IMHO, Form is the most important name in all physics and philosophy. It is even more important than the name Existence. Personally I think a good sound understanding of the word Form sidesteps a need for the word Exist, and perhaps we will see this below. But back to my main point: Understanding Form is the epitome of education. In intellectual life it doesn't get any more radical than the name Form. Get used to it. This is the future.
Some synonyms of Form are shape, figure, structure, architecture, configuration, pattern.
Why is the word Form so important? The word Form is used to resolve the ontology of the word referent (that which the word refers to). We can only lump word referents into two possible categories:
What we as humans are able to do is name objects and concepts. Obviously we then use these names in discourse. However the only way we have of discerning whether or not these names refer to objects or to concepts is through the name Form. Does the word referent have Form??? Yes or no? Answer me this right here and now. If yes then the word refers to an Object. If no then the word refers to Concept.
Form allows us to perform a critical analysis of any given discourse. Form allows us to discover stealthily placed figures of speech, contradictions and so on. Form leads one to intellectual heaven because this simple name forces one to take account for the endless spill of words coming out of everyone's mouth.
Unfortunately, with the development of the human race we have lost sight of the fact that we are constantly naming objects and concepts thus there is confusion over what a name refers to. Some treat objects as concepts and vice versa. What is even worse some literally assign motion to concepts (e.g. time moves, space moves, etc.) and except to be taken seriously. So in these tumultuous intellectual times we need the word Form to lead us out of the darkness.
What Does Form Refer To?
In word ontology or generally for the ancient discipline of philosophy and physics, the name Form has a specialized meaning. I REPEAT, a specialized meaning. Form has nothing to do with an observer and his opinion. It is not as if we are looking at Florence Welch on stage at the Nobel Peace Prize banquet and thinking to ourselves: "She has a nice form". Nice implies opinion and observer. Form in this radical ontological context has nothing to do with appearance, opinion, and observer. Mother Nature doesn't care about these.
Form is a root name that relates what is observer INDEPENDENT. An object has form regardless of whether anyone so happens to look at it. The Sun had Form before the first human observed it.
Form is what we call a native (innate) and intrinsic (inseparable) property of an object. An intrinsic property is what an object has of itself, independent of the observer. In contrast, extrinsic properties depend on an object's relationship with other objects, especially a human observer (I modify observer with human because some lamebrains think atoms are observers). Some examples of extrinsic properties are size, color, dimension (length, width, height), taste, volume, weight, etc. Back in the day, extrinsic properties were called accidents. Extrinsic properties require connected objects and usually an observer to determine, yet Form, an intrinsic property, requires no observer, human or otherwise. Objects do not acquire Form through human opinion!
Form could also be called a static property. Form is a snapshot of the object. A picture. Not a movie. A moving object is a movie. If a word referent has Form then it should be able to be illustrated. Take the example of the electron. If the name electron refers to an object, one should be able to draw a picture of it to give an idea of what it may look like in reality so as to explain how it works. But if electron refers to a concept then it would be impossible to draw a picture of it and the quantum mechanics and particle physicist just might be laughing behind the doors saying the joke is on you, you fool!
Form is the single innate and intrinsic property that belongs to all objects without exception. Form is the one property that relates the object itself from its immediate surrounding. How an object takes on it's Form is given in a Theory that may assume what imparts Form to that Object. But what does Form refer to?
Form refers to a what. ('what' functions as a placeholder)
Form refers to what is bound.
Form refers to that which is bound from the immediate surrounding.
The 'what' that is bound is considered holistically, as a whole, as one.
The name Bound plays prominently in this definition so some synonyms of bound are demarcated, separated, differentiated, contained, defined, delimited, etc. Objects need no definition since they are defined of themselves. IN contrast concepts always need definition because they refer to relational activity rooted in the brain. God knows what is happening between most people's ears.
