Can the wave function of an electron be divided and trapped?

October 28, 2014 by Kevin Stacey, Brown University
A canister of liquid helium inside the blue cylinder allowed researchers to experiment with tiny electron bubbles only 3.6 nanometers in diameter. The work suggests that the wave function of an electron can be split and parts of it trapped in smaller bubbles. Credit: Mike Cohea/Brown University

New research by physicists from Brown University puts the profound strangeness of quantum mechanics in a nutshell—or, more accurately, in a helium bubble.

Experiments led by Humphrey Maris, professor of physics at Brown, suggest that the quantum state of an electron—the electron's —can be shattered into pieces and those pieces can be trapped in tiny bubbles of . To be clear, the researchers are not saying that the electron can be broken apart. Electrons are elementary particles, indivisible and unbreakable. But what the researchers are saying is in some ways more bizarre.

In quantum mechanics, particles do not have a distinct position in space. Instead, they exist as a wave function, a probability distribution that includes all the possible locations where a particle might be found. Maris and his colleagues are suggesting that parts of that distribution can be separated and cordoned off from each other.

"We are trapping the chance of finding the electron, not pieces of the electron," Maris said. "It's a little like a lottery. When lottery tickets are sold, everyone who buys a ticket gets a piece of paper. So all these people are holding a chance and you can consider that the chances are spread all over the place. But there is only one prize—one electron—and where that prize will go is determined later."

If Maris's interpretation of his experimental findings is correct, it raises profound questions about the measurement process in quantum mechanics. In the traditional formulation of quantum mechanics, when a particle is measured—meaning it is found to be in one particular location—the wave function is said to collapse.

"The experiments we have performed indicate that the mere interaction of an electron with some larger physical system, such as a bath of liquid helium, does not constitute a measurement," Maris said. "The question then is: What does?"

And the fact that the wave function can be split into two or more bubbles is strange as well. If a detector finds the electron in one bubble, what happens to the other bubble?

"It really raises all kinds of interesting questions," Maris said.

The new research is published in the Journal of Low Temperature Physics.

Electron bubbles

Scientists have wondered for years about the strange behavior of electrons in liquid helium cooled to near absolute zero. When an electron enters the liquid, it repels surrounding helium atoms, forming a bubble in the liquid about 3.6 nanometers across. The size of the bubble is determined by the pressure of the electron pushing against the surface tension of the helium. The strangeness, however, arises in experiments dating back to the 1960s looking at how the bubbles move.

In the experiments, a pulse of electrons enters the top of a helium-filled tube, and a detector registers the electric charge delivered when electron bubbles reach the bottom of the tube. Because the bubbles have a well-defined size, they should all experience the same amount of drag as they move, and should therefore arrive at the detector at the same time. But that's not what happens. Experiments have detected unidentified objects that reach the detector before the normal electron bubbles. Over the years, scientists have cataloged 14 distinct objects of different sizes, all of which seem to move faster than an electron bubble would be expected to move.

"They've been a mystery ever since they were first detected," Maris said. "Nobody has a good explanation."

Several possibilities have been proposed. The unknown objects could be impurities in the helium—charged particles knocked free from the walls of the container. Another possibility is that the objects could be helium ions—helium atoms that have picked up one or more extra electrons, which produce a negative charge at the detector.

But Maris and his colleagues, including Nobel laureate and Brown physicist Leon Cooper, believe a new set of experiments puts those explanations to rest.

New experiments

The researchers performed a series of electron bubble mobility experiments with much greater sensitivity than previous efforts. They were able to detect all 14 of the objects from previous work, plus four additional objects that appeared frequently over the course of the experiments. But in addition to those 18 objects that showed up frequently, the study revealed countless additional objects that appeared more rarely.

In effect, Maris says, it appears there aren't just 18 objects, but an effectively infinite number of them, with a "continuous distribution of sizes" up to the size of the normal electron bubble.

"That puts a dagger in the idea that these are impurities or helium ions," Maris said. "It would be hard to imagine that there would be that many impurities, or that many previously unknown helium ions."

The only way the researchers can think of to explain the results is through "fission" of the wave function. In certain situations, the researchers surmise, electron wave functions break apart upon entering the liquid, and pieces of the wave function are caught in separate bubbles. Because the bubbles contain less than the full wave function, they're smaller than normal electron bubbles and therefore move faster.

In their new paper, Maris and his team lay out a mechanism by which fission could happen that is supported by quantum theory and is in good agreement with the experimental results. The mechanism involves a concept in quantum mechanics known as reflection above the barrier.

In the case of electrons and helium, it works like this: When an electron hits the surface of the liquid helium, there's some chance that it will cross into the liquid, and some chance that it will bounce off and carom away. In quantum mechanics, those possibilities are expressed as part of the wave function crossing the barrier, and part of it being reflected. Perhaps the small electron bubbles are formed by the portion of the wave function that goes through the surface. The size of the bubble depends on how much wave function goes through, which would explain the continuous distribution of small electron bubble sizes detected in the experiments.

The idea that part of the wave function is reflected at a barrier is standard , Cooper said. "I don't think anyone would argue with that," he said. "The non-standard part is that the piece of the wave function that goes through can have a physical effect by influencing the size of the bubble. That is what is radically new here."

Further, the researchers propose what happens after the wave function enters the liquid. It's a bit like putting a droplet of oil in a puddle of water. "Sometime your drop of oil forms one bubble," Maris said, "Sometimes it forms two, sometimes 100."

There are elements within quantum theory that suggest a tendency for the wave function to break up into specific sizes. By Maris's calculations, the specific sizes one might expect to see correspond roughly to the 18 frequently occurring electron bubble sizes.

"We think this offers the best explanation for what we see in the experiments," Maris said. We've got this body of data that goes back 40 years. The experiments are not wrong; they've been done by multiple people. We have a tradition called Occam's razor, where we try to come up with the simplest explanation. This, so far as we can tell, is it."

But it does raise some interesting questions that sit on the border of science and philosophy. For example, it's necessary to assume that the helium does not make a measurement of the actual position of the electron. If it did, any bubble found not to contain the electron would, in theory, simply disappear. And that, Maris says, points to one of the deepest mysteries of quantum theory.

"No one is sure what actually constitutes a measurement. Perhaps physicists can agree that someone with a Ph.D. wearing a white coat sitting in the lab of a famous university can make measurements. But what about somebody who really isn't sure what they are doing? Is consciousness required? We don't really know."

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axemaster
1.4 / 5 (10) Oct 28, 2014
As usual, article waxes on about the "strangeness" of quantum mechanics, while describing a phenomenon that is in no way strange.
nevermark
1.2 / 5 (6) Oct 28, 2014
There is no wave collapse. We appear to see a collapse but that is not the same thing as their being one.

The problems with interpreting wave collapse as a fundamental effect (as apposed to a perceived one) are many. Nobody has ever been able to characterize what causes a collapse. Quantum mechanics is not time dependent, but a collapse would imply a one-directional event. A collapse also implies that information has been created, which would violate the conservation of information.

The reason we perceive a collapse is also easy to understand. Take Schrodinger's Cat. A cat is in a box with a particle that has a 50% chance of decaying within a set period of time. If it decays in that set period of time a poison is released which kills the cat. As long as the box is sealed in a way that does not allow any information out, the cat will be in two states. Once the box opens, the observer will see the cat alive or dead, which would appear to be a wave collapse.

Cont.
nevermark
1 / 5 (5) Oct 28, 2014
However, this is just perceived as can easily be demonstrated with an extended experiment. A set of nested boxes of cats encase the original box.

The first cat will initially be both alive and dead, until the second cat opens that first box. At that point the second cat perceives the wave as having collapsed. But the third cat, outside the second cat's box, is now in a context where the first cat is still alive or dead, and two versions of the second cat have seen it alive and dead. That wave seems to collapse when the third cat opens its box. But this continues for as many nested cat boxes as the experiment uses.

So what is going on? What really happens is that the radioactive decay happens both ways initially (as before), so their are alive and dead cats in superposition in the original box. But when that box is opened this superposition extends to the second cat. That cat will now be in superposition with one seeing an alive cat the other dead cat. Cont...
nevermark
1.2 / 5 (5) Oct 28, 2014
Both of the observing cats will perceive a wave collapse. They each only see one result. But their are two of them now. In other words, superposition does not end at observation it simply extends to the observer, giving the observer an illusion of a collapse.

Note that this is completely deterministic. It has long been known that quantum mechanics can be formulated in a deterministic manner with the many worlds interpretation, which is what I have just described.

This consistently explains why we perceive wave collapses, why no information is actually created by that perceived wave collapse, why waves can be uncollapsed, and all the other many problems with the collapsing wave interpretation.

For some reason, the idea that we are all splitting into different versions of ourselves as we are exposed to multiple versions of particle behavior around us is too much of a leap for many people including many scientists to accept. ...
nevermark
1 / 5 (4) Oct 28, 2014
But it is the interpretation that actually takes quantum mechanics math at its face value and does not require an ill defined wave-collapse theory to be bolted on.

- end of wall of text -
tritace
Oct 28, 2014
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tritace
Oct 28, 2014
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Nik_2213
5 / 5 (7) Oct 28, 2014
~~"It really raises all kinds of interesting questions," Maris said.~~

Is there an appropriate award for such epic understatement ??
big_hairy_jimbo
5 / 5 (3) Oct 28, 2014
Now I'm going to be non-scientific for a moment, but I can't help but think that electrons have properties which exist in other dimensions (other than the 3+1 we know of). The weirdness comes about because we aren't seeing (detecting) their behavious in these other dimensions.
I'm still wondering if when one electron enters the helium tube, if it "breaks" up into several bubbles. ie 1 electron creates several bubbles of different size, or 1 electron creates 1 bubble, with the remainder of the wave function reflected. Now if it is reflected, how does that represent itself? If you detected a reflected electron, does the smaller bubble dissapear? I'm lost here. I know it's probabilities. Could this device be a filter to eliminate certain probabilities, yet keep the wave function uncollapsed? What happens if you repeat this experiment with multiple devices, does the electrons wave function come down to one specific result as the others have been filtered out?
Noumenon
1.7 / 5 (6) Oct 28, 2014
But it does raise some interesting questions that sit on the border of science and philosophy.


Don't let Stumpy and Otto (sounds like a cartoon show from the '40's), hear this,... they might learn something.

it's necessary to assume that the helium does not make a measurement of the actual position of the electron. [....] points to one of the deepest mysteries of quantum theory.
"No one is sure what actually constitutes a measurement. Perhaps physicists can agree that someone with a Ph.D. wearing a white coat sitting in the lab of a famous university can make measurements. But what about somebody who really isn't sure what they are doing? Is consciousness required? We don't really know."


More evidence that 'quantum interaction' does not constitute 'a measurement'. I've been saying this for years. While decoherence is valid as an explanation for loss of quantum behavior, it can not resolve this question.
johanfprins
Oct 29, 2014
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johanfprins
Oct 29, 2014
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rgw
1 / 5 (5) Oct 29, 2014
Not trying or even pretending to be philosophical and certainly not scientific, I think that the universe is essentially infinite in both the macrocosmic and microcosmic arenas. I also believe that the universe is absolutely macro-comedic when it comes to describing the effect it has on me. I prefer the hint of humor as a motive for reality. Humor is always a result of intelligence. Traditional religions have no deliberate humor, and the spectre of an infinitely indifferent universe scares the 'hell' out of me.
Eikka
4.2 / 5 (6) Oct 29, 2014
It simply means that an electron is ITSELF an EM-wave and NOT a "particle"


Then how do you explain the fact that it has a mass?
KBK
1 / 5 (1) Oct 29, 2014
Well, an electron is viewing position dependent while "naturally" in (quantum) situ (see: viewing position)

If we alter the viewing position of the commonality via shift or filtering (resonance etc) we get some portion thereof in either view or energy, as a differential. Neither has changed ...but the differential has changed.

To not mistake the differential encountered as the electron but merely as the differential between the frame and the viewed.
johanfprins
1 / 5 (3) Oct 29, 2014
Eikka,
Then how do you explain the fact that it has a mass?
Einstein already explained this in 1908. An EM wave consists of distributed EM energy where the density is given by the sum of the squares of the electric-and magnetic field vectors. Since energy is mass, this density is dE=d(m*c^2)/dv where v is the volume.

Integrating over this one obtains that the total energy is E=m*c^2. Since the mass and mass-distribution is known, one can also calculate a centre-of-mass. Thus any EM wave has a centre-of-mass and when its mass volume does not spread out, as in the case of a a laser pulse, it moves like a body with mass m having a centre of mass and a momentum p=mc.
The latter can be derived by using the Poynting vector, and it also follows directly from the relativistic equation E^2=(p^2)/(c^2)+(m(0)*c^2)^2 where for light one sets m(0)=0 and E=m*c^2. Similarly for an electron wave, except that in this case m(0) is NOT zero, and the wave moves with a momentum p=mv.
antialias_physorg
4.7 / 5 (12) Oct 29, 2014
I think that the universe is essentially infinite in both the macrocosmic and microcosmic arenas

...based on? Everything we know so far speaks against infinities (don't let approximations like 'inifinte densities' in black holes and singularities foll you. They are just that: mathematical approximations)

and the spectre of an infinitely indifferent universe scares the 'hell' out of me.

I find it infintely preferable over the idea of a universe which is out to get you.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (5) Oct 29, 2014
Now I'm going to be non-scientific for a moment, but I can't help but think that electrons have properties which exist in other dimensions (other than the 3+1 we know of). The weirdness comes about because we aren't seeing (detecting) their behavious in these other dimensions.
Sounds a lot like string theory, or more properly brane theory, to me. So perhaps it's not so non-scientific after all! ;)

I'm still wondering if when one electron enters the helium tube, if it "breaks" up into several bubbles.
It appears so, if Maris is correct in his interpretation of the experiment.

If you detected a reflected electron, does the smaller bubble dissapear?
Apparently it does. It must according to quantum mechanics.

Remember however that they are not detecting the electrons, or the bubbles, in the body of the liquid helium; they only detect their charge reaching the bottom of the experiment.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (5) Oct 29, 2014
Any reasonable number of bubbles could simply disappear in the solution if they're parts of the wave function of a bubble where the charge detector detected a charge. Or disappear at the detector without registering if they don't happen to contain the charge. The physicists wouldn't be able to tell.

What happens if you repeat this experiment with multiple devices, does the electrons wave function come down to one specific result as the others have been filtered out?
According to quantum theory, it would have to.

I wasn't quite clear on what you had in mind with "repeat the experiment with multiple devices." If you elaborate a bit I'll try to give more answers, as best I know them or can figure them out.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Oct 29, 2014
Don't let Stumpy and Otto (sounds like a cartoon show from the '40's)
-And noumemon sounds like some sort of noodle soup, which is appropriate.
I've been saying this for years
-But since youve been saying it without any evidence to back it up, its really only philospittle isnt it? This is like thinking that kant could somehow channel quantum physics and predict the nature of the universe. Rubbish.

Note that it is scientists who devised the above experiments and who are speculating on the meaning of the results. Did they consult with the loonies down the hall? Doubtful. Also note the state of their conclusions.

"It really raises all kinds of interesting questions"
"No one is sure what actually constitutes a measurement."

-You, on the other hand, have already answered the questions and decided what constitutes a measurement. Just by thinking REAL hard and reading 'critique of pure reason'. This is unscientific.

When they said philo they did not mean YOUR philo.
Da Schneib
4 / 5 (4) Oct 29, 2014
Also, we should keep in mind that these are not real bubbles as far as we know; using the bubble analogy is the best way to explain it without resorting to mathematics that are inappropriate for a general audience. But really these are just pieces of the wavefunction moving through the helium. And apparently how much of the wavefunction they represent determines how fast they move. Or so the physicists running it surmise.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (4) Oct 29, 2014
More evidence that 'quantum interaction' does not constitute 'a measurement'
Actually it suggests that there may be ways around the uncertainty principle, of making measurements without collapsing the waveform. This of course contradicts what youve been saying for years doesnt it?

You will observe in future developments that it will be scientists who will design the experiments to clarify these issues, and it will be scientists who will interpret the results. Because it is scientists, and only scientists, who are qualified to do these things.

Not poets or landscape painters.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (4) Oct 29, 2014
It simply means that an electron is ITSELF an EM-wave and NOT a "particle"


Then how do you explain the fact that it has a mass?
Not to mention the fact that it makes one dot on a scintillation screen or one track in a bubble or cloud chamber.
Percival
5 / 5 (4) Oct 29, 2014
Suppose another detector to be mounted *above* the liquid helium so as to see the electrons reflected off the surface, its output coincidence-matched to the one at the bottom.

That would amount to which-way detection, wouldn't it?

Would the partial wavefunction-bubbles disappear?
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (3) Oct 29, 2014
Actually the welcher-weg information is detected when the electrons are detected at the bottom of the tube.

And if the bubbles disappear we'd never know. They're not real "bubbles," remember. It's just an analogy.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (4) Oct 29, 2014
Hmmm, there is some evidence for the actual physical existence of these bubbles, including observations of how light shined through the helium is scattered, which can show what sizes the bubbles are. But it is all collective information about a mass of bubbles, not study of individual ones. The electrons in them have been "pumped" and made to take up principal orbital quantum states, and this has been verified to change the sizes and shapes of the bubbles, but again not individual bubbles, just as a collective property of some or all of the bubbles. In addition, individual bubbles have been "blown up" to make them large enough to be visible; but the expansion of an individual bubble has not been observed (and cannot be with current technology).

When we have sufficiently sensitive instruments, we may be able to observe the individual bubbles that represent partial wavefunctions; this may allow us to see them vanish when the electron is detected elsewhere. Or not...
gralp
5 / 5 (3) Oct 29, 2014
somebody famous and noble (forgive not remembering his name) said that all the mysteries of QM can be traced back to the 2-slit experiment, and indeed this one too seems to dig up the century-old question about reality of the wave-function. or rather it supports the positive answer to it, in that the w-f is not merely an abstract, mathematical construct, but an actual field with electron being an excitation over it.
tritace
Oct 29, 2014
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pepe2907
5 / 5 (1) Oct 30, 2014
Eikka, getting in mind that according to the contemporary thought on QM "mass" is a disturbance in the Higgs field it's not so difficult to realize it being created the same way as an electron creates disturbance in the EM field by it's charge. So, the "mass" is a "charge", you don't necessarily need to imagine a small solid ball being there to have the property of "mass". :)
Actually the whole QM is pretty much about that - the particles not being solid balls.
But so the QM understanding of the term "particle" never was as something solid, so the statement, that it's a wave and not a particle is kind of meaningless by itself /because the particle is a wave with the exception of specific circumstances of interaction with other particles/.
This experiment seems a little impure to me.
I think I read somewhere that a source of single /or precisely quantifiable/ electron/s was created. So the really interesting to see would be what happens if you send precisely quantifiable number of
pepe2907
5 / 5 (1) Oct 30, 2014
precisely quantifiable number of electrons /elementary charges/ through the helium medium.

Note: This article: http://arxiv.org/...4394.pdf is one reporting on creation of such a source.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (3) Oct 30, 2014
We'll need more sensitive instruments to detect individual bubbles, pepe. Right now all we can see is ensembles of bubbles. I don't even know if the charge detectors used at the bottom of the tube can detect an individual electron charge.

Also, you should keep in mind that there are two definitions of mass: inertial and gravitational. As far as we know, these definitions are equivalent; General Relativity theory calls this the "equivalence principle." But we don't actually know for sure that they have the same source. It sure looks like they do, but no one has proven it, and having inertial mass arise from the Higgs and gravitational mass arise from interactions with gravitons is a bit of a puzzle. It raises a question about the fine tuning required to make this so. It is more parsimonious to assume a single origin for both, but it's not certain at this point.
johanfprins
Oct 30, 2014
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johanfprins
Oct 30, 2014
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dedereu
5 / 5 (1) Oct 31, 2014
Humphrey Maris since more than 20 years is making very beautiful experiments testing all the consequences of his initial old proposition of one electron delocalized into a collection of bubles, moving independently. Superfluid quantum helium, does not make measurement of the bubles.
This open new ways to test experimently deeply, what is a ,quantum measurement, in particular, when a tiny partial buble is observed, the others made from the same unique electron, must disappear at the same time, given a strange noise, of all collapsing bubles at different places in the liquid helium at the same time..
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Oct 31, 2014
I'd say you understand the issues, dedereu.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (3) Nov 01, 2014
johan, your use of insults indicates your lack of reasonable arguments. You are on my ignore list and will remain there until you cease insulting me. I won't bother pointing this out again; either you will recover from your nastiness, or you will remain ignored. And at this point, you'll have to present proof that you're not just keeping on with your bullshit and convince a third party to tell me about it.

Good luck with that.
johanfprins
Nov 02, 2014
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tritace
Nov 02, 2014
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johanfprins
Nov 02, 2014
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Noumenon
5 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2014
johan, your use of insults indicates your lack of reasonable arguments. You are on my ignore list and will remain there until you cease insulting me. I won't bother pointing this out again; either you will recover from your nastiness, or you will remain ignored. And at this point, you'll have to present proof that you're not just keeping on with your bullshit and convince a third party to tell me about it.

Good luck with that.


It's not that he was insulting you per se, ....it's just that Insults are a structural part of his theory; in fact a necessity in maintaining the notion that the vast majority of physicists are as categorically wrong as he implies.
tritace
Nov 02, 2014
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Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (3) Nov 02, 2014
Don't let Stumpy and Otto...hear this
@nou-nou-brown-cow-noodles
that is a personal conjecture made by the author,Kevin Stacey, and in no way constitutes proof of everyone's opinion (or even a majority of the opinions) or that this is even factual
it is called "color" or descriptive writing

don't mistake scientists seeking answers as some sort of evidence for philosophy
it's just that Insults are a structural part of his theory; in fact a necessity in maintaining the notion that the vast majority of physicists are as categorically wrong as he implies
For once, i am 100% supporting you
this is prins in a nutshell: his acerbic denigration is designed to bolster his faith in himself now that he is considered a crackpot by everyone in physics
it is how he maintains a grip and justifies his pseudoscience

I am being ignored by a faceless idiot who hides behind anonymity
@johanie-boy
he is not anonymous, moron
nastasi
not rated yet Nov 02, 2014
If we can split the electron wave function in two parts in an apparatus that allow us to collapse the partially reflected wave function after a not negligible time: what happens in the liquid helium at detection time ? bubble disappears or what ?
If we can trap the partially reflected electron wave function and try to detect it after an amount of time couldn't it violate the speed of light destroying simultaneously the bubble that is far away from the detection point ?
johanfprins
Nov 02, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2014
Don't let Stumpy and Otto (sounds like a cartoon show from the '40's)

-And noumemon sounds like some sort of noodle soup, which is appropriate.


touché.

that is a personal conjecture made by the author,Kevin Stacey, and in no way constitutes proof of everyone's opinion (or even a majority of the opinions) or that this is even factual


Consensus in itself, is not valid evidence, nor the moda operandi in science.

His statement that I quoted was a directed analysis of the experimental facts.

"But it does raise some interesting questions that sit on the border of science and philosophy. For example, it's necessary to assume that the helium does not make a measurement of the actual position of the electron. If it did, any bubble found not to contain the electron would, in theory, simply disappear. And that, Maris says, points to one of the deepest mysteries of quantum theory.....: No one is sure what actually constitutes a measurement."
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2014
Consensus in itself, is not valid evidence, nor the moda operandi in science
@nou
it is "Modus operandi " a Latin phrase, approximately translated as "method of operation"

and i never said that consensus was MO in science, i was actually stating: the authors statement is not evidence of consensus
His statement that I quoted was a directed analysis of the experimental facts
the statement is an authors interpretation of what is presented, not a "statement of facts" or even a "directed analysis of the experimental facts"

nowhere in that paragraph do i see justification for all physicists to agree on philosophy in science let alone that he is 100% correct in his interpretation of what is presented

in "fact", what you have given as proof is simply a single persons conjecture, much like the personal conjectures of your other scientists
if there were to be a study assessing all of them would there still be general agreement?
likely not
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 02, 2014
,... Logically, I don't need to provide proof that EVERY physicist thinks that philosophy is useful to science, nor even that a majority does,.. in order to refute absolutist claims that it isn't useful. I only need to provide evidence that some do,... and have provided an abundant list of such preeminent physicists.

You are constructing deliberately impossible standards to meet of 100% consensus, so that you can deny anything and everything that way.

I was actually stating: the authors statement is not evidence of consensus


For what purpose then? I never made that claim, so why mention it?
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2014
nor even that a majority does,.. in order to refute absolutist claims that it isn't useful. I only need to provide evidence that some do
@Nou
logically, the reciprocal is also true
and i am not an absolutist
i am defending my own POV

and again, there is also ample proof that philosophy is not needed in science by answering:
what does science do?
Science explains reality around us with as much detail as possible
this would include the "why" as much as anything else

asking questions to find out what happened is normally taught starting with: who, what, when, where, why and how
Science answers these questions as best they can with empirical evidence

philo simply adds another undefined and unprovable layer to the mix by causing confusion and showing that answers are subjective to the individual

which is true of philo, not science

therefore it is my contention that philo takes away from science more than it adds to it
it is a negative effect and not needed
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2014
You are constructing deliberately impossible standards
@nou
no, i am using argument to show where you are thinking philo instead of science
For what purpose then?
you used the author to contend a point, and then made the assumption:
His statement that I quoted was a directed analysis of the experimental facts
which is a fallacy
his statement is proof only that he interpreted this above material in a specific way

my argument : science is negatively affected by philo, especially the double talk and that philo is not needed
science tries to answer all questions as best as it can with empirical evidence, so that means it is far more effective than thought or speculation

in that manner, I have proven my point by using your own arguments as proof of point, as well as adding in my own

you believe philo is needed, you've only proved that others think like you
but not all do

i say it isn't because science already asks those questions
my point is made
Noumenon
3 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2014
You and Otto never argue against the specific point being made by me. Instead you argue against the General Validity of Philosophy of Physics even though this argument is an interjection and tangential. Therefor I must conclude that Otto, supported by you at minimum, are making Absolutist claims, rather than expressing a specific counter argument.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2014
You are constructing deliberately impossible standards to meet of 100% consensus, so that you can deny anything and everything that way.
@nou
no, i am using argument to show where you are thinking philo instead of science

For what purpose? Are you the thought police? You don't think I know the difference?

His statement that I quoted was a directed analysis of the experimental facts

which is a fallacy
his statement is proof only that he interpreted this above material in a specific way


That's what "analysis of the experimental facts" means.

science tries to answer all questions as best as it can with empirical evidence, so that means it is far more effective than thought or speculation


Where have I ever claimed otherwise? Why are you inventing arguments that never existed,... except to make insulting accusations? Are you suggesting I know nothing of science or its mathematical foundations?
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2014
Therefor I must conclude that Otto, supported by you at minimum, are making Absolutist claims, rather than expressing a specific counter argument
@nou
are you illiterate?
or can you not read well?
do i need to use all caps?
i stated above my argument and my points
I have never been absolutist, and likely never will be because my mind follows the evidence, not the interpretations thereof

you are now making claims that seem logical on the face but to anyone reading the above exchange will be completely illogical and blatantly stupid
also a lie

My claim still stands:
you believe philo is needed, you've only proved that others think like you
but not all people do

i say it (philosophy) isn't (needed by science and especially by physics) because science already asks the questions needed

my point is made

which brings up another point Otto made about philo's
you seem to think as long as you can argue your POV, you are not wrong
one more reason to be anti philo
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2014
That's what "analysis of the experimental facts" means
@nou
philo double talk
you said
His statement that I quoted was a directed analysis of the experimental facts
then produced the final paragraph as refute to my point
that is a personal conjecture made by the author,Kevin Stacey, and in no way constitutes proof of everyone's opinion (or even a majority of the opinions) or that this is even factual
this indicates that you are using it as proof of consensus, or at least proof of factual evidence
which is why it was referenced... unless you were referencing evidence against your own argument, which you should have plainly stated

your argument FOR philo in science is plain to see by your writings, so without clear, concise arguments or explanations that specifically state anything (which is another trademark argument tactic from philo's) then modern convention would assume that your argument is counter to the proposed
thus against mine
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2014
so continuing to add, for no reason, the arguments like this
For what purpose? Are you the thought police? You don't think I know the difference?
is counter productive and against the argument strain in general

your proposal has been that philo's are needed in science, and your supporting evidence was the quote
But it does raise some interesting questions that sit on the border of science and philosophy
to which you added the quote, as a bait/troll post
Don't let Stumpy and Otto ...hear this
Now you are getting off topic with general assertions of idiocy and red herrings to distract from the argument

it is obvious that you will do such, being a philo
when you cannot refute with logic, challenge the definitions of something
then the semantics

your general statements are proven false because science already answer the questions needed to answer reality

philosophy is detrimental to science
and the above is just ONE reason why

Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2014
you believe philo is needed


Nope, I never said that philosophy is a prerequisite to science making progress. I said specifically Philosophy of Physics is a valid and useful field pursued by physicists, and that interpretations of physics theories is itself Philosophy of Physics, as anyone can verify by clicking on the above link or by researching the innumerable books written by physicists on the subject.

