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What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
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Jayakar Joseph: on 10/20/09 at 14:32pm UTC, wrote Dear Lothar Schäfer, As the quantum physics itself is transitional...

amrit: on 10/9/09 at 10:15am UTC, wrote Dear Dr. Lothar Observer is consistent part of science. Question is: Who...

Marcel-Marie LeBel: on 9/29/09 at 23:47pm UTC, wrote I like very much your essay. It makes a solid plea for the underlying...

Lothar Schafer: on 9/27/09 at 14:26pm UTC, wrote In response to the comment signed “Uncle Al”: I appreciate very much...

Uncle Al: on 9/25/09 at 19:02pm UTC, wrote "but they are transempirical, because observation destroys them." Double...

Lothar Schafer: on 9/25/09 at 11:42am UTC, wrote Essay Abstract I explore the potential of quantum physics to...


Steve Dufourny: "That implies that this gravitation is not about only the works of Newton..." in 16th Marcel Grossmann...

Steve Dufourny: "Jonathan, I believe that I have understood all this puzzle . If we consider..." in 16th Marcel Grossmann...

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August 14, 2022

CATEGORY: What's Ultimately Possible in Physics? Essay Contest (2009) [back]
TOPIC: What is ultimately possible in Physics? Can Quantum Physics lead us to a Transempirical, Transmaterial and Transpersonal Domain of Physical Reality? by Lothar Schäfer [refresh]
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Author Lothar Schafer wrote on Sep. 25, 2009 @ 11:42 GMT
Essay Abstract

I explore the potential of quantum physics to establish the existence of a domain of physical reality that transcends human experience. Such a transempirical domain is suggested by phenomena, which involve the superposition states of microphysical objects and the virtual states of atoms and molecules. Superposition states are real because they can manifest themselves in empirical phenomena, such as Single-Particle Interference, but they are transempirical, because observation destroys them. Virtual states are real because they can control empirical phenomena, such as spectroscopic transitions, but they are transempirical, because they are empty. In addition to being transempirical, the hidden domain of reality appears to be transmaterial and transpersonal. The appearance, in an empirical science, of a transempirical reality is of great significance and it is seen to engage physics in issues which have traditionally been outside of its domain.

Author Bio

Lothar Schäfer; PhD in Chemistry, University of Munich, 1965. Currently Distinguished Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Numerous publications in Electron Diffraction, Applied Quantum Chemistry, Computational Chemistry, combined ab initio-experimental studies of molecular structures. In the 1980s, he directed a team which developed the first real-time electron diffraction instrument, enabling Time-Resolved Electron Diffraction studies of laser-excited molecules (J. Phys. Chem., 98 (1994) 8673). First quantum chemical geometry determinations of peptides, predicting structural trends in proteins a decade before they were observed experimentally (J. Phys. Chem., 99 (1995) 10521).

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Uncle Al wrote on Sep. 25, 2009 @ 19:02 GMT
"but they are transempirical, because observation destroys them." Double quantum eraser experiments. Deterministic collapse of a double slit pattern is undone by discarding information about the entities' passage. If the observation has "destroyed" something, why are its effects undone by forgetting the destruction was performed? Assuredly an observable resulting from quantum superposition collapse remains that same observable afterward when nobody is looking, right? Tell us how to reinflate the superposition from determined observables.

Explain the causality of double quantum eraser experiments given your thesis. Consider the quantum Zeno effect and Hund's Paradox with virtual states. As a chemist, do you really believe that a rigid polycyclic chiral molecule like (1S,2S)-bicyclo[2.2.l]hept-5-en-2-one, norbornenone, will spontaneously racemize in hard vacuum? If passed through a small shiny box with 2054.118 ohms dissipation? Tell us how a quantum superposition can rationalize a (1S,2R) or (1R,2S) superposition in additon to the classical (1R,2R) optical antipode.

If is silly in glass it is silly on paper. In vitro veritas!

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Author Lothar Schafer wrote on Sep. 27, 2009 @ 14:26 GMT
In response to the comment signed “Uncle Al”: I appreciate very much your criticism, whoever you may be, because it is a wonderful prompt to rephrase what I am trying to say and perhaps say it better.

What I am trying to say is what Werner Heisenberg expressed (loc. cit. 1962, 54) in this way: “The observation itself changes the probability function discontinuously; it selects of all...

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Marcel-Marie LeBel wrote on Sep. 29, 2009 @ 23:47 GMT
I like very much your essay. It makes a solid plea for the underlying reality and the reason for our disregard of it in our human, instrumental and conceptual (materialistic) limitations. I consider your essay as a serious must introduction and complement to my own. I like your transition from actuality to potentiality.


1- Nature squeezes existence in various ways, each constraint being represented by a quantum number. If we are the ones putting on the squeeze on nature, nature will exhibit also a temporary quantization in response. The double slit experiment is such an experimental constraint creating a temporary quantization of one property. Direction is the property here that is being constrained which results in the quantization of “direction”.

2- I agree that our experience is but our interaction with things. .. and the corruption you mention as caused by instruments is also effected by our own mind that is also an instrument. Science is empirical and it allows us to do all sort of marvelous things without knowing what we are really doing. This is because it examines the universe as a black box; poke and see the results. The behavior of the box is everything, but the actual existence of a content is ignored.

3- Once you agree to item 2 above, transempirical is not part of physical reality( by definition) It is “metaphysical”, a word that is still seen as "scandalous"...

4- In Quantum Mechanics we have made a trade for empirical reasons.

A higher probability of finding an object in one place in a specific amount of time is a direct ontological equivalent to this object actually spending more time on average in this place than anywhere else. For this longer stay to happen, the time rate -For this object- must be slower in that place.


(Hi! To Uncle Al… a long time critique)

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amrit wrote on Oct. 9, 2009 @ 10:15 GMT
Dear Dr. Lothar

Observer is consistent part of science.

Question is: Who is the observer ?

I see self-observation and self-experience of the observer as a fundamental research of physics.

yours amrit

eternity is now

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Jayakar Johnson Joseph wrote on Oct. 20, 2009 @ 14:32 GMT
Dear Lothar Schäfer,

As the quantum physics itself is transitional between continuum mechanics and quantum chemistry, any phenomenological variation in continuum mechanics is introspective to quantum chemistry with new principles and in the emerging new physics there are expectations on restructuring the atomic analogy evolved form Bohr model.

In a Coherent-cyclic cluster-matter universe model, as all matters of the universe are in dynamics, the existence of stationary state is not applicable and the state vector expression by wave function may be representational for event location rather than structural location as there is cyclic action of energy-mass transfer with the elements of matter matrix when there is cyclic wave propagation through matter matrix and this may be explainable in the phenomenology of Field-Ion Microscopy also.

The probable realism is by empirical rather than by transempirical phenomenon and the hidden variable is representational as energy-mass flux on transfer and may be expressional as symmetry transformation.

Though the definiteness and superposition exclude each other in quantum mechanics, they coexists in large structures, in that the embedded sub-structures are in a hierarchy of lattice with their coherent super-structures as the universe is a single structure of cluster-matter with embedded sub-cluster-matters and further sub-cluster-matters. In this context, the transempirical phenomenon in quantum mechanics that relates transmaterial probabilities in quantum chemistry described in this article is much consistent on quantum chemistry with quantum physics to explore physical reality, thanking you ..

With best wishes,


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