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Member Antony Garrett Lisi wrote on Apr. 27, 2007 @ 18:12 GMT
There has always been an aura of mystical speculation surrounding quantum mechanics and the role of consciousness. The interpretation of wave function collapse (usually referred to as "the measurement problem") seems to lie at the heart of it. So, I'd like to consider the following:

The role of the observer making an observation in quantum mechanics is the same as that of a classical observer making an observation of a system that may inhabit one of a number of possibilities. You look at it, and then you know what happened -- until you look at it, you don't know and can only assign probabilities to what may have happened. The weirdness of quantum mechanics is that the possibilities interfere with one another, whereas classically they don't.

I'm curious if others here would agree or disagree with this description, and how it might need to be amended or changed?

this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

post approved

Eric Stanley Reiter replied on Aug. 6, 2012 @ 04:24 GMT
Please let me chime in again. The issue of possibilities of interfering with each other can be resolved by experiment. My experiments have not been popularized and may be shocking, but are all well described in my essay. The model of a collapse of wave function psi, where psi is either probabilistic or material, is based on past experiments interpreted whereby a single particle is emitted, and psi is used to determine where and when that SINGLE particle is absorbed. Right? Well, what if there was an experiment that demonstrated that there were TWO particle-like detection events to correspond to a single emission event. That would change everything. Right? Well, that is what my experiments show, for both matter and light. A gamma-ray source that emits one-at-a-time is placed before a beam-splitter, and two detectors read detection events in-coincidence at rates exceeding chance. A similar experiment was performed with alpha-rays (helium nucli). Examining the case for (gamma, alpha): this seems to violate energy conservation. But energy is conserved if we give up the always-applicable (photon, particle atom) model and accept that there was (energy, proto-helium) in a detection-loading-center ahead of time that loaded-up and triggered a threshold detection event in each detector: the loading theory. The experiments show the flaw of QM, there is no wave function collapse, and resolution of the measurement problem. Please see current FQXI essay: A Challenge to Quantized Absorption by Experiment and Theory

Thank you, Eric Stanley Reiter

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H. Dieter Zeh wrote on Apr. 30, 2007 @ 15:17 GMT
What you say comes close to what is often claimed in the Copenhagen interpretation. Therefore, the collapse of the wave function is NOT a dynamical process in this interpretation (better called a "non-interpretation").

However, in classical physics you can and do assume that only one of the possibilities is real (that is why you call them possibilities). It is your knowledge that was incomplete before the observation. Mere possibilities cannot interfere with one another to give effects in reality. In particular, if you would use the dynamical laws to trace back in time the improved information about the real state, you would also get improved knowledge about the past. This is different in quantum theory (for pure states): In order to obtain the correct state in the past (that may have been recorded in a previous measurement), you need all apparent "possibilities" (all components of the wave function - including the non-observed ones). So they must have equally been real.

Hence, either a collapse has occurred - or the world has branched into many quasi-classical "worlds". (The difference is that they could in principle recombine.) Heisenberg's original hope that the quantum system was disturbed during the measurement is not tenable. Instead, various systems (the observed one, the apparatus, the observer, and the environment) get entangled.

post approved

Eric Reiter replied on Jun. 28, 2012 @ 19:41 GMT
What? Any disturbance that lets you know something happened will absorb energy.

No. Heisenberg knew any disturbance will absorb energy and change the system. So what is this entangled thing? Psychic forces over distance? You do not need it. It just needs acknowledgement of the pre-loaded state in the unquantum loading theory. Then you get to change the sign on the uncertainty principle and you get to see what is happening from the inside-out.

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Siamak wrote on May. 8, 2007 @ 09:31 GMT
Can anyone explain what is the rule of various amplitudes in the equation of wave function in the Many World Interpretation of QM.

I mean they can't show probability because all possible outcomes are happening as a result of branching, so what those coefficients tell us.

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Bruno Marchal wrote on May. 8, 2007 @ 11:06 GMT
The rule of amplitudes in the equation of the wave function gives *personal* expectation of finding oneself in front of such or such eigenvalue after a measurement.

If we are "memory machine", as in Everett's work, we are in principle duplicable. In a classical self-duplication, from an outsider (third person) perspective, there is no probabilities and the process of duplication can be considered as purely deterministic. But, even in this classical case, from the personal point of view of each duplicated person, it seems as if they have *personally" live an indeterminacy. The probabilities are purely first personal, and the amplitudes can be be related to expected proportion of possible outcomes taken from a continuum of possibilities (in non relativistic QM).

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FQXi Administrator Anthony Aguirre wrote on May. 8, 2007 @ 15:28 GMT
As I have recently expressed here , while the MWI is nice in several ways, it seems to me to bury the probabalistic nature of QM, as well as the 'Born rule' for the probabilities, in the very hardest of places: how our conscious experience evolves through time. I might be willing to believe a probability interpretation if it could be shown that the number of 'copies' of me that experienced outcome A versus B was given by the relative squared amplitudes of the wavefunction; but I don't see how that emerges, at all, from the many-worlds view applied to a single experiment with two outcomes of highly different probabilities.

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Count Iblis wrote on May. 8, 2007 @ 18:42 GMT
I think that it is misleading to say that in the MWI the universe is constatly branching. The branching only appears to happen from the perspective of local observers. The entire multiverse may well be in an exact eigenstate of the Hamiltonian and thus only evolve in a trivial way.

Suppose then that a static wavefunction is the real wavefiunction of the multiverse. Time evolution experienced by some observer is then just an illusion. In reality the observer and his time evolved counterpart are different components of the same wavefunction related by a unitary transformation.

Now, if a unitarity transformation, not necessarly the time evolution operator, that maps one region of Hilbert space into another then those two regions are pretty much the same (compare this with rotations in ordinary space). So, if here exists an intrinsic measure or probability distribution it should be invariant under unitary transformations. This, surely is the basis for the Born rule.

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Member Antony Garrett Lisi wrote on May. 8, 2007 @ 23:48 GMT
Hmm, many good points (Including several from Dieter Zeh, an inventor of the idea of quantum decoherence -- a good sign for the FQXi forums!).

I think the main difficulty in accepting the probabilistic (or, as Matthew Leifer just described, epistemic) interpretation of quantum mechanics is the frequentist view of probability. The frequentist view requires us to think of "many copies" of reality, which, as Anthony points out, clashes with our experience. In contrast, the Bayesian view of probability as a likelihood of what we will experience is a much better fit with quantum mechanics.

A frequentist insists that an experiment be repeated many times, or in many locations, and the probability determined by the number of occurrences of one thing or another. For a frequentist, each experiment is very much a separate, concrete instance with a unique outcome. But a Bayesian thinks of a probability as a likelihood of how one occurrence might turn out -- she is used to holding multiple possible "realities" in her head at once. These are "many worlds," but they are not the concrete worlds of the frequentist but possible worlds, with likelihoods. When she makes a measurement, she gets new information and adjusts these likelihoods accordingly (collapse). A Bayesian's view of the world really is as a collection of possibilities with likelihoods. It is but a small step from this view of probability to quantum mechanics, in which the probabilities interfere.

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Siamak (M.Ravanbakhsh) wrote on May. 9, 2007 @ 07:44 GMT

That would be a satisfactory explanation if the wave equation is meaningless to the third person. Is it? Because if it's not there should be a bias based on the wave function, and no probabilistic interpretation for that bias.

And if it's the case... then what is the third person point of view? what does he see? Can we expect for a third person point of view to be less informative than the firs person view?


I just read your post. I guess the name is 'Prestige' ;)


I guess in contrast to what you said, local observers would not be aware of branching.


And about the frequentist and Bayesian view point. It seems as long as we're dealing with a quantum phenomenon any probabilistic interpretation would be based on frequencies, regardless of further interpretation which might be Bayesian. Maybe I'm missing your point.

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Bruno Marchal wrote on May. 9, 2007 @ 14:14 GMT

You seem to say that the pure classical indeterminacy would provide a satisfactory explanation of the quantum amplitude in case the wave function is meaningless from a third person point of view. Actually I do agree with you, although I am not sure that our agreement share the same basis. Perhaps you could elaborate a little bit. The problem, once, like Everett or some other many-worlders, we accept the computationalist or the mechanist hypothesis in the cognitive science, is that in such a case, we have to accept an a priori strong form of computationalist first person indeterminacy: we don't know and cannot know which computational history support us. This does not mean that the Universal Wave Function is really meaningless, but it shows that, as far as the Universal Wave is meaningful, we should recover it without postulating it. From this I tend to believe that in fine we have to justify physics from computer science or number theory or more generally mathematics. This would lead to a form of platonic mathematicalism. Well, this is related to my own work in the field. You could look at this text where I explain a little bit more in a hopefully not too much technical way. But ok, I mainly agree with you, I think.

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Siamak(M.Ravanbakhsh) wrote on May. 10, 2007 @ 18:33 GMT
Thanks for your link. I've already read some parts of it and I would finish it soon. But frankly I dindn't get your point in the previous post. 'we don't know and cannot know which computational history support us'

Here is the the problem:

-I asked what is the meaning of amplitude in the wave function in the MWI of QM.

-Your answer is: it shows the indeterminacy of the first person in finding himself in one of probable situations.

-I say, What about the third person. My belief is he should have a more comprehensive picture of the event of the branching(at least the same amount!). How the third person gonna percieve branching? What is the role of amplitude in the third person point of view? We know that it wont have a probabilistic effect. Are you claiming that the wave equation just describes the first person view?(I guess you're not... so?)

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Anonymous wrote on May. 12, 2007 @ 12:42 GMT
Hmmm... I see the third person view as a description of what perhaps *is*, and it has to include, in some way, what I believe in in some indubitable manner, i.e elementary arithmetic. I have done on a very elementary presentation of Arithmetic what Everett has done for pure (= without collapse) Quantum Mechanics. Technically this is akin to a reconstruction of Lucas-Penrose (erroneous) use of Gödel.Godel shows only that if we are machine then we cannot know which machine we are, nor can we know which computations would support us. This gives the arithmetical basis for different notion of indeterminacy.

You were right above: the ontic third person view is poorer than the epistemological first person observer, but the observable are inside (modal) view of that elementary arithmetic.

Neither the third person nor the first person really perceive (arithmetical) branching, except that both can infer it somehow like mendeleev infer the existence of non observed atoms by completing a theoretical+empirical table.

All I say, mainly, is that, about the nature of "matter", some "theological" points can be made precise enough so as to be tested empirically. I am thinking sending an attempt to a mailing list to explain the whole thing, but "applied mathematical logic" is not something simple to explain without describing at least some "machine" or formal systems. I will give you the link.

Accepting Everett (on "matter"), I would say the Wave equation belongs to the third person view, but accepting the computationalist hypothesis ("I am a machine", not: "the universe is a machine"), then, well, I think quite plausible that the wave equation belongs to a non trivial notion of first person plural notions, but it is yet an open problem!

Still preliminary results are going in the direction that in the "many-worlds", the worlds are perhaps more subjective constructs than strict Everetian would appreciate, I don't know. All points of view are represented by modal variant of Godel-Lob arithmetical provability logics. Those are made necessary as a consequence of incompleteness, but sound machines can discover them by their self-referential provability andf inferability powers.

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Anonymous wrote on May. 12, 2007 @ 13:08 GMT
Oh! I was short. What Everett did for QM, was the obvious (obligatory with any monism) idea of embedding the "physicist" in reality. Note that this was taken for granted by Newton: physicist obeys to the gravitional law! Otto Rossler, and according to him Boscovitch, but there is also Hans Primas, Finkelstein and probably many others realized that this embedding leads by itself to non trivial invariance principles. Rossler concludes that physics is the science of the interface between us and the "rest". This is quite coherent with the generalized embedding of the "mathematician" in "arithmetic/number-theory/computer-science.

Actually the arithmetical embedding leads to a purely arithmetical, but empirically falsifiable, interpretation of Plotinus' (300 AD) theory of Matter. I present this here (CIE 2007).

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Siamak(M.Ravanbakhsh) wrote on May. 14, 2007 @ 09:19 GMT
Thank you Bruno, it was descriptive.√Ω

I believe Everet's view remains no room for subjectivity of physics which is √Ωbecoming more prevalent as a result of recent experiments.√Ω At last we still have the problem of mind and a subjective description of the world seems more attractive.

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Bruno Marchal wrote on May. 15, 2007 @ 10:17 GMT
Hmmm ... I would say yes, ... and no.

Yes, because Everett can be said having rendered the quantum facts coherent with a "theory of mind" which has a venerable tradition (mechanism). Indeed, Everett has substituted the unintelligible wave collapse by a mechanist assumption, allowing the observer to obey to the linear wave equation. It has then singled out the necessity of distinguishing third person descriptions (like the Quantum Wave describing a couple observer-observed, and first person descriptions, like the subjectivity of the observer describing its own *relative* memory, and thus has anticipated the rather succesfull decoherence theory (imo).

No, because Everett is not aware (well, few people seems to be aware) that once we assume mechanism or computationalism, the machine are, in principle, confronted to a bigger (a priori) form of indeterminacy, making a priori still stranger the quantum indeterminacy.