I give my opinion to which I'm entitled to. You do not argue counter to that specific point but instead imply that because you interpret it as philosophical that it is an invalid point.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2014
You and Otto never argue against the specific point being made by me. Instead you argue against the General Validity of Philosophy of Physics even though this argument is an interjection and tangential
I dont know about the stump but I disproved your assertions about ideas as being metaphysical. And your insistence that your sources are not mystics and religionists, which they are.

You insist on arguing science in philosophical terms. Your philosophy is derived from the people you cite. Their philosophies are invariably derived from religion and mysticism, specifically 'wrt' the unknowable nature of reality.

THEREFORE it is a valid approach to argue against your notions by discounting their origin. One need not try to wrestle with specifics of noodle soup when the ingredients can be shown to be inedible and the chef unqualified.

IOW it makes no sense to argue nonsense. It only makes sense to discount the source, and to cite experts who have said that it is nonsense.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2014
Kant - mystic, religionist

"If you trace the roots of all our current philosophies—such as pragmatism, logical positivism, and all the rest of the neo-mystics who announce happily that you cannot prove that you exist—you will find that they all grew out of Kant."

"One of Kant's major goals was to save religion... from the onslaughts of science. His system represents a massive effort to raise the principles of Platonism, in a somewhat altered form, once again to a position of commanding authority over Western culture."

"Plato was more than a Platonist; despite his mysticism, he was also a pagan Greek... The Kantian mysticism, however, suffers from no such pagan restraints. It flows forth triumphantly, sweeping the prostrate human mind before it. Since man can never escape the distorting agents inherent in the structure of his consciousness, says Kant, "things in themselves" are in principle unknowable."
http://aynrandlex...uel.html
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2014
Heres a funny one;

"Kant originated the technique required to sell irrational notions to the men of a skeptical, cynical age who have formally rejected mysticism without grasping the rudiments of rationality. The technique is as follows: if you want to propagate an outrageously evil idea (based on traditionally accepted doctrines), your conclusion must be brazenly clear, but your proof unintelligible. Your proof must be so tangled a mess that it will paralyze a reader's critical faculty—a mess of evasions, equivocations, obfuscations, circumlocutions, non sequiturs, endless sentences leading nowhere, irrelevant side issues, clauses, sub-clauses and sub-sub-clauses, a meticulously lengthy proving of the obvious, and big chunks of the arbitrary thrown in as self-evident, erudite references to sciences, to pseudo-sciences, to the never-to-be-sciences, to the untraceable and the unprovable—all of it resting on a zero: the absence of definitions. I offer in evidence the CoPR."
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2014
I never said that philosophy is a prerequisite to science making progress
@nou
you did infer that here: http://phys.org/n...firstCmt when you said
If there are observable and quantifiable effects in "this world", then by definition it is describable, for the purposes of predictive knowledge, in "this world". The problem is when people expect "explanations" and "why", when physics can only supply the "how", and can only do so with mathematical models
which states that physics cannot supply the why of reality, only the how
so, who then supplies the why?
perhaps your words above can compel some logical answer?
But it does raise some interesting questions that sit on the border of science and philosophy

Don't let ...hear this
so now you've made references that compel one to think you are saying "philosophy is a prerequisite to science making progress" without using the specific term
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2014
so you retreat into philo double talk and back-talking to distract and redirect because you are not using a specific set of words
your inferences can be just as damning as your direct quotes if taken into context, and can be considered just as viable as a direct quote, if presented correctly, like above
interpretations of physics theories is itself Philosophy of Physics, as anyone can verify by clicking on the above link or by researching the innumerable books written by physicists on the subject
there are also plenty of books on Star Trek, to include users manuals for the Enterprise and the Klingon Bird of Prey, but that doesn't mean they are valid texts or science, does it?
no

conjecture is exactly that
and your opinion is proven false with the simple set of facts presented above: science answers reality by answering the fundamental questions to reality

the only way you can get a whole picture is by using provable science, not subjective argument
Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2014
I give my opinion to which I'm entitled to
i never argued you were NOT entitled to your own opinion, but you are making assumptions about large numbers of physicists in two threads while not giving substantial proof of said argument, only small samples of certain scientists that represent your same POV
. It only makes sense to discount the source, and to cite experts who have said that it is nonsense
how do you discount empirical evidence?
you cannot... and THAT right there is the whole thing i am talking about

you cannot discount provable, repeatable empirical evidence and experiments
science provides the background that uses empirical evidence to build upon knowledge in order to walk to the future

philo's subjective BS can be interpreted differently by everyone
therefore there is no possible way for it to be beneficial to science

my case is made and you continue to dig your hole deeper
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2014
I disproved your assertions about ideas as being metaphysical


Well that was easy to do since I never actually said that ideas are metaphysical, but rather ideas that refer to entities that are.

And your insistence that your sources are not mystics and religionists, which they are.


I've only made reference to specific points of Preeminent Physicists.

Because Eugene Wigner, or Penrose, or Omnes, or d'Espagnat, ...Bohr, ...Heisenberg, ...Schröodinger, ...Pauli, ...Bohm, or ...Kant, ....all of whom you have attempted to discredit by calling them mystics, ....had made statements that Otto interprets as mystical or religious, does not logically render every statement they have ever made or that I have referenced, invalid.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2014
Their philosophies are invariably derived from religion and mysticism, specifically 'wrt' the unknowable nature of reality.

Patently false. Not a single point I have made makes reference or was derived from anything "mystical" or "religious".

Your personal aversion to, and thus self-inflicted ignorance of philosophy of physics, requires me to respond to ridiculous accusations, mined from the internet, rather then substantive counter arguments.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2014
It only makes sense to discount the source, and to cite experts who have said that it is nonsense


how do you discount empirical evidence?
you cannot... and THAT right there is the whole thing i am talking about

you cannot discount provable, repeatable empirical evidence and experiments
science provides the background that uses empirical evidence to build upon knowledge...

philo's subjective BS can be interpreted differently by everyone
therefore there is no possible way for it to be beneficial to science

my case is made and you continue to dig your hole deeper


I did not make that statement, Otto did. Looks like you'll be sleeping on the couch tonight.

I can not continue to respond to you two dingbats about the validity or relevance of philosophy of physics. Your own aversion to and thus ignorance of it, makes it pointless, vacuous, and lacking in substance. You don't even know who you're arguing with anymore.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2014
ive only made Reference to Specific Points of Prerminent Physicists
-Yes, who were not doing physics at the time, nor were they being physicists. At the time they were being Mystics and Religionists. And their physics does not justify or legitimize their religious or mystical interpretations.

This is why for instance Einstein was angry at penrose. He was using physics and math to justify his mystical fantasies. Just like you.
not a single point derived from anything religious or mystical
This is because you are ignorant, or willfully ignorant (you did read the 2009 article) of the SOURCE of your 'points'. You cut out Kants reference to soul but keep his consciousness. You keep his reason but discard his faith.

Your philobabble is incomplete without these original, and inseparable, components. A quick search of your sources reveals that they certainly understood this. Especially kant and mr tempelton-winner.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2014
you don't even know who you're arguing with any more
Sure - you're the pompous posturing asshole who thinks physics can be done by just talking about it (for an audience).

Am I right?
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 02, 2014
you don't even know who you're arguing with any more
Sure - you're the pompous posturing asshole who thinks physics can be done by just talking about it (for an audience).


I've never implied that "physics can be done by just talking about it", you lying troll. This is why a rational discussion with a clown like you is impossible , you just make up non-sense as you go along.

I've actually studied the mathematical foundation of qm and gr, have you? I don't need to be told how science works or is accomplished by two trolling dingbats who rarely even post on an actual substantive subject in physics.

No one posts more on religion at phys.org than you,... so your objection to my posts on philosophy of physics which actually is relevant is irrational.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2014
ive actually studied the foundation of blah
-But certainly not as a physicist or mathematician would, eh? That's why they're qualified to conceptualize re the above article, and you're not. And that's why scientists make the advances in our understanding of the world, and philos don't, as hawking and Feynman and Krauss et al have told us.
i don't need to be told how science works
Only a philo with a formal education in wordplay (and nothing else) would make such an arrogant statement. OF COURSE you need to be told - you're not a scientist and you should stop pretending that you are.
no one posts more on religion than you
Actually religionists post more on religion than me. I only take the opportunity to correct them. The same with pseudoreligionists and mystics like yourself. And I will continue to do so.

And when you call people names I will respond in kind. Bitch.
Captain Stumpy
3 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2014
I did not make that statement, Otto did
@nou
no, you made the comment and inferences that i am quoting above, not Otto
WTF? couch? HA
I can not continue to respond to you two dingbats about the validity or relevance of philosophy of physics
the only "dingbat" is you
i've proven my case fairly well, and all you can do is argue with Otto and make distractions, retractions, philo double talk, red herrings, straw-men and irrelevant posts about couches!

I know WHO, and i remember WHAT, it is YOU, nou, who has failed to keep track of what is going on

my point is, and i will simply copy/paste from the repeated posts above
you believe philo is needed, you've only proved that others think like you
but not all people do

i say it (philosophy) isn't (needed by science and especially by physics) because science already asks the questions needed
you fail again, nou
you've only proved you are the dingbat not capable of logical thought and response
Noumenon
3 / 5 (2) Nov 03, 2014
It only makes sense to discount the source, and to cite experts who have said that it is nonsense - TheGhostOfOtto1923


how do you discount empirical evidence?
you cannot... and THAT right there is the whole thing i am talking about

you cannot discount provable, repeatable empirical evidence and experiments... - Captain Stumpy


It appears like you are responding to Otto. How could one think otherwise?

you are making assumptions about large numbers of physicists


I am, like what?

you cannot discount provable, repeatable empirical evidence and experiments


What evidence have I discounted? [if you were even responding to me which it appears you were not]

Your above to statements are on par with Otto's lies, in claiming that at the heart of my philo is mystics and religion.

Therefore, I won't be responding to vague anti-philo sweeping generality's. If you have an actual point to make that is ABOUT something, then I may entertain it.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2014
It appears like you are responding to Otto. How could one think otherwise?
@Nou
sorry, that WAS my mistake... i thought that was your post, as i was working on pulling from your post at the time

apologies
i DID screw that up
I am, like what?
read your own posts
also, i DID quote that above a few times
see
@nou
it is "Modus operandi "
and re-read
Your above to statements are on par with Otto's lies
leave otto out of our disagreement...it was simple
you made the allusion that
you believe philo is needed
i never said/claimed/alluded to mysticism at all
i simply think philo's are NOT needed in science

now, at one time i actually agreed that they (philos) might be needed for fundamental questions, but now i think otherwise
it (philosophy) isn't (needed by science and especially by physics) because science already asks the questions needed
keep to the points, nou

you are confusing me with Otto
argue Otto's arguments with him

Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 04, 2014
you are making assumptions about large numbers of physicists


I am, like what?


read your own posts


I don't need to because I wrote them, you need to.... I asked you to tell me where I'm making "assumptions about large numbers of physicists".

i simply think philo's are NOT needed in science


So capitalized "not". Are you making an Absolutists pronouncement, a la Otto, our just giving your opinion? Do you acknowledge that many preeminent physicists have in fact written on the subject? Do you acknowledge that interpretations of qm for example is as a matter of indisputable fact by definition, philosophy of physics?

Are you saying that one's philosophical outlook wrt Realism vs Positivism and so core interpretation of qm, does not guide one in hypothesis?

Or, are you just saying a truism no one has ever disagreed with,... that experiment and mathematical formulations of theories are developed by physicists, and not philosophers?
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2014
Science itself is a philosophy as well as a method of inquiry.

http://en.wikiped..._science

Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 04, 2014
Well, anyway it was once. But it stopped being when philosophists stopped considering reality important and started deconstructing everything.
Noumenon
4 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2014
Well, anyway it was once. But it stopped being when philosophists stopped considering reality important and started deconstructing everything.


Unfortunately, some physicists, not all by any means, remain ignorant of basic philosophical epistemic considerations and fall into metaphysical speculations all the while claiming it's science. For, example, some physicists, not all by any means (hi Stumpy), actually believe that there are 'parallel worlds', or take as a point of departure that the wave-function is a Real entity, and see Tegmark's book "Our Mathematical Universe".....

Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2014
It simply means that an electron is ITSELF an EM-wave and NOT a "particle"

Then how do you explain the fact that it has a mass?

Not to mention the fact that it makes one dot on a scintillation screen or one track in a bubble or cloud chamber.

... Since the wave has a centre-of-mass and a momentum it can collide with atoms and molecules within a bubble chamber and thus leave a track. It is plain simple physics. No Voodoo like "wave-particle [duality]" and built-in "probability" is required.


This is what Schrödinger thought until H.A. Lorentz schooled him that such a electron "EM wave-packet" could only exist for enough time if it's dimensions are large compared to it's wavelength,..... yet the electron does not vanish into EM radiation when it's confined.

Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2014
the impinging wave (no matter what its size) must morph to atomic size and thus leaves an atomically sized spot


What do you mean by "morph", why that particular spot and not another that 'matches its boundary conditions',.... and btw the electron confined to an atom does not even match the frequency of the photon (EM wave) that it absorbs,... but instead the difference in allowable electron energy states.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2014
Also, if an electron is itself a EM wave, then shouldn't we expect a charge from say a gamma ray,... or iow why does the electron charge not vary?
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 04, 2014
Well, anyway it was once. But it stopped being when philosophists stopped considering reality important and started deconstructing everything.
Unfortunately, some physicists, not all by any means, remain ignorant of basic philosophical epistemic considerations and fall into metaphysical speculations all the while claiming it's science.
They're trying to make up for the shortfall of sensible philosophers due to their adoption of philo-sophistry. It's an effort, it must be admitted, with less than entirely satisfactory results.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 04, 2014
For, example, some physicists, not all by any means, actually believe that there are 'parallel worlds', or take as a point of departure that the wave-function is a Real entity, and see Tegmark's book "Our Mathematical Universe"...
I've argued with others about math and its surprising utility in understanding the universe. The really effective argument is, offer a monkey two oranges, then only give him one. Don't get bit. Even a monkey knows that much math.

If you continue avoiding insults I'll continue talking with you. You're off ignore unless you go back to your old ways. You have made a transition and I am recognizing it. Don't blow it.

You would make me feel much more comfortable if you would tell me you think the Derridistas are crazy. Deconstruct deconstruction.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2014
I will avoid insults if you avoid inferring things I did not say.

I've argued with others about math and its surprising utility in understanding the universe. The really effective argument is, offer a monkey two oranges, then only give him one. Don't get bit. Even a monkey knows that much math.


But why?

"The enormous usefulness of mathematics in the natural sciences is something bordering on the mysterious." - Eugene Wigner

Max Tegmark, .....taking his cue from Hugh Everett in proposing MWI via 'letting the mathematical structure do the interpretations',... attempts to answer Wigner's dilemma, by proposing that in some literal sense, the universe IS mathematics, or rather mathematics IS the universe.

Even worse, ...it is a matter of discovery which mathematical structure IS our world, and that any mathematical structure not applicable in this world, must be realized in other worlds. Tegmark adds the multiverse level, IV.

Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2014


Now, had Max Tegmark the basics of philosophy, in particular epistemology, he would not have needed to speculate so deeply into metaphysics to resolve Wigner's problem,...

Mathematics are a-priori judgments of intuition, in synthesizing and conceptualizing experience. They're a means the mind evolved to order experience. Mathematics/Logic are not discovered, rather they are applied,.. i.e. they're presupposed. So, what this means is that, not only is the usefulness of mathematics in the natural sciences, not mysterious,... but rather a foregone conclusion.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2014


In other words,.... if the elements of logic/mathematics are an a-priori condition for experience to be possible, ... that ('hard-wired') a-priori intellectual faculties determine the form of experience given the nature of mind,... then it follows that elements of logic/mathematics are intrinsic to conceptualizations of reality, ...and so anything but mysterious.

In order for the monkey to be able to experience reality to begin with, his mind orders experience before he is conscious of it, via a-priori judgements of intuition, part of which are elements for which mathematics is derived by a more complex and sophisticated mind. His mind operates on experience it certain evolved ways, and he knows 'innately' that two oranges is more than one.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 04, 2014
,... it is similar with time and space, causality, counterfactuality , locality etc,.. these are not things discovered, but applied. They are intuitions presupposed by the mind in ordering experience.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2014
You would make me feel much more comfortable if you would tell me you think the Derridistas are crazy. Deconstruct deconstruction.

Yes, quite, that.

I was unaware of J. Derrida, which is not suprising since he appears to have been a far left marxist. To may knowledge he did not write on epistemology in relation to science (?).
johanfprins
not rated yet Nov 05, 2014
This is what Schrödinger thought
Schroediger thought that a free electron can be modelled by a wave-packet. A moving electron has a k vector k=mv/(hbar) and a frequency (omega)=m/(hbar), so that (omega)=k/v. ONLY A SINGLE COHERENT WAVE WITH A SINGLE FRQUENCY CAN HAVE THIS RELATIONHIP.
until H.A. Lorentz schooled him that such a electron "EM wave-packet" could only exist for enough time if it's dimensions are large compared to it's wavelength,..... yet the electron does not vanish into EM radiation when it's confined.
Correct! Lorentz was correct that a single elctron-wave cannot be a wave-packet. I is not, since when it is movng freely, it is a coherent wave with a SINGLE frequency.

What is amazing about this is that the Copenhagenists are basing their "probability interpretation" (which is clearly Vodoo) by claiming that a free electron is a wave-packet: Even though Lorentz proved that this cannot be the case EVER!
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2014
,... it is similar with time and space, causality, counterfactuality , locality etc,.. these are not things discovered, but applied. They are intuitions presupposed by the mind in ordering experience.


I should add here that these intuitions above fail to order experience at the qm scale, exposing them as an artificial synthesis that are dependent on mind rather than reality itself.

Even in GR, the failure of absolute simultaneity, absolute space, and absolute time,.... show that these intuitions are an artificial ordering of experience,.. and that they must be redefined and equated to physical systems, a clock and a rod.

Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2014
What is amazing about this is that the Copenhagenists are basing their "probability interpretation" (which is clearly Vodoo) by claiming that a free electron is a wave-packet: Even though Lorentz proved that this cannot be the case EVER!


Well, the Copenhagenists, Bohr, Born, Heisenberg, Jordan,.... did not regard the wave-function as representing a physical wave, so i'm sure this caried over to the Dirac equation. Lorentz show that Schrodibger's idea of a physical electron wavefunction can't be right.

I won't be able to respond further for a while,......
johanfprins
not rated yet Nov 05, 2014
What do you mean by "morph",
When a carrier radio-wave encounters an antenna, it "disentangles" part of its distributed energy to enter the antenna. This means that this part "morphs" to adapt to the physical size of the antenna.

why that particular spot and not another that 'matches its boundary conditions',.
An atomicaly-sized antenna within the screen, cannot absorb less or more energy than h*f where f is the resonant frequencies of the antenna and the wave. When a continuous laser beam with frequency f (which has more energy than h*f) is used, it will, at each antenna (electronic state in the screen) with which it resonates, disentangle the amount of energy hf, which then morphs to the atomic size of the antenna and thus leave a spot.

If the impinging wave has ONLY energy h*f, it has a probability to resonate with any one of the available electronic antennas. The one with which it resonates first will absorb it.

Continued


johanfprins
not rated yet Nov 05, 2014
Since the impinging SINGLE photon-wave has a diffracted wavefront after IT HAS MOVED SIMULTANROUSLY THROUGH BOTH SLITS, it will have a greater probability to resonate with an atomically-sized antenna in the screen at positions where its diffracted wavefront has a higher intensity. It wil then morph to the siize of the antenna with which it resonates, in order to be ab absorbed: AND THUS IT LEAVES A SPOT!

Spots from many successive single photon-waves must thus build up the intensity of the idenictal wavefronts arriving at the screen. THIS OBVIOUSLY DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE INTENSITY OF THE DIFFRACTED PHOTON-WAVE IS PHYSICALLY A "PROBABILITY DISTRIBUTION". The latter conclusion is clearly absurd Voodoo!

continued

johanfprins
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2014
and btw the electron confined to an atom does not even match the frequency of the photon (EM wave) that it absorbs,... but instead the difference in allowable electron energy states.


Obviousy not: It is a stationary EM wave with a stationary mass-energy m(0)*c^2=h*f (1) which is less than its rest mass energy h*f(0)=m(0)*c^2. It can also have higher energy energy-states m(n)*c^2=h*f(n). Since the electron-wave that absorbs the photon-wave with energy h*f, will gain this energy, it cannot remain a stationary wave with energy h*f(1)=m(1)*c^2. After absorption this energy, its energy must become h*f(1)+h*f. Thus it can ONLY absorb the energy h*f, if a stationary wave with mass-energy m(n)*c^2 =h*f(n) is allowed so that m(n)*c^2=h*f(n)=h*(f(1)+f). Therefore resonance occurs.

It is quite funny that this follows directly from the time-perturbed solutions of the Schroedinger equation that the resonace frequency is f=f(n)-f(1). Remember Fermi's Golden Rule?

johanfprins
not rated yet Nov 05, 2014
Also, if an electron is itself a EM wave, then shouldn't we expect a charge from say a gamma ray,... or iow why does the electron charge not vary?


Maxwel's equations allow solutions for waves with distributed charge within them. Light-waves do not have charge, but distributed uncharged EM-energy. When a gamm-ray forms a electron and a positron, then surley the electron and positron are being formed from EM energy, which proves that the electron must be an EM wave.

After all, why would the continuously distributed energy of an atomic-orbital electron-wave increase when it absorbs a photon-wave consisting of EM energy if the electron's energy is not also EM energy?

Why an electon's charge does not vary has not yet been explained by anyone. It has to do with th magnetic-fied component of an electron's EM-energy; which has NOTHING to do with the "spin" of its charge, since a single charge that spins, or follows a circular path CANNOT have a magnetic moment on its own.
johanfprins
not rated yet Nov 05, 2014
Well, the Copenhagenists, Bohr, Born, Heisenberg, Jordan,.... did not regard the wave-function as representing a physical wave,
Correct since they agued superstitious mysticism, not reality.

so i'm sure this caried over to the Dirac equation
Yes it did; and therefore the Dirac-equation and Quantum Field Theory are abominations.

Lorentz show that Schrodibger's idea of a physical electron wavefunction can't be right.
He only showed that a SINGLE electron wave cannot be a wave-packet. Wave-packets are only possible within conductors like metals, where they act as charge-carriers while an electric-field is applied. And here Lorentz is correct, since they only form and decay while there is an electric-field. Without the electric-field the electron waves are actual stationary waves, each filling the whole volume of the metal when it is perfect ideal metal. The applied electric-field causes these waves to superpose to form wavepackets.

TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2014
Science itself is a philosophy
Philosophy Is Not a Science - NYT
[and by extension, Science is NOT a philosophy]
By J Friedland, philo
04-05-12

"So what objective knowledge can philosophy bring that is not already determinable by science? This is a question that has become increasingly fashionable — even in philosophy — to answer with a defiant "none." For numerous philosophers have come to believe, in concert with the prejudices of our age, that only science holds the potential to solve persistent philosophical mysteries as the nature of truth, life, mind, meaning, justice, the good and the beautiful."

"science cannot necessarily tell us what to value... evidence of how most people happen to be does not necessarily tell us everything about how we should aspire to be"

-Only science can ascribe real value to actions and attitudes devoid of political, religious, and traditional bias. Philo has always failed in this respect.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2014
Yes, quite, that.
-Ever notice how effete intelligencia types, when they get backed into a corner, start talking with british accents? Why is that I wonder?
these intuitions are an artificial ordering of experience,.. and that they must be redefined and equated to physical systems, a clock and a rod
No, intuition is irrelevant to science. Science is the fearless exploration of the nature of reality devoid of intuition or notions of how things ought to be.

Science is the effort to eliminate preconceptions about the world, including any ill-conceived and naive attempts to define limits on what we can know a priori.

Something else the collapse of academic philosophy has taught us.
Estevan57
3 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2014
Albert Einstein: Historical and Cultural Perspectives,
Dover Publications, July 1997, p. 97. ISBN 0-486-29879-5

"The workings of intuition transcend those of the intellect, and as is well known, innovation is often a triumph of intuition over logic."

"Words and language, whether spoken or written, do not seem to play any
role in my thinking mechanisms. The mental entities that serve as elements of my thought
are certain signs or images, more or less clear,that can 'at will' be reproduced or combined."
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 05, 2014
I've argued with others about math and its surprising utility in understanding the universe. The really effective argument is, offer a monkey two oranges, then only give him one. Don't get bit. Even a monkey knows that much math.


But why?
Because the universe has more than one of most things. This makes counting an important description of the universe.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2014
Now, had Max Tegmark the basics of philosophy, in particular epistemology, he would not have needed to speculate so deeply into metaphysics to resolve Wigner's problem,...

Mathematics are a-priori judgments of intuition, in synthesizing and conceptualizing experience. They're a means the mind evolved to order experience. Mathematics/Logic are not discovered, rather they are applied,.. i.e. they're presupposed. So, what this means is that, not only is the usefulness of mathematics in the natural sciences, not mysterious,... but rather a foregone conclusion.
This is just exactly where the problem is.

One orange is certainly concrete enough; so is two oranges, and so is the difference between one orange and two oranges. Concrete enough to get you bit by the monkey. Where's the "abstractness" of one and two, if math is some abstract conception our minds make up? I don't see it.

contd
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2014
"How does it happen that a properly endowed natural scientist comes to concern himself with epistemology? [..] Concepts that have proven useful in ordering things easily achieve such an authority over us that we forget their earthly origins and accept them as unalterable givens. Thus they come to be stamped as 'necessities of thought,' 'a priori givens,'" - Albert Einstein

"There is no way to remove the observer us from our perception of the world, which is created through our sensory processing and through the way we think and reason. Our perception and the observations upon which our theories are based are shaped by a kind of lens, the interpretive structure of our human brains." - S. Hawking

""We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning." - Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2014
This is what I mean when I say that philosophy has gone off the track. Math is not abstract at all; it's concrete. It describes physical phenomena more accurately than language, because it's derived from obvious characteristics of the universe like countability. In physics, we let reality tell us which math works.

And the reason it works has nothing to do with epistemology. It's simply because counting things works; and it works because of the conservation laws. And those laws, according to Noether's Theorem, emerge from the dimensional symmetries of the universe. Thus, it is dimensionality that causes the unreasonable accuracy of mathematics, not some philosophical concept.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2014
Without conservation laws, there could be one orange, there could be two, or there could be infinity. And they would be no different, because we could not depend on them staying one, or two, or infinity; they would wildly fluctuate with oranges covering the entire Earth one moment and there never having been such a thing as an orange the next.

I'll also point out that conservation laws are the reason it's possible for there to be life; if molecules could not be counted on to be there a moment later, nothing could eat, respire, or procreate.

So we see that the most basic concepts of mathematics are embedded in the universe by its dimensionality. This is the reason math works so well.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 05, 2014
I'll also point out that you've accepted math a priori; I have not. I think math is a tertiary effect, and the conservation laws and the symmetries they make necessary, that lead to math, a secondary effect; the primary a priori reality of our universe is dimensionality. It is dimensionality that allows us to differentiate between one orange and another, and thus to form the concepts "one" and "two." It is dimensionality that forces oranges to be conserved (unless we eat one or feed one to the monkey).

So you see I don't need all these things you keep trying to say are foundational; they are derivable from dimensionality.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 05, 2014
In order for the monkey to be able to experience reality to begin with, his mind orders experience before he is conscious of it, via a-priori judgements of intuition, part of which are elements for which mathematics is derived by a more complex and sophisticated mind. His mind operates on experience it certain evolved ways, and he knows 'innately' that two oranges is more than one.
If you really need me to, I can point out that an amoeba fed two pieces of food a day survives and an amoeba fed one dies. And amoebas have no brain, so they "experience" nothing, in the way you mean "experience."

Yet, the life or death of the amoeba is unquestionably real, and unquestionably due to its being fed or not fed. Like the monkey, it will do everything it is capable of to search for food, and like the monkey, if it fails it dies.

Dimensionality is not something we made up. It's something that was imposed on us and all our forebears. It's a brute fact, not a theory.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 05, 2014
And "nothing" doesn't mean "no dimensions;" and because the dimensionality of the universe can change, that means the definition of "nothing" can change; this here is an 11 dimensional universe with one hyperbolic dimension, and six dimensions that are "curled up" to form "small" dimensions. Which precise particles emerge from the vacuum and redisappear back into it is determined by its dimensionality; "nothing" merely means "only the vacuum," and the vacuum is different in different dimensional frameworks.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 05, 2014
You would make me feel much more comfortable if you would tell me you think the Derridistas are crazy. Deconstruct deconstruction.
Yes, quite, that.

