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Information physics, and natural signal response theory

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A Natural Signal Information Physics ?

From the classical action-at-distance signal-response physics of William Gilbert, forerunner of Newton's attraction physics, it is possible to construct a general natural-signal information physics that takes all objects in the universe as being one or more of three general classes of information objects, namely;
1. Objects that are different kinds of Natural Signals emitted by some source objects and naturally carrying some information regarding their source and their journey from their source.
2. Objects that are Signal Emitters or sources of some such Natural Signals.
3. Objects that are Signal Responders and respond to some information from some Natural Signals such as by motion directed towards or away from those signals apparent source as seems the case with eg gravity and magnetism.
And it may be that objects that emit some one kind of Natural Signal, may also respond to that kind of signal as seems the case with gravity and magnetism for example and maybe some other physical forces also.

So it may be of some interest to now consider such a general signal information physics concerning natural signals as communicating information, starting from a consideration of the basics of signal-response theory.

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The basics of signal-response theory

The basics of signal-response theory can be taken as being simply that any body can be a signal, relative to some observer body that can respond to it. And that any body can be an observer, relative to some signal body to which it can respond. So in basic signal-response theory a response can take any form and can be to any property or properties of a signal that can be taken as carrying data or information, so that signal responses may or may not reflect the basic nature of the signal itself but might just eg reflect any aspect of the signal which might involve anything that had previously happened to the signal.

The basics of a signal-response physics

A signal-response physics like William Gilbert's, partly incorporated into Newton's physics, is necessarily an information physics, which no kind of push-physics can really be. But natural physical actions must have some general basic causal relations involving some Occam simplicity though nature can have some complexities as due to several simplicities adding to a relative complexity. Hence natural physical signal responses would need to accord with physical observation and experiment.

Unlike any Cartesian-style push-physics where a cause supplies exactly the energy for an effect, signal-response theory generally does not assume any one specific mathematics, eg signal strength or signal frequency need not always decrease as the square of the distance from its source and a response strength might be fixed over some range of signal strengths or might vary with more than one aspect of apparent signal strength or frequency and apparent signal directionality even of multiply refracted signals or signals from relocated sources. Of course particular pieces or forms of natural signal-response are likely to normally actually follow some specific mathematics, as many natural signals may normally avoid any significant transit modification. So in nature gravity and magnetism do show that different bodies may respond in regular ways to different natural signals, but this need not follow how modern technology can link almost any response however complex to almost any signal however simple - as also can the human mind. And in many cases of natural physical action no direct signal detection may be possible and so can only be inferred from observed response reactions. And it is clearly the case that signal-response phenomena especially can involve small-causes-big 'Butterfly Effects'.

Some or all existent objects certainly emit natural signals that indicate their colour, magnetism, mass, motion or other properties of the signal emitting object. Emitted signals indicate or reflect properties of their emitters, so that responses of other objects to received signals are responses to properties of signal emitters and are caused by the signal emission to the extent that the signal does not get modified in transmission or by signal reception. In signal theory signals are basically anything to which some signal detector can produce some response, so that signal-response physical actions must involve two separate related phenomena being signal and response. If light is taken as being a signal, then different physical systems might be expected to show some different responses to light. This appears to be the case with at least some light-related phenomena like reflection and refraction. It has even been shown that punching holes in thin plates can increase OR decrease the amount of light that appears to penetrate a plate, see Physics World light And while in nature there are many cases of bodies affected by light as a source of heat or energy, there are many cases in nature and in technology of bodies responding to light as a signal. Of course Newton concluded that colour was a property of light itself and was not just a property of illuminated objects modifying light, which he claimed 'to have proven definitely with a crucial experiment'. But unlike William Gilbert earlier, Newton failed to publish the exact details of his experiment and so did not help with correct replication by other scientists. And also later Newton allowed that light itself might respond to some signals from objects or their atoms as to gravitational signals.

The nature of light itself

In any physics that does not take light as being a signal, light impacting different physical systems may be taken as being different behaviours of light itself. This can lead to taking reflection, refraction, diffraction, photoelectric emission, Compton emission etcetera as being light behaviours. And some of these apparent light behaviours can be taken as evidence for light itself being an ether wave, a quantal particle, or either or both. But in a physics that takes light as being a signal, light impacting different physical systems can be taken as evoking different detector responses. This leads to taking reflection, refraction, diffraction, photoelectric emission, Compton emission etcetera as being responses to light signals. And some of these being responses can be taken as giving no evidence for light itself being of any specific nature if the nature of responses is not fully determined by the basic nature of the signals involved.

