Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness

May 27, 2015
Associate Professor Andrew Truscott (L) with PhD student Roman Khakimov.

The bizarre nature of reality as laid out by quantum theory has survived another test, with scientists performing a famous experiment and proving that reality does not exist until it is measured.

Physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) have conducted John Wheeler's delayed-choice , which involves a moving object that is given the choice to act like a particle or a wave. Wheeler's experiment then asks - at which point does the object decide?

Common sense says the object is either wave-like or particle-like, independent of how we measure it. But predicts that whether you observe wave like behavior (interference) or particle behavior (no interference) depends only on how it is actually measured at the end of its journey. This is exactly what the ANU team found.

"It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it," said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.

Despite the apparent weirdness, the results confirm the validity of , which governs the world of the very small, and has enabled the development of many technologies such as LEDs, lasers and computer chips.

The ANU team not only succeeded in building the experiment, which seemed nearly impossible when it was proposed in 1978, but reversed Wheeler's original concept of light beams being bounced by mirrors, and instead used scattered by laser light.

"Quantum physics' predictions about interference seem odd enough when applied to light, which seems more like a wave, but to have done the experiment with atoms, which are complicated things that have mass and interact with electric fields and so on, adds to the weirdness," said Roman Khakimov, PhD student at the Research School of Physics and Engineering.

Professor Truscott's team first trapped a collection of in a suspended state known as a Bose-Einstein condensate, and then ejected them until there was only a single atom left.

The single atom was then dropped through a pair of counter-propagating laser beams, which formed a grating pattern that acted as crossroads in the same way a solid grating would scatter light.

A second light grating to recombine the paths was randomly added, which led to constructive or as if the atom had travelled both paths. When the second light grating was not added, no interference was observed as if the atom chose only one path.

However, the random number determining whether the grating was added was only generated after the atom had passed through the crossroads.

If one chooses to believe that the atom really did take a particular path or paths then one has to accept that a future measurement is affecting the atom's past, said Truscott.

"The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence," he said.

Explore further: Atom and its quantum mirror image

More information: "Wheeler's delayed-choice gedanken experiment with a single atom" Nature Physics (2015) DOI: 10.1038/nphys3343

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richardwenzel987
5 / 5 (10) May 27, 2015
You could argue that in the absence of measurement the reality is neither wave nor particle but some third thing. That third thing can only be "seen" as wave or particle, but, really it's something else entirely. Not very helpful, but it's a way to think about these things. I guess a case could be made that this third thing is inherently non-representational, which means that it can't be modeled or described by any device, since any computational device, including the human brain, must involve interactions that are the equivalent of measurement.
DarkLordKelvin
5 / 5 (9) May 27, 2015
The popular science summaries of these experiments are almost always wrong, overstating the actual conclusions that can be drawn about what actually happened. I haven't read this paper yet, and I won't have time to for a while, but I would be very, very surprised if the conclusions given above are unafflicted by the usual confirmation-bias. What is claimed above is tantamount to claiming that the Copenhagen Interpretation has been proved correct in terms of what it predicts about the system prior to measurement (i.e. that it doesn't even exist). What I expect is true is that the experimental measurements made have been proved *consistent* with the CI (as usual), but that they are still equally consistent with other valid interpretations as well, such as de Broglie-Bohm, Many-Worlds, Transactional, etc.
thefurlong
4.4 / 5 (14) May 27, 2015
God, I hate popular science descriptions in QM. Simplifying a complicated idea to the point where it is no longer correct is not helpful to anyone. More often than not, it muddles understanding. In this case, implying that reality doesn't exist when we don't measure it is just plain wrong, and leads to things like the quantum woo peddled by Deepak Chopra.

It isn't that reality doesn't exist when we don't look at it. It's that certain quantities only become well defined in the context of particular measurements. The moon is still there when we look at it. It's just that if we attempted to measure the spin of one of the photons reflected from its surface, we would only be able to confidently confidently measure its value along one axis of our own choosing.