Notice that in so called 2D objects like squares and circles that it is impossible to imagine anything that is bound, contained, demarcated, separated, delimited, differentiated, etc within said circle, square or any 2D image. So some people calls these abstract objects, but in any case the fact that nothing is contained implies that these abstract 2D object CANNOT POSSIBLY EXIST.
Form refers to a what, i.e. what is contained in context to the object in question, itself. What is included or excluded is a matter of context. Form always implies a boundary or boundaries. But how those boundaries are set is made manifest in a Theory. What imparts Form to the object in question?
The History of Form
Thinkers, for centuries, from time immemorial have brainstormed for a more thorough understanding of the name Form. And some have even flirted with a perfect understanding of the name Form. All of these quotes are somewhat useful. Please note that the words thing, body, corporeal, matter are basically synonymous with Object. A more refined definition of matter is the set of objects.
Historical Thinkers On Form:
by form I mean the essence of each thing, and its primary substance -- Aristotle, (Metaphysics, Ch. 7)
For the form cannot desert matter, because it is inseparable from it and matter itself cannot be deprived of form -- Robert Grosseteste (On Light)
The first corporeal form is in my opinion light ---Grosseteste (On Light)
The chief point of divergence is that for Grosseteste matter is not pure potency, as it was for Aristotle, but possesses in its own right a certain minimal reality. (Riedl, Clare C. (Translator) Notes on Grosseteste)
Form, that is to say, the first corporeal form, or light, is in his view more than the 'form of corporeity,' the principle of extension, it is also a principle of activity. . . The intrinsic principle from which this motion or activity proceeds must be the form . . . (From Notes on Grosseteste)
Light furnishes therefore the principle of continuity in nature, for as the first corporeal form it is common to all things in the universe from the lowest of the elements, earth, up to and including even the firmament. Thus 'all things are one by the perfection of one light.' (From Notes on Grosseteste)
For where there is no shape nor order, nothing either cometh or goeth -- Augustine (Confessions, Book 12, Ch. 9)
where there is no form there can be no distinction between "this" or "that” -- Augustine (Confessions, Book 12, Ch. 13)
The term 'body' [object] therefore can signify that which has such a form as allows the determination of three dimensions in it, prescinding from everything else, so that from that form no further perfection may follow. If anything else is added, it will be outside the meaning of body thus understood. (Aquinas, On Being and Essence) [in other words there are extrinsic and artificial properties that we relate but these cannot define an object. Only form can define an object]
The term body [object] can also be taken to mean a thing having a form such that three dimensions can be counted in it, no matter what the form may be . . . (Aquinas, On Being and Essence)
Now matter and form are so related that form gives being to matter (Aquinas, On Being and Essence) [in other words all objects in the set named matter have the native-inherent property called form and this may qualify them under the category existence].
Matter then cannot exist without some form but there can be a form without matter (Aquinas, On Being and Essence) [in other words he realized that there is a first form that underlies the set of objects, i.e. matter].
As Avicenna says, "The quiddity of a simple substance is the simple entity itself," (Aquinas, On Being and Essence) [in other words there is a fundamental object that belongs to all objects in the set of matter and this object is what is bound of itself]
A boundary is that which is an extremity of anything. (Aristotle, Metaphysics)
A figure is that which is contained by a boundary or boundaries.” (Euclid, Elements)
Who existing in the form of God, did not consider being equal with God something to be grasped (Saint Paul) [Even God has Form].
A complete answer would amount to a history of thought, for in one sense everything possesses form. In some contexts the Greek words Eidos, Schema, and Morphe, and the Latin word Forma, which are often translated as “form” mean no less than “the qualities which make anything what it is.” (Notes from Accent on Form by Whyte)
Around 1250 we find Thomas Aquinas regarding forma as the essential quality or determining principle of every individual thing. (Notes on Accent on Form by Whyte)
But more importantly, shape is what an object has before light even reaches our eyes from the object. (Fatfist, Physics--What is Shape and Why Does it Define an Object?)
All of these thinkers basically understood that Form goes hand in hand with Object. Object and Form are inseparable. It is impossible for an Object not to have Form. Without Form there is no Object. An Object without Form is irrational, inconceivable and impossible.