Natural responses to signals

In nature responses are not fully determined by the nature of signals, but reflects only some one property or few properties of a signal. Hence some detectors can give digital quantal responses to some natural continuous signals, or give analog continuous response to natural digital signals. See eg Digital to Analog Converter or Analog to Digital Converter - though these sources may not be the best. And the different magnetic responses (as attraction, orientation and magnetization) to the same signal can operate at very different ranges, so that apparent 'signal range' can clearly be less a property of the signal than an indicator of response sensitivities.

Modern 'signal processing' is predominantly electronic and often involves systems using designed program calculation methods in producing signal responses of any designable form irrespective of the signal involved, but other physical systems can respond in various ways to different signals using only basic physical responses. And it is perhaps that kind of non-designed signal response that is of more fundamental relevance to physics. Hence mechanical clocks can respond to an analog spring pressure with ratchet-gear digital responses. (And even computational physics can be basically simple resting on 0/1 or On/Off states, so that eg atoms for some phenomena involving one signal may have two states allowing two different responses. Some recently have even proposed a physics on that basis like the New Kind of Science of Stephen Wolfram.) And in his 'Opticks' Newton considered light reflection and refraction as possibly responses to signals from atoms, see Light.

And the 'butterfly effect' loved by time-travel fiction theorists, which is a real problem as for computer modelling, rests on a basic of signal-response or remote-control information physics that a small low-energy low-information signal can cause a big high-energy high-information response. See Butterfly Effect. A similar class of issue to the Archemedes 'Law of the Lever' issue, and to a tiny germ killing an elephant or to a small button-press making a flying remote-control drone land on the ground. Or indeed, as with rats and plague, some cause and its effect may be mediated by something smaller.

Information in physics

Signal theory generally locates information, either intentional information or unintentional natural information, in signals - but a basically non-information physics tends to trying to locate information either in physical bodies themselves or in ill-defined 'observers'. So a range of issues can arise such as ;
1. physical bodies either do or do not carry some natural information before an observer observes ?
2. signals either do or do not carry some natural information before they are detected ?
3. physical bodies either do or do not carry some natural information before they emit signals ?
4. signals either do or do not carry natural information reflecting the full nature of their source ?
These and other related issues have not always been properly addressed by physics theories to date. A signal physics may seem better able to handle this, though no doubt non-signal image theories of a signal theory would be compatible also.

All forces as signals

It is of course possible that all physical forces may work by natural signal response, as proposed first by William Gilbert for magnetism, electricity and gravity. And the apparent-contact push force could be a short-range proximity-signal force action-at-short-distance involving no actual contact or push. This would allow of a natural signal information physics 'theory of everything'.

Responses to signals can involve issues like signal thresholds, response times, signal noise, excitation states, conditional response and signal summation. Depending on the particular signal response parameters involved, signal response systems may also be capable of looping or of hanging. And for some signal response systems a numbers of factors may vary the probability of some signal giving some response. Avoiding the use of signal theory, current physics struggles poorly to explain much.

And while most modern physics theory may have no natural place for time, natural signal information theory physics in fundamentally involving response to signals does fundamentally involve time as a consequence. What basically distinguishes a response event from a signal event is simply time, with signals being causes and responses being subsequent effects. If an attraction response cannot precede an attraction signal, then the universe is not time reversible and has one-direction time inbuilt. Many other physics theories by default predict a time reversibility that is quite contrary to many confirmed experiments and observation.

Newton's gravity mathematics works well for the orbitings of planets and moons, but for bodies to be attracted to the actual location of other gravitational bodies by signal rays directly emitted by them would generally require either fixed relative locations or signals having infinite velocity. However a Natural Signal Information physics can allow source motion anticipation basically cancelling relative motion to an extent and so requiring gravity signals having a lesser velocity such as the velocity of light and so improve on Newton. See Signal Anticipation.

Einstein's gravity mathematics looks an improvement on Newton's at distances much larger than solar-system distances, but both lean towards implying a contracting universe while distance light red-shift evidence seems to indicate an expanding universe involving some 'Dark Energy'. However a Natural Signal Information physics can allow a distance red-shift of gravity signals which would reduce their frequency and that cut distance gravity strength which could help cause universe expansion without needing any 'Dark Energy' and so improve on Einstein.

And current gravity theory for Black Holes seems to involve a gravity excess that implies some 'Dark Matter'. However a Natural Signal Information physics can allow near Black Holes a local gravity signal blue-shift which would increase their frequency and that increase local gravity strength without needing any 'Dark Matter' and so improve on current Black Hole theory also. For physics as cause-effect science an Information Physics can be naturally based on signal-response action as attested by magnetism and other physical phenomena, though of course Information for some may seem to have a relation to Observation, Measurement, Probability or maybe to Computation or maybe even to Thinking or Intelligence or indeed to God.

But such a new information science certainly needs appropriate new experiments, and it is looking like nobody will realistically fund that.

PS. There are some further interesting bits of this Natural Signal Information physics theory on other pages of this website.

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