If we take seriously the mechanist hypothesis or the computational or digital version (hereafter named comp), we have to justify why the quantum (consistent) histories win the "measure battle" which, with comp, involved many type of possibly non quantum-like histories.

But Everett underestimated without doubt the subtleties of what a self-observing machine can be. It is here that computer science and mathematical logic can offer hope to justify why the quantum laws seems (correctly) to stabilize statistically.

If you want, with comp, matter, and in particular its destructive interference features, seems a priori even *more* weird. We cannot, for the comp-reason decribed above, directly appeal to Gleason theorem or to decoherence theorems, we have to justify that move directly from a more thorough study of what a digital memory machine can prove and guess correctly about herself and her possible histories. It is still possible that such a line would refute the mechanist thesis, but the preliminary results I got seem on the contrary to consolidate the marriage between the quantum and the digital.

Note that such approach could demistify, not only the collapse, but also the relation between consciousness, quasi definable in this setting by unconscious or automatic guesses in a reality (cf Helmholtz), and the quantum reality (capable of stabilizing those guesses through some "entangling" of consistent computational histories.

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Ulrich Mohrhoff wrote on Jun. 12, 2007 @ 05:07 GMT
I somehow missed how and by whom the wave function collapse was demystified. As some of you know, my way of demystifying it is to demystify wave function evolution, which appears to be taken for granted here. I suppose we all agree that the wave function serves to assign probabilities to the possible outcomes of measurements. We disagree on the meaning of "probability" (a problem much older than QM), on what constitutes a measurement, and on why measurements are given special treatment by the general framework of contemporary physics. Leaving these questions alone, I propose (have done so, will do so) that the time dependence of the wave function is a dependence on the time of the measurement to the possible outcomes of which it serves to assign probabilities. It is not the continuous dependence on time of a physical state of affairs of any kind. In other words, the wave function has neither two modes of evolution (unitary and collapse) nor one (unitary) but none. It is an algorithm, not the kind of thing that evolves.

Then what about the time between two successive measurements? The only way to make sense of this notion is to think of it as the time of an unperformed measurement — a measurement that could have been but was not performed in the meantime. We can of course continue to regale us with stories purporting to describe what happens between successive measurements, since they are not even wrong. If you want to check such a story, you must make a measurement, yet by making a measurement you learn nothing about what happens between measurements.

What bugs me about all these discussions (collapse or no collapse while evolution is taken for granted) is that they drown out the real questions concerning the ontological implications of the testable ways quantum mechanics assigns probabilities in actual measurement contexts.

For further thoughts in this direction please visit This Quantum World or check out my papers.

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pauljpease wrote on Nov. 15, 2007 @ 23:16 GMT
I'm an outsider so forgive me if my comments seem naive. It is clear you all know details that I do not know, yet great thinkers often ignore details because it can lead you astray (e.g. "Mathematical Discovery: Hadamard Resurected). For example, Einstein didn't know more details than his peers, but he did question their assumptions.

Did relativity and quantum theory evolve from classical...

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Steve Colmer wrote on Nov. 19, 2007 @ 20:13 GMT
So - if the MWI holds true - does that mean which lottery numbers one might select is irrevelent - and what is relevant is the moment one decides to check them..? Presumably any combination of numbers is a winning combination in some region of the multiverse - pick the right moment for checking them and I 'collapse' into a winning region for the number set I've chosen..?

Although I like this idea as it removes any blame on my part for picking the 'wrong numbers' - it still doesn't help me win the lottery...

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Jonas Pate wrote on Dec. 14, 2007 @ 09:07 GMT
I posted this in the FAQ by accident, so I'm posting again here

I'm a complete non-scientist, but in trying to understand your theory, I was reminded of Carl Jung, who believed that mankind often created symbols in an attempt to reconnect with the unconscious " archetypes" that he believed formed the essence of the universe.

Jung was convinced that these archetypes were psychoid, that is, "they shape matter (nature) as well as mind (psyche)" That archetypes are elemental forces which play a vital role in the creation of the world and of the human mind itself.

so when I saw your youtube video of E8-- it looks so much like so many primal man-made symbols that Jung would flip over-- suddenly your theory had a real power for me, even if I couldn't understand the details of the science. so for that -- thanks, dude. you're my official new hero.

I don't know if the theory is "factually" correct, but I'm sure it's instinctually correct

as a soul surfer my bet is you've had some of these same thoughts. care to comment?

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Gevin Giorbran wrote on Dec. 23, 2007 @ 01:13 GMT
Trying to preserve the original question posed, how does the measurement problem relate to the existential fact that until the observer makes an observation, they don't know and can only assign probabilities to what may become reality upon observation?

Time or consciousness as experienced by the observer is in some way linear, I am not sure how either concept could be sustained otherwise, but it is also paradoxically true that the observed cannot also be linear. The observed world (the source of information) exists adjacent or lateral to the linear stream of consciousness (time), a simple analogy being the observer sitting and watching a movie film. The observed film is a sequence of frames (quantum) and only appears to be linear (classical), but something has to bind the frames together (the observer). If objects in the film, or if the classical objects of our observations instead followed linear paths from point A to B we all know they would instantly become trapped by the infinite measure of steps within any distance.

So the picture we have then is of a linear observer (time) passing through a sequence of static frames. The observer, let’s call him/her “the pilot” is the only required linear element in this model. The world relative to each pilot is quantum mechanical, even other observers, meaning the lateral world is a construction or a series of discrete states or moments. However, the duration of time spent in any given frame or any collection of frames is always zero, and cannot be otherwise, since this would also lead to insurmountable infinities.

Time in this framework is not a duration in which something classical exists, time is rather a direction in space that travels from one unique frame to another, unique from the directions within each frame. Such directions in space are fourth dimensional, each direction is foundationally dependent on the primary adjacent frames, but they have no length in any given frame. In the same way movie frames create a sense of time, this fourth dimensional space is dependent upon change, it is dependent on objects having unique positions relative to other objects (adjacent the observer). The result is a unique volume different in character from the frames (expansion, collapse, curvature), as well as a unique sense of time (change) radically distinct from the actual existence of the frames. The result is that both the position and the momentum of a classical object cannot be determined, since there is no momentum in a given frame, and no duration or position in between the unique configurations of any two frames.

This I think is the foundation of why the observer’s observations are probabilistic, but since I am not a member of the club I will remain quiet unless spoken to.

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Gevin Giorbran wrote on Dec. 25, 2007 @ 09:30 GMT
Garrett, I guess this is why I have become so disappointed in scientists, because they never want to discuss anything off the beaten path. They are always so afraid of looking unprofessional or unscientific or unintelligent. It is as if we live in a brutal dictatorship and everyone is afraid to discuss freedom. Consequently you can’t discuss anything unique with scientists, no matter how...

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Gevin wrote on Dec. 25, 2007 @ 22:20 GMT
So it just occurred to me that if this is true, then the classical world and the quantum world are the same. Even a linear path would branch. For example, suppose the step you are on is the perfectly uniform singularity of the big bang. If this state expands the next step (any change) would be less dense and smooth, but there also might be variations in the expansion, which are equally as possible in the next step. There are many different variations and only one smooth next step. Both are possible but the variations are more probable.

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Anonymous wrote on Jul. 28, 2008 @ 08:39 GMT
There are three fundamental and interrelated relationships of reference for perspective. The three fundamental relationships of reference for perspective are the relationship of the dimensions of Cartesian coordinates with the dimensions of polar coordinates, the relationship of finite with the infinite, and the relationship of 'still' with motion (or constant motion with accelerated motion). Each...

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Don Limuti wrote on Aug. 13, 2008 @ 00:49 GMT
Please visit the Zeno Physics web site.

This site investigates the mathematics/Physics boundary using Zeno's paradox on Achilles arrow as the entry point.

From a very basic beginning it proceeds to answer Smolin's Five problems that need to be addressed by any new theory of everything.

attachments: For_You.jpg

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Brian Fraser wrote on Oct. 24, 2008 @ 07:48 GMT
Here is an easy-to-read paper on Quantum Mechanics that a student wrote for a class on "Religion and Modern Culture": Reflective Essay. Although the topic is officially about religious beliefs, the article points out some very pertinent things that have been overlooked in Quantum Mechanics.

You can find a much more extensive presentation on similar themes at Intuitive Concepts in Quantum Mechanics.

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amrit wrote on Dec. 8, 2008 @ 13:21 GMT
into scientific expariment observer is consciousness itself

the process of observation follows:

experiment-eyes-mind elaboration-experience(observer)

attachments: INTERACTION_BETWEEN_SPACETIME_GRAVITY_AND_CONSCIOUSNESS__SORLI__2008.pdf, 6._Consciousness_As_A_Research_Tool_Into_Space_And_Time.pdf

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Brian Beverly wrote on Jan. 1, 2009 @ 01:48 GMT
"an aura of mystical speculation surrounding quantum mechanics and the role of consciousness."

I think the mystical interpretation sends a cold shiver down the spine of most skeptical scientists. For all intents and purposes Dieter Zeh and decoherence have resolved the measurement problem. I'm content to leave the ontology a mystery, but I think entropy may provide a reasonable explanation...

view entire post

attachments: daerengD_Time_Paradigm.pdf

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Don Limuti ( wrote on Jan. 16, 2009 @ 07:07 GMT
The Postulate: Until you look at it (the quantum or classical outcome), you don't know and can only assign probabilities to what may have happened. The weirdness of quantum mechanics is that the possibilities interfere with one another, whereas classically they don't.

I'm curious if others here would agree or disagree with this description, and how it might need to be amended or changed?

1. I would get specific and ask the question as: Where will the mass be when I observe it next?

2. Then I would say that the position of the mass will always be as given by quantum mechanics with interference taken into account. And this is true for both quantum and classical systems.

3. In quantum systems the wavelength of the mass is far greater than the physical dimensions of the mass and interference of the probabilities has an effect on the outcome.

4. In classical systems the wavelength of the mass is well within the dimensions of the mass and the probability of the outcome is not effected by interference.

Quantum mechanics covers it all.

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Brian Beverly wrote on Jan. 20, 2009 @ 19:33 GMT
The current mystical mechanics seems to be centered around the use of imaginary time. I would appreciate it if someone would explain how imaginary time is justified.

The measurement problem in physics is where it is implied that imaginary time is ordered:


The mathematical axioms tell us that complex numbers can not be ordered.

Order Axioms:

1) A number can not be less than itself

2) x > y, x < y, or x = y

3) if x > 0 and y > 0, then xy > 0

4) if x < y, then for all z, x + z < z + y

5) if x < y, then for all z, xz < yz

set x = i and y = 2i and z= 2 + i

1) makes sense

2) i < 2i makes sense

3) a bit tricky:

0 = 0 + 0i and i = 0 +1i therefore i>0 and 2i>0

(i)(2i) > 0 ---> -2 > 0 FALSE!

4) 2 + 2i < 2 + 3i (complex # is of the form a + bi)

5) This is the key axiom!

xz = what exactly? xz or x*z (* is complex conjugate i*=-i)

If we distribute xz as we do for real numbers then axiom 5 is false. If we take the complex conjugate x*z then axiom 5 is true.

Quantum mechanics relies on C* algebra which is ordered. What is the big idea of C* algebra? C*C, multiply a complex number by a complex conjugate and you end up with a real ordered/countable number.

By the axioms of math the measurement problem should not exist in physics and neither should mystical mechanics.

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amrit wrote on Jan. 22, 2009 @ 08:47 GMT
As consciousness is a basic frequency of quanta of space and human nerve system can vibrate with it, consciousness can influence outcome of an experiment

attachments: 1_Indirect_and_Direct_Quantum_Information_and_Quantum_Energy_Transfer_Sorli__2009.pdf

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Daniel wrote on Jan. 22, 2009 @ 18:21 GMT
WOW!! hows about a somewhat normal interpretation saying a probability wave is like finding a drop of water in a puddle. One goes to the puddle for the drop and knows he came to this puddle for a specific kind of drop but doesn't know exactly which drop he gets. He knows where in the puddle he got the drop the disturbances in the puddle ripple from the point. however the puddle is forever changed by his retrieval. One is not separate from an experiment One can only be part of an experiment

ps. hopefully my paper will be out for mid spring!!

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atomiton1 wrote on Jan. 25, 2009 @ 03:39 GMT
The brain releases certain waves and vibrations (all of wich can be disrupted). Some can escape the the body and can affect things around it. If you were able to look at them, you would see that they have different frequencys. In any case, they are in fact energies that can affect things around it.

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Brian Beverly wrote on Jan. 29, 2009 @ 07:21 GMT
atomiton1 here is some scientific reasoning that debunks the pseudoscientific, "secret" and "law of attraction".

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atomiton1 wrote on Feb. 2, 2009 @ 04:03 GMT
Brian, sweet. I read the paper. Now I can go into more detail: The paper although has Its problems in my eyes. Well they didnt think to cover all the possiblities. The most reasonable explanation I can think of is: the neurons in the brain must be temp. controled. when one is activated it would affect those around it. In a specific order (I stress specific) till it reaches the spine. sort of like binary code but alot more specific.

