Einstein vs quantum mechanics, and why he'd be a convert today

Jun 13, 2014 by Margaret Reid
It’s mind-blowing stuff, but Einstein wasn’t completely convinced by quantum mechanics. Credit: Travis Morgan/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

Albert Einstein may be most famous for his mass-energy equivalence formula E = mc2, but his work also laid down the foundation for modern quantum mechanics.

His analysis of the "spookiness" of quantum mechanics opened up a whole range of applications including quantum teleportation and quantum cryptography, but he wasn't completely convinced by the theory of quantum mechanics – and that story is as fascinating as the theory he attempted to nail down.

Quantum mechanics is downright bizarre. It implies that a particle, such as an electron, can pass through two holes at the same time.

More famously, German physicist Erwin Schrödinger's equations proved that a cat could end up in a peculiar sort of quantum state, being neither dead nor alive.

None of this impressed Einstein. He believed quantum mechanics was correct, but desperately wanted to find a way to "complete" quantum mechanics so it made sense.

At the time, most quantum physicists adopted the "shut up and calculate" philosophy: get on with the job, and don't worry about philosophical issues – just get the predictions.

Gaining momentum (and position)

Einstein's opponents used Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle against him, which (among other things) states it is not possible to measure both the position and the momentum of a particle simultaneously to arbitrary accuracy.

If someone measures the position of a particle, the particle is disturbed, so its momentum changes. If it's impossible to measure those two things at once, how can they be defined together?

Einstein's opponents thought he simply didn't understand quantum mechanics – but he knew the problem was deeper.

Then Eureka! In 1935, Einstein thought of a way to explain the problems with quantum mechanics. He would give a strong argument to show how position could indeed be measured without disturbing the particle!

Einstein (with American physicists Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen) discovered quantum entanglement.

Quantum entanglement of two particles means – bear with me here – that the quantum wave function describing them cannot be mathematically factorised into two separate parts, one for each particle.

This has an important consequence. Once two particles undergo entanglement, they become specially connected in a "spooky" kind of way that was eventually made clear by Einstein's arguments and the experiments that followed.

Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen – known collectively as EPR – realised that quantum mechanics predicted entangled states, where the positions and the momenta for two particles are perfectly correlated, no matter how far apart the two particles are.

That's what was important to Einstein, who believed there could be no immediate disturbance to the second particle, as a result of anything that was done to the first particle. He called this "no-spooky-action-at-a-distance".

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So, suppose a girl called Alice measures the position of the first particle and a boy called Bob simultaneously measures the position of the second particle. Then because of the perfect correlation, once Alice makes her measurement, she knows immediately the result of Bob's measurement.

For Einstein's magical entangled states, her prediction is absolutely spot on – no error at all.

Then, Einstein argued that can only happen because Bob's particle did actually have that precise position that Alice predicted. Nothing at Bob's location can change because of Alice's measurement, which cannot disturb the second particle.

As Bob and Alice's measurements are separated by space, Einstein concluded there had to be a hidden variable to describe the precisely specified value of the position of the second particle measured by Bob.

Now, similarly, Alice can predict with absolute precision the momentum of Bob's particle without disturbing it. Then, assuming no spooky action, Einstein claimed the momentum of Bob's particle could also be precisely specified, regardless of Alice's measurement.

This leaves us with Bob's particle having simultaneously precise values for position and momentum – which contradicts the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

Resolving spooky action

Einstein's argument illustrated the contradiction between quantum mechanics as we know it and the assumption of "no-spooky-action-at-a-distance". Einstein's belief was to resolve the problem in the simplest way: to introduce hidden variables consistent with no spooky action that would complete quantum mechanics.

Of course, by far the simplest resolution would be that Einstein's entanglement simply doesn't exist in nature. There were proposals that maybe entanglement decays with the spatial separation of the particles, then there would be no conflict between quantum mechanics and spooky action.

There was the need to experimentally confirm Einstein's entanglement.

Chien-Shiung Wu – often referred to as Madame Wu or the First Lady of Physics – from the University of Columbia was first to give evidence of Einstein's entanglement in the laboratory. She showed an Einstein-type correlation between the polarisation of two well-separated photons, which are tiny localised particles of light.

John Bell, a physicist working at CERN, took Einstein very seriously and wanted to develop a hidden variable theory along the lines Einstein suggested.

He examined the states Madame Wu had created, but on looking closely at their predictions for some small adjustment of measurements, he came across a startling result.

Chien-Shiung Wu.

According to quantum mechanics, finding such a hidden variable theory would be impossible. The results of measurements in the laboratory would be different for Einstein's hidden variables and quantum mechanics.

This meant that quantum mechanics was simply wrong, or else that any hidden variable theory enabling a completion of quantum mechanics would have to allow a "-at-a-distance".

Back to the lab

In a nutshell, experimentalists John Clauser, Alain Aspect, Anton Zeilinger, Paul Kwiat and colleagues have performed the Bell proposal for a test of Einstein's hidden variable theories. All results so far support quantum mechanics. It seems that when two particles undergo entanglement, whatever happens to one of the particles can instantly affect the other, even if the particles are separated!

Have Einstein's dreams of a better theory have been dashed by experiments?

Not quite. The experiments to date focus on photons, not massive particles such as electrons or atoms. Nor do they deal with very large systems.

So I don't think Einstein would give up just yet. He'd think that maybe laws are different for real particles.