Furthermore, quantum measurements happen without intelligent agents. For example, a decaying radioactive isotope in an asteroid might still emit a particle capable of starting a chain reaction, in say, interstellar gas.
codectified
4.3 / 5 (3) May 27, 2015
great comments that really seem to capture the problem for me.. this "third thing" is precisely (or not very precisely actually) what I've always believed quantum weirdness is all about.. that we do not possess the capacities to "see" "everything", and so, as a result, what we see is compensatory in a sense, and so often paradoxical.
now, although whether CI has most aptly explained things or not may never be settled, I don't think this is the greatest trouble.. we can continue to excavate and explore the depths of the unseen and come up with various explanations for what we can see, but it will always only be a scratching at the surface until we step out of the particular field of physics and look at the broader implications..
if the metaphysical and physical are really just figments of our knowledge and imagination linked by our epistemology, a making out from the haze, or, an ultimate pragmatism, then we can say whatever we want, but it's how we say it which makes the difference
thefurlong
4.4 / 5 (8) May 27, 2015
Also, possibly delving into personal speculation, I have felt for quite some time that this whole measurement problem is a consequence of an outdated notion of reality. Namely, prior to QM, we conceived of reality in macroscopic, Newtonian, terms. Everything had a definite position, momentum, and so on. But with QM, we find that everything follows wave equations in the configuration space of the Hamiltonian, with classical quantities now corresponding with more abstract self-adjoint operators. Since this means that a wave equation can be a superposition of states, then we can no longer talk meaningfully about a physical entity yielding a specific classical measurement. (to be continued)
Mike_Massen
5 / 5 (4) May 27, 2015
Closely related to this thread is this
http://phys.org/n...ent.html

which I offered a comment and if indeed we converge to the predominant information theory view then we have an interesting philosophical conundrum that arises, in that substance becomes more ethereal and has no fundamental basis other than probability fields impressed on the singular core idea of energy of which matter as we perceive particles is none other than probabilistic exclusions of the greater probabilities of empty space re quantum foam & virtual particles becoming 'real'.

The more attention I give to the dilemma of issues such as wave/particle duality and seemingly separate issues of the dark-matter conundrum suggest these two are emergence and therefore not directly understandable except by immense permutations of their irreducible components eg per the link I offered in the linked post:-
http://en.wikiped...mergence

Hmmm... Cheers
thefurlong
5 / 5 (7) May 27, 2015
(continued)
Now for the personal speculation part. The evolution of these equations is entirely deterministic, at least in theory. However, in the Copenhagen interpretation, we speak of random wave function collapse as a fundamental part of reality, and this should, in turn affect the evolution of the wave function, but if you look at the wave equations of QM, they leave no room for this phenomenon. Rather, it is always tacked on in an ad-hoc fashion when we transition from talking about quantum phenomena (wave function evolution) to actual measurement.

There are some problems with this, though. First, presumably, the measurement apparatus is really just part of the quantum system, so, really the difference between measurements and quantum phenomena seems artificial. Second, as far as I know a measurement is just a macroscopic reaction to a quantum phenomenon. (to be continued)
thefurlong
5 / 5 (6) May 27, 2015
(continued)
Now, if you look at the equations of QM, you'll see that as you increase the number of particles, classical quantities go from "smeared" to "well defined". In the limit of an infinite number of particles, you get perfectly "sharp" quantities. In a hand wavy sense, mathematically when you combine sharp quantities with smeared ones, the sharp quantities tend to override everything else. It's sort of like a more sophisticated version of multiplying by zero or infinity. So, in my mind wave function collapse really just comes from this interface between the macroscopic and microscopic. (to be continued)
thefurlong
4.8 / 5 (6) May 27, 2015
(continued)
Indeed, there's good reason to believe (from arguments involving entropy which I won't get into in the interest of conciseness), that systems consisting of a large number of particles tend to have expected values that behave more like classical objects than quantum ones.