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atomiton1 wrote on Feb. 2, 2009 @ 21:09 GMT
Complex is what i mean to say... anyway i believe that with all those nerves. You could probobly store new info in them. Heck i bet you could even decode them on a computer. Realy all youd have to do is intercept them from the top of the spine.

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Georgina Parry wrote on Feb. 22, 2009 @ 23:15 GMT
Part of the difficulty in comprehending the world of sub atomic particles and their behaviour, the structure and development of the universe and the fundamental forces, including gravity has been due to the failure to recognise the Prime reality interface.

Full comprehension of the Prime (subjective-objective) reality interface requires the coming together of biology and physics in the understanding of the subjective experience of reality that is created by the mind, and how this effects our comprehension of the physical material world external to the organism. Integrating a growing understanding of neuroscience with fields of physics that have been difficult to comprehend using physics and mathematics alone.

(The field of dynamical neuroscience relying as it does on the mathematics of chaos and complexity theory is most promising in this regard since it is the same maths that can be used to explain the physics of the formation of all matter and is thus a link between the external environment and internal environment of the organism.)

Science has developed from examination of the world via observation and experiment. This process is held up as the essential step that makes science objective and therefore superior to other forms of investigation and interpretation of the world. There has however been a failure to take account of information transfer from objective material reality and how the processing of that information renders it into subjective experience and comprehension, a subjective reality.

Observation always results in subjective reality outcome, which is distinct from the material physical reality that is under investigation. An observation does not have to be made by a living being to become subjective reality. The observation depends upon information being received. That information is not the objective material reality itself but is a link between the physical objective reality and the subjective reality formed from the information being received and then processed to allow comprehension. As soon as the information is detected or received a subjective reality is formed. According to this model, the subjective reality comes into existence only then but the material objective reality exists within 4D space whether an observation is made or not. However it can not be known directly, since in order to know it a subjective reality must be formed. The existence of the prime reality interface raises the possibility that the objective material universe is quite different from the subjective experience of it, due to the processing of inputs received. The objective material is not itself the experience of it. However contemplation of this is metaphysics rather than a matter that can be resolved by scientific modelling and investigation -from The prime Quaternion model.

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Stefan W. wrote on May. 7, 2009 @ 13:48 GMT
If a global wave-function exists wich evolves in a strictly deterministic manner, this would be in my opinion in somewhat contrast to a certain assumption in traditional and modern darwinian evolution theory.

There it is widely accepted that consciousness and intelligence evolved due to dynamical, macroscopic selection effects wich "offered the opportunity" for an organism to extend its lifetime and reproduction chances with the help of internal "precognition".

This "extention" of the organism's lifetime with internal "precognition" is well-thought-out by the intuitiv insight that the more intelligence an organism has, the more it can predict certain circumstances in the future and avoid them or otherwise handle them.

According to Popper this organism can "simulate" certain circumstances in its consciousness, especially his own behaviour regarding certain future events, similar to a scientific experiment. One could label such an experiment as a "gedankenexperiment" ("thought experiment"). If the organism would act out this visualized behaviour in reality instead of simulating it, it would risk to fail and to die.

So according to Karl Popper in many cases of such a simulation the organism survives future events due to its ability to first simulate some events. If a simulation leads to a "negative" result, only the false assumptions of this simulation then could "die out" but not the organism(s) itself.

The sharp contrast from evolution theory to determinism for me is, that the operational explanation of consciousness is somewhat meaningless in a world that's strictly predetermined. Now one can argue that the evolution of consciousness and intelligence can not be enabled - untill a strict determinism is universal valid. The reason for this conclusion would be because local and causal physical dynamics can't precalculate its own future dynamics until a level of classical, stable macrocosmos appears in the quantum world (that macrocosmos makes brains possible to evolve). And this would surely presuppose universal entanglement and decoherence.

Would that mean that an intelligent organism has no free will? Because even though it seems that nature can simulate some of its own future dynamics (due to consciousness) - only at the macroscopic level! - it can't really chance this future? In this case (human) consciousness and intelligence is really an "epiphenomenon". But how are our very best scientific conclusions related to a strictly deterministic world, in other words, is it too "anthropic" to wonder about the ability of nature (with nature i mean especially quantum mechanics) to comprehend itself?

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Stefan W. wrote on May. 7, 2009 @ 23:48 GMT
little, but perhaps important type-error in my previous post...:

should read: "... only at the macroscopic level! - it can't really change this future?" (instead of "chance").

Thanks to this very interesting forum!

Stefan W.

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amrit wrote on May. 14, 2009 @ 09:37 GMT
Important task of theoretical physics today is to free observer from his imprisonment into psychological time.

yours amrit

attachments: TIME_IS_DERIVED_FROM_MOTION_Sorli_2009.pdf

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Brian Beverly wrote on May. 23, 2009 @ 05:17 GMT
Hey Stefan,

I'm a little slow when it comes to understanding the philosophical jargon so I'm not sure I get your big idea.

'There it is widely accepted that consciousness and intelligence evolved due to dynamical, macroscopic selection effects which 'offered the opportunity' for an organism to extend its lifetime and reproduction chances with the help of internal precognition."

Could this be retranslated as intelligence is a sexually selected trait [something similar to a peacock's tail (is this philosophy misogynistic?!)].

What are your thoughts on punctuated equilibrium? What do you think about climate change and its role in human evolution?

How is this tying into the wavefunction? Is PSI(x,t) = exp[(iEt/-h-)] the determinism you're referring to? What causes the wavefunction to collapse?

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Brian Beverly wrote on May. 23, 2009 @ 05:22 GMT
Amrit I can tell you are very persistent with your ideas which is admirable and I've read a lot of your attachments. Are you willing to share any explicit derivations so I can see it worked out step by step?

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Stefan W. wrote on May. 23, 2009 @ 08:52 GMT
Dear Brian,

let me briefly expose what i meant with what you call a big idea (it isn't so much a big idea in my opinion, merely a discrepancy between two very sucessful theories):

The evolutionary theory in its neo-darwinian form assumes the arising of consciousness as an "epiphenomenon", not as a phenomenon "in its own right". Evolutionary theory, as it is widely accepted, explains...

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jr wrote on Jun. 2, 2009 @ 19:19 GMT
Have a look at footnote 8 on page 76

of Feynman "QED The strange theory of light and matter"

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Andrew wrote on Oct. 25, 2009 @ 22:56 GMT
Why do people place so much emphasis on "measurement" and wave function collapse when surely it is "interaction". Measurement requires a measurer, interaction occurs regardless of whether anyone is measuring. I have seen the point made forcefully by much better minds than mine, but it just does not seem to stick in popular or casual usage.

Andrew Scott

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Narendra Nath wrote on Nov. 19, 2009 @ 16:29 GMT
The entire Physics is centred around what is observed and the observer who perceives what he/she has observed. The tools of experimentation add further complexity to the observer. Instruments have their own response times that differ. Thus, the measurement is never instantaneous as it avarages over the response time. Thus two measurements of the same process/ phenomenon may well differ. The truth can only be ascertained if we can know what happens at each instant of time. Thus, experimental sensitivity and accuracy play a significant part as to what has been observed. Further, the observers subjectivity involves the mind. It may well limit the objectivity of the observer. The best way for one to conduct an experiment will be to observe a process as a function of shorter and shorter response time. It is further possibe for an experimentalist to reduce the response time of the sensers used by cloipping the electronic signal that it generates for a given event. It may well provide guidence as to be able to extrapolate the observed process towarsd a measurement at an 'instant'.

The theory has also got their own limitations by way of the chosen dependent and independent variables and the actual boundary conditions that are imposed on each of them. These can well result in entirely different set of conclusions. Every reaseracher has a human tendency to ignore his shortcomings and exaggerate his strengths, thereby distorting the objectivity of the treatment presented.

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Marcel-Marie LeBel wrote on Nov. 30, 2009 @ 18:09 GMT
Here is how I view the uncertainty principle and the decoherence problem.

1) Macroscopic conceptual error:

An oil tanker half a kilometer long has an uncertainty of position of half a kilometer; anywhere on this tanker is tanker. This is normal. It may appear as a weird uncertainty when we compare the half kilometer precision to that of the small GPS antenna on the mast which give a meter or so precision of position. Conclusion: To reduce objects to point particle does naturally introduce a conceptual uncertainty.

2) The Quantum conceptual error:

In the quantum realm, a moving particle is composed of the particle and of its associated wave (1 lambda); this is the whole tanker. The moving particle has a non uniform existence which is motion. Position and speed are part of the same boat; indissociable. A higher precision in position looses the associated wave which is the expression of its non-uniform existence i.e. speed. A higher precision of the speed i.e. th wavelenght, looses the position of the particle.

At the quantum realm, position and speed is replaced by a single concept; probability of existence. Associated with the moving particle is a single lambda Pilot wave that constitutes its probability wave, direction and speed.

Conclusion: Decoherence is the shared probability of existence.

3) Back to macroscopic

If one looks at the solar system from a distance, what is the probability of finding the earth in a specific position? This probability is equal to the ratio of time spent by earth in that position on sum of time spent in the rest of its orbit around the sun. The sum existence of the total orbit is one. The relative existence Re in one place is a function of the time spent in that place compared to all other available places. Where it spends more time it is more likely to be and be found. Conversely, something that exists tends to exist more where it can stay longer, because it is there longer. (e.g. gravitation)

Existence as a function of time spent in one place is valid for particles or planets ...

I don't know if this decohere it for you ...


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Anonymous wrote on Nov. 30, 2009 @ 21:15 GMT
o.k. One background idea may be missing in the above post to understand the point.

The particle and the vacuum are made of the same stuff, but different forms of it. This vacuum is a continually exploding process that we refer to as the passage of time. In essence, because it is of the same nature as the vacuum,

the particle replaces the vacuum by logical substitution, a substitution that is felt away from the particle as local dip in the rate of passage of time. (see model of explosive substitution in my essay)

The particle jiggles at the bottom of this time rate well which takes the shape of a sphere of probability. This spherical shape describes a uniform existence, uniform in all directions. If we push this particle, we skew this sphere of probability and cause the particle to have now a higher probability of existence in one specific direction. The sphere now takes the shape of a wave of probability; lower rate in front where the particle sits, higher rate at the back half of the wave. (remember that the particle replaces the vacuum and therefore always sits in the lower rate part of the wave). The particle is not falling in a time rate gradient (like in gravitation); it is actually being pushed by the higher time rate back half of the wave. In other words, a bump in the time rate in the vacuum makes things less likely to be there. A dip in the time rate in the vacuum makes things more likely to be or move there. Put them together and you have a directional traveling wave of time rate i.e a traveling wave of probability, i.e. pure motion.

In our calculations, this is where we have to use pi, to correlate values of spherical probability, or existence, to linear probability of existence, or motion.

hope this helps ...


p.s. Think this is a bit of metaphysics? Of course it is. The existence of the whole universe is metaphysical! Every experience or measurement exists only as a binary relationship. The universe does not require us in order to exist and

to work.

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Narendra Nath wrote on Dec. 15, 2009 @ 12:54 GMT
i wonder if my comments of Nov., 19 are not worthy of any rejoinders. I again visited the site and found some comments by Atomiton1. These have interesting aspects where Physicists need to join neurologists in active collaboration. An year back, i read a science news report on an Internet site concerning the experiments conducted by Oxford University Prof. Eccles who is also a Nobel Prize winner. He was studying the activities of the neurons in the Supplementary Motor Area ( SMA ) of the brain, under sedation. He was not expecting any activity. However, he observed activity in a regular fashion. He postulated that it must have been caused by stimuli, external to the human body. He then suggested that such activities must be getting recorded in a non-physical shield that surrounds the SMA of the brain. Such records are not expected to disappear after the death of that body. This aspect needs closure scrutiny using sensitive electrical sensors where the physicist can help provide the technologies available today. For example there are nano-structured dyes that can be directed into individual cells, where these act as nano voltmeters measuring the electric fields and changes therein. These changes then will help us unrival the mysteries involved between the life giving soul and the physical body and what happens when a person dies and subsequent to it! The distinction between brain and human mind may be better understood and what not. The future lies in a meaningful science conducted through closure collaboration between the physical and the live sciences! i happen to emphasize such linkage in the essay posted this year on the FQXI Essay Contest site via ' What Physics Can & Can't Do?'.It will be interesting what others think about such possible investigations.

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Anonymous wrote on Dec. 26, 2009 @ 16:43 GMT

“What bugs me about all these discussions (collapse or no collapse while evolution is taken for granted) is that they drown out the real questions concerning the ontological implications of the testable ways quantum mechanics assigns probabilities in actual measurement contexts.”

I think that the wave collapse is a conceptual artefact. I don`t see a radio photon a 100km in wavelength collapsing on the radio antenna. I goes by and induces as it goes the emf in the antenna. At the light photon wavelength size it is easy to assimilate absorption to instantaneity i.e. a particle. Lets make the photon a soliton and forget about this collapse thing!