I was unaware of J. Derrida, which is not suprising since he appears to have been a far left marxist. To may knowledge he did not write on epistemology in relation to science (?).
He was proven to be an idiot by the Sokal Affair. Or, more precisely, his followers were.

Whether he was left- or right-wing, or a centrist, is immaterial. But your insistence upon the unreality of math is right down his alley.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 05, 2014
And we can finally answer the question, "Why are we here?"

The answer is, because many universes formed, and this one had the right dimensionality to form us.

Once such a universe formed, we were inevitable.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (2) Nov 05, 2014
This is what I mean when I say that philosophy has gone off the track. Math is not abstract at all; it's concrete. It describes physical phenomena more accurately than language, because it's derived from obvious characteristics of the universe like countability.....


I'm not saying that math can't be applied to order experience. Obviously it can. I'm saying, to do so is a mental phenomenon.

What do you mean math is concrete? Are you saying it exists of itself in some physical way, a la Tegmark? We never discover or observe mathematical entities independently of their application. We can't apply a concept to physical objects at the same time both are discovered; ....the former must be presupposed as prerequisite.

If you're not saying that math is some physical presence, ... the other option would be that we learn math through our experience of reality. Is this it? If so, when? I'm proposing, it was during the evolution of our minds,... hard-wired so to speak.

Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 05, 2014


.... in a way that operates autonomously prior to consciousness. I say this because our intuition of time is again a means of ordering experience. Do you think time is a physical entity, that in principal could be discovered independently of its application,... say like a time particle or time field? You may say time is a dimension,... however dimension is again not substantive either.

Keep in mind I'm not questioning math or times application to reality,..... (I've even stated it is a forgone conclusion and not mysterious) ,... I'm asking where does it originate. Do you think Tegmarks pov is a rational one.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 06, 2014
I'm not saying that math can't be applied to order experience. Obviously it can. I'm saying, to do so is a mental phenomenon.
No, it's not. It's a basic characteristic of the universe. The difference between one and two is not a "mental phenomenon." It's the difference between life and death for the amoeba.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (2) Nov 06, 2014
Yes, It's a basic characteristic of the universe as KNOWN BY A MIND. We already agree that the universe can be quantified.

The universe nor the amoeba asks itself questions about the relation between things,.... does reality even distinguish between things or is it One Thing? You're not answering my questions above.

Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 06, 2014
Whether he was left- or right-wing, or a centrist, is immaterial.


I do not know of this guy, he would not made it across my radar screen for the reasons stated. Are you suggesting that a failed philo renders every philo thought invalid? Does a failed hypothesis in physics do so?

But your insistence upon the unreality of math is right down his alley.

What do you mean 'unreality'? If a bio-mechanism evolved with a means to order and synthesize experience which include a-priori judgements which are the elements of math, then this is a reality in that it was 'derived from reality', to facilitate experience/observation.

You seem to be suggesting math has some 'disembodied' existence of it's own, quite apart from conceptualizations. This proposition is orders of magnitude more metaphysical than my purely physical/mental account of 'the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics'.

Please answer the questions above before I can continue.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (2) Nov 06, 2014
You first need to 'get out of your own way',.... in order to see the distinction between 'Application of mathematics' and 'ontological existence of mathematics'.
Noumenon
4 / 5 (2) Nov 06, 2014
Keep in mind that implicit in Wigner's characterization of the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics to the natural sciences as being a mystery, is the notion that mathematics is a mental construct. Tegmark logically solves this dilimma by proposing that reality and mathematics are one and the same,.... this is akin to Spinoza equating Reality and God to solve the apparent conflict,.... both enter into metaphysics.

Do you agree with Wigner that mathematics are a mental construct or Tegmark (and Penrose who has insinuated such) that mathematics is in some way a Real entity of its own? Taken to it's logical conclusion is Tegmarks metaphysics, and his IV multiverse of mathematical structures.

[I will read johan's post's lator when more time...]
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 06, 2014
Since the impinging SINGLE photon-wave has a diffracted wavefront after IT HAS MOVED SIMULTANROUSLY THROUGH BOTH SLITS, it will have a greater probability to resonate with an atomically-sized antenna in the screen at positions where its diffracted wavefront has a higher intensity.


My problem with this is that since the experiment is conducted with single photon (waves) with energy hf, obviously quantized, the photon flux would be unity, and so there would be no varying intensity wave-fronts.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 06, 2014
Maxwel's equations allow solutions for waves with distributed charge within them. Light-waves do not have charge, but distributed uncharged EM-energy. When a gamm-ray forms a electron and a positron, then surley the electron and positron are being formed from EM energy, which proves that the electron must be an EM wave.


I think this side-steps the question since as you know e = mc² is rather ubiquitous, valid even for converting mechanical kinetic energy (-hbar²/2m ∇²) into electron-positron pairs and even protons, etc.

Electrons being themselves EM waves does not seem to explain charge,.. particularly when in principal nothing stops the production of a gamma ray being on par with an electron in terms of energy,... matter wave frequency being on par with gamma ray frequency. I'm sure the electron is very much higher than ever observed but the point is where is the charge of a gamma ray?
johanfprins
not rated yet Nov 06, 2014
My problem with this is that since the experiment is conducted with single photon (waves) with energy hf, obviously quantized, the photon flux would be unity, and so there would be no varying intensity wave-fronts.
I cannot understand your argument. Diffraction has NOTHING to do with a "FLUX" waves, but with a SINGLE, coherent EM-wave moving though both slits simultaneously. A photon IS a SINGLE coheent EM-wave; since for such a wave one has that k=(omega)/c. So what has "flux" got to do with a SINGLE coherent wave moving through both slits as we KNOW that a SINGLEcoherent EM light-wave OF ANY ENERGY DOES? ALSO ONE WITH ENERGY h*f!
johanfprins
not rated yet Nov 06, 2014
I think this side-steps the question
How does it sidestep the issue?
since as you know e = mc² is rather ubiquitous,
Exactly!! Thus, you have a neutral gamma-ray forming an electron and a positron! Opposite charges. NOBODY HAS YET EXPLAINED WHERE THESE CHARGES COME FROM: CAN YOU EXPLAIN IT "without sidestepping the issue"? .

Electrons being themselves EM waves does not seem to explain charge,.
As I have pointed out before, Maxwell's equations can be solved for an EM wave having a distributed charge. Since Maxwell's equations allow this why are you claiming it is not possible? Furthermore, Maxwell's equations, which are the reason why Special Relativity is valid, DEMANDS that a matter entity moving with a speed v MUST elongate IN ORDER TO HAVEa de Boglie wavelength. Since this is demanded by Maxwell's equations, why would an electron wave NOT be an EM-wave?. It comes from the same equations that model a single light-wave
Cont.
johanfprins
not rated yet Nov 06, 2014
but for some Voodoo reason it is claimed that an electron wave has a different type of energy than EM=energy. WHY? A stationary atomic electron wave absorbs EM energy to increase its stationary mass-energy, which requires from it to form a higher energy electron-wave. Would it have been able to increase its mass-energy from EM energy, if its mass energy is not all along EM-eergy?

particularly when in principal nothing stops the production of a gamma ray being on par with an electron in terms of energy,... matter wave frequency being on par with gamma ray frequency. I'm sure the electron is very much higher than ever observed but the point is where is the charge of a gamma ray?
A positive charge and a negative charge cancel so that the gamma ray is neutral, until it forms a positron and an electron. It is totally understandable that a neutral entity an split int two parts which have oppositely charges: Is it not to you?
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 06, 2014
So what has "flux" got to do with a SINGLE coherent wave moving through both slits as we KNOW that a SINGLEcoherent EM light-wave OF ANY ENERGY DOES? ALSO ONE WITH ENERGY h*f!


The 'photon flux' is number of photons per surface area per second, which is intensity in terms of photons,... so if only one photon in the experiment then the intensity would be unity, and thus no varying wave-front intensity.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 06, 2014
I think this side-steps the question,...since as you know e = mc² is rather ubiquitous,...

Exactly!! Thus, you have a neutral gamma-ray forming an electron and a positron! Opposite charges. NOBODY HAS YET EXPLAINED WHERE THESE CHARGES COME FROM


QFT says there is a electron field, etc. The point was that one could slam two neutrons together ,... or a cat and a hamburger,...and also produce a electron/positron pair, so it does not mean that electrons are EM waves.

Electrons being themselves EM waves does not seem to explain charge,.

Maxwell's equations can be solved for an EM wave having a distributed charge. Since Maxwell's equations allow this why are you claiming it is not possible?


Because Maxwell's equations require a charge density term, E•∇= ρ/ε ,..... ρ. If the electron was a EM wave itself, you would not require this term; the divergence of the electric field would be proportional to your EM-wave.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 06, 2014
Yes, It's a basic characteristic of the universe as KNOWN BY A MIND.
Amoebas have no minds, but the difference between one and two is for them life or death. (At least in the scenario I have mooted.) There is no "knowledge;" either there is enough food or there isn't.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 06, 2014
Whether he was left- or right-wing, or a centrist, is immaterial.
I do not know of this guy, he would not made it across my radar screen for the reasons stated. Are you suggesting that a failed philo renders every philo thought invalid? Does a failed hypothesis in physics do so?
This particular "failed hypothesis" has been adopted by the majority of philosophers, and that makes me generally reject philosophy. If physicists had suddenly started insisting the world is flat I'd reject them too.

But your insistence upon the unreality of math is right down his alley.
What do you mean 'unreality'? If a bio-mechanism evolved with a means to order and synthesize experience which include a-priori judgements which are the elements of math, then this is a reality in that it was 'derived from reality', to facilitate experience/observation.
It's not "derived from" reality. It IS reality. The amoeba dies or lives because of it.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 06, 2014
When you say "derived from" that has a specific meaning in physics; it means that the derived quantity is indeed a model of the human mind, not a basic feature of the universe. I contend that counting is not a model from the human mind, but a basic feature of the universe.

You seem to be suggesting math has some 'disembodied' existence of it's own, quite apart from conceptualizations.
That's correct, and I provided very strong evidence to support my contention. Life and death is about as "real" as it gets.

This proposition is orders of magnitude more metaphysical than my purely physical/mental account of 'the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics.'
Live or dead is "metaphysical?" Not a chance. You haven't thought your way through your own arguments.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 06, 2014
This is what I mean when I say that philosophy has gone off the track. Math is not abstract at all; it's concrete. It describes physical phenomena more accurately than language, because it's derived from obvious characteristics of the universe like countability...
I'm not saying that math can't be applied to order experience. Obviously it can. I'm saying, to do so is a mental phenomenon.
And I'm saying that the fact it works so well is no surprise at all; it's a direct description of the universe in the simplest possible terms. Math transcends language; not the symbols of math, but the underlying concepts. It doesn't matter if you're Chinese, an Urdu, a T'Kung, a German, or a Portuguese; a square root is a square root. Even changing the symbols doesn't change the meaning.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 06, 2014
The conservation laws are the most important determinants of the fact math works; the fundamental concepts of math, like the associative and distributive properties, are the direct results of these laws. So are axioms like the existence of the identity element, and of successors to it, and the existence of negatives, irrational numbers, and imaginary numbers.

And the source of the conservation laws is the symmetries of physics over various dimensions. This is the meaning of Noether's Theorem. So the effectiveness of mathematics is due directly to the fact of the existence of dimensions, and the type of math that works depends upon their exact configuration in our universe.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 06, 2014
What do you mean math is concrete?
I mean that it is a description of reality that transcends language, and that it is designed to completely represent the most important feature of the universe, its dimensionality. There is no question about why math works so well, given a realistic understanding of its development.

Are you saying it exists of itself in some physical way, a la Tegmark?
Not having read his book, I have no idea. It's on my list. I'll get to it sometime next year.

We never discover or observe mathematical entities independently of their application.
The amoeba never can discover or observe anything at all. It is incapable of "applying mathematical entities." Nevertheless it lives or dies by these same "mathematical entities," as you put it, without requiring any understanding at all.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 06, 2014
We can't apply a concept to physical objects at the same time both are discovered; ....the former must be presupposed as prerequisite.
But that's not the question. The question is, are the brute physical facts there whether we recognize them or not, or are they "constructions of the mind?" And the answer is, brute physical facts, like dimensionality and conservation laws, exist whether some sort of intelligence recognizes them or not.

If a tree falls in the forest, does it make sound?
Yes; sound is vibrations in the air.
If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a noise?
Only if there is something/someone to hear it and remember it later. Noise is not sound; noise is what is heard.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 06, 2014
If you're not saying that math is some physical presence,
I have no idea; I don't understand what "math is some physical presence" means.

the other option would be that we learn math through our experience of reality. Is this it? If so, when? I'm proposing, it was during the evolution of our minds,... hard-wired so to speak.
If it was hard-wired, it was hard-wired by the universe's behavior, as encoded in our instincts, and its accuracy has been tested and improved for over a billion years. Remember, we are talking about amoebae.

1 not equals 2. Even an amoeba "knows" that, in that it is hardwired to go hunting for the second if the first is not enough.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 06, 2014
You first need to 'get out of your own way',.... in order to see the distinction between 'Application of mathematics' and 'ontological existence of mathematics'.
Ontological existence of mathematics is a prerequisite for life. Without conservation laws there is no certainty of the structure of the universe or anything in it from one moment to the next; that's why there can be no mathematics as we recognize the term in a universe without conservation laws. I can't even imagine what anything that even resembles anything I'd call "life" would be like under such circumstances; the thing itself could not count on existing from one moment to the next, so it could never reliably create copies of itself.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 06, 2014
Keep in mind that implicit in Wigner's characterization of the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics to the natural sciences as being a mystery, is the notion that mathematics is a mental construct.
I acknowledge that some physicists claim math is "unreasonably effective." I'm not sure I agree, given its origins. It might be quite reasonable after all.

Tegmark logically solves this dilimma by proposing that reality and mathematics are one and the same,.... this is akin to Spinoza equating Reality and God to solve the apparent conflict,.... both enter into metaphysics.
I cannot comment since I have not read his book.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 06, 2014
Do you agree with Wigner that mathematics are a mental construct or Tegmark (and Penrose who has insinuated such) that mathematics is in some way a Real entity of its own? Taken to it's logical conclusion is Tegmarks metaphysics, and his IV multiverse of mathematical structures.
I'm not sure I agree with either one. I'm also not sure I agree those are the only choices, either. I must also point out yet again that I have not read Tegmark's book so I cannot comment on it.

TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Nov 06, 2014
distinction between 'Application of mathematics' and 'ontological existence of mathematics'.
Yeah. The former is represented in despagnats strictly physics work. The latter is addressed in his hypergod-related mysticism.

Although I dont think the line is very clear with any of the mysticians you enjoy referencing. You cite their physics and math works as justification for their, and thus your own, speculations about ultimate meaning and unreachable realms (wizardry).

Tegmark - mystic

"The human mind then emerges from math, as a self-aware substructure of an extremely complicated mathematical structure... Given the mathematical equations that describe our Universe, an infinitely intelligent mathematician could in principle deduce the properties of both its material content and the minds of its inhabitants."
http://sureshemre...nd-mind/
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Nov 06, 2014
"Halfway into his new book, "Our Mathematical Universe," the M.I.T. physicist Max Tegmark describes his "Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde Strategy": During the day he would do respectable work on mainstream topics in cosmology, but at night he would "transform into the evil Mr. Hyde" and indulge in writing "wacky" papers on "the ultimate nature of reality."

"There is nothing wrong with contemplating speculative ideas, but the problem is that while pretending to stay in the realm of science, the "Mr. Hyde" part of the book crosses over to what I must consider science fiction and MYSTICISM. It raises provocative questions that will make you ponder the essence of reality, but readers expecting the discussion to be as coherent and intellectually fulfilling as it is in the scientific sections will be disappointed."
-Edward Frenkel is a professor of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley

-Why nou? Why are you so enamoured with these dumbledorians? Hogwarts isnt REAL.
tritace
Nov 06, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
johanfprins
not rated yet Nov 07, 2014
@ Noumenon

The 'photon flux' is number of photons per surface area per second, which is intensity in terms of photons,... so if only one photon in the experiment then the intensity would be unity, and thus no varying wave-front intensity.
Intensity is present within a volume. So which volume for a single photon-wave are you talking about? The volume that the photon-wave has just before it is aborsorbed by an ATOMICALLY SIZED absorber, where this "arriving" volume DOES HAVE a varying wave-front intensity since the photon-wave DID move through BOTH slits, or the size of the spot seen on the screen, which is determined by the size of the absorber; NOT the diffracted size of the photon-wave just before it is absorbed.
johanfprins
not rated yet Nov 07, 2014
@ Noumenon,

QFT says there is a electron field, etc.
QFT assumes without any experimental proof whatsoever that a solitary electron has an electric-field around it that extends to infinity. Such a field is impossible to measure around a solitary charge. To measure it you need a second charge, so you are not measuring what is present around a solitary charge, but you are measuring solely an electric interaction between TWO charges.

To conclude from this that there MUST be an electric-field around a solitary charge is irresponsible quackery. If there are two possibilities: in this case a field or no field, and you cannot experimentally determine which one is correct, a responsible physicist will proceed as if either could be correct, and then see which one leads to an absurdity.

It is clear from QFT which one leads to absurdities, since the integrals of QFT explode into infinities which have to be fudged in order to "renormalize" the results.
johanfprins
not rated yet Nov 07, 2014
@ Noumenon,

The point was that one could slam two neutrons together ,... or a cat and a hamburger,...and also produce a electron/positron pair, so it does not mean that electrons are EM waves.
So what is the energy that constitutes a neutron? A neutron has a de Broglie wavelength and as I have posted over and over and over again (with references) one can derive this wavelength from Maxwell's equations. Why would the neutron then exist of anything else than EM-energy?

Because Maxwell's equations require a charge density term, E•∇= ρ/ε ,..... ρ. If the electron was a EM wave itself, you would not require this term
Of course you require this term: Are you arguing that an electron does not have charge?

the divergence of the electric field would be proportional to your EM-wave.
Which electric-field are you talking about here? The one that most probably does NOT exist around a solitary electron.....continued
johanfprins
not rated yet Nov 07, 2014
OR the localised-stationary EM-field within the volume of the solitary electron (with no electric field in space around this volume) which gives the electron its mass-energy?

Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 07, 2014
The 'photon flux' is number of photons per surface area per second, which is intensity in terms of photons,... so if only one photon in the experiment then the intensity would be unity, and thus no varying wave-front intensity.

Intensity is present within a volume. So which volume for a single photon-wave are you talking about?

Intensity defined in terms of photons, is proportional to the number of photons,.... so if in the experiment a single photon at a time is used,... the Intensity must be unity; There IS no more intensity at one location of the screen as compared to another, so your "at positions where its diffracted wavefront has a higher intensity" does not work.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 07, 2014
QFT says there is a electron field, etc.

QFT assumes without any experimental proof whatsoever that a solitary electron has an electric-field around it that extends to infinity. Such a field is impossible to measure around a solitary charge.


Not electric field,.... electron field,.. then for QCD, quark fields, etc.

The point was that one could slam two neutrons together ,... or a cat and a hamburger,...and also produce a electron/positron pair, so it does not mean that electrons are EM waves.

So what is the energy that constitutes a neutron?


I don't see how it makes sense to associate difference flavours of energy. Energy is just energy and has generalized units. As I said, purely mechanical energy could also create massive particles.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 07, 2014
Because Maxwell's equations require a charge density term, E•∇= ρ/ ε,..... ρ If the electron was a EM wave itself, you would not require this term

Of course you require this term: Are you arguing that an electron does not have charge?


No, I thought you were arguing that electrons are EM-waves,... if so then why would the Maxwell equations require the ρ term or j term?
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 07, 2014
and thus your own, speculations about ultimate meaning and unreachable realms -Otto


I have not presented any speculations about metaphysics, ....you continue to either lie or continue to fail to comprehend my posts. I denounce metaphysics in science. If you were able to comprehend my posts you would have known this years ago. You would have also noticed that I condemned Tegmark, as well as others thinking that mathematics "exists" in some way on its own apart from its intellectual use in modeling or conceptualizing reality. You continue to spam with slander and irrelevancies in your 'accusation style' Jerry-Springer rants. You will be ignored unless you accidentally make a point.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
Yes, It's a basic characteristic of the universe as KNOWN BY A MIND.

Amoebas have no minds, but the difference between one and two is for them life or death. (At least in the scenario I have mooted.) There is no "knowledge;" either there is enough food or there isn't.


Who quantified the food to one or two?

Are you suggesting that a failed philo renders every philo thought invalid? Does a failed hypothesis in physics do so?

This particular "failed hypothesis" has been adopted by the majority of philosophers, and that makes me generally reject philosophy.

A majority of philosophers? Can you substantiate that claim?

If physicists had suddenly started insisting the world is flat I'd reject them too.


There is no need to invent a ridiculous example, when the history of physics is littered with failed hypothesis.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
I contend that counting is not a model from the human mind, but a basic feature of the universe.


Yes, a basic feature of the universe AS KNOWN,... by an observer that does not counting. The universe does not care about relations between 'parts' of itself,... it just is. It does not need to perform mathematical analysis in order for it to exist.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
You seem to be suggesting math has some 'disembodied' existence of it's own, quite apart from conceptualizations.

That's correct, ...


But then,.....

What do you mean math is concrete?

I mean that it is a description of reality that transcends language, and that it is designed to completely represent the most important feature of the universe, its dimensionality. There is no question about why math works so well, given a realistic understanding of its development.


Yes, exactly, it's a "description", that is "designed" to "represent", given it's "development",... thus it is not in fact 'concrete' nor has any 'disembodied' existence apart from being a mental construct to represent the universe as perceived.

Admitting this does not mean that it has no application to understanding reality. We already agree that there is no mystery to its success.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
We can't apply a concept to physical objects at the same time both are discovered; ....the former must be presupposed as prerequisite.

But that's not the question. The question is, are the brute physical facts there whether we recognize them or not, or are they "constructions of the mind?" And the answer is, brute physical facts, like dimensionality and conservation laws, exist whether some sort of intelligence recognizes them or not.


You are conflating objective reality with conceptualizations of it.

There is an Objective Reality (independent of mind, yes), which is the source of physical facts (as observed by mind).

Then there are conceptualizations of those observed facts. These are not 'things unto themselves', but relations between things,... questions asked about the facts.

Conservation laws do NOT exist "[without] some sort of intelligence [to] recognize[] them",... the observed facts which would lead them to, do.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
If you're not saying that math is some physical presence, ....
I have no idea; I don't understand what "math is some physical presence" means.


That "math has some 'disembodied' existence of it's own", to which you answered yes above. If it is not a mental construct, as you appear to be saying it isn't, then it must have some independent 'physical presence',...

....the other option would be that we learn math through our experience of reality. Is this it? If so, when? I'm proposing, it was during the evolution of our minds,... hard-wired so to speak.

If it was hard-wired, it was hard-wired by the universe's behavior, as encoded in our instincts, .....


Correct, ....and if those instincts are a-priori to experience, and thus a prerequisite for experience to be possible at all,... then it is a forgone conclusion that the a-priori judgments which are the elements of math, are enormously useful to the natural sciences, which is after all inductive.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
You first need to 'get out of your own way',.... in order to see the distinction between 'Application of mathematics' and 'ontological existence of mathematics'.

Ontological existence of mathematics is a prerequisite for life. Without conservation laws there is no certainty of the structure of the universe or anything in it from one moment to the next;


There is no certainty wrt our Knowledge of it. The universe does not need to be Known to exist.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
Yes, It's a basic characteristic of the universe as KNOWN BY A MIND.

Amoebas have no minds, but the difference between one and two is for them life or death. (At least in the scenario I have mooted.) There is no "knowledge;" either there is enough food or there isn't.
Who quantified the food to one or two?
The amoeba does, by living or dying.

Are you suggesting that a failed philo renders every philo thought invalid? Does a failed hypothesis in physics do so?

This particular "failed hypothesis" has been adopted by the majority of philosophers, and that makes me generally reject philosophy.

A majority of philosophers? Can you substantiate that claim?
Yes. Look up the Sokal Affair.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
I contend that counting is not a model from the human mind, but a basic feature of the universe.
Yes, a basic feature of the universe AS KNOWN,... by an observer
An amoeba is not an "observer" except in the most rigorous sense; it's certainly not capable of "knowing" anything.

that does not counting.
I couldn't figure out what this is supposed to mean.

The universe does not care about relations between 'parts' of itself,... it just is. It does not need to perform mathematical analysis in order for it to exist.
The amoeba doesn't "care" either; it can't. It just lives if it gets enough to eat, and dies if it doesn't. No analysis is needed.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
Yes, exactly, it's a "description", that is "designed" to "represent", given it's "development",... thus it is not in fact 'concrete' nor has any 'disembodied' existence apart from being a mental construct to represent the universe as perceived.
The amoeba doesn't know any math, but math affects its survival; and the same is true for everything that eats and lives. Whether it's *possible* to use it to describe the universe is immaterial to whether it is a natural feature of the universe or not. Actually, it is possible; but that's because it emerges from dimensionality.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
We can't apply a concept to physical objects at the same time both are discovered; ....the former must be presupposed as prerequisite.

But that's not the question. The question is, are the brute physical facts there whether we recognize them or not, or are they "constructions of the mind?" And the answer is, brute physical facts, like dimensionality and conservation laws, exist whether some sort of intelligence recognizes them or not.
You are conflating objective reality with conceptualizations of it.
No, I'm saying reality's characteristics determine that math works, not the human mind. I'm saying that the most basic parts of number theory are embedded in the universe, and any mind that investigates it will discover math, and it will be the same math we use. Math is a feature of reality.

contd
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
that's why there can be no mathematics as we recognize the term in a universe without conservation laws


Mathematics was developed in ancient times when very little was known about the universe, much less conservation laws.

Further, the question of a foundational basis for mathematics is far from being settled,.... so to propose that it has an ontological existence independent of mind, is unsubstantiated.

Also, you have it backwards, ....there can be no conservation laws without an intelligence asking about the rate of change of one degree of freedom with respect to another, and the Application of the concept of symmetry.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
I contend that counting is not a model from the human mind, but a basic feature of the universe.


Yes, a basic feature of the universe AS KNOWN,... by an observer that does [the] counting. The universe does not care about relations between 'parts' of itself,... it just is. It does not need to perform mathematical analysis in order for it to exist.


The universe does not care about relations between 'parts' of itself,... it just is. It does not need to perform mathematical analysis in order for it to exist.


The amoeba doesn't "care" either; it can't. It just lives if it gets enough to eat, and dies if it doesn't. No analysis is needed.


Correct, no analysis,... until an intelligence comes along to understand why it died, and in doing so Quantifies amounts of food so that he could then say 'this much, or that much'...

math affects its survival


Math is not physical, so it can't, ..... math is a language to help understand reality.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
There is an Objective Reality (independent of mind, yes), which is the source of physical facts (as observed by mind).
Math is part of objective reality.

Then there are conceptualizations of those observed facts. These are not 'things unto themselves', but relations between things,... questions asked about the facts.
An amoeba cannot "conceptualize," yet its existence is ruled by math.

Conservation laws do NOT exist "[without] some sort of intelligence [to] recognize[] them",... the observed facts which would lead them to, do.
Conservation laws are the direct result of the structure of the universe, specifically its dimensionality (note: not its contents). Are you seriously claiming that dimensionality isn't a feature of reality? Or that the fact that the amoeba lives or dies isn't?
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
Correct, ....and if those instincts are a-priori to experience, and thus a prerequisite for experience to be possible at all,... then it is a forgone conclusion that the a-priori judgments which are the elements of math, are enormously useful to the natural sciences, which is after all inductive.
I don't see how instincts can be a priori to anything. And you left out the amoeba.

There is no certainty wrt our Knowledge of it. The universe does not need to be Known to exist.
Math doesn't either.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
that's why there can be no mathematics as we recognize the term in a universe without conservation laws
Mathematics was developed in ancient times when very little was known about the universe, much less conservation laws.
No, math was *discovered* in ancient times. I misspoke above; math was not developed. It's a feature of reality. It was discovered. Its intimate connection with reality is what makes it so effective.

Further, the question of a http://en.wikiped..._program for mathematics is far from being settled,.... so to propose that it has an ontological existence independent of mind, is unsubstantiated.
Non sequitur.

Also, you have it backwards, ....there can be no conservation laws without an intelligence asking about the rate of change of one degree of freedom with respect to another, and the Application of the concept of symmetry.
So the monkey doesn't bite you? Sorry, I don't buy that at all.

contd
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
You are conflating objective reality with conceptualizations of it.