In this light, this all sort of has an anthropic flavor to it. Namely, our world appears to be classical because we are macroscopic beings who rely on macroscopic values to interpret the world, and it isn't that the outcomes of measurements are random, but only appear that way because the configuration space of the Hamiltonian is unimaginably immense, and tends to be dominated by classical behavior.

Well, that was a surprisingly long comment. Sorry for all the speculation, but this stuff has been on my mind for a while.
thefurlong
5 / 5 (5) May 27, 2015
You could argue that in the absence of measurement the reality is neither wave nor particle but some third thing.


Maybe, though I am inclined to believe it isn't so much a matter of there being a third thing or anything at all, but more of a matter of that the question being asked is inaccurate in the first place. It's sort of like stereotypical children asking where the lap goes when you get up.

As I said in that horribly long comment I just left, all forms of measurement in QM are just the macroscopic (think large part of the wave function) interacting with the quantum (think tiny part of the wave function). When you have large non-linear systems, you get emergent phenomena that can't easily be recognized without looking at the big picture. In this case, I would argue that classical quantities are really just emergent from the evolution of the wave function.
charlimopps
1 / 5 (8) May 27, 2015
From the comments above I can only conclude that A. None of you understand Quantum Physics in even a rudimentary way. And B. "The furlong" has way too much time on his hands and has been introduced to my ignore list.

This experiment is further evidence that the Quantum scale universe is imprecise until we force it to be. As always this has very deep and complicated philosophical implications, but the truth has a funny way of doing that :-)
nevermark
5 / 5 (2) May 27, 2015
@thefurlong, As you point out, wave equations and collapse are different things, and collapse is highly linked to large numbers of particles which strongly suggests it is caused by statistics and thermodynamics which are responsible for most perceived differences in small vs. big world laws.

My view:

When multiple histories of a "particle" are simple, the effects of history interference is easily measured and histories can even be recombined.

But once a particle's multiple histories impact many particles, the interference between these complex superpositions become statistically impossible to detect and the histories impossible to recombine.

When we "observe a collapse", we are just being split into superpositions whose interference is now so statistically complex as to be undetectable.

Multiple histories continue, but each history is now independent (illusory from a fundamental law perspective but very real from a thermodynamic perspective).
toddg
4 / 5 (2) May 27, 2015
Recognizing that my knowledge is that of a layman and that I do not know any of the math nor the precise details of Superfluid Vacuum Theory (SVT), it seems to me that some sort of superfluid/Broglie-Bohm theory very well might handle all of this "weirdness", and more. I'm with the other commenters on the reporting here to be too full of woo. Just because one interpretation is consistent with the experiment doesn't mean that that interpretation is necessarily true.

If any particle is an quantized bit of angular momentum in the superfluid (a toroidal vortex), with pressure oscillations allowing it to be stable given the higher local energy and pressure, then those oscillations provide the basis for the pilot wave determining which paths through space the particle might take. And, the pilot wave would be impacted by the 2nd grating. Certainly this is speculative, but it's also quite conceivable and is reason to hold off on claiming the CI must be true.
nevermark
5 / 5 (1) May 27, 2015
(continuing...) There seems to be two kinds of laws in nature: (1) fundamental laws of individual particles or effects involving inviolate symmetries and conservation principles, and (2) emergent laws which emerge statistically from the fundamental laws as large numbers of particles or effects are concerned.

Collapse then becomes an emergent law in the second sense, while wave equations are laws in the first sense. If this is correct then there will never be a measurable line between systems where superposition is easily detectable and where it is not.

There will always be more elaborate experiments that can demonstrate interference between more complex histories, but as a practical matter this will get so hard that lots of particles will always effectively "collapse" their superposition very quickly from our perspective.
thefurlong
5 / 5 (3) May 27, 2015
@charliemopps
Wow, charlimopps, you don't seem to have read my comment at all, seeing that what you said is one of the things I was arguing. But, I guess we'll never know or certain, as I am now on your ignore list.

