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How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?

Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fnd.

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Media Partner: Scientific American

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A bench-top experiment could test the notion that gravity breaks delicate quantum superpositions.

Accounting for quantum fuzziness could help us measure space and time—and the cosmos—more accurately.

FQXi FORUM

January 23, 2018

CATEGORY:
Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017)
[back]

TOPIC: A Great-Grandfather's Search for Truth by Ronald Racicot [refresh]

TOPIC: A Great-Grandfather's Search for Truth by Ronald Racicot [refresh]

In seeking answers to some of life’s greatest questions regarding Why, How and Purpose, I’ve narrowed my search and studies in this essay to the How question, concentrating on what science and mathematics might reveal. This has led me to asking two basic questions: (1) Can our universe be scientifically described and defined as a “Design? and (2) How does quantum theory fit into a designed universe? If all of the laws of nature are fixed throughout all of time and space, then our universe might very well be hypothesized to be a design, more specifically, a stochastic process design. Present day quantum theory, however, doesn’t fit into a classical design mold because the laws that control quantum processes require what I consider to be “magical” non-classical phenomena. I propose a new physical model for quantum particles that both follows classical laws and requires no weird phenomena and at the same time satisfies test data.

I am currently retired. I received BS degrees in engineering mathematics and chemical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1960 and MS and PhD degrees in engineering mechanics from Case Western Reserve University in 1969. I have worked as a scientist and engineer for over 45 years in the general field of engineering mechanics with emphasis on probability and statistics, stochastic processes, control theory and robotics. Much of my work involved the application of probability and stochastic theory to practical engineering problems.

Dear Ronald Racicot,

Good essay on Stochastic processes…

Your words….” How does Quantum Theory fit into a Designed Universe? One possible answer that interests me is that natural variations and probabilistic outcomes observed everywhere within our universe all stem directly from how quantum particles interact with each other and with other objects and forces. The probabilistic...

view entire post

Good essay on Stochastic processes…

Your words….” How does Quantum Theory fit into a Designed Universe? One possible answer that interests me is that natural variations and probabilistic outcomes observed everywhere within our universe all stem directly from how quantum particles interact with each other and with other objects and forces. The probabilistic...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Dear SNP. Gupta,

Thanks for your kind words.

Another quote of Charles Darwin: “I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we may call chance.”

To me, Darwin seems to describe evolution itself to be a “stochastic process design.” The only clarification that I personally...

view entire post

Thanks for your kind words.

Another quote of Charles Darwin: “I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we may call chance.”

To me, Darwin seems to describe evolution itself to be a “stochastic process design.” The only clarification that I personally...

view entire post

Dear Dr. Racicot,

Please excuse me for I have no intention of disparaging in any way any part of your essay.

I merely wish to point out that “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) Physicist & Nobel Laureate.”

Only nature could produce a reality so simple, a single cell amoeba could deal with it.

The real...

view entire post

Please excuse me for I have no intention of disparaging in any way any part of your essay.

I merely wish to point out that “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) Physicist & Nobel Laureate.”

Only nature could produce a reality so simple, a single cell amoeba could deal with it.

The real...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Dear Ronald,

I find it good that you understand that most things that many consider to be random chance happenings because they cannot predict the actual outcome that will occur are often the result of unknown variable structural actions that when involved in interactions with other similar entities can yield one of a certain number of specific outcome results with a specific probability of...

view entire post

I find it good that you understand that most things that many consider to be random chance happenings because they cannot predict the actual outcome that will occur are often the result of unknown variable structural actions that when involved in interactions with other similar entities can yield one of a certain number of specific outcome results with a specific probability of...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Dear Paul N. Butler;

Thank you for your thoughts and ideas.

I have to admit that it’s difficult for me to fully understand your terminology and how your ideas mesh with current quantum mechanics terminology and theories.

You seem to be suggesting that the internal structure and dynamics of any given quantum particle is completely deterministic and that if one could know the position and relationship of all of the internal building blocks of such a particle, then the results of interactions with other knowable particles would be completely deterministic, predictable and even controllable, perhaps. This is a fascinating idea! Schrodinger’s wave equation probability theory could then be replaced with a new deterministic theory.

For the time being, I can’t see beyond quantum particle interactions being probabilistic as the wave equation implies.

I look forward to reading more about your findings and ideas.