No, I'm saying reality's characteristics determine that math works, not the human mind. I'm saying that the most basic parts of number theory are embedded in the universe, and any mind that investigates it will discover math, and it will be the same math we use. Math is a feature of reality.


We will just have to respectfully disagree on this. I think you have it backwards, particularly when investigations of mathematics preceded inductive investigations of reality in history.

The most basic parts of number theory are embedded in the mind as a-priori judgments, ....so that investigations of the universe will necessarily be modeled in these terms.

Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
Conservation laws determine that physical objects are allowed to move in some ways, but not in others. Conservation laws determine that if there is a certain amount of something one moment, there will be the same amount later.

And you've forgotten Noether's Theorem; conservation laws are the result of dimension.

Correct, no analysis,... until an intelligence comes along to understand why it died, and in doing so Quantifies amounts of food so that he could then say 'this much, or that much'...
Whether the amoeba is alive or dead is a brute physical fact. No analysis can change it.

Math is not physical, so it can't, ..... math is a language to help understand reality.
Math is physical. It's based on the existence of distinguishable features of reality which remain in existence. Thus, conservation laws.

You've ignored the fact that things don't pop into and out of existence in our universe.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
Then there are conceptualizations of those observed facts. These are not 'things unto themselves', but relations between things,... questions asked about the facts.

An amoeba cannot "conceptualize," yet its existence is ruled by math.


Unless math is a 'physical thing' it can't possibly effect the amoeba. The amoeba does not eat 'the number two', ....it eats physical stuff.

Only later when one wants to understand why the amoeba died, does math come into play, in quantifying, answering questions, and speaking of it.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
You are conflating objective reality with conceptualizations of it.

No, I'm saying reality's characteristics determine that math works, not the human mind. I'm saying that the most basic parts of number theory are embedded in the universe, and any mind that investigates it will discover math, and it will be the same math we use. Math is a feature of reality.
We will just have to respectfully disagree on this.
Do you contend that there is some other sort of math that's just as effective at describing the universe as the math we've discovered? Please at least try to explain how that would work. I'm not being nasty; I'm serious. If you have such a concept I'd like to try to understand it.

I think you have it backwards, particularly when investigations of mathematics preceded inductive investigations of reality in history.
Math doesn't depend on being discovered to work. The amoeba lives or dies.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
Then there are conceptualizations of those observed facts. These are not 'things unto themselves', but relations between things,... questions asked about the facts.
An amoeba cannot "conceptualize," yet its existence is ruled by math.
Unless math is a 'physical thing' it can't possibly effect the amoeba.
It affects the amoeba by determining whether it lives or dies, and no human analysis is required for it to do so. It's a brute physical fact.

The amoeba does not eat 'the number two', ....it eats physical stuff.
Yes, and the amount- note that carefully, it has to be possible to count to have an "amount-" determines if it lives or dies. It's a brute physical fact.

Only later when one wants to understand why the amoeba died, does math come into play, in quantifying, answering questions, and speaking of it.
But none of that changes whether the amoeba is alive or dead.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
Math is physical. It's based on the existence of distinguishable features of reality which remain in existence.


'Based on', or 'is'? You keep making conflicting statements. 'Based on' implies a model,... while 'IS' (a la Tegmark) implies physical objective existence.

This is what I mean when I say that you're conflating conceptualizations of reality (models), with reality itself.

Are you then saying that a mathematical model of some observed feature of the universe, is a physical reproduction of the universe? If one was successful in developing a T.O.E., would this then mean that he created our universe?

You've ignored the fact that things don't pop into and out of existence in our universe.


Tell that to the vacuum state representation in QM.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
No, "based on" indicates that it's a feature of the universe, that emerges from other brute physical features of the universe, specifically dimensionality.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
Are you then saying that a mathematical model of some observed feature of the universe, is a physical reproduction of the universe? If one was successful in developing a T.O.E., would this then mean that he created our universe?
Math is a feature of the universe, not the universe itself, any more than a dimension is the universe itself.

You've ignored the fact that things don't pop into and out of existence in our universe.


Tell that to the vacuum state representation in QM.
This is not a violation of the conservation laws; the uncertainty of the particles allows them to exist briefly without violating it. They must, of course, disappear back into the vacuum in order to avoid doing so.

In any case, you're changing the subject.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
5s from me. This is an interesting conversation.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
Do you contend that there is some other sort of math that's just as effective at describing the universe as the math we've discovered?


I don't agree that math was 'discovered', so that is a loaded question.

So no I don't contend that ,.. only that the elements of math are embedded in the mind as a-priori judgments, ....so that investigations of the universe will necessarily be modeled in these terms, and reality will necessarily be experienced in these terms, ....so that the 'unreasonable effectiveness' of mathematics gives some the wrong impression that mathematics has a some Platonic existence, or that it is a mystery. This is an illusion, and like all such illusions in history of physics, stems from an inability to get out of our own intellectual way.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
No, "based on" indicates that it's a feature of the universe, that emerges from other brute physical features of the universe, specifically dimensionality.


I don't agree that dimensionality is a brute physical fact of the universe, which is to say an observable entity of itself. Derived if useful, yes.

In GR there is no absolute dimensionality of space, nor an absolute dimensionality of time,... both are dependent on the observer's reference frame, even when these intuitions of space and time are defined as being physical systems.

Also, in QM either the mathematics of probability is wrong, or spatial dimensionality fails to account for the observed facts of quantum non-locality, and temporal dimensionality fails to account for quantum indeterminacy.



Noumenon
3 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
If Archimedes was a string theorist he would have said,.... grant me enough degrees of freedom [dimensionality], and a parallel world in which to stand [10^100 solutions], and I could explain everything that exists and even more that does not.

This is the thing with math generally, ...the mathematical structures applicable in modeling the universe, are a limited subspace of all mathematical structures derivable from it's foundational elements.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 07, 2014
[Edit: ".... no absolute [parameterization of the] dimensionality of space, nor an absolute [parameterization of the] dimensionality of time"]
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 07, 2014
Do you contend that there is some other sort of math that's just as effective at describing the universe as the math we've discovered?


I don't agree that math was 'discovered', so that is a loaded question.
It's a simple question: is there more than one "sort" of math that's accurate?

If you claim so, show us this "sort" of math.

If you claim not, then how can it be anything but a feature of the universe?
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 07, 2014
No, "based on" indicates that it's a feature of the universe, that emerges from other brute physical features of the universe, specifically dimensionality.


I don't agree that dimensionality is a brute physical fact of the universe, which is to say an observable entity of itself. Derived if useful, yes.
I don't even know what to say. It's like arguing the Earth isn't round.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
In GR there is no absolute dimensionality of space, nor an absolute dimensionality of time,...
"Spacetime forms a 4-dimensional continuum." It's one of the Postulates. Right along with the Principle of Relativity, the Existence of Globally Inertial Frames, and the Constancy of the Speed of Light for all observers.
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
Also, in QM either the mathematics of probability is wrong, or spatial dimensionality fails to account for the observed facts of quantum non-locality, and temporal dimensionality fails to account for quantum indeterminacy.
But it's not necessarily non-locality; it might be contrafactual definiteness. Either is a solution to Bell's Inequality.

And quantum indeterminacy is another brute fact. See the Scully Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
If Archimedes was a string theorist he would have said,.... grant me enough degrees of freedom [dimensionality], and a parallel world in which to stand [10^100 solutions], and I could explain everything that exists and even more that does not.
So what limits it to 10¹⁰⁰? Why not infinity?

This is the thing with math generally, ...the mathematical structures applicable in modeling the universe, are a limited subspace of all mathematical structures derivable from it's foundational elements.
But they *work*. You might as well deny refrigerators, or deny the Moon landings.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2014
In GR there is no absolute dimensionality of space, nor an absolute dimensionality of time,...
"Spacetime forms a 4-dimensional continuum." It's one of the Postulates. Right along with the Principle of Relativity, the Existence of Globally Inertial Frames, and the Constancy of the Speed of Light for all observers.


The constancy of c implies there is no absolute frame of reference for either space or time in GR,... no absolute space nor absolute time. They're dependent upon the observers reference frame. [I corrected my "absolute dimensionality" wording above]
Noumenon
4 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2014
No, "based on" indicates that it's a feature of the universe, that emerges from other brute physical features of the universe, specifically dimensionality.


I don't agree that dimensionality is a brute physical fact of the universe, which is to say an observable entity of itself. Derived if useful, yes.
I don't even know what to say. It's like arguing the Earth isn't round.


Why? In QM to described n particles requires 3n position dimensions. Dimensions are not a substance, they are a useful construct,... they are just 'degrees of freedom'. For example, in equipartition theory of heat,... molecules have the regular 3 translation and 3 rotational degrees of freedom associated with kinetic energy and temperature, but then also 'internal' degrees of freedom given the molecule itself,..... to distribute the energy,... i.e. in latent heat.

[I did not mean to 1-rate you above though]
Noumenon
3 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2014
Do you contend that there is some other sort of math that's just as effective at describing the universe as the math we've discovered?


I don't agree that math was 'discovered', so that is a loaded question.
It's a simple question: is there more than one "sort" of math that's accurate?

If you claim so, show us this "sort" of math.

If you claim not, then how can it be anything but a feature of the universe?


I already said that I didn't propose that,.... and implied I can't possible know what that would even mean if anything.

What is successfully described by math in science, which only means a model that links observables in a way that allows for predictions,... is a feature of the observable universe as known and so not independently of an intelligent being. This is the disagreement. That math somehow exists apart and independently from conscious mathematicians.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 07, 2014
Also, in QM either the mathematics of probability is wrong, or spatial dimensionality fails to account for the observed facts of quantum non-locality,
But it's not necessarily non-locality; it might be contrafactual definiteness. Either is a solution to Bell's Inequality.


Not quite, the inequalities prove either non-locality, or Failure of counterfactual definitiveness.

.....and temporal dimensionality fails to account for quantum indeterminacy.

And quantum indeterminacy is another brute fact.

Yes, that is what I'm saying,.... there is no way to predict when (temporal) say a particular atom decays or say emits a photon.

I should add also wrt GR that it's not nearly as 'nice' as SR,... a space-time reference frame is only valid at a point, in 'tangent space'.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 07, 2014
If Archimedes was a string theorist he would have said,.... grant me enough degrees of freedom [dimensionality], and a parallel world in which to stand [10^100 solutions], and I could explain everything that exists and even more that does not.
So what limits it to 10¹⁰⁰? Why not infinity?


It has to do with the string theory landscape. Reread my Archimedes bit in that context.

Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 07, 2014
This is the thing with math generally, ...the mathematical structures applicable in modeling the universe, are a limited subspace of all mathematical structures derivable from it's foundational elements.
But they *work*. You might as well deny refrigerators, or deny the Moon landings.


Why do you suggest I deny it's successful application? I have never done this.

My denying that mathematics exists independent of conscious mathematicians is not to deny physics nor predictive knowledge.

If mathematics exists as a feature of the universe independently of intelligence, then what of the vast majority of mathematics that do not find application in our universe? Tegmark invokes another infinity of worlds in his extension of MWI. Do you think this is rational. If not then how do you answer the question?
johanfprins
not rated yet Nov 08, 2014
@ Noumenon
Intensity defined in terms of photons, is proportional to the number of photons,.... so if in the experiment a single photon at a time is used,... the Intensity must be unity
This intensity is irrelevant when it comes to the diffraction of a SINGLE coherent EM-wave: A single photon is a SINGLE coherent EM-wave which must have a volume, and within this volume its intensity is given by its EM-field: When integrating this intensity one obtains hf=m*c^2, no matter what the volume of the wave is at that instant in time: Since when is h*f "unity"?

There IS no more intensity at one location of the screen as compared to another, so your "at positions where its diffracted wavefront has a higher intensity" does not work.
Obviously there must be such a wave-intensity just before the diffracted wave is absorbed by an atomically-sized absorber to leave a spot. Even the Copenhagen Voodoo claims that there must be such a "probability-wave": LOL
johanfprins
not rated yet Nov 08, 2014
@ Noumenon

Not electric field,.... electron field,.. then for QCD, quark fields, etc.
Are you saying that in QFT they are assuming that thre is no electric-field around a solitary electron? Can you give a reference please?

I don't see how it makes sense to associate difference flavours of energy. Energy is just energy and has generalized units. As I said, purely mechanical energy could also create massive particles.
You contradict yourself: You say "energy is just energy" and then immediately choose a special "flavour of energy" which you cal "purely mechanical energy".

It follows from Maxwell's equations through the Special Theory of Relativity (WHICH IS A DIRECT RESULT OF MAXWELL'S EQUATIONS) that mass-energy is EM-energy. And that even kinetic-energy is mass-energy and thus EM-energy. So what do you mean by "purely mechanical energy". What is its different "flavour"? LOL!!
johanfprins
not rated yet Nov 08, 2014
@ Noumenon

No, I thought you were arguing that electrons are EM-waves,
Correct! that is what I am arguing since its total energy is m(k)*c^2+m(0)*c^2, as demanded by Maxwell's equations which determine the Special Theory of Relativity.

Thus the energy of an electron is EM-energy and no other "flavour of energy". Furthermore, when using the Lorentz tranformation to transform the diameter of a stationary electron into another inertial refrence frame so that the electron moves with a speed v along this diameter, the electron becomes longer along this diameter and has a phase time that, like any phase-time.along a coherent wave, changes with position. When calculating the wavelength from this phase-time one gets the de Broglie wavelength. Thus, the electron itself is a coherent wave as determined by Maxwell's equations.

if so then why would the Maxwell equations require the ρ term or j term?
Why not? Solutions with a disributed charge density are possible.

Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014
There IS no more intensity at one location of the screen as compared to another, so your "at positions where its diffracted wavefront has a higher intensity" does not work.

Obviously there must be such a wave-intensity just before the diffracted wave is absorbed by an atomically-sized absorber to leave a spot. Even the Copenhagen Voodoo claims that there must be such a "probability-wave"


Yes, a probability-wave, but not a physical wave. If all forms of energy are quantized to hv, then it follows that with only hv present (one photon) there can not be varying degrees of intensity.

You appear to disagree that energy (EM) is quantized in itself, but only upon emission and absorption. Is this correct?

Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014
What about the equipartition theorem I mentioned above, ....the distribution of energy in matter, and the quantum effect in latent heat, where degree's of freedom (kinetic energy) 'freeze out' at cold temperature due to the quantum size of the degree-of-freedom so that the theory breaks down?

Not electric field,.... electron field,.. then for QCD, quark fields, etc.

Are you saying that in QFT they are assuming that thre is no electric-field around a solitary electron?

No, there is still the EM field (photon), but also an electron field.

And that even kinetic-energy is mass-energy and thus EM-energy. So what do you mean by "purely mechanical energy". What is its different "flavour"?


I used that just as an example. In GR energy is even more generalized, gravitational energy, pressure is even energy,.....
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014
if so then why would the Maxwell equations require the ρ term or j term?

Why not? Solutions with a disributed charge density are possible.


Yes, by Adding the charge term. If you are maintaining that electrons are EM-waves, you must show how it is possible to generate a charged particle with mass, out of the charge-neutral and massless electromagnetic field.
johanfprins
Nov 08, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
johanfprins
not rated yet Nov 08, 2014
@ Noumenon
Yes, by Adding the charge term. If you are maintaining that electrons are EM-waves, you must show how it is possible to generate a charged particle with mass, out of the charge-neutral and massless electromagnetic field.
I am busy doing it. The manuscript should be ready within a year. An EM field need not be neutral, since Maxwell's equations allow solutions for charged EM waves. Furthermore an EM wave is NOT massless since its total energy is always m*c^2. Or are you arguing that Einstein's conclusion that E=m*c^2 is wrong?

Goodbye for now. It is late here in South Africa and I am watching the rugby.

Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014
In GR there is no absolute dimensionality of space, nor an absolute dimensionality of time,...
"Spacetime forms a 4-dimensional continuum." It's one of the Postulates. Right along with the Principle of Relativity, the Existence of Globally Inertial Frames, and the Constancy of the Speed of Light for all observers.


The constancy of c implies there is no absolute frame of reference for either space or time in GR,... no absolute space nor absolute time. They're dependent upon the observers reference frame. [I corrected my "absolute dimensionality" wording above]
OK, but "absolute dimensionality" is still incorrect; neither GR nor SR says there is no absolute dimensionality, merely that there is no absolute frame of reference.

In fact, GR says that *acceleration* is absolute. You can always find if you're in an accelerated frame with a gravity experiment.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014
No, "based on" indicates that it's a feature of the universe, that emerges from other brute physical features of the universe, specifically dimensionality.
I don't agree that dimensionality is a brute physical fact of the universe, which is to say an observable entity of itself. Derived if useful, yes.
I don't even know what to say. It's like arguing the Earth isn't round.
Why? In QM to described n particles requires 3n position dimensions.
That's not the same as physical dimensions. The "dimensions" spoken of there are abstract dimensions in a Hilbert space that truly is an abstract concept of the human mind. It is a calculational aid, not a statement about reality. And it's entirely possible to do QM calculations without using these abstract Hilbert space representations; for example, using Heisenberg's matrix mechanics.

I don't argue that all of math is concrete; just that its basis is.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014
[I did not mean to 1-rate you above though]


:D

It's OK, thanks for saying so.

It's a simple question: is there more than one "sort" of math that's accurate?

If you claim so, show us this "sort" of math.

If you claim not, then how can it be anything but a feature of the universe?
I already said that I didn't propose that,.... and implied I can't possible know what that would even mean if anything.
Math is based on a small number of simple postulates. The existence of zero, the existence of one and its identification as the successor of zero, the identification of two and the rest of the natural numbers as successors of successors of zero, the associative, commutative, and distributive laws, and the existence of operators for addition and subtraction.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014
In fact, for the simplest mathematical operation, counting, the only properties required are the existence of one and its successors. This is why they're called the "natural numbers."

What is successfully described by math in science, which only means a model that links observables in a way that allows for predictions,... is a feature of the observable universe as known and so not independently of an intelligent being. This is the disagreement. That math somehow exists apart and independently from conscious mathematicians.
I argue that the most foundational portions of math require no mathematicians, nor any consciousness. And I've been using my amoeba gedankenexperiment to prove it. The simplest axioms of math are brute physical facts that even an unconscious entity incapable of thought, much less analysis, must adapt to. These are features of the universe, not of conscious thought.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014
Also, in QM either the mathematics of probability is wrong, or spatial dimensionality fails to account for the observed facts of quantum non-locality,
But it's not necessarily non-locality; it might be contrafactual definiteness. Either is a solution to Bell's Inequality.
Not quite, the inequalities prove either non-locality, or Failure of counterfactual definitiveness.
I figured calling it "contrafactual" obviated the need for "failure."

Basically, what I'm saying is that particles in superposition have no actual value, until they are measured and present one. If they did have such values despite the superposition, then Bell's Inequality would fail, if there was no non-locality. Thus, either there is non-locality, or there is contrafactual definiteness (i.e., particles in superposition have no value for the superposed variable).

The language here is very difficult, so it's understandable that this would lead to confusion.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014
If Archimedes was a string theorist he would have said,.... grant me enough degrees of freedom [dimensionality], and a parallel world in which to stand [10^100 solutions], and I could explain everything that exists and even more that does not.
So what limits it to 10¹⁰⁰? Why not infinity?


It has to do with the http://en.wikiped...ndscape. Reread my Archimedes bit in that context.

I'm well aware of the string physics landscape. Assuming that it's not so is the grossest form of chauvinism, based on imagining that our universe is the only one possible. In fact, if string physics can derive our physics, this is unreasonable. And the first attempts to do so are on record. Read this article: http://phys.org/n...l#ajTabs
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014
.....and temporal dimensionality fails to account for quantum indeterminacy.

And quantum indeterminacy is another brute fact.

Yes, that is what I'm saying,.... there is no way to predict when (temporal) say a particular atom decays or say emits a photon.
That information is unavailable due to Heisenberg uncertainty; but a probability for it decaying or emitting is available. This is all we can know.

I should add also wrt GR that it's not nearly as 'nice' as SR,... a space-time reference frame is only valid at a point, in 'tangent space'.
No, you've denied the Postulate of the Existence of Globally Inertial Frames. GR does not deny this postulate; in fact, it incorporates it, along with the rest of SR.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014
This is the thing with math generally, ...the mathematical structures applicable in modeling the universe, are a limited subspace of all mathematical structures derivable from it's foundational elements.
But they *work*. You might as well deny refrigerators, or deny the Moon landings.
Why do you suggest I deny it's successful application? I have never done this.
Then why do you deny math is an essential feature of the universe?

My denying that mathematics exists independent of conscious mathematicians is not to deny physics nor predictive knowledge.
I predict that if you have one orange, and someone gives you another, you will have two oranges, and that this is a basic fact of existence separate from analysis. And I present my monkey and amoeba gedankenexperiments as proof.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014
If mathematics exists as a feature of the universe independently of intelligence, then what of the vast majority of mathematics that do not find application in our universe?
You are claiming that because *some* of math can be seen as abstract, *all* of it is. You've ignored number theory, and are wrong as a result.

Tegmark invokes another infinity of worlds in his extension of MWI. Do you think this is rational. If not then how do you answer the question?
I cannot comment not having read Tegmark's book.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014
What a stimulating discussion!
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2014
Yes, that is what I'm saying,.... there is no way to predict when (temporal) say a particular atom decays or say emits a photon
You mean 'at present' there is no way. This is where your mysticism of ultimate limits breaks down.
not having read Tegmark's book
"Halfway into his new book, "Our Mathematical Universe," the M.I.T. physicist Max Tegmark describes his "Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde Strategy": During the day he would do respectable work on mainstream topics in cosmology, but at night he would "transform into the evil Mr. Hyde" and indulge in writing "wacky" papers on "the ultimate nature of reality."

"There is nothing wrong with contemplating speculative ideas, but the problem is that while pretending to stay in the realm of science, the "Mr. Hyde" part of the book crosses over to what I must consider science fiction and MYSTICISM."
Noumenon
3 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014
In QM to described n particles requires 3n position dimensions.

That's not the same as physical dimensions. The "dimensions" spoken of there are abstract dimensions in a Hilbert space that truly is an abstract concept of the human mind.

What could possibly be the difference? How do you define or rather discover "physical dimensions"?

And it's entirely possible to do QM calculations without using these abstract Hilbert space representations;... using Heisenberg's matrix mechanics.


The Hilbert space formulation came later, used by the great von Neumann to find a common mathematical underlying structure, and indeed unifies both Schrödinger's and Heisenberg's approaches. Given this fact, it should be Hilbert space, that a mathematical Realist would regard as existing independent of intelligence.

Existence of Globally Inertial Frames. GR does not deny this postulate


Of course it does. There is no global inertial frames. It's the entire point
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014
Math is based on a small number of simple postulates. The existence of zero, the existence of one and its identification as the successor of zero, the identification of two and the rest of the natural numbers [...]In fact, for the simplest mathematical operation, counting, the only properties required are the existence of one and its successors...... I don't argue that all of math is concrete; just that its basis is.


Perhaps our views are not as different as it appears then. I also, regard the 'elements of math', to be concrete in the sense of being a-priori judgments.

If they are 'concrete' in this sense then they are not 'made up' by conscious minds, but rather are conditions for thought and experience to be even possible,... an evolved mechanism for ordering and grouping objects for conscious awareness, ...i.e. as in the basis of set theory.

Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014
Assuming that it's not so is the grossest form of chauvinism, based on imagining that our universe is the only one possible. In fact, if string physics can derive our physics, this is unreasonable.


It's not chauvinism, it's to limit science to observations. It seems too many wish to make speculations about what cannot be observed. Our knowledge of the universe is irrevocably mind dependent. This is not to say 'made up', but only that it contains elements that added by us.

"There is no way to remove the observer us from our perception of the world, which is created through our sensory processing and through the way we think and reason. Our perception and the observations upon which our theories are based are shaped by a kind of lens, the interpretive structure of our human brains." - S. Hawking
Noumenon
3 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014

"We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning." - Werner Heisenberg

"The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment" - B. D'Espagnet
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014
No, you've denied the Postulate of the Existence of Globally Inertial Frames. GR does not deny this postulate; in fact, it incorporates it, along with the rest of SR.


You're mistaken on this point. SR assumed a Minkowski spacetime which is flat, and so one's inertial reference frame could indeed extend to all of spacetime.

In GR, this assumption is not made. It is not even valid to compare two tensors at two different points [without the Riemann tensor, which can be derived from the commutator of two covariant derivatives operating on a tensor.]
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014
Yes, that is what I'm saying,.... there is no way to predict when (temporal) say a particular atom decays or say emits a photon

You mean 'at present' there is no way. This is where your mysticism of ultimate limits breaks down.


You're factually wrong. The uncertainty principal is an intrinsic limitation in observing non-commutative variables. All subsequent theories will have take account of this also,.... just as all subsequent theories of gravitation will have to take into account that the earth orbits the sun. QM is a complete theory. The Bell inequalities has proven this as a mathematical deduction.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 08, 2014
"There is nothing wrong with contemplating speculative ideas, but the problem is that while pretending to stay in the realm of science, the "Mr. Hyde" part of the book crosses over to what I must consider science fiction and MYSTICISM."


I don't know who wrote that, but your quote appears to have accidentally agreed with me. This may make Stumpy jealous,.... I guess it will be you who will be sleeping on the couch this time.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2014
If all forms of energy are quantized to hv, then it follows that with only hv present (one photon) there can not be varying degrees of intensity.


UTTER BULLSHIT!


Given you rejection of the notion that all forms of energy, including EM, is quantized, it follows you would reject how intensity is defined in terms of photons.

Not quite, the inequalities prove either non-locality, or Failure of counterfactual definitiveness.


I figured calling it "contrafactual" obviated the need for "failure."


Yes, good catch. I read it as 'counterfactual', my bad.
johanfprins
1 / 5 (1) Nov 09, 2014
Given you rejection of the notion that all forms of energy, including EM, is quantized, it follows you would reject how intensity is defined in terms of photons.
Well if it was obvious to you from the start, why do you keep on insisting that energy MUST always be quantized no matter how it is formed and emitted?

There is NO experimental proof whatsoever that it must ALWAYS be so. In fact, experimental results involving EM waves point in the opposite direction. A continuously emitted sinusoidal carrier wave for radio-transmission has no quanta, unless you interrupt the transmission regularly to only send out pulses each with energy hf. If quanta are emitted, it is the source which determines that it is so, NOT the nature of the EM radiation.

Why do you want to believe that a Voodoo probability-wave arrives at a diffraction screen and not a real wave-intensity? Why do you not want to believe that an electron-wave has charge when this charge models the Aharanov-Bohm.....
johanfprins
1 / 5 (1) Nov 09, 2014
effect PERFECTLY.

By having distributed charge, an electron-wave has a centre-of-charge. When it moves through the two slits while being diffracted, it forms two lobes, so that its centre-of-charge moves smack-bang through the magnetic field between the slits. The magnetic field H thus deflects the diffracted wave front owing to the Lorentz force.

But for some unexplained WEIRD reason, our mainstream theoretical physicists insist that the electron-"particle" can experience the magnetic field H; even when NOT moving through it. Sheesh!
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
Given [your] rejection of the notion that all forms of energy, including EM, is quantized, it follows you would reject how intensity is defined in terms of photons.
Well if it was obvious to you from the start, why do you keep on insisting that energy MUST always be quantized no matter how it is formed and emitted?

There is NO experimental proof whatsoever that it must ALWAYS be so.


I already mentioned the equipartition theorum above and the quantum effects on latent heat. There have also been quantum experiments with
nano-sized objects. Energy is quantized no matter it's form. The Schrodinger equation uses the Hamiltonian on it's right hand side.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
@DaSchnieb,... I did not properly address your amoeba thought experiment...

[math] describes physical phenomena more accurately than language, because it's derived from obvious characteristics of the universe like countability.


A quantum amoeba would have trouble with countability as being an independent aspect of the universe given the indistinguishability of fermions,... where it literally has no physical meaning to 'count'.

In fact this is what lead Wheeler and Feynman to propose that there is only one electron in the universe..... (probably a bit in jest but the point is there).

When a macroscopic intelligence then performs a measurement he "does something" or "adds conceptual structure" so that he conforms reality to his a-priori judgment of distinguishability.

[btw, than you for a respectably and enlightening discussion !!!]
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
⇒ this idea of one electron in the universe, lead Feynman to propose that positrons are electrons traveling backwards in time. This equivalency defies a physical Time Dimensionality,.... and entanglement does likewise for a physical Space Dimensionality. There is no temporal, spacial, or countability, that exists independently from our conceptualizations, imo.