Australian scientists are examining ways to test Einstein's and Bell's ideas, using atoms and even miniature objects that have been cooled so much they have lost all their thermal jittering. Who knows what they'll find?

And as for my contribution? On working with squeezed states of light in the 1980s, I thought of a way to test for the original Einstein's entanglement, after noting scientists were able to amplify and detect the tiny quantum fluctuations of optical amplitudes.

In , these are just like "position" and "momentum" and the experiment opened up a whole new way of testing Einstein's entanglement.

Experiments since have confirmed this mesoscopic type of Einstein's in a range of environments, which brings us closer to understanding Schrödinger's cat.

Explore further: Einstein's 'spooky' theory may lead to ultra-secure internet

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ar18
1.2 / 5 (12) Jun 13, 2014
No, Einstein would not have been convinced. There are still two major flaws with QM: (1) no one can tell us with any amount of certainty what exactly is it that scientists are observing. Is light or electrons a particle, a wave, both, or neither? Experiments simultaneously prove and disprove all of the above and that alone is proof that reasoning behind QM theory is fundamentally flawed, and (2) much of QM (with exceptions) is solely focused on properties of entangled "particles" -- something which the vast majority Universe we live in is not made up of. Maybe the hidden variable is in the process of creating entangled particles and not something inherent in matter or observations of it after it is entangled. And let's not forget that what happens on a subatomic scale does not even remotely happen on a macro-scale. We have yet to reproduce the dual-slit experiment using cars or people. The de Broglie wavelength is too small to consistently apply to macro objects.
Scottingham
4.6 / 5 (10) Jun 13, 2014
Above comment is an example of the Dunning Kruger effect....

http://en.wikiped...r_effect
axemaster
3.6 / 5 (8) Jun 13, 2014
None of this impressed Einstein. He believed quantum mechanics was correct, but desperately wanted to find a way to "complete" quantum mechanics so it made sense.

At the time, most quantum physicists adopted the "shut up and calculate" philosophy: get on with the job, and don't worry about philosophical issues – just get the predictions.

Einstein would have the same opinion today, because "shut up and calculate" is still by far the dominant opinion among physicists. The problem with quantum mechanics is that despite being an extremely powerful and successful mathematical theory, it has nevertheless done very little to advance our understanding of the nature of physics. Quantum allows you to calculate results, but gives no insight about the reason for the results. This is why people in the physics community are forced to blindly grope around trying to find the Grand Unified Theory - quantum mechanics simply doesn't give us the intuition we need to zero in on a solution.
Sikla
Jun 13, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
antialias_physorg
4.9 / 5 (17) Jun 13, 2014
, it has nevertheless done very little to advance our understanding of the nature of physics.

The problem isn't quantum physics. It's us who WANT to fit what we observe/calculate into preconceived notions. It's fitting a square peg into a round hole - not gonna happen.

Quantum allows you to calculate results, but gives no insight about the reason for the results.

See what I mean? You're looking for absolute reason. You are PREsupposing total causality as fundamental to the universe. Quantum mechanics seems to argue that that isn't so. Having a reason for everything is certainly satisfying. But that satisfaction is just a bias introduced to us on how our brain works (it's easy for our brain to work on if-then chains. It's nearly impossible for the brain to work based on branching probabilities)
...and that bias need not be in synch with how the universe works. Our intuition may just be not up to spec here.
Noumenon
4.7 / 5 (13) Jun 13, 2014
That's the correct POV,... our minds evolved to operate at the macroscopic scale, to synthesize experience by use of presupposed intuitions,... so we are intrinsically ill equiped to "make sense of" all scales of reality.

desperately wanted to find a way to "complete" quantum mechanics so it made sense......

......quantum mechanics simply doesn't give us the intuition we need to zero in on a solution.


But what is "intution" but expecting reality to conform to our a-priori and thus artificial means of synthesizing experience. Why should reality at the micro-scale "make sense"?

The correct POV was taken by Heisenberg,..... develope a working theory based on observables only and not intuitive presumptions.
Sikla
Jun 13, 2014
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George_Rajna
Jun 13, 2014
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Sikla
Jun 13, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (6) Jun 13, 2014
I doubt he'd be convinced. There was enough evidence in his own time for it. We're all susceptible to firmly holding our worldview FIRST, and then finding reasons to support it....Einstein included. This thread is a perfect example.

I'd be very surprised if he wouldn't have found reasons to still reject the theory that seemed perfectly reasonable to him....
Whydening Gyre
4.7 / 5 (7) Jun 13, 2014
It's fitting a square peg into a round hole - not gonna happen.

Guess that all depends on the diameter of the round hole...
Sikla
Jun 13, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Uncle Ira
4.2 / 5 (10) Jun 13, 2014
Therefore I think, that the mainstream physics converted into Einstein's stance a way more, than Einstein would convert to mainstream physics attitude. Otherwise I don't see a huge difference between belief in ghostly action at distance and the belief in hidden variables, which may or may not describe it, until these variables remain completely hidden: it's just another name of spookiness.


