Does the quantum wave function represent reality?

Apr 25, 2012 by Lisa Zyga feature
Two meteorologists predicting the chance of sunshine in a weather forecast. The meteorologist on the left has access to additional data (today's weather, which is partly cloudy), and consequently the two make different forecasts. Unlike a weather forecast, the quantum mechanical wave function gives a complete description of a quantum system's future behavior, and nature itself is inherently probabilistic at small scales. Image credit: Colbeck and Renner. ©2012 APS

(Phys.org) -- At the heart of quantum mechanics lies the wave function, a probability function used by physicists to understand the nanoscale world. Using the wave function, physicists can calculate a system's future behavior, but only with a certain probability. This inherently probabilistic nature of quantum theory differs from the certainty with which scientists can describe the classical world, leading to a nearly century-long debate on how to interpret the wave function: does it representative objective reality or merely the subjective knowledge of an observer? In a new paper, physicists Roger Colbeck of the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, and Renato Renner who is based at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, have presented an argument strongly in favor of the objective reality of the wave function, which could lead to a better understanding of the fundamental meaning of quantum mechanics.

As Colbeck and Renner explain in their paper published in , there are two prominent interpretations of the wave function dating back to its origins in the 1920s. In one view, the wave function corresponds to an element of reality that objectively exists whether or not an observer is measuring it. In an alternative view, the wave function does not represent reality but instead represents an observer's subjective state of knowledge about some underlying reality. In 1927, Niels Bohr and others advocated this alternative view in the Copenhagen interpretation, in which the wave function is merely a mathematical probability that immediately assumes only one value when an observer measures the system, resulting in the wave function collapsing. Still others disagree with both views: in the '30s, Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen argued that the wave function does not provide a complete physical description of reality and suggested that the entire theory of is incomplete.

In their paper, Colbeck and Renner illustrate the difference between the two main views of the wave function's probabilistic nature with a simple example:

“Consider a meteorologist who gives a prediction about tomorrow’s weather (for example, that it will be sunny with probability 33% and cloudy with probability 67%),” they write. “We may assume that classical mechanics accurately describes the relevant processes, so that the weather depends deterministically on the initial conditions. The fact that the prediction is probabilistic then solely reflects a lack of knowledge on the part of the meteorologist on these conditions. In particular, the forecast is not an element of reality associated with the atmosphere but rather reflects the subjective knowledge of the forecaster; a second meteorologist with different knowledge may issue an alternative forecast. Moving to quantum mechanics, one may ask whether the wave function that we assign to a quantum system should be seen as a subjective object (analogous to the weather forecast) representing the knowledge an experimenter has about the system or whether the wave function is an element of reality of the system (analogous to the weather being sunny).”

Colbeck and Renner argue that, unlike a weather forecast, the wave function of a quantum system fully describes reality itself, not simply a physicist's lack of knowledge of reality. In their paper, they logically show that a quantum system's wave function is in one-to-one correspondence with its “elements of reality,” i.e., the variables describing the system's behavior. The claim's only assumptions are that measurement settings can be freely chosen and that gives the correct statistical predictions, both of which are usually implicit in physics research, as well as experimentally falsifiable.

“This [idea that the wave function represents reality] means that the wave function includes all information that is in principle available about the system, i.e., nothing is missing,” Renner told Phys.org. “Nevertheless, even if we knew the wave function of a system (and therefore reality), its future behavior cannot be predicted with certainty. This means that there is inherent randomness in nature.”

The scientists' claim relies on two seemingly opposite statements: First, any information contained in the system's complete list of elements of reality (the list is complete if it contains all possible predictions about the outcome of an experiment performed on the system) is already contained in the system's wave function. That is, the wave function includes all the elements of reality. The formulated this statement in a paper last year. The second statement, which the physicists present here, is that a system's list of elements of reality includes its wave function. Taken together, the two statements imply that a system's wave function is in one-to-one correlation with its elements of reality. By showing that the wave function fully describes reality, the argument also implies that quantum mechanics is a complete theory.

“Take again the analogy to a meteorologist's work,” Renner said. “In this analogy, the data and models used by the meteorologist take the place of the wave function, and reality corresponds to the current weather. If there was a one-to-one correspondence between the meteorologist's data and the weather, we would be in a very favorable situation: the forecast would then be as accurate as it can possibly be, in the sense that there does not exist any information that has not been accounted for.

“Similarly, our result that there is a one-to-one correspondence between the wave function and the elements of reality means that, if we know a system's wave function then we are exactly in such a favorable situation: any information that there exists in nature and which could be relevant for predicting the behavior of a quantum mechanical system is represented one-to-one by the wave function. In this sense, the wave function is an optimal description of reality.”

This argument is not the only one made recently in favor of the wave function's complete representation of reality. In November 2011, a team of physicists from the UK (Matthew F. Pusey, Jonathan Barrett, and Terry Rudolph) argued that the subjective interpretation of the wave function contradicts plausible assumptions in quantum mechanics, such as that multiple systems can be prepared in a way so that their elements of are uncorrelated. While this approach is completely different from that of the current paper, the support from both papers may help point to an answer to one of the most long-standing debates in physics. In the future, Colbeck and Renner plan to work on making the assumptions less stringent than they already are.

“Our result is based on the assumption that an experimenter can, in principle, 'freely' choose which measurements he would like to carry out,” Renner said. “Hence, if one is ready to accept this assumption, our answer can be considered final. However, it is certainly legitimate to question this 'free choice' assumption (as well as the way 'free choice' is defined). We are currently working on a proof that the assumption can be replaced by a weaker one (which one might term 'partial freedom of choice').”

Explore further: Superconducting qubit array points the way to error-free quantum computers

More information: Roger Colbeck and Renato Renner. “Is a System's Wave Function in One-to-One Correspondence with Its Elements of Reality?” PRL 108, 150402 (2012). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.150402

4.6 /5 (41 votes)

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brodix
5 / 5 (4) Apr 25, 2012
It would seem that since information does travel at the speed of light, different parts of any wave would be inaccessible to a particular observer, prior to the event occurring. So while the reality of the wave may be objective, any observation of it would be subjective.
Deathclock
3.2 / 5 (9) Apr 25, 2012
All observations are inherently subjective.
Terriva
1 / 5 (11) Apr 25, 2012
Recently the quantum wave function of photons has been measured - and what can be measured is real. The quantum wave function is moving in hidden extradimensions of space-time with speed, which exceeds the speed of light. As such in directly unobservable, but we know about many mechanical analogies, in which the behavior of quantum wave manifests rather clearly. For example the famous analogy of the double slit experiment of the Couder's group, in which the macroscopic analogy of quantum wave can be observed with naked eye.
chardo137
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 25, 2012
Does anyone remember the Pilot Wave of David Bohm? I would like to hear a real physicist comment on the possible connection here.
SoylentGrin
4.6 / 5 (9) Apr 25, 2012
You don't have to resort to superluminal hypotheses to explain the double slit experiment, Terriva.
gwrede
1.9 / 5 (7) Apr 25, 2012
Hmm. In physics and mathematics, Pi seems to be all over the place. Now, we could say that Pi represents reality, too. But few of us say that. Instead, we tend to think that Pi is, kind of just another tool in the mathematical tool-chest. And, like we will never know the exact value of Pi, we will never know "what really goes on" when the wave function collapses, or more accurately, when our experiment yields a measurable result.

I agree that we can never "look sharp enough and deep enough" to see beyond the limits of quantum mechanics. But that does not mean that there isn't a "world of physics" at those sizes -- it merely means that I agree that we will never construct a "powerful enough microscope", for lack of better wording here.

Put another way, I don't think, say, a photon notices it's time to collapse, and then it quickly throws dice on exactly how to collapse. No. I rather think that it actually /does/ have an inner structure that has a state that oscillates.
kochevnik
2.1 / 5 (14) Apr 25, 2012
The quantum wave function is moving in hidden extradimensions of space-time with speed, which exceeds the speed of light.
There are the phase waves, of which we understand the EM variety. There are separate torsional scalar waves, employed by conscious systems which provide the scaffolding for EM waves to resonate, form matter with vortices and produce the "spooky EPR connection" as scalar waves move many times lightspeed.

I see frequent mention of the phrase "randomness." Einstein did not accept this idea and it could be instead the superposition of all consciousness in the universe. Particularly in an unevolved universe where the average "brain" is a hydrogen atom the net consciousness relayed by torsional scalar waves would indeed resemble randomness. As the universe evolves to be more densely packed with minds an emergent measurable order could appear in particle experiments.
gwrede
1.3 / 5 (7) Apr 25, 2012
(Continuing my above post) If we could measure the inner state shortly before the collapse, then we could predict exactly the collapse, instead of merely assigning probabilities to the different outcomes.