Also, the basis of Hilbert space to which the wave-function is projected upon a measurement, ...the 'eigenstates', .... are dependent on the experimental apparatus, which in essence IS the (Hermitian) Operator acting on Hilbert space. This collapse dependency of macroscopic equipment (and so a conscious intelligence), is what distinguishes 'measurement' from just 'quantum interaction', ....the latter causing some to think decoherence solves the measurement problem. [But we already beat that horse :)]
johanfprins
1 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
I already mentioned the equipartition theorum above and the quantum effects on latent heat. There have also been quantum experiments with
http://phys.org/n...n.html.. Energy is quantized no matter it's form.


You are totally misunderstanding why there are "quantum effects" on latent heat and also what energy is all about. Energy is NOT ALWAYS quantized: No matter what is it's form. The energy within a laser beam and within a continuously emitted radio-wave with a specific frequency is NOT quantized all.

You are arguing that since a pipet can only measure drops of a certain size, the water in a cup must be "quantized" into drops of this size. Stop being so utterly absurd!

The Schrodinger equation uses the Hamiltonian on it's right hand side.
So does Maxwell's equation for a light wave of ANY energy h*f to E>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>h*f.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
In QM to described n particles requires 3n position dimensions.

That's not the same as physical dimensions. The "dimensions" spoken of there are abstract dimensions in a Hilbert space that truly is an abstract concept of the human mind.

What could possibly be the difference? How do you define or rather discover "physical dimensions"?
By being able to move in them. Amoebas can do that, too.

And it's entirely possible to do QM calculations without using these abstract Hilbert space representations;... using Heisenberg's matrix mechanics.
The Hilbert space formulation came later, used by the great von Neumann to find a common mathematical underlying structure, and indeed unifies both Schrödinger's and Heisenberg's approaches. Given this fact, it should be Hilbert space, that a mathematical Realist would regard as existing independent of intelligence.
Why? I don't follow your reasoning here.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 10, 2014
Existence of Globally Inertial Frames. GR does not deny this postulate
Of course it does. There is no global inertial frames. It's the entire point
I assume you're just making a mistake here.

You can always find out if you're in an inertial frame by performing a gravity experiment, just as you can always find out if you're in an accelerated frame by performing a gravity experiment. All observers in other inertial frames will agree on the outcome of the experiment (in an inertial frame, not an accelerated one).

There is no absolute motion; two observers in different inertial frames moving relative to one another cannot agree that one is still and one is moving. There is no gravity experiment they can perform that will confirm that either one is moving, or that either one is not moving.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 10, 2014
The definition of an inertial frame is that an observer in it experiences no acceleration. And relativity says all inertial frames are equivalent; that is, globally inertial.

Your misunderstanding might come from not quite realizing the meaning of "inertial frame." It's not an arbitrary definition; if you're in an inertial frame, you can perform a local gravity experiment and determine it. If you're in an inertial frame, you will not experience gravity; GR says gravity and ordinary acceleration cannot be differentiated by any local gravity experiment. But you *can* tell you're in an accelerated frame. Acceleration is absolute. You will experience weight, and you won't be able to tell if it's gravity or another form of acceleration, such as Newton's Law of Action and Reaction.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
Math is based on a small number of simple postulates. ... I don't argue that all of math is concrete; just that its basis is.
Perhaps our views are not as different as it appears then. I also, regard the 'elements of math', to be concrete in the sense of being a-priori judgments.
This is just where we differ; I contend no judgment is needed. Amoebae are incapable of judgment, but are subject to math anyway.

If they are 'concrete' in this sense then they are not 'made up' by conscious minds, but rather are conditions for thought and experience to be even possible,... an evolved mechanism for ordering and grouping objects for conscious awareness, ...i.e. as in the basis of set theory.
Set theory and number theory share a number of features, but the very definition of "set" contains abstract thought. We are approaching agreement on what exact features of math are intrinsic to the existence of a universe, and what features are intrinsically abstract.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
Assuming that it's not so is the grossest form of chauvinism, based on imagining that our universe is the only one possible. In fact, if string physics can derive our physics, this is unreasonable.
It's not chauvinism, it's to limit science to observations. It seems too many wish to make speculations about what cannot be observed. Our knowledge of the universe is irrevocably mind dependent. This is not to say 'made up', but only that it contains elements that added by us.
I side-tracked us. I should have made a better response; I can only plead that yesterday was football day and I was distracted. :D

String physics says there are many types of universes; it does not, in and of itself, propose that there is more than one actual universe. For string physics to be correct there need be only one that corresponds to our universe's laws.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
However, the suggestion that there are many types of possible universe opens the question, "Then how come we got THIS universe?" A witty physicist once put it, "Who ordered THAT?" The only internally and externally consistent answer anyone has come up with so far is the String Landscape; that is, all these different kinds of string physics *do* actually form universes, and we're in this one because it's the one (one of the ones?) that can contain intelligent life.

To confirm this, we have a few choices:
1. We might find a way to send some sort of probe into these other universes that can tell us they're there.
2. We might find a way to manipulate string physics to derive our universe and its laws from them.
3. We might find an effect that cannot be explained without the Landscape.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 10, 2014
We have not attempted 1, because we can't see a way to do it. We are working on 2, but string physics shares (and even multiplies) the complexity and power of its progenitor, General Relativity, and as a result we haven't been able to generate our physics from string physics (as, for example, I argue the conservation laws generate math, or our universe's dimensionality generates the conservation laws). On the other hand, we have tested the most obvious ways it could fail, and it doesn't. So this is an open question.

As far as 3, astrophysicists believe they may have discovered an effect of another universe on ours, and that this effect may be visible in the cosmic microwave background radiation. However, the evidence is not yet strong enough to be really definitive. So this also is an open question.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
In addition to all the above, we have determined that string physics is capable of generating a quantum gravity theory that is both internally and externally consistent. This is strong evidence that we're on the right track with string physics. In fact, this is one of the things that string physics does quite easily. That's not very surprising considering the origin of string physics in GR; GR is our best field theory (not quantum theory) of gravity, and has never been shown to be inaccurate despite numerous and careful tests. Most recently, the existence of frame dragging, an essential feature of GR's gravity physics, has been confirmed by Gravity Probe B.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 10, 2014
"There is no way to remove the observer us from our perception of the world, which is created through our sensory processing and through the way we think and reason. Our perception and the observations upon which our theories are based are shaped by a kind of lens, the interpretive structure of our human brains."
- S. Hawking
Hawking is speaking of complex and potentially abstract features of our mathematical theories, not basics like number theory. We are still not necessarily at odds, depending on whether we can show that there are concrete mathematics as well as abstract mathematics.
imido
Nov 10, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
No, you've denied the Postulate of the Existence of Globally Inertial Frames. GR does not deny this postulate; in fact, it incorporates it, along with the rest of SR.
You're mistaken on this point. SR assumed a Minkowski spacetime which is flat, and so one's inertial reference frame could indeed extend to all of spacetime.
I re-read the postulates and you're correct. GR replaces the existence of globally inertial frames with locally inertial frames which need not cover all of spacetime, but within which SR holds; this is a weakening of the postulate.

However, it is not a repudiation of it. It's merely an acknowledgement that spacetime is not in fact flat.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
"The doctrine that the world is made up of objects whose existence is independent of human consciousness turns out to be in conflict with quantum mechanics and with facts established by experiment" - B. D'Espagnet
D'Espagnat is speaking of the "measurement problem," and of the result of Bell's Inequality that confirms that particles in superposition have no value of the superposed variable, i.e. local realism fails (AKA contrafactual definiteness); however, it's equally likely that particles in entangled superposition "share" the results superluminally, i.e. that locality fails rather than local realism. Bell's Inequality does not differentiate between these results, and appears to show that they are equivalent.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
Physicists are currently experimenting with entangled particles in superposition, and have found that, in fact, it's possible to make "weak" measurements that do not determine (i.e. "collapse") the wavefunction, but that give enough information to use this superposition to transmit classical data from one point to another at apparently superluminal speed. I have been discussing this elsewhere quite extensively. NASA will be launching an experiment on a satellite to test whether this works in 2016, if I have interpreted what I have read correctly. They intend to send a signal through the Earth in this manner, if the experiment works.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
String theory uses the assumption of Lorentz symmetry and extradimensions, which are violating it,
No, they don't. This would be an obvious mistake. Lorentz symmetry merely states a symmetry of four-dimensional spacetime; it makes no statements about compactified extra dimensions.

Is that you, Zephir? Sure sounds like you, pretending that physicists miss obvious facts. All that's missing is AWT.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
@DaSchnieb,... I did not properly address your amoeba thought experiment...
[math] describes physical phenomena more accurately than language, because it's derived from obvious characteristics of the universe like countability.
A quantum amoeba
Hmmm, I don't know what a "quantum amoeba" is. I also don't know that such a postulate will not render any conclusions moot. I will entertain the idea (if I can figure out what it implies from your further writing) but I harbor major doubts as to its usefulness in this discussion.

would have trouble with countability as being an independent aspect of the universe given the indistinguishability of fermions,... where it literally has no physical meaning to 'count'.
Indistinguishability of fermions does not postulate that two fermions at *different locations* cannot be distinguished. As I thought, using a "quantum amoeba" results in an impossibility.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
It also results in another impossibility; the amoeba cannot tell if there is a fermion present unless the fermion touches it, or unless they exchange force bosons, most likely photons, but also potentially weak bosons or colored gluons. Since the force bosons have momentum, it's possible to distinguish where the fermion they interacted was when the boson was emitted (assuming there are not so many fermions that it becomes a multi-body problem).

In fact this is what lead Wheeler and Feynman to propose that there is only http://en.wikiped...universe in the universe..... (probably a bit in jest but the point is there).
I'm familiar with that proposal, and like you think it was probably partly humorous. I would argue though that the point of it is more that an electron moving forward in time is indistinguishable from a positron moving backward in time, and vice versa, than the indistinguishability of electrons.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
When a macroscopic intelligence then performs a measurement he "does something" or "adds conceptual structure" so that he conforms reality to his a-priori judgment of distinguishability.
Actually, an individual particle can "perform a measurement." It does so whenever it interacts with another particle. We then amplify those measurements in various ways to get what we call a measurement; but the original measurement was performed by the interacting particles. This interaction is a brute physical fact. Furthermore, it "collapses" (I'm not a fan of this interpretation, but I'll use it here for clarity) the wavefunction of a particle in superposition, if the interaction measures the superposed parameter. This is decoherence.

[btw, than you for a respectably and enlightening discussion !!!]
And thank YOU, as well; this is very interesting and I've already learned something.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
⇒ this idea of one electron in the universe, lead Feynman to propose that positrons are electrons traveling backwards in time. This equivalency defies a physical Time Dimensionality,.... and entanglement does likewise for a physical Space Dimensionality. There is no temporal, spacial, or countability, that exists independently from our conceptualizations, imo.
Actually this enters a very, very interesting piece of territory.

SR doesn't deny that there may be more than one direction in time; in fact, if it is taken as real, then time is a dimension just like the spatial dimensions, but its shape- that is, its relation to the other dimensions- is not right circular, like the three spatial dimensions are to one another, but hyperbolic.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
Now, this introduces the possibility that there might be two time directions, just as a hyperboloid of revolution has two branches. However, it also obviates the possibility that a particle's "direction in time" can be reversed; a particle cannot be rotated so as to exceed the speed of light (i.e. its time direction is outside the envelope of the hyperboloid), far less so as to move backward in time (which would require two infinite rotations, one to the parallel of the axis, and another back into the envelope of the opposite branch of the hyperboloid of revolution). The conservation laws are therefore maintained by assigning "anti-particleness" to particles moving backward in time.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
You can convince yourself of this with a good graphing calculator (I have a TI-85) and a little checking on how the hyperbolic tangent behaves; you will find it is real as long as you stay inside your own hyperbolic branch, but turns to an imaginary number outside it, and that it goes to infinity as it approaches the orthogonal dimension to the hyperboloid's axis, then backs down through negative infinity to negative imaginary numbers, finally yielding negative real numbers when you enter the opposite branch of the hyperboloid.

The envelope of the hyperboloid is what is known as the "light cone."

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
Also, the basis of Hilbert space to which the wave-function is projected upon a measurement, ...the 'eigenstates', .... are dependent on the experimental apparatus, which in essence IS the (Hermitian) Operator acting on Hilbert space.
I don't know that I agree; the essential interaction is between the particles that make up the measuring apparatus and the particles that make up the body of the object under observation. Compressing all of the wavefunctions of the particles that make up the experimental apparatus doesn't seem to me to be a complete procedure. A complete procedure would measure both the apparatus and the object of inquiry, to determine both their wavefunctions.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
This collapse dependency of macroscopic equipment (and so a conscious intelligence), is what distinguishes 'measurement' from just 'quantum interaction', ....the latter causing some to think decoherence solves the measurement problem. [But we already beat that horse :)]
It seems to me that decoherence requires the investigator to calculate the wavefunction of the experimental measurement equipment as well as the object of inquiry, and that making a shortcut like considering the measuring equipment (or the measurer, for that matter) to be a single phenomenon is what introduces unrealities like "collapse of the wavefunction" into consideration.

I was never satisfied we'd exhausted the subject of decoherence; we started thrashing each other before that, and I'd like to try this again now that we each understand the other is merely arguing physics, not attempting to discredit us. I suspect the outcome may be different.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2014
No, you've denied the Postulate of the Existence of Globally Inertial Frames. GR does not deny this postulate; in fact, it incorporates it, along with the rest of SR.
You're mistaken on this point. SR assumed a Minkowski spacetime which is flat, and so one's inertial reference frame could indeed extend to all of spacetime. In GR, this assumption is not made. It is not even valid to compare two tensors at two different points
I re-read the postulates and you're correct. GR replaces the existence of globally inertial frames with locally inertial frames which need not cover all of spacetime, but within which SR holds; ....

However, it is not a repudiation of it. It's merely an acknowledgement that spacetime is not in fact flat.


A repudiation of global inertial frames, yes, but not inertial frames at a point (locally). I'm familiar with GR a bit.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
Math is based on a small number of simple postulates. ... I don't argue that all of math is concrete; just that its basis is.

Perhaps our views are not as different as it appears then. I also, regard the 'elements of math', to be concrete in the sense of being a-priori judgments.

This is just where we differ; I contend no judgment is needed. Amoebae are incapable of judgment, but are subject to math anyway.


When I say "judgment" I don't mean a 'conscious decision' but rather "a-priori judgment" is to mean an 'innate' form of reasoning,... prior to consciousness. You're probably right though wrt an amoeba. I went to a quantum amoeba below because the context of d'Espagnat, Hawking, Heisenberg, and my comments are in that realm.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2014
It may be a day before I can comment further....
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2014
That's OK, I'm about to be captured by my wife and forced to watch a bunch of men in plastic armor and brightly colored uniforms pound heck out of each other over the exact position on an arbitrary grid of an oblate spheroid covered with the skin of pigs, so we'll see if I get to replying to these new comments today or tomorrow, too. ;)
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2014
an 'innate' form of reasoning,... prior to consciousness
Science was invented to weed out a priori judgments ie intuition.
I went to a quantum amoeba below because the context of d'Espagnat, Hawking, Heisenberg, and my comments are in that realm
Of course ameboae make judgments/decisions. Some of them choose to turn the wrong way in search of food because of some defect in cognition, and those ameboae dont get to reproduce. This is called natural selection.

This is also how the human factor is weeded out of science. Intuition has increasingly produced fewer results. Successful scientists are the ones who have followed evidence wherever it led despite their their intuition.

Nou and his wizard buddies see human influence as a limit but fail to realize how science is the very act of removing it from the process of inquiry.

We are even designing self-programming machines to replace us altogether in this endeavor, because of our acknowledged limits.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2014
Science was invented to weed out a priori judgments ie intuition.

-Which is why people like kant were enlisted to preserve religion in spite of science. Ask ayn rand. Mystics and religionists retard progress by proclaiming that since inaccessible realms exist, we neednt waste our time trying to investigate them. Faith before knowledge.

"The man who . . . closed the door of philosophy to reason, was Immanuel Kant. . . .

"His argument, in essence, ran as follows: man is limited to a consciousness of a specific nature, which perceives by specific means and no others, therefore, his consciousness is not valid; man is blind, because he has eyes—deaf, because he has ears—deluded, because he has a mind—and the things he perceives do not exist, because he perceives them.

"Kant is the most evil man in mankind's history."
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2014
I don't know who wrote that
You dont need a link. GOOGLE IT.
but your quote appears to have accidentally agreed with me
Uh no the quote showed how tegmark wandered between science and mystical speculation. So do you. You name-drop, mixing mystics with anti-mystics so that the latter will reinforce the former.
I went to a quantum amoeba below because the context of d'Espagnat, Hawking, Heisenberg, and my comments are in that realm
"Physicist Roger Penrose wrote in the Shadows of the Mind that consciousness may be a quantum phenomenon. The idea was cuttingly criticised by Stephen Hawking; a summary of his criticisms was added to Penrose's book"

"Hawking: I think it's a cop-out. If you find theoretical physics and mathematics too hard, you turn to mysticism"
Noumenon
3 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2014
Hawking is speaking of complex and potentially abstract features of our mathematical theories, not basics like number theory. We are still not necessarily at odds, depending on whether we can show that there are concrete mathematics as well as abstract mathematics.


Yes, certainly, but he doesn't make the distinction either. It seems to me that if you accept concrete mathematics as having some independent existence, then abstract mathematics must follow. Even Tegmark admit this given his level IV multiverse, and does not make the distinction in his book.

All three quotes, Hawking, d'Espagnat, and Heisenberg are making the same basic point that I'm attempting to convey here. d'Espagnat has written a book on it based on QM arguments, linked to above somewhere. If any of them started with the premise that mathematics is derived from, or is reality, they wouldn't have need of mentioning 'human brains', 'consciousness' nor 'our method of questioning',... epistemic.
Noumenon
2 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2014
@DaSchnieb,... I did not properly address your amoeba thought experiment...
[math] describes physical phenomena more accurately than language, because it's derived from obvious characteristics of the universe like countability.
A quantum amoeba would have trouble with countability as being an independent aspect of the universe given the indistinguishability of fermions,... where it literally has no physical meaning to 'count'.
Indistinguishability of fermions does not postulate that two fermions at *different locations* cannot be distinguished. As I thought, using a "quantum amoeba" results in an impossibility.


Well that begs the question, "at different locations" because it implies they were observed. Once their wavefunctions over lap, they become Indistinguishable. Since the quantum amoeba is just a quantum system itself, two particles plus amoeba become one quantum system. There is no measurement made to collapse into a "position".....
Noumenon
2 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2014
When a macroscopic intelligence then performs a measurement he "does something" or "adds conceptual structure" so that he conforms reality to his a-priori judgment of distinguishability.
Actually, an individual particle can "perform a measurement." It does so whenever it interacts with another particle. [...] the original measurement was performed by the interacting particles. This interaction is a brute physical fact. Furthermore, it "collapses" (I'm not a fan of this interpretation, but I'll use it here for clarity) the wavefunction of a particle in superposition, if the interaction measures the superposed parameter. This is decoherence.


Yes, quantum interaction is a (non-observable) brute physical fact, however it does not constitute a measurement. Decoherence does not actually collapse the wave-function. The von Neumann projection postulate collapses the wave function to an observable value......
Noumenon
2 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2014
.... and this is discontinues, and not compatible with the deterministic evolution of the state-vector. Also, it's not really an interpretation per se,... it is what the underlying mathematical structure of Hilbert space (encompassing both Schroedinger and Heisenberg approaches ) and practical experiment demands. To escape this, requires a layer of "interpretation", not the other way around.
Noumenon
2 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2014
Also, the basis of Hilbert space to which the wave-function is projected upon a measurement, ...the 'eigenstates', .... are dependent on the experimental apparatus, which in essence IS the (Hermitian) Operator acting on Hilbert space.
I don't know that I agree; the essential interaction is between the particles that make up the measuring apparatus and the particles that make up the body of the object under observation. Compressing all of the wavefunctions of the particles that make up the experimental apparatus doesn't seem to me to be a complete procedure.


It is complete as is possible in (observable) practice. The Hermitian Operator IS in all respects the measuring equipment, whilst the basis axis of Hilbert space are the possible observable (eigen) values.....

Noumenon
2 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2014
A complete procedure would measure both the apparatus and the object of inquiry, to determine both their wavefunctions.


... and don't forget the observer also,.... but this is not possible to do in practice,... and since science is empirical, practicality is all that matters.

Interestingly, while Bohr stressed the issue of the macro observing the micro for the discontinuity between unitary evolution of the state-vector and collapse to a observable value, ...von Neumann's Hilbert space formulation equates the Hermitian Operator with the measuring equipment, rendering the distinction mute in actual practice. Both agreed in essence however.

In any case, we may have common ground,....
Noumenon
2.5 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2014
This collapse dependency of macroscopic equipment (and so a conscious intelligence), is what distinguishes 'measurement' from just 'quantum interaction', ....the latter causing some to think decoherence solves the measurement problem.
It seems to me that decoherence requires the investigator to calculate the wavefunction of the experimental measurement equipment as well as the object of inquiry, and that making a shortcut like considering the measuring equipment (or the measurer, for that matter) to be a single phenomenon is what introduces unrealities like "collapse of the wavefunction" into consideration.


Yes, exactly correct !!!, (with one caveat*). That the investigator can not determine his own wave function nor that of his equipment in practice, is what distinguishes 'measurement' from 'quantum interaction'. ....
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
... Observable 'values' obtained at the quantum scale can only come about from measurement in the former sense, whilst decoherence through quantum interaction (loss of phase coherence), is LOSS of quantum behaviour into macro (observable values),....

introduces unrealities like "collapse of the wavefunction" into consideration.

*What do you mean by unrealities? It only makes sense to speak of reality in terms of what is actually observable,... which is to say that scientific reality is dependent on an observer because interacting with a quantum system forces it into a macro "value",... while we know the underlying reality (independent of an intelligence) is some evolving wave-thingy (?!) containing all the information for which a choice of equipment (operator on Hilbert space)... extracts "values" that are meaningful at the macro scale.

... or something ....(I may have more time to be coherent in the next day or so)
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 10, 2014
Hawking is speaking of complex and potentially abstract features of our mathematical theories, not basics like number theory.
Yes, certainly, but he doesn't make the distinction either. It seems to me that if you accept concrete mathematics as having some independent existence, then abstract mathematics must follow. Even Tegmark admit this given his level IV multiverse, and does not make the distinction in his book.
I have elected to defer discussion of this point until we can agree on the basics. I find that agreeing on the basics obviates all sorts of problems later. I do not claim it's not material to the discussion; but mathematics becomes increasingly abstract the farther you pursue it, and I'm certainly not prepared to claim it's all concrete at this time (though after we have investigated farther I might be, and so I retain the option).

contd
Noumenon
3 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2014
One final comment for now.... I've tried explaining to johanfprins that hyperbolic coordinates can be orthogonal,..... perhaps you would have better luck.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2014
All three quotes, Hawking, d'Espagnat, and Heisenberg are making the same basic point that I'm attempting to convey here. d'Espagnat has written a book on it based on QM arguments, linked to above somewhere. If any of them started with the premise that mathematics is derived from, or is reality, they wouldn't have need of mentioning 'human brains', 'consciousness' nor 'our method of questioning',... epistemic.
I'm not convinced they are, in fact, all making the same point. I'd consider what Heisenberg and Hawking said to be closer to one another than either is to d'Espagnat, given what you've quoted so far.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (2) Nov 10, 2014
One final comment for now.... I've tried explaining to johanfprins that hyperbolic coordinates can be orthogonal,..... perhaps you would have better luck.
I gave up on him long ago. All he does is scream epithets.

You could try telling him that "angle" has a different meaning in hyperbolic geometry and suggest he examine his calculator and find out what the "hyp" button means. Unfortunately he's likely to have a really, really old calculator that doesn't know how to tell the difference between imaginary numbers and infinity.
johanfprins
1 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2014
Science was invented to weed out a priori judgments ie intuition.
Then why do the mainstream theoretical physicists accept Einstein's a priori absurd assumption that the times within two inertial reference frames (IRF's) moving relative to one another must be simultaneously different times t and t'? It is claimed that he "derived" it from the Lorentz equations, but this is not so: He actually a priori assumed that this must be so in order to "contrive" the Lorentz equations from his postulate that the speed of light is the same within the two .

Consider a spherical wave-front being emitted at time t=t'=0 when the origins O and O' coincide. After a time t at O the radius of the wave-front is ct from O, while at a time t' at O' the radius of the SAME wave-front is ct' from O': Along the y direction from O one has y=ct and along the y'-direction from O' one has y'=ct'. The Lorentz transformation demands that y=y', and this demands that t=t'. Any other result is obviously insane!
johanfprins
1 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2014
One final comment for now.... I've tried explaining to johanfprins that hyperbolic coordinates can be orthogonal,..... perhaps you would have better luck.
Even if they could be, it is irrelevant when it comes to Minkowski's "space time" since for a coordinate transformation to be valid, the two sets of coordinates x,y,z,w and x',y',z',w' must coincide within the 4D manifold that they are spanning. This is NOT the case for x,y,z,t and x',y',z',t*, which are related through the Lorentz transformation. Note I have used the notation t* since t* is not simultaneous on the clock at O' when the time on the clock at O is t. When the time on the clock at O' is t', the time at the clock at O is t=t', and when the time on the clock at O is
t*, the time on the clock at O' is t'=t*. What is instantaneously different within the two IRF's is the position of the SAME wave-front!

Noumenon: Wake up from your pathetic stupor!
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2014
"His argument, in essence, ran as follows: man is limited to a consciousness of a specific nature, which perceives by specific means and no others, therefore, his consciousness is not valid; man is blind, because he has eyes—deaf, because he has ears—deluded, because he has a mind—and the things he perceives do not exist, because he perceives them.


Quantum mechanics is the physical rediscovery of Kant's epistemology, or rather, it's non-intuitive nature is the result of what he discovered. I'm entirely convinced of this, and recognized it while studying CoPR, ...before discovering d'Espagnat's argument and the fact that A. Pais regarded Bohr the "natural successor to Kant". If it was only me, then I would indeed question the epistemic link. It is the point being made by d'Espagnat, Hawking, and Heisenberg... No one is saying that science can not obtain predictive knowledge, ONLY that our knowledge of reality is not mind independent.
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2014
I went to a quantum amoeba below because the context of d'Espagnat, Hawking, Heisenberg, and my comments are in that realm
"Physicist Roger Penrose wrote in the Shadows of the Mind that consciousness may be a quantum phenomenon. The idea was cuttingly criticised by Stephen Hawking; a summary of his criticisms was added to Penrose's book"

"Hawking: I think it's a cop-out. If you find theoretical physics and mathematics too hard, you turn to mysticism"


I read that book and it's prequel 'Emperors New Mind'. There is zero "mysticism" in it. If you continue to push this line of argument you will be ignored. It is purely a physical argument for that possibility, and against the notion that awareness could be simulated algorithmically. After all, the latter assumption could have been made by my dog on the basis that a computer happens to be sitting on a desk while considering the question. How the mind works won't be discovered by computer dorks.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2014
All three quotes, Hawking, d'Espagnat, and Heisenberg are making the same basic point that I'm attempting to convey here. d'Espagnat has written a book on it based on QM arguments, linked to above somewhere. ....
I'm not convinced they are, in fact, all making the same point. I'd consider what Heisenberg and Hawking said to be closer to one another than either is to d'Espagnat, given what you've quoted so far.


Yes, d'Espagnat's wording requires context least it be mistaken. I've addressed this above. He argues against that we could obtain knowledge of 'independent reality' (independent of mind). IOW, it's a rejection of Scientific Realism and acceptance of Scientific Positivism (or instrumentalism). Hawking and Heisenberg are saying exactly this also,... and it's based on experimental facts of QM.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2014
an 'innate' form of reasoning,... prior to consciousness
Science was invented to weed out a priori judgments ie intuition.
I went to a quantum amoeba below because the context of d'Espagnat, Hawking, Heisenberg, and my comments are in that realm
Of course ameboae make judgments/decisions. Some of them choose to turn the wrong way in search of food because of some defect in cognition, and those ameboae dont get to reproduce. This is called natural selection.