@ Socratic-Skippy, are you saying you agree with Einstein-Skippy or not agree with him? I can not tell from reading what you wrote. That is not your fault that is my own fault because I don't know what you are saying or even what you are saying him about.
Sikla
Jun 13, 2014
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krundoloss
3.8 / 5 (4) Jun 13, 2014
I agree that we need to let go of all our conceived notions about how things should work, and just try to think really outside the box on this one. Obviously, we are built to exist and understand the world scale we live in. When we get down small enough, the ideas we have about how the world works break down completely. There is a reason that things happen the way they do in quantum mechanics (or maybe not), but we just cannot apply logic to them as we would larger objects.
I wonder about how time might be a factor, that things are happening so fast at the tinyest scale, that we look at these objects how one might look at a spinning fan blade. If the fan is still, it is just a fan. When it is moving rapidly, it appears as a "haze". Time would seem to move faster on small scales and slower in large scales. Could things be happening so fast at the quantum mechanics scale that we just cannot identify it, much like looking at a spinning fan blade?
Noumenon
3.8 / 5 (4) Jun 13, 2014
Otherwise I don't see a huge difference between belief in ghostly action at distance and the belief in hidden variables, which may or may not describe it, until these variables remain completely hidden: it's just another name of spookiness.


That the proposed variables are known or not is less important then that Local hidden variables are ruled out resoundingly,... so any proposed mechanism would still have to be non-local.

Time would seem to move faster on small scales and slower in large scales.


Since Time has never been observed independently of its application in relating things,...say as a time-field or a time-particle,... it should be taken as Defined as just another physical system, and nothing more.

Sikla
Jun 13, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
tadchem
4.3 / 5 (3) Jun 13, 2014
The problem at the root of the wave-particle conflict is not in the theories, but rather in our interpretations of them.
Electrons, photons, neutrinos, etc. are *quantities*. It is our most simplified models that represent waves or particles. The degree to which models correspond with observations measure their 'correctness.'
Whatever an electron (or photon or neutrino) really is, it is something that can be *represented* with equal facility as either a particle or a wave - under mutually exclusive circumstances.
My personal preference is for the 'four-tensor' which can be represented either way by a simple mathematical transformation of the coordinate system.
Sikla
Jun 13, 2014
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Sikla
Jun 13, 2014
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Electronhelix
1.7 / 5 (3) Jun 13, 2014
A substantial number of comments are to the effect that Einstein will not have been swayed towards complete belief in Quantum Theory. Please allow be to comment firstly on the Electron Double slit Experiment. Since the Electron does not exist at a point, it is eminently probable that component parts pass through both slits. Synchronicity would not allow separate Electrons to interfere with one another. Only a single Electron could interfere with its own wave function.
Self interference has recently been observed. If the Electron is recognised as a 'closed' wave which behaves like a particle, then Gravity simply becomes the Refraction of that wave by adjacent Mass. The Lensing of Light being the equivalent of a Gravitational 'pull'. Refraction caused by Time Dilation across the Wave. i.e. That part of the wave nearer to great Mass travelling at a slower velocity than that part further away. The Photon's path bends as a Space time warp. Einstein again, but Mass 'bending' Mass is Gravity
Bob Osaka
5 / 5 (4) Jun 13, 2014
What would Einstein do? WWED? kinda catchy. I don't think anyone here or anywhere is qualified to answer. It's more of a rhetorical question. I would think he'd be fascinated with how much knowledge and imagery we've collected since his death, appalled by our lack of progress not just toward the UFT but as a species on the whole. We've learned so much and done so little with it.

His time capsule message: Dear Posterity,
If you have not become more just, more peaceful,
and generally more rational than we are ( or were)
why then, the Devil take you.
Having, with all respect, given utterance to this pious wish,
I am (or was) Your, Albert Einstein

Yeah, he was a funny guy. Stare at the Hubble deep field images, imagine ripples propagating inwardly. That's spooky.
Uncle Ira
3 / 5 (8) Jun 13, 2014
are you saying you agree with Einstein-Skippy or not agree with him
Einstein is like the quantum cat: both dead, both alive and well. It depends on just you, how you will perceive him: the http://phys.org/n...rsy.html would tell you, Einstein has been indeed vindicated as usually, whereas for proponents of strictly deterministic mainstream physics it's more advantageous to pretend, that it was actually the Einstein, who would be forced to change his opinion right now (why?)


@ Thanks Socratic-Skippy for that but it did not help me much. That is my own fault too because I think maybe I missed something when you guys were talking about cats alive and cats dead. I don't care much for the cats either, but don't you tell the Mrs-Ira that because she likes them a lot. For me I think the dog is better than the cat any day. But I don't think Mrs-Ira's cat should be dead.

Thanks for trying podna.
krundoloss
4.5 / 5 (2) Jun 13, 2014
Since Time has never been observed independently of its application in relating things,...say as a time-field or a time-particle,... it should be taken as Defined as just another physical system, and nothing more.


Ok, well lets just keep thinking the same way then. That's the point I am trying to make, we need to think outside the box of what we think we know, what makes sense, into a realm that does not make sense. Here's the kicker - It doesn't have to make sense. Things can just be!
PS3
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 13, 2014
Someone should collect a bunch of Savants and make a Dream Team to see what they come up with.
georgeortega57
2 / 5 (7) Jun 13, 2014
A subscriber to your blog, I am ordinarily quite impressed and pleased by the quality of your content. However the piece you published several hours ago titled "Einstein vs quantum mechanics, and why he'd be a convert today" is so flawed in terms of the author's understanding of both history and quantum mechanics that it is at once humorous and frightening.

Let me begin with the author's assertion that "If it's impossible to measure those two things [particle position and momentum] at once, how can they be defined together?" That's like proposing that because we can't see the head and tail sides of a coin at the same time, a coin cannot be defined as simultaneously having both a head and a tail side; an obviously mistaken conclusion.