@nevermark
What do you mean by simple? Do you mean that most of the paths it takes don't happen to involve interactions with other particles? I confess that I am not yet at the second-quantization point in my understanding of QM (or even the path integral formulation point), but it seems like this is just a different version of what I was saying.

Basically, the interaction of one particle with a large number of particles in a coherent manner leads to what seems like WF collapse, due to the sheer amount of contribution to the expected value these interactions make. (to be continued)
thefurlong
5 / 5 (3) May 27, 2015
(continued)
I am inclined to agree with your assessment of dividing the laws of nature into emergent and fundamental ones, though I guess one question to ask is whether wave-function collapse can ever happen on quantum scales. Namely, can one particle ever measure the property another particle on its own without the intervention of some classical system. To me, it would seem very strange for this to happen.

I suppose, though, if we ever discovered a particle that happened to behave classically, that might happen. For example, if we discovered a fundamental particle with a mass of 1 gram, that might make everything around it behave classically, too.
baudrunner
not rated yet May 27, 2015
I suspect that physicists will continue to make their attempts at understanding reality from the results obtained through the dynamics of particle/energy integration (3d generation particles) and disintegration (decay into 2nd and 1st generation) after they collide with target particles. Too many experiments follow the paradigm induced by thought experiments, and will always yield some results that meet with the expectations of the experimenters. Waves collapse only when they are being observed, which makes sense, since the process of observing requires a fundamental resonance, thereby eliminating all other probabilities. The remainder of reality not under observation prevents any possible wave collapse in the normal scheme of things. Quantum theory isn't so weird, neither is relativity, since their weirdnesses are the only way that existence can make any sense and for reality to perpetuate. Einstein discovered relativity through his imagination, ie. thought experimentation.
PhysicsMatter
not rated yet May 27, 2015
Obviously popular science presentations are not dealing with the precise scientific issues but rather trying to find analogy to common experiences of ordinary people resulting often in more confusion. Unfortunately, so-called thought experiments do the same, namely confuse issues by invoking "mysticism" or magic, weird elements for scientific advertisement and recruitment of young to "exiting" scientific fields.

An interesting take on those misconceptions about QM as describing reality I found at:
https://questforn...-quanta/
Discussion about TR weirdness as commonly perceived I found at:
https://questforn...ativity/
And interesting reading about general problem of experimental interpretation of theories:
https://questforn...reality/

julianpenrod
1 / 5 (4) May 27, 2015
There's a serious problem in any such "analysis".
The issue is that of "observation" and rests with what many take as the "definition" of "observation", namely, acted upon by another particle in a way that can cause a reaction.
But, the fact of the matter is that all particles are, according to "science", supposedly always being subjected to these interactions! There are particles of all sorts everywhere, always, real photons; virtual photons, which supposedly transfer the electrostatic force; real matter; virtual matter popping in and out of existence during Planck intervals; gravitons which "science" has not supplied virtual counterparts. So particles always "exist" in that way.
If there is any appropriate nuancing, perhaps it is in the sense of a being with a soul monitoring the event.
nevermark
not rated yet May 27, 2015
@thefurlong,
By simple I mean particle arrangements that can be isolated and controlled. That could be a small number particles with a limited number of possible interactions or it could involve a lot of particles confined and correlated in some way.

Complex arrangements are when enough particles with enough freedom are involved so that interference between superpositions becomes too subtle and complex to control or measure.

My view is that "collapse" is just the statistical loss of recognizable interference between histories. Large objects like us obviously cannot be controlled at the particle level, so even though we may be interfering with millions of counterparts, those other histories will be indistinguishable (in a psychological sense, not necessarily experimental) from any other statistical source of noise.