The question as you say is what ontological conclusion or inferences can we draw from our experience of QM? In what concerns the fundamental nature of the universe, physics is but a method of gathering clues for us to deduce what the universe is made of and what makes it work. The true nature or state of the universe is metaphysical and we can never experience it directly, because an experience is a relationship, not an isolated state…

My essay shows the universe as being ruled by logic. Since the universe evolves by itself it must also be able to operate on logic (logical operations). This leaves us no choice but to admit only one substance and one cause in the universe. The logical creation of the universe from the rule of non-contradiction allows only time as a substance in the universe. This monism allows one to understand a lot of what physics describes.

This shows that local variable time rate and probability of finding a particle are interchangeable. We can’t measure the first one so we use the other one. (This is your ontological connection). A slower time rate in one spot makes the particle stay there longer which translates in a greater chance for us of finding it here. Period. In essence, the wave function describes the distribution of highs and lows in the time rate that determine where the particle stays longer or quickly moves on, which is the probability of us finding it or not. Is this too simple to understand? Or is there some other barrier I don’t know about?


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Vincent Wilmot wrote on Feb. 5, 2010 @ 13:28 GMT
Most attempts to incorporate observation and mearurement into physics seem maybe too narrowly human-oriented or anthropomorphic. In line with Relational Quantum Mechanics, it can reasonably be posited that no physical event can happen without some information or signal being observed and responded to. Then the key requirements of the physical universe would seem to be not particles and/or waves and humans; but information emitters, information responders and response time ? as in review of Newton's Principia

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T H Ray wrote on Feb. 22, 2010 @ 19:29 GMT

In my unpublished paper "On Breaking the Time Barrier," I give time a physical definition ("n-dimensional infinitely orientable metric on self avoiding random walk") and follow through the consequences of a time metric dissipative over n dimensions, n > 4. One of these conseqeunces is an interpretation for collapse of the wave function:

"If time, as we assert, has an independent physical reality, it must be discontinuous with R^n and necessarily continuous with the n-dimensional Hilbert space. Necessarily so, because the continuity of a metric in n dimensional space implies discontinuity with R^n

by the invariance of dimension. The 3-space boundary in 3 + 1 dimension (Minkowski) space-time is the distance-time relation that changes sign in the metric signature + + + - on a pseudo-Riemannian manifold of Lorentzian metric properties; “curved space.” Compare with the Riemannian manifold in n dimensions of m eigenvalues, assuming non-degeneracy, which is smooth and positive definite. There are no timelike vectors, an important property for our definition of time, because an infinitely orientable

metric on a non-orientable surface is smoothly connected over dimensions

n - 1. We mean that the Lorentzian metric is compelled to obey local Minkowski space limits of time-distance. We mean that the time metric seeks the least dimension path in n-dimensional event space, which makes time an entirely scalar quantity. The magnitude {T} describes every time t --> T at which a measurement is recorded and all information about t is lost. This model preserves irreversibility in the measure space without sacrificing the

smoothly continuous function of a non-perturbative theory. I.e., we have the means to determine the large-scale bounds of quantum uncertainty in the relativistic limit:"

We then go on to calculate that result.


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Bubba Gump wrote on Feb. 24, 2010 @ 16:27 GMT
The fact that terms like 'demystified' are still being employed shows the crux of the issue in contemporary physics, which is the failure of many in the community to let go of their previously held ontological assumptions regarding the universe. The problem is that many want to see the structure of the world in a certain way and cannot accept any interpretation which does not conform to the neat and tidy world of classical reductionism.

For those who cling to the philosophical school of classical reductionism, which still describes the vast majority of the scientific community, the 'strangeness' of QM is the Elephant in the room that everyone sees but nobody wants to admit is real. It is obvious that the scientific community has always been uncomfortable with the hand we have been dealt and the last century has been full of various attempts to explain why the elephant is an illusion or why it must be an illusion because it does not jive with the pre-packged ontological assumptions that are born out of the desire to see the world through the crytsal-clear lens of classical reductionism.

The problem is not which interpretation of QM is correct, the problem is a direct result of trying to interpret the emperical results through the eyes of 18th-century Analytical Mechanics and classic determinism. We ain't in Kansas anymore Toto. Pretending that we are will be an exercise in futility.

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Bubba Gump wrote on Feb. 26, 2010 @ 20:13 GMT
I wanted to present a question for discussion. Unfortunately, I cannot create a new post. There is no option available on the menu. What gives?


How much do the Philosophical prejudices held by Physicists preclude them from entertaining formulations that infer implications about the nature of reality that diverge from these Philosophical ideals?

The History of Physics is replete with such examples. One example is Einstein's failure to accept QM as a complete system due to the fact that the Ontological implications of the theory did not sit well with his notion of strict causal determinism.

We like to think of Physicists as entirely objective creatures who go about their business by appealing only to the empirical facts that are set before them. Physicists are human beings and like other humans, they carry with them metaphysical and emotional prejudices regarding the ontological nature of the world. Like other humans, they do not like to let go of these prejudices, even in the face of hard-core empirical facts, as was the case with Einstein.

All one has to do is read a few popular accounts of Modern Physics, both past and present, and you will often be presented with the opinion that any fundamental theory of physical structure will possess a beauty and elegance that is derived from its simplicity. Who says so? Is that something that we desire or something that is a logical necessity?

It is common to hear that some aspect of the Universe must be this way or that and, more often than not, this notion comes from philosophical and emotional prejudices. The tendency then is to not even entertain any idea which does not pass an arbitrary litmus test. This fact, along with the Sociology and Politics of the scientific enterprise, is a cause for concern. These factors have generated a herd mentality in the Physics community and have created a stagnate environment in which straying too far from the herd is shunned. I can use a number of words or adjectives to describe the state of Modern Physics. Objective is not one of them.

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Brian Beverly replied on Feb. 27, 2010 @ 12:41 GMT
"How much do the Philosophical prejudices held by Physicists preclude them from entertaining formulations that infer implications about the nature of reality that diverge from these Philosophical ideals?"


"All one has to do is read a few popular accounts of Modern Physics, both past and present, and you will often be presented with the opinion that any fundamental theory of physical structure will possess a beauty and elegance that is derived from its simplicity. Who says so? Is that something that we desire or something that is a logical necessity?"

I think it was William Occam who said something like that, but he phrased it as more of a correlation.

The classical elephant in the room was assumed to be spherical, frictionless and in a vacuum. The quantum elephant is assumed to be a zombified cat existing in multiple universes.

There are a multiplicity of possible explanations. Which school of thought do you like and why?

Bubba, thank you for the intelligent and insightful post.

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Bubba Gump wrote on Feb. 27, 2010 @ 22:49 GMT
Hi Brian, thanks for the reply. I wanted to start a new topic on this subject so as not to diverge too much from the scope of the original thread. Unfortunately, I cannot create a new post. My apologies to the OP for hijacking his thread.

Too often you find someone employing Ocaam's Razor as if it is a measuring tool for scientific truth or validity. Simplicity does not imply validity and...

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Brian Beverly replied on Feb. 28, 2010 @ 23:42 GMT

That was well said, thank you. I am a dilettante so I am always appreciative of a wise physicist who will take the time to answer some of my questions.

"Very few have stopped to consider that perhaps everyone is digging for oil in the wrong place. Perhaps the community needs to find a totally different conceptual landscape in which to probe for oil. Unfortunately, budgets and manpower are all tied up and little of anything is left for any undertaking which challenges the status quo or heads in a novel direction. Physics is no longer 19'th century Natural Philosophy where scientists work largely autonomously and can head out into new ventures on their own. The current politics, sociology, and budgetary considerations of the 21'st century scientific enterprise preclude the possibility of a paradigm shift happening any time soon."

If what you're saying is true then what are scientists doing? I understand that experimental physics is expensive and difficult. However, theoretical physics is dirt cheap by comparison so why is there a lack of diversity and resistance to new ideas? Why must it be expensive to shift the paradigm? I thought the overhead for a new idea was only the cost of paper, pencils and the physicist's time. Physics should be full of well supported nascent ideas.

If there is a precedent in physics for scientists working autonomously and heading out in new directions then why does science have metrics that work against that creative process? Why is an isolated population necessary for an organisms evolution? Did Einstein support his initial research with a sinecure or did he pursue tenure?

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Bubba Gump replied on Mar. 1, 2010 @ 00:32 GMT
Hello again Brian.

From my perspective, I can sum up the issue in one word -- Politics.

When discussing the subject, it is important to separate the institution of Science proper from the institutions that pay the theorists to conduct the business of science in an academic setting.

A University is an exceedingly competitive environment. Every year, the typical university puts out more PhD's in Physics than there are positions available in research. An institution is very unlikely to hire a researcher that does not either have an interest or background in the areas of research that represents the focal point of the institution.

Scientists are like anyone else. They need to buy food, clothing, and shelter. The University will judge a scientist on a number of factors, one of which is their ability to publish as many papers as possible in one of these areas of research -- and in the shortest amount of time possible. In short, unless you are already tenured and have established yourself, you will not risk your future by venturing outside of the confines established by the status quo. By the time you have established yourself, you have usually reached a level of complacency with the field that you will not venture out. By that time, you are more interested in validating your life's work rather than starting something new.

There currently exists one large focal point of theoretical research that represents the status quo--one which will go unnamed. If you are fresh and young and wish to find your niche, you will either get with this program or find your potential future to be FUBAR.

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Bubba Gump wrote on Mar. 2, 2010 @ 00:52 GMT
Back to the subject of interpretations.

I think it's worthwhile to take a quick survey of ideas and concepts throughout history that presented similar conceptual and ontological difficulties. It certainly won't offer any solutions to our problem but will give us an idea of how such issues eventually were resolved.

If you every get a chance, browse through Newton's Principia and...

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Anonymous wrote on Mar. 3, 2010 @ 00:59 GMT
Continuing with the discussion(or monologue in this case). I can never resist discussing this subject, even on Internet message boards. It's a good way to just sit back and unwind -- some might say a very geeky way, but a good way nonetheless. :)

I am not trying to sustain a running monologue but am trying to add a different dimension to the subject. Jump in y'all !

There are lots of...

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Brian Beverly wrote on Mar. 3, 2010 @ 05:35 GMT

Your lucid comments are a pleasure to read. Ever thought of writing physics books? What would you consider to be a measurement in quantum physics? Why should the wavefunction collapse to an eigenvalue once there is a measurement? What specifically do you question in the ontological framework? We are solid beings yet we still understand plasma physics (except for me I got a C in that course). I'd also be interested if you have any historical connections or philosophical musings on entropy.

I agree, we are not in kansas anymore...quantum can be a trip.

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Bubba Gump wrote on Mar. 10, 2010 @ 01:52 GMT
Hello again, Brian.

As Feynman once stated, "If you think you understand Quantum Mechanics, you don't understand Quantum Mechanics."

I am reluctant to offer any specific opinions without qualifying them with arguments as to why I believe any individual interpretation or opinion holds merits over another--or why I formulate the specific opinions that I do. I don't want to come across as if I am skirting the question or engaging in hyperbole. I just prefer to think about these topics from a different angle.

I believe it is more productive to start by trying to understand the factors that lead a scientists or any individual to choose one interpretation of another. How does someone come to choose the MW interpretation over Copenhagen, or vice-versa? What is the criteria of selection and where does the criteria originate?

As I mentioned before, with our current state of knowledge, the problem with interpreting quantum mechanics is that we lack a formal means of deciding which interpretation corresponds to reality--it is theoretically possible that we may never know. Outside of possessing data that contradicts an interpretation, all interpretations are equally valid answers to the question , 'What is QM really saying about the ontological nature of reality on both the macro and micro scales?'. This is really what people want to know.

The acceptance of an interpretation of QM often results more from a desire to make a selection that appeals to our metaphysical inclinations rather than from having thought through the issue in as objective a manner as possible and arrived at a conclusion. We end up grocery shopping and making selections that are agreeable to our palate -- "I will take two jelly doughnuts, two eclairs, a and a bagel, please -- and throw in a coffee, extra cream." The unpopular items like Brussel Sprouts are largely ignored and can be seen gathering dust on the shelf.

In the absence of evidence to support any claim to validity, I believe that it is especially important that we think about why we have come to prefer our own interpretations over another and can rationally articulate our choice to accept this interpretation as a probable ontological narrative that describes reality. It is important that we do so because how we choose to interpret phenomenon often determines in what direction we head in trying to advance our knowledge of the subject. Just saying, "I think the MW worlds interpretation is true" is no different than saying, "I think the Yankees are a better team than the Red Sox". Can you back up the opinions with some sort of argument or is it something that arises out of a whim or personal preference? Many interpretations come across as if they were formulated in the same way one would attempt to find a rational way to jam a square peg into a round hole in an attempt to hold onto a classical metaphysical conception of physical reality.

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Bubba Gump wrote on Mar. 10, 2010 @ 19:48 GMT
Continue on with this subject..

Violation of Bell's Inequalities appear to have put us in the position of either rejecting the idea of hidden variables or accepting the notion of hidden variables as they apply to non-locality.

Some theorists who do not like the experimental results will say, "I will concede the existence of non-locality as long as I get to retain the ability to rely...