These thinkers may not have agreed on their definition of Form and of course their is a never-ending inter-generational brainstorms and debates over these ontological concepts, however it is easy to see that Form was a pivotal name wed to Object.
The buck stops at Form. Form is the Res Ipsa Loquitur (the thing itself speaks). Once we have understood the name Form there is no circling back to concepts in a perfect understanding and definition of the name Object. Object and Form are inseparable. Form belongs to all Objects. Lack of Form = Concept.
Form has no quality, property, or attribute. Once we have conceived Form there are no more conceptual relations in regards to the Object. To suggest so much is patently circular and contradictory. A quality does not have a quality. Property does not have property. Attribute does not have attribute.
The Fundamental Object
Skipping ahead, we noticed that many throughout history have traced back to what is called a fundamental object or fundamental entity or simple entity, or first form or minimal reality. This fundamental object imparts form to all objects, contains all objects, that separates all objects, differentiates all objects etc. from the H atom to the most massive star. We call this fundamental entity the Thread. It is called Thread, probably because if we could see it (which is impossible because it mediates light signals) it would appear similar to our macro Thread. We have this Thread assumed to be the finest object in existence. The Thread stands out on its own. The Thread is 3D. Height and width is extremely tiny. Length is immeasurable.
We can assume Thread and use this to give a very basic explanation of how a woman takes on her form. Thread crisscrossing and converging from all the atoms of the Universe imparts form to her body. A continual feed of Thread fed from atoms contains or binds or separates her body from all others. And so she qualifies as an object. And yet her body is connected to all others through this same Thread which underlies all objects in the set called matter. All the atoms of the Universe are connected by this Thread.
The Thread has Form, a wholly unique Form unlike any of the other objects we consider such as man, woman, horse, star, etc. The Thread is uniform, monolithic, always the same, never changes its Form. What I noticed with this fundamental object, this Thread is that assuming reality, it is impossible to imagine anything imparting Form to the Thread unless some sort of miracle happened as in God creating the Thread. In reality, space, a bloody devious relational activity of the brain CANNOT possibly impart Form to the Thread or any Object whatsoever. The Thread is sort of self-contained. Its just there. The thing speaks for itself. And it doesn't change Form because the referent of Form or the 'what' that is bound in context to Thread never changes. What the Thread is made out of never changes. The philosophers above already figured this out hundreds of years ago but they had no assumed object called Thread.
It is interesting: what is bound in reference to Thread is almost the same as saying what the Thread is made of. It's essence, its substance. That I or anyone else does not know. One would have to fly up to Heaven and ask God. But we can call it Gaedium or Paulium. Even more interesting is that this Thread seems to have the ability to intersect, superpose, overlap, or interface up to a critical density.
Now what does this all seem to imply?
Like a member of my forum suggested it seems to imply that the Thread is what they call topologically invariant. The Thread retains its Form even when it is led by atoms to oscillate, wave, rotate, etc. This must have something to do with what we are calling rigid like behavior or stiff spring like behavior. This may have something to do with how it behaves, like perhaps how it naturally straightens or smooths when it separates atoms at great distances and they move away from each other (Red Shift). Perhaps this is why I imagine it to naturally react in equal and opposite directions in chemical reactions. Or how I imagined it being naturally resilient to being 'bent' so to speak. Some of these ideas helped me to conceive of electron, but this never-changing quality really hit home when a member of my forum started using the fancy word: "topological invariance". Perhaps this never-changing quality is part of the reason we measure these strange quantums in what I think is double helical Thread activity through atoms.
I think one can make a case for this using brute reason alone.
So perhaps this is another sort of enigmatic quality of the Thread that we need to consider. Not only does it superpose, but it also retains it's Form when roused to activity via atoms. Notice that this is not a superficial view. At first glance one would say that the Thread is always changing Form but Form takes on a specialized meaning in physics and philosophy. Form refers to what is bound.