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Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest
December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020
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What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
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Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
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Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
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How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
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It From Bit or Bit From It
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Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
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Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
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What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
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The Nature of Time
August - December 2008
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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Terry Padden: on 10/9/09 at 9:49am UTC, wrote James I agree with both your main points. Every resolution of a physics...

Eckard Blumschein: on 10/7/09 at 14:18pm UTC, wrote James, A Graber should be a digger, not a skimmer. Try to understand. ....

James Graber: on 10/5/09 at 10:55am UTC, wrote Essay Abstract We propose that just as Bell’s theorem made...


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FQXi FORUM
May 28, 2020

CATEGORY: What's Ultimately Possible in Physics? Essay Contest (2009) [back]
TOPIC: Ultimately, Experimental Metaphysics Will Triumph by James Graber [refresh]
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Author James Graber wrote on Oct. 5, 2009 @ 10:55 GMT
Essay Abstract

We propose that just as Bell’s theorem made possible experimental tests of the Einstein Rosen Podolsky arguments as improved by Bohm, in the future decisive experimental tests will become possible for many of the currently contentious issues at the foundations of quantum mechanics. We predict that some of these experimental resolutions of previously metaphysical questions may come soon, partly as a byproduct of efforts to produce quantum computers, in particular one-way measurement-based computers, and partly as a result of directed efforts such as the attempts to produce ever larger macroscopic Schrodinger cats.

Author Bio

Jim Graber got an undergraduate degree in mathematics approximately fifty years ago and has been working with computers ever since. He has occasionally used computers to build models and study amenable physics problems. He currently reads the abstracts for GR-QC, HEP-EX, QUANT-PH and ASTRO-PH daily and typically skims about four physics papers each day.

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Oct. 7, 2009 @ 14:18 GMT
James,

A Graber should be a digger, not a skimmer. Try to understand. . Do you expect the LHC providing evidence for SUSY, and do you believe in quantum computers that will work as promised?

Eckard

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Terry Padden wrote on Oct. 9, 2009 @ 09:49 GMT
James

I agree with both your main points. Every resolution of a physics problem can only be achieved through data obtained from experiments. If we are to solve the ultimate problems of Emergence & Consciousness we must first have accurate relevant data. We are nearing the computational limits of today's computers. So achieving accuracy may become difficult. New computational machines (and algorithms) will be needed; and science will have to include Computer / Information Science as a fundamental discipline.

Two quibbles: (a) I would not term the problems "metaphysical"; (b) I am not convinced about "quantum" computers, for I share Laughlin's reservations. May be biological is the way to go.

My essay endorses the primacy of experimental data (I denote it "Reasonable") over (Rational) theoretical formulations.

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