Ron Racicot

Thank you for your thoughts and ideas.

I have to admit that it’s difficult for me to fully understand your terminology and how your ideas mesh with current quantum mechanics terminology and theories.

You seem to be suggesting that the internal structure and dynamics of any given quantum particle is completely deterministic and that if one could know the position and relationship of all of the internal building blocks of such a particle, then the results of interactions with other knowable particles would be completely deterministic, predictable and even controllable, perhaps. This is a fascinating idea! Schrodinger’s wave equation probability theory could then be replaced with a new deterministic theory.

For the time being, I can’t see beyond quantum particle interactions being probabilistic as the wave equation implies.

I look forward to reading more about your findings and ideas.

Ron Racicot

Dear Ronald,

You are welcome.

Although I tried to stay with current terminology as much as possible, some things, such as the sub-energy particles that make up the structures of fields are generally not currently known by man, so I had to generate a name for them. Many years ago, when particle interaction data showed that matter particles could be changed into energy photons and...

view entire post

You are welcome.

Although I tried to stay with current terminology as much as possible, some things, such as the sub-energy particles that make up the structures of fields are generally not currently known by man, so I had to generate a name for them. Many years ago, when particle interaction data showed that matter particles could be changed into energy photons and...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Ronald,

It's good to see another engineer in the contest!

Stochastic methods are an interesting way of approaching this problem. A normal distribution is defined by both an average value and a standard of deviation ... so presumably you must use values for both in your models.

The original experiment that demonstrated electron spin was the Stern-Gerlach experiment from ~1922. Neutral silver atoms were heated in a furnace and passed through a non-uniform magnetic field. The result was a separation of the beam of neutral atoms into two parts. The spin that is presented by this experiment in not analogous to angular momentum. It is the result of the outermost electron shell having only a single electron and those electrons can then randomly be either up spin or down spin. As a result, I am thinking your spin analysis might not be applicable to electron spin.

The photon equivalent of the SG experiment is pretty much how you describe it.

Are you familiar with Bell's Theorem and Bell's Inequality? If so, how does your stochastic model compare?

Does the stochastic model make any testable predictions that differ from those made by QM?

Best Regards and Good Luck,

Gary Simpson

report post as inappropriate

It's good to see another engineer in the contest!

Stochastic methods are an interesting way of approaching this problem. A normal distribution is defined by both an average value and a standard of deviation ... so presumably you must use values for both in your models.

The original experiment that demonstrated electron spin was the Stern-Gerlach experiment from ~1922. Neutral silver atoms were heated in a furnace and passed through a non-uniform magnetic field. The result was a separation of the beam of neutral atoms into two parts. The spin that is presented by this experiment in not analogous to angular momentum. It is the result of the outermost electron shell having only a single electron and those electrons can then randomly be either up spin or down spin. As a result, I am thinking your spin analysis might not be applicable to electron spin.

The photon equivalent of the SG experiment is pretty much how you describe it.

Are you familiar with Bell's Theorem and Bell's Inequality? If so, how does your stochastic model compare?

Does the stochastic model make any testable predictions that differ from those made by QM?

Best Regards and Good Luck,

Gary Simpson

report post as inappropriate

Dear Gary Simpson.

Thank you for your post and for your insightful comments and questions. You clearly have background and knowledge in the field of quantum theory and physics of quantum particles. I can also see from your own essay that you have extensive mathematical skills and understanding. I also see that you’ve read and that you understand the gist of my essay. Your questions...

view entire post

Thank you for your post and for your insightful comments and questions. You clearly have background and knowledge in the field of quantum theory and physics of quantum particles. I can also see from your own essay that you have extensive mathematical skills and understanding. I also see that you’ve read and that you understand the gist of my essay. Your questions...

view entire post

Ron,

Many thanks for the extensive reply and explanation. You correlation with the EPR experiment is VERY interesting.

I suggest that you should read and comment upon Dr. Klingman's essay. He is very knowledgeable regarding spin and all the various experimental methods associated with it. His essay this year does not pertain to spin, but if you mention that you have a stochastic model and can match EPR results, he will be keenly interested.

Feel free to visit my forum if you wish.

Best Regards and Good Luck,

Gary Simpson

report post as inappropriate

Many thanks for the extensive reply and explanation. You correlation with the EPR experiment is VERY interesting.

