Forces and Balances, Movements and Measures, Forms and Feelings, Action and Images, Constraints and Freedom
Elemental Constructions in Virtual Energy Domains (Stage 1)

This page introduces and discusses a (...) .pdf report (889 kB) titled "Elemental Constructions in Virtual Energy Domains: Forces and Balances, Movements and Measures, Forms and Feelings, Action and Images, Constraints and Freedom (Stage 1, 2015)," called the bursters project.

A new Times and Paradigms project has superseded the bursters project. "Actual Time, Detached Time and Controlled Time: Physical Paradigms and Energy Constructions" is discussed on a separate web page ( ... ). The current draft is available for download: (...)  [.pdf file, 4.5 MB];

Hence, the present bursters project is closed but this page is maintained as an archive.

Principles of freedom set forth in these projects are based on a particular view of phenomena of life and a particular approach to describing and modeling such phenomena:

  1. Muscular movements of an animal body are foundational activities of its actual life. Muscular movements include: involuntary movements involved in blood circulation, digestion and respiration; and voluntary movements involved in caring for the body and in externally directed activities such as eating, traveling, evading dangers and reproduction. Muscular movements are organized in goal-directed patterns of action established, e.g., by the body (instinct), by habits, by training or by reason. Movements are guided by bodily feelings and sensory signals.

  2. Many muscular movements of higher animals are made up of twitches of elemental fibers of muscular material. Each twitch is a transient forceful contractile movement produced by arrival of a signal over a nerve. In constructing models of movements, twitches of a fiber are elemental units. Fibers and twitches are organized by hierarchies of physical materials (fibers, ensembles, motor units, assemblies) and by hierarchies of duration in time. Some of the highest organizing units may have a semi-permanent existence.

  3. Twitches are elements of action. Such elements "run down" or stop on their own. Elements of action are different from states, which are elements in other models, such as those based in computers. States persist until changed by external events.

  4. In science, states are organized by means of objects, which embody states. Important objects in science include photons, atoms, molecules, rigid bodies, planets, stars and the Universe. Such objects are suitable for many purposes and have been successfully employed in many projects of science and engineering. It is, however, difficult to organize muscular movements by means of objects, especially when circumstances of action are unforeseeable or change rapidly. Under such circumstances, a human body is often inventive.

  5. In the approach taken here, movements are confined to a small class made up of steady forces, e.g., holding a weight or a coin in the hand, and of small incremental changes in steady forces — following a quasi-static path. The quasi-static path is not made up of real objects, but of virtual objects which have a provisional steadiness and which are also changeable.

  6. The quasi-static path, although confined, is suitable for imaginary constructions that are the subject of the bursters project. Although designs anticipate the future existence of actual, manufactured devices, such devices do not exist now. Those who come afterwards and who can make their own constructions with actual devices will have more extensive paths available for investigation.

Illustrative images show:

  1. (...) steady holding produced by a duet of force fiber devices that produce alternating twitches

  2. (...) two equal and opposite duets produce a spectrum of balancing positions

  3. (...) an octet or motor (force) unit with multiple controls


In imaginary Virtual Energy (VE) domains, designs for proposed devices are progressively developed with goals of producing actions that resemble those produced by sensory-motor systems of animals. Such designs also resemble schematic diagrams for electronics devices. A primal element in VE designs is a force fiber device that produces distinct contractions similar to twitches of an animal muscle fiber. To start, a duet construction uses two force fiber devices and two bursting devices that model neurons and that control alternating twitches of fibers: a duet holds a weight in balance and moves a weight. In constructions aiming to model muscular movements of animal eyes, opposing duets produce a spectrum of balancing points and perform spatial measurements. Development leads to quartets and octets, controllable force devices that can be organized in large numbers in ensembles attached like muscles to body parts. Stretch sensors, another class of devices, detect variations in lengths and positions of force devices and body parts; pressure sensors similarly detect forces based in internal and external bodies. Incremental signals from sensors directly involved in movements - suggestive of bodily feelings of a person - are combined with large-scale driving signals that can have remote origins - suggestive of forms of action. A layer of devices involved in such actions locates a sensation in a field of sensors, mimicking movements of limbs that scratch itches on skin surfaces or eyeball movements that direct the visual gaze. Other layers of devices, called image layers, generate patterns that resemble those occurring in the action layer but that can be changed without involvement of force devices. Some system operations begin with a change in an image layer, e.g., in a form, and then transform that change into action. Other system operations respond to peripheral changes in the sensory-motor layer and then transform those changes into changes of a pattern in an image layer, resembling, e.g., a limiting pain in one limb that modifies a balanced movement, causing first a limp and then alterations in gait and movements on both sides.

Table of Contents (Stage 1 materials)

  1. Elemental Signals in Virtual Energy (VE) domains.

    1. A VE signal consists of pulses that move on a projection between devices.

    2. Sensory signals are based on steady trains of pulses.

      1. Steady trains of pulses are generated by a pulser device and by two coupled timing devices.

      2. A variable train of pulses is generated by a timing device couple that responds to light intensity, which is thereby measured.

      3. An occasional train of pulses is generated by a gated timing device.

    3. Signals that drive forceful movements are based on bursts of pulses.

      1. Pulse bursts are defined within a Ψ-form.

      2. Σ-forms organize stiff, bound, half-bound and sparse patterns of pulse bursts defined in Ψ-forms.

  2. Muscle-like movements are constructed from ensembles of elemental twitches.

    1. A force fiber device produces elemental twitches.

      1. In a rigidly affixed and fully extended force fiber device, pulse bursts in Ψ-forms drive forceful twitches, operating with a linear variation.

      2. A mobile force fiber device incorporates variations in the force of a twitch that depend on fiber length and movement.

      3. Operations of the elemental force fiber device exemplify classes of devices that store, transfer and convert Virtual Energy.

    2. A duet uses two force fiber devices driven by two bursting devices to hold and move a weight quasi-statically.

      1. Two force fiber devices operating as a duet are driven by reciprocating and repeating bursting devices to produce steady forces that hold a weight.

      2. VE operations of the repeating burster device ("burster") are based on those of the force fiber device, with significant modifications.

      3. Force fiber duets driven by reciprocating and repeating bursters have repertoires of quasi-static positions and movements.

      4. The duet design is modified for non-reciprocating operations so that an input signal in a stiff Σ-form produces quasi-static movements.

      5. A design with a new storage burster device produces both steady forces and quasi-static changes driven by a substitution signal in a sparse Σ-form.

      6. The duet with added storage burster device is further modified so that the class of substitution input signals is extended to all Σ-forms.

    3. Repertoires of quasi-static movements that are produced by four force fiber devices illustrate primal operational principles of VE constructions.

      1. Two independent, confluent duets with disparate sizes of force fiber devices add and interweave large and small forces quasi-statically.

      2. Two opposing duets produce a spectrum of balancing positions.

      3. A quartet of force fiber devices produces a repertoire of quasi-static movements, classified as doubled movements and cycling movements.

      4. Construction of a self-cycling quartet with direct triggering and with a storage burster for a substitution signal develops operations that "run steadily on their own" and that are also subject to changes.

      5. In a self-cycling quartet with reverse triggering, substitution input and additional adjustment inputs, distinct and different operations produce changes identified with "forms" and "feelings."

    4. An octet force device, built from doubled self-cycling quartets with substitution and adjustment inputs, is a motor unit suitable for use in larger constructions.

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5/1/15 (rev. March 2017)

Copyright © 2015 Robert Kovsky