Since we are discussing QM I changed the analogy to a quantum amoeba,.... it was only meant to be a quantum system unto itself without the presumption of 'observation' coming into play.
johanfprins
not rated yet Nov 11, 2014
Yes, d'Espagnat's wording requires context least it be mistaken. I've addressed this above. He argues against that we could obtain knowledge of 'independent reality' (independent of mind). IOW, it's a rejection of Scientific Realism and acceptance of Scientific Positivism (or instrumentalism). Hawking and Heisenberg are saying exactly this also,... and it's based on experimental facts of QM.
Which experimental facts? I do not know of any: It is based on Voodoo: pure and simple!
Noumenon
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2014
""But it does raise some interesting questions that sit on the border of science and philosophy. For example, it's necessary to assume that the helium does not make a measurement of the actual position of the electron. If it did, any bubble found not to contain the electron would, in theory, simply disappear. And that, Maris says, points to one of the deepest mysteries of quantum theory.....: No one is sure what actually constitutes a measurement."
Noumenon
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2014
@DaSchnieb

We seem to have two areas of disagreement,... 1) does a quantum interaction (independent of conscious intelligence) constitute a measurement, or is a intelligence required given von Neumann's postulate and that Hermitian operators are physically realized in macroscopic apparatus design and interpretation. 2) Do core elements of mathematics for which abstract math is derived exist independently of intelligence as an intrinsic feature of reality,.. or are they a-priori judgments of intuition (hard-wired given evolution) which only gives that illusion on account that observation itself must be in those conceptual forms.

The two questions are related imo.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2014
"I think the brain is essentially a computer and consciousness is like a computer program. It will cease to run when the computer is turned off. Theoretically, it could be re-created on a neural network, but that would be very difficult, as it would require all one's memories." Hawking

-You really need to stop misrepresenting hawking and other non- and anti-mystics.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2014
my dog
"Scientists have given animals consciousness. Not through complex manipulation of the brain or through genetic manipulation, but by publicly acknowledging the consensus, for the first time in such a straightforward way, that non-human animals, including some of our evolutionarily distant cousins, have awareness and experience like we do."
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2014
"The declaration, called The Cambridge Declaration On Consciousness, was signed at the Francis Crick Memorial Conference of Consciousness in Human and Non-Human Animals in the presence of Stephen Hawking in July in Cambridge, U.K. by an international group of scientists including cognitive neuroscientists, neuropharmacologists, neurophysiologists, neuroanatomists and computational neuroscientists."

-These dorks are doing science...
How the mind works won't be discovered by computer dorks.
-while what YOU are doing is mysticism. You reveal your disdain for science and your preference for the supernatural, in this remark.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2014
Yes, d'Espagnat's wording requires context least it be mistaken. I've addressed this above. He argues against that we could obtain knowledge of 'independent reality' (independent of mind). IOW, it's a rejection of Scientific Realism and acceptance of Scientific Positivism (or instrumentalism)
Indeed and in the context of his overall body of work he insists that it exists and further that it can be accessed spiritually. This is not separable from his concept 'veiled reality'.
Hawking and Heisenberg are saying exactly this also,... and it's based on experimental facts of QM.
Again you misrepresent hawking. How can someone who thinks 'consciousness' is the expression of a computer program, think it can somehow influence the metaphysical?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2014
read that book and it's prequel 'Emperors New Mind'. There is zero "mysticism" in it.
-according to YOU. According to hawking and the many refs on mysticism that I've provided, it is a classic example of mysticism.

THEY all think so and THEY know far more about what science is and what it is not, than YOU.

It's clear that you are seriously self-deluded about your primary motives here.

Kantian mysticism is anti-science, anti-reason, and anti-human. Any randite will tell you this.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 11, 2014
How the mind works won't be discovered by computer dorks.

-while what YOU are doing is mysticism. You reveal your disdain for science and your preference for the supernatural, in this remark.


What are you talking about?! I have no interest in mysticism nor supernatural. And it's so obvious I have disdain for science since I don't appear to know anything about it, right?

Step one is to understand how the brain functions, step two is to then simulate it,.... if it is even algorithmic or requires a physical foundation is an open question. The a.i. community traditionally skips step one. We are no where near understanding how awareness comes about.
Noumenon
5 / 5 (1) Nov 11, 2014
Hawking and Heisenberg are saying exactly this also,... and it's based on experimental facts of QM.

Again you misrepresent hawking. How can someone who thinks 'consciousness' is the expression of a computer program, think it can somehow influence the metaphysical?


Where did I say consciousness can somehow influence the metaphysical,..... I don't even believe in anything metaphysical?! WTF are you talking about. Hawking never said this. Do you just invent things as you go along?
Da Schneib
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2014
RL is intruding now, and it's extremely distracting; I probably don't have much capacity today for physics and philosophy, but I'll see if I can find time to at least read what you've written. I'll try to read it all before I start replying in order to skip over things we've agreed on (after confirming them) and stick to the meat of the question. Pardon me if it takes a while; RL is being very feisty at the moment. (RL is Real Life, I shouldn't count on folks speaking l33t/textspeak, a bad habit I'm trying to break.)
Da Schneib
3 / 5 (2) Nov 11, 2014
BTW it's probably johan giving you 1s. Otto mostly ignores the rating system as far as I can tell. I don't rate until I've replied. Your ratings will most likely improve when I am done. ;)
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.7 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2014
How the mind works won't be discovered by computer dorks.

-while what YOU are doing is mysticism. You reveal your disdain for science and your preference for the supernatural, in this remark.


What are you talking about?! I have no interest in mysticism nor supernatural. And it's so obvious I have disdain for science since I don't appear to know anything about it, right?

Step one is to understand how the brain functions, step two is to then simulate it,.... if it is even algorithmic or requires a physical foundation is an open question. The a.i. community traditionally skips step one. We are no where near understanding how awareness comes about.
Sure we are. Awareness is sensory input, cognitive processing, and the appropriate response. Machines have been doing it for a long time.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2014
Where did I say consciousness can somehow influence the metaphysical,..... I don't even believe in anything metaphysical?!
Huh. Then why did you claim that an idea is metaphysical? And if we can change our minds, how is this not influencing the metaphysical, in your estimation?
WTF are you talking about. Hawking never said this
YOU said that nothing you read in penroses book was mystical. Hawking said that it WAS, and took great exception to it, which you KNOW.

You keep referring to despagnats 'veiled reality' as strictly science. I have provided refs from many individuals who know much more about it than you, who claim that that's EXACTLY what it is.

THE IDEA that there are realms beyond the reach of scientific inquiry, is by definition a MYSTICAL one. And according to hawking it is the refuge of people too lazy or too dim to properly understand science.

Do I need to repeat his quote for you?
Noumenon
3 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2014
We are no where near understanding how awareness comes about.

Sure we are. Awareness is sensory input, cognitive processing, and the appropriate response. Machines have been doing it for a long time.

That simple, eh? It will require neuroscience, psychology, medical, and cognitive science,.... not computer dorks.

Where did I say consciousness can somehow influence the metaphysical,..... I don't even believe in anything metaphysical?!

Huh. Then why did you claim that an idea is metaphysical? And if we can change our minds, how is this not influencing the metaphysical, in your estimation?


I never said that ideas or thoughts have a metaphysical basis. I have said that ideas like god or souls are metaphysical ideas. I'm not responsible for your misapprehensions

The mind and consciousness, has only a purely physical basis, ...the bio-mechanism, the brain, ......and can be studied and eventually understood fully.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2014
"Physicist Roger Penrose wrote in the Shadows of the Mind that consciousness may be a quantum phenomenon. The idea was cuttingly criticised by Stephen Hawking; a summary of his criticisms was added to Penrose's book"

I'm staring at the book (which I have read and you have not) and see no such appended criticism. The only mention of Hawking besides purely about physics, is a footnote, here.
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 12, 2014
YOU said that nothing you read in [Penrose's] book was mystical. Hawking said that it WAS, and took great exception to it, which you KNOW.

You have not substantiated that Hawking said there was anything mystical in Penrose's argument in that book. The notion that quantum effects are operative in the brain and consciousness, is not a 'mystical' one. It may be wrong, but it is not 'mystical'.

That Hawking took exception to Penrose's hypothesis does not mean that Hawking is any more omnipotent in understanding anything than Penrose.

"Hawking: I think it's a cop-out. If you find theoretical physics and mathematics too hard, you turn to mysticism"


Are you seriously contending that Hawking is suggesting that "theoretical physics and mathematics [are] too hard" for Roger Penrose, one of the preeminent mathematical physicists in the world?

What books by Penrose have you read, if any? I have read four, and do not recall a single 'mystical' statement by him.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2014
You keep referring to [d'Espagnat's] 'veiled reality' as strictly science. I have provided refs from many individuals who know much more about it than you, who claim that [mysticism] EXACTLY what it is.


How would you know? I have said only that the book I read, "On physics and Philosophy" is about QM, positivism and anti-realism. I did not make reference to everything ever stated or believed by d'Espagnat. I do not accept everything that any one person has ever said.

And according to hawking it is the refuge of people too lazy or too dim to properly understand science.


You have not substantiated that Hawking ever said d'Espagnat or Penrose are "too dim to understand science". In fact all three have made major contributions to physics, and their knowledge of present physical understanding is complete.

Had you any interest in science yourself, you would have never made such a objectionable and offensive statement.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (2) Nov 12, 2014

THE IDEA that there are realms beyond the reach of scientific inquiry, is by definition a MYSTICAL one.


It is just a limiting concept. As an analogy, when one speaks of the 'big bang expansion of the universe', it is not ABOUT what the universe is expanding into, ....but instead only in delimiting observable features of the universe. Like wise, my referencing an 'Independent Reality', 'Veiled Reality', or 'Noumenon', is merely to delimit valid scientific enquiry.

It is perfectly consistent to hold a) that there is an objective Reality that 'informs' scientific investigation, that b) yet we cannot attain knowledge of 'independent reality', .. independent of and unaffected by our added conceptualizations and means of observation, and c) that predictive knowledge of phenomenal reality is possible d) yet maintain an atheistic or agnostic position wrt metaphysics as I do.
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 14, 2014
"Do a) core elements of mathematics for which abstract math is derived exist independently of intelligence as an intrinsic feature of reality,.. or b) are they a-priori judgments of intuition (hard-wired given evolution) which only gives that illusion.."

To follow up on this,... it has been proven resoundingly by Godel, as i'm sure you're aware, that any attempt at grounding mathematics on a logical foundation (elements of math) will necessarily fail in one of two ways. The 'Hilbert Program' and extensive work of Bertrand Russell in his magnum opus, Frege and Peano,... was proven to be unattainable. If the elements of math (it's logical axiomatic basis) cannot be used to derive a mathematical system with consistency or completeness, this seems a problem for A above.

"for any set of axioms and inference rules proposed to encapsulate mathematics, either the system must be inconsistent, or there must in fact be some truths of mathematics which could not be deduced from them"
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 14, 2014
,... however, Godel's result would follow from proposition B above, since such a-priori judgments of intuition can indeed prove to be infallible,... as in other such a-priori intuitions, like causality, counterfactuality, absolute space, absolute time, and so absolute simultaneity, locality, separability, etc.,...... which is related to 1) above,...

"does a quantum interaction (independent of conscious intelligence) constitute a measurement, or is a intelligence required given von Neumann's postulate and that Hermitian operators are physically realized in macroscopic apparatus design and interpretation."
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 14, 2014
It seems to me that decoherence requires the investigator to calculate the wavefunction of the experimental measurement equipment as well as the object of inquiry, [...] (or the measurer, for that matter) to be a single phenomenon is what introduces unrealities like "collapse of the wavefunction" into consideration. - DaSchnieb


[...]That the investigator can not determine his own wave function nor that of his equipment in practice, is what distinguishes 'measurement' from 'quantum interaction'. .... - Noumenon


I should also mention here, it is not only just impractical, but logically impossible as it would result in an infinite regression, thus requiring an observer for That system, etc etc

Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 14, 2014
....As I mentioned somewhere above, it does not matter, as pointed out by von Neumann,.... that is, neither Bohr's careful separation of macroscopic instrument from microscopic system under investigation, nor the above mentioned issue, .....since the Operator acting on a particular Hilbert space representation is to be representative of the equipment,.... i.e. the apparatus defines the possible eigenvalues that is the basis frame.
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 16, 2014
@Stumpy,... are you hiding under your desk? Are you not going to answer these questions?

i simply think philo's are NOT needed in science - Stumpy


1) "So capitalized "not". Are you making an Absolutists pronouncement, [..or..] just giving your opinion?"

2) "Do you acknowledge that many preeminent physicists have in fact written on the subject?"

3) "Do you acknowledge that interpretations of qm for example is as a matter of indisputable fact by definition, philosophy of physics?"

4) "Are you saying that one's philosophical outlook wrt Realism vs Positivism and so core interpretation of qm, does not guide one in hypothesis?"

5) "Or, are you just saying a truism no one has ever disagreed with,... that experiment and mathematical formulations of theories are developed by physicists, and not philosophers?"
Da Schneib
3 / 5 (2) Nov 18, 2014
Noum, I will be back, but RL is being extremely insistent right now. I hope to say something this week, but don't hold your breath. We might wind up pursuing this conversation in another thread if this one gets terminated.
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2014
No problem DaSchnieb, and don't feel obligated to continue if you have no interest or time to do so.

I will add another comment that relates to "quantum interaction" vs "measurement by intelligent observer", ...I.e. are they equivalent?

When Heisenberg developed his uncertainty principal he envisioned and explained it in terms of the "observer effect",... an inherent limit of observability,... i.e. the act of hitting a electron with a photon to 'measure' it's position disturbs the system in a way that momentum is then unknown.

N. Bohr was very much against this explanation and argued with Heisenberg to exclude it from his paper. Bohr understood that it wasn't this quantum observer effect that was fundamental, but rather the application of incompatible concepts in experimental design,... he called this idea, 'complementarity'.

Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2014


I believe that Heisenberg was eventually won over, however the point is that his early explanation was in essence 'Measurement is equivalent to Interaction',.. while Bohr's explanation was that 'Measurement is equivalent to Application of Concepts by an intelligent observer'.

Is it possible to perform an experiment to decide between these two approaches? Remarkably, according to J. Baggott, the answer is yes! I'm going by memory, so once I receive the book I will post references,... I believe it is the quantum eraser experiment though.
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2014
@DaSchnieb,... I did not properly address your amoeba thought experiment...
[math] describes physical phenomena more accurately than language, because it's derived from obvious characteristics of the universe like countability.
A quantum amoeba would have trouble with countability as being an independent aspect of the universe given the indistinguishability of fermions,... where it literally has no physical meaning to 'count'.
Indistinguishability of fermions does not postulate that two fermions at *different locations* cannot be distinguished. As I thought, using a "quantum amoeba" results in an impossibility.


Well that begs the question, "at different locations" because it implies they were observed.
Yes- and if those spacetime locations are outside one another's light cones then there definitely were two electrons. Like I said, it's impossible to state in that case that they were "indistinguishable."

contd
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2014
Once their wavefunctions over lap, they become Indistinguishable.
No, they don't. Pauli exclusion, remember? Their wavefunctions *can't* overlap. Only bosons can do that. Fermions can't. The only way two electrons can have overlapping wavefunctions is if they have opposite spins, so they don't cancel out and violate either conservation of spin angular momentum, or worse, conservation of mass/energy. And if they have different spins, then they're distinguishable, right?

Since the quantum amoeba is just a quantum system itself, two particles plus amoeba become one quantum system. There is no measurement made to collapse into a "position".....
One electron hits it over *here*, and another over *there*, at the same observed time, which places the two events outside one anothers' light cones. Looks distinguishable to me.
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2014
When a macroscopic intelligence then performs a measurement he "does something" or "adds conceptual structure" so that he conforms reality to his a-priori judgment of distinguishability.
Actually, an individual particle can "perform a measurement." It does so whenever it interacts with another particle. [...] the original measurement was performed by the interacting particles. This interaction is a brute physical fact. Furthermore, it "collapses" (I'm not a fan of this interpretation, but I'll use it here for clarity) the wavefunction of a particle in superposition, if the interaction measures the superposed parameter. This is decoherence.


Yes, quantum interaction is a (non-observable) brute physical fact,
I completely and categorically disagree. We observe it all the time in cloud and bubble chambers.

however it does not constitute a measurement.
Sure it does. The two particles will interact at least by momentum exchange.

contd
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2014
And their positions are obvious; they were at the same place or they could not have interacted.

The wavefunction has collapsed; if it remained in superposition, they could never interact.

Decoherence does not actually collapse the wave-function.
But that's the definition of decoherence! I'm sorry, I simply can't agree with this, and I've presented compelling evidence above of why.

In fact, repeat the experiment many times, and you'll find that because the position is precisely determined, the momentum takes on a range of values; and that range is the one predicted by the uncertainty relation, ΔpΔx ≈ ħ/2.
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2014
.... and this is discontinues, and not compatible with the deterministic evolution of the state-vector. Also, it's not really an interpretation per se,... it is what the underlying mathematical structure of Hilbert space (encompassing both Schroedinger and Heisenberg approaches ) and practical experiment demands. To escape this, requires a layer of "interpretation", not the other way around.
I didn't follow your reasoning here. The interaction provides the discontinuity; are you denying that particles flying about randomly in space interact even if no one's looking? Because that's what decoherence is.

You're right that it's not an interpretation; it's another brute physical fact. It's obvious from the fact that we have to isolate entangled particles or they lose their entanglement through interaction with the environment; that is, through decoherence.
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2014
Also, the basis of Hilbert space to which the wave-function is projected upon a measurement, ...the 'eigenstates', .... are dependent on the experimental apparatus, which in essence IS the (Hermitian) Operator acting on Hilbert space.
I don't know that I agree; the essential interaction is between the particles that make up the measuring apparatus and the particles that make up the body of the object under observation. Compressing all of the wavefunctions of the particles that make up the experimental apparatus doesn't seem to me to be a complete procedure.
It is complete as is possible in (observable) practice.
I don't agree. What about particles interacting with each other inside a bubble chamber? Seems to me the "measuring apparatus" is other particles there. I'll point out that taking pictures of bubble chambers is how accelerators gather data.

contd
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2014
The Hermitian Operator IS in all respects the measuring equipment, whilst the basis axis of Hilbert space are the possible observable (eigen) values.....
Errrr, no, not really. Self-adjoint operators are the physical observables, like spin, momentum, and position, not the measuring equipment.
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2014
A complete procedure would measure both the apparatus and the object of inquiry, to determine both their wavefunctions.
... and don't forget the observer also,
Where in the equations do you put the observer?

.... but this is not possible to do in practice,... and since science is empirical, practicality is all that matters.
But that has nothing to do with whether a precise position can be established for a particle when it collides with another particle.

Interestingly, while Bohr stressed the issue of the macro observing the micro for the discontinuity between unitary evolution of the state-vector and collapse to a observable value, ...von Neumann's Hilbert space formulation equates the Hermitian Operator with the measuring equipment, rendering the distinction mute in actual practice. Both agreed in essence however.
Since I don't agree that's what a Hermitian operator is, I can't agree with this either.
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2014
This collapse dependency of macroscopic equipment (and so a conscious intelligence), is what distinguishes 'measurement' from just 'quantum interaction', ....the latter causing some to think decoherence solves the measurement problem.
It seems to me that decoherence requires the investigator to calculate the wavefunction of the experimental measurement equipment as well as the object of inquiry, and that making a shortcut like considering the measuring equipment (or the measurer, for that matter) to be a single phenomenon is what introduces unrealities like "collapse of the wavefunction" into consideration.
Yes, exactly correct !!!, (with one caveat*). That the investigator can not determine his own wave function nor that of his equipment in practice, is what distinguishes 'measurement' from 'quantum interaction'. ....
But the "equipment" is a bubble chamber. And the interactions are among particles and happen at specific places.

contd
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2014
See, once you assign a specific location to an interaction, then you've collapsed its wavefunction (if you choose to use one of those interpretations that features such collapse). The amount of variance in its momentum will then be very large, if your picture of the interaction is very high resolution and of very small scale, no matter what interpretation you use.

The full process includes a computer evaluating millions of such pictures, and picking out the ones that are interesting. Other plans involve characterizing the variables measurable in the bubble chamber over large numbers of identical events, so the "filter" may not be just a few, but a majority of the observed events, which can then be averaged in various ways to show various different measured parameters.

contd
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2014
No person ever observed anything at all until long after the collisions occurred. In the second case, the data were taken from a large number of pictures no human ever saw or will ever bother to look at. How exactly did the experimenter interact with the measurement? How do you include an experimenter who doesn't even look at the actual data? Do you suggest the wavefunction collapse (or whatever that thing is that makes QM weird) doesn't happen until the experimenter looks at the computer results? Or that the computer is intelligent and can collapse the wavefunction (or whatever)?

Once you've let the computer do this work, the so-called "measurement problem" becomes far more acute. Either you assert a bunch of mysticism about how the computer was in superposition (ridiculous) and the experimenter decohered the computer, or you admit that any mechanical procedure can decohere entangled quanta, and once you admit that, why should it be anything but interaction with other quanta?
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2014
... Observable 'values' obtained at the quantum scale can only come about from measurement in the former sense, whilst decoherence through quantum interaction (loss of phase coherence), is LOSS of quantum behaviour into macro (observable values),....
Observable values are observed in bubble chambers. A magnetic or electric field is often used, and from this the particle's charge/momentum relation can be calculated; since charge is quantized, this yields a set of velocities and masses that can be reduced to a single value with other measurements (such as how often it interacts with the chamber medium). Thus, decoherence (introduced by interactions with the medium) is actually usable as a measurement strategy.

contd
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2014
I strongly disagree with your assertion that there is some sort of difference between a single particle observed interacting with another single particle, and a measurement. In fact, I assert that *all measurements* *require* such interactions, and analysis can proceed based on this brute physical fact. Decoherence is a fact. It's inevitable. All measurements are decoherent to one degree or another; recently, scientists have discovered how to make "weak" measurements that do not disturb the quantum state of the particle they are examining, and how to make multiple such measurements and combine them, but this does not obviate the obvious fact that such particles must be isolated from the environment to preserve their superposed variables in superposed states. In fact, it underscores it.
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2014
introduces unrealities like "collapse of the wavefunction" into consideration.
*What do you mean by unrealities?
I mean things that do not actually happen. Two quanta interact at a given location; their momenta, then, will add up to a random figure based upon the uncertainty in their previous momenta and the uncertainty introduced- I say again, introduced- by their interaction, due to their precise location in space.

You can easily prove this with a light beam and three polarizers. As you know, two polarizers aligned orthogonally shut out all light. However, when you introduce a third polarizer between them, oriented at 45°, light comes through again. The spin has been measured on a second axis, and this measurement has erased the previous spin on the orthogonal axis. This is because spins are discrete; you either know it or you don't. There isn't any range; it's UP or it's DOWN and that's it.

contd
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2014
So if you know the spin on one axis, then the spin on all other axes is in superposition; it's indeterminate. That's Heisenberg uncertainty.

Thus, the orthogonal spin becomes indeterminate-- after it has already been measured, remember-- when the non-orthogonal measurement is made. It is erased from reality.

You can do this experiment on a tabletop, and no matter how you twist it or turn it, that's the only explanation. If the photons kept their spin in the orthogonal direction after it was measured in the non-orthogonal direction, no light would come through. That spin is randomized by the measurement. At the quantum level, it is in superposition.

The quantum spins have been decohered.
Da Schneib
1 / 5 (1) Nov 19, 2014
I think that's enough to be going on with for now. Glad I got time and headspace to respond finally!

I think we have some disagreements on measurement, and on decoherence. I'll wait for you to look this stuff over and see what you think, Noum.
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 21, 2014
Once their wavefunctions over lap, they become Indistinguishable.

No, they don't. Pauli exclusion, remember? Their wavefunctions *can't* overlap.


The exclusion principal does not say that wave-functions can't overlap. It only says that identical fermions cannot have all their quantum numbers the same. In fact a single wave-function can describe a system of multiple particles. Two identical fermion wave-functions can have overlapping position or momentum representations, etc.
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 21, 2014
individual particle can "perform a measurement." [...], it "collapses" [...] the wavefunction of a particle in superposition[...] This is decoherence.


Quantum interaction [...] does not constitute a measurement. Decoherence does not actually collapse the wave-function.


I [..] disagree. We observe it all the time in cloud and bubble chambers.


I said 'quantum interaction', ...not macroscopic interaction. A bubble chamber is a macroscopic system that promotes decoherence, not avoids it. By then, decoherence has resulted in LOSS of phase coherence, and thus LOSS of the effects of the probability amplitude Interference that is characteristic of quantum behavior. We don't disagree wrt macroscopic measurements.

Decoherence does not provide an explanation of why a specific (qm) observable value is obtained. This is known as the 'problem of definite outcomes', and is why pure 'quantum interaction' via decoherence is not 'measurement via intelligence'.
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 21, 2014
Decoherence does not actually collapse the wave-function.

But that's the definition of decoherence!

Sorry, that is not correct. There is no actual 'collapse of the wave-function' implied by the definition of decoherence.

The total wave-function still exists and continues to evolve. It only provides an explanation of why an ensemble of possibilities resolves into a single macroscopic observable result,... however, as mentioned above,...it does not explain why that particular result rather than another.

For example, ⇒
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 21, 2014
⇒ in a two-slit experiment with a electron passing through the slits, it's wave-function components interferes with itself, causing an interference pattern on the detection screen, ...(multiple trials).

The electron wave-function interacts with the complex screen material wave-functions, causing loss of phase coherence and thus loss of probability wave-interference. This is indeed decoherence, and indeed resolves into a Macroscopic Observation of the electron at a position on the screen.

However, and this is the salient point,.... before interacting with the screen, the quantum electron wave-function had by then already interfered with itself in such a way that some positions on the screen are ruled out completely.

Decoherence can't explain why, That particular position value rather than another of some probability resulted or couldn't,... and so can not constitute a 'measurement'. By definition a 'measurement' is the resolving to a 'particular [conceptual] value'.
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 21, 2014
The von Neumann projection postulate collapses the wave function to an observable value,... and this is [discontinuous], and not compatible with the deterministic evolution of the state-vector. Also, it's not really an interpretation per se,... it is what the underlying mathematical structure of Hilbert space [...] and practical experiment demands. To escape this, requires a layer of "interpretation", not the other way around.

I didn't follow your reasoning here.

There is no other definition of "collapse of the wavefunction" than the above. Von Neumann introduced it.
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 21, 2014
The interaction provides the discontinuity;

There is incompatibility between the deterministic evolution of the Schordinger equation and the projection postulate of von Neumann, upon a measurement. There is no such incompatibility or discontinuity in decoherence alone, because, assuming an omnipotent observer, in principal a Schrödinger wave equation could be known for the entire quantum system and environment.

The discontinuity lies in the formulation of quantum mechanics and the imposition of a conceptual 'representation' as the basis of Hilbert space; the possible observable values given the experimental arrangement.
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 21, 2014
The Hermitian Operator IS in all respects the measuring equipment, whilst the basis axis of Hilbert space are the possible observable (eigen) values.....

Errrr, no, not really. Self-adjoint operators are the physical observables, like spin, momentum, and position, not the measuring equipment.

The measuring Equipment must be representative of the Hilbert space representation in terms of the possible values and the Hermitian Operator acting on it. This is simply the von Neumann formulation. You can only measure one of position, or momentum, or spin, at a time,... given the respective different equipment arrangement. I don't mean literally the Hermitian Operator is the measuring equipment, but that it must be representative of it if there is any possibility of observation.
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 21, 2014
How exactly did the experimenter interact with the measurement? How do you include an experimenter who doesn't even look at the actual data? Do you suggest the wavefunction collapse (or whatever that thing is that makes QM weird) doesn't happen until the experimenter looks at the computer results?


By forcing the 'underlying reality' to conform to his a-priori intuitions, ...by designing equipment compatible with the way his mind experiences.

As I attempted to convey above,.. I believe what is going on is that in the act of conceptualization of reality, we force reality to conform to our,... evolved [and so artificial wrt qm]... a-priori intuitions, or means of synthesizing experience,... in a way that our knowledge of the universe is irrevocably mind dependent. The quotes by Hawking, Heisenberg, d'Espagnat, conveys this point.

As the above article states, "No one is sure what actually constitutes a measurement. [...] Is consciousness required? We don't really know."
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 21, 2014
If the photons kept their spin in the orthogonal direction after it was measured in the non-orthogonal direction, no light would come through. That spin is randomized by the measurement.


It can't be randomized by each polarizer film individually. The number of photons coming all the way through is dependent upon all three polarizers as a group, and so is not reset by each polarizer separately.

In fact as is true generally in qm measurements, once the wave-function collapses to a particular observable value, any subsequent but exact measurement, if performed quick enough to keep the wavefunction 'localized', will produce the exact same value.


Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 21, 2014


[with n = non-orthogonal (actually every possible observable value is 'orthogonal'), and v = vertical polarizer, and h = horizontal polarizers]....

The probability of passing through the 1st and 2nd filter is |(n|v)|² = cos²45° multiplied by the probability of passing through the 2nd and 3rd, |(h|n)|² = cos²(90°-45°),... which is about 25% of the photons getting through. The photon 'feels out' the entire experimental apparatus.