But the fact that we will never be able to measure it, should NEVER be taken to mean there wasn't a definite state there. To equate these two sounds as stupid as saying that the ocean has an edge and you should never sail there.

If one understands this, then there's even a freebie waiting: you can throw "spooky action at a distance" to the trash bin, too. Then all what Entanglement means to you, is merely that you have synchronized a part of this inner state with another particle. And it will stay synchronized until it gets nudged out of sync.

The mere fact that we can do Entanglement simply proves that there is a deterministic inner state.
EverythingsJustATheory
3.3 / 5 (3) Apr 25, 2012
How do you know? It may very well not be deterministic, even if you know the inner state. You think this (an untestable hypothesis), and I agree it logically makes sense, but that doesn't make it true.

The problem is that measuring it (even if it was possible) requires the input of outside energy, which thus changes the initial inner state.
Bowler_4007
3.7 / 5 (7) Apr 25, 2012
Reality is such a weird thing i think perhaps existance has no meaning without a concious observer and that any knowledge of it is ultimately subjective which is why some people have trouble completely understanding someones ideas about it. This isn't to say that if a tree falls and no-one is around no sound is made, the sound is made its just that no-one observes it, and the same for any other aspect of existance.
Cynical1
1 / 5 (3) Apr 25, 2012
How do you know? It may very well not be deterministic, even if you know the inner state. You think this (an untestable hypothesis), and I agree it logically makes sense, but that doesn't make it true.
The problem is that measuring it (even if it was possible) requires the input of outside energy, which thus changes the initial inner state.

This is gonna get all kinds of nasty retorts, I know, but...
Why can't we devise a means to test/measure without inputting energy?
SoylentGrin
5 / 5 (10) Apr 25, 2012
Why can't we devise a means to test/measure without inputting energy?


You have to insert or remove something from a system in order to measure it. Either one messes with the system. At the macroscale, it doesn't matter much, but at the quantum level, removing a photon to measure it would be like removing a patient's torso to measure their blood pressure.
allotrope6
5 / 5 (8) Apr 25, 2012
This is gonna get all kinds of nasty retorts, I know, but...
Why can't we devise a means to test/measure without inputting energy?

It's because without energy, you wouldn't be measuring *with* anything.
saijanai
4.5 / 5 (4) Apr 25, 2012
IF QM is a "complete theory," doesn't this mean that Goedel's Theorems start to come into play?
hal_swyers
1.8 / 5 (4) Apr 25, 2012
I am curious if my earlier comment will make it through. However, in any case, this is seriously flawed. They authors make extensive use of something they call a spacetime variable, which combines outcomes of experiments with coordinates, clearly in violation of uncertainty.
hal_swyers
3.8 / 5 (4) Apr 25, 2012
This will likely get repeated but is important to understand.
This is what is meant by "The Theory of Complementarity".
Pauli: "Due to the indeterminacy in the property of a system prepared in a specific manner (i.e. in a definite state of the system), every experiment for measuring the property concerned destroys (at least partly) the influence of a prior knowledge of the system on the (possibly statistical) statements about the results of future measurements."
Terriva
1.7 / 5 (9) Apr 25, 2012
Does anyone remember the Pilot Wave of David Bohm?
The concept of pilot wave comes from Louis de Broglie. Of course, this artifact is real as well, it's just directly unobservable with light waves. But it increases the density of vacuum around massive particles and it's actually what the quantum wave means in Copenhagen interpretation. The quantum wave of particle itself is way way smaller. Both waves can be seen during double slit experiment with energetic particles.

This wave is not "weird" - it's actually normal wake wave, which is formed around every object traveling across massive particle environment like the foam. The shaking of vacuum around such object makes it more dense temporarily in similar way, like the shaking of every foam. Due the neverending Brownian noise of massive environment this wake wave is formed even around particles at rest and it manifests itself like their gravity field.
Terriva
1.2 / 5 (9) Apr 25, 2012
You don't have to resort to superluminal hypotheses to explain the double slit experiment, Terriva.
The interference of quantum wave with double slit proceeds with speed of light, but the motion of vacuum in wave function itself is driven with density waves, i.e. longitudinal waves of vacuum and as such it's highly superluminal. The example of superluminal speed is the evanescent field around density gradients in vacuum, radiating light waves. It allows the quantum wave interference to break the light speed barrier in certain extent and to make the quantum jumps during quantum oscillations. During these jumps the particle (density or probability profile of quantum wave) cannot be seen, so such motion doesn't violate the special relativity in strict sense.
Terriva
1.2 / 5 (6) Apr 25, 2012
Then all what Entanglement means to you, is merely that you have synchronized a part of this inner state with another particle. And it will stay synchronized until it gets nudged out of sync.
You're perfectly right, I'm explaining it for here, for example. The synchronizing of the quantum wave of observer and object observed manifests itself like the so-called collapse of wave function of observed object in Copenhagen interpretation of QM - i.e. the concept, which is often questioned with proponents of alternative interpretations of QM - but it's still perfectly logical in this extent.
Going
5 / 5 (4) Apr 25, 2012
No one has mentioned the many-worlds interpretation of Hugh Everett. All the probable outcomes exist, some of them are just in other universes.
Terriva
1.5 / 5 (10) Apr 25, 2012
The many-world interpretation is actually very trivial: every observer residing at the density fluctuations gets entangled with its neighborhood, so he can perceive it with wave-function collapsed, whereas the other observers do not. For example, when you're in love with some person, you tend to perceive the fluctuations of her/his mood as a cute movements, because you're essentially synchronized with them at your mental level: you're "hypertollerant" and you will tend to replicate the mental states of your partner. The other people will still perceive your partner as a rather mentally unstable and annoying person: i.e. they're living in different reality, than just you.
Telekinetic
4.1 / 5 (9) Apr 25, 2012
Terriva-
MWI is not in the least bit trivial- it's earth-shattering! Many Worlds? That's an infinite number of universes with an equally infinite number of circumstances and outcomes. I can't think of a more explosive or controversial way to view reality.
Terriva
1 / 5 (5) Apr 25, 2012
That's an infinite number of universes with an equally infinite number of circumstances and outcomes. I can't think of a more explosive or controversial way to view reality.
But these Multiverses are only temporal and they differ only slightly from the Universe, being based on density fluctuations of it (local reference frames). BTW The Many World hypothesis follows from dense aether model in trivial way and its predictability is corresponding - which is probably why it didn't shatter the Earth during last sixty years. Everyone of us can see slightly different Universe, than the others - and nobody is very surprised with it - on the contrary. Actually what I'm struggling with all the time here is the attempt to unify these fragmented views of reality into least common denominator, i.e. common basis.
Telekinetic
4.2 / 5 (10) Apr 25, 2012
But don't you see, there's an infinite number of Terrivas that disagree with your attempts to unify these fragments.
Terriva
1 / 5 (6) Apr 25, 2012
there's an infinite number of Terrivas that disagree with your attempts to unify these fragments.
The disagreement is very easy stance - the question is, which counter-arguments they can provide. At any case, the fact, everyone perceives the reality in different way makes the Many Worlds concept rather trivial and as such useless.
Telekinetic
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 25, 2012
I would say that David Deutsch, a formidable physicist and proponent of MWI, is also instrumental in solving real world problems in quantum computing, so his input is practical and he has genuine credibility in the physics community, and would argue that MWI is, in fact, useful.
Terriva
1.2 / 5 (6) Apr 25, 2012
he has genuine credibility in the physics community, and would argue that MWI is, in fact, useful.
An it undoubtedly is as an employment program and a salary and grant generator for group of physicists - but which testable predictions does it provide?
Telekinetic
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 25, 2012
I don't think that's enough to dismiss a scientist's work, because his theories were hotly contested by others early on, which really means that he had to fight for acceptance and risk his professional reputation, much like yourself.
Terriva
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 25, 2012
In Popper's methodology the falsifiability is everything and without testable predictions the hypothesis cannot be falsified. Such a hypothesis is not theory at all. My professional reputation is rather negative than just zero - as I'm subsidizing my research heavily from private sources. I'm not taking any money from scientific grants, so I don't risk anything.
Telekinetic
1 / 5 (2) Apr 25, 2012
Well, I suppose you can be objective, without financial or political pressure, about what is going on here from your particular view of reality-

http://www.youtub...;list=UL
Terriva
1.9 / 5 (7) Apr 25, 2012
IMO it's result of scalar waves emanated with brain. But the aluminum foil can be still put into motion with eddy currents from rotating magnetic field at distance. A telekinesis of nonconductive material would be more convincing for me.
Telekinetic
2 / 5 (3) Apr 25, 2012
I'll go with the scalar waves from the brain, as I can attest that there were no rotating magnets present.
simplicio
5 / 5 (3) Apr 25, 2012
falsifiability is everything and without testable predictions the hypothesis cannot be falsified. Such a hypothesis is not theory at all.

