Search FQXi

If you are aware of an interesting new academic paper (that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or has appeared on the arXiv), a conference talk (at an official professional scientific meeting), an external blog post (by a professional scientist) or a news item (in the mainstream news media), which you think might make an interesting topic for an FQXi blog post, then please contact us at with a link to the original source and a sentence about why you think that the work is worthy of discussion. Please note that we receive many such suggestions and while we endeavour to respond to them, we may not be able to reply to all suggestions.

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

Forum Home
Terms of Use

Order posts by:
 chronological order
 most recent first

Posts by the author are highlighted in orange; posts by FQXi Members are highlighted in blue.

By using the FQXi Forum, you acknowledge reading and agree to abide by the Terms of Use

 RSS feed | RSS help

January 21, 2018

ARTICLE: Purifying Physics: The Quest to Explain Why the “Quantum” Exists [back to article]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Steve Agnew wrote on Feb. 16, 2015 @ 17:05 GMT
There really is no answer to the question, "Why does the quantum exist?" This is like asking why does the universe exist? Why am I here right now and why is it me and not someone else here right now?

These are questions for philosophy, not science. Of course, that does not stop people from asking and answering them anyway, but there are never unique answers. And there are always more answers. The universe is quantum because that is the way that the universe is. The true mystery that science needs to solve is quantum gravity because our quantum reality works just fine otherwise.

report post as inappropriate

Robert H McEachern wrote on Feb. 17, 2015 @ 03:01 GMT
The quantum exists, because there is a unique answer to the question "What is the smallest amount of information that can ever be recovered from any measurement?" The answer is exactly one bit. When the expression for Shannon's Information Capacity is set equal to one bit, one obtains the uncertainty principle. That is why the uncertainty principle appears in QM, and that is why it has the form that it has; if three measurable bits (three components), existed, as is supposed by the standard interpretations of spin, then the uncertainty principle, as derived from Shannon's Capacity, would have a different coefficient - a three rather than a one. This discrepancy would appear to indicate that spin has only one component, rather than three, even though the standard description has three. This in turn implies that the standard interpretation of the standard description is incorrect. The description is not describing "components", but merely the observed behavior of a single component, with minimal information content, observed along three axes.

report post as inappropriate

Steve Agnew replied on Feb. 23, 2015 @ 01:42 GMT
Well, one bit is simply not enough. In order to know that you have one bit, you must have another bit to compare it with. Then you need a third bit to do that comparison, and so the smallest amount of information is still three bits.

report post as inappropriate

Robert H McEachern replied on Feb. 24, 2015 @ 22:16 GMT
Enough for what? If you think about it, to even detect that a "bit" exists within an observation (message), much less determine its value, one must know, a priori, how to do the detection. So yes, it is necessary to compare the bit, but it must be compared to bits already in the receiver's possession (a priori) rather than part of the received message that contained the "bit". Perform the following thought experiment: If an observable only contained one bit of (recoverable) information (as opposed to data) what type of behavior would be observed?

Rob McEachern

report post as inappropriate

Steve Agnew replied on Mar. 2, 2015 @ 01:09 GMT
One bit is not enough for prediction of action for an object. All information in the universe exists for the purpose of prediction and one bit is simply not enough for a minimal packet of information.

You are very correct that there is a whole universe that exists besides that one bit. The purpose that you described was a measurement and you stated that one bit of information is the smallest amount of information. But that is simply not true.

A received message may have one bit, but that measurement requires a bit for comparison and a bit for transmission to make any sense. I believe that prediction of action is the reason that we measure and the minimum information packet needed for any prediction is still three bits.

Suppose a bit means "stop" and you receive a stop bit and stop. I know that one bit means stop, I measure one bit, and then I take an action to stop. Three bits. Although there are all kinds of singular realities that we imagine do not depend on other things, the closure of our universe means that information packets for prediction are at least three bits. All predictions involve matter, time, and action.

Suppose a bit means null or no action. The same math seems to apply. It is not that a single bit has no purpose, but rather that a single bit still needs a context to result in a useful prediction of action. That context is at least three bits.

report post as inappropriate

James A Putnam wrote on Feb. 19, 2015 @ 02:27 GMT
"...In particular, physicists relate the arrow of time to the direction in which the entropy of a system—or its disorder—increases. ..."

The inclusion of the word 'or' leaves the definition of the entropy referred to uncertain. With regard to thermodynamic entropy as discovered and defined by Clausius, it is not a measure of disorder. Clausius' origin of "The arrow of time.' is not a function of disorder. The Kelvin temperature scale makes use of an unchanging thermodynamic entropy to define its degrees of temperature. The thermodynamic entropy is independent of the temperature of the medium. Physicist clarifications, if felt needed, are invited.

James Putnam

report post as inappropriate

James A Putnam replied on Feb. 22, 2015 @ 18:08 GMT
The entropy that Clausius discovered remains unexplained by physicists. The reason that this continues to be the case is because temperature was accepted as an indefinable property. It is necessary to know what temperature is in order to know what Clausius' thermodynamic entropy is. Indirect substitute explanations are not sufficient to accomplish this. Temperature should have been and could have been a defined property. The problem was introduced by theorists. There is no empirical support for making temperature an indefinable property. An indefinable property is one that cannot be defined in terms of pre-existing properties. An indefinable unit of measurement is one that cannot be defined in terms of pre-existing units. Neither of these conditions applies to temperature or its units. I work with a defined temperature. It makes Clausius' entropy immediately understood. Temperature needs fixed.