Perhaps virtual particles are the points where largely uncorrelated histories happen to pseudorandomly constructively interfere for small moments of time.
viko_mx
1 / 5 (4) May 27, 2015
Between the moral standard of human and knowledge must be a direct connection. Because knowledge is power and power is responsibility. Therefore the quantum world will seem strange to the current scientists. Just they are not allowed get more knowledge until grow spiritually for this knowledge. First they must to fulfill the first condition.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) May 27, 2015
@nevermark, thefurlong, ..... decoherence (if that is what you are referring to), based in principal on the deterministic Schrodinger equation, can not lead to wave-function collapse,... only its "appearance".

You could argue that in the absence of measurement the reality is neither wave nor particle but some third thing.


I think that is the correct epistemological interpretation,.... more specifically ... that the underlying reality (objective) is conceptually formless,... that the experimental arrangement, necessarily macroscopic, supplies that conceptual form.

This corresponds well with the Hilbert space formulation where the axis basis of the state-vector and operator Defines the possible conceptual values that are observable. The underlying reality is a-priori necessarily forced to "take on" a conceptual form,... if it is to be observable at all.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (2) May 27, 2015
....proving that reality does not exist until it is measured - above article


It is a bit irresponsible to say this especially with using the word 'proves'. It does not prove that there is no objective reality prior to measurement as obviously there must be an objective reality that says "no" to arbitrary theories in the first place.

What it lends evidence to, imo, is that "scientific realism", ... that 'particles', 'waves', locality,... exist independently of observation (by mind and by extension scientific apparatus),... is untenable.

"It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it," said Associate Professor Andrew Truscott

It exists, it just has no conceptual form, until the apparatus supplies it (ultimately mind).
thefurlong
5 / 5 (3) May 27, 2015
@nevermark, thefurlong, ..... decoherence (if that is what you are referring to), based in principal on the deterministic Schrodinger equation, can not lead to wave-function collapse,... only its "appearance".

But that's what I (and I think Nevwermark) ARE suggesting, though. The wave function doesn't actually collapse, but only appears to as a consequence of having a macroscopic system interact with a quantum one., or are you saying that wave-function collapse definitely happens?
Whydening Gyre
4.8 / 5 (4) May 27, 2015
God, I hate popular science descriptions in QM. Simplifying a complicated idea to the point where it is no longer correct is not helpful to anyone. In this case, implying that reality doesn't exist when we don't measure it is just plain wrong,...

Everything should be made as simple as possible. But not simpler. - A. Einstein

big_hairy_jimbo
not rated yet May 27, 2015
The problem I have with wave function collapse, is that how does it get back to an un-collapsed state?? Surely the universe has interacted with other parts by now, and therefore the whole universe wave function should be collapsed. I know, I'm confused. Can someone explain how a collapsed wave function returns to un-collapsed please?
Noumenon
not rated yet May 27, 2015
But that's what I (and I think Nevwermark) ARE suggesting, though. The wave function doesn't actually collapse, but only appears to as a consequence of having a macroscopic system interact with a quantum one.,

Okay, I see. That is a good explanation of the emergence of classical behavior,…. the loss of off-diagonal terms causing the quantum interference effects,… a coherent state being a superpostion… however, how do you get a specific conceptual value during a quantum measurement? They are not random and arbitrary, but discreet and subsequent qm measurements can be performed prior to decoherence occurring.

or are you saying that wave-function collapse definitely happens?

I don't think the wave-function is a physical entity, it is not observable as such, so yes, operationally it collapses into a particular conceptual value upon observation.
nevermark
5 / 5 (1) May 27, 2015
@furlong,
decoherence (if that is what you are referring to), based in principal on the deterministic Schrodinger equation [...]


Yes, thanks for putting the right words to the concepts.

@Whydening Gyre,
Simplifying a complicated idea to the point where it is no longer correct is not helpful to anyone.


Agreed. Particle waves functions don't have single positions they are 3D objects. It is simply the interaction with another particle that happens at a point.