I suggest that you should read and comment upon Dr. Klingman's essay. He is very knowledgeable regarding spin and all the various experimental methods associated with it. His essay this year does not pertain to spin, but if you mention that you have a stochastic model and can match EPR results, he will be keenly interested.

Feel free to visit my forum if you wish.

Best Regards and Good Luck,

Gary Simpson

report post as inappropriate

Dear Ronald Racicot,

I enjoyed your essay, and applaud your support of common sense. As you know, arguing against the*Quantum Credo* bears some resemblance to banging one's head against the wall. The belief is that the classical world arises (somehow) from the quantum world, so if you have a classical model it's a hard sell. Nevertheless you reject the mystique and magic built-in to...

view entire post

I enjoyed your essay, and applaud your support of common sense. As you know, arguing against the

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Hi Ronald,

You have created a thoughtful essay that questions the foundations of quantum mechanics. This is an important thing to do .... particular when the emperor has no clothes.

My own work questions the concept that particles must exist continuously. The concept of superposition is stupid. Heisenberg's concept of uncertainty is silly and Schroedinger's wave equation compounds the silliness.

Yet current QM kinda works, and physicists hold on to it via peer reviewers who need to hold onto things that kinda work instead of questioning quantum mechanics history and foundations.

Check out my website www.digitalwavetheory.com

And thanks for your paper and contribution to a better theory,

Don Limuti

report post as inappropriate

You have created a thoughtful essay that questions the foundations of quantum mechanics. This is an important thing to do .... particular when the emperor has no clothes.

My own work questions the concept that particles must exist continuously. The concept of superposition is stupid. Heisenberg's concept of uncertainty is silly and Schroedinger's wave equation compounds the silliness.

Yet current QM kinda works, and physicists hold on to it via peer reviewers who need to hold onto things that kinda work instead of questioning quantum mechanics history and foundations.

Check out my website www.digitalwavetheory.com

And thanks for your paper and contribution to a better theory,

Don Limuti

report post as inappropriate

Dear Racicot

I only wish that I could do similarly stellar work when I am your age. In explaining ‘quantum entanglement’ as a purely physical phenomenon and not ‘spooky action at a distance’, you shoot for a high bar with quite a bit of panache. I am inclined to look at your explanation with a kindly eye because I too have trouble internalizing the quantum world that is described by modern physics as real. I tend to think of it as mathematically accurate observations which we have not been able to interpret properly as of yet. I rate this highly since you make a very courageous attempt. Hats off to you.

Warm regards, Willy

report post as inappropriate

I only wish that I could do similarly stellar work when I am your age. In explaining ‘quantum entanglement’ as a purely physical phenomenon and not ‘spooky action at a distance’, you shoot for a high bar with quite a bit of panache. I am inclined to look at your explanation with a kindly eye because I too have trouble internalizing the quantum world that is described by modern physics as real. I tend to think of it as mathematically accurate observations which we have not been able to interpret properly as of yet. I rate this highly since you make a very courageous attempt. Hats off to you.

Warm regards, Willy

report post as inappropriate

Dear Ronald,

You are absolutely right that

**«the laws that control quantum processes require what I consider to be “magical” non-classical phenomena. I propose a new physical model for quantum particles that both follows classical laws and requires no weird phenomena and at the same time satisfies test data.»**

You correctly put questions and find answers**«to find and solidify suitable answers for myself about the big universal questions that I’ve always asked and have always yearned to find answers: Why do I exist and why am I here?; How did I and everything else in the universe come to exist?; and, What is my purpose in this life, after all, if any?»**

I wish you success in the contest.

Kind regards,

Vladimir

report post as inappropriate

You are absolutely right that

You correctly put questions and find answers

I wish you success in the contest.

Kind regards,

Vladimir

report post as inappropriate

Ronald,

That was phenomenal, almost genius! We agree (and as grandfathers) on most all but I hope I can put you out of your misery with a REAL mechanism for you to check out for me, leading to a fully 'CLASSIC QM'! Shame you missed my (top scored) essay last year, but this years employs the red & green reversible socks it identified.