Hypothesis and theory are not the same. Hypothesis is like educated guess, but a theory is developed later with more details by testing hypotheses that can be falsified.
bewertow
1 / 5 (2) Apr 25, 2012
IF QM is a "complete theory," doesn't this mean that Goedel's Theorems start to come into play?


Godel's incompleteness theorem is a statement about the foundations of math.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.4 / 5 (38) Apr 26, 2012
Mathematicians occasionally have something interesting to say about reality.

This is not one of those times.
Vendicar_Decarian
0.5 / 5 (38) Apr 26, 2012
Popper needed to have a long talk with Goodel.

"In Popper's methodology the falsifiability is everything and without testable predictions the hypothesis cannot be falsified." - Terriva
thingumbobesquire
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 26, 2012
Hmm... If there is "inherent randomness in nature" and these gentlemen are a participants and part of said "nature," then how may we decide whether their pronouncements have any merit at all? They could be the pure equivalent of randomness in the human mind come unhinged. I think that is the most probable explanation of their musings.
thingumbobesquire
1 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2012
Hmm... If there is "inherent randomness in nature" and these gentlemen are a participants and part of said "nature," then how may we decide whether their pronouncements have any merit at all? They could be the pure equivalent of randomness in the human mind come unhinged. I think that is the most probable explanation of their musings.
Fleetfoot
5 / 5 (3) Apr 26, 2012
But the fact that we will never be able to measure it, should NEVER be taken to mean there wasn't a definite state there. ..

If one understands this, then there's even a freebie waiting: you can throw "spooky action at a distance" to the trash bin, too. Then all what Entanglement means to you, is merely that you have synchronized a part of this inner state with another particle. And it will stay synchronized until it gets nudged out of sync.


Unfortunately for that idea, the statistics say otherwise. Aspect's experiment which proved the violation of Bell's Inquality by QM is not compatible with the existence of a hidden internal state. It shows that the result is "chosen" by the measurement.
Cynical1
1 / 5 (3) Apr 26, 2012
Unfortunately for that idea, the statistics say otherwise. Aspect's experiment which proved the violation of Bell's Inquality by QM is not compatible with the existence of a hidden internal state. It shows that the result is "chosen" by the measurement.


Again, a stupidly simple question... what stops us from someday developing a means to measure without interacting? Therefore, to avoid "choosing" the observation?
Answer? Nothing. Just a matter of time til someone does it.
DaFranker
1 / 5 (4) Apr 26, 2012
Unfortunately for that idea, the statistics say otherwise. Aspect's experiment which proved the violation of Bell's Inquality by QM is not compatible with the existence of a hidden internal state. It shows that the result is "chosen" by the measurement.


So, "Science" is now throwing a bunch of stuff at other stuff, looking at how many times something happened out of all attempts, and saying "This is reality!"? No, I call that counting. Current "interpretations" of experimental results, especially in frontier fields of science, are often biased or logically flawed, since they make implicit assumptions about a bunch of factors without mentioning those assumptions, which leads to more implicit assumptions relying on these earlier interpretations, and so on and so forth.

Basically, lots of what QM scientists interpret from their experiments and claim to be the only possibility is really just one possible ideas, with other possibilities being simply ignored.
Mumrah
1 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2012
Suppose God was all powerful with the exception that he couldn't generate random numbers. How would he work around the problem? Create a branching universe. Its fully deterministic from the outside but from the inside it looks random because a given 'now' has multiple futures.

This is how I see the quantum universe working.
IronhorseA
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 26, 2012
What the authors leave out is that the wave equation itself is a construction of an 'observer', ie. Schrodinger, and the variables used to build it were chosen by the the observer, hence there is a likelihood that there are missing variables, as yet undiscovered due to observational limitations.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2012
So, "Science" is now throwing a bunch of stuff at other stuff, looking at how many times something happened out of all attempts, and saying "This is reality!"?

That's how all science works. Thorwing stuff at a disease and see if it cures it. Throw stuff up and see how often it comes down. Throw stuff into a reactor and see how often it reacts...
A lot of research is based on statistics and probabilities. The easy, 100% causal relations are (mostly) known.

At the end of the day theory is all well and good - but the best theory means nothing if it doesn't agree with observation.

with other possibilities being simply ignored.

Such as? And please name TESTABLE possibilities and explain how they may be tested (and then show that they HAVEN'T been tested by scientists already)

And then explain how those tests are not "throwing stuff at other stuff and looking at how many times something happens"
eloheim
1 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2012
Does anyone remember the Pilot Wave of David Bohm? I would like to hear a real physicist comment on the possible connection here.

If I recall correctly, the recent spat of papers on this topic (mentioned in the article) are in opposition to Bohmian scheme's, because they purport that the wave function we see and know (and write down) is the complete description of reality, leaving no room for hidden variable.

I remember seeing some people saying that [Pusey, Barrett, and Rudolph; 2011] was the final nail in the coffin for such approaches, but their defenders claimed (vehemently, I might add) that PBR dismantled a long out of date straw-man, which everyone already knew was wrong anyway, and no sefl-respencting Bohmian would every endorse
baudrunner
2 / 5 (4) Apr 26, 2012
The wave is an objectively accurate representation of reality, but at the same time, all systems are subject to entropy, and therefore prediction will always remain theory, because all systems interact. It is impossible to analyse all wave functions to come up with a fundamental wave, therefore predictions are not forthcoming. Ever.
DaFranker
1 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2012
Such as? And please name TESTABLE possibilities and explain how they may be tested (and then show that they HAVEN'T been tested by scientists already)

And then explain how those tests are not "throwing stuff at other stuff and looking at how many times something happens"

My first thought would be "The expansion of the universe" and "Dark Energy", with innumerable possible alternatives that haven't been tested.

Of course, we'd have to go over the "proven" "theorems" that won "nobel prizes" before we could talk about that reasonably, since it's already been "proven" that the universe is "expanding". Yeah. Same goes for the discrepancies relating to dark energy and dark matter. [/sarcasm]

Many possibilities are "testable". However, that is not what I argue. You added the notion of testability in there, I did not. Too many ideas get classified (usually permanently) as "untrue" precisely because there is KNOWN way to "verify" them, in favor of biased "statistics".
Turritopsis
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 26, 2012
A hand counter can with certainty give an answer for the addition of any two numbers as long as the sum is less than 10. Asking him a question like what is 6 plus 5 will generate this response: I can certainly say that the sum is greater than 10. I've devised a theorem and I hypothesize that the sum of 5 and 6 is 11. I cannot state that the sum is 11 with certainty as the calculation exceeds physical limitations (10 digits). Probabilistic equation points to the sum of 11, although, this is a physical uncertainty.

A foot and hand counter comes along and says: I've overridden the uncertainty for the sum of 5 and 6. The sum is certainly 11.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Apr 26, 2012
with innumerable possible alternatives that haven't been tested.
...such as...? Stop being vague. List real alternatives that are testable and how they are testable.

And if you think there are 'proven' theorems then you understand nothing about scioence at all.
There are successfull onesw - but ther is never anything that is beyond doubt in science.

. Too many ideas get classified (usually permanently) as "untrue"

Those that alread contradict observation (like dense aether or electric universe) - yes. Those get discarded.
Those that are inherently untestable (like teh god hypothesis) - yes. Those get discarded bvecause they never provide any useful information.

antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2012
Too many ideas get classified (usually permanently) as "untrue" precisely because there is KNOWN way to "verify" them
Name one. One. Of which there is a known way to verify it, where no one has tried to verify it or which gets 'suppressed'.

in favor of biased "statistics".

Statistics, BTW aren't biased. Statistics may be wrong, though. You may get 100 heads in a row but still have a balanced coin. That does happen. The current standard is that you have to show accuracy to 95% certainty (or better) for something to be scientifically acceptable - taking into account all reasonable other factors.
Yes, that means that one out of every 20 scientific results will turn out to be a fluke (though, since most publications are better than 95% the number of flukes is much lower than that).

That is a very good tradeoff.
Make the barrier too high and you get no results at all (because the effort for experiment íncreases exponetially). Too low and the results mean nothing.
Terriva
1 / 5 (4) Apr 26, 2012
Those that alread contradict observation (like dense aether or electric universe) - yes. Those get discarded.
Which observation disproves the dense aether model? The repetition, it's disproved ad nauseum doesn't make it disproved anyway - it's just an application of Joseph Goebells's propagandistic theorem: " If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth."