Whatever the 'underlying reality thing' is that is being measured, it is being conformed to, or forced, to take on conceptual observable values, given the experimental apparatus,... directions. 'Directions' or 'positions' are not tangible things.
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 21, 2014
A 'measurement' by definition means to quantify and so to obtain a specific value. Quantum systems interacting independent of an intelligent observer do not produce 'values'. Values do not exist apart from their definition and dependency on equipmental design.

Decoherence does not explain these specific value outcomes, given the widely acknowledged 'problem of definite outcomes'. Therefore, while it provides an explanation of how the macroscopic realm is emergent from the quantum realm, it does not constitute a measurement of a quantum system.
Da Schneib
3 / 5 (2) Nov 21, 2014
Once their wavefunctions over lap, they become Indistinguishable.

No, they don't. Pauli exclusion, remember? Their wavefunctions *can't* overlap.
Two identical fermion wave-functions can have overlapping position or momentum representations, etc.
Only in superposition.

I [..] disagree. We observe it all the time in cloud and bubble chambers.
I said 'quantum interaction', ...not macroscopic interaction.
The fluid in the bubble chamber isn't made of quanta?

How many bubble chamber fluid quanta does an incoming quantum have to interact with before it becomes a "macroscopic interaction?" And if multiple quantum interactions occur, isn't that decoherence?
Da Schneib
3 / 5 (2) Nov 21, 2014
Decoherence does not actually collapse the wave-function.
But that's the definition of decoherence!
Sorry, that is not correct. There is no actual 'collapse of the wave-function' implied by the definition of decoherence.
Ummm, actually, superpositions of values of quantum numbers of particles are collapsed into eigenvalues by interaction with other particles; entangled particles have to be kept isolated or the entanglement is lost, remember?

Did you forget the three polarizers experiment? It erases the previous value of the spin angular momentum quantum number on the orthogonal axis, remember that? The third polarizer decoheres the light beam's previous polarization. That's the definition of decoherence.
Da Schneib
3 / 5 (2) Nov 22, 2014
Let's work decoherence out. I'll read the rest of your posts later tonight.

I'm only responding to your initial assumptions because we're not agreeing on them; there's no point in wasting our time until we agree on the initial assumptions.

I don't think you quite understand decoherence, or its identification with environmentally caused "collapse" of superposed values into eigenvalues. I can't really move on into talking about what the alternatives to "collapse" are until we've cleared up decoherence, so I think we should stop there and come to a consensus about what it really means and implies.

This is why I said it's a brute fact; it's verified by every experiment. In classical terms, it's the mechanism whereby fluids of different temperatures mix and over time come to be a single fluid of intermediate temperature. It happens with Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics just as much as with Bose-Einstein or Fermi-Dirac statistics, technically speaking.
Da Schneib
3 / 5 (2) Nov 22, 2014
Perhaps it will help if I say that the measuring equipment and the observer are part of the environment. When you're doing observations with a computer, and not looking at them until later, it's pretty unclear exactly what "observer" means, especially if you assign some special role to the "observer." It makes much more sense to say that the environment (which might include an observer) decoheres the superposed values into eigenvalues. Then you don't have to worry about whether consciousness is required of the observer, or how that all works when it's a computer collecting all the data and no human ever actually directly observes anything but the output of the computer, generated from millions of computer digitized and analyzed images that no one ever looks at.
Da Schneib
3 / 5 (2) Nov 22, 2014
This even gives a sensible answer to Einstein's question about whether the Moon is there if no one on Earth is looking at it.

The answer is, the Moon's quanta are decohered by the Sun's light bouncing off them, by the collisions it has with cosmic rays and solar wind particles and the interplanetary medium, and by its gravitational interactions with, ultimately, every other body in the universe, on an ongoing basis, so yes, the Moon is always there even if no one looks at it.
Noumenon
2 / 5 (2) Nov 22, 2014
The whole point of 'decoherence' was to refute 'wave-function' collapse put forward by von Neumann and Dirac. Wave-function collapse is just the 'projection postulate' in actual experiments. In fact by it's definition, decoherence suppresses the quantum behavior of amplitude interference beyond the capability of the measuring apparatus.

IOW, Decoherence is more of a heuristic explanation of why macro behavior emerges from quantum behavior,... it gives the APPEARANCE of wave-function collapse, not actual wave-function collapse as defined by von Neumann.

I ask that you reread my response wrt the bubble chamber carefully. I am not denying decoherence, in fact I stated clearly that such a "macroscopic system [bubble chamber] promotes decoherence".
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 22, 2014
I will wait for you to read through the rest of my posts, since I give another example of decoherence in the two-slit experiment, and refute your example of the polarizer filters wrt decoherence. Also, recall that the point of disagreement was " 1) does a quantum interaction (independent of conscious intelligence) constitute a measurement, or is a intelligence required". My last post yesterday addressed this point wrt decoherence.
Noumenon
1 / 5 (1) Nov 22, 2014
I don't think you quite understand decoherence, or its identification with environmentally caused "collapse" of superposed values into eigenvalues.


I would like you to reassess that conclusion after reading the rest of my posts above.

Also, I would like to make clear that the Schrodinger wave-function is categorically NOT a physical wave of some sort. It is a mathematical construction by a intelligence, to represent all the information about a quantum system considered in isolation.

It does not even resolve to "values" per se, but rather to probabilities that are dependent on the normalization condition given the span of possible values Defined by the experimental apparatus. Further, the 'what' to be teased out of the wave-function is entirely dependent on the experimental apparatus, and thus the experimenter. As I said above, "Quantum systems interacting independent of an intelligent observer do not produce 'values'."
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 22, 2014
..... decoherence causes loss quantum interference effects to emerge to macroscopic behavior, but this does not imply 'collapse of values',..... this is known as the 'problem of definite representation'. Only an observing intelligence can define conceptual values given experimental design, and span the allowable states into values.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 23, 2014
"A dynamical collapse of the wave function would require nonlinear and non-unitary terms in the Schrödinger equation [...] Since nonlinear terms in the Schrödinger equation lead to observable deviations from conventional quantum theory, they should at present be disregarded for similar reasons as hidden variables." - Heinz-Dieter Zeh, the discoverer of decoherence.

In other words, decoherence does not 'collapse the wave-function', of 'superposed values into eigenvalues'.

Measurement by an intelligence must be distinct from just quantum interaction. The wave-function used in actual experiments is isolated, and the Hilbert space representation is Defined from classical concepts,.... to which the wave-function is collapsed to obtain "values".
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 23, 2014
"John von Neumann seems to have first clearly pointed out the conceptual difficulties that arise when one attempts to formulate the physical process underlying subjective observation within quantum theory".

Which is why von Neumann's formulation and the Copenhagen interpretation advocated a "collapse", and is the way actual experiments operate.

According to Zeh, even "Schrödinger [eventually] argued that the wave function might not represent a physical object (not even in a statistical sense), but should rather have a fundamental psycho-physical meaning".

It is a mathematical construction by an intelligence, to represent what is known about an isolated system. If one attempts to extend it beyond and including the immediate experimental apparatus, one is lead into problems as pointed out by von Neumann,... solved only by many-minds or many-worlds philosophies derived over a 'slosh or two of sherry'.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 23, 2014
[The Schrodinger wave-function] does not even resolve to "values" per se, but rather to probabilities that are dependent on the normalization condition given the span of possible values Defined by the experimental apparatus. - Noumenon


Actually, my statement quoted here is not even accurate enough,....as it doesn't even resolve into probabilities either, as squaring the wave-function required for the Born rule is a separate step taken as an interpretation of the wave-function.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 24, 2014
The whole point of 'decoherence' was to refute 'wave-function' collapse put forward by von Neumann and Dirac.
Not at all. In fact, decoherence works just fine with interpretations that have wave function collapse, as well as just fine with ones that don't. In the first kind, collapse occurs when the particle interacts with another particle, if it interacts in such a way as to require a value for the superposed parameter the first particle is carrying. For example, interactions with a directional crystal lattice (that is, one that is not symmetric) measure the polarization of a particle, and therefore its spin in one axis. If that measurement is in a different axis than a prior measurement on a different axis, then the spin on the first axis is randomized. This is a fact of quantum mechanics easily demonstrated in the three-polarizer experiment.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 24, 2014
Wave-function collapse is just the 'projection postulate' in actual experiments.
I don't see anything I disagree with there. But note carefully that it changes a value that is indeterminate under uncertainty, that is in superposition, to one that is not.

In fact by it's definition, decoherence suppresses the quantum behavior of amplitude interference beyond the capability of the measuring apparatus.
I don't know what this means. Could you explain further, please? What is "amplitude interference," and why is it "beyond the capability of the measuring apparatus?"

IOW, Decoherence is more of a heuristic explanation of why macro behavior emerges from quantum behavior,... it gives the APPEARANCE of wave-function collapse, not actual wave-function collapse as defined by von Neumann.
Please link and quote the definition by von Neumann and explain why decoherence is not "actual wave function collapse."

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 24, 2014
It appears to be wave function collapse when the value of the spin is erased by the 45° polarizer. Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, flies like a duck.

And the environment apparently decoheres entangled particles; they must be protected from the environment to stay entangled. Measurement of a parameter that is complementary under uncertainty to a previously measured value always results in the erasure of the previously measured value. This is the meaning of Heisenberg uncertainty.

I ask that you reread my response wrt the bubble chamber carefully.
I shall.

I am not denying decoherence, in fact I stated clearly that such a "macroscopic system [bubble chamber] promotes decoherence".
Of course it does; in the position-momentum uncertainty pair. But that doesn't mean it decoheres other parameters, and it also doesn't change the values of any non-uncertain values like charge, or parity, or quark count, or lepton count.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 24, 2014
I found your bubble chamber comment and reread it and it doesn't look any more correct than it did the first time. I responded directly and asked a couple questions, and you haven't responded to them. Could you please do that before you ask me to read it again?
Noumenon
3 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2014
In fact by it's definition, decoherence suppresses the quantum behavior of amplitude interference beyond the capability of the measuring apparatus.

I don't know what this means. Could you explain further, please? What is "amplitude interference," ...

'Amplitude interference' occur with the phase terms of the wave function. These are the off-diagonal terms of the density matrix, and are responsible for what distinguishes quantum behavior from classical behavior,.. i.e. some paths or values are ruled out because of destructive interference. Taking an inner product (squaring the wave-function) causes these off-diagonal terms to vanish, so that it removes the √(-1) terms (phase), resulting in real numbers which can be interpreted as probabilities.

and why is it "beyond the capability of the measuring apparatus?"

Because an experimenter never has a wave-function description of the measuring apparatus.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2014
,... You say the decoherence is a 'brute physical fact',... and I agree that it must occur (as an 'explanation'),... however,... it has only been recently possible to watch it occurring experimentally, with mesoscopic objects.

So, in fact, it has not been ubiquitous in QM experiments at all in terms of quantifiable wave-function description, ...except as an heuristic explanation, .....other than these recent very specialized and very difficult experiments.

This is why I am saying that the cloud/bubble chambers are Macroscopic Observations, and that the electron hitting the detection screen is also a Macroscopic Observation. By then there is no quantum interaction behavior,... decoherence results in LOSS of quantum interference. They must use mesoscopic objects to even have a chance of observing it occurring.

The debate was whether 'quantum interaction' IS measurement in the equivalent sense of a measurement performed by an intelligence.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2014
Decoherence is more of a heuristic explanation of why macro behavior emerges from quantum behavior,... it gives the APPEARANCE of wave-function collapse, not actual wave-function collapse as defined by von Neumann.

Please link and quote the definition by von Neumann and explain why decoherence is not "actual wave function collapse."

I did better than that above by quoting the man who discovered decoherence, Heinz-Dieter Zeh, as saying so.

Von Neumann introduced 'wave-function collapse' as part of his Hilbert space formulation of qm, which encompasses both Schrödinger's and Heisenberg's approach, so that I can always refer to it validly.


Noumenon
3 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2014


It is simply when an quantum experiment obtains a real number value, as described above wrt density matrix, in the context of that mathematical formulation.

Since the Schrödinger equation never gives values, this is an extra step in qm,... the projection postulate is wave-function collapse. It is a mathematical procedure, not a physical wave collapsing. Please see Zeh's quote above.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2014

I found your bubble chamber comment and reread it and it doesn't look any more correct than it did the first time. I responded directly and asked a couple questions, and you haven't responded to them. Could you please do that before you ask me to read it again?


If my response was not correct, then which of the following do you not agree with,....?

1) A bubble chamber is a macroscopic system that promotes decoherence, not avoids it.

2) By then, decoherence has resulted in LOSS of phase coherence, and thus LOSS of the effects of the probability amplitude Interference that is characteristic of quantum behavior.

3) We don't disagree wrt macroscopic measurements.


Noumenon
3 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2014
The fluid in the bubble chamber isn't made of quanta?


It is, molecules. But do we observe quanta in it? No. It is a macroscopic experiment, that displays macroscopic paths.

In terms of a quantum description of a electron, do you not agree with the above article findings,...

"The experiments we have performed indicate that the mere interaction of an electron with some larger physical system, such as a bath of liquid helium, does not constitute a measurement... [...]...The question then is: What does?"
Noumenon
3 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2014
How many bubble chamber fluid quanta does an incoming quantum have to interact with before it becomes a "macroscopic interaction?"


I don't know. It occurs extremely rapidly though, for a molecule, something like 10^-30 seconds in air,.. even faster in a bubble chamber I would think.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (1) Nov 24, 2014
And if multiple quantum interactions occur, isn't that decoherence?


Yes. It is certainly a valid explanation for why macroscopic behavior is emergent from quantum reality,... but by then it is macroscopic. There is no Schrödinger wave function description of the entire apparatus, and ....

..even assuming the Schrödinger wave equation represented a one-to-one correspondence with reality so that it was a Physical Wave and was known in full by an omnipresence, ...there is nothing in the equation that would make it 'collapse' into one particular value as opposed to another.

Wave-functions would entangle and decohere and lose their destructive/constructive quantum interference effects, but it would never result in a observable 'value',.. and so never a 'measurement' which by definition, quantifies into values. That requires a separate step by a intelligence,.. to project the wave-function onto a basis representation added by an intelligence.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 24, 2014
It appears to be wave function collapse when the value of the spin is erased by the 45° polarizer. Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, flies like a duck.


Do you disagree with the math I posted?

That is correct, "appears". Decoherence gives only the appearance of collapse. There is no mathematical mechanism in the Schrödinger equation that would allow for collapse.

Also, there is no 'value' priori to measurement. The measurement creates the value. The value is defined by the experimental apparatus and the experimenter.

If the photon is in a pure-state of a superposition of vertical and horizontal and/or L/R circular polarization, then there is no 'value'.

And the environment apparently decoheres entangled particles; they must be protected from the environment to stay entangled.


Yes, I agree.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 24, 2014
The whole point of 'decoherence' was to refute 'wave-function' collapse put forward by von Neumann and Dirac.
Not at all. In fact, decoherence works just fine with interpretations that have wave function collapse, as well as just fine with ones that don't.


That's correct,... but I meant the original purpose of Zeh in introducing that idea, as Zeh promoted an extension to Everrett's many worlds interpretation which obviously seeks to avoid 'collapse'. However I may be wrong wrt the historical chronology and it's relevance to that extension, so will consider my point refuted.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 24, 2014
In his book, 'Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics', John von Neumann outlines two processes in his formulation;

A) The deterministic evolution of the Schrödinger equation
B) The projection postulate (collapse).

He then outlines three components in the measurement process;

I. The quantum system under investigation
II. The physical measuring device
III. The observer

He then showed that there is no mathematical reason [Zeh explains why above] to find the 'collapse' (B) in the composite system I and II since they are both subject to (A) QM, in principal. So they can both be considered the same component, so that...

I. The quantum system under investigation plus the physical measuring device
II. The observer
III. Consciousness (mind)

Again there is no reason to suspect that component I and II above can not be combined as well, since the observer and his brain are physical systems subject to (A) as well, in principal.

Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 24, 2014
However, there is no evidence to suggest that (A) should apply to III, consciousness. And this is where von Neumann places the 'collapse', (B).

Although the physical basis of consciousness, the brain (II above), is certainly subject to (A) in principal, ..... consciousness is different, in that it is not itself a passive physical system, but an active intangible one, in ordering and synthesizing experience, and adding conceptual structure (why I mention Kant often). The collapse then is a collapse into concepts.

Given the above quotes from Hawking, Heisenberg, d'Espagnat, B.D. Zeh, and von Neumann's concurring conclusions, and the above article,.... would you still not concede that 'quantum interaction' cannot be all there is to measurement, but that in some way a conscious intelligence must be essential to that process?

There ARE theories with a objective collapse, ...Penrose's OR, and Ghirardi–Rimini–Weber,... but decoherence itself does not collapse the wave-function.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 24, 2014
Eugene Wigner also concur's with Von Neumann,... proposing his Wigner's Friend thought experiment.

Many people misunderstand this though as implying that consciousness somehow does something to reality.
Whydening Gyre
not rated yet Nov 24, 2014
Many people misunderstand this though as implying that consciousness somehow does something to reality.

It does. Enough conscience's focused on a "thing" will equal a reality. 100 monkeys.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
In fact by it's definition, decoherence suppresses the quantum behavior of amplitude interference beyond the capability of the measuring apparatus.
I don't know what this means. Could you explain further, please? What is "amplitude interference," ...

'Amplitude interference' occur with the phase terms of the wave function. These are the off-diagonal terms of the density matrix, and are responsible for what distinguishes quantum behavior from classical behavior,.. i.e. some paths or values are ruled out because of destructive interference.
Well, one of the things that distinguishes quantum from classical behavior, anyway. But these are superpositions, and we can't measure a superposition. So this is all handwaving, as far as any detectable effect is concerned.

And since this isn't observable behavior, you still haven't explained anything but the mathematical formalism.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
I don't see decoherence "suppressing the quantum behavior" of anything at all. And certainly not something we don't even know exists. It also appears to me that "amplitude interference" is not observed quantum behavior. However, decoherence is; see the three polarizer experiment.

For lurkers, "off diagonal terms" cannot be realized; they are not eigenvalues, and thus can never be measured. They are, however, possible in superposition, when a particle has not yet been measured in a particular parameter.

Taking an inner product (squaring the wave-function) causes these off-diagonal terms to vanish, so that it removes the √(-1) terms (phase), resulting in real numbers which can be interpreted as probabilities.
While this is true, it has nothing to do with decoherence other than being the mathematical representation of what happens when two particles interact.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
and why is it "beyond the capability of the measuring apparatus?"
Because an experimenter never has a wave-function description of the measuring apparatus.
That's ridiculous. Of course the experimenters know exactly what's in the bubble chamber and have placed its contents in a supercritical state so that the ionization trails will form bubbles.

Are you claiming physicists don't know what's in the bubble chamber and what state it's in?

Really?
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
,... You say the decoherence is a 'brute physical fact',... and I agree that it must occur (as an 'explanation'),... however,... it has only been recently possible to watch it occurring experimentally, with mesoscopic objects.
Are you claiming quanta do not interact unless we're watching? It sure sounds like it, and it's provably wrong. It's one of the things that the Bell Inequality shows is impossible, along with the most simple forms of hidden variables.

Decoherence is directly observable with the three polarizers experiment. That experiment has been possible in schoolrooms since polarizers became cheaply available with the invention of polaroid film. I wouldn't call that "recent."

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
So, in fact, it has not been ubiquitous in QM experiments at all in terms of quantifiable wave-function description, ...except as an heuristic explanation, .....other than these recent very specialized and very difficult experiments.
Polaroid film costs like a buck per square foot.

As far as the three polarizers experiment, it's in Isaac Asimov's History of Physics, which is a re-printing of the original 3-volume set "Understanding Physics," published in the 1960s IIRC. I did it in grade school. It cost my whole allowance for two weeks.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
This is why I am saying that the cloud/bubble chambers are Macroscopic Observations, and that the electron hitting the detection screen is also a Macroscopic Observation. By then there is no quantum interaction behavior,... decoherence results in LOSS of quantum interference. They must use mesoscopic objects to even have a chance of observing it occurring.
And I ask again, how many quanta in the bubble chamber must the incoming particle interact with before it's a "Macroscopic Observation?"

Your distinction appears meaningless to me; you are implying that materials exist that aren't made of quanta, or that some construction made from quanta and used as a "measuring device" magically stops behaving in a quantum manner for some reason you aren't telling me.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
The debate was whether 'quantum interaction' IS measurement in the equivalent sense of a measurement performed by an intelligence.
No, the debate is whether an "intelligence" is made of quanta and must therefore interact in a quantum manner with everything it observes, and the answer is, yes, and therefore yes.

In short, demonstrate a "non-quantum" intelligence, and then we will discuss how it can "observe." If you can't, then my point is made.

Quantum action must always add up in the end to classical action. Classical action is what we observe, because our senses are not fine enough to discern quantum action in most cases (the fully dark adapted human eye can detect single quanta). But that doesn't mean that classical action is "more real" than quantum action; merely that it is what our biased senses allow us to observe directly.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
Decoherence is more of a heuristic explanation of why macro behavior emerges from quantum behavior,... it gives the APPEARANCE of wave-function collapse, not actual wave-function collapse as defined by von Neumann.
Please link and quote the definition by von Neumann and explain why decoherence is not "actual wave function collapse."
I did better than that above by quoting the man who discovered decoherence, Heinz-Dieter Zeh, as saying so.
No, sorry, I want that von Neumann quote.

Von Neumann introduced 'wave-function collapse' as part of his Hilbert space formulation of qm, which encompasses both Schrödinger's and Heisenberg's approach, so that I can always refer to it validly.
Not if you don't provide a link and quote.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
It is simply when an quantum experiment obtains a real number value, as described above wrt density matrix, in the context of that mathematical formulation.
When a quantum experiment obtains a real value, the parameter measured is no longer in superposition.

Since the Schrödinger equation never gives values, this is an extra step in qm,... the projection postulate is wave-function collapse. It is a mathematical procedure, not a physical wave collapsing. Please see Zeh's quote above.
The Schrödinger equation gives values; what do you mean, "it never gives values?" It gives the square root of the probability at all points and times; if you make many measurements, they will give the probability of the various outcomes that the Schrödinger equation predicts. It doesn't give single values for experiments that can have multiple outcomes, and it shouldn't. It would be inconsistent with reality if it did.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014

I found your bubble chamber comment and reread it and it doesn't look any more correct than it did the first time. I responded directly and asked a couple questions, and you haven't responded to them. Could you please do that before you ask me to read it again?


If my response was not correct, then which of the following do you not agree with,....?
No, I said you never answered the two questions I asked in response to that post. Please look again. You still haven't answered them. I can't tell whether your response is correct if it doesn't exist.

1) A bubble chamber is a macroscopic system that promotes decoherence, not avoids it.
Any measuring system is such, and it doesn't matter if it's macroscopic or not. Furthermore, the macroscopic (i.e. classical) behavior of any system is determined by the individual quantum behavior of its component quanta, collectively.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
2) By then, decoherence has resulted in LOSS of phase coherence, and thus LOSS of the effects of the probability amplitude Interference that is characteristic of quantum behavior.
Of course it has; otherwise we couldn't measure it!

3) We don't disagree wrt macroscopic measurements.
Actually, we do; you seem to think they are somehow "different" from quantum measurements. In fact, the classical results MUST emerge from the quantum behavior; otherwise, we haven't correctly described the quantum behavior. However, the reverse does not apply; classical behavior is a result, not a given, from the POV of any quantum theory. Whether the quantum theory is correct or not is discerned from whether it gives the observed classical results or not. This is evidence, not derivation.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
The fluid in the bubble chamber isn't made of quanta?
It is, molecules. But do we observe quanta in it? No. It is a macroscopic experiment, that displays macroscopic paths.
What do you think the bubbles nucleate upon? We can see the tracks of individual nuclei recoiling from their interaction with the passing high energy particle, and we can even see electrons being separated from their atoms, if we magnify the view enough, as they make their own tracks in the chamber. It is from these tiny tracks that the larger track of the high energy particle is discerned.

You are making a distinction between "macroscopic" and "microscopic" measurements that I do not believe exists. The sum of the quantum behaviors must always be the classical, observed behavior.

I am amazed you do not think that the individual tracks of high energy particles have not been carefully examined to make sure we understood how they occur.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
In terms of a quantum description of a electron, do you not agree with the above article findings,...

"The experiments we have performed indicate that the mere interaction of an electron with some larger physical system, such as a bath of liquid helium, does not constitute a measurement... [...]...The question then is: What does?"
This is hyperbolic; in fact, what constitutes a measurement is a direct determination of the value of a variable that is conjugate under uncertainty, thus constraining its conjugate variable. That the determination of such a variable can be deferred, and that this has physical consequences, is unsurprising given uncertainty. The measurement of phase by the last polarizer in the chain differs depending on whether the last measurement was on the same spin axis or not. We have known this for decades at least.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
One of the things you're not getting about the bubble chamber is that the phase of the high energy particle being observed is not important to the outcome of the experiment. Thus decohering the phase is immaterial. The position space representation is decohered at each interaction; this is what we are interested in. The particle's behavior in position space is determinant of several of its non-conjugate quantum parameters. We don't need the phase space representation to find these, since they are also determinant of the particle's type.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
How many bubble chamber fluid quanta does an incoming quantum have to interact with before it becomes a "macroscopic interaction?"
I don't know. It occurs extremely rapidly though, for a molecule, something like 10^-30 seconds in air,.. even faster in a bubble chamber I would think.
How does "one" grab you?
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
And if multiple quantum interactions occur, isn't that decoherence?
Yes. It is certainly a valid explanation for why macroscopic behavior is emergent from quantum reality,... but by then it is macroscopic.
By which you mean, "no longer in superposition," which is exactly what I've been saying all along happens the first time we see a dot in the bubble chamber; the high energy particle being observed has decohered in position space. We know it was *right there*, *right then*. We are observing the path of the particle in real time; it's as if it were going through billions and billions of dual-slit experiments, and in each one we know which slit it went through.

There is no Schrödinger wave function description of the entire apparatus,
Do you maintain there cannot be?

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
and even assuming the Schrödinger wave equation represented a one-to-one correspondence with reality
It cannot ever represent a one-to-one correspondence with reality because "reality" as we perceive it is classical. It cannot ever be measured; no particle is measured as being "in superposition." All measurements decohere the particle (if the measurement is of a value of a variable or parameter that is conjugate under uncertainty). The superposition and its probabilities are determined from the relative frequencies of the various measured outcomes.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
Wave-functions would entangle
So?

and decohere
Again, so?

and lose their destructive/constructive quantum interference effects,
No, that's not what "decoherence" means at all. Those same interference effects will happen when the next decoherence causes the next erasure.

but it would never result in a observable 'value',..
See, this is the whole point: if you observe a value, you have decohered the quantum you observed it on, with respect to that value. Its conjugate under uncertainty is now much more indeterminate. If it's not conjugate under uncertainty, then it cannot be decohered.

and so never a 'measurement' which by definition, quantifies into values.
But you get values if two particles interact in a parameter that is uncertain, and you later measure one of them in that parameter.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
1) There is no sense in continuing if you're not going to accept the basic definition of decoherence,.... the loss of [off-diagonal] interference terms by the loss of phase coherence, and thus loss of quantum behavior, and the emergence of macro behavior. This is not a matter of opinion. It is just what decoherence IS, factually.

2) Further, I have quoted the very man who discovered decoherence, to which you have ignored completely, ... saying that the deterministic Schrödinger equation does not allow for wave-function collapse, .....i.e. decoherence is NOT wave-function collapse.

"A dynamical collapse of the wave function would require nonlinear and non-unitary terms in the Schrödinger equation [...] Since nonlinear terms in the Schrödinger equation lead to observable deviations from conventional quantum theory, they should at present be disregarded for similar reasons as hidden variables." - Heinz-Dieter Zeh, the discoverer of decoherence
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
3) Also, given the factual and inarguable definition of decoherence that I have provided several times, observing it occurring experimentally, ....(that is quantitatively as opposed to giving a qualitative description),... requires mesoscopic objects of the order between micro and macro. This is of course because decoherence is loss of quantum behavior into macro behavior as described above. It is not ubiquitous in experiments generally and requires such very specialized experiments as mentioned above,... also by use of superconducting rings, etc.

These three points are simply facts. You may disagree with my interpretation of QM and with Hawking, Heisenberg, von Neumann, E. Wigner, Bohr, d'Espagnat wrt interpretation,... but unless you capitulate on the above three points, I don't see how we can advance the discussion further.

Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
I did read through your posts, and found several ridiculous 'accusations' style replies due to misunderstandings.

We should therefore first determine if we agree on the above three points, as a prerequisite to any debate about whether 'quantum interaction' constitutes a 'measurement' or whether an intelligence is intrinsically involved.

Accepting the above three facts will not trap you into accepting my definition of measurement, since there are some Realist interpretations and extended theories that allow for an objective dynamical collapse of the wave-function.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
In terms of a quantum description of a electron, do you not agree with the above article findings,...