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Bubba Gump wrote on Mar. 10, 2010 @ 20:11 GMT
Also, I wanted to add that a degree of 'weirdness' is not a valid criterion of selection when accepting a theory and my last statement did not mean to imply it should be. If it was, nobody would ever have accepted Quantum Mechanics. I am pointing out that Nature need not conform to our metaphysical predilections and we should never proceed with the inherent assumption that any fundamental theory is not obliged to jive with neat and tidy ontological notions concerning physical reality. Nature plays it’s own game.We don’t get to set the rules.

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Pankaj Seth wrote on Mar. 12, 2010 @ 05:41 GMT
I have been intrigued by QM as well. I think its possible to utilize rationality (science) and draw a map of self/world that is quite paradoxical to a materialist point of view. Information via the senses displays a picture of disparate matter moving through space and time. A closer look via QM also discloses a space-time transcendent oneness between matter/energy separated in space/time.

The subject-object dualism which is a strong feature at the macro realm begins to looks like a non-duality at the quantum realm. The questions we ask, "What am I?", "What is the world?" imply a primary, fundamental division between a pure subject who asks the questions and the object of which it is asked, but the subject-object divide may be secondary, or approximate feature of reality.

It appears that when matter is probed to its depths, its existence in a noumenal space/time setting is challenged. Space and time themselves appear to be phenomenon, rather than noumenon. But even this distinction does not move past the subject-object divide.

A rational inquiry into self and world via science has brought us to the edge of a new understanding. I think the chief finding here is that the subject-object divide within consciousness and reality is not fundamental. Consciousness, within which all appears is far more mysterious than we thought.

An approach which studies consciousness directly, subjectively would seem to fit our prescription now. This is what I find most compelling about Yoga... that here is a methodology worked out over millienia for doing just that. It does not replace science, that is not its genius. But it offers another, now crucial direction in which to take our inquiry.

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Anonymous wrote on Mar. 12, 2010 @ 18:53 GMT
Not sure how yoga could help solve the roblem of Wave Function collapse. I can't imagine Physicists doing Yoga while working out a calculation.

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Pankaj Seth replied on Mar. 13, 2010 @ 03:35 GMT
That paints a hilarious picture in my mind -- physicists doing the downward dog while calculating. I should have been clearer about what I meant by the word 'Yoga'. I tend to forget that most persons think about Yoga as a bunch of postures, when its actually a method to explore consciousness directly, as opposed to constructing abstract models of its nature and function. The postures are almost irrelevant to Yoga in its actual context, but that's whats out there for sale.

I assume that there is no disagreement about the "paradoxical" subject-object relationship seen in the double slit experiment, for example. We have been trying to "understand" the implications of what is abstracted as "wave function collapse", and this certainly leads us to wondering about the relationship between consciousness and matter. Even Anton Zeilinger has met with the Dalai Lama to see if there might be Buddhist insights available on this mystery. Yoga is actually a close cousin of Buddhism and speaks on the same things in a similar vein -- hence my comment.

So, I wondered if there was any interest in a direct exploration of consciousness, so that the "paradox" could perhaps be better understood. There seems to be a paradigm shift going on which is moving us away from reductionism and materialism -- heck, there is even a statue of the patron of Yoga, the Dancing Shiva, at CERN.


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Bubba Gump wrote on Mar. 13, 2010 @ 19:29 GMT

When people explore the nature of consciousness in an attempt to resolve the weirdness of QM, they are making an implicit assumption about the scope and structure of the theory we have built -- namely, that the theory itself represents something more than an elaborate Turing machine which we have constructed to allow us to model phenomenon on the level of detail beyond our senses....

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Pankaj Seth replied on Mar. 13, 2010 @ 20:53 GMT
Hi Bubba,

I agree with what you say. Heisenberg said the same: "The ontology of materialism rested upon the illusion that the kind of existence, the direct "actuality" of the world around us, can be extrapolated into the atomic range. This extrapolation is impossible, however. Bohr said the same, "There is no quantum world. There is only an abstract physical description. It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature."

I agree that what we have is a hard won formalism, that is brilliantly constructed and we can get on with the business of Techne, but Scientia, as approached via materialism is at an end. We still have our "paradoxical" experimental results to think about in terms of what they might be telling us about self/world. Let's stick with the double slit experiment, and variations such as 'Delayed choice quantum eraser". What's paradoxical to us is that the state of knowledge of the experimenter and the experimental results are correlated, entangled. In other words, the categories of 'mind' and 'matter' that are separable at the human sensory level are not separable when we look as deeply as we have with QM. Now this is not a surprise to either Vedanta nor Yoga. If a culture does not get stuck at the Cartesian division, then its not so difficult to deduce that its impossible to even conceive of phenomenon without consciousness in place… ergo, consciousness and phenomenon are a unity; or, mind and matter are a unity. How could it be otherwise?

As seekers of ourselves, we can take other lessons from what QM has shown us too, and this has got nothing to do with the formalism which includes the "wave function collapse". We have, in the West, considered ourselves as material beings with an emergent consciousness added on sometime during evolution. This picture is under great stress because now we have seen that matter and mind are inseparable. Given this, how would consciousness arise some time later than matter? Phenomenon and mind cannot be separated. There was no Cartesian split. It was only the Cartesian Spell that we were under. Our modern ideas about cosmology will not survive this either. But no matter, what survives or doesn't survive is irrelevant to someone actually interested in finding out about self/world. We have tried to study matter to its depth. We have chased it down and it is not a self-existent category apart from consciousness. Many cultures had already figured this out. So now what? The other pole, mind, turns out to not be an emergent property of matter, but just as primary, maybe more so, and that deserves our attention. It turns out it is very, very accessible… thus the recourse to Yoga now would seem to fit our prescription.

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Bubba Gump wrote on Mar. 13, 2010 @ 21:13 GMT
Hello again.

It is an interesting to offer our philosophical musings but it won't supply much assistance once we go into the laboratory. We will still find the same results for our experiments. I simply take an instrumentalist view when it comes to intepretaitons and believe that it really makess no sense to try to even comprehend the subject of QM in a clssical reconstructionist way.

I say we blame all the confusion on Planck. If Planck's constant was zero, we wouldn't have needed to create this whole mess and would be able to envision atomic structure as tiny little marbles orbiting an Aggie.

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Pankaj Seth replied on Mar. 13, 2010 @ 22:34 GMT
If planck's constant was zero, then we would have found ourselves to be automatons in a massive machine. We have found ourselves at the doorstep of knowing ourselves a lot more deeply... I think as time goes by, more and more persons will walk through... the West will follow at some point.

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Bubba Gump replied on Mar. 14, 2010 @ 00:07 GMT
We need to make a distinction between Philosophy and Physics. What you are proposing is certainly open to philosophical discussion but it is neither falsifiable nor verifiable in the realm of scientific inquiry.

Science does not concern itself with questions of teleology. I am not saying such questions are not important, but they do not fall under the magisterium of the scientific method. Questions of teleology have preoccupied the mind of man since we developed the ability to form the abstract thought that allows us to form such questions.

As interpretations of QM are not currently subject to empirical verification or negation, it's pretty much a free-for-all out there. It can be easy to go overboard with the speculations and we are given a license to let our imaginations run wild. Again, it proves to be an interesting exercise but we should caution against equating our own interpretations as facts.

I remember back in the 80's when popular accounts of QM such as, "The Dancing Wu Li Masters' and "The Tao of Physics' came out. Scientists realized that lack of empirical verification essentially handed them a 'get out of jail free' card when offering their own interpretations to the public.

The result is that authors of these popular accounts of modern physics ran amok with wild and often bizarre stories that border on the nonsensical. They took ideas like the MW interpretations and turned them into fanciful stories that sound more like they were stolen from the script of an Episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine rather than from a science textbook. People liked to hear that in an alternate reality they were filthy rich and drove a Jag. The public forgets that we have no way of proving such wild takes and it is nothing but fanciful speculation at this point. In fact, some current contemporary theories haven't even been verified empirically, yet textbooks and popular accounts often portray reality as if multiverses and the like are real.

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Pankaj Seth replied on Mar. 14, 2010 @ 01:57 GMT
Yes, we need to be careful… but who exactly denies that we have found a non-separability of the 2 categories termed 'mind' and 'matter'? Does anyone question this anymore? This is not in the realm of speculation and philosophy, but empirical fact. This does not have to do with which interpretation of QM one wishes to believe.

There is all this bravado about following where the evidence...

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Bubba Gump wrote on Mar. 14, 2010 @ 04:26 GMT
Hi Pankej,

With the advent of QM, I agree that determinism and classical constructionism are no longer tenable; however, that does not infer that nature is structured in a way that defies some semblance of casual explanation that necessitates the introduction of a 'ghost in the machine.'

Science is not concerned with establishing truths and the questions and opinions you are presenting fall under the purvue of Philosophy. Science cannot arrive at truths as science relies on inductive inference, not deductive reasoning that starts with a set of axioms and ends up with proofs. The final judge of any proposition in science is not a deductive proof, but an observation. No matter how certain we are of our present theories, all it takes is a single observation to throw a monkey wrench into the picture. Theories are amenable to change, truth is not.

The Q&A you supplied, although interesting, simply represent opinions that represent the philosophical ideations of a particular individual. This does not mean such opinions are false simply because someone does not agree with them. It simply means that for a scientist, there is no way to empirically confirm or falsify any of these opinions as they are not subject to testing. In a practical sense, they serve no operational purpose to a scientist -- they represent background noise that can be ignored.

Now, I have already stated that our philosophical ideology may determine how we proceed when constructing testable hypothesis,;but, the hypothesis must be testable, or it is not science.

We need to be very cautious about confusing science with philosophy, especially when the subject of QM comes up. The Internet is full of the crazy crackpot theories when it comes to this subject. Just as with politics, everyone seems to have an opinion on what QM is really telling us. I am certainly not calling your position crazy and I am not implying that philosophy is not important, as it surely is. I greatly enjoy philosophy. It's just that we can get ahead of ourselves and scientists can end up sounding like snake-oil salesmen instead of scientists. I think the scientific community as a whole needs to calm the hell down about Quantum weirdness.

The position you hold is one that an individual is forced to either accept or deny, largely based on their own philosophical bias. Nobody has any way to deductively prove or empirically verify any such position.

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Pankaj Seth replied on Mar. 14, 2010 @ 17:40 GMT
We have probed the depths and have come face to face with the Quantum. This has led to terrible weapons as well as communications technology which can make the whole world as One. The Quantum has also led us to a deep reflection, and has pointed the attention back onto ourselves, to our own inner depths, towards an illumination we always wanted but didn't know how to approach.

The surface looks into the depths and receives all these possibilities. In Taoism, extreme Yin turns into Yang, extreme Yang turns into Yin. We have looked outwards as far as possible and have been led back to ourselves. We have been taught by the Quantum, that an objective stance eventually requires the exploration of our own subjectivity. Therein lies our next adventure where we shift from asking "What is the World?", to "Who asks that question?".

There is a mystical tradition in India known as "Spanda Karika" translated as "The Doctrine of Vibration". It states that at the depth of experience is a vibration, a discontinuous change, a flickering, which from an objective stance can be appreciated as an external existent that one can watch, but also that this flickering is the depth of oneself, the subject. This flickering is the coming and going of the world, but an even deeper understanding is that it is the self-movement of consciousness, of reality. There can be a looking upon this, or an identification with it. The former is a distant knowledge in the form of the subject-object distinction. The latter is the experience of the flickering reality to itself, which can be experienced as one's own deep nature. This self-experience is termed "Samadhi" meaning the non-distinction of subject and object. This is, finally, a self-illumination of the world, through any and all subjects in the world. This is also called "Moksha", meaning "The end of the road", or "Finishing up", or "Liberation/Freedom". It is said that this is what we crave, or that this is the movement of reality towards itself, that plays itself out in all subjects.

"Nothing perceived is independent of perception and perception differs not from the perceiver, therefore the universe is nothing but the perceiver."

"[This] Bliss", writes Abhinava, "is not like the intoxication of wine or that of riches, nor similar to union with the beloved. The manifestation of the light of consciousness is not like the ray of light from a lamp, sun or moon. When one frees oneself from accumulated multiplicity, the state of bliss is like that of putting down a burden; the manifestation of the Light is like the acquiring of a lost treasure, the domain of universal non-duality."

The Doctrine of Vibration: An analysis of the doctrines and practices of Kashmir Shaivism

Mark S. G. Dyczkowski - State University of New York Press, 1987

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Bubba Gump replied on Mar. 14, 2010 @ 19:37 GMT

The experimental study of radioactivity and fission led to the development of fission weapons. We could have built a bomb without any knowledge of QM whatsoever. All you need is the ability to produce enriched uranium and the technological capacity to bring two parts together into a critical mass without fizzling out.