Now we can put the question: what makes the dense aether model so dangerous for proponents of mainstream science, when they're using such a propaganda? What makes them so hateful?
Terriva
1 / 5 (3) Apr 26, 2012
We can put the question differently: which other theory can explain the existence of quantum wave, like the deBroglie wave around objects in motion? Yes, we have some math for its description and this math can be quite effective - but what makes it valid?

The approach of physics is incredibly religious in this extent - it avoids all questions about deeper nature of facts obstinately in similar way, like ancient theologists, who learned, we shouldn't put the questions about God's will. The religious convergence of both approaches is quite apparent here. For example, we have Couder's experiments, which models the quantum wave with water surface - but which memo the physicists actually took from this analogy? IMO they're watching it dully and repeat mindlessly: "you know, the physics doesn't bother with WHY questions, only with HOW question". Which socio-psychological mechanisms enforce them in their ignorant stance?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (5) Apr 26, 2012
Which observation disproves the dense aether model?

Michelson Moreley/Hammar? All of Relativity? Sagnac Effect? You name it...

It's been tested and found to not agree with observation. So it got binned. That happens, sockpuppet. Deal with it.
Terriva
1 / 5 (3) Apr 26, 2012
Stop shouting the random words and try to explain at least, HOW EXACTLY the Michelson-Morley experiment should disprove the DENSE aether model? Do you realize, that the Maxwell's AETHER BASED theory enables to derive the light speed invariance instead? How is it possible, after then, that the Michelson-Morley experiment confirming such an invariance is supposed to disprove the aether model, after then?

Such stance has absolutely no logics in it - can you see it? Whole generations of physicists (not just you) willingly live in this blatant stupid propagandistic lie. Why is it so?
Terriva
1 / 5 (5) Apr 26, 2012
Once again: the aether model enabled Maxwell to derive his famous equations. From these equations clearly follows, that the speed of light must remain constant - as Lorentz derived ten years before Einstein already (which is why the Lorentz transform helds its name after Lorentz - not after Einstein, BTW).

Now - how is it possible, after then, that the Michelson-Morley experiment, which proved the constant speed of light is interpreted in exactly the opposite way, i.e. like the REFUSAL of just the only existing model, which is actually able to predict it?

If you cannot answer this question, then you simply don't understand both the dense aether model, both the Maxwell's theory, both the relativity and you're not competent to judge me at all. You're too stupid for to realize, how deeply stupid you actually are.
vacuum-mechanics
1 / 5 (5) Apr 26, 2012
Talking about wave function, lets ask a simple question wave of what, or what is wavy? We know that conventional quantum mechanics cannot answer it, may be unconventional quantum mechanics such as one below could give the answer!

http://www.vacuum...id=19=en
spacealf
not rated yet Apr 26, 2012
The gravity of it all. But according to a report, Deutsch and his Oxford team already mathematically proved in 2007 that the multi-verse must exist. They just think that all universes are different. I think more knowledge is needed, but does the knowledge needed ever end?
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) Apr 26, 2012
may be unconventional quantum mechanics such as one below could give the answer!
Nope, no quantum mechanics (both conventional, both unconventional one) can explain the quantum mechanics - quantum explanation of quantum theory is an oxymoron based on circular reasoning. You'll need a more general theory, the postulates of which aren't quantum at all for being able to explain it at least a bit deeper. Which are postulates of your theory? If none, then you even have no theory, because you're lacking the underlying logics (implicate tensors), which would enable the reader to reproduce your way of thinking in coherent manner. The hypothesis without predictions derived in reproducible sequence of logical steps is not a theory. The dozen of random essays is not a theory. Etc...
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Apr 27, 2012
Michelson-Morley experiment should disprove the DENSE aether model?

Any aether model allows for movement relative to the aether. Movement relative to the aether should show up in SOME way. Especially change in movement direction relative to an aether should produce a host of effects.

None are observed. End of story.
Origin
1 / 5 (3) Apr 27, 2012
Movement relative to the aether should show up in SOME way.
This movement is linear frame dragging and follows from relativity too. Due the high density of aether/vacuum this drag is very weak in similar way, like at the drag of fluid at the surface of very dense (but superfluous) fluid, i.e. boson condensate forming the interior of black hole or some dense star. Nevertheless, this weak drag was observable in most of M-M experiments - it was just ignored due the mainstream physics propaganda, which tends to ignore all evidence, which doesn't fit well the mainstream religion. In addition, we know about CMBR Doppler anisotropy, which is evidence of absolute motion trough aether too. In this case the reference frame is formed with CMBR noise, which corresponds the Brownian noise of aether. All indicia for dense aether model fit the observations actually quite well - if you're not a complete ignorant..
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (4) Apr 27, 2012
Nevertheless, this weak drag was observable in most of M-M experiments
Source? Proof? Conspiracy theory much?
Origin
1 / 5 (2) Apr 27, 2012
The periodicity in fringe shift coinciding with rotation of Earth and motion of Earth around Sun is routinely reported.

http://rmp.aps.or...3/p203_1
http://www.relati...2006.pdf

See, for example, the papers by Dayton Miller (1933), Allais (1998, 1999a, 1999b, 2000), Cahill (2002, 2003a, 2003b, 2004, 2005), Cahill and Kitto (2002), Consoli (2003, 2005), Consoli and Costanzo (2003a, 2003b, 2004), Deen (2003), DeMeo (2001), Munera (1997, 1998), Sato (2006), Selleri (2000), and Vigier (1997).

I'm not talking about some conspiracy, because the human stupidity and ignorance doesn't need to be organized with some conspirators at all. But the fact, you're trying to cover these experimental results (or you don't know about it, so you're incompetent) speaks for itself.
DavidMartin
5 / 5 (2) Apr 27, 2012
When looking at the question related to quantum theory, you must realise that we're clearly missing some pieces of the jigsaw. Every comment (almost) tries to find a solution made out of the pieces we have in front of us, as if it was an assumed rule of the game that by now we have all the pieces. THINK! Instead, you should be looking for missing pieces, if you can deal with the insecurity.
DavidMartin
5 / 5 (2) Apr 27, 2012
gwrede says:

'...like we will never know the exact value of Pi, we will never know "what really goes on" when the wave function collapses, or more accurately, when our experiment yields a measurable result.'

How do you know? It's an unsolved mystery. Do you know what that means? An unsolved mystery means we don't know what the answer is. The first thing is to stop assuming things, because with many mysteries that have been solved, it turns out that false assumptions were holding us back. Look at it as something you don't know, not something you do know.

antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Apr 27, 2012
But the fact, you're trying to cover these experimental results

Erm..'experimental results'? Your citation gives no experimental results. It's a paper by an IT business consultant (citing mostly himself in the references - the sure sign of a kook)
That's like Oliver citing himself on neutron repulsion.
spacealf
not rated yet Apr 27, 2012
The article states that the scientists' claim relies are two seemingly opposite statements.
To me that still means it ends up subjective and getting to objective is a probability that ends up shy. It's like saying that other people will not put those scientists in a straight-jacket and let them bounce off of the padded walls of the insane asylum. What's the probability of that happening at some time in the future if indeed there is inherent randomness in nature but somehow now they know that all information is present in the wave function but can not still tell the future with absolute certainty?
No, the result at least to me is still subjective in the end no matter how they try and tell their story and result they assume to come up with.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Apr 27, 2012
that all information is present in the wave function

You are aware that the wave function is a measure of probability?
The square is the probability density? It does not contain 'all the information' because that type of digital information (something is or isn't - like we are used to in macroscopic/everyday situations) is not contained in it.

There is no certainty here because that type of information is intrinsically not present in quantum mechanics.

the result at least to me is still subjective in the end no matter how they try and tell their story and result they assume to come up with.

Then do the math. It's objective. You don't need to take their ord for it. It's not all that hard.
DavidMartin
5 / 5 (2) Apr 27, 2012
I expect you (and they) are right that it's objective, though that doesn't tell us as much as we need to know about what's out there. The people who still try to sweep the mystery under the carpet, even after 90 years, will still try to say we disturb any system if we examine it, and others will still try to wriggle out of the problem with things like many universes.

But the fact is, when the wave function collapses into a single state out of many possibilities, something happens. We don't know what it is. But one day we will know what it is, because it's very specific, and we're gonna pin it down one day.
spacealf
5 / 5 (2) Apr 27, 2012
I don't read about physics everyday or work with it. There is spooky action at a distance also, called quantum entanglement. So I suppose that would be objective also? Still thinking about it though. Still leaning towards Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen though.
Turritopsis
1 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
Then do the math. It's objective.


Based on the variables the subject incorporates in the calculation. There is no way of excluding subjective reasoning. Not even mathematically.

Imperfect beings aren't aware of all known variables. Therefore, the calculations deemed as objective are still uncertain at the core. No way around this conundrum. All we can do, is the best we can. Include all *currently known data and deduce interactions.