Let's next explore the author's wildly inaccurate misinterpretation of Schrödinger's cat experiment. First, Schrödinger was actually in Einstein's camp regarding the fundamentally causal nature of both the macro and quantum world. Second, and more importantly, Schrödinger proposed that thought experiment to illustrate the absurdity of suggesting that ignorance of a particle's state and properties means that the particle does not have a state and properties until they are observed. Schrödinger's position on this is well known, and it is curious how this historical knowledge evaded both the article's author and Physorg.com's editorial staff.

Regarding Einstein's EPR paper, it was simply an overly complex, and in my opinion now and forever flawed, attempt to demonstrate that the micro world is, in fact, governed by causality. So, Bell's, Aspect's, and subsequent work is quite inconsequential in that it has no relevance to the issue of causality.

We now move on to the author's Bob and Alice example, about which he asserts "This leaves us with Bob's particle having simultaneously precise values for position and momentum – which contradicts the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle."

However, HUP prohibits simultaneous position/momentum particle measurement, not existence. The author is unfortunately conflating the now largely discredited Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics with quantum mechanics itself for this groundless conclusion.

Recently, I published in April that covers the determinism/indeterminism question at a level of nature more fundamental than considered by either HUP or EPR - the level of a priori knowledge.

Following is the link to the book (a short read at only 56 pages) that describes my original argument for a priori causality (determinism) at macro and quantum levels of nature, and more importantly, presents an original argument for how your blog, and too many physicists, continuing to believe that quantum phenomena can somehow escape governance by the causal principle confuses many people into hopelessly hoping that somehow indeterminism leaves room for a human free will (it doesn't as an acausal decision cannot be rationally or scientifically attributed to anything or anyone) and for how our world's continued belief in free will, with the climate change denial it undeniably gives rise to, can no longer be considered either inconsequential or purely academic.

Free Will: Its Refutation, Societal Cost and Role in Climate Change Denial
http://refutation...m/fw.pdf

Please feel free to share the file however you deem helpful.

Sincerely,
George Ortega
Empire State College

Uncle Ira
4.1 / 5 (9) Jun 13, 2014
@ George-Skippy, these are really smart peoples that hang out around. Well most of them are, but there is also the strange not-so-smart-Skippys too, but not too many of them. Anyhoo, you going to find it hard to sell your stuffs here if you start out lying to the peoples you.

Empire State says they want you working there. They tell the google that. The other thing is you don't say nothing about being the television star on your own cable community show. (I wouldn't mention neither if it was me, it was really not so good, on the youtube.) The other another thing, this ain't the blog, it's the physorg. They post up the science news for everybody to keep up. They don't write the stories for their own, they just copy them over from other places. And the another other thing, that paper you publish is not on the google, it sounds like it come from YOUR blog and you are trying to trick the ne peoples at the physorg into publishing it for you.

I'm running short of letter space,,,,
Uncle Ira
4.1 / 5 (9) Jun 13, 2014
@ P.S. for George-Skippy. I ran short of letters, they only like you to use 1000 at time. That's something else you got learn how to do.

Now you can ask anyone around here and nobody is going to tell you that I'm a really smart-science-Skippy. But I am not really a stupid-Skippy either. What I know a whole big lot about is peoples and what they are up too. I know the tow-em/push-em boats too but that is not important for this message.

Now if you want to play like the scientist theory making Skippy, you got to tone it down and not jump right out of the starting gate with a paper you need the nice people at the physorg to publish for you. Marky-Something-Wayne-Skippy tried that last week. He got the silly looking pointy cap for his work. If you run into him tell him for ol Ira that he forgot to leave it at the door when he left. YOU ARE ON THE LIST SKIPPY, I got one of those silly looking pointy caps here that would look real good on you if don't watch your self.
Uncle Ira
4.1 / 5 (9) Jun 13, 2014
P.S. Again for you George-Skippy. I typed out something wrong up there in the first one and the nice peoples at physorg won't let me change something after four or three minutes or two. I guess because they got more important things to do than to fool around with peoples who don't type so good.

Empire State says they want you working there. They tell the google that.


That is wrong, it was supposed to say, Empire State says they DON'T want working there. They tell the google that, they tell everybody that who comes around looking for you.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (8) Jun 13, 2014
Dear Posterity,
If you have not become more just, more peaceful,
and generally more rational than we are ( or were)
why then, the Devil take you.
Having, with all respect, given utterance to this pious wish,
I am (or was) Yours, Albert Einstein

I'm gonna put that on a t-shirt...
Whydening Gyre
4.6 / 5 (5) Jun 13, 2014
George.
Hate to break it to ya, but my numbers say it's 2/3rds causality, 1/3 self determination...
Bottom line - we have choice.
Uncle Ira
3.8 / 5 (8) Jun 13, 2014
George.
Hate to break it to ya, but my numbers say it's 2/3rds causality, 1/3 self determination...
Bottom line - we have choice.