Quantum teleportation and communication are still highly theoretical developments that have yet to bear any fruit. These are highly speculative subjects and researchers are really not sure to what extent we can make practical use of properties such as entanglement. The most promising area so far seems to be in quantum computing. As far as everything else, most experimentation to date has really not been that successful in doing much of anything other than dealing with systems of single pairs of entangled photons. IMO, the popular notion of Quantum Teleportation transporting humans and such is simply a wild fantasy, unless proven otherwise. So far, this idea has only been successful in selling pop-sci books to people who watch too much Star Trek.

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Anonymous wrote on Mar. 14, 2010 @ 20:23 GMT
Hi Bubba,

Re: Tool Making

In the West, the Cartesian dualism still persists. It is believed that mind looks upon a reality that exists independently of it. This is a metaphysical stance, rather than something disclosed by empiricism. This dualist position is not "Science", but "Metaphysics". A scientific position, given by empirical evidence is that "Nothing perceived is independent of perception."

The Kantian formulation of "Phenomenon-Noumenon" is also not a scientific position, given by empiricism. In fact, this is simply another dualism, a more subtle version of the Cartesian split, which cannot be supported by evidence either. We hope to say something about a "Veiled Reality", that exists independently of the perceiving subject, that exists outside of sentience, but we have no empirical basis to support such a position. It is a metaphysical position masquerading as a Scientific stance. The only thing that empiricism discloses, the only thing that there is evidence for is "Nothing perceived is independent of perception." This is a non-dualism, which is not a metaphysical stance, but an empirically derived and thus Scientific position.

The Cartesian stance, and even the Kantian stance are just that, stances, which are useful positions to take so as to get a particular sort of view, one that avails itself to a type of investigation we call "Science". And this is very powerful, gives us the ability to model the sensory display as mechanism, which has led to marvellous technological innovation. But if we do not step out of these stances, we might get lost in them, even losing ourselves, and ourselves and others as "mechanism".

Tools are great, but forgetting oneself is not. Thus, the Quantum, the flickering of the sensory display at its depths brings us back to "Scientia" (KNOWLEDGE), rather than getting lost within the models we make towards the pursuit of "Techne" (TOOL MAKING).

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Pankaj Seth replied on Mar. 14, 2010 @ 20:24 GMT
Forgot to put my name in above post... though you probably would've guessed. Thanks again.


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Bubba Gump wrote on Mar. 14, 2010 @ 21:39 GMT
Hi Pnakjaj,

This Web Site, I assume, is devoted to the discussions of issues related to the advancement of our scientific knowledge. I would therefore assume that most people who visit a board that falls under the auspices of science would be visiting to discuss various aspects of knowledge and theory-making that fall within that context. Debating the truth or falsehood of such an esoteric topic as mind/body dualism is not something that would be of value to someone who visits a web domain that is dedicated to discussion scientific theories. A neurologist might be interested in the subject, but probably not physicists.

Again, I am not saying such questions are not important -- they are. But everything has it's place. Discussing such topics on a board dedicated to physics is kind of like going to a Chinese restaurant and ordering a hamburger and fries.

What you are proposing is interesting to discuss but I am not sure how it adds to the goal of advancing our scientific understanding of nature. You obviously adhere to some form of idealism. But what practical value does such an opinion have for science? We will still measure the same mass for the hydrogen atom, the Earth will continue in it's orbit and we still will have no verified theory that unifies gravity with QM.

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pankaj Seth replied on Mar. 15, 2010 @ 02:19 GMT
Hi Bubba,

Let me point out that this portion of the forum is called "Ultimate Reality", and there are other portions where discussion should indeed be limited to whatever is suggested by their titles.

The words "Science" "Physics" and "Nature" have a long history, and what is meant or encompassed by these words has changed over time. This process of change continues even today. We are not at some end point of knowledge. Without discussion of foundational issues, as is the goal of this website, we will become ossified.

The Greek "Scientia" means knowledge, and the modern rendition "Science" is limited in its meaning when compared against the original. The Greek "Physis" is translated as "Nature", and it encompasses more than the modern use of the word "Physics" connotes. I believe that we have ample reasons, which I have stated in earlier posts, to revisit the meaning and use of these words. These are very, very important foundational issues, though they are less important to someone who has an instrumentalist approach. However, it was due to persons like Bohr, Heisenberg, Shrodinger and Einstein, who were certainly not instrumentalists, that we have made very hard won advances in our knowledge of nature, and as it turns out QM is telling us something very important about nature, including our own nature; this is bringing us back to the older, wider meanings of 'Scientia' and 'Physis'. There is change afoot, and I am a harbinger of that change, as are many others.

I would prefer to discuss the arguments that have been put forward, so as to test their veracity. But you have raised questions which are also important and in fact allow us to go further in our relationship to the very deepest foundational issues, as is the goal of this website. Thanks.


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Bubba Gump wrote on Mar. 15, 2010 @ 13:42 GMT

I was not suggesting that the questions should not be discussed. I was just pointing out that such philosophical opinions are ultimately of no value to science. Such opinions will not make any new predictions about the universe that can be measured or tested in a laboratory.

Science relies on empirical evidence gathered through observation. That's just the way it is. Philosophy relies on deductive reasoning that starts with premises or axioms and uses these as a basis to form an argument that necessitates a conclusion. Too often, people skip this part when stating their position. They simply state their own opinions without offering the rational justification they used to reach the conclusions that they hold. The opinions end up sounding more like something that appealed to emotions and desires, rather than reason -- i.e. wishful thinking.

Basically, I really don't understand what you are proposing and how it relates to furthering progress in science or philosophy. There is no way to empirically measure the veracity of the arguments you are putting forth regarding the nature of consciousness. There is no way to prove or disprove such a position rationally without making assumptions regarding the truth of religious traditions as they are present in Eastern mysticism.

To me, it sounds like esoteric musings on a theme. The onus is not on me to show your position to be false. I simply have no reason to accept it and nobody has supplied me any rational reason why I should accept it. In the absence of evidence to prove your position, it is on you to provide some rational basis for why I should accept your position and why your position offers more intrinsic value to a scientist than any of the other myriad of interpretations for QM.

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Pankaj Seth replied on Mar. 15, 2010 @ 16:11 GMT
Hi Bubba,

The modern, fragmented version of "Scientia" known as 'Science' makes many, many "is" statements. We are presented with many ontological claims, but Relativity and QM have shown us that it would be more accurate to state many of these claims as being phenomenological. This is a very, very important point. Ontological statements stand upon thin air, unless the underlying epistemology is also clearly stated. That is, it is salutary to say "Such is the case, when examined from this particular epistemic mode, or point of view". This removes ambiguity, which otherwise can and has caused us to become lost to ourselves, and the world to be inaccurately portrayed. This is the case, for example, with what is called the "Newtonian Worldview". Because we were not clear in stating our epistemological stance, we considered Newtonian statements as ontological. The advent of Relativity and QM have caused us to see our error, and we are now trying to correct our course. We are still stuck, there is resistance to change, but we must move ahead towards recognizing and shedding our errors. In the modern world, those who call themselves "scientists" and "philosophers" too often work apart from each other. Because of the dominance of the instrumentalist approach in modern science, foundational issues are weakly addressed, and thus the change required is needlessly slow. Rare are those persons who are scientists and philosophers both, and such persons have generally been at the forefront of our advancements of knowledge; Bohr and Heisenberg come to mind here. Instrumentalism is certainly a valuable approach and those so inclined should adopt it, but then we move from "Scientia" to "Techne". Instrumentalism can give us technological innovation, but is not nearly as strong as concerns understanding. We need both. Since it is obviously more difficult to be scientist and a philosopher, such persons are rare. However, it is such rare persons who best resolve epistemic, ontological and phenomenological issues. Without these persons, we would still be enmeshed in a Newtonian worldview, which actually we are still too much in. Ideally, we need the lead of persons who are a combination of scientist, philosopher, Artist and mystic. The Artist and the Mystic open up epistemic modes/approaches that would cause for a near complete approach to knowledge, when added to Science and Philosophy.

Modern physics is a human activity, and philosophical discussions allow us to stay away from becoming trapped in our own models, thus losing our true selves. Thanks.

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Pankaj Seth replied on Mar. 15, 2010 @ 16:29 GMT
Hi Bubba,

I agree with you when you say, "Science relies on empirical evidence gathered through observation. That's just the way it is.'

But then we must interpret these facts and try to make a coherent picture of self and world... and not just coherent, but also in a way that does not turn us into algorithmic computers and the world as a giant chain of cause-effect dynamics (mechanism). There is more to reality than these sorts of pictures, which in fact are still too common. Once the fact gathering has been done (a scientific endeavour), then the Art aspect of the process must be conducted... that is, to bring together all the little bits of facts back into a whole. If this is done poorly, then we have the position of thinking about self/world, for example, as in the Newtonian Worldview, which we are still caught up in. And this is where instrumentalism does not even know how caught it is in a false picture of the self/world, with dramatic effects on the self/world. How we envision ourselves and nature is too important to be left to the instrumentalists, and even to Physics... we need everyone's help here... the scientist, the philosopher, the priestess, the skeptic and the mystic. Thus this type of discussion must never stop.

PHYSICIST Anton Zeilinger @

“In the history of physics, we have learned that there are distinctions that we really should not make, such as between space and time... It could very well be that the distinction we make between information and reality is wrong. This is not saying that everything is just information. But it is saying that we need a new concept that encompasses or includes both.” Zeilinger smiled as he finished: “I throw this out as a challenge to our philosophy friends.”

A few weeks later I was looking around on the IQOQI web- site when I noticed a job posting for a one-year fellowship at the institute. They were looking for a philosopher to collaborate with the group."

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Bubba Gump wrote on Mar. 15, 2010 @ 17:51 GMT
I am not stating Philosophy is not important. It is very important as it can determine the direction one chooses to head when proceeding with theory-making. The Philosophy of Physics is indeed an important undertaking. One should go about it in a systematic way, however.

You are proceeding with a philosophical discourse and are doing so by making statements without qualifying them with arguments as to how you arrived at your position. You seem to be stating a position then referring to Eastern mystical traditions as a means to justify that position(correct me if I am wrong.) Nobody can really discuss the validity of your position(s) without considering the arguments and reasoning you used to form them. The validity or relevance of a conclusion is not established by examining the conclusion but by considering the merits and validity of the premises used to infer a conclusion.

What are the premises and assumptions you are using to arrive at your position?

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Pankaj Seth wrote on Mar. 15, 2010 @ 19:52 GMT
Hi Bubba,

My assertion is that modern physics has an unexamined metaphysical bias, which cannot be supported by any empirical findings. If my assertion is true, then it would mean that modern physics has already entered the realm of metaphysics, instead of sticking to empiricism, as a modern Science should, and claims to do. In modern physics, it is thought that mind stands apart from the material reality which it tries to model. Thus we think that one day, we will derive the 'theory of everything'.

However, in QM, irrespective of which interpretation one favours, the findings are not controversial, since they are there for anyone to see. In the double slit experiment, it can seen by anyone that the state of knowledge of the experimenter is entangled with how "elementary particles" *behave*. This is not in dispute. However, it is seen as a great mystery, a paradox even. We even ask ourselves how Nature can be so strange.

The Eastern source that I quoted says, in part, "Nothing perceived is independent of perception". In other words, all we can empirically verify is that whatever is seen, is see via the agency of consciousness. We cannot say that there is something 'out there', *outside of sentience*. We have no empirical basis to say that the material reality exists apart from consciousness. If we wish to say that the material reality does in fact exist apart from consciousness, then we have left empiricism/science and have entered metaphysics. There is no basis to say this. If there is, what is it? Could you or anyone else state what this basis is?

We have brought along an unconscious metaphysical bias in our scientific endeavours and we have seen in QM, that Nature says 'No!, here your bias is exposed.' Mind and matter cannot be ultimately separated… this is a key finding in QM that we have been perplexed by.

I am not proposing an Idealism, but a non-dualism… that is, it is not cogent to think that mind and matter are separable. What are the implications? This we have to sort out yet, and an instrumentalist approach will not be enough, as that is what made the metaphysical bias unthought and thus unconscious.

This is a very exciting time in the West… a whole new paradigm, a new way of envisioning/thinking about self/world is about to be born. Our conceptions of the human condition will change a lot too… that process is now underway. Thanks.

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Anonymous wrote on Mar. 15, 2010 @ 22:42 GMT
Physics does not hold a bias, people do. Every thinking individual holds a metaphysical bias of some kind. Most follow a general theme but there are probably few that are exactly alike.

Regarding QM, current theory does not concieve of electrons or photons to be particles or waves. This only was an issue back in the 20's when there were only two or three formulations of the subject. The wave-particle paradox is not an issue in QFT. An electron represents a quantized energy fluctuation in a quantized field which permeates all of spacetime. The 'thing' that we associate with a discreet particle simply corresponds to a ground-state energy of such a field fluctuation -- the rest mass-energy of an electron. Such fluctuations are propagated as waves in the field.

Likewise, the quantum field associated with the classical electromagnetic field is also quantized and a photon represents a quantized energy fluctuation in the field. These two fields, along with the vacuum field, interact and gives the impression of electromagnetic forces. The same applies for other classes of particles as well. Each has it's own field and fields interact, particles don't.