Math is perfect, objective as you say. Unfortunately, humans aren't. So any calculation carried out by a human subject is still subjective. Humans ruin the objective perfection that is math. Some more so than others.

But, although the state of uncertainty is a certainty today, it may not be so tomorrow, humanity possesses the power of evolution. We may find the ultimate answer, the objective truth.

As much as I yearn for it, I simultaneously fear it. I mean: what would life be without mystery? Without uncertainty?
A2G
1 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
In the 1930s Albert Einstein and Leopold Infeld in a book entitled "The evolution of Physics" wrote.

"In our new physics, there will be no place for both field and matter, field being the only reality"

Check this book out. Einstein was on to something and it is why he spent the last years of his life trying to develop a field theory to make sense of well, basically everything.

Einstein will be proven right and the one's who went looking for more particles wrong. The answers to the mysteries are in fields and not in matter.
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
But the fact is, when the wave function collapses into a single state out of many possibilities, something happens. We don't know what it is.
Some of us know it, because it can be imagined easily and this idea was already presented here. It's actually very simple: observed particle is vibrating and undulating blob of vacuum, whereas you as an observer are formed with such vibrating and undulating blobs too.

During process of so-called observation the motion of vibrating and undulating blobs of observer and observed object will get synchronized ("entangled") and their undulations will disappear from their local mutual perspective ("collapse of quantum function"). This process isreally as simple, as it is - and the only reason, mainstream science cannot explain/imagine it is, it thinks about QM in abstract way of formal math. Here you can find some mechanical analogies of quantum entanglement
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
"In our new physics, there will be no place for both field and matter, field being the only reality"
This is essentially a concept of dense aether model as well, but this model just attributes the field properties of nested density fluctuations of particle gas. Why? You cannot build an unification of the matter and field concepts, which is based on the properties of field, because we actually don't know, what the field is and how it should behave. But at the case of matter the situation is way more transparent, because we know already, how different forms of matter are behaving - so we aren't required to base our theory on guesses and void speculations. Therefore the dense aether model of AWT is based on (extrapolation of) well known properties of matter (dense particle gas) - not on unknown properties of abstract hypothetical "field".
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
Then do the math. It's objective. You don't need to take their ord for it.
Math is objective, but it's scope for understanding of observable reality is limited. In dense aether model the people are essentially random blobs floating in random environment of another random blobs - both smaller, both larger. The mutual interaction of these blobs via transverse waves can become deterministic only at two distance scales, which are roughly ten billion larger and smaller, than the human observers. This explains, why the atom nuclei and dense stars (which are of approximately the same mass/energy density) appears spherical, whereas all other objects deviate from this symmetric behavior in larger or smaller extent. The applicability domain of formal math is right here and the interaction of observed objects with observer object is becoming hyperdimensional and complex fast outside it.
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
In real life nobody will attempt to describe the motion of caterpillar along leaf with general relativity, because this description is conceptually possible in AWT, but it would require the introduction of high number of extradimensions, which the formal math cannot handle, because the resulting equations would become too complex even for symbolic computers. The domain of existing formal math is essentially the four-dimensional space-time and when physicists are struggling to describe more complex structures, they do use this low-dimensional models as a patches, which are modeling the continuum in approximative way. If they would use patches of higher number of dimensions, its application would not only become too complex subjectively - but it would become poorly conditioned and reliable objectively. Try to imagine, you've a piece of hyperdimensional foam in hand and you're trying to fit a hole in another hyperdimensional foam with it. There is apparently a number of ways, how to do it
DemoniWaari
not rated yet Apr 28, 2012
I've seen lots and lots and lots of this dense aether theory discussion here about whether it's true or not.
But I've been wondering that doesn't a new theory have to predict something new which the old theory sannot predict? And after that when we discover that it really was so we change the base theory.
So my question is that can dense aether theory do something similar to this?

Oh and I'm not any physics professor who understands much of this hyperdimensional multi-world Michelson-Morley stuff. Though I actually do know what a wave function is.
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
In dense aether model the spreading of energy in form of longitudinal waves is as significant, as the spreading of energy in form of transverse waves of light. Whereas the mainstream physics is oriented to transverse waves, it systematically ignores the scalar wave phenomena - not only because they're weak in generall, but because they're of indeterministic nature and difficult to handle with low-dimensional math.

So that the main domain of predictions of aether model resides in domain of scalar waves and its application. The domain of scalar waves begins at the CMBR scale and all longer waves are having scalar character more pronounced. The AWT therefore predicts the phenomena related to scalar wave shielding and reflection (for example the negative radiation pressure of SW). It predicts the symmetry of Universe expansion around CMBR scale. It predicts the mass of photons and their energetic dependence, the superluminal speed of gravity waves and their solitons - neutrinos, etc.
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
To recognize the predictions of AWT is quite easy: it happens always in situation, when the proponents of mainstream physics start to oppose me wildly. So whenever I'm getting downvoted fast for promotion of things like the superluminal gravity waves, tired light model of Universe expansion, non-zero rest mass of photon etc, you can be sure, I'm just talking about AWT predictions, which the classical physics is incompatible with. But IMO the main power of AWT model is in its pedagogical value: it enables to fill the holes in understanding, which the mainstream science cannot fill with strictly deterministic models (fucking magnets HOW they do work?, what are the photons, how the electron looks-like, why is the light speed constant, how gravity field work, what the dark matter is and how it differs from normal matter, what the antimatter is and how it differs from normal matter). The mainstream physics has formal models for all these concepts, but it lacks their intuitive understanding.
DemoniWaari
5 / 5 (1) Apr 28, 2012
Well I didn't understand anything in your first paragraph.

So AWT predicts lots of stuff, I get that, but are there things that it predicts which we have actually measured and seen? And the old theories can't account for?
bkort
not rated yet Apr 28, 2012
"In the '30s, Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen argued that the wave function does not provide a complete physical description of reality and suggested that the entire theory of quantum mechanics is incomplete."

They did this by positing a scenario that departs from Heisenberg's scenario. Heisenberg assumes that a particle arrives in the observer's field of view, and nothing extra is known about the particle until it is measured.

But Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen proposed a scenario in which something important is known about the particle before it is measured. They postulate that the particle has a "birth certificate" that discloses when and where the particle was born, before it set out on its journey to the distant observer.
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
So AWT predicts lots of stuff, I get that, but are there things that it predicts which we have actually measured and seen? And the old theories can't account for?
Technically, you cannot predict something, which we already observed. But for example, dense aether model predicts, the Universe doesn't appear expanding, when being observed in radiowaves, it will appear collapsing instead. So far we didn't observe such blue shift, because we have no reliable spectra for radiowaves. But this model predicts the violation of inverse square law for distant radiowave sources. And this violation has been observed already. From AWT follows, in CMBR spectrum the red shift effects will disappear, because the red shift photons cannot disperse itself - it has been already observed too.
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
Because the red shift is caused with dispersion of light in AWT, the distant galaxies will appear relatively larger in similar way, like the distant light sources observed trough fog. The expanding Universe model would require instead, these galaxies should appear the smaller, the more distant they are. But the experimental results say the opposite, thus confirming the dense aether model instead. The distant universe appears blurred and if we would observe it with radiowaves, which can maintain only rough surface details, it would appear shrinking. These observations are already known - they're just not interpreted consistently - or they're simply ignored in quiet. The thinking of mainstream science suffers with hysteresis: it ignores all evidence, until the paradigm switch will not occur. After then the same evidence is accepted noncritically, until another layer of evidence will not switch the intersubjective opinion again, and so on..
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
In the '30s, Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen argued that the wave function does not provide a complete physical description of reality and suggested that the entire theory of quantum mechanics is incomplete
Everyone can see, that the quantum mechanics is incomplete with simple double slit experiment. What the Copenhagen interpretation of QM actually predicts is the interference patterns. But does the output of real experiment appear like this?
It appears so only for long wavelength photons which do everlap heavily. The more energetic photons we will use in double slit experiment, the more the resulting interference pattern appears composed from isolated points, like this. The QM cannot account to this pronounced change of experimental result at all - and the physicists cannot realize it, despite they have these pictures before eyes all the time.
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
What this result actually says is, the photons are never getting completely nonlocalized, as the Copenhagen interpretation considers. Instead of it, every photons is formed with certain hard core, which is surrounded with softer cloud of less dense vacuum (de Broglie wave), which actually gets diffracted during double slit experiment and which affects the subsequent path of motion of the hard core of photon. But the hard core of photon doesn't suffer with diffraction at all - it sorta indivisible pinpoint particle like the electron (which do provide the very same picture, like the gamma ray photons in double slit experiment).