James Putnam

report post as inappropriate

Sylvain Poirier wrote on Mar. 13, 2015 @ 20:57 GMT
In my essay of the essay contest, I presented metaphysical reasons to consider the main "paradoxes" of quantum physics as actually needed to make it possible for the universe to host consciousness.

I also wrote in my site an introduction of quantum physics in the form of a short list of axioms, clarifying the concepts of states and measurement, and thus also the metaphysical aspects. Namely, I start by developing a geometric formulation of the general concept of Markov process, then quantum physics is obtained by a modification in this geometric formulation. Such an approach clarifies the articulation between classical and quantum systems, and thus the understanding of decoherence.

report post as inappropriate

Anonymous wrote on Mar. 19, 2015 @ 20:03 GMT
Why the quantum? The schroedinger equation represents a wave in a plenum (``space’’, ether) . Matter is pushed by the divergence of the plenum (like gravity in GR) to the minimum. The minimums are separated by the wavelength - hence quantum.

report post as inappropriate

Alan M. Kadin wrote on Mar. 20, 2015 @ 12:41 GMT
Dear Colleagues,

I would argue that the prime difficulty here is that we have completely misunderstood the nature of quantum mechanics. Rather than a theory of all matter on the microscopic level, it provides a mechanism for microscopic fundamental vector fields to self-organize into (spin-quantized) soliton-like domains that act in certain respects as particles. This is where h-bar comes from, and all the other relations follow from this. This leads to a realistic deterministic picture without entanglement or other paradoxes, and without any boundary between quantum and classical worlds. See my FQXi essay for further information. This is a “wave-only” picture that should have been considered in the early days of QM, but evidently was not. And importantly, this predicts sharp differences from standard QM in textbook experiments such as the two-stage Stern-Gerlach experiment. This experiment has never actually been done in the laboratory, but could easily be done using modern atomic beam equipment.

Alan Kadin

report post as inappropriate

Jose P. Koshy replied on Mar. 27, 2015 @ 08:19 GMT
Dear Allen,

Why not a particle-only picture? Particles moving along helical paths, thus creating wave-patterns. I would argue that such a possibility should have been considered before proposing QM.

report post as inappropriate

Nicholas Hosein wrote on Mar. 23, 2015 @ 16:26 GMT
Why Quantum? Because reality requires it.

When Max Planck (1858-1947) made the revolutionary insight that the energy emitted by black body radiation is required to be quantized as opposed to continuous, it lead to the development of Quantum Mechanics. Reality requires indeterminacy, retro-causality, entanglement, superposition and any other Quantum phenomenon yet to be discovered.


Reality (or energy) is proportional to frequency.

report post as inappropriate

Anonymous wrote on Mar. 27, 2015 @ 16:14 GMT
Jose shows ignorance of wave-particle duality.

Have a nice day.

report post as inappropriate

paul valletta wrote on Apr. 17, 2015 @ 09:47 GMT
This really needs investigating, why do some systems information, appear to be able to communicate faster than the speed of light? If one compares light speed to information speed, one certainly can easily derive the notion of Einsteins "look into the mirror at light speed..."....then image disappears, likewise there is a quantum point whereby, information disappears. Information loss upon quantum systems invoke a Quantum Catastrophe?

Mirrors Mirrors on the wall...which theory is the fairest dice thrower of them all!

report post as inappropriate

Joe Fisher wrote on May. 22, 2015 @ 14:37 GMT
Both Classical and Quantum Physics are embarrassingly fully reliant on erroneous abstractions. Newton was wrong about abstract gravity, Einstein was wrong about abstract space/time, and Hawking was completely wrong about the explosive capability of abstract NOTHING. A quantum computer can indeed produce a billion textual references to an abstract toe in 8 seconds, and a quantum computer can reproduce thousands of copies of photographs and graphics of toes of every type. But no quantum computer will ever be built that could produce one real cell of one real toe.

Joe Fisher

report post as inappropriate

paul valletta wrote on Jul. 23, 2015 @ 11:07 GMT
Who Ordered That!!

If one orders a small neatly clump of gas in corner of a container, then compared to a later time of haphazard distribution, then one must class this exercise as pre-causal?

A small gas cloud in corner of box is actually looked upon incorrectly?..this sequence is actually a form of "Disorder" as opposed to "Order" of en-tropic flow.

Natural order of even distribution, classed as "disorder"?

2nd Law relies upon observation results, order relative to disorder, over the perception of time, when the event is classed as "now" to when the event is classed as "past"..order increases within systems that are thermo decreased..thus cooling a gas clump down to a liquid state, will enable it to be ordered/forced into the corner, still pre causing the effect of reversibility?

What appears to be order for one observer in one ,moment in time, may be an other observers disorder in an-others relative time?

Between any two points in time, there is but one space. Between any two points in space there is but one time, and this time is clearly NOW!

The quantum realm uses pre_loaded dice! there most certainly is no "now" within QM!

report post as inappropriate

NATHAN NEIMAN CAVALCANTE wrote on Sep. 7, 2015 @ 17:36 GMT
Quantum exists in the extension as we created the concept. It was an useful idea created by Planck and explored by Einstein. It is impressive how one person's ideas can influence all Physics. All Physics is now contaminated by Einstein's views.

Recently Prof. Robitaille published a paper invalidating Kirchoff's Law and by extension, Planck's constant h looses its universality.


view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Anonymous wrote on Apr. 25, 2017 @ 17:53 GMT
So, Ginger,

What is your thinking on whether Planck's yet to be rationalized set of equations constituting a distribution theorem, given an equi-partition assumption, is necessarily the physical reality resulting in a fundamental discrete quantity of energy rather than simply being an averaged least observable measure of action?

report post as inappropriate

Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Please enter your e-mail address:
Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.