@ Whydening-Skippy. Yeah we got a choice about a lot things. And we got the choices too about what to do about the things we go no choice for. I might not do always the right thing me no but I didn't do a wrong thing because I didn't have a choice to not do it. And then also me I find a lot times I don't know what is right and what is not, then I got to just pick one choice and hope I guessed it right.
Mimath224
4.3 / 5 (3) Jun 13, 2014
Basically I agree with antialias_physorg about it is us trying to impose our will on QM. That's not to say that I disagree with others. Indeed as a layman there are convincing arguments on both sides. However reading the post
'...Let me begin with the author's assertion that "If it's impossible to measure those two things [particle position and momentum] at once, how can they be defined together?" That's like proposing that because we can't see the head and tail sides of a coin at the same time, a coin cannot be defined as simultaneously having both a head and a tail side; an obviously mistaken conclusion.'
@georgeortega57 I think is wrong because you are trying to make an analogy using the macro state which seems we can't and should not attempt.
Also '...laws are different for real particles...' What 'real particles' are we talking about and at what point do these 'real particles' become real particles?
Our Brain interprets the signals it receives...cont
Mimath224
5 / 5 (2) Jun 13, 2014
cont...
and whatever we do or make is done so to be consistent with what our brain interprets. But does that mean that the images our brain produces is a copy of true reality? Or is everything a wave state and it's the brain interpretation of something solid, liquid etc.
qquax
4.7 / 5 (3) Jun 14, 2014
It's often overlooked that Schrödinger came up with his cat in a box example to mock the orthodox interpretation of QM. In 1952 he penned an article on the meaning of wave-mechanics that is very explicit in his criticism (http://wp.me/p2lHU6-Df).

Entanglement facilitates correlation but not causation, special relativity is still as valid as when the EPR paradox was formulated, yet while the experimental confirmation of entanglement has been making great strides there is still no deeper understanding. Local hidden variables can be ruled out, but we are completely devoid of a satisfying theoretical explanation of what facilitates entanglement (that is unless one subscribes to the De Broglie–Bohm pilot wave description).
frank_shore_9
1 / 5 (6) Jun 14, 2014
Einstein was right.
Bohr and Heisenberg were wrong.

The matter is settled. Modern physics has vindicated Einstein. Einstein was correct all along. The other physicists of his generation were all wrong.
Rustybolts
3.6 / 5 (5) Jun 14, 2014
Quantum mechanics is simply not finished. Einstein would be a convert today since he would have it finished and working correctly not mention connected.
theon
3.8 / 5 (5) Jun 14, 2014
Just back from a conference on quantum foundations in Vaxjo, Sweden. Again the "contextuality loophole" was stressed: Bell made a certain assumption on how to combine the hidden variables of the detectors in the various setups needed. Violation of the Bell inequality shows that this assumption is invalid. Hence the Bell inequality can not be derived from theory. If it is violated, no statement about locality or realism can be made. This "contextuality loophole" can not be closed. Its essence lies in the fact that Bell inequalities involve measuring noncommuting variables. To do so, they are measured one-by-one and next combined in the Bell inequality. Combined? This smells like forgetting about the noncommutation. One can not "add" different detector setups (contexts) for non-commuting variables, it is like comparing apples and oranges. Now the good news about the conference was that experimentalists appeared to become aware of this issue, hence less "non-locality" in the talks.
theon
1 / 5 (2) Jun 14, 2014
see above
Whydening Gyre
3 / 5 (2) Jun 14, 2014
Okay, I hacked a quantum computer and it made this prediction -
"Mankind will continue to find new methods of examining smaller and smaller chunks of "reality".
You will someday finally observe that "reality" is what you decide it is."

And please note the time this post was created... (really late at night - or really early in the morning)

feath3r
1.3 / 5 (3) Jun 14, 2014
there is a recently published theory that solves EPR paradox with special relativity.

https://pubpeer.c...4F50ED90

"EPR Paradox Solved by Special Theory of Relativity"
according to the paper, it is the time dilation that allows faster-than-light communication between two entangled particles.
t_d_lowe
1.3 / 5 (7) Jun 14, 2014
No, Einstein was largely correct and the people he argued with largely wrong.
For instance, the majority common view is Many Worlds Interpretation by Everett, therefore there is *no* spooky action at a distance. There is one universal wave function that does not magically collapse for far distant objects. It is simply that this wave function is decoherent with itself at macroscopic scales, so independent and can therefore be thought of as completely separate universes.
'God' (as in nature) does not play dice; there is no magical event on observing an experiment where nature rolls some dice and picks a random choice within the probability wave distribution. There is a single universal wave function which is deterministic and time symmetric... what we have trouble with is knowing which 'universe' we are in. But the physics is still deterministic.
When will popular science reporting catch up with the real scientific view?
Noumenon
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 14, 2014
Just back from a conference on quantum foundations in Vaxjo, Sweden. Again the "contextuality loophole" was stressed: Bell made a certain assumption on how to combine the hidden variables of the detectors in the various setups needed. Violation of the Bell inequality shows that this assumption is invalid. Hence the Bell inequality can not be derived from theory. If it is violated, no statement about locality or realism can be made.