Now many interesting question arise - for example, how large the hard core of photon actually is? And when the size of photon becomes comparable with size of pea or grain of salt, for example?
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
Another consequence, which everyone could deduce just with starring at the results of double slit experiment is, the deBroglie wave must always move faster, than the rest of particle for being able to control its subsequent path of motion. OK -lets say, that the de Broglie wave is spreading with speed of light, so it can advance the motion of every massive particle and it can diffract with double slit in advance. At the case of electron such interpretation has no conceptual problem with special relativity, because in relativity no massive particle can move faster, than the light or de Broglie wave.

But... at the case of gamma ray diffraction we have an apparent problem, because these photons do diffract in the same way, like the electrons, so that their hard core must always move slower, than the de Broglie wave, which controls its path. It would mean, for energetic photons applies the same limitation, like for every massive particles, in another words, these photons are massive!
DavidMartin
5 / 5 (3) Apr 28, 2012
The words 'subjective' and 'objective' have to be used carefully here, you can't use 'subjective' to mean fallible or human! It's much more specific in the article, which is about a paper that has really shown that the central mystery still stands, even with all the pathetic attempts to dodge it, or explain it away.

An analysis of the wave function finds that it doesn't correspond to something that emerges from the observer's knowledge of the state of the system, but rather corresponds to the system itself.
The reason that some have looked carefully at the role of the observer is that when the probability wave collapses, that is, disappears, and a single state takes its place, it tends to happen right after an observation has been made. So the observer may have something to do with it. But the probability wave is separate from the observer's view of things, so it looks like it is somehow a representation of reality too, just as the picked out state may be a representation of reality.
DavidMartin
5 / 5 (3) Apr 28, 2012
Comments are closed for this article from December, but it contains an error worth posting here.

http://phys.org/n...ior.html

Right at the beginning it says:

"At the heart of quantum theory is the idea that objects in the quantum world will sometimes behave like particles, and other times behave like waves. This ability to combine exclusive properties is called a quantum superposition and is a fundamental principle of quantum mechanics."

No, quantum superposition is the superposition of states of a system before the wave function collapses. At that point it's all waves, probability waves, about what states might be possible. The superposition of states is part of the wave nature, not the same as the wave/particle duality.
A2G
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 28, 2012
Both Dense ether and EU proponents have this in common. They both point out the problems with the conventional thinking and think that automatically means that their pet theories are correct. Just because you can spot a problem, does not automatically mean you have the answer.

There are most definitely problems with QM and the current thinking about DM, DE, and BH. But there are also problems with dense ether theory and the EU model.

The answer is still out there and I am positive that dense ether and the EU are not that answer.
A2G
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 28, 2012
Dense ether still relies on particles without explaining how the particles came to be. You are missing the whole point of that Einstein was on to. He maintained that there could be no particle without a field to form it in the first place.

Dense ether does not explain this. That is what Einstein was trying to do. Therefore dense ether theory has achieved nothing.

Same for the EU group. Electricity does it all without explaining how that came to be in the first place. There are no doubt electrically based phenomena in the universe, but electricity alone can not be shown to do it all. So still the EU does not have the core answer we need.

The answer is still out there and when it finally is revealed then all the pieces to the puzzle we are working on will fit.

From the double slit experiment to the coronal heating problem. It will be exciting when it is finally revealed.
DemoniWaari
5 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
Well thanks for your answer Terriva, though I must admit pretty much all of it goes way beyond my knowledge. Or atleast I should spend like a week interpreting what you just said.
onlinementor
not rated yet Apr 28, 2012
2=1 .. Half your brain recovers what you know to be facts. The other half determines probabilities. The outcome is your reality.
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
Dense ether does not explain this. That is what Einstein was trying to do. Therefore dense ether theory has achieved nothing.
You're right, in dense aether theory the particles are formed with density gradient of space-time and the space-time is formed with density gradient of particle matter and so on... ad infinitum. Einstein brought some light into it, I'm trying to do the same from the opposite side of thinking. Every of you can do it as well.
coronal heating problem. It will be exciting when it is finally revealed
IMO the coronal particles are accelerated with neutrino flux, emanated from Sun.
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
At the heart of quantum theory is the idea that objects in the quantum world will sometimes behave like particles, and other times behave like waves
The question is, if some physical wave can ever behave like pure mathematical wave. When the water surface undulates, it becomes larger at this place. The undulating place will slow down the another waves like the dense blob of matter, i.e. like the particle. This behavior is therefore omnipresent in classical mechanics and it would be strange, if we would'nt find it at the quantum world.
Jitterbewegung
3 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2012
"I agree that we can never "look sharp enough and deep enough" to see beyond the limits of quantum mechanics. "

I disagree. Many scientists have wished they never said never. The "never" using light to see smaller than a certain wavelength of light for a microscope comes to mind. At one time it would take more enery to split the atom than you could get out of it.
daywalk3r
3.9 / 5 (14) Apr 29, 2012
The statistics say that the mortality rate of taking a flight by plane is X% (where X is a value between 0 and 100).

Does that mean that anyone who is travelling by plane,
is DEAD and ALIVE at the same time?

From a QM perspective, this is perfectly fine, as the state of a person in flight is uncertain, until the flight is over (its wave function collapses).

This is a crude example of how a wave function of state of one entity (a person in flight) is inherently dependant on another (the flight itself).

It also works vice-versa, for example if we evaluate the wave function of state of the pilot, relative to the wave function of the flight (pilot dies -> flight over).

This can be extended ad-infinitum in both directions (scale up/down), and so the world we live in could be thought of as an infinite cascade of such wave functions.

However, statistics does not reality define..

The viability of Colbeck's logic lingers on the existence of a fundamental inseparable "building block".
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Apr 29, 2012
Does that mean that anyone who is travelling by plane,
is DEAD and ALIVE at the same time?

If you go by the multiverse interpretation: yes it does.
(Though that is as yet untested and probably will remain untestable)
DavidMartin
not rated yet Apr 29, 2012
The plane flight is not a good analogy for the quantum picture. If it was, do you think we'd still have this problem 90 years later? if the collapse of the wave function could be the equivalent of the end result being delivered, ie the plane lands safely, so we know the particular state chosen out of the statistical possibilities, then we'd have put this stuff behind us in the 1930s. For a start, there isn't the same time-based setup. When we make a measurement, the system changes, but not just in a way that is an obvious direct result of the measurement. And it seems that before we made the measurement, the other states all existed at once.

The plane flight analogy, by contrast, assumes we're talking about probabilities about what happens at a later point in time. That's different, and in that context, of course it's unsurprising that many different possibilities exist.
Moebius
1 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2012
One of the problems of science is that we believe things exist just because we can think of it. We can easily imagine things and ascribe reality to things and ideas that do not exist in nature.

Left and right is a good example of something that doesn't really exist. Don't believe it? Which side of the street are the odd numbered addresses on? Why doesn't a mirror reverse top and bottom?

I think infinity and time are also in this category. Who knows what else?
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Apr 29, 2012
Just a minor point:
Why doesn't a mirror reverse top and bottom?

It also doesn't reverse left and right. When you lift your left arm your mirror image also lifts the arm on the left side (only when you try to see things from the "mirror person's" point of view - i.e. turning yourself mentally 180 degrees to step into its shoes - are left and right exchanged. But that is a mental thing - not a property of the mirror).

There is actually a left/right asymmetry in nature with regards to matter (e.g exhibited in weak decay).
http://en.wikiped...symmetry
Though symmetry is still perserved at another level because matter to the left behaves like antimnatter to the right
(i.e. if you switch left and right AND a particle for it's antiparticle you're back to where you started)
julianpenrod
1 / 5 (3) Apr 29, 2012
In fact, "physics" erroneously "intepreting" mathematical models is a commonplace. Take the formula for the parabolic trajectory of a object launched from a high point. The formula describes the path of the particle into the air, slowing, then falling downward, but it does not tell what happens when it reaches ground level! According to the formula, the particle keeps on going! You have to introduce an understanding of what's around you to realize it syops at gorund level. Likewise with "relativistic mass-energy". It's derived from the formula for relativistic kinetic energy, but it exists as a zero point. Total relativistic kinetic energy is too big, it needs mass times the square of velocity subracted to provide a value close to classical values, but they erroneously "interpreted" the non-movement energy as a factor in total kinetic energy! At 0 Celsius, an ideal gas loses 1/276.15 of its volume with each degree decrease, but it won't go to 0 volume at absolute zero.
Terriva
1 / 5 (3) Apr 29, 2012
I think infinity and time are also in this category. Who knows what else?
What you think is irrelevant, the irrelevant is, what you can prove. The removal of time from physics will not help its understanding at all. Nearly everything in physics is time dependent.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2012
The formula describes the path of the particle into the air, slowing, then falling downward, but it does not tell what happens when it reaches ground level!

