The incompleteness of extensional object languages of physics and time reversal. Part 1


This paper argues that ordinary object languages for fundamental physics are incomplete, essentially because they are extensional, and consequently lack any adequate formal representation of contingency. It is shown that it is impossible to formulate adequate deduction systems for general transformations in such languages. This is argued in detail for the time reversal transformation. Two important controversies about the application of time reversal in quantum mechanics are summarized at the start, to provide the context of this problem, and show its serious implications, but the aim here is not to solve these problems. The flaw is not special to quantum mechanics: it is a general feature traced to extensionality, and demonstrated through a simple example in classical physics. It is proposed that this defect can be overcome by extending to an intensional semantics, but this involves extending the usual formalism of physics. A detailed proposal for such an extension is given in Part 2.

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