Its like blindly finding a water balloon with a pin. You will only ever know the definite point where you popped the balloon, but the fact that there were many potential balloon popping points doesn't mean that the balloon wasn't real. The event point didn't exist until the event, but the balloon existed as a non-point before that.
DavidW
1 / 5 (2) May 27, 2015
LIFE(any math, idea, philosophy or theory that conflicts with LIFE entered here cannot be a True statement)

Life and Truth (Life is a Truth) are what is Truthfully real and are required to reach any Truthful understanding.

LIFE is required because Life is Most Important in Life. We can never place our math or observations above that which is required.
eferreira
not rated yet May 27, 2015
Simulation theory? :)
trevor_white
not rated yet May 27, 2015

To put it simply another interpretation is that the way you measure determines the result
EnsignFlandry
5 / 5 (2) May 27, 2015
Reality doesn't exist until we measure it? Then what is the "it" we are measuring? I think there is confusion about the state of a system and our knowledge of that state.
ideasonscribe
not rated yet May 27, 2015

To put it simply another interpretation is that the way you measure determines the result


Except that every time a measurement is made in a different way, it's the same result.
Returners
1.6 / 5 (7) May 27, 2015
Leave it to some bozos in the field of science to tell everyone that THEY are the center of the universe and reality only exists if they are there to look at it.

What nonsense.

Please leave the stupid at home, and strip these fools of whatever credentials they supposedly have.

We don't need more of this idiocy hijacking science and sending it down yet another rabbit trail.

Your stupidity is beyond measure, yet it definitely exists as evidenced by your pathetic work in the field of science fantasy.
qquax
not rated yet May 27, 2015
@thefurlong, the point that @richardwenzel987 made is actually pretty profound. There is a little known interpretation of QM that pretty much follows this route, by not obsessing about the meaning of the wavefunction, but rather examing the ontology of spacetime and probabilities as defined by QM.
http://arxiv.org/.../0412182

Have to admit I am rather partial to that one, as it nicely explains why the common approaches to unification cannot work.
ideasonscribe
5 / 5 (1) May 27, 2015
Reality doesn't exist until we measure it? Then what is the "it" we are measuring? I think there is confusion about the state of a system and our knowledge of that state.


Not necessarily.
When you view a Hologram, the objects in the hologram (given the details of the hologram) appear to have volume and shape - but the reality is, it's a sort of illusion.

Perhaps it's not the state of a system that we're confused about, but rather the source of the system.
DonGateley
not rated yet May 27, 2015
Measurement/observation is any interaction that results in an irreversible thermodynamic change. I don't believe that anything other than the interacting quantum objects even need to exist for there to have been what is called a measurement/observation. All that is required is that something actually happens.

Until something happens, nothing can be said about what existed before beyond the superposition of possibilities with probabilities given by the Schrodinger equation (or equivalent statement.) I don't understand why this trips people up.
theon
not rated yet May 28, 2015
Outcomes of measurements depend on the measurement setup, this is called contextuality. One can only get statistical results from many repeated experiments. So the two setups give different results, big deal. This has nothing to do with the reality of the atom, no statement can be made about that. I know that nobody believes it, but I hold the position that I exist also when I look at the moon.
PhysicsMatter
not rated yet May 28, 2015
I think that is the correct epistemological interpretation,.... more specifically ... that the underlying reality (objective) is conceptually formless,... that the experimental arrangement, necessarily macroscopic, supplies that conceptual form.


Agreed but it needs some clarification. The conceptual form of "objective reality" acquired through experimental settings may as well have no relation to objective reality as thing in itself but rather may be reflection of concepts of experimenter acquired through inception rather than detection of stimuli stemming from objective reality. The central issue here is concept of existence itself, which is most likely of our own making (by knowing subject) perhaps not even applicable to objective reality. It this sense objective reality does not exists only its numerous representations materialized within our concepts.
https://questforn...reality/
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (2) May 28, 2015
Good comments, I could - (almost) - blanket 5 on all of them...:-)

A simplified example, if I may;
This article was here. I read it and went away.
I came back, it was still here and more "pontification" had been added.
Those comments were "measurements" made by others, thereby modifying my observational perception of the article's content, even if only subtly. I even made "measurement" of my own.
Reality is - the article concept (wave) is still here. Not collapsed, just "measured".

bluehigh
3 / 5 (2) May 28, 2015
Good comments, I could - (almost) - blanket 5 on all of them...:-)


When I 'see' that you've high 5'd all the comments then (and only then) you are compelled (by some 'scientific' sorcery) to initiate the action. Really?