Do you have a source for this? If the Bell inequalities are violated then no local hidden variable theory can reproduce the probabilities of the observations.
Jantoo
4 / 5 (4) Jun 14, 2014
the majority common view is Many Worlds Interpretation by Everett
The prevailing view of mainstream community is, that Einstein was wrong, but I don't think, that the many worlds interpretation is dominant neither. Most of physicists (42%) are formally thinking creatures and they still support the classical "shut up and calculate" attitude of Copenhagen interpretation. The Everett's ones was supported only by 18% in the pool, so I would say, you're rather projecting your own imagination here, than the actual opinion of physical community. Which is indeed nice and all, but it should be always labeled so, because you're not an official speaker of physical community.
Jantoo
4 / 5 (4) Jun 14, 2014
It doesn't have to make sense. Things can just be!
This is a Platonism typical for contemporary science, but I always do favor the models, which already have their physical analogy somewhere else so that they can be verified as such. The models based on ad-hoced assumptions just transfer the final explanation to another generations of people, so that they're not an actual explanations at all. In my experience, these models usually won't survive the time anyway.
aloysi_aloys
1 / 5 (5) Jun 14, 2014
An introduction to quantum gravity and theory of everything.
http://viXra.org/abs/1406.0035
Jantoo
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 14, 2014
@aloysi_aloys: The lack of references to earlier works about the same subject identifies the lazy crackpot if not willful plagiarist. The quantum fluctuations of vacuum may lead into variations of photon energy and before some time we could even read the Urban's proposal, how to measure it. So it's naive to believe, this idea is very new and the belief, it can solve the quantum gravity by itself is doubly naive. And the naive people can develop only naive theories, just face it.
theon
3 / 5 (3) Jun 14, 2014
Do you have a source for this?


T.M. Nieuwenhuizen, Is the Contextuality Loophole Fatal for the Derivation
of Bell Inequalities? Foundations of Physics (2011) 41: 580–591

If the Bell inequalities are violated then no local hidden variable theory can reproduce the probabilities of the observations.


This paper and related ones explain why this standard opinion is unfounded.
swordsman
2.8 / 5 (4) Jun 14, 2014
QM really has not done much except to create questions that go unsolved. Planck's methods were extremely thorough, and his theory was based on electromagnetics, electronics, mechanics, chemistry, and thermodynamics. Today we still do not know the exact size of the atom, although there are claims to the contrary. Where are the electrons on an atom - how are they distributed? What are the near-field atomic forces? Planck established an electronic model of the atom and defined the states of the atom, although he said it could have as well be a mechanical model. So there are analogs. All that money spent, and very little accomplished. However, disagree with it and you are dead. It is blindness and madness
Jantoo
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 14, 2014
@theon The Bell inequality is valid only GLOBALLY in the same (just dual) way, like the Lorentz symmetry is valid only LOCALLY. These theorems are both scale dependent - after all, like every other formal theory. With bit of metaphysics you can understand their foundations too. Einstein was a relativist in his heart and he considered only single deterministic observation during his objections against quantum mechanics. The contemporary proponents of quantum mechanics don't perceive such a restriction as very critical and they realize repetitive weak observations often, so they do allow the violation of the Bell inequalities. But if we would strictly prohibit the context and repetition, then Einstein was indeed quite right and some causalities of QM will remain hidden. If we wouldn't adhere on the requirement, that only single deterministic observation is allowed in relativity, then we may find violations of constant speed of light in it too (G. Nimtz experiments for example).
theon
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 14, 2014
@ Jantoo: there is a whole scientific literature on the invalidity of Bell's theorem, by nearly two dozen authors.
Jantoo
1 / 5 (3) Jun 14, 2014
I don't oppose you, I just tried to explain your comment in deeper/wider/whatever context. Most of experiments of recent era are dedicated just in ostentatious violation of Bell theorem, which has its roots in rich idealistic era of mainstream physics in the same way, like the stringy and SUSY theories.
frank_shore_9
2.5 / 5 (2) Jun 14, 2014
Our minds evolved think rationally and logically, to be believe the universe is not magical, and there is a logical basis for everything. It is this biased belief system that leads humans to believe that QM is not an ultimate theory. If only humans realized that logic and rational thought are mere artificial contrivances that have no connection to reality, they would have no objection to QM. If you don't believe a round peg can fit into a square hole that is your problem. You lack imagination and are prejudiced by your life experiences.
frank_shore_9
3 / 5 (2) Jun 14, 2014
George.
Hate to break it to ya, but my numbers say it's 2/3rds causality, 1/3 self determination...
Bottom line - we have choice.


2/3 causality and 1/3 pure randomness leaves no room for self-determination.
frank_shore_9
2 / 5 (2) Jun 14, 2014
the majority common view is Many Worlds Interpretation by Everett
The prevailing view of mainstream community is, that http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cfaeTlB-sn8/UO8jzdWg-eI/AAAAAAAABsc/CPo4IAvpNxw/s640/Screen+Shot+2013-01-10+at+3.25.26+PM.png the classical "shut up and calculate" attitude of Copenhagen interpretation. The Everett's ones was supported only by 18% in the pool, so I would say, you're rather projecting your own imagination here, than the actual opinion of physical community. Which is indeed nice and all, but it should be always labeled so, because you're not an official speaker of physical community.


The vast majority of cosmologists believe in the Everett interpretation. Most physicists who reject it don't understand it. It not simply eliminates most QM paradoxes, it follows the Copernican Principle, it is needed to justify the anthropic principle, it follows from simple logic.
frank_shore_9
2.5 / 5 (2) Jun 14, 2014
People have a problem with Everett interpretation because it carries too much metaphysical baggage. Since when was that a valid objection to rejecting a physics theory? It is SR, GR, and QM that present too much metaphysical baggage, along with the heliocentric view of our solar system.
theon
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 14, 2014
People have a problem with Everett interpretation because it carries too much metaphysical baggage. Since when was that a valid objection to rejecting a physics theory? It is SR, GR, and QM that present too much metaphysical baggage, along with the heliocentric view of our solar system.