Actually, if you take the right formula (i.e. if you don't forget to include Maxwell) then it tells you exactly what will happen when it hits the ground.

OF COURSE will you get a wrong answer when you leave out (more than) half of the laws of nature. What else did you expect?
daywalk3r
3.9 / 5 (11) Apr 29, 2012
The plane flight is not a good analogy for the quantum picture
Nor was it meant to be.

It was used to show what the "wave function" part is about, and how it is treated.

You see, the major problem with todays "quantum picture" is, that it tries to define everything with the quantum wave function whilst a priori considering it to be absolutely fundamental, ergo of a non-emergent/non-causal origin (quantum fluctuations -> random).

This beggs the question: What if not? What if there are "sub-functions" (pilot->plane analogy)?

Then the QWF would become a "subjective" representation of the sum of these sub-functions.

Therefor, any QM interpretation which considers the QWF to be "objective", is bound to the existence of some basic fundamental QWF.

If it was, do you think we'd still have this problem 90 years later?
Only those who don't fully understand what QM is/does, have those kind of "problems". Unification of such fundamentally different approaches, is just nonsense.
brodix
1 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2012
Why is a photon in space confined to a point? It has no mass or gravity, so wouldn't it essentially spread out and as a boson, be overlayed with other spread out photons from the same source. Then when a photon is received, it is essentially a holographic representation of the light from this source, rather than a particular photon that might have traveled individually for billions of years.

An interesting paper on redshift as an effect of such "wave-packets:" http://www.fqxi.o...kets.pdf

An equally interesting interview with Carver Mead, in which he makes a similar argument for electrons as being their own wave:
http://freespace....Mead.htm
DavidMartin
5 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2012
It seems to me that we have a set of clues. There are those who just look at the clues, look at what we observe, and try to solve the puzzle. Those are the good physicists. They start by admitting where there are holes in the jigsaw, the they try to fit pieces in there.

The bad physicists either deny the that clues exist, or deny that the puzzle is unsolved, or split hairs about definitions of things. They hold back progress, by avoiding taking the problem head on. But someone like Einstein was not afraid of not knowing something. If he didn't know something, he wanted an answer.

With quantum theory, we find a bunch of things that we can't interpret. All the good physicists have admitted it... some time ago in fact. It hasn't gone away, but there are more people in denial nowadays.
Origin
1 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2012
Why is a photon in space confined to a point? It has no mass or gravity, so wouldn't it essentially spread out and as a boson, be overlayed with other spread out photons from the same source.
As I explained above, during double slit experiment the high energy photons are behaving in the same way, like every other massive particles, so I don't take the consideration of zero mass of photon of general relativity seriously. After all, the general relativity has nothing very much to say about photons, because the photons are concept of quantum mechanics theory and the general relativity doesn't support the quantization. In dense aether model no objects confined into space cannot be massless, the positive curvature of space-time defines their positive mass. The photons are solitons, i.e. product of mutual resonance of transverse waves of light and longitudinal gravitational waves and just these longitudinal waves are giving the photons their mass and gravity field.
Origin
1 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2012
It seems to me that we have a set of clues
Some of us know already quite well, what happens in quantum mechanics experiments - after all, we have macroscopic analogies of the double slit, quantum tunnelling, Hawking radiation or quantum orbitals. Only complete imbecile couldn't take some insight from all these experiments.
Horus
1 / 5 (1) Apr 30, 2012
I can predict within a high probability that the writer of this article needs to proofread this article several more times.
gwrede
1 / 5 (1) Apr 30, 2012
How do you know? It may very well not be deterministic, even if you know the inner state. You think this (an untestable hypothesis), and I agree it logically makes sense, but that doesn't make it true.
But then, Occam takes the stage. If it logically makes sense, then it is a good starting point.
slayerwulfe
5 / 5 (1) May 01, 2012
This is gonna get all kinds of nasty retorts, I know, but...
Why can't we devise a means to test/measure without inputting energy?
definitely not from me because while impractical the thought is so pure. we can only act upon what we think we know,we have only one tool to measure with so we act upon it, that it's the only one available because that is our knowledge. what we believe to be knowledge is only what we believe. probability is always a factor because we lack complete ability. the arguments are a critical point because they are the only moments that are relative to what our existence is.
It's because without energy, you wouldn't be measuring *with* anything.

slayerwulfe
not rated yet May 01, 2012
the quantum wave function at this time only represents what each individual want's it to represent. and if this were not true then i would never hear names such a Bohr or Einstein. the reason i am hearing the names is because that is what is most important to most of you. concentrate on the probability of intelligence not the needy or admired person where you all choose your hero's to follow, that you also become great by attaching yourselves to them . let everything be about the intelligence never the person. try to cancel that out.
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) May 01, 2012
the quantum wave function at this time only represents what each individual wants it to represent.
In dense aether model it means the density wave of aether, similar to density fluctuation inside of dense gas, which do condense and evaporate all the time. The acceptation of wave function as a physical reality can be therefore perceived as the another step toward acceptation of dense aether as the hidden underlying reality - or at least its waves in this moment. It describes the aspect of space-time foam, which is 1) elastic 2) it gets more dense, when we put some energy into it in similar way, like the soap foam when being shaken. The equation describing the behaviour of such elastic foam is just the Schrodinger equation, the main postulate equation of quantum mechanics.
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) May 01, 2012
The world at the human observer scale is driven neither with general relativity, neither with quantum mechanics, because we cannot observe space-time curvature or the quantum waves in common life. But the rudiments of quantum mechanics behavior are all around us. In classical mechanics the d'Alambert wave equation describes the undulations of elastic matter, like the water surface. Such idealized waves are of zero mass and they do penetrate mutually like the ghosts. But the real waves never behave like this. Every waves deforms its environment at least a bit, thus making it a bit more larger. The surface area of undulating water surface is always higher, than the surface area of flat water surface and it slows down the spreading of another surface waves, which are traveling across it like the sparse blob of more dense matter. As the result, every solitary wave at the water surface is behaving like sparse particle and this is what the concept of particle-wave duality of QM is all about.
DavidMartin
not rated yet May 01, 2012
There's a need to pin down the bit that we can't interpret. It's easy to talk about conceptual pictures of this and that. But if we don't focus on the actual issues, we'll not get to a specific solution. Feynman said that most of the QM issues boil down to the double slit experiment. No suggestions can explain one aspect of this, and that's what I'd say is the core of the puzzle. It's that fact that in the double slit experiment, when we make a measurement, the interference pattern vanishes. It's possible to reduce the light going through to a single photon at a time, and sending the photons one by one still builds up an interference pattern on the screen. That far can be explained loosely by the pilot wave of de Broglie. But if we look to see which slit the photon went through, the wave-like pattern then disappears. From there, we get particles, not waves. Who can explain this specific point? That's the challenge.
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) May 01, 2012
No suggestions can explain one aspect of this, and that's what I'd say is the core of the puzzle.
The double slit experiment is perfectly clear for me. We even have direct water surface analogy for it. What happens during double slit experiment?
Particle makes a wake wave around itself during its travel trough vacuum foam (which is knowns as a de-Broglie wave for decades). This wave interferes with both slits at advance under formation of flabelliform patterns. The vacuum becomes more dense at the place of these patterns, because it always becomes more dense at the places, where it exhibits higher energy density in similar way, like the soap foam, which gets thickens whenever shaken. The flabelliform patterns therefore serving as a waveguides for subsequent motion of particles and they do enhance the probability of its impact at the target in their directions.
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) May 01, 2012
..if we look to see which slit the photon went through, the wave-like pattern then disappears
We discussed it already in debate about mechanism of quantum entanglement. The particle, which is moving through wildly undulating vacuum undulates randomly with respect to particles of observer. But when the observation is done, a portion of the energy of observed object is exchanged with particles of observer, and as the result all particles undulate with the same phase from this moment. Their mutual motion effectively disappears in this way and the wave function of observed object "collapses" from perspective of observer. The observed object now undulates like single body together with observer and it cannot be influenced with double slit interference anymore, because it's actually a part of much larger object, which is interacting classically with the double slit. Again, I do believe, this mechanism could be demonstrated in water surface analogy with larger ensemble of particles.
DavidMartin
not rated yet May 01, 2012
Yes, the water surface analogy does some of what the double slit experiment does, but not the central point I mentioned, ie making the interference pattern disappear, and removing the waves.

