hi all. I dont recall I mentioned the oscillons phenomenon on this list
before (the archive seems to be down as I write this).  so, FYI.

some months ago I was going thru an old file of paper physics 
clippings/leads and ran into one on oscillons from 1996 based on a 
new york times article (see below). at the time I found the article
in the 1st place, despite the cautiously optimistic tone in it
& by the quoted scientists, I was sure that huge momentum 
would soon grow & be built around it. 

here it is over a half decade later, I had forgotten entirely
about it, and went back and looked into the literature. there
are indeed a smattering of oscillon papers out there, including
several in the arXiv. 

oscillons are very similar to solitons,
and solitons are well appreciated as a very interesting mathematical
model that involves emergent schroedinger eqn. like properties.
there are several entire books written on solitons. (particle like phenomena
emerging from fiendishly complex nonlinear differential eqns.)

however it seems to me that the full implications of oscillons have 
not been pursued. so far nobody is seriously suggesting they 
may be a big picture "theory of everything". 
but it seems obvious to propose them as
a very viable/provisional candidate highly worthy of further research.

I would certainly like to take credit for this hypothesis, but it would
probably at least require me to write a real paper on the subject for anyone
to cite/credit me (haha).

this is my conceptual sketch of a TOE. I propose that some fairly simple
CA rules on a 3D grid give rise to the same nonlinear oscillon equations.
next, oscillons are a model for particles. oscillons can combine
and separate into superparticles, that has already been demonstrated
empirically in papers and experiments. (in fact a triad-like phenomenon
is found already, and I immediately reminded of the quark model which
come in 3's.)

they have attraction and 
repulsion properties. I propose gravity is just a very subtle emergent
attraction property arising from large collections of superparticles.

perhaps one of the most striking aspects of oscillons that almost nobody has
realized yet: the models give predictions for **fundamental masses**
of (super)particles as an emergent property of the deeper simulation dynamics
parameters, something that no other theories I know of can come
close to, including (most conspicuously) the massive
& venerable Standard Model built from decades of massive and
painstaking 20th century research.

frankly, I just dont know why there is not much excitement about 
oscillons in the larger physics community & esp among particle 
physicists at this point. Im hoping its just the relative obscurity
of the subject & that it will change in the near future. imho, they could
very well be the fundamental framework for 21st century physics. its
a natural conjecture/hypothesis. 
yet I cannot find a single paper proposing that yet so far.

moreover, recently on sci.physics.research I proposed that some fraction
of the vast billions spent on supercolliders be invested into large
oscillon simulations & investigations running on supercomputers or perhaps
ongoing physical experiments, as a "hedge in the [expensive] bet". 
seems only reasonable to me.  (physicists are right now planning a 
$6-8Billion dollar international supercollider.)

there is no doubt one can create oscillon like supercollider experiments
based on existing theory (projecting one oscillon into others either via
a simulation or physical experiment), 
but nobody has tried that obvious idea yet.  imho, its a vast 
open frontier/terra incognita worth exploring ASAP.

following is a set of odds & ends, links, papers etcetera Ive 
collected/compiled on oscillons recently for your convenience.


nice AMS article on solitons by Terng and Uhlenbeck
with all the equations


these are movies by Oleg Lioubashevski who is working
with jay fineberg. clay oscillons
notice a dipole & tripole configurations.
the tripole configuration reminds me of quarks which combine
in triplets as I understand it!!


michael cross caltech 
java simulations
pattern formation in nonequilibrium systems


this paper by crawford & riecke considers mathematical eqns
for solitons and some of the attraction properties. I didnt
notice if they observed repulsion. am still looking for a single
paper observing attraction repulsion in general.


imho the above pictures seem eerily reminscent of ***quark***
interactions, possibly. I cant believe particle physicists seem
not to be studying oscillons at all!!!

       Title: A Continuum Description of Vibrated Sand
       Authors: Jens Eggers, Hermann Riecke


       Title: Localized and Cellular Patterns in a Vibrated Granular Layer
       Authors: Lev Tsimring, Igor Aranson


       Title: Nearest pattern interaction and global pattern formation
       Authors: Seong-Ok Jeong, Hie-Tae Moon, Tae-Wook Ko


       Title: Long-Lived Localized Field Configurations in Small Lattices: Application 
to Oscillons
       Authors: Marcelo Gleiser, Andrew Sornborger


       Title: Stellar Oscillons
       Authors: O. M. Umurhan, L. Tao, E. A. Spiegel


       Title: Emergence of local and global spatio-temporal order on the way to 
equipartition: A nonlinear field model
       Authors: Marcelo Gleiser, Rafael C. Howell

Newsgroups: sci.physics.particle,sci.physics,comp.theory,comp.theory.cell-automata
Subject: fredkin-wolfram thesis, more evidence
Date: 2002-08-18 09:49:06 PST 

fyi, more really golden circumstantial evidence Ive just
run across in favor of the fredkin-wolfram
thesis on universe as a CA.

this link by gerard westendorp..

electric circuit diagram equivalents of fields .. heat
conduction,acoustics, navier stokes, electrostatics, maxwell
eqn, curves spacetime, klein gordon, dirac, etc.. these are
all cellular type arrays. the circuits can be converted directly
to CA rules.