The proof of the pudding is in the pie.

bluehigh
1 / 5 (1) May 28, 2015
There goes 'cause and effect' down the drain! According to these loonies, until an effect is observed a cause doesn't happen. Get real!
brahmix
not rated yet May 28, 2015
richardwenzel987 - 'Third Thing': The Implicit Order re Prof Bohm?
The explicate being wave or particle...
Noumenon
not rated yet May 28, 2015
I think that is the correct epistemological interpretation, more specifically ... that the underlying reality (objective) is conceptually formless,... that the experimental arrangement, necessarily macroscopic, supplies that conceptual form.


Agreed but it needs some clarification. The conceptual form of "objective reality" acquired through experimental settings may as well have no relation to objective reality as thing in itself but rather may be reflection of concepts of experimenter acquired through inception rather than detection of stimuli stemming from objective reality.

I'm not suggesting that the conceptual structure is derived from or through 'independent objective reality', for otherwise I would be a 'realist',.. but rather indeed is a-priori for knowledge to be possible to begin with, given the nature of mind. Yes, it is mind dependent.

However,….
Noumenon
not rated yet May 28, 2015
The central issue here is concept of existence itself, which is most likely of our own making (by knowing subject) perhaps not even applicable to objective reality. It this sense objective reality does not exists only its numerous representations materialized within our concepts.


We do not agree on that. As with I. Kant, … I kan't follow this reasoning into idealism. There must be an objective reality existent independently of mind. As I mentioned above, there must be a 'something' that 'says no' to arbitrary theories, even if in itself it is formless. On this basis I reject any metaphysics, especially in science.
Noumenon
not rated yet May 28, 2015
@PhysicsMatter,

Your blog appears anti-science in tone, … yet when in fact, Kant's entire point was to delimit valid knowledge to the realm of science…. i.e. meta-physics cannot be a source of knowledge.

The realm of science is 'phenomenal reality'. As contrasted with 'Noumenal reality', this means that it necessarily contains a component which is mind dependent. Despite that this component, our conceptual structure, renders an artificial synthesis of 'objective reality', … science is still a valid source of predictive knowledge. It's just that that knowledge is of Experience rather than of 'Independent Reality'.

EDIT: "there must be a 'something' that 'says no' to arbitrary theories, even if in itself it is [conceptually] formless."
PhysicsMatter
not rated yet May 28, 2015
@Noumenon
I do not see how metaphysics, highly speculative in its nature can be against science that is subject to stringent empiricism. These are two different fields. However, science is widely using or misusing metaphysical concepts and assumptions never proven by experiment and Kant clearly pointed it out by formulation of his categories of thought as a part of apriori knowledge that is innate to our mind and not stemming from experience.

Existence is one of those metaphysical concepts or categories widely adopted and used in science without questioning. What I am questioning are problematic assertions when "scientific" speculation level dangerously approaches that of metaphysics while still insisting on authority of stringent experimentally supported scientific inquiry purportedly into true nature of reality. When in fact it may just be an inquiry solely into scientific theory itself.
Noumenon
not rated yet May 29, 2015
However, science is widely using or misusing metaphysical concepts and assumptions never proven by experiment

As long as that science allows for predictions and one does not expect that science to conform to our a-priori forms of thought for the intuitive understanding, it is valid within the delimited realm of 'phenomenal reality' - defined above,.... i.e. that one does not expect that science to explain how things 'are' independent of experienced. (The 'realists' are routine guilty of this). The above article experiment supports this view.