The solution of the rather rich Curie-Weiss model for ideal quantum measurement leads to the ensemble interpretation. The Everett interpretation is not backed up by calculations but by claims. Not without reason it is also called the "many words" interpretation.
Jantoo
1.5 / 5 (2) Jun 14, 2014
Everett interpretation looks sorta trivial and fuzzy for me. It's based on the relativity: in which your position in flat space-time remains undefined. For to have some position in it, you should appear inside of some gravity lens. Well, and the vacuum is full of quantum density fluctuations, i.e. tiny gravity lens which are undulating and switching you reference frame randomly. The multiverse is macroscopic, i.e. holografically dual version of many worlds theory. It's consequences are little bit less trivial, because whenever you appear inside of huge gravity lens, it will change your perception of whole neighboring universe and physical constants in it.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (4) Jun 15, 2014
Ah yes, the deity Einstein (would be a Saint if not jooish) and his disciples are well represented. Shows the ignorance among groups is very powerful being many idolize the Marxist charlatan. The known plagiarist once stated;
"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources." Albert Einstein

Einstein, "the long haired crank" was once asked "how it felt to be the smartest man on Earth?"; to which "that fiend of publicity"(Mencken) responded;
"I wouldn't know. Ask Nikola Tesla"

At least he was honest on occasion...Why again would his opinion matter?

Jantoo
1 / 5 (3) Jun 15, 2014
If we compare the Einstein and Tesla, then the Einstein was rather a skillful surfer at the wave of social demand - not a visionary. He developed his theories at the last moment, just few weeks before someone else did manage to publish them (Poincare for special relativity, Hilbert for general relativity) and he has been accused of plagiarism with many just because of it (which is the reason, why he didn't get a Nobel prize for any of his theories). This doesn't diminish the fact, he had a good physical intuition (he actually didn't like the concepts of space-time, expanding universe, black holes and/or gravitational waves, which are routinely attributed to him today and which look increasingly controversial) and he contributed into development of theory (quantum mechanics), which he didn't like heartily. So I still appreciate him - albeit from quite opposite reasons, than the mainstream physics ideology. Of course, he cannot be compared with Tesla with respect of practical physics.
Jantoo
1 / 5 (3) Jun 15, 2014
I'm sure, Einstein would be considered a crackpot today for his opinions in the same way, like Tesla - after all, he was considered a senile freak with mainstream at the end of his life already in the same way, like Eddington, Weyl, Cartan and many his cooperators. But just these guys were really these, who did understand the general relativity and its actual limits.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (5) Jun 15, 2014
So I still appreciate him - albeit from quite opposite reasons, than the mainstream physics ideology.

I don't have complete contempt for him, it seems he approached some level of humility as he aged. He was apparently even open to the views of Velikovsky as per their correspondence and supposedly had 'Worlds in Collision' open on his desk when he passed.
Jantoo
1 / 5 (2) Jun 15, 2014
It's difficult to judge. For example, I'm not used to be so categorical in my private life, but at the moment when you exhibit just a bit of indecision and uncertainty at public, then the sheep in crowd will not take you seriously. and they will attack instead The common people just want to hear the clear and simple answers, they're not prepared to think deeply about anything. Which will indeed deform you gradually too. Einstein probably realized at the end, that the unification theory is over his head. I'm aware of his psychosis and interests about orgone alchemy and Kaballah, in which he didn't differ from Newton, after all. He's a typical example of Nobel prize syndrome, which I personally consider rather as a manifestation of wisdom of life: no truth is actually black or white and every problem has its dual solution.
mytwocts
not rated yet Jun 15, 2014
Let me state my active non-understanding of quantum mechanics, although I am skilled in it. Take a one dimensional potential well that is deep enough to have bound states for a particle, say an electron. The first excited state has a double hump probability distribution. An experiment will detect the particle on the right or on the left but never in the middle. How can this be understood?
mytwocts
not rated yet Jun 15, 2014
Our minds evolved think rationally and logically, to be believe the universe is not magical, and there is a logical basis for everything. It is this biased belief system that leads humans to believe that QM is not an ultimate theory. If only humans realized that logic and rational thought are mere artificial contrivances that have no connection to reality, they would have no objection to QM. If you don't believe a round peg can fit into a square hole that is your problem. You lack imagination and are prejudiced by your life experiences.

What else can you believe? That physics does not make sense?
mytwocts
5 / 5 (2) Jun 15, 2014
"More famously, German physicist Erwin Schrödinger's equations proved that a cat could end up in a peculiar sort of quantum state, being neither dead nor alive."
I think this is nonsense. Of course the cat in Schrödinger's thought experiment is dead or alive and not both. He did not actually propose that a dead cat would say meeow ! Schrödinger advanced a paradox to illustrate the weirdness of quantum mechanics, not a statement about cats.
dedereu
1 / 5 (3) Jun 15, 2014
The world is different from our classical macroscopic feeling and way of thinking, which is not coherent for photon statistic since 1900 with the Plank solution.
The quantum equations describe our world as plitting very fast in many worlds or universe, where all the possible histories are occurring in theses different universes, true, even if it is so strange that nearly nobody acepts this reality, written inside the quantum equation without any more hypothesis !!
Nevertheless the search of the quantum computer, is trying to use theses paralllel microworlds, to perform in paralllel a very large number of multiple calculations on all the different possibilities at the same time !!
The existence of a powerful quantum computer will prove the reality of theses universes splitting from us !!
Frosted Flake
not rated yet Jun 15, 2014
Question. How can Alice violate Heisenbergs' principle re Bobs' particle when she cannot violate it for her own? Alice would need to make two measurements. Each would change what she is measuring. Is simultaneous measurements not cheating? And also pretty darned hard? And would that strategy not also fail to violate the principle?