"The experiments we have performed indicate that the mere interaction of an electron with some larger physical system, such as a bath of liquid helium, does not constitute a measurement... [...]...The question then is: What does?"


This is hyperbolic


No it is not. It is those scientists findings given their experiment.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
1) There is no sense in continuing if you're not going to accept the basic definition of decoherence,.... the loss of [off-diagonal] interference terms by the loss of phase coherence, and thus loss of quantum behavior, and the emergence of macro behavior. This is not a matter of opinion. It is just what decoherence IS, factually.
That's exactly what I've been saying.

I'm just saying that any interaction has the potential to create it, which is why particles that are entangled- i.e., that have a parameter that is in superposition on both particles, the final values of which must be identical or complementary under the applicable conservation law- must be isolated from interaction or the entanglement is lost. No "observer" is needed; just interaction with other particles is enough. And these interactions are "measurements," as you're defining them; they decohere the state of the particle they happen to, but without anyone ever seeing it happen.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
2) Further, I have quoted the very man who discovered decoherence, to which you have ignored completely, ... saying that the deterministic Schrödinger equation does not allow for wave-function collapse, .....i.e. decoherence is NOT wave-function collapse.
Decoherence results in a parameter in superposition taking on an eigenvalue. Measurement results in a parameter in superposition taking on an eigenvalue. Show me the difference.

Some quantum numbers (i.e. parameters) are never in superposition; for example, electric charge. For example, lepton or quark count. I get the feeling you think all quantum numbers are uncertain, and this is not correct.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 25, 2014
3) Also, given the factual and inarguable definition of decoherence that I have provided several times, observing it occurring experimentally, ....(that is quantitatively as opposed to giving a qualitative description),... requires mesoscopic objects of the order between micro and macro. This is of course because decoherence is loss of quantum behavior into macro behavior as described above.
But the definition of "macroscopic" emerges from the microscopic events- that is, the individual particle interactions. Macroscopic objects, by definition, cannot be in superposition. Thus, they must have decohered!

It is not ubiquitous in experiments generally and requires such very specialized experiments as mentioned above,... also by use of superconducting rings, etc.
You can demonstrate decoherence in the three-polarizer experiment as I have been saying now for quite a while. Why have you not addressed this experiment?

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2014
These three points are simply facts. You may disagree with my interpretation of QM and with Hawking, Heisenberg, von Neumann, E. Wigner, Bohr, d'Espagnat wrt interpretation,... but unless you capitulate on the above three points, I don't see how we can advance the discussion further.
I don't think I'm disagreeing with them. I'm not entirely certain I'm disagreeing with you; you keep saying the same thing I just said and then telling me I said something different.

I repeat: Decoherence reduces the wavefunction to an eigenstate from superposition. Measurement reduces the wavefunction to an eigenstate from superposition. How are they different?

Before you write your next set of responses, please sit back and gather some perspective; I'm not attacking you, I'm at this point merely trying to understand what you're saying and make it fit with particle physics.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2014
So far, the technical parts do, but your interpretation of them is weird from my POV. I don't see a difference between decoherence and measurement, other than the fact that it's possible to measure non-entangleable, non-superposable values as well as values in superposition (in which case you get an eigenvalue, not the superposed value, but over many trials you will eventually see all the possible eigenvalues). Only very careful types of measurements (so-called "weak measurements") that do not affect the superposed value, or decohere it into an eigenvalue, are possible without disturbing the value of the superposed quantum number(s). Most measurements will decohere the particle in a small number of interactions, because at random they're likely to disturb the superposed quantum number, and because most measurement systems are large quantum systems with lots of opportunities for interaction.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2014
The experiment in the article we're talking about doesn't make many measurements because it's very cold and the uncertainty in position in its constituent helium atoms is therefore very small; interactions therefore are "weak measurements," not strong ones that decohere the electrons' wavefunctions in position. What we know is that at least some electrons remain in superposition; there is no statement, however, that all of them do, in other words that there are not some events occurring that DO decohere the electrons' position wavefunctions to eigenvalues. These electrons are a by-product and are not counted; they are the ones whose position wavefunctions are decohered, so they don't form multiple bubbles in the experiment that are smaller than the expected bubble for a whole electron and they are ignored.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2014
I did read through your posts, and found several ridiculous 'accusations' style replies due to misunderstandings.
Then I'm sorry. It's not my intent to accuse, merely to point out facts and ask questions.

We should therefore first determine if we agree on the above three points, as a prerequisite to any debate about whether 'quantum interaction' constitutes a 'measurement' or whether an intelligence is intrinsically involved.
There are a number of questions of mine you have not answered, and a couple of experiments you have not addressed (principally the three polarizers experiment). I'd like to see you look my posts and yours over again and see if you think you have answered all my questions. I have not read all yours yet; I have been busy, and didn't want to leave you feeling cut off, so I answered as many as I got to so far. I'm likely to be busy for another couple weeks, with Thanksgiving and a bunch of other RL stuff, but I'll do as much as I can.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2014
Accepting the above three facts will not trap you into accepting my definition of measurement, since there are some Realist interpretations and extended theories that allow for an objective dynamical collapse of the wave-function.
I'm not a physical collapse fan; I'm using it as a convenient way to refer to the decoherence of a superposed quantum number into an eigenvalue. I feel kind of like you have stuck me in a box I don't belong in; the wavefunction is simply a way of expressing quantum numbers, and when it is the wavefunction of a quantum number that can be superposed, then if that quantum number is measured, you will get an eigenvalue. We also know because of Bell's Inequality that the eigenvalue is not "hidden;" the quantum number really is in superposition.

This is hyperbolic
No it is not. It is those scientists findings given their experiment.
We'll have to argue that later after we agree on what decoherence is.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2014
I gotta go shopping. I'll try to read some more of your posts later today. If not, I should have a little time tomorrow. Keep an eye out.

I think we're closer together on this than you seem to. But I also think you've got a conception of "measurement" that isn't quite right, and the same of "decoherence," which is not surprising since the two are entangled, hee hee.
Noumenon
3 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2014
1) There is no sense in continuing if you're not going to accept the basic definition of decoherence,.... the loss of [off-diagonal] interference terms by the loss of phase coherence, and thus loss of quantum behavior, and the emergence of macro behavior. This is not a matter of opinion. It is just what decoherence IS, factually.

That's exactly what I've been saying.


No, you have actively denied this,...

I don't see decoherence "suppressing the quantum behavior" of anything at all.


and,...

and lose their destructive/constructive quantum interference effects,

No, that's not what "decoherence" means at all.


Noumenon
3 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2014
Decoherence reduces the wavefunction to an eigenstate from superposition. Measurement reduces the wavefunction to an eigenstate from superposition. How are they different?


Because, [apart from interpretations] the mathematical foundation of QM requires the projection postulate, (collapse of the wave-function), as a separate mathematical element,.... whilst the Schrödinger equation alone does not provide a mathematical mechanism for collapse. Since decoherence is only operative mathematically via the deterministic Schrödinger equation, there is no actual collapse involved in decoherence.


Noumenon
3 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2014
Therefore let's put aside the question of what constitutes a measurement for now until we come to an understanding of the three points above.

This will require you to no longer describe decoherence in terms of eigenstates and eigenvalues, as this implies collapse of the wavefunction, which is not only inaccurate, but is putting the cart before the horse given our 'what constitutes a measurement' discussion.

It will also require you to agree with #1 above,.... that decoherence results in loss of phase coherence, and thus loss of interference terms, effects of which are characteristic of quantum behavior, and so loss of quantum behavior into macro behavior.

[Now, the latter is not to deny that the underlying physics of macroscopic objects is really quantum,... it is only that the loss of interference terms causes the loss of the strangeness that is characteristic of QM.]
Noumenon
3 / 5 (1) Nov 25, 2014
It is not ubiquitous in experiments generally and requires such very specialized experiments as mentioned above,... also by use of superconducting rings, etc.

You can demonstrate decoherence in the three-polarizer experiment as I have been saying now for quite a while. Why have you not addressed this experiment?


I did, and asked if you agreed with the probability calculations.

The decoherence that occurs in that polarizer experiment is inferred to have happened already, qualitatively, as in 'it gave the appearance of wave-function collapse'.

However, it is not an example of a quantitative experimental demonstration of decoherence. This would require #3 above, mesoscopic objects as a possible transition from quantum behavior to loss of interference term effects associated with quantum behavior.

Do you agree with #1, #2, #3, and that decoherence is NOT wave-function collapse in terms of the mathematical foundation of QM?
imido
Nov 25, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
1) There is no sense in continuing if you're not going to accept the basic definition of decoherence,.... the loss of [off-diagonal] interference terms by the loss of phase coherence, and thus loss of quantum behavior, and the emergence of macro behavior. This is not a matter of opinion. It is just what decoherence IS, factually.
That's exactly what I've been saying.
No, you have actively denied this,...
I don't see decoherence "suppressing the quantum behavior" of anything at all.
Just because one parameter has been measured (and if it was coherent with anything, potentially decohered unless the measurement is "weak") doesn't mean the particle has its quantum behavior "suppressed." In fact, the quantum behavior of the particle has been enhanced in the conjugate parameter. For example, measure the spin on one axis and the spins on all other axes are in superposition. Measure the momentum, and the position is in superposition.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
Even if you previously measured the spin on another axis, or the position, they are no longer eigenvalues; they are in superposition. That's what decoherence means.

and lose their destructive/constructive quantum interference effects,

No, that's not what "decoherence" means at all.
Their interference effects continue to be seen in the conjugate parameter(s). They don't stop being quanta. Uncertainty means that when a wavefunction "collapses" the wavefunction of the conjugate parameter de-collapses, so the quantum behavior is always there, just not in the particular parameter you measured.

One parameter (i.e. one wavefunction) is not a particle. A particle has many parameters, and some of them are dual under uncertainty to one another. Those that are can be in superposition. Those that are not cannot. A whole particle does not undergo "wavefunction collapse;" that's impossible.

I don't see how this is inconsistent with the definition of decoherence.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
Decoherence reduces the wavefunction to an eigenstate from superposition. Measurement reduces the wavefunction to an eigenstate from superposition. How are they different?
Because, [apart from interpretations] the mathematical foundation of QM requires the projection postulate, (collapse of the wave-function), as a separate mathematical element,.... whilst the Schrödinger equation alone does not provide a mathematical mechanism for collapse. Since decoherence is only operative mathematically via the deterministic Schrödinger equation, there is no actual collapse involved in decoherence.
I never said there was; I'm not, as I say, a proponent of physical wavefunction collapse. I still see you trying to stuff me into that "physical wave function collapse" box. I don't belong there.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
Therefore let's put aside the question of what constitutes a measurement for now until we come to an understanding of the three points above.
I replied to all of them. What's not to understand?

This will require you to no longer describe decoherence in terms of eigenstates and eigenvalues, as this implies collapse of the wavefunction, which is not only inaccurate, but is putting the cart before the horse given our 'what constitutes a measurement' discussion.
I've just shown that when one parameter undergoes "wavefunction collapse," another is rendered uncertain. Are you saying you think that when particles collide their positions are not determined by the position of the collision, just because we're not looking? We know that's wrong. It doesn't make any sense. Their positions are determined, and their momenta become uncertain (if they were known before).

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
It will also require you to agree with #1 above,.... that decoherence results in loss of phase coherence, and thus loss of interference terms, effects of which are characteristic of quantum behavior, and so loss of quantum behavior into macro behavior.
I don't think that's quite right. I think you have some sort of idea that the "entire particle collapses" somehow. That's not how it works, because of uncertainty.

Let's try this: I will describe the effect of decoherence on the dual slit experiment, and we'll see if you agree.

When the particle can go through two slits, its position is indeterminate. Therefore, its momentum is certain, and therefore, it creates interference fringes. However, if the position (i.e. the welcher weg information, IOW which slit it went through) is known, then the momentum is uncertain, and the fringes are smeared out and no longer visible.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
Measurement of the welcher weg information decoheres the momentum. That's why it's called "decoherence."

You are looking only at one parameter; you've forgotten that measuring that parameter implies something about another parameter, due to uncertainty conjugation. The wavefunction only describes a single parameter, at least the way you're talking about it. There are actually two wavefunctions dependent upon each other; and the fact that one has an eigenvalue means the other cannot; it has been decohered. That's what decoherence is.

[Now, the latter is not to deny that the underlying physics of macroscopic objects is really quantum,... it is only that the loss of interference terms causes the loss of the strangeness that is characteristic of QM.]
But the strangeness doesn't "disappear;" it pops up in the conjugate parameter (and if there is no conjugate parameter then that parameter cannot be "strange" in the way you mean). That's uncertainty.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
I knew if we talked long enough I'd figure out where you were going wrong; and I have. You're not accounting for the behavior of the conjugate parameter when a parameter takes on an eigenvalue, which is that the conjugate parameter goes into superposition. When we speak of "wavefunction collapse," that's what we mean. You can't have one without the other; when we speak of conjugation under uncertainty, that's what we mean. Decoherence is the behavior of the conjugate parameter, not the parameter being measured. You've applied it the wrong way around, and are trying to apply it to the measured parameter; otherwise you wouldn't talk about "the" parameter being in an eigenstate, or "the" parameter decohering.

As I said, you didn't understand decoherence. Now you will, if you accept the above. If not we can talk about it a while more.
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
It is not ubiquitous in experiments generally and requires such very specialized experiments as mentioned above,... also by use of superconducting rings, etc.
You can demonstrate decoherence in the three-polarizer experiment as I have been saying now for quite a while. Why have you not addressed this experiment?
I did, and asked if you agreed with the probability calculations.
But you haven't accounted for the conjugate parameters decohering. As I said, the measurement of spin on the non-orthogonal axis decoheres the spin on all other axes. It's very clear what's happening from the experimental results. Unless the orthogonal spin were decohered, the non-orthogonal measurement wouldn't change the output; but decoherence places the orthogonal spin in superposition, i.e. decoheres it. Decoherence is the opposite of wavefunction collapse; the former turns an eigenvalue into a superposition, and the latter turns a superposed value into an eigenvalue.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
The decoherence that occurs in that polarizer experiment is inferred to have happened already, qualitatively, as in 'it gave the appearance of wave-function collapse'.
No. The wavefunction collapse of the spin in one axis decohered the spin on all other axes. There is no appearance of wavefunction collapse until the second orthogonal polarizer measures the spin, and then only if the non-orthogonal polarizer is present in between the two orthogonal ones.

Wavefunction collapse of one parameter decoheres its conjugate parameter. That's what decoherence is.

However, it is not an example of a quantitative experimental demonstration of decoherence.
I completely disagree. It exactly demonstrates decoherence of the spin on the orthogonal axis.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
This would require #3 above, mesoscopic objects as a possible transition from quantum behavior to loss of interference term effects associated with quantum behavior.
I think this is an error introduced by the fact that you aren't getting that decoherence is the transition of a parameter from an eigenvalue to a superposed value, by measurement of its conjugate.

So your definition of decoherence is wrong; the loss of the superposition is not decoherence. It's the loss of the eigenvalue of the conjugate parameter that is decoherence. So much for #1.

BTW, I owe you an apology; I should have been thinking better, if I had I'd've caught your error instead of duplicating it myself. It's been quite a while since I had someone who knew enough about this stuff to be worth talking to about it! So this has been very helpful for me.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
#2 is correct; decoherence is not measurement. In fact it's the opposite of measurement; it's what happens to the conjugate parameter when an eigenvalue is determined for a parameter. My mistake.

#3 is incorrect; the three polarizers experiment shows decoherence of the spin on the orthogonal axis.

Now, let's see where that takes us.

First of all, it's now clear that decoherence happens only to quantum numbers that are conjugate under uncertainty. Second, it's clear that every measurement of a conjugate parameter causes decoherence of the conjugate.

Do you agree with this?
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
To put it short and sweet, wavefunction collapse is always matched by simultaneous decoherence of the conjugate wavefunction.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
You've applied it the wrong way around, and are trying to apply it to the measured parameter


I don't know that I have attempted to apply it to either a eigenstate 'parameter' or it's 'conjugate parameter', as I reject the view that decoherence is measurement to begin with.

I have referred to the Hilbert Space representation, which after-all can not be of both (x and p) at once; The Hilbert Space representation is always of the 'parameter', never the 'conjugate parameter'..... as you would need to apply a Fourier transform to go from the 'parameter' (x space) to the 'conjugate parameter' (p space),... but then it just becomes the 'parameter' (p space) at that point, and the x-space is then referred to as the 'conjugate parameter'.

Now, I don't know that decoherence can not refer to the 'conjugate parameter', as it is a Fourier transform and so just a mathematical duel space,... but this would be a flip-floppy through the back door, way of speaking,... (wait for it...)
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
Decoherence is the behavior of the conjugate parameter, not the parameter being measured. [...] As I said, you didn't understand decoherence. ...[....]... decoherence places the orthogonal spin [conjugate variable] in superposition, i.e. decoheres it ..[...].. wavefunction collapse is always matched by simultaneous decoherence of the conjugate wavefunction.


Sorry, you have it backwards. I know this is infuriating and I'm not trying to a d$ck either,...

I know the word 'Coherence' would lead one to think that it is to refer to an eigenstate, so that 'Decoherence' would then appear to be what happens to the conjugate parameter,... however, this is to misunderstand the terminology....


Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
You've applied it the wrong way around, and are trying to apply it to the measured parameter
I don't know that I have attempted to apply it to either a eigenstate 'parameter' or it's 'conjugate parameter', as I reject the view that decoherence is measurement to begin with.
I don't see why it matters that you reject it since I agree that decoherence is not measurement; it is what happens to the conjugate parameter under uncertainty of a parameter that has been measured.

When you see "parameter" think quantum number. When I refer to conjugation I mean under uncertainty unless I say otherwise (there are other conjugations in the SM). For example, position is conjugate to momentum; spin on one axis is conjugate to spin on all other axes; energy is conjugate to time. That's the uncertainty principle.

contd
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014

A superposition of eigenstates refers to a coherent wave-function. The 'coherent terms' are the off-diagonal phase terms of the density matrix that are responsible for interference, that I mentioned in my definition. Decoherence is loss of those terms,... diagonalization of the density matrix,... loss of coherence or ordering of the phase angles,... loss of quantum interference.

"...a coherent quantum state vector is produced, corresponding to the linear superposition of the state vector of a decayed atom and the state vector of an intact atom. [...] The coherence of a suitably prepared state vector turns out to be extremely fragile - interaction with a few photons or atoms can quickly result in a loss of phase correlation,..." - Jim Baggott [2004]

"By the analogy with coherence in other wave phenomena, a superposed state can be referred to as a coherent superposition." - Wiki
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
I have referred to the Hilbert Space representation, which after-all can not be of both (x and p) at once; The Hilbert Space representation is always of the 'parameter', never the 'conjugate parameter'..... as you would need to apply a Fourier transform to go from the 'parameter' (x space) to the 'conjugate parameter' (p space),... but then it just becomes the 'parameter' (p space) at that point, and the x-space is then referred to as the 'conjugate parameter'.
This is exactly the problem. You're ignoring the conjugate parameter whose value is decohered because your representation can't relate its model of the wavefunction collapse to the conjugate parameter; calculations using your method must be Fourier transformed to give the value of the conjugate parameter.

Decoherence doesn't even exist in your representation; you ignore the conjugate parameter, which is what gets decohered.

contd
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 26, 2014
Now, I don't know that decoherence can not refer to the 'conjugate parameter', as it is a Fourier transform and so just a mathematical duel space,... but this would be a flip-floppy through the back door, way of speaking,... (wait for it...)
See, this is just what I'm saying. The quantum number in your Hilbert space representation isn't linked to another quantum number; but in reality, the real quantum number *is* linked to another quantum number, by the uncertainty relation, so if you establish an eigenvalue for that quantum number, you've ensured that the conjugate quantum number is in superposition, i.e. not in an eigenvalue.

And you're only talking about one representation of one quantum number, and ignoring its conjugate.

This will probably be my last reply for a bit, when my wife gets home we start cooking. If she gets stuck in traffic I might get in a few more but if I disappear, then have a happy Thanksgiving (or whatever, eat well anyway)!
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
Decoherence is the behavior of the conjugate parameter, not the parameter being measured. [...] As I said, you didn't understand decoherence. ...[....]... decoherence places the orthogonal spin [conjugate variable] in superposition, i.e. decoheres it ..[...].. wavefunction collapse is always matched by simultaneous decoherence of the conjugate wavefunction.


Sorry, you have it backwards. I know this is infuriating and I'm not trying to a d$ck either,...
It's frustrated both of us. It's OK, we're getting there.

I know the word 'Coherence' would lead one to think that it is to refer to an eigenstate, so that 'Decoherence' would then appear to be what happens to the conjugate parameter,... however, this is to misunderstand the terminology...
But I'm not saying that at all. The conjugate quantum number might not previously have been in an eigenstate, in which case there's no change; but if it was in an eigenstate, it isn't any more.

contd
Da Schneib
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
Conjugate parameters under uncertainty cannot both be in an eigenstate. That's uncertainty. Your method doesn't check if the conjugate parameter is in an eigenstate when you place the parameter you're representing in Hilbert space in an eigenstate, nor, if it is, does it place it in superposition; therefore, it is incomplete because it doesn't represent the uncertainty relation.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (1) Nov 26, 2014
A superposition of eigenstates refers to a coherent wave-function. The 'coherent terms' are the off-diagonal phase terms of the density matrix that are responsible for interference, that I mentioned in my definition. Decoherence is loss of those terms,... diagonalization of the density matrix,... loss of coherence or ordering of the phase angles,... loss of quantum interference.
I don't believe that's correct. I'm going to have to check several references, and that's not happening today. I will get back to you. I could be wrong, so hang loose a bit.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
I don't know that I have attempted to apply it to either a eigenstate 'parameter' or it's 'conjugate parameter', as I reject the view that decoherence is measurement to begin with. I have referred to the Hilbert Space....

I don't see why it matters that you reject it since I agree that decoherence is not measurement


What I meant by my response is that Decoherence applies to The Wavefunction, whatever the Hilbert Space representation is supposed to be,.... so not to the Fourier transformed, conjugate wavefunction in particular.

Because of this confusion in the term 'coherence' and therefore 'decoherence', I will hold-off on accepting that you concede that 'decoherence is not measurement',... as you may change your mind if you concur with the generally accepted wording that a coherent wavefunction is a linear superposition of states (not all necessarily eignestates btw), and that decoherence refers to this superpostion wavefunction.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
Decoherence doesn't even exist in your representation; you ignore the conjugate parameter, which is what gets decohered.


It may be best to read through all my posts before replying, because I had already responded to this point. I am saying that decoherence applies to The Wavefucntion, irrespective of representation, so I can not accept that it is the 'conjugate parameter, which is what gets decohered'.

I will offline for a few days as well. Enjoy your thanksgiving!!

["and that decoherence refers to this superpostion wavefunction",..... in terms of the loss of it's off-diagonal components]
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
The quantum number in your Hilbert space representation isn't linked to another quantum number; but in reality, the real quantum number *is* linked to another quantum number, by the uncertainty relation, so if you establish an eigenvalue for that quantum number, you've ensured that the conjugate quantum number is in superposition, i.e. not in an eigenvalue.


The Hilbert space representation takes that into account given that the Dirac delta function has a legitimate Fourier transform. The Dirac delta function would represent a particular eigenvalue, which when Fourier transformed, results in a superposition of an infinite number of eigenstates.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
Conjugate parameters under uncertainty cannot both be in an eigenstate. That's uncertainty. Your method doesn't check if the conjugate parameter is in an eigenstate when you place the parameter you're representing in Hilbert space in an eigenstate, nor, if it is, does it place it in superposition; therefore, it is incomplete because it doesn't represent the uncertainty relation.


The Hilbert space formulation of QM always ensures that a eigenstate vector (one congruent with a basis vector), ...becomes a superposition of basis vectors in the conjugate representation. The Fourier transform changes from one representation space to the other.
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014
As an aside ....

David Hilbert developed Hilbert space as a generalization of vector calculus. He used Fourier analysis to do this.

In vector calculus, a vector can have an arbitrary direction. The vector has components and is a linear superposition of those components or 'amounts' of the axis (basis vectors), ... x, y, z, that make up an orthogonal set. The vector can be projected ('collapsed') onto an axis (basis vector), say x, to obtain the 'amount' of x that is in the vector, or rather the amount of the vector that is congruent with x.


Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014


In Hilbert space, the 'vector' is generalized,... it is now a wavefunction that can have an arbitrary shape.

Fourier analysis allows one to take an arbitrarily shaped wave-form and decompose it into it's component waves, ....a bunch of pure waves, ....that are sin and cos functions**.

Each of these sin/cos functions represent a basis vector (axis), an orthogonal set, .....that may be infinite in number, so an infinite number of 'axis'.

The wavefunction is a linear superposition of these. The wavefunction can be projected (collapsed) onto a particular basis vector (usually a eigenstate), to obtain the 'amount' (eigenvalue) of the sin/cos pure wave (basis vector) that is in the wavefunction.

** usually in QM it is in terms of complex exponentials because of it's relation to sin/cos in the Euler identity, and the need for Hermitian operators.


Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 26, 2014


Fourier analysis allows different representations (conjugate in qm), say of frequency, or amplitude, or position, or momentum,... that can be transformed into each other. A coefficient (eigenvalue) of a basis vector (eigenstate) in one representation becomes a linear superposition of basis vector coefficients in the other representation, and vice versa.

In general any wavefunction or basis vector can be projected onto any other wavefunction or basis vector, inner product. (The inner product of two basis vectors would be zero given the orthogonal requirement). The basis vectors don't have to be eigenstates (observable).

John von Neumann took this idea and formulated the mathematical foundation of QM in a consistent and complete way.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (1) Nov 27, 2014
Wow... A Noumenon - Schneib Title fight...
Noumenon
not rated yet Nov 30, 2014
So that the thread does not expire,...... the Dirac <Bra| |Ket> notation is entirely compatible with the above Hilbert space formulation.
Noumenon
not rated yet Dec 05, 2014
Since decoherence implies entanglement with the environment, a single wavefunction is now involved for the whole system, so that there is no eigenstates for a particular quantum entity, until that quantum entity is again isolated.

I regard eigenvalues to be macroscopically derived 'conceptual values' that humans conform reality to, in an artificial way. Independent of measurement by intelligence there are no 'conceptual values'. The measurement, that is the apparatus design, creates the 'values', that were not present before hand.

This is why decoherence and 'quantum interaction' does not constitute a 'measurement', and decoherence can't be wave-function collapse unless there is a mathematical term that accomplishes this in particular, as pointed out by the man who discovered decoherence, H.D. Zeh.

Btw, we can pick up where we left off when you are ready, so the above several posts can be ignored, and are just to prevent the thread from expiring,.... unless you're finished.
Noumenon
not rated yet Dec 22, 2014
1) Decoherence is the loss of (off-diagonal) interference terms by the loss of phase coherence, and thus loss of quantum behavior, and so the emergence of macro behavior. This applies to the wavefucntion description and not in particular to what occurs to it's conjugate.

2) The deterministic Schrödinger equation does not allow for wave-function collapse (except for modified theory, by adding terms specifically to accommodate this), .....i.e. decoherence is NOT wave-function collapse.

3) Decoherence is not ubiquitous in experiments generally (in terms of quantitatively observing it). This is of course because decoherence is loss of quantum behavior into macro behavior. Observing decoherence occurring experimentally, ....(that is quantitatively as opposed to giving a qualitative description of appearances),... requires mesoscopic objects of the order between micro and macro. Such experiments were conducted only relatively recently.
Noumenon
not rated yet Dec 22, 2014
A) For the above reasons, quantum interaction, independent of conscious intelligence, does not constitute a measurement. Intelligence is required given von Neumann's postulate and that physically observed Hermitian operators are only realized in macroscopic apparatus design and interpretation. So that in general, only a small subset of all self-adjoint bounded operators will represent physically observable operators.
Noumenon
not rated yet Dec 22, 2014
B) It is metaphysical speculation to hold that core elements of mathematics, of which abstract math is derived, exists in some ontological way independently of intelligence as an intrinsic feature of reality. 1) The Godel incompleteness theorem, and failure of 'Hilbert's program' does not bode well for this notion. 2) Not all mathematical constructs are applicable to observable reality,.... see Tegmark's level IV MWI, and the last sentence of my previous post 3) The core elements of mathematics must be a-priori judgments of intuition, a la Kant, hard-wired in the mind via evolution in order to synthesize experience. These conceptual forms of thought or a-priori intuitions, give only the illusion that they are intrinsic features of independent reality, because observation itself must necessarily be in terms of those conceptual forms, given the nature of mind. It akin to a dog thinking his own tail exists independently of himself and is following him.

QED.

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