Quantum mechanics is a non-intuitive science for this reason, at least wrt the Copenhagen Interpretation.
.....
Noumenon
not rated yet May 29, 2015
....and Kant clearly pointed it out by formulation of his categories of thought as a part of apriori knowledge that is innate to our mind and not stemming from experience.

That's correct, which is why Kant made the Phenomenon / Noumenon distinction. As long as science operates within the context of 'phenomenal reality' which as I mentioned above contains a mind dependent component (Kant's forms of thought, or categories), it is valid knowledge.

Again the above article describes an experiment that shows that the results are not independent of mind operating at the macroscopic scale where our minds evolved its forms of thought,.... the experiment is not independent of the act of observation, ultimately by mind.

As DarkLord points out above, a realist can still take a different interpretation,... however (s)he would be need to be willing to enter into metaphysics,
Noumenon
not rated yet May 29, 2015
Existence is one of those metaphysical concepts or categories widely adopted and used in science without questioning.

Following Rene Descartes, I think we have to start somewhere, .... that a "something" says "no" to arbitrary theories [d'Espagnat] is imo allegorical to 'Cogito ergo sum' and valid with 'phenomenal reality'.

What I am questioning are problematic assertions when "scientific" speculation level dangerously approaches that of metaphysics while still insisting on authority of stringent experimentally supported scientific inquiry purportedly into true nature of reality. When in fact it may just be an inquiry solely into scientific theory itself.

To that extent I have been questioning the 'scientific realists' position here since 2007. However, science is perfectly valid predictive knowledge of 'phenomenal reality' as defined above.
ideasonscribe
5 / 5 (3) May 29, 2015
Leave it to some bozos in the field of science to tell everyone that THEY are the center of the universe and reality only exists if they are there to look at it.


No one said they are the center of the universe in this article.
Also, experimental data has been confirming since around the 1920's that, at least at the quantum level, matter is observer-dependent.
If you would like links to peer-reviewed articles to research this for yourself, I have a library for you.

ideasonscribe
5 / 5 (5) May 29, 2015

Please leave the stupid at home, and strip these fools of whatever credentials they supposedly have.

We don't need more of this idiocy hijacking science and sending it down yet another rabbit trail.

Your stupidity is beyond measure, yet it definitely exists as evidenced by your pathetic work in the field of science fantasy.


Are you implying that since you disagree with their results, that they should be "Stripped ... of whatever credentials they have"?
Also, you sound pretty certain that these people are "stupid". Do you have data of your own that refutes their results? I'd really like to see it. I'd also like to see what substance you have to support the claim that these people are "stupid".
rgw
1 / 5 (1) May 30, 2015
What if god is a cat in a quantum box. It would explain Virgin, NOT virgin Mary.
meBigGuy
4.8 / 5 (4) May 31, 2015
Others have said it already but I have to say it anyway.

That "reality does not exist until we measure it" is a stupid, meaningless statement. What is more accurate is that we don't know what we will measure until we measure it. Whatever has the potential to produce a measurement certainly exists before we measure it. It is simple to express its "before-measurement" reality mathematically. How can a science site post such editorial garbage! 0 to the article. +10 to the experimenters.

Anakin
not rated yet Jun 01, 2015
"If a Mime falls in the woods, and there's nobody around to hear his cries. does the Mime make sounds?"
The answer is:
There is no Mime if nobody see him
big_hairy_jimbo
not rated yet Jun 03, 2015
Well can't the statement "reality does not exist until we measure it" be correctly interpreted as ALL states exist until we measure it, then only one state exists, the more LIKELY state. ISn't this the whole idea behind a quantum computer, to allow the system to sit in ALL STATES, then the RIGHT state (the answer to our question), is the one that pops out? I like to think of it as ALL NUMBERS EXIST to infinite in all directions and inbetween. But when we ask a specific mathemetical question then a solution or solutions pop out of the infinite number space.

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