Good to see you have a view of what happens, hope it makes predictions. Good luck with that. I'd to say to anyone looking at these puzzles, don't dismiss them without trying to answer that central question.
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) May 01, 2012
Yes, the water surface analogy does some of what the double slit experiment does, but not the central point I mentioned, ie making the interference pattern disappear, and removing the waves.
Because prof. Couder did his experiment with the water surface for the single particle only. If he would use the thousands of additional particles, which wouldn't pass with double slit, but they would still interact with movable particle via surface ripples, then their collective inertia would affect the motion of movable particle in such a way, the double slit interference effect would disappear from the moment, when all particles would jump as a single one (i.e. when they would become "entangled").
Briefly speaking, the Couder's water surface analogy didn't mimic the role of observer in quantum mechanics yet - but I do believe, it's principally capable of it.
DavidMartin
not rated yet May 01, 2012
Well, there's your prediction. I can't see why the first photon isn't already vibrating in sympathy with the whole laboratory when it gets sent out in the first place, having been closely involved with the experimental apparatus.
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) May 01, 2012
Well, there's your prediction. I can't see why the first photon isn't already vibrating in sympathy with the whole laboratory when it gets sent out in the first place, having been closely involved with the experimental apparatus.
If you're observing the photon closely along WHOLE PATH of its motion, then you're removing the randomness from the photon motion systematically. You're essentially following this photons during its travel through both slits, thus effectively replacing the photon with much larger composite object, involving the observer itself. Such a large object is moving classically and therefore it doesn't interfere with the double slit.

The observation of the photons along whole path is the crucial condition here: at the moment, when you release your attention, you're releasing entanglement with the photon due the decoherence and such unmonitored photon may get the random path again.
Terriva
1 / 5 (2) May 01, 2012
The entanglement is only temporal effect. The previous double slit experiments were arranged at small scale and the flabelliform patterns disappeared, whenever the photon has been located anywhere along the path between slits and target for a single moment. IMO if the double slit experiment would be arranged in free cosmic space at the sufficient distance, then the observation of photon at the single place of apparatus wouldn't be sufficient for keeping it entangled with observer during whole travel. Due the decoherence the motion of photon would become random after few hundreds meters or kilometers and the flabelliform patterns would be restored at the certain distance from the observation.
DavidMartin
not rated yet May 01, 2012
well, you have the complete picture, and I don't. But to me, firing a photon out of a machine is as likely to get it vibrating as observing it along the path. More so in fact. The path is pretty short, the photon covers it in 3e-8 seconds or so, I don't see how watching it whizz by makes it vibrate. But firing it out of a vibrating machine, now that might. Anyway, we'll leave it, you have a complex set of ideas, and without the whole picture I may easily be missing something. Good luck with the book, you should write one about it. Got to go, all the best.
Tachyon8491
1.7 / 5 (6) May 01, 2012
Please do not use the term "universes" - it is a conceptual contradiction in terms - the word is derived from the roots "uni-" meaning "single, whole," and "versum" - "to turn into" - the whole, all that exists, turned into One. If there are cosmic dimensional frames which are in some way attributionally isolated in process-dynamics or dimensionality, these should properly be called subdomains, or universal subdomains. The term universes conceptually addresses such universal subdomains. Although its colloquial usage may be casually acceptable it is not scientifically, philosophically, technically, conceptually or epistemologically correct. The term "multiverse" also refers to a matrix of universal subdomains which are quantised in mutual isolation of some specific process-attributes,and may have transitional boundaries in dimensional, or other dynamic form. As the quantum physicist Smolin also said, "There is only one universe."
Tachyon8491
1 / 5 (3) May 01, 2012
Here's a suggestion for an "interference-fringe AND trajectory" experiment. As you know we can either obtain single-particle self-interference from its wave-function (See David Bohm's addition of the Quantum Potential Term to the Schrodinger wave equation in this regard) OR trajectory information, not both. As a hypothetical, use a single-particle source with a double-slit interferometer but replace the projection screen with a half-silvered mirror, followed by two CCD detectors placed in the geometric projection paths between the source, through slits, to the detectors. This should hypothetically allow the simultaneous perception of interference fringes and trajectory information. In Bohm's perspective it is the particle's wave function which explores alternative propagation paths where the particle chooses one of them. Bohmian "quantal consciousness" is summed in his "The electron, in observing its environment and deriving meaning from it, is doing what humans are doing..."
theon
1 / 5 (2) May 02, 2012
The minimalist interpretation of QM is the statistical one. All other interpretations add (subjective) elements to it. The same here. There is no need to ponder about "elements of reality" to get QM working, and neither does it help to have it working better. Interpretations better start from considering what goes on in a measurement, because that is the only point of contact between theory and practice.
Origin
1 / 5 (2) May 02, 2012
All other interpretations add (subjective) elements to it. The same here
As I explained already above, the result of real double slit experiment is objectively richer, than the statistical interpretation of QM predicts. Therefore there is still space for making QM less abstract. After all, in strictly statistical interpretation of QM the quantum wave function is unmeasurable and unobservable - yet it has been measured recently.

http://www.nature...120.html

I presume, Nature journal is sufficiently reliable source for you. The whole trick is, the statistical interpretation of QM is relevant for SINGLE experiment, but with analysis of multiple experiments you can get the additional data, which extend the statistical interpretation in objectively way - not just subjectively.
Tausch
1 / 5 (2) May 02, 2012
Reconcile God and randomness.
Clever from Einstein:
Gott würfeln nicht - Sinngemäß
What describes both?
The Classical and the Quantum 'reality'.
Without contradiction. With consistency.
Wonderfully comments and heroics to make sense of our existence and experience.

Without conradiction. With consistency.
Origin
1 / 5 (3) May 02, 2012
Dense aether model begins and ends with the insight, even the randomness has some rudimentary geometry hardwired into it. If we generate the pixels of random color at the screen, then the result is not quite structureless. It exhibits fuzzy patterns, which are similar to clouds or Perlin noise. For example, for random dataset is typical, the extreme deviations are rare. You can throw the same number ten-times in random dice throws - but its improbable. In the group of random pixels the extreme pixel of extreme colour is improbable. As the result, the random pixels are forming clusters of clusters which are rather isolated each other. They're similar to material objects, composed of another smaller objects and particles, which we can observe inside of our Universe.
Nirgal
1 / 5 (1) May 03, 2012
When it is said that Quantum Theory is complete, is it meant that Quantum Theory has reached a state such that it completely and uniquely describes reality? Or is it meant that Quantum Theory is a maximal consistent set of sentences such as what is meant in mathematical logic? If the former is what is taken as the preferred meaning then I must ask, how is that a scientific rather than a philosophical statement? Can it be demonstrated that there does not exist any complete theory (in the same sense as above) that does not use any of the concepts of quantum mechanics but which is fully capable of describing reality in the sense of producing verifiable predictions? I am painfully aware that I am very much ignorant on most of the subject, so my questions are sincere.
DavidMartin
not rated yet May 03, 2012
Who said it's complete? It absolutely obviously isn't. We just have bits of a description of something. Special relativity is the same, just one bit of something. It will turn out that a lateral jump - a conceptual one - shows us another adjacent bit one day, like a few more bits of the puzzle. And then there will be more work to do on quantum theory. The idea that it's complete is a ridiculous idea that came from people who feel more secure or self-satisfied if they say that.
Origin
1.5 / 5 (2) May 03, 2012
No theory is indeed complete from phenomenological perspective, but the quantum theorists are using "completeness" in slightly different meaning: they're pointing with it to the fact, the different interpretations of QM don't lead into different predictions, than the standard Copenhagen interpretation does. In this sense it seems, the QM cannot be extended toward new predictions with its reformulation - in this sense it's a complete theory. You can still predict new phenomena with it by more consequential application of existing postulates, but these phenomena should be derived with another formulations as well.
DavidMartin
not rated yet May 03, 2012
You mean we know what it does? Yes, we know what it does.
Tachyon8491
1 / 5 (3) May 03, 2012
Interpretations better start from considering what goes on in a measurement, because that is the only point of contact between theory and practice.
Agreed - yet it also generates a philsophical question - in the Rosenthal Effect, two teams of research psychologists given mutually opposite experimental goals,will each tend to prove the opposite goal - this asks, is there a latent range (a
Tachyon8491
1 / 5 (3) May 03, 2012
Post truncated by physorg's comms...
cntnd: a latent range (a < X < b) where "objective reality" yields to subjective perceptions in projective psychodynamics, in the application of directed energies - and does this effect operate beyond the human macroscale and threshold into the quantal microdomain? In the study of entanglement between psychodynamics and matter-energy complexes there appears to be seductive evidence for such effects...
DavidMartin
not rated yet May 03, 2012
Tackle the puzzles head on. Look at the clues. One lateral jump and you might think of something no-one else thought of. Otherwise you'll find ways to avoid doing that, and yet still feel complacent about your thinking, and then you'll pretentiously waffle your way up your own ascending scale.
tasha90
1 / 5 (5) May 09, 2012

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