Question. Does the quantum entanglement depend upon therefore physically describe a dimension we cannot directly sense?
mytwocts
not rated yet Jun 16, 2014

Question. Does the quantum entanglement depend upon therefore physically describe a dimension we cannot directly sense?

No.
theon
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 16, 2014
The quantum equations describe our world as plitting very fast in many worlds or universe, where all the possible histories are occurring in theses different universes, true, even if it is so strange that nearly nobody acepts this reality, written inside the quantum equation without any more hypothesis !!

Quantum theory describes nothing of this. It is an imaginative but unfortunate picture, which does not play any role in the analysis of models for ideal measurement.
Sikla
Jun 16, 2014
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Sikla
Jun 16, 2014
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Sikla
Jun 16, 2014
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Sikla
Jun 16, 2014
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swordsman
1 / 5 (1) Jun 16, 2014
What is being seen is simply Coulomb's law for electrostatic forces when separated electrons are in motion. Through a bunch of new names at it, and you have a new theory.
liquidspacetime
1 / 5 (2) Jun 16, 2014
Einstein would not have been converted. Dark matter has mass which physically occupies three dimensional space and is physically displaced by the particles of matter which exist in it and move through it.

A moving particle has an associated dark matter displacement wave.

In a double slit experiment the particle travels through a single slit and the associated wave in the dark matter passes through both.
Jantoo
1 / 5 (1) Jun 16, 2014
De Broglie wave is not formed with displacement of dark matter. The density of dark matter is generally very low whereas the particle interference during double-slit is of arbitrary energy density. Also, the density of dark matter changes from place to place, which would affect the quantum mechanics at microscopic scale: it couldn't work at the free space between galaxies, where the dark matter is missing.
Maggnus
4 / 5 (8) Jun 16, 2014
So I still appreciate him - albeit from quite opposite reasons, than the mainstream physics ideology.

I don't have complete contempt for him, it seems he approached some level of humility as he aged. He was apparently even open to the views of Velikovsky as per their correspondence and supposedly had 'Worlds in Collision' open on his desk when he passed.
Explains why he died laughing!
Maggnus
4.2 / 5 (6) Jun 16, 2014
Hey Zeph, I see you've returned with two new sock puppets! One cannot help but admire your persistence and resourcefulness.

liquidspacetime
1 / 5 (2) Jun 17, 2014
There is no 'empty' space between galaxies.

'Cosmologists at Penn Weigh Cosmic Filaments and Voids' - upenn.edu

"Dark matter ... permeate[s] all the way to the center of the voids."

'"No Empty Space in the Universe" --Dark Matter Discovered to Fill Intergalactic Space' - dailygalaxy.com

"A long standing mystery on where the missing dark matter is has been solved by the research. There is no empty space in the universe. The intergalactic space is filled with dark matter."

What you mistake for a change in density of the dark matter is the state of displacement of the dark matter.
George_Rajna
Jun 17, 2014
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gmungra
1 / 5 (2) Jun 20, 2014
Curiosity killed the theory, but aren't you curious if the cat lived?
guillaume_pussetto
1 / 5 (1) Jun 25, 2014
"Fluid Tests Hint at Concrete Quantum Reality"
http://www.simons...reality/
otero
Jun 25, 2014
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Mimath224
not rated yet Jun 25, 2014
According to this article 2 days ago http://physics.ap...2.161303 sterile neutrinos are again being considered as candidate for DM...they are, they are not, now they are...phew, a real merry-go-round for a lay man like me. I wonder what Prof. Einstein would have thought about this?
otero
Jun 25, 2014
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otero
Jun 26, 2014
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otero
Jun 26, 2014
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Mimath224
not rated yet Jun 26, 2014
@otero thanks for time out to comment and I read the example you quoted. Although it is good that there are varying views on different particles it does make hard to decide which is mainstream and what is not. I remember reading about Goodman before (somewhere ha) and thought positively so if M.G. is inclined to dismiss ster.neuts. then I'd follow.
Obviously I have a lot more reading to do on the subject. Thanks anyway
Elmo_McGillicutty
1 / 5 (2) Jul 08, 2014
Particle structure is the cause of particle properties. Find the structure. Electron Structure.
mahi
1 / 5 (1) Jul 18, 2014
Observables not fitting in with our logic doesn't mean that the discipline of logic is incapable of explaining this universe. And it doesn't mean that we have to abandon our logical sense in favour of weird propositions and mathematics. That just highlights the need for more brain storming to grasp the deeper/ subtle logical link.

Mathematics is ultimately based upon logic. How can anything contradict its own basic foundation and still be viable? How can maths predict things that go against logic and still be valid? Both logic and mathematics are the result of our brain work. If our brains' 'illusionary' thinking affects our logic, the same will also affect our maths.

No experiment/ observation straight away proves or disproves any theory. The data/ results need to be interpreted logically to make a valid conclusion from any experiment. If our universe was not logical, then we could argue any silly observation as proof of any weird theory. www.debunkingrelativity.com
ar18
not rated yet Aug 02, 2014
Can anyone see how the Dunning–Kruger effect applies to anything ever said in this thread?