In the double-slit, neither a particle nor a wave belonging to an electron is going through the slits. The only thing going through the slit is a propagation of the fluctuation. The field permeates all of space and the energy fluctuations of the field we associate with the electron is the reason for the behavior. The 'electron' field contains many fluctuations but they belong to the same field.

That's the world according to QFT, at least.

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Pankaj Seth replied on Mar. 15, 2010 @ 23:15 GMT
Hi Anonymous,

Your description contains a lot of concepts we have invented and utilized to frame something empirically found. This conceptual ballast is constructed after the observation to try to frame what is observed. If not waves and particles, then fields and vacuum etc.

What exactly is observed? We aim tiny pulses of light at the double slit apparatus and *depending* upon whether or not the experimenter can have certain information, one or the another distribution pattern is seen on the photographic plate. We have done controlled experiments to rule out potential mechanical explanations, but the behaviour persists. This is what is "paradoxical". Even Feynman wrote "This is the only mystery."

I ask a very specific question: Would you agree that it is empirically established that the state of knowledge of the experimenter is correlated/entangled with what ends up occurring on the photographic plate?

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Moebius Strip replied on May. 24, 2012 @ 19:37 GMT
Wave and corpuscle are theoretical concepts, they don't exist in Nature. Now, in what is observed, there are both behaviours described by a wave and by a corpuscle. There are interference patterns, and when a particle is observed at a space-time point, we know that it can't be observed at a spacelike interval from this point.

QFT is another description of that, but it also relies on a wave equation and the projection postulate, even if abstracted. The difference is the classical system that is quantized, but quantization itself is where the wave-corpuscle duality resides.

A corpuscle is a little body, while a particle is a small part of something.

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Anonymous wrote on Mar. 16, 2010 @ 00:03 GMT

No, I would not aggree that it is emperically established. Such an interpretation cannot be emperically established. If it was, we wouldn't be sitting here discussing whether it has been emeprically established. I have already laid out the reasons why I do not hold such an intepreation in my earlier posts.

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Pankaj Seth replied on Mar. 17, 2010 @ 03:48 GMT
This is from the top of this blog post, an excerpt from a comment written by H. Dieter Zeh

"Heisenberg's original hope that the quantum system was disturbed during the measurement is not tenable. Instead, various systems (the observed one, the apparatus, the observer, and the environment) get entangled."

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Anonymous wrote on Mar. 16, 2010 @ 00:09 GMT

I think what you are asking is, "If I did not observe the pattern on the plate, would it be there anyways, in a real physical sense?"

My answer to that is yes. We have set up the apparatus so that the source interacts with a target.

Please don't bring up Shcrodingers cat. My answer will be the same.

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Pankaj Seth replied on Mar. 16, 2010 @ 00:47 GMT
You said, "If I did not observe the pattern on the plate, would it be there anyways, in a real physical sense?" My answer to that is yes. We have set up the apparatus so that the source interacts with a target."

I agree with you on this one. I am not advocating solipcism.

Nice talking to you.

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Anonymous wrote on Mar. 16, 2010 @ 00:58 GMT
What is your intepretation?

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Pankaj Seth replied on Mar. 16, 2010 @ 01:06 GMT
Interpretation of what? I'm sorry, I don't know what exactly you are asking. Please be more specific.



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Anonymous wrote on Mar. 16, 2010 @ 01:15 GMT
Your interpretaion of QM in regards to Wave Function collapse(or lack thereof.)

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Pankaj Seth wrote on Mar. 16, 2010 @ 02:27 GMT
It signifies the end of the Cartesian, Newtonian, Kantian Worldview. If we had not needed a formalism such as wave function collapse, then the former three would still apply. It might take a while to let this sink in... but the implications I think would take us towards something like Buddhism. it will be interesting to see how this unfolds in the context of the modern Western culture. Good things are ahead... the self-created prison is destroyed.

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Pankaj Seth replied on Mar. 16, 2010 @ 04:31 GMT
This is a good read...

"Western interest in Eastern religions, especially Buddhism, historically coincided with the rise of modern science and the corresponding perceived decline of religious orthodoxy in the West. Put simply: Modern science initiated a deep spiritual crisis that led to an unfortunate split between faith and reason—a split yet to be reconciled. Buddhism was seen as an "alternative altar," a bridge that could reunite the estranged worlds of matter and spirit. Thus, to a large extent Buddhism's flowering in the West during the last century came about to satisfy post-Darwinian needs to have religious beliefs grounded in new scientific truth."

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Pankaj Seth replied on Mar. 16, 2010 @ 17:09 GMT
Hi Bubba,

You might want to join the discussion here...

"One Universe Too Many? String Theories, The Multiverse And The Future Of Physics." - This is a blog post on the NPR website written by Adam Frank, Astrophysicist, University of Rochester, and a writer for Discover Magazine.

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Pankaj Seth replied on Mar. 16, 2010 @ 17:11 GMT
Here's the direct link to the blog post itself... I should have put this web address in the above post.

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Astro wrote on May. 16, 2010 @ 22:58 GMT
I have always viewed the ''observer-dependancy'' in pretty much the way. Whether you are an electron, or a macroscopic observer, you essentially cut down on all the probabilities to reveal the most likely reality which will be observed. There is nothing special about our measurements, but are quintessentially just as important as quantum observation.

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on May. 20, 2010 @ 18:26 GMT
Hello Folks,

I've given this topic a lot of thought, so I figured I should weigh in. I gave a presentation at the 10th Frontiers in Fundamental Physics conference last Fall, about a common basis for non-locality and entropy, which focused on the role played by decoherence. I have to admit to incomplete knowledge of the subject, however. My proceedings paper here did not pass peer-review,...

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Jim Jones wrote on Aug. 3, 2010 @ 21:08 GMT
I have read a lot about the "action at a distance" problem of quantum mechanics -- it was mentioned in Craig Callender's article in the June issue of "Scintific American" magazine. Murray Gell-Mann, in his book "The Quark and the Jaguar" says that "action at adistance is just a misinterpretation of what quantum mechanics says. Any comments?

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xexz xexz wrote on Nov. 15, 2010 @ 14:38 GMT
Does God allow we apply 'natural number' to 'electron' ?Especially , We konw that electron isn't 'Apple' or Richard Feynman's 'clicks' . as he said that all the surprising wisdom of quantum mechanics is hiding in the double slit experiment. I think maybe the field of natural number's application is restricted by nature, e.g. quantum phenomenon. If we do not reconstruct quantum phenomenon on the old picture(natural number) , that could be think as another reality?

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Marcel-Marie LeBel wrote on Dec. 7, 2010 @ 03:57 GMT

Very interesting. Here is what I think. In nature, what defines a particle is the number of constraint to its freedom i.e quantum numbers(Pauli exclusion). When we observe/interact with it, we are adding one more constraint or quantum number. We don't collapse the wave function; we simply create a new one. I call that "temporary quantization". Any parameter may, under constraint, give rise to a quantum number. Light can travel in any directions. Send it through a slit and you add one quantum number and the output, as direction, is now quantized; diffraction.


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Ben F Rayfield wrote on Feb. 26, 2011 @ 22:35 GMT
Logically it makes sense why they act like particles when observed and waves when not observed. Quantum physics is common sense to anyone who understands the statistics of 2 coin flips and how those statistics are affected by observing the coins. I will explain why the double-slit experiment is the same experiment as something you can do with 2 coins.

In the double-slit experiment, an...

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sridattadev wrote on Jul. 1, 2011 @ 17:27 GMT
Dear Lisi,

You bring up a good question about the role of the observer in quantum mechanics. Answers to all the fundamental questions lie in answer to a simple question, who am I? A fully realized observer becomes one with the absolute or attains singularity. Everything emerges from this state of singularity from with in the absolute. We are all capable of attaining this state if we carefully follow ourselves to that ultimate absoulte truth.[link]



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george james ducas wrote on Jul. 10, 2011 @ 14:45 GMT
All form is the result of resonances of space or D, which are products of velocity and time. Particles are merely the interference patterns of those resonances and can be associated with various matrices associated with resonances. In certain conditions it is clear that certain particles are associated with resonances, but then again when at scales that subdivide those resonances, those...

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X-Phy wrote on Aug. 12, 2011 @ 22:56 GMT
Close scrutiny of QM shows that there is no such thing like a classical probability. For example, there is no joint probability for position and momentum. The observer can decide up to the last moment which he will measure, and the remainding of the entangled system, that may be very far, can't know, and though behaves as if it did.

Consider a very simple thought experiment that yet contains the gist of the measurement problem: a particle is emitted in a sperical symetric state, and there are two detectors diametrically opposed and at the same distance from the source. As soon as a detector sees the particle, the other detector can't, although there have not be time enough to signal it that the particle has already been detected. Still worst, the description of the process depends on the frame from which it is seen.

A purely classical probabilitic description can't be used because of this seemingly non local behavior. It is not an issue of lack of information, it is much more fundamental.

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Eric Reiter replied on Jun. 29, 2012 @ 02:03 GMT
My real experiment(s) is in beam-split geometry with one emission at a time. This is even simpler than diametrically opposed with two emissions in coincidence, but answers the same question. I did it for gamma and alpha rays. It splits at rates exceeding chance, contradicting quantum mechanics. A particle should go one way or another, but it split like a wave, going both ways! No one tested this beam split test with gamma or alpha rays previously, because it was thought to be very particle-like. It turns out that there are properties of the alpha and gamma that are required to make the measurement see through what would otherwise be noise. With visible singly emitted hv you will get noise (chance coincidence rate) and think it goes one way or another, like a photon. My paper will appear soon in the contest, but you can find my work from one word: unquantum

Thank you


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Daniel Crespin wrote on Sep. 2, 2012 @ 02:25 GMT
A few minutes ago a learned about the Scientific American Contest for Fringe Scientists. I have been preparing an essay on Quantism, but unfortunately the deadline expired yesterday. Instead of submitting the full essay, will only post part of it.


Understanding Why Nobody Really Understands Quantum Mechanics

Daniel Crespin


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Hasmukh K. Tank wrote on Mar. 13, 2014 @ 09:03 GMT
Dear Friends,

Whether all the particles in this universe are 'particles' or 'waves' or they have dual nature, as currently believed in the 'wave-particle-duality' of light and electrons. In the attached files it is attemted to explain this 'wave-particle-duality'. Your comments and suggestions will boost our understanding.

Hasmukh K. Tank

attachments: Explanation_for_the_Wave-Particle-Duality.pdf, Will_the_QM_waves_of_equal_wavelengths_of_electrons_and_protons_interfere_A_question_by_Hasmukh_K_Tank.pdf

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Jason Mark Wolfe wrote on Mar. 14, 2014 @ 01:30 GMT
What if a ghost or a spirit is it's own kind of quantum field? If this turned out to be true, would it shake the physics community to its very core?

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Jason Mark Wolfe wrote on Mar. 14, 2014 @ 06:08 GMT
The strongest evidence I have found for the existence of ghosts is from a TV series called The Haunted, produced by the network Animal Planet. I am of the opinion that a ghost behaves like a quantum field. In a quantum field, if you give it energy, its particle will manifest. I believe that a ghost acts like a field; if you give it energy (or it takes energy) it can manifest in the physical.

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Jason Mark Wolfe replied on Mar. 14, 2014 @ 22:08 GMT
If hauntings by ghosts really did occur, they would shake the scientific community to its core. The doc-dramas TV series "The Haunted" presents I-witness accounts from home owners, business owners and the paranormal investigators. There is also video footage of paranormal activity including attacks (scratching, biting, shoving) from invisible attackers. The witnesses and the video are very believable. There is very little if any "woo"; it's just the facts.

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Jason Mark Wolfe wrote on Mar. 15, 2014 @ 21:50 GMT
What if nature is only part mathematical, and the rest is organic and unpredictable? Will this destroy the scientific community?

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Jason Mark Wolfe replied on Mar. 15, 2014 @ 22:11 GMT
Why can't there be living organic quantum fields?

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Jason Mark Wolfe replied on Mar. 15, 2014 @ 23:19 GMT
Shouldn't we follow where the evidence leads? There is a ton of evidence of hauntings. There are a ton of people who have been attacked by unseen entities. They have been scratched, bitten, shoved, pushed down stairs. There is a whole other side to reality that is being ignored by the physics community; not for lack of evidence, but for lack of interest. I guess the scientific community doesn't want to look at it because it's not mathematical or predictable. Sorry about that.

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Alan Lowey replied on Mar. 16, 2014 @ 07:03 GMT
You could ask the same question about the ufo and related phenomena. The scientific community will have to address this issue in the near future. I happen to believe that giant flying insects are more likely than E.T. An answer will have to be made official at some point.

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Hasmukh K. Tank wrote on Apr. 10, 2014 @ 10:25 GMT
1. I never get afraid of ghosts; rather ghosts may be afraid of me, because they have never dared to appear before me! And:

2. Nobody can divert my attention from the subject of my interest.

3. Here are some more links, for the members to comment:





Hasmukh K. Tank

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Darius M wrote on Jun. 22, 2014 @ 09:44 GMT
I would say that it is apperception which causes the wavefunction collapse.