I have a book that does this for the QM or QFT
field in a diagram, but I havent been able to locate it again yet.

next, the amazing field of ***oscillons*** that is very obscure
and unknown right now!!

imho this is **breakthrough** work that I saved in 1996 when
I read the NYT article. I felt that scientists didnt understand
the full implications & were downplaying them. yikes!!

what we have is a physical system with purely ***local***
interactions among microscopic particles, but which gives
rise to emergent properties such as soliton particles called
"oscillons". they have been observed to exhibit characteristics
such as **attraction** and **repulsion**.

it appears to me
one could very likely get a **schroedinger eqn** system from these
experiments. and notice how mass is defined as agglomerations
of the microscopic particles. it suggests that **space**
and **mass** is really a false dichotomy of our high-level-system
"objective" perceptual prejudice!!

I cant find anyone studying
the attraction/particle/repulsion properties yet.

could the ZPF just be the analog of the energy pervading
the systems below???

this is all based on a nature article. I cut & pasted
this off a web page.

the work on this remains somewhat obscure and nobody seems
to be making the deep connections yet!! I dont see much mathematical
research yet, its very empirical from this angle. where is the next
einstein anyway? wink

here are pictures of clay oscillons from 1999 followup work..
a picture is worth a thousand words.. remember,
"attraction & repulsion properties" and surrounding


I predict research into these deep links will ***explode*** in
the near future. it crosses many boundaries of physics!!!

from what I understand physics reduces particle intereractions
to a combination of computing sch. wavefunctions and electrostatic
attraction/repulsion for the complete dynamics.
but in oscillon models these are unified
into a single model!! they are an emergent property of the oscillon
rules. **beautiful** circumstantial evidence for a TOE based on
oscillon theory.

paul umbanbowar web page with good oscillons info, movies,
& simulations etc


>From The New York Times, 9/3/96

by Malcolm W. Browne

"A group of physicists at the University of Texas has reported an
astonishing discovery: when a thin layer of tiny brass balls is spread
over the flat bottom of a container and the container is jiggled up and
down at a certain rhythm, the balls spontaneously organize themselves
into patterns that seem to mimic behavior of atoms, molecules and

"Simply by tuning the rate and intensity of the jiggling, the Austin-based
group headed by Dr. Harry L. Swinney induced the creation of tiny peaks
and dimples in an otherwise flat layer of brass balls the size of sand
grains. These peaks and dimples, which the group has named
"oscillons," react with each other almost the way electrical charges
interact: similar oscillons, like similar electric charges, repel each other
and move apart, while opposite oscillons attract each other and even
seem to form stable bonds.

"Sometimes, as shown in a series of remarkable photographs published
in the current issue of the journal Nature accompanying the Texas
group's report, the peaks and dimples even join together to form objects
suggestive of atoms. Some join to form molecule-like objects, including
polymers, and others form checkerboard arrays suggestive of the atomic
lattice structures of crystals....

"Dr. Sidney Nagel, who heads a group of physicists at the University of
Chicago studying granular materials...worries about drawing too many
inferences from analogous but very different systems, for example, the
brass-ball patterns seen at the University of Texas, compared with the
analogous behavior of real electric charges, atoms, molecules and
crystals. Interactions at the molecular and atomic level obey the
statistical laws of quantum mechanics, while brass balls in motion are
governed by Newton's classical laws of motion.

"I think that what Harry Swinney has done is fascinating," Nagel said.
"He has these beautiful, very intriguing patterns that have charge-like
characteristics, attracting or repelling each other, and interacting in
complex ways.

"But we understand much more about what happens at the quantum
mechanical level than we do about the behavior of granular materials in
motion. For the brass-ball analogy of quantum mechanical processes to
be useful, we would have to find some link between the analogy and the
reality. I don't think right now we have a good idea where the analogy
starts or ends, and although there certainly seems to be an analogy
there, we have to be careful of it. "

Journal References of effect:

Umbanhower, P.B., Melo, F. and Swinney H.L. "Localized excitations in
a vertically vibrated granular layer," Nature, Vol 382 No. 6594, August
29, 1996, p.793-796

New and Views- "Patterns in the Sand," P.B. Umbanhower, Nature 389,

Reply via email to