and time are not pre-existing fixed values, but are generated by mass and energy within the relevant frame. This however, hints that it is not at all possible to talk about a beginning and an end of the world, because space and time ?there and then? did not exist as yet.

In the common interpretation of the general theory of relativity, gravity is described as a property of space and time [4]. But it makes better sense to understand space and time as fields generated by mass and energy whereas the terms ?describe? and ?understand? deliberately are used synonymously. Because mass and energy are transformable with each other, they must exist in an approximate equilibrium. Again the common interpretation is that masses attract one another, although the same effect can be understood as an interaction of the respective energies.

At this point two important experimental observations have to be mentioned, the usual inter­pretation of which can at least be doubted. First, it has been found by measuring the redshift that all galaxies are drifting apart with rising velocity which commonly was explained by an insufficiently defined dark energy and the cosmological constant in Einstein's theory [5]. Secondly, in the universe, a not equally distributed background microwave radiation is observed being normally interpreted as afterglow of an initial big bang [6].

But this radiation could also be the superposition of all energies in the universe generated by all masses forming an always expanding huge lake with a frontal gradient like a tsunami, but much less sharply rising which drives the galaxies ahead. The distribution of the background radiation found does not give a strict proof. Because of their inertia thegalaxies could only slowly take up speed. Such a system at this point must be seen as expanding and thus having a unidirectional time development.

It should be underlined that not a single experiment and not a single observation has ever shown the creation of something new. There are only transformations, mainly from different forms of mass into different forms of energy, and inversely so. Every new creation is only a fiction promoted by clerical sides (Lemaître) and then accepted even by Hoyle, which lacks any form of experimental evidence. Mathe­matically this problem was avoided by introducing the notion of singularities (Hawkings and Penrose [7] ). But a world without recognizable emergence still seems difficult to be accepted especially in humanities.

Space and time therefore should be seen as generated by mass and energy, at least concerning the axiomatics. A system of description assuming pre-existing space and time, for this reason, is not suited for understanding a primary system. Using this term should not have implications with time. The best basic assumption seems to be that of the pure existence of mass and energy. It is plausible to assume that according to the dualistic principle both came out of a primary matter, but this can not been proven.

The simplest assumption to explain a n initial splitting up is the existence of quantum numbers and of the Pauli exclusion principle. When assigning to mass a quantum number 0 and to energy a quantum number 1, in consequence the coherence of mass and the ability of the energy to vagabond will follow.

Mass and energy, in this picture, could take up further quantum numbers. Thereby the notion of generations would show up as an important additional simple basic property. Each new quantum number would mean a new generation. There could also be excited states of energy leading to forces.

Becoming and passing away could be seen as inverse processes which principally are mirror-inverted. A supernova explodes or recondenses, respectively. While becoming would mean the coming up of individual quantum numbers, passing away could be understood statistically (not included in quantum mechanics). The complete system would show quantized oscillations fading away one after another, until again all is primary matter. The quantized redshift of galaxies moving apart may be an indication of this fact [8].

It must be admitted that this picture involves hypotheses hitherto not proven experimentally or in any other way. But these hypotheses ought to have a higher degree of plausibility than all the many assumptions of the big bang model including the accompanying interpretation of the Einstein theories.

The standard physics starting from a linear spacetime coordinate system are fully valid as long as the basic assumption of linearity is correct. The more this assumption is violated, the more additional assumptions have to be introduced into a theory. This especially refers to the theory of relativity and to the standard model. The astonishingly good correctness of these theories under nonlinear conditions can only be granted by such additional assumptions.

It therefore seems to be necessary to develop reduced physics, giving up the notions of space and time at th outline. This means forbidding in the axiomatics all statements and questions including ?where and when?. The proposed path to associate physical quantities with one another seems to have a high degree of plausibility, because it also reflects conditions on the Earth in the middle between elementary particles and galaxies. In detail this has certainly to be investigated more thoroughly than it is possible at this point. Such physics could avoid the prestidigitation with singularities. Statements about supernova conditions and about the connection between elementary particles and galaxies would make more sense than when starting from a given spacetime framework.

Essentially these endeavors are aiming at a kind of minimal physics (including the necessary mathematics), which finds parallels in all areas of modern art (fine arts, music, architecture) in the form of minimal art. In the domain of religion, so often despised by scientists, the notion of transcendence could get new life, if particularly conceptions avoiding the notion of space and time are meant.


[1] Osler, Margaret J. , Whose Ends ? Teleology in Modern Natural Philosophy, The History of Science Society, Calgari (Canada) 2001
[2] Mandelbrot, Benoît , The Fractal Geometry of Nature, W H Freeman & Co, 1982; ISBN 0716711869
[3] de Broglie, L., Recherches sur la théorie des quanta (Researches on the quantum theory), Thesis, Paris, 1924
[4] Einstein's geometric gravity,
[5] Urry, Meg. The Mysteries of Dark Energy. Yale Science. Yale University, 2008
[6] Smooth, G. F.; et al. (1992). Structure in the COBE differential microwave radiometer maps. Astrophys. J. Letters 396 (1): L1?L5
[7] Hawking, S. and Penrose, R.. The Nature of Space and Time. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-03791-4. 1996
[8] Tifft, W.G., Global Redshift Quantization, The Astrophysical Journal, 287:492-502, 1984 December 15,  p. 502.

© Hans J. Unsöld,  Berlin  (Germany) 2012 / 2017

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Last updated May 2, 2017