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Jason Mark Wolfe replied on Jun. 22, 2014 @ 17:05 GMT
What evidence is there that the wave-function collapses? Maybe it's still there even when you detect the particle? Has anyone ever detected that the wave function was there, and then went away? Or is the whole idea an artifact of language? Last I heard, wave functions are not even measurable. So how would you know if it had collapsed if you can't measure it?

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Darius M replied on Jun. 22, 2014 @ 18:20 GMT
sorry, I meant to say an appearance of wavefunction collapse.

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John Prytz wrote on Nov. 10, 2014 @ 11:42 GMT

One quantum theory which IMHO is total nonsense is the collapse of the wave-function or the superposition of state concept and the requirement for an observer to resolve the superposition of state by collapsing the wave-function. This is usually illustrated via Schrodinger's cat. The cat is placed in a box...

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John Prytz wrote on Nov. 13, 2014 @ 12:06 GMT

Quantum physics is a world where we’re told that probability and uncertainty rule and causality is thrown to the winds. However, I think it’s the observer that’s the real fly in the quantum physics ointment. Left to its own devices, the micro (quantum physics) would (certainly should) mirror the macro (classic physics) and thus...

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John Prytz wrote on Nov. 16, 2014 @ 12:29 GMT

Quantum physics is schizophrenic to say the least. On the one hand, it’s been experimentally verified to incredible precision and much of our modern technology and the economic benefits of that technology have roots in quantum physics. On the other hand, it makes little if any philosophical sense and it can not be reconciled with classical physics....

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Peter Jackson replied on Nov. 17, 2014 @ 11:51 GMT

QM "can't be reconciled with classical physics" But this new paper seems to make make logical and philosophical sense, so some different interpretations may reconcile the two. Do give me your views;

Quasi-classical Entanglement, Superposition and Bell Inequalities. 2014.

Of course all in QM and most others will undoubtedly adhere to beliefs of spooky entanglement, so it may just be a wasted academic exercise.

Best wishes


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Teresa Mendes replied on Nov. 18, 2014 @ 08:30 GMT
Hi John,

I'm sure you will be interested in J. Especial article

Bell Inequalities under non-ideal conditions

that concludes that up today there has been no experimental violation to local realism.

Best regards


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John Prytz replied on Nov. 18, 2014 @ 13:05 GMT
Thank you very much Peter and Teresa for your links. The one by Teresa alas came up with a "web page is not available" message. I must note that I'm pretty much a layperson in this QM area and so the article linked by Peter to a large extent made me celebrate Passover, in that much of the content passed over my head. However, I do note that the authors still seem to adopt a belief in the concept of a superposition-of-state and that's just something that I reject. What I will do is post some thoughts on entanglement here following this which obviously incorporates the concepts of superposition-of-state, collapse of the wave-function, the status of the observer, and similar QM philosophical notions. In the days and weeks ahead I'll post more of my own counter philosophies and see where that takes us, if anywhere.

John Prytz

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John Prytz wrote on Nov. 18, 2014 @ 13:08 GMT

If I understand the concept of entanglement correctly, it basically means that if you know the state of one thing (via an observation or a measurement) then you automatically know the state (without an observation or measurement) of some other thing. The two things therefore are entangled. For example, if you know for certain that the top card in a standard...

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Georgina Woodward replied on Nov. 18, 2014 @ 23:59 GMT
Hi John, I have just been watching Modern Physics at Stanford online lectures from Leonard Susskind on quantum entanglement. Early on he says words to the effect that the electron spin vector can be imagined pointing in any direction in space but the act of measurement between a magnetic field causes the observable of photon decay or no photon decay, corresponding to spin up and spin down. It can only be either of those two observations and nothing in-between, such as 90 degrees to the up /down axis. That means to me it is the act of measurement that creates the characteristic of spin up or spin down of the electron, it did not necessarily preexist the measurement. Though it is just as likely to have been up or down as any other orientation. He said, words to the effect, that the decay was akin to radioactive decay with a half life. He also mentioned that the strength of the magnetic field would increase the likelihood of decay being detected. So the stronger the field the more likely the electron will flip to spin up. I wonder how you might reconcile that with your description of entangled electrons. I haven't got very far yet with the lectures, just learning the necessary mathematical formalism before describing entanglement itself.

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John Prytz replied on Nov. 19, 2014 @ 13:07 GMT
Greetings Georgina and thanks for the comments.

I selected the idea of the two electrons being emitted from the same orbit around the same atom based on the [Wolfgang] Pauli Exclusion Principle which states that no two electrons can occupy the same orbit if both are in the exact same quantum state. So, there has to be something equal but opposite about them if they aren't to violate the...

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John Prytz wrote on Nov. 22, 2014 @ 12:41 GMT

How can you have a cat that is both alive and dead at the same time? Such was the question quantum physicist Erwin Schrodinger posed in rebuttal to the weirdness of the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum physics, an interpretation that he in fact through his theoretical research contributed to. He ultimately rebelled!

When debating the...

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Steve Agnew replied on Nov. 22, 2014 @ 23:06 GMT
Time entanglement thought experiments that link microscopic possibilities to a macroscopic event can be quite complex. Very often there is a confusion of microscopic possibilities or phase coherence and macroscopic realities. The cat thought experiment does show some short period of entanglement, but the cat's state largely represents a simple lack of knowledge about a realized...

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John Prytz replied on Nov. 23, 2014 @ 13:08 GMT
Mr. Agnew,

So no doubt you believe, even with qualifiers, that Schrodinger's Cat is both alive and dead at the same time (however short that interval might be) since it is entangled with that radioactive nucleus that has both decayed and not decayed at the same time (however short that interval might be). You did state that all action involves entanglement.

Here's a lesson in common...

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Steve Agnew replied on Nov. 23, 2014 @ 18:45 GMT
Yes, you are making progress...

"Here's a lesson in common sense, or more formally logic if you will - something cannot both be and not be at the same time in the same place for however briefly a time that might be."

Now you finally have stated the essence of entanglement and of our quantum reality and it certainly is beyond our normal experience, but still within the...

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John Prytz wrote on Nov. 22, 2014 @ 12:48 GMT
THE QUANTUM MESS: ARE OBSERVERS NECESSARY? The question quantum physicists dare not ask: what if there are no observers?

In my section on Schrodinger’s cat, I noted how, according to some, it takes an observer to determine the fate of the animal, and until there is such an observation, the cat is both alive and dead at the same time. This thought experiment was an analogy for something...

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Georgina Woodward replied on Nov. 23, 2014 @ 03:06 GMT

you wrote "Extrapolating, there are those who believe and would argue that the entire Universe exists (has reality) only because there are observers to observe or measure it." Whether that point of view is correct depends upon what one is referring to when one says "the universe". If it means all that materially (essentially , fundamentally) exists, the Object universe, that is different from the visible universe, that I call the Image universe. The Image universe is a product of the receipt and processing of EM data giving an output that depicts what was together with temporal spread, and distortion due to such phenomena as gravitational lensing. It is a fabrication that relies upon observation, detection equipment, artistic interpretation of measurements and final observer visual senses. The beautifully coloured renderings of distant galactic dust clouds do not exist out there in space as they are seen. Material change will have occurred over the light years it has taken the data to reach the Earth. Image reality requires observers. Object reality, actualised objects consisting of atoms and fermion particles do not.

What happens upon observation is consideration of the object changes from all possible states in abstract phase space, that is not any singular iteration of the object universe, to consideration of the singular image reality produced from received EM data, when the observer looks or the measurement is taken. These are very different concepts even if they are given the same name such as the cat.

Inorganic devices and sensitive materials can be regarded as observers because they receive em data and convert it into an image reality output. Eg. EM data in ,ink on paper or screen image output.

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John Prytz replied on Nov. 23, 2014 @ 12:07 GMT

That phrase "image reality" is a new one that I've never come across before. I assume 'image' refers to not only sight but sound, taste, smell and touch as well, since a blind person can't image you or any part of the Universe.

Actually I quite like the idea of Panpsychism which basically postulates that everything is an observer, even electrons and positrons; rocks and minerals; a can of this and a can of that, you name it, it's an observer. All things have consciousness and awareness of other things even if they don't have anything akin to eyesight. That makes a weird sort of sense since everything material must have gravity and if you have gravity you must 'observe' everything else that has gravity. So my two cats 'observe' each other because each has a mass and therefore gravity and thus attract each other even if they are in separate rooms and out of visual sight of each other. The same applies to two cans of food. You name it, it observes. Thus, the entire Universe has reality because everything is 'observing' everything else 24/7/52.

The interesting thing about that is that with everything observing everything else all the time, there can be no superposition-of-state and no probabilities and no collapse of any wave-function.

John Prytz

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Georgina Woodward replied on Nov. 23, 2014 @ 22:28 GMT

thanks for your reply. Image reality is a description I have been using for many years and though only too familiar to long time participants on this site it is probably unfamiliar outside of this little, tolerant enclave.

Image reality is as you reason the output of processing of any kind of stimulus. What is output is a reality that differs both from the source of the...

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John Prytz wrote on Nov. 24, 2014 @ 11:52 GMT

I've been mulling over your 'image reality' ideas. Just a few points come to immediate mind.

What happens to the state of reality if there are no observers? You'd have to expect that the vast majority of the cosmos isn't being observed by anything that we normally define as having sensory apparatus like eyeballs and consciousness.

Now you might observe X and...

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Georgina Woodward replied on Dec. 1, 2014 @ 00:56 GMT
John, thank you.

Image reality is the output of sensory data processing. It does not require a conscious observer. Only an output that is qualitatively different from the input and source of the data. I have had to call it reality because most people regard what is seen as reality. It exists inside the Object reality much like a story in a book exists within our reality but is not...

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attachments: 4_RICP3D_high_def_essay_version..pdf

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Darius M wrote on Nov. 30, 2014 @ 17:29 GMT
It is very interesting to look at the wavefunction collapse in the context of German idealism and what German idealists call intellectual intuition (intellektuelle Anschauung). I discuss that in my paper:

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John Prytz wrote on Dec. 1, 2014 @ 12:36 GMT

For those of you who have absolute faith that something can both be and not be at the same time and in the same place (i.e. - in a superposition-of-state), here's an ultimate test of your faith and your nerve. In the Schrodinger's Cat thought experiment, the radioactive nucleus, unobserved, had a 50/50 chance of going poof within one hour. Thus, for...

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Akinbo Ojo replied on Dec. 12, 2014 @ 13:20 GMT
Actually, John I had elsewhere on this forum suggested that an autopsy to ascertain the time of death can tell us whether the cat recently died when the box was opened or had died long ago. I am with you here.

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John Prytz wrote on Dec. 12, 2014 @ 12:26 GMT

Here's the fundamental question. How did the cosmos manage to strut its stuff when it was all tied up in superposition-of-state knots and there were no observers yet thought of in anyone's philosophy to collapse wave-functions?

If there were however no actual superposition-of-states prior to the origin, evolution and eventual existence of observers, enabling the cosmos to strut its stuff, why should there literally be superposition-of-states in existence post the origin, evolution and existence of observers?

And if superposition-of states are not actual or literal but just abstractions of possibilities or probabilities held in the conscious minds of potential observers, then as far as the cosmos goes - and this is what really counts - it's all irrelevant, immaterial, of no consequence and collectively a total non-event.

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Sylvain Poirier wrote on Jan. 30, 2015 @ 21:15 GMT
I wrote in my site detailed explanations of how I see a fundamental role of observers in wave function collapse, and big problems I see with the main other interpretations (especially Bohmian mechanics, but also many-worlds and spontaneous collapse). See also my essay in this 2015 contest : A Mind/Mathematics Dualistic Foundation of Physical Reality that includes the main points and other aspects of this interpretation.

Sorry Darius M, I could not read your paper to see how much we may agree because it is much too long. So I invite you to read my texts instead, which are much shorter.

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Predrag Bokšić wrote on Feb. 1, 2015 @ 17:40 GMT
Hello everyone! I hope that I have entered the correct forum. :-)

I am a teacher of physics by occupation. I was invited to write a script and work on the visualizations for the new popular science documentary film on the topic of Laws of Nature and whether they are changing. I wrote a draft with perhaps a few additional sentences interspersed. I would like to invite you all to view the draft and discuss it in FQXI forum (or whichever way you prefer).

You can view it here (English language, 4700 words, words not emphasized in any way):

Brief background

The producer set the topic and the goals: 1. to research scientifically and elaborate 2. to make it accessible for wide audience 3. to go beyond the existing paradigms or to introduce something entertaining (for short). A documentary may contain at most 7000 words. The most likely form of documentary contains 6000 words. Less is better, but some words may become images, so additional descriptions may apply.

Following a long research, I established that the story of fundamental forces still represents the key topic in physics as this describes the laws of nature. In math, the key area is dynamics. Chaos theory and information theory bring new insights, and the quantum biology is the likely next revolutionary step in science.

I touch the topic of quantum biology slightly and suggest my vision for the quantum wave collapse and quantum field, which is why I was drawn towards this particular forum.

I would appreciate any discussion, criticism, or suggestions towards further simplifications for the audience.

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