As an engineer you must be able to think of a simple spinning ball, and of Maxwells 'curl' AS WELL AS angular momentum. Now touch your finger on the equator. You find either UP or DOWN, ok? (or arbitrarily left or right). Now go round to the other side - you find the OPPOSITE ok? Now tell me; Did you find clockwise or anti clockwise spin? Hmmm.

Now move through 90[su]o to a pole. Touch right on the pole. Do you find UP or Down? ....Hmmm. However you now CAN tell me with 100% certainty if it's spinning Clockwise or Anti-clockwise! That's Maxwells 'curl' or +/- polarity. Those two momenta are DIFFERENT, ORTHOGONAL, and each CHANGES from max inversely to min by the COSINE of the latitude, over 90 degrees!!!!

A real spin state was MISSED by Bohr, who intentionally didn't assume any particle morphology but forgot or didn't understand (few truly do) Maxwell. It's been hiding right before our eyes (literally!) I've only just finally found the source of the squaring of the values.

That's just part of of course, and science will probably never accept such a change in 100 years, but I think you are one of a tiny percentage able to see it. Please do read (and score!) my essay, (time's running out) and also watch the video; Classic QM on Vimeo or short intro snippet here first 100Sec glimpse.

I hope we can discuss at length. Top score going on now for all your work, efforts and great essay, and thank you for being a kindred spirit.

Very best wishes

Peter

report post as inappropriate

That was phenomenal, almost genius! We agree (and as grandfathers) on most all but I hope I can put you out of your misery with a REAL mechanism for you to check out for me, leading to a fully 'CLASSIC QM'! Shame you missed my (top scored) essay last year, but this years employs the red & green reversible socks it identified.

As an engineer you must be able to think of a simple spinning ball, and of Maxwells 'curl' AS WELL AS angular momentum. Now touch your finger on the equator. You find either UP or DOWN, ok? (or arbitrarily left or right). Now go round to the other side - you find the OPPOSITE ok? Now tell me; Did you find clockwise or anti clockwise spin? Hmmm.

Now move through 90[su]o to a pole. Touch right on the pole. Do you find UP or Down? ....Hmmm. However you now CAN tell me with 100% certainty if it's spinning Clockwise or Anti-clockwise! That's Maxwells 'curl' or +/- polarity. Those two momenta are DIFFERENT, ORTHOGONAL, and each CHANGES from max inversely to min by the COSINE of the latitude, over 90 degrees!!!!

A real spin state was MISSED by Bohr, who intentionally didn't assume any particle morphology but forgot or didn't understand (few truly do) Maxwell. It's been hiding right before our eyes (literally!) I've only just finally found the source of the squaring of the values.

That's just part of of course, and science will probably never accept such a change in 100 years, but I think you are one of a tiny percentage able to see it. Please do read (and score!) my essay, (time's running out) and also watch the video; Classic QM on Vimeo or short intro snippet here first 100Sec glimpse.

I hope we can discuss at length. Top score going on now for all your work, efforts and great essay, and thank you for being a kindred spirit.

Very best wishes

Peter

report post as inappropriate

Peter,

Thank you for your encouraging comments on my essay. I’m happy to find a scientist like you who actually understands some of the problems within current physicists’ models in QM. Actually, you have a much deeper and more extended knowledge and interest than I do, particularly on the intricacies of quantum particle interactions with each other and interactions with other forces and objects. You get right down to examining a particle as a rotating sphere having physical size. I look forward to reading your previous essays.

My main interest at first was with how Physicists’ define and interpret Probability Theory and their resultant interpretations of test data results. And, of course, there are the “magical” phenomena. There’s also the wave nature displayed when passing particles through slits, especially the double-slit diffraction patterns.

I’m giving you top score for your work.

Sincerely,

Ronald Racicot

Thank you for your encouraging comments on my essay. I’m happy to find a scientist like you who actually understands some of the problems within current physicists’ models in QM. Actually, you have a much deeper and more extended knowledge and interest than I do, particularly on the intricacies of quantum particle interactions with each other and interactions with other forces and objects. You get right down to examining a particle as a rotating sphere having physical size. I look forward to reading your previous essays.

My main interest at first was with how Physicists’ define and interpret Probability Theory and their resultant interpretations of test data results. And, of course, there are the “magical” phenomena. There’s also the wave nature displayed when passing particles through slits, especially the double-slit diffraction patterns.

I’m giving you top score for your work.

Sincerely,